A-Z Disability Challenge | E : Events

This was originally supposed to go to a fellow blogger’s site that fall, but by the time I had the time to work on it, she was booked on her blog. So, when I came up with this series, I thought about putting this subject on my blog instead. I hope this post helps with creating or attending your next event.

We all make some type of events with our friends, coworkers, etc all the time. A lot of people love being the person that comes up with the ideas and puts it all together. I will give kudos to anyone that does that job, because I would have a headache going into it. Anyways If you are the one that plans for the entire thing, you usually have it all planned out in your notebook or tablet, just to keep everything organized, you might be missing some things that you wouldn’t necessarily think about needing to know right away.

If you invite somebody that has a disability, whether it’s physical or invisible, you need to cover all areas to fit that person’s needs. Now how do you do that? Well here are some of the basic things you need to remember to do.

  • You need to make sure the place where you will be having the event itself is handicapped accessible.

  • If you’ve invited somebody who is deaf, hire an interpreter.

  • Put things to at eye-level, so that everybody can reach for things easily.

  • Allow them to have their own food brought in, if they can’t have what you’re serving.

  • Brings plastic ware like forks, knifes, spoons, and even multiple straws.

  • Ask the person if they need help, especially if they didn’t bring somebody with them.

  • Make sure they are included in every aspect.

I was going to explain each one of the helpful hints in full, but I thought some were pretty self-explanatory. The first one needs to be discussed is making sure the area is accessible to everybody. For somebody with a disability, we always look out for certain things, like ramps, elevators, and a large bathroom. As a warning, from the moment we get out of our vehicles, we are like hawks, making sure everything is how it should be. You have to be as honest with them as you can as well. If you tell a person with a disability, that the building is accessible, you have to mean everything! If there are stairs, there has to be an elevator. If there is a curb, you have to say “there’s no ramp”. If the bathrooms are tiny as hell, you have to tell them!

Nowadays, lots of people have different food allergies. They might have an allergy to gluten, milk, peanuts, etc and since these are pretty common, a lot of people will respect their wishes and make sure to leave out these foods for that person. However, if you’re on a special diet, and this goes for vegan/vegetarians too, things can be a little bit more difficult for the planner. You want to serve food that everybody will enjoy, but when more than one person cannot have a certain dish, you can’t just change it for them. This is why I included allowing people to bring a small bento box of food that they know they can have to eat, but also I say this for those, who are only allowed to be feed through a tube as well!

To me, this last one just seems mandatory for anybody hosting or planning an event. You need to make sure that everybody in the room is getting attention. Whenever I’d go to events at school, I always felt like I wasn’t included on a lot of things my classmates were doing, and it made me feel really conflicted and sad, because you don’t want to pull somebody or a group of people away but you also don’t want to be lonely at the same time. One thing I do want to say is that, when you do have somebody with a disability at your event, don’t watch them like a hawk. We don’t want your full-on attention, we just want to be included with the rest of the group, so just treat us like in the way you would want to be treated.

Have you ever hosted and/or planned an event before? If you invited a person with a disability, did they explain to you what you needed to look out for to abide by their needs? If you’re disabled, please comment below with some of our helpful hints you think people should know when inviting disabled people to events. 

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Book Review: “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

I think the last time I reviewed a book was back in 2016. I lost my reading mojo, even though I continued to go on YouTube and watch over 7 different booktubers on a daily basis, adding new books onto my to be read list on Goodreads. In August 2018, I decided to take a chance and bought my first contemporary, trending book out there, it was Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Honestly, this book has been on my TBR list for two years, and I thought it would be one of those books that I’d either never want to read or purchase it because it was a bit cheesy. Fast forward to now, I’m thankful that I talked my mom into letting me buy it! And the fact that Netflix was releasing a movie based on it, definitely didn’t hurt either!

Backstory – Taken from Goodreads

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

I think I bought this book when the Netflix edition covers were released, because I almost didn’t recognize the title of it until I read the back of it and remembered the name “Lara Jean” so I was a bit intrigued but I also didn’t want to purchase it solely on the fact that it was going to be turned into a movie. I think I really got it for the fact that I hadn’t read anything in over two years and I made it my mission to make time for other things besides blogging throughout the week, so when I saw it, I hoped it would be enough to get me out of my funk and for like two months, it did that for me before I lost it once again. In my defense, I was an idiot and tried to read three books at the same time! Apparently I’m not that kind of a bookworm.

