felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Another miscellany, after a long absence.

Same-Sex Marriage Became Law in Canada 5 Years Ago Today

We should've listened to the religious right. Canada now resembles a Mad Max-esque wasteland, a landscape of broken shells of buildings, where horrific mutants scrounge for cans of food in the ruins of supermarkets.

In other words, it's not just Esquimalt anymore.

Oh, we saw the signs. As the zombies crept through the streets of Amsterdam, infecting the last survivors, we should have realized. When that meteor hit Brussels, we ought to have known. In the last days before we got it - just as Spain legalized and every Spanish citizen abruptly married a dog - we should have heeded the signs and turned back.

But we walked that path - the path that has made Sweden, the Netherlands, and Canada synonymous with living hell on the lips of every person in the world. Even when dogs and cats began living together, we didn't heed the warnings. Now it's too late for us.

Trip West

It was a good vacation, if rushed. The miracle of Facebook means that I'm in contact with many friends long-lost.

Also, I'm back on good terms with a friend I posted about some time ago. I meant to post about that - sorry to anyone who was still worried about me there. But I've been 300 posts behind on LJ forever, and I try to read my friends page before posting myself.

I saw him every afternoon. That was wonderful, and we patched things up, but it meant I was juggling mornings and evenings all week to see others, and I couldn't get to Vancouver. It was nice to see old friends. But now I'm very, very tired. I had very little sleep. However, I am still on BC time, so sleep before midnight is so far impossible.

Oryx and Crake: The Video Game

So someone posted a request for people to respond to a short marketing survey. She's developing a concept for an Oryx and Crake video game - I don't know if she really wants to produce it or not, but even as an idea it's interesting.

At first, I wondered how many Margaret Atwood fans are also video gamers, and then I realized that that's half my friends-list. The survey is here.

So what do you think? RPG? Racing game? First-Person Shooter? It better not be a side-scroller, because this has the side-scrollers-based-on-Canadian-fiction category tied up for the year:
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I'm not dead, and I did make it back safely from the Wet Coast. I've had very little internetting time, though, and what I've had I've used to go back through my friends-list and read. I wanted to read everything I missed, but LJ only lets you go back 480 posts.

(I'm beginning to think I should maybe re-think my policy of not posting until I'm up-to-date on friends' posts. But it just seems attention-whorish to post but never read.)

The trip was good. I got to see a lot of [livejournal.com profile] node357, though not as much as I would've liked. I also finally got to see my sister and [livejournal.com profile] infinitecomplex. They've got a lovely new home, all windows with a sundeck that gives a beautiful view of Vancouver's mountains.

We also saw Stanley Park, which was much more wild and primal that I'd remembered it. I got to thinking of it like Montreal's parks, where the trees are so small and feel so tame by comparison. I'll have to re-write some scenes in my novel.

Last week was stressful, for reasons I'd rather not get into on LJ. This week has been calm so far, so I've caught up on my editing -- four-fifths finished version six so far -- and let myself finish Persona 4. But I'll post more about that some other time.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Happy Festival-of-Helios-meets-Saturnalia-meets-Germanic-Solstice-meets-observed-birthday-of-first-century-rabbi-Yoshua-bar-Yoseph. Hope the household nisse brought everyone lots of gifts.

The flooding is over, the pipes are fixed, and after we lost power in half the house yesterday, we have electricity back. My father says the next evil to visit us will be famine, but we have a fridge and cupboards full of food right now, and I think he's just thinking of the Four Horseman. We all got a cold/flu thing, so there's Pestilence.

My sister just called, and she and [livejournal.com profile] infinitecomplex won't be able to make it over for Christmas Day itself, but they're hoping for Boxing Day. Vancouver sounds like Caina right now, so I'm rethinking my trip out that way.

Still, it's been a nice, relaxing day. I haven't slacked off on my editing, and I should half done my own edit by the time I go home.

There's been so much chaos this year, though, it hasn't felt much like a vacation, and I think I'll need some time off when I get home to recover from this holiday.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Just thought I'd wish everyone a Happy Yule!

I had a small rit for myself here before anyone was awake. It's difficult arranging something like that without tools. Even some decent candleholders would've helped.

BC is trapped under a rare blizzard -- we actually got several feet of snow here last night, and the temperature has been hovering at -10 all week. Of course, BC sold off all of its snow-removal equipment more than a decade ago, so all the snow on the sidewalks has compacted to ice sheets and people are being advised not to travel except in emergencies.

