28 August 2005

Happy Birthday, Dad!


Dad and I celebrated our 113th birthday yesterday at the lake. Mom, Dad, Mary, Mona, Pete, Cory, Ernie, Linda, Rose, Cassandra, the three dogs and I were out for the weekend (though Mary had to take two of the dogs home at night 'cuz they freak out over the nightly fireworks).

Yesterday, while playing DinoBridgeGinRhymeCountingGoFish as Mary Queen of Scots with Rose and Cassandra, who were being Peter Cottontail and Balla, I was informed that "When Mary Queen of Cots were a little girl, she were old."

25 August 2005

Last day ...

We hung about this morning, then went to the Zen Center to make cookies, then to Japan Town to Soku Hardware and to a little restaurant in a mall by the peace tower thingy and had okonomiyaki (a bizarrely delicious Japanese yam pancake thingy full of vegetables and ginger, and smeared with mayonnaise and something that closely resembles worcestershire sauce but isn't) for dinner. I'm packed except for what I need tonight and tomorrow. We've got cornbread in the oven. Solas and Sephi are coming over later. Tomorrow's pretty much about getting to the airport.

New weeds ...

I wandered around the Castro today in Samframcisco ... went to Spike's for a steamed soymilk and to read the guidebooklet thingy the nice fellow at the cablecars gave me the other day - turns out it's the French version, so it took me a l'il longer ... then I went to my appointment with Gauge and got my wrist tattoo covered (pictures later, once it's healed (though it looks pretty spiffy now)) ... Solas and Vince came to watch me squirm/offer moral support. Gauge does gorgeous work. I love the design he came up with (dandelions ... imagine!)! He also has a very gentle touch and is just plain sweet about it ... "Ow" is met with "You're doing great, Honey. I hear you ... but I'm not going to stop." It was great. I left quite stoned on endorphins. Vince and I walked Solas to her bus, then went for pie and steamed soymilk, then to the Castro Country Club, then to Under One Roof, all to kill time before meeting Charlos and the PazuZo for dinner at Nirvana. I had a drink. On top of the endorphins, it near flattened me. It was fun to meet Pazzy, and it's always good to see 'Los. We yacked and laughed and had some great food. I came home and read the tattoo care instructions, unwrapped it, gave it a wash and dry and put some Vitamin A & D goo on it. I'm beat.

24 August 2005

Rice-a-roni ...

Yazza and Beam and the kids came into the city yesterday and we spent the day doing touristy things, starting with getting everyone an extra fleece or sweatshirt to wear 'cuz it's bloody cold down by the water and they'd decided the wharf was the place to take me.

We had lunch at theBoudin Bakery bistro, then went through their bread museum and watched them making enormous amounts of bread at a time. San Francisco sourdough really does taste different. I figured I would have fish once, since I'm in San Francisco ... it was very good (and the tartar sauce was fantastic! It's all about the condiments).

We got in a rather long line-up to ride the cable cars, listened to some ... interesting ... music by a few amplified buskers all playing at once along the line-up, watched the cable car guys turn the cars around as they came in, and finally got onto one of them. The fellow collecting the fares took our money and gave us tickets, then gave the younger boy a few dollars change (which we didn't have coming), making his day. The cable car ride was very cool ... up and down streets with dickensian streetfronts looming over us in the fog, with the sound of the brakes and cable-grabber levers and steel wheels on rails, and the smell of the scorched wooden brakes in the air ... quite magical, and the older boy was tickled that he got to ride at the very front of the cable car.

At the other end, we got Beam and the boys some socks 'cuz it was even colder out once it got dark. The older of the boys had a pocket full of change and had been thinking all day about what he was going to buy with it. While we were standing in the line-up again to take the cable car the other way, he decided what he'd really like to do was give his change to a fellow in a wheelchair who'd been hanging about talking to people 'cuz he thought that fellow could make better use of it. Very cool. A guy came along and told us about the streets and the cable cars and the neighbourhood at that end of the tracks ... turns out he doesn't work for the cable cars, but is a rather creative homeless guy. He was sweet and told good stories, we tipped him well. The younger boy got to ride at the very front of the cable car on the way back, and the older one got to stand on the step and hold on. Both were beside themselves, having so much fun.

