Wednesday, December 29, 2004

me and my ipod


My mother made me promise I would give props to her on my blog for helping me buy a new ipod mini this christmas. Three cheers for mom!

In other news, well, the mighty power of the tsunami has finally spoken. The sheer number of casualties continues to boggle my mind. It seems rather futile for me to even say anything about my life or my opinion today, considering the widespread grief and devastation wreaked in Asia. Events of this magnitude always make me feel quite small and insignificant. And although I attended church this christmas, I can't help but wonder where God is at a time like this.

Then I shake my head and remember that God isn't some dude with a white beard sitting on some golden throne somewhere, it's a much more complex concept. At least, it is for me. Someday I will describe what I think God is, but not today.

If I am an ipod, God is the music.

However I am not an ipod, as most of you are well aware. Although when I'm listening to my ipod I am a cyborg, so says Donna Haraway.

I haven't written here in a long while for a couple of reasons. Reason number one being: I had nothing to say. Reason two: I was frantically writing papers and rehearsing a scene with an actress for school, along with preparing presentations and trying to find the time to have my bipolar leisure time. I find I need to spend considerable amounts of time just talking with friends about life stuff, watching movies, etc etc. It keeps me balanced. If I don't have time to goof off, I start feeling very weird.

So I was motivated to write in this blog again because during the holidays I ran into some friends here in Saskatoon who read my blog. And sometimes I forget people actually read it. Anyway, I wave to Donna and Megan! Hello!

My holiday haul was pretty good this year, I've been secretly wanting an ipod for a while now, it was getting silly to keep making different mix cds on my itunes and burning through a stack of blank cds. I have about forty mix cds, all unlabeled, tumbling through my bedroom, most of them having the same songs on them.

So, for my year end blog:

Top Twenty Songs that kept making it onto burned cds!
1. Fashion - David Bowie
2. Milkshake - Kelis
3. Hazy Shade of Winter - Bangles
4. Pass That Dutch - Missy Elliot
5. Go With The Flow - Queens of the Stoneage
6. Father Lucifer - Tori Amos
7. Playgirl - Ladytron
8. Set it off - Peaches
9. Lust For Life - Iggy Pop
10. Money (That's What I Want) - Flying Lizards
11. What Are You Waiting For? - Gwen Stefani
12. Honey - Tori Amos
13. Hollywood - Madonna
14. You Do Something To Me - Marlene Dietrich
15. Music - Out of Your Mouth
16. Try to Tear Me Down - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
17. Cherrybomb - The Runaways
18. Drain the Blood - The Distillers
19. Sex (I'm A) - Peaches
20. Losing Grip - Avril Lavigne

So maybe it's not cool, but I don't give a fuck, those are the songs that kept ending up on my private mix cds. And now that I have an ipod, no one can stop me! I can have playlists that go for hours! Ha ha ha ha (evil cackling)!

Anyway, have a happy new year and I'll be back at my regularily schedualed blogging after this weekend, during which I plan to get extremely drunk or stoned or both, depending on what party I end up at.

Sending love to Asia, if I won the lottery I'd be sending a big box of supplies, but instead I will send my prayers.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Unsettling Healthy Advice


I am drinking Sunrype Fruit and Veggie drink. Every glass gives you two Canada Food Guide servings of fruit and vegetable. It's full of yummy goodness. I am suddenly an advertisement. I apologize.

See, it all started earlier today with my friend "nameless." She used to be a socially corrupting influence. Suddenly she is full of so much good advice and health tips that I'm the baddy. I still smoke. Still eat meat. Still use drugs. Still eat junk food from the whole spectrum of junk food. Have fatty foods.

She is getting skinnier and passing her clothes on to me.

I am beginning to long for the good healthy lifestyle. She is rubbing off.

And somehow she knows me better than I wish she did. It's kind of funny. Today we were talking about a certain someone and she kept saying to me "You still want her, I KNOW you still want her. Don't you? Don't you?!" and I was all cowering in the corner saying "Get out from inside my head!"

DIVERSION!!!
FILM FEST SWAG: I got a pair of boxer shorts from the Rendevous with Madness film festival in Toronto (where my newest tape Love & Numbers played) that has a fish on the butt with the words Nice Bass over it. If you ask me nice I'll bend over and let you see my Bass.
***********************

So I went to the store today where I usually buy myself a Coke. But I've been hearing more and more scary things about the Coca-cola company these days. So I got this juice, this special ultra healthy juice.

I am bad about vegetables. I eat them so rarely. I like them. I know they're better for the world if you eat vegetables. But why eat vegetables when you could have BACON!!!!!!

Truthfully I tire of bacon.

I have to clean the bathroom before twelve o'clock or I turn into a pumpkin.

I have the right shape to be a pumpkin.

I tire of my body shape. I wish my stomach had real muscles, not these piddly bands of fiberous tissue.

I tire of my life. I am stuck in a rut in a specific part of my life and it's really starting to wear on me. I'm tired of being messy. I'm tired of being unhealthy. I'm tired of my body. I'm tired of smoking and doing drugs. I'm tired of being paranoid. I'm tired of having no spiritual focus to my life.

It's crunch time and I am procrastinating. I should be working on papers. Instead I cast my words into the internet void.

Say hello to the so-called world, words.

Hello.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Click on the ads!


I'm trying out a new way of getting ad based revenue. I know my readership is small, but if you click on the ads then I get paid, which means I'll be able to devote more time to this blog. And if I can devote more time, then I'll be able to launch my t-shirt line and you can all wear genderfucking tees!! So click on the ads please!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The pitfalls of Aboriginal identity in art



Recently a woman at my school was writing a paper on my work and phoned me up to ask some questions. It was a saturday night and I was thinking about other things, like this dream I had about being in a German mansion during the war, and the papers I am writing on trans photography, butch representations, and Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez-Pena's "Two Undiscovered Amerindians in Spain." Anyway, I should note that the presentation-paper this woman is writing is for an Aboriginal contemporary art class. She was asking if she could find any other work I had done (I had previously told her to go to Video Out because they had more videos than the ECIAD library). I told her I was very sorry but I didn't have any other tapes with me beyond "Anhedonia." I've moved around a lot over the past few years and my stuff's not with me right now.
"It's just that all your videos are about being gay! They aren't native!" she said.
What?
I suppose I could have explained two spirited identity to her, but I was tired.
I suppose I could have said "Well I'm native, therefore so is the work."
I suppose I could have said "Why does being gay preclude being native?"
Or I could have said "Ugh, I'm not gay, I'm a homo, a queer, a pervert, a genderqueer, a transgendered butch, a two spirited person."
There are assumptions made within contemporary Aboriginal art practices that to be an "authentic" Aboriginal artist, you have to talk about specific things in your work. Your work should utilize specific Aboriginal modes of production. And particularily for white looking Aboriginals such as myself, you must continuously "out" yourself as an Aboriginal. You can't rely on a name like Cuthand to do it for you. (In the prairies you only need to say the name Cuthand and you're immediately identified as Cree.) I've even been criticized for NOT talking about my family in my work (a dubious statement at best, considering my second video was about my sister, although that was about being related to someone severely mentally handicapped, not someone native).
The question is, to what extent are we imposing constraints on the expressions of Aboriginal artists? If I make a video about sex, let's say, lesbian sex at that, will I be accused of being assimilated and colonized? Will my artistic treaty card be revoked? It's a fine line my friends, a damn fine line.
There is also a split, a sad ripping apart that has happened within me, where being queer meets being native and people just don't want to see both going on at once. It's a lonely feeling, that one part of one's identity gets jettisoned in favour of another. I don't do it. Other people do. When I wake up in the morning I'm a halfbreed body dreaming of women, when I go to sleep at night it is the same thing. I find my gender, sexuality, and mixed race identity to be linked, for better or for worse. How else could I live on the borderlands of gender without a lifetime of navigating the borderlands of race? One has prepared me for the other. Even coming out as a lesbian was easy because growing up I had to come out as Aboriginal over and over, often to individuals who had just made a racist statement. I understood the political implications of being open about identity.
So what is my work about? All kinds of things. Whatever is bothering me usually, something gets under my skin and I just have to talk about it. I think that's a good enough motive for art. Being a person who deals with a full deck of oppressions, I have a lot of material to draw from. And while tensions exist between the Aboriginal and the Queer community (racist queers, homophobic Aboriginals), they are both places from which I derive a lot of strength and support. I started making work for the Queer film festival circut, but surprisingly I was welcomed into Aboriginal film festivals as well, even with work that spoke mainly about being a homo. Now I just make work that needs to be made, without concerning myself too much about what communities the content speaks to. I figure it's not worth my time to worry about being Aboriginal enough or queer enough. I am beyond that. And I think a lot of emerging Aboriginal artists want to get beyond it as well. We want to be artists, first and foremost, and if our work takes people places they weren't expecting (whether that be a purely formalist approach to art, politically charged personal narratives, or simply a story about a girl in a dungeon dumping her Evil Queen girlfriend) then so be it.
It's 2004 as I write this, and a lot has already changed since the turn of the millenium. With the horrifying visions of eroding civil rights in the United States and it's continual march towards global imperialism, Queers and Aboriginals have more in common than ever. It's time for us to eradicate racism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, and all the other isms in order to band together. Any form of oppression hurts us all, including the oppressions we impose on ourselves in looking for "appropriate" subject matter. Aboriginal identity is far more complicated than the current dominant paradigm allows.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Is Bush The Antichrist?


