September 10, 2013

out on a limb

catherine @ 9:09 pm

About a month ago, I had my left leg amputated below the knee. How this came about is a long and rather sad story and I do not really feel like getting into the whole thing because some of it is just too personal or complicated and I suspect a fair amount of it is not really all that interesting. My friends already know enough about it, having followed along with me for the last 18 months or so, whether IRL or online (I have dared to indulge in a rant or two on “the Facebook” to friends). And family and close friends, most notably my BFF Alain, have been there with me through a lot of it.

But I think this is a major life event and not something that would go unnoticed. Indeed, judging by the stricken looks of most people I cross on the sidewalk or at the little shopping mall up the street from the rehab centre when I venture out for a stroll, I guess it is quite a sight to see this seemingly youngish woman, zipping about in a motorized wheelchair, sporting a tibial prosthesis on her right leg and a freshly bandaged tibial amputation on her left leg, not to mention a great new hairstyle. So I just felt I should say a little something about the experience.

Continue reading out on a limb

February 4, 2013

let there be spaces in your togetherness*

catherine @ 12:16 am

Dear everybody, I am taking a break from Facebook for a while for the following reasons:

Firstly, I HATE the new ticker functionality; IT CREEPS ME OUT. I do not need to know every single thing my friends do on Facebook but, more importantly, I do not care to have my friends know every single thing I like or comment on. I actually sometimes feel spied on by some people even though I understand (or in some cases hope) that it is not intentional on their part. But it is just too much information and until Facebook offers a way to opt-out of having my every move broadcast not only to my friends but to people I do not even know, I will not be commenting or liking anyone’s posts, photos or comments or if so, very rarely. This will probably make me a very boring friend but c’est la vie. Please do not take it personally.

Secondly, a few recent articles (here and here) have also motivated the aforementioned measures I have decided to implement. I knew Facebook could use “corporate” likes to use us as unsuspecting promoters of brands or other content so I was extremely careful about the things I liked outside of personal posts, photos or comments from friends. In fact, I purposely made sure not to like anything corporate or for-profit, except for a couple of friends’ business pages as a show of encouragement. But according to the Forbes article, “Facebook is now recycling users Likes and using them to promote ‘Related Posts’ in the news feeds of the user’s friends. And one more thing, the users themselves have possibly never seen the story, liked the story or even know that it is being promoted in their name.” It is worth reading the whole Forbes article as it also mentions something I have noticed while reviewing my Activity Log recently, that I do on a regular basis, i.e. the phenomenon of “false likes”. I have found a few things in my log that I supposedly liked but that I know for a fact I never did and never would. Facebook conveniently attributes this to user error but I just do not buy it.

I realize I have a fairly public life on the Web but to a certain extent, I think I have done a reasonably adequate job of controlling it (or at least I like to think I have). And when I joined Facebook last February, I knew I was giving up some privacy and I knew that Facebook is evil (although obviously, I did not know to what extent). But I hoped that the rules and conditions would remain somewhat consistent and clear. This has undeniably not been the case. And to be honest, since I became very sick, Facebook has really helped me stay connected to friends and family especially. But I believe that these latest changes and what I consider to be violations to my privacy and my rights as a user are just too much for me. I hope things will get better but Facebook has received numerous questions and complaints regarding the first matter I mentioned and so far, they have completely ignored the issue. This brief statement is the only information that I was able to find from Facebook that almost addresses the concerns I have. Clearly, that is insufficient as far as I am concerned.

Anyway, I can easily be found in less intrusive places on the Internet and for those who still remember how, there is always email.

Peace.

This post is a slightly edited version of the latest status update I posted to Facebook yesterday.

* The quote is from Kahlil Gibran

February 26, 2011

mensonges et menteries

catherine @ 12:14 am

Je ne comprends pas les gens qui mentent.

Je ne parle pas des « petits mensonges blancs » (expression empruntée de l’anglais « little white lies ») où l’on ment, par exemple, pour ne pas blesser. Du genre « mais non, cette robe te va à ravir, j’t'assure ! » (numéro 5 dans le Top 15). Tout le monde a déjà fait ça et, bien ou mal, c’est assez mineur comme offense.

Je ne parle pas non plus du mensonge par omission ou par origami même si j’estime que ce n’est pas joli et que ça peut être assez dommageable. Je ne parle même pas de l’acte de mentir pour sauver la face, pour se sortir du pétrin, quoi que je trouve ça décevant, une faiblesse de caractère peu enviable quoi qu’en disent les sous-entendus de certaines descriptions de tâches.

Non, je parle des gens qui mentent par entêtement, par conviction même. Qui, même avec les faits devant eux, indéniables, limpides, sont capables de te regarder dans les yeux (ou dans le téléphone ou dans le courriel ou whatever) et de te mentir, sans gêne et sans scrupules. Je trouve ça incompréhensible, répréhensible et arrogant.

Et je ne suis pas impressionnée.

September 24, 2010

the year of living dangerously

catherine @ 10:00 pm

Last year on this very date, September 24, I broke my hip. Again. I will not get into the details of that incident but if you are curious, you can read about it in this blog post and I have a photo album on flickr as well (warning: this album contains images of my x-rays, some of which I have been told are rather jarring so the faint-hearted may want to stay away).

