Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wherein Barb just realizes the date and is a bit sad

This weekend has been one of the best weekends in awhile for me. Amazing chats with friends who I haven't had a good chat with in forever, hanging out with Ryan and Hope, doing my first body shots, yep I'm crazy! It was great fun. And last night I stayed home and listened to Randy's Vinyl Tap. It was a show all about misheard lyrics. How could that not be fun?

I forgot, however that I received this email about the memorial service for Kay, Mikaela's partner who died and it affected me so much. That was today. This would have been amazing. block quote

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From: Mikaela Hughes <>

Date: September 2, 2008 10:57:02 PM EDT (CA)

To: Mikaela Hughes <>

Subject: Kay - 21 September

To our dear friends,

The Celebration of Kay's Life is coming up on the 21st of September and I wanted to give people some time should they like to participate or contribute
to the event in some way. I will describe the spaces and what we are planning to do so people who cannot be there can feel more connected, and those who
will be can be prepared and involved as much or little as they might wish. Let me know if there are any parts of the event you think you might like to
help with. I might be calling people if I need more help, even if it is just for setting up the space and tidying it up at the end.

First of all, for those people who are unable to come: if you want to send any memories, photos, stories, thoughts, poems or artwork that you think will
be appropriate, we will share them on the day. For those who want to say something but are uncomfortable speaking in front of people: you can write it
out and bring it along for someone else to read. We will also have paper and pens if you don't want to write anything until the day. Bernadette has offered
to put them together and get them bound in a book after the event, so they should all be "letter sized" paper (8 1/2" x 11") or the equivalent. If you
don't have our address, it is: Unit 5, 80 Chatham St., Kingston, Ontario, K7K 4G4, Canada.

I have rented the Outdoor Centre at Little Cataraqui Creek for the afternoon (
). There are two large rooms: the West Hall is more open, with views of the landscape; the General Purpose Room is more inward focused and intimate. I am
hoping that the weather will be dry enough for people to spill out onto the deck from the West Hall. There are also trails for those who wish to go for
a walk (and the roving swarms of deer fly should be gone by then!).

West Hall (Reception 1:00 - 5:00):

I would like the event to reflect Kay as much as possible. As all Kay's good friends know, the sharing of food was always a significant ritual for her (which
made her stomach cancer, the gastrectomy and the associated eating problems all the more tragic, even had she survived the cancer). She would have wanted
to make sure there were much, much more than enough delicious edibles for everyone. Since it is an afternoon event, there will just be munchies of various
types, rather than a meal. Let me know if you would like to bring something. There will, of course, be tea. Lots of tea (and none of that gnat's piss that
can pass for tea in Canada, as Kay would say). Oh, and I suppose we'll have an urn or two of fair traded organic coffee as well.

I have been thinking of putting together three slideshows on three computers: one with photos of Kay throughout her life; one with her finished artwork
(ceramics, paintings, drawings, encaustics, fabric arts); and one with images taken from her sketchbooks. These slideshows will be running continuously,
so people can watch them while munching on their tarts and sipping their piping hot de-caf Typhoo tea with milk. If anyone has photos of Kay or her artwork
which they think might be appropriate to add, please send them.

There will some tables and chairs set up for kids to do art. If the weather is amenable, this might be out on the deck. Adults will also be encouraged to
participate. The finished pieces will be added to Bernadette's book.

General Purpose Room (Ceremony 2:00 on):

This room will be set up for people to speak about Kay, with seating for as many as will fit. We will set up speakers in the West Hall so any speeches,
poetry and music can be heard in there as well. There will be some of Kay's original artwork set up (far away from the food), her urn, candles, and photos.
Let me know if you have some of Kay's artwork that you would like to bring on the day. If you do bring any, please make sure that your name and phone number
are on the back.

I don't have a schedule yet, but I feel that I would like to start the talking. I am hoping that many people will have things to say and that people will
sing. I do have a few ideas about music and poetry, but am open to suggestions. I don't want the ceremony to feel too formal. Kay's wake was so beautiful
because it was so spontaneous and natural, with everyone participating. I am hoping that this can be similar, with every one of us learning things about
Kay that we didn't know.

