Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Other Stuff I Like

Before I get started. I was mistaken that Anne's blog, Disabled Not Dead, had been deleted. Happily, it is still available. Sorry Anne, Not the first time Blogger has confused me.

I had mentioned in an earlier post that I would talk about non MS blogs and websites that I enjoy, or at least find useful. Maybe one of you out there might find them interesting . Just check out my "Other Stuff I Like", links. I'll start with the National Film Board.

When I was a kid my teachers in grade school would show films on Friday afternoons. I use to look forward to it unless it was a National Film Board one, and most of the other kids felt the same. As soon as I saw the NFB logo I would think "boring". Well what can you expect from an 11 year old who's idea of culture was watching Commander Tom, on tv and wasted Saturday afternoons watching Hammer films at the Prince of Wales theatre.
Even if I did like something I wouldn't admit it because Canadian films just weren't cool back then. Now I realize that the film board really does have some good stuff.

They have animated shorts you can view. One of my favourites being "The Log Driver's Waltz" sung by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Kate the mother of Rufus Wainwright. I was watching it the other day and my son commented: "how lame and corny", so you know it must be good.

Go ahead, take a break from YouTube and have a look .

Monday, March 30, 2009


Lassitude: Langour, disinclination to exert or interest oneself.

Last week before attending one of many tiring meetings at work, I printed off some information from the MS society about fatigue. I handed copies to the people at the meeting and simply said "this is the reason why I want to work at home". The word lassitude,jumped out at me. The definition of it suits me so perfectly.

Before 2004 I would never have been able to imagine the fatigue I experience now. Would never have thought that lassitude would become a part of my life. The disinclination to exert or interest myself comes partly from fear . Fear, that I will start a project, not be able to finish it, and end up with a mess. I look around my house at all the things that I would like to do and I cry, because I'm afraid to do them. Fear, when I have that awful feverish feeling,get so tired, so suddenly, and the switch in my head shuts off. When it shuts off, I can't do a thing or I do stupid things,like injure myself, cross the street on a red light, fall, or have an anxiety attack.

I remember the summer of 2005 when I was invited to a wedding . It took me the entire morning of that day to get ready. Not because I was getting really decked out, but because I could barely do a thing. Even combing my hair was a huge effort
I sat not wanting to go and yet somehow I was able to peel myself off the couch. The whole experience was an ordeal. I felt like a zombie. What made it worse is that there were people there I hadn't seen in ages .Inside I was happy to see them, outside I could barely make the effort to say hello. It was like a strange dream. I felt like I wasn't even there. The whole summer was like that.

For a person who use to be so active, it's difficult to get use to this new weak, "lazy" me . I know there are people around me who think I'm not trying, but I am .
I am

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mush Brain Commentary

Taking it easy today. I hate to say how tired I am. I will anyway. I'm so tired !!
Too tired to even write anything and I'm hoping this post won't be incomprehensible
If you are reading this and it comes across as a bunch of gobbly gook, sorry. Can't seem to get my head and hands to cooperate with me.

Funny how things can drag on so long and then suddenly they start moving so fast. There has been more progress on my "duty to accommodate" this week, than in the past 18 months. The recent labour relations decision, which I mentioned in an earlier post, and a union conference studying the impact of that case, seems to have energized the entire process. There are definite time lines in place now, so the next couple of weeks should be interesting. Wish I could say more, only I know there are readers of my blog who are in fact back stabbing weasels, just waiting for that one comment they can twist to get me for violating confidentiality.

Weird how it's my life but I can't talk about it. Blogs aren't private. No, they are in fact very public and can get you into lots of trouble. Just like Facebook, which I avoid like the plague. Too many people on there who think it's some private little club, were you can say and do whatever you want. No, the petty authoritarian minions, are out there gleefully looking for the tiniest thing they can use against you. What they get out of it I really don't know.

