Sunday, October 30, 2005

“Christ is not speaking to the press at this time.”

Now there's a sentence you just don't see very often. :)

News story here.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

S'all pieces, bits and pieces...

A scattered collection of random thoughts...

... Hurricane Wilma, widely expected to hammer the Maritimes, missed us but we got nailed by another storm around the same time anyway. My favourite red umbrella gave up the ghost after being popped inside-out once too often. A couple of the wire spines literally snapped. I loved that umbrella, and more importantly, I paid $1 for it at Dollarama...

...Salon's new redesign is so awful I want to cry every time I see it. I am a premium member, and my membership just came up for renewal... Design issues aside (and they are legion, from the nearly unreadable font to the repetition of the same article titles multiple times on the index page), I was on the fence until they introduced their "sassy" new girlyblog, "Broadsheet" ... while readers have been responding with howls of protest at this patronizing ghettoization of "women's news" here, here, and here, Salon has responded by slapping them in the face with articles with titles like "Pussy saves Broad!"... I won't be renewing...

... tomorrow is our Godson's birthday... he'll be five and is cuter than a bug's ear... I love his birthday parties - even though his mom and dad invite all the grandparents and aunts and uncles, the menu is what HE chooses... last year we had hot dogs and McCain's "Smiles"... how can you not love, at 40 and without kids of our own, the opportunity to eat "Smiles"? ... continues to amuse me mightily ("Here's a little song which gives us a glimpse into the tragic life of a little kitten trying to deal with the crapness of his leopard")...

...Forgotten NY is an amazing website a friend passed along to me that lovingly catalogues the remnants of the New York of a bygone era... the hundred-year-old wrought-iron streetlamps, fading advertisements and forgotten subway lines that remain in a city which, after all, is nearly 400 years old...the items photographed are oddly beautiful and browsing the site, strangely compulsive... the first day I got the link I spent two hours there before I realized it...

...speaking of amusing me, so does , a collection of the oddest news stories around the globe, sent in by farksters.

ronnie (And remember - "Who's winning? We're all winning!")

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"Mom's Cancer" is now available for pre-boarding..., I mean, pre-ordering.

In Canada and internationally you can find it at Indigo Books.
In the US and internationally you can order it thru

The book will be published in February 2006. At this very reasonable price, order an extra copy to donate to the oncology ward of your local hospital or to give to your family doctor. The more professionals who can read this book, which details how cancer physically and emotionally affects the entire family, the more patients and families who will get superior care and consideration.


Monday, October 24, 2005

If all the world's a stage, can I get better lighting?

The nice lady from the CBC taped the story on Thursday... it took all day! She wanted to shoot me in my office and I said "sure" - but I didn't realize it would take two hours. She interviewed one of my co-workers and me. After work, Husband, C and I met at a local coffee shop where they filmed some more. No idea when it'll be on - as a "human interest" story that's not time-sensitive they'll stick it in as filler one day I suppose :) Anyway, it was kind of fun and she has oodles of film now, I only hope she edits it into something that doesn't make me look like too much of an idiot.

I was careful to emphasize that I thought the CI was miraculous and wonderful for me as a hearing person who had lost my hearing. I am sensitive to the feelings of my Deaf friends who don't feel that they were born "broken" and don't feel they need to be "fixed". (Some of them could not be helped by a CI - for them, especially, their identity as whole, Deaf people is key to their self-esteem and psychological integrity.) Those Deaf friends were my lifeline when I went deaf, and I don't want to alienate or hurt them. We disagree wildly on some things - such as whether and under what circumstances very young children should be implanted - but I respect them.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Idiots with Camera Phones

From left to right , Me, Mo, and C., playing with my new camera phone.

Did you know they let me drive an automobile? Scary, isn't it?


Sunday, October 16, 2005


Speaking of CBC, check out this story they did about my friend and co-worker, Mohammednur, as he finally welcomed the beautiful wife and twin daughters (who I have admired for three years in the photos he will show at the drop of a hat) to be with him here in Canada.

Dreams come true
(Link will launch media player)

They are beautiful people, settling in wonderfully to school and English classes, and radiate so much love and warmth they don't even seem to notice the cold :)

Whenever work starts to suck too, too badly, I try to remember that this is why we do it.


"Mr. DeMille! I'm ready for my close-up!"

So a few weeks ago, at a Media Training Workshop I organized for staff & volunteers from our member organizations, I met a reporter for CBC Television. We talked about the implant and she asked if I'd be willing to do a story about it. I said sure, but at the time the CBC was on strike, and I honestly thought she'd forget about it. Well, the strike's settled and she didn't - she phoned me last week and still wants to do a story.

She wants Husband and perhaps C. involved too and there has been some negotiating and accommodating of schedules but I am going to phone her tomorrow and finalize things.

