Menopause is a bitch. Just because I’m nonbinary doesn’t mean I’m not suffering from this shit. 

Unfortunately, I still have female parts and now they’ve stopped producing estrogen. For whatever reason, this causes me to be hotter than fire. Not only that, it looks like I have a bowling ball under my shirt. My belly is swollen into fatsville-grande. I’m moody and irritable most of the time, and did I mention I’m hot? So hot.

Being this hot is what causes me to be so irritable. Being this hot makes me hate my life sometimes. It’s not a regular hot either. It’s like a boiler room that radiates from within. A fucking crematorium furnace that begins in my brain and flows through my torso. It’s like nothing I can really properly describe. You have to be an over 50 female to understand. It just sucks.

When I was 34, I had a hysterectomy. (Fun!) They took everything except my ovaries. But I should have had them take those too. It would have pushed me into a young menopause then. I bet it wouldn’t have been as bad as this is now. I could have handled it better. I’m even on estrogen replacement, but obviously, I’m not taking enough of it.

I seem to be fine the first half of the day, but then come 5:00 PM, it’s all downhill. 

Anyway, blah! I’m done complaining about that for now.

Lately, I’ve been working on two of the desert aerial oil paintings and now I’m not sure how I feel about how they’re turning out. I’m going to keep going with them anyway. I may even start the big one–the 60 x 40-inch one despite my deep doubts.

The first little one, which is 16 x 20 inches, was the wrong color. I mean, it was probably the “right” color according to my reference picture, but it just didn’t look right to me. Not deserty-looking, and too mustard. I’m talking about the base color of the land itself.

I painted around all the little houses and the bigger, visible bushes, and it took a while. I didn’t want to repaint the whole thing, so I tinted it today with a tan-ish color mixed with Liquin. I had also painted the dirt roads too light, so that didn’t look right either. I tinted all that too so the contrast between the land and the roads were more subtle. Now it’s more subtle for sure. I just don’t know if I like it any better. It was almost kinda cute before I did this, even though dirt roads are not white. I live all around dirt roads and I’ll tell you they are the color of dirt. Not white.

Maybe, once I start dotting the thing with dark green bushes and umber weeds it will start to look better, but I don’t know. I took a quick picture of it and brought it into Photoshop. I tried dotting a little area of it with green and brown dots and it wasn’t singing the way I wanted it to. So I’m struggling.

I’ve also been laying out my whole solo show for next year. I thought I wouldn’t have enough work, but it turns out, I’ll have too many paintings. I had to change the layout several times on the gallery floor plan. My previous plans to show twenty-six paintings didn’t fit. So now it’s settled. There will be about twenty-one paintings, and all but three I have never shown before. That’s pretty exciting for me.

Now I have seven more pieces to complete. I feel I can easily do this. I just have to do all the oil paintings first so they have plenty of time to dry. There’s a 16 x 20-inch watercolor among these and I’ll do that last, but all the watercolors in the show (eight of them) must be framed. That’s time I have to account for as well.

I have eight months to do all this, and then I’m giving myself all of August to do the drawings and photographs for the installation piece. Whew!

Well, I was going to talk about how I’m going to be putting in my paperwork to legally change my name in 2022, but there’s really not much to tell other than that. I only have to file my papers at the courthouse and wait a couple of months, or more. I think it took Hannah about three months. Getting her Social Security card was a whole other ball of shitworms. I doubt I will have the same problems, as trans women are much more likely to be discriminated against than nonbinary people. It’s too bad she had to go through all that just because people are so incredibly ignorant and ill-willed. But that’s bureaucracy for ya. (Fun!) As fun as a hysterectomy.

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