All posts by Thirza Cuthand

2 Weeks in the Kingdom!

Yesterday I finally got back from my two weeks in the UK! Scotland was fun, but we travelled all over the place and had to get on a train almost everyday and my bags were heavy and I was getting wore out and so was Mom and Auntie Beth. We did eat some glorious food tho, including Sticky Toffee Pudding with custard at this Gun Lodge just outside of Inverness. And I had this fucking amazing Venison steak in Wick which was bloody and delicious and resting on some beets and beet puree. SO GOOD omg! We stayed at this tiny Bnb just outside of Keiss in Northern Scotland and it was totally rural and we needed to ask cabs to come get us and bring us back from Wick and John O’Groats. There were chickens all over the place, and a couple of growing chicks which were pretty cute. I tried haggis there and I was pleasantly surprised and ate all of it, and then had it again the next day. When we went back to Glasgow I tried blood sausage, but I was not as impressed. It had a nice texture, but it just didn’t taste so great.

London tho was without a doubt my favourite place, we went there just Mom and I (Auntie went back to Canada from Glasgow) to spend a week in a YHA hostel off Oxford Street in Soho that was actually a really nice quiet place. I was a little worried about going to a hostel, because I have had some rank experiences in them, mostly in sleeping in the dorms tho. We had a room to ourselves. The bed was not the greatest, BUT it was quiet and safe. They gave us a decent continental breakfast that kept us getting up early so we didn’t have to go forage for food on our own. The first day we went on a hop on hop off bus tour, saw many things. The next day we went to Stonehenge because we checked the weather network and it was supposed to be the one nice day, AND IT WAS! It was windy, but it didn’t rain on us the whole time we were out there. Stonehenge is pretty majestic and humbling, and surrounded by hundreds of burial mounds. They don’t let you go right into it because they need to conserve it obviously, and so many people visit. But the path gets you pretty close, and we listened to the audio guide as we went around. They have found pottery there that is the same kind as found in the Orkney’s, which is interesting because there are standing stones up there too which we have seen. And some stones are from Wales. And anyway, it was a really interesting site to explore.

We went to the Harry Potter Warner Brothers studios the next day. It was pretty fuckin amazing. They had so many of the sets, including Diagon Alley and the Forbidden Forest. They have recently included most of the costumes also. And there were props, animatronic creatures, some mermaid heads, dragons, basalisks, etc. It took a few hours to go through the whole place, and we had their butterbeer which was pretty delicious. I ended up getting some souvenirs like a Hufflepuff Seeker shirt and a Butterbeer glass and some pics of me on a broom. It was awesome! I would recommend anyone go there. It was a little intense that they played the soundtrack everywhere, BUT over 8 movies or whatever the soundtrack has many variations so it wasn’t too bad.

We went to the Tower of London, and I think Mom’s knees took a beating. When you go into the buildings there, you have to keep going because the stairways are too narrow to let two people pass at once. So we went in the White Tower and it was 204 steps, and Mom was like omg. And I checked my iPhone at the end of the day and it said we had gone up and down 34 flights. It was a lot! After that we went on The London Eye and got a view of the city, which was ok, not amazing tho, and Mom hated that because she is afraid of heights, but I really appreciated that she was willing to try it out.

What else did we do? I’m sure I’m forgetting some things. We went on a ghost tour by bus, which happened the day the terror attack happened. Ha ha oh yes we were there during a terror attack. Really it was a failed terror attack because thankfully the bomb didn’t go off the way it was meant to, it was loaded up with nails, but it ended up being a big fireball that gave people flash burns, and the nails didn’t act as shrapnel. What shocked me about being there when that happened was the way the Londoners just went on with life. Like they didn’t cower, or act shocked even, or even talk about it. We spent the day on Oxford Street shopping, because WE were nervous about going on the Tube again. But everyone else just got on with things, going shopping, seeing friends, going to the pub, etc. The police presence really stepped up, we had hardly seen them previously, but suddenly they were everywhere, the stations, the touristy places. We accidentally walked through London Fashion Week where all the models were being photographed, and cops were stationed all over there too. The threat level went up to another attack being imminent, and thankfully we were leaving a couple days later. Our last night we met up with our friend Sheila after going to the Tate and checking out Soul Of A Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, and some of their free galleries. She took us to a pub, where I had my first non-alc craft beer ever and it was so nice. Then we went to an Indian restaurant that was amazing. Then she left us at Kinky Boots where we had gotten cheap last minute tickets. Kinky Boots was pretty fun.

So anyway, yesterday I came home, and I was fine for a while, but jet lag kicked in and I went to sleep at 8:30pm. I was exhausted. Mom unfortunately went a different way than me, through Calgary, and her plane was delayed a few hours. I think she is currently still asleep.

