The 2015 Year End Rap Up

Dear Readers,

I would like to start the year end review by apologizing for the hurt and problems I might have brought to anyone mentioned in the posts dated 2015. The last quarter of the year has been a doozy. A major doozy of a year for me indeed it was. In each of the twelve things below, I will highlight what happened that month.

January’s winds might have been cold, but warmth and love was felt throughout. I was able to hang around with my church friends, but little did I know that a storm was brewing, and I was the center of it.

February was fine, the winds dying down. But the wind in this month as far as emotions has been harder on me than average. My pc began to show signs it needed to be put into retirement. Who cares! It’s Dell Tech Support.

March came and went the same, like a lion or a lamb. I had been doing things with Voc Rehab, and I will never do things with them again due to use of low quality professional evaluators against an American Muslim convert. I began thinking about filing complaints against Dr. D., the psychologist. Because there was a complaint against him, his identity will be kept private.

April, this blog became a storm for some of our readers. Particularly one family that has since made me into the center of controversy, and resulting in stuf that happened months later.

May, the two years since I was dating my best friend came and went with little pomp or pageantry, but only us and God knew. AS if it were any special occasion at all.

June, as it were, became a lonely summer month. I could have visited my then boyfriend, but because of misinterpreted wording in this blog, it was a closed door.

July: The fireworks went off, no pomp there, and of course, I fell into a deep depression, having not been able to visit the love that I truly loved. I can no longer speak his name in any form of writing. Awful.

August: Could have planned a visit, but I never even saw a birthday card. The promises were broken.

September: While the leaves changed to pretty colors outside my window, and while my blind eyes never saw them, my best friend was pushed slowly away. I cannot tell you how it hurt when he broke up with me the first time.

October was a cold and stoney month for me. The man I had dated for two-and-a-half years finally said goodbye to the love he could have had, my life was wasted away as it were. I ended up in the psychiatric ER with constant unsupportive comments from this person’s family, all of whom will not be identified here. Of course, I am responsible perhaps solely for this breakup. In radio news, the Denver Delights was officially defunct and I tried a new experimental venture, the Royal Flush, but it was under a producer who tried removing me from the station. Twice. I was not able to deal and the funny thing was that the station’s server administrator stood his ground and had me reinstated wice again.

November: It became apparent that the broken up relationship was no good sign. A new girl took my place, and I was given the rudest awakening, people ended up talking rudely about me and my friendship with this guy. It was awful. Thanksgiving was particularly depressing, and I was told I CHOSE that depression, which is exceedingly invalidating for someone with mental health issues.

December was a time for miracles, positives, learning lessons, and reminders that God is always there, even in the hard times. For one, my personal vision for a radio station is coming slowly to life. Open Road Radio launched on December 11, but due to gossipping Gabbies talking badly about the management and the automation, complaining that there needs to be more “variety”, I lost several members of my team. One girl sent me a particularly hateful and painful DM on Twitter stating that she “hates” me and that I “divided the KJSC radio family.” I have some words for this statement: I do not take responsibility for any divisions in this house. Further on down in December, I decided enough was enough and went out of my building. It was a snowy night, the streets and sidewalks covered in snow as all Denver visitors and residents know well. I trudged through snow, and reached the Sam’s No. 3 Diner on 15th and Curtis Street right by the mall. It was so crowded, and by luck and … perhaps I thought it was God’s way of scratching a lottery ticket on my heart, I was seated beside a young man called Joey and … well, here’s the rest.

Joey is a young blind guy who was firmly grasped in Federationist stuff. The thing is, I don’t know what happened that night that could possibly have led him to say he fell for me instantly. I and he both needed hugs, so while we were outside the diner, I sat there and texted him. Well, I just felt something pull me to him. I could not for the life of me stand all the hurt, fear, and hate. I was done. One online acquaintance who I’d rather not mention decided to team up with one of the radio network DJ’s to compete purposely with me and steal my listener base, which I swore I would never let happen. Also, because of the problems surrounding the online blind drama crap, I have decided that we’re going to need support. Listener support is vital for Open Road Radio. But the biggest thing I am asking is forgiveness on all sides, what from my former boyfriend’s family, the new girl who took my place, and all others who think it funny that I am not a loving or caring person at all.

To top off this month, I was removed unfairly from a mental health group because of allegations of harassing a girl on all hours of the night. It was never backed up with data and log files as I requested. Then, sadly, I lost a dear friend who I wish not to name here because she thinks I’m not for her liking or something.

I almost cried telling Joey about all this stuff, and he just told it like it was, do not be afraid, do not worry. I just hate to be the one to put the world on this young man’s shoulders.

As many of you on Facebook know, we decided to take it slow, but we’re official. We love all the supportive commentary we’re getting, and we will support all of the friends who liked and viewed the life event. We’re sorry we can’t thank each and every one of our supporters and friends and family. We want you all to know we care deeply about you all.

