Your Denverqueen Blog of Weirdness Holiday Gift Guide and Links for Possible Gift Ideas

Dear Readers,

Some of you wanted to know where I got the gadgets I use regularly. I have a few good gift ideas for blind people. But first, here are the guidelines for buying cheap stuff. We’re talking guidelines for your company or friends’ holiday get together that may prove to be inclusive for a blind friend among your ranks.

IF you’re doing Secret Santas, it may be easier to customize a $20 gift for a blind or physically handicapped individual in your party or group within your company. For one, no such $20 gift or under can be see through, contain touchscreens without accessible ways to use it, or even more so, it can’t be or contain lights unless sound accompanies the lights. Take it from me, I had a very awful experience with white elephant gift giving, but had better experiences with a Secret Santa who was able to buy an inclusive gift.

So how to budget if you’re doing a holiday gift game like Secret Santa, Dirty Santa, or Chinese auction? First, if you’re doing white elephant, don’t accept presents that a disabled party member can’t or won’t be able to trade or use, and this comes from experience. Set a price point, reasonably $20 or under. However, make a few inclusivity guidelines like certain kinds og gifts will be disqualified. Let’s take a look at some inclusive or cheap quick options for gift ideas in the white elephant or gift games category.

You can buy a one size fits all T-shirt, but make sure to describe what it says. IF this is a party full of blind and low vision folks, this might not work. However, gift cards that are $25 or under will work perfectly. For instance, someone can send me an Amazon gift card, and I have a prime account, so there you have it.

You can buy tactile gifts and things that smell like candles, cheap bracelets, or a cheap game of Mancala. You can also try things like massage pillows, durable coffee mugs, thermoses, you name it. A travel bag or purse will also suffice.

The bottom line is that certain things such as rapidly blinking or bright lights must be disqualified, along with printed books, photo albums with pictures the person cannot see, or without description, or certain things that are not 3d and don’t have a way to read the lettering on them. I’ve gotten a photo album, but it will take a bit of thought to label and describe the things in the photo album. My family did this, and it was done well. Each photo had a description written in Braille accompanying the photographs. IF you want to scrapbook, I think photo albums are cute, but making the gift inclusive and having a thoughtful stance on these is important. Also, when you are thinking of the bookworms in your life, please, please don’t buy print. You could buy an Audible or Amazon git card to substitute because Braille books are hard to come by, expensive, and can sometimes be a bit on the large side.

 

For a family gift that you may want to buy your loved one with a disability, here are some ideas for gifts that I personally would recommend for any and all receivers of good will this holiday.

 

The Google Home (https://store.google.com/us/product/google_home?hl=en-US) is a smart speaker that comes in certain colors, but they recently released a Google Home Hub, which for blind users happily has voice setup with a CHromevox thing on it, from what I understand to be true. Correct me if I’m wrong. The regular Google Home sells for $150 but sometimes I’ve seen it for $130, and it could be marked down at Walmart or Best Buy.

 

The Amazon Echo Dot Third Generation (https://www.amazon.com/All-new-Echo-Dot-3rd-Gen/dp/B0792KTHKJ) is another smart speaker that connects with stuff, and the only music subscription you can’t do on this is Google Play Music, but then you have Amazon which has its own music service. Parents, beware. Your child may want a Dot Kids edition, and limit their capacity to order a $179 dollhouse and cookies and such. This speaker has the ability to order things from Amazon with seemless voice purchasing, and it goes to an adult’s credit card. So parents, make sure you put a pin on all purchases done by voice.

In any case, the echo dot 3rd gen runs around $50 same as the Google Home mini, but remember, there are other Echoes you can buy if you want to take it to the next level.

Etsy has lots of DIY gifts, so if you have an account, you can buy Braille Christmas cards for a good price on this site, which has an app.

In any case, there are lots of different gift ideas for blind or low vision folks, any sort of thing except sports strobelights or party lights, especially if the person has not only low vision or blindness, but some have epileptic intolerance of bright light.

Gift cards and their etiquette is highly important. I don’t like the idea of grocery coupons or gift cards because it says a lot about how the giver feels about people’s ability to buy groceries for themselves. It’s all right to give a gift card to stores with everything, like Walmart or Target, but never a grocery gift card. Never ever think that we disabled people don’t deserve real presents, and food is consumed immediately, or almost immediately. Therefore, my recommendation would be to give them the gift of things that don’t have to do with groceries, and restaurants are acceptable things as well. A stocking stuffer that might work would be a restaurant gift card to a place not normally traveled.

Lottery tickets are cute, but are they good stocking stuffers? I don’t think they are.

