Category Archives: Personal

I Got Chills…They’re Multiplyin’…

In my last post, I mentioned that I had gone to the beach last Sunday and got a bit of a rope burn on my ankle from the dog leash. Was a tiny scrape, and then I decided to go swimming in the lake (Yes, Lake Ontario). If you have been following me on Twitter, I apologize for all my whining but considering how clutzy I am this is by far the worst thing that’s happened to me health-wise in a long, long time.

By Monday night the scrape turned into a bigger wound. My ankle started to swell. I figured I may need to go to a clinic, but I would go in the morning. I called Telehealth and they agreed. (Telehealth is an awesome service by the way! You talk to registered nurses who are always so sweet and they give you advice such as “See a doctor in the next 24 hours if your condition does not improve” or “Take some Advil or Tylenol and get some rest”.)

Tuesday morning I went to the walk in. SUPER cute doctor prescribed me some antibiotic and told me if it got any worse to go to the ER for some IV antibiotics. At this point, walking was painful but I could do it without really looking like I was in pain.

By the time I had gotten home from work my ankle was huge and red and my leg was swollen up to my knee. It took me ages to walk from the streetcar to my house because I could barely put any weight on my foot. My flats were stuck to my swollen foot and my foot had swelled over it. I texted my mom to let her know what was up and she immediately called my aunt who is a nurse. I still wasn’t positive I wanted to go to the ER, so I called Telehealth again to get their opinion. The Telehealth nurse agreed that things were progressing too quickly to wait and that I needed to see a doctor ASAP. My mom called me back right away saying she was going to come down and sit with me in the ER waiting room. My aunt (the nurse) also had agreed that I should probably see someone.

I waited for almost 5 hours in the emergency room. I don’t complain about the wait because HEY! It’s free, people! And I was treated nicely for the most part. I was glad my mom came to sit with me because we caught up, eavesdropped on other people’s ailments and people-watched the hell out of all the crazies that the emergency room brings in. One woman even tried to attack a paramedic and was laid out by security and some paramedics.


They said I had cellulitis which is something you should never Google Image if they say you have it. Basically a bad infection. I didn’t think it was that serious but I guess sometimes it can be. I got IV antibiotics, got my tetanus updated (ouch!) and some mystery pills that made me crave french fries (also, not that mysterious…they were a buffer for the antibiotics to help them stay in my system longer).


WORST PART: I was to come back the next night for my IV antibiotics, and then for another week a nurse would come to my house and administer IV antibiotics and change my bandages. That meant they had to leave the shunt in my arm. I hated it…I felt like I could dislodge it at any moment which was terrifying only because the nurse sprayed himself and the room in my blood when he put it in.

This is the shunt – the hottest fashion accessory for summer 2011:
(Not the whole thing anyway – the nurse wrapped it up so instead of looking like a hospital outpatient I looked like I had attempted suicide)

Being sick/immobile is a full time job! My family and friends are amazing and called non-stop to offer their support and services such as pho delivery, hard drives full of movies and their company. It only took me 2 days to get super grumpy about not being able to do anything. Plus on that second day, the nurse was supposed to come to my house and when I called to see why she didn’t show up they told me that they hadn’t received my paperwork from the hospital and that I would have to go back to the ER for the IV. I was kind of upset because when you can’t walk and don’t have a car, stuff like getting to and from a hospital is annoying, especially when you’re already feeling helpless. In the end, I spent well over $100 in cabs in 2 days. (P.S. On that day when my homecare nurse didn’t show up, Dr. Mom drove in to drive with me to the hospital again! She’s the best Dr. Mom and took care of me all weekend too!)

I wasn’t all too impressed with the communication (or lack thereof) in the emergency room. I had to ask three times if I should continue taking the antibiotics prescribed by the doctor at the clinic and never received an answer. My other nurse/aunt works in some sort of regulatory capacity at a hospital and she’s part of this initiative to improve communications between doctors and patients re: their meds because there is a real problem apparently. She wasn’t really impressed to hear about my experience.