Overall

When I first started reading it, I wasn’t on chapter five yet, and I had already expressed to my parents how much I loved the book! I’ve been out of school, in what feels like forever, but this transported me back to my freshman year and I was seeing the similarities between what I did around all of the cute guys, except I never wrote them all letters. I only did that one and I delivered it in a full cafeteria, and how Lara Jean was around both Josh and Peter.

I think what I loved the most about her was how different or quirky as Peter describes her. I think that’s actually a perfect way to explain her to people. She is mostly a home body, likes to hang out with her family, and best friend Chris then getting drunk and/or high with the rest of the party goers. Besides all of the drama that ensues in the book, I honestly think the letters going out to the boys was the best thing for her. It got her out of comfortable shell and I think she started to learn something about herself as a person.

As far as the boys go, I was going back and forth with them. In the beginning, I was pulling for Lara Jean and Josh, but the more it continued I was really loving this “relationship” between her with Peter. I think my favorite outing between these two characters was their first one, where Peter takes her to go estate shopping at this old house. This is where you get to see Peter in a new light, he’s away from his friends and his attention isn’t on the ex-girlfriend Gen, they’re bonding throughout this little adventure. This is also the readers first glance at Lara Jean getting out of her comfort zone too.

Lastly, I need to talk about something that was added at the end of the book, and I’m not totally sure if the previous editions included them, but in my copy we get recipes of the cookies that were talked about towards the end of the book. I’ve only come across a book that had a recipe somewhere within the book and that was (weirdly enough) Duff McKagan’s autobiography It’s So Easy (and Other Lies) released in 2011. If you’d like to check out that review, you can click here, but I should say that the review was published in 2012. I wasn’t the best blogger at that time, so please ignore the many mistakes included in it, okay?

Have you read the book To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han yet? What were your thoughts about it? Which character is your favorite in the series?

A-Z Disability Challenge | D : Dear Disability Community

Howdy!

For today, I am basically writing a letter to the disability community. This post is going to a very strong, opinionated piece. I have been keeping a lot of these thoughts locked up for a long time and I think it’s time to unleash them on here. So you’ve been warned!

I feel like the disability and feminist communities are fairly similar with the way people within it can be quick to judge you if you don’t agree with a certain subject. Everybody thinks we all should have the same feelings about the main topic that both groups discuss, like equality and you role as a human being. I’ve been thinking about the role and where I stand on the various topics that both groups fight for on a daily basis, but I’m mainly targeting disabled people.


I think I’m an army of one. I’ve always thought that, because I was kind of taught that over the years. The only back-up I have is my family and maybe some close family friends, but hardly any of them share the same feelings as me, especially about disability in general, because they’re not in my shoes, or maybe in this case we’ll say “wheels?” It’s not their fault by any means, and I’ve kind of learned to live with it. I’ve become more of a silent advocate for the community. I don’t join a lot of the discussions of bigger topics, like politics. When I was in high school, we were taught how to register to vote and if you already 18, you were allowed to go ahead and do it in class. When I was asked to do it, I said no. There was a lot of backlash for it, one person even told me that I wasn’t allowed to complain if a person you’re rooting for doesn’t win because I didn’t vote. Fast forward to 2016, after seeing the chaos, I don’t think my vote would have mattered because Trump had bewitched the public into letting him into the White House anyways.

The second reason why was because I was afraid of basically breaking rank in my household. My parents are strong Republicans and being somebody, who supports the opposite committee or person, is literally the worse thing you could possibly do. So, I try my best to stay far away from politics at home and even online within my own community. Despite the fact that the majority of the disabled people out there, hate our President as much as I do, there are some very extreme people who will do anything to “stand up” for their rights.

At the start of 2017 I think, I saw a video of a news channel filming people with various disabilities, some of them removing themselves out of their wheelchairs, lying on the ground, and being carried away by security and police officers to jail. I’ve never been in a position to feel like that was my only option, but I was conflicted at the thought of seeing how far people in different circumstances doing anything and everything to plead to people, even making a spectacle of themselves. However, whenever a bill that contains something about disabled people, I am concerned but all I feel like I can do physically is pray.

The next topic I’d like to discuss is about the death of Stephan Hawking. There was a cartoon drawing of Stephan ascending to Heaven, free of his wheelchair, computer, and tubes, and he’s shown walking up the golden stairs to the sky. I thought it was a beautiful drawing, but a lot of wheelchair users were really angry about it. Immediately, there were arguments being made about being in a wheelchair is a form of being “free” and that the drawing just added to the myth that once we die, we’re free of all of our flaws: disabilities included.

