In keeping with the Victorians

…. who, for the most part, did not take photographs 18/7, I shall attempt to keep a written record of yesterday.

After a morning during which I sacrificially avoided vaping, and turned my room from a tip to a tip that’s been through a willy-willy as my brother will attest, a willy-willy that FORTUNATELY did not reach all the way downstairs to the dead bird that is quite literally stinking up the joint – I have removed dead things before but I’m already doing cat chores and I BALK I just do – I made phone calls for the unfound T4s, kicked myself for not loading up my compass card (bus pass) when I had the chance, I walked to the 123, which went by in front of my face, so I spun on my heel to the obvious bug-eyed unhappiness of the Chinese assassin lady gardening in her back yard in a mask, Jacquie Kennedy sunglasses and a hat of such dimensional strength as to encourage the pitching of a Patagonia tent upon it, and proceeded to the 112, during which walk I got to watch in all of nature’s panoply the spectacle of two crows killing a fledgling starling while it protested loudly and vigorously and to mine ear quite angrily, with its mother in full cry upon the telephone wire above, until it was no longer making any noise, although its mother continued in the screeching obsequies marking her offspring’s death, which, given my parlous mental state, I took to be a terrible, terrible daysign regarding my visit with Tammy, which I was proceeding downtown to effect.

TLDR; felt like shit, the commute downtown was a blunt punt even before I got on the fucking bus.

While on the bus I was once again entertained by the kindness of bus drivers – although the first one I ever encountered in Vancouver was a shithead, most of them I’ve encountered since have been observant, fit for their jobs, and either good humoured or so conducting themselves in the course of their employment that their mood was of no relevance to me.

I proceeded downtown without incident although I briefly had to stand on the Waterfront train, which made me tired, and then some pert little madam tried to sit down on a seat I was about to occupy. I looked at her and said, “Do you really need to sit? I would be happy to stand,” because it was the first thing out of my mouth (literally, I did not consider my words before I spoke) and I have no idea how sarcastic I sounded but her lips compressed and she assured me she was fine. Let it be noted I could be her fucking grandmother and I have long.grey.hair, and that I don’t speak Punjabi but I think both her companions briefly roasted her piglet ways immediately after this encounter, which I did my best not to overtly enjoy.

In such fashion I proceeded through all of the stations until Granville was reached. As is inevitably the case they’ve IMPROVED (seriously what the fuck, people) the Granville station so that you are now herded through a completely different pathway so I was pummelled and pitched forward by the crowd through a hallway NARROWER than the previous one…. yes, you heard me. I wasn’t even there at rush hour, but nevertheless it was completely fucked, but I did note the Timmy Ho’s for the return trip.

I waited, wandering about since I wasn’t fit to stand, while a Franco-something-or-other diasporatic Black man DRONED ON BOUT JESUS calice tabernac. I wished to silence him and instead turned my attention to how he was like the rest of us a poor crathur making his way and at least he wasn’t hurting my ears with the volume; he wasn’t blowing cigarette smoke in my face; he had rights, which he was using, rather more than I was at the moment; eventually the fucking #50 bus would come, which it did.

To the obvious horror of my travelling companions, I expatiated upon the most remarkable wildlife scene I have witnessed during my sojourn in Vancouver, which occurred some years ago, and consisted of fifteen rats of various sizes feeding in the open in daylight in the park immediately adjacent to the south west end of the Granville Bridge. Noting their horror, I allowed the American tourists to take over the conversation long enough to be prevented from getting off at the wrong stop by a fine young fat gentleman in rather chic clothing.

Having received Tammy’s mom’s incredibly good directions, I walked with confidence to my destination and achieved it.

After a sit down and convo we proceeded from the condo to our visit to Granville Island, where we acquired tomatoes for Tammy’s supper and ate at Bridges. It was nourishing, delicious, gave me no enteric regrets, and I didn’t pay. We could have eaten outside but enough of my foolishness regarding the sun has eroded that I thanked Tammy profusely for choosing indoors; I am lightly pink today and I didn’t need more.

We had a lovely long convo about lots of things, mostly stuff we’ve learned the hard way, and I bought a wedding present for a wedding I learned about yesterday that will be in less than two weeks and a pOp’s day gift which is so entirely pointless and useless that I think he will love it. Picture how I went into the children’s market at Granville looking for stuff for Alex (none of which his mamabear would have appreciated me buying) and emerged with shit for adults instead. I TRIED THEM ON, okay, I’m not stupid.

