Monday, August 22, 2011

If I could give advice to myself

If I could give myself advice 10 years ago, it would be this:

Get Airmiles and get your prescriptions at the Safeway Pharmacy. You will see so many movies for free this way!

Don't feel so embarrassed by what you are going to do in the next few years, because mania is part of an illness and it is what it is and does what it does to most of the people who have it in a very similar way. Lots of people end up thinking they are some kind of messiah and it's just a different kind of symptom than most physical illnesses.

Maintain good boundaries and don't get caught up in drama other people stir up. It makes you look better.

Don't accept being bullied because that is not acceptable.

Don't be afraid to fall in love, and don't be afraid to be alone, because you mostly will be alone anyway.

Don't forget to go out and do things on your own because independence is a good thing no matter what people say about women on their own.

Don't feel like you have to ride a motorcycle and eat beef ribs and never get fucked back to be a proper butch. That's just silly, no one gets to make any rules about what butch is.

Do love your friends and spend at least some time daydreaming about crushes, because that is fun and will make the rest of your mid twenties to mid thirties bearable!

Keep trying Velveeta's number because sometimes she is not paranoid of collectors and will pick up the phone and then you can hear her great laugh that makes rooms of people laugh it is so funny!

Don't hold grudges unless someone was consistently an asshole to you and doesn't deserve another chance.

Be prepared to cry lots and lots and then not cry for four years and then being able only to cry once in a very long while when fictitious elves die.

Start entering any contest you find and looking online for printable coupons. You will not regret it, it's even better than the lottery.

Buy lottery tickets for the moment of hope, but don't expect to be able to quit your job anytime soon. And make sure to sign your ticket ALWAYS!

Nurture your friendships.

Visit your grandparents as much as you can.

Don't be so depressed when you move back to Saskatoon. It is not actually that bad of a place to live.

Get counseling about your experience in the psych ward in Montreal.

That time you quit smoking for six months because you were kissing someone cute, keep not smoking!!!!


Well that is what I would say. I have started taking these tiny nicorette mint lozenges that only take about 12 to 15 minutes to melt away and it's a LOT better. I have them every couple of hours when I am really having a nic fit. And it's redirected my focus. They are kind of like altoids. I did have a couple puffs of pipe tobacco in a blue zig zag this morning, but I got grossed out and put it out. I haven't had any since. I have mostly not smoked, except for in the mornings right when I wake up. Mornings are tricky for me. I wake up and the first thing I naturally think is "YAY! I get to go have a cigarette!" Seriously, exactly that wording too! And so while I am sleeping I am not conciously thinking about my quit and so I forget about it and wake up and am still all "YAY! I get to go have a cigarette!" And it's kind of a downer to think "NO YOU DON'T!" right after so early in the morning.

Oh, I have to tell you about my big score! My Christian Lacroix airplane bracelet came in the mail today from OutTV, and so did my 2 admissions 2 drinks 1 popcorn voucher from Airmiles, and then I googled Nicorette Patch Printable Coupon and got a coupon for 5 dollars off! That's so much betterer! More better! From now on it's all Airmiles, Contests, and Coupons! To hell with grant writing, this is more instant gratification!

Although to be serious, I am applying for funds soon again, like within the next six months, and it could be in a few weeks and it could be later. But I am going to actually try my luck with APTN. The Industry! OMG! I hope I don't get chewed up by the Industry and spit out on a black list when Harper tries to take over the arts to crush our spirits!

Jack Layton died this morning. It was the first thing I heard and made me feel sort of alone. Like, what! Noooo! But I knew it was going to happen, his last public appearance he looked like a skeleton. Poor guy. Cancer sucks! What will happen to us now?

Monday, August 15, 2011


So I guess I should recap, which is that I didn't get my grant. I am applying for a job everyday and just waiting to be called back for an interview. I am also exploring a different idea of what to do with my Mars video. I am going to make a web series out of it, which means I am applying for totally different funds. More Industry funds, which is scary because me and the Industry have a rocky relationship. I think I shocked a few people back in the day, when to be a Thirza was shocking. I don't think I shock anyone now. Is that good or bad? Maybe I have lost my edge.

