Get enough sleep and it’s amazing

I am well rested, and in an hour or so will be off to the brekky place with Katie and possibly brO.

Mike’s at Trent’s ManCave™ finishing off the Mustang so he can get it back on the road. I was hoping to see him tomorrow but scuffed knuckles come first. He told me he bought a looper and now I’m mad chuffed to see it. His forearms were so sore they were in spasm the last time I saw him, poor guy.

Started watching the UK show Coroner, really liking it! the coroner/cop investigative team is very well done.

Some woman on reddit wants to know Am I The Asshole for breaking up with a man who admitted he had sex with sheep. My comment : How do you explain to a man with that kind of interior landscape that the real issue is not that he 3x interfered w/ sheep, (although “pick a gif for squick”), but that he doesn’t seem to understand the concept of informed consent, which would make any real life they had a mess.

If he was serious about never doing it again he shoulda kept his muttonhole shut.

I will try to work on Cuffs some more today but I need some kind of narrative hook that doesn’t involved 7 point fucking three billion dollars in money laundering. The fact that my novel has now collided with reality is fucking me up.

Was looking for a weapon from my Scythian heritage (the first blue eyed red heads!!!) and found this tasty store.

Ain’t nobody’s business if I do

There are few things more entertaining than having a former lover sniffing around and being able to repel boarders (so to speak), and unworthy thoughts of weakening into “Well mebbe just this once” territory, with a well timed “So have your girlfriend call me and we’ll thrash out the poly thing while you aren’t in the room!”

PHUT

Doesn’t take much.

I’m thinking of having HOLD FAST tattooed on my knuckles, but only long enough to envision what pOp would say, and nope.

Mommishness outbreak

Keith came over last night, in a rather unhappy state.  His unhappiness made me cry – I cry at the most ludicrous things these days, but I’m not inclined to feel shame about it – and I stuck to the issue, which was his state, not mine.

We reviewed his life situation for stressors. My very flat recital of them at one point made Keith laugh, which he hadn’t done since he arrived, and concluded with, “And if I know you, not a day goes by when you don’t think, “Is today the day I’m going to lose it?” And then he laughed loud and long and said, “Got it in one.”

His feelings are real and justified against his situation.  They are not to be mocked or bulldozed over.  I listened more than I talked. I provided advice, but after 10 minutes of mom time, one beer and the first hour of The Right Stuff he was much more regulated when he left.

I told him that he should think about going back to school.  He said, “I could teach.”

I was amazed.  He actually could, he explained it. I told him to apply ASAP. And to think about school in January.  He said, “There’s no money,” and I said, “Commit to a course of action and the means will appear.” Of course that means elders conferring regarding the means, but hey.  If people hadn’t helped me out financially for no good reason at certain points during my life I wouldn’t be in the pleasant position of getting to worry about my kids.

When he was born a friend paid for a full astrological natal chart.  The results: He is an old soul.  He’ll either be a great teacher or a petty criminal, specifically a drug dealer.

Since this was the first time anybody in the woowoo divination game had said anything negative in my experience, it kinda stuck with me. I mean who predicts that your kid will be a drug dealer? Given Keith’s abstemious and cautious nature, it’s probably one of the funniest arrows ventured at the future I’ve ever heard of.

Victims of Violence Symposium, notes and comments

I took extensive notes.

Christine Lowe opened things up by saying that in healthy communities we acknowledge the harm that comes to victims of violence, and that victimes need to be helped with their physical, spiritual and emotional well being. Strong relationships make social justice possible.

She made a joke about the podium.  When they were finalizing planning they realized they had no podium, and they had no money to buy or rent one.  So they called the police.  The Victoria PD supplied the podium.

This donation by the police meant that we were looking at their logo the entire time, but it also meant that it was a place where cops and SJWs could work together, and that made me happy.

There was a territorial acknowledgement, and Elder May made a blessing that set the tone for the day.  A little rambling, heart-piercingly beautiful, compassionate.  When she sang I started weeping.  The contrast of her speaking voice and her singing voice was so acute it made me sit up. Her song was wordless and filled with yearning for justice and peace.