Again, this was another thing that I chose to stay out of, because I did not agree with the disabled community on two things. Throughout my childhood, I was told by various family members that when we die, our bodies will be transformed if you will. As I got older, I began to believe this more and have always looked forward to that possibility. And the other was, I don’t believe my wheelchair gives me my freedom. Am I mobile? Yes, but I am not free to move around for a long distance by myself. I feel like I have the most freedom when I’m on the floor. Why? Because there’s more space to spread things out, I don’t need everything right beside me at all times. There are issues with reaching for things that are higher than me, but I always find my way around it.

I know I’m going to be attacked in some form by the words I’ve said in this post, but I still stand by what I believe and that is, we’re not all supposed to have the same feelings and nobody is going to make me convert to their way of thinking, trust me, people have tried their hardest to do this for years! I’ve heard many different sides of these two subjects online, mostly on Twitter and so far, nobody’s said anything to divert me in another direction, the only thing I’ve learned to do is hold my tongue and I’m perfectly fine with doing that for the rest of my life.

How do you stay out of the drama with your family, friends and/or online? Are there topics you do not discuss at all?

Top 4 Songs That Got Me Thru High School!

playlist

Howdy!

This was inspired by a recent guest post written by friend and fellow blogger Rachel McRad on her Top 5 Favorite 80’s and 90’s Rap Songs! I had plans on telling you guys some of my favorite rap songs but then I came up with this alternative and figured that this would be better for me since I was listening to a bunch of different music while I was in high school.

I decided to talk about different artists and the albums they released throughout the years! It gives a better insight to what I liked to listen to in the different stages of my life. There are acts that I highlighted that will make you feel extremely old, and I even show you how influential every person was that I came into contact with at the time. If you’d like to see what all I was listening to after 2009, you can read this post as I published it in 2014! If you’re interested in seeing a blog post about my favorites prior to 2006, please let me know, and I can get started on it. I hope you’ll enjoy this for now though!


2006-2007

I started high school in the fall of 2006, as it was the same year that my family on my mom’s side watched two of my older cousins graduate high school earlier that spring. Boy, doesn’t that make you feel old?! Freshman year was a fairly easy time academically, socially was a totally different story and I’d rather not talk about it today!

I want to say from early 2003 to the end of 2007, I really dived into the depths of rap music. I thought it was cool that I grew up with the genre and listened to the legends with my mom, but once I became a teenager, I had to break out and find the next “great rapper” and everybody was either into West Coast or East Coast rap. I would actually go back and forth early on, but what I liked was hearing everything coming out of Atlanta, so there was a lot of Lil’ Jon and The East Side Boyz (they were my first rap album!), T.I., Ludacris, and Ciara.

As I was searching for different albums, I found two acts that I need to talk to about first. Does anybody remember Paula DeAnda? I was obsessed with her music! Her first album was really good, I used to love singing and dancing to her music! The other one though: Pretty Ricky. It’s shocking that all throughout my life I had been listening to rap music, I never once cared about the dirty lyrics that was on almost every song, but leave it to me at age 14 and discovering Pretty Ricky, a part of me is still disappointed with myself, but I loved their music anyways!

The only non-rap act I remember was Taylor Swift. She was just starting to have some radio play, and she was everywhere already! She was doing country music back then and I didn’t want anything to do with that genre. So I actually tried my best to dodge her in the beginning, but ultimately I lost the battle, because she became a staple in my days of high school. There were a few songs featured on her early albums that I couldn’t listen to or sing without thinking about one of my crushes!

2007-2008

Pop music seemed to be something I was really into towards the end of 2007, as I remember being really into both Carrie Underwood and Britney Spears’s new stuff. And poor Brit, this was the infamous year of her whole breakdown! “Blackout” isn’t part of her best work, but I have to say I actually enjoy it! The summer of 2007 saw the release of Paramore’s album “Riot” and since I was listening to both Flyleaf and Evanescene at the time, I do remember hearing both “Misery Business” and “crushcrushcrush”, but was never expressed as a big fan of theirs until much later!

