ALIEN Body-Snatcher Possession Level Crazy

So, do you have that thing, you know that thing that most of our twitchy, quasi-neurotic modern world has? Where you suddenly, vividly, viciously recall something stupid or embarrassing that you did, and you wince? Or suck air in hissingly between your teeth, clench your fists, or mumble something heartfelt like “Oh no” to your bedroom ceiling, as these recollections come to you in the idle moments before sleep?

Yeah I don’t have that.

“They come out mostly at night…mostly.”

Not anymore.

I now have this during THE DAY, ANY time, while I’m AT WORK, not always when I’m alone. And I’m lucky if hissing or clenching are all I do. The mumbles, man; the mumbles are growing up into full-size expressions, although they’re still the kneejerk subconscious bon-notsof a brain that is in the grips of feeling, not thinking. “OH no why’m I such a oh gawd why did I…”

I used to be so startled by Auntie Eva’s sudden solo arguments with herself at the computer; now I think I could give her a run for her money.

The settling of years upon me like so much dust seems to be insulating me from reality; I feel a strange disconnect from what people tell me about myself and how I actually feel. Casual compliments seem to be particularly patently false. Disclaimers seem like fishing, and I don’t actually need them to know how crazeballs I am, so I’ve taking to just bearing it with bared teeth, which is what the awkward have instead of gracious thanks.

 

 

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The Colour of Old Carpet

I am in Hair Crisis Mode, Sis.

My hair has not been dyed in…oh gods, I can’t even remember. I cannot remember when last I coloured my hair.

And it’s old carpet again, just like it’s been since high school. You coined that term for your hair and, like the rest of me, my hair decided to follow you in solidarity. We are the Old-Carpet-Colour-Hair Sisters. Oof, that’s a mouthful. Twisted Sisters is better maybe.

It’s long, and it’s…brown. Ish. It’s a variant on brown and blonde and gray — and not silver, the actual colour of what we call “gray hairs”, not those hairs which are actually quite beautiful (and of which I have six! Hallelujah!). No, I mean gray and brown — dull brown, not the vibrant brown shade of tree bark or soil or something suitably earthy — and ash blonde, blonde that looks like it’s had a volcano vomit all over it. My hair is some hideous love child of those shades. It’s the colouring I imagine a corpse would have without all the makeup and formaldehyde they put on them and pump into them before you see them to say goodbye.

And so long as I am in a brace and unable to do much more than make it to the kitchen for food or the bathroom to pee, there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t shower, so dyeing it — if I could even get a hold of the product — is out of the question. I can’t wash it on a regular basis either, so not only is it corpse-coloured it’s greasy.

I look like Severus Snape, if he were wearing a dead rat on his head.

My days of the broken leg are now spent sitting here fantasizing about when I’ll be able to walk again, because you know what I’m doing first thing?

I am bleaching the fuck out of this dead rat shag. It’s had long enough to recover from my dye binge of past years and I’m not satisfied with its progress. Back into the dye coffin for you, hair. I don’t care if you’ll die — you’ll look better, and that’s all I give a fuck about.

And then once I bleach it, I’m dyeing it all the colours of the rainbow. There are pictures floating around Facebook of this amazing rainbow dye job that I look at and immediately get a hair-boner for.

By radianthair, here: http://raidianthair.deviantart.com/art/Rainbow-hair-405843832 Licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons license

Like that amazing ‘do up there. JESUS.

I don’t think I’ll be able to do something so skilled, so likely mine will be patchy, like a dalmatian that fell in several vats of food colouring in quick succession, but I don’t care. It’ll be bright and ME. I will finally have hair that represents who I am again.

Though it might hurt my job search.

Nope, do not give a fuck. At least, not right now, while I’m stuck with a broken leg and DYING FROM STAGNATION.

Give me rainbow hair or give me death.

Mouseheads,
-Katje

PS: while I was writing this, Studio Killers’ Ode to the Bouncer came on my iTunes. The app KNEW I was writing to you. It KNEW.

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Mouseheads Forever, Basically

Oh Miss Babby – soon to be Mrs. Babby – I could listen to you rant forever.

I hope I shall.

Without the benefit of proximity, we have found different things to pursue and center on in life, without drifting (permanently) apart. I may have gotten distracted by a butterfly and gotten lost for a year or so. #6_6#

But even though we’ve got all these differences now, I’m not worried about a rift; in fact, I’m kinda stoked about it, and I’ll try to explain why as best I can.

Remember when you used to burn me random mix CDs? Well, apart from the fact that I still have them as albums on my iTunes, they have taught me about different artists that I really like. Googling lyrics, learning artist names, finding related artists…I have explored music in a social vacuum, through my friends instead of by the context of society at large. I am blissfully unaware of what’s “douchey” or “lame” or “totally overplayed”…I listen to what I want, as much as I want, and know it only for what it is and who helped me learn about it. It’s shaped how I appreciate and think about musical genres, and it’s much freer than what I did at St. Anthony’s, where I knew what “Everyone” was listening to, and what that Everyone thought about it. Music should not be enjoyed by party-line, and you freed me from that! Now I learn about music only through friends’ recommendations, and all music I hear is as intimate & special as my friends are to me.