Then the Deputy Minister for Justiceland Wanamaker got up and gave a canned f*cking empty speech with about as much inflection and heart as one gets from a Grade 7 kid giving her first address.  As a libertarian-inflected feminist, I was enraged to the point I nearly booed when she tried to make political hay out of taking 5 million dollars from civil forfeiture – forgot we had that in Canada, right? right? and earmarking it for prevention of violence against women.  Really don’t like that.  I could go on at great length about why I was pissed, but instead I stink eyed her until she left.  She may be a king hell accomplished career bureaucrat, and we should be thankful that somebody of her dignity spoke to us, but I came away wanting to coach her on public speaking and liberty both.  Please don’t think that the 8 Domestic Violence Units which have been set up across BC with the money are bad things. I don’t.  One thing I will credit her with is saying ‘all genders’; this is phrasing I wish more politicians would adopt, since it doesn’t other trans* and intersex people, or people who are distinctly possessing identifiable bits but are not gender normative, and it includes two-spirited.

Frank Elsner. Chief of Police in Victoria since January 2014.  Man, I wish, you have NO IDEA HOW I WISH, that brO could have been in the auditorium when he spoke.  He worked the room, greeting and speaking with many, many people. Fine, a cop can have good social skills, in fact let’s hope she does. As he was introduced, it was obvious that he is highly intelligent and has multiple degrees from real universities.  He’s been chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which means he’s been exposed to best (and worst) practices across the planet, and let’s face it the last decade has seen some impressive advances in community policing.

He said, “Why talk about community health in terms of policing?” Essentially good policing is part of what makes a healthy community.  As a cop he was appalled to arrest three generations of criminals.  The boys weren’t born bad; intervention and options are required to turn lives around.

He mandated a different approach to street prostitution.  Instead of throwing them in the jug, a group of women were streamed toward social workers.  Picture their astonishment when the first problem most of them had was that they had no picture ID. Childcare, job training and housing were also issues.  Address them, and women can get off the street.  He made it sound simple, but the key is collaboration among a large group of people across half a dozen Ministries and social agencies.  When you get seven women out of the life, you are reducing human suffering in them, their children and their grandchildren, is the point.

Then he said the thing that would have made brO happiest.  He said the police must be accountable to the people they serve for everything they do, even when it hurts the police institutionally and personally.  The reactive model of policing is no longer tenable; police have to earn and show respect in the community they serve.

He also mentioned that cops need to be better educated and trained (yay, maybe that one dingus will finally learn how to give evidence in traffic court) and that their own mental health MUST be factored into the equation; police need like all people to be treated with respect for the sad duties they take on, on behalf of all of us, and that if we just keep expecting cops to suck it up they will snap.  So he wants to look after the well being of the people in his department and not just expect them to stand tall and be stoic.

My applause at the end of his talk was very genuinely enthusiastic, as was Paul’s.

Then Dr. Martin Broken Leg got up.

1. Dude’s funny.

2. Dude’s a survivor.

3. Dude’s hella smart.

With effortless humour, fluency, clarity and logic, he walked us through what it’s like to live in Aboriginal culture, both sides of the border (he is Lakota, adopted into the Raven clan on Haida Gwaii and man you shoulda seen his button decorated black vest with the most beeeyootiful appliquéd silver raven on the back, I admired it in person.)

One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids went to residential schools until 94 when the last one closed.  Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids have gone into care since the mid fifties.

Christ wept.

The ACE studies (Adverse Childhood Experiences) can provide some light.

If a child is exposed to addictions, abuse, domestic violence, incarceration and neglect, you will get social impairment, health risks, disease, disability and early death.

There are other sources of trauma to FN kids. Federal laws, provincial policies, residential schools, the institutions of the churches, poverty, sub standard housing, poor nutrition and lack of healthy practices, lower opportunities for education and employment.

Oppression comes in many forms.  Social microaggressions, the way people look at you and talk to you and make assumptions about you. Systems don’t make place for you and your cultural folkways. The professional people who are supposed to help you don’t necessarily respect you and don’t expect you to improve; and then of course there’s internalized racism and the numbness that comes when you realize that you’re worthless; you don’t need to see 1200 missing women on tv to realize that there’s not a lot of respect for FN women, let alone men.

He recommended Rupert Ross’s Criminal Conduct and Colonialization and Dr. Paulette Regan’s Unsettling the Settler Within.

Traumatized people show it.  They show it by abusing their children, committing suicide, legal trouble and incarceration, early death, violence and addictions.

If you’re working with traumatized people the question to ask is not What’s Wrong with You!? it’s What Happened to You?

In 2012 the Gladue decision brought into sentencing the ability of the judge to inquire as to childhood trauma before jail time.