OH and I finally met my friend Nosh which was awesome and we had a great conversation over brunch, which we waited in a long queue for. So great! 😀

It was really fuckin expensive to be there, and we were having a lot of fun, but overall I have no regrets, it was an amazing experience and while Mom and I saw Scotland before, we have never been to London and wanted to do it for a long time. She was having fun buying things for her relatives, and I mailed a whole whack of postcards back to cousins and friends. I got three shirts, one t shirt of the Lesbian M&M, the Hufflepuff Seeker shirt, and also a cute red button up shirt from M&S with stars on it. And I got some random things like a puffin magnet, and a tartan rucksack, and a really cute hand thrown and painted cup from Stonehenge, and we got a selfie stick but never used it.

I don’t know when we will ever be in a financial position to go on such a trip again. It was really because we both won REVEAL awards that we went. We’d made a deal if we won we would go, so we did. I really liked going somewhere when I didn’t need to do work. No festival to attend, no networking, not anything! Just seeing some sights and eating amazing (and expensive!) food!

Holidays! :D

Sooooo it’s really holidays time for me! It’s been kind of interesting, I had one day off, then a two day mental health first aid workshop, then another day off (today), and now nothing until next weekend when we head to the UK. And then two days of travelling in a foreign country where I don’t have to do anything work related, which is SO FUCKING AWESOME! I don’t even remember the last time I went to another country on a trip that wasn’t work related. Maybe when we went on a road trip in the States when Little Mister was still a bit of a baby. But that was a long time ago, a decade at least maybe more.

Mom is making all kinds of plans of what we are gonna do there. We are going to do a day trip to Stonehenge which is kind of fun! I hope it’s interesting, we’ll see! Going to see the Harry Potter sets, Tower of London, Mom wanted to go to Coronation Street sets in Manchester but now she has changed her mind. The first week we are traveling around Scotland, mostly rural Scotland. Mom and I have vowed not to have tapas in Inverness ever again. We went to a Tapas place there in 2008 and it was so horribly awful we have talked about it ever since.

We are a little freaked out about being in London for a week tho, I will admit. Acid attacks, random vans driving into people. It’s a sketchy time to be a human bean! Buuuuuuuut also we have wanted to be in London for a long time and it’s never really going to be a super safe time to be in any big city for the foreseeable future. Even here in Toronto.

The dogs are doing well. Little Mister and Posey tried to have a big fight over two danishes they stole from me, but I took them back and then they didn’t care anymore.

Mom and Auntie are excited for our trip too. I think it will be fun. I’m stoked! We’re going back to the little town where my Great Grandmother came from in Northern Scotland. I hope we can remember all the streets. There’s a specific house she grew up in and we saw it last time we were there. Also maybe we can finally find our ancestors in the graveyard.

It’s weird having free time. I don’t know what to do with myself, I’m so used to being so busy this year. It was really good to be so creative but also so fucking stressful having deadline after deadline. I need to pace myself better next year. On the other hand I had some decent money come in this year from time to time, which really really fucking helped.

I still have to do admin kinds of things, which is like, a pain, but also that’s never going to go away as long as I am an artist. And really it’s not so bad, the only thing that sucks is forgetting emails and being shitty at getting back to people because of that.

Anyway, I’m glad the bulk of the work I had to do this year is finally done. I can go to the UK without freaking out and needing to do shit or worry about things.

Wrapping up work (for now!)

Today is probably the last writing day for this script. Monday and Tuesday I am gonna do some quick editing/improving and then hand it in to my producers. I’m totally pleased that it’s gonna get into them on time so we can continue getting more development funds hopefully. I still feel like the beginning drags a bit though, and it gets so exciting at the end but the beginning needs to have a few more exciting plot points to it. I’m not sure how to resolve that but there’s time.

After that I’m on holidays! I will have the rest of August and then most of September to take a breather. I’ve been working non-stop since spring and it’s been really good for me but also I am so so so looking forward to kicking back for a little bit. This next week I have a two day Mental Health First Aid workshop to go to at Miziwe Biik, and this fall I am doing Queer ASL 101 Classes. I’m looking forward to those two things. I’m not really sure what I’ll learn, but I am always up for adding new skills. And being able to care for people around me in crisis and have some rudimentary communication skills with Deaf people is a good thing.

I’m going to try and go for another couple of grants, there’s a Toronto Arts Council deadline and an Ontario Arts Council deadline in October. Last time I got a TAC grant I applied for half of what other people applied for as established artists and while I did get it, I also felt I should have applied for the full $12,000. I’m gonna hear from Canada Council this fall if they are going to support a research creation grant to finish my Unity powered video game A Bipolar Journey (better name in the works). I know either way I am gonna finish it because it’s a good idea, but it would be really nice to get some living allowance for a while and not worry too much for the winter about how I’m gonna eat/live/survive.

PLUS I still gotta do a dramatic short so that I can get directing experience. I’m wracking my brain trying to think of what it could be about. I kind of know, but also I am really not totally sure. And from being on Arts Board juries I know narrative work isn’t like, a high priority. If I could do a short that was a dramatic narrative enough to give me some directing cred and recognition when we go for more Telefilm money, BUT ALSO experimental enough to appease the arts board juries, I think I could do it. That’s a really fine line to walk. And I think they call those calling card films, which I DON’T want it to be, like I want it to be able to stand alone enough as a work to go have a life on the festival circuit and hopefully win some awards. My Executive producer and Producer think if I go that route it should have something to do with the feature we are working on. I just don’t want to distill the feature down to something that isn’t big enough in terms of visuals.

