Tributes to a loved one, assorted thoughts on having a childfree life, annoying technology issues and exciting life updates

I recently wrote the following tribute to someone dear to me that I lost. Names are not included. The tribute reads:
Mom,
The world knew you as (redacted) or as a radio DJ or as (name of children’s) mom or (redacted’s wife. While I did tell you I loved you with all my heart the last time I saw you, I left something out: the fact that for the short time that you were in my life, in my head only, I thought of you as “mom.” You taught me that a mother, that my mother, was only required to love me…which you did. This is a short tribute to you, and while I’m sad that I’ll never get to hug you again or. Tell you I love you again, I know with my whole heart that being loved by someone I could call “mom” is a feeling I thought I’d never experience. So thank you, Mom. I love you!

I wrote another tribute to her on FB that reads:
It’s hard for me to imagine my life going on, without Mom physically in it. In fact the day before yesterday, I’d been thinking a lot about how she and I could have girl time together, once she kicked cancer’s ass. I’d been thinking about how happy I felt to have her in my life; I’d even thought about how for once in my life, I wanted to find my forever love…just so she (Mom) could support me in that union, the way my bio mom should but never has. I kept thinking how I just wanted one day of me having of as little physical pain as possible, so that I could spend time with Mom and be fully present with her. And now, the pain of Mom’s loss feels unbearable. I knew she and I were alike in one huge way: we are both fighters and will be until the day we, I, die. Parents are supposed to outlive us 😭 😭 😭

Yesterday my caretaker bought the two of us drinks and food from Starbucks. He knew that I’d been feeling really sad about Mom’s death…and how much Starbucks does usually cheer me up. I had a white peppermint mocha latte to drink and a breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg and cheese on it; both of those things were really good. And my caretaker got the same type of sandwich for himself. And interestingly, the two of us have similar tastes about what kinda food is good–he’s definitely someone I can trust about whether food is disgusting or delicious.

This morning my caretaker brought me my package from Amazon.com. The package was actually delivered yesterday but it can sometimes be difficult to find people’s mail here because there are several houses in this neighborhood that are owned by the same person. TBH, before living here at this house, I’d never lived in a house where a landlord/landlady owns multiple houses/properties. But that being said, a person owning multiple properties is definitely one smart way to do business.

So anyway, the part of my Britney Spears outfit that I currently have, is the choker and the bottom half of the outfit which is a skirt-like piece. I say skirt-like because there are parts of the skirt that are short and other parts of it that are lengthier. And I guess that these two things came from the same location, given that they both arrived to me at the same time.

But for anyone who may not know what a choker is in this instance, it’s a necklace that fits tightly around a person’s neck. And in this case, the choker is gold and has stones on it that display different colors. I picked this choker specifically because the sighted friend who’d helped me order all of these things, explained to me that there were all kinds of colors and styles for the chokers they’d found. And this particular one just sounded pretty to me, especially when I heard that it had gold in it.

In the Blind Bitching FB group, someone posted asking why blind people gossip. The response I wrote to that reads:
If it really bothers you so much, quit hanging out with those particular people. There is nothing anywhere that says that you have to keep people in your life, just because they’ve been in it for a time.

In the childfree group I’m in, someone posted asking if they were alone, in feeling like they just don’t fucking want kids. My response to that thread reads:
I’m 1000% with you!!! In fact, I feel that my life is more meaningful because I don’t want to have kids. And also, I always cringe inwardly, when I hear people say things like “I don’t know how I’d live without my kids” or “my kids are my reason for living.” People with kids say these things like they have no individual identity at all…and to me, that is awful.

In this same group, someone posted a topic about dating. More specifically, the person wanted to know whether us CF folks have a hard time finding CF people to date. My response to that topic reads:
It’s extremely hard to find people to date who are childfree, as I am!! It’s like, everyone in the world wants kids or has kids. So I bring it up early on in getting to know people because I don’t want either of us to get too involved, especially if they want kids or have kids.

I posted the below comment on the CF group, in response to someone asking if folks have step-children. What I wrote reads:
I say this sincerely, I promise; IDK how CF people can date folks who have kids. Because to my mind, that makes you part of those children’s lives, and a serious part of their lives at that, especially if you are serious about their parent. Maybe I’ll learn something from you folks; please educate me.
Someone responded to that comment of mine, saying that they understand my perspective but that it’s a bit more complex than that, as they weren’t the ones who gave birth to their partner’s children. So I replied to them saying:
But like, say they are teenagers or preteens and they have a horrible attitude towards their parent. Do you ever feel like you are in some way responsible for trying to rein them in, so to speak? Because my perspective is that when you date a person with kids, you are essentially also agreeing to take on their children maybe not as yours persay, but in some fashion, at least. Do you have a different experience than that?
Another person responded to my initial comment on this thread, explaining that for them, dating someone with kids does not mean that they are responsible for that person’s kids. And what I wrote in response to that comment reads:
Ah, when you put it in terms of being similar to having an aunt/uncle, that makes a bit more sense. I personally don’t want to date someone who has kids, simply because I want to be able to have a life with my partner(s) and I because I never had that sort of support very much growing up.

In this same FB group, someone asked about whether people think about who will take care of them when they are sick/dying. And my response, with some clarification for the blog’s sake, reads:
The things we have are just things, at the end of the day. It is us human beings that attach meaning to things, whether it be because we feel we have to or just because of the way society socializes us to care about that sort of thing. I for one don’t give any thought to who will take care of me when I’m deathly sick, though that’s probably because I know the answer is “a hospital.” But that doesn’t upset/stress me out or what have you, the way it seems to for other folks.

I posted the below post on the CF FB group that reads:
I just wanted to give the mods here a shout-out/thank you for creating this group. I used to be involved in a CF group called “childfree 18+” I think was what it was called…and I found the mods there to be assholes, and not understanding of my situation. I was trying to invite some of my FB friends to that group, and I kept having issues where the speech output software I use was not alerting me to the fact that someone had already been invited. Like, the way my speech output software would read the invite button next to someone’s name, was by saying “invite, unchecked” or something along those lines. This happened to me twice, and the second time it happened, the mods of that group banned me. And I wanted to give people a heads up about that FB group, if they are blind/if it even still exists because I don’t want others to go through what I did there. I’ve been pretty disappointed that the mods were like that towards me, especially when I explained the situation to them twice…and then I found this group while searching FB for other CF ones I could join. And I wanted to post a thank you/shout-out to the mods here because this environment is friendly yet unafraid to talk about whatever…and I’m glad I found it. I know it can’t be easy to be a mod, nor can it be fun all the time, but you all do a great job at setting a community standard for this place/sticking to that. And here’s to continued happy chatting here for all of us 🙂 ❤️

I wrote the following FB post which reads:
It’s a dead giveaway that people don’t read my profile, when I get a notification from someone to join a religious-oriented group with Jesus as its focus. I know that generally, people just hit the “invite” button on probably everyone…but that’s annoying. I also know that someone will likely comment on this post of mine, jokingly asking me if I wanna join Jesus in an FB group…and I’d find that humorous…because jokes are funny!! People not reading my profile is annoying because they took the time to friend me…and why did they do that, if they didn’t actually you know, wanna get to know me?

I wrote the below thread on Twitter which reads:
When people follow me on Twitter and then send me a DM that just says “hi.” Don’t fucking do that, people; If I don’t know who you are, nor have I ever exchanged any sort of meaningful conversation with you, you won’t get a reply to your DM. Cuz I can never be sure whether men…just read my profile which says that I’m gay and so they find me a challenge just based off that fact alone…or is the person who just said “hi” in my DMs without actually conversing with me at all socially awkward? Are they genuine? IDK but I take offense to them going…right to my DMs. If you don’t have something more than “hi” to say to me, please don’t even bother DM-ing me. It’s a waste of both yours, and my, time.

I wrote the following thread on Twitter, about a WordPress frustration I’ve had for awhile now. My writing reads:
There’s a known WordPress issue I’ve had where WP won’t let me change the default email address that’s associated with my WP account. But I’d like to have everything blog-related be all in one place so that I can separate my personal life from my blog life. I’ve even had sighted friends of mine try and help me change it. And all that happens is that I get a message saying that a confirmation email has been sent to the email address I wanna change it to…but there’s never been a confirmation email sent to me. I’ve had the email address for my blog for months now and I’ve been trying and trying to fix this issue since then. Googling it has let me know that I’m not alone in experiencing this…but I want a fix, dammit; not just knowledge that others are experiencing the same thing. If anyone knows how to correct this or knows anyone who might be able to help me do so, please LMK.

My first guest blog post: 10 perks of being a disabled person

Hello, my name is Emma Purcell, I’m 26 years old and live in Alton, Hampshire, UK. I have quadriplegic cerebral palsy and registered blind. I’m the blogger of Rock For Disability and a freelance writer at online magazine Disability Horizons. In this guest blog post I would like to share my 10 perks of being a disabled person:
1. Free parking
The first and most commonly mentioned perk of being disabled is getting free parking.
In the UK, people who have a registered disability – physically, mentally and/or sensory – are eligible for free parking in most public car parks, as long as they have, and remember to display, their Blue Badge.

2. Free and discounted carer tickets
My favourite perk of all is getting free and discounted carer tickets at live music events, theatres, cinemas, tourist attractions and public transport.
This is because for many disabled people, myself included, require support when out and about and we shouldn’t have to pay full price for two tickets when that person is there for my benefit rather than just to see the event. Plus it means I can save money to purchase tickets for future events.
You still need to be eligible for free or discounted tickets. Many venues will ask for proof of your disability.
The way I do it is by using an Access Card. You can apply online with all your medical information then pay £15 for a card that lasts up to three years. The card simply has your name, ID number, ID photo and symbols representing your accessibility needs. So in my case, I have “+1”, “wheelchair access” and “blind tactile dots”, which represent I need a carer, wheelchair access and I’m registered blind.

3. Theatre touch tours
I haven’t been to many theatre productions but on a couple I’ve been to in the past two years, I was lucky enough to experience touch tours. When I went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 2017 and Matilda the Musical in 2019, I got to enter the theatre prior to the start of the shows and touch and explore props and sets that will be used in the performance.
These touch tours are specifically for audience members who are blind or visually impaired and want to get a better understanding of what will be on stage. At some touch tours, you also get to meet some of the cast and crew and chat about the shows, even getting a bit of behind the scenes gossip. I felt like a VIP guest!

4. Assistive technology
Having cerebral palsy and registered blind means I heavily rely on assistive technology. When it works, I love it. When it doesn’t work, I hate it. My favourite gadgets have to be my iPad, my Smart TV and my Amazon Alexa.

5. Extra time in exams
When studying at school, college and university, I was entitled to extra time when taking my exams because it took me longer to read with my magnification software and slower to type with one hand.
It didn’t make the exams any easier but I would never secured my qualifications without the extra time.

6. VAT exemption
In some disability-related shops, such as RNIB and Disability Horizons Shop, many products can be sold with VAT exemption to people with a registered disability.
This is because many disability-related products are more expensive than regular products and many disabled people don’t earn as much as others but still require these products to live independently.

7. Free prescriptions and dental treatment
For disable people who claim benefits, they are entitled to free prescriptions and dental treatment. I currently claim Employment and Support Allowance but if I ever lose it or get full-time wages, then I’ll have to start paying. So I’ll enjoy this perk while it lasts.

8. Discount on TV licence
Because I’m registered blind, I get 50% discount on my TV licence, which allows UK residents to watch BBC programmes. Blind people are eligible for this because they only enjoy the audio/dialogue elements rather than the visual elements too.

9. Not witnessing gruesome scenes in TV/films
While watching TV and films, the plus side of being blind is not having to witness gruesome scenes such as a bloody murder or medical procedures on a hospital bed.

10. Carrying bags on my wheelchair
As well as being a useful machine for me to be able to access my home and go out and about, my powered wheelchair is also a great tool for carrying bags.
When shopping, all the shopping bags can hang on the back of my chair – meaning my lazy family and friends can use it as a pack horse.

Thank you Chelsea for inviting me to be a guest blogger.