Today we’re going out for dinner, possibly at some joint on Homer, and then going for a walking tour. This is a big deal; she has a new knee and SHE CAN WALK seriously folks physio is important and Tammy made the commitment and she’s fine on her pins. Also, and I should have told her, her outfit was gorgeous; subtle, comfy and very nice detailing.

Had a visit with her mom after we got back around 3:30 and then left since I didn’t want the commute back to be too horrific. Pell mell through the station, held up at Timmy’s THANK GOD THERE WAS A WASHROOM, bought treats for us. Commute was shaping up to be a white-gloved stuffing standing nightmare. And then a Black guy in his mid twenties looked at me and saw how tired I was and gave up his seat and I’m a goddamned atheist but after thanking him most sincerely I prayed for the next three minutes for that guy. I prayed all the crazy (problematic) stuff in my head “May your hair remain lush and you never go bald. May your parents or guardians be blessed every day with the knowledge of what a good kid you are. May you never break any bones—” you know, crazy (problematic) random shit.  I pushed good feelings out into the universe for him, and watched as some asshole stepped on his foot on the way out the door.

Took a cab from Edmonds because I was burnt fucking toast at that point and said, as I got in, I just want you to know I think Uber and Lyft are the very devil and he began, calmly, to enumerate the ways in which the travelling public would be poorly served by Uber and Lyft coming to Vancouver. Cabs are cleaned once a day. That was the first thing he said, and I just went…. oh. Then he talked about the insurance situation. That was interesting. Well, I hope the next time people I love take an Uber there are no insurance consequences. Cause that would suck.

No pictures. I really don’t mind. I have a clear picture of Tammy with a glass of rosé and a cheerful smile as we tucked into our seafood.

2019 commitment to not being an ableist fleshwad

So I’m working through my Youtube videos and captioning them. Already done: my most popular effort, at 14.2K distinct views! How to Cut Up a Pineapple. Lemming’s Twofer, Neener Neener and Blasteez (my advertisement for laxative coughdrops which, as you can likely imagine, work as poorly as advertised).

I shall continue with the making my videos more accessible until they are all done.

Zahn

Zahn McLarnon was so incredible in last night’s Westworld S2 ep 8 that all I could think was “It’s too bad it’s so bloody MOM WOULD LOVE THIS”.  Plus the entire episode is subtitled — since it’s not in English.

ANYWAY he ran the gamut of human emotions, first with the dreamlike air of a man in wonderment that he could feel anything at all, and then with the purpose and clarity of a man vouchsafed an unshakeable, grounding, unifying vision. Unbelievably good, and everyone in the episode was good too.

The stuff happening in the background in a couple of scenes was incredible.

The last speech before roll credits. God. Rewatching this episode is going to be a highlight when we do the season 3 preparatory rewatch.

Narrative subversion and apotheosis. Unreal.

My heartfelt love as a creative person for almost everything about the episode and I release my joy and gratitude to the universe for something so fine.

 

Liana on twitter said

11 out of 12 doctors agree that screaming into the void is the only way to handle a Monday morning.

my response

This is just for mOm everybody else ignore it

So I realized in minutes that nobody else on the bus gave a shit about birds (reindeer, foxes, sure) so I quit calling out stuff I was seeing on the bus…  so this is my post about birds. I am a potato photographer so no pics.

On my lifetime list now:

Common wagtail. They are ahem common.

I did NOT see a skua. Whatever it was, it wasn’t a skua. Skuas are fucking ginormous and whatever this was it was much smaller.

Ravens every day.

Northern Diver – saw that one SUPER close, from the bus, under perfect light, breeding plumage like jewels nested on a grey silk pillow.

Waders (they like to sit on posts next to the shore so they were easy to spot)

I saw TWO ptarmigan, once the first day and once the second last day; first one was snow white and the other was coming into breeding colours.

So many arctic terns, including in a nesting area, and man do they squeak.

I never saw a golden plover to identify it but the little fuckers never shut up and are beloved as the Icelandic sign of spring.

Pink footed Goose

King Eider!!!! man you cannot miss those suckers. Those I only saw on the East coast, right on the ocean.

BARROW’S GOLDENEYE they breed in the Lake of Midges and I saw a breeding pair in still water at the side of the road in that part of Iceland. They went by pretty fast but there’s nothing else in the Icelandic bird pics that matches.

so there you go mOm you can start looking at the pics on line.

 

Work thoughts plus a cool video

This is what triggered the following. I watched the metal dust come flying out, and then the wrote following back to the poster (I’ve met him I think once IRL, he’s associated with the Seattle filk fen) pOp check out his youtube channel he’s made some awesome videos of stuff he’s built.

