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Hemlock B. Bootsalotta

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diatom [Jul. 13th, 2019|02:17 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta

I've been trying to remember my dreams lately.

cut because dreams are one of those things nobody is really interested inCollapse )

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epi-epilogue [Jul. 10th, 2019|10:49 am]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, , , ]
[mood |ditch day]

Memorial dealt with and survived with the assistance of Xanax and dissociation.

So that's over with. Except for the, you know, Darrell being dead part.

Monday night Axe took me out and got me very very very drunk.


I got this for his ashes. (He loves scorpions.)

I won't wear it every day because it's a honkin' big thing. But it will be a thing I can wear when I want to.


Yesterday I did my first tour of a retirement apartment. I picked what I thought was the best one of the bunch to start with (this one fwiw) so I would have a basis for comparison when we start looking at more affordable units.

Some really good advice I got when I first started doing research is to watch the residents and see how much they interact with each other and the staff - a lot of people chatting and engaging with each other is a good sign that the people who live there are happy and active.

It passed with flying colours on pretty much all criteria. Multiple residents saw us with the staff and came over to tell us how great the place is. There is a ton of stuff to do, lots of social activities and lots of places to just hang out and interact with people, including several games rooms and a pub. The living space is a little smaller than they're used to, but that would be the case in any apartment. And all the apartments have a full kitchen, something that appears to be uncommon.

Literally the only downside is that it's expensive. Unfortunately money may be the factor that counts most.

I'm going to go through the list and pick out some others to check out, probably starting next weekend.


I walked into a barber shop near my house and gave him $20 to shave the sides of my head. I'd forgotten how much of a difference it makes to the amount of heat and weight on my head. It makes waiting for the bus in this weather marginally less unpleasant.


Work brought in some new software and now everything is broken. Second verse, same as the first.

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30 days in the hole [Jul. 7th, 2019|09:13 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, , ]

Axe is out of town this weekend, which is usually the occasion for a massive serotonin dump, but this weekend has actually been... not terrible. I left the house yesterday, ran errands, went shopping for needed clothes (usually a 12 out of 10 on the anxiety scale) and ran into somebody I knew without having to pry myself out from under the metaphorical bed immediately afterwards.

It's been 1000 degrees in Toronto with a humidity of about a billion for the last couple of days. It's one thing to know intellectually that a lot of my anxiety has to do with not being able to fucking breath for months at a time. It's still been a shock to actually experience what it's like when my brain has access to oxygen.

On the other hand, it's possible I am in deep denial and I'm going to fall over completely tomorrow. Guess I'll find out.

I've been threatening to leave the city for years because of the air quality, but at this point I'm pretty resigned to the fact that this is where the job is, and even if I could relocate my mother needs at least one offspring within reach.

I used to love Toronto. Most of what I liked about it has been replaced by cars and condos.


I've kind of glommed on Good Omens and the Good Omens fandom in a big way for the last week or so, and it occurs to me that the whole people-who-have-no-idea-what-they-are-doing-manage-to-stop-global-genocide is exactly the message that my psyche needs ride now.


I went out today and took pictures of the backyard just so I could show you all how ridiculous it is. This is from just one single summer of neglect.

cut for imagesCollapse )

I think at this point we're just going to borrow a scythe and shave it all down. I'll worry about sorting out what we want to do back there next year. Having a vegetable garden again would be nice.

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friends without benefit [Jul. 2nd, 2019|01:41 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Location |the salt mines]
[mood |blah]

[community profile] questionoftheday asks: Would you want to be friends with yourself? Why or why not?

My answer:

I'm honestly not sure how to answer this question. I'm kind of a mess.


I am not a person who is good at anything you might label "self-care".

Medication I am supposed to take, appointments I am supposed to make, things I am supposed to do to keep this lumpy painful meatsack going, or even just slightly less lumpy and painful... I don't decide not to do them, I just can't seem to keep the thought in my head for more than five minutes. "I have to make a point of doing this every day" turns into doing it once and then not doing it ever again ever.

I am trying to be better at this and I decided the best way to pick up a bunch of new habits was to attack them one at a time and try to normalize them. There are suppliments for my joints that I should be taking and so a month ago I plonked a big bottle onto my desk where I can't help seeing it. This has resulted in me taking them... about half the time. I doesn't feel like a habit yet, I still have to think about it, but my joints feel slightly less like they are trying to kill me so I'll take it as a win.

Step 2 is to try and get more exercise which should be slightly easier now that I crunch less when I move. And now that we have air conditioning. I swear by all the household gods, we turned it on for the first time this weekend and it's already changed my friggin' life.

Also on the list is "drink less" and "sleep more". Those will be easier once Step 2 has kicked in properly.


Darrell's ashes will be buried on Monday and I am dreading it. When Fiona died the viewing was a couple of hours before the actual funeral, then we buried her immediately afterwards. For Darrell there was a viewing, the funeral the following day, and now the burial almost four months later. Back in March there was so much going on and it was all so overwhelming I was just trying to get through each day, now I have had weeks to anticipate how much it's all going to suck. I just want it to be over.

And then on Tuesday I have to get up in the morning and figure out what I'm going to do about living the rest of my life.


I've stepped back from Facebook again. I will delete my account entirely after the burial. That definitely counts as self-care, because fuck that hellsite.

So yeah, that's the state of the nation right now. Depressed. Fighting it.

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i may have strong feelings about this [Jun. 19th, 2019|02:54 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, , , ]
[mood |cut a bitch]

A lot of the Canadians on my reading list are talking about this story

Canadians are deeply concerned about climate change and are willing to make adjustments in their lives to fight it — but for many people, paying as much as even a monthly Netflix subscription in extra taxes is not one of them, a new poll suggests.

