Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Questions

As many of you know, I'm taking questions for the next couple of months. So, anything, and I mean anything you want to ask me, please do.
Yesterday, I decided to also post some of the questions that people ask me off the board, when I'm in the community. So here goes... And these are only a few of the questions that some have dared to ask.

1. You can't see anything at all?
For some reason, people find it hard to believe that these eyes of mine can't see nothing at all. But sorry folks... I can't see a thing. Wish I could say I could see something, but I can't.
People often tell me that the reason why they think that I can see something (shadows, colors, shapes) is because I move around so well. I guess people expect me to walk around, bumping into walls all the time. Or maybe they expect me to be patting on everything around me. Too bad.
I try my best to do all that I do well. And since I got to live life with blindness, I make sure I do that well too. I might bump into a wall from time to time, slip off a curb that I didn't realize was there, bump these hips of mine into the corner of a desk or table, or lose something that is sitting right in my face... That's part of the game. But I'm gon' play this game with as much ease and sexiness as I can. That's a requirement for Angie B.

2. Can you read braille?
Yep... I learned it when I was fourteen-years-old. The doctors warned us that significant blindness was eventually going to visit my Glaucoma diagnosed eyes. So, it was recommended that I prepare for a life with no sight. Although I objected to the idea of learning braille and how to use a cane, my mother left me no choice. I made a decision to deal with learning braille than to deal with my mama being on my behind.
So, I registered for a braille class in the 9th grade. I learned all the levels of braille in a few months. I sped through the class, only because I hated it so much.
I didn't think that it was only going to be three years later that my braille skills would come in handy. I'm glad that I learned it when I could. I guess my doctor was right in that particular case.
Even though I can write braille like a speed demon, my reading skills are slow. My fingers are just not sensitive enough to pick up on those dots. Plus, my fingers actually start feeling numb after 30-minutes of reading. I don't know...

3. Who bathes you? Who combs your hair? Who irons your clothes? Who washes your clothes?
The answer to all those questions is ME. I don't know why people think that blindness would make it hard for me to bathe myself. Yeah, I can see the how people would think that ironing and washing clothes would be hard. But bathing myself... **sigh**
I'm very careful when I iron. I take my time. There have been a few occasions that I rushed when I was ironing and got punished. So, the key is to be careful and take my time.
Washing clothes... Well, I have my washer labelled with braille. That way, I can turn the knob to the setting that I want it on. Got it?
Because I don't do a lot of different things with my hair, I can manage it pretty good. Plus, my texture of hair is pretty manageable. Thanks Daddy and Mama. And I try to keep it a length that is good for me. I like it real short or to my shoulders. Anything in between is hard for me.

**I'll stop here. But expect more questions and answers throughout this summer.
Renee: I haven't forgot about my commitment to further answer your question. I'll get to it real soon.
And everyone else: Shoot me a question. Post it, or e-mail me. I'm here.


Monday, May 19, 2008

First set of answers

The first question that I'm going to answer is from a beautiful sista who lives in Trinidad. Nicole asked:
"Have you ever been involved in an accident when someone is guiding you?"
The answer to that is a big YES. Because people tend to be a tad bit careless and selfish, I have most definitely been ran into walls and guided right off of a step, without being warned that the step is even there. Thankfully those accidents that happen from week to week have only resulted in one "real" injury.
In 1997, my final semester in undergrad, my friend CB was rushing to get inside of the church, where he was serving on the music staff. He was supposed to be on the organ in two minutes, and we were probably four minutes away from the door. So, the brotha was in a mad dash to get inside the building.
Well, as he was rushing, and I was saying, "Slow down.", my left foot slipped off the side of the sidewalk, and my ankle cracked. I actually heard the bone break.
Did that slow my friend down from trying to get inside of the building? Nope, sure didn't. CB stayed on his mission to get to the organ before the clock struck 7:00. So, I had to walk on that broken ankle until we got in the church. Once we got inside, I was able to get off the ankle, but I had to sit through the service before we went to the hospital.
So, my last semester in college I was having to figure out how to walk with crutches and a cane for the blind. Needless to say, it was quite, quite interesting, and a challenge, I might add. But I did it. I graduated as scheduled.
And yes, CB is still my friend. I love him, even though I don't always feel secure when we walk together. He's still a good brotha, and he's in my cabinet of best friends. And trust me, it is quite difficult to make the list of "best friends." It's a short list. And he made it.

The second question comes from a woman named Renee. I actually thought that my sister, Renea, who blogs at had asked the question. But after looking more closely at the spelling of the names, I realized that these two ladies were different.
Renee asked: “Do you ever want to get married? Have you ever been in a serious relationship that could have possibly lead to marriage? Do you want to have kids?”
Only because I'm a little out of time this evening, I will provide the short answers to these questions. Of course, to answer these questions fully would require me to expound more. Renee, I promise to spend more time on this. Perhaps I will tomorrow.
Do I ever want to get married? It depends when you ask me that question. But overall, I would have to say. I think that marriage, with the right man, would be good for a sista named Angie. And I think that marriage for the man that has enough love and courage to marry me could be good for him. Oh yeah, I'm confident that I'm a good catch.
I think that marriage could offer me support in a number of ways: financially, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually. All of that sounds nice enough to make me hope that I will one day share my life with someone. But he has to be a good somebody. I don't share a biscuit with someone that ain't worth my company. I'm certainly NOT going to share my life with someone that offers me no positive and loving significance to my life.
Have I ever been in a serious relationship that could have led to marriage? No, I haven't. I will definitely deal with this question later. There's some things I would like to say regarding this very question.
Do I want to have kids? Yeah, one or two. Boy and girl... But as I get older, I realize that time is not being very cooperative in the baby dept. If I don't get married in the next four years, I won't be having a baby naturally. I don't want to be too far in my 30's when I get pregnant. Having a baby that is disabled is more likely the older you get. And since I know how disability impacts a person's ability to live in this society, I rather not throw the dice, knowing how the odds are. Perhaps I will adopt. I've always wanted to do that.
And yes, those are the short answers to those questions. **smile** Again, I will pick these questions back up again this week.

The third question comes from a lady by the name of Canada. She e-mailed me and asked: "Do you have a guide dog?"
The answer to that question is no. I don't have one, don't plan to get one, and there is nothing anyone can say to change my mind. I don't like dogs.
I see how these dogs could be helpful in terms of giving a person that is blind more independence and accessibility. But, like I said, I don't like dogs. I'm actually frightened by them. So, no need in pretending that a guide dog would be an option for me. I'll continue to use my cane or these sighted guides that continue to run me into walls and off curbs. At least I don't have to clean poop up after they go to the potty on the sidewalk. Know what I mean?

The last questions come from The Last Domino. Although he wrote that he ended up reading more entries on my blog and found the answer to his questions, I thought I would still answer his question here. Plus, I thought I would provide a few links to previous posts, where I explored some of the answers to his questions.
He asked: “Is your blindness congenital or the result of an accident?
Actually, two questions: If not congenital, how long have you been blind?”
Is my blindness congenital or the result of an accident? That's a bit of a trick question.
Well, my Uveitis, which I contracted when I was eight-years-old is indeed what doctors would likely classify as congenital. But the Glaucoma, which is the theif that stole my sight, was kind of sort of an accident. I'm blind due to what we consider malpractice of a doctor. It is my opinion, along with countless others, that the doctor that was treating me at that time did not take the steps to prevent the Glaucoma from taking over and evicting my sight from my eyes.
The doctor was giving me steroids for the Uveitis. And steroids can result in Glaucoma setting in. Well, he was not looking out for this disease, even though he was giving me steroid injections in my eyes. When he finally diagnosed me with Glaucoma, I was grossly ill and my sight was already making a mad dash into the land of "Goodbye Forever".
Yes, we sued the doc. But we needed a medical testamony from a doc that could testify that it was indeed malpractice. Well, the doctor who was working tirelessly to try to reduce the effects of the Glaucoma killed himself. And when he died, he took his testamony where ever he went.
Yes, my experiences are so varying and unusual. Angie's Life... What can I say?
How long have I been blind? I started losing my sight at age 10. I lost all of my functional sight at 17. When I was 19, I lost the light perception that I was clinging to. I have not seen anything through these wrecked up eyes of mine in nearly 15 years.
Here's some links to posts that I have written regarding the onset of illness and my visual disability. Enjoy reading, for all it's worth.
The Genesis of My Eye Problems
Changed Forever
Brown Eyes

