sorry about the radio silence

Basically I started drinking beer when I got there, stopped around 7 pm, started having kidney grit again around 2 am, peed into a cup at one point because I couldn’t make it from the trailer to the house, and man, continence is A WHOLE THING of beauty and you really appreciate it when you don’t have it. I woke Jeff up around 6:30 the next morning and we talked it through, whether we wanted to leave in case I got worse, ended up getting the 9 o’clock ferry, more or less, and was greeted by an exceedingly noisy Buster.

But kidney grit aside….

We had an awesome time, can’t say how much, it was balm for my soul. And Jeff is of much the same mind. Brought a PILE of guest gifts mostly to indicate how grateful I am to have access to a miniature Baumfest. Anyway why take flowers? I brought vegetation of a different kind. Also a plaque showing Percy Saltzman saying Tonight’s forecast: low standards, alcohol and poor decisions. I thought Al was about to lose his mind when he saw that. I also brought them four capshields with hardware.

Drank beer ate fishburgers and other food, listened to the waterfall – they have a WATERFALL you can hear FROM THEIR YARD listened to their incredible playlist on spotify and around ten I got to sleep in their extremely comfy trailer in the side yard. I FELL IN LOVE with that trailer, it’s incredible me-sized.

IT WAS FUNNE!

 

This little exchange on the internet may NOT GO AS PLANNED for grandpa but he’ll be dead when his grandson eulogizes him as ‘the man who really accepted my sexuality’ LOLOLOLOL

 

 

a nested series of sad realizations

I saw Tammy at her Airbnb yesterday. It’s very nice; hilariously, out of all the buildings in downtown Vancouver she could have ended up with (her booking was changed twice before she settled) she ended up in the same building as Patricia used to live in, in a mirror image of that same apartment.

Her life is very trying right now; as a provider of psychological counselling to half a dozen front line health care workers she’s hearing and processing stuff that’s hard, cruel hard, and the fact that it isn’t happening directly to her doesn’t take the pressure off trying to do her best for them.

Thanks to Justin McElroy for the tip about Chambar, the food was fantastic. also to keep my self honest I had two 5% beers

DUCK AND LAMB, DUCK AND LAMB GOD IT WAS YUMMY DUCK AND LAMB the tajine was mmmmwaaaaaah and the duck was PERFECTLY COOKED also asparagus and olives and pistachios and nomnomnom

but in some respects the visit was a bunch of painful realizations that I’m simply not the same person I used to be. And that I’m a coward.

I’ll see her again on Thursday, she’s going home on Sunday, Paul is apparently seeing her today.

 

simply glorious day

Paul, Jeff and I walked in Robert Burnaby Park; I collected trash (wrappers and butts mostly) and fogged up my shield.

picked up sushi for lunch and then Keith made vodka Caesars for the boys & we had a socially distant meal on the back deck. Keith seemed in quite good spirits and owned as how he’d like to go back to school when all this is over.

later in the day Mike came over and gave me food and I gave him a shield and we hung around and talked on the back deck – he walked over, and it was just so pleasant to hang around and listen to the menfolks quietly talk

Jeff and Buster on the back deck yesterday
Mike and Buster on the back deck yesterday

IRL

I follow so many people on twitter – approximately 500 – that it’s always wild when I know one in really-for-truly real life.

This is Benjamin Luk: a hard working and thrifty bon vivant who has several income streams but is also a wedding photographer, when the social climate permits.

He posted this.

Image

I’ve met him twice IRL, and he’s utterly charming.

delightful

after a somewhat jostled trip downtown (travelling during rush hour being a real commitment for me these days) I joined Tammy for a lovely meal at Homer and then a wonderful walking tour of “Forbidden Vancouver” which Tammy also underwrote. I took the stool so I could sit down whenever; Tammy used it as well.

Nothing like standing at the epicentre of a race riot to help you get a grip on things.

After we hung out and I looked at pics of her vacays to places like New Orleans at Christmas (lovely light displays at night) and Fiji – my god, the guest house was set in a spectacular garden – and Sydney.

Then I went home, took a taxi from Edmonds.

And, apart from Jeff accompanying me on food to D Roti Shak, which supplied all of our meals yesterday, and a couple of shows I SLEPT ALL DAY YESTERDAY.

