It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Testimony in Favor of HB281

[image description: the disabled & proud logo--black rectangle, purple boarder, white writing]

I mentioned in a previous post that I found out that a bill was being introduced into the Maryland Legislature in favor of Disability Rights/History education in schools. I wish I could have done a bit more for this, and I wish I could have skipped class and gone to testify in person, but I did the best I could, and in fact, I think I went overboard... Can someone tell me how to rein in the passion?


Testimony in SUPPORT HB 281

Health and Governmental Operations


Ways and Means Committees

February 25, 2009

By Cheryl *censored*

My name is Cheryl *censored*. I am a senior Family Studies Major at Towson University. I am writing this in strong support of HB281 and am saddened that my class schedule does not permit me to testify in person.

I support HB281 for 2 reasons. The first and most important reason is the bill’s emphasis on educating K-12 students and the pride and understanding that will instill in our youth. The second reason is because I was very excited to read that the state’s public colleges and universities were included in the bill as well.

For about a year, I poured my heart and soul into creating a three hour disability awareness workshop for 120 Towson University students enrolled in various Family Studies classes. This was preceded by a discussion wherein my “peers” without disabilities were asked what first came into their mind when they heard the word disability. Their answers were some of the most ableist—prejudice in favor of able-bodied—remarks I have ever heard. They were “the elderly, people who cannot work, people in wheelchairs, and young children.” I only fit into one of those categories and that’s only sometimes. I don’t always use my wheelchair. Sometimes I walk, or waddle as I prefer to describe the way I walk.

Family studies majors graduate prepared to work in a variety of human services jobs. Many of my fellow graduates will end up working front lines with children and/or families touched by disabilities, and to say I was frightened by my vision of that would be an understatement. I knew my department wasn’t doing a good job preparing graduates to work with this population so I took it upon myself to undertake a very long and overwhelming independent study.

Preliminary data from that initial workshop shows overwhelmingly how well it worked. Students responded that they learned things such as disability etiquette, the impact of disability on the individual and family, and the need to view each person as an individual, among other things. The workshop was viewed by the Family Studies Department and other associated Towson University departments (Disability Support and Towson University Outreach) as such a success that it is offered as an independent study to a senior Family Studies student annually. The Oct 2010 workshop will be the 3rd annual. It is my greatest wish that something such as this can be replicated on all of the campuses across the state and attended by every student in a human services major.

My Evolving Disability Pride and Empowerment

As you see below, I have wondered who my peers are since I was a child. All people identify with people who are most like them. Now that I’m an adult, am about to graduate from college, and am involved in the disability rights movement I am finally able to dual identify. I tell people I am bi-cultural. I have friends and peers who are struggling through my Senior Seminar class with me, as well as other academic experiences, but who may or may not have a disability. I also have friends and peers who have spent time in Rosewood or various nursing facilities, who are activists here today for Developmental Disabilities Day, and whom you may think are nothing like me but are often more like me than anyone else. I am comfortable being me and I ache for others who are not yet that comfortable being different.

What Disability Awareness Month Means to Children

I was born premature which resulted in a diagnosis of spastic triplegia cerebral palsy (CP) and in 2007 I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. When I was growing up I went to hours and hours of physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as therapeutic horseback riding, and at times swim therapy and massage therapy. I couldn’t walk independently until I was 4 and then I had 7 surgeries between ages 5 and 19 which required more hours of therapy and adaptive equipment such as orthotics, wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers, and time away from school and peers.

PEERS Who are my peers? Who were my peers? I wish I knew…

Although my CP related motor skills issues and my later psychological issues impacted my school performance greatly, my disabilities have not impacted my intellectual capabilities at all. I was mainstreamed starting in kindergarten and enrolled in Advanced Placement classes in high school. I’m planning on pursuing multiple masters degrees, and maybe a PhD. I was never in school with other kids with significant disabilities. I was the only kid with a physical disability in my elementary school and later was the most disabled person to ever be in honors/AP classes in my high school. Everyone else in my high school with a physical disability was in special ed.

While this was academically appropriate, it turned out to be far from ideal. It fed me a very detrimental message. My “peers” were all non-disabled kids. As young as 7 I began to become ashamed of my disability and wanted to hide it from them. I didn’t want to be seen in public in my wheelchair, or worse, near anyone else I knew who used one. To me, having a disability automatically meant that you’re intellectually disabled. I knew I wasn’t like my “peers” because they didn’t go to therapy 3 days a week after school and I didn’t go to ballet or swim team like my best friends. I also knew I wasn’t like the kids I knew in special ed. So I was peer-less and in limbo most of my life, not wanting to identify as a person with a disability, but not able to fake my way into passing as a person without a disability.

My understanding of Black History and Hispanic History months (I am neither African American nor Hispanic) and the emphasis on teaching about great African American and Hispanic leaders is to instill a sense of pride in young African American and Hispanic students and to give them role models to aspire to. For other students, teaching about famous minority leaders helps present a more well-rounded picture of history. For both groups of students, teaching about minority leaders helps to dispel racist beliefs that we all hold.