BUT I have a friend who works in Montreal at a VFX company and she offered to do some pro bono work for me if I need it. Which makes me think MAYBE I could do a dramatic short with the green fire fx?? Like if I can get even a deal on that I could possibly make a short that has the elements of my feature. I’d need to shoot in the prairies probably if I do the thing I want, which might be weird for the budget. But we’ll see.

Anyway, even though work is wrapping up for the summer in the next few days, there’s still a shit load of stuff that’s gonna need to happen this fall, like marathon grant writing, and taking ASL classes, and HOPEFULLY (fingers crossed) doing some Unity programming again and drawing and finishing this video game. I FREAKIN REALLY WANT to be able to do the video game, because it’s sort of outside of my field of expertise and such a random weird thing to do, and I feel like it could be a really solid interesting work. I’m kind of thinking of VR/360 things to do too, but that’s like, also in the future and not an immediate thing. I’m just trying to figure out how to apply my filmmaking/video artist stuff to newer technologies. Or new to me technologies anyway. I could do the game anyway, it’s just nice to think I could get some money to help.

Personally things BESIDES my career are pretty good. I am going on a personal trip to the UK in September and travelling Scotland and then a week in London. It’s been so long since I did a trip that was non-work related, so I am SUPER excited to just be a tourist. I’m connecting with some friends there tho, so not horribly touristy. But I know we are gonna do some touristy things in London for sure. Emotionally I’m doing pretty good, I’ve been noticing my moods seem to shift a lot in any day, but while I wondered if that was my mood disorder, I’m now leaning more on it being regular emotional shifts. Mood disorders are so weird. Because really it’s emotions, and it’s hard to figure out what are normal natural emotions (even extreme ones) and what are symptomatic emotions. I’ve been connecting on deep levels with some old and new friends and that’s been really nice too. I stay at home a lot and am shy so in some ways I come across as an introverted homebody, but also I really like having one on one connections with friends that are meaningful and that doesn’t really happen for me in a group situation. There’s probably more I could say but I don’t want to. My friend Riki is out of town for the rest of the month, and then I go away just before she comes back, so I’m not gonna see her for a month which sucks. But like, you know, people have to do things in their lives.

I’ve been getting accepted and rejected into/from film festivals on an almost 1:1 ratio lately, which has been super interesting to watch. It’s always the queer festivals rejecting me actually, which is super funny. Not ALL of them tho, but yeah, my production values aren’t high enough for them. That’s what I get for being a 2 spirit gender queer dyke punk video artist. Sigh! Or they just don’t get it. Not sure. OR it doesn’t fit their programming. I mean whatever. I am probably submitting to the wrong mainstream fests. BUT the festivals my current work is getting into is pretty interesting. I have given up predicting where videos will end up, because it always ends up at really surprising places. Like I did not expect an experimental super 8 film about disability and self injury would end up at Tribeca. What???! That still surprises me. There are a couple festivals I can always be sure I’ll screen at tho and that’s nice to know. And the Indigenous festivals show me a lot which is nice.

Someone I was pitching a project to told me it wasn’t feasible because there wasn’t enough market for Indigenous work, like it wouldn’t get picked up by territories other than North America for distribution. It was such a weird comment, and really not realistic. I know industry people believe that kind of racist crap (some of them) but also there really are Indigenous people all over the world and we don’t just want to see work from local Indigenous people. Like we do care about each other globally. It’s not like I only care about the Plains Cree people. Anyway so weird. Ha ha random.

Well, I should go wander off and chill out and prepare myself for my last ten to twelve pages of writing I need to do. It might take more than that. I might write all weekend. But I’ve been pacing myself and I think today might be the last day! 😀

Lacklustre Post

Hey hey! Here’s the centrefold of the first and only issue of Fit of Pique the ZINE based on this blog but also I just drew and wrote a bunch of stuff. I made it for a class! Some guy was an asshole to me about it tho cause I wrote a story in there about being a psychiatric survivor so it diminished me as a human being in his eyes. This is actually not a unique experience I have had, it has happened before about other aspects of my identity.

ANYWAY~! It’s Saturday night and I’m just hanging out at home. I cleaned the place so I don’t feel like a jerkface. I used to be a mega slob, then I quit weed and suddenly had energy and desire to not live in filth anymore. So it’s not too bad, sometimes there’s stuff on the floor but it’s getting better.

Today was a fucked up day, I think we can all agree. Literal nazis rallied in the USA and literal nazis killed antifa protestors. And the ACLU helped the nazi’s get their permit to rally reinstated, which makes me fucking suspicious of the ACLU now.

And then the President didn’t really come out strongly against it because a) he knows white supremacy got him into power, and b) he is also a white supremacist.

So, I dunno. Life is really sketch on this planet. So you can read this image and have a laugh or a cringe that has nothing to do with contemporary politics. Hell it was drawn in 2005 that’s a long time ago.

