Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Brief Memory

Not much to say today.  I still don't have my wheelchair, and my body aches from sitting in one position for so long.

During dinner, I was watching Mad Men (for the millionth time!) with Brittainy; the episode where Don and Meagan go to scope out a Howard Johnson's restaurant.  A wave of nostalgia washes over me whenever I see it. 

Every year when I was a kid my family would take a car trip to Florida.  All the way down and all the way up, we would stop for meals, sometimes stay in their hotels.  I loved the clam chowder and Dad loved the salt water taffy.  (I can still see Mom popping one of those yummy pastel treats into his mouth as he drove.)  Bruce and I would turn on the Magic Fingers on the hotel beds and giggle at the vibrations.

Those were fun times, and I treasure those memories.  They seem so far away, as if it all happened to someone else.

I'm in another chapter of my life now, and I'm sure that in twenty years or so I'll be feeling nostalgic and yearning form a piece of the past.  Nothing really changes, does it?

Why does time go so goddamned fast ...?!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Second Day Without My Wheelchair

I left an OCAP meeting early and ran home (in my commode chair, with Sarah pushing me)  and took a percocet right away.  It's been that sort of day: pain in my back, neck, shoulders, and my left hip too!  Ouch!

I could have had my wheelchair brought back to me tomorrow, but Motion Specialties called this morning and said that the mechanical part of it had been repaired but my headrest was still broken. I responded by saying that although I was desperate to get my wheelchair back, I really needed my headrest repaired because in recent months the back of my head was getting very sore from the less padded part.  Also, the headrest had been hurtiing my right underarm a lot, because whenever I attempted to get into my wheelchair I'd throw my arm over the top of the seat of my wheelchair, to support myself,, and almost always land on the less padded part of the headrest - the part where very hard metal is barely covered at all.

So, here I was choosing between muscular pain from sitting on my commode chair for days on end, or to continue to batter myself with a less than sufficent headrest.

Hopefully, everything will be fixed soon, and then I can get back to my regular life!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Day of Delegation

Today I said farewell to my wheelchair for a few days.  Someone from Motion Specialties came and picked it up.  He said I should get it back by Wednesday. I hope he's right - already my body is in pain from sitting on my commode chair all day!

Because I could't go out today, I had Sarah run out and do errands for me.  Grocery shopping, checking mail, and, most important of all - getting me a peppermint mocha frappuccino and double chocolate brownie.

I haven't been idle either.  Sitting at my kitchen table, unable to move from the spot, I answered emails, worked on my finances, and edited pictures to put on Etsy.

And that reminds me, I should put these pictures on Etsy right now.  I want my business to grow and grow and grow!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hi and Bye, Too Busy to Write

I'm on a roll.  Most of  my work is done, but I still have so much to finish up, and some is time sensitive.

I'll write more tomorrow ....

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Playing Hookey, Sort Of

Because I was too afraid that my wheelchair might suddenly break down during travel time, I decided not to go to the market this week.  I did go out for a bit, but I stayed close to home.

First, I went to Starbucks with Sarah and Oyster.

I had a blueberry scone and a peppermint mocha frappuccino.  I did the crosswword puzzle, talked to Sarah re our ideas about the video shorts we want to do, and I occasionally dozed off.  Well, after all, I still got up to do some computer work!

After Starbucks, Sarah and I went to Hair of the Dog for some real food.

Since then, I've gone home, had dinner, and I had a nice visit from Motria. 

Now I'm ready to start work again .....

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pictures From July 26, 2013

My boys make me smile, even when I'm so frustrated I could scream!

Yesterday I called ODSP and explained to them that my wheelchair needed repairs.  They told me to call Motion Specialties and ask them to fax them a work order.  So, I did, right?  Well, today Motion called me back and said, "What do you mean? We don't fax ODSP the work order - they fax it to us! We don't keep work orders in stock.  When ODSP faxes it to us, we will fax them an invoice."  So, I called ODSP right away and explained the situation in a phone message.  Did they call me back?  No, of course not!

I would like ODSP to pay for the repairs before August 1st, my cut-off date.  That would be sensational! However, I am looking forward to never having to deal with such bloody nonsense again!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rock Star Annie

I'm listening to my "Songs I Love" playlist on YouTube. I'm trying to cheer myself up. 

"So What" by Pink.  I like this song because it's like the lyrics are kicking me in the butt, saying so what my wheelchair is still broken, so what if I yearn to tell Rob and Mom all of my troubles - I am a rock star!  I got my rock moves!

