An Open Letter to the Man Who Called Me A “Retard” Today

Dear Sir, whomever you may be,

I hope you feel good. I hope that you are sitting in satisfaction at never having made a mistake in your entire human life. I hope that you know that you must be perfect, that the gods shine love down upon you and bless you in ways they do not bless other mortals.

This must be the case. I can’t fathom any other reason you would feel it necessary to scream “Nice fucking parking job, retard. Next time stay in your own fucking lane!” at me for a parking job that, yes, while not perfect, wasn’t as bad as you describe.

I’m tired, you see. It exhausts me to leave the house. But I did so with some excitement today, heading to the post office to pick up what I hoped was my wedding dress (it was). I parked in the only spot available — one between a tiny red sports car (yours) and an empty handicap spot.

The parking lot of this particular post office, located in a Pharmasave, is kind of shitty. It’s rather hard to do a good parking job there, and to be honest I’m still getting used to my minivan. It doesn’t handle the way my old car used to and it’s much bigger. So I parked, and got out, and saw that it wasn’t the best parking job. My rear right tire was on the line, yes. But there was still plenty of room between my car and the little red sports car — perhaps not enough room for someone sized like my fiance, Mr. Katje, but then he wouldn’t be able to fit in a car that size anyway. So I felt safe assuming that whoever was driving that car had enough room to get into it. And I was so tired. So, so tired I didn’t get back into my car and spend several minutes reparking, trying to get it perfect.

Besides, I figured, I’d only be a few minutes inside picking up my dress and then I’d be gone. Probably before you even came back to your car.

Obviously I was wrong on that count. Dress in hand, allowing myself to feel happy today despite the crushing weight of depression an anxiety on me, I headed back to my car and saw the space beside me empty once again. I hope they didn’t have any trouble getting back into their car, I thought, and yes, I felt a little guilty for not fixing the parking. It was a mistake on my part.

I make lots of mistakes, being human. I guess you don’t have that trouble. You must not.

It wasn’t until I got back into my car and, sitting still with the door open, arranged my things on the seat next to me that I realized you hadn’t left at all. I guess you had circled in your little red sports car, waiting for me to come back so you could shout obscenities at me.

Don’t mistake my slack-jawed face as I stared at you for a lack of thought (though I’m sure you did, considering the slur you flung at me). I was simply in shock.

I get road rage. I do. I understand feeling that people in other cars are idiots. I understand rage over shitty parking.

I do not understand what would drive someone to lie in wait, hidden, just so they could scream at another human being and call them a “retard”.

I guess I don’t understand because I’m human, with human empathy, and you’re obviously so much higher above me, on your cloud of never making mistakes, not fettered by annoying things like caring about other people.

So, Mr. Red Sports Car, I hope that you felt better after calling me a retard. I hope that, if you have kids, they never get put into Special Education for having learning disabilities and spend their school years being called a retard not only by their fellow classmates but by their teachers as well. Trust me, that sucks. I know from personal experience.

I hope you had a better day than I did, as I got to drive home holding back tears and thinking that I was so worthless I should just go kill myself. I hope you didn’t have to feel terror that an angry stranger might follow you home and attack you for one mistake that you made — as I did, because I honestly never know what angry men will do to me. I hope you find joy in berating a stranger for one mistake that they made. I hope that ruining my day made yours a little better.

I hope you’re still able to leave the house for reasons other than necessity, because after today I don’t think I can even make it to the library to pick up that book I wanted to read. After today, it will take all my strength to go to work, and come home. I don’t know how I’ll complete any wedding-related errands this week, seeing as the first one was such a fiasco. I can’t even open the package my dress is in to look at it. I feel too awful. I feel sick to my stomach.

Mostly, I hope that red sports car does its job of bolstering your self-confidence, so that maybe you don’t also feel the need to scream obscenities at strangers to prop up your manhood.

And I hope that this letter reaches you, so you know exactly what kind of impact you had on this stranger’s day. You’ll know it’s about you when you see it — after all, you saw my face, which is all over this blog.

Cordially,

-Katje

PS: Comments are disabled for this post because I don’t have the spoons necessary to moderate them.

In which I yell into a microphone and shake like a leaf.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3VNWpTBj8k&w=560&h=315]

This is me at the VanSlam on Monday night. I haven’t watched the video and probably won’t. I have issues with watching myself on video and am not in the right headspace to do so today or maybe ever.

But, you know, if you wanted to see me perform “Blood Candle”…there you go.

Now, back to work, from which I am totally letting myself get distracted.

A good day for pluviophiles

Well, actually, even I find this weather kind of frightening. It is monsooning outside right now. As in, I’m pretty sure if I walked out of my building I’d drown.

