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!

SotDLP2.jpg

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.

RCCHorseLogic.jpg

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).

LOGOS

Advertisements

technology, its woes, and lovelier things

Warning: rant below.

After having my head on my desk and taking deep breaths for a while, I thought I’d do what I always do when I’m upset: write.

Yesterday, I suddenly got an alert message from my Mac, warning me that in the not too distant future, I wouldn’t be able to use Mariner Write or open my Mariner Write files anymore.

I’ve had Mariner Write for over a decade. It’s the word processing software I’ve been using to write my books since I first began independently publishing my work.

Today, I do a few Google searches and learn more about this 32 bit vs 64 bit thing. Apparently, software is evolving into a 64 bit phase (“it’s better” or whatever), and this has been in the works for a while. News to me, but anyway. What the hell is 64 bit software, bla bla. Or 32 bit software. Or a bit.

I was just reading about this development some more, and while Microsoft hasn’t set a deadline for compatibility issues yet, Apple has: the fall of 2019 or so. So the push has been on for software developers to get with the program, ha.

I’m so grateful for my goddamn turntable right now. At least I know it won’t suddenly tell me, “Upgrade or you won’t be able to play your vinyl records anymore.”

So yesterday, I sent a panicked message to Mariner Write. At that point, I didn’t even know as much as I do now about this 32 bit and 64 bit situation. Apparently, this change is going across the board.

“I just got a message from my computer saying that the latest version of Mariner Write soon won’t be compatible with Mojave (10.14.4 or whatever, the very next update)—I’ve been using Mariner Write for YEARS and can’t do without it! Are you planning an update soon??”

I get the following response from Mariner:

Hi- We are still debating on whether we will be rewriting Write to 64 bit. We hope to have a decision in the next few months.

WFT? I’m supposed to keep using the software and simply hope I won’t end up having to reformat the files for my latest books while I’m still able to open said files?

“Hey there, we’re kind of thinking about maybe making our software compatible with your most recent OS, but who knows, cross your fingers! If not, oh well, have fun doubling your workload!”

Their website, incidentally, states that Mariner Write is compatible with Mojave. Which isn’t, however, going to be the case for much longer.

The more I think about the reply, the angrier and more anxious I get. I ruminate, worry about what other software I’ll now have to get used to, hopefully without problems when it comes to publishing upcoming works and so on.

If there’s one thing I love, it’s shit that’s up in the air indefinitely.

I send the following response:

I’m not exactly sure what there is to debate. You make software specifically for Mac users… And your software is about to become unusable and obsolete.

I won’t be waiting around until Mariner makes up its mind. I’ll be learning to use other software. Thanks for the memories.

I start tinkering with Pages… Pretty good. I’m adjusting to it fairly well. One of the reasons I began using Mariner Write in the first place was that Lulu said it had trouble with PDF files generated by straight up Mac software, but that was a long time ago, and I’m fervently hoping this is no longer the case…

I’m unhappy, but think, I’ll see this through. I’ll be fine.

I eat a nice meal with Mr P, have some wine. I’m feeling a touch better.

Until, that is, I see this reply from Mariner:

Actually there’s a ton to debate but that’s our issue, not yours.

Best of luck.

Are you fucking kidding me?

I just replied as follows:

Not mine? As I said, I’ve been using Mariner Write for over a decade. When I got that alert from my Mac, it was very upsetting. If Mariner Write isn’t rewritten to 64 bit (a change that’s been in the works for some time, as I gathered from Apple), I won’t be able to use Mariner Write anymore, and I won’t be able to open all the files I’ve created with Mariner Write up to now; I wouldn’t say this isn’t my issue as a user. I found Mariner Write wonderful to use, which is why it’s been my word processing software of choice all these years. I don’t change software on a whim. But what’s the point of trying to stick with it if its obsolescence is only a question of time, and not much time at that?

So anyway, good luck to you as well.

I purchased a lot of software from this company. But those days are over, I can tell you that.

Anyway, I’m going to relax now, think about happy things.

Apart from my delicious meal with Mr P, something else gave me profound joy today.

