Showing posts from 2006


Twelve years ago, I went with Janne to pick up her new baby, a tiny tabby kitten. The kitten was named Jag and grew into a gorgeous cat, with long striped fur and sooty back legs. Jag has been my sister's faithful companion through the past 12 years, a constant presence when life upended and changed, at her side through it all. Jag was always Janne's cat and then he met John, who set out to win him over. And did so with charm, playtime and treats and in the end, Jag was Janne and John's cat. My sister’s first baby has been sick for a long time and was cared for with love and devotion, until the most loving act was to end his suffering. This morning, Jaggy was given peace. We will miss him. (photo by a JagParent)

A Tink Christmas

It appears that after merely a few days of puttering about doiung whatever I wanted has resulted in me going feral, as Stephanie calls it. It occurred to me this morning that it was Thursday - don't laugh; awareness of what day it is was a huge step towards civilization - and that I have a blog that might be in need of updating, what with regular posting being sort of the point with a blog. However, said burgeoning glimmer of a possible return to real life is not yet large enough to actually... y’know, write something. Instead, I present the Tinks at Christmas (click on pictures for larger version). Liam is developing his flirting skills, while Morgan channelled her inner hamster. It was nice to see my mother's floor strewn with toys and playing children (the one in the middle is Ken ). When I say that Janne and John wrangle the twins, I wasn't kidding. Tissue paper was a big hit. Morgan made confetti (lots and lots of very tiny confetti) and Liam liked waving it about

Glædelig Jul!



Every December, I'm reminded more so than usual of my roots. We may celebrate the same holiday on both sides of the pond, but we do so in very different ways and several times each December, someone will ask me to tell them about Christmas in Denmark. And so, I tell stories of waking up in the early morning as a child, during a time of year where it is dark about 18 hours a day - a kind of darkness unparalleled by anything I've experienced in Canada. I tell stories of eating my cornflakes while the advent candle burns down another day, of watching the Christmas calendar on Danish TV - every year, they make a different one and it's such a big deal that the entire country grinds to a halt at 6:30 p.m. to watch it. There are Danish Christmas lunches, with endless smorgasbords and equally endless supply of alcoholic beverages - they last hours and effectively shut down workplaces for the remainder of the day. We make Christmas ornaments - braided hearts, garlands and other



A Whole New World

When I did my undergraduate degree, I had a bit of a reputation for being radical (so I discovered later). There were a bunch of political stickers on the back of my wheelchair and I possessed some fairly left-leaning opinions (I know – big surprise). The radical bit surprised me - when I lived in Denmark, I wasn't very ‘political’. Which means, I had opinionated stickers on the back of my chair, impassioned debates and even attended a demonstration or two. I remember one of them very fondly - it was an evening demonstration, early in December. The snow was falling and we marched through the dark streets of Copenhagen carrying torches - it was beautiful. (And for the smartasses among you, no. there were no pitchforks and no, we didn't burn the monster) But in comparison to many of my peers, that wasn’t very politically active. Later, in Canada, I was always somewhat involved in 'the disability thing'. It was a subject of interest - not the only subject

Random December

What is it with the spam these days? In the past couple of months, I have received more spam than I have in my entire computing career (and I started in 1991). I am inundated, everyday receiving at least 50 spam messages and I was getting worried that I might miss actual real e-mail in the frenzy of hitting the 'delete' key. Then I updated my darling Internet security program ( TrendMicro’s PC-cillin, easily the best and most unobtrusive antivirus/anti-spyware program I've ever used) and am madly in love. The wonderful and talented people at TrendMicro have added an antispam function, which installed itself in my Outlook Express and takes care of 95% of the spam I get. Woo-hoo! I saw a clip from a talking heads program discussing the movie Happy Feet . The 'journalist' - and I use the term loosely - asked her guest if it wasn't clear that, what with the message about being accepted and happy with you who you are (hardly ever seen in kids movies, y’

How Sweet It Is

I never liked sweets much. Let me rephrase that, as it sounds as if I didn’t like candy. As a child (and still), I did/do like candy, but not the sweet kind. I went for the sour, the salty, the licorice that rips off the top layer of skin in your mouth (yum) and growing up in Denmark, I was lucky because there are an awful lot of those kinds of candy. It works for fruit, too - I love oranges, clementines, have been known to actually eat pieces of lemons for the fun of it (not often here in northern climes, but my first California lemon was an almost religious experience) and things like papaya, mango and ripe bananas are... Well, you don't want to see the face I make. In terms of chocolate - I adore dark chocolate, the darker the better, but back in the old country, even milk chocolate was pretty darn good. Moving to Canada was a shock for the taste buds. There are many wonderful things about North America, but dear god(s) in heaven, you people can't make chocol

Waiting for an Ornament


Movie Memory Lane

I like watching movies more than once. Mind you, not all movies are worthy of repeatedly spending a few hours in their company, but there are some that I usually end up buying and watching once a year or so. While 'on vacation' at mor's, we watched a couple of older favorites that both sent me wandering down memory lane. The Hunt for Red October . What's not to like? It's got a young, very hot Alec Baldwin and an even hotter Sean Connery (what is it with that man? Every woman I know, regardless of age, would happily... erm... 'spend an evening in his company') and a nailbiter of a plot that gets me every single time. After watching this movie more times that I can remember, I know exactly what's going to happen, can even quote certain lines of dialogue, yet it keeps me on the edge of my seat, happily worrying about the outcome until the end. The first time I saw this movie was on a first date with a man I was quite infatuated with -

