Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not my baby...

I was reading another blog (http://midlifeandtreachery.blogspot.com/) today and this made me think. I have a colleague at work who I often have tea with in the morning. The other day she was telling me about her life and she confided that she had gotten pregnant with her first husband. She found out this child had Down Syndrome and subsequently aborted the baby. She noticed as she told me this that I was visably affected. She said she had been hesitant to tell me because of my own disability. I was taken aback, and I did try not to show it. I do believe, as readers of my previous posts will note, in pro-choice. I agree that it is her choice whether to abort or not, and believe it or not I do understand her decision. But a part of me still took her decision very personally. You can be friends, family, partner, colleague to someone with a disability and care for them, love them, be incensed at the injustice they endure, but it's a whole different issue when you are about to give birth to a child with a disability. Not my baby. And to be brutally honest, I think that's part of what's fundamentally wrong with our society. Disability is fine as long as it affects someone else. Which begs the question of how acceptable disability "really" is in our society? How can it not affect us when we hear that our family, friends, colleagues don't want a disabled baby? And how do we keep respect for personal decisions when it touches something that is so personal to us? I like this person. I think she's a good person and I hope to maintain a close relationship with her, at least at work. But it still hurts to know that she felt having a down syndrome baby was a sign that this baby wasn't mean to be. She is since divorced and remarried with a healthy baby, and I am happy for her. But I am still left feeling a little less because of what she told me.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Subhuman standards once again

I went to this play on the weekend with 2 friends. I had been to this theatre before with no problem. They have this contraption that they bring out that is like a little platform that they put on the aisle slope so you can wheel on it and make it even. The last time I went, they put this right beside the person I was sitting with. This weekend there were big problems with that. Apparently the fire marshall was enforcing strict regulations of wheelchairs not being put in the aisles. This is pretty standard in Canada. However, I was not told this when I made my reservations. And considering I was able to sit near my friend the last time, I assumed I would be able to do so again. Not the case. The platform had to be set up, not only against the wall on the other side of the aisle, but a few rows down as the entrance was right where the bought seats were. I voiced discontentment and the reply was immediately "we have no choice, there are regulations from the fire marshall we must follow". There was no apology, no voiced understanding of my frustrations. Most importantly, no clarification of this when I called to buy the tickets in the first place. They are talking about renovating the place to include taking out a row in the front for wheelchairs, but this would still not allow your companion to sit beside you, it would require them to sit behind you in the next row. Oh, and to top things off? Where is the accessible entrance to the theatre??? Yep, right next to the dumpster. Classy, eh? I am so sick and tired of less than adequate plans made to accomodate people with disabilities. I am so sick and tired of people spewing off excuses such as fire marshall regulations. Granted, I understand fire marshall regulations are real, but I do not for an instant believe that there is not a way to accomodate wheelchairs AND fire safety regulations. It can be done, it just takes some thought and work, people. God forbid. One of my friends I went with was actually more incensed than I was. I will, however, be writing a letter about this. Not impressed, folks. Not impressed.

Monday, December 04, 2006

So this is hell...

Well, remember about a year ago when I wrote that entry about a friend who wasn't really a friend and never replied to me when I said it upset me I never saw her? Well, lucky me. I get to see her Monday to Friday now. She is the lucky recipient of the last permanent position I applied to. We now get to work in the same building. I've already seen her 3 times since last week. It's been real fun. I actually said hello the first and third time, as I passed her by because it took me by surprise. The second time I just passed by without a word. Can you say awkward? Oh, and I meet tomorrow with my boss and my manager to discuss a complaint. Again. Could I feel any smaller? Yep. This is hell.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Work sucks!

Wow, haven't posted for over a month. Time sure does fly. A lot has happened, but I just haven't felt like blogging lately, so I've let it slide. But, to be honest, it's 3:10, I'm at work, and I don't feel like being here, so I am blogging to waste time.

Well, I'm in my new condo and things are going well. I am toooooooootally house poor now, but I just paid off my visa bill in the full yesterday, so I am feeling pretty relieved about that. Debt makes me nervous. I had my first thing break already... a kitchen cupboard hinge came out of the wood. Curtains aren't up yet, but are in the works. I have a list of a whole bunch of stuff to be done and bought, but I'm deferring most of it so I can put it on my Christmas list. And I'm getting a kitty! I'm a bit nervous... I hope I don't kill it by neglect ;).

Work is work. I'm in a position now I don't really love. I interviewed for my 5th try at a permanent position since working here (7th in total, including covering positions) only to be turned down once again. I am getting discouraged. Very discouraged. Office politics. Office rumours. I heard the person who got the job applied after the deadline. All sorts of stuff like that. Makes me wonder if they see me fitting into this organization. I've been here long enough to be the casual now with the most seniority, but I've been told that seniority doesn't always play a big part in the hiring process. My supervisor (who is not involved in the hiring process) tells me to take what I hear with a grain of salt and that there is no foul play involved in the process. It's hard to believe her sometimes. I made an appointment to sit down with my boss and get some feedback to see how I'm doing, if I'm improving in the interview process, and ask what it's going to take to become permanent. It's hard to keep going for interviews when I keep losing out to other applicants.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Speaking of abortion...

Ok, I'm going a bit interactive here. This is probably a loaded question, but I'm assuming that most (certainly not all ;)) of my readers are disabled. What are your thoughts on pre-screening fetuses for disabilities? Do you think this is okay in any circumstance? What about aborting a fetus due to a known or suspected disability? Black and white? Grey? Thoughts...?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Demonstrate this!!

Today I passed a little demonstration on anti-abortion. It was very small, maybe 5 people. They were all carrying the usual signs of "stop the killing" and "life begins at (such and such) days after conception", etc. It made me really angry. I truly fail to see how saving life at all cost is the better choice. One sign said something about adoption being a choice. Yes, it's true. It's a choice. But it's not the idyllic choice always that people may think. There are tons of kids in the foster care system here and in orphanage's abroad. These kids are not always treated so rosily. They are neglected, used for money, abused. Now, this is not true of every case obviously, but if you're going to choose a side, you really have to be aware of all the elements. What if a woman is raped? Is it really in the kid and mother's best interest to promote that she go through with that pregnancy? 100% of the time?

I heard about a case in the US a few weeks ago where this woman was raped in a park. She went to the ER and did a rape kit. It wasn't until she left that a friend asked her if she had been given the morning-after pill. She hadn't been. In her trauma, she hadn't even thought of it. So, the next day they called back and asked to get a prescription from the doctor who saw her. Turned out it was against his beliefs so he denied her the pill. That is very, very, VERY dangerous, folks. In no way should one's beliefs impinge on another person. EVER. Can you imagine the feelings that would come along with carrying to term a baby that reminds you of your rape every single day? Whether you keep that baby or not. And, on top of that, if you choose to give it away, imagine how that could add to the trauma. I would doubt most mothers who give up their kids for adoption just stop thinking about those kids.

The reasoning was that any doctor is supposed to do what is best for their patient and at the time that someone is pregnant, the doctor has two patients. Well, I don't think denying abortion is necessarily best for both a mother and the child. These people are thinking about the unborn fetus and only the unborn fetus. The mother is not cared for. If she considers abortion, she is demonized by anti-abortionists, including doctors who are anti-abortion.

I think we all need to get off our moral high-horse and let people do what they want with their own freakin' bodies. We should NOT have a right to say what people do to themselves, and that includes suicide, obesity, self-wounding. We should offer people support, options, and follow-up, but it is up to them to decide what to do in the end. I have my own beliefs. They should not matter to anyone else. I watched a show on child molesters a few weeks ago. One interviewed did not see anything wrong with that. He said children are sexual beings and should be allowed to express that. I believe that even very young kids explore their bodies and their sexuality in ... very.... simple.... ways. Touching mommy's breast, etc. Under no circumstances do I believe that a child has the capacity to understand that he wants to have sex with an adult. That is wrong. That is sick. Period. Those kids need protests, signs, protection.

But that's minors. Unborn children are not born yet. I don't believe fetuses within the safe abortion age range need protecting. Save the abused children, saved the starving children, save the planet, save the abused people, save the animals, save the rainforest, help the poor, help your family, help your freinds, help your neighbour. Leave the fetuses alone.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Personal space

For someone who used to be very anti-blogging, I'd like to note that this is my fiftieth post and I've been at it almost a year. I think a little "eating of words" is in order. Ahem.

Having said that, I'll move right along to today's rant. Personal space. This is a tricky one as it is different for each person, dependent on their experience, upbringing, culture, customs, or any other number of issues. I work as a social worker and I am constantly confronted by people who use space in all sorts of different ways. Some take up waaaaay too much. Others seem insecure to even take an extra millimetre. Some expect you to take more, others expect you to shut the hell up. It's amazing that so many of us can click. Connect on that intimate level. Find others who share our space perspective. Or just not care about the fact that others' space ideas are different from our own.

This morning I had to go for a blood test and a urine culture (that's a whole other story.. urine culture containers are NOT female friendly! I feel like I need a bath). I was not allowed to eat before this test so by the time it was done, I was famished. In line for breakfast, I someone behind me in line was leaning on my chair. By the time I looked around they were gone, but I have to say that is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. It is one thing for someone who knows you very well to do that, but I get very offended when strangers do it. It's like an extension of me and I really resent that people don't respect that. I have never actually mustered up enough courage to say something when I find people doing that. Instead I revert back to the evil look. That's my thing. I've got that evil look mastered. Except for the "having it work" part. It often works, but not always. Is this a pet peeve of anyone else? Are you vocal about it? What do you do? Is it wrong to expect people to see that as personal space and to stay away?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Ok, well maybe that's a little harsh, but I'm in a bad mood today. No reason, just a general "everything sucks" mood. I have not heard back from the news program that was going to do my story on the inaccessible condo. I have called and emailed and the woman who initially contacted me is not returning my calls. I think that's really unprofessional. And I'm pissed off. In my last message, I said I just wanted to know if the story was going ahead or not, that was all. No response.

