Monday, September 29, 2008

Why do you come here?

Skeptical Brotha, a blog that I frequent a great deal, had this question posted on its site. So, I thought I would ask the same question, plus a couple more.

* Why do you come here to Nuvision for a Nuday?
* What have you learned/gained from reading this blog?
* What content on the blog do you find most interesting?
* What would you like to see more of?
* What do you think I can improve on, as it pertains to my skills as a blogger?
* Why do you visit the blog, but do not make comments or ask questions?
* Are you inspired by the content on the blog?
* Who are you? (Are you a blogger, fellow family member, my friend, one of my students, or what?)

I've noticed that people visit my blog from all over the world. I've also noticed that there are a couple, who visit the blog each day, but do not make comments. That's perfectly cool with me. I travel around to a number of blogs that I like, and never make a comment. But I'm starting to understand how not leaving any comments makes it difficult for the blogger to know how the content, quality, and style of his writing is impacting the reader.

Well, I'm not asking you to leave comments all the time. That's okay... But this time, I'm asking you to take the time to answer the above questions. I guess it's kind of like a quick little survey.

Have a beautiful week. I know that I will.

And thank you in advance for visiting my blog and for also answering the questions.


Angie B.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I lie here on my back
Staring in the crack between time and eternity
I see nothing
Actually I do see something
I just don’t know how to describe it
I don’t know what to call it
I don’t know how to respond to it
I see me
But it’s not the me that I know to be me
It’s a different me
Is it a better me?
I don’t know
But it’s definitely a different me.
Is it a happier me?
I don’t know
But it’s definitely a different me
Is it a smarter me?
I don’t know
But it’s definitely a different me
Do I like the me that I see?
I guess I have to wait till the me that I am today meets the me that I see
I hope that the me I see is happier to be me
I hope that the me I see is kinder to me
I hope that the me I see loves to be me
I hope that the me I see is me
Because this me that I be
is not happy to be the current me.

**This is something I wrote a while ago. I thought I should post it today. Perhaps it's because it kind of captures how I'm feeling today.**

Hurricane Ike Reflections Part I.

I know that my reflections regarding Hurricane Ike will take a number of posts to really get out to the world what I truly felt about the storm and the aftermath of the storm. However, I will try to keep it simple and straight to the point.

First of all, Hurricane Ike was
no joke. The size of that bad boy was amazing. I think that the meteorologist reported that Ike was about 600 miles wide. Can you believe that?

Well, Ike headed straight to Galveston/Houston, just like the weather scientists were predicting. Folks were praying all over the city that the hurricane would dissipateor turn and make a victim out of another city. But I didn't pray that prayer. How can you pray a storm away from you and to someone else? That's wack, heartless, and selfish. So, my prayer was that, if the storm did indeed select Houston/Galveston as its target that we would be prepared for its entry to the third coast.

Once it was becoming more and more clear that Ike wanted to make its mark in the Houston/Galveston area, hundreds of thousands of Houston/Galveston residents made a mad dash to the stores to get water, ice, and what hurricane exposed folks call "hurricane food." What is hurricane food, you might ask? Nonperishable food items, such as canned meat, crackers, peanut butter and jelly, cookies, cereal bars, and chips...

I want you to know that days before the storm, people were packing up on food that I know they wouldn't normally take a second look at in the grocery store. I'm sure that the canned spam, sardine, tuna, and salmon industry are excited when a hurricane threatens the vulnerable coasts of America.

Perhaps when the folks in Houston were praying for the storm to hit another town, the canned meat industry was praying that the storm would hit Houston/Galveston. That’s the jackpot for the canned meat industry. Approximately six million people wanting to buy canned meat... I’m sure to the canned meat industry holds a pep rally, cheering and boosting the hurricane to hit in Houston/Galveston, rather than hitting some small towns that folks had never heard of before the approaching hurricane was threatening to terrorize their handful of citizens.

Well, let me tell you that I hate buying hurricane food items. Sometimes…Well, most of the times, it feels like a waste. The meteorologists start warning folks that the hurricane can hit a certain place, never having any really certainty on what the storm will do. So, people, like my mother, insist on not being unprepared for the pending arrival of a storm that can possibly come your way and punish the unprepared. So, folks go out and spend tons of money, purchasing items that seem to go to waste when the storm actually goes somewhere else.

