The man who would be king

Sorry for more political ranting, but it's what's happening around me right now. I could write about what fun Sweetie and I are having watching Alexandria on America's Next Top Model blame everyone but herself for the criticism that she has received so far. It's pathological! She really has no ability to see how others see her and to understand how her actions are perceived. It's always their fault for not understanding her. I can't get too much schadenfreude out of it though because I don't think she's a sociopath. She seems to have genuine feelings and can actually be hurt. So she's not the perfect villain, but she's still someone we want to see get her comeuppance. I'm kind of pulling for cute little Brittani, who got the best makeover. And who could dislike Jaclyn, who's just unbelievably sweet yet clearly genuine? I also still like Monique, only because she reminds me of someone I know (looks, not personality), but I don't think she'll pull through.

Enough with the fun! Gloom and doom await.

It's hard for me to believe that there is a possibility that a plurality of voters in a majority of ridings might actually elect MPs from the Conservative Party of Canada and let Stephen Harper run a majority government. I say a plurality of voters, but that's really a plurality of people who exercise their right to vote, which is getting dangerously close to not even being a majority of those who have that right.

I shake my head at the idea of all these fellow Canadians trusting Harper with nearly unfettered power. I just thank goddess that we have a constitution and a solid judiciary. Even so, I shudder to think of the damage Harper and his minions could do with a majority government.

One of the problems seems to be that the erosion of democratic values that the Harperites have perpetrated has gone on largely below the radar of ordinary people. Only policy wonks pay attention to the details of what happens in the House of Commons or in committees. Only political junkies notice the changes in how Canada interacts with the rest of the world and the whispers of policies that the Reform, sorry, Conservative base want enacted. Occasionally something rises to the surface, such as the book of dirty tricks intended to obstruct the work of committees, or a minister lying about having altered a signed document, or the recent finding that the government was in contempt of Parliament. But people seem not to realize the seriousness of these events, and especially the seriousness of the pattern they are part of.

Twice before, voters came close to giving Harper a majority and somehow came to their senses before they actually did. If I were a praying person, I'd pray that it happens again. In the absence of divine intervention, I just have to hope that Canadians understand their own values better than it seems right now.

I'm a Liberal, so of course I long for a return to Liberal government, a minority at least if not a majority. My trust level in Stephen Harper is zero. Even if Michael Ignatieff is not my favourite Liberal leader ever, I would trust him to be Prime Minister. So I continue to urge strategic voting. In any given riding, if the New Democratic Party candidate is most likely to be able to win the riding and defeat the Conservative candidate, by all means vote NDP. Being a realist, I will likely have to do so myself. But if a Liberal candidate can win the riding, please don't split the vote and let the Conservative candidate sail up the middle. And keep in mind that the only other party that can form government is the Liberal Party. However much you might like the NDP, they are not going to form government.

Really, the left-ish parties need to merge, but that's not currently on the table. They are quite far apart on many issues, although there is a lot of room for them to work together.

My new least-horrible case scenario: third Conservative minority, Harper resigns as leader.

If you haven't seen this yet, it's short and scarily funny:



What is the sound of one writ dropping?

For those of you who don't live in Canada, and possibly for some who do, "drop the writ" is a phrase that means we're having an election. In this case, it will be a federal election. On Friday, the three opposition parties passed a motion censuring the Conservative government for contempt of Parliament and declaring that they have no confidence in the government. Since the Conservatives have a plurality but not a majority of seats in the House of Commons, that means they cannot continue to govern.

On Saturday, Governor-General David Johnston granted Prime Minister Stephen Harper's request to dissolve Parliament and start an election. By law, a campaign has to run for at least 36 days and end on a Monday, so we'll be going to the polls on Monday, May 2.

One curious part of all this is that most of it is by tradition only. It's not part of our written constitution. But it's how the Westminster System has run since, oh, I don't know, the signing of the Magna Carta or something. At any rate, a long time. Stephen Harper has run roughshod over quite a few Canadian traditions, but there are some that even he can't touch.

So the campaign has begun. And since our election campaigns last for not much more than a month, they're pretty intense.

