Showing posts from August, 2010

Another Kind of Random August

I've been sitting here, staring at an empty Word document for quite a while now, having a hard time coming up with something. Truth be told, I'm having a hard time coming up with anything. I have another Word document filled with links and notes for the August Random post, but my shoulders won't permit it - yes, you read that right, instead of my right shoulder not behaving, it's now both shoulders who are acting out. Joined by both elbows. In other words, my ability to be at the computer has gone from limited to minimal. Now, I could write about the pain again, but to be honest, I am bored by it. Well, that's not honest. The reality is that I've had just about enough. I forget how long it's been really bad, but I think it's somewhere in the neighborhood of three months and I may have run out of coping mechanisms. And when all I want to do is alternate between stomping the floor while screeching it's not fair and curl up in a ball, wh

Winner/Weekend with Lucy/Buskerfest

First, the winner of the Annual Shamelessness Contest. Although they claim there were 20 comments, in reality, there was 15 - oh, how I loathe this commenting system. I asked David to pick a number between 1 and 15 and the winner is comment #12. Congratulations, Julia! Check out my Flickr page and contact me at landers5ATgmailDOTcom when you've made you choice. For Lucy, the weekend started great. I got a present involving tissue paper in the wrapping and Lucy discovered her new love. Then things deteriorated when Janet and David cut her nails She told Grandma all about it and got a cuddle And naturally went to bed for a snooze after the trauma Okay. So. Buskerfest . if you've been around for a while, you know how I feel about this particular festival and if you're new, check out last year's post . Essentially, it's four days of not being able to move in my neighborhood and there's something about it that makes you feel the disability rather intensely. Maybe

Annual Shamelessness/Contest

This week has kicked my arse. There was a lot of work, there was forgetting of moving slowly and subsequent consequences, there were various disability related expenses hemorrhaging, much delay of certain administrative things that really shouldn't be delayed, Buskerfest has started and although I'm sure I could get a good rant going on minimal provocation, I choose to not. Because I'm taking a long weekend starting now and am therefore in a spectacularly good mood. Or will be soon. One of the reasons I'm taking a long weekend is that it's my birthday tomorrow and much to my delight, due to my uncle arriving next week from Germany and the family birthday shenanigans being delayed another week, I will not have merely a birth day, but a birthday fortnight. I love extended celebrations. To kick things off, I'm having a contest to spread the good mood. The winner will receive an 8x10 print of their choice from my Flickr page. Contest closes Sunday evening at 6pm

Hard Conversations: When RA Affects Your Work

The shoulder has ripples and I talk about work, at work... "'Can you work at all?' I was in the middle of my two weeks off to heal, hadn't shown any signs of healing yet and was talking to a friend about how I felt, sharing my worries about what it meant for afterwards. For when I went back to work. And that's when she asked that question and in so doing, was the first to mention the elephant in the room. Because this injury was big, it wasn't getting better and it felt as if just looking at my computer made the pain worse. And if I, who make my living writing, couldn't be at my computer, well..." You can read the rest here .

Water on Concrete


Book Review: Endurance

--> In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 28 set off on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition on the ship Endurance, intending to cross the continent of Antarctica via the pole. They reached the Weddell Sea and their ship became encased in pack ice and over the duration of the Antarctic winter, slowly crushed. At one point in this process, Shackleton and his crew abandoned ship, got as many supplies as they could (including their diaries) and set up camp on a thick ice floe. And that’s just the start of the story, because you can’t stay put on a floe in the Weddle Sea , can you? You have to somehow get home and if you’re an expedition leader, you have to get everyone you signed up to go with you not just home, but preferably as unscathed as possible. But how do you go from a floe near the south pole to the whaling station at South Georgia , the nearest human habitation and do so when surrounded by pack ice, an unruly ocean and really unpredictable weather? I

Tinks with Bubbles

The Tinks came this past weekend and Mormor (Danish for grandma) had bought bubble paraphenalia. And we all had a glorious time. John got us started with a couple of beautiful ones The Janne had to outdo us all I got into it, too Photo by Janne/TinkMama But let's not kid ourselves. The most important people there were the kids. Liam blowing and trying to catch at the same time Morgan admiring her work When you're 4, nothing can make you quite as happy as bubbles And jumping for bubbles And then a storm pulled up and we went back inside. It was a wonderful day And to start your weekend on a good note... That offensive postcard on George Smitherman's site I mentioned on Wednesday? Has been removed. Read more on Dave's blog. Thanks to everyone who joined the protest . We made change happen. I am overwhelmed. p.s. That double "I hate you" in the title? My apologies. Problems with Blogger, problems with Dragon that apparently turned on by itself, obediently dic


