The other day I was on a conference call and we were discussing which tags and keywords should be included in a collaborative online database.
The terms “substance use” and “harm reduction” were both on the list. I suggested we add “addiction.”
Some other people on the call said that we don’t use that term anymore, because it’s considered stigmatizing. Nowadays we prefer the term “substance use.”
I deferred to their expertise and dropped it, but I keep thinking about it. Not about addiction per se, but about how and why language changes. We decide a certain (Read more…)
Well, they’re not NEW, exactly. The original lovebirds – Oboe’s parents, Billie and Lester – have moved from GC’s house to mine.
It’s really nice to have them here, and they’re adapting very well. At first they squawked like crazy, and their arrival happened to coincide with the arrival of new next door neighbours, so that was a bit worrisome. The revolving tenancy next door usually gives us neighbours much louder than we are, but a nice quiet Asian family just moved in. The only noise they make is someone playing the piano, and we like that. Meanwhile, we’ve got (Read more…)
I was in Toronto last week for a conference on HIV, pregnancy and mothering. It was an excellent conference, very interesting, with a good mix of researchers, HIV+ mothers, and frontline workers. There were even a few babies, and a toddler who took his mom’s cell phone, placed it on the floor, made sure she was looking, and then stomped it as hard as he could.
Infant feeding guidelines in third world countries are practically opposite those in the developed world. Because HIV can be transmitted through breast milk, Canadian HIV+ women are strongly advised NOT to breastfeed. Their third (Read more…)
This was a present from GC. He took advantage of the special offer on Larry’s publisher’s website:
SHIPPING FEE WAVED (sic) FOR THOSE WISHING TO PICK UP AT THE OTTAWA LUNCH (sic).
I wrote down all my thoughts about my visit to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and it was a big fat mess of contradictions, so I will continue to think on it before posting the second instalment.
In other news, our favourite local quilt shop has offered to host our wedding in their shop. We were thinking of getting married in Dundonald Park, across from the beer store on Somerset Street. My Dad asked me what Plan B was, in case of rain, and I said “Umbrellas.” But a quilting shop might be fun too, and dryer if it rains. What (Read more…) you think? Quilting shop or urban park?
I have GC’s permission to blog about his penis again. He is going to the hospital this morning for a cystoscopy. That’s where they feed a camera through your penis and take pictures of your bladder. GC’s kind of nervous about . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Wedding, penis, knitting and fine arts
I’m still mulling over my visit to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – I’ll write Part II of that post once I figure out what I think.
In the meantime…here’s something fun for you to do on May 1st if you happen to be in Ottawa.
Gil’s Hootenanny, an evening of “Songs of Protest, Songs of Hope”: Wednesday May 1st, 7:30 p.m. at the Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Avenue
This is an annual event in honour of Ottawa activist Gil Levine, who loved folk music sing-alongs.
This year’s Hootenanny features Kristine St-Pierre, Mighty Popo, Three Little Birds, the Shout Sister (Read more…) Maria Dunn, and Terry Tufts. It’s hosted by the Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society and is sponsored by CUPE and PSAC National Capital Region.
Tickets are $10 each (kids 16 and under are free) and are available at the Ottawa Folklore Centre or online at http://rasputins.ca/events/gils-hootenanny/. . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Something to sing about
At the harbour, outside my hotel
So…I went to Vancouver for a whirlwind business trip. I arrived Wednesday afternoon and left Friday morning. I was working most of the time, but I did have two more-or-less free evenings, so I did what I could to cram Vancouver in.
I hadn’t been there in 30-odd years, and Vancouver and I have both changed a lot. Back then, I used to hitchhike and my idea of luxury was to check into a youth hostel for the night. This time I was on a business trip, staying in a fancy-pants hotel and experiencing
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: My visit to the seamy underbelly
We have a bird perch in the shower – Simon showers with me, Kazoo showers with GC, and Oboe is versatile. Anyway, yesterday, after Simon and I finished our shower, we saw that Duncan was crouched in the doorway looking profoundly disturbed.
A few weeks ago, a hinge for one of the mirrored panels on the medicine cabinet broke. GC fixed it a couple of days ago and leaned it against a bathroom wall where it was drying before being re-installed. I guess Duncan had never seen himself in a mirror before, so he didn’t recognize himself. All he knew
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Duncan meets his match
We went to a great little event the other night at Patrick Gordon Framing. It was called Curated Castoffs: Art & Decor Edition. It was kind of like a collaborative garage sale where everything’s free.
It works like this: At 7:00 pm everybody shows up with five art + decor items for swapping: prints, paintings, mirrors, frames, wall hangings, fabric, ceramics, pillows, lamps, taxidermy heads, etc. No junk. You pay a cover charge of $8, turn over your items, and spend the next hour or so drinking wine, enjoying the tunes, socializing and checking out what everybody else brought. Then
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Curated Castoffs
Ever have one of those days when all the good stuff is happening at the same time but you can’t be everywhere at once? Last night was like that for me. I had to decide between going to my writing class, going to Irene’s Pub for the Chopper McKinnon tribute, or going to Parliament Hill to watch politicians vote on whether to extend human rights to transgender people.
I decided on Parliament Hill, and GC came with me. We’ve been to Parliament Hill many times, but this was our first time in the public galleries, watching democracy unfold. We sat
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Human rights all round
I think it’s high time we had a contest around here!
Simon (the African Grey parrot) has spent several hours a day over the past few weeks practicing a song. I’ve recorded one of his practice sessions (see the black video below). The first person to correctly guess the song will win the prize. It might not be easy, since Simon hasn’t quite mastered the song yet. Even though it’s a work in progress, I think there’s enough here that somebody should be able to figure it out.
