Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Friday, November 30, 2012

Stuff Autism Says (And Writes!)

David had to write an informational theme paper. Check out his subject!!


That boy would eat his weight in bacon every single day if I let him. It's no wonder it weighs heavily upon his mind through the school day. That's my boy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Dream Of The Day When It's OK To Wear Our Clothing More Than Once

In the news today (and yes, it must be a slow news day), Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge was seen parading about in (gasp!) the same dress that she wore a year ago.

My God.

The horror.

What is the monarchy coming to when royalty can parade about in such a fashion? And we're no better than that across the pond, here. Michelle Obama can frequently be seen wearing not only repeated fashions, but clothing bought at discount retailers. It's an outrage! It's a scandal! It's...it's....

It's refreshing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Know Of A Wondrous Land

I have a special place I go that feeds my soul like no place else.

While I'm there I can be anything, I can do anything - I am all things I know that I can be.

I dream amazing things there, too. Inventions, recipes, parenting strategies, professional advances. I see it all so clearly, all the things I can and should do. I'm brilliant there. I believe in myself. My future is now when I am there.

And nothing can stop me.

Nothing.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Once Upon A Time - Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: Playin' With The Queen Of Hearts



We begin with a flashback to the Enchanted Forest of old, and a hooded figure is bringing food to a prisoner in a tower. Said figure turns out to be my favorite pirate captain, who breaks into the world's most elegantly decorated cell to rescue Belle.

Only he's lying - trying to get information from her about Rumplestiltskin's dagger. She has no idea what he's talking about so Hook promptly drops the facade and smacks her across the chops, Then he bares that hook and prepares to disembowel her, only to be thwarted by Regina.

Two notes I have to make here:

First....this is the only scene in the whole series so far featuring Hook that I seriously have a problem with. Watching Hook strike a helpless woman, much less try to outright murder one - it just feels...wrong. I realize Belle is a means to an end, but this scene has just never set right with me. Killian Jones, for all his pirating ways, has a code of honor so deeply ingrained it should be etched in his bones. Murdering a helpless girl - even if she's Rumpletstiltskin's girl - just doesn't mesh with Killian as we've come to know him.

My second note is another behind-the-scenes bit. This was the first scene Lana Parilla and Colin O'Donoghue filmed together, and they are both just spot on. What chemistry! So perfectly evil in two different ways and the way they dance around each other...it almost makes me want to ship them. Almost.



Anyway, back to the scene. Regina looks amazing in that sapphire blue gown, and she offers Hook a deal: if he goes to Wonderland and rips her mother's heart out, bringing the body back to her, she'll take him to Storybrooke with the curse. In a land without magic, he can kill Rumplestiltskin with ease.


Once Upon A Time - Season 2, Episode 8 Recap: Hunka Hunka Burnin' Hook



We begin tonight with a wet and steamy Captain Hook, and I must say, I'd be okay with beginning every single episode this way. DAYum.




He and Cora have a wonderful scene, in which she castigates him for letting Emma get away with the compass, reminding him that "he chose her." I remember the first time I saw this episode. I knew that line was prophetic. Or maybe I just really wanted it to be prophetic. Anyway, Cora gives him hell and leaves him, quite literally in the dirt for his betrayal, determined to go on without him.

Cora returns to her vault, where we see her pull out a heart that somehow activates a bunch of other hearts around it, and she utters a command: rise.

We watch an army of zombies (the bodies of the village she slaughtered) rise up, presumably to go after Emma, Snow and the girls.


Monday, November 19, 2012

NaBloPoMo # 19: It Was Only A Dream, But I Carry It Still

Prompt: If you had to get locked in someplace overnight alone, where would you choose to be locked in?


Oh, the things that spring to mind with this topic!

Ryan Reynolds' shower stall? The best, biggest suite on a cruise ship? The candy department at Harrod's?

The list I could draw up boggles the mind. Each would be fun or interesting or em-fattening (yes, that's a word because I said it is) in it's own right. I think, though, I'd like to return to someplace I've already been.

My son's mind.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

NaBloPoMo # 18: Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Searing Pain, I Learned From A Lego

I went to the doctor once, when I badly sprained my wrist. As she carefully examined me, she asked "What's your pain level like?" I mused on that a moment and she added, "You know....on a scale of 'I'm drinking a glass of wine on the beach' to 'I just knelt on a Lego'".

