Monday, October 30, 2006


Just finished up the traditional Halloween cupcakes, and I must say - they look MAHvelous. I don't have pics of this year's, but they're the same as last year's. I'll post that pic so you can marvel at my handiwork. These might even put Miss Kari-Ann 'Queen of 4H and All Things Domestic' Pawich to shame ;)

The whole time I was working on them, I was anticipating the taste-test, but by the time I finished, I wasn't hungry for them anymore. Does that happen to other people? I'm never hungry for whatever I'm baking by the time it's done. Cooking, yes. Baking, not so much. (And it's not because my baking is bad.)

The scariest thing about this year's Halloween? The INCHES of SNOW on the ground! And stupid Lindsay wore open-toed shoes to work today. Clever. At least they looked hot.


PS - It's a witch! (Not dressing up this year, so I had to do something to celebrate. Even if it's just dearchiving last year's pic. How sad.)

Yikes. Ugh. That ended up being a pretty massive self-portrait.


I've had a bunch of people ask lately, so I thought I'd post something and clear up a few questions! YES, I'm still planning an online auction for my Joints in Motion fundraising project. Watch for that site to go live in the next week to 10 days :)

It's not too late to donate something for the auction, either - fire me an email if you've got an idea! We have some really great items so far...


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Do you ever wake up in the morning with some unidentifiable residual emotion? You wake up happy and excited about something without remembering why. Or you wake up totally pissed off and you don't know what it's about.

I woke up irritated and insulted today, and it took me a few moments to remember that I was mad about my doctor's insinuation that I might not have arthritis - or I might not have ever had it in the first place. So offensive. I definitely need to find a new doctor, and I'm making it my project for this week.

So I was already frustrated. And then I clicked on the Washington Post site when I got to work. And here's a summary of what I read...


Possibly worse than making fun of someone's disability is saying that it's imaginary. That is not to mock someone's body, but to challenge a person's guts, integrity, sanity.

To Rush Limbaugh on Monday, Michael J. Fox looked like a faker. The actor, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, has done a series of political ads supporting candidates who favor stem cell research.

"He is exaggerating the effects of the disease," Limbaugh told listeners. "He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act. . . This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox."


Limbaugh averages a weekly audience of 10 million. You can read the entire story here:

Just another example of someone ignorant, who doesn't understand disease and rushes to judgment. I'm so tired of these people. It brings back long-buried memories of people questioning my disease - because one day I look fine and the next day I'm shuffling-slash-waddling around like a very old duck. Sometimes they actually say it, and sometimes you can just see it in their eyes. The silent ones are frustrating because you can't really call them on it. The vocal ones are dangerous.

The vocal ones with audiences of 10 million are lethal.


PS - Hey, remember Family Ties? And Back to the Future? Sweeeeeeet.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An Apple a Day

or 'Why Doctors Who Went To Med School In Cancun Shouldn't Be Allowed To Practice Medicine Anywhere'

Okay, so he probably went to U of M or something equally boring and reputable school. But I'm not really liking him right now.

So I made my doctor a little cranky today. I was there to talk about some abnormal blood test results and a relapse of my arthritis. His 'solution' was to do another blood test.

I made the fatal mistake of asking what a patient is never supposed to ask: WHY. And then proceeded to call it 'blood donation, minus purpose' and explained that I already knew what was going to happen: that my results would be exactly the same as the last time (and the time before that, and the time before that) and that I would then need to come back to his office and have him tell me (again) that my iron was extremely low and that I'm showing some small signs of having rheumatoid arthritis, but that we weren't going to do anything about either one just yet. (Wow, impressive run-on sentence!)

He said I was probably right. And I said I didn't want to donate any more blood to him. In the end, I agreed to another blood test when he agreed to write a referral for me to see my old rheumatologist again. Ah, good ol' negotiation skills.

Anyone know of a good GP in the city - who's taking new patients?


Monday, October 23, 2006

Moving (Slowly) Beyond

I spent Friday night and all day Saturday at The Arthritis Society's annual Moving Beyond conference here in Winnipeg. It's the third year I've been involved in planning the event, and I always leave exhausted - but feeling that my time and energy were very well-spent.

