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Showing posts from September, 2010

Random September

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It's still September. Marginally. But here it is, just under the wire and not a complete link-o-rama. Still being nice to my shoulder and what do you know, it may actually be working (shhhh! Don't anybody say that out loud, please).
My latest movie from Rogers Video Direct (Canadian version of Netflix) was The Love Trap. Made in 1929, it was the first movie to use sound, but oddly, only for the last 20 min., the rest of it was silent. Charming little movie that I enjoyed thoroughly and it made me realize how much is communicated without words. Sure, for the silent bits, there was a bit more gestures, but really, you got the gist of what was happening through watching body language, facial expressions, etc. It was actually a nice change. Quite restful.
Found this article on somebody's tweet - I click on links, they open in the tab, I don't have time to read for days, so I have no idea who originally tweeted this. It's about the restored painting of a naked dwarf from …

Not Getting It

I used to be involved in organizing disability awareness days, both in university and later on a larger scale, but these days, I have conflicted feelings about them. With the benefit of hindsight, it became possible to see that too often, such days are "Trot out the Cripples Day" and after it's all over, people/the organization go back to not worrying about accessibility until it's time to plan the next awareness day. When these days are used as merely one aspect of an accessibility strategy, days to celebrate accomplishments made in the past year, they work and can be a valuable way of making the public aware of what's going on. If they are held in isolation, essentially being the beginning and end of an accessibility strategy, they don't really do anything at all.
Simulation exercises are often part of awareness days and this is when the able-bodied get to spend some time in a wheelchair, using earplugs to simulate being hard of hearing, dark glasses to pret…

Freud Would've Had A Field Day

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Pass the Gravol

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Last week, when I made a few notes for a post about the new season of Survivor, the document was saved as “Same Old Thing, Yet Highly Entertaining.”For those of you who aren't interested in reality TV, stick around, because it will evolve into something entirely different. This season does look like it's going to be a treat - the tribes are divided into Younger Than 30 and Older Than 40 and both tribes have their share of nutbars. The older tribe also has somebody who actually has practiced lighting fire without flint. Hallelujah! I always wonder why the contestants don't relentlessly practice this the minute they submit their application. It's starting to bug me so much that even though I'm just a viewer, I'm thinking of learning how, just so I can feel even more superior.
Another thing that makes me - and likely every other fan out there - feel superior is the idiotic tendency in the last several seasons for contestants to start playing an individual game on D…

Telling It Like It Is: Pain Awareness and Rheumatoid Arthritis

September's National Pain Awareness Month in the US and I got on the barricades on MyRACentral...
"'Are you in pain right now?''Yes. I am always in pain.'
I was talking to someone about RA and when she asked me this question, I felt a strange inner shift. It took me a while - several hours, in fact - to realize what had happened. It had been relief. The relief of being honest about my pain. And it made me think."
The rest of the post is here.

Driving Rain

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Drugs and Bitterness

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It's been a bit of a summer. Not weatherwise - it was gorgeous - but in terms of my pain and injury levels. The right shoulder has been bitchy for months and when it finally started simmering down just a little bit after the steroid shot about a month ago, the left one took up the cause, apparently thinking that I’d feel lonely without a hefty dose of pain somewhere in my body (note to shoulders: no, I would not). And then the right shoulder felt left out and just around the shift from August to September freaked out completely, making it really difficult to get anything at all done. About a week ago, when both shoulders appear to have someone healed again, something happened to my back causing it to seize up.
Throughout all these various escapades, I threw drugs at the problem and did my best to learn to modify my activities (admittedly, this learning has improved more lately than in the beginning this summer) and because of my new focus on healing my body first, completing the to…

