November 2004 is done

Picked up my new scrip for inderal yesterday.

Walked to Timmy Ho’s with Jeff. I should not be drinking coffee or eating sugar but hey it got us out of the house and I’m supposed to be walking 150 minutes a week minimum for health benefits.

Slept well. Still haven’t set up the CPAP again. Jeff suggests getting it adjusted.

Beautiful hot day. Pride today. Downtown will be a cluster.

I light candles for the dead, bereaved and injured of El Paso and Canton.

I really like a .38

It’s a .38 special for me, thanks.  Fits my hand and my accuracy is good.  Menfolks had fun too.  65 bucks poorer, I emerged.

Today I have a 30 year old child.  WITAF???

Dallas.  Black mens’ names.  Grief and rage.

This is what I’m doing about it.

  1.  Here is How To Make a Police Complaint in BC.
  2.  I (time will tell) gave money to BLM:Van
  3.  I am not forgetting that EVEN THOUGH Canada still has a ‘racial problem’ regarding black people, (most seriously in Toronto and Nova Scotia, but definitely elsewhere) first and foremost settlers have a FIRST NATIONS racial problem, and so I continue my anti-racism work around Land:Language:People which is my short form construction of the work that needs to happen for a more equitable and intelligent sharing of the land we call home with the peoples who lived here first. (The number of FN activists who want all settlers (‘whites’) gone is vanishingly small compared to those who want to kill the Indian Act, formalize their borders and do something about clean water, sound education and health care for their peoples.)
  4. My antiracism work is being quoted and passed around on social media.  I don’t even care if it’s attributed to me if it helps push the peanut.
  5. I am calling out famous white people on social media when they say something racist, while owning my involvement/complicity with racial systems and institutions. One finger points forward, the other three point back.
  6. I’m leaving racist family members out of this work.  It’s mostly for me, and other people who want to pry the lid off their unwitting selves.  I make no excuses and I take comfort in what POC activists have said to me on the subject of having racist relatives. Intersectionality has many dead ends.
  7. I don’t drag my poor dead ex-husband to any street parties hoping for anti-racism cookies.  It’s just a variant of the “some of my best friends…” argument and did I mention he’s dead? Since he can’t defend himself or me, I’ll leave him in the peace of his grave, and spare his bereaved family the notion that some white clownbag married to one of their relatives 30 odd years ago is trying to score points from prior association with him. This will be the last time I mention him in this context, since I prefer to think of him listening to art rock and writing poetry and being settled in a chair with cats draped all over him and making wry comments, than sighing heavily while delivering Negroes 101, as he was forced to do many times during our brief (2 year) marriage.

Laundry and Season 5

I’m reading Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, which weighs in at a hefty 800 pages, so I’m taking it slow and marking up my mother’s copy (with her permission). He argues that human society is less violent overall than it used to be and the Enlightenment (including novels, woo hoo and yes I’m truncating one tiny part of his overall argument scandalously) is largely the root cause of the drop in the death rate due to violence (current outbreaks of horror notwithstanding).

I’m finding it very persuasive, learning a great deal, and it’s filling me with lots of thinky thoughts.

There are those who argue that he’s full of it (including a really head scratching review by John Gray in Prospect which includes having at the argument by mocking Pinker’s excessive use of statistics, which I find an appalling thing for a public intellectual to do, but whatever.)

I liken the inability to see the drop in violence (how many people per 100000 die due to murder and intra and interstate violence, which has dropped substantially since 1800) to what’s going on with alcohol consumption. There is still lots of alcohol being sold, lots of alcohol being consumed and lots of alcohol involved in premature death. But there’s less drinking and driving causing death than there was when I was a kid, because behaviours have changed, and children learn not to drink and drive as part of their education.

Alcohol, like violence, is still here and there’s still too much of it, but education and opprobrium continue to work their harm reducing wiles.

 

Also, the quality drop from Season 4 to Season 5 in The West Wing is like being flung from a cliff.

Also, I did 5 loads of laundry yesterday including the kitchen rugs, ran the dishwasher and swept the kitchen floor, which really needed it.

MR2 is still in the Krankenhaus waiting for parts.  He is leaking coolant.

No words yesterday but I’m comfortable with that.

Yay, it’s an Alexander day!

Alex will be at church with Katie, or so it was arranged and I piously hope will come to pass.  I do coffee today so it’s even money whether or not I get to be upstairs for the homily portion.  Sue is taking me in early and I’ll do an inventory and see if there’s enough of whatnot for coffee etc., then cross the street and pick it up.  Happy daze.  Should be a good homily though. Marilyn asked me to do another homily for January 4 – one of the worst attended days of the year – so I’m going to do what I can to boost the numbers.  If you’re reading this, why not come to church that day!!??