To find out more about me and view more of my work, visit my blog Rock For Disability and follow me on Facebook & Twitter.

More podcast thoughts, a weird/disturbing dream, a heated discussion and some school/life updates

The last story on the eppisode of the This American Life podcast that discussed the hardships families go through during the holidays, was another interesting thing to me. Because what this story was about, was a man who’d known that for years, there were folks in Mexico who hadn’t seen family members of theirs because those family members live in the United States. And so knowing that, this man did what he could to figure out how he could help these families get back together. He figured out how to get visas for these families that would allow them to stay in the US for an entire decade. And it turned out that his plan worked, just as he’d hoped it would.

The main story that Ira Glass talks about in this episode, was one in which an elderly woman hadn’t seen most of her family in over 10 years because she was in Mexico and they (her family) lived in the US. She had this idea that once she’d visited her family, being in-person with them was all she’d need, to convince them to go back with her to Mexico. And as this part of the story was being told, I knew that her plan wouldn’t work because she’d been trying to convince her kids to leave their lives in the US for years and years. I seriously don’t understand why some people think that if they continue to push their desires onto others, that them pushing harder will somehow make people change their minds. So that being said, it was no surprise to me that this woman will end up staying with her family in the US. Because her family had explained to her that they already have a life here in the US…and since she could stay here with them for several years, she should be happy about that. And to be honest I see both sides; I can get how she wants to be in Mexico, just as I can get how her family wants her to be here in the US where *they* live. But I *do* think that it will be a good thing that the elderly woman calmed down, regarding trying to make her adult children do something that they flat out don’t want to do.

In the Blind Bitching FB group, someone posted about the fact that the college they attend doesn’t give them books in a format that is accessible for them. This irks me; and my response to that post reads:
I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing this. Fortunately, the college I go to is not this way; I’m able to get textbooks electronically, in a format that my screen reader has done well with. This is not hard to do, and it makes my heart sad to see that there are colleges that haven’t you know, gotten with the times/technology advancements.

Someone in the Disabled Feminists FB group I’m in, posted about Harvey Weinstein being in court and using a walker. I wrote the following comment in response to this post which reads:
I’m sure I’ll get flack for saying this, but I don’t believe for one second that he (Harvey Weinstein) has a disability. I’m sure his lawyers/anyone else who is on his side, all know that disability generally touches people’s heartstrings…so this is a strategic move, not his actual lived reality.
I then added:
Posting again to say this: people, Harvey Weinstein *wants* you to feel sorry for him. He *wants* you to be distracted by his “disability” which I’ve put in quotations, because he’s a privileged white male who can’t handle being called the fuck out on the very real harm that he’s likely caused tons of people!! Don’t buy his bullshit, people; please, don’t fucking buy it!!

This discussion continued and became incredibly heated. There were folks who couldn’t believe that some of us were saying that Harvey Weinstein is likely faking a disability. One of the last things I told the moderator of this group reads:
The thing is, when you are a public figure as he is, you don’t get the right to not have people talk about you/not judge choices you make. Being someone who the public knows and recognizes creates a different life for you then the life you would live as someone unknown like us. So when you say “policing people’s bodies,” that doesn’t apply here.
I added the following, with added clarification for my blog’s sake:
I wish I had been articulate enough to say what I’ve just said above to you, on the thread earlier this morning, but I don’t think me saying any of the things that I’ve said to you would have helped others understand my point of view. I was not trying to start a fight at all–that would never be my goal. I’m just passionate about this…and I felt like the things myself and some others were saying, were being dismissed by folks who seemed hell-bent on calling us scumbags for being so vocal. And that is why I speak up: because I’m trying to socialize myself differently than what society typically teaches me as a woman. I want to be loud when I’m deeply passionate because sometimes, that is the only way I can make myself heard over the typical “loud” noise of folks trying to silence me.

Later on I saw the admin of the Disabled Feminists group had taken that post down and then started a new discussion about this same thing. So I put one of the comments I’d written to her privately, onto *that* thread; it was one of the comments I’ve already mentioned above though. And then I responded to a commentor who was trying to attack me for my comment about Harvey Weinstein being a public figure and therefore not having the luxury of living as judgment free a life as possible. And what I said to *that* commentor reads:
There is no “identity” here. We are talking about a rapist who is taking a cowardice way out by distracting folks from crimes that he’s committed. We are talking about a man who knows how much of the world sees people with disabilities…and is using that as a sympathy card, knowing damn well that people like you will believe his bullshit act. And we’re talking about it here, instead of leaving what’s been said and going on with our lives.

But I’m saying something because I refuse to let people silence me just because I’m a woman…a woman who always has thoughtful and honest things to say. If you want to continue falling for this shit show brought to you by Harvey Winer, that is your choice…but I stand firm in the perspective I have because it is the right thing to do, in my opinion: to stand up for what is right…even when some folks are actively against that. I’m not name-calling, I’m speaking truth.

Monday evening I hung out with a close friend for a bit; this friend of mine brought their tape measurer so that they could take the last measurement that I’d need to give the lady who custom-makes walking canes for people. But interestingly, I had to explain to this friend that I’d need to hold onto my white cane that I use for my blindness while they (my friend) handled the tape measurer. It was kinda hard for me to explain myself to them in a way that they’d understand but eventually I was able to do so. And what I ended up telling them, was something along the lines of “if I’m not actually holding onto a walking cane while you’re taking the measurements, it’s damn near impossible for me to spatially determine how far I usually extend my hand to use said mobility aid.” My friend understood what I was getting at then and the two of us were then able to successfully get the last measurement which was measuring the position of my hand how I’d actually hold the walking cane and how far from that point it was to the floor. And after this friend of mine had gotten that measurement for me, I made sure to send it to the custom cane-maker right away. Because I know myself and I know that with something like a measurement that I rarely need or think about, I’d most likely forget it quickly.

Afterwards my friend and I went to Starbucks to talk about possible ideas for what my walking cane could look like. And being that I’m totally blind, I don’t have a visually-oriented mind, the way sighted people do; and so I wanted to have this close friend of mine visualize possibilities, with everything in mind that I’d told them about. And one area where they misunderstood me a bit, was about how I wanted to have stars as a part of my cane’s design. They wondered if I was going for a space-oriented vibe so I explained to them that that was not what I’d had in mind at all. I explained that I want stars to be on my walking cane to help me memorialize my soulmate TJ and also, the stars would represent that TJ called me her “starrry” (yes, the word ‘starry’ is misspelled on purpose. So once I’d helped my friend understand my general ideas for the walking cane’s look, I had them text me the ideas we’d talked about with one another. That way I could easily copy that text to my phone’s clipboard and then send it to the custom cane-maker. And once I’d gotten home that evening, that’s exactly what I did.

That same evening I wrote the below FB post; but first, I want to put a note here: for screen reader users, one of the hashtags I used is “queen B” where the B stands for Britney. But depending on the screen reader that you use and also depending on the screen reader voice that you use, “queen B” may be pronounced weirdly. It is for me, using VoiceOver’s Samantha voice on my phone. But anyway, what I wrote reads:
Today’s win: discovering that I still had some money on an Amazon gift card I didn’t even remember having. I used that money to purchase some of my Britney Spears outfit that I’m gonna wear next month 🙂 #QueenBImComin’ #CantWait

A bit later I wrote another FB post which reads:
Another win: I just want to shout out the sighted friend who helped me pick out my Britney Spears outfit. I’m not gonna tag them here because some people don’t like the attention being tagged can bring them…but having someone help me in this way was a first for me. I’ve never had someone take the time to help me have the same experience as others who will be at events/concerts I go to. I’ve also never thought to ask my friends to help me pick out outfits…but thanks friend; this makes the start to my year soooo exciting 🙂 🤗 ❤️

I recently wrote a response to someone’s topic on the childfree FB group. The person asked about whether there was anyone who’d had their tubes tied in their 20s. I wrote a response to that post which reads:
I know you said early 20s but I had my tubes tied in my 20s. I agree with what the other person said, it’s your body, your decision. If you have to be pushy about it until you find a doctor that will perform the surgery, then that is what it might take. Speaking only for myself here, when I have dreams about me having kids, at least now, I don’t have to worry the way I once did. Because TBH, that was my biggest fear before I had my Tubal Ligation: I thought I’d get pregnant and not have anyone to help me take care of the child. All this to say, best of luck to you–feel free to reach out to me if you have more questions.

Early yesterday morning I awoke from having a weird dream. And in this particular dream, I was on some kinda spaceship/roller coaster all in one contraption. So like, I was sitting in the seat of this contraption, the way we human beings normally sit up; and then all of a sudden, this contraption started rapidly moving backwards. And then the next thing I know, I then started dangling from the seat I was sitting on; and the farther up in the sky this contraption got, the more my body’s posture also changed. And by the time this contraption was high up in the sky, I’d been forced to stand up. But it was weird because every time I’d try to stand up the way we human beings typically do so, my body was like, “no, you’re gonna dangle in the air and be scared to death.” So needless to say, this dream was quite scary. But I guess I had the dream because earlier in the day I’d been talking with a friend of mine about space, even though space was barely mentioned.

When I woke up for good yesterday, I sent a follow-up email to the person at the college I attend; I wanted to make sure I know exactly how I’m going to get my books for school…because if my school can’t get them in a format that is accessible to me as someone who uses a screen reader, then I’ll need to talk to my Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) about the agency they work for helping me obtain these books. Because I’m not someone who likes to do things at the last minute, ever. And thankfully this person from school got back to me after seeing my follow-up email. They said that they were pretty sure they have a couple of the textbooks I’d need for this particular class.

Later that same day, I decided to leave the Disabled Feminists FB group. I wrote the following message to its moderator which reads:
Wanted you to know I left your group. I don’t want to be a part of a group that sensors people and that pretends that a heated discussion didn’t actually happen. I don’t wish you any ill will and I hope for nothing but the best for you in your life; it just really left a bad taste in my mouth to see that you deleted the original Harvey Weinstein post. Because we should all be adults, and part of being adults is that we discuss things and sometimes get heated with each other. I thought of your group as being like a family, in some ways; we wouldn’t all agree necessarily…but we shared our humanity, which was enough. I feel a bit of sadness in making this decision but I know it is the right one to make.

I wrote the following Twitter thread on this week’s episode of the TV show called Emergence. What I wrote reads:
“You know what? I’ve changed my mind; I don’t need you to believe me, I just need you to help me.” This was said by Jo in the latest episode of Emergence. OMG, what, the, fuck, is, going, on!! And where the fuck did Bennie take Piper? Oof, I don’t like where this is headed!! And then to top things off, Mia and Jo are both super emotional about the whole thing; cuz Mia has really come to think of Piper as her sister. It seems like Piper and Mia have had a strong connection with each other from the second the two of them met. Hell, I feel attached…to these two characters (Mia and Piper) as well as to Jo. And so then when Jo tries to convince the FBI detective to help her solve this case even though he’s mysteriously been taken off of it, she tells him “you’re gonna think about it and it’s gonna be a yes. Call me when…it’s a yes!” “Piper, don’t be afraid; mom’s coming!” This was said by Mia through a ham radio which her grandpa found so that they could attempt to get a message out to Piper. This seriously has me at the edge of my seat as I’m both scared for Piper and hopeful for her return. But I’m also…not sure what to think of Bennie anymore. There are sooooo many feels in this episode that I have to tweet about them cuz I have to get them out of my brain somehow! When Jo and the FBI detective finally find Piper and Bennie, she (Piper) tells Jo “tell Mia I’m not afraid.” And before saying that, Piper tells Jo that she (Piper) has to stay with Bennie, wherever they currently are. This is heartbreaking cuz I desperately want Piper to go…home to be with Jo and Jo’s family. Cuz Piper was (is) part of their family; I can’t help continuing to see that as truth. But now, we the viewers have to wait until next week to find out more of how this mystery unfolds. Ugh, so agonizing!!

