Category Archives: Uncategorized

Just Awkward Sometimes

I’m trying to write here a bit more often, instead of writing long tweets or long facebook posts. Mostly because I like being here cause it seems like no one reads it sometimes. Or like, that is what I imagine to make this all feel safer.

My dog went to her sitter today, so that was sad, she was so happy to see her sitter and didn’t even care that I was still standing there and I felt like omg my dog doesn’t need me! 😭 She does need me though. But yeah, I guess that’s better than her looking distressed!

I’m going back to Saskatchewan for a couple of weeks. There’s my family to visit and some friends and things like that. And also I just feel more grounded when I’m on the land there. I am torn about what to bring, if I should bring a bunch of prime lenses or just try to cruise by on one or two lenses. I don’t want to bring all my gear cause I just don’t see myself making something that requires all of that. And then my audio gear, I should bring something right? I like recording Saskatchewan ambience for whatever purposes. Like thunderstorms and bird calls specific to that area. I probably can’t bring the blimp and deadcat because that’s just too big. I should have got it a pelican case. I was like “NOOOO I don’t need a big pelican case for my blimp! It can stay in this flimsy cardboard box!” A fool!

Anyway. For sure I am bringing my camera and a lens. Because I found out where my Great Grandpa’s buffalo horn chair is being kept, and we got a time when we can go see it! We have to drive there. It might be moved to a different day because of an emergency, but we’ll find out soon! If not, we see it on Thursday! And I am gonna try and get some photos and footage of it. I doubt we can touch it. But to see it will be nice. It would be amazing to get to sit in it but I’m not gonna be torn up about it if we can’t. This chair was one of the things he made to sell to settlers to provide for his family.

I’m starting to realize in regards to my life and career that if I work my ass off for the next while, like the rest of the year, I could make a lot of money. I mean probably next year too. And the year after that. And… But seriously, I feel like I’m operating at 30% and if I can get it to at least 90% I could accomplish a lot of things. I have these amazing opportunities for various projects and I really need to see them through. It’s an energy issue, I get so fatigued so easily. But I think it’s because I don’t feed myself properly. If I had more proteins for breakfast and lunch that would help. I mean it’s really silly having a human body like “food makes body move yay” it’s so basic. Give myself food and water and sleep those are not unreasonable requests. But I forget to have breakfast, or try to pretend coffee is a breakfast food. And I’m bad about water, I forget to hydrate all the time. And sleep!? Pfft. I CAN sleep really well but also I have sleepless nights where I think of all the ways I was wronged, WHICH IS NOT HEALTHY. Or all the terrible things I did. Or getting into mega trouble with the law or something, I dunno, being put in the stocks in front of the art world or something. And not in a fun way!

I’ve been consistently testing negative for COVID 19 in every single COVID test I have done this entire pandemic. It’s kinda weird. I was in a situation not too long ago where I was in a room with a lot of unmasked people (and I was unmasked because I was eating) and I was thinking “OH SHIT if I get COVID it’s gonna be here! I just know it!”

Nope. Still not COVID, no symptoms, nothing.

I don’t get it. So many people I know have gotten it. I know some people say I could have gotten it and been asymptomatic so I didn’t test. I don’t know. I just know I haven’t even had a cold this entire time. Not since the bad cold I had when I got back from Berlin when the pandemic was hitting. It could have been COVID I guess. But haven’t been sick since then. I’ve been on airplanes with unmasked people. I’ve been in busy restaurants. I’ve been in movie theatres. I’ve been at concerts. I don’t think my experience is universal though, I’m aware it’s kind of an anomaly. There are others who never got it. But yeah, I really just wish there was a test I could do that could tell me I’m really truly vaccinated enough to not worry about it anymore. I’ve had four shots. I’ve been on top of getting my shots as soon as possible. I mask when I’m not eating. I don’t know. I’ve been directly exposed to COVID (unmasked to boot!) because people have contacted me to tell me they tested positive the day after seeing me or things like that, and yet still I’ve never gotten it.

So honestly my comfort with COVID risks is higher than most people, but I think it’s because I haven’t gotten it yet. YET. It could still happen. I still bring masks with me places and all that tho, like the mask mandates here are gone but I still wear them into stores and stuff. I don’t know. I did not foresee the pandemic lasting this long.

I’ve been doing a solitary post mortem on my last relationship (and a few other relationships really) and I’m regretting how much of myself I held back from partners or potential partners. I mean maybe people think I just overshare with everyone, but I don’t really put my vulnerabilities out there with partners. I mean even the fact that weeks/months will go by with me knowing perfectly well that I’m in genuine love with someone, I find it very hard to actually say the words until it’s over.