December Moon


In Mulder's Footsteps

I have a theory. I'm not sure if it actually qualifies as a conspiracy theory worthy of investigation by the X-Files, but let's pretend, shall we? This particular theory requires an excursion into both politics and religion and I gotta admit, there’s part of me that’s a little nervous about that, as these topics can make for some irate flaming in the comment box, but we’re all civilized creatures here, right? So, with no further ado (or trepidation), here goes. In September, when his recent trip to Turkey had already been planned, Pope Benedict XVI made a speech at a university somewhere in Germany in which he quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor by the name of Manuel II Paleologus as saying "[s]how me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached". Naturally, many Muslims found this offensive, as did many non-Muslims - myself among them. I live in

The Tinks Are 1!

Today, my lovies have their first birthday. Who'd have thunk that a year could go so fast? And that it could feel as if they're brand new and have always been here at the same time? Remember the start of the Tink Freaks club? Now those little beauties are healthy, happy and highly mobile. Happy birthday, kidlings! (photos by a TinkParent)

Public Service Announcement

Once, a long time ago – I was about 12 years old - someone asked me what arthritis pain felt like. After great deal of thought, the best I could come up with was said it felt like being inside a ball of used cotton, greasy and gray and containing a great deal of slightly dulled glass splinters. Later, I came up with a number of other types of arthritis pain, but most of the time, that's what it felt like to me. However, there is one good thing about arthritis pain: if you sit still and take medication, chances are you can get it turned down. Four years ago, I developed fibromyalgia. And it's a sonofabitch., requiring completely different and opposite coping mechanisms to deal with the pain. Sitting still will make you feel as if Medusa’s glared at you and are slowly turning to stone. Very painful stone that does not respond well, sometimes at all, to painkillers. It's got something to do with your pain receptors going wiggy and instead of being '

Old Wall

(I sense a theme developing)

Things I Have Learned While Away

I’M BACK! Well, I’ve learned the hard way to not get too definite about these things, but I moved my stuff home Wednesday evening and so far, so good. Guess who else is back? Madame Mojo, no longer Of The Sore Butt, but very recently nicknamed Stubblebum, as the nasty vet people shaved that area prior to surgery. The "nasty" vet people also took incredibly good care of her through surgery, her 10th birthday and a much longer-than-expected stay. Everybody at The Animal Clinic are awesome. It was interesting to see her emerge repeatedly from the safety of the bedroom closet in ever-increasing circles, as she made her mark on the apartment again. She's been gradually re-discovering her old habits since yesterday and, aside from a massive case of mommy-itis (we've got to catch up on 5 weeks of cuddling), is almost back to normal. Here, the Stubblebum has semi-retreated to the closet after she tired of being chased around by a demented idiot waving a camera, attem


I’ve been thinking lately about the messages of worth we receive. From the media, from others. I’ve been thinking about focusing on problems, something that our North American society is wont to do. Talk shows everywhere delve into problems, papers and magazines poke at the wounds and I’m starting to wonder how healthy it is. Which is a fine thing to say for someone with a Master’s degree in social work – kind of ironic, don’t you think? It’s not that I don’t think problems often get better with talking about them, I do and not just because of my professional indoctrination. My point today (and to borrow a line from Ellen Degeneres, I do have one) is not so much a rant about the picking at scabs, but thoughts about the quest for perfection behind the prodding and digging. Because, unless you’re talking serious issues, that’s what’s hidden behind the unceasing focus on what’s wrong, isn’t it? That somehow, if you’re not the best that you can be – physically, emotionally – then yo

Still Life with Frames


Random November

In a fit of efficiency, I organized today's post yesterday and promptly clicked the wrong button, inadvertently posting for about 50 seconds. If you were wondering what Teresa (link added belatedly due to rampant idiocy from yours truly) was talking about in the comment box on the last post, that was it. My "efficient" blog management. Anyway! This month's random is going to be a quick one - I'm still only home for a few hours a day (for reasons which shall remain unnamed, as we are all sick of the topic), although am planning to gradually move back over the next few days, fumes be damned (ok, I mentioned it). I need my life back. Dancing With the Stars is over. Sniff. I'm really going to miss this show - it's astounding how happy watching it makes me. And it made me really happy to see Emmit win – what a charmer! I need to ask the American contingent among you something. Remembrance Day has just passed - Veterans' Day in the states - a

Moonrise Over the Don Valley



The problem with the paint fumes – are you as sick of this topic as I am? – is that I live right next to the stairwell. Management was awesome and decided to use low-VOC/low-odour paint for the hallways in the building, but the stairwells have so much traffic they needed what I call “the nasty stuff”. The fumes linger. And linger. And then linger some more. It’s been a week and they’re still creating some interesting symptoms. I lose my voice. Start croaking like a frog, cawing like a raven, in general sounding utterly unintelligible. After this has been entertaining the multitudes for a few hours, the constriction in my throat progresses, the pain in my vocal cords start and then my lungs start protesting about the giant’s hand gripping (and squeezing) my chest. This is usually the point where I skedaddle. So I talked to my doctor while I was there for the Enbrel shot, anyway. About moving back home, the fumes be damned and what that sort of strain could do to one