THE GREAT YULETIDE COOKIEPALOOZA happens next Friday.  It will turn into a filk.  A messy messy housefilk, with crumbs and greasy thumbprints on the music.  Yes, indeed.  Thanks to Tom and Peggy for hosting.  We will also have the AMERICAN CONTINGENT, being the uber crafty Jeri-Lynn and the suavely geeky Jeff.  Who are just so awesome.  Cindy and possibly others will attend also.

It’s raining.  After yesterday’s glorious sun (which I got to walk around in, thanks to Paul not understanding that the Brighton Costco parking lot at 11 am is the worst fucking place in the known universe and how long precisely has he been living in Burnaby grumble grumble, but no harm done).  I drove through the parking lot and then drove back to Planet Bachelor and walked home from there, accompanied by Keith who just felt like continuing the conversation, which was pleasant, and made the walk back go in an eyeblink.  I needed the exercise.  I really wanted to pick some stuff up at Costco because there’s some bread there I can’t find anywhere else plus cheap butter and you know, baking, but perhaps I can borrer the car.  Apart from the walk and the abortive Costco trip I basically stayed in bed crying all day, but I’m feeling much better now.  Tammy is coming in December! Conflikt 8 (I can scarcely credit it…) is coming! And I still haven’t registered or figured out how I am getting there.  If I’m staying extra long I may need to like, bus it.  Bleaaugh.

I love my mOm and pOp.  mOm provided the correct stream of unfiltered bubbliness (occasionally going off mike to inform pOp of my responses) to assist with my bad case of the Marthambles – why, she’s better than a dose of Dr. Tufts finest elixir.

Still no cat.  I suspect what has happened is that the daughter has flung herself on the ground and pleaded her mom not to let Autumn go and the mom has been too embarrassed to tell Jeff she’s changed her mind, but perhaps Jeff is right and it’s just taking longer than expected.  Sometimes I think this culture is so indulgent to its children because these are the last good days and everybody’s trying to make them seem extra special.

I removed an incredible amount of hair surplus to requirements from Margot yesterday.  She was not amused.

Day five of Vitamin D, Vitamin C, B6, probiotics and MSM.  I am definitely feeling less achey, except for my hands, which is making me not want to play my Otto.

Jeff’s playing computer games on line with somebody, I assume Andrew – I can hear him talking to somebody on the headset.  “I think we just combined to kill one of our own tanks!” is the latest.

With sadness, I have cancelled the piano lessons.  He wasn’t listening to my course corrections and I’m not paying a man $35 bucks an hour to ignore me when I can have it for free any time I want on the internet.

My most recent painting is an unmitigated disaster.  I am going to paint over it.  I got the colours right but the design has much suckage – I think I’ll paint over it as a zombie heart.

Now to make a chocolate cake for church and figure out what I am going to wear.  And I have to remember to take a tape measure, for I mean to measure some crania, I do, I do, for future hatmaking endeavours.  Hats and spats. Cravats with cats. Fingerless gloves and pleather utility belts. I have to figure out how to make a living, and since there seems to be an inexhaustible interest in the steampunk aesthetic, I shall pursue that hobby for a while.

 

Sad news from Detroit

A man left a loaded rifle under his bed, and his four year old granddaughter found it and shot and killed a four year old boy, her cousin.

I’m sorry for all the close relatives and that little child most of all.

Leaving a loaded gun on the floor with children present is criminal negligence and the man responsible will have to live with being personally responsible for the death of his kin for the rest of his life. Having a loaded gun in a neighborhood with 1 – 2 hour police response times is not criminal negligence. Poor people don’t often get to choose where they live.

If the NRA was running kickstarters to buy gun safety equipment for poor people I’d believe their responsible gun ownership bs. As it is they have a constituency – the gun manufacturers – whom they serve with every bit of suction they can muster.

another, another no show, and Peter O’Toole’s dead.

I am feeling rather wretched about that, but it is what it is.  Two other simply lovely things (okay, interesting and fun things) happened today.

The first was the Christmas pageant, which was stupendous (I Augustus Caesar will tax you because I want all the money / we will now take the morning offering) and hilarious (the Christ Child was BLACK suck it haters!) and exceedingly participatory.

The second was me and Keith and Katie and Rob going to the shooting range and blowing holes in shit until we all felt better.  It was expensive and noisy and worth every penny.  Watching Katie fire a gun for the first time was AWESOMES, since one awesome isn’t enough.  And thank you pOp for subsidizing it!  I have pictures, which I will share privately.

I tried firing the 9mm but my shoulder said many many rude swearz so I stuck with firing about 3 mags worth of .22.  I was not unhappy with my accuracy.  My accuracy with the .38 sucked, so I have to assume that heavier firearms aren’t going to cut it until my arm is a lot stronger.  I call that motivation.

Peter O’Toole died in London today.

Jeff and I are both crabby, but I still cooked him pork stroganoff for dinner, and he still liked it, so we aren’t being crabby with each other.

 

 

No show

Oh my screaming g’s the Detroit Philly game. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Six inches of snow on the camera crew and half the football disappears when you put it down. When the player rooted double handsful of snow out of his face mask I howled.

