Futch Living, Gender Shifting

This neighborhood would be perfect if there was a 24/7 Cinnabon within walking distance. Not all the way at fuckin’ Eglinton Station!

Anyway.

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I’m sleepy. Fuck why am I writing a blog post at 1am? It’s the worst idea.

OH RIGHTZ!

Because I had a weird day with my gender today.

First of all, I hadn’t shaved my legs since 2007. Then this past spring for whatever reason I got into it again. I was shaving once a week and I only had one razor and I was poor so I hung onto it for a long time. Then finally I came into some money so I went to Shoppers today and got two super girly nailpolishes and some refillable razors and the refills. And it came up to A CRAZY AMOUNT OF MONEY! Like, way more than I had expected. I could have bought so much Indian food instead.

BUT at the same time I had wanted them for a long time, so I sucked it up and came home and was putting on this pale pink nail polish and I had to do about three or four coats to get it looking like anything.

And as I was doing this I was realizing my gender presentation is shifting from what I thought was a pretty solid butch to more futch. Like I really don’t want to go buy dresses or grow my hair or do dramatic femme stuff, but I’ve been teetering towards the middle of the spectrum for a while now and it’s been interesting. It actually pretty accurately represents my gender because I feel like I’ve been going back and forth between man and woman for a while now but I don’t think I’m ever gonna put real roots down in one or the other. But it’s just interesting to be adding more femmey aspects to myself over the last few years and seeing how that changes how I see myself. Like I still feel masculine a lot of the time, but now I have more pink in my wardrobe and do a couple of more femme-identified things like shave my legs and paint my nails.

I don’t have a good name for myself. I feel like whatever I am I want to actualize it, and I guess I am. I don’t know how far I want to go. Being between binaries is a funny way to live.

I have this butch dragon on my right arm, and these super femme flowers on my left, and I think it’s pretty much just me trying to find some kind of balance in my life. And also at the same time I have to accept that being more gender fluid means things will shift probably a few more times in my lifetime. Maybe when I am 50 I will go through a stone butch thing. Ha ha ha probably not I really like being penetrated.

BUT YOU NEVER KNOW!

OMG I can’t believe I am almost 40. I’m looking forward to it. It’s just longer than I expected to live, because you know, depression. But it’s awesome. I am looking forward to growing old.

Maybe my 40’s will be my personal Futch renaissance.

Or maybe that is my late 30’s. I mean, I am only 38.

Plan A, B, C, D, and on it goes!

I am trying to get to Berlin, and it’s not far away. I haven’t heard back from Canada Council yet and realistically I probably won’t hear back until I get home. I applied for myself an a personal attendant to go with me, but we have half the funds right now (until the travel grant goes through and I pay Mom back) and the OTHER half is looking less and less likely to get even tho I will probably get the whole travel grant EVENTUALLY. So Mom has proposed plan B (although realistically it’s more like Plan F or G or H or something) where she lends me the 1500 and I go there alone and contact Canada Council and tell them I am not taking a personal attendant this time. Which would be fine, because I DO have a lot of friends in Berlin and I have been there numerous times and so I know the city and transit and basic stuff like that. So I wouldn’t be like, terrified to be there alone. It’s just kind of a bummer tho.

But the other hard part is finding a dog sitter for these dogs. I thought I had one but it fell through, so then I got in touch with their other sitter but she’s booked. Their OTHER sitter lives in Port Dover, which is a two hour car ride away through a few towns, BUT she’s cheaper than the kennels around here and Posey and her love each other. I am waiting to hear back about that and THEN I have to see if I can find someone willing to drive for four hours twice. There is another possibility but I think she doesn’t want to stay somewhere without air conditioning and I am poor and not about to go out and spend money I don’t have to buy an air conditioner. So it’s looking pretty dicey.

I love my dogs, I don’t want to ever get rid of them, but damn it’s hard doing art stuff out of town and organizing and paying for their sitters. Usually it basically takes up my whole artist fee anyway to pay for a dog sitter. I’m hoping I can get someone for $50 a day, because I really can’t afford much more than that. It’s not even like I go travelling very often.

Anyway that’s the Berlin update.