Come on, you know you've suspected it. You've probably heard the reptilian shapeshifting rumours. Or read some Nostradamous quatrain. Well here's some ridiculous Bush links, all to help fuel you for a day of fun Bush Bashing.

George Bush Is The Antichrist!
The only problem with this site is the annoying dramatic music which you cannot turn off. I recommend it only for serious conspiracy buffs, and to read it with your computer sound turned off, or you will go slowly nuts.

George Bush: Mistaken
When asked during a press conference if he had made any mistakes, Bush couldn't recall. So this person made a video to help jog his memory.

The Pope Fears Bush is the Antichrist!
Self explanatory.

Bush Is Lord
A hilarious send up of Bush's messianic delusions. Note the press photos of him as Jesus.

BONUS!!!
Condi Rice is Angry
All the angry photos of Condoleeza Rice.

Happy surfing!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Sorry, Everybody


Photographs of Americans very sorry about their election results and what it means for the world.
Link

Monday, November 01, 2004

"They're really powerful"


he said, as he gave me a small handful of powdery mushrooms. Okay, whatever. It was halloween, and I didn't think of it much. It was supposed to be good time night. And I guess I wasn't really thinking that the last time little mushrooms had crossed my path, I wasn't taking manic depression drugs, specifically Zyprexa.

"So an antipsychotic and a mushroom walk into a halloween party. . ."

And the first hour was okay, and so was the second, although I was starting to feel a little tripped out. Wacky. Slow and slipping into molasses. We go to a friend's apartment for something to drink. Water. La la la. This is nice.

Then everything goes to black.

Waking up and my friends are shaking me asking me if I need an ambulance. I think of the hospital. I think of going crazy. I figure compliance is the best thing. "yes, that could be a good idea," I concur. Some paramedics come. I list everything I've been on for the night. Beer. Antipsychotics. Pot. Mushrooms. Mood Stabilizers. Yep, my body's one big old party. I still feel high. Stay calm stay calm. Whew. This bowtie is hot. Good thing I wasn't wearing my new top hat when all this tragedy hit.

At the hospital time drags on. The nurse is dressed as a ghoul, another one is a princess. Some crazy people come in. Someone who was slipped a hallucinogen and is freaking out. Some guy got his arm broken and is screaming bloody murder. And two people have been stabbed.

Later on I also hear that Halloween is a big time for babies being stolen from hospitals. Weird.

I'm feeling better, but the hours drag on until it's 7:30 in the morning. Grey light filters onto the street as I leave the hospital, vowing to never again mix an anti-psychotic with a hallucinogen.

****************

So they voted for Bush. And the world throws it's hands up in exasperation. I don't even know what to say, but I feel I should post something. Nah. We all know what it means, more freakin' wars, more desperate imperialism for oil. Blah.

Yesterday I bought a persian carpet for only twenty bucks. Woo! It's a bit dirty, I have to find a place to clean it up for me, but at least now I have a rug, which I have needed for a while. Ugh! I really have to clean my room AND write a paper and figure out my presentation of Stanislavsky. Blah.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Anti Bush Music Video


From Eminem
My favorite part is where he makes putting on a bunnyhug a revolutionary act.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I am lonely


Being in Montreal is bizarre, to say the least. It's not the people I am having trouble with, but my own ghosts, the little shadow of Thirza that still walks down these streets, all shattered and fucked up. And it's a strange feeling, because in Vancouver I did a lot of healing work, started feeling really stable, understood what it meant to have both feet on the ground. Rooted in some kind of understanding of myself as a freak, found a community of freaks, found a place that I could call my own. And here I feel strangely disjointed, disconnected, and alone, even with people surrounding me.

I am lonely, it is true. There's no one I can laugh with about my latest weird dream, that Condoleeza Rice was necking with me and gave me the secret papers about 9/11. I mean that's fucked up! I must be watching way too much CNN. I woke up and was all willied about Republicans.

Still, there are some good things about being back here. One is that I have to face my demons, and all those people who saw me do fucked up shit that I don't even remember. Mania is a weird thing, some parts of it are totally blacked out. I only remember this glorious feeling of light, and churchbells. And the hospital, and when the cops came to get me.

My rat did an evil thing which has also made me feel fucked up. He ate my friends hamster. I didn't even know what to say when I found out. How do you apologize for your little friend eating your friend's little friend? I mean, how do you even begin to make that right? And such a grisly thing to do. But how to you stop an animal from doing what animals do?

I am nervous about my performance, always wondering if it's going to be good enough. It's a problem I have. But today I bought fake blood which even "oozes and clots" according to the label. It's basically corn syrup. I want to talk about my body, about my ancestors and where I come from, and how bloodlines are not always something you see on the outside, it's all interior for me. When people of colour start talking about their identity based on the colour of their skin, I always feel left out, because I'm not an obvious person of colour.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts out here.

Oh yeh, I guess I should give you a link to this whole do. It's La Centrale

I am lonely


Being in Montreal is bizarre, to say the least. It's not the people I am having trouble with, but my own ghosts, the little shadow of Thirza that still walks down these streets, all shattered and fucked up. And it's a strange feeling, because in Vancouver I did a lot of healing work, started feeling really stable, understood what it meant to have both feet on the ground. Rooted in some kind of understanding of myself as a freak, found a community of freaks, found a place that I could call my own. And here I feel strangely disjointed, disconnected, and alone, even with people surrounding me.

I am lonely, it is true. There's no one I can laugh with about my latest weird dream, that Condoleeza Rice was necking with me and gave me the secret papers about 9/11. I mean that's fucked up! I must be watching way too much CNN. I woke up and was all willied about Republicans.

Still, there are some good things about being back here. One is that I have to face my demons, and all those people who saw me do fucked up shit that I don't even remember. Mania is a weird thing, some parts of it are totally blacked out. I only remember this glorious feeling of light, and churchbells. And the hospital, and when the cops came to get me.

My rat did an evil thing which has also made me feel fucked up. He ate my friends hamster. I didn't even know what to say when I found out. How do you apologize for your little friend eating your friend's little friend? I mean, how do you even begin to make that right? And such a grisly thing to do. But how to you stop an animal from doing what animals do?

I am nervous about my performance, always wondering if it's going to be good enough. It's a problem I have. But today I bought fake blood which even "oozes and clots" according to the label. It's basically corn syrup. I want to talk about my body, about my ancestors and where I come from, and how bloodlines are not always something you see on the outside, it's all interior for me. When people of colour start talking about their identity based on the colour of their skin, I always feel left out, because I'm not an obvious person of colour.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts out here.

Oh yeh, I guess I should give you a link to this whole do. It's La Centrale

Monday, October 04, 2004

Teletbubi zurück Winker!


which means:
Someone who waves back at the teletubbies.
You Puffmutters can find more German insults at:
http://www.insultmonger.com/swearing/german.htm

I am presently sick, ill, dead on my own two little feet. I've been drinking Buckley's because I believe that something so foul tasting must have some medicinal purpose. Of course it could be just a ruse to get people to drink camphor gism. I've got this horrid cold I can't seem to shake, all icky and blah. It felt like I had mucus coming out of every pore a couple days ago, now it's down to a chronic cough and some dramatic looking sweats. I'm sure my roomies are horrified, considering all the gross sounds I was making on the weekend, and the fact that I pretty much laid around in bed the whole time.

Then today I took transit, feeling like a typhoid mary, me and my germ factory, touching all the handrails. I started feeling bad for all the strangers I was making sick, and then today I called a friend who'd borrowed money for beer. In a croaky voice she said "You made me sick." Not even a hello. Oh, I felt like a terrible little germ factory. I just hope the wee little rat doesn't get sick. Rats are terribly vulnerable to respiratory infections.

Anyway, I have been too ill to write and now I am off to Montreal. So the german insults will come in real handy, yeah right. Dammit. I should see if they have any french insults.

They do!!

"Sais-tu combien de temps ta mère prend pour chier? Neuf mois!"

Although "Léchez mon clito" would win me more dates.

Go find out what I just said.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Kiss that Social Anxiety Better


Over the past year I've noticed my social anxiety running amok again. Le sigh. It's pretty silly really, I get all queasy and my hands shake. Shake shake shake. Shake that booty. Damn, that would be funny, if my butt shook instead of my appendages. I wonder if it would be easier to hide. Someone told me that shaky hands are just a medication side effect. Could be true. Sometimes my hands shake when I'm not even thinking about being in public, with everyone's googly eyes looking at me. It's a bit of a liability when you're holding a cup of hot coffee.
Has that ever happened to you? Holding something hot, like soup or tea or whatever, and you get all shaky or spill it on yourself AND IT BURNS!!! Ahhhhhh! But you can't just drop it. And so you have to be all burning, finding a spot to put it down. Ouch!!! Kiss it better someone quick!
What's with that, the kiss it better thing? Kissing something never makes it feel better, except that in your heart you get the warm fuzzies that someone cares enough to put their lips to your ouchie.
Is that even safe these days? I guess no one kisses gross ouches, like oozing bleeding roadburn from a spill on your bike.
When I was a kid my mum would always get so upset when one of us got cuts and the like. She couldn't handle blood very well. She'd say "Ooo, eee, ouch, ah." It was like she was the one who was hurt. I remember barricading myself in the bathroom so I could dig out gravel from my knee without her making me feel worse. Once my sister got all mad one day and threw a bowl on the floor and broke it, then stepped on a huge shard and cut the bottom of her foot open. Mom couldn't even look at it, even as this huge puddle of blood appeared. (Okay, so this is a gross story) So I had to be the one to declare that we needed to go to the hospital. Have you ever tried to take a hundred and thirty pound angry bleeding mentally handicapped woman to the hospital? It's quite an adventure really.
But that's not about social anxiety is it?
Sometimes being crazy in public is kind of goofy, I'm all "ha ha, la le la la, don't pay attention to my little hand quiver."
It's a bit rude to point out a crazy person's symptoms. I've had people IN PUBLIC point to my hands and be all "LOOK AT THAT!! ARE YOU EVER SHAKING!! WHY ARE YOU SHAKING!" And I'm all "shuddup!"
Maybe I should get people to kiss my little hand tremors better. It would be cute if someone who liked me did that, just for your future reference, if you are someone with a wee crush.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

"And to your left is a suicidal man on a crane"


These were essentially the words some friends and I heard from a bus driver, as he spoke into the p.a. system. Sure enough there were police, an ambulance, and the fire department, all assembled below a crane on a construction site. I caught myself straining to look at the would-be jumper. Dear lord, suicide as a spectator sport.