Work has gotten better, but I feel a bit burned out. And that pisses me off.

Things are not going all that badly, but lately I just seem to notice the negative side of everything and THAT pisses me off. I piss me off. Last weekend I bought some Halloween candy and I didn't enjoy it... that may have started the pissy ball rolling. I'm not even PMSing, so I can't even blame that. I wonder if there's a post MSing condition?


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Anyone want to make a million dollars??

Okay, well maybe not a million, but I think there is an untapped market here that would be very fruitful! You've heard me gripe about this before, and I thought it only fitting that since I just posted about winter coats, I follow that with a post about winter gloves!

I have yet to find the perfect pair of winter gloves. That is the understatement of the century. I go through gloves pretty quickly, or I make due with cold, wet, clammy hands. As a wheelchair user in a particularly cold, wet and snowy climate, I am appalled to find that there seems to be no such thing as "Canadian winter" wheelchair gloves. I did a search for winter wheelchair gloves and I found these things made in Britain that were probably great for British winters, but may only suffice here on a cold, rainy fall day. I am talking wet, slushy, thick snow that coats your hands as fast as it coats your wheels. Wheeling even a block in such condition is impossible. Okay, well it's possible, but frostbite is not fun, folks. When your gloves are cold and soaked through wet, you cannot wait until they dry to wheel the rest of the way. All you can do is wheel a few feet and wait until the painful tingling in your fingertips stops and you can feel again for another few feet.

I really would like to find someone who would be able to make these wonder gloves. Here are the requirements:

1. COMPLETELY WATERPROOF. Rubbery sounds good, except it impinges on requirement #2...
2. NON-LATEX. As many wheelchair users (especially those with spina bifida) have latex allergies.
3. GOOD GRIP. When you're wheel is wet, it is hard to get a grip sometimes. And when you're wheeling through snow, even harder. The gloves would need some sort of grip material on the palm.
4. WARM. They would need some sort of warm lining to keep the hands warm while the gloves are in contact with the wet, slushy snow.

Four things. That's not a lot to ask. Is it? Anybody out there have superiour sewing abilities? :)

Deadly winter coats

I dread looking for a winter coat. There are so many factors to consider. First off, it has to be warm, obviously. Secondly, it has to be some sort of water resistant material. Water resistant to the point where my cuffs, which are grinding along the wheels as I wheel, stay dry and don't soak through. The cuffs on most shirts, sweaters, coats, are the first to go. They wear through and start to look pretty ratty when the rest of the piece is absolutely fine. If it's not water resistant, and is some sort of clothlike material, that's just asking for trouble. It gets soggy and your clothes underneath get soggy and it's just generally pretty darn ugly. And even if it's water resistant, it REALLY needs to be water resistant. Most "water resistant" labelled stuff doesn't pass the Ranter test. I am pretty hard on my sleeves, especially in winter. Sure, it may resist water for the average Joe who is just merely touching snow or rain. With my wheeling, I rub and grind it in. Pushing one's wheelchair in snow/slush can be hard work. Thirdly, the item in question cannot contain any latex. This hasn't been too much of a problem for me, but occasionally, like today, I hit a snag. I received my LL Bean catalogue and was flipping through looking for winter jackets that I could add to my Christmas list. Last year I received a jacket as a present and had to return it because it was riddled with latex! The snap covers, the zipper pull thing... even an LL Bean logo on the front was indeed latex. This year, I thought I'd be smart. I made a note of all the possible winter jackets I wanted and emailed LL Bean with the catalogue item numbers and asked if these items contained latex. Their answer was that there were so many chemicals used in the process of making their jackets, they couldn't confidently tell me if their jackets had latex or not. I've bought from LL Bean before, without questioning the latex factor. In fact my current winter jacket is LL Bean, as is my rain jacket. I have never had a problem until last year's jacket. Obviously the chemicals they use in processing their jackets do not bother me unless they have specific latex parts on them. Oh, sometimes when I wear down the cuff too much, the elastic shows through (even just a tiny pin prick) and I get little white bumps on my wrist. That happened to last year's jacket, so I went to a tailor who put leather reinforcement on the cuffs to cover the hole.

But really though, is it too much to ask companies to list the ingredients used making their clothes? Just like foods. Are not these same chemicals used in all jackets or most? I hope this current jacket lasts a few more years.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Give me a freakin' chance first, sheesh!

I've had a rough week. As you saw in my previous post, I got more work replacing someone on a maternity leave. I have not started that position yet, although I've been working in that unit a couple mornings a week as part of my present job which I've had for about 5 1/2 months. To prepare me for a full-time position there for the next year, my manager wants to send me to a bunch of training, which I've been doing. That will go on sporadically for a couple weeks. I have none this coming week thankfully. I will start the new full-time position mid-October, as that's when my current contract ends and when the person I'm presently replacing will be coming back. The person who left the position I will take over mid-October left 2 weeks ago. They have not been able to provide proper coverage for her position since she left for the past 2 weeks. Therefore, you guessed it, it's been left up to me to cover both my present position AND the other position. They tried to get coverage. They found someone, but she was only available 2 days a week for the past 2 weeks. As of this coming week she'll be there 4 days a week. Also, as of this coming week, part of my present job will disappear as there will be a new person starting in a recently created new position to alleviate some of the workload.

Following so far?

With the new person starting, and someone providing coverage on the other position 4 days a week, my workload will decrease until I start my new position. However, the past 2 weeks have been hellish and I've been pretty overloaded.

So earlier this week, I get called into my boss's office and she's there with my unit manager. They have concerns that I haven't been giving as much attention to the position I will be doing full-time in mid-October. Specifically they mentioned one case I had worked on. My manager received a complaint that I had done only superficial work. My manager asked the complaintant if I had done what they had asked of me. I had. She then asked the complaintant if I had reported back to her when I had done what they had asked of me. I had. My manager then asked what the problem was then. The response was that I hadn't done that "extra" bit. I hadn't fished for more information, I hadn't asked if there was anything more they wanted me to do with that.

I was flabbergasted. I did not see this coming at all! And, quite frankly, I think it is unfair. I had to be very professional though and keep my cool. So, I validated what they told me. I told them that I agreed that perhaps I did not give the case as much attention as I could have. I explained that I had gone to another department that had dealt with that case the same day to get some background information. I had called the person in question and gotten some details. I reported back to the person who asked me to do this what I had done and what still needs follow-up from her. And then I left. I reiterated that I have essentially been doing 2 positions when I already felt that my present position as it is is too much (and such has been reduced with the addition of the new position). I informed them that time was a factor. I didn't have time to document what I had done yet (and I had been called by the complaintant before the day's end to ask if I had documented yet), but I did by the end of the day, as I had planned to do.

What pissed me off was that even after I said that, while I don't expect a pat on the back, there was no recognition of the fact that I've been doing all this extra load and that it is impossible to give everything full attention. Oh, I had initially asked if this were something that needed to be done that day, or if it could wait until next week when there would be proper coverage for that position. They said it could not wait, and that was fine. When you do emergency coverage you do what needs to be done then, but anything that can wait will wait until the person you're covering for comes back. That question of mine was interpreted by the complainant as me being reluctant to do the task asked. Well, darn freaking right I was reluctant! I have a 2x caseload, TYVM!

I talked about it with my superviser in supervision yesterday and I felt better. I tend to take things personally, and it helped to remove me from the situation and recognize that it's more a reflection of my manager's expectations. The thing is, how I'm doing in that position now while I'm doing this other position too, is not reflective of how I'll work when I'm solely in that new position and can give it my full attention. I felt they judged me, and did it too quickly. I now will have to show them that once I'm in that position, they were wrong about me.

Now that it's a couple days later and I've had my supervision, today I am ANGRY!! I already had reservations about working in this department, but now I'm in it and I feel like they've already decided I'm not up to par. During that meeting, my manager said she had gone around to others in the department to ask them their impression of me. That's fine, but then she told me. "so and so says you're very approachable and easy to work with, but they don't see you around here in the department very often." Again.... 2X caseload, people!!!

I have a feeling it's going to be a long year.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Here we go again

I had my 5th interview for an internal job at the place I work. For the 5th time, I didn't get it. Instead, my boss asked if I am interested in covering someone going on a maternity leave for a year. It's in the same general department as the other permanent job I didn't get. I'll probably end up taking it, but when you cover someone for a year you don't get any benefits as you're not a permanent staff member. No vacation pay, no sick pay, no holiday pay. If you don't work, you don't get $$$. The compensation for that is extra pay in lieu of, which is pretty good. However, the other down side is that you can't apply for a permanent job for the first 6 months of being in a long-term casual position. That sucks. Going from contract to contract with that restriction makes it hard to get the permanent positions. Damn damn damn damn damn. There's also a very good chance the person I'm covering may not come back to that position after her maternity leave, as she wants part-time. Obviously this means that I could apply for the position I'd be in for the next year at the end. It's just also not one of the areas that I've enjoyed the most. But, I do have a mortgage to pay and a new condo to tend to. So maybe I should just stop whining, shut up and take the damn job. It's not such a bad alternative, I know. I'm just tired of being second choice all the time. I'm not afraid of paying my dues and earning my spot, but.. over 2 years and 5 interviews within the same place. It's frustrating. My boss did tell me that I did a great job during the interview and that I've improved a lot in the interview process and that I did take all her feedback into consideration from the last time and acted on it. That's good, really. But damn it, I want my turn at stability! I know... whine, whine, whine ;).

