Showing posts from 2010


  It is my habit to write something thoughtful and pondering - although hopefully not ponderous - on the last day of the year, sort of summing up the theme of the past 12 months. This year, however, it could be argued that I've already done that - early this month, I wrote about finally getting to that place in my personal growth where instead of mindlessly keeping going, not only did I protect myself from harm, but I also felt good about it. Alison , wise as usual, wished me a happy new year in a comment on that post and she was absolutely right. Because the theme of this year has been finally learning that sometimes, not doing is the right thing to do. I'm not crazy enough to believe that this one won’t need learning over and over again, but the fact that I finally got there, after years of talking about it but never quite figuring out how to click from theory of it to the practice of redirecting the fierce is my big accomplishment of 2010. And so, what do you do when yo

Progress in RA: A Decade of Hope

    The annual review post. Yeah, I went there: "The new millennium started with the scare of Y2K - remember that? Everyone was convinced the sky would fall the minute the clock ticked over at New Year's, but thankfully nothing happened. For people living with RA, the new millennium didn't look much different, but the seeds of a revolution had started and now, as I sit by my computer thinking about what has changed for us in the past 10 years, I look at it entirely different landscape." You can read the rest here .   

Random December

   It seems as if Europe's getting all the snow that Canada normally again - here are some photos of London after their latest snowstorm. Of course, then there's the calamity that just hit the eastern US - found this video of a blizzard time lapse . Pretty impressive. In other news, there's a town that can't find a jury who's willing to convict on a charge of possession of a small amount of marijuana. This one deserves a post of its own, but it's the end of the year and I'm back to work. Well, not just that - I'm also having the hardest time getting out of vacation mode, so I'm doing whatever I can do to increase my chances of vegging with a good book or a movie. To that end, I also found this video about bikes in Copenhagen . I have half a mind to send it to our esteemed new mayor and waiting to see if his head explodes. And in a completely random segue, albeit staying within YouTube, here is a perfect illustration of what happens between sibli

A Tink & Sadie Christmas

    We have a new addition to the family! Sadie celebrated her first Christmas with us on Friday and was a terrific addition to the festivities. And just who is Sadie, you ask? Michele's new Jack Russel-Corgi puppy  Adorable - as Morgan said once or twice - and has a wonderful personality. We all had a blast playing with her. And we all had a blast in general. The anticipation was palpable There was singing And laughing And playing with presents Magic. Just magic  

Glædelig Jul!

  Wishes for the merriest of holidays to you and yours from Miss Lucy and myself.     

Do You Lose When You Gain?

   A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about learning to protect myself . About finally getting it. Finally acting in accordance with my alleged intelligence and bowing out of the celebrations for International Day for People with Disabilities because if I didn't, there was a significant risk that I would lose several months of my life to healing. Julia* left at very interesting comment on that post: " Huh. Am I the only one with mixed emotions here? This is growth, this is maturity. Heaven knows that avoiding disabling pain is a good thing. And I'm really happy for you.  But there are these petty thoughts in the background. Is there no regret for the missed opportunity? The wisdom comes at the cost of a certain fierceness. Is there no regret for the fiercenss?    But maybe the fierceness isn't gone, maybe it is just re-directed. Once again, you are making me think." I want to apologize for making you think, Julia, but consider the favour returned because I've

In the News

    There's a reason I don't pay too much attention to the news beyond scanning the headlines on a couple of articles a couple of times a day - wait, that actually sort of sounds as if I do pay attention to the news, but nevermind, the reason it doesn't go much beyond that is that it tends to make me cranky. And although there is only five days left until Christmas, I'm going to share some of these types of stories, because… Well, there've been a number of them and I might as well share them with the world, right? Our new mayor, Rob Ford, as in his first Council meeting followed through in his election promise to cancel the $80 vehicle tax which was intended to go to green initiatives, etc., And which was incredibly unpopular with the driving public (or so we have been led to believe). This was one of his major platforms and I'd like to take this opportunity to state publicly that in my opinion, if you can afford a car, you can afford an $80 a year tax. As I&#

