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Earlier today I was struggling really hard to put a watch on my wrist and it occurred to me that if I was someone else, someone with two perfectly functional hands, I’d probably be able to get this watch on my wrist in thirty seconds flat and it would never occur to me that there were others out there who find it next to impossible to complete this seemingly simple task.

I have a condition called Klippel-Feil Syndrome. I don’t mention it very often because for some reason, I rarely remember that I have it. I’ve had it all my life and the thought of not having it is unimaginable to me. It’s like, someone born in a country without ready access to modern technology isn’t going to spend all their time thinking about how they don’t have a computer. That’s just their life. Well, it’s the same with me.

But occasionally, something happens — even something as minor as wanting to put a watch on my wrist — and, frustrated, I’m forced to recognise I have a disability. It took me ten minutes to get this damn watch on, and even now it is on, it’s on pretty loosely and keeps sliding around. So annoying. Read More »


In the last few days I’ve been afflicted with a wave of nostalgia for grade six. I’m not sure what did it. Actually, I know what did it, but I don’t get how it works. I was typing something about forced labour, and then I remembered that year we did so much hard labour that on one occasion my hands were left injured and bleeding (but don’t worry, I volunteered!), and then for some reason I thought, “Wow, I miss those days…”

See, I told you it didn’t make sense.

Grade six really was awesome, though. My best friend and I were determined to be different. Whatever everyone else did, we had to do the opposite. We were hyperactive and creative and we did what we wanted. We took an admirable attitude to everything we did: do everything you’re told to do, and do it to the best of your ability. I’m sure a lot of my teachers would appreciate it if I still had this attitude now. Read More »

If you really wanted to indoctrinate me — or at least, to get me to repeat things mindlessly, which is probably a close enough approximation to count — you’d do so by making a song about it. It wouldn’t even have to be a song I liked particularly much, because seriously, if I’m forced to listen to a song often enough I will come to like it even if it originally made me want to throw my radio out the window and smash it into a million pieces.

I’m familiar with this phenomenon of coming to appreciate the finer points of songs I initially loathed because it happens to me way too frequently. The main problem is, I listen to the radio each morning. Well, I guess that depends on your definition of “listen” — most of the time I don’t actually wake up when the radio turns on, but the music infiltrates my dreams and then I have singing-and-dancing extravaganzas in my mind. Anyway, the point is, I subject myself to popular music on a regular basis. The other point is, the radio station I listen to is very repetitive with its selection of popular music, so I’ll usually hear a song every single morning for several weeks until it stops being so popular and is supplanted by something else. Read More »