Friday, December 18, 2015

Clients VS Stuff Rights


Last night we stopped by our friends' that happens to live in a "Residential Home" for people with disabilities. The reason for our visit was to cheer up our friends, since one of the roommates passed away suddenly. One of the house staff asked us to leave right away with asking our friends what they wanted, because was not a planed visit. This JOKE of a "staff member" even called the house manager to tell us to leave.

Once again this make me wonder if the "Residential Home" are the new institutions? If this is our friends' home why don't they have a say, as everyone else does in their home. Sometimes you have to break the rules in the times of grief. The staff member showed no respect for her clients, the truth being the clients are her boss.  You are damn well sure that I will be make a visit the another CEO!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I Am Thankful...



I have been asked by Autism Speaks to post about what I am thankful for. Really that is a quite easy question to answer.

I am thankful for the networks that I developed in each stage of my life to help me achieved the successes.  They range from being fully educated to having a thriving career as an Artist. With their help and believe in me, I have been able to show the world that people with disabilities can do anything that we want to.

I can still call the producers of King Gimp and tell them I am a bit stuck with something and we will figure it out.  I can email my professor at Towson University for advice, or to get help on my latest projects.

Then you have the people as Smoot, Brianna, and countless others who support me during the studio madness.  Most viewers look at my artwork and see what I created, but not the assistants who help in the studio.  Sure they help with mixing paints, prepping the canvas, but also snacks and hydrations. Then there are the days that the magic is not happening, so we go do something ridiculous to recharge the creative batteries.

Although I will keep reaching for my next stage of life, there will always be a team of ninjas supporting me.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

thoughts On Being An Artist


When I start a piece, I just think of what I have to say and not who is going to view it. I know people are not going to view my work as I do, but everyone can get the over all message. Even to me a blank canvas is a scary thing, I do look and think about for an hour or so before I put brush to canvas.


I always liked and did art, but in high school my teacher started to give me the tools to have art say what I wanted it to. My art speaks what I would be saying with words. It also says the feelings that are inside of me. Those feelings would make people close to me scared and worried about me. Maybe I want people to see these feeling, so they know everything is not happy in my world. Translating myself on to canvas became my language, something I needed to exist. In today’s world, I am lucky to sale a piece every couple years. I always knew being an Artist would never bring a steady income, art is about what you have to say to the world and how you want to say it. My riches come from seeing how the viewers enjoy my art and how I can make them look at the world differently through my work.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Why Old Institutions and Asylums Seem Creepy

Link To Essay


This time of year the old Rosewood property seems to get popular in Maryland, I always thought of old institutions and asylums to be scary. Not because of the people that lived there, but because of how the "clients" were treated. We are talking about a time when patients had no rights and could not speak up.  I know from being  in a few places, bad things happen and I am sure they were even worse before my time.

I think it is ok to let yourself get a bit creeped out from this place, but not because of people who lived there. Rather for the reason  why a spirit cannot move on.  Maybe we should not use the words haunted, or ghost. Most of the time when spirits hung out the have unfinished business, or are just pissed off.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#Ableism #InspirationalPorn #JustSayHi, I'll take the latter

Click For Video

I think this campaign is about getting seen as a person. When I am out n' about, I say hi to everyone so they know I do see them.

To me this campaign is easier to figure out compare to the Ableism and Inspirational Porn ones. Truly, I still cannot understand what the hell Ableism is and I am not the only one. It would be easy for someone to call me the King of Inspirational Porn, just by posting a picture of me working in my studio. That is how open I feel these definitions are.

Just because I do not use these words now does not make them bad. I think there will always be different tactics in the disability movement, in the end they all work together. I will always be the hippy Artist, so #JustSayHi!

For the record I am closed friends with Richard Ellenson and family.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Accommodations Fund Through CFC/MMARS




I found out that the state denied my request for funding to make some accommodations around my home through the CFC program. I was asked for items as remote door looks, door opener/closer, and a Bidet` toilet seat.  I was told we get $1,500.00 over 5 years to making living accommodations, but now they stating that this funding has to be medically related items. As they requested, I had an OT come for an environmental assessment and recommendations, not a medical one. I am waiting for the official denial letter.  I hope it gives me examples of what the item this funding could be used for.

I would at least think at least think a bidet toilet seat would fall under a medical  issue. I mean if you cannot keep base clean, it could lead to soars and infects.  I am meeting with my MMAR's person Thursday to see what my options are for appealing their decision.  I wonder if they had change they rule in the mist of play, because too many people were dipping into this pot?  have any of you other client of CFC/MMARS found your solves in the same predicament?

Below you will find a copy of the COMMA "laws" that my request for home was denied by.  To me, it seems more of a catch 22, they want you to be more independent, but only if you don't have people around to help you.



Monday, October 5, 2015

My Computer is so Old...


My name is Dan Keplinger also known as King Gimp; subject of the Academy Award winning short documentary, that won an Oscar in 2000. I am a professional artist with Cerebral Palsy and I have been very dedicated to my craft for the past 30 years. My paintings been nationally and internationally displayed in galleries from New York City to Chengdu, China. I not only use art as a language to express myself, but as a tool to bring awareness to the disabled community through public speaking and live drawing events. I have always said, “My paintings are not for decoration but instead made for conversation”. 
 
One of the most important tools in my daily life, is my computer. I have spastic Cerebral Palsy which hinders my motor skills. When I am in public I have a translator to assist with all my needs but when I am home on my computer I have the ability to do all of my communications independently. On an daily base, I spend 8 – 10 hours sitting at my computer from creating art to book speaking engagements. I also create graphics for social media to draw attention to my art. I have been using a Mac Pro computer since 2008, with great sadness I will have to say farewells of my loyal friend. Without my computer, I am not able to communicate independently as I wish, to continue working as and public figure, nor remain working as an artist with multiple mediums in technology.

This is the budget that would I would need obtain to continue my work as an Artist and advocate for people with disabilities.
 
IMac 27-inch with Retina 5K Display- $2,199.99

3.5GHz Quad-core Processor, 8GB Memory, 1TB Fusion Drive.

2 CRUCIAL 16G 8X2D3 memory chips $169.98

Apple Keyboard with Num. keypad $49.99

Microsoft Office 365 $49.99

3 Year Apple Care $169.99

WACOM CINTIQ 22HD $1,999.99

Total: $ 4,639.93


I am in search of funding for a new IMAC/Apple computer, Office 65/warranty/expandable keyboard with built in mousepad and WACOM CINTIQ. I have already invested in Adobe Creative Cloud that is $350 a year and other software for photo and video editing. My computer is not only a creative outlet but it’s the gateway to my independence.

Some people might start a go fund me page, but would be willing to sale a digital image of any painting, or drawing on http://www.kinggimpstudio.com for $100! This funds will go towards the repair of my computer. If you think this is a fair offer please share?


The real drawing start @ $1,200.
Real painting start @ $2,500.
Digital Art for $600
More Art

I have already contact the "Brit" foundation, Jill Fox, Parkville Lions Club, Red Hat Society, and Kiwanis Club, to see if they could help with some funding. The "Brit" fund has showed interested in help me. Can anyone please let me know if there are other places I could contact for financial aid. The "Brit" Fund has granted me $2,500.00 if I can raise the matching funds myself.

Sincerely,
Dan Keplinger

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This type of image would would be awesome for a cake topper...

Source

This type of image would would be awesome for a cake topper, instead of one in a chair and one standing.  It would break the stereotype of one person being the care provider.  It could also be the hippy way that Wifey and I did our wedding by sitting on the floor.  With Bride and Groom being on the same level it shows that they are equals.

Having a Disability is hard for the whole family...

Source

Having a Disability is hard for the whole family, nobody has all of the answers even those who think they better. I know parenting is not a friendship, but at the right age the parent and child need to work together to see if they are taking the right path. They need to support each other in the failures and their successes. In addition, this will help the child gain their independence a learn how to network.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Starting A Digital Piece

Source

This is how I start my digital pieces, really I do the same for my paintings. By starting to think about what colors fit into the puzzle to create the image. This is a more helpful process for digital work since there are so many options.  The difference from painting is I do adjust the colors as I am working.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Things To Think About

Source
Awesome, I am all about reaching out to the next generation to crush the box.

CARING TEENS WANTED! CARING TEENS is a day-long program that prepares teens to offer first-rate care for children who have mild to moderate disabilities and/or enter the field of special education some day.
Video
What every parent hopes for in these first weeks of school. Kids are more likely to step out of the box and include others, because they are so honest about how they feel.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fun and Interesting Things In The World of Disabilities

Video
Thanks to 3D printing, prosthetics can now be built faster and way cheaper than ever before. 

Video

This crazy, I am sure he was causing damage to both trucks. I just hope the easy way was worth it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

This is just brilliant!

video

I think this is awesome idea, I just think its just time to come up with ways to make things accessible and bring together as partners and a team. It would be odd to try and have a conversation riding this.  I not nocking the idea, but I would feel too separated from Wifey, or my friend while using this.
I know it is an age thing, I would loved this as a kid. Now I would rather do things with people.

Accessible Caves

Source

This reminds me of when Wifey and I went to luray caverns in VA.  to us it seemed accessible even the some ramp we steep. I think we were more amazed that underground everything was ramped and not stairs.

Monday, August 24, 2015

I open Today's meeting at UC2 by stating that...

Source

I open Today's meeting at UC2 by stating that I was not only there for my concerns, but more importantly as an voice for the clients who can't express them selves. It would have been so easy for me to go tell them what I think is wrong with UC2, but how far would that have gotten me.

Instead, I pointed out the fact that staff are like family to their client and how unhealthy it could be when people just come and go out of their lives. The good thing is, I notice a lot of notes being taken.  I also learn they are taking steps to better educate staff about their duties. My reason for meeting was to express more frustration about the frequency of staffing turn over is.

I left on this thought, we have 20 people fighting so much to be the next president they can can only say how the other person messed up. but not really  saying what they can to better for our country. The easy part in life is point fingers, but creating change is a life time of work.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A blind dog was scared to walk, so its owner made this nice little device.

Video Source
On the last day of camp at BEMAA, we were trying to give examples to the camper of how the blind can be independent by remember, imagining the world around them. Each week we world talk about different disabilities so they could understand not all disabilities are the same.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rest easy Lenny. A legend gained his wings.

Source
Farewell Baltimore Batman. We had the privledge to be amongst the sea of people today, to hear about the man behind the mask at his funeral. What we learned was that Lenny was just as facinating as his alter ego. A man very dedicated to bringing a difference in community and had the personality that matched his bank account. The countless children with grave illnesses he gave hope to was so exceptional. News crew were all aligned like the big dipper from various states and countries. Lenny's story reached so many miles and for this alone, I have such gratitude. Let Lenny's 'Batmans' light all give us enough encouragement to do "more" in our communities. A quote from his funeral today-certainly there will be imposters and our hope is that each of us provides more for others BUT make no mistake...NO one will ever replace Lenny, ever!

Rest easy Lenny. A legend gained his wings.

Monday, August 17, 2015

BEMAA Art Camp Week King Gimp

BEMAA Art Camp Week 10 Part 2: Pinata Project conclusion

Source

Although our Pinata project did turn out as plan, it was a great group effort and the process is what counted the most. As with any art, all ideas do not work the first time, but it lets you know what works for your next attempt.  Wifey and I did have a back up plan, so everyone did get a bag of treats even Master Rick!

BEMAA Art Camp Week 10 Part: Pinata Project continued

Source: Photo Album

Everyone working hard together to get this project wrapped up.  There will be a big treat tomorrow when all of this mayhem is done! Art is full of mayhem until you get to finished piece.

BEMAA Art Camp Week 7: Pinata Projects 


Source


Up until now we have been doing art projects that only takes one session. I wanted to show the campers that some art is multi sept, but there is still a great reward at the end even if there is a lot of work.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Helen Keller could be on the new $10 bill!!

video
Source: King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Saturday, August 15, 2015

The US Treasury has asked the public to "Tweet", ‪#‎TheNew10‬, or visit: https://thenew10.treasury.gov/share-your-ideas/submit to share their choice of a woman to appear on the re-designed $10 bill. Please submit your choice - Helen Keller - and check out our video - The Top Ten Reasons Helen Keller should be on TheNew10. And don't forget to share!



Holy Fudge Batman!

video
Source: King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Friday, August 14, 2015

this looks awesome, I am too caution of water. I have been under too many times to push my luck.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Montgomery aims to make all taxicabs wheelchair accessible by 2025

Link

This also address my question about an extra charge for Uber and Lyft.
The council also approved a 25 cent surcharge on Uber, Lyft and other transportation network services that start in the county. The funds will be used to help offset the costs of purchasing and retrofitting an accessible taxicab and facilitate the delivery of accessible taxicab services in the county.

Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Thursday, August 13, 2015

5 Mobile Technologies Help Level the Playing Field for People with Disabilities

Link

This is an interesting read, technologies are a blessing to PWD. I can testify to that, I get a lot of independence from my computer and devices. We do not realize how much of a big part they play in our life until they break. On the other hand we need to find a balance with technology, so we do not forget the human factor. Sure it is easy to send email, text, a message, but that will never replace the connection when people spend time together in person.


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

There Are Only 12 Master Penmen in the World, This Guy Is the Youngest



It is interesting Wifey posted this, Over the last year I was talking to Brianna Leryn Pleasant​ how we are the generation that might need to keep the old ways of art alive.  Even though I am at #TowsonU working with new technology, I also need to balance that with my other styles of art. Working with the Cintiq might be cleaner and easier on my body, but it will never be the same as painting, drawing, printing and all that other stuff.  Technology makes stuff easy and happen now, but is that as rewarding?

A lost form of art, Technology vs. Human. I could get lost watching this fella. Daniel Keplinger, just one more person we shall meet to check off our bucket list!


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Loser Can be Cool If They Have Style


I was watching Forged In Fire, it is a knife making competition show. One guy finished his blade an hour early, he sits down at his anvil and has a cup of coffee while the others finish their blades. Sadly he did not make the cut to the next round. It shows that loser can be cool when they have style, so take that Trump2016.

Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Do people with different disabilities actually support each other?



I think we all are trying to have same goal of seeing PWDs having the rights of living life to the fullest, but the path is not the same. Think about it there are different groups in the disability community, I can at least name four. They are the Disabled Vets, Physical Disabled, Mentally Ill, Autism, and Deaf communities and they all have their interest to best benefit their needs.  Not that this is a bad thing, that is lust how the world works.

I think we all want to raise awareness so PWD have the same rights and are treated just as anyone else in America. I know my way of achieving this goal might not be the same as the next person's. I am ok with that, because the messages all add up to get to the end point that all want.


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Thursday, August 6, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Why We Needed The ADA



This is why the R-word has the meaning `of a person being sub-human and having no rights to me. That is how PWDs were treated before the ADA came about. Even at Ridge School we were told it was lucky, because some families would still put us in a room and exclude as from everything. I think my generation of PDW has seen the most change from laws and attitudes to the technology. Posted by

King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Friday, July 31, 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

George Washington University Drops Sat and Act Scores for Applicants



I think this is very cool because I am one who cannot take test. Maybe because I never had to study until I went to high school and college. That is why my GPA was so bad my first term at Towson U, I always did my work but suck on the tests and most grades are based on tests.

In high school I had like a 3.5 GPA, but the ACT  scores really hurt me starting college, even thou I work my ass off those score were more valuable.


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Thursday, July 30, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Clients Always Have The To Express Feelings


So this is an email I just wrote to me Service Coordinator at Service Coordination incase I make to much noise.

I am very frustrated with UC2, the fired another one of my service coordinators.  This would be my 4th coordinator in 3 years.  I think it is very sad, because they use "paper work" as there reason to fire people. One coordinator quit only after a week on the job, because he did not like how things were run.

This week I am going to meet with Diane at UC2 to express how I feel.  I only wanted to inform you of the situation just incase.  I feel if I am a client of UC2, I should be able to  express when I feel they are letting their clients down. If UC2 feels people cannot do a good job, why hire them in the first place?


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Monday, July 27, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BEMAA Art Camp Week 5: Your inner voice is there to help with more than peer pressure.



No matter what age one is someone will try to tell you what path to take and it might not always be the right one. This always happened in my life, because people think they are trying to make my life easy, but how do they know what I want in life.

My life has never been, or will be easy because I fellow my inner voice and 99% of the time it is right. Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

I have the next #seenontv idea, a hula hoop dog leach!



I have the next #seenontv idea, a hula hoop dog leach! I was thinking mostly for wheelchairs, but really only could use it. Everything is ok when dogs walk in a straight line, but that happens like 4% of the time.  Things go wrong when they turn, turn, backtrack, circle, circle! If there was a hula hoop around the chair, or over one's head nothing would get tangled! Not a hat, I don't want to be sued for broke necks, or people's heads being snapped off.


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Monday, July 20, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Budgets Are all Talk That People Think They Understand

Full Budget

This is just a interest chart to look at, not that I can understand it one bit. I know all these funds are meant to help #PWD, but by time it funnels down to the individual's service plan it is really pennies.

We always hear different agencies talk about tight budgets. I know there are a lot of people trying to do good with a small amount. The flip side is at some point I am sure some people are making money off of population that live on pennies a day.


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BEMAA Art Camp Week 4: How best friends can help each other.


Another great day at BEMMA's art camp yesterday! Last week we talked about be bullied and trying to get help to solve them problem. It is best to keep telling another person about the problem until someone helps solve the situation rather then trying to get into a fight.

This week we did a 160 and talk about how best friend can help one another. I told the story about my best friend David Plumber from the Delray/Ridge days. He had CP too, but he could walk and David would always push me around school. In return I would always help him with since that was not his subject.

As you can see everyone can help each other in their own way.


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Go forth and be HUMAN!"

Video


I can really relate to the third situation, because even the littlest of help can throw my whole system off.
This is along the lines of the presentation that Wifey and gave, we use stories and humor to get our message. This way people are learning without being told what, or what not to do.


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Monday, July 13, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Is It Ever Ok to Stereotype?


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Thursday, July 9, 2015

This morning Daisy and I were sitting in our bay window and I saw an old beat up pickup drive by with big Confederate Flag flapping in the wind.  my First thought was that driver has to be an good old boy douche bag. Is that really right of me since I am doing the same thing that people do to me by stereotyping me by the way I look.

Is this different, because this is a sign of hatred? Is it ok I judge someone to be part of a shameful part of America just by a symbol? When I spend all my life fighting against this?  Maybe this is where free speech comes into play?  You can express what ever one wants, but you also have live with what the masses believe about what you express.

The Word "Normal" is Obsolete

Video


The host of this TV show asks a young girl "do you ever wish your brother (who has autism) was 'normal?

This is vey good insight from a sibling of a person with a disability.  Really I think the word "normal" is obsolete, because it just means you blend into the ground and just became a number.

when you become "normal" life becomes boarding and you are not recognized for the gifts you have.


Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Day Programs Becomes a Job With No Breaks



When a person with a disability attends a "day program" do they have the option of taking days off? To me this becomes a job and even people who work have vacation, sick or personal days  to do as they will. Especially when the only time when it's ok to miss a day when one is sick, or for a Dr. appointment, or when they are closed.

So why should it be any different in the disability world, we also have business to take care of, or like an extra day take it easy.

Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Criptaedo Self-defense and Fitness for the disabled


I thought this would be good to share since I am doing the Art Camp at BEMAA. They also have one, or students that have a disability. Maybe they are willing to do this, because the Martial Arts are more about evoking the best out of each individual that can contribute to the group.

Posted by King Gimp - Dan Keplinger on Sunday, July 5, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

My Odds 4th of July


Had to be when my Brother Paul and I were about 18 and 17. He and his girlfriend were going to O.C. for the night with another couple and they asked me to come along.  Maybe the were already married at the time, because we took a van.

We left in the middle of the night to miss traffic, so we were up all night and started to looking for a hotel. I think it was around 4pm before we got into the hotel room and we all took a nap. I remember Paul trying wake me up for the firework, but I did not what to get up. so I slept through the 4th of July and got up for the ride home.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Arts Participation among People with Disabilities




Very interesting article, It is just funny how art is still that to be as a luxury, or something that should be done on intellectual level.  When one still goes to a museum there are still expectations of how one should act. Don't point, if you talk you need to whisper almost everything what art is against.

Art to me, is just about expressing how one feels! Art does not need to be complex, or cost a lot to produce. Of course there are different level of art, but the commend thread of every form of  art is the power of  emotions.

Really the lack of art in disability community is sad, because art is the only thing that is not full of rules.  Being creative is freedom, there are no right or wrong. For people with disabilities it might be the only true freedom they would have.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Think flying is stressful? Try it in a wheelchair


This would be an awesome sight to see! Too bad there was GoPro‬ the time I was flying by myself and saw my ‎wheelchair‬ sitting on the tarmack as I felt the plane pulling from the gate!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Just 2 Minutes, B.S.


Two wrongs does not make a right, but this had too feel good and made people see what a Mother Father he is.  No way he was there for just "2 minutes"!

State To Require Cameras In Special Ed Classrooms




I don't know about this, is this a live feed for parents? Why should cameras just be in class rooms for #SpecialEd students? It is not like they are the only students being mistreated and their privacy is no lesser than any other student. Really is something was going to happen, it would be be easy to go out of camera rage.

9 First Steps to Student-Directed IEPs



I wonder how old are the students when they start going to‪ IEP‬ meetings? I remember IEP meeting season, everyone goes meets in a room and you know everyone was talking about you, but did not know why. I started to go to IEP meeting when I was 16, but I was ask to attend everyone. Especially in high, I think I only got to go to the last one. It was like you can have input in your goals, but only when we say you can, kind of odd.
There has been a lot of good comments on my Facebook Post!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

An Example Why PWDs Get in Bubble


Wifey and I sat out today on our errands and I received a check that I wanted to cash on our way.  To get it cash today we went to the check's bank as I have done before, although I do not have an account with this bank. We made sure that we had two forms of ID and my stamp.

so we found a branch of the  bank in the area that we were in, we get up to the teller and gave her the check and both IDs. We also told her that I could make an X, or stamp the check, but right away she asked if I had a payee rep?  I have been to other branches of this bank and never had a problem although I do not have and account with them. Any other time I would just need to put a thumb print on the check and be done in 5 minutes.  After the third time the teller asked  Wifey about a payee rep. I lost it and loud.  She acted like I was not even there and she could not cash it, I just needed to go to my bank. The bank manager stepped in and I got my money. I am sure the manager knew I was pissed.  I know my actions were not appropriate, but I am just done!  I would rather act liked an asshole  and have my voice heard, be sides everyone remember assholes.

This is why People With Disabilities get in a routine, because once we get a comfort zone we feel respected. That is just want from society, but at the same time it becomes a bubble and becomes limited for resources when there is whole world to explore!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Our beloved puppy, Zarrah had left us too soon.


We have mourned for a week in solace.  Nothing could give us comfort.  Our beloved puppy, Zarrah had left us too soon.

Many of you know that our animals are equal to a human connection because they have a way of loving you unconditionally.  Zarrah's life began in Mother Earth's playground, Tennessee.  There was a sign on a pick up truck $60. Bulldog/Boxer mix.  We were on vacation and I said oh how cute they must be, should we stop…NOT to buy but to look?  Of course, the rest is history.  We fell in love with her, immediately.  She said farewell to her host parents and even hugged her brother by wrapping her head around his.  The owner sobbed as we drove off, I knew how valuable she was the moment I saw his face.  She was a prize and will always remain this way.

Our 5/6 years together were the BEST.  Long before I could shed a tear, she would always lick them dry and muzzle her face into mine.  The way she comforted me in my darkest hours, I will always be in debt to.

Zarrah had trauma a few years back.  There was a male large dog that had intimidation, it spread fear and domination to both of our dogs.  This vortex of new space/new territory created the perfect storm.  Camden had passed the intimidation to Zarrah, biting her and immediately we went to the Pet ER and had Camden euthanized.  2 years later, Zarrah would chase a fox across the road and got hit by a car.  Again, the Pet ER would rescue her life.  Our critic's would say that is why you leash a dog.  Danny and Zarrah had a bond that was so special, especially on those long walks.  As you know wheelchairs aren't friendly to dog leashes (perhaps an invention we need to invest in).  These two life traumatic events, forever changed her.  She started to get very paranoid and would be on high alert, every single noise was intimidating to her.  Especially visitors, the uncertainty.  I suppose she felt she wanted to protect us at all costs.

We would get a new puppy to give Zarrah a new found purpose, being a surrogate mother.  Daisy, our pug is mischievous and it was adorable to watch them both play, tease each other and most importantly give chance to bond.  They were two peas in a pod.  For over a year, the connection grew stronger and stronger between the two.  The protection alerts grew even more intense because she saw herself as a mother.  We began to become more concerned with her reaction to our visitors-family/friends that would come and she would try to nip, then immediately would fall into sadness begging for forgiveness.  Zarrah didn't have control of her emotions and our concern's were growing.  The perfect storm appeared again.  The mailman came by.  Zarrah had came close to biting him and I spanked her 2 times, which was so rare.  On top of it, I ignored her for an hour and created space to show her my sadness…she had never experienced this type of reaction from me.  I was disappointed in her eyes on a level that I had never been.  It broke her spirit.  I could see this, so I finally made up with her and we snuggled together and began the line of forgiveness.  A line of disappointment had crossed and it was very evident that she was changed puppy.  

By the stroke of midnight, a bone.  Yes, a bone.  That's all it took.  We have plenty around but this one had been the "prize".  Hundreds of times, Daisy and Zarrah pass around the bones but tonight it was different.  Zarrah attacked Daisy and we all went into instant survival mode.  I had separated them both with great force and was able to get to a safe area with Daisy. We went Pet ER and would later returned both puppies were in agony in separate levels of the house. The first thing Daisy did was run up the stairs to connect with Zarrah, a door separating them.  Zarrah moaned with sadness and you could hear that she was asking for forgiveness.

Danny comforted Daisy, the agony of pain vs. processing a traumatic situation was so difficult.  Without doubt, he was her shield of amour.  I took Zarrah out.  Grabbed a pillow, water, blanket, leash and a determined outlook to make this…."THE BEST DAY EVER".

Zarrah was always so scared of noises, especially loud ones-ever since her injuries.  We went to a metro station where there was a bunch of grassy area.  We watched the trains, buses, planes, cars go by.  She wasn't any longer scared.  She ran through the grass and into the creek.  Ate two cheeseburgers, drank water out of a big gulp cup.  We snuggled.  I spent every minute I had with her, praising her and telling her she was a "good girl".  I when through memory lane, telling her all the stories we had.  4 hours passed, her tail was underneath her.  Finally, her tail lifted and she gave me peace.  I kissed her so much my lips hurt.

By morning…we were in Zarrah's vet. I asked him, "what should I do?"  He said, "My job is to be the voice of your dog".  After listening to her full story….he said, "Please, give her peace".  It would be irresponsible to give her to a shelter after knowing her traumatic situations and reoccurring disposition.  If you should keep her, I can tell you how difficult it is because I too, have had two dog attacks with our own pets.  They didn't have trauma, it is usually because of two things.  Toy or Food.

Advice from our vet:  If you have a dog(s).  CRATE  or USE SEPERATE ROOMS if they're eating or chewing on bones.  If they have done it a millions times before…consider yourselves LUCKY.  It only takes a heavy scent or behavioral issue to make any "normal situation into an isolated, harmful event".  His dogs are crated when no one is home and always during the feeding/bone times.  He even said, "knowing what he knows about his situation, he would have euthanized his dog too".  It is too difficult to live in fear of safety for you and your animals.

Safety is our gateway to the choice we made.  Although it was the most difficult choice ever, it was the right one.  Please let Zarrah's story resinate with yours and make you think differently when it comes to toy vs. food.

Our hearts will take a great amount of time to heal.  Zarrah passed away in my arms, her head started to raise when she was heading to heaven.  I was singing Silent Night to her and told her to go chase all the angels and rabbits.  Her heart stopped and it felt like mine did too.  The moment I got into the car, her scent was so strong.  She jumped right into the car and came home.  Her presence is ever present.  Daisy let's us know she is here.

Zarrah entered the kingdom.  I shall never fear when I get there because I know she will be the first that I see, waiting for us.

May 1st, 2015.  She shared the date of a famous singer that passed away the same day "Stand by Me".  It also was the day that Justice system played it's first hand to getting justice for Freddie Gray.  State of Maryland vs. MD Police Department.  Both of these two events are a beautiful beginning and ending.

I will say this when I am 99 years old and laying in my bed, knitting with ginormous holes everywhere, "You WERE the BEST dog, I ever had".

Saturday, April 25, 2015

New Reddit thread asked disabled people to submit their pet peeves.


My biggest pet peeves is being told to calm down when I trying to talk, or do something.
Is it really that bad to be call inspirational, or will we just end up cutting off our noses in in spite? Really I do not like to be put on a pedestal, I am not perfect by a long shot. I just go the things that I do get the success that I want out of life. Maybe when people call the PWDs inspirational, it might be their way of reaching to us not always from pitty. If you we keep telling people: don't do that, or don't do this at some they will stop trying. When someone says, I am a inspiration to them I act humble and explain anyone can do it when they have a passion.

For example ‪ableism‬ ‪#inspirational porn‬, I myself do not really know what this term mean. The other day I was chatting with a parent and for her all of the new terms are making the lines blurry. How are we going to make other people understand what we want if I may be guilty of contributing to these terms just being myself? Is it not our goal to educate the rest of society about people with disabilities so we are accepted?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Reaction To Date Line's on The Brink

While viewing the show:

Watching the Date Line‬ show, very frustrating are people just realizing the break downs in the system. This is the kind of shit my mom and I were dealing with 20+ years ago. The school system throws their hand up at the age of 21 and other service will not touch you until you are on the streets. what the hell man does everything really comes down to money, what the fuck does that say about us as a society?
Also what direction did the media want to take on the story. The system is not perfect and eats the good people up. I know that i would not who I am without my ninjas in place.

The morning after:

I cannot stop thinking about the dateline show on the Brink, at least no one can say it was inspiration porn. It would be easy to point figures at the parent and teachers, because they all knew the wall was coming. I still say the system just eats up the good people since they get tired of hitting the wall.  For me it makes me think if my voice as an advocate is really being heard, I think shows this can discourage as all. It just show how much more work there is to do.
With my generation we were told be thankful what you get, because people were still locking us away like we did not even exist. People say the young generation are rude, act like they are entitled to everything.  Really I do not think that is a bad thing for PWD, are we not entitled to be treated as equals as members of society. The system is just broken, even if we make too much money or fall in love our benefits are penalized. If you get too much help from your family, you do not qualify for services to make you independent.  Really the system is set up to make People with disabilities fail.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Is It Worth Getting Out Any More?

I have seen clips of the pinned down passenger that was rushing the cockpit on the flight to CO. I know it is better to be safe then sorry. I cannot help to think how easily that could be me on the bad end. I could be getting something out of my book bag and some one could take it the wrong way by me struggling. The more people tell me to calm down when I'm trying to do something, that just pisses me off. Then if people try to hold me down, I know I would end up in cuffs. Society has just become too aggressive and not wanting to take time to understand, I'm better off staying at home.

Just last year a person with developmental disabilities died in police custody for staying in a movie for a second showing. If police are trained on how to detain people safely and ends up dead, what happens if this is the out come with the layperson?

Why is it, If someone needs help some people do not want to get involve because if something goes wrong they might get sued?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Research During Artist Residency at Towson University



I finally started to play with my Cintiq last night, this is part of my research during my Artist Residency at Towson University. I wanted a beer:30 15 minutes into it, but I knew it would be like that. It is like learning two mediums at once and still make it fit into your body of work.

Until now, I just used photoshop to edit stuff where as now I am using it to create. I have keep reminding myself, if I keep editing too much it would not look like the rest of my work. Then I need to get use to the stylus on the screen, it does not have any give like canvas, or paper. At this point I just trying to figure out the basics.

For example, use a small point to make marks, but they all blend together. Or use a bigger point to make one stoke and just add a lot of layers. I started the layer method and started to make some process.  I do see the protentual for this medium, their is just something about being on the floor painting, drawing with my control kaos.

For those mothers and therapists out there I am sitting my chair while using the Cintiq.

March, 4


My second session with the Cintiq was less productive, I spent the time messing around with setting and other geeky stuff to see what would work and what would not. I only got one layer that was a keeper. No one likes those types of days, but is a necessary evil.

Cool, thanks, I am just playing around with it. Seeing the limitations, with my being Towson U. we want to re-design the stylus so it can be pressure sensitive and can change angles to get different marks. Just as using a painting brush with the headstick

March, 27 The joys of campus computers, 20 mins of work lost! The computer crashes, when you restart you cannot even re-open your file because flash, java, and photoshop are out of date. You cannot update them since you are not the Admin.

April, 14

When I paint on the floor, I move around the canvas so I can change the direction of my brush. I really cannot do that with the Cintiq, so I use the canvas rotation option in photoshop.

May, 14

I just found out last night that Towson U. extended my residency until August 2016. Now Stuart and I are trying to apply for grant to help fund this project, we got our start up funding from the producers of King Gimp. With this we were able to buy the Cintiq and pay for my assistant for the fall and spring semesters.  This Spring semester we did apply for a grant for emerging technology on campus, but we did not get it. We worked with a grant writing class to help us put this proposal together. They also wrote another grant to submit to the Andy Warhol Foundation, but the does not happy this Fall. Would any one have any idea for grants?

Oct. 21

Some people might think it is less complex creating art in digital form, but after a full studio day working on it. I feel like I just took a final, because that is how much my brain work while doing it. I am not only thinking about the marks and colors I want to use, but also is the same going to show up when it is printed?

Nov. 23

In this clip you can see how I zoom in and use the fun brush to build up me areas of colors.  You also observe how I use the rotate tool to spin the image so I can get the right direction for each mark.