Subsequently a 19 year old aboriginal man was arrested for assaulting (I remember this story) a Coast Mountain bus driver. At sentencing it was learned that he had been in 28 foster homes between 4 and 18. He didn’t get jail time, he got counselling, and the howls from white people who said BUT HE ISN’T BEING PUNISHED were very loud. And pointless.  Jail wouldn’t help.

 

FN people need to:

See your own and your inherited pain (he called it the dark shadow that lies across every aspect of aboriginal life.)

Know and express your own suffering.

Self-critique and move toward self-improvement (away from victimhood toward self-actualization)

Reclaim aboriginal spirtuality, community and culture ESPECIALLY LANGUAGE (my comment because it is a road map back to the way the land spoke to your ancestors.)

Non-aboriginal people need to work on:

Self-reflection, to lose their white innocence (I had no idea FN children were experimented on, I had no idea that three percent of the residential school kids never came home, I had no idea that the Indian Act didn’t let FN women vote until the 1960s.)

Accept the historical violence, from the Beothuk to Akwesasne.

Admit the full equality of Aboriginal people and ways.  That’s the tough one.  We’ve been acculturated to believe that European ways are superior, and it ain’t necessarily so.

Remember that the 1948 UN definition of genocide COVERS THE SITUATION OF THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS.

Broken Leg then talked about the four stages of forgiveness, as outlined in Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving, which he wrote with his daughter Mpho.

  1. Let us tell the truth. Speak the truth, unvarnished, the facts.  Tell trusted people, accepting that the past will not be changed.
  2. Name the hurt.  Accept all feelings as valid and connect those feelings to the facts.  Use Kubler-Ross’s grief work. Be vulnerable and be willing to be hurt, because you will be.
  3. Grant forgiveness by choosing to forgive.  Grow by forgiveness.  Move to the place of being a survivor hero, not a victim.
  4. Change your story.  Tell a new story to heal.  Renew or release the relationship that has marked you. Ask for what you need.  Look at your role, not to blame yourself, but with calmness.

Reconciliation continues.

 

Young people, to be resilient, must be valued enough by their culture to be taught 

Belonging

Mastery

Independence

Generosity

See also.

______

Then I went to a breakout session on suicide prevention in young people “This do in memory of me” for Kaitlin Schmidt, whose plaque we put up in the Gazebo of Remembrance on Thursday night.

Almost 4000 people kill themselves in Canada every year. A lot of them are young people. Accidents involving brain injury, suicide and cancer are one two three for cause of death in folks under 25.

It’s okay to ask somebody if they are thinking of harming themselves or killing themselves, but there is a big but.

You have to say that you have seen a change in behaviour first.  This marks you as somebody observant and caring.  If they are suicidal but deny it you have marked yourself as a safe person to talk to later. (I find it unlikely that I will ever be that blue again but I know EXACTLY who among my friends I can go to, and that in itself is wonderful.) If they aren’t suicidal they can explain why they’ve been wearing nothing but sweat pants for two weeks and are giving away all their stuff.

Since kids have smart phones, there’s been a lot of work on apps that help kids manage their moods.  Links below.

I found it very interesting that the presenter, Renata Hindle, said that in two hundred 80 minute presentations in BC to Grade 8 and Grade 10 kids, precisely one class wouldn’t go with the guided meditation, and that dozens of kids have told her they wished they knew about it earlier.  Funnily enough, we teach meditation at a number of points in the UU religious education curriculum.  Cause we be all about raising resilient kids yo.

Booster Buddy

Kelty

____________

Then there was a very challenging talk on male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Men process sexual trauma differently than women.

Gender role conditioning to not seek help, to suck it up, to be tough and stoic, mean that help is not sought and the trauma plays out in all aspects of the survivor’s life.

They don’t have the social permission of women to ask for help, to admit to needing it.

When they do seek help, there is a deluge of stuffed-down emotions which occurs at the commencement of the counselling.

Societal and internalized homophobia (offenders normally being men) can cloud the survivor’s ability to see their own victimization.  Womanizing is often a consequence of childhood sexual abuse.

Often, they can fear that they will prey on children (this was brilliantly depicted, as an aside, as part of Bunchy’s story in Showtime’s Ray Donovan.)

Something that never occurred to me was that as boys arrive at puberty, they have the ability to be physically aroused by damned near anything.  This is used by perps to show to the boy that he ‘must have enjoyed it.’ ew ew ew.

