Today, is my fourth anniversary of when I proposed to my wife.
As promised, here’s the story of how it happened. The story’s one of my favorites, and it even includes an international political figure who’s still in the news today.

It all started a few weeks before our trip to Toronto. I was on an oc transpo bus heading to walmart to get a few things. I knew I had a big trip coming up and I wanted to get her something special.

My attended reminded me that they sold engagement rings at walmart. At first, I was skeptical of buying it at walmart. It just didn’t seem like something that I’d buy at walmart.

I walked in and headed to the counter to look at Rings. After about 15 or 20 minutes, I found the one that I wanted and thought that would look good on her finger. All I had to do was figure out how to propose to her.

The next few weeks were rough on me. I wrote, and rewrote the proposal. I’m not the type of guy that follows a script. When I did comedy, I would often improvise on the spot during my set. Needless to say, this wasn’t an easy task.

As weeks turned into days before our trip, I was getting more and more nervous every day. Soon it was time to go to the train station.

We arrived at the Ottawa train station, not knowing who was going to be in first class with us.

While we were waiting in the train station’s vip lounge, we saw Luba Goy. Luba Goy is a lengendary Canadian comedian, most notable from the Royal Canadian Air Farce. Sadly, I remembered her most from being on Mr. Dressup and other kids shows.

For most of the ride, she sat elsewhere in our section. At one point, she walked by us to use the bathroom. On her way back, I yelled out, hey, I know you. From there, she introduced herself and she asked to join us. I must admit that I was a little starstrucked, just because she’s a comedy legend. At the time, I was just a few days away from my first comedy gig. This was a pretty big deal to me.

She stayed with us for the rest of the trip, which was about two hours at this point. She was a great lady, very interested in us and our story etc. She even called me a few days later and literally left a 5 minute message on my voicemail. I was sad that I missed her call. I tried to contact her, but had no luck.

As if that wasn’t odd enough, there was someone else sitting near us, who’s pretty well known too. As it turned out, The President Of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai was sitting beside us surrounded by bodyguards.

At first, I didn’t believe it, but Luba Goy, and my wife confirmed it. I googled him when we returned home, sure enough, it was him. He made small talk with us for a few minutes, which was pretty neat.

Our train arrived, and we headed to our hotel right across the street. We managed to get a suite at the Fairmont Royal York. The room was HUGE, and I could actually use the bathroom. I can’t even do that in my home.

The moment was soon to arrive. I decided that I wanted to be comfortable, so I proposed to her just wearing boxers. She was wearing something comfty and sexy as well.

All I truly remember from the proposal is saying that I want to tell her something. Apparently, I freaked her out because she thought I was mad at her or something. That’s not a good way to begin a proposal.
As it turned out, she said yes, and I later found out that she was hoping that I’d ask.

We went to bed after that. Believe it or not, this was the first time we were able to sleep together. The reason is because I was still using a hospital bed at the time, and it was just a single bed. In fact, whenever she stayed over, she’d have to sleep on the floor. Needless to say, we didn’t really sleep that night in Toronto.

The next morning, we ordered room service. I managed to frighten the guy with an overly friendly hello from my bed, which was about 40 or 50 feet from the door. Hey, I got engaged, and spent the night making hot, passionate love. I think you’d be pretty happy too.

We spent a few hours sightseeing in Toronto and went up The CN Tower, which was my second time there at that point. I went back one time since, which was the following summer.

A few hours later, we headed back to Ottawa. There wasn’t anyone famous on our journey back, but we had a train load of memories.

Tonight we’re heading to a revolving Roof Top Restaurant to celebrate.

It’s not as high as The CN Tower, but it’s not easy to when you’re still on top of the world, four years later

My sister came to visit last weekend, from niagra falls.
She arrived on Thursday, but we didn’t see her until friday.

She came over just before 5, and we headed out soon after.

My sister is heavily into geo-caching, so we headed to search.

I’m not fully educated in geo-caching yet, but basically people leave items in different places in a city, and you have to try to find them. When you find an item, you write your name and or initals on a piece of paper, and you log about it on a website.
There’s more to it, but that’s the basic idea.

To be honest, I don’t really get the allure of it, but my sister’s into it, and my wife got into it, so I’ll give it a shot.

We found one cache in a park, but no luck with other ones.

After that, we went for dinner at the Grand Pizzeria.
I had Corona, and Caramel Latte Cake, which was damn good.
We headed home after that to get some much needed sleep before the long, busy day ahead of us.

I woke up at 7:30 am on saturday, and my wife and I were out the door by 9.
We headed off to see my granny at the nursing home with my family.
My mom, sister, brother, and three year old nephew were there.

We all hung out together, which we rarely get to do, which was nice.
My nephew was racing around outside in a car, so my wife suggested that we have a race.
Sure enough, we raced around for a few minutes, which was fun. It also gave me a chance to do something with my nephew. The last time I saw him was two years ago and he was just a baby.

After our visit, it was time to get tattoos. My sister got two tattoos, and two removed.

We got there around 1, and I tried finding a design that I wanted.

For the longest time, I wanted to get a wheelchair symbol done in a celtic style.
Then I started thinking as I wrote my initals a few times on my computer.
The more I wrote it, the more I realized that the “L” could easily be turned into a wheelchair. So I went there with an idea.

This is what we managed to come up with:

Personally, I think it’s the best tattoo that I have, and I think it suits me well.
It didn’t hurt when I got it, and it only took 20 minutes to get it done.

I’d like to eventually get a stamp made of it, and I’d use it as my official signature.

As far as I know, it’s very original too, which I like.

After that, my wife and I came home for an hour before our next voyage.

Our next stop was East Side Mario’s for family dinner.
This time, it was my wife & I, my mom, dad, sister, and nephew.
I drank wine, and more cake.
At one point, my nephew tried to feed me ice cream, and he managed to get it into my mouth.

After dinner, my wife and I window shopped a bit before we headed home.
The rest of the night, my wife hung out with me at my place.

The next day was spent with my wife trying to recover from the day before.

I did laundry on Monday.