 

…Made me think of a work story. Must be almost fifteen years ago now this happened. Take an RMA for a 1500W inverter. Mo Z the repair & analysis dude cracks it open, mutters to himself, and approaches my desk with a small plastic container of brass dust … Which he then proceeds to pour out onto a piece of paper on my desk. “Mo what the hell?” sez I and he sez, brown eyes snapping, “Under no circumstances is this a warranty failure. These metal shavings came from inside.” I get to talk to the customer, lucky me. Found out during my intense and unpleasant callback to the customer that he’s using the inverter to run a mobile key cutting machine out of his van, no protection, brass dust every-fuckin-where but screechin all heartbroken that it should be covered under warranty. And so it went for the next I dunno how many years, he’d run it until it breached the ass of the laws of physics for how it still worked with that much stray metal in it, and then I’d sell him a refurb for a discount. THE END

Shut yer trap

If you’re racist and you know it shut your mouth X2 If you’re racist and you know it then you’re not obliged to show it If you’re racist and you know it shut your mouth

If you’re sexist and you know it shut your mouth X2 If you’re sexist and you know it then we’d all like you to stow it If you’re sexist and you know it shut your mouth

the shit I think up when I’m trying to nap before work

I’ll have you know I cleaned the housekeeping office

I scraped dried coffee blerg, elderly scotch tape and who the hell knows what off many surfaces tonight.  Nobody will notice but me, and that makes me happy.

 

Hello, new bingo card, based on my writing….

 

Yesterday the whole fam damily, less Jeff, went to Edmonds pool and frolicked.  I only had two hours sleep at the time so I stayed in the hot tub – every time I got out I was chilled TO THE BONE.  Alex is a complete joy. Paul was still thinking about his happy family time at 10 pm and texted me to give him a lift.  I AM SO LUCKY AMONG MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY I feel set among stars.

Burn Notice Minific

When you’re a spy, you don’t have many friends, and the friends you have are not likely to help you out on a lonely Saturday night. You won’t likely be partying with high priced callgirls either, even if you weren’t suspicious they are trying to steal classified intelligence documents while demonstrating reverse cowgirl. Anyone you have sex with can be turned against you, and the honeypot is the oldest trick in the book. Humans are social creatures, and it’s hard not to get fond of someone you’re sleeping with. It’s best not to have sexual entanglements at all.

So …you are going to be masturbating.

The trick is to do it like an op; be quick, clean and quiet, and leave no evidence.

these people are armatures

So anyways I’m getting to that point where I’m starting to think about self-publishing and e-publishing, and I start looking for help on line, regarding formatting and such. A sentence from one of these articles, apparently from a self-publishing guru, goes like this:

“I don’t want to get into the importance of your cover and how it plays a HUGE role in the reader’s choice of book, or how it should look good big and as a thumbnail on the Amazon page, or how most users can pic an armature cover from a mile away.”

Okay buddy whatevs.

 

 

Marcus Bales of Cleveland wrote this

The Modern Fundamentalist’s song By Marcus Bales

Fundamentalist:
I am the very model of a Christian fundamentalist
And by a strange coincidence a solid occidentalist.
I cherry-pick the Bible for the verses close or distantly
Amenable to straight white males, however inconsistently,
Unless those verses might apply a little inconveniently
In which case I interpret them a good deal more than leniently.
We want to do just what we please however strange or horrible
And still regard ourselves as wholly moral and adorable.

Congregation:
We want to do just what we please however strange or horrible
And still regard ourselves as wholly moral and adorable.
And still regard ourselves as wholly moral and adorable.

Fundamentalist:
I call myself a Christian but it’s really Paulist cultery
Since Christ himself has said that my divorces were adultery.
But I from man to man enjoy convexness and concavity
And call whatever others do immoral and depravity.

Congregation:
But we from man to man enjoy convexness and concavity
And call whatever others do immoral and depravity.

Fundamentalist:
I do not want to hear about the quantum or molecular
Or how the Founding Fathers made our institutions secular
I say the nation’s Christian under Biblical authorities
Rejecting what the Constitution says about majorities.
The workings of the government may worry and perplex you all
I say we’re equal under God — unless you’re homosexual —
Or black or brown or female or some kind of evolutionist
For all attempts at reasoning are really persecutionist.

Congregation:
Or black or brown or female or some kind of evolutionist
For all attempts at reasoning are really persecutionist.

Fundamentalist:
My freedom of religion trumps your Constitutionality
Because the Constitution says it does with firm legality.
I claim my rights from God or man, whichever’s more commodious
For what I want to do however evil, vile, or odious.

Congregation:
I claim my rights from God or man, whichever’s more commodious
For what I want to do however evil, vile, or odious.