Larger Than Life

   Those of you who - breathlessly? - follow the ramblings that I call my tweets - know that I spent last weekend doing two things: working and watching Lawrence of Arabia. I found out that I tried watching it once before and that I'd only made it about 41 min. in before abandoning the effort. The first 41 minutes make you realize just how long the movie is and at the time, I didn't have the patience. This time, I stuck it through (if spacing it out over four days can be likened to any sort of sticktoitiveness) and I'm glad I did. This won't exactly be a review, more a collection of thoughts and probably only a smattering - I feel as if I could write an essay about this movie. And by the way, thanks to The Boy , I will forever exclaim (rather than merely say) Lawrence of Arabia! with rolling Rs, an exclamation mark and a veddy British intonation. (might help if I put in the link to the video, huh? Vacation brain, my apologies.... Also, link fixed. Thanks to Trevor for

10 Days Left: Last-Minute Gift Ideas for People with RA

    The season, shopping and good ideas are the topic of my latest post on MyRACentral: "There was a plan. I was going to be done with my Christmas shopping by December 1 and spend the next 24 days being completely relaxed (about the holidays, anyway - I am rarely completely relaxed). Then something happened and I'm still a bit confused." You can read the rest here .     

Just Sayin'

    Dear Throng of Able-Bodied People Emerging from the Elevator like a Herd of Sardines Escaping from a Tightly Packed Barrel, I have no problems with you using the elevators, really I don't. Especially parents of children in strollers, but the rest of you who feel compelled to use an elevator despite the close proximity of an escalator are certainly within your rights to use this miracle of modern conveyances. I'm not sure it's quite a human right (yet), but it certainly is a fantastic invention. I even don't have a problem - well, much of a problem, anyway - with being packed into such an elevator along a bunch of you with my face in butt height, having to lean over one armrest to make sure I don't make actual physical contact with your derrière while exchanging commiserating glances with the toddler in the stroller next to me. We are all equal in this world and there's room for all of us. Most of the time, anyway and I try not to gnash my teeth too loudly


  It's the first day of my 2-week vacation and I'm feeling silly. Hope you are, too. My comment box is your playground.   

A Linguistic Discovery

   When I lived in Denmark, I was a sort of linguistic chameleon. By which I mean that I had a habit of picking up the regional accent of whatever person I was speaking to. Saying it was a habit makes it sound as if it was on purpose. It wasn't, just happened – I’d start out a conversation speaking with the intonation of someone who's grown up in the suburbs of Copenhagen and within about 20 min. or so, I sounded like I was from Fyn/Funen or Jylland/Jutland. My osmosis with my conversation partner disappeared when I came to Canada. I just can't do accents in English - perhaps it is because my own is still so close to the surface? That is, with the exception of an Irish accent. There's something about the cadence of the Irish way of speaking that hits the same place as Fynsk (as in coming from the island of Funen/Fyn) - they're both lilting, musical sounds. Which is funny because I can't sing in key at all. And a sidetrack, but it's relevant. In terms of

Lion's Head


Personal Growth

A week ago, something happened in my shoulder. I still haven't been able to pinpoint the exact time or act that caused the calamity, but the end result was a majorly crapped out shoulder, neck and arm. Complete with buzzing in certain fingers, jolts of sharp pain in my thumb and a seized-up neck, shoulder and upper back. Yippie, back to that. I upped the meds, slowed down a little and continued preparing for my table at the artists’ area at the International Day for People with Disabilities last Friday. Had ultrasound on Thursday, things were better and then, Thursday evening it all went Very Bad Indeed. It took me a couple of hours, but I finally faced the fact that being there on Friday would come with a significant risk of aggravating the injury to the point where I'd spend the next 2-3 months back in a place I didn't want to be. And so I canceled. Not unaware of the irony that I had to bow out of that celebration of an international day for people with disabilities

10 Things to Do for 2011 and Beyond

   The annual planning for the future has started on MyRACentral: "December of any year is traditionally the time where media of all kinds focus on what has happened in the past 12 months and if you read my Month Ahead post, you know that's coming. However, just to mess with tradition, I'm starting my posts this month by talking about the future." You can read the rest here .  

