Help Me Help Out Vancouver Pagan Pride

I honestly cannot believe that September is more than half-over already. I feel like we JUST finished August.

This month has been a bit of a whirlwind of downtime for me, if that makes any sense at all. We did Pirates and Fairies on Labour Day Weekend; it’s our yearly excursion to the lake for fun and glitter. It gives new meaning to the term “glamping”.

Usually we have a really incredible time but this year it was *so hot* we had trouble functioning. Mr. Katje is usually the one up till 7am; he was falling asleep at 2am because of the heat. Our brains didn’t work properly and we just wanted to sleep the entire time.

Despite the heat we DID have fun, and got to hang out with some good friends and swim in the lake. Mr. Katje got sunburned; I did not. We both wore sunscreen.

After coming home I was so tired I was barely able to function during the week. I managed to help out my friend with getting things ready for the event she was organizing, Vancouver Pagan Pride Day, on Thursday the 7th. Then Saturday the 9th was the actual event and I was there all day.

It poured for the first few hours before finally becoming dry around 1pm. I was in so much pain that weekend.

Normally I’m a person who likes rain, but doing an outdoor event in the rain? Nope. Nope nope nope. I’ve done it multiple times and EVERY TIME I swear “Never again!” Especially if you’re selling books — NO ONE buys books in the rain. When you have that on top of “sitting in rain makes me hurt all over for days”….yeah.

However, I’d committed to volunteering at VPPD and I wanted to make the event as successful as possible, so I showed up and stayed all day to help out. My books were on the snack bar table, which was the community vending table this year. Didn’t sell any (told you) but that’s okay; I made some good contacts and new friends (YAY NEW FRIENDS). Worth the pain. 😉

Mainly, though, I was there to make the day a success for my friend. She has been working herself to the bone to make VPPD a great day for the community every single year, and it has been so hard on her. Rain hurts turnout, which hurts things like raffle sales, concession sales, and donations, which in turn hurts the event.

Events like this cost money. Quite a bit of money in Vancouver, which is a SUPER expensive city. We need to give back to events like these if we want to continue to HAVE them for the community.

Ok, I’m not going to get into a rant about lack of pagan infrastructure on this blog. That’s best saved for my blog at moragspinner.net…where I’m sure I’ll rant AT LENGTH about this particular thing, because it’s a huge thorn in my side right now/always.

But anyway, my point is: if you want pagan events to continue, you need to support them. If you can’t support them financially you need to support them in other ways…like word of mouth advertising to get people there so that there’s a bigger turnout and better chance of ACTUAL FINANCIAL SUPPORT.

'If you want pagan events to continue, you need to support them.' #VanPPD Click To Tweet

And rain hurts turnout. So this year…I don’t know the exact numbers, but we didn’t do as well as we should have. Actually, we’re kind of in major trouble.

TO THAT END (the point of this post, finally, sheesh).

From now until Imbolc, if you buy an ebook by either me or my mom at our Ecwid store I will be donating 80% of the proceeds to VPPD to help make up for the shortfall from this year’s event.

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[Friday reads | fiction] The Girlfriend, by Abigail Barnette

The Girlfriend, by Abigail Barnette (ie, Jenny Trout, my idol), is the sequel to the much-loved The Boss. I was lucky enough to win a copy in the giveaway she held in August. I read the first five chapters before Pirates and Faeries, and now I’m trying to ration myself on the rest of them. When I finished The Boss, I ended up scrolling to the left so hard it excited the ebook-reading app. Then I screamed JENNNNYYYYYYYYYYYYY as if I were Kirk and she Khan.

Want to know a bit more about The Boss? Well, it’s free through Saturday on Kindle, so she’s done a post about it at her site. Here’s a pretty good assessment:

It’s an erotic romance with a kinky Dom billionaire and a twenty-something sub, written specifically to counter all the abusive, non-con stuff in 50 Shades of Grey. I’ve heard it described as The Devil Wears Prada meets The Secretary. I think that’s apt.

It’s erotica, and it’s definitely on my list of favourite sexytimes books. The Girlfriend is just as good, so far, and really really hot. UNF. Also sweet! And funny. Several times while reading it I’ve laughed out loud and the Ogre has been all “What’s so funny?” and I’ll tell him and he’ll just shake his head like he doesn’t understand me and I’m like THAT’S RIGHT YOU DON’T.

