About two hundred words yesterday – midnight clicked over before I wrote down the number.
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.
Got into a beatdown with a bunch of one of the most self-righteous pot activists (like there’s another fucking kind) on twitter today.
Come ON I smoke, but I don’t smoke and blow smoke in the faces of the allergic and the elderly, and they’re announcing it’s their RIGHT, because this is VANCOUVER, home of TOLERANCE. Yeah I’ll believe that when Canada gives back the unceded lands, you unregenerate failure of logic. I’m like a homophobe for harshing their mellow. Srsly. Got accused of equivalency to homophobia for objecting to people dousing the entire west end in pot smoke for their stupid fucking 420 festival (which leaves heaps of trash mounded everywhere and they’re all cryface because they didn’t get a fucking permit.) F*ck me!
I realized that when you put asterisks in f*cking swearwords you’re putting a leedle asshole right in the meedle of the word and since when you’re swearing there’s usually an asshole involved, it’s mesmerizingly poifect.
I love Buster, he’s an amazing cat. And he loves me too, I know it. I don’t think Miss Margot cares if I live or die, but Buster does.
My latest piece of fanfic smut has more than five hundred likes (it’s cute and hot, so there)
I’ve written a BDSM scene in the same ‘verse but I’m not happy with it yet. I had to put in about 200 words about how the scene is ‘necessary but non-consensual’ which kinda blows (or not!) since scenes need consent if they’re to resonate with me writing, at all. So it’s like “We’ve talked about this – I hate it when you want me (and need me) to top you but I’m s’posed to read your mind – and topping when you’re angry at your partner is a bad bad bad idea” followed by “Do what ya gotta, man, just hit me really hard.” Oh, and there are minor children in the house while this sh*t’s going down, just to make it even more like real life, and our heroes must deal with the domestic consequences of Daddies fighting. I LOVE A CHALLENGE. After all, continuing to have interesting sex after kids *is* a continuing challenge in real life. People want carefree smut? they can look elsewhere; to me smut always has a cost. Who bears it depends on who’s being responsible, or not.
Not that anybody wants to know, but I’m really not into any of those behaviours in real life. Nagging at volume is sort of where I max out, ask any of my exes.
Continuing to have the poly life discussion with someone. It’s painful. Really painful. I feel like I have my nose up again a particularly interesting window. I can smell bread baking. But no. G*ddamned heteronormative uncommunicative bushwah (on their end, not mine.) But at the same time there’s NO F*CKING POINT to becoming an elder if you don’t understand that real life takes time, opportunities for growth don’t wait, and if you don’t consider who’s going to be impacted by your decisions, your years, your grey hairs and and your learning means squat. I am still 22 in some corner of my persona, for my enthusiasms still have all the joy of my youth; I just can’t write everyone affected by my behaviour out of the script any more. I do from time to time, but not all the time.
Fortunately, since I’m pushing 60 with a broom, I can contemplate my greed like the gorram caged bear that it is. Still here, but not running the show.
Katie is still having a rough time and she and Alex are both sick again.
I am not having a rough time. I feel pretty good, all things considered. I have another two weeks of full time work. If that changes, I’ll deal with it. I actually have a plan to deal with it that I think will make almost everyone happy, at least temporarily.
Rogue One is a fucking fantastic movie. Getting eaten by Disney was the best thing that ever happened to the franchise.
Now to check if my money transfer has come through.
Spent time with young Master Alex in Oakalla (Deer Lake) Park and his Mama and Pawpa (Paul) and while we were walking along the same stretch where we saw the coyote with Keith, he ran between the three of us giving us our titles. He’d run up behind us and tap us on the ass and say ZIZI or PAWPA or MUMMY like a little buzzing bee. He walked the whole 2.5 k himself, he ran up to joggers to give them greetings (causing one guy to dodge around and almost wipe out) but he gave bunches of grandmotherly types big smiles and ran up to them with his arms out.
Dogs he’s not so sure about, but with assistance he can interact appropriately.
He fell madly in love with a puddle and some heart shaped leaves.
He’s such a dear little person. I feel amply rewarded for my patience during his earlier difficulties bonding with anyone but his mom. Paul and I are having a panic with him.
I wish Katie was not experiencing personal difficulties right now, but they aren’t impacting Alex at all that I can see and everything will be fine in the outcome.
Miss Margot bit and clawed the living shit out of me last night as I was petting her.
My description of her behaviour made Nancy LF. on Facebook advise me to check into this ailment. Jeff and I have noted many times that Margot is not neurotypical. We didn’t think much of it, bu she’s shown every symptom to me except one.
I think whatever is wrong with her is not being helped by Buster’s continual bullying/play requests; she’s definitely stressed.
