Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Teaching My Daughter The True Reality Of Reality TV


I'm not much on Reality TV. I only watch American Idol after they get to the top ten, and even then it's only sporadic. I watched the first season of Survivor and haven't watched since. I've never watched a Kardassian, a rapper, a former playboy model, or anyone from the Jersey shore.

But I can't stay away from Dance Moms.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

And If I Jump Far Enough, I Can Be Flying



I'm taking this leap and making no apologies for it. I may get banged up when I land on the other side, but I've got faith that I will land.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dear Daughter: Please Make Friends WIth Your Friends Again

My daughter is a lucky, lucky girl. She has three best friends (and numerous ancillary friends as well) but the three besties have literally grown up with her from the cradle. They live across the street, next door, and four houses down on our little street - four girls, all the same age within a few months, all in the same grade, and like any group of girls, they're a bunch of drama queens.


Monday, February 25, 2013

I'd Have A Different Life, If Not For My Kids

Yes, I said it.

My life would be entirely different if it weren't for my kids. That's no great revelation, really. And it was brought on by a perfect storm of pain and self-loathing yesterday that made me think it.

It all started with something that didn't go well professionally. I'm not talking about the nine-to-five job that pays the bills, but my other profession. The one I love. The one that inspires me. I was in the running for this thing associated with writing, and I wasn't picked as the winner.

I really need to stress here, that if you can't handle rejection, you just shouldn't be a writer. Or at least, you shouldn't try to be a paid one, anyway. I console myself with the thought that JK Rowling got rejected umpteen times, as did many of my other heroes and mentors in the writing community. It happens. It happens all the time. It's even happened to me before. It stings, but you go on.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Six Degree Project - Using Connections To Raise Autism Awareness

A Facebook friend pointed me in the direction of Ms. Carly Fleischmann's Facebook page the other day, and from there, I learned more about The Six Degree Project.

Carly is a secondary student with autism who attends the Northern Secondary School in Toronto. She set out to recreate what it's like for a child with autism to go wandering off. It was fascinating to read the updates and to realize how utterly on her own she was - almost no one questioned her or asked her if she was lost or needed help. You can follow her updates on the Facebook page - it's a real eye-opener.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

World Autism Awareness Day Is Coming Up, And I Won't Be Celebrating

I'm starting to see the signs everywhere - in Facebook posts, in emails soliciting my support, in flyers coming home from my son's therapists, and in conversations with friends who want to let me know about an event they got an invitation to.

World Autism Awareness Day is coming! April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day! Paint the Town BLUE for World Autism Awareness Day! Buy your blue lightbulbs for your porch light, put a sign in your yard, buy a tee shirt, sign up for a walk or a bake sale and fly that autism flag high!

Except, I won't.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy President's Day!

On this bright and beautiful President's Day, I give you David's favorite episode of Schoolhouse Rock. A reminder of why we're all in this together, whether your guy won the election or not.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 2, Episode 14: Oscar-Worthy Performances And Makeup, And Hook Eats Some Floor (Again)



We begin tonight back in the Enchanted Forest, and oh, look! There's Milah! The child abandoning, husband-belittling floozy tart who selfishly wraps her legs around a sexy pirate while her family suffers.

But I'm not bitter. I am actually just really glad she's dead. One of the few people I can say that about on this show.

Anyway... Rumple comes running into their hovel, excited and happy and chirping with the news that he has been drafted into the Ogre wars. He's so thrilled about facing potential death, he does a happy little dance that's just freaking adorable:



The reason Rumple is so happy about potentially being ripped limb-from-limb is that he can now redeem the family name, previously sullied by his coward of a father, and in so doing, finally put them in a place to start a family without fear of their kid growing up with that legacy. Milah tells him to fight bravely, and off he goes.

Ahead to the present-day in Storybrooke, and Regina is crying on Cora's shoulder about Emma and Gold leaving town with Henry. Hook overhears and he's instantly interested - Gold outside of Storybrooke is a man without magic, and he can be killed easily. Cora and Regina shut that nonsense right down, since leaving town would leave them powerless, as well. 