5 – 6% of boys who’ve been molested go on to offend.

BUT 95% of offenders were abused.

Those are horrible statistics. And we’re doing a shitty job as a culture of helping men who’ve been sexually abused as children. I am going to investigate the group helping men here in town.

As an aside, she said that male survivors are very likely to espouse conspiracy theories, because their essential feeling of safety has been destroyed.  They have seen the shadowy forces of evil and want everybody to be as frightened as they once were.

This made me realize that someone close to me is probably a survivor.  I have had to come to a personal adjustment of my thinking patterns.

Sobriety is virtually impossible for survivors who haven’t had counselling for the trauma.

Survivors get in fights, they are medicated heavily, many have difficulty keeping sober and binge or drink steadily, they dress in a fashion that tells people ‘KEEP THE **** AWAY FROM ME”, they don’t come to family events and cause scenes or sit in the corner and drink, and they are job avoidant or can’t keep a job due to ongoing issues with disrespect and authority.

THEN.

I didn’t take notes.

Reena Virk’s parents made a presentation about what it was like, and how the reconciliation with one of their daughter’s killers went.

I cried a lot.

Then they started talking about the Bible, which was less moving, and Paul and I anthem sprinted to the ferry, where we made the 5 o’clock.  There was a circular rainbow in Active Pass, and I saw a fur seal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changes and exits

It’s not my story to tell, so I won’t tell it. Suffice it to say that someone dear to me is experiencing anxiety and disquiet for very valid reasons, and I feel my presence really helped move things along a good path and reduce anxiety, an’ that’s what friends are for.

Spent the night away from home, 4 hours on the cpap anyway so I feel quite perky.  Keith says he needs to talk to me about things and stuff for reasons, and that I’m going to be very upset.  Katie and Alex are coming over later this morning.  O don’t I have a lot to look forward to.

Back to the address to the troops.

Unsettled arguments

Porn has permanently altered the relationship between men and women in North America.

Jeff is under the impression that research (most of this is non scientific precis) here, here, here, here, here, (showing how public health problems arise from porn familiarization) here, and here, (part of this research is more about how young women are affected by partners’ porn use) and cultural commentary like this is of no consequence.  My observation that men are experiencing sexual dysfunction in eyebrow raising numbers and women are being forced to emulate porn stars just to keep the interest of their partners is dismissed by Jeff as anecdotal.

If it wasn’t for porn, why have stats on word frequency for certain sex acts skyrocketed in the last thirty years?  If it wasn’t for porn, why would Brazilians be so popular?  If it wasn’t for porn why would women and men my kids’ age tell me about how porn and hookup culture have come winnowing through their lives like tornados, leaving busted relationships, shame, sexual dysfunction and very bad vibes in their wakes?  And let’s not forget the contribution of porn to misogyny.  Some poor schmucks watched their way through a lot of contemporary porn, and 90% of the sex acts depicted had the men verbally or physically or sexually abusing the women while the women either stayed blank or appeared to enjoy it.  Young men are often (and yes, anecdotally) surprised when the women they have sex with object to having their faces ejaculated on, or don’t want to have unprotected anal on the first date.  You can say this is poor socialization.  I think it’s porn. Porn changes behaviour.  Monkey see, monkey do.  Monkey do, monkey think.

Let’s get our feet under us, shall we?

I am a pro porn feminist.  I like and consume some forms of porn, and have publicly discussed my porn preferences on this blog, although it was a while back.  There is evidence to suggest that porn availability has dropped the rape stats; that legalization of child pornography decreases child sexual abuse; that pornography can be liberating, enjoyable and a perfectly fun part of whatever the hell it is that passes for a normal sex life in these parlous times.

I do think there is enough evidence to suggest that the inescapability of porn is harming the brains and manners of young people, and that an activity that’s really designed for adult brains is injuring young ones.  I’m not going to try to ban it or bag at the people who make it.  I am going to say that we are, as a culture, participating in a large scale uncontrolled social experiment about the effects of porn, and I predict the long term results for the sexual health of a hefty percentage of Canadians is going to be really, really shitty.

Jeff, given that your contention that porn isn’t a problem for men’s sexual health, would you care to provide the evidence that supports this?

Gangs of roving yeshiva students

Well, it’s one way to get a divorce.

Paul and Katie are going to come get me to go …. stroller shopping.  That money the fOlks gave me for just such a purpose will now be used….

