Speak of the Devil interview, Rubber Clown Car album release (oh, and spring sucked boy did it ever)

It’s been a while since I posted a “what’s going on” update, because as tough as winter was this year, spring has been… well, I’d say it was ten times worse.

In 2017, we had a “once in a hundred years” flood in Quebec and Ontario. Guess what happened again this year, except it was an even more massive catastrophe?

I wish I were kidding, but I’m not.

Two major floods occurred in the 70s, two years apart; I sincerely hope another forty years go by before history repeats itself.

In 2017, the river levels in my area peaked at 60.44 metres. 60.24 metres is where “exceptional flooding” levels begin.

This year, the river peaked on May 1st at 60.70 metres. It then receded a bit, and peaked again about a week later at 60.61 metres.

Our home didn’t get flooded in 2017, but this year, I was terrified it would. When the situation intensified, army vehicles were going up and down the street. Firemen knocked on all the doors in the neighbourhood, handing out “what to do in case your house floods and you have to leave” pamphlets. The rain kept pouring, and it was windy and bitterly cold. A veritable all-you-can-puke buffet of misery. On the news, we would learn that a dike had failed, flooding a town; that a dam might fail in another part of Quebec. States of emergency everywhere. Evacuations.

My neighborhood is actually quite a distance away from the river itself, but this year we experienced an unparalleled event.

My PTSD symptoms skyrocketed. I took my emergency backpack out of my closet and I had a suitcase and the cat carrier by the door, in case things quickly degenerated. I wept on the shoulders of neighbours. The stress and anxiety went on for weeks.

But my portion of the street is on higher ground, and the water stopped about a block away. The transversal street, farther down, and another nearby street got badly flooded, being lower than we are.

I wrote more extensively about all that was going on over on my Patreon.

Suffice it to say, it was phenomenally exhausting. On a few occasions, I felt like I was about to lose my mind. I wasn’t able to perform as Charlie at my teacher’s show because at that point, the floods were worsening and I began feeling seriously unwell. Sitting by the window, I saw city vehicles carrying load after load of sand bags all day long.

Let me tell you, I smoked a lot of cannabis to manage my exacerbated PTSD. It helped me remain at least partially calm. I noted down the river levels, checked the city’s Twitter account, refreshed my dumbphone for the latest local news. For a while, that was all I was able to do.

This morning, the river levels here are at 60.25 metres; we’re about to go down from “exceptional flooding” to “major flooding”—and it’s a huge improvement. This week, the sun will shine, the temperature will at last start becoming seasonal…

Right now, city vehicles are beginning to remove some of the sand bag piles.

I can’t begin to describe what an incredible relief it is to have things going back to normal, though it will take another couple of weeks before the river is once again within its banks.

I’m going to rest and take care of myself this summer. I will be writing Masterful this summer as well, but this reclusive hermit crab will be quieter and even more reclusive than usual.

Last week, I began playing my violin again, and oh, how good it felt. While the flooding was going on, I couldn’t play. I could hardly concentrate on anything.

At the moment, I’m recovering and recuperating.

Yesterday, though, I did something that required more energy, but it was a wonderful thing: I was interviewed by the charming and urbane Reverend Campbell on his show Speak of the Devil.

I promised him I’d be on camera next time; this time, speaking was the most I could manage. I think I succeeded in being somewhat articulate, despite my going in a dozen different directions (typical), now and then losing sight of the connections I was attempting to make (typical!). This is one of the reasons my preferred mode of expression/communication is the written word: I ponder quietly for quite some time, and my thoughts flow more smoothly, in greater detail and depth, when I write than when I speak (especially spur of the moment speaking). But Adam is such a lovely individual and gifted interviewer, he made it easy. Time went by quickly, and we could only touch upon much of what we discussed!

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You can listen to the entire interview here:

In other news, you can now purchase the latest trippy Rubber Clown Car album; it features some vocals I contributed (Sleep Tight duet, and the intro on Action Brats). You can also get it on Bandcamp.

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In coming weeks, I’ll be focusing on Masterful, on Patreon posts and second/third tier envelopes, and I’ll be doing a couple of photo sessions (my 50th birthday is coming up in June, so I want to take new portraits to celebrate)… I’ll also focus on tranquility, playing my violin, enjoying my lair, creating art (such as getting back to my clay).

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living, shining, writing

Kind readers,

things have been peaceful and quiet, and after the hard winter we had here, tranquility has felt so very sweet and revivifying.

As soon as I have news about when Atheist Tiki Hour will be released, I’ll let you know! I will be drinking a few celebratory beverages when this happens, I can tell you that.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on a new book. It wasn’t on my list of projects, but it popped inside my head and I had to start writing it immediately.

Cafe Sign and Old Car on Route 66

It’s going to be a short book, less than a hundred pages; probably around eighty.

In fact, I now have a bunch of short books on my upcoming titles list; so far, three (apart from Hit the Road), and they’ll all be around thirty-five pages. One of them is linked to my other website, Apostate Island.

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These books have a square format, which will be fun. Another one is titled Be Weird: An Oddball Manifesto. The third is going to be about celebrating a secular holiday season.

