Monthly Archives: September 2011

Rendering Pines, Rendering Pines

I am writing a blog while I wait for my support material to render on my computer downstairs. I almost wasn’t going to apply for this round of SAB grants, but then I finally got my final report in, and I just thought, well, maybe I should give it another shot. I haven’t applied in a long time and I am asking for way less than I have in the past. About 6000, unless I change my mind and try for 7500. But not 17000 or anything major. I just want to get a couple months of living allowance and rental money for equipment and travel money and so forth. I asked these fine folks in Hamburg if I could do a residency next year in the summer and they said yes and sent me some letters of invitation to include with my grant application. SOOOOOO I am giving it a shot. I really hope I get it, because I have a good small project in mind about being a Butch woman. And also because I would like to spend more time in Germany. I just really like it.

So that’s what is happening with my career. The Mars project is on the backburner for now, but I am still hoping something wonderful will happen and I can get development money. It’s such a good idea!! Sigh. I might have to become a millionaire and make it with my pin money.

I wrote most of my project description for my grant today and used arty words like “performative”, hopefully that is a point in my favour. I didn’t go wild with the arty words, just enough! It’s a delicate balance. I don’t want to make the reader feel stupid and resentful of me and not want to give me money.

I haven’t gotten any dates out of Plenty Of Fish yet. There seem to be a lot of very young people on the site and I am sort of looking for folks between 25 and 45. That’s a twenty year age span, surely it is a large enough net to ensnare some lucky girl!

This week I found out I am getting surgery FOR SURE on Monday, THIS MONDAY!!!! The same day my grant is due. I have to see my family doctor tomorrow for a history and physical form and also to go over my medications and see if there are any I have to stop taking for the general anesthetic. I’m nervous I will have some terrible interaction and wake up to them defibrillating me or some such shit! But all I can do is trust the doctors and my surgeon. I’ve never been put under, I am worried I will get all panicky! But I will be out so fast and then wake up seemingly seconds later and it will be done. I have to spend a night in the hospital. I am planning to read about the holocaust. I didn’t mean to read about something so depressing, but I got Night by Elie Wiesel from the used bookstore when we took our books there, and I dunno, it seems like it would hold my attention. I’ll take some other books too. Maybe Whatever Happened To Princess Paragon, which is a REALLY good book and one I re-read at least once every three years. It’s been about three years since I last read it, so I may as well read it again. Plus it is so entertaining.

I’ve been to the welfare office this morning. It wasn’t as antagonistic as I worried it would be. Actually she was really nice, she meaning the intake worker. I got my direct deposit form in and my other supporting documentation, so hopefully next week I will get some cash to pay my rent. I also got a form to take to the transit office to continue my 20 dollar bus passes for the next six months. AND a new form for the leisurecard program. It lets me into civic facilities like the pools and gyms and tracks for free! I got one last year and only used it once. This time I will really really use it!

Well, it seems like it has been long enough that I can go downstairs again and check on my support material. Tomorrow is my last day on the needle job!!! :'( Sob! I am going to miss it, but also it is getting too hard to find them with all these yellow leaves everywhere. I won’t have a reason to wake up at 8am anymore! I still will though, I don’t want to get all in a rut and wake up at noon everyday again. I hate missing the part of the day with the sun.

Wee Wee Cars

When my cousin Steven was a little boy, he called Police cars, Wee Wee Cars. Because of the noise they make. Wee wee wee wee.

I’ve been applying for jobs still, and still not getting called in for any interviews. I finally removed my BFA from my resume in the hopes that being less educated will get me more attention from hiring managers. Kinda sucks, but maybe it will help. Most of the jobs I am applying for, with some exceptions, don’t give a damn if I have a BFA in film and video. In fact, that might make me overqualified.

I used to think maybe my job at the Avenue Community Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity was what was keeping people from calling me back, but it doesn’t say “for Gender and Sexual Diversity” on my resume. Who knows?

I have an appointment next week for getting on Welfare. BLAH! The good thing is it will give me another leisure pass for a year, and six more months of 20 dollar bus passes. I’ve had 20 dollar bus passes for the last year, because of being on welfare and then being on Skills Training Benefit. It sure was sweet! A pass is 71 dollars a month normally, for such sketchy Saskatoon service. Sundays the buses don’t even run past 9, and the rest of the time they stop at quarter after midnight. Which seems to run counter to reducing drunk driving. If Saskatoon really wanted to reduce drunk driving, they should have buses run until 2:30. At least on the weekends.