It's a bummer. Oh well, so the Canada Council doesn't want to fund me. And because it's the second time I've applied with that project, I can't apply again. Which is a major bummer! UGH!

I don't get it. I don't understand funding decisions. Sometimes I think total crap decisions get made.

It's like playing the lottery really. Which I also do.

I won a free play on my Lotto Max ticket and the next jackpot is 40 million dollars! Maybe I will win! Then I never have to network with the right people to get a Canada Council grant!

Oh god I sound bitter. Well, looking for work sucks. I don't like it. It's really demoralizing. And writing grants and not getting them is demoralizing too.

So I am applying for some development money to pay a little bit of living so I can buy a computer that isn't from 2003. Why it's almost as old as I have been a diagnosed manic depressive!!! I should also really apply for a loan for my business. Try try try!

But I do need something to live on. It would be nice to get a contract and do some editing work for somebody. Then I would feel like it was worth the trouble to incorporate. Yeah, that's a real good ad for my services.

(But seriously, if you want me to edit for you get in touch, I do good work!)

I did apply for one job that was 20 dollars an hour and had a P.O. Box instead of an email or street address. It was all a bit mysterious. I actually put paper inside of an envelope and put a stamp on it and walked to the mailbox near the four way stop and put it in. It was almost quaint. I thought how exciting it was, because of course now everything is instant. I guess they don't want to be pestered by follow up phone calls and emails. Which I am told, according to all the job hunting websites, I am supposed to do. But I feel like a pest, I mean, what do you say really?? I don't want to be a bug.

I dropped by the school to drop of copies of receipts and get a cheque and one of the people who works there gave me a bit of a pep talk about getting my business off the ground. She said "My tax dollars didn't pay for you to be employed!" Meaning not self employed. It's true, I really need to put more work into it. I know there must be someone who needs editing done or can make a deal with me for some cash in exchange for video services.

Some of the jobs I applied for sound exciting, in weird ways. I am avoiding call centre jobs, although I don't mind answering the phone for people in an office. I just know I am a shitty employee but a marvelous worker when it comes to call centre jobs. I do it really well but I don't want to do it. So my absenteeism goes up when I am working those jobs. It's because people are mean to call centre employees. People are assholes actually!

And I am tired of assholes, I already have one.

See, if I was nineteen again maybe I would insert a paragraph here about anal sex or anal fisting more likely, but I am not nineteen anymore so you will have to suck it up buttercup!

I've had a weird few days. Week or so really. I am super emotional these days but it's okay. I am fine, just having emotions and not really being used to them because I didn't have them for so long. It's kind of crazy, because I have a mood disorder, and so I don't trust my moods. I'm really suspicious of them and I am happier but not necessarily healthier when I don't have emotions for a really long time. Maybe happy is the wrong word. I don't know. I am more carefree when I am not suffering from emotional responses to external situations. But it's a little bit cold and makes people feel weird. Someone wanted me to cry with them once and I couldn't cry, it was awkward.

I am a robot!

A meaty robot.

So life is all about adapting to weird situations. I actually did increase my job search to all of Canada, but then my Mom told me I couldn't just leave her so I went back to just looking in Saskatoon.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Such horrible news!

No, I still haven't heard about my grant. What horrible news I am talking about is the massacre of the uncontacted tribe in the Amazon by drug traffickers from Peru. Such a sickening thing to hear about. And even if the tribe did manage to hide or flee, they have had contact with those people and have therefore suddenly been exposed to viruses they don't have immunity for.

It pisses me off. I fucking hate genocide, and all because of drugs. So fucked up! Why? Ugh! I have done coke in the past, but I am never touching it again because for all I know these genocidal murderers have been implicated in it. BAH!

I never much liked cocaine anyway. It always seemed like a stupid drug, all it did was keep me from being able to sleep. Who needs that? I like sleep!

