All Alone

It’s been a while since I wrote here. Well, still isolated. Not much has happened. I’ve been keeping on top of my dishes. I did laundry yesterday, I’ve managed to order some groceries, and tomorrow hopefully someone can pick up some groceries for me. I started subscribing to meat delivery from a farm. I haven’t got the first order yet but hopefully it’s not as bad as when I signed up for the good food box and had too much produce. I’m only getting a small delivery every four weeks so hopefully that’s fine.

My date dumped me because we didn’t know when we could see each other because of the pandemic. It’s sad cause I liked her a lot. But I’m trying not to bring my feelings on that into this blog but since I did mention I had an ongoing date I figured I should update you. Single again, and with no one to mingle with because we can’t go on dates in person these days. Some friend of mine told me to go on Tinder and find someone to sext with but god that is kind of a depressing idea right now. I’m aware it might be 18 months before things go back to normal. What a fucking drag.

I’m wondering if a cold I had after Berlin was a mild case of coronavirus. No way to be sure unless they got a test for antibodies. I’m also aware I can’t totally believe that to be true because it might make me slip and think I’m immune when I’m not. Canada has done a crap job at testing people, so when I was concerned and called the healthline they didn’t tell me to get tested. Even people who have symptoms aren’t getting tested. It’s a really bad policy and I know it’s all because of a lack of testing kits. But it’s gonna bite us in the ass.

I finally got a form to apply for subsidy for my co-op but I’m pretty sure I won’t get it, BUT ALSO who knows. I don’t.

I owe a lot in taxes, and will owe more this year. But last year I had things that needed to be written off that they didn’t accept, so actually I should be able to fix last year at least. Or rather, 2018.

I finally have an accountant so I’m glad about that.

I’m trying not to be bored being stuck at home. I cleaned out the boxes in my sun porch, so I can finally chill out out here. It’s nice. People are still trying to play outside.

I bought this toy I’ve been using a lot, so that’s nice. It’s like way better than a regular vibrator that’s for sure. I’m trying to plan meals again. If all goes well I should have all the makings of a shakshuka tomorrow so I’m looking forward to that.

People have been dropping off a few things as I have needed them. Which has been nice. I got toilet paper.

Everyone is baking bread and starting vegetable gardens which is kind of funny/adorable. Human instincts. I mean I haven’t had too much difficulty getting bread in my food orders, but maybe I don’t eat enough bread to discover how low supplies truly are. Also there is apparently still a lot of produce. But there’s definitely a paper to be written about humanity, pandemics, and the urges to hoard toilet paper, learn how to bake bread, and start a vegetable garden. I don’t know if those are exactly survival skills but I guess so? I’m also planning to grow things if my seeds show up. I was gonna grow lettuce and swiss chard and bell peppers. I’m probably not gonna knit all summer though. I don’t usually knit in the summer.

I have a friend who got a concussion a couple months ago and every time we talk on the phone and I complain about being stuck inside they get mad at me because they were stuck inside for months with their concussion. And then I totally forget this the next time they call and we have the exact same conversation again. I wish I didn’t have ADHD it sucks having shit memory.

The funny thing about ADHD is that the things I DO remember are so arbitrary. Like when Instacart brought me veal and I was horrified cause I don’t want to eat a baby animal, I remembered that a friend really likes veal cause she told me so back in 2017 or something. Like literally only one conversation about veal three years ago and I’m still like “Hey do you want this veal?” So weird! But then yeah, I’ll totally forget something else I need to know within five minutes of hearing it. Like my Mom will be giving me instructions and I’ll just space out.

I’m trying to remember all these things for when/if I do have a biologically related kid, so I won’t be hard on them for not being able to do things, or for forgetting I sent them to the store for butter. I want to give them a break.

The dogs are fine. They get walks sometimes, so they are happy about that. People are shitty at social distancing outside tho, but Posey is an aggro dog anyway so she keeps them away. She’s quite enjoying having personal space. And she’s been having fun barking at squirrels and birds and other dogs she sees out the window. Little Mister is getting used to having a little short wander around the courtyard. He’s so sweet. He’s old so not great at going on a long walk, but he really liked the sun and green grass today.