Any parent reading this just instantly cringed.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's Hard To Be Merry In A Mall: 6 Things Everyone Working Retail Wishes You'd Remember

The holiday season is upon us once again, and as I watch the commercials on TV, wade through the decorations at the Mall, and watch store owners prepping to open earlier than ever on Thanksgiving Day, I think the same thing I do every year:

Thank God I'm not in retail anymore.

I spent entirely too many years after college (thanks to that ever-employable Theatre degree) doing time in retail. I worked in clothing, shoes, lingerie, books and jewelry. I worked as a part-timer, seasonal help, full-timer, assistant manager, manager, and did five years as a district manager over a dozen stores in three different states. Throughout all that varied retail experience, I found one thing that just about all retail workers have in common:

They hate this time of year.

They love it when the commission check comes in (if they qualify for commission, that is - a lot of them don't), but during this holiday season when the milk of human kindness should be flowing and the holiday cheer should abound, you'll find very few gentlemen resting merry in the mall and the Christmas spirit is more like a shrieking poltergeist in the form of an angry woman denied a discount for lack of a coupon.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Smoke Gets In My Eyes (Or Maybe Just My Overactive Imagination)



A haunted house can chill the blood or bring a smirk to the face of any cynic. Me, I just take it all in stride. Oh, I don't have a haunted house. I'm just haunted all by myself.


It began nearly ten years ago, and at first, I thought I must be encountering it naturally. I'd be driving in my car, or walking in a shopping mall or cooking dinner in my house and there it would be: the smell of cigarettes.

I don't smoke. Never have. Neither does anyone in my house.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Stuff Of Nightmares

Do you want to know what kinds of things Autism Moms have nightmares about?

This kind of stuff.

One of the hellish things about being a parent to an especially vulnerable child is the fact that he won't always be able to communicate to me that he's been abused.

I feel sick to my stomach and I hope these guys get the strongest penalties allowed under law. I also hope they're never in a position to have someone they love be in an abusive situation that they cannot escape.

NaBloPoMo #15 Geddy, The Rockin'est Cat I Knew

Prompt: Tell us about your favorite pet.

I grew up a "dog" girl. My family only ever had dogs. My first memory is of a childhood chihauhua, then a lovable mutt that we had to give away when we moved back from England, then a daschund I adored, and finally the lovable, droopy, drooling half bloodhound/half basset hound that passed away when I was in college.

Then suddenly, three years into my collegiate career, a tiny little siamese kitty showed up on my boyfriend's doorstep one fall day. He was pressed against the brick near the door, probably seeking some warmth as it had just started getting chilly outside. We brought him in the apartment, fed him a piece of bologna, let  him walk around a bit and then shooed him outside.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving As A Single Mom Calls For Charlie Brown

It was 2010, and Thanksgiving was fast approaching. For the first time in all my life, I was going to be spending Thanksgiving alone.

Thanksgiving, once I became a married woman, was always about my husband's family. We didn't live anywhere near mine, so we always traveled on the holiday, catching up with his side of the family. I never did mind that - I adored my in-laws and still do.

When my husband left and we began the long, arduous process of going from "we" to "me", we agreed to split the holidays in an equitable fashion, but I insisted he keep Thanksgiving all to himself. The kids always loved to visit their aunts, uncles and cousins, and I wasn't going to take that away from them, particularly when it was only going to be the three of us and neither of my kids cared for turkey.

So I signed up with a temp service in town to work over black Friday weekend - it made some badly needed extra money for Christmas and it kept me from sitting around feeling sorry for myself. The holiday was looming, and the last thing I wanted to do was make my kids feel terrible that Mom was going to be all alone. Even if Mom did feel terrible. And believe me, I did.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NaBloPoMo #13 Thanks, Mom And Dad

Prompt: What was the bravest thing you've ever done?

My parents were the original helicopter parents.

Not in the way that those parents are now, mind you. They weren't on the phone constantly to my teachers, they didn't make me participate in sports and then complain over every team roster and personal foul. They were what we used to call "sheltering" or "overprotective".

