Wednesday on 3.5 hours of sleep

I’m just finishing up the last of the Indian food from L&R today; it’s succulent, mild lamb curry over rice pilau. The naan and the samosas always go first; I didn’t quite eat the four samosas in a row, but over about a six hour period; truly great veggie samosas nom nom nom.

Two straight nights of terrible, terrible sleep. It hasn’t been warm enough to leave the AC on but I really feel the difference in the humidity and I feel like I’ve been going through a mini menopause every night. I leave the box fan on just to get some circulation, but it’s most sticky. I shifted the little icon of Sandman from the Gaiman comics so it’s closer to my head and hopefully I’ll start sleeping better again.

I have a list to get through before Jeff gets home as long as your forearm. There’s a shower in there somewhere as well.

Local news, or newish items:

Burnaby Council has peed on the most direct route for the proposed gondola from Production Way/University Station to SFU. I hope they shitcan the idea entirely, at least until they’ve asked MST peoples for permission among other steps that seem to have gone missing. It’s likely to be an expensive boondoggle and for what… to carry 10K people a day at most? sounds like bs to me. Anyway, the translink people didn’t ask any of the businesses and scarcely any of the residents that would be under the shadow of the gondola what they thought about it (not that I have experienced Burnaby as a place that gives two shits about small business owners, but that’s just me) and it just seems all very hasty and poorly prepared.

I have learned that there is a 60’s style diner (they have no website and it wouldn’t help anyway since the internet’s off between 4 and 7 am so I have no way of checking and I’ll probably forget to before I post this; Chris Campbell at Burnaby Now says they have neither social media presence, nor change in the menu for decades – I mean they still serve salisbury steak, try finding that at a restaurant) here in Burnaby and I’d like to drag Jeff out to there at some point, they’re up around Kensington and Lougheed, which isn’t too far a trek, but they don’t open until 8 and keep bankers’ hours so we may not go since we prefer first thing instead of messing with the morning traffic.

Buster is currently kneading my left tit like he plans on drawing a paycheque.

Ah, he’s stopped; I’m supposed to pet him and I’m still typing, so now he’s parked on my right foot.

He’s already had his breakfast (wet and dry food) and I refreshed his water, and I told him repeatedly that daddy is coming home today but I am not sure he believes me.

I tried locking the cat door at night while Jeff was gone as I didn’t want Buster to get et by something, but he was adamant; even if he wasn’t planning on using it he complained vigorously about it being shut.

Time to start some laundry and attack that list.

(Shower’s done.)

aw shit Jeff’s noticed I’m playing on twitter, back to work

Today, the ducts get cleaned

We haven’t had anybody in the house who wasn’t part of our pod for …. a year? I guess? So I think Jeff and I are a leedle stressed at the moment.

I’m going to run a load of laundry and then get back to shoving stuff in corners in my room.

Are dogs self-aware? Some more so than others.

I have a dr and dentist appointment.

As soon as the duct person leaves I’m mailing biscotti to my mOm and Jan G OR making a beef stroganoff pack from M&MMeats OR going for a walk with Paul. Life is turvy right now, topsy

BISCOTTI X 4

I have made biscotti. I am still making biscotti…. quadruple batch.  Absolute units of biscotti, they are absolutely perfect.

Some to Katie’s Mike, some to Paul, some to Tom and Peggy, some to mOm and pOp, and now I have to find shipping boxes…..

Tremendous training session with Buster this morning.

Buster has started speed running the morning training session, it’s hilarious. BUMPS LEG to start game. Paw clap x 3; run and chase x 10; jump up and catch treat single-pawed; up onto the chair paw clap x 3; PAUSE ‘I’m not chasing that’ FINALE: chases treat down the stairs THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP crunch crunch crunch

This is all designed to maximize treat consumption; he’s figured out it’s piecework and now he just goes like spit. I stopped recording him because he hates the red light, but I really wish I’d recorded this morning, it was stellar.

cat training for people with add

A domestic scene:

I’m in the bathroom. I leave the door open a crack so Buster can get in, because he doesn’t like being locked out, because he wants to be brushed. He lifts his front paws to shove the door open; I shove it back to just barely being ajar to spare my brother (whom I have just greeted, as I do when I rise in the morning if he is awake) a view of my ample fundament, just in case he wanders by in search of tea.

