Monday, October 31, 2005


Thirty-three years ago, about this time of year, my parents sat me down and told me that I’d be getting something in February or so and to guess what it’d be. Something that warranted sitting down in that atmosphere had to be really big. Huge. The fulfilment of all my 10-year-old dreams. “A bike?” I guessed, barely daring to hope (this was in pre-wheelchair days).

“No,” they said. “A little brother or sister.”

Whereas that was initially a bit of a disappointment – I’d been ready to move on from my wimpy little-girl bike for some time – it did turn out to be big. The biggest in my life, in fact.

The first time I met my sister, Janne, she was only hours old. Red-haired and a bit disgruntled at being made to do things (like joining the world, being gawked at, etc.), she was all long limbs and translucent skin. I was knocked arse over teakettle by a feeling I was too young to name. Later, I realized it was the fiercest love. Unreasonable, wholly unconditional, primal, it is a feeling I’ve always thought could only be repeated in my life if I ever had children of my own.

As my sister grew, everything changed and yet, some things stayed the same. Her hair grew blonder, but retained the red tinge, she still got disgruntled at being made to do things (but then, that’s very much a family trait) and the long limbs stayed with her, ensuring that I’d never be able to borrow her clothes. The love stayed, too, unmatched by any other feeling I’d ever had. Sure, we sometimes irritated the crap out of each other – you can’t be this close and not bump heads once in a while – but underneath it all, I’d still give up body parts for her.

Earlier this year, when Janne and John showed me the first video of The Tinks – as we call their twins Liam and Morgan – something happened. As I saw the little black dots the size of raisins come into view, I was rocked once again. That same, fierce love slammed into me and shows no sign of abating.

I would move mountains for them and yet, right now, all I can do is hope.

For those of you who read the comments from the belly post on the weekend, you know what Friday’s ‘Wishes’ post was about. For those of you who don’t, it was this: the Tinks are showing that the Andersen trait of being in a hurry to do everything is genetic and seem raring to get on with life. Janne is in the hospital on bed rest - already a good mother and not disgruntled one bit at being made to do this - and we’re all trying to tell the babies to be patient and wait a bit longer. Calm and happy vibes sent their way would be much appreciated.

And while you’re at it, I’ll also ask that some of those thoughts be sent to my friend John. While Janne is doing her best to nest serenely (I’ve taken to calling the unit she’s in The Chicken Coop), he's working full-time, taking care of house and (diabetic) cat, taking care of Janne – have you ever grown kids on hospital food? Can’t be done – and preparing their home for The Tinks. The man’s busy and can use some positive energy flying his way.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Bump Watch - 28 Weeks

Yes, I know it's another photo and words should return early next week, but have you SEEN THAT!?!! For the next one, we'll try to include the mother's head...

(photo by John/TinkPapa)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Further Embarassing Myself

By the mid-point of last week, I’d reached the stage of doing nothing where I was gripped by the endless sameness of my routine. Facing down years and years of eating breakfast the same way or doing this before doing that in exactly the same, soulsucking, mindnumbing way, I got a little deranged. I snapped. I met up with some friends at the Market and although my knee later made me pay for it, I didn’t care. It was worth it. Of course, it turned out there were other reasons why I should have stayed home…

It all started when I had a wee rant about how the adult section of my video store wasn’t accessible, kept in a room down a narrow hallway with no room for a wheelchair or scooter to make the turn.

I don’t know how I got there, but will claim as my defense that the conversation had already included a discussion on the correct method of killing/skinning rabbits, how brussel sprouts grow and a spontaneous (if somewhat offkey) rendition of the Fishhead Song. I cannot possibly be held responsible for what my mind came up with in that context.

Most of the porn I’ve seen…. Hang on. That makes me sound like some sort of porn connoisseur. Which I’m not. I’ve seen some – oh, c’mon! Don’t tell me you haven’t? Not even once? Urgh, this isn’t starting well… nevermind, there’s nothing for it. In for a penny, etc.

