Thursday, September 29, 2011

Joyful Post and flat Faced Dolls

It seems my Joyful Post of yesterday didn't publish. I Do Not Have a Recurrence of Cancer! Yeah!!!! I can put up with a Lot of inconvenience and pain, but I really wasn't sure I could face surgery and chemotherapy alone, without Ann, face it Again. Yesterday before I got test results part of me just said, "It doesn't matter, might as well check out now." But another part of me was curious to find out what my future will be like, what Positive things Might be possible, and I am Extremely Glad I will have some time to find out!

I like the Get Real Girls because of their articulation, ability to Stand Up, And the books and equipment which come with them make All of them sound intelligent and interesting. I never heard of Skylar until reading past doll collecting blog of Phily Collector, and now, of course, she has vanished. But if I just had to tell them apart by touching their faces, Without touching their hair, clothing, or equipment, I couldn't. Their hair helps, I like Nakia's braids. And I braided Nina's hair into one thick short braid, to identify her. I cannot remember the name of the blond doll in a swimming competition suit with a camera. Something like Corrie or Courtney, but it is her clothing and gear which identify her. The same is true of Gabi, or Gabbi, who is a Karate Champion, competing in Japan. Someone put some work into those little books.

I have a doll named Asia, and a doll named Reo or Rio. I don't know if they are Forever Girls, but I think they are called I Girls. Their faces aren't very different either, by touch, but luckily their hair and clothing are. These dolls too have good articulation, and the ability to stand up. But again, their faces aren't too different to touch.

The same is true of a doll labeled "Preppy" on the box, who is painted as an Asian Girl. I like the doll, but again, a generic flat face to the touch. I wonder why this is so when, if you bought them from some place like Amazon, (very high doll prices, but an ACCESSIBLE version of their website) they were $20 each, as expensive as a Barbie with more detailing. I guess they had to choose, spend the money on a realistic body type and articulation, Or head and face molds which differ.

Thanks for the info. on Dynamite Girls, don't think I will pursue them unless I find one I like on sale somewhere. Not likely, as no one is interested in dropping by a store to check out dolls with me anymore. I miss that very much, but have too many dolls already.


Once Ann and I were dancing around outside a huge medical complex. It was a time like this, when I might have had cancer, but DIDN'T! A man walked out and asked us just what we thought we were doing. I told him we were celebrating the fact that I did Not have Cancer, that it had Not come back! He decided that was a good reason to celebrate. I agree and though I must be thankful alone this time, I AM THANKFUL! Not cancer, probably troubles left over from chemotherapy and surgeries from Past ovarian cancer with one recurrence. That I can live with!

I mentally clothed the Buddhas in living cloaks of flowers in the colors of their families, long explanation, set colored sweet smelling candles in front of them, and sat them on thrones of semi-precious stone, lapis with gold flecks, turquoise and gold and green, etc. It is not that anything like this is required. But we are taught that "mental offerings" can be made when the physical ones are too expensive or not available. I couldn't dance with Ann, so I focused on visualizing my thankfulness in a differing way.

Part of me, to be honest, wouldn'[t have cared much if it was my time to die, I get that depressed at times, though I plan to do Nothing to harm myself. And a very slowly growing part of me is becoming Curious, to see what else positive I can learn, both from this experience, and from the future. I was Terrified of the thought of going through surgeries and chemo. alone, not sure I had the courage for it, by myself. But I don't have to Make that choice, I get to work on conquering more of my fear and trying to heal! What a gift!

So, I always torment my oncologist on Haloween and if I can put up with the problems I'm having until then, I think I'll be a lady bug this year.

You see, he brought it on himself. The first time I went to his office to hear my pathology report I already knew I was in for chemo. So I had all of my hair shaved off and a shiny silver prismatic tensil pageboy cut wig on, bought for $20 at a wig shop. So the Doc' walks in, says "Hey man, where'd you get the doo?" and bursts out laughing. That's why I did it, I knew I and everybody who helped me (oncology nurses, etc.) would All need a laugh.

But the Doc' was so embarrassed, (last time he'd seen me he had the grim job of telling me the side effects of his recommendation for the best chemo., etc. I was in a hospital bed two days after finding out I had cancer.) The Doc' is SO embarrassed he backs out of the room, closes the door, and Ann and I can hear him snorting and trying to stop laughing on the other side of it. When under control again, he comes back in, soberly says "Hello, my name is Dr. . . . and you may remember me from the hospital. I'm your oncologist and . . ." He soberly extends his hand and shakes mine, then continues to speak and answer all of my questions as though nothing at all had happened.

Later, when I was less scared, Ann and I cracked up, deciding the poor dude had a horrible job and needed a good laugh.

So I made him unusual Valentines, Ann and I Always dressed to Clash and I wore bizarre head gear for chemo. sessions, and I brought the Doc' chocolate for Easter and did something truly odd for Haloween. And my six month checkup this year is ON Haloween!

I've been an alien, a sicko Dr. with a name almost like his, Lady Insecta, a witch in a full face mask, a punk rocker, and parrot. I think That was the best, the end of an orange traffic cone for a beak, peach wing feathers cut by Ann from a blanket which had come apart during a move, yellow shirt, green pants, a red scarf holding on a Huge peach tail, also cut into a fan of feathers by Ann, and a pair of yellow dishwashing gloves, blown up and taped onto my shoes. With my feet in the stirups (only an Idiot would like that exam) the Doc' couldn't stop giggling at the parrot feet. And of course, my blanket cut into feathers tail had to be carfullyslung across the exam table.

I just don't have a lot of energy for this year's Haloween, but I'm thinking about a lady bug. One year I took some wash out color spray and made my head a pumpkin.

So we'll see.

I have a doll with green skin and black hair who is the Wicked Witch of the West. I think she is Wonderful!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Here's a link KSPR did on the cantaloupe

You may all already know about this. In our area just about all store bought cantaloupe come from Colorado. From what I can understand, at least one place which ships a lot o them out has cantaloupe contaminated with a bacteria which has caused deaths in Mo. and several other states. The bacteria, if, Again, I understand correctly, is on the outside of the fruit. But when you cut into it, a knife brings it Inside and that's how people end up eating it. Just washing with water is probably Not enough to make yourselves safe from this illness. KSPR is a Springfield, Mo. TV station.,0,6706734.story

Blogger, You've Done it Again!

I wrote a post today and I wrote a post Yesterday. My best guess is that the labels were too long. It may be for This reason that Both posts ended up in the Drafts folder and I CANNOT get them OUT with Keyboard Commands! Ben trying now to retrieve them for Two Hours!

The Joyful News, contained in Both, is that I do Not have a recurrence of Cancer! Yeah!!!!

But then two differing subjects were discussed on each of the days I Thought I had Published a Post!

Tomorrow I will see a friend who is sighted, and a Rodent (mouse) user. She does Wonders with my ancient computer and will probably be able to retrieve the posts for you. Thanks for your patience with this deaf-blind blogger AND, with itself. I have no more patience left for today.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tests, Questions, and Thanks, Plus a New Face

Tomorrow I go for a cancer check. I've been having pain for about a month, and other symptoms which could be A, colitis from stress, and diet change, or B, return of cancer. Am Sick of wondering and waiting, so called oncology office and begged for my blood test to be done so I could either decide what to do if answer is B, or Stop Worrying about it if Answer is A. Probably A, but unknown. Major cause of colitis, past chemotherapy, Yep.

I've been working Very hard to keep from feeling how I feel, and obviously, it still gets through. But One of the things I Didnn't know was how Tired I am. Am treating an ear infection which is stuborn, but Yeah, no hearing loss so far! The more I sleep, the more tired I feel And the Better I feel when I wake up. Maybe the test will show answer A and it's time for some kindness toward self and Rest!

Thank those of you who have answered my questions about Dynamite Girls, Power Team, and to the person who sent me a gorgeous gift. I am greatful for the kind answer to my question about the face of Yue Sai Wawa dolls and thank you for not being offended by my ignorance.

I found a new face at Chinasprout. I hope I'm spelling this name correctly. To me, via computer speech, all run together it sounded like "China'sproud." Another good name. But I was corrected by a friend looking at the website with me and Hope I got it right.

The new face is Mei Ling. There are three of her, and they Seem to have the same face, except possible in face length or breadth. Oops, it slipped out, didn't it. Upon discovering a new face I behaved like a Faringi (or Faringee) hot on the trail of gold pressed latinum bars. I'm referring to an alien species on New Generation Star Trek and Deep Space Nine. I liked DS9 much better in general.

But back to the face, it is a cross, to the touch, between Gia and Integrity Toys' old play doll Jade on one hand, and Yue Sai Wawa on the other. And I could afford the "doll greeding".

Those Dynamite Girls are Expensive! the cheapest I found on Ebay were $59 or so, and I wasn't certain those were Dolls or Outfits, so didn't get too near them. I called the Wal-marts in the poorer parts of Springfield, Mo., which sometimes have merchandise longer than anywhere else, they used to carry them, for $50 and $60 bucks in This area? I would be surprised at this, but then I haven't bought dolls at stores for two or three years.

Are the Dynamite Girls clones, meaning, different paint and skin color, but the same face? Sorry to keep asking questions, but now that Ann is gone, no one I know in my area gives a rip about Toy Dolls! And a raspberry to them.

