Wombo band on 7th street entry stage, Justin in wheelchair watching band
Accessibility (#A11y), Music

Double concert awesomeness

I went to two “new-to-me” venues last month. One of the shows was at the 7th Street Entry and the other was at a jazz supper club. Two wildly different experiences! Crooner’s Supper Club Last month, I went to Crooner’s Supper Club in Fridley, MN to see Ben Sidran. He is an amazing jazz piano… Continue reading Double concert awesomeness

Advocacy, Political

Really?!?

Remember how I’ve been writing about the direct support staffing crisis? That we’re not paying caregivers enough so are having a really hard time trying to find or hire anyone? This story by Kirsten Swanson of KSTP, is more about the direct support crisis impact on group homes: From Group Home to Senior Living Staffing… Continue reading Really?!?

Accessibility (#A11y), Advocacy

ADA 32 & Me 24

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned 32 years old last Tuesday. And, I turn 24 years old on this Tuesday. My entire life has been post-ADA. The ADA addressed some of the concerns like employment discrimination, access to buildings and more. There’s a long way to go though. In Minnesota, I’m finding it all… Continue reading ADA 32 & Me 24

crowd at concert at the Armory, purple lighting
Accessibility (#A11y), Music, Reviews, Writing

Time for some music!

I went to three shows in 10 days in early/mid-June. Just haven’t had time to write up my Live Music Review until now. Two were at the Armory and one was in an outrageously hot bar. All three shows were awesome! The Armory Accessibility Report Update This is an update to my terrible experience at… Continue reading Time for some music!

Justin and his dad in the crowd
Advocacy, Music, Writing

“Never let ‘em break you down”

Actually, independent living in and of itself, is cool. It’s the systems that I need for support that I’m finding incredibly frustrating. Going to keep up the good fight to live a self-directed life! “No matter how far I go, I always end up back here” Remember when I said I was getting a housing… Continue reading “Never let ‘em break you down”

Justin, young smiling man seated in wheelchair in front of adapted keyboard, in living room
Uncategorized

A week of action

Done! I have been keeping a little secret. I have finished the first draft of the book. Yes, I finished on Monday - early by three weeks. This is dual point of view (well, really multi POV) because I wanted to do this from different perspectives and for what the book is dealing with, I… Continue reading A week of action

Advocacy, Music, Writing

86k: what’s next?

I am currently at 86k words and nearing completion of the first draft of the sci-fi fantasy book I have been working on for the last year. My deadline is sometime in the first week of June. I’ll take a little time off before the rewrite process. What am I going to do before the… Continue reading 86k: what’s next?

Justin Smith and Mary Lucia smiling
Accessibility (#A11y), Advocacy, Writing

Independence Year Updates

Short blog today because I want to work on my other writing today. I’m continuing to make progress on putting the pieces together: Housing voucher is officially approved which means my apartment is officially affordable with my paying a percentage of my SSI income on rent. This is a huge thing – many people wait… Continue reading Independence Year Updates

Justin in MN Senate Hearing Room
Advocacy, Political

Bureaucracy + budget + staffing = nightmare

Enough with the waiting around for the “all about staffing” blog. I did have some health stuff I was dealing with and ended up in the emergency room a week ago. I’m doing fine now, but it seems like a good excuse for not getting this post done last week. Recap #1: The first hurdle… Continue reading Bureaucracy + budget + staffing = nightmare