I'm home! Well, not exactly. I'm home for a couple of hours, to check out the status of the fumes (and to get some work done) and thought it about time that I start posting again, at least sporadically. Given that I've been on vacation for quite some time now, today's post is nattering about books I've disappeared into lately. Just general impressions, nothing too well thought out - today, I have time for either thinking or posting and the latter feels like I’ve accomplished more. Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur . I had my eyes on this one for awhile - werewolves! Vampires! Hot sex! What's not to like? For some odd reason, Audible wanted two credits for it and I am pretty cheap with my credits, only spending them on books I really want and never two on one book (the waste!). Luckily, my birthday rolled around and my mother was kind enough to get it for me. It was alright fluff. The concept was pretty nifty and yes, there was a lot of sex -

Hello, I Must Be Going

I had big plans. I was moving back into my apartment yesterday. The paint fumes would be gone by then, right? Wrong. After an hour and a half, my voice had disappeared and my throat was going towards shut down, so I skedaddled. Back briefly today to check out the lay of the land, but it's still fairly thick around here and I doubt I'll be back until Thursday/Friday (hopefully - please keep your fingers crossed for me. Dunno if that'll help dissipate the fumes, but you never know). In the meantime, a wee picture to keep you amused. Some time ago, I wrote about one of my favourite moments and last week, when I was rooting around my computer looking for a file, I found another photo from that day. I'd forgotten just what it meant when I said that an adult tiger is really, really big... (photo by mor)

Selling Out

The main drawback to being a so-called starving artist is, well... The starving bit. Nobody makes a lot of money quickly by writing (especially when just starting out) and being perpetually short of cash is starting to get on my nerves. So I’m considering alternative ways of generating revenue. I've rather quickly come up against the wall of my disability, which prevents me from the traditional methods - cleaning houses, bartending, dog walking, selling my body for medical experiments (besides, it’s already the product of medical experiments) and have yet to find a way to charge for organizing people’s lives . Instead, I have my words and my voice. So I started thinking of ways to generate extra income. Some options on the list of considerations include: Winning the lottery . Yeah, right. Next! Marrying an elderly, frail billionaire . All things considered, this seems a decent option and should his children decide to contest the will, I'll let myself be bo




I got a taste for it now. A taste for living with no obligations and responsibilities. No work, no phone calls, e-mail, no news (except for Jon Stewart ), no plans to make, no dinner to cook or shop for, no arranging my life to fit within scheduled visits of attendants every 3-4 hours. No committees, no meetings, no planning 17 steps ahead, considering all permutations and scenarios possible. No constant thinking, no always being available, no being 'on’ all day. Six days of sleeping, eating yummy food, reading, watching excellent TV/movies, with only the responsibility of managing my pain (not bad, as I was no longer doing much), providing input regarding dinner choices and being a relatively amusing guest had managed to slow me down from multitasking madly at 120 km/hr to doing one thing at the time, thinking about one thing at a time and, to be honest, not really thinking all that much. I gained some weight (yay!), stopped twitching, stopped worrying. It was wonde

What I Did on My Autumn Vacation

Last Monday, it all started with a very unhappy Mojo trapped in a teeny little box (and boy, does she hate to be confined) on her way to the vet. She's doing well - still at the vet's, as I will have to leave again, but hopefully not until later this week. I've taken to calling the wee beastie Madame Mojo of the Sore Butt, as she's had her anal glands removed in an attempt to salve my finances and her physical and emotional wellbeing. I then invaded my mother's place, as she had kindly permitted me to stay there for the duration (the poor woman thought it was only for 3 days). We spent the first three nights sleeping in the condo's guestroom (then I moved to the pull-out couch, or Hammock, as I started calling it) which was quite nice. I especially liked the rain hitting the AC unit - it felt like sleeping in the Norah Jones song, somewhere tropical, under a tinroof. We spent the days in my mother's apartment, having a blast. I haven't had a vacation

And Now for Something Completely Different

I am going to be away for this week. Ish. Maybe less, maybe more. The interior of my building is being painted and as paint fumes cause my lungs to shut down (love that asthma), I have to leave. I should be back towards the end of the week, I fervently hope. Posting will be light - ok, non-existent - while I’m gone, as there will be no internet access (and I'm already twitching at the thought). Please keep your fingers crossed for quick dissipation of fumes and for Mojo, who’s having a spot of surgery this week. While I’m gone, here’s my take on the new season’s dramas. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip . I was a West Wing fanatic until after its creator left, so naturally I had to watch this show. I'm still a little on the fence, but it’s a token resistance - it's already one of the shows I look forward to. Matthew Perry is great (not a bit of Chandler in sight), Amanda Peet is wonderful and the cast of Studio 60 is charming me every week. Josh L