(It DOES mean I didn’t hear about Queen until my second degree in college, but whatever. I enjoyed the shit out of it once I got there.)

So what I guess I’m trying to allude to here is that I love learning through you, because I like who you are and that earned love & respect is a great natural filter: “Babby’s about it, I should get to know about it!”

And even things I knew about before, I wanna know through you, to find out what you see in it…because so frequently, you make things cool or interesting where I saw nothing of the sort. And the things we like together, we turn into pure AMAZING by compounding our enthusiasm…people still look at me like I’m insane when I say how much I love The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. Apparently “awesome” and “amazing” and “hilarious” are not the words those flicks are known for. Fuck ‘em; we know the truth. Our truth.

So rant away at me, always. And although I don’t have as much to share back, at least until I learn how to fit my biz back into yours with confidence that it won’t be a trigger, my silence is an active one. I want to fill up with Babby facts and opinions and sieve the whole grown-up world through your filter. I live with people who are kind, and intelligent, and trustworthy…and also fattist, and ableist, and intellectually elitist. That latter stuff is NOT what I want to be, but I need to learn my alternative ways of being through someone who’s free of it. Or at least as far as someone from our culture can be, through fighting the norms.

You’re my big sister, and in a lot of ways I still want to be just like you – bold, compassionate, and someone who I know for a fact deserves all the love she’s always giving to others.

So I kind of miss you, and this got mushy…but I’m not backing away from it, I mean it.

We should totally watching The Mummy movies together/separately next week.
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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Ramblings about capitalism, adulthood, and the Multiverse Marriage

Last night Mr. Katje woke me up with a “Dear, you’re quacking,” as he is wont to do when I snore. (I apparently sound like a dying Canadian goose; a sound that would be music to our ears if it were actually a dying Canadian goose because they’re assholes.) (I do not condone violence against animals. But Canadian geese are assholes.) I was having a dream about fracking being done in our yard while I tried to stop the evil corporations and I was very confused, because I thought he was telling me I was fracking. I wanted to shout “No, you’ve got it all wrong! I’m trying to stop the fracking!” But then he repeated himself and I realized I was quacking so I tried to adjust position so I no longer sounded like dying fowl.

The thing is, this quacking problem means I’m not sleeping. Not really; Mr. Katje didn’t even have to shift position or shake me or anything to wake me up — all he did was speak, and I was awake. My sleeping is so light I’m not hitting REM sleep and I’m exhausted all. the. time.

Today I woke up at 1pm after falling asleep at 3am. I waited for him to head off to work so I could get my kiss goodbye (NO DAY SHALL PASS WITHOUT ME GETTING A KISS; AFFECTION I DEMANDS IT) and then I crashed back into bed and slept till about 5:30. I then had a coffee (side note: Pinterest recipe which actually works? Coffee ice cubes! I freeze a tray, and use about 3-4 in a glass of milk with chocolate syrup added. Instant iced mocha) and headed out to do some business at the condo. I’m now feeling awake enough to resist going back to bed again, but I’m still yawning a fuck of a lot and I have a feeling that come 2am I’ll be dead tired again. I mean, last night I didn’t even finish the episode of NCIS I was on; just turned the TV off and went to crash. (Season 9, by the way. I would marathon them in record time but Mr. Katje likes watching them with me, so I have to go at his slow-ass pace.)

Of course, being this tired all the time means I am barely able to complete the most basic of tasks regarding functional adulthood. I have not vacuumed in weeks and it shows (floor is so nasty, omg), nor have I swept (don’t even aaaask about the kitchen and bathroom; seriously just wear shoes in the house). I can barely get up the get up and go to do the dishes —  A NEVER-ENDING MOUNTAIN OF A THANKLESS, BACKBREAKING TASK THAT I FUCKING HATE. No, wait, let me tell you how I really feel. How do two people use SO MANY DISHES? Seriously, if we didn’t have a dishwasher, I would be buying us paper plates and throwing them out rather than doing dishes by hand. Keeping my back happy trumps being green as I can be.

Related to that — do you know why people don’t recycle enough? Because it is not made easy on us. They only pick up 4 types of plastics (1, 2, 4, 5) — theoretically the most common, unless you have the audacity (need) to shop at Costco! Then you have some 6s and 7s in your waste, and what the hell can you do with them? Hope to gods there’s a recycling center nearby enough that you can make a car trip out to recycle them yourself — but only if you actually have the room to store extra recycling in your house until you have enough to justify the waste of gas. Which we don’t. I hate throwing out anything that’s recyclable at all, but often it’s a choice between the earth or my mental and physical health. Guess what wins?

I blame the capitalist-industrial complex that rules our societies. We’ve let capitalism and planned obsolescence ruin our lives and happiness. People complain so hard about Millennials acting like kids — well, yeah. Being an adult sucks. Also fuck you if you think independence is easily attainable in this economy.

Independence is such a lie, anyway. We’re never truly independent. We’re humans — herd animals by nature. We literally cannot survive alone and that’s no less true when we’re 25 than it is when we’re 3 weeks old. The cult of independence and individuality says that I’m a terrible person for needing extra help, for needing to live with someone, for not being able to be completely self-sufficient from the day I graduate high school or university. But if I were completely self-sufficient, that would necessarily mean I live in a cabin in the wilderness, farm all my own vegetables, hunt all my own food, chop down all my own firewood, make all my own clothes from the dead bodies of the animals I hunt for food, and create my own rope to make a noose to kill myself from the loneliness and craziness that would soon descend.