In late December 2019 I filled out a questionnaire that was for me as a guest blogger on another person’s blog. That interview hasn’t gone live yet and I honestly have no idea when it will; but I thought it would be a good tactic to share with you dear readers that that’s an upcoming thing that will happen here on my website/blog as well as on another person’s website/blog. And yet another upcoming thing that’s going to happen for my website, is that I’m going to hopefully have my first guest blogger featured very soon. I’m super excited about the fact that things seem to be moving right along for my website/blog, in terms of the fact that I’d love to be known for my writing. And that’s really a great feeling because I’ve spent time creating social media accounts and even an email address, all of which are specifically for my blog. So stay tuned for continued good things happening here, folks!!

Thoughts on a podcast, assorted thoughts on the fact I’m childfree and a rant

In a recent episode of the This American Life podcast, its host Ira Glass talked about what it can be like when people go home to their families for the holidays. But initially, when I first saw the title/synopsis of this episode, I wasn’t planning to listen to it. Because the episode came out around this past Christmas time and quite frankly, I didn’t want to hear people talking about how every single family in the world has problems. Because that’s a sensitive subject for me, given what a flat out toxic biological family I have. But that being said, I ultimately did decide to listen to some of this episode of This American Life and was happy I did so.

And the first thing that Ira Glass talked about in this particular episode, was how in his own life, at least one of his parents didn’t approve of most of the choices that he’s made for his life. This was an interesting thing for me to think about because it doesn’t always occur to me that every single family has problems to work through and things that they disagree with one another about. Because that’s just it, relationships of any kind are hard work…and given that there’s no manual to tell us human beings how to try and see where others are coming from in a way that doesn’t compromise who we are, we have to just do the best we can, with whatever information we have at the time. But as human beings, we all fuck up sometimes, except me!! LOL.

The first guest that Ira Glass had on this episode of This American Life, was a woman whose parents are originally from India. She talks about how her parents never forced her or her brother to learn their (this woman’s parents) native language; and interestingly, one of the parents feels sad that their adult child is doing what they can to learn at least one of their parents’ native languages because their adult child doesn’t know enough of the language to have a real conversation, while the other parent isn’t very open about their feelings, anyway. But that being said, at least one of this woman’s parents feels that they couldn’t have done anything to teach their children their native languages, even as their children were kids themselves. One of their parents just assumed that the children would pick up their native languages at their house growing up which I can kinda understand. Because when I’m in a theater class at the college I attend, the teacher will sometimes have us say certain tongue twisters every class session…and so we’d learn them just by repeating them all the time. So whenever I think about this woman’s parent thinking she and her sibling would learn the parent’s native languages just by hearing them spoken aloud, I would say that that parent isn’t wrong for thinking that way. Hell, part of how I learned Spanish and German, was through hearing those languages spoken aloud on a regular basis. And I miss hearing the German, to be honest, especially because I don’t get to hear German at all, nowadays.

But also, hearing this woman’s story was hard for me because listening to it brought up emotions from my last romantic relationship that I wish I didn’t have to experience, ever again. Specifically, it brought up being around people who speak a different language than I did and then, me not knowing how to talk to those people unless they spoke English. Until I was actually in that specific situation myself though, I had no earthly idea what an alienating experience that can be. And then when you combine that with the fact that those people thought of me as less than because of my disabilities, that adds to the hurt even more. So it’s a damn good thing that these people didn’t know what a chronically ill person I am because *that* would’ve added even more to this pile of hurt. Some people just fucking suck, there is no other way to say that fact. And as much as these things hurt me even now, I’m sooooo glad that that romantic relationship didn’t work out; because I wouldn’t have wanted to be part of such toxicity, in any way.

The next guests on this episode of This American Life, were two sisters who were also musicians. And the two of them talked about how they’d chosen to sing the song “Desperado” at one of their father’s weddings. And although I’ve heard that song several times in my own life, I honestly didn’t understand how some individuals thought of it as an awful song to sing at a wedding. And interestingly both of the sisters talked about how no one has ever said anything to them about this particular song choice of theirs, most likely because it was that horrible a choice. That being said, I do understand that people usually try to say something to people after a performance…so the fact that literally no one, not even these women’s father, commented on that performance of his daughters, that was huge.

I recently shared something on my personal FB page that talked about the fact that many black people don’t want to consider R. Kelly a criminal. And what I wrote in response to a comment someone had written, with some expansion, reads:
I get that it’s been your experience that a lot of black folks do find R. Kelly’s actions problematic. But in my experience, the majority of black people act as this post that I shared, indicates, meaning that many black folks turn a blind eye to the crimes he’s committed. And the thing is, people’s reasons for not admitting the truth about him vary, from them continuing to support him because to them, he makes good music, to them claiming that the documentary called Surviving R. Kelly was completely fabricated. I’ve also heard of black folks blaming the victims of his crimes for being money hungry human beings; that is such an awful thing to say, no matter who you are.

On the childfree FB group I’m in, someone posted about how having chronic health issues has impacted their decision to not have children. My response to that post, with some expansion, reads:
I have several chronic health conditions/life-threatening conditions that yes, largely informed my decision to be childfree. Nice to know there are others who share this here. But even so, there was a time when I did think about having a little girl, who I’d wanted to name TJ in honor of my soulmate TJ who died when she and I were 16 years old. But then I actually sat down and thought about how hard it would be for me to carry a baby to term, given how I have so many health problems as it is. And almost immediately, that killed every fantasy I’ve ever had of childbearing.

I later added the following to this same thread which reads:
I’m replying to this because I think it would fit perfectly here, as it relates to being a sick person. So in nearly all of my relationships as a teenager/adult, I can never make it with anyone past the year mark. I believe this partially has to do with the fact that I’ve done a great job at choosing the wrong people to be in a relationship with, but also, I’m a sick person…and I find myself in the ICU at least once a year, when one of my life-threatening conditions is like “hey bitch, I’m still here, alive and well!”

But humor aside, it never fails that once someone I’m in a relationship with sees me deathly ill, they run away like I’m contagious or something. I realize that part of this is because people don’t exactly like being forced to face their mortality…but I’m a woman who has a lot of love to give and receive…and it hurts me deeply that I seem to be disqualified from finding long-term relationship success, simply because of health conditions that are out of my control, not to mention that I didn’t ask to be sattled with them to begin with. So I’m posting this here to see if others have been through something similar, have words of support to offer…or anything else.

In this same FB group, someone else posted asking about the Tubal Ligation procedure; my response to their post reads:
Recovery from this surgery was pretty awful for me…but that was only because I have cerebral palsy which makes me heal much slower than usual. The only change in my sex drive was just that I felt more safe/secure, after I’d had this done. Not really sure what else I can say about it, other than to say that if you want to have this done, stand firm in your decision…no matter what. I hear stories of women not being able to get this done because someone else tells them they’ll regret it/that they are not capable of making such a decision ETC. So if you have to “doctor shop” to find a doctor who will support what you want to be done, that might be what it takes. Either way, I hope you have a positive experience.

Another thing on this FB group that I added a comment to, was someone saying they are pet-free as well as being childfree. My response to that topic, with some expansion, reads:
You are not alone. I am pet free as well, and I honestly love it. For me, not only can I not afford to have pets but owning pets is just flat out a responsibility that I don’t want to have. And I say this as someone who grew up with dogs; nearly everyone on both sides of my biological family owned dogs or cats. But I’m comfortable enough with myself now, to speak about pet ownership not being one of my life goals.

And yet *another* topic I added my thoughts to in this particular FB group, was a topic where people are talking about non-monogamy. What I wrote in response to that thread reads:
Hi, I’m a bit shy about posting to this topic because it feels very close to my heart in a way, I guess you could say.I’ve always been in monogamous relationships but since my young adulthood/particularly when I first realized that I’d have numerous chronic health conditions, I’ve loved the idea of non-monogamy. Some reasons I love the idea of it, are because we human beings do love multiple people in our lives as it is. But also, I just find the idea of openly loving others and allowing others to openly love you, could be beautiful. So I guess I’d label myself as polly-curious, with the complicated addition to that of, I can’t even find one person to stay with me long-term, so how would I even begin to find multiple folks to do so? Ugh.
I then added:
Also, I forgot to say that I’m also lesbian, with exceptions. What I mean by that, is that I can fall in love with a man’s personality and then become sexually attracted to him, but I’m not attracted to the male figure as a whole.

Something else in this FB group that I added my thoughts to, was a discussion about someone saying that they don’t understand why or how people can hate children. The first comment I wrote in response to that, with some expansion, reads:
I myself am someone who cannot stand kids, either. I will interact with them if/when I need to in a kind manner, but that is it. And maybe to some folks, that makes me a shitty person. But the way I see it, at least I’m honest about it.
I then added:
I completely agree with everything you have said here, regarding the ways in which parents are cruel to their children. Because parents can be truly awful, in ways that they (the parents) don’t even think of as being cruel. A few examples of this happening, are parents lying to their children about the tooth fairy’s existence, or Santa Claus’s existence…or the existence of an invisible sky daddy who knows everything about everyone and who believes in depriving people of adult experiences like consensual adults having sex with one another. People have said, “but Chelsea, you are the one taking joy away from kids.” And I would respond to that comment by saying “I’m not taking *anything* away from anyone; I’m just choosing to help teach kids how to live in reality…because I believe that reality is always best.”
I then added:
I would never harm a child either, just as I would never harm an adult. I don’t as a general rule, find kids to be amazing, inspiring or other such adjectives that folks use to describe them. I also wish there were more fucking childfree places in the world…and if any of these things make me a piece of shit in the eyes of some folks, well then, that’s on them.

Yet another thread in this childfree group that I posted to, was one where people talked about the fact that they’d love to open up their homes to folks in the LGBTQ+ community. The response I wrote to that, with expansion, reads:
I’m 32 but it is honestly a dream of mine to live in an LGBTQ plus affirming house. Like, it would be amazing to not have to worry about whether I’m going to face discrimination or someone who’s deeply religious trying to tell me how to live…or how not to live. I’m one of those folks who is a family of one because both sides of my bio family are toxic/homophobic/otherwise abusive. So it would really be a dream come true for me to also be around other folks who are in the LGBTQ+ community.

Yet another thread in this childfree FB group I’m in, talked about what people who don’t have children would do, since they, since we, don’t have nor want kids. My response to that reads:
Here’s my list so far: not be miserable, do fun things for myself/others that I care about whenever I can afford to do so, be spontaneous or flat out lazy whenever I can be, watch whatever the hell I want, whenever I want, have as much sex as I damn well want (if I ever find a partner(s). All of these things may seem insignificant to other folks…but they are all huge for me.

Another discussion in this childfree FB group, was saying that not all people who are childfree travel, eat expensive food ETC–I felt like this was an awesome reminder because I’d seen several people talk about traveling being something that they couldn’t have done if they’d had kids. But my response to this thread reads:
I’m childfree, poor, with multiple disabilities and chronic health conditions, one of which makes traveling hard for me because I can’t fly on airplanes without my shunt feeling like it’s coming out of my head slowly and agonizingly. I also hope it’s OK to say this here: my disabilities and other health issues are a huge part in my decision to be childfree. Because I don’t believe that I would make a good parent, given the cards I’ve been dealt in my life. And in fact I’m not someone who is proud to be disabled, the way some folks are. I do sometimes feel grateful for being blind/having Cerebral Palsy because those things cause me to experience the world in ways that people don’t always think about, but which would be great for anyone to take note of.

Someone replied to the introduction that I wrote in this CF group and my response, with expansion, reads:
Thanks for the warm welcome. There is no reason to be sorry for the hardships I’ve gone through though. I’m a firm believer that everything I’ve been through makes me who I am…and I mean that sincerely. But that being said, I hate that many people in society say sorry whenever they find out that someone has endured horrific abuse. I get that such people mean well, in saying this sort of thing…but their intent doesn’t matter. And the reason I say this, is because I don’t believe for a second that I’d be the same person, if it weren’t for all the abuse that I’ve endured. And just to be clear, I’m not saying that I’m grateful for having been abused; all I’m saying, is that being abused has taught me things that I don’t think I would’ve learned otherwise.