Two acts that I really enjoyed were Danity Kane and Mariah Carey. I had watched the two seasons of Making The Band on MTV and was thrilled that both Aundrea and Aubrey made it through to second season and ultimately won it! I still listen to those early records on my iPod! However, I was never really into Mariah Carey growing up. My mom loved her though but once she came out of retirement, and changed into this diva that we now know her as, neither one of us can really care less! She released “E=MC²” and I actually liked it, but not as much as the “The Emancipation of Mimi” in 2005.

2008-2009

The first semester of junior year was a rough one, so I might be surprised if I even remember anything I liked in the last six months of 2008. This section might be a little bit short too!

One thing we have to point out, is that during the summer of 2008, Katy Perry appeared on the scene with a little song called “I Kissed A Girl” and I literally remember sitting in the backseat of the car with my mom and I had her turn it up because we were sitting out, waiting for dad of course! She and I were both amazed with the song, not because it was catchy, even though it was! It was the fact that it was a female singing the song, we both thought it was a guy! Who knew that song would have blown up as much as it did afterwards!

Another thing that happened during that summer, I got into New Kids On The Block! I know, I still freak myself out because I wasn’t really listening to Backstreet Boys’s newer stuff at the time, but I loved when they released “Summertime” and eventually their album “The Block” and I actually loved the crap out of it.  We saw the start of Lady Gaga’s fame in this year! Before she released “The Fame” in August, she was featured as a new artist on NKOTB’s album. Unfortunately, I never listened to her whole album, same goes with Katy Perry’s “One Of The Boys”. I hardly ever listened to full albums prior to 2011 when I started reviewing them on here.

This was the year I began to see a change in my music. I didn’t want to listen to rap music anymore, well I listened to it, just not as religiously as I had in the years before. If I had included 2004 in this list, it would have been all about rap with a small fraction of pop-rock bands. Anyways, Shinedown released their album “The Sound Of Madness” and a certain song played freely on mainstream pop stations. This was the first album that I took notice before everything blew up for me the next year!

Unfortunately, I didn’t see anything that jumped at me that I would have listened to during the second semester or the beginning of 2009!

2009-2010

2009 was the year that my sister was in eighth grade, also known as her last year in middle school. Now something happens to practically every middle schooler towards the start of that year, your personality changes along with your style. When I was in eighth grade, almost all of my friends turned gothic, like I’m not kidding! Black clothing, fish nets, long-trashy pants that dragged across the floor were all the range! However, when my sister became an eighth grader, her class turned emo. So they had big hair, ten pounds of makeup, but instead of black and red colored clothes, they enjoyed pastels and skinny jeans! Excuse my language, but I was so fucking jealous, because it looked both non-threatening and less creepy compared to everybody I was around in school! Anyways, what does that have anything to do with the music I consumed? Everything.

Since my sister had plunged into the whole scene craze, she actually came out of it with some awesome music and this is where ALL of the rock music makes its appearance and a lot of it has Christian roots to it. So there’s both RED and Family Force 5, they had released albums earlier that year, but I didn’t start listening to them until probably November. She also came home with a lot of Skillet, and managed to get majority of our family into them! One of the others that she liked that I slowly started to listen to was Three Days Grace.

I actually got back into Backstreet Boys a little bit before they released their album “This Is Us” on October 6th. This was the year, I finally got myself a BSB shirt for Christmas! For someone who loved them as a kid, getting that shirt when I was finishing my final year of high school symbolized a lot for me! Now while I was liking some of the songs off of that record, I was more interested the album that was coming out the week after and it was Chester Bennington’s side project Dead By Sunrise, their album “Out Of Ashes” was my jam and it led the way into the rest of the rock acts.

This was the same year that we saw Justin Bieber as a little guy! And yes, as much as I tried to dodge him as well, I also fell into the trip! Thanks Blondie! I blame my sister for it too! As she was a freshman now, she was officially out of the emo scene now and learned how to correctly put on eyeliner. Not only was the Biebs a big hit, but apparently so was Adam Lambert. It still gets all of us that my nana would fall for him, and she still is into his stuff too! She’s even went to one of his concerts too! She had a crappy seat, but she can say that she went to hear him live, so that’s better than nothing!

I want to say that I basically spent the greater part of early 2010 trying to listen to any rock music I could, but of course I fell in love with both Ke$ha and Lady Antebellum. One of the weirdest musical acts I got into was Sleigh Bells. Now if you’ve never heard of them, they are extreme loud and obnoxious with their music, but somehow they worked on me!

So what do you think of my musical timeline? Would you like to see what else I was listening to for the next four years? Do you like you could figure the top four songs you liked while in high school?

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