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Showing posts from June, 2008

Weekend Highlights & Winner

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And speaking of surprising and unexpected, this weekend was surprisingly and unexpectedly spent sitting fairly still and ingesting copious amounts of drugs, as my shoulders went kablooey on Friday.It wasn't even because I did too much and then could sit here and alternate between laughing at myself and (hopefully) chanting 'it was worth it'.Nope, it was due to agreeing to let a resident, rather than my family doctor, practice on me.I believe in teaching the next generation of doctors, but in the future, any teaching that involves me is going to be purely verbal.However!The weekend was not without its highlights.For a long time, going to Toronto's Pride Parade was one of my annual rituals.Not only is it a celebration of something in which I believe – equality, tolerance and all that good stuff - it's the best party of the year and it looks like this year was no different.Haven't been able to join the fun for a while, but yet another great thing about living down…

One Contest & Another

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Have you ever seen The Cooler?It's a very good movie, with wonderful performances by William H. Macy and Maria Bello and a stunning performance by Alec Baldwin.It's about a guy (Macy) who is not just a bad gambler, but is so atrocious at it that it transcends merely bad luck and becomes part of his genetic makeup.Because he is so phenomenally unlucky, he has gotten himself into a heap of debt with a casino and to pay it off, the casino boss (Baldwin) hires him as "the cooler".This means that if a customer is having a lucky streak, our hapless hero gets dispatched to go stand next to the person, which immediately causes them to start losing.I'm kind of like that.I don't win things.To a really significant degree.My mother wins things, as does my sister and we've had great fun travelling to Las Vegas together, where both of them will win and I am relegated to hold the bucket for part of our winnings (it's like in Dirty Dancing, except instead of carrying…

A Walking Paper

Dear Ambulatory and Ablebodied Public At Large,Hi.Um… hello?Down here.No, not there, here in the wheelchair. Yeah, that’s it - hi there!Can I have your attention for a minute?Thanks much.As summer arrives in Toronto, so do the tourists and after a few weeks of navigating the meandering throngs, I’ve been reminded of something I’ve wanted to do for a while, namely offer a Walking Tutorial.And those members of the general public who permanently reside in our fair city (or any other city, come to think of it) and therefore might be inclined to smugly think this lesson/lecture/rant does not apply to them can sit right back down again, because the idea for this post first sprouted in my mind during the winter. When there are no tourists.So sit. Comfy?Let’s get started.If the door to a public building (store, office building, etc) you are approaching mysteriously opens, your instinct to assume that the gods have seen fit to remove all obstacles from your way and head straight for it is misg…

A Conversation with Richard Cohen

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My latest post for HealthCentral:

"Three weeks ago, I reviewed Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of Illness, A Chorus of Hope by Richard Cohen and I recently had the opportunity to speak to him about the book."

You can read the interview here.

Cloud Cover

I don’t like mushrooms.Never have.A more accurate statement might be that I loathe the wee bastards.Don’t like the taste, hate the texture, can’t stand the smell when they’re cooking. And yet, in the past 3 weeks or so, I’ve craved them. Craved.The vaguest mention of the word ‘mushroom’ captures my attention, pictures of them reclining on pizzas or splashing about in soup make my mouth water.Looking at them at the market makes everything within me yearn to eat my own weight in miscellaneous fungi.I haven’t, though, because I can’t stand 'em.I asked my naturopath about it, she said vitamin D deficiency and that totally makes sense.Because after the winter from hell, there was a brief and rather excessive interlude of summer with 40C and then the damn thing came back.Winter, that is.Or at least it feels like it.Because for the past couple of weeks, it’s been raining.And cold.And cloudy.Every day.There has been no sun for weeks and on top of no sun for months, it's apparently mor…

Was Here

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Wall & Bike Tires

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Remember my elbow? It still hasn't quite healed and is currently aggravated. Even better, my left elbow is thisclose to the same performance. I'm therefore sitting still, applying ice, taking many, many drugs and keeping away from the computer as much as possible (and twitching because of it). As a result, this week will be all about pictures while I attempt to heal. Words to follow next week.