Today I’m thinking about this year, the miracles I’ve witnessed again and again. My former love has told me again and again he’d be friends with me. And that’s fine. I just can’t tell you all what pain it is to feel that others tear at me like knives, but I know since Joey is going to relocate here to Denver, we will have no problems dating and making it happen between us. I may have been one thing or another, but I need physical relationships, better opportunities to have intimate time, which does not include sex, but can be broadened to include the powerful hugs and kisses factor. A love without those things is not love at all. I remember countless times when my attempt to reach out and say “I love you” to people was met with no appropriate reciprocal response, thus I began to lose myself in depression. I want to apologize again for those who felt hurt by me, but let me say this once and only once: I do not hurt others. I have no intntion of hurting anyone. Open Road Radio variety is great, but let me say I personally hate One Direction and Bieber. Any low quality bands will not be played. Period. If the track doesn’t catch the liking of enough audiences, then it cannot be played.

Also, DJ Starlight’s Christmas Madness was awesome. And to top things off, Open Road will combat gossipping Gabby with this approach:

  1. If one has a problem with a radio personality on the show, I will ask that they go directly to that person and email them privately. IF there is a general problem with station staff members, you may then write it in a public way, but all things will now be a written thing. I refuse to lose members of my team because of gossip or drama. It will not be tolerated.

May you all have a safe and happy New Year. And one thing, Joey, I love you.

Christmas Miracle in Denver

Honestly, readers, if you believe in Christmas miracles, read this post. I have experienced the hugest miracle the world would ever want me to see. God has shown me recently that I should never give up on being loved. I was texting a friend I had met at a party a week before, and thereabouts. I had been hung up on by a well known someone else, and I told the other guy about it, and … the rest of the story you will have to figure for yourselves. Only thing I will say is that he kept opening the door. He’s a sweet guy, never wants me to feel like I can’t talk about it, pretty disarming in a god way because when children and other vulnerable persons tense up about a subject, he tends to be so tender and gentle about bringing up a subject. Like the stuff about my life, he was so disarming. I could sense something in the messages he sent me. Then, since he’s an Arizona boy, I decided to do something different. He had told me what songs he liked by artist George Straight. But none of his absolute favorites were in the Audiko Ringtones collections even when I did a search. So therefore, I picked a classic, Oceanfront Property. It mentions in some way Arizona and the sea and the Golden Gate Bridge and stuff. Straight and other country singers often sing about places, something you never hear at all in the mindless sex junk that you hear in top 40 genres, and today’s Boy Bands like One Direction, sorry ladies, all of today’s stuff is less in quality. I mean, I dare Harry Stiles in any capacity to sing a cappella music. All of my boy groups I grew up with even included Boys to Men, and those groups could do unaccompanied vocal harmonies which would make me chill up my back. It is obvious when this happens when a song is on, that the song is high quality.

But seriously, this young man and I will get to know each other, but I seriously doubt that I could strike it rich. He asked me about what happened to him popping the question, but I said clearly that if that were the case, he’d have to be down on one knee, shiny ring, all that. I don’t care if there’s jewels or not, I just want to be accepted. On this Christmas Eve, I so wish Santa would bring this guy with him on the back of his sleigh. The reindeer can’t go fast enough I guess. Too bad all other guys do not seem to get it. On Christmas Day, I will be with a church buddy and her whole family. I love the Williams family. Kris and her husband Bob are the best. Their daughter, Debbie, is sweet and knows how to get through my complicated head. I don’t know why, she just has that gift from God. Then, there’s Jake. Debbie’s husband is a great guy, and he plays instruments and so does his wife. There are three sons, all grown and married, and Kris will have a humongous crew at her house. She promised tons of food, and I cannot wait. Maybe this guy may stay with me, but I’m not counting on it. Anyhow, readers, I cannot reveal here the name and photo of the new interest, but I will ask that all readers follow a simple rule when asking about him: do not comment in public regarding this man. He’s great. But I’d like to keep things a bit low key here because of recent hate mail.

Thank you for reading, and have a Merry Christmas and whatever else you celebrate. And have a safe and happy New Year.

The Internet of Toys

How many readers out here are parents? What toys do you want to buy for your children this Christmas? Well, I have some pointers for all of you.

First off, I’m seriously upset and a bit concerned about Mattell’s latest scheme to make Barbie talk. You know, it hits me personally because when I was a child, Barbie never said a word, never held conversation with a girl, none of this. In fact, Barney’s famed proverb of “Use your imagination” held true for all children while they were playing with all things from Barbie to trucks, from Lego blocks, erector sets, everything. Now, dolls can talk, and the Internet of things seems to have taken over the way children play.

I personally would not be able to afford a talking Barbie. But if you want to make your little girl happy, here are some ideas I think would be great ones.

First, if you feel that making your gift would be better, then make your daughter a rag doll. First, take some cloth and cut out the pattern you desire. Next, you will need to sew it around some polyester materials, then once the naked doll is created, all you then may have to do is find or create a dress or outfit for the doll. Hair was usually made of yarn in the back times. You could do one of two things with the doll’s face: you could paint it on, the traditional way to make the face or you could try tactile eyes, and use fabric puff paint to raise the mouth and nose. I would prefer option 2 of course. That is something I’d do if I wanted a simple but beautiful work of art.

For those who are locomotive freaks, I would probably recommend you handy dandies out there grab some wood, nails, other stuff, and you could make a simple train engine with it. Of course, Legos are a staple for all people, children and adults alike. As the purple panty hosed Barney once said, “Use your imagination.” We hope you have a safe and happy and merry Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza. Whatever your holiday, make it a beautiful, simple one.

