Thursday, May 26, 2005

Gross. And Funny.

My apartment is gross, and the mice are starting to chew important things like 16 mm negatives and such. ARG! I hate the mice! And I miss my rat. I miss him in his spectacular health though, and the end he was pretty old and scrawny. Sweet little feller. I did love him. The irony is a few days later a close friend also lost her fuzzy friend. We ate KFC in remembrance. Why KFC I'm not sure except I was hungry and that was the closest place.

When I was in high school there was a KFC parked conveniently across the street. The scent of KFC would waft across traffic and settle on hungry teenagers with disposable income. I actually didn't eat there all that much. I ate in the cafeteria. Once I was gorging myself on that month's craving, pizza pretzels, and the girl I would lose my virginity to said she thought I was cute stuffing my face. I didn't say anything back, because my mouth was full.

We were sort of lab partners in biology class, she oohed and ahhed at my strength ripping open a clam, and then she entertained me by throwing squid legs out the window onto a boy she didn't like. Now whenever I smell formaldehyde, I think of the absolute wildness of teenage lust.

If I had the chance to go talk to me when I was that age, I think my advice would be to respect women no matter what. Even if you think they're acting bizarre and ridiculous and maybe even mean, don't be a jerk back. Have some class in your exit, if you can.

I have a jar of liquid latex on my desk and no one to paint it on.

It is red.

Hmmmm . . .

I want to, no, need to make a video, soon.

And I do have a jar of red liquid latex. Maybe I can tell that story about being the whitest looking kid in the family. And how I wanted my race to show. I tell ya, I was a racially tormented child. Oh well. Someone's got to live on the borders. We can't all fit into nice neat little boxes.

I feel like a total borderland creature. Let's see, would you like a quick run down of what it looks like? I have a vast collection of books practically oozing out of every corner of my apartment. My desk is strewn with fast food containers because my fridge is broken. My pills are staring at me in the face everyday when I sit at the computer so that I'll remember to take them. Even my computer desk top is a mess. Files and folders and jpgs and mpegs everywhere. And a bunch of goofy wav files.

In the end, there is truly no greater pleasure than the chance to witness a man running down the road with his ass on fire.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

How much is that doggie in the window?

I think there are several motivating factors in my life that are leading me to pick a dog for my next pet. For one thing, while the sugar gliders were a cute idea, I'm not too fond of something large and fuzzy leaping onto my face while I'm puttering around the apartment. Plus I would need to feed them monkey food, and I don't know about your pet store, but mine do not sell monkey food.

Plus, I want to commit to something. I want to say "Okay, I'll deal with your shit, as long as you give me unconditional love and devotion." And besides that I'm having weird biological clock ticking and maybe with a dog I could focus all my mothering needs on it. I don't think I would dress it up though, that's just a bit weird.

So I've been online window shopping for miniature dachshunds.

What else have I been up to? Oh yeah, I watched Rob and Amber Get Married. Boooooring! Where was the tension? It was a disappointment.

Next blog: Will she wake up in time to look for a job? Will her phone ever get reconnected? Will the mess ever be clean!? Stay tuned . . .

Monday, May 23, 2005

Weiner dog

I've decided that at the end of the summer, I am getting a weiner dog. I've been thinking about it for a while, and a mini dachshund would do alright in the apartment I'm living in. Plus various people have offered to be the puppy's friends, so hopefully when I'm at work he'll have time with other people, socializing. The last thing I need is a neurotic dog. I think it would be good for me, he'd keep me active, and he wouldn't die on me in three years.

I really do love dogs. I'm such a dog person. The thing is, I'm a big dog person. I never thought I would consider having a small dog. But the fact is I'm an urban dweller and I don't forsee myself having the space for a big dog in my near future. And dammit, I want a freakin' dog. What I've discovered in my research is that weiner dogs think they're bigger than they really are (I would make a weiner joke about here, but I chose not to).