Ehh? What else to report? Things so far are ok. My feelings on being stuck inside change from day to day. Monday was a good day, I felt like I could handle it. Today is a sunny day and I miss going to do things with friends. I’m finishing some Christmas chocolate which is getting a bloom but still tastes fine. I haven’t had a red bull in a long time which is for the best but I miss them. I miss my date a lot but we are still in touch. I’m trying to accept being single for another year. I mean, last year was so good for dates, I mean the whole year until this started and I got dumped. Not the last calendar year. I dated three people in an intimate way and had a lot of first dates. I guess it’s ok if I have to take a break until this pandemic blows over. The good thing is that everyone who isn’t coupled off is sexually frustrated right now, so it’s not just me. Who knows maybe there will be a vaccine sooner than later and I can start a tinder profile again. I don’t know. I’m going to an online play party next week so I’m looking forward to that. I’ll have to bring my gear to the couch. I’m not sure how to have an impact play scene online with only myself and someone bossy but I guess I can learn.

Isolation

It’s been a long time since I wrote here! I had a massive adventure in Berlin this last month which I just never talked about here. It seems like a bad time to talk about it now though because I’m concerned about the pandemic, and it’s affecting my life in specific ways that feel more immediate than talking about being in the Berlinale. Hopefully at a later date when I feel up to remembering some good times, I can tell you about Berlin, but that day is not today.

SO I had to go to Ottawa last week for work, and I came back on Saturday, being super nervous because I was watching things get more serious and worrying that air travel would be stopped for a while. And I was on Porter coming back, so I got to go through Billy Bishop which is a smaller airport and not such a concern as Pearson which has had some COVID 19 people in there.

Honestly today though it feels like it’s everywhere.

I came back wanting to see a date, but we can’t because I need to self isolate after Ottawa. I have been super careful, I did go to a few stores when I came back, on Saturday I think. But I’ve stayed home since, and it’s been okay. I did watch Contagion on Netflix tho which was a bad idea. I had a nightmare about hearing coughing everywhere.

I am trying to get to a point where I can see certain people after this self isolation, but both of those people are immunocompromised and also close friends so even when I am not self isolating, I still have to social distance to a HUGE degree to keep them safe.

My Mom has a dry cough, and a runny nose. The nurse she called said it’s probably a cold. It’s so nerve wracking this whole thing.

I was going to go back to the fertility clinic and get eggs retrieved and fertilized this summer, but now honestly I’m just thinking about getting the ones I already have fertilized and just seeing what happens with that. It’s the last year I am eligible for funded IVF. I am aware that the choice to try and make my own biologically related baby might be taken out of my hands with the circumstances being what they are. I emailed the clinic and they said they are still open but only taking essential people, like I assume people already in the middle of a cycle. They told me to check back in a couple of weeks and see what is going on. It’s really thrown me for a loop. Also I was gonna have to pay $6000 for fertility medication if I do another cycle, so if I only use the eggs I have now, I just need to pay $4000 for genetic testing. But I only have ten or thirteen eggs. I think ten good eggs anyway. Which is only so so statistically for getting a live birth. Ugh.

Also I had a psychic reading recently, from a new psychic cause I was curious and my old one is semi retired. And she was seeing me adopting or having this five year old boy come into my life, and someone who is a baby when they show up. And I’m starting to wonder again about adopting and if this situation is making that a more sensible option. I mean honestly if this gets as bad as I think it’s gonna get, it might be my only option in the end.

Ahhh and my Instacart guy brought me veal instead of chicken. It has a sticker on it saying it’s like, humanely raised or something, but I’m still like omg I’ve tried to avoid veal forever! Jesus Christ the food still left on Instacart is either like “canned brown mushrooms” or “Lobster tail.” Like it is a weird range of foods. I’m gonna be glad when the stores restock and people realize it’s not gonna be empty shelves forever.

I think the other thing about potentially not doing another IVF cycle is that I’m a self employed artist, so people pay me for gigs and contracts. Already I lost $2500 for a residency that isn’t happening now. So like, is now the time to spend $6000 on something I am not sure will give me a baby? I know it would increase my chances of having a baby, but like, that is money I need to live on. I am still gonna spend $4000 on the testing but like, yeah, it seems right now that doing another IVF cycle is not the way to go.

Life is so confusing and like, things unexpectedly change SO FUCKING MUCH! I didn’t think even a few days ago that I would need to cancel doing an IVF cycle. But now? Yup. I’m slowly getting food back in the house, and I had to get the place fumigated while I was in Berlin, so most of my food got chucked at that time. And now of course these staples are in short supply because people are panic buying.

