I wanna be a writer

*** Real Time Event/Rant: The concept of telemarketing annoys the hell out of me.  It is the telephonic equivalent of spam emails, pop-up ads online, and the pamphlet-sales-brochure-thingies you get in the mail.  It’s unwanted trash (the legal stuff) and outright burglary (the illegal stuff like if you give me your computer/bank details ‘blah-blah-blah’).   Telemarketers (the legal ‘we want your money’ kind), if it’s the only job you can get, kudos to you, but don’t expect me to like you.  Civility I can do, hell, I can be damned polite.  But I’m not gonna help you take my time and money.  So when I answer the phone  and someone in stilted english starts talking without identifying themselves, and asks to speak to “Bianna (correct surname)” – “Nah, doesn’t live here” is my answer. ***

I am currently unemployed and disabled.  This has been my status for  over a decade, with the additional descriptor ‘student’ in use for the majority of that decade.  Two Bachelor Degrees, and a great love and “talent” for words since I could use them, are my tools, my resume if you will.  And as such everyone in my life as suggested I combine these aspects of my life.  “You should write, you have the time/what else can you do?”, “You should write about living with a disability/friedreich’s ataxia/your autobiography”, “You should write fiction, fantasy or sci-fi (my favourite genres) about a disabled character”, and “You should write about your travelling experiences with your disability.”  Yeah, I can spot the common theme there too *smirk*.  But writing any of that is still writing, so let’s work on building my writing muscle.  I’ll pick options 2 and 4, – .  I feel like I should add Bob or Larry there, but as I don’t watch game shows, I don’t know a host’s name to add.

Now I’ve read a few blog entries from people writing about traveling with a disability, and they’re very informative (particularly this site about going to Disneyland/DisneyWorld as a paraplegic http://www.disneyonwheels.com/ – different disability but lots of info on wheelchair access – had I found it before I went, it would’ve been incredibly useful to me), but some of them just feel like a report.  I want to avoid sounding like exposition with no flair, and I guess that’s why I don’t even begin the writing process, because I don’t know if I can avoid it.  But that’s a pretty dumb problem if I ignore the answer.  If I don’t know, do nothing or try.  Do nothing, or write.


The Belief in Writing

How your own belief system could be holding you back from being a writer.  You have the time, the tools, thetalent, to be a writer, but what’s holding you back?  With me – I’m beginning to think I’m a little disorganised, easily distracted and a little lazy.  But I also think if I stop and meditate on my belief system, that that would just be me procrastinating.


Hits and Misses

Man, I hate summer here. It’s not just hot and sunny, it’s muggy – it’s like walking around in someone’s mouth.  I’m sure that sucks for everyone, but you add the ataxia on top of that and it’s all about stiff joints, sticking to what I’m trying to transfer off of, and my heart having a hard time.  By hard time I mean the slightest movement can set my heart racing like I’ve just sprinted 100 metres.  Just boo.  

I’ve had 4 training sessions at the gym so far, and I’ve enjoyed it so much that I think I’ll definitely be doing another month of that.  It must be hard for the trainer, I mean a neurological-physiotherapist came with me the first time to give him a few guidelines with what I can do, but he does still seem to be a bit cautious.  They’re 45-60 min sessions and by the end of them I haven’t actually worked up a sweat, I’m damn hungry, but not so sweaty.  The trainer was concerned that I’m not hydrated enough to sweat, but I don’t recall getting red in the face with salty beads dropping off my forehead since before I was in the wheelchair.  People don’t realise the amount of effort that goes into walking.  Also, on hot days it was pretty much me walking until I found a seat in the shade, whereas in the chair I pretty much wheel until I find shade and park (B.Y.O seat).  

The training is having an affect so far, especially in my arms.  I can lift myself easier and hold onto grab rails (propping up my body weight) for longer.  Turns out I’m loving the cables (for arm work and leg work), and boxing, well me putting on boxing gloves and punching a shield thing he holds – damned hard to sit up without support from the backrest, and swung my arms, and aim.  Most of the time my punches hit the outer edge of the shield-thing, and the first few times I almost hit him in the groin.  Now he does the intelligent thing of holding the shield at groin height so if I miss I’ll get his bicep or something.

New Year Ultimatums and Letting Go

It’s that time again where I and every other child of Western culture decide to write a list of promises to better themselves in the coming year.  A whole lot of conformity one way or the other.  Bettering yourself depends on what society deems acceptable; then you have the whole conformity through non-conformity argument; and then, better yet there’s the conformity of not keeping your new year’s resolutions anyway … Too post-modern for you?  Try living in my head.