Enough for tonight. Many blessings to all of you who have read my posts and answered my questions with such kindness, and for the gift.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Doll Questions for Doll Enthusiasts

I Do think internet sales are cutting into the sales of "brick and mortor" toy stores, as "A Phily Collector" has asked. I, for one, have to shop Ebay, (gurrrrr) and Amazon, They have an Accessible site, although NO accessible link for leaving feedback for Market Place sellers. I do not have transportation to Get to toy stores and do Not want anybody else picking out my dolls for me, because they don't know what to Look for. Other shoppers who can see can be distracted by clothing or paint jobs which make one doll visually Look different than another doll. For me, they All feel the same.

Here are some questions I cannot answer, now that I don't have sighted help shopping. Will you kind readers, please help, if you can find the time?

1. Who are Power Team? Are they dolls, 12 inch action figures, or what? If they have some cool guy figures, I'm interested. Too many girls with No guy friends or dates.

2. Do "Dynamite Girls" have oversized heads and faces like Bratz, Flavas, or (I think the spelling is) Live Girls?

3. Are there any dolls other than Mixis being sold which Don't have big heads?

Now we get to some questions which may seem too sensitive to be answered. Please remember, I am totally blind and Don't go around touching the faces of Other grown people Or children.

Can't say why, but I have always been Fascinated with faces, though I could never see well enough to look at them. So as a kid I had to ask my sister if Native Americans were red like a fire engine, I could see colors. I asked if white people looked like sheets, if Chinese people looked like lemons, and if African American people looked like patent leather. (Giving my age away with that one.) Of course, the answer to all of my questions was NO. I have since learned from Ann, who was a visual artist, that there are usually at least three predominant colors which make up Anyone's skin tone and with Well-made dolls, it is the same. Sounds very beautiful to me!

So I try to find people with a good eye for detail and the ability to describe well. Then I ask questions like: "Is this doll a warm tone brown, like she has a bit of red or pink in her skin, or a Cool tone, like a bit of purple in her skin?" With these sorts of specific questions and a good describer, I can Usually guess what colors of cloth will look good with a particular doll's skin tone and hair color. In hair, for example there is white blond, warm golden blonde, strawberry blond, which contains red, brown blond (sandy) etc. With darker colors there is brown/black, blue/black, black/brown, black with reddish highlights, etc.

I call my own hair color brack. Most sighted people just call it black. But it is really brown black, so dark that you have to Really look, to see the difference.

But I still have trouble with faces. I did touch Ann's face and it was most like Fiona of the Get Set Club, only smaller. Probably the closest to is is one of the smaller Teresa faces.

I have Gia from the Get Set Club as well as the other four. Their faces are All gorgeous and distinct.

Recently I got some Yue Sai Wawa dolls. I couldn't find their cheekbones. I mean no offense to anyone, I am ignorant! Jade from Integrity Toys has cheekbones, Gia does, Mulan does, are there Chinese people or Chinese-American people who have naturally rounded faces so that their cheekbones do not stick out, but blend into their faces?

I know many differing groups of people live in China and in Taiwan, where there are still a few aboriginal people. So is Yue Sai Wawa a doll with a "stylized face" or is she just an example of a differing kind of face, just as the face of Mulan is not like the face of Jade or Gia?

I know that the Princess line of Barbies tends to represent what is thought of at the Perfect face in each culture. And the "Princess of the Chinese Court" (I think that is the correct name, cannot look at the box to be sure) has a face which, if followed from one ear to the other, around the front, feels rouunded also. So I wondered if Yue Sai Wawa dolls are a Classic or Perfect style of faces.

Please excuse my ignorance and forgive any offense I may have caused anyone. My favorite subject in school was always geography, if it included the food, languages, customs, and dress styles of other cultures. I like music from Bolivia, Scotland, Senegal, Grece, and Bulgaria.

So I have always been fascinated by the variety of people on Earth, and how they look similar to, and different from one another. I like sculpting faces from clay, but like to be accurate, when I can.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

If you are Blind, Kira has Clones

When Arctic Barbie first came out I was very excited to see her. I had no ability to do so while she was sealed up in the box, so bought one of these dolls. When sighted people saw her they said she Did look kind of Inuit. But although she had kind of interesting clothing, I touched nothing but a smaller version of Kira's face. Sighted people said she was more brown than Kira usually is, and that her eyes were painted a bit differently. But she felt just the same to me. She had, of course, the same body, and a smaller but the same face. There was the same general face shape, the same short nose coming out at about the same angle, and the same distended eye flaps. Bummer.

The same thing is true of Miko, although since miko is a word in Japanese, I suppose that doll was supposed to Look Japanese. And again, the same face, a bit longer was on Chinese Barbie, the older Korean Barbie, though modified a bit.

I found a Barbie made in the Aname (sorry about spelling if wrong) style, from Japan. I couldn't stop laughing, Americans of European heritage had gotten our just deserts! (I am both Native and white). I laughed Hare! This little Barbie had saucer round eyes, a Long straight nose which stuck out like a sausage link glued where a nose Should be, Huge chunky jewlry, and a differently shaped face. I guess that might be what some of us look like to Japanse people.

I wish Barbie (Mattel) wasn't so Lazy about faces! Paint jobs which differ just Don't Do it for me. I hope no child from Asia, who is blind, is Ever given a Kira-faced doll and told that This is how She or He looks. Americans must be obsessed with Asian Women, where are the Men?

This is why I like dolls already mentioned in earlier posts who are from Asian countries but do Not have Kira faces!

Friday, September 23, 2011

An Entitlement or an Investment?

Last night I listened to the first hour of a radio show called Coast to Coast A.M. A man was talking about the economy. One of the things he said struck me. He had started working and paying into the Social Security System when he was 14 and was now in his seventies. The comment which grabbed my attention was, "That's not an entitlement, that's an investment."

I began thinking about my own family. My father worked from the time he was a teenager on the family farm, as well as graduating from high school. He served in Korea, was wounded, and continued to serve, walking in a cast. It changed him forever.

When a heroic war movie came on he ould stomp around the house, saying "That's not the way it is, not at all!" I remember him going to bed at 7:00 in the evening, to avoid having to watch and listen to the movies.

I remember names like "Hamburger Hill," and "Pork chop Hill" though they remained unexplained because I was a child.

I remember him talking about Korean women laying their living babies in front of his tank, in hopes that an American soldier would pick them up and help them, they were starving.

I think my father felt guilty for belonging to the human race after his experiences in Korea. Before his death he made us Promise Not to let the military give him a funeral and especially NOT to allow anyone to play Taps, as he'd heard it too many times during his life.

My father came back from the war and continued to work. He was an expert mechanic, working on race cars for fun after his day job, and once fixing the cadillac of Elvis, keeping it a secret until Elvis was gone from the area.

He worked in between cancer surgeries, while in pain. He worked without complaint until his body could go no farther. He died of cancer at age 39.

My Uncle served three tours in Vietnam and became disabled, partly as a result of his service, dying at age 62.

My mother's sister took care of and raised three kids and a husband. She decided she Must get thinner and lived on coffee, apples, (one per day I think) and diet soda. Eventually her body began attacking her muscle tissue, including her heart. She died of a massive heart attack at forty.

Both of my sisters work, as did my mother, until she became disabled in her sixties. One sister works two jobs, (Very common for people to splice two or three jobs together here) and pays Social Security taxes from Both. My other sister and brother-in-law both work full time, and have raised two smart and hard working kids.

So why is the support of Bank of America, Freddie Mac, Fanny May, City Bank, et al., Not Welfare? Why should leaders of greed be rewarded with millions in bonuses, while the Social Security taxes payed in by hard working Americans, many of whom have fought in their country's wars,, be considered an Entitlement Program?

This is Backwards and obscene. I often feel guilty for being a disabled person who lives "from entitlements". But I teach Braille as a volunteer, am trying to begin a tiny business, served as Ann's unofficial healthcare aide, (as she did for me) and try to share what I have, in food, money, etc. when I can. Ann and I either grew, received permission to pick, (fruit growing on trees which people didn't want to be bothered with) and processed our own food, except for the deer legally hunted for us by kind and generous friends and the veggies. and some fruit bought from our local Farmer's Market. We helped many people with extra food and by teaching them how to cook, make compost, sew, etc. I can only think that the Social Security Payments I live on are the compassion of my father, my uncle, my aunt. They invested, as do I, when I can, in our country.

Social Security is not an Entitlement Program, it Is an Investment!

The second hour of the show was about demons, I turned it off! Why not talk abou Bodisatvas instead? I know a deaf-blind woman who, with her partner, is fostering four deeply troubled children. She gardens and she Works with those kids! I know a blind woman who adopted a little girl whose mom had a serious drug problem. And she has Worked with that child, too! But are they contributing Enough to be Entitled to Social Security Disability?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Post Before Last

Post Before last is a front view of doll outfit I made. Picture taken by friend with cell phone. Let Steve Die

Have you ever watched anyone die? I have, for months and Years! It's Scary, it hurts those who love the dying person beyond any words to describe, and it's not pretty. I want Everyone to see this video from the Republican Presidential debates and one woman's response to it.

I have a friend, Now, in her fifties, and doctors Think she has heart trouble. But they won't test, or treat her because she has no insurance. She is Hoping to live until President Obama's healthcare program takes more effect, in Jan., 2012.

She had one surgery and had to give the hospital which did it legal title to her lnd and home, to pay for that. The hospital won't directly sell it, but will have some legal way to do so. If there eve comes a time when she cannot live with her college student son, she will be homeless, if she won't come and stay with me.

Doll We Weren't Able to Upload

Here's the picture of the doll we were having problems uploading. She has three changeable outfits and a swimsuit underneath.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Note on Attempted Pictures of Doll Clothing

The pictures were taken by a friend with cell phone. I don't yet have digital camera. One picture wouldn't come through to my E-mail, so only a back view of outfit was possible.