Katie’s here! Brekky time

 

Later – life sucks but I have friends and furthermore leftovers

awake, of course

Mike feasted me at Yianni’s last night, and the lamb shoulder was quite splendid. I even drank alcohol last night, and for my trouble I have a faint pain behind my right eye. Back to sobriety!  I love the stuff, but it doesn’t love me.

Since I’d already had five solid hours of sleep, I’ve kipped for a  couple of hours and now I’m awake in the dark and quiet, but I shan’t repine despite my wakefulness; I have the LAST CHAPTER of the current book, which is going to be a monster, in prospect; the book will be somewhat shorter than I intended, but I may plump it up during editing, since I invariably put more in to be clear than I take out avoiding repetition or extraneous stuff.

Jeff has produced (I do not know how many hours he put into it, but it was work) a wonderful cover for MMCo, which you can all see when it goes live on Leanpub. My only contribution was the basic design idea (which Jeff immediately improved, by adding an unmarked white truck), a creative commons picture of a man against a starfield, the font and a suggestion re the basic shape.

Back to work….

the delayment of the inevitablelike

I AM NO QUIT I AM EXTEND SON

I’ll be working until the end of January. The woman I was hired to temporarily replace for medical reasons and to be a casual is now not working for the company, reason unknown. My reasons for not wanting to be there are still in place but I’m getting paid and I don’t have to work weekend days so I don’t care.  Steady middies for me!

It’s amusing that I’m awake now.  The world is white and quiet with snow, and if I was working tonight my shift would be about to start…. I just woke up.

I could use the money, although I’d forgotten the extent to which commuting in the wintertime is such a fricking drag in this burg.

Getting to and from work the last week has chewed through a bus station mop. But… it only took an hour to get home yesterday.

My characters are sad and so am I.  It’s the pathetic fallacy folks.

Also one of them is quitting drinking and I’m walking alongside him for portions of that, which I loathe.

Although I did think of THE MOST DISGUSTING SIXER RELATED GAG I mean I burst out laughing when poor Jeff was trying to watch the Dallas/Tampa game, which was ugly and beautiful and what the hell’s going on with the zebras, and mah God Dak Prescott, but I just had this vision of Sweetie, who is like 3 kilos, being the security guard for the whorehouse, and controlling a patron with the vilest impersonation of Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry one could possibly imagine, and I couldn’t stop laughing because the joke grows organically out of the situation and at this point we could all use a laugh,

because Trump sailed through the Electoral College, and the Republic, tottering after decades of hacking at the Constitution and weak from never dealing with racism and the Civil War, is in full kleptocratic collapse.

What to watch for over 4 years in the US:

Moar racism

Moar war

Higher infant and maternal death rates – this has actually been going on in slow motion over the decade I’ve been keeping track, it’s sickening…

More prison rioting (underreported) as the food in prisons gets worse and worse under Trump’s prison owning buddies

Higher violent death rates, across the board, all kinds – vehicles (road rage), guns, knives, stranglings.

More alcoholism and alcohol related death

More needle drug abuse and higher rates of AIDS HIV infection. More people dying of ODs, pills and otherwise.

Zika running wild in South Florida and the gulf coast and women being forced to carry the fetus to term with no health insurance for a lifetime of need thanks to Republican state legislatures

Hundreds more deaths each year from white people carrying guns, being scared of black people and shooting grandmothers and toddlers but mostly teenage boys who are existing while black

Muslims being burned alive in their mosques. Hasn’t happened yet but it’s going to happen and more than once.

Tripling of deaths in custody. (The statisticians just learned that the number of people who’ve died in custody in the US in the last five years is ACTUALLY DOUBLE what they thought because there’s no reporting mechanism and now the cop unions are trying to prevent any oversight of this statistic at all…)

Diaspora people – Jewish, black and Muslim – who have family and opportunities in Canada, moving here, although they’ll probably need a couple of years of Trump to realize it’s time to get out of town.

Tourism tanks across the US and Trumpites CELEBRATE America for Americans.

Confederates bringing automatic weapons to Pride Days and killing grandmothers and toddlers along with some queers.

Open war on First Nations Land; mass incarcerations and arrests, and Trump’s buddies making money on it.

More legal weed.

Secession talk from more than California.