Humans. need. each other. And while right now with certain events happening making me feel a bit safer by being a complete shut-in, that feeling will evaporate soon.

…this has become a completely incoherent, rambling rant/whine, when I really did not intend to rant in this post. Reaaaaaaaally didn’t.

Ok, so. Moving away from my semi-philosophical ramblings about how much I hate capitalism and our society at large.

Mr. Katje and I live together now. We have since…March, ish, officially. It’s actually pretty awesome, even as we clash on certain things (coughhousekeepingcough). We’re figuring out what it’s like living together and how we mesh and where we don’t and that’s good.

The wedding planning is coming along more in earnest. I’ve called the venue; looks like it’ll cost 1500 bucks, and I need to come up with half of that by the end of October for a deposit. I’d like to spend this summer solidifying (as much as I can) the guest list, because then I can a) send out preliminary Save The Dates and b) have an idea exactly how much the rest of the wedding will cost.

Our theme is Oktobergeekfest: Celebration of a Multiverse Marriage. Basically: fandom crossovers galore. He has two major fandoms (Kingdom of Loathing and Futurama) and I have a million and one, major and minor. So I’m going to try and narrow down my list to 2 or 3 so it’s a bit more even and I’m not overwhelmed with ideas. Which I basically am. Can I just have like 5 weddings? Is that a possibility? (Ok, wait, I lied — his other major fandom is Game of Thrones, but NOPE NOPE NOPE not having ANY of that as part of our wedding, NOPE. I don’t know if you’ve been watching or reading, but (minor spoiler) weddings in Game of Thrones always end with someone dying. ALWAYS. Also it’s all super-patriarchal. Like, patriarchy on meth. So double-nope.)

Oh wait, I guess hockey counts as a fandom? But yeah, no. Not part of the theme, though if a game coincides with our day there will likely be a TV hooked up so people can watch. Hey, my parents had a TV at their wedding reception so they could watch election results. LAWYER WEDDINGS AMIRITE?

His minor fandoms: Discworld and comics. So I guess I can choose 2 majors for me, and 2 minors, and then we’ll be evenly matched and I can come up with things.

I’m thinking we’ll also probably have Rock Band or something. I want us to do a first dance but that depends on if I can convince him to dance at all. He does not like to. If not, we may do a first Rock Band song or something (but he has to let me choose the song if he’s not going to dance, ffs). And instead of clinking glasses to make us kiss, because ouch my ears goddammit, people will have to roll a massive D20 — and if there will be things THEY have to do if they don’t roll, say, a 15 or higher.

I have to say, the Offbeat Bride website has been AWESOME for wedding planning. Also they have a wedding planning social network (the Offbeat Bride Tribe) which I have joined, natch, where I can chat with other brides about planning or rant in my journal in a private blogging area that people can’t see. Huzzah!

I tend to turn to wedding planning when I’m stressed, which is kind of amusing because wedding planning is supposedly stressful. I guess it’s not for me yet because we haven’t tackled budget — I wanted to figure out what I wanted to do, first, before we figured out how much it’s going to cost. Because there are always cheaper ways of doing things, but if I set a budget FIRST then I’ll look at something I want to do and veto it because the first option I find is expensive. You know? So it’ll probably become stressful once money becomes part of it.

On that note, I need to go apply for a job. I just got paid for my freelance work in April, and since then I’ve done enough work to earn another 1600 bucks. At this rate I won’t see it till September and Mr. Katje has already covered my half of the rent for 3 months. I need a part time min wage job just so I can start covering rent.

Wish me luck! I’m going to try and be a barista again.

Love and mouseheads,

Katje

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The Dream-Adventure of Troy, Your Nipples and Sherlock’s Allergies

I had a dream with you in it the other day, so I feel like I just hung out with you – we had quite an adventure, with tension and British cheekbones and gray cable-knit sweaters and all kinds of things!

Please allow me to ramble about it:

(Forgive the free-form speech style of the dream-brain. Honestly this is as coherent as I can make it.)

I was visiting you in Maui, we were late teens/early 20s again, Mom was busy so it was just you & me roaming Kahului with  no particular plan, just like we used to do…Except this time we visited the old dorms, acted all worldly and knowledgeable to the new incumbents, and I was kinda shitty to Fred (Yeah, he was still there – my unconscious knows this for an immutable fact, like the properties of water or some shit) for no reason & felt bad about it.

Then I saw Troy (remember Troy??? CHISAI) and totally took him down a peg or two, and then later talked about it in front of someone named Jamie who I guess was related to him, or cared about him for some undisclosed reason. She got all heated up and became like this nemesis, everything got blown out of proportion and she went running to some powerful hanai family member (Sort of an ad absurdum example of the island-where-everyone-knows-everyone phenomenon) and we tried to beat her over there to explain things but she was already there when we showed up….and then when we’re trying salvage the situation I look out the window and go, “Oh, dear.” You ask “What?” And I say something stupidly British like “The Podlington-Benders have arrived.”