Jenny understands me though. And so does Sophie Scaife.

Here’s the official synopsis of The Girlfriend:

Unemployed, blacklisted, and pregnant, Sophie Scaife’s life is totally upside down. Her relationship with publishing magnate Neil Elwood is on the rocks. Her best friend’s career is igniting. And Sophie is afraid she’ll make one of the toughest decisions of her life alone…

When a devastating diagnosis forces Neil to return to London, Sophie throws caution to the wind to follow her heart across the Atlantic. Keeping a scorching D/s affair as red-hot in sickness as it was in health is a challenge, even for two lovers as inventive as Sophie and Neil. But Sophie is more than willing to try anything her Sir commands, and their fantasies of control become a welcome refuge from the daily stress of illness.

While Neil’s wealth and privilege make adjusting to her new situation easier, Sophie finds herself rebuilding her life around an uncertain future. And while both of them face the changes between them head-on, they’re all too aware that their happiness could be fleeting—and Sophie could lose Neil forever.

So I guess you kind of have to read The Boss now, huh?

If you’re looking to pick up some new BDSM erotica to wash the horrible taste of Fifty Shades’ popularity out of your brain, I highly recommend Abigail Barnette’s feminist response to it. (Yes, a BDSM erotic romance where the heroine is a feminist AND a sub. That right there should convince you to pick it up. I mean, if you like erotic romance.)

-Kat

I do not feel any wiser. You are a LIAR, mother nature. A filthy, filthy liar.

As you may be able to guess from my poor attempt at a witty title for this post, I am currently dealing with wisdom teeth coming in and pushing out all my funny with blinding amounts of pain. I have basically been swigging whiskey and clove oil in a desperate attempt to bolster the work of the ibuprofen I am almost certainly taking far too much of, and as a consequence of these piles of suck my brain is basically on strike (while the rest of my body is still pretty much TRASHED from Pirates and Faeries, the event I go to on Labour Day weekend*).

Luckily my car isn’t currently insured so there’s no chance of my driving while a) in so much pain or b) somewhat tipsy off my painkiller of choice.

I do think the clove oil may be ruining my nerves and/or skin, because it’s pretty caustic, but I also don’t care, because I’m at the point where ripping all my molars out with a pair of pliers seems like a rational decision.

Though I’m prone to hyperbole and overreaction, so it’s fair to say those sorts of things often seem rational to me.

Planning on hitting up a dentist for a consult sometime soon so I can figure out how much it’ll all cost to get this shit fixed and then somehow saving up the money to fix my teeth and end this agony, even though at this point I don’t really have the money to deal with more pressing concerns (yes, there are more pressing concerns, welcome to being poor, it is fun).

This is the moment when I say Canada, your health care system needs a serious fucking overhaul, because the fact you don’t cover dentistry is costing your system more money in the long run (as poor folk like myself leave dental problems alone until they send us to ER with them).  Fuckin’ DUH. Fix this shit. (While you’re at it, cover birth control, chronic pain medication, and anti-depressants, please. Other things that are costing you MORE MONEY in the long run.)

I did have a great time at PnF; you can read about it here in my letter to my sister (which is like 2 weeks late but she forgives me, because she’s awesome). I’m trying to actually get back to some work now that I’m home, but it’s not easy, let me tell you. I installed Disqus here on Amoeba-Kat Musings. We’ll see if it works better for comments than the old system I was using. (It does mean CommentLuv no longer works, alas.) If I end up not liking it as much as the original comments system I’ll get rid of it. Or, more likely, I’ll forget it’s even there and it will remain FOREVER.

Coming up this week (by which I mean in the next seven days, thereabouts) I have a COVER REVEAL for Stranger Skies! I am super excited about this, because I quite love the cover, and would really love if other bloggers could help me out here. I’ve got one person down already (and if you don’t read her blog already you should), and I’m looking for more. Doesn’t matter if you’re not a high-traffic blog; neither am I, so anything helps at this point. *inserts winky-face*

Cover reveal will include an EXCERPT as well as a GIVEAWAY for an ARC ebook. (Signing up to help nets you a free ARC ebook.) So far the release date is September 23rd, but to be honest that’s subject to change because I am basically drowning in overwhelm right now and have way too much on my plate. If it does change, it’ll likely be pushed a week forward — so September 30th/October 1st, basically.

