Restless

I’m outgrowing my apartment/home. I’ve lived here for five years this summer, definitely a long time. I really love my apartment, it’s been a good safe place to live, and super affordable. But I REALLY want to get into a two bedroom, and I can’t do that until I have a partner to move in with. I’ve seen a couple two bedroom units in my co-op and they are really nice. Also not HUGE but like, they have dining rooms. I don’t have a dining room, just a living room, bedroom, teeny kitchen, and bathroom. ALSO the kitchens seem to have way more cupboard space. I would love more cupboards. I feel like that point in Alice In Wonderland when she’s eating food that makes her giant and her arms and legs are sticking out of windows in the house she’s bursting out of. Only I also have dogs!

I know I also need to lose some things. Like, I have a lot of tshirts I never wear. They could definitely go. I have books I really don’t need or want to read again, those could go. I have some DVDs I just don’t need. You know, just junk. I have cds that could go to the street. This stuff is all taking space and I don’t have to let it.

At the same time a pandemic really does feel like a shitty time to leave things out for people to pick through. Like who is gonna trust it to not have COVID? I can’t even guarantee it doesn’t have COVID because I don’t know maybe I am asymptomatic.

I’m not sure how to cope with this urge to move to a new place, since I definitely can’t move right now. I’m not leaving the co-op. My apartment gets great sun. I just want a bigger one. But I have been thinking maybe I could work on making my home more appealing. I’ve been cleaning rooms in a more substantive way. Like, I got rid of a lot of junk in my bedroom and put things where they were supposed to go. So it seems a lot more reasonable in there. And I’ve been thinking about painting my apartment. Not a HUGE paint job, but like, I could paint the trim in my living room, and the door to the stairs. Just a few things. I like the plants I’ve gotten, they make me feel more in touch with life and nature.

I don’t know. I am restless. And not like I want to leave town, and I definitely don’t want to leave the co-op. I think I am just antsy to get to the next part of my life where I’m living with someone and starting a life together and making each other dinner and having baths together and lazy morning sex and calling home to see if my partner wants me to pick something up from the store. And like, MORE SPACE! A kitchen with more cupboards. A place to have a dining table that we can eat at. I think what is also distressing is that this part of my life is completely out of my control until the right person comes along.

And I can’t go dating until this pandemic is over or under control or SOMETHING. It’s a very strange time in my life. I didn’t have this in my life plans.

Who Knows What The Future Will Bring

Well I haven’t written here in a long time! OMG! So, some things have changed.

I was super concerned that I wouldn’t be able to fertilize my eggs this year because COVID shut down the fertility clinic. But they are reopening, and on Tuesday I am going to message them and see if I can get my donor to go in and just finally fertilize these guys. Cause I just want to get it over with, take a gamble. If we get good embryos that have a chance then great! If not… well I still tried. So yeah. I can’t afford to do another cycle because $6000 worth of medication is just not in my budget. Especially since I have to pay $4000 to also do genetic testing.

BUT hey there is still a chance!

I’m realizing I really don’t know what my future has in store for me. I know people try to have five year plans and my plans have usually only ever been two year plans at best. But this whole thing has thrown everyone for a loop. And I still don’t feel able to have a baby by myself. I need someone to help me parent, even if I am adopting. Plus I don’t know how I can get into a two bedroom if I don’t have a baby yet. It’s really complicated. Like do I need to get a partner to move into a two bedroom so that I could be eligible to adopt? Cause I can’t just move into a two bedroom by myself right now, not by the co-op rules anyway.

I’m confused.

Also I am just kind of taking a pause when it comes to dating. I do want a partner, but I am also deeply introspective right now and trying to understand what I really need from a relationship in the future. And what I can give. And the sort of attentive kind partner I want to be with. AND like I don’t know how to date with this pandemic. It seems like a big obstacle. If I could kiss anyone I would kiss my last lover because I still trust her, but she is not with me anymore. And I am trying to promise myself I won’t chase people anymore. I don’t think it’s ethical to try and convince someone to give me a chance. If they don’t freely want to give me a chance and date me then I don’t want it. And it doesn’t feel good to always be the chaser. Ugh.

