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l’azile » la p’tite vie

September 13, 2011

rions un peu

catherine @ 9:40 pm

Suggestion de listes

  • Histoires pour rire
  • Les films qui m’ont fait le plus rire
  • Les situations qui m’ont fait le plus rire
  • Les personnes avec lesquelles je ris le mieux
  • Des traits d’humour que j’apprécie
  • Des idées pour « dérider » mon entourage

– « L’art des listes » (2007), page 177, Dominique Loreau, Éditions Marabout

March 15, 2011

staring back in the glass

catherine @ 12:04 am

Today, I attended a conference organized by a consumer group. It was a mainstream event, not a dedicated event on disability and, as far as I know, I was the only person with a disability there. I was tired this morning, I have been struggling with insomnia lately, so I arrived late and to be honest, I did not feel like being there. But I am glad I was because it turned out to be an interesting conference on the impacts of information technologies on consumer rights and interests. Also, I met up with some people I know from another organization and spent the day with them.

Anyway, lunch was provided by the conference organizers and it turned out to be a bit fancy, with big banquet tables and table clothes and linen napkins and fancy silverware and decent fare that reminded me of hotel food. As is often the case in these types of situations, you find a table where there is room and you end up eating with complete strangers. So my two companions and I spotted a table that still had some empty seats and therefore joined a small group.

When you are a person with a disability, you spend a lot of time in your life either being ignored or receiving an unreasonable amount of unwanted and occasionally inappropriate attention. Today was the latter. All through lunch, this woman seated at our table stared at me. Or, more accurately, she spent most of the lunch staring at my hands. I could feel her stare on me and when I would look at her, as a way of letting her know that I was aware of her staring at me, she would hurriedly look away. And as soon as I looked away, she would stare at me again. I could feel her gaze bearing into me, I could see all the questions forming in her face. I almost called her on it but then that would have made things even more uncomfortable for everyone so I did my best to ignore her. But the truth is her behavior made lunch rather tedious.

Continue reading staring back in the glass

August 30, 2008


catherine @ 2:16 pm

They say “home is where the heart is”. Well, I do not know about that, I lost my heart a long time ago. But one thing that is certain is that home is where the comfort is!

My train got in yesterday afternoon, just in time for rush hour and what a rush hour it was. After spending almost a week away in Québec City, where the pace was definitely more relaxed, despite running around non-stop everyday and covering marathonian distances in record time (much to the dismay of my left ankle), all my senses were assailed by the busyness and savagery of Montréal before I even left the train. Some guy, in a mad rush to get off the train with his daughter, decided to literally knock down anyone standing between him and the door, pratically dislocating one passenger’s right shoulder in the process. Luckily, there are still a few nice people around and a very nice man called Fernand offered to help me carry my bags for me.

My best friend Alain met me in the station above ground, we made a quick stop at the wine store and then hopped into a cab for one of the most memorable taxi rides of my life. As I said, it was rush hour. But this was no ordinary rush hour. It was Friday and long week-end rush hour. Our taxi driver, a crazy Jamaican man who would turn up the car radio every time Alain and I tried to talk to each other, decided to take us up on Sherbrooke street, right smack in the middle of a monster traffic jam, almost ran over some pedestrians on two separate occasions (who, it should be noted, did not even bat an eye at the fact that a crazy Jamaican taxi driver, honking at them furiously all the while never slowing down, was about to end their life) and actually expected me to leave him a ten dollar tip for a fare that, had he gone south and taken the damn freeway, would have ended up costing ten dollars less and would have taken half the time. Now that is what I call balls.

Anyway, I am home now, doing laundry, relaxing, and reflecting on the last seven days. It feels good to be back, although I am sure I will find some reason to complain soon enough. After this long week-end, I return to work for two days and then leave for a very short vacation next Thursday until the 15th. Not going anywhere, just balconville, but it will be a long-awaited and welcomed rest.

Will post some sort of report on the conference here soon as well as photos on flickr. Until then, be well.

