Saturday, November 30, 2013

Disabled Baby Denied Heart Transplant (My Somewhat Opinion + So Much More)

Just today I decided that I wanted to be one of those people who reads the newspaper and visits CNN to read insightful articles that would make good conversation with others in the coming days. As I happily made my way to CNN this afternoon, I came across this article of a little boy who was denied his heart transplant by his doctors ultimately because of his genetic condition that called for a life of mental and physical disabilities.

Originally the doctors made up their own medical reasons as to why the boy couldn't receive the transplant, but after extensive research by the mother that included comments and research from the man that discovered the genetic condition himself, their reasons were concluded invalid. Even though multiple doctors who specialized in genetics and the condition itself noted that the boy's genetic condition shouldn't prevent him from a successful transplant, the doctors still refused. Prior to being diagnosed, the boy's doctors said he would be a good candidate for a transplant, but after receiving news of his condition they then decided that he could no longer benefit from a new heart. But if according to the other doctors, his condition shouldn't effect his ability to have a successful transplant, then why all of a sudden did his own doctors feel he shouldn't receive a transplant after his genetic diagnosis? That's what the little boy's mother asked herself. All the whirlwind of false reasonings and doctors who eventually quit giving her clear reasons as to why he was being denied the transplant, it was brought to the conclusion that the boy was being discriminated against because of his disability.

The little boy, Maverick, discussed in the article. CNN
The article then goes on to talk about other individuals who had disabilities ranging from Autism to Down Syndrome who were also being discriminated against and given false seasonings as to why they weren't given the chance at a transplant. Even with medical research that shows that children with these delays and disabilities fare just as well medically post transplant as other children, they're still being denied the access to new organs.

At first when the article mentioned the mother self diagnosing her son's inability to receive a transplant as discrimination, I thought that she could have been quite simply overreacting (as all parents normally do in such situations). To be honest, we as Americans often pull the discrimination card quite often whether it be in terms of disability or race, we seem to think our problems arise from our differences to others around us.

But as I read more into the article and read other accounts of individuals, it seemed to piece itself together. The boy's parents were being fed false ideas concerning their son's ability to receive and benefit from a new organ. The article even made clear that doctors have been known to discriminate against people with mental disabilities in terms of who receives the organ.

I'm not here to discuss his individual story though, but more of the idea as a whole. It was the urge for me to read the first few comments of the article that ignited this post. I expected people to be fairly sympathetic towards the little boy, with maybe a few having opposing arguments, but that was not the case.

Of the comments I read (and I didn't read them all as holy cow there were more than 2,500), a good majority of people sided with the doctors. Now, I'm a sucker for everyone having their opinion and I was very interested as to why they thought it was okay to deny this child an organ because he was mentally disabled. Their opinions were ignorant to say the least. Actually, I'm going to say their words broke my teenage heart.

Most comments went along the lines of  "I completely agree with the doctors here. Organs are a scarcity and when they do become available they need to be given to a candidate that can live a full life and contribute to society. You have to think that a child died to give up that organ and it needs to go to another child who can do great things with it."

Their words make sense to an extent. The organ should go to an adult/child that can live a prosperous life and truly benefit from the organ, but it's more of what they're implying. By agreeing with the doctors and saying they had the right to deny this boy a heart (along with what they previously said), they're entailing that a child with disabilities can't live a full life. They're saying that a child with mental and physical delays can't contribute to society. They're saying a child with Autism or Down Syndrome can't do great things, therefore should be bypassed when it comes to transplants and the organ should be given to a normal child.

And I'm not talking about the above being one comment. There were multiple people repeating the same thing. Some even went as far as saying if their child died, they'd want their organs to go to a normal child who could live a long and fulfilling life.

It seems that people's ignorance has led them to believe that those with "special needs" can't live a fulfilling life and it hurts so bad for me to think that others have this mindset. To be honest, I thought our country had for the most part, already overcome the hurdle that stated those with mental and physical disabilities can't amount to anything, and it pains me to think otherwise.

There is so much that I've learned in my incredibly short life span about those who were once deemed worthless. There's a young girl with Down Syndrome who works a full time job at a local restaurant where I live who delivers food to guests with no help or direction as to where the food should go aside from a name and ticket number on the receipt. I have a very good childhood friend who has Autism that I see accomplish great things every day and has never once made me think Autism was in any way a mental disability. There's a girl at my school who wears the tag special needs yet never fails to stop me in the hallway by name to have a conversation with me about my classes and how my day is going. It pains me to think that if either one of these people needed a transplant, they could quite possibly be overlooked because they have a disability.

