Parade’s End

It was a perfectly nice BBC/HBO 5 parter.  HBO, so, of course, boobs.  I may have to look for the books it was based on; Ford Madox Ford was a feminist when that really wasn’t a popular view for a man to take, so good on him.

Word count yesterday was spiffing.  I will complete the book in less than two months at this rate, at which point I’m actually going to EDIT it instead of pronouncing it done and shelving it, and then I’m going to find a decent agent (I have some ideas) and if I can’t sell it, I’ll self publish.

When I’m no longer actively writing it, I’ll go to my next project, Tarot for Atheists, and finish that and see if I can get it published (it will be easier than this one, for sure), and then when that’s done, I’ll probably self-publish my homilies. (Homilies, Essays, Rants and Reviews).  Then there’s Broad Hints, which includes my ephemeral writing and then A Filker’s Life for Me (all my filk tunes and lyrics in book form), and A Sacrifice to Chronos (all the other songs worth keeping). After that, there’s Child Rearing for Anarchists, whatever materials I’ve put together for the anti-racism workshop (The Racist in Recovery, with free embroidered hankie for those white women tears, dearies).

Cough, which had been much better, is now suddenly much worse, so I’m glad I’ve got DMDE cough medicine in the house.  For the first time in my life I’m actually measuring the dosage.  Next dose at ten am – I’ve been up since quarter to 2.  Don’t know if it’s the moon, or the coughing, or my brain spinning with what new idiocies my characters are up to (reading Michel’s dialog aloud with a Montreal accent made me start coughing again) but sleep has been hard to come by these last few nights.

Fetched home some schnitzel yesterday for supper.  Lost my keys and Jeff found them.

I am so glad Keith is having a good and educational time in Australia.  I am so happy and proud, I just can’t express it enough.

Word of the Day:  rebarbative.


Church, chocolate, coffee

Despite the last two series of Sherlock being golden moments with half hours of ludicrous illogical crap in between, I’m quite taken with this young Cumberbatch fellow, and hope to watch Parade’s End, which features him prominently in some kind of period love triangle.  Oh, yeah.

Church had our former minister Harold Rosen, who traversed through Judaism and Unitarianism to end up being Baha’i.  He spoke on the processes of justice from an interfaith / Baha’i perspective.  Had a brief meeting with Sally about my homily on the 9th of March – exactly a month from today.  We squared away some things I hadn’t thought of.

The coffee, as always, was excellent. I picked up some chocolate for Jeff… fair trade organic chocolate does taste better.

I have learned that someone I only know through the internet is going to run as a Libertarian candidate.  His campaign promises so far…. are so ludicrous and hilarious that I would vote for him in a heartbeat.  He’s the only Libertarian I’ve ever run across who’s a feminist.  If there were more like him I wouldn’t be hating on Libertarians so much.

Jeff got Keith’s call last night.  Sounds like he’s still having magical amounts of fun in the land of Oz.

I’m feeling kinda sludgy… hope to make word count today.


The world on the slowdown

Katie came by yesterday to cut my hair and listen to the message Keith left (so burbly!  So full of enthusiasm!  and his pa will join him soon!) so it was a brief but useful interaction.  We’re obviously still pretty sore with each other, but life f*cking well goes on.

No word count yesterday; it was a disappointing day but at least Thursday’s trip to the doc reveals me as being, yet again, a dirty great hypochondriac.  Honestly, sometimes I think the best thing about me breaking my shoulder was that there was no arguing about it.  Everyone agreed, yup, dislocated AND broken; no hypochondria there, girl.

Third series of Sherlock so wombly and disappointing that I nearly screamed with frustration.  I put my Darth Vader blankie over my head a lot.  (I bought a Darth Vader blankie for 15 bucks at the Interfilk auction at Conflikt).

Jeff took me to breakfast this morning and will be heading out to work at a couple of customers later.  I hope I quit coughing long enough to do something useful, like make word count, or rehearse, or do laundry.

Racism workshop two Wednesday afternoons hence at my place.  It will be a corker.

I need some tea.



They just sang this in England, at the filk convention there.