"Feel it Burn" by Kim Mitchell.  I love this song, but it reminded me too much of Rob and made me sad and wistful.

"Last of the Red Hot Fools"  by The Jitters.   (See above)

"Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol.  All my life I've fantasized about being a professional dancer.  As a small child, I asked my mom to book me on the Ed Sullivan Show so I could tap dance on the foot rest of my wheelchair.

"Lament of the Plinth" by Fiver (Simone)  I love this song and the fact that I have a very talented, brilliant friend and occasional roomie.

So, yeah.  So what if I'll be without my wheelchair from Monday until Wednesday of next week while it gets fixed.  So what if I felt nuts when I was talking to my worker at ODSP and she told me definitely I'd be cut off of funds and assistance as of August 1st.   I'll deal with whatever comes along.

After all, I am a rock star ....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Best Laid Plans of Artists and Wheelchairs Part 2

So, the guy came and said I need a part replaced.  Bloody hell!   The guy was very nice, though, and said he'd put a rush on it.

The Best Laid Plans of Artists and Wheelchairs

Bloody hell!  I was all set up to paint, ready to tap into all of the emotions that I had stirred up during my counselling session today, but suddenly my wheelchair broke down.

I had made a few good strokes upon the canvas and was trying to visualize how to develop my painting further, when I got annoyed by an advertisement that had interrupted my "Songs I Love" playlist on YouTube.  I drove my wheelchair over to where my laptop was, stopped the ad, and selected a song by Heart.  I tried to drive my wheelchair back over to the easel, but I found that my wheelchair would only go left and right not forwards and backwards.

I was trapped! Fortunately, Dobrila came in about ten minutes later and helped me call the emergency line of Motion Specialties.  The guy said he'd be here soon to look at my chair.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Painting Postponed

I didn't get to paint today.  I was just too damned busy!  I answered emails, chatted with my charming nephew, worked on my finances, started editing my CV for the artist residency, and attended an OCAP meeting.

I feel very energized and hopeful.  So many plans are flowing through my head, and I'm excited about getting a chance to be heard once again, to make a difference within my community, and to fight for what's right.

Tomorrow, after my appointment with my counselor, I'll work on my painting ....

Monday, July 22, 2013

Manic Monday

I had a good, busy day.  I met with someone about having bi-weekly meetings in my building for the rest of the summer, mailed off a package to one of my customers, had my photo taken in Japan Camera for the passport renewal thing I need to send out, and bought groceries at Sobey's.

I had intended to paint after dinner, but because Sarah and I had watched an episode of Coronation Street where one character finds out she has (spoiler alert!) pancreatic cancer - I got all choked about it!  It wasn't that this character was my all-time favourite - although, I do like Haley, sure - it was more of  an emotional trigger.  So many people I knew and loved had died.  I fought back the tears, distracted myself by looking at different objects around me.  I knew then that it would be a bad idea to work on my current painting.

After Coronation Street, Sarah and I watched QI, which was about gift giving.  It made us laugh a lot, and that's good.   It made me feel hopeful too.  Laughter always makes me feel hopeful.

Maybe Haley will survive.  I hope so.  Her character is honourable, loving, and empathetic.  I hate it when good people die, it's very unsatisfying.  And, yet, I have to remind myself, if Haley does die, it's not the end of the world.  Sad, yes, but why waste tears on fiction?

Tomorrow I paint!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Irons in the Fire

Too much to do, too little to say. 

So many irons in the fire; my imagination is burning bright!

I'll write tomorrow ....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Good Day at the Market

It was a good day at the market.  Not spectacular, mind you, but good.  I think that part of the trouble was that people who used to frequent the New Zealand shop didn't come over because they knew it had been closed down.  So, less traffic, and thus, less sales.

I did make over $50.00 - and that's better than a kick in the head!

Excuse me now while I post these gorgeous bags of mine on Etsy ....!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Taking a Break, Sort Of

I've decided to take a break from painting for a day or two.  I have so many things I need/want to do.  It's a typical Friday night: emails, employees' schedules, designing/ordering cards, and working on finances.

Oh yes, and somebody sent me an application for an artist resid\dence.  It;s specifically for artists who have disabilities.  So, I'm going to ponder what to say in my proposal.

Also, I'm going to work on scripts for a film I'm doing with Yuula, and scripts for the humourous shorts I'm colaborating on with Sarah.

