Monthly Archives: October 2014

Bodies are weird.

ImagineNative was fun, as usual.  Got to see lots of people I knew, which is always nice.  Also I got to see a lot of work I’d never seen before.  Living here made a difference in how I experienced the festival though.  Because I have little dogs at home I had to skip some screenings to stay home with them and let them know I cared about them.  Dogs really need their people around.  So there were a couple afternoons I just spent playing with pups.

I’ve just spent several hours getting caught up with school stuff.  I have to do things tomorrow too.  And then Thursday is the last class of the week and then there are halloween parties! 😀 Louis and I are going to Chubb Rubb, him dressed as an ice cream cone and me dressed as the Ice Cream Man!

Just Dandy is screening at MIX NY on November 11th, and I am soooooo sorely tempted to run off to New York City for a few days.  But my more reasonable cautious side tells me “Noooo!  You can’t leave for a week near the end of the semester!  You have things to do and get ready for!  Next year you can go!”  But man, that throwing caution to the wind feeling is so strong!  I went to Oberhausen once at the end of semester, but I think I had put all my coursework in first.  Maybe.  I don’t remember.  But the circumstances are different this time.

I was talking with my mom about my fear of failing a certain class.  I was just all freaked out and stuff.  Cause you have to get a B- or higher to pass in Grad school, and I’m worried I’m just gonna flunk.  Because I’m bad at participation, because of general social anxiety, and I missed one 5% in-class assignment because I was sick.  Anyway, I was just generally all nervous.  And she said “No!  Don’t you think like that!  You are going to pass!”

ALSO I got quasi invited to do a month long residency next year, but it is dependent on the organization getting funds.  And I really want to do it.  I would do it when school is done, which makes me REALLY want to finish at the end of August as planned.  Actually the program people prefer the Major Project part to be done in July.  So hopefully I can turn in my script then.

I’m full of ideas these days, which is handy.  Also I am using almost every class to do work on my Major Project, which is helping a lot.  I need to write a grant in the spring and hopefully get it in August and start work for a year on another project.  Some people have five year plans, but the most I seem to be able to get is two years.  Which is still better than nothing I guess.

I have a lot to do, but also I feel like it’s all within the realm of possibility.  Like I MIGHT be able to stay afloat and finish my masters next year.  And part of me does like being in school again.  I always sort of liked school.  It pushes my brain to consider things more thoroughly.

And what else?  I am waiting for student loans money to be deposited.  The woman at Canada Post said it takes one or two weeks to go through.  So I’m not sure if she really knows or was just telling me what she thought I wanted to hear.  I don’t know how they process it.  I just know I need to pay rent on Saturday and right now there is two dollars in my bank account.  I think I am losing weight from not having much to eat, which isn’t really good, even if I wanted to lose weight that’s not a good way of losing it.  And it might make my body go into starvation packing on the pounds thing, which is a really awkward thing to explain.  Like “Yes, I am getting fatter because I don’t eat much and my body thinks I might die so it is holding onto every bit of fat it can.”  Bodies are weird.

BODIES ARE WEIRD!  I know that’s not a very Body-Positive message to convey, but I like things that are weird so to me it kind of is.  Also it acknowledges that all bodies are different, based on all kinds of things including whatever diseases/ailments/conditions people may have.

Enter title here

So I am waiting for a bunch of money to arrive.  Again.  I have a little bit, but it feels better when I am not horribly poor.  When my bank account goes under three digits I get super nervous.  Luckily I have a transit pass for the month, and I’m getting my ImagineNATIVE Pass tomorrow.  Whew!  But food things, I gotta figure that out.  I do have meat still, I just need things to eat with it. And tarts. I have two tarts left.

I felt a lot better about school today when I saw where everyone is with their projects and stuff.  And hearing what we have to do for our other classes.  It’s starting to make more sense.  I figured out how to incorporate my major project into my other classes, which we are supposed to do. So that’s good.  Six weeks are left!  Yikes!  Already halfway through the semester!  I heard the second semester is better, less readings more doings.  Which is good.

The neighbors have been hammering the wall a lot lately.  Like, during work hours.  But why? I can’t think of why they would have to do so much hammering!  It’s been going on for a few days.  And scraping.

I’m sleepy.  No class tomorrow! 😀 YAY!

Disabled and in Grad School

You are probably sick of hearing about student loans, and more interested in hearing how Grad School is going.  Well . . . it’s stressful, is the short answer.  The long answer is I’ve been disabled and out of work and on disability for a few years and I am still getting used to the pace of this thing and I really don’t know what I am doing but I do know I am passing everything according to the graduate level standard of “Nothing below a B-“.  I’m torn between wanting things to go back to the way they were before; having totally free days to practice my art; but also I know there ARE things I am getting out of this time in school.  For instance one class, our Media Production Lab, is focused on individually directed learning through workshops and I’ve learned a lot of new skills in production and post production already in this short time.  Like Adobe After Effects, which I can already tell is gonna open up my skillset to a new level.  On the other hand, classes with really dense readings are wearing me down.  And I like writing, I write in this blog all the time, I write scripts and stuff, but I don’t really like doing academic writing.  And in the next six weeks I’m gonna have to do a bunch of it, AND make it graduate level writing.

