not a lot of money, but a really good day anyway

Katie is increasingly stoked about her camping trip.  Wish I could say where but we don’t want uninvited guests now do we…


We experimented with a new soup recipe and it’s so simple and so tasty Katie and I are both doing the Snoopy happy dance.  We can haz cheezy broccoli soup!

It’s raining, and we don’t mind.  Only one more hour to go, and then I pick up Ziva (again) and we go to Costco (our home away from home) and then… ep 4 Band of Brothers with Jeff, since we are rewatching it.  SUCH A GOOD SHOW.

Gotye’s Heart’s a  Mess is playing on the shop sound system.

Yeah, so not so much revenue, but a good day anyway.  Regulars came by, newbies came by, I got my CRA letter off to the post box, all the fridges are behaving, I organized a bunch of receipts, wrote down the new recipe… and Katie’s crush forked over his phone number.  I can now let my breath out after a month.

I light a candle for a close family friend who just lost a baby.  I sucked in my breath when I heard she was expecting… she’s multi-risk.  And now she knows why women don’t announce pregnancies until they quicken.  It’s horrible, it’s sad, it’s completely messed up, and it is life in it’s glorypain.  She and her husband are going to lie low for a couple of days.  Hell of a thing to happen on Mother’s Day, god help us all.



Katie is here

Baking up a storm of maple bacon muffins, some of which will accompany to her foodsafe 2 class today.

Keith is going to the grands this weekend, and he will have biscotti in tow if the gods are kind.

Today I am ENDURING THE HORRAH of completing my first tax documents for the church. I will be glad when this term is over, despite all I have learned.

It is astonishingly windy – the recycling bin keeps leaping up and trying to make a run for it down the porch stairs.  The cats really don’t like it the noise.

Jeff says Margot had some kind of fit the other day.  Her eyes were open but she was impossible to rouse.  Then she perked up and was completely normal or as normalz as that crazy little fur machine ever gets.  Obviously I am mildly concerned but when cats are eating and drinking as per normal it’s hard to stay that way.

mOm, you will be amused to hear that Katie just came up behind me and said “can you read that in the dark?” and turned the lamp on.

Long and amusing phone call with Chipper yesterday.  She’s in much better spirits – her wordplay and sense of proportion have been somewhat restored – and she has been the biggest booster of the plan for the cafe.

I suppose I should pick up the phone and apologize to Carrie for our unfortunate text exchange, but I am still a little mad about it and if I am still resentful an apology will just make things worse.

Saw Mambo Kings the other day. I enjoyed the musical numbers and costume design a lot, and Antonio Banderas is a wriggling sack of puppies cute.

Lots of people asked me for the lyrics to my Beacon bday tune, so I am happy about that.

Receipting for tax time for donors at the church is done…. I will also be stuffing envelopes today.

And laundry.  I thought I was all caught up but the laundry basket is telling me different.


Big News, small news, glad news, sad news

I put a deposit down on the cafe yesterday.  So begins an enterprise.

Expert, schmexpert.

The only thing I don’t understand about the rogue LAPD cop Christopher Dorner is not why he hasn’t been caught – he will be, and I cheerfully predict that he’ll go quietly and not die in a hail of gunfire – it’s why nobody’s bought the domain name yet.

My fellow board member Audrey has lost her mother.  She was well into her nineties.  Blind Lemming Chiffon, when we had dinner at Conflikt, said that until you’ve lost a parent you can’t understand what it’s like.  That was also the same supper where he gave me the Ebay overview on what allows him to sell like a master, and where he recommended Searching for Sugar Man, one of the best and most astonishing music documentaries I have ever seen.

Jeff is having pie for breakfast.  He’s a rebel.

I was thinking (as I had another crying bout thinking about John last night) about loss.  I thought, “Ah, so selfish.  It is not my love for him that hurts me.  I will have that forever; I can’t stop loving him just because he’s dead.  I’m sad because he loved me, and he’ll never stop me from falling off a mountain, or give me a lift on his motorcycle, or make me laugh, or sing with me, or feed me or lift my spirits or be a familiar face in a crowd of strangers ever again.  And that is why I am sad.  Not because someone I love died.  It’s because someone who loved me died.”