Also, with cell phone, tiny beaded flowers joining beads on top at the hip, for Singapore Airline Stewardess didn't show up. On the skirt, a vine of tiny golden beaded flowers winds in spiral from doll's right hip down and around, circling bottom of skirt. This did not sow up in cell phone pictures. Will have to wait for decent camera, sorry.

Doll Clothes I've Made

This one above is the backside of the beadwork.

Frontside of beadwork.

Punk outfit with changeable skirt.

If You Know Someone Who Needs or is Getting Medicaid

Thought you might know some people who would like to submit their stories, as suggested
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Action Alert: Advocates Prepare for the Largest Medicaid Rally in the Nation
In less than a week, hundreds of disability organizations will be storming the Capitol
to show Congress that “My Medicaid Matters”. This rally supporting the preservation
of Medicaid is expected to be the largest political action by the disability community
since the passage of the ADA, and has drawn together an impressive list of more than
80 sponsoring organizations.
The My Medicaid Matters rally
will take place on Wednesday, September 21st from 12:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern in front
of the United States Capitol.
Individuals attending the rally in Washington, DC will have an opportunity that morning
to attend a hearing by the Healthcare Subcommittee on Oversight and Government Reform
regarding Medicaid at 10 a.m. The meeting will focus on Medicaid eligibility and
long term care. We are encouraging advocates to pack the hearing to show that “My
Medicaid Matters”. If you are unable to make it in person, a live webcast will be
provided on the
House website
Share Your Story: Rally organizers are seeking personal stories about Medicaid that
will highlight the importance of this program for millions of Americans. The point
is to provide meaningful examples to policymakers that will encourage them to approach
the reform of Medicaid in a way that does not hurt Americans that depend on the program.
Even if you cannot attend the rally in person, email your stories to
Social Media: Be sure to follow the rally on Facebook and Twitter! We encourage people
to participate on Twitter using #Medicaid or on the
NCIL Facebook page
Talking Points: Health, Independence, Families, and Jobs!
Our message is loud and clear: “My Medicaid Matters!” Medicaid is more than just
health coverage. To people with disabilities, Medicaid means:
Medicaid provides hospital, doctor and other health services to low income families,
children as well as people with disabilities and older Americans
! Medicaid provides vital home and community-based services that allow seniors and
younger people with disabilities to live independently in the community.
! Medicaid provides services that support families in caring for their children who
have significant disabilities.
! Medicaid provides vital jobs for thousands of direct care workers throughout the
Reducing Medicaid means eliminating jobs, which will stifle the economy. This is
not a partisan issue! According to a recent Kaiser Foundation poll, 60 percent of
Americans want to maintain Medicaid and only 13 percent support cuts.
We demand that there be no arbitrary Medicaid cuts. Instead we support Real
Medicaid Reform
. We can protect our freedom, save money, and most importantly,
end the institutional bias
in Medicaid by:
Expanding the use of community-based services
Demedicalizing services
Expanding consumer directed options
Reorganizing Medicaid services to eliminate wasteful bureaucracy.
We urge lawmakers to include this approach and these principles in any plan that
addresses the deficit.
What’s happening in Washington?
The Bipartisan Congressional Super Committee, comprised of six Senators and six Representatives,
is charged with proposing targeted reductions in the federal budget of $1.5 trillion
over the next ten years - on top of the already $1 trillion cuts that were made as
part of the deal that created the process in the first place. The Super Committee
may employ any mechanism, from making cuts to creating revenue. One thing is clear.
Medicaid is now more vulnerable than ever before.
What to Expect at the Rally
Rain or shine, more than a thousand people from disability, aging, labor, religious,
and civil rights organizations will gather on Capitol Hill at noon. After the rally,
advocates will bring the message that “My Medicaid Matters” directly to Congressional
offices and distribute information about the important impact that this program has.
What is Happening Locally
While advocates are defending Medicaid in Washington, hundreds more from all over
the country will be flooding the phone lines of the Super Committee members with
the same message: “My Medicaid Matters!” There will also be simultaneous rallies
and press events occurring locally.
If you cannot make it to DC, join organizers across the nation at local rallies!
To list your rally, please send the time, location and address to
Los Angeles: 12:00 noon at the Governor’s Office in LA. 300 S. Spring St. For more
information, contact Terrance or Cynde at CALIF
(213) 627-0477
San Francisco: 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m. at the Civic Center Plaza. For more information
contact Derek at ILRCSF,
Parsons: 11:00 a.m. Media contacts are
, call
for details.
Chicago: 12:00 noon near Senator Kirk and Senator Durbin’s offices; Federal Plaza,
230 S. Dearborn. For more information contact Tom Wilson at
(312) 640-2125
10:00 a.m. at all seven of Senator Baucus’ offices statewide.
Columbus: 12 noon at the Office of Senator Rob Portman at 37 West Broad St.
Cincinnati: 12 noon at the Office of Senator Rob Portman at 36 East 7th St.
Cleveland: 12 noon at the Office of Senator Rob Portman at 1240 East 9th St. For
more information contact: Sue Hetrick at
Details will follow.
Medicaid is the public funding stream that provides health coverage for low-income
children and adults, as well as long term services and supports for people with disabilities
and low-income seniors. Over 58 million Americans rely on Medicaid services, and
millions more are connected to Medicaid in some way. We all know people who benefit
from the Medicaid program. For example:
Do you or someone you know use Medicaid long term services and supports?
Do you or someone you know use Medicaid to cover prenatal services to ensure a healthy
Do you or someone you know work as a home health attendant?
What does Medicaid pay for?
Medicaid pays for hospital, physician, dental, nursing facility, lab, x-ray, and
family nurse practitioner services. It also pays for home care and other services
that allow seniors and people with disabilities to live in the community, as well
as prescription medications, optometrist services and eyeglasses, prosthetic devices,
dental care and other community-based services and supports.
1710 Rhode Island Avenue Northwest Fifth Floor | Washington, D.C., DC 20036 US

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Last night I watched a rerun of Deep Space Nine in Which Captain Sisco and Dr. Bashir (never read name in Braille) and Lieutenant Dax were shifted into a time not too far in the future. The Captain and Dr. were held in a public "Sanctuary" in San Fransisco. It was a 20 square block area into which ten thousand people were held. Some were people with mental illnesses and no treatment, due to budget cuts. Others were simply unemployed. No one there had an official criminal record, but there were people who preyed on others.

A couple of friends were driving down a street several weeks ago and saw an elderly man holding up a sign. All it said was, "Hungry." As they were both working in jobs paying just over minimum wage they had a little money. They went to a nearby fast food joint and bought this man a meal. They asked him briefly what had happened in his life. He used to own a home, he had worked all of his life, but all of those things were gone now.

Tomorrow, one of the largest rallies of people trying to keep deep cuts from being made in the Medicaid Program will take place in Washinton, D.C. It will include many people with disabilities.

One of every returning veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan is already homeless.

Many "working poor" people can't even Qualify for Medicaid. And many have lost their homes due to unemployment and foreclosures.

Some families are divided. A husband and father must go to the shelter for men while his wife and children go to a differing shelter for women and children only.

Many people have forgotten survival skills like mending clothes, gardening, bartering, raising animals, and what will they do if the prices of food keep climbing?

All of these people Could very easily end up in a "Sanctuary." On the DS9 episode, when the inevitable riot began an th police began shooting, I couldn't stop my eyes from filling. That could be me, it already Is so many places today where there is war. It could be my healthcare aide who works to support her disabled husband and three kids. If Ann were alive, it could be her, and our veterans and the elderly man with a sign which simply said "HUNGRY!"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Buying lind on Ebay

Sometime ago I was looking on Ebay for dolls. A sighted friend was helping. We saw an interesting doll with an interesting fashion for a reasonable price. I'm not usually interested in doll clothing, as I can make my own. But the doll was cool, and different. So I bought it, only to find out that what was for sale was the Fashion Worn by the doll. The add sounded like it was for the doll, the description sounded like it was for a doll, and a good picture of the Doll was in the add. The sighted person and I Both thought the Doll was for sale.

I called Ebay Customer Service and was told to contact the seller. I did this, explaining that I am totally blind and respectfully asking that the seller please cancel the transaction.

The seller never responded. So another call to Ebay Customer Service and I was told just to cancel the transaction from my end in "My Ebay" which I did.

Then a case was opened against me and I called, you got it, Ebay Customer Service Again! I was told to contact the seller again and did so, asking why a case had been opened against me as I had contacted them some time ago, and had done everything Ebay had told me to do. Still no answer from the seller.

I got an E-mail saying that if I did not pay for this item my right to use Ebay could be suspended and guess who I called? This time I informed the Customer Service Rep. that I had been Told in each previous call that notes were being placed on my Ebay account, to the effect that I was doing my part to resolve the problem. The Rep. said just not to Worry about it, all had been dealt with by Ebay.

Yesterday I got an E-mail saying the case against me had been closed, But, if I didn't pay for the item my right to use Ebay might be suspended.

Back to the phone!!!! And I was told that this mess had been cleared from my Ebay record, I wouldn't be suspended from Ebay use, don't worry. This time the Rep. gave me a number referring to my conversation with her which I wrote in Braille. All other info. is kept in E-mails.

So today, thinking all was well, (fool me once) .. .

