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(no subject) [Feb. 12th, 2010|07:08 pm]
jes
today was a good day.

i saw tam off for the weekend, as she has taken up a semi-permanent squatting/residency approach to hanging out in my apartment and will be returning next week.

a former professor of mine, sina queyras [for anyone who has an outsider experimental poetry boner], tipped me off that renee gladman would be reading at the university of montreal.

renee gladman is a brilliant writer and theorist, and her work on language has been a huge influence on the way i imagine writing and configure pieces. she is also a professor at brown university, and the main reason i would like to go and study there. i applied, and am still waiting to hear whether or not i was accepted.

during the q&a i commented on the piece she'd read, and she seemed pleased and flustered by my interpretation. it seems silly and self-congratulatory, but in a seminar packed with phd students i genuinely felt that my approach and commentary was better. yep, better. it's a nice feeling, better.

snottiness aside, i lingered afterwards to introduce myself. shook her hand. said i thought autographs were silly, but still asked her to autograph an essay she'd written that i often return to when i start thinking about language. she asked if i was studying and i replied no, i'd slipped into this talk on the advice of sina. i mentioned i'd applied to brown for an MFA in fiction, where she teaches. she smiled. replied 'if you don't get accepted this year, write me, and try again'... heavy emphasis on the 'write me'.

it's a good feeling. i suspect i have a real chance, if not an advocate at brown, which is stupidly exciting.

i came home to a valentine from my mother, and a lara bar valentine from freida, which is 'explicitly not chocolate'. lovely lovely lovely.
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(no subject) [Feb. 6th, 2010|07:37 pm]
jes
my dad called last night, saying he 'had some news about his health'.

he was diagnosed with stage three cancer in his tonsils. they just found it. he will be starting radiation therapy in a few weeks, lasting for a month and a half i believe.

this journal is probably gonna go back to being the biggest bummer on your friends list.
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(no subject) [Jan. 28th, 2010|01:41 pm]
jes
all is well with carlo's liver. i've been head-spinningly busy, which is quite good. i just woke up and am drinking a tiny cup of tea, despite the fact that i really ache for a syrupy thick coffee.

no coffee today because this evening i'm going to be doing another
microdermal tonight, and caffeine in any significant amount will give me good ol' shaky hands. as you can imagine, this is a terrible thing if your entire art relies on your ability to work with great precision in a 2.5 mm area of skin.

i've applied to be an editor for a graphic novel. they've sent me back a test page to try, and i'm a little bit at a loss. it's not impossible, but certainly difficult, to address a single page out of context, especially when it's just the outline of what the later illustrations should be showing. i'll do my best, but intend to write them informing them that it is an insufficient sample, and i might be completely missing the point. difficult to tell which elements are important, and which are indulgent, without having read the entire piece. i suspect that this is what they want to hear back.

in other job news, i need to quit the SEO job. they have fired the majority of the other writers, and have limited the amount of hours we few remaining writers are allowed to work in a month. the woman who our project has been handed to is incredibly rude, and is a terrible manager - a radical difference from our previous project leader who was perceptive, patient, and well-informed. he was a wonderful boss, and i fired off a note telling him as much when his responsibilities were shifted elsewhere.

my SEO job is on the level, despite the fact that many of the sites we contracted out to were on the shady side. i checked up on a few of them, just to see if they had hired other writers, or had gone back to generating their own text [unintelligible crazy-garble]. Of course, to my deep amusement, the majority of these sites have been pulled and replaced by HA HA LEGAL NOTICES.

so, you see, i need to quit. the annoyance of having a multitude of tiny tasks hanging over me every single day of the week, without respite, is really grating on me. every single day there is work i should be doing, and a manager who sends me cranky messages starting with all-caps criticisms demanding that i get to my computer and write mind numbing text about replica louis vuitton. barf.

speaking of computers, i killed my macbook. that is bad. i was sick, i was in bed, my leg was tangled in the blanket. in my useless flailing i kicked over a bottle of water and my macbook got a nice little drink. flashy flashy went the power cord, on and off went the screen. a week of drying, still black. hopefully all of my writing, which is nestled deep in some unknowable circuitry in that laptop, remains safe and sleeping until i can gather enough dollars to go to the idiot bar and have it checked out/fixed.

if it's gone, you will hear my mourning wail from wherever you live.

in less funny mourning news, my mother's super big dog jackie, a rescued bouvier from ohio who stood waist high on an adult, died last week. she'd gone lame some time before christmas, and was limping and having difficulty with everything. we didn't worry too much about it because she was an odd creature who was highly neurotic and difficult to understand. my mom's whole house is a maze of carpets because jackie will not walk on hardwood floors. if the rugs come away from one another, revealing a strip of blonde hardwood beneath, jackie would stand at the very edge of the carpet and cry. then she would spend five minutes gearing up to do an exaggerated running leap across the tiny divide in order to reach her goal on the other side - usually you. sadly, when my mom brought her to the vet to have her limping checked out, she was x-rayed and diagnosed with bone cancer. it was unexpected, and my mother had her put down that afternoon. there was no way to help jackie, she would have lived another month at best in terrible pain.

