Sunday, December 26, 2010

Strength, balance and flexibility

Every morning, CL does 90 minutes of strength, balance and complex range of motion exercises, plus killer crunches for her abs. (Btw, ever try to do 100 crunches with no upper body strength and a titanium cage in your neck?  Intense...anyhow, I digress...)  Here are the first 30 minutes of stretching and Yoga, before she moves to the mat to begin her strength exercises:

Here's the continuation of the battle, while CL trains and tries to ignore the screams, squeaks and grunts from us (not her):

CL is continually amazed at my gentle behavior, while I play with Pip.  All that spastic energy would drive CL bonkers!  I guess we now know the secret to Pip's calm demeanor, huh?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Snuggle time with Pip

(for a Chihuahua, he's pretty darn mellow...)

"You don't think about it, you just give"

A Festivus miracle...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pip sleeping while standing

(It kinda freaks me out that Pip is the same size as CL's boob)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pip the Squeak

(aka the Tasmanian Devil)
Crazy Lady and I are working with Judy (from Walkin' the Bark Rescue) to foster Pip, a devilish long-haired Chihuahua.  As soon as he understood that I was SheRa, Princess of Power, and CL was She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed?  No issues.  He's teeny tiny (less than 5 lbs), so taking care of him is not a huge challenge for CL.  He has learned his name and is super-duper smart.  It took 40 minutes to teach him "sit," "down" and "come."  He had a bit of "I am the MAN" attitude, but that lasted for less than a day.  He has settled into our home and routine, and life is good.  Of course, he loves to snuggle with CL, while she writes in the morning.

You can read more about Pip here.  Oh!  And Judy very kindly took a short video of our first meeting last night.  Here it is...(thanks, Judy!)


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Words to live by

"The tortured artist myth is rampant. People paint me as some kind of black witchcraft-practising devilhell, that I have to be twisted and dark to do what I am doing. It's a load of rubbish." 
                                                                                             -- PJ Harvey
 Uh, yeah.  CL and more deadlines.  We've moved beyond Pink Floyd for mood music. She has completely shot any remaining hand function and is 100% dependent on voice recognition software, these days.  Now, if only her voice would stop croaking after 2 hours of continual use. (Although her agent calls it "smexy times" when he listens to the chapters. Yes, a bit creepy, huh?)  Anyhow, her September podcast was so successful that she has been asked to do another one on "Hope, Light and Overcoming Darkness" for the Holiday Season.  Why PJ Harvey to "carry the mood" for the current project?  Only CL's twisted mind holds the answer...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Frackin awesome

(See complete first episode here.  CL is not a fan of the comic series-- in her opinion, not enough character development--- but the AMC series shows promise of heartbreak, humour and gore.)

Sunday, October 31, 2010


(yes, a creepy book cover for an upcoming release-- and it does not resemble my beautiful face, no matter what CL says...)

Friday, October 29, 2010


Ugh. CL's on deadline.  Between Floyd, Green Jello, and mad cackles about pigs and wolves, she is driving me INSANE.  At least it's her first real contract since surgery, so I can't really complain.  Chick-a-dee needs to find a way to pay those never-ending medical bills.
Seriously, though--  PIGS with WOLVES?  The girl has lost it...

p.s.  cool pic of her sister Lisa on Mt. Rainier, huh?  Her partner Kevin died over a year ago, and they made the climb to commemorate his amazing spirit.  CL loves this picture because it reminds her of the gift Kevin gave Lisa-- her smile.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers

As you know,  humankind has left the taste of rancid squirrels in CL's mouth-- and believe me, I know the taste of squirrels-gone-bad.  You bury them for too long?  Well, let's just say your body can't digest the corpse without screaming, "get me outta here!" at 2 AM.
But, I, humankind's response to CL's disability?  Not warm-and-fuzzy.   You can imagine her response when she found a growth on my face.  Yep, it went something like this...


(blurry picture of growth above)

After the 20 second meltdown?  CL picked up the phone and called the vet.  She knew she could call any of her friends, and they would jump in and immediately help.  CL wanted to try the "independent route," first.  She knows that her friends are amazing-- but, finding a solution without always depending on friends gives them a break and reinforces CL's independence.  So, here's what happened when she called:

CL:  You know I'm disabled, in a wheelchair, living alone and with no reliable transportation.  Sugar is due for her annual check-up and shots, and I just noticed that she has a mole on her face that is rapidly growing and causing her discomfort.  Can you recommend a way to get her to your office?  Maybe you could do a home visit?
VET:  Let me check.
VET:  We don't do home visits,  we know someone who does-- but I know Sugar is a shy dog, and would prefer to be seen in our office by familiar people, so hold on and let me ask around...
(long pause)
VET:  Our office manager lives near you.  He can take Sugar for the appointment, and bring her back.  What day and time works best for you?