For that reason, I've been keeping mostly to my parents' Tudor-style home in Saanich. I do hope to see Sean today, but the roads between here and there might be impassible.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
It's been a quiet few days. All I've wanted to do is sleep, and I haven't done much besides sleep, read, edit, and see Sean. Yeasterday and today, I've gotten caught up on LJ, which is why half your inboxes are flooded.

I've finished Un Coeur découvert by Michel Tremblay since I got out, and I've nearly finished another novel, Skinny Legs and All.

A review of Un Coeur découvert )

I guess the short of it was that it was a good novel overall, though flawed in many respects -- largely by the narrator's personality defects. I guess its lack of a real plot isn't a bad thing, as long as the reader's prepared for something more episodic than most novels.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

I just wanted to note that I'm back from BC. It was a very quiet trip -- I spent most of my days there hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] node357, which was nice. He composed some new music while I was there, and showed me Psychonauts, which really does deserve its reputation ^_^

I also saw a couple of friends I hadn't seen in about fifteen years -- all thanks to the miracle of Facebook. I never did get to Vancouver this time, though, so that'll have to wait for Yule.

The best pleasure though -- aside from seeing [livejournal.com profile] node357 -- was that of seeing the place itself. Montreal is toxic and grey and cemented compared to that greenery and clean air that is BC. I like Montreal because most of my friends are here, but except for the Old Port, and some of the older stone houses and parks, I have to admit I consider this a very ugly and polluted city. Too much concrete, and too few growing things.

Airports continue to get more and more surreal -- they've always bothered me because the waiting areas between flights are really non-places that drift detached from anything in a bland emptiness where things get sold. In other words, they're Postmodernism incarnate.

The Pearson airport in Toronto has a particularly weird waiting area. There's a stall there that sells jewellery trees for little girls, in the shapes of princesses whose heads and arms have been replaced by necklace-and-ring-holding tentacles. My first thought was Jenova from FFVII, or something out of Lovecraft.

Not much else to report -- I did not defeat any ninja armies this time around. I wanted a good start on the major edit of my novel, but only got about one-quarter in. It's almost a third finished now.


"If there are one or more people on your friends list who make your world a better place just because they exist, and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the Internet, then post this same sentence in your journal."

(I'm lucky in that this applies to probably most if not all of the people I've friended.)
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So I made it successfully to Victoria, and I've been on the run most of the time I've been here,seeing old friends.

I've been writing in the mornings, and I'm sadly not as far into my major edit as I'd like (only 15% so far).

I haven't had time to read my friends' pages -- I will when I get back. Let me know if I've missed anything vital. I'm keeping up mostly on Facebook, as it's faster.

In the meantime -- so this is more interesting than just an update post -- some real news and fake news:

Real news: Gay Italian man has to retake driver's test for "sexual identity disturbance." Apparently, being gay makes you dangerous on the road. Who knew?

And this is why I love The Onion -- a perfect sense of irony. In this case it's being used to explode that loaded term in the American media of "values voters" (which they use to refer to homophobic, anti-abortionist, anti-woman evangelicals). Probably not work-safe, unless your workplace is really fun:

video follows )
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I'm posting from an internet booth at the PET-port in Dorval. I just wanted everyone to know I got here in plenty of time for my flight.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in BC. I'm also looking forward to starting major edit on this version number 5. I have a very good feeling about this -- it's so much better than anything else I've done ^_^
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So for anyone who isn't aware, I'll be in BC from this Saturday to the Sunday of the following weekend. I might detour to Vancouver at some point, but I'll be staying mostly around Victoria area.

The last few days I've been mostly making preparations -- including a few shopping trips. I used the trip as an excuse to buy new clothes, which I've needed due to wear-and-tear, and because I've gone down several waist sizes this year. Maybe I'll be able to fit my kilt at Pride.

Other than that, I've been working heavily on my preliminary edit of the novel. I'm nearly 70% done. I want to finished -- and ready for the big edit -- by the time I go to BC.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Just a drive-by post to say that I'd updated my website. This one has very little to do with homosexuality per se, but is about the invention of the police force. This'll actually become important, because the invention of the modern police led the way to persecution on a much larger scale.

I will be in Toronto until late tomorrow evening, doing research for the website and my novel. If I wrap up at the Archives early, I might swing through the Church and Wellesley region and take a look at the statue of Alexander Wood ^_^
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
This has been one of my better trips out here, mostly because I spent most of my waking hours with good friends.

