Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Come Visit

This has been a hard post to write. It is my last post on Asteroidea Press.

I'm moving on, moving over.

My next post will be on my brand new blog - Radial Symmetry.

Soon enough, this will be the only post left on Asteroidea Press; I will leave it as a marker, a sign post, a grave stone.

It will be the only post unique to Asteroidea Press, as well. All the archives have already been shifted over.

This space was never actually meant to be a blog. I started it 3 years ago as a cheap way to have a website for my nascent micropress. But then I put up a post. And then another one. And somewhere along the way, I managed to publish only one chapbook, but almost 550 posts.

I've been really excited about the new website for a couple months now. Working with Steve, who is lovely and brilliant and very very helpful, to put it together has been occasionally challenging and very rewarding. But when faced with it, the transition, the last post here and the first post there?

Well, I've been quiet for a few days. I haven't known what to say.

I'm sad to leave this space. I've felt at home here. I've used it to work through a lot of ebullient chatter and a lot of flat-out grief. You've been patient with me through all of it. That has made my life richer in unexpected ways.

Thank you, and hope to see you over in the new digs.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Getting Serious

Tonight: I have turned down fun with Shelley, M-C and Mel; also turned down a very different kind of fun with Smokin' Hot Mae.

Tomorrow: I am going to do something I have never, ever, done before. Read the first draft of something that I have probably just finished that day. If you've ever seen me cringe when someone's said "I just finished this next piece a couple hours ago, it's maybe kind of bad, but I hope you like it" you'll know that it is out of character and not a little hypocritical to do what I'm about to do.

You might think tonight and tomorrow are unrelated.

I'm taking some work time to blog, which I rarely do, because as soon as I go home, it's business time. I'm sick of reading all the stuff I have to read. I'm at the point where I would rather read potential shite than the decent stuff on tap. Most people who will be there have probably seen me read a bunch and they're probably also sick of what's on tap.


There's a tofu burger in the fridge and leftover bibimbap waiting to be hotted up. I'm going home, turning on the computer, and writing, whatever the fuck comes out, until I can't keep my eyes open. And then I'm going to get up early and start again, and I am going to read something new, and I hope it won't be kind of bad.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Granny

I think that my Gran is dying.

Not in an "everyone is dying" kind of way, but in a "I don't think I'll make travel plans that don't involve going home" kind of way, because, as Shelley put it, cancelling a fun trip to go to a funeral is not going to make the funeral any easier.

I have no real reason to believe she's dying. Yes, she's almost 94; yes, she's in the hospital; yes, she had a serious stroke nearly 5 years ago that we were all surprised she survived.

But: she's been living quite well on her own up to now, and lots of people live to be in their late nineties; the infection that put her in the hospital is under control; under her soft exterior, she comes from farm people, who are a tough people.

So I'm left with the woo: a general feeling that she has had enough.

I've had this feeling for a long time though. Over the past year and a half, I've seen my grandmother turn from an incredibly gentle, soft-spoken, laughing woman, to one prone to fits of irritation and frustration.

She's started giving away more and more of her possessions.

Everything she owns, she knows who gave it to her. My last trip back, she gave me back the tiny pig sculptures I'd given her for Christmas in 1983. Both Amy and I also got a compact, complete with original cakey powder. She knew the back story for each one - who had given it to her, when, why. I don't know where I've put mine.

When I talked to her on the phone two days ago, we talked for just over two minutes. By the end of it, she was frantically tired: she mumbled "I have to go now" through still-broken teeth and exhaustion, hung up as I was saying "Bye, Gran, I love you."

I don't know what to think, exactly. I do love my grandmother, very much, though we had a blip about 8 years ago that severed an innocence in our relationship. We never spoke about it face-to-face.

She's a generous woman with a warm soul. My mother once said, "If you want to know the truth, you go to your Grandma C. If you want to feel better, you go to your Gran." It was the truth. I have heard about three unkind words out of my Gran's mouth.

So I hate to see her so much not like herself. Not the self I knew her as.

Maybe I'm wrong about this dying thing. Maybe she's not, or not immediately. Right now, not having seen her, only having heard her wheezy voice over the phone along with the stories of her hallucinations and severe lack of mobility, I feel it in my bones.

My bones are preparing me to grieve for a woman who has been the glue in our family for at least as long as I've been around. But maybe that's just the spring damp.

Monday, April 28, 2008

In My Sorts


My slot at the 160 Workshops went well. Really well. I can see where I did okay, and where I could have done better, both in terms of planning and presenting. But all in all, I'm satisfied I did a decent job. I didn't make a fool of myself, and no one got hurt.

I also attended Heal Thyself, a workshop on herbal remedies, where I met quite a few people interested in foraging. Foraging for food is something I've become a little obsessed with lately, and hopefully I'll get around to posting about why sometime.

The energy swirling around the place was just amazing. For those of you not yet lucky enough to know, the 160 Workshops are put on by the Yes People.

Who are these mysterious people, you ask? The Yes People are the people who say yes! to sharing their knowledge, who say yes! your knowledge is worth sharing too, who say yes! to opening their home and their kitchen and their warm warm hearts to friends, acquaintances and strangers.

And one of the Yes People is the Smokin' Hot Mae Callen, with whom I managed to steal a snuggle at the end of the day.

Before that though, before even my meltdown on Saturday, Andrea and her BH came over to take a gander at my apartment, and decided that they would really like to take it. Not that it's mine to give, of course, but what landlord wants to go looking for someone when a tenant he's really liked for 2.5 years hands him one on a silver platter? Not my landlord, it would seem.