I had this really hard therapy session a year ago or something where I talked about all the trauma I had from my hospitalization in Montreal, and I was like, crying a lot about it and trying to explain how terrifying it is to be in four point restraints, and I think it was the first time I’d really been able to process it with someone. And then she said “You need to be talking about this, this is what is going to bring in your future partner.” But then when I tell that story to someone I’m dating, I chop out all the emotions from it and usually just say something like “I can’t do bondage yet because I was in a hospital in four point restraints.” But that’s kind of a bloodless explanation of what happened. I don’t know, I seem like a vulnerable person to outsiders, but in relationships I’m always guarding my history.

Because I don’t want people judging me for how poor I grew up, or because of what intergenerational trauma does to families, and probably also because I date a lot of settlers and I just… ugh. Dating settlers is hard. I don’t hate them or anything, it’s just awkward sometimes.

It’s lost to the sands of time

I got a binder so I wore it a few times during a week and really liked it and then my boob hurt, and so I stopped wearing it. But my boob got infected, and then I had to go to the breast centre to get it aspirated. It turns out inverted nipples are more likely to get bacterial infections. What a fucking drag. I always knew those nipples were sus!

Anyway, I’m on antibiotics now. I was on different ones before and now new ones and I have to see the boob doctor again on Thursday.

I really liked having a flat chest tho, and I mean obviously it has to heal but I’m not even sure if I should bind with these nipples of mine. Not if this will be a recurring issue. Cause mastitis fucking SUCKS.

It really confirms that I should get top surgery though, because I don’t really want to walk around with boobs forever. I mean I never had issues with them before, they always seemed like such friendly easy going guys. BUT NO turns out not so. Plus it would just be safer for me to not have them so I don’t get clocked so easy by passing strangers. Obviously I am open about being trans and probably can’t go stealth anyway cause I’m more high profile. But like, yeah, when I’m in a store I don’t want someone I’ve never met to know about me that easily. It’s gonna be a while tho.

In other news… I am very tired of having a broken heart. Like, SO TIRED. I know healing is just a process and blah blah but fuck. I’m dating people again and like, trying to put myself out there. But honestly I’d just prefer to lay on my couch and cry. And I’m trying to get all my crying in this month before I go on T because I hear it’s harder to cry. And being a super emotional person, crying is honestly like, relieving for me. Like I can’t do it in front of anyone but my therapist. But even alone I cry frequently even before I got this broken heart. So anyway, if crying is what is gonna get me over this broken heart, then I want to get as much in as possible before it’s harder.

I’m otherwise fine. Work is busy but when isn’t it busy? I need to catch up on some things. I really want to travel again. I know I went on a trip literally only two months ago BUT I MISS IT! I mean I wouldn’t go to New Orleans again this year. But like, New York would be nice. For like a real visit not just an overnight. And that’s pretty close.

I’m also starting to see my calendar fill up with work trips including my residency in Vienna at the end of the year and it’s A LOT!

I sometimes feel like I have too many balls in the air, like I’m just fucking up with keeping on top of my practice. I know if I had someone helping me with admin I would have, like, almost twice as much time to actually create again. And THAT would be so nice.

There were some people talking to me about helping me substantially upgrade my art career. Ever since I talked to them I’ve been trying to think of things that would actually help me. Admin for sure. Maybe an agent. Some representation by a gallery or something. I have video distributors but that only goes so far.

And then also just cash flow problems suck. Like people who promise thousands of dollars and then it doesn’t come FOR AGES!

I was supposed to get paid by a university I did work with, but they sent me like six forms to fill out and I got overwhelmed and closed the email and then I forgot which university it was with. All I know is it was an American university and I mean how many fucking American universities are there? The answer: A LOT! And I work with a lot of different ones so like I don’t know where it is in my email anymore. It’s lost to the sands of time. All I can hope is at the end of the fiscal year an accountant asks why they still have these hundreds of dollars.

And there’s other confidential issues in my career and fuck it’s just annoying. Like I can’t bitch about it or no one will want to work with me anymore.

Also I am having anxiety about how my career is going to weather me coming out as a trans man. I mean I’ve been working on a script for years about violence against Indigenous women and even tho I have an extensive lived history with misogyny against Indigenous women I’m worried someone will tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about or I don’t have a right to tell this story because now I’m a man. And then just worrying about all the times I’ve been slotted in the women’s programs and like maybe there’s no space for me in the mainstream programs, or maybe suddenly I will only get my work seen in the trans programs. And what if I don’t want to make work about being trans all the time what if I want to explore other things too? OR what if I do want to make work about being trans all the time and people just find it unrelatable and don’t show me as much?

I had a conversation recently with someone close to me and it was SO CRINGEY the way she was talking about trans issues and also probably she was a bit drunk when she called and ugh.

I mean I think I’m gonna start asking cis people what their genitals look like more often, since they seem very interested in what gender is in my pants when I think it’s actually in my soul. Maybe not. Maybe only when I am annoyed. It’s just been very clunky experiences talking to the cis people in my life these days. I saw this meme a long time ago with like two philosophers talking and it’s like “When trans people talk about gender” and then this photo of a little kid with different shapes and a teacher helping them and it’s like “When cis people talk about gender.” AND OMG IT’S TRUE! Like ok lady I don’t have time to give you a reading list of all the things I’ve learned about being trans since I was eighteen, and probably you don’t care either you’re just being an asshole and think this is funny.

