random pic and work bullshit

another random picture from the recently taken ones, this one from the skate park. Shown are Katie and Samantha, who really should take no for an answer.

Paul was supposed to start his holidays yesterday and didn’t notice that he wasn’t supposed to go into work. Seeing as how the entertainment system on (aircraft identity deleted on the insistence of my lawyer) had decided to do a series of very bizarre things (turn on the reading light in row 13, works on row 22, among other Mack Sennett style symptoms) and it’s an overseas aircraft, he spent the whole day – from 7 am until I picked him up AFTER 10 pm – working on fixing it, it was just as well he went in. Two of his coworkers who will not be named although for two pins I would and to hell with my lawyer, WATCHED THE F*CKING HOCKEY GAME IN THE READY ROOM instead of helping him, after the widebodies were done around 2 pm. PS the aircraft is fixed now, although Paul is still wondering who walked off with the freaking (deleted on insistence of lawyer) and didn’t put them back. Note to self. Make sure the (deleted) are actually on the aircraft the next time you get on a plane.

Paul worried all the way to work about how his leadership style was ineffective, and I said if you can show me how to lead slackers (slackers being a milder substitute for the original word, which inferred sexual abuse towards the canine ilk) without hitting them repeatedly in tender areas and then asking Do You Understand Me Now? you will truly be stellar among leaders. Leading by example just doesn’t work anymore. There’s no societal notion of shame that actually operates across age, sex, cultural and religious lines. People can get on tv for doing unbelievably shameful, brutally stupid and just plain mind gogglingly rude things and people will pay for the privilege of watching them complain about how much sh*t they’ve received for ‘such a small error in judgement’. You can lead by example inside a group of people who already agree on certain things – like inside a church – and I can see the proof of that all the time. But generally? Across the board? Nah. You can’t wring shame from the shameless; you’re just raising the blood pressure of the well-behaved when you try. (This line deleted on the fevered insistence of my lawyer, after reading me the relevant sections on libel and slander in the Criminal Code of Canada). So Paul decided he’d just get them sent home from work without pay, so they can watch the World Cup on their own f*cking time.

I should prob’ly proceed to other things.

Leaving for church in about an hour… my first experience with the church youth. Will we survive? Will anybody attend? Sigh.

softwood softhead

I note with amusement that as predicted the Americans have folded on the softwood lumber issue. Amazing what three hurricanes can do to American trade policy. I should keep track of my good and bad predictions.

Had a wonderful youth group meeting today, transacted a bunch of business around worship (mostly re worship) and what the kids are reading/watching while walking around in the early fall sunshine. Got to grab those rays while one can….

circle and other things

When we finish lighting candles at our small group ministry, this is what it looks like.

Katie’s off with Lexi to go work out, and Keith is reading and I’m contemplating all the things I don’t want to do today! I have three separate church services or meetings to go to this weekend, but it’s made easier by the fact that Paul is working and therefore not so resentful of the call on my time.

Mike brought Hero (starring Jet Li) over last night and we all sat around – all six of us if you can believe it – and watched it on his LAPTOP because the freaking disk ne marche pas in the DVD player downstairs. Wonderful movie. Keith, wonder child that he is, got quite bent over the sound tinniness and crawled around the floor for a while liberating the speakers from the desk top so we could have surround sound. I have to admit it really improved the quality of the experience, and that is an amazing screen for a laptop. I’m glad the chesterfield Granny gave me is so big. We had pasta for supper again.

Zeek! the mighty hunter ate a mouse in front of Katie this morning. He waited until she was gazing out the back door, horror struck, and then siphoned it down. And we just dewormed the little buggers, too. He’s off to the vet next Friday to get his teeth cleaned and some of them yoinked. Then he insisted on breakfast too! What a porker. They are going to look at what appears to be a mass in his stomach but when he went to the vet’s last he probably ate a mouse for a midnight snack and then had breakfast, so the vet was probably worrying over nothing. After the deworming treatments Kira is not coughing so much; the vet said that if that was the problem she would gradually start coughing less and less over about two months. She’s definitely much more skittery than normal (even for her) but that could be the wind and the rain and being more housebound. Heavy sigh. I wish I could write something thought provoking and marvellous, but all I can think of is that guy I read about on Fark, who caught fire during an attempt to fix his automobile and stopped, dropped and rolled…. into a tray of gasoline. Although he was an idiot up until that point, the doctors treating his array of burns said he did all the right things afterwards, like bypass the local hospital and go to a burn specialist and keep the burns moist. What it is to have hindsight.