That was another thing stressing me out that I didn't realize was stressing me out. I finally got up the nerve and called him to tell him that I'd be breaking my lease and moving out. Even though it's illegal and I knew I could get out of it, my lease runs yearly, ending September 30. I've always really liked my landlord, who is an efficient, kindly, paternal Frenchman with a wife about 20 years younger than he is.

I didn't want him to be mad at me. I didn't want to cause trouble.

But you can't waver on buying a house because someone you only speak to when there's water in the basement might be upset. And you can't carry a mortgage and rent for that reason either. So I dialed. He answered. Fuck.

"Mr. [Redacted]?"
"Oui? Megan?"
"Yes, it's Megan. How are you?"
"Oh, very well, thank you. Very well. And yourself?"
"Good, thanks. In fact. Umm. Well. I've bought a house."

My shoulders were up around my ears, and it wasn't until he responded that I realized I'd bitten my lip.

"Oh! You have! Oh my! Congratulations! You know, for young people, with a steady income, it is the smart thing to do. Many people, they cannot do it, maybe with their background, or some hardship, you know. But if it is possible, it is really the best idea. Such good news!"

And we talked details and everything was fine, and I felt just a little more tension drain out of my back.

In other home front news, I've started going through my books and cds to figure out what to sell, made plans to hang out with the Smokin' Hot Girl who's moving to Montreal on Wednesday, have almost finished the book I'm reviewing for the Venus Envy Newsletter, updated my financial spreadsheets and paid my April bills, I've had a good chat with Jennifer, a good long chat with Shelley. Now all I need to do is write a story and get caught up with the k,g,r,f, and I'll be sorted out completely.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Beyond the Zone

All that fakey-fake middle-class faux-enlightenment inspirational bumf (cf. Oprah, Lululemon, Starbucks) says that you should do one thing every day that scares you.*

I am a creature of habit. I rarely do things that scare me. Unless you consider ordering the special omelette at brunch a scary activity.

Unless you consider saying yes to too many things.

Here in Ottawa, spring has sprung. I haven't had a whole evening at home by myself since last Sunday, and won't until this Wednesday. An evening I will spend holed up writing a book review to send in just under the wire for Shelley.


I just went through the list of things that I need to do, people I want to see, commitments I've made, in the next week and I can actually feel the stress coalescing just under my sternum. My chest is feeling tight, my diaphragm has contracted up. It's like a slowly twirling ball of TV static, throwing sparks off down my nerves.

One of the things that is freaking me out is the workshop I signed myself up to give tomorrow. Giving a yoga workshop seemed like a good idea when I offered, but though I know yoga, and I know giving workshops, I've never put the two together and I'm pretty freaked out that it's going to go badly.

And did I mention the reading? On May 3rd? For which I don't have anything new written and my time to write is being slowly eaten up by other things I've said yes to and are really important to me to do? Yeah. That.

Also, and. That my grandmother is sick in the hospital? Apparently okay, but she broke her teeth when she was hallucinating during a fever on Friday? I'm going home on the 8th to visit.

And perhaps I said something about buying a house? Which is a good decision but a big decision and I think it's finally sinking in now that the busy running around schedule shifting part of it is done.

And also maybe did I say that I'm dating again even though I still sometimes cry when I think about Eric and how much I loved him and how fucking much it hurt when he told me he felt like he hadn't been a very good boyfriend and intimated that he couldn't do better, not right then, not for me? And that I'd picked the wrong person, again? When I was sure that I hadn't?

And one of these things is something that I'm going to fuck up, and something awful is going to happen. I'll look like a fool, someone will get hurt. Possibly badly. I'll drop the ball and that ball will have been made of glass and we'll all get sliced up.

Wow. Okay. You know, I just wrote myself into a complete gasping crying trembling panic attack.

If I say no to you in the next few days, my pounding heart is why.

Put that on a cup-sleeve and drink it.

*With apologies to Eleanor Roosevelt who said it first, but didn't think to slap it on a $50 yoga bag or $4 cup of coffee. Sucker.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bad Spellah

I cannot even describe to you how excited I am about the Queer Spelling Bee tonight. Even though I now know I am a terrible out loud speller.

When I saw the facebook note about the Bee, I emailed Don at the Shanghai right quick to get my name on the list.

Who wants to spell? I-D-O.
Who likes The Gay? T-H-A-T-S-M-E.
And China Doll said, let there be space.

Now, I am generally not a competitive person. I hate board games. I hate races. I especially hate team sports. When forced to compete, my response is generally "Okay, you win." Because I guess it's nice to win, but it's not worth the stress of worrying about winning.

What is it about spelling? Dunno. 'Cause I got my name on the list and thought "I am going to fucking clean this up. Oh, I'm being cocky. I am going KICK SOME WORDY ASS! Oh, the hubris. Victory! Before the fall, Butcher. It's mine! Oh dear."

So when I took my sex word thesauri over to the Smokin Hot Girl's house for her to help me bone up on my words,* I was shocked and dismayed when I got most of them wrong.

Not just a couple. Most. Like 90% of them. If I tried to rush the spelling, I'd inevitably forget something important. If I tried to go slow, the syllables would get all loopy in my head and I'd get bogged down, stuck in the middle of whatever dirty word I kept asking her to repeat.

It was a good lesson, and though I wasn't pleased that I was a bad out-loud speller,** I was mighty glad my bubble got burst in front of a lovely young lady and not a crowd of people expecting the librarian to rock the Queer Bee house.

Even though I am not likely to clean up tonight, I don't care, because I'm going to be in a room full of people who are either spelling or cheering on the people who are spelling. That's a lot of word love and that's alright by me.

Queer Spelling Bee
Shanghai Restaurant, 9 pm
$5, proceeds to the Village Initiative

*Yes, it was that hot.
**On paper, I rock. Spell check, pfft.

Thursday, April 24, 2008