"He's just below the orange part" the bus driver continued saying, as he slowed the bus to a crawl so we could all rubberneck this man on the verge of death.

And then we went dancing????

This city's getting to me.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Energy and Bipolar


I need to go for a walk. A long walk. The kind of late night stroll where you listen to cds and take the quiet streets. My legs are itchy. I need to be somewhere, to go somewhere, and yet there isn't a destination.

Somedays I can walk all the way to the downtown eastside.

Other days I can barely get to the bus stop a block away, sometimes I can't even get out of bed. Sometimes showering is a lot of work, and not worth the bother because I'll just get dirty the next day, and the day after, and so on.

I always knew I had probs with my energy levels fluctuating, but now being bipolar explains all. Amazing. I have the best excuse. And except for the little suicidal lemming brain issue that comes up every winter, it's not really an illness that could kill me.

I mean, I suppose it could. A lot of people die from being bipolar. I suppose I've dealt with suicidal tendencies for two decades now, and I feel more equipped to deal with that than with being manic. Being manic is so seductive. Who wouldn't want to be manic? A lot of the drugs people take mimic mania, like coke, or crystal.

This post has no point really, except to say I need to go have a walk, a long walk.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Elderly woman sexually assaulted - doesn't go to police for fear of being committed


This (link) kind of thing makes me so upset. This elderly woman (76) was terrorized by juvenile boys and sexually assaulted, but was so afraid of being committed to a mental health facility again (after a previous sexual assault) that she didn't contact police.

Only someone who has never been in a mental health facility could possibly think it's a healthy space for someone to be in, esp. someone who's just gone through severe trauma. Mental health facilities by their very nature were created as penitentiaries for the "insane." They are not a form of health care so much as a form of segregation. And what does it say about hospitals that this woman was more in fear of them than the boys assaulting her? What kind of treatment did she recieve the last time she was committed?

I don't know what else to say about it, read the article.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Dating and Mad Pride


So school has been taking up a lot of my time, along with keeping up with all my friends, and I haven't had a chance to update as often. Anyway, I am sitting in a big mess, which I simply MUST clean up today. I did some of the readings I have to do for tomorrow's class, and later on tonight I have to do a script analysis. So much work!

And in the middle of all of this, I have decided it's time to leap headfirst into the dating pool again. I've been quasi available for a while, but I think part of me was too busy with me to be able to actually give anything to another person. And probably another part of my whole reluctance to date has to do with my weight gain from my medication, and wondering about when would be a good time to disclose my odd illness. People act wacky when they find out you are crazy.

Recently I ran into yet another old acquaintance who's been relatively recently diagnosed with bipolar. It's a growing trend. It made me kind of sad, because I think she's really worried about the stigma.

Stigma is a sucky thing. And yet so many people who are really talented and lovely are bipolar, or another mental illness.

But then even I carry around some internalized stigma. This whole dating thing, for one thing. When do I say "Oh by the way, I am bipolar." Is that going to keep women away from me? Will they make assumptions about how that impacts my life and therefore themselves? And finally, do I even want to date someone who has a narrow view of life, who demands impossible perfection?

Ugh, I still have this room to clean!! I should go do that now.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

On the Rumoured Death of Identity Politics



Recently an old friend told me she was sick of identity politics. I wasn't entirely sure how to respond, especially considering the vast majority of my work concerns identity and the power others attempt to wield over me concerning my identity. I wasn't sure what to say because my identity is so fluid, ever changing and shapeshifting to suit my mood. Being on the borders of male-female, white and red, identity is something I wake up to every morning when I have my coffee and read the news. It's something I struggle with every day, trying to navigate my way through polarized territories which other people rarely consider.

"Identity politics is dead."

Recently during a conversation with some fellow mixed bloods we discussed peoples aversion to identity politics. Someone suggested it's something people say when they are tired of being allies to those of us who carry around some intense identity issues. It's something people say when they're tired of hearing us out, tired of being a part of the struggles of marginalized populations, tired of us "taking space".

And then there are other questions I have about identity, like, is my bipolar disorder an identity? Some people with bipolar disagree, they do not want to be defined by their disorder. However in my case I identify as bipolar because it has made as much of an impact on my life and how I view the world as being queer and a halfbreed and inhabiting a female body. It's something I want to be proud of for forming and influencing who I am today.

So when someone says "I'm sick of identity politics, identity politics is dead," what are they really saying? Are they saying that artists should cease making works about race/class/gender/disability/sexuality? If that's what it means, I am seriously fucked, because I could talk about those things forever and still barely scratch the surface on what it means to live life as an Other.

And who decided identity politics was dead anyway? Probably someone who's in a relative position of power in society, who doesn't have to fight all the fucked up isms every day of their life.

As long as humans and post humans are struggling with hatred, fear, and oppression based on their identities, identity politics is relevant and crucial to artistic practice. As long as people ask me "What are you?" in regards to my race, gender, sexuality, whatever, identity politics is relevant. As long as certain people with certain backgrounds have certain privileges that others are denied, identity politics is relevant.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Spiders on Drugs


Spiders on drugs are always good for a laugh.

(Sorry for such a short post, my brain is currently attempting to percolate some coherant thought. I will be back later.)

Friday, September 10, 2004

At a Coffee shop with Branta canadensis


I'm standing at the counter when who should walk up to me but a Canada Goose. It sort of plodded along, looking around thoughtfully.

"Did you know there's a goose in here?" I asked.

"Yeah, we can't get him to leave."

Indeed, why did this Canada goose want to hang around in a coffee shop? Maybe he wanted some croissant.

Later in the day I saw an orange cat with six fingers. SIX fingers! It was so cute because it made his paw look so huge.

Animals are weird.

I had a disturbing dream recently about a little pig getting slaughtered and feeling so badly for it that I vowed never to eat pork again.

Then I woke up and had bacon.

Terrible.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Detroit Television warps the mind.



Isn't "smoking a cigar with friends under the stars" such an elegant phrase? I found it in this article about the rising death toll in Iraq. It sounds so picturesque.

I hate American word processing software, because it is all the wrong spelling for Canadians and it's slowly but surely colonizing us to American spelling through the spell check. Like colour vs color, cheque vs check.

American imperialism in our own homes. Sigh.

I remember when we didn't have canned pop in Canada, and it was really exciting to get it in the States.

And maybe part of me, a kid growing up in Saskatchewan, watching Detroit television, thought that the Americans were cooler. They had such flash and glamour, and weird processed foods. And they were dangerous, always pulling out guns on a whim. And at Halloween they all ran around setting things on fire. Hell Night, I think they called it.

One halloween in Saskatoon I think some kid decided to try Hell Night in our back alley. I answered the door one halloween, expecting treat or treaters. Two skeletons, or maybe a skeleton and a ghoul(?) asked me for water. So I thought they wanted a glass. Then they yelled No, no, where's your water hose? The back alley garbage can was on fire.

And I think it's all that Detroit television Saskatoonians watched. It has warped us.

I mean, I was seriously scared of Americans, not only for that whole nuke thing, but because they just shot people everyday for any reason. And I thought Americans were all taking drugs, always snorting cocaine.

Canadian television was much gentler. And there was always something sexy late at night on french CBC.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Clive is Not Impressed


Clive is my very old rat, yet still he acts quite baby-ish for such an old guy. Anyway, he had a smelly cardboard box in his cage he was sleeping in, and today I bought him a new, special, "igloo." It's made of purple plastic. He seems to be able to fit it, but he doesn't want to go inside. Keeps kicking it around, probably swearing under his squeaks.

Maybe it is too small. Either way, he's not impressed with it. Fussy.

I finally finished all the tasks I had to do this week. Oh, except go see my doctor. Crumbs.

I bought this really high alcohol level Quebec beer today. I haven't bought beer in a long time. Oh heck, that's a lie, I had beer last Saturday at some opening. But this one is called Fin Du Monde. Isn't that such an apocalyptic name? Oddly though, as soon as I got it home I wanted one of those C2's. Damn. So now I am thirsty for pop. The four horsemen of the apocalypse in alcohol form will have to wait.

Oh, and the other TRAGIC thing that happened to me today was my c.d. player went A.W.O.L. I don't know what terrible kinds of music I was forcing it to play, but it decided to desert me. It did this to me before. And it likes to make me look like a buffoon. For instance, once I was on the bus with a friend and I had just finished this five minute speech about the loss of my c.d. walkman and then I opened the front of my backpack AND THERE IT WAS. That asshole. Just smirking, like "Oh ha ha ha, Thirza can't find anything of hers, she's such a dork!"