I am feeling politically frustrated with the Conservative government. I recently found out that growing six pot plants will get you a longer sentence than if you rape a toddler or make a five year old have sex with a dog. It’s pretty sick! What the fuck?? Pot should just be decriminalized, even though I agree it is addictive.

I haven’t had any pot today! 😀 I am feeling pretty good about that. It’s really hard for me to go without, but I am doing okay. I haven’t even thought about it that much. Maybe I can get over my marijuana addiction now. It’s such a stupid addiction. I wish I could control it, but when I have it I just smoke and smoke until it is gone! I’ve burned through so much weed. SO MUCH! And it hasn’t really gotten me anywhere I want to go. It’s made me sluggish and stupid and lazy and it kicks my creativity in the ass in a bad way. I think better and have more energy when I am clean.

I am currently reading a book from the library called Empowering Your Sober Self. It’s not a 12 step based program, it’s called LifeRing and it is based more on building up your sober side than destroying your addict side. However it does require abstinence. And while I am clean for today, it is hard for me to say I will be clean tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Still, a secular approach to recovery is much more in tune with my needs. I don’t believe in a higher power restoring me to sanity, it makes more sense for me to restore it myself.

I have been struggling with atheist questions. I don’t think I am an atheist though, I think I am a Buddhist. That goes more along with what I believe to be spiritually true. And I like that Buddhist leaders say that you should always question what is taught with scientific truths and discard what doesn’t ring true anymore. That’s something Christians don’t do. I don’t believe every word of the Bible is true, that is for sure. I know it was written by falliable humans.

I won my second free play in a row on Lotto Max! Now the jackpot is 40 million and I am hoping my ticket is extra lucky!

I also learned in my Sober Self book that addicts of all stripes have two opposing factions within themselves, the side that wants to continue drinking/drugging, and the side that wants to stop and become sober. That’s EXACTLY like me! I feel like I should get to know people closer to my age and not just in their twenties when drinking and drugs is a way of life. People closer to my age seem more invested in putting this kind of thing behind themselves. I don’t know.

It could be worse, I could be doing meth! That would suck, start eating my own scabs. EW!

This all being said I have to admit I am having a beer while I write all this.

I recently got a Plenty of Fish profile and am going to try online dating. I don’t know how I will do. People I have talked to have had good luck with it though. Already I found some very very cute mixed race folks. So maybe maybe maybe I will get some dates out of it.

My mom tells me I am hard to have a conversation with. I guess this is true. But sometimes, I dunno, it just seems like too much effort to try and have a conversation. LOL!

A million is not what it used to be.

I apologize for how my last post was all squished together with no paragraph breaks, I was trying the new Blogger interface and IT SUCKS! I don’t like it, I switched back.

I am home alone, I have been home alone for a few days now, Mom’s coming back into town today after supper. I have to do the dishes still. My cousin ate almost all our bread. And we are poor! 🙁 Bread is getting pricey, it’s four or five bucks for a loaf now. Makes me think we should make our own.

I kind of fell off the no smoking wagon by accident last night. What I mean is I smoked a joint that turned out to have some tobacco in it. Sneaky sneaky!!! :O I feel awkward about this, it makes me wonder if I should only stick to joints I personally roll. I don’t want to get triggered into smoking again. Tobacco is pretty gross, people shouldn’t mix it with something as nice as marijuana.

Last night I saw Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS in glorious 35mm print. It was just as gross and sexy as I remember it. My friend Stef and I used to rent it from some alternative video store in Vancouver back in the mid nineties and laugh and laugh. Ilsa makes some pretty funny noises when she is having an orgasm.

I also saw a show at AKA and PAVED Arts last night called PsycheDADA which was pretty awesome. My favorite was my friend Keith Murray’s installation.

Wow, what a review! Ha ha, I am not the best at writing reviews of shows.

I’m feeling frustrated by my lack of income. I’ve gotten in touch with people who say they have editing work for me, but then they just don’t get in touch with me again. It’s depressing me a bit because I know if I got just one decently sized job I could pay my rent and buy a macbook and the software required.

I also have to write a grant to make a video about being butch. I don’t know if I will get a provincial grant to make such a queer video, but there is so little queer video being made in Saskatchewan that I think they should support it. I’m not even going to ask for very much, maybe five or six thousand dollars. I really want to make my Mars video, and I have been frustrated by the lack of financial support I have received to make it. People say I should make it anyway.