Tuesday was spent having espresso, and then geo-caching that night.
We didn’t have any luck though.

I also got my wife to pick out a gift for our 4th anniversary of being engaged, which is on Thursday.
I can be pretty clueless when it comes to buying her stuff, so now we go together, so she can pick whatever she wants.

She picked out two gemstones, which are our birthstones, and she’s gonna wear them as a necklace.

All together now.

1…
2…
3…

AWWWWWW!

In all seriousness, I think she’ll look beautiful wearing them for our dinner date.
We’re heading to the Merlot Rooftop Grill. We went there last year, and enjoyed it.
It’s a restaurant on top of a hotel, and it revolves.

As for Wednesday, we had coffee together. We were going to geo-cache, but it started raining.

If I have time tomorrow, I’ll (re) share the story of how I proposed.

On Tuesday, I headed over by the casino to meet one of the organizers of the casino sound & light festival to discuss improving wheelchair accessibility.

The ride there was interesting.

The para transpo driver had no idea where I was going, and it had been two years since I had been there. For some odd reason, he kept asking me for directions on how to get there.
There’s a few reasons why that’s a horrible idea.

1. I don’t drive.
2. I assume most disabled People don’t go to home renovation stores often, so I had no idea where to turn off, or what streets to take. (I was going to Reno Depot, which is the french version of Home Depot.)
3. My direction skills are HORRIBLE. I’m not kidding either. I once got lost when I came out another Door of my wife’s workplace.

After about 45 minutes of trying to read french road signs, and asking 3 random car drivers on the road, we discovered that we were in the opposite end of Gatineau. I somehow still managed to make the Meeting semi on time.

Our meeting went well. I was given a very thoroughed tour of the site. As it turned out, the main reason, I had so much trouble 2 years ago is because my wife and I had general admission tickets instead of reserved seating. If you buy tickets for the reserved seating section, you can sit on a platform, which is directly in front of the fireworks.

The view there was absolutely beautiful, and it seems like it’d be incredible at night.
One of my beefs is that I’d have to pay extra for my attendant, which is extremely stupid, plus expensive. So, I will be writing a letter to the festival president to see if they’ll drop that policy.

When I was a kid, a roommate (at the hospital) went on TV to discuss how unfair it was that we had to pay for our personal care attendants if we wanted to see a movie. It turned out that our complaining made life easier for us, and other severely disabled people.

After that, it was up to the theatres on whether or not to let them in for free. Nowadays, for the past few Years, we’ve been issued an “Access 2 Entertainment” card. Whenever I go see a movie or a special event (like wrestling) at the movie theatre, I show them the card, and just pay for myself. The next step is trying to convince concert/sports venues to do the same. I’ve been discussing it with different places for many years now, and it’s a never ending battle.

Speaking of movies, on Tuesday night, I checked out The Other Guys, starring Mark Wahlberg & Will Ferrell.

For those who don’t know, Mark & Will work for the Police Force, but not as Cops.
Will’s an Accountant, and Mark was relieved of his cop job after shooting Derek Jeter.
The two of them team up to try to solve a crime in the hopes that they can earn a cop job.

This movie pokes fun of other cop movies, especially buddy cops movies.
The duo of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg came off very well, and extremely funny, and it also helped that Eve Mendes was in it too. She played Will’s wife, and Mark’s absolutely stunned that she’s married to Will.

To me, Will Ferrell is a hot/cold type of actor.
On the hot side, he’s been in such great movies as, A Night At The Roxbury, Old School, Anchorman, Elf, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and Blades Of Glory.
On the cold side, he’s been in movies like Bewitched, Semi Pro, Stranger Than Fiction, and Land Of The Lost.

To me, The Other Guys, is one of his better movies.

As far as the rating, well, I give it a solid joysticks up. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a Will Ferrell fan.

The rest of my week was spent trying to fix the weekend schedule for my attendants. For the longest time, I’d be without anyone for 32 hours, which is very bad considering I require 24/7 care.
Luckily, I managed to convince people to work, including a brand new attendant, and 2 that no longer work here regularly.
All that matters is that everything worked out, and I’m proud of myself.

As for my weekend plans, Saturday’s gonna be a busy day.
My sister and nephew are in town.

Saturday morning will be spent with my family visiting my Grandmother. My Grandma will be having major surgery next Wednesday, so we’re all gonna visit her at the nursing home.

After that, my sister and I will be heading to a Tattoo Shop to get tattoos. My wife’s coming too, but not getting one done. I hope to shoot some video footage of me getting my tattoo done.

After that, we’re all heading to East Side Mario’s for a family dinner. It’s very rare that we’re all able to be together, so this will be a special occasion, and I’m really looking forward to it.

As for Sunday, I’ll probably sleep and relax after a long day.

Last time I posted was on Wednesday, just before using my new Ventilator.

The first night was pretty rough. It kept beeping every few minutes, which meant i got almost no sleep that night. The next day was pretty much a write-off.
I went out for about an hour to try to wake up, but it didn’t really help.

Later that night, I had a surprise visit from two friends of mine, Ashley & Cedric.
They both used to look after me for awhile, and we’ve stayed friends. My Wife & I even attended their Wedding a few years ago, which was pretty fun.
Anyways, I hung out with them for about an hour, which woke me up, and cheered me up.

Thanks guys

I was pretty tired by the time I went to Bed, so I slept like a baby.

Personally, I never understood that saying.
Babies poop, pee, and usually cry & scream at night. I don’t cry & scream, but ok whatever.

Anyways, the next day, I stayed home, but hung out with my Wife that night.

Saturday was a very busy day for us, but we had a blast.

Our first stop was Expresso Cafe, so I could grab an Espresso.
From there, we headed to La Petite Mort Gallery, which is a small Art Gallery in Ottawa.
They’re running an Exhibit, and my Wife knows one of the featured Artists.

Things got interesting.
A few days ago, I emailed the Gallery to see if they were Wheelchair Accessible.
The guy said they had a Ramp, but it was stored in the Basement, and to let them know when I was coming, and they’d get it out.