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Being An Artist is Boring



At least today it is. I spent the whole day filling in forms, updating my c.v., burning cd's, sticking things in envelopes, photocopying (at my own home! I love my printer), going to the post office. Waiting in line. Realizing that I could have brought something else with me that needed urgent mailing. Came home and realized the form was more complicated than I thought. Poop.

My fingernails are disgusting. I mean, look at them! Ugh, bits of grimey-grimeness. Blah. And all uneven. I am ashamed of these fingernails. But the nail trimmer is lost in a sea of Thirza flotsam and jetsam. I am not an artist who can't clean, I'm a performance of a forgotten seawreck.

No really, where is the nail clipper? I'm freaking out!

Okay, whew! Found one.

I think the shipwreck happened somewhere in the Georgia Straight, involving a butch with far too many things and no organizational thought.

In the hospital they called me "disorganized." I just thought, dear God, I've been disorganized my whole life! Go look in my room if you don't believe me. Once I bought a book called How To Get Organized and I lost it.

True story.

I want chips. I wish I could get chips teleported to me. No, I mustn't. They are bad for me, but how can little potatoes with seasoning on it be bad? I guess they aren't potatoes anymore are they? They're genetically modified jellyfish-orangutan chips. Just my luck, to be born into a world where these things happen and yet there's still no teleportation device.

Oh, but I have the new Coke. It's called C2. Can you believe that? I'm drinking C2. Twice the damage to the indigenous peoples, but with reduced carbs and calories. I'm going to try it now.

A little less bite. Hmm, not bad. An aftertaste of guilt and shame at being complicit in the oppression of others.

Plus I got a little squat gnome-like can. If a tin can could be a gnome, this one definately is.

2 Reasons Why I love that Bears are my spirit guides


"A bold amphibious escape bid by a bear at Berlin zoo has been foiled in a dramatic shoot-out. Juan the Andean spectacled bear first paddled across a moat using a log for a raft, then scaled a wall. Finally he appeared to commandeer a bicycle, before zookeepers with brooms cornered him, and a colleague picked him off with a tranquiliser gun... After being stopped with darts from a tranquiliser gun, 294 lb. Juan was carried back to his enclosure. Mr Kloes told the Berliner Kurier newspaper zoo staff would make sure there were no further logs in the moat to prevent Juan's future bids for freedom."
-from BBC (Complete with photo of bear getting on the bike)


"A black bear was found passed out at a campground in Washington state recently after guzzling down three dozen cans of a local beer, a campground worker said on Wednesday.

"We noticed a bear sleeping on the common lawn and wondered what was going on until we discovered that there were a lot of beer cans lying around," said Lisa Broxson, a worker at the Baker Lake Resort, 80 miles (129 kilometers) northeast of Seattle.

The hard-drinking bear, estimated to be about two years old, broke into campers' coolers and, using his claws and teeth to open the cans, swilled down the suds. It turns out the bear was a bit of a beer sophisticate. He tried a mass-market Busch beer, but switched to Rainier Beer, a local ale, and stuck with it for his drinking binge. They set a trap using as bait some doughnuts, honey and two cans of Rainier Beer. It worked, and the bear was captured for relocation."
-from CNN

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Cops suck


Or at least my experience with cops has been pretty sucky.

Oh but what was I going to tell you? My scriptwriting is coming along okay. Right now I'm averaging five pages a day. Then today I spent a few hours doing corrections and rewrites and moving events around in my script so they make a bit more sense. I keep trying to get my friend to read it, but she's never home when I call. And I so need to get out of the house, my brain is melting!! But my other friend is doing up a grant proposal, so she's indisposed.

I guess I will go back to what I was saying about cops.

Well cops came to get me when I went to the hospital. And all I can say is that even though I was buck naked they still treated me like I had a gun or some other weapon. In fact the whole experience was like being arrested for being crazy. Being crazy is treated as a crime in our society. And police are woefully uninformed about mental health issues.

Even when I wasn't a "crazy" person, cops still sucked. I remember in Saskatoon we had Oscar the talking police car. He wasn't a car, so much as a Van, with eyes and mouth painted on it, and he could speak. I always wanted to be one of the kids who got to see inside Oscar, but I never was picked. Oscar, what a sucky talking police car!

And then another time as a community initiative the police gave out collectible hockey cards if you flagged them down. But everytime me and my friends would wave, the police officers just waved back and drove on. No hockey cards for us.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I quit my job



I've been trying to figure out the best way of going back to school and making it through this time, with the most minimal amount of stress. Soooo, I offloaded the job. I was quite terrible at it really, I'm not a very good telemarketer. Excuse me, teleFundraiser. People treated me as if I was a telemarketer anyway.

So, the job is gone. It's a bit of a relief really, I was getting sooo miserable from so many people griping at me about calling them at home. I think that kind of a job has a high burnout rate, although some people have been there for a long time.

What else? Life's okay, getting ready for school. My mommy bought me new school clothes, which was awfully nice of her. And I got a new belt, my other one became way too small, what with the weight gain caused by the drugs I am on. Anyway, it made me feel like a sausage.

Belts are expensive!

What else? Hmm, gearing up for Back To School. I really hope it all works out. I hope my crazyness doesn't interfer this time around. I have to take some special form to my doctor so that I can get some more access to resources for students with disabilities. Hopefully that will all work out. So many things to think about! I'm excited. I feel like my brain has atrophied. I need intellectual stimulation, not marshmallows. My sister needs marshmallows. That's like, her absolute favorite food. If she had a choice she would live off of marshmallows. That's just how she is. Working at a telemarketing place turns your brain into marshmallows. Or maybe that was just me.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


. . . is dead.

"Dying becomes lonely and impersonal because the patient is often taken out of his familiar environment and rushed to an emergency room. He may cry for rest, peace and dignity, but he will get infusions, transfusions, a heart machine, or tracheostomy. ... He will get a dozen people around the clock, all busily preoccupied with his heart rate, pulse, electrocardiogram or pulmonary functions, his secretions or excretions — but not with him as a human being." - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

More at:
http://www.elisabethkublerross.com/

Thursday, August 26, 2004

My reserve is funding me for another year!



Many of you may have noticed my ongoing struggles with getting back into school so I can go on to my Master's program. Okay, maybe you didn't notice. Well little crazy me is going back, BACK to ECIAD where I spent 4 1/2 years and then took three years off to wind myself into a completely psychotic state, only to slowly unwind back into what could reasonably be considered normal and grounded. Or at least, as grounded as I think I'm gonna get. Sometimes I still have days when I'm sad, or when my feet seem to be floating off the ground, but I've pretty much kept a nice stability for the past year or so.

Anyway, I realized this past week that I have yet to get a letter back from my reserve saying I was going to be funded to go back to school. And little me started to panic. Panicking, trying not to panic, trying to be normal, but with a little knot of worry forming in my guts. Oh god, what if I don't get funded because I flunked a bunch of classes way back before I quit because I couldn't cope with school? Eeeeee!!! And I'm so ready to go back, so ready to throw myself into it and really be serious and do it and say "I have a bachelor's degree!!"

So I emailed. And I called. And I called. And finally today the woman at my reserve's post secondary office called back to say it was ok. Hooray!! They are sending the letters out this week. Yay! I was so worried I would have to keep working and listening to people tell me off on the phone, getting more and more miserable.

What else? I'm back in Vancouver after my dramatic and also nice trip to Saskatoon. It was good to be there for my family. I came home with a heavy suitcase full of new clothes my mommy bought me, six braids of sweetgrass, Saskatoon berries, and six new york Bison steaks. I didn't know they had Bison in New York. Ha ha, okay, maybe only I find that funny. Such an Indian's suitcase. I suppose I should take Salmon back to my mom, but I much prefer bringing back Bison for my friend, maybe because I am a prairie Indian. Plains Cree, and don't you forget it.

Thank you Little Pine Reserve! Thank you Mommy! And thank you bison, you will be good in my little tummy!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Suicide Attempt


I'm not quite sure what to write today. A person very close to me attempted suicide last night and is now in the hospital. I'm really worried and trying to send her lots of love. I know what it feels like, to be that desperate and sad and feeling lost. I think I will just re-post a link for all those people out there who might be in the same situation. It's a good read, and so important.

Suicide . . . read this first

OH! Wait, I have a few other tips for people in the midst of a suicidal crisis. These have helped me in the past.

1. Instead of doing it now, procrastinate! I have in the past made myself suicide deadlines, after many years of recognizing that suicidal urges often dissipate over time. This past year I was having a crappy winter. I decided if I wasn't feeling better by april (I gave myself a good four months) then I would do it. Of course by the time April came around it was sunny and all the cherry blossoms were out, and I was in a much stronger place. Yes procrastination can be a wonderful thing.

2. Make a list of all the things you would like to do before you die. Get grandiose! Plan dream vacations, make a movie, write a book, stand outside Barbara Sukowa's apartment building (ok, I have a crush on her, leave me alone!), see an alien space ship, WHATEVER! Once I wrote out a list of about FIFTY things I wanted to do and see and try.

3. Learn problem solving skills. Often a suicidal crisis is precipitated by a life problem, like losing a job, a lover, whatever. Figure out the things you need to survive. Make some plans around finding a new job, join a job club. Or if you are without a girl/boyfriend, then develop some interests. Build up the other parts of your life so that being single doesn't seem so lonely.

4. My favorite words: mental health break (as opposed to breakdown). Have a day just to yourself where you do something pleasant, like sit in a park looking at the clouds and listening to uhm . . . Roxette? I dunno, Roxette is cheery. Oh, but then there's that song, what's it called? Oh, you know it. Some sad song. Well, you don't have to have a day like that, but think of some quiet relaxing stress free quality time you can just spend being YOU and learning to love yourself even when you're sitting on your butt.