OMG! I have a ticket for Lotto Max, I should check it today! That would get me out of the house for twenty minutes. Well, fifteen probably, the corner store isn’t very far. OH! But no one won the 20 million, it’s up to 30 now. Lottery tickets feel like my only hope of getting out of poverty, it’s depressing.
LATER: I just walked to the store all the way thinking “Please let me win 100 dollars!” I didn’t win 100 dollars, but when I did check my ticket I won a free play for next week’s draw for 30 million. So the hope stays alive for another week!

I really only buy lottery tickets just so I can day dream about what I will do with all that money. It would be so amazing. I could make any video I wanted to!

There are a few jobs coming up that I am going to apply for. I’m feeling a little silly applying for work right now, when I am six days away from surgery and will probably be out of commission for a little while. I don’t want to get a job right away and then have to be home or at the hospital for a week healing. It would be kinda weird. Then again, I sort of HAVE to keep applying for work, just because my income is so terribly limited and once the snow falls I won’t have a job at all! You can’t pick up needles when they are under ice and snow.

I think there is something wrong with my resumes and cover letters, and I don’t know what it is. I’ve tried everything it seems. I did a new resume listing off skills I have, but it still hasn’t gotten me an interview.

Ahhhhhhhhhh! Money sucks, I wish we could just barter. Or something. No, money is important, but it’s also a terrible trap I think. And people kill themselves and other people over it. Sad.

Sometimes I wonder if it would really be such a good thing winning the lottery. I know I would have friends come out of the woodwork wanting my money, and that would be really awkward. And family. People have lost their entire winnings from others taking their money. That sucks. If I won I would want it to set me up for financial security for life. I don’t imagine I would even spend that much, 30 million is a lot of dollars. Then again, the cost of living keeps going up and up and up! A million is not what it used to be.

It was three weeks this morning!

At 8:25 or so this morning, it was 3 weeks since I have had a cigarette! 😀 I am so excited about this. I have to remember I can’t have one puff ever again of a cigarette, or I will be right back where I started. And I don’t want to go through these last three weeks all over again. Not when I have come so far! Life has been uneventful otherwise. I have done my part time job and looked for other work and tried to get some editing contracts, unsuccessfully thus far. It’s really too bad! I really need money. I tried to call in to the local radio station to win some money, but no such luck, the on air line was just busy. So oh well. I can try again. It would be nice to suddenly end up with 300 or 600 or 1000 dollars. Just to get some debt paid up. Like my rent. UGH! I feel bad for not having my rent this month. I did buy groceries though, but not a lot. I hate being poor. Nicotine Replacement Therapy is pretty pricey, about as much as the smoking habit costs, so I had to stop my nicorette lozenges today. I quit the patch last week, with no real problems. But I still had those lozenges to fall back on. And now I don’t! I have tic tacs, but they aren’t really as strong of a mint flavour as the lozenges were. I am looking for Altoids, but they don’t seem to be sold everywhere like they used to be. Do you remember when Altoids were everywhere? Who knew I would look back fondly on those days? I’m always so damned wishy washy about pot. Well, I am not buying it right now. I am out. I have no intention of buying more anytime soon, but I can’t make promises about the future. All I can say is right now I am going to take a break and then re evaluate. What I really need to do is take a six week break, the exact length of time it takes for the THC to get out of your system. Or, to stop showing up in drug tests anyway. I need to get my life together. Why is art labour so cheap? I wish I could get paid a decent amount of money for being creative. I don’t even know why I am an artist. When I worry about getting food for my dog, I really question why I am a first nations lesbian video artist. It doesn’t rake in the dough! If I hadn’t failed a whole semester of university when I was going crazy in 2001, I could have gotten into at least one of the Masters programs I applied for, but I failed so I didn’t get in. It fucked my GPA and I don’t know how to ever fix it, even though I was descending into madness and it was just a doomed semester. I dropped out right after, if that gives you any indication as to my state of mind, and promptly moved to Montreal the following summer. Where all hell broke loose! But then I went back to school and finished my BFA and did all those credits again. But still, a whole semester of Fs! :O And I had never ever gotten a single F in my whole academic career before! I think a C is the worst I get usually. Mostly it’s Bs. I am tired of feeling slowed down because of my pot use. I just think I really REALLY need to see what life is like without it. For a while anyway. I haven’t even been getting very high lately, so it’s kind of useless for me to smoke it. It just makes me feel relaxed, and I have been reading this quit smoking book called Think Quit and it has all these exercises in it for relaxation. And they work. So I am starting to realize that I have some options. I think it’s really been just so I can relax that I smoke weed. I know there is a high feeling, but it’s not always strong. Mostly it’s just the relaxation I like. I don’t want to go to treatment though. BLAH! I would feel silly talking about my weed use. In front of people getting off dilaudid or morphine or hard liquor or whatever. So I am going to keep going to my dual diagnosis group. Concurrent disorders, they call it. There are various names for addicted mentally ill folks. But anyway, I like this group because I feel like I fit in better, even though most of the people who come are men. I bought a Lotto Max ticket today for the 20 Million, I hope I win because then I can say to those people who call lotteries Stupidity Tax “I won 20 Million! Now who’s stupid!” 😀 My neck hurts. I have been at the computer all evening looking at jobs. I applied for one. I think I wrote a better cover letter than my other ones. Maybe I will finally get an interview. I used to get interviews a lot easier. I wonder what has changed. I won’t smell like a cigarette when I go to the interview, when I finally get one. That will be a point in my favour. I’m going to miss smoking stuff if I give up weed too. I still have some tea shisha, but I dunno, I am not super into it and I am also worried it is too close to tobacco for me to smoke, even though it is tea leaves instead of tobacco. So I wonder what I should do with my mouth instead of smoking. I should go outside and sing a song for five minutes and then come back in. That might be socially awkward, but if I held my hat out I might make some pocket change. Unless I am singing at home. In which case my Mom will make fun of me. I keep being in these dire situations with no money. I think I need to get a job that I commit to for longer than a year. Enough waiting on grants that never come! Also that reminds me, I still have to find out when APTN is accepting development proposals! Keep on trucking!