Paul went for a run this morning. I should make my lunch for the music meeting and cut up some vegetables. I should cure cancer, promote peace and clean my room, but really I think I’ll curl up with Good Soldier Svejk for a while.

Paul said “I am going to try an experiment and try not to be so critical and praise more.” So of course he got into a fight with Katie about Lynn biting her. Well, Katie did step on her hair, even if it was an accident. Anyway, after Katie got busted for assault in March (Oh, didn’t I mention that?) we’re a little sensitive on the subject around here so I can understand why Paul got exercised, but it’s been like Rashomon, hearing Katie’s version, and Keith’s version, and I’ve yet to hear from Paul except to dismiss the whole thing. Anyway I think that Katie’s been punished enough and she’s still on speaking terms with Lynn, who would probably laugh at the notion of pressing charges, so I think the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot, although I can’t help but idly wonder how entertaining pictures of this catfight would have been if someone had been present minded enough to snap them. (I am the personification of evil motherhood, sigh.)

Art Spiegelmann has a new book out, and I intend to purchase it. Anything that reproduces a lot of Little Nemo and Katzenjammer Kids can’t be all bad.

The new Strangers in Paradise is out, 68 I think. It better be better than the last 6 or so, they all sucked gas station restroom mops.

Okay, they were drawn well, Terry can’t do anything EXCEPT draw well, but plotwise they were skanky.

Wonkette continues to make me her biggest Canadian fan. I love her take on things. When she’s wrong, she actually says so, which is more than I can say for the likes of Michelle Malkin. Have you read her latest column? It’s a hate crime with a byline. Speaking of pundits, I think that Molly Ivins is starting to misplace her outrage and veer off into despair. Her invective is gone, she just sounds tired and sad, although of COURSE she still makes lots of sense.

Is it just me, or are you experiencing Schadenfreude over all the Repulsigan gay / bi pols in the States that are being outed left right and cosmetics aisle? There are more to come, as well, according to the gimlet eyed gent who has made it his business to out every gay person who had anything to do with the Defense of Marriage act in the US.

I light a candle for the victims of Beslan.

I talk to a LOT of Floridians in my job, and they’ve been chattier than normal of late. Mr. Z. in Ocala FL told me that Floridians are, man woman and child, crazy right now. The stress and panic and general freakedoutness is so high that people feel like running down the street shrieking – and they’d be moving faster than the cars on the I95, as he opined. He also said that it SUCKS to be in construction in FL right now because – and I had NO IDEA this was the case, lumber is unbelieveably expensive and concrete more so. WHY? Because China due to the construction boom and Three Gorges, is eating about 70% of the world’s construction material capacity right now. So not only are Floridians going to be hampered in their cleanup efforts by the fact that another couple of hurricans may blow through before the middle of November, the prices to rebuild are insane. I am willing to bet that the current softwood lumber debate in the US will evaporate by the end of the year. The US is simply going to be too hungry for construction materials to want to dicker over tariffs. If all the construction heavies in FL hold a gun to Jeb Bush’s head, just watch how fast those negotiations turn around. You can bet your sweet ass that the major construction companies in FL are NOT headed up by pinko softy Democraps.

circle et cetera

Good morning everybody. Circle last night. Skipped supper so I could pig out on goodies afterwards and now I feel a little strange. Keith put bread on last night. He asked me how anybody could tell if he was wearing a mask and I said I don’t know. If you’re consistent about it how could anybody tell? And I said if he wanted to take his mask off to be rude, I would probably not like it very much. He agreed with me. I think he is really really tired of being the good kid. He wants to cut loose and do something silly and is afraid we won’t love him any more if he does. That’s how it looks – I imagine I’ll have to ask him. It’s rather odd; I could say anything at all about either of my kids and they’d rather die than read my blog, so somebody in Lagos could be following their progress and they’d be blissfully ignorant. But it got me thinking about the masks. I’m much more polite than I want to be. That’s why I write humour or say funny things – I’m basically hostile and have to pretty it up. I really should get back into standup – Margaret Cho was a revelation to me, that you can be that rude and that funny. Margaret never pushed two kids out so I think I can probably raise her on the grossness issue. Childrearing is a march through bodily fluids. Paul didn’t want to download the pix last night so nothing from circle, but here’s something from Victoria.

(2019 from Pkols)

good gnomes

I am very humbly grateful to the gnomes who got the site up again so I could log in and post. Writers’ workshop at L.E.’s on Tuesday was great, some new people and some old people and the usual amazing writing. Especially appreciated L.E’s story as well as Hannah’s writing. I think I had a remarkably and weirdly normal childhood.