5. Call a crisis line. Once I did this and ended up connecting with a wonderful councellor who I did therapy with for two years. They are a good resource, they know all the places you can go in your city.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

The Value of Psychotic Experience


A very interesting article I found today about the value of psychotic experiences. Kinda long, I'm not done reading it, I'm off to bed. Leave me comments on what you think of it. Maybe we can have some kind of discourse on it.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Saskatoon


Hellooo from Saskatoon! Beautiful Saskatoon, where there is an airshow, Folkfest, and general prairie entertainment. Today I walked by the Saskatchewan River and saw frogs and toads and their houses. I also saw a beaver dam, haven't seen one of those in a while. I took a small chewed up stick from it, I hope the beavers don't miss it.

I also went to the German pavillion at Folkfest to do some research for Red Oktoberfest, coming soon to Vancouver. Aboriginals do German culture. I figure it's about time, since Germans have been doing Aboriginal culture for so long. Then me and my mom went to the Australian pavilion, yawn. Left soon after drinking an Australian beer and went to the Irish pavillion, which was way cool. I'm part Irish, maybe that's why I liked it so much. I wish I could dance like that, arms straight down, slamming my feet on the floor. I should take a class.

Anyway, I am visiting my family, but I will keep posting things as I think of them and when I have the time. Hope everyone's summer is ending nicely!

Monday, August 16, 2004

The first time I saw something . . .


...that wasn't there.

I was living in a tiny white house with my mom and dad and sister. My sister and I slept in the same bedroom. I have to give you a bit of background so that this story makes sense.

My sister is severely mentally handicapped with a very rare syndrome called Patau's Syndrome, however she is fortunate enough to have survived well into adulthood and is remarkably cute. I love her, but she could be a pain in the ass to grow up with. I think that was because she was the older sister, and she liked to power trip on me. Plus she was jealous of me for most of my early childhood, until she decided I wasn't such a bad little person after all.

Anyway, we had bunkbeds, and I was on the top bunk. I had to sleep in the very middle and lay like a stick, because late at night small hands would creep up and try to pinch me. If I moved to one side of the bed, so would the hands. Pinching like little lobster fingers, ow, cut it out! We would also get locked in at night, because otherwise my sister would escape and go run out into the neighborhood.

And sometimes she pooped the bed. But she wasn't content with just pooping the bed, she had to smoosh it all over our stuff and the walls and oh gosh it was just a mess.

So most of my early memories are of waking up to the smell of shit. Shit stinks!

Anyway, one shitty saturday morning I was banging on the door trying to wake my parents up to let me out of the room. I was probably three years old or so, my sister was about six. They weren't waking up and I was getting upset and crying, because I didn't want to be in such a stinky shitty room. I banged and I banged and wailed. And then the strangest thing happened.

The door was white, and wooden. And this image came up. It was as clear as if there was a film being projected onto our bedroom door. I was so stunned I stopped crying and banging. It was an aerial shot of the parking lot of the Buy Low Furniture Store downtown. The cars parking were late seventies models (this would have been about 1981 when it happened, so it makes sense). That was it. Cars parking at the Buy Low Furniture Store.

What did it mean? Not much of anything really. It was just this image, thrown out there to make me stop crying. And I was flabbergasted. I'd had a vision. And as far as I could tell, it didn't mean anything.

Then my father opened the door and the image vanished, and I looked up at him and he had sleep in his eyes and I never saw anything like that again.

The Buy Low Furniture store was later torn down. My parents split up. And eventually, after a couple of decades my sister stopped smearing shit.

And I got a room of my own.

Thirza writes on making Low Budget Video and Films



What follows is a short paper/manifesto on making low budget work which I presented earlier today at Out On Screen.

*********************************************
I was alone out there, on the plains. I was a lesbian teenager with no one to hump, where the hell were all the other teenage dykes? I was horny and lonely. I went to a queer youth group and hung out with the baby fags, and they taught me to stand proud and loud. I blossomed into a butch dandy, and was still alone. I went to the art house theatre by my underage self, and watched independent films all alone in the dark.

I wanted to see someone like me. I wanted to not be so alone.

My friend Christopher was putting together a Queer film festival, the first one for Saskatoon. It was held in the basement of the Mendel Art Gallery. He put out a call for workshop participants. Make a video in three days. I was game. I wanted to know where the fucking hell all the teenage dykes were. That was my quest. That was my video.

It was called Lessons In Baby Dyke Theory, because I was sixteen and so far it was all theory and no practice. I was and still am one of the most socially awkward people around, so I didn’t want to deal with a cast. I went to the hobby store. I bought pipe cleaners, a glue gun, some foam, and some googly eyes. I also didn’t want them to be white dollies, because I wasn’t all-white, so I made them green and purple, and blue. Some were butch and some were femme. I made a small studio out of a desk in my mother’s basement and spent a day on set, talking into the onboard microphone of a Hi-8 camera.

That was the first time. And when the credits rolled, the audience roared, and I started to not feel so alone.

The next video was about Colonization, and how all these white people were on television talking about aliens landing and putting things up their bums. I thought it was mainly a fear of the colonizer that the roles could be reversed. My alien was made out of a piece of foam core. My space ship was my gramma’s vegetable steamer.

I have since grown up, and yes I did eventually get to have sex with someone, at a queer film festival no less! Over the past decade I’ve made twelve videos and films, some with budgets, some without. My mantra is that you don’t need a million dollars to make a priceless tape. In fact, I believe that sometimes being on a limited budget and working within those constraints can foster a more creative tape. I’ve seen some pretty amazing low budget work that continues to resonate long after I’ve seen it. And I’ve seen bigger budget work that is in my mind pretty worthless and forgettable.

Mainly though, my motive was to tell stories, to tell my stories, to tell the things I thought about that I felt weren’t being addressed. Nowadays there’s a lot more media depictions of teenage dykes, but even so, they are usually white, usually femme.

I’ve had fairly positive responses to my work, I’ve been shown in galleries, on television, and in many festivals, both queer and experimental festivals. Sometimes I get shy about my work, because I do live on the poverty line and it shows in what I make. But that’s a class issue, and it’s something that is also a part of the message inherent in my work.

Some people think low-budget low-tech is good to start out with, but eventually you have to move to big budgets and wait for grants. I’m not of that ilk. I have received grants, and I’ve been denied grants, and either way if a story is bursting out of me I will find a way to make it. I’ve had my own hi-8 camera, and I’ve borrowed other people’s equipment. For a while Video In had a linear editing system that was really cheap to rent time on, and I used that for Untouchable. In camera editing is another trick I used for Bisexual Wannabe, all of which was shot in a one room apartment I lived in on 12th. I think it’s a shame when people wait around for someone to give them a grant.

Mostly though, what I want to say about low budget work is that it is where the revolution happens. I’ve been to swanky festivals where the privileged show their latest slick piece of crap, and for me that is the most boring environment ever.

I make videos because I was lonely, and I was sad, and I was tired of being lonely and sad and I knew somewhere out there were the rest of us. I make work because I don’t think people should be lonely because some mogul with the money doesn’t think a manic depressive halfbreed boi dyke is a good target market. I make work because somewhere out there someone else is lonely for different reasons, and I want them to feel inspired enough to tell their own story, something I wouldn’t have thought of, something that challenges me.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Friday the 13th


At my call centre job, calling Americans. Someone in Florida gets right uppity, "We're in the middle of dinner and a hurricane." Ookee, so I guess you won't be making a donation today.

Went over to a friend's place to make tacos for us all, she especially needs the food-love because she's been sad. I don't know the magic words to soothe her soul, so my best offering is food and conversation.

Together we watch an old Twilight Zone with William Shatner. The plot is thus: A man has just been released from the nut house after a mental breakdown. He's on a plane where a Gremlin appears on the wing and starts trying to get into the engine. Whenever he tries to show someone or tell them about it they act as if he's just a nutter. Finally (sorry, this is a spoiler) he opens the auxilary exit and shoots the Gremlin off the plane. He's carted away in a straightjacket, but the evidence of the prised off engine cover will later prove him right.

Sometimes paranormal things happen. Sometimes paranormal things happen to crazy people. Sometimes paranormal things happen to me. And like William Shatner's character, I am not believed.

A week after I got out of the bin, a ghost started knocking on my floor. Bang bang bang. I turned down the television, I thought it was the diner downstairs saying my t.v. was too loud. It was a nice thought to have, something more appropriate, especially given all the spiritual maelstrom that a manic psychosis had just thrown me into. But then one night the banging decided to follow me as I got off the couch, went to the bathroom, and it climbed into the wall and started banging next to me as I was sitting trying to have a piss.

My mom didn't believe me. "Have you told your psychiatrist this?"

Sometimes the best person to talk to is another crazy person who has experience with the paranormal. I asked a family member for some advice. She told me to burn incense and ask it to leave; or if it did want something from me, if it came from the Creator. So I did that, and the banging vanished.

No boosting of medication would have solved this problem. Luckily banging on the floor, while pesky and mildly malevolent, is no where near the same urgency as a gremlin trying to crash a plane.