Then, on Thursday, while waiting for the bus, I ran into a woman from the place I worked for a bit last winter. You remember the same indecision I wrote about back then, I'm sure. Anyway, she called me on Friday and said they had lots of work and that she could almost guarantee 100% that I would become permanent. I have to call her back Monday, but I know I still don't want to work there. As frustrating as it is to wait out the jobs where I am now, I am happy there. I feel stimulated.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Busy Busy Busy!

Well, the last month has been a hectic one for me. Mostly good though, although not all. The bad news is I must go for surgery. During routine tests, my urologist has found a lump on one of my ovaries. I have to go see a gyne oncology specialist and will probably have to have it removed. I am not worried so much about the big C as I am about the fact that I need to have surgery. Ovarian masses are very common, and the bigger they are, the better the chance of them being benign. But surgery scares the hell out of me. I haven't had one since I was 14, but I had had about a dozen or so by that age.

Well, the first bit of good news is that I got a letter from the mayor in response to the letter I had sent out. He said he will get his staff to gather info for him, which he will review, and then he will get back to me.

And the last best bit of good news is that I found a condo! An already built condo! No waiting 2 1/2 years to move in. It's just a small 1 bedroom, but it's about 100 sq. ft. bigger than the one that is not yet built that would not let me have a ramp to the balcony. This one does have a balcony too, but the threshold is only 3 inches. And no developer involved this time! There is so much to do before I move in!! But it's all so very exciting!

So, those things have been taking up my time, keeping me busy. Along with my full-time job, of course. One day at a time!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sensitivity training for your friends?

I have this friend. She's an incredibly good friend. One of those rare kinds of friends you find who are just so easy going and you connect in so many ways. She's the kind of person who I think anyone at all would like and get along with. Every time we see each other, before we say goodbye, she always leaves with "we'll have to get together again soon". And she's not one of those who just say it, she follows through. I feel very priviledged to have her as a friend.

However, there is one thing she does that really, really, really gets on my nerves. And we've talked about it. She is always wanting to help. On one hand that's a very nice quality to have. But, on the other, it touches on my achilles heel. As a person in a wheelchair, I get people wanting to help me every day. "Can I do this for you?", "Let me get this for you?", "Why don't I open that for you?". Also, thanks (a little bit genuine, a little bit sarcastic) to my mother, I am fiercely independent. Fiercely. Combine that with all the times I've been patted on the head, told I'm such a nice girl (by strangers who have no freaking idea how nice I am), been given help when I didn't want it and wasn't asked, and yes, I have a big chip on my shoulder. I know it. I admit it. I embrace it. That's me, I'm not going to change. Deal.

Yet, I'm torn in this situation. She knows it bothers me, but she cannot help it. She says she does it to all her friends. I can't help it either. I cannot accept it. It will always be a sore spot for me. I'm a big believer in picking your battles and know that friendships are all about compromise. But this brings up the question of acceptance. People rarely change drastically, but I do believe they can learn to change small things. I can't expect her to change who she is, and I also don't want her to have to be wary around me and afraid to open a door from time to time. But I can't be expected to change either. I don't mind someone opening a door if they're ahead of me. That's common courtesy and I have absolutely no problem with that. But it's more than that. She's always saying "let me". Yesterday we went out to dinner and she came over to my place on the way. I asked her if she would change a light bulb for me. She was glad to. I went in the closet and pulled out the small step ladder. She started in on the "oh, let me". I told her I was fine. Then she changed it and I thanked her and went to put the ladder back in the closet and she did it again. Then on the way out it was "let me get the door". She has also said things like "ok, now this time I am GOING to get the door for you." I ended up telling her we had to talk about this coz it was driving me crazy. I don't want to offend her, but I wasn't going to change.

Yet, I can't shake this feeling of feeling bad about it. I don't want to make a bigger deal of it than it needs to be, but I do want the behaviour to change. I want her to be able to understand that it can't always be her giving. If I'm ahead of her, I should hold the door open for her. If she's ahead, she can get it. And sometimes it's okay to go out of the way to help, but sometimes she has to be the receiver. Otherwise the balance of our friendship is unequal.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hallelujah, the media!

Well, I looked in the building contract and it says that any changes to the outside of the building need to be approved and that management reserves the right to UNREASONABLY withhold consent. So, I am powerless as there is no recourse to make them put a ramp to my balcony.

So, I did the only thing I could think of left to do... I wrote a letter. I sent this letter to the PM, ministers, city councillor and mayor, along with the media. I got a call back from one of the tv shows I contacted saying they're interested in my story and would like to look into it further.

Interesting times ahead, folks. Interesting times ahead.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

... or not so much...

I called back the Human Rights Commission to file my complaint today and was told that I actually did NOT have grounds to file a human rights violation complaint. I wish I had known that before I went and got the developer angry. This is not good.

So now what the HRC told me was that I have to call the building code people back and see if there's anything in the code stopping me from building a ramp. If there is, then there's nothing I can do. If there isn't, then she said I should approach the builders and ask if they would build a ramp at my expense. If they will, great. If they won't then there is nothing stopping me from building my own. If the developer gives me a hard time about building a ramp when I am entitled to, THEN I can file a human rights violation complaint.

Man, this is complicated!

Oh, it's on!

Well, I spoke with the condo person this morning and was told that unequivocally there is nothing they can do to make a unit balcony wheelchair accessible on the outside. He tried to turn my attention to their other non-balcony units of which there are a couple per floor, one being a bachelor pad, which I am not willing to downsize to. So, at this point I mentioned that I had talked to the Human Rights Commission and was told that they felt I had grounds to file a human rights violation complaint. He tells me "well, fine, if that's the way you're going to proceed, do that. Goodbye" and hangs up.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Here a right, there a right, everywhere a right right. Right!

Well, I spoke with the condo developer this morning and was shot down. He tells me that ramping the balcony would not be possible, levelling it even more impossible. I told him that was discrimination, to which he replied it was not. Well, I called the Human Rights Commission, and they agree with me. So, I emailed the developer back and asked him to clarify some of what we talked about. I was extremely upset when I talked to him and when I hung up I hadn't processed all the details. I emailed and asked exactly how high the lip out to the balcony was, and said that if it were only 4 inches, that would mean a ramp of maybe 12-18 inches and I asked for clarification as to whether that was not possible. During our conversation, he had mentioned something about building envelopes and how they were in place to prevent water from entering the condo and causing damage to the buildng. I mentioned in the email to him that a ramp would still have all the water rolling down, and not in the unit. He also said all the balconies had to be uniform. I asked if I could build a ramp myself as well. I haven't heard back from him yet, but if answers me to the negative, then I will go ahead and tell him I spoke with the Human Rights Commission and that they feel I have grounds for a complaint and that the building would have to try to accomodate me.

I have been absolutely unproductive at work today. I've holed myself in with the door shut. I've stopped crying, so that's a good thing, but I am so angry and feel so very helpless... and can't forget tired.

Over and out.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I'm having a blah day. It's been one of those weeks where everything seems to be a struggle and not much seems to go my way. I still think this condo thing is going to work out, but let me tell you, it has been tough! I have talked to a zillion different people and organizations in my city with not much positive outcome. I finally ended up emailing the newspaper with my story as I have been so frustrated. I was supposed to meet with the building interior designer on Friday. She didn't show up. When I called her 20 minutes after we were supposed to meet, she answered her cell phone and said "oh, well, I have to go home and feed my kid before she has to go back to school and I really should talk with the architects first before we meet." Don't you think she should have mentioned to me that she wasn't going to meet me when she figured out all that other stuff? She called me back later to tell me she had spoken with the project developer who was not willing to make changes to the balcony plans because "he feels he has already made enough concessions for the building to be accessible". Umm... what the hell???? He's building a building where people in wheelchairs can't get on the unit balconies, nor can they get on the pool deck. What the hell IS accessible about the building? The freaking front door? The fact that it's a 20 some storey building with ELEVATORS?? Well! Thank you very much for your kind consideration in making those amenities accessible. How freaking whiny of me to expect you to actually make the LIVING SPACE accessible. Holy freaking god.

Anyway, on speaking with my brother, we thought building a ramp would be the best way to go. I looked in the yellow pages and found a company that makes custom built ramps. One that would be removeable or foldable would be cool. I'll call them tomorrow to see what they have to say. I still can't believe 8 inches can be such a freaking hellish experience.

So Saturday, I headed to the gym to get my dose of eye candy and adrenaline, as well as to let go of some angst. Instead, Sunday guy is there. I say hello and politely ask him what he's doing there on a Sunday. (I'm very proud of myself for not blurting out "What the hell are you doing here taking the place of beautiful Saturday guy, you bastard?"). Turns out at Sunday guy's request, they've switched schedules for the summer. Former Saturday guy now works during the week when I'm at work. I may not see him until September, or ... ever! This was especially upsetting after last week when I finally had a bit of a longer convo than the previous disastrous one. I had this week all planned out too. Grrrrrrrrrrr!

My washroom project website is not showing up in Google. Not sure what's up with that. I've gotten no replies about it. Blah.

Oh, and I went to see The Breakup today. Blah.

On a non-blah note, I met up with this woman from a writing class I had taken. We are going to meet every couple of weeks in an effort to keep the motivation to write and bounce stuff off each other.

