Yesterday evening I tol’ my brO that I was marking up the margins of Stephen Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, what mOm loaned me.

She was okay with it, just like I expected, but when he learned of my gaffe Jeff looked at me like I’d produced a minute long Giardia fart with bean and beer top notes.

Keith gets it next.  Hope he doesn’t mind my markups.

My response to a post about a gun being marketed with a bible verse on it (this in Floriduh, natch):

And the arm has got a hand
in it’s habitual place
these days you understand
why it ends up on my face
You’ll say something indefensible
and in the worst of taste
and that is why my hand
will end up on my face

Facepalm facepalm facepalm

Jeremy Corbyn has been elected head of the Labour party in the UK.  He is being decried with tweets like this ARRANT HORSE MANURE coming from David Cameron’s office.

The Labour Party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security.

Only connect

People who have been asshats to me over the last ten years are going to get a reminder of Anne Lamott’s blessed line “…if people wanted me to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”  Best part of all? They dislike me so much they won’t read what I wrote, and they’re so narcissistic they wouldn’t recognize themselves even if they did.  Sweet revenge, sweet revenge, without fail.

My goodbye to a dogooder organization

All my outrage leaked away when I realized most white activists care more about dead male lions killed by dentists than dead First Nations women killed by cops.  I need to get away from social media and get my moral bearings for a while.  There can be no more important issues than how we treat each other in our daily lives, and whose lives need our love and care most.  I don’t trust the opinions of your organization on what is important any more.  Thank you for your work.

One thing leads to another

I googled ‘writing in bed’ and got this. (This because Jeff is, if not appalled, then somewhat perturbed that I do most of my writing in bed.) From there I googled “Death of George Orwell” and from there I got the wikipedia article (bien sûr) about Eric Blair.  From there I got this.  And the first paragraph of the third chapter nearly made me croak with laughter.  Vermicular progression!!! I shall be quoting that in my novel if I don’t watch out.

The opening poem is a corker, too.  Every fucking elected Republican in the States and elected (debatable) Conservative in Canada should read it.

One feels better after a drive

There are certain activities that almost always make me feel better, and I suppose it’s part of my conditioning, since from the time I was quite small convertibles were part of life.  So a long drive, in the luscious dusk of Vancouver in July, was just the ticket; also, more pragmatically, I was supposed to check that the dash lights were working.  I also enjoy being able to help people, and knowing that I was going to reduce Keith’s ride into town by about an hour and a half helped.

Keith was full of feels and family news. He didn’t have his jacket so I reluctantly rolled up the window, and we enjoyed a simply wonderful ride home in the MR2; and Jeff’s car collected two compliments while I was out.  I ripped BC Ferries off for four dollars as I flatly refused to pay for parking.  (Not getting the job at the parking lot machine company has made me even more grumpy about paying for parking.  I checked for drones; there being none, I just sat there in the lot.)

One of my aliens (Michel, since mOm will want to know) just said, “I wish your mouth was shorter and your fuse was longer.”   Another character just accused another of practicing lemonade stand feminism.  He he.

I have coffee, I have arrowroot biscuits, and a book and a half to finish.  Better get back to it.

On Jeb Bush telling Americans to work longer hours

Were I an American, I might say something like We- ordinary Americans -are converting to solar and building robots as fast as we can; relocalizing agriculture, working on some long overdue anti-racism, taking back the right to grow hemp for food, drug and fibre, moving away from places that will be floating in 20 years, and this limb of Satan wants us to work longer hours at a Walmart in a flood plain. Long be the years he has to go **** himself in, and may none of them be while his prejudices and mean-spiritedness are under a Presidential seal. But I’m Canadian, so I’ll wring my hands instead.

Isn’t it the strangest thing?

So there was a fooferaw in the press after the service for Rev Clementa Pinckney at which Barack Obama sang a few staves of Amazing Grace.

I don’t give a shit about what the white conservative pressgong said; they all lick rich naughty bits for baubles and won’t leave a lasting mark on human affairs.  I was much more interested in what the black & activist voices said on my twitter feed, being spoken in what are individual and human voices.

A lot of them were mildly approving, but a bunch of them said, “It should have been “Lift every voice and sing” instead of pandering to sensitive whites with Amazing Grace”, which as a song, in memetic terms, has long ago gone beyond parody and flown up its own semiotically charged ass.