On to other things:

I have decided to start shooting for my video, even though I don't have my grant yet. I kind of have to, this annual carnival called the Exhibition is in town and it features heavily in the beginning of Mars: The Maiden Voyage. And I am finishing shooting in January, should I get funding, and I want to have the video done by July, and the Ex won't come back again until next August. So here I go! I'm excited, it should be fun, and we will have a car to go put the equipment in while we take a shooting break to go on some rides. I am doing green screen to put the actors in later, and it will be the first time I've done that in a video I've intended to distribute.

I didn't hear about my grant today. I already mentioned that. Well I called the Canada Council to inquire about when the results are coming out and they told me they were just finishing admin stuff and the results would be out "shortly." What does that mean? A week? Three days? I don't know. So after I got off the phone I was kind of like "Gee, that is highly vague!" And then I was frustrated again. But there is nothing to do but wait!

I'm excited about going out shooting video! YAY! VIDEO! I love video. It is my favorite thing in the world, I am going to marry it. I haven't done any serious shooting with a purpose for my own career since You Are A Lesbian Vampire. I used to be so prolific. Now I am just, I dunno. I did do some work that is currently invisible to the public, like writing Bunnyhug and half my Mars script. Writing scripts seems so invisible. Like, who is going to see them really? I always used to give copies of Bunnyhug on PDF to close friends and none of them ever said anything to me about it again. I have absolutely no feedback on it, it is kind of weird! It makes me miss being in school where everyone had an opinion on my art in progress. Crits are actually pretty great.

It's been a strange life. Such a strange life! Oh well. It is my life.

bell hooks had this thing about the X class, an intellectual/artistic group of highly educated people who are also extremely poor. It really resonated with me. Van Gogh would have been X class. He was always asking his brother Theodore for money to keep making his art. We read some of those letters in art school. He was so broke while he was alive. I think every artist has a fear of being Van Gogh. Brilliant but totally disregarded until after death. Other people making a profit out of the passion that just cost you money your whole life. And totally mad of course. You have to flirt at least once with madness if you are a creative genius.

Actually some artists get really pissed off if you point out that there is a higher incidence of mental health issues (especially bipolar disorder) among artists than the general population. People don't like artistic and crazy mixing up.

When I am manic my art is really weird, I don't really like it after. And when I am depressed I make kind of serious hopeless videos. I like when I make comedy the best. It just makes me feel happy to make people laugh. Touched By Fire by Kay Redfield Jamieson is a really good book about creativity and manic depression. My Dad gave me a copy when I first got diagnosed bipolar. It helped me feel more comfortable with my diagnosis, even though it was so grim, all those creative family trees dotted with suicides.

Anyway, it is late here, and I have to get up and go to work in the morning. I guess I won't get my grant results tomorrow either. God, the suspense is killing me! Ahhhhhhh!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Sometimes I want to be beautiful

It's Sunday, and tomorrow is the day I made a bet with my mother that my grant results would come. I really hope they do. I am ready to make a big video. I want to work on art. I want to make something so beautiful people will fall in love with me and not be able to help themselves. Like the end of the book Perfume where he finally uses his magic beautiful girl perfume and everyone thinks he is the most beautiful person in the world and eat him. Although I don't want to be eaten.

Maybe eaten out!

It's been an alright weekend, I went to bed at 9 on Friday night because I was still pretty exhausted from this flu I have had for over a week. My nose has been runny, I started out with a sore throat, and coughing set in a couple of days into it and hasn't abated. For all of my long weekend I was in bed or on the couch just feverish and sleeping and sleeping and waking up to cough and blow my nose. UGH! I actually don't get sick very often, but when I do it gets pretty serious! And then there was the week and then this weekend this stupid flu was still hanging on! I'm glad it's more or less over now, just a little coughing and blowing my nose once in a while, not every five seconds. Last night I worked on my company's website with my web designer, and that was fun! I haven't had such a productive Saturday night in a really long time!