But, yes, in all of that, I did reveal that I do have my own resolutions for 2014.  The extremely popular promise to join a gym and become slim, taut and terrific, is one of my resolutions this year.  Become stronger and lighter this year.  If that results in my looking STaT then f’n-A; not the point, but a bonus nonetheless.  The point is to literally be stronger and lighter.  I’d like to be able to push myself in my wheelchair faster and for longer intervals.  I’d also like to be lighter for when I’ve gotta  be picked up off the ground by myself and other people.  A lighter load on my joints and skeleton would also make myself and my neurologist quite happy.  I’ve translated this as two sessions a week with a personal trainer at a ‘relatively nearby gym’ ***(OT Rant – Geez dad sh*ts me sometimes.  Can’t take a bloody joke.  He walks by to put the tele remote on the table next to me, so I lower the screen of my lap top with an exaggerated ‘don’t read my stuff’ look and a smile and he get all shitty.  Learn to take a joke.) *** This was an easy resolution to keep so far as it was organised last month and pre-paid.  Also involving a trainer is quite motivational. And it’s all cheaper than seeing a physiotherapist twice a week.

So Resolution 1 – Be Stronger and Lighter.    

The other that has been plaguing me for a few years now is a mixture between being bored and being resentful of my friends.  Basically some of my friends aren’t cool with taking me and my manual chair in the car anymore.  That’s their right and everything, and I’d be cool with it except they’re not honest about it.   I  go away for a few months and suddenly there’s too much rubbish in the car (not once, not twice, but for two months), eventually followed by the idea that my chair doesn’t fit in the boot.  The same chair that’d had no problems for 3 years.  They now have a new car with an extremely small boot.  The part two on this is what gets at me.  I have to get a taxi to meet them anywhere because they won’t catch a bus, train, or share a taxi with me.  It gets rather expensive for me – thus the resent.  The boredom is partly the result of refusing to catch a taxi for 1 hour at a time, or to not really wanna spend more than $60 for a taxi ride.  So I get left behind because the beach is a long, costly taxi ride away.  But this year I’ve decided to stop missing out and (at least sometimes) go ahead with the price.  And working in addition to the first resolution, I hope to get out more, and to get out farther by my self.

So, Resolution 2 – Get out there

My second resolution works on two levels.  Geographically, but I’m also working on the social aspect.  Obviously I’ve gotta get over the resenting thing, as that’s not good in any way for anyone. But I also think I’ve gotta open up my social circle.  Step one – join a club.  Which is not as straightforward as it seems, but I’ve found two bookclubs that are nearby AND wheelchair accessible.  Now to read the books.

So two resolutions that I both need and want to keep.  And one more that I promise every year and never do – but this year I’m working hard on the other two, so here’s hoping …

1. Be Stronger and Lighter

2. Get out there

3. Write more 


People don’t seem to value a phonecall.  It doesn’t have to be the best conversation of your life, or even that long.  Really, everyone has the time and energy just to say ‘Hi.’  Being too busy or too tired is a load of crap.  You wait too long and someone gets hurt, whether it be you or someone you care about.  Everyone misses out.  They move on.  They drift apart.  Those memes and words of wisdom that keep touting that you can not be in contact with someone for a long time and then pick up like nothing’s happened, and that proves how close you are – that’s BULLSHIT.  A great big pile of crap designed to make people feel better about being self-centerd and voluntarily cut-off from family and friends in a world where communication is theoretically the easiest it has ever been.

Unreturned voicemails give the impression you don’t care.  One or two go unresponded, maybe three – you forgot because you were at work and it got really hectic.  Any more and intentionally or not you’ve given the ‘hint’ that you just don’t care or your interest for that person has weaned.  Over a year of no calling or physical contact or cards or letters, and regret forms.  You shouldn’t be wishing you had more time – you should be wishing you weren’t such an arsehole.

Burn, Baby, Burn

Busker sings: Sunshine on my shoulders, makes me happy –
Random pedestrian punches him in the face.   – The Simpsons

I totally feel like the pedestrian, not because of a heatwave (not yet, it is summer in Sydney), but because of my sunburn.  It’s like I got tattooed sleeves of red flesh.  Owie.  There is a fair bit of pain involved when pushing myself around in the wheelchair, what with muscles rolling under tight, burnt skin.  Kinda unexpected  The last time I got too much sun around my arms and shoulders, I was still walking, so I guess this is new.  I’ve been using sunburn-cream spray (huh?), and I swear there are probably people out there huffing it – it’s really potent stuff.  Next time I go anywhere coastal I’m slopping on the 50+ and bringing a little umbrella and everyone one else can just deal with getting poked in the eye.