Well what about famous disabled leaders? People with disabilities identify as a distinct minority culture as well. We have our own literature, idioms, and customs. We also have our own prejudice, ableism. With 18% of the country being classified as having a disability we represent a larger segment of the population than African American or Hispanics. Our culture encompasses these groups as well. Disability knows no ethnic, racial, or economic boundary.

So why don’t we teach disability rights history in schools? It seems more then obvious to me. I know who Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and Frieda Kalo are. I’m sure you do too. I also know who Ed Roberts and Diane Coleman are. Do you? Ed Roberts was one of the founders of the disability rights movement. He obtained a degree from UC Berkley, started the independent living movement, and in the 1970s led a month long protest to get the terms of the rehabilitation act instated. He was on an iron lung. Diane Coleman works for a large independent living center and founded a very large, very well known, and very successful national disability rights organization. She’s a lawyer and she’s also in a wheelchair. What about Michael Phelps even? Everyone knows who he is, but do you also know he has ADHD? Here are 3 examples of successful people with significant disabilities. There are many more.

When I was 15 I was suicidal because I was despondent over being different. I know of other people as well. I didn’t have a MLK or Frieda Kalo to look up to. I didn’t hear about Ed Roberts or Diane Coleman until college. Recently I began to explain Ed Roberts and the independent living movement to my mom who was flabbergasted that she was an adult while all of this was going on and this was the first she had ever heard of him. MLK and Rosa Parks are household names. Maybe if Ed Roberts was a household name I wouldn’t have felt so marginalized from my “peers.”

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of HB281 and the empowerment of the citizens of Maryland--the empowerment of youth with disabilities, the empowerment of families with disabilities, and the empowerment of students and professionals who work with people with disabilities.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Who the Hell is Cheryl Cole?

I was just now doing some google searching instead of my homework. "Cheryl wants" "Cheryl looks like" "Cheryl says" etc, but it wasn't any fun. Most of what popped up was about Cheryl Cole and I don't even know who she is. Am I completely clueless? I remember once a few years ago typing in "Cheryl looks like" and getting something funny. Not fair! She ruined it...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Can someone please tell me how to respond to comments?

I love that blogger sends me emails letting me know when someone has commented on one of my posts, but sometimes I would like to respond to that person in private and I can't figure out how to do that! HELP!!!

Thankful Thursday

This week I'm thankful because...

  • there are puppies and kittens in this world
  • I hate to be repetitive, but I really DO have great friends
  • I started sleeping again a few days ago
  • there is art in this world
  • today the cab actually came in enough time to get to my appointment
  • my new section of one of my classes is so much less stressful then the old one even though we are doing the exact same work
  • kosher has had some really good chicken the last 2 days. Kosher chicken tastes so much better then non
  • my Grandma called earlier. She should call more often
  • I didn't fall on the ice today
  • I have clean towels

[image description: red heart that looks like it was done out of paint, with thankful written in cursive inside the heart towards the left]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I am (was?) PETRIFIED of Scissors

My first ever Wordless Wednesday post

[image description: a collage I did that has hearts, butterflies, flowers, & a random teddy bear head]

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Missed "How's Your News?" on Sunday

I only just remembered because I was looking at the posts on the first page of this blog. GAAAHHHH!!! I was at the girls and Maya (the kitty) was playing and getting me all wound up just about then. Does anyone know how I can see it?

Stupid People/What's WRONG with you?

As I said in my happy/sad post, I spent all weekend with my best friends'. On Sunday I was made to get dressed (I was going to get dressed anyway) and walk to Target to get cat food. Target is definitely walking distance for any AB, but for a crip who's as out of shape as I am, I don't think so. The friend who needed the cat food wasn't walking. Not fair! I mean, why would I think to bring my chair (couldn't anyway, not enough notice for paratransit)? So I at the very least borrowed a pair of crutches and went. We had to stop somewhere on the way but my friend was going so fast on her scooter I lost her. HELLO!!! WALKING spaz here... Anyway she had forgotten her phone and thought I knew the way to Target and would meet her there. I didn't. I've only walked there once.

This is not the point of the post though. The point of the post was that I was a) lost and b) thought that since I wasn't doing so well and was surprisingly not cold, I should remain outside. So I managed to meander my way to the playground. I can't get to the playground alone because the terrain is a bit difficult, but I CAN with the crutches. What the hell. I'll go swinging for a bit and then try my best to find my way back (I have the sense of direction of a flea).

It started when I was trying my best to manage this narrow hill type thing. I had noticed that there were 3 kids at the playground, about late elementary school age, but I didn't pay a bit of attention to them. I had to pay attention to the ground. Then I here from 1 of the kids to another, a semi-quiet "Don't stare! It's Rude!" (Check out Danielle's Stare Patrol blog). I had no idea. Remember, I was looking at the ground.

I managed to very difficultly get onto a swing without falling and then very awkwardly started swinging. There is a significant difference in the range of motion of both of my knees. I swing crooked. Sure it looks interesting... I swung until the wind died down and was unable to help me compensate for my pathetic knees. Then I almost just as difficultly got out of the swing safely, bent down, got the crutches and took my best guess as to whether there apartment was left or right.

