now on Facebook...

Well, I've done it. I've gone and joined Facebook.

I think Rach said it best when she said about Facebook: "I didn't need a new Internet addiction, but lucky for me, I got one."

But how could I not when I got this e-mail the other day:

Hello my lovely,

Can you join facebook please? It's a really good idea and not addictive at all, I promise ;)

Love ya, miss ya,

So, there you go, I blame Mo, asking all nicely and stuff. I mean, really! Any good friend would have done it. And I am a good friend!


is anyone sick of hearing about my knees yet?

I'm proud to say that my knees are arthritis free! Is it sad that I feel like this is a major accomplishment? Because I really do.

You see, I've been told since I was, oh, let's say 16, that I would have arthritis by the time I was 30 (a randomly chosen age, sure, but still, I won't lie that it's been in the back of my mind, especially in the last few years). So to have the doctor look at my x-rays last week and tell me there weren't even any signs of arthritis in either of my knees filled me with so much pride and relief. The doctor even admitted he was totally shocked by the results, as he totally expected to see me on my way towards the big A. Now it's like a challenge: How long can I delay the arthritis? I'm optimistic and motivated; the longer I delay the arthritis, the longer it will be before I have to get my knees replaced. Aren't I too young to be talking about stuff like this?

Seeing my x-rays was pretty crazy. I mean, I knew I had screws in my knees, but, for some reason, I didn't expect them to look like, well, screws that you would use in some kind of home repair project. But there they were on the x-rays, all holding my knees together and stuff...I'm wondering if they just get their supplies from Home Hardware...so weird. It was interesting to learn that they stopped using screws like that in Ontario in the 80s/early 90s. Yeah, I guess we're a little behind in Saskatchewan...

We also went over all my knee-related files that were sent from Saskatoon, and that was SO STRANGE. It felt like he was reading my diary (even though I didn't write any of it) and commenting on my old life. It brought back so many memories and emotions, it was out of control. He commented that I went through a lot for a 15/16 year-old and, you know what, he was right. It all seemed normal at the time. He also commented on how much time I spent in physio, and he was right on that one too. My physiotherapist watched me grow up and I spent so much time in the Kin lab at the university (where he worked) when I was a teen that the guy who oversaw the lab recognized me at Chaz's grad. I can't even guess how many hours I spent with Bruce over the years, but I don't know what I would have done without him. How lucky was I to have such a strong and consistent support system?

So, anyway, I'm going back to see the doctor on Thursday so he can see my brace and possibly prescribe a new one. I was a little confused as to why he was bringing up the brace thing (especially one that might cost almost 2 grand!) so I was challenging it a lot. I kept insisting that my goal wasn't to ever play sports again, just to get back to the gym. He kept insisting that a brace would likely be useful for things like going to the gym, going for a hike, etc., and he was showing me pictures of the arthritis braces (you know, because I will have arthritis some day). Finally I realized that he was trying to tell me that my knee might never actually be stable again...what a painful moment that was...I was crushed. How depressing is it that my knee might keep giving out randomly for the rest of my life? I prefer to just focus on getting my legs crazy strong in hopes that will help keep my knees in place, but still...yikes!

So, where does all of this leave me right now? I've started physio and it's going well. I feel like he's going pretty easy on me, since he only gave me 4 new exercises to do, but I guess since I was already doing pretty much everything he would normally tell someone in my position to do, I made his job pretty easy. What I'm enjoying is the eletro-stimulus-thing he's got going on. I've never had it done before, but it's pretty fun, and I'm hoping after a few treatments it'll make a huge difference in increasing my muscle strength and reducing this pesky swelling.

Ok, that's it. I won't update on my knee for a while...this is more knee-related content than any blog needs.

could we please not give people more reasons to confuse their pets with children?

my new favourite picture of The Peps...

too cute...