Hook demands his vengeance, but Cora convinces him to stay and help them find the one thing that can truly kill Rumplestiltskin: the dagger.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wishing You Love On This Day

On this day, celebrating all things love, I want to send a special message to all the girls out there that need to learn that love begins with themselves.

This is a powerful, amazing piece performed by poet Katie Makkai. (Fair warning: it contains one lone curse word, but it is used to stunning effect).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My List Of Romantic Movies You Might Not Have Seen (But Ought To!)

Featured on BlogHer.com
In case you just crawled out from under a rock, you need to realize that Valentine's Day is only a couple of days away and if you haven't made plans, well, you're most likely out of luck as far as dinner reservations go. If you're like me (broke), staying in and seeing a movie (ala Redbox or Netflix) might be a better way to go.


So here are my recommendations for great romantic movies that you may not have seen but you ought to if you haven't.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Quiet Joy Of Stealth Snuggling My Pre-Teen



She's eleven, almost twelve.

Bedtime is no longer made up of begging for one more half hour of TV, then one more reading of her favorite book, or one more singing of "Morningtown Train" as we lay side-by-side and rock with the verses.

Instead, we've evolved (devolved?) to "Put that phone away now," and "You can't be doing your nails, it's bedtime," and "I'm turning the light off. I mean it!"


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 2, Episode 13 Recap: The Name Game



We begin with Mr. Gold,  coming to collect Emma and calling in his debt. He's got Baelfire's shawl around his neck and he's ready to get the hell out of Dodge. Emma demands that they bring Henry along - apparently she doesn't trust her parents to look after a child (go figure) - and Gold reluctantly agrees.

David pulls him aside to make a request, and it's a warm and heartfelt moment. "This is my family," David says, "If anything happens to them...I'll be devastated." He asks Gold very humbly to take care of them, and Gold assures him they'll come to no harm. They hop in his car and off they go to Logan International Airport.

Back at the loft apartment, Snow is admiring the way that gun holster clings to Charming's shoulders (aren't we all?) when Regina shows up. They both apologize to her for not believing her. She asks to see Henry, and is seriously dismayed by the fact that Emma left town with Henry. Snow tightens that screw a little more by mentioning that Emma doesn't have to get her permission for anything regarding Henry. Regina leaves, and it's obvious she's feeling slighted. David and Snow leave to find Hook, reasoning that he'll know where to find Cora.

I'm just going to drop in the video now (just watch the first scene. Oh hell, watch it all. You can never get too much Hook).Trying to type out the way Killian draws out the word "dwarf" with such dripping, scathing sarcasm is never going to do it justice. And he's soooo flirtatious!



And he uses the word "malfeasance," which burned 
my nerdgirl panties right off my damn body.

Once aboard the ship, he lets them in on Cora's secret plan - she's captured the giant from on top of the beanstalk, shrunk him down and shoved him in a cage, presumably to unleash him upon the citizens of Storybrooke.

And now we flashback to the Enchanted Forest and the top of the beanstalk, where we see our friendly giant, Anton with his father and brothers, all of whom appear to be vegetarian, despite their size. They've given him the nickname "Tiny," and they're discussing the upcoming bean harvest, which has taken them a century of hard labor. Remember that. It's important.



Tiny's in trouble with Dad for spending too much time in the treasure room. His fascination with humankind is a bad thing, Dad says. They're too bloodthirsty and greedy. Anton defends the humans, and can't understand why Dad is painting them all with a tainted brush. It's clear that Anton would like to be doing more with his life than hanging out at the top of a beanstalk. He waits until they're all in bed, and he climbs down.

Snow decides to wake Anton, and when he gets out of his cage, he's understandably freaked out by his new size, and then he lays eyes on David and flips his lid completely, attacking him. Snow steps in with her bow and saves her man, and Anton vows that David will "pay for what he did" before he gets away.

Now we move over to the hospital, where Ruby arrives to visit Belle. She reintroduces herself and brings her some things from home. Belle asks her about all the freaky magic she saw Rumple do and when Ruby gives her vague answers, Belle gets all upset and Nurse Ratched comes in with a hypo of happy juice and shoots her up before carting her away.



