Friday, July 27, 2007

A troubling tack...


I have had tire troubles. Again. Just to clarify, by tire troubles, I am referring to a tire on my wheelchair. People often say that tire troubles are comparable to car troubles. I don't share this view. When some one's car breaks down or is not operating in top form, the driver can take the bus or hitch a ride with a friend - maybe even walk. For a wheelchair user, these options don't really exist, especially walking of course. A wheelchair is equivalent to a body part like a pair of legs and serves as a vehicle to move about the world and be functional; it's how those who can't move conventionally stay active and important. Without a wheelchair or a working pair of legs, it's hard to get far.


Last night I noticed my newly-replaced tire looking suspiciously squishy. At first glance, I sensed trouble and tried to convince myself I was being silly. It was a brand-spanking new tire, so why would it be low???????? After a few minutes of staring at the wheel and doubting my own set of peepers, I decided it was better to be safe than sorry. The thought of being stranded somewhere or missing the chance to see the Observer today wasn't worth risking. I held my breath and called my trusty repairman, leaving a slightly nervous sounding message asking for assistance as soon as possible. The thought of the company's dispatcher listening to my message and thinking, "It's her again!" didn't sit well with me. I had just had a repair done. Thinking more logically, I realized that maybe I was solving a small problem before it got bigger, but again, maybe it was nothing.


I was awake most of the night worrying - worrying about the cause of the tire trouble, worrying about the reaction of the wheelchair technician, worrying about missing out on seeing the Observer and worrying about everything else I could think of.


I woke up promptly at 8 a.m. and called my repair crew. "My tire is going flat," I said. "Yes. We KNOW. We got your message and a technician will be out to you as soon as possible." I said, "Thank you," and meant it.


The technician was the same guy I always deal with. He's reliable and he cares. I was embarrassed that he had to come back to me so soon. He was worried that he made a mistake replacing my tire.


Once the tire was taken apart, he saw that a tiny tack was stuck in the tubing causing a teeny hole and slow release of air. We were both relieved. It was no one's fault; just a random little tack.


I bet tacks don't flatter car tires.

- OCG

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I did today...



Ever seen a topless woman walking down the street? I did today. Ever had a homeless guy with no teeth put his face right in front of yours and ask you to buy him food? I did today. Ever smelled something nasty and looked down to see the rubber burned on your wheelchair tire? I did today. Ever felt overwhelmed by parents' willingness to help you? I did today. Ever felt very protective of your money? I did today. Ever missed your family the second you said goodbye to them? I did today. Ever laughed at a stupid joke you've heard before? I did today.

Ever felt like you're a tire running out of air? I do now.

- OCG

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A thought...


Something has occurred to me. Something big and applicable to the big scheme of things. You ready? Here it is: we need to forgive those who make mistakes or behave poorly because they don't know better. There is much we don't know. How can we possibly have this whole life sorted out? Who on Earth has all the answers, knows just what to do at the exactly the right moment, has harmonious relationships with everyone, holds no grudges, and has a perfectly balanced life? If you know anyone, send that person my way. I could gain a few pointers I'm sure.


People act strangely around me a lot. It's not the idea of a girl sitting in a wheelchair that makes people uncomfortable; it's the act of interacting with her. How do you talk to her? Will she understand? What if she bites? Cries? Drools? Goes into convulsions? There's just no telling. The result of uncertainty can be yelling in my face, patting my head, public prayer for healing, staring, trying to push my 300 lbs. wheelchair, or just walking away - all of which are frustrating but common.


Being dependent on others can be challenging. People slather my face with moisturizer when I ask for just a little. I end up looking like I buttered my face. I sometimes have exotic ponytails on the top of my head, giving the impression that I'm trying to make a statement. My dishes are in funky places in the kitchen and there are days when my socks don't match. It's a challenge, but I have to forgive. I have to believe people mean well. I have to believe people are good, because I strive to be a good person myself.