Well, they put the Ramp out for me when we arrived. It looked pretty steep though, and I didn’t want to try.
The Guy brought out two Sculptures which were made by my Wife’s friend.
One happened to be a Penis, and the other one was a Vagina. So there I was in the middle of the Sidewalk with a Penis & a Vagina on my tray. The whole time, we’re just talking away about them.

After a few minutes, we headed off.
Special thanks to the people at La Petite Mort Gallery for showing me those pieces.

From there, my Wife and I went into a few Stores in the Market on our way to get Gelato.

After the Gelato, we headed to the Rideau Centre for a bit.
My Wife bought me a Starbucks Card, and put $10 on it.

We headed home for a bit to rest up before we headed to the Greekfest.

We arrived there shortly before The Zorba Show.
The Zorba Show is where people dance, break plates and glasses while getting drunk on Ouzo, which is Greek Booze.
I should also mention that part of the show involves them dancing in the middle of a fire circle.
It’s insane!

Speaking of Ouzo, I had three shots of it, and it’s pretty good, perhaps too good.

After the show, they invited everyone to dance, and sure enough we did.

At one point, I got stuck in the middle of a dance circle, so I just started dancing while I was in it. I wish I got that on Video though. It was pretty funny.

Trying to dance while driving a 500 pound Wheelchair is pretty hard, especially after having three shots of Ouzo, but I managed to avoid running anyone over.

We headed home awhile later, but we had a blast though.
OPA!

As for today, I had Coffee with my Wife. She tried to make Espresso with her Espresso Maker, but it tasted more like Coffee. It was still pretty good.

After that, I did Laundry.
Tonight, I’m heading out to watch WWE Summerslam.

As for this Week, besides the Meeting on Tuesday Morning, no real plans.
My Sister & Nephew arrive on Thursday, but I probably won’t see them until Saturday Morning.

I might go to the Ex on Thursday. The Ex is our annual Fair.

That’s about it.

So on Monday, I retrained an Attendant who’s returning after being away for a Year.
Everything went fine, and she remembered how to do everything.
I also interviewed a new Attendant, and she seems good.

As for the rest of the night, I did laundry, reserved a table for a Dinner date with my Wife for our Engagement Anniversary later this Month, and vegged.

On Tuesday, I trained another new Attendant. This was her first day, so it went ok. On the first day, they usually just suction me at the end of the day. She did, and it went well.

I spent the Evening with my Wife.

As for Wednesday, three hours was spent learning about my new Ventilator.
It’s ok, but it’s really freakin loud, and has alot of bright lights.
Right now, I’m just gonna use it when I’m sleeping.
I’m not really sure how well I’ll sleep, but I’ll find out tonight.

Eventually, I’ll be getting a second one to put on my Wheelchair.
My new Wheelchair’s gonna look like the Car in Back To The Future.

And now it’s time for the “is this really happening?” moment for the Week:

As some of you know, I was supposed to meet with one of the Organizers of the Casino Sound & Light Festival to discuss ways of improving Wheelchair Acessibility.
So, on Wednesday Morning, my Attendant called Para Transpo (Like I’d get up at 7 am.) to book my ride.
Well they said that Para Transpo doesn’t go there. HUH? Since when?
That makes no sense whatsoever.

Anyways, we’re gonna try to meet up next Week.

As for the rest of this Week, I’ll be checking out Fortissimo on either Thursday or Friday night.
Fortissimo features Military Bands, like Bagpipes, & Drums, and also features live demostrations of things.
It takes place on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday at 7:30 pm on Parliament Hill.

No other Weekend plans yet.

On Friday, my friend, Alan came to visit. We hung out, drank, and laughed our asses off.
We’ll be checking out a Comedy Show on August 29th at a Bar called Grace O’Malley’s in the West End.
If all goes well, I hope to be able to do a set there in September or October, which would be awesome. I really miss performing Stand-Up Comedy, and I’m glad that other Comedians told me about the place.

In other news, I had a pretty lazy Weekend, which is good because I have a busy Week ahead.
Here’s what’s happening:

Monday — Retraining an Attendant who’s returning to work for me. Also, meeting a potential new Attendant.

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday — Traning another new Attendant all day.

Wednesday — I’m getting a new Ventilator, which requires five hours training apparently.

Thursday — I’m suppose to meet one of the Organizers of the Casino Sound & Light Festival to discuss Wheelchair Accessibility. We were originally supposed to meet on Monday, but it was supposed to rain, so I had to postpone. it.
As luck would have it, it rained on Sunday, and apparently will rain on Thursday now. I hope we can work something out, cause that Festival needs alot of improving with Wheelchair Accessibility.

Any free time in between will be spent trying to remain sane.

Wish me luck!

On Monday, my Wife arrived home just after 11 PM. Her Brother drove her, with his Daughter.
We hung out for two hours as they got ready for Bed.

I usually see his Daughter once a Year, and she’s a great Kid. A little wacky at times, but who isn’t when they’re ten years old.

I remember the first time that I met her.
My In-Laws, & my Wife all went to a Restaurant. I order Deep Fried Ice Cream, and she wanted to feed it to me. I thought that I’d end up wearing it, but no, she did great.

See, Kids, if you offer to feed a Disabled Family Member or Friend, Ice Cream or Beer, it’s a beautiful thing.

First, you’re helping us, which SOME of us truly appreciate, especially with food.

Secondly, it gives them a hands on experience about being around Disabled People, and shows them briefly what we deal with. It also gives you a chance to ask us questions.

Speaking of asking questions, I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t say it enough.
Sometimes when I go out, Kids ask me or their Parents “what happened to me”.
Usually Parents are quick to shush them or something. To me, that’s wrong.

I’d personally prefer if Kids ask me or ask their Parents, and that I or the Parents answer their questions.
Kids are naturally curious about life in general, especially about me.
To them, I probably look like a Giant evil Cyborg.
So, Parents, chill out, let them ask, and let me answer please.

If I can educate them, and hopefully help them not become ignorant, & shallow, & uninformed like alot of Adults, I’ll be happy to talk to them.