As I began writing Hit the Road, I felt more relaxed than I’d ever felt while working on a writing project. Maybe I’m starting to feel more confident, or to worry less about what the book will turn into or whether it’ll be well-received or not. You can’t make everyone happy anyway… Might as well do what you enjoy.

And then there’s this: I’m much happier now that I’m a secular, humanist, atheist person than I ever was during my religious years.

I am letting myself live, and shine. And I’m not putting up with bullshit.

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Needless to say, I’ll still be writing Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human and The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy! Indeed, Hit the Road has helped me figure out precisely what the focus of Unrepentant Tomboy will be, so yay.

In other news, it would be accurate to say that I’ve now stopped blogging on Livejournal and have moved on to Imzy, where I’ve been very happy. I’ve been reconnecting with loved ones there, and Twitter friends have been joining me there as well, and it’s so vibrant. The people at Imzy are so receptive and enthused, and they’ve been working non-stop on making the site as awesome as it can be.

I continue to collect and accumulate toys toys toys. I often share photos of new toys on Instagram.

I’ve also been reveling in my love of 70s decor and hideously magnificent 70s kitsch in general. Yesterday, I acquired this book and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on it:

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So, life has been excellent!

Oh, and I’ve also begun recording the song I’ll be singing on that upcoming Rubber Clown Car I’ve told you about in previous posts. I’m going to send them several versions, and they’ll pick the one they like best. Tralala.

Next week, I’ll be getting Halloween treats for Quietus attendees.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

Atheist Tiki Hour: it is written

Kind readers,

well, it’s been a busy month for me over here.

First of all, I finished writing Atheist Tiki Hour: Your Guide to a Secular Blast two days ago.

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I’m going to start editing and proofreading it this weekend. In a couple of weeks or so, I’ll send the manuscript to the editor at Atheist Republic, and hopefully he’ll like it.

I’ve been adding more toys to my collection. Check out my Instagram! Here’s one set I got for my birthday with a gift card that a loved one sent me:

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The accordion playing Pony is named Cheese Sandwich. This set is a whole other level of awesome.

And here’s a set I scored last week, the Grossery Gang Yucky Mart. This thing is beyond hilarious.

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The Quietus venue is officially booked. Please visit the website for all the latest information.

In related news, I finally trimmed the lace off my flouncy lace front Snape wig and took this quick test shot of it:

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Dramatic Half-Blood Prince is dramatic.

Today, the awesome Rubber Clown Car lads sent me a demo version of the original song they asked me to sing for them. It’s amazing. It’ll be on one of their upcoming albums; naturally, I’ll be keeping you up to date on this.

In the meantime, you should buy their fabulous latest album, “Let’s Go Bowling”. Click on the picture below to get your copy:

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Here’s something else you should get immediately: The Atheist Pig’s biting and insightful cartoon collection Evolution.

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Once I’ve finished editing Atheist Tiki Hour, I’ll start writing my next book. Not sure if it’ll be Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human or The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy. We’ll see.

It’s been beastly hot here. What with my book writing and the weather, I haven’t even bothered to put the lawn chairs and table out this year. I kind of don’t care.

Well, that’s all for now 🙂

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Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

after all, life is a stage

Kind readers,

I think I’m going to try to update this blog more often, which I hope won’t be too annoying.

So… Here’s the latest.

New desk chair, because ergonomics. I’m sad because I loved my groovy, colorful swivel chair, but what are you gonna do. The new chair is more work-friendly. Fortunately, my cherished kitty Potion adopted it immediately, as well as the rug I bought to keep said chair from rolling away from my desk.

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I’ve been messing around with Garage Band, recording test songs for Rubber Clown Car.

 

 

For most of my life, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with singing. Perhaps it’s because I feel more comfortable in a quiet room, with a desk and keyboard and pen and paper, than with performing and stages and microphones. Then, there were the messages: “You have a gift and it’s selfish if you don’t use it,” and “Don’t get proud though.” All the while, I’d wonder, Do I suck? (much the same way I do with my writing, but I digress), because it was so easy for me to feel like I wasn’t good enough for anything. When I was young, bullies would become friendly after they heard me sing. In my twenties, I was in a band; in my thirties, I sang in a Byzantine choir. Each time, I’d retreat from singing because I felt such ambivalence about it.

But lately, I’ve thought it’d be fun to croon again, or whatever… And then the Rubber Clown Car collaboration came up. I can sing in a quiet room, record; that’s not so bad. It’s kind of fun, in fact. And hey, if I ever performed again, I would now know to do this wondrous magical thing: have a couple of shots of liquor beforehand.

I’ve also decided to ignore all the buzzing voices inside my head, critical, admonishing voices for the most part; I’m telling them to fuck off, and I’m going to have a good time. I’ll just sing for the heck of it, I’m telling myself, Sure you can do it, and even if it sucks, if it’s maybe acceptable at most, it’s not such a big deal, besides, you look pretty good in a golden tuxedo jacket and that’s half the battle, ain’t it?

