where the cornflakes are

this blog may appear to be experiencing an on-going existential crisis - it isn't quite sure whether it's about knitting, crip stuff or life in general

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I have a confession to make...

Hi. I’m Stella, and I don’t really give a stuff that Steve Irwin is dead.

It’s a personal tragedy for his family, for sure. It’s very sad that a husband and a father has been lost, but no sadder than if it were anyone else’s husband or father. There’s a massive difference between personal tragedy and national tragedy.

I’m absolutely gob smacked at how people have reacted. I always assumed the guy was looked upon as a bit of a joke. I never dreamed that the Australian public respected him even a little bit. He provoked and tormented animals for fun. And he wasn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.

The fact that Stingrays have only killed three Australians ever, and all marine experts say they only sting when provoked, is surely testament to the fact that he was probably provoking it when it stung him. If he wasn’t, well then it would be the first animal he would have ever NOT publicly tormented and humiliated in order to make television.

Two years ago when he paraded his one-month-old baby in front of a hungry crocodile, we all thought he was the worst in the world. Personally, I was disturbed that he was touching raw meat at the same time as touching a child. Ewww.

My friend Rob tells me that we’re in the mere 2% of the population that don’t think he was a national hero. According to the Herald Sun poll, mind you, which might tell us more about the intelligence of the people who read the Herald Sun than anything else.

I wholeheartedly agree with Germaine Greer, who said, among other things that “the animal world has taken its revenge.” Her controversial article in the Guardian is the most sensible thing I’ve read on the matter.

Personally, I hope that when people from overseas think of Australia, they don’t think of Steve Irwin. If all these people making such a spectacle are right, and he was an Australian icon, I hope he’s a quickly forgotten one.

For Australians to be portrayed as unintelligent, unthinking, nit-wits would be more of a national tragedy than anything else.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Two other things

First thing: I hate Myspace. It's the dumbest thing in the world.

Second thing: I'm not usually the queen of the perfect comeback, but I managed to pull off a pretty good one last weekend.

The scene: A bar at a really well equipped and organised house party.

Him: Man, you'd be really hot if you were normal.

Me: Not half as hot as you'd be if you weren't a total cunt.

I'm not dead

You all may be forgiven for thinking that I may have perhaps died, or at least been mourning the death of all computers that were previously in my life.

The truth is, I've been spending all computer related hours doing this. Why oh why did I think this thing was going to be easy? I'm not even responsible for the whole thing, just the communications and publicity work.

Non-film festival activities over the last three months have included:

Hosting the 3rd Annual Antenna Awards on community television. Heaps of fun! A comedian called Justin wrote our script. He was most amusing, as was my fabulous co-host Bryce. I think the best thing about working in community as opposed to commercial television would have to be the freedom to make jokes about the cultural significance of your co-hosts testicals in a national live broadcast, with absolutely no consequences at all.

My best friend moved to London. I miss her.

In May I went to a big disability arts conference and had many fights about "disability arts" vs "arts and disability". Julie MacNamara and Caglar Kimyoncu were there from the UK. I loved them. My collegues did not. I became increasingly stroppy about people insisting that they are "people first" and objecting to the term "disabled" anything. Fuck that. We all have enough human characteristics to make the statement of the fact that we are people totally ridiculous. It's pretty fucking obvious we're not bloody rose bushes or pairs of shoes. This is why I want to go to the UK.

My sister turned 21 last week. I went home on the weekend for her party. It was awesome. Lots of glow sticks and really awful techno music - very Romy. Not that she's really awful in any way. We just have very different ideas about what constitutes nice music.

I went to a lovely Guild Leage gig with my friend Kent last Thursday night. We nearly didn't go. We had dinner and then were running late. At the last minute we decided we totally HAD to bust our arses to get there. Very glad we did. They were supporting Emma Heeney at her album launch. Emma was better than either of us remembered her previous band to be, and Angie Hart was doing backing vocals. I heart Angie Hart.

I got rather callously dumped for an 18 year old girl with a four year old child. From Adelaide. Need I say more?

I now have a bit of a crush on a visual artist (whom I hope is too busy making beautiful things to read blogs) who wears glasses, experiences anxiety over sightings of bonsai trees, and has a one-year-old pet stapler called Jaws. He's lovely.

I'm thinking of having my star sign removed (or changed) to regain control over my life, loves and tattslotto numbers. I'm currently a Pisces, but i'm open to suggestion.

Um, I think those are all the important things, and some not-so-important things.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Windy city scarf

I bet you thought I'd thrown in the needles, seeing as I haven't mentioned knitting in quite a while. You'd be partially correct. I don't do as much knitting in summer because it's just too bloody hot. However, as the leaves start to go all orange my hands begin to twitch for the needles once more.