I ordered a doll from a list of that Type of doll. For example, let's pretend I ordered an Emerald doll from a line of Mixis dolls. Then "Green with Dragonflies" came up. (fool me twice) . . .

and with other names like Afternoon Tea, I thought it was a doll. It is either a shirt or an outfit. This time I paid for it and vowed Never again to buy Anything from Ebay again which did not Explicitly State whether a Doll or a Doll outfit was for sale, and many adds don't.

The National Federation of the Blind, (an active consumer group of blind people) is currently training their first class, in co-operation with Ebay, to sell On Ebay. I hope they are warning them about confusing advertising for people who can't see the picture, and sometimes for people who can, (like my sighted friend) as well.

There was no option to "contact the seller of the doll shirt or outfit I bought. So, I took it as a lesson to Quit shopping and because I Don't want Any More Hassle with Either Ebay Or its Sellers.

I tried to find a way to contact Ebay to suggest that they advise sellers that blind people may be working with them more, (there will also be a class of blind "Trainers" who train Others to use Ebay to buy and sell) but couldn't find any way to contact them and Just Couldn't Deal with talking to yep, Customer Service and listening to all those commercials about their Wonderful website while I was on hold.

So, for the doll enthusiasts who may read this, Please, if you are selling a doll or know friends who sell dolls via Ebay, Ask them to specify whether the title given to their add (such as "afternoon Tea) refers to a Doll In an Outfit or Just the Outfit!

This would help those of us who are either unable to see the adds Or who are sighted and see a Doll In an Outfit to Know What is for Sale.

Does Anyone know How to get this request TO Ebay? That Wonderful website is not completely accessible, by a long shot, and Sara the robot doesn't know a Thing about Screen Readers or blind people. I tried "chatting with her and she kept coming up with completely irrelevant info. on Other subjects.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Twilight Saga Jacob New Moon Doll

So what's with all the Vampires anyway? A friend asked me this the other day and all I could think of was Control Issues. After all, there are vampires so in love the Won't bite their lovers, there are fearful vampires lurking everywhere whom no one can control, and why the sweetening up of vampires? It is acceptable to drain someone's life, energy, to be a frienome? (haven't seen That word in Braille, of course.) Or is it just the acceptance of the fact that all friends sometimes hurt one another's feelings, by addident?

I didn't know Anything about Twilight Saga, don't watch the stuff. So I thought something was Wrong with Edward's weird, rubbery, funny textured face. I was informed that Vampires are no longer invisible in sunlight, they sparkle! I hope they jangle too, so I can stay away from them.

Then comes Jacob New Moon. An Indian? Hey, the Vampires came from Europe!

So, to have a Native looking doll would be nice. But he is played, as are many Native characters on TV, by Italian or Greek actors. Do I want to promote This trend? No. And Isn't there something a bit weird about the Native guy in the show turning into a Werewolf? I mean, let the Italian be a werewolf and a Native guy be a fellow vampire, with the rest!

How would African Americans feel if all of their wonderful actors and actresses were replaced with Latinos? There Would Be Conflict! How would European Americans feel if all of Their actresses and actors, many oof whom are wonderful, were replaced by Chinese?

So I guess this doll is probably "eye candy" like the rest, but I don't know that I will buy him, probably Not.

I'd Rather have a Hasbro "first responder" who looks Italian American or Greek American. That, at least is more honest and Believable.

Doll Ramblings

I like smart people to talk with. I like all kinds of music which has intelligent words. That includes folk, rock, a Little country, unfortunately I am too deaf to understand words to rap or hiphop.

So how does this have anything to do with Barbie? They put her in high places but they don't allow her to be Smart. Do you Really think Barbie has the qualifications to be President, an astronaut, or a doctor? What schools did she attend? Was she a State Governor or in Congress? I doubt that some of our Congress people Or some of our Presidents could have passed a high constitution test, Maybe Barbie Belongs in Congress, after all.

Anyway, I like Yue Sai Wawa dolls, some of the Imani dolls, and of course the Get Set Club dolls because they were Expected to be smart and to work at Becoming smart.

One of the problems confronting serious doll makers, (or profitable ones) is that the average age of girls who play with dolls has dropped so much. When I was a kid and the dinosaurs roamed it wasn't unusual, especially among poor families, for a girl to get her first Barbie or another fashion type doll at 8 or 9 years old. And tthey were played with through age 11 or 12, sometimes a bit longer.

Now Barbies and other dolls are routinely sold to girls of 3 to 7. It is hard to work Smart into this age group, And have the glitz and glammor to attract the eyes of little girls.

Yue Sai and Imani do this pretty well. I once had an Imani doll with three wigs, pretty clothes, and a booklet about faith in God, in herself, and a list of her African American role models, in various fields.

As much as I love the Get Set Club dolls, I think the materials sold with them were over the heads of 3 and 4 year-olds. The crafts suggested were excelent, but would have required adult supervision, probably through age 6 or so. And though I loved the idea of the painted toe nails matching their shirts, they didn't have the glitz and glam to attract the average overworked parent.

Parents who Worked very hard to make sure their daughters had good role models and a good self-image loved these dolls, as did I. And Barbie seems to me to have Tried to copy them with the New Generation dolls, which in general, I didn't like.

Barbie is nearly Always Overdressed. How many women do you know who have a layered, full skirted or belled out gown, with a tight bodice, a stole, fau fur something, a hat, purse, and of course, those dreadful little shoes, All Perfectly accessorized? And don't forget the jewelry, the layers of netting under the gown, And the tierra, if there is no hat.

Having One or Two dolls like this is fun, Pretend land. But All of them?

It seems lke if Barbie isn't Overdressed she's Underdressed with something tacky. For myself, I have disconnected stoles which drag the ground from gowns and found that the dolls "looked Better for it. They Felt better to me, because I could Finally feel what the doll was like, And sighted friends said some of them also really visually Looked better.

But there Is a difficult balance to be struck. Enough sparkle tointerest the eye, and not So much that it looks ridiculous. Not an Easy balance to maintain.

Male dolls seem not to be dressed for work, unless they are dancers or in the military. This is unfortunate, too. Prince Menelik, from Olmec dolls is handsome, well dressed, And intelligent looking. He could be an ambasador from an African country. He could be an actor or performer. He is a Royal visiting the states, on business? It's Possible.

Too many Ken dolls hang out on the beach, go to the prom, or spend their time building up abs and figuring out where to take Barbie that night.

It's great to have fun, but a life Other than parties and beaches is good, too. Yue Sai dolls are always good in school, even if only One is a Dr. practicing both Eastern and Western medicine, and one, (my favorite) is an environmentalist.

My pproblem with Yue Sai dolls is that their faces all feel pretty much alike. I Do love their clothing and long hair. And I am told the Panda Protector looks different visually, as she is from Seschuan (can't use spell check on blogger, sorry) Province. There are so Many kinds of Chinese and Chinese-American faces, why not Make a few?

New subject. I have an ethical dilemma. Fashion dolls are made of petrolium and petrolium byproducts. they probably degrade very slowly, in biological terms. We in the U.S. had our "industrial revolution" and got what we wanted plus flooding the world with Our kinds of Stuff.

I really would like to see dolls made in other countries, Fulla, and her Iranian equivalent, dolls from Vietnam, India, etc. I would like to learn about the looks, clothing types, and hair styles of these and many Other countries. But should I buy dolls produced under Horrible working conditions, which also pollute? I can't see pictures of people from around the world, so Dolls are the only way I can learn. If I type in "describe traditional female outfits, Vietnam" I usually get Pictures with a few comments. So, what to do?

New Subjject. Question: Do the Dynamite girls have giant heads?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Life and The Venting Tape

Life and Venting Tape

Things which don't work well, or don't work at All in a body can still hurt. My ear is trying it's best to repell an infection. I'm trying to help because it hurts a Lot and because each time in the past when I've gotten a serious one, I have lost more hearing.

It has rained all day and may rain for several days to come. The land Needs the water. Not as bad as Texas, but still, we are below normal a couple of inches for the year. Horrid smelly toad stools will probably be growing in the yard again, (hold your nose if you kick one Over!) Cold and damp today, the place smells like a wet dog, and so does the dog, for some reason.

But he is a healthy dog and it's a good day for staying in, if you have that luxury, drinking hot herbal tea and eating a bit of cayenne pepper or something else which opens sinuses and ears.

About the Venting Tape I made.

I learned not to cry pretty early and cannot cry easily now, but I can sing! Because I am driven by a need to communicate, and Hopefully be understood, I'd like to share some of the words from songs on my Venting Tape with you, they Aren't all depressing.

Any mistakes in words are my own, as, even with hearing aids, I cannot catch all words correctly.

From "Let Life Flow" album by Kenny Neal with Thanks.

(to a happy beat)"Every time I turn around, The blues is right there. I take a deep breath, the blues is in the air.

(chorus) I say the blues Please leave me alone! I think you oughta go back, to your troublin' home."

From the same album, but written by Ray "Blue" Bland,

You gonna cry, Oh you gonna cry, and when the tears stop fallin' They stop fallin, all down your face, They still fall, down in your heart,
You never know, how long the wound take to heal, Might take months, Could take years,
But that's the way love works, You gotta hurt, Before you heal."

Kenny Neal's album "Let Life Flow" began as he was in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy and couldn't get out of bet. He just started writing.

Let Life Flow

"And just when you think, you got it all figured out, Here comes somethin' you'd never dream about, Life is so unpredictable, That's the way it is."

During year Mr. Neal lost his father, his drummer with whom he was close friends, and his sister was abducted and murdered. That was the year he also underwent chemotherapy.

"You Gotta Hurt Before You Heal" (a cover) is performed to a gospel sound and was the first song I played for Ann's Memorial Get Together at our former rent house. It was attended by about 25 people. I had no money to rent a place.