Those terms sound really ludicrous to me as a parent now. Part of me wants to scream that you can never, not ever, protect your children too much. But the girl who grew up with those parents knows that my job as a parent is to equip my children as much as possible to be able to live - and thrive - in a world without me in it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

NaBloPoMo#12 Why Yes, I Blog In My Car. Doesn't Everybody?

Prompt: Where is your favorite place to blog?

I'm blogging in my car
Turn on the radio
I pull a thought closer
It just says no
I say that I don't like it
But I know I'm a liar
'Cause when I drive
Ooooh-oooh fi-re...

You heard me. I blog in the car.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

NaBloPoMo #11: Unplanned



He was as planned as planned could be. As a child of assisted fertility, every phase of his conception was watched closely, scheduled down to the minute. When he divided into eight cells, I got to see him under an electron microscope, my eyes wide with wonder as I realized I could tell him about this someday.


Since he was going to be a second c-section for me, I got to plan the date of his birth. We chose Veteran's Day, because it was a holiday for my husband and he wouldn't have to use vacation time. That morning, we headed to the hospital, reading magazines and whiling away the time. They ended up getting backed up by an emergency, and it was noon before they took me in to the operating room. Soon I heard an angry wail, and a warm little bundle was laying on my chest. I stared into his deep, brown eyes and marveled at his ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes. He popped into the world just as planned, where he'd be welcomed by his adorable big sister, just as planned. He'd have a wonderful life where he'd be a football star or a doctor or a teacher or world class snowboarder, just as planned.

That's what you get for trying to plan something like life, I guess.


Once Upon A Time - Season 2, Episode 7 Recap: Hungry Like The Wolf



We begin in the mines with the magnificent seven where Grumpy has just busted through a wall with sheer grump-power and found a vein of magical diamonds that can be ground into fairy dust, putting David one step closer to getting to Snow and Emma via Jefferson's battered hat.

They all decide to celebrate over beers down at Granny's, and we see a really sweet interaction between Ruby and Billy (a.k.a. "Gus," a nod to my favorite mouse from Cinderella, "Gus Gus"). Billy asks Ruby out but she has to decline. Tonight is the first full moon since the curse broke and she can't be out and about. Granny has welded her a cage in the deep freezer, and despite David's protestation that she's harmless and he knows it, she locks herself inside.

David heads back out to finish his beer and into his booth slides King George - who is now the town DA, and he lets David know in ringing tones that he's challenging his authority. David isn't even sweating, giving as good as he gets. Which only pisses George off more, the steely-eyed bastard. Ooooh, what a good, shivering feeling.




Saturday, November 10, 2012

When You're Taking A Picture Of Cat Poo, You Know You've Gone Too Far



Ah, the weekend. I can sleep somewhat later (why is it my kids can't wake up on weekdays, but the slightest touch of sunlight to their eyelids on a weekend, and they're ready to bounce off the walls?) and everything's a bit more relaxed. I headed downstairs this morning only to be greeted halfway down the stairwell by a tell-tale stench.


Friday, November 9, 2012

NaBloPoMo#9: How In The World Do You Pick Just One?

Prompt: If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

One thing. Just one. I need to pick one thing to change out of the entire novel-length ledger book of stuff I long to change:
I'm in the middle of a divorce that's been dragging it's heels entirely too long. I want it to be over. Just over.
I have a special needs child and a daughter hitting puberty. Either/or can make my life chaotic as hell most days. I love my kids fiercely, but it's hard dealing with this alone.
There's that word again. Alone. I'm lonely. I don't want to be lonely anymore.

KarmaCornDog Is Back Up (Albeit A Bit Revised)

 See the info post here!!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

NaBloPoMo #8: Art And Architecture Can't Hold A Candle To The People That Created Them

Prompt: If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

I missed my calling. I may have studied Theatre, worked jobs in all walks of consumer and corporate America, fancy myself a writer and blog my heart out, but what I really am deep down inside is a cultural anthropologist. 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NaBloPoMo #7: The Empirical Use Of The Word "Were"

God Bless Facebook. It opened up all kinds of doors into my past, reuniting me with friends from high school and college and all my past jobs. It helps me keep tabs on family that lives far away and gives me a place to post all kinds of goofy pictures of my kids and my cats.

