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Monday, September 30, 2013

If This Isn't A Call For Action, I Don't Know What Is

Sometimes, when I feel like worrying myself into nausea, I think ahead to what my son will do once he graduates high school (if I want to worry myself into hyperventilation and passing out, I think about what he'll do once his father and I are gone).  As a child with autism, he will someday be a man with autism, and a man with autism isn't somebody who can get or keep a job that easily, unfortunately.

It's not that David won't be able to work. If you have something repetitive, if you need someone who's sunshine all the time and can do a lot of the same stuff over and over - he's your guy. And he'll be the best damn employee they've ever had, as long as they know how to work with him and he can compensate when he needs to.

An employer like that is going to be hard to find, I know. And according to this article I just read, it's going to be even harder than I'm probably thinking it is.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: Heroes, Villains, And Deep-Seated Regrets


We begin eleven years ago, where we watch a young Emma giving birth to Henry, complete with dramatically shorting-out lights, as if the world knows that she's magic somehow. The doctor happily proclaims "It's a boy, Emma," bringing Henry over for her arms, but she turns away tearfully, refusing to even look at the child she was giving up much less hold him.

The doctor gently reminds her that she can change her mind, but Emma is vehement. "No," she says, through a voice choked with tears. "I can't be a mother."

And now we're aboard the Jolly Roger, traveling through a portal, on a journey to (say it with me!) save Henry! Neverland is on the horizon, and it's as dark and foreboding a place as you've ever seen.

Now we flash over to Tamara, Greg and Henry landing on the island. Henry lets them know that his Moms are going to be arriving soon, thinking he's in the Enchanted Forest. Tamara sets him straight as Greg digs out the communicator sent by the Home Office. Unfortunately for them, the Home Office sent a communicator full of sand, and it's clear that the mission they thought they were on is not what it seems.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I Know This Is Crazy Talk, But I'm Getting A Lot More Done Without Internet Access

I am a single Mom.

I am a single Mom whose divorce is not yet final and my budget is screaming tight and a little thing like two bald tires and a second job that doesn't always pay me at the same time every month can really throw me into a tailspin, particularly since I'm usually juggling the overdue bills and trying to determine which one is closest to shutoff before I pay it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Pictures Worth A Thousand Unsaid Words

I'm going to turn today over to Project Unbreakable. Grace Brown, the project founder, photographs survivors of sexual assault, holding up posterboards on which they quote their attackers.

***TRIGGER WARNING for all survivors of sexual assault***

See the women here.

See the men here.

This is powerful stuff.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Playground Doesn't Always Mean Play When You're A Child With Autism

Every single night, after reading a story together and singing a bedtime song, David and I talk about his day at school. I can't just generally ask him how his day went, because the answer is always "good". Of course, in his defense, he almost never has a bad day at school.

Still, he's telling me what he thinks I want to hear, so I delve a little deeper. I ask him about his "special" (they  rotate things like art, music, library, and P.E.) and I ask him what he did at recess. We've done this almost every school day of every school years since kindergarten, when they mainstreamed him into public school with his peers. Most days, the answer was the same:

"I played by myself."

Monday, September 23, 2013

Nora Ephron, You Were Right About Me

Co-Worker: Do you know that it's easier to be killed by a terrorist than it is to find a husband over the age of forty?
Annie: That statistic is not true.
Becky: That's right it's not true. But it feels true.

~ From Sleepless In Seattle

I'm knee-deep in my divorce mediation, and things are moving forward and getting resolved. One of the things that I keep getting reminded of as I slog through all this financial and custodial stuff is that I'm all alone in this.

All alone.

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's Friday, And I Got Nothin' But Relief

Folks, it's been a bitch of a week. Honestly, I'm just wrung out. I'm so grateful it's Friday, I could cry. So here's a pick-me-up to sing us into the weekend:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Parenting Style In A Nutshell

May I present my favorite ever Far SideTM cartoon?

I also have to share this article, that I read last week. My first thought was "What kind of parent would do something like this?" My next thought was "I would so do this to Anna."

So I guess that's my answer.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's OK, Little Man. Mommy Hates Math, Too.

He sits at the table with his fists jammed into his eyes.

"It's too hard. I want to only do a little. It's too ha-rd." His voice catches on the last word, and his fists twist into his eyes, trying to stem the tears.

Oh, I hate math.

I mean, I really, really hate math. I've hated it all my life. It never was a good subject for me, and quite frankly, once I learned basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, I found math to be a colossal waste of my time and energy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Movie Review Monday: "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones"and "Riddick"

I finally got to catch up on movies my kids might not sit through, and found two that were worth my time and hard-earned money.

I started out with a viewing of "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" and found it to be an enjoyable movie that bears a very slight (VERY slight) resemblance to the book of the same name. Like they're distant cousins, but both entertaining individuals.