I cried in therapy today because I want a family and a bigger place for them with obviously a partner and it seems SO far away right now and I’m tired of it. And my therapist was really good and helped me come up with like, a five year plan to get to where I want to be in life. So I felt better. But really I think this grief about Grandpa is super fuelling this sadness about not being where I want to be in life. I mean, I guess things are looking up, I may be getting this feature film off the ground soon, which has been a goal of mine since I was like, 25. And I would have done it too if it wasn’t for this meddling Bipolar Disorder!!! *shakes fist* Oh and the woman thing.

I don’t know what it must be like to live with privilege and be told everything you do is amazing. That must be a sweet life.

Anyway, I have my dogs. They make me happy, even when they are preventing me from going overseas to do art things. I mean, maybe not AS HAPPY when that happens, but yeah, I mean, when I have kids this whole thing will happen again, just MORE INTENSE because who is gonna stay with the kids? When my Mom had to go somewhere Grandma came and looked after us, but my Mom lives two provinces away and isn’t gonna be able to come stay with my kids.

OMG fucking stress! I guess that’s why I want a partner.

See and this is why I hate having anxiety, I totally want to know HOW IS IT GONNA GO DOWN every time something new happens in my life. Where will the tickets be? Who do I have to talk to? What do they look like? Where is the ramp or stairs? Do I need ID? What forms do I need to bring? Can someone just take my arm and show me where everything is? Why aren’t there nametags at this shindig? Do I use this persons obviously fake facebook name to refer to them or are they going to laugh in my face and tell me “Bitch my name is Anne!”????

I did see that psychic in February or whatever (on the four year anniversary of seeing her TO THE DAY!) and she told me things about my future that seemed promising, but she didn’t give me certain specifics (I’m assuming because spirit can only speak in general terms) and dammit, I guess I wish I had like, a more clear timeline. Like could my next girlfriend be THE ONE if I do specific things, or is it just going to be an intensely powerful love that shatters my heart? OMG I need specifics!

But I know that’s not how the future works.

By the way there is this super WEIRD NOISE in my apartment right now and I have no idea what it is. It sounds like a dog breathing BUT also kind of metallic and fuck maybe I should just go sleep.

Sweating all dayyyyyyy!

There’s a heatwave here. Like, so hot. SO HOT!

I went to Vancouver for the Queer Arts Festival, which was AWESOME and Paul Wong was the moderator of the roundtable I was on and asked some really tough questions I had to think about. AND called me a Video Art Superstar which was SO flattering especially coming from him! So it was good! And I saw old friends and a friend who has moved away from Toronto and had good times.

It was my first time being there as a sober person, so that was interesting, but also my friends weren’t heavy drinkers anyway so it was fine.

OMG I wrote this last night and never bothered finishing because I got distracted by a Kat Blaque live feed on fb.

And then I think I sweated and went to sleep.

And I woke up this morning and had a cool bath and felt human again.

And that was three hours ago and I went and did some errands getting toilet paper and medication and treats and NOW I am all sweaty/sticky again.

OMG so yesterday was GST day and I got not one but TWO Cinnabons and it was so good!

Ugh some little girl dog squeezed an anal gland around here and it REEKS! :( Grosssssssss!

ANYWAY (later in the night, again!) I have been trying to make grown up plans today.

This kid thing is still nagging at me. I don’t want to have a kid alone tho, but I am exploring potential options. And there was an article today about how a foster agency in Ontario is doing placements of LGBTQ youth with LGBTQ affirming families/caregivers. So I went to their site and bookmarked it and am thinking when the time comes to start a family, or open up my life/my partner’s life to caring for a dependent, to possibly explore that route. Because ever since I was a teenager I thought how awesome it would be to be a foster parent for an LGBTQ youth. So many of our youth end up street involved through familial rejection and abusive homes and stuff, it would be a really good thing to provide some maternal love to someone who might not get positive interactions in the regular foster care system either.

And then I saw an ad that let me find out my credit score, which I found out isn’t that bad, it’s considered fair, and I am in the right range to be considered a low risk to be approved for a mortgage (but obviously I need a job to manage one!).

