TV show thoughts, getting to know me, podcast thoughts and more

After posting my last blog entry, I realized that I forgot to mention something that describes the game called Henry. What I’d forgotten to say about this game, was that in the bottom center of Henry’s platform, there’s a weirdly-shaped button that players can press to shuffle the 16-panel square buttons. There is also another weirdly-shaped button at the top center of this game’s platform; this particular button is the one that players press to be given an audio sound to search for among the 16-button panel. I also forgot to add something about the BopIt game I currently have: when a player beats said game, the sounds it makes to let players know that they’ve won are different from the sounds BopIt made when I was a little runt. The BopIt I recently purchased sounds a musical sort of tone and then plays the pull it, bop it and twist it sounds several times. That’s how players of this game that I own now, know that they’ve reached the maximum 100 points.

There’s one game I used to play as a kid called Bird Brain which I forgot to mention when I’d talked about the other games I used to play. Bird Brain’s platform is a circle, with 7 or 8 buttons on its outside. There’s one circular button in its center and an on and off switch on the back of the circular platform. I may have the position of the game’s on and off switch incorrect, though, as I’m writing this description entirely from my memory. The objective of the game though, is to match certain phrases which can be heard audibly via Bird Brain. So like, the player presses the circular button in the center of the platform and after pressing that button, Bird Brain will speak part of a phrase. And after the player hears part of a phrase spoken out loud, they (the player) press one of the buttons on the outer circle to see if they can find the rest of that phrase. And sometimes Bird Brain will give its player a hint; and sometimes the hint he gives fits the phrase that’s been given. But other times, the player discovers that Bird Brain actually lied to them. And also, when Bird Brain gives its player a hint, the button he’s chosen lights up. I remember this vividly, as I used to have some usable eyesight. Something else I almost forgot to add about this game, is the fact that when the player hits the button in the center of the platform to start the game, Bird Brain gives players the option of playing the game by themselves or playing the game with others.

When I posted my last blog entry this Monday, it was Memorial Day weekend then. And I just so happened to read a status update on Facebook that weekend, letting people know that the 90s channel on iHeart Radio was doing a countdown of the biggest songs of that particular decade. And I’m someone who’s been a huge fan of countdowns ever since I was a little girl. Like, every weekend just about, I’d listen to the Rick Dees countdown that played on a radio station; and fortunately for me, it didn’t matter whether I was staying in Austin Texas or San Antonio Texas: I could always listen to said countdown. And so, even though I’m an adult now, as soon as I read that Facebook status update saying that iHeart 90s Radio was doing a countdown for that particular decade, I was on it!! I told my Amazon Echo Dot AKA Alexa, to play that station. But I didn’t think about the fact that there would probably be tons of people trying to stream the same thing. And so, the first time or two that I tried to stream it, things didn’t go well; Alexa kept buffering every 10 seconds…or so it seemed. But that being said, when I was finally able to stream the entire countdown using my Echo Dot, it was a great listen. I’d listened to the countdown during the day, as I knew that there would be a lot less people trying to stream it then.

But before I talk about other things, I feel it’s necessary to clarify that when I say I love listening to countdowns, I don’t include most of today’s music in that truth about myself. There are some songs from today’s time that I love quite a bit, but much of today’s R&B, hip-hop and rap are garbage!! Either you can’t understand what the artists are singing or rapping about because they’re mumbling. Or, the singers/rappers don’t have good diction. Or, different song/rap beats just flat out suck, sometimes ruining an entire song for me. And I’ve always been someone who listens to song lyrics, sometimes even before I tune into the instrumentation and the artist’s background vocals. Like, the fact I usually get hooked to a song through its lyrical content, isn’t even something that I’m conscious of. It just literally happens. But that being said, as I’ve gotten older, and as I’ve gotten more familiar with the beauty that instrumentation can be in and of itself, I do pay more attention to instrumentation of songs than I used to. And I love that I’ve changed in that way.

So ever since I’ve been watching Once Upon a Time for the second time around, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I could talk about the things that happen in the show that deeply affect me in some way, shape or form. So if you’re someone who knows that they don’t like to read spoilers then consider yourself warned. One of the main stories within the show Once Upon a Time, is about a young boy named Henry who’s trying to find the woman who gave birth to him. But his story in particular, is complicated by the fact that Regina AKA “the Evil Queen” is also Henry’s mom, as she’d adopted him when he was a newborn. And within this main story about Henry and Henry’s life, tons of other stories about fairytale characters are told. And the way that these other fairytales are able to neatly fit into Once Upon a Time as a whole, happens because part of Henry’s story is Henry explaining how he himself came from the same fairytale book that all of these other characters came from. And so, as a young kid, Henry ends up locating Emma Swan, his birth mom. And as the show continues on, we the viewers finally see that Henry has convinced Emma that she’s supposed to stay in Storybrooke (the town he lives in) to help solve this huge mystery once and for all. But in between those good parts of this show, numerous bad things happen to Henry and to his loved ones. There are lots of times throughout the show that it’s an emotional roller coaster for me; and I think that’s mostly because I literally feel the things that others are going through, with my body.