Seriously.  The vet office did not say "tough luck, find another vet."  They found a solution, and a complete stranger offered to help.  CL had stranger-danger worries, but I could have told her, "not a problem, chick-a-dee, the shyness is under control and the vet is a reliable, trusted entity."
Guess what?  I was right. As soon as the office manager arrived, CL introduced me, pointed to his car, and said the magic word: "Okay."  I jumped and settled in for the ride.  The vet kept CL informed during the day, and the ride home was uneventful.  The best news?  The growth was not malignant and I am in perfect health.
See?  No worries. They even refused to let CL pay for gas. I could have told her that humans were not all bad-- there are kind and trusting souls in this world, if you let down your guard and give them a chance.  
 After all, CL is the human who taught me this lesson in life.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


(Looking for warm-and-fuzzy?  Go here.  This long, angst-driven post is not for you...)

CL has been thinking a lot about life changes, poor medical care, people-in-need of social services, (mis)perceptions, beauty, sex and, well, LIFE in general. Many good things have happened, including new adventures and new strengths.   After speaking with her fabulous shrink about the Safeway and Whole Foods incidents, however,  CL has been "stewing" and "confused." 

Here was the conversation with her shrink:

Shrink:  So, how do people see you?
CL:  See me?
Shrink:  Yeah.  If you could describe yourself, and other's perceptions, what would you say?
CL:  I don't know.  I mean, I know the correct answer from my head, I can analyze their perceptions and my reactions all I want-- but I honestly can not define how I feel.  My heart is confused.
Shrink:  What do you mean?
CL:  Well, sometimes I feel invisible.  No one sees me.  They cut in line and ignore me, when I say "hey, I was here, first."  They try to run me over with their cars...they steal lights from the front of my house, so I can't use my wheelchair at night...they push me underwater, away from the rope, when I try to know...invisible...
Shrink:  They?
CL:  People.
Shrink:  What kind of people?
CL:  Arrogant,  self-entitled, I-would-call-them-pricks but I actually like the word "prick," know...PEOPLE.
Shrink:  Not all people.
CL:  Yeah, not all people.  Just 90% of the world who live in their bubbles, ignore people in need, treat me like I DID SOMETHING WRONG.
Shrink: Anger.
CL:  You think?
Shrink:  And sarcasm.
CL: Really?
Shrink: So,  the "F" word?
CL:  Frustration?
Shrink:  Yeah.  Frustration.  So, tell me, how would you describe yourself, in these situations?
CL:  Besides angry and sarcastic? Fuckin frustrated?
Shrink: Uh-huh.
CL: Confused.  I mean, what do you say to people, when they make assumptions about your life?  When they chose to see you, and not ignore your existence?  When they scream out of their car windows, "hey fat girl, get off your ass and WALK outta that chair!"
Shrink:  What?
CL:  Oh yeah.  When people see me?  They are pissed off.  They think I put myself in this chair, I caused the tumors, I'm spending their tax dollars on services not really needed by a cripple.  I mean, one of my neighbors actually called the paratransit authorities to COMPLAIN about the bus, and how it was a waste of tax dollars to pick me up and take me to my appointments.  These are people with kids.   They should set a compassionate example for their children. Can you believe these people in suburbia, living their self-entitled, egocentric lives?  I mean, WHO DOES THAT?
Shrink:  Huh. Maybe you should move to Berkeley? 
CL:  Right.  A whole other kind of self-entitlement ass comes with Berkeley.
Shrink:  True, do you feel like you have a target on your back?
CL:  A what?
Shrink: A target.
(long pause)
CL:  I don't like that word.  TARGET.  I don't like feeling as though someone has chosen me as a target for their rage. That's frightening.
Shrink:  Maybe, for the first time in your life, you are a visible minority. 
CL:  I'm a Jew in Walnut Creek, with a rare genetic disease.  Being a minority is nothing new.
Shrink:  The wheelchair is new.
CL: True.
Shrink:  People are making assumptions and treating you differently, because of how you move your hands and arms, use the chair, ask for help, try to swim, take the bus.  You're a visible minority, now.
CL: True.
Shrink: you feel like you are a target?
CL:  I don't know.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Amen (says the spiritual atheist)

Read this.

Dedicated to the woman at the Walnut Creek Whole Foods who approached CL and said, "Wow, you are SO LUCKY to be shopping in a wheelchair.  You don't have to carry anything, and walking won't make you tired.  Do you even realize how lucky you are?"

CL:  "Uh huh. Unfortunately, my chair is not a luxury item, like your BMW."