Long overdue personal changes

I just got back from three nights and four days (or three and a half?) at Anglin Lake, staying in one of the Land of The Loon Resort cabins soaking in Northern Saskatchewan life. I got one of those funguses that grow on tree trunks that looks like a shelf. The Dene burn it for a smudge, so I am drying it out on the car dashboard for future use! 😀

While I was up there I didn’t smoke ANY tobacco OR marijuana. It was really nice to get a break from pot, I was surprised how little I even thought about it. Sometimes when I can’t have any for a while I get really antsy and anxious. But I was okay. And the no smoking has been going on for quite a while actually. I started patches and lozenges again nearly three weeks ago and did have a couple puffs off of pipe tobacco cigarettes (grody!) every morning for the first week just to get me going, but now the first thing I have in the morning is a nicotine lozenge and the itchy sensation of transdermal nicotine sinking into my shoulder. In three weeks I am going off the patches completely, and then a week after that I am going to switch from nicotine lozenges to altoids.

The other exciting thing that happened was I actually got in the drivers seat and drove twice while I was up north. I drove my mom and I from our cabin to the store at Christopher Lake. And then when we came back from PA from a shopping trip I drove into the site from the highway, dodging the worst holes in the worst 10 km of roadway I have ever seen! For those who don’t know, I have never passed my drivers test. I only ever took it three times, back when I was 16 and 17. And then I just kind of gave up. No one liked driving with me so I hardly ever got practice, except for my six hours with the driver’s ed instructor. But since then I have matured and mom got on anti-anxiety medication, so it’s actually worked out pretty good. Anyway, I am 33 now and still don’t have a driver’s license, just a learners. But after driving up there, I have decided I am seriously going to practice a lot and take my test before November 11. Because there won’t be snow on the ground and also just because remembrance day was the first date in november that popped into my head. I should have picked Guy Fawkes day instead or something though, Novembrance Day as a deadline for my road test is kind of silly.

Having a driver’s license would be a HUGE change for me, and would give me a lot more freedom and independence, especially in Saskatoon, a sprawling north american prairie city where you pretty much have to have a car to do anything beyond the bus routes. Our public transportation system is pretty sad. Buses only go until 12:15am, and 9:15pm on Sundays, even worse!

I am not ready to say goodbye to pot, it’s been a long time friend and I still like it. I think the only reason I want to quit it is for other people, and I think that’s the wrong reason. I should quit because I want to quit, and not because other people think I should quit. I think I need to be more responsible with it, but cutting it out of my life entirely seems harsh.

But the lack of tobacco in my life has been really sweet. Food tastes better, my fingers aren’t yellow, I don’t smell, my cough has mostly gone away, I have less phlegm in my throat, I’m not spending beaucoup de money on something I burn away, well, except for pot. It’s good. And for some reason using the patch and the lozenge has really been working well for me this time around. I can only think of one difference.