What makes a leader? There’s passion and determination and the ability to inspire similar passion in others. A belief in doing what's right and the willingness to do that, even though it isn't popular - the recent healthcare debate in the US is one example. I saw another example somewhere within the past week about same-sex marriage and how a certain percentage of Americans is against it. And then, in the very next sentence, the piece I was reading mentioned that at the time interracial marriages were made legal in the US , over 70% of the population was against it. So yeah, leaders do not lead by what the polls say, but by doing what is right. Even if it makes them unpopular at times. Another thing a leader should do is to be thoughtful, in word and deed and this is where I start to get to today's point. In the next municipal election in Toronto , we will be electing a new mayor and the race is already getting weird. Partly because of the characters involved, or more spe

Bridging the Distance

It is both a memory and a defining moment, overlapping and coexisting and still, a decade and a half later, it is as clear in my mind as the day it happened. I was working for a municipal government, part of the team that implemented Ontario ’s dearly departed Employment Equity Act. This was a brilliant and pioneering piece of legislation that mandated workplaces be reflective of their communities, more specifically, that a number of target groups - women, aboriginals, racial minorities and people with disabilities - be represented in the workforce. And contrary to the arguments of the status quo, right-wing or not, this did not mean hiring the unqualified. What it did mean was to remove barriers to employment that had absolutely nothing to do with essential duties of the job. Not surprisingly, what with me being an example of one of the target groups, part of the duties of my job was to work on the implementation of the barrier-free policy, improving accessibility not just to employ

What If

It's been hard to ignore, but I've done my best, mentally erasing the implications of the two marks just below my left knee, the tiny ends of the suture waving back at me with a decidedly insouciant air. They're right there, couldn't be more in the my field of vision if they tried and every time my eyes skipped over them, there was a nanosecond of what if and then I moved on to ignoring the handiwork on my leg. But it's been building, all the what ifs piling one on top of the other and although each was tiny, a couple of weeks of this has created a bubble within, each filled with a tiny moment of dread and it's built and it's built and sometime around Tuesday evening, I couldn't contain it any more. I called David late at night and asked him to remind me that there isn't a perverse power in the universe whose job and mission it is to create chaos in my life, because believing that would be kind of nutty, wouldn't it? Still, the fact that this

Preparing for Your First Appointment with a Rheumatologist

This week on MyRACentral, I get practical: "There you are, on the sidewalk outside your doctor's office, a referral to rheumatologist in your hand, your doctor saying I think you may have rheumatoid arthritis ringing in your ears and somehow, the world is tilting a little. Nevermind possibly facing the rest of your life with a chronic illness, right now, you're worried about the appointment with the rheumatologist. What can you expect? What can you do to prepare?" The rest of teh post is here .


I spent a significant part of the summer in the company of one of my very favourite books , one that I've now read about seven times or so. Every time, it is just as good as the last time I disappeared into this world between its covers (or megabytes, if you're looking at the audio version). And this weekend, I spent some time in the world created by one of my very favourite movies . Which naturally made me think about that infamous desert island and what reading/viewing material I’d bring with me. We'll ignore that the island might be a bit short on the electricity required to charge my iPod and run my DVD player, call it an irrelevant detail. Been done before? Absolutely, but not by meone I haven't posted about before and my shoulder’s acting up, so I don't have the energy or brainpower for something more exciting. Besides, I can't wait to see your responses so I can add new books and movies to my list of things to experience. First, visual entertainment.

Nose to Tail


Of Two Minds

It all started on Tuesday when I went to the Market to do some shopping. As I was making my way out again, a busload of tourists was disembarking and several of them seem to find it difficult to remember what their mothers had told them about staring at the unfortunate. Apparently where they came from, there's no such thing as free range wheelchair users. So naturally, I tweeted it when I got home. And while I am on the topic of Twitter, let me take a moment to confirm what we all expected would happen given my slightly obsessive tendencies. I’m addicted. Last week, I twice wanted to tweet in public. Felt vaguely dirty. May need an intervention before I buy a smart phone and start tweeting every minute of the day. Anyway! So I tweeted the experience and Lisa tweeted back asking me the following question: "how do you feel abt ads which use wheelchair image as the scary outcome to get pts to change disease-mod drugs?". And probably also not surprisingly, I was incapable

Ponderings upon Mole Removal

Last week, I spent some time in an outpatient clinic, waiting to have two moles removed. I’d been there before , in fact, it’s the remaining two moles of the triangle on my leg that now need coming off. Largely for preventative purposes, I think - the dermatologist was moving very quickly when he spoke to me, but I think it comes down to them being too dark in colour to be left alone lest they turn completely to the dark, go rogue and create problems. So there I am, in the clinic, waiting. And waiting. And since you have to do something while you're waiting (and waiting), here with a brief record of my thoughts. When the receptionist tells me that the wait shouldn't be too long, I wonder if she's being creative with the truth in order to control the hordes. There are at least 40 people in here. Does that mean 40 people are ahead of me? I should have brought more food. Oh. There are two clinics. That explains why so many of them are looking more orthopedic than plastics.