So I was doing all this grown up daydreaming. But I mean really the things I need RIGHT NOW is a partner and a job. It’s all very well to dream of mortgages and LGBTQ kids, but considering I don’t want to HAVE kids alone, I need to have someone fall in love with me (and love them back) first before all that can happen. AND I need a job before I go condo hunting. AND I need a place with at least two bedrooms before I go looking for someone to foster or adopt or sperm for my future partner’s eggs. IT’S SO COMPLICATED!

But really, honestly, I just need a job first. I worked last weekend shooting some video, which was a good gig, but not an ongoing one and I need to do something that brings in more money over a longer time. There’s some sessional jobs at OCADU I was thinking of applying for, for the fall and winter. I have applied there at least twice before but never got an interview. BUT I guess I will apply again. All the sessional jobs are asking for people with PhD’s or working towards their PhD’s but honestly I know of people who do not have PhD’s working in these departments so I know it’s not NECESSARY it’s just what everyone is asking for now since there are so many masters out there.

BLAHHHHHH!

So this weekend I am gonna work on that job application. And I am gonna work on this video game for the rest of the week. And my script. Because I gotta get that shit DONE yo!

But really I wish I was going on dates and making out with someone in their car or something. I have been having so many naughty day dreams about sexy times and it’s a little distracting, although good to know that my sex drive is normal (because sometimes it isn’t! Which is related to meds! But this med I am on is good!)!! I mean, everything works. Yay.

Winner Winner! (Chicken Dinner!)

Well the last week was INTENSE! I presented my screenplay that I wrote at Ryerson (currently titled Evil Fire) at the Female Eye Film Festival and although people kept thinking it was a comedy (probably because I am a bit goofy when I talk I guess?) it got a lot of interest and I won Best Low Budget Screenplay! I also showed my short 2 Spirit Introductory Special $19.99. Which went awesomely. Such a whirlwind of events and I didn’t have time to do my laundry until yesterday when it was all over. Things got pretty lean!

Tomorrow I have another screening of the same video as part of the Toronto Queer Film Festival. So that should be awesome!

ALSO finally finally tomorrow I am going to see a Gynaecologist about this ovarian cyst which keeps growing and I want to have surgery to get it out this fall. I hate surgery. I hate going under. BUT I also hate having something growing inside me just to be an asshole. My asshole cyst. Once when I was reading this trashy magazine (fuck what was it called? OH Bizarre) there was a picture of a woman getting a 32 pound ovarian cyst removed. That is my NIGHTMARE! That’s like, bigger than both of my dogs combined! And this thing is already over five inches. So out out out!

Tonight I overcame my reluctance to go back to something I still don’t totally understand, because it’s a new skill, and worked on my video game in Unity. I’m trying to make a three part game about bipolar disorder, and I needed to work on the second part. So I put in the background, made some box colliders so my character wouldn’t spin off into space, made sure the camera follows the character, made sure the character can move around, and fixed an issue that was making my world spin around when the character got going. Now I have to scan and edit some game objects that my character can collect or try to avoid (but probably will collect anyway) and end it with the police coming to take her/him away to the psych ward. That part will just be a screen with some text and a picture of the police or a police car or something. And then I have to do the third part, which is in the hospital where you talk to other patients. That part will be tricky, because I am going to try and incorporate video. But we will see. I have until August 18th to finish it, so time is ticking, but also I got all of that done in three hours today by referencing work I had done in the first part. So I think it’s doable.

I also found out I AM going to be presenting a workshop in Berlin, and some other pieces have to fall into place, but yes it looks like I am going to Berlin this summer! So that’s exciting. I miss Berlin! I honestly think it’s my favourite city outside of Canada. I have some work to get done in time for that.

I saw my psychotherapist on Friday. I was talking about how overwhelmed I felt with all this work I have to do. Like it’s all important and it WILL get done and I am glad I am doing it. But ALSO it’s stressful to see all these deadlines and things coming up. And although I am getting paid for some of it (like I did have grants this past year) I wish I had more regular income coming in, like some steady money.

My Mom is basically in the same boat. We have all these projects and they are getting attention and accolades, but figuring out how to keep money coming in regularly is hard! I have gotten Canada Council grants before, and other grants, but the living allowance they give you is really not very much, it’s not even above the poverty line. And if you ask for too much living allowance from some grant agencies, they get all suspicious because of course you should want to put all the money into your project. But damn, I gotta eat too ya know!

