30 June 2005

I'm thinking (and have been for a while) about re-subtitling my blog. "The wonderfully insightful ramblings of a genius. Or not as the case may be." is lame at best. I don't know why I thought it would suffice, but, I did. And 18 months later, I've still not changed it to something more appropriate.

I'm thinking "Conversations with stupid people." That does after all sum up what I generally write about. In fact, it sadly sums up my life.

If I were to change it to that, there would be the risk of causing offence to people that I actually like though. Apparently, I almost do now...

"I don't take my girlfriends to meet my mother," said my friend in the pub on Friday night. "I take them to meet you. My mother is never going to like any girl I go out with, so your approval is the benchmark they must meet."

"Really? Aww. Thanks. I think. You know that's going to be blogged, right?"

"Yes, I know. Sometimes I think I should be offended by some of the things you write. But it's just too funny to actually be offensive."

Yes, me and my friend were having a mutual appreciation ceremony trying to boost each others egos because she's neurotic about her new job, and I'm just permanently, well, neurotic. And I had wet boobs, and looked like I'd dried myself, which is never good for the self-esteem.

to dry oneself: verb. The opposite of "to wet oneself". When sitting in a wheelchair your lap is at the perfect angle to catch every drop of rain that falls. However, because of your seating position, your groinal area will remain totally dry, looking like you have invertedly wet yourself. Or "dried yourself".

A couple of weeks ago, I was visited by an Occupational Therapist. Being disabled and knowing what you need to make your life easier isn't enough in this world. Apparently my 26 years experience of being me pales in comparison to someone who did an Occupational Therapy degree for three years, and is therefore qualified to know all about me. I shouldn't grumble, because she was reasonably nice, and did concur with everything I said I needed. It's not often that someone could send me a potential weapon through the post (a v sharp knife... with a right angled handle which is why it came from an OT) and I'd be grateful rather than slightly fearful.

Anyway, she has sufficient authority to order handrails so I can get out into the back garden, and to order me lever taps, so I can, you know, run water (though, bang goes my "but, I can't wash up" excuse). She doesn't however have the authority to order me some non-slip flooring for my bathroom. Apparently, if I wanted her to rip out my bath and replace it with a shower, she could sign the form to do that. Just non-slip flooring - that has to be signed for by the boss.

Who - this morning I found out - won't.

OK, so, today I didn't actually have a conversation with a stupid person (well, not yet, anyway. It's still only mid-afternoon, so there's plenty of time), I had a conversation with a third party mouthpiece for a stupid person.

According to aforementioned managerial stupid person, having a bath is more dangerous to me than having a slippery floor. Even though it is less than a year (only just, tomorrow marks the one year anniversary) since I last broke a bone slipping on a wet slip floor (presumably a "slip floor" is the opposite of "non-slip" floor?), and I have, thus far, never broken anything getting out of a bath. Unless you count the pretty glass candle lamp thing I knocked flying the other day (don't panic mother, it wasn't lit).

And how does refusing to install a non-slip bathroom floor, make the act of bathing - which he perceives to be so dangerous - safer? Is it supposed to discourage me from being clean? I suppose it's worth a shot after all, going a week without having a bath and then popping into his office. Which I hope is hot, small and poorly ventilated. I wonder if that might make him change his mind? I could even take my trainers off. Maybe waft one in his face until he signs the order for something that I won't involuntarily skate on.

For now though the situation is:

Stupid people: 1
Lisy Babe: 0

25 June 2005

My upstairs neighbour is currently watching terribly cheesy sounding porn, very loudly.

I feel quite ill. And, I'm sure it's not the hangover.

I do so hope I never run into him in the hallway (I've lived here for three months and haven't yet. That's a good sign). I'm not quite sure if I'd blush and run, or just fall over laughing.

22 June 2005

"Could my life get any worse right now?" Asked my friend while we were sitting in the pub opposite my flat yesterday evening.

