Friday, April 28, 2006

Fuckin' Epson

I've wasted a goodly amount of new ink trying to get the printer to work. Now I find out after googling that Epson Stylus CX5400 is NOTORIOUS for fucking up with clogged ink after three cartridge changes. This means: 1. They make more money off ink by wasting it. 2. They make more money by charging ridiculous prices to "repair" the printer. Luckily this can all be solved by a very involved cleaning (NOT "head cleaning," I mean actually taking the thing apart and using citrus clean and a wire in the hose). Head cleaning has so far done ABSOLUTELY nothing to get the printer to print, in fact it is making it worse. All this and I have a deadline coming up to submit my screenplay to the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Which means I probably will end up going over to my mom's to print after all. So the point is, don't buy Epson. Do research before you purchase a printer so you don't end up with a pathetic lemon like mine.

Heavy sigh.

I got Schrodinger a huge cat "tree" today. Basically it's a two level carpeted cat gym with a small box with round doors on the bottom. a sisal scratching post and ramp to the second floor, where a round cat bed is perched. The legs are also covered with sisal and there are SIX (kinda ridiculous) rattley balls dangling from more sisal rope. I thought he would need it so he can hide from Jago, cause I know he'll be kinda pissed at me and especially at the dog. The surprising thing is that it only cost about 55 bucks. The funny thing is he's nearly the same color as it.

Anyway, cripes, I gotta get to bed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

28 years old

Today is my birthday, and the first thing I did was a prat fall off my bed, reaching for the snooze button. My new kitten Schrodinger was very alarmed, especially since one side of the futon was on the floor with me, while the side he was on had catapulted him up in the air. Poor little guy.

Schrodinger just came home on Sunday, and he's still getting used to life here. He missed his sisters and mom for the first day, but now he's just being a regular kitten, goofing around and playing with his huge collection of toys. I can spend hours just watching his hilarious antics. He sure does cheer me up. Life already seems very different. And when the dog comes, it's going to be even more different. He's a really funny cat, he gets pissed off if his litter box is too dirty, he just mews and mews until I clean it.

Anyway, hmm. Every birthday I try to write what I've learned about life in the past year.

What have I learned?

I've learned that sometimes fulfilling your dreams means you have to go into a different direction than you imagined. I've learned a hell of a lot about writing a screenplay. I've learned that it's best to be who you really are, instead of pretending to be someone other people might prefer. I've learned about psychiatric service dogs and what they can be trained to do to help mitigate my illness. I've realized that I'm a deeply spiritual person, and also that even though I firmly believe in something (ie, and afterlife, the being some call God), other people are also entitled to their own beliefs. I've learned a lot about living with bipolar disorder.

I hope this next year will be good. A lot of things happened when I was 27. I got my BFA. I finished the first draft of my first feature. I had a dissolute unemployed summer. I worked briefly in a homophobic office. I moved back to Saskatoon, and got my first nice apartment and decent job. I started hanging out with an old old old friend again. In all, it has been a good year.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

And life will be irrevocably changed . . .

I've talked in the distant past about my desire for a service dog. I've spent hours researching and planning and scheming and thinking and more research, and it is starting to come to fruition. I've got the toys. I've got the time. I've got the money. And I've met the dog.

He's very smart and beautiful, with a really adorable face that can change like quicksliver from mild inquisitiveness to full on friendly face with a great big smile. He's quiet and gentle and smart as a whip. He's housebroken and knows some commands. He's got a sweet little pointy face and a dedicated nature. He's a year old, which is good because little babies are a lot of work.

This is the year long plan for the young man:
1. Take him to obedience school (clicker training)
2. Start getting him acclimated to public places, people, and new situations
3. Start doing task oriented training (hopefully with the help of a qualified trainer who's trained psychiatric service dogs)
4. Take the Canine Good Citizen Test
5. Continue on to advanced task training, alerting, more obedience, and more public spaces
6. Take him to a service dog organization to get him tested and given service dog i.d.

I've also considered, just for fun, to take him to agility.