Anyway, I have four eggs, half a loaf of bread, almost a whole carton of milk, some cheese, and some cereal. And I leave on Friday for Vancouver for the weekend. So I am not gonna starve just yet.

The one thing I can definitively say is that whether you are rich or poor, money is always a temporary thing, and that goes for having it or lacking it. And I know some cash is coming my way.

Honestly though, if it wasn’t for the money/feeding myself worries, I would actually have a lot of fun with this highly creative lifestyle I’ve got going on. I like working on projects, I like learning new things. And I have someone interested in producing my feature with me now! So working on multiple things is awesome. I am glad I have a wealth of ideas right now. A few times in my life my creativity has dried right up, and those have been the most depressing points of my life.

Hustling (in a film way not a sex worker way)

I’m trying to figure out a way to survive as a full time artist, and ideally it would involve getting my own gigs and things to keep me afloat. But my rent is subsidized and it depends on my income and so I would have to go talk to the office about fluctuating income and what they suggest. Ahhhh sigh.

In actual fact I have at least TWO possible gigs this summer, one shoot and a possible short film commission. So that’s really good. But I’m not entirely sure of the monetary rewards for doing them. The shoot might be $400 and is just a day. But the short film, I’m not sure, plus I have to pay cast and equipment and crew. So obviously I need to find out more about all of this.

But really, I just want to live off of short term projects. People put a lot of stock into having a full time permanent position somewhere, but I think personally short term projects that pay fit in with my filmmaker lifestyle better. Like, I might go away this summer for a week for a work related thing. I can’t just do that with a full time forever job.

Of course now that I’ve written this somewhere in an easily searchable corner of the internet, probably some potential employer will google me and decide I’m too risky to hire because they think I just want to bugger off.

I have a lot of creative projects on the go, that I have to finish. For instance, I have to finish this script about addictions at Christmas by July 31st, because I need to do a final report so I can apply again in the fall for MORE MONEY! I have to get two shorts about 2 Spirit life done this summer so I can apply for more Toronto Art Council grants. I have to come up with a new project and write another grant for the Ontario Art Council this fall. I have to do my Mars webseries, which needs four actors and a green screen. I have to do so damned much! AND I also need to get serious about getting development money for my Evil Fire script (Cree name “Macîskotêw”) because it’s a good project and I think it would be awesome to make, AND it’s my first feature that actually has a chance of being produced. SO THERE!

I made a list of all these things I was gonna do this week, which is mostly getting my pitch ready for next week’s Female Eye Film Festival, and writing a paragraph proposal for the short film commission (which I did!), and writing 40 pages of script for the addictions film (I wrote ONE! ONE!) and making Huevos Rancheros. So I still have a lot to do. I haven’t actually pitched in a while, not since ImagineNATIVE way back, like 2 or 3 years ago. OH YIKES and I have a videogame to finish. 1/3 done! I was gonna make all these drawings of household objects, but now I am wondering if I should cheat and use pictures of household objects. Hmmmmmmm.

++++++++++++Much later++++++++++++++

Well, I still only wrote one page of script. I kind of had a hard time being motivated this week, although I DID do a lot of arts admin stuff. AND not only that, but I came up with two totally new ideas for future projects, so that is kind of fun! I just need to get all this shit done! It’s a bit overwhelming!

Next week I have a screening, a pitch rehearsal and TWO pitches to do for the same project, and a script reading. OH and I think I am doing some kind of Q&A too. In two weeks I’m gonna be in Vancouver for a Queer Arts Festival doing a panel. So it’s a busy month ahead! This next week ESPECIALLY!

Sometimes I don’t know what to do when I feel overwhelmed. I really need to get back to making lists and goals. Two of my pals are out of town the next few weeks, so that’s a bit of a drag but I am sure they are having fun.

It’s a good life though. Being creative and working on projects is really amazing. As is having them be appreciated when they are finished.

Sad

Well, I am back in Toronto. Spent time with some friends tonight, chatting about all kinds of things including queer parenting. I’ve decided by the time I am 45 I want a wife and two kids, so now I have like, a deadline to meet.

