Showing posts from November, 2009

Tink 4th Birthday

Who'd have thunk that these wee babies would four years later become these lovely kids? Sure, you expect them to grow, but never know how that growth is going to turn out. The Tinks are bright, creative, energetic, talkative (ok, that one's not so much a surprise given the rest of the family), loving kids who forever delight and challenge us all to find reserves of energy we didn't know we had and depths of love that's forever getting deeper. They are a joy. And today, they are four years old. Last weekend, we celebrated at a local restaurant, joined by longtime friends. Before everyone arrived, John/TinkPapa relaxed with (or was pinned down by) the kids When I asked what they wanted for their birthday. Morgan said "a red present" and Liam " a blue present". So I got them each a locomotive i the appropriate colours and may never be as brilliant in their eyes again Photo by Janne/TinkMama Photo by Janne/TinkMama As luck would have it, the restaura

Random November

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US - I imagine you're either reclined on the divan in a tryptophan haze or madly shopping. To aid in the general mood of relaxation/as a reward for successful bargain-hunting, herewith the link-o-rama for this month. First, something flu-related. I've noticed a rather astonishing thing It has taken a month, max two to create a massive behavioral change here in Toronto . Prior to this year, most people would cover their mouth when they sneeze or cough with their hand, but after a fairly intense public health campaign , everyone now sneezes into their elbow. Brilliant. Social change in action. The other day, I clicked on a link in an e-mail - some mass e-mail thing from a magazine holding a contest and you can't win if you don't enter, right? The link took me to Lampe Berge , some doodad to "purify the air in your home". I was naturally interested, what with the asthma and allergies, but after clicking around madly on the

Happy As A...


It All Comes Down to the Bathroom

Twice in the last month or so, I've been in a situation where when investigating the accessibility of a place I was going to, I was told that absolutely, it's completely accessible! Well, except for the bathrooms, that is… Huh??? It's not new, this creative approach to accessibility, happens all the time and it makes me wonder if I'm missing something about using a wheelchair. Does that weird asexual, sort of non-person thing that's imposed upon us by the able-bodied world include not eliminating bodily waste? Does the fact that I still need to pee somehow make me a defect cripple? Am I doing this all wrong??? Every couple of years, I'm asked to do some training for new members of the Board of Directors for the agency that provides attendant care for me and a number of other people in the neighbourhood, training that illustrates what the agency does, sort of putting a human face on the theory. After talking for a while, I give them homework. For 24 hours, arra

Plotting Your Life

Last night, Stephen King hit Toronto as part of the promotional tour for his latest novel Under the Dome: A Novel and in addition to no doubt doing a gazillion interviews with various forms of media, he spent some time at the Canon Theatre in conversation with David Cronenberg . Yes, I know. Total geek fest. It was awesome. And I know it was awesome, because I was there, too (along with 2200 other fans). Shall I pause for you to turn various shades of chartreuse with the envy? It really was a conversation, two guys who've known each other for a long time shooting the proverbial shit about movies, books, writing, the unconscious, ghosts and several rather funny Sarah Palin jokes. About halfway in they talked about process, especially in connection to how Stephen King kept the multitude of characters straight in his mind. King started riffing on the plotting process of writing a novel, mentioning that John Irving has mentioned that he knows the last page of his

Your Wardrobe & RA

The holidays are loomin... I mean, on their way (me?m started shopping yet? A-hem...), so this week's HealthCentral post is about finding a wardrobe that works for RA: "The holiday season is almost upon us and whether that means you'll brave the crowds on Black Friday to hunt the sales or have started percolating your own wish list of subtle hints for clueless loved ones, the scent of shopping is in the air. We look for a change in wardrobe or that special item we can't justify at a regular time (or price), but sometimes, rheumatoid arthritis can get in the way of wearing stylish shoes and putting on a tight top can make your shoulders scream." The rest of the post is here .