Furnace is broken, internet is spotty.  Working right now, but who knows later.  It’s been like this for days now.

We’re at the end of Season 4 for Burn Notice and Jeff has declared a short moratorium.  That’s okay, because I’m currently thrilling to the amazing dress sense of the lovely Phryne Fisher of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  It’s very much in the Foyle’s War category of murder mysteries, except Australian and Phryne is a SLUTTTT! A cheerful, unapologetic and unambiguous one (but sex scenes are strictly decorous and mostly off screen).  She drives a Hispano Suiza! She has a gold plated pistol, which never seems to have any ammo! She is awesome.  So until I get Michael Westen back, probably about a week from now, I’ll have to watch Farscape and Miss Fisher instead.

Person to see the shop yesterday didn’t show.  Somebody else called, I’m showing it Tuesday.

David Simon (of the Wire) talkin”bout capitalizm.

I am thinking of going to the shooting range the next time Keith and Rob go.

I know I spend a lot of time whining, but I am really happy to be alive, and I’m writing and practicing every day, and there’s food in the fridge, and my friends love me, and my cat is cheerfully indifferent to me unless I’m crinkling packaging.

Eddie is feeling a bit better – his appetite has returned – but he’s now hiding in Jeff’s bathroom cupboard a good chunk of the time.

I have half completed my first of two new homilies (March 9 and May 11, or perhaps the other way around) and intend to have a completed draft of the first by the end of the week. mOm I should have a bit off to you shortly.

The Alberta government has tabled legislation that will prevent public sector union employees from even TALKING about striking.  What unutterable bullshit! My prairie populist ancestors are whirling in their graves like a rotisserie set on stun.

Yay, Natalie Reed is blogging again. She is a queer trans blogger living in Vancouver and she can write like a m*****-******* riot.

The Sargeant Sees It Through – achievement unlocked

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD.  The squee, the flailing choruses of muppetry meeping, oh lord lord lordy lord.

Even if my dad wasn’t in this, I would have loved it.  It is a testament to how awesome and really, really Caucasian Saskatoon was in the 50’s.  It’s an example of what a good cop looks like (Sargeant Nordstrum, hisself, and a profile that would make Liam Neeson skulk away).  It was a lovely dip into a completely different aesthetic.  Women (what few of them there are in this land of order and harmony) are wearing such delightful fitted frocks, and the boys are all wearing striped shirts.  The suits all look sort of shiny.

I could go on at length about my father’s appearance and demeanour in the film, but as he enjoys his modesty and is unhappy when some foolish or misguided person attempts to wrest it away from him, I will drop a curtain over that and review the technical excellences and cultural tropes which adorn this gem among sponsored films.  For of course it was an ammo manufacturer who supported the work of the club and the making of the movie.

In brief, me dad played a street tough’s associate who went from shooting out streetlights to taking minutes for a gun club and learning how to shoot properly under the supervision of a policeman.  In the meantime there are yummy period cars, perfect little square houses, an open rack of guns at the hardware store (owner just reaches back and hands the cop a gun – no locks, no nuttin honey), a simply amazing scene which looks for all the world like the cop is pulling a toddler on a tricycle over and then letting the kid off with a warning, the cop being shown as mostly walking from place to place although he does get in the cruiser too, the description of what steps he had to take to get a gun club for boys set up (it’s actually advertised as such – no gurlz), including getting the mayor on board, and buttering up the press, and getting freebies from the ammo company, and donations from local businessmen, and then like an idiot he leaves actually asking the boys if they will puhlease come out to the gun club to the very last.  Ooowiee.  Tension ensues.  (The music at this point is trying to beat itself into a state of enthusiasm, with mixed results).

And it all comes out nicely in the end.  Isn’t that lovely?  Oh, how I wish those days of yore, when so many complicated social situations had yet to arise, were still extant.

A row of candles

I light a row of candles for the parents, friends, coworkers and relatives of all those slain in CT yesterday.  Tragic news.  Here’s Ebert on the subject – almost 10 years before it happened.

Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”

In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.

Another great day

I am hoping today will be another day when I deal with a years old to do item.  I am not 100 percent sure why I am feeling so much more like taking care of business, but I am not going to ignore it… I has schtuff to do!!! Starting with taking Jeff to brekky.

I will be writing Canadian forces personnel in Afghanistan for Christmas this year.  I’m thinking of it in terms of being a UU challenge to myself.  I’ve already written one to an anonymous service woman in the US, now I need to do one or several for Canada.

All y’all have a nice day, now.

Nuff said

I watched the helicopter video of the assault on the Oakland OWS folks Gas.  Un fracking believable.  And oh look.  http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2011/10/26/oakland-police-love-kittens-teargas/

So instead of showing the veteran who was injured by the assault by the police on peaceful protesters, they show an Oakland cop petting a kitten.  If you see the video, you will be amazed and appalled.

Not impressed, Mister Mass Media.  Not one whit.