Grief is weird. I’ve been thinking a lot about Grandpa, I didn’t see him much the last year and some because I was so far away, but we were always very close during my life time. So I think it still hasn’t sunk in that he’s gone. I found some old emails I used to send him, and his replies. They were nice to read.

I know it’s gonna hit me at some point. I haven’t had a good real hard cry about it yet. I didn’t feel safe enough to cry at Mom’s house, and I’ve only been back home not even two whole days yet. I brought back some photos of Grandpa, and Grandma. I was gonna put them up someplace. I don’t know where. There’s a nice big mostly empty wall across from the couch though.

And there was someone I really liked, in like, a romantic lesbionic way, but I never said anything and I think the moment has passed. Which is also such a true bummer. I feel like I am so full of feelings that I keep inside and it’s probably not good for me. I’m so shitty at taking risks ever since the last time I fell in love I got my heart stomped on and ghosted.

AND AHHHHH I really just want to have a partner who wants to have a family with me and get on with my career and live a good happy life. I mean, all of that is still possible. Someday. I just feel so tired of waiting for it to happen. And I always wanted my grandparents to meet my future wife, and they never did. They never met any of my girlfriends. They knew I was queer. They were supportive. I just never had anyone serious enough to introduce them to.

And that bums me out too, I’ve had a bad habit of dating white women and part of me feels like being Native means they never took me seriously as a potential partner because of their own racism. Anyway whatever, I haven’t gone on a date in a REALLY long time. I’m so picky. And the women I AM interested in aren’t usually available for whatever reason. I just don’t want to turn into my mom and be single for like, ever. I feel like I have a lot of love to give, I am just particular about who to give it to. And when you are single people decide to give you all kinds of crappy shitty advice they would never dream of following themselves, so I don’t want that either. BLARG!

But life is alright aside from grief and stuff. I still need a job, that is a bit of a bummer. I’ve got a lot of film stuff to do, and I have to finish this video game, and script, and other things. I just sent off a proposal to do a workshop in Berlin, so if I get accepted then I have to apply for a travel grant as soon as possible. It would be nice to be back there this summer.

It’s 1:10am! OMFG! I should go to sleep. Snore. My dogs are all tuckered out and sleeping, I should take them to bed.

Goodbye Grandpa

StanCuthand
Stanley (Stan) Cuthand
Dec 22, 1918 – May 23, 2016

Rev. Canon Stan Cuthand died peacefully after a lengthy hospital stay on May 23, 2016. Stan was born in 1918 on Little Pine First Nation, son of Harriet and Josie Cuthand. He was a survivor of the Spanish Flu epidemic at four months of age. He attended day school on Little Pine, followed by boarding house to complete high school in Prince Albert. He convocated in 1944 with a Bachelors of Theology. He worked as a priest for the Anglican Church. He met and married Christina Lennan in 1944 and they had four children, Doug, Beth, John, and Ruth. His life’s work was translating the bible into Plains Cree Roman Orthographics and Syllabics. His secular work included a stint with Indian Affairs in 1969 until 1975 when he became an assistant professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. He retired to Saskatchewan and worked at the First Nations University of Canada (S.I.F.C.) and Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre. He taught until he was 80 years old, he enjoyed his students immensely. His greatest reward in teaching was getting the students to think for themselves. He was computer literate, his file names were all in Cree and he enjoyed his Facebook page to keep up with his many relations. He lead an active and healthy life and was a loving, funny, devoted husband, father, and grandfather.
Stan was predeceased by his parents, Harriet and Josie Cuthand, brothers Aaron, Adam, and Issac, sisters Beatrice, and Jean, childhood friend and cousin Smith Atimoyoo, grandson Christopher, and beloved wife Christina.
He is survived by his four children Doug (Pauline), Beth (Gerry William), John (Eileen), and Ruth. Grandchildren Lorne (Marcella), Steven Paul, Lisa George, Sky, Luke Morrisseau, Thirza, Shawn, Deanna, Sharlene, Shannon, and Jenny. Great Grandchildren Danielle, Jordan, Taylor, and Kristjan Paul. As well as numerous nephews and nieces.
The family would like to thank the staff at Stonebridge Crossing, and St. Pauls Hospital, for caring for our loved one so well.
The Memorial will be at Acadia McKague’s Funeral Centre in Saskatoon on Wednesday May 25th at 2pm. Wake will be held Thursday evening at Little Pine First Nations Elders Hall, and Funeral on Friday May 27th 2pm at the Elder Hall. Feast to follow.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Stan Cuthand Scholarship.