I take out the metal tined brush and brush his back a couple of times, and he goes straight back to the door, mews, lets himself out.

“Do you want the other brush?” I call softly through the door.

He pushes the door open again and doesn’t come closer until he sees the brush he wants, which makes him purr as I brush hard under his chin (what he wanted in the first place.) I brush him, conclude my business and he jumps up on the toilet. (In this household, toilet lids are kept closed when toilets are not in use.) I brush him some more and when I’ve collected a fair bit of fur, I stop and wash my hands.

I say to him, “You know the brushing is all done when I wash my hands. If you want a treat, jump down.”

He looks at me and mews. I point at the floor. He jumps down and I follow him into the kitchen and start an abbreviated training session, since he isn’t much into it.

Buster has very definitely learned what ‘brush’ and ‘treat’ are, is iffy about ‘jump’, ‘up’ and ‘down’ and ‘all done’ out of the context of training (but getting it from time to time), has started to respond to hand directions without a treat, and the only thing that remains is to figure out how to get him out of my chair downstairs….

Training is all about ‘things the cat would have done anyway’, you’re merely encouraging the animal to do it both faster and in a specific order. That, as they say, is all, until five minutes later, when he’s decided he hasn’t played ‘catch the treat’ enough and initiates another training session, (bangs my left shin with his forehead is the signal) which is adorable, because he wants more treats and knows he has to jump around and make a total fool of himself to get them, and he’s okay with that.

He asked for another training session a half hour after THAT. What a cat.

Miss Margot’s been gone three years (Margot’s song)

Has it been that long? Yes…

This is just me singing in my room, so don’t expect much. Also I had to do about a hunnert takes from crying, so this is the point my mood hit the big red NO MORE button. There was a dulcimer accompaniment but it morphed into another tune.

 

she was a funny cat – she definitely had more of a sense of humour than most. And she didn’t hold a grudge…. also most uncatlike. This is her consulting on me entering ‘The Evening News’ into Finale.

 

I have gone where my friends are waiting
Don’t you worry ‘bout me
And it’s not like I could forget you
Or you forget about me

You will miss me lots
Wish it wasn’t so
When I fill your thoughts
You will know I was here
I was here a moment ago

My old bowl is back in the cupboard
And my grave’s in the yard
Your old heart isn’t made of rubber
And you’re taking this hard

All the love you felt for me
Will never go away
It’s in the universe we made between us
and it is here to stay

I have gone where my friends are waiting
Don’t you worry ‘bout me
And it’s not like I could forget you
And you will never, ever forget about me.

Two Daves

Two letters written but not posted today; it’s a Two Dave day.

Jeff’s just asked me to go downstairs and watch a Time Team. Hope it’s something Saxon or Roman. L8r Nope, medieval and Tudor. But really interesting if you’re crazy about remodelling castles for successive waves of improvements in warfare, boom goes the gunpowder.

Alex was here recently and I’m just remembering him being happy about getting a tube shot on the Xenon game and it made me happy in consequence.

Buster was past damp into dripping wet, and filthy when he came back in this morning…. must be horrible to have to clean that crap off with your teeth and mouth blech.

Indian food delivered last night. I was very happy with the quality and quantity for the price. It’s a new place (8 months?)  that does pizza and Desi food Pasifika style, which is like, so Vancouver, it hurts.

Chuck Yeager, RIP. His autobiography is most entertaining.

Letter from Onty Mary, and I’m so glad she enjoyed the paper art I put in with a recent letter, that was cheering.

Today has been set aside for One Grim Task. I do not want this task. I do not want the cascade of tasks that will flow from this One Grim Task. I AM DISGUST, SON.

It’s 10:20 in the morning and I am still not nerved up for this gd task. I am actually hitting the old moral GPS for a recalc from my new position and fuck me if it’s not taking a bit longer than any reasonable person might expect. What is it that a reasonable person following Stoic principles might expect? I said I’d write first PHEW AN OUT, I HAVE AN OUT.