January 5, 2009:

As you probably all know, I will be taking half of Kay's ashes to Derbyshire to bury on the 14th anniversary of the day we met. Everyone who would like
to join us is welcome. I will bring a laptop with the slideshows, so that our UK friends can see them. The other half of Kay's ashes will be buried in
the spring, here, at the cottage. I would like to start a spiral of stones in Derbyshire going out into the water and a similar spiral at the cottage,
so that Kay's two halves will be connected through the water of this earth.

Kay's Bursary:

If anyone outside of Canada wants to contribute to Kay's bursary, it will go further if you give the money to me rather than the Ban Righ Centre because
I can add another 70% and get it back when I do my taxes. For those within Canada, donations can be sent to: The Ban Righ Foundation, 32 Bader Lane, Kingston,
Ontario, K7L 3N8. Please make cheques payable to Queens University, with "Ban Righ Bursary in memory of Kay Wolstenholme" in the memo section.

I am always open to suggestions and volunteers.

Love to all,


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I wish I could have been there, but thinking about that makes me smile. Mikaela is such a fun person. I'm getting to know her a little better this year and I'm glad of that. I hope everyone is having as amazing a weekend as I am.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Ode to my Thumb

'Twas a bright and sunny Tuesday
I awoke in a foul mood
I was feeling rather hungry
And I felt the need to brood

I went down to my piano
To play a brand new piece
My thumb was very happy then
While tinkering on the keys

I noticed Megan standing there
Waiting to her turn to talk
"House was on last night" she said, "But it was on at 12 o'clock"

For some stupid unknown reason
This made me very mad
"You couldn't watch a TV show?
How stupid, pathetic and sad"

I marched up to my room upstairs
To cool down a bit
She's moving out in a few days
And now I feel like shit

So I started my new biology book
Quite an interesting read
And after finishing the chapter
Went to find something to eat

I found some cooked potatos
That were sitting in the fridge
If I fry these up with some saussage
This breakfast would be delish

I pulled a steak knife from the drawer
And then a cutting board
I also grabbed some onions
And dropped one on the floor

"Whatever", I thought, and picked it up
and I began to chop
Potatos would be on the bottom
And onions on the top

Back and forth and back and forth
I sawed and sawed and sawed
Then from my mouth there came a scream
"Oh ouch! My fucking God!"

The blood was spattered everywhere
The pain shot through my hand
I stuck it in cold water
The pain I could not stand

I cried and cursed and carried on
Until I found my head
But shit! Where were the bandaids kept?
I urgently had to find Meg

She was in the shower
So I pounded on the door
"Karma is a bitch" I thought
While From my hand blood poured

She exited the shower
Found some bandaids in Dad's room
She cleaned up the puddle of blood on my hand
And Tended to my wound

The hashbrowns were delicious
The saussage was divine
But for the last couple of agonizing days
All I could do was wine

It's hard to hit my space bar now
It hurts to get it wet
Would my wound excuse me from doing dishes?
It hasn't worked yet

The rhythm may be off
The rhyme scheme may be shit
But the moral of this little poem
Is don't do what I did

Do you like... stuff?

Good. Cuz that’s what y’all are getting’. I have a bunch of random stuff that I feel like babbling about that I didn’t think would fit in a back to school post. So here they are.

I know that the folks over at the comet have mentioned both these things but they’re in my head and bugging me. So remember how in the song American Pie, they talk about the day the music died? Clearly, Mr. McClean had no idea what he was talking about, because I’m pretty sure the music officially died when Kid Rock and Katie Perry came out with the two most over played pieces of garbage on the radio for the last few months now. We all know which songs I’m talking about. I’m just wining cuz I heard both songs like four times today, not to mention the countless times during Frosh week that they were played until I wanted to throw things out windows. Enough wining about that. Let’s move on to dating.

