Call me crazy…

National Blog Posting Month - March 2010…but I’ve decided to try to tackle NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) again. If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you know that, for a couple of months in late 2008 and early 2009, I tried to blog every day. It can be tough to do, but it’s good for improving your discipline if, like me, you frequently just don’t get around to writing.

So, starting tomorrow, I’ll be attempting to write at least one post every day for the 31 days of March. I can’t guarantee that all (or even any) of them will be brilliant, but I plan to pick through the many, many, MANY half-written posts sitting in my Drafts folder. That’s a win-win for everyone.  🙂


Cats are such partypoopers

Ottawa Citizen, February 25, 2010: Small pets may be excluded from airline cabins

Small pets could soon be banished from passenger cabins in Canada after the government agency overseeing consumer complaints ruled Thursday that some customers suffering from a cat allergy are disabled and must be accommodated.

The Canadian Transportation Agency ruled that three complainants are in effect persons with disabilities because the pet policies at Air Canada and WestJet allowing cats in aircraft cabins impact on their ability to travel by air.

That’s right, it’s all fun and games for the dogs until the cats ruin the party.

I’m allergic to cats. Extremely allergic to cats. But that doesn’t stop me from being owned by one.  My mother is even more allergic to cats. She has to dose up on antihistamines whenever I visit because I bring the cat hair fiesta with me, however much I try to remove it before visiting. Banishing cats from the cabins of airplanes really isn’t going to be all that helpful. How many planes have you been on where someone brought an animal on board with them? How about where someone who had a cat (or five) at home came on board? You don’t know (unless you’re really hyper vigilant) but I’d be willing to bet that it is significantly more. Are the airlines to ban cat owners from just being on flights? It’s the only way to guarantee an allergy-free flight for the allergic.

What I want to know is when they’re going to make the flights scent-free. Environmental allergies are an issue, too.  Can you picture the mandatory sniff inspection as you’re coming through security? Now, that I’d like to see.

Wow, I’m so proud

What I learned about Canada and Canadians from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics opening ceremonies:

  1. Canadians spend all of their time fiddling and dancing while wearing kilts…
  2. …or doing slam poetry.
  3. Canadians are all Celtic
  4. Or one of the First Nations.
  5. Canadians love phallic symbols. (Well, really, who doesn’t?)
  6. Parkas and no pants. It’s a look, but I’m not sure what exactly it’s saying about us.

    Do we see a difference here? If you’re going to tart up the women, shouldn’t you do the same to the men?
  7. Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado lip syncing is the best Canada apparently could come up with for “live” talent. (Was everyone else busy? Seriously?)
  8. kd lang = Dakey Dunn? (I couldn’t find a good picture, but it’s the shapeless men’s suit that does it; straight off Dakey’s back, it was.
  9. Someone really thought that giving everyone drums to beat instead of clapping was going to sound authentically Canadian rather than making it sound like a contentious parliamentary debate. (Oh, wait…)
  10. Vancouver can’t even shake off its “Grow Op Capital of Canada” reputation long enough to build a decent Olympic cauldron.

    Come on, tell me it doesn’t  look like huge, lit joints surrounding a chunk of lit hash. It might explain the malfunction of the fourth leg — the engineers started partying a little early — and the 15-minute Wayne Gretzky parade drive to light the outdoor doobies. (Why have one stack ‘o dope when you can have two?)
  11. Someone at the Vancouver Sun has really fast fingers, publishing their first article about how brilliant the ceremonies were within minutes of the ending of the show. (I can’t find it now — clearly someone had pre-written an article based on previews and had it ready to publish the instant the show was over; they’ve since overwritten it.)

Good to  know that Canada’s hopes for an Emmy in the Best Foreign “What the Hell Were They Thinking?” Variety Show category are still going strong.

That person

You know that person who slips onto the bus via the back door (with a transfer, not a bus pass, knowing full well that they shouldn’t do that) and then gets called to the front to get lectured by the driver, holding up everyone else who would just like to get home on time?

Yup, that was me. I was that person.

If you were on a bus with me this evening, I’m so sorry.

PS: To the several people I hit with my backpack as I lurched towards the principal’s office bus driver, double apologies for you. And thanks for not saying out loud what you were thinking. I promise I’ll be a good girl and a dutiful bus rider tomorrow.

Fighting off the scary, scary, scaries

(I had a quirky post started on the subject of my mother and a very funny conversation we had a week ago Tuesday after she and my father had spent 12 hours in the emergency room — the ER wasn’t funny, nor was the reason for the visit, but my mother is pretty funny when she’s feeling bad. Not crying is really my only job right now — being strong and upbeat so that they don’t know how sad and scared I really am — and the black humour we share helps. But it’s hard, so very hard today.)

In an attempt to treat the cancer in her body, my mother will be undergoing three rounds of chemotherapy, followed by surgery, and then three more rounds of chemo. I don’t know what specific type of chemo she gets; I just know that she gets it for something like six hours at a time, and that it is particularly toxic. In the time since she had her first round three weeks ago, she has lost all of her hair and has taken to wearing biker hats instead of scarves or wigs. (She picked up her first wig, a lovely shade of dark brown that she has never in her life ever had, at the Cancer Centre this past Tuesday.) We use the “kidney stone scale” to judge how bad she’s feeling — if she feels less sick than when she’s passing a lot of kidney stones, it’s OK. Her “OK” would flatten me, though. She’s a far stronger person than I am.

This past Wednesday, she went in for her second round of chemo. Within minutes, she had a severe anaphylactic reaction that, among other things, caused her airway to close. They gave her epinephrine, antihistamines, oxygen, and I don’t know what else, and when she was able to breathe again, started the chemo back up. Subsequently, the line came out of her arm, spilling the chemical cocktail all over her and everything else. But they all soldiered on, finishing up the round.

Late Wednesday night, she sat down on the couch and couldn’t get up again because her left leg had a palsy. My Dad carried her back to bed and the next morning, after she slipped onto the bathroom floor while trying to get dressed and Dad couldn’t pick her up, they called 911. The EMTs took them to a different hospital than usual. After seeing that the x-rays of Mom’s knee showed nothing wrong, the doctor told them it was probably just an side effect of the toxic amounts of chemo she’d just had and sent them home.

By this morning (Friday morning — it’s late night Friday/early Saturday as I write this), she was starting to have trouble with her left hand so my oldest brother and my Dad trundled her off to their usual emergency room. Where they learned that she’d actually had a stroke yesterday. A small one, but a stroke nonetheless. (Wouldn’t it have been nice if, oh, I dunno, maybe the ER doctor from yesterday had have considered “stroke”? Nothing like waiting an extra 24 hours untreated.) She’s going to have to stay in the hospital for at least a week and undergo physical therapy. I know little beyond that.

I’ve been talking to my parents every evening for the last eleven days…

I’m a little afraid for tomorrow’s call.