Adults, for the most part, are a lost cause.

I’m done my little speech now

Anyways…

We spent the next day together. The Weather was crappy, so we hung out, played some Games.

My Wife and her Brother decided to go get a Pizza, so I got to babysit for about twenty minutes. It was nice cause I never get to spend time alone with his Daughter.

I showed her some Pictures of me online, and played some games online. I wish we had more time together, but it was nice while it lasted.

It reminded me of when I was a Kid living in the Hospital. I looked after TONS of Kids, almost daily. We’d play Video Games, watch TV, listen to Music, play Board Games, or just talk. I’d do whatever it took to cheer them up, and make them forget their illness for a little while.

Anyways, a few hours later, my Brother-In-Law & his Daughter left to head back to his Dad’s, before heading home to Halifax today.

Speaking of today, all I’ve done is I met my Wife for Lunch near her work.
Then, I went to the Bank to get Laundry Change for her.
I’ve done my good deed for the day.

Speaking of Laundry, I’m gonna do some now.

I wanted to post yesterday, but I was too brain dead from being outside.

Anyways, this is what I did this past Weekend.

On Saturday, I headed to the Sparks Street Mall for the Buskerfest.

I saw two acts that day.

Liquer Flambé — These 2 were from Australia. Their act featured a Violin, Fire eating, and Juggling. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve seen better.

Checkerboard Guy — This guy was funny, but catered mostly to Kid. Good show though.

I headed home shortly after that.
I called my Nephew to wish him a Happy 3rd Birthday, which was on Saturday.
My Sister will be bringing him to visit at the end of August.

I spent the rest of the night vegging out online, and watching TV.

Sunday was a long day for me, but pretty fun.

My first stop was Pure Gelato.
Normally when I have Gelato, I’m with my Wife and we share it. It usually works out to about 6-10 bites. I’m certainly not complaining, but sometimes you gotta spoil yourself, especially if your sig other’s out of Town.

I went kinda crazy on the Gelato.
I ordered two flavors. One was Crem Caramel, and the other was Chocolate.
They were both damn good.
I quickly got full after a few minutes, but I managed to eat half a bowl.

By the time I left, I felt like a fat Pig.
For obvious reasons, I just can’t walk it off, and driving a Chair doesn’t really burn Calories.

From there, I headed to the Rideau Canal Festival. My Wife & I “adopted a Metre”, but I couldn’t find the spot for the Plaque with our names on it. I asked at the Information Tent, but they were useless. They said it starts under the Bridge, and that I can look it up online. Yeah, I did that beforehand, douchebag.

I was getting hot, so I decided to head to the Rideau Centre to cool off for a bit.

After awhile, I headed to a Patio and had a Beer.

Later, I headed back to the Sparks Street Mall to see some more Buskers.

When I showed up, right away I saw Silver Elvis.

Silver Elvis — He was standing elevated, dressed like Elvis, and painted all in Silver. Basically, he’d dance or move if you dropped Money in his Piggy Bank. He looked pretty cool, but he didn’t do that much.

Jeff Hill — I’ve seen this guy before and he puts on a great show. He swallows objects and brings them up, plays with & eats fire, illusions, and gets out from a Strait Jacket. His show’s Soundtrack is pretty rockin’ too. After the show, I went up and gave him $2.

I tried to see a few other acts, but I was too late. There were too many people for me to even attempt getting a spot.

That was it for my day.

As for today, I went to Starbucks to get an Espresso.

My Wife returns tonight.
Her Brother and his Kid will be staying with her, so we’ll probably hang out tonight, and part of tomorrow.

I hope you all had a good Weekend out there.

On Wednesday, I called my Chair Tech Guy to see if my Controller would be back by Friday. At the time, he didn’t sound too positive about it. Needless to say, I was frustrated at the time.

Eventually, it ended in a good way, but let’s talk about in between.

On Thursday, I headed to B In The Park, which were Bagpipes in a Park. I decided to take a Cab because there was no way that I’d be able to go from the Bus Stop to the Park using my crappy beat up Nintendo Chair Controller.

My Cab showed up at 5:30, and I got down there about fifteen minutes later.
Now, it was my understanding that it would cost $10 to get in, but nobody asked me for it. It’s a good thing cause I spent $10 just getting there.

The first Band were Sons Of Scotland. I think they were a local Pipe Band. They were good, but not as good as The City Of Chicago Marching Band.

Shortly after they came on, I had to go catch my ride home. I booked my ride early, so I could get home to spend time with my Wife before she left for her Dad’s place. She’s gone all Weekend, but at least we were able to spend time together, both Thursday & Friday.

On Friday, I woke up & found out that my Chair Tech Guy dropped of my Controller. I found out soon after that it didn’t work, and neither did my backup one. Luckily, he was able to return a few hours later and he fixed it.

So now, I have my good Controller back, and I’m all set to enjoy the great outdoors this Weekend.

A few hours after he left, I spent a few Minutes with my Wife, and had Iced Coffee.
Not to sound like a Commercial, but Starbucks sells packs of Instant Coffee, which are actually pretty good. I recommend it.

I walked with my Wife to the Bus Stop to catch the Bus to the Train Station. The Bus pulled up right when we got there, so we just had time for a quick kiss.

There was no cheesy Celine Dion song playing or Rain falling, or me crying, or me ripping my shirt off, or glittering, or some crap. Have fun picturing all of that though.

After she left, I went to the Store to buy a Lottery Ticket, then returned home to do Laundry. Good times on a Friday night!

Anyways, like I said, I’ll be out & about all Weekend.
There’s the Busker Fest, & the Rideau Canal Festival, and I’ll be at both.
Both need to improve Wheelchair Accessibility, but I can’t save the World that fast.

I’ll be making mental notes this Weekend on how I can help, if they want it.

I hope you all have a good Weekend out there.

So yesterday, another major Festival contacted me about helping them improve Wheelchair Accessibility.
This time, it’s the Casino Sound & Light Festival.

