I flew again with Corinna to Ireland, to visit our friend Alasdair who had been recently diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. This was my first trip ever to that country, and I feared my last time ever to see Alasdair. (SPOILER ALERT: Alasdair didn’t die. His immunotherapy treatments appear to be wildly successful and there’s a good chance that whatever kills him eventually won’t be cancer.)
I began production of my coolest merch item ever, Apocalypse Animated Lenticular Cards. These were very costly to print, so I crowdfunded some of the expense, this time through GiveSendGo because they supposedly don’t cancel artists. It’s a Christian platform so I did get a call from them later offering to pray for me and my project. As long as the so-called secular world is high on canceling, I’ll take any prayers I can get.
I returned to IndieGoGo with a campaign for Compliance Comix, which is just Agents of HAG (which they canceled) minus the words and pictures. Much to my surprise they didn’t cancel this campaign, so I actually printed them.
I embarked on the GENDER WARS Playing Cards. Once I committed to this project, the drawings just flew out of me. Meanwhile I made travel arrangements for events in New York City, Scotland, and Ireland. I may have been cancelled in January, but things were looking up.
On March 21 I came down with Covid. “Good timing,” I thought, “I have more than a month for this to pass before my travel starts. Better now than later!”
I then proceeded to have fevers over 103°F and was pretty much confined to bed for 4+ weeks.
Every day, I thought, this might be the day I start to feel better. Every day I continued to be very sick. I could walk from my bed to the bathroom and back. Occasionally I could walk to the kitchen. One time I tried to empty the dishwasher but it made my heart race. I occasionally tried walking, and struggled to the end of my driveway and back. I’ve been very sick before, but Covid was something else. It just pinned me down and didn’t let up.
On good days I could sit at my drawing table and work on the remaining GENDER WARS cards, which I was keen to finish. Somehow, I did.
On May 2nd I left my house for the first time since getting sick, to attend a party. I was back to bed the next day. The following day I rode my bike. May was mostly one day semi-normal, one day back in bed. Eventually I returned to almost normal, except for my resting body temperature, which stayed a full 1.5°F higher than it was before. My GP was utterly incurious about it.
I finally made a proper e-store for the Apocalypse Animated and GENDER WARS cards and other merch. Long overdue!
My Mom began preparations for moving from the house we’d shared for 7 years, to an “Independent Living” apartment at the local Geezer Place. After a very brief search for a housemate, my friend J was eager to move in in August.
I rode my bikes frequently and gently. I avoided overexertion, as that can cause the dreaded Long Covid. My rides got longer as I got healthier, and finally I rode my first Imperial Century of the year, 100 miles. It felt great.
I returned to my usual summer occupation, long bike rides and recovery. Corinna and I flew to Denver for the ICONS summit July 21-22, one of the best conferences I ever attended. I was really inspired and encouraged by the badass female athletes and their supporters.
My sister and her husband visited Urbana to help my Mom move. My supposed future housemate J backed out of moving in at the last minute, leaving me with a bunch of problems and significantly less trust in other people. My Mom moved successfully and her new apartment is so nice I’d love to live there myself, but I can’t afford it.
I had some minor digestive health issues, not really unusual.
I got to test ride a fancy AZUB trike with battery assist!
I filed a complaint with the City of Urbana against local store the Art Coop, which had displayed a prominent “NO TERFS” sign for years.
I finally furnished my Mom’s former side of the house, which had been eerily empty since her departure. I hung my handmade art quilts around the space and suddenly it became pleasant and beautiful.
I had my first AirBnB guests in the Quilt Suite. I rather enjoy being an occasional innkeeper. If you’d like to stay here please email me directly for a better rate:
I tried some elimination diets in hopes of discovering what was causing my digestive troubles. I ate no wheat for a couple weeks. I avoided dairy. I avoided chocolate. I could not find the culprit before I flew to Houston, TX to marry MK Fain and Alex Gleason. I’m seldom even invited to weddings, due to my bad attitude and unromantic nature, but these two wanted me to officiate their ceremony! It was a pleasure and an honor.
Then I flew to Denver and hung out with my friend Lisa, who made this amusing little short about Menopausal Woman.
Still in Denver, I attended the Genspect conference shortly thereafter. It was fun, intense, and socially overstimulating, but worth it to see all these people I knew from online in 3-D/360°. I flew home after 11 days of travel.
After Genspect, I got canceled again.
Also after Genspect, the so-called Gender Critical movement blew apart, due to what’s now called AGPgate. I had planned on making a 2024 edition of GENDER WARS cards, but the illiberal behavior of my former compatriots put me off. I’m still not sure if I’ll make that deck or not. Regardless, I have other things to occupy my time and attention, because I finally visited a doctor to discuss my not-resolving digestive issues.
“Your symptoms could be colon cancer. I’m not saying you HAVE colon cancer. But you’ll have to get a colonoscopy.” So I was referred to a GI specialist, which usually takes months, but there was a cancelation so it only took days. I had my blood tested and my poop tested and a colonoscopy was scheduled, which would have taken months but — miracle! — there was a cancelation so that too only took days. I was soon diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and have been on the rollercoaster of “acceptance” ever since. A follow-up with another specialist determined my case is moderate-to-severe, its only redeeming quality that it’s of such recent onset I may escape bad scarring if treatment (monthly hospital-administered infusions of a “biologic” drug called Skyrizi) puts it in remission. My infusions still aren’t scheduled because we’re waiting for “prior authorization” from my insurance. Meanwhile I’m on a low-fiber diet, which as a formerly-healthy vegetarian is bizarre. My attention is consumed reading Crohn’s disease forums, trying to guess what foods might ruin my guts, and getting to know my new masticating juicer that arrived a few days ago (so far, so good). I’m pretty confident my Crohn’s was triggered by Covid, as that is a Thing; I call it Covid Reactive Autoimmune Pathology, or CRAP. It might explain why my temperature has been elevated since my Covid Spring.
On the bright side, I’m receiving lots of love and support, for which I feel much gratitude.
I neither regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. As we stumble into 2024, I feel mostly curiosity. Whatever happens in the next 12 months, one thing is for certain: more will be revealed!