It was a message I got from one of my Patreon members.

thankyouCS.jpg

Here are a few more beautiful things before I sink into the couch:

SpeakoftheDevilpinRC.jpg

A gorgeous lapel pin (a gift for his Patreon members) and lovely note from the wonderful Reverend Campbell (Speak of the Devil Podcast).

ShadyVenerationpinQE.jpg

Another stunning lapel pin, courtesy of Shady Veneration. Some of the proceeds support (The Quintessentials) Reverend Hernandez’s medical funds.

QuintessentialsSRvinyl.jpg

And speaking of The Quintessentials, their latest album is absolutely fantastic. First rate.

All right. Time for some much needed me time.

LOGOS

festive passion

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

Tomorrow is Halloween! And October has been a marvelous, sublimely quiet month. I sent my Patreon members all sorts of fun stuff, and I’ll be working on the October second and third tier Patreon membership envelopes this week; they’ll include Stay Home Vagabond #6.

SHVnumber4and5.jpg

Drawing again has been absolutely wonderful, I must say. My Patreon members also received a Mini Poster Print (8.5X11 on 65 lbs stock), with second tier members being sent the “silver sunglasses” edition, and third tier members the “gold sunglasses” edition.

goldsunglassesMPP.jpg

I will be drawing many more Mini Poster Prints in the coming months, with themes centered around the joys of solitude, being a tomboy, a stay home vagabond…

At the beginning of October, I took some sultry self-portraits featuring my new Killstar inverted pentagram choker and dark purple lipstick.

purplepowerLP1.jpg

purplepowerLP5.jpg

purplepowerLP2.jpg

purplepowerLP8.jpg

I recently ordered a long silver wig, so… More portraits in the near future.

Today, the wonderful Reverend Campbell (Speak of the Devil) read a review I wrote of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s surreal 1932 film Vampyr. Feel free to check it out.

In other news, my violin teacher is putting a show together in March and he’s asked me to dress up as Charlie and perform one of Chaplin’s musical pieces with him. That took my breath away! Hopefully, by then I’ll sound a little less like I’m tormenting a cat or something when I play. As I may have mentioned before, both my teacher and I are massive Chaplin admirers, and my Charlie photographs blew my teacher away. To dress as Charlie again in the context of performance is nerve-wracking and tremendously exciting.

Apart from my Patreon endeavors, November and December will be wholly dedicated to writing Masterful: Severus Snape, a Jar of Cockroaches, and Me (Patreon members will be treated to in progress excerpts, and when it’s completed, they’ll have access to it before anyone else, and their version will be a special edition). I’ll also finally be getting back to Wolfgang: A Fantasy (I’ve been needing to submerge myself in this story again so badly!). Speaking of Wolfgang, Nezumi has been in the completion stages of my costume, and here’s a hint…

WAMcollarlace.jpg

How glorious is this, I ask you?? I’m going to be overcome by bliss when I see it and put it on for the first time, without a single doubt.

In the spirit of Mozart, I’m phenomenally in the mood for the holiday season. It’s going to be a 70stastic holiday extravaganza for two months around here (Baroque is so 70s). I’m putting my trees up as soon as November begins.

BertKaempfertCW.jpg

I’ve already ordered most of my bear William’s holiday wardrobe. I want red and green, gold and silver, festive cheer in my seasonal bubble of peace and tranquility…

I’ve never been happier in my life.

I continue to celebrate my life, and myself, as I never have before, and it’s a magnificent breath of fresh air. Take a look at the amazing pyrographic art that my friend R.M. Negroni created for me (do visit his Etsy shop, Funeral Pyre Designs). I commissioned this portrait from him to mark my joining the CoS this year. I placed it in my personal altar cabinet.

FPdesignsLP.jpg

As I said, life is good. I’m very happy that we’re about to enter November, one of my favorite months of the year. I love the stillness, the silence of November. I love the leafless trees, the grey skies, the deep, abiding tranquility of November. It’s extremely inspiring and suited to my temperament. It’s Lair Season.

Writing, burning deliciously scented candles… Yes.

Say cheese.

LOGOS