I am extremely unphotogenic and unfilmgenic (is that a word?) and having done a number of tv interviews relating to my work I don't have many illusions that I am going to come off all hip and cool and cute - more like a chubby 40 year old married lady :) - but Husband and I have realized that in our own quiet way we have become apostles for the cause, and the more we can do to spread good information about CIs and their potential, the more we will do.

This feels much more important now than before for two reasons: one, on our last visit to Halifax, one of the interns told us earnestly that the money allocated to the CI program is miniscule compared to other programs (such as hip replacements, for example), and quietly urged us to do anything we could to spread the word about the life-, family- and career-changing potential of this surgery in relatively young patients; and secondly, the opening of a CI evaluation and therapy clinic in our own province means that people can get treatment right here (and, most importantly in NB, can get it in French if they wish, which they cannot in Nova Scotia); and I feel every one of us who have benefited from this program have a duty to support the program to ensure that it is kept alive and properly supported and funded.

So Lights, Camera, Action - let's go!


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Close-Captioning Cockup of the Day: Special "SURVIVOR: GUATEMALA" Edition

One of the players on tonight's "Survivor" reflects on the person just now cast out of the tribe:




Monday, October 10, 2005

Giving Thanks

Normally, Thanksgiving Dinner in Canada would be on Sunday for most families; but one of my brothers-in-law had to work yesterday, and dammit, you don't get together if everyone who's within driving distance cain't be there.

So I just got back from my in-laws' house, where we had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, squash, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin (or apple) pie with whipped cream for dessert.


Stuffed? That turkey didn't know from stuffed.

As is par for the course at my in-laws, the meal was outstanding and the conversation cautious - the family consisting of two parents and five sons with extremely different political stances and every one of them with a mouthy, opinionated wife :) - but the real joy, as usual, was just being there with my father-in-law, who we nearly lost a few years ago, and my mother-in-law, who I love so much and who is such a role model for me, and my nephew, who babbles like a little bird. And my brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, some of whom drive me nuts, but all of whom have become part of the landscape of my life, and who, I realized, as I helped my sister-in-law load the dishwasher tonight, my life would be so much the... more muted, and colourless, and poorer without.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Simple as a phone call...

I apologize for not posting more often but I've been in a really busy phase at work; and when I haven't been working Husband and I have been searching for new cellphones. Our good ol' Motorla V-boxes were the right thing when I was deaf and we communicated completely via text when apart; but while they're great text phones, they're not great cellphones; the speakers are poor, the design clumsy, and the battery too-quickly drained when actually using the phone to make calls. So it was time to look for new mobiles for both of us.

Comparing and researching phones and plans is as bleeding difficult as buying a car, honestly, and compounding the difficulty is something that came as a real surprise to me - many cellphones are not compatible with CIs and hearing aids. When I tried out our first choice of phone, I suddenly heard a loud buzzing accompanied by a rhythmic drumming noise like someone was playing a very loud bongo in my brain. It totally obliterated the voice on the other end. Our research told us that this is 'a known issue', and that in its usual lightening-quick response to the needs of the handicapped, the FCC has declared that a whopping 50% of cellphones sold in the US must be CI-compatible. By 2008.

Fortunately, not 100% are incompatible now (parse that twice), and so I have been trying out a whole bunch of phones. We think we've finally found an ideal little phone that works for me, has great reviews across the 'net, has a camera (something we wanted if we were going to get new mobiles) and even takes video. So if it works well expect a lot more stupid photos and even video on the blog :) .

Other than that is has been a very quiet weekend. It's Thanksgiving in Canada and that means a 3-day weekend, and it's been pouring rain since Friday, (I mean, seriously pouring: check out the current satellite photo courtesy The Weather Network:

We're under there somewhere...)

So all 4 of us have spent a lot of time curled up on the bed surfing the net, watching tv and sleeping. And that's just fine by me.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Farewell, "Mom"

It is with great sadness that I pass on the news that Barbara, known to us all as "Mom", of "Mom's Cancer" and "Mom's Recovery", passed away on Saturday, October 1. She was just 66.

Her son Brian, the man who has written her legacy, a book entitled Mom's Cancer to be published in February 2006, has written an eloquent post on his website that gives more details.

I "knew" her only online and for the briefest of snail-mail exchanges; there wasn't time for anything more, and another card I'd begun to make for her sits half-finished next to my bed. I knew her for but a microsecond of a full, rich, if all-too-brief life; but she taught me more about living life, and facing down death, with humour and grace in those few months than I could ever have thanked her for as long as we both might have lived. Our thoughts are with her children and grandchildren and loved ones; if we feel bereft at losing her funny, warm, voice, we cannot calculate nor understand their loss.

It may seem a funny thing to say, but I am glad it wasn't the cancer itself that caused her death, even if the treatment did. She stared that vicious monster in the teeth and made it blink, and finally flee.

Goodbye, Barbara, and I hope whatever you find on the other side is exactly what you had hoped. No matter how inadequate the words may be, thank you for everything.