Don't get the idea I'm some brave soldier here,fighting the good fight. I broke down in tears more than once this week, from pure exhaustion.

All I can say to anyone who is considering a fight,(and it does turn into a fight). Think very hard about what you want, why you want it. Be aware of how slow justice can be, how time consuming and bureaucratic. Can you handle getting up every day to face your tormentors for days, weeks, months, years ? Can you take the financial and emotional costs ? It's hard enough doing it when you're fit. Rough when you're not. If you do decide it's worth it, don't give up, but also remember, sometimes life just ain't fair.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

News, Big and Small

I have added My Wife Has MS blog to my list of links. Interesting to read a partner's view of life with someone who has MS. I'm sorry to see that Anne has deleted her blog, Disabled Not Dead. I thought she had wanted to keep it as an information source and a valuable one it was.

Have read several news stories about the rise in candy and chocolate sales. People want a treat in bad times. This is good news for my son, who has a new part time job working in a candy factory. I don't know why they call it a part time job when the shifts are 11 hours.He still works at the pasta factory, one night per week.
I'll be glad when the school term is over as I think he's taken on too much. He is mostly likely annoyed reading this. Teenagers can't handle mother love.

Also in the news. I never in my life thought I would agree with Newt Gingrich, about the bailout mess. Life keeps getting stranger. Notice AIG has removed their sign on the headquarters building ? Guess they are getting worried they might get kidnapped like the boss in France, or attacked like they bank boss in England.

Also I was totally disgusted with Fox news and their ridicule of Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Yes you dummies Canada, is in Afghanistan, and four of our soldiers died there this past week. I'm not in favour of them being there, but I will defend them, just as you defend your own. Any wonder the world thinks so little of America ?

I'm home today. Feeling a bit better now, after a rotten evening last night and a not so great sleep. The usual tingling pain mess.It didn't help yesterday that a meeting was canceled after me rearranging my schedule to attend. What is it with people that they don't check their own agenda properly before they make appointments, or is it that they simply don't care?

Have to get back to writing my report for work a.k.a.: The ridiculous soap opera that has become my job.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Medical Curiosities

Check out this history of medical curiosities in pictures

OK I admit I had to look up what lithotomy is. Eeek !

A terrible day Really thought I was going to lose it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This past week has been one of regrets, frustration, sensitivity, and alienation. Not that I'm throwing in the towel or anything (managers don't break out the champagne just yet)

I see flaws in others, but do I see my own? Why do I care what others think or feel?
How do I sort out what is important to care about and what isn't ?
For example:
Yesterday I was at the grocery store picking up some items I forgot to order. A couple in front of me at the checkout were perusing the magazines. They were discussing celebrities as though these people were a part of their lives . I just don't get why people care about who is and isn't wearing underpants. Now if my son or my mother didn't have their undies on, I would be concerned, but Britney Spears ?

Same thing happened at lunch on Friday. I was with a couple of girlfriends I haven't seen in awhile. Nice smart ladies, yet they seem to think they have the right to comment on the spouse of a particular actor, saying he could have done better. How would they like it if I said that to them ? and don't they realize that celebrities don't give a hoot what we think. Maybe the world wouldn't be in the mess it's in right now, if we were less concerned about lingerie and were taking care of business instead ?

Or maybe it's me. I should take care of my own business and let others get on with reading People. Then again I wish people would stop pushing the latest therapy in my face and tell me at least I'm not on welfare. It doesn't help.

I can seriously relate to people who become house bound. I don't think it's a wise thing to do and yet I can understand wanting to shut the world out. It can be a stupid sucking place.

Awful to think that It was around this time last year that I went on vacation and then moved my leave ahead, because I couldn't handle the work scene. It's all well and good to want justice, quite another thing to pursue it.