I’m not sure why people do this, but for whatever reason, when people find out that I’m blind, they automatically tell me about other blind people they know. That’s all fine and cool, until a few weeks ago. I was driving home from somewhere with a cab driver that I see often who I happen to think is cool. And he told me that he met this blind dude who hadn’t had a girlfriend in years and wanted to meet someone who couldn’t see. He was just starting to lose his vision to some form of Leebers, and he wanted to talk to other blind people. I thought “What’s the harm in this? I could make a new friend. Awesome.” What the cab driver failed to tell me, or maybe he did tell me and I forgot, anyway, this dude was 44 years old. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, as I’m under the impression that he just wants a friend. So I called this guy and we agreed to meet for coffee on Tuesday of the following week.

I met the guy for coffee and was immediately creeped out by him. He smelled like my dad, he sounded nothing like he had on the phone, and he just had this air of general creepiness about him. But I sat and drank my coffee with him as politely as possible. He proceeded to tell me that he hadn’t been laid in like five years and then he went on about how he had an ex girlfriend that some guy beat the shit out of her, and then he found the guy and beat the shit out of him and called the cops and yeah. I don’t know. He was just weird. And he told me about how drunk he got on the weekends and all this stuff. Creepy. I didn’t stay long, I kinda booked it outa there after awhile of feeling thoroughly uncomfortable.

And while we’re on the subject of relationships, dating, getting laid etc., can someone please explain to me what is the fascination that so many people have with dating people on the internet that they’ve never even met? I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. It seems that there are a ton of blind people out there who date thise people who they’ve never met and they think they love them and it just seems like such bullshit to me. You know, there are real people in your neighbourhood that you could meet. I’m not trying to say that long distance relationships can’t work. But how do they work if you’ve never met the person except on the internet and maybe talked to them on the phone? And really, why would you want to go all the way to like Minasota just to meet some random chick? It makes absolutely no sense to me. It just seems weird. Maybe I’m a prude. I don’t know.

Do I have anything else? I can’t think of anything right now. That was just sorta random. Have a nic day. You may or not hear from me in the next month. I always say I’m going to update and I never do, so no promises.

Back to school back to school back to school

It's September. Happy birthday September 11. You're seven today. I can't believe that was seven years ago. It seems so much more recent. I was in grade ten seven years ago. I was sitting outisde in the hall near the classroom and someone was reading to me and we were told quite sternly to come back to the class, and then we were all told what happened. My first thought was someone was going to set off a nuclear bomb in Kincardin, which was where my boyfriend lived at the time. I was terrified. ANyway, that was so long ago, but that was not the reason for this post.

I'm back in school after almost 11 months, which is almost a year! God if you could understand the ecstacy of getting off my butt and finally doing something that requires a sufficient amount of brain power after this long. It's intense, andc I'm so happy. I have been for almost two weeks now. Last week was frosh, which was the best frosh I've ever had, cuz I've had three of them now, two as a froshie and one as a leader. But this one was the most memorable and fun. And I made a few new friends, which is always awesome! I can't begin to express how much Queen's rules over Ottawa.

We started actual school school on Monday. I'm only in two classes right now just to kind of ease back into things. OK that and I'm on accademic probation, but that's fine. Two classes is keeping me pretty busy. I have to still go to school every day because Queen's does this weird thing where the lectures are divided into three hour long chunks instead of two 1.5 hour chunks. But this is great for me and my lacking attention span. I love my classes. This semester I've got earth science geography and biology. My geography teacher is a nut. Totally love him. My bio prof is great too. She's deaf, so she has an interpreter who says what she's signing, and they're both really cool. And I have a really adorable TA in biology who I love. Today we watched one of the documentaries in the Planet Earth series, and it was amazing. Everyone who's seen this that I've talked to says that the series is absolutely incredible, and so far I agree with them.

I'm totally loving life right now. I'm getting up at like six every morning and doing my readings early in the morning, because I can concentrate better in the morning than I can at night. I realize it's only just the first week and things are going to get harder, but I'm excited about the challenge. It's gonna be good. By the way, thanks to all of my friends who have put up with my constant negativity for the past year. I really appreciate it. I don't think it's going to end for good, it never does. But I have a lot to smile about and keep me busy right now that I didn't have most of last year. I remember telling someone that 2008 was going to be my year and I stand by that. I'm stoked!