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.


Final count is just under a thousand words for yesterday.  I got myself set up for today’s big scene.

I’ll just leave this here for mOm.  Permanent reference – glow in the dark fingering weight yarn.  Tom Smith of filking fame posted it to facebook and crafters were immediately hauling out their alien fairisle patterns.  I think it would make great babywear, but what do I know, I don’t craft except once in a very long while and never with particular succes.

Keith was supposed to come by yesterday and never did.  I publicly express disappointment.

Hot as balls, weatherwise.  I’m quoting my cousin.

Bingewatch of S1 West Wing continues.

Round up

Now that is a very nice use of the gif format.

I haven’t seen Alexander yet.  Katie called yesterday and she’ll call me when she’s ready to receive visitors at home.

This infographic on prayer made me alternately very uncomfortable and amused.  As an atheist, I can’t separate prayer from ‘wishing so hard that you’re practically grunting so that an imaginary being of its infinite kindness rearranges causality and the laws of physics for your personal benefit’.  As a church lady, I have to say I understand the benefit of GROUP prayer, which is a form of prosocial entrainment.  Personal prayer, the petitioning kind unencumbered by meditation or humility, is just plain gross.

Somebody on Reddit said that Gilbert Gottfried and Fran Drescher “should have children. The marines could use them to clear public areas.”

Stop motion parkour fight. I laughed out loud watching this.

The pet relationship is very important to humans and now of course we have the science to prove it.

Dealing with bullies changes with the technology. Professors deal with bad reviews.

Am I jealous because the last time I was catcalled I was 36?  No, it’s one of the best damned things about getting older.

Gosh, if only dealing with conspiracy nuts was this easy. Cause it really isn’t.

Shhh, thinking.

Cognitive Bias illustrations.

How big is the solar system???

Came home from work yesterday, almost crying on the bus, overwhelmed by feelings of failure.  I should just suck it up.  I was looking at all of the other workers.  I’m one of about three white women on the bus.  Daily on the ride home I see exhausted men of every background in conspicuity vests, students and travellers coming back from the airport; drawn looking women from all over Asia speaking a dozen different languages as they (from the sounds of it) talk to their sisters or argue with their kids or check in with their husbands.  Most people play on their phones or listen to music.  I jerk back and forth, back and forth, my spine sliding first this way and that, and get off the bus sometimes barely able to step down, my back hurts so much.

Today I’ll be alone downstairs; the boss is working from home and if the phones decide to explode (the way you do when you can’t afford to spend a single minute on the phone) I’ll be hard pressed.  At least there’s leftover takeout in the fridge. And a stellar bunch of coworkers; they are darling and intelligent and it’s really been a privilege.  And that’s a factor in what makes me a leedle weepy, too.

I’m in town for the weekend (I’d better be, I’m doing coffee at church on Sunday) and then I’ll be off to Victoria with Katie as walk ons the first of the week.

Nothing feels right.  George calls to me, pats me with his social tentacle, and I’m too tired to focus to write; all I can do is BLORT this out in a parody of creativity.



Rounding up

Marylke’s taking me to Spamalot tonight!  Woot!

The slow leaking death of the commentariat. Metafilter founder has some comments.

I won’t believe it until the cat is sleeping on the results.  Washerless clean clothes.

Wanna know the current position of the ISS?

According to the Ubisoft What’s Your Hacker Name meme going ’round the internet, my pOp’s hacker name is M4ster Zero, and mind is Sh4dow Root.

Jeff loaned me the car yestterday, and I feel much better today!

The tiramisu I bought from Balkan House Restaurant yesterday was freezer burned, then thawed and left at a nasty temperature, and then re-refrigerated.  It took about 45 minutes for the taste to get out of my mouth but I guess it had so many preservatives in it that it couldn’t sustain microbial life.  Jeff, don’t eat it.  I should go throw it out.

I ran into a pest control specialist yesterday who told me to abandon all previously purchased music programs and get this instead.  I don’t feel like spending a thousand dollars on something that won’t likely run on either of the computers I currently own, but it sure would be nice to be able to sing into a computer and have notation spit out the other end.

A crazy ass seagull banged its bill repeatedly into the front door at work.  Scariest sound I’ve heard in a while.  In more pleasant news there are many geese families right out front of work right now but you can’t get too close because the parents will assault you.

Interviews for my replacement have commenced; the good candidates all want too much money.  I don’t imagine they’ll get somebody like me any time soon for the price.  And that’s the last I’ll complain on the subject, and I’m not naming names.


The wit and wisdom of imaginary creatures


In this case, Raylan Givens.

I don’t feel very well so I’ll be sticking close to home today. Yesterday I went to physio and walked back with what felt like (and fell onto the ground.. twice..) 30 pounds of groceries.  But it was good to have fresh veggies and oddly nothing got broken or smashed.

I have learned my memory is crappy and I’m glad, I tell you.  But even people with good memories make stuff up.

Maybe there was something to Essiac…

Chipper sends word of dandelion tea and cancer…  and on November 2 updated me with this.  so NO dandelion in Essiac.  I always thought there was.

There have now been about thirty enquiries about the cafe… I know it’s a numbers game, but oh lord.

Here is a very good beginner level guide to layout and design.  

Velcro was developed for outer space, but it will be coming soon to an inner space near you…

And re resistant bacteria, more good news.  

Part of Miss Manners Has her Say, a song I wrote some years ago.

“You’re a very/religious person/offered drugs and porn/Enjoyment in/the evening is/repentance in the morn.”

And now there’s some science that is illuminating.



Incremental progress

Good news first, I have been asked to come in and talk to a recruiter this afternoon.  This is the closest I’ve gotten to genuine job hunting activity in months so I am obviously thrilled.

Bad news. I’ve lowered the price and still can’t get anybody interested in the cafe; I will have to break the lease.  HEAVY HEAVY SIGH.

Tarot for Atheists, a couple of hundred words’ worth of progress.

Turkey soup is on the stove – I will adjust seasoning shortly and then start freezing it in containers. Jeff can’t stand the smell of the bones, and has no idea how this sentence would have ended if I hadn’t backspaced over it.

Replaced cpap machine with one that smells a little less disgusting.  I must make a purchase decision within 2 weeks.

Completed writing down a song, converted it to midi and fired it off to mOm.  I only have another hundred songs to write out.  It really IS the Song That Never Ends.

Herewith today’s linkorama:

Crowdsourcing Tolstoy. 

This guy and guys like him are why I make no further efforts to date.

Fighting sexism… using MATH.

My cat wants an escape pod.

If you rape a girl and leave her naked outside in freezing weather, and you work for your family’s restaurant, and your local prosecutor despite eyewitnesses and video refuses to prosecute, and then the whole town turns on the rape victim and burns her house down, well, the internet just might give bad reviews to your restaurant.

Little yawning kitties.