I'm watching one of my favourite shows, Top Gear. Don't ask me why I like a car show while at the same time, I hate cars.They always have some sort of crazy challenge Today they are double decker racing. That's were you have one car with brakes and gas, no steering, another car on top with only steering. Last week they had a remote controlled car race. Not models, but regular size cars. The world champion just happens to be a 15 year old girl.

This morning I woke up and thought my bedroom was full of smoke My eyes were doing something weird. It's gone away now. I had those electric shock jerking motions too. Not painful, just annoying, and interrupts my sleep.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We Have A Precedent !!

Such amazing news at work ,A court decision on "duty to accommodate". I was laughing and crying at the same time while reading it ,as there are so many parallels to my own situation. I'll be busy writing a report citing the similarities, so I may not have time or energy for my blog. An update soon !!

Here's the case decision

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Erin Go Bragh

A mild, sunny, St Patrick's Day, as you can see from the photos I took on my way home from work. Handy to have this phone camera even if it doesn't take the best pictures. Found a little bunch of crocus too !

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nice Enough For A Long Walk

A few shots taken on the trail late this afternoon. I'm disappointed that the ones I took of the waterfall didn't turn out. The only time of the year you can even see it is when the trees are bare. Oh well, I'm glad I at least had the energy to go for a walk up there. The weather is pleasant and should be even milder. I have a bet on with my son that we will get more snow before April 15th Even though I don't want more snow, no way will we be that lucky and have nice clear sidewalks till next November.

Yesterday I forgot to mention Habitat for Humanity. They had a booth at the home show. Turns out, they will come to your home and tear out your kitchen, take everything away at no charge, and even give you a tax receipt for any salvageable items . All for a good cause too. Now I'm thinking that along with all the other incentives, I have no more excuses to get some work done around the house. That is except for money, which I will have to borrow.
Depressing health news stories today. The bad economy is resulting in bigger sales of junk food, as people look for cheap eats. That glass of red wine everyday, increases a woman's risk of breast cancer . A million women can't be wrong.

I really hate this new set up on blogger I can't tell what the heck anything looks like till I publish my post and have to keep coming back to revise it. Grrr!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More Daylight=More Time ?

Taking a break from proof reading philosophy essays. I guess I should be flattered that my son still values my opinions.

Philosophy is the product of a civilized society. Or is it ? In ancient Greece,the cradle of democracy,they were able to sit around contemplating the meaning of life because they had slaves.In Athens, there were 3 slaves to every citizen.Thomas Jefferson had time to write the Declaration of Independence, because he too had slaves to do all the boring, heavy duty work. I'm not letting Canada off the hook. We have a pretty good history of subjugating those who could do our dirty work for us.There were many indentured servants living in Quebec and Ontario, who had to work for their freedom.

Today, we technically don't have slaves, we simply exploit third world countries so that we can send our children to university, so they can study Philosophy. I guess Philosophy is the product of a highly developed society, rather than a civilized one.

Got lots of free goodies and information at the Home /Garden show yesterday . I wasn't aware of the many government incentives for home renovations. If I get a green audit done of my home, the federal and provincial governments will help me out with either rebates,tax credits, or both. The provincial government will even cover $150. of the $500 audit. I want very much to get some new windows and possibly insulation in the walls on the right side of the house. Now might be the right time to do it, even if I am low on cash.

I did a bit of spring cleaning on my blog. My original idea was to have an entirely new look.I checked out the templates again but didn't see anything different and I'm not one much for decoration anyway. I have a new section called " Stuff I Like" which replaces my "Friends and Family" links. This is a list of blogs and websites unrelated to anything about MS or health issues. I'll be posting comments from time to time about why I like them .If you really hate my uniqlock, please let me know.I like it,but some people find the music distracting. There is a button to adjust the sound if you want.
Is it only me,or does everybody else when posting photos, get gobble gook code instead of being able to see the photos before publishing the post? Very annoying.