Roller Coasters

Imagine you are standing in line for your favorite amusement park ride, likely a coaster that takes you up so many feet or miles above the ground. You feel nervous, so nervous you can’t breathe!

I’ve been there, done that. Now, imagine that you’ve reached the front of that line, maybe it was short, maybe it was long. I’ve been in both.

Finally, imagine for a moment that you’ve been seated by a ride operator or crew member. The safety restraints have been situated where appropriate and you’re about to soar!

This, my friends, is a picture of life itself. The coaster soars, flips, dives, soars again, then comes to a stop minutes later. You feel the release of the restraints and say, “Aww man, why did it have to be so short!?” Well, guys, roller coasters are shorter than the roller coaster of life itself. There are days right now where you will soar above the stars, and other days where you fall so hard you want to say you split your head wide open. The safety bars hold you in, and there seems to be nothing you can do about it.

Well, I am almost drained, no energy left, so last night and early this morning is a downward dive. I would rather float than literally fall through my seat. One day, I’m soaring above the rafters as I’m sitting at a party, just by happenstance I’m sitting with a few guys I do and do not know, and feeling like for one small moment I’m understood. The next three days later, someone tells me never to speak to someone I care about, someone else is cruel, a third person¬† sits there spreading rumors that are untrue¬† about me. I break. I hope that a few days later, I soar again. This is what life is, and some people can indeed float above while the coaster falls, but others, like myself, we fall hard. Well, unlike the amusement park coasters we ride every day, this particular coaster everyone is on will last for as long as your operator, God, wills it to last. And there’s no room to say “Aww man, why did it have to end?”

How Boring Is the Textbook?

Dear Readers,

How many of you went to school as far back as the 1950s or earlier? What about the later years, and then the end of the Cold War? Can anyone tell what was written in your textbook’s pages at each of the aforementioned decades? How many of you with children have even bothered to take a look at the copyright and publishing year of your child or children’s schoolbooks? Has anyone bothered to look at the books currently being thrown out there on your bookstore and library shelves? Wow, awful. Just awful.

Does anyone even bother to read history based books nowadays? Well, what about English literature books? Let’s take a look at the two examples I’m about to show you.

In the ’50s history books, one could picture the satellite named Sputnik, launched by the Soviet Union, as it was called. In this decade, we see the decade of the Baby Boom, the events occurring post-World War II. There was not as much to fall back on as there is now. However, aside from the world events and Sputnik and all that, there were deeper issues affecting American people.

First, the books were what Diane Ravitch calls “Eurocentric.” As I see it, a young girl in the Baby Boom times would be expected to think about getting a small side job or marriage. But, for some young women, life was hopeless. The ’50s had a huge dark side, something that today’s youth are not even allowed to read about because, according to some bias “experts”, it’s “offensive” to African American youth. Do these youngsters have a right to know how hard it was for their elders? Well, yes, they do.

In the latter half of the Twentieth century, there was so much in the way of social change. First, today’s youth are naive to the fact that when their grandparents were growing up in the Boom Times, these people were often turned away from their preferred hangouts because the signs on the places they loved had ben engraved with “whites only.” You could not drive down a road in the South parts of this nation without seeing signs marking which way a white person would go, and the other sign would simply say “colored.” Excuse me for living, but we’re all colored because at least we are colored with pigments, and if I wish anything on the bigoted political buttheads who lived in that time, I would wish that they would open their eyes, or close the physical ones and live as I do, forgetting that I know how African Americans often sound. The rhythm of their voices is amazingly awesome, and I will say though that Barack Obama’s voice is extremely put together, and people making fun of “ebonic” dialect should take note. Obama’s family should be upheld for their tolerance and color blindness, the blindness that tells us not to judge someone by the color of their skin.

I never cared one way or another whether someone was black or white, but I can’t help but notice how some people talk. Our voices whether we’re black or white develop according to the kinds of voices around us. Scientists have indeed done studies on this stuf. Even babies are aware of their mother’s rhythm and dialect, so if I’m talking a certain way, a baby will likely by six years old be speaking the same way.

In the current history and literature in schools, the colorful dialect that every ethnicity comes with, except when they are professional and grow up in assimilated families, is being thrown to the dogs. No person in today’s schools ever gets anything current out of the history. As Ravitch shows in her chapters on history and literature in her book The Language Police, books and textbooks as well as reading samples have become nothing more than bland food. Blah blah blah.

I personally grew up reading classics. I enjoyed the books because I could escape into the pages, and it felt like I had just passed through a time warp. I could go anywhere in a book, and there I would be sitting in a frontier era log cabin with Laura Ingals in Wisconsin as her Pa Charles Ingals is playing his fiddle or away hunting a bear. Meanwhile, Ma and Mary and Laura are in the house doing various chores, playing small games, and awaiting the return of Pa. When Pa and Ma and the children sit at the table, everybody is well mannered, speaks in perfect fluid tongue, never swears for fear that Pa or Ma could “tan the hide” of the child who swore at all. A decade later, as I scroll through the Little House series, I find myself seeing a stark difference between Mary Ingals and my blind self today. However, since Mary will never marry, most of the last book focuses on Laura and her teaching in a small town. Pa stuffs away some money for his darling Mary so she can go to college with other blind folks. However, as Deborah Kent Stein writes in her essay entitled “A Choice of Virtues”, the sisters seem “struck” by Mary’s supposed independence, but Mrs. Stein later spoke that Mary’s study of the organ and independent living skills turned into empty memories, and she is confined in a way to the rocking chair. Mrs. Stein compares her in stark contrast to another classic literary character I will discuss in a future post, but I better stop now.

