Showing posts from April, 2012

Customer Service. What a Concept.

    Case #1: let's imagine a purely hypothetical situation in which I receive housekeeping services from a particular organization. Let's further imagine them hypothetically calling me to inform me that my regular housekeeper will be away for five weeks and that they will be contracting out housekeeping services to a temp agency. We could also imagine that I asked whether I will get the same person every week, to which they hypothetically respond that this can't be guaranteed. Leading to the hypothetical situation of having to take three hours every week - an amount of time that often represents most of my entire workday - to run around after someone telling them how to clean my apartment. Case #2: let's imagine my mother hypothetically having an appointment with a physiotherapist at about 2 PM. Let's further imagine she got the call at nine o'clock in the morning from the physiotherapist saying that they're close by and could they come now. When m



The Weird Sisters

    Sisters are complicated. Sisters are easy. Sisters shape who we are, reflect and contrast, sustain and annoy. Sisters are essential and elemental. Rose, Bean and Cordy are three such sisters. As daughters of a Shakespeare scholar, they are named after characters in his plays: Rosalind, Bianca and Cordelia, but not surprisingly, their names became shortened, made less imposing. Naturally, giving the Shakespearean connection, there is also a mention of the Wyrd Sisters from Macbeth. Wyrd, not weird. Wyrd in the sense of something fated, of destiny. I have just finished reading The Weird Sisters  by Eleanor Brown and still feel as if I haven't quite left that particular universe. It all starts when Rose, the oldest, looks into the mirror at her parents home and wishes her sisters were there, too. This is a bit unusual for these three sisters, but their mother has been diagnosed with cancer and in situations like that, you need your sisters. Before you know it, things

9 Tips for Managing Gastrointestinal Side Effects

    Gastrointestinal symptoms were a big part of my post a while back about my adventures with side effects from Humira . This week on HealthCentral, I wrote about dealing with such side effects: "Many RA meds have one side effect in common: they can make your gastrointestinal system very unhappy. Acid reflux or GERD can make it feel as if there's a roiling vat of acid burning up your midregion. Then there's nausea, bloating, gas and constipation or diarrhea that can feel very similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Speak to your doctor about your symptoms. If they seem to be side effects of your medications, most of the time, it's possible to find a way to manage them." You can read the rest here .    




     It had been a really busy week and it was only Tuesday afternoon. The exhaustion was making the world fuzzy around the edges and my brain was so overstimulated that it wouldn't stop running around in circles. I headed for my Mandatory Rest Period and tried to shut down aforementioned brain. It took a while, but finally I fell into a restful sleep. And then the fire alarm went off. I didn't think much of it because it goes off on a regular basis. Sometimes it's cooking odours, sometimes it's kids pulling it, sometimes it seems to be because the wind changed. So I tapped my feet waiting for it to be turned off and tried to comfort a freaked-out Lucy. She started by climbing under my blankets, then moved to lying next to my head, then plastered herself up against my leg and finally moved back under the blanket again. The phone rang. It was a friend of mine who lives in the building. Friend: "I don't want you to get upset…" Me: &q

Casting Call - Accessibility in Ontario

  I've been asked to help spread the word on this casting call for people with disabilities. If interested, please send your application asap - the casting call is in Toronto next week: MILO CASTING INC. IS SEEKING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN PHOTO SHOOTS TO PROMOTE ACCESSIBILITY IN ONTARIO Milo Casting Inc. is seeking males and females of all backgrounds, ages (18 years and over), and disabilities, both visible and non-visible, to promote accessibility in Ontario . MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR THE FOLLOWING DATES: Audition Date: TBD (15 minutes commitment) Shoot Date: Saturday April 21, 2012 or Saturday April 28, 2012    *Talent would only be required for 1 day Those chosen for the campaign will be financially compensated YOU MUST BOOK AN APPOINTMENT FOR AN AUDITION. IF INTERESTED, PLEASE EMAIL THE FOLLOWING: i) YOUR NAME, AGE AND ETHNICITY ii) A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR PARTICULAR DISABILITY

Sakura Hanami

    I never knew Toronto's High Park had Cherry Blossoms. In fact, despite my almost 30 years in the city, I've never been to High Park. Then last year, I heard about the cherry blossoms (after they bloomed), read about the absolutely charming Japanese tradition of Cherry Blossom Watching or Sakura Hanami (Google streetview awesomeness here ) and why high Park's cherry trees are special. In the past few weeks, we've been eagerly watching the High Park Nature Centre website for updates. This past weekend, they popped and we went. High Park is wonderful! Very woodsy in places, lots of nature and it felt so incredibly restful to be surrounded by it all.  the first piece of wonderful was this copse of pine trees. As we walked past them, the scent of pine and fresh air hit us and I felt as if I were home in the forests of my childhood. It was a very windy day and hearing the wind whoosh through the pines made it even better.    We turned the corner and t


    Every now and again the universe conspires and lets me know without prevarication that I'm supposed to write about something. It started when I (somewhat belatedly) read Dave's post about World Down Syndrome Day , which had a lively and at times disturbing conversation in the comment section. A discussion which included responses to a comment that sounded awfully as if the person advocated aborting a fetus with Down Syndrome and other questions about the suffering brought into this world if you "purposefully create people with DS.” That is, the suffering experienced by such people (and note that is relevant for my post is that none of the people who left such comments appeared to have DS themselves). Shortly after that there was much discussion about the perceived lack of worth and some fairly heated comments that you can go read for yourself. I percolated on that for a little bit, thinking I'd write about it later. And then last week, I saw this . It is a

Show Us Your Hands! Inflammatory Arthritis Community Collage Grows To 1000 Photos

      Show Us Your Hands! Inflammatory Arthritis Community Collage Grows To 1000 Photos ( April 7, 2012 ) – Show Us Your Hands! is pleased to announce that its inflammatory arthritis community collage has grown to more than one thousand photos. This interactive collage includes the hands of individuals who live with many different types of inflammatory arthritis, and can be viewed online at . To commemorate this milestone, Show Us Your Hands! plans to release a new 1000 Hands Poster this coming May as part of Arthritis Awareness Month. The one-thousandth photo was submitted by Kathy Winkelmann of Rochester Hills , Michigan . Kathy was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in December 2011. “I’m just learning how to come to terms with it and not let it take over my life,” she says. Kathy will receive a complimentary copy of the upcoming 1000 Hands Poster, in recognition of the fact her hand was officially the one-thousan

10 Tips for Building & Maintaining Energy

    This week on HealthCentral, I'm looking in to the fatigue issue: "It feels as if somebody's pulled your plug. As if you're enfolded in a lead lined comforter, weighing you down with every step. A 2011 study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases stated that 70 percent of people with RA experience a healthy dollop of fatigue, sometimes a level of exhaustion as profound as in chronic fatigue syndrome . It can make it impossible to do your job, take care of your family or just get through the day. Even when you're responding to treatment, sometimes that makes you tired, too. Today, I'll be looking at tips for building and managing your energy." You can read the rest here .     

Silver Snake


A Conversation with My Mother

    Me: I couldn't sleep last night because I have this great idea! Mor: uh-oh... Me: Why do people make that noise every time I say I have a great idea?? Mor: Because it usually means your workload explodes. Me: No, no! This one shouldn't take too much work! Mor: uh-huh. Me: why do people make that noise every time I say that? Seriously. Should be a snap!    (PS Happy birthday to mor who turned mumblemumble yesterday!)