Lately, I hear the phrase, “Any day above ground is a good day!” a LOT.
There are people who CAN use it, and people who can’t. Care workers who are irritated because you look and feel like crap cannot use it. They make this statement to basically say, “Shut up and appreciate what you have” which right now is being told to me a lot because it turns out that being ill, and thus moving slow and eating slow, does not fit schedules well. So when they come back to check 20 minutes later and find I am still a shade of grey, they tell me that little gem. I want to grab them, by my teeth if needed and hiss: "And any day you have MY disease, and I get your AB body, and I get to decide when and if you eat, or drink, or get up, or piss or shit, now that is an even BETTER day.” If only they wouldn't get offended when I said or hissed that.
But they WOULD be offended. Why? Because the last thing a person who is getting paid or has dedicated themselves to helping you wants to be reminded is that they themselves, despite the Xmas rush, despite the problems with the toaster, and despite the relatives coming next week are actually DAMN lucky to have a body which can not only take care of itself but others too. But they are. They really are.
But there are people who can use that phrase? They are the people who know that it is a joke, like when two chemo patients are both holding their hair away while vomiting, and one says, “Oh yeah, any day above ground is a GOOD day.” and the other laughs and then they vomit again. Because it is a joke, as there are minutes, hours and days when suffering life is because death choked on us, and spewed us out. It is the kind of sick, horrific joke that a torturer would have on his or her coffee mug and take sips from it between dripping acid on you or hitting you with volts of electricity.
I am not dead yet, but I've sure had some days where it would have been a hell of a lot better for ME to be below ground. But that just isn't how things get played, and I play the long game: the sweet and the slams.
Yet, by the two facts, a) every careworker I have wants to tell me this and b) no care worker wants to touch me, not in days, or weeks – I can tell that I really do look bad.
Oh well, back to my hour outside, at the craft faire on Sunday (supposed to be Saturday but too FUBAR on Saturday). First off, with the Emperor’s March from Star Wars (that music when Darth Vadar came onscreen), here is Eileen Stevens from Golden Maples Farm. I have met her at various fairs and don’t have any pictures of her or her products. Why? I do not show her because she has thrice threatened to sue me, the last time for almost begging her to take a picture of her diabetic jam. Yes, she HAS diabetic jam, but does not advertise it on her webpage, and doesn’t want anyone to know because that could BREAK copyright, so she claims. She sells 110 mg jars while Whimsical Preserves which many people around the Nation, including our household attest to as fine Jam sells 500 mg for the same $5 (Whimsical preserves gives you .25 back for the jar too! – email me and I will email you their contact info, they make to order for diabetic jams, preserves, etc – she has not figured out a way to make diabetic marmalade).
The reason I bother including Golden Maple Farms and Eileen Stevens is that if you look behind Linda in the picture below there is a word display in a stand. That display talks about how the money she makes goes to help ‘disabled children’ ride horses and how she is a member of the BC therapeutic riding Assoc. That last statement is true, however she is not an official fundraiser or fund representative for the BCTRA (or on the board) but uses children with disabilities the same way a pimp also uses human beings – to make money. And in a single conversation with her she threatened to sue me three times, and claimed she had a ‘team’ of lawyers, and that she had sued five people just this year, and that she is registered her trademark, the Pegasus, with the Library of congress for INTERNATIONAL trademark copyright! I said, “I guess you are a big fan of ‘fair usage’ then?” and she kind of went postal. Then she started talking in a tone which made it clear those 'poor cripple', you know, those little people who come and ride her horses like those with “Down’s, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD” and referred to double amputees as ‘so cute bouncing along....’ It became quite clear in talking that she has not a great deal of understanding of the difference between Down’s and Cerebral Palsy and sees both as being automatically extreme developmental impairments (neither is true – as the broadcaster with CP on BBC’s Ouch would tell you, or the professional comedian they interview, or the people with Down’s who work a block away at the Red Cross will explain to you). It didn't seem, after all the years she claimed to do theraputic riding that she knew much about disabilities at all. Indeed, it didn’t seem that those with Down’s were even allowed to ride the therapeutic riding but were ‘allowed’ to brush the horses instead. Nor, since she could not be bothered to slow down to listen to MY slight lisp and often cut me off or didn’t understand me, is it likely she gives dignity to those with CP, Down’s, Spina Bifida and other conditions, which require different movements, and speech. Another of Harriet McBryde (sic) hated 'crip camps' where you are only praised for looking and acting as 'normal' as possible and AB people make all the goals.