Glassware

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Blocked

I don't normally do this. I may hold forth about access and barriers to accessibility, but I don't normally take on specific individuals or businesses in my neighborhood (except for Buskerfest because they deserve it). However, one of the big grocery stores in my neighborhood has recently done their best to demonstrate that they don't want my business and I'm so outraged steam’s coming out my ears. And naturally, this means I shared with you.
There are three of the primary Ontario big chain grocery stores in my neighbourhood: Metro, Loblaw's and Sobey’s. Metro, previously Dominion, is closest to where I live, so it's where I do most of my shopping. In the past week, they have eliminated three checkout aisles, created a self checkout area and installed a gate right next to this area funneling people from the entrance into the store.
Yesterday around noon, I enter Metro, come upon the gate composed of two metal bars, one after the other, approximately 33 inches of…

Fall Migration

The monarchs left yesterday.
I’ve been trying to pretend it isn’t happening. The cold that came on the Labour Day weekend, temps dropping from hot to cool between Friday and Saturday and staying around can no longer be said to be an aberration, just a fresh interlude between heatwaves. My feet have been cool for days now (still no socks, though!), for the past 4 nights, I’ve woken up in the middle of the dark and need to snuggle under the comforter to get warm again and it’s been a good 10 days since any trace of sweat appeared. But David Phillips, head prognosticator of Environment Canada, had said fall would be warm, feel like summer, so I closed my eyes and pretended, waited for the warmth to come back.
And then the monarchs left, one after the other flying west past my windows in a day of migration and reality hit. Because no matter how warm it is in September, there’s a day where beautiful wisps of orange and black fly past my view, fluttering on the breeze, starting the unfathomab…

Ironies

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This was the plan: on Saturday, September 11, a small church in Florida (very ironically called the Dove World Outreach Center) would commemorate the tragedy of 9/11 by burning copies of the Qur'an. Despite this church only having 50 members, the issue took over the media, as such a hateful act naturally should, people from all over the world protested it, including many Americans. Because such a bonehead move will add fuel to the extremist fire, undoubtedly making someone declare jihad against American targets and when asked about the possible consequences and loss of life from this act, the pastor of this church - which on its website proclaim that "Islam is of the devil" - declared that "we do not feel responsible for that." Right. Dude, you do know that you are the Christian equivalent of an Islamic extremist, right?
Yesterday afternoon, the burning was canceled, the pastor claiming that an agreement had been reached with the builders of the “Ground Zero” m…

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Pregnancy & Parenthood

Not having wee ones of my own, I had no idea. I received information about a new book dealing with pregnancy when you have RA and it looked like something we should review for MyRACentral. I interviewed the author - a lovely woman named Suzie from Perth, Australia - and found out that there is next to no information about pregnancy and RA. Aside from "then you go off the meds, wait until they're out of your system and get pregnant." It was completely stunning to me and yet another reminder of how little information there is available on how to actually live with this disease. And I could start a nice rant about this - or to be more accurate, as I seem to have already built up a nice head of steam, I could continue ranting - but the point of today's post is provide a link to a short review of Arthritis, Pregnancy and the Path to Parenthood and my interview with its author. You can read it here.
Also, I'm featured in a special section on Joint & Bone Health in …

Epiphanies

It all started last Thursday morning as I was making my way to the grocery store after having kicked in 30 minutes on work. I'm making a mental list of what I'm going to do after I've been shopping, actually keeping it fairly reasonable, trying to take it easy on my shoulder. As I get close to the grocery store, said shoulder starts making its presence known - not screaming, just grumbling - and right there, on the sidewalk, I had a minor epiphany. An epiphanette, if you will. Namely that my shoulder should decide what I do, not my mind. It could be argued that I've claimed to learn this lesson a few times, but this one felt like practical learning.
I went home, shoulder felt okay and I decided to do two small things, easily done within half an hour so I didn't set the timer. The next time I looked up it was an hour and 15 min. later and my shoulder was as tight as a drum. At which time I engaged in several minutes’ worth of yelling at myself, which may have involve…

Words to Live By

My friend Dawn came by for our end-of-summer lunch with her daughter Lana and Lana’s friend Autumn, both about 8 years old. Overheard when they're meeting Lucy (who was ecstatic about the kids):
Autumn: cat tongues are so funny.Lana: I never wipe off kitty kisses.Autumn: you shouldn't wipe off any kisses.Lana: maybe puppy slurps, but not kitty kisses.
Words to live by.