Come Sit A Spell

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One of the best places to sit and read a good book in my neighborhood.And speaking of reading, a while ago, I got tagged by Barbara from Nova Scotia in the book challenge.I’ve been sitting on it for a while, because although I do read books, I only read audio books and it’s a bit difficult to find specific pages, paragraphs and sentences in an audio book.However, in a nice bit of synchronicity, I’m currently watching Brideshead Revisited for the first time since the early 80s – revisiting it, if you will and yes, that made me groan, too – and in the throes of cleaning up prior to moving next month, my mother found an old copy of the book, which I naturally purloined.It’s the 1952 Penguin edition, “not for sale in the USA”.It feels old, it smells old and I’m loving it.I’ll won't be able read it, but certain books are about having.As an aside, I never realized that the full title is Brideshead Revisited: the Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder.So the challenge is a…

Random June

To start us off in a properly reverential mood, click here for a collection of children's letters to god (found over at Willowtree's).Okay, so reverential is probably not the right word for these epistles.Adorable, funny and unbearably cute might be more apt.The other day, one of Mojo's whiskers in its preparation to leave her face turned upwards instead of down, giving her a sort of onesided handlebar mustache and it reminded me that I've been wondering for a while what happened to moustaches.I like moustaches - well, not so much the thick, bushy ones paired with muttonchops so popular in the 70s that made men's faces look at if they'd been invaded by a colony of giant, hairy caterpillars - but a neat, well-trimmed moustache adds a lot to a man's face, gives him a sort of thatched smile that I find very charming.Come to think of it, what happened to facial hair in general?It's bad enough with the chest waxing so popular among the younger generation (an…

Power Games

A late note: some of you are having problems viewing the blog in Internet Explorer, having to scroll down to see the post. After noodling around with HTML and invoking the Tech God, my best guess is that the problem should be fixed if you update to IE 7. If that doesn't help, let me know and I'll keep bashing away at it.

On Sunday, Toronto Hydro was doing something technical in my neighborhood which necessitated turning of the power for two 1-hour periods during the day.One early in the morning while I was sleeping (because I refuse to get up early on the weekends) and another one in the middle of the afternoon.I was actually looking forward to the afternoon session - no power means no computer which means lollygagging with a clear conscience.A little before two o'clock, I turned off the computer and a few minutes later, the power disappeared as promised.Faced with an entire hour of doing exactly what I wanted, it went something like this:I decide to watch a movie.Except …

Rainy Day Iris

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In the Weeds

I have a pretty small purse.It’s got room for a pen, a small notebook, my Epipen, the collapsible stick I use to push elevator buttons and a few other doodads.It’s got a wallet attached at the front for bills, coins and the plethora of cards handed out everywhere (why does every store need me to have a card?).Over time, other things get added – grocery lists, receipts, restaurant mints that go linty in the bottom, lottery tickets that I mean to check but somehow never do and the general detritus of life.At some point, someone will help me put it on a couch when I visit and upon hefting my deceptively small-looking purse, ask me if I’m carrying around bricks and in the same breath inquire why I don’t get a bigger purse.To which I always reply that no, no bricks and that I don’t get a bigger one because no matter how large or small your purse is, it gets filled up.Life’s a lot like that, too.In the past year, after starting Humira, I've gained in strength and stamina and as I've…

Strong at the Broken Places

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My June post is up at HealthCentral:

"'These are faces of illness in America. Do not look away.'
-Richard Cohen, Strong at the Broken PlacesMy first post on HealthCentral was a rant about a poorly-worded review of Strong at the Broken Places: Five Voices of Illness, a Chorus of Hope by Richard Cohen.Although I felt the review was patronizing, I wanted to read the book.And I'm glad I did."You can read the rest of the review here. And then go get it - Amazon, your local independent bookstore, the library, doesn't matter. Just get it. You won't be sorry.

Summer's Here

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A surefire sign of summer having arrived is John's birthday. Happy birthday, John!

Another sign is street festivals. One of great things about living downtown in the summer is the festivals that take over your community (not including Buskerfest. I hate when Buskerfest takes over my neighbourhood). This wekend marked the first of many - Toronto's Bike Month, in which all things related to bicycling was celebrated. How is this fun for me, you ask? Well, it so happens that one of the big evens was closed streets bike races (Toronto's first in 27 years) held in my neighbourhood. There was a kids' race, an amateur race and a community parade of regular people gathering en masse on bikes


Lots and lots of bikes


And yet another reason I love Canadians is that some bikers went rogue and took over the highway. Seriosuly. About 200 of 'em on the Gardiner and no one got hurt. Four did get arrested, though.

And then there was the pro race and holy crap, did they ever move…