MErry CHristmas, and happy holiday shopping from the Denver Queen.

Beth

Who Is Heather Locklear?

Dear Readers,

If anyone watched Michael J. Fox and other sitcoms in the 90s back when television was wonderful, you would have seen an actress by the name of Heather Locklear on some of these shows. I never got to experience the sitcom mania that swept the 90s, but now Ms. Locklear has something else that her family wants: her estate and money. THis family of hers is considering a Conservatorship, just another word for guardianship, in California to steal her money and possibly murder this beloved actress. I want to make one thing clear: Britney Spears and Amanda Bynes have both become conserved “targets” if I may use such a term but such targeting I believe is a pure act of evil, barring what others might think.

I became a target for guardianship at the age of seventeen, an age where I had no skills, no maturity, and no way to leave. I left, however, because of the abuse and overextended punishments my parents doled out as an act of making me an inferior person. They are not taking responsibility for the act they imposed and for perhaps robbing me point blank. If Heather Locklear’s family succeeds in getting her conserved in the state of California, she will be one of millions who is conserved due to disability, age, or wealth. Even if Heather wants to spend her millions on the care she needs, let her spend it on what she really wants. Britney Spears’s conservatorship is the worst I’ve seen. Her father and sister may steal her estate, claw their way into Britney’s personal life, and perhaps put her away in a home for old folks when she ages, stealing her money further.

I can understand why nobody thinks this is a bad idea. Some of you might think, but these celebs are in rehab, doing drugs, etc. But here’s another thing to consider: Ms. Locklear and Ms. Spears should be given supports that limit what the conservators can do. For instance, if I was rich and lived in a mansion, I’d be giving Britney shelter, food, and yes, I’d be fighting to remove the Conservatorship from her family. I’d educate the family on why Britney needs freedom and justice done on them not her. She has probably got visitations with her two little boys, but I thought Shawn Preston Federline’s playhouse was a bit over the top. Even so, Britney herself should be taking care of her boys, letting them grow up and feel their way in the world, not KEvin, who clearly took advantage of her. But the same rules don’t always apply.

Heather Locklear might have spun out of control, but a Conservator will not do any good for her. Amanda Bynes might have gotten DUI convictions in Hollywood, but is it safe to say that a Conservator should rule her life? No. Amanda’s able to say, “No.” Amanda Bynes will say nothing if she’s dead. Neither will Heather or Britney.

What is the target for a guardianship or conservatorship? Someone who is … fill in the blank with any extraordinary thing. Stevie Wonder is blind, black, and elderly. One would think he might become a target. Scrupulous conservators might find Hollywood and Los Angeles rife with targets, including famous people, famous singers among them. I feel that anyone who becomes famous or able to subsist on their own should never let scrupulous guardians and conservators into their houses. Always ask someone if they were given permission to enter your home. Of course, if you have a smartlock, make sure that only people you know and trust can come in. Rihanna might benefit from all this, but she could become a target for conservators, barring the abuse by singer Chris Brown. Rihanna must if anything keep her home secure, and hopefully she marries a man who will keep her safe. This means no record of domestic violence, etc. Many hip hop and R and B rappers also might become targets of guardianship and conservatorship because of their wealth. Recently, hip hop got a bad name with the murder and jailing of several rap artists. Rapper Esoteric Quality is probably the only rapper who hasn’t dealt with drugs, rehab, and worse, the Arizona conservatorship or guardianship system. His legal name being Clayton Jacobs, he has been the target of anti hip hop bias by high school officials, deeming his music “a threat.” It isn’t. What Jacobs and other such artists try to convey in their rap music is reality for these people: guns and violence, drive by shootings, abuse by parental figures, sexual abuse of siblings, and much more. If you’d like to check out the new single by Esoteric Quality, please contact him through his website:

http://www.blindeq.com

I was lucky to get to know Mr. Jacobs on a friendly basis, and I can tell you he doesn’t play. But if he became wealthy tomorrow, what do you think he should do to prevent himself from being the next Britney Spears, Amanda Bynes, or Heather Locklear? Let’s see what others say.

BEth

Why Spanking does not work: My Short Story

Dear Readers,

Because of the new guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I’m going to sum up why spanking does not work. I’l tell you this much. My mother not only used this and it became a gateway to more odious forms of abuse, but it became a sad excuse to incapacitate me and guardianize. It is a heinous act to abuse a child, but let me give you my story and the stories of others like me.