I am thinking about art I want to make though. I have projects I was working on anyway. I could do some other things. I know people are like “Don’t work while you are quarantined!” but honestly I like my job and I am taking it easy but I don’t want to do nothing or I’ll be bummed out and even more depressed. If I can’t kiss my date at least I could be creative which also makes me happy.

Plus I have to work on a short script, because we got funds to make a short film, but are going to do some rewrites while we wait for the film Industry to get back to normal.

The film Industry is shut down basically. No one is having their productions. I had to cancel a shoot and change my plane ticket to July, HOPING I have the ability to travel and go do that shoot. We’ll see.

I am really glad I have my own production and editing equipment though. I didn’t even think about how I needed to be prepared for a pandemic though, I just thought it would be a good idea to have for my own personal use. I like having my own gear, it lets me do shoots whenever I want.

Anyway. Yeah I have a whole kit really. I know how to use it all. I know how to edit. I’m uniquely equipped to make my own films right now.

So there are things I feel sad about losing, or like, knowing I am going to lose them. Like, people really. People who will drift out of my life, people who will die. People I can’t make because I can’t get to the fertility clinic or use money I really need to live on. I’m worried about my friends who are immunocompromised. I’m worried about my Mom who has a cough.

And yet at the same time I’ve gone into this weird survival mode, which right now doesn’t involve crying. I mean these would normally be things I cry over. I did cry a couple nights ago about something else. But even though I think I can see where this is going, I’m not crying yet. I mean maybe sometimes things are so bad you can’t even cry about it. Until later.

Then again I haven’t written in my diary for a while, and writing in my diary is usually what makes me cry super hard.

Baker Miller Pink!

Last night I went to sleep thinking about this video game I worked on years ago. I always meant to finish it. It was covered by Vice when it was half finished, they did a lil video showing me and this woman came and played it at ImagineNATIVE. ANYWAY I sort of shelved it for a while cause I kept trying to get grants to finish the last half. But the last year or so I’ve thought maybe I don’t need a grant anyway. Not for this in any case. But I was still stuck.

So last night I started dreaming about it. In the original it follows someone who gets depressed, takes antidepressants, has a manic psychosis episode, and is taken to the hospital. But it ends there. In the rest of what I wanted to make there were three more levels, the psych ward level where you talk to patients, the mental health group home after getting discharged from the hospital, and then the last level was gonna be about going back into the community and trying to stay on meds and level. So I don’t even remember what was going on in my dreams last night, all I knew is I woke up determined to work on my psych ward level. And I did!

I made a list of assets and backgrounds I would need for my last three levels. I started drawing and scanning some of them. And then I spent the rest of the day in photoshop making a hallway background in Baker Miller Pink, and making doorways with cartoonish interiors based on photos of psych rooms. And then I did a test and put the doorways onto the hallway background to see how it looks. It looks awesome! I even looked up the exact hexidecimal values for Baker Miller Pink which I am pretty proud of ha ha! I wonder what the hexidecimal values for Yves Klein Blue are.

I was so hyperfocused on my work and only had coffee and a couple babybel cheeses when I woke up, so around 4 my stomach started gurgling and I realized I needed to eat. I ordered KFC and kept working until 5pm.

I’m making myself take a break but honestly I want to keep working. I was gonna put some weird things in the doorways instead of only rooms, like a big iguana, and some graffiti and a dog, and maybe a photo of a set I got to tour. Who knows! I think it looks pretty cool tho. And I drew heads for the five characters I need to have floating around to talk to on that level. I’m having fun.

It’s using my brain in a bit of a different way than when I make a video. Like, I haven’t even started doing the programming for it yet, today was just making assets. And probably tomorrow too. And then when I finally start putting it together I know I’m gonna start hitting walls when it comes to coding. I bought a couple of books on C# coding and building 2D unity games. I’m hoping that helps me out.

It was a super exciting creative day today though. I feel like I’ve made a big step in finishing this video game. I don’t know where I could release it. It’s really just an art project, I don’t see myself as making money off of it. I think it just might be cool for psych consumers/survivors and people who work in mental health to play it and relate to it. I am hoping that it demystifies the experience of having Bipolar 1 and going through the psych system. I am keeping heavy shit out of it though. Like rape threats and restraints aren’t in here. And other forms of psychiatric coercion and abuse. So I know even then it’s still a very “sanitized” version of what I went through. But I’ve already made a video about psychiatric abuse, so I feel like this video game can be sort of different.

