Nothing much to report

Katie came over yesterday; we went for a short walk and I gave her the last half of the banana bread, not that it would have survived until Jeff got here anyway. I read this article to her. We had a good talk about it.

I tried writing this morning but I’m too distracted and ‘off’. I’m also really feeling my back,

I found out there’s a company that will pick up take out and bring it to you, so maybe the next time Jeff and I have a craving for Switzerland Chicken we can get it that way. They’re also licenced to bring beer. Hey, I will be leaving the house today, don’t worry! I’m thinking of walking down to New Westminster and then taking the bus back to spare myself that hill.

Dara, a filk/fb acquaintance, has rewritten some of Yahoo’s code to make the email groups work properly again. This while making an album and renovating her kitchen. Gumption, SHE HAZ IT.

Tony Stewart ran over (accidentally or not) and killed a 20 year old man named Kevin Ward Jr at a racetrack last night. He’s apparently going to race again today, which I think is the height of cluelessness. This show must go on the sponsors are waiting shit has gotta stop. Unless you’re Weird Al Yankovic continuing to tour after his parents died, that was awesome.

I watched the news, and regular tv, last night. When did all commercials become so sexualized? Why is local news so boring? Then I watched something called 16×9 and just wanted to punch out walls for a while. The story was great but I was so mad it ruined my evening, I just ended up going to bed super early. Syngenta is evil!

Where’s my flying car

Bill and Brenda Sutton ask the question….

Tre and Battery came over yesterday and we laughed and talked and drank beer and broke out the pinball machines for the little guy. Very pleasant afternoon, and Jeff and I love that they never call first. We’re either here and happy to see them or away and sad we missed them. It’s like slipping back into another era, when it’s good that friends drop by.

In about twenty minutes we’re going to jump in the car and guh help us PAY for a movie. But 10 am on a Sunday sounds like the perfect way to avoid the crowds; Guardians of the Galaxy is supposed to finally be ‘the summer hit’. The fan reviews have been AWESOME. We shall see.

I am working on the novel still… it’s still fun after all.

Keith called yesterday (how good to hear his voice) to basically just check in. Happy sigh. If it wasn’t so oppressively sticky and hot, I’d say my life was a big old dream.

Continuing to love on Europe Central

This is the best novel I’ve read since the 40 rules of Love, and it’s a really really different book.  I am finding it enthralling reading. (Except for the typos, and there were a couple of doozies).  Historical characters – snared in conflicting loyalties and pushed to the snapping point time and time again, broken on the wheel of tyranny -command attention from every page.  Superlative.  His prose has the effortful grace of a bird of prey taking off.  He calls Hitler ‘the sleepwalker’.  Yesterday I watched a documentary on the death of Stalin for more background.

Hymn sing yesterday at Tom and Peggy’s was wonderful, and I took a cilantro salad based on the one Sandra taught me.  (oh god, the food she fed me…. it was amazing, stellar, eye popping, wonderful). Two bunches cilantro wash the hell out of them pick them over and chop.  One rinsed can kidney beans, make em yourself if you can. A cup of walnuts, broken up.  Rather more garlic than you would think necessary, minced.  Lemon juice all together maybe three tablespoons.  No salt, no pepper.  I’m also going to try this with parsley.

Jeff and Katie went to Wreck Beach yesterday.  I would have gone, but I put out my knee somehow and every time I go up and downstairs my eyebrows bob up and down and I puff and blow in a most elderly way.

I read mOm what I wrote in Madawaska and she laughed in all the right parts. Now on to more serious bits.  It can’t all be waltzes and comedy.

Library run

It has been yonks since I visited the library… I picked up two doorstops, one being the really excellent William T. Vollman novel Europe Central, which is an examination of totalitarianism as it affects the creative mind, set during the period just before and during WWII.  Some reviewer or other said you don’t read Vollman for the plot but for the individual sentences, and he was absolutely right.  Vollman is a powerfully strange individual, but his depiction of Kathe Kollwitz was so amazing I looked it up.  I am looking up much of what  he references on the internet and going to some strange and dark and eerie and interesting places.  He’s also, like Dunnett, a portrait painter and polymath and this impacts the work.  Good times.

I also picked up Part II of the Mark Twain autobiography, but the way it’s put together really sucks and it weighs 5 kilos if it weighs a gram, so I put that one down, even though some of the anecdotes are killer.

Last night filking with Cindy and Tom and Peggy; tonight Birthday Celebration with Mike M and friends; tomorrow hymn sing, back at Tom and Peggy’s.  I just love singing Frobisher Bay with those folks. I took Peggy hazelnuts as a thank offering.

400 words on Tarot for Atheists yesterday.  If I ever get finished with the introduction it will be one of the strangest pieces of atheist literature ever written; I know I’m saying the right things in the worng way, and some of it simply has to be cut but like most writers I don’t edit myself worth a darn. Also practiced lots.

Keith double booked himself for his own birthday party a while back so Paul and Jeff watched Internet’s Own Boy without him, so there, and had barbq chikn.