Anyway. UGH.

And leaving the lesbian club behind is weird. I love lesbians. But yeah I guess I’m not one. And I don’t really feel like, fully embraced by the gay mens community either yet. It’s just a fucking weird transitional time in my life.

AND my heart is broken! And it doesn’t have anything to do with my gender but like, major heartbreak AND a major life change are two very big things to deal with.

So that’s probably why I feel like I’m not using my time wisely, I’m just processing all of this AND my therapist is on leave. I see my temporary therapist tomorrow and I don’t even know where to start with her. Do I start with falling in love with an emotionally unavailable person? Or do I start with this shift in my gender? I don’t know. I got a tangled ball of thoughts to unpack.

Doctor Appointment

So I saw the doctor on Friday to talk about going on hormones and various related things (birth control and PrEP) and it was such a good appointment. She’s sending me to a Nurse Practitioner who has experience with trans health care and who works for the same family health team, so I just gotta wait until I can see her. I’m hoping they will call tomorrow to give me an appointment. I’m excited! Basically as soon as I see the nurse I can start hormones, like there won’t be a huge wait after that.

It’s so much easier transitioning this time than LAST time. Last time they still wanted people to live as their intended gender for a year and then get hormones. And it’s just a very long time to wait and people kind of pressured/bullied me not to. But this time, I feel good about it, and I feel good that my doctor trusts that I know what I want, and I feel more like I can do what I want to do with myself.

I did have a weird phone call with a relative. And cis people are also super good at putting their feet in their mouths and not noticing that they are being problematic, so there’s some of that with cis het friends. But a lot of my friends are also trans men and non binary people, so I’m not feeling alone. I do still look like a girl I guess ha ha only because I still like having my nails painted. But I’m hoping when my face masculinizes some of that will go away, I mean I hope I still like painting my nails but I hope looking and sounding more like a dude will help.

I went to boxing class in the park today and it was SO FUN! I got my ass kicked though, it’s a two hour class and has cardio and ab exercises before you do boxing exercises AND THEN on the way home I had to walk (it’s very close by!) but to get home you have to walk up this LONG HILL that has THE LONGEST STAIRS. And they are a bit older so a little steep. By the time I got home my knees hurt and my legs were wobbly. BUT it was still such a good class. And Savoy, the coach, said I felt solid when she touched my shoulders to move me to show me how to throw a punch. So that was really nice!

I think I might get into weights again. I haven’t used my dumbbells barely at all this year.

It will also probably be more impressive when I can actually build serious muscle after getting on T.

I was going to go to the beach today but fuck that class wiped me out!

Tomorrow I go to the lab to get an STI panel done, which I haven’t done in a while. I don’t think I’ve had sex since my last one tho. But now that I am going on PrEP I have to do these every few months. I hope I start having more sex ha ha ha ha!

I’m in a weird place about dating. Like I WANT to be dating and meeting people and kissing folks. But also I am anxious about the way my body will change in the next year and feeling like someone’s attraction to me is going to wane as I get more obviously like a man. And I just don’t want to be with people who aren’t enthusiastic about me and my body and the person I am becoming. BUT ALSO I am gonna get a t-cock and I definitely want to find someone who wants to play with me and my changing body. It’s complicated. Also I just don’t want to fall in love with one more person who doesn’t have the capacity to love me back. Cause I’ve been doing that a lot. Like I want to have sexy fun but I also don’t want my heart to get crushed.

But also my sexuality is way more open now. I am finding a greater variety of people to be sexy and thinking I’d like to kiss them. Which is why I’m going on PrEP. Not straight guys tho ha ha but like everybody else is pretty sexy. So I dunno.

I’m going to try and write here a bit more frequently to talk about my feelings around this.

I did have a lot of memories of the last time when I wanted to transition but was also manic. Maybe I was afraid it would be the same this time. But I can tell I’m not manic. I’m so calm. And I’m not talking rapidly, and I can sleep well. My mind’s not even racing. It’s good. This feels like a healthy stable place to transition from. Plus financially I am way more stable, and I don’t have to deal with an employer for my money.

It has been kinda awkward announcing it all at once. But also I’m a bit more of a public figure and I just wanted to get it over with. And I DID!

Testosterone!

I think this is something that’s slowly been developing in my life over the last whatever many years, so it’s not a surprise to me at all. But I have decided to start taking testosterone and to ID as a trans man. I’m just honestly so tired of feeling like a liar every time I get gendered as female and let it go. I’m not a cis woman at all, probably not a Butch anymore either (although I still feel very connected to Butch communities since that’s where I spent my adult life so far). I think I just got tired of not being real about myself. And when I was in New Orleans my friend Tanya used he/him pronouns for me and I was like fuck yes, finally this fits.

