Thursday, March 29, 2012

the coolest prosthetics ever

  Okay, so there's something I need to confess: I have an obsession with It's got such a wealth of cool ideas and a super simple organization system. What's not to love?!

  So here I am with another board I put together specifically for this blog. As a one-handed girl, I've had my share of experiences with prosthetics (I got my first one when I was only a few months old.) My parents thought it would be a good idea for me to wear one to create a semblance of normality and to make me feel just like every other happy-go-lucky little kid. Back then (and this was twenty years ago),  prosthetics were all about function. In addition to grasping small objects (yes, I even had the awful harness arm with the over-the-shoulder strap that cut painfully into my skin), the artificial arms of the time were known for trying to look like flesh-and-blood limbs. Of course, most of them failed at this attempt. Despite the skin covers with the almost-lifelike hair follicles and the French manicures, the arms' many screws and rubber texture betrayed what they really were. Honestly, I think I would have gotten fewer stares if I had just walked around without the artificial hand. 
  Nowadays, fortunately, the paradigm for prosthetics has changed significantly. People are starting to view artificial limbs as both functional AND fashionable. Gone are the days when a limb deficient person had to try his or her best to hide the lack of an appendage. In this age of constantly advancing science and technology, prosthetics are considered cool. This means that prosthetists are taking liberties in how they design these artificial limbs. You can now find anything from tentacles (see picture on right) to mermaid tails to legs with detachable heels. Pretty awesome, huh?

  So in celebration and appreciation of how far prosthetics have come in the last few decades, check out this Pinterest board featuring some of the coolest artificial limbs available today. If you're anything like me, you're already planning outfits you can pair with each of the prosthetic arms....But then again, that might just be my Pinterest addiction talking. 

Caitlin :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

happy birthday to this guy right here

  On this lovely day, my wonderful boyfriend Chris turns 23. Yep, 23. He's getting to be an old man! (Okay, I'm being hyperbolic.) Anyway, the handsome man you see here happens to be the most amazing human being I've ever met. He's sweet, funny, smart, loving, and a zillion other great qualities that cannot be confined to a short and simple blog post. To sum it up, he's my Prince Charming. I've never been one to believe in fairytale romance, but this is the real thing. Chris just gets me. He loves me on my good days and my bad days (and trust me - you don't want to see me on a bad day.) He's seen me go from deliriously happy to angry to sad to practically insane, often all within the span of an hour. He appreciates my strangeness, my nerdiness, and even my moodiness. 

Being silly

  And in case you were wondering, he has been absolutely 100 percent supportive about my arm. He's the one who's given me the courage to stop wearing my prosthetic all the time, telling me that he finds me prettier when I'm comfortable. And you know what? He's made me believe it too. I do feel a lot happier and more confident without it. I look like myself. And according to Chris, that's a pretty good thing.

  So yes, I really hit the jackpot in terms of finding my other half. And now, I get to celebrate another year of his life, another beautiful year we're together. I'm off to go eat some yummy cake now, but I'll leave you here with a quote by an author I really admire (because if anyone knows anything about love, it's him):

Caitlin :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

the coolest people with limb differences

 Good morning, everyone! I thought today might be a good day for some inspiration. Check out this Pinterest board I put together of people who've beaten the odds and accomplished incredible things. Read their stories here and tell me what you think!

Caitlin :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

media/meme monday - the cutest thing on three legs

  This cartoon has been going around the web for a while now, so I thought I'd share it here. I just love the way the puppy doesn't let the boy indulge in self-pity. What do you think? 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

the irresistible charm of one-legged young men

  Hi again! I'm so sorry for the hiatus; I was crazy-busy with midterms and work and all that other fun stuff. Anyway, I am now on Spring break. And it actually feels like Spring! The weather is glorious and classes don't start again until Monday, which means that I have more time and energy to invest in my absolute favorite pastime - reading! For those of you who don't know, I'm a HUGE bookworm. If it were up to this English major, I would spend every day at home in my pajamas devouring all the books on my ever-growing To-Read list. Of course, I don't get to choose which ones I read for school. And while I love the classics and the odd/obscure novels the professors pick, I also like to give my brain a rest and indulge in some literature geared towards young adults. Speaking of YA fiction, has anyone else noticed the recent trend in teen books? Two YA novels currently on the bestsellers list feature love interests who happen to have one leg.