I recently heard someone talking to another person about how their religion teaches them that human beings having premarital sex is immoral. And as I’ve said on my blog countless times before, that particular belief is a huge reason why I think religion poisons the world. Because if God were real, and if he, she or it, truly loved human beings, he she or it, would not tell them to deprive themselves in any way, most especially not when we’re talking about consensual adults making choices about what will and won’t happen to, or with, their bodies. Because sex is something that is not only done to bring more humans into the world; sex is also one of the most pleasurable human experiences we can have. So yes, it irritates the fuck out of me that people believe the exact opposite to be true. It pisses me the fuck off that people think that sex itself is special, and so much so, that they truly believe it’s worth waiting for a human being who may never even come into their lives, to allow them to experience that particular beauty. And to be honest I was someone who used to think this sort of thing myself…but for most of us, there eventually comes a point where you decide to act like the grownup that you chronologically are. Because along with that, most likely comes the realization that sex is a thing. It *can* be meaningful if you care about someone that you have sex with…but there is no need to romanticize sex itself.

Thoughts on TV shows, disability, health, an unpleasant dream and thoughts on music

I know in my last blog post, I said that I’d written all of my thoughts down about The OA. But then I remembered that the way this show actually ends, is with the actors who play the characters in the show, showing most people going crazy on the set. Like, one of the things I hear Emory Cohen (the guy who plays Homer) say to Brit Marling (the woman who plays Prairie) is “Brit, don’t move!” I then hear Jason Isaacs (the man who plays Hap) say in his British accent something along the lines of “wait, she’s my wife.” And although I can’t remember if this is said before or after Emory Cohen talks to Brit Marling, I *do* know that Jason Isaacs is referring to Brit Marling being his wife. We also hear the actor who plays Steve (whose actual name I don’t know) say in what I remember being a British accent “what the fuck are you doing?” And if I’m understanding this whole thing correctly, he says this to Jason Isaacs. But for the life of me, I have no earthly idea why all of these things are even shown to us the viewers. I’ll probably see if I can find something online about it or someone I can ask who might know the reason why these things were included in the ending of The OA.

I recently had a dream that I’d moved back to Texas; and in this dream, I was in the presence of both sides of my biological family. I don’t remember anything about said dream, other than that though. But when I woke up afterwards, I remember feeling disappointed, thinking I was no longer in a mostly liberal state. It seemed so real too, ugh!!

I wrote an FB post that reads:
Literally the only reason that I ever grieve for my old self as a kid/teenager, is because I didn’t feel sick, most days. My body didn’t hurt so bad, most days. My body wasn’t so sensitive to overheating that I’d vomit from time to time. I rarely, if ever, had horrible headaches. And TBH, I have no earthly idea how mamas take care of kiddos when they have any, or all, of these health issues that I do. And people have told me that the most likely cause of all this is the fact that I’ve had numerous traumatic experiences in my life. Sheesh, trauma, you suck!! It’s tough to be me, y’all, it really is 😟 😫

I wrote the following FB post that reads:
I hope that this year, we huge Christina Aguilera fans actually get the album portion of the Christina Aguilera album bundle that we were supposed to get last August…or if not, that we’d get a refund for that part of the bundle that we didn’t/aren’t gonna actually get. I’m still pissed at that…and something tells me that I should just consider that a loss and move on.

In the Disabled Feminist FB group I’m in, someone posted an article about a hospital over-riding a family’s decision as to what will happen with their infant who had no real quality-of-life. What I wrote in response to that reads:
I’m torn about this situation, to be honest. Because on one hand, this child has no quality of life at the moment. But on the other hand, I totally feel that the hospital is justified in making this decision…because I don’t think that this family is able to do so rationally.

My only reason for saying I’m torn, is because I’ve personally experienced doctors/other hospital staff on my medical team judging my predicament incorrectly. Because when I had my last brain surgery in 2015, all of the medical professionals on my team believed that I’d never have any real quality-of-life ever again. But the entire time, I was fully alert; I just could barely sit up/do anything else without vomiting. But my mind was fully in-tact, and so I can’t imagine what would’ve happened in my case, if I just believed what they said and stopped working as hard as I could to get better. That being said, I understand that many of you will probably say that my situation was different and I somewhat agree–but these are my honest thoughts nonetheless.

Another post that someone made in the Disabled Feminist FB group, talked about losing a pet. This particular topic was related to disability because the person’s dog was a service animal. And what I wrote to that person reads:
First, I want to say that it’s OK that you are struggling with this. Your dog means a lot to you and sometimes our emotions make it harder for us to determine what the best course of action would be. But my gut is telling me to tell you to trust your gut, meaning that given that you are already feeling doubts about a potential operation, it would be wise to listen to what those doubts are telling you. I say, spend time with your sweet dog, remind yourself to be grateful for the wonderful life you have given him…and even though this will be hard as hell, prepare for the worst. But mostly, please know that through this, we have your back. Hugs, I’m so sorry you are going through this. But I’m glad your dog was so well loved by you 🙂

I was recently approved in an FB group for people who don’t have or want kids. And someone asked me how I was able to get my tubes tied so early. I wrote the following response to them which reads:
No need to be sorry, I get that question quite a bit, actually. The only thing I can say to you is that I had a doctor who trusted that I knew myself and what I wanted for my life. I also had/have a lot of serious health issues which I told that doctor about too, which probably helped my case.
This person then replied to my comment, saying that I’m lucky; and I know that they were referring to the fact my doctor didn’t question me…but I don’t *feel* lucky. I mean, I’d give anything *not* to have to deal with such serious health problems as the ones I *do* have to deal with regularly.

In this same group, someone posted a question to us about what we’ve done as childfree folks, that we wouldn’t do if we had kids. The response I wrote reads:
I spend money on myself whenever I can; to most people, this sort of thing is probably insignificant. However it isn’t so to me because it’s truly opened up my world in ways big and small. Like, I come from a toxic background where I was made to feel like I could never amount to anything. And also, it’s quite empowering to have come to the realization that I don’t have to wait around for a life partner that may never come to me, in order for me to feel beautiful and live as the confident, sexy woman I am.

Speaking of childfree FB groups though, the fact I’ve recently been added to this one, brings up frustrating memories from the other FB group for childfree folks…the one that banned me from it because I’d apparently invited people to it on accident…and several times at that. That being said, I explained to the moderators of said group that I was having screen reader difficulty, and that my screen reader was not telling me that people had successfully been invited. But the group moderators didn’t seem to care…and that still makes me angry. The reason it still makes me angry, is because in this particular group, we could use terms for kids like “crotch goblins” and “breeders” for people who have kids. But in the childfree FB group I’ve recently become a member of, I don’t think that terms like those are used. And that’s a bummer to me because I used to love being able to use those terms without having to worry about someone biting my head off for doing so.

I wrote the following tweets on the Twitter thread about ableism which reads:
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you think that I, or anyone with a disability, owes you an explanation about something so personal and private like one’s disability.
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you don’t listen to disabled people when they, when we, tell you that the term “special needs” is harmful.
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you tell a disabled person to calm down when they are speaking up for themselves cuz they are unable to access something in print, which you as a sighted person can access by default.

I recently wrote a response to a tweet that asked if blind people experienced sighted people trying to limit the things they do. And my response to that tweet reads:
I’ve been there as well, more times than I can count. However there comes a point when you have to decide what’s most important to you: letting others dictate how you live your life, or living your own damn life, regardless of what others have to say about the choices you make.

On Twitter, the account called Blind Unfiltered retweeted things about Braille. And I wrote a response to one of those things that reads:
To be honest, it grinds my gears to hear people say that Braille is outdated. They don’t/wouldn’t say that about print, so why about Braille? It’s one thing for people to choose not to use Braille regularly, and another to completely dismiss its importance and place in the world.

I wrote a thread on Twitter to a Liberal account that reads:
I just wanna say that I love this account. I appreciate being able to keep up with current events with an account that shares my viewpoints. I unfollowed you cuz it’s hard for me to read a lot about the damage 45 has done/is doing. But I wanna show my support…for this account. I think that too often, we as a society forget to show people that they are appreciated and I’m changing that for myself by reaching out to you. Hopefully I’ll get to a better place mentally soon, cuz it is important to me to stay as informed as possible…and this account is one of the best ones on Twitter, for sure.

I’ve been thinking of a question that I get asked a lot that really gets under my skin…and that is “where do you see yourself in five years?” I actually filled out a questionnaire recently that asked this very question. And the thing is, that particular question does not fit the life I have, of having several life threatening health conditions and disabilities that make my life more difficult than I can put into words. I can say that the way I thought my life would go, has totally morphed into the complete opposite. And while I’ve even been guilty of saying that I hope this year is better than the last, I know that realistically, every year will be filled with good and bad things…because that’s just life. And so, if I’m still alive in five years, that will be enough to be grateful for in itself.

My final thoughts on The OA

OK, so before I continue talking about The OA, I first want to say that I’ve made a mistake that I didn’t actually realize I’d made until now. And the mistake I’ve made, is that in this other realm, Hunter Aloysius Percy does not go by Hap. But it’s like I was so used to typing “Hap” that I forgot to switch to this version of Hunter Aloysius Percy as he’s known in this other realm. And at the clinic that Nina has gone to for a couple weeks, Hunter Aloysius Percy is known as Dr. Percy. And also along these same lines, I forgot to call Homer the name that is correct for him in this realm which is Dr. Robertts.

In The OA, something else that stands out to me, is the fact that Prairie follows Nina when she was a little girl; and Nina tells Prairie that she won’t be able to solve this mission of hers until she (Prairie) figures out what’s happened to Rachel. And so then, in a therapy session that Prairie has with Dr. Roberts, Prairie mentions to Dr. Roberts that she’s certain Dr. Percy has killed Rachel. And the reason Prairie believes this to be true, is because a bit earlier on in the show, when Prairie finds Scot and Rachel at the facility she’s at, Prairie and Scot try to figure out a way for Rachel to communicate…and they are successful in finding a way for her to do so. And unfortunately, for the entire time that Scot and Prairie are helping Rachel communicate, Dr. Percy has been watching the whole thing unfold. That shit makes me soooo mad because I was totally rooting for Rachel, once they’d found a way for her to communicate with people.

And so in Prairie’s therapy session with Dr. Roberts, it quickly becomes evident to us as the viewers that Dr. Roberts doesn’t believe that Dr. Percy is at fault for Rachel’s sudden disappearance from this facility. He even goes so far as to tell Prairie that *she* is the one who has things wrong…because according to Dr. Roberts, all of the records at that facility have no trace whatsoever of Rachel’s even being there in the first place. Dr. Roberts *also* tries to validate Prairie’s feelings about Dr. Percy being at fault, by saying that he could see how she’d blame others…because doing so is actually part of her psychosis.

But then Prairie’s therapy session with Dr. Roberts is cut short, when someone who works at the facility tells Dr. Roberts that a police officer wants to see Prairie. And just to let people know, this is the same police officer who’s at the beginning of the second part of this show. His name is Karim and he believes that Prairie can help him find Michelle who’s been missing for a couple weeks. But Prairie is strategic and she tells Karim that she won’t agree to help him with anything, unless he gets her out of this facility. So he agrees to do that, but neither him nor Prairie realize how tough it will actually be to do this. But that being said, the two of them *do* end up getting away from the facility successfully. And they are even able to visit Nina’s apartment which is where they figure out that there are tapes upon tapes of Nina with a Russian accent, talking about dreams that she’s had. And once they have everything they think they need from there, they leave Nina’s apartment and then find themselves inside of a theater.

And it is at this theater where Nina has to perform for an audience. But the thing is, Prairie has no idea what to do, given that she’s of the opinion that she’s never been in this particular realm. But the people who are in charge of helping ensure that this show goes as it’s supposed to, tell her that everything will be just fine. And so Nina is then forced under water where she’s attacked by an octopus; this octopus says he has to kill her so that the audience will actually believe that she’s an angel. But *before* he kills her, he has her give a speech in which he tells her exactly what to say. And there are parts of this speech that she doesn’t want to repeat because she’s fearful that she won’t actually come back to life, this time around. But thankfully, she *does* come back to life…and that happening, informs us the viewers that Karim is her brother. I definitely didn’t catch this particular detail the first time I’d watched this show. But wow!!