Happy sigh.

Walking pneumonia

I have bubbling and crackling in my chest and when I cough I feel like a tectonic version of Camille. I slept about 12 hours yesterday, which is about double my normal 6-hours-no-matter-when-I-fall-asleep.

Another 350 words after I thought I’d wrapped it up for the day yesterday; I sure am having fun.

Margot seems to be off her food and a tad listless, but she was happy enough to chase after a treat last night so I’m not sure it’s all that bad.  I think the cat food is a bit rancid, it sure smells that way. But of course if cat food smelled good to humans, that would be kind of weird.



Superb owl over this year

That was a righteous shellacking, was it not?  I turned off the game at half time.

A thousand words yesterday.  I don’t seem to be having any problems making word count.

Church was pretty sad yesterday.  Two long time members of the church are facing their last illnesses, and I know they are old but I love them both dearly and it’s just sad to see how their wives are bearing up under the strain.  Also, one of my favourite church members has cancer and another one is also going for cancer treatments.  Ack.  Make it stop please.  At the same time church was pretty awesome; the service was about the life and work of Bruce Cockburn.  Night before at the housefilk I said, “Well I can’t imagine them playing “If I had a Rocket Launcher” in church” and I was wrong!  How Peggy and I giggled about it afterwards.  Congratulations to our minister for daring and being all she is. Thanks also to Marylke for the ride home.

I practiced for about an hour yesterday.  It was a bit painful because the con crud finally set in and I’ve got a ghastly dry cough. I will probably head out to the pharmacy today to get something to kill the cough, or maybe just load up on Throat Coat tea with honey.  I went looking for cold meds and everything was time expired by 12 months.

Welp, that’s enough for now.  I’m heading back to sleep, after another broken night.

Here’s a lovely version of Danse Macabre.

I woke up super early this morning

So I took out some trash and put salt down on the back deck so Jeff doesn’t skid down on his ass, cause it be icy out there.

Jeff is off to Victoria this morning.  He will be watching the Superb Owl with pOp.

Otto is back from the shop.  I paid because it was the only way to get him back, cause I’m not giving them another crack at him.  I am very unhappy with the results, and super unhappy with the tech, who didn’t even restring the mandolin properly.   The world is full of competent people who only fuck up when I’m their customer, and I’m in line to receive customer service from every last one of them. It is my karma for all the exceedingly crappy service I’ve given to others in my life, I suppose.  At least the Mac came back genuinely repaired, although the new layout of the function keys is going to take some getting used to.

I wrote 3200 words yesterday.  Don’t know if I can meet or beat that today, but mOm isn’t complaining, as I’m basically forwarding everything to her as soon as I write it.  I need to completely finish that scene and then I’m off to the hardest scene of all….

Housefilk at Tom and Peggy’s this afternoon to evening, happy sigh. I’m getting a sore throat but I’m going to load up on Throat Coat tea and fluids and vitamin C.


A blessing upon learning a grandmother has died.

May her faults be a lesson, her virtues an inspiration and her love ever part of your blood and bones.




I hope Polly rests easy; she worked with great energy up until her 80’s, and treated retirement as an invasion of her dignity.  I never had the privilege of meeting her, except through the reminiscences and travel diaries of her descendants.

god, libertarians suck

my response to two of them


You fellas are adorable.

When the first peoples came to Turtle Island, there was nobody to conquer. (Although the megafauna, were they still around and sentient, might object most strenuously to that categorization). They spread out, established territories, and sure, fought among themselves as people do when displaced by climate change and natural disaster, but they established collective lands and for the most part respected those lands with natural boundaries and traded like mad. (Although modern Haidas laugh and say that their name comes from the other tribes yelling Hide Us! when they saw those fricking war canoes….) The notion of federation was borrowed and improved upon (arguably, but not by me) and codified by the descendants of the people who kicked the Haudenosaunee off their lands by right of conquest. Except that they made treaties and broke them for convenience, for racism, in the name of the conqueror god, & for capitalism.

In the end the land will reclaim the settlers. Without collective care of the land we’re all going to die horribly as capitalism dirties and endangers every creature now alive. Private property rights are a wonderful idea, but they are unenforceable and serve crony capitalism by atomizing opposition. Those rights will be less and less enforceable as time goes by unless you bare your ass to whoever controls the legal (or otherwise) monopoly on the use of force.

When your government can rain death down on you unopposed from 20000 feet up if you annoy the people at the joysticks, I hope your spirited defense of property rights shields you and your children.

I belong to a collective of like minded people who are working our way back to food safety and security, as well as shared land. When I’m done I’ll be working less than 30 hours a week to feed myself and our animals, have the comfort and security of family and friends around me, I’ll have access to light and power and musical instruments, and private property rights will be ideological road kill on a highway long since grown over by bushes and weeds. Using scare tactics about shared land, rather than educating yourself about where it exists and where it is working (because you’re right about it not working, often, but do not really understand why, and shoot yourself in the foot by not seeing where it IS working), is in my view inertia masking fear. Private property is for people who already have something and are FRIGHTENED of losing it.

But like fiat currency, marriage traditions, organized religion and tailgate parties, private property is a social convention, not an absolute right, pace Bastiat and all of his heirs. My only absolute right is my person and the tools of my trade or trades, and they are not rights I may individually enforce. Everything else re property is a stake through the heart of my connectedness to other people, which can, and should trump my right to sit on any dunghill, be it shit or gold, and crow that I am wiser and better, for I have something to lose, and need never think of who died or was injured for me to acquire it. The concentration camp you threaten liberals with is in your own minds. Free yourselves, humans, with whom I share the immense and shameful legacy of conquest and genocide! You are looters and do not seem aware of it, do not seem equipped to even consider it as possible, and may not be able to admit that the violence of your scorn betrays the weakness of your position.

And of course I don’t expect to be on the side of any government, local or otherwise, at any point in the future, but I’ll leave the fighting and dying for land to others, and try merely to keep planting food and saving seed and tending those weaker than I. When I have finished shedding this crust of goods and have nothing but my instruments and seed bags, I will stop being a looter myself, at long last. A thing is what it is, and not something else, as a wise man once said.

Leaving for Georgia soon

I will be keeping a trip diary and posting irregularly… I have decided not to take my computer because I simply cannot afford to have it confiscated by the US government.  I have NOTHING on the computer which would warrant that, but I’ve been complaining under my real name about the US government for 10 years now.  Most hotels have a guest computer room.

If I do write any George stuff while I’m gone it will be cursive, or uploaded to Google drive…. they aren’t likely to confiscate that. I will take my phone and charger.

I pack today.  It will be a big batch of weird stuff I take, I hope the TSA and Customs can deal with it all.

I’m going to drop the keys for the business off with the landlord.  I have been trying and trying and trying to sell it, and almost 60 people enquired, and I showed it to at least 30 sets of people, but I can’t pay rent any more.  I closed the file with Fraser Health yesterday.  It has been a year out of my life, and we only operated for three months.  I learned a lot, got my heart and my shoulder broken, and I really think I’m a better person.  I certainly have more self-knowledge, a lot more respect for restaurateurs.  Knowing that I will never ever step through that door again is, candidly, more of a relief than I can say.  Anything else I say will be oversharing.

I am practicing and writing every day – music or one of my other projects.  That’s really the only thing that counts.

Jeff can handle getting a bolus into Eddie by himself with no difficulty, so I don’t feel like I’m abandoning Jeff over that.  Eddie is moving as little as possible to accomplish his goals of just barely eating, just barely drinking, and getting to the litter pan.  I’ve taken to leaving a hot water bottle next to him as he was cold to the touch the other day, and lifting him up into the chair he is sleeping in pretty much 24/7 these days.  Margot is being very sucky towards us and practically knocked Eddie over with her tail the other day, a liberty he simply would not have tolerated a couple of months ago.

So many people have told me how much they are looking forward to seeing me at GAFilk!  I feel genuinely underrehearsed, but I recently read that if you’re feeling nervous, make yourself MORE EXCITED.  So I will.

ATL is not currently experiencing delays in or outbound with the exception of international flights outbound.  Travel will be icky, but not impossible due to weather.

I’d like to call out Patricia for helping arrange a drinkypoo on my return, and a very warm hug for mOm and Chipper, who have been extra specially supportive beta readers for George, and for Tammy, who provided me with the book that unblocked my last objections to the writing.  I have something very specific to say on the subject of first contact, which is that we’ve had 100 years of science fiction in popular culture, and we have to start writing first contact fiction that allows humans to respond intelligently to aliens.  Not to freak out or say stupid things. To say, “Cool! Weird! How can I help? What’s in it for me?  Where’s your ray gun?” when somebody who really does think globally comes along.


Everybody who can, have a good day!

Catching up

It’s been a lively couple of days.  I’ve been writing hard, practiced almost enough, played at church to sincere and life affirming compliments, showed the shop, made the decision to hand the keys over to the landlord, got into last minute negotiations with guys that came in at Christmas, had a spider drop onto my keyboard and scare the shit out of me, I’ve stopped having nightmares but the insomnia has fired up again, we finished watching Jazz, which made me unhappy because it was SO wonderful, and I received some Buddhist wisdom which allowed me to release a lot of stored animus toward my life and situation.  I learned that my travel plans into the US are probably going to be completely fucked up by the INSANE weather ongoing in most of the US – shit, it’s warmer in Alaska – which reminds me of the time that I wanted to get to a con which would have been crucial to my development as an SF writer and 9/11 intervened, except this time it’s all expenses paid and guess what, they’ll WAIT for me, as I don’t imagine I’d be stranded more than two days so I’ll still get to do it.  I learned that Pearl, Cat Faber’s octave mandolin (ALSO by Peter Cox) experienced technical difficulties and is now in the shop, meaning I do not have an octave mandolin as a back up if United destroys or loses Otto. (And I know that as sad as that might be, I would just ask for the bits back or get Peter to make me another one, him being obliging that way, if remunerated.  Who’s to say the replacement wouldn’t be even more amazing?)  This means I would have to do the entire concert on a regular sized mando – which I DO NOT WANT – or transpose EVERYTHING to a guitar, which for a couple of songs would be fine and for everything else would probably cause my nervous system to implode – or sing the entire concert a capella, which would be extremely wearing for my audience.  I will be taking Lemming’s advice about packageration seriously.  I reproduce it below.  Jeff invented the word garbarcage to describe when tv shows are shitty because they have too much arc and too little of what we watch the shows for.  Eddie is needing fluids at least every other day, he has started to refuse his meds and he’s gone off his food, although he’s still making the trek to the litter tray.  Margot has gotten very sucky, which is unusual.  I’m making plans to travel after the shop is gone.  I found out that the Squamish name for Thomas Mulcair is “Angry Beard” (okay it’s just one Squamish dude who is calling him that, but DID I LAUGH when I read that) and that it’s too cold outside right now for the Lincoln Park Zoo Polar Bear. I’ve been applying for jobs every day, no response. However, I am relaxed about it.  What will be, will be.  No use flinching or being rebellious.  The leathern thong descends whether I’ve been a good girl or not.


Tip #1: Depending on size of body, sometimes banjo cases work for octave mandolin type instruments. Tip #2: A way to save money on a case AND protect the instrument: Call guitar stores in area and see if one will give you an instrument-size box. A banjo box would probably work. Check airline regs for box measurements before proceeding. They’re supposed to allow some leeway for musical instruments. Invest in some bubble wrap. Loosen strings. Wrap instrument in bubble wrap, inside soft case. Wrap case in bubble wrap. Stuff bubble wrap in bottom of box, put in instrument, put bubble wrap on all sides and top filling box, seal box with heavy 2″ wide packing tape, about twice as much as you need. Pack one roll of packing tape so you can re-pack before you leave to go home. Add handle (easy to make one with tape, or tape on a handle, or tie on some rope. Mark stuff on package with large black magic marker “THIS SIDE UP! FRAGILE: DO NOT BEND. CONTAINS ANGRY ELVES WHO WILL HURT YOU IF YOU WAKE THEM UP” or some such thing. Tip #3: First, find out if the planes you’re flying on all have closets. Second, carry the thing with you, in the soft case, but do wrap it in bubble wrap inside the case. Make sure it’s small enough to fit in the overhead. Go up to the counter and ask if they’ll find space in the closet for your instrument. If they’re crazy enough to want to gate-check it, well, that’s what the bubble wrap inside the case is for, but if they do that, ask them if they’ve seen the “United Breaks Guitars” video, nicely. If you have to put it in the overhead, stuff a large coat or something all around it so no one tries to smash it with their luggage. Again, bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is your friend

Oh, and don’t forget the loosen strings part. Most of the time, no difference, but the changes in air pressure in the luggage compartment plus string tension will eventually cause the neck to break at the nut.

And take along spare strings because one often breaks when you retighten.

Sorrow and anger

Should you divorce your family?

Dr. Michelle Golland suggested a sort of checklist of traits that are warning signs a familial relationship is unhealthy and may be worth ending, including: “You feel drained when associating with the person. The person continuously makes you angry. The person is manipulative towards you to get what they want.”

Trying to be ‘the bigger person’ didn’t help. Trying to ‘fake it til I make it’ didn’t work. Pulling out my wallet to paper over the cracks didn’t help. I don’t imagine for a second that it will help anybody but me, but exhaustion won, and I am slowly and painfully crawling away to someplace safe.  In the best of all possible worlds I’d be rational on the subject, but since I can’t, I have to protect what little sanity I have.

Wrote 750 words this morning, practiced, did my Lumosity, ran the dishwasher and tidied the kitchen.  Keith is coming over shortly.


We watched Jazz – Keith very much enjoyed it.


Katie is coming over to extract some of her clothes and toiletries.  Hopefully there will be enough gone that I can establish some order in the guest bedroom, which looks at the moment much like the den of a hibernating bear.

Loki lowkey Christmas

Showed the shop on Christmas day AND Boxing day.  It will be a Syncretic Agnostic Festive Miracle if I sell the place, but I’m okay with what happens.  Everything changes. Failure hasn’t killed me yet.

As part of our Syncretic Agnostic Festive Season, we acquired Chinese Food, watched documentaries and SGA, and bought zero presents, sent zero cards.  I did go to a Christmas Eve service which was about the advent and deliverance of joy, love, peace and hope, framed by the story of the Christ child and Mary.  (Joseph always gets left out… I’m gonna make a sermon for him some day).

One of the best things about filk is that if you change the lyrics to be less sexist nobody will comment.  I say this looking at Uplift, a wonderful song written in 1999, but it contains Mankind.  I will sing it as Humans.  All will be well.

I’ve already blasted through the second hand book Tammy gave me for Christmas.  It’s called The Forty Rules of Love, and I cried BUCKETS while I was reading it, but it is about the love between Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and it is a very wonderful and sad story.  In the end, Rumi is a poet, but everyone around him paid a high price for it.

Poetry doesn’t come from nowhere; for me it is language reaching through my emotions to a page; to the release and abandonment of expressing a feeling in the most charged and delicate way possible.  Poetry is like the sprite that forms above a massive thunderstorm.  So brief, so beautiful, and invisible unless you are looking RIGHT AT IT when it happens. She who has not seen will say it doesn’t exist.  She who has seen will pummel words and rhythms, grasp at floating down, weave spider silk and daydreams, stare at bones, bond with discards, trace the impression of a car tire in tar, build launching pads of paper and foil. Her dissatisfaction is the human eternal, embroidered with a great ‘Ah!”

Lumosity, mando practice, paperwork.  That is at least part of my day.

Church today was great

A good service, enlivened by Rev Deb’s inclusion of both Thomas King and George Carlin.  Plus, Beatles, and Dark of Winter, my favourite hymn as sung by the choir.  Paul, bless him, is back from his gig in Seattle and gave me a lift to and likewise fro. I sent him forth with chicken breast for sandwiches, my homemade pickled beets (which he adores) and a frozen soup by way of thanks (also he gave me one of his very chiropractic hugs, which by damn I needed!)

Wrote about 750 words on Midnite Moving today.

Practiced HARD this morning.  It’s getting close!

Found Keith’s 300$ sunglasses in the couch downstairs.  Phoned him immediately and was he glad!

No walkies today.  Still a bit nasty underfoot out there.  Not like Toronto, though, it’s a freaking mess there.

A*****e McF*****t stood me up for the meet at the shop.  Sorry, I’m not in the mood to be charitable.  Jeff knows the whole tale and concurs.

Totally took down some asshat on twitter going on about vaccination.  The article he linked to said that vaccinations have something to do with infant mortality in the US.  ( well they do, just not negatively). The high infant mortality rate in the US has more to do with institutionalized racism and unevenly distributed prenatal care than vaccination, and anybody who says different doesn’t know a FUCKING THING about epidemiology, obstetrics, and forty years of data drawing a line between race and good — or poor — health outcomes.  Given that the twitter account is ostensibly an anti racism media site, I unloaded very hard.  I do not want persons of colour to put their kids at risk believing this bullshit because ‘da man’ makes bad vaccines.  HEAVY HEAVY SIGH.

As a palate cleanser….Cute temporary tattoos!

Privilege has its memberships!


Middle class.

University educated.

IQ over 120  – as at last time I was tested…. my BPI on Lumosity is over 1250 and I am in the top percentiles (for all the categories for my age and sex).

Reproductively successful ciswoman.

No birth defects.

All senses currently intact.

Mobile enough to walk every day.

Able to obtain and use a driver’s license.

City dweller all my life with access to cultural amenities and public transit.

Access to health care at low cost including midwifery, physio and eyecare.

Member of an extremely supportive religious community.

Raised by both parents.

Both parents university educated.

Not abused during upbringing (not sexually or physically, no alcoholism, drug abuse or mental illness in family of origin).

Up until fairly recently, consistently employed and employable. Large number of skills mostly in an office setting, but it amazes me sometimes when I look back over my life and see what I’ve learned to do.

Never institutionalized for drug or alcohol abuse or mental illness.

Never jailed, arrested or detained for questioning.

Never randomly stopped by police except in a car for a drunk driving check, and even then I talked my way out of the one time I had been drinking and driving.  (I know, right?)

Never had an unpleasant personal encounter with the police.

Raised atheist/agnostic.

Raised as an appreciator of reason, science, science fiction and imagination.

Raised in a house full of books, music, and intellectual appreciation.

Always had a tv in the house and access to a library card.

Able at one point to afford to purchase a house.

Have a bank account.

Have a secure place to sleep at night.

Access to abundant food, clean water and fresh air, in my house or in walking distance.

Access to land to grow food on if I wish.

Not currently addicted to drugs or alcohol and apart from over the counter stuff there’s nothing in the house.  (OK, I think there’s an airplane bottle of rum somewhere in the house….)

Although I am not neurotypical, my brain challenges are not sufficient to prevent me from enjoying employment, relationships, creative endeavours.

Passport!  Just remembered that.  It’s a privilege I share with more than 50 percent of Canadians but globally it’s a huge privilege to have a Canadian passport.

Access to all vaccinations (I even got Hep C vaccinations when it turned out I could get them for free).

Access to refrigeration and subzero storage.

Access to appliances such as washing machines and cook stoves.

Access to internet 24.7 except when Shaw loses its mind.

Able to speak, read, and write English at a very high level.  It’s a privilege I’d trade for nothing, too.

Access to world class continuing education on a bewildering range of subjects.

Living in a big house with an excellent roommate, who is honest and sane and helps keep me safe and healthy.


What’s YER privilege?





I love it when my characters come up with good lines

George, sputtering about his cousin Theo, “The plural of fun is not drama!”


Jeff and I have started watching Longmire.  It’s loaded with some of our fave actors; Robert Taylor is totally new to us and turns out to be an Aussie; Katee Sackhoff, Bailey Chase, Gerald McRaney, Peter Weller, Lou Diamond Phillips.  Well written, exquisitely shot and kinda violent, just the way I like my shows.