We had dinner in a sports bar in hotel near the wharf and had a waiter who was not having a very good day at all, poor guy. From his bearing and speech, I think he's highly educated and not too impressed with working there ... on the other hand, he coulda been just plain crabby. Ours was the last car left in the parking lot by the time we were done. We had a great time getting thoroughly lost on the way back to Vinces.

22 August 2005

San Jose

We didn't get to see Althea. Boo.
But we did see a big barbie-pink fuzz-flocked plastic Buddah bank.

We've been busy. Odesseus came in Friday evening and left this morning. Connie Crete flew in on the spur of the moment Friday night and flew home again this evening. We went to Kiriel's and saw Kiri ('course) and Hidden (and a friend of his) and Noivad and Chicken and Krandor and Zyzyz and Mars (and a friend of hers) and Solas and Sephi and Yazza (and her kids). I ate sugar. I'm so tired.

18 August 2005

Samframcisco ...

We've been busy!
Monday: Taxis, airports, a missed connection in Calgary (I have never made a connection there successfully), the BART, drinks with Vince, Solas and Sephiroth at Marlena's, up 'til a bazillion o'clock yacking
Tuesday: Sleeping in, not a lot planned, lots of buses and trollies ... the transit system here is very cool ... meeting and consultation with Gauge, a drop-in visit with Charlos at Spike's, lunch at a créperie (not the same kind of restaurant), dinner with Lorikeet at Greens (very yummy!), family hunt in CL for Nettle
Wednesday: To the college with Vince to sit in on his first class, home for breakfast, back to the college for his second class (I went to read in the SU building but spent most of the time looking at little weeds growing along the sidewalks and birds), a visit with Gauge, a visit with Solas while Vince was otherwise occupied ... then she dragged me off shopping ... sure, it started off innocent enough with a trip to Borders to compare favourite authors, but then there was Macy's and sparkly lacy things ... then we had dinner at the Cheescake Factory (avocado eggrolls don't sound good, but gawds they're amazing!) with a total hambone of a waiter, walked up a small mountain to take Sephi his dinner and then back to Vince's

14 August 2005


After some confusion (the kennel thought they weren't taking the cats 'til next Friday ... yikes!), the cats went off for their holiday. Nina didn't turn up on Thursday and didn't phone back 'til yesterday, saying she'd turn up here before work today or around 1:00 if it turned out she didn't have to work. I haven't heard from her yet. Time for more chamomile tea and rescue remedy! On Friday, I got a dress caught on a door hinge and tore it. I mended that. Yesterday I was talking on the phone while doing laundry and ended up pulling on the thread holding the button on a pair of pants. I fixed that, too. All I have left to do: dishes, empty garbage/recycling, empty/wash the litterboxes, finish the laundry, pack, henna my hair and go see Pat in the hospital. I can do all that and still get a good night's sleep, right?

11 August 2005

Oops ...

I switched the comments back so you don't have to have a blogger account to comment. I was taking a break from the porn spam for a few days.

Brandon came over after work and we had dinner from New Asian Village. Gawds, I love Saag Paneer!

I changed my phone plan so I have voice mail and so I can use my phone while I'm in the US. The cats get picked up tomorrow for their holiday at Kitty City. Nina phoned yesterday to say she was coming today but I haven't heard from her yet. Ah well, as long as she's back before I leave.

Pat's doctors confirmed that the Thalidomide isn't working and he's out of options. He's got two spinal fractures giving him problems with his leg and shoulder. He expects to go back to his sister's tomorrow ... I hope to get over to see him before that.

10 August 2005

Happy Bday ...

Yesterday was erranding, cleaning, talking to Pat, and dinner and a coupla Firefly episodes with Brandon. A whole day in one sentence!

I spent a good chunk of the morning on the phone, then Dad came over bearing gifts ... we looked at Fair and Sasquatch pictures 'til Mom got here, but then Dad had to go to the dentist. Mom and I went for lunch at the Lemongrass Cafe and ran into John (of Brass Monkey Productions fame), then to Bosch Kitchen Centre to get a pressure cooker. Wheee! I spent a bunch more time on the phone, then Barbara and Anailise came over to play. Then I spent a bunch more time on the phone. There was singing.