A while ago we went to The Landlords (not our landlords, but Mr. C and Other Me's ex-landlords) for a random BBQ. It was ever-so-fun! I was very impressed at their ability to just pull off a BBQ of such massive proportions with zero notice or thought. Thanks The Landlords! There was even a great game of BANG that broke out. And anyone who saw me in Saskatoon over the X-mas holidays knows how addicted to BANG I am.

Despite all that goodness, I would have to say playing dress up was the best part. It was good for a variety of reasons, including that I had nothing to do with helping the kids dress up, and yet still got to enjoy all of their cuteness. And there was a lot of cuteness going on, some of which was captured in picture form. I dare you not to explode with happy when you look at these.

Can I opt out of the poop option?

I think the birds might be out to get Jimmy this year, and I'm not sure why. We totally didn't have this problem last year. And, really, who could hate Jimmy? He's so cute and polite and sweet. Admit it, you all love him. Yeah, I thought so.

So given that I just determined no one could be out to get Jimmy, that's clearly not what's going on here. It must be Karma. You see, I totally make fun of Flow with a Silent G for getting crapped on all the time, so I suppose I deserve this. But still, Karma, don't you think you've gone a little far? I mean, it's gotten to the point where I'm a little embarrassed to drive around now. No one has a poop mobile like this. NO ONE. I've been checking.

Check it out:

There are two alarming things I want to note. First, these photos don't even really capture what's going on here. You must see it in real life to really understand how badly Jimmy is getting bombed. Second, this all happened in less than two days. Chaz washed it late Saturday afternoon (to get the crap from last week off) and by Monday morning this is what Jimmy looked like. I'm a little worried and I'm considering investing in some sort of protective tarp. Or a cat.



We're in the midst of our second smog advisory here and it's not even June yet. Gross.

This whole air quality thing could be a real deal breaker for me. How much longer do I want to live in a place where the air is so awful?


i survived!

Well, you'll all be happy to know that I survived TV. It was actually a very enjoyable experience and I'm glad I went. I won't post it for you because, well, I don't have a copy, nor do I want to see a copy, nor would I even know how to post it if I did have a copy.

I am dwelling on a few of the things I said, but I don't think anyone will call the mayor over anything that came out of my mouth, so all is well. I guess I must have said some good stuff, because during the commercial break right after my interview the host was all compliments and he said after the show that he would like to have Youth Services on more regularly to do good news stories. You really can't ask for a better connection than that, and it totally just fell into my lap! Oh life, how you reward me for overworking myself in such fulfilling and exciting ways.

Now I'm all scheming about the different ways I can make some good stuff happen here and make the most of this connection... I never expected to leave the show being too excited to sleep. And it's all because I forced myself to face my fear of being an idiot on TV.


knee update...

So I went to see a doctor on Thursday and he was great, I really liked him. I was happy to hear him say that he would be totally shocked if I had re-torn my ACL by walking. Good news!

He suggested it could have been super old scar tissue that broke, which is a pretty exciting idea that I had never considered...there's nothing wrong with that, unless, of course, it never works its way out of my joint and I need to go under the knife to get it out of there, but I don't even imagine that would be that bad, so here's hoping that's the case. He was also thinking it could be torn cartilage, especially if I'd had cartilage issues in the past, but after I showed him where it hurt he thought it might be meniscus. So, yeah, in sum, he has no idea, but that didn't surprise me because that's how knee injuries work...until you see what's going on inside it's super hard to know what the problem really is.

Given that he rules and is very thorough, he requested all of my old surgical records for both of my knees so he could know exactly what was done in the past. He also sent me to get both my knees x-rayed because he said I should be checking on the bones regularly to see how they are doing, given all the trauma my knees have experienced to date. I really like that he's going to check out both my knees, it'll be good to see how the left one is doing too. Maybe this knee injury was a good thing after all!

I'm going to see the doctor again this week, and I'm really looking forward to it. He really wants to send me for an MRI as well, but he wants to have all the information before he sends me for that (e.g., I think I have metal pins and screws in my knees, but I'm not 100% sure). He'll also be sending me off for physio, but not until he can check out all my records and x-rays and stuff. As he was leaving the office he was listing off some of the things I should be doing on my own for rehab. I nodded with each thing he listed, letting him know I was already doing it all, so he just laughed and said I clearly had things under control and left...it's nice to hear that from a doctor!