I'm a card-carrying member of the Liberal Party of Canada (seriously, there's a membership card in my wallet), so I admit to being partisan. For me, the best outcome would be a Liberal majority. When I moved to Canada in 1994, the Liberals were in power under Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Those first years were difficult, because the previous Progressive Conservative government had been unwilling to curb spending. With the debt-to-GDP ratio dangerously high, the International Monetary Fund was poised to step in to impose austerity measures. Instead, Chrétien, together with his finance minister (and, curiously, chief rival) Paul Martin made drastic cuts at the federal level. Within something like two years, they were bringing in surplus budgets and slowly restoring some of the spending they had cut. There had never been such competent financial management in Canadian government, and probably in most coutries in the world.

I miss Jean Chrétien, for all his flaws (and he had plenty). In his prime, he would have had Stephen Harper for lunch and picked his teeth with the bones. He was a tough old bird on the campaign trail and made politically courageous decisions when in power.

Sadly (for me), there is unlikely to be a Liberal majority any time soon. Somehow, people have forgotten that Liberal values are the Canadian values they support. The current leader, Michael Ignatieff, has not yet succeeded in connecting with people. Even a Liberal minority will be an uphill battle.

The worst outcome I can imagine is a Conservative majority. So far, with two minority governments, the Conservatives have been somewhat held in check by the opposition parties. They have still managed to rack up a long list of damage. If the Conservatives were to win a majority, their socially conservative core would be unleashed. I'm reasonably sure a majority of Canadians, even many who voted Conservative, would be appalled by what a Conservative majority would do.

These are not the Progressive Conservatives of Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, and Joe Clark. I can't even bring myself to call this party "Tory." The Tory party died when the last federal PC leader, Peter MacKay, sold out to the Canadian Alliance, previously called the Reform Party. The Harper Conservatives are the Reform Party with a new brand and even less compassion than they had under leader Preston Manning.

If the Conservatives were to win a majority, we'd have four long years to regret it.

Even though I'd prefer a Liberal majority, I know it's unlikely to happen. So I'm urging something called strategic voting. In Canada, as in the United Kingdom and the United States, we have single-member constituencies. That works reasonably well in the US because there are only two major parties. But here we have three, and in Quebec four. So it's possible for a candidate to become MP with as little as 26 percent of the vote, if the vote splits three ways among the other candidates. So I'm begging people to vote ABC—anyone but Conservative. If the Liberal candidate seems most likely to defeat the Conservative, vote Liberal (even if it means holding your nose). If the New Democratic candidate is most likely to win, don't siphon off votes for the Liberal candidate and allow the Conservative to come up the middle. I would even rather see every Quebec riding go to the Bloc Québécois than for a single seat to go Conservative.

Now that I've bored even my fellow Canadians to death, we'll get back to something non-political. But I can't promise not to bore you again before this campaign is over.



What a drag it is getting old
From "Mother's Little Helper" by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

The other day, I made my usual bi-monthly salon visit. My hair stylist touched up the roots and did a very light trim. But I asked him for one more thing—curls. He's been bugging me for months, maybe years, to let him do that. And recently I saw some pictures of my friend Nadya on Facebook after she'd had her hair curled, and I thought it looked great. So I let my stylist hit me with the curling iron and a few tons of hairspray. It would only be temporary, but I'd get to see how it looked.

When I got home, I took some pictures, the usual at-arm's-length self portraits. Those aren't usually very good anyway. I hadn't redone my makeup. I hadn't worn much in the first place. I posted one of the only ones I liked on Facebook. I've been getting props ever since, which I appreciate. But I see a woman getting older.

I swear I look better in real life than in photos, but even if photos aren't always flattering, they don't lie either. My skin ain't what it used to be. I spent too much time in the sun when I was younger, being careless about sun damage. Even without any sun problems, collagen starts to break down. It's just the natural aging process. I have some rosacea. My eyelids are sagging a bit. I have those dear old marionnette lines, sometimes known as parentheses.

My generation always wanted to pretend we'd never get old. We had something known as Peter Pan Syndrome:
If growing up means it would be
Beneath my dignity to climb a tree,
I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up
Not me!
From "I Won't Grow Up," lyrics by Carolyn Leigh

I've always been pretty cautious about growing up. I never wanted to be the kind of adult who seemed to have forgotten what it was like to be young. I thought for sure that didn't have to happen. And it doesn't! I'm still pretty well connected to my inner teen, as Sweetie calls it.

It's good to maintain a youthful attitude. "You're only as old as you feel," goes the saying. The only trouble is, the outside doesn't always cooperate. The body doesn't know anything about this refusal to grow up thing. So things start to sag. And ache. And not work as well as they used to.

