Life Lately, January 2024

When I wrote my last Life Lately post in December, I was a little worried that I’d have a few months in a row of the same feel of posts – feeling “stuck” at home and a little bit frustrated. But even with some curveballs thrown my way over the last month, I actually had a really nice month. It’s a relief to be reminded that even when I’m being cautious, there are still ways for me to have fun.

At the end of December, I had a few friends over for our own (tiny!) version of a holiday party. It was so nice to be able to get together with them and catch up… and eat some delicious charcuterie plus Christmas cookies. Low key hang outs are how I’m able to see friends right now, so I’m really glad we were all able to coordinate and get together.

Over the holiday break, I went to the Carnegie Science Center to see the visiting exhibit on the Titanic. But before I checked that out, I had just enough time to check out the miniature railroad before the rest of the museum closed. It’s my favorite – I love how many miniature replicas of attractions from Pittsburgh (and surrounding areas) they managed to fit in!

The Titanic exhibit itself was cool too. They had a mix of actual artifacts found from the Titanic itself, along with replicas of what the staterooms and other spaces might have looked like. You were given a “boarding pass” with an actual passenger’s name on it when you entered the exhibit, and then at the end, you could check if your passenger survived the wreck or not (mine did not).

Ever since we lost Simba, Nala has been SO much more affectionate – it’s like a switch flipped! She has never ever been interested in sitting on my lap before, and then one day she just… decided she wanted to, and jumped up like it was something that she’d been doing for years and years. It’s a little confusing, but very sweet!

Right after we came back from break, my personal care assistant found out she had a COVID exposure, and a few people in her house got sick, so I had no PCA for over a week. It was bound to happen with COVID surging, but still makes things more stressful and logistically challenging for me – it’s a lot of complicated scheduling to make sure everyone can get to work and where they need to be. Being able to go to Drybar and have my hair washed there instead of finding time to do it at home makes life just a little bit easier, and I’m super thankful for it.

The weather has been pretty gross lately – either rainy, or snowy, or cold. I don’t enjoy any of it! But I looked up out my window the other day and caught a glimpse of this – one of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen in my backyard.

Finally, over the weekend I saw the touring production of Girl from the North Country at the Benedum. I was really excited going into the show, but really disappointed when I left the theater at the end of the night. The show was set to Bob Dylan’s music, and the cast was incredible – so talented! But the plot of the show, and the characters chosen to be depicted, was one of the most subtly harmful portrayal of disability that I’ve seen on stage recently. (Spoilers ahead!) There was a woman with dementia who was mostly used as comedic relief when she said often inappropriate lines. There was also an adult child with an intellectual disability, who was played as violent and then killed by his own father in Act II, at which point the disabled man comes out in all white and sings the most joyful, upbeat song in the whole show.

Representation is so important, and so few disabled stories actually get to be told on a platform the size of a Broadway stage. It’s disappointing to see representation that furthers stigma already surrounding disabled people, rather than showing the true beauty and diversity of disabled lives. I want to see disabled stories on stage, yes – but ones written and portrayed by disabled people.

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