Anyway! Most of the porn I’ve seen tends to be devoid of plot, acting ability and usually profoundly unsexy, so really, I doubt I’d be making use of The Room, but it’s the principle of the thing, right?

My brain tends to get me into trouble. It operates too much on the ‘what if’ premise and naturally, this meant it took a wee stroll into the “what if I could get into The Room?”. What if the narrow hallway wasn’t there?

Step 1: ask clerk (likely pimply-faced, male youth) to open the door for me. At this point, most of my mind snapped into a protective fetal position, but unfortunately, the rest of the blasted thing moved too fast and completed the process with

Step 2: ask clerk to come with me into The Room to help me get movies off the higher shelves, if necessary; and

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 until I’ve found something that looks good.

By the end of this train of thought, I was not only rolled up like a hedgehog, but also gibbering in embarrassment.

It’s occurred to me that if I can’t even think it without losing my composure, I should probably not get on the barricades to fight for this particular form of access. Perhaps I should stick to posting pictures of my cat…

Friday, October 21, 2005


One of the things I love about cats is how they're cute, cuddly and domesticated one minute and the next, you become acutely aware that they're related to the big ones. Tiger on your couch, indeed.

This one's for one Robin, who told me about the concept of "posting the cat" and another Robin, who likes cat pictures anyway.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Accident Prone

My toilet’s got it in for me.

About four years ago, I got in a fight with it and received a hairline fracture in my left knee as my reward. My left leg is the strong one – the workhorse leg around here. It takes most of my weight in transfers and is a rest for the other leg most of the day. That month of healing was fun.

Towards the end of last week, the whiplash thing was slowly healing and I was easing back into the swing of things, when things got “interesting” on Friday afternoon. While transferring to the can from my chair, my underpants hooked a hard plastic doohickey on the footrest and effectively slingshot (slingshooted? slingshat?) it into my left knee with some degree of force (thwacking might be an appropriate term). Followed by cold sweats, seeing stars and an urgent desire to lie down. As there was going to be horizontalness regardless, and rather swiftly at that, deciding to lie down made me feel all in control of things. Keeling over is so undignified. Thankgodfully, there was no cracking sensation and other than some swelling, bruising and loudness from pain receptors, I’m fine. Ish.

(it could be argued that I am unfairly accusing my toilet of involvement, but I know its nefarious nature and suspect it’s not above engaging in recruitment to get the job done)

Later that evening, I pulled something weird in my right shoulder, which meant breathing hurt for a few days. Good thing it was on the right – I have an (over)active imagination and could easily have persuaded myself I was having a heart attack when it radiated into my arm and jaw. What would make this happen, you ask? Guess. C’mon…. take a wild guess. No, wilder. Are you ready for it? Meditating so I could help my knee heal!

These may be the most ridiculous injuries I’ve ever had. Feel free to laugh. I know I will at some point in the future. Ok, I’m laughing already, but it’s still sort of a dark and hollow laugh...

With the rest of me compensating for various older injuries and these new ones, sitting still isn’t enough to heal and prevent further nastiness. I need the big guns. I need to sit Very Still for at least a week. Reading, watching movies/TV and minimal computer use. Therefore, this will temporarily turn into a photoblog, with words to hopefully reappear in a week or so (knocking wood frantically).

Thursday, October 13, 2005


A friend of mine is in pain today.
A sister-friend has lost a sister-friend and there are no words, no acts, nothing that will make things better today.

For those who loved Nee-Nee, a full moon to howl at and seek comfort from.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Empire Falls

I watched the Emmys a couple of weeks ago and when I saw the nominations (and wins) for Empire Falls, I immediately put it on my Must-See List – how can you go wrong with 1) HBO; 2) Paul Newman; 3) Joanne Woodward; and 4) Ed Harris?

Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name by Richard Russo, adapted for the screen by the author, my expectations were high. And the higher they go, the farther they fall. I haven’t read the book (and after this experience, doubt I will), so I’ll base my opinion strictly on the miniseries.

It’s not very good.

It’s said that clichés become clichés because they are true. It is unfortunate that the clichés in this miniseries are so trite. The characters are a collection of hackneyed, small-town “types”, complete with two-dimensional backstories that stereotypically create such types.

Herewith a few examples:

Sad-sack nice-guy hero (Ed Harris is horribly miscast – he has too strong a presence to convincingly do passive and only connects in the last quarter of the movie, after our hero gets his head out of his arse)
His saintly dead mother
His rascal of a petty-criminal father
His ex-wife, shrill with disappointment
The ruthless rich matriarch, who controls the entire town (Joanne Woodward manages to transcend the stereotype and infuses her character with purpose and enough steel to build an ocean liner)
Her daughter who as a result of a childhood accident has been left “as crippled in mind and spirit, as she was of limb” (get out the barfbags)
Etc., etc., ad nauseam.

Interspersed with tortured river metaphors (the town of Empire Falls lies on a river, nudge-nudge), the movie is a series of interminable chapters, all of which we’ve seen a hundred times before - and often done with more elegance, not to mention speed; the bleedin’ thing is 195 minutes long. We see the inevitable progression towards the nice guys redeemed or victorious and the bad guys getting their comeuppance. The Evil Matriarch meets an especially unoriginal end, which had me snorting in disgust.

Had less impressively stellar forces been involved in this, I'd have been less disappointed, but I expect more from actors and writers this good. Save the rental fee.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bump Watch - 24 Weeks

It's actually 26 weeks now, but let's not get too picky here. Also starring Sebastian and Christina.

Any guesses on how much a turkey that size would weigh?

(oh, c'mon! You didn't expect me to not make a turkey joke? It is Thanksgiving, after all)

Friday, October 07, 2005

A Last Hurrah

Yesterday was the last day of summer. Check the date. I’m not kidding. It was 30C (86F), the sun was shining and I made the most of it, lounging in the park, baking my bones, while reading of bones in another context. It was odd – it felt like the middle of summer, yet the long shadows at noon spoke of fall:

This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada and I took it upon myself to thank the earth for a lovely time.

I said thank you for the honey locust that brought me peace

for summer berries in summer dessert

for cloudless skies, deeply blue, and for sun through beautiful leaves

and for end of summer feet

Monday, October 03, 2005


I followed Barbara’s suggestion that I pick up a good book while recuperating and… well, ran into some problems.

I had a few on the go already, but they were of the “thought and spiritual development required” kind – Man’s Search for Meaning, How To Practice – and that’s just too involved for the times when all your psychic energy is being re-routed to fixing your body. I’d just finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which would otherwise have been perfect. So I scrolled through the books on my iPod in the hopes of finding something suitably entertaining.

A while back, I bought The Fiery Cross and have been saving it for a special occasion, for when I needed to curl up with a really good yarn – the kind that feels like an old friend. I’ve read all the other books in the Outlander series and loved them madly. I’m a sucker for historical novels and if the author can throw in some blistering romance and Scotland, I’m there.

I don’t know if I’ve changed or the books have. I’m two hours into the book and – it pains me to say this – bored senseless. I keep hoping it’ll hook me so I can dive into the 18th century and visit with Claire and Jamie, but it’s not happening. The reader is great. Well, at least I feel she ought to be great. Clipped British accent, does a mean Scottish and Irish accent and convincingly reads the Gaelic text (although, I know no Gaelic and she could be mangling it for all I know). Yet somehow, I don’t like her. I feel as if Gabaldon phoned this one in and as for the narrator… she’s technically very good, but there’s no soul in her reading.

Time for the ultimate “in case of emergency break glass”. Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs. Always reliable - I was enjoying myself thoroughly within 10 minutes.