I can't let it get to me. I need to develop an attitude more like that of these women (scroll down to see the video).

My taste in fashion is a bit different than theirs, but I love their approach. I hope I never give up on myself. I hope I never get boring or turn into my grandmother. I can rock and I can roll and I can continue to find clothes that look good on me. I can get my ass back to the gym and make my body as healthy as possible while also finding my facial bone structure again.

I especially love the woman in the video who said this: "Young women, you're going to be old women one day. Don't worry about it. Don't sweat it. Don't worry about getting older. Every era, it builds character." Gotta work on that.

(Thanks to my friends Gisele for posting the link to that video on Facebook and Jonelle for finding the original video, which is much larger.)


Tuff love

I've lived in British Columbia for more than 16 years, Sweetie for more than 14. In all that time, we had never been to the outer coast of Vancouver Island. Whenever we'd hop a ferry, we'd end up in Victoria, and once on Quadra Island. We had never been to Tofino! We actually tried a few Christmases ago, but that was one of the worst winters on record. Sadly, we had to cancel our plans to spend Christmas in a hot tub. But at the beginning of this spring break (for Sweetie, not for me), we decided we'd finally go.

To get from the inner coast to the outer, you have to drive through the mountains that run through the centre of Vancouver Island. Two ranges, actually, with Port Alberni (at the end of a very long inlet) in between. I loved the drive! Twisty and winding! A really fun road on which to drive a Subaru. On the way, we ran into several kinds of weather, including hail. Fortunately, the only snow was by the sides of the road. I tried not to think about signs warning you to have winter tires or chains until April 30!

Sweetie found a good deal for us at the Long Beach Lodge Resort, which can be rather pricy. Even the less expensive room was beautifully appointed and very comfortable.

Once we settled in, it was time to seek food. Tofino, nicknamed "Tuff," isn't big, but there was definitely choice. SoBo seemed interesting, so we headed there. What a great find! After road food, we needed something good, but light. Sweetie had green salad, I had roasted beet salad (seems to be my new thing), with an order of fresh-baked rolls. Then she had the special, tuna tartare, while I had a fish taco. Both excellent. And not expensive.

No hot tub with our room, but we did get to soak in a nice big bathtub. And then we watched a DVD borrowed from the front desk, The Golden Compass. I've never read the books, but Sweetie said they did a pretty good job. I'm sorry the movie didn't do well so that there will be no films of the second and third books, because I quite enjoyed it.

Long Beach Lodge serves a very nice Continental breakfast included with the room, plus eggs and stuff if you pay. After breakfast, Sweetie and I went for a long walk on the beach. It was brisk but sunny! We didn't expect such nice weather. After our beach walk, we drove into town and walked all over the place. There are some very nice native art galleries in town. Just before one, we drove to the Ancient Cedars Spa at the Wickininnish Inn, where we had an appointment for side-by-side facials. It was a gorgeous experience! Start with a steam room, then a foot soak with consulation, then we were both taken to a little hut right on the end of the rock looking out onto the ocean. New age music, the sound of the surf, and the most amazing facial ever, which included a foot massage and some neck work. O.M.G. It was a seriously expensive treat, but a treat it was. After we left, we continued to mellow out at the Tuff Beans coffee house over excellent mocha and capuccino.

We had reserved for dinner at the Great Room, the restaurant in the lodge. The room gives you a great view of sunset over the ocean, and it was Ostara, the vernal equinox. So while we lingered over salads, a fish stew, wonderful local sablefish, and a superb bottle of Joie Farms Noble Blend, we watched the sun set straight into the west. We all broke into applause when the sun disappeared! Sweetie and I weren't up very long once we got back to our room. We almost never split an entire bottle of wine any more. But we were celebrating (almost) 30 years of being together!

On Monday after breakfast, rather later than on Sunday (they serve until 10:30), we took another beach walk. It was getting sunny again! Then we drove in the other direction to the town of Ucluclet. Tofino is lovely but very touristy. Uclulet is more where people live, and where they can afford to live. It's still a lovely town, on a spit of land between the ocean and an inlet. We drove out to the end of the peninsula and took a four-kilometre hike on part of the Wild Pacific Trail. It's pretty special to walk through temperate rain forest loaded with cedar and hemlock with an understory of salal and red huckleberry and then to break out to views of the ocean. The coast is much wilder there than in the parts of Tofino we saw. I loved watching the tidal surge washing over the rocks in so many different ways. The trail was smooth but had some pretty steep parts in it, so we got a decent workout.