Now, being a Unitarian… Marcy I hope you’re reading this, because it should give you a chuckle…the first thing I do, ten days later, but I did follow up, is go to the internet and check the U*U hymnal and make sure the damned song is in there.  O committee of U*U musicians, what hath thou wrought???? yup, it’s there, and my easily clenched shamey bits relax somewhat. Good work folks!

Then I go unto the internet, o weary ones, and read the lyrics.  Because that’s how we DO.

Then I go to youtube and randomly pick a rendition with lyrics.

It wasn’t until the second time through on the lyrics that I realized that the words native land appear in the last verse.

SETTLER COLONIALISM enshrined in a black hymn.

Yar.  Arg har.  Bleeble bleeble.

Okay, so first off I’m giving Barry a hall pass, the ****er’s unsingable, so he picked Amazing Grace as being a sound compromise in an emotionally and politically volatile public event.  I got no problem with that.

Second I’m thinking wow I’m going to filk that.  A better tune is coming, but the lyrics, except for the last verse which is where the song makes a right turn from social justice into God this and God that and God on every line, are OUTSTANDING.  I mean it.  Read the lyrics and tell me what you think.

It is now two in the morning.  It’s possible I’m cool enough to sleep.


side note, ever see that using U*U as a short form for Unitarian Universalism makes our symbol look like you’re mooning someone and showing your asshole?  I couldn’t love Unitarianism more now if I tried.

RIP Christopher Lee and Ron Moody

I know he was knighted, but I no longer acknowledge the right of the so-called Queen of England to bestow honours.  Yes, I know she’s been a benevolent spirit during my life, but only for me.  Seeing what she represents in terms of the people whose land got stolen opened my eyes.

Here’s an obit.

Ron Moody has likewise made his last exit, stage left.

418 words yesterday, mostly infill.

No bead curtain.

MOTIVE HAS THREE SEASONS? Yes.  And we are watching them.  I adore how it twists one aspect of the police procedural so that the tension is evenly balanced throughout the show, and I adore even harder how instead of making three or four episodes a season arc-heavy, it spreads the arc out like breadcrumbs throughout the season. No GARBARCAGE here.

It’s kinda cool to be watching a show starring Canadian actors without constantly thinking how awful they are. (quite the reverse…) Kristen Lehman was born in New West, after all, and Louis Ferreira was born in the Azores and moved to Toronto when he was a tad.  The guest stars are usually pretty good as well, including Molly Parker and Charles Martin Smith, who also directed.  Actors from SG1 pop up with amusing regularity, sometimes causing Jeff and I to pause the show to try and figure it out, before we give up and go to imdb.


Coffee and curtains

Today I have a mission – to buy a bead curtain for the back door to keep the flies out when it is clement enough to leave the back door open.

Also, to check and make sure I actually DID get rid of the ant infestation.

I’d like to apologize for saying which instead of with in yesterday’s post.  Sometimes when I’m taking dictation from myself I get it wrong.

Margot has slimmed down to her summer weight, both in terms of body and fur. By the time July rolls around she seems almost drawn, but a very small change in her exercise level makes a huge difference.  Then around October she becomes a hair explosion again, and by the end of February if I’m not brushing her diligently every day she ends up a matted mess.  I hope I don’t die before she does, I don’t know a soul who would keep up the maintenance regimen. I got a little cat malt into her yesterday but she gets bored easily and wandered away before I could get a full dose into her.

1049 words yesterday.  Not a record but respectable, and it’s on a really cute scene.  I think I’m done with the chapter in which Pharos meets his dad, and I think I managed to stick the landing.

So no editing yesterday.  I wonder if by telling myself I should edit today I’ll give myself another 1000 word day… it all started making sense when I realized it doesn’t matter what mood I’m in.

Coffee’s on and hot, time to get some.

Truth and reconciliation

A few recommendations of my own:


Read the 94 recommendations.

Which of these recommendations can you action in your own life?

In your church?

At your workplace?

At home?

In your buying habits?

Do you know where the nearest Friendship Centre is?  Locate it.

Do you know what languages the First Nations in your area speak?

If you have internet access, research and follow a First Nations activist on social media.

Visit your local library and borrow and read books by First Nations authors which can be fiction, poetry, memoir, non-fiction, academic.

Donate money to a First Nations cause.

Read the Indian Act.

If you have access, watch a youtube video google “youtube testimony residential schools”.

Go to a powwow.  Dance your ass off.

Purchase and display art by aboriginal artists.

