In the mornings, Rick sits on the Lake Eola Park bench closest to the small bridge with the extremely cumbersome arch. In the afternoons, you can find him nestled under the 408 at the beginnings of Magnolia. Sometimes he has head phones on. Always he is reading. At least two times a week for the […]** Read More
I first contacted Master Legend a couple of months ago after watching the HBO documentary Superheroes. The only person who had mentioned Orlando’s superhero before then was my friend Matt. He had read an article in Rolling Stone about him and insisted I track him down for an interview…** Read More
My first food truck experience was very memorable because it didn’t quite happen exactly. My boyfriend and I were out-numbered by a thousand other food-lovers who also showed up to the first TheDailyCity.com Food Truck Bizarre. We had invited a couple friends to go with us and sold them on it being a quiet night […]** Read More
My first trip to Sweet! was indeed just that, a birthday surprise from my boyfriend. “Let’s get in the car and drive. I have a surprise for you,” he had said. Like any female–girl, teenager or woman–that hears the combination of words birthday and surprise, I was giggly and gooey with excitement. And then we […]** Read More
Someone told me to interview Lucky. Within a few days of learning his name, two other people brought him up in conversation. That’s how I knew it was time to track this guy down and introduce myself. Thanks to a fellow Facebooker who suggested we be friends, he was easy to find. What was more […]** Read More
It was in front of Starbuck’s in Thorton Park that I first met Geek. He was sitting on an outdoor metal chairs next to a large speaker blaring bears, rapping, resting, and holding down the street corner. He asked for my name. I was reluctant to give it to him because what rhymes with Jana is banana.** Read More
This past Sunday, Mayor Dyer declared November 16 as “Spinal Cord Injury Day” in the City of Orlando. It is no coincidence that the day doubles as my 10-year anniversary of living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). My friend Shelby and I worked hard to create a fundraiser called Project Vandalism. What I wanted to do was keep myself busy on a day that can be tumultuous; Shelby—and I’m not sure why—took the opportunity to turn an idea I had into a thesis project for school. The end result was a two-day weekend event, a Rockin’ 80’s Party/Silent Auction at City Arts Factory held Friday night and then a “Walk Because You Can” around Lake Eola Sunday morning, where Orlando’s Mayor dedicated a day to SCI. The goal of both affairs was to raise money for a family to receive a wheelchair accessible van.
Another part of Project Vandalism’s mission was to bring awareness of spinal cord injuries to the community. As someone heading up the project, I’ve been asked to share my experience of living with a SCI over the past 10 years, even though doing so pushes me far outside my comfort zone. Truth be told, I am still not comfortable sharing my personal writing, but for the sake of Dejon getting his van—the new SCI person we chose as the recipient of the donation and also the following interview after this article—and also because I need to fulfill a writing requirement for my independent study at Rollins—with Dr. Deaver’s assistance, I’m attempting to become comfortable with the uncomfortable—I want to share my story.
I’ve compiled a list of 10 questions that I’ve been repeatedly asked during the past 10 years of living in a wheelchair. I will attempt to answer them as honestly as candidly as I can. One thing you should know about those of us with SCIs is that we are all different. Much like how your kindergarten teacher used to talk about all the colors found in a Crayola box—Burnt Sienna is hardly Brick Red. Therefore, please don’t hold me accountable for speaking for all those that are injured. This is only my story and opinions—no one else’s.** Read More
“I’d like to do something nice for someone else,” I told my friend Shelby. We were on the way to school, and she had asked me what I was going to do for my 10-year anniversary of living with a spinal cord injury. November 16 was approaching quickly, and I was obsessing about it. “What would you do?” she asked. […]** Read More
The last time I told someone I had my tarot cards read, they replied, “You believe in that crap?” The answer is yes I do—I am a sucker for tarot card readings. And when I say sucker, I don’t necessarily mean it in the way most people say it to me after I confess that I pay for tarot card readings. I am sucker because I understand how silly it may seem for someone to invite a psychic stranger into their personal life, yet I have no problem doing so. In fact, it’s become a “thing to do” when traveling, like watching a sunset on the beach or touring the Empire State Building. I am comfortable with the idea that I gravitate towards neon signs that say PSYCHIC READINGS HERE, even though most people may not be.
So it should come as no surprise that I sought out Judith at the Downtown Orlando Farmer’s Market. The sign Psychic Tarot Reading was all it took for me to rummage through my purse for some cash. Luckily, I had some on me because Judith’s card reading, more than any other I have had before, brought some good insight into my life. No, she did not predict my future but instead confirmed ideas and thoughts that had been already floating around in my head. Because I say, “Yes, I believe in that crap,” when I’m questioned about tarot card reading, I asked Judith to do an interview with me with hopes she could explain tarot cards better than I can.
What was most interesting about Judith’s interview was our conversation after the recorder was turned off. I sat with her in the booth for an hour, only after she called me out for having a rose and pink aura. I would like to tell you more about what that means but that’s personal … and I only tell strangers those sorts of things.
Page 15 is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping inner city kids discover their voices through reading and creative writing. It’s also a foundation that my best friend Julia has dreamed about doing since we ran laps around Lake Silver for high-school soccer practice. Nearly fifteen years later, she has made the foundation become a reality.
The Page 15 kick-off is a five-week camp that starts this summer at the Urban Think! Bookstore in Thorton Park. Five groups of kids will meet for one week at the bookstore, for a total of five weeks, to write their first children’s book. They also get the chance to design the cover of their book as told to a professional illustrator, experience a reading of a children’s book by the author himself and cooperate with a musician in writing a class song. When the camp started with its first group, a brilliant but wild bunch of kindergartners, I was there to help Julia corral the young writer’s.
The highlight for me was interviewing each child for their Author’s Bio found on the back of each writer’s book. The interviews were only meant to be short, but when a couple of the kids started talking I just couldn’t stop. And so I pressed on with more questions until they were ready to end the interview, which wasn’t long. Below are interviews from Justin and Graham, two very talented young men. I can only hope you enjoy the interviews as much as I enjoyed conducting them.** Read More