Monthly Archives: June 2019

Into the hole

I wrote a post, but I probably put too much personal information in it, so I shut the tab it was in and anyway now I’ve come back to try again. Just stuff that one down into my drafts, never to see the light of day.

It’s Canada Day weekend which doesn’t mean much to me except that I need to avoid going out on Monday when all the drunk white Canadians are roaming this stolen land. Mostly I have gotten away from being targeted for street based racist violence, but I’m not as cocky as a light skinned NDN now that I’ve got Plains Cree facial markings. I don’t think I was ever really cocky about being able to disappear in public, people could clock me for Indigenous if they cared to look closely. Lots of people asked me “what are you” even before I got tattooed on my face. Anyway, still probably gonna stick close to the neighbourhood on Monday. And the dogs hate fireworks anyway.

I felt kind of sad yesterday and today. It was a whole bunch of personal stuff, I don’t know. I’ve got a lot of insecurity I need to work on with my therapist, about love and career and those sorts of things. I don’t really feel like I’m undeserving of good things or anything, I think I just get bummed out when I consider my social status as someone who is gender non-conforming, Indigenous, Queer, Disabled, Fat. Like it’s a lot of things that are very vocally unvalued in contemporary society for it’s own fucked up reasons, and sometimes it gets to me. I know I have some kind of cultural capital as someone with two degrees, and a mostly successful art practice, and having things like stable long term affordable housing is even some kind of advantage in a place like Toronto. I guess I’m still sort of hurt when I get slighted by people who brush me off because I am a lesser person in their eyes by virtue of the identities I carry. I know intellectually that says more about who they are as people/institutions/society, but it still kind of sucks.

I mean there’s really no fixing it except to stop thinking about it I guess. It’s very frustrating. Sometimes I wish I was born into a better more loving world. Instead of this colonial shit.

But I still have my dogs, and I guess I’m healthy, and there are good things happening. Sometimes I feel like I should be further along in life than I am. Like having a partner and a family and be done my first feature already and not have to worry about my finances after October. On the other hand, I have work until mid October, and I get to travel to some places in the next few months. And next winter I’ll get to go to the East Coast a couple of times for work.

I kind of hate too this pressure not to wallow. It’s like I’m not allowed to feel sad about being marginalized in the mainstream society. Like I’m oppressed but I should be fucking happy about it because at least I’m not on the street or something, or still abusing substances to escape reality. Why do we put that on people? This expectation that people should perform happiness and gratitude to mollify any feelings of guilt more privileged people might feel? Like yeah if you have more privilege than me you should be fucking aware of that. Things don’t come as easily to me, I’ve had to work fucking hard to get where I am. And even then people are like “Why don’t you have a partner?” “Why don’t you have a teaching job?” Ugh. Leave me alone. The fact that I didn’t die in my 30’s is like, a mark of success for me.

Anyway. I guess I could talk about career stuff here but I don’t want to today. I’m still doing things, I have a couple articles coming out, something is gonna be in THIS Magazine about my fertility clinic stuff. I’m finishing post on a film. I have two more films to make. I’m waiting to get turned down for a grant. I’m just sort of doing things as much as I can to keep making money and stay relevant. I can have a pissy day. I earned a pissy day!

Mostly I’m feeling okay, I just had a weird couple of days. I’m still taking my meds, I think it’s honestly just my big fat bipolar feelings. They get messy. And people get irritated. And then I get irritated and more messy. And then I’ll go have a nap and be fucking fine in an hour. I really can’t give any specific guarantees on my mood at any point in the day, or how things will affect me. Sometimes something happens and I am like whatever. And then other times I’ll like suddenly remember someone never gave me my favourite book back after borrowing it and I’ll like just spiral into some weird thing.

I have to think about what I am gonna eat for dinner. That would probably be enough to pull me out of this slump. I mean at least the good thing about being manic depressive is that it never stays just one mood forever. I at least have some diversity of madness.

exhausted

So last night I went to bed at 9:23. Like, I’ve been working the last three days in a row, it wasn’t horribly long hours but we were editing a film so it was a lot of cerebral work and like super concentrated. Anyway, I left around 6:30pm yesterday while the editor did some VFX stuff. But I was like, exhausted. And I’ve missed ALL of Pride weekend because I was so tired and yeah… no flirting for me. Which I am bad at anyway so whatever.

Anyway, I thought I’d just sleep early. But it took so long to fall asleep. I think I finally had a short period of light sleep between 1 and 4:30am. And then I got up to pee and I was like “OH SHIT” cause I realized I forgot my night meds. And the fact I even slept for three and a half hours WITHOUT night meds is saying something, because honestly I could have not slept at all. Anyway, took my meds, slept in. Got the producer and editor asking about notes and I was like late responding because I was just waking up around 11:30.

I’m still exhausted, but I do feel better.

Saturday night I had a hard time, everyone was posting Pride pics and videos, I was home totally wiped. And it’s not even like Church street is far from me, it’s literally 14 minutes away by streetcar. But I couldn’t go without energy. And I had major FOMO. Which is hilarious because I don’t even really go to Pride, not into it most of the time. Pride is something different in a place like Saskatoon, it’s still very community based there and means something else. But I never got into big city Prides. I don’t like crowds normally.

Anyway, no Pride for me!

But the work we did this weekend is really good. It’s still a rough cut but working with the editor was amazing.

As I’ve grown older I’ve grown to appreciate editors. All kinds of editors. Magazine editors, script editors, film editors. I’ve felt for so long when I’ve created things I’ve shown it to the wrong people in the process stage. Like friends who just want to say “yeah it’s great!” and I don’t know if they want to keep from hurting my feelings (tbh I am guilty of this too with friends looking for crits) but it’s not very helpful. Like I want to know if something confuses someone, or if something sticks out that doesn’t fit, or things like that. I want to know so I can make my things more awesome. Like I know there’s technical issues with my writing that don’t stand out to me but an editor will catch them. I know if I have been writing a script for too long it stops making sense to me and someone else needs to look at it and be like “I don’t think this character doing this thing makes sense for who she is” or “this scene is coming in at the wrong spot.” And working with a video editor is awesome too because the two editors I’ve worked with the last couple of years are really good at leaving space for beats and breaths, and they spot things that don’t work that I don’t see at all until they fix it and I’m like “ooooh yes better!” Anyway…

It probably sounds weird to be getting older and finally find editors useful. I mean I’m sure they always could have been useful. I’m just doing projects now where I get to work with them more, and it’s really making me hit a higher level, which is nice.

And the editors aren’t close friends, which probably also helps. Cause they don’t worry about my crappy ego and not hurting it even if that means the project suffers. Like I did do film school, I am used to crits. And some crits in film school were really mean, but not many and MOSTLY people just want to help each other out. Like it’s just a mindset thing I think, you need to hear what needs help to make it better.

Anyway, YAY for editors! I wish I had funds to always work with them!

Breaking Hearts And Unaware

Ha ha this a ridiculous post, I just haven’t written in a while.

I have been spending time with an editor for a project and we were having this interesting conversation about romances in our lives, and she said something like “oh you must have broken hearts.” And I was like “No, not really.” But then I’m like geez, maybe I am just SUPER UNAWARE of doing shady heartbreaking shit. I mean breaking hearts is not always shady, sometimes it just happens and you can’t avoid it. Like if you just aren’t interested in someone and they really like you.

It sort of reminds me of this one time I body slammed a white man.

I didn’t mean to. I was walking in a crowd on Robson Street, and I saw him coming, and he was half turned talking to his friend, just walking without looking. I had too many people around me to get out of the way. So I just kept walking and braced myself and totally body slammed him. Like I guess I could have shouted something like “look out!” or “beep beep!” but I am a shy person so honestly body slamming him felt easier than opening my mouth to warn him. He was fine, he bounced off me and kept going. I don’t think he even said “HEY!” he was so surprised I didn’t automatically get out of his way.

Anyway, sometimes breaking hearts is like that, I think. Like you just sigh and have to keep it in motion even though you know you’re gonna hurt someone by not being into them too. And it’s not like people can get their emotions out of the way, so you can’t go like “Look out!” or “beep beep!” and save them. They just have to go home and do the same thing I do when my heart is breaking, write in their diaries and cry a lot. Ugh no one likes that, even if it is some kind of tragic romantic thing to process your feelings. Even if you can be relieved that at least you have the potential to love someone that much.

OR WORSE sometimes you are TOTALLY NUTSO into someone and things just get miscommunicated, or they don’t put enough effort in, and the moment slips through your fingers even if they are also down for it. I feel like that happens with me sometimes. Like I try to be really clear when I am into people, but at a certain point I honestly have to give up for my own dignity. Like it just feels suckass to chase people all the time. I like being met halfway. But honestly if they let it get to that point, they probably aren’t as into me as they would need to be to have a healthy relationship anyway. And I don’t really want to date people who could do without me. Lacklustre feelings are not the ones I want someone to have for me.

ANYWAY point being, I guess I probably have broken hearts, just because life goes that way. It’s funny though cause I really do want to have a long term relationship with someone I can live with and have a family. So like, having people be into me and not feeling it back must look like a waste or something. But I would hate to be with someone who isn’t excited to be with me, and so I don’t want to be with people I’m not excited about either. That’s not fair. And there are so many bad long term relationships where people hang on even when they aren’t in love or being treated well anymore, and I’m just like, not gonna have one of those.

Ha ha Thirza’s theories on love.

BUT I did realize something recently from our conversation today. There’s a weird dynamic that happens if you are a successful person in your career and you date someone who is not also successful at the same level in their career. Not like you need to be in the same line of work, but I’ve been in relationships where I was more successful than my partner, and it breeds resentment, and sort of an unpleasant competitiveness. It can be bad. I am sure not every relationship with differences in success have those problems. But I have had those problems, and it’s depressing when you realize your lover feels threatened because of your career. Like it’s just, ugh. Be happy for me! I want a relationship where someone can tell me some cool thing they are doing and I can be happy for them, and they can be happy for me because I did some other cool thing. I think maybe this is where power couples come from. It just makes sense.

I have been going on dates the last while, but I am still looking for the other half of a grounded power couple I can be in to raise babies with. Who will be interested enough to watch rough cuts of my films, and come with me to premieres, and do whatever interesting exciting thing they love for work. I dunno, maybe they are a lawyer and can bring me to their office Christmas party. Who knows! Ha ha I was gonna write “maybe they are a musician” and then I thought about how much those people tour for their work and I was like NOOOO maybe not. Aww ha ha so of course now it would be hilarious if my future partner is like, taking a break from recording her breakout single, reading this and being all “AWwwww dammit.”

I’m trying to be open to life! I don’t know what’s gonna happen! Maybe my future partner is a nerd with a PhD who teaches string theory, I honestly don’t know! Or maybe she’s a cool PhD who wrote a dissertation on 70’s lesbian communes! I don’t know! Life is always full of surprises.

Hopefully I don’t get body slammed by more heartbreak, but yeah it’s probably coming soon anyway. By accident.

Look out! Beep beep!

Spring Cleaning Times

I am doing my last push of spring cleaning today. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been doing all kinds of things to make my home better. I did all that cleaning in my bedroom this winter, and most of that is still clean but it could use some going over again in the future. It still looks way better than before, I have a long string of white lights on the wall, some ridiculous Warhol dachshund print, I cleaned off the bedside table and originally it had a plant and crystals, and now it’s got crystals and dicks and play needles and a sharps container and a mini projector. So like, yeah a bit different. The plant got ants which is why it had to go, sad.

I need to tidy my books but MOSTLY they got tidied in the winter and the bookshelves are a bit better.

I have clutter on the entertainment unit and coffee table and bench to clean.

I washed the cushion covers on my couch and my bench, which makes them look almost new except I didn’t wash the GIANT cover on the couch cause it’s so unwieldy. So the arms are still a bit grubby. But overall the couch is great. And the bench was so gross before too cause I eat on it all the time. And yeah, I’m happy about that.

I set up the air conditioner, but honestly it’s not even hot enough to turn it on. I did have it on a couple times but it was just not useful yet.

I cleaned out the sun porch last weekend. I took out recycling, swept, threw out old shit I didn’t need. It’s looking way better, but I almost killed a plant so now there are dead leaves that need sweeping.

Over the winter I upgraded my bathroom so that I have a bidet and a handheld shower head. I haven’t showered much, but the bidet is like so amazing omg. I’m so glad I got it.

I washed the floor today, which I do almost every weekend anyway, but I also put away some stuff so I could wash the floor in the kitchen and by the fridge where the dog bowls are. And I washed under the garbage can. So it’s pretty good in here right now.

I really just have these cluttered spots to deal with, and to take out some more recycling, put away dishes, and clean the bathroom, and then I’m done. I’m so glad. And I’ll probably do deep cleaning a bit more in the future. But this is way way better.

I really like cleaning actually. I think because it’s a visually satisfying thing to do. Like when it’s done you see so many changes, and you feel like you’ve made a difference, and you want people to come over. It’s a really nice feeling.

There’s some fruit flies in here though which makes me think there’s something they are coming from. MYSTERY!

I dunno, what else? I’m mostly stoked about having a clean home again, for a while. I feel like I can have cuties over and not have them be distracted by like, I dunno, a bunch of plastic bags stuck to the floor or something.

ANYWAY I should go push on and finish up here. I’m FINALLY so close to the end of this! Exciting! ALSO I was kind of bummed out because The Distillers was my last concert ticket I’d been anticipating, and now the show is over. BUT now Sleater-Kinney are coming in November so I got a couple tickets and a friend and I are going! So that’s something to look forward to. I really love live music, especially now that I am in Toronto and bands I really like come here on a regular basis.

Ready for Magic

I think I’m ready for more magical things to happen in my life. I feel like I’ve concentrated on my career for so long. I mean I am still going to keep working hard and stuff. But I think I’m ready to feel things like love and desire and so on in a more concrete way. But it’s not even that, it’s more like wanting to feel more connected to nature, and plant life, and that sort of thing. And being open to the mysteries of life.

I quit doing spells this last year because I kind of fucked myself over with a couple of spells that brought in a confusing relationship and then ended it suddenly which I intended but not in a great way. And I just didn’t think I did it right, and I hadn’t intended it to be that person, I didn’t know who it was gonna be but it picked the wrong person, I don’t know. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I’m trying to be more open to trusting that the universe has something better in mind for me. Like maybe I don’t need to do those sorts of spells that end up hurting everyone involved by accident. Like maybe there is something wiser and older and more experienced that I can trust to be helping me somehow.

I don’t think I need to do love spells anymore. And I haven’t. They always backfired in some spectacular way. I think I’m curious now about who is going to show up for me. My friend has a theory that weird shit happens because of these white women doing witchy spells without knowing what they are conjuring up and in a sense I understand that and think it’s a main reason I’ve been trying to bring my spiritual practices closer to Plains Cree beliefs than Euro-Pagan ones. I’ve got some white sage. But I’ve been reading about how harvesting is endangering it, and how it’s specific to the Indigenous people around that area anyway. So I’m going to be growing some prairie sage plants, and hopefully some sweetgrass too. And I’ve been trying to use sweetgrass more in my smudging. It’s part of my tribe’s medicines so I feel comfortable with it. It doesn’t smell as nice as the white sage but I think that’s just because I got used to white sage and have forgotten my connection with sweetgrass.

I grew up going to sweatlodges a lot as a kid. I was doctored by my Uncle and Auntie when I first started getting depressions. I am not in my territory though, so I’m not sure how to connect with my ceremonies beyond maybe attending some when I go home this summer. I’ve never been great at praying, like I just think good thoughts when I do it but I don’t have like, specific words I say or anything. I dunno, my connection to spirituality is wibbly I guess you could say. I believe in the Plains Cree spirits and beings that I know of. But besides getting messages in dreams, I don’t do a lot of stuff. I suppose I put out offerings though.

I don’t really know what it would look like to be more spiritual in a Cree way without seeing an actual medicine person. I’ve just been smudging and putting tobacco down sometimes. Maybe I should ask my Uncle. It’s not like I don’t know Cree medicine people, they are just far away from me. I’m sure there’s someone in town though, Toronto is huge and there’s Crees everywhere.

I feel like someone is going to love me for the rest of my life. And there is even someone who loves me right now. I’m just trying to figure out my relationship with magic and destiny, and how the Plains Cree worldview ties into all of that. I know who my spirit animal is, I’ve spoken with ancestors in dreams twice in the last few months. I feel like I am safe to explore this. I think Indigenous magic is something we don’t talk about a lot outside of our communities because settlers ridicule us when we do because they are colonizers. OR they try to take it and recreate it without us. It’s very strange.

Anyway, I remember when I was in some really dark periods I felt supported by Plains Cree spiritual beliefs and practices. I just want to get in touch with it again. And not to do some crazy love medicine shit. More to feel aligned with my soul’s purpose.

Indigenize my Garden Patch

Work day today, which was really nice actually. I was reworking a second draft of an article. I feel like I got closer to where I want it, but also added like 300 more words than the initial word count we are aiming for and didn’t want to cut until the editor sees it. Honestly I could write a lot more about it but I know there’s limits to this particular article. I’m liking writing for magazines, I haven’t done a lot until a couple years ago when I started being approached to write for Canadian Art, and then Inuit Art Quarterly, and now another magazine (details to come!). I also have another article I am working on but the deadline is twelve days away. They’d probably like to see a version now tho.

I’ve also got to start working on another draft of my feature. I have an idea for the opening scene that is even more terrifying than the initial opening scene I’ve been using. It’s something I wanted to put in a film years ago, and maybe this is the right one.

It’s a hard day for a lot of people, the MMIWG2S Inquiry report came out. And of course there’s a lot of racism in Canada that’s on display online, so it’s kind of disheartening to see assholes on twitter/comments/etc. People generally in favour of what has happened to women/girls/2S people here, even tho they will pretend it’s just about the terminology used in the report. I’m so sick of Canadians sometimes.

I’m just doing my part by making art that hopefully makes people think. It’s really my only weapon.

I got an email from my webhost that my website is taking too much space on the server and they might cut me off if I don’t upgrade to like, a stand alone server. I’m so reluctant, this didn’t even seem like it was gonna be a big website. I guess 15 years of blogging and google indexing will do that. I’d be annoyed if I didn’t have this site, just because it gives me control over my words and my art practice. Ugh. I hope it doesn’t cost a lot of money.

People have been telling me for years to monetize this blog but nooooo I don’t want to! I always thought of writing this blog as being more of an outlet, like letting steam escape from the pressure cooker that is my brain. I feel like if I tried to put ads on this thing I’d feel interference, or some shit like that. And really this blog does get me work because it’s helped me get those writing gigs, and people can see my videos on this site (some of them anyway), and people contact me for artist talks and stuff.

I really hate living under capitalism. I know it’s falling apart, but not soon enough.

Anyway, I was gonna make sure it’s okay with my neighbour to dig up a lily next to my steps and plant some sweetgrass there instead. I was reading about the rhizomes tho and how they are very aggressive and take over patches of land. And I know it would be great to have a lot of sweetgrass, but also a little embarrassing if my attempt to Indigenize my garden patch ended up choking out her other plants. I guess I could just keep digging out the errant sweetgrass and keeping it in a specific area. I also want to plant some milkweed so that the monarchs have something to eat or whatever they do with it. I’d only grown up in a setting that had white and yellow moths in the summer, so it’s kind of been magical every summer to see the Monarchs come to town. I haven’t seen fireflies in my whole life yet either. It would be nice to see those, I think they are in Ontario.

I might end up growing sage instead though, because I know someone who has some sage seedlings.

It was a beautiful sunny day today. I woke up and went to Pet Valu to buy the pups some wet food. Then Little Mister pouted around because he wanted me to buy him some lamb ears cause the tendon we have is too hard, and so is the yak milk. So I went all the way back to Pet Valu and bought him his damn lamb ears. He’s so funny. Now he’s sleeping against the wall in his favourite spot on the floor. I love him so much, he was being super adorable and cuddly today. And I know my time with him is going to come to an end in the future so I kept stopping work just to kiss his face and cuddle him. Mostly when he wants a cuddle tho it’s a ruse, to get onto the coffee table and look for food.