August 4, 2009

Growing up I used to say that if I could write a book like Ella Enchanted I would be happy. Now I still love the book and audiobook, but I don’t write fantasy. The goal is there, to be able to craft language in that way, but the world building isn’t me. It’s funny when you look at my bookshelves; I read so much fantasy and historical fiction, but I write neither.

Rereading I Capture The Castle, I think my goal has shifted. To write with the elegant grasp on prose that Dodie Smith grasps in a timeless novel that way…. well it would be amazing. I’m not sure I will ever get there, nor be able to create a scene like that magical Midsummer’s Eve that Cassandra spends with Simon, but it would be amazing.

I spent this morning lying in bed reading the book; not unlike the first time I read it lying in the hotel room at the Hilton Orly in Paris. Now the book is coupled with a longing for London that every glimpse of the city in media gives me, but also a longing for love. Though Cassandra does not end up in the happily married way of Eliza Bennett, she gets love, and magic, and beauty. This summer, when so much is on the cusp, even the yellow light of my bedroom against the pink of my quilt seemed anticipatory. Funny how that can be in a moment of doing nothing.

Well, time to go get lunch. I think we’re getting sushi, last-meal style before tomorrow’s surgery. This moment is odd…. Today I can move freely and tomorrow I won’t be able to. Still, a month from now a lot will as  be better. Or, hopefully.

I’m fighting pessimism a little, because it is rare that things go just as planned, and my mother’s worries seep into my conscious. The hope of youth, though, is everlasting and…

After the surgery on my right foot at a later date there will be boots and Converse hightops calling my name!!!!!

Charting the Course

August 3, 2009

Today my mother and I set off for Ft. Walton. I had knitting in hand, so I was set, right?

Except I didn’t have my chart. Quite the conundrum. Do you assume that you know it well enough to just keep going? A sleeve with three repeats done says you do. But is it worth the frogging if you mess it up?

In the end, I knit for a little ways, just as far as I was sure and then read. I’m rereading I Capture The Castle, because it’s not summer if I don’t.

In disability news, I’m having surgery Wednesday to do something about the excess skin on my ankles. Just the left this time, but the right at either Christmas or next summer. I am SO excited. This means high-tops and boots which I have not been able to wear since the lymph-node injuring accident of 2000. Then I was eleven and not interested in such paragons of fashion. I am scared, a tad, because I always am about surgery, but hopefully all will be well.

I think I may attempt Blog a Day in September. Not that I have, you know, scholarships to apply for or recruitment to deal with….

Youth Leadership Forun

July 26, 2009

This past weekend I went to the Able Trust Youth Leadership Forum in Tallahassee. It’s an annual event which just celebrated its tenth anniversary. I went in 2005 as a delegate, 2006 as a delegate and then travelled for two years. This year I cam back as a facilitator and part of the adult staff.

It was one of the best experiences I have had in a long time. I was slow to understand that I had a part in the disability community, because I was never raised thinking that disability was one or even two on the list of identifiers I had mentally. My friends with disabilities were the same way, so even in my first two years at YLF I did not really see that not everyone was that way.

In the traveling I have done and the exploring of my own place in the world of disability my eyes have been opened. I felt almost like a delegate again this year, It was truly amazing. I saw the delegates learn about services that they had not known about, but which gave them hope for lives away from their parents and living as independently as possible. As for me, I just try and impart my firm believe that you should dream with your creativity first and be pragmatical with your disability later or when your mother makes you….

The Little Things

July 20, 2009

Sometimes it really is the little things that make you happy. Recently I purchased two things that have made my life happy. The first was a set of necklace clasps that attach to your lobster claw necklaces and make them magnetic. No more fiddly clasps that I can’t do, and it opens up WORLDS! And gives me time to struggle with make up and earrings….

Also, I got a cute little desk mate coffee mug that is shaped like a cup, with a handle, but still 16oz. Easier to hold, and green. (well… okay, it’s plastic bust still)

Little happinesses.

surgery and stuff

July 10, 2009

I’m having surgery next month to remove some excess skin from my left leg. Both legs need it, but with two big commitments within weeks of each other and classes starting I can’t afford the downtime to do both at once. It’s a balancing act.

It’s taking care of body stuff as well as real stuff. It’s knowing how much help to as for to succeed well on your own. It’s ten minutes spent bandaging and ten on hair and make-up.

And it’s trying to figure out how much of you it makes up.

Someone at a meeting for a governmental disability funding issue asked me this week “how” my career choice was based on my disability. And, it isn’t.

Except, if I wasn’t disabled would I be aspiring to be… a travel writer? An actress? Would it be different?

Well, yeah. Because I’d be different. I wouldn’t have been sick as much as a kid, so maybe I wouldn’t have read as much. Maybe I’d be more socially awkward, because I could have disappeared more easily. Maybe I’d be less self-conscious.

But maybe not. This is what i have, this is what I’m working with. So no, my career choice is not based on my disability. But it plays a part, because it’s a part of me.

Not the whole. And I hope it never is the whole because then I have failed
Disability is a balancing act. It’s knowing how much to ask for, help wise, to make you able to succeed on your own. It’s taking care of bod

Just So You Know

July 7, 2009

I’m applying for a Rhodes scholarship. It’s kind of a lark, because I have not dewormed cats in the Congo so would never get it, but I’m still a tad hopeful that I’ll get an interview.

