Showing posts from January, 2009


I t all started with the shower curtain. W hen I moved into my own apartment (after years and years of waiting for one with attendant care attached to become available), AB sent me a fantastic shower curtain with a frog on it. Charming, whimsical, doesn’t matter what you call it, it makes me smile in the morning and considering how very unawake I am upon first becoming vertical, you’d know how much of a miracle that is Over the years, that first frog has been followed by others, as if it’s been sending out notices to its friends and family. The whole family hasn’t invaded, it's not as if there is a mad collecting thing going on (because a one bedroom apartment covered in frogs would be a little… creepy), not just any frog will do, but every couple of years, I'll find a one that wants to come home with me. Sometimes, it surprises me how many uses there can be for a frog. One perched upon a stick to add pizzazz for your plants? Who’d have thunk (and yes, that other thing is

5 Things to Look for in a Rheumatologist

My latest HealthCentral post is up: "A common piece of advice to those who have just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is to "find a good rheumatologist," but what makes a specialist "good"? Do they give frequent flyer points at every appointment that you can redeem for gift certificates to the store of your choice? Do they wave magic wands that reduce your symptoms? If you're new to the medical world and already feeling overwhelmed by your diagnosis, it can be hard to know what to look for in a doctor. Here are a few suggestions:" You can read the rest here .

Winter Sunshine


Feminist Empowerment My Arse

On Friday, I read an article in the Toronto Star about BeyoncĂ©'s new single called "Single Ladies". The article pronounced it "a shout-out to sisterhood," "a strong song of female empowerment" and claims that it has "a powerful feminist message". Naturally, this made me want to check it out, especially since just the night before, Michele had called me up foaming at the mouth with irritation about the song's chorus.   S o I went on YouTube, watched the video , then watched it again trying to decipher the words, then found the lyrics and that's when I got a little foamy myself. First of all, I can see how this could lead to a new dance craze because that song is insanely catchy. Insanely. After listening to it twice, it was in my head and it hasn't left since and it makes you want to move. I get that. It's a very fun song until you listen to the words.   Please join me in picking it apart, won't you?   S tory

Interior, BCE Place

No, I'm not obsessed with that building . At all.

Dear Winter. Again.

Winter, L ast year, I asked nicely . I've even asked nicely this year. In December, when you showed a remarkable degree of commitment to your image of being cold and snowy, I rolled with it, asking only that you keep it to a dull roar in the week before Christmas so I could get all my errands done. Not only did you not respect my wishes at all, you pummeled the greater Toronto area with so much snow that the media started calling it Snowmageddon. Yes, I know the media tends to exaggerate, but in this case, they didn't and you sent snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm our way, to such a point that I couldn't get out at all, but despite your efforts to ruin Christmas, we had a very nice one, anyway. It should be said, though, that I appreciate you giving us rain instead of snow on Christmas Eve, but it was crumbs, honey. Crumbs. I n the new year, you've gotten even more enthusiastic to such a point that I can't remember the last time I was warm. Like really war

Random January

The back-up is for real . No comment. Trevor's sent me some new president-related links. Apparently, Obama is Irish (the song is here ) and equally apparently, Krispy Kreme's free doughnuts on Inauguration Day is pro-choice ? Who knew? Also somewhat political (ok, vaguely related), the annual banished words list. And not at all political, but it made me laugh so hard I snorted, a comment about to-do lists. D ifferent versions of a walk-in closet (and can anyone confirm that they are indeed speaking German? Sounds to me like German by an English speaker who thought throwing in a touch of he Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show was a good idea). I need this sign . O ne of the reasons I love Isabella Rosselini is this new project called Green Porno . Click around. It’s wonderfully demented. F rom the forefront of science: A hot drink may ease symptoms of cold and flu . Really? Who knew?? A bit late, but it's good anyway. A California Carol . F rom LynnM, two great

Waterglass Through Glass of Water


5 Things to do for the Newly Diagnosed

I'm back to basics in my latest HealthCentral post: "Living well with RA needs a box full of tools addressing different aspects of life with a chronic illness and together, take you where you want to go. If you've just been diagnosed, the following are five important items for your toolbox:" The rest of the psot is here .