Anyway, I wanted to underscore this date because, well, it is not everyday that one breaks one’s hip (especially at my age), not to mention twice, and so much has happened since then that it is kind of hard to believe. So I am momentarily dusting the cobwebs off this here blog to reflect on the year this has been.

Continue reading the year of living dangerously

Filed under: random update
December 26, 2009

closed indefinitely

catherine @ 5:38 pm

Just a quick note to point out that I will not be putting any more time into this venue. Aside from the general lack of time preventing me from really writing on a regular basis, I feel that I am not getting much out of it. Not to mention the fact that most of the time, the stuff I feel like writing about ends up in my personal journals.

I will leave existing writings up for archival purposes, especially since an insane number of fans of Yao Defen as well as amputee devotees seem to like dropping by here. And who knows, I may feel like writing again in the future, although I would not count it. For those curious as to what is going on with me, my flickr is usually up to date.

Anyway, thanks for reading.

Filed under: random update
September 12, 2009

random update #11

catherine @ 5:26 pm

Gawd!, it has been so long since I have written anything of note here, it is hard to know where to start. As y’all have probably noticed, I am not much of a blogger and I most likely never will be. I like having it for an occasional rant or to point out something that I have been thinking about and stuff. And obviously, there have been periods when I had more time. But I am always amazed by the people I know (or know of) who blog regularly, tweet literally non-stop, have a full time job and then some, a bunch of other work-related activities, not to mention hobbies and such, a family, a dog, etc., etc. When do they sleep?! Anyway, just a brief update to let people know I am still alive.

Continue reading random update #11

Filed under: random update
March 21, 2009

random update #10

catherine @ 12:59 am

Ça y’est, c’est officiel, le printemps est là et je dois avouer que c’est un soulagement.

Je ne sais pas trop pourquoi ; l’hiver cette année n’a pas été particulièrement difficile, du moins en ce qui concerne la température. Mais, pour une raison qui m’échappe en ce moment, l’arrivée du printemps m’a fait sourire, comme ce souvenir éternel de ressentir le souffle chaud du soleil sur ma peau, d’entendre les bruits nocturnes de Montréal filtrer au travers la fenêtre ouverte de ma chambre, de sentir le parfum floral des parterres et balcons dans la fraîcheur d’une fin de soirée de mai, de laisser cette première gorgée d’un mojito absolument glacé couler doucement le long de mon œsophage et atterrir, avec un léger fracas, dans mon estomac.

Évidemment, vers la fin de juillet, je vais commencer à me plaindre [discrètement] qu’il fait trop chaud, qu’il y a trop de guêpes à Montréal et vivement l’automne ! Et rendu à la fin d’août, j’imagine que vous ne pourrez sans doute plus me blairer.

Mais d’ici-là, comme on dit en anglais, there is no time like the present.

Filed under: random update
December 13, 2008

my blog is lonely

catherine @ 4:11 am

Or so I have been told.

Anyway, a lot has happened since my last posting and yet, not so much. And because I would not want the year to end without at least a quick sign of life, here follows my latest random update.

I [obviously] never posted the rest of my ambitious report on Rehabilitation International’s 2008 World Congress. Now I understand that y’all have been waiting with bated breath and believe me, I did continue writing up this detailed report in my [little] free time but never got around to finishing it and at this point, doubt I ever would. So let me make it easy for you [or me] and summarise…

Continue reading my blog is lonely

Filed under: random update
June 13, 2008

random update #8

catherine @ 6:47 pm

They say life is what happens while you are making other plans, or words to that effect. Well, whoever “they” are, they sure got that right. I have been, to put it mildly, very busy, with work mostly, to the point that I have given up on making any plans beyond trying to find enough time to eat and sleep.

So, because my life these last few months has been mostly comprised of work, work, work, eat, sleep, bills, bills, bills, work, work but thought I should at least give some kind of news, else people think I was dead or something, here is a quick list of stuff I feel like sharing at the moment.

Continue reading random update #8

Filed under: random update
January 27, 2008

random update #7

catherine @ 5:07 pm

I have not been posting these last few weeks because I do not have Internet access at home yet (long story). I have to say, going without has been quite euh, well, bizarre. On the one hand, it does not really bother me. I have been rather busy trying to get my new appartment organised (or perhaps it would be more accurate to say trying to get me organised in my new appartment) and I can always access my personal email accounts from work. And I have been doing a lot more reading which is always good.

On the other hand though, no Internet at home has also made me feel a bit frustrated and anxious, like there is a certain void in my life. So I have not been able to keep up with my favourite blogs or other Web stuff and since I do not own a television, I have not been able to download the few tv shows I like. And of course, I have had to curb my reflex for searching for just about any word that comes to mind. Which I guess is not really such a bad thing.

I saw Michael this week at an event organised by my employer and contrarily to every one else’s reaction to the news that I am sans Internet (typically along the lines of “OMFG!”, “Hein?!”, “T’es pas sérieuse!” or “you poor thing”) all he said, in true Michaelivian fashion, was “good”. Anyway, since I am presently at my ex-flatmate’s doing laundry (because a washer/dryer is another thing I am still without), I thought I would sign in briefly and give y’all a bit of news.

Continue reading random update #7

Filed under: random update
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