And while I’m at it, I want to talk about another detail of this show that I *also* didn’t grasp the first time around. And that is that there’s a point in the second part of The OA where Nina and Karim are talking with each other and the subject of children comes up. And this subject matter comes up because Nina had insisted that Karim tell her a story to distract her from thinking about her own situation. And the way Karim presents the story to her, is to say that his brother and his brother’s girlfriend became pregnant, even though one of them had not wanted kids at first. And Nina pretty quickly realizes that Karim is talking about himself and *his* girlfriend. And it turns out that *his* girlfriend is the lady who’d called him to give him information that she’d found on Michelle. And I could see how someone could miss this particular detail their first time watching this show…because there are a lot of things in the show that can seem meaningless when you don’t fully understand certain things that are happening.

A bit later on in the show, we see that Dr. Roberts has become suspicious of Dr. Percy; he (Dr. Roberts) finds a sneaky way to get into Dr. Percy’s office so that he can get to the bottom of things. And one of the major things that Dr. Roberts ends up finding out, is that Rachel was not actually transferred to the facility that her records indicate she was transferred to. He finds this out by calling that particular facility and having the person he talks to, see if Rachel even has a bed there…but as I’ve said, she doesn’t. And yet *another* thing Dr. Roberts learns when he’s in Dr. Percy’s office, is that Dr. Percy has kept cassette tapes of Nina’s supposed boyfriend Ruskin talking in detail about this game/puzzle that he’d created that he’d hoped to eventually solve himself.

A bit later, we see Steve, Buck, Jesse, French and Betty taking a road trip together. But come to find out, the kids had actually convinced Betty to take them with her; because originally, she’d planned to go visit relatives of hers. And it just so happened that the relatives she’d planned to visit were in the same direction as the lady who could supposedly help them communicate with Rachel. But when they actually arrive at this lady’s house and show her the pieces of the shattered mirror that they’d brought with them, the lady freaks the fuck out. But they *do* end up hearing from Rachel while they’re in this lady’s house; Rachel communicates with them through a TV and the message from her that they decode, is her saying that BBA (Betty Broadrick Allen) has to solve this mission on her own. And of course that freaks the kids and BBA out…but learning that information is also what makes the kids ask BBA if they can all go along with her to visit her relatives.

And throughout the time that the kids are with Betty, she keeps suggesting that each child call their families to let their families know where they (the kids) are. But each time she makes this suggestion to them, each kid blows her off, without actually telling her that they hadn’t actually gotten in contact with their families yet. But that all comes to a head when Betty’s cousin (who they are all visiting) lets Betty know that she (the cousin) had contacted the police because she’d been suspicious that what Betty had done by taking the kids away from their families, was unethical. And TBH, this part of the show caused me to feel mixed emotions because on one hand, I totally understand why Betty did what she did: she felt like this was the right thing to do because they were all trying to help OA with her mission. And also, I’d venture to guess that Betty instinctively knew that these kids’ families wouldn’t have let her take their kids anywhere, especially not if the families knew that Prairie had gotten them into this mess; because *most* people in their town think that Prairie has gone crazy, due to the trauma she’d been through regarding her 7-year disappearance from Abel and Nancy. But then on the other hand, these were kids that Betty herself really didn’t know, meaning that she could’ve put her own life in jeopardy…not having any idea what these kids might be capable of.

The next significant thing that happens in The OA, is that we the viewers see Jesse talking to Betty’s dying uncle named Carl. But that being said, Carl has no knowledge of the fact that Jesse was even talking to him; but then as Jesse leaves Carl’s bedside, he (Jesse) discovers that Betty and her cousin Amy have been watching him talk to their relative. But then unbeknownst to both of these women, Jesse steals some of Carl’s pain medication for himself.

And then while Betty is asleep at Amy’s house, she has a horrible dream that something bad has happened to Jesse. And so she wakes up in real life, right as Jesse says “please help me” in her dream. So she then goes outside to where the kids are sleeping in tents that they’d put up; and as she (Betty) had expected, Jesse was dead. And that is when Betty discovers that Jesse had actually taken medication from her dying Uncle Carl’s bedside. So needless to say, this unexpected tragedy shakes Betty and all of the kids to their cores. And they end up stealing cousin Amy’s car so that they can get away from this environment that’s made them feel awful. But while they are driving, Steve decides to jump out of the car, when he hears sirens making their way to Amy’s beach house. And Steve ends up going *back to* the beach house himself, because he seems convinced that if he does the movements near Jesse’s body, Jesse will come back to life.

So even though Steve has disappeared, Betty and the kids who are still together, find a stopping point where they can rest. And once they’ve gotten a room at a motel, French disappears for a short time; and a bit later, we learn that French had disappeared so that he could call the FBI counselor that he’d met in OA’s house earlier in the show. And we the viewers learn that that is who French had called because said FBI counselor comes to the motel where French and the others are staying. And one of the first things that he (the FBI counselor) does, is that he asks French if he (French) remembers where he and the FBI agent first met one another. And French tells the FBI agent that he remembers that the two of them met at OA’s house; and then the FBI agent then points out to French that French didn’t actually ask why the FBI agent was at OA’s house to begin with. So then when French asks that question of the FBI agent now when they are in a motel, the FBI agent says that he’d been hired to help OA. This particular thing touches me because when I think back to the few times OA has interacted with this FBI agent much earlier in the show, OA and the FBI agent don’t seem to have a real bond with one another. And also, when I think of OA and the FBI agent’s interactions with each other earlier in the show, it doesn’t seem like the FBI agent actually believes OA’s story.

Next, we the viewers see Karim in a hospital, at the bedside of a kid he’d met while he was in the house that contains a puzzle. Karim actually meets this young girl the very first time he’d gone into this particular house; but when she sees him beside her in a hospital, she is furious with him. And the reason she’s furious at him, is because she didn’t want to be taken away from that house, before she’d solved the puzzle herself. But what she and Karim find out from hospital staff, is that everyone who’s been in this house has been poisoned so much that they could die from the poisoning. But the girl doesn’t even care about that; she even tells Karim that she wants to go back to the house, in order to finish this game/puzzle.

The next significant thing that happens in The OA, is that Hap shows up at Homer’s residence; since the two of them are not in a work setting with each other at this time, that means that their names are different. And so Hap ends up asking Homer if he (Homer) had had a chance to talk with Scot about his (Scot’s) Near Death Experience (NDE). And we the viewers actually see Homer talking with Scot about this a bit earlier in the show; I just didn’t want to write about it until I could actually make the entire connection. But the thing that makes me sad about this particular scene, is that Hap tries to get Homer to believe that he (Homer) is becoming mentally ill, just like the patients that he’s been treating at the clinic he works at.

Another significant thing that happens in The OA, is that Nina goes into her apartment with the doorman who works there…and she (Nina) ends up discovering a keychain that has what looks like an eyeball on it. But then when she moves the keychain in a certain way, she discovers that the keychain is actually a USB drive. And so as Prairie, she then goes to Karim’s house to show him what she’d found of Nina’s. But it turns out that while Prairie is with Karim at his house, the two of them get in a huge fight with one another. Karim is pissed off that Prairie keeps vanishing; he thinks that that is intentional on her part but then when she tells him that she’s actually a time traveler, that bit of knowledge sticks with him.

A bit later Karim goes back to see a woman that he’d met earlier on in the show; but as I’ve said in this blog entry with regards to other things, I haven’t talked about this woman until I could make the connection of her for you dear readers. And it turns out that this lady is the person who’d recorded Nina Azarova’s dreams. But when Karim had first gone to meet her, he did so because his girlfriend had informed him that this lady might have a connection to the missing girl Michelle. But when Karim goes to visit this elderly lady for the second time, he discovers that she (the elderly lady) is no longer alive.

And then a bit later Prairie meets a time traveler who she figures out knows Hap; and this time traveler gives Prairie some wisdom that she (the time traveler) knows Prairie will need to use as Nina Azarova in this particular realm. And what this time traveler says to Nina/Prairie, is that some way, Nina Azarova has to make herself known to Prairie, through Prairie. Because *another* significant thing that Prairie learns from this time traveler, is how everything that happens in one realm, totally influences the things that happen in other realms..and how everyone that’s connected to each other in one realm, is also connected to each other in *other* realms. This time traveler *also* tells Prairie that when she’d performed as Nina Azarova earlier in the show, her performance was based off of the things that actually happened in Nina’s dreams. And on one hand, Prairie seems disheartened by all of this information. But on the other hand, she seems determined to do whatever she needs to, to accomplish her mission.

We the viewers then see Prairie in Nina’s apartment. Prairie is taking a bath there so that she can access Nina’s most traumatic memory. And for Nina, the most traumatizing thing she’s ever been through, was a bus accident that she’d gotten into as a little girl. Many of her fellow classmates were with her when this happened…but everyone *except* Nina, died in the accident. And this particular memory of Nina’s, is one that comes up for Prairie multiple times…but that she doesn’t want to actually deal with, until she learns that if she wants to accomplish anything, facing this memory is the only way to do that.

We the viewers then see Karim and Ruskin in a scene together; and Karim is glad that he’s finally able to meet this man because of what a horrible person he (Ruskin) has been. Karim confronts Ruskin about why he’s caused so many children to go insane, due to the puzzle/game he’s created which many kids love to play. In response, Ruskin tells Karim that he’s tried to predict everything that he (Karim) was going to do. But when he (Ruskin) sees Karim take Nina out of the mental facility that she’d been a patient at, he (Ruskin) realizes that Karim will go to any lengths necessary, to help Nina with her mission. Karim then tells Ruskin that he (Karim) has video of Ruskin committing horrible crimes himself. But then Ruskin tells Karim that the house he (Ruskin) had created, has wanted Karim to come and figure out its puzzle ever since he (Ruskin) had created it. And as the two of those men continue talking and walking through the house together, Karim tells Ruskin that he (Karim) could bust Ruskin, given that he (Ruskin) had video evidence of Nina and the lady who’d recorded Nina’s dreams. Karim then puts Ruskin in his place, by telling him that he (Ruskin) would not be able to stomach himself being put on trial for all of the crimes that he’d committed. And by *that* point, Karim realizes that Michelle and her grandma are in the house too. But Michelle’s grandma continues to tell Karim that the person he’s claiming is Michelle, is not actually her.

The next thing we see happen in The OA, is that Nina Azarova goes to the clinic that Prairie has been a patient at; she (Nina) meets Dr. Roberts AKA Homer there, as he’s the one who takes her to see Dr. Percy. But as Dr. Roberts and Nina are on their way upstairs, Nina and Dr. Roberts both share the same exact flashback as one another: the flashback the two of them share, is one in which Homer and Prairie nearly kiss each other. This part of The OA is definitely one of my favorite parts of the show, most especially because once that particular memory comes back to Homer, other memories of his and Prairie’s and OA’s journey together, come flooding back to him too.

But immediately after that scene ends, we see Betty, Buck, Steve and Angie (who I’ve forgotten to mention, but who’s been with them on this journey for awhile now). All of them have arrived at the clinic that Prairie/OA/Nina has been a patient at. And one of the first things that Betty and the kids realize about this place, is that it’s practically identical to the prison that Hap had created. Then *another* thing that the kids and Betty realize about this place, is that it looks quite similar to the way things looked in Homer’s Near Death Experience (NDE). Betty then has a realization of her own which is that the times that she’s had dreams of someone reaching out to her for help, she’d thought it was her deceased brother Theo reaching out to her. But in this current moment where she’s with the kids, she comes to know that it was actually one of the kids, specifically Steve, that reached out to her for help. Because Steve also existed in another realm, just as the traveler we’d met earlier on in the show, said was true.