Venting until a phone call

Waiting at home for a phone call which MIGHT not even come tonight. We were told today that death would happen soon, but no one can give exact estimates and “soon” is a very vague term. I spent six hours in Grandpa’s hospital room with my family this afternoon and finally we got so tired some of us left and are trying to get back into having shifts of people staying with him. I’ve been up 12 hours, which isn’t so long but I have been sleep deprived because people do their laundry in the morning which is right next to my room and my dogs go apeshit and wake me up so really I’ve probably been sleeping about seven hours a night for three weeks. It’s very exhausting because I need way more sleep, like ten hours a night, just because that’s the way I have been my whole life.

I think I am moving into the Angry phase of whatever this grieving process is. I’m easily fed up with people online, especially the way they say nice words but it doesn’t really mean anything cause they aren’t coming by with food or something more useful, I’m wondering why our family seems to be doing this alone except for the people at the hospital, I’m super mad at the hospital for ignoring our wishes so long and working like they were trying to save him when we clearly wanted palliative care and said so over and over and he didn’t get assessed for palliative care for a week after he was admitted. I feel the clear need to have a living will for myself because he didn’t have one like Grandma did and we’ve had to talk about things the doctors have suggested like feeding tubes and iv fluids and other unnecessary things that would prolong death. I am irritated that I feel like I can’t openly talk about this whole process because it would annoy some family members and OVERALL I am angry at society for making dying so taboo that it isn’t talked about in our education system or society so people have to go seeking out information when it finally presents itself. And I’ve been trying to apply for a job back in Toronto that I would be really good at but the organization in charge of funding it isn’t being compassionate at all about the fact I am out of province for my Grandfather’s death and can’t sign a paper in the office in front of someone. So there are a lot of things pissing me off and I feel like I’m going to be stuck in Saskatoon forever and never get off welfare and never be able to grieve properly. And there are some issues with persons with addictions in my family who are of course not handling this in a healthy way. But none of us are really handling it well cause it’s oncoming death and we aren’t given resources to support ourselves through this and it just seems to be us not wanting him to ever be alone even at night which is really wearing us out.

That’s a long list of things to be angry about.

My only time alone is late at night like right now. Aside from that people are with me ALL THE TIME and for an introvert like me it is really hard to not be able to recharge by listening to my tunes and dinking around on the internet. And the worst part is as a bipolar person I have been taught all about how important self care is and being an advocate for my own mental health, but when someone is dying it becomes all about THEM and I feel like a shitbag for being stressed to my limits and needing to take up my own space and time for myself. I really really want to go home and I can’t until after the funeral and we cleaned out his apartment so at least I don’t have to deal with that cause I know if we had waited I would have to stay longer after the funeral to help out. My Mom’s house is PACKED with people right now, there are five of us staying here and that isn’t including the downstairs tenant. And four dogs, and two of the people here are smokers so they go in and out all the time and Little Mister is ever vigilant and barks every time and I get so fed up with all of them I wanna be like “Shut up Mister, and YOU stop freakin’ smoking or stay outside!” OMG! I think of all kinds of things I want to yell at people but I don’t but I want to and honestly I have so many cutting remarks going through my mind that I’m not saying.

And I miss walking my dogs, cause we have no energy to do anything outside of all this hospitaling we are doing. We don’t even have energy to cook, so we are eating out a lot, and I am fucking sick of FUCKING TIM HORTONS!

And I feel pressured to be so fucking grateful for anything, for the fact I am still alive, for having time with my family, to be this perfect family member for a dying person and do everything properly so we don’t bring shame onto the family.

OMG THE PHONE JUST RANG!

Oooookay and the person who answered it didn’t tell us what it was about. So I have gone to bed. If I find out from Facebook that my Grandpa died I’m gonna be SO PUT OUT!

