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’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.


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!!


661 words today – Song #3 of 50 Gabriola Camping Trip

I need to make up the deficit from yesterday, but at least that’s only 339 words.  I used the trick of going downstairs and working on the 60 inch screen.  There’s something about seeing my words on the tv screen that I find very amusing and heartening.

Mike took me and Keith to the Union Jack yesterday (I always eat the same thing, and it involves Yorkshire Pudding).

Keith demonstrated great strength of character yesterday.  And he left his hat here again. He walked home from the pub. (It is delightfully close; I can contemplate walking there without horror.)

Then Mike came back here and I assembled the massage table and beat him up for a while.  Then, declaring that I wasn’t happy with the outcome, I beat him up again.  (He was trashed from a yoga retreat with a hike in the middle, and his hamstrings were a nightmare).

There is so much smoke in the air that it’s horrifying.  Yesterday the air quality was so bad I turned off the airconditioner.

So 661 words AND another song.  It’s a call and response, as any fool can plainly see. (The correct response is: I can plainly see it.)

Gabriola Camping Trip – in meter it’s like a Marine Corps running song

I’m not nearly high enough

Who say, who say
We’re not nearly high enough
and so say all of us

I’m not nearly drunk enough

Who say, who say
We’re not nearly drunk enough
and so say all of us

Think I’ll take a naked swim

Who say, who say
Can’t get out if you don’t jump in
and so say all of us

Think I’ll piss in the ocean now

Who say, who say
Someone better show you how

on account of

you are drunk
and so say all of us

Wind came up and the tents blew down

Who say, who say
We’re not sleeping anyhow
and so say all of us

Monday morning comes too quick

Who say, who say
Half of us are puking sick
and so say all of us


Justice is what love looks like in public

Here’s another take on the Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Three hundred words yesterday.  I really kinda did take the weekend off.

Yesterday I went to Mike’s AGAIN for lunch and he fed me andouille sausage with red pepper and asiago and the salads we had yesterday.  Then we exchanged body work (for me my back, for him some muscles I can’t pronounce because his martial arts training as a 20something included snap kicks which literally pulled the femoral head out of its normal spot and he’s got pretty much permanent pain 20 years on, plus he had a family meal Saturday and it was a cascade of underslept monkey vs. weasel family meshuggas). Then we napped.  Like adults do when they are two beers drunk, well fed and laying about in the sun. Mike hadn’t slept for an atrocious length of time and he was much refreshed.  Then I got up and rode my bike home (it was around 7 pm) and it was deliciously cool since it was mostly downhill, and then I asked Jeff if he wanted to go to Sunset Beach with us (he was too sleepy) and I grabbed Otto and Mike grabbed his parlour guitar and we traded instrumental and lyrical songs and addressed the bay while the sun went down, and the light made rippling rows of Loch Nessie clones roll up and down the bay. We toasted each other in beer in plastic cups. I thought of John, and how proud of me he would have been for all the song writing I’ve been doing, and how he would have laughed his ass off at the books I’m writing, and mocked me roundly for my many errors and just how jeezly much I miss him.  I will never hear him wheedle me again “Dear sweet, kindly, agreeable sister in common law…” when he wanted a haircut or some assistance wrangling his succession of massive and inconvenient cats.  Then mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds silently arose from the ground and swarmed me and we fled to the exceedingly conveniently parked car, because Mike’s parking-fu is of a calibre to excite the comparison “Magical”.

For a while our only audience was a Canada goose, who booked it when a dog named Jack got too close to him, and a pair of mallards, who sat right at our feet.  I knew they were hoping for schnacks but still it made me feel good, as did watching a pair of herons fly over 4th Avenue. Then other people sat down without crowding us so we had company.   This is the weird bunch of signs from behind where we were sitting.


Going there we went through Richmond, and we didn’t hit a light until we were were on Granville. Going back we went through town and we counted the number of pot dispensaries on either side of Kingsway after Main before Boundary and there were four on his side and three on my side and one hydroponics shop.

Then he took me to Phó Boi and I had a small number 3 and ate ALL of it. An insanely attractive interracial couple was having their first date at the table next to us and Mike and I tried to drown their inanities out with soup slurping, but there’s only so much you can do with the audio when the man next to you is mansplaining how he doesn’t know how to order phó.

Mike was shaking his head as we left.  “Phó for a first date is a terrible idea.”

In the morning yesterday I was in church, Sue came and got me, and John H. was there, first time he’s come since Anita died, and we many of us wept to hear him mourn her, and Debra, who has her earned her bread with us with great skill, asked us to be silent for a while after he spoke.  We gave a cheque for $2700 to a local charity which helps homeless people and I took what were probably not very good pictures of the handoff.  We mourned the deaths in Charleston, and thanked all our volunteers, and broke for the summer recess.

It was a good day.  Today I have no plans but to write.


For you and you alone


Paul came by yesterday to take me for a walk down by the Quay.  I shared with him some ground chicken meatballs in pasta sauce and we had a beer (Hop Circle IPA by Phillips) apiece because it was so deliciously cool on the deck once the sun went down.

On Wednesday Katie and Paul are planning on going to London to see Phyllis, and I’m really happy about that although poor Katie – Alex is the perfect baby inside his routine but he doesn’t do change well and he’s likely to roar. I’m sure I’ll hear all about it when he gets back.

Mike’s going to fly to Toronto and visit Tammy soon (so happy!!) It’s always good when your friends get along.

Watched Run All Night.  It is a fairly pedestrian thriller, but I’m a Joel Kinnaman fan and he was good in this movie.  There’s a scene where he’s been kidnapped by dirty cops and his da, as played by Liam Neeson, CRASHES INTO THE COP CAR while his kid’s in it, and then levers him out of a busted window, asking, “Are you all right?” and the kid says, which stunned asperity, “No I am *not* all right!” which made Jeff and I laugh.

I think I may take a day off writing and work on edits instead.

And now, coffee.  I put it on a couple of minutes ago and now it should be ready.

Have some fungus.

writing and eating

SO… Mike took me to Taqueria Playa Tropical for dinner and it was WONDERFUL genuine Mexican food.  The Carne Burrito was super and Mike had Flautas.  I had a Negro Modelo for beerskis and Mike had the Coronorita which is a mini Corona upended in a really tasty Margarita.

Life is good.

Working on another Pharos scene.  Katie just called and she and I and Paul and OF COURSE ALEX WHAT YOU THINK SHE WOULD ABANDON HER BABY will go for a walk later.