Then we see a scene between Nina Azarova and Dr. Percy. The two of them are finally alone with each other but their meeting starts off rough. And what I mean in saying that, is that Dr. Percy seems unable to recall how the meetings between him and Nina usually go. And in fact, Nina ends up having to tell him that they drink alcohol together. She also demands that he show her what he’s done with all the money that she’s given to his facility. And we then flash back and forth between Nina and Dr. Percy, Hap and Prairie/Nina and Homer and Prairie. And the first thing we see happen between Prairie and Homer, is the two of them embracing each other; and then Homer whispers in OA’s ear that he remembers what had happened to them. There are also flashes of Karim that we see at this point as well; in particular, we watch Karim as he goes through the house that is the puzzle that Raskin had created, to try and solve it. And eventually he (Karim) does solve the puzzle, Betty and the kids do the movements that they’d learned from Prairie/OA and Hap is in disbelief that he’s the one who looks bad, in the end. And while I’m happy that he was exposed for being the villain that he is, I will definitely miss the characters in this show…yes, even Hap. I can’t believe that Netflix has canceled this incredible show.

Lots more of my thoughts on The OA

Something in The OA that I hadn’t written about, and wasn’t sure if I *would* write about, is the fact that the very first time when Nina tells the elderly lady that she wants to go back to earth, the person who has custody of her is an aunt of hers. This aunt of Nina’s runs an orphanage and that orphanage is where Nancy and Abel first meet Nina as a little girl. And the reason I wasn’t sure whether I even wanted to bring this aunt of hers up at all, is because I thought she (the aunt) only made a couple of appearances in the show. But I’ve ultimately decided to bring her up because I love her (the aunt’s) voice; it just sounds very soothing when she speaks. And also, she seems genuine; like, she really wishes that she could give Nina the best life that she knows she deserves. And so part of my heart breaks a little, when Nancy and Abel decide to adopt Nina.

In The OA, the next thing that I’d forgotten about, was that OA’s family and the families of the friends of hers who are trying to solve this mission with OA, find where their secret meeting spot is. And the time they find it, is at like, the worst time ever…because it’s when OA is telling her friends the most tragic portion of her story.

And it’s *also* at this point that one of OA’s friends, the one who was the waiter at the restaurant she and her family had been to, told OA’s mom and dad that he’d make sure the world knew that OA’s story is all true. And for OA’s family to hear that particular thing, was definitely a shock to their systems. Because up to this point, OA’s parents had no clue whatsoever about anything she’d been through within the past 7 years that she’d been away from them.

Along the same lines, this waiter friend of OA’s is known as French; and there’s an earlier scene between him and Prairie that I think is important to mention. And that is that French and Prairie were in a car together and French refers to Nancy and Abel as Prairie’s parents. And French’s doing that deeply upsets Prairie because she doesn’t feel any sort of connection with Nancy and Abel at all. And TBH, seeing that scene of The OA takes me back to my own childhood, where I never felt any kind of connection with any of my parents. I could totally relate to how Prairie was offended at French’s choice of words, when he’d brought up the two people who’d raised Prairie.

Going back to where I’d stopped in the OA, another part of this show that stood out to me, was that soon after Prairie’s parents had found her secret meeting spot, they took Prairie to stay at a hotel. And something significant that happened while they were there, was that Nancy told Abel that Prairie had left a note for her and Abel to find, when she’d left their house 7 years ago. This is significant because earlier on in the show, Abel asks Nancy whether Prairie had left a note. So when Nancy tells Abel the truth after having lied to him for the past 7 years, he’s very upset about the fact that Nancy didn’t include him in this very huge bit of knowledge. And I get that he’s upset, because him and Nancy are supposed to be a team.

Another thing I’d forgotten about this show, was that French goes to OA’s house because he’s determined to see if he can find anything that lets him know that her story is true. And he ends up finding the violin in its case, along with books on angels and books with Homer in them. And it turns out that when French is headed out of OA’s bathroom, he runs into the counselor from the FBI that Prairie has been seeing. But of course he and French had never met each other before. But that being said, the scene between French and the FBI counselor is also intense because at first, I had no idea whether the FBI guy was going to arrest French for getting into OA’s house without anyone actually being there to let him inside.

In the last episode of part one of The OA, said episode ends with a shooter coming into the school where Steve, French, Buck and Jesse go; and it turns out that OA finds them there with the shooter. And she begins to perform the motions that she’s been teaching all of these kids about…and when she does them, the others who know her, follow suit, including Betty.

But before I go any further, I want to explain to folks the reason that I alternate between calling OA “Prairie” “Nina” and “OA:” the reason I do this is because depending on how she’s referred to in the show at any given time, I want to make sure I always match that.

In the first episode of part two of The OA, I’m reminded in watching it again, that there are some very weird things about this show. One weird thing about it, is that it starts off at a police officer’s house…and we’ve never seen this police officer until now. This police officer has a visitor though, from Buck’s grandma; but Buck’s birth name was Michelle which is how her grandma referrs to her. And so for the sake of keeping things consistent, I’m going to refer to her as Michelle when the show referrs to her as such.

So going back to the fact that Michelle’s grandma visits this police officer’s house, she does so because she doesn’t know where Michelle has gone. So she goes to this cop’s house, in the hopes that he’ll help this woman find her granddaughter. And the story that ends up unfolding about Michelle, is far more complicated than people might at first think. Because it turns out that Michelle has gotten involved with other kids who are trying to solve a puzzle via their phones. But the weird thing about this puzzle, is that eventually, the things that are part of the puzzle, are things that start to actually happen to people in real life (IRL)..

Another thing in The OA that’s worth writing about, is the fact that there comes a point where Prairie, now Nina, is taken to a hospital in an ambulance. And one of the first things that happens to her while she’s there, is that the staff calls Nancy because Nina says that she’ll be able to help her (Nina) make sense of who she is. But it turns out that when Nina actually talks to Nancy, Nancy has no idea who she is. And as if *that* isn’t difficult enough news for Nina to take in, she also finds out then that Nancy and Abel only adopted a little boy. And when Nina asks Nancy whether there was a blind girl at the same facility as the little boy was at, she says that there wasn’t. And when Nina hears those words, it’s obvious that that breaks her heart.

And so a bit later, Nina is told that she’s going to be taken to a mental institution for a couple of weeks; she asks the person who’d told her that if there’s any way she could stay there at the hospital…but the person tells her that she has no choice but to leave the hospital and stay at the mental institution for a specified amount of time.

And so immediately afterwards, this lady goes with Nina to what was Nina’s apartment so that she can figure out what she needs and wants to take with her. But the thing is, Nina doesn’t even remember living at this place. Yet there’s physical evidence that she *had* lived there, in the form of pictures of what her life used to be like as Nina. And the main interesting discovery that Nina makes while she’s at her apartment with a lady from the hospital, is that according to what she finds there, Nina was never even blind. Of course this is significant because this show has shown us time and time again that Nina *was* blind, at one point. But as the show continues, we figure out that this Nina had an entirely different life because she’s from a completely different realm.

The next thing about The OA that stands out to me, is the fact that the first person Prairie meets there, is Homer. But what’s different about Homer now, is that he seems to not even remember Prairie. And *that* breaks my heart because when she sees him, she’s so excited that the two of them have finally reunited. And so when she realizes that he’s confused about how she seems to know him, she seems unsure *what* to think. And then as if *that* isn’t confusing enough for her, when Homer takes her to meet the main doctor at this facility, that doctor is Hunter Aloysius Percy (HAP) for short. And as Hap talks with Prairie, the two of them discuss that Hap had taken all of his prisoners to a place that none of them knew and then forced all of them to perform the movements that would put them in another realm.

And shortly after this had happened, Hap tells Homer that he should take over Prairie’s case, especially because she’s familiar with him. And so Homer does exactly that; and then during his first meeting with Prairie, when the two of them are alone, Homer tells Prairie about how the people she and Hap had come here with, have very different lives than she (Prairie) remembers them having. And one thing Homer tells her then, is that Rachel got into a car accident in her teen years that’s left her unable to speak. And Prairie has a tough time receiving this bit of news because that isn’t how she knew Rachel. And as if *that* isn’t bad enough, Homer then tells Prairie that Scot nearly killed Hap at the facility that they are at. And of course that bit of news is very distressing to Prairie because she remembers Hap being a monster…but then realizes that Homer does not share that memory with her.

The next thing in The OA that stands out to me, is that the next time we see Buck, we see him because his family is going to relocate, to give themselves a chance to start their lives over again. But as Buck’s family is in the middle of packing their things, Buck hears a weird sound coming from his vanity…and it turns out that the sound was Rachel trying to communicate with him. And he eventually tells Steve and the other helpers about this mysterious experience he has; he even tells them that Rachel was singing two different notes…which he then realizes were B and A. This particular thing is significant because Steve’s teacher Betty’s initials are BBA (which stands for her full name Betty Broadrick Allen.

And so once everyone has heard this story of Buck’s, Steve, Buck, Betty and the rest of OA’s helpers end up tracking down Buck’s vanity because his mom had already given it away. But thankfully they are able to find the mirror; and they then take it to a church that they are staying at for the night, in the hopes that Rachel will make contact with them through that method again. And as everyone except French is patiently waiting for nighttime to come, French leaves them for a bit. And he ends up meeting up with a man for the two of them to have sex…and during that visit, the man ends up suggesting that French and his buddies talk to someone that he (this man) thinks will be able to help them make contact with Rachel. But unfortunately as they are driving away from the church, the mirror breaks. But even so, Steve is somehow able to save its shattered pieces which they then take to this lady’s house who can supposedly help them get Rachel to communicate with them as she’d done with Buck and his mirror.

More thoughts on The OA, an interesting adventure with a friend, a new, unexpected discovery and a change of heart about juicing

In The OA, one thing I totally didn’t remember happening, was that Hap interacts with his mentor Leon. The two of them meet up because Leon is the only person that Hap can talk to about the “experiment” that he’s doing. And at first, he and Leon seem to be having a good time with each other. But then Leon takes Hap into a closed-off area so that he can try to force Hap to tell him the ins and outs of what his experiment entails. But what ends up happening, is that Hap kills Leon.

There then comes a point in The OA where Hap has taken Prairie into the lab so that he can record her next Near Death Experience (NDE). And unfortunately for Prairie’s sake, she’s unable to get the last movement which leaves her feeling frustrated and questioning if the fifth movement will ever even make its way to the prisoners. But Hap takes Prairie out of the contraption that she’s been in; and he then asks her to tell him about where she thought she’d gone to, in this particular NDE. But she has no idea.

And shortly after that’s happened, Hap focuses intently on his computer screen to see what he might be able to determine himself. And he’s so into what he’s doing, that he doesn’t even hear the police officer come into his house. And considering that this particular scene was one I’d forgotten about as well, I felt hopeful that Hap would somehow get busted this time around. But nope, that didn’t happen.

The next thing I didn’t remember happening in this show, was the fact that Steve (the guy who’d given Prairie access to Wi-Fi and agreed to help her with her mission) got pulled into a trap by his parents, where the parents had him taken away to a school that was like boot camp. But interestingly Betty (his teacher who’d also agreed to be a part of this mission) noticed that Steve was being taken away in a vehicle…and she followed the vehicle until it stopped somewhere. Steve doesn’t even know that she’d followed him though, until she finds him in a convenience store. And she tells him that the two of them are going to find a way to get him not to go with the men who’d kidnapped him. So she tells him that he should scream at the top of his lungs and say that the folks who’d kidnapped him were hurting him. And so he does that but unfortunately for his sake, that plan doesn’t work as Betty had thought it would.

So then Steve ends up getting back in the vehicle with the men who’d kidnapped him…and it then occurs to Betty to give Steve’s kidnappers a check that she has for a huge amount of money. And the reason that she thinks to give this check to the kidnappers, is so that they’ll take the money and leave Steve alone. And this is yet another thing in The OA that I didn’t even remember happened.

