Let’s Chat: Ignoring Community Input on Strategic Priorities for the OPS

On Saturday July 14th, I signed up to attend a community consultation on Strategic Priorities for the Ottawa Police Service for the coming years. I attended at the request of a friend, an anti-torture activist who is desperately trying to convince the police force to stop the new policy that would give a taser to every police officer in Ottawa.

I agreed to attend not just because she asked me too, but also because for some time I’ve been thinking of ways to improve accessibility in Policing. Also, because I wanted to be a white face bringing up racism against people of colour.

Institutional Racism in the force is a problem that is starting to be talked about by more people not directly influenced by it, as it should, and is a major issue that needs MORE attention than it is currently getting. A related issue however is Institutional Ableism.

A recent review of fatal police interactions in Canada shows that most people killed by police are disabled. Something like 72% of those killed in police interactions were shown to be mentally ill or to have substance abuse problems, which is itself also considered a mental health issue.

In the US, 1 in 2 people killed by cops is disabled.

Continue reading “Let’s Chat: Ignoring Community Input on Strategic Priorities for the OPS”

Let’s Chat: Ignoring Community Input on Strategic Priorities for the OPS
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Faction Night: Season 2 Championships, and the week after

As I mentioned at the start of this adventure, the faction consists of 7 weeks of round robin competitions followed by a championship competition.

Over the course of the 7 weeks, 15 people competed against each other in round robin competitions. During that time our scores, our win totals, as well as our tie games, were all recorded and tracked till finally on the night of the Championship, our standings were revealed in our match ups for the championship game.

To begin with, it’s worth noting that all skill levels compete together. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been throwing knives your whole life or if you’ve been throwing knives only for the last 7 weeks, we were all competing together. There is a certain logic to this since getting to play against more experienced people helps us hone our skills, and ultimately all you can do is practice. Continue reading “Faction Night: Season 2 Championships, and the week after”

Faction Night: Season 2 Championships, and the week after

Faction Night: The Fourth, the Fifth.

I’ve fallen behind on writing these posts, or rather in writing these posts down in word and posting them to the blog. I’ve been writing versions of them in my head for weeks now.

Faction Night has been one of the major ways that I’ve been keeping track of what the day of the week is. Over the last month, I’ve managed to get my hands on a bunch of power tools necessary for getting a lot of the major work done on my apartment, which I’ve been struggling with for the last year.

In the last week or so, I’ve rebuilt the bones of my room – which included among other things taking apart and rebuilding my bed, my desk, creating a drafting table on wings, I’ve learned how to gather, preserve, identify, and then build from wood of various stages of greenness, and I’ve been taking assorted pictures of the whole process, so that eventually I could write about it all.

Continue reading “Faction Night: The Fourth, the Fifth.”

Faction Night: The Fourth, the Fifth.

Faction Night the Third: Art, Knives, and Rock and Roll

I spent the few days before Thursday Night Faction this week, trying to decide whether or not I should even go. You see, last week after faction, the fact that my Remicade had been delayed made itself felt. Strongly.

Strongly enough in fact, that on Friday evening, I finally caved and begged my roommate to take me to the hospital. My pain was too high to manage on my own, and my constant trips to the bathroom made me start to worry that C.Diff might have decided to come back into my life… and guts.

The three days I spent in the ER were ridiculous. Due to a massive influx of flu cases, there were no beds available at the hospital. Despite deciding to admit me that same night, I never actually made it out of the Observation wing.

Because of the pain I was in, I decided to go to the closer hospital, rather than the usual one I was in. The GI staff on call at that time has their primary specialty be the liver, so they really weren’t sure what to do with me. Sadly, it showed. Had I known this at the time, I would have written out for them exactly what to do to get me better enough to send me home, but unfortunately, it wasn’t really till Sunday night, that I realized that I wasn’t really being treated… at all. They were just running tests but not actually taking care of what was going on.

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Faction Night the Third: Art, Knives, and Rock and Roll

Faction Night the Second

Tonight was the second week of Season 2 of the factions.

Earlier this week, I received a proper 3-set of knives. They’re Cold Steel brand, meant for sport throwing, and made out of 1055 Carbon Steel: a slightly higher grade of steel for knives, better able to handle impact without breaking or chipping.

I can’t help always wanting to personalize things, so I decided to paint them. Since the place is called In the Air Guild, I decided to go for a bit of a Fantasy Elements theme: A siren for water, a fire elemental for fire, and Medusa for earth. The Air comes into play when they’re thrown. Continue reading “Faction Night the Second”

Faction Night the Second

What if Your Life Changed in a Flash?