I’m in a relatively good mood, although earlier this evening I had like, cry eyes, like not crying but like I MIGHT CRY! Like some tears lining up to paratroop out and then changing their minds. And it wasn’t even related to fuckin anything, it was just like, feeling disappointed in myself as a person. And then it went away.

You know I was gonna try and write a really good post today. But I am fuckin wiped out and I need to hit the hay soon. And I’m just gonna hit publish. The main thing you can see is the pic anyway, which I hope makes up for the lacklustre content tonight!

In which I say I’m not gonna talk about therapy then do it anyway

Therapy day was today. YAY! Ha ha! I am not gonna talk all about here what I talk about there. Obviously. And I don’t really talk about here what I talk about in my very secret diary, because really it’s just interpersonal stuff there. BUT I will say that I’m relieved I have gotten a therapist who is open minded about things like me being at the bathhouse and polyamory stuff and all kinds of random queer shit I have going on at any point in my life. It’s easier to work through things when someone is non-judgemental about that stuff.

I remember once I had a counselor I was trying to talk to about a relationship I was in at the time, and I mentioned someone else that person was dating. I forget if their other partner at the time was a woman or a man, but ultimately it doesn’t matter, because the fact they were dating someone else made everything really suspect. And it turned into this very uncomfortable lecture about how the only healthy relationships are monogamous. And I realized then and there I suddenly COULD NOT talk about my relationships with this counselor, because she just wouldn’t understand. And that is a pretty major part of anyone’s life.

To be real, I could do monogamy as easily as polyamory. I’ve only ever done polyamorous relationships so far though, just because they tend to be more common in the circles I run in. BUT YEAH I would like to be able to talk about things like this with my therapist. So I am glad I have one who is decent about it.

She’s not even judgey about psychics. I was trying to to say something about visiting this psychic and wondering if it was real and maybe I’m just in control of my destiny because not everything she said would happen has happened. And my therapist was just like “Maybe psychics have some good points AND you are in control of your destiny.” I dunno, she’s just a really good therapist for me.

She always gives me goals after and I write them down and then lose the paper. I’m worried someone’s gonna find it someday and be like “Why do you have to talk to these two people? Why are you needing to write letters to exes? Why do you need a reminder to eat breakfast and go to bed? What is this about?” And I’d probably grab it and eat it in front of them just to throw them off asking such invasive questions.

Or I’d yell “It’s therapy homework, Nosey!”

The funny thing is one person has been therapy homework for almost three months about trying to repair a wounded relationship with them (non-romantic). And I tried a few times and it really failed in a sad way, not a complete Door Closing way but more like a go away for now way. And so anyway, they are on the therapy homework list again so I have some kind of accountability to continuing trying to repair this otherwise lovely friendship with someone I like. EXCEPT I think to repair it I have to dredge up unpleasant things, and that’s what’s holding me back because I’m like “Fuck that feels like a shitty thing to do to someone.” Like to bring up this painful thing and then be like “Let’s talk about it because I miss being your friend, even tho this is way more painful to you than it is to me.” I’m not an emotional sadist in any way, so it’s difficult.

I’m heading off this weekend for Montreal. So I’ve got to think and write my script. Which was my other therapy homework, to keep writing and finish by the end of the month. So that’s what I’m gonna do.

The dogs have already gone to the sitter. And I’ve been pretty sedentary the last few hours so I think I’m gonna do a pick up/sweep/floor wash to cap off my day.

Don’t Buy PC Brand “Raspberry Temptations” instead of real Peak Freans

Ha ha that’s not a hard and fast rule tho. BUT I did buy these off brand peak frean like cookies and they are very disappointing. The cookie crumbles too much instead of the satisfying snap of a Peak Frean. The raspberry jelly centre is too weird. 0/10 would not buy again. I also had a disappointing dry weird Jamaican patty today.

I wonder if it would make sense to talk about my relationship to food in this blog post?

I’ve got a weird relationship to food, in that I am PRETTY sure I have an eating disorder, or if not that then at least some kind of disordered eating. It’s somewhat related to my ADHD. Like I’ve just spent years where I have days that I forget to eat until later in the day. I’ve been trying to get better about it. I’m trying to eat breakfast, but there are still too many days where I start off the day with coffee and don’t get around to real food for a few hours. I will also have energy level problems, probably related to my bipolar disorder (and prob a couple other reasons like not eating right away!) and it makes it hard for me to buy and prepare food. I made accommodations for that by ordering out a lot, but it chews through my cash really fast, and I actually like my own cooking better than take out most of the time.

The thing is I LIKE food and eating and don’t really have issues with what I eat. I used to be heavy on the chips and things, but I’ve grown over the years to appreciate more proteins and things, like snacks of cheese and yogurt and stuff. I can have gluten fine, not really any allergies. I’m prediabetic so I have to watch my sugar intake, but I’ve been drinking diet drinks and stopped taking sugar in my coffee, and that seems to have helped make my blood sugar pretty normal. I don’t really have a lot of candy anymore. I still have pastries sometimes. Anyway, all of this is to say that the things I eat are fairly average and my grocery shopping has finally evolved to involve a decent spread of the food pyramid. I don’t know if the Canada Food Guide really knows what it’s talking about, but I’ve become a boring adult who likes meat and veggies and grains and things. I’m not counting calories, not deliberately not eating. I just got in a bad habit of not eating until later in the day.