Time to make pancakes, I promised Jeff.

A little piece of a story from somewhere else

In the beginning, there was nothing.  There was nothing to see, and nothing to see it with; there was nothing to feel, and nothing to feel it with.  We don’t know why the nothing turned into something.  We have asked science, and science tells us what might have happened, but we don’t know; nobody was there.

So when the nothing became the something that became the world we see, science measured and measured; science made equations and formulas; science thought of theories and hazarded hypotheses, but we can never know why the nothing became something.

Science is where the story stops.

That is the first beginning, but it is not the best one.

I will tell you the story, but if you believe it you are a fool.  Science tells us not to be foolish.  I will tell you the story, but if you disbelieve it, you are a fool.  Religion tell us that without a story, true or false, the people will wither away.  It is a story that keeps us rooted; it is a story that makes us real.

As I was saying, in the beginning, there was nothing.  Now the great thing about nothing, is that it’s very small.  It is also very large.  Nothing is like nothing else, and the reason it is like nothing else is that it doesn’t need a container.  Nothing, by definition, can’t have a container; if it had a container, it wouldn’t be nothing anymore.  It would be the space inside a container, but it wouldn’t be nothing.

That is why nothing is so hard for people to understand.  We all want the nothing to have a container, but it doesn’t.  It can’t even be contained by our minds.  That is why some people think the nothing is God; nothing, not even our minds, can contain it.

It was nothing for a very long time, without flaw, without a container, without being or thought or meaning; it tried and tried and tried to be the same, always being nothing, but it failed.  To be nothing is to be perfect; there is no flaw, no feeling, no reality.

How did nothing change into something?  My dear friend says it got bored.  I respect my friend very much, but I have to disagree; there was nothing to get bored, so that is not what happened.

I think that the nothing got bigger and bigger and bigger until it hit something, and the thing it hit was itself, and from that collision came everything we see.

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.



Here I am at the end of another week

It is NOT as if time was crawling when I was unemployed, but now it’s going so fast I’m feeling like every second is a blur of paper.

I am making stupid mistakes and good catches at work.  I hope it averages out to continued employment.  You just don’t get a team like this every day… everybody is so civilized and hardworking (compared to me).  I could whine about the variability of it, but that’s what food is like.  Prices go up and down in the cycle of the seasons and nothing stays the same.

One of my fave coworkers is off in her homeland visiting rellies. I miss her because she is one of the most intelligent and yet sunny tempered individuals I have recently met. (I keep wanting to introduce her to my son, which would be grossly inappropriate in so many ways). I miss her because the most administrative portion of her job fell to me in her absence and it’s fussy and important.  So, nervous.

I am going to work on crochet and forgiveness this weekend; along with some stuff I should have attended to ages ago.  Although I am tired all the time, certain kinds of energy I didn’t have last fall have come back into my life.

I am having better communication with people I am intimate with, and that makes me calmer.  I don’t feel like everybody should be able to read my mind any more.  I know I can be a sore trial as a friend sometimes, when I’m not expansive and entertaining.

Jeff loaned me the vehicle yesterday.  I got home much faster than usual and it made a big difference to my mood all day.  I am very grateful, especially since it did inconvenience him.

Keith is apparently hiking off to Edmonton in mid May.  I will miss him, but he’s at the point in his life when he’s going to take off and adventure, and that’s good.

I learned from Katie that the baby will take her last name.  That was a calming bit of news.  I had lunch with her on Sunday as I was checking out.  It was a blessing to see her.  She’s still not showing; yet the ultrasound shows what looks to be a very robust looking kiddo.

Rob W phoned last night and we talked writing.  I don’t know what makes me an expert, except that I do more of it.  Volume is not necessarily a good aspect of production – think farts and you’ll know what I mean.  And yet it is by writing crap that we open the channels to the good stuff.

Well, off to find clothes and bus tickets and get out the door.  Boss lady is back today and much activity is in store.

Cuppa Joe serves the best hot chocolate in the city.  Srsly.

Edwardian hotels

So… the Arundel Mansion Hotel is awesome, but there are few things you need to know before you book in.

1.  YOU WILL NEED EARPLUGS.  They are supplied, but it’s noisy down here.

2.  You should probably bring an extension cord if you want to charge anything in your room overnight.

3.  If you are scared to operate an elevator which is roughly the same vintage as a Boer War survivor, don’t come, or stay on the lower floors and use the stairs.  The elevator is not automatic and it makes unearthly noises as it moves.  It is, however a complete delight. I love it.

4.  You WILL have to wash just about everything you need in the kitchen before you use it.  You are at the mercy of the housekeeping standards of the previous tenant, and the previous tenant didn’t even rinse the f*cking percolator.  I was employed for about ten minutes in the effort to restore it to some semblance of food safety.

5.  A claw footed tub is beautiful, but the surface finish may not meet your standards for cleanability.

6.  The wifi is not wonky, but it is slow.

7.  It is simply not possible to keep a place of this vintage to the cleanliness standards of modern hotels (such as they are, since everybody knows what happens if you turn a UV light on in a hotel room.)  That said, the linens and bedding are completely clean.