I also found that there was a HUGE difference in the way I was treated when I went with my mom and when I went with my boyfriend. Could just have been a coincidence, but the two times I went with my mom I got my own bed and privacy curtain and was actually spoken to by the nurses and they explained what was going on.

It’s been exactly one week since I got cut and went swimming and my foot is still swollen, I’m on antibiotics, my nurse comes 3 times a week until god knows when, I’m on crutches and I am REALLY missing being able to do things for myself!

Now please go ahead and call me a whiner…and flog me for complaining about having to relax with my feet up.

Why I Don’t Drink & Drive

All of the uproar on the Casey Anthony verdict got me thinking. I have refrained from commenting on the verdict because I don’t know the facts or what transpired in that courtroom. I do believe if Casey Anthony truly is guilty she will be found out and punished for her actions in a court of law.

But I am also a strong believer in karma and I think people do really get what they deserve. I’m going to tell you a more personal story then I usually do… This issue really hits close to home and explains why I feel VERY strongly about drinking and driving. That’s one reason why I’m so happy to live in a city like Toronto where public transit and cabs are so readily available and I don’t need to worry about getting a bit tipsy and having to drive myself home.

In the summer of August 1995, I lived in a small townhouse complex in Malton. I was 2 doors down from  my best friend, and across the street from 2 of my parents best friends. My parent’s friends had a 17 year old son named Mike and although we didn’t run in the same crowds (I was only 8 years old at the time!) I hung out with his family a lot and frequently watched him play ball-hockey with the other boys his age in the park attached to our complex. He babysat me and my brother a few times and I adored the puppy-love relationship between him and his girlfriend, Anna. I thought they were both so beautiful.

Mike and Anna in 1995

Mike’s grandparents had a cottage on Rice Lake, near Peterborough. We spent a lot of time at the cottage and I learned to fish and bury my head in a good book until the sun set and the bonfire started. Mike spent a lot of time at the cottage too, hanging out with his friends who lived in neighbouring cottages or around the lake.

In the summer of 1995, Mike was walking home with two twin sisters he was friends with. They walked the dark, country dirt-roads home together. On their walk home, a truck went by them. The driver was the twin’s brother and one of Mike’s best friends. He swerved towards the three teens as a joke. He was drunk and his judgment was a bit off. Mike saw what was happening and pushed the girls out of the way, saving their lives. Mike was hit and although I never learned the details, it wasn’t good. He died a few hours later.

The driver was caught. He fled the scene of the accident after hitting Mike, but the cops showed up at his house a few hours later. The laws surrounding drunk driving weren’t as advanced as they are now and while the drunk driver had his license taken away for a long time, he barely served any time in jail.
Sidenote: This is what Mike’s parents wanted as well: the drunk driver rotting away in jail would not bring their son back. A suspended license would ensure that he couldn’t hurt anyone else.

Just a couple years ago I heard news of the drunk driver who had killed Mike. He was partying on Rice Lake, in the same community he killed Mike in. He was driving a boat and had too much to drink. He lost control while taking a sharp turn  and fell over the side. As the boat went over him, the motor cut off both of his legs.

It took a long time, but karma really was a bitch. He may have kept his life, but we will forever be reminded of the life he took away, and what his poor choices involving alcohol brought him.

Mike wasn’t so lucky. He paid for someone else’s poor choices, which is why I will never make the choice to get behind the wheel after I’ve had anything to drink.

Mike in 1995

 

An afterthought: I didn’t tell Mike’s parents that I planned on writing this. My parent’s are still close friends with them and see them often.  I hope that if they ever read this, they don’t mind me sharing the story of their loss especially if it leads to more people making smarter choices and not driving drunk.

Don’t let Mike’s death be in vain – please don’t drink and drive!

Has your life been affected by drunk driving? Please feel free to share your story in the comments.

Cottaging with Rob Ford

The internet was all abuzz yesterday with reports that Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford would not be attending this year’s Gay Pride Parade in order to fulfill long-standing family commitments to go to a cottage. His family trip to Muskoka is a yearly event held on the same weekend every year – and who are we plebes to argue that the Mayor of Toronto could re-schedule such an important tradition?