Board meeting also great, I have a feeling canvass is going to be fantastic this year. I feel like an ass for signing up for canvass, but I suppose everybody has to have stretch goals and it is entertaining to speculate which of my pore beleaguered cocongregants will have the d’ubious privilege of a visit from me to shake loose some cheques. Maybe I’ll hum the music that’s playing in the background as Max Bialystock fleeces little old ladies (I can just picture my mother’s face as she reads that). One of these days the church’ll get tired of me and they’ll all howl and point at the door, but it hasn’t happened yet… and now that I think of it, it’s not likely to happen as long as I cough up my pledge. Katie just phoned me for no reason, just to say hi! I am sensible of the great gift of telecommunication.

I leave with a quote from Mr. Damon, from April of 2004. He runs www.nmazca.com/blog, which is one of my pilgrimage points on the internet. We have corresponded, briefly. He and I do not see eye to eye about the world, but he is a very humane and intelligent man, and it’s a very Unitarian quote.

Now let me be clear about something. I am not a Christian, but I am neither anti-Christian nor anti-church. I recognize and support modes of thought and faith and communion that provide people with solace, strength and a sense of vibrancy and blessing. I DO NOT have a high regard for fundamentalist, literalist philosophies and the oppressive, narrow and, in some cases, violent behaviors that they promote. That has little to do with religion and Spirit, in my opinion, and a whole lot do with fear, control and ambitions toward dominion.

To bring harm, hardship, anxiety and death to your enemies — who are in fact your human + natural relations — in the name of a deity, or with a notion of divine guidance + supremacy, is an act of utmost ignorance and an affront to all of that which is our true nature and purpose.


My ninety-two year old Granny fed me, my folks and my kids lunch today. Home made macaroni, green salad, fruit salad and a glass of skim milk. Pretty obvious how she lived to be so old. Apart from her hearing – which has been terrible since she had scarlet fever as a child – everything is working remarkably well. Paul will be sad he missed seeing her, as he adores my grandmother.

We did all the normal regular things today – up the mountain to look at the view and take pictures, over to Tim Hortons to suck up some calories, and then over to Kings Pond to feed the ducks. The wood ducks are all gone but there were plenty of mallards.

There was a mouse at the bird feeder in my parents’ yard but he messed off before I could catch him. Then a little nap after reading a few bits out of National Geographic, then the blog – my site wasn’t up this am for some reason. Then put the foam beds away downstairs, wander all over the house looking for the usual wide range of things we’ve forgotten to pack and then the ferry. Paul sounds like he’s looking forward to having us back. Wonder if he got the second lot of worming pills into Kira – Zeek! scratched me so badly I was still oozing blood fifteen minutes later and that finger is still quite sore. More later….

glad to be me

Jan not only WASHED MY DISHES – and every freaking dish in the house was dirty, folks – she DROVE ME TO THE FERRY with kinder in tow. How can I not love in-common-laws like that? She’s a goddess among women!

Got a great picture of Katie taking a picture from the ferry but I don’t have the software to get it onto the computer at my parents so that will be for later. My 92 year old granny has a convection oven and BAKED MY FAVOURITE chocolate cake with butter icing (Homer voice, mmmm butter icing) and I made her a cup of tea and we all had pizza and various other foodicles for lunch. I’ve decided I don’t want to go to the Egypt exhibit, the notion of standing for hours in a line is not something I can grok currently, so I watched Howard Keel and Katherine Grayson in Kiss Me Kate instead. (Kate’s idea, she likes Grayson and really likes the movie – actually she’s a bit of a fifties musical fan – blood will tell dahlings.) I get a strange thrill every time I see Bob Fosse dancing in that movie. He could sing, he could dance, and man could he choreograph. Too bad he was such a little sh*t, but that’s the artistic temperament for you. Not much else has happened today, saw my brother briefly and watched Katie snap him while he snoozed in the dreaded Coils of Morpheus (the sun room La-Z-Boy), bought three kinds of underwear (Sponge Bob boxers for Kate, no name black boxers for me, and these cotton briefs that Katie calls ‘granny panties’ for me (Kate wears thongs, which for a variety of reasons I am too polite to describe in detail wouldn’t uh work for me)) as well as boys jeans for her. I sorted through some of my parents’ castoffs and collected two of my favourite books from my childhood/adolescence (being Bob Hope’s severely ghostwritten and really funny autobiography Have Tux Will Travel and The Marx Brothers at the Movies, which has long excerpts from the scripts, which after almost 70 years are still absolutely brilliant, anarchic, witty and surreal.) I could have had a brown suede coat and a spoiled mustard coloured coat but after almost a decade in Vancouver I’ve declared war on any coat that doesn’t have a functioning hood. I did yoink the moccasins, I’ve had a yen for such footgear for a while and they fit perfectly. My mother has just finished assembling her mother’s family stories with tons and tons of pics, and I bound some of them on the comb binding machine while parts of Kiss Me Kate (ie dialogue) were on that I didn’t enjoy so much. I LOVE James Whitmore’s suit in that movie, I’d kill for a suit and hat like that even if it made me look ludicrous. Katie loves Anne Millers’ pink Bianca costume in Kiss me Kate – it’s this wispy busty little number. Keith announced that he wants to learn tap dancing. I told him to practice some more on the mandolin and we’d discuss it. Actually I can see him Irish Step Dancing instead, which is one of the ancestors of tap. He says he’s a lot more coordinated than he used to be, which is very true, but we’re already paying for one set of lessons.

