quietly productive

I emptied and ran the dishwasher, wiped down the hellhole surfaces in the kitchen closest to the compost buckets and got most of the rain of tomato out of the microwave, trained the cat, made and thoroughly enjoyed a coffee, possibly wrote a song, did my wordle and lumosity training, clipped Buster’s claws, made ‘meat and potatoes’ for lunch, sent a thousand words to mOm, figured out what my next couple of scenes are (although I’m not putting pressure on myself to write) and I generally luxuriated in the life of a retired person. I took my meds at the right time. I stayed hydrated. I put in eyedrops before I went to bed.

That’s what I’m supposed to do, right?

Watched the Netflix film the Pale Blue Eye. Harry Melling as Edgar Allan Poe was wonderful. Harry Melling’s grandad was the second Doctor Who, who knew. Gillian Anderson’s bizarre mom to a bizarre family was …. bizarre and hypercreepy.  Christian Bale as the haunted detective was quite effective. I really enjoyed the script. Unlike many scripts (many, many; hear me whine) set in historical times, it neither gracelessly dropped modern slang like horseshit into a griddle nor overdid the ceremony and style of days of speech in days of yore. I didn’t hear a single anachronism. Do you have any idea how pleasant that is for a writer? I mean there were many constructions that would likely not have happened in the 1830s, but nothing so far from contemporary usage that it was repellent. For that alone, huit sur dix.

Jeff Bezos, may the intertwined Fates of a thousand cultures give him his reward, has, through Amazon, bought an Indian publishing house called Westland Publishing. It is one of the few publishing houses in India that has the wit and courage to publish ANYTHING that challenges Hindutva. (Spoiler alert, I think that all countries are idiotic, but once you have a settled state that calls itself a democracy, you should perhaps not support a political ideology that FIGHTS LIKE HELL AGAINST PLURALISTIC DEMOCRACY BECAUSE HINDUS ARE JUST BETTER, KK? Plus the caste system is groovy, men own women’s bodies, marital rape is super cool, cops can kill women who report rapes after raping them again, and Muslims are arson targets) OKAY maybe I’m being a racist asshole, oh look, I’m not. I really don’t think that China and India holding hands over kicking the shit out of Muslims is a good look for either country; people are dying in riots pogroms and political reeducation camps in both countries. Anyway, Bezos is literally supporting global fascism by doing that and we already knew he was a cruel billionaire, but HONESTLY can’t he just fucking stop.

Anyway, the closure of the publishing house means that hundreds of titles are no longer available. Absolutely no word on how and when they could be available elsewhere. There’s more than one way to be fash. Having the money to buy good things that support democracy and discourse, and destroy them (huLLLLLO Elongated Greaserat) is fascist.

a six year old is in custody for shooting his teacher. The cops didn’t arrest the person responsible for leaving a loaded pistol out. Everything you need to know about gun culture in the US in one story. (from CNN website, 6-year-old in custody after shooting teacher in Virginia, police chief says By Amanda Musa and Jennifer Feldman, CNN
Updated 7:19 AM EST, Sat January 7, 2023)


Mailed off another letter

One of the ways to fight anxiety is to think about other people, so I’m trying to write entertaining letters to relatives and friends.

Anyway, if you want a letter, private message me with your mailing address.

Katie dropped by for a visit. Alex was with Suzanne, Dax’s mum, and Katie had just dropped Paul off at the airport – he never, ever, tells me when he’s going to the US, it’s always been startling to me, no matter how many times I learn about it after he’s gone, which has literally been dozens of times, which just goes to show that I am a slow learner. He’s agreed to quarantine after he comes back, and if he misses his friends and girlfriend in the US who can blame him.

She said her car had a mind of its own and she ended up in my driveway. We had a very long and very necessary chat out on the deck. There was laughing, crying and swearing, and she is such a dear person to me. She was feeling a bit low, but she managed to cheer me up, and that was helpful.

Last night I had my first nightmare that I can remember in years. It was horrifying because my subconscious was saying that it’s better to be dead (or to kill someone else to spare them) than to go through whatever was happening (some unspecified apocalypse). I can’t actually say what it was about because the internet is forever, but let’s just say it was nauseating and disheartening and framed me as an entirely heartless and cruel person with no connection to the future of this earth.

