Refining and Reframing our Thought Processes

Opinionated Man:

This is an informative read and educational. I think my deaf readers will enjoy and appreciate this post. -OM
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Originally posted on Every Word Counts...:

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When I saw this status update on Facebook 2 days ago, my first thought was…

She gets it! :)

That’s true allyship.

Some of you reading this post may be unfamiliar with the term. Let me define it for you. An ally, in terms of a social justice framework, is an individual who seeks to focus on the process of establishing relationships based on trust, commitment and accountability with individuals and/or communities who are marginalized.

At Gallaudet University, a small percentage of hearing students are accepted into various programs each year. I’ve been blessed to befriend some of them during my time here because the ones that I call my friends are genuine allies of the Deaf community. They see me as an equal, NOT as someone needing “help” or “compassion”. We need to revise our concept of “help”. If we impose our “help” on someone or “help” someone whilst…

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Monday Musings

Opinionated Man:

I love seeing pictures of Memphis. I miss home sometimes… the food and places. Nice photos and thanks for taking me back! :) -OM
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Originally posted on faeriefiles:

bass pro pyramid Memphis (22) As seen from the Bass Pro Pyramid observation deck

Good morning everyone, it’s Monday!!! I realize this week will be a short one for some, a very longggg one for others and for my friends outside the states it’s just another week. For me it will be a bit of a high stress week but no more than I have allowed it to be, so it is what it is and there will be a lot of fun mixed in with the stress.

bass pro pyramid Memphis (41) As seen from inside the sky high restaurant Bass Pro Pyramid

I woke to a horrible howling screeching fan motor straining sound today and after trekking around the house to investigate where it was coming from I realized it was the kitchen refrigerator apparently howling in pain? My kitchen fridge is a relic of the 70’s when they still built them to last so it has served…

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Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter

She comes into your life and brings nature’s blessing. And with her entrance comes a curse of wanton passion. The grass is still alive as it blazes in the sun. The chorus of our laughter floats gently in the Spring breeze. We are the definition of love and our hands are linked as we dance amongst the growing and the grown alike. We enjoy timeless sunsets on picturesque settings creating canvases waiting to be painted at each moment. We love.

Time works wonders and bonds grow firm. We resolve to walk quietly into the night together. Hands held tightly against the shadows we once faced alone. We pick each other up in the heat of the Summer, against the blazing sun and humanity’s punishment. We turn as one, in unison with one another’s needs. I am your need and you are mine. And like an oak tree we grow together.

The rain has come and we have weathered storms. We still touch… but sometimes our hands Fall like leaves from our tired limbs. The chatter of children running around our base keeps us united, we are still united with finger painted signs and chalk figures. But some nights are cold and the moon shines two shadows upon the ground.

It snows here in Denver. The Winter seems to be most of the year… at least lately. But even with the constant ice, it does melt with the strength of will. A will we share each morning and return to each night. The seasons form a timeless ring that hardens into a golden promise. They touch each time our hands unite with infused emotion. Regardless of what emotion that is the presence of feelings means that we still care.

Jason Cushman

-Opinionated Man



A Writer’s World

I live my life writing scenes mentally. For the longest time that was life for me, living with one foot in reality and the other foot dipped in ink. My journey and tales would be recorded in various colored notebooks that I secreted away in my “not so secret” bottom drawer. Without an outlet I could never fully recharge at night. While other kids dreamed of shooting the winning shot or scoring the winning goal I dreamed of penning the perfect scene. A scene I was normally a part of.

I see myself in frozen moments. Perfectly scripted scenes just waiting to be penned and laid to rest forever. Life is amazing because we all see the same things, but from different perspectives. I constantly wonder what others are thinking about the same things we are both experiencing. Are they appreciating the moment more than I am? What would their thoughts read like if they were printed in ink before my eyes.

I do not know if I was meant to be a writer. Perhaps instead I simply have an active mind and am a tiny bit prolific. I certainly don’t have the best vocabulary in the world and I am not a “thesaurus ready writer.” I believe a  true writer can use some redundancies in word form and still present a well flowing article. In fact those redundancies in many cases help to tie the piece together. Don’t fight what you know, instead incorporate it into your written word.

I did not go to school for writing due in part to AP English. I placed out of “college English and Literature” classes and that may have hurt my writing aspirations early on. In many ways that may have kept me from realizing what a profession in writing might have looked like. It was never even on my radar. I like to think I live in a writer’s world even if I don’t own a professional title today. Even if my daily work is not writing. I fall asleep and wake up dreaming of the perfect word string. I write so much so that one day I may pen one.


The Great American Rascal – By: Philip Vail

The Great American Rascal was written by Philip Vail and is one of my favorite books. I have owned a copy since I “acquired one” when I was around the age of ten and it is by far one of the best biographies I have ever read. I have been enchanted by the life of Aaron Burr ever since I owned my first copy of this book and he continues to intrigue me even into my adulthood.

There were not many men as misunderstood as Aaron Burr. While our country ranks him as one of the more infamous traitors, next to Benedict Arnold, his life is a true story of misplaced ambition and tragedy caused by impatience in life. I can relate to those struggles because in many instances in my past I too have been impatient for the rewards I felt I deserved. That perhaps I felt I needed. Aaron Burr was no different and his life’s struggles are a testament to his lack of control over many aspects of his controlled life.

I have always been inspired and a bit envious of those intellectuals that can digest information without apparent effort. Brainiacs and those gifted with photographic memory are worthy of praise because those people are truly gifted. Aaron Burr was a genius and despite the hatred he may have garnered from many prominent Americans during his time, everyone still recognized a man of superior intellect. That may not seem like a huge deal to people, but to me that warrants note because regardless what time period you live in it is hard to be distinguished as a person ahead of your time by those stuck in that time.

Some of Burr’s life is extremely interesting to read such as his bravery during the American Revolution, his political plots of intrigue, his loss of the Presidency and subsequent acceptance of the Vice Presidency, his romantic life, and his acts of betrayal against the United States. One of the things I admired most about him is that regardless how bad things got he never blamed anyone but himself. That shows a strong character despite what historians write about Burr’s overall personality disorders. His tenacity even in the face of the tallest of odds are what gained him a certain amount of respect, even in the United States, when his death was fast approaching. A man of honor, he will forever wear the black mark because of his killing of Alexander Hamilton in their famous duel.

History is written by those around to write it. Had a few cards turned the other way Aaron Burr might have potentially been a great figure of progress in our national history. His position in our archives is still prominent, though for different reasons than he may have wished, and we must still recognize the contributions that he did make to this great nation during our early years of struggle. I enjoy reading about Burr because he is a reminder that this country was founded on the backs of dreams from many different people. Not all of those dreams came true, but the actions of many still culminated into this land that we live in today.

-Opinionated Man

I wish I could sing still

I was a soprano till I was 16 years old. I sang in the Memphis Boychoir for awhile. You can laugh all you want, but I sounded good and we got paid too. There was no American Idol, X Factor, or the Voice “back then.” Yea I said it, and although not technically “old” at 33 I am at a cusp age when things became cool. Think about it, when I turned 18 online gaming through computer LAN parties was just becoming popular. Cooler kids would walk by our dorms and give us “looser looks” while we played StarCraft and Counterstrike on our PCs, but 10 years later everyone was playing Halo at home on their xbox. I spent a hellish Christmas season as a manager of a Gamestop Video store in Memphis, Tennessee for a bit and it was always amazing the randomness of my customers. I would have everything from the “18ish kid” (technically you legally had to be 18 at the time to buy the Rated Mature games, but who is really going to ID for that if they look close enough… I was 21 at the time and could have given a fuck less what they bought or played to be honest) to the man in a business suit buying the game on his way home from work. BMW key chain of course.

Harry Potter came out after I had left high school… basically childhood. What did we have? Star Wars? Which if you played Star Wars past a certain age you didn’t get picked during recess. Or you got picked last… after Cindy. I mean honestly Cindy can’t you let me get picked first sometime? Jesus!

I got side tracked, so basically this is a complaint about being born in 1981. And not being able to sing anymore. And working during Christmas at Gamestop, “Look lady your son may not be eighteen, but his brother sure was!” And I miss my civic.