We drove back into town around 2:30, feeling peckish. We stopped at a little placed called the Blue Room. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the food was excellent! Sweetie had seriously good crab cakes with a salad, and I had a really delicious halibut burger. We think the Blue Room is another great find. After our late lunch, we did some more gallery checking out and then ended up at our real destination, the Uclulet Aquarium. It's just a tiny thing on the inlet, about the size of a trailer, but it's a really special place. All the tanks are full of native species from the surrounding area, which are all released at the end of the season. So many wonderful invertebrates, including a shy female octopus, lots of sea stars, some enormous sea cucumbers, and some bright yellow sea lemons, which are nudibranchs, a favourite sea critter. There were also crabs, fish, anemones, and some amazing orange things called sea combs, which are related to jellyfish. We kept up a running conversation with the guy who ran the place. They are planning a new facility that will be much larger. We must return!

We'd worn ourselves out by then, so we headed back to our room. Somehow, we got peckish again. And once again we went to SoBo. And once again we were very happy. Sweetie had that evening's special, which was exotic mushroom enchiladas with brown rice, beans, and a chipotle cream sauce. I had my exotic mushrooms on a small pizza. Once again, we had no room for what looked like very tasty desserts, including a flourless concoction called a Chocolate Bomb. We wrapped up the evening in our soaker tub again.

Tuesday started out grey and wet, so I guess that was our signal to leave. One more breakfast and back over the mountains, with somewhat fewer changes in weather this time. The sun was out by the time we reached Nanaimo.

It took us a long time to finally visit "Tuff," but I know it won't be our last time.


Peace in our time

One of the inspiring young women writers I met last autumn at Ladies' Rock Camp is Holly. You can find a link to her blog on my blogroll. She writes about anything and everything in her blog. A lot of blogs that don't have a specific theme fall flat, but Holly writes so entertainingly that I think she could write about anything and I would read it. Except to get lessons on how to cook, but that's a whole different matter.

Number two on her list of 10 best...things of 2010 was a book called If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. Ueland was a writing teacher in her native Minnesota in the early part of the last century. She published the book in 1938.

If You Want to Write is kind of a self-help book for anyone who wants to unlock their creativity, in writing as well as in other creative disciplines. Ueland's basic premise is that everyone has a story to tell, and that it comes out most truthfully and most interestingly if we write from our "true self."

She provides examples of writing from her classes, achingly beautiful pieces written by ordinary people. People who thought they had nothing to say. People who did not know they could write. Sometimes the writing has been so wonderful that it has brought me to tears, not because it was sad but because it touched me so deeply.

Recently I read another piece of writing that really reminded me of the best examples in Ueland's book from another of the inspiring young women writers from rock camp, Candice. I had read pieces she had written for The Oregonian, but I hadn't known she had a blog as well. It's in my blogroll now. The post entitled Names is the one in which she included the short fiction entry. It's wonderful!

Writing like this affects me so strongly not only because it's so good. It's also because I want so much to be able to write like that. I've wanted it as long as I can remember.

According to Ueland, I should have that kind of writing in me. I just have to get to the right place in order to bring it out. Naturally, with no artiface. Freely. Easier said than done, eh?

I've written some pretty bad stuff in my time. I never learned to write well in school. I think I have one paper from university, and it's an embarrassment. I learned to write when I was working for a magazine, under deadline and getting paid. My writing improved greatly, although I was always a better editor than writer. For a long time I put most of my writing effort into songs, some of which came out pretty well. My journals were always disappointing.

It wasn't until I started blogging that I really felt even a little freed up to write well. For a while, I wrote a blog that chronicled my Second Life, and I was reasonably happy with that. That blog had a focus. I also wrote some decent pieces for an online magazine having to do with sex and sexuality in Second Life. I wrote other blogs and felt even better about my writing. This blog unfortunately has less focus, but I still love to write in it.

Fiction, however, has always eluded me. And so has really writing freely, truthfully, the way Ueland describes. I've never written anything as good as what Candice wrote in her blog, or than what Ueland's students wrote. I'm not as free and funny as Holly, or as good an observer and writer as two more of my rock camp friends (also in the blogroll), Caitlin (The Mundane Details) and my bandmate Vanessa (Play On! Words). My prose is rather, well, prosaic. I'm not sure yet how to break out of that and reach the proper state in which to produce better writing.