Ruthie Foster from the album, "The Truth According to Ruthie Foster"

"I don't know nothin' 'cept change will come.. Year after year what we do is undone, Time gets movin' from a crawl to a run, And wonderin' if we're ever gonna get home! Feel like your walkin' down that highway, And all the signs got blown away, Sometimes you wonder if you're walkin in the wrong direction."

(chorus which seems to me like an important life choice)
If you break down, I drive out and find you. If you forget my love, I try to remind you. Oh and stay by you, when it don't come easy, when it don't come easy."

Never would o' got here, Listenin' to doubt, Conquered my fears and I found my way out, of Depression"

From same album to a happy beat, this is part of the song I chose for the last song of Ann's Memorial Get Together.
"Well I woke up early this mornin', I was feelin' mighty bad. And I searched my heart and I found the reason why, Stead of thinkin' of where I am, I was thinkin' 'bout where I been, and forgot to give Thanks for the joy of livin' my life with you!"

I think of the things Ann has taught me and given me and try to thank her each time I hear that song.

Tab Benoit, from his album "Power of the Ponchartrain"

"There's a (word I can't hear) moon watchin' tonight, There's a garden that's left to grow wild, There's a sound with no name, When a far away train cries like an unloved child."

(Chorus) Why oh why, I wanna know, She went and left me, with nowhere ta go. Why oh why, can you tell me my friend? It's midnight and lonesome again.

Is the moon still lonely I wonder sometimes. Is that why the train had to cry? I ask out loud, but there's no answer now. I'm just talkin' to the sky."

"Now the morning is time to get ready, In the evenin' you take off your shoes, When you work out all day, The sun has gone away, And midnight lays claim to the blues."

Tab Benoit is the founder of

From the same album to a happy country/Cajun beat,
"Somethin's in the water and it's callin' my name. If I work another hour I'ma go insane …"

Hey, they gonna see me comin' before the sun dries the mornin' dew. Hey, you know that I can't wait, to go sac au-lait fishin' down on Whiskey Bayou."

Mr. Benoit pronounces the name of that particular fish like it's spelled, crapy. He explained that no one really wanted to fish for crapy, so it is called sac au-lait (sack of milk) in French. In S. Mo. We get around this problem by Mispronouncing the name of that fish as though it were spelled Cropy.. Until I heard Mr. Benoit's explanation I thought it Was spelled Cropy or Croppy.

Last but not least, Reba Russell Band. From there album "Bleeding Heart"

Played and sung with humor as well as anger.

"I been sittin' here thinkin' about my past, All the places I been and people I've seen, And as I look back over my life, There it is, that ol' reason why I'm so Mean!
Some people need to be remembered, Some people need to be remembered, Some people need to be remembered, And Some People need to be Forgot!"

The above is the chorus to this song. Ann and I used to sing it when we decided to stop fighting the insurance company which refused to fix the house I bought in May, which was hit by a tornado, rocked on it's foundation, and foundation cracks appeared, letting in flood water. We left and let the bank have it. Mold was making it difficult to breathe and so was the bleach we tried to clean away the mold with. Some Things need to be let go of.

"Freedom Day" by Kelly Hunt, on her album "Mercy" was another song which always mace me think of Ann, so I played it for a couple belonging to our Buddhist group, who stayed until the last of the Gathering's mess was cleaned up.

I hope you have gotten something good from this little journey with me into Blues Land. I get tired of Any kind of music which just says either "I got to screw you right now" or "You are scum because you left me."

But good words and tunes are healers and I thank all of the musicians listed above for their writing and I thank their bands for playing songs which have helped me get through this year so far!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Beading Doll Clothes Blind

Have to write early today. It's supposed to storm and although my computer is quite old (over 10 now) and could be replaced, the software which makes it speak, (screen reader program) costs about $1,000. So whenever it's supposed to storm I unplug computer and modem.

I love texture. When I started weaving I chose tapestry weaving in which a lot of specific stitches had to be learned to create spirals, etc. I decided Not to weave anything which was not interesting to Feel, as well as See.

Same goes for beading. I cannot see other peopple's bead work, so design my own patterns in my head. I can't see colors now so mark each pill or vitamin bottle of beads (seems like zillions of them) with color as described by an artist, and price. A lot goes into color. Is it shiny or mat? Is it clear, translucent, silver lined, or non-see through? What is it made of, glass, metal, wood, etc.? All of this is stated on the "pen friend" label for the bottle.

Then I cannot line beads up on a groved rack and "shoot a rack" (insert long beading needle and thread through a whole line of beads to fit a color pattern I've made up). So I sew on One bead at a time, attaching my line of beads to the cloth via a self-threading needle (they do not thread themselves) every two or three beads. The needles I use have a partially open eye which thread can be popped through.

But these needles are Not small enough to go through some seed beads or tiny bugle beads. So I use heavy fishing line to thread through tiny beads, then thread the line on a needle to sew the beads down. It's a painstaking and time consuming process and sometimes it just doesn't work out because I've chosen the wrong fabric (stretchy pliable soft leather for example, thin enough to tear easily) to work on.

One of my talents is a "correct the flaw in this work" talent. Since I make up the patterns, choose the fabric, and do the beading, I am always experimenting.

I like to work with drapery fabric or thin upholstry fabric, too. It is often more interesting to touch than flat cotton, which may have a Great visual design on it. I Hate it that stores just Pitch their sample books, when I would pay a little something for them and use what samples I could for doll clothing. Another example of our Wasting what Earth and fellow humans have provided, in the name of the dollar!

This is how my bead work on doll clothing gets done. People sometimes ask me why go to the trouble? All I can say is I love doing it while listening to an audio book or a DVD. It calms me to have something to do with my hands and it makes me happy. What Better reason? And it isn't hurting anyone.

For tapestries woven on a loom I can use larger beads and more standard bead weaving techniques, along with tapestry stiches.

If I ddon't write tomorrow it is still storming.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So MUCH Frustration

Are you as frustrated as we are that mainstream media in the US continues to ignore
the growing conflict and human rights abuses in Burma? Did you know Burma's generals
have been attacking communities in Northern Shan State, breaking a longstanding ceasefire
and displacing 30,000 Shan civilians? Probably not by following mainstream media.

The above is one part of an E-mail from the U.S. Campaign for Burma. They don't have oil, just rubies, a Lot of refugees, and the main stream media stinks, so far as I'm concerned.

I'm frustrated by the infant mortality rates and deaths of young people in N. St. Louis. I'm frustrated by the diabetes rate which causes amutations, more deaths from alcohol and drugs, and suicides on reservations and "Indian country" in Oklahoma. And Yes, I am frustrated about mass murder and rape in the Congo, Somolia, and starving people in Somolia and the genocide which has taken place in Cambodia and now Burma.

A Buddhist teacher once said there had been a Buddhist genocide, adding up deaths of monks and nuns and lay Budhists in China, Tibet, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Burma, during the past 50 years or so. But that seems to be the record of the twentieth century into which I was born. What people Hasn't been attacked en mass? The ones at the top who make the decisions, I guess.

Ann's family lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They have the largest, or one of the largest Burmese refugee populations in the U.S. right now. There has been a lot of anger and tention in Fort Wayne because many of the Burmese people are used to chewing and spitting something which Might be spelled "pon" and evidently it stains things. For a while, I was told, there were signs up at some businesses saying "No Burmese". But lately the problem seems to be resolving itself as the newest wave of immigrants gets acculturated.

I haven't lived in many places. But in the 1980's, Fort Wayne was one of the most racially friendly towns I've ever lived in. I hope it becomes that way again, Including its Burmese population!

The U.S. Campaign for Burma is asking people to write about the genocide there in "social media" to try and make our government care. I don't like and don't trust "social media" except for this blog, so this is my drop in the bucket.

They don't have diamonds like the Congo or Sierra Leone. And they don't have oil like Libya or Iraq. But maybe Someone will care.

And No, I am Not trashing OUR soldiers who are in Iraq. I disagreed always with the decision to go there. But my father served in Korea and my uncle did three tours in Vietnam. A military man told NPR during the Sept. 11th, 2001 ceremonies that the military was getting a "higher caliber of recruit" due to te bad economy. A Horrible choice to make to support your family in this way.

Another rant, I know, but I Do think many things are connected to one another.

Half a Cup

It's been a tough week. Someone tried to break into the house I rent through the window by my bed. Ann wasn't here, even if I had been awake, and I Wasn't! Was sleeping with hearing aids out. Only found out the next day.

Panic attacks were very bad. When Ann was alive we had arrangements. One of us yells "call the police" or "call 911" the other one does, immediately. Also, Ann might say "I'm going out to sit on the swing for half an hour, it's a nice night." If I didn't join her and she was out forty-five minutes, I went out to yell and make sure she was ok. When I took out the dog in a snow storm it was, "I taking out the dog, if I'm not back in ten minutes come looking." Now there is no one, scary.

Also I fell today, cracked the joint between my leg and hipbone Good on a rock! The person with me freaked, I just laid still and took stock, to see if I was ok and could get up. If somebocy falls, Don't Grab Them!

I'm ok, one cheek has big bruise and I ain't turnin' the other! When I have to step down with that foot an involuntary noise comes out of my mouth. But nothing broken. It kind of hurts no matter what I do and Really hurts if I do Anything too long. I can't wait until tomorrow and Sat.!
Cup half empty?