My Wife and I attended it two years ago, and we didn’t have fun, largely to how unaccessible it was. I had a hard time getting around, and by the time, I found a spot, it was under a Tree.
We also had a hard time trying to get out.

Needless to say, it’s a big catch for me, and hopefully I’ll be able to help them out.

As of right now, I’ll be working for three major Festivals in Ottawa.
They are:

Ottawa Bluesfest
Ottawa Folk Festival
Casino Sound & Light Festival

I’m still waiting to hear from other Festivals/Events, so who knows what’ll happen next.
Hopefully, more will be interested in hiring me.

After finding that out, I made a few Phone Calls, and then headed out to have an Espresso.

For the rest of the day, I stayed home.
I’m still using my Nintendo Controller to drive my Chair, so I can’t really go far.

This Weekend’s a long Weekend, so I’m hoping that my regular Controller will be fixed by Friday.

I had an Appointment today, and on Thursday, I’m heading to a Park Downtown to hear Bagpipes.

That’s about it for now.

I spent most of my day on Saturday shooting Video for Life In A Day.

Life In A Day was a Project done by Youtube. Basically, you filmed yourself on July 24th, 2010, showing what happened to you that day.

Some of the submitted Videos will be featured in a Documentary at The Sundance Film Festival. The Movie will be made by Ridley Scott, and Kevin Macdonald.

I first heard about it a few Weeks ago from a friend of mine who sent me the link on Facebook.
I read about it a few times, and thought about it alot.

One of my big goals in life is to be famous. Not just for my own personal gains, but I also believe that there’s a SEVERE shortage of Disabled people being used in Commercials, TV Shows, Movies, and/or Music Videos. I’d like to try and break down those walls, and be able to get myself, and others like me, on TV and the big screen.

Of course, there’s also the fame & fortune aspect for me as well. I’d like to be able to move away from here. I’d build a fully Wheelchair Accessible House for my Wife & I. We’d just sit back, relax, and feel good knowing that we overcame another barrier in life.

If I were to become famous, I’d also use my status to further educate people about Disabilities etc. I’d also want to do shows and/or Movies about us.

For example, I’d have a Disabled version of The Bachelor. The guy would be Disabled, and you’d have Women trying to woo him.
To some, it may sound far fetched, but I honestly never thought that a show like The Bachelor, or Survivor would exist, but it does, and they’re very popular.

I learned at a very young age, quite possibly on day #2 that anything’s possible if you want it bad enough.

Back to the Videos that I made.
The first Video that I shot was of me getting suctioned.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, that involves putting a small tube down my throat to suck out stuff in my lungs.

At first, I was nervous about filming it, mostly because it’s a personal, medical procedure for me. I wrestled with the idea for awhile. In the end, I decided to film it for a few reasons.

1. I wanted the World to know what I go through on a regular basis, and to hopefully show them it’s not THAT scary.

2. There’s other people out there that get suctioned too, and I wanted to show them that they shouldn’t feel weird or awkward about it. It’s a part of your life. Yes, it sucks, but if it keeps you healthy and alive, don’t feel uncomfortable about it.

3. I also made the Video in hopes of educating others. Alot of times when I do it in Public Bathrooms, people stare, and I know they want to ask about it, but they rarely do.

4. I also wanted to show people that despite having to do it hourly, I still manage to live a pretty normal life.

Other Videos I did were of me going out, having Coffee, and talking about being in a relationship when you’re Physically Disabled, getting a transfer into bed, and lying down with my Wife.

My personal favorite is the one where I’m having Coffee & talking.

All of the Videos can be seen at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ryanlythall

As for Life In A Day, all submitted Videos will start appearing on their Youtube page in August.

Their Website is located at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/lifeinaday

Winning Videos will appear in a Movie at The Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.

I also plan on buying a Video Camera at some point. I have a pretty interesting life, and I want to share it with the World, and perhaps have someone do a Movie about my life.

Stay tuned.

I decided to take a break yesterday.
Yes, I fully realize that I don’t have a real Job, but managing my life is a Job, plus I have projects on the side as well.
At least one’s Internet related, but I’ll discuss it another time.

The only thing I did yesterday was go shopping at Walmart with my Wife.
We both bought stuff that we needed, so it was pretty productive.
As far as it being fun, not so much, but at least we went out together.

We came home, and got caught up on America’s Got Talent.

That was it.

As for today, I’ve been trying to work on things, but stuff keeps happening.

A Look At Day 13 At Bluesfest 2010 & A Wrap-Up Of This Year’s Bluesfest

Posted: July 19, 2010 in canada, comedy, Daily Life, Daily Living, disability, ontario, ottawa, personal, writing
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Last night was the final night for Bluesfest 2010, and Weezer was a great choice for the final act.

I saw four acts yesterday, so let’s discuss them first.

My first stop was Bjorn Berge in the Theatre. One of my friends suggested that I check him out, and I’m glad that I did.

Bjorn played solo Guitar, and was awesome. He was really funny, and played a mean Guitar. He even did a Cover of Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades”, which was pretty rockin’ especially since it was in a small Theatre. This was a definite hidden gem for me.
I hope he returns next year.

After that, my Wife & I headed to the Cafeteria, so she could eat, and I could rest my arm.

We headed to the Claridge Stage to check out Ryan Shaw.
We were able to get a good spot in General Admission, which is extremely rare. We even made it onto the big Video screen a few times.
Being the Camera Whore that I am, I ate it up, and rocked the hell out every time the Camera pointed at me.

Ryan Shaw was great as per usual. He did some new stuff, his version of Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”, which still blew my mind. I really wish that he’d release it as a Single, but no luck yet.

Either way, you people should google him. I’m not typically a fan of “happy/semi-religious” music, but he also knows how to rock out. I still consider him to be a hidden gem, simply because not that many people know about him yet.

We tried to meet him afterwards, but he wasn’t signing Autographs this year. I do know that he saw me rockin’ out in the second row though.

After the show, I headed to the Merchandising Tent. I wanted to buy a T-Shirt from this year’s Bluesfest, and I got one.

From there, it was time for Jimmy Cliff. That was a good show, but a little too crazy with the “love Earth” stuff.