If I have my act together today I might head over to the Botanical Gardens. The weather is mild and sunny and they have an indoor bug exhibit. It also helps to have the exta daylight, so that I don't have to rush to get home before dark.
I'm still not use to daylight savings time. My biological clock insists it's still winter and I shouldn't be up so early.Not sure about the name either. What exactly are we saving ?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Flower Arrangements

Some flowers from the Home and Garden Show

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Brother Insurance

A disturbing news story from World Focus. Sorry I only have the video link

Insurance companies in Australia, are denying customers health insurance based on information from genetic tests. The head of the insurance association there, really made me angry with his comments. The fact that it was only a few people out of thousands who were denied insurance . So it's OK to screw people as long as it isn't too many. How many is that?

I will call this week stupid week because of all the dumb things I did, ending with the police calling me. They asked me to come pick up my work ID and security card at cop shop headquarters . Some kind person found it on the street and turned it in.
At least they didn't assume my identity and do crazy things while pretending to be me.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bigger Not Better

Have been neglecting my blog this week as I have too many other writing projects.
Never thought standing up for my rights would involve so much writing. Endless letters, forms, memos, emails and reports. It's getting close to the dead line for management to make a decision,one way or the other.

A couple of news stories about drug company mergers this week. Have to go searching for the links as I have lost them. Merck-Schering and Roche-Genentech. To me this is not good news.I don't think bigger is better and the conspiracy theorist in me believes that these mergers are just a way to stifle competition and do nothing to promote better treatments. Look for layoffs too, as they cut costs to cover the debt needed to pay for these mergers.

I'm experimenting with energy boosting drinks to help me get through the work day.
In the early afternoon I drink one tin of a 100 calorie drink that contains 75mg of caffeine, guarine, and B vitamins. Now before you start to tut tut. I only drink this on work days and I always limit myself to one per day. I'm not a coffee drinker and I drink caffeine free tea in the evenings. To tell the truth, it works much better than the anti fatigue drugs I was taking and doesn't have the lousy side effects.Considering I use to drink 3 to 4 diet colas everyday that didn't work that great and contained that poison aspartame, this is not a big deal. I'm also not collapsing in the evening the way I use too. I'll update next week. Hoping this is a temporary measure.

Had grim news from the dentist. No matter what alternative he suggests to fix my teeth, they all involve unpleasantness and big wads of cash.

At least I did bake an excellent skillet apple pie. You peel and slice apples,I chose Empires, and mix them with some apple cider or apple juice. I used an organic juice only because it was the smallest container I could find at the supermarket. They only sell the regular stuff in humongous containers and I don't drink apple juice. You add a bit of lemon juice to stop the apples going brown. Next you saute the apples in some butter, keeping the juice aside and add then it to the pan after a couple of minutes. You then throw in some brown sugar and maple syrup . Let all that cook a couple more minutes, top it with an unbaked pie crust and bake it in the skillet till the crust is golden brown. Served warm you have this yummy sauce that you can spoon on to the crust when you serve it. A little whipped cream and that is one fantastic dessert. I justify eating it because I was told dieting in the winter leaves you more susceptible to colds and flu.

A man survives the Falls

Well, back to writing the work opus.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Economic Woes Hit Home

Seems like every day there is more gloomy economic news . My son had a decent part time job working in a pasta factory . He's a student attending university and the job fit well with his schedule. Every week he had at least two full shifts and sometimes a third one. Friday- Sunday evenings. Bonus was that they had employee give away nights and he always brought home nice packages of fresh pasta. Now in less than a month he's down to 5 hours this week and possibly no work at all this weekend. It happened so fast The factory decided to shut down on Sundays, the following week Saturdays and Sundays and this week only part shifts on Fridays.

I remember a couple of months ago when we were in the supermarket and I was checking out the price of fresh pasta . I haven't bought any in ages as I prefer the dry stuff. To me it has more body and better taste. I was stunned at the price. One package of Tortellini stuffed with Italian sausage was $8.00 and that's without sauce.The plain pasta noodles were $4.0o for a very skimpy looking amount. I wondered who bought this stuff. I made a comment that the way the economy was going people would stop buying it and go back to the cheap pasta. Why did I have to be right ?