Diagnosis will be expensive, but she’s obviously unhappy, and something’s gotta shift.
Just removed a juvenile flicker from the place. Buster…. There’s blood everywhere (it flew off in a straight line though) and it took a crap in our dish drainer so good thing I cleaned it last week.
Sweet little nose kiss for Margot when he came home this morning, it was adorable. Margot is acting off colour, but she just misses Jeff’s keyboard as a perch I think, and she did eat this morning so she can’t be that bad.
Played with Buster downstairs for a while.
No writing progress, but I finished the bridge for Blues for an Orange Sky.
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.
Higher body count and more cannons but you get the general idea. That’s Black Sails, which I heart so much only the prospect of there being two more seasons is preventing me from panicking about there only being 2 or 3 more episodes from season 2 before it runs out. I honestly want to go straight to Jeff’s door, bang on it and say IT IS MY BIRTHDAY I want to BINGE WATCH THE REST RIGHT NOW. He’d probably agree though, and then what? We have nothing awesome in prospect right now except mopping up on seasons 6 and 7 of The West Wing.
Current word count 4379. Things are a little smoother after a rocky start. Glykeria has arrived at Raven’s door.
I have applied for ISBN numbers for my ebook editions of the novels. Two weeks to wait.
Getting irritable over no Alex except for two seconds when I went to meet his momma at London Drugs and he was asleep.
Weather here is damp and nasty.
Margot got her Sunday dinner last night (I wait right until 6 pm to give it to her) and she SANG FOR HER SUPPER which was three anxious little merps – she can’t actually mew since she had the surgery. Then she stuffed her face in the dish and ate like she had no expectation of ever receiving food again from anyone. Every time she slowed down, she’d back away with that funny little caterpiggle in reverse movement, pause, and then she’d jam her little face in like a front end loader and scarf again until she ran out of breath. I watched her eat, it was a tender combination of hilarious and sad.
So many of my friends are having pets die and animals put down right now the Rainbow Bridge is getting crowded. Love your people critters and your fur critters as hard as you can!
86927 is the current word count. What it will look like after editing – generally things get shorter – is anyone’s guess.
Went to see Otto – my friend, not my mandolin – for coffee yesterday. He has hopes, having lost the lease on his ceramics studio, to getting another one in Port Coquitlam and I really hope so because it’s only two minutes from a kiln and he’d have 24-7 access to it. He gave me a lift home. It was very wet yesterday and I walked down to Coming Home Café and got wet from my crotch to the ground; the rain was coming in sideways under the umbrella. Fortunately with my current temperature control issues I merely felt pleasantly cool.
Working in clay, boy howdy. If I feel like getting up in the middle of the night to write (at my grandfather’s desk – you will all be happy to know that I am no longer writing or internetting in bed, guh – but I am allowing myself to read in bed) it’s easy to do. I stumble across the room, fire up my brand new ceramic heater because by gadfrey it’s chilly in here and then I write, or pretend to. Right now rather than pretending to I’m going to get up and get the coffee I forgot to bring upstairs when I went downstairs to practice.
ZEEEE! but first a few words about our sponsors, the cats. (Sorry, I’ll hack my feet off and eat them before I insert sound effects in my blog, so the ZEEEE! was an attempt to jam in some old-fashioned imaginary radio magic. Okay, it didn’t work but goddamnit I tried.)
MAN the cats love the new regime of warm and cold wet cat food in a seemingly endless supply. They are used to one can every two months and the rest of the time they are on kibble; and solid snax. Buster now does the leap in the air and clap his paws together almost every time I give him the snackies, except about once in ten he’ll roll on the carpet and with one slitted eye commanding my compliance direct me to just drop it now, there’s a good chap. This is usually when I try to snack him up midday, when he’s normally up a cat tree and out cold.
He is so cute when he sleeps on the couch downstairs. Sometimes nobody but Jeff will do, and Jeff obligingly holds himself so as accommodate whatever bizarre assemblage of furry cubist limbs Buster’s arranged himself into this time. Other times he Wants Mama’s Skritches and I become increasingly deranged in my attempts to scratch his chin while Jeff looks on with alarm. He extends all his limbs like Nijinsky, flops around with so little regard for feline dignity that it seems clear his early socialization was with very good tempered dogs, and cares not for what you squeeze or touch, almost as if he’s in some kind of neurological state of pleasant inebriation.
Margot is shedding like crazy. I had noticed that stressed cats do this, but this is like the February snow storm of cat fur came early, and I am disgust.
FML, back to work. Or not. WHo is it tHat mesSAges me? I hear the ting ting that I’ve gotten a message. Forget message get coffee. ARGHH TOO MANY DECISIONS.