Tomorrow's Monday. Blah.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Red tape sucks

Well, I am no further along than before on this condo balcony issue. I haven't actually been able to speak to anyone, only leave multiple messages left and right. I called back the Paraplegic Association and got some more contacts. They actually look quite promising, but who knows. The sales rep. has put the condo I'm interested on hold, but it can't stay there forever. I am discouraged, but not done yet. They have chosen to mess with a social worker, unlucky them!!! En garde!!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


In case you may not have noticed, I'm a little angry today. I went to see Condo rep woman on the weekend to bring her my list of questions. One question was regarding the balcony. It will have a hump to get out, about 1 foot high. I asked if they could make it level so I could have access to my balcony. She said she would fax my questions to the builder. She called me today to tell me she heard back from him and that the balcony access would be an issue. They could not make the balcony door level due to potential water damage leaking in the apartment. I called an Independent Living Centre to ask if anything could be done. She said "basically, no". So then I said, "so, that means that people in wheelchairs can never have apartments or condos with balconies?" She said "basically, yes". So finally, I asked "what if I decide to renovate it myself?" She said "you can't change the structure of a building or they could sue you". Nice. I then called the Canadian Paraplegic Association. The woman I needed to speak with wasn't there so I left a message. She returned my call and left me a message giving me the name of someone who, she said, "knows everything". I will give him a call tomorrow. I just can't believe this. This is a new place that they haven't even begun to build yet! I'm also going to call the building code people. There has to be something that can be done. I am incensed!!!!

Saturday, May 27, 2006


I am an idiot. Sure, I have 2 BAs, a BSW and an MSW, but it doesn't matter. I remain an idiot. I went to the gym today. Hot gym guy was there! I hadn't seen him for almost 2 months, so I assumed he had either changed shifts or left. I had kind of given up hope of seeing him again. Very disappointing. So today, when I arrived and saw him, I was so flabbergasted, that I could hardly speak in sentences. He wasn't at the counter, but in the back room and I could see him through the window. He saw me and came out to the front. Our conversation goes somewhat like this:

Me: Hey
Him: Hey, how's it going?
Me: Good, you?
Him: Good. Is it hot out?
Me: Yeah, very.
Him: Really? It was cool when I came in.
Me: (rummaging in my bag) I can't find my swipe card.
Him: It's ok, I can enter you on the computer.
Me: Oh, wait, there it is.
Me: (having swiped in) See you in a bit.
Him: Yeah, see you.

(.... an hour or so later, as he is talking to someone as I leave)

Me: Bye, see you next week.
Him: Yeah, bye.

Of course there are a ton of things I think to say now! But nooooooooooooooooooooo! Did I say "Hey, haven't seen you in a while, thought you had changed shifts"?? Noooooooooo How about "Hey, how's it going? Where've you been?" Nope! "Hey, how's it going? You know, I don't know your name..."??? Uh uh...

Can I borrow someone's social skills, please? I seem to have bruised my forehead.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Condo dilemmas

So, I've decided to buy this condo. However, I'm still vascillating between 2 choices. My big dilemma is such: I can buy a small condo with a parking space that I can rent out monthly, or I can buy a bigger condo with no parking for pretty much the same price. I don't have a car. A parking space can, however, add to the resale value of the condo should I decide to leave one day, which I very well will do, especially if it's a smaller condo. My brother is trying to convince me that I shouldn't buy a condo without a parking space, as not many people would want a condo without a parking space and selling at a good price could be difficult. More space would, however, be nice. Hmmmmmm.......

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Getting away with murrrrrrrderrrrrr

I was thinking today, as usual. It would be totally logical if all the murderers out there were disabled. Really, think about it. How many times in your own lives, have you gotten away with murder? Ok, well, not literal murder. But people with disabilities seem to have this reputation for being innocent and completely incapable of committing any wrong or mean acts. I mean, we're too busy being brave and courageous and absolutely inspirational, right? What a FANTASTIC cover!! It's absolutely brilliant. Can't you see it on A&E's Cold Case Files now? "Really, I can't believe it. She's been my neighbour for over 15 years and she's just lovely. What a trooper, going to work every day in that adapted transport, waiting patiently every day for her driver to bring her to work. Imagine that, she works too! I mean, who would have thought she'd have the time to work, wait for her transport AND commit these heinous crimes! Apparently she even volunteered too. You know, I think we should go easy on her. She's really such an inspiration. And, you know, if I had what she had on her plate, I'd probably snap too. God bless her. I'll miss her. She was a wonderful neighbour."

I had to pick up a parcel today. While waiting in line at the post office, I was thinking that no one at that post office had ever asked me for I.D. Ironically, today they did. But it's so rare, that the chance they'd notice you on that one particular day that you decide to commit murder would be so freakishly slim.

Now, by no means am I endorsing murder, and certainly not suggesting that all you disabled people out there get right on that. But, I'm just saying... you could probably get away with it. Not that that's a good thing. Really.

I did see one of those A&E shows, probably American Justice, where the killer actually was disabled. And, let me tell you, it was rather exciting! He was caught and went to jail, as he should have, but I really thought it was great to see a person in a wheelchair portrayed as something other than bloody wonderful. I hope that in some sick, twisted way that made sense. Now if the news would do a piece on beggars who use their disability to gain sympathy, and, in turn, money and what a crock that is, or even something more useful such as how inaccessible our damn cities are, or even a story about a disabled person that has NOTHING to do with disability, instead of wasting their time on stories about people with disabilities who are labelled inspirational because they do what non-disabled folk do every freakin' day, I'd be even happier.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Is it too much to ask...

to be able to see just one televised story or newscast about disability that doesn't use the word "special"?? Enough with all this "they're all so inspirational for living" crap already. Sigh.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

And to be fair... daddy dearest

I just spent 15 days with my father in Italy. Italy being as inaccessible as it is, meant that those 15 days were pretty much 24/7 as well. My relationship with my father is not an easy one either. In many ways it is easier than with my mother, as I am more similar to my father in many respects. But what complicates the matter is that I am my father's favourite and he showers me with attention that he does not give my brother, and I cannot stand it. It was a VERY uncomfortable 2 weeks. Well, the first week was okay, but during the second week, I reached my limit. I am all torn with emotion. See, my father is very intense. Quietly intense. He's always asking me how I'm feeling and hugging me, etc. On the one hand, I commend him because he had a difficult childhood and showing his emotions is difficult. He and my mother divorced when I was 5 and my brother was 8. For the next 15 years or so, I was kind of my father's companion. I was unequivically the most important thing in my father's life. He didn't have any serious girlfriends for that time. I was shy and reserved and didn't have many friends, so my weekend was spent solely with my father. We went to dinner together, to movies.. everything was just us two. As a child it didn't bother me too much but there was this one evening that we both remember and our interpretations are both different, though my father does not know that. He was picking me up from my mother's on a Friday night and we were going out to dinner. He leaned over to give me a hug and a kiss and I backed off and said "not on the first date". I must have been about 9. Now, my father has never been inappropriate around me, so I don't mean to imply anything of that nature. However, I do feel that our closeness has always been a little inappropriate. Inappropriate in that it was too close and intense for a father/daughter relationship. It's not that he sees me as anything other than a daughter, but in many ways I felt like his companion. He relied on me, and I had no one but him because I had few, and sometimes no, friends. He tried to give me as much love as possible and probably extra attention as a result. But I feel it was just as much, if not more, his own need, than mine. He was lonely, not very self-assured, and had few friends. Although many people liked my father, he didn't let them get close, or he doubted their friendship, or didn't see that they liked him.

As I came into my teenage years, I started to resent this closeness a little. I resented that my Friday nights were at home playing Scrabble with my father rather than going out with my friends like most kids. So, I pushed him away. When I was about 15, my mom moved cities and I went to live with my father. For the most part, it worked out well, as I wasn't getting along with my mom then. I lived with him for the next 10 years or so. He finally got a girlfriend, but this didn't change our dynamic much. I was still very much the centre of his attention, and I still pulled away. Then my stepmother came along and all changed. All his attention got diverted to her. I resented her, didn't like her. It all had happened so quickly, there was little time to adjust. She was living in another country, so before they got married and she moved here, I had only met her once. My father and her moved away after 2 years of marriage. Ever since the marriage, the time spent with my father is very awkward. It often ends up in tears. There were more heated discussions and anger at the beginning, but now it's mostly him trying to be close, me pushing him away and big tears seconds before I leave. This is what happened in Italy.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my father. And ever since he's been married, I have been trying to spend time alone with him, because it happens very rarely. He came and stayed with me for a few days a couple of times when he came to visit and she came a couple days later as she was visiting her kids in the interim. Usually it was 3 days, and that was fine. But also, I was working or volunteering or going to school so we'd usually see each other in the mornings, and then for dinner. So, I had been pushing for 7 years for this trip for the 2 of us. It took that long for him to agree and commit to a time. We planned it over the last 7 months and I was excited about going and spending time alone with him. Then, a week into it I swear to god, I wanted him to die. Ok, not literally, but I wanted to run, escape, be far, far away. And the emotions around this were astounding. They still are. First of all the accessibility issue, as I mentioned... we were sharing a hotel room. So, really, it was 24/7. I am a person who really needs my space. Anyone, if around them too long, will annoy me. I just need to retreat and hide ... often. I coudln't do that here. And my iPod wasn't working properly so I couldn't even escape into that. I would get up in the morning, and cry in the shower so he wouldn't here. I would lie in the dark, crying carefully so as not to make a sound. In the last 3 or 4 days, I wanted to cry all the time.

Now, when my father knows there's something wrong, he gets all intense. The problem was, I needed space. So, the more I withdrew, the more he'd do things like keep eye contact. It drove me crazy. In fact, it made my skin crawl. So, the more he'd do that, the more I'd avoid him, and look to the left, to the right... anywhere, but at him. If he kept it up long enough, I'd finally say "WHAT?". And he'd say "you seem distant". I'd say "I feel like you're staring at me." He'd say "I am". It's his way of trying to get me to talk, to try and let me know he's there. Well, see, I know he's there, because I can't freaking get away! I have never been comfortable with his intenseness. I have never been comfortable with the fact that he seems to find it so easy to give me attention, and resists giving any to my brother. I have asked him numerous times why he doesn't go on a trip with my brother. His answer is that he doesn't think my brother would want to spend time with him. Since I've been back, I had lunch with my brother who told me that on his last 2 of 3 trips to Asia, he has asked my dad to come along, and my dad has decline. GRRRRRRRR!!!!! Why does he spend so much time trying to get close to me as I keep pushing him away, and not bother trying to get close to my brother when my brother invites him in, which isn't often, I admit????? I can't stand it!