So apparently I’m from huge old family where there’s different lines, like whole different sub-family factions, and these guys hate me. About 7 or 8 people file out, all wearing coordinated prissy gray outfits; a couple of stiff-necked adults and a bunch of prim little kids, all wearing exactly the same tone of gray, much of it cable-knit. They’re just so rich and repressed and rigid and everything that starts with R, you could tell before they even got up the drive it was gonna be a shit storm. Apparently they just travel in a group – couldn’t bear to be parted, or maybe condemnation and sneering are considered family values that they’re trying to instill in these little drones – but anyhow the kids just sit on the floor while the adults start in on us about scandal and disloyalty to our host…or at least, the inhabitant of this stately old home we’ve come to, who as far as I can recall got no real say in the matter one way or another. (No idea how Troy or fictional Jamie fit in here. Are we ALL related?)  So they come in and start making really arch scathing comments about us to him, and Jamie’s still all fired up and blaring away in angry Pidgin, so there’s local-hostile and haolie-hostile in this delicious horribleness sandwich…and then I notice your tits are falling out everywhere.

You’d worn some sort of fanciful lace-up vest whose string had just bitten the dust, and your nipples were BRIGHT red for some reason,  and pierced, and just the most vivid maximum of what nipples could ever possibly be…’Now bigger, brighter, and impossible to miss!’ So the gray Podling family is just getting superlatively scandalized and send their children out of the room while I act like it’s not a big deal… Even though I am entirely overwhelmed by the sheer impossibility of the situation as I’m vainly trying to help you reholster. You just seemed to be enjoying the attention, like the zero-shits-giver you are. It was a Fawlty Tower comedy of errors & pratfalls.

And then Sherlock Holmes shows up. Yeah, BBC’s Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock.

And he’s on our side, being terribly clever and rude to the pod people. He starts giving them little subtle digs by talking rhetorically to the house-owner’s dog, speaking in a baby-talk voice and doing goofy excited-dog faces. I don’t know why, but he stuck the dog’s ball in his mouth, growling and thrashing his head around like a maniac and still speaking incoherently through his clenched teeth. It was ludicrous and everyone was uncomfortable and you & I loved it. The gray pod person next to him gets more and more visibly uncomfortable, and then I guess I went on a brain tangent where he draws Sherlock aside and gets all accusatory: “I know you’ve got worse pet allergies than I do, how are you not dying?!” And Sherlock says something cocky and evasive about it being “Almost as if I’ve taken an illegally-obtained prescription allergy suppressant,” and then I woke up to my alarm not knowing where I was or why anything.

Categories: Letters to Katje | 3 Comments

I’m defying gravity

Sister.

I have big news.

This week — in two days, in fact — I am graduating. From University. With an honest-to-Goddess degree in First Nations Studies. I am going to walk that stage and get my degree, witnessed by Aunty Wolffy and Ogre and various friends, and then we will go celebrate with lunch and eventually head home. And I will probably have pretty awesome sex with Ogre that night. Because that’s how we roll.

I almost can’t believe it’s here, my graduation. Because I spent so long working towards it, jumped through so many hoops, had so many wrenches flung my way…it took me 10 years. I started University when I was 17. I’m 27 now.

And yet I’m here. Me, Katje the fuck up. I’m getting a degree. (and starting my Master’s this fall, because school! forever!)

We get up very early on Thursday so we can catch the 7:45 ferry to Nanaimo. We’ll park the car at the ferry terminal and walk on. Mom is heading to Nanaimo on the last ferry out of Powell River on Wednesday night; this puts her in Nanaimo at about 1am. She’s sleeping in her car at the ferry terminal where we’ll be getting off, and then she’ll pick us up and we’ll go get things done.

I need to pick up my regalia at the bookstore, drop off my extra tickets with the friends who are coming, and then get ready for convocation. Hopefully at some point we will find breakfast and copious amounts of coffee. We’ll head into the theatre, making sure to go to the bathroom first — the ceremony is 2 hours long. I will sit for a very long time, and then I will get up and follow the students who come before me alphabetically, and then they will call my name and I will cross the stage, get my degree, and shake hands with someone. I’m not sure who.

I am going to try and do it without my cane. The injury is permanent, but the disability isn’t. I don’t want the cane to be part of pictures of me holding my degree. (but if I need my cane, I will not be too harsh on myself about that.)

After, we meet in the lobby of the theatre. There is hugging and congratulations. If it were Hawaii, I’d be getting lei’d right there. (A bit sad I missed out on that part when I skipped my high school grad.) I will shimmy out of the regalia and return it right away, and then we will head to the ballroom for the reception — for a little while at least, before escaping to go find real food. (The reception will have fruits and pastries. Here, graduates: LOAD YOURSELVES UP ON SUGAR.)