What other things has Friday the 13th brought to us today? Well, the passing of Julia Child is one of them. She will be missed. Goodbye Julia, and whip us up a little something something for when the rest of us join you in the afterlife.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

My Squishy Side Effect Tummy



this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, August 09, 2004

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Now I know why he creeps me out


Dr. Phil doesn't like mentally ill audience members

Killing Nurse Ratched


Today my friends and I innocently stumbled into a prime example of the power paradigm implicit within the structures of the mental health system. We went to Coast as we had often done for the friday free dinner. My friends were members and in the past I had gone as a guest. But this time a butch Nurse Ratched type decided to kick us out, including my friends who were members. Was it that we weren't the right kinds of mental patients to be frequenting Coast? In the past I had often gotten the feeling at Coast that I wasn't welcomed, someone even asked us if we were students once. Are students not allowed at Coast? Can't you be both mentally ill AND a student? Apparently not.

Once you become diagnosed as a person with a "mental illness" a peculiar thing happens. You are suddenly shifted into the subhuman category, and there are many expectations for your behaviour. Within the mental health system a good crazy person is someone who accepts medication with a smile, doesn't talk back, doesn't have feelings, dresses badly, and accepts their position in life as someone lesser than. Your dreams for the future are pruned back, even by well intentioned friends and family members.

And the people who are drawn towards working with crazy people can be of even more dubious sanity than those who they are working with. The Nurse Ratched who kicked us out seemed to be getting off on her power trip, she enjoyed turning people away from a free meal. She relished the power that she possessed over the already disenfranchised crazy person. And what's worse is they way she talked down to us, she expected us to enjoy being bullied out of the building as well. What the hell kind of sick person is that?

It reminded me very much of being locked up in the hospital in Quebec.

Power trips happen to crazy people all the time. In fact, while you may read the news and assume that crazy people are violent and unpredictable, it is more often the case that it is the crazy person who is the victim of violence. However that kind of news doesn't make the papers, because we're considered subhuman and nobody cares what happens to someone who's not even a human.

I want to kill the Nurse Ratched's of the world. I do, and I'm not even a violent person. But when I see One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and McMurphy is strangling Nurse Ratched, I'm all "Yeah! Slap her silly!" Because I know what it's like to be made to feel insignificant and stupid simply because I have a brain disorder that is still for the most part shrouded in mystery, no matter what the doctors say.

And I am tired. I am tired of me and my friends being disempowered by the very people who purport to be helping us. I am tired of all of my feelings getting pathologized. Things like falling in love or being angry are suddenly symptoms, instead of just letting me be with my own soul-feelings. Some of the drugs they give us completely obliterate feelings (that by the way is why people don't take their drugs, try living life with a cottonball heart and you'd ditch them too).

How to end this blog about killing Nurse Ratched? I think for me the most important thing is that people become more aware of how they behave towards the crazy people in their lives, whether it be on the job or in social situations. We are not children, or mentally handicapped, or plain stupid. We're regular people with un-regular brains trying, sometimes fighting, yes, to keep our dignity. So let us have some fucking dignity.

And don't work with crazy people if you don't have a grip on what it means to be on the other end of Nurse Ratched.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Rats!


Some people think that because I own a rat I must be some kind of freak. It's true, I am a freak. But once you've had a rat, you can never go back. They are so adorable. Aside from having kick ass personalities, they are so sweet. They grind their teeth when they're happy, they don't vomit, and their scaley tails are actually not so bad.

Plus they are smart. They are about as smart as a dog, which in animal land is pretty smart. Although they have a bad habit of chewin wires.

My best ratty friend was Nikolas, I used to sing "Hey Nicky you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind!" when I came home to him. Ironically my friend Stef ALSO had a rat named Nicholas and she used to do THE EXACT same thing!

You still don't believe me when I say rats are cute? Well check out the links below and then come back and say with a straight face that you still find nothing worthwhile about the little rat people.

The Dapper Rat A site with good ideas for rattie toys and some CUTE pics!
Pet Rats Canadawith some good info on owning a little rat friend.
Pet Rats in the UK with a little rat fellow playing gee-tar! Come on, that is sweet!
Why Pet Rats A good intro to the little rat for people with prejudices, plus there are some more cute photos.
Suite 101 - Pet Rats an informative site for those who love and care for wee rat folk.

And there ends my blog on rats. ONe more thing! Little Clive has been having ongoing problems with his water bottle leaking, and then I bought a supposedly leak proof bottle. HOWEVER it has turned out to be THE WORST leaky bottle! It doesn't just leak, it runs right out. If anyone has any suggestions Clive and I would be delighted to hear them, just post a comment here.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Out On Screen opens tonight!


And yours truly is on the jury this year! This means I get to see films for free, my favorite kind!

Okay, enough with the exclaimation marks. This is my little blog about Queer film festivals and my history with them. It all began rather innocently in 1994 when I went to Vancouver from Saskatoon to see a big city all on my own. Remember I would have been a little teenager at this time. Out on Screen was happening that summer, and I wound up at Video In watching these short films about being a homo. Wow. At that time "positive" queer images had yet to explode into the pop culture, and remember, I was from Saskatchewan. We didn't have a Pride parade because the head of the Gay and Lesbian centre was so self hating he believed it would be "rude."

So wow, queer films. I even got the shirt I was so impressed. It had a fish on it. A gay fish? Whatever, that didn't matter. I was inspired.

And I went back to Saskatchewan and I started to think about making videos. My videos. Videos about being a queer teenager. Videos about my life that I wasn't seeing depicted anywhere. I didn't even know it was possible to be a queer teenager. In fact, when I came out (at fourteen) some older queers still believed that I was too young to know. I dunno, sexuality is so in your face. How can a wet pussy or a boner be denied? And why should I waste my time with boys in dry panties?

So my friend Christopher Lefler was at the time going through a personal hell being splashed across the media outlets nationwide. He had outed the lieutenant govenor of Saskatchewan in an art piece and was kicked out of grad school for it. At the same time, he and some friends were putting together Saskatoon's first queer film festival, including a workshop led by the lovely Maureen Bradley. I was one of the workshop participants.

And to make a long story short, with some pipe cleaner dollies with googly eyes I hit the queer festival circut with a bang. I started getting calls from lesbians in Berlin asking for my tape, and it was all very exciting.

Wow. That was nearly ten years ago, and since then queer festivals have grown and changed as well as me. Some of my happiest memories are of queer film festivals. In fact, I got together with my first girlfriend, Ivana, at Inside Out in Toronto.

Sometimes the programs are duds, but then I always remember, someone in the audience is thinking the same way I did. I could do this. I should do this. I wanna make a video. So do it. Now Out on Screen has the queer scholarship program (much like the workshop I was in, albeit much more intensive), and some really great work has come out of it.

Anyway, there's the end of my Yay for Festivals blog. I think in the next blog I may talk about my rat. His name is Clive. He's a creamy coloured Fancy Rat from Montreal, so he is a bit of a bilingual squeaker.

A Duck Joke


Okay, so three ducks have been charged and they go to court. The first duck goes up to the Judge.
The Judge asks "What's your name?"
"Quack."
"And why are you here?"
"I was caught blowing bubbles in the park."
The next duck comes up.
"And what's your name?"
"Quack Quack."
"Why are you here?"
"I was caught blowing bubbles in the park."
The third duck comes up to the Judge.
"So I suppose your name is Quack Quack Quack."
"My name is Bubbles."

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Testing, blah


I supposedly have a brand spanking new site meter on my site. But I don't see it. Why can I not see it? Can YOU see it?

Monday, August 02, 2004

The Scorpion Mouse


Happy belated Pride everybody. I didn't do much for Pride this year, except go to three different parties over the weekend. I missed the parade even. Bad me.

FACT: Although people often think of crazy people as being violent and aggressive, the opposite is true, most crazy people (like me) are timid and withdrawn.

The above fact makes my social interations awkward for the most part, unless I am hypomanic, in which case I could have a conversation with anybody. But usually, oh, I am a little mouse. But little mice can still do mighty things.

FACT: The scorpion mouse is immune to scorpion stings which could kill an adult human. They double up and prey on scorpions in tag teams, and when they kill one they stand on their hindlegs and "SQUEAK!" a roar.

I am trying to accept my social awkwardness with the grace and dignity befitting a scorpion mouse. Still a mouse, still a tiny little speck in the great cosmos, but I can squeak out a roar about the moments that matter. I consider my blog to be my scorpion mouse cry of victory. I am still alive today! SQUEAK!!! I have killed the scorpion!! Fear me!

I think there are other scorpion mice out there, I have been meeting them more and more. Once you come out as a crazy person who's been to the big finishing school called the psych ward, you start to know everyone else who's been there. And they are all really cool people because they know what you're talking about better than anybody else.

Which brings me to another point. Why oh why do people still think that those of us with "psychiatric disabilities" are stupid? Even the nurses on the psych ward think so, they really infantilize us. And then we get mad about it and it goes into our reports as symptoms of our illness blah blah blah. People don't assume because someone has epilepsy that they are stupid. And manic depression is similar to epilepsy in the way it affects the brain.

There was my SQUEAK!!! for the day.

******* Lotto update *********
The jackpot is now 15 million dollars and I have won yet another free play. So eee, crossing my fingers. But this series of teeny wins to play again are really cute, reminds me of my free coke I kept winning five times in a row!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Control Room


Tonight I was bored, had nothing to do. Decided to catch a movie with a friend. We went to The Control Room, a documentary about the television station Al Jazeera, the most watched channel in the Arab world, and their coverage of the Iraq war.