There were parents standing and talking on the back patio of one of closest apartments. As I walked past, one of the mothers very rudely said "What's WRONG with you?" I decided to not answer, as I was still in a crappy mood, and this was the difficult part of the ground I had to pay attention to. "What happened to you? You weren't like that before."

Huh? Before? Are you referring to the 30secs in which I got off the swing and bent down to retrieve the crutches? Cause I don't live there and I don't know you. How the hell do you know how I was before? I've only gone swinging there once before, and yes I didn't have crutches, but I had my friend help me onto/off of the swing and on the difficult hill.

"Oh, you don't want to talk to me?" I got. NO I thought. You're an idiot. And besides, I had more important things to do like get off that hill and guess the way to their building. Which I did. The long way...

Happy/Sad Sunday on Tuesday

I couldn't post on Sunday because I was totally preoccupied with Oreo and Maya. It's so cute. Maya, who remember is only 3mos old, has gotten used to Oreo and wants to play with him, but every time she tries to pounce on him he runs away. Oreo grew up with cats for years. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Anyway, I really wanted to post this because I really want to start something. Did anyone else do a happy/sad post on Sunday? Post your link in the comments.

I'm happy because for the first time in 2.5 weeks I slept without the use of any drugs!!! I'm a bit perky today.

I'm sad because I woke up with a scratchy throat this morning which means I caught Sara's nursing home germs (she does feeding therapy, thus putting her hands in other people's mouths all day and getting sick all the time). On Thurs I am going to have a full blown cold.

I'm sad because I was sad all weekend.

I'm happy because I got to spend most of the weekend with Maya and Oreo.

I'm happy because I have great friends and all my nasty drugs got out of my system.

I'm happy because I'm HAPPY now.

I'm happy because my Senior seminar prof got switched without me even asking. Thank g-d!!!! She's not anal retentive

I'm happy because I got up early enough to get free brunch at Hillel and even had someone to walk (roll?) there with

I'm happy because I get free spa services on Fri. The place where my trainer works/I get my hair cut up here is having an open house at 7pm (for locals, FX studios)

I'm sad because although I can get there for free because they (as well as where I am coming from) are very close to the lightrail, it will take 2x as long to get there then it would in a cab. Why the hell did they have to slash the program?

My New "Hard Times Song"

Sadly somehow the post got deleated 6 months later (how did that happen?) but here's the video nonetheless

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Gym, New CDs, and Furry Creatures: They Do a Body Good

[image description: a woman holding a glass of milk with a milk mustache (rather sexually). The caption reads Milk does a body Good]

I apologize for the image, I was looking for something from the old ad campaign from the late 1980s/early 1990s (?) and I couldn't find one. I distinctly remember some commercial with a young teen boy standing in front of a mirror looking at himself but he was older and muscular. Anyway, I was trying to do a play on words with the post title and that ad campaign. Corny I know...

I'm freaking out right now. I always freak out at the beginning of the semester, but it seems that every semester it gets worse. Last semester I started having panic attacks but only during the day. This semester I started having them at night and was waking up repeatedly with horrible muscle spasms in my legs. I wanted to cut my legs off that night. I'm also having nightmares. That night nightmares about an upcoming 8-10pg paper were what was causing the panic attacks. Overall I am a complete and total wreck right now. I'm beginning to wonder if I have post traumatic stress from years and years of past school issues? I wouldn't have said so ever except the nightmares have me wondering...

But not last night. Last night I was in the best mood ever. Why? Because of the gym, new CDs and furry creatures. Oh yeah, and Monday afternoon I am finally getting a prescription for the SSRIs that I have been begging for for the last 14mos. I seriously want to kill her. Why she had to wait for things to get this bad I will never know. Do you know how fine I might be now if I had them 14mos ago? Maybe they won't make a difference at all, but maybe they will and we wasted all that time. I hope that she doesn't read this, decide I'm fine now and change her mind. Then I'm screwed.

When I did the last blog carnival (before this one, the Jan one) I said that blogging and art were therapeutic for me. While that was true, I realized that they are displacement activities (my shrink is going to be so proud of me that I figured this out all on my own). They calm me down and stop the panic attacks, but they really don't do anything to help me. They just push off what I have to do and don't make it go away. I just have to do it later. So I'll freak out again later. Yesterday I rediscovered better coping skills that I hadn't used in months.

I rediscovered the gym. I used to go to the gym all the time because I had 3 Drs that scared the crap out of me that if I didn't go and I used my chair too much I would stop walking and it would be irreversible. Like that would be the worst thing in the world ever... Not so I realized. What's so bad about being a full time chair user I started thinking? I've been blogging, and I joined ADAPT and the cross disability rights coalition (a local group) this summer. I'm interacting with TONS of full time chair users all the time now, and their lives aren't horrible. They're quite good in fact. So I stopped being afraid and I stopped going. My quality of life wouldn't get any worse, so why should I bother?

Well I should bother because it makes me feel really good. GREAT stress reliever. I went to the gym yesterday for the first time Since July. My favorite thing to do is run. And by "run" I mean 4.5mph which doesn't qualify as running by most people's standards, but you should see how sweaty I get. Unfortunately I am so out of shape that I can't run at all right now (or do push ups) but it'll come back. My CP doc keeps telling me not to run at all, that it's going to mess up my joints, but I don't care. The endorphins are AMAZING. And you know what? I realized that they are so amazing that I still would never care if I couldn't walk for the rest of my life and I became a full time chair user, But I would care if one day I could never run again. Does that make any sense at all? I love it that much and I was an idiot and stopped.