Since I've been back, my dad has been trying desperately to reach me. And I don't want to talk to him. I am so angry. But, for the last 12 years or so, I'm always angry at my dad and I'm tired of it, but I can't let it go either. He called me the morning after I returned, but I was getting ready for work so didn't answer the phone. Then he called me on my birthday, and I didn't answer. Today he called me, but I was actually down doing laundry. It's only been 5 days since I've been back (I should mention that he's still in Europe.. he went to France to meet my stepmom who has relatives there). He sounded upset that he can't reach me and said he'd try again while they were still there. Yet, he hasn't tried to call my brother. Each time he calls he says what a good time he's had. Ok, I get it.. he doesn't have to reassure me 5 times already! Then, of course, I feel guilty for being angry. One friend said "so let him treat you like his favourite, why not?". But I can't. I know I can't change him, but I can't accept his behaviour and attention either. I'm tired of the struggle, tired of always being angry at him, but I don't know what else to do. I feel like a horrible child.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Light Bulb

Well, my recent trip has got me thinking. And I think I came up with a pretty good idea. Go to http://ca.geocities.com/mcsting@rogers.com to check it out.

Universal Bad Taste

Ok, this has nothing to do with disability, but I just had to say it (ok, well I'll work some disability in there too). ! I just got back tonight from my trip to Italy and they have just as little fashion sense as we do in Canada. If I have to see one more woman in low-cut jeans that shows butt crack when she sits down, I'm going to puke. People? That isn't sexy!! That is so far from sexy! Ugh.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Modern Canadian Water Torture

Remember that appointment that I had at the inaccessible office? Well, I finally had it and my doctor booked further tests to give me the complete work-up to start off his files on me. So today, I went off for an ultrasound (after checking to make sure the clinic I was going to was indeed accessible). He wanted all the internal organs checked, beginning with the bladder. Preparation? No food after I went to bed from the night before. 1 hour before the test, 32 ounces of water. Then an hour of probing on my bladder and stomache. Can you say torture? It was one of the more unbearable situations I have been through, and I've had a few nasty ones. It seemed the technician found every tender spot on my belly and pressed harder. Finally, I was allowed to get up and pee, but then had to come back as they wanted pictures of my bladder full and empty. Major relief, yes, but as you can imagine, with 32 ounces of water, it didn't take long before I needed to pee a 2nd time. And a 3rd on the way home. And... you get the picture. Oy. Ow. Oh. I can't wait for my next yearly check-up!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Rights vs. Reality

I saw a therapist once who told me I had a right to find love. This was so obvious to me it was a "well, duh" moment. But of course I didn't say that to her. But it made me examine my own attitude toward relationships. Yes, I have a right to love, as I have a right to access, to equal treatment, to be an astronaut. The reality is, just because you have a right to something doesn't mean you're going to get it. What good does it do me to know I have a right to be in a relationship with a man if no man I desire thinks of me in a romantic way? What am I supposed to do with that right?

I have asked two men out in my life, both times have been less than successful. They were both via email, so making it much easier to be let down. The first time, he was the one. The ONE. I was crushed, devastated (again, I think I mentioned this in a previous blog. Have I so little to say that I have to repeat myself so often? Oy!). After him, there was no one for years. In fact, even now, I don't allow myself to become interested in someone to that point anymore. He didn't mean to hurt me, but that rejection took my heart, pounded on it with a sledgehammer and crushed it into a million tiny pieces. I have still not recovered, and I don't know how to.

Some eight years later, here I am finding myself in a situation where I've asked out someone else (also mentioned in a previous post). My 2nd choice was very calculated. He doesn't make my head spin. He does not attract me. We don't have much in common. He is safe because of this. He cannot break my heart. In fact I'm sure I will tire of him before he tires of me as a friend. This is already beginning to happen. But he is someone, a body, and fulfills a need.

There is this guy behind the counter of the gym I go to. He works Saturdays. I say hello and we have a little conversation every time I go. But I don't know what else to do with it. I could not possibly ask him out, because he is not safe. I actually care and want something out of it. There's too much at stake. If I could ask someone out without them actually thinking I've asked them out, then maybe I could do it. But then that would be pointless, right?

When my therapist told me I have a right to love, my first thought was no one I am interested in could possibly be interested in me that way so what's the point? Self-fulfilling prophecy, perhaps? Maybe.

I've realized that the least painful way to deal with unrequited love is not to love in the first place. Not to hope, desire, dream, want. Turn right off. I don't want to be there anymore.

I hope you've all had better luck in you being your type's type.

Friday, March 31, 2006

The wheels on the bus...

Yes, more bus issues. Damn, I'm beginning to dread the bus. Today I get to the stop first and am waiting for the bus. Two colleagues come shortly after and we talk about our day. The bus comes and they get on the side door and I go in the front. The bus is crowded today, true, but there was space near me where they could have stood. They probably didn't see it, but they didn't look. So they stayed together for the trip and I read my book. Finally one of them gets off, and the other stays on past her usual stop. She makes her way over to me and asks me which stop she should get off to get to such and such a street. I was really pissed off. And I'm sure it showed. I felt really pissed off that she came to speak to me when the other woman was gone, but didn't bother to make her way until then. Especially since all 3 of us were waiting at the stop together. I know I shouldn't expect people to stay with me, but I just feel it's thoughtless not to. Especially if you're going to come up to me after to ask me a question. I really feel separated in situations like that. I feel saying something is pointless, but people don't understand how isolating it is sometimes to be disabled and have to do things differently than others. Of course my obsessive personality doesn't help situations like this :). Blah!

Mommy Dearest

I remember a few years back having a conversation with 2 disabled friends of mine. We ended up talking about our mothers and realized that we all had something in common. Our mothers were crazy. Overbearing, dominant, guilt-giving, unrealistic crazy. It started me wondering about how many other people with disabilities had crazy mothers. And of course the question that comes from that is.. which came first, the disabled child or the crazy mother? Now, in defense of our mothers, I must say that a) I am certain it's not easy bringing up a disabled child, b) everybody has a bit of craziness in them. Lord knows I do! But my 2 friends and I noticed that our mothers were very similar in this regard.

I think this would make a very interesting study. I love my mother, but I can't be around her for too long before she starts driving me crazy. Bang your head on a brick wall crazy. My mother feels that in order to make friends, I have to be extraordinary. She always said she had hoped I would be an artist because everyone would be in awe of that talent and just naturally want to be around me. That is wrong on just so many levels. First of all, that is naturally coming from her own biased viewpoint. She values art. I do draw. Sometimes quite well. I have a glimmer of talent which my procrastinating nature never really nurtured. But it doesn't matter to me. It's a hobby I dabble in sometimes. Whatever. When I chose social work, she wasn't happy with that. she felt life was hard enough for me, why would I want to listen to other people's problems. It's funny, I see her point to an extent, but it is still narrow-minded. I don't have the patience in my personal life to listen to people who only talk about problems or heck, even only talk about themselves. I used to be able to deal with that, not anymore. However in my professional life, I quite enjoy it. I can separate it because it is my role to listen to them. I am in control as I chose to do this. In your personal life, when you have friends who are too needy (and for a while those were the only type of friends I was attracting), it feels beyond your control. That doesn't mean that I don't want to listen to my friends talk about their problems. Of course I have patience for that, but to a point. I am there for my good friends as they are there for me. But I will also challenge them. If they are whining about the same crap, I will tell them that they are not doing anything to change their situation and I won't be as patient. If they are trying to change their situation and it's just not working, I'll be very compassionate. But, that was a tangent. Back to mothers...

What my mother really didn't and doesn't get is that all her talk about having a great talent to draw people to you affected me negatively. It made me afraid to be who I am, whoever that is, for fear it's not good enough for "normal" folk to like. I was always told to cover up my legs and feet because they are deformed so I'll "look pretty". Same with my weight. "You'd be so pretty if you were thinner". I had to hide as much of my disability as possible and overcompensate for it by doing extraordinary things. I wasn't allowed to be just a normal girl with a disability. I feel like I'm repeating myself as I think I talked about some of this in an early post. But, I am wondering how many of us have mothers who had trouble dealing with our disability. I'm sure most have trouble, but how many have mothers like I describe, who put the onus on us to do 90% of the work to draw others to us and make fulfilling relationships? If someone runs out of their way to open a door for me (which I hate) my mom replies with "I'd love to have someone do that for me, you should just accept it." I find that funny. I'm supposed to be as independent as I can, and possibly more, yet not complain when others help when they think I need it. Her response when I was in high school and had no friends was "keep busy, act like you're too busy to spend time with them."