International Day Celebrations

   On Friday, I will be here (click to embiggen) Why don't you join us? More information here .


  Then Photo by a Tink Parent Now Happy 5th birthday, my lovies!

The Worst of Times and the Best of Times

For as long as I can remember, I have been the worst case scenario. When I was growing up, there weren't a lot of options in terms of treating RA or JRA (now called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis). And when I say there weren't a lot of options, I mean there really wasn't more than one, maybe two. There was gold injections and there was prednisone and although prednisone was used when things got really bad - as it did for me when I was 12 and my JRA went systemic and almost killed me - the goal was always to get off of it. Throughout my childhood, my parents were the ones who helped everyone else in the loosely organized support group for parents of kids with JRA, because I was the poster child for how bad it could be and that meant they knew more than anyone elsse. I was the one for whom medication either didn't work or caused side effects that meant I couldn't take it. I was one whose body was so screwed up by age 14 that I spent a couple years in a hospital be

Ransom November

My semiannual three-month obsession ended this week when Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough one the 11th season of Dancing with the Stars . Last week, there was a huge controversy when Brandy got voted off instead of Bristol Palin. And sure, Brandy was a much better dancer than Bristol, but aside from the audience probably relating to Bristol better than to the professional performers, I have a theory why Brandy got voted off. Because last week, we saw Brandy in the confessional booth talking about how much she wanted to be in the finals and added it was because "and I say this humbly, we deserve to be there". And I said to the TV - because sometimes, I talk to my TV - "and honey, that's why you're gone". She then said something similar in an interview published the next day: " I’m so proud of me and I say that humbly ". Saying something proud and then claiming you do so humbly is impossible. It's an oxymoron. It seems fake, makes you sound like an

Disability Time

When I go to ultrasound, I have to prepare to lose three hours of my day. The actual appointment is about 20 minutes, but when you involve WheelTrans, the parallel accessible transit system in Toronto, you need extra flexibility. Lately, they seem to have engaged in some sort of internal competition about just how much they can mess with my day. Last week, I got to my appointment an hour before I had to be there, but yesterday? Let me tell you about yesterday. I called the morning before, requested for a ride to arrive about 5 min. before my 11:30am appointment. I get a ride with a pickup between 9:50 and 10:20 -several years ago, they created the concept of a pickup window of half an hour, which allows them to accommodate more riders, so in theory, it's good. In practice, it's kind of aggravating. My estimated time of arrival yesterday was 10:20am. An hour before I'd asked I have to be there. The way it actually worked out yesterday morning was that they picked me up at

Very Big Weekend

Meet my new baby Her name's Lexie and she can do everything. Well, except intimidate Lucy, who adopted the big box the minute it entered the house. Lexie's an early Christmas present from The Boy and this officially makes him Best Boyfriend Imaginable. I am now a writer who can print, copy, fax and scan - with a sheet feeder ! You wouldn't believe the excitement... After playing with Lexie, we went to see Mazowsze , a Polish folkdance group (video here ) so I could get immersed in part of The Boy's cultural heritage. It was amazing and I had a blast - the costumes were incredible, the dancing wonderful and the singing was beautiful - I've no idea what they were singing about, but it sounded good. And then there were the yips - exclamations by the female singers to express... erm... encouragement? Excitement? Well, Janet called them yips. I think they sounded more like a mix of Lucy when she's excited and a hungry velociraptor - watch the video and let me

A Change of Pace

“It’s so %*&ing Scandinavian.” I was in the middle of reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  and explaining to a friend why I was having such a good time. Aside from the story itself, there was so much about the way it's written, the interpersonal dynamics, tiny little moments, as well as big ones that were incredibly familiar and felt like home. It's taken me about five months to finish the Millennium Trilogy - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire  and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest  - and mostly because I took a bit of a break between each, to sort of cleanse my palate. It didn't take long before I needed to dive back into Stieg Larsson’s universe, though and I’m sad it's over. There are certain kinds of books where you can only have the experience of discovering them for the first time - well, obviously this happens with all books, but with some, it's such a profound experience that even if you read them over and over