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Showing posts from October, 2009

Random October

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Before we get to the silly, a brilliant piece found via Broadsides describing women’s experience when meeting men they don’t know: Schrödinger’s Rapist. Yes, it really is like that.

And on healthcare reform, Paul Hipp sings about international standings, a wonderful animated presentation of the reform argument in a nutshell (found on Nilchance) and Patti posted a link to Roger Ebert writing about extremism and the lunatic fringe.
And after that, we could all use a little silly, so here's the Trampoline Dog (found over at Gaina's), check out what's happened to automotive safety over the last 50 years or so and Carrie sent the video of the dancing baby which almost makes That Song (the name by which I refer to Beyonce's Single Ladies) tolerable. And then I found this article from Time mentioning how not only did the video when Best Song at Nickelodeon's Kids’ Choice Awards (and someone please restrain me from having a rant about kids choosing as best song this pile of…

Changing

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Blogs, Communities and Meeting Friends

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I'm reading Roadside Crosses, another Jeffery Deaver book, this one a spin-off of sorts from the Lincoln Rhyme novels. Our main character is Kathryn Dance, a kinesics expert who works for the California Bureau of Investigation and really, exactly what the book is about is irrelevant (except to say that when every time an emotion is mentioned, you back it up with kinesics, it’s not as fun as forensics). The Internet plays a part, specifically blogs and although Deaver tries to do his usual factual background thing, every now and again there's a not-so-subtle disdain leaking through. Aside from Dance never having heard of blogs - and what person who is even vaguely connected to the world these days hasn't? – the sense is that writing blogs is for weird people.Described – and I kid you not – as “excrementalists”.And I’m officially taking offense.
Sure, the internet has provided an astounding amount of erm… unusual people with a communication outlet that they didn’t have before…

A Rant Revisited

I subscribe to a number of HealthCentral writers and a couple of days ago, got the latest notification that Karen Lee Richards (who writes about fibromyalgia and chronic pain) had written another post. It turns out that it was an alert mentioning that Dr. Oz has a segment about fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome on today's show. The guest in this segment will be Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum who's written a number of books on chronic pain in fibromyalgia, lives with these conditions himself and is, as Karen describes it, is mentioned by Dr. Oz as the person "who first convinced him that these conditions are indeed very real."
And if you've been reading this blog for even a couple of months, you are now imagining me having a total apoplexy, complete with foaming at the mouth, fire shooting out of my eyes and an intense desire to throttle someone.
Isn't that nice? I'm so glad that Dr. Oz - whose expert credentials in addition to having a medical degree appears …

Spoons Are Not Just for Soup Anymore

My latest HC post is up:

"There I was at the computer, staring at my monitor, seeing a vast expanse of white space that needed to be filled with this post. This post about spoons. I stared at it on and off for six hours and nothing came to me -- well, nothing other than the overwhelming urge for a nap. Eventually, though, it occurred to me that trying to write about spoons when I was completely out of them was perhaps flirting with idiotic, so I turned off the computer and had a nap."

You can read the rest here.

Gathering

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The Ice Age Cometh

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Bitter.Resentful.I just want to cry.
These are words and phrases used in conversations with friends, acquaintances and total strangers when talking about Toronto's weather in the past couple weeks.
Because it's cold. Really, really cold. 470 degrees (at least) below average for this time of year. But why would October be any different? All year, it's been like this, most of the summer was like that and that's one of the things that makes it even harder to take. Because we had maybe four weeks of real Toronto summer, the kind where you gad about in light summer dresses, keep the fans going and bitch about the humidity. Except this year, nobody bitched, mostly because we spent May, June, July and the first half of August bitching about it not being warm. And in the third week of September the temps dipped again and by now, it's as cold as it normally is in November and we haven't had that week in October that we almost always have that feels like summer all over ag…

Happy-Go-Lucky

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I remember watching the Oscars last year and being really confused about the nomination for best actress for a movie called Happy-Go-Lucky that I'd never even heard of. Put it on my mental to-rent list, but very low down as the clip they showed during the Academy Awards looked kind of… well. Stupid? But when this past weekend found me in the video store - and I'm still wondering when the vernacular is going to change to DVD store - wandering among the aisles, not able to find anything I recognized or was in the mood for, I saw it and thought Mike Field Leigh, British, why not…
Happy-Go-Lucky is the story of Poppy, a primary school teacher somewhere in England (I'm a bit vague on the geographical details - the accent was familiar, but I was too busy focusing on other things too pinpoint it). It's not one of those stories where something big happens, instead a sort of snapshot of a couple of months in Poppy’s life.
Poppy is a happy woman, able to see the fun in most situat…