I am feeling much better today.  I have apparently been shortlisted for a job, and am just waiting to hear back. Coconut oil is a healing balm.

Also, I made cake!

god, libertarians suck

my response to two of them

 

You fellas are adorable.

When the first peoples came to Turtle Island, there was nobody to conquer. (Although the megafauna, were they still around and sentient, might object most strenuously to that categorization). They spread out, established territories, and sure, fought among themselves as people do when displaced by climate change and natural disaster, but they established collective lands and for the most part respected those lands with natural boundaries and traded like mad. (Although modern Haidas laugh and say that their name comes from the other tribes yelling Hide Us! when they saw those fricking war canoes….) The notion of federation was borrowed and improved upon (arguably, but not by me) and codified by the descendants of the people who kicked the Haudenosaunee off their lands by right of conquest. Except that they made treaties and broke them for convenience, for racism, in the name of the conqueror god, & for capitalism.

In the end the land will reclaim the settlers. Without collective care of the land we’re all going to die horribly as capitalism dirties and endangers every creature now alive. Private property rights are a wonderful idea, but they are unenforceable and serve crony capitalism by atomizing opposition. Those rights will be less and less enforceable as time goes by unless you bare your ass to whoever controls the legal (or otherwise) monopoly on the use of force.

When your government can rain death down on you unopposed from 20000 feet up if you annoy the people at the joysticks, I hope your spirited defense of property rights shields you and your children.

I belong to a collective of like minded people who are working our way back to food safety and security, as well as shared land. When I’m done I’ll be working less than 30 hours a week to feed myself and our animals, have the comfort and security of family and friends around me, I’ll have access to light and power and musical instruments, and private property rights will be ideological road kill on a highway long since grown over by bushes and weeds. Using scare tactics about shared land, rather than educating yourself about where it exists and where it is working (because you’re right about it not working, often, but do not really understand why, and shoot yourself in the foot by not seeing where it IS working), is in my view inertia masking fear. Private property is for people who already have something and are FRIGHTENED of losing it.

But like fiat currency, marriage traditions, organized religion and tailgate parties, private property is a social convention, not an absolute right, pace Bastiat and all of his heirs. My only absolute right is my person and the tools of my trade or trades, and they are not rights I may individually enforce. Everything else re property is a stake through the heart of my connectedness to other people, which can, and should trump my right to sit on any dunghill, be it shit or gold, and crow that I am wiser and better, for I have something to lose, and need never think of who died or was injured for me to acquire it. The concentration camp you threaten liberals with is in your own minds. Free yourselves, humans, with whom I share the immense and shameful legacy of conquest and genocide! You are looters and do not seem aware of it, do not seem equipped to even consider it as possible, and may not be able to admit that the violence of your scorn betrays the weakness of your position.

And of course I don’t expect to be on the side of any government, local or otherwise, at any point in the future, but I’ll leave the fighting and dying for land to others, and try merely to keep planting food and saving seed and tending those weaker than I. When I have finished shedding this crust of goods and have nothing but my instruments and seed bags, I will stop being a looter myself, at long last. A thing is what it is, and not something else, as a wise man once said.

oy – the crazy, it burns

Re a livejournal ‘friend’.

 

WTF?  Okay, so you’ve banned me from commenting, but why?  Either it’s because one of your friends breaks out in pustules at the very mention of my name, or because I said something to offend you personally… and of course I’m being given no opportunity to improve my behaviour.  I can’t help your friend, if that’s what the trigger was; she was craycray outta the gate.  Okay, crazy in this case is a slur…. how about absurdly sensitive, entitled, and broke my brain the day she told me that she’d ‘talked to her psychiatrist and HE diagnosed you as BPD’. Without ever seeing me.  Ya know I’m not driving to Seattle to see a psychiatrist that diagnoses people he hasn’t seen and discusses the results with other patients! woo hoo.

 

I’ve been all kinds of crazy, but I don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for BPD. Seasonal affective disorder, sure; OCD, very likely; ADD, probably; full on depression with suicidal ideation, been there, dun that, got NO urge to get back on that train and likely won’t; migraines (which affect mood), check; rather more narcissism that makes me comfy when I get back into a mode where I can examine it, sure, but hey, I’ve written 250 melodies and you haven’t –  so I get to be ‘all that’ in those things I’ve accomplished.  But all of this is manageable, especially with the form of cognitive behavioural therapy I prefer, the friends I have, the brother I live with and my worldview, which is, depending on the day,

It isn’t about me, unless it’s happening INSIDE ME.