Fundamentalist:
When I can issue licenses or not because I feel like it
The public’s just my piggy and the public can just squeal like it.
I’ll happily apply whichever law is most agreeable
To what I want to do since what I want is unforseeable:
The conscience of the person must control the way they view their job
And not demands that public servants ought to serve and do their job.
The Constitution’s man-made law and God is not endorsing it;
The SCOTUS made their law, and now good luck to them enforcing it.

Congregation:
The Constitution’s man-made law and God is not endorsing it;
The SCOTUS made their law, and now good luck to them enforcing it.

Fundamentalist:
There’s nothing in my creed that advocates for love officially
Except some quotes that God and Jesus handed down judicially —
I don’t see why I must obey the acts of which God sent a list
And yet I am the model of a Christian fundamentalist.

Congregation:
We don’t see why we must obey the acts of which God sent a list
And yet we are the models of a Christian fundamentalist.

All rights remain with the original author, Marcus Bales.  PLEASE DO NOT REPOST WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION.

So here’s a new pejorative term for you

Snotwaffle.

 

Perhaps you would never have a use for a word like this, especially in reference to another human being, but bear with me.  It has a particular meaning and purpose, and it’s meant to be descriptive.

If you beheld a waffle, you might in the ordinary course of events approach it with an eye to its golden brown beauty, utility, edibility and caloric density. But if that eye fell upon a corner of the waffle which had been most callously and vilely defaced by a mighty wad of snot, you would wish to pivot and flee, as having beheld something which got your hopes up and then dashed them to the extent you went from feeling pretty darned good to wondering how the hell you could have mistaken that shine for maple syrup.

When you run across a person, of any gender representation, who appears okay and, you know, a human being, but on closer inspection appears malicious and nasty, and secondarily any person who takes something good and leaves it fucked and far from home and no longer possessing beauty or utility, and who offers neither excuse nor remedy, that person, dear friends, is a snotwaffle.

I guarantee you that an occasion to use this term of opprobrium will find its way to you soon, because this poor old world has snotwaffles in quantity.  And if someone calls you on it, you say, “‘s not awful, why, what do you think I said?”

Roxane Gay rules and this post is TMI

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED…..

So my very favourite Bad Feminist Roxane Gay, who has to deal with so much more intersectionality than I do, has participated in a puff piece in stylist.co.uk talking about her hygiene routine.  I told her I would follow her example.

At this point I can hear Jeff saying something, and then when I ask him to repeat it, he says, ‘Oh, nothing, nothing.’

I probably should shower more frequently than I do, being about three times a week, but as I get older I get dryer, and I feel like I’m turning into a desiccated old piece of sod.  I use Belle de Provence Honeysuckle soap because it smells very good, lasts a long time and is the one piece of luxury in my hygiene routine. Hardly anyone carries it and since it’s 6 bucks a pop I tend to buy in bulk when I find it.  I use Head and Shoulders brand shampoo/conditioner and buy it in the large pump size as it’s cheaper.  I use no other soap products.  I wash my hands every time I handle the cat, before I prep food and after I come in from being out in public as well as after I groom myself or go to the toilet.  I didn’t give a shit about washing my hands before I ran a restaurant.  Now I really, really do care about it, and it’s the simplest, fastest and easiest way to prevent illness, so why the hell not.

I hate all deodorants but I stink if I don’t use them.  When I’m feeling radical I wash, dry thoroughly and apply baby powder to my pits, but that’s good for about 12 hours before Jeff’s eyebrows do something improbable (the fan in the basement blows my effluent in his direction when we’re watching tv, so … yeah.)  Otherwise I use whatever kind of bo juice isn’t loathsome, and I’m like a lightning rod for deodorant being discontinued, so I try to be cool, but right now it’s a pretty loathsome vanilla smelly thing.  Gak.   Still better than the alternative.

I use two different kinds of eyedrops, thanks to the amazingly practical and super unjudgey Lady Miss Banjola, one for day, one for night, and I am not consistent in their use but by gar it’s a good thing to have them, because when you need them you’re like ACK MY EYES MY EYES I CAN’T GET MY EYES oh thank goodness I can see!  Also, thanks to her I found out that dryness amidships can be ameliorated by the twice weekly anointing of der ladygel, and she made brand recommendations, and I can get them reasonably cheap on line.  With that one small recommendation she made my life go from a meepy, withered parody of what Beeker sounds like after he’s been mugged, to me being able to contemplate having a boyfriend.  I don’t actually want a boyfriend, and the men in my life who squire me around do not wish to fill this or candidly any other vacancy wheresoever situated, but at least the prospect shifted from being painfully impossible to being ludicrously improbable, and only the Rumi’s Beloved could parse that shift in meaningful terms, but I view it as an improvement.