In another scene in The OA, Prairie and her mom and dad are having dinner at a restaurant. A stranger who’s also having dinner at said restaurant, comes up to Prairie and takes several photos with her. And this makes Prairie’s mom Nancy the angriest I think we ever see her in this show. And the reason she’s angry, is because she doesn’t know anything at all about what’s happened to Prairie; she even asks Prairie about the scars she has on her body, presuming that someone other than Prairie had done this. And then when Prairie tells Nancy the honest truth about having carved these scars herself, as well as that she (Prairie) is the Original Angel, Nancy unexpectedly slaps Prairie. And it is at *that* point when the person who’s this family’s waiter, who *also* happens to be one of the folks helping Prairie solve her mission, takes Prairie away from that dramatic and traumatic environment.

The next time that OA and her crew meets up at their secret spot where she’s taking them through what’s happened to her, Steve unexpectedly freaks out. He explains to OA and the others that none of them really care about what’s just happened to him…and that he thinks that OA only wants all of their help so that she can get back to her boyfriend Homer. OA unexpectedly pulls Steve into a hug which is important for me to write about because up to this point, OA has never liked being touched, by anyone. But then Steve unexpectedly jabs a pencil into OA’s leg which oddly enough, makes her hug him even tighter to her body.

Another thing in The OA that I’d forgotten about, was the fact that the police officer comes back to Hap’s house; but this time he does so, he brings his dying wife with him. He has every intention of arresting Hap but then Hap informs him that a couple of his prisoners have the ability to heal his wife. But the police officer doesn’t believe him, until he sees it for himself, in the form of Homer and OA being let out of their cages and lead into the room where Stan’s sick wife is located.

And what Homer and OA end up doing, is that they halfheartedly do the four movements that they’ve been working on learning. And the reason that they half-heartedly do these movements, is because they don’t want Hap to find out the fifth movement, even though Homer and OA learn it from Stan’s sick wife. Because what Stan’s wife Evelyn tells Homer and OA, is that she’d been sent to deliver the fifth movement to the two of them…and that she was able to stay alive because she’d known that that was her mission. This part of The OA was so powerful…but it was yet another thing that I’d completely forgotten about.

In my last blog entry, I was off a bit on saying how old I was in 2015; of course someone would pick at that. But I’m not perfect like that person is; maybe one day I’ll reach their level of perfection. LOL. And yes, the sarcasm was intentional there; at least I got the decade right. LOL.

Last night I got together with a friend of mine; and the first thing we did was to have them measure how tall I am when I stand. That way the woman who makes custom walking canes for people would know my measurements. But in all of our excitement, we only measured my height, not thinking that we’d also need to measure how I’d hold a cane while I’m standing. Because this custom cane-maker needs to be able to know exactly where she needs to put the grip or whatever she does that allows me to apply pressure to the cane and maintain my balance too. So needless to say, I feel kinda frustrated that we didn’t get that measured…but hopefully we can do so soon.

After we’d taken care of that, we went to a couple stores so that they could get some things to celebrate the New Year. And I don’t remember if I blogged about this the last time the two of us had gone to a store together…but it was interesting because it was trial and error. At first we’d tried to do things by putting a cart in front of me, with me steering it left or right whenever necessary. But that was a great idea, until it wasn’t. So that time, my friend ended up pushing the cart with one hand, while pushing my wheelchair with the other hand.

Well, last night when we went to one store, my friend was walking us around while trying to find the items they’d wanted to purchase. And they just so happened to find an empty box that they’d thought would be an easy way for me to hold the things for them. But given that I knew they were going to buy big bottles of apple cider and lots of them at that, I tried to tell my friend that this was a horrible idea. But they just didn’t get it. I ended up having to tell them firmly when having this box full of stuff on my lap was too much for me to handle. At one point I told them that I needed them to take the box off of my lap because my entire body was trying to spasm. So they did…and then I made it clear to them that once they’d paid for everything, I’d wait in the store while they took the items to their vehicle. So that’s *exactly* what happened.

I wrote another tweet on the Twitter hashtag about domestic violence which reads:
I once dated a man who insisted that I tell him how long I’d be hanging out with others, every single time I’d do so…and who, if I wasn’t on the phone with him by the tentative time I’d given him, would flip the fuck out and accuse me of cheating on him. #DoesAnyoneFuckingCare

Within the last few days, I’ve learned about a website called Dwellability. This website is supposedly made by people who are disabled, for people who are disabled, to be able to find housing that meets their mobility needs or other kinds of needs that folks may have, due to different types of disabilities. There website claimed to be accessible to people who use screen readers but it wasn’t *fully* accessible to my iPhone using VoiceOver. That was a bummer but I had someone sighted that I trust, create a listing for me, as I told them exactly what my needs are. I’ve never heard of a service like this one before but I’m hopeful that it will allow me to find a place that actually meets my needs, rather than me just settling, as I’m doing now, and as I’ve been doing ever since I relocated to this new state. And in case anyone would like the link to this website, it’s dwellability.com

Today is the first of the month which means that my caretaker goes grocery shopping for the two of us. And for the past few months I’ve been having him get fruit so that he could make me freshly squeezed juice to drink. But this month I told him that I didn’t want him to do that anymore because it’s too fucking expensive. And even though it’s healthy to drink juice that’s freshly squeezed, it’s not worth doing so when it takes all or most of my money to make that happen. That’s fucking ridiculous!! That being said, I’m going to hold onto my juicer because there may come a time in my future that I’ll be able to use it without draining my bank account. Or at least, I can dream about that day actually happening sometime in the future.

Thoughts on disability, domestic violence, hopes for my future and more thoughts on The OA

I recently learned about a hashtag on Twitter that’s #YouMightBeAbleistIf. And what I wrote using said hashtag reads:
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you tell a disabled person that they are inspirational/amazing, simply for existing and going about their lives.
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you think that disabled people exist to make you feel better about yourself.

I follow a feminist account on Twitter and that account recently said that people could tweet about domestic violence using the hashtag #DoesAnyoneFuckingCare
And what I wrote using said hashtag reads:
In 2015 I was 26, dating a 50-something year old man who was a bigot in many ways. He was homophobic, racist, sexist and isolated me from *everyone* including my loved ones and my best female friend. #DoesAnyoneFuckingCare
I dated a man who believed that it was his right to force me to never talk with a man, even if I were in a situation like being a hospital patient and there were male nurses/Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) whose job it was to take care of me. #DoesAnyoneFuckingCare
A toxic ex-partner of mine blamed the fact that I’d had brain surgery on my “not thinking clearly” about letting male nurses take care of me when I was a hospital patient. He said that if I were thinking clearly, I wouldn’t let any man but him touch me. #DoesAnyoneFuckingCare
A toxic ex-partner of mine demanded that I have surgery to reverse my Tubal Ligation cuz he wanted kids. It didn’t matter to him that I’d had a Tubal Ligation cuz I’d always known I didn’t wanna have kids. He wanted me to risk my fucking life for him! #DoesAnyoneFuckingCare

Someone posted on the Blind Bitching FB group, wining about how people blocked them. The response I wrote to that post reads:
Obviously if people block you, they have their reasons for doing so. You may not *think* that they have valid reasons, but to them, they do…and no one owes anyone an explanation, ever. My suggestion is that you take the hint that they don’t want to ‘talk things out’ with you and leave them be. And then, if you feel so hurt, perhaps look inward and assess how you may be contributing to folks blocking you.

Someone posted on the Have a Gay Day FB group about wanting support for figuring out how they can live in their truth. What I wrote to them reads:
I can relate to your experience, more than words can say. I was raised in a conservative Christian household, and also battled internalized homophobia for years. But deep down, I still knew that I’m gay/lesbian. But it wasn’t until I was 30-years-old that I left the state my bio family AKA the abusers, live in. I finally decided to stop saying “yes” to their abuse and began saying “yes” to myself. I’m 32-years-old now, but cutting them off and relocating to a liberal state, has been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself…in sooooo many ways.

So all this to say, you deserve to be happy…and if that means getting a divorce from your husband so that you can live in your truth, I know it won’t be easy…but that’s what you should focus on: whatever it is that would make you truly happy. For me, ever since I’ve lived in a liberal state for almost two years, it’s been a real gift because I’ve been an out-and-proud lesbian since then. No luck actually dating any women…but that’s for another post; LOL.

Someone posted in the Disabled Feminist group about being annoyed at being asked the question ‘what happened to you’? My response to that post of theirs reads:
I hope you don’t get tired of me always saying this first: please be kind to yourself and remember that your feelings, no matter what they may be, are valid. Second, I fucking hate the question ‘what happened to you’? Strangers who ask that, don’t seem to think before they speak, not to mention, they seem to have this belief that they are entitled to an answer at all…never mind the fact that you may have an appointment to get to or you may wanna just be left alone. I’m with you, sister, that’s really all I can say. I’m a totally blind wheelchair user who also wears leg braces…so I get these kinds of comments all the time. And it never stops rubbing me the wrong way or making me snarkily think, “riiiiiight, people couldn’t actually, you know, be born disabled!” Shrugs.
I then added:
When I’m feeling like being really snarky, I ask them the same question. They usually become flustered…and then like, “huh?” I then say something like “I mean, what happened to you to make you think it’s OK for you to be so rude and intrude into someone’s personal and private life?” That shuts them down completely.

Because the thing is, it’s incredibly problematic that society doesn’t even think twice about asking this to someone. It’s problematic because each individual’s life is theirs and theirs alone…and they are not obligated to ever let people into that space, just because people demand that they, that we, do so!! This sort of thing is problematic the same way it’s problematic when people first assume, and then ask a woman when she plans to have kids. It’s problematic in the same way it’s problematic that people walk up to a large woman, assume she’s pregnant and then ask intrusive questions of her that are deeply personal and private. These things are problematic because in all of these instances, people’s agency is being stripped away from them. In all of these instances, people are repeatedly being told that their feelings, thoughts ETC, do not matter as much as the entitled person’s wants do. That is sickening…and it needs to stop, like, now!!

I recently wrote the following update on my personal FB page that reads:
OK, I know this is not gonna sound like me…but it’s worth a shot: I’m just gonna speak into existence that 2020 will be the year I find my life partner. This has been something I’ve been thinking about over the past few days…but I wanted to see if it shifted or flat out went away before I said anything here. It’s been said to me many times throughout my life that when you are living as your authentic self in every way, the universe follows your lead…and I believed that was true about everything except my love life. But you heard it here first folks, Chelsea is no longer gonna lie, to herself or anyone else, about the fact that she wants her true love to exist…and to find her, dammit!!! Sheesh, Universe, I’m not getting any younger 😫 😛 🌈

A friend of mine who’s a screen reader user told me that he couldn’t understand what this show I’ve talked about in my last blog post was called…so I figured I’d go ahead and let folks know that the initials O and A stand for the phrase “original angel.” We haven’t actually discovered that bit of knowledge in the show yet but I figured it’s best that I go ahead and remind people/tell new ones, what the title of this show is about.

Something else that happened in The OA that I’d forgotten about, was the fact that Prairie’s parents forced her to see a counselor who worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As was similar to when Prairie had first met Nancy, she didn’t exactly want to trust the FBI man. But when he asked her if she’d like to get out of the building they were in and take a walk with him, she warmed up to him a bit.

Something else that happened in the OA that I’d forgotten about, was the fact that Hap was at a social event where a female guitar player was performing. He meets her after the show finishes and tries to get her to become a subject for his “experiment.” He makes her aware of the fact that he knows that she’s had Near Death Experiences (NDEs) before she seems to freak the fuck out and want nothing to do with him, anymore.

Yet another thing in the OA that I’d forgotten about, was the fact that a police officer randomly shows up to Hap’s house. And the first people who figure this out, were Hap’s prisoners. The prisoners that could see the police officer through the glass of their cells yelled as loud as they could and hit the glass as hard as they could, hoping that the law enforcement officer would hear them. But unfortunately, he didn’t; in fact he believed Hap’s lie that there was no reason that the police officer should come into his house. That shit made me soooooo mad!!