This is despite the fact that she's just landed herself a new job and is about to see her salary shoot up by almost £10k. And the reason we were in the pub opposite my flat was because she's not as wimpy as me and I'd demanded that she come over and poison my (potential) rodents (which may or may not have been the trick of a half closed eye) while I did my best impression of the woman from Tom & Jerry (though, as I've mentioned before, it's not a very good impression because I can't do the standing on chairs thing, and I won't do the wearing skirts thing).

"Erm... you could break your foot on the way home?" I do like to always be the one on hand with helpful ideas and suggestions.

My friend thought about this for a minute and then decided that, actually, that wouldn't be too bad, as long as her cast matched the powder blue DM she'd be wearing on her unbroken foot.

This prompted me to tell the story about the time I, well, I wrecked one of my fingers. I was forwarned that my hand would be painful for up to nine months, swollen for up to two years, and I'd probably never regain full use of that finger. And I was sent to a hand OT to be fitted with a bright pink splint so I didn't manage to make my finger any worse. Of course, I had to buy bright pink nail varnish to match the splint, even though it was an awful colour varnish - alongside the splint it kinda worked (don't I sound just *so* butch?).

Having taken the conversation down a different path and away from how crap my friend thinks her life is (last week a psychiatrist, who also happens to be the lead singer of the band I'd gone out to see that night, diagnosed me as "an attention whore." Now I have an excuse for hijacking conversations and manipulating them to my liking. Yup.), I proceeded to finish my story about my finger. So I told her how despite the fact that it shouldn't have been so, 6 weeks later when I went back to see the hand OT, I had nearly full range of movement in my finger, and it was in fact skinnier than the same finger on my other hand.

For those of you curious: 8 years later and while my finger does still sometimes ache a bit on a cold day, I have returned to having beyond full range of movement (hyperlax joints can have their benefits, I know I can raise eyebrows in a lesbian bar by showing off how supple my hands are...).

At which point my friend said "All things considered, you do heal remarkably well..."

And she's right too. OK, my arms go round corners in places they're not supposed to. But that's not because the bones didn't *heal* properly, it was because the doctors repeatedly failed to put the bones in my arms back in line with the other bit of bone it had broken away from before they let the bone heal.

Sometimes healing well is an annoyance. I feel like I've not lived life to the full because of my lack of scars. Most people have some on their knees from when they fell over as a kid (no cuts or scrapes for me, just broken limbs), and most people with my impairment have at least one surgical scar. Me? Not one.

I have two scars on my body. One on my left upper arm, and one on my right cheek (just next to my cute little asymmetrical dimple). Both are from when I had chickenpox when I was 17. And my god that was the most painful experience of my life, so it seems only fitting I guess that my two scars should come from that.

A couple of months ago I got so excited. When I was moving house I dropped a piece of furniture I was carrying. It had a nail sticking out the back which nicely inserted itself straight into my right hand. Why should that be exciting? Well... firstly, I didn't faint. I blame growing up without ever grazing my knees for my complete inability to cut myself without keeling over. My leg can be at right angles to, well, itself... fine. Paper cut and I'm out cold.

The second reason it was exciting was because it actually looked like it was going to scar! I was going to have war wounds! I was going to be able to tell crazy Christians, and the people that mistake me for Jesus on a regular basis that I had stigmata!

Three months later there's not even a tiny mark to indicate where blood came out of my hand for 7 hours (it was actually a pretty deep cut). I am the Vanilla Ice of this decade.

20 June 2005

Saturday night was nice (until the rodent almost-sighting, obviously).

I met up with a couple of friends as it was one of their birthdays. I was slightly late. (I couldn't leave my first friend in a different pub until I'd finished my pint, could I?) So, I only saw my friends for 20 minutes before they went to the theatre, and I ended up staying in the pub with their boyfriends/friends/people they kind of know...

It was actually quite nice. When I lived in Cambridge I'd always end up in a pub (or laying splayed on Parkers Piece following a trip to the offy) with people that I didn't know all that well because Cambridge being fairly small, I run into someone I knew in town, and then they'd run into someone they knew, and they'd run into someone they knew... before you know it there's ten of you, who barely know each other, all getting shit-faced and having a real laugh.