You may be wondering why I want a service dog. Yeah, I take meds, yeah, I'm going to start counselling, AGAIN, but there are certain things a dog can help me with that all the rest can't:
To alert me to oncoming episodes and get me to a safe place to deal with it.
To remind me of medication time.
To ground me when my mind starts racing by inturrupting and focusing on me.
To calm me when I get anxiety.
To alert to panic attacks.
To wake me up in the morning.
To give emotional support when I'm depressed.
To remove me from social situations when I'm overwhelmed.

And I'm sure my list of things he can do for me will grow with time. It's going to be very different. And I know I'll probably feel exhausted at times. But in the long run, he's going to do so much for my quality of life. And I'm going to have to adjust to caring for a very small and important being. I know I'll also run into obstacles, especially since Canadian law doesn't fully protect Psychiatric Service Dogs in the same way American law does. It will be hard, getting access rights, having training difficulties, finding the PSD handler's community, getting crapped on for having such a small service dog (Canadians still consider service dogs to be big guys, even though in the States toy breeds are also used), getting crapped on by other people with mental health issues for even having a service dog. It's all going to be full of it's own ups and downs.

People think service dogs always are on the job, but that's not totally true. He's going to be able to come home and be a regular dog, with lots of toys in all varieties and walks and playing fetch and romps in the dog park. He's even going to be able to have occasional sleepover/vacations with certain people so he has some down time. He'll play with other dogs and be best friends with a kittycat and get to make goofy faces and have controlled treats. He's even going to travel with me for a month in August to Utah, Ontario, and Quebec. I'm not bringing him with me on business related trips until I'm sure he and I have a good relationship and he's well behaved. After that, where ever I go, he'll usually come too, helping me along across time and space!

So if you see someone in a movie theatre with a long haired black and tan mini dachshund in a "service dog in training" vest, it's probably me.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Butch-Femme Misconceptions

Being butch, I get a lot of weird ideas about my sexual identity. One is the ever popular heterosexualized game "Who's the boy and who's the girl?" In bed, they mean. Like only ONE person is ever allowed to do penetration and only ONE person is allowed to be penetrated. It's very unimaginative, and probably one of the better reasons they should stay to boring het sex.

But when you're a shy boi who wears the pants, immediately it's assumed that you're the penetrator and your more girly sweetie is the one with her legs in the air. And yeah, there are a lot of butches and femmes who operate like that, and good for them. But just because some of us do that doesn't mean we're all like that.

I'm a bottom. That doesn't mean I'm not into strapping it on or lubing up my fist, but for me, what really does it is some luscious femme with a big silicone boner under her skirt (or pants, or overalls, or whatever she likes to wear). Some people say this means you're not a butch, to which I say bullshit. Masculine men and women everywhere like penetration, and I don't think it means you have to start wearing lipstick.

What other butch misconceptions are out there? Hmm. That we're pretend men or want to be men. Yeah, it has to be said that there are a number of butches who eventually embrace their own maleness and come out as fully fledged FTM's. But that doesn't mean ALL butches want to be men. A lot of us are happy in our female bodies, even as we do shop in the men's section.

Coming out as butch was really confusing, because I think I'm so gender complicated. I tried wearing boy undawears because I thought it was expected of me, but in reality I feel way hotter wearing ridiculously feminine bras and panties. Plus boy gaunch were way too contricting around my ample girl thighs. Elaborate lacy things underneath a veneer of masculinity is HOT HOT HOT, and some of my partners have thought so too. I still remember the terrific thrill I got when a lover of mine tore off my button up shirt and found a fancy green and black lace brassiere underneath. And I remember how my femme lover was always enamoured of my pink frilly panties she would find under my jeans.

That all being said, sometimes I do like stuffing things down my pants. My favorite all time stuffer was a banana covered in a condom. As the day progressed it got mushier and mushier, until I finally threw it away, condom and all, into a garbage can at Emily Carr. I wouldn't be surprised if a hungry art student fished it out and ate it.