Anyway, this means that WORD Vancouver is being moved indoors — so you can still come see us tomorrow but we’ll likely be inside.

Oh, right — we’ll be at WORD tomorrow. Not sure if I mentioned that. I probably didn’t, because I spent this week getting my FACE EATEN by the work I had to do in prep for WORD. Beeg [bada boom] publishing order had to be completed and then I had to finish editing Stranger Skies so I could get the ARC out to winners and people who helped me with the cover reveal.

(If I missed you in that email — please let me know. My brain is basically dead right now and I’m not even sure what my name is. Awesome McBitchpants? Something like that.)

Who is we? Kat and Wolff, obviously, and the Powell River Live Poets’ Guild and International Peace Poem and Youth Peace Poem Competition. We’re big on peace. And literacy.

Right now I am trying to give my brain a desperately needed break after going through editing hell over the past two days. Mainly by watching Angel and Buffy on Netflix. Don’t judge me. I never got to see them in the order they aired (I watched Angel before Buffy and marathon-ed both shows) so I’m re-watching them in order. I wish Netflix would make this a bit easier by allowing you to create playlists but it doesn’t. C’est la vie.

Also, yes, that annoying box at the top of each page on this blog will be there until October 4th. Sorry. Actually, not sorry, ignore that reflexive Canadianism.

And finally, in honor of Banned Books Week (which I totally missed thanks to work), here are my favourite three lines from the poem “Voice” by Kaimana Wolff (found in the witless poisoner).

This flesh is made of words:
light me and I will burn
like a brave, banned book

-Kat

Life without spoons is actually okay right now

Friday wiped me out.

Overall it was a good day. The positives outweighed the negatives. Or they didn’t, and I’m just in a place in my life where the positives have more of an effect on me than the negatives do. Friday was my first Zoloft day after a week without, because I’d run out of my first month of pills. That may have something to do with it.

But it wiped me out. I slept for twelve hours today. I got nothing done when I did wake up, because I was tired enough to go back to sleep. And I had weird dreams. The only one I really remember in any detail involved my boyfriend driving my car, which would never happen because it’s too small for him. The car was FULL of my stuff, which is basically still true because moving never ends, and we were on the highway and he was bitching about really needing to go to the bathroom. I finally convinced him to pull over so he could relieve himself by the side of the road, and while he did that, some weird dude came up to the car and started trying to open doors to steal my stuff. So I got out of the car and beat him to death with my cane.

And then I woke up and discovered I had to pee. Funny how our brains work.

On Friday, my car broke down, I slipped and fell, torquing my back out of alignment even more, and then twisted my ankle later on in the evening — it still hurts — and in general I was already feeling crappy physically and emotionally, because a). whoever designed the human body so that some humans will have terrible pain and cramps and bloating and general feeling-like-shit once a month or thereabouts and some humans will not is the DEVIL, and b). there will always be people on the internet who will piss me off and/or trigger me.

Nevertheless, I did have a pretty good day on Friday, despite all that. I saw the 200th show put on by Screaming Chickens Theatrical Society, which was a Taboo Revue — a night of burlesque. There were a few things in the show that really bugged me (a sideshow portion that involved something that’s probably really not good for other former cutters to watch, and one of the new dancers has a name that includes an anti-trans* slur that’s also been reclaimed by many trans* people — but I have no idea if he’s trans* or not, so there are some complicated emotions there for me), but overall I had a really good time. I got to wear my fancy gold dress, and some fancy gold makeup. Any day I can do that is a good day.

I also sold a book! I brought along a copy of Bellica on a whim, thinking I’d maybe show it to one of my burlesque friends. And Star Buxom, who is one of the most amazing burlesque performers I’ve ever seen and a really incredible person all around, bought it! The best part? I got to sign it using her back as a table. I feel like a big-time star author now.

Afterwards, Ogre took me out to dinner at Denny’s. This was probably the best part of the evening, because I got to build my own burger. That’s right — Denny’s now has a build your own burger option. I got to have two types of cheese, bacon, onions, lettuce, and sour cream on a burger. On potato bread. With no tomatoes or pickles. It was magically delicious. They even let me name it, and I told Ogre we have to name one of our kids after this magical, beautiful burger.

I called it Burger of Enrampagement.

I regret nothing.

Anyway.

Today I spent recouping spoons, and I’ll probably spend a good portion of tomorrow doing that too. My fall on Friday hurt me harder than I thought.

But I can’t help but be grateful. Because if the low-points of my life right now are as mild as all this, then you know what? Life is frigging fantastic. And it’s only going to get better.