Jamaican me crazy, man!

After he did “I Can See Clearly Now”, we bailed, and got ready for Weezer.

Weezer was great, and they did all their hits like “Hash Pipe”, “Buddy Holly”, and others.
It was a great way to end Bluesfest.

I decided to walk home from Bluesfest.
Normally, I do that anyways, but I was gonna take Para Transpo this time because I’m using a Nintendo Controller, which is much harder to use.

With it being the final night, I just had to attempt it.
Somehow, I made it though. It took twice as long to get home, and I was having a really hard time near the end, but I made it.
I’m a tough, stubborn S.O.B.

So ended another Bluesfest.

For me, I will remember Bluesfest 2010 for many, many years, possibly forever.
I admit that it’s largely due to the fact that I was in the Media so much, rubbing elbows with top Comedians, and having such a huge impact with Wheelchair Accessibility.

Oh, and the Music & Comedy Shows weren’t bad either.

With that said, here are my picks for top acts from this year’s Bluesfest:

Top Musical Performances:

10. Iron Maiden
9. Big Jeezus Truck
8. Hole
7. The Flaming Lips
6. Crowded House
5. Grupo Fantasma
4. Ryan Shaw
3. Rush
2. Weezer
1. Santana

Top 5 Comedy Acts:

5. “The Canadian Comedy Show” — Mark Forward, Deb Giovanni, Ryan Belleville
4. “The Relationship Show” — John Heffron, Maryellen Cooper, Finesse Mitchell, Jim Breuer
3. Lewis Black, with Kathleen Madigan opening.
2. Louis CK, I forget who opened for him.
1. “The X-Rated Comedy Show — Bobby Slayton, Tiffany Haddish, Ari Shiffir, Mike Wilmot

I think it was a great lineup this year, and Mother Nature co-operated.

In closing, I’d like to thank the following for helping me out this year:

— The Organizers for Bluesfest for listening to my ideas, and installing a Platform, and for the top notch treatment.

— The Ottawa Sun, 24 Newspaper, CTV Ottawa, and the Bluesfest Website for helping me get the message out about how important Wheelchair Accessibility is.

— Bluesfest fans for coming up to me to personally thank me, and encouraging me to keep up the good work. That meant more to me than you’ll ever know. Rest assure, that I’m just getting started.

I look forward to being a part of Bluesfest 2011.

As I mentioned yesterday, I only managed to see one show because of my Wheelchair problems.

My Wife & I checked out Lewis Black, which was great.
Kathleen Madigan opened up for him.
She did some solid jokes about Oprah, Sarah Palin, performing in the Mid East for the USO.

From there, it was time for Lewis Black. I’ve been wanting to see him for awhile now.
He was his usual pissed off self, but he was hilarious with his rants about the I-phone, holidays, and why the US is so messed up.
He also told a great story about Vince Gill, and Amy Grant.

After that, it was time for us to take a Cab home.
I refeuse to even attempt wheeling home using my Nintendo Controller.
I had a hard enough time just getting to the spot to get my Cab.
My left arm tends to cramp up, and gets tired pretty fast when I use the Nintendo Controller to drive my Wheelchair.

As for today, the last day of Bluesfest, I have a full slate.

My Wife & I are gonna check out Bjorn Berge at 4 PM in the Theatre.

At 6, we’re gonna see Ryan Shaw at the Claridge Stage. I saw him last year, and he honestly blew me away. He was a top “hidden gem” for me. I’m gonna try to meet him this time.

At 8, I’ll check out Jimmy Cliff on the Claridge Stage.

At 9:30, we’ll wrap things up with seeing Weezer at the MBNA Stage. I’m really looking forward to seeing them.

That’ll be it for Bluesfest 2010.

Tomorrow, I’ll be giving a final recap of this year’s Bluesfest.
Discuss who I saw, my top picks, and just general thoughts on the past 13 days.

My Wife & I checked out the Pop Life Art Exhibit at the National Gallery yesterday.
Some parts of it are pretty odd, and the Music is a little loud for an Art Exhibit, but all in all, I suggest you people check it out.

After that, we headed down to Piccolo Grande to have a Gelato.

So last night, I wanted to see MonkeyJunk, but they were just wrapping up as we got there. I only got to hear half a song, but they sounded pretty good. Hopefully, they will perform at a Wheelchair Accessible Venue in Ottawa soon.

So after that, it was time for The Canadian Comedy Show, hosted by Mark Forward. The show also featured Ryan Belleville, Debra Giovanni, and Pete Zedlacher.
The show was pretty good for the most part. The Host seemed kinda annoyed, and perhaps lost due to people leaving, and not laughing at him enough.

Sadly, after Bluesfest is over, it will be awhile before I get to see Live Comedy again. For those who aren’t aware, I’m a big fan of Stand-Up Comedy, and even perform it sometimes.

Up until about a year and a bit, I performed regularly at Yuk Yuk’s. They moved to a location that isn’t Wheelchair Accessible. Since then, there’s no longer any Wheelchair Accessible Comedy Venues in Ottawa.

Needless to say, I’ve been seeing as many Comedy shows at Bluesfest as humanly possible. I find it funny/sad that a temporary Tent can be made Wheelchair Accessible, but an actual Venue doesn’t want to bother to even try to be Wheelchair Accessible.

I’ve approached both of the main Clubs here in Ottawa, and either they don’t care & flat out refuse to even try to put a Ramp, or they shut me up when I tried talking to the Media about it.

Either way, it’s a horrible situation, mostly due to Owners not really giving a crap about Comedians or Club goers.

I’m done my little rant.
Sorry

So, after the Comedy Show, I went to see Great Big Sea, or tried to.

My Wheelchair stopped working on the way in.
My Wife spent at least ten minutes trying to fix it, and it worked for the rest of the night.

Great Big Sea was great as per usual.

I want to point something out.
While my Wife was trying to fix my Chair. Security & Volunteers kept wanting to help me get in to the show.
We both refused several times.
For some messed up reason, they refused to listen to her.
Now, noticed that I said her?