I have to say though, I’m starting to get a bit better since I got on ADHD meds. I remember that food exists and I should probably use it to keep myself alive. I’m eating more often in the mornings (but not every morning yet). There aren’t any more days where I realize I have forgotten about dinner completely. Sometimes I eat dinner late at night, which I could still work on, but mostly I’ve been pretty good.

I’m a chubby chub, for those of you who don’t know what I look like, and I’ve been shrinking since I got on ADHD meds, but I still have a soft round tummy. It means a lot of people discount me when I try to talk about my disordered eating patterns. Because fatties don’t have eating disorders! That’s a thing for skinny people! And if you are a fatty with an eating disorder, it must be that you binge! But no! I’ve been my chubbiest when I’ve been really starving, it really doesn’t reflect what kind of calorie content I’m consuming. People are really ignorant about stuff like that. And even worse I have heard some doctors encourage fat people to exacerbate their eating disorders “to get healthier.”

Anyway. I can say my relationship to food is better. I’ve gone from having an abstract realization that I need to feed myself sooner in the day to more often being able to do that. Of course still lunches have been late, and I need to work on that. I snack but my snacks are less often chips and more often fruit or raisin toast or whatever. It’s also really important for my prediabetic body to have a more consistent blood sugar level. I’m not quite there yet, the part where I need to monitor it. But I still know I feel shitty and dizzy if it’s been too long since I ate.

Eating disorders/disordered eating are a really weird thing to talk about. Half the time when I mention them I just wait for the shitty comments to start. I’m trying not to take it personally, I know a huge percentage of the population has varied relationships with food that aren’t really positive/”healthy.” God can I just say I hate the word healthy when it comes to food and eating??? It’s really a shamey dichotomy where you either are or aren’t healthy. And people use it especially against fat people. And it has some class connotations. Like “poor people aren’t healthy” (which has a lot to do with not having the finances to purchase more expensive foods like vegetables and meats, and food deserts) but seems really like, putting a value judgement on them/us. And the fat shaming of people often uses the ideas of “health” as like “Well if they were healthy they would be allowed to have dignity and respect but they don’t obviously because they’re FAT so they don’t get any!” UGH so gross! So Health is a really shitty word in my opinion. If it didn’t have all this negative baggage I wouldn’t feel so bad about it.

What could I use instead of healthy to describe a good relationship with food and my body? Maybe positive? Or something about loving?

I like using the word loving to describe community and personal aspirations. I’m trying to divorce it from only being for romantic relationships and allow it to describe my care for my friends and community and the world and myself. And I think it is a bit more active of a relationship between my soul and all of those things than just having a “good” relationship. A loving relationship.

Anyway, I need to keep fostering a loving relationship between myself and my body and food. I’m not really outcome oriented about getting my eating to a better place. Like I don’t want to lose/gain weight (although if I do that is fine). I just want to feel like I have energy and didn’t forget to eat.

I literally have nothing to say today

You know, most of the time I come here to write as part of an exercise just to get things out of my head and onto a page so I can then go on and write scripts and things. It really does help, I recommend blogging to anyone who needs a dumping ground for words now and then. I know some people write really thoughtful blogs that have like, a thesis statement and an actual point, and sometimes I feel badly I don’t do that. These really aren’t essays, except for the few that are. Mostly I just like talking about things on my mind here, not really trying to make a salient point.

I’ve got until the end of the summer to get this draft of my script done, which is exciting and I know I have the time to do it, because I deliberately didn’t plan any other projects or things at this point in the year. I’ve got full time writing days ahead of me and it’s pretty cool.

I’ve been thinking about feeling like I have to justify being a big old weirdo these days. I’m sure no one really expects that of me, but it’s this weird abstract pressure I feel and I don’t know where it’s coming from. My old close friends definitely aren’t bothering me about needing to be something other than I am. And I am pretty sure newer friends are more interested in knowing me as I am other wise they wouldn’t be around either. And yet sometimes I feel deeply uncomfortable with this life I am living and the things I say and my weird dreams (as in actual dreams of the future, not my sleepy time dreams which are also weird anyway). And it’s not that I DON’T like this life I am living. I’m pretty lucky that I’ve been able to be a full time artist/writer. I have this totally enviable schedule that is so flexible, and yet also involves me doing a lot of work. I think it’s that my life does not match up with what society thinks people should be doing.

Like, I don’t have a burger flipping job I go to. I don’t have any kind of job with set defined hours and a physical location I have to go to. I don’t even do office work like I used to. People really hate that, because if THEY have to do it, you should too. BUT my work is different. It’s still work. It’s just not THAT kind of work. And I do have this sort of safety net of social assistance, BUT I haven’t had a payment in a few months because I’ve made enough on my own to be ok.