Quite honestly, I'm going to stop here even though I have so much anger and hurt still pounding inside of me. I'm going to leave this post on the note that I hope you all consider donating your organs in hopes that one day there won't be a need to pick and choose who receives a kidney as there will be an abundance of them.

I also hope that one day my dear friends can all be viewed as equals in the eyes of our society. Have a fabulous day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

One Year(ish) Anniversary

Side note: My one year anniversary was actually Saturday, but leave it to me to screw something up. I kept telling myself the one year mark was Black Friday and then it hit me that Black Friday is never the same date every year. Oops. 

Today marks one year and four days since I sat down to write this four sentence (if you count my caption) blog post. It is quite possibly the shortest post I've ever written (and I say quite possibly because there's no way I'm going back through all my old posts to qualify that statement). 

I really wanted to just have a big throwback wednesday and re-link and re-share all my favorite posts and pictures in honor of this occasion, but then I realized I did that for my 100th blog post and I'm pretty sure there's some unsaid blog etiquette book that says you can only do that every 100 posts or so. Even if there's not, we probably shouldn't risk it.

So instead I had to reach far into the creative part of my brain which I'm 90% sure doesn't really exist and come up with something spectacular. After a few days hours minutes of contemplating, I came up with a plan.

Without further ado, I'm proud to say that I might finally give you some insight in to who I am, but in groups of four to honor those rad four sentences that started it all.


TV Shows that I Waste Spend a Lot of Time Watching

1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Bones
3. Toddlers and Tiaras (let's not judge here)
4. Ellen

Current Favorite Songs

1. Dead Sea - Lumineers

2. Otherside - Macklemore ft. Ryan Lewis

3. Tennis Court - Lorde

4. Demons - Imagine Dragons

Favorite Things that Don't Have a Catagory

1. dark purple nail polish
2. eating spicy things then drinking my weight in Dr. Pepper
3. bracelets
4. hugs 

My Most Favorite Pictures (because I couldn't help myself to not throwback a few things)





Favorite Books

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
2. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (This author has such a knack for writing it's not even funny. He's got some magical gift that makes his writing soooo fantastic beyond words.)
3. 13 Reasons Why - Jay Asher
4. Deja Dead - Kathy Reichs

Favorite Things I Do to Waste Time (besides blogging of course)

1. Taking pictures of trees and grass and all that fantastic nature stuff in my front yard while simultaneously trying to hide from passing cars.
2. Burning CDs for all my friends because we're trying to bring that kind of stuff back.
3. Playing soccer in weather that is not so kind to my toes and fingers and legs and ears.
4. Going out to eat because food is always on the agenda.

Favorite Places to Waste my Money

1. Target
2. Forever 21
3. Goodwill (it's a new trend for the kids who are utterly broke aka everyone)
4. Starbucks

Favorite Words that Generally Work Their Way into My Conversations

1. fantastic
2. rad
3. fabulous
4. y'all

Things I'm Bad At

1. getting things done
2. not spending money
3. being consistent
4. juggling five swords while riding a unicycle across a thin wire over the grand canyon


Hopefully now I'm less of a mystery than I was before, but if not I may do a Q&A or something fantastic like that in the near future. So throw some confetti and eat some turkey and celebrate the fantastic one year and four days anniversary of Sunsets and Sundays.

Have a fabulous day.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Why I Hate Blogging

I'll be hitting the one year mark of my blog later this month and as I was drawing my thoughts from the past twelve months to make some overly cliche post about my one year anniversary, my mind took a different train for a moment. Instead of focusing on all the fantastic times I've had blogging, I've decided to take another approach:

Why I Hate Blogging 

Note: This won't replace my soon to come one year anniversary post.

1. Everyone Can Do It

The biggest beauty of blogging is ironically its greatest downfall. Creating your "one of a kind" blog is as simple as an email address and five minutes. Websites and other bloggers promise that everyone can do it, but in reality they can't and probably shouldn't. As harsh as this sounds, some people are just plain boring (and I hope I'm not perceived as one of them).

