Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Productive and Fun Day

Today was both fun and productive for me.

In the morning, as I chatted with my enchanting niece Michelle over Facebook, I wrote emails and watched the latest episode of Coronation St.

In the afternoon, Yuula, Motria, and I went to see a movie called Blood Pressure.  The title and previews for it seemed far more provocative than the actual movie.  Towards the end, I had to keep stopping myself from drifting off to sleep.  And, I groaned and rolled my eyes at the movie's ridiculous conclusion.  Sheesh!  I could write a better plot than that!

And, during dinner, while watching Modern Family and Grimm,  I finished calculating my 2012 income and expenses, and emailed them to my accountant so that he can do my taxes.

Phew! No more waking up several times worrying about that anymore!

I just need to order more greeting cards and info cards before I go to bed or else that'll keep me awake too!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Springtime at the Market

I had a good day at the market today.  Perhaps it was the nicer weather or because of the holiday, but people seemed more cheerful and friendly, and they were really into buying my rabbit cards!

The highlight of my day was meeting this family who had found my website and enjoyed reading my blog. The parents wanted me to talk to one of their kids (his name was Tim) about my art. They said they wanted me to inspire him so that he could do better at school.

 Like me,Tim has CP, which affects his motor skills.  I explained to him that art wasn't all about how straight your lines are or about how "perfect" your painting looks.  Art is about expressing yourself - your thoughts, feelings, and personal ideals!

Art, I also told Tim, should be fun.  Have fun as you create your work, let your imagination flow freely, experiment with colours and shapes.

I had my picture taken with Tim, and I told him and his family that they could could come to see me painting any time they wanted.



Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Busy Friday Evening

Can't write!  Too much to do!

AaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I'll write tomorrow, promise ....

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Crazy Cats


video

I have the craziest cats.  Hershey likes to carry around his string in his mouth while he "sings" mournfully to it.  I think he pretends he's a great cat hunter and has just killed his prey.

And, Rascal, as you can see above, likes to put on my shower cap and walk around. I think it's a game to him.  See how far he can walk around without bumping into something.

Funny, crazy, weird, and sweet cats ....  What would I do without them?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Day in Pictures

My Boys!
Vying for my attention
Now pay attention, boys! It's Do Re Mi ....



They say you can't go home, but I did!


I spent 29 1/2 years at 52 Somerdale Square

My first home
Yay nostalgia!
Front Porch
Heading back ....

Today Yuula and I went to meet Bruce at Mom's BMO branch today in Scarborough to sign papers and re-open her account.  That's a long drawn-out story in itself because there was a lot of trouble in actually getting the papers in the first place.  Sufficed to say, however, everything worked out very well.

While I was in the neighbourhood and Bruce was picking up the papers from the lawyer's office, I decided to drive my wheelchair over to my old family home and show Yuula where I grew up.

I hadn't been there in 23 years!  It sure brought up a lot of memories, and I was kind of amazed at well I handled it.

When I got back to my own neck of the woods, I zoomed to meet Ainsley at Village in the Grange for dinner, and then we went to the AGO to see Amy's show Life of a Craphead - which was fantastic!

Now, I'm exhausted and I'm going to bed!

ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ....

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Busy Day!

You know you're having a busy day when you're simultaneously giving an interview via Facebook to a woman in Britain about disability politics while texting your brother on your iPad about how frustrating it is to deal with lawyers and banks!

I'm going to see a movie and chill the fuck out.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Steakasaurus Part 2

I'm more awake now and ready to continue my story ....

So, Brittainy and I went to Mount Sinai Hospital, and sure enough, people there recognized me from when I was there the last time I was there.  That was good because at least I didn't have to convince them this time that I actually did have something stuck in my esophagus!

However they still went through the annoying process of saying, "Yes, we know you'll probably need a scope, but we have to try these other procedures first. Even though we know from our charts that it has never worked." I groaned and accepted the fact that I would be given a useless muscle relaxant and an X-ray. (Meat never shows up on an X-ray!)