My problem, while obsessively writing and rewriting my personal statement, has been the fact that the Rhodes has a specification that applicants be “able to lead the vigorous life” that will lead to being an asset to the international community.

Did I mention that my line of narrative for my statement has to do with disability disclosure?

Reasonably I know that i have already shown the ability to handle a vigorous lifestyle with the backpacking and the refusual to let my disabiltiy get in the way. Part of me wishes though that I was still acting under the “tell them later” philosophy instead of writing a statement about why I no longer do that.

Then, if my disability is a reason for my not being considered it just shows what I am traveling to demonstrate and writing against anyway.

All Moved In

July 5, 2009

I decided to move everything here so that I only have one blog to update, in the hopes that I’ll do i more. We’ll see.

I’m still working on the cabled tote knitting wise, and have moved onto the Dickinson pulloever from Interweave a while back. I’m liking so far but only into the first sleeve.

Reading Jude the Obscure, which is taking longer than I planned, still better than giving up like I did on David Copperfield. Also watching a lot of Grey’s Anatomy and working on graduate school applications. I end up disclosing disability in nearly all of my statements. If it prejudices people that is their problem and I would not want to geo there anyway. For some schools, their Disability Services inspired me to look closer at the program and I hope  that they see that as unique rather than daunting.

I finished something!

June 28, 2009

I have been working on the freaking cabled tote from Interweave for six months. It doesn’t want to be finished. It is felted. The cables have been needle-felt outlined.

But it still needs to be lined. And I have to order the handles.

So it’s not finished.

But these arePhoto 16

Oxford and London Again

June 22, 2009

I flew into Heathrow, took my bags to Gatwick, stored them and then got the bus to Oxford to pick up my suitcases. Stepping out onto George Street was like going home. i went to my favourite coffee shop, Combibo’s, after getting my laptop from WISC. Then I had dinner with a friend to sleep on her floor. When I told her about all the insanity that had befallen me over a month she concluded that in a previous life my name was “Adolph H.”

The next morning i went to Blackwell’s one last time then got my suitcases and headed back to Gatwick. Due to timing of a concert ticket, I had to store my suitcases and go into the city for the night. Or I just needed an excuse to get back to my city.


I stayed at the Palmer Lodge again, this time up on the third floor, the attics where servants would once sleep. I loved it. I think the difference in me could be seen as I had to climb stairs to get to my room and I did not care. Staying with people on all floors of flats without lifts taught me a lot. I can do more than I thought.

The first night I went to the Apple Store. I lost my iPod on the plane, you see, and I knew I could not make it through the next days without one. You will soon see why.

That night I enjoyed the hostel, enjoyed having my laptop and relaxed. The next day I wandered around Piccadilly Circus and went book shopping. Then? I saw Taylor Swift at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire where i had a month and change before seen Lily Allen.

She was wonderful, although I missed the country songs of her US set. Partially why I got my friend Taylor Swift tickets in Atlanta for her birthday. (Concert addict, me?)


After the concert I did the tube-tube-train dash to pick up my stored laptop and get to Gatwick on the second-to-last Gatwick Express out of Victoria. I had researched on sleepinginairports.com, but I knew better. I don’t sleep well with lights and people around.

So I watched Grey’s Anatomy on my laptop.

The next morning I change into my Taylor Swift concert shirt, pushed my bags on a trolley that veered left and boarded a plane for Atlanta.

There were misadventures involving credit cards, wheelchair pushers who did not help me organize my things after security, the realization that it would have cost LESS to ship my bags, and a delayed flight into Pensacola, but eventually I made it home, in one piece.

And I’m ready to go again.

Istanbul (Was Constantinople)

June 22, 2009

I went to Istanbul on a similar mission as Athens: to see a friend. My friend Holly likes to point out that I go places for one reason. She’s right. Because then if you get that one thing done, you’re happy and everything else is an amazing bonus.

My friend Nesli and I met in Avignon two summers ago. We were on a youth exchange program to go to the Avignon International Theater Festival. It was the trip that sparked my travel bug and I was so happy to get to reconnect with someone that I had met there.

The stop ended up being the one in which I learned the most about a different culture and way of life. I was glad to be with people I knew there, Nesli and her boyfriend Ozon mostly, because they led the way and helped me on the uneven streets and busy roads. In turn, I got to better absorb the atmosphere without worry.

Istanbul is people. It is tonnes of people. It is also, in my opinion, where can see the most interesting fusions of culture. The European designer store right next to the ancient mosque. It’s fascinating.

The Cistern

We also went to the Blue Mosque and Galata Tower


But the best part of Istanbul for me was just sitting drinking coffee with my friends and discussing difference. Perhaps I was just still ill from Athens, but I’m not sure. I think I just liked the casual chats. You get to know a place through its people.

The last night, we went to a gig where Nesli’s brother’s band was playing. They sang English covers alot, but towards the end of the night (morning…the gig didn’t start until midnight), they sang Turkish songs and her friends tried to teach me Turkish dancing. It was an experience I will not soon forget.


The next morning I got on a plane. The stewardesses had English accents. I have never been so glad to hear accents that were definitively London.