July 29, 2012

Champions are Those Who Imagine it Can Be Done ...

and then make it happen.

I want you to meet my friend Glenda Watson Hyatt. We've been friends since she was 7 and I was 6. Or maybe 8 and 7, I can't remember. We were in Brownies (the junior British colony version of Girl Scouts) together, in the same . I'll add a photo of us when we were kids when I come across it again, but today I have to tell you a quick story about her inextinguishable will.

Glenda can do anything, with a bit of help from friends. Here's she and I ziplining across downtown Vancouver during the Olympics:

Yesterday, Glenda climbed the steps of the Art Gallery in Philadelphia, following in the footsteps of the semi-biographical character, Rocky Balboa. The true Rocky is a gentleman named Charles (Chuck) Wepner, a heavyweight boxer who went the distance with Muhammad Ali who joined Glenda in her triumph after her ascension.

Since the moment I met her, Glenda, brain injured at birth which left her with a "life, not death sentence" of cerebral palsy, has been a person who has chosen to say "yes" to life and opportunities. She wrote a book with one thumb, Do It Myself, about her early days, including her journey through school and university. Do it Myself is also available to read on your Kindle. If you want to feel inspired, or just get a look at what living with a disability looks like from the inside, I highly recommend  it. And not just because I make a brief cameo ...

Anyway, today is about Glenda, and the challenge she set her sights upon most recently. Climbing those stairs, aided by the group, Wish Upon a Hero. She would have done it without them, I know this from experience, but they made a personal challenge a party. I've stolen Glenda's montage of this event, which was made even better by a foundation called  from her FB page, so that you can celebrate her spirit too, and answer yes! to the next little (or not so little) dream you have.

Photo montage of Glenda, Rocky impersonator, boxer Chuck Wepner and the gang at Wish Upon a Hero as they climb the steps at the steps Rocky climbed to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Glenda and gang make the climb (photo courtesy: Wish Upon A Hero)

Finally, there's this story from the local Philadelphia newspaper. Enjoy a bit of inspiration on this lovely Sunday afternoon.

ps. Glenda writes and presents worldwide about Web Accessibility. If you have a blog, or develop internet software, she has compiled a wealth of information about courseware for you to use to broaden your readership by making content more widely available to those with disabilities. She asks you: Is Your Blog Disabled?

July 22, 2012

Friday Fluff on a Sunday Afternoon in July

This week Joules over at LucidLotusLife completed a Weirdo Survey and then Amelia over at Searching for Amelioration did the same so I thought I would kickstart my writing career and make this jazz a microtrend by forcing myself to do the same.

I dunno why it is dubbed the Weirdo Survey, maybe some weirdo wrote it, but I'm not that fussy so here ya go:

How tall are you barefoot?
It depends. Am I pregnant? (I'm not pregnant.)

Have you ever smoked heroin?

Listen. I freaked something awful at someone else who decided in a bar we worked that I needed to watch her snort coke in a bathroom stall late one night because THAT would be the night the joint got busted ... so you tell me. Have I ever smoked heroin?

Do you own a gun?
A water gun. Yes. But I don't allow my kids to touch it. I don't want to hear the girls yelling that the boy shot them in the eye. That bickering drives me insane.

Does eating-disordered loony bin count? Because it should because that's how I used it. So, yes.

Do you get nervous before
hand jobs? Sure. Doesn't everybody?

What do you think of your friends?
If by friends you mean people who read this blog, I think they are brilliant, insightful, beautiful and charming. Did I mention they are brilliant?

If by friends you mean IRL ... I'm working on that. Ha ha, joking. (Sort of). I love my friends very much.

What's your favorite Christmas song?
Have You Ever Been Mellow?

What. I have to listen to stuff like that at Christmas time. It keeps me from losing my shit.

What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Irish whiskey in black coffee.

Whipped cream optional.

Perfection includes Irish Mist, but I haven't had that since I stopped working the business lunch shift at local Greek restaurants, completely tanked. That Irish Mist really *makes* the drink.

Do you do push-ups?
I never "do" anything that makes my chin rest on my mammary glands. It just looks silly.

Have you ever done ecstacy?
Yep. 1/2 tab. Once whilst living in Hong Kong and attending our one and only rave, in the basement of a grand hotel. We shared the tab in the cab ride over.

The hotel part made our one-and-only attempt at 90s cool pretty pitiful. The chemical merely made my hair stand on end so I never tried it again. I was disappointed I didn't get all chill and/or lovey.

Are you vegetarian?
I am an opportunist. If you feed me good food, I will eat it.

Do you like painkillers?
I haven't found one that works so ... not really. I'm mostly mad at them.

What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?
Um, yar. I totally use a secret weapon. I fix them with my death glare, and render them incapable to resist. And then I eat them.