Unfortunately, there's a flip side to all that fun. People keep digging up old memories, or worse, old pictures and sharing them. Not that I have a problem with most of the old ones - I was younger and thinner then. It's just odd seeing myself back in my physical prime and realize how far away that seems (and feels!) from here in middle age.

I was paging through some old photos that an old castmate from a show I performed in had kindly posted, when my daughter came up behind me.

"Oh my God, Mom. Is that - is that...you?" She said, in pure astonishment.


NaBloPoMo #6:If you were President of the United States, what would be your first act in office?

My mind immediately jumped to the obvious things on this writing prompt. I would abolish the electoral college! I would institute a flat tax rate for everyone! I would push harder for a working system of universal healthcare! I would subsidize colleges and universities! I would legalize gay marriage across the board! I would double the pay of our soldiers while performing combat duties and expand services to our veterans! I'd do it all and a million other great things.

Except, that's not how government works.

Yes! Exactly!!

Election Ads

Monday, November 5, 2012

NaBloPoMo #5: Across The The Great Divide

My Facebook news feed has become all but unreadable these days, and I find myself grateful that this is almost over. Somebody, new or seasoned, will be voted into office tomorrow (oh, please God, let them be voted into office tomorrow without a voter turned away or a chad hanging anywhere). It'll take a week or so for the furor to die down after, of course, and then I can go back to seeing pictures of my friends' kids and animals and hearing about the great place they went for dinner.

Till then, I navigate the narrow gorge between my old life and my current life.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Once Upon A Time - Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: "You Never Forget Your First"



We get a teaser of an opening tonight, reminding us of not only what happened last week, but a conversation held long ago between Regina and Emma.

"Your longest stint anywhere was two years. What did you enjoy so much about Tallhassee?" Regina asks.

And if you're seeing that line on a second (or seventy-eighth) viewing, it hits you right in the feels because you know what Emma was hanging around for.

Damn. Got a lump in my throat.

So....on to the episode. And I'm going to begin by telling you that this very episode marks the beginning of my obsession with this show. I hadn't ever watched it before, and happened upon it one bored evening, saw this episode, and it was all over for me.

Not only did they have a man who made my ovaries pop like popcorn, the premise was intriguing as hell, the dialogue was snappy and heartfelt, and I had to have more. More. MOAR!!!



And now I'm four seasons in, knee-deep in fanfics and recaps and holy cow, I still love this damn show. It might frustrate occasionally, but I still love it. Now back to our recap.

NaBloPoMo #4: What's So Bad About Being A "Career Politician"?

Oh, how I hate election time. I wish they'd limit campaigning to six weeks of duration, because that's about all I can stomach. And by this stage of the game, it's all degenerated into mudslinging, finger pointing and middle-school era name calling. I hate it all.

I was flipping around the radio dial looking for a traffic report on the way home from work yesterday, and heard no less than three commercials from politicians who claimed: "I'm not a 'career politician', like the other guy..."

Huh?


Saturday, November 3, 2012

NaBloPoMo #3: There's No Easy Way To Write About Something So Ugly

Before I begin this post, let me share with you the video that got my head (and stomach) churning. This is Jai Cunningham, a morning news anchor at station KHON2 in Hawaii. He shared with his viewers a very personal story on October 31st, and made them a promise:

Friday, November 2, 2012

NaBloPoMo #2: If You Could Live Anywhere, Where Would You Live?

I should have been born on a ship at sea. Or maybe in a hammock on the sand. Not that I'd wish that kind of birth on my mother, mind you. I've just always felt I was destined for the island life. I tell my kids I'm going to take them to an island someday, just the three of us. We'll swim with dolphins and wear flowers in our hair and drink coconut milk and eat crazy, unpronounceable fruit.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo #1: My Favorite Quotation

It's so hard to find just one perfect quote, isn't it? It all really depends on where you are in your life at that moment, don't you think? I could easily tell you that pretty much anything George Carlin had to say sums up my point of view. Add to that list a lot of Dorothy Parker, Mark Twain, Erma Bombeck and Seth McFarlane and I could just take a bow and call myself done.

See? Easy.

I do have one quotation that's carried me through for awhile now, and I'm sure it will continue to do so. It comes from an amazing source - my son. My beautiful son, who happens to have autism.