On Friday night, we heard a presentation by 'Dr. El' - who heads up rheumatology research in the province. It's pretty incredible what they can do, giving arthritis to mice and then isolating their genes to test the effects of the disease. Hearing him speak is so encouraging, just knowing that there's a really smart and dedicated team of people who spend all day, every day just trying to figure out how to make me better. And it's especially cool to hear about the research they're doing, because all the money we raise through Joints in Motion is directly funding their work.

Nine different speakers presented on Saturday, and most of them were excellent. It's kind of crazy to me that I can know so much about my disease and still walk away from every event like this having learned something.

A few highlights:
- A rheumatologist who spoke was the first person ever who could articulate WHY it was important for people with fibromyalgia to exercise. I know that I'm supposed to, but understanding exactly why kind of revolutionized my thinking.
- Having dinner with one of the exhibitors, who was there (officially) to work and promote their products but was really there (unofficially) because she's had arthritis since she was 12 and wanted to learn more.
- Spending the day with a friend who was getting first-hand information on living well with arthritis for the first time in her life.
- Getting to talk with Cathy, a pharmacist who was speaking at the event. Cathy has also run both of the Joints in Motion marathons that I've participated in (plus two others), raising tens of thousands of dollars. She's running the NYC Marathon for Joints in Motion at the beginning of November. Go Cathy Go!
- A psychologist managed to explain the emotional and interpersonal aspects of chronic disease so articulately that I felt like she'd climbed inside my brain. It made me feel so NORMAL (no jokes, Kari-Ann).
- Being able to experience a friend's mom 'coming out of the closet' by attending her first-ever Arthritis Society event. I don't underestimate how hard it is to show up and - in doing so - say to the world 'I'm one of these sick people, and I need help.' Her bravery was so beautiful.
- Imagining a fire breaking out, and then watching people limp and shuffle frantically towards the exits :)


Life, the Universe, and Everything

And thus ends ConversionFest. (I really need to stop calling it that, I've made more than one person mad.)

So Franklin Graham has come and gone. No big flashes of lightning and hands reaching down from the heavens, but no locusts either - and maybe that's the best we could ask for.

I have honestly tried to keep my mouth shut about this whole Franklin Graham festival in Winnipeg. I realize that just because it isn't the sort of thing that works for me doesn't make it wrong for everyone. In fact, I'm sure it was a huge encouragement to many and even a positive, life-changing experience for some.

Ironically, that's probably the same kind of *tolerance* that Franklin was hoping to preach out of me.

Probably no big surprise to anyone, but I didn't go. I was curious, but at the end of the day, I just couldn't. I was discussing this with a friend of mine over breakfast last week. I think that there are Christians who operate in a bubble, and there are others who are constantly aware of how their *religion* and *religious activities* look to those on the outside. I am absolutely in the second category. And I just wasn't very comfortable with how this event looked. I was less comfortable with the generic ads promoting the event around the city - ads that made no mention of God or Christianity, and instead promoted a 'Central Canada Festival' with 'FREE CONCERTS.' I don't believe in tricking people. And it was either that, or else we were ashamed - and I don't believe in that either.

I'm even less comfortable with Franklin's absolute black-and-white views. I just don't agree with all of the messages he's preaching. My faith is about love and relationships, not about a safety net to ensure I don't go to hell.

Maybe my tolerance doesn't extend to the intolerant. Ooh, did I just blow your mind? :)


Friday, October 20, 2006


So I watched the three hundred millionth American enter the world the other morning, live on television.

This amused me for a couple of reasons:
1. Who's to say the three hundred millionth citizen was a baby? It was just as likely an immigrant. But I suppose the news footage wouldn't have been as cute.
2. Um, did anyone else notice that the baby was all cleaned up already? I doubt it was born that way. And if it took them longer than 11 seconds to clean him up and set up the cameras, then I doubt he was the three hundred millionth citizen - it was some other kid in some other city. Or an immigrant (see point #1).
3. There was no way they had camera crews set up in every hospital in the country, and that every hospital was in touch with the news bureaus so that they'd KNOW when that baby was being born. And what about home births? Or immigrants? :)

And at the end of the day, it's all just a stupid estimate. But let's make it a major news event, shown live in other countries! What a ridiculous world we live in. I'm adding it to my list of Things That Don't Make Sense.

