Reasonably productive day

Shopping; didn’t get to Al P.’s New Years Walk in Trout Lake, le sigh, made pizza, wrote and mailed a letter to my mOm, made biscotti dough, three loads of laundry washed and dried and sort of staged for being put away, recorded Bob Dylan’s New Years Day.

This morning I shall bake biscotti and then deliver it to the deserving and the undeserving alike. Then I’ll probably make another batch because otherwise it’s too much room in the fridge as it chills.

Continue reading Reasonably productive day

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.

right okay fine let me kick this in the goolies

How to Stop Being Offended by Everyone (in just 13 steps)

JFC. This woman need a course correction, but I’m not giving her one in the comments. Here’s the skinnified version of what she said:

My being offended is a choice; take a few breaths before responding; consider the source; discern if it was intentional; interrogate the sense of being offended, is it you or the circumstances; locate the part of you that feels victimized; send yourself loving energy rather than going off; listen to the opposing perspective; release yourself of the duty to police other people’s views; wait 24 hours to respond; and I’m quoting #11 in full because it’s SUCH BULLSHIT I WANT YOU TO SAVOUR er EXPERIENCE ITS EXCESSIVELY SHITTY QUALITY: “11. Remind yourself that we are a collective, and that the person that “wronged” you is from the same Source as you. We all have the same “cosmic DNA”. So hating them is hating you”; see the lesson from the offence as a gift; don’t stay offended.

I’ll be simple, I’ll be brief. Imagine giving this advice to a Black person who’s reading about how Black people are terrible workers; to a trans woman who’s experiencing harassment from cis-magats on the internet; to a woman reading something about feminism and allyship from the man who raped her; to an Indigenous person being mocked for eating country food when they could be vegan and ‘save the planet’; or a Jew sent the long-nosed Pepe meme; or a disabled queer person encouraged to just die already and quit ‘draining the public purse’.

THE ADVICE LOOKS DIFFERENT NOW DOESN’T IT. Don’t tell me who I can’t hate, you peccary-approximate clickbaiter. Listen to the opposing perspective when THEY WANT TO KILL ME and or MY FRIENDS. GET FUCKED! NO, SERIOUSLY! AFTER YOU!

Kelly Albano wrote the above noted clickbait. I’d like to annoy her until she drops the pretence that she’s calm, but I have other shit to do today than tell another white woman that she’s totally fucking clueless about how this feel-good advice appears during climate crisis, fascism on the march, destroyed norms of media balance and public behaviour, kids incarcerated and separated from their parents for being brown and poor, and the future of our young people destroyed by crony capitalism. Fuck you, Kelly Albano. Stay in your bubble and quit posting crap.

Yes yes, Kelly, this is advice for something that ‘offends you’ – not for something that’s an existential threat. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, you oft-scratched scab, white women have this tremendous tendency to send shit like this to marginalized people. Yup, I see it ALL THE FUCKING TIME on twitter; they will repurpose this feelgoodery to douchewaddery in four seconds flat and some poor schlub who’s legit angry is going to get told to wind it in by a thirty-five year old white woman who’s never been stopped by the cops for anything and who thinks this shit’s a blessing on a troubled world, when it’s just going to get used to hurt people who aren’t ‘evolved enough’ – Jesus wept – not to get angry when someone’s trying to KILL THEM.

And I’m not talking on twitter about this. The idea that someone I know might forward this shite to a marginalized person who’s suffering is fuckin’ more than I can handle.

 

 

Yesterday and today

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I do believe you have to be human to die of COVID so I’m assuming most of these people are safe. Yes indeed Trump has tested positive for COVID. It’s the biggest security risk possible and Pence must be just drooling over how Trump could be permanently rendered unPresidential. I really only care about Stephen Miller. If I could publicly announce what I intend to do if he dies of COVID I’m not sure any of you would enjoy it. Trump needs to stay alive because Pence is worse.

Tom needs a heart valve. Schedule willing and the surgeon don’t catch COVID he’s having surgery next week. Tom is one of my favourite people and I like Peggy even more than that so the stress and confusion and foreboding they must be feeling is something else and I guess today is the day I get off my ass and make bikkies for Peggy.

I had a really productive day yesterday, (I pulled up the dead vines in the garden, still need to finish that) and wrote a letter to a family member and did a load of laundry and rehearsed on  three instruments and worked more on You do me Wrong)) and then lost my cell phone. I mean I hiked a reasonably challenging trail with Paul, whose foot seems completely healed. It’s only 3 k, but we went to Goldie Lake, and I took some great pictures, and then somewhere between the last marker post and the parking lot I lost my phone.

