Monthly Archives: June 2018

Crabbing

So it’s really the first full day on Haida Gwaii. I’m really tired from yesterday, I got up so early in Toronto and stayed up until 11pm in Haida Gwaii. It was grey and drizzly yesterday, but today it got nice and sunny and warm. This morning the people I am staying with took me crabbing. They let me use one of their hip waders too. I have never done such a thing before, crabbing I mean. OR wearing of hip waders either! Anyway, they sent me out into the ocean with a net and some instructions of what to look for. I nearly fell over a couple of times on some seaweedy rocks, so I was trying not to go into the really weedy areas. Anyway finally I see a crab under the water, and it seemed big enough. I got my net and started freaking out because I was trying to scoop it up and it was trying to escape and I didn’t want to fuck up it’s legs… anyway, I got a crab! And I felt really triumphant. It was a male, so we could keep it, and it was big enough too.

I don’t actually know if the crab in the photo above is the one I caught, because there were four of us crabbing so we ended up with a fair number of them. BUT this would be very similar to the one I scooped up.

There were a lot of tinier crabs too, just little babies zooming around and tumbling in the currents. And some flounders or something, there was a flat fish that would zoom around and then bury itself in the sand.

I also saw so many eagles. I’m like “ooooh eagles!” and the people here are just like “yeah yeah” cause they see them all the time.

I’m trying to get some pick up shots for my video I am working on, but so far things here are gorgeous and clean and I don’t know how I’m gonna show how polluted the world was left in my fictional doc. I mean I guess it could be an “AFTER” image when Indigenous people clean up? But also no one from the Northwest Coast is in my video, which is kinda funny. BUT who knows, I could use it for something else. AND there is supposed to be a garbagey beach someone is gonna take me to.

I did a lot of editing on the plane coming here, because the entertainment system went down so the wifi was shitty and spotty. BUT like you can get a lot of editing done in a five hour flight with no internet access. Anyway, I got from 18-19 minutes down to 12 and a half minutes. Which is pretty good. I want to cut down at least another minute or more though. I was supposed to make a ten minute video and I know pushing it can really suck, people get bored, etc. And I’m not sure how my new footage will work. Really I need to get some urban environments, like graffiti and stuff. I need a film buddy who will spot me and look like muscle so no one will jack me for my camera. Ha ha just chicken.

Anyway, it’s beautiful out here. I hope I see some whales! I’ve seen a deer and eagles and crabs and flounders. But no bears or whales yet!

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

I think this happened last June too. Or something. I have a massive pile up of work. Right now I am looking at some applications for a thing, filling out a grant-type application, working on a script, and finishing a video. ALL with deadlines coming up at the end of the month or very soon. Also since I leave tomorrow for Haida Gwaii for a few days, I gotta clean this apartment for my dog sitter to come and stay here and not get grossed out. I know for a fact there are rotten mangoes in the fridge, and there are fruit flies having some kind of shindig in the kitchen. Even tho there is (to my knowledge) no rotten fruit out (out of the fridge anyway).

I mean the thing is I know I can do this! I KNOW I CAN! There’s other stuff I have to do that didn’t even make it to this lengthy list of things, including looking at submissions for a film festival, doing a couple of board meetings, and finally (FINALLY) doing some casting and location scouting for a film shooting later this summer. ALSO (MAN oh MAN!) I need to make some creative decisions about a doc I am working on and schedule more shooting days. Luckily the Haida Gwaii trip is the last travelling I’ll be doing until August, when I go to Vancouver for a few days for a residency. It’s a crazy amount of stress BUT ALSO a lot of money which is helping me do things like pay for some teeth stuff and hopefully pay for some fertility treatment stuff so I can make a baby. AND ALSO set me up further along with my career so I can support that baby!

July looks more fun. I’ll hopefully have most of my shooting on the doc done so we can edit. I’ll be seeing the fertility clinic doctor and find out what the scoop is with my egg situation. I’ll be going to an L7 concert finally and satisfying the 20 year old Thirza in me. And I’ll be getting my bear tattoo, which is SUPER EXCITING! I think all of those things happen in the same week actually. OH MAN I wish my calendar was a bit more sophisticated. I’m blocking off huge spans of time for travel and I really wish it didn’t show up the way it does. Oh whatever.

Anyway! My point is, I am having a busy summer. And the fall is starting to get busy too. I have my fingers crossed that I get into a festival far far away in November so I can go, and September I am PROBABLY travelling, and October I am hoping to stay put.

I have mixed feelings about work trips. On one hand, I really do love travelling, I like seeing new places and meeting new people and doing stuff other places. On the other hand I could probably happily be a lump/homebody. ON THE OTHER HAND I should probably get as much travel in as I can before I have a baby and need to simmer down or start tote-ing a little kid with me to random queer and Indigenous film fests.

