Meet a Contributor: Anna!

So everyone can get to know our contributors a bit better, we’ve decided to run a series called “Meet a Contributor”. Each Contributor will be interviewed by the others in turn.

A white woman and a white man holding a cane stand in front of a lighthouse.  She's wearing all black, with a rainbow-striped knit hat and a sparkly rainbow scarf.  He's wearing all black with a white tilly-style hat.  He is noticeably taller than she is.  Description text by Anna

Hi! I’m Anna. I had to edit this post because someone outted me at work.


Chally: You’re from Canada but you’ve spent a fair bit of time living elsewhere on the planet, can you tell us a bit about that?

I used to write a travel blog about living in other countries, but, as you can see if you check it out, I haven’t updated it since 2007. (Always, I promise myself, I will update it! Always! Any day now. I’m from Alberta – Nova Scotia is totally like a different country right? Right?)

I don’t quite know how to talk about having lived overseas anymore. I enjoyed it. I fell in love with the UK, and I’m hoping to do my PhD work in Leeds. I also fell in love with Australia, and I hope that there will be an opportunity for me to work there again. But now that I’m back in Canada, I haven’t put nearly as much effort into seeing my own country as I did into seeing other countries. I lived in Nova Scotia for 18 months before I left Halifax. I regret not spending more time seeing here instead of longing to be there.

meloukhia: How do you think that the portrayal of disability in pop culture should be improved to be more disability-positive?

Stop with the crip drag right now.

Karen Healey made a comment on her LJ about Glee that struck me as something interesting:

At first I was all, “I can’t believe whoever they consulted for disability advice didn’t underline that sixteen times,” and then I listened to the first part of that sentence and went, “Karen, that assumption possibly speaks well of you, but you are assuming a lot.”

Do they have people with disabilities that they talk to before writing these scripts? Do they have writers with disabilities? Do they think at all before saying “You know what this show needs? Diversity. Let’s bring on a guest character in a wheelchair!”

Get some people with disabilities involved in the creative process, and I bet we’ll start seeing something a bit more interesting than Bitter White Dude in a Wheelchair and Caring Empathetic White Chick who is Blind.

amandaw: I suppose it may have been covered in the past, but: How did you and Don meet? And/or the story of your early relationship/how you got to here.

Don is the most awesome person on the planet and you can’t have him.

I’ll spare you the overwrought story of our courtship (he wrote me a love letter when I was in China), but I’ll sum up our wedding.

We secretly eloped. So secretly, we didn’t tell our witnesses what we were doing until we got to the Registrar’s Office. And maybe didn’t get around to telling anyone for months afterward. Maybe even years.

Basically, we invited our very good friends Melle and Phil to come up to Inverness (the one in Scotland) with us for the day, and made “just one quick stop” on the way. It was very short, and sweet. Then we had lunch together, and Melle and Phil went back to Edinburgh while we stayed that night in a castle. It was awesome!

abbyjean: i would like to know more about your screenprinting class, especially as i’d be interested in taking one myself. what are the skills you learn? what are you planning to make?

I took three classes in screen printing at the Roberts Street Social Center this month. It was nifty! The first night we coated our screens in emulsion. The next night we turned our designs into screens. The third night we printed.

My designs were just text. One said “Ask me about my agenda: www.disabledfeminists.com”. Another said “Disability should be no barrier to education, but often is. Ask me how.” The third one was two in-jokes in my circle of friends: “Majestic. Like an Axe.” and “Subtle. Like a Kraken.”

I’d totally post pictures, but the fabric I bought soaked up all the ink and they didn’t turn out.

However, the whole screen-printing experience was awesome, and now I can use the screen printing facilities there during their open hours. Once I get some better fabric, I’m going to make myself a few bags with the URL for FWD/Forward on them.

Annaham: What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

Read read? As in, sit down, read cover to cover, actually enjoy? Um…. I liked The Lovely Bones. I think I read that this summer.

But, at the moment, my bookshelf is covered with books on disability and the history of disability and research techniques and how to write a thesis. I enjoyed the articles I read in Women and Deafness: Double Visions. I fangirl Susan Burch like you wouldn’t believe. (I hope she doesn’t self-google, I sound so unprofessional, but maybe one day I’ll meet her at an academic conference. I’ll ask a smart-sounding question about her work, and she’ll ask me about Nova Scotia residential schools, and then we’ll talk over coffee and she’ll invite me to send her a draft of one of my articles, and… and…. My fantasies got really boring when I became an academic.)

Lauredhel: What TV show(s) or movie(s) have you really liked, and why?

I really liked the first two seasons of BBC’s Robin Hood I also really enjoyed the first two seasons of Little Mosque on the Prairie, which was a Canadian show about a Muslim community in rural Canada. (It was a bit twee, and had all the depth of a teaspoon.) You can find some of it on YouTube.

I can’t even tell you why I like them. I just do. I’m not very deep.

I don’t want to explain my love for Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. So I won’t.

I really enjoyed Whip It, Julie & Julia, and Mrs. Pettigrew Lives For a Day. Strangely, all these films focus on women! And I liked them! Funny!

OuyangDan: You are from Canada, and I am from Almost Canada. What is the proper plural for “moose”? Do you, like, KNOW Mr. Hockey? Could you get me his autograph?