So, as usual, I wasn’t too excited about going to the store. But my mother, being the sistah that she is, insisted upon it. And being the daughter that I am, I did what mama said to do. I grabbed my last few dollars, went to the store and bought all the canned meat, crackers, water, chips, and cookies that I could get my hands on. And when that storm looked like it was really going to come to H-town and spank us, I ran back to the store and bought candles, batteries, fruit, bread, and more ice and water. Hell, I was like Mama; I didn’t want to be unprepared either.

I made sure that I purchased enough food, water, ice, and other supplies to last us a couple of days, just in case the storm was bad as they were saying it was going to be. I figured that one of two things could possibly happen. A. That it would flood and the streets would be impassible. Or B. The lights would be out for a couple of days. So, I packed up the house with food that I figured that all of us, a family of eight, could eat, without being hungry and/or sick of.

Wasn’t I in for a rude awakening?

**To be continued...**

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm back, and I'm okay.

This is just a quick little note to let all of my readers know that Ms. Braden is alive and well. Hurricane Ike packed a powerful punch. But thankfully, the only thing that Hurricane Ike knocked out of mine was a few slacks in the fence and the access to electrical power.

Yes, I was one of the millions that reside in the Houston/Galveston/Beaumont area that had the most unfortunate, uncomfortable, annoying experience of living without electrical services. Of course, electrical power is a convenience and a downright modern day luxury. But trust and believe that electricity is a must if you plan to live a satisfying, productive, and functioning life in today's society. **Later today, I will blog about how this electrical outage had a direct impact on me.**

Plus, not having any lights is a public health crisis. Thousands, all over this area, including my mother, rely on electricity to:
* Keep their refrigerators cool, just so that their medication can stay a certain temperture.
* Keep their bodies cool, just to withstand their stress of being too hot so that they can stay well.
* Keep breathing machines working, just to keep the flow of oxygen in their bodies.
* Keep dyalysis machines going, just to keep the blood in their bodies clean of deadly toxens.

So, for all of those that act like residents of the Houston/Galveston/Beaumont area, which is basically all of Southeast Texas, were being crybabies because of not having lights, get over yourself. For many, electricity is the lifeline for life itself.

I will add to this post when I return back to my house. I'm headed to my job right now. But trust me, I will be back, and my fingers will be typing. I have plenty to say.

But before I sign off, allow me to declare that I am truly thankful that I did not suffer any loss of life or loss of personal property. God is fabulous!

But for all of those who did lose a loved one, their homes, or transportation in this awful storm, my heart and my prayers are extended your way. God bless you.

And for the hundreds of thousands that are still without lights, my prayers are also with you. We went eleven days without lights. I'm so glad that I didn't have to wake up to a twelth day. I'm truly sad that anyone has to continue to wake up to not having any power in the homes that they live in, especially if you paid your hard earned money to pay the thieves we all know as the "light company."

Again, I'm be back later this evening. Until then, be blessed and overwhelmed with insight, motivation, and peace.

Back with power,

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Letter to Gov. Sarah Palin

Dear Sarah:

There is no doubt about it; your speech last Thursday at the GOP convention in Minneapolis definitely had an indelible mark on my psyche. I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. Well, then again, there are some parts I’ve been able to get out of my mind.

For instance, the parts of your speech that you bragged about cutting spending in Alaska by getting rid of the personal chef and driver… Forgotten about. It wasn’t significant enough to give it much of my attention. Perhaps a great accomplishment for you and the state of Alaska… But to me, I found that particular achievement to be miniscule at best.

Secondly, the many parts of your speech, where you attacked Senator Obama’s inexperience… I didn’t like it. But you did what I expected you to do. So, I haven’t given it much thought since the speech. However, it did confirm some things about you and your character that I was suspecting before you actually gave your speech. What did it confirm? That no matter how Christian you say you are, you are willing to lie and mislead to get what you want.

And finally, the parts of your speech, where you praised your running mate for being a “maverick” and a “POW”, were expected. You’re supposed to prop the one up that you are running under. Good job. Too bad you couldn’t tell us anything else about the man that qualifies him to be President of the United States. Perhaps you will in your next speeches on the stump. Oh, I forgot. You’re traveling and giving the exact same speech that you gave at the GOP convention. Darn it!

So, what was it about your speech that has stuck with me all these days?

For starters, I was really ticked off that you and your handlers have openly objected to the media’s focus on your daughter’s pregnancy. But then you turn around and offer up Baby Trig to the media and anyone who wishes to politicize his young life. That sounds like a double-standard to me.

And what is that double standard about? You object to your oldest daughter, Bristol, being in the public eye. But Trig, your disabled child, is okay for public consumption?

Sounds to me like that “special love” that you have is more for Bristol than Trig. Or perhaps the “special love” that you have is for yourself. If having a child of yours in the spotlight is going to hurt your career as a politician, then you try to block it. But if having a child of yours in the spotlight will boost your career as a politician, then you take them up to the mountain and offer him up as a sacrifice.

Well, at least we now know that the “one” thing about you that is consistent is that you, no matter what it takes, will not let anything get in the way of your rise to power and prominence. Thanks for pointing that out to all of us who are still trying to figure you out. (Are you sure that your name is Sarah Palin and not Sarah Bush?)

Moving on… No point in getting stuck on the obvious…

The other part of your speech that upset me was the part, where you addressed the “families of special needs children.”

"And children with special needs inspire a very, very special love. To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House." Gov. Sarah Palin (The pit bull with lipstick)

Let me say this before I go any further. Sarah, it is not “special needs children”; it is “children with special needs.” See the difference? Don’t place the disability in front of the person. It’s people first.
Check this article out.

And by the way, many people with disabilities, including myself don’t like the term “special needs”. When you use the phrase “special needs” and “special love” I feel like you are offering me “special pity” for my very “special condition.”

I don’t need your “special love”; I need equal access to job training, employment, housing, transportation services, and information. My needs are indeed different and sometimes greater than others. But special… Take that label and give it to somebody else. I don’t want it.

The last point I want to make about the passage of your speech that struck me and has left me feeling disrespected, ignored, minimized, invisible, forgotten about, disregarded, and demeaned was your words of encouragement to the “families” of special needs children.

That’s so nice that you have children with disabilities on your mind. I guess we have Trig to thank for that. But Sarah, you should know that children grow up. I’m one of those kids that grew up and became an adult with a disability. And even though I have a significant disability, I decide for me. My mother doesn’t. My father does not choose for me. And no one else in my family makes any choices for me.

You should also know that I choose who I’m going to vote for without the guidance of my loving parents. And this woman with “special needs” have decided to vote for Senator Obama.

Here’s a bit of advice for you.
Do not minimize the millions of adults who have a physical and/or mental disability by talking to our families, as if we cannot listen, speak, or decide for ourselves.
Do you realize how disrespectful that is?

I can only hope that as you continue on your very new journey of being a mother of a child with a disability, you develop some cultural competence and some basic understanding about the concerns of not only families of children with disabilities, but also people with disabilities. Then, perhaps you will truly be an advocate.

Respectfully submitted,

Angela Braden

Sarah, you should check out these blog entries posted by other people that you struck with that nice little passage from your speech. I'm sure you can learn something from them. I certainly did.

Sarah Palin: Disability Advocate or Rhetorical Cloud?
An Open Letter to Sarah Palin
Is Sarah Palin exploiting her son's disability?

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Voice in the Disability Community Speaks Out Against Sarah Palin’s Speech

Apparently, I wasn’t the only person with a disability/family member of a person with a disability that was offended by a certain passage in Sarah Palin’s speech.

this out. It’s a strong, loud voice, letting the world know how Sarah Palin’s attempt to reach out to the disabled was deemed a failure and shallow to some. (That includes me.)

Hey Sara: Don't disrespect the community organizer.

As for Sarah Palin bad mouthing and/or minimizing the contributions of community organizers, I am personally offended.

Doesn’t this “pit bull with lipstick on her teeth” know that it was community organizers that gathered in Seneca Falls in 1848 to fight for the rights of women in this country?
Doesn’t this proud American know it was community organizers that helped to ensure the passing of the 14th Amendment in 1868, which granted Blacks, who resided in America, citizenship and the right to vote? (Meeting certain criteria, of course.)
Doesn’t this woman, the first woman to be on a Republican presidential ticket, know that it was community organizers who fought tirelessly to ensure that the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, which granted women their right to vote?
Doesn’t the mother of a special needs child, as she put it, know that it was community organizers that fought/still fight for the rights and protections of children and adults with disabilities?

I guess not.