I saw both of the kids yesterday, yay, and fed Rob and Keith as well as Jeff.  I made pork schnitzel, taters, broccoli and carrots, and there was a tablecloth and pie and two kinds of ice cream, so it was rather festive, even without beer.  I’ve gone off beer again.  There is a medical condition which I’m too polite to whine about in public which improves by about 30% when I don’t drink beer, and it definitely hurts the insomnia when I drink beer.  I just love beer and wish it wasn’t so mean to me.

It’s a fine axemurderer’s fog out there this morning.

Obviously I have a lot of work to do before Katie calls me for our trek up to City Hall, so I’ll get to it.

What the Grand Joculator brings us

1.  Jeff says he’s paying too much money for rent.  In Vancouver that is not true but he sure could pay less rent elsewhere in the province, someplace on the Island for example.  He says he’s going to give me plenty of notice so I am very relaxed about this.  Not having in house tech support would just about kill me, as would giving up the flat screen and cable and the PVR, but life is full of interesting times and changes.  It definitely means I might end up with a different roommate though, and that raises the specter of a whole other series of maddening things; Jeff is/was the best roommate evar, as I believe I have stated a number of times.  I can see his point though and we all have to take care of our own needs.

2.  The new Galapagos BBC 3D documentary from David Attenborough is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING.  Highly highly recommended.  Don’t forget to watch the “making of” too.

3.  Signed off on my taxes for the last 4 years.  I should get a large amount of money back, but of course the feds will have to look at the returns before that happens.  I remain sanguine.

4.  Job hunting is interesting.  I got a lead from my network of contacts, and it is wonderful that it happened BEFORE I started instituting the new job search parameters (working the network).

5.  South Fraser Unitarian Congregation may get me as a speaker for Easter.  I’d whip out my previously provided Jesus service.  We shall see; I have not yet received a response.

6.  The sun is out, and I walked around in it, and of course the world seems like a better place.

7.  (link removed for safety) This.  Oh, this.

8.  I came up with a really cool idea for a science fiction story and forgot to write it down.  It has something to do with old people and robots, and damn I’m mad – I have a pad downstairs for all the ideas I get while I’m watching tv and there are tons of them so far.  Why, o why, blarp blergle.  I could have just written it down.  That’s what pen and paper FOR, SILLY APE.

9.  Did I mention I am on the waitlist for the Translink busker program?  If I’m still not working, I may do that to raise cash.

10.  I’m going to have some of the roasted squash and roasted garlic soup for lunch and then back to the job hunt.

11.  I’ve been sleeping downstairs and completely NOT HAVING ANY SCREENS in my sleeping room.  As a consequence my back is much better.

12.  WOWZERS.  Great news for deaf people.

an unusual discovery

Jeff was looking at the drives pOp gave him and there are slide shows.  Oh, yeah.  Here’s the best out of the lot.

Bean with bacon soup is simmering on the stove; I don’t have to cook any more today, yay, as there is lots in the fridge to eat and the soup will be ready by noon.

Snow has fallen – it was hailing earlier.

Jeff’s watching feetsball on the PVR and I’m trying to get my exciting song about bears recorded in some fashion.  I hear people scraping off cars.  I am amused.  I will salt the walkway now, it’s the fiendly thing to do.



wandering across the internet

kid says boo to famous horror heavies.

Cyclone Sandy is going to smash into the east coast and screw up the American election.  All the forecasters say it’s going to be worse than Irene, which made a mess of large swathes of the east coast and actually closed the NY Subway.  It’s supposed to be a century storm.  I’m really glad I wasn’t vacationing in the Dominican Republic this year.

The only time the forecasters have been this hopped up on anxiety was just prior to Katrina.

Butter chicken and rice pudding for dinner last night, but Jeff went to bed before I could put rice pudding in front of him.  Unfortunately it isn’t as pudding-y as the last one, which he very much enjoyed.

Bizzy day

I have to go down to the church and pick up the banner and literature for New West Pride.  It’s going to be so Nixonianly hot today I might as well pre melt myself and pour myself in Margot’s water dish.  Then I get to come home, lie down in front of the ac for a couple of hours, and in the evening get up and go (it’s in Burnaby, thankfully) to see Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps.  Morosely hoping there’s ac at the concert site.

And I don’t want to do any of it as the heat is making me wretched. I am also suffering the consequences of having worn pantyhose and heels for the first time in three months yesterday.  What ties a fool to his body?  A promise.  And lest anybody be upset, it’s a Dunnett quote.  It was CRUSHINGLY hot in here last night and the ac ran all night, which is just ludicrous for this part of the world.