Lunch will probably include tales of my time in University — like living in my incredibly shitty apartment, when the water froze in the pipes and the toilet wouldn’t flush and the shower only spat out scalding hot water. Or the time I got mono from making out with almost everyone at the theatre party. Or the time I got covered in champagne at a play wrap-up party and ripped off my shirt and screamed “Someone lick it off me!” Or the time I got food poisoning at the cafeteria. Or the time I realized that, after drinking it for four years, I loathe the coffee from the coffee shop on VIU’s campus. Or the time I filmed Cooking with Slackers with friends in my apartment and the grocery store across the way as part of Digital Media Class. Or the time we attempted a Star Wars tabletop roleplay game, wherein I shot a mushroom until it burst into flames — because mushrooms can’t eat you if they’re on fire. Or the time I saved a show twice by filling in for assistant stage managers on both opening and closing nights (26oz fever, anyone?). Or the times Bryce would say “Onwards, to glory!” whenever we left for class and I would start belting out I, Don Quixote at the top of my lungs as we walked.

Or the time our roommate pulled out a bug bomb to deal with one centipede, while we screamed and jumped from couch to coffee table, before finally begging the boys from across the hall to deal with the menace for us. Or vending machine dinner for my evening psych class. Or the Duke, BILLOWING IN BLACK across the sunny fields of MCC, because going full goth in hot Hawaii was an awesome idea. Or when I would bike up to people humming/shouting the theme of the Wicked Witch of the East. Or reading manga for hours on end in Waldenbooks. Or me Dino-pouncing the Duke whenever he came to our dorm door. Or the pentacle I put on my window with black tape to freak out passing cars. Or me constantly stealing the residential manager’s spot, or sneaking past the security guard to visit you after curfew. Or the Orphan’s Christmas I did that nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. Or sitting and IMing with each other while in the same room.

There are a lot of stories and I wish you could be there to help me tell some of them, and to hear the rest of them.

But I know you’ll be there in spirit, and I’ll be thinking of you all day.

After lunch, we’ll head back to the ferry and then head on home, where there will be resting and watching of Almost Human (Dorian and Kennex, OTP). And probably some celebratory sex.

And I’ll be a degreed person. I will have a piece of paper confirming that I completed the work to get it. I will be able to further my education in ways that really matter to me — Master’s, PhD. (Secondary and tertiary undergraduate degrees, possibly.) New avenues of opportunity will open up for me.

Onwards to glory I go!

-Katje

PS. I have some other big news, which is that the Ogre and I found a place! We will hopefully be moving in together in the next few weeks. Until it happens, though, there’s not much more I can say — so I focused this post on graduation. I’m excited though! (And freaking out a little, let’s be honest, because my last time living with an SO was with Travis and his parents…yeah. We remember what that was like. Not good. But Ogre is awesome, and we’re awesome, and I’m sure it’ll be fine. My brain is just looking for ways to mess with me.)

 

Categories: Letters to Kana | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Hooo…Deep Breaths

I did it.

I applied for a new job, and this is special and different from all the others I’ve applied for since getting this gig because I MIGHT MAKE IT OMG.

I have a work buddy, Sean, from Division of Oil & Gas (DOG – I know, I’m totally willing to become a DOG person now) who is the liaison of his division and the AOGCC, which is my personal hell place. We get each other’s humor, it’s always really fun and mentally stimulating when he visits, and last time he stopped by he’s like, “You know there’s a new {your current level within the State} position available with us, right?” And even though I get the State job offers mailing – the sweet one only the already-employed-by-the-State-ppl get to see – I still had no idea, I guess I missed it somehow. He leaned in on my counter with the big eye contact and said, “You should REALLY APPLY FOR IT,” all meaningful. I googled it right then and there.

So apparently he’s part of the hiring team, and so I have a huge in. That’s a big deal in a place as insular as Anchorage; I only got my current (i.e. first “real” full-time State) job because of those preferential mailings I mentioned, and I could only get those because I’d been working as an intern for another part of the State, because Ike’s mom Randy had given me an in. Yeah, I worked with his mom. Technically-not-nepotism is the best kind of nepotism, but technically-not-mother-in-law is still kinda like mother-in-law.

SO PRACTICAL UPSHOT I HAVE A REAL CHANCE AT THIS THING and I’m so excited that I’m also afraid – like if I don’t get it, I must really suck, you know? But it would be so kickin’ to work with at least one person who likes who I am, as well as, y’know, NOT BE WHERE I AM.

Ever. Again.

Mmm.

 

And Sean seems to really be kickin’ ass to make it happen – he helped me write my cover letter, a document apparently very different in the subculture of the State of Alaska. No wonder I wasn’t landing the gigs, I wasn’t speaking their language.

And when I say helped, I mean we did 5 different drafts plus fine-tuning back and forth over 2 days.

Image

It is beeyootiful, if I say so myself. You can see some of the emails in the background – intense!

And no, I don’t think he’s trying to bed me; a valid concern I had not considered until Ike delicately raised the possibility. Skeezy people DO exist, and if you forget that you can walk right into bad stuff. But I’m so very sure it’s not that – I don’t get that vibe AT ALL. It’s just folks, good people in a very chill, comfy, great-working-environment kind of way. Besides, he and his wife have just had their first daughter – even if the romance was dead, he’s way too tired for that nonsense.

My interview’s on Tuesday, I’m so nervous…I mean, excited. Gotta stay positive or I will freak out and make this so much worse than it has to be. Wish me luck though, okay? I’ll take everything I can get on this mission of exodus, for serious.

I’m doing it, Babs – I’m really doing it! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Categories: Letters to Katje | 3 Comments

This starts out depressing. But there are carrots at the end.