Anyway, the funny thing is that even though all of this work stresses me out, even though I know I’m gonna have to push some deadlines, I really do like my life. I can think of few artists who get to do what they love for a living. I’m glad my day job fired me and I had to keep finding work in my field. I’m glad I get to work with the communities I work with, and make and curate and show challenging queer video, especially to small centres that aren’t used to it. I’m glad I know the people I do, who all are really in this same boat of working intensely hard crazy hours so they can stay afloat.

++++++ End of the day +++++

I managed to finish reading those applications, write a grant and submit it, and do a jury all today. ALSO packed and cleaned up my apartment for the dog sitter to come chill out here with the pups while I’m gone. Little Mister had the house key attached to his harness. I HOPE all is well. Maybe I should text her tomorrow before my flight, while I’m hanging out at the gate. It’s Air Canada tomorrow. AIR CANADA!

I wonder if I can buy wifi on Air Canada? I’m gonna be on the plane for one FIVE HOUR stretch from Toronto to Vancouver. I don’t think I have enough songs for that. I know they like major credit cards on Air Canada, but maybe for wifi they would take my meager Visa Debit, or my PayPal. At the same time, what would I really gain from having internet access for five hours? Like yeah it would kill a lot of time…. BUT ALSO like maybe it would just make me aggravated in mid air if one of my more sarcastic friends picked a fight with me online.

OY I gotta get up in like, just over six hours, shower and finish packing toiletries and my carry on and book it to the airport. I mean the good news is I can sleep on the plane. And also I am taking headphones I can actually plug into the entertainment system.

Anyway, I guess I should relax and go lay in my bed now. OH SHIT I didn’t change the sheets for sitter. Maybe I can remember in the morning.

Single Sex Life

Ha ha ok so I haven’t done a super TMI thing here in a while. But I kind of wanted to do something, so be aware I’m gonna be talking a LOT about masturbation in this post. And it’s like, yeah, avert your eyes if you can’t handle it ha ha.

SO I’ve been technically single for a LONG ass time. Like I had a couple of lovers in my 30’s, but really really briefly, and not really ongoing relationships with them. And I had some weird quasi relationships but not sex with a couple of other women. Like really, I don’t even know how to describe those situations. So I don’t really count them as girlfriends. Either way, I have been pretty solitary basically all of my 30’s, except for those Whatever relationships. And I guess I didn’t realize until more recently that some women, when they are single, and they say they have no sex life, they really mean it. Like, I don’t go around having one night stands anymore, but technically you could say I still have a sex life since I still have orgasms on a pretty regular/daily basis.

I’m kind of shocked that there are women who don’t take things into their own hands. I get SUPER SQUIRRELLY if I don’t have an orgasm for a few days. Like it just starts making me feel kind of crazy and frustrated. And usually it only happens if I have family staying with me that I don’t have orgasms, or like I’m travelling and sharing a room with someone. And I know I could go in the bathroom and do it, but ugh, yeah, no, not with people around.

Anyway, being single and having a sex life, even as a solitary person, is kind of important for me. Like I would love to have a partner, but whether or not I have someone I am DEFINITELY still gonna have orgasms. I used to be hardcore into Hitachi Magic Wands. But since I got a lelo however many years ago, I’ve gotten more used to that. And the vibration strength of those two toys are VERY different. There used to be this time I kind of overloaded myself on the Hitachi and I was having a hard time coming even with that. It was pretty brutal, omg. It’s like my vibration tolerance was just super high and it made things really difficult. Anyway, over the last while I’ve mostly been using this lower speeded lelo vibrator, and it’s made me way more sensitive. Only now I’m too sensitive for the Hitachi and that kind of gets to be too much too fast.

But all of this to say I noticed I get stuck in routines. Like right now it’s the Lelo routine, and I think because I’m usually super sleepy when I need to orgasm that I just pick the easiest way to do it. And I remember when I was in my 20’s and more adventurous I would do it in the afternoons and use toys way differently.

Before I had the end of relationship fight with my then best friend, I had tried to do an estimate of the dollar figure without depreciation on all the toys I have that still work. I’ve got at least $2000 worth of toys. Like that’s been accumulating over two decades though, and some of those are leather gear and shit. But like, a good dildo can run up to 100 bucks. And same with good vibrators. I bought one vibrator I kind of regret because it was for penetration and too thick, but I’m embarrassed to say how much it was. OMG. ANYWAY my point is, I could easily start having more creative masturbation sessions. And I’m really sad that any time I get turned on when I’m alone it’s either before bed when I’m too tired to do super adventure sex, or when I’m waking up and still too sleepy to do crazy fun times.

I know they tell couples who have been together for ages and ages that they have to make time for sex and stuff like that, like it’s not supposed to just be this routine chore before sleeping, like the dishes. And that is probably good advice for a single person like me too. I guess I’ve just noticed I’m not as constantly in the mood as I used to be in my 20s. Like in my 20’s there could be a good breeze in my hair and I’d start wanting sex. Now it’s like, almost always those two times of the day, and once in a while during a point of the day when I could actually maybe have fun times with more than one toy.

It’s probably also because I have a lot of work these days. It seems like I should be working, not literally jerking off. Ha ha. Anyway! THAT REMINDS ME I really should get back to work.