And on the list of Things That Make Me Sad, there was another counter in the news this week. I watched as the Japanese set their clock that marks the number of days since a nuclear test back to 0. Which brings me to more Things That Don't Make Sense. But I'll save that for another blog post.


Just in time for Friday...

You Are Marcia Brady

Confident yet kind. Popular yet down to earth. You're a total dream girl.
You've got the total package - no wonder everyone's a little jealous of you.
What Brady Are You?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Help Wanted

After reading my blog, anyone still think it's *cool* to work in advertising?

Cocoon is looking for a full-time receptionist, as well as people interested in contract/freelance work in Production Design or Web Design.

Deadline to submit your resume (with work samples) is Tuesday, October 24 at noon. Fire 'em off to


The Good Ol' Days

I used to wonder what 'old people' meant when they shook their heads at the things we were doing and stated - with definitive authority - that things used to be so much better. I mean, HELLO. Churning your own butter? Not better. Horses instead of cars? Not better. Women not being allowed to vote, wear pants, cut their hair, or have a career? Really much not better.

I'm beginning to understand now. Because this week, in a school just outside Boston, the game of tag has been banned. Apparently, it's violent and - worse - it causes emotional trauma because it creates an environment where kids pick on each other.

Can you imagine what kind of world this would be if we all grew up in an environment where we could never be wrong, all our ideas were brilliant, and no one ever hurt our feelings? Gaaah. Talk about unemployable.

Remember when we used to eat dirt and play with dangerous toys? We all turned out pretty okay.

And remember when people treated each other with respect? My doctor totally failed to show up for my appointment today, and I waited for almost an hour before I gave up and went back to work. I'm sure that didn't happen 50 years ago. (And not just because I wouldn't have had a career back then.)

And remember when we kept track of things with a paper and pen? Jason's been trying to get me to switch to his preferred contact management software program for almost a year. But I LIKE writing things on sticky notes and keeping notes in physical files. I especially like labels and Sharpies. I do respect his efforts - and I am more than a little amused that he hasn't given up on it yet. But I'm just not convinced that it's BETTER.

Maybe I'll give Jay my doctor's number, and he can move HIM to a fancy new electronic system :)


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's getting hot in here...

THANK YOU SO MUCH to Aaron for showing me this article he found online recently... I learned SO MUCH about why I'll go to hell if I blog. Oops. I DO blog. Oh, well. Reading blogs is probably bad too - so you can all keep me company there ;)

Oh, y'all know I'm a good church girl. I just sometimes shake my head over the extremists (though they do provide some mighty fine entertainment). They just make people think the rest of us are crazy too.


Some highlights:

It is routine for a person to start a daily blog entry with a single word that details his or her mood. A blog entry will start: “Current mood: ____.” The level of shallowness and EMOTIONAL IMMATURITY this represents is astonishing! In the grand scheme of things, why would the world at large care?

Stop and consider. The BIGGEST mark you will ever make is to build God’s character and be born into the God Family. Blogging will NOT help you achieve this.

Perhaps the largest problem with blogs is they cater to one’s vanity. Human beings are naturally self-centered and proud, and young people are certainly no exception! If you post mundane details of your life, you are in effect saying that your life is important and that people should read about it. Also, whether or not you admit it, having a blog with your name, your picture and your opinions strokes the human ego—it lifts you up. It essentially advertises the self! If you blog, are you sure you do not partially enjoy it because your carnal nature is inclined toward vanity?

Look at what the Bible says about idle words: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). Who would want to give account to God about how many hours a day he rambled on about his favorite pizza place, what brand of jeans he wears, the girl he thinks is cute, when he woke up on a particular morning and in what mood, etc.?

Then there is the language itself. Here is a mild example: “If your a hater then whateva i dont have time 4 your negativity in my positive world.” Phrases such as “screwed up,” “I dunno,” and every type of swear word are commonly used. One blog by a young twentysomething in a splinter church group used the acronym “OMG,” which is a shorthand way to take God’s name in vain. There should NEVER be a need to use slang or any type of wrong words. We are commanded to put off filthy communication. What type of communication have you used? Certainly not all of it could be considered clean and pure.