A while back a friend started his undergrad and asked for advice because he’s got a disability, and I said go to the disability office and ask about accommodations.  Which was easy for me to say, but personally I have not made it down to the disability office.  And I really should, just to see what I can access and if there is any help for me that would be useful.  For instance, a counselor might be nice, because there are things I think that I don’t tell people.  Nothing evil, just general imposter syndrome feelings.  And getting up early is hard.  I’m trying to figure out a fool proof way to wake up and get to class on time.  Lucky for me there are only two days that start at 9am.

Having my dogs with me is helping a lot.  I’m pretty much constantly taking pictures of them and posting them on Instagram, and Posey is my lock screen picture, and they are super cuddly of me and when I come home they cry and snuggle and Little Mister will nuzzle my arm to make me hold him and pet him.  So for emotional support that is pretty awesome.  Also I do have some friends here who I have known for a while, and that helps.

I found a doctor through a Doctors Seeking Patients website, so I am feeling a little more secure.  I still need to get a new drivers license, health card, and a psychiatrist.  And my doctor says she doesn’t prescribe Risperidone which I have learned from experience and my past pdoc, Dr. Conacher, that it is a med I require.  If I don’t have it weird shit starts happening again, like hearing singing in the white noise.  And eventually singing turns to voices straight up trying to tell me shit and that is really annoying.  I mean, they do say things in context of what is going on, but it’s distracting and kinda freaky and if you talk back to them people around you can get really worried.  And it’s been a nice long time, years, since my last BIG manic episode happened and I’d like to keep from going nuts in another city.  ANYWAY my point is simply that I need a psychiatrist, but first I need an Ontario healthcard.

The funny thing is that the struggle with student loans sort of distracted me from my real feelings about school. But now the struggle is over.  And I’ve realized I am totally in this new struggle of being a student.  I’m poor, I have homework all the time, I’m expected to contribute to class discussions (something I’m not the greatest at), and I have to do this major project.  It’s a lot to think about.  BUT I also know I won’t quit school, because of several reasons, a few of which are:

1. I want to get used to doing stuff besides just my art.

2. I want to get a job with my new skills.

3. My Grandma gave me her Personal Credits from her Residential School Settlement and I am not gonna waste them by getting them then quitting!

4. I got a $5000 fellowship to come here and I am not gonna waste that either!

5. This is a really good time for me to live in Toronto and get used to it and connected to people and adjust to where I hope to live for a while.

6. Actually I can’t think of a sixth thing besides I am super stubborn and not willing to give up.

OH! 7. It is only 12 months of my life, and I hear the second semester is a lot more fun!

So that is my short and long answer to how grad school is going.  This next week is gonna be super busy, and ImagineNative is happening, so that will be fun.  I hope to see lots of people I know.  I’m back to not having much money, but I did get the essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, dog food, and toothpaste.  And some food.  Tomorrow I am going to Canada’s Wonderland after class.  Hopefully it will be Wonderful.  I’m still squeezing fun into my life!

Student Loans! A happy ending? Also Barky Face likes to Bark.

So things are starting to look up.  I got some money gifted to me from a relative who has been helping out.  AND I called the Student Loans people and they say I have been approved!  Something is coming in the mail and I fill it out and return it and get some cash!  Whew!  Thank god for that, it was getting desperate!  It was such a long hard struggle to get the restriction taken off.  I was ready to give up so many times!  If it hadn’t been for my friend Margaret lending me money to pay off the interest and two monthly payments I would have been screwed!

And the funny thing is that I got a notice recently that suggests they may have decided to forgive the rest of my loan!  I’m not sure, but I got something that said my remaining balance was 0.00.  So maybe??

I’m in contact with the admin person of my department about my Residential School Personal Credits form, because I took it to the Fees department and they didn’t want to fill it out, and then she asked if Financial Aid would do it and they said Fees should do it and now Fees wants to look at the form and for god’s sakes it isn’t that difficult!  All they have to do is provide a contact person, an address, and say who the cheque for tuition should be made out to.  So it is frustrating me!  And I know there have to be other Indigenous students using Personal Credits for school at Ryerson, it can’t just be me! Anyway, blahhhhhhhh!  Grump grump grump.  Also there is a time limit for getting the damned thing in, it’s not until December 1st, but still that is coming up!

What else?  I had a really nice day with my friend Louis today, he cooked a chicken and a pie and made mashed yams and potatoes.  It was super nice.  And then I had to come back home for the pups.