Trailer for The Hunger Games movie, which hits theaters March 23rd

  Okay, so maybe the word "trend" is a bit strong. It's still too early to tell whether or not it will take off with other authors. But judging from the huge fandoms dedicated to these two books and the upcoming movies based on them, bipedal boyfriends might just become a thing of the past (unless, of course, their second leg is a prosthetic.) In case you haven't heard about these dreamboats (do we even use that term to describe hotties anymore, or is that just my mom's influence rubbing off on me?), allow me to enlighten you. In The Hunger Games, author Suzanne Collins creates a post-apocalyptic society that holds an annual competition where randomly selected people (all under the age of 18) must fight to the death in a specified arena; the sole survivor is then pronounced the winner. The protagonist is Katniss Everdeen, a teenaged girl who starts to fall for Peeta Mellark, her former neighbor and biggest threat in the Games. Now I'm sorry if this spoils a part of the story for anyone, but Peeta eventually loses his leg to a bad infection. So for the next two books (yes, The Hunger Games is a series!), he wears an artificial leg. And now oodles of young girls are in love with his baker-next-door charm and boyish good looks. If you don't believe me, check and run a search for his name. While you're at it, you can also look up "Augustus Waters."

Book trailer for The Fault in Our Stars

  Let me start off this next book description by saying this: The Fault in Our Stars is my favorite book. Ever. MY FAVORITE BOOK. Did you get that part? It's pretty rare for a bibliophile to single out just one book as a favorite, especially if said book has only been available in stores (and online) for less than three months. That should be a testament to the awesomeness that is the author John Green. I'll be honest - I have a huge literary crush on the man. After all, he created Augustus Waters, the smart and thoughtful boy who lost his leg to cancer and knows how to make a girl swoon. If someone can make you fall hopelessly in love with a fictional character, he/she has mastered the art of writing fiction. Sorry if I sound sort of pathetic, but I closed the book with a sigh and a tear and a wish that Augustus were a real person. I also made my boyfriend and my best friend read it, and I'm pleased to announce that they were equally impressed by it. So if that's enough of an incentive to read the novel, go for it! I highly suggest you do. Plus, Green manages to infuse so many deep insights and literary allusions into the novel that you might even discover a new truth about your life. Ah, the transformative power of literature! But I digress....I just get really excited about books like these!!!

This pic includes the whole Hunger Games series AND The Fault in Our Stars!

  And you know the best part about The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars? They don't focus so much on the characters' disability. Instead, Peeta and Augustus are depicted as whole and attractive young men with the same human thoughts, desires, emotions, and weaknesses as anyone else. Their one-leggedness has nothing to do with the way they win over their girlfriends and essentially save the day. How cool and revolutionary is that - characters whose disabilities are really just part of them and don't define them or symbolically represent a deeper issue in their personalities? It's a big step up from The Odyssey's blind seer Tiresias or A Christmas Carol's pitiable Tiny Tim. I mean, Peeta and Augustus take the old disability trope of the poor little cripple and flip it on its head. And now, millions of readers around the world are falling in love with their genuine personalities and general hotness, regardless of how many limbs they possess. So if anyone reading this post just happens to be an established or aspiring YA fiction writer, take note of this: giving a character a disability is NOT going to make him or her any less awesome or relatable. If the success of The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars is any indication, your book might even end up on the bestsellers list.

Caitlin :)

Note: If you'd like to check out The Hunger Games and/or The Fault in Our Stars, I've listed them (with links) under the "books i recommend" page on this blog.

All images found on either Tumblr or Google Images