Battle of the Western Worlds

The Heart of the New West or City of Champions? You be the judge. For many years, even before organized sports in Alberta, there has been a rivalry. Edmonton or Calgary, Cow Town or E-Town? As a long time resident of a town outside of Edmonton, you would think my loyalty would be to Edmonton. It’s only logical, right? You’d be surprised to know, I have split loyalties to both of these beautiful cities.

Yes I’ve been called a traitor for this. I’ve been called pretty much everything you could call such a person. Though I implore you to keep reading, and discover for yourself why my heart is forever torn between two rivaling cities. I love both Calgary and Edmonton.

I grew up a small town girl. Wasn’t often I’d venture any further than school and home. Certainly, the only times I went into the city is when I needed to for one reason or another. There were occasions when I did visit the two cities I’ve come to love and admire.

My first concert, in summer of 1998 was held in Edmonton, at was then called Skyreach Centre. Though I’ve also attended a concert in Calgary at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Both concerts I enjoyed thoroughly.

Edmonton is home to Galaxyland, an indoor amusement park. Calgary has, in my opinion, a better zoo. There was the Twin Drive in, in Edmonton, when I was a little girl. Calgary had and still has, Peter’s Drive-in.

Then we get into the more sentimental aspect, of why I am forever torn between these rivaling cities. Family. I have family in Calgary, including a young nephew who though I don’t get to see him often, I think of him every day. Family means the world to me.

This is of course, the pivotal reasoning behind my never rooting exclusively for either the Calgary Flames, or the Edmonton Oilers. I just can’t in good conscience root for either, without thinking I’m being disloyal to a family member.

So whether you are pro Edmonton or pro Calgary, what is written in this blog entry, is why I declare neutrality. I love both cities.


Fifteen Questions/Fifteen Answers

So I’ve been listening to a pod-cast called Unknown Studio for a while now, and recently asked permission to answer the “Fast Fifteen” from the show, for myself. The hosts of the show, graciously gave consent. So here goes…. (including two wild-card questions, they came up for me)

Also, they’ve requested I include a little bit about myself. Well as I’ve said above, I’ve been listening to their show for awhile now, not entirely sure how long but it’s been at least since their episode announcing The Edmonton Journal as one of their sponsors. I’m twenty four years old, live outside of the city but try to visit as often as I can. I’ve lived in Edmonton area all my life. Currently back in school, upgrading my English preparing myself to apply to University. Aspiring to go into journalism, with my focus being print journalism to start but hoping after about ten years to enter the wonderful fast paced world of tv news. I am very open about having a disability, and I try not to let it stop me from striving for what I want in life. Love having fun with friends, learning and music is as much a passion as writing and news.  I am a self confessed news junkie.

Note: Unlike on Scott and Adam’s pod-casts, I won’t be too overly short with my answers. This is a blog after all, and not a pod-cast episode. Sorry!

1. Favourite food?  Truthfully, it depends on the ethnicity… and my mood.  I love trying new foods, from different cultures. Two favourites are California Rolls (sushi), and Ginger Beef (Chinese food, yum!).

2. Favourite colour?   Anything in a soft hue, or pastel.  I’m a girly girl who loves pinks, purples, soft pale yellow, baby blue etc.

3. Mac, PC or Linux?  Well my desktop computer is a Mac Mini, and my laptop is a PC so I’m comfortable with both. Never actually ever used Linux before, but have seen it.

4. Dogs or cats?  I’m allergic to both, love both. So yea ….. either works for me! (or not).

5. Coffee or tea?  Got to have my Earl Grey tea, especially with vanilla flavouring!

6.Favourite holiday?  Halloween is fun because I can dress up, and see all the little kids dressed in their costumes while giving out candy too. Easter is good too (one word,chocolate eggs!)… ok that’s two words… lol

7. Favourite sport? Football.

8. Favourite past time? Listening to music, and singing along while I write essays, blogs, etc.

9. Favourite music right now? Celtic music mostly, but I’m pretty eclectic liking a mix of Pop, Contemporary, Swing, Bluegrass, Classical and Choral music.