(There’s literally nothing to see in this video because Simon is camera-shy,
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Name That Song: A Contest
Here’s some of the stuff we’ve been making lately.
This is the flannel quilt GC made for his son. He just finished it last week. It’s the softest, biggest, coziest quilt yet.
This is my mod sampler quilt. It’s got kind of a yellowish hue in the photo, but in real life it’s not yellowish at all. The colours are very springy.
Here is a kimono I made for my niece’s daughter, Sienna. She just turned one.
GC made these crazy cool potholders, and he’s also making a matching trivet.
I made this coaster.
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Making stuff
GC and I went to the Nordik Spa up in Chelsea. It’s about a 20-minute drive from downtown Ottawa. Neither of us had ever been there before, or to any spa for that matter.
We went for The Baths, which are a set of indoor saunas and outdoor pools of varying temperatures. The recommended technique is you do a hot treatment, like a sauna, for about 15 minutes, followed by a cold treatment, like a plunge in an icy outdoor pool for 10 seconds, followed by 15 minutes in a relaxation area. The relaxation areas include comfy chairs by a
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: First visit to the Nordik Spa
I have what I know will be a very unpopular opinion about a highly volatile subject. I should probably keep it to myself, but I feel compelled to share it.
It’s about Tom Flanagan’s remarks about child pornography. The remarks for which he was roundly lambasted, fired as a CBC commentator, denounced by the Prime Minister’s Office, and cut loose by Alberta’s right-wing Wildrose Party. Based on the response I’ve seen so far, it seems the left, the right, the center and the apolitical have finally found something they can all agree on. The subject can’t even be described as
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: I agree, somewhat, with Tom Flanagan
This is what my day looks like so far:
9:00-12:00 – all-staff meeting at work to do a SWOT analysis of the organization (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
2:00-3:30 – Conference Call
3:30 – meeting with funder
5:30-6:30 – House of Commons to watch Bill C-279 being debated. That’s the private member’s bill to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code with respect to gender identity and gender expression. (Or, as some notable Conservatives so crassly refer to it, the Bathroom Bill. They claim it will permit perverts to use the ladies’ room, where they will ambush
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: A day in the life
GC got a sliver in his foot from the hardwood floor. He said it felt like a long, skinny sliver. There wasn’t much to see, but he was limping and wincing. Later, when we were getting ready for bed, we saw that his foot was swollen.
I insisted we go to the hospital because he’s diabetic and you should never ignore a foot problem if you’re diabetic. (My friend Jeremy was diabetic and he ignored a foot problem and the next thing we knew, they had to cut off his foot. And then, to make matters worse, he died.)
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: We know how to have fun
I’ve set up a google alert for ‘transgender’ so I can keep abreast of transgender news and activity on the internet, since my favourite part of my new job is about transgender stuff.
So, on my first day with the new Google alert, I was google-alerted that Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon were playing a FREE [...] . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Gender Failure
This was a busy weekend – we went to a friend’s for dinner on Friday, then breakfast club and a vet appointment for Duncan on Saturday, and the vintage clothing sale and the Ottawa Parrot Club birdie garage sale on Sunday. Plus, you know, the not-so-much-fun things like laundry, grocery shopping, meals and housework (ha [...] . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Aliens, Duncan, and the Baby of Science
We took Simon to see the avian vet yesterday, to consult about his behaviour problems. She thinks he’s got too much freedom and he’s taking advantage of it. He has overthrown the rulers and seized power! I need to rein him back in, start some daily training and convince him – gently – that I’m [...] . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Diagnosis: Too much freedom
So far at my new job I’ve been immersing myself in reports and files and getting up to speed on the subject matter and my projects. The subject matter is fascinating but the projects are a little intimidating because there are so many, and some of them require skills I’m not sure I have, like [...] . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: First week of work, and a psychotic parrot episode
I had the interview on Friday afternoon, and then on Saturday, when I was at Duncan’s vet’s office, I got the call offering me the job. I announced to a waiting room full of strangers “I got the job!” and they all cheered.
It’s not just any job, either – it’s a good job! It’s with a non-profit organization that is aligned with my personal and political values, and I like the people I’ve met who work there. I’m going to be doing community development work with transgender people and women with HIV/AIDS, so the work itself will be
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: I got a job!
It’s that time of year again – nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month. Thousands of people are devoting the entire month of November to writing 50,000-word novels.
I don’t actually have a plan this year, or even an idea of what my novel will be about. I’m just going to fly by the seat of my pants…if I even decide to do it.
I have to decide now, because it starts tomorrow, and I can’t be late getting out of the gate.
I was invited to join a writing group a couple of months ago, and it has
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: To nanowrimo or not to nanowrimo?
GC and I were in Montreal for the weekend, for his cousin’s daughter’s wedding. It was my first Jewish wedding and I have to say it was a lot livelier than your average Protestant wedding. They sing and dance and break glasses on purpose! At the reception they do this crazy thing called the Hora, where the bride and groom sit on chairs which are then hoisted up by the guests, over their heads, and danced up and down while everybody dances in a circle around them. It’s all very exciting. And then they do it to the parents of
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: A road trip and a Jewish wedding
Simon has a new word. It’s a little word, and it’s not the most exciting thing a parrot has ever said. But there’s just something about the way he says it…
The word is “Hi.” He says it in the sweetest, friendliest, most enticing voice I’ve ever heard. You can’t hear that kind of hi without saying it back. So now we’re saying Hi to each other about a hundred times a day. Except when I’m trying to get it on video…then he either clams right up, or makes his rusty hinge noise.
It’s really interesting how he says
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Simon says hi