victoria day

I mean, I could give two shits about the queen and I tend to think of the Royal family as Overly Proper Kardashians, but I do appreciate the day off.

Maybe we should make it favour of the guy who discovered penicillin or Yuri Gagarin or something.

You know, instead of imperial leeches responsible for much suffering, much patriarchy and much waste of everyone’s time and money.

Fuck King Charles. That coronation was a waste of funds that could have been used in the healthcare system to save lives, or teach children, or generally make the world a better place, instead of propping up the egos of a family of straight parasites.

If Canada ever votes on getting rid of the monarchy, I know what my vote will be, without question.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1816 words, novel: Father Lightning

less productive

It’s weird how being in the office has had no effect on my productivity; save for the things I do for myself in a day. What a world we would have if we cut out all the unnecessary bullshit and let people do the things they love, and celebrate them for it.

No working for a dollar. No rock ‘n’ roll pros, playing for the lawyers, as Local H would say.

Just people playing on whatever they want, without judgment, only help and support.

No more assholes. No more soul crushing work. No more cruelty.

Just a life of kindness and support.

What a fucked-up world that would be, isn’t it? The fact that you’re (and by extension, me) are already thinking it’s impossible shows just how far we have to go, and how much better we could be.

It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Protopia is better than utopia, any day. Incremental improvement is still improvement; the only sin is being so far jaded that the effort becomes impossible, instead of inevitable.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 328 words, novel: Father Lightning

wow, viking

So, we had relayed our terrible experience at Versailles and the lack of accessibility on the Viking tours, and what we got back was… something.

This woman, and I’ll hesitate to say that, because she sound automated when she first called, so much so that I was actually questioning whether we were talking to some sort of newfangled AI Chat bot.

One that was malfunctioning, that is. Turns out though, a real person, and the most condescending customer service rep I think I’ve ever dealt with. She completely ignored all of our concerns, and whenever we brought up the discrimination our daughter endured, she would just say, “I’m sorry your feelings got hurt”.

You know that noise someone makes in a movie or a TV show, that’s kind of a cross between “Oh” and “mmm”, that immediately tells you that someone is a complete dickbag and you should hate them? Yeah, she did that at least a half-dozen times, whenever we brought up discrimination.

On top of that, the only thing she was willing to do was vouchers… for a cruise that had to be taken within the next year. Oh yes, condescending bitch, let me pay you for the privilege of being discriminated against, not taken seriously and talked down by the world’s most patronizing customer service rep. And use vacation time I don’t have to do so.

Cue more arguing, more condescension and we finally got our Versailles trip refunded.

The stupidity of this is that all they had to do was to call, be nice, show they understood the problem and refund Versailles. We’d have been happy with that. But now, with this bitch?

Oh, yeah, regardless of what she says about being “the top”, this is definitely getting escalated. Hard.

You don’t send the girl who clearly used to pick on disabled kids in high school, and is clearly enjoying the suffering of this one, to make amends, because she doesn’t care. She thinks it’s funny.

Now I have the CEO’s email and I plan to use it. An apology and a refund; that’s it. That’s all that was needed. Now, I’m coming for your job, because you couldn’t simply demonstrate a bit of understanding and some kindness.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 1975 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

motherfucking versailles

It’s become clear throughout this trip that France hates disabled people. Nothing has been easy and very few of the French have helpful (on the boat – they were all largely other nationalities, and therefore, actually helpful). We’ve had an easier time getting around third world countries than France. They may not have the infrastructure in the Dominican or Jamaica, but what they do have are good people who don’t treat the disabled as humans unworthy of effort, and who jump in to help, without hesitation.

Unworthy of effort sums up France’s attitude toward the disabled in total. The Palace of Versailles was a perfect example. We were supposed to have a wheelchair for my daughter, but here’s the rub. We get there, and there are three football fields worth of cobblestones to cross first. And a massive garden on the other side, filled with gravel.

And you know what we’re told? You can only use the wheelchair in the Palace.

So… it takes us almost the entire time the rest of the group is in the Gardens just to reach the entrance and once we’re inside, we’re separated from her walker and then rolled through some beat-up staging area where they leave us to wait for our guide… at the top of a staircase.

Eventually, we get sorted and we, along with a crushing amount of other humanity, tour this ridiculous monument to ego and entitlement. At the end, the elevator is broken, so we’re run around to a different part of the building near the gardens, where we do manage to get down, but then… we’re trying to leave and they won’t let us take the wheelchair out. Keep in mind, we don’t have my daughter’s walker anymore. It’s in some security office at the other entrance. The guide offers to go get it and tells us to go with the wheelchair, after talking to some of the security guards. She disappears to find the walker and we start. We get about twenty feet before guards start rushing us, screaming at my daughter to get out of the wheelchair. I’m trying to explain, in English and in my broken French, that she can’t walk, and that’s when the security incident starts.

