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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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About Gizmo

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 08/05/1962

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  • Location
    Vienna, Austria
  • Interests
    Traveling, writing, my cats, books, sports, movies, my circle of friends.

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  • Membership Type:
    Family Member/Friend of Amputee
  1. Gizmo


    Dear Lynne, I hope you are feeling better in the meantime but I can imagine what you have been through. Last summer I was "only" stolen my wallet on the subway (without my ever noticing it) and still it felt like a major intrusion upon my privacy and I was paranoid for the next couple of weeks. I work at a university and in January the bank which is situated right in the middle of campus was robbed (at gunpoint) and the cashier injured. The bank is right opposite of both the dean´s office and the mail department so people walk in and out all the time. Still the thief was in luck and got away with a lot of money. Austria used to be so safe, but the crime rate has risen considerably, particularly after the abolition of the iron curtain! What a shame! Sometimes, if I work late and want to cool off a bit, I walk on campus a bit, but in the last couple of weeks I have made it a habit to "borrow" my colleague´s pit-bull as protection. I am tall and not exactly fragile looking, but you never know.. Best regards, Gizmo
  2. Gizmo

    Earthquake in Southeast Asia

    I got back from South India only a couple of weeks ago - and I have been to all the places affected (except for the Maldives) - not on this trip, but on former trips. Exactly ten years ago, on Dec. 24, 2004 I started my trip around the world which lasted for a whole year and my first stop had been Sri Lanka. On Christmas Eve I got very sentimal and wanted to turn back time.. My family and friends are utterly glad that I am here.. Thailand seems like such a safe place, no volcanoes, thus hardly earthquake prone, no political turbulences..Just the other day, I saw photos of a friend of mine, spending time in Khao Lakand it looked absolutely gorgeous. Who would have thought that a couple of months later everything will be gone.. I have never been a religious person, but I think when watching these pictures even the most religious ones must start wondering if there is a God.. Sad regards from Austria, Gismo (will get a computer next week, so will hopefully be online more often)
  3. Gizmo

    Amy purdy as lead role in movie

  4. ..I am here to work, so I can hardly see the computer any more because of the things and projects piled up in front of me. That´s the reason why I am not posting for the time being. Hope it will get better next week! Am excited since in two weeks I will be leaving for India - and both my apartment and my office are a mess (at least I am consistent..). Apart from that I am fine, enjoying the "Indian Summer" here in Vienna (called "Altweibersommer" in German - Summer of old women.. probably not politically correct..), even went swimming yesterday (was very cold, though..) Regards, Uschi (Gizmo)
  5. Gizmo

    Would you do it..???

    ..having a beauty operation??? Have your nose, lips, breasts, behind or whatever "remodelled?" Or getting rid of "spare tyres" or wrinkles? Since the opening of the iron curtain many people go over to Hungary or the Czech Republic to have it done there, since it is a lot cheaper than in the west. Or do you believe one should accept oneself the way you are without any artificial modifications applied? Do you despise people like Cher or Melanie Griffith?Or would you do it, too, to up to a certain extent if you had the financial means? Regards, Gizmo
  6. what would you do differently? The other day, I watched "The Butterfly Effect" in the cinema and just loved it (it is about a guy who can go back in time and change things). I would probably go for another line of studies (studied Economics, hated it - the only part I liked was advertising/marketing, but you need not really go to university to be good at it; the only thing which counts is creativity!). I had always wanted to study either languages or biology (crawling around in the jungle with gorillas or something like that), but everybody kept telling me that the job prospects would be extremely bad so I decided against it. Right now, I am fine - also jobwise - but I have wasted a lot of time and energy in stupid marketing jobs, working 80 hours a week! As far as my private life goes, I do not think that i would do anything differently. I was once tempted to stay in the US, since in the last month of my scholarship there I met someone interesting, but I am glad that I did not do it. Again I would choose not to have a family of my own. Regards, gizmo
  7. Gizmo

    Do you have pets????

    I have two very naughty cats. Shiva - the Hindu goddess of destruction (no coincidence..) - a beautiful three-colored callico (gallico?) cat, almost 15 years old. Used to be good, has picked up a lot of bad manners from Gismo. Who is about 3 years old, was found in the street after being hit by a car. Was transported to our clinic where I adopted him. Special feature: orange tabby, pretty chubby, one eye missing. Biggest scoundrel on earth. Has more stupid ideas in 30 minutes than other cats in 3 years. Can open any door, drawer, cupboard. Picked that up from Shiva. Plus calls people in the middle of the night by pressing the repetition button..Has in return taught Shiva to distribute grapes, tampons and other picturesque things equally all over the apartment and misbehave at night, showing mommy that it is a particularly idiotic idea to be asleep when it is prime time for cats. I could not live without my babies any more. I love cats for their independence, but I like dogs also but would never want to have one. Can borrow the dog of my boss and my colleagues, though. Just returned from Italy where I was dogsitting for my boss´s dog Eloise, a stubborn huge furball (Leonberger). Apart from the cats, I have a couple of moths, spiders and ants at home, but we are not on a first name basis... I just know that MJ has a dog..what about the others??? Regards, Gizmo
  8. Gizmo

    Typical example...

    Sheila-- sure it would be the same! If you see it from an anatomical point of view, a missing eye is definitely something missing! Plus there is also a major difference between an artificial leg/arm and eye - since the eye is attached for cosmetic reasons, while the leg/arms serve a different purpose ( in addition to a cosmetic value of course) By the way, I was not responding any more because I was busy at work - and at home my computer does not work. Regards, Gizmo PS: By the way, my cat Gismo has an eye missing, but he makes up for it by being the naughtiest cat on earth!
  9. Gizmo

    Typical example...

    Kaz, I let it drag on since for me it was unfinished business ... It bothered me that you were sticking to your opinion?? sorry, that you do not know me any better. Just on the contrary: I hate it when people are easily convinced and change their opinion like a leaf in the wind, just because they are not sure of themselves. But you were not only sticking to your opinion, you failed to understand that I was seeing it from my angle! (I am talking about my opinion that some non-disabled people do not feel at ease among people with a disability - seen from a non-disabled point of view!) By the way, you say that harmony bothers me (which is right), that´s the reason why I like to initiate healthy discussions, stir things up a little bit.. but then you say, that I find it hard if someone confronts me?? A bit contradictory, don´t you think too? Would be boring if everybody agreed with me - but there is a difference between "not sharing" and "not accepting " an opinion. Gizmo
  10. Gizmo

    Have any of you ever met in person???

    Sheila, Maine is one of very few states of the US I have never been, too, but I would love to (during the Indian summer perhaps). I fell in love with Maine´s scenery when watching "Children of a Lesser God" which was utterly beautiful. Regards, Gizmo
  11. Gizmo

    Typical example...

    The development of the last thread is a typical example why so many non-disabled people are scared of having people with disabilities around them. Fear of saying something wrong, using a wrong term, offending the other person unconsciously and then having to apologize for something which was never intended, feeling the urge to censor one´s language for possible slips - which is all leading to a situation in which the non-disabled person cannot act naturally any more and cannot be himself/herself any more. I was under the impression that people knew me in the forum and knew that I would not consciously insult someone for no reason or question one´s "wholeness"( I am aware of the fact that I should have used the term "anatomical completeness" in my last thread and nobody would have challenged me (after having worked in a clinic for three years, I should know the vocabulary better). Still, my wording was interpreted in the most negative way possible. My feelings are not hurt - as Johnny supposed - I am just very disappointed, particularly in the people who should know me better due to numerous mails and hours and hours of chatting. I have worked in management for a long time, so I have no problems in handling discussions, challenges, different point of views, fights etc (actually I rather enjoy it since constant harmony is utterly boring) What I find hard to deal with is when persons who supposedly know me rather well start questioning my attitude in general (thank God in my job or within my circle of friends that has never happened) and in specific. Everybody knows that I am a straight shooter and do not mince matters. It would not be "me" to tiptoe and walk on eggshells all the time and thinking five times before saying something which one or two people might choose to interpret wrongly. Johnny, I find it quite bizarre, that you ask me to apologize once again. I have done so in one of my postings already which I think is enough. Regards, Uschi
  12. Gizmo

    Have your friends changed?

