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….

 

 

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.

260 words

Fed Ayesha (rellies are in Seattle).  Meep!  I only had three beers and I was hungover yesterday.  I like beer but it no longer likes me.

The pictures coming back from Dragon Con are very entertaining. A couple of my facebook peeps are there.

Spoke to Dave yesterday on the phone, it was lovely to hear his voice.  And catch up on his blog.

a visit

Woke at 4:34 with a bug crawling on me.  Sigh.  I’m sure I have a mild case of RLS because I very often get ‘the crawlies’ but my crawlies don’t move, and bugs do, so that’s how I tell the difference when lying in bed at night.

I’m getting a new mattress.  This one is shite.  I don’t feel like spending any money.

Patricia and I got together downtown to (briefly) discuss my potential job application but mostly to drink a few sophisticated beverages, in the jungle that is the café at the VAG (no fewer than 4 species of bird and mammal came through).  We scored the best seats in the house. She asked to look at baby pictures.  I am extraordinarily proud of Alex (also Katie, who is doing a more than creditable parenting job under circumstances that are more difficult than what I experienced), but I don’t spend a lot of time talking about him, because his accomplishments have more to do with the quality of his vocalizations and his digestive processes than anything grownups consider remarkable.

Our server, Claire, a charming woman, talked to us a while about how people freak out about there being animals and she’s like, duh, it’s outside with 25 years worth of very dense foliage and food, and if you see mice there’s no rats, so whatevs.  Her attitude was very bracing, and damn us if we didn’t use the last of the pita to tempt Sir Sparrow and the Sire de Mousey.  And Patricia said something so complimentary I ain’t repeating it,  but it’s one of those things I’m going to be pulling out and mentally burnishing every once in a while for the next couple of weeks any time I have the Thrumps.

After two beers (Sunsetter Summer I b’lieve, and normally I LOATHE wheat bears and they give me an immediate headache but this was delicious and carried no such freight) and some hummus it was aff hame, except I said at Granville (exaggerating somewhat) CRYFACE O WHY IS IT I MUST LEAVE YOU MY FRIEND I WISH TO CONTINUE BEVERAGING.

I pointed to the nearest pub, and she had a better idea (she lives blocks away) and we went to a very nice bar called Uva, with extremely loud music (I need to find a bar downtown with music at a comfy level) and exceptionally nice washrooms and kindly servers, and I had a Raven, because I don’t get to go to Jericho Folk any more because they stopped (rent and exhaustion trending upward as I recollect) and that was the only place I ever drank it.  It was very, very good, even better than I remember although that might have more to do with how often the beer taps were cleaned at the Galley than anything else, because it was in a bottle.

So we chatted a while longer and I went home. Very pleasant to discuss the interface of domestic life with contemporary feminism, and on that subject I need make no further public remarks.

And now Jeff’s up and there’s tons on the PVR and it’s another smoking hot day in Vancouver and we are going to a family picnic tonight, yay! Also, it’s a resumé day, and I know better than to try to write more than one kind of fiction on resumé day.  I have the job description to hand, which will make things easier.

Writing will commence after the family picnic.  I am sure of it.  I was a little underfriended, and by the time I’ve done catching up with my dear ones I’ll be much closer to having a full tank.  Thank you Mike, Patricia and Alex for that!!

MUST EAT.