Thursday, June 29, 2006

Down Comes The Rain...


There's a little thunderstorm outside. I love being home during thunderstorms. I'm sitting here in my orange sun room with the light on listening to my new mix CD. The Observer sweetly made it for me. The song Dani California from the Red Hot Chili Peppers is playing. I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They've been around a while. A lot of their stuff sounds the same, but it's all good. Every time I hear the song Where'd You Go? by Fort Miner, I cry. I'm starting to think I've got some serious issues. Given the reccent loss I've experienced, maybe it's understandable. Sometimes the unfairness of life makes me sad. I used to think that if you are good to life, life will be good to you. Now I know that's not always true. One of my favourite quotes is, "Your life is not measured by the things that happen to you; it is measured by how you respond." I think that's right.

We saw Superman Returns yesterday. Not having seen any of the other versions, I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it, but I did. The special effects are impressive, and some new elements make the story a bit more realistic. I left feeling that it was two and a half hours of my life well spent. More than that, it tapped into the nostalgia of youth, which never hurts - at least for a few hours.

- OCG

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Walk With Grief...

Do not hurry
As you walk with grief
It does not help the journey
Be not disturbed

By memories that come unbidden
Let God support you
Be gentle with the one who

Walks through grief
If it is you,
Be gentle with yourself.
Swiftly forgive
Walk slowly
Pausing often
Take time,

be gentle
As you walk with grief.

Celtic Prayer

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'll Be Your Mirrior...

I'll be your mirror
Reflect what you are,
in case you don't know
I'll be the wind, the rain and the sunset
The light on your door to show that you're home

When you think the night has seen your mind
That inside you're twisted and unkind
Let me stand to show that you are blind
Please put down your hands
'Cause I see you

I find it hard to believe you don't know
The beauty you are
But if you don't let me be your eyes
A hand in your darkness, so you won't be afraid

When you think the night has seen your mind
That inside you're twisted and unkind
Let me stand to show that you are blind
Please put down your hands
'Cause I see you
I'll be your mirror
(reflect what you are)

I'll Be Your Mirror (Velvet Underground)

Skipping out on proud & loud...


It's Pride Week in Toronto. I live right in the middle of all the action. My apartment building is in the heart of the city's largest gay community. It feels like a big party. I'm not gay and I don't enjoy crowds, but I like the concept of embracing who we are. The whole party scene as always made me feel a bit out of place. I only went to a few wild nights in high school, and almost none in university. Maybe I'm old before my time.

Living downtown is quite the experience. There's always some reason to hold your head up going down the street. I've said before that the Church Street community is very welcoming, especially towards people who have disabilities. I suppose, when we're different, we have compassion for others who are too.

Instead of being in the middle of the action, I'm going home to my parents. I think the Observer and I are going to check the new flick called
Click or the animated movie Cars. I think Click will be the winner, because we've seen quite a few animated movies lately. I'm a big kid.

I miss home. I've only been gone five days. Just like a kid, I get home-sick. That will be our secret, OK?


- OCG

Monday, June 19, 2006

For the ones left behind...

Some things I will never get over.
Things like death, heartbreak, and unfairness.
The hurt will always be there.
I will never forget.

Everyone says time heals all wounds.
I don't think so.
Time eases the sting, but doesn't make it go away.
I've heard that love, not time, is the answer.

Maybe that means forgiving.
Maybe that means grieving.
Maybe that means being grateful.
Maybe that means being honest.
Maybe that means holding memories in high regard.

I don't know why sometimes life sucks.
I don't know why I'm here
and people I care about are gone.
Maybe I'm not the only one.

- OCG

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Family...

I just got back from spending the weekend with my parents. I miss them. I always do. Dorathy was right; there's no place like home.

I hope my Dad had a good Father's Day. We went to Tim Hortons. It's very close to my house, so we've walked over in winter, spring, summer, and fall for years. It's our time to catch up. We both love coffee, and always find something to discuss. I always leave the coffee shop feeling as though it was time and money well-spent.

Yesterday I went to the Observer's house. It was a sizzler of a day outside. We went to buy our dads gifts and headed over to Starbucks for a caffiene fuel up. Eveyone has been ordering these bannana coconut frappicunos. The Observer LOVES them. I never venture far from my beloved house coffee. I enjoyed our afternoon and left with the same comforting sense I always get after seeing him and his parents. They are a very kind and warm bunch.

My older brother is getting married in a year. I'm so happy for him, but it's just unbelievable. I guess big events are that way sometimes. When we love our family so much, maybe we feel like each milestone is partly ours as well. This is the first sibling of mine to get married. I hope it's the day he and his wife-to-be envison. My brother has found a wife he deserves, so that's more important than the wedding day. I just hope there is good red wine.

- OCG

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The simple life...



I am listening to my Jack Johnson CD called On And On. The Observer gave it to me. Isn't he sweet? I got my CD in February, but didn't open it until today. I wanted something to look forward to. For months I waited and wondered what kind of cool, relaxing music was on that CD.