Paul took pictures. I’ll keep bugging him until he answers.

somebody shot heroin in Mt Seymour Park I found the needle.

Did I mention in December we have to stop having that little rent break. It was only 25 bucks a month but there’s nothing like feeling you’re putting one over on your landlord.

Now I have to buy a pomodora clock and a proper alarm clock and go back to a paper/electric calendar. Life is twagic.

My phone was set to send me a notification of my meeting with the RN yesterday but it didn’t go off, and that’s another reason I’m glad I lost my phone.

I hated my phone because at this point 3/4 of my calls were spam or phishing texts or women exhorting me in Toisanese or Mandarin.

I’ve actually wanted to stop having that bill every month. Seventy bucks for shitty service and overages after 2 gigs, **** my **** and then there’s the issue of having a cop in my pocket.

I cancelled my service and had to deal with two humans over half an hour to make that happen. I changed the most important passwords just in case there’s something in my phone that will enable them to get my shit. So Google, the blog, my social media accounts…and I went very crunchy and hard and strong on the passwords this time.

Roses are red

Sydney’s in Australia

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courtesy of @thesarahyork

16678

 

omg @Stonekettle on twitter this morning saying “If you want sympathy look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis” with respect to Trump’s positive COVID test.

saturday has no meaning

Media drive is acting weird; Jeff is on it.

Normally I’d be hearing from Katie for breakfast today but all of our habits are shot and besides she has a boyfriend.

Chadwick Boseman’s death (he was the Black Panther) is really ruining a lot of Black people’s weekends right now. The outpouring of grief, of feeling cheated, of feeling that anything good is immediately ripped away, is palpable. See how other black creators held him up on his way to the stars.

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no, they don’t hate you because of your skin color, nationality or religion. they hate you because you consciously chose to be a hateful asshole.

an anonymous wikipedia edit

Someone really useful on twitter just blocked me because I ‘sexualized their feed’ well THEY WERE THE ONE TALKING ABOUT SLOPPING DOWN FORTY GALLONS OF HUMMUS lands’ sakes. That has nothing to do with this:

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Wikipedia editor MN070 is responsible for this gem, which has probably already been edited back out, but isn’t it a sweetie?  someone with a lot of neck in Irish slang is a chancer, someone with a lot of nerve, who takes liberties….

Entire quote from facebook this morning.

Indigo Nai, who lives and works in New York, wrote this

 

Yo.

I am abandoning the world of men.

I am abandoning the world of men because masculinity is a sinking ship, and it is loaded with leaking, toxic drums, and it is sinking while we watch, and it is my belief that the men that do not escape it will drown.

Now, I’mma tell you a little story. It’s a long one, so feel free to flake if you start to fade, but here it is:

On my last day in the Bay area, a small gang of us agreed to meet at a local bar to hang out, take in the late summer sun, and drink a healthy amount of bourbon. It’s a warm summer day, and the patio of the bar is crowded; friends and acquaintances of both genders join our little group every once in a while, stay for a bit, and then wander off, but just before things kicked off, our little group is four women, myself, and another male friend. Over on my side of the table we’ve just started a conversation about rape culture and how to help redefine the ways men view themselves within it, because me and my friends really enjoy light conversation. The dialog in our part of the little circle is going great, but at one point I look over and notice that my best friend has been cornered by the other guy in the group, and it’s clear that she’s having *exactly* the kind of conversation that you don’t want to be stuck in; that one conversation where a guy is mansplaining to a woman about the ‘slippery slope’ that prosecuting everyone accused of rape inevitably leads to, in the kingdom of toxic masculinity, at least. My friend is trying her best to be both polite and to be heard, but she can’t get a word in edgewise, so I decide to leverage my own privilege; the next time he interrupts her, I interrupt him, and say, “Hey brother, you know what’s sexy? Letting a woman finish a sentence”. I then turn away, good deed done, to rejoin my own conversation. Unfortunately, this causes me to miss the warning signs as the guy begins to grimly stew on the indignity of having his privilege publicly checked, because masculinity so fragile.

A moment later, he calls out: “Hey, I think Shannon is done talking, so I’d like to share my thoughts, if that’s all right with you, INDIGO”. Now, I admit, I’m obnoxious to the bone, so I toss a quick and merry “That’s fine!” over my shoulder. This, inexplicably breaks him; that simple comment sends him right over the edge of man-child sulking into the abyss of beast-mode rage, and before you can say “can’t hold your liquor” he unfolds from his seat, all 6’3″ and 240 pounds of him, and bellows “Do you want to have a fucking go then, man?”

