1 Jan 2015, 2:55pm

Happy New Years

happy new year

May your 2015 be full of better and better ideas still.

How vaccines work, how anti-vaccinators persist, and how vaccines create herd immunity.

And may the year be of action. And inaction just when you need it.


“[W]hen I ask you a question, you don’t have to answer right away. But you do have to be right.”[...]

Cognitive flexibility is the ability to see alternative solutions to problems, to think outside the box, to negotiate unfamiliar situations. Cognitive self-control is the ability to inhibit an instinctive or habitual response and substitute a more effective, less obvious one.

From Spiegel, chess and how to think by Shane Parrish.

If you’re ready for new, try out our new bot baby: it comes as a generator page for matryoshka words such as “Well, that puts the even in revenge.” or “Well, that puts the prop in appropriate.” You’ll want to press that refresh paddle until you dazzle. A perfect solution for lack of sleep. WellThatPuts is on twitter too where you can follow it. Y’know if you do that sort of thing.

26 Dec 2014, 1:43pm

The Salient and The Pliant Complaint

oak frost

The feeling of wanting to hermit and listen for compass spin has lasted most of the year. Maybe take a year and see what obeying does.


Silver Lake, silvered.

So, thinking about formally reducing schedules instead of drifting.

Daily had seemed too much. Now weekly does. I sniffed at monthly bloggers as just occasionally updating a static site and not really blogging but it seems that’s my trajectory so I’ll understand that from the inside.


Thin dusting of hoarfrost.

What’s so bad about speaking only when you have something pressing to say? Apart from nothing qualifying ever. And being immediately forgotten so no one registers my existence so when I do come up with something to say, I get blank looks of who? And have no built context.


silver lake
160 km of sustained eye-watering wow.


barn fog, hwy 7
And when it thaws, a limited palette is still quite okay. A little dilapidation.

Reduce, reuse, recycle letters, pixels and pictures.

In some ways, it is good to extend self, push out, or else the walls move steadily in, but what if there’s pushing against walls as if that makes them stay put. but it’s exertion and grunting and the earthquakes stopped years ago?



So it’s been seen before. Said before. Recorded better. How is that a cause for complaint? Are we here to be an audience to passively receive first class entertainment, or a community of people to share and listen?


power fog
Seeing less allows you to see the remainder as more beautiful.

Contempt for the familiar underlies the known not being enough. For the majority of life not being satisfying. The solution is not to compete more or disdain more but chill a little, not be so needy and greedy for “the best”. For “quality”.

Too much peace leads to restless wars against boredom or not the right subtleties.

Too much conflict drives the restless to distraction or seeking respite from their own restlessness.

What is worthwhile in life? Being a creator? A consumer? A citizen? Just surviving? Finding routes to thriving? Being a savior? Being a leader? Being the best follower? Being discerning and smart or heartfelt and “real”? Being “normal” or ego-stroked “weird”? Being resilient enough to not be knocked under so much? To learn to enjoy the tussle and thistle? Finding or building the significance? To not screw up as much as before or to screw up only gloriously?

It’s all just putting in time. Same as the beetles, the nematodes, the aspen, the air masses that move the planet, gathering and dissolving strength.

That may be xmas depletion talking. It wasn’t bad. Perhaps the best most neutral  to pleasant Christmas in years. There’s no letdown, anticlimax. The measured dread that comes from being holiday-schedule-hostage since October wasn’t as severe this time.

pine cone

Consumed pine cone.

I write pine comb every time the first time.

It’s not that xmas was unpopulated but people are nervous of their existence being outed by the internet. Omitting is easing. What you leave out is easier. What to leave in is harder.

Not is a good thing.

Lowering expectation of good and bad helps as a rule. It is what it is, and then we move on. Not that things are intrinsically some way. Beliefs like that prop themselves against change.

I cling to less. That’s hard but needed. It moderates. But how can things signify if not held onto. By speaking things doesn’t make them signify. Silences don’t grant weight either in itself.

I aimed to give up all hope before entering in holidays, expected nothing good, but braced against creating bad feedback cycles, joined in some, and probably seemed chipper, if a little strained, less strained and closed than normal. Who knows how it looks from the outside.

How things are based in the story, not the events.

May you write a good 2015.

14 Dec 2014, 1:35pm
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The Season

deer (1)
The season has its macabre elements.

snow ball
New snow has made the old snow look dark.

snow got your goose?
Snow got your goose?

a low bough
Another deep bough.

That sure was a heavy dump of snow. So glad not to have a car to shovel out.


athlete in snow
9 days to Christmas. Guess it’s time to get a move on.

Some years on the last week of November the lights were outside, wreath out, a draft of the Christmas letter done and I wanted to decorate the tree.

So far, nothing of the sort. A day-long holiday sure takes a while. I try to frame the season as out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new. Getting ready for a new year. That helps.