So I started life in Florida, a state rife with corporal punishment. My parents at first would slap me for doing wrong, slap me or make me hit myself. I told my friends about it years later, but it is because of these awful forms of corporal abuse that my parents resorted to doing other forms of emotional and mental abuse and punishments, but the lesson was that only adults can make decisions, but as a disabled woman, even more so, able men.

To name one such example, my mother severely abused and tortured me for flooding the bathroom, and my dad threatened to have me take baths as though I were a baby. They did not use more empowering and choice based forms of teaching, only punishment. As a result, I had an unplugged radio in my room for four long weeks, and worse, I’ve been denied listening to music as if it were a privilege. What my parents were really saying was, “We are adults without disabilities and you have to trust us or get fucked.” That was the underlying message, and this is why I am estranged, spend time in therapy, and have a hard time making friends.

The next thing I want to make clear is the figures and facts. emales with disabilities are subjected to twice the risk of corporal, sexual, emotional, and mental abuse. My punishments were consistently longer than those of my brothers’, and this is cause for concern. My parents could have resorted to rape, violence, or murder as forms of punishment, as this did indeed happen to Kelly Bond, a young lady from Tennessee, whose mother and father overdosed her medication to induce her death. Kelly was a vulnerable female with a disability, was not treated well, and was punished too much more. It is the obvious solution to remove Kelly from the home before this could have happened. She was an at risk adult, life insurance having been bought on her. If I returned to Titusville, what would my own family do? They would have probably made me shut down this blog, or risk dying a violent or painful death because dare I say this, they don’t wnt their methods exposed. But again, this is my purpose. My parents ended their abuse and reign of terror when I moved out, something I had to do to protect my dignity and my life. It is no small wonder that now, Medicaid has to pay upwards of thousand of dollars a month to service me in therapy and with psychological medications. Dr. or Mr. John McCarthy was probably right in suggesting my parents go and see a therapist themselves. They can’t cope with their daughter’s desires, want for children, and so on. When will I ever be able to advocate for my own children to live better lives than me? My fiance says I may have to wait till the age of forty to conceive, but this brings with it its own set of risks. The over 40 crowd faces a chance that their children are born with intellectual disability, which puts the power in the hands of the able most of the time. I would have to work extremely hard to empower the intellectually disabled child to speak up and tell their care persons that they do not want certain things to happen. I would hav to care for an at risk adult if my child was conceived while I as forty, and the biology of it all is a problem. How can I prove that I can and will have healthy kids? These questions I have to consider in therapy.

It would be even more expensive for Medicaid to pay or the care of a Down’s Syndrome child, who may die at age 30 or below that much. I want my child to live to eighty or longer, and it is up to biology to test this limit. But spending time with a therapist and a doctor will only make it worse.

As a mother, I want to not hit my children. Why? Look at me. I’m having to do couples therapy, solo therapy, and all the medications per month I must take. My fiance has withheld some forms of affection at times, and I get extremely angry at him. There are times I want to show him exactly what my own mother did, give him a taste of toxicity or the corporal punishment I was subjected to. And in therapy, I have to learn to communicate with others in a more productive and effective manner. Spanking is not effective discipline, period. It i a gateway to rape, violence, and aggression and male privilege. Listen to a therapist’s session with a patient and you’ll understand.

There are times I wish my own parents would receive harsh penalties for having guardianship, but it is highly doubtful that they will ever mess around with my life after I give them a sworn ultimatum. They must relinquish and restore my rights to me, get rid of their incapacitation document, burn it, whatever, or they will not see their grandchild, know its name, or see it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If they want me, they must, if anything, allow Trenton to come. We’re not waiting for children or marriage because I’m old, time’s ticking, and at forty, my child could be intellectually impaired, unable to function without twenty-four-hour care from either myself or a carer that is qualified, most aren’t, to care for those with such disabilities. I don’t think intellectual impairment is necessarily a bad thing, but look at Jenny (Marguerite Jeanne) Hatch, who was denied her rights because of intellectual impairment. Jenny was punished frequently in a group home, then sued her family and got freedom. For whatever reason, the National Fedration of the Blind refuses to help me deal with this guardianship mess, being that there is no real chapter activity in revard County. Spanking and abuse, and the subsequent guardianship, damaged all possibility that I will ever get out of depression and anger. ANd as an adult, I can write down my feelings in a journal, and though this is online, I feel a lot better about speaking out against spanking because beleve me, it will not work for autistics, females and disabled people. My story is not unique, it is a typical story of post-Columbian disability philosophy. Disability in Europe is thought of as a burden to society, and all disabled persons conquered by th Conquistadores in Spain were subject to abuses committed by these folks. FAmilies with disabled women would simply put them away, guardianize them, and abuse them accordingly. Disabled people deserve the best treatment by their own families and caregivers in the Western and Eastern world alike. But there is one thing standing in between progress and the current status quo: spanking. Thankfully, in modern Europe, spanking is outlawed in communities in Sweden and some Scandinavian countries like Norway. In fact, Norway’s criminal rehabilitative system puts the U.S. to utter shame. Norwegians who commit crimes are rehabilitated, especially if the crimes involve something petty like theft, larseny, etc. I don’t know what they do to rapists exactly. But the big thing in Norway and other places like it is this: when kid learn that might doesn’t get them their way, they learn that they must communicate effectively with others, can’t use aggression, etc. Consider also that some biological factors play into evolving forms of communication with a species.