I recently read books 1-3 in the series, and was really looking forward to seeing the story translated onto film. What I saw was a wildly altered plotline, but still a good story. Many of the scenes were altered, added to or changed dramatically and in some puzzling ways. I understand why they did a few of the things they did, but I do wonder if some of it won't just leave people who haven't read the series scratching their heads.

Friday, September 13, 2013

From One Second To The Next - A Short Film You Need To See (And Show Your Kids)

Acclaimed director, Werner Herzog has made a short film chronicling the experiences of people whose lives were altered by accidents due to texting while driving.

The second story hit home for me especially hard, as I live not too far from a large Amish population.

It's all so heartbreaking, and more so because of the utter senselessness of it all. No text is more important than someone's life. Ever.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Log Cabin In The Woods

A neighbor was relating a funny David story to me yesterday. He was at her house before school in the morning, and asked her for syrup for his waffles. She brought the syrup over, and David calmly commented that this wasn't Mrs. Butterworth's. As a child with autism, not having his 'normal' syrup could indeed be an issue. My neighbor did some fast thinking, and told him that it was Log Cabin, and it's OK because Mrs. Butterworth lives in the Log Cabin (brilliant!).

Crisis averted.

So, I'm telling Anna about this last night, and she dropped into a really creepy voice and said:

"Mrs. Butterworth spends her nights pacing the Log Cabin, wondering what happened to her long-lost aunt. 'Jemiiiiiimaaaah!' She cries. 'Jemiiiiimaaaaah.'"

I started laughing and then I added:

"Everyone said that boy Jack was bad news. They even took to calling him 'Hungry Jack', in a way that made your blood run cold. And when he set his eyes on Jemimah, everyone knew it'd be a sticky situation." 

Oh, good God, we sat there riffing on the story, for the next twenty minutes and it got hysterical. It's good to know part of my ridiculous writerbrain has rubbed off.

She's better than me, though. Lots better.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Boatlift - A Film About 9/11 That You Probably Haven't Seen (And You Should)

Did you know that the largest maritime evacuation in all of recorded history took place on September 11, 2001? Boatlift is a short film narrated by Tom Hanks, and it tells the story of the ordinary people who volunteered their boats and their service to evacuate half a million people off the island of Manhattan.

These are just a few of the many unsung heroes who did what needed to be done that day, without payment, without grandstanding, without complaining. These are the people who show us what America should be.
Let's not forget that, ever.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dear Miley Cyrus: I Like Your New Song. Your Tongue? Not So Much.

Oh Miley, Miley, Miley...

Let me start by saying that as the mother of a twelve year old girl, I don't for one minute think it's your sole responsibility to be a role model for my daughter. You're a celebrity. You're Hollywood. And despite your country roots, you're a little bit rock 'n roll. Truthfully, I've always admired the fact that you didn't take the easy path when carving out your career, riding Daddy or Disney's coattails into humdrum obscurity.

And the fact that you embrace the wild stuff, the "oh my God look what Miley did stuff" doesn't enrage or sadden me as it does some. You're a grown-up now, and you owe me and my kid nothing. You do what works for you, what sells your records, and what feeds your soul.

Oh, I hope all this feeds your soul. Somehow.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Missed Opportunity That Reminded Me Not To Miss Opportunities

It was Christmas break of my sophomore year of college, and I was in Kmart, of all places. My Mom had dropped me at the local mall before heading off to do an errand, and I had some time to kill. I thought a little retail therapy (on a scale that my college student self could afford) might do me some good.

I was at a hard place in my life right then. I was neck-deep in a horrible, emotionally eviscerating relationship with what had to be the world's most manipulative man. We'd broken up and gotten back together on an almost weekly basis for six months, and I was a wreck. An absolute wreck with no self-worth and an absolute surety that if I could just change, just be more, just be what he needed me to be (which, confusingly seemed to change all the damn time) that I would be worthy of him and not be getting broken up with all the time.

Of course, when we got back together, oh the joy! Oh, the euphoria! The angels sang and the sky exploded into fireworks and the makeup sex was fantastic. Of course we got back together - how could we not? We were meant to be together. Yes, we were, otherwise, why would we always end up back together again? It was fate.

And that particular chilly December day, when we were in the middle of yet another breakup and I was questioning (with the rational part of my love-drugged brain) why I always went back to someone who was (as my friends constantly pointed out) so incredibly awful to me, I turned a corner right by a stand of cheap, plastic poinsettia plants and walked right into Ernie.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My High School Reunion

A funny thing happened on the way to my high school reunion: I forgot to give a damn about all the stuff that was important in high school.

There's a definite beauty in going back home for your (gulp!) thirtieth reunion.

You see, the last one I went to was my tenth reunion, and the vibe is just completely different. First of all there were a lot more of us, and there was also a feeling of  "Oh, look how good I'm doing, and how are you?"  and "I can't believe ------ had the nerve to say hello" pervading the whole event.