I love where I live

image

This is the view of the sunrise from my balcony. With some creative help from Instagram. Let’s face it; the only way I can take really nice photos is with the help of Instahipster. I’m not ashamed of this. (Cue boyfriend saying “Damn hipsters, infecting my girlfriend!” in 3, 2, 1….)

The Saga of the Move: Part 4, or “The Pre/sequels We All Drank Enough to Forget”

(Parts One, Two, and Three.)

The worst of this move is over, thankfully. Moving out of a place is a lot harder than moving into. (Also I think there could be a sexual innuendo in that sentence, but I’m too tired to make it work. Feel free to give it a try in the comments.)

As soon as I got off the ferry I drove to Pirates and Fairies on Lake Sasamat. I arrived just as the sun was setting, which was around 8 p.m. I’d missed three meals out of eight of the weekend, as well as my big chance to actually make an announcement about selling my books. I ended up selling exactly zero copies of Bellica or glasstown, which did not help my already pretty sour mood. Missing half of an event I look forward to all year sucks lizard eggs.

I was very tired. So tired I spent most of my time sleeping, eating, and frakking (and not as much of that part as usual; that’s how tired I was). I didn’t even feel like dressing up, and that’s one of the parts I look forward to the most — running around in costume screaming “ARRRR I BE GLITTERTITS MCGEE! PREPARE TA BE BOARDED UNF UNF UNF.”

But, you know, it was good. It was a time away from the stress, as much as I can get away from something that follows me like a Time Beetle on my back. It was also lovely because my boyfriend is lovely, and madly in love with me. He saved bacon from Saturday morning for me in the cooler in his cabin. ALL DAY. And he saved me dinner, because he knows how much I love pulled pork. So when I arrived, I got to stuff my face with meaty goodness that symbolized his deep and abiding love for my crazy ass. That’s a pretty awesome thing to arrive to, especially when you’re an emotional eater. Eating food to symbolize love when that food actually does symbolize real love? Way cheaper than therapy.

Continue reading The Saga of the Move: Part 4, or “The Pre/sequels We All Drank Enough to Forget”

The Saga of the Move: Part 3, or “Return of the Clusterfuck”

(Read Part 1 and Part 2.)

The apartment in Coquitlam needed to be ready for me to move into. This meant there needed to be space for my stuff, first of all, and that my grandparents’ stuff needed to be moved out. That is, we needed to move out what we could of my grandparents’ stuff — part of the reason I had to get rid of my bed is that we couldn’t get rid of the two singles in their old bedroom (it’s like an episode of I Love Lucy every night, except instead of my husband in the second bed, it’s my mom — nothing says awkward more than being 26 and having to share a bedroom with your mom; luckily, she’s travelling a lot and spending a lot of time in her other house in Powell River. Also my boyfriend’s house is close to my new apartment and he has his own bedroom).

Something my mom had noticed a week and a half or so before the end of the month was that the washer was leaking. It was a stacking unit and it had been in the apartment since Oma had bought the place — 20 years ago. It was also a pretty good washing machine and dryer combo — it had never let us down before. So mom called a repair guy.

It was unfixable. The bottom had completely rusted through and we needed to get a completely new washer. And dryer, because a stacking unit is useless if one part is broken.

So mom went to the Brick, and ordered some new fancy HE (High Efficiency) machines for the place. They were separate, but you can stack them if you have a kit, and she also got a drawer to put underneath the washer into which I can put laundry detergent. This has the added benefit of making the washer and dryer tall, meaning I don’t have to bend as much. It’s not going to be as easy on short stuff mom, but then what kind of daughter would I be if I didn’t help my mom with household chores? (A shitty one, if you need the answer spelled out for you. If you’re an adult and living with your parents, you better fucking pull your own weight around the house.)

The Brick dudes arrived shortly thereafter with the washer and dryer, and of course mom had to be there for that. Except…oh, they didn’t have the stacking kit. So they put the washer on the drawer and left the dryer in the dining room until they could come back with the stacking kit and get it all set up. The next possible date they could arrive? Friday, September 7th.

Mom may have blacked out with rage, waking up with dried blood under her nails. I can neither confirm nor deny that.

Continue reading The Saga of the Move: Part 3, or “Return of the Clusterfuck”

The Saga of the Move: Part 2, or “The Stuff I Own Strikes Back”

(Read Part 1 here.)

We now had more problems than we’d started out the day with: not only did we no longer have the use of TG’s truck to get rid of some of the big stuff, including the mattress and box spring, but now we had to work on getting the truck to Courtenay Car Centre and getting it fixed.