Anyway. I have been cooking with the goodfood box, I made some really amazing dinners. Some other not so great dinners. I really don’t like bokchoy. If I could skip everything that has bokchoy I’d be happy. Bokchoy. ANYWAY, they look great in pictures so my instagram is like, dinner photos. Not real inspired but they make me happy anyway.

I also got a huge four foot windowbox for my sunporch and some pepper and strawberry plants, so I am growing those. They make me happy, just going outside every day, sometimes watering, checking their progress. I had lettuce too but some mice found the seedlings when I was still keeping them inside and ate them, roots and all! So no lettuce for me. I might get some herbs planted out there too tho, basil would be good. And who knows what else. I also got some succulents so I am trying hard not to kill those, but I have a bad history with succulents so we’re just gonna have to see.

I don’t go out much. I go to Shoppers for my meds, and toothpaste and stuff. I try to limit my NoFrills trips to once a week or sometimes once every two weeks. I’ve not needed to get much since I started getting the goodfood box tho. And I had signed up for a farm to deliver meat but I’m not eating it fast enough. ALSO today I just got an order of game from Antler so I am eating some pricey cuts of meat this next while. Bison and boar and duck and cornish hens. And venison. SO FANCY.

I’m actually kind of sad cause the bison came with like, two ribsteaks. And I was thinking tonight how nice it would be to cook them for dinner with someone. And then I started thinking about how I would have a physically distanced dinner with someone. I don’t know if it’s possible, especially if I am touching their food. I could wear gloves and a mask I guess. I dunno. I am going to have to plan my romantic dinners for the future.

I do like being part of a couple if the other person is serious about it. Like, if they get weirded out by romantic gestures like me cooking them dinner or writing them a love letter then it’s not fun. Like I think those are mostly the people who just wanted sex tho. But like, I like planning things for someone. I like writing love letters. I like being foolish and trying to play a song for them, or learn a song. I like making dinners. I like planning sexy escapades and adventures. I like spontaneously going to some event to hold hands in the audience and maybe kiss when no one is looking. Just real basic relationship things that I haven’t really had a chance to do much in my life. I did do some of those things. But not enough. It would be nice to lay next to someone and talk about the future and tell them I love them and hear it back. I don’t know why that has been so elusive for me but it has.

Anyway, I’m not really looking for it right now, since I don’t know how to date with a pandemic going on. And I don’t know if there will be a vaccine. But nobody knows really.

I saw two friends today in the flesh, which was kind of amazing, they both stopped by my house and visited from a distance. I miss visiting. It was nice. I went to a screening I was in on Femme Power TV on Twitch and it was really fun, really reminded me of fun queer events we can’t go to anymore because of the pandemic. It felt very intimate and yet also like a community, it was great.

Some days are easier than other days. I still watch a movie every day, or some shorts in a festival or event if that is going on. I watched an Agnes Varda film last night that was super beautiful, Cleo 5 to 7. So amazing! I watch some bad films too, like hollywood cheesy ones, or old crap movies, anything I feel moved to see that day. It’s been a good practice and I’m glad I started it.

A Movie A Day

Well, I’ve started a new habit while I’ve been on lockdown. I’m watching one new movie every day. I watched The Night Porter. Eraserhead. Oceans 8. The Kitchen. Ummmm what else? My Life As A Dog. I feel like I watched something else but I can’t remember. It’s good though, I’m trying to make it a general rule to only watch films I haven’t seen before. But I used to watch My Life As A Dog when we were kids, like all the time. It was just something I connected to I guess. We watched the dubbed version but this was subtitled. And made me cry a bunch of times.

I’m going to continue this movie a day thing for as long as I can. It’s expanding my brain which is good, I am discovering new things anyway by watching even the bad films.

I made a hamsteak and scalloped potatoes and a lemon meringue pie today. It was pretty good. I think the hamsteak was overcooked. The scalloped potatoes were good but watery. So maybe they will set a bit in the fridge tonight. I’m not really a practicing Anglican anymore, but I still like the types of foods that go with holidays like Easter. Mom always made us ham and scalloped potatoes.

Actually, I am also discovering that I am starting to like cooking a bigger more traditional meal once a week even tho I live alone. Like how people made Sunday roasts. I wonder if I could get a roast for next Sunday.