My friends are excited about this turn of events. I'm excited. All I have to do is find a job and get some extra cash to buy a dog. Oh, and clean this god awful apartment. Otherwise I'd be sure to lose the little guy. I've been researching nd looking in various ads, checking out the price of my new friend. I even scanned the ads at the BC SPCA. There were some lonely golden retrievers there, which made me sad because that's the kind of dog I used to have. I can't believe anyone would give up a golden. They are the sweetest dogs. Mine used to follow my sister around, making sure she didn't get lost. He was pretty cool.

But I can't possible give a golden the lifestyle they need. So miniature weiner dog world, here I come!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Special Clive Memorial Tribute

Clive the Fancy Rat, a cream colored terror from the mean pet stores of Montreal, came into my life almost three years ago. He was accompanied by his brother Vincent, who later died of repiratory disease. He was a distinguished animal, watching me survive a manic episode, and finally crossing the country to be here with me in Vancouver. He had to disguise himself as a hamster to be allowed onto the plane. When not battling the discrimination and stigma of being a rat, he enjoyed nothing more than to clean his owner's ears, poop, and eat headphones and books.

His bad ass reputation began with a series of confrontations with other animals, including cats, Golden Retrievers, and an attacking chinchilla, which was soon seen scampering away with Clive in hot pursuit, mouth full of fur.

While all these acts of petty assaults seemed amusing enough, things came to a head in 2004 when he devoured the miniature hamster of some friends who were rat sitting him, a grisly incident which left him with nary a scratch.

He survived a near euthanization when the vets decided he was going to live, even though he had an awful absess, and an SPCA worker chased me down the street to come back and get him.

Clive mellowed with old age, and never attacked the many mice which roamed the apartment. On the few occasions I fell asleep and left him out, he always went to the same garbage bag to curl up in and sleep.

Bon voyage Clive, and put in a good word for me.

Trauma T.V.

Did any of you watch CSI and ER last night? Holy crap. I have never felt so traumatized, oh well, except for that night I was waiting in a friend's place for their unwanted roommate breaking in. Yeah, that wasn't very fun. But jeez, the stories last night. My friend told me that Quentin Tarantino had directed CSI. You could tell. For one thing they buried Nick alive in a box, and fire ants started to eat him alive. Poor Nick. Bad things always happen to Nick. Yeah, so then ER starts, and a whole party house falls like the World Trade center collapse. Totally freaky.

Then my friend had the nerve to suggest watching House of Wax, and I was just full of trauma. I didn't want any more.

It's a fascinating phenomenon to see how much we as a culture like watching traumatic stories. I mean, how many prime time slots are filled with stories of crime? Law and Order (SVU, CI, etc.), CSI (NY, Miami), Cold Case, and a few others. And sometimes they are on every night! It's wacky. It's like we're fulfilling some primal need to scare ourselves. Even when I think about my reading choices, murder mysteries. I mean, how grisly.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Doing a'ight

I'm pretty proud of myself these days. I've been feeling more and more competent, and having had some more or less steady work has made me feel better about myself, oddly enough. I'm scheduled for a job interview at a post production facility tomorrow, which is really exciting. If I get the job I'll be an Avid DS Operator. Fancy fancy! I'm glad to be working again, mostly because I need to get out of a huge debt load. I really hope I get the job, because editing is something I love so much. And it would be a good opportunity to see how feature films are edited, as opposed to the short projects I have worked on. Besides that, it would be nice to have a job in a field I was trained in.

Yep, life after film school is okay. I'm so glad I went back and finished my degree.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A State of Grace

Nobody every paints the Virgin Mary changing Jesus' s diaper.

Recently I was on the bus, without my trusty ipod since Clive ate my new headphones and I stepped on my old ones, which had only been working on one side. Anyway, a small child was behind me, at the age when their voices are really high pitched. It was just squealing and hurting my ears, and I was like "Dear God, how do parents put up with that?" And I thought about creativity, and states of grace.

