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 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.