The next thing that I did was to ditch my Ipod Touch and go back to my tiny little shuffle. I think using the touch was making me paranoid. Second I bought the new Nickelback CD. You see, contrary to logic slow "calming" music doesn't do a thing for me. Music does A LOT for me, but only what I term "running music". I've been wanting to buy that CD for months, but I'm still computerless. You're supposed to be able to download music straight to the touch, but it wouldn't recognize my account info. When I'm really freaking I need something new. That first time I bought the Greys Season 3 CD and became absolutely addicted to the Ingrid Michaelson song.

By Friday not having a computer and not being able to download that, I consider an emergency. So after my shrink appt yesterday she very nicely let me borrow my powercord so that I could do so and also load on a mix CD I finally found. Took forever because I had to hand pick which songs to take off the shuffle (its only a 1 gig and was full) and then handpick the songs to put on. Also, I am such a crazy nut. I can't get wireless in her office, but I can get it outside. I considered it such an emergency that after my computer had charged enough to take it outside, I went out in the cold to download that CD. But I felt instantaneously better.

Lastly is the furry creatures thing. That wasn't a rediscovery. I've known what dogs can do for me since I was 13 and had surgery and met my first therapy dog. I've been begging for a dog for 9 or 10 years but my mom hates animals. That and I'm a slob.

The picture on the right is Oreo. He's a toy fox terrier and belongs to my best friend (I hope she doesn't mind I swiped this from her facebook). I LOVE that dog! I'll come over and I won't even be in the door and he attacks me. He gets SO excited to see me he jumps on me. He won't even let me take my coat off. But at this point Oreo knows the drill (still won't let me take my coat off though). I won't pet him standing up. He's too little, I'd have to bend too much and that's too difficult. If I ever do get my coat off it goes in the corner next to the couch and to calm him down I will sit on the couch immediately and pet him. At this point because he knows the drill, before I even turn around he's on the couch with his front paws on the arm just looking at me like "come on already!" Now I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't cheer up from that kind of love. Sometimes when I'm fuming mad at everyone over there and don't want to speak to them I'll still go over just to get my weekly dose of Oreo time.

Yesterday I had an extra special treat. My other friend got a 3mo old (rescue) kitten on Saturday. 2 furry creatures! After I got my music straightened out I went over and I was supposed to be helping make dinner. I did sort of. I got everything for the first dish in the pan and then it was boiling and I went "I'll be right back. There's a cat in this house!" and dashed into my other friend's room. I never did come back. The cat was stupid. She was sitting in the corner in a very inaccessible spot for me and if she had stayed there I would have sat on the bed and left her alone and just let her size me up. Instead she saw me and jumped on the bed. So I sat a bit away from her and approached her very slowly. I made friends with the kitty (Maya)! By the time I had to go eat she was snuggling with me and had even let me put my arms around her for a few minutes.

So not only was Greys AMAZING last night, but I managed to get sandwiched between Maya and Oreo! Maya curled up on her mommy's lap and then I was next to her and on my right was Oreo and next to him was his mommy. DOUBLE furry creature time! That'll tame anyone's anxiety (unless of course you're allergic). It was funny because I was petting Maya and Oreo's mom was getting jealous I was ignoring the dog. LOL so I used both hands simultaneously. SERIOUSLY. I couldn't have asked for more. I want a furry creature of my very own (and not a gerbil)!

This morning, well this morning I woke up anxious again about something different and after a bit, I went "you idiot" and grabbed my shuffle. I was fine within minutes and have managed to keep myself together all day. Although I don't know if I can ever take this off...

So, what does your body good?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful because...

  • I have art supplies
  • I was on time to my meeting with my professor yesterday (a BIG deal)
  • I've decided to start running again
  • tonight is really the crossover episode of Greys/Private Practice
  • the weather has been GREAT all week
  • I get to meet my friend's new 3mo old kitten later today
  • yesterday I didn't have any anxiety at all
  • FINALLY after 14 mos of begging and pleading my psychiatrist is going to give me an SSRI to add to the mix
  • I have 2 ipods (don't ask) but I was thankful I could switch back to the nano yesterday because I think the touch was going to drive me insane
  • Voluntary Maddness is a really great book. She had me on page 1 (yes, I am reading my books out of order)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

With Your Illness...

I just had to bring this picture back. I met with someone at disability support today. I don't know why, what the point was, but my department head told me to go and you do what she says. So I went. I don't like going to disability support; I find the whole thing pointless. There is never anything they can help me with at all. I keep being sent there for psyc issues that really affect my school performance. So it seems logical that I go right? For a school performance issue. Except that these are issues better handled between me and my shrink. I see the person at disability support once, maybe twice a semester at most (last semester not at all because that's when I realized she's pointless). I've seen my shrink once a week or once every other week for over a year. I think she's got a better read on me. DUH!!!