I think most people knew I was some flavour of trans for a long time tho. Like I’ve identified as non-binary for a LONG time. I’ve been packing a dick sometimes for a long time too, like well over a decade. I was really particular about getting masculine clothing when I did my wardrobe glow up a few years ago. And so for me it’s not such a huge leap anymore to just be like “OK Honestly I’m a guy.” I think it’s always been there though. Like yeah I tried all kinds of different genders on, but even when I look at pics of myself when I was three years old I’m like yeah that’s a boy.

OMFG actually the irony is I think way way way back in this blog was the last time I tried to transition to male.

The last time was disadvantaged in a lot of ways. For one thing, the last time I came out as a man I also had a manic episode, so people back then were more weird about the idea of people being trans and mentally ill. Like they don’t go together. But I mean a huge cross section of any population is mentally ill so really it’s just that it was bad timing for my debut as a man. ALSO it was in Saskatoon, and I wasn’t as confident to be my actual self instead of following a more strict masculinity. Like, I dutifully bought clothes in the mens section, but ugh the colours suck. SUCK. Beige and burgundy and grey and navy blue and black. SO BORING. This time I am allowing myself to be a colourful man. Because I was bummed out in those more gender conforming colours. And also I think I just didn’t know who I could date or who would want to date me as a trans man. And I still don’t know who to date or who will want to date me, but at least now I know way more trans men who are having fun sex and love lives, so it doesn’t feel like, as depressing as before. Also I have more of a support network of other trans masculine people who are taking testosterone and it’s not so lonely.

Like, I got to ask my friend a ton of questions about hormones and transitioning and find out all kinds of things I could never find out in my googling. So that was really nice.

Also tbh I’ve been watching and reading about medical transition for like, maybe as long as I have been using the internet.

So on Monday I got a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria from my GP and I didn’t want hormones at that moment. But then I realized nothing was really stopping me anymore either. Like, I’ve given up on my exes coming back, so it’s not like I’m worried about turning into someone my lover isn’t attracted to. And my grandparents are all dead, so no one can tell me my grandparents won’t understand. And really I thought about the last time I tried to transition when I changed my mind, because I kind of did it since someone I liked told me they liked butch women and not trans men. And I was remembering that even after she told me that and I DIDN’T transition, she still didn’t date me so I mean what even was the point of telling me that? So I’m kind of like, ugh, I just want to live my life and if someone is attracted to me then great but I don’t want to constantly be trying to meet someone else’s expectations of queer masculinity.

So yeah that’s the scoop. I was ambivalent about the name Thirza Jean, cause in some ways I like it. I didn’t want to go by Sarain again which is what my name would have been if I was born a boy. But I don’t totally feel comfortable with Thirza either. So right now I am going by TJ. Which people called me even when I was a little kid so it has historical consistency. My pronouns are just he/him/his now. I tried a triple pronoun combo for a while but yeah I know what I want now.

Anyway. I also have no idea what my sexuality is going to be when I’m on testosterone, because it can change. And I’ve heard a lot of anecdotes about T making guys think about cock all the time. So I’m prepared to be surprised. It’s better than a gender reveal, it’s a sexuality reveal! SURPRISE! You’re gay AGAIN but for boys! I don’t know honestly, I still love Femmes a lot. But also I wasn’t treated super well by Femmes when I was dating them as a Butch. I mean yeah there was sweetness but also some sad hard feelings. I think people forget masculine people have hearts that break.

OH MAN And also I don’t know what I’m gonna do about all this crying. I am like, crying so frequently on the current level of hormones I live with. It could also be menopause going on for me, so I don’t know how menopause and puberty is gonna be like at the same time. I’m hoping the T helps with my emotions though cause they are HUGE like the ocean and overwhelming.

It’s kind of a shitty time in the world to be trans, but also I feel like I’m prepared finally. I feel like, LET’S DO THIS!!! JAB IT IN MY THIGH! I’m just finally ready.

When I get sad it’s cause I think of how long I kept myself from making this decision, and how much of it was because of pressure from different people. I can’t live like that anymore, living for other people’s comfort.

Also I think internalized misandry fucked me up. Like, men can be awful, and I know this. And so after being aligned with women so much of my life, it’s weird to be one of Them, one of those Men people. But then I think of my life and like, when I was a kid I played with boys, when I grew up my friends were often trans masculine people, like it’s not like I haven’t been moving in masculine circles. So yeah, I’m trying to just accept myself as I am.

When I originally decided to take testosterone, I was gonna do microdosing and go super slow and all that. But as the days have gone by since making this decision, I’ve grown way more comfortable with the idea of things testosterone changes.