I get back in Montreal on the red-eye flight, and get in some time after 7 am.

My current word count on my novel 20,088 -- not bad for 11 days of work, and I expect to get another 2000 words today. I was hoping for more, but there's only so much I can write in a day without my creative well running dry. I spent the last 24 hours excising one supernatural element -- it shall have to wait for a future novel -- and much of the last week better developing the other.

Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors got better by the end. Murder Mysteries -- a pulp detective murder mystery set in heaven before the birth of the universe -- was very good, and the retelling of Snow White from the Queen's perspective (Snow, Glass, Apples) is quite possibly one of the most chilling stories written, and classic Gaiman.

And cats with captions are funny, but I can't find the really good site we were looking at on Christmas Day. This one is okay, though be warned some of the captions are not worksafe. In any case, I found the place where these are being created: [livejournal.com profile] cat_macros.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
  1. There was a lovely windstorm last night. They were predicting 80 kmph winds, but I don't think it actually topped 60. Too early to tell yet if trees were uprooted, like they were last week.

  2. It's been fun catching up with friends. I saw Sean Monday and Tuesday, and hopefully will see him again today. Sam -- for those of you keeping track of these people -- is married now. It's funny thinking that the kid you used to babysit for is married.

  3. I spotted Victoria's Gay Guy -- this city only has one at any given time, and when he flees to greener pastures another appears to take his place. This one was a gorgoeus redheaded twentysomething working the counter at Zydeco, a novelty and kitsch shop.

  4. Victoria has more novelty and kitsch shops per capita, I suspect, than any city on Earth. If you need a t-shirt boasting your sexual prowess, Jesus action figures, boxing nun puppets, or those crystal balls full of electricity, you have plenty options. Strangely, I have yet to find a store specializing in DVDs, which perhaps says something about the entertainment tastes of Victorians.

  5. Tofu causes male homosexuality. You heard it here first. I suppose, conversely, nothing promotes male heterosexuality like filling your mouth with a nice, big slab of meat.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So I made it safely to British Columbia. We actually arrived early. Just before our descent, we passed through a tunnel created by a thick, piled-up cloud. It was beautiful.

(It's selfish of me, but I like being part of a generation that gets to see the clouds from above. Given the amount of fossil fuels planes use, and that no one even seems to be talking alternative energies for planes, we might be one of the last generations that gets to ride through a tunnel of cloud.)

I was nearly narcoleptic at dinner with the extended family yesterday (having woken up at 1 am, BC time). I crashed, and woke up at 2 am. I've been poring over the edited versions of my novel, as annotated by [livejournal.com profile] em_fish and [livejournal.com profile] montrealais. I'm actually kind of sad that I yanked the novel back from [livejournal.com profile] em_fish, because I'm actually enjoying her notes, and wish I had them for the rest of the novel.

I'm going to do a heavy rewrite, because of [livejournal.com profile] montrealais's larger criticisms about the integration of supernatural and ordinary elements. I'm no Neil Gaiman or Robertson Davies when it comes to balancing out two worlds, but maybe I can get better at that juggling act. In any event, my Otherworld needs heavy work.

So I guess my time in BC will be NaNiWri2Weeks :)
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I am sick. Very sick. I was vomiting, have diarrhea, and my thinking is a tad fuzzy right now. I had to miss my first class.

I also slept most of the day, but given that I came in on the red-eye flight and didn't get any sleep there -- in a chair so tiny and cramped, it could be more properly descibed as a torture device -- that's not all that surprising.

And I start work Friday :/
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Spent yesterday with the Aries (Sam and [livejournal.com profile] node357). Today was spent with my Grandmother B*, Great Aunt Mouse, and Aunt Carole. I shall be leaving for the airport in about two and a half hours.

I didn't eat for 24 hours, and then I gorged myself on heavy food. As a result, I feel quite queasy. Thanks to my wild sleep schedule the last two weeks, I'm nodding off at strange times. That probably explains the splitting headache.

Otherwise, I'm coming down with something. 'Tis making it hard to write, and I have scarcely three pages.

Esquimalt in fog at night is very eerie, very scary, and strangely beautiful.

*The B, in case anyone is wondering, stands for Catherine. No I'm not joking. There's a story behind it, but I heard it as a very small child and can't remember.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Happy New Year!

Though given how 2005 was for most of my friends, perhaps it should be Better New Year!

This has not been a bad year for me. Not at all. I think I'm almost entirely recovered from my nervous breakdown. I figured out a lot about my life and what I want to do with it.