The Left NEVER calling him President Trump. Just Trump. Or Cheetolini.

Patton Oswalt falling in love again and remarrying.  Because honestly, that man deserves happiness.

Sad family note. Young cousin got a bad (not what he specifically and carefully asked for) haircut… but we have a hairdresser in the family and our relations did not have to have that experience.  I wish it were otherwise but how often does adult convenience drive the nightmares of small children. I speak from sad and memorable experience here, thinking about Katie and the earring back. I still cry when I think about that, tho’ Katie has long since forgiven me.

A friend asked me what my Christmas Day plans were and I said “Reheating takeout and watching Die Hard with my brother” and now we’re eating at Hal and Cassidy’s, go team!

At some point Jeff and I have to leave the house for supplies, but the urban slushy streets are too disgusting….

 

 

Entire quote from facebook this morning.

Indigo Nai, who lives and works in New York, wrote this

 

Yo.

I am abandoning the world of men.

I am abandoning the world of men because masculinity is a sinking ship, and it is loaded with leaking, toxic drums, and it is sinking while we watch, and it is my belief that the men that do not escape it will drown.

Now, I’mma tell you a little story. It’s a long one, so feel free to flake if you start to fade, but here it is:

On my last day in the Bay area, a small gang of us agreed to meet at a local bar to hang out, take in the late summer sun, and drink a healthy amount of bourbon. It’s a warm summer day, and the patio of the bar is crowded; friends and acquaintances of both genders join our little group every once in a while, stay for a bit, and then wander off, but just before things kicked off, our little group is four women, myself, and another male friend. Over on my side of the table we’ve just started a conversation about rape culture and how to help redefine the ways men view themselves within it, because me and my friends really enjoy light conversation. The dialog in our part of the little circle is going great, but at one point I look over and notice that my best friend has been cornered by the other guy in the group, and it’s clear that she’s having *exactly* the kind of conversation that you don’t want to be stuck in; that one conversation where a guy is mansplaining to a woman about the ‘slippery slope’ that prosecuting everyone accused of rape inevitably leads to, in the kingdom of toxic masculinity, at least. My friend is trying her best to be both polite and to be heard, but she can’t get a word in edgewise, so I decide to leverage my own privilege; the next time he interrupts her, I interrupt him, and say, “Hey brother, you know what’s sexy? Letting a woman finish a sentence”. I then turn away, good deed done, to rejoin my own conversation. Unfortunately, this causes me to miss the warning signs as the guy begins to grimly stew on the indignity of having his privilege publicly checked, because masculinity so fragile.

A moment later, he calls out: “Hey, I think Shannon is done talking, so I’d like to share my thoughts, if that’s all right with you, INDIGO”. Now, I admit, I’m obnoxious to the bone, so I toss a quick and merry “That’s fine!” over my shoulder. This, inexplicably breaks him; that simple comment sends him right over the edge of man-child sulking into the abyss of beast-mode rage, and before you can say “can’t hold your liquor” he unfolds from his seat, all 6’3″ and 240 pounds of him, and bellows “Do you want to have a fucking go then, man?”

Now, this is unexpected, since he’s an old friend, and we’re surrounded by a handful of other old friends, and we’re in the middle of a bar that’s run by Family, and we’re there for an unfortunate friend’s fundraiser, so it seems a little strange that he and I have suddenly started doing the man-dance right in the middle of of a crowded patio on a Sunday afternoon. But he’s Scottish, and I’m Irish, and the story of a wee Irish guy scrapping with a great Scottish hulk is a tale as old as love itself, and besides, I’m always one for a story, so I call back “Sure, brother” and stand up.

Before I can even get my arms up, I have a giant meatpile of angry, drunken Scotsman throwing his fists in my face. I hear/feel My tendons squeak a bit as his weight came down on my knee, so I know my knee was wrenched, and at some point I saw stars so I knew he got a good kiss in, but mostly I just kept grappling with him and tried not to worry too much about the damage already done in order to try and minimize the damage that was yet to happen.

Some colder, more removed part of me was also laughing its ass off because I suddenly found myself climbing Mt. Slappy McHaggis when, less than ten seconds before, I had been drinking bourbon and chatting with some very old friends about the nuances of feminism, rape culture, and male privilege.

Trust me, the irony didn’t escape me, even at the time.