Primates, for instance, have their own basic form of politics. However, some chimps are aggressive. However, as scientists have seen, chimps who have friends do better in their groups than the ones who show aggression and rip ears off the groupmates. Friendships among all the primate order matters, including that of humans. And this means effective communication, not aggression, is the only way to do what’s right. Humans have somethig the apes and chimps don’t, language and vocal syllabic communication, which is a great thing. Why smack your offspring when you can talk to them? Carrie Goldman has lots of ideas on how to deal with problem behaviors in children, especially adopted ones. Her book Bullied is amazing, and it is available on Bard for all of us on the NLS program. Carrie writes for many news sources, parentiing columns, etc. Her methods are much more empowering and get the message across. For instance, your adopted daughter stole three quarters of a supply of cupcakes. Instead of labeling her a liar nd a thief, bring up the fact that you noticed that some cupcakes were gone and they were needed for a class party. In her example, Mrs. Goldman writes that you should suggest things to rectify it instead of using labels, abuse, and yes, spanking. There are many other ways to rectify a problem, and had I known this, I would have outright said, “Do not hit me. Your reasoning is off.” But you can’t reason with evil.

Why should spanking be banned?

1. Because it promotes the might makes right mentality.

2. Because it’s a gateway to other forms of abuse.

3. Because it will traumatize disabled kids, especially neurologically atypical ones. It damages people. For example, they don’t learn effective coping and communication skills, and a therapist must be hired to rectify years of this issue.

Hitting a child or a person who is disabled or smaller than you promotes ableistic viewpoints, puts the strong above all else, and allows able males to get all they want in life. So what is the moral of all this? Don’t spank your child. The pediatricians are correct. Spanking does not fix behavioral issues. It only makes them worse or then costs society more to counsel victims of this form of abuse.

Beth

Which Grinch is more of a Grinch?

Dear REaders,

High up in the mountains north of a tiny village called Whoville, there lives the Grinch, someone who likes to steal things, particularly Christmas. Jim Kerry has played this mean green guy, but the trailer for the latest movie didn’t impress me at all for whatever reason. The Grinch in the latest movie doesn’t seem to be as interactive with the Whos of WHoville as much as Jim Kerry. None could top Taylor Mobson as Cindy Lou Who, the tiny girl who wonders why the Grinch steals the tree.

So what makes Grinch movies good? Well, the Jim Kerry Grinch movie is awesome because Dr. Seuss’s classic rhythm and rhyme is embedded into the narration, though not exactly what the book or the cartoon special would expect to have done.

Though the movie does throw in as much of the cartoon’s special’s poetic rhythm and its lines, most of the movie itself is amazingly interactive while we are staring intently as the Grinch looks back at us and shows that his heart is, and I quote, “two sizes too small.” I personally thought Jim Kerry’s Grinch was the best because Jim Kerry has had experience with dumb gags, bad jokes, comedy beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. The gags in his Grinch character are amazingly on par. But the new Grinch movie? Why oh why did Danny Elfman do the music for this one, too? I better decide if we should at least give this one a chance.

The trailer just didn’t rub me the right way, but then again, thou shalt not judge a movie or book by its trailer or cover. No way. So it’s hard to say if someone beat Kerry to the podium or the award for Best Grinch Ever!!!!!

Now, for you WHovillians who think the Grinch should not be way scarier than before, unfortunately, I heard something about the widow of Dr. Seuss not wanting movies done on her late husband’s books. Books, especially those by Dr. Seuss, should be revered as the best children’s books ever!!!!!

But here’s the deal: if you’re going to watch the new Grinch movie, at least give it a try. And compare it to Kerry’s Grinch fairly. I mean, try and be fair with contrasting and comparing. Jim Kerry’s movie portfolio is a lot longer than the other guy in this new movie trailer, but I’ll see what we could try.