None of the “rent-a-cops” asked me directly. They chose to ask my Wife instead.
My Wife told them many times that I was the one refusing help, not her.
If I can drive, I will FREAKIN drive in there myself somehow.

Furthermore, people have to learn to talk to Disabled people. While it’s true that SOME of them can’t speak, don’t automatically assume that we can’t.
It absolutely drives me nuts & boggles my mind, especially since i was publicly interviewed three times in the past week.
Plus, I’m pretty sure it was obvious that my Wife & I were chatting as they approached us each time.

Anyways, my Chair stopped working shortly after we got home.
I’m now using my old Nintendo Controller, which is really hard to use.

So, today/tonight, the only show that I’ll be able to get to is Lewis Black.

As for tomorrow, I have a ride to & from Bluesfest.
I’m definitely going to see Ryan Shaw, & then Weezer later on that night.
As for the few hours in between, that’ll be tough since I can’t drive as much as usual.

Either way, I’m sure it’ll be interesting.

Last night was relatively quiet, at least for me.

I started off by checking out Old Crow Medicine Show, on the MBNA Stage. They weren’t bad, but a little too Country-ish for my Wife and I.

We headed off to play the Canadian Music Trivia game that I played the night before. This time, we teamed up, and played two games against other people.
We loss the first one, but won the second game.

After that, Matthew Good came on.
It was a good show, but not as good as usual. He also sounded a little off.
I’ve seen him at least four times now, and this wasn’t his best set.
Sorry Matthew.
I’m still a big fan of yours though.

During the encore, my Wife wanted to go see the Psychic cause she had a question for them.

From there, we saw Crowded House.
This was a pretty good actually.
They did all of their hits from the 80s, and some new stuff.
The show had a “visit from an old friend” vibe to it, which isn’t a bad thing.

That brings us to this Weekend.
Here are my picks:

Friday: MonkeyJunk, The Canadian Comedy Show (maybe), Great Big Sea.
FYI, I know there’s a certain guy from Degrassi called Drake performing, but I have no interest in seeing him.

Saturday: Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton, Lewis Black,

Sunday: Ryan Shaw, Jimmy Cliff, Weezer

Keep in mind, these are my immediate choices. As per usual, I will be wandering from time to time looking for hidden gems throughout this Weekend.

Out of this lineup, I’m definitely seeing Lewis Black, and Ryan Shaw. Everything else is up for grabs.

Before you ask, I’m NOT going to see Keith Urban.

It is my belief/opinion that Bluesfest should NOT be having Country acts.
There’s a Country Festival coming up soon in Ottawa, so we don’t need more Country Music.

I also read somewhere that Bluesfest wants to/or has added French Bands to its lineup.
Pourquoi?
If people want to hear French Music, just go to Parliament Hill on Canada Day, or just walk or drive to Gatineau. It’s easy enough already to hear French Music.

I don’t need to see Francois Canard opening up for AC/DC, or something.

Anyways, have a good Weekend everyone, and enjoy the last Weekend of Bluesfest 2010.

Day 9 at Bluesfest was headlined by Santana.

I made sure to get there early to get a spot.
Like a true Canadian/Concert goer, my first stop was the Beer Tent. I noticed that they had a Trivia booth set-up near by. I sat quietly for a few moments watching others, while silently guessing each answer. Once I realized that I knew Canadian Music well, I decided to play.

I somehow managed to get them all right. After that, they gave me a Fridge Magnet & a little flashlight.

After that, I headed over to the Platform to get a spot. It was a good idea because it was filling up pretty quickly.

It was an hour before show time, so I just sat in the back of the Platform drinking Beer after Beer, after Beer, well, you get the idea.

I saw the Superintendant of my Building, and he hung out with me for awhile. This seemingly set off a chain reaction, cause soon after, tons of people came over to thank me for getting the Platform. It’s quite gratifying when Disabled people went out of their way just to come meet me, say hi, and to personally thank me.

Speaking of which, I emailed four major local Festivals/events yesterday to see if they’d like my help with improving Wheelchair Accessibility. I contacted The SuperEx, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Westfest, and the Rideau Canal Festival. So far, none have responded yet.

Santana started, and after awhile, someone else stopped by to say hi. Bobby Slayton saw me on the Platform, and came over. I think he actually wanted to sit with me, but they didn’t let him. I was pissed about that because I really wanted to hang out with him, and talk to him. Like I said yesterday, I’m a big fan of his, so that would be awesome for me.

As for Santana, it was a GREAT show. He did most of his hits, plus old stuff, and new stuff, and some covers. I’m horrible with Song Titles, but he performed alot of familiar stuff.

Oh yeah, I just wanted to point something out.
Just because someone is Physically Disabled, it doesn’t mean they can’t be a Jackass.
Here’s an example of a Disabled Person being a Jackass:

So, because I had a few Beers (I lost count after the fourth one.) I had to pee a few times during the show. Each time I left, I got one of the Volunteers to save my spot, and my Beer.

One time I left, this jackass (I’ll call him roller jackass now.) decides to move into my spot. When I returned, roller jackass refused to move. He didn’t just refuse to move for me, but he refused to move for anyone, including others in Wheelchairs trying to get out. He also had a really pissed off look. At the end of the night, as I stayed to finish my last Beer, roller jackass was still sitting there pissed off, and not moving.

From there, I headed to the Bathroom. Driving into oncoming Crowd is quite hilarious at times. My favorite people are the ones talking or something, and not paying attention. Next thing they know, they’re face to face with a 500 pound Wheelchair in front of them. Their reaction is to either jump, scream, or move away. It’s even funnier when I’ve had a few drinks.

I headed home after that.

As for tonight, I plan on seeing Matt (don’t call me Matthew) Good, and Crowded House.
Crowded House was actually one of my favorite bands in the Eighties. Hopefully, both will be good.

I might check out some other shows as well.

My interview with The Ottawa Sun appeared in the Paper yesterday.

Here it is…
http://www.ottawasun.com/news/ottawa/2010/07/12/14690926.html
(Copy & paste url into browser please. Html confuses me greatly.)