One thing I am glad is that the food shortages aren’t happening so much anymore. It’s getting way easier to get foods now. The grocery store was hell on Saturday tho, long line, I hate being in there. I’ll probably order another big shop of groceries online soon. But at the same time it was nice to see the food and remember things I liked. Like salami.

I started reading Moon of the Crusted Snow, but the part where they were gonna run out of groceries hit and I was like ahhhhhh noooooo ha ha. I’ll finish it, it is a well written book. I’m just not sure I’m set up to read about dystopic end times right now.

There was an article I read this evening that said Coronavirus attacks T cells and they are worried it is similar to HIV. I’m still not sure if I have gotten it yet. People say no, my runny nose wasn’t a concern. But anyway, reading this today made me really hope I get spared. We don’t know the long term health effects this virus is going to have. And it seems so easy to contract, like you can just be near someone and catch it. Yikes.

What else is happening? Hmmm, I started writing again this last week, I rewrote my outline and started the script. So I am gonna do that some more this week and see how far I get. All I can really work on these days is writing and editing. No productions. We don’t know when we can shoot our short. It’s put everything on hold and it’s really hard to make plans now. I hope we are ready to hit the ground running when we finally get an all clear.

I missed having flowers in my home. So when I went to get my medications, I went a block up to a corner store and got potted ranunculus and daffodils. The daffodils just started blooming this morning and made me ridiculously happy. I’m going to plant the bulbs out front in the fall. It’s nice having colour around.

I’m not sure what to do about dating. I tried having a date. But I’m not sure I’m ready, or if there is a point right now. Cause really we can’t see people until this has run its course. And who knows what the world will be like when that is over. I’m lonely it’s true but even if I had a sweetheart again, there’s not really a way to guarantee we could see each other. ALSO what if I had someone over and a neighbour snitched on me? I’m super loud in bed, not really someone who is unobtrusive or secretive. And like, I do have a gag I can use but I tried that this morning for kicks and was STILL super loud.

Then again, I did see my neighbours playing soccer outside today. So like, we all live in a small area, no one is really gonna betray someone else cause they got lucky with someone who doesn’t live in their home.

The world is getting dystopic though. I don’t like all these fines they are giving out for not social distancing. I think it’s overpolicing. And I think it makes stuff like going for a walk, hugging someone, taboo activities, and it really wigs me out.

Someday I’m gonna read this blog again and hopefully be like “oh fuck that was awful, glad it’s not like that now.” But part of me worries some of this shit is gonna stay.

All Alone With Your Thoughts

I’m actually doing okay today. I think because I had energy to cook a roast chicken, and to roast some potatoes and beets. I’d better remember I ate beets or I’ll wig out tomorrow.

I’m struggling with the single thing, which is kind of hilarious considering how single I was for years and years. I don’t know why this is so hard, maybe because I have been told this pandemic is gonna go on for 18 months to 2 years. And like, how do you meet new people when you can’t see them in person? Like is someone gonna fall for me in a zoom meeting? I highly doubt it. Not to mention my online presence is the equivalent of me laying in my underwear in the road covered in potato chip crumbs and surrounded by Coke cans. Like, who is gonna be attracted to that kind of messy honesty? I’m really not sure. That’s the problem with being a semi public figure.

I am still taking care of my hygiene though. It’s been helping me feel more normal. Like I still have a bath everyday. I still keep my hair trimmed, even though it’s amateur hour over here. I have bare nails, I might give myself a manicure and put on nail polish. It chips so fast but would make me feel cute again. I was wearing t-shirts almost constantly but am going back to button ups and it’s actually made me feel normal. Ditto for wearing a bra. I shave my legs again, even though no one sees them I have to see them and it matters to me. Still brushing my teeth, maybe even more conscious of brushing my teeth properly because it’s harder to see a dentist right now.

Also cooking for myself has been going well. I haven’t ordered in very often. And I am making mostly decent food. I did make a shakshuka which was a new thing for me, so the eggs were over cooked but I feel more geared up for when I try again. I made myself cupcakes and those were nice. It’s probably too late now but I still want to cook a cobbler. Maybe tomorrow when I am eating chicken leftovers.