I also remember those face app gender switch filters I used to try, and how they would secretly give me a thrill when I would see myself with facial hair and a squared jaw, cause I looked like a super hot guy! I want to allow that guy to exist finally. I think the world could use one more sexy trans man.

Allygators

I just got back from New Orleans last night. It was my first vacation in a REALLY long time. Like, I literally just did whatever I wanted and saw tons of things and was a tourist for nine days. Or eight? I don’t remember. And I met up with someone down there who showed me all kinds of things. Including a swamp tour where we saw alligators!

An alligator sunning itself
This alligator was on the swamp tour!

To lure alligators to the tour boats, they toss marshmallows in the water. It was honestly so cute. The alligators eat them because they just look like big white blobs, and alligators can only see in black and white. I never knew that was how they engaged with alligators in the wild. Most of the ones we saw were about 4 to 6 years old so not HUGE but still like, I wouldn’t stick my hand in there. But the tour guides do! They try to lift up alligator heads, but mostly the alligators are kinda like “Fuck off! Where are the marshmallows?!” and pull away.

I also wanted to try eating alligator so I had it a couple times, once fried alligator tail bites, and the other was an alligator sausage that was cut up and put on a stick and deep fried. They were great! They taste like chicken. So that means dinosaurs tasted like chicken. It’s fascinating!

New Orleans was a pretty magical city. And like, such deep complex traumatic history. I tried to be really respectful of spirits who live there. I did go on a ghost and vampire tour. There’s real vampires there that drink blood and “donors” who help by giving blood! It’s just like my video game!!! I was just like shit I fuckin’ knew it! The ghosts sounded interesting too but not like anything I would feel comfortable experiencing.

I was staying in an Airbnb and I was worried about ghosts but it wasn’t ghosts that were in there, there were two of the fucking hugest cockroaches I’d ever seen instead. And like, the size of my thumb!!! My thumb is small, but still that’s not a size of bug I’m comfortable with. My friend kept calling them palmetto bugs tho ha ha.

I also went on a whirlwind 24 hours to New York City JUST to see Cate Blanchett get the Chaplin Award. She was amazing. I was in awe. And it was almost my birthday, so that night I went to sleep happy and woke up 44 years old. I didn’t get to see Todd Haynes tho because he got COVID the morning of the event, and Bradley Cooper wasn’t there either. But Christine Vachon presented the award and I’m a fan of her too!

I got approached by a curator at a major gallery that I’ve wanted to show in for ages. I’m not sure what will happen but it’s exciting, I hope it develops into an awesome opportunity.

WHAT ELSE?

I tried to be as careful as I could on my trip. It wasn’t so hard. I wore KN95’s almost every time I was inside everywhere. I took it off to eat. If there was a good open draft or breeze I let my guard down. I did eat pretzels on the planes, and Americans were just like, no-masking it everywhere. I was honestly shocked at their recklessness. I didn’t take a lot of selfies because I look less cute with a mask. BUT it was honestly not too bad doing harm reduction by masking as much as possible. I was concerned I might have gotten it anyway. But no symptoms, and today I tested again for the first time since I got back and the test was negative. I’m gonna do another test in a few days. But I feel fine.

If I was able to have an amazing adventure AND not get COVID, I am going to keep taking carefully mitigated risks, because this was so fun and also I don’t want to live on my couch alone forever. But yeah! ADVENTURE!

Weed Roulette

So therapy is going well. Sometimes I feel like I’m just flailing around in my own mess of a life and she’s watching me and being supportive, but sometimes I have great insights and she reframes something that helps me think of things differently.

Anyway, I was telling her about smoking weed, because that is happening again, and she got concerned because that’s a different level of sobriety than I was doing before. And I think I tried to justify it or something but later on she was telling me how I don’t have to do that. I can do something and not have a reason for it besides liking it. So I’m trying to be like ok yeah I was sober from weed before and now I’m not because I like smoking weed and it makes me feel better.

It’s funny cause I really do have to mostly stick to Mango Haze which has a lot of CBD in it but also THC but even then it’s not a super disabling type of weed cause it’s a sativa. Anyway I guess what I am saying is I’m still trying to be responsible and not turn into a slacker or something because I’m using weed again. Like get my work done and you know for the most part I HAVE been getting my work done. And the times I can tell my brain is mushy has less to do with me being buzzed and more to do with me having forgotten my Vyvanse that morning. Which unfortunately happens and makes me a rambly talker on panels and what have you, so I try to remember when I can.

ANYWAY yeah therapy is great, cause she also said you know I don’t have to justify other things either, like taking a vacation and that kind of thing. I can just stand in my integrity and be like “yeah that’s what I did because I made that decision.” I don’t need to give anyone a reason for anything really.

I made what I thought was a bad decision to write about my feelings to an ex. But now I’m thinking it wasn’t a bad decision so much as a bad but not entirely unexpected outcome.