I would never know how Mary lived in that time had I never been exposed to such a gem. Laura Ingals Wilder’s novels tell us a great deal about the Frontier family life, and then later, I would scroll to the end. My favorite part of the last book, These Happy Golden Years, and I will say this with pride, was when Laura and her sweetheart Almanzo finally moved in to that farmhouse that he had built for her. Even so, Laura still worked the farm, took care of animals, and gave birth to her daughter, Rose. Rose later grew up, but we won’t go any further. I wish I read the First Four Years, I know I should have.

Another time window I enjoy exploring is ancient civilizations all around the world. I actually think I could hit myself for not mentioning a current literary gem that I so wish could be piled upon the university reading lists for college. This book I would not recommend for anyone in high school unless they were studying Ancient Rome. Here is what this thing is about.

Virgin Slave, Barbarian King is not available on Bard to my knowledge, so you Bookshare readers will find it in Braille or MP3 format. The moment I opened the book, I suddenly felt my little window of imagination going right through my apartment, falling into an Ancient Roman city. I was in some way right there beside Julia Livia Rufa, the daughter of a prominent Patrician senator. Oh, and may I add that students probably won’t hear that word, Patrician again unless someone wakes up and writes it in a history book.

Patricians are the nobles, and in the Roman Empire at the end of its days had a chaotic governing body, but in this story, young Julia was captured by a marauding band of “barbarians”, and made to keep house in the tent that also housed the master, Wulfric who was to become the contender for a Barbarian throne. I won’t spoil the whole book. Sorry, no spoilers. It is so good, and there is some love scenes and Julia gains a real understanding of herself and … well, just let me shut up and you all can see how this book reads.

Not all books are like a time warp that sends me to a different dimension. Some books take place in imaginative worlds. My favorite author who does these includes Anne McCaffrey. She has been known to have written an entire world’s worth of great gems and gold mines. She writes about great ideas, particularly in the Dragonriders of Pern series. Where have these books ben lately? And guess how I got hooked on her books? You would be shocked. I started becoming addicted to McCaffrey’s novels because, well, I was sitting in my middle school English class studying a short story of hers. The Smallest Dragonboy was the first ever story written by her that became a catalyst for my personal fandom of McCaffrey’s writings. Since then, I have literally visited the worlds she has created through readings of her books. I have read just about the entire Acorna series, a group of books about a young alien girl called Acorna, or “Khornya” by her people, and she goes on many adventures. You just have to start with the very first book, coauthored by Margaret Ball, which finds her in a special survival pod and discovered by space miners working on an asteroid. Then, … well, if you really are curious, pick up the first book, and continue through these books, and relax and just enjoy the scenery. My favorite setting so far that Mrs. McCaffrey has created is the world Acorna originates from. There is a moon above it, and Acorna’s people seem peaceable. While reading about Acorna’s aunt and family relations and the friends she makes, there is no hint that there is any such thing as war. The only real problem arises when an alien enemy race tries to destroy Acorna’s family, and they somehow kill her mother and deform her mate and kill his brother. But please read these books, and be amazed by the author’s imaginative way of putting things together.

I have some hints about some of the things she used to design her characters and ideas. I can’t help but notice that it’s something a lot of real good science fiction and fantasy authors do. For instance, Hafiz Harakamian sounds a lot like an Arabic name. Rafik sounds somehow a cross between Rafiki (Swahili for friend) or it could have Arabic origin. It’s obvious when reading some of the last books that other ethnic group names and places that are real were used to create the story. In McCaffrey’s worlds, actual real kinds of people come together and meet on different planets. The Solojo Star System sounds like it has Spanish origin. And the Android brother created for Acorna’s daughter, Khorii was named Elviiz (can you see the pun?), which was an “ancient Terran king.” Um, I can see that someone was obsessed with “Elvis” who was no king, but we did say he was the “King of Rock and Roll.” That was a real guy, but seriously? I thought that was clever!

If that small clip had not been present in the old text book that was sitting on my desk at St. Teresa’s School, and had my dear favorite Fugwumpy mother (don’t ask too many questions) not taught something about it, I think it was her, I would not have gotten so into this author’s work.

Lots of authors use a lot of actual social ideas reflected in the real world. I would read the Giver series by Lois Lowry. Again, my dear English instructor made us all read it, but seriously, I slipped into a “perfect” world, but I could see right through into the dark underpinnings of such a world from the get go. Lowry shows us a world where among other things, disabled babies do not exist. If they did, they would be killed, and nobody would know it. Jonas is asked to watch a video of a small baby being injected with a lethal dose of poison, and that does it for him. He is resolved on taking off with the child … okay, if you watched the movie, you would know a few things.

However, the book has some integral parts the movie was missing. I won’t go further, except that the other books in the Giver series show us worlds we would never use to analyze where we ourselves are going. Gathering Blue, which is a popular American book for its time, shows us that there is cruelty wherever you turn, but Kira, the main character, is one strong girl who shows us that no matter the circumstance, a bent leg or no eyes or a bent-tailed dog could not stop her from figuring out where she originated. When she figures out who her father is, well, a real amazing thing happens. Clever though she is, Kira has to use her gift to figure out what to do for her fallen civilization.