Those were the days... That never happens in London of course because of the vast expansiveness of the city. If you do manage to run into someone you know, there's no way in the world you're ever going to manage to bump into someone they know. If the haystack is small, you might have a chance of randomly finding the needle if you sit down and it sticks in your arse. In a haystack the size of London, the only needle you're going to find is a discarded used hypodermic laying around. Or something to that effect.

So, yes, all was going well, until out of the blue came:

"You know, being disabled doesn't make you unattractive..."

I promptly considered drowning myself in my cocktail of Envy. (Did you know that envy tastes like melted mint Vienetta? After that I went for the Sloth, which I think I managed to turn to butter by stirring it so vigorously. I was going to go through all seven of the deadly sins, but I gave up when I realised that I'm allergic to lust. Huh.)

"I know. Being fat, ugly and fairly dull makes me unattractive. Being disabled is one of the few things about me that I'm actually confident in."

"What makes you think you're fat and ugly?"

"I own a mirror."


I loved the response of "Oh..." like I might actually have gone 26 years avoiding my reflection out of fear (more plausible would be going 26 years with being too short to see my reflection I suppose).

I'm always entertained when people who initially come off as fairly reasonable people make assumptions that every thought that crosses through my brain must somehow be related to me being a crip. In reality things are incredibly inverted. I'm sure there are some people for whom me being disabled is an ultimate turn-off, and I'm just ridiculously naïve in thinking that the only reason no-one is ever attracted to me is because I'm neither pretty nor interesting. But, I'm happy in my little land of inverted sense, so here I will stay. Ner.

At the end of my second year at uni, I actually spent a whole day sitting in the bar. I wasn't that popular, so it was quite a big thing for me to spend a day drinking with The Drama Crowd. At one point one guy left for a while, and as he did, he gave everyone sitting around our table a hug. I was naturally taken slightly aback when he leaned into me with his arms outstretched - we'd been on the same course for two years, and he'd never spoken to me before. And I'm not generally in the habit of hugging strangerss (certainly not the people I meet on a general jaunt around London anyway).

That night I actually went to one of only two Drama Parties I was invited to during my three years at uni (the other one being a fortnight later). It was summer and hot, so I went outside to get some air. The aforementioned person came and sat on the step next to me outside and said "You shouldn't have been paranoid about me hugging you earlier just because you're disabled..."

Riiiiight. Thanks for that validation, but I was quite aware that non-disabledness wasn't a huggily transmitted disease.

19 June 2005

Oh for fucks sake!

Last night I'm laying in bed, trying to get to sleep (actually before midnight, if you can believe such a thing might happen), when I start to hear this rustley noise.

It sounds like my kitchen bin liner is moving (yes, I no longer live in a bedsit, therefore have my kitchen bin next to my bed - but, my flat is still small and all the internal doors were open). "That's a familiar noise..." I think.

So, I get up to go and investigate. Dreading what I might find, but still curious. Investigating is slightly hampered by the fact that I've got 4head on my forehead (hot weather and me do not get on. I was not feeling well), and then I've sleepily rubbed my eyes. Voila... 4head in the eyes and a lack of ability to see.

I stumble over a bag full of papers that really should be shredded before being thrown in the bin near my bedroom doorway, and find my kitchen, and ultimately, my kitchen light switch.

As the strip light flickers on, through my only just about open eyes I see something. A kind of shadow moving speedily across the kitchen, away from the bin and into the corner. A shadow about the size of, oh, I don't know - A MOUSE!?!

Needless to say, I made a hasty retreat, kicking aside the wedge propping my kitchen door open so it slammed shut, keeping the rodent hopefully contained in one room. I've not been in there yet today.

I knew there was a reason I wanted a cat. Though, on one hand, I'm quite relieved. Just because I'm not sure which would be worse - having rodents, or having to clean up splattered dead rodent internals...