Into this scene strolls our visitor, Greg Mendell, who asks if Belle is okay. Ruby reassures him and then asks how he's doing, encouraging him in a totally not creepy way to get better so he can go the hell home, already.

Now we go to Granny's, where David, Snow and Leroy are trying to figure out this whole giant situation over coffee. Snow asks what Anton meant by making David pay for what he did, and David is stumped...until he remembers that there was another guy in the first episode who had his same face - and wasn't a very nice guy.

And that, of course, sends us back to the Enchanted Forest, and there's his twin James, gettin' it on with a hottie in thigh-high white stockings. King George storms in, telling James the kingdom is teetering on bankruptcy and he'd better cool it with the local floozies. The girl seems to take no offense to being cast in that role, either.

George just received word that there's a giant running amok.



The girl pipes up that she'd love a chance to kill a giant, and George forbids it - this giant might be useful.

James and his floozy head off to a tavern, where they find Anton schlepping around outside. They introduce themselves, and to our surprise, Jame's hot chick is none other than a girl named "Jack."



She offers him a piece of mushroom from a far-off land that will change his size temporarily. He takes a bite, and shrinks to normal human size.

David and Jack proceed to wine and dine Anton, who confesses that he's been bullied by his brothers. They fake friendship and poor, love-starved Anton laps it up. Jack explains that the kingdom is in serious debt. Anton tells her that their treasure room at the top of the beanstalk can probably save the kingdom, and offers to go home to collect it.

Forward again, but this time to the airport, where a visibly nervous Mr. Gold is getting ready to go through security, and Henry. like a typical kid, is playing twenty questions and getting on his last nerve. There's a moment of panic when security demands that Gold take off the shawl (why, I don't know), but Emma sees him through and puts it right back around him, bringing him back to himself.

He's shaken by this, and takes some time alone in the bathroom, clearly eaten alive with nerves over meeting up with Baelfire again, after all these years and the monstrous wrong he did. He beats the crap out of a seat cover dispenser and Henry comes in to get him.(And this scene is exceptionally well-played, as always, by Bobby Carlyle).

Over in Storybrooke, meantime, Hook puts a playing card down (the queen of hearts, of course) on the ground, hoping to call Cora, but he gets Regina instead. She lets him know that she and Cora have reconciled and asks what he's been doing.


Oh, Hook. You naughty, naughty pirate.

Hook goes on to explain that Anton took one look at David and became extremely murderous, which of course, thrills Regina to no end. She tracks down Anton and gives him some Mr. Clean Magic Eraser magic mushroom to eat. He does, and it turns him big again.

Flashback to the Enchanted Forest, and Anton is telling his Dad that he's going back to the human world because he has friends there. Unbeknownst to him, Jack and James have followed him up and are now leading an attack against his home. Anton is visibly hurt by their betrayal,

Forward to Storybrooke again, where the now-big-again Anton is going on a murderous rampage. David tries to reason with him, explaining that he's not his evil twin. Snow mentions that Emma is their daughter, but of course, she can't produce Emma because Emma is out of town. Anton calls bullshit and starts a-trampling again. This leads to one of the funniest damn exchanges ever written for the show - God, I love it when the writers poke fun at themselves.



David finally decides to sacrifice himself in order to save the town. Anton falls through a sinkhole built on plot convenience and for some reason it shrinks him back down again in a cloud of magical blue smoke. He's hanging onto a pipe and in imminent danger of death.

David lowers himself into the hole and rescues Anton, who decides that David may not be a bad guy after all. He and Grumpy and Snow take him back to Granny's, where Grumpy convinces him that Storybrooke is sort of the island of misfit fairytales and he shows them his bean sprout, revealing that he may have a way for them to finally go back home.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, the human army has killed everyone but Anton and dear old Dad, who charges Anton to protect the beans - to destroy them and keep them out of human hands, otherwise they'll spread violence and death to every realm. Then he's stabbed with a poisoned sword, by Jack of course - but not before he grievously wounds her. She begs James to save her, and he takes off like the dick he is. 

Dad passes on the last