Archive for July, 2010

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.