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Showing posts from December, 2009

You Never Know

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"I can't do a New Year's post this year, it'll sound like I'm bragging."
This is what I said earlier this week, heavily influenced by that Danish-Canadian thing about not tooting your own horn overmuch (and perhaps a little by the fear that if I say something out loud, it'll jinx it).
At New Year's in 2005, I wrote about buying the ticket. In 2007, I wrote about how my life was smaller than it had ever been, yet I was genuinely happy. In 2008, I wrote about how by stepping around, you can find a new road to old joys, that limits can be transcended if you change your way of thinking. And it all comes out of getting my life back five years ago, about coming very close to losing everything and in the aftermath and healing finding happiness and joy in a place so unlike what I had previously imagined would be necessary for happiness and joy.
And then 2009 happened. As I mentioned in yesterday's post for MyRACentral, comparing my life today to what I could…

Looking Forward

It's time to reflect on MyRACentral:

"Have you decided what's wrong with you yet? After all, it's what making resolutions is all about, isn't it? To review your life, to find it wanting, to pick it apart and identify areas of dissatisfaction and is it any wonder so many of us get depressed around New Year's?"

You can read the rest here.

Random December

The Copenhagen climate talks are over and there’s an excellent Seussian take on them. And speaking of Denmark, meet you at the airport? While we're traveling, consider this fascinating Spanish case of murder in which reality is stranger than fiction. And then there is the story of a novel approach to recruitment in the Church. The word of 2009 has been announced and according to this article about gender differences in shopping, I am extremely in touch with my male side.
From Ken, I'm reminded of why I miss Calvin and Hobbes. Gaina sent me the techno chicken (warning: it's hard not to watch 27 times in a row), Karin (I'm blonding out on your URL Karin - leave it in the comments, please?) linked to a fascinating movie about the story of stuff and mor sent a link to footage from 1927 London that made me want to time travel.
And while we're (sort of) in London, Trevor forwarded a charming picture from King’s Cross station, a rather brilliant little movie called Present …

Tinkified Christmas

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As we walked down the street to my mother's, it was snowing. A quiet evening, crisp and cold, with gentle snow falling from the sky, leaving just enough of a covering on the ground to leave marks of shoes and tires. It was a movie Christmas moment, the kind of perfect that doesn't happen except in fiction. And then... it continued. Christmas is always somehow magic at my mother's but this year, it exceeded expectations. There was laughing and love and wonderful food and the kids were spectacularly well-behaved. And energetic.

As usual, Morgan's favourite was the cucumber salad and it was even more favourite because she and Michele fed it to each other (click to embiggen photos).


Michele was Tink Wrangler extraordinaire, teaching them the "criss-cross, applesauce" game, which they both took to with delight, testing it out on each other and the rest of us. Shiveries abounded.


And then she played horsie (gentle walking and out of control galloping). For a re…

A Family Christmas

27 years ago, my parents, my sister and I moved to Canada. Only for a year and then it became two, then four and then we somehow put down roots and had two countries we called home. And home this is, but for many years, it was especially at Christmas that we missed our other home, the Old Country, because it is at Christmas that our Danishness shows through in the different ways - some small, some bigger - we celebrate the season. And it is at Christmas especially that we miss the family we left behind, the holiday rituals where we'd all descend on somebody's house and celebrate with all of us together. It didn't matter who was hosting Christmas, it was all done more or less the same way every year - there was food (when my uncle Poul hosted, he'd get reindeer from Greenland and we'd eat Rudolph) and then there was the tree and singing and presents and the adults sitting around digesting, laughing and talking while the kids played with their presents. And there'…

Christmas Bokeh Gone Wild

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Up Against That Wall Again

It's no secret around these parts that I don't deal well with being reminded that I have a disability. Well, obviously I know I have one - the no walking is a huge clue - but I’ve managed to create a life where there's an acceptable ratio of the Cannot to the Can, the latter tending to be facilitated by people (attendants, specialized transportation) or technology (wheelchair, Dragon). It becomes seamless, just the way life is… normal. However, when one of those facilitators goes wonky, it very quickly becomes a matter of me coming smack up against the Cannot. With which I do not deal well.
And last weekend when my microphone died, the spiral started. First, I talked. A lot. And very fast. Turns out that the approximately 1500-2000 words I write in various places every day need to be released in some form, come hell or high water. So I did not exactly have conversations with others, rather, it more or less took the shape of extended monologues. The weekend progressed and no…

The Skinny on the New Comment Box

As you may have noticed, my comment box no longer looks like the comment box I used to have. Earlier this week, I got a notice from Haloscan (my comment provider) that it had been bought out by Echo and that users would gradually be moved over to the new system, for which I get to pay $9.95 a year. They told me I had two weeks to make up my mind and if I didn't want to use the new system, I would be able to back up all my comments and buh-bye. In other words, if I didn't sign up, I would lose all my comments on the blog. I could keep them on my hard drive, but that's not much use, is it now?
So, no-brainer, right? Only, I switched and discovered that I hate my new comment box. I wrote the support team and got the following information:
Display of link to your webpage. When someone wants to leave a comment, they have to sign in by indicating where they're from and there are a multitude of options (Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Only then will the link to your webpage …

The Year That Was: Knowledge & Community

This week on MyRACentral, I prove myself to not be immune to the trend of recapping the year:

"The end of 2009? Already? Are you sure? Wasn't it just July?

But no, all the signs are there. My windows are frozen shut after the first winter storm of the season, the supermarket is playing muzak-ified carols and the Christmas tree guys are here up on the corner. And as I go by, my senses fill with the scent of pine, creating a forest of green around me as a welcome counterpoint to the concrete of downtown."

The rest of the post is here.