With that I must now turn my attention to the real writing I need to do today, otherwise known as Quarantine Porn. And that works whether I’m talking about the UPSUN universe or my rapidly-winding-down interest in writing porny Supernatural fanfic. (Not all of it’s porn, some of it’s just fluff.)

And if I’m not going to write that, I have to go back out into the kitchen and either work some more on The Dark Book – current section is “the Calendar” and it’s fucking MOLOCH this and MOLOCH that, as he drives his diesel dick through history and messes us all up, it’s just standard issue eschatology schlock, that’s part of the point of the poem though, disjointing the specifically English language over and past and through its various levels of inanity, legalism and perverse vagueness through to a new horrific understanding about what ‘end times’ actually means for the people living through it, and you are among those people, and what the hell is this poem anyway (this last aside for my parents, who have long since given up on trying to understand what it is I’m babbling about and reached this question much earlier) – or work on my master grocery list, and I finally figured how I can get what my grocery list looks like in my head to my actual grocery list that I use every week and reinforces how I visualize and operate in the world, but I haven’t done it yet. So I have work to do to advance this project, which will assist me cognitively as my brain declines and I’m still shopping, and which may have applications for other seniors and TBI sufferers. (I certainly wasn’t able to find anything like it on line.) So yeah, projects, in order, depending on what I’m up for mood and skill wize.

Yup, I’m going to wander off and reconfigure my reality right now, be back in a day for an update or sooner if something interesting happens.

One last thing, the ‘writing light’ in the kitchen died and I asked for help from Jeff  (my shoulder’s frozen…. that was weird, realizing it) and he touched the apparently dead compact fluorescent and it illuminated and it made me think of pOp. Also Jeff is quietly amazing, the best kind.

lazy day

I showered, did a load of laundry and slept like I was getting paid to yesterday. I guess I was processing the phone call from the clinic. A few things were cleared up and she’s sending me some literature. I can still lose 20 pounds and stave this off…. I feel like there are a million goddamned balls in the air, and I have so little control over most of them, and inconsistent control over the rest.

Pankakes and tea for brekky

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this is one of Kevin Gannon’s dogs (@thetattooedprof) and this is TOTAL MOOD FOR NOW

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This is Peter Coffey @petercoffey’s photo of an oil beetle. THEY FLOP OVER AND PLAY DEAD WHEN THE FLASH GOES OFF so he posted this pic with a complaint about how they are his new least fave thing to photograph and I’m thinking WHUT this is berloody amazin’

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Somebody mention the angel Castiel?  S’gonna be all right, my beauties.

writing back to the world

Yes, there was an election. No, it isn’t settled. Even if the worst happens, the world survived before, and it will keep surviving. My story isn’t done, neither is yours.

This is a long boring text-heavy oversharing post, ya been told.

Continue reading writing back to the world

Voting Day

So I get to take a walk down the hill to vote today in a church. I will take the folding seat and my voting card.

During the Poop Patrol I did not train Buster for more than a minute, so hopefully we’ll be back on the training today. He was showing indications yesterday of missing it. Or the treats.

Totally sold on Kim’s Convenience now, plus every time I see those big blue street signs from Toronto I nearly die of nostalgia.

Highest daily total of new infections ever in the us, something stupid, over 80K.

When I think about the flu pandemic in 1918-19, the scientists fought against it without having a complete understanding of the disease, recommending masks because they worked, even if we didn’t understand exactly how; now we understand viral diseases a lot better but social distancing and people staying home doesn’t work for capitalism so we end up with shills for capitalism standing in front of the press and saying everything’s cool……….. cool cool cool.

News from Nova Scotia and elsewhere

I can easily believe the RCMP did nothing about a mob of whites almost killing a bunch of Indigenous fishers. But the people who are PROUD of that are  SCUM.

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THIS WILL BE THE LAST HALLOWEEN YOU’LL BE ALLOWED TO BUY FIREWORKS IN VANCOUVER

I am thrilled past words.

Now I know why Buster did a running&leaping paw clap this morning! He was celebrating. (He LOATHES fireworks.)