Tomorrow, I'm going to spend a bunch of time on the phone, do some laundry and cleaning, and see if I can get over to see Pat at the Grey Nuns, then Brandon's coming to buy me dinner and watch the last coupla Firefly episodes. I have a tentative date for coffee avec mon oncle on Friday and the cats get picked up. Saturday and Sunday to pack and repack, then I head off to see Vince, my twin from 'nuther family. Yafreakinghoo!

08 August 2005

Forecast and Aftermath ...

I rousted Cory at ten this morning to have a shower and pack up his stuff ... Ernie and Linda weren't far behind. We listened to some of the CD's we got at the Folk Fest, had fresh honey ginger lemonade, popovers and (not chana ... it can't be chana masala without chickpeas and we used lentils ... the kids called it Auntie Lynn Masala) masala for breakfast. Mary came to pick them up a little before noon ... we told each other stories of the last few days and watched Stevie's brand new DVD that I got from him yesterday at the Folk Fest, then they loaded up and left to get Cory to work on time. I puttered about ineffectively 'til I surrendered to the nap gods. I haven't yet checked to see if I have any pictures or not ... I took the camera out a couple of times and pointed it at things but it was either too bright or too dark to check to see what I'd taken for pictures.

What the fridge magnets said this weekend:
be cool as rain
tell spring about love

I want me so over you

gorgeous garden goddess
watch you sweat
producing essential summer gifts

true beauty is beneath

boy delerious dream of hot girl

drool for eternity

road shot

please only like luscious red blood

never shake mad puppy on chain

feet leave bitter smell in my bed

life is like pounding head

blow a forest whisper
but in a day shine delicate power

need not death or love sag with juice

man is shadow of music

ugly dress would beat your vision out

I lick sweet iron scream repulsive egg

I trudge thousand white moon tongues

diamond rose under enormous chocolate fiddle

it with finger run pink smear on most honey sausage

to incubate mother is thinking franticly

me like purple rock fluff

ask your woman to go to sleep

behind drunk friend lies

The kids think I know so many people and were asking if I know them all from outside the Folk Fest, or if I met some of them there. Once I thought about it, I realized that I first met Pete and another Pete and another Pete and another Pete there. Weird, eh?

There are people I see only there ... we catch up once a year and carry on. I miss them if I miss a year connecting with them. Life taken in one-year slices is about big things ... marriages, going clean and sober, babies, illnesses, career changes, deaths, grandchildren, so many big things. A friend I've known for a dozen years but have never seen anywhere else had a Cochlear implant in December and had it activated in January. He was hard of hearing enough that he could hear that his father was speaking, but not what he was saying. He'd never heard his wife giggle. He's still moved to tears each time he hears a friend's voice for the first time ... and then there's the music. I wonder if his speech will change, now that he can hear others speaking. It would be very strange to hear him speak differently.

Brandon phoned this morning to say he'd forgotten how tiring the Folk Fest is. You'd think two evenings and two full days lolling about in the sun listening to fantastic music would be relaxing ...

Thursday's a breeze ... tarp, blanket, extra clothing layers (wet weather gear if the forecast calls for it), water bottles, binoculars, camera, sunblock, bug goo, distributed among the backpacks ("It doesn't matter if that's hers, you're carrying it 'cuz she's little and can't carry as much. It's okay if you carry his hoodie, it's lighter than your water bottle and program." Etc.) and you're set! Head over at four or five in the afternoon, plop down and enjoy ... take the kids down the hill for food a couple of times and to check out the merchandise tent ... pack up by eleven and shoehorn ourselves and our gear onto a bus home ... probably in bed by midnight ... unless it rains, then add half an hour for dealing with wet gear.

Friday's about the same with an extra layer 'cuz it runs a bit later, and the programs we bought Thursday ... pack up by midnight and leave soon after to do the bus shoehorning thing ... probably in bed by one or one-thirty ... unless it rains, then add half an hour for dealing with wet gear.