What time did you wake up today?
7.25 am

Current worry?
It is July and my toes are cold.

Current hate?
Reality is a bitch.

Do you own slippers?

Do you burn or tan?
Are we talking S&M here? Because I'd choose tanning someone's hide over burning them any day. I don't like the smell. Now hot wax, that might be different. But did you ever see that movie that Diana Ross was in, where she burned herself by dripping wax down her body? That was crazy. So maybe I'm going to stick with tanning.

What songs do you sing in the shower?
None. Shower is out of commission. It's a new reno, leaks into the downstairs suite like a kid's snotty nose, please don't ask. I bathe in the clawfoot bathtub we romantically installed in the kids playroom.

Don't. Ask.

How many TVs do you have in your house?
We have three TV screens, but we only watch television shows on my small laptop because we do not receive a signal on said TVs. Really, we should give those things away, don't you think?

Do you wish on stars?
Nope. But I hum the tune.

What song do/did you want played at your wedding?
Queen: I Want to Ride my Bicycle. And then we did.

What song do you want played at your funeral?
I do not want a funeral. But if others want when I go, they can do what they'd like. I don't plan on caring. I'll. Be. Dead.

But I wouldn't complain if someone played a young Liza singing Cabaret. Mostly I hope I'll have figured out how to make this song true in my life:

Do you love someone?
Uh huh. Truly madly deeply, I love my husband. I love my friends (online and off), I love my siblings and their kids. And I love my kids, wildly and without reservation.


Credit where it's due:
Lisa over at Seeking Elevation started answering surveys as a Friday Fluff thing a while back ... it's good to see it revived every here and there. Her most recent fluff was completed in the run-up to her marathon solo-with-toddler+preschooler trip from Hong Kong to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond ... pretty sure she needed the distraction at that point as much as I am using this for mine now. I believe she is on the last leg of her journey (the Gulf part) and then she's home again home again jiggity jog.

Take this survey or other Fun Surveys - Fun Myspace Surveys at Fun Surveys - Fun Myspace Surveys. You are so welcome.

July 3, 2012

Trifecta -- Week 34 -- The Giver

I want to tell people the truth: they take and take and take and take without giving in return but still they take take take take and when there should exist nothing more to get they take some more, and they should not. Push. So. Hard. -- or -- Grab. So. Much. without considering replenishing the well that is I.

I fear the fireworks. It terrifies me so much that I cannot breathe. I imagine if I told them an ounce of how rude and horrible and mean they are, if I said anything at all ...

So I stay still, and quiet, and proffer my everything with my head bowed in the hope that they will one day see that they take too much.

Yes. I know.

I am broken too.


This is my entry for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge, after many weeks of absence. In its way, it seems like a lifetime, but taking a small step back into the fray is, indeed, comforting. I've missed you.

As usual, we are using the third definition of a word selected by those crafty-but-cute Trifecta editors. I personally picture them with horns.


1: a device for producing a striking display by the combustion of explosive or flammable compositions
2: plural a display of fireworks
3: plural
a : display of temper or intense conflict
b : a spectacular display

July 2, 2012

Life, death, and favours asked

Hi Everyone.

I have been absent from my blog for the month following the death of my mother. I am still sorting through my feelings and those of my family, and have felt too vulnerable to write things (even mundane things not related to her death).

Of course, it is easier to write for a cause -- especially a good one -- so I'm climbing back on my horse. After all, it is always easier to ask for something for someone else, isn't it? This may be my personal Achilles heel. I'm pretty sure most of you can relate. (I've read your blogs.)

So I have this friend, Melissa. She is my children's violin teacher and an amazing musician who inspires me to push myself to be more brave (one day, but not today). She and another musician form the group BowAntler. They are competing to secure a space on the main stage of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, one of the original festivals to be held in Vancouver. This festival is a BIG DEAL.

To help me support BowAntler, please check out this song she and her band mate wrote specifically for the contest, Shake My Shoes, and then click the "like" link to vote for her. While you are there (and if you love Cindy Lauper like I do) check out their rendition of Time after Time (Time after time ... time after time ... time after time ...)

That's it for now. Thanks in advance for those of you who take the time to vote. For those of you that don't, I'm okay with asking and not receiving. A long time ago I learned that if I don't ask, I will never get, and that a no is just as okay an answer as yes.

I'm embedding the video here but I think you have to click like directly on FB to actually vote. (If you really like it, feel free to share with your peeps too.) If you don't "do" Facebook, you can click "like" directly on the YouTube video, I've heard rumours that this will count too ...

May I present BowAntler's Shake My Shoes:

In the meanwhile, my family grieves. My mother (Elaine) was a complicated person (aren't we all) but I can say with absolute certainty she was was an especially amazing grandma. We'll each miss her in our own way.