So, yeah, things are looking up for me. I'm walking better and better every day, although I'm still pretty slow and it still hurts. I kind of enjoy driving Chaz crazy by making him walk at my terribly slow pace though, so I might keep that up for a while just for fun.

I'm going to be on TV tomorrow...

...and I'm a little scared (even though it's just Rogers). Please hope that I don't make a fool of myself.

The dude promised it would be painless (can I trust a TV host?) and that I would be talking about the good things young people do, the City's youth services, our recent youth awards, and youth engagement, which are all things I think I can handle, but still. Can I really represent the City on TV? TV, people! TV!

I'm slightly terrified and I really don't want to do this. But, of course, because it's me, the fact that I don't want to do it is why I'm making myself do it. You see, I've noticed that I usually dread things like this because I'm afraid of them, which I realize is a silly reason not to do something, so my new thing is to recognize that, call myself on it, and then force myself to do it so that I'm always pushing myself to grow.

Damn me for valuing reflexivity and self development so much!


Project Marla

Wanna up your profile at the office? Wanna get on everyone’s radar? Wanna make sure everyone knows your name, takes an interest in your life, and has something to talk to you about? Well if you do, I’ve got just the thing for you…consider hurting yourself in a very dramatic way at work around a lot of your coworkers!

It works like a charm, especially if you play your cards right. For example, to up the drama, and therefore increase people’s emotional investment in your injury, make sure do it in such a way that you make as many of your coworkers as possible part of the injury (e.g., have a part of your body make a terribly loud and awful noise that haunts people for days; have some coworkers fill out forms for you, others get you ice, others call your boyfriend, others get you your purse so you can get some Advil, and others to lend you a wheel chair from their program…people like to help out in a time of need, so make sure you let them!). Also try to ensure that your injury is serious enough that you need miss a high profile offsite meeting so that your supervisor needs to receive an urgent Blackberry message informing her that you need to seek medical attention, as this also increases the drama and ensures that even more people are emotionally tied to your injury (no one likes to worry!). Also make sure that your injury is serious enough that people are reminded that you hurt yourself every time they see you for weeks (e.g., use crutches and/or limp for as long as possible). You might also want to consider introducing a villain into the mix so that people can band together with you in hating some kind of evil that no one has any control over (e.g., let everyone know that you need to wait and see whether or not you are approved for worker’s comp before you can see a doctor—that really makes people angry!). Most importantly though, return to work after your injury with a really positive attitude…it makes people think you’re brave, tough, a fighter, etc., and that’s the kind of person people really want to support! Oh, and if you’re a really good planner, make it all happen right before your busiest work week of the year so that everyone can see that you’re so committed to your job that not even pain and swelling will keep you from getting your stuff done.

All joking aside, hurting my knee at work (of all things) appears to have been a really good career move for me. I know it sounds silly, but all these people that I didn’t really have a strong connection to before are now super invested in me and my recovery. People that I didn’t think even knew my name now stop me every time I’m at City Hall and ask for the latest update. Most people can’t resist adding a line to their e-mails to wish me well, ask for an update, and/or let me know that I’m walking faster and better each time they see me. I mean, the GM of my department finally knows who I am now and goes out of her way to say hi to me…even the mayor stopped me at the Youth Awards to ask what happened and to find out how I was doing! It’s magic! And the whole needing crutches thing has really helped the seniors at my centre see me in a different light…I’m not the invincible, intimidating young person anymore…now they can relate to me and talk to me about aches, pains, and injuries. I, and my knee rehabilitation, have become everyone’s pet project—Project Marla, if you will—and I’m kind of enjoying it. I’ll use my pain and suffering to bring people together, if I must.


it's mail time again...

Chaz and I really hit the jackpot a couple of weeks ago--we got three more parts of the calendar and a note explaining why it's been so long since we've received anything.