18 June 2005

Pussy pictures...

... are what this post should've contained.

Yup, I was going to get a cat. Of course, I'm the unluckiest person in the world, so the day before I was supposed to collect the cute, fluffy little thing from the cat shelter, I got a phone call saying he had ringworm and was going to the vets. And staying there until he was treated which would take several months. Of course, I'm upset for the poor little thing for being unwell. But I'm also upset for me dammit! I want feline companionship!

At least I did get a slight feeling of "I knew it," - that's the one enjoyable thing about being unlucky... you can be smug when your life goes wrong.

I should've heard back from the shelter by now about when he's again likely to be rehomed. Because this is me they've probably forgotten that I wanted him and I'll never hear from them again. While he gets to be housed with someone else (who probably won't love him as much as I could).

On my way home from work today (yup, had to be there at 9am on a Saturday - told you, unlucky) I was pondering how unlucky I am when some chewing gum on the pavement which had been turned explosive by the heat, went 'splat' all over my wheel. That was fun trying to scrap that off in the blazing sunshine. If you get gum on your clothes, your supposed to put it in the freezer so you can pick it off, right? What do you do with a 24" wheelchair wheel? My freezer's tiny because I had to find a fridge-freezer small enough to fit inside my airing cupboard (just don't ask...). Littering the pavement (on a street of local shops complete with Jay-and-Silent-Bob-A-Like loiterers outside) with used Wet Ones trying to remove the gum did little good.

So I have one sticky wheel. Oh the joy. My wheelchair wheels are becoming audible too. They shouldn't be. Usually a sign that they need replacing, even though it's less than a year since I last had a complete set of 4 new wheels on my chair. See - me = unlucky. I just hope the process is less traumatic and drawn out than last time.

A couple of weeks ago a friend and I went to go to Rigby & Peller to get fitted for bras (because having a stranger play with your boobs is really an experience that should be shared with a friend). Were we successful? No, the queue was too long so they'd stopped letting anyone else be fitted for the day. And I'd dragged my arse into Mayfair for nothing.

OK, that last reference isn't really that relevant to the post. But, hey. I gratuitously wanted to get the word 'boobs' into a post beginning with the subject line "pussy pictures."

You see; I know what people have typed into a search engine to come to my blog. In fact, of every 100 people that visit this site, about 85 of them have come by this page by typing "babe blog" into one of Google's global counterparts. I now no longer occupy the top spot on the search results for 'babe blog' but the traffic from people entering that phrase still constantly flows this way nonetheless.

Coming here must be a real disappointment. I would imagine that someone so desperate as to type "babe blog" into a search engine would be on the hunt for a blog containing pictures of scantily clad pretty ladies. Instead they find the not-very-interesting wifflings of a most unattractive grump. Sorry to those of you disappointed by the lack of actual babeness - it was a nickname I got stuck with (irony perhaps?). Deal with it.

A couple of weeks ago someone actually found my blog by typing "his penis her wheelchair" into Google. Where did he want to put it?

I know I may make constant jokes about my Quickie, but, really...

Of course, when I saw that someone had actually typed that, the first thing I thought was "if you got a wheel spinning fast enough, the spokes could probably act like the blades in a food blender..." That sounds like a far better motivation to push fast than having to try and make Spokie Dokies shut up back in the 80's.

So, to Mr His Penis Her Wheelchair (cos it had to be a bloke that typed that), I've found a song just for you. WARNING: This link is not suitable for the easily offended. And also, as Spitting Image once sang 'and though you hate this song, you'll be humming it for weeks.'

03 June 2005

Last night a friend and I had dinner in a café, which offered on the menu (among other yummier looking things) "natshoes."

Who is Nat? Doesn't she mind?

I'm assuming it's some kind of cheese based dish. Or if Nat's the athletic footed type, maybe mushrooms? Or if she has to spend a lot of time shoeless due to confiscation for culinary purposes, maybe she's picked up the odd Veruca, rendering the dish very salty?