sad times

Too many lately. Death after death, tragedy after tragedy.

The pandemic brought everything to a grinding halt; coming out of it has felt like being thrown into a meat grinder.

I thought I was down during The Mungk; daily meditations on trauma and fatalism being a big part of that. Thinking about kindness has only caused me to realize how small a part of the world it’s become.

I blame Trump, Putin and all the other right wing motherfuckers; propagating constant lies amidst a firehose of misinformation, killing rational thought and reasonable behaviour in a fiery torment of unreal anger and radicalization.

I think I’m going to have to start looking harder. Either that or go it alone. Hell, it worked for Jesus, didn’t it?

Wait. Did it?

Okay, Ghandi maybe. Wait. Him too?

Martin Luther King? John Lennon?

Jesus, being kind is a violent racket.

Target: 1500 words
Written: 2642 words, novel: Father Lightning

over it

I’m over the coughing and the phlegm. I’m no longer testing positive and all the other symptoms of COVID have gone away, except this disgusting shit in my throat.

Our bodies are gloriously disgusting, aren’t they?

Target: 1300 words
Written: 573 words, novel: Father Lightning


And grocery shopping. Basically, all I can do today. All in all, I thought I did a pretty good job of keeping it together at work and getting things done.

Surprising after the brain fog of the last few days. Work continues on the novel as well, a little, so take that, COVID.

I can still do shit, even when I’m sick. Norovirus was worse.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 257 words, novel: Father Lightning

lazy sunday

Why not? We’re on the tail end of COVID, tired after a long journey, trying to get back into the swing of normal life.

Writing. Reading. Comics. That’s all I really need. Exercise and meditation for the body and mind. Music for the spirit. Cooking as an alternate outlet for creativity and experience.

Anything else is gravy. Movies, television, video games, sex, travel, other various storytelling mediums… gravy.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 2326 words, novel: Father Lightning

brain fog 2

Most of my symptoms are clearing up, except the brain fog and the stupid cough. Apparently, that goes on for a while. I spent the morning composing an email to Viking about our Versailles experience; we’ll see how that works out.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 556 words, novel: Father Lightning

brain fog

So, that’s the thing people talk about. It’s like being very tired, but coffee or a nap doesn’t fix it.

Can’t say I care for that. I pity all those with long COVID dealing with that every day all day for months on end, on top of no energy. One day has been enough.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 2058 words, novel: Father Lightning


It’s not as bad as I feared, but then, we’re four shots deep and as much as I question this regularly, we’re in fairly good health.

The cough is annoying though. I’m told that’s a feature that last a while after all the other symptoms have cleared up.


Target: 1300 words
Written: 105 words, novel: Father Lightning

home at last – covid

Well, the streak is over. We managed to go more than three years without catching COVID-19, but it appears France had a parting gift for us. My only consolation is that maybe in all that back and forth with that dickhead Air France manager, we may have inadvertently given it to him.

So there’s an upside to this. The downside is now I finally lose that moral superiority I held over all those jerks that treated us like rednecks for the first two years of the pandemic, solely because we didn’t spend our time advertising wearing masks, getting shots and all that good stuff on social media. That, and we were actually honest about what we were doing and with who, and we took calculated risks (and precautions), when travelling and such.

While they were all out pretending to be super-ultra-mega-safe hermits on social media, while actually going here, there and everywhere, sans protection, we were actually masking up, sanitizing and getting shots. But if it’s not on social media, it didn’t happen, right? Or if someone says it on social media, it must be true, right? I will say it was enjoyable watching all those individuals who treated us like we were stark raving convoy lovers and anti-vaxxers (we are categorically not, for the record), one by one, catching the disease they were only pretending to be safe about, while we remained untouched.

Anyway, it was a good run. We’re home, and sick, which kind of sucks, but so far, it’s not been terribly bad – probably because we are four shots in (five, whenever we’re allowed to again). So… yay for science. Yay for vaccinations and herd immunity.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 2363 words, novel: Father Lightning

interesting lack of feelings

I should be more excited about going to France. I should be. I know. Ten days in Bordeaux and Paris, touring wine country and not seeing the Mona Lisa (again!) while at the Louvre?

I feel like I should be hyped, but I think I’m so wallowed in my present exhaustion to get excited. It’s like that for all travel now. No interest. No anticipatory glee. Only a grudging willingness to pack and a curse that this is going to mean no down time for the new future.