Saturday's a little more work ... get up at six-thirty to get everyone showered and fed and packed up to go (hurry!) ... to the tarp, blanket, extra clothing layers, water bottles, binoculars and camera, sun block, bug goo, program, add wet weather gear regardless of the forecast, tent (bless Pete's folx' hearts for taking it for us!), tie-dye to mark the tent (I'm going to paint the fly ... I'm tired of trying to get the tie-dye to stay put and of folx not being able to find it), fruit, snacky veggies, pretzels, olives, nuts, etc. (kids aren't fuel efficient) ... rush off to join Pete's folx in line to get in the gate (wait) ... grab a spot for the tent, get it and the tarp set up so it's ready when kids arrive (hurry!) ... take stock of who wants to do/see what when, figure out where and when we've agreed to meet various people and how we'll work it into the day ... take the kids down the hill for something to eat ... check out the merchandise tent ... go to workshops at a couple of different stages ... go find lunch for the kids and something sweet to eat on the way back up the hill to catch the mainstage show and brought-with food ... back down the hill for more workshops at various stages, visits to the crafts, merchandise and record-signing tents ... grab dinner and something sweet to eat on the way back up the hill for the mainstage show ... unload the tent onto the blankets, pack up the tent and tarp by ten-thirty or eleven for Pete's folx to take it home ... pack everything up by midnight and head out soon after for the bus/shoehorn routine ... probably in bed by one or one-thirty unless it rains, then add half an hour for dealing with wet gear.

Sunday's a repeat of Saturday, only everyone's more tired and sun/wind burnt, so it's a little harder to be efficient ... on the other hand, everything's pleasantly surreal ... unload the tent onto the blankets and strike the tent a bit earlier to make room ... pack everything up by eleven and pre-smooch everyone so we can make a break for it as soon as the finale's over ... Sunday night's bus is way more packed than the other nights' ... probably in bed by twelve-thirty or one ... wet gear can wait 'til morning.

Gawds, I'm tired! We sure had a lot of fun, though.

Tired ...

Folk Fest day 4 ... that's a wrap for another year. We stayed through the bitter end so the kids could sing along to a rather stumbly version of Four Strong Winds. We didn't get rained on. It was another day of making plans and then enjoying doing something else instead. Apparently I didn't miss much missing one of the main stage acts I was very much hoping to see ... and while we were missing that one, we were enjoying Big Jay McNeely hamming his way through his set ... he had Amos Garrett and Roy Rogers playing together (yow!), then Rusty Reed and Norton Buffalo.

The boys found themselves treasures in the record tent and Linda found hers in the crafts tent. Unfortunately, Linda's got lost twice and didn't get found again the second time. I have an idea where to find the fellow who made the beaded lizards she's so smitten with, so perhaps Lou (pronouced Lao) has a brother lizard out there somewhere who'd like to go live with Linda.

I haven't spent time with Brandon at a festival in roughly a bazillion years. It was great to do that again! I've been answering, "Hey, who was that guy? He's really nice. How come we haven't met him before?" since yesterday.

Pat phoned me on my cell while I was there, from the hospital. He's having even more trouble walking than he was at the Sasquatch and he's in to see if they can do anything about it. It's got something to do with a tumor on his spine affecting the nerve. He doesn't get the report 'til Wednesday about how the thalidomide's working, but says that if the tumor on his spine is growing it can't be good news. Me, I'm holding my breath a while longer 'cuz ... just 'cuz I can't give up yet.

07 August 2005

Surreal Transit ...

Folk Fest day 3 ... On the way to get Linda's glasses fixed, she and I nearly got abducted by a busful of grannies who wanted to keep us. On the way back, the driver had the whole bus singing "The Wheels On The Bus". It was screamin' hot today, then we watched the clouds come in during the evening and got thoroughly rained on, slogging through ankle-deep puddles on the road on the way out. The lightening was spectacular, as was the music. Cory picked up a CD and had Big Jay McNeely autograph it for him ... I picked up an Amos Garrett CD off the shelf and thought it was odd that it was opened ... turns out he autographed it ... the rest were still sealed. Guess which one I brought home.

