ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "party" square in my 7-1-16 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

"What You Think You Know"

Callista did her best to adjust
to life with a disability, but
sometimes it was hard.

She liked her new housemates,
some of whom were also
soups with disabilities.

Handspring had been born
without legs, which didn't
slow her down at all, until
someone griped about her
walking on her hands and
she bit their head off.

Lorenzo was in a wheelchair
because a building had fallen
on him during a cape fight, but
he had a family to help him.

Haru was in a wheelchair too,
due to a car accident, but he
was a dancer anyway.

Braxton was blind, because
his Invisibility interfered with
the development of his retinas.

They tried to help Callista,
but sometimes it all just
grated on her nerves, and
she missed her old friends.

I am a bridge over troubled waters,
she told herself. I can make
new connections.

She loved her new home,
with its huge beautiful rooms
and open floor plan that
made navigation easy.

She got frustrated, though,
with its two floors and having
to use the elevator because
she was unsteady on stairs.

It was worse on days when
she needed a walker.

Stilts took one look at
the clunky clinical model
she'd gotten at the hospital
and said, "Oh hell no."

"What?" Callista said.

"You can't use that," he said.
"You need something you like,
and given your particular issues,
it needs to have a seat."

Despite her protests,
Stilts hauled her out on
a shopping trip, where they
found not one but two new walkers:
a lightweight folding model, and
a heavy-duty version with a seat,
a shopping basket, and hand brakes
to control the four little wheels.

Callista still hated the need
for a walker, but she had to admit
that the metallic blue frames were snazzy.

I feel like a giraffe trying to get a drink,
she thought, but that's okay. Giraffes
look graceful when they are standing tall.

On the days when the dizziness
got so bad that she could not stay
upright even with a walker, Callista
tended to hide in her bed.

When Haru asked if she wanted
to borrow a spare wheelchair,
she bit his head off.

Callista hated using a wheelchair
even more than a walker.

Handspring was more sympathetic.

"Don't let anyone tell you how to move,
or not move," she said fiercely. "It's
your body, you can park it if you want to."

"Thanks," Callista said. "I just get so bored
and stir-crazy when I'm stuck in my room,
but I can't stand going out on the worst days."

"Then maybe what you need is to bring
the motion to you," said Handspring.

She popped out, and came back
half an hour later with a mobile
made from Austrian crystals.

"Hang this in your window,
and it will throw rainbows
around your room," she said.

"Wow," said Callista. "It's beautiful."

That started a trend, and before long,
she had a window full of sparkly things --
glass globes from Haru, bottles from Rei,
and a star-shaped suncatcher from Analena.

Braxton brought her heavy glass paperweights
and stones smoothed by careful polishing.

Sometimes Callista received things
from people she barely knew, or
knew only through SPOON.

The Archivist gave her
a string of clear crystals
with a crescent moon below.

One of Lorenzo's students, Fai,
showed up with a faceted ball
hanging below rainbow beads.

The girl in Easy City who
had sprouted butterfly wings after
that awful zetetic incident sent Callista
a leaf prism on a strand of blue butterflies
"from one survivor to another."

It didn't do anything to fix
her physical condition, but
a window full of sparkly things
and walls dancing with light
lifted her mood quite a bit.

As long as there are rainbows,
Callista told herself, I can get by.

One thing that was both
an upside and a downside
to living here was the socializing.

Her housemates had a lot of friends,
and most of them had family, although
Haru's had disowned him for being
genderqueer. Rei's family more
than made up the difference.

Lorenzo's home study students,
former and current, added to
the excitement, particularly Fai,
a boy whose Light Powers kept
going off like a flashbulb.

Callista had been an extrovert
before her accident, but no longer
had as much energy for other people.
It often left her feeling lonely.

The household hosted parties
at least once a month, sometimes
small gatherings and other times
big bashes that overflowed the house.

Flocks of children scampered
around, indoors and out, with
a tolerant adult in tow as they
played games or just explored.

There were even dances,
primarily led by Haru and Rei
who would give free lessons to
anyone interested, but Lorenzo
and Analena joined in for fun.

At first Callista felt overwhelmed,
but then Handspring pulled her aside.

"You look like you're starting to wilt,"
Handspring said. "Do you want
to check out the introvert party?
I can pop you upstairs."

"Introvert party?" Callista said.

"Sure, we put the extrovert party
downstairs and the introvert party upstairs.
Outdoor spaces are first come, first served,"
said Handspring. "That way everybody
can find a comfortable place to hang out
and socialize as much as they want."

Callista thought about that. She
didn't want to go back to her room,
but all the people moving around
were starting to make her dizzy.

Out of spoons error, she thought glumly.
"Okay," she said aloud. "Let's go."

Handspring took her arm, and
just like that, they were upstairs.

Callista hadn't come upstairs very much.

The loft above the stairwell was huge,
laid out as the upstairs living room with
couches, chairs, and floor cushions.

An entertainment center and wet bar
filled one end. Another corner held
a bubble wall that gave soft blue light.
Its gentle burble smoothed over
the crowd sounds from below.

"Wow, this party is hopping already,"
Handspring said happily, looking around.

Callista took in the elderly man napping
on one couch, two girls doing a puzzle
on the other, two women looking at
each other's art sketchbooks, and
a man with his nose in a book.

"This is hopping?" Callista whispered.

"Introvert parties are friendly without
being boisterous," Handspring said.
Then she turned to the puzzle mavens.
"Callista needs to lie down. Could
she have the couch for a while?"

"Sure, we can move," the girls said.

"Thanks," Callista said as she stretched out
on the comfy leather couch. "That's better."
At least the room stopped trying to imitate
a waterbed underneath her body.

"I'm Faith, and this is my sister Hope,"
the taller girl said as they settled onto
floor cushions on the opposite side
of the coffee table. "Do you want
to share the puzzle with us?"

Callista looked at the muddle
of blue and brown pieces.
"What is it?" she asked.

"It's called 'Concerto' and it's
a painting of two women playing
violins, in 1500 pieces," Hope said.
She showed the box to Callista.

"I'm not very good, but I'll
give it a try," Callista said.

It was more engrossing than she
remembered from her childhood, because
the puzzle pieces were smaller and
the image harder to figure out.

Faith and Hope talked
about strategies as they sorted
puzzle pieces into piles of similar colors.

Callista recalled the trick of identifying
the corner and edge pieces, so she
picked up the partial frame and
focused on extending it.

I surround myself with people
who treat me well,
she thought,
charmed by the easy inclusion.
Even if it wasn't the same kind of
party she was used to, it was nice.

The old man sat up, murmured
general greetings and farewells,
and wandered down the stairs.

Faith and Hope had divided
the puzzle pieces, each sister
taking the ones that she thought
belonged to a different violinist.

Callista attached the third corner
to the frame of the puzzle.

She was starting to get hungry,
and it made her rock back and forth
on the couch as she tried to decide
whether it was worth going downstairs
in search of something to eat.

The bookworm put down his novel
and said, "If you need something that
I can get for you, just let me know.
I'm thinking about going downstairs."

"A fruit plate and a bottle of
lavender soda?" Callista asked.

"Lavender's in the minifridge
of the wet bar," he said.

"Make me a Granny's Cabinet?" said Hope.

"Sure, I can do that," the man said.
He came back with a bottle of soda
and a glass of something purple
before heading for the stairs.

A few minutes later, he
returned with a fruit plate
in one hand and another
full of cheese, crackers, and
tiny sausages in the opposite.

"Thanks," everyone chorused.

He fetched paper plates and
napkins from the bar, filled
a plate for himself, and then
retreated back to his book.

Callista ate with one hand
while trying to match up
puzzle pieces with the other.

"Can we sketch you?" the artists asked.

"I guess so," Callista said. "Do I
need to pose or anything?"

"No, we wanted to draw you
working on the puzzle," one said.

While they were working on that,
Analena came upstairs with
her daughter Nelia. "She
needs a nap," Analena said.

"There's a couch," Callista said,
waving at the empty one, "or you
could put down floor cushions."

"We'll take the couch," said Analena,
and made a nest for Nelia from an afghan.
"What puzzle are you working on?"

Hope explained the image, and
Faith invited Analena to join them.

Handspring popped back upstairs.
"I wanted to see if you needed
anything," she said to Callista.

"No, I'm good, thanks," said Callista.
She looked around the quiet loft.
"I like the introvert party more
than I expected to."

"That's good to hear," said Handspring.
"Disability doesn't have to define
your life, but you do have to question
what you think you know about it."

"I think," Callista said as she pressed
the fourth corner into its place,
"that you just have to put
the right pieces together."

* * *


Syncope (Callista Nystrom) -- She has pale skin, light blue eyes, and long straight blonde hair. She is tall and slim. Her heritage is Scandinavian. Callista has a background in gymnastics, but after a training injury, she can't do much of that anymore. She gets dizzy spells and has difficulty balancing. On bad days she needs a walker to get around, and she's sensitive about that, because she's so young and beautiful that people routinely accuse her of faking it. She can't drive a car or carry fragile things either. Fortunately she has a good support network of friends and family to help her compensate. Callista lives in Westbord, sharing an accessible house with several other SPOON employees who have disabilities. She has the second bedroom on the ground floor. Her housemates include the Saenz family in the master suite downstairs. Handspring has the fifth bedroom on the upper floor, while Haru Kimura and Rei Moritomo share the master suite upstairs.
Syncope has empathy, but can't use it very effectively. Her receptive ability is minor. Trying to project anything causes so much dizziness that it's all she can usually send out. So she has learned to use this as an advantage: a SPOON team will stash her in a protected location near their intended combat or ambush site, where she can strike at their opponents from safety. She is determined to keep going and accomplish things despite her limitations.
Origin: She was a competitive gymnast before she fell off the trampoline and cracked her skull. When she recovered, she had superpowers.
Uniform: Street clothes.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Flexible, Good (+2) Ethereal Beauty, Good (+2) Positive Thinking, Good (+2) Sequencing, Good (+2) Support Network
Poor (-2) Balance
Powers: Good (+2) Empathy
Limitation: Her receptive Empathy is only Average (0) rank. Using her projective ability makes her feel dizzy, and that vertigo is most of what people receive from her.
Motivation: To keep moving forward.

Hospitals routinely send people home with cheap, shitty, clinical equipment like Callista's first walker. One unfortunate problem with this is it raises the rejection rate, because nobody wants to use adaptive equipment that is ugly and clunky. Compare the lightweight folding walker, and the heavy-duty Rollator. They are much better suited to Callista's needs, at two different levels of support. They're elegant, easy to use, and look nice which lowers the barriers so she'll be a little more inclined to use these when she needs to.

Handspring (Ramona Mahr) -- She has fair skin, dark blue eyes, and long straight brown hair. She was born without legs. She is very muscular with a thick waist and flat chest. As a child, Ramona took gymnastics classes, where she learned handwalking and many other stunts to expand her range of motion. She also studied how to use physics to her advantage. She hates using a wheelchair and only does so as a last resort. For most purposes, Ramona prefers to walk on her hands or to teleport. This starts a lot of arguments.
Because of her fearless exploration, Ramona has a lot of accidents, which has gotten family services called on them more than once. The toddler episode was resolved by displaying all the household safety features. The gradeschool one ended when she kept teleporting home. The junior high one ended when she teleported to the SPOON office and demanded that they make family services stop harassing her for her perferred methods of locomotion.
Ramona has been an enthusiastic traveler all her life. Now she works as a tour guide in San Francisco, teleporting handicapped tourists to places that would otherwise be inaccessible. Handspring also volunteers at the Westbord SPOON office. She lives in a large, accessible house shared with several other soups who have disabilities. She has the fifth bedroom on the upper floor. Her housemates include Callista, along with the Saenz family in the master suite downstairs, while Haru Kimura and Rei Moritomo share the master suite upstairs.
Origin: Her superpower grew in as a toddler, right when most babies learn to walk. It developed just like walking: first hopping up to grab something, or hopping a few feet forward, then higher and longer distances. Her parents put toddler latches on every cupboard in the house, padded or rounded all the sharp corners, bought her a safety helmet and elbow pads, and then encouraged her to develop her ability.
Uniform: Dexflan shorties sealed over the leg ends, and tank tops, in assorted colors. Her favorite color is sky blue. On duty, she has a name badge that clips over the shoulder strap of her top.
Qualities: Master (+6) Gymnast, Expert (+4) Strength, Good (+2) Enthusiastic, Good (+2) Fearless, Good (+2) Making Friends, Good (+2) Physics, Good (+2) Tour Guide
Poor (-2) I Can Walk on My Hands If I Fucking Want To!
Powers: Expert (+4) Teleportation
Motivation: To go everywhere and see everything.

Rayman (Lorenzo Saenz) -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short straight brown hair. He uses a manual wheelchair, usually pushed by his wife; he can also use his Force Beam to push himself, but only backwards. He is married to Analena Saenz. They have a daughter, Nelia, who is one year old. They live in a large accessible house shared with several other disabled soups including Syncope and Handspring. Theirs is the master bedroom on the ground floor.
Rayman used to work for SPOON as a frontline fighter. During a fight with the supervillain Thumper, part of a building fell on Rayman; he lost both arms and the use of his legs as a result. Thumper, who was appalled by the carnage, paid for his medical care and set up a support fund that dispenses a monthly stipend. Currently Rayman works for SPOON as a home teacher for children with new superpowers. He also enjoys storytelling both as a listener and as a performer.
Origin: As a teenager, Lorenzo volunteered at SPOON and other soup contexts. Eventually exposure to other superpowers kicked his from latent to active.
Uniform: Street clothes, modified for easy fit on his damaged body. Lorenzo likes earth tones and neutrals.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Home Teacher, Good (+2) Family Man, Good (+2) Optimist, Good (+2) Physics, Good (+2) Storytelling
Poor (-2) Mobility
Powers: Good (+2) Force Beam
Motivation: Just push through it.

Analena Saenz -- She has fair skin, brown eyes, and long straight brown hair. She has large bones and a thick body. In the past she struggled with an eating disorder, but now it's down to disordered eating. She is married to Lorenzo Saenz. They have a daughter, Nelia, who is one year old. They live in a large accessible house shared with several other disabled soups including Syncope and Handspring. Theirs is the master bedroom on the ground floor.
Analena does much of the work taking care of the house and the people in it. She enjoys keeping track of things. Her skill with sandycrafts includes making sandcastles, sandcandles, and manipulating sand on a lightboard. She has a round lightboard that can spin for making mandalas, or sit still for telling stories.
Qualities: Master (+6) Homemaker, Expert (+4) Caregiver, Good (+2) Organized, Good (+2) Party Games, Good (+2) Sandycrafts, Good (+2) Sturdy
Poor (-2) Disordered Eating

Nelia Saenz -- She has fair skin, blue eyes, and straight blonde hair. She takes after her mother's sturdy build. Currently one year old, she is the daughter of Analena and Lorenzo Saenz. They live in a large accessible house shared with several other disabled soups including Syncope and Handspring. Theirs is the master bedroom on the ground floor. Nelia actually lives in what used to be the larger walk-in closet, which has been converted into a nursery.
Nelia is clever and already babbling in both English and Spanish. A sweet, easygoing baby, she sleeps readily and almost never cries. However, she shows little interest in exploring and usually waits for adults to coax her into activities or toys.
Qualities: Good (+2) Bilingual, Good (+2) Sweet
Poor (-2) Initiative

Haru Kimura -- He has golden skin, brown eyes, and curly dark brown hair currently cut in a mohawk. Paralyzed from the hips down, he uses a sport wheelchair with canted wheels and no push handles. Haru has a female body but with wide shoulders, relatively flat chest, and narrow hips. He is genderqueer and uses masculine pronouns. His birth family disapproves of this and refuses to speak with him.
Haru is partnered with Rei Moritomo. They live in a large accessible house shared with several other disabled soups including Syncope, Handspring, and the Saenz family. Theirs is the master bedroom on the upper floor, bedroom #3. Haru is currently learning how to use Light Control for entertainment. He also wants to learn how to work with superkids.
Origin: A car accident in his teens left him in a wheelchair. Haru took up paralympic dancing. Recently his superpowers manifested, possibly due to his growing interest in the theatrical aspects of dance. That got him kicked out of competition. He is suing because the whole point of paralympic sports is to offer opportunities to people barred from conventional sporting events due to special needs.
Uniform: Formal wear while dancing. Nice street clothes otherwise. He usually wears trousers, but likes feminine shoes and often paints his finger and toe nails. He varies between masculine and feminine tops.
Qualities: Master (+6) Gender Activist, Master (+6) Paralympic Dancer, Expert (+4) Kinesthetic Intelligence, Expert (+4) Fabulous, Good (+2) Dexterity Games, Good (+2) Honorable, Good (+2) Sushi Cook
Poor (-2) Family Outcast
Powers: Good (+2) Light Control
Motivation: To break down the ban against superpowers in sports and entertainment.

Rei Moritomo -- She has golden skin, black eyes, and long straight black hair. She is genderqueer and uses feminine pronouns. Her body is male. Rei has used exercise, a little reconstructive surgery, and fashion expertise to create a subtly feminine silhouette. She has not removed her male parts and does not plan to do so. She enjoys both acting and dancing in the female role. Her enormous family thinks she is amazing, and they have welcomed Haru with equal enthusiasm.
Rei is partnered with Haru Kimura. They live in a large accessible house shared with several other disabled soups including Syncope, Handspring, and the Saenz family. Theirs is the master bedroom on the upper floor, bedroom #3. Rei helps take care of their home, especially the gardening. She can put anything edible on pizza and make it taste good. A household favorite is Doorstop Pizza, made with bamboo wedges.
Qualities: Master (+6) Onnagata, Master (+6) Paralympic Dancer, Expert (+4) Extended Family, Expert (+4) Gender Activist, Expert (+4) Pizza Cook, Good (+2) Elegant, Good (+2) Gardener, Good (+2) Spatial Intelligence, Good (+2) Strategy Games, Good (+2) Wealth
Poor (-2) Finicky

Braxton Allanmeyer -- He has milk chocolate skin, brown eyes, and nappy black hair that he typically shaves off. He is completely blind, and prefers to navigate with a cane. He is left-handed, but when undercover, he pretends to be right-handed; it helps him seem a little clumsy and innocuous. His father is a lawyer and his mother is an executive; Braxton also has two younger sisters. His parents put him through college, where he earned a degree in criminal psychology.
Braxton lives in a large accessible house shared with several other disabled soups including Syncope, Handspring, and the Saenz family. He has bedroom #4 upstairs, with its own covered balcony at the front of the house. His housemate Rei keeps the balcony stocked with plants that have pleasing textures and fragrances. Syncope has the second bedroom on the ground floor, with the Saenz family in the master suite downstairs. Handspring has the fifth bedroom on the upper floor, while Haru Kimura and Rei Moritomo share the master suite upstairs. The open design of the house leaves less for Braxton to bump into as he navigates from one area to another. As a hobby, he enjoys polishing things -- driftwood, seashells, bits of bone or antler, anything he can rub with a piece of sandstone until it is perfectly smooth. He likes to keep dishes of polished objects to play with, and he gives some of the larger pieces to Rei for garden decorations.
In the field, Braxton uses his abilities rather like a private detective. Sometimes he searches for criminals, other times for missing persons. He can infiltrate an area and find out what is happening there. He consults for police departments, search-and-rescue operations, and SPOON. He doesn't hesitate to track down supervillains or even venture into bottom-ten countries. That can lead to long missions. His blindness actually helps him blend in because people tend to overlook anyone with a disability.
Origin: Braxton was born with his superpowers, but it took a long time for anyone to realize that. His Invisibility impaired the development of his retinas. When it started flickering into active mode during his toddler years, sometimes people lost track of him, but he could always find his way back despite being unable to see. He learned to talk early and often picked up information that nobody had taught him. Suspecting something unusual, Braxton's parents took him to SPOON and a talent-reader revealed his abilities. After that it was much easier to train them -- although Braxton had difficulty understanding what "invisible" really meant.
Uniform: On duty, Braxton dresses to blend in with his assignment, which often means scruffy clothes. Off duty, he prefers classy menswear, often with dark neutrals and rich blues or purples.
Qualities: Master (+6) Patient, Expert (+4) Undercover Work, Good (+2) Criminal Psychology, Good (+2) Physically Fit, Good (+2) Polishing Things, Good (+2) Putting People at Ease
Poor (-2) Allergic to Fur
Powers: Good (+2) Invisibility, Good (+2) Metacognition
Limitation: Braxton's Metacognition works primarily on people and events, not on objects or places. He can sense where someone is and what they're doing, but not the layout or furnishings of the site. His awareness is vague at a distance, then gets stronger and more detailed with proximity. Pushing beyond those limits requires intense concentration and effort: it's easier just to navigate with his cane.
Motivation: To figure out the solutions that nobody else can see.

Fai Volken -- He has golden skin, almond-shaped brown eyes, and short wavy auburn hair. His heritage is mixed Asian and American. His superpowers recently emerged and he hasn't developed control yet. They're not harmful, just startling. He is studying at home with the help of Lorenzo Saenz until he learns how to control his abilities.
Origin: Flickering.
Uniform: Asian-inspired children's clothes.
Qualities: Good (+2) Concentration, Good (+2) Helpful
Poor (-2) Fitting In
Powers: Poor (-2) Light Powers
Motivation: To learn discipline.

Priya Karimi -- She has toffee skin, brown eyes, and long straight black hair. She wears glasses. Her heritage includes Arabic and Indian. Her parents want her to marry a Hindu man, and she doesn't want to. Priya likes elegant, fashionable clothes in deep colors. She enjoys hanging out at Handspring's house, usually in the introvert party.
Qualities: Good (+2) Artist, Good (+2) Cheerful, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Intrapersonal Intelligence
Poor (-2) Cross-Cultural Stress

Romaine Matisse -- She has fair skin, hazel eyes. Her long hair is streaked in shades of lighter and darker blonde, with just a hint of wave. She does well in small groups with one or two partners, but finds a larger crowd overwhelming. Romaine likes neutral, shapeless clothing that doesn't attract attention and stands up to rough treatment. She enjoys hanging out at Handspring's house, usually in the introvert party.
Qualities: Good (+2) Artist, Good (+2) Color Vision, Good (+2) Partnership Skills, Good (+2) Patience, Good (+2) Spatial Intelligence
Poor (-2) Hates Crowds

Hope Edelstein -- She has fair skin, brown eyes, and long brown hair with a little wave. She is short and chunky. She is the younger sister of Faith Edelstein. Hope works as a landscaper, and she also goes hiking. She enjoys hanging out at Handspring's house, usually in the introvert party, but she also accompanies her sister in the extrovert party.
Qualities: Good (+2) Hiking, Good (+2) Introvert, Good (+2) Landscaper, Good (+2) Solving Puzzles
Poor (-2) Sensory Processing Disorder

Faith Edelstein -- She has fair skin, brown eyes, and frizzy brown curls to her shoulders. She is tall and slim. She is the older sister of Hope Edelstein. Faith works as a secretary, and she also goes biking. She enjoys hanging out at Handspring's house, usually in the extrovert party, but she also accompanies her sister in the introvert party.
Qualities: Good (+2) Biking, Good (+2) Extrovert, Good (+2) Long Games and Puzzles, Good (+2) Secretary
Poor (-2) Coping with Chaos

Howard Aykroyd -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short black hair. He is autistic. His preferred form of socializing is reading a book in a calm room with other people present, or quiet activities such as board games. He works at a college organizing their archives, where he rarely has to interact with strangers. He enjoys hanging out at Handspring's house, usually in the introvert party.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Bookworm, Good (+2) Observant, Good (+2) Stacks Librarian, Good (+2) Strong Silent Type
Poor (-2) Shy

* * *

"Disability doesn't make you exceptional, but questioning what you think you know about it does."
-- Stella Young

See the sharehouse where Callista lives. Explore the exterior and floor plans.

Downstairs, the master suite belongs to the Saenz family, and the larger walk-in closet has been converted to a nursery. Bedroom #2 belongs to Syncope. The study has been converted to an exercise room with a multigym, a treadmill, free weights, and yoga equipment all accessible to both disabled and able-bodied housemates. The dining room serves as a gaming area, stocked with several different tables and cabinets. They customarily eat in the dinette, which is more convenient in relation to the kitchen. However, the Vizier gaming table converts to auxiliary dining space for large parties. The Alexandria Codex Game Storage Cabinet has a combination of open shelves and deep drawers. The Keep Game Storage Cabinet has labyrinth shelves above wide flat drawers. The covered lanai adjacent to the outdoor kitchen has its own dining table. The covered lanai near the spa has accessible features including an outdoor ping-pong table and a picnic table with two checkerboards and a backgammon board.

Upstairs, Haru Kimura and Rei Moritomo share the master suite Bedroom #6 in the back of the house. Braxton Allanmeyer has Bedroom #4 behind the front balcony. Handspring has Bedroom #5 in the front corner of the house
The loft area serves as the upstairs living room with an entertainment center and clusters of furniture. A bubble wall provides a soothing backdrop. The upstairs A/V room has been converted to a library, lined with low bookcases and backlit stained-glass window emulators.

Syncope's window includes many decorations. See the moon prism, rainbow prism, and leaf prism.

Adapting to disability takes time to develop a new identity. People often struggle with depression as they try to adjust to major life changes. Understand how to cope with an acquired disability.

(This discussion gets a lot more controversial.)
Regrettably one thing these materials tend to overlook is the presence and absence of choice in adaptation: one may choose whether or not to attempt adaptation, and if attempting, one may succeed or fail in that effort. The emphasis also falls on forcing the person to remain incarnate whether they want to or not: a particularly vicious form of torture. While people are aware that physical disability includes many complications that collectively tend to shorten lifespan, and it carries a higher suicide risk, they have not accounted for all variables that total the amount of shortage. One of those is simply that too much shear between identity and body tends to detatch the soul, one way or another. The same is true in the transgender population, especially with untreated gender dysphoria, another population that can have very wide divergence between self-image and flesh. It is particularly ironic that disability advocates demand the right of disabled people to make their own choices -- except for the right to decide that their quality of life no longer justifies living, in which case other people's wishes are said to be more important. (It's the classic hypocrisy: "I support your right to make your own decisions, until you make one I dislike.") Indeed, many of the arguments for preventing suicide are false for some people. I couldn't find anything about rejection as a valid choice, only acceptance, so this aspect of psychology is about where forgiveness theory was back when everyone insisted it was mandatory and before the right to deny forgiveness was recognized. Only when "no" is a valid answer can "yes" have any meaning.

It is Callista's choice to tackle the challenges of self-image and body-image that matters, and thus, gives weight to each small success and discovery along her path. That she lives in a mixed household with other disabled people and abled people helps provide the support she needs to create a new identity and lifestyle. Fortunately Terramagne-America does not have local-America's brutal discrimination against disabled people marrying or living together, and some areas have incentives because it is much easier to build and program a big house for several disabled people than one smaller house or apartment for each individual. Notice that this is a private sharehouse, not a government "group home." Very little has been written about this kind of household, but I managed to find a bit about physical and mental disabilities in intentional community.

Positive affirmations come in many styles. Learn how to use them.

The Spoon Theory explains energy management in chronic illness or disability.

Introvert parties are a modestly popular and growing aspect of T-American culture. Locally not much has been done with it; introverts are either shut out of social activities or dragged through events designed for extroverts. Here are tips to plan an introvert-friendly birthday party, how to host a party as an introvert, and how to survive a party as an introvert. Because everyone deserves to have social events they can actually enjoy and not hate or get hurt in.

Closely related are inclusive parties for people with special needs. Let me begin by saying there is no universal accommodation. You cannot meet everyone's needs all the time at the same event, because some people have conflicting needs. Deaf people need music loud enough to feel; autistic people need quiet space and earplugs. Assistance animals and people with allergies/asthma are not very compatible either. In order to party with disabled folks, you have to consider their needs and how to meet those. Often this means sorting out different options into different areas or times. To include people with disabilities, consider particular categories such as autism, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, hearing impairment, and so forth. Then choose the accommodations that you and/or your guests actually need. Leave out the ones you don't need, because what helps some people may annoy or exclude others. For activities, look up games that work for deaf, blind, or other disabled people. Some of these offer different sensory experiences that pique the interest of abled guests in new ways, too.

A bubble wall such as this tabletop model can provide a relaxing audiovisual focus for people. Watch a video of one.

Faith and Hope are doing the Concerto puzzle with 1500 pieces. Jigsaw puzzles have various strategies, such as sorting by color or finding the edge/corner pieces. Learn how to assemble jigsaw puzzles.

Lavender is a soothing herb. You can buy or make lavender soda.

Granny's Cabinet is a nonalcoholic mixed drink made with Lavender Dry Soda, pear nectar, Monin Violet Syrup, and a dash of Organic Lavender Spice Bitters.

introvert parties

Date: 2017-01-01 03:28 am (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
<3 <3 <3 ... love so many things about this poem!

Clicked on the picture of Handspring and thought, "Of course she's upside down!" I'm glad she has a job she loves, but from her interactions with Callista, I bet she'd also make a fantastic occupational therapist.

On the subject of introvert parties... the CSPC, which is currently on a lack-of-physical-facility hiatus, held a party on the second Friday of every month called Intro-PER-version. It was one of the more popular parties, and one that I attended frequently and will in future once it's available again. Among my favorite of its features were the choice of armbands in red (prefer not to be approached), yellow (approach with caution or if known to wearer), or green (I'm approachable, feel free to chat me up!), which one could wear on a wrist (left for dominant, right for submissive, both for "switch"). They also had blank nametags, on which one could write one's preferred "handle", and also place a two or three digit number for use with the "post office": if you really liked a particular person, or their outfit, or something they said, you had the option to write a note, fold it, and stick it on a note board with their number on the outside, and they could read it and decide whether/how they wanted to respond.

Re: introvert parties

Date: 2017-01-01 08:25 am (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
>> I have been to a few kink events that were fantastic. But there's rarely a way to tell in advance whether it will be habitable ... or like most of them dimly lit, full of strobes, music so loud it's impossible to hear anyone speak, etc. >_<

If I'm going out to meet people, I need to be able to see their faces, hold a conversation, and not have a raging headache. <<

You said it! I've never seen strobes used at IPV, usually lighting is moderate (there are parties with dim lighting, this isn't one of them), and I don't think they played music throughout the venue; it was always possible to have a conversation with an entire table of of 6-8 people, at a reasonable volume. Typical configuration for this party included tables for setting up board games (Munchkin, Jenga, Cards Against Humanity, etc) or crafting, and there was a "laptop room" where one could use laptops or mobile devices (only place in the club where such was permitted) -- but no talking in that room. Not quite as laid-back as the party where Callista is living, but definitely similar in spirit, in various ways.

I often find amplified music too loud. There's a reason I carry foam earplugs just about everywhere; they've certainly "saved the day" on numerous occasions.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-01-01 05:39 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
That "first walker" looks just like the one Rene* was issued during chemo. Yeah, it was awkward.
So is the link on it, with that blasted double prefix. This one works.

«Thumper, who was appalled by the carnage, paid for his medical care and set up a support fund that dispenses a monthly stipend.»
I love this, the decency of many supervillains.

I hadn't heard of disordered eating. Here are articles at Wikipedia and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

• It is Callista's choice to tackle the challenges of self-image and body-image that matters, and thus, gives weight to each small success and discovery along her path.
> I found this sentence hard to follow without backtracking. "What's the subject of 'gives weight'? Not either 'image', not 'challenges'... must be 'choice'." I suggest avoiding the cleft sentence and making "Callista's choice" the subject, something like:
→ Callista's choice— to tackle the challenges of self-image and body-image— is what matters, and thus gives weight to each small success and discovery along her path.

* My dear late wife. Name rhymes with "Houdini"; not short for anything, no accent mark or double "e".
Edited Date: 2017-01-01 05:41 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-01-01 06:02 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Sounds like a wonderful house. I'd gravitate to the introvert party, of course.

Colleen's walker is this Hugo Mobility 770-260 Adjustable Folding Walker, Sapphire Blue. Unlike most walkers, it's narrow enough to get through our bathroom door, which wasn't designed with handicapped people in mind.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-01-01 10:15 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I don't consciously set out to have introvert parties, but the way my annual Chocolate Decadence party tends to settle out is that the people who want to talk and interact hang out in the den and kitchen, while those who are "peopled out" gravitate to the living room and my computer area, with their books or tablets. Other people wander thru those areas occasionally, but the assumption is that anyone who's there is there because they want a quieter environment. Maybe next time I'll put out a jigsaw puzzle in there -- I've got plenty of them, but they don't get much use any more because cats.

There used to be a woman in the Tennessee-area contradance community who danced in a wheelchair. She had one of the ultra-lights, and people just adapted. She could spin that chair on a dime and hand you nine cents change!


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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