The proper plural for moose is “Timbits.” Mr. Hockey is my brother. (You may think I’m kidding, but the bass trombone you’ll hear when you go to this page is my older brother, Ken. He’s no longer with itromboni, which makes me sad because they were in Halifax last month, and I haven’t seem my brother in years. Canada is very big, and he lives in Vancouver. I can’t get to Vancouver, but I can get to Australia. This sums up Canadian life.) I can’t get you his autograph, because he can’t sign things while playing trombone, but he did learn to skate before he walked and shout “he scores!” before he talked and there’s a Gretzky born on every block up in Canada.

(Oh wow. My spell check knows Gretzky. Probably because it’s set to Canadian spelling.)

I’m so very Canadian that I hate Toronto and often remind my classmates that The West Wants In. (Dear Toronto People: I’m teasing. Now that you live in a have-not province, you need to learn to accept that.)

(People are going to leave comments that are tweaking my nose about being an Albertan. Forgive us, we’re Canadian, we try hard to be nice. You, too, can be Canadian if you accept that Canadians are weird about regionalism.)

kaninchenzero: So you like printing, what with the class and all. Have you printed / have you considered printing your skin? (With a tattoo / with tattoos, that is.)

I’ve thought about it. I don’t think I’d be suited to tattoos, though. They look like a commitment, and I have a fear of commitment. I only got married because Don’s really really hot and I’m quite shallow.

Feel free to ask me your own questions, as I like talking about myself (hence, a blog. Multiple blogs, really.) I won’t promise to answer them all, but I’ll try.

By 8 November, 2009.    meet a contributor   



11 Comments

  1. Hooray for weird Canadian regionalism!

    I don’t have a regional mindset at all, though. It’s probably because I’ve lived in BC, Manitoba, Quebec, and Nova Scotia and am now going to school in Ontario. I’ve seen it all. (Except PEI, the non-NS Maritimes, and the Territories).

    Lovely interview. I like this feature.

  2. Thank you!

    My parents are out in BC now, on the Island. It’s very nice. They call me every time it snows out here to ask me about the weather, and then laugh.

    My parents are meanies. I come by it all honestly.

  3. That picture is totally Peggy’s Cove. 🙂 Where I have never been, despite having spent all twenty-three years of my life in Nova Scotia and living a mere two hours (and for one year, perhaps half an hour?) away from it, haha. XDDD

  4. Too bad, because Peggy’s Cove is quite lovely. (We were on our way to Lunenburg.)

    Of course, it’s a real hassle for wheelchairs – we rented a manual chair that day because the big electric sexy sexy wheelchair of awesome isn’t built to be put in vans (woe is me). So, I pushed Don up and down both hills in Peggy’s Cove, then up and down all of Lunenburg. Then I took a week to recover. Ow!

  5. I’m sure I’ll get there someday. It’s one of those things I plan to do – maybe next summer, now that my depression is under control and I can be happy about being around people and leaving the house, haha.

    I couldn’t imagine the cove would be very wheelchair-friendly – being, you know, a cove and full of rocks and all. And Lunenburg is pretty damn hilly, isn’t it? *has never been there either* I hope you enjoyed yourselves even with the hassle, though. 🙂

  6. Other than the hills (if we go back, we’re finding a way to take the electric wheelchair), Lunenburg isn’t that bad. They have an aging population, so they’ve put some effort into becoming more accessible. It’s not the bestest place ever, but there weren’t any huge glaring issues.

    I mean, other than the hills. They’re apparently easier to do switch back. Needless to say, I tried to power right up them. Ow ow ow ow ow.

  7. My parents have been to Lunenburg but it’s another of thos eplaces on my list that I’ll eventually get to some day, lol. Good to hear they’ve at least tried to be more accessible – more places need to do that. (I’m looking at you, Halifax.)

    I can imagine – a friend of mine was temporarily in a wheelchair because she did something to the ligaments in her knee and she needed help more than a couple times because of some mild hills and stuff (like never having used a wheelchair before – it was a learning experience for us both), and that was hard enough with her being about my size. I can’t trying to push my dad or brother around (I’m approximating from the pic, obviously, but I think they’re probably about Don’s height).

    We never find out what happened to my friend’s knee, though – the docs kept saying nothing was wrong, that the CAT/MRI/etc. showed nothing the matter, except she couldn’t put even the slightest weight on it for months. It was over a year before she could use it even enough to press the clutch in a car, and now six years later she still has to take stairs one at a time because she can’t bear her whole weight on that leg with the knee bent even for that length of time.

  8. (Don’s 6’10”, or 2.09m. We think. The last time he went in to get height & weight, he was off their measuring stick.)

    🙁 I’m sorry your friend was in such pain for so long. 🙁

  9. I was exceptionally confused by everyone talking about Lunenburg – I thought you meant this place…

    Also, perusing your travelling blog, I discover that not only did we live in the same city (Edinburgh) at the same time, we were also both at the 2006 Beltane Fire Festival. Maybe we met! Except, you know, not, because 12,000 people + I spent most of the time huddled in a ball because noise! crowd! people! noise! Fellow autistic people with noise sensitivities, do not go to this ever ever ever. Er, where was I – anyway, I find this a cool coincidence; I don’t often meet people who’ve lived in my various corners of the world online.
    .-= Kaz´s last blog ..You are now looking at an Officially Official Aspie (TM) =-.

  10. (…Okay, so Don’s taller than both my dad and my brother. XD Holy crap. XDDD)

    Yeah, it sucked pretty bad for her.

  11. Are you so Canadian that you can tell mean West vs East jokes en Français?
    .-= Jesse the K´s last blog ..Quantum Entanglement: Fashion Emergency #33 =-.