Most importantly, I'm really happy with the way the new novel is going, and with the way it's working on this heavy revision. Changing the way I do revisions, and how much planning I put into it, has made the difference. It's also increased the novel's size as well as quality, and I worry 400 pages is too long, though it's about average for most novels published these days.

I'll be back in town Wednesday morning, coming in on an all-night flight. I have my first day of school that afternoon. Today shall be spent with Sam and, if he's up company, [livejournal.com profile] node357.

In the meantime, I leave you with the funniest bit of history I've stumbled on today (Sexsmith? Lulu Island? Where do these words come from?):
Mr. Sexsmith's westward journey eventually brought him to a plot of land on what was then known as Lulu Island. Drawing from his experience back in Ontario, Sexsmith established a cheese factory and soon grew so successful that he extended his land holdings to some 1900 acres on Lulu Island as well as several hundred acres in modern day Pitt Meadows. To overcome transportation difficulties, Sexsmith established a boat service on the Nort Fraser to New Westminister.
It's from a history of Sexsmith Elementary school. Could you imagine being a kid and going to a place called Sexsmith every day?
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Various things, before I forget everything in the festivities of Sol Invictus/Saturnalia/The-Thinly-Disguised-Birth-Of-Zoroaster called Christmas.

First of all, thank you again to [livejournal.com profile] jc2004 and [livejournal.com profile] snowdaemon for playing host. I apologize again for falling asleep at the party. No one was boring -- just a combination of Montreal time and an erratic sleep schedule lately.

I managed to finish my shopping at the zero hour, though I had to use my credit card for the first time for credit, rather than convenience. The only time I've ever borrowed against theoretical future sums has been my student loan.

In spite of always being on the go, I did manage 12 pages yesterday. I finished a major section today -- a background that is, unfortunately, better than the rest of the novel. Today is something comparable, though the mixture of editing and original writing makes it difficult to figure out how much.

Vancouver Public Transit stuff, likely only of interest to Montrealais unless there are other transit geeks out there... )

And while we're on the subject of things likely only of interest to [livejournal.com profile] montrealais, I was mildly amused to discover that Mcloughlin Bay borders on the Hakai Recreation Area. Yes, I realize neither of those words are spelt the proper way, but I still thought it was funny.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Arrived safely at [livejournal.com profile] jc2004 and [livejournal.com profile] snowdaemon's marvellous apartment last night. We went out for dinner.

Tonight there's going to be a party. I believe I shall have to get all my shopping done today.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
In Vancouver. The trip out was good. I have to say that BC Ferries has the most interesting warning signs anywhere. I now know that it is "illegal to transport bees across the American borsder" (why bees -- there are no signs warning of the dangers of transporting anything else). I have also learned that the Ferry service urges us to "not store drums" in their parking lot.

Of course, these were the same people whose slogan was "Cruise the Straits with BC Ferries" until a gay employee tipped them off.

I'm in a tiny internet cafe on Davie Street. Already visited Little Sisters' at their new location, spoke with Janine Fuller for the first time in 10 years.

My favourite cafe in the West End, The Edge, has turned into a Priape of all things! And the Gay and Lesbian Community Centre has gotten rid of their couches and coffee machine, though there are still places to sit and talk. And they run so many community organizations out of that place -- dozens of them, including support groups and community organizations of every description.

Seeing Vancouver's "village" is wonderful, and I missed it a lot, but it depresses me all the same. Montreal has nothing like it. We have a lot of queer businesses, but they're almost all bars and saunas. We only just got a tiny bookstore back. You could fit six of those bookstores in Little Sisters'. What services there are mostly run through university groups.

The community here is vibrant and alive, and large as it is in Montreal, it always feels kind of dead. If a person doesn't like clubbing, the only thing left in Montreal are university social groups -- and nothing during the holidays, or summer. Vancouver, a smaller city, really has a community, and you can feel it when you're here.

And I haven't seen a single bar or sauna in all the time I've been walking around here on this rainbow-draped street. I'm not against things like that, but it often feels that's all Montreal has to offer, and it's not stuff I'm into.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Have arrived. Continue to believe. These are good things.

Looking out the window at a rainstorm, from my parents' fairy-tale cottage in Saanich.

Looking forward to seeing [livejournal.com profile] node357 tomorrow :)

EDIT: I meant "live" instead of "believe". I have heard of "Freudian slips" before, but that was almost a "Jungian slip" :)


felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

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