I will not give away the finale.

Since all of us have been exposed to the Hunger Games, I will omit any content on this series. There are so many great works of literature I love. And I have school to thank for it all.

Now, what book series will the young families eventualy find for their children? Let’s go on a little trip to … hmmm, 2050?

Imagine for a moment that a family is together in said house. Now, the children are in school. Think about what bland crap these kids are going to read. Where is the great literature that I mentioned above? Will there be any copies of Touch the Top of the World by Erik Weihenmayer? Maybe not, all because the bias police may state that blind people being heroes on mountainsides overexaggerates the achievements attributed to disabled people. Well, that’s bunk.

Children of all kinds need to be reading classics, looking through the windows of time and space, feeling the emotions of the characters in a book. I have felt these emotions before. I was reading a Gloria Whelan piece entitled “Homeless Bird.” This book starts us in a rural Indian village in Southeast Asia. Note that the term Indian is used to denote people in India, remember? I personally will classify the other “Indian” as the proper term, Native American or First Nations.

Well, in the rural Indian village, a young mother, maybe a middle aged woman, says to her young daughter, the first line even, “Koly, you are thirteen years old and growing every day. It’s time to find you a husband.” Now, if any young woman reading this was thirteen, I could only imagine how much early marriage would scare you, but this book tells us that it was common in the rural villages for teens to be forcibly married off for a dowry. Upon Koly’s hearing this, she is stunned. She is emotional about the upcoming match approved for her, and as Whelan pours in to Koly’s character, we see her sitting with an embroidery needle, stitching away her worries, trying to remember the things that she loves, the pleasantries of her home village.

What got me emotional was when I reached toward one scene at the end. I’ll try my best not to spoil this, but Koly was dating this awesome guy, Raji. Koly taught the boy to read and write, and they hit it off so well that … well, Koly was finally able to discern love. She finally begins to open her heart to someone, and Raji says he does not care whether she is a young widow abused by her sass, her mother-in-law from the previously arranged marriage. It was so emotional because all this time, Koly realized what was most important to her, and she was worried about losing a great job. But what really got me was how Mr. Daas her boss, a guy who runs a sari shop, was so pleased with her artistry that he said, “Look, you keep embroidering saris, and bring them to me when done.” Imagine, just think about this. Koly said she would keep working, and her boss asked her, “But how are you going to keep working with whining kids, housework, and other things?” Koly’s answer made me stunned. “Oh, the house won’t be so clean, the cooking won’t be as prepared, and the whining children will sit on my lap and I’ll sing to them while I work.” What got me even more emotional was the fact that Raji even accommodated his beloved, building her a personal workroom. Imagine if someone did that for you. Raji realizes that Koly is an intelligent woman, and it’s that kind of realization that allows him to see what is important to her.

It’s through this piece of literature that I’ve learned what love really is. I would never allow myself to be in an arranged or coercive dating or marriage situation. The first thing tht Raji says to Koly is that his parents, products of an arranged match, almost never have a conversation that stimulates them. He says that his Maa and Baap, Hindi for Mom and Dad, never really had reasons to say anything unless it had to do with the rice or the plants being wormy. Raji says that he wishes to talk to his wife, and that would denote he wants to converse with Koly. Funny that they met while she was being transported to Vrindavan, a widows’ city. But their relationship evolved so much. It was when they were sitting on the banks of the Yamuna River that this conversation about conversations was held.

When I read books at all, I find myself realizing that true heroes and heroines have more than just weapons and words. As my dear Canadian friend Tyson said once in a mood message on his Skype, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Indeed it is, and so is the needle, the brain, and the questions we ask.

Now, the Language Police are censoring so much literature that the emotions and the exhillarating plots and character references are being thrown into a trash bin. All this stuff, all this wonderful stuff! Excuse me? If I ever bear children for this lonely world of bland literature, God help me, I will show them the worlds I’ve explored, worlds where knights can be female, magic makes love happen, and almost real settings where young heroines are able to oppose the barriers placed in front of them. Like Koly, Laura, Jonas, and all the other book characters, we should learn what life could be like, is like, was like, in all the dimensions of time. Why the bland images and the regional bias problems? I would personally tell you I’d like to read books about life in the Cholistan Desert, which I confess I did. The series containing the character of Shabanu, daughter of the Wind, takes us to such a place. If one wants to visit mountains, why not read some of Gary Palsen’s books? He can go from the old Oregon Trail with Francis Tucket, maybe even further up to the Canadian Woodlands with Bryan and the animals he encounters. What about Island of the Blue Dolphins? It takes the reader to a solitary island, where a girl grows up in solitude and learns to fend for herself. What about Sing Down the Moon, another book by Scott O’Dell? This is a wonderful look into the windows of time when Navajo Nation tribes and clans populated the Canyons of New Mexico. Why the hell aren’t children able to read into these windows?

I can keep going to a higher level of literature for teens, and I personally think they should read the Birthmarked series, which features a young teenage midwife and asks a lot of critical questions about a world in which the disabled children are called freaks, and Gaia Stone herself does not have a particularly beautiful appearance in the mind of the people of an Enclave of rich folks who run Gaia’s life. This is a modern book, and I would recommend it for the analysis of social issues.