Now, this is unexpected, since he’s an old friend, and we’re surrounded by a handful of other old friends, and we’re in the middle of a bar that’s run by Family, and we’re there for an unfortunate friend’s fundraiser, so it seems a little strange that he and I have suddenly started doing the man-dance right in the middle of of a crowded patio on a Sunday afternoon. But he’s Scottish, and I’m Irish, and the story of a wee Irish guy scrapping with a great Scottish hulk is a tale as old as love itself, and besides, I’m always one for a story, so I call back “Sure, brother” and stand up.

Before I can even get my arms up, I have a giant meatpile of angry, drunken Scotsman throwing his fists in my face. I hear/feel My tendons squeak a bit as his weight came down on my knee, so I know my knee was wrenched, and at some point I saw stars so I knew he got a good kiss in, but mostly I just kept grappling with him and tried not to worry too much about the damage already done in order to try and minimize the damage that was yet to happen.

Some colder, more removed part of me was also laughing its ass off because I suddenly found myself climbing Mt. Slappy McHaggis when, less than ten seconds before, I had been drinking bourbon and chatting with some very old friends about the nuances of feminism, rape culture, and male privilege.

Trust me, the irony didn’t escape me, even at the time.

It was also, in some sense, tragic: this was someone I had been friends with for fifteen years, someone whom I had always considered Family. This was a man I had always thought would have my back in a fight, not someone who would suddenly be trying to bury their fists in my face.

It was also, in some sense, inexplicable: this was a guy with a six inch height and a fifty pound weight advantage over me, who I know for a fact thinks of himself as honorable and chivalrous.

And finally, in every sense it was hideously dangerous: physical fights are terrifically dodgy ideas to begin with. I mean, I have anger issues, and I’m a big fan of consensual violence between men, but fighting is chock full of the potential for really shitty consequences; come in at a bad angle, you can crack the zygomatic bone and blind someone; land wrong after a takedown, you can tear tendons and lame them; knock them off balance, and you can crack their head on a curb and there you are, in prison for the next two decades of your life, and the guy who was looking at you funny that one night in a bar is shitting into a bag.

I mean, who knew, but physically beating someone into submission is really hard, and pretty risky when it all comes down to it.

And over what?

The perception that you’ve been disrespected when a friend suggests that you stop interrupting another friend while they speak?

The perception that you’ve been disrespected when someone calls you out for rude behavior?

On the masculine side of things, it makes me very sad for men as they grow older; go through divorces; lose their businesses; have their children taken away. As men, we’re never taught to build communities, or examine our feelings, or build genuinely intimate connections with other men. We’re taught that we can share two emotions: lust and anger. And we’re taught to use those two brutal, clumsy tools to solve every challenge that we experience in our worlds. This is the price we pay for our privilege.

But on the feminine side, my experience makes me much sadder. See, I’ve been thinking about that fight ever since it happened. It’s been a long time since I was in a real fight, and a long time since I was in a fight with a real fighter. And that means it’s been a long time since I had to really think about what it must be like to have to be constantly wary of the rage of men. I did well for a wee Irish guy, for the few seconds that our scuffle went on, I held my own; but those few seconds were enough to earn me a black eye an d weeks worth of limping. And if we hadn’t been in a public place, surrounded by friends, I would have been fucked. Right proper fucked. Rabbit in a hound’s mouth fucked. Fucked like every abused wife in a trailer or McMansion is fucked. Which, ironically, is what the conversation we were having to begin with was all about: when that fight popped off, we were discussing the reality that about half of the world’s population has to process that the at any given moment, some member of the other half of it could go savagely violent on you with no warning, rhyme, or reason. And this reality is something every woman I know has to deal with every day. The irony is remarkable: simply discussing the topic of male rage and expecting equality from all participants was enough to provoke this guy to violence. What I experienced in that brief window of time was being punched right out of my privilege for a minute. In that moment, I was reminded, very briefly, what being assaulted by someone much bigger and much more aggressive than you are is like; what it’s like to go toe-to-toe with someone to big for you to resist, let alone overcome. And it reminded me why I care, why I fight, and why feminism is always worth fighting for, with our words, our tongues, our fists, or a goddamn barstool, needs must.

So, yeah. I’m abandoning the world of men. I’m abandoning the idea of egos so fragile they can’t bear criticism. I’m abandoning the idea of size as strength, might as right, and women as an audience. And most of all, I reject the idea of using your power as a tool to enforce your will, rather than using it as a tool to protect your Family.

Always punch up. Never punch down.

We’re going to win this.

Walking distance – a consultation with the spirits

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.