Imagine your life changing drastically in an instant. Imagine that the choice to get up out of your car meant everything was suddenly different? No this isn’t the start of some fantasy novel, this is the reality faced by one young woman from Gatineau.

Winter driving is always a hazard and this particular December was bad enough to sky-rocket Ottawa into first place for Coldest Capital in the World. Gatineau is just across the river and in many ways, practically the same city, even though it’s actually in a different province.

This young woman fell into a slide which propelled her car into a Hydro Pole (Hydro is what we Canuckistanis call electricity since a large percentage of our electricity comes from hydroelectricity and so the power company is called Hydro). When she got out of her car for fear of fire, she was electrocuted.

Continue reading “What if Your Life Changed in a Flash?”

What if Your Life Changed in a Flash?

Guest Post: Taking the Good with the Bad – A Night at The Opera – Part 2

So, earlier this fall, I had the honour and privilege to attend a showing of “The Phantom of the Opera” at the National Arts Center (NAC) in Ottawa. I was super excited about this. And I tried to keep in mind the positive aspects that came with that night. Taking the good with the bad, one would say.

The tickets were a little expensive… But it’s so rare that Phantom is in town, so totally worth it.

My original date cancelled and I was unable to find someone willing to buy the extra ticket… But my 11 year old niece was happy to attend. (Even if she didn’t repay me the ticket, oops)

I was black and blue as a result of an e-bike crash that week… But I was finally out of bed and able to walk again.

Overall, it promised to be an exciting adventure, and I was really looking forward to seeing my favourite musical live on stage.

Me niece looked absolutely adorable and precious. I had drinks and snacks. We were OUT ON THE TOWN!!!

Continue reading “Guest Post: Taking the Good with the Bad – A Night at The Opera – Part 2”

Guest Post: Taking the Good with the Bad – A Night at The Opera – Part 2

Guest Post: A Night at The Opera: How A Blind Date Got Blind-Sighted By Humanity

CN: Ableism, Threats of Violence,

It’s been a hard week for me. Today was the first day I could walk semi- normally after crashing my e-bike into a car on Thursday.My legs are black and blue. I’ve got whiplash, sore muscles, and have spent the last several days in bed with icepacks at the ready.

I was happy to be feeling better today, because tonight I was going to see “Phantom of the Opera” at the NAC with my 11 year old niece.

Being barely able to move, with my legs looking like a cross between a gorilla and a black and blue elephant, and not to mention that fabric on my legs is extreme agony, I opted to wear some comfortable pants and running shoes. I wasn’t going to risk falling again by wearing heels, or risk having a miserable evening by wearing clothes that hurt my legs, or revealed their startling mosaic of bruised hairy nightmares to the whole NAC. Pants are definitely more respectful.

When we arrived at our seats, sitting directly ahead of me was someone I knew. The person who told me Phantom was in town and one of the reasons I bought tickets for this showing for this specific section. This way I’d have someone nearby that I knew, and my anxiety wouldn’t be as bad. When we get to our seats, I see that she’s there. So far, so good.

I said hello as I sat down. She looks at me with disgust in her eyes. “Really? You couldn’t dress up? This is the NAC, Sophie, you’re an embarrassment.” Well. I’m sure my hairy black and blue legs would have been more so, thank you very much. The safety zone I’d planned on wasn’t going to happen, clearly, but I had a backup plan. I took out my Anxiety Duck. He comes with me to my appointments all the time, and helps keep me calm. Again, my “friend” felt the need to comment: “Really? Put that away. You’re humiliating me.” OK fine. Guess who’s on ignore the rest of the evening.

Continue reading “Guest Post: A Night at The Opera: How A Blind Date Got Blind-Sighted By Humanity”

Guest Post: A Night at The Opera: How A Blind Date Got Blind-Sighted By Humanity

My Time is Not Yours to Waste

I just wanted to go to the store, to pick up some things I needed. I decided to take my wheelchair. I won’t lie, I wanted to hatch some Pokémon. I also wanted the chance to browse the hardware store for some odds and ends I need to finish up my room. It was a treat for myself – getting the chance to explore the store more than is otherwise possible for me. I even arranged to borrow a bus pass.

Earlier this week, the temperature dropped and I am still adjusting to the sudden cool air. Additionally I hadn’t really taken into account how the speed of the chair, adds some extra wind to the chill. Either way, I made it to the station, and awaited the weekend bus.

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My Time is Not Yours to Waste