I think that this morning on the ferry was the first time in about ten years I’ve gotten onto a ferry without spending any money. Amazing. Picture shown is something I pulled at random off my mother’s hard drive.

My mother is thrilled that I did the comb binding on the three family books already and is getting the rest of them ready to finish so I’ll be off now. I feel so happy and so relaxed that I just know it won’t last.

sleep what is that

It has been a rather crowded 36 hours. Saw Arden B, the newly minted scion of two of my coworkers, on Friday aft (and his mum Char OF COURSE who’s looking pretty good), said goodbye to Bryan P. who has found work in rainier climes, and headed over to Sergey and Megan and Ariel’s for dinner. I had no idea in advance what I was going to be eating, and it turned out to be Taiwanese style seafood hot pot. Really reallly reeaaallly good seafood hot pot, like some of the best food I ever ate. And some really really really dynamite homemade wine. Brian C and Chari P were also in attendance (my Paul and Keith showed up as well) and we ate ourselves into a very merry state indeed.

At the time of departure Sergey pressed a VERY well loved copy of The Good Soldier Sveik into my hands, which is a book I had been meaning to read for about three decades, and I am now up to chapter 9 and very startled by it all, and reduced to helpless giggles by parts of it. Also pressed into my hands are an 11 by 17 colour picture of what Rob B looks like as he staggers out onto his porch the morning after B-fest; his eyes are literally different sizes in the picture and his hair is, well, uh, erect. And sort of, uh, combative. I will NOT be reproducing it as I do NOT have Sergey’s permission, and he took the picture, so I will abide by his decision. Always instructional when your friends are more nicer than you. Also pressed into my hands a mini series about the Crusades narrated by Terry Jones. Due to excesses no doubt, godawful night’s sleep – Paul and I were BOTH up when Katie cruised home long about 3:30.

Drove Paul into work for 7 am which did NOT sweeten my disposition.

To my satisfaction, Sally F has come, helped me shop and gone, and fitted the pattern for the costume and we picked up ALL the fabric – 9 jeezly metres of it – and all the buttons and notions and stays. I don’t mean to say I’m happy she’s gone, but that we accomplished so much. The fabric is not exactly what I was picturing but exactly what I want and will be relatively easy for Sally to work on, so that’s all good. Visited Fabricana afterwards. Holy virgin, what a place. Gave my mother a hint of the delights in store when next she darkens the pier in Vancouver.

Then a shop with Katie and got the desk finished and the old desk disassembled (thank you Keith) and sent sailing into the trailer that Tom L. has kindly left in the back yard as the garbage it truly is. Then Keith hooked everything back up again and demonstrated that it all works. *Oh and he mowed the front lawn today. Then cousin in law Jan showed up after having helped her daughter move into a place somewhere in East Van with two other girls preparatory to starting school here, and then picked Paul up at work, then cooked supper (pan fried parsnips, baby bok choi and mushroom stir fry, barbecued chicken over cherrywood charcoal *thank you Paul*, cole slaw, corn on the cob and the last delectable Stella out of the fridge). And now I’m blogging and I’d better be doing some dishes before bad things happen between me and Paul. It’s only 9 pm but I’m f*cking bagged. So is Paul. Fortunately Jan is low maintenance, all I have to do is haul out her bed and provide bedding and I can leave her to her own devices.