I'm forever busy ....!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Paint is in My Mind and in My Veins

I've been painting all afternoon and evening.  I like the painting I'm working on; it's challenging, both technically and emotionally.

Today I painted a portrait of Rob standing there, looking sweet and goofy and utterly adorable in his cowboy hat.  His image is in the lower right corner of my painting.

It hurt so much to paint him.  (I can hear my dear self-depreciating Rob saying: "Yeah, because I'm so ugly , right?"  No, Rob, that's not why!)  It looks exactly like him, and reminds me of that first year of dating him, getting to know him, falling in love with him, back in '88, when he would come to my family home every weekend to take me out.

Oh, Rob, how I wish I could slip into this photograph and be with you, and start our life together all over again.

For now, however, I'll just have to satisfy my yearning of you by painting you over and over again ....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pictures From July 17, 2013

A Little French Toast and Blueberries with My Maple Syrup
A Cute Rascal
The View From My Window
New Bag Mailed to Customer
Painting Again
All in all, a most pleasant and productive day ....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cool and Hot At the Same Time

I had a pretty good day today.  I wrote emails, posted onf facebook looking for a financial advisor, wrote cheques to my beloved employees, threw out some old junk from the bathroom, and treated Motria to a birthday dinner.  

She and Sarah and I went to Hair of the Dog. Motria talked about her friend Karen getting a double lung transplant, which is fantastic.  Sarah talked about seeing her family in Ottawa and how her dog Oyster grabbed a raw steak and zoomed across the field with it in her mouth.  Hilarious!

I mostly talked about my bad break up with ODSP. Honestly, it's like trying to leave an abusive relationship! I thought that a letter would be enough, but now they want me to give them proof that I haven't had any other source of income in the past year.

It was so hot on the patio of the restaurant and we decided to go to Baskin & Robbins for dessert.  There were no seats so we wandered around.  I kept fantasizing about renting a store front or buying a condo, but I don't know what I'm going to do with my inheritance.

Simone has given me good ideas and it has made me feel a bit calmer.  I should try to make my business and art into something really fantastic.  Plus I should just sit back and enjoy my life for once.

On this very hot day, I think my mind has finally cooled down.

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Just Want to Paint

I thought too much today, felt too much today, and cried too much today.

I just want to paint, paint my blues away.

Well, except for cobalt blue - I need that for my actual painting!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Painting Soothes the Savage Breast

I had a good morning and afternoon, and this evening was ... eventful.

I don't want to talk about it.  I just want to paint!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Market Day July 13, 2013

It was a good day at the market today.  No, I didn't make a million dollars, nor did I meet Johnny Depp. (Maybe next week! Haha!)  However, I made triple the amount of last week's sales, and I chatted with my good friend Larry and his friends from Indiana.  People who visited my booth were, overall, pleasant, curious about how I paint, and impressed with my art.

Sadly, today was the very last day the New Zealand would be open.  The shop and its owner had been at the St. Lawrence Market way before I had ever started vending there.

I bought one more piece of jewelry as a Christmas present ... although I might keep it for myself, as a momento.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Decisons Decisions

Should I work on my painting?

Or, should I work on my employees' scheduling?  Or, work on my finances, design/order more cards, update my website, put more merch on Etsy?

Hmmm ....

Maybe a bit of everything.  I am, after all, Super Anne!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Photos of My Life on July 11, 2013

It was a day of cooing and cuddling with my cute boys.  Yuula took pictures of their cute patience.  Sometimes I was in the photos, one time Yuula was in a short video with both of them.

And that was the highlight of my day.

Meow .....

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hot Hot Hot

I had to go out today to see my grief counselor.  It's so hot out that it's oppressive.

I explained to my counselor that Rob hated summer so much; he was a winter person. He sure would have hated this intense heat.  I can hear him swearing to himself right now and asking how much longer was it until November?

I think even Mom, who loved summer, would have had a problem with this heat.

It was a good session today.  I cried a lot, sure, but I also figured some things out too.  Like, why I bawled in Starbucks when I heard a medley of Big Band music playing and had to run out to escape the intense feelings I was having.  This experience happened not once but twice, and both times memories flooded my mind of laying on my parents' couch listening to their music.

It suddenly occured to me that during this part of my life I had felt very secure and happy.  I had no worries about money or running a bussiness, or juggling my employees' schedules.  Don't get me wrong, but since the death of both Rob and my mom, I've felt less secure about life and my place in this world. I'm doing my best to overcome this feeling by just simply carrying on, but it's hard to do ....