Off topic: Once at Emily Carr there was a garbage sign with a label which read "This is Art, not a Garbage Can." People threw garbage in it anyway.

One other thing I hate about butch misconceptions is that we're traitors to the female of the species. I think we're actually an integral part of the female experience. We've been on the vanguard of many political movements, and not just the queer rights movement. I hate that butch is considered an insult by some queers of my generation.

But what about femmes, you may ask?

Femme misconceptions run just as rampant, if not more so. I think the biggest complaint I've heard from my femme lovers has been how hard it is for them to be recognized as queers, not only by straight people, but by queer people too. I remember one time I was necking with my high femme lover in a Scotiabank ATM when some dude from ECIAD walked by. She started doing something else while I chatted with him.

"She's not gay," he told me, even after her tongue was down my throat right in front of him.

"No, she's bisexual."

"No she's not, she's straight." He'd never even talked to her but because she was a femme, apparently she couldn't like pussy.

But it happens with dykes too, ESPECIALLY if you're lover's bisexual. Because it's assumed that they won't ever consider a girl as a serious long term partner. And there are some bisexuals who lean more towards one side than the other, but you never really know what will happen when love just clicks.

I think my current favorite theorist on butches is Judith Halberstam. If you haven't read her work you should really check it out. I'd like to read some femme theory if I can get my hands on it, but with no dedicated homo book store in S'toon, I'm open to recommendations so I can order some in.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I've heard the crabs screaming

It's slowly becoming a birthday tradition for me to munch crab, drink champers, and live large, if only for one day. Because what else are birthdays for but belt popping fullness on food you'd ordinarily never eat?

I may have waxed romantic on crab dinner before, but now, out here on the prairies, with nothing more exotic than Red Lobster, a good crab dinner is hard to find. I don't want merely frozen legs doing a chorus line on my plate, I want a whole goddamned crab, curled up in it's own last moment of agony on my plate. I want oysters on the half shell, doing their last dance down my gullet.

I must say though, I do have a wave of regret about crab. I find it difficult to eat one if I've heard it screaming, which was why having a fancy restaurant kill it for you was so appetizing. They say crabs can't scream, but I was so sure I heard it once. Maybe it was just the sound of boiling water running through it's tiny body. Or maybe it did scream.

I recently purchased 11 dollars of snow crab legs. Frozen in a chorus line package. No screams for me.

But for my birthday, yes, we're going to have to buy live crabs and lobsters and kill them. I don't think I'll be able to look!!! But I'll definitely be able to chomp away at the wee crustaceans.

See, and this is probably the only reason I would be a vegetarian if it was the OLDEN days. No way could I chop the head off a chicken or chase a bison off a cliff. I'd be too squeamy. I'd say "um, I think I'll just have these berries, thanks anyway," and then they'd (the neighborhood) would all laugh at me as I got diarrea. And they'd probably be annoyed at me for eating all these berries.

(Name that comedian)
"I will hide these berries under a rock. There will be no berries, and some animals will die."

I recently purchased crustacean cutlery. Some shell cracking instruments and some long pointy forks with wee spoon like devices on the ends of them for pulling out MEAT.

Which brings me back to vegetarians.

Now I don't mind vegetarians, unless they start harping about my diet (dude I'm native, we FREAKIN' love meat!) but I heard a rather disturbing rumour about vegetarians some years ago. I may even have mentioned it here. But it's SO bizarre that it bears repeating.

I heard that vegetarians eat human placenta because it's the only meat that doesn't involve killing something.

Now that's sick!

I thought it was just an urban legend, but then I asked my good friend "New Man X", who was at the time an avowed vegan.

"We were going to eat my best friend's placenta" she calmly replied, well, with a hint of saliva creeping out of her mouth.

It was too much, the thought of a group of vegans hungrily frying up placenta. I heard it's a good cure for post partum depression, but ew, that's pretty desperate.

Now that makes the screaming of the crabs sound much more tolerable. I mean, I imagine menstruel clots are pretty similar to placenta, but I wouldn't collect them and make omelets, ya know what I mean?