    MJ, I am sorry if you or anybody else felt offended by the word "complete". As I explained in one of the postings, I just referred to it from a completely objective point of view, with no evaluation whatsoever in mind, just as a comparison in before or after. Unfortunately this attempt to misinterpret some words I used have happened before, and to tell the truth, I am tired of it. I am asking questions out of interest and just the persons who should know me best are trying their utmost to misunderstand me, are attacking me, challenging me for deciding what is complete (which I never did!)or not and other issues. I honestly do not have the time to keep defending myself all the time for things I am accused of saying and meaning. As a result, I really think that this is the perfect time to say goodbye to the forum. I enjoyed being part of it for a while. Regards, Gizmo
  13. Gizmo

    Have your friends changed?

    This is of course a very mature reaction (to threaten not to write anything in this thread any more; that is the right way to discuss!!), Kaz, I am really impressed! Of course, I am interested in your perception, but that was not the question and I was talking about people to whom the amputation happened in their adult lives, when close friendships have been formed and how these friends deal with this completely different situation. I am glad, that both you and your friends deal so well with it, but you were not really the target group of my question, since, as far as I can remember, you were 13 (or even younger) I am not trying to deny that you had close friends at this age, but it is probably different when it happens at 30, right? Uschi
  14. Gizmo

    Have your friends changed?

    Kaz, perhaps you could answer a little less aggressively.. You do not seem to understand that it is not about YOUR perception or about the perception of people with a disability, but about the perception of a non-disabled person who is, out of a sudden, confronted with the issue of amputation (be it as a friend of the person in question, or as a spectator of the paralympics..) It has got nothing to do with the fact that you do not feel embarrassed or incomplete! If you had read my first posting carefully, you would have seen that I am NOT talking about the potential retreating and embarassement of the disabled person, BUT of her/his friends (or at least this was the way it was supposed to mean!) Nobody is taking the liberty here to conclude what a disabled person thinks or does,but I do take the liberty to speak from my point of view, from the experience I have gathered. These five people were not amputees as far as I could tell -(but all had some sort of disability!) but do not forget, that being exposed to disabled athletes of all kinds, they definitely see differences in people´s reactions to different disabilities - and according to their experience, non-disabled people find it hardest to "bear" the idea of something missing (which is, by the way, also a thoroughly researched psychological effect in the framework of gestaltpsychology - people have the tendency to complete things and something missing - no matter what - irritates them) And Kaz, I can even tell you from my own experience in my circle of friends, that an amputation scares people a lot more than any other potential disability (again, this has got nothing to do with how the amputees perceive themselves!!). I have two friends with a disability among my friends; one amputee and one woman who had polio as a kid. The one with polio walks with crutches and looks a lot more "disabled" than the other one. Still, when people learn, that one is an amputee and has an artificial leg, they are just shell-shocked... Regards, Gizmo
  15. Gizmo

    Have your friends changed?

    Thanks for your answers. Kaz, I deliberately used the word "complete" and meant it in a narrow, physical way only (of course!)- and do not agree at all with you if you refer to it as "shallow". When I had this interview at the Austrian Associated of Disabled Sportsmen, the committee interviewing me (about 5 persons) all shared the opinion that non-disabled people feel a lot more embarassed when a person is missing a part of his/her body than when "only" walking with a limp, or crutches or something like that. I conclude, that missing a part of the body appears so "final" to the ignorant person and thus a lot more frightening than other disabilities. Any thoughts on this?? Regards, Uschi/Gizmo