Time for yet another class? An adult education course in creative writing perhaps? With someone who can help me break out of the thing that holds me back the most—fear? Yes, fear, my old friend. Great writing is fearless. I'm not particularly fearful, but I have more fears than of sharp objects and falling from a height. One is a fear of writing crap. And that absolutely guarantees that I would write crap if I tried. I need to get past the fear, past the inner critic, and just write. And not care of it's crap, especially at first, because that's part of the process.

After years of tormenting myself, I reached a kind of peace by coming to terms with the realization that I really was not particularly creative. I wanted to be an artist, a creative person, but I wasn't, and I was finally OK with that. But Ueland would say that is crap, and maybe she's right. Maybe it was a false peace that I reached. Maybe it was appeasement. If so, the peace will not endure.



Today is International Women's Day. Many will publish or have published inspiring articles about women. I don't (at this point anyway) have a job writing inspiring articles, so I shall keep it brief and list some women who inspire me:
  • My partner
  • My mother
  • My two sisters
  • My sisters-in-law
  • The women who put together Girls Rock Camp Vancouver
  • The women who put together the original Rock & Roll Camp for Girls in Portland
  • The female musicians I know
  • The female writers I know
  • All women who brave the world of electoral politics
  • US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton
  • Activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Author Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Aun Sang Suu Kyi
  • Actor/director/writer Sarah Polley
I'm sure I'll think of more, but I have to get back to work now.


Facing fears

I did something this afternoon that I've been postponing for more than a year. I got out the extension ladder, put it up a tree, and sawed off two rather large lower limbs that were shading the vegetable garden. The tree shouldn't miss them. It's a very large Sycamore Maple that has lost lower limbs before. We surmise that it was planted when the house was built, since that species of Acer, like the builder of the house, comes from Wales.

I don't like getting up on ladders. I used to mind it less, but the discomfort has grown as I've gotten older. It's a fear of falling from a height, of course, officially considered fear of heights or acrophobia. It's actually much worse when I have to climb up the side of the house. In that situation, it feels like there is nothing between me and the far away ground and nothing to grab onto. When I'm up against a strong tree branch, I feel more secure. Lots to grab onto there.

I went up there with our trusty Fat Max saw. There was a guy next door who is part of a house painting crew. We had said "hi" earlier as I was cleaning up last year's leaves, which got buried by snow very soon after they fell. He looked at me rather dubiously up in the tree, gnawing and sawing away at a good-sized limb. I stopped and said, "Yeah, I should have borrowed a chain saw, eh?" He nodded in agreement. But I went back to sawing.

Why the Fat Max? Well, if there's one thing I fear more than falling from a height, it's cutting myself. That's called aichmophobia, the fear of sharp objects. I overcome that fear almost every day when I cook. I've learned not to do any cutting in haste, since that's pretty much the only time I've ever cut myself. So I'm fine in the kitchen. I'm pretty much at ease with sharp knives. But I don't like power saws much. I'm OK with our circular saw. It's small. I feel that I can control it. And I'm careful. But a chain saw? It's big. I'm not small, but I feel like I don't have the strength to deal with it. Which is probably foolish, but fears aren't rational. Chain saws are powerful and noisy and, to my fearful mind, itching to take off a finger along with a tree branch. No thanks! I went for the exercise. At least the branches were such that I could cut off one using my left arm and one using my right. A balanced arm workout!

Both limbs were a little bigger than I thought. The first crashed harmlessly to the ground before I was finished sawing, although it came too close for comfort to my little Saskatoon bush. The second seemed smaller, but it crashed in a weird way and took out the back of a bench that was below the tree. Silly of me not to move it, although it was fairly rotten already. Wood that's not part of a tree doesn't last all that long in this climate.

So I survived. And I was proud of myself! There's actually one more smaller branch that I would like to get, but the other two limbs are kind of in the way of putting up the ladder again. So now I think I'll need to put an ad on Craigslist or something. Anyone have a chain saw who wants mostly kindling but a few larger pieces? The wood is free!


This is not a review!

It's really just stuff I sort of remember from last night. I wasn't taking notes or blogging from the club, so maybe some of this is made up.

Last night, Sweetie and I finally went out to a club. We did not sit at home in our jammies watching a movie on DVD while one or the other of us, the lucky one, had the feeling slowly drain out of her legs and bum by a large sleeping kitteh. Neither did we sit in front of our respective computers posting pathetic Facebook updates and reading comments that make us mad. Nope. We hopped in the car and went to the Biltmore Cabaret, also known as "the club with no sight lines," to see White Lung, Nü Sensae, and the B-Lines.