I think the other things that make me uncomfortable are just related to whatever weird shit I am doing on social media. Like sometimes I take it really seriously, and other times I am reposting memes and laughing my ass off at home over it. I don’t know, I know some people like whatever I do there, but then some people I am sure find me annoying. I sometimes worry I post too much, but then fuck this thing is really funny I can’t NOT post it right?

And also advice giving. People have been giving me a lot of advice lately, and sometimes I really like it, and other times I’m like why are you telling me this? It’s just weird. And some of it has to do with taking emotional risks and it makes me really second guess myself and get depressed over it. And some of it is just ridiculously not an issue, like about something I should try eating. I don’t feel grumbly about that kind at all. I just feel stressed when I have six different kinds of advice about one interpersonal thing and it’s all different and I know no matter what I do someone’s gonna be like “Oh oh oh! You should have listened to me or this terrible thing wouldn’t have happened!”

And the terrible things. The terrible things in the future. UGH! And it’s not even like they have happened yet, or even will happen. But they still loom, these shadows of possible misfortunes. Like getting the tower in a future position of a tarot reading and the reader going “ummmmm well now…”

The funny thing is that the first paragraph of this blog post is a total lie. I did have a point to this blog, which was to try and write my way into feeling a little better about my life and where it has ended up. Because I did end up in a good spot. I have this amazing career that has taken me places and gotten me an income at times and made me feel very fulfilled.

BUT I have had a career for 22 years. Which is a long time. Like it’s the most important thing in my life, and I’ve been doing it a long time, and gone to university to advance it, and created a lot of films and videos (mostly videos to be technically accurate), and won awards, and am making the step to features after wanting that for a long time, and doing this video game. And that’s all really good. But part of me is like Jesus I just wish I also had like a relationship to go along with this. And then I wonder if that’s kind of ridiculous too, like women’s ambitions as taught through Disney cartoons are always to get into a long term forever relationship with some perfect stranger. BUT they never show what happens after they meet. Which I find really suspicious. All that indoctrination for girl children into marriage culture, but they never show how a long term relationship works after that. It’s a little too convenient for me.

So I both want and am suspicious of relationships.

In truth, most of my relationships were really short lived. And I think part of the reason is that I didn’t want to stick around if it wasn’t working out. I also got dumped a lot though. But also those were early 20’s relationships. And then my 30’s relationships were these really abstract things, where we didn’t specify that they were real things. They were to some degree, but no one ever changed their Facebook relationship status over it. So strange. I think the actual last relationship where someone explicitly called me their girlfriend was Amber Dawn, which was a long time ago. Other women and I had these weird things. Like giving flowers and going on dates and making out and sleeping in the same bed and doing some sexy stuff and like, all kinds of really emotionally intimate things, BUT not actually calling me their girlfriend. It’s been a confusing decade of that. And the break ups were usually not even so specific either, like we’d just slowly stop hanging out. Or the hang outs would become friend hang outs and not we’re gonna go do this thing then come home and roll around for a while making out.

I kind of miss when things were spelled out more specifically. Like asking people on dates instead of ambiguous queer hang outs. Ha ha now I sound like an old lady talking about the old timey days. I’m sure people still go on dates.

My dogs are barking at nothing right now.

But who knows, maybe someday someone will want a girlfriend/partner/whatever I would be, with someone with a weirdo career that is so established. I’m sure there are women who find that kind of thing appealing. And dogs that bark. And stable housing. And my winning personality that posts so many ridiculous memes on Facebook. And kink! Don’t forget the kink.

Where is this coming from?

Ugh I feel sad all of a sudden and it’s not even tied to anything except I started thinking about how I need to go down to legal aid and talk to someone about my upcoming ODSP tribunal. What a pain in the ass. I don’t know why they keep disagreeing that I am disabled. Like I literally have a disability that is severe enough that other people with the same diagnosis are already accepted on ODSP.

I think it’s because I haven’t gone crazy in Ontario yet. WHICH SUCKS because I don’t want to have to get really sick again to prove I really have a disability. Like just trust me. JUST BELIEVE ME! When I went mad the first time, I came back down to earth and moved away back to Vancouver and some of my friends there kept saying things like “Oh you’re not crazy” blah blah blah. And it’s like, ok, I’m not ACTIVELY trying to drink the Nivea, BUT I have this happen in certain times of my life and it cycles. And it’s not even just the mania, like more often it’s depression I deal with and it’s not normal. Like very rarely is it situational depression. I could be having a perfectly nice life and suddenly my brain will be like “time to die!” and I’m like “wtf brain why are you doing this to me?”

I’m doing pretty good now. Which is probably what the ODSP people will point out. Like I am not institutionalized, I have a good grasp of reality, I’m able to currently feed myself and keep the house clean and look after my animals and wake up in the morning and be able to get out of bed. BUT that’s not a permanent state. I work really really hard to keep it as permanent as possible, but it would be nice to be on disability so I at least don’t have to panic that I could suddenly need to stop working for a while because my mood would get all weird, and not starve or get evicted. Sheesh.

It’s not even like it’s a lot of money. Like they are not saving the province so much money by keeping legitimately bipolar disordered people off of disability. And I have been reporting my income pretty truthfully to ontario works, so I’m not trying to scam anyone here.