Smiles from Grandpa

I’ve been here a while now. We see Grandpa every day. Right now he is being treated for an infection but he finally got palliative care so that’s good. When I first got here and saw him he was more understandable and said he was glad. Not glad to see me (though I assume that’s what the full sentence was gonna be), just glad. He was starting sentences and then not quite finishing them.

It’s been over a week I have been here. He talks in Cree now, and I only know a few words. But this afternoon when I was visiting him he was looking at me and smiling and it made me cry and I was trying NOT to cry because I don’t want to make him feel like he has to stay just to keep our spirits up.

There is family here from out of town. People are all coping in their own ways I guess.

I will try to stick to my own feelings about the whole thing though.

I have a really low tolerance for self absorbed bullshit right now. I normally can indulge friends in trivial conversations on Facebook, but right now my patience for it is REALLY thin. I’m generally not engaging very much in those kinds of interactions. People ask how Grandpa is and I’m just like, dying. Because he is and there is not much more to say about it than that. Dying is messy and makes people uncomfortable and some people really just can’t handle being around it. Sometimes being with him is brutal and hard and really painful even for me and I’m not even the one doing the dying. And he’s in the hospital right now which is harder for me than when Grandma died at home. I think because we could all focus on her at her care home in her private suite and be with her, but he’s got all that hospital stuff going on and is in a room with at least three other people.

And the thing about dying, at least with both my grandparents, is that there’s not a lot of quality conversations that happen in the last days. It’s just not possible. So I feel protective of him and don’t really want people gawking at him. If someone is dying I think you need to have been pretty close to them to be able to witness their last days. I mean, that might just be me.

Anyway, sometimes friends send me innocuous texts or messages that seem to be missing the mark and I get really irritated. Not always. Some friends have been making me feel better. I like the snapchats I have been getting.

Sometimes I want to go away and visit someone and get away from all this dying stuff, but then I feel like no one will want to just hang out and shoot the shit at the last minute, and I have no ability to make plans in advance right now. And people seem to like advance notice that we will be visiting, when really I’m like “Wanna hang out RIGHT NOW because no one has died yet and I don’t know if it’s gonna happen tomorrow and I will be at the reserve the next day?” So that’s frustrating.

I’m low energy. My dogs have been making me get up at 10am because they hear people upstairs, and they will NOT let me sleep in when they could play with the other two dogs here. Mom and I had a fight this morning about something totally ridiculous and of no importance and neither of us said sorry because I think we were both ticked off. She guilts me when I go out with Deanna because she doesn’t like me leaving the house without my dogs and that irritates me too because I need some time out and because my dogs are fine on their own for two hours they don’t trash the place or try to set the house on fire. Actually a lot of people are kind of bickering with each other, which makes sense because there is a lot of bipolar in our family so mood disorders + major emotional life event = mess.

I miss my apartment back home. I miss my morning routine and walking the dogs and visiting my friends and seeing cuties. Logically I could do this here too, but no, it’s different. I’m in my Mom’s house, not my house, so I don’t have the same freedom even tho I am an adult. And I kinda got used to my routine.

And I guess I am pre-grieving, which is a weird thing. Like it’s gonna happen we all know it’s gonna happen but it hasn’t happened YET and I was holding out for so long trying not to be all teary. But now I have cried in front of him twice.

Also I am mourning the fact that Grandpa, who was so important in my life, is not ever gonna meet my future wife or my future kids. That this whole major part of my life is going to be disconnected from this other major part of my life that HASN’T EVEN HAPPENED YET!

And also all those stories he had, about our ancestors, and stories that were handed down to him from long ago before even our great great grandfather was born, will be gone. He told us a lot of things, and for the most part we remember them. But I’m sure there are other things he will take with him. And that makes me sad too.

Grandpa was really good at making our family’s history sound so exciting, being involved in the Northwest Rebellion, and running away to join American Wild West shows, and all kinds of interesting things that my ancestors did. And I guess I just hope that I can inspire that kind of admiration in the next generation. And he was a minister, and I really don’t want people to act like because he was a minister he wasn’t a good enough Native or he was colonized. I think some Native people are really self hating when they put down Christian Natives. Let people believe what they want to believe, what is it to you if someone brown prays to Jesus? Jesus wasn’t white either.