But yeah, it is nearing the end of summer and I haven't gone camping at all, which really makes me sad because I want to go to a lake, and I am so desperately poor. I get paid from my needle job on Wednesday, but it won't be even 200 bucks because I am so part time. Soo, I will probably be able to pay for some smokes, but that's about it, I need to give mum some of it for the rent, because I am so late paying that. It's really been waiting to see if I get my grant. I feel foolish being so dependent on what a jury has decided my future will be. I have already been turned down from the regular media arts grant for this project, and I hope there won't be a repeat of that in the aboriginal media arts category. But I don't really know. And then I am worried maybe people will think the project is too commercial, that I should apply for telefilm money, which I can't apply for anyway because I haven't made a feature. But you can't make a feature until you get telefilm money. UGH! I am thinking of making Bunnyhug with a cast of unknowns on a 60,000 grant from Canada Council, just so I can say I have made a feature. It wouldn't be that hard, there are no special effects, the only tough part would be the invertebrate zoo scene and getting a bunch of invertebrates for the set. Where would I find a live octopus? These are the questions I must answer.

I am really happy these days. And I don't know why. Since getting turned down for future shenanigans by Cutie I thought I would be sadder, but I am actually doing pretty good. I haven't had a supply of marijuana fueling me these last few days. I wonder if that is it? It's kind of weird, because I smoke pot to feel happy since often I feel sad, but I haven't smoked any except for, uh, well two bowls in the last 28 hours. But none today. And none for three days before then. I just have no money to buy more. And I don't feel that desperate need where I go all around the house looking through all my pockets repeatedly looking for a roach. It's really nice!

I hope I don't get rejected by Canada Council tomorrow and get all depressed and despondent. That would suck, and I would be scrambling to try and solve my financial crisis. Which means getting a job, and I have had shitty luck getting interviews. I haven't been called back by Saskatchewan Research Council for their Interactive Communications Specialist position, which troubles me, because I thought I would be AWESOME for that position, even if I did get my grant. And they were looking for someone disabled to fill their quota, and of course I acknowledged I was disabled on the application. I also checked the aboriginal box, but I am not sure if that is wise or not. I don't know, people won't give me a chance it seems, which is why opening my own business seemed to be the most sensible thing to do. But not being able to get a loan really screwed me up.

I am tired of being so poor. Even my friends are tired of me being poor. The three people I spend time with most all make well over 30,000 a year and this year I will be lucky if I made even 12,000. It sucks! And I want to do the fun things they want to do but often I have a budget of 20 bucks for an evening of fun and they have at least 60 bucks to spend and I feel really shitty and unhappy about it. And they will want to go out and I won't be able to afford anything besides cover and one drink. Depressing! I want to be able to pay my way, and it is really frustrating that I often have to stay at home.

That was one thing I really liked about Berlin, it didn't cost that much to go out and have a bunch of drinks. Here drinks out are so expensive, about 6 or 7 bucks for a drink now. BLAHHHH!

Total rip off. It makes more sense to drink at home but friends who make over 30,000 a year tend to want to go out where the nightlife is happening.

Well whatever. My Mom is leaving for Wisconsin for 12 days soon and I am going to have a few hot tub parties and then I can drink at home and be fine! Ha! If I have money. Sigh.

Money is terrible.

I really do wish I was so beautiful people fell all over themselves when I walked into the room. Oh well. I guess I am cute. To certain people. People who appreciate butch women. And that is the other thing about trying to get work, people don't like hiring butch women. Maybe I will dress super femme next time I get an interview, a dress and make up and everything! Where would I get a dress?

I'm getting really skinny. I mean, I still have a round tummy, but none of my pants fit anymore. They all keep falling down my ass, and my butt doesn't look so nice because it isn't as big either and now my pants are all baggy back there. And my bra is getting baggy. I am losing my boobs and butt! OH NOES!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Being a video artist in Saskatoon is like making drawings for the blind!