This morning Margot came into my room and jumped on my bed, and at one point even sat on my pillow. She hasn’t done that since she was a kitten.  It turns out she was trying to get me to let Eddie in for his breakfast, at which point she joined him.  I wish she’d vocalize, it would make it easier.

Lists of lists


Heaps of Stargate Atlantis, but also talking to the outplacementthingy and the HR gal at Schneider as it turns out I had NOT actually signed everything I was s’posed to, booking appointments, paying bills, getting programs to run properly with the new OS, hanging out with Keith and calling my mother.  Cause you cain’t call yer mother enuf.  I did not actually leave the house yesterday.  But I made cookies.  And cooked chicken and zucchini with black bean sauce over yakisoba noodles (Keith provided the sauce and noodles, I believe to nudge me to make something) and we had leftovers so that’s one less thing to disturb me today.


Gotta get Buzz set up properly and restrung.  Also buy more instrument stands, hopefully one of those threeway bluegrass ones for three different sized instruments.  Also I am tired of my tuner; I am going to get contact tuners because balancing that black box in my lap while trying to keep fretted instruments from sounding like the wailing of the damned is TOO DAMNED MUCH.  See how low my frustration tolerance is these days?  Ha.

The Grass.  This is exactly the kind of weather that makes grass tall, lush, and impossible to cut.  Lots of overcast and rain off and on with the occasional blinding sunshine.  Very, very occasional.  If it dries out the least bit I gotta do it before it attempts to eat east Burnaby.

Checking with Kathleen that we’ve paid the church rent and figuring out how much it is (it changes from month to month) if we haven’t yet for May. Also getting hold of Lady Miss D for an interview about what it’s like to bake / construct hors d’oevres for a living.  I will probably bake biscotti, it’s such a crappy day, heating up the kitchen with nice smells seems like a plan. I already made Granny’s recipe oatmeal cookies mit chocolate chips this morning for Jeff (I can’t eat them because le migraine keeps whacking me.  I’ve had scintillating scotoma every day for a week now… it’s fraking tiresome although late last week I got visuals I’ve never seen before; imagine rainbow coloured fish scales about two inches across at arms length dancing across your ENTIRE visual field – and it disappeared as fast as it came on thank goodness). I’ve also loaded the dishwasher, taken out the trash and played with Margot, who did not actually come in and cuddle this morning, darn. Her eyes are much less disgusting, the allergies must be lightening up somewhat.

Completely dejunking my head, a la Getting things Done.  I have a program (Thinking Rock) that helps with that.  Considering how many balls I’m going to have in the air for the next little while I need to marshall my time intelligently.

Deal with the exercise issue.  I’m completely on board with Lady Miss Banjola’s recent extremely useful and heartfelt rant about weight loss; what I am not on board with is actually stirring my stumps and getting enough exercise to overcome the fact that my weight is stressing my whole body.  IT AIN’T THE MASS IT’S THE MOTION.  Ahem. As in, the lack of it.

Booking the camping trip in the US in August.  Planning a circuit of the Island.  I have a strong urge to drive onto a ferry and go to Haida Gwaii, and precious little to stop me.

Just last week I was saying how I wasn’t going to go to Jericho any more because it’s so far on a school night.  Now I’m thinking I can do it every week for the whole summer!  Woot! So that may be my evening.

And soon the Dandy Warhols.

I have had precisely four beers since I ‘quit drinking’. What I have learned.  Alcohol makes me happy for about five minutes.  Then it irritates my bladder, fogs my thinking, prevents me from driving or leaving the house, screws up my nights’ sleep, makes my stomach hurt and gives me a mild to moderate feeling of wretched blankness the next morning which coffee can usually shake off.  So for the purposes of keeping tracking June 4 is now my official quit drinking date.  Unless it would be rude not to (a wake, toasting the bride and groom) I’m not going to consume alcohol any more.  Nothing bad has happened in its absence except I’m spending a sizable amount less (like, 200 dollars a month, which is not an inconsiderable amount).


Board meeting and other stuff

So I’ll be having lunch or dinner with Carol and Sue sometime after mid February regarding the transition to becoming Secretary for the church.  I think Carol is very relieved to be going off the board – Karen is too.  Everybody is so busy and tired but the meetings are very cheerful and energizing and sometimes quite passionate without ever becoming disrespectful or heated.  It’s at  the Board Meetings I really feel like I’m living my U*U values…. the whole “Step up instead of back” and “Respect for oneself, respect for others” stuff that’s very hard to learn unless you have ongoing, important and committed EXAMPLES in front of you.