The universe is neutral, people are not.

This too shall pass.

My mother loves me, and she would if I was an axe murderer.  Fortunately she didn’t raise me to be an axe murderer, so she doesn’t have to visit me in jail.

I am a worthwhile person, whose behaviour is sometimes thoughtless and shabby.

Life is a curved line.

You start helpless and peeing yourself and people take care of you.  You end helpless and peeing yourself and people take care of you. If you’re really lucky, you achieve bladder control somewhere in the middle and look after people who are helpless.

Virtually nothing that happens to you happens because you deserved it.  We’re all accidents, we all came to being on a razor edge of improbabilities. Honour the complexity, the scale and heft of your life – in spite of your accidental arrival.

 

Patricia and Damian get married.

My friend Patricia married her sweetie Damian last night on the rooftop of the Loden hotel.  The bride was radiant in a simple cream gown, the groom beaming with happiness, the weather was glorious, the bar was open (I drank two tiny glasses of champagne and three beers over 6 hours; by the time I got to Edmonds Station I was ), the om nom noms were choice (including a blowout of Levnichocolate.com, OMG, as the proprietor Paul Dincer was an attendee), and it was an Australian-Canadian dance-off with the best wedding DJ I’ve ever heard. Dude could sync beats like a shaman.  Folks from Melbourne sure know how to party!  And the dresses!  Damian’s sister was wearing the most brilliantly coloured and celebratory dress evah.  I got to sing the couple “The Happily Married Song” which I have sung for a number of couples now, (they asked me for the lyrics, w00t!) I danced like a fool, and the civil ceremony was so touching, and so mercifully brief, that those raised on Irish Catholic weddings were all “yes, this.”  Two families were blended in what I will recollect as being the most auspicious start to married life I’ve ever witnessed. Mazel tov!

I’ll be the only one who thinks it’s funny

Most of you reading this don’t have facebook, which is where I hang out much more than this blog these days.  Paul just put up that he’s In a Relationship with Janice Murray, and it’s complicated.  Oh yes.  My poor response to his relationship with Janice Murray is why our 24 year relationship went into the ground.  I’m not blaming Paul, he did what he had to at the time to maintain his autonomy, and that’s neither funny nor worth mocking.

No, what’s funny is that I immediately posted lol as a one word response, and that the minister immediately posted that she wanted to meet her.  THAT is going to make me chuckle every time I think of it for the next few weeks.  Somehow I can’t see Janice going for that, (I haven’t spoken civilly to Janice in four years or so…. and her marriage to Alan has also tracked its way into an oubliette …. point being I can’t know her mind, but I just can’t see her sitting still for meeting Paul’s minister no matter how I construe it) and she probably won’t have to as the minister is outtahere after the last weekend in June.  Then Rev Katie has to go through a year long period of non communication with her former parishioners, as per the unbelievably arcane and inhumane (but grounded in harsh experience) rules for ministry in the CUC/UUA.  There is even one more reason to find this post of Paul’s amusing, but since it involves conversations that are DNQ, I’ll have to keep my “It Gets Better” speech to myself.

Alash, it ish too bad.  Deer eats bird.

Things to be happy about

I am happy because I get to drive Jeff’s car for two days so he can ferry his friends to and from the ferry.  Cause my car has you know like four seats. My car, except for the verklimmt idle racing once in a while (up and down between 800 and 1200 rpm) is running tip top, and so smooth and quiet you’d never guess she’s coming up on her 15th birthday.

I am happy because I have a good job with awesome coworkers.

I am happy because Katie has painted a new painting and I gave her all my acrylic paint so she can do even more!

I am happy because when Jeff came home yesterday he gave me a big hug.

I am happy because I have a comfy cozy bed to sleep in, and when it’s raining like this that is a very good thing.

I am happy because I spoke to my mother on the phone for 40 minutes last night.  Not one instant of it was complaining about health problems, and so roll out the double happiness sigil.

I am happy because I thought of a title for something “The Chapel of Extremity” based on something by Brion Gysin and I wonder what it will end up attached too.  That’s the weird thing about creativity.  It’s holographic and you never know what the slice will reveal.

I am happy because when I went to get my computer fixed he said, “Three hundred dolla for fix, sixty dolla for new drive from London Drugs.  Why you no go London Drugs?” Which struck me as eminently sensible, and I will definitely go and spend money there some other time.