**Boy, this was a long entry. Next time, I will break the questions down in separate posts if it looks like it's going to be this long again. Well, I hope I answered your questions to your satisfaction. If not, ask me to clarify. And if you have more questions, I'm here to answer. And that goes for anyone else out there. Ask away...

Until we meet again, love God and His people. May you find peace, satisfaction, and fulfillment.


UPDATE: My friend CB called me this morning and went off because I told my story about the broken ankle with his actual name. Even though he didn't remember the set of events around the injury, he did not like it that I called him out on the world wide web. As he requested, and only because I love him so much, I took the time to edit this post to change his name to his initials instead of his actual name.
Now, for the purpose of disclosure, I want anyone that reads this to know that I love this brotha. He ain't the best guide, but he is better than most. And although he's not a great guide, he's a wonderful friend to this girl named Angie. And for the record, CB has not caused me to have any more accidents since then. I haven't had to kiss any walls or stumble off any steps because he was guiding me. So, I guess he has improved over the years.

And Randy: Thank you for policing my blog. I guess my assumption that no one that actually knows me is reading my blog was just disproved.
Randy, my darling, I'm glad that you're reading. I do consider it an honor.
While I'm at it, let me refer my readers to your wonderful website.

Readers of Nuvision: Check out my friend Randy. He's a wonderful music artist. I call him Randy. But his name is Randevyn. Check him out.
His upcoming project is set to release in September. Show the brotha some love.

I'm out.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why I Decided to take Questions

In the recent weeks, I've been thinking about hanging up my blogger's hat and discontinuing my commitment to Nuvision for a Nuday. I figured that I would either stop blogging once I got to 200 posts, which I'm almost there. Or I would stop blogging once I hit my birthtday, which is July 12th. Whichever event came first, I really, really had almost come close to ending all of this. Nope, I wasn't going to take down the blog completely. I was just going to stop posting.

Well, before I signed out, I wanted to take some time answering some questions that some of my readers may have regarding me, my blindness, my experiences, or whatever. Heck, if you want to ask me about anything, shoot. I'm open. I'll let you know what I think about all manners of things. **smile**

After having a conversation with my best friend, who currently resides on the left coast, I decided that I owe it to myself and others to continue in my quest to inform, to enlighten, to educate, to expose, to create awareness about what it is like to live life with blindness. The whole reason why I started blogging was to give sighted folks the opportunity to see life through the eyes of a blind woman. Not all blind people... Just me... Like I've said before, my experiences are mine and mine alone. However, many of my experiences as a blind person are not unique. But I guess what is unique is how these experiences impact me, how I respond, and how I view myself and my place in the world because of these extremely significant experiences I have had because of the veil that has been draped over my natural eyes.

Well, even though I have decided that I'm not going to stop blogging on Nuvision anytime soon, I still want to take those questions. In fact, I'll answer questions anytime. But for the next few months, probably the entire summer, my post will be the answer to some of the questions that have rolled in as a response of me opening myself up and announcing "question time" on Nuvision for a Nuday.

So, relax and ask me a question. I don't bite. I just answer. And most of the time, even if the question makes me feel a little uneasy, I still won't fly off the handle. I might not give you the answer you want. But I will answer. So, please ask.