Something else in this show that’s stood out to me, is how Emma doesn’t tell Henry the truth about his (Henry’s) father right away. And TBH, I can totally understand why Emma makes this difficult choice: because she knows that Henry already has so many things to process/to try to figure out. But on the other hand, I wish that Emma would’ve just been honest with Henry about his father from the get-go…because I believe that honesty is always the best policy. Because interestingly, this particular part of Once Upon a Time, even though it occurs in an ongoing manner, really resonates with me personally. Because I remember vividly that my bio mom would regularly lie to me about my biological dad’s side of the family. Like, she’d talk about how they supposedly hated me as a person; yet I had personal experience that showed me that at least some of them did care about me/who I was as a person.

But going back to the show Once Upon a Time, I’m aware that sometimes what writers of TV shows think makes great TV, can be very different from what TV viewers actually like and ultimately want to see. And similarly, what my bio mom wanted me to believe about my biological dad’s side of the family, was totally different from the reality with my relationships with those people. Because in reality, whenever I’d get sick at school or daycare and need to go home, my Mimi and Grampy were usually the ones who picked me up. It was either the two of them or my Oma (grandma in German). And so, even though there were times when I did see my Mimi, Grampy and other folks on my biological dad’s side of my family, the mixed signals I was given deeply hurt me. I never knew who to trust; because both sides of my family of origin were wishy-washy. And not just that, but most of my family of origin would take turns blaming everyone but themselves, when it came to why I wasn’t allowed to see certain people over others. To me as a kid, these sort of interactions with my family of origin were not wrong, nor were any of these people trying to hurt me. And it honestly wasn’t until I decided to go to therapy in fall 2017, that I began to learn that I was actually harming myself by lying to myself about how bad the abuse I’d suffered for nearly all of my life was. Hell, I didn’t even want to label the assorted trauma I’d experienced as abuse or being awful. Because the thing was, I was so conditioned by society at large to go through the motions of life. I seriously felt that no one was ever actually supposed to enjoy their lives as much as possible. And even though I’d had different kinds of training related to attaining daily life skills, none of that training specifically touched on things to unpack regarding how my family of origin thought of me or treated me. And even though I know that it’s impossible for any kind of training to cover every situation that blind people might face in their lives…I really wish that there could at least be some mention of trauma that’s been done by one’s family of origin/tips on how to move through that, as that’s something that we as a society need to discuss frankly and openly.

There’s a podcast that I haven’t ever blogged about because its episodes are short and I haven’t felt like I could write about its contents successfully, using my own words. But that being said, this podcast that I’m talking about is called Short Wave. Its host is someone from NPR, National Public Radio. The Short Wave podcast is less than a year old, at the time of this writing. And so, I thought I’d summarize a few Short Wave episodes that have stood out to me, as I think that other folks might find this podcast informative and fun. It isn’t a favorite of mine persay…but I occasionally find that its episodes have good learning material in them.

One episode of Short Wave that stood out to me, was one in which Madeline Sofia (the show’s host) talked about how current technology has made it possible for children to get their questions about science answered…even though they (kids) aren’t in school right now. The way for this connection to happen, is through a program that’s called Skype a Scientist, where kids can use Skype to interact with a scientist in real time. Another interesting episode of Short Wave that stood out to me, was one where a scientist figured out that they could make music that kids love, into science concepts that kids are currently learning, will learn or have learned already. Because this person in the science field realized that if science concepts that are more difficult for kids to comprehend, are made more accessible to children, in a format that those children can easily grasp, that change has the potential to change the world for the better. Another Short Wave episode that I loved, was one where Madeline Sofia talked with a woman whose written kids’ books about science-related concepts. And in this book series which is called the Magnificent Makers, there are opportunities for kids to have hands-on experiences with the things that they read about in these books. And man, reflecting on these episodes of Short Wave that I loved, has me thinking that if these types of resources had been available during my childhood, I might have become a science nerd when I was much younger.

In the latest episode of the Love Someone podcast, the host Delilah talks to Katy Perry (a well-known pop singer). Delilah and Katy Perry talked with each other about being moms–Delilah was telling Katy that once her (Katy’s) first kid is born, her life will never again be about her as an individual. And man, what a harmful message that is to tell someone!! Quite frankly, the fact that society embraces women losing their individuality, sickens me to my core. Of course, no one ever puts that message into direct words the way I’ve done here…but saying that women’s lives will become so drastically different after having a kid that the mother will never know who she is anymore, that’s horrific!! And I have no earthly idea why women don’t speak up about this particular injustice. Instead, mothers/mothers-to-be just accept that sort of thing without question, most likely because tradition is an easy way for folks to stay comfortable. And in saying what I’ve said here, I’m not saying that women shouldn’t be traditional, if they want to do so. What I strongly object to though, is the fact that women are not even told that they have the right to make choices that differ from what society deems as being normal. And honestly, I hope there comes a day when people are truly supported by others, just for being their authentic selves. Like, that way of moving through the world should not be something that people actually have to think about putting into action. They should just do this by default, period!! Now, do I actually think that that will happen? Nope, not in my lifetime, anyway.