There comes a point in The OA where Prairie and the other prisoners figure out that they can make the most of their shitty situation; and one way in which they do this, is by making their bodies do jumping-jacks, push-ups and other exercises. Prairie also tells them that the last time she’d died, the elderly lady who’d talked to her, told her that she didn’t actually have to accept this shitty predicament she’d been put in by Hap…but she didn’t understand the meaning of that comment, until some time had passed. But when a lightbulb moment happened for her, it’s like, at *that* point, her soul *knew* exactly what had to be done to change the lives of as many of the prisoners that would abide by the plan that Prairie had created. Because the thing she’d continually told them all, was that together, they had a much better chance of winning themselves, rather than Hap winning. And so Prairie talked with them about how she’d figured out that the gas that Hap puts into the prisoners’ cells, is to make it damn near impossible for them to recall the torture that he puts each of them through. Prairie also encourages them to try to make specific movements with their bodies; she tells them that these specific movements are what will ultimately free them.

One way that Hap tortures Homer, is by taking him to Cuba, where only he and Hap are together. There is one point in this part of Homer’s journey where Homer tries to get away from Hap. He does this by showering and once he’s done showering, he leaves the shower water on while he runs away. That way Hap will think that he’s still in the shower; but unfortunately, his plan doesn’t work. And in fact Hap even takes him to the place in Cuba where the guitarist I’d mentioned above as well as in my last blog post, plays her music. We then find out that Hap had *also* planned to make Homer sleep with this guitarist.

Another thing I’d forgotten about in The OA, is how one of the prisoners named Scot told Hap the things that Prairie and Homer had been doing with each other, to attempt to get themselves outside of Hap’s prison. It made me livid to see that Scot did that but then as I kept watching, I discovered that Scot eventually came to believe that what Prairie had said was true. Because in the latest Near Death Experience that he has, he’s convinced that he won’t come back from it. But as it turns out, he *does* come back from it and we find out that “the angels” as Prairie refers to them, all come back from their NDEs knowing one movement that is required to get them into another realm. And *that* is something I hadn’t paid close attention to, when I’d watched this show the first time around.

By this time though, we are well-aware of the fact that Prairie is no longer blind. Because in one of her most recent NDEs, she’d just become sighted when she’d made it back to earth. I forgot to write about this exactly when it happened so I’m doing so now because it’s definitely an important thing to keep in mind, I’d say.

I’m now on the 6th episode of the show’s first season…and this episode is where we find out exactly why Prairie has scars on her body that she wouldn’t tell the hospital or her mom and dad about, at the very beginning of the show. And the reason I didn’t write about this then, is because I wanted to be able to write about it in full, in order to help people gain a true understanding of things.

And so the reason that Prairie has scars on her body, is because she and the other prisoners figured out that if they carved the movements into themselves, Hap couldn’t take *those* away, as he could take away their memories. So each prisoner had one or two movements carved into their skin; and it is also in this particular episode, that we learn that Hap can literally see everything that the prisoners do in their cells, due to surveillance monitors he’s installed. But even so, that doesn’t seem to phase the prisoners one bit; in fact it helps them become more creative.

Thoughts on accessibility, Netflix shows, people’s rights and the end of the year

In the thread in Have a Gay Day where I talked about people making choices for themselves that are different from the ones toxic family members may have made for them, one response I wrote to someone’s comment reads:
Good for you for making a choice that you know is best for your life!! My mom is toxic as fuck as well; but I don’t even call her “mom/mother.” I either call her by her first name when I talk about her or I use the term “bio mom” because that term signifies exactly how things are. She is only biologically the woman who gave birth to me. But biology is meaningless, as far as I’m concerned.

I recently wrote a post in the Disabled Feminists group about a local hospital not actually being wheelchair accessible. What I wrote reads:
So there’s a local hospital here in the city I live in, that quite frankly I’d say is *not* wheelchair accessible. First though, I need to give you all an appropriate picture of me and of my wheelchair. My wheelchair is called “an ultra-lite” wheelchair because I’m a tiny woman; five foot two, I think. And I include this because it is relevant to the story; you’ll come to see how, in a bit.

So the bathrooms that I’ve been in at this hospital are so goddamn small that even my ultra-lite wheelchair can barely fit in them. And as if that’s not complicated enough, just to even get *into* the women’s bathroom, you have to go through two doors; and as I continue saying, I could barely even do that. And the friend who I’ve had with me both times is pretty uncomfortable with trying to get into the bathroom and then with standing there to make sure I don’t fall…because there are no railings in the “wheelchair accessible” stall for me to ensure my own safety. But I *do* want to say that I *did* fall in this bathroom and had trouble getting up. And well, I ended up pissing myself because I couldn’t make it onto the toilet from the floor. And my friend is a large person so they couldn’t even get into the bathroom themself to help me.

The last time I’d been to this hospital was a couple weeks ago now, but I’m posting here because well, the fact that this has happened multiple times bothers me…but I’m also infuriated because this, should, not, be, called, wheelchair, accessible!! I’d like to also know if any of you lovely ladies have any idea who I could talk to about this at the hospital to try and bring about real change? Thanks in advance!

I finished watching the movie Blue Is the Warmest Color on Netflix. And said movie is about a young girl named Adele (who falls in love with a woman named Emma). Things are great between the two of them for awhile…until one of them cheats on the other one which completely ends their relationship. But the sex scenes between them are hot, and I just love how they are brutally honest throughout the entire thing. And when I say they, I’m talking about the entire cast, not just the two women who fall in love with each other. Because many Americans don’t typically say exactly what’s on their minds; and I’m also the type of person to say *exactly* what’s on *my* mind. So it was quite refreshing to watch a movie that felt like the people as a whole were genuine. I don’t know how else to explain it though. One other thing: I didn’t even miss not having audio description because I was so excited that VoiceOver would read the subtitles to me, that I was content not always knowing exactly what happened in the movie from time to time.

I recently started watching the Netflix show called The OA for the second time. And I’d like to write about things that stand out to me about this show, that I didn’t pay attention to before, or that didn’t mean anything to me. And the first thing that stood out to me, was when they are showing flashbacks of Nina (the main character) in Russia, she dies and then goes elsewhere. And although we don’t know exactly where she goes, we see her deceased mom and her have a conversation with each other. And in their conversation, her mom tells her that she can choose whether she wants to stay with her mom…or whether she wants to go back to earth. And Nina tells her mom that she’d like to go back to earth; and it’s at this point that she tells Nina that if that’s her final decision, she (the mom) would take away Nina’s vision because she didn’t want her to actually see the ugliness that’s in the world.

Another thing about The OA that stood out to me this time around, was a scene where the people who adopted her as a little girl were initially only planning to take a boy from this family that Nina was in. But Nancy, who’s the woman who eventually adopted Nina, very sneakily coerced the young girl to open up to her. So after Nina has felt Nancy’s face and held her hands, Nancy asks Nina if she’d like to come live with her and her husband Abel. And TBH, that entire scene literally makes me recoil because Nancy is so fucking ableist towards Nina. Like, she thinks that because Nina is blind, that means that she won’t ever have a productive or fulfilling life. And like, Nancy talks to Nina in this sickening sweet tone of voice that’s condescending AF.

Something else that’s stood out to me about this show the second time around, is how when Prairie AKA Nina was searching for a place wherre she could access the internet in her neighborhood, the house she’d gone to was full of teenagers who’d thought she was literally insane for requesting to have access to their Wi-Fi. But at the same time, those teenagers were intrigued, although one of them didn’t make that known to her until a bit later on in the show. But when Steve (one of the teenagers in the house she’d gone to) randomly showed up to her bedroom window telling her he had a way to get her internet access, that day was the first of what would later become a close friendship between the two of them.

During that first meeting at Prairie’s house, Steve told her that they’d each have to help each other, if she truly wanted his help solving her mission. So she agreed to help him and what she’d ended up helping him with, was getting his teacher at school to help him be a better student. Prairie did this by pretending to be Steve’s step-mom and having a meeting with Betty about Steve’s bad behavior. She encouraged Betty to remember why she became a teacher in the first place…and then a bit later on in the show, when Betty runs into Steve’s dad at a store, she tells him how his wife seems like she’ll have a positive impact on Steve. But Betty then finds out, through meeting Steve’s *actual* step-mom, that this lady wasn’t the woman she’d had a meeting with. That’s really humorous to me because Prairie played that part so damn well.

Another thing that stood out to me in this show the second time watching it, was the way in which Prairie met the man who kidnapped her. She’s in a train station playing a song on her violin; she does this because she holds out hope that her father will find her someday. Because ever since she was a little girl, she’d always play that song for her father because it helped her feel close to him, given that he’d sent her to a School for the Blind to learn. So every time that she calls her father from the School for the Blind, she plays that song for him on her violin; and the two of them really do seem to believe that they’ll be back in each other’s arms someday.

But unfortunately for Prairie’s sake, the man who ends up being mesmerized by her violin-playing at a train station, was a man who introduced himself as Hunter Aloysius Percy (or Hap for short). And at first when we see Hap and Prairie interacting with one another, it seems like he might be genuinely interested in learning about her Near Death Experiences (NDEs). Prairie even seems so comfortable with him that she trusts him with her life. And after they’ve eaten a meal at a restaurant together, Hap takes her to his house…and that’s when she seems to start feeling weird. Because his house is sound proof and doesn’t have an open-kind of atmosphere, the way *most* houses do. But then as if *that* isn’t bad enough, he ends up locking her in a cell in his basement, with the other people that he’s imprisoned.

It’s interesting to me how quickly the prisoners seem to bond with each other; in addition to Prairie, the other prisoners names are Homer, Scot and Rachel. And pretty quickly, Prairie tries to figure out how all of them can escape; the first way she does this, is by going into Hap’s kitchen and by getting food for herself as well as for the other prisoners. And the reason I think that this particular thing is an escape plan, is because it just feels like Prairie wants to win the other prisoners’ trust. Another thing she does to distract Hap, is to cook dinner for him and then add pills to his that she’d crushed into powder. The reason that she’d done this, is because Hap had told her he takes medication to help himself go to sleep at night. And it turned out that the pills she’d crushed into the meal she’d made for Hap, made him have an allergic reaction of some sort. And *that* happening bought her some time to try and locate things that Homer had told her he’d left in a bathroom, that he’d wanted to send to a loved one. And while that part of the show is done well, I don’t feel like it actually accomplished anything worthwhile. All it did, was alert us to the fact that there was a dead woman in the bathroom that Hap was trying to keep secret. But I feel like these things were ultimately feellers; the show could’ve definitely done without them, in my opinion.

Something else that happens in The OA, that I forgot about, is the part where OA dies again…and talks with someone who’s also in the other realm where Prairie goes when she dies. This older woman gives Prairie the choice of spending forever with her dad or going back to earth to try and help people who are basically strangers to her (the other prisoners in Hap’s basement). This older woman then says something to Prairie like “if you go back to help the four prisoners;” Prairie then interrupts her and says something along the lines of “I think you miscounted the prisoners!” The lady then referrs to August (who was the dead woman that Prairie found in Hap’s bathroom). And then this older woman doesn’t miss a beat and promptly shows Prairie a bird, tells her to eat said bird if she wants to go back to earth…which of course seems to take Prairie aback. But ultimately Prairie *does* decide to eat the bird because she trusts that what this woman has told her about how the bird will eventually free her, is true.

Yet another thing that happens in this show, that I forgot about, was how Prairie brings up to the other prisoners that she thinks they are all angels. She then explains to each of them the specific ways in which this is true, as far as she’s concerned. And at first, Scot in particular, blew her theory off. But then Rachel and Homer seem to at least be pondering Prairie’s theory. And even a bit later in the show, we see that Prairie’s story is deeply affecting the other people that Steve chose to help Prairie with her mission.

Today is the day before New Year’s Eve and I’m sitting here thinking about how I’m not one to reflect on the year as a whole. Because the thing is, I’ve been blogging for the entire year. So I’ve already memorialized everything that’s happened in my life. But for the record, I’m not trying to say that folks who *do* choose to look back on a whole year, are doing it wrong. I just know that for me, that style doesn’t work. But one thing I *will* say to end this blog post, is that I hope that as we go into the new year, I’ll continue to keep people around me who will love and support me, whether the times in my life are good times or bad times. And I also hope that when the bad times rear their ugly head in whatever form they do so next time, hopefully I feel loved and cared for through it all!!