I have to say, I think this was a stronger film than Fahrenheit 9/11. It's not trying to tell you what to think, just keeps bringing up these intriguing questions. And for a station which is accused by the USA for being full of propaganda, they really do concern themselves with trying to show a balanced informed view. At one point an interviewer yells at the guy who brought on a bad guest because he's an American activist and doesn't have a balanced analysis, all he's saying is that America is bad. I also noticed that the film didn't milk the death of the Al Jazeera journalist, whereas Fahrenheit 9/11 really milked the American soldier's death. And still it had power.

Anyway, I have been remiss in updating my blog, I know. I'm bad, bad me. I will try to do better. I know people get disappointed when there's nothing new.

New is good.

The most indelible impression The Control Room has left on me is how the media is played during a war, and how this one relatively small station keeps trying to present the truth. Or should we say A Truth. I think there is an idea we have that it is still possible to present the truth without bias, but there is always a bias of course. Certain parts of a story mean more to one group of people than to others.

Until then, at least we can ask that there be diverse outlets for media around the world, making sure that as many angles get covered as possible.

And for those of you curious about Al Jazeera, it's coming to Canada relatively soon!

*** Special Lotto Update ***
So my last post I mentioned I sunk five bucks that I won on 6-49 into the Super 7 tickets to win the ten million jackpot. Well, I didn't win. But I did, sort of. I won two $2 plays by getting three numbers twice. And now the Super 7 jackpot has increased to 12 million. Oooh! So, well, I guess I will ride out these bizarre small wins in the hopes of striking it rich.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Lottery Ticket


One day at the store, hmm, thinking weird thoughts like usual, in line to buy a Coke. Yes I know they are a terrible corporation and drinking a coke is like drinking the blood of the oppressed indigenous people. Anyway, a little thought popped into my head. I should buy a lottery ticket, I might win the BIG jackpot.

So I bought a lottery ticket. And I put good energy into it and dreamed of all the things I could do if I won the lottery. I was making lists of charities and arts funding I could support, where I could travel, the house I would buy, no condos, not in this leaky condo city.

Well today I checked my ticket and I won, sort of. I got two numbers and the bonus number. Which means I have won either ten dollars or five dollars. So putting energy out into the universe does work, you just have to be specific about it. I realized that I had bought the wrong lotto ticket for the big jackpot anyway. I have to get the Super 7. 9 million dollars, oooh! So my new winnings are going straight back into lotto tickets. After all, it is only five bucks. Or is it ten bucks? Whatever.

Once I was on a roll with a coke promotion. I kept winning the free coke from the bottlecap insert. This went on for at least five cokes before my luck ran out. But hey, Free Coke!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Shock!


Not a lot of things shock me ya know. I pretty much feel like I've seen it all, heard it all. I nearly got myself run over by a car a few months ago and that was quite shocking, but not the kind of shock I mean. I mean when someone does something/says something and you're just at a loss for words, it's so unexpected.

But a few days ago I was walking down the street with my friend Lynn, just chatting about all kinds of crap, when some ten year old girls came walking towards us. As they passed there was a lull in our conversation, so we could hear the girls quite well. The tallest one said "And then all the bitches and ho's said . . ." Shock! What ten year old girls could be bitches and ho's? And where did these bitches and ho's appear? Was it some other ten year old's birthday party? Were they smoking dro as well?

I feel old. Oh my god, from being all Grrlz! and doing so much work around ageism, now I too have got these dumb ideas of what children and teenagers are all about. I'm looking back with rose-tinted glasses, imagining a far less complex state of affairs for that horrendous coming of age we all go through. So many things are going on in a person's life at that age, issues of sexuality are starting to loom, you're trying to find independence and a voice, and grown ups keep trying to pen you in like they did when you were three, only with societal norms instead of a play pen. It's all so complicated. And you're body is transitioning into it's adult form, and aaaaaah! So then you're just working off some steam using some lingo you heard on an Eminem record "and then all the bitches and ho's said. . ." and you end up shocking some twenty-something bulldagger with tattoos and a red hanky sticking out of her pocket.

What a world!

Of course what you all want to know now is "What did all the bitches and ho's say anyway?"

I'm a terrible blogger. To tell you the truth I don't know, by then they had walked past us and I was still in shock.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Are we being decieved about our past?


Being aboriginal, I am subject to a lot of debate about when the hell I arrived in North America, how I arrived, and what kind of knowledge I would have had with me when I got here. It seems that when it comes to the history of people of colour, racism informs the limits to which archaelogy will allow our past to be known. Consider the wonder of the great pyramids, and the constant denial by people that Egyptians could have built them. Oh it must have been aliens. People of colour aren't THAT smart or that capable or that dedicated.

Personally I have a sneaking suspicion that institutions like the Smithsonian are either hiding artifacts from the Americas of great importance or have destroyed them outright. There is this strange desire to uphold the myth that the first foreigner to come to our shores was Christopher Columbus, the great and wonderful slave trader and gold grubbing spaniard. But there are stories of others, like Quezacoatyl, who was blonde and blue eyed and left the Aztecs by going overseas to the east. And of course the ruins of old viking settlements here in Canada.

I think that cultures from all over the world have been visiting the Americas for thousands of years, trading with us and building societies with us. Today I even read that there are some inscriptions on rocks in mesoamerican ruins which look like they come from the Shang dynasty. The person who translated them believes a huge flood of refugees from the fall of the Shang Dynasty came to the Americas and formed the Olmec civilization. I have also read several articles talking about Egyptian ruins found in the Grand Canyon.

I'm not quite sure why there is a suppression of this history. All I can figure is that it has something to do with colonialism. Partly wanting to deny that the first cultures of the Americas had highly intelligent societies operating here. I think the other part is that perhaps Christopher Columbus came with the knowledge that we WERE here, that we had gold, that we had huge numbers of people who could be used as slaves, that we had land which could be invaded. There's this lovely fairy tale people tell about him wanting to prove the earth was round, but I don't believe a word of it.

Anyway, I thought I would post some more links and let you make up your own mind. Some of the sites are a bit flakey, you kinda have to seperate the wheat from the chaff. But it's still some interesting stuff.

Top Ten Out of Place Artifacts Not all in the Americas, but interesting nevertheless.

The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone a stone bearing the ten commandments found in New Mexico and "pre-contact."

Cover-Up at the Smithsonian detailing the story of a body found in full armour which was assumed to have been taken to the Smithsonian and disappeared.



I'm not a deer!



More childhood memories. My gramma always tried to call me a dear when I was a little kid, and for some reason I took this really literally. "I'm not a deer!" I would wail, and she would say "Oh dear!" as she knew she offended me, and then I would get even more fussy, and cry out "I'm NOT a deer!" I don't know what kind of an insult that would be anyway, to call someone a deer.

The ungulate family features in yet another misinterpretation story from my past. On long road trips through the prairies (aren't all prairie road trips long?) when I could see nothing for miles except field after field of wheat, on occasion my my mother would say "hey, Thirza look, antelopes!" And I would peer out the window, searching searching the vastnessness, only to see tiny deer-like things. "Cantalopes!! I don't see any cantalopes!!" I was really hoping to see a field of round melons, and all my mother had to offer were small deer-like things.

Hmm, other ungulate stories. Well, when I lived in Montana for a year on Saturdays my mother used to pack me and my sister into the car with some food and we would drive out to the bison range. Modern urban Indians re-visiting our roots by driving through herds of bison. Buffalo I used to call them, until someone informed me it was actually Bison. We never hunted them or anything, although we did buy frozen bison burgers. When we had to leave Montana I was told I had to part with my extensive rock collection. My mother said it wasn't fair to take rock spirits so far away when they would just sit under my bed. So one day we drove out to the bison range, and I unrolled the window and one by one threw the rocks out so they could play with the bison. I still like the idea of my little rocks being nosed by a big hairy bison.

We also had a cookie mold that made cookies in the shape of bison.

Once I fed a deer by hand in Banff. Terrible I know, you shouldn't let wildlife get used to humans.

Which brings me to the wildlife around here. A couple of months ago I took a cab home from Stef's place and a big coyote ran right in front of it. I hadn't seen a coyote in this neighborhood before, but apparently they are here. Hopefully it is not hooked on crack, like everyone else in my neighborhood in those wee hours.

And last night I got off the bus and was almost chased home by a skunk!! EEEEE!! As I saw it's little black and white body scuttling around I had nightmare visions of having to call in sick to work because of being skunk-sprayed and needing to sit in a tub of tomato juice. Oh yuck!!!

Off topic now, I had this weird dream last night. In it I was walking with a friend and we came to this really old almost Aztec looking circular architectural complex, and I said "I've been here before. This is where they perform human sacrifices." And then some men showed up who were going to sacrifice us, and we had to run out of there as fast as we could, only I had to pee. But suddenly there were cages of chickens everywhere, and I couldn't pee because if I did I would pee on a chicken. And some of the chickens were half pig, and had pig snouts. Now WHAT THE HELL was that all about?

They say all dreams mean something, but sometimes all they mean is that you have to go run and pee, which is what I did when I woke up. No chickens were in my bathroom though.

Hilarity


Bush joking at the Radio and Television Correspondent's Dinner about his intelligence faliures

Lesbian Ostracism


I am secretly suspecting someone long ago lost my lesbian registration card and I will forever be shunned from the queer community. I'm not sure what it is about me, but through either my own social awkwardness or lesbian snottiness, I am always finding it a struggle to connect with other dykes when I go to queer events. Maybe I am not cool enough, they immediately think "Nerd!" and turn their backs. Or perhaps I am just very very very shy, and general dykely gruffness comes off as them being snobby to me. Or maybe they think I am the snobby one. It's hard to figure out.