It was also, in some sense, tragic: this was someone I had been friends with for fifteen years, someone whom I had always considered Family. This was a man I had always thought would have my back in a fight, not someone who would suddenly be trying to bury their fists in my face.

It was also, in some sense, inexplicable: this was a guy with a six inch height and a fifty pound weight advantage over me, who I know for a fact thinks of himself as honorable and chivalrous.

And finally, in every sense it was hideously dangerous: physical fights are terrifically dodgy ideas to begin with. I mean, I have anger issues, and I’m a big fan of consensual violence between men, but fighting is chock full of the potential for really shitty consequences; come in at a bad angle, you can crack the zygomatic bone and blind someone; land wrong after a takedown, you can tear tendons and lame them; knock them off balance, and you can crack their head on a curb and there you are, in prison for the next two decades of your life, and the guy who was looking at you funny that one night in a bar is shitting into a bag.

I mean, who knew, but physically beating someone into submission is really hard, and pretty risky when it all comes down to it.

And over what?

The perception that you’ve been disrespected when a friend suggests that you stop interrupting another friend while they speak?

The perception that you’ve been disrespected when someone calls you out for rude behavior?

On the masculine side of things, it makes me very sad for men as they grow older; go through divorces; lose their businesses; have their children taken away. As men, we’re never taught to build communities, or examine our feelings, or build genuinely intimate connections with other men. We’re taught that we can share two emotions: lust and anger. And we’re taught to use those two brutal, clumsy tools to solve every challenge that we experience in our worlds. This is the price we pay for our privilege.

But on the feminine side, my experience makes me much sadder. See, I’ve been thinking about that fight ever since it happened. It’s been a long time since I was in a real fight, and a long time since I was in a fight with a real fighter. And that means it’s been a long time since I had to really think about what it must be like to have to be constantly wary of the rage of men. I did well for a wee Irish guy, for the few seconds that our scuffle went on, I held my own; but those few seconds were enough to earn me a black eye an d weeks worth of limping. And if we hadn’t been in a public place, surrounded by friends, I would have been fucked. Right proper fucked. Rabbit in a hound’s mouth fucked. Fucked like every abused wife in a trailer or McMansion is fucked. Which, ironically, is what the conversation we were having to begin with was all about: when that fight popped off, we were discussing the reality that about half of the world’s population has to process that the at any given moment, some member of the other half of it could go savagely violent on you with no warning, rhyme, or reason. And this reality is something every woman I know has to deal with every day. The irony is remarkable: simply discussing the topic of male rage and expecting equality from all participants was enough to provoke this guy to violence. What I experienced in that brief window of time was being punched right out of my privilege for a minute. In that moment, I was reminded, very briefly, what being assaulted by someone much bigger and much more aggressive than you are is like; what it’s like to go toe-to-toe with someone to big for you to resist, let alone overcome. And it reminded me why I care, why I fight, and why feminism is always worth fighting for, with our words, our tongues, our fists, or a goddamn barstool, needs must.

So, yeah. I’m abandoning the world of men. I’m abandoning the idea of egos so fragile they can’t bear criticism. I’m abandoning the idea of size as strength, might as right, and women as an audience. And most of all, I reject the idea of using your power as a tool to enforce your will, rather than using it as a tool to protect your Family.

Always punch up. Never punch down.

We’re going to win this.

Just bizniss

Kenny Gu and the housing blues. I knew the Vancouver market was fucked up, but holy shit.

Dinner with Mike last night.  It was such a spectacular early fall evening we ate on the patio at the Quay. I had the prawn pad thai and Mike had the glass noodles with chicken from Longtail Kitchen, and the meal was so good my eyes couldn’t focus for a while afterward. I drank a Tiger beer.  I should get it for Jeff. It has ABSOLUTELY NO TASTE.

Now I’m hongring for coffee and thinking about Starbucks.  I don’t normally want to have anything from Starbucks, but the alt-right wants to boycott them, and I do fancy their chocolate croissants.

 

Mommishness outbreak

Keith came over last night, in a rather unhappy state.  His unhappiness made me cry – I cry at the most ludicrous things these days, but I’m not inclined to feel shame about it – and I stuck to the issue, which was his state, not mine.