And it was all so calm. HORRIBLE things were happening, and myself and my unnamed conspirator proceeded through our horrible response to them as if neither of us had a hair out of place or a care in the world.

Very slowly, as I realized what we had done, I decided to call the cops, and then I woke up.


Made chicken breasts, bok choi and onions in ginger and garlic, and green salad for supper last night. Practiced lots, still working on arrangements.


user chewmynails posted this on reddit saying the MIL crocheted this

r/aww - My MIL crochet my cat her own couch

Speaking of kitties, Buster has been training HARD. He’s a good chonky boi.


from @gabrielsherman on twitter


This is quite the poem, eh? Inglorious in Excelsis by Brian Bilston

Job interviews

I am very fortunate to have a job interview today.  I know that when I’ve had 70 or 80 interviews the odds are good that I will get a job, but it’s hard to be enthusiastic.  I barked at the HR staffer on the phone who called me to set up an appointment because I didn’t recognize the number and I’d just had a big long run of writing and wasn’t in, “Hey dumdum you’re supposed to answer the phone like God’s receptionist!” mode. Which -every other time- I have done. And I got an interview anyway.  Not exactly sure how to feel.

It’s a reputable company doing reputable things, and it’s a half-hour commute by bus away, just like I’ve wanted.

But I think about job interviews where they love my resume and then they’re like this when I show up because I’m 57.

Or when I ask them about how online reviews say they’re the worst place on earth to work and she snaps, “That’s the factory in the States, not here,” and then THREE TIMES OVER THE NEXT YEAR they run an ad for the position I interviewed for (got a second interview, even), and instead of saying to myself Holy Crapstacks! dodged a bullet! you know what I do? I cry.  Because they didn’t hire me. I know I wouldn’t have lasted if it was so bad three people quit in a year, but still there’s me looking at the Craigslist ad, this last time was only six weeks ago, and thinking why didn’t they hire me?

Or I go to a headhunter and get told, “You have to spend money on clothes and wear makeup or you will never ever get a job.”

Or I go to a headhunter and get told by a woman younger than my daughter that I need to freshen up my resumé. I’d certainly like to know how, given that I haven’t worked for pay in 2 years.

“Volunteer! Spend days researching every company you want to work for and then pitch them hard! Go door to door with your resumé! You need to be looking at jobs anywhere on transit and quit with this foolishness about needing a short commute. Take any job however menial or destructive to your hearing, health or sanity, and look for a better one while you’re working! Go back to school and get something buzzy and pointless on your resumé! Have you tried …(a suggestion which implies that the person you’re talking to, whom you’ve known for 15 years, hasn’t actually spent any time learning who the hell you are)? Leave town and go where the jobs are, like Fort St John and Ft McMurray!”

I understand the world has changed; I have never expected to have a job for life.  I want a job which will feed me, stop me from destroying my life savings, and not be so demanding that I don’t have the energy to write.  If that is too much to hope for, I will adjust my hopes accordingly.  But I am not at the point where I can take just any job, because it would not be fair to my employer for me to just quit when presented with a better opportunity.  And there is always the possibility, since it’s obviously true, that there won’t be another job, and I’ll work in the dishpit of an Italian restaurant until I dissolve with the steam into a little spot of grease in a uniform, but not before my varicose veins crap out.

But it’s not like I’m the only one.



Buster brought in 4 RATS yesterday, laying them all out in a row downstairs.  He’s killing them all so Jeff doesn’t have to deal with rats which have died in locales where they are like to rot or little bits’o rat everywhere, just secure tail and trash.

THE HEATER IS NOT BROKE.  It merely has an absurdly sensitive orientation sensor and Buster probably knocked it off its flatness while jumping down from my desk.  Everything a-ok there.

Took a walk down to get cream yesterday morning.  It was a crisp crisp morning so I wore the mitts my mOm knitted for Katie that I somehow ended up with and the cute animé hat Keith got me a couple of years back.