Back in my 20’s I read a book or a manifesto or something about how you should walk every inch of the city within a five km radius of your house. Yesterday I learned to recognize that as wise, yet again, having forgotten it.
Slept over at Mike’s after a wonderful supper of the salmon of wisdom, the preserves of friendship and the taters of sustenance. A deep, roborative sleep. Then astonishment, as the whole city was fogged in and we were above it all in the Eyrie, watching it burn off. Then a brekkie of coffee, hash browns, bacon and eggs. We went a-walking in Byrne Creek Ravine park.
The day signs were most impressive; the Trickster appeared, facing the sun. Then three black dogs. The first two were on leashes; the third was free walking with her owner. Then a Korean family, joking in English and Korean. Then a troupe of dancers rehearsing Chinese opera on the tennis courts.
THEN a dry big-leaf maple leaf, in the shape of a death’s head, lodged against the ivy twining up a snag.
Then the old man. He came down, down down the steep incline to the water, and as soon as he saw us he BACKED UP THE TRAIL, never taking his eyes off us. When I saw him later I tried to acknowledge him, but he would not meet my eyes, although twice I caught him staring at me. Most unnerving.
Each leaf swayed and sang; there was a deeper stillness in the plashing of the water; I could feel my brain trying to calculate things, all the tiny incremental movements, as if they could be calculated. My vision cleared. It was a wonderful feeling.
As we paused, walking back, looking down at the ravine from the railing on the other side from Edmonds station, a young First Nations family walked by. The mother was saying to the toddler while the father pushed an infant in a stroller, “You can’t go climb down to the stream! You’ll scratch your bum on the blackberries!”
Safe back at the Eyrie I asked the spirits if they could help me find my family crest. I’m not knowing what to do about the answer.
At first it was all random stuff, a doodle in white letters against my closed eyes; it looked like Kufic script, and then script in no human language. I was sad, because I could not interpret the dancing, ever shifting letters.
They gave me the bones of a salmon, the curl of a fern, the head of a vulture, a toad, and strange, gap-toothed cogs, fitting into all these things. Ground and figure were constantly shifting, but it all felt fitting, and as I’m receiving these teachings, I’m thinking, yes, this is right, this is as it should be. The salmon and the fern are how the land and the sea connect, the head of the vulture is the acknowledgement of the cycle of birth and death, the toad is welcoming the stranger and the orphan, the cog is the knowledge that all things fit, the gaps the incompleteness that comes with being human. Then the last part.
It was the outline of a subdivision. I think I know what it means – that I’m a colonial born and bred and living on the land on sufferance, but damn it is NOT what I wanted to hear, and so it is probably the most valuable part of the teaching.
All these things were interwoven. As I looked at one thing, it turned into something else. Everything kept shifting; animal faces into letters, into stylized hands and fingers, curving railroad tracks with swaying ties. All rendered in brilliant white, as if the world’s most skilled tagger was drawing it on my sensorium at the speed of light.
At this point, on behalf of Cousin Gerald, I would like to interject, “Wot, no MOOSE?”
I remonstrated with the spirits, who laughed very heartily at my tears (I was weeping pretty much continuously at this point). A great woman’s voice said, “It’s nothing for you to parade around! You have no family crest! You couldn’t draw it even if you could understand it!” Then, after a pause, as if reconsidering, the same voice said, more quietly, “It will be there when you close your eyes,” and I’m back to myself and Mike’s handing me Kleenex.
It never ceases to amaze me, what’s in my head. None of this was real, but I assure you, it happened.
Today I’m going to go keep a promise, but this time I get to drive. Paul and I are going to Nanoose Bay for a restorative justice conference, or at least the part of it he is presenting at. I had meant to bail, but all things considered I have a few things to tidy up before I get back to writing. The characters are once again speaking, though. Theo came and sat with me while I was in the forest.
“I was not a philosophical person, and now I am. At first I was angry, because I did not need to think about what it all means. I was happy to move around in the space my people occupy, which is life and death and reproduction, and possibly looking at beautiful things. Then I was angry, because all my previous understanding was not wrong, just too small. I had thought myself as big as I needed to be. But since I got philosophy I can only think of myself in relation to others, and that makes me angriest of all, for I don’t like most Sixers and hate most humans, and now I am stuck with them all, and I really don’t have the temperament for a philosopher.”
Poor Theo. There’s nothing worse for a hard-core narcissist than waking up one morning and finding out you’re too small.
Meltingly grateful to Mike for his most restorative and sacred hospitality.
I’d also like to thank mOm for her bracing phone calls of late.
Tom U. is back working with Mike again, isn’t that wonderful? One half of the lunch bunch is back together.
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!!