We reviewed his life situation for stressors. My very flat recital of them at one point made Keith laugh, which he hadn’t done since he arrived, and concluded with, “And if I know you, not a day goes by when you don’t think, “Is today the day I’m going to lose it?” And then he laughed loud and long and said, “Got it in one.”

His feelings are real and justified against his situation.  They are not to be mocked or bulldozed over.  I listened more than I talked. I provided advice, but after 10 minutes of mom time, one beer and the first hour of The Right Stuff he was much more regulated when he left.

I told him that he should think about going back to school.  He said, “I could teach.”

I was amazed.  He actually could, he explained it. I told him to apply ASAP. And to think about school in January.  He said, “There’s no money,” and I said, “Commit to a course of action and the means will appear.” Of course that means elders conferring regarding the means, but hey.  If people hadn’t helped me out financially for no good reason at certain points during my life I wouldn’t be in the pleasant position of getting to worry about my kids.

When he was born a friend paid for a full astrological natal chart.  The results: He is an old soul.  He’ll either be a great teacher or a petty criminal, specifically a drug dealer.

Since this was the first time anybody in the woowoo divination game had said anything negative in my experience, it kinda stuck with me. I mean who predicts that your kid will be a drug dealer? Given Keith’s abstemious and cautious nature, it’s probably one of the funniest arrows ventured at the future I’ve ever heard of.

50091

I did not make word count, but I wrote some memorably awesome medical type stuff and got early morning greetings from Alex and Katie, so what could I possibly want from this life?

Bengal Lounge farewell tonight.  I will bus there and back again – the bus that goes by my fOlks’ house goes straight to the Empress….

Current count 5813

What an amazing 57th birthday I had!!

I ate a meal I didn’t cook for brekky (left over Desi Turka chicken tikka masala with rice pulao), I ate a meal I didn’t cook for lunch, for Jeff feasted me at Switzerland Chicken, and I ate a meal I didn’t cook for dinner, as Mike feasted me with pan fried oysters and new potatoes.

We watched all the rest of Black Sails more or less because we couldn’t help ourselves.  Then I watched the season 3 teaser trailer just to drive myself nuts; god willing and the crick don’t rise I’ll have more in January around Conflikt time.

I brushed and degunked Margot and avoided being killed on the stairs by Buster.  My rapid increase in wordcount you can tell for yourself and I shipped off some new stuff to mOm.

I got phone calls wishing me a happy birthday from Mike, Katie, my mOm and ewishes from Patricia and DJD. Absolutely nobody on facebook wished me a happy birthday.  258 facebook friends and you get a prompt for friends’ birthdays, but not a sausage (hey I needed the message about social media not being as important as my flesh and blood friends…)

I slept over at Mike’s so we had just enough to drink to be festive but not to drive, and I do not feel muzzy headed this morning so I think I titrated the dose properly.  ASBACK BRANDY BE GREAT YO. Tecate Beer tastes like a man complaining of an unhappy marriage.  I shall not drink that beer again. I even wrote 185 more words last night while I was here.  It was a particularly writing sort of day.

I got prezzies! A foot soaker tub and a headrest pillow for air travel.  SO HAPPY and so very unexpected, but I’m not too old to appreciate it.

I wrote a letter to my MP and ran a load of laundry and backed up my documents.

am I not awesome!?

Lots of writing yummy food and yes I know I am a big kid. And we’ll feast again on Katie’s bday on Friday, yay!

Weather’s the pits and the wind’s going to come up but I’m snug where I am and it’s wonderful. Vitamin D and probiotics make me a better person.

 

OH AND ONE LAST THING. I have an interview with a job agency on Wednesday.  Just came right out of the blue.  Isn’t that a perfect thing to happen on my birthday?  Nothing likely will come of it but you never know, and I got all those nice new work clothes from EShakti, and nicer bras and underwear too over the last six months so if I DID get a job I wouldn’t be going O M F G what do I wear tomorrow. So really, a spectacular day.

While I’m all bubbly and babbly….

TOBY STEPHENS PULLS HIS BEARD AND IT MAKES ME HAPPY gratuitous Black Sails reference. Especially since it’s really his beard, and did you know he’s Maggie Smith’s younger son, and married to that Plowman actress who played Sarah/Osiris for 4 seasons on SG1?  Screw Kevin Bacon SG1 is where the connections really fly.