I'm in a pretty creative period in my life after a very long bleak stretch of nothingness. There's a feeling that happens in the middle of a creative process. Suddenly things become very clear, and for myself anyway, I always enter a state of rapture. I just stare and I'm somewhere else, floating in the clear air, like when you find the right notes to play. There's this hum that shoots right through me, it doesn't last very long, maybe fifteen minutes at the most. It's a state of grace.

And I just wonder, since there is some connection between parenting and creation of any kind, is there a state of grace in child rearing?

If you look at all those paintings of the Virgin Mary, she was totally grooving on something. She's a one woman ad campagin for motherhood that one. I mean, who can compare with the Mother of God.

I feel conflicted these days about the prospects of motherhood. I'm not sure about bringing a person into the world who has a really good chance of inheriting a life-long chronic illness that could drive them to suicide. On the other hand, that's what the Nazi's were all about, stomping out bipolars in a big drive to purify the genetics of the race. And there are really good things in my genes too, it's not all bad. Ah whatever.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Total Overhaul

The other night I had a great conversation with my friend Robin (hi Robin!) about our respective call centre jobs and why in the world people would choose such a way to make a meager living. She pointed out that basically the reason people do work such as ours is to live a double life, doing something else you're passionnate about yet for some reason doesn't pay the bills.

It's true that in the past few days I've been a working stiff again, I've been having more and more time to think about the feature film script I've been doggedly working on for the past two years. I think I have finally had a breakthrough on it. I've realized that certain elements which were there in the beginning have kind of petered out, such as a sub plot about a dead brother. At the same time a much stronger theme of the effects of living in poverty has manifested itself in a much more interesting way. I've discovered that the past two years of writing has really been workshopping my characters, and that I need to do a total overhaul of my script to make it have more of a structure, as well as paring away the various sub plots which are needlessly taking away from the main story. It's pretty humbling to realize that of fifty-five pages I have written so far, I will probably only be keeping thirty pages or less in the final draft. Such is the life of a writer.

At the same time, ideas are starting to sparkle and shine again, which is great. I've been in a bit of a writers block, probably because I went back to school for a year, and that took up my intellectual headspace. But now I am freed, ironically enough, by a job that I don't have to take home with me. While it's sad to not be working in my field of expertise, at the same time I'd much rather devote my creative energies to my own projects.

Whenever people ask me what I'm working on and I say a feature film script, I can almost always feel the internal eye rolling. I suppose it does sound kind of pretentious or something. The kind of project someone could embark upon and never complete, yet gives them some kind of weird cachet. In truth, sometimes I have nearly thrown in the towel. I sit to write and my characters get grumpy and don't want to say anything, sometimes I have a brilliant idea but "reality" says I shouldn't write it that way. Mostly my struggle has been getting this little feature to have a stronger direction and message, while it has thus far prefered to meander in aimless conversations between characters.

But I'm finally optimistic. I'm going to try and set a deadline for myself so I can take it to some scriptwriting workshops and hone it even more. I refuse to rush a final draft just so I can say I wrote a feature. I want to be able to say "Hey, I wrote, directed, and edited a really important feature," and have it be something I can be proud of. One of the things I'm liking the most is that even though it's tackling some really quite dark material, it's still pretty comedic. Even though I do love creating quite dramatic serious work, my first love is and always has been comedy with a political message.

So call centre work's not so bad when exciting scenes from an unborn film are running through your mind.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Time seems to be seeping

Okay, I know how hokey this may sound, an aboriginal talking about her dreams and what it means. But I'm telling you, I think time is slipping backwards into my dreams. For the past year, and with increasing frequency, I've been dreaming things before they happen. Strange things. Like the tsunami. I had a dream about being in a building with a tsunami rushing in. And then two months later it happened. But now I'm getting more and more little snippets of the future, really vague simple stuff. Nothing like "The world will end at two pm and I will be eating a pink donut!" But stuff like this pipe, a sort of sherlock holmes pipe, then the next two days I saw the exact pipe in two different television shows.

Time is a funny entity. It loops, it can split off into two or more timelines, it can go backwards and forwards. I would really like to experiment more with time in my films.