I think what really bothers me about being single right now is that I feel like my heart is super open to loving someone right now. And there’s no one, cause my old date doesn’t really want to try again right now. And I can’t meet people. Ugh it makes me sad if I think about it. I know some people got quarantined with terrible partners. So in some ways maybe some would envy me being quarantined alone. But it’s still hard. I’ve been cuddling my dogs a lot. Posey doesn’t let me cuddle her while we sleep anymore, so I cuddle a teddy bear at night and feel sad and regressed or something. But it does help.

I worry about people and my favourite neighbourhood businesses, if that makes sense. I worry about people having to leave Toronto because they can’t afford it here, or get evicted, even though they aren’t supposed to evict people. I worry about my shisha place having to shut down, my favourite deli with the apricot croissants, the local pet store, I don’t know, just places I worry about closing and losing. I worry about losing loved ones to suicide because this isn’t normal for humans. We are such social creatures, and this is hard on me and I’m sure on many others.

I’ve been getting checked in on which is nice, I mean online. There was one day I flipped out though and couldn’t handle messages. So it’s been quieter since then. Some really random people message me which is kind of funny because they aren’t people I would have thought to actually care about me. Like we don’t have conversations normally.

I’m trying to let go right now which is hard. I’m trying to let go of seeing my future plans happen a certain way. I don’t know what the future will bring, I feel like I’m gonna live through this but who the hell knows? I might not be able to fertilize my eggs at all. I might have to just adopt instead of trying. I might not have a girlfriend until I’m 44. I might not have a family until I’m 45. I mean it’s shifting all this shit WAY into the future and it’s kind of terrifying, especially since I am already in my 40’s and was already feeling like time is ticking. I feel like I am on pause.

One good thing is I’ve been able to do my art practice again. I recorded an audio track last night, my dog made a big fuss and was super noisy for no good reason, but it got recorded! I’m gonna chop it up tonight and see if I can make it into a coherent story, and then think more about adding other sounds to the soundtrack. I’m really bad with audio tracks, I often don’t make them as interesting as they could be. I’m one of those just add some talking to it and that’s good people. I have tried to expand this but it’s not always the greatest. But right now I have time to create, with no exhibitions or traveling to take time away from me. So I’m hoping I can experiment with my work more and push it. Also I need to rewrite my screenplay again. I lost count of the drafts of this thing. I know I started the beginning already and it was way better this time around, I just need to hop to it again.

Seems strange that just a few weeks ago I was in Berlin. At a huge international film festival. Making a splash. And now it’s like “You all stay home for the next two years!” Oh god. Someone hurry up with a vaccine. I mean I am taking care of my needs though. I have socialized with zoom and skype. And texted, and facebooked. Twitter is the weirdest place for me though I like posting there but like, no one ever interacts with my stuff. So that’s strange, I dunno, at this point I am just on there to follow some tarot astrologers. I unfollowed someone who hurt my heart on Instagram and then changed my name hoping she wouldn’t be able to find me again. Like, yeah that was some heavy letting go. I’ve never changed my Instagram handle in years, not since I started it, but I just didn’t want to be easily found anymore. The funny thing is her friends totally know I changed my handle so like, it doesn’t matter. PLUS she never looked me up anyway so it really doesn’t matter. Like she won’t be asking anyone about me I know that for a fact.

Ugh seems strange that interpersonal drama can still happen from the comfort of our own homes. I also had to tell an old friend who returned into my life to cool it a bit, which made me feel bad but I was just overwhelmed and I need to learn to protect my boundaries more.

Ehhhh what else? I’m okay though. Like I cry every day but what else is new? I always cried every day anyway. I wish I could move to the next chapter of my life though and that really stresses me out because I feel like the reins have been taken from my hands and I am totally powerless right now for the next two years. I don’t know how to cope with that. People have been saying I’m good at manifesting, but I’m so confused right now and it feels like I can’t manifest anything. Even film projects that received funding are on pause because the film Industry has ground to a halt over physical distancing. And like, finding someone to love and create a family with, that’s just totally gone for the next two years. Fuck. It’s so insane. Worse than insane. And I’ve been certifiably insane and trust me this is even worse. Fuck.

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.