There was nothing on TV earlier tonight. I was just in the mood to sit with a cup of hot water and think. Jack Johnson's music is pefect for these kind of nights, so I broke open my cherished CD. After all that waiting, now I know what I was missing. I enjoyed the anticipation. There's nothing ground-breaking or unsual about Jack Johnson's first CD, but I'm glad about that. It's just as funky and mellow as I expected. I say, why change a good thing?

My day wasn't too productive. I did some down-in-my-gut, kind-of hurts, type of writing. I think it was good for me. I ate and consumed a lot of caffiene, but I enjoyed my hot beverages. I ate a yummy avocado sandwich. I looked forward to it all morning. I'm a BIG fan of avocados, but only eat them once in a while, because they are kind of pricy. They are high in fat, but it's a healthy fat called monounsaturated, which is hard to come by in the North American diet. I have half left for a sandwich tomorrow. I'm excited already.

I just watched Dateline NBC. Britney Spears was interviewed. I'm not a huge fan of hers. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have the kind of money that Britney does, but not the press coverage or public scrutiny. I've openly criticized her actions and choices, but I know we can't judge people if we aren't in their shoes. Who knows what I would do if I was married to an idiot, had millions of dollars, a baby, was pregnant with a second one, and the media was constantly hounding me. Her life is so different from the majority of us, so who are we to judge?

I have to admit that, after watching that show, I'm glad that I lead a simple life - that I enjoy quiet nights alone listening to music, that avocados excite me, and that I write about what matters to me. It was worth watching Dateline to realize that.

- OCG

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The magic cookie...


Here's a picture of the best chocolate chip cookies EVER!

The Doubletree International Plaza Hotel is where I go to catch my bus to go between regions or the city, or the 'burbs'. I've waited there for a bus for years, during rain, snow, heat, illness, exams, conferences, job interviews, and anything else that goes on. It's my second home in between my new and old life.

It's a fancy hotel. There are gold taps in the washroom. I see distinguished people come and go and hope to be like them one day. It would be nice to be a hotel guest there on my wedding night.

I really don't mind letting the seconds, minutes and hours pass while I sit and wait. I people watch, look in the mirror, eat candy, chat to the bellmen, or talk on my cell phone. It's relaxing and familar.

After so many years of being picked up and dropped off, the bellmen know me well. They've often seen me at the beginning and end of each day, and are always eager and friendly to chat with. Every once in a while, I am at the hotel when their signature cookies are fresh from the oven. Each guest is handed one and it's usually eaten while still in the lobby. We all know a good cookie is hard to find.

Yesterday I was grumpy. Life was just bothering me. I did have a good day with the Observer, but felt bad for being a little off.

While waiting for my bus, Anthoney, my favourite bellman sweetly gave me a cookie. I wasn't even hungry, but ate it anyway. It was delicious and all my problems, and worries melted away. A good cookie is magic.

- OCG

Friday, June 09, 2006

Twisted toothpaste...


If you are just reading this, you should know that I am disabled. Many people walk in and out my door every day to help me do the things I cannot do for myself.

They are called attendants. Some are amazing. Some aren't. It's like anything in life. I deal with whatever happens. I try to be respectful of the people who help me. I'm grateful for what they do (most of the time.)

A few weeks ago, my attendant Grace, accidentely put moisturizer on my toothbrush instead of toothpaste. She felt bad. I laughed. It's an easy mistake. Both come out of a similar looking tube. Grace is awesome. I told a few other people who work with both myself and Grace. I thought they would get a good laugh out of my story. I did.

Well, today I heard they've been talking about it, and how mistakes like that shouldn't happen. I told them because it was funny, not to stir up gossip. I did not die from having moisturizer on my toothbrush. I'm sure worse mistakes have been made. Some people are strange and get joy out of being petty. I don't. It makes me sad that I have to be so careful about the things I say. If not, the truth gets twisted. An honest mistake should not be gossip. Moisturizer on a toothbrush by accident is part of life, and life's not perfect. That's all there is to it.

- OCG

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Life On Schedue...

I just read this book called Life On Schedule by Paul Fredrick Meyers, a 51-year-old man who has Cerebral Palsy and cannot physically speak. He wrote the book by using a bliss board, a board he can communicate with by pointing to words and symbols.

The book was passed to me at a conference he and I attended. It sat in my bag for a while until I picked it up last night. I'm glad I did.


As a person with Cerebral Palsy myself, I related to much of the book. I cannot, however, relate to not being able to speak. My words are my main source of power and control in my life. Without speech, I would be lost.

The book must have been empowering for Paul and enlightening for those who wondered about his thoughts as he silently observed the world around him.

He wrote of his parents' unconditional love, frustration, his determination for freedom, living in a group home, loneliness, sex, abuse, and freedom.

It was a good book. Maybe when I'm 51 years old, I'll write one too. Hopefully I'll be smarter by then.

- OCG

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Food and other important grub....

Last night I had dinner with the Observer and his family. It was a very nice visit. The Observer has a six-month-old niece, Diya who came to visit with her parents. She's VERY cute and has grown from an infant to a smiling, laughing, happy, little baby. Just to look at her makes life sweeter. Now she totally recognizes her family. There's something about Diya. She's wonderful and innocent. All babies are like that. I just automatically love and feel protective of them. I can apereciate how parents love their children so intensely. Babies pull at the heartstrings. Though I don't want a baby now, just being around them brings on an urge. It must be hormones.

We had sausage rolls and homemade pizza for dinner. I know I've mentioned this before, but I really feel as though the Observer's mother sprinkles her food with dust from heaven. It's AMAZING! I love everything I've ever eaten there. All the food is from scratch and I know it takes a long time to make, but all the work pays off. It's so much healthier than the artificial, preservative-laden meals we can find in a pinch. I was joking that I was going to be dreaming about sausage rolls and pizza. I have a left-over sausage roll in my fridge and I can't stop thinking about eating it.

I was on the bus with an older lady on the way back to the city. She was blind and had a classy, wise manner about her. We got to talking about family, beliefs, religion, and the way of the world today. She told me about her grand-daughter who suffered from depression. The lady couldn't understand her grand-daughter's struggles. She came from a good family, was getting an education, had an active social life, so the grand-mother didn't know what her reasons for having depression were. As we talked, it came out that, at 15, the grand-daughter had a boyfriend who committed suicide. The grandmother suspected that perhaps her grand-daughter never got over his death. She went on to say that suicide and depression didn't exist as it does today.

"What do you think is different about being young today as opposed to forty years ago?," she asked me.

Well, I wasn't young forty years ago, so it's hard for me to say, but I do have ideas.

  • I think young people have access to more money, and as soon as we have more, we want more. Few people are satisfied with having just enough to get by.

  • Divorce rates have risen leading to broken families, single parents and high stress environments.

  • Sacred institutions like marriage are not as compulsory anymore, so people enter into more open relationships, that often end in heartache and confusion.

  • Values and traditional beliefs are being swapped for the notion of freedom of choice/expression. This can again create regret, pain, and a poor self-image.

  • Open communication between parents and youth is encouraged, but doesn't always happen. Parents often don't know how to handle the intense feelings of their teenagers, so they don't respond, or do so inappropriately, causing youth to withdrawal.

How do we best support young people? I think much of the job goes to parents to show their children that they are loved unconditionally. We can have everything we've ever wanted, but if we don't feel worthy or loved, it all seems empty. It won't solve everything, but it's a start. We are complicated people living in a complicated world.

After such evolution and change around us, I'm glad a few traditions have stuck - like home-made sausage rolls.

- OCG

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Am Different...

I am different,
which is a good way to be,
I'm not like someone else,
I'm who I can be.

Being different can sometimes be painful,
But I try to remember,
that I'm someone special.

Written by OCG at age 10.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Surprise!

My sister Carlie's boyfriend, Mike had a surprise 30th birthday party last night. It was fun-lots of wine and lots of people. Mike was suprised, which is what counted. Carlie has great taste in food, so I was excited to eat. She likes trendy, healthy yuppie meals like thai and Japanesse inspired dishes. There was sushi (my favourite!), chicken, crackers, nachos and wine and beer. I LOVE red wine, but can only have it in limited quanities. I managed to drink two glasses, but the second spilled on my favourite orange sweater. Ah well, worse things have happened. It was a bit awkward to be around people I didn't know, but the Observer was there, so that's what mattered. I hope he had fun.

Mike and Carlie have dated for years. He's a good soul. I know they will get married, and he'll be an awesome brother-in-law. He's the first in our family to turn thirty. The Observer will be next. Birthdays rock, especially when we're all together. We are lucky to have each other. Maybe they exist to remind us this.

HAPPY SUNDAY!

- OCG

Friday, June 02, 2006

For Jack...

Well, the case of my murdered fish has been solved. Buford wasn't tragically murdered by my parents' cat, Jack. Buford died of natural causes. He was found curled up lifeless in his shell a few days ago. I suppose his time had come.

In my grief and still believing that Jack ate Buford, I uttered some hurtful remarks and said Jack should be forced to fast as punishment for his crime.

I would now like to address Jack:

* I'm sorry Jack. You are a good and innocent cat. I was just sad. Being a gentle guy, I should have given you the benefit of the doubt. Since Buford came to live with you, your paws never came to close to his bowl, so I should have questioned whether you had it in you to eat him. You have taught me that we all deserve a fair chance to prove our innocence. You are a wonderful pet, and even though Buford is gone, I'm glad I still have you.

I'll see you tomorrow. I'll try to arrange for you to get some extra treats. You deserve a perk. I know you can't read this, but I had to say it. I hope you understand and forgive me. *

- OCG