We arrived around 10:30, sans bumbershoots. And it was raining a bit. So it was a little annoying to be held up outside, not under a roof, while a guy frisked people. WTF? I'm thinking that he is so not going to touch me, but we realized from the women in front of us that the only indignity us women were subjected to was him poking around in our purses. I don't think they were looking for weapons. With only a $5 cover, maybe they were looking for flasks and such. They needed to sell enough PBRs* to pay the bands.

We perched on a giant ottoman in the right rear of the club. No bands were playing, but at least the DJ was spinning pretty good stuff (X-Ray Spex as we came in). We thought we might even have missed the first band. Sweetie finished her Diet Pepsi. Whoosh! The guy with the grey tub took the glass away. A bit later, I finished my Philips Blue Buck pale ale. Whoosh! Grey Tub Guy was really efficient. We hoped that he got some of the bar tips, because he was really running around.

Finally, at 11 o'clock, the black curtain parted and the B-Lines started their set. Sweetie and I moved to an empty table just to the right of the soundboard, back far enough so that we were OK without the earplugs we both forgot (I always do—this is why at rock camp you keep them in your lanyard). The B-Lines were loud and fast. Their set lasted only about 20 minutes, but they played at least 10 songs in that time. Pretty good songs too. They reminded me of 1980s LA punk with a bit of English Oi thrown in. The lead singer was all over the stage. They were fun!

I changed up and got a Big Ass cider. The sound woman was reading a book. It wasn't really a great night for people watching. Some of the women were being creative. The men, not so much. They never are. Although I did see this one young guy with short blond hair, a beige cardigan, and a mustache. He looked like he should have been smoking a pipe. We had some entertainment in front of us for a few minutes—a young blond girl and sitting on her boyfriend's lap. They were snogging to the point where you wondered if they needed to come up for air. I can't remember sucking face like that in public since I was in high school! It was kind of amusing at first, but then it got boring. But they must have got hot, because before too much longer they both left.

We can't quite remember what time Nü Sensae went on. We'd seen them at a Girls Rock Camp Vancouver lunchtime show and also at a GRCV benefit show at Antisocial Skateboard Shop. The band consists of a guy who plays drums furiously and a women who plays bass furiously. Two-piece bands seem to be a trend these days. The bass player is the singer, although mostly she screams. They make it work. The sound can be interesting, but last night we felt less impressed. For one thing, when you have only a bass and drums, you're really limited in what you can do. I think the Pack A.D. make the two-piece idea work better, with the guitar being run through two amps, one of which kicks up the bottom end, and probably some toys. Also, the Pack's singer has a really cool voice. So we thought Nü Sensae's set was good, but not great.

The black curtain closed again. More waiting. We didn't care for this new DJ's selection as much. He was playing 12-inch records, and he kept making them skip by leaning over them to talk to this friends. One of his friends was Mustache Cardi Guy. I pointed him out to Sweetie, who thought he looked vaguely creepy. Sound girl was back to her book. I was nursing my cider. Nü Sensae picked the right set, because there are fewer people in the club now, but still enough for a good crowd. We spotted something completely different—a dreadmullet (Sweetie's term). This guy had fairly short hair except for a huge twisted up dreadlock at the back. That was new!

Somewhere around 12:30 (I think) White Lung took the stage. Mish Way is the singer, and we've known her from rock camp for a couple years. We'd never seen White Lung play live though. From their album, which I like, I would have characterized them as Riot Grrrl. But live, there was more speed metal in the mix. I think I felt that mostly from the guitarist. I'll have to give the album another listen. They played a good hard set. Loved the bass player, who sometimes led off songs. Because of the no-sight-lines thing, mostly I could see Mish's swirling mane of ash-blond hair, backlit because she was singing from way at the front of the stage. Methinks the old folks were getting tired by this time. But we made it!

Nü Sensae and White Lung are about to go on tour together. Hope it's a good one!

Tonight, the sofa spuds return. Jammies. I Am Love on DVD. And a large warm kitteh. Maybe on both laps.

*When I was growing up, Pabst Blue Ribbon was considered run-of-the-mill piss. It was even old-guy beer. Now, inexplicably, it is hipster beer.