Later I went to the interview.  It’s always interesting seeing myself and all my imperfections as a potential employee reflected through someone else.  The poor little gal who interviewed me.  I hope my pity for her didn’t show.  She’s probably just barely making a living at what she’s doing, but she was wearing a thousand dollars’ worth of clothing and a freaking expensive watch and had the coldest, limpest handshake I’ve shared in probably years. I thought that when she shook my hand it was probably the first time her hand had felt warm since the last interview.  Stupidly big office, in one of the industrial/office complexes on Still Creek. The entire courtyard had so much bird shit in it I felt ill walking through it and you all know me as being somebody who can deal with disgusting with fewer collywobbles than most socialized women. Drove away thinking what an incredible waste of time it was, but I’m still going to send her my references.

Then got beer and various foodicles, why not, it was on my way home.

Then we caught up on the Librarians and Robot Chicken, etc.

I have no idea what will happen to my writing energy if I get a job.  We’ll see. I know I can work and write, but it needs a ‘specially calm kind of job to allow me to think about stuff and write.

Jeff is awesome.  He has been helping me with technology (backups), when he’s not trying to pull info out of third parties and disposing of rats.

Word count over 7000 as of today.

Tomorrow the bday party for Katie. I already got her her present, and I’m not talking about it in a public forum, but most of my friends already know and so my expression of precarious and secretive amusement is thus explained.

Aw weel

I’ve decided to bail on writing today, and why not, Mike’s taking me to supper. (Or I could report the 13 words I wrote today, not counting the smidge on the supersekrit project which I shouldn’t even talk about or think about.)

The second interview went very well.  I suspect they will match the position to another of the candidates, but I didn’t shame myself, and I had a pretty good time.  Thank you Jeff for the loan of the vehicle.



Words yesterday, words today

I’ve already made wordcount (over 1000) today, so now I’m thinking about working on churchy business and making something for the Circle Dinner tonight.  Sue’s going to give me a lift.

And that’s about all.  I had a lovely time with Katie and Alex and Jessica and Ellie at the Quay yesterday, but she hasn’t sent me the pics yet…. sadface.

Also, VERY SORE from yesterday’s walk. Five more days until I see the specialist.

I have a job interview on Monday.


The job interview evaporated.  The job is located at a place impossible to get to by transit even though it’s only a few blocks from a Skytrain station.  Without a car, it’s not going to fly, and at 12 bucks an hour I can’t afford to run a car.  Other jobs that appeared this week want me to have a vehicle, work for less than 14 dollars an hour and be ‘youthful’ (which is not in accordance with the labour laws, but fuck me, right?) and an assortment of other ghastly jobs.

I am going to go back to bed until my ride shows up for an extended shopping trip.  Can’t talk about the rest of it.  It’s not like any random stranger could do anything about it, and my friends know the drill.

The only thing I managed to accomplish this week was getting a couple of hundred hours’ worth of movies shipped off to Sandy – there will be some real treats in there for her, I believe.


The unknown ideal

I think in many respects it would be an ideal position for me, but I’ve been up and down this emotional rollercoaster a few times now.  It’s a privately owned company with a forty year history of success.  The position is not fantastically challenging, but I’m by no means as clever and energetic as I once was, so I am better than okay with it.  And I could bike to work.  Jeff teased me about how much more productive he’d be if I was out of the house.  Fortunately, he knows how to be productive even when I’m around to distract him.

Anyway they have more people to interview.  I let them know I am very interested in the job and called the agency to confirm this.  We shall see.

Meatballs and rotini last night.  I’m glad I cut that arabbiata sauce in half with plain spag sauce or it would have been too speecy to eat.

I’m thinking of going to the Farmer’s Market this morning after I get some more hacking and chopping done on George.