The house is full of wet things hanging to dry and smells a little like wet pasture. I'm burnt and chilled, my hair's huge and all goofy ringlets. Tomorrow's forecast is for partly cloudy and a reasonable temperature ... but then, so was today's.

06 August 2005

Aurora Earle and the Dirty Hippies...

Among others, Steve Earle was on the main stage tonight, giving us his take on what's going on south of the 49th, and singing us protest songs, broken heart songs, and just generally growling his way through his stage time, accompanied by green northern lights stretching from due north to south across the eastern sky.

We had some amazingly bad neighbours at the fest today, one of whom stomped diagonally across all our blankets, my hand and Linda's glasses to get to their tarp and just kinda sneered when Barbara pointed it out. Ick. They were inconsiderate, pushy, messy and kinda smelly. A good-sized cluster of folx who give hippies a bad name. The bright side is that it's remarkable rather than the norm for the Folk Fest ... Cory was very impressed by how clear the ground is of litter.

We got home and unloaded perishables, water bottles, damp ground blankets and stuff we don't want in our packs for tomorrow, Linda washed enough dirt off her feet to start an herb garden, and the three of 'em crashed. Hard.

Tomorrow we'll get up early, go join Pete's folx in line and set up the tent. Once Barbara gets there, Cory and Ernie will hang out with her for a while so Linda and I can go to Bonnie Doon and see if we can get her glasses fixed.

05 August 2005

HASA'R ...

Folk Fest Day 1 ... lolled about in bed 'til 9:30 ... fed the cats, put in a load of wash, did the dishes, talked to a half dozen people on the phone including Mary to figure out last minute details ... got dressed and walked over to Bonnie Doon for rain ponchos for the kids, get a couple of keys cut (including a garage key 'cuz I've only ever had the one and the door locks when you close it - it's amazing I've never locked it in there), and acquire some munchie-type food to take to the hill and a whole lot more grapes ('cuz I suddenly remembered how locust-like these three can be) and a hula hoop ... came home, put away groceries while returning another half-dozen or so phone calls, organized food, packed my backpack, had a shower, made lemonade for Mary and her friend to drink after we left, did the dishes again ... then Mary and the kids arrived, hugs and smooches all 'round, we got 'em hydrated and organized and their bags packed, Mary's friend came in one door and hugged and smooched all 'round again and headed out the other door, down the block and caught a bus to the top of the hill ... a friend was doing wristbanding, so there was more hugging and smooching and some introductions while we got banded ... we got programs and phoned Pete's folx 'cuz they'd phoned my cell sometime when I wasn't paying attention to tell us where they were set up on the hill, then phoned Barbara to see if she and Anailise and Chelsea and Bernie were there yet (they weren't), found a spot and got our blankets set up ...

Simple, eh?

Snacks happened ... Mona and another of Pete's dads came up the hill, hugs and kisses all 'round, then Barbara and Anailise and Chelsea and Bernie, more hugs and kisses (and showing off of Bernie's various owies ... he had a rough week), then Pete's sister and her boyfriend ... Cory, Ernie, Linda and I headed down the hill to find some dinner and ran into Rufus (an old friend from highschool who I see once a year or two at the Folk Fest) and his son, naturally, there were hugs and kisses and introductions, we had dinner (from three different booths) and found a place to wash the .14 kilo of residual chili garlic sauce off Ernie's hands, the kids had elephant ears on the way back up the hill and decided it was a good thing we'd brought wet washcloths in ziplock bags after all ... various other folx (including Sean Holowaty, a marvelous local dulcimer player ... if you ever get a chance to hear him, do) came and went with lots of hugs and kisses and introductions. All through, Linda played with Anailise and Bernie a ton and another little towheaded ragamuffin crawled all over Ernie and Cory, much to everyone's amusement. We packed up and headed out during Loreena McKennitt's last couple of songs and caught the bus home with Barbara, Anailise, Chelsea and Bernie. We got in shortly before midnight, locusted some grapes, the kids brushed their teeth and crashed. I took some Valerian/Lemongrass/Hops tincture, phoned Mary and am about to fall down, too.