July 23, 2008

good people and bad people (and their dogs)

catherine @ 5:35 pm

Yesterday, I lost my wallet. Worse, I was not even aware that I had lost it until someone from my former employer’s office called me and informed me I had lost it after receiving a call from their alarm company who in turn had received a call from the person who had found my wallet (I sometimes use my former employer’s conference room so I have the number of the alarm company in my wallet).

I quickly got in touch with the woman who had found the wallet and it turns out she works in an architects firm close to my workplace and I was able to retrieve it a couple of hours later, and with everything intact, I am relieved to report. So a lot of grief and aggravation avoided by the kindness of a woman who, it should be noted, refused any reward, saying instead that the only thing I could do for her was to pay it forward if I got the chance.

Continue reading good people and bad people (and their dogs)

June 24, 2008

who are you and what have you done to our bank-loathing friend?

catherine @ 5:55 pm

People who know me know I generally have, euh, confrontational relationships with banks, at best. My general view is that banks are evil, that they will suck the life-blood out of you if they can and the world would be a much better place without them. I believe that instead of banks, we should have friendly “Buildings & Loans” type establishments and they should all be run by George Bailey.

So believe me when I say I would rather stab myself in the eye with a fork before I could ever bring myself to say anything good about banks, especially one of which I might happen to be a customer at any given time. Well, time to hide all the forks because I am now going to say something good about my bank.

Continue reading who are you and what have you done to our bank-loathing friend?

January 3, 2008

a day in the life… and another and another and another…

catherine @ 9:30 pm

Some guy called Jonathan Keller from Motor City has been photographing his face every day for the last eight years and posting the photos on line. It is a strangely fascinating experiment if you are into that sort of thing and yet it is actually very ordinary somehow but for some reason I find his follow-through quite admirable.

He claims in the oft entertaining FAQ that the project will continue until the day he dies and that “only then will it be complete, and worth its true value”, though “unfortunately, [he] won’t ever see it finished”.

He has created a timelapse animation of the series called “Living my life faster” and it really is quite something to see though I must admit it almost triggered an odd epileptic seizure.

Aside from the hair (facial and otherwise), he has not changed much in the last eight years but I imagine that, if he can keep going (and, barring any unfortunate circumstances, I imagine he will), it will be kind of interesting to see the changes in the long term. Which I guess, or at least hope, is ultimately the point.

November 7, 2007

dog day… euh, day

catherine @ 9:57 pm

This morning, while being shuttled to work by paratransit services (”shuttled to work”, what a nice way of putting it), I saw a dead dog on the street.

He had most probably been hit by a car a little while earlier and he (she?, but never ever it) just lay there on his side in the street, abandoned and alone, while morning traffic drove around or just plain over him. I must admit, “ça m’a rentré dedans” as we say here, it just… got to me (inadequate attempt to convey that expression in English but somehow, it just does not seem to do it justice).

I just felt so bad for this poor creature who obviously had not been properly supervised in some way or another if, among other things, he could still be lying there and, more importantly, who probably had no idea what was happening to him at the time and why he was in so much pain, however fleeting it may have been (and since I have been there and done that, this is something I know a fair amount about so believe me when I say that, like a child, he could not understand what was happening beyond pain and bewilderment).

As he sped past, my driver tried to reassure me, told me that he had seen someone go to pick him up but I knew it was not true. I saw the same thing he did, just a dead dog on Saint-Zotique street, cars weaving past in their rush to get to wherever.

And strangely enough, as the rest of the day revealed, life goes on.

October 17, 2006


catherine @ 2:51 pm

Derrière chez nous, de l’autre côté de la ruelle, vit une jeune famille. Un couple dans la trentaine et leurs deux jeunes garçons. Lorsque le gars est à la maison, il joue souvent avec ses deux fils dans leur cour, des jeux leur permettant de s’exciter un peu, de se débarrasser de leur surplus d’énergie, de lâcher leur fou. Il prépare les bbq aussi et j’imagine que cet hiver, il déneigera l’allée au besoin. La femme s’occupe de la maison et je ne crois pas qu’elle travaille à l’extérieur. Presque tous les jours, elle fait une grosse lessive qu’elle étend sur sa corde à linge. J’imagine que trois mâles dans une maison, ça doit salir beaucoup de vêtements, de serviettes, de torchons, etc. J’avoue tout de même que je suis particulièrement impressionnée par la quantité de lessive que je vois sortir de cette maison. Alors que le type et les deux garçons ont l’air relativement heureux, la femme, elle, semble plutôt s’emmerder. Je ne l’ai vu sourire qu’une fois ou deux, un sourire pâle et bref.