I call bullshit.

Because I know what I would answer if a pollster asked me the question.

I would answer, "We know the names of the people who right now are making billions piloting the industries causing climate change. We know who is funding the misinformation campaign designed to convince people that climate change isn't real and protect them from the repercussions of their actions. We know the names of the politicians and the lobbyists who are responsible for the de-funding of infrastructure that makes it harder for the rest of us to live sustainable lives *cough*Doug Ford*cough* and the ones who buy pipelines and give subsidies to oil companies while wrapping themselves in a green flag *cough*Trudeau*cough*.

Taxpayers are already paying more - in medical costs as air quality goes down, in insurance costs as flooding & fire increases, in having to pay to put fucking air conditioning I don't even want in a house that just keeps getting hotter every year. Take the money from the oil companies, strip them of every last fucking penny of company profits and use it to clean up their crap. Their shareholders and CEOs can have whatever is left when they've paid for the mess they made."

And that would be recorded as a "no".

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2019 books: 10-14 [Jun. 18th, 2019|05:31 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta

How the hell is it already June and I've read less than 20 books?

a list best described as miscellaneousCollapse )

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three random topics [Jun. 17th, 2019|02:29 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, ]

The latest meme going around is to ask someone for "3 subjects I don't think you know or care much about. Then you talk about those subjects in your journal". [personal profile] redbird gave me:

A toy and a bird. I have vague memories of playing with a kite when I was a child, but I must have been very young because I don't remember much about it.

I know slightly more about birds, and kites are a type of small raptor. They do not play basketball.

Everything I know about velvet I learned from alt.gothic.fashion. Which is only that it's a type of weave rather than a specific fabric, so it can be made out of a number of different things.

By virtue of the fact that we hung some velvet fabric in our front window to serve as a temporary curtain (approximately 12 years ago) I also know that it collects cat hair like nothing you have ever seen.

I know it's a language from Africa, one of the more widespread on the continent. I have no idea where exactly it comes from, but if I had to hazard a guess I'd say the western countries? I say that only because during the height of the Civil Rights movement in the USA, some African-Americans learned Swahili and adopted Swahili names as a way of reconnecting with lost cultural roots.
[Checks Wikipedia] OK, my guess was completely wrong. Central-East coast


[gets lost down a rabbit hole of reading about African languages]


If anyone would like me to give you three topics, along the same lines, ask; of course, if I don't know you very well, I may give you a subject on which you could happily talk for days.

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put me on an ice floe and wave a way away [Jun. 10th, 2019|08:07 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta

So in some previous post I mentioned briefly that I need to research senior apartments.

My mother and her husband are both having some issues with mobility and their house literally has no way of getting in and out that doesn't involve stairs. It's also situated on the other side of town and out in a part of the 'burbs that is very poorly served by public transit, so it takes me an hour-and-half one way to get to her place.

And then, you know, there was the thing with the ice storm and the power outage and my mother falling and breaking her freaking spine.

So as a result of all this my sister and I have been bugging them for years to sell the place and move into some kind of condo or apartment. Up until now they've been really resistant to the idea but last time I visited my mother brought it up to me herself. She even gave me a few knick-knacks to put into the yard sale. (Leaving only about 40 million more dust collectors stuffed into every single room in the house, but IT'S STILL A WATERSHED MOMENT people!)

They don't necessarily need a fully supported living facility yet, but dislodging them from their house has already proven hard enough that I can't see managing to pull it off twice. I also really like the idea of there being a built-in social group that's right there if they want it. So my summer project is going be looking over retirement communities. I figure sister can help with the initial research, then I can do the on-site visits. I want to find a couple of places that look really appealing before showing them to her - if she walks into the first place and it turns her off, that will put paid to the entire idea.

I am very much approaching this from the perspective that I have to put together a sales pitch to make this work. As I put it to Dee, if she feels like she's moving towards something appealing instead of having to give up something familiar, it will make the decision a lot easier.

So don't be surprised if this blog suddenly starts reviewing senior apartments.
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gather 'round, reluctant marksmen [Jun. 10th, 2019|12:50 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[mood |argie bargie]

There is a new friending community for people who are looking to find like-minded folks to have on their reading list.

I'm going to put a post up as soon as I get organized to write my answers to the intro questions.

friending meme.|one of a different sort|



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they met one night in the silver light on the road to Manalay [Jun. 4th, 2019|05:53 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, ]
[mood |honk honk]

I have the cold from hell this week. I woke up yesterday with a head full of snot and then last night involved lots of tossing and turning and dreams about not being able to breathe, so I'm not the sharpest I've ever been today. I'm in charge of the team lottery pool at work and I had to send them an email saying, "I bought some extra tickets this week because the prize was higher than normal. I have a cold and my brain is fudge so I have no idea what it is, but I thought it was a good idea at the time."

Fortunately they think I'm funny.

You know those silicon packs that you get in packages of pills - you ever open one up just to see what's in them? Well now I know because I picked one up and the paper disintegrated in my hand, spilling dozens of the tiny silicon beads all over my floor. They're small enough and close enough in the colour to the floor that I can't really find them easily - when I sweep I can hear them rolling around. The most successful technique for finding them appears to be just walking around barefoot and then picking the tiny beads off the souls of my feet.

I went to the tattoo show on Sunday and it was pretty amazing. (Other than the fact that it's probably where I picked up the cold.) There have been some incredible developments in inks and styles. I grabbed a lot of business cards off a lot of tables, now I just have to make up my mind what I want to do and then find somebody who is willing to do it.

I bought paint on my lunch hour today but absolutely nothing useful is getting done on the house before the weekend. I'm going to go home and eat pizza and then go to bed.

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