In my dreams at least, future images are showing up like clues. So bizarre. And I keep falling asleep at regular hours. How weird is that?

Work is aggreeing with me so far, I'm remembering how to do it. First day, I'll get better. I just wish people weren't so hostile.

Hmm, why are we so hostile to strangers doing a job? And to strangers who can't find a job. You can't win, someone's going to be mean to you no matter what you do.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


I caught a mouse today, in a pink plastic cellophane bag from Ruebenesque, a store for fat ladies where my mom bought me a fancy shirt-thingy. It was eating popcorn from Kernels, Double Hit, freaking mouse, I wanted to eat that. It was cowering in the bottom of the bag so I picked it up, went downstairs, and set it free in the alley. It darted across the street, attracting the attention of a bored kitty cat. Last I saw the cat was in hot pursuit under a fence. I doubt very much the mouse lived. It kind of defeated the purpose of setting it free. Oh well.

My graduation ceremony went well, I didn't do a prat fall on the stage or anything. And I even got to graduate with some of my old art school buddies. That was nice. Sally Potter, the director of Orlando, was there getting a honourary doctorate of letters. Afterwards my mom spotted her leaving and pushed me in her direction so I could tell her how much I liked her work. She was very gracious. I always feel so nervous around famous folks, because they probably face that all the time. Who knows though, I have limited experience with fame. Oprah's not exactly banging down my door wanting to see what the views of a halfbreed leather dyke video/performance artist are. Not that I mind terribly, I'm shy. I'd probably pee my pants in front of a live studio audience.


They'd think it was some sick NEA funded statement.

So now I officially hold a BFA with a major in Film/Video. I must admit, it's pretty cool to think my studies are behind me. But at the same time, there's the challenge to remain a practicing artist while juggling work, and learning how to keep making work without all the support offered in school. It's strange. And even as that's closing off to me, there's also more opportunities, like being able to apply for grants again.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Back to the drawing board

I've been offered my old job back. It's kind of funny, to end up back where I was. At least it's in an air conditioned building now, before it was brutal working there in the summer. So I guess I'll take it, I need the cash. And I'm going to keep looking for work, a coffee shop would be nice. Editing would be REALLY nice. Whew, life after school is weird so far. I'll get used to it. At least I'll be making money again. I start working on Monday. I already know their computer system well, so hopping back on the phones won't be too bad. It's just temporary, while they need the staff. That's fine by me, as long as I can get another job in time.
Anyway, aside from that I'm just hanging out with my ma, goofing off. Soon it will come to an end. But I sure am glad to know I'm not going to struggle to find a job soon.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The long day

Today I drove with my mom and a friend out to Merritt to pick up my stuff. Merritt is my Dogville. I lived there for four months during adolecence and left being totally crazy. Oh, nobody said I was crazy, but I was, crazy. Add to that the fact that my only outlet was at the shooting range, and watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Lampchop's Playhouse, before Lambchop died. I was going to pull a Columbine if we'd stayed, I was being bullied and sexually harrassed that much. Maybe that's why years later when Columbine did happen, I thought "Hasn't this already happened?"
Anyway, bad memories, BUT my stuff was there from when I left Vancouver. It's been shuffled around the country staying in different relative's basements or storage areas. And now I finally have it all! Opening the boxes was like christmas. It probably sounds really materialistic. But most of my stuff are books, videotapes, film, and items of personal sentiment. Like the Marvin the Martian figurine my mom gave me. Oh, and diaries. Tons of diaries. I've kept diaries since I was thirteen. Some people burn theirs. I don't want to burn mine. They're kind of useful for me to remember where I was at specific points in time. And who I was.
Anyway, me and my things are reunited after a very long day. Hurrah! I feel somewhat more normal, I haven't had my stuff in years. Now I just have to fit it somewhere.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I am a bad rat mom

This morning I woke up, looked around all groggy, and then realized that Clive's cage door was open. He was not inside. I remembered falling asleep while he was crawling around. He was no where on the bed, and my apartment is still quite a bit messy. Added to this the sudden realization that there was Warfarin in the apartment for the mice.
I was in a state of distress when I found him curled up, happily sleeping in a garbage bag. Rats will be rats, after all. I picked him up and kissed him and said "I'll never lose you again!"
He's such an old rat, I'm amazed at his determination to keep living. It's inspiring.