I arrived at Bluesfest for day 8. Within two minutes of walking on to the site, I got recognized for being in the Paper. I walked into the Museum, and got recognized, and called by my first name, which was kinda odd at first, but I really liked it.

Even the host of “The X-Rated Comedy Show”, Bobby Slayton recognized me enough to come from Backstage just to talk to me, while I was waiting for my Wife. That was a pretty big deal for me since I’m a big fan of his.

That was pretty much the theme of the night.
I either got “hey, I saw you in the paper”, or “keep up the good work”.

So as I mentioned, we went to “The X Rated Comedy Show” which was hosted by Bobby Slayton, and featured Ari Shaffir, Tiffany Haddish, and Mike Wilmot.

The show was pretty good. Mike Wilmot was the best of the bunch, even though he messed up a few jokes. This was my first time seeing him live, but I’ve been a fan of his for years.

After the show, my Wife & I headed to see Arcade Fire. I had no idea what to expect.
On the way in, my Wife wanted to introduce me to someone.
At first, I thought it’d be one of her Co-workers, but low and behold, it was Ari Shaffir.

We spoke for a few moments, and he seems like a cool guy.
After that, it was time for Arcade Fire.

After seeing bands like RUSH, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, I sat there waiting to be rocked.
It didn’t happen.
Arcade Fire reminds me of a highschool Band that never grew a set of balls.
It also reminded me of Comedians who only do jokes that their friends get.

We left to go see Alexisonfire.
Oh good, screamo Music.
I hate to sound old, but hearing a guy scream obnoxiously, is not my type of Music.
If I wanted to hear perverse screams and bad Music, I’d watch Porn with the sound on.

After that, we headed to the Theatre to hear Alvin Youngblood Hart , who was a Blues Singer. He was great, but he talked too much.

When I go to a Music Festival, I want to hear Music, not your life story.
That’s like going to a Strip Club and the Stripper doesn’t shut up.
I’ve had it happen many times. Part of me wants to say to her, shut up & get naked, I’m paying $20 for this.

We headed home after that.

Tonight’s big act is Santana.
I’m really looking forward to seeing him.
It’s like sex, but with a Guitar.

I came to realize something, well, with my Wife’s help.
I’ll probably be more well known for fixing Wheelchair Accessibility than I will for my Comedy.
It’s a sad statement when you think about it.

The irony in all this is that I can no longer perform Comedy often, due to Ottawa not having any Wheelchair Accessible Comedy Venues left

Another way of looking at it is at least people know my name now.
Now I need to get them to remember the name, and showing them exactly what it means, and who I am.

So, as some of you know, I was on the CTV Ottawa News this Weekend talking more about Wheelchair Accessibility at Bluesfest, and my involvement with improving it.

If you missed the story, you can view it at http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100711/OTT_bluesfest_accessibility_100711/20100711/?hub=OttawaHome
(Please copy & paste the link into your browser.)

I thought they did a really great job putting it together, and it made me actually feel more a part of Bluesfest. I already felt like it, but this further cemented it, if that makes sense.

Anyways, I returned to Bluesfest around 8:30 on Saturday, just in time to see The Flaming Lips. The opening was crazy with balloons, streamers, confetti, and the Lead Singer got into a giant bubble and went into the crowd. It was like Crowd Surfing, but in a huge bubble. I need one of those.

The show itself was great. I don’t really know any song titles, but I wanted to see them mainly cause I heard it’s like a party. It definitely was.

I headed home before it ended, but it was great.

That brings us to day 6.
I spent most of the Afternoon with two buddies from Montreal.
One of them wanted to see the Finals of The World Cup, so we headed to The Royal Oak to watch it.
After that, we came back and chilled out before RUSH.

We got to Bluesfest around 8:30, and off I went to the VIP Section, and Scott & Kris went into the Crowd.

The Platform was packed by the time I got there, but I managed to get a spot.
The show started at 8, and they covered alot of material in three hours.

Part way through the show, there was an Intermission which I found kinda odd, but my bladder was grateful.
I got back just in time for the second part.

As I said, they did tons of old stuff, & even some new stuff.
I usually worry when a Classic Rock Band chooses to do new songs in their sets.
I think most people pay to hear the songs that they actually know.
On the other hand though, if you want to hear old stuff, you can get it online for free.
Humans can be odd at times.

Anyways, RUSH did a good job with their new stuff too.

After that, we headed home for a bit, then we headed to a Patio nearby for some drinks.

As for today, nothing`s on at Lebreton Flats today, but I have to be down there at 5 pm for a Photo Shoot with The Ottawa Sun.
They’re doing a story about my involvement in making Bluesfest more Wheelchair Accessible. The story will appear in tomorrow’s Paper.

I talked to the Reporter by phone earlier today.

My Wife is gone to Montreal until tomorrow.

I may just relax tonight or check out Bluesfest stuff in The Byward Market.

I headed down to Bluesfest shortly after 1:30 to catch Big Jeezus Truck, who are a local Rock Band.
I’ve seen them before, and have even hung out with them after seeing them the first time.
It was a great show, highlighted by their version of “Runaway”.

From there, I headed to the main Stage to see Staff Benda Bilili. Staff Benda Bilili are 8 guys from Africa, and they’re all Physically Disabled in some form.
It’s a great feeling seeing 8 Disabled guys on the Main Stage at Bluesfest.
They were pretty good actually.

From there, it was time for me to head to The War Museum to do another Interview about my involvement with making Bluesfest more Wheelchair Accessible. This time, I was interviewed by CTV Ottawa.

They basically followed me around the site, and interviewed me.
The story will air TONIGHT at 11:30 on CTV Ottawa.

After the Interview, I headed home for a bit to rest up before seeing The Flaming Lips at 9.

As I mentioned in my last post, tomorrow will be busy.
Two buddies of mine are driving here from Montreal to see Rush, plus, I have a few other people who want to see me as well.

Yeah, it’ll be insane, but I feel pretty popular right now, and that’s definitely not a bad thing at all.