And another annoying thing was that all the doctors and nurses started to talk to Brittany and not me about my problem. Infuriated,  I finally said, "Please talk directly to me, it's my problem not my assistants!" And one doctor assumed that I couldn't sign the paper and that Brittany would sign for me. I said,"No no no no! I can sign it myself!" For goodness sake it's 2013! Get with the program!!

So after hours of consultation and waiting and getting pricked and waiting and getting x-rayed and waiting, at 1 am they finally shoved the scope down my esophagus. I slept for three hours then got up and went home.

So that was my weekend!

Guess what I'm having for dinner? Steak!!! Am I brave or what?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Steakasorus

So, on Friday evening, I was chillin' out with my newest employee Brittainy. As I finished eating my leftover steak from dinnertime, we watched The IT Crowd, and thus, bonded through the mutual enjoyment of the show. 

Unfortunately, I had my last bite of steak and felt it lodge very snugly into my esophagus. I drank glass after glass of Coke, Sprite, aloe drink, and several tablespoons of cooking oil - and everything just came right back up!

Bloody hell!  My esophagus was doing its impression of a clogged drain again.

Exhausted from trying to get the steak up or down, I went to bed and tried to ignore the pain and discomfort within my chest.

I woke up at 5:00 AM and tried to eat breakfast, but that didn't work out great either.  Nothing stayed down.

I went to the market and dared not eat anything for fear that I might suddenly erupt.  I only made $48.00 too, which was nothing to get excited over.  However, Nic and Jen surprised me by coming all the way from London, Ontario for a visit. That was nice.  It was great to see them!

It is a true testimony to how much I hate going to the hospital that I talked myself out of going until 9:00 that night.  I tried to eat plain toast and tapioca, and more Coke and cooking oil, to push this mean steakasorus downward into my belly.

It just didn't work.

With great reluctance, I gave in and went to Mount Sinai Hospital. Eight months ago, I'd had the same problem and they'd fixed me up.  I just hoped that this time they would remember me and do things faster.

                                                                   ***

As I'm typing this. I'm falling asleep, so I'll finish this  tale tomorrow.  I'm exhausted!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Night Busy-ness

I have one million and one things to do.

                    So, I'll write more tomorrow ....


Plus, I feel like I'm fighting a cold.

                                                        Bleah ....

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Battle Rages Inside of Me

I kind of remind myself of that Katy Perry song Hot n Cold.

"You're hot and then you're cold -
You're yes and then no -
You're in and then you're out -
You're up and then down!"

Yes, that's me.  I barely recognize myself anymore!

I hate this grief.  The overwhelming feeling of sadness overpowers me at times and brings me to my knees. 

I hate it and want this torture to end.

I need my grief to stay because it's part of my mother and Rob.  How can I wish it gone?  I must be a terrible person!

I know that Rob and Mom would want me to be happy and live a good life.

I know this, and yet I don't.

For hours and hours, I felt deliriously happy when I heard the news that my mother's will was finally out of probate.  Now Bruce and I could start getting Mom's bank accounts unfrozen and look into putting her condo up for sale.   Think of what we could do!  Bruce could send his kids to college, and I, who had lived in poverty for most of my adult life, could grow my business and maybe get a bigger place.

I could feel my heart start to break again.   To go on living without Mom or Rob, never to be able to share with them what came next?  How could I do that when I knew I would trade everything I had and more to have them back again?

And sell the condo?  It seemed so incredibly and irrevocably final.   But, that's what death is, isn't it?  Final.

There's a battle raging inside of me.  The combatants are: Love, Hate, Sorrow, Happiness, Need, Guilt, and Hope.

My money's on Hope.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Too Busy to Write

What a day! What a week! What a Year! What a life!

I wrote so many emails, got so many things straightened out.  Still so many, many things left to do!

Quick the Lorazepam!

I'll write more tomorrow ....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Difficult Day

It's been a difficult day for me.  So, to placate my psyche, I've been watching a lot of Star Trek: TNG on Netflix.  And now, Simone and I are going to go see "Jack the Giant Slayer".  It should be fun!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Paint!

Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint! Paint!