Besides the Brownskirts mentioned two posts down, I find it a lot easier to be welcomed into aboriginal events. Usually there's the opening questions "who are your parents" and "what tribe are you from" and that sort of thing, and then it's sorted, and some belly laughs later you have a new friend. But with dykes you have to fuck your way into a social group, like little bonobos, or else I dunno, share blood? Slash up with each other? There's some secret handshake I don't have!! Even at leather parties, I could be friendly with everybody, but still the dykes gave me that damned snotty sneer.

Usually the girlfriends I've ended up with have had some of that fucked up lesbian ostracism too, often for being femme and not being identified as queer. And these were hot sexy women who kicked major ass and did a lot of work for the queer community. What is our problem as a lesbian community?

Maybe I am expecting too much. Maybe the fact that we're an oppressed minority who all have sex with each other isn't enough to form the basis for strong community bonds. Maybe we're too fucked up from fighting homophobic stares on the streets everyday, we do it to each other. Or maybe dykes are just snotty and that is that.

On the other hand, I do have some queer friends who are really nice and friendly and supportive. They are pure gold. I don't know what I would do without them. But please, somebody tell the rest of the dykes to get the sticks out of their asses and be a little more welcoming to their fellow homos. Who knows, the dyke you shunned today might turn out to be the lover of your dreams.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

My room's a mess and I want beans


This is gonna be one of them silly blogs. A blog that has no defined purpose. My room is a mess and I am procrastinating on cleaning it. I have been procrastinating for about a month now. It is getting difficult to walk to the door from my bed or my computer. The rat says something has to be done, or he's going to set fire to it. I don't blame him. It is awful in here.

I'm hungry. I want weiners and beans. It's my comfort food from growing up. What a great lunch. Mmm, weiners and beans!!! A friend of mine used to make fried baloney. Baloney is basically a flat uncooked hotdog.

Tonight is a show at Lick, Dance Magic Dance, brought to you by my lovely ex Tralala's Gaylord productions. So if you are a queer in Vancouver with nothing to do tonight and no where to go, come down to Lick, door opens at 9 and show starts at 10. It's 5 bucks to get in if you wear fantasy stuff, 8 bucks if you're like me and got nothing good to put on.

Okay, this was a silly post, except for my totally non-obligatory promo for the Gaylord event. Oh yeah, which brings me to my other point that my friend Stef made the other day. She was all "How come nobody ever leaves you comments? Is it that they can't leave a comment because it fucks up, or does nobody read your blog?" I have heard from at least four different people that they do read it. But it's true, there are no comments here really. Who does read this blog? I wonder. Ooooh, it's a mystery!!

Would the mystery readers please stand up, if only to prove Stef wrong?

Of course if you are shy don't feel obliged. And BTW, you don't need to be a fellow blogger to be able to leave a comment.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Brownskirts: Aboriginal Fascism


I've had a touch of the blahs these days. Things have gotten me down. Do you really want a list? Well, it's just the general state of the world. I recently read a vitriolic hate letter written by some american Native Youth Movement member to Redwire about their sex issue. It was so racist and homophobic, I am so tired of aboriginal people dumping shit on other aboriginal people about what is "traditional" and "honourable." Okay, so I don't think about my ancestors when I'm fucking (which I haven't much as of late anyway), on the other hand, why WOULD I think about my ancestors when I fuck? Ew!! My great grandfather was a war chief and a notorious horse thief, along with being a great medicine person. But I honestly don't believe that has anything to do with my sex life.

Besides that I don't think there is any one right way to be aboriginal. There seems to be this contingent of very vocal fascist Aboriginals who slam anyone who's mixed race, doesn't speak their language, is queer, etc etc. It seems to me to be very much rooted in a residential-skool-christian framework rather than an honest aboriginal culture. I remember growing up sitting with my Aunties (some of which were more like adopted Aunties) listening to them talk about sex. Oh my god, aboriginal women could put Peaches to shame! I find it tragic that one of the things we have lost is the celebratory approach to sexuality that many aboriginal cultures had. There is (in Canada anyway) a movement to bring back that kind of sexual discourse among aboriginals. The group show in which I was a part of, Exposed: Aesthetics of Aboriginal Erotic Art comes to mind.

Another example of the celebratory nature of sex that aboriginals had is the whole concept around two-spirited people, transgendered/gender-queer people who had a role as spiritual leaders in their communities. Besides being spiritual leaders, in the book The Spirit and the Flesh some anthropologists noticed that these people were also considered highly desireable. Nowadays you hear many brownskirts saying that queer and transgendered folk never existed in aboriginal society!! Besides being homophobic, this also smacks of colonialist brainwashing. Colonialists needed to destroy the positions of honour that two-spirited people inhabited in order to attack aboriginal culture's very foundations. To keep affirming these homophobic ideas is to keep affirming the colonialist mindset we have been duped into.

In fact my sister, who is severely mentally handicapped, was even the target of a brownskirt once who said that people like her never existed before the "white man" came.

Being half Scots has also put me in the bad books of the Brownskirts. Having been born a second generation halfbreed (people always ask me which one of my parents was white, I have to break it to them that they are both aboriginal) I'm automatically considered to have lost my culture. Nevermind that I've been going to sweats since I was a little kid, or that I was raised participating in aboriginal culture more than white culture. In fact all I know about being white is that I'm light, people don't hassle me in stores thinking I'm ripping something off, and I engage in a lot of pop culture. But who doesn't?

This drive for racial purity reminds me of the same party lines you hear from white power groups. Although some aboriginals think it's more noble for them to call for a purifying of the race than the KKK, I personally don't see a difference between the two groups. It's time for race discourse to accept the fact that race these days is becoming more convoluted. It is no longer a black/white/red/yellow kind of thing. Some people are halfbreeds, like Cher! Other people are even more mixed, think Tiger Woods. We'd like these people to pick a side out of some racist desire to keep the tribes from mixing, even after the fact we're so desperate to have someone deny a part of themselves just so we're not confused by them anymore.

Confusion is good. People can inhabit more than one race and still be fully engaged in the struggle for rights of aboriginal people. In fact, I encourage that. Someday I want to have babies. Being a dyke, I could choose more halfbreed sperm. Or maybe I will fall in love with someone from a different culture, and have a more mixed kid. Who knows? I'm fully embracing the possibilities, and whatever my child is, they will grow up with knowledge of all their different ancestors, whoever those ancestors may turn out to be.

I've been listening to a lot of Peaches lately. We need an aboriginal Peaches man! Anyway, for a bit of fun after this heavy article, go to her swearing typewriter at www.fatherfucker.net. And fuck up a storm for sexual freedom, esp. if you are of colour!

Brownskirts is a term coined by my mother which I have used w/out permission, I am calling her to thank her tonight. Thank you mommy!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Life with it's many moods


Nobody's ever asked me "So Thirza, what's it like living with a mood disorder?" I think it's one of those things only other people with mood disorders are interested in. People get very frusterated with those of us who have it. Growing up I was often told I was too sensitive and that I needed to overcome it. Nobody stopped to consider that perhaps my sensitivity was something I couldn't overcome, and that treating me with a bit of gentleness would be the best solution.

Today on the Skytrain coming home from work I was being the quiet observer of human behaviour that I am. Normally I wear a walkman to drown out people, but tonight I wasn't. Some guy was sitting with his female friend as she was putting on zit concealer. "You're really zitty." "That's a mean thing to say," she said, "I'm really self concious about it." "That's why I'm telling you," he said, "I'm helping you become less self concious. The more I say things to you the less it will bother you."

I sometimes wonder if this was the intention of many people around me when I was growing up. I was too sensitive, therefore I was subjected to some fairly harsh "teasing" and a lot of bullying at school. The end result was that I'm a super socially awkward adult, often running away from acquaintances when I run into them in public, hiding out at home on the internet, and being closer to animals than I am to people. I have no clue how to interact with people because people's interactions with me have so often crossed a line and I never learned how to draw boundaries and safety zones around myself in a more sophisticated way than staying home reading online journals.

For instance, I forgot to take my mood stabilizers this morning. A whole day at my call centre job being told off by people on the phone and my nerves were raw. Too late to take my pills, I nearly burst into tears twice over nothing.

And the mania?

Sometimes people don't even recognize hypomania, they just know someone's giddy and happy and it can really pass in society as just a happy-go-lucky person. But manic psychosis . . .

To be in a state of manic psychosis is like the most powerful, longest lasting ecstacy trip, filled with love and religious fervour and art, and fear. The paranoia wraps you up into a desperate world where your quicksilver brain is always reaching for a place to pull you out of samsara, the world of illusion that you realize reality is. And yet in realizing reality is an illusion, you trip into another illusion. I'm still trying to put together some language for myself to understand where I went when I flipped out. Reading what I wrote then makes no sense to me now, I think I'm too judgemental of it to be compassionate.

I think a lot of people are judgemental of psychosis. There is a lot of anger at the fact that a person has "lost their mind," as if they could control it.

Hmm. Well, that's what I've been thinking about anyway. I found a cool link that explains manic psychosis, and is very true to what my own psychotic episode was like, at Catching A Darkness: Glimpses of My Sister's Mania which is a really engrossing photo essay by Boris Dolin about his sister Jessica, who ended up committing suicide a few years after this essay was put online. I highly recommend you check it out.

I'm at a point now in my recovery from bipolar where although I know I've ended up with a tough lot in life, I'll be okay essentially. Once when I was a teenager at a queer youth group, I said "I guess the point is just to survive life." A friend told me "Nobody survives life." And it's true. We all have our own crosses to bear, no one burden is nobler than anothers. This just happens to be mine.