Kim’s note: This is the second installment in a series introducing different voices from around Omaha. Each week, I’ll introduce a different Omaha blogger, what his or her blog is all about, and since I love getting recommendations as much as I love giving them, I’ve asked each person to share some Omaha tips. Today’s blogger is Mardra Sikora, whom I introduced to you – kinda – before when I reviewed a children’s book by her son, Marcus, called “Black Day: The Monster Rock Band.” Here’s more about Mardra…
Grown Ups And Downs
Name: Mardra Sikora
Describe your blog in five words.
Marcus-stuff. Awesome-stuff. Life-stuff. (and) Down-syndrome-stuff.
What are the two most popular posts on your blog? What makes them so good?
“Marcus’ Answer to The Daily Mail” (which was also published on the Huffington Post under the title: “What One Young Man with Down Syndrome Wants You to Understand”). While I struggled to find the words, struggled with how to reply to a very disturbing article that rocked our community, Marcus boiled it all down to one simple thing. And he was, as he often is, right.
The other most popular is: “Brushfield Spots – The Coolest Genetic Trait Ever” This gets consistent “hits’ every month and is a top “Google draw.” Although I stand by the title, and I love these stars in my son’s eyes, this is not my favorite post; it doesn’t even make the Top 10. So, I surmise no one else is talking about Brushfield spots and I did/am, so people keep coming to it. (Resounding endorsement, I know.)
What social media channel are you on the most and why? Well, right now I’m on the Facebook page a lot because of Marcus’ book (“Black Day: The Monster Rock Band”) and gaining new “followers” for Grown Ups and Downs. But normally, I love Twitter. I love the conversations and the information and the feeling a giant, secret algorithm doesn’t control it all.
You get one hour to spend on writing, where in Omaha do you go? My favorite place in Omaha to write is the Joslyn Art Museum. Their café area has Wi-Fi and if you go at lunchtime, you can get coffee or pop. (The food is great and affordable if you want the whole experience.) The thing is, you can’t beat the vibe of writing surrounded by so much inspiration. I love it!
If friends visit from out of town, what three places would you take them to? OK, I’m going to cheat and give two answers. If acquaintances or business associates come from out of town, then I will send them to the expected top hot spots of: The zoo, The Old Market, and out for a good steak, probably to The Drover. BUT, friends? That’s different entirely. First, still about steak, but we’d go to Johnny’s Café in South Omaha. Great steaks, a “campy” atmosphere that makes me smile, good wine, and I’ve never, ever, had bad service. Of course we’d got to the Joslyn Art Museum, we’d wander outside (if it’s summer), and inside whisper over all the things we see, don’t see, and love but don’t understand. And, truth be told, the top attraction my friends come to town for is “The Table of Laughter,” which is my dining room table that actually takes up my whole living room and is the best place to be for games, wine, dinner, chocolate and, as the title states, plenty of laughter. Sorry – it’s very exclusive.
What’s your favorite free thing to do in Omaha? (This will probably surprise you) I have to say the Joslyn, again. Because it is free, I don’t have to make a big deal of it. I can go for a half an hour by myself or I can go soak it in with a friend.
More About Mardra
Mardra Sikora is an author, speaker, & advocate who believes in the power of words and uses both fiction and non-fiction to advocate for and with her adult son, Marcus. Author of “Essay: Arguing Eugenics,” and The Future and Other Twists: A collection of short and super-short stories. Her work is also included in a variety of anthologies and national websites including The Huffington Post.
From Mardra to you guys: I hope to not only help families who already love someone with Down syndrome, but also help anyone who looks to live their life open to possibilities. Marcus teaches me, helps me, and pushes me, like this short lesson from just the other day.