Monday, May 02, 2005

And when I don't speak . . .

I spent time with my family today, which was so lovely and wonderful, except for the dangling participle that became involved, and things got very ugly. My family are such sticklers for proper english. Maybe that's why I don't often speak.

It's true, some of you may have wondered about my tendency to not say much of anything from time to time. The real reason is because I am crazy. But aside from that, since all I've ever known is shyness, I'm pretty used to my cycles of speaking/not speaking. I have noticed the following interesting trends:

I can speak with up to three other people around. Four or more are out.
I can't speak to anyone I think is really grand.
I can email people, but that's not really speaking is it?
I can often be coaxed to speak if given food or pot. Actually, that last part was a lie, I just wanted to see if you'd give me pot to make me say something.
When manic I can speak to anyone, including seven strangers in a bar in Saskatoon one holiday night, and I was so talkative and friendly that soon the whole bar was chatty and someone even trusted me with their hundred dollar bill to go get change.
(I did come back, I was crazy, not evil)
I often find it difficult to think of things to talk about that aren't going to freak people out. There is a stringent process new friends have to go through during which you can figure out where the boundaries are.
Confessions are my chocolate, I love hearing other people's dirty secrets.
Ghost stories are also useful at getting my interest.
One on one conversing is usually the best way to talk to me, IF I am not in a weird environment, which I can sometimes be found in, where disco lights are spinning and there's some naked girl on a stage, or almost naked, and everyone's pushing and horny. Yeah, so that basically cancels out talking to me at a bar or an event. Also I don't often tell people, but I have poor hearing and it's just not the best environment for me. Yep, little disability heads up to you all.
Filmmakers talking shop, come on, sooooooo sexy! I love those gatherings,like in film school when we were accumulating a debt and learning on equipment older than ourselves. (It has all changed since my days there already, they have a decent number of computers. Although I am sad to see the Steenbecks go.)
I will sometimes interject a conversation with an off kilter comment in the hopes of being able to converse. One time I was at a barbecue of some people I had only gotten to know a short time. It was a nice sunny day, we drank Pims, someone was talking about how they fed McDonalds to people in jail. I said "Oh yes, my babysitter used to go to jail all the time, she said they gave you McDonalds for every meal. It was disgusting, she hated McDonalds."
"What did she go to jail for?"
"She stabbed her boyfriend."
A curious silence ensued.

Really though, I am chatty when I'm in the mood. I guess Virginia Woolfe was right, manic depressives are cameleons.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Take a chance on Me

Last night I downloaded as much Abba as possible. I am now listening to Waterloo. I love that song.
"How could I ever refuse? I feel like I win when I lose!"
My mother bought me some kicky new shoes for my birthday, they are lime green and ultra cute.
Finishing school has left me feeling somewhat bewildered. I need to figure out some crucial things about my life, like how I plan to make a living, how I can finish this script so I can get funding, looking into further training programs in directing (ie Sundance), and then some more personal issues related to my own health up-keep. It's all really startling, almost as weird as graduating from high school, but not as shocking. I mean, then I had to move out on my own.
It is a funny thing, moving out on your own. I survived on pizza by the slice for the first year, and lived in a one room apartment in a dodgy neighborhood. Once there was spilled blood and coffee at the bus stop. I was lonely most of my first year.
Then I ended up living with some leather girls and much fun ensued. Fetish parties, poppers, floggings, stories of dirty adventures, ecstacy, I was a bad ass.
I dare not do ecstacy again because of my medications. The mushroom trip to the hospital was quite enough thank you. But I like being around people on e, all that hugging. It can feel pretty religious, just loving everyone for who they are.
I hope I can find a nice job that isn't soul shredding. It would be great to get work as an editor, because I love editing! WHO KNOWS!