Then there's the discussions about my brother that comes up a couple times a year. My parents have been divorced for 30 years. My mother still blames my father for not helping my brother more financially. My brother is 3 years older than me and lives with my mother. I take my father's side. He's not perfect by any means. And yes, he and my brother have issues. They are not close. They dont' fight, have no animosity toward each other, but they are not close. I've always been helped financially by my father. I lived with him from mid-teens to mid-twenties. I got more, it's true. But on the flip side, my brother has always been very irresponsible with money, whereas I haven't. My brother worked with my mother. Long story short, he doesn't anymore, but hasn't found a job for himself. He is living under her roof, spending her money. And she likes it. She needs that. She would never admit it though. It's a self-serving relationship, however if my mother were to die tomorrow, my brother would be lost. She doesn't think so. She thinks she's helped him get his self-esteem. I disagree. Whatever the situation, it is wrong to blame my father. My father was harsh with my brother, but he had to be. My brother had his deviant phase and needed to prove he could be trusted again. Anyways, there's lots more to it, but all this to say that when we talk about it my mother always said "the doctors told us when you were born that you'd be fine, that it was your brother we'd have to worry about, being the sibling of a disabled child. He will get less attention and it will be harder for him." I'm sure it was very hard for him at times. And I used to spend nights awake worrying about him and what I needed to do to fix it. I won't do that anymore. I won't go there with my mother. But I really resented her telling me that. I'm a 35 year old woman with major problems to my self-esteem. I have trouble connecting with people. I have few close friends, none male. All male friends I've had have not lasted long, with the exception of one. I have dated one person for a period so short he doesn't even qualify as a boyfriend. I'm insecure, have issues with my weight. Low self-confidence. I yearn for approval. Even with friends I do have, I am never secure they consider me as good a friend as I consider them. I don't say this to get a collective "awww" out of you. I say this to explain. When my mother told me the doctor said I'd be fine, I'm wondering what freaking planet she's on if she thinks that I'm so much better off than my brother. My brother still lives with my mom and has no job of his own, yes. But he has friends. And he is well liked. He hasn't had a lot of girlfriends, as far as we know (he doesn't talk about it... but it's been about 12 years since we've met one), but it's not for lack of interest from them.

Any of this sounding familiar to anyone?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Condo or go home... wait.. I am home!!

I've been living for the past 2 years in a basement apartment. It is not an "accessible" apartment, per se, but it suits my needs for the most part. Having said that, it is by no means perfect. For one thing, I live over the boiler room. Nice and toasty, you might say? Totally overrated, I say. I have had my air conditioner on throughout most of the winter. Otherwise, it would be 32 degrees (90ish for you Fahrenheit folk). When I moved here, I had to find a place to live rather quickly. There were no lists, no services that really were able to help me. I made a gazillion phone calls all with dead ends. I ended up pounding the pavement. Going up and down the streets of the area I wanted to live in and seeing apartments that were in buildings that had no steps. Long and labourious. And utterly frustrating, as 95% of the apartments had components that would not work. 95% of that 95% being problems with bathrooms being too small and bathroom doors being too narrow. So, I thought recently that maybe it's time to go condo. There are some newer condo buildings around. They have a better (cough, cough) chance of being accessible, but even if they are not, I would be able to do renovations as I pleased. So the hunt will start soon. We'll see what kind of concrete jungle it is.

And the winner is...

That list thing really helped. It made me realize what was really important to me. To the uninvolved reader, the lists may seem rather equal on both sides, but after looking at each item, one really stuck out. Stimulating. That was the single, most important factor for me. I think I'd get bored quicker at the smaller job. Permanency isn't everything and I was really focussed on 'can I really turn down a permanent job?'. Well, yes, of course I can. So, I believe (for the moment, at least), that I will go with the non-permanent job in the bigger place.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Add it all up.

Well, I've been thinking. A lot. Last week I started my 6 month (actually 5+) position at my original place of work. I'm really, really enjoying it. It's really made me aware of how much I enjoy this environment more than the other. I was talking to my brother about it last night and he suggested the old pros and cons list of working at either place. So, here goes:

Pros of taking the permanent job:

1. Well, duh.. it's permanent! Benefits! Vacation! Sick days!
2. The staff is great. I get along with them and feel part of the team (well, as much as I can in a group setting, where I'm never really very comfortable).
3. I feel wanted and appreciated. Last week was social work week and, even though I've only been there 2 months, Everyone signed a card for me. It was really nice!
4. I get a lot of support as a new staff member.
5. My boss is pretty lenient.
6. You are always free to apply to other jobs within the hospital.

Cons of taking the permanent job:

1. My foot would be out of the door of the other place.
2. The floor smells really bad sometimes.
3. It's a smaller place and less anonymous. (yes, I put that as a con :))
4. The organization has been in a lot of flux lately. They are in the middle of a downsizing and reorganization phase, which I've heard happens every few years. A lot of instability. Since I've been there, 2 of our 3 doctors have changed, our physio has changed, the social worker will (obviously) change. As well, the amount of time of each job has changed. The physio is reduced from 3 to 2 days. Social work from 1 1/2 positions to 1 full time position. Chances are though that it won't change again in the near future.
5. The cafeteria is awful.
6. The environment isn't as stimulating.
7. There are less opportunities if I ever want to change positions within the hospital.

Pros of staying at the other place:

1. It's bigger, more anonymous.
2. There are more opportunities for permanent jobs.
3. It's a more stimulating environment.
4. They have recently started a supervision program to give more support to newer staff.
5. The cafeteria is great.
6. They have more social work specific learning opportunities

Cons of staying at the other place:

1. The whole bus issue from a previous post... I can now take the bus, but I still feel awkward about it... it causes a lot of anxiety.
2. I'm not permanent yet.
3. My foot would be out of the door of the other place.
4. My boss is pretty tough.
5. Once you take a contract or a permanent position, you cannot apply for another position for the first 6 months of being in that position. Well, actually, technically you can apply, but they don't have to consider you and my boss has never considered anyone who has applied within the first 6 months of being in another position so chances are pretty much nil. This makes it harder to become permanent.

That's all I can think of for the moment. I might add pros and cons as I think of them. Let me mull over it for a bit.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

So indecisive...

I've got a little conundrum to ponder. When I moved here, I was employed by a large organization and have really enjoyed it. The problem is, I have been on contract, covering people on vacation, on mat leave, on sabbatical... which means no benefits... no vacation pay, no holiday pay, no sick day pay. No dental coverage, etc. However, I do get pay in lieu of so the cash flow is pretty good actually. I've worked there about 2 years. I have interviewed for 5 permanent positions with no luck. The person who was awarded the last job I interviewed for is on maternity leave. She is switching jobs internally. She has 6 months left of mat leave. I was 2nd choice and therefore asked to sit in for her for that remaining time. When you take a covering position like that, you are stuck in it for at least 6 months. I cannot apply to other positions within the organization while in that position.

During the fall, work had been slow. I went 2 1/2 months with nothing. As a result I applied elsewhere and got a job as a contract worker at another place. It turns out the position I have been covering there is becoming permanent and I have a very good chance of getting it, but of course it is not certain. Long story short, I accepted the first 6 month position, but am applying for the permanent job at the 2nd place and told my boss there that I would take that job if given it. I'm having a bit of anxiety over this decision! Here's why:

Basically, if I get the 2nd job, I'll have to leave the first job, which is one of the largest employers for my field in the city. Once I leave, which will probably be only a couple weeks after I start the first job, I will not be in the good books with my first employer. Getting back in there should things not go well with the permanent job will be difficult as I'm sure my boss will not be too happy with my leaving right after I start a position. I really enjoy the present position at the second place, but for some reason I am hesitant about giving up the first employer. I worry about burning bridges I may later need.

The place with the permanent position has a great staff, colleagues I get along with. But it is going through a lot of changes and restructuring. There have been lay offs. My field is sorted out so I am not worried that will affect me, but there have been so many new staff lately it's been quite radical. And it affects the environment. There are office politics at both places and I believe it's pointless to hash those out here. No place is perfect. But it is a smaller place and in my introverted nature, I like the anonymity that you can choose to have with a bigger place.

Oh, did I mention the cafeteria sucks at the permanent place? ;)

I am trying not to worry about it now, as I have some time before the interview and I find out what is what. But, as you know, I'm a worrier :).

And a rambler.

Have I made sense at all? I'm so confused!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Back off, Sister, I've got metal and I'm not afraid to use it!!!

Oh my god I can't believe today's only Thursday. This has been an incredibly long, stressful week at work. Plus, I have this weird damn cold that can't make up its mind whether it's coming or going. This week has been bad, but today has been the busiest day at work since I started this job. I had a meeting with a family and I kept getting interrupted for other "emergencies". I had apple juice spilled on me. Adapted Transport has been late all week so I figured, with my luck, today would be the day it was on time because I got down 5 minutes late. I was right. Luckily, it was still there though. It took me 10 minutes to take the elevator down 4 floors. I was intercepted by a group of nuns. They were taking patients in wheelchairs up a floor and got on the elevator heading down instead of up so I couldn't get off on my floor without all of them getting off, which they didn't, so I had to go back up again and then down finally. One of the nuns asked me "who is pushing you, dear?" I mustered up all the patience and politeness I had left and said "nobody". She then grabbed my name tag to see who I was. I growled "I work here" and she left me alone. Just as the door was about to close after all the nuns exited the elevator, another nun blocked the door from closing and asked me where I was going and who was pushing me. I just smiled and nodded at her and hit the "close door" button. She looked worried.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Today I experienced one of those experiences where you want to totally blame other people, but you know you can't. I had a doctor's appointment today. It was with a specialist. I had waited 6 months for it. My doctor's office made the appointment for me. I didn't think twice about it. I marked it in my calendar. I took time off from work, took the bus far out to it. I get there and it's in one of those "house" type doctor's offices. 6 steps to enter, and then some more inside. A passerby asks if I need them to go inside and get someone. I say please. The doctor comes out and apologizes and says he'll have to make an appointment for me at his clinic at the hospital. Doh! I assumed because my doctor's office knew I was in a wheelchair, that the place would be accessible. They should have been a bit brighter, yes. But I should not have assumed myself and therefore should have checked beforehand. Luckily they were able to reschedule me at the hospital for next week so I don't have to wait another 6 months. But... doh! Doh! Doh! Doh!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What happened to good television???