I am happy because even if I’m not sleeping more than six hours, it’s a solid six hours.

I am happy because Julian Assange is going to have a publicity field day while he sits in jail in England and wait for the extradition.

I am happy because now I have seen most of The Wire, I’m finding The Wire references everywhere in popular culture and I kill myself laughing every time I find one.

I am happy because Cate Blanchett is going to reprise her role as Galadriel.  And there is going to be a second Sherlock Holmes.

I am happy that Paul bought a new bed.  I wanted to make a silly joke about it, but I won’t.

I am happy that Keith is having good job interviews and hopes to be working full time soon.

I am happy that I am alive, and world is still singing in me.

quhat a day

Quhat being Scots dialect for What.

The night before I didn’t contact the volunteers.  I was SO anxious and phobic that I literally could not pick up the phone.  (Most of the time I’m not affected by anxiety to that extent but making phone calls is really hard for me, and I’m trying to work out why.)  I realized that I was a wreck and went to bed.  I got up at 4:30 am, picked out and edited the poem I read for the children’s story, printed it, edited the homily a couple of times more for clarity and accuracy and printed it, went through the undifferentiated piles of emails that are the complete mess that is cooperative ministry right now and found to my surprise that I did in fact know who all the volunteers were (amusingly, Paul was supposed to do set up this weekend but he left town… Luc covered him) and they were all sober and reliable people who of course all showed up.  So my list of cooperative ministry (the volunteers who bop about the church and make things happen on Sunday morning, from the extremely amazing Sally (aesthetics) to the extremely amazing Laura (coffee) was actually accurate!

I even put in all the announcements that Rev Katie emailed me, AND put in a different graphic for the front cover AND got the order of service printed all by about 7:30.  Then I packed everything up, had a shower, and realizing I had a WHOLE HOUR before I had to get to church, so I did the sensible thing and made Jeff waffles for brekky.

Saw Margot crawl into the garden plot and flatten herself to the ground to become ‘invisible’ waiting for the juncos to come back through the quinoa.  Sorry kiddo… you ARE NOT invisible.

Went to church under overcast skies – I was the first person there so there’s that great feeling of unlocking all the doors and turning on all the lights

It’s time to play the music

It’s time to light the lights

It’s time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight.

That kind of feeling, and then getting out the mats for the kids to sit on and helping set up the table for the altar and hauling out the podium and consulting with various folks, and watching as Sandy hauled out the enormous cart Tom made for the sound system. (Brief aside – we have hard of hearing folks in the congregation so we have a bunch of wireless headsets for amplification and all that stuff is in the cart, along with the board and the cabling etc etc.)  Then the greeter’s table is set up, and then parents come in to set up the kids (the older kids were off at a Catholic mass).  And just greeting people…. and then Tom and Peggy and Marnie show up, and music starts happening (12 string, stand up bass and piano).  Getting asked, once again, why it is I don’t consider ministry…. what am I supposed to say?  God told me not to?  I do not have a vocation, peeps!  When you get the call it’s unmistakable.  The only time I get a call that’s unmistakable it always ends badly, with me yelling “You freaking telemarketers, how did you get this number?!”  I’ll tell you why I’m not a minister…. because I read the behavioural standards that I would be expected to adhere to, like not sleeping with parishioners and ceasing to be nude in public on occasion and being somewhat less vivid and colloquial and vehement in my speech.  And don’t get me started on the drugs and alcohol stuff, it’s just unconscionable.  I’m also, not to put too fine a point on it, making the same amount of money as our current minister, who is 13 years out of school.  Ayuh.

Then it all started and it went very well.  I made the aside about being asked about which version of the Bible I was using for the verse and answering “Sheesh, Mom, what difference does it make to an atheist?” which got a huge laugh.  I have a lot of people to email the homily to.

I remember gazing at the congregation during the meditation and seeing Erin shifting her little one around trying to get her to latch, and passing my eye over all the mothers in the congregation and they (and a few of the men, truth be told) were all grinning.  They knew the feeling… after the service I went up to Erin with a mock look of distaste on my face and said, “Baby did NOT get memo about staying quiet during meditation!!!” and all the women clustered ’round her cracked up and chided me, and that’s when I told Erin how many people were smiling with their eyes closed as they heard the baby – I think she was pleased.