04 August 2005

Blur ...

Brandon came over after work yesterday. We made Chana Masala and watched a couple of episodes of Firefly.

I feel like I've spent a bazillion hours with the phone stuck to my head since I got home from the Fair.

Mona came by today. She stopped by, to pick up my tent for Pete's folx to take to the Folk Fest, on the way back from picking up her car. What's really remarkable about that is that Mona came by ... not Mona and anyone ... just Mona. It's been a while since I've seen my sister all by her ownself. We had lemonade and talked Folk Fest details, like adding a pony and a squeegee to her new-to-festing friend's to-pack list. It was all very serious.

Mary's bringing Cory, Ernie and Linda tomorrow afternoon when Cory gets done work (my nephew works ... aieee!). I have a billion and one things to get done before then. I'm getting all wound up ...

... short musical interlude Jim Byrnes "B's Blues" while I self-medicate ...

... Valerian/Lemongrass/Hops tincture is considerably less vile than Valerian alone. Sleepy now.

02 August 2005

Slackin' ...

Reentry after the Fair's been smooth this year, though the outside world's still feeling a bit surreal.

Barbara, Anailise and I went to the Sasquatch festival the weekend before last ... turns out Anailise is a great little camper, even though she caught a cold and her nose turned into a faucet the minute we hit the site. Sasquatch is one of my favourite festivals. It's intimate, there's great music, we camp with folx who get communal camping, it's always in a nice location (it's a nomadic festival) - particularly nice this year, and there are always dogs roaming about ... dozens of well-behaved, friendly dogs - aside from being a very good idea in bear country, it's really nice!

Last Friday a bunch of us went to Pagolac downtown for dinner for Barbara's birthday and some of them went to Kdays afterwards (and saw Twisted Sister, if you can imagine), then dancing downtown somewhere. The dads took Anailise and Bernie home after dinner. Since I'm trying to kick Anailise's cold (which seems to have taken up residence in my head) before the Folk Fest, I came home.

Dande was invited to become a member of Falinea's Blade and hit the next plateau of Praezo training all in one zodiac.

Nina's gone back to her Mom's place for a few days, then to Calgary with a couple of girlfriends 'cuz there're cowboys in the bars there (I didn't have the heart to tell 'er she's about as much chance of finding a cowboy in a Calgary bar as she has of finding one here ... maybe less).

The house has cooled down, hooray! I don't know how hot it got because my thermostat's broken. I guess I should replace that before winter, eh?

Mary's dropping Cory, Ernie and Linda off here sometime on Thursday and picking them up on Monday. We're off to the Folk Fest! There's going to be an enormous amount of fantastic music ... I'm particularly looking forward to Ryan Adams, John Prine, Church (Noon, stage 3) on Sunday and my entirely-too-small-yearly-dose of live Amos Garrett.

I've been lax with the blogging. There's a line in The New Diary by Tristine Rainer and Anais Nin .... "write lots, write often" ... I'm going to forget about the lots part 'cuz I don't seem to have trouble with that, and focus on the often part for a while.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 15:36
Hours of dark: 7:00ish
Sunrise: 5:52 am
Sunset: 9:28 pm
Start of twilight: 5:09 am
End of twilight: 10:11 pm

Current weather: Mostly Clear. 15°C (59°F), humidity 76%, wind W 9.6 km/h (6 mph.), barometer 29.91 in. Hg

Today.. A mix of sun and cloud. 30% chance of showers this evening. Wind SW 20 km/h (12.4 mph) becoming NW 20 km/h (12.4 mph) this afternoon. High 19°C (66°F).
Tonight.. Clear. Wind W 30 km/h (18.6 mph) becoming light near midnight. Low 6°C (43°F).
Wednesday.. Sunny. Wind becoming NW 20 km/h (12.4 mph) late in the morning. High 21°C (70°F).
Thursday.. Sunny. Low 10°C (50°F). High 28°C (82°F).
Friday.. Sunny. Low 11°C (52°F). High 26°C (79°F).
Saturday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 10°C (50°F). High 22°C (72°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 9°C (48°F). High 23°C (73°F).