I yearn for the love and security that both my mom and Rob gave to me so freely.  They were both my security blankets, and safety nets. Now with the little help from my friends, I have to carry on and face any adventure on my own.
Speaking of adventures, I have cancelled O.D.S.P.  Talk about loosing my security blanket, I am both happy and scared.

Quick, the Lorazepam!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Mind is Filled with Paint

I painted until 3am.   Now, throughout the day, even though I still did my regular daily routine, my mind was on my most  reecent painting, thinking of things to do with it, to shape it, transform it into something that speaks from the very depths of my soul.

Excuse me. My mind is filled with paint.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Several Things On My Mind

Last night I wrote that I had several things on my mind, but I only wrote about my frustrations with restaurants - Swiss Chalet in particular! I was just too tired to finish my rant. I'm wide awake now and ready to write!

A few months ago I wrote about the Ontario Disabilities Act (AODA), especially in relation to how a lot of buildings just aren't accessible, even though they should be. For example, it has infuriated me for the longest time that the Holiday Inn by my place renovated a few years ago and instead of putting a ramp in one of its two front entrances it simply put up railings on the stairs. Grrrrrrrrrrr! Bastards!

So I'm so happy Starbucks moved into the hotel, and guess what - a ramp is being built in one of the entrance ways! I'm sure a lot of my friends would say Starbucks is an evil corporation, and sure maybe that's true. I don't know. But from what I've seen Starbucks has good disability politics. Well, at least they make their cafes accessible anyway.

And speaking of disability politics the cops could sure use a lesson or two...maybe 100!! My friend went to see fireworks on Canada Day. She is like me, non-verbal and in a wheelchair. Apparently is was very crowded and somebody accused her of bumping into them.  She swears that she didn't do this and I believe her. The person who said she had bumped into them called the cops, and the cops called Wheeltrans and made my friend go home.

This is disgusting to me and makes my blood boil! I've been in crowds so many times, and people are constantly bumping into each other and stepping on each others feet. Sometimes people even trip and fall, but are cops ever called? No! People just carry on. I've had people fall into my lap too, because they've been jostled by the crowd. Nobody is ever sent home because they accidentally bump into another person.

My friend felt so angry and humiliated. All she wanted to  do was watch the fireworks and she was sent home like a naughty child. People should be more empathetic and less hot headed. And cops should treat people with disabilities like anyone else, I'm sure they wouldn't send anybody else home for accidentally bumping into someone.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Rainy Sunday

It's been rainy and dismal all day, and this has made me feel tired and weary.  Blah.

I'm not going to talk about what I did today because nothing too spectacular happened.  Emails and packaging up Dandy Memberships to be mailed out.  That's all.

I will, instead, talk about several things that have occupied my mind for awhile. Where do I start?  Swiss Chalet, I suppose.

Bruce, Brittainy, and I had arranged to meet there last Wednesday at 5pm.  I got there five minutes early, went inside, and waited to be noticed.  A server with poofy hair asked if I wanted a table.  I pointed to Yes on my communication board.  He seemed a bit confused with my mode of communication but he understood my meaning.  I pointed to 3 on my board and looked the server right in the eye, hoping that he would understand that I wanted a table for three.  After a few seconds, he did understand.

I was shown to a table, and waited for Bruce and Brittainy to arrive.  When they did show up and we began to order our meals, I was shocked and dismayed that the same server I had previously interacted with was now blatantly ignoring me.  "What would she like?" he kept asking both Bruce and Brittainy.

I felt angry, humiliated, and frustrated! What's wrong with some people?  Why can't they treat me just like anybody else?  Obviously, the server had seen that I could comprehend and communicate very well.  Why couldn't he have just spoken to me to me directly?

What is interesting, though, is that before this negative experience I had three positive experiences at three different restaurants:  Hot House, Sambuca, and Cafe California. All three servers treated me with respect by talking with me, inquiring about which meal I wanted and my specifications - and just generally treating me like a human being!

I had felt genuinely pleased and surprised by the positive attiitudes of the three servers.  And yet, I then thought how sad it was that this was the exception instead of the norm.

However, maybe one day it will be ....

Saturday, July 6, 2013

New Dress and Ring

The day at the market was, financially, dismal.  I only made $26.00.  Yikes!