On a final note, Vancouver Island Pagan Pride was not the best day — we ended up getting rained out with an incredible rain storm (with a water-resistant, not water-proof, tent — so guess how soaked we were), and learned the hard lesson that our wolf-dog just can’t handle these sorts of events. At least not till he’s older and mellower and we have a wolf-husky to sit at the front of the tent while Tyee chills at the back. We’ve been hoping to get him a puppy to help mellow him, anyway, so that’s now moved to the “definitely do this soonish, if we can” list.

But we did sell some books and meet some fine folks, and I was part of a pretty nice ATC ritual, so that was all well and good. Next year will have to be better.

And now, I’m heading off to finish some work and then collapse into bed, because my sleep schedule is totally messed up from the weekend. Baby steps to fixing it. Baby steps.

-Kat

*PnF is basically a con-slash-ren faire on a much smaller scale but also on methamphetamines. It’s a private party that I love, but I also rarely actually have the spoons to do all I want to do over the weekend so I need about a week to recover from Sasacrash (the term we use to refer to the unique crash that happens after a weekend of magic and frolicking at Lake Sasamat).

The Saga of the Move: Part 4, or “The Pre/sequels We All Drank Enough to Forget”

(Parts One, Two, and Three.)

The worst of this move is over, thankfully. Moving out of a place is a lot harder than moving into. (Also I think there could be a sexual innuendo in that sentence, but I’m too tired to make it work. Feel free to give it a try in the comments.)

As soon as I got off the ferry I drove to Pirates and Fairies on Lake Sasamat. I arrived just as the sun was setting, which was around 8 p.m. I’d missed three meals out of eight of the weekend, as well as my big chance to actually make an announcement about selling my books. I ended up selling exactly zero copies of Bellica or glasstown, which did not help my already pretty sour mood. Missing half of an event I look forward to all year sucks lizard eggs.

I was very tired. So tired I spent most of my time sleeping, eating, and frakking (and not as much of that part as usual; that’s how tired I was). I didn’t even feel like dressing up, and that’s one of the parts I look forward to the most — running around in costume screaming “ARRRR I BE GLITTERTITS MCGEE! PREPARE TA BE BOARDED UNF UNF UNF.”

But, you know, it was good. It was a time away from the stress, as much as I can get away from something that follows me like a Time Beetle on my back. It was also lovely because my boyfriend is lovely, and madly in love with me. He saved bacon from Saturday morning for me in the cooler in his cabin. ALL DAY. And he saved me dinner, because he knows how much I love pulled pork. So when I arrived, I got to stuff my face with meaty goodness that symbolized his deep and abiding love for my crazy ass. That’s a pretty awesome thing to arrive to, especially when you’re an emotional eater. Eating food to symbolize love when that food actually does symbolize real love? Way cheaper than therapy.

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The Saga of the Move: Part 3, or “Return of the Clusterfuck”

(Read Part 1 and Part 2.)

The apartment in Coquitlam needed to be ready for me to move into. This meant there needed to be space for my stuff, first of all, and that my grandparents’ stuff needed to be moved out. That is, we needed to move out what we could of my grandparents’ stuff — part of the reason I had to get rid of my bed is that we couldn’t get rid of the two singles in their old bedroom (it’s like an episode of I Love Lucy every night, except instead of my husband in the second bed, it’s my mom — nothing says awkward more than being 26 and having to share a bedroom with your mom; luckily, she’s travelling a lot and spending a lot of time in her other house in Powell River. Also my boyfriend’s house is close to my new apartment and he has his own bedroom).

Something my mom had noticed a week and a half or so before the end of the month was that the washer was leaking. It was a stacking unit and it had been in the apartment since Oma had bought the place — 20 years ago. It was also a pretty good washing machine and dryer combo — it had never let us down before. So mom called a repair guy.