[image description: a boy wrapped in a blanket with a thermometer in his mouth and an ice-pack on his head]

Not only that, but the person from disability support offends me. After I was diagnosed with BP II my file got switched over to the person that handles all the psyc students. She started here two years ago, is an LCSW (licensed clinical social worker), and her previous job right before this was as an elementary school guidance counselor. She's really nice and really tries to be helpful (even though she never is). It's her use of language that gets to me.

3 or 4 semesters ago right after I was diagnosed I went to her office thinking she could be a big help, and in the course of conversation she said "people like you..." meaning people with BP. I immediately got a pit in my stomach that I couldn't identify until later that day. When I was a baby I was diagnosed with CP and right afterwards in that same appointment the Dr started off on "people like her..." She was trying to convince my mother to institutionalize me. It wasn't 1920, it was 1985. But back to disability support. People like me? Has she had extensive experience with people who have a dual diagnosis of CP and BP? Does she know anyone else with both diagnoses? I'm willing to bet $50,000 that the answer is no. So we can't talk about "people like me," We can only talk about me. We have to work within the framework that sometimes the two diagnoses make life way more difficult then if I was just dealing with just one of them. Sometimes they clash or work in combination to exacerbate each other. She gave me advice that made no sense to me because we were never really talking about me.

That brings me to today. I only went at the request of my dept head, to satisfy her and to appear compliant with fixing the current problem. As I said, I didn't want to go. I don't like to go (I do however like my shrink and feel confidant that tomorrow or Monday when I see my psychiatrist things will get all worked out).

In the course of conversation the lady at disability support said "with your illness..." I don't remember why, I don't remember the context or the rest of the sentence and it was only 2.5hrs ago. I fixated on those three words. "with your illness..."

What illness? Where? Do I look pale? Do I have a fever? Diarrhea? Can someone please clue me in because I never got that memo. I'M NOT SICK NOR IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG WITH ME! I have a chronic condition g-d damn it, and there's a HUGE difference between the two (for almost the same rant, see my earlier post). I feel almost as if she pities me because I struggle so much. That's what those words mean to me. I don't know, maybe I'm reading her wrong... but I just cannot stand her and I needed to rant. So thanks readers.

*rant over now*

Able to Choose

Over at Pipecleaner Dreams Deborah has a post about a new campaign in Virginia, Able to Choose. The campaign's aim is to increase community inclusion for people with disabilities. Whoever came up with this thing, RIGHT ON! WAY TO GO! I APPLAUD YOU! A standing ovation in fact. I'm just wondering how people feel about the way it is being run? Generally I am adamantly against simulations (link leads to an article) but in this case somehow I am all for it. Why? I think because it's not a disability simulation. It is a simulation about program models. They're not trying to create sympathy but rather empathy to lead to change (did I interpret that right?) Comments?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I found out about NaBloPoMo from Emma over at The Life and Times of Emma and I just now thought, hey, yesterday I sort of committed myself to blogging everyday so I might as well join, right? So I just did and then I realized I was planning on taking Saturdays off. Anyone know if that is allowed?

Is it ok to Laugh at People with Intellectual Disabilities?

See my post from Sunday about how's your news. Here are some posts about How's Your News? from :

[image description: How's Your News? logo]

'Hows Your News?'--Laughing at or Laughing with?
Rewiew: MTV's 'How's Your News?'
I read the Article on the Philadelphia Daily News

So that's what I'm wondering. Are we "Laughing at or Laughing With?" When I first posted Is It Funny? over at my Disaboom Blog I got the full range of responses. One yes it is funny, one it's never funny to make fun of anyone's difference, and one you are not laughing at the disability but at the situation.

Here's another real world example. For those of you who watched or have watched How's Your News?, is it funny or not? I did watch How's Your News Sunday night although I unfortunately missed the first 5 minutes. I thought it was GREAT! I am worried though that it is not going to last. Several years ago there was a show State of Grace about a Jewish family in the south in the 60's. I loved it, my mom loved it (we watched it together), my aunt watched it with her kids, and I feel like every other Jewish person we know loved it as well. But the show didn't last long. 1) Because ABC Family moved it from Sunday to Friday and many Jews will not watch TV on the Sabbath, and 2) I think it was geared towards too small of a niche audience. I'm afraid it's going to be the same for How's Your News? and that the show is not going to last. People are afraid to laugh with intellectually disabled people for fear of how it will make them look to others. I'm afraid they'll be afraid to watch. I'm afraid the show is geared towards too small of a niche audience. What do you think?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Get Ready for Almost Daily (if not multiple times a day) Blogging

I think for awhile at least, I am going to be blogging every single day that I am awake (I have had my share of days where I sleep through all daylight hours). My autonomic nervous system requires it, and who am I to deny myself what I desperately need? I want to breathe, and have normal blood pressure, and sleep through the night. So much for slowing down for school...

  • Horseback riding? $50/lesson and I don't think paratransit goes there...
  • Massage therapy? Runs about $75/hr around here...
  • Personal trainer: $70/hr.
  • Shrink: $80/hr. It's agreed by all parties involved that I need to be there 2-3X/week, but at $80/hr 1X/week is a stretch in this economy.
  • BUUUUT... BLOGGING is free! (I feel like a mastercard commercial)
Does it do the trick? Better then any of the other options I have left. I mean, there's running and drawing, but blogging is where it's at! So check back for my daily rambling Y'all.

[image description: William Shakesphere sitting in front of a computer w/a thought bubble: To blog or not to blog, that is the question]

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How's Your News?

I found this through the little widget over on my sidebar. HOW COOL!!! Con someone tell me when it is on? I really want to know. I need to watch it. I found out about how's your news quite awhile back, have watched youtube clips, and their DVD has been on my Amazon wishlist for quite some time...

I'm in a Happy/Sad Kinda Mood

[image descriptions: greek happy/sad masks in bright colors. Also, all happy/sads have a happy or sad face as a bullet]

And no, I'm not in the middle of a mixed state right now (I'm not sure if I've ever had one of those...). It's just one of those days. And hey--why not? Today is designated happy/sad day so my mood is rather applicable.

You see, I'm a member of the ΙΓ Chapter of the national co-ed community service fraternity ΑΦΩ (that's the iota gamma chapter of alpha phi omega and yes, I'm a girl, and yes I'm a brother in a fraternity). One of our chapter's founding fathers decided that at the end of every meeting after it had been formally adjourned we would pass around a container and donate our loose change--not to our chapter, but to a charity (we're a community service fraternity after all). It's our Happy/Sad Change. We're supposed to say one thing we're either happy or sad about from the last and/or upcomming week for each piece of change we put in. In reality sometimes someone only has 1 quarter and says 5 things or puts in 3 dimes and 5 pennies and says 1. But whatever, the intent is still there.

Where is the money donated you ask? Well for a few years we had the same president and she was a counsleor every summer at Camp Sertoma (now a special ed teacher working on her PhD) in Harrisburg, PA, so our money went to camper scholarships. Then we had a brother pass away from pulmonary hypertenshion, so our money went to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association for a year. If it was up to me I would have kept it that way. Last year we never really picked "a place." We just gave smaller amounts of money to whatever our next event was, such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma S0ciety's Light the Night Walk and the Polar Bear Plunge. This year? Well this year, I'm not sure if we decided yet, so I'm going to go to the meeting (our 1st of the semester in an hr &a half) and find out. If not, I want to see if people will agree to donate the year's change to Maryland ADAPT. I'm going to make sure not to paint us out to be liberal extremests because we could sure use the money at the moment, even if we are on hiatus in between leadership.

Anyway, I'm kind of rambling and getting away from the point of this post. The point of the post is that I'm having a happy/sad kind of day, conveniently on happy/sad day, and I thought I'd list my happy sad things. My list is long today and people will give me the evil eye if I list everything later. We try to keep it short as we have to go through like 2o and people want to get out of there. Maybe every Sunday will be happy/sad day here in addition to Thankful Thursday? I'll see how I feel. Maybe I'm boring everyone? Maybe nobody cares? (*sigh* I'm rambling again...)

I'm happy because I think I'm finally getting myself an SSRI!!! I've only been begging for 1 for the last year, but hey, I don't have an MSW (yet), PhD or MD so I don't know squat...

I'm sad because I'm having nightmares about not having enough meds and losing my mind and having to go to the hospital (which in real life is never going to happen)

I'm happy because it is 64 degrees here in the middle of Feburary

I'm sad because it is 64 degrees and I have been sitting in the middle of the library for the last few hrs

I'm happy because I love racing somewhere fast in my chair on gorgous days

I'm sad because if I'm going to be sitting in the library on a beautiful Sunday afternoon I should be doing homework, but instead I'm sitting here blogging and getting nothing done

I'm sad because Friday night I took way to many sleepy causing drugs and slept 18hrs straight. I missed out on yesterday's gorgous day too... *whine*

I'm happy because we're going to have another day in the 60's later in the week and I'll have a 2nd chance at being outside

I'm sad because I left my cell phone at my best friends' apt Thursday night and I still haven't gotten it back

I'm happy because my paratransit right was right on time Thursday night which was why I left it there. I was running out the door and left it on the couch because they only wait 5mins and I didn't want them to leave me

See that's a lot of happy/sad things. WAY too much for later. Want to join me and make Sunday official happy/sad day? Post a list on your blog and then leave a link in the comments here...

Friday, February 6, 2009

I need a BREAK! I'm going on STRIKE!

[Image description: a framed painting of Cosmo Kramer that was on one of the episodes of Seinfeld]

3 posts in one day is a lot for me. I'm not sure I've ever done this before, but if I have it was only once or twice. Usually I write very long posts (although not recently) and I have better things to do with my life then write a million long posts. But I need this today. I really need this. It'll bring my spasticity, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure back into normal range.

This post was originally going to be titled Books! There are books everywhere to be read and it seems as if my list keeps growing. It's getting out of hand. But I just LOVE crip lit. What can I say?

[image descriptions: All images are book covers taken straight from . All links lead to the book's respective Amazon page]

My first book to read was The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal, by Jonathan Mooney. It may be the best book I have ever read. At the very least it is in the top 5. I have 1 post about it so far and will hopefully get around to some more. I like it that much. Things spoke to me.