I’ve rarely remembered being so tired as I have in the last year. From the psychotic stress of the last job, to the intense learning period of the new one, to unhealthy and/or dying parents and pets, COVID, Donald Trump and the negative news cycle, to competing with depression for the ability to do or remember anything properly, it’s been one long trial after another, and while travelling to another country sounds like a great way to get away and will I’m sure be fun, it also means I won’t get much done while I’m gone. It will be a lot of walking and moving and eating, and probably acid reflux, and I will come back as burnt out or more than when I left. What I need is a few days of routine; of relative ease.

A long weekend where we don’t do anything but read, write, play video games and maybe enjoy a beer or two and some good, relaxing, playful sex.

Perfect, right?

Far better than returning to the Louvre after 30 years to find out that it’s not fucking open on the only day you can go, which is almost worse than when you went as a teenager on exchange and the Mona Lisa was “closed for cleaning”, because at least there’s a lot of other cool stuff to see. Good thing it’s overrated, or I’d feel worse about that. Picnics in the park, anyone?

Maybe I’ll go find Jim Morrison’s grave again. Or will that be closed as well?

Target: 1300 words
Written: 41 words, novel: Father Lightning

tired of other people’s stupidity

Thanksgiving is this weekend. So, naturally, the person who was out sick with COVID yesterday decided to come in today, because “she’s missed enough work”. She was out one day, and it’s not like she’s a particularly dedicated worker. She’s already on the verge of being fired for incompetence, which we now see also applies to her ability to demonstrate reason when it comes to infecting other people with her illness a few days before a holiday.

Naturally, she’s an anti-vaxxer whose reasoning for not getting the vaccine is poor at best, populated with likely fabrications at worst. Loves them convoy people and thinks Trudeau is a dictator as well. Clearly, the education system in Ontario has failed her. Heaven forbid she ever live in an actual dictatorship. Wouldn’t she be surprised then?

She claims to have tested negative for three days and that it’s just because she got in a cold pool on Saturday, but come on. First of all, she said the pool thing was Saturday night and told us Monday morning she’d had three days of clean tests – unless she started immediately testing as soon as she got out of the pool, (which why would you unless you were showing symptoms, which at that point wouldn’t be caused by the pool), that’s bullshit.

(Update: the boss says the pool thing was Friday, but another co-worker said he was sure she said Saturday as well. The boss doesn’t want to send her home because then she has to do the job, so the boss is defending her despite the obviously inconsiderate behaviour).

How many people do we all know at this point who had COVID and tested negative for days on end, despite being clearly ill and knowing without question it was COVID. My brother and his family were down for a week. It took one of them three days (testing twice a day) to get a positive and another six days of the same to get that positive test. My wife’s brother-in-law was sick with COVID for five full days before it came up positive. Those tests are beyond unreliable, mostly due to the fact that they aren’t designed to test for Omicron or the BA.2 variant.

But what happens? I told our office manager she shouldn’t be here. She just shrugged. My other coworker and I went and put on masks, which was literally the LEAST this person could have done herself, but nope. We’re all sitting with masks on. The one who is actually sick is not.

Why is this acceptable in this day and age? If you’re sick, and she clearly is, why the fuck is she allowed to be here? I’m two months removed from watching my mother-in-law die terribly from COVID, and it was HARSH. That is a hard death and one I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I don’t need to see any of my other family members suffer a similar fate because some inconsiderate jerk thinks it’s okay to spread a deadly disease.

I’m so tired of these convoy-loving, anti-science, anti-medicine, anti-intelligence, selfish pricks, thinking they’re so oppressed because they made a choice to completely disregard their own health and the safety and well-being of everyone around them. Saying that people helping others, trying to be good to others, is somehow fascism? That Trudeau is a dictator because what? He didn’t want people to die needlessly? Because a bunch of morons shut down trade routes and occupied our capitol and after what was WAY too long, he decided to clear them out, with what seemed to most of us rational people, was a surprisingly gentle touch, given the situation? It could have been way, way worse. Certainly, in another country, where there was an actual dictator, it would have been a response that was immediate and far more brutal.

On top of that, they’re still crowing on about mandates and masks and whatnot, most of which weren’t Trudeau’s doing (many of those decisions were provincial) and most of which were no longer in place at the time of the protest. There are next to none now. These don’t even know what or who they’re protesting. They’re just towing some demented party line amplified by social media propaganda bubbles and grifting right wing politicians. No wonder they seem like spoiled children. They’re throwing tantrums about not having cake when they’re literally standing the bakery.

I’m sick of it. We cannot continue to let this over-entitled, disconnected-from-reality subset of the culture distract us from things of real import – health care, climate change, the housing crisis, economic inequality.

Do better, people.

Target: 900 words
Written: 258 words, novella: The Mungk