The pups and I have gone on two long walks today.  It’s good because it’s tiring them out so they don’t get all antsy.  Posey was making me sleepy after the last walk because she was laying against my leg and warming me up and I just wanted to lay down and snooze for a while.  But I didn’t.

Yesterday when we walked by these teenagers one of them started talking to Posey about how cute she was and Posey started barking at her so the girl barked back!  Then tonight we walked by a repair guy and Posey barked at him and he threatened her with a hot dog bun!  I guess pups get away with being ornery when they are small and adorable!  Posey’s not really ornery though, she just likes to be in control.  Which is kind of funny/bad for someone so small!

Update: We went for the last walk of the night and Posey barked at a lady chatting on the street with her friend and the lady screamed!  So even though she is small, she is still intimidating with that barky face.  I told Posey to knock it off.  But she just likes barking at people.  Not everyone.  Just one person out of many that we pass on any one walk.  What a weirdo.



All my money is in the mail!

This cheque is still taking a long time in coming!  And it was sent in the last week of September, so I am worried it got stolen or something.  There is something fishy about it!  It was a big cheque too, so yikes! 🙁  If it doesn’t come tomorrow I am gonna send a message to the person who sent it and see if she can cut another cheque and cancel this one.  But it would be another week to get it in the mail, which really sucks.

I am gonna call Student Loans tomorrow and see what the verdict is on my assessment.  I hope and pray they give me another loan!  I could really use some quasi support in going to school!  I have 8000 of my 10,000 tuition accounted for with my fellowship and personal credits, I just need living allowance and the other 2000 of tuition.  And school supplies.  And some money to fly home for Christmas, which they are supposed to give me because I’m outside my original province.  Sigh.  I can’t believe this money thing has taken so long!

I won some money!  I won Audience Choice Award for Just Dandy at Reel Pride Winnipeg!  🙂  I’m pretty excited about that!  But again, it’s gonna come in the mail and I don’t know how long it will take.  Poop.

MONEY SUCKS!  Only when you don’t have it.  The lack of money sucks!  Blah!  🙁  And I still need a roommate!

My phone’s internet capabilities crapped out today, and I got worried I was getting cut off by my provider because I’m not able to pay yet, but I did a network settings reset and it was fine.

I’m low on toilet paper, paper towels, tooth paste, and my laundry needs doing, and I have literally three dollars and a lot of silver change.  It’s not gonna cut it!  I hate being poor.  I’m down to my Pilsbury Doughboy undies and that means the very end of clean undies, Saturday I will be going commando or rewearing dirty underwears.  Oh gawd!  This reminds me of my life in Vancouver as a poor student.  At least this time I am sober and don’t smoke!  Cause addictions are really expensive to maintain, and they take up a lot of money that would be more useful if spent on toilet paper, paper towels, tooth paste, and laundry money.  My needs are so basic!

Anyway, I’m really tired and it’s almost 3am.  So I should go to sleep before my sleep gets all messed up again!

Thanksgiving in Toronto

It’s been a while since I wrote!  So an update on Student Loans.  The restriction is officially taken off! 😀  Tomorrow Saskatchewan Student Loans will get notice that it’s off and then they will start the loan process assessment again.  They said I could call on Friday to find out how it is going, but they should be able to get it done this week!  And then I guess some mailing goes on because I have to get them bank info so that I can get paid.  I really hope that’s the end of this terrible saga and I can get money to live and pay for school!  YIKES!

I went to some folks place for Thanksgiving last night, it was really nice.

I’m still looking for a roommate, so if you hear of anyone looking let me know!  I really need a person to live with me.

I had bacon today which made me happy.

School has been a lot of work but this week is reading week so I am hoping to get caught up on some things!

I have an artist talk on Wednesday at OCAD! 🙂

I’ve disabled my OKC profile because it wasn’t doing me any good.  I didn’t like any of the people who messaged me on there and I didn’t know how to tell if anyone was appealling just based on a few pictures and some profile answers.  So now I am gonna meet people through other people I guess.

I’m still very hopeful that one day I will win the lottery.  I say this just because I started buying tickets again after abstaining from tickets for a month or so.

Little Mister and Posey are doing well.  Posey really likes going for walks.   And shredding things, kleenexes, pompoms, ice cream wrappers, etc.

I was sick for over a week.  It was gross.  My nose is still producing more mucus than normal, but it’s way better than it was.  My friend Robin called me on day 2 of my cold when my voice was terrible and croaky!  She asked some questions to make sure it was me talking and not some imposter!

I saw half a cigarette on the ground today and was tempted to pick it up and smoke it, but I  valiantly resisted!  No smoking for me!  December 2nd will be two years without a smoke!

What else?  Aw, nothing.  I’m home and poor and bored.  It’s Thanksgiving monday so not a lot is going on, and no mail.  I am waiting for a cheque, but it’s taking a long time!