Examine your speech for racist terms and expunge them.

Listen to First Nations music.

Learn how to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you in a local First Nations language.

Support First Nations people by attending peaceful protests.

Learn the traditional territorial boundaries of First Nations people.

Read about the laws, traditions and spiritual beliefs of First Nations people in your area.

If you have school aged children, ensure that they learn age appropriate materials about the residential schools.

Blog post from May Day 2005

So my fondest memory of the May Day Worker’s March yesterday was the effigy of Gordon Campbell, flanked by the effigies of two vultures. That was inspired. John and I ran up ahead to get a good look at the effigies; John opined “He’s stiffer in real life” whereas I contributed, “and the smile on the effigy is more genuine”. Full marks to the folks who did the work on that.

Came up with a good one yesterday. Patricia said, There is no I in Team, to which my immediate response was, and there’s no F in Way.

In which I recycle a nine year old post

Jason Fortuny
2006-09-22— Posted by: allegra

It isn’t even 5 in the morning, and I feel compelled to get up and rant already. I guess this is what happens when Paul and I, contemplating all the things we COULD be doing, vote for sleep at 8:30 in the evening. So while Paul does something socially useful, like his morning yoga exercises (how I enjoy listening to him do his yoga breathing) I’m gonna rant. From each according to his abilities, to each according to her needs. Note how a slight gender shift moves the meaning of that statement from high flown drama to a fly blown joke….


Today I’d like to rant about Jason Fortuny. I was waiting for a sign from the heavens before I should join my opinion to the mighty river of obloquy that is (crikey! I had to LOOK UP obloquy to spell it correctly – that a ranter must look up obloquy!?) the blogosphere these days, and I got it in the form of Dan Savage’s column last night.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Jason Fortuny took a picture of a woman’s ass, and posted it on Craigslist in the “looking for sex” column as if he was a hot 25 year old submissive, ah, woman. Well he isn’t. He has had a hard life, and he recently had to sell all of his action figures (considering I’ve been reciting Weird Al Yankovic’s lyrics for White and Nerdy for the last three days, I nearly fell off my chair when I read that) to pay some debts, and he has a history of cruel pranks to look back on, but he’s not a woman, submissive or otherwise, he’s a sad boy child of 30 with a bad temper. His upbringing left him with a tragic inability to be sympathetic to anybody outside a very narrow band, so that means that any and all of us could have been on the receiving end of his bile.

And what prank did Jason Fortuny play on the almost two hundred, I’m assuming mostly men, who answered the ad, including some with their work email addresses and ‘candids’ with their faces and full frontals?

He reposted their emails and pictures to a location which became Schadenfreude’s number one hit URL.

Now, I am vanilla. I’ve always been vanilla. I will always be vanilla. I don’t like spanking or getting spanked (or being tied up or humiliated or ****** on). Causing or receiving pain during adult oriented fun and frolic is icky to me. But, like a true white liberal, I’m gonna get up on my hind legs and bleat “Some of my best friends are kinky!” and say that the thing I object to most emotionally is that Jason Fortuny didn’t pick a very useful target. Why not go after pedophiles? He claims to have been molested himself. But noooooo.

Most of the blogosphere thinks the people he picked on were scumbags who deserve to lose their jobs. Dan Savage, may he nestle in the bosom of the Parking Goddess forever, commented that most of us would not withstand a really close look at our lives. As in, “You would be hopelessly screwed if somebody took a close look at your cookies, your DVD collection, and your email history”. Amen.

I had to back up and delete a paragraph that detailed some of the bad bad things I’ve done with the company email, so let’s just take it as read. Too gross for public consumption, alas. But like Mr. Fortuny, I may be called to account someday, and I am ready.

So what precisely did Jason Fortuny do wrong? In the last analysis, nothing that isn’t self-correcting. The kink community has been served notice that if it wants to keep on trucking, it has to control its own media and messaging services, and practice ‘safe hex’; Jason himself may or may not get his head busted in or face legal consequences for his misuse of public waters, being Craigslist; self righteous Aholes with time on their hands may parse Jason’s livejournal for clues as to the motivations for his behaviour (fortunately I don’t have to, because somebody’s already done it for me. Google Jason Fortuny and you’ve got an hour’s worth of reading, some of it very disturbing indeed, in front of you); civil libertarians can bite first one hand and then the other

