Monthly Archives: December 2017

A Very Good Christmas!

Hey! I spent Christmas without my family this year, for the first time. Last year Mom came for a couple weeks, but this year I was alone, sort of, not totally, but it was good! I made a lot of food, baked a lot of cookies, made a cherry cake, made a wifesaver, made candied yams, made a cherry pie. Ate a lot of cheese, I kind of had to hold back on the cheese tho cause it was making me super gassy. UGH! BUT it was a great Christmas, Mom sent me a nice present, with my favourite soaps and a nice shirt and some expensive chocolates that are also my favourites, and some rat root in case I get a sore throat. I sent her a fifty dollar bed bath and beyond card, but the bed bath and beyond store in Saskatoon is still not open, almost, but not quite. I hope she can use it online if she wants to spend it soon.

I spent later on Christmas day with some friends eating an amazing fucking turkey dinner, with moist turkey and amazing stuffing and everything was so delicious. And then we watched Batman Returns, the one with Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. I had such a big crush on her in that movie, it was probably the costume. I had a big poster of her over my bed before I came out, I remember overhearing my Mom say “Yeah Thirza has a crush on Catwoman.” And I was like “OMG do I???” Ha ha but yeah, those early celeb crushes were fun.

It was an interesting Christmas because I wasn’t catering to my family or doing a LOT of emotional labour/domestic labour that I am used to with my family. My Grandparents aren’t around anymore, if they were I would probably have gone home somehow. But I often felt unappreciated at Christmas, even tho I was doing a shitload of work like baking, cooking, washing, cleaning, driving, like all the things. ALL THE THINGS! And you know, guy cousins would be over not doing much but playing video games. And that was always really frustrating to me, especially as a feminist. And even tho my gender is fluid, and I do feel pretty male at times, I can’t imagine ever feeling entitled to sit around while women cater to my needs. Yeahhhhh. And there are other more personal reasons why I didn’t really want to go home this year, which I am not gonna talk about here.

And the funny thing is I still did do a whole bunch of cooking, but I think because I was doing it for me and my friends and not because it was expected, it felt better. I felt better. It was just being done because I wanted to contribute, and not because I was expected.

ANYWAY! I also have to get a major job application together this next month, and it’s not just like, update my resume kind of thing, it’s for a tenure track job. I have had bad luck applying for sessional work at this place, but I’m gonna try anyway, because it would be sweet to do something I am totally qualified for and knowledgeable about. Not to mention it pays really fucking well. And it would kind of secure my future here. We just found out the co-op is likely going to remain eligible for rental supplements until 2025, which is a huge relief, but also I wouldn’t mind paying market rent if I could afford it. And I also wouldn’t mind being able to pay off my student loan, if I could afford it. I’m also on a low income support program for Hydro, and although that has been amazing, being off it would be fine, if I could afford it. I’ve just gotten really savvy about being poor and how to do it in this city, but like, not having to worry about that would be great.

I still have my job! Sometimes I have good days, sometimes I have bad days. But on my good days I can raise hundreds of dollars for people, so it feels good and I am happy about that. I’d like some more good days than bad days, it’s kind of random when they happen, and I don’t know what the variables are. One day I didn’t take my ADHD medication, and I was sleepy and feeling super shitty (also because I take my antideps at the same time and missed them also) and I think it translated into my voice and how I was coming across on the phones. I wasn’t as enthusiastic and friendly as I normally am. Anyway, that day was definitely a poor performance day, BUT I figured out how to avoid that again by putting my medication dosette on top of my bag I take everywhere with me, so in the morning I would have to touch it before leaving. Things like that are really helpful.

Having a small income is nice. It’s not super small, it covers my needs anyway, and then I get random fees and stuff on top of that that help me out. But yeah, it’s at least twice as much as welfare was, and it’s really helping me out. My next payday is this Friday, and I am gonna be able to pay rent and my phone bill and probably some other bills with it. And I should get another cheque soon for an arty thing I am doing.

So overall this Christmas was good. Life is pretty good. I’m making money again at a job for the first time in ages and that feels good, even on the bad days. I get to work on an application to teach, which is pretty awesome, even if I don’t get it it will be nice to have had the practice of writing these applications for academic jobs. My friend says that universities are going to be looking for more people with production experience, so that’s hopeful, since I am more of someone with production experience than academic writing experience. It would be nice to combine the two in a class tho, like teach production while looking at Indigenous and queer films. (And Indigenous queer films)

It would be nice to start spending Christmases with my own family in the future, but those people either haven’t met me yet (as in my partner) or possibly don’t exist yet (as in children). So for now, spending Christmas with friends is pretty good. It’s really changed how I view Christmas. I’ve had so many stressed out Christmases, and this was totally not stressful. It was still busy tho. But yeah, I liked it. I hope even when I do have my own family, it continues not being so stressed.


There’s one day left of my four day weekend! It’s been awesome.

Work went well last week, I know I can handle three full days. But more than that would definitely stress me out too much. Having four days off three days on is a good balance for me. Especially since I have some other work to do.

I was gonna apply for a Canada Council grant, but I can tell that is not happening this round. I just don’t have it in me, I’m really unsure of what to apply for, I don’t want to send in a half baked idea and then be committed to something major with lukewarm feelings about it.

I did WAY less crying this weekend, so that was nice. I’m also sort of avoiding thinking about what was making me cry tho, and I know the avoiding is not a great strategy and I gotta deal with it.

I am also realizing I do not trust very many people in my life. Like, maybe two? No, three. Out of my entire social sphere, that is not very many. I don’t completely distrust everyone else, I just notice there have been very specific patterns with friends and lovers in my life that involve intense intimacy (even platonic intimacy) for a limited period followed by completely being abandoned. And it’s happened enough times that I think there is something to be said for figuring out why I attract those kinds of people into my life. Like, I do have LONG TERM best friends, like my friend Laurel and I have been best friends for 37 years and still tell each other mostly everything. And my friend Robin and I have known each other for 15 years and it’s good and I don’t see us stopping. So there are people I can form long term friendships with and feel safe with and be really close to, even if we temporarily drift or aren’t in as much contact. Like I know they are only a phone call/text/email away and will be there for me. And my friend Riki is someone I have been close to for a shorter period, but I can tell she and I have that kind of long term friendship potential. Like it’s there, it’s just that we haven’t been as close as we are now for as many years as the other two. OH and my friend Lynn and I are still really close. Okay maybe a couple other people, but they are far away.

But yeah, there have been a number of people I’ve been super close to and then it just like, gets kind of cold and chilly and weird and they are off to the next thing and have new friends and not really any more time for me or my needs. Like it’s weird, that that is a recognizable pattern in my friendships. I kind of know why this is happening, I think learning how to deal with this ongoing pattern is something I need to figure out though. Like, I definitely need to let go way sooner. I think I hold on and try to make things work when really I should just accept that I’ve been discarded and move on.

And there are good things about knowing I have a small number of friends I know for sure I can rely on. Like at least I have that, and I know they aren’t gonna mess with me or abandon me. And I think what I like about them is that they can argue with me and we know it doesn’t mean the end of our friendship. And vice versa. And that’s comforting, in a weird way. I don’t mean like I always fight with my friends tho, I just mean if someone is doing something that might hurt themselves, the other can be like “Don’t do that thing again! Or do it but don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Which is kind of useful in a friendship.

But anyway, it’s really not so bad if someone doesn’t want to be my friend. I would rather know sooner than later. I think what makes me laugh tho is that according to my facebook I have 800+ friends. But according to me, I would say maybe 5-6 people I actually call when I am sad. Which is still a good number. It could be worse. Maybe there are levels of friendship, and I just need to learn when someone is going to be a Level 10 friendship or maybe they are more of a Level 3 or 1 like further away from me and not as involved and knowing very little about me and my interests and what makes me happy and sad and upset. Like I would say most of my facebook friends are a Level 1. And then family is just in a whole other category.

But yeah, maybe my sadness comes from trying to fit a Level 1 or 2 into a Level 10 slot. Like they just don’t have that kind of commitment and interest. Which is fine, whatever. But like, I’m tired of fighting to get attention from these people when I could call up one of my best friends I’ve known for years and talk about my dogs and cuties and find out what is happening in their neighbourhood.

Oh god why do I write so late at night?

It’s 11 to midnight at this writing. I have work tomorrow at 12:30. I’m looking forward to it. Last week was training. This week is the beginning of the rest of my life there ha ha. But yeah, last week seemed to go well, I was on time every day, things seemed to work out. I signed up for 25.5 hours of work this week. Last week I had only two full days and four hours on the Thursday tho, and I REALLY liked it that way. But I want to do three full days this week to see how I do. I am gauging my ability to stick with these hours, because I COULD do less hours in one of my shifts, but I’d also like to make as much money as I can without overdoing it and burning out. Call centre work can be tough.

Anyway, things are good in that regard so far. We’ll see how this week goes. And Friday is my day off again. I’m gonna put my hours in for next week on Wednesday when I’ve had more of a chance to see what my schedule looks like next week and when I want to go do things. Like I think there’s a round dance for Idle No More on Thursday next week I want to go to. Or Tuesday. Or something. See! I gotta check my schedule. And plan accordingly.

I’m real sleepy. Night meds are kicking in.

I’m getting money this week! Payday is Friday. Today I got a cheque from a talk I did at Concordia. Friday I’ll also get some money for doing admin on a grant we got. So I got Mom’s Christmas present and it’s on it’s way to her. And another cute thing for her. And I ate tacos today. I got so much meat at Loblaws when my cheque from welfare came in last Monday. Like easily 60-70 dollars worth of meat. Anyway, yeah for meat! It’s the best! Ha ha except not really, I know, but eating it makes my body feel healthy because I have one of those bodies that needs meat.

I actually did a lot of crying this last weekend. Like, so much crying. I was kind of working through some things and making major realizations and I’m not gonna talk about it here because it involves other people and things that have happened to me, BUT I think I’m closer to being able to end some bad habits and patterns by recognizing this stuff. So for that reason I actually feel pretty hopeful about it.

AND I managed to finish my second draft of my script. It was overdue, I feel kinda shitty about that. BUT I think a few fundamental changes have made it stronger, and I can kind of see places that I can still improve if I do more research and think more on it. So that’s awesome. I sent in my copy to my people, and to a friend because it’s been weird telling her all about doing all this creative work and having her know nothing about the content of what I’m doing except it’s a supernatural horror film about a woman who sets fires. ALSO I ended up writing a few funny lines. Not enough to shift it to a comedy by any means, but maybe enough to make it seem more of a human story. Like just more well rounded.

Anyway, Christmas is coming. I got a tiny tree. Such a tiny tree. I like it, I got a couple more ornaments for it today. The dogs are super cute. Little Mister does this thing where he comes to check on me and stares while wagging his lil tail, to see if I want a cuddle, and of course when I see him doing that we always end up cuddling. It’s nice to see him get me out of myself. And it’s good caring for them, making sure their needs are met. Little Mister was coughing a lot last night. But then tonight, nothing. I don’t know, maybe he just had something in his throat. Dogs are weird.

Stuff about work, and some reasonable paranoia

This weekend has been pretty good. I have a deadline for this script this coming Friday, so mostly I did that, with breaks to do housework stuff. I cleaned the kitchen, which was really in desperate need. I cleaned out the fridge today. I washed the floor. But when I cleaned the kitchen some old piece of glass from when I broke my coffee pot must have been around, because I had a lil piece in my foot today that was driving me nuts. Anyway, things in here are way better, I did laundry too. Not sheets yet tho, I’m doing those tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my last push to make specific changes to the end of my script. Then Friday I’m running through the whole thing and trying to make some more general changes. A note I got is that people all sound the same in my script, which is true, they don’t have separate voices in my head when I have written their dialogue. And they need more individual personalities. So I am gonna go through it and try to punch that up. And check some more general notes and try to resolve those problems, then get it in! It’s so close! Then Christmas break, which is nice. Except I’ll be working. But not on the script!

I WILL have to work on another creative project tho, I need to rewrite a treatment to make it more specific for a project. I put it away a while ago and haven’t really seriously looked at it recently but I gotta do it. And I gotta rework the budget. I originally budgeted a huge amount for actors, but now I am realizing their time commitment is not so huge that I need to spend SO much. Like they are still gonna get paid decently. But I think I can make some room for other things like editing suite rental and equipment rental etc. So I’m gonna play with the numbers a little.

I’m gonna hear about a grant in January too, and if I get it I’ll have a project to work on this summer. But I really do think I’ll still work at my job if that is going well. I’m not really trusting the universe to catch me after grants dry up the way I used to. Like, it was nice to sort of live off my career this summer. But out of the ordinary. And I imagine my rent will remain mostly the same next year, maybe a small increase, but my income wasn’t huge this last year. And $10,000 was an award which isn’t considered income by CRA. So that’s nice.

It’s hard to work so much. At least I like doing the career stuff. It’s always fun. I remember one time I went back to see an old girlfriend who never goes online (not social media anyway) so she asked what I was doing and I told her I was working on videos and stuff and she was kind of disgusted and like “You still do THAT?!” OH MAN! I was like oh god whatever this is the way you are anyway why am I surprised? Anyway yes, I still do that, I have a goal in my head, I am heading TOWARDS something here. Like it’s all building up to new and bigger things. I just really like doing videos and films. Like I’m good at it and like it and people seem to sometimes like watching them. So why stop? It’s kind of funny she was so disgusted tho, like I got stuck in my growth or something and nothing ever changed and I’ve been making the same video about the same subject ever since. Ha ha which is not true, I’ve made videos about all kinds of things. So whatever.

Anyway, work starts in less than 48 hours! It’s exciting! I’m gonna iron some shirts tonight or tomorrow. I’m not gonna walk in there in a t-shirt that’s for sure. I already have knuckle tattoos, I don’t need to look any more alternative than I already do. AND my pink hair. Which I gotta redye tonight actually before I forget. I need a hair cut, but my hair stylist isn’t working on Mondays, so I was gonna go on Saturday.

Tomorrow I might also have to swing by the welfare office for my cheque. I hope they direct deposit it though, I don’t want to go to that area right now, even tho I’ll be there during broad daylight. Just a block away women have been going missing and been murdered and a bunch of men went missing over the recent years too. But especially in the last month, violence seems to be escalating in that area. And it seems to happen after hours, but I still feel creeped out. People are getting really scared. I’m sure I’d be fine if I went, but the less I need to go to that area, the safer I would feel.

I’ve lived in neighbourhoods before where women were going missing, and even tho I was not the demographic being targeted (in that case it was sex workers in the DTES) it still feels creepy as hell and unsafe. And I remember a few times men in cars assuming they could pay me for sex even tho I wasn’t doing any of the usual things women in that area did to indicate they were available. Like I’d just be walking home and they’d pull right in front of me blocking my way trying to get me in their cars. And it’s like fuck off! But also especially sketchy at that time because of all the missing women. Anyway, it feels different this time because there’s not really one specific thing tying these missing people together besides the neighbourhood. It was mostly gay/bi/queer men going missing, but now it seems to be also cis and trans women, queer and maybe also not? So I really don’t know what’s going on. It feels like someone is escalating their pattern and feels really comfortable in that neighbourhood, comfortable enough that they are sticking to that area. I don’t have a lot of ideas of how to avoid being attacked by a stranger. Like situations with people I know, I can kind of understand, I don’t have friends who are violent in that way, but to me it makes more sense if someone has a reason to go after someone. This seems all sort of meaningless and senseless.

There have been times in my hood (and probably a bit in the neighbourhood this is happening in) where I became aware that there were people around who could take deep offence to an unintended slight and attack someone over it. I still don’t really understand that though. I don’t understand violence as a general rule, even though sometimes I’ve felt wildly angry. But also the times I’ve felt wildly angry I’ve been able to walk away and cool down, or shake it off, before doing something supremely bad. Like just deal with it man! But some people don’t have any of that self control. And those are people I just want to be aware of so I can stay out of their way.

But this feels more premeditated than that, these disappearances. It feels like someone is seeking out people to harm. And it’s so fucking creepy.

Yeah, so I hope welfare direct deposits my (hopefully last!) cheque. But even then, next month I start a new ASL class, and have to go to Church and Wellesley all over again. I hope they catch whoever is doing this.


Ha ha omg, so the things I wanted from my last post actually happened for me. I got that job I applied for! It’s a job I had a long time ago, back in Vancouver but they have an office here, and is like, such a day job kind of thing, not related so much to the art community, which is good really because I need a break from that. And I’m gonna work three days a week, and have time to keep doing my art stuff, and technically I could work more hours if I want I guess. So it’s exciting!

Also some other money is coming in from an art project, which I can talk more about at a later date. But that’s like, dribs and drabs, and mostly not for me, it’s for a production.

And then also I found out a grant I co-wrote with someone came through, so that feels pretty good. It’s not for me to make work tho it’s an organizational project grant. But I’m feeling happy that we got it, because sometimes I feel dubious about my grant writing skills. Even tho I get quite a lot of the grants I apply for, comparatively.

Also I had a meeting with Ontario Works this morning. I was gonna cancel, because I had got the job the day before or whatever. But they said it was part time and since it would be awhile before my first pay cheque they could probably help me out for now. And there’s this employment start up benefit they give people who are just starting jobs. Which I am gonna use to get a metropass. So they were all ready to help me out but then they needed me to have a bank account based in Toronto, and even tho mine is connected to my address here, the branch itself is in Saskatoon. Which hadn’t been a problem before, but was a problem now. And I had therapy this afternoon, which made me not able to get an appointment at the bank until after 4pm. But I moved my bank account and got my direct deposit form into Ontario Works, but it was late in the day by then, on a Friday, so I will probably have to go in on Monday and get a cheque. I’m hoping that I make enough money that they will kick me off Ontario Works soon though, because ughh it is such a drag. And then I had to update some things like my PayPal, so that money goes to my account and not to an account that doesn’t exist anymore.

I kind of feel bad that my bank account got closed, just because I used to be able to see my history, and now there’s nothing! I can’t see when I had money, or when stuff usually gets automatically withdrawn, etc. It’s just a deposit of 3.97 or whatever I had left in that account. And some money someone e-transferred to me to get me through the weekend. Kind of like having my existence erased, it’s so weird. At least it happened before I started work, because I have to go bring a direct deposit slip in with me for my paycheques.

Anyway, I’m glad I’m gonna have a regular income again, it’s such a relief. Someone sent me a job posting for a six month contract job, but I’m not really interested in giving up a regular ongoing job for something so short. I kind of want a job that has some longevity to it. And Toronto is notorious for contract work. Something like 50% of workers here are working contracts.

I remember when I was younger, I sometimes landed these cushy jobs with like, long range potential. Okay, only once did I have a job like that. Like it was the kind of job people do until they retire with a really nice pension. And for all kinds of reasons I was really leery of it, like that scene in the Simpsons where Mr. Burns puts up a sign in Homer’s work area saying “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever.” OMG! Ha ha ha omg. But then again I was way younger, like early 30’s, and in a city I didn’t want to stay in forever, and other complications were at work. But also that kind of commitment was really scary at the time. Now, it’s not so scary. I don’t think this job comes with a sign saying “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever” but I can see myself doing it for a nice long while.

I mean who knows tho. I haven’t had my first day yet. I remember how it was, but that was at an office in another city. Over ten years ago. Things will probably be very different. And I have fundamentally changed in a lot of ways since then. And I am also very aware that this is what I am going to do so I can pay my rent, bills, and groceries, and maybe have enough to go see concerts now and then. Like my motivations are pretty specific, and I’m doing it on more of a part time basis than when I originally did it. And it’s not gonna make me rich or anything, especially not working part time. But it will get me used to working again in a more traditional work environment, and have structure, and I can handle the pace of it, and I think it’s gonna be good for me to only do it three days a week. So I’ll have two days I can concentrate on my art practice, and the weekend for whatever. It’s good! And hopefully the dogs will forgive me for being gone three days out of seven.

I am hoping between this job and artist fees, I’ll make an okay living. I’m not gonna be rolling in dough or anything. But I should have enough I don’t have to worry so much, which is nice. And there’s still a serious long range job I want to apply for in the future, that I might actually have a good shot at. But even that if I did get it, doesn’t start for months and months.

So things are looking up. And I hope I will get that office Christmas party, those are my favourite. I just like sitting around with co-workers eating meats and cheeses and watching someone act silly. Ha ha I don’t even know if this company will do one of those.

I hope I like my new job. I hope they like me. I hope I do well.

And I hope I can maintain my artistic practice at the same time!