Friday, January 29, 2010

Gotta Love Those Europeans

and how can you not? i was sitting in a recliner at a client's last night when his oh so portuguese father says "so, did you lose some weight or what?" now if this was virtually anyone else on the planet, i would have been offended and probably embarassed, but there is something about european people that they are just so blunt and not intentionally cruel or mean that you actually find yourself liking them for saying something so ballsy and personal. and without even thinking you say, "well i suppose i did."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Who We Are and What We Do

i have come to realise that in as much as most of us would like to think that we are so much more than the sum of our parts, we cannot deny how our day-to-day working lives affect our lives outside of work whether we like it or not. for example, years of being a driver has made dave rather obsessed with listening to traffic reports. my mothers on and off stint as a cleaner has made her more than a little psychotic when she has to do the dishes at home. and for me, being a wheelchair pusher has given me an almost unhealthy preoccupation with weather reports. the other subject that plagues me constantly is accessibility.
everywhere i go, whether im working or not, every crack in the sidewalk and every building with stairs and no elevator seems to present itself as a creation put on this earth for the specific purpose of ruining my life. i am forever drafting angry letters in my mind and assessing the dimensions and door operation of bathroom stalls. it seems like craziness, and perhaps it is, but it has gotten me thinking about the greater issue at hand here.
the reason all of these little nuisances are so irritating is because more often than not, disabled people (and their support staff) seem totally invisible to the outside world. whether its lack of accessibility for a wheelchair or the fact that a high functioning adult feels the need to NOT disclose the details of their intellectual capacity to new people they meet, the general population seems to find the disabled community so alien and uncomfortable that they prefer to act as if it doesnt exist. then, if you confront people on it, they fire back with this brilliant argument about how "i thought that disabled people wanted to be given equal rights so why should they be given special treatment?" the fact is that is absolutely correct, and no one wants special treatment. they want equal treatment.
it is not equal treatment when an individual cannot enter a store or travel on a sidewalk because of inaccessibility. it is not equal treatment when an adult paying customer at a retail outlet cannot get service or even eye contact from the staff. it is not equal treatment when someone has to leave a public place in search of a washroom that can accommodate them. and it is certainly not equal treatment when people presume to understand what living like this is like.


so i had a funny thing happen at the pool last night. i realise this sounds like the start to a "dear penthouse, i never thought it would happen to me" article, but sadly this story isnt so scandalous. there is this girl who i noticed at the pool a few months ago. when you swim as often as i do, you start to recognise the regulars... not unlike how people who take the same bus to work every day begin to recognise and get to know each other without ever actually speaking. anyway, this woman is probably in her mid to late thirties and does a pretty slow breaststroke, which is fine as long as she stays out of my way. a while back, she had left her bathing suit in the locker room, where it hung for a few days before disappearing. she either picked it up or its in lost in found... i sincerely doubt that it was stolen. the people at my y are pretty honest and i was impressed to recover a bra that i left there. plus, it was hanging in the change room for a few days, as i said, so if it was going to be stolen it wouldnt have lasted that long.
anyway i hadnt seen her at the pool since her swimsuit disappeared, but that doesnt mean anything. she could very well be going to a different swim time, and it really has no bearing on this story other than it had been a while since i had seen her and the last i had, she was wearing the aforementioned suit.
so last night, i get to the pool and there she is in my fast lane (where she doesnt belong, i might add) wearing THE SAME SUIT AS ME. now, i realise that there arent THAT many styles and colours of women's athletic suits and this in and of itself could merely be a result of her and i having the same taste, or even, coincidence. however, she was also wearing the same silver cap that i was wearing in all of my prior contact with her (i have since switched to a red one as my silver one busted, as is the fate of bathing caps). as i already mentioned, when you swim alot you get to know the other swimmers and how skilled they may or may not be. if it isnt totally clear already, i am a much faster and more skilled swimmer than this woman, which is the result of years of practice, hard work and professional training. not, as i can only assume she thinks, because of my outfit. i was so distracted by being in the same lane as this woman who MUST have copied my ensemble on purpose that i was actually losing count of my lanes as i composed this blog post in my head. it was so weird and funny and now i cant stop thinking of my bathing suit as having super powers, which i usually pretend i have when im swimming anyway.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sierra Grill

in other news (what a busy weekend) sunday was daves parents sixty-second anniversary (or as i usually say in conversation, their bazillionth). so daves brother john invited the whole family to sierra grill for lunch. i am embarassed to admit that this restaurant is a five minute walk from daves house and yet we have never been there. anyway, the reason i am writing about it here is because i opted for the salad bar, and let me tell you, this salad bar was TO DIE FOR. they had so much good stuff and it was so delicious and it included soup and there was fresh bread and pita chips and it was so cheap and ive been fantasizing about it all day long. awesome awesomeness.
ps. im not going to get into details but there was some family drama with daves family and i came home to hamilton, and swear i have never been happier to hear my mothers voice on my machine. say what you like about us, but ill take our particular brand of crazy over the alternative any day.