Tomorrow up for the 9 am ferry as walk ons to Victoria and back 5 pm ferry on Monday so Paul can pick us up after work without major inconvenience. Very much looking forward to seeing Mum and pOp and Granny. Kids very much looking forward to a weekend of multimedia. I am hoping to get to the Egypt exhibit but may simply be too bagged to do it. I hope to blog late tomorrow but I may just lie still for a while with a good book, now that Sergey has sought to fill one of the many holes in my education.

choke hold

Katie didn’t come home last night and she turned off the phone. I’d say why she stormed out of here but that would be imprudent, so let’s just say that Katie really doesn’t like it when her lack of planning doesn’t turn into our emergency.

Woke up at 20 after 4 after dreaming she’d been strangled to death, but that was because when she came into our room at midnight she had no voice because one of her friends ‘choked her while they were playfighting’. Yup, me and Peggy and and Mike and John, we get together and pretend to choke each other when we hang out together. Jumping Jimmy Christmas, I’m sure glad I’m not fifteen anymore; having functioning adults for friends and relations – even with their mental illnesses they don’t choke me.


Jumping Jimmy Christmas! That’s about the mildest thing to come out of me mouth all evening. The one page of instructions that came with the computer desk Mike sold me doesn’t even have an exploded view and I could and will go on at great length about how merde mangeingly berloody useless that pale sheet of paper is. I’ve been working on the f*cking thing since I stopped eating supper and it’s now 10:21. Just getting the Godfrey Daniel tray hardware glued down (okay screwed in) f*cking near killed me. I put it in the wrong way three times before I figured it out. It’s obviously a boy thing, matching indents to outdents. The funny thing is that I maintained my calm all the way through until I sat down to blog, because OF COURSE I know that things get worse when you panick and catastrophate. But now my ire is higher than a telephone wire and friends and neighbours and all my relations, what an explosively goooey and disgusting mess it is. Paul is making noises about bed. Goodnight!!!! more f*cking about with sh*tboard tomorrow.


I forgot.

As the rancid maraschino on top, the goddamned package had a bug in it, for true and no sh*t. How do pine beetles get to Canada? In packages of consumer goods. I swear by the nine gods of Clusium I won’t buy wood from China ever again.

what the ffff

Since I last stood in this spot, a whole new generation of the Miller Family has been born: Four great grandchildren.

Along with all the other members of our close-knit family, they are my and Shirley’s most precious possessions.

Okay, Mr. Zell Miller (the sadly misguided individual responsible for saying the above noted from the RNC podium), mind explaining to me how and why you consider grandchildren to be POSSESSIONS? Jumping Jimmy Christmas, I don’t even own my cats!!! Then he goes on to say that only George Bush can protect his prized possessions. I think somebody has mistaken GWB for GOD.

almost enough sleep

I see Wonkette has actually managed to have her spies spot a number of people of colour at the RNC. Too bad they were cleaners. Oh, I lie. Two of them might actually have come in through the front door.

Katie inherited a garbage bag full of really nice clothing yesterday. Some of it she passed over to me but I have to be ready to give it back to Danielle at any moment. One of them is a slinky black Calvin Klein dress in my size, o glory.

I had a really great day yesterday – 4 loads of laundry, working on curriculum, reading a book about perceptual handicaps, solid day at work, until midnight, when some inconsiderate screeching female decided to commit noise awareness therapy in the middle of my street. As strolling out naked with a lit cigar in my mouth and an ABC fire extinguisher in my hands was not an appropriate response, I found my black neoprene earplugs and jammed them into my head. Full moon so I couldn’t fall asleep – falling asleep is not usually my problem – and then young screechy thing in the street, so of course I got to lie there and listen to my heart race in my ears while I attempted to control my breathing.

Forgot to mention that we did actually get Akiko out to supper at Mr. Ho’s. She is a Japanese forest management grad who’s spent the last months in Canada volunteering at Burns Bog and taking Karate with Keith. He does like older women. Got a picture kicking around but can’t locate it at the moment, later I guess. Also Paul took Ariel (called her Jenna in a previous post, my apologies) flying yesterday and this line deleted because Paul will wring my neck. Everybody had a GOOD and safe time though. Pics later.

Keith’s driving proceeds apace, Katie’s continuing to take lovely pictures, and TONIGHT I’m going to Sally’s for a costume consult. Hya! I’m gonna get me a full bore Trinity-from-the-Matrix costume, and if you think it’ll look funny on a middle aged woman who weighs 13 odd stone, you’re absolutely correct.