The last level is gonna be about crossing a park to get to a hotdog cart to buy a hotdog. But your character keeps floating up and sinking down and you have to try and catch pills at the right level at the right time to stay even enough that you can get the hotdog. I picked a hotdog cause the first time I got hospitalized I had to eat all that institutional food. And then my friends took me to the hospital cafeteria and I got to have whatever I wanted, so I ordered a hotdog. It was the best hotdog I ever had even tho it was a lil wimpy Montreal steamie. It was the taste of freedom.

I think people who haven’t be institutionalized in some way don’t understand that kind of first taste of freedom after confinement. You just take it for granted that you can do a lot of whatever you want most of the time. That you can leave a place anytime, eat whatever you want, wear whatever you want, smoke whenever you want. When you are institutionalized that all gets taken away and it is very disorienting when you get out. I remember too there’s this other weird feeling when you get out, where you miss the safety of the institution. Like it’s oppressive in there, but there’s rules and eventually you learn them and other people have to follow them. And out in the world, people are unpredictable. It probably sounds weird to an outsider that I ended up feeling safer in the ward than when I went back out into the world, but sometimes it was true.

Anyway, this video game can’t possibly tackle all of the things I think about being a psychiatric consumer. I think it’s more of a leaping off point for thinking and talking about these issues. And I am really glad I am working on it again, I’ve wanted to see this project to the end for a long time.

Working in the New Year

I made myself take time off this December because the fall was intensely busy and wore me the fuck out. I needed rest and I was just constantly working my ass off and feeling exhausted. And it was starting to make me grumpy. Like I’m talking constantly working for months. Even this summer was a lot of work. Anyway, I had promised a friend I would take December off, and then still ended up working for part of it. But then I did rest. I could feel creative thoughts starting to come back, and ideas, and passion. And it was hard NOT to go back to work. Today was gonna be my first official day back at work, but instead I went back to work on January 1st and filled out forms, made stills, sent files. And it wasn’t hardcore work but it was definitely work again.

Today I started working on my Canada Council project I got funds for. I’m making a documentary installation about racism in Saskatchewan. And I was really hesitant about it as I started working on it actually. I was like “What am I really adding to this conversation? Is this just a narrative about feeling defeated by colonization?” But today while I was highlighting sections in the transcripts I realized it was way more complex than that. Like there is a lot of discussion of injustice in it. But also a lot of discussion of resistance, and questioning structural racism, and even questioning how whiteness plays into desireability politics as a queer person. I don’t really think the people I interviewed are victims even when they talk about witnessing or experiencing racism. They are all really strong people. And thoughtful. And I feel like if a white person did stumble onto my installation, they might be open to question racist beliefs they have held. I mean I’m not gonna fix racism in Saskatchewan with an art project. But there’s something here that I really like and that doesn’t feel defeatist. I don’t know.

I’ve had a lot of questions since the new year began (ha ha just two days!) about a few things. One was questioning my career. It’s changed recently. Like I was doing a Q and A last year and mentioned how my practice has changed from being very insular and about myself and my place here, to being more about my communities and our relationships with the world and this planet and larger forces. It’s nice to see that progression. I’ve achieved some milestones I was working really hard to get to the last while, and that’s also made me question my career because what do you do when you’ve passed those milestones? I know there’s bigger stuff happening in my future, even things floating around my head now. But it still feels like floating in space. Like I don’t have a trajectory anymore, now it feels like I could do anything (and I don’t say that in a manic sense) and not feel so much resistance cause I’ve worked hard for so long. And when you start getting to a place in your career where you could do anything, it seems weird. To me I guess. Maybe because I struggled for so long. And now it’s different.

I guess the other thing I’ve been struggling with is my endless search for a romantic partner. I mean it still makes me feel a lot of complicated feelings. But I’m starting to wonder if it even matters? I really really like sex and being romantically connected to someone. And I want a family. But it’s just not happening and I think I need to stop thinking about it or something. I tried to do the Tinder thing but it feels like everyone there is looking for hook ups and polyamorous relationships and I’m not really down for that lifestyle. And then the baby thing feels like a big weight on all of this. I still want a baby though and it feels like I’m back to waiting for a partner so I can have one, and fuck, maybe I should forget about the partner altogether and just be a single parent. It would be a lot easier. I’ve spent pretty much my whole life single, what would be the difference if I raised a kid while I was single?