Saskatchewan

I’m here in Saskatoon because I’m screening some 2 Spirit videos by other people, mostly women and/or Femme Identified people (but one video is by a straight woman but about Queer Inuit love). I can’t say for sure everyone’s identity though. I mean, Identity can be super fluid anyway, so I don’t want to say it’s ALL these certain types of people, but it’s a very woman/lez/bisexual/maybe trans/non-binary content. So anyway, YEAH! I am screening that and also I curated Chandra Melting Tallow to do a performance, so we’ll see how it goes, I’m excited, it should be awesome. And then visiting people. I’ve only visited my friend Laurel so far, and seen my Mom a lot. I don’t have tons of days here, I leave Sunday. So it’s a very short trip. I haven’t been here since last May, when Grandpa’s feast was held. Normally Crees have feasts for four years after a death, but Grandpa only wanted us to do the one year.

I’ve noticed people are more wary of me in Saskatoon. White people specifically. I made a facebook status about it, how I like try to be disarming by being humourous which was always my go to to deal with like, butchphobia and stuff. But man, people don’t want to laugh when you have ink on your face. It’s like SUPER Indigenous and SUPER subculture (as cheesy as that might sound) and I dunno, it comes with a certain kind of baggage. I knew on some level it would be like that. But I notice it’s more awkward in Saskatoon. And I’ll be like trying to be funny or smile my goofy smile and white people just stare and sweat harder. And they don’t seem to care too too much if they are just passerby, but if they have to interact with me they look like they would rather be somewhere else. I have yet to decide if that’s a good thing or not. Obviously though I really just wish people were cool with it, because it’s part of my identity. BUT ALSO I’m a biracial butch dyke and I’ve had funny coloured hair most of my adult life so like, I’m used to people staring at me or acting weird. But this is different. I’m not hurt by it though, as these people are generally people I won’t have in my life.

AND I did get to be at Wanuskewin today where my Mom is doing a residency, and it’s an interpretive/cultural centre on the site of a buffalo jump, so like, there are a lot of Indigenous staff, who all smiled at me and were friendly and I felt recognized and they were interested in knowing about skin stitch and how it feels and stuff. So in that regard, I felt pretty at home and accepted. Especially since the design on my face is related to Plains Cree women.

ANYWAY it’s been good. I did some shooting outside with my Lumix, and got amazing shots, really gorgeous 4K footage of the prairies. Now I need to get some urban stuff to contrast. I was gonna do some Saskatoon and some Toronto shots. I edited with them today and they were fitting in nicely, I have a LOT to cut from this video, like, about 7 minutes needs to get cut at least. But it’s looking good and I am happy about that. I got some tipis and some sky and some plains and some water and trees and brush.

I have a LOT of work to do this month, a script, this video, three meetings, two screenings and workshops besides my own, I need to watch a bunch of submissions for TQFF. Next month is my fertility clinic appointment and I have some decisions I need to make around that. I did some calculations and I should be able to afford the fertility drugs. But if I have to pay MORE it’s gonna be lean. Possibly still doable, just lean for a while. I also have to put out a casting call for July and do some location scouting up North. So it’s busy. August all I have is one trip to Vancouver. I ALSO have to finish shooting this documentary this month and for sure by early July. So it’s super packed. And I am also going to Haida Gwaii this month, which I am super excited about because I’ve never been.

Today was funny because I went with my Mom to Wanuskewin where she’s artist in residence. And she was doing Beadhive today where she sits at a table and beads with anyone who wants to come sit with her and also bead or learn. Anyway, she was beading with Aurora and I was working on video stuff and the head curator of the Tate Modern came by because she’s talking at the Remai tonight. And Mom talked about her current project which is beaded smallpox blankets, so she gave context about what the deal was with British giving Indigenous people smallpox blankets, and then the curator felt guilty and apologized on behalf of the British and then we all laughed. Anyway, then she moved on and Mom and Aurora were talking about it being fancy people day. Then I went out on a trail walk to videotape some landscape. And then when I came back, Mom was going to the car to get the two smallpox blankets she had already beaded and put them on her table and it turned out it really WAS fancy people day because all these directors and curators from galleries and museums across Canada were at Wanuskewin getting a tour. So they came and stood around us and we all got introduced and it was pretty cute. I didn’t expect going to Mom’s work for the afternoon would be so schmoozy. I had no videos to show anyone. I mean I did and didn’t, my video I’m working on today is still really rough and not impressive yet. And clearly way too long. But Mom had some nice art to show and talk about.

Tomorrow I am going with her and my friend Michelle to Costco, mostly because I know I can get super cheap and big flash drives there. Maybe more power banks. Maybe hotrods. I already went on the first full day here to Berry Barn to get some Saskatoons, and a friend is gonna bring me chokecherries in Prince Albert that I can crush at home and eat. I really love those two berry type things and only find them here.

Anyway, yeah things are good. I have a lot of work, but I think I can do it!