jackie liked friends and ear scratches and roast beef and had noxious farts [a breed trait], would often creep into bed with my mother and stand very still on the pillows and look down at her in the night. jackie was very big. like, small pony-sized. funny if you can picture it.

i was looking at my mom's place on google maps. what do you know, there's a big white head peering out of the vine-covered fence in the yard. that's something, at least.

here she is, peering over the kitchen counter. bye, beast.

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(no subject) [Jan. 14th, 2010|04:27 pm]
jes
and i exhale.

carlo's blood came back, and it looks good. platelets are back to normal. that blip was worrying, and continues to itch at me, but it has to fall away to the same section of my brain reserved for all of my other worries.

i'm making soup. nesting a little. tam's coming over.
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(no subject) [Jan. 13th, 2010|11:25 am]
jes
is it possible i spoke/wrote too soon?

yesterday i woke at a delightfully lazy noon-thirty. this is after getting up at ten, crossing my room, turning on my blaring overhead lights, then going directly to my bed and lying horizontally across it naked with a pillow over my head to sleep for another two and a half dream-thick hours.

my phone rattled and it was carlo, just back from his regularly scheduled blood test at the hospital. i hauled myself out of bed, dressed, and tripped off to go meet him for breakfast at a chain restaurant [bonne matin, cora's] a few minutes walk from my place.

coffee came, breakfast was ordered. we were happy and picking on each other, our knees jostling for space under the table. then his phone went off. he said 'hi anita' and i knew it was his transplant nurse and i put my knuckles against my teeth. i watched his face change as they talked, asking 'what does that mean' and 'tomorrow?'

the results from the morning's blood test were already in. turns out his liver enzyme levels still look fine. unfortunately his platelet count is way down. she asked if he'd been bleeding. vomiting blood? shitting black? no and no.

from what the test shows, he's having a bleed somewhere. he's currently at the hospital having another fancy blood test. i told him to call me if they keep him, and i'll go up. it is frightening, but a fear we are both managing. it might mean his liver is fucked. a bleed shouldn't occur unless something higher up the chain [liver] is not functioning. bleeds are symptoms. major, dangerous, life threatening symptoms that have emptied him of all the blood in his body twice.

that said he is clearly not having a major bleed, or he would be admitted. this is what i said to him after we got off the telephone. there was a bit of forced gaiety as we went on with breakfast, walked out into the cold. he bought a set of expensive headphones. i bought a vest. we never shop, i'm not sure what happened there. i think we just wanted to go sink into people, into a crowd of milling shoppers. feel able.

then back to my house, where we visited with my neighbour and her puppy ben. then carlo's dinner date bailed so we at pot brownies [ahem] and flopped around my house till eleven o'clock, at which point he had to take the train home because he didn't have his evening pills with him.

today i have a bit of work to clear. a house that needs cleaning. cats that have to go in the bath because tam is coming to visit, and she's hellishly allergic to them. freida and my neighbour jessica are coming over to learn how to silkscreen once the sun goes down. there's a stained glass skylight covered in pigeon shit about three stories up in my bathroom that prevents me from drying the light sensitive screens without buggering them, so it's vampire screen printing at my house, every time. i'm going to send freida home with all of my screening equipment because i haven't printed in a year, and she's eager to get started so it makes perfect sense to give her lend of it until i need it again.
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(no subject) [Jan. 11th, 2010|12:14 pm]
jes
i don't know if i mentioned this to anyone, but carlo got a call about four days ago. his nurse informed him that his liver enzyme levels were 'almost normal'.

almost normal is incredible. i floated an inch off the ground when he told me.

there have been a few expected, but nonetheless difficult complications. i mentioned a few months ago that he was put on a high dose of steroids - this was in order to combat the rejection that was taking place. unfortunately the boy's immune system is healthy as a horse, despite all the drugs and illness, and has been working hard to eject his beautiful liver. he was put on a high dose of prednisone, some 65 odd mgs a day.

the side effects have been funny [man boobs, and a moon face], as well as disturbing. psychological effects are not unheard of - many people become snappy, irritable, quick to anger. carlo is absurdly sweet tempered, and instead becomes melancholy, quick to cry, depressed.


a month ago he went back to the royal victoria hospital to have a blood test done. this is routine, he will go once or twice every week for the rest of his life. they monitor his prograf levels, and test his liver enzymes to determine the function of the transplanted organ.