School is officially OVER! Now I have been flung into the cold cruel world of next to no income and trying to figure out a way to get my business running. I still have no equipment, but if I got a big enough contract I am sure I could get some. So it is pretty frustrating. I am picking up used needles in the core neighborhood until the snow flies, so that is giving me a very modest income, not even enough for my rent which went up over 50% this month, from 400 to 612 or something like that. Obviously I haven't been able to pay it yet, which makes me feel depressed. It includes utilities, so at least I don't have to pay that. But whew, pricey! The good news is I am moving out of the basement and into where the computer room currently is, with south facing big windows and plenty of space.

I am still waiting to hear about my grant, it seems to take SO LONG to find out! I know, I know, there is a whole process to it and it can't be rushed. But the Exhibition is happening SOON and I need to do some shooting there for my project. I have decided to get shots and then green screen my actors in, since I can't possibly cast and make costumes in just a few days. Hopefully it works, I can only hope! I haven't done green screen since I was in film school, and even then it was only for an assignment and not for something I actually cared about. I understand how to do it, I just need a really good screen and even lighting. A light meter will help, even though it is just for video.

I got turned down in the nicest way possible by someone I recently had a fling with, so now I have a friend, which is just as good. I really liked her, but it was never going to work out anyway for various reasons, mostly to do with extreme distance. It's too bad, but she was really nice about it so I appreciate it, and it is better than being lead on, which has also happened to me somewhat recently with someone else. My Susan Miller horoscope promises that some planet or something will be in my house of true love for eight months this next year, so I still might meet someone new. I don't know. We'll see. I don't have much hope though, pickings in Saskatoon are pretty slim.

I have decided to move in a couple of years to Winnipeg. I am getting tired of how few quality jobs there are here for me, and how few people. And the art scene here is pretty bitchy, and at least back in 1999 Winnipeg had a very supportive arts community, with plenty of video art being made, and film. And the cost of living is equivalent to here. At least, that is the impression I have. I don't really know if Winnipeg will be a good home, I have a feeling it will be, but it could be just as difficult to crack the job market as Vancouver or Saskatoon. I am going to try and get a job there before I move though.

I decided on two years because I want to stay here until my Grandparents have passed on, but if they are still alive in two years I am still going to move. I just don't think I can really flourish in Saskatoon. I did so well in Vancouver in terms of my video career, and here I am just not even thought of for art things at all! Nobody cares about queer or first nations video art here. It's depressing, because that's what I do! It's like doing drawings for the blind. There are a couple of queer visual arts things which happen once in a long while, but I am never invited to participate. This town sucks ass in terms of advancing my career.

I have been thinking about moving for ages, but I always thought of Toronto. Now I am thinking Toronto is too far and too big and too expensive. People who move there have a really hard time finding work. And I know I would always be scrabbling and broke and hungry. And I don't want to be hungry again!

So that is what is up with me. I am hoping my video got into ImagineNATIVE and that I can go to Toronto in the fall and see some friends and network and that sort of thing. I haven't been out east in ages. Unless you count me being at the airport on the way to and from Berlin, but I don't count airport stops as actual visits to a city.

I really want to get into making my new video, I should really start making myself sit down and put in at least two hours of writing a day into finishing the script. And I have to do some research. I really need to start reading more about Mars colonization and terraforming and learn the lingo of astronauts. I suppose watching some 2001 A Space Odyssey would help too. Maybe. I have a lot to learn! And I need to start sketching what I want the ship to look like, and what the ufo will look like, and that sort of thing. There are lots of decisions to be made! But anyway, maybe if I sit down and write it will send out good energy for my grant to come through, even though I know the decision on whether or not my project merits funding has already been made.

Mum is also really depending on me getting this grant. We are on tenterhooks just freaking out and getting nervous! She is going on EI and trying to get a two year grant, but she won't know about that until January. So it is SUPER important that I get the grant this year. I really hope I do. I want to sink my teeth into some substantial videomaking!