I for one, with my own little mind, am thinking of this as being, in a small but very real way, the beginning of the end of the free internet (like it ever was, but you know what I mean). Unless those of us who are willing to PAY for the privilege of communicating freely and without intervention using ones and zeroes get together and make a secure, distributed and functionally paranoid place to exchange information, something not susceptible to foreclosure, political pressure or theft by the Russian Mafia, we’re going to lose every inch of the pipeline we’ve come to be addicted to. Net neutrality is a chimera; anything that can be used steal your identity, clean out your bank account, sic the cops on you for no good reason, and send strangers to your door thinking they are going to be partying with your 12 year old daughter is not a NEUTRAL PLACE. It’s time for those of us who cherish liberty to REALLY pay to play, and not just fork over more cash to the US Telcos for DSL. That’s the lesson of Jason Fortuny.  Update to legal sequelae http://www.dmlp.org/threats/doe-v-fortuny (Which went on for years after this post, ed)

Weeping with joy

So I wanted to whiff on church yesterday because hey no surprise I always do. But it was very very worth it.

Preamble: I walk in the front door grouchy because having left it so late I had to park in the Gods up on Keary Street. The Minister approaches with a look of what I interpret as horrified concern, but she tells me to kick the rock away from the door so it can close and then says “Oh and good morning!”  (He is risen, he is risen, he is verily risen).

One, I need to put my Secret Buddy letter in an envelope (it’s a church thing to help us get to know each other and make stronger intergenerational bonds.)

Two, it’s new member Sunday, and old members should show up and show how happy they are FRESH MEEEAAAT FOR COMMITTEES.  Or BRAAAINZ, I can never figure out what I should be moaning…..  I couldn’t – I was too busy crying.  Because I was so happy that 9 ADULTS AND 5 CHILDREN joined our church.  I got intensely drippy, and it was wonderful. Yeah sure they mostly came from other congregations but the two sets of young families did NOT.

Three, I always like to light candles.  I got up during the service and was grateful for the thought provoking meeting yesterday.

Then Luc and Carol got up and announced that they had ELOPED and BROUGHT CUPCAKES.  You can well imagine (I hope you can) which of these two announcements stirred us most.  The cupcakes were freaking awesome. Oh, and congratulations Luc and Carol.  (Hopefully the out of town Unitarians who occasionally read my blog and know the principals will be dancing around, much as I did.)

Rob W. came late, as is his wont, (this from the woman who looks every week for an excuse NOT to go to church) sat next to me, and as part of our ritualized sideways hug when he sits down, we accidentally bonked heads realllly hard, and then both cracked up because it was funny. Hugs n concussions r us.

Two of our beloved church elders are dying of cancer, and it makes me really sad.  One of them I loved since the first time I spoke with him, and the other kinda grew on me, until now I’m just as sad as if two of my relatives are dying.  We were talking about that at the meeting on Saturday, how good it is that people are joining, because people are literally dying out of the church.  We sing “Gathered here in one strong body” but sometimes the body ain’t so strong.

The choir mistress got a lovely  bunch of fleurs for her service.  She has really moved the choir along in terms of dynamics and intonation.

The sermon about moral beauty had me nodding in a couple of places.

I talked to a couple of people after church and then went home and very late in the day wrote about 650 words.

I made curried pork chomps.

The carafe of cold coffee is calling my name. I have an interview at noon and see the financial advisor at 9.

A bit of writing

SO DISAPPOINTED in Mad Max, yes I already said that

232 words yesterday.  It was emotionally satisfying to be writing again. A cop gets a nutshot, so that was fun.

Chronic Tacos does not make as nice a sopa de tortilla as Pamola.  Srsly. I got takeout and will finish it here, but Chronic doesn’t make their own broth, unless my tongue has completely yielded up differentiating home style from bottled.

SO GLAD I got to the lawn before the landpeer got here to police up the flower beds.  Bert sat in the shade in his wheelchair while Kim worked.  Kim’s over 70 herself now.

Temporarily done with the churchy project. I’ve been asked to go to the Worship services meeting on Saturday and I think I will go, it will be a good group and for a number of reasons people who’ve been quite active can’t be so anymore.  I’ve been on the committee when Lutina was chair (the good old days) and I’m not doing much at church since it’s hard for me to do the coffee when I can’t stand for a couple of hours with my symphisis all hissy.  I still do homilies when asked.

I don’t think mOm has seen this – check out page 11 of this pdf from Beacon. There I am singing two years ago (with a balloon tied to my mandolin).