Phil Shailer of Hollywood wrote this as part of a letter to the editor in 2016

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white disabled people from soapbox: thing
Black disabled people noticing: thing has context, Black people don’t experience it that way
white disabled people to Black disabled people: if you were less whiny you’d experience ableism correctly
Black disabled people: flames dot gif
the above is in response to a simply VILE twitter exchange between a relatively wealthy blind white woman and a relatively brokeass Black disabled woman
Palate cleanser:
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from @theyankeeartist on twitter, Gomez tossing Morticia in the air
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Mailed off another letter

One of the ways to fight anxiety is to think about other people, so I’m trying to write entertaining letters to relatives and friends.

Anyway, if you want a letter, private message me with your mailing address.

Katie dropped by for a visit. Alex was with Suzanne, Dax’s mum, and Katie had just dropped Paul off at the airport – he never, ever, tells me when he’s going to the US, it’s always been startling to me, no matter how many times I learn about it after he’s gone, which has literally been dozens of times, which just goes to show that I am a slow learner. He’s agreed to quarantine after he comes back, and if he misses his friends and girlfriend in the US who can blame him.

She said her car had a mind of its own and she ended up in my driveway. We had a very long and very necessary chat out on the deck. There was laughing, crying and swearing, and she is such a dear person to me. She was feeling a bit low, but she managed to cheer me up, and that was helpful.

Last night I had my first nightmare that I can remember in years. It was horrifying because my subconscious was saying that it’s better to be dead (or to kill someone else to spare them) than to go through whatever was happening (some unspecified apocalypse). I can’t actually say what it was about because the internet is forever, but let’s just say it was nauseating and disheartening and framed me as an entirely heartless and cruel person with no connection to the future of this earth.

And it was all so calm. HORRIBLE things were happening, and myself and my unnamed conspirator proceeded through our horrible response to them as if neither of us had a hair out of place or a care in the world.

Very slowly, as I realized what we had done, I decided to call the cops, and then I woke up.

 

Made chicken breasts, bok choi and onions in ginger and garlic, and green salad for supper last night. Practiced lots, still working on arrangements.

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user chewmynails posted this on reddit saying the MIL crocheted this

r/aww - My MIL crochet my cat her own couch

Speaking of kitties, Buster has been training HARD. He’s a good chonky boi.

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from @gabrielsherman on twitter

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This is quite the poem, eh? Inglorious in Excelsis by Brian Bilston

much better aqi, all things considered

It’s dropped 20 points since 1 am (now 145 LATER AT 8:30 AM UP PAST 160 AGAIN), and should get within kissing distance of normal – under 40 – sometime by Friday.

Buster has been extremely variable about wanting to train. Some mornings he’s all over it, but the last couple of mornings he wants to just be handed treats, so I cut short the training this am after one treat and we’ll try again in the early afternoon. This morning first he huffed training and then he begged for it and we got three paw claps and a jump and chase and a run and chase in.

My experiment, stealing a cushion off one of the downstairs sofas and using it for a backboard, is a success – however finding a replacement pillow even at places like Bed Bath and Beyond that are supposed to specialize in shit like this has proven rather difficult. I will ask Paul to assist with cushion shopping today, then I can put the danged cushion back.

Jeff took me to breakfast at IHOP yesterday and I just ate what was left of the leftovers. We had the leftover sushi for supper last night as the folks kindly shared out leftovers from Paul’s bday.

Doctor’s office phoned me saying they wanted to schedule ‘a medical review with an RN’ and I told them to go fuck themselves until after the 22nd when I (hopefully) get my glucose tolerance test. What the hell is wrong with these people? Why do a medical review when the single most important piece of test data isn’t available? Anyway, I wasn’t as rude as I sound but I took no shit, I assure you.

The hot stone massage at Head to Toes day spa with Pauline was AMAZING, I’m still feeling comfort right into my bones.  I may book another one next month just to have something to look forward to. But I suppose I should probably wait at least that long to ensure I neither caught nor brought anything.