The only thing is I need a surrogate to have a baby because my uterus doesn’t work, and that’s expensive. I could write a really good script and sell it to someone else to make for thousands of dollars and not look back. I mean there are options. They all go back to my career that I feel confused about. At least I’ve got a career I’ve been working on for years and years. Decades! OMG. But I mean if I refocused on my career for a few years I could probably save enough money to pay for a surrogate. Or meet someone super altruistic. Or win a prize, who knows.

I started buying lottery tickets just so I can win enough thousands/millions of dollars to start a family alone. Not like, A LOT of lottery tickets though. Just the big ones a couple times a week. Not scratch and wins or anything. I’m not going to the casino to try and win baby making money. I know the odds are I will get baby making money from my career and not from the lottery though.

Anyway. I guess this year is about my career even tho my career is a little bit different since I achieved things I wanted to achieve. There are still projects I have to finish, and projects I’ve only thought quietly about and that are in the queue. I could still do amazing things in my career. And who knows, maybe I will get enough money to pay for a surrogate. And maybe I will quit Tinder finally cause it makes me sad no one matches with me. Or very few people anyway. I don’t know. My Mom has been single pretty much most of her life, she seems happy. She does her career thing and has a good life. It’s not like no one has modelled a life with no partner for me. And I have a lot of friends, and good friends even. Close friends. Friends I would trust with my life. Like that’s pretty good I think.

Missing Him

So it’s after Christmas. I had kind of a rough Christmas. I was listening to Fairytale of New York and it brought back all these feelings I had about a friend of mine who committed suicide 8 or 9 years ago. I just heard that song right after I found out he had died and it made me cry super hard. Anyway it made me cry super hard again, and then just think about him, and miss him.

This Christmas was hard for a lot of people. There were a lot of deaths in my communities this season. And some were very violent deaths. And some were suicides. And the daughter of my old late babysitter and friend Jasmine died recently, which brought up my feelings about Jasmine’s death which was also a suicide. It really isn’t fair, any of this, for any of these people. When I think about people I have known who have died, very few of them were people who lived to an old age and died peacefully. A lot of deaths of very young people. Like 20’s and 30’s.

I remember when I started struggling with feeling suicidal, like at such a young age, like seven or something, I honestly didn’t think I would live past 30. I sometimes wonder if that’s why I was so ambitious, because I wanted to burn really brightly before I left. Kind of tragic.

But that’s not how it worked. I have been suicidal so many times, but each time gets a little bit easier, as weird as it sounds. I find my suicidal episodes are really intense but brief. Like they ALWAYS pass. And like not even in a long period of time, in the last few years my suicidal episodes last less than 24 hours. And I’m turning 42 next year, I’ve gotten really really good at coping mechanisms. I know who I can talk to. I know excuses I can give myself for why I need to stay. I can take care of myself really well even if that just means ordering food and staying on my couch watching shitty tv for a day. I know which people close to me are NOT good to talk to in those situations, because they aren’t empathetic, or they just get annoyed by my distress. So sometimes I just won’t talk to those people for very long, even if they are close to me and you would think they would have their shit together.

But people in their 20’s especially, haven’t had the amount of episodes I’ve had now at 42 that taught me how to look out for myself. I think when I was most in danger was my 20’s, because of so many reasons. Like, I didn’t have a plan for my life in my 20’s so there wasn’t a long range vision of my future. I was using substances which increases the chance of impulsively doing something. I didn’t know where to reach out to for help. I did call a suicide hotline though when I was in Vancouver and it got me in touch with a counsellor who was SO HELPFUL. But even my last manic episode when I was 29, AFTERWARDS when things seemed so bleak, like so so so bleak, it was very hard to see the future and what good things could be waiting. I knew there must be something but I had to do a lot of visualizations to try and see it. A lot of people did try to help me, and I’m glad they did and some of them really did get me through long dark nights.

Anyway, Matthew’s death day comes up in January. And I still wonder with him, and with Jasmine, if there’s something I could have done that would have helped them. Like if I called, or if we had seen Jasmine, or anything. Like everyone left behind has those questions I think. And I wonder what they would be doing in their lives now. It’s a lot to grapple with.