I’m kind of not sure how I feel about dating right now just cause I felt really burned by my last romance or whatever. And not that they are a bad person it was just messy and painful for me. But I don’t know how much space I have in my heart right now for anyone. Which sucks because it’s spring time and people are horny and I’m definitely getting flirted with by other people. But like, yeah, I just don’t know if I can trust someone right now. I don’t even know if I can trust myself because I saw my last romance SO DIFFERENTLY than the other person involved saw it. I mean there’s an entire summer still to come also, lots could happen.

HA HA Oh right so the weed roulette thing was because I mostly smoke Mango Haze cause I know what to expect from it (and it stops my knees from hurting) but I’m also super into joints so sometimes I’ll roll up like, three joints so I don’t have to roll again for a while. And sometimes one joint will fall into a mess of things or whatever and when I clean up I find it again. BUT sometimes I’m not smoking Mango Haze, I’m smoking something stronger. So now when I find these lost joints, I don’t know what’s in them. And I have to decide if I can risk it or if I should roll more Mango Haze to be safe.

I came to write here because I am behind on a writing project due today. So this is my warm up writing really. I like writing here because it’s so low pressure, no one pays me to say anything here. I can talk about masturbating for an entire entry if I want. Not today tho!

For the rest of your life

I’ve pretty much adjusted to being a full time artist over the last four or five years I’ve really been able to do it. I sometimes think I should hire an assistant tho, but then I get nervous if I can afford to pay them. It would probably just be one day a week. Or one hour five days a week. I wonder if that is even allowed? But like, someone I could send to answer like, these specific emails. I would really love to reduce my admin.

Aside from that I guess this is what I am doing for the rest of my life? It’s not terrible since it pays decently. Like, more than decently. I am not living near the poverty level. Like it pays well enough that I don’t worry about money usually.

I’m working on this piece that I’m already in love with and it’s spinning all these ideas around in my head. I want to do a tribute to 70s film and video art aesthetics COMBINED and talk about 2 Spirit lives at the time. It’s been cool, I’ve been looking in these sexuality and gender archives and finding all kinds of things. Like a lesbian chain letter from the 50s, and a discussion topic list for a lesbian s/m support group in 1980 or 81, and some list of gay bars from the 60s called “Resorts for Sex Perverts!” Ha ha omg. I also found out more information about the lesbian bar that was in the same building as Filmores. Fascinating stuff! I love archives. Anyway, it’s been interesting to see how intersectional 2 Spirit people were in the 70s, like being in solidarity with so many people and causes. And they didn’t use the words 2 Spirit, they used Gay American Indians. Even the Lesbians!

Anyway, I am also learning nêhiyawewin again, in class setting. It’s one hour a week. It’s conflicting with a leather group I go to sometimes so that kinda sucks, but I am learning a lot. This class teaches syllabics, so we are learning what sound for what syllabic. And also greetings, like how elders greet a room. She’s a great instructor. And I mean we also learn lots of other things. I’ve started playing nêhiyawewin Wordle which is fun, I have won twice! I found my Cree-English dictionary which helps a bit.

I really want to be fluent in my language. I feel like it opens a whole side of me I don’t know a lot about. Like in terms of the way using that language informs your thinking on the world.

What else?

I am growing as a person I think. I recently felt distress in a friendship because of someone being very distant and when I communicated my distress she was really sweet and explained what was going on for her. And also I told her what part of the distress I knew was my own triggers and things. Anyway, my therapist thinks I am improving. Because I’ve been trying really hard to be a better communicator in important friendships and relationships and sometimes I feel I’m not getting anywhere with it.

I think the other surprising thing about this was that I realized how much of my own issues I was using to fill in the information I didn’t have about that situation. Like “Oh she hates me” or “I’m annoying!” or any of that. Like I felt so deeply dark and sad about it and then when I found out it had nothing to do with me I was like what? I’ve been holding onto this ball of sadness for no reason? WHAT?!

Berlinale is coming up and I wish I was gonna be there but I still know I made the right decision to sit this one out. I’m still trying to enjoy how exciting it is to be in the Berlinale.

My career was really taking off before this pandemic. I was in the Whitney Biennial, then I was in Berlinale, and then there was a pandemic that made people stay home for months. Like real fun ruiner. So many things changed. I mean my career is still going it’s fine. But would it have been different if there was no pandemic? Seems jerky to complain about a career during a pandemic but things changed so much.

Dating during the pandemic has also been really hard. I have met people, like this pandemic isn’t stopping that. But it’s not as easy. And kissing is really hard I still haven’t kissed someone.

Going on Year 3

bear cub
A bear cub on a branch

I’ve been in a weird mood. I feel like I’m definitely in the middle of a pretty wibbly part of the pandemic. I’m not sure what my feelings are from one moment to the next. Some days are really hard, and then the next day is fine, and then some other day I am doing work and feel better, or just weird things. If I think about my emotional/love life too hard I get sad, but then my career will cheer me up. Which probably sounds backwards to most people but genuinely most of the time my career is the thing making me happy.