2. It's a Number Game

This is my biggest pet peeve of blogging. Everyone's obsession is either directly or indirectly related to the numbers that appear on their blog's dashboard. And I've fallen prey to this compulsion once twice multiple times before, but I've noticed some people take these figures too far. It's a sucky realization that people aren't reading your blog as much as you want them to, but every once in a while we just all need to chill out and have a muffin. If you're writing for page views and followers, you're doing it wrong.

3. Comments are More of a Way to Promote Your Blog Instead of Your Thoughts and Ideas

I want to take back my first statement in #2, because I have changed my mind. THIS IS MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE OF ALL TIME BLOGGING OR NOT. This loops back to number two like a big Christmas bow because it's probably one of the most common pawns in the number game of blogging. People leave two word comments with their blog linked to the end of their not so insightful words. Don't get me wrong, people who leave meaningful comments and then put their blog's URL at the end don't bother me. It's more like those who say "nice post *insert blog*" and call it day.

I usually don't leave my blog's URL at the end of my own comments and I usually don't mind when others do, but there's a boundary between commenting to promote your blog and commenting because you have something to say. Luckily, I've never had a comment left on my own personal corner of the internet aka my blog where the commentor's sole purpose was to endorse their blog, but it doesn't mean I don't see it happen ALL THE TIME.

4. People Quit Writing

Sometimes I see blogs that have lost the meaning of writing a blog somewhere between them posting every single day and their 1,000 blog followers that they most likely accumulated from "love your blog do you think you could check out mine?" type comments. They crank out meaningless posts of random pictures and copy and pasted recipes like a blog writing factory with the saying "less is more" meaning nothing to them.

Instead of writing a thoughtful post once or twice a week, they find a way to copy and paste a post together every single day, completely defeating the purpose of a blog: to write.


End rant, cue opposing sides' arguments and hopefully I few minds that feel the same as me.

And because I hate posting without leaving some pictures, here's a sneak peek of my soon to be written (because let's be real, I haven't started it) second fall post.

Have a fabulous day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fallen Princesses

Thanks to the fantasticness of social media and what not, I came across a really interesting article featuring a photographer to the name of Dina Goldstein. The story focused on her latest series named "Fallen Princesses".

(I highly suggest you read the article here before continuing reading my post.)

Essentially, Ms. Goldstein took the lives of arguably the most well known females of all time (the Disney Princesses) and captured their real world fate. I have to say this is probably one of the most interesting photographer's series I have yet to come across in my short life span in photography. I enjoy that the article has the photographer's comments below each picture because as much as I hate to admit it, I didn't "get" some of the pictures right away. Although once I read her reasoning behind each photograph I couldn't help but to think how genius they were.

One of my favorites has to be Ariel's. For those who didn't have the time to read the article, she was put in an aquarium and a little boy is gazing upon her from in front of the glass. Ms. Goldstein's comment was about how our society is fixated on beauty. We tend to capture things that are unique and extraordinary and keep them for our own pleasure and entertainment, and I couldn't agree more.

Another one that hit hard was Belle's photograph. For anyone who needs a refresher, Belle was especially noted for her beauty in her story. In her photo she has aged and is faced with the choice of whether to accept her new beauty or use modern day interventions to bring herself back to her original looks and she chooses the latter. It's a story that should even speak to the younger generation; self-image is a dangerous thing.

I'm trying so hard not to talk about every picture she shot, so I'll conclude my review with Rapunzel's picture. This princess is easily notable for her hair which is the center of her fairy book story. In her modern world fate she is faced with a harsh battle fought by numerous people -cancer- which results in the loss of her beloved hair. It's a degrading side effect for many women whether they have long blonde locks or not and the picture speaks so much.

The article mentions that the series was shot on a budget of practically nothing which kind of makes me appreciate the photos a little more. Also I noticed on another article that I read about the series that many people had an issue with Princess Jasmine's picture as they thought it implied a racist meaning, although in her defense this article didn't explain the meaning of each picture like the one I linked you all to, and some people's minds think up crazy things when they're left to their own devices if you know what I mean. I could play devil's advocate as I do see where their racists comments could be stemmed, but her choosing for Jasmine to be fighting in the battlefield wasn't for stereotypical purposes, but because this was a reasonable outcome for Jasmine's personality. She's very rebellious and strong willed therefore it makes sense that she would be the type of woman to go off and defend her country. This is just my opinion and if yours differs, I'd love to know.

