Not funny.

Yesterday, no joke, I got the print I ordered two months ago. I bought it to hang in the bathroom. Again, not joking. It’s by Ugly Ink, who does beautiful illustrations of ugly characters. His original work is surprisingly affordable, but I don’t mind buying open editions. I buy what I like.

A colour illustration of three characters inside a black frame. The characters are presented as a math formula: pig plus bee equals pee.
It’s in a frame so I’m still a classy lady!
Continue reading “Not funny.”

Photo flurry.

The most important part of Christmas is my least favourite. It’s not Jesus because this Atheist likes him more than spending time with family, either mine or my partner’s. I do have a cold heart (you’ll see in a bit), but it’s because attending these gatherings as the lone deaf person always ends the same. I first had this realization when I bought a flight “home” for Christmas the first year I lived in Calgary, only to realize that my family found it too burdensome to include me. I came into the kitchen on Christmas morning to find that everybody was having breakfast without me.

The next year, I spent it with my then-partner and his family, and it was even worse because I had to act like I was enjoying myself. I could tell my family that they sucked for not including me, but I had to be gracious towards my in-laws no matter what. I was there out of sheer obligation. My former in-laws had mostly been friendly, and there’d always be a family member or two who made a real effort to include me. Still, if the entire family doesn’t try, it’s not worth it for me.

If that doesn’t sound caustic enough to you, when Dad found the missing box of personal Christmas ornaments that I had spent a few years searching for, I told him I didn’t want them anymore.

A wooden elf ornament with a hole for its mouth. It hangs from a branch by its neck.
This was my favourite ornament. Its tongue sticks out when you push the top of its hat. I thought the noose was a nice touch.

I acknowledged that I had more negative memories of Christmastime with the family than not. It sounds cold, but it was the first time I’d ever admitted this to a family member. For years, I faked delight and marveled at the fact that mincemeat tarts didn’t contain meat. I’m so good at pretending I’m enjoying myself that these gatherings have ended with someone saying something along the lines of, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t stay home?”

No!

I prefer to voluntarily alienate myself, so this post is proof that I had a fun Christmas solo!

Continue reading “Photo flurry.”

Slightly irregular.

The other day, Yann directed me to look to the left. He’s so bossy sometimes, trying to control my facial movements. Then, he informed me that I had a spot of blood in my eye. I love receiving this kind of information! It does not freak me out at all!

“It’s not blood, my right eye is just two different colours,” I said defensively.

Irked by my reaction, he took a picture of my eye as proof: it really was a 3mm spot of blood in the white of the eye. My lower eyelid had been twitching all day, which was annoying, but not alarming. But, the photo Yann had taken was enough to conjure the worrywart in me.

I told Yann that he had to play Web MD. No way was I going to subject myself to more gory eye photos! According to Dr. Internet via Yann, it was a subconjunctival hemorrhage. Mostly harmless, but on occasion turns out to be the spider eggs that have just hatched from inside the eyeball. Furthermore, the older I get, the more I can look forward to these spontaneous burst vessels.

This wasn’t a piece of fun new information to learn about myself.

Continue reading “Slightly irregular.”

In defense of plastic straws.​

(Click here to skip the following anecdote about my circulatory disorder.)

In my last post, I mentioned having Raynaud syndrome. This is something I’ve had since I was a teenager but because it was mild, I figured getting numb fingers while indoors was something everybody experienced. (I also thought it was normal to really hate touching your own belly button. Oh, the quirks you learn about yourself as you age.) It wasn’t until I was in my mid 20s when I moved into a basement suite with poorly insulated flooring that I realized there was something off about how my body functioned. My toes were routinely turning white and numb. Irregular splotches of white discolouration would appear on my soles. Sometimes the tip of my nose and fingers were affected too.

Within a few weeks of living in that dungeon, I got into a conversation with a guy who lived in the upstairs suite. He was the one who asked me if I had Raynaud syndrome, a condition he was familiar with because of his occupation as a massage therapist. I had to Google that: “What is a massage therapist?”

Just kidding. But I risked a Google image search. For a medical condition. That’s like looking down a pit toilet and expecting to see something better than a shiny pile of shit.

Normally, when you Google image search a medical condition, you get the worst possible examples. In this instance, what I had matched the photos Google was displaying. Not only do I definitely have Raynaud syndrome, I have it at the shining-pile-of-shit level of severity. I’ve had attacks triggered by a cool breeze in above 20°C weather. Walking barefoot on cool concrete for less than a minute will trigger it. Air conditioning is definitely a major trigger. I could probably freeze to death in above-freezing temperatures.

I even sold my snowboard gear within a year of purchasing it because the pain and discomfort that came with these attacks outweighed the fun aspect of snowboarding.

I have people roll their eyes at me constantly and exclaim, “You’re COLD?!” As if it were a decision I had made for myself. Yes, I willed my lips blue.

Then there are the people who believe they have the miracle solution:

“Wear thicker socks and get really warm gloves!”

Wow! Thicker socks! What a novel concept!

…And this is where plastic straws come in. Some cities have already banned plastic straws for environmental reasons. Initially, this seemed like a great idea until a disabled activist I follow on Twitter mentioned how this ban harms disabled people who rely on plastic straws.

That’s all it took to convince me that maybe plastic drinking straws weren’t the best thing to focus on. There are so many other types of waste that could be banned, that wouldn’t also harm people who need them. I trust that these disabled people who depend on plastic straws have exhausted their options.

I don’t personally need a straw to drink something, but if I did, I can afford to buy a reusable straw and I am physically capable of cleaning them. If the city of Montréal were to ban plastic drinking straws, I would not miss them. It’s easy to get behind an environmental cause that won’t personally affect you.

What about all these cigarette filters that people like to pretend are biodegradable when they flick their butt on the ground? What about people who live within 5km of their jobs, are physically capable of walking, yet choose to drive anyway? Useless plastic trinkets?

Having children is also pretty terrible for the planet but nobody wants to ban humanity.

These activists are working hard to educate people on why banning plastic drinking straws isn’t a good idea, only to be met with hundreds of people who think they’re being really clever with their suggestions:

What about paper straws?

What about metal straws?

Metal?

Glass?

Bamboo?

Pasta?

Re-useable straws?

Get a prescription and get them from the pharmacy?

Bring your own?

Just ask if you need them?

Hundreds of people just tweeting trite suggestions, and hundreds of disabled people explaining over and over how they are aware of the alternatives and why they don’t work.

NO FUCKING BODY HAS COME UP WITH A GOOD ALTERNATIVE. THAT’S THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT.

For fuck’s sake, put more energy into finding an alternative way to be eco-friendly than fighting with disabled people who know their own needs better than you do.

Edit (08/08/18): Jessica Kellgren-Fozard has made a very detailed video about the ban. Watch it in full before you ask any questions.