On the latest Multiamory episode, Dedeker, Emily and Jase talked with a guest about something that’s a hot-button issue: money. In fact, this particular subject is one that I know I’ve talked about here before–when I bought my Britney Spears backpack in February of this year, to be exact. I remember that I shared then that moving to a new state has helped me re-shape not only how I think of money but also how I spend money. Because before I relocated, I told myself that I was no longer going to allow myself to feel guilty about treating myself with things that I purchased. Like, I intentionally thought about how when it comes to the way I’ve viewed money for most of my life, I saw money as something that there was only a limited supply of. No one told me that I was poor or rich; but I do remember times when my bio mom would spend money on things for me, thinking that her performing that gesture communicated to me that she loved me. At least, I perceived her buying things for me as a way of her saying something like “I think that society will, does, consider me a mother if, when, I do this specific thing: buy things for you, the human being I gave birth to.” And such a thought process would’ve made sense for her to have towards me, because I loved music and whatever kinda noise makers in the form of toys, I could literally get my hands on. But even so, if she’d ever told me that she wanted me to spend time with her, or shown me that I was even welcome to spend time with her, I probably, no, definitely wouldn’t be who I am today. But honestly, I don’t want to dwell on who I could’ve been, as I don’t believe that that would be healthy. I’ve only mentioned this as it relates to how money has been used in my life. Because as this particular Multiamory episode discusses, it’s crucial for folks to reflect on the role money has played in their lives…as well as it being crucial for folks to think about how they want to move forward with money in their lives nowadays, as adults who can make their own decisions. I know that personally, I feel incredibly empowered when it comes to my current relationship with money

Another thing that stood out to me in this episode of Multiamory, was the way that this week’s guest framed the issue of saving for one’s retirement. And what she said, was that people who are in alternative relationships ought to reflect on what our core values are around money. I love the way she put that idea, especially given how the topic of money can carry so much emotionality and even anticipated negatively-oriented judgment with it. Having this idea reframed also empowers me, though. Because while I do have my own individual thoughts about money as a whole, I also recognize that it’s healthy to be open to possibilities that differ from my current money values. For example, even though there are certain things about money that I feel won’t change, I could be wrong about that, as there’s no way for me to know how future relationships I have with people will look. Flexability is important, in my opinion.

I’m pretty sure I’ve discovered why I can’t view more than a hundred or so episodes of podcasts like Multiamory or This American Life, that have over 100 episodes; and I think the reason for this is because Apple only makes it possible for folks to go backwards to a certain point. And so, as podcasts continue to release new episodes, older episodes of those podcasts disappear from Apple’s podcast app. There’s part of me that’s bummed about having made this discovery, but another part of me that feels happy that I was able to go back somewhat with most of the podcasts I’m subscribed to.

I recently finished reading More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert. And as I’d said when I first mentioned this book here, the book’s text as a whole was hard to read. Like, the way most things were worded just sounded off to me. And as much as I’d hoped that changing VoiceOver’s speaking rate for the Ava voice would change that truth, it didn’t do that. Even so though, the end of this book was the best part!! Franklin Veaux’s and Eve Rickert’s words of empowerment to their readers, were to be ethical and love fully. Those words were simple yet profound. But while I’m glad to have read this entire book once, it definitely isn’t something that I’d recommend to other people.

I recently filled out a feedback report for Apple, because the WordPress app has been doing something weird. Ever since I’d installed the latest iOS update on my iPhone, the WordPress app incorrectly wants to display the date that I post blog entries on. So, I’ll use the last blog entry I posted as an example: I posted said entry on May 25th…but the WordPress app wanted to put the default posting date as May 21st. So hopefully, Apple will fix this issue quickly, as it’s annoying as fuck to have to go in manually and choose the correct display date for new posts that I make.

Some months ago when I was a guest blogger on the Rock for Disability blog as well as the UnseenWritings blog, I was having issues with subscribing to those particular blogs. I tried and tried to figure out why I hadn’t received email notifications for each of them. Well, I recently stumbled on a section of WordPress’s website that displayed pending blog subscriptions of mine. And that section was where I discovered that the people’s blogs that I’d been a guest on months ago, still had those very pending subscriptions waiting for me to confirm them. So needless to say, I was excited like a kid in a candy store, at the fact I’d finally be able to support those fellow writers. I even posted to the private Facebook group for disabled writers, to let this excitement of mine be widely known.