Sunday, October 12, 2008


Today is Chewing the Fat's second anniversary. For two years I've written something pretty much every day. This is post number 743! I should be in a mood of celebration but I've had an extremely bad and extremely upsetting day. I'm going to write about it all. In gruesome detail, but I need a bit of distance from it all.

Instead, I just want to take the opportunity to say 'thanks' to all the regular readers, a special thanks to those who take time to comment. I can't tell you how important this little community has become to me. Chewing the Fat was begun as a means of documenting life as a newly disabled guy, as a way of putting on paper observations about what disability means - and what it doesn't mean. But it's become more than that to me, its become a way of connecting with others, a way of experiencing community.

While the Community Living movement tends to focus on the need to integrate and include those with disabilities in the larger community, I've always been of a mind to build and fortify the community of those with disabilities. I see the importance of integration and inclusion, of course I do. But I get frustrated at the denigration of the idea of a home community, of a place where disability is the norm. I get worried that in the rush away from 'segregated' activities, we end up with isolated people living isolated lives.

I want both. I want it all. I want to be able to find commonality with others who either have disabilities or who have disability in their lives. I want to be able to talk about what it is to face a world that thinks a ramp is a gift not a right. I want to be able to speak to parents who fight for a desk and a chair from schools who know best but who practice the worst. I want to have those moments of clarity that come from realizing a loss of aloneness. And I've found that here at Chewing the Fat.

So thanks for standing by CTF, for being part of this little community.

Happy Birthay to Us.


Belinda said...

Yeay, getting up early means I can be first to say HBTU!

Chewing the Fat is a place I check out daily. I love the daily surprise--never knowing whether I will find a road trip story, a personal memory, or a rant: Against the heartless, bigoted or systems that are meant to help, but harm instead.

I am so glad you are here, and I love the community of fellow readers and commenters too, they add to the great pleasure of Dhewing the Fat, in fact, it really is Chewing the Fat with Friends. :)

Glee said...

I agree Dave. I enjoy my community of PwD, my friends who are crips, my people. I would not survive (or perhaps the abloids would not survive as I would shoot nearly the whole lot of em) if I didn't have my crip mates. I live in my own home and many an hour has been spent bitching with my mates about how hopeless, mean, stupid, selfish and generally laughable the abloids are.

The culture of disability is not recognised (perhaps does not exist) in the same way as other cultures such as Australian aboriginal culture exists and is recognised. I think that may be because of the stigma of disability and the fact that we were controlled (still are) for centuries and shut up in institutions. We did have a culture of a sort in institutions (see Skalligrigg the book) but it was vague.


Staying up late here in Australia means sometimes I can be first Belinda lol

John R. said...

Happy Birthday TU......

CTF was born a Libra!

Libras are all about balance, fairness, love and justice. Libras are fierce defenders of equality and inclusion. Libras love to love. Agape love is their best suit. (Libras do well with Eros love also!)

It makes complete sense that this blog was born under the Libra sun, moon and stars....I should know;I am a Libra.

Happy day to you all!

Stephanie said...

Happy Birthday!! In an attempt to do something for yourself, you have done something for so many!! CTF is a gift I give myself everyday when I wake up. I love coming here, and as Belinda said, getting my daily dose of the surprise make me think and you make me want to do better!! Thank you Dave!

theknapper said...

Happy Birthday!!!!
CTF has become a regular part of my day.(wherever I am & right now I'm in Santorini!)
Thanks for sharing so much with us.
Take good care.(and hope you're having some pumpkin pie!)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday and thanks so much for allowing us to read, comment and discuss. It is definately a part of my daily routine!


qw88nb88 said...

Happy Blogiversary!

I'm so glad you have decided to stick with this project. Yours is the first blog I read in the morning. I really enjoy your various perspectives, and your ability to find thoughtful analyses in everyday events. I'm even more impressed that you do so every day!

I certainly hope that we will have the opportunity to meet when one of us is on the road,

Suelle said...

Happy Birthday! My life has been busier lately & I don't get a chance to read every day. But due to Chewing the Fat I'm getting more involved in the developmental disabilities community--I'm actually the chairperson of my county's Family to Family Network! Who'd a thunk!
Thank you Dave!

lisa6wks said...