I have no excuse for being late with this letter. I just am. I suppose I could say it’s because I wanted to wait until Thanksgiving to post. That’s not really true, though. It just occurred to me hey, it’s American Thanksgiving, I should probably write a letter to my best friend in the entire world, because I’m grateful for her.

Really, my lack of posting was because I was depressed, and didn’t know what to write except: I miss you. Please come live with me. And I figured that refrain was getting old. I needed something NEW to talk about.

The Universe loves to help me out. I do have something new to talk about — mainly, the ongoing fight with my mom finally coming to a head and possibly ruining our relationship. Unless I just surrender, bow down, and stop talking about this topic.

The topic being — how fat I am.

I don’t have any desire to lose weight. It took me a really long time to get to a point where I was happy with myself. I still have days where I wish I were just a bit slimmer, but at this point there’s ONE reason for those days — clothes. It is hard to find clothes that fit me. It is almost impossible.

But otherwise, I’m happy with being fat. I’m not happy with being crippled and out of shape, and were it not for the spine I wouldn’t be.

When I was living in Nanaimo and going to VIU, I was walking to school in the mornings. This was an entirely uphill walk. 3 kilometres. When I started, it took me an hour and a half. By the end of the semester, I was doing it in 45 minutes, and I wasn’t completely winded when I reached the top. I was still winded, because VIU is built on hills and death and I challenge an Olympic athlete to not be winded there.

When I was living in Maui, I was riding my bike to class — both when we lived in the dorms, and when I lived in The House of Gay.

Yet, because when I lived with her in Powell River I drove my car to work — because work, because I didn’t want to be sweaty when I got there, because I didn’t have *time* to ride my bike or energy, because I was working 12 hour days — and then when I came home I played World of Warcraft before going to sleep; because now that I am injured it is too difficult for me to walk everyday — all she sees is me being lazy.

Nevermind that I am in constant pain every day with my back — pain that doesn’t go away with regular painkillers, and pain that isn’t strong enough to break out the big guns, the pain pills that make me feel worse as they set the world spinning and make me vomit.

Nevermind that doing ANYTHING with this injury is a huge deal, especially exercise. I walk with a cane. I can go short distances without it, but I don’t like leaving it behind. I push myself just a little too far and I feel myself wobble; I start to fall.

Nevermind that I need physio if I want to get to a point where exercise is a potential for me again. I have done walks — nice, long walks — since the injury. I’ve felt good afterwards…for a few hours. And then the next day comes around, and my entire body aches, and I need to sleep for two days to recover.

She still thinks that I’m not doing everything I can. Meanwhile she keeps piling on the sedentary computer work for me to do and demands that I spend all my time doing it.

I can’t win.

I can’t do anything right by her. I try to explain, patiently, about Health At Every Size. I try to get her to reexamine the assumptions she has about fat people. I try to get her to stop making comments about my fiance’s weight. I try to be logical and calm about it all even though I feel like slitting my wrists.

She cries and tells me I’m taking things too personally and she’s not political about fat people at all.

When you’re making comments about my fiance’s weight — when you’re speculating HOW WE HAVE SEX AT ALL because we’re both so fat — how the FUCK am I supposed to NOT take it personally? And how is that not political? It is. When you make judgements based on someone’s weight, when you equate weight with health…that’s political.

But again, I can say NOTHING. Because she thinks I blame her for being fat — I don’t. Because when I speak, I remind her too much of my father, and she feels abused. So long as I’m angry at anyone else, my rants are funny. The second I’m angry with her — even though I keep an incredibly tight lid on my anger, even though I use every bit of strength I have to NOT yell, to NOT stomp, to just be calm and rational — well, then my emotions abuse her.

She’s said this. She’s said my emotions are abusive to her.

What do you do in the face of that?

I love my mom. I love watching Grey’s Anatomy with her. I love spending time with her.

But she’s made it clear I can never talk about being fat again. I can never mention being fat. I can never mention being sick. I can never mention anything wrong with my life, because she thinks I’m on the attack. Because it’s a disappointment to her to have a crippled fat sick daughter. And even if I manage to find a solution to my crippledness, even if I get healthy…I’ll still be fat. I know exactly how that’s going to go over when I start trying to get pregnant. I know, because the comments are already coming my way. Not just from her, but from almost every other non-fat person in the world.

Except you. You’re still one of the only non-fat people in my life that I feel safe eating around. Eating is a minefield for me; finding people who make it safe is…well, there aren’t words for how wonderful that is.

So, I’m grateful for you, my dear sister. I am. You are perfect to me, and though I do constantly see our friendship in the great friendships of pop culture, the truth is they are not us. They will never compare to us. Our glory is more than a book or TV show or movie can contain.

I wish I could spend Thanksgiving with you this year, as I wish every year. I still try to have two thanksgivings, even though money is making it difficult to do right now. We’re not doing it this year. At most Ogre and I may get turkey sandwiches and a pie.

I still laugh until I cry whenever I think about the night we made a turkey and it didn’t finish until 3am because I didn’t start thawing it till noon, and when it was done the Duke and I woke you up, going “The turkey is done WHAT DO WE DO?” And you staggered into the kitchen, stared at the turkey, took a huge bite out of the side and ripped off the meat before staggering back to the burfa to sleep, chewing the huge bit of turkey as you did.