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Review of day:

Didn’t drink enough water yesterday. It needs to be less than half tea, my liquid consumption. Did practice x 3 instruments; did walk 1.5 k, did empty the sink and fill the dishwasher; did not meditate or take my bp and pulseox; I did not work on a manuscript; I did take my pill and brush my hair and teeth; I did my shoulder exercises. No laundry yesterday or today; no osteofit, no dejunking yesterday.

Anarchist circus cat training routine

There isn’t one. Training happens when Jeff is not in the kitchen (Buster’s operable intelligence plummets when the Man with the Can shows up) and Buster and I are. Paul has trained with Buster twice, and the second time you couldn’t get the shit eating grin off his face with a cold chisel, as Buster was particularly aerobatic in absconding with his treat.

Normally training starts sometime between 4:30 and 7:00 am, any day, with him doing a half-wind around my leg, usually my right leg, and he mews. Something soft and undemanding, just letting me know that he’s there.

Then he paces off to the end of one of the carpets mOm made for Jeff’s old place in Victoria, turns, sits, and stares at me. I fetch, or have already gotten, a few treats from the treat bag (Temptations Tasty Chicken Cat Treats… he has not liked other kinds so far but his loss was cheerfully consumed by crows and trash pandas) and I hold one in my hand above his head, anywhere from 20 to 70 cm over him, where it is visible between my fingers.

I never, ever fake having a treat.

One of the things I read about training cats is that while there are cats who will work for praise alone, that is not the way to bet during training. Not only should you give a treat for ever trick essayed, you should reward the cat for (for example) being cute, or reissue a treat when the one you threw (horror) flew under the dishwasher (which was how I learned that Buster has got a solid claw into the thigh of the concept of object permanence, the cognitive fundamental upon which non-computational style thinking depends). Whenever the cat is being attentive and pliable in its behaviour, that is when to push, and you have to push especially hard when the cat briefly wakes up and starts training you.

Buster started napping in a kitchen chair. I’d hold a treat over his head and he’d wake up and jump for it. Within days he was jumping into the chair during the training sessions and the reason he liked doing that is because it livened things up; if he dropped it, as he infrequently does, it can careen off in pretty much any direction, which means he must engage his ears and reflexes and ability to dodge shoes and furniture to be able to pinpoint it before it quits moving.

I am moving some of the aspects of training into words and gesture.  I gesture with both hands to say ‘all done’ when I think the useful training’s done (otherwise he just hoses you down for cat treats). Also I say ‘good boy’ anytime he is behaving, performatively or not, in a way I find pleasing or cooperative or appropriate. So he can misinterpret what he needs to pay attention to, but he knows he’s fine. I believe I am very close to having him understand ‘up’ and ‘down’ as long as there is a treat in the context, and I also believe that it will be a while before I can get him to understand it without a treat in my hand.

Buster is never forced to train. If he feels lazy for days at a time and just lies on the kitchen floor and allows me to pelt him (I can ding him quite hard, but I never aim for his head) with cat treats until he gets up and dances all around like he hails from Kansas City, that’s okay; and if he then gobbles down on each of the cat treats as it reluctantly releases itself from his lavish, explosively soft and furry pelt, that’s okay too. Buster has a lot of prance and self-respect, and he does like showing off how very much his paws are like hands and fingers – he’s continually coming up with eye popping variants on the ‘basic two-paw clap catch’.

These brief retreats into a philosophical megrim of feline life – perhaps the grandson has been here twice in two days, perhaps the construction noise is getting to him, perhaps the fleas are driving him into a state – are to be expected. Buster is studious and consistent, but he is neither a machine nor a true performer, inured to crowds. This is why I am very slowly cleaning my kitchen. Soon, the performances shall begin, and Buster will be the master of the kitchen circus with a video camera to commemorate him. I have no idea what tricks he will perform. All I know is that I’ve been hiding from the world his clever, precise mastery of hacky-sacking cat treats off his wrists, and he’s only going to get cleverer still, because what Buster does is challenge himself. I have provided parameters within which he can demonstrate skill, and he’s the one that brings it, at this point I’m pretty much dispensing cat treats and fangirling while he does ever more improbable and amusing things.