My mind is full of paint! I'm going to finish Patti's portrait tonight!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

More Pictures Less Words


Hummingbird tattoo to honour Mom


Hershey's in my spot again!

Yuula Cradling Hershey


Nothing noteworthy to say ....

Yuula, Motria, and I saw Lincoln this afternoon.  It's very good - for insomniacs!

ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Day at the Market







I had a good day at the market.  Sales weren't sensational (I didn't even hit the $100.00 mark!) but people were friendly and liked my new merchandise - like the iPhone cover with the picture of a bunny on it!



My friend Leon gave me his weekly gift of a couple of booze-filled chocolates.  And, Judith very kindly followed suit, as well as giving me another gift of a can of Red Bull.  (I was extra tired today due to three nights of insomnia.) Plus, one of my regular customers gave me a beautiful bouquet of tulips.


 But I think the highlight of my day had to be when I stopped at the RBC ATM to deposit money and saw Batman and Robin standing outside.  They kindly agreed to have their picture taken with me.

Maybe I could be the next Batgirl ....?

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Am The Juggler Koo Koo Kachoo Part II

I'm still juggling all of the different facets of my life:  making sure employee shifts are covered; taking care of business concerns,; making time for friends, family, cats; writing emails; keeping my finances straight; and, seeing that my dwelling is clean and tidy.

I mailed all of my membership packages today.  That's good.  I just got an invitation to go to New York in May and display my artwork at a conference for people who have Cerebral Palsy.  That's cool!

The people at OCAP asked me to go to a demo tomorrow morning.  I want to! ... but I can't.  I need to work and make money.

One ball, regretfully, dropped .. for now.

Painting: another ball dropped, for one reason or another.  I can only do what I'm able.

I'll paint on Sunday evening.

And I'll catch up with the revolution another day.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Numbers and Words

Numbers and words.  Words and numbers.

I still have yet found time yet to paint. I've been writing emails and cheques for my employees, and trying to figure out my finances so my taxes can be done.

Numbers and words.  Words and numbers.  Numbers and words.  Words and numbers.

I'd rather be thinking creatively about painting!

... Or, thinking creatively about Johnny Depp.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Computer Work, Dinner Out, Painting

Emailing, working on employee schedules, keeping track of finances
Dinner out with friends
Painting Patti

I'll write more tomorrow ....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Weirdness of Life


The Thoughts That Grow Out of my Head: Empathy, Hope & Strength


Several years ago, Sarah and I were sitting in Tim Hortons, and I spelled out to her: "I have so many plans growing out of my head!" Sarah thought I'd said "plants"' not "plans" - and we both laughed and laughed about this for several minutes, joking that we should water my head or put plant food on it so foliage of ideas would continue to spout and grow.

(This was how the painting above came into existence.)

Today a tiny sprig of an idea began to shoot up from my mind: Write a sci-fi story about a person, like myself, who is grieving for someone she recently lost, and she keeps having these weirdly coincidental things happening.  At first, she just tries to shrug it all off, but then it becomes clear that people from other dimensions are trying to communicate with her and spur her on to do something great.

What  inspired this idea?  I'll tell you!

I had a good morning.  I was happy and very productive.  However, when I started telling Simone about my feelings, I immediately got "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty into my head.  The lyrics made me cry and feel incredibly sad.  And then, later on in the day, when 'Sarah was serving me dinner, I was about to look something up on YouTube when I saw "Recommended for you because you watched Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street:  Gerry Rafferty - Right Down the Line."

How spooky was that?!  I'd looked up "Baker Street:" on YouTube months ago to see why it had made me cry when I heard it playing  in Tim Hortons.  Why today did YouTube make reference to it?  Coincidence? Most probably.

And yet, I can't forget that on Dandylion's birthday this year the word "DANDY" came up on my Words With Friends rack as clear as day!  Coincidence?  Sure, probably.  Or, something more  ....? 

Doo-doo doo-doo, doo-doo doo-doo.

Monday, March 11, 2013

If it's Real



Usually I talk about myself and what's happening in my life, as well as reveal my deepest, darkest thoughts and feelings. I also shamelessly promote my art. I'm not one to hide my light under a bushel!