I pluck my eyebrows every day.  I watched the best eyebrow guy on the planet do a tutorial on youtube, and I thought “Hey, my OCD and some grooming tips wa-ho!” but I tell you my brow game is fierce, and it helps with the performative feminity, although I have not recently been mistaken for a man (it only happened the once, and I think the person was altered.)

This upping of the eyebrow game was subsequent to Keith picking out to extremely flattering and stylish frames for me.  I was looking really hard for a job and I wanted to be ready to interview at a moment’s notice, and now, provided I have a clean dress, I really am.   I pluck my chin hairs, and my (sigh, fuck my life) chest hairs.  I do not shave my legs or pits and anybody who wants me to can shave his or her legs and pits all they want but this lovely, amazing, FEATURE of adult life called BODILY AUTONOMY does not stop being awesome just because you are creeped out by my hairy legs, and the next time somebody calls me on it I’ll just say that sexism is uglier than hairy legs and any sensible person knows that.  Body hair sure makes men who have basic issues with mansplaining and feminism go away right quick, and smell ya later, ya squirrelfondling preverts.

Also, I got really really bad frostbite on my lower legs when I was in public school, so bad that the skin on my lower legs (the shaving zone) is burst-into-tears sensitive, so yeah, no, fuck your leg shaving.  It HURTS.  I bleed, and then all the little hairs growing back in catch in my bedding, so fuck you and go AWAY if you think I should shave my legs for any reason whatsoever.  As for my armpits.  When more than 50 percent of north American men shave their armpits, I’ll sign up for one of those monthly boxes of shaving gear, but until that day (bwa ha ha, coming soon!) yeah, just no.

I used to use Garnier number 60 hair dye and I still have some tucked away, but it really really bothers Jeff and I’m not a fan of doing it, I am a fan of having it done. Fortunately the colour is almost exactly the same as the two remaining stripes of colour I have in the mounting nest of grey that is my hair so even when I let it grow out it looks reasonably okay.  If I get another interview, which will be hard, as I am officially as of this moment no longer looking for work since hey we’re in a recession, and nobody would want to hire me even if I wanted to trade the best part of me for 24K net a year, which I don’t, and which makes me an elitist asshole. Ok.

I make my own perfume, which is called Cyprus, and has a secret blend of floral oil ingredients, and which smells fantastic on me (to the point where other women have demanded I sell them some, which I did) but everybody from my mOm to my brO thinks it smells like I’m hanging truck stop air freshener from my pits AND about 40% of my friends have chemical sensitivities and find it overpowering even when I’m using it gingerly so it’s only for special occasions.

My last pedicure made me limp for THREE FUCKING MONTHS and I am never paying for one again as Hecate may bear witness; now I cut off the parts of the toenail that stick out and abrade down the rest with a number of different kinds of pedicure gear.  I occasionally soak my feet and use footrub on myself or get somebody else like Katie to help out.  I am very very on top of my toenails because I can go from Happy Feet to ballerina outtakes (thankfully not shown here) in less than a week.  My hair, feet and nails grow at a tremendous rate, which is great because I get rid of heavy metals that way, but I must cut, hack, saw and file away with vigour.

I used to be an assclown about dental hygiene but I brush and floss every single day now (occasional lapses, but not many) since I can’t afford to lose the use of any more teeth when toothpaste and floss is so cheap.  I buy firm or super firm brushes and brush whatever way feels right and I pay for getting my teeth cleaned professionally once a year.  I am seriously considering investing in dental picks.

I have incredibly clean ear canals.  I hate the feeling of anything in there except air, but I no longer scrape them out with anything hard because it removes the hair that grows in the canal and I’m so clumsy I might deafen myself.

I wash my face with soap once a week.  Any more and I dry out like something that went with Scott to the Pole.

Once every three months I apply a clay facial mask.  I like how my skin feels afterward.

Once in a very long while I get a massage or a spa half day, but I can get the same results from rolling around on Wreck Beach and probably get exposed to the same amount of coliform in the process.

 

And there you have it.  Nobody asked for it, but that is my hygiene routine.

I am not worthy

Best commentary by a man on the subject of maxipads that has ever been written in English.  Required reading for all men who consider themselves to be feminists, and for any woman who has ever had a period.  ALSO VERY FUNNY.  I said in my facebook post on the subject:  This is one of the funniest, truest, most ah-ha pieces I’ve ever read. By me, he’s got a man card the size a phone book – far too big to be casually ripped up!