Man, I love this calendar! Thanks whoever you are!





Easter wasn't that long ago...was it?

Chaz and I decided to have a non-traditional Easter this year—there would be no turkey with all the trimmings anywhere in sight! On the Friday night we had Mr. C, Other Me, and Secret Weapon over for Easter quesadillas. It was the right thing to do. Our quesadilla maker sure makes mean quesadillas!

On the Sunday Chaz and I decided to try making gnocchi for the first time, since we had some old, gross potatoes to use up. It took pretty much the whole afternoon and, as you will see from the photos posted below, the dough (is it dough? Who knows?) was a little out of control in the sticky department, but the texture was pretty close to perfect, so I had no complaints. Sweet lord I love gnocchi! We should really forget about potatoes more often…so delicious!


Chaz, the Master Potato Masher. Don’t mess with him when he’s mashing, trust me!

Who knew that would end up being so delicious?!

It really shouldn’t be that sticky…I don’t think…but I don’t really know because I’ve never made gnocchi before…but I’m pretty sure the cook book would have said something if it was supposed to be that sticky…or maybe not…it’s hard to know, really.

I just walked somewhere!

Sure, it was only, like, 2 blocks (if that) and, yeah, it took me about 20 mins, and ok, a senior who wasn't walking very well herself totally passed me, and I'm not going to lie, my knee is pretty tired and sore, BUT I did it sans crutches, so go me!

I really miss walking and feel pretty lazy driving to work, the gym, etc., so I’m happy to report I’m making progress on that front (even though I’m sure it’ll be a few weeks before I can handle walking to work, the gym, or the grocery store).

I finally kind of got the WSIB stuff figured out. I talked to a dude on Friday and, while they haven’t made a final decision, he told me they likely won’t cover my injury (I didn’t really expect them to), so I’ve gone a head and made an appointment at the original clinic I was referred to. I’m going to see a doctor on Thursday, so it’ll be interesting to see what he/she has to say. Here’s hoping that nasty surgery word will be absent from the conversation! Keep your fingers crosses for me!

Youth Week tried to kill me…

So this past week was insane. For those of you who don’t know, the first full week of May each year is National (or international? it’s hard to know, really) Youth Week. This means a week of sheer and utter madness when you’re a Youth Coordinator. Of course, it’s all fun and exciting and stuff, but it’s still pretty crazy, especially when your knee hates you.

This week I planned and/or helped out with a youth appreciation night/b-ball competition for 12 -17 year olds, a fairly large youth awards ceremony, a 2-ball competition for 18 - 25 year olds (which Chaz almost won…we like to pretend he’s still 25), and a band show featuring young, local musicians, all on top of all my other regular work for the week. I’m happy to report everything went off without a hitch! After the 12 hours straight of standing/running around that was the youth awards I seriously felt like I used to feel after playing a huge soccer tournament (read: every single muscle in my body ached), but the next day my knee was feeling pretty good, at least for a while, so apparently it thrives when pushed to the limit. I’ve made a mental note.

I also attended a Justice Dinner (aka the Justin Dinner) where Justin Trudeau spoke about working with youth. Justin was ok, and I support his message (that we need to respect and listen to youth…there was another point in there that I can’t remember…oops!), but he sure didn’t say anything that inspired me. I was hoping for some kind of nugget that I could use in the future to really get people motivated to do positive work for youth, but it wasn’t there. Thanks for nothing, Justin! Apparently he inspired many, many other people though, because the next day at the Youth Awards the councillors and mayor where all quoting him and stuff. It saddened me a little that people were so blown away by the idea that young people aren’t just the leaders of the future, they are also the leaders of today. I mean, at least they got the message and it might change the way they think, but still. Did they really not know this? Is this really a new concept? Sigh.

Anyway, so, as much as I love Youth Week, I’m glad it’s over for another year. Now I can focus on getting ready for summer youth drop-in, which will start consuming my time come June 11. Bring it, I say!