Somebody Didn't succeed in breaking into my house. The window was down. Don't know if they didn't want to break it or the dog say up on foot of bed and maybe they saw a shadow with the full moon outside? But I took precautions with windows which won't lock afterwards. More trouble for someone next time.

In Springfield they say they have more burglaries now, because of the economy. I am not so desperate I have to rob anyone and That too is good fortune.

I can still walk, still groan, still sew for dolls, which Doesn't use my leg or hip. Altogether, I think I have some things to be glad about. Not Polly Anna stuff, not the panic attacks, or wanting to yell at Ann for not being here. Not the fall (first in many years) or the pain. But life is a very fragile thing, even if we humans don't like to admit it. And it can be taken away by a stranger at your bedside, a fall, or a snow storm. So I'm glad to still be here and to have friends to help me make this place some safer.

Temperature was 99 degrees F. on Tuesday. Since then it has been plummeting at night. Last evening, someone came over just to make sure the pilot light on my furnace was lit, it was needed. I can light a candle, incense, my gas burners and maybe the oven safely. But the pilot light on each furnace is a bit different and as I just moved here this Summer, I didn't even know where the thing was. But I Did know where all of the light switches are, so my friend could find it. Cup half full at least is my decision!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Two Dissapointing Barbie Dolls

When I got the updated DOW Barbie from India I liked her a lot. She had what seemed to me to be a more realistic sari, a length of bright cloth carefully wrapped and draped, (was it Pink, Again?) and instructions for wrapping a sari in the box.

Then when I heard about the Festivals of the World Diwali I thought (foolishly) "Oh cool, there are so many Different ethnic and language groups of people in India. I wonder what She will be like?"

Her Outfit is different and doubtless, pretty. But touch the dolls and they are Exactly the Same! From the tips of their toes to the size and flair of their noses, these dolls are Clones! Boring! I sasked a sighted friend to look them over and she said their skintones were the same.

So What's the big deal about Diwali Barbie? Must be the belly button that makes her worth $100 on some sites. I never knew that sighted people put so much store by an exposed belly button. Why not get the person you love to wear a fancy and low slung skirt at home and dance, showing her/his belly button and save a lot of money?

Of All the creative things they could have done with Either the updated DOW from India, Or Diwali, you sighted folks fell for a cheap marketing trick, I think.

Doesn't any beautiful woman Besides a Hindu Princess attend the Diwali Festival? Why not show someone with a differing skin tone or curly hair, and a Different face?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stressed out, so corrected post, New opinions re: Barbies

WWell this is totally embarrassing! I find I am repeating myself and the only excuse I can offer is I'm a bit rattled today, someone tried to break into my house last night. They tried to come through the window by my bed.

A friend came over to help me secure the house a bit and found rot on most of the window frames. His comment was, "Boy you picked a beauty when you picked this one to rent." To which my answer was, ""Dude, this is called a Rent House, I've never Lived in a rent house where all of the glass was secure in the windows and all the frames were in good condition." The house Ann and I lived in had windows just as bad or worse, and my friend and aide said her family had to have the windows of their rental home repaired before they could even Live in it.

There are some small efforts at tenants rights in S. Mo. BUT, I haven't found ANYWHERE a person or agency which will help renters who get evicted Because they tried to Attain their supposed Rights. So I didn't try.

Anyway, maybe I can now try to say something New and more Relevant about Barbies than repeating myself. If anyone is reading this, I apologize to you for boring repitition.

I like the Barbie I think is Princess of the Pacific Islands, because her hair looks just like mine did before two rounds of cancer surgeries and chemo., and Ann's death. Maybe I'll name the gray streaks I've accumulated.

Ann and I changed the face of the Thai Dancer Barbie, so it looks a bit different than a standard Kira face. I've been told that Kira's face does not look like Any Asian woman's face. Friends have said that Barbie's Singapore Airline Stewardess, Chinese New Year, and Gia of the Get Set Club and Mulan, by Disney all lood more like the faces of real women, as does Emerald of the Mixis dolls.

The Very Velvet Barbie and Christy, did they call her that, were very nice dolls. Both were built like dancers and neither had a usual face. I did like their outfits, too. I didn't like the Kira face and Ann disliked Extremely the Teresa dolls looks.
like the Kwaanza Barbie and the older Barbie dolls with African style clothing, Kente Cloth? Haven't read That word in Braille either. See how important Braille literacy is to spelling? My Spell Check will Not work on a post at Blogger, thank you.

Those older Barbies had lovely hair and clothing. For similar reasons I liked both Ghanaian and Kenyan Barbies. The Kenyan Barbie seemed by touch, to have a modified Mackey face, and both the Ghanaian and Nigerian Barbies seemed to have modified Christy faces, by touch. But in these cases I wanted to know about the clothes women (probably Rich women) in these countries might wear. I liked Ghanaian Barbie's jewelry, also.

Sometime you should close your eyes and set out a row of Christy faces, Kira or Chinese DOW, Teresa faces, and see how well you do at telling the difference between the light and dark complected ones, or even which doll is which, by Just touching their faces. You might do very well, if you handle your dolls a lot. But Have you ever checked out their faces by touch?

Back to an earlier subject, searching for Native Americans in the world of Barbie. I think the following could all be at least part Native American. The Old Dow. from Brazil, the Old Dow. from Chile, Hispanic Twirly Curls, the AA doll with Crystal in her name and crystal jewelry, the All Grown Up Skipper AA, who got stuck "baby sitting" Three Kids, (that's a Day Care Center, the girl needs some Help! Rosa Exotica, New Generation Anna, an older DOW from Mexico, and of course Princess of Ancient Mexico, Princess of the Navajo, (who is King, I wonder?) and Princess of the Ancient Incas. By touch, even though her clothes were different, Arctic Barbie had another Kira face.

I get sick of the "mystical Indian" Barbies like "baby Blue Feather" who "just seem to know (understand) these things", or something like that, GAG!
And I do like the Northwest Coast Barbie, even If she's not shaped like any of the other people on her box.

Well, More than enough from me for now! I guess Teresa and Barbie come in for examination next.

Some of my Favorite Barbie Dolls

There is a particular Birthday Wishes Barbie with a white lace and lavender outfit. She has a barrette in her hair which is dark, and could be either Latina or African American. Her outfit is simple but pretty and kind of classy, and there is just something which feels Good about this doll. She doesn't have a typical Christy face, for one thing.

There is also a Happy Holidays African American Barbie who came in what was described to me as a raspberry pink gown, overdone, in my opinion. I was told she needed a red gown, that the warm tone in her skin did not look good with the pink. I liked her for her Truly black, straight hair which wasn't fly-away (as is the hair of many Kira dolls, for Some reason) and her rooted eye lashes. She is now dressed in white and turquoise and everyone comments on how pretty she looks.

I liked "Radiant Rose" Barbie, even though she had a kind of Christy face, to touch. I can't see the paint jobs which may make one doll look different, or have a different complexion from another. But Radiant Rose had lovely hair, wavy and thick. I also liked the velvet of her skirt. And the description of her coloring did sound lovely.

Model of the Moment Barbie has sold me an African American doll with an Afro and I have been told, very dark skin. I put one of these dolls in the Dancing Fire Barbie outfit and a white feather in her hair, which looks like ash fluff. Why should a fire goddess only come in white? I put another of these dolls in Bohemian Barbie's outfit and the colors look great on her, from what I'm told. I remember color well enough to think they might. The interesting thing, (or one of them) is that on Bohemian Barbie the outfit looks revealing. On Model of the Moment (was her name Nichelle Urban Hipster?) it looks beautiful but concealing, especially since I tied the cape from Bohemian Barbie's waist around the Model of the Moment's shoulders.

I am always looking for Native Americans among Barbies. In general, I'm underwhelmed. But two exceptions are the "Northwest Coast Native American" doll and the Princess of the Navajo, (although the Navajo people do not have Princesses.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

The President Isn't Keeping Promises, Again

I am not posting this to encourage Anyone to join, Or to get anyone to write a letter to the editor of a local paper, unless They Want to.

I am posting this and the previous post to say that I'm disgusted with many of the actions President Obama has chosen to take.

Unlike the message below, I think there probably Are some Republican Congress People who support clean air legislation. President Obama, who has a Daughter with asthma, but can afford to move Away from corporate air polluters when his term is, or his two terms are up, is Not living up to his campaign pledges about nuclear disarmament Or protecting the Environment. Must be nice t be able to move away.

I usually try to vote for the Presidential candidate I think will do the Least Harm. But I'm beginning to Wonder who that could be next time. Should I vote at all?

Our President Inherited a Huge mess when he came into office. But adding More nuclear weapons to the world and helping to Increase air pollution were Not a part of it. Will he or whoever becomes the Next President have to deal with the New messes of President Obama, too? I Had hoped he could straighten out at least a Few things, and I do support the Affordable Care Act, with all of its imperfections. He has done this and what else to help ordinary Americans?

I Never thought I would join those who criticize President Obama, simply because he Did inherit such a mess. But I Do disagree with him Strongly on creating More nuclear weapons and on Overruling the EPA on clean air rules!