Happy birthday! Thanks for enriching my life.


Cynthia said...

Happy Birthday 2 You! CTF is the first blog I read in the morning. You have certainly given all of us a gift in your writing.
Worried about your bad day. I hope you are all right.

Kei said...

HBTU and HATU~ Thank you for taking the time to blog~ the ups, the downs, the poignant, the joyful. Just as a family of friends would.

I hope your day improves.

wendy said...

Happy Birthday, CTF! This is the only blog I read and I read it faithfully. I am always touched in some way by what I read. Some days I laugh...other days I cry. Every day I take something away to ponder. Thanks for that. I'm sorry you've had an upsetting day. Know that we'll all be thinking about you!

Tony Osgood said...

Happy birthday and thanks for sharing. Take care of you & yours.


Carrie said...

I start just about every morning with a cup of tea and your blog. I have been faithfully reading for almost a year, but have yet to comment. I have been to many of your lectures/conferences and always look forward hearing what you have to say. Keep up the great work!!

myrrien said...

I have been reading your blog faithfully for over a year now. I've never been a regular reader of blogs but I read chewing the fat every day and recommend it to others in my line of work. The reason for this Dave is I have learned so much, I have come to question my and others practise and endevour to improve it.

That is it's legacy Dave so I for one would like to thank you. You have inspired me, brought me to tears many a time and made me laugh.

I look forward to the next year.

rickismom said...

Two years. 743 posts. That is a lot of time spent by you. Posts like your don't just roll out of the pen on their own. It is a lot of work. So thank you for taking the time to teach us, challenge us, strech our minds, and entertain us.

liz said...

Happy Birthday!!!

gracie1956 said...

I read this somewhere...
Home is that place that when you go there they have to take you in.
That was not true in my blood family but over the years I have built myself a family from friends around me. I have been very careful in my selection because I really can't stand much more betrayal. I think of you in that way Dave, even though I have never met you. That may sound a little pitiful to some but it really isn't. I care about the person (you) on the other end of this computer. Other than my daughter, you are the only person that I interact with everyday. Back when you said you were going to take a break from Chewing The Fat for a while, I thought you surely deserved a break, but I was so glad when you didn't take one. I'm sorry you have had a crappy time of it today. I hope you allow someone to help you (if you need help) the way you help so many others. God bless you Dave.

awesomeangel said...

Hi Dave,
I stumbled upon your blog tonight and love it completely. "Well Look At That" was one of posts that spoke the best message to me. Can I copy it and paste it into my daughters journal on her website?

We'll be sure to give you the credit for it and add the address of your blog, if that's fine with you. We've heard you speak before in Vancouver at the World Down Syndrome Congress Conference. So finding your blog is like striking gold!!

Anonymous said...

Happy 2nd Birthday CTF!
Thanks Dave....for the insights!
Love to you....LinMac

lina said...

Happy Birthday CTF...and congratulations to you Dave. Whether I agree or disagree, smile or cry, you always give me something to think about.

Shan said...

Happy Blogiversary! And THAT is a lot of posts...blogging every day is impressive.

Hope you are feeling better after your gruesome day.

Oh, and one more thing... said...

Just wanted to say Happy Birthday to your blog :)

I really enjoy reading your posts - even the ones I don't enjoy because the story makes me cringe. Even in those, your perspective gives me hope and courage.

I have a little girl who is 4 and has Down syndrome, and I like to store up good ideas and good stories like the 'she's no saint' one.

Best wishes, and bless you!

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday, Chewing The Fat, I'm a fairly new fan, just over the past sew months. Interesting about the blog being born under Aries, I find that kind of thing very interesting, but those qualities seem to fit your blog very well.

buy generic viagra said...

Thank you for this post, we are the readers but you are a brilliant blogger. I really want to know more about you because I think we can share a lot of knowing each other.

Viagra Online said...

743? this is a impressive number, you must to spent a lot time and dedication to this post, really you are that kind of person that when found something to do, put all in that activity.