Later today, I will post the answers to questions that I have received from three of my readers. And if any more questions roll in before the end of the day, I'll answer those too. So, check me out later tonight.



Saturday, May 17, 2008

Basic Disrespect

**I know that I made this little promise to not blog about issues on my job, but this is important to me. I need...I must make a point about the importance of accommodations on jobs. If you are an employer, consider my words.**

I cannot get those that have the authority to create change at my place of employment to realize how incredibly disrespectful it is to place a printed piece of paper in front of me, without even considering if I would like an accessible copy. They take out time to make sure that the employees that are def have an interpretor or a transcriber to translate verbal communication to American Sign Language or print. So, why is it that they can't take a little time to e-mail me the hand-outs, just so I can at least have an accessible electronic copy, that I can choose to read with the help of my computer with speech, or that I can print in braille?

Since I see them go out of the way and spend thousands of dollars to provide the employees that are def with reasonable accommodations, I really wonder why is it that they just insist on not understanding why the accommodations I request are both reasonable and necessary to help me do my job effectively and efficiently. It would appear to me that these people, that pay me a pretty good salary, would want me to do my best on my job. What kind of sense does this make? They want me to do the job, but they don't want to give me the tools to do my job. They want me to provide quality services. But they don't want to provide me with the same level of training they provide the other employees, so that I can provide quality services.

I've been working for this employer for nearly a year; and I'm finally getting a few of the reasonable accommodations that are necessary for me to do my job. And still, there are some, that are completely aware that I can't see a damn thing, who insist on questioning why do I need an accessible copy of training materials that they must feel are important enough to give to the sighted employees. If the training materials are not important, and listening to presentations are good enough, then everyone should have to just listen. No one should be able to take notes. No one should have a clue what the trainer thought would be a good idea to be on the overhead projector.

I sometimes wonder if they continue to disregard me because of my race and age. You know, it is possible... And it just might be my disability. I am one of two counselors, who have no sight, that have been "allowed" to be employed by my division in the entire state. What's up with that anyway? We are a agency that assist disabled people, including blind people to go to work, but my agency is tripping about hiring more than the two of us, and about accommodating us. This makes me sick!

I would file a complaint. But I know how these people work. They would come to work to make my life a living hell. Instead of them doing the right thing, providing me with the accommodations that are reasonable and necessary for me to do my job, they would just take offense to my complaint. They would take it personal. And you know how people typically respond when they take issues personally or with offense. They get catty, and they go for blood.

What should I do? Should I stand up for what I know is right and make enemies? Or should I stay quiet, deal with it, look for another job, and hand them my resignation for their continued disrespect? Or should I resign now and look for a job afterwards?


**I know that posting this entry on the net is probably professional suicide. Putting my issues with employer on the net for all to see is probably a no no. But they continue to disrespect me in public. So, I'm crying out about it in public.**

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I'm Taking Questions

Since I've been writing on this particular platform, I've addressed all sorts of issues as it relates to my experiences as a blind woman. But pretty much, I've dealt with subjects and experiences that are important to me.

I would like to spend the month of June discussing what it is that you want to know about me, my blindness, my experiences, and whatever it is you want to know. If it is within reason, I'm completely open to answering your questions. I'm a pretty open gal when it comes to sharing and providing views into my little world.

So, ask away. I'm looking forward to getting your questions. Leave them in the comment section or e-mail me at

Don't be shy. And don't think you will offend me. And there are no stupid questions... Only stupid assumptions... Be guilty of asking, not assuming...

Every Monday, I will answer questions that have come in. So, if you want me to deal with a question for today's entry, ask before 8:00 Central.

Peace and love,
Angie B.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Word of the Day: "LOOK!", Compliments of Jasmine

Every month, I try to do something fun with my family. We've had so many heartaches in the last few years. So, I try to create some happiness for us. Anhd so far, so good...

