All I want for the mandated festive period is …


I will post an actual Holidailies entry soon, but I just had to share one of my favourite pick-me-ups.

Red wings and darker beak.


I’ll save you the tally of scratches and cuts. It’s more than a few, and two are especially bothering me. I can’t seem to move my right hand without brushing or bashing its most irritating injury against something scratchy or pointy, and my left middle finger has become a dowsing rod for paper cuts.

This happens in cycles: my hands will be mincemeat for a month, and then normal again for longer. There are echoes of a worse time that I have to ignore. Don’t read the news, either. If you squint, you can see doom lurking in all corners.

In case of increased neurosis, throw self into a routine reboot. Three days to catch up on.

Sunday was another busy day at work, and I only had time to catch a quick bite between work and the Illicit Ink Underground show, but I was glad I didn’t skip the meal. I arrived at the Bongo Club just as my second wind kicked in, and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. There were performances from familiar faces like Bloc comrades Andrew C. Ferguson and Gavin Inglis as well as people I hadn’t seen before, which is always a pleasure. Being an active part of the literary community here is far more important to me than I realised, and so I need to ensure I have the time and focus to participate.

On Monday, I was extremely lonely and found myself obsessively clicking on nothing in particular in order to find some connection. I didn’t find it. In fact, it made me feel worse, because everything I read was either depressing news about the state of humanity or cool things that my faraway friends have done or are about to do. Around lunchtime, I finally gave up and resigned myself to feeling lonely that day. I curled up with a book while I ate and immediately felt a little better, so I decided to try a new rule this month: no email, feeds, social media, or anything at all on my computer or other devices during mealtimes or other breaks.

Tuesday was a quiet day of database research and housecleaning, and then I spent the evening with friends in their lovely flat, enjoying a delicious dinner and their company as well as their small menagerie. I took the video above a few weeks ago. (I realised too late that I was filming in portrait instead of landscape mode. Please forgive me.) Something I regret about my time in San Francisco is that I didn’t make more of an effort to be social with my friends there. Social time has been something I’ve sacrificed often in the name of responsibilities. I won’t make that mistake again, and tonight was a good reminder.

Title credit: from “Leda” by H.D.

Pop music.


Warning: this video is not safe for … anything, really. I don’t know. It makes me laugh so hard I can’t breathe.

So yesterday I listened to the entire actual song of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” and blood did not seep out of my eyes. It’s not a horrible song, just a mediocre pop-ballad thing. I think the video is idiotic, but when parodies like this exist, I can’t complain too loudly.

Sharks recently mentioned Pop Danthology 2013, and while I am glad I watched it, I’ve never been so glad to see Justin Timberlake in all my life. His latest album isn’t doing much for me, but I’d rather listen to JT than the rest of the current pop stars.

Except for Lorde. If you want a fantastic pop record of 2013, Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” is it.

Writing from: bed. Listening to: both cats snoring, and they’re just out of sync. How do I sync them up? Please send me your tips.

Black swans surfing.


Sometimes we don’t struggle against the current. Sometimes we just go with the flow.

Writing from: bed, with the electric blanket on, both kitties in attendance. Listening to: the wind, which sounds like ocean surf.

Sleeping is a gateway drug to being awake.


(Ed. Note: I forgot to hit “post” on yesterday’s draft before I went out for the evening, so you get two Two TWO entries today.)

Okay, maybe I listen to things that aren’t They Might Be Giants. Sometimes. (Often.) So I’ll add a credit line to the end of each post.

Mako wrote this excellent post about film soundtracks two days ago. As much as I love listening to catchy songs with clever lyrics, I get distracted by them while I’m trying to work, so film soundtracks are solid listening choices for me. Today I enjoyed that Rdio station immensely as I cranked through some database stuff.

Because I am a little pathetic, I listened to Austra’s “Feel It Break” while eating dinner because that album reminds me of FunkyPlaid.

And this evening I spent some time talking to another musically-inclined friend, who recommended Bill Frisell’s “Nashville” album to me. I loved it, so I looked Mr. Frisell up on the intertubes and found this video of a duet he did this year with Chick Corea. I know next to nothing about jazz — so those among you who have opinions about this sort of thing are expected to share them and enlighten me — but I enjoyed this interplay between two different styles very much. Maybe you will too.

Writing from: a less cluttered table, lusting after a standing desk. Listening to: “Family” by Bill Frisell. Post title from: TMBG’s “Wearing a Raincoat”.