BUT, who wants to go to a craft faire, at a time when you WANT to buy a gift, and get the equivalent of a female Jerry Lewis threatening you that if you don’t buy her product that disabled children suffer but if you take a picture she sues you? Not I. So how about this fellow’s work, Claude Duperron, which is amazing pottery! What is Amazing is that it isn’t pottery, it is blown glass. The one on the right is called ‘Changes’, and his glass, called Rhythms Artglass (est. 1981) goes for big money, because it takes a lot of years of training and talent to make it. “Do you mind if I take a picture?” I asked him.
“No,” he said, then added, “But don’t run off home and make the same one!” and we both laughed because the skill to make anything like that has to be earned, over years and years. I still look of it and my mind goes, “Pottery” but it is blown glass. Click HERE for the webpage, I recommend Roots, Salmon River and Marine Gardens (or hit slideshow for them all). Since the smaller vase was $595, and I liked the larger one, I explained to him about the ‘ones’ column, the ‘tens’ column and the ‘hundreds’ column and how I LIKED it, but I was a column short, and it wasn’t the ones column.
Now Eileen honestly did think that she owned the image of the Pegasus even though, as Kenyon and Kenyon of Intellectual Property Law explain in a sort of how to on Fair Use and Trademark: First as a Canadian she has to register her trademark in Quebec, which only grants her 15 years, IF defended. Trademark, unlike copyright, is less enforced and can be take over by another. My picture of Linda with the Golden Maples Farm jam for example IS under copyright (explained here) but to ME. To make it simple, every time you sell on ebay, you take a picture of what you sell because while you are selling a trademarked product, you are not representing yourself AS the owner of the trademark, nor are you stealing the copyright of images they have produced as by taking a picture you have created your OWN copyright image. On this blog, as many people know, my pictures and text, while retaining copyright and pretty much free for single usage (a byline is preferred if possible), but I don’t get hinky! I do however try to buy or take ALL images that show up on the blog (which is why I spend my money for example buying from Japan, digital representation rights of a favorite artist). So, fear not, people will threaten you with lawsuit, such as the Times Colonist organizer did, but much like how Angelina Jolie walking her dog can be shot and reprinted without needing permission; so can my picture of the organizer of Victoria’s largest 10K which has a wheelchair division but no bathrooms at the staging area for people with disabilities.
Ack, enough law, back to fun things like all this TEA. The good and the bad part of all this nice tea was that though I knew that people in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, India and other places would probably LIKE some specialized tea, I did not know what kind to get them. So if you want to send me an email on the sly saying what kind you like, that would be…um…useful, and you might end up with a random gift, oh, say, a tea box sized wrapped gift.
Last faire I bought some gourmet dog and cat treats, and I hoped to find some this faire. I had posted out all of the treats I had bought but I wanted more (it turns out a lot of readers have cats, and dogs!). There was none to be found, but I did find some unique Salsa by Elizabeth Evans (email me for her email or phone number) who is in Chemainus, BC and makes not just Tomato but these other salsas. I tried the cranberry and it did have a good strong cranberry taste, but unless you get the medium or hot, I think it tends to drown out the salsa taste (would be great with turkey burritos though, maybe?). I got the Tomatillo, which are the small green tomatoes that are from mexico. My tongue won’t allow many foods as being too hot (for example Bar-B-Que chips are too ‘hot’ for me to eat now), but this was okay, in the mild, to be mixed in small quantities. And because it WAS hot, I could taste it, and it had a unique taste, both things I don’t get a lot of these days.