The weather continues glorious.  As does my mood.  Even if – one of my star performers at work is probably going to find another position within the company which will be insane making for me especially if, as I see likely, they will tell me that there won’t be a replacement.

The cats have decided to only come near me if I’m feeding them or on the can.  Eddie always looks at me like “Why can’t you use a cat box like a normal person”.

I want to slap everybody in Finance, with about three exceptions, until they cry.  Shows you that my U*U principles can’t stand the strain of crossing the threshold at Doc Oc’s Lab here.  But we must bring our light out into the world, until somebody steals the damned thing.  And when my light gets stolen, I get PISSED.

I am settled into my room at the Double Tree Worthington

Cindy will arrive shortly and go straight to sleep in my room. I will find something to do with myself while she kips and waits for her room to be ready – I am thinking I might like to go look at the enslaved animals, if only in remembrance of the other Ohio animals who didn’t make it.  Besides, they have bonobos, and I ain’t never seen any.  Or I could wander down to the “German Village” room (!?) and see if anybody is filking yet.  Or maybe I’ll say fuck it and go to Macy’s.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Starbucks coffee is nauseatingly bad.  They may be proud to serve it but I’m a fool to drink it.

Gadhafi’s STILL dead, sic semper tyrannis.

So far, except for the coffee, I am loving this hotel.  The staff are really, really professional, friendly and courteous.  Room was supposed to be non-smoking, when I bleated they fixed it without a hiccup.

Weather’s like Vancouver, but windy.

I got selected for ‘special screening’ yesterday.  O goody.  I also got yelled at by every single one of the ‘security theatre’ staff, to the point that I would say “Please don’t yell at me,” not that it helped.  Note to self – travel in slip-ons next time.

“Miles Vorkosigan’s” filk of Lady Miss Banjola’s “Wreck of the Crash” MUST GET LYRICS and sing for my pOp.

It’s about the legal repercussions of losing your hotel room key, and it, like the song it’s based on is bloody hilarious.  YES there was filking last night and it was still going on when I went to bed at midnight local time.

Monday linky-lous

This is wonderful– a list of unlikely meetings.

Take your granny to the mall today. Remember, when it gets hot, you can prevent deaths by banging on the doors of your elderly neighbours and making sure they stay hydrated and cool.

Nancy the sheepherding …… chihuahua?

In keeping with the “Fuck, it’s hot” theme, today is the anniversary of the first day napalm was used on human beings.

This speech aligns well with my thinking about filk.

Jeff and I had a conversation about this the other day and thankfully he pulled the quote for me.

YAY!!!!! Google applies Boots of Buttkicking to Malware’s ass.

Jeff and I watched Dawkins on Darwin. Man, there are a lot of stupid people in the world.  I’m still having a hard time understanding exactly how people can tie themselves in the cognitive knots required to deny evolution.

Why I think Jeff is a genius

Jeff’s tenancy with me has consisted in part of him going away and thinking for a spell when I say things like “Why can’t we have the internet on the big screen?” and “We have to many fucking remotes; when you go out of town I can’t even reliably turn the TV on; can you fix that?” mostly to prevent himself from saying something mean to me about how I’m too dumb to understand the two page instruction set he laboriously wrote, AND updated at least twice.  Jeff produces good documentation and I am dumb as a brick; these two facts are incontrovertable.  With respect to the “Why can’t we have the internet on the big screen?” question he had to do a ton of stuff and set up another computer to make it happen.  SO I get to go skipping through life asking why things don’t happen to my liking and he gets to spend hours of challenging labour AND money making it happen.  I don’t know which is worse, that I keep thinking I can get away with it, or that he just quietly goes away and does it without presenting me with an itemized bill.  On the other hand, I do cook around here.

His latest act of genius has been to bow to the inevitable.  I am indeed TOO STUPID to handle more than one remote, but universal remotes almost universally suck.  After lengthy study of the problem, he purchased a universal remote and then spent a goodly number of hours programming it to withstand the depredations not only of myself but of my son, who can be a complete ass when borrowing media.  Sorry son, it’s true.  Of course if you get hit by a car I’m going to regret this, just like I regretted my daily description of cleaning John’s apartment when he moved out immediately after he got killed in an accident, but I don’t go back and oubliette that shit because that’s just lame.  I would rather be complicated, messy and inconsistent, because, er, that’s how I am….  But the truth keeps on being the truth even when you could have picked a better moment for the reveal.