ARGH and people are so judgey about social services. Like that people shouldn’t be on it, like I should go work at Popeye’s making biscuits or something even tho there’s a bunch of reasons I can’t do work like that.

Ahhhhhhhhhh I hate this.

BUT that’s really just this thing I’m thinking about. I am thinking about lots of other things. Like my work I have now writing. Like how I need to start feeding myself better. Like how I have to figure out what I am doing at Christmas because I don’t know if I want to be gone for a month but also the dogs and ahhh.

I really should stop writing today’s pity party blog and go write a grocery list while I have the cash for a big grocery shop. And feed the dogs. The dogs always need food.

Maybe if I get some fruit I will feel less randomly bummed out. Ha ha! So weird. Mood disorders! FUN! Ha ha

As terrifying as it is comforting

I got notes back on my outline so it’s back to writing a whole bunch. And I have a little bit left to do on the Animation. But I’m thinking weekends were a good idea, I think that should be something artists look forward to also. I am trying to limit my workload today and tomorrow to just reading all the notes and thinking while I also do fun things like dip back into Netflix and also dig out my copy of Mulholland Drive and watch it again. Yesterday I went to a barbecue which had like, I think, about five kinds of meats. Pretty amazing! Today I just walked Posey and looked at stuff online, but it gets slow on the weekends because people are out living their lives and doing fun things. Which is good, I guess. I need to do more fun things.

Although this last week was pretty amazing, I got to go to my cousin’s wedding reception and see a bunch of friends and my other cousin. I bought tickets to Tori Amos on Wednesday or something and it was like, so exciting, we didn’t get great seats, BUT it’s Tori Amos and I have wanted to see her play live for like, more than half my lifetime. Like I’ve been a fan ever since Under the Pink. Which probably came out when I was a young teenager. And my first manic episode I was fucking OBSESSED with Scarlet’s Walk. It’s pretty cool because Tori’s show is this fall and I saw PJ Harvey this spring and my second major manic episode I was obsessed with PJ Harvey’s album Stories from the City Stories from the Sea. And this year is the ten year anniversary since the last episode, and I feel like I’m in a pretty good place and won’t go manic again for a while. Hopefully by now I know when to get help before things go too crazy.

The first time I went manic I had fallen in unrequited love with a soon to be best friend and it was a mess. My psychiatrist actually told me then that falling in love is a major stress and it could have been totally likely one of the contributors to me going nuts. It’s a little scary, there was an antidepressant which I think was the main reason it happened tho. It just happened to coincide with this love event. BUT ALSO the last time I went manic I had also fallen in love. And that was another big mess. What the hell? I have had some fond feelings towards people since, and some of it felt like love but I wonder if it was really that serious? Is love going to make me flip out again? BUT also I went off my meds the last time, which is really probably the biggest reason it happened. Like I just can’t function without meds anymore, I don’t know if I ever really could though. Life’s a lot better on them though. Like normal.

A hallucination once told me I would live a normal life, which was as terrifying as it was comforting. It had a weird voice actually. You know what it sounded like? It sounded totally like those voice changers they do for people who are trying to be anonymous on TV and tell stories about like, some dangerous gang like the Hells Angels or something. Like a male version of that. So trippy. And when it happened I was already medicated again and coming down from psychosis and actually I think it was the last “symptom” of that I had. Which was a relief. But yeah I already knew by then it was not normal because I had a better grasp on reality at that point. Once I was talking to someone who had lived through psychosis and she said she knew she was okay when she walked down the street and saw a card on the ground, like the jack of hearts or something, and she was like “That means nothing to me!” ha ha! OMG it’s so true. Like things all seem to have huge meaning behind them in psychosis, and when I’m sane I can see something and not make a huge story around what it means and how it’s telling me something.

Anyway, besides that, life is pretty good. I have money in my bank account, probably the most important thing for surviving in this capitalist system. I need to get some groceries actually, I’ve been eating out a lot and it’s not good for being frugal. I hung out with someone really fun this last week for ice cream. I also went to the witch store and got a book called Gay Witchcraft. I haven’t bought a witchy book since I was 14 (besides Tarot card books) so it’s kind of exciting. I did some work on this animation.

I caved and got the Adobe Creative Cloud membership for the next year, which is like, a bunch of money, BUT ALSO really really good for me and I hadn’t realized what a game changer it would be. I’ve been limping along with FCPX and GIMP and it’s just not enough. But these programs all work together really well and as long as I have the membership they will be current programs, and I dunno, it’s kind of amazing. I also found out I’m getting trillium payments every month this year, which will cover most of the cost of these monthly fees for Creative Cloud. I was gonna rip it off, I admit, but I get sketched out by pirated software. So I’m actually glad I’m paying for it.

Since I got the new Macbook Pro I also had to get a new Microsoft Office, a new Final Draft 10, and these Adobe programs. Which isn’t too bad for new software. Apparently my old Final Draft software is incompatible with the current OSX, and crashes when you try to save to PDF. Which makes it pretty useless, since my editor and producers and other people need to read my scripts on PDF if they don’t also have Final Draft. And the new Macbook itself is a dream. It is so responsive and hasn’t crashed and multiple programs can work at the same time and it’s fine with heavy graphics programs and basically I am in love with it. AND even better is it doesn’t get as hot as my old laptop used to get (which is probably one of the reasons it kept having issues). The fans are just really good and quiet and it isn’t like, burning my legs.