8.  It’s a sketchy neighbourhood, but I’ve never felt threatened.  If drug deals in the parking lot below (the one with the vintage Rolls Royce…) skeeve you out, you won’t like it.

9.  There is lots of food of varying kinds and quality and easy transportation and nice walks and touristy stuff close by.  The Keg, alas, is closed – there’s some kind of structural problem.

TL;DR – If you’re OCD, have no personal qualities such as adaptability, a sense of history and equanimity, and expect South Korean style internet access, you will hate it.  If history, quirkiness and creativity appeal to you, this is like a steampunk luxury indoor camping experience, and I love it, and I will be back.  Keith and Paul loved it.


A friend came over for coffee in the morning, and Paul and Keith took me to supper at the Heritage, and I wrote 1500 words in the middle, which is much less than I’d hoped and much more than I’ve done recently.  I pronounce myself pleased.  I’m gonna take video of the elevator  – it is a TRIP.


Off to work early this morning

I need time with my supervisor to actually learn my job…. and it’s not happening during regular hours.

Christie Blatchford is a ghastly excuse for a journalist.  I’ve never seen a more enthusiastic shill for values which support hatred and corporatism.  Gah.

Margot voluntarily remained in my lap and let me pet her for about five minutes yesterday without fleeing; them she remembered she’s not a lap cat and took off.

Paul came by with dun tot night before last, and talked to me about the restorative justice event he and Keith and Lois went to in Victoria (they got in a visit with mOm and pOp too).  I am so proud of the folks for doing that.  Thanks Jeff for updating John’s memorial site with that info.

I am REALLY looking forward to my writing weekend.  I’m going to hole up in a hotel and write for three days in a hundred year old building with clawfoot tubs and free wifi, best of both worlds thanks.

Well, if I’m going to get on the bus by quarter six I’d better root, ablute and scoot.  Root in the eating like a pig sense, not the other use of the verb.

The images and music from Upstream Color are still going through my head.  It’s an amazing movie, I’m looking forward to rewatching it as much as I enjoyed rewatching Primer.

Hopelessly romantic

As part of my prep for the next blast of writing, I am rewatching every hopelessly romantic film I can, so I got Jeff to watch the 1991 Disney Beauty and the Beast with me last night.  Honestly, I must have cried for half an hour, I was so filled with nostalgia, plus of course that wonderful transformation scene.  I also found it strange that I knew every note of the soundtrack even after all these years.

We’re slowing up on Downton Abbey because of course we blasted through it.  I do love the show.

Now to see if Jeff is ready to watch Game of Thrones….

A good week

I’ve had another great week at work; we’re doing a bunch of training for a new computer system and after Epicor’s Avante it’ll seem like roasting marshmallows and drinking beer.

And I got paid.

Gotta like that!

I descuzzed the kitchen surfaces (except the sink, Jeff got to it  before I did) and now am contemplating the agony of getting on the floor and cleaning out the fridge, which smells like Something Dead, since bending knees and back does not suit me.  I have had to learn how to step down off the bus all over again; if I lead with my right foot I nearly collapse on the ground from the pain, so I have to remember it’s left foot first.

Jeff and I are very much enjoying Downton Abbey and recommend it.

Coming up – last episodes of Warehouse 13, the season ender for Justified, more Archer and hopefully more Rick & Morty.  And Game of Thrones starts up again tomorrow night.

I need to transfer some music onto my phone to relieve the tedium of the bus ride, and also maybe some TED talks or books on tape.  Apparently the Dunnett novels are all available but of course I haven’t found a free one.

I opened up the novel again and worked away at it for a bit last night.  I’ve booked the Easter weekend to do nothing but write, but that’s two weekends away.  Maybe I’ll even finish it; there’s a novella length single scene I have to write for close to the beginning of the book, and it’s going to be hopelessly and most soppily romantic, so I’ll have to really be in the mood.

Haven’t heard from Katie lately, but apparently she’s not throwing up constantly any more, so yay.  She lost a lot of weight, poor lamb, and that is never good.  It’s as well that we’re made of tough stuff.

I answered the door today to a couple of Xtian types wearing my screaming blue “I am on the side of the scientists’ t-shirt, which I acquired from a geekgrrl at Conflikt VI.  Happy days! Declined their dead tree, have enough of my own thanks.

It has been more or less unremarked that the first climate change refugees left their Pacific Island this week.  Very sad.

The global banana crop is about to fail due to a pathogen which has now been found on every continent. Also, sad.



Waiting to hear back

I am waiting to hear the results of my interview yesterday, which is for a job a short commute away working for a privately owned company.  I was pleased with getting the interview.  I will know by Friday about the job I interviewed for on the 5th.

I have printed out my manuscript so far and will start assembling it.

I am feeling pretty good today, and the sunshine is most glorious.

I’ve been invited for a jam on Saturday.  Picture me having slept in my clothes and hungover for church next Sunday….