Monthly Archives: November 2019

Dreaming is Free

I used to write here all the time. Then I felt weird about writing personal stuff on a site where a lot of people interested in me as a professional artist come to. So I started writing the actual real stuff on another site. But I still like writing. I’m gonna try and NOT talk about my career for a change this post.

SO I went back to the fertility clinic last week with my donor. We were presented with a lot of options I wasn’t really anticipating. I was just thinking about freezing sperm for this future day when we make embryos. But the doctor said I could get free IVF and do a whole new cycle to get MORE eggs to make sure I have enough for a baby. The problem is, that costs about $6000 in medication that isn’t covered. And I thought oh shit maybe I could pay into insurance that would cover it, but like, no insurance really covers fertility medication. Unless you already had the insurance and didn’t know you were infertile. So now I’ve got this quandary, I could honestly probably get another 10 eggs, do this whole fertilization process, pay the same amount I would with just the eggs I have now, but for MORE eggs, and get a better chance at having a live birth in the end. Like my chances would double. And I did the egg calculator and I’d probably still have the same amount of eggs this time around. BUT FUCK it’s $6000. And I just, I could afford the process without the $6000. But adding another $6000 onto it is just very cost prohibitive for me right now.

Anyway the funding for IVF ends in January, and then they don’t get funding to cover it again until April. So I know for sure I can’t do another cycle this year. It’s just, no. I’m not psychologically prepared to fuck with my hormones in the darkest part of the year. And like, I have someone coming to see me hopefully and it would just be shitty if I had to ditch her so I could go get a transvaginal ultrasound at 7am again like you have to every other day during an IVF cycle. And like oh god the way my ovaries feel, and then trying to have a date, nooooooooo omg that would be hell. SO I guess I have to decide by April.

But of course this leaves my poor donor just like, waiting. I still might approach the clinic about freezing sperm cause he’s over 40 and I know sperm quality goes down and it might only be like, a few months but it could make a difference I don’t know.

I wonder if they have any payment plans? Ugh $6000. It’s not as much as I paid last year for my cycle. It’s like, less than half. But this time I would also have to pay for genetic testing, which adds another $4000. I might get a commission to make a video/performance next year, that would cover it, but it’s still so early to say. And plus I need to live because I have to eat food which generally costs money unless I start stealing from Loblaws. But geez. I should at least use that $25 price fixing apology grocery card first.

I’ve heard about people doing gofundmes for IVF and stuff but shit that seems like, so nuts. I don’t know why I would feel very guilty about doing that. I did a gofundme for my grad school when Student Loans was being a dick. But that was like, grad school. I don’t know why I think friggin’ grad school is more important than a baby which is a living human being. I guess I just feel like people would be dubious about giving me money to make a few embryos. Like there’s people who get money for surgeries and stuff all the time, why do I feel bad about making a baby? If my baby was in a fire and needed expensive medical supplies I’m sure I wouldn’t feel bad about making a gofundme. But like calling this being into existence makes me feel guilty cause it costs money? UGH. It’s not even like I’m paying for sperm or eggs, those are all free, it’s just these medical interventions that make this all possible that are costing money.

Now I’m trying to think if I can monetize my experience enough to pay for my baby. Aww fuck but then my baby would be this famous baby and people would want to know what he or she was doing with her or his life. People were always telling me to monetize this blog and sometimes people still send me emails about it trying to make this like it’s a commercial site. But no I always refused cause what if I had an off day and just wanted to talk about a moldy loaf of bread or something? And then all my advertiser pulled out? Ugh. I fucking hate capitalism.

Last year to pay for my IVF cycle I made a doc for the CBC and wrote a screenplay a few times. Like I am sure things like that could happen again this next year. It’s not like there AREN’T possibilities for that. Maybe I’ll win a prize. Maybe I’ll win the lottery. Maybe I will partially fund my cycle with a gofundme and try not to feel so damned bad about it. I mean Canada makes it very hard to make Indigenous babies. We get sterilized, and the government won’t pay for fertility meds, and our kids get taken away, and doctors encourage us to abort. I’m sure some wealthier settlers would feel better if they could pitch in some dollars to my baby fund. I would feel better I guess. I mean it would honestly double my chances at making a baby.

Anyway besides contemplating this next big step, I did a lot of cleaning today. I cleaned behind a bookshelf and found my duster, so I dusted the house. Then I cleaned this super gross corner of the room where I spilled a coke and broke a glass and dropped a whole bunch of small objects like bottlecaps. Then I cleaned the mice nests out of the other corner of the room. Then I vacuumed my couch. Then I decluttered the bench and vacuumed it. It looks way better here. And smells better. I’m gonna declutter the entertainment unit tomorrow and try to make it look nice again. And yesterday I did all my dishes, and picked up trash in the house. And it’s slowly getting to be a nice place to hang out again.

I love my Nintendo Switch, and I love the goose game. The goose game needs a lot of strategy though, and right now I am stuck trying to get things into a shopping basket. My other favourite game is Mario Kart, because I can play it alone or with people, and because I can play a game really fast and not get swept up in a long story. It’s so easy. I need more games, I also have Yoshi’s Crafted World and Super Mario Deluxe but I haven’t played Super Mario Deluxe yet.

BONUS!

When I got my first fertility medications I had to mix myself and inject alone, I listened to Chiquitita by Abba, and now it’s forever tied to that memory.

Woman Dress

Woman Dress Film Click Here To View

SO my film is finally available on the NFB website! You can click the link text just above this image to watch it! I’m super stoked about it. It’s been a lot of work, a lot of thought went into it. I wanted to tell a story that has been passed down through generations in my family. And it’s hard to make a doc about someone who is long gone. But the NFB was really amazing at helping me achieve my vision. And I just have so many people to thank, like my Auntie Beth, who first told me this story when I was looking for an old story about a two spirit person. And my collaborators, Kiley May our amazing actress who embodied this role so perfectly. And Maria Todorov-Topouzov, our incredible editor who went above and beyond to make this piece so amazing. And Gabriela Osio Vanden who was such a great Director of Photography and who worked really well with Maria on the green screen. And of course my producer Justine Pimlott who was willing to let me push what a doc can be. ALSO special thanks to Southern Thunderbird/Humming bird Calling Women’s Drums, a traditional Women’s Big Drum Group, for providing music. AND OH MY GOD also mega thanks to my cousin Sage Paul for creating the dress for us. All of these women were so incredible to work with and so happy to see this film come to life.

I’m also really thankful to my Grandpa, Stan Cuthand, who has passed on but who left us with an amazing legacy of traditional stories from his parents and their parents and so on. I don’t really know when Woman Dress lived on the Plains, but we think it was before contact.

It was really important for me to make this film because there have been Indigenous people who try to say that two spirit people were not really accepted the way we say we were. And I’m sure every tribe is different. But I know from this story at least that there was a two spirit person who traveled around the plains and was welcomed and accepted and honoured by the tribes and communities they traded stories with. I would love to know more about this person, but I’m not sure how much exists. Even my Grandfather was reluctant to tell this story when my Auntie wanted to make a book out of it.

I’m really happy I got to make this film and it’s definitely one of my favourite works I’ve ever done.

Allow Me to Complain About Being Tired

It’s the end of a long stretch of nearly constant work. I traveled to four different cities in two countries since the beginning of October. My Mom wanted us to go to Cuba for Christmas but I tapped out. I’m staying here until February.

I did three performances, a few screenings, pitched a feature film project, helped finish a grant application, did all the schmoozy stuff I need to do, tried to keep on top of contracts (and failed). It was just a very overwhelming month and a bit. I also had computer difficulties, and my laptop was out of service for about three weeks. Which was a lot, especially when this was all going on, all this work. I’ve been to five festivals in that time too, one of which I was an organizer for, and that just like, finished me. Tomorrow my film I’ve been making with the NFB gets launched and then it’s like, free time for a while.

Although I still have projects that need working on. I just sent two audio interviews I recorded this last month and a bit to Rev for transcribing. It’s for my doc installation on Saskatchewan racism and I think it might be shown in a big show next fall so I need to get it done in time. I have some more things I need to do first, like two more interviews, and filming some landscapes and scenes right in Saskatchewan. And I have a couple of overdue projects I need to finish. So that’s stressful but I think I’ll be okay. I just need to concentrate.

But today is a holiday. Today all I did was send those audio files to Rev. I also discovered that using migration assistant to move my old files to my newly cleaned fresh OS install macbook was triggering some kind of bad file, I have no idea what, but it was killing my laptop so now I have to manually move files over. I need to get old mp3’s into my iTunes, move photos, and my whole downloads folder is needing manual moving but I’m really nervous about it in case whatever rotten file is killing my macbook is in there somewhere. I’ve been downloading my applications as I remember them, so I’m not moving over old applications. It’s actually really good, I don’t want those old applications I don’t use to just keep getting moved over and over. So far I have managed to reactivate all the expensive apps. And Adobe Creative Cloud was so easy to move back.

ANYWAY I’m probably gonna cave from my No Work rule for today just to move over old files.

OH BUT ALSO I ordered a Nintendo Switch. I haven’t had a gaming console since I had a Playstation in 2006 just to play Katamari Damacy. But this time I ordered two games and I’m also gonna download the Untitled Goose Game just because that’s honestly the main reason I want a switch. So I’m kind of excited about zoning out to play a silly game or two or three. I used to really love gaming as a kid. I played all kinds of games, my friends mostly had to help me win them. But even so it’s still fun.

Plus I am hoping it helps me figure out how to finish my game I was making in Unity. I just downloaded a new version of unity but right now my Mac says it can’t scan it for viruses so it won’t open it. Ahh It’s okay it will figure it out.

I’m excited for staying here this Christmas. I have a visitor coming to see me one day, and some other friends will be around here. And it snowed here today so I had to go dig out my boots and I found my tree and ornaments and christmas lights. So I am gonna put this stuff up probably tonight, to have something nice to look at.

I finally got rid of the mice here, or most of them anyway. There might still be one or two. I had to get snap traps, which is awful. I became a killer! UGH! I did try with the live trap, honestly, I only ever caught one though. I caught eight in the snap traps. And one in an electric trap. Anyway, the massacre is over I think, and now I don’t hear anything being riffled through, or nibbling. There was a lot of nibbling. And I put these rodent repellent noise things up, and hopefully that makes it less inviting for more to show up.

My Invisalign is almost done! I have literally only TWO trays left before I’m just doing retainers. So that’s exciting. I’m still going to have to wear them most of the time like now, for about seven or eight months. Then it’s just night time wearing. They are thicker than the trays though so hopefully they aren’t uncomfortable. I’ll probably be lispy though. Damn lisps! Sometimes a lisp will come back with this treatment, like just comes and goes. But eventually things will be normal!

And my teeth look awesome right now. Which I’m happy about.

Anyway yeah I guess that wasn’t really such a complainy post so much as a long explanation of all the work I have done the last month and a half. Because it was exhausting. I slept in today and it was heavenly!

Now I am waiting for the rush hour to ease up before heading to Loblaws to get a pork tenderloin so I can make stew tonight. I got all the other ingredients, but like, there were NO tenderloins at the store. So sad! So now I have to get on the TTC to get some. And Instacart is having some shitty treatment of employees so I feel weird about using it right now.