I confess I’ve read a play in college that contained a few uses of vulgarity, but we all know the college experience can be different.

The recommended readings I have here are the following:

The Language Police, Diane Ravitch,

Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan

Dick and Jane’s Victims

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Thank you all for dozing off as I took you through some crazy twists.

Letter to Carrie Loveridge

I’d like to dedicate this post in loving memory to Carrie Loveridge, a childhood friend I knew way back when. Honestly, she may be gone from this world but I know I should have known her better. I’m literally having a bad day, so here, readers, and yes, Carrie and any family who is reading this, is a letter to her from me. Honestly, I must speak to her, and it is the only way I ever will.

 

Dear Carrie,

Here I sit in a tiny box, tears flowing down my cheeks. I have had my tender heart broken eight times. I don’t know if you know an ex of mine I met five years ago at CCB, Colorado Center for the Blind, but if you knew me, well, I hope you’re watching me. It feels terrible what it seems people are doing to me, telling me that I’m worthless, don’t need to date, etc. I am being abandoned by friends due to a recent mental health diagnosis, then another ex decided to beg like the beggar he tends to be for my poor broken heart. Carrie, you are so lucky you never had relations with a man. Carrie, I swear my ex from another life does not know who you are, I wish he’d listen as you speak to him. I wish you would come back to me, but Carrie, I don’t want to see you upset at the stuff going on in this world. People are killing each other over the stupidest things, least of all because “I can’t have anybody but you, and you can’t be with anyone but me.” That is a stupid thing to do. And then, there’s religion. Islamic extremists think it’s great when you blow up the so called infidels. No, what is an infidel anyway? Carrie, I wish I had a friend in high school I could have spoken to without being yelled at. Carrie, I so wish you had just stayed with this world, not so much for me, but you are someone who could have made this world a better place. You made everything you touch turn into butterflies, not gold. And you know what a butterfly does? It flies about, pretty wings and all.

Carrie, you probably know my ex-boyfriend lost someone to gun related violence. Look, I know plenty of others who could say gun violence touched their lives. But Carrie, my dear sister, ther is someone down there missing the victim of gun violence. There is another person who would give anything, even if it means I’m the dead person on the floor or injured person in a hospital bed, so that someone could be alive. Carrie, that’s not the only thing. If you would please tell me if it’s wrong to say this: I would rather have had the cancer that took your life. I would rather sometimes have been homebound for the last few years of your life. My life, I mean. Carrie, in the current state of things, I would rather all my friends and people who truly cared about me speak the truth. And the truth was, is, right here and now, that I was a messed up individual. Carrie, I am not saying that being blind is a bad and serious nuisance. But if I could do anything, I would give my life so someone else could enjoy the things I currently would do better with God for. Personally, Carrie, I close my mind’s eye and wonder. Where are you sitting now? Are the flowers in Heaven the same as the ones on Earth? What about the butterflies? Carrie, if there is anything I could do, well, I don’t know. If you had the power to, I would ask you to change me into a butterfly, large and pink and colorful around the body and wings. Let me flutter around anyone who needs a good sign, and I would carry with me a message. I love you. If you could, maybe you could change me to a bird, a large eagle or bald eagle. The American symbol of freedom, I would fly high over mountains and I would deliver the sign that peace on Earth and freedom to think are the mark of courage God should send to us. As the eagle, I would swoop down over the boondocks in Arizona, the thoroughfares in Los Angeles, the mountains in Colorado, the coast of Florida, anywhere that a lover or former lover or current friend of mine lies sleeping. I would swoop through my friend’s window, carrying the message tied to my leg. I would sit down on his or her shoulder, I would preen my wings, and it would probably be weird. But I would leave behind a feather. Imagine if my recent ex found a feather on his shirt, woke up and wondered what and how it got there. IF it took me breaking the windowpane, I would do it just to give him a sense of comfort. I would then flutter to his mom’s window, sit on the windowledge, break down the window, and or leave the feather on the windowledge. She’d find it and … well, squeak in delight, “Oh, my Gosh, a bird feather sits on the window. Look, come look!” She’d pick up the feather and cradle it in her hands, same with her son. They’d both see the feathers, caress the feathers, and they would know that I wasn’t far, or love wasn’t far, etc. Carrie, I wish you could come back as the bird and give me a wing or two so I could do this.

Carrie, if I could take back one thing that I might have done wrong, well, there are too many things I would take back. Maybe I would

spend more time with you. I would not take God’s name in vain in front of friends or family. I would shut up and listen. I would maybe ask to leave my family’s home earlier so the whole loneliness issue would shut itself up. If I could take one thing in life and do it over, maybe it would be my entire life. I should’ve been born sighted, and then I could tell you your hair style was cute. Then, when I am born in this major do over, I would be a planned and in wedlock pregnancy that would be met with joy and satisfaction and we’d still be friends. I would still play with you, we would grow old together. Carrie, if there was something else to do over, it would be the way I was educated in school. It would be the way I could seek out friends. I would be away from my mom a lot, take walks down the street, go see the kids next door, etc. I would be happier that way.