That was the night of the Majestic Drill. That was the night the turkey took a swan dive into its own juices and then exploded.

That was our first real Thanksgiving. It was the start of my desire to have Orphan’s Thanksgivings, which I continued to do when I moved to Nanaimo — though in October, obviously. We bought stuffing at a gas station and we cooked a tiny meal in my shitty townhouse. It was no where near as good as any Orphan’s Thanksgiving or Christmas I’d had with you.

I hope that whatever you’re doing for Thanksgiving this year, it’s magical, and wonderful, and full of amazing food. Do you stuff moose instead of turkey up in Alaska?

Hopefully someday soon, we can have our Thanksgivings together again. I will make all the cinnamon carrots you can eat. Ogre can carve the turkey; I probably trust him with a knife more than me. We can drink alcohol and disappear into our crazy Kana-Katje conversations that will have the menfolk staring at us in wonder and terror. There will be multiple pies, and three dishes of mashed potatoes. The kitchen will be an unholy mess that we won’t tackle until the morning. We will all go into huge food comas.

It will be perfect.

 

Categories: Letters to Kana | 1 Comment

MiltonMakanaMumbles

Take a deep breath, hoooo. Never mind that I thought I’d posted a week ago Thursday, and apparently it didn’t post and I’d already thrown away the Word document I wrote it in. No problem, internet. I’ll just WRITE IT AGAIN, SHALL I?

Ahem. Hi. I’m back!

So, I had a bit of a rant on here. Or thought I did, or almost did, or whatever.  I’m having A Time at work, and how better to vent than to someone Who’s On My Side, right? UNLESS THE INTERNET’S HUNGRY AGAIN OF COURSE.

No, I’m over it, it’s cool. (Except I’m not – over it, that is. I’ve never been cool. Too much Star Trek as a child.)

Okay, Rant Reboot:

I don’t mind my work these days, it’s gotten a lot better this year – things that were stupid and didn’t make sense to be doing finally were noticed to be such by people with pull, and slowly but surely it’s been streamlined and improved to a totally bearable level. I actually feel motivated to work well because it’s possible to be truly on top of the work by the end of the day. Crazy. Before it was just this hopeless Sisyphian thought experiment of endless backlog, and it was really hard to persevere.

So when the work got better, I was jazzed, you know? Then it was only the people at work that I really had to put up with, and life’s like that. But now they are being such asshats that it’s come all the way back around to impossible workloads. I cannot even believe the arrogance.

So I had a backlog when I came back from Japan, naturally – I knew it was gonna suck, but I had no idea HOW MUCH MORE they could make it suck.

How much, I hear you ask? Well, come on down! We’ve got a suckage bonanza – you get a sucky, and you, and you and –

Yeah, that’s right. Daytime television talk show level suck.

The first bit wasn’t so bad – another coworker, our full-time scanning human who digitizes all the paperwork of the building that needs to be archived or available thusly, also went on vacation at the same time I did – trouble was, she’d had a truly profound backlog before she’d gone in the first place. My superiors, in their infinite wisdom asshattery (ass-haberdashery?), decided the other person with a vacation backlog was the right person to do all the filing for her, so she could devote all her time to scanning. So I had to find time to physically file away everything she could manage to scan in a day, every day. It got to the point where I’d just have to do as much of my backlog as I could in a day, and just make an afternoon of it the next, file-frolicking for about half of the next day.

*back to talkshow voice* But that’s not all!

The guy I worked with most closely, who taught me most of the things I do at work, finally retired the week after I came back.  Good for him, since he disliked and was disliked by the admin staff – ’twas requited nonlove. At the same time, one of the only nice women on the admin staff retired too, kind of a twofer thing. Her replacement was there the next day, already on the job and learning the biz.

The old technical duffer’s replacement didn’t seem to be about. Then my boss stopped by, this horrible shrunken Mailbu Barbie yippy poodle of an admin lady, and informed me with unseemly glee that I was going to be doing all of his stuff. I don’t even know what all of his “stuff” is.  She doesn’t either – didn’t stop her, though. She’s so drunk with power she’s been pickled in it.

I asked about his replacement from our brassy HR lady – yeah, another admin harpy – and apparently “It’s still in the works.” If you’re unclear what that actually means, you aren’t alone. I had to inquire further in order to get that translated to We haven’t even gotten a clear idea of what to write in the job description we haven’t written yet much less posted so people could even begin to interview to eventually fill this position.

Yeah. You know why the admin lady’s replacement was all lined up? Because if they hadn’t had it lined up, her work would’ve fallen on the other admin ladies. The direct contrast is just like a smack in the face.

Restraining myself rather admirably, I inquired as to when they thought this WOULD be done, and apparently I have 6 weeks of this scrumptiousness to look forward to at the very least. My sanity has suffered a preemptive strike.

Maybe they sensed my happiness – “We must destroy it,” they decided, at their secret Fat Cats Fanciers conclave where Big Oil fatcats go to see & be seen…& destroy the dreams of the little people. “She has achievable goals and dawning sense of work ethic. Crush her. Also, bring out another tray of Fancy Feast. Of course in the little glass pudding goblet, what do I look like, a fuckin’ mixed breed?”

And then, to tie in the titular reference, they stole the red Swingline stapler of my spirit.

I just don’t even see how they think this will end well…I’m not a geologist, I literally couldn’t do this work even if I didn’t have my job and half of another person’s to do.  It’s like as long as they can get out their golden fountain pen and put a big fat check mark next to “Pin this on some poor sap” on their To Do list, they consider it all sorted and no longer their problem.

Well, anyone who’s seen the very end Office Space knows this isn’t gonna end well – ever wanted to be an alibi, Sis? 😛

Categories: Letters to Katje | 1 Comment

It’s fall. Keep the fire going.

October already. How did that happen?

I am so tired. Tired is more than a passing feeling for me; it’s become my ever-present bedfellow, my constant state of being. I don’t know what it’s like to not be tired. I had a chance to see Ry-chan today. He was in Seattle and I could have driven down to see him, because he offered to pay for my gas. My mom had to veto the idea just to keep me from driving into a tree or something because I was basically just asleep on my feet.

I have to just hope that someday I won’t be so tired anymore. I have to hope that we find a solution to this.

I’m not just overworked. I have…something. I don’t know what. But there is something wrong with my sleep. You probably are not surprised; you remember what it was like trying to get me up in the morning. Well, that’s because I never get enough rest. I think I’m waking up in the middle of the night, just enough to never make it to the deep sleep, the one that actually replenishes your body. I have a pretty good idea as to what this something is, this whatever my body has that’s preventing me from sleeping, and I’m going to follow that lead with my doctor as soon as I can.

In the meantime, though…I’m just really tired.

And I wanted to write earlier. I was going to write on Sunday, actually. We did WORD Vancouver that day and I wanted to tell you all about it. But after 11 hours of being in the library and trying to sell books, we got home and I was too tired. Ogre came over to take me to dinner and I started falling asleep at the dinner table. Tonight, I’m going to his place for my much-deserved 2 days off. I have a feeling I’m going to be too tired for sex.

(I seem to remember there being a time when I could keep going no matter what, even if I was tired. I used to pull tons of all-nighters. I can’t do that anymore. I guess I’m getting old. Or the lack of sleep is finally catching up after all these years. If I’m right in my assessment of what I have, it’s likely I’ve never reached stage 4 REM sleep. No wonder I’m insane.)

But. WORD. WORD used to be Word on the Street before their recent rebranding. I don’t know why they did the rebranding but the weather made it accurate at least. We weren’t on the street; we got moved inside the library.

English: Central Library of the Vancouver Publ...

English: Central Library of the Vancouver Public Library Français : La bibliothèque central de la Bibliothèque Municipale de Vancouver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’d think libraries would be quiet but the Vancouver downtown library has this giant…promenade between the library proper (where the books are) and the random shops they have (stationery, coffee, pizza, an ATM). It is large, and echoey. I think we spend most of the day half-shouting to people about our books.

Our sales were dismal, which was disappointing. I mean. You would THINK that at a festival called WORD Vancouver, a festival about reading and writing and all that, you would THINK people would buy books. Am I off in that assessment? Am I just crazy?

Well, yes, I am. But seriously! We should have done much better in sales. Even with the weather monsooning like it was.

We think it may have something to do with the library atmosphere — people get into a “Why do I have to buy books when there are thousands here for free?” attitude, I guess. Which…I honestly don’t understand. If I have the money for it, I buy books. And then if I have money left over, I get food and pay rent.

Regardless our depressing sales, the event was fun. We made a lot of contacts and I saw old friends and made new ones. Also, I picked up a Bookcrossing book — Palimpsest by Catherynne M Valente. I’ve wanted to read it for a while now and the fact that I have 2 days off during which I’m not writing nor publishing means I actually can catch up on my reading. No more fiction-fast for me for a few days! Hallelujah! I’m bringing a stack of books over to Ogre’s and I’m going to try to read as many as possible.

I think what I liked best about WORD, though, is that it gave me a chance to feel like a real author. I got the news just before the event that Bellica has been nominated for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award and that they want review copies sent to the judges. (That will be fun — 5 are in the US and one is in Sweden. I think I’m heading across the border to mail the books; Canada Post is the devil.) So I got to tell people that it’d been nominated for the Tiptree Award, which is, well. It’s frakkin’ amazing.

And when I was making the rounds of the exhibitors’ tables, I met someone who had actually heard of me before. That was ridiculously unexpected. I gave her my card and she asked me what else I’d written. When I told her, she nodded and said “Yes, I have heard of you — I’m in publishing so names come across my desk all the time.”

My name is making the rounds in the BC publishing circuit. What.

It’s one of those moments that happens in your life when you think, “Yeah. I’m…I’m on my way. I’m doing this. It’s happening.” And you know that, for better or worse, you made the right choice.

This weekend I had that moment. This weekend, I realized I made the right choice when I decided to become a writer.

Even if I do find it exhausting betimes.

I hope you stuck with your creative endeavors, dear sister. Your talent at drawing is way too great for you to not continue to use it.

We’re creative people. We have to keep those flames burning, or life will get really fucking cold.

Love,

Katje

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