It was unfixable. The bottom had completely rusted through and we needed to get a completely new washer. And dryer, because a stacking unit is useless if one part is broken.

So mom went to the Brick, and ordered some new fancy HE (High Efficiency) machines for the place. They were separate, but you can stack them if you have a kit, and she also got a drawer to put underneath the washer into which I can put laundry detergent. This has the added benefit of making the washer and dryer tall, meaning I don’t have to bend as much. It’s not going to be as easy on short stuff mom, but then what kind of daughter would I be if I didn’t help my mom with household chores? (A shitty one, if you need the answer spelled out for you. If you’re an adult and living with your parents, you better fucking pull your own weight around the house.)

The Brick dudes arrived shortly thereafter with the washer and dryer, and of course mom had to be there for that. Except…oh, they didn’t have the stacking kit. So they put the washer on the drawer and left the dryer in the dining room until they could come back with the stacking kit and get it all set up. The next possible date they could arrive? Friday, September 7th.

Mom may have blacked out with rage, waking up with dried blood under her nails. I can neither confirm nor deny that.

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The Saga of the Move: Part 2, or “The Stuff I Own Strikes Back”

(Read Part 1 here.)

We now had more problems than we’d started out the day with: not only did we no longer have the use of TG’s truck to get rid of some of the big stuff, including the mattress and box spring, but now we had to work on getting the truck to Courtenay Car Centre and getting it fixed.

We worked on the second problem first. Mom arranged for her and TG to wait by the truck for BCAA to tow it to the car place (this is two days later). She would then come down to Nanaimo to help me, as well as somehow cramming my massive mattress into the Pegasus (her Volvo station-wagon; mine is the Galactica — yes we’re giant nerds).

I was expecting mom to arrive at my place mid-afternoon, but she was several hours late. Apparently she and TG had waited in the blistering hot sun for BCAA for over two hours. They couldn’t call, because his phone was out of minutes, and she’d forgotten her phone at home. So finally she drove around in search of a phone she could use, and called BCAA again, asking where the hell they were, and it turns out the original request for a tow had gotten lost in the system. She arranged for them to tow without her presence, which for some reason hadn’t been possible before (yay silly company policies), and then came down to my place.

She’d instructed me to fold my mattress in half and tie it with rope. It’s all foam, so this was feasible…just not easy. She walked in to find me lying on top of it in an awkward position, shouting more bile and vitriol at the thing than I thought I had in me. She came and helped, and with our combined fattitude and lexicon of swear words we got it done.

Being fat can be incredibly useful when one is moving or packing a very full suitcase. I’m just saying.

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The Saga of the Move: Part 1, or “A New Home”

Some of you may know that I moved recently. I talked about it a bit before my blogging, social media, and Youtube hiatus — not a planned hiatus, by the way, I just got so bogged down with the realities of moving and other work (like finishing the proofing of Bellica‘s third edition) that I literally had no time to write or video myself doing stupid shit.

All of my moves have been difficult, but this one seemed harder than most of them. Probably because it was just me and my mom doing most of the heavy lifting, and I have a spinal injury (that is now doing a lot worse than it was). Also because the place I was moving into was even smaller than my two-room basement suite that I’d resided in for one and half years, and I had to not only pack my belongings but, horror among horrors, sort and organize them so I could send half of my stuff to storage in Powell River (read: mom’s garage). I also had to get rid of stuff. My biggest problem was my double-sized foam mattress that I dearly loved.

I’m not really good at either of these things. Well, ok, I am good at organization, but it takes me a long time, and I didn’t have that time in August. So it was very stressful, trying to get it done SOOPER QUICK, as my timetable demanded. I was also trying to get out of my place a day early so I could make it to Pirates and Fairies on Lake Sasamat early on the first day (Friday, the 31st of August). Pirates and Fairies is an annual event that I’ve attended since 2010. It’s where I met my boyfriend, and his mom runs the whole weekend. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and I was planning on being a vendor and selling books there this year, so I needed to get there on time.

You can probably guess by my saying the above that I didn’t make it on time.

This move was a clusterfuck of clusterfucks. Each cluster of fucks was created out of smaller clusters of fucks, down and down and down until we got to hypothetical particle clusterfucks.

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