Anyway, I don’t have a good ending for this post. It’s been a rambly post. Mostly I’m going to enjoy this weekend and work hard this week and I need to make some deadlines for some things and it will all be good! I’m sure there are other things going on that I’m not going to talk about here. But basically I am pretty happy these days. Not manic happy tho. Just pretty pleased.

But you gotta have friends…

My outline is handed in! I had a really intense go of it finishing up the ending to make it even more horrific. I was writing all these really violent things and being like “Holy shit where is this coming from?” and some of it is like, defensive “righteous” violence and some of it is like, perpetrator stuff, and all of it is disturbing. But I finally got closer to where I think it needs to be as a horror film, because I felt like I was pulling punches before and just skimming over the truth of the subject matter. So I feel happier with it. Next I get more notes and get to work on the script again. I’m really under pressure but for me that is good. I feel like people are kind of going to be surprised at how uncomedic it is. ALTHOUGH I dunno maybe I am funny anyway. Some people think I am funny when I am being serious. it’s a curse.

I’ve been enjoying air conditioning, meanwhile. It’s great! It’s such a relief to be outside during a hot day sweating away and knowing when I get inside that suffering is over. I’ve just been coping with it for two years and now it’s finally done! I can chill out and even sleep under my duvet again. The dogs are happy too. And I am happy they won’t die of heatstroke. AND I am happy I won’t die either, because my meds might make me unable to regulate my body heat. I don’t know if that’s true for me in particular, but it’s a possibility and every time there’s a heat warning, it says something about how children, the elderly, and people on psychiatric medications need to stay cool. I think there’s a couple other people they include in those warnings but I don’t remember now. Either way, I like staying inside and not having to go lurk around Loblaws freezer section anymore to chill out.

I’ve got a bit more work to do on this animation since I got some suggested changes to make. So I’m taking a break the rest of today, but tomorrow I’m going to try and get back to it. I need to find a missing line, and make some things move and change a thing and add some things. So I’m gonna do that and then hopefully it will be ready for them to keep as a resource. I’m basically a technician on this project, which is pretty interesting, and it is volunteer work which makes me feel good. I’m glad my skills are handy.

I’ve been in a pretty good mood lately. I had therapy yesterday, and it was interesting to talk about that one fucked up weekend and how I got over it in like 48 hours. It was such a weird blip. And a little bit scary. But also underscored that I need to further develop my friendship/support network here so I can reach out to a couple more people. It was unfortunate because one of my best friends here happened to be out of town when I was really in distress, and my Mom who I normally reach out to was one of the people I was crabby at. So, I think rather than burden one or two people with my emotional labour needs, if I could spread it out in a more mutually reciprocal way that would be good. Like obviously I know I can’t just take from a friend without giving back too. So finding the right people I can do that with is important. And I’m having some fluctuating closeness/distance with a few friends right now, erring more on the “distance” side unfortunately. So I’m trying to work that out with a couple of them at least. I’m not the greatest at trying to smooth things over with friends. Like have you seen that NFB animation “The Big Snit?” Sometimes I feel like that guy, like when his wife is crying because of the scrabble fight, and she’s in a room by herself, and he comes along to stare at her, and then he pokes her and she bursts into tears and runs away. I feel like that guy! Like so inept. I don’t have really good opening lines for discussing interpersonal issues with friends. I think I’m more upfront with lovers, but that’s like, a long time ago. And friends and I are just like, oh man. Like you don’t really think about how much work goes into maintaining healthy friendships until you hit a snag and realize you don’t want to lose your pal and also don’t know what combination of words and actions is going to make them feel better/trust you/accept that things might be changing in your life but you still love them. It’s hard! And I’m not talking about passing acquaintances either, these are people you have poured some amount of secrets and love into and really enjoy being around and feel better for having them in your life. Like they aren’t just “friends” they are like, the type of people you would be lovers with if you had that chemistry too. So it’s difficult.

People devalue friendships, I think. Like they consider them less-than romantic relationships. It’s why dudes get so mad when a woman they like wants to be friends instead of lovers. Like, dude, you can have a fulfilling friendship with a woman too. Actually a few of my best friends started out as crushes. But you know, they change when it’s established there’s not feelings from the other side. Like one of my best friends started out as a massive crush. And now she and I have been friends for 14 years. I haven’t been in a romantic relationship for a long time, so having close friends really helps me get my emotional needs met. It’s kind of nice anyway. Except for when I screw up and end up trying to figure out how to bridge the divide again.

Anyway, blahhh! I’m going for dumplings with my cousin Steven soon, who is visiting from Saskatoon. He drove me nuts as a roommate but that’s long over since I moved here, and he is my cousin and I do love him and he does love dumplings so I’m excited to take him to my all time favourite dumpling place.