Now consider the quizzes generated by different sites that people can post so others learn more about them. Some surveys detail every vile preference under the sun. Here is a sample question: “If you had one day to live how would you live it?” Among the options given, one was, “I’d kill myself and get it over with.” What!!? Let me stop and say this: Young people who strive to live up to Christ’s standards CANNOT get involved in such things! Not even a little!

Blogs being labeled as therapeutic is merely a shallow excuse. Some say illicit drugs are therapeutic—does that mean they should be used? Obviously not.

Some questions naturally arise: “Can I have a photo gallery?” For example, maybe you visited an exotic country and want to share your photos with close friends. This can be done, but certain guidelines apply. Of course, there should never be any inappropriate pictures (again, be careful of the appearance of evil); it should be private and password protected, and only shown to family and closest friends.

Blogging has become a socially accepted practice—just as are dating seriously too young, underage drinking and general misbehaving. But just because someone else “jumps off the cliff” does not mean you should do the same.

Boo, Burt!

Burton Cummings, you have let us down.

Rocky and I met for an early Tuesday breakfast today and the Sal's restaurant we always go to was CLOSED. What's up with that?! He managed to find an alternate location for us, but it was disappointingly un-sketchy. The food was fine, I was just hoping for a little more of a 'greasy spoon' atmosphere - I mean, if you're going to have an adventure, then have an adventure!

Might be time to find a new Humpday Eve Breakfast location. Sad, though, because I really liked hanging out on the bridge in the morning.


Playing Catch-Up

Wow, there's been so much going on lately that I'm having a hard time keeping up this crazy blog. Let's see if I can summarize... It's a tougher feat than you may suspect, unless you also tend to think in English major term paper length (ahem, Kari-Ann).

Friday night, Anja and I went to the Moose game - the first of the season. Kyle got us tickets in Row 1, and I was way too amused. Hockey players look so tiny and cute when you're up in a higher section or watching on tv! When they're slamming each other into the boards mere inches from your face? Not so cute.

It was tricky navigating the traffic going to the game (and to work in the morning too, come to think of it) because something freaky happened with the building across the street from the MTS Centre and there were roads closed off. Rumours were circulating that windows were falling out of the building? Hope it's true, because that's kind of cool.

We covered Saturday in my previous post. Which brings us to Sunday, the date of our first coffeehouse night in Niverville. We had about 50 people out for the event, which was more than I'd expected. The band - Fallen Short - did a really amazing job. Em and Cat were working their magic behind the coffee bar. Lots of new faces. And it seemed like everyone had a really good time. I'm already excited for next month.

Last night after work, Geoff and I met up with Aaron and Cait to see 'Little Miss Sunshine.' A teeny bit forced at times, but overall one of the best movies I've seen in a while. You kind of sit there with a stupid grin on your face all the way through. It's so flawed, but full of so much joy. I think I'll add it to my list of 'happy movies': the ones I watch to remind myself that there's good in everybody and hope for the world.


Monday, October 16, 2006


So Saturday night was my first experience at Art & Soul - the Winnipeg Art Gallery's crazy little fundraising night. I made an almost-last-second decision to go sans costume, much to the (constant and still ongoing) ridicule of my co-workers. I still feel good about my decision. There were no girl costumes that weren't whore-y. And I was much more comfortable in my real clothes. Unlike Harold, who was sweating in his ninja hood.

The evening's theme was 'Escape' and it all revolved around world travel. Different areas of the Art Gallery represented parties in international cities: Rio, Tokyo, Mumbai, Moscow, and Amsterdam.

Things I learned:
- I'm not too bad with ninja throwing stars
- Mumbai is kind of boring
- I need to get out and have FUN more often
- Too much Red Bull makes it very difficult to sleep after a party


Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Smile


So the photo shoot yesterday was cold. Really cold. So cold that I think the only words that can describe it are in some ancient Inuit language. And even then, they're probably bad words.

Of course, we managed to plan an outdoor photo shoot on the first real day of winter. Whoever still thinks that 'ad agency' and 'photo shoot' are glamorous things...