On my way home, I heard that the New Zeland shop was closing down and everything was 50% off, so I bought some jewelry for Christmas presents, and a ring for myself.

The ring looks exactly like the one I had years ago when a customer gave it to me after I had simply admired it. 

This picture of my finger in paint, also shows that particular ring.

 And then, I bought an orange dress.  I love orange!

Now, Lucy and I are going to see the movie The East.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Weird Dreams

I've always had very vivid and odd dreams.  I like dreaming; I look forward to going to sleep just to see what my mind will conjur up next. 

Me, as a crime-fighter on rollerblades.  Me, naked, in a bathtub with Burt Reynolds, fighting off piranhas that are coming from the drain. (Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! SCARY!)  Me, mountain-climbing with my two cats.

Sometimes I'm not even in my own dreams, which is so weird.

And speaking of weird, last night I dreamt that I was telling Dominic West and Ben Wishaw of The Hour that I loved them both and their show.  Ben Wishaw melted away so that he was just a pictue in a magazine. Within the magazine article, I could see a quote from Ben saying, "Fans who fawn over me are so tedious."  Suddenly, Dominic grabbed my hand and shouted, "Quick!  We have to get someone out of hell!"  I was dragged to the edge of this huge, firey crevasse, and Dominic said to me, "We need to find the man with no legs." I replied, "No, we need to find the man whose legs were made out of steel!"

Weird, right?  What does that mean?!

The absolutely weirdest dream that I've ever had was on Tuesday night.  It was one of these dreams where I don't even make an appearance.

This dog named Henry loved another dog named FiFi, but Henry found out that FiFi's owner was moving to Europe and taking her with him.  Upset, Henry (somehow!) forged an email from his owner's boss telling him (the owner) that he'd been transferred to Europe.  Henry was ecstatic that his plan had worked, until he found out that his owner was going to leave him in a kennel.  So, Henry ran away and (somehow!)  convinced a homeless person to pretend to be his owner and take him to Europe to be with FiFi.

I swear I don't smoke crack.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lazy Busy Lazy Day

I had a two hour nap today because I woke up utterly exhausted.  (Too many nights of burning the candle at both ends, I'm afraid.)  My cats very kindly kept me company.

When I woke up, I wrote emails, texted with Bruce, painted a little, and put some things to sell on Etsy.  And then, I had dinner and, afterwards, painted again..

Motria came for a visit, which was super nice.  We chatted and laughed - and that brought us to wondering when could watch a movie and which one.  The movie we decided on was Magic Mike.  Poor Motria had to go home, but Dobrila and I downloaded the movie from Itunes.

So, excuse me, but I'm going to chill out and eat pizza, and drink my vodka, and watch Magic Mike.

Funny thing is I have the song "It's Raining Men" replaying in my head.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Miss Popularity

I swear I can't remember having so many having so many simultaneous texts and instant messages in all my life!  Yesterday and today, it's been kind of hilarious because I have my laptop and iPad sitting side by side, and people message me via Facebook on my laptop and other people text me through the iPad.  Usually, it's managable, but it's getting ridiculous!  I had eight conversations going at once yesterday and five today!  I'm not complaining, it's just hilarious having to jump back and forth between computer and tablet.

I'm going out now to have dinner with my brother, and then paint when I get home.

Hmm, now somebody's texting me on my cell phone ....

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Things on My Mind

Pride weekend was cool, great, fantastic, and brilliant!  And yet ....

On Sunday evening, after a fun time on Church St., I was just about to go into my apartment building when this weird guy came up to me and said point blank:  "You know, right, that you'll only last nine more years ... maybe seven."  I could feel his eyes boring into me; his hatred and distain of me were almost palatable.

I wanted to spell out to him, "Fuck you!  How dare you say such a terrible thing to me!  You don't know me at all!"  And yet, I couldn't because Amy was talking to a friend of mine.

And then the jerk just walked off.

This whole incident makes me feel three different things:  Hurt and angry that this shmuck looked at me as if I were a drain on society.  Scared and superstitious because so many bad things have happened to me with the number nine. And, terribly sad that I don't have my mom and Rob around to comfort me.

 I can hear them now.  Rob would have said, "Point him out to me so I can yell at him and tell him he only has nine seconds left." And mom would have said, "Don't listen to him, you're going tp live to 99!"

Monday, July 1, 2013

Back to Work

Enough of the fun and frivolity - it's back to work for me!

I'll write more tomorrow ....