Dear MoveOn member,
I have some tremendously upsetting news: Late Friday, President Obama overruled EPA
science and blocked crucial new protections against smog pollution that have been
years in the making.
The decision came after a major campaign by corporate polluters and Republicans to
kill the rules.
The result, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, is likely to be tens
of thousands of premature deaths
, as well as increased illness among seniors, kids with asthma, and people who have
lung problems.
Worse, in announcing his decision,
President Obama repeated discredited tea party talking points
about environmental rules costing jobs. The reality is that these standards were
the best thing for the economy and the environment. And clean air protections are
the perfect issue to remind Americans that enforcing rules to protect citizens' health
and safety is one of the most important roles for our government.
With congressional Republicans planning a series of votes starting this week to block
other health and environmental standards, we need to set the record straight, right
Will you write a letter to the editor of your local paper reminding folks that environmental protections like these smog rules protect our health AND strengthen our economy?
Our website will give you some tips and make it easy for you to submit the letter
to a newspaper near you. And your letter will help persuade folks in your community
that we shouldn't be tearing our government down—we should be making it work.
President Obama tried to bury this news by announcing it hours before Labor Day weekend.
But on Labor Day we need him standing up for the kinds of health and safety protections
that working folks and labor unions have spent decades fighting for, not repeating
Republican talking points about how we don't need them.
What's more, Nobel-Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman pointed out that this anti-smog
rule would actually create clean energy jobs: "It would have forced firms to spend
on upgrading or replacing equipment, helping to boost demand. Yes, it would have
cost money—but that's the point!"
Help push back against tea party Republicans' message that we can't afford to protect
our health and safety.
Write a letter to the editor today.
Thank you.
–Adam, Robin, Marika, Peter, and the rest of the team
1. "Obama pulls back proposed smog standards, in victory for business," The Washington
Post, Sept. 2, 2011.
2. ibid.
3. "Obama asks EPA to back off draft ozone standard," Los Angeles Times, Sept. 2,
4. "A Debate Arises on Job Creation and Environment," The New York Times, Sept. 4,
5. "Broken Windows, Ozone, and Jobs," The New York Times, Sept. 3, 2011.
Want to support our work?
We're entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big
checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way.
Chip in here
any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to Teresa Myers on September
6, 2011. To change your email address or update your contact info,
click here
. To remove yourself from this list,
click here

New Nuclear Weapons Plant for Kansas City, Mo.?

Begin forwarded message:
David Sladky < >
September 9, 2011 7:26:56 AM CDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
[ppmo-discuss] The Latest Nuclear Weapons Plant
September 8, 2011
The Latest Nuclear Weapons Plant
Should the U.S. government be building more nuclear weapons? Residents of Kansas
City, Missouri don’t appear to think so, for they are engaged in a bitter fight against
the construction of a new nuclear weapons plant in their community.
The massive plant, 1.5 million square feet in size, is designed to replace an earlier
version, also located in the city and run by the same contractor: Honeywell. The
cost of building the new plant—which, like its predecessor, will provide 85 percent
of the components of America’s nuclear weapons—is estimated to run $673 million.
From the standpoint of the developer, Centerpoint Zimmer (CPZ), that’s a very sweet
deal. In payment for the plant site, a soybean field it owned, CPZ received $5 million.
The federal government will lease the property and plant from a city entity for twenty
years, after which, for $10, CPZ will purchase it, thus establishing the world’s
first privately-owned nuclear weapons plant. In addition, as the journal Mother Jones
has revealed, "the Kansas City Council, enticed by direct payments and a promise
of ‘quality jobs,’ . . . agreed to exempt CPZ from property taxes on the plant and
surrounding land for twenty-five years." The Council also
agreed to issue $815 million in bond subsidies from urban blight funds to build the
plant and its infrastructure. In this lucrative context, how could a profit-driven
corporation resist?
Kansas City residents, however, had greater misgivings. They wondered why the U.S.
government, already possessing 8,500 nuclear weapons, needed more of them. They wondered
what had happened to the U.S. government’s commitment to engage in treaties for nuclear
disarmament. They wondered how the new weapons plant fit in with the Obama administration’s
pledge to build a world free of nuclear weapons. And they wondered why they should
be subsidizing the U.S. military-industrial complex with their tax dollars.
Taking the lead, the city’s peace and disarmament community began protests and demonstrations
against the proposed nuclear weapons plant several years ago. Gradually, Kansas City
PeaceWorks (a branch of Peace Action) pulled together the local chapter of Physicians
for Social Responsibility, religious groups, and others into a coalition of a dozen
organizations, Kansas City Peace Planters. The coalition’s major project was a petition
campaign to place a proposition on the November 8, 2011 election ballot that would
reject building a plant for weapons and utilize the facility instead for "green energy"
The significance of the Kansas City nuclear weapons buildup was also highlighted
by outside forces. In June 2011, against the backdrop of the Obama administration’s
plan to spend $185 billion for modernization of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex
over the next ten years, the U.S. Council of Mayors voted unanimously for a resolution
instructing the president to join leaders of the other nuclear weapons states in
implementing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s five-point plan for the elimination
of all nuclear weapons by the year 2020. It also called on Congress to terminate
funding for modernization of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and nuclear weapons
systems. Addressing the gathering, the U.N. leader declared that "the road to peace
and progress runs through the world’s cities and towns," a statement that drew a
standing ovation.
Even more pointedly, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, the Vatican’s ambassador to the
United Nations, appeared in Kansas City in July 2011. According to the National Catholic
Reporter, Chullikat "came to this Midwestern diocese because it is the site of a
major new nuclear weapons manufacturing facility, the first to be built in the country
in thirty-three years." In his address, the prelate remarked: "Viewed from a legal,
political, security and most of all—moral—perspective, there is no justification
today for the continued maintenance of nuclear weapons." This was the moment, he
declared, to address "the legal, political and technical requisites for a nuclear-weapons-free
world." Highlighting Chullikatt’s speech, the National Catholic Reporter declared,
cuttingly: "The U.S. trudges unheedingly down the nuclear path. Now more than ever
we need to attend to the messages of the often marginalized peacemakers in our midst."
Actually, peace activists in Kansas City looked less and less marginalized. Nearly
5,000 Kansas City residents signed the petition to place the proposition rejecting
the nuclear weapons plant on the ballot, giving it considerably more signatures than
necessary to appear before the voters.
Naturally, this popular uprising came as a blow to the Kansas City Council, which
put forward a measure that would block the disarmament initiative from appearing
on the ballot.
At an August 17 hearing on the Council measure, local residents were irate. "You
cannot divorce yourselves from the hideously immoral purpose of these weapons," one
declared, comparing the city’s subsidy for the weapons plant to financing Nazi gas
chambers "for the sake of ‘jobs.’" Referring to the Council’s charter, which provided
for the appearance of propositions on the ballot when they secured the requisite
number of signatures, the chair of PeaceWorks asked: "Are we a government of laws
or of . . . corporations and special interests?"
Since then, the situation has evolved rapidly. On August 25, the City Council voted
12 to 1 to bar the proposition from the ballot. The next day, the petitioners went
to court to block Council interference. Honeywell, CPZ, and their friends dispatched
a large legal team to Kansas City to fight against the citizens’ initiative, securing
a court decision that might delay redress for years. In response, Peace Planters
seems likely to speed up the process by crafting a new petition—one that would cut
off city funding for the plant.
Whatever the outcome, the very fact that such a struggle has emerged indicates that
many Americans are appalled by plans to throw their local and national resources
into building more nuclear weapons.
Lawrence S. Wittner
is emeritus professor of History at the State University of New York/Albany. His
latest book is
Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement
(Stanford University Press).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Greek Festival

I was invited by some people I love very much, to go to Kansas City
with them, for a Greek Festival being held there. It started Friday night, (Sept. 9,) and will go on into

The head of the family I traveled with has many relatives in Kansas City and it is a yearly
chance for him to get together with them. Younger family members have learned to cook some delicious richly flavored Greek food and the kids called their grandma yaya and grandpa is papu. Sorry if my spelling is wrong, I haven't read these names in Braille.

The first thing I noticed was the music! I'd been told that it was so loud I could
take out my hearing aids and still enjoy it. Not true, but With my hearing aids
it was just about right for a big outdoor space, in front of the Greek Orthodox Church, where the Festival was held. The Festival is not only a chance for families
to gather and enjoy traditions, it's a fundraiser for the Church.

It was explained to me that the instrument I was hearing was a bouzouki, butmythe explainer pronounced it bazuki. He said it had a Very long neck, and a body somewhat like a mandolin.

It was backed up by a drummer and a guitar, both of which, mostly played rhythm.
The bouzouki had the melody and What a Range!
The low notes were as low as a guitar, and the High notes were Higher than a mandolin
and kind of a cross between a mandolin and a violin.

The head of the family said the music he grew up to was slower and softer, as
no electric amplifiers were available then. But this music was mostly fast and happy
sounding and Definitely amplified. That bouzouki player worked on his strings so
Fast I was amazed! I thought it would really be Something to see his flying hands.

I love really strong coffee, and had been told that you can stand a spoon up in Greek
coffee, so I was sorry they were just removing the coffee when we arrived.
But the smells in the air were No disappointment! I have eaten grape leaves rolled
up around meat (usually beef and lamb) and spices before. The leaf ends are tucked
in so that the filling won't fall out and they are very good. Since I already knew
I liked this dish, (which I can say but not spell) I wanted to try some things I hadn't eaten before. I also knew
I already liked gyros, pronounced yeros (with the OR sounding a bit like a D, as
it does in Spanish.) So I didn't eat this yummy dish either. It is pita bread,
warm and wrapped around beef and lamb, served with a dressing of sour cream or Greek
yogurt and dill, or dill and a lemon wedge. Usually, other vegetables like tomatoes,
cucumbers and lettuce come with the rolled sandwich.

I tried a cheese I cannot pronounce because I'm not sure I heard the name of it correctly.
It was fried, then covered with liquor, then set on fire, luckily, not near me.
That can feel pretty scary, when the heat of something rushes out toward your face
and you aren't quite sure if you are safe. But the alcohol burns off, leaving a
nice crunchy crust on the cheese, and the cheese under the crust is warm and very
good. From being lightly fried, then set on fire, the cheese has a bottom crust
and is eaten on pita bread.