Less than 24 hours before the shoot, our original location cancelled, so I sent out another bulletin to all media outlets with the new location information. Of course, they all announced the wrong location the morning of the shoot. Fantastic.

The roads were still a little icy when we got to CanWest Global Park and discovered that - as suspected - the seats were covered in snow. Fantastic.

Due to a combination of the above factors - and whatever we did in past lives to curse ourselves - our turnout was kind of pathetic. But we managed a last-second save, compliments of Jason. He managed to locate a busload of German tourists who were happy to help out. Seriously. They didn't speak English at all, so we had to try to manage them through their translator. Too funny to even explain to you here. Just imagine the most ridiculous possible scenario in your head, and you're probably getting pretty close.

At the end of our (very cold) day, we got the shots that we needed. Now maybe someone can explain to me why we had a snowstorm in mid-October?


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Donate. Feel Great!

In hope that the third time really is the charm, I'm doing it again... I've committed to RUN a 10K and raise some more money for The Arthritis Society - $6,000, to be exact.

We're going to try a few new ideas this year, and I'd like to start things off with an online auction. Basically, people will donate products or services that will be featured on a webpage, and people will be able to go online to view the items and place their bids via email. At the end of the auction, all items that have reached their minimum reserve will be awarded to the person who bid the highest. This idea worked really well for a contact of mine in Nova Scotia who is doing her first Joints in Motion in December.

I'm planning to flip the switch on this auction in early November and keep it live until the middle of the month. Some of the items that I'm already planning on will make *great* Christmas presents! We've already confirmed ticket donations from IMAX and Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg, some restaurant gift certificates, a CD library, and many other non-lame prizes.

I'm asking you to please dig deep and think of something that you, your company, or someone you know might be able to donate. Some ideas:
- Homemade cookies or other treats
- Overnight hotel getaway
- Photography services
- Homemade Christmas cards
- Babysitting
- Design services
- Gift Certificates for stores or restaurants
- Tutoring
- Scrapbooking
- Painting or framed photograph
- Mani/Pedi
- Or any other creative ideas you can think of!

Please contact me with donations and ideas... Hoping to finalize the auction items over the next 2 weeks. Thanks in advance for your support!


Open Casting Call - Win Grey Cup Tickets!

Cocoon is announcing an Open Casting Call for a photo shoot on Thursday, October 12.

We're looking for Winnipeggers between the ages of 20 and 55, dressed to attend a football game and ready to cheer. And you'll be cheering for a good reason - someone at the shoot is guaranteed to win a FREE pair of tickets to the Grey Cup!

Interested? Be one of the first 150 people to show up at CanWest Global Park (Westbrook Entrance) between 12:00 - 12:15 on Thursday, October 12. We'll sign you in and get you to sign a consent form (to give us permission to use your picture), then plan on spending up to 2 or 3 hours of your afternoon with us. We reserve the right to send you home if more than a few hundred people show up.

Bring along your cheering gear (noisemakers, giant hands, etc.) and an extra jacket or sweater. You may be asked to wear a different jacket for additional photos.

Email me ( or call 885.7742 for more information.

Friday, October 06, 2006

No Good Very Bad Week

You know those days when you just want to go to bed, sleep for a while, and then start over? Yep. Definitely one of Those Days today.

Actually, this whole week's been kind of like that. I'm choosing to blame it both on the general stupidity running rampant through society and on my screwy blood count that's entirely devoid of iron stores (that my doctor is seriously WAY too complacent about).

Let's see... Slept through my alarm. Early client meeting. Difficult clients all morning. Mysterious half-missing lunch. Difficult clients all afternoon. Phone ringing off the hook (but not the people I actually needed to talk to). A new record for both incoming emails (everyone but the people I actually needed emails from) and deadlines (I'm not even willing to touch that topic right now). And a to-do list that manages to grow by fifteen items for every one item I cross off it.

But I ran out to Tim's and got their last two oatmeal raisin cookies. And now I have an appointment with Kevyn the Magnficent. So maybe things are turning around?