Last month, I took two of my three favorite kids, Jasmine and Joseph, to Old MacDonald Farm. Gabby, the third link in my chain of love, was out of pocket. I found out later that she was gone to a "Disney on Ice" event, having a great time. I guess tspontaneity is not always the hroute to go when you're trying to gather three children that are not your own to go somewhere on a Saturday. So, even though I only had two thirds of my darlings with me, we still headed out to one of the places that I had been promising the kids I would take them.

Since Joseph had already been with his kindergarten class, he already knew what to expect. So, he was pretty excited. Jasmine, on the other hand, was just going along for the ride. We told her about all the animals at the farm, but I don't think she really grasped the whole concept.

When we arrived at the farm, she was still a little nonchalant. In fact, I think she was feeling a little salty about being there. I think she had voted to go to the zoo that Saturday. But since she was the only one that wanted to go to the zoo, her preference was voted down.

Well, as soon as we paid the admission into the farm, and Jasmine saw those animals, she perked up to the hundredth degree. She took off running towards the animals, screaming, "Look!" And that's what she did for the next hour and a half. The sight of every animal, the ducks, the sheep, the goat, the pigs, the deer, the rabbits, the donkeys, the horses, and the cows delighted her to no end. Bordem was no where in her life when we were at the farm.

Jasmine, not being a selfish little girl, wanted to make sure that all of us saw what she was seeing. So, as we were walking, and she would see a different animal, she would yell in her little four-year-old voice, "Look!" Sometimes, she would say, "Ann, look!" I think that she forgot that her auntie couldn't "look" at anything, no matter how hard she tried.

When she would realize that telling me to "look" was not the action verb that she should be using when talking to me, her blind auntie, she would stop for a minute and describe to me what she was seeing. I thought it was so kind of her to make sure that I was getting a chance to maybe visualize what she was actually seeing with her eyes.

However, she would get excited when she would see something that was completely unexpected. And what would she do yet again? "Ann, look!" Finally, after I never did respond in the manner that she wished, she stopped telling me to "look", and she placed all of her demands to look on my daddy and her other aunt, Frances. But she continued to try to describe to me all the great sights that she was seeing.

Here are some pictures of Jasmine and Joseph. Oh, and a couple pictures of all the farm animals too... Ain't my babies cute? And the man in the pictures is my darlind daddy, Thurman. Yes, his name is Thurman. Enjoy!

Friday, May 02, 2008

You Bring Out the Worst in Me

When people bring out the best in you, keep them around. But when people manage to bring out the very worst in you, it's best to distance yourself from them.

There are some in my family that, I believe, make it their life's work to hate on me.

How do you hate on a disabled person anyway?

What the hell is that all about?

As if the disabled person does not have enough to deal with... It's just plain ridiculous to add yet another issue for the disabled person to deal with.

I have given the last ten years of my life to help hold my family together, to provide them with what they need, to nurse them while they're sick, to keep them out of jail when crimes have been violated, to pay bills when bill collecters call, to encourage when depression has set in, to forgive when they have violated trust and codes of respect.

But what do they give me in return? Grief, heartache, negativity, disrespect, anger, sorrow, blame, and hatred.

In the past, I would try to respond in the same manner of Christ. I would just take it. I would be hurt, but I wouldn't allow it to make me sin.

But things have changed. I have changed.

My stress level is high. I'm eating more, working out less, and gaining weight. I'm not resting well. And I'm doing something that I haven't been doing in years. Cursing...

But I can't let my family take the whole blame on that. Senator Clinton has to share that. **A little humor**

Between my folks and my anger at Clinton and the mainstream media, I have developed a vocabulary that I had freed myself from over ten years ago.

When I curse, my family should be alarmed. They should feel bad that they have pushed me over the edge like that. But they don't.

You know who feels bad? I do.

So, here I am having to deal with yet another issue on top of my blindness. I have to face the fact that I haven't done a great job at not being moved and tossed from my convictions. I have to face the fact that I have been broken and effected by adversity. I have to face the fact that these people that I love so much, that I would give my life for, bring out the worst in me rather than the best.

Pray for me. I'm frustrated. I'm sad.