Sundry and various

Yesterday I made the dough for biscotti, got the sign down and out the door on to Signfast’s truck and believe me that thing is AWKWARD to shift around, ran coffee through the Bunnomatic for the first time (it’s okay but we gotta make sure the sprayer is set right and we have to turn the machine on the instant we get in in the morning or we won’t have coffee for about half an hour or more), got the back fridge working with the help of my wee man. a temp sensor (which he says was located in the wrong place which is why the thing was rusted as a car on blocks), watched the amazing amount of foot traffic that goes by the store, learned that there is a coffee shop going in to the Community centre (which obviously made me sad), got a schoolin’ about what to do with the waste heat from the compressor which made me very thoughtful but means that the shop will be cooler in summer and warmer in winter, got proper knobs for the gas ovens, swept the shop, did all the dishes, made myself a sammy with the chicken breast from Grimms (I think we should order from them, their meat is really good), found out from the City of Burnaby that we do NOT in fact need a permit for our sign (I had been concerned), arranged other inspections or got them in train with the City, transferred some money into the biz account, got stuck in the worst…fucking…traffic ever while getting the last items out of Katie’s apartment, talked briefly to her former co-tenant Randy, who dished dirt on a friend’s drunken ass ex in a most entertaining fashion, found out that the Dandy Warhols are playing the Commodore June 22 AND IT’S A PLAY THROUGH OF THIRTEEN TALES FROM URBAN BOHEMIA one of my fave albums ever and I’m STOKED,  had an extremely emotional conversation with Jeff during which he was extremely supportive and calming (thank you, and bless you) and no I’m not going to talk about it on my blog, watched a couple of episodes of Third Watch, and watched Eddie bring in a baby mouse, which after a brief discussion about what to do with him (Izzy living here after all) Jeff put back outside much to Eddie’s disgust.  Candidly I shouldn’t even have suggested it because Izzy is a hand tamed snake and wild critters carry all kinds of interesting diseases. Day before yesterday learned about a Swedish sci fi show called Real Humans which is awesome even with subtitles and which I want to see the rest of soonish. Today I learned that Margot is turning into a dog.  She now circles once (forwards OR backwards, which is beyond words entertaining) before lying down, and she still comes to greet and say goodbye when we go places. Jeff got her to almost fetch the other day, and she chases the floppy flyer (fabric frisbee style thingee).

Today back into the shop to wait for the sign and work on various things that you can’t work on when all the shops are closed. Katie’s at her friends place in New West but I wasn’t expecting her to come home, she was partying with the buddies who have been so supportive to her this past year.

Apart from the church stuff, which I would like to chuck over a back fence, and the lawn, which needs mowing, I’ve never felt better.  I’m even recovered from the move.  And it doesn’t matter that my todo list looks as it does.  Gradatim, baby.

A mad wor(l)d my masters

Snoop Dogg went to JaMAIca and came back a Rasta.  He now goes by Snoop Lion and his next album will be entirely reggae.  Tis fabulous news!  Hope he covers at least one Sublime tune…

OMG  I just spent two hours reading RADFem and Transfem blogs and the hate and bigotry are so tiresome and frightening that I went to a Men’s Rights blog for a while to help me get my bearings.

Unclear on the concept – private company tries to trademark Anonymous.

Paul’s back from Ontario, brown as a walnut and sporting a rather luxurious multicolored beard.  He poked his head in briefly last night and it was good to see him in such good spirits!  Then he had to go to work….

Eddie haz a sad.  He hates it when Jeff is gone for any length of time.

Had brekky with the lovely and everblooming Sue, and how good it was to spend some time with her.

Now, back to work.  I have learned that when you’re writing trombone lines, you need lots of places for players to take breaths, as they need more air than any other brass instrument.



Friday teh 13th o noes.

Today the horror of the landlord’s minion coming to pressure wash the back deck, which will probably disassemble, it’s so rickety (or at least parts of it are).

Last night the horror of the evil across the street black and white cat whom I narrowly missed ejecting from the house. He came in and started fighting with Eddy, who has taken to guarding the cat door with Margot sitting about three metres back from him. Margot is showing signs of developing a healthier regard for her skin than has been evident previously.

Saw Brave yesterday with the kids and Katie’s beau, who was much distracted by the transmission on his month old car crapping out. I really enjoyed it. Lovely animation with some awesome sight gags.

Had a fucking uninspired and oversalted meal at Ihop yesterday, but Tamara’s company more than made up for it. We caught up (it’s been AGES since I saw her, like 10 years or something equally ludicrous) and LAUGHED our faces off. She looks radiant with health and enthusiasm and that is a special privilege to be around.

Too hot to bake today so I’ll go off and do other business related things, god knows there’s a list a mile long. I’ve already practiced and I’m just finishing up the instrument case for Otto so it will be ready tomorrow. I need to find some upholstery tacks.