I've long understood that your average ABC, NBC, CBS, CBC, and CTV (Canada), FOX have let more and more crap seep through their programming. We still had good channels like TLC, A&E, The Discovery Channel, and PBS. Now it seems like PBS may be the only decent contender left standing. The ironic thing is I hardly watch PBS. I was perusing the TV listings for this evening and found TLC to be showing: "It's Not Easy Being a Wolf Boy" and "The Man Whose Arms Exploded". Lastnight they had "The 700 Pound Man" and "The Boy Without a Face". If you turn over to A&E you get lovely alternatives like "Dog, the Bounty Hunter" and "Growing Up Gotti". Not to mention the usual slop of shows like "Big Brother", "Wife Swap", "The Swan", and "Extreme Makeover" (not the Home Edition, which is tolerable). I am disgusted by media. Disgusted. Dis. Gus. Ted. Run for cover now, folks, the people growing up on this crap will be running this planet soon. Donald Trump help us all.


Monday, February 20, 2006

And I believe this is the last word on the subject in question...

Met up with that guy yesterday. He called me 6 days after the date that wasn't a date. We decided to meet up in the afternoon. I must say it was a really nice day. We did some cultural city stuff and then went for coffee. While we were walking around things were nice and relaxed, we were joking around and I was really having a good time. Then we went for coffee and things got a little weird from there. He finished his drink first and I was still working on mine. Conversation got a little stilted again, but I'm used to that. I was still putting out those "I'm interested" signals, but trying not to hit him over the head with it, you know? Then I just noticed that he seemed really uncomfortable all of a sudden. He wasn't looking at me much, his eyes darting around to my left and my right. I finally finished up my drink and said "shall we go". I don't know if it was my imagination, but he said "yes" perhaps a little too quickly. We get outside and I said it was a fun day. He said "yes, we'll have to meet up again sometime". Then he said "I'm going this way" so I said "bye" and we went our separate ways. It was a bit confusing at first, but after analyzing everything that's gone on so far (with the help of some friends), I realize that things are not going to be going on in the date fashion. I was a little angry about it coz he shouldn't have accepted to go on a date with me if he wasn't going to consider it a date. But then again, I have to realize that it's not easy to turn someone down and he is kinda awkward himself, and that he probably wanted to hang out as friends and so said yes. So, I will readjust myself, although I'm a little sad. I will refrain from any further signalling, remain friendly and just generally tone it down a notch and see where that goes. Bah humbug! ;)

Levels of appropriateness

Despite my desire not to work with the disabled community, I found myself working with just that population a couple of years ago. You would think that those who work with disability would be a little more enlightened about disability. As I'm sure many of you have experienced, this is far from being usually the case. My boss at the time was, well... (looking for a nice word for a lunatic...) ... odd. At the beginning, things were fine. She was very nice and supportive. Then one day she went ballistic. I had forgotten to do something. Totally my fault. I apologized and felt bad. It should have been over and done with, but no... she brings it up again a couple months later when she is not happy with my performance. You don't need to know the details, just enough of that background to understand the rest. I told her I had to write things down as people tell them to me, or else it's gone. Her next question to me was: "Do you have a shunt?". Holy freaking cow! I was dumbfounded! I could not believe she asked me that. I was so incredilous, in fact, that I could think of nothing to do but answer her "no". Now, for those of you who may not know about a shunt, it is a tube inserted in the head to drain water that forms on the brain in a condition called hydrocephalus, which is a condition that sometimes is associated with my disability, spina bifida.

That was pretty freakin' inappropriate in my opinion. I thought someone who had spent 15+ years working with people with disabilities would know enough to differentiate that I am a co-worker and NOT a patient. My work there, luckily, ended very shortly afterwards.

I work in a hospital now. I find that working with patients can be interesting and many of them ask me about my disability. Who asks, and the context, will determine the answer I give. I do find a small number of colleagues ask me. I had a physio ask me once and she said she was curious as it was her profession to work with people with disabilities. I answered her coz I liked her. I've had other colleagues who ask me and I tell them I'd rather not answer. But, I am uncomfortable telling someone that what they've just asked me is inappropriate. I am all to aware of the "bitch" image that we can get when we get angry at others for trying to help or being curious or whatever.

I've also had doctors who tell me I am very independent. (Duh!... thanks, I didn't know). I guess by comparison I am able to move more than many others with disabilities. But, my arms work perfectly so why the hell should it be so amazing that I can... actually... use... them?

A disabled but able to walk friend of mine once told me that when she was younger she thought she was pregnant. She went to her doctor and her doctor immediately booked an abortion for her without asking her for consent or even her wishes.

Taxi drivers ask me why I don't take the disabled transit service. (I do, by the way, just not all the time).

A academic/vocational counselor, when I approached her for help on getting into the social work program suggested I do some volunteer work with the paraplegic association. When I told her I wasn't interested in working with people with disabilities she said "how about the association for the blind"?

Someone tried to pay for me in the grocery store once.

Someone tried to give me money while I was waiting at a corner for friends (wearing an expensive suede jacket and bunch of large university text books on my lap). He asked if I were really disabled. I said "uhhh, yes..." and when he proceeds to give me some change, I tell him I am not begging but simply waiting.

A neighbour who offers help every time I see them.

A landlord who won't change the direction of a bathroom door so I can fit in and rent the apartment with some privacy when I have guests.

A landlord who tells me he can take the bathroom door right off so I can fit in and rent the apartment without some privacy when I have guests.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Eight thousand three hundred and sixty-two

You know when you get that comment about how you better slow down or you'll get a speeding ticket? I've always wanted to get the nerve to just answer something like "8362". And when I get that puzzled look, I'll explain "the number of times I've been told that comment by someone who thinks they're the first and that they've just come up with something really, really funny."

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Big D

So, it has been. Yes, last night was the big date with the guy in question. How did it go, you may ask? I wish I could answer that clearly! But truthfully, I have no freaking clue! I am SO confuuuuuuused!

I took about an hour and a half to get all gussied up. That included a nice, long shower, nails, hand care, hair, make-up. I don't usually do that routine, but for special occasions it's a nice treat. I don't wear a lot of make-up, but I have very sensitive skin that flushes easily. So, I had bought this cream blush that had a very natural "rosy cheek" colour. When I dabbed it on (an hour before I was supposed tomeet him), my cheeks went "poof". Red, red, red!!! By the end of the evening they were back to normal, but I'm not sure of their state when I got to the restaurant.

We met at the restaurant at 7:00 p.m., arriving at the same time. I was so freaking nervous I thought I was going to swallow my tongue. But once we were seated at the table I became calmer. When I took off my coat, he seemed to look pleased at my attire, but perhaps a bit surprised. I took a positive mental note. I ordered a glass of red wine, he ordered a beer. We made small talk for a while. I felt like a complete chatter box whenever there was silence, but I did wait for him to speak often and introduce a subject.

By 8:40 we were done (tea but no dessert). The bill came and he goes to pay for it. I object, saying I asked him out. He was determined not to let me pay the whole thing, but I was determined not to let him pay the whole thing either. So he finally says "how about we go halfsies". I had to agree. So, we split the bill and then set out to leave. Outside he said "would you like me to walk you home?". This perked me up as I felt it was a good sign. We walked home. The entrance to my building is a bit back from the street, so I stopped on the sidewalk as we approached and said "this is me". He said good night and I said "give me a call". He said "ok" and left.

That was it.

No hug.

No kiss on the cheek even.

Technically this would be the 3rd time we've met up. But was this a date? I was pretty sure that I had set the tone for a "date". I figured using the term "dinner date" and "Friday night" were pretty darn clear indicators of this being a date. And, I mean, if that wasn't clear enough, it should have been clear by the way I was dressed! He was dressed in grey slacks, a striped dress shirt and a sweater. I don't know, am I reading too much into this? Was the walking home thing a male chivalrous thing regardless of date status? Does someone really agree to a dinner date without considering it a dinner date? I didn't feel comfortable making another first move like going to give him a hug at the end. Damn it, I want some of that from him.

So, I guess whatever is up, the ball is in his court. I told him to call me so I will wait to see how he responds. I suppose he could just be THAT reserved that this will be painfully slow if it does go anywhere. Or it could be that I've created a situation that doesn't really exist. To be continued...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

How much is really in our head?

So, my upcoming date started me thinking. My dating life has been pretty barren, to put it mildly. I've always had this struggle with myself, trying to reason things out.

As I've already mentioned, and I'm sure is pretty clear anyway, I think too much. I overanalyze everything. So how much does disability really get in the way of "normal" life; having friends, "normal" family dynamics (whatever they are), going on dates, having a sex life, going to university, having a career, getting married, having children... etc? I tend to think it gets in the way quite a bit, but there's that nagging question of whether it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. I've always been told (by my mother) that life would be harder for me. And in many ways it has been. I'm mid-thirties and my professional and personal life are not near those of my able-bodied peers. Now, I know for sure that there are a lot of people out there who either a) wouldn't give a disabled person the time of day, b) will think that they always have to help a disabled person because things are "harder" for them, c) will look out them as heroes ("bravo") for simply living, d) will always be nervous around a disabled person for fear of not knowing what to do/saying the wrong thing. Those 4 aspects don't cover 100% of people, for sure. But, would you say they cover over half? How much of this barrier inside my head is really inside my head and how much of it is an actual barrier? I phrased that wrong... an internal barrier is still an actual barrier. But how much of it is barriers we make ourselves as opposed to barriers imposed on us. Yes, the barrier inside my head is shaped by external barriers, certainly, but it's still something which I have control over. Yet, letting go of it means facing my fears. Huge fears. Gargantuan fears. What if I'm right? What if it really isn't all in my head? Ok, I know it's not all in my head, and I also know it's not all out of my head. There are many people with disabilities who get married, have kids, lead full lives doing what they enjoy. And then there are the shut-ins. And a whole spectrum of people in between.

No matter how much someone tells me I have the right to make friends with or date who I want, it doesn't allieviate that fear. The fear's too big. Of course I have the right. I have the right to walk too, but I can't do it. I can have the right to do anything, but if you get shot down all the time what the hell good is that right? And you don't always know you'll get shot down before you try... but sometimes you do. Often you do. And regardless, that little nagging voice in my head says that that chance negates the right I have to what I want in the first place. It negates it. Totally negates it.