Bumblebee in Lavender

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Thanks Giving

It has ripples, this thing.This exhibit. This fulfilling of a dream I thought was just a dream, something to wish for, think about, but never realize.A dream, a fancy, not an achievable goal.And besides the mindboggle of holycrapIhaveanexhibit!, there’s something more, a deeper awe. Because as Dawn said when I told her about it, "just think of how much have changed in the last five years".
Five years ago, I was on the wrong side of the abyss, descending into one of the biggest flares I've ever had, losing function, losing myself, losing my life. Five years ago, the idea of manageable pain was a pipe dream and the life I have today unimaginable.
And then came the Biologics, first Enbrel and then Humira and they gave me my life back, both literally and figuratively. The change from who and where I was five years ago is so vast it's hard to comprehend.It's happened slowly, moment after moment, strength after strength coming back, building on what was there before, lik…

Fall Bokeh & Winners

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Inspired by Ree's (Pioneer Woman) latest call for... well, Fall bokeh.

Winners were selected by asking David - it seemed appropriate - to choose a number between 1 and 53 and then another one. Random enough, since I asked it late in the evening and he was blessedly oblivious of my evil plan. First number was 42 (because his geekiness matches mine) - congratulations Wren, you win the 2010 calendar! Second number was 36 - congratulations Cynthia - let me know what print you want. Email me your respective addresses at landers5ATgmailDOTcom and I'll get them to you as soon as possible.

Great Expectations

Not surprisingly, I've been thinking of dreams and how to make them a reality and I wrote some of those thoughts down for this week's HealthCentral post:

"Be kind to yourself, we say. Work within your limits, we say. Accommodate your illness. Don't push yourself too hard. Sometimes, it sounds as if now that you have rheumatoid arthritis, it comes first no matter what. If managing pain means doing less, does that mean you have to give up on your dreams?"

You can read the rest here.

Bonfire Planned, Bring Your Own Kindling

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--> And she's off on a rant again….

In Monday evening when I was vaguely skimming the paper, seeing what had happened during my four-day absence from anything not exhibit-related (I still giggle when placing em and an exhibit in the same sentence – bear with me for a bit longer, okay?), I came upon this article which tells the story of the Toronto Public School Board looking into a complaint about To Kill a Mockingbird. Apparently, some dimwit - and clearly I have no problems with broadcasting my particular bias early - wants it banned. This book has previously been pulled from the grade 10 English curriculum by the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board in response to the parents complained about the use of the n-word.
WTF???
If a book, as described in the article, "chronicles racial injustice in the American deep south" during a specific era, why on earth would you ban it because of the N-word? Is the n-word in this book not a vital component of chronicling racial injus…

You're All Invited

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An Exhibit of Photographs
From a Wheelchair Perspective

Yorkville Public Library
22 Yorkville Avenue (Yonge & Bloor)
October 5-31, 2009

This was supposed to happen in December, but on Wednesday night (September 30 and the reason I'm mentioning the date is coming up in a second) they called me and said renovations have been scheduled for December, so how would I feel about October instead?

More that a little panicked, actually.
Pulling this exhibit together in four days was a team effort and I would like to publicly shower appreciation on the following people (in alphabetical order):
Mor (whose first name is Birthe, so it is too alphabetical) for all the conversations we've had over the years about art - her paintings and my photos (and other people's art) - and for the conversations we've had over the past week about the particulars of the show.

David (a.k.a. DavidG) for saying "just tell me what you need," doing what I needed, thinking of several things that hadn…

Playing Nice

There I was, about a week ago, watching the words "yes, I know that's not nice, but neither was his narration" show up on my monitor. I was writing about narrators and audio books and what a difference it makes to have a good match between the material and the voice, using a particular example of a narration by Dennis Boutsikaris that was very much not to my taste, contrasting it with another reading of the same author by George Guidall and gushing unreservedly about the latter. But instead of saying that I wasn't fond of the work, I let loose with my renaming of Boutsikaris. When I wrote the line about it not being nice, I thought for a while, considered rephrasing and then I sacrificed being kind for being funny because I've been sitting on that particular messing with the man's last name for years and it's been making me giggle for about that long. It's snarky, but it's funny. So I decided to go with it.
And then George Guidall left a comment on…