I didn’t realize this Christmas would feel so dark. I don’t feel suicidal though, which I’m glad about, but I did have some thoughts a couple weeks ago, which was hard to deal with. BUT I made it, again, like always. I dunno. I’ve kind of made peace with it, that this dark thought just likes to come up in my head. It’s totally because I’m bipolar, it’s not really me wanting to die, it’s just a symptom of my mood disorder. And I haven’t had long depressive episodes like I used to, not for a long long time. There are just these intrusive bursts of despair that leave as soon as they arrive. I’m sure there are bursts of extreme happiness too, but generally people don’t worry about that too much unless I’m like, TOO HAPPY and get aggro and then it’s like okay Thirza you’re manic right now. But mania has really stayed away from me for a long time.

Anyway, I miss Matthew. And Jasmine. And I worry about who else I am gonna end up missing. And I don’t know how to save people. And I’m not even very good at being with suicidal people myself. Although I do remember sometimes the best thing was just being with someone who were gonna make sure I ate and put me to bed. And just be around them, and not even to talk to them all the time, just like sitting there quietly while they did laundry or something. I dunno.

When I think about having kids, I remember that genetically they have a really good chance of inheriting bipolar disorder. And I think about the challenges of raising a kid who has suicidal feelings. That’s really hard. I think about ways I might be more prepared for it than my Mom was. I think I would take my kid to a psychiatrist sooner than I went.

There’s some people who don’t think people should have kids if we have bipolar disorder, like just because of genetics. But even tho I have this disorder, I still am glad I’m here. I still feel good MOST of the time. I still have a life that is worth living. I hate the idea that people think my life isn’t worth living just because I have a mood disorder. Like that’s so shitty, how can you think that about a human being? Gross.

My kids lives will be worth living, even if they did inherit my mood disorder. At least I would know where we are starting from, at least I could get them help. Everyone has some kind of thing they have to live with. At least I know how to live with it right now.

I feel bad for the ones who couldn’t make it though. Sometimes people’s pain is just too much. Some people I know, I kind of think there was no other way it was gonna end. It never makes it less tragic though.

Anyway. Dark Christmas. But the sun is coming back. And a new year is starting. And there’s always good things coming, not ALL good things, but enough.

Less Bitter in time for the Holidays!

Ok so I am definitely less bitter than I was last time I wrote here. Things have been going really well for me, with the exception of a hellacious cold that’s been going on since last Monday, or rather, the Monday before last. A week and a half for sure. I was wiped out and still had to work and was feeling shitty and kinda glad the date I was looking forward to got cancelled cause I was in no shape to get my home ready for a visitor.

I mostly lay on the couch, watching rando things like CBC News Network, Kat Blaque True Teas, various Christmas song videos, and more recently the entire first season of The Good Place. I just tried to power through it. But I felt better this week, so I started cooking again. Made myself a stew. Today I finally started my Christmas baking and made a cherry cake. It’s wrapped and sitting in the fridge for a few days while the flavours develop more.

I also got my Christmas snacking in order. I have two kinds of chocolates (Lindt white and Quality Street), various cheeses (danish blue, Irish porter cheddar, Brie, Boursin cranberry and pepper), pate, crackers (I need more vintas tho), salami, a raisin and candied citrus panettone, chips, dip, various soda and near beer, Cheese puff pastry hors d’ouvres, and regular food like bacon and steaks and stewing beef and stuff. And I think chicken?

I need to get oranges tomorrow tho, and stuff for the dogs. I know Christmas is still a ways off but I want to be prepared.

I found out some fucking amazing news for my career and it is kind of the achievement of a long held dream of mine. I don’t know when it will be public but I’m super excited and looking forward to going to one of my fave cities.

The dogs are good. They’ve been excited by the snacks in the house. I’m gonna bake some sugar cookies tomorrow I think, because that’s basically the last Christmas baking I need to do to feel like I have celebrated the season.

I went googling Transparent cause I wanted to know if they ever released their last season and it turns out they released a musical finale this fall? I had heard nothing about it, cause I guess either no one liked it or no one cared. I have issues with musicals, like I like them sometimes but other times I just get secondhand embarrassment for the actors. It’s something I’ve worked on, but I have a feeling I’m gonna get it if I watch this finale.