According to an article in the Globe and Mail:

Mayors of Toronto have been marching in the parade since Barbara Hall wore the chain of office. Police Chief Bill Blair makes a point of being there to build bridges to the gay community. So do provincial and federal cabinet ministers of all political stripes. Brian Burke, general manager of the Leafs, is marching.

(image courtesy of the Globe and Mail)

Initial reactions to Ford’s announcement were negative. In fact, the article referenced above is titled “Mayor misses out on opportunity to celebrate diversity”. The Toronto mayor’s first commitment should be to support Toronto’s gay community by attending a parade that is historically linked to improving gay rights in our progressive city. Some argue events like the Pride parade led to increased rights and acceptance of the gay community in Toronto, and even Canada.

@corecorina’s thoughts shared on Twitter echoed the sentiment of many:


Others argued that Ford should support something that, if for nothing else, feeds a lot of money ($MILLIONS$) into Toronto and garners positive attention to the city on a national scale, which is especially important after last year’s G20 disaster.

It wasn’t long before the other side spoke up. He has commitments! Family commitments! Shouldn’t we respect the fact that he has put his family before his job?! Isn’t that what we would all do? This is a long-standing tradition!

Now everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I am also entitled to think that opinion is, well…stupid.
Rob Ford’s job as mayor is TEMPORARY. It relies on the fact that Torontonian’s are happy with him as mayor, and happy with his choices. Unfortunately, sometimes that includes his personal choices and the community’s judgment of his priorities.

He is the mayor of the largest cities in Canada. Toronto just so happens to have a large gay population. Assuming Rob Ford is enjoying his new position as MAYOR of the damn city, he may want to keep said position. This means he should probably try to appeal to every segment of the population that he can to ensure his position is a little less temporary.

More importantly, in my opinion, is the fact that this even became an issue. Where are this man’s handlers? His media people? Maybe even a publicity rep? ANYONE?! Surely he has been coached on how to speak to the media.

All Ford needed to say to make this a non-issue is that: No, he regrets that previous obligations to his family would prevent him from attending the parade itself, but he would be attending ___________ event or hosting ________ event to kickoff the Pride festivities in Toronto, because he understands the important of this event in Toronto and he fully supports it. (Assuming he does support it – am I going too far here?)

(image courtesy of Slap Upside the Head)

Now let’s see what other commitments Rob Ford has to keep him away from Caribana Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival…

This is what I tweeted today about the Ford Pride Parade controversy:

 

 

And seriously, before you judge Rob Ford you should really google “cottaging”. Because maybe he’s a much bigger gay pride supporter than we thought…

Look Who Finally Decided to Show Up…

I’ve been waiting anxiously ever since I bought a frame for my diploma and wrote the exam for my last PR course (yes, in that order). I even called U of T to make sure this pretty young thang wouldn’t get lost in the mail with the rolling Canada Post strikes. And here. it. is. Kind of of anti-climatic, so I’m making it more exciting!


It’s another piece of paper to put on my wall!

Here is it in its frame!

Here it is with it’s bigger cousin, Mr. Hons Bach Arts.

Now what next? I’m considering either taking writing or French courses next winter because I enjoy doing both but definitely need more practice. I’m all CONSUME CONSUME CONSUME knowledge sometimes and not enough CREATE CREATE CREATE.

On Friday I went by M for Mendocino where my friend Carly works. Carly is an awesome firecracker of a girl who gets fashion, knows my style, and is a great stylist. She picked me out 30+ things to try on and I ended up with these (although I’m still seriously considering going back for that romper):

Okay, noticed when I was paying that they are all stripes. I don’t mind! Carly kept my NXNE Fashion post in mind and picked me out some cute shirts for the festival.

If you need someone to help you refresh your wardrobe for summer – holler at Carly or visit her at Mendocino on Queen West. I love that she isn’t afraid to tell you when something doesn’t look good, and she’s always quick to suggest something that may be better for your body type. I always struggle to remember that it isn’t worth wearing something trendy if it just isn’t meant for you.