Jeff has not only programmed the remote so I can do whatever I want to do with the tv and the Xbox and the monitor, he’s SET THE AVERAGE AUDIO LEVELS.  So if you’re going back and forth between media you don’t get blown out of your seat if you land in the middle of a tv commercial.  That, friends, is true genius.  And he’s always finding new ways to tweak the remote.  Go tech!

Today is Mother’s Day.  I’m opening at church (and if I’m not, I’ll help….) and then assisting with a Mother’s Day tea.  I decided I couldn’t deal with making soup so I baked a whole salmon and made cinnamon buns.  Jeff doesn’t know I plan on making more, but I do; it’s mean to fill the house with the supercharged smell of home baking and then say oops, you can’t have any.  (Actually I let him eat a couple: “I have good news and bad news.  These are the best cinnamon buns I ever made, and the rest are going to church.”)

Yesterday I did laundry and played Buzz ALL DAY.  I do not play Buzz every day, but I had four separate guitar playing sessions yesterday and I LOVE HOW THAT GUITAR SOUNDS OMG OMNOMNOM.  Also yesterday watched chunks of Canucks game and laughed at Margot for watching Nascar again.  She really likes Darlington, and why not.  My shopping trip yesterday consisted of propane and guitar strings, because the g string ALWAYS breaks on a 12 string; I bought two whole sets and spares.  I talked to Neil Douglas about effects pedals and he laughed and asked me why I’d bother.  I s’pose.

I managed to cut the grass last weekend but I have no fucking clue when I’ll get to do it again because the sky continues to dump precip at an unholy and quite soggy-making rate.

After church, the Horde will descend and I am hoping to barbecue some MORE salmon.

Did I mention that I think my brother is a genius?

Sundry and various

Call centers in Indian jails, this should work out well.

One Life to Live and All My Children will be cancelled. And replaced by a celebrity cooking show.  Hey women and shift workers!  Stay home and get fat, it’s not like you do any good to our advertisers otherwise.

Why would narrowed neck circulation have anything to do with MS?  But apparently it does.

Get your hands off that peen, or, what eXACTly are you testing for?  BC cancels controversial test of young offenders which involves handling young men’s junk.

If you’re a cop and get involved with drugs… you can collect two paychecks!  Mind you you’re not reporting the second one, but o well.  Woot!

Teachers in BC get a say over class size and composition. This is very good news for BC kids and parents, not to mention the teachers.  If you’ve ever taught a kindergarten class which is 1/3 ESL and has two special needs kids and is 30 students (not making this up, I have a friend who was in this spot) you’ll know what I mean.  Just getting them to line up for the can is a challenge!

I don’t get it. Can somebody explain to me why this is funny?

I’m impressed!  Ba-dum kish!

Katie’s only been here two nights and already I am fidgetty.  9 pm last night she leaves, says she’ll be back late, doesn’t show, doesn’t text.  Is she in a ditch? Did she crash at Kashka’s? Is she where she probably is?  And why’n fuck do I care? (Apart from how, every time she doesn’t come home, I have to rehearse what I’ll say to the cops if they come to my door?)

I blearily and wearily looked out my back door this morning, and thought, “Spring and Vancouver… no longer BFFs?”  There’s like half an inch of hoarfrost on things.  I knew at the end of March we’d get more snow because I could smell it.  Sounds stupid, but it’s true.  Now I can’t smell the end of it.  Snow tires will remain on car until further notice.

The move at work is getting closer.  Sure would like to know when we’re getting training on the new phone system and how it interacts with the call center software, but I’ve been assured there will be training.

Our CEO is leaving, and our new CEO is younger and French.  Rumour has it he’s moving to Vancouver.  I’ve met him the once, and apart from observing that he has a George Hamilton grade tan and a sense of humour, I have no comment.

The cats have been extremely rangy.  Margot in particular has been up in Eddie’s grill.  Eddie came for a nice long hug last night.

I played Buzz for about half an hour last night.  He’s going to be my bed time snack.  He’s so quiet when unplugged, but he sounds great.  I was thinking of dragging the amp into my bedroom, and just said screw it and brought Buzz in.

I can hear Margot laboriously licking herself on the basement stairs.