Letters from the Past

During one of the latest excursions into my landfill of accumulated crap - why am I such a packrat? - we found, buried in the back of a shelf somewhere, a harmonica folder stuffed with letters and cards from the early 80s to the mid-90s. As nothing is safe from my attempts to minimize aforementioned accumulated crap, we put it somewhere where I could reach it and every day, I've been picking up a handful of envelopes, going through them and deciding which to keep and which to not. I used to be a dedicated letter writer. Before the age of e-mail reduced me to typing a quick few lines and clicking send, I wrote long, chatty letters to friends back in Denmark and a number of penfriends all over the world and they wrote long, chatty letters back. What a concept, eh? We were heavy card users, sending funny, thoughtful and occasionally mushy cards to each other and it was nice having things in the mail that didn't have a window in it and going through these piles of cards from prett

Dignity Schmignity

I used to have short hair. Really, really short hair. Then my neck got hurt and I couldn't go to the hairdresser for a while, which meant my hair grew and grew some more and after 25 years or so with a coiffure shorter than 1 1/2 inches, I was enjoying being able to feel the wind in my hair and decided to let it grow until I got sick of it. That time has officially arrived. However, my excellent hairdresser has moved to a place that isn't accessible, the hairdresser just up the street from me isn't very good and how hard could it be? All I wanted was to chop off about half of it, vaguely in the shape of my hair on the picture I use for Health Central (taken by my darling sister Janne and with gratuitous baby inclusion in the form of my niece Morgan) and as I knew someone who "does hair" as a sideline, I asked if she'd be willing to take scissors to the mess on my head. And did you notice the foreshadowing? The looming doom? Because things got a little strange.

Green Wall


Job Opportunity

I did a lot of thinking over the holidays. That is, once I was no longer hopelessly snotlogged from the sinus infection that severely impacted my ability to think to such an extent that I couldn't chat idly on the phone and look at a photograph at the same time - not editing it, just looking at. It was quite ridiculous. However, once that abated and I got my brain back, I did a lot of thinking about the busyness of my life. O ne of my friends once told me that I was the busiest unemployed person he knew and now that I am no longer completely unemployed, things have gotten a little out of hand when my already full life grew. Did I ever mention my theory that a life is much like a purse? You fill it to the brim no matter how big or small it is (this is why I refuse to get a purse much larger than a brick or two and often of the same heft). Add to the general things that we all do, there is also the disability part of the equation, which takes up an inordinate amount of time and effor

All Dressed Up & Nowhere to Go

What I need to go outside my immediate neighborhood, I call WheelTrans . WheelTrans is Toronto 's paratransit service, run by the TTC (our public transportation system) and it is designed to provide transportation for people with disabilities who can't use public transit so they can participate in the community on an equal basis with everyone else. Because once you, as a society, designate certain groups as equal, this equality must be supported by programs and policies that remove barriers to equal participation. T hese days, I am grateful that most of what I need is available in my immediate neighborhood, because WheelTrans has become a joke. Getting through to the reservations department is next to impossible and wait times for your ride are ridiculous. I'm not talking about 10-15 minutes late. I'm talking regularly waiting anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and sometimes more. For a 15min trip. Both ways. But wait times are not my primary

Flickr Update

Finally! My Flickr page is updated (link to it over there in the sidebar). I always forget how involved this gets, but it's also a lot of fun. Here are some of my favourites from the recent batch: You've seen this one before, but I just love how the lake is molten in the sunshine I have no idea what plant this is, but suspect it may be from another planet Big knots. What's not(!) to like? I love the lines in this, the tree reaching for the sky. And I called it 'Stumped', which makes me giggle Burnished in the winter sun I like the mathematical shadows in this. And realizing low the sun is at noon in December messed with my mind a little

You Gotta Have Faith

The holiday ponderings proliferate, not just here, but in my latest post on HealthCentral, too: "Midwinter is upon us and with it, the New Year and celebrations of the coming of the light. We sing and set flame to candles in the dark, symbolizing our faith in goodness and our hope for tomorrow. We know that light is coming, know that each day grows a little longer and soon, winter gives way to spring and new life. But there are times when connecting to goodness, to the knowledge that light will come and to a hope for tomorrow feels impossible, blocked by pain and feelings of despair and we wonder if we will ever believe in joy again, feel joy again." You can read the rest here .