as he was walking through the hospital he passed by the GI scope room on his way to the blood clinic. he has walked by this room before, over and over. once when i accompanied him to the hospital we walked by the room and i grabbed his hand, saying 'o god' and 'do you remember'. there are two doors to the GI scope room. one is the patient door, which leads to a small crowded waiting room. one is a swinging door that is usually closed. this leads to the hallway behind the waiting room that connects to the small chambers they scope patients in.

we walked by together, months ago, and that swinging door was propped open. i smelled the hallway, saw the women sitting in their paper gowns waiting to have a camera driven down their throats or up into their guts. saw the gurneys with unconscious people lying there. i remembered exactly what it was like that day, a year ago now, that i accompanied him for his scheduled scope.

i sat in the waiting room as he went in. fifteen minutes later a nurse with blood spattered on her scrubs came out, pulling her mask down over her nose, tapped me on the shoulder, and asked me to come back please. carlo was lying on a gurney with blood all over his face, drugged and struggling. tears running down the corners of his eyes. the doctor threw the clip board down on his belly and showed me the photographs they'd managed to take of the inside of his stomach. just red. the twist of a vein and then liquid red. he had been bleeding into his belly all morning. he would have bled to death that night if they hadn't happened to scope him.

so i squeezed his hand and asked if he remembered. he said no, shrugged, and we walked up for his blood test.

as i said, he went by alone about a month ago. he walked down the hospital hall, passing the GI scope room. this time the swinging door was open once more.

he called me that afternoon, shaken. said that suddenly, he wasn't walking down a marble hallway in the royal victoria. suddenly he was there, on the stretcher. he was fighting the scope, drugged. they were blowing air into his belly and blood was being forced up around the scope. he was choking, he was bleeding out the sides of his mouth and doctors and nurses were scrambling, yelling. he hallucinated. he flashed back. whatever it is called, he did it. he was transported into something he hadn't remembered at all. it was awful.


he met with dr. hoffman, transplant psychiatrist, who prescribed him effexor. i was less than supportive, having watched many friends take this drug and then spin deeper into confusion and misery. i was afraid that carlo's unbelievable buoyancy, his sweetness, would get twisted away from him.

well, for the first time i'm seeing psychiatric meds accurately prescribed, and well received. he is so happy. a week into his treatment he left his laptop at my house, citing that he didn't really want to dick around on the internet all day and night. he's been out with friends, busy. he has a sex drive again, which is incredible given that nearly every drug he's taking dampens it considerably. sex drive of a teenage boy, actually. there's some serious keeping up to do...

he has a job. he went back to the eurodeli, and is making fancy pizzas there. it's in the plateau and he's around people his age, talking shit and listening to music. sweeping floors and flirting and watching the world go by. lovely normalcy.

i can't express to you how good it is to see.
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(no subject) [Dec. 29th, 2009|08:02 pm]
jes
i am melancholy and i suspect it is because i'm getting a cold. tonight is magnetic fields, black-red pomegranate juice, steel-cut oatmeal on the stove for tomorrow. it's me sitting in my apartment, blowing off a couple of people, and painting watercolours.

i need to find a way to move to california. any suggestions?
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updates from the edge of the 90's. [Dec. 18th, 2009|03:45 pm]
jes
so i'm a piercer, and i work down the road from a really big mall in laval. i just pierced one of santa's elves, she dropped in on her lunch break. little red and white outfit with furry booties and all. as she left she wished me 'joyeux fetes', albeit a little thickly, given the whole freshly pierced tongue.
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(no subject) [Nov. 8th, 2009|11:02 pm]
jes
iiiiit's a downswing. i can't get my head right, i'm flattening out under this incredible crushing feeling of failure and guilt. wake up each morning with failure and guilt in my chest. it's brutal, truth be told. thinking of slinking home to my mother's house to sit on the couch for a while.

i walked home today listening to love & rockets. 'haunted', if you must know. i realized that i've got all these sweet folksy friends and these tough gritty punks, but there's not a lot of people i really identify with in terms of subculture. oh, for a pack of angsty goths right now. of all the things in the world to want for, moping and smoking a cigarette amongst three people sitting on a curb would really, really, really hit the spot. throw in some eyeliner and teased black hair and dangling crosses....all the better.

goth. feelin' it.
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(no subject) [Oct. 29th, 2009|06:59 pm]
jes
so i'm finally starting to feel good again. it's like a thaw, things are coming slowly, and i've not really got as firm a hold on 'happy' as i'd like, but i'm keeping engagements, going out, starting projects, saving money, cleaning my apartment, cooking lush vegan food and sharing it with friends, working out, walking places just to see what the world looks like, petting my cats, and i've slowly started to write again.

all of these things have been on hold for a year, in a foggy kind of stasis. which makes perfect sense, but it's still a remarkable surprise to realize just how lovely the little things a person does every day are.

i don't even feel like it's all about to come crashing down, either. 26 may well be a good year.
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