Or, the Safeway check-out clerk who asked CL's personal care attendant (Miss J), "are you this special lady's caregiver?  You are so brave to help her out.  I wish we had more people like you, to help those who are, um,  you know-- special."  Then, the check-out person turned to CL and said- very slowly and loudly-- "what a good girl you are, to do your very own shopping!"

Miss J:  What was that about?
CL: She thought I was slow.
Miss J:  Slow?
CL:  Mentally challenged, mentally handicapped.
Miss J:  What is that?
CL:  Retarded.
Miss J:  WHAT?  Why did you not defend yourself?
CL:  Um, first time anyone in my life has ever assumed I was mentally handicapped, in some way.  I was speechless.
Miss J:  You need to go back, defend yourself, let her know that you are not retarded."
CL:  And say what?  She thought she was being nice, kind, open-minded. Asserting myself after-the-fact would embarrass her, and make me look even more mentally challenged.  Next time, though?  I'll find a delicate way to say, "hey, this chair does not make me mentally--"
Miss J:  --retarded?
CL:  Um, yeah. Retarded.

Thanks, S.K., for your insights this week.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Now THIS is a wedding!

Congratulations Vanessa and Lin!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cabbies, Service Dogs and Unneccesary Angst

For us?  Happens all the time in Boston and New York.  At Logan Airport, the security folks even had us wait OUTSIDE the line for a "special cab," and it took over 2 hours to find a cab to take us home to Cambridge.  They could care less if I was a service dog.  They did, however, charge us $20 more, because I sat with CL during the 10 minute drive home.

CL is not looking forward to returning to Boston in a wheelchair.  If they refuse service to a working dog, wonder how the cabbies at Logan Airport will treat a working dog and a woman living life on wheels?

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Day with the Studmuffin

While Popeye and Phoebe hung out at the park yesterday, I spent quality time with this manly-man:
How cool is Boomer?
We spent very little time resting-- and a lot of time playing!
Of course, I demanded CL snuggle time, once Boomer-the-Studly-Stud vacated my property:

Friday, August 13, 2010

No contest. Batman wins.

Unless you are living in a demon-dwelling cave surrounded by Satan's gargoyles, you know about the Wonder Woman costume changes, right?  Here she is, in her full frontal glory:
Now, you would expect a former writer for the comic to be appalled at Wonder Woman's new look.  They basically gave her a boob job with thighs that don't touch.  Actually, CL is okay with it-- well, to be honest, she doesn't really care, as long as the check is in the mail...  Then, she saw this specimen of male glory:
And, thanks to the stunning and talented Meljean Brook,  CL saw this expose of Superman's goodies:
Ha! Go here for some of Meljean's enlightened perspective on Superman's junk (or lack thereof).  Seriously?  No contest.  Batman always wins.

Zen Bat Ears for today:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


(right before CL prevented me from removing an Evil One and snacks' existence last night)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"The Satan loving, electricity burning tree killer"

As some of you know, CL sold her writer's soul at the delicate age of 15, so she can publish porn and graphic novels.  At the virginal age of 22 (stop laughing!), she merged the genres to create killer cannibalistic bunnies and porn-lovin gargoyles for a small-- but mighty-- comic book publisher.  She was doing some random "folklore research" about her porn-lovin gargoyles this morning, when CL found this tidbit on the internet. (

Me?  I just wish she would finish her "research" so we can practice our wheelchair walking.  I'm on (yet another) diet, and I need my exercise.  She has kept me in this sit/stay for over 20 minutes!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Do you forgive me?
Pretty please, with ears on top?
You messed with the wrong Formosan Mountain Dog when you left me for 3 days! 
Wait~ what's that? 
What are you doing? 
Don't you dare put my bodacious booty on the internet, don't you dare~
Damn wench.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Home Sweet Home?

Remember this?
Well, I sang a different tune, this time around...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why unlimited wi-fi during hopitalization... a very bad idea for a horror author with anger issues:
(thanks Onion)
Home sweet home.  Soon.  No hospital drama, no problems-- and the official "green light" for CL to resume outpatient PT.  I don't think a single human being has been more excited to walk on a treadmill...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Remember this?
Crazy lady has progressed to this:
Something tells me that my raw diet is a huge improvement over CL's menu, these days...;-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

What in the world...?

Crazy lady is back in the hospital.  They are taking pictures of her brain, and torturing her with awesome seizure tests.  Check out her head:
Plus, she has a view!
(and yes, that's a video EEG in the corner, monitoring her every move)  The folks at the Kaiser Redwood City hospital have been wonderful.  After her disastrous rehab experience, CL was worried about another hospital visit. I could have told her-- no worries, this time-- the level of care in the neurology unit is outstanding. 

Oh, and me?  I'm at the Grandparents, until Judy picks me up and I have the opportunity to torment Popeye:
(and no, I am NOT spoiled!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

(learn more about Buddy here.  He's just visiting us, today...)