Reason #617 I Love Living Downtown

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Sitting in my livingroom with The Boy on a lazy Saturday afternoon, talking about not much, I glanced out the window and saw this:



The best part? I have no idea why.


Mojo Update & Mercury Retrograde Comes Early

Thanks for all the lovely comments and thoughts for Mojo and me on Friday's post. Having this many people pulling for her seems to have obliged Her Royal Catness to do well and so far, so good. The colonoscopy was clear, the surgery went well and they were able to get the mass with 1cm margins with no apparent effect on bodily functions - a very cheerful Australian vet told me on Saturday that you only need half of your anus to be continent. Not just good news considering how much time the wee beastie spends on my bed, but also an absolutely fascinating piece of trivia, no? Mojo's staying until she doesn't need painkillers or major medical care and will hopefully be home in a few days. Pathology results later this week - continued crossing of appendages would be much appreciated.

As for the Mercury Retrograde thing... Thursday, my shoulders went ballistic, Friday, my microphone went to its reward after many years of dedicated service and the combination of the two means …

She Is Too Much Part of Me

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Mojo has a new thing. She comes up with new things all the time and I find it impossibly charming that even though she's been with me for 13 years, she still finds new things to do on a regular basis.For the longest time, she's had a ritual when I go to bed, coming up next to me and lying down while grabbing my left hand and then she lies there purring while we hold hands. When she's had enough, she'll wander off to the bottom of the bed where after her pre-sleep grooming session, she'll spread out across the foot of the bed, back legs up against my leg, tail decorously draped over my shin. Terribly adorable, except when I wake up at 6am lying diagonally because she has slowly and oh-so-sweetly pushed against my legs so she can have more room.
I'm just grateful she lets me borrow the bed every now and again.



This is still going on, but she's added a new element to the bonding session. As I lie down, she places herself by my right shoulder, purring expectantly…

Some Snow, A Rant & I Repeat Myself

I have a vague recollection of having had a wee rant about a similar event before, not just on the phone to friends or in person, but quite possibly in this space sometime last winter, but it bears repeating.
So we’ve had some snow coming and by the time you read this, it's arrived, made the morning commute a slushy mess and a few hours ago turned into rain. And also by the time you read this, we'll have spent the previous 2-3 days reading about the coming snow, watching the talking heads on CP24 talk to politicians and City staff about snow preparedness, to Canadian Tire employees regarding what you can do to make your car winter ready and extended discussion on what to include in a safety kit in the trunk of your car in case you get stuck in the masses of snow and have to spend several days in your car whilst trying not to gnaw off you arm from the hunger. The Star calls it Snowmageddon, The Weather Network has done regular Storm Watch segments since Monday morning and I star…

Having Plans

A couple of weeks ago, I watched a documentary called 65_RedRoses about a young woman with cystic fibrosis who was waiting for a double lung transplant. It's a nailbiter and you need Kleenex and in the end, when you see her on the Dragon boat team of people who've had transplants, paddling furiously, you are as happy as if she were a friend. It's the best argument for signing your donor card I've seen in a long time. At the end before the credits, there is some text, information telling us that Eva was living on own and planning to finish her university degree.
And what struck me about that was the plans. That instead of being static, of living through each day, of the disease being your life, now there are plans. The difference between living inward and living outward. The difference between constant struggle and laughing in the sun.
I've been frustrated lately, frustrated that I'm not where I want to be, that it's going to take me a long time to reach that …

International Day for People with Disabilities

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I got up before the crack of dawn to a rainy, blustery day and had built in some time before I left to allow for crying because it's just uncivilized to get up before the sun. I'm an Ahrtiste, dahlink and a night owl and it just wasn't pretty.The day started of promising. I'd booked Dignity - a sort of taxi - as I wasn't in the mood to rattle around on WheelTrans for hours and we went straight to Variety Village where I was meeting David who'd signed up for minion duties for the day. I got off the van and the driver told me it was going to be a certain amount. I mentioned that the office had said it was $10 less when I booked the ride and he got out the run sheet to prove it and…. showed it to David. Aside from the fact that the booking sheet showed that I was right, it was a moment of rather stunning stereotypical behaviour, so appropriate on this day. I was the one who booked the ride, I was the one in the van, I was the one paying the man and yet? David'…

Designing Woman with RA: An Interview with Louisa Summerfield

Last week, I spoke to a very interesting woman:

"Louisa Summerfield, 43, has turned what many see as adversity into an advantage. Diagnosed at age 9 with severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, she started using a wheelchair in her early teens. Not finding what she was looking for in comfortable, fashionable clothes, she founded WheelieChix-Chic in 2007, offering clothes and lingerie for women who use wheelchairs and for able-bodied women. Based in the UK, she has participated in Abilities Expo which took her to several cities in the U.S. as part of Chloe Magazine's Dare to Change the World Fashion Showcase. She returns with her Fall Collection in Abilities Expo's 2010 show."

You can read the rest here.

Oops... this wasn't supposed to go up until tomorrow. Blonde moment. Contest still open.


Christmas Caption Contest

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I just realized that there are 23 days left until The Big Day and am experiencing a slight panic attack. Assuming the rest of you are in the same boat - and if you talk about having been ready since August, I will cry - I decided it's time for a contest. Winner will receive an 8 x 10 photo of their choice from my Flickr account that they can use as a present for anyone on their list (including themselves).

The task: caption this photo of Mojo (taken this weekend where she spent a fair bit of time looking like this due to a problem in the business area of her nether regions - problem not resolved yet and so far, no diagnosis, either). Best caption wins. Contest closes Thursday at 6pm Toronto time, winner announced Friday, which should be enough time to get the print to you by Christmas.