Anyway, I got nominated for a Teddy Award in the Exhibition category. That’s exciting! It’s my second time being nommed for a Teddy and I would really like one. I also know the project that’s nominated isn’t super queer except that I made it. Which was the same with the other project I was nominated for a Teddy. So I dunno sometimes I wish I was doing really overtly queer stuff in these moments. Except I am but those show other places.

What else? I mean I think we are all in a pretty wibbly state right now. A lot of death around us and sickness and it’s just hard. I don’t even know what to tell people when they tell me they have it. I feel like it’s so cruel how far we are from each other.

I got invited to a festival on a continent I would love to visit for the first time, but I’m too worried about bringing covid with me and infecting them so I probably won’t physically be able to go. I don’t know, my rules are constantly changing. Apparently COVID cases in the US are going down if you look at wastewater covid data. I don’t know about Canada.

Mostly I’m angry that so many world governments just abysmally failed their people. Even Canada. Canada’s too busy attacking Indigenous land defenders in favour of climate change to actually put in some kind of COVID strategy. We didn’t even have widespread access to tests until now. It fucking sucks here. And yet I’m staying here cause it’s my fucking homeland. Or close to it anyway cause I’m not in my territory. I mean the USA is also my homeland tho, the border crossed us!

Things are good and bad and all kinds of things. I don’t even know how to write my blog posts anymore when so much of my career is happening in secret. I recently got asked for a screener from a company that’s ridiculously huge and mainstream and it was so weird. Like me? Pervy lil dyke punk kid me???

I still think of myself like I’m a teenager actually. Like just thinking of myself still being at heart a little punk dyke whose inevitably at odds with the system. I don’t know.

I’ve got to do laundry today, I’m out of socks, out of so many things. I should go do that.

I don’t know why I wrote this post. I feel like I didn’t update you on anything at all. Here’s me going on year 3 of a pandemic in my apartment. Gonna go heat up pizza then do laundry for the thousandth time. WOOOOOO

Oh god it’s late

I don’t know I thought I could check in.

I had to cancel my trip to Berlin because I had a dream about a dead bear with a human hand, and then I saw a dead bear on my FB newsfeed. And it was too close to the dream and I just got bad feelings and yeah, now I am not going to Berlinale. BUT my video installation will still be there, if you are there and want to see it.

To be clear I don’t mean EVERYONE in Berlinale is gonna get COVID. I just felt like it was too many warnings for myself to go. So maybe I would just have had bad luck and gotten sick and had to stay longer or was otherwise really messed up by going while most people were fine. I don’t want to chance it. So yeah.

Now I am gonna get all these Aeroplan points which could get me lots of plane flights. And I have some ideas but like nothing for sure, especially right now while I am waiting for a better picture of COVID right now cause the damn thing keeps changing.

I’m doing exciting things in my career. Like, some secret stuff and some more fun creative stuff and all kinds of things. It’s coming together! Ha ha ha. I really wish I had an assistant though, because I’m so tired of the paperwork. But then I would need to trust someone AND know I can pay them for a specific length of time. I used to be nervous about handing my email over, but honestly I don’t get very many personal emails. ALTHOUGH maybe I should start switching to a work email. Like dedicated to work and not getting emails from like, Betty’s Toy Box or Kink dot com. I think it would be nice to separate parts of my life like that.

I’m starting to feel like I can ease up on the weed. I’ve been getting low thc stuff, so it’s mostly CBD. But it does give a mild buzz. But I’m realizing sometimes I just like feeling more clear than other times. Like, clearer than even the really low THC stuff. Like not on it at all. So I’m gonna try and have some times where I’m not using it. Usually I stop in the evening cause it lasts for the rest of the night. But I could stop earlier. I dunno. Also I could go back to mostly using the oil because it’s more steady than trying to smoke enough puffs. PLUS I am remembering the things I didn’t like about smoking, like dry mouth, and the cough, and the smell. I dunno. I’m figuring it out and trying not to let old shame stuff bother me. It really does make my knees feel so much better is the thing, and I was getting pretty disabled by my arthritis like it was difficult to do stairs and I live on the second floor.

What else? I am making a film but I’m making it slowly. Like the first half was shot in 2018, and now I am finishing it. It’s got Super 8 in it which is fun. But I want to get more textures into the images, so I ordered a bunch of sharp and colourful things and am gonna experiment a bit. Its so hard to manipulate Super 8 in that way compared to 16mm. Like 16mm is just so much bigger. And these are teeny tiny frames. Aw fuck I should order a magnifying glass. Ha ha done.

I feel guilty buying work related things, even when they are relatively inexpensive. Like buying that stuff today wasn’t anywhere as pricey as something else I recently got. AND it’s for work. It’s just a weird work expense.