The next book I am going to read is CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World, by Tom Watson (see image in sidebar). I feel like a fraud. When I signed up for Blog Action Day the first 100 people could get this book sent to them for free. GREAT! I'm a poor college student. I'm always up for anything free. Why I feel like a fraud is because I never ended up participating in Blog Action Day. School got in the way. Anyway I sent away for the book and completely forgot about it. It showed up here in the beginning of Jan when I was home. I picked it up yesterday which was good timing as I just finished The Short Bus Sunday. I hope it is good. It sounded good, but the cover makes it look like a textbook, and textbooks are boring. Don't judge a book by it's cover though. I am going to read the whole thing either way. I might learn something.

3rd on my list is is a book about community organizing that ADAPT uses. A dear friend lent it to me. When I go get it and remember what the title is I will list it and get a pic.

Next on the list is Nobody's Perfect, by Marlee Matlin and Doug Cooney. I just LOVE her and loved Deaf Child Crossing, the first in the series. I haven't bought Leading Ladies yet because it is only in hard cover and I don't want to spend the extra $. I do hope it comes out in paperback. Also, I heard a rumor that Marlee will be coming out with a 4th. Can anyone confirm that?

5th on the list is I Am Potential: Eight Lessons on Living Loving, and Reaching Your Dreams by Patrick Henry Hughes, Patrick John Hughes, and Bryant Stamford. Just by looking at the title, I don't think I am going to like this one either, but the cover is good. Patrick is blind and doesn't walk (can't find his diagnosis) and played trumpet in the University of Louisville Marching Band. He's been on TV a lot. His book was just recently published. I got the book because a local Borders closed and I went there a few days before hand to see the deals. The book was half price and I had a $10 coupon. It cost me $2 and change. Not a bad deal, so it won't kill me if I don't like it. And Hey, it was written by a crip.

6th (I told you there was A LOT) is not a crip book (what a shocker) but it was written by a local. The Urban Hermit: A Memoir by Sam MacDonald. I saw it a 2 weeks ago when I came into the library. Sounded interesting. I like weight loss too, and it's an interesting concept. I read 70 something pages one day when I was hiding out in the library trying not to get any work done. It's ok and worth finishing one day.

7th is That Went Well: Adventures in Caring For My Sister by Terrell Harris Dougan. I don't know how I feel about sibling of crip stories. Probably not worth buying but I found it on that same shelf on the library. I had to read Secret Girl by Molly Bruce Jacobs last spring when I took Family Law & Public Policy and I did not like it at all. Molly made her adult sister with MR seem perpetually childlike. In case you decide to disregard my review and read that book anyway, I am very happy to report that as of June Rosewood residential center will be officially closed. The last of its residents are getting moved to community placements as we speak.

8th on the list is Reading Lips and Other Ways to Overcome a Disability by Diane and Philip Schaper, even though I am totally offended by the title. I'm sorry but no one overcomes their disability. They learn to work with it, around it, but disabilities don't just go away as the word seems to imply. It seems ableist to me. I found out about the book because Diane is an English professor (who got Polio) here at Towson University and she and her book were featured on our website. One of these days I am going to email her and tell her what I think of the title as I know her email address because all faculty emails are the same. The book is currently in a glass case displayed in the library, but by the time I get to it it should be out of there I hope. I also hope I don't graduate before I get to book #8. I don't want to buy it.

*EDIT* I forgot all about Voluntary Maddness: My Year Lost And Found in the Loony Bin by Norah Vincent. I found this book through an Amazon "If you bought this book you may like" email. I like. A lot. I think... I'm either going to sit in barnes & nobel a lot and read it for free because I'm low on book buying $ or if it takes long enough, because this book list has grown to be ginormous, use Chanukah $.

Why the title off this post though? Because school has me really stressed out right now and I need to take an escape and get away from it. I get to hang out with my best friend's dog (a toy fox terrier if you are wondering) every Thursday night but that is not enough. So I think I am going to designate every Saturday as "don't get out of bed and read a book" day. It's the only way I'll get through this list, and I can forget about school while I read. Besides, do you remember the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer decided he would live in his shower? Well if I could live in bed permanently I would be a happy camper. And no, I am not depressed, I just like my feather bed and I have always loved sleeping and being lazy.

So this weekend I am going to forget all about school and get no work done. In addition to reading books I will be making dinner for the families at Johns Hopkins Children's House on Sunday and after that I will have my APhiO meeting to go to. The first of the semester.

For all You Maryland Locals

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

LaceUpCure logo 2009

Skate towards a cure...Help put cancer on thin ice.

The 3rd Annual

Lace Up For A Cure

To Benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Welcome to your weekly newsletter for the 2009 Lace Up For A Cure.

We're just about 4 weeks away

from this year's Lace Up For A Cure!


Call Tim Christofield, Campaign Manager

at 410-891-1873


Email Tim at

Time is quickly running out to reserve your spot on the ice. Space is limited so don't delay. The process to join us couldn't be easier. So no excuses!