Walk Like an Egyptian

well we went to the king tut show on saturday and it was tres excellent. unfortunately these IDIOT security guards were following us all around the gallery afterwards but other than that it was great. its so amazing how all of those artifacts have lasted for thousands of years without being completely destroyed. and the ancient egyptians were such an advanced civilisation.. more than i had really considered up until now. the detail in all of the artifacts was so incredible and the workmanship was unreal. also, i had never really noticed when you see the pictures, but to see all of the various sculptures up close they really do have distinguishable faces. by that i mean they dont all just have this generic look to them like i had always thought. you really can distinguish the facial features and expressions of one subject versus another. to think that these sculptors were able to capture all of that with what were surely primitive tools. i also kept thinking about how its funny that we are standing there oohing and aaahing over what was, in many cases, simple furniture. i was just imagining a museum exhibit three thousand years from now of super modern humanoids reading a blurb about how this was an average, middle class pull out bed, fashioned at a place called "ikea" back in the digital age when they had these quaint methods of manufacture called "factories." kind of strange to think about, really.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Should Have Worn My Boots Today

it was a tough call. i knew it was cold and my feets would get cold, but i also knew i would be wasting a disgusting amount of time indoors which would cause bebooted feets to sweat. so i went without but now its still really cold and i still have some outdoor wheelchair pushing to do before the day is done. the good news is i think i will be taking a pit stop at my place so i can go get my yeah.
anyway i finally caved and joined facebook. i find the whole thing a little confusing and i really do prefer blabbing on here but maybe being on there will rustle up some more readers! so welcome, new readers! please leave comments!
man this post is going no where fast. i really should get off my ass and finish the errands i had planned for today. im going to buy some protein powder and oil of oregano. i seem to be coming down with a cold. i left my oil of oregano at daves, but i find that its best for me to have one of everything at his place and one of everything at my place so i dont really have to worry about bringing stuff to and fro. except for my bathing suit and usually some knitting.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Compare and Contrast

this is anne.

and THIS is an ethiopian.
what do these two people have in common? i have no idea. but, last week this REALLY old woman beckoned to me citing "wanting to talk to me" as her reason, which is usually bad news for the old wheelchair pusher. luckily enough, it turned out to be a dose of hilarity rather than the verbal abuse for which i had prepared myself. you see, this elderly lady told me that she had worked in ethiopia for thirteen years and so she was JUST WONDERING where anne was from. and i said, shes from canada. and the old lady said oh, really i was wondering if she might be ethiopian. HAHAHAHAHAHAH! no i said, she is canadian. i decided not to explain that she is native (i think she also has some black in her but i dont really know the details of her genealogy) because thats what this woman really wanted to know. i get so frustrated with this attitude that a lot of elderly people have where they assume that just because someone isnt white, they MUST be an immigrant. like give me a break. it was even more hilarious because anne, as i mentioned, is NATIVE so that means that her ancestors were here long before the pale faces, making her more canadian than the rest of us. anyway, i was giggling about this conversation for days because anne looks about as ethiopian as i do.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A New Low

or a new high, depending on how you look at it, which is how i started this anecdote when i was talking to trevor this morning. many moons ago, trevor and i decided that we should have our own talk radio programme called "things i would never admit in public" which would basically be a hilarious show about the things that single people living alone do all the time simply because there is no one around to see them. for example: eating mayonnaise out of the jar, or jumping up and down in front of the mirror naked. anyway, we are still waiting to get the radio contract (so if any radio casting directors or programmers are reading this, please call us) but that doesnt mean we dont tell each other about new material as it arises.
which brings me to my newest confession. yesterday, i worked an extremely long day that was also immensely physical and i already had a slightly aggravated/overworked lower back so by the time i got home i was in some serious pain. (in case anyone is interested, i still am). anyway so i realised i needed to take a super long bath, not my usual ten or fifteen minute stint. i was too tired to read or do puzzles and it was too late to call anyone, which is my preferred in-bath activity. have no fear comrades, i still came up with something! i knew i needed some sort of distraction to keep me in the tub for as long as was necessary to heal my ailing muscles..... so i hauled my tv and dvd player into the bathroom, propped them up on the toilet and watched two episodes of flight of the conchords. goooooooooo me!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pulitzer Worthy Journalism

im going to try something a little different today for a change of pace. im going to interview one of my clients, R----. so here goes.
me: so R, tell me something about your day today.
R: my mum is so silly and because my mum dont like me and...
me (and his mum laughing hard): R, that isnt true your mum likes you. but that isnt really about your day. what did you do today?
r: i went swimming... my life is the same like your life. we both have the same life.
me: but i havent gone swimming yet today. im going to go after i leave your house. so what are you going to do when i leave?
r: um, i dont know.
me: if you could say anything to the world right now, and they had to listen, what would you say?
r: um, i dont know. i dont know. um the weather is cold?
me: whats your favourite thing to do at school?
r: math
me: math? since when?
r: um today. because math is good. to make you learn.
(mum laughing in the background).

Friday, January 08, 2010

When Days are Hot, When Days are Cool

in my swimming pool. well folks, i think i actually had a personal best on my 2k yesterday, but im not entirely sure. i suppose i should use this achievement to start doing flip turns on all my lanes, not just the breast stroke ones, but its so damn tiring. anyway, once again, i am in front of a computer and have completely forgotten all of the things i meant to write about and all of the things i meant to look up on google. i really should start writing these things down. *sigh*

The Latest in Library Drama

well anne and i are sitting here innocently using the 30 min express computer stations, and behind us in line there is some drama. apparently some girl almost tripped over some guys foot because she was looking at her cell phone and they had a big argument over who was being rude to who. *sigh* times are tough. speaking of which, my pay was surprisingly high, which is a good thing, but now im all paranoid there was some sort of accounting error or something. although my last pay was surprisingly LOW so i suppose it all works out even in the end. or maybe i was late submitting a paysheet or something and so it got carried over to this pay period. i dont know. i really. dont. know. this is why they should just pay me a salary instead of forcing me to keep track of 12 different paysheets every pay period that go to two different offices and come from three different funding sources. gotta love the government.