Well today I want to shamelessly promote the work of a dear friend of mine. She is cool, great, fantastic, and brilliant! And her music isn't bad either. Ha ha.

As well as being a friend and employee Simone Schmidt is an incredible singer and musician. She writes all her own music which I love to listen to.

She started out with a band called One Hundred Dollars and recently started up two new bands (Fiver and The Highest Order).

To listen to Simone's new album click on the link below.

I love you Simone!

http://music.cbc.ca/#/play/Vish-Khanna/playlist/If-Its-Real-by-the-Highest-Order

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hi and Bye

This is hi and bye because I have one million and one things to do!

Bye ...!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Not Tapping Out

Rob and I used to watch lots of wrestling together.  WWF (now the WWE), ECW, and WCW were our favourites.

We would laugh and say maybe we could join the WWE.  I could be a wrestler called Amazing Annie with the deadliest clothesline ever (I've been known to give people clotheslines unintentionally throughout the years) and the strongest headlock.  And Rob could be my manager: Rob Warenda the War-Ender, who liked to start feuds but would feign being a peace lover when things too hot for him.

I often compare wrestling to my own life.  When times are hard or stressful, I picture myself getting beaten up by Triple H or Shawn Michaels and fighting back with all of my might.

These past few weeks have been incredibly stressful for me.  In fact, yesterday I got two pieces of bad news.  And yet, I feel like Hulk Hogan, who, upon getting beaten to a bloody pulp, would suddenly gather all of his courage and strength and win the match.

Life, you have put me in a sleeper hold and a figure-4 leg lock many, many times, but I still have lots of moves of my own.

I'm not tapping out!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Too Damned Tired

It's been a three Lorazepam day.  I feel calm, relaxed and tired. I've had only 8 hours of sleep in 3 days because of stress.

I'll write more tomorrow.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Edge of Glory



I've had "The Edge of Glory" in my head for 3 days now, but I feel like I'm on the Edge of INSANITY!!!!

Shift juggling, training new employees, and having dear friends deciding to reduce hours or stop working for me altogether.  (Yes, yes, I understand. People want to take a different paths, more money. I don't blame them at all!) 

As I slowly slip back into debt, I still wait (not so patiently anymore) for my inheritance to come through.

The icing on the cake, though, after weeks of waiting for CILT to get back to me and help me figure out what happened to my $6,000 float that dwindled slowly away, they are saying I went over my allocated hours -  but I know I HAVEN'T!  I've been using the exact same hours and scheduling system for three and a half years, ever since Rob died.

The Edge of Glory?  More like the The Edge of INSANITY!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Can We Talk?

Today I went to the U of T's speech pathology department and, with Sarah's help, I gave the following speech:

  Hello, my name is Anne Abbott and this is my communication assistant Sarah.  Sarah will read a speech I wrote beforehand, and then I will answer any question you may have.
  When people ask me what the most difficult thing about my disability is, I always answer quickly and without doubt. "Not being able to talk," I tell them. "That's the most frustrating thing I have to deal with in regards to my disability."
  Even as a child, I was a social, outgoing person, I always wanted to interact with people, to connect with them, to share with them. I wanted desperately to communicate with my family and friends.  Before I learned how to read, I used hand gestures to try to convey to them what I wanted or how I felt.  It was like playing charades 24 hours a day, and this form of communication was, to say the least, very unsatisfying.
  When I learned how to read at the age of seven, one of my teachers had the bright idea of giving me a "speech card", which was a piece of cardboard with the alphabet written on it, so that I could point to letters and spell out words and sentences.
  This type of communication was definitely an improvement, and I took to it like a duck to water!  Admittedly, there were a few drawbacks to this method, though.  For one thing, I wanted to use big, important words like my older brother and parents did, but I often misspelled them.  Needless to say, by trial and error, I became a good speller in spite of myself.
  Great lovers of books and word games, my family had no trouble communicating with me with the speech card.  My closest friends learned how to communicate with me this way too.  Some of them had no problem figuring out what I was trying to say, while others stumbled over words, forgetting what letters I pointed to and in which order.  I learned how to be patient with people, to spell out the same words over and over for them, and to rephrase what I was trying to say if they just couldn't grasp what I was spelling out.
  It was strangers with whom I had the most trouble communicating.  Whenever I'd go into a store at the mall, a sales person would usually come up to me and ask what I wanted, could they help me in any way?  When I signaled to them that I wanted to spell out words on my speech card, they would give me blank stares or call another sales person over to help them figure me out.  As if they thought I was hearing impaired or not quite right in the mind, they would then discuss between themselves how terrible it was that I was alone, that nobody was with me to take care of me.  Was I lost?  What was wrong with me?  Feeling rather frustrated and humiliated by this, I would usually end up by giving up and leaving the store.
As a young woman, I yearned to be more independent.  I wanted to do my own banking, to purchase food and clothing by myself, to be able to travel on Wheel Trans on my own.  I just wanted a chance to lead a "normal" life like everybody else.
  To be able to do this, I felt, I needed a different method of communication.  I had seen Stephen Hawking on tv demonstrating how he communicated with his speech synthesizer, and I longed to find a way to get one for myself.
  I went to see some people at the Bloorview MacMillan Rehab Centre in Toronto and asked them if they could help me with my problem. Unfortunately, they told me I was too old for their program.  They suggested that I buy a child's toy called a Speak & Spell from Canadian Tire and use it as a communication aid.  It didn't say the words, they told me, but it had a screen that held eight characters at a time so people could see what I was spelling out to them.  Better than nothing, I gave it a try.
  A year later, the Bloorview MacMillan Rehab Centre contacted me and told me that they had lifted their age limit from their program, was I still interested in getting a speech synthesizer for myself?  I gave them an emphatic "YES!"
  Since then, I've had six different types of speech synthesizers, including three laptop computers, all of which gave me great independence.  Finally, I was able to get my own apartment, do my own banking; and go out shopping for things I needed.  In fact, when I got married 18 years ago, I used my speech synthesizer to say my own vows.
  Unfortunately, there are many drawbacks to owning a speech synthesizer.  Like everything mechanical these days, they seem to like to malfunction at the damnedest times!  About 15 years ago, at a conference in London, Ontario, I had programmed a speech into my speech synthesizer and just before it was my turn to speak, my speech synthesizer decided to die on me. I, of course, had to ask someone to read my speech for me instead.
  Another problem with speech synthesizers is that some of them don't pronounce words very clearly.  For instance, there was one, where, if I spelled “buses” the correct way it would pronounce it "boosus".  If I misspelled it on purpose by adding another "s" -- "b-u-s-s-e-s" --  it would pronounces it correctly.  Sometimes, however, even creative spelling doesn't work.  I used to spell the word "loonies" every way I can think of and it still sounded strange to me.
  The mis-pronouncement of certain words and phrases has landed me into a lot of trouble over the years. There was one time, in Loblaws, for instance, I was doing my shopping and had several packages of meat in my lap, and I wanted someone to help me put them into the bag on the back of my wheelchair.  I caught the eye of an elderly gentleman and spelled out to him on my speech synthesizer, "Can you please put these things into my bag for me?"  Somehow he thought I meant I wanted to be lifted further back into my wheelchair.  I shook my head adamantly, trying to signal to him that this was not what I wanted.  He didn't seem to understand this, however, and kept trying to grab me under the arms and lift me upwards.  A crowd soon formed around us and some of those people joined in to help the elderly gentleman.  Finally, I broke free of their grasping hands and repeated my message.  Fortunately, someone in the crowd with good ears understood my message and helped me put the groceries into my bag.
  I must admit that of all of the speech synthesizers I’ve had throughout the years, laptop computers included, I really prefer using my speech card when I'm communicating with the people I know best: my family and close friends.  I've heard that a lot of non-verbal people like myself feel this way.  Using a speech synthesizer takes a lot of energy and I think most people who use these machines get worn out quickly, just as I do.  On the other hand, using a speech card to communicate takes less time and energy because the person you're talking to know you so well they almost read your mind.