If I could live in this do over universe, I could tell you that you smile too big. Well, no smile is too big for any face. No heart is too large for the soul and body it fits with. Carrie, you had a heart that was two sizes larger than what I am seeing in society today. Many people are heartless and some go to great lengths to show it. Carrie, if you had seen the mass shootings covered in the media, well, at least you are safe in the arms of God. But there is only one thing, I wish I had seen you once before you left this world. But in the town of Do Over, we both would not have disabilities, and we would be going to prom with nice handsome Christian men who would wear dark tuxedos. Perhaps I would wear a pink gown, like the Princess in Pink one that Mia wears in the Princess Diaries series. It was way beautiful. I would have my hair swept back and up. My mom would be much happier than in the life I was thrown into. If in the Town of Do Over, I was this old, 29 years of age, I would be sitting on a sofa with two little kids on the floor playing with dolls. Then, my husband would walk in the door and say, “Beth, dinner is served!” He would hand me a burger, and then I’d say, what? You gave me a burger? Carrie, if I could grow old now, I would. But there are five people I want to see upon my departure from this cruel world. And they are:

  1. My cousin I’ve known since birth. Yes, Sarah, I’m talking about her. Carrie, in this current universe, I’d rather tell Sarah as I lie dying of old age, that I don’t care what she herself did or how her son got here. It would mean a lot if she at least have been there for the milestones. And I would tell her that no matter how far we were from each other, I would still think about her.
  2. My mom. No matter how many times she opened the door to mental Hell for me, I have to remember that it was not necessarily her fault that I was being carried by her. If she has to bury her daughter, then whatever. But if she’s not there, I have a plan so that a younger person could be at my bedside in her place.
  3. My old high school crush from years back. I know his mom threatened me with stuff, etc and I try to forget it, but as I lay dying as an old woman, I would say, “Orie, I’m sorry about the missed moments. You should have at least given me the time of day to talk, and please realize that I wanted something remotely normal in my broken life.”
  4. I don’t know who the fourth person is going to be. Depends on whether she’s here in this world, but I would love to see my old friends Bethany Cunningham and Bethany Mesko, both named Bethany so I must write out last names for differential purposes here. Mesko I would tell her if I could that I should have given her more attention, been there for her milestones, listened to her talk more. Whatever I say, I hope either of the Bethany women take it to heart. Cunningham was a friend in high school, and I would tell her to keep rocking on, she played so well, keep singing like the angels do. I would not be surprised if angels sang as I slowly faded.
  5. And last but certainly not least, I will not state the name of the last person, but I spoke to my friend about him. Jen has been there, and I regret this not being there for her. I personally wish that my last ex boyfriend would step up to the plate and be the last person at my bedside. Think of it this way, save the best for last. I would tell him that I never wore a wedding ring, never even did a wedding, had no child’s birthday or Xmas gift to buy, and for this, maybe I should at least be thankful I saved dough. But that’s not all. I was blesed to know who he was, and that he became the man I loved because God said it best. I would hold his hand, my hand being withered and old, and as my last breath was uttered and felt, as he hears me breathe my last, my dying words will probably be something like, “I love you and do not ever forget it. Take this …” I would hand him a valuable thing, and I would do something to honor him with, a plaque or engraved message on a little metal thing. I would struggle to hand it over, but when he reads it, he’ll fall over my bed crying and I’ll later say, “Do not cry, beloved, I will meet you in my hometown.” He won’t understand, but “my hometown” will be Heaven. And the first thing I want to hear when I’m finished breathing my last is your voice saying, “Hello, Beth, it’s Carrie. Would you like me to … Oh, you do look great!” Then, I’ll have wings and all that, and we’ll take each other’s hands, and together, we will fly away from this cruel and broken world. I will stay with you in the balcony of the palaces where Jesus would be sitting on his throne. I would humbly confess that my life should be a do over, and that I wished I would not hurt anyone. I wish I had done a better job of having tested people, let them realize how incredibly unhealthy their words and actions were and stuff. It’s punishment what happens on a daily basis. I currently hold a daily reminder of worthlessness and unmarriageability and nobody will sell me a piece of property, a house more like. I will spend my life in this little ghetto box. Carrie, please speak soft words to my friends who are currently mad at me, and please remind them that God is watching. Whether we believe in Big Brother or not, and no for Hell I do not, God is the ultimate judge of the truth. Did God put me on this Earth to hurt someone else? No. I think God’s purpose for me is something that none of my exes, family, friends, professional buttheads, people who think it’s okay to oppress others, all those perpetrators of abuse and discrimination, will never understand. I am done being abused, being pulled into triggers constantly and being told that “I want nothing to do with your affairs.” I’m seriously done. Please, Carrie, you have a power that I will never understand until the day I get there.

Carrie, one final note to you. While I’m in bed, I honestly dreamt of you one night. I had a harp in front of me, and seriously, you taught me to play it. It was after I was imprisoned in my own little room at my family’s home in Florida. Then all my friends left and abandoned me, knowing that I was a no good and worthless personality. They would joke about an obsessive and possessive woman that never was, call me names, call me a whore, etc. But then, in the dream, I was starved to death, maybe I was, I faded away. You and I were sitting in a larger room, the harps in front of us. We played those harps. Maybe the harps meant peace. Maybe now I understand the thing in the room. The person or people who were there. Carrie, honestly, it was you, sister. Why have I bothered to think so much about you? Honestly, I have had enough. It does not make any sense, I felt that I was priority number million and sadly, this is not fair to me. If the man who is currently upset at me wishes to place erotic interests above the needs of others, then guess I better think about running to your yard up there somewhere. Carrie, I miss you terribly, and regret with a heavy heart that you are not here. If I could do everything over again, I could but can’t. Carrie, I sometimes ask myself why oh why did this all happen to me in a day? What is really wrong is that permission is always a problem. I have to have permission to do everything. Frankly, I should not have gotten permission to exist. But then, you would’ve never touched me the way you did.