Also, I ate a pork kabob which I heard as suflaki, this may not be correct. It was
on a skewer and was well done. I think I tasted a bit of lemon in it, too. They
also had this dish made of chicken.

The last thing I ate was a piece of Greek pie filled with cheese and spinach, covered
with phylo dough.

Usually, I don't eat heavy meals, so I was full after these three dishes, (two of which were new) which I also now know I like.

We then went on a tour of the Greek Orthodox Church hosting the fundraiser. The
priest was very good at explaining things and answering questions. He said that
until it came to the U.S. everyone who physically could Stood all the way through
a Greek Orthodox Service, there were no pews, just a few chairs for the very old
or physically disabled people who could Not stand. He said this was to sharpen the
concentration of the congregation and help them to focus on God.

He explained that most Greek Orthodox Churches were built somewhat like a ship. Christ was on deck as the Captain, on the dome or Deck of the Church. The people were in the belly of the ship, below the deck. And the priest was there in between to help people who were having problems reaching out to God.

I remembered a friend telling me about a wedding of her son to a woman from Serbia.
She said they stood through the whole ceremony, which lasted for more than two hours.

The priest said that the Serbian Orthodox, the Greek Orthodox, and the Russian Orthodox
Churches were separated by language, but Not by Belief. He said these and some others
all belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church governed from Constantinople, from the
time when the country of Turkey was a Christian country under Emperor Constantine. Emperor Constantine ruled the Byzantine Empire which took in many East European countries and some of what is Southern Europe, today.
I am not sure what the modern name for Constantinople is, may be Istanbul, the priest
never used the city's modern name.

The Eastern Orthodox Church split from the Roman Catholic Church when an
extra clause was added to the Nicaea Creed, still recited in many Churches today.
The clerics of the Eastern Orthodox Church did not agree with this extra clause and
so separated. I do not want to get into a deep religious discussion about the split,
because I don't know enough.

The priest said that Roman Catholic people were welcome to worship with his flock,
but that Communion was only for those who believed in exactly the same way and so
Christians of other denominations could not take Communion there.

He said that in older times his Church has Deaconesses, which are mentioned in the
Bible. These were usually women of 60 or older, sometimes widows. He said that
a discussion was just beginning about whether women could become priests and only
men were priests now.

If a man is married or gets married before being ordained as a priest in the Eastern
Orthodox Church, this is fine. But priests may Not marry after ordination.

Like Roman Catholic Christians, those belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church believe
that the bread and wine used in Communion literally become the body and blood of
Christ. This is referred to as the "doctrine of substantiation." The priest said that everyone drank from the same chalice at Communion because
all were one in Christ. He said there has never been a record of anyone becoming
ill after taking Communion due to drinking from the same chalice. This is because
Communion wine is the blood of Christ.

There were huge stained glass windows in this Church. I felt the back of one. I
couldn't tell what story from the Bible the picture of the stained glass window told,
but I was surprised at the thickness of the pieces of glass put together to make
the window. Until today, I have only touched things like stained glass sun Catchers,
, which are pretty thin. But these pieces of glass were at Least two or more inches
thick. I did not get to touch them long enough to find out just how thick they were!
For all I know they could have been four or five inches thick, does anyone know how thick the pieces of glass must be to withstand storms?

Then we went shopping. There was lots of beautiful and reasonably priced jewelry,
but I have enough jewelry, so enjoyed looking at it but didn't buy any. My loving and patient guide said much of the jewelry had a particular Greek geometric pattern in it. Part of the pattern had squares, but I never understood what the pattern looked like. I
have touched the diamond and triangle shapes often used to decorate Native
American pottery or bead work. But the design wasn't like that.
Something about knots in the pattern was mentioned and I asked if it was like the
Celtic Knots I have felt in jewelry. My guide said no, and the patterns in the jewelry
were too small for me to make out by touch. But it sounded cool and there was both silver work or gold work around many different semi-precious stones like lapis, (a deep
blue sometimes having gold colored flecks in it) turquoise, amethyst, etc.

Then we looked at CD.s and I bought one by the group we were listening to called
"A Night in Athens" because I was enjoying their music so much.
My dearest friend Ann used to say that she could love music without understanding the words. But I guess I'm a "word-head" because I like to know what is being sung about. Yet today I felt like I under stood what Ann meant when she used to say this, I wished She could have heard that music! Whatever they were singing about it just sounded too
happy for me to stand still. The group had a male and a female singer who mostly
sang solo, and they both had beautiful clear voices.

Then I bought a scarf which has a texture woven into it. It has raised lines which are broken up, after a few inches, by flat spaces of woven fabric. On either side of each raised line there is also a flat space of fabric. The overall effect is the feel of a soft, lightweight, crinkly scarf. It is a mix of wool and silk. It has short fringe all around the edge and is the size of a shawl.

I like the way shawls feel and they are fun to mess with, because you
can wear them in so many ways. I got a cream colored shawl, though I was Very tempted
by brighter colors which I remember. But the cream color will go with anything and
I don't have to worry about trying to match it up with other colors. The shawl only
cost $15.

Next, I bought a bar of jasmine soap, the smell is Wonderful!

It got Truly dangerous then, because we visited the pastry shop. I was too
full to eat anything, but I brought home a piece of baklava, which is made of Very
thin layers of pastry dough called phylo dough, with honey, walnut bits, cinnamon,
and sometimes orange blossom water in between the layers. It is so sweet that it
is sold in Very small pieces, thank goodness.

I bought an almond paste cookie, as almond is one of my favorite flavors. I thought it was the shape of the curved part of a horse sho, only the cookie is much wider than that. It also reminded me of the moon.

I also got a slice of honey cake, a moist cake which is sweet enough that it needs no icing. You can taste the honey in it, and a bit of spice, maybe nutmeg. The last item I bought was a pastry of phylo dough which was sweet, filled with a custard which was less sweet. The dough and the custard were a nice contrast in flavor.

I guess you can tell I'm writing this After breakfast on Suncay morning. Very strong black coffee was Perfect with baklava, which has disappeared. The other pastries I bought have each been tasted but are still present. I will save the almond paste cookie for last. I like to save my favorite foods until last, so I am happy and thankful when I say good-bye to a meal.

I didn't eat any of it on the ride home. When I could hear well enough to be a Rehab.
Teacher for people losing their vision, I learned how bad I feel when I eat too much
then sit in the car for hours. I was so excited about going to this Festival that, like a little kid, I didn't sleep very much the night before. So I took a nap and hope I didn't snore too loudly on the way home.

Confession, after getting home I pinched a crumb off of the cake slice and the almond cookie. All of the baked goods were a bit soggy by the time I got home, but were once again firm after a night in the fridge.

A funny and cool T-shirt was read to me which a man at the Festival was wearing. I don't know how to spell the very strong Greek liquor which has, a flavor like the spice anise (like licorice) but it sounds like ouzo. And there is a Greek chese found in every Greek salad and many Greek dishes, called Feta.
The man's T-shirt said, "Brain by ouzo, body by feta."
It was a totally fun day and I'm Thankful that I was invited to go!

What I Love Most About the U.S.A.

What I love most about the U.S.A.

Describing the Greek Festival will have to wait until tomorrow. The post below explains, with no disrespect intended toward the flag, why my favorite symbol for our country, and Ann's, is the Statue of Liberty.

Today I listened for a while to the memorial service held in memory of the nearly 3,000 people killed on Sept. 2001. Included, as they should have been were the people killed at the Pentagon, those who died in Shanksville, Pa., attempting to stop yet another horror, and thos who were killed in the World Trade Center bombing of 1996.

There were no speeches about politics. President Obama spoke as did former President Bush. The mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg spoke, as did former Mayor Rudolph Juliani. I apologize if the names of Mayors are spelled wrong. I haven't read them in Braille for a long time.

All of this was as it should have been and I am thankful for it. But to me the most touching and beautiful thing about the ceremony was the reading of the names of those killed, in alphabetical order. The variety of names was astounding and very beautiful. For me, it was especially moving to hear this variety and to know that All of these people had come to live in our country or to work here on behalf of companies in other nations. Most of those who died were, of course our own citizens.

And among the names of our citizens were so many who might have hated one another if they had lived in the countries from which their ancestors came. But here, they could vote, argue, eat one another's ethnic foods, and work together. That it what makes us the America of the dream. A general anti-imigrant stand is Not what strengthens us as a nation. The list of all those names reinforced my belief that our acceptance of immigrants is what strengthens us.

In that list there were Arab names, Jewish names, both Chinese and Japanese names. There were the names of African-Americans and workers from African countries. There were Scottish and Irish and English names. There were German sounding names and names which might have belonged to Jews whose ancestors fled Nazi
Germany. There was the name of an Albanian window cleaner and Eastern European names which could have been Serbian or Croatian. There were many Latino names, Italian names, names from every place on the globe.

To hear all of those names read together, side by side, in their alphabetical order, without regard to religion, race, ethnicity, skin color, gender or sexual orientation, That sounded like a symphony of America to me.

I am Glad Each of those names is carved into a Memorial where families can take rubbings home with them. Of all the things I could ever wish to see in Washington D.C., the Vietnam Memorial is what I would most Want to see.

Although I live in a very homogenious part of the country, I try to understand that I am a citizen of the Entire country, and of the world. That is why this reciting of names meant so much to me today.