  I guess the best and simplest form of communication would be to actually be able to verbalize for myself.  Since no one has figured out how to make this possible yet, I'll just have to use the tools at hand, imperfect though they may be, until something better comes along.

  Thank you."

After the speech and question period were both over, Sarah and I headed across the street to Tim Hotons.  There, we smiled and chuckled at some of the things that had occurred within the classroom.

The teacher had told the students that I had been interviewed by the CBC Radio One's Sook-Yin Lee on the subject of body image.   I elaborated and told them that I had said during the interview that in my opinion it was important for everybody to love and treasure their own bodies because it would be the only one they'd ever have.  I added that if anybody put their body image down, they should tell that person to "go to hell!"  And then I smiled and said I had used stronger language in the interview.

Sarah said that she thought I had made an impression on the students.  With my golden flared raver pants, my golden crushed velvet tank top that showed off my magnificent tatts, I looked, according to Sarah, like "a real bad ass!"  This made me happy because if the students were able to pick up on the unique ways of how I talk and dress, it means they can see me as a person, an individual, not just a person who's non-verbal..  I hope that when they graduate and become  speech pathologists to remember to see people they meet not only as clients but as  individuals as well.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More Pictures, Some Words









What a day!  I laughed, I cried, I bought cat food and art supplies.

I spent some quality time with Sarah, Laura, and Simone. (Since I don't have a picture of Simone, you can check out her band website where there are tons of pictures of her here.) These three are my friends, employees, and confidantes. I love them all and they love me back. 

Most times the boundaries between friends and employees are clear, but sometimes they blur. It has been the cause of my emotional stress for the past 10 days because these boundaries blurred between another employee and myself.  We will figure it out because we care about each other

There was talk about moving on. Laura is almost finished her nursing degree, and Sarah says that maybe in a few years she'll move between Ottawa and Toronto.  It makes me sad to hear this, and yet I know it's just part of life.  And I know that if Sarah and Laura move on to do other things, they will remain friends with me.

Who else will give me stick poke tattoos and play drunken scrabble with me?


Monday, March 4, 2013

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Community


I was going to write humourous tales from my day at the market.   I was also going to talk about how I braved the incredibly cold and gusty weather, and how I yearned for spring.

Instead, I want about my friends, my community, and how grateful I am to have them in my life.

I've trained many people these past two months, which is one reason why I've been extra, extra stressed out lately.  I mean, emotionally, it's hard; Rob used to help me train people.  He would  give advice and encouragement, as well as spot them during transfers.

Well, anyway, today, with the assistance of Yuula, I re-trained a former employee named Kelly who hadn't worked for me for five years.  After dinner, Yuula went off-duty and Kelly went home for a two hour break.  I was happy that I could have time to myself to get more work done.

Unfortunately, right after Yuula and Kelly left,  I began having gastrointestinal problems - I hate that! And then, the fired rang loudly and I heard at least three firetrucks arrive.  It was stressful, and I was super anxious, but I texted all of my friends/employees with my iPad and everybody banded together to think of ways of how to help me.  Laura's friend Jeff, who lives close by came over and gave me meds, AJ called 911 to see if my building was on fire (it wasn't!), and Kelly came back a bit earlier.

Thanks, you guys!  I love you!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Power of Social Media

Social media may have helped fix the accessibility issue at Tim Hortons! Right on Marc Wafer! Thank you for your help.

Social media has also suggested to me the possibility of "friending" Justin Trudeau, enabling me to make endless jokes about "poking" him! (He's cute, but I don't think he has the single-mindedness and conviction of his father. I predict that our pokes will be brief and unmemorable.)

I've had a good day, and got lots of things done. Now I'm relaxing and taking 222s and lorazepam and eating steak and drinking rye and Coke. Woo hoo!

Hershey is sitting in front of me with the single-mindedness of Pierre Elliot Trudeau. He will stand for nothing less than pumpkin and pats.

Fuddle-duddle, everybody!  Haha!