We worked on the second problem first. Mom arranged for her and TG to wait by the truck for BCAA to tow it to the car place (this is two days later). She would then come down to Nanaimo to help me, as well as somehow cramming my massive mattress into the Pegasus (her Volvo station-wagon; mine is the Galactica — yes we’re giant nerds).

I was expecting mom to arrive at my place mid-afternoon, but she was several hours late. Apparently she and TG had waited in the blistering hot sun for BCAA for over two hours. They couldn’t call, because his phone was out of minutes, and she’d forgotten her phone at home. So finally she drove around in search of a phone she could use, and called BCAA again, asking where the hell they were, and it turns out the original request for a tow had gotten lost in the system. She arranged for them to tow without her presence, which for some reason hadn’t been possible before (yay silly company policies), and then came down to my place.

She’d instructed me to fold my mattress in half and tie it with rope. It’s all foam, so this was feasible…just not easy. She walked in to find me lying on top of it in an awkward position, shouting more bile and vitriol at the thing than I thought I had in me. She came and helped, and with our combined fattitude and lexicon of swear words we got it done.

Being fat can be incredibly useful when one is moving or packing a very full suitcase. I’m just saying.

Continue reading The Saga of the Move: Part 2, or “The Stuff I Own Strikes Back”

Lost in Coquitlamfield with a drunk GPS

I just got back from driving my mom to the airport. She’s headed for Nicaragua for a month on a business trip. Okay, so there’s some personal time in there too. It’s a month-long trip to Nicaragua; she’d be crazy not to.

I should say, mom drove to the airport, and I took her car back home. This is because time was of the essence while going there and she’s more used to Vancouver streets and so knew her way to the airport, whereas I’d be flailing and shouting “AH WHERE ARE WE” every five minutes.

I just moved to Coquitlam, and while I’ve been visiting my boyfriend in Delta for two years and driving while over here, it’s never been much more than “ferry to boyfriend’s, boyfriend’s to apartment in Coquitlam, Coquitlam to boyfriend’s, boyfriend’s to ferry, sometimes Coquitlam to ferry…”. The bulk of my driving experience remains in the past places I’ve lived since I was 15: Hawaii, Powell River, and Nanaimo. Oh, and the route from San Diego to Vancouver, BC, but let’s face it — so long as you avoid cities driving on the I-5 is pretty damn straightforward. (Mind you, I did drive in L.A. itself — that trip was when I was still learning to drive. But I digress.)

There are a lot of places in Vancouver and the GVRD that I know. Vaguely. If I end up there, I’ll say “OH, I know where we are!” and then a minute or two later be completely lost again. Or if you asked me about the Front St. and Begbie St. intersection in New West, I can picture it perfectly in my head. Or the Wise Hall on Adanac St. Or Granville Island and Fountain Way. Scott Road and Nordel Way. My friends’ house and driveway in Serial Killer-ville Cloverdale.  But ask me how to get from point A to point B? Hahahahahahah I don’t have a fucking clue.

Continue reading Lost in Coquitlamfield with a drunk GPS

The Saga of the Move: Part 1, or “A New Home”

Some of you may know that I moved recently. I talked about it a bit before my blogging, social media, and Youtube hiatus — not a planned hiatus, by the way, I just got so bogged down with the realities of moving and other work (like finishing the proofing of Bellica‘s third edition) that I literally had no time to write or video myself doing stupid shit.

All of my moves have been difficult, but this one seemed harder than most of them. Probably because it was just me and my mom doing most of the heavy lifting, and I have a spinal injury (that is now doing a lot worse than it was). Also because the place I was moving into was even smaller than my two-room basement suite that I’d resided in for one and half years, and I had to not only pack my belongings but, horror among horrors, sort and organize them so I could send half of my stuff to storage in Powell River (read: mom’s garage). I also had to get rid of stuff. My biggest problem was my double-sized foam mattress that I dearly loved.

I’m not really good at either of these things. Well, ok, I am good at organization, but it takes me a long time, and I didn’t have that time in August. So it was very stressful, trying to get it done SOOPER QUICK, as my timetable demanded. I was also trying to get out of my place a day early so I could make it to Pirates and Fairies on Lake Sasamat early on the first day (Friday, the 31st of August). Pirates and Fairies is an annual event that I’ve attended since 2010. It’s where I met my boyfriend, and his mom runs the whole weekend. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and I was planning on being a vendor and selling books there this year, so I needed to get there on time.

You can probably guess by my saying the above that I didn’t make it on time.

This move was a clusterfuck of clusterfucks. Each cluster of fucks was created out of smaller clusters of fucks, down and down and down until we got to hypothetical particle clusterfucks.

Continue reading The Saga of the Move: Part 1, or “A New Home”