This is sister Madi, modelling my first proper project for the year, apart from a couple of iPod covers made for friends by request. It's the Windy City Scarf from Stitch N Bitch; The Knitters Handbook. It has one of those handy keyhole bits so that you can thread one end of the scarf through and it wont blow away. It's supposed to look like this.

I wore it out this morning, just to the shops. It struck me that it's a very crip- friendly garment. I only have to wrap it round my neck once, so it's comfortable on my rather minimalist neck (it's an OI thing). It is also able to be secured with the keyhole, so that if the wind blows, it wont be swept off into the breeze where I'd have trouble chasing it. When I was little, I remember my Mum telling me the cautionary tale of Isadora Duncan, who apparently jammed her scarf in the car door. It got caught in the wheel and strangled her to death, so Mum was always wary of dressing me in anything that might push me toward the same fate as Ms Duncan. She's most pleased that my new scarf clears the wheels of my wheelchair by quite a distance.

This is my next knitting project, for my friend Thea. She picked it out herself and when I asked why she might like such an article, she replied: "So that when people come over to my house and see it they say "what's that?" And then I can say, "It's a Uterus, my friend Stella knitted it for me.""

Blogging Against Disablism Day

Woohoo! How exciting... our very own "Blogging Against Disablism Day" on May 1st. If you'd like to participate, click on the above graphic and it will send you over to Diary of a Goldfish. She tells you how. Even if you don't want to participate, go and check her out anyway - she's pretty rad.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'd rather just break coffee cups and promises

Ok so I know I've never been the best and most regular blogger in the world, so it's not like you guys expect amazing things from me anyway. However this time my leave of absence comes with a semi-valid excuse.

To cut a long story short, I slipped off my shower bench and broke six bones. The box I put my feet on was on a slightly weird angle because I'd dropped a bottle of shampoo between it and the wall. Combined with my slightly alcohol-impaired co-ordination at the time, I put weight on it the wrong way, it flipped over and slipped under the bench and I fell on my arse in a rather undignified fashion. There is no elegant way to do that.

I hit my head really hard, so memories of how I got up are a bit foggy. The gaps probably have something to do with the alcohol too. Whoops! I'd like to think I was rescued by my handsome Spanish neighbour. Unfortunately I think the more likely scenario involves me squirming out from under the bench, up onto my footplates and into my chair, something I wouldn't normally attempt under the best of circumstances. It's amazing what your body can do when it's an absolute emergency.

Turns out, I'd broken two ribs, two vertabrae, a finger and my coccyx bone. Nasty. At least the letter from the Radiologist gave me some amusement. It read - "Examination is difficult due to the gross and complex deformities attributed to Osteogenesis Imperfecta. There is a marked thoracic convexivity to the right and the lumbar convexivity to the left. The bones are deformed, osteporotic and hypoplastic throughout. In the lumbar spine there is mild loss of vertebral body height centrally involving all lumbar vertabral bodies. The pelvic bones are grossly deformed with gross flattening of the pelvic cavity. Conclusion: There are gross deformities of Osteogenesis Imperfecta."

In English I think that means that my bones are a bit fucked, and I'm er, gross, I suppose. Doctors are such charmers aren't they?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Best birthday ever!

They say something about turning a certain age on the corresponding date. Ummm... I can't remember exactly what that is, but nonetheless, my 24th birthday was on the 24th of February, and it sort of ROCKED!

The day started off being pretty ordinary but got much better. I had lunch with my amazing friend Beth, who's been off travelling through Africa and Europe for three months. Seeing her again was great and she had some random birthday gifts for me from her travels, including some kind of address/friendship/birthday book written entirely in Dutch, a language neither of us can read. While we were out for lunch, we ran into another friend whom I learnt sign language with for a while last year. Her name is No Mi Che and she studies Circus at the National Institute of Circus Art, majoring in Cloud Swing and Hoola Hoops - needless to say, she's awesome! We had a lovely lunch in the sun on my favourite end of Chapel St (the Windsor end with less snobs), it was beautiful weather with a top of 36 degrees, and the day was just generally lovely.

The night got even better, beginning with a great dinner of Mexican (lots of Margaritas!) with my friends Jeff and Yumi and ending with... the Candle Records annual concert! All the good bands played. All my friends were there. It was ACE! At some point Kent ran off and told Mark from The Lucksmiths that it was my birthday, so they wished me a very happy birthday right in the middle of the set! Sooo cool!