Kerry of the Kastawayz Art created these different copper and metal fish, and we used them to talk about the different types of fish and chips (the fish with two eyes up there is Halibut, which has the most mild flavour and is the ‘original’ but now very expensive fish and chips). We both liked Halibut and traded places we get the best. I found out that my favorite place gives out a free set piece of like 2 halibut and fries to any homeless or near homeless person who asks, but only once – so even the homeless or those who are just scraping by can have take out, at least once.
We had gone around to see the different dealers (like Bill Pollard’s hand tied flies for fly fishermen and women) and then bought the stuff at the end. I ended up getting a bit from The Fishery (you can see me here, doing a display model of their product). I really liked the Fishery because they were very friendly, and they were the real deal. We talked about some of the people I knew and who they knew who were on different boats. They have taken the gamble of the fishing life to the next step, as due to conservation, BC salmon fishing in particular has very, very short seasons, literally days, when you fish day and night and hope to catch something. They then, I think in a co-op established 1992, separate the types of salmon (red spring, white spring, sockeye, pink, chum), tuna, oyster, scallops, and had them smoked and unsmoked, in a read to roll tin and a price per can and per case.
Dana at The Fishery helped me a lot as I know that things like certain Tuna are prized by the Japanese at top to eat in sushi, along with different types of Salmon. I wanted to know what to get as presents and she helped me, and let me know what the Japanese really liked. Plus, since presentation is very important in a Japanese gift, she did a wrapping of net (as if these cans were ‘just caught’), as well as with a special bag, even it if was just one can. They are based on SaltSpring Island (another island I taught on – I used to have a thing for teaching on islands), and I recommend them for gifts or good fresh smoked and high quality salmon, Tuna and other sea food (webpage HERE).
So, after my big hour or two out it was back to fever-land. I am free of fever but weak as a kitten, or weaker, I think one of those kittens who get the feet tangled up and falls just knocked me over. I still have a lot of presents to send but I will send those out in the coming weeks when the post stops losing packages. Because a lot of what I am posting I can’t get again, it is unique, or afford to get again, so I want to make sure it gets to you. I will still be sending out postcards and cards and hoping for the best!
I am to sleep, after boxing. It took me three days to write this. Shit. Right now I would love some improvement instead of this five weeks of going down and down and down. I got to teach a student tonight a bit of boxing. Most of what I taught was just to extend the arm, or she will learn to always pull the punch and to actually PUNCH. I started by hitting my head. Then I showed her that no matter how hard she hit, she couldn't move my arms, which I use all the time to support my body. And though she told me she couldn't fight (Who is asking you to fight, I just want you to straighten your arm), and didn't really do this she started to relax. And then started to hit, one, two, three and POW. By the end, we were both smiling and she was hitting ten times harder than before (sorry, she'll be sore tonight). But she is going to take it again. When I teach I have a rule of three - which is 1 thing a week to concentrate one, three at most to mention. So when she straightened her arm, that was good, and I told her. A few other things to mention, but that was it, next week, it can be something else. Better to enjoy the sport and get things right as we go along than not at all. Ian said to Linda, as he left me with her for several rounds that there was nothing I was saying or showing that was wrong (Whew). I like people to enjoy a sport. That is the point of sports, right?
As for me, I am weeping dead white blood cells, a white puss that blocks my vision. I boxed by sound alone tonight, with the speedbag, I wasn't fast enough to hit what I saw so I tried to live in the sound, turn it into numbers and then one and left hand hit - bam of the bag on the back of the wall, right hand hit, bam, left hand, bam, right hand. Linda who knows too well how I think, guessed. Ian didn't.
Once the high wore off, it took me two hours to be able to type AFTER I had a nap. I had a seizure cycle. But I did sweat. And I did teach. The world changed a little. That made me happy.
Because I want a lot more of that. I want to live. Except that it looks like a won't. And it feels and looks like it might be days or weeks right now. And I have no control over that.
There is no 'I will overcome' bullshit. I need the headrest, I need all the assistive devices and more. And I still want to live. Not because 'EVERY day above ground is a good day' but because I want those days so that the world can change a little, and so can I.
I want to live.
5 hours ago