Delivering the homily and feeling comfortable enough to wander around the stage instead of staying glued to the podium like I have always done previously, remembering to look up often enough to connect with folks. It was easily the most attentive group evar….

Having all the handouts disappear. Anne in particular liked Carl Sagan’s baloney detection kit; somebody else, can’t remember who, saying that the little List of Cognitive Biases would make for an amazing conversation starter at Thanksgiving dinner.

Bringing strawberry twizzlers for snacks, and helping myself.

Talking, talking, to lots of people afterwards. Giving Carol a lift home in that magical fall sunshine that feels like summer filtered though dreams.

Blowing through the door like a hurricane and frying up the pork and onions for the stuffing, firing up the oven, stuffing the turkey, draping it with four pieces of thick cut bacon, jamming it in the oven, and ignoring it for about four hours. Katie calling to ask me if I’d forgotten anything and then showing up with cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie and whipped cream.  (She called ahead and offered!  I am not a failure as a parent! subtext).  I then hauled the bird out once and basted it and put it back in while Katie and I made veg.  Falling asleep on the upstairs sofa and awakening to see that Mike and Rozo had arrived, which triggered another round of Holy Crap, Must Feed People.

Final dinner arrangement;

Me Jeff Katie Mike Rozo:

Turkey with pork, onion, apple, brown bread, sage and garlic stuffing; hubbard squash drizzled with maple syrup, black pepper, garlic and allspice, boiled carrots, mashed potatoes, dripping gravy, green salad and dun tot (egg tarts from Anna’s Bakery OMG provided by Mike & Rozo) for dessert.

I came upstairs and both of the cats were on the dining room table.  Margot was inspecting the last of the gravy…. Eddie looked hideously guilty and was licking his chops rather inelegantly (his tongue was out an inch) but Katie couldn’t find anything missing.  Eddie’s expression made me howl with laughter.

I then bopped over to Planet Bachelor with Katie in tow (didn’t feel like going over there by myself) fed Kira who was most happy to see us, and then came back, watched some tube with the folks, and then announced around nine-thirty that I’d had a most excellent but also most lengthy day and I was going to have to say my goodnights.  Katie slept over and now I’m going to get up and make her a breakfast that will be awesome.

And that was my very long, very happy making, most excellently wonderful Turkey Day.

Today I plan to drink beer and wash clothes.  There IS nothing else on my to do list that I will do today.  Well, actually, if I want to keep things copacetic with Jeff I should clean the kitchen and run the dishwasher.  It’s pretty thick in there.

Oh, I lie.  After breakfast I have to run to the bank and get some money.  I think I may be buying a guitar today.

Heron Woman does it again. I do nothing for days and then explode into non stop action.  It is my way.

Grr-thwack

Zombie walk this aft.  Katie K and I will meetup at the Art Gallery and drag our shambling carcasses down the parade route.  I can haz corn syrup and food colouring, and clothes to sacrifice. Oh yes, there will be pix.

Church meeting earlier this afternoon.  I’m an invited guest rather than a regularly scheduled attendee; I suspect I am the Katelijne Adorne of my crowd, and happy I am that there is precisely one reader of this blog who will get the reference.

Leo is whomping up Finnish pancakes in the kitchen.  Lawsy me, and there’s BACOM tooooo. Linda indulged me by watching the most recent Futurama episode with us last night, of which much internet woo, and I have to say “The Prisoner of Benda” is one of the best episodes ever and it’s FULL OF MATH.

Tomorrow, hymn sing at Tom and Peggy’s (ever so much more fun than it sounds, my irreligious pals).  I’m thinking about going into work and doing some documentation, but I bet I turn lazy and stay home and watch depressing movies instead.  Leo and Linda will head out sometime Sunday.

It is my sad duty to report that Katie and Daxus are dating again.  Hence the title of the post. I am keeping my mouth shut (apart from giving Suzanne and my mother a heads’ up, and Paul and I had a brief and eyerolling confab yesterday) and hoping that a cooler head prevails.  It’s too bad that her staying away from him was a condition of tenancy.  As of the end of this month she’s homeless – you read me? – and only Paul is prepared to take her in, as Jeff and I -after a brief and dispassionate strategy session – do not wish to borrow more grief than is already our portion.

Did I say recently how much I love and appreciate Jeff?  He really is Made of Awesome.

The quinoa is as tall as me and four cobs of corn have set on.  I let the peas go to seed.