I’ve started a daily drawing practice, and for the most part I’ve managed to draw something every day since the beginning of the year. I am okay at it. I can see a style is emerging but I need to started getting more detailed after doing initial sketches. I just want to know I can draw decently for when I begin really working at making assets for my video game. So far I’ve drawn myself and the dogs and a friend. I also started doing Wordle like everyone, I only did two, the first I got in like five guesses, and the second I failed. So we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

I woke up this morning feeling so bummed out. Then I did work for a while and eventually was filming some Super 8 and getting happier again. And doing that creative stuff that makes me happy. And then at the end of the day I was watching The Descent because it was my movie of the day (I am back to watching one new movie every day like in the early days of the pandemic) and starting to get sad again. And I mean also entertained but sad, about the scattering of community that is happening right now while we are trying to get this wave under control. And I did also visit two people on the phone and zoom, so it’s not like I was ALL ALONE today. I just had a hard day I guess. And yet it was also productive and meaningful?

There are still good things in this world. I know that. It’s just so oppressive, to see this unknown timeline unfolding of this pandemic crushing our social lives and making us so isolated from each other.

That’s a lot of time outside of Canada

I counted up just the for sure international travel dates for 2022 and I’m basically away for almost three months of the whole year. I gotta figure out what to do with Posey since 2 months is one solid block in Vienna at the end of the year. Who is gonna watch her for two months? What if I bring her with me? Oh man.

I still have plane tickets for Berlin in February, and a couple tickets to Tori Amos. I really hope the Berlinale happens this year, because otherwise am I just going for Tori Amos?

Since I’m in the Berlinale I got to apply to Telefilm for travel funds. But I had to use my corporation. So that was a whole thing. I needed to open a business bank account, so I did but it doesn’t have a card I can use outside Canada. So that’s ironic. Anyway they were really rushing through the grant because I think they can tell there’s gonna be a rule against travel. So I know I didn’t make the cut off of Telefilm before the Christmas holidays for my direct deposit form. But hopefully that doesn’t make a difference, they already marked my application as recommended.

Ha ha what a boring paragraph.

I don’t have much, I’m being somewhat secretive these days. Not like I have huge secrets. I just feel more private these days. I do like writing these posts tho. It’s kind of healing I guess.

I’m knitting again. I finally got the hang of it and the knitting is more even, its meant to be a rib stitch but it’s all messed up. But I am trying to keep up the integrity of the messed-up-ness and give it some sense of reason. It looks pretty funny in the initial rounds tho, cause I couldn’t tell the difference between a knit and a pearl stitch. I’d taken a while off from knitting before this project. Like, a couple of years. And now I’m doing a dog sweater on double pointed needles. So yeah, maybe I should have done a scarf to ease back into it. Scarves take so long though.

I still have this red marino wool scarf for a future girlfriend that has never been worn by anyone else but me. I was doing some kind of girlfriend manifesting spell or something so I thought “If I knit this scarf it will bring a girlfriend into my life!” Which was fine, BUT the girlfriends I had after making it were not deserving of the Future Girlfriend scarf. And not like they were bad people, it’s just that they were not with me for very long. And then the last person I dated lives in California so there’s not a reason for them to get the scarf either.

That’s kinda good though because I need the scarf this year since I left mine in my mom’s car in Saskatoon.

I should do mittens too, I know how to do them. They are pretty easy actually.

Maybe I am my own future girlfriend only I’m not a girl.

Um what else? I haven’t talked to my friends much these days because my Mom is around visiting and then it’s just awkward to talk to friends when your mom is listening. She’s staying in a bnb down the street which is why I am finally writing here.

OH WAIT! I did have something I wanted to talk about.

So in 1992 around this time of year, I was starting to question my sexuality. As in, I knew I was super curious about lesbians and I knew women made me feel some kind of way. And I read an article in Sassy magazine about this teenage lesbian and just like, I think it was called “It happened to me” and it was lez positive but all I remember is being surprised that teenagers could be lesbians. Because I was 14, and as you can imagine I was really getting ready to not fake having crushes on boys anymore. And then on New Years Eve I hugged someone and got a MASSIVE crush, like so huge, I had to go sit on the couch and take in the fact that I was A LESBIAN. I mean I know the gender stuff makes it complicated now but also this was only 1993. Like, a minute into 1993.

So there’s something kind of magical I always recognize around this time of year in terms of the first time I fell in gay love. It wasn’t reciprocated. But it was a feeling that I hadn’t had before. And I’ve felt it a bunch of times since then. But this was like, identity defining love.

Anyway. I’m so glad things are somewhat easier for gay teens. Like, just having the internet could have been so radically different for me. On the other hand I did seek out and find queer youth groups and got involved in my community. In a lot of ways being queer made my life way more awesome, besides the actually dating other queers stuff. Like even my career wouldn’t have taken off in the same way if I was straight. Maybe it would have been more accepted though. But overall I’m glad to be a lesbian now.

A rainbow in a palm
Rainbow in a palm