All I have to say is kudos to your Ms. Goldstein, kudos to you.

Oh and have a fabulous day.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

October Favorites

The title of this post is extremely misleading, a lot of emphasis on extremely.

It's more of an explanation then anything, but bare with me here.

When I started my blog, I jumped right in without knowing what I wanted to do. I just started writing posts and then published them until I eventually found my shape and formed the blogger that I am today. I'm still forming her to be honest but it's okay as it's quite the adventure.

When I started my monthly favorites it was more to conform with the hundreds of millions of teenage girls who wrote fashion blogs than it was for my own personal enjoyment/fun. It's kind of sad as it's an exact personification of girls in internet form. I changed what I wanted so I could be like everyone else *sigh*.

On that note, the monthly favorites will essentially be no more. That's not to say I won't occasionally share my new favorite shirt or those fantastically cute boots or the mascara that really does make your lashes look 10x bigger, but not on a  regular basis. And who knows, I may eventually realize that the monthly favorites was so my thing and quitting them was a mistake, but right now I'm just not feeling it.

It's honestly weird that I'm closing this chapter as I love fashion. I love shopping and reading fashion blogs and I indeed spend thirty minutes every morning frantically searching for how I want to represent myself that day in fashion form. I just don't enjoy writing about it and more importantly I HATE trying to take pictures of my shirts and earrings and new concealer. I also hate finding the pictures on the internet after I give up on taking the pictures myself.

It's just not my thing.

My apologies if my monthly favorites were the only reason you followed my blog, but I hope as you've stuck around for all the other non-fashion posts you've grown to love other things about my space on the internet.

So let's go on with life and I'll learn new things about myself and start new things and end old things. As long as we're having fun, I guess it doesn't matter.

Have a fabulous day.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oh, Fall.

Life is about thirty different kinds of crazy at the moment. I kinda like it if we're being honest here (and we always are), but sometimes you just need a second to breath in some fantastic fall air.

(Disclaimer: the use of the words fantastic and fall are about to be overly used to the point of insanity, read with caution.)

If fall would seriously quit being so fantastic around here maybe I could pull myself together to occasionally be productive, but other things are calling my name. Like the short life span of fantastically colored fall leaves that float off the trees and die before I can even begin to comprehend their fantasticness. Or maybe if I could quit drinking hot chocolate and chilling with my dog on our front porch I could get around to reading more blogs and stuff (I'm seriously reading blog posts written three days ago as I'm so incredibly behind). Or maybe if I didn't decide to go ride my bike down some trail in Virginia where fall is on the brink of being engulfed by winter and it's coldness and bare trees I could write my essay for English.

Oh, fall.

The above picture was a part of the bike trail I mentioned earlier. It was beautiful and fantastic and so soul warming I can't even begin to explain. It was a very easy 17 mile bike trail (with no sarcasm intended) as they drive you to the top of the mountain and everything is literally down hill from there. I passed six year olds pedaling in their light up Buzz Lightyear shoes who weren't even breaking a sweat.

The trail made me realize that I kind of want to buy an ENO hammock and fill up my Nalgene and go hike the Appalachian Trail or something. Or maybe take up something really hardcore and fantastic like mountain biking or white water rafting. I don't really know what, but I'm feeling it.

Virginia was also very far advanced in the final stages of fall by the time I got around to biking the trail, but I could still find little pieces of the third season sticking around. Most trees had already lost all their leaves, but every so often you could spot a cluster of trees sprinkled with its autumn leaves just chillin' waiting to be photographed.

It was perfect.

Please ignore all that nasty dirt under my nails. And the fact that they're not
 painted like every other 16 year old girl's. 

I've seriously become slightly obsessed with photographing fall and fall leaves and fall trees and fall anything. It's genuinely the most gorgeous season ever (especially here in North Carolina), but it always seems to slip away before I can get all the fall-y things accomplished. Before we know it, winter comes riding in on a sleigh and all the leaves fall off and disappear and the trees have nothing to them but sticks and lonely branches. 

Oh, fall, just never ever ever leave me.

I can absolutely promise you in advance that there will be another fall post. I still have a ton of pictures on my phone, but getting them from my phone to my computer to blogger is totally not something I want to do right now, but I will soon. Hopefully. Key word being hopefully.

But for now, go enjoy the fantastic and fabulous season of fall.