Dans la petite maison à notre gauche vit un couple retraité et leur vieux chien. La femme est la commère du quartier alors que son époux ne parle à personne, sinon en grognant. Ils ont une grande cour arrière et visiblement, ils ont investi beaucoup de temps et d’argent à l’aménager. Leur chien jappe sans arrêt lorsqu’il est dehors. Il jappe lorsqu’un oiseau ou un insecte passe pas loin. Il jappe lorsqu’une brindille d’herbe vacille au vent. Il jappe lorsqu’il fait ses crottes. Bref, il jappe tout le temps pour rien. Et peu importe comment on s’y prend pour essayer de faire comprendre à ces gens qui c’est plutôt agaçant d’entendre leur chien beugler à partir de 7h00 le matin, ils s’en foutent. Tout ce qu’ils trouvent à dire c’est « she’s a japper that one but you know, she probably won’t make it to the spring ».

À notre droite se trouve un édifice comme le nôtre. Parmi les locataires, il y a un couple dans la cinquantaine peut-être. L’homme a passé beaucoup de temps cet été à se faire bronzer dans sa cour, étendu sur une chaise longue et s’aspergeant à l’aide d’une vieille bouteille de windex remplie d’eau. À l’occasion, il emprunte la ruelle à l’arrière pour aller au dép. Une fois, alors que mon coloc était absent, il est venu chasser une guêpe de notre cuisine. Un soir cet été, sans doute à la suite d’une dispute, j’ai entendu sa femme se plaindre en larmes à une voisine qu’elle n’en pouvait plus, qu’elle le détestait.

Dans notre édifice, il y a plusieurs personnes âgées. Des femmes surtout qui vivent seules. Notre voisine de pallier doit bien avoir dans les 80. Elle se plaint tout le temps qu’elle a mal aux jambes. Elle parle souvent à la photo de son mari décédé et lorsque le bulletin de nouvelles passe à la télé, elle place la photo devant pour qu’il puisse écouter les infos avec elle. Elle ne sort jamais, sinon pour étendre des vieux vêtements tachés et abîmés sur sa corde à linge à l’arrière ou pour s’asseoir en robe de nuit sur son balcon à l’avant, guettant l’arrivée ou le départ de voisins. Inlassablement, elle raconte à qui veut bien rester quelques minutes qu’elle est seule, qu’elle a vécu trop longtemps, qu’elle aurait préféré être la première à partir.

Au sous-sol, il y a deux logements. Dans le plus petit vit un homme dans la fin cinquantaine. Les rideaux sont fermés en permanence. De temps en temps, je le croise sur le trottoir, il est gentil. Une fois, je lui ai demandé s’il ne trouvait pas ça un peu déprimant de ne jamais laisser filtrer le soleil à travers les fenêtres. Il m’a répondu qu’il préfère ça à se faire voler ses trucs.

L’autre logement, celui qui se trouve directement sous le nôtre, est occupé par un type dans la quarantaine. Récemment, j’ai dû utiliser son téléphone, le nôtre était en panne. Il a une petite amie, elle vient habituellement passer les week-ends avec lui. Cet été, ils s’assoyaient souvent dehors sous le bouleau dans la cour arrière, lui buvant sa bière, elle son vin rouge, et jasaient tranquillement ou jouaient à Quelques arpents de piège. À l’occasion, je les entends baiser le matin, sa chambre étant sous la mienne, et je m’en passerais bien mais je me console en me disant qu’au moins il y a quelqu’un dans le coin qui semble s’amuser un peu.

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