So that’s the scoop. There is more, but I am leaving out health details. Besides the obvious.

I think I need to figure out some self care stuff. Also I got a rash from this soap Mom has, and it’s super painful when I itch it and super itchy when I ignore it. Bummed out!

I’m staying up late after people go to bed to be with my thoughts. That seems to help. Like right now. Like writing this.

Boundaries, Even With Ghost Cinnamon Buns

I’d like to believe the universe has a plan for me. Like that I haven’t gotten a real job yet because I have to go to Saskatoon for who knows how long until . . . until until. It would be nice to come back to a job. I’m still gonna look while I am out there. Grandpa is seeing things and saying “Kiyas.” Kiyas is a Cree word and people say it when they haven’t seen someone in a long time. I hope we can have a little chat when I see him. Poor old man. After this trip I won’t be going back there until the fall when I have a show/screening thing in Prince Albert. I plan to make the most of it. As much as I love living in Toronto, there are still a lot of people I care for in Saskatoon and I know all the good restaurants there and I have access to a vehicle and my Mom and Sister and Grandpa are there.

In the future it will eventually just be my Mom and Sister I come back to visit, which is strange. And Sky has a profound intellectual disability which usually comes with a shorter lifespan. So I also have to make the most of my time with her. She’s 41 this year, which is unusual for a trisomy 13 person.

Mortality is weird. After being with my Grandma when she was getting ready to pass I believe in an afterlife just based on the things that happened during that time. Like her talking to all of her departed relatives and lights flying around the room. But it still sucks that after someone dies, for me anyway, the only time I see them again is in my dreams. I guess it’s good, like if I was just having a bath and Grandma walked in and sat on the bed just outside the door I would probably get freaked out, even if she was carrying like, ghost cinnamon buns. And a couple of friends who killed themselves, if I saw them, as much as I love them, it would probably wig me out. Especially if they looked the way they did when they died. Like maybe for me there are boundaries between the living and the dead for a reason and I should just be grateful I only hear voices and see things move around. Little Mister sees spirits, and I think Posey does too cause she barks at one spot in the cemetery where we go walking.

So yes, we think Grandpa may be getting ready to depart this mortal coil. BUT it’s really so unknown. He could also be just fighting an infection. He’s seeing things that we don’t see but besides saying “Kiyas” to the ceiling, he’s not being as vocal as Grandma was when she was having full on conversations with spirits. Also let’s be honest, spirits have been attracted to Grandpa whenever he has profound health issues. Once during his recovery for his quadruple bypass he said old men in the hospital room were trying to tell him to come with them. I don’t know what he told them, but he didn’t go. And also Grandma died in the room he is in now, so she could just be hanging around.

BUT he is 97. Maybe we should just round it right up to an even 100 so he can finally be satisfied he made his goal. 97 is a good age I guess. I say that about any age, but for being old and having a thriving family with three more generations of Cuthands and a long marriage that only ended because his spouse died, I mean I think he has done well for himself. I don’t think he would have many regrets.

I only say his marriage ended because Jesus said there would be no husbands and wives in Heaven. But maybe Jesus was wrong. Or that was some funny part of the Bible no one believes. There are lots of parts of the Bible believers don’t believe. Like the part about not mixing two kinds of clothes. Or not eating shellfish. I think there was an amendment to that part of the Bible later on or something.

Ha ha I haven’t read the Bible since 2003 so I don’t really remember it well.

Grandpa bought me my first video camera. It was a Sony Hi8 Handycam. I made lots of short experimental videos with it. “Untouchable” was shot on it. He was always very encouraging for his children and grandchildren to go into the arts. I always credited him in my videos, even tho a lot of them I didn’t show him because they were just too whatever. Explicit or things. Not Grandpa safe. He didn’t see many of my videos. But he was encouraging.

So I have a ticket tomorrow to go home and see him. And I hope he recognizes me, because I know he misses me a lot since I moved away. And I miss him.

And I hope I get to see my cousin Deanna when I am out there, cause I miss her too even tho we talk on facebook and the phone all the time. Maybe especially because of that.