It isn't a tragedy,it just sucks.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Open Sesame !

Yesterday I bought another makeup compact. The same as the one I smashed a couple of weeks ago when I couldn't figure out how to open it. It really is very good make up, based on the remnants left after I totally destroyed the container. This time I figured out how to open it !
I know Ellen DeGeneres will never read my blog, but stranger things have happened, so here goes.
Dear Ellen :You're right, that make up you plug really is amazing. Just one thing. Could you tell the maker to at least show the compact opened the correct way? You see, in the ad, they show the lid for it flipping up, when in fact,it's a screw top. It's even more confusing that the compartment for the sponge does flip open . It would save me so much time and money, to not have to fiddle around thinking I need to flip the top open, then give up in frustration and smash the whole works. This is especially true at 6:00 a.m., when I'm getting ready to go to a place I really don't want to go to (work) and even with my glasses on I can't figure out how to open this silly package. This makes me feel vain and foolish,that I waste my time even putting on make up. Hey ! I'm an old school girl and brainwashed to believe that I must keep making the effort to look good.

So please Ellen, tell those guys that they must not confuse tired older women, who have lots on their plate to deal with, and don't need any extra frustrations. Oh yeah Ellen, one more thing . You're looking good in that ad, but then I guess somebody else put the make up on for you, so you didn't know about the kooky container.

Speaking of work. I have a serious case of the guilts. I watched a new story on t.v. about the impact of the unemployment figures on real people. They interviewed an entire family that was out of work. Mom and Dad, who had the same job for 30 years. Their children, who one by one, have lost jobs or have had their hours cut back. One young women down to 5 hours per week, which isn't much of a job. Is it? On top of that, they don't have any health care now.

Here I am with my crummy situation at work, yet I still have a job and a good paying one at that. I don't have to worry about paying the to the doctor bill either. At the same time it doesn't give my employer the right to take advantage of me during difficult times. Sure, I could be on the street or working at a sub shop (yeah I'm still not over that comment) then again,they aren't so special that the same thing couldn't happen to them. If I fall, they fall too. You can't be a manager, if you don't have anybody to manage. So stop acting smug and do your duty. Or am I thinking like a Communist, believing that those who produce are more valuable than those who oversee them?

Time to get back to the cooking marathon. The way I'm feeling and with daylight savings to get use to, I need to have food ready for during the week Otherwise we might end up eating subs all week .

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Huge Cookies

Lots of good mail today, including huge hazelnut wafer cookies from Czech Republic. Enough for many tea drinking sessions.

A tiring week so far. At work It's like trench warfare. I gain some ground, then lose some, then fall back, and then gain a tiny patch. At least my new union rep. is getting results. She has come up with an alternate plan regarding my work which I am seriously considering. Nice to know that I have options. Why do all the options involve reams for forms having to be filled out?

Local news is about the shut down of the steel plant, US Steel Canada. 1500 workers out of a job, due to weak demand for steel, and a sharp drop in commodity prices. That's a big loss of good paying jobs in a small city like Hamilton
Where and when will it end ?

The last few nights I have been waking up feeling faint. A strange feeling to be lying down and fainting. I also have the occasional whoosing sound in my ears.

I may come back later and add a few items Right now I just feel way too tired.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Peace to Customer Service Geeks

After seeing Slum Dog Millionaire (I loved it) I will never, ever, yell at a techie on the phone ever again . Never never .

Other than the movie I haven't done much . The only excitement this weekend was an exploding cake. That's what happens when you use a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon to measure baking powder. A real mess. The end result was that I did find a better recipe for Boston Cream Pie by Rose Kennedy !

Psycho Cybernetics !! I can't handle it (see comments on previous post)