And when people do enjoy it, it’s rather nice. Why shortchange myself? It’s not a crime to be proud of what you do, or to have a pleasant time screwing around, and if some people hate my crooning, well, I can’t make everybody happy. I don’t need permission to do this.

I can make myself happy, and maybe a few others too. Not bad!

I’m finding that to sing and write, it’s a good combo. A good balance.

Dirk, the lead singer of Rubber Clown Car, said this: “We’re gonna have to do a record of just you with us backing you!” If that does ever happen, I wouldn’t have a problem with it 🙂

I’ve faced my fears before, I’ve stretched my wings many times. So let’s keep going at it. Who the fuck do I think I am? I’m someone who’s doing my thing, and my thing might even be all right.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

year of the golden tuxedo

Kind readers,

the month of March was rather exhausting for me. So was the end of February, for that matter. Upheavals, terrible weather, this, that, and the other. The end of winter has been draining to say the least. But spring is around the corner at long, long last!

I’m in desperate need of warmth and revitalization.

Soon, I’ll be doing another portrait session, and I’ll be wearing this fabulous jacket right here:

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Luck, be a lady tonight.

I was recently featured on a terrific website, Tomboy Tarts, along with many fantastic and inspiring tomboys.

Click on the image below:

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More fun:

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In other news, I’ll be collaborating with the great indie band Rubber Clown Car and singing something or other for them on one of their upcoming albums. If you’re a crooner and want to join in the merriment, don’t hesitate to contact them.

And as always, I’m working on upcoming books. My output was pretty modest at the start of 2016—I had too much to deal with—but we’re getting back on track.

I got a new writing mug.

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The lovely, funny, and intrepid Mike Gorman, a journalist at Frank Magazine, had these kind words to say about There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard: “Very enjoyable and engagingly paced!” I’m extremely grateful for his support and interest in my work. He’s eagerly awaiting my next books, and what a shot in the arm that is! I’m very encouraged by his enthusiasm and generosity.

As ever, reviews of Hula Girl are tremendously appreciated—and important.

Toys news: I got a 35th anniversary edition Strawberry Shortcake doll. Thank you, Mrs. Tiggy Winkles!

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Here’s looking at you through my donut eye.

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Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

let’s pretend

Kind readers,

I’ve been puttering quietly these days. Things had been pretty intense since last May, and I think I ran out of steam finally. But I’ll be getting back to work on Atheist Tiki Hour: Your Guide to a Secular Blast before the month is over!

I gave a talk at the Center For Inquiry in Ottawa last month, and it went very well. As usual, I was tense and stressed out before I began speaking, and very relieved after it was over.

Before the talk:

“Help.”

Here’s a picture Diane (the branch manager of CFI Ottawa) took of me after my talk. I was wearing a CFI cap, and I’d had a nice complimentary glass of rum. I was glowing 😉

Many people came to talk with me that evening, and they told me very kind, encouraging words. Diane told me that everyone had been “enraptured” by my talk, which, goodness, was most uplifting. One of those who were there (Joan), had this to say: “the messages were thought-provoking and the speaker has a beautiful gift for telling her life stories…”

So yes, it went well 🙂

I thought I’d speak at Skepticamp 15 next month, and had begun discussing this with the organizers, but then I decided against it. The conference focuses more around the topics of skepticism, critical thinking, and science, as opposed to secular humanism, and I felt awkward… Also, I felt exhausted. Drained and reclusive. But, the merch table will have copies of There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard, and I’ll be attending the conference. I’m looking forward to all the interesting presentations.

I should be on Life After God at some point, but I’m not sure when. There was a matter of conflicting schedules, Ryan was ill, I had my talk… I’ll let you know if/when it happens.

Autumn is here. Best time of the year. Today, I wore my new green sweater. I love that thing.

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In other fun news, I’ve begun learning to play the ukulele. Here’s my uke! It’s happy!

I can play Yellow Submarine, You Are My Sunshine, the Banana Boat song, Don’t Worry Be Happy, and I’m currently mastering The Chipmunk Song (me, I want a hula hoop…).

More gloriously joyful news:

I’m still collecting toys like a big carefree kid. I recently fell in love with Ever After High dolls. So beautiful, with a 70s vibe to them… I can’t resist them.

Here’s my lovely Blondie Lockes with her Three Bears Lolita dress (it has small bowls of porridge on it <3):

I could stare at this doll for hours. I have three different versions of her, and she’s got a number of friends with her on that shelf now.

I’ll be sharing new photos of my refuge soon.

Rubber Clown Car’s latest album, Let’s Pretend, is my current “on repeat while driving” CD. It’s fan-freaking-tastic. It’s gritty and rock and roll, yet also smooth like the best 80s New Wave, and fun and poignant at the same time. How can you lose with songs like “Vampire Polo Hat”, “Laser Tattoo Removal”, and “My Kinda Weird”? And let’s not forget how beautiful and evocative the cover is (click on it to get your own copy!). It fully captures the spirit of the album. And that photo really speaks to me, I must say.

Let’s see, what else… How about a photo of my cat, Potion?

I think I’ll be going to Chapters tomorrow to get myself a holiday sweater wearing Monchhichi.

Tralala!

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor