Purgatory Between Two Lives.

I’m at the Edmonton airport right now on a layover between Montreal and Regina, it feels a lot like purgatory.

Airports remind me of the internet, almost place-less and glass tiled and filled with light and sort of freakishly open in some places but packed in others, so many different kinds of people and things inside, but themselves just feeling like framework to hold.

I have a pound of smoked meat in my carry on bag for my mom because she likes it so much, I declared it at the baggage check in just in case, and because I like saying it, “Meat. MEAT Meat Meat.”

I’m drinking a XL 4 hour old cold coffee. And I haven’t slept for more than 3 hours at once in over two days. Also, there are some ten year old girls hired to sing pop songs in the terminal? See, purgatory right? I’d for sure pack meat with me for purgatory, just in case, no access to flesh would really be the true torture.

I was so sad to leave MTL because everything is so sunny and all parks and all wine, all the time there right now. But, I said goodbye to a few of my closest friends for varying amounts of month long trips this week, so it seems like the right time to go.

I’m on route to the Queen City to work for/with Lisa, my boss lady/life partner who owns SEED Sustainable Style, for couple of weeks. She has designed/created her own collection for Saskatchewan Fashion Week (next week), and we’re also throwing what will be a super rad after party event called FORM at The Artful Dodger next Friday.

DIY hair dye. #glamor #gettingrunwayready

I’ll probably be the everywhere girl, which is how I often felt working for her for over two years before moving to Montreal, (and really like, variety!). Translating art vision speak into audience readable statements, social networking all over the place, preparing the clothes + anonymous tasks for the shows, modelling and performing for the shows + hopefully some photo shoots, and of course having soooooo much fun, and also drinking a lot of wine, hanging out with Liam (her unicorn greyhound) and wearing a lot of lipstick.

I’ve been feeling a little nervous about Regina itself because hometowns are dramatic. But, the closer I’m getting to actually being there, the more I’m looking forward to it and remembering the many things I love about the place (in contrast to all of the reasons why I left). To be honest though, now my number one concern over the next couple of weeks is who am I going to makeout with in my hometown?! Seriously. (male models hopefully?)

(another sad reason to leave MTL, flesh. FLESH Flesh Flesh. Wish I could have packed cuddles for purgatory. I’ve actually never been kissed in an airport so there’s a life goal.)

Oh well, only four more hours till I’m in the body of the beast. Raaawrr. ha.

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Lately – Mini, Medium & Mega Cities. Mhmmm.

Mini – I went home for the holidays. ‘Home’ is Regina Saskatchewan and the holidays were mostly giggle pile ups and lots of brunching after passing out in my winter jacket.

I did a performance with Fada Dance at the annual Xmas party as an innocent reindeer sacrificed by the three Christmas spirits to a pack of white wolves. I wore shoes on my hands and pranced, then the wolves came and devoured me (I had tinsel stuffed in my shirt as mock blood). I’ve joked with some friends that I really related to my character, ha! I’ve been dancing with Fada since I was 15 and have really missed the studio and the community since moving, so I loved that they asked me to be a part of the show.

Other highlights over the holidays include many blue (lipstick) new years eve kisses, and getting hit by a car while riding drunk in a shopping cart at 3am (because this is what we do for fun in cities without after hours parties, be warned).

Also! I got instagram! so that is major! add me. @moodynightshade
mostly I take pictures like this:

Medium – Montreal makes my heart swell!

Since the first night I got back to the city after Xmas I’ve felt like it is home to me. It’s like in first semester I was gathering all of these pieces and now they really feel like they’re coming together. Cheesy cliche I know but true, I love the community there!

In the past month I’ve made 3 films for school! Which was a huge learning curve because I’ve never done any video work before, and navigating the editing programs is like a hella brain ache. I have cried in the computer labs like at least 5 times. Sometimes due to life shit making me bawl-y emotional, sometimes cause I’d had to re-load all of my video files into the same project over 6 times and then it took 2 hours to render, just in time for my class critique and then it saved incorrectly and everything was lost all over again. whyy.

So I went to my critique crying with nothing to show. Thankfully my profs let me present the following week and gave me chocolate to cheer up. Harry Potter anyone?

This also means that I used a canon for the first time. Love at first focus!

Some friends from class and I got drunk with our profs. That was so art school sitcom I can’t even write about it here, but I will tell you that we inhaled all of the poutines.

Also, I’m taking a performance art class this semester! Which is exciting but so far has mostly just meant that on Tuesday mornings I watch videos of people mutilating their bodies and doing things naked for 4 hours. (I’m only sort of kidding)

*Side note/detour: Also, I’ve been especially depressed lately. And I’m only including this in my list of ‘Lately’ things because people keep asking me if I’m sad and it seems like they’re hoping I’ll say that I’m not. But I am, and I have been, and maybe I always will be in many ways, and I think that’s okay! Sadness happens, as does happiness, as do many tangled emotions, all the time, everyday. One of my major (many) pet peeves with our culture is this idea that everyones supposed to be happy all of the time, and as if you can’t feel various emotions simultaneously. My depression exists in a constant state of flux, and it’s really important to me to acknowledge this so I can continue to get better at dealing with it. I have a history of childhood trauma, everyday regular life is traumatizing, these things aren’t going anywhere, so why ignore them any more or less than the rad stuff?*

Mega – Right now I’m in New York!
A super dreamy cafe in Brooklyn called the ‘Tea Lounge’ to be exact.
(it’s reading/anti student suicides week woooooooooo!)

My friend Simona and I caught the bus last Friday morning and we’re here till this Monday morning. I didn’t sleep on the Thursday night before we left. I also couldn’t wash the classic make out smeared, bright red lipstick off my face, so I went through the super dystopian US customs looking like a whore. Such a mess, Ha!

NY is so endless! like woah I can’t even grasp it. We’ve been staying with the loveliest couch surfers, mostly exploring as many areas as possible and gallery hopping by day, party perusing by night. Almost everyone is vegetarian and graffiti is king.

Today I went to the Brooklyn Museum, this is me and Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party:

I’ll post more about the projects I’ve been working on & this trip soon! I ❤ NYC Mhmmm

Just a messy collection of holiday-like thoughts.

It’s my first actual day back in my hometowwwwwn.

And I haven’t slept, at all. this is my latest thing, to not be able to, or sometimes to not even really try to sleep when everyone else is.

I just can’t turn my brain off.

And at night my brain goes into super high gear over drive, it just happens to be when I discover ALL of the best twitter poets, and stellar feminist blog articles that link to 5 more articles that I want to read in each one.

And the cats, at my old house, where I’m staying, they’re like genetically modified cuddle cats, like I couldn’t sleep and miss that supreme level of cuteness, no way.

I had a shower this morning forgetting that it’s winter and that my hair will freeze if I go outside for hours now (I’m firmly super anti blow dryers near my precious hair).

Things are so much easier in the big city.
In Montreal your hair is always insta-2 days greasy in that so sexy way you always wish it would be, even right after you’ve just washed it. It’s like, from the pollution or something.

So I’m writing from bed instead of my desired old haunt coffee shop.
The bonus to this is CATS. the bonus is always cats. right now I have a cat friend head rest. puuurrrrrrrr therapy.

Maybe my ideal man is a cat. wait not maybe, definitely. Am I a cat? what?

I might never leave this house. just perpetuate a spa scenario throughout the entire holidays. Pretty sure I look transplanted straight from the 60’s, in my matching behive towel-duvet cover set.

I got into town last night around 10 or something, my sister and I drover here from Saskatoon where I’d been for a couple of days after taking the train there from Montreal.

It was my moms birthday yesterday and so we just went for beers at the pub to catch up.

So far I’ve noticed two things that have changed about the city.

Number one:
All of my friends are in couples, and more specifically, all different couples than when I left.
Number two:
There’s this weird space age looking plastic dome over the courthouse. I guess they’re re-doing the bricks or something. I’m really in favor of all space age themed and/or styled scenarios, especially with the end/beginning of the world happening this week and the soon to be aired Mars Astronaut try-outs reality TV show (if you haven’t heard of this, you’ve seriously gotta Google.)

The train ride was was long (5pm Tuesday to 1am Thursday in total) and super beautiful and I didn’t take any pictures, but had such a wonderful time.
Coffee, chess, making friends and story telling/listening are really all consuming.
I was on vacation!

The way that I pack feels like a sign of serious psychological trauma. What’s with trying to carry my entire life with me at all times? It’s like I want to be constantly prepared for maybe never going home, or back to where ever I cam from.

A friend and I at the pub last night were joking that I’m getting a university degree in perversion, yep perfect.

I had a strange time in Saskatoon for a few reasons,
One being that I was at one of those parties where everybody and their parents are there, along with their parents ex husbands/wives, and their ex lovers and they’ve all dated and every one of them is someones parent/child, and the connections get to be sort of totally hilarious especially when set in this super beautiful Christmas scene and it’s just all too made for a TV movie.

Another reason is because I fainted at the party.
I’ve never fainted before, and it was probably because I had forgotten to eat all (was sleeping most of the) day, it was also speculated that traveling and lots of change could be factors. I was talking to someone normally and then all of a sudden everything, like all of my senses, were going in and out of focus. I couldn’t figure out what was going at first so I tried to continue my conversation, and then I fell over/friends carried/shuffled me upstairs. It’s a terrible feeling, my first instincts were ‘am I somehow high?’ and ‘am I going insane?’ Like what is happening and why am I not in control of my body? The good thing is that almost as soon as I laid down I felt better, and my little sister brought me carrot sticks and bread and then we just had girl chats upstairs for a while.

Someone later asked why I fainted and an ex boy-friends mom/friend replied for me, “because she’s just a Jane Austen kind of girl.” ha!

Now I’m off for an all day bash with a ton of hometown friends, AWWWW! (cats)

Nine jot notes I made this week:

1. “I had connected love and performance together. Love is a mystery & doesn’t keep score. We are worthy of love as women just as we are.” -SARK
2. In my worst nightmare I’m screaming, “No! not my metephores they’re all I have!”
3. Attention makes me feel nauseous but I like it.
4. In my romantic relationships, the characters I create in my mind are often far more complex than the people I’m pretending they are.
5. I like the way that the seasons push and pull us into different cycles.
6. I wish I had a tape recorder for my walks!
7. “Synchronicity is basically romance.” – roommate, Jera
8. I should write more about daddy issues.
9. “Whatever coaxes us out of hiding, to write, to record, is a revolutionary act. It says that we believe our lives count.” – SARK

Lately – Things I’ve been doing.

I’ve been writing in parks, writing in every cafe along Saint Laurent, writing in the metro, writing on the floor at parties and writing scattered throughout all of my sketch/notebooks. (But! I never feel like I’ve been writing enough.) le sigh*

I’ve been walking a ton, loving all graffiti and taking self portraits in alley ways and metro station photo booths and mirrors. I’ve been going to a lot of parties, dance parties, after parties, house parties, house shows, regular shows, poetry readings, and ‘gatherings’ but usually forget to take pictures because every thing’s so fun, crazy, overwhelming, fast paced and all consuming. I’ve seen a lot of incredible apartments, lofts, bars, grungy studios, art studios, classrooms, super old and/or abandoned warehouses and graffiti-ed bathrooms.

I’ve been making art projects that require math! gasp, I know.  I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the welding studio. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time holding an electric sander. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time awake before noon. I’ve had probably a thousand cups of coffee and soy lattes.I’ve climbed onto more rooftops in Montreal than I ever had before in my whole life. I’ve had a lot of deppaneur wine while walking down the street. I’ve woken up cuddling with a five foot long plastic battle axe. I’ve run into people much more often than I ever thought I would. I’ve run into everyone I know who’s visiting Montreal (even if only for a day) serendipitously on Saint Laurent. I’ve walked home down Parc hungover in the sun already too many times to count (I should really make a ‘morning after’ soundtrack). I’ve thought that I was walking home down Parc hungover and gone in the wrong direction only to run into a friend who was going to a party/show so I went there with him instead. I’ve Pop-ed so hard. I’ve talked about blow jobs a lot in class. I’ve bought a taxidermy sparkly fox face.

I’ve brunch’ed like it’s my job. I’ve drawn more still life than ever (and it hasn’t even been that much). I’ve even drawn a landscape, gasp* (spoiler alert, it’s pretty abstract).

I’ve cried a lot, been up all night and morning on skype, gotten lost everywhere, clogged the toilet at one of my favorite cafes, been unable to stop shaking during a group critique, and felt hugely socially anxious pretty much every day.

I’ve I’ve I’ve fried my brain with bagels, social stimulation, and wine so hard last night (not the first time) and so cannot write any sentences that don’t start with ‘I’ve’.

I’ve been putting together this blog for a studio class, so check it out if you want to see even more photographs, self portraits and things I’ve been working on.

I’ve been drooling over the beauty of this city all of the time, constantly, everyday.

We have been talking, in one of my classes about art that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Art that transports you.
Art that puts you on edge.
Art that makes you shudder.
Art that makes you squirm but you still want to look.

And what the value is of this type of work.

The art I make is often incredibly personal.
Often what most people would call, too much, too close, too raw, too intimate.
too too too.

But maybe this means it’s “working”,
because I want to make people feel the way that I feel.
Like so much, so close, so raw, so intimate.
so so so.

Written in April, ‘Love Notes to Ghosts’

Today, I am seeing ghosts.

Waking to the blurred face of a man I can’t quite recognize.
Hearing footsteps and a long breath behind me as I walk down Scarth st.
But, turning to see no one.
Then every ageing downtown crazy holding doors open for me this morning.

I am struck by that feeling of proximity.
Ache heavy like the weight of a warm body heavy on my chest.

I’m thinking that the hologram of a man watching me wake had a beard like one my dad grew once, when I was around 6, right after he broke his hip.

I’m remembering the sound of his scowl in the wind, the sound of his sigh.

And with them, come memories of his smokers laugh, his story telling voice,
his groan when interupted from the newspaper, a ramble, or a nap.

As I heard the wind sighing this morning on Scarth I was about to say,
“Hi dad. I can hear you.”

But instead just smiled silently the way I have been for two days thinking,
“So I guess you heard!? I got into to art school!”

I think of how he was always so adament about university because he’d never gone.
I think of him at my age, of the life he lived before I met him.
I think of his friends telling me he would be so proud.

I think of 35 year old gossip and when C said,
“Your dad was a pretty big deal, wasn’t he?”
While we drank tea on my couch this Tuesday,
and I wasn’t exactly sure what he meant by it.

Shrugging and saying only,
“Yeah, I guess so. Mr. Charisma, my father.”
meant sort of as a joke but also an impulse.
(now hoping he wouldn’t be insulted by this comment, he was a “big deal” based on tallent and kindness and important work in the arts, as well as charm)

C didn’t respond so I continued on a little jokingly about what I know of his love life before my mother, about the woman he was dating when he met her.

Then saying that sometimes C reminds me of him,
just in little snapshots like the back of his head, his shoulders in that jean shirt,
his scowls and sighs and story telling voice.

But, most do after all.
Thinking that if I added up all of the men I love, then picked and chose, I could compile the personality traits and physical feautures of my father:

From my friends the charming up-and-comers,
to the unshaven slender men wearing hand me downs that haunt bus stops,
to every dirty artist I’ve wanted for a minute or a year.

And then, sometimes everything can remind me of him.
Little bits and pieces spark up from everyday life.
From the sound of a drum circle or the smell of pot.
From making snow forts and spagetti and pancakes shaped like cats,
to every one of his many friends, to anyone with a kind hand and a passion for cooking, music, art, gardening, performing and/or people,

they are all him to me.
Today, I am seeing ghosts, but only slightly more than usual.

Hi dad, I can hear you.
I love you, thanks for the visit.