In a day, most of the holiday shopping done. Hubby’s got half the presents wrapped already.

Blumenstudio were roasting chestnuts on their patio. That reminds of walking though Paris together.

Fortified with their bitter intense hot chocolate we could push on.

Carollers at a mall was a few minutes of sweetness. 8 women singing in part harmony with crystal clear voices. No music is better than a cappella.

Did a Christmas baking thing. (Will I do more? So much diabetes around the family confused that clear impulse.) Watched a Christmas movie last night.

Next, cards? Or maybe just make them into happy new year letter at this point since paper probably can’t arrive before Christmas, can they?

12 Dec 2014, 3:49pm
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Kaleidoscope Days

At the Feral Choir people do improv sounds. The instruments are voices which are conducted towards cacophony or hum or hush. It is more harmonic in effect than Messsagio Galore but at times as much of a sound wall when the sound cranks or drops quickly.

footwork of sound
I liked how Paul Minton stood in the middle of the semicircle with the lights making him into clock hands. Sometimes, depending on where he stood there were hour and minute hands, and sometimes a second hand.

discarded move
Sometimes scenes are all there. One story arc.

We got to a new place on our date day to the Loft Lounge which has more hundreds of board games than you knew existed. And they have food too.

the tropical greenhouse
What a month from book launch to small press fair to the governor general’s house and greenhouse for the GG Awards.

All this an editing the BookThug manuscript for spring and a chapbook for maybe this month? We’ll see when the good fella pulls it all together.

But next to launch a chapbook tonight as part of Factory reading with Karen Massey and Marilyn Irwin who gave a Tree Seed Workshop on Tuesday. Lots of food for thought of effect on linebreaks.

And tomorrow A B Series bring back the annual Christmas party with Bill Bissett.

11 Dec 2014, 12:05pm
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Platonic Cave System

As per usual, I don’t post until after its blown over so I can tack on assurances that, see, it all worked out. Because the narrative is made by wherever you start and stop the tape.

Between there (below) and here (-ish) energy went a bit omnidirectional and awkward.

For 3 days my body decided to truncate sleep so I might crash early and fitfully. Or I might not, because body is random that way. (Who needs more than 6 hours anyway, apart from Gandhi.)

Each energy phase comes with its own filter. When doldrummed only the irritating tones of voice, the omissions and redundancies are audibly hammering. All the insurmountables of the canyon. When the angle lifts, comic  and sweet slip past.

Overheard as a chipper person gets out of UPS truck: Why hello there all you snow! 

By the way, one of the more fascinating articles [via The Presurfer] is this article on UPS. For example,

 “if you see them pulling up and you aren’t in the middle of something, meet them half way, or walk up to their truck.” Every extra step adds a little bit of time to their day. “If 10 of my 150 stops do that in a day I would get home 10-15 minutes earlier and actually get to spend time with my family.”

Overheard at the used store when I couldn’t see the what: A thunk on counter. I would like to buy this back. The cashier looks perplexed. Another worker comes up and claps the customer on the shoulder and says, The wife sells it. The husband buys it back. You must have a good job, sir.
Shadow work.

Hard not to believe in the evil eye when I’ve bragged inwardly that I have felt well for so many weeks.

Naturally I then peaked, fell asleep by 7:30pm thoroughly drained and woke up in a flare.

A flare? Which is to say sensation’s scale is all messed up. What is palpable, such a fabric pulled tight on knee when sitting is more, not so much as pain, but discomfort. What would be neutral is ouchy. Like pushing a button a machine. What would be discomfort, like change of light or tight muscle, is pain. What would be pain is body emulating sandbags. Sensation includes emotional. Terribly sad story goes right to the joints and ligaments. I need to rest.

Sitting still is good work since I can work at words but if I move there’s whole embarrassed-alone-in-the-room at the whole woo-woo balance.

I want to be fully present and I can only do that if I’m not a iridescent thinning bubble.

Some days it’s like rubbing two sticks together in a downpour. Resilience is down and the tongue has picked up curses you didn’t know the brain heard. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! for instance. Where have I ever heard that? Must be Christmas.

But screw it. There is no end to how much you can scale back.

You can accommodate the body to paralysis to rigor mortis. There are ends to how much you can scale up. And not overdoing it is being aware of all the kinds of stressors.


What is Random
What is random?

How about my setting Flickr uploads to 2000 x 1500 px and it insisting on uploading 500px max dimension. (Some companies acts as if they want to shed customers.)

But of course I don’t want anyone to worry. And paying attention beyond correctively addressing it just gives it oxygen. Motrin’s better. Restful moving. Even a slow walk can out-race most things. But there’s not always need to race. All revolve and no resolve is no good. Even dervishes sleep and cease their praying spin.

One does what one can.

Oh, and here, read Shawna’s Esssay on Beauty.

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