It doesn’t have anything to do with us, but it does involve security and men with machines guns screaming and shoving everyone out of the garden area, while the guard dealing with tries to pull my daughter out of the chair. She finally decides, at the last second, with a police car bearing down on us, to allow me to push her to the side. More men with machine guns are yelling at us to leave, but also to get out of the chair and we’re screaming back, she can’t walk, and anyway, long story short, another security guard finally shows up with our walker and after being threatened, pulled, screamed at and intimidated with guns, we’re “allowed” to return to our bus (across three football fields of cobblestones with a walker) again.

I mean, seriously, France. What the fuck kind of help is that for the disabled? Fuck you and your bullshit palace. I can see why the peasants came to burn it down.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 2297 words, novel: Father Lightning

on strike

Well, not me, but my union is on strike. I’m considered code one, which I guess means business as usual for me. Honestly, I’m fine with that. Working normally and leaving for France, or getting partial pay, and having to spend my days tromping on a picket line?

I’d rather keep working.

My life has been through such upheaval over the past year, the kind thing to do for myself is allow myself time to relax and not stress about things. Stressing about whether or not I’m going to get enough money to cover food this week doesn’t sound like it’s conducive to that.

I support the union and its aims, as inflation has made the cost of living so much worse, but I still feel like I dodged a bullet. I’m not sure I have the bandwidth for all that at this point. I need a long break, without the constant at-at-at, just to find some way to find some semblance of a head on straight.

And then, we can get back to the business of justice and equality and all that good stuff.

For now, I hope it works out for the union; I hope it works out for taxpayers. I hope it works out for everyone.

That’s really what I hope for everyone in every situation involving injustice or inequality or general unfairness.

Sadly, I am oft disappointed. If I weren’t, Donald Trump would be in jail, Pierre Poilevre wouldn’t be anywhere near politics and Vladimir Putin would be suffering tremendously as his people ran free.

Such is not the way of the world, so it is imperative on me to make my little piece of it as bearable and kind-hearted as possible. I would not contribute to the insanity; only to the hugs in the midst of the madness.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 152 words, novel: Father Lightning

world without money

I dream of it. What we could accomplish if we weren’t scrambling for scraps, while human pieces of filth hoard all the rest.

The only issue would be overcrowding on the beautiful places, but I would hope without this urgent greed, we would learn more civility and kindness, and more appreciation for our nearest and dearest, the local culture, the flora and fauna of where we live, and stop being sold on always needing to go to the same type of places.

While bikinis and margaritas are enjoyable (though I don’t look particularly good in a matching two-piece thong, given my waistline and the fact that I’m a middle-aged man), there’s so much more to the world than sand and palm. Antarctica, tundra, northern Ontario, Lapland, the Outback, all over Africa, Europe, Iceland, Greenland, Kingsville, Pelee Island, British Columbia, redwood forests, salt seas, steppes, Nepal… the list is quite literally as expansive as the universe itself.

Arbitrary systems of currency should not be the sole reason we can’t go see it, or spend time in our community, or loving our fellow humanity.

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

personal change

The fact is, I have to change. While I was busy wallowing in The Mungk, the realization that maybe I wasn’t helping myself was slowly germinating in my brain, and I couldn’t get rid of it.

And unlike in the past, I couldn’t just chuck it all and start over, incrementally fucking myself as I went back to the drawing board, once again.

Finally, I feel on a path forward, though I have a long way to go as far as making my dreams happen. But… progress.

I feel like the current place to focus was with kindness, because after the fatalism of The Mungk, who couldn’t use a little kindness in their lives?

And let’s be honest. As things to work on, things to bring more into this world, kindness, I would imagine, ranks fairly high in our list of needs, especially currently. Who could truly argue that kindness is a negative, without revealing their own wicked and revolting nature (cough, Marjorie Taylor Greene, cough)?


Let’s be anti-Marj, and treat the people around us with some respect and kindness, instead of vitriol and hatred.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 129 words, novel: Father Lightning

screw the rich

The past few years, under Trump and through the pandemic, have really brought into focus how the system is rigged against anyone who isn’t rich. That Donald Trump gets to be indicted (after way, way too long) and just walk away to fly back to Florida and make incendiary speeches demonstrates that too exactly. Add in the flagrant gouging and corruption by all kinds of companies – tech, fossil fuels, social media, groceries, among many others, and one can see that the scales have skewed way too far toward the upper class.

The current breed of politicians are far too corrupt to do anything meaningful about it. Hell, in the States, they have a literal fascist running around fomenting bigotry and hatred wherever he goes, while grifting his own followers out of billions (among who knows what other scams he ran while in office to bilk the taxpayer). For most of what he’s done, one of us would have been hauled in and thrown in prison back in 2015 (or ideally, way before that – when he was running financial scams).

There needs to be a serious reckoning, or this is all going to end French Revolution-style, and given the kind of nutters and power-hungry madmen that can take hold in a scenario like that, that won’t be good for anyone.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 133 words, novel: Father Lightning