Restaurant Etiquette

I stumbled over this nifty post on a New York Times blog – the New York Times has blogs??? Written by Bruce Buschel who’s about to open a restaurant, it’s 100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (split into two parts - the second post here - to prevent reader exhaustion) and…. I loved it. I’ve been known to hold forth about things that gets me off in general - no, really Lene? Having a post label entitled rant is a pretty significant clue to the - and today, we are talking about specifically things that annoy me when eating out. #17 on the list, "[d]o not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course." What is the point of this? To rush things along? Make the rest of the people at the table feel as if they need to eat faster? Leave the bleedin’ plate until we’re all finished and let us enjoy our meal in peace and quiet! #68 is also a treat: "Do not reach across one guest to serve another." Drives me absolutely bat

The Countdown Begins

It's official. The season is upon us. How do I know this? I saw Santa Claus yesterday. But first, I saw dogs - apparently, the parade was Bring Your Own Firehydrant. And penguins entertaining the local constabulary. Bands. Many, many bands. Large bands and me up close and personal (my ears are still ringing). I wondered what it'd been like to walk and play for that long. Some did it backwards and in high heels. There were polarbears Foxes A lobster in a gingerbread house (???) Even the flu came The U of T Lady Godiva Memorial Band (engineering students. Naturally) And here he is.... Almost as exciting for a horsemad girl who never grew out of it... Mounties! I think I need to get shopping...

Sea Change

I've been watching John Adams and having an excellent time. It's well acted, fascinating in its depiction of the tiny social details of late 1800s America and I'm learning more about the early history of the US than I ever have before. But this post is not a review - come to think of it, this is the second post this week that starts out with filmed entertainment, yet isn't a review. A new trend? Somewhere in the middle of the miniseries, John Adams, his wife Abigail and Thomas Jefferson are in Paris and as they watch a hot air balloon take flight for the first time, Jefferson says "so our umbilical cord with Mother Earth has been severed for the first time in history. Mankind floats upon a limitless plane of air." Which is an astonishingly beautiful way of phrasing it and it made me begin to understand, as far as a 21st-century woman can, this moment where what was thought impossible became possible. What must it have been like to see something fly

Lest We Forget

For Remembrance Day , poppies and a poem .


Another sidetrack – must be something in the water? I’d intended to write something about rumpled reporters connected to blathering on about two movies: State of Play and The Soloist and then… well. You’ll see. Suffice to say is go rent 'em . Being witness to fantastic actors – Russell Crowe and Helen Mirren in State of Play and Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx in The Soloist – play off each other is truly breathtaking. Sidetrack #1 got me off to wonder why reporters are always portrayed as rumpled? Come to think of it, writers are often portrayed as disheveled – what is it about this stereotype about writing causing a disinterest in your appea…. And this was the moment I realized that I was writing this in a pair of yoga pants with a hole or two and a big, comfy top (the kind of comfy that means not necessarily attractive). No make-up and I hadn’t brushed my hair after it dried from the shower. A nevermind almost made it on to the page, after which I’d moved briskly

Pain is Pain is Pain

I'd intended to write about something else altogether today, but a couple of things happened that decided a change of topic. I've been on a bit of a Stephen Fry kick - watched Stephen Fry in America earlier this year and absolutely loved it, watched the last episode of Last Chance to See this past weekend and immediately wanted to start again from the beginning the minute I'd finished the series and then moved onto Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive (that links to part one on YouTube - you can watch the entire thing there and I highly recommend you do). And yesterday, I watched a momversation entitled Overcoming Depression and really, how much more obvious does it get? I know a number of people who are depressed. Not just sad or out of sorts because they're having a bad day, but chronically depressed, brain chemistry out of whack kind of depressed. Some of them are on medication and much better than they were, some are on medication and a little bit

Giving & Receiving Care: The Challenges

This week on MyRACentral, I ponder giving and receiving care: " What does it do to a relationship if you can't storm off in a huff after a fight with your significant other because you may need to help them go to the bathroom first? And what does it do to a relationship if you feel you can't get angry at your partner because you’ll need to pee in an hour and can’t get your pants off without help?" The rest of that post is here .

Hold Outs


A Rose by Any Other Name

A couple of days ago, I watched this Momversation about the way children address adults, which contained an astounding number women at least a decade younger than I am, if not more holding forth about how kids addressing adults by their last name (e.g. Mrs. Smith, Mr. Jones) is an essential form of manners, of showing respect and something that they insist on from the kids’ friends, going so far as to link kids calling adults by their first names to not showing adults to respect they apparently deserve merely by the fact of being adult. And I am gobsmacked. I was born in 1962 and as a kid growing up, my generation called adults by first names and the familiar du instead of the more formal De (like French, German and many other languages, Danish has two versions of the word you), although there was a distinction made - people my grandparents age were addressed by Mrs. and Mr. last name and formal De, not necessarily because of their age, but because they grew up at a ti