Great day, great night.... followed by another party on Saturday arvo with people who didn't feel inclined to Candle-it-up with us the night before. Aside from the torrential downpour at exactly 2pm causing me to text everyone and change venue to somewhere that wasn't an outdoor Belgian Beer Garden, and the fact that everyone was late and totally soaked by the time they got there, it was really really great! We kicked on well into the night and lots of Stella Artois was consumed! My Mum and sister arrived at one point, whereapon Mum decided to whip out THIS photo of me, clearly taken before I had any real hair of my own and my parents felt inclined to place a plastic wig on my head.

The weekend made me realise what amazing friends I have. I love you all to bits. Especially Lara, who not only gave me the first season of Degrassi High on DVD, but actually had a tank top made with THE ZIT REMEDY written right across the front. Love it! And love you all!

I've only been 24 for six days, but it's already pretty good. I have good feelings about it being much better than 23. There were lots of lessons in 23, but I'd be quite glad not to go back. Here's to 24 being filled with NEW lessons and stacks of fun! Woohoo!

Friday, February 17, 2006

A unique valentine's day compliment I may never hear again

Actual text message exchange in which I engaged on Valentine's Day:

Me: Just saw Brokeback Mountain. You were right - I cried my head off! If I could be reincarnated I think I'd like to come back as a gay cowboy in the 60s, just so I could support the cause!

Sean: I think you'd make a fantastic gay cowboy, whether in the 60s or today! The hat and the boots would be most becoming! Can you ride a horse?

Me: I think that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day! Alas, I cannot ride a horse.

Sean: Well I guess you wouldn't necessarily NEED the horse... That's what the other gay cowboys are for!

Me: Err... Are we talking about MY ideal afterlife or YOURS?

So while there were no lovely Valentine's Day surprises for little old me this year, I may have inadvertently found a new ambition. I do already have some very cute cowboy boots!

Monday, February 13, 2006

I weep for the future

I've been meaning to do a post for a while about a letter I received in the mail just before Christmas. I just read something over on Gimpy Mumpy that reignited my anger, so I've decided to finally do it. That, and Marmite reminding me that I'm not really the most regular blogger in the world. ;-)

Anyway, this letter was a copy of a referral to a gynecologist. Kind of a long story, but I had this weird migrane and my regular doctor wanted to take me off the pill because she thought it might be related to that. I'd had an infuriating conversation with her at the time, because she assumed that stopping the pill would have absolutely no consequences for me at all. I was frustrated to have to explain (after repeated attempts at hinting) that I use it for birth control, not just for the hell of it. After she picked her jaw up off the floor and poked her eyes back into their sockets, she asked many inappropriate questions about whether or not I only shag other crips, then decided to put me in the "too hard" basket and send me to someone else.

She's such a twit that I really shouldn't have been surprised when I read the letter that began - "Stella has severe Osteogenesis Imperfecta and is wheelchair-bound. Surprisingly, however, she is sexually active and requires contraception."

Um, excuse me? Surprisingly? Wheelchair-bound? I wasn't quite sure whether the subtext was, "despite being completely hideous and socially unacceptable, Stella occasionally gets some action", or perhaps "Oh my God, this thing might actually breed!" Even more horrifying was actually going to see the gynecologist, where I had to justify my disturbingly normal lifestyle once again. I'm 23 years old, women my age occasionally have partners, and sometimes even shag them. To assume that I don't, based on nothing other than the way I look, is totally offensive. Never mind the fact that using contraception is actually a responsible and sensible thing to do, and no-one should ever have to justify that.

My anger about this experience was re-fuelled this morning when I read about a woman with OI who has just had a baby. Obviously, the fact in itself doesn't make me angry, I think it's kind of cool. People have been telling me about it all weekend though, just because I have the same impairment. Although my stroppy crip reaction is to roll my eyes and ask why I should care about that any more than I would if anyone else had a baby, I've resisted. It is an interesting story, and a wonderful thing that a much loved baby has been bought into the world.

Reading Mumpy's account of things this morning though, I've discovered that, as usual, there has been some seriously dodgy reporting of it by the press. This article is pretty indicative of that. "Her tiny, distorted body left little room for a fetus to grow and Vasquez suffered two miscarriages before doctors at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital delivered her son, Timothy, by Cesarean section on Jan. 24."

Sigh. What hope do we have if we keep reading these sorts of things about ourselves and our lives? Even from doctors, supposedly some of the more educated people in society. It's no wonder so many crips grow up with hang-ups and self-esteem issues.

On that note, I'd best be getting my "tiny, distorted, wheelchair-bound body" back to work, ey?