The other girls that work there were really nice too, and very patient as I took up a fitting room while Carly shopped for me.

Was a bit bummed over the weekend because the forecast called for rain at the end of the week, which is especially a bummer because it’s NXNE. When I woke up this morning I found that the weather gods (or lack thereof) have decided to temporarily appease me and offer me this for the 7 day forecast:

For the past 5 years that I’ve attended NXNE, it’s rained every year! I’m looking forward to dry lineups, squeek-less shoes and non-frizzy hair. Hell, maybe even some of that S-word. Starts with “suh”, ends in “unshine”.

Finally, I know my pictures are crap. Such crap. In February I bought a brand new Nikon. I’m normally a Canon girl, but wanted to give the Nikon a try. When I brought it on vacation in February I realized it was broken – the lens is jammed so it doesn’t open all the way. Ruined all my vacation pictures because now they all have some silly black frame on them. Finally got the receipt from my parents house and tried to exchange it at Future Shop but they have to send it back to Nikon and I have to wait 6-8 weeks before they let me know if they’re going to give me a new camera or not. SUCKS. So now I’m camera-less and busy. I have been attending so many fun events and want to take pictures at NXNE this weekend and my trip to Montreal next weekend. Wish cameras worked like cell phones and you could have a loaner while they tinkered with yours.

Weekend Wrap Up

This past weekend in pictures…

Moe and I got our espresso on at one of the Starbucks on Queen West.
To everyone who tried to guess my order: it was an Iced tall non-fat sugar-free caramel latte. I did a brief stint at Starbs as an undergrad so I know how I like my drinks.

Then Amy, Jordan and I got all fancy to go to Sean and Steve’s housewarming at their brand new condo. We had serious wine and cheese-in going down. Best thing about gay men is they don’t eat all the cheese you brought so you can stuff your face first.

CN Tower before the Jays game on Sunday against Boston. Jordan and I talked about having a total tourist day and doing things we would never normally do. He wants to go up the Tower and I want to go on one of those tour buses, or a walking tour of a neighbourhood of the city.

Jays got creaaamed by Boston. We went for my friend Lindsay’s birthday celebrations. We got slurries so life was okay, and the sun peeked in and out a bit. I’m still waiting for them to call Snider back up. Mustache, mullet n’ all – let’s go!

After the game we stopped by Lou Dawgs. LOVE this place. We met Darryl and did some shots of Fireball with him. Had the slider sampler because we were only snacky. Service was amazing and everyone was so friendly! Hope we can go back soon. I really want to try the loutine, the smoked turkey breast wrap and the pulled pork sammie! Wanted to get one po-boy style when we were there because po-boys remind me of Nola 🙂

Look Ma, I’m Famous!

Remember the studly adventurer/musician Simon that I blogged about last week? I was just looking through my copy of his new album and found this on the inside of the CD cover:

Weeee! It’s my first liner note mention! Rock For Humanity has been thanked a couple times and so has the founder Jordan, but this is my VERY. FIRST. TIME. Thank you Simon for making me smile for the next few months! You know what they say…a girl will always remember her first!

In other news…

Anita and I attended the #pepsithrowback party at Revival on Tuesday night. It was tons of fun and everyone was dressed up like the 80’s. Unfortunately my J-O-B would not have appreciated 80’s gear so I came dressed like a party pooper straight from work. Everyone else looked glam!

The party was hosted by Casie and Keshia Chante who danced like pros to M.J.’s Thriller, led by Shawn Hawaii and Scott.

Also: major cred goes to Photo Junkie for his pictures!! My cam is STILL in the shop @NikonCanada so I’m having to rely on everyone else for fotos lately. Good thing he takes awesome ones!

P.S. Yo-yo’s rule.
P.P.S. Can we please keep our fingers crossed for no rain tomorrow? I’m going to my cousin’s housewarming BBQ. Moe is tagging along too!