The lozenges now also come in mini lozenges. This might not sound like a big difference, but now I get 4mg of nicotine in ten minutes, instead of the 35-45 minutes it took the big 4mg lozenges to dissolve. And because they dissolve so fast, I can use a more reasonable amount of them throughout the day because my mouth can’t eat or drink caffinated drinks while I am sucking on a lozenge and it just takes too much of my time.

I don’t have cravings for cigarettes anymore, I know it will be weird when I am around my smoking friends, so far I have stayed inside when they go outside to smoke and that helps. I know it will be a trigger to be around someone who could potentially give me a cigarette, but I am really REALLY resolved not to ask for one. And being clean of cigarettes for so long is something I really want to maintain, just because the first three days are so hard.

I don’t miss smoking. When I want to breathe smoke I can just have a joint, and besides, breathing smoke is kind of creepy. I remember when I went to the Body Worlds exhibit, the fact that I could tell which people were smokers in their lives really freaked me out. BLACK LUNGS! No trace of pink, just black black black.

And I was tired of being anxious every time I heard a breakthrough cancer treatment was YEARS down the road still, just in case my smoking would finally trigger all that bad stuff it does and I would need that breakthrough cancer treatment and it wouldn’t be available for me.

So anyway. Things are finally shifting in my life. I feel relieved that this quit has been smoother and easier, I am excited about practicing and becoming a better, competent driver and getting a piece of paper that says I am legally allowed to drive without anyone else in the car, just me and Mister or me alone or me and a friend or three. And I wrote down some other goals too while I was up north. I am going to write my whole Mars webseries, get my business off the ground, try to get a grant to go to Germany and make a video (but I have to think of a project still! Eeek!), and something else. I wrote it down anyway, so I haven’t totally forgotten, or if I have I will soon be reminded. I also wrote down deadlines for each goal, and steps to take to make each one happen.

I lost four sizes in the last year. FOUR SIZES!!!! That’s what having a rotten gallbladder will do for you! I hardly eat fat anymore, and I have way less soda, and I have also got a job where I walk for at least six hours a week. So I am way more physically fit, although I am still technically plus sized. I’d be happy to stay at a size fourteen for a while, I like that I still have a roundness to my tummy and cushy boobs and a bigger bum. I don’t think I want to be a size twelve.

My pants were all way too big for me. Only one of them fit, so I went to the Old Navy 17 dollar jeans sale and got three pairs of jeans. Which is pretty much the only kind of pants I wear. I’m glad this time I have not lost weight due to mania, because A: that kind of weight loss is way too fast and comes back pretty quick, and losing and gaining in a short space of time isn’t very healthy, and B: Mania sucks and psychosis has ruined my life twice and I’d rather it didn’t happen again.

I am giving up looking for a girlfriend right now. I don’t think there is anyone suitable in Saskatoon, or if there is I don’t know it yet. I’d really like to be with someone, but it’s not happening and I don’t feel like going hunting in the two gay bars here. That was something I was more into in my early 20’s. And my mom is right anyway, you shouldn’t marry anyone you meet in a bar. Besides, I am weird, I need someone who wants a weirdo. And I dunno, I don’t get the feeling the lesbians are clamouring after me here, there are a whole bunch of strikes against me. Or it feels that way. I need a certain something that isn’t here. And I don’t even have a good dating history in Saskatoon for people to get references from as to my abilities of a girlfriend. I only have one ex who lives here. And she doesn’t know any of my friends or social circle, so no one can ask her what I am like. And I don’t think she would give a good answer either. If I had to get a girlfriend reference from any of my exes, I think I would pick Amber Dawn, I was with her the longest, except for Ivana, but she lived in Toronto, so it was different. But Amber Dawn lives in Vancouver.

I feel like I am moving into a new phase of my life. I’m really not sure what is going to happen to me, but except for my money troubles, things are going really positively for me. I wish I had more financial security, like a guaranteed income, but I am starting a business and that does poke along the first year in stops and starts. My big flaw is that I am still learning how to do sales calls, and I feel really awkward about trying to chase down some clients. This next week I am going to work on my website and get it more ship shape. I am also going to create my reel to upload, which I really think I need if I want to prove to people that I can edit.

I am going to Saskatoon Tribal Council on Tuesday to see if they can pay for me to have some driving lessons with a professional instructor before my exam. And I have resolved to practice way way more often. I’m nervous about being in traffic, so far I have driven with not much traffic around, but I will work up to it.

I don’t know what else to say today. My trip was great. Caring for my grandparents the whole time was intense though. And worrying about my grandma’s back.

We went canoeing, which was also fun and something I hadn’t done in years and years. I accidentally dumped my mum out though when we hit land. Her shoes are still wet!