10. Favourite movie?  Not really into watching movies but I still love Flight of the Navigator.

11. Favourite video game? Always will be a huge fan of Golden Eye, but if you include computer games I’d definitely have to say Carmageddon (the original).
12. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Honestly, I’d like to be able to play basketball without there having to be a low basket. Can’t jump through a darn, due to practically non-existent balance. (That sounds so lame, but there ya go).
13. Star Trek or Star Wars?   Okay either way people are going to hate me here….. Star Trek all the way!  Especially Star Trek The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager.

14. Wildcard: What’s your #1 favourite thing about Edmonton?  Only one favourite thing…. that’s near to totally impossible to pick only one favourite thing about Edmonton.  I love the River Valley, the view crossing the river, the cultural diversity seen, heard and felt just by walking down downtown Edmonton. I love the festivals I’ve been too. Sorry, there’s no possible way to pick only one favourite thing about the City of Champions.

15. Wildcard: What’s worse: Mel Gibson’s recent telephone rant or Ke$ha? Well I have no clue who Ke$ha is, and don’t know the full story behind Mel Gibson’s recent telephone rant so I’d have to say no comment on this one. Sorry guys, I know…. I’m a party pooper!

Too old?

At what point, in a person’s life are they told old for various past times, such as watching cartoons or buy ice cream treats from ice cream trucks? Some might say you’re never too old. They would tell you, there’s a little piece of child in each of us, no matter our chronological age.  Yet still others argue, there must come a time when teddies must be put away, no more hopscotch can be played and we must turn our attentions to more adult matters. Matters such as learning to budget our money, which political candidates to support, and when is a good time to start a family, career, or both.   No longer is it proper, to fall asleep hugging your favourite teddy bear close.

I wonder however, if there cannot be a happy medium. Of course not every grown woman is going to play with dolls anymore, but in the right context doing so should not be seen as inappropriate. In the end, would we really be hurting anyone?  I say, most likely not. Then there is the concept of watching cartoons well into adult years. I fully admit to watching cartoons. Let’s face it, I find some documentaries to be rather tiresome, long and boring. Zoboomafoo teaches about different animals in the wild, and in a fun interactive format that I enjoy. Then there is Dora the Explorer and Diego. Both are good ways to learn introductory Spanish.

So whether you think you’re too old, not old enough, or truly really don’t care, enjoy what you like. Again, if it doesn’t hurt anyone, then what’s the harm? Go on and snuggle the fuzzy teddy bear of yours tonight, I dare you.

Through a Mother’s Eyes – An Interview

I recently had the privilege to gain insight into the mindset of a mother, whose son has a disability. Having special needs myself, I often wondered what goes through a parent’s mind, when they learn their child has a handicap. I hope you enjoy the following Q and A as much as I enjoyed conducting it.

1. Jumping right in, were you aware before having your son, that he was going to be born with Spina Bifida?

There was no sign during my pregnancy that there was anything wrong. Since it was my first child I had nothing to compare my pregnancy to.In fact I had never even heard of Spina Bifida.

2. What went through your mind when you were first told, your son had Spina Bifida?

I think I was in shock and didn’t really understand. Immediately after Dakota was born they took him aside to clean him up and nothing seemed wrong to me. Labour was induced since my water had broken the night before and I had an epidural. I didn’t see his back until hours later when they let me hold him before they transferred him to a different hospital. When I did get to hold him I immediately felt the love a mother has for her child and, realizing he was going to face a lot of challenges, I remember telling him I’d always be there for him.

3. In looking back through the years, what would you say has been some of the things that stand out to you, on raising a child with a disability?

Dakota is first my child and secondly was born with Spina Bifida. Highlights are mostly the same as any child first day of school, first words, first time standing with braces, piano recital, graduation, prom.

4. What has been some of the lows, of raising a child with a disability?

I always keep in mind Dakota is the one with the disability. He is the one who has had many surgeries and challenges with school. It’s always difficult to see your child having to deal with all the challenges.

5. Looking back is there anything you would have done differently?

I think I should have been stricter.

6. Any advice for people with disabilities?

We all have disabilities. Some are more obvious than others. Never limit yourself. You are not disabled but differently able.

7. Any advice for parents of a person with a disability?

Accepting that we don’t have control over everything that happens in life is the first lesson you learn. After that, your child is your child first and has a disability second. Enjoy your children.

8. Is there anything else you could add, about being a parent of a person with a disability?

I am blessed to have wonderful children. I am very proud of both of them. I’m just an ordinary mom who has extraordinary children. They have taught me many things about life and love.