PS - Had a client moment today that will become one of those classic stories, it's so ridiculous and funny... Realizing that this is the internet - and thus totally public - I'll just tell you to ask me about it the next time I see you. Or request by email. Or maybe I'll auction it off for charity... :)

It's No Joke

Indiana University study finds The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to be as substantive as network news

Julia R. Fox, assistant professor of telecommunications at Indiana University isn't joking when she says the popular "fake news" program, which last week featured Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf as a guest, is just as substantive as network coverage.

While much has been written in the media about The Daily Show's impact, Fox's study is the first scholarly effort to systematically examine how the comedy program compares to traditional television news as sources of political information.

"It is clearly a humor show, first and foremost," Fox said of Stewart's program. "But there is some substance on there, and in some cases, like John Edwards announcing his candidacy, the news is made on the show. You have real newsmakers coming on, and yes, sometimes the banter and questions get a little silly, but there is also substantive dialogue going on … It's a legitimate source of news."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Advertising or Prostitution?

Found it online and couldn't resist. Y'all know I'm not this cynical, but I appreciate the humour in this little list. A lot.

The truth is so funny sometimes :)

* People ask you, “What do you do?” and you can’t explain it
* You work very odd hours
* You are paid to keep your client happy
* You are paid well, but your pimp gets most of the money
* You charge by the hour but your time can be extended
* Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded
* It’s difficult to have a family
* If a client beats you up, the pimp just sends you to another client
* Your client pays for your hotel room plus your hourly rate
* Your client always wants to know how much you charge and what they get for the money
* When you leave to go see a client, you look great, but return looking like hell (compare your appearance on Monday AM to Friday PM...)
* You are rated on your “performance” in an excruciating ordeal
* If you are good, the client always walks away smiling



Hey, my brother Aaron added some new pics to the Gallery section of his website. Some of my favourites are below... Check 'em all out at


Questions and Hope

I hate it when the news makes me cry. But I've been a crier lately when it comes to the news. I had to redo my mascara and eyeliner on Tuesday morning after a psychologist appeared on NewsNet to comment on Monday's Amish school shooting. Here was this professional, middle-aged man - and he actually broke down as he discussed the case, saying that this one really 'got to him' because he has two little girls at home. I don't think I've seen that kind of emotion on the news since 9/11 or Columbine - those really definitive news moments.

But you know what? It actually gives me hope. Because as long as people are still affected by violence and evil - having those emotional, gut reactions to it at the most basic human level - it means there's some humanity left in us.

So where's the balance between being aware of the evil in the world and being scared of it? Between keeping people informed and planting ideas for copycats? Between searching for answers and letting the victims heal in peace?

I cried when I saw Alma on the news last night, pleading with Joey to turn himself in. I cannot imagine that family's hurt. Despite all his bad decisions, he's still her son. There are so many victims.

I cried again this morning when I saw the latest development in the Amish school shooting story. Their quiet community is burying five little girls today. And they've contacted the shooter's family, to offer their forgiveness and invite them to come to the services. The shooter's wife had already been in touch to express her sympathy.

It's these glimpses of humanity that make me think that maybe, just maybe, everyone is going to be okay.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hello, my name is Lindsay

What happened to 'the customer is always right'? Is it just me, or has customer service gone the way of the horse and buggy, corsets, and those 80s slap bracelets?

On Friday night, I got home from work and I was exhausted, famished, and craving pizza. I seriously considered making some (I do, after all, make a wicked greek pizza), but realized that it would be quicker to order one. And so I did. Pizza Hotline promised to deliver my mushroom-and-tomato-on-thick-crust masterpiece in 45 minutes.

After nearly an hour and a half, I called them to see what was going on. And they had no record of my order. They offered to take my order again, but refused to guarantee faster delivery or discount my order. The only way they could help me, I was told, is if I remembered the name of the person who took my original order.

Um, HELLO. They were lucky I remembered the GENDER of the person who took my pizza order. Or the pizza company I ordered it from, for that matter. It was hardly a major event in my day.

The manager I spoke with was incredibly rude. Apparently, taking pizza orders over the phone IS rocket science. Oh, well. The challenge now will be to make good on my promise to never order pizza from them again.

So many moral objections to keep track of! I should start a list :)