Anyway, I’ve been avoiding seeing people cause I’m so sick, but now I feel better and I don’t think I’m contagious anymore. I didn’t really get lonely while I isolated and recovered. Which kind of made me feel good. I know being a recluse is not me, but more like I feel content with myself alone. Which is good since I’ll probably be single for a while longer.

At the same time tonight I did get on Tinder again, which might be a mistake, I dunno. We’ll see. I wish snoopy straight women weren’t on there, they are so annoying. I mean on there as in in my search results because they put bisexual options down when really they are only looking for men and are being tourists.

Anyway. I’m feel better because I have a lot of delicious things in my house, my health is returning, I’m enjoying consuming various media, I’m really giving myself a holiday, and something spectacular is gonna happen in my career next year. A few spectacular things really.

When I look at my calendar tho, especially for February and March next year, I get a bit overwhelmed. It will be fine. It’s just A LOT of work in two months. And a LOT of traveling. I think I’m gonna try and stay in Toronto in April. Something happens in May tho? Oh wait! Never mind. I am filming in Saskatchewan in April and doing something in Banff in May. I hope my dogs do okay at the sitter. They need to be there for like, three weeks in Feb and March, and three weeks in April and May. And Little Mister is so old. I don’t want him to die while I’m working somewhere. Awww. He’s fine right now tho. Bouncy even. Poor guy, poor aged guy.

Dreaming is Free

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BONUS!

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

Woman Dress

Woman Dress Film Click Here To View

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

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

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

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

Allow Me to Complain About Being Tired

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fucking In Front of The Community

I haven’t been updating this blog very much but it’s not because I’m not thinking about it or because I am giving it up. I was genuinely just too busy, I went to like, three cities since the beginning of October including an overseas trip to London UK. Also just before going to London my computer started constantly crashing and just quit in London. So it’s been at the store since the day after I got back, getting looked at. I have no idea if they even started working on it, when I call a crabby lady tells me “it’s in the queue!”
That didn’t really help this last week. I had to get a pitch deck finished for my producer and I to pitch our project. In the end we had to use her computer and do a lot of work in the few days she was in town just before pitch day. Our pitch went well though, we got a lot of interest which was good, and I want to get back to my project. Today I had a handful of micro meetings with people who weren’t as interested and hadn’t seen my pitch. But whatever.
I did have some non-work excitement in my life. I met someone really interesting and cute who I want to know better. And I got to spend time with my Mom. And I saw friends in all the cities I went to.
I dunno what else? I came back here and basically did work all week because of ImagineNATIVE. There was the pitch day, micro meetings, a panel, I did a performance today. Tomorrow I am just going to see films all day though and none of them are mine so there is no stress now. And I’m fairly certain I’m not up for any awards so I’m not going to the awards show this year.
And next week I have a massage booked on Halloween. It will be spooktacular! Ha ha ok lol.
The dogs were at the sitter most of this month, and I feel kind of bad for bringing them home just before the festival started cause they have been so lonely and put out. And I’ve just been getting crabbier and crabbier with so little downtime. But next week will be a nice rest. And I’m not booking myself for any gigs in December. After TQFF my major heavy job stuff is over for a while.
I’m so tired, and every time I write in my handwritten journal (since my computer is in the shop) I just write “I’m tired.” Well, except for all the sexy stuff I wrote in it. I was actually using it this week to take notes during meetings and having nightmares of leaving it somewhere and having some stranger read personal stuff. Like I know people think I get personal here, but I honestly try to keep my love and sex life off the Internet, even just fantasies, but especially if they involve crushes and lovers cause I know people get nervous I’m gonna write about that thing they do that we both like.
There was one funny thing that happened this month tho that I feel okay talking about. I’d been going to this sex club cause they had women and trans nights. And I never had sex there cause honestly I’m too shy. But I liked someone who was there and there always seemed to be too many people around to ask to make out with her (cause it’s like a sex club right?) so anyway long story short she started making out with someone else in front of me and I was like wow I am not that mean to myself that I’m going to stay and watch this. So I left. But I did learn I can’t go to sex clubs so I mean that’s good right? And I mean I know I seem to put everything out there but honestly I’m a shy guy and I can like, quietly flirt in private enough to start things but like asking to kiss and fuck in front of The Community is actually kind of a nightmare I don’t know why I didn’t clue in on that before.
Of course I just got back from doing a performance where I was naked. Public nudity, totally easy. Taking emotional risks in highly charged public sexual spaces? Noooooooooooooooo.