I've had many friends come and go. I've even had men interested in me (considerably less than many). But I don't want just anyone. The few men who have shown an interest are men that I have not been interested in. The first person I dated was someone I wasn't interested in, but I didn't know it at the time. I was so overwhelmed with feeling someone else's interest in me that it overshadowed my own lack of interest. I have become quite cynical and jaded in my life. I find very few people really, truly interest me. I've tried to challenge that, but it doesn't feel right. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is tough when they bore and annoy you. Being disabled has made me see the world in a very different way than I might otherwise have seen it. But then again, maybe not. Maybe I would have thought this way regardless. I'm not interested in going out partying every Saturday night. I like wine and beer and vodka, but I enjoy downing a Coke more than anything. Sure, I like to look good, but I hardly wear make-up and find less and less will I sacrifice comfort for fashion. I don't care too much what my friends look like either. I say "too much" because yes, I do care a little. I wouldn't want to be with someone who shows up at a fancy restaurant in sweat pants, really.

A couple friends have asked me what attracts me to my near future date. I find it hard to pin down. He's balding, has a big nose, is extremely formal when we're setting up plans. If we're meeting in 2 days he'll email me to say "I'll meet you on Tuesday, February 7th, at 7:00p.m. by the ticket office at such and such movie theatre". I find it amusing. I know he's nervous so I also find it a bit sweet, but maybe in 6 months it'll bug the crap out of me. We'll see. But for now, I'd much rather actually have someone who is real, down to earth, genuine, and doesn't seem to be fazed by my being in a wheelchair than spend my time swooning over someone I completely can't have, however smart, beautiful, witty and sarcastic they may be. (Gotta love that sarcasm!).

Friday, February 03, 2006


There's this elderly volunteer at work, who feels the need to say something to me every time he sees me. Yesterday it was "Bravo". Yeah. I'm glad it's Friday.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Long overdue

So, some things have been happening lately. Some good, some bad. I mentioned that I had found some casual work for a while. That will be full time until the end of March. After that, there may be a possibility to stay on, but it's all up in the air right now as the place is going through some major restructuring. Ahhhh, the trials and tribulations of funding. Anyway, I'm enjoying doing something different for now and certainly happy to have the hours. I had an interview for another job on Friday the 13th at the place I'm also employed as a casual worker, and was told we'd here about it by the end of the month. Well, yesterday I got a call from my boss at 5 minutes before the end of the work day. Can't be any more "by the end of the month" than that.. I guess she wasn't kidding! Anyway, I didn't get the job. But there are more opportunities coming. I know I interviewed very well for that position so I am disappointed about not getting it, but competition was stiff, so c'est la vie.

Now for the good. Last Thursday the coffee guy emailed me asking if I wanted to see a movie sometime. I emailed him back saying I'd love to, so he suggested that Sunday. We went to see Mrs. Henderson Presents. Lovely movie by the way. Nothing like a film with lots of naked men (full frontal, ladies) and women in it to put that final prod toward a budding relationship ;). After the movie he suggested we go for coffee and tried to pay again (he paid for the movie) and I said I'd take care of it coz he had paid for everything else up until now. We had a good time. He's opening up a bit more and seems slightly less quiet and nervous. Anyway, as datingly inept as I am, I wasn't sure what he really had in mind and if we were on the same wavelength. So, I couldn't stand the suspense and that nervous "I'm going to puke" feeling I was getting. Ok, it was actually a nice feeling, but I really wanted to know if we were dating or not. So I emailed him Monday to tell him I enjoyed the movie and had a great time talking to him over coffee and wondered if he'd "like to go on a dinner date some Friday evening". I figured that was pretty gosh darn clear. So, I waited. And I waited. And I checked my email. Every. Single. Hour. Practically. The pukiness feeling intensified and was interspersed with feelings of "oh my god, what have I done. I've made a mistake. I shouldn't have done that. I've probably gone and messed the whole thing up by forcing things and being too eager and scared him off and I'll just never date again ever in my entire life I'm a loser ugh."

Anyway, this afternoon right after lunch he replied saying he also had a great time and was glad we went for coffee afterwards and he would like to go on a dinner date with me. He suggested next Thursday, but said if Friday's were really better for me he wasn't available until the 17th. I figure sooner is better than later and I'll settle for the Thursday. He has long standing plans on Saturday nights so they're always out. I figure tomorrow I'll give him a call and take this off email finally.

So I'm going on a date. A real date. Oh my freakin' god! What should I wear? Where should we eat? What if he tries to pay again? What if he doesn't kiss me?? What if it's awful?

Tee hee :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

You think you know someone...

I've all but given up trying to figure people out. I usually know right away if I don't like someone and nothing they do or say can make me sway my mind. There are others who I learn to dislike after I get to know. When I moved here, I met this woman who became my friend pretty quickly. In fact, it's the woman I have previously mentioned in my blog.. the friend I never see. We met outside of work twice within the first 6 months of knowing each other. The last time we met was last February. This woman would call me all the time and have long hours of chats. We had lots of things to talk about, but we'd never get together. I told her this bugged me, and that I was always the one initiating plans, and she was always the one telling me she couldn't coz she already had plans. She told me that she felt talking on the phone was a good replacement when there was no time to see each other. I'd agree, except when it becomes a substitute to seeing the other person. She'd always tell me if I needed anything to not hesitate to call her. She would also say sometimes we should get together but never fix a time. I told her finally that I would wait for her to initiate something coz all my efforts led to a dead end, and I'm too insecure to keep trying when I keep getting knocked down. She said she'd try. That was about 7 months ago.

So for the last little while I've been thinking about her and feeling uncomfortable. I did some shift work where she works over the holidays and I emailed her the first day. She called me back and said we should meet for lunch. I called her the Wednesday at noon and left a message for her saying I could come to her work area or we could go to the caf. No answer. So, I gave up. Then, 2 weeks later, on my last week of work, I ran into her at work and she said we should do lunch the next day and to give her a call. I was torn about whether I would or not. Then, the next day, as it turned out, I gave my hand a nasty bash turning a corner too closely and quickly. There was swelling and everything. I spent lunch in my office with some ice in a facecloth. I emailed her to let her know I couldn't make it.

So, I fretted about what to do for a couple weeks more and finally last Thursday I decided to email her. I sent her an e-card actually. I told her I had been annoyed with her lately, and that it had been almost a year since we'd seen each other outside of work. I told her that I needed to see my friends more often, that I didn't feel telephone calls were as good if they became a replacement for ever seeing that person. I told her I thought about her a lot and said basically if friends are too busy to see each other more than once a year in the same city, what was the point. I said I hoped we could work something out and didn't want to lose her as a friend, but if things kept on as they did, we'd drift.

She didn't reply.

I guess she wasn't as good a friend as I thought. Friends don't usually run away when you say you'd like to see them more than once a year. I didn't think it was a big demand. .

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Things don't need to be going badly to bitch...

... or do they?

You may have noticed I've been a bit quiet lately. Well, things have been happening. First, I got some work over the holidays. 3 weeks worth, to be exact. It was very, very, very, (did I mention very?) nice!! I feel like my sanity is slowly restoring itself and things are not all black and negative as they were a month or two ago. So, I worked over the holidays, and then on the Monday after my last week of work, my boss calls me to let me know another organization needs casual workers. I gave them a call right away, and an interview was set on the Wednesday. I was hired on the Thursday. So, now I'm a casual replacement worker at two places. Also, I've had an interview for a permanent position at my first place of employment. I think the interview went amazingly, but there were a lot of candidates, so by no means do I feel confident that I have it in the bag.

Yesterday I started a full week of training for my new job. So far so good. Then, at the end of the day, the woman who I was orientating with told me they were in desperate need of someone to do a full-time position until the end of March and would I be available. I told her I would be very interested, but that I was waiting for news on this other permanent position. I let her know that I could certainly do the position until I heard that I was hired by the first place, and obviously longer if I didn't get the position. I was also told that there are possibilities of permanence at the 2nd place. So, possibilities, folks, possibilities. Oh, and one bonus of working at this new place would be that the gym has a hand cyle! Woo hoo!!!

Ok, so anyway, as you can see, things are going along pretty well. So today, I'm at the caf for lunch during orientation. And this guy behind me really, really, really, really, REALLY wants to help me. I had to fend him off THREE times! He goes to grab my plate as the guy behind the counter is passing it to me. I tell him I'm fine. Then, he gets me again at the cash register when I put my tray down on the counter to pay. He goes to grab the tray to help me put it down. Again, I tell him I'm fine, with a little less pleasantries in my voice. And finally, after we both pay, he is behind me again as I go to get a fork, which he really wants to pass to me. At this point I tell him bluntly I don't need his help, but it doesn't seem to faze him. I swear to god (although I'm an athiest), that if he were to try to help me one more time I would have blown his freaking head off. GRRRR GRRR GRRRR GRRRR GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

On another note, as a follow-up to my last post, I finally met up for coffee with that guy. I don't think it was a date, although he did pay for my drink, which was confusing. The funny thing is that, as I said before, he's quite shy and a bit awkward himself. Originally when he replied to my email, he said he'd email me in January. So, by Janary 11th he hadn't contacted me, so I decided to email him again and get the ball rolling. I asked him when and where would be convenient for him. He came up with the place we had run into each other in December. So, we met up, and it was nice. We talked for a bit, but it was also a bit awkward. The conversation faltered quite often. I felt like I was gabbing away to make up for his silence. Anyway, after about an hour and a half, we left, leaving it open. He said something like we should do this again, and I agreed and said we both had each other's coordinates and to be in touch. And that was it. So, anyway, whatever it was, it was enjoyable. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a date, although him paying for my tea threw me off. But anyway.

That's enough weirdness for today. :)