2. What is Lace Up for A Cure?

Lace Up For A Cure is a skate-a-thon that has helped raise funds to fight blood cancers nationally, over the past ten years. This is a great opportunity for skaters of all skill levels and backgrounds to "lace up" their skates and hit the ice in the fight against cancer.During the event's first two years in Maryland

, local participants and supporters raised over $25,000. Come out and help us raise even more! Proceeds will benefit (LLS), Maryland Chapter, in support of our mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

3. Center Ice Dedication

What has inspired you to Lace Up for the Cure?

As a participant in the Center Ice Dedication, you will have the opportunity in the spotlight to devote a unique message, song or poem to all those who have inspired you to Lace Up for A Cure. Feel free to be creative with your presentation.To qualify, an individual participant must pre-register and raise a minimum of $500 by the day of the event.

Pre register by March 1, 2009 ~ $25

Register after March 1, 2009 ~ $30

Skate rentals will be provided free of charge.

Again spaces are limited so reserve your spot on the ice today!

Please contact Tim Christofield at the Maryland Chapter office at 410-527-0220 or email for more information or to register over the phone.

Google Analytics vs Cluster Maps and MapLoco

I love seeing where my readers hail from. I found out about Google Analytics from Stephen at How to be an Inspiration and MapLoco from Micropreemie Twins. I quickly installed them on this blog as soon as I switched over from Disaboom. Google Analytics is only for me to see and MapLoco is for everyone to see. Although I don't know if other people get excited to learn when a fellow blogger visits me from Israel or some other foreign country. On MapLoco people can only see where visitors have come from in the last 24hrs, and I didn't like that. I don't know where I saw someone with a Cluster Map installed but that's what I needed. Cluster Maps shows data from up to a year. (see the very bottom of my sidebar for my maps)

But there are discrepancies in my stats and I don't know why. I WANT THAT FIXED NOW!!! (for those of you who don't know me in real life I am a big whiner) Does anyone know why? MapLoco says someone from Englewood Colorado keeps visiting all the time while Google Analytics only has 2 since the day this blog began. I noticed today that Cluster Maps has a mark in Brazil, but none of the other stats places have those listed. Google has 11 countries stored, from as far away as Thailand, but none of them are Brazil...

My 2 biggest repeat visitors hail from Englewood Colorado and Dover Pennsylvania. Please introduce yourself. I'm really interested in developing a relationship with my readership. In fact I would love it if everyone introduced themselves. Thanks.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful because...

  • I have really great friends who love me so much they'll even clean up my vomit after I eat too much.
  • I have another great and well connected friend who was able to relieve my frustrations of yesterday.
  • on Sunday it is going to be 30 degrees warmer then it is today.
  • I have a nice winter coat and gloves in this weather (not everybody does).
  • my chair gets me from point A to point B (and out of the cold) much faster than walking.
  • Greys/Private Practice is doing a double cross over episode tonight and it looks really good.
  • my shrink had to cancel on me today which alleviates my transportation problem and gives me more time to get work done.
  • I get free dinner tonight. There will be pizza at the family studies club meeting.
  • I also get free dinner tomorrow (and every Friday).
  • this post seems to be focusing my brain.
[image description: red heart that looks like it was done out of paint, with thankful written in cursive inside the heart towards the left]

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I GIVE UP!!!!!

[image description: woman sitting in front of a computer about to tear her hair out]

I have to do this assignment for Senior Seminar in Family Studies based around one of the family life education content areas. I was assigned family life and public policy and am trying to design a research paper and 75 minute presentation around what I decided to term Nothing About Us Without Us: How to Empower Your Clientele. I am shaping the whole presentation around Bob Kafka's Pitchfork Approach to Social Change. [see picture left. It's a hand, but same deal]

It could turn out really cool. But could and trying are the words of the day. I could scream right now if I wasn't right in the middle of the library. There's just this one big hitch--this 8-10pg research paper that has to go with it. We have to have 4 articles from peer reviewed journal articles that support our topic of choice. Fine. Not a problem. What is a problem is that they have to be actual research studies done on our topic. Not literature reviews, not conference papers, and certainly not newspaper articles/ADAPT press releases. Well let me correct myself a bit. We can have those things included as long as they're secondary to the damn research articles that I can't find. I've sat here for 3hrs searching databases. I can find things that have been published in peer reviewed scholarly journals but not research studies.

My professor did find me an article that has to do with Olmstead. It was written by some very cool people. Carol Gill from University of Illinois at Chicago and Diane Coleman of Not Dead Yet, among others. Someone from Access Living is even listed as an author. Anyone from Chicago is A OK in my book. Chicago seems to be the Mecca of disability rights. The problem, I gave up with the community organizing thing and went to Olmstead instead and couldn't find anything else to use either. I can't go off of the reference list from the article I have because most of their articles are Chicago Tribune articles. Can't use those...

I could do a really cool awesome fantastical presentation if only I could FIND SOMETHING!!!!! So I give up. I surrender. I am officially done for the day.

On another note a bill addressing disability awareness in educational settings (all public elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions) has been introduced into the Maryland legislature. The Maryland Disability Law Center has decided to support it of course and I have personally been asked to be the lead point person on all efforts surrounding this bill, even though I don't work for them. Stressful, but AWESOME!

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