Carrie, my dear sister, you will always have a place at my table every occasion I have. But if you do speak to this man, I will seriously want to see you for real. I want to see you as a bright young woman with her angel wings. When you left us, Heaven gained a really beautiful seraphim. Please, do not forgetme. I love you.

Love,

Beth

It’s Time to Talk About Gun Legislation

Well, … I’m getting tired of hearing about one mass shooting after another. You guys are damn lucky I didn’t hear the details when the mass shooting in San Bernardino actually happened. You guys don’t know that this gun violence is absolutely unacceptable. I’m sorry, but I’ve got to agree with one guy who was interviewed on CNN who said that a lot of Legislators are acting cowardly and in a treasonous fashion by not even considering gun legislation bills for hearing. I am with the people who lost someone to gun violence whether it was two people or twenty. All of you who have ever lost someone to a gun wielder are in my thoughts, and as such, it’s time to sit down and discuss this.

First off, why not reform or even transform how and by whom guns are purchased? Let’s say that you walk into a gun store, go to a gun show, etc.? I think it’s time to do the smart thing. We need to license and register guns, period. So here’s how the background check should be done:

  1. So you walk into a store, state you would like a gun, etc. Okay, so you are asked the following questions:
  2. The questions range from things like, “Are you associated with a known Terrorist organization such as Islamic State or Al Qaida. Maybe we could add that if that is the case, the background check will not come out clean. What about guys with mental illnesses with violence as a symptomology? What about a question that asks about homicidal thoughts and feelings. WE can’t just look at a criminal record now, look at James Holmes, the Islamic couple behind san Bernardino, the gunmen in Columbine and Paducah, there’s too many more. The Virginia Tech gunman was never asked these questions, and in doing so, the ones who sold Cho Seung-Hui the guns and rounds might have inadvertently caused the deaths of those 32 people on VA Tech campus. Even more, Mr. Cho had homicidal thoughts, and as stated in a video manifesto mailed to NBC News, he said people and himself were going to die. There was usually this kind of manifesto left behind by any and all attackers, including the one who committed a symbolic act of violence ending in the death of a friend’s brother, and then she gunned herself down, leaving behind a note or something about killing, etc. When people have these kinds of thoughts, they should never own a gun.
  3. Then, we should if the background check clears, we’d say, okay, congratulations you can purchase a gun. Period. When a gun is paid for, any and all gun sellers should, and must, register the gun specifically to the purchaser and not let another person in the household touch the weapon. If this provision were in place, we wouldn’t have Dillon Roof killing black folks at the church in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. We would not have let Mr. Roof give his son a gun as a present. What message did that guy send to his own son? Okay, you can act on your Confederate and White Supremacist beliefs and kill people. That’s what Mr. Roof did. He sent his son a terrible moral message about black people, and I’m downright horrified that a registration only to the purchaser did not sit and stop this massacre.
  4. Next, when you purchase and own a gun, you should as it is already done in some areas, everybody should take a gun safety course. All gun owners should be able to do marksmanship classes, but then a gun safety course should be used to help gun owners and … yes, gun lovers, learn to be safe and keep their households safe around guns.

There should be only two things people get guns for: defending themselves, especially women and vulnerable persons with disabilities, and yes, they should have guns; and hunting game such as deer. There are some good examples of people I can come up with who hunt deer and or use the guns as a hobby and don’t cause problems.

I have a friend whose stepdad used a Darringer on a small group of havalena in his backyard or on his property. At least the gun was brought out, but oh no! Not enough bullets, but it was still enough to scare the animals off the property. The same guy uses a gun to go hunting, and this is also licensed. If a man or woman wants to purchase a gun, he or she must give a valid reason for owning a gun: a woman with a disability lives in a vulnerable apartment complex known for robberies and rapes and wishes to use the gun to defend herself from possible unwanted rape and pregnancy; a man wants a rifle for hunting deer in the woods; a man wants a shotgun on the wall because he and any member of his household may experience violence as a result of either location based situations or a child or spouse has a disability that impairs him or her from walking or defending him or herself. Those reasons I see as valid, so yeah. Gun legislation is long overdue. If I don’t see Congress making progress and putting GOP interest groups above my life, the lives of my friends, and the lives of my friends’ families, then I personally will demonstrate what happens to vulnerable populations when Legislators betray us. I’m not saying I’ll buy a gun for a massacre, but I will bring out names and places where gun violence has occurred throughout my years of life, and there have been too many in this fiscal year alone. Not only that, but I will get my butt to Capitol Hill and I will tell Congress that killers such as Mr. Cho, the killers at Columbine, the miscreants at Paducah, and other shootings in schools, churches, malls, social service buildings, movie theaters, and other places should never have owned a gun. Guns are a good thing to have, but they are also one’s worst enemy. If Congress can’t see why I personally would want a gun or why any one man or woman should learn marksmanship, then Congress is a traitor.