Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Disabled performers pay tribute to Michael Jackson | The Autism News

“They came in and they were very sad, and they had wanted to do a tribute to him,” she said. “And that’s how they show their love for an artist is by dancing to their music.”

“Oh, he was their king, man,” Darden added. “That’s all they talked about when they walked in the door. One girl cried. One girl kept saying ‘Can you believe it? Can you believe it? He’s gone.’ “

Disabled performers pay tribute to Michael Jackson | The Autism News

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Cohost, the Starlet, and the King of Pop

Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon and celebrity death

The defining Sidekick, Starlet and King of Pop.

This week, three boomer icons gone.

Ed was always on the couch with Johnny to keep the conversation flowing. He was also the man with the Publishers Clearinghouse checks.

Farrah was a starlet whose beauty carried her before her acting ability kicked in. I remember that PeeChee drawing by Greg H in the 7th grade of Farrah's...never mind.

During my college days, Micheal was all over the radio. I confess, I never bought one of his albums, but I do love some of his songs ... "Thriller" and "Billy Jean." Jodie said one of her workers cried when she heard the news of Micheal's death. That took me back 32 years when Elvis died, and the tears my mom shed for him.

I find it odd coincidence the fame and the struggles these three icons shared. Health and money for Ed and Michael; health for Farrah.

Just as Elvis did 32 years ago, these three have "left the building."

In our hearts, Ed will always be the consummate cohost, Farrah the consummate starlet, and Michael the consummate king of pop.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bam Bam is pitching? Naa!

Eric's baseball team had a tournament in Scappoose over the weekend. We played higher caliber teams.

Two games Saturday, two games Sunday. We lost them all. A couple of the games were close...except for a few errors.

The final game Sunday was against a team from Scappoose. Their first up they hit a few homeruns and had over 10 runs. I stopped keeping track.

The game could have been a lost cause. The coaches decided to have some fun. They let boys pitch who never pitched before.

Bam Bam is a boy on Eric's team who has ADHD. He is a special kid with a huge heart. While the other kids are dealing with the 13-14 year old attitude stuff, Bam Bam is positive. He is also loud at times, sometimes drawing taunts from opposing teams.

Each time he is up to bat, he pounds the plate with his bat -- Bam! Bam! His mom yells "Give it a ride Bam Bam!" We all cheer for him, all the parents and all the team.

On Sunday, the news that the coach was going to put Bam Bam in to pitch. We all thought "Naa!" His mom told us that he had never even tried to pitch.

Bam Bam got to the mound. We were all yelling our fool heads off for Bam Bam.

I then noticed that over from the dugout, my own precious son, Eric, was calling out step by step instructions to Bam Bam. It was Father's Day, and for me my gift was to hear my son coaching and rooting Bam Bam on.

The Scappoose players were hitting at everything. One kid got on base, one kid homered, one kid even struck out.

Bam Bam's pitching debut was a short one, and it may be his last one, but it will not be forgot.

A lesson that there is more to the game of baseball than scoring the most runs.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Accessibility at baseball tournament

Jodie and I like it when the places we need to go are accessible, but we have come to realize that is not always the case.

Eric had a baseball tournament at Fiveoaks Middle School over the weekend. The first two games on Saturday were played at the far diamond by the tennis courts. There was a chain across the entrance to the path. Our first time through the chain was down. Jodie and I were able to scoot over it in our motorized scooters.

The path was pretty bumpy in spots, but we were able to make it to the baseball field.

On our way out, the chain was up. My mom helped Jodie and I do the limbo to get under the chain. One of the other parents on our team asked if anyone had the key to lower the chain, but the people running the tournament didn't seem to know.

After lunch, we returned for game 2. We had to go back to the same field. Nobody was there to help us get under the chain. I helped Jodie under. I took my mirror off to get under myself. I felt like I was going to decapitate myself getting under the chain!

The nondisabled have no idea how ingenius we disabled have to be to get by the barriers we come against.

Game 3 was Sunday morning at the front field. The presented accessaibility issues as well. The field was at the bottom of a pretty steep hill. Jodie and I were just going to watch the game from the top of the hill. One of the dads on the team said that if we went way over yonder, we could get around the hill. I did that, but the grass had lots of holes and bumps. You don't realize they are there until you are on a scooter and trying to not tip over. I made it, but it was not a ride Jodie would have liked.

Eric's team dropped two close games Saturday, but came back to win one on Sunday.

He has another tournament next weekend in Scappoose. I wonder what accessibility challenges it will bring for Jodie and I.

Teen 'speaks' through camera

Teen 'speaks' through camera: "A smile forms on his face, as teaching assistant Yvone Pierce readjusts the camera fastened to his wheelchair. She asks if the positioning is all right and his light blue eyes roll upward, indicating the affirmative.
“When he’s ready to take a picture, he’ll snap it,” Pierce explains."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shorty's Corner

Eric had a baseball game last night at Firwood school in Sandy last night, right by Shorty's Corner.

It proved to be an accessibility challenge for Jodie and I. We parked on the grass where everybody was parking. I brought the lift in our van, Jet White, down, but flipdown ramp would not come down. I got on the lift, took it up a little, then brought it down, and the ramp came down.

We had to scoot a good distance across the grass...holes and bumps everywhere. Jodie followed real close...making me go really slow. She has tipped over before...

The game? Dad's should not ump. Enough said...

When we got back to the van, the ramp on the lift would not come matter what I did. It was Eric that figured out` there is a lever under the ramp that has to land on ground firm enough to activate the ramp. He pressed it and the ramp came down.

What would we do without a smart kid?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Humility from an eleven year old genius...

The 11-Year-Old College Grad - The Daily Beast: "Cavalin doesn’t like to brag: “I don't consider myself a genius because there are 6.5 billion people in this world and each one is smart in his or her own way.”"

Communicator for deaf-blind, Treky styke

WHEELIE CATHOLIC: Immediate Empowerment: "Well, it's here. It's called the DeafBlind Communicator and it allows deaf-blind folks to make phone calls and engage in face to face communication. Washington state and HumanWare designed and manufactured it jointly, in a government -business cooperative effort that has resulted in immediate empowerment for those who have access to this technology."

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Outside the box thinking to Middle East

A good move:

Breakthrough with Syria - "Kerry's role in all this is intriguing for two reasons: First, it shows that the former Democratic presidential candidate is carving out a role for himself as a foreign-policy player -- courageously taking on issues that are sensitive in political and policy terms. Second, it shows a fluid and creative foreign policy process in the Obama administration, in which people outside the White House inner circle are able to get the president's attention and push the envelope."

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Stop trying to be happy....

Ken Dychtwald Ph.D.: Who's Happy And Why?: "So here's the thing. At the end of the day, it may be wisest to judge each of our own life successes not from the outside looking in but from the inside out. It's not about the material things I can show the world, but about how I feel about the work I do; it's about the relationships I have and the love I share.

It may well be, as novelist Edith Wharton said, that 'if only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time.'"

Monday, June 01, 2009

Teens with special needs get a prom to remember -

Nice story:

Teens with special needs get a prom to remember - "This year's prom, dubbed 'The Cinderella Ball,' was held Saturday night at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington. More than 150 teens attended the gala, where they were greeted by 41 Marines. Each one of the teens went down a red carpet, under a Marine Corps sword arch, before being seated for dinner."

Michael Moore: Goodbye, GM

They should have listened 20 years ago:

Michael Moore: Goodbye, GM