I have to forgive all the yelling, leering, head-patting and ignoring. I have to forgive excessive moisturizer, weird ponytails, misplaced dishes, and socks that clash. I forgive because people don't know better. As Maya Angelou says, "When we know better, we do better." We do what we think is best, which really is all we can ask of one another, isn't it?


- OCG

Friday, July 20, 2007

Not Fire, Not Ice...

There is not a river wide
Not a mountain high
And neither sin nor evil
Could change how I feel inside
Could change how I feel inside

Not all the strength of the ocean
Not all the heat from the sun, from the sun
Though others have tried, I just can't deny
For me you are the one
For me you are the one

But true love is priceless
For true love we pay a price
But there's nothing can keep me from loving you
Not fire, no, not ice
Not fire, no, not ice

Like the hero or the champion
You are the best, you're the best
Like religion or superstition
With you I am blessed
With you I am blessed

Now the river may grow wider
The mountains may reach past the sky
But whether or not you feel the same
My love shall never die
My love shall never die

But true love is give and take
True love is sacrifice
But there's nothing can keep me from loving you
Not fire, no, not ice
Not fire, no, not ice

- Ben Harper

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Family, cake, tunes and rain...


It's 7 a.m. The world feels like it's just waking up. I'm waking up with it very slowly. The streets are damp, so it must have rained. The traffic looks light, but not for long I suppose. Give it another hour and it will be bumper-to-bumper. My eyes are half closed. Open up eyes. The day has started.

Last night was loud. I heard two different fights where the police were called. I was wishing I could get up and see the action from my window, but maybe it's best that I didn't. Whatever was going on didn't sound healthy. Most events that happen at that time usually aren't.

I just got back from a visit home. I love my parents. They are my favourite people in the world. I miss them, but I'm going home in another day.

It's cold in my apartment, probably because the air conditioning is on, and it always feels colder early in the morning. I'm not sure why.

My breakfast was a piece of cake. Very healthy, right? No, but so yummy. The cake hit the spot. I'm fulfilled. Chocolate always does the trick.

The rain is coming down harder now. The cars are slip-sliding on and I hear the rain smacking as it hits the window. I have my radio to keep me awake. I'm listening to a morning show host discuss how she listens to lyrics in songs, whereas as her husband pays attention to the beat. I think most guys focus on the beat, and most females pay attention to the words of songs. I'm a lyrics person myself. Someone made this observation a long time ago, and I agreed.

Right now, I can hear the tune Pretty Vegas by Inxs. Some lyrics of the song are, "Fallin’ asleep at the wheel again baby,You’re driftin’ over the line, line...yeah! Your hands are tight, but you’re losin’ grip quickly Fix me, can you read the signs........

It's not my favourite song, but it does have a good beat. Guys probably enjoy the tune.

Well, I'm off to brave the rain. Maybe it will cool things off, although I'm cold right now. Hopefully the people who were involved in the fights last night have cooled off too. Perhaps a sweet song and a catchy tune would have helped calm everyone down.

- OCG

Monday, July 16, 2007

Before It's Too Late...

I wonder through fiction to look for the truth
Buried beneath all the lies
And I stood at a distance
To feel who you are
Hiding myself in your eyes

And hold on before it's too late
Until we leave this behind
Don't fall just be who you are
It's all that we need in our lives

And the risk that might break you
Is the one that would save
A life you don't live is still lost
So stand on the edge with me
Hold back your fear and see
Nothing is real til it's gone

Hold on before its too late
Until we leave this behind
Don't fall just be who you are
It's all that we need in our lives

So live like you mean it
Love til you feel it
It's all that we need in our lives
So stand on the edge with me
Hold back your fear and see
Nothing is real til it's gone

Hold on before its too late
Until we leave this behind
Don't fall just be who you are
It's all that we need in our lives

Hold on before it's too late
Until we leave this behind
Don't fall just be who you are
It's all that we need in our lives
It's all that we need in our lives
It's all that I need in my life

- Goo Goo Dolls (from the Transformers soundtrack)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

EVENING at the movies...

"There's no such thing as a mistake. You get nervous, but you sing anyways. "

- From the movie Evening

The Observer and I saw the movie Evening. One of us enjoyed the movie. One of us was able to sit through it. It was heavy on meaning, symbolism and emotion, light on action, drama and gore. Can you guess who enjoyed the flick and who (very sweetly) tolerated it? Evening was my kind of flick. The Observer didn't hate the movie, but didn't love it either.



I was moved by the idea of an old lady who was dying and reflecting back on her life as her children struggled to make sense of theirs.

Evening reminded me of these aspects of life:

  • Love is unfair for some people, especially when it is unrequitted.
  • Sometimes we just have to trudge on with what we have, even though we may wish our lives were different.
  • Parents are not perfect, but most do the best they can.
  • Things often make sense after they happen, not as they are happening.
  • Having people stand beside us matters more than having them know exactly what to do.
  • Life is impossible to predict and it never waits for us to be certain of anything.

Thanks Observer. You sat with me for an insightful evening. It meant a lot to me.

- OCG

Monday, July 09, 2007

I'm grateful for...

- My brothers
- late nights
- watching TV in bed
- hot chocolate
- sleeping in
- good help
- sunshine
- wine
- the Observer
- melon
- The Fray
- my Mom
- clean bed sheets
- stores that give "cash back"
- laxatives
- mints
- my watch
- my hair

- OCG

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Exhaustion and cake...


Today is NOT one of my best days. It's only 11 a.m. Bad sign. I haven't been sleeping well at all. I'm not sure why. Well, last night I was too angry at one of my lazy, rude attendants to catch any shut eye. I know I can't blame someone else for my inability to relax and sleep, but I'm upset that this person behaves so poorly. My reaction to her behaviour, which was to lie in bed fuming and thinking mean, negative thoughts, proved rather unproductive. She will probably not change and now I feel dizzy and weird.

I wanted to scream last night. This person was clearly tired and did not care about her work or me at all. I am sorry she is tired, but (sorry again!) that has NOTHING to do with me!!!!! I don't like when my stuff is thrown on the floor or I am left dirty, or my socks go missing because someone was too lazy to put them in the laundry basket..........little details DO matter. Life is too short to nit-pick, but bad attitudes suck.


On the way to the Observer's house yesterday, I told my bus driver that I was craving chocolate cake, which is true of most days. He told me a while later that he had a pit stop to make. We stopped at grocery store and he told me he would be right back. He returned a few minutes later carrying a white box. He handed it me and told me it was a chocolate truffle cake. I was so surprised and touched. It's not every day someone is so kind. The bus driver told me that it's a lot easier for him to get a cake than it is for me. That might be a little true, but he didn't have to buy the cake at all. It was yummy.

I might have had a bad night, but the cake made the day so much sweeter.......

- OCG

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I Think...

I think I am tired.
I think today felt long.
I think I was cold.
I think I felt hot later.

I think I chipped one of my blue plates.
I think I enjoyed my lunch.
I think I went to the music store hoping to find inspiration.
I think I wasn't really in the mood to be inspired.

I think I got freaked out by all the wackiness of downtown on my way home from the store.
I think my gut gave me a nudge.
I think I knew to keep my guard up.
I think I just wanted to get home.

I think I miss my Mom and Dad.
I think I'm excited to go home.
I think I'm looking forward to seeing the Observer.
I think I miss him.

I think it's almost bed-time.
I think that's a good thing.

- OCG

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bits of a real wedding...




I love you,
Not only for what you are
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you
Not only for what
You have made of yourself

But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;

I love you
For, putting your hand
Into my heaped—up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help

Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.
I love you because you...
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life

Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.
I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good

And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.

Perhaps that is what
Love means,
After all.

- Unknown