free form in grey

Facebook knows I’m in Burnaby so it tells me to watch out for rain. I am indeed watching the rain. I’m at the Aerie. The clouds are low, grey and without much in the way of form.

Walked to Mike’s last night – I hate asking him to pick me up unless we’re going somewhere immediately afterward, and it’s a miracle of geography that he lives close enough to walk to – and he greeted me with beer and lovely cooking smells.

At dinner, to the south and west and against the sunset, there was a running half hour of demonstrations of virga, also known as fallstreaks.

I got a tenderloin steak PERFECTLY COOKED OMG and veggies for dinner. Then more beer. Mike put on “Outrageously long 70’s rock songs” as the after dinner mix, which was pretty funny. I mean, I knew that In-a-Gadda-da-Vida had a drum solo in the middle of it but I didn’t remember it being so good, nor had I remembered that the lyrics are like the high water mark of brainless misogyny.

Now I’m up again, having slept through the night for the first time since November (normally I sleep in two shifts, and I’m generally awake between 1 am and 9 am.) I know my laundry is done and I’ve got more frozen dinners and made more cocoa powder and repacked my tea box and now I’m going to see if I can roust out Mike and go for breakfast before I head home and try and get a little more housework done before my shift starts tonight.

Sundays are usually fairly slow, but we shall see. I’ll be checking the schedule to see if there’s more work for me… the schedule runs out after the 29th. SO I MIGHT BE UNEMPLOYED or underemployed or whatever. And you know what, me no care.

Poor Alex is puking sick and Katie is afraid to lose her job while she minds him. They’ve been sick three times since September; she’s so tired of being sick and tired, but that’s what mothering a toddler is like in this pesthouse.

I light a candle for

All those reading this who have suffered a loss, the kind of loss that lessens you personally; not a thing you have lost but a large chunk of cognition and equilibrium chewed away by fate.
Perhaps it will grow back.
Perhaps is unlikely.

This space is full of ballerinas toe dancing through minefields of grief.

1 in particular arrives at the other side of the ‘stage’, limbs intact, smile intact.
Watching her, you’d never know they move the mines every night, as you stand to applaud you think, “So consistent in her performance,” and yet
as she moves she’s thinking she’ll be happy to hit that grief and sit with it a while, with whatever limbs she has left.
And then she’s reconstituted, maybe takes tea with a friend, something germane and mundane, and the friend presses fatty food onto her, seeing that she only has a pound of fat left on her and it appears to be between her ears
and not doing well/and there are other ballerinas to be visited and given tea

It’s our job to make other people happy and then they die, and they stole our job.

Of course there’s a long list of things wrong with that sentence
If you really want somebody to be happy it’s not a job
and I say
of course
fuck that noise, it’s always a job, it’s always been a job

but some jobs you scramble through your shower and into your clothes to get to, and that’s what making somebody happy feels like

and then it stops. There are no clothes to scramble into, or out of.

There’s a list of tasks with no happiness. There may be the shadow of grim satisfaction that they’re done, but there’s no happiness in it.

You’re an animal. You’re easily distracted. You find a minute, or two minutes, or three, when you’re not a tunnel from grief to grief, stormed and held by monsters that look like every harsh word and uncaring action you ever directed at the dead.
cheer up it could be worse you prick you prick that was the minute the downpour started
Cheer up it could be worse.
My beloved is dead, and I’m alive.

I wanted to be able to feel your love for another hundred years. I’m not suggesting I would have done something as depraved as put your consciousness in a robot but yes I might have, I might have, and now that will never happen.
I wanted you live forever because that’s just how wonderful you are. I can deal with dying but I wanted to believe you’d live forever and now you’re dead and I’m not allowed to believe that anymore.
There are so many things I’m no longer allowed to believe.

This space is full of a waterfall. Thanks to magic it looks white, but once you get close you see it’s not water, and it’s not white.
Every tear I’ve cried since you died is in there somewhere. Drip drip. I think some snot got in there too.

This space is full of steam. Hot water helps. I can still stand in a stream of hot water and let this poor messed up body feel some relief. Steam from a cuppa. Steam from my breath, waiting for the bus. Steam from the tops of buildings. Steam from icy grass as it sublimes. And with the pulse of steam I think of the next breath, which you will never draw, and it’s on me again, riding me like a parody of a savage, except it is not savage, and it knows how to ride.
I look at ceremonies of grief and they are all lacking.
Who will grieve you like I can?
Who will grieve for you when I am gone.


I’ve rebooted the POS program at work three times now. Honestly there are times when I want to smuggle Jeff in here to look at it and see how bad things really are, but then it occurs to me that he doesn’t want to come near this place without silver.

Otherwise a quiet shift.

I’m really tired. I was supposed to hang out with Alex last night but he’s puking sick so I can’t.

Watched Rogue One, which I adored, and The Great Wall, which was hokey but surprisingly effective. Jason Bourne in Medieval Fantasy China.

rilly? rilly?

after a year of bugging Katie daily to get a job, her s/o has learned to his horror that this means he must devote an entire day of his two day weekend to child care. This is apparently ‘not what he would prefer to do’ which all things considered is a truly remarkable locution. An amicable split is now planned.

He never performed more than two hours of childcare in a row the entire time Alex has been alive. I think of Paul’s efforts and while they were never enough in my harassed and underwhelmed view he was a proper parent.

Anyhoo, I won’t believe it until it’s happened, but maybe it will happen.

Work is fine. I am working full time for the next two weeks, after that who knows.


So… the other day, Jeff and I were joshing around, as we often do, and we began to watch the basketball Insane Equinox with less of an eye to the sportsing sportsiness of it all and more an ear to the quite stunning array of SFX the ball makes as it traverses, caresses, caroms wildly away from having struck violently, whiffs through, bounces from, and rubs itself suggestively around, the rim of the basket.

With each dunk, and attempt, we sat up straighter and straighter. It became virtually impossible not to laugh. Bonk! Ba-dunk. Wa-dung! Whiff. Sh-thwoop. It was like being at a Don Martin Sound Effects Workshop. Gump-it. Pok! Unk. On and on it went, with never a repetition, never a slowing of the infinite variety. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be funny to invent a language where you substituted one set of phonemes, say from English, with a ranked array of basketball hoop noises. It would take forever to say anything, and everyone in earshot would be long dead of laughter before your conversation was done.


Breakfast, once again from the Instant Pot, was beef congee. It was so damn good I had trouble maintaining muscle tone while I was eating it.

OH GOSH I’m still writing Destiel fic and I’m going straight to hell but I got like 150 likes in way less than 24 hours for the last one and I should probably shut up at this point.

Katie phoned me in tears. Alex is fine. One day she will tell herself a story that her babydaddy is not in. They are all stories.

Back to work. A lovely quiet shift, nothing nasty or jarring….


Poor Mike. He’s sprung a rib (you can actually see and feel the difference) and while I pounded on him for a while and helped the muscles relax, he’s still sprung.

We went out last night to Cafe Deux Soleils to say goodbye to his French colleague Pierre and I had the veggie pot pie and salad which was quite delicious and a good beer and a beer that should have been spanked and sent home. I’m heading back tonight for pot roast, and Jeff can join us if he wants to.

later: It took 20 minutes to cook in the instant pot and it was stellar…

weird shift

long about 2 am the heating quit. I piled on all my outer clothes and shivered for about three hours – the thermometer said it was 18 but I know what 18 degrees C feels like and this was close to 14. Then there was a godawful series of clanks through the far wall and it magically started working again.


Finished what’s been published so far of the Expanse series. It’s not fantastically well edited (I found a couple of howlarious typos) but DAYYAM what a freakin excellent story. My top ten reasons for loving the books / show:

1. Normalizing poly relationships. (Major Character comes from poly family.)
2. Really gritty examination of have vs have-not politics. (Belters vs. Inners)
3. Chrisjen – best politician I have ever seen in fiction. AND HER COSTUMES OM NOM NOM.
4. The humour. There are a couple of characters, Amos in especial, who can say things that completely crack me up. Repeatedly.
5. One of the best descriptions of what long term love looks like I’ve run across in fiction. (for more than one relationship, across more than one kind of relationship).
6. Awesome frikkin villains – and believable ones too. Some get theirs, others, oh well.
7. Shippiles of redemption and sacrifice. Redemption and sacrifice are immensely important to both plot and character development and don’t come from nowhere. You know what people’s moral compasses look like.
8. I love the Roci, I really really do. (The Rocinante, formerly the Tachi – it’s a ship that will take its place next to the Millennium Falcon and Serenity when Heaven’s navy is assembled.)
9. Representation doesn’t just matter, it makes up a large part of what the series is about.
10 Asskickings and orbital mechanics served up right. Almost too much detail, but the fight scenes are memorable…. that one scene in the corridor/elevator of the Behemoth is just amazing.


Oh, and the casting is perfect. COLPITO.


So I had an hour long scotoma this morning; it was of a zebra striped worm running all over my visual field, sometimes obscuring half of it, sometimes one corner. Spent a lot of time in bed today, mostly sleeping.

I’m adjusting my diet a little to see if that helps and drinking less caffeine overnight (but not going cold turkey, that will make it worse.)

Upsun edit is finished. I’m going to do another really close re-read to ensure that there are no continuity errors between the first two books (caught a couple of doozies – easy fixes, fortunately), and then hand it over to Jeff to upload. So I missed my end of Feb deadline but not by too much – there’s maybe another week of close re-reading to go. I am working full time, in case I hadn’t previously pointed that out.

I wish it was funnier, although it is in spots, and the second book in the trilogy has some of my favourite humorous bits in the whole series. Midnite Moving Co., which I wrote as an entertainment for Jeff, is consistently the funniest thing I ever wrote (I laughed very hard the last time I re-read it in a couple of spots, since I keep forgetting there are certain lines I wrote which are gen-u-wine highsterical) and now I want all the books to be like that. Oh well. I started out wanting to be taken seriously and now all I want to do is make people laugh, since that seems to be harder to manage and somehow, in this environment of doom and gloom, quite laudable.

Contemplating the 75k words I’ve written on Destiel fic since the beginning of January with something like horror. I have to finish it. It’s never aliens, except this time it’s aliens, and I’m planning on MOVING THE MAGNETIC NORTH POLE as part of the thrilling climax.


With side trips for a little light porn.
Watch me juggle, I am the two of pentacles.

Kat Tanaka Okopnik continues to be awesome

and I quote

Once again for the people who didn’t get the memo all the other times:
Mansplaining doesn’t simply mean “a man condescended to a woman”. It means “a man with lesser expertise attempted to override a woman with greater expertise AND SUCCEEDED because of societal support for misogyny.” [ADDENDUM: “…even if the woman managed to wrest conversation back from the mansplainer.”]
(My irritated thanks to people who necessitate my revising and revising and revising definitions so that the points are as pointy and clear as possible.)


Was supposed to hang out with Janice L and sing and play this afternoon but she got overtime and I slept. How very exciting eh wot? Keith came over to watch Westworld with Jeff.

We started watching Hap and Leonard and I’m really liking it, although the standout to my mind is Michael K. Williams as Leonard. Liking Christina Hendricks as Trudy – still not convinced about the casting efficacy of James Purefoy as Hap.

Back at work for another five days. I’m going to try to edit tonight; I’ve had a couple of epiphanies

More OT

Worked an hour and a half of unwished for OT as my last act of the working week. Not impressed, but what can ya do.

Margot and Buster just watched a bird video side by side. Margot, being less experienced, wanted to pat the birds on the screen and Buster didn’t quite roll his eyes. The amity lasted 5 minutes and then Buster tried to chase her off, and then in disgust went to his perch on the top of my bunk bed.

Editing today. I’d prefer to be doing almost anything.

Shut yer trap

If you’re racist and you know it shut your mouth X2 If you’re racist and you know it then you’re not obliged to show it If you’re racist and you know it shut your mouth

If you’re sexist and you know it shut your mouth X2 If you’re sexist and you know it then we’d all like you to stow it If you’re sexist and you know it shut your mouth

the shit I think up when I’m trying to nap before work

a little ot

A couple of hours of overtime, and basically all I will do for the rest of the day is sleep. I may grab some food on the way home.

Paul gave me a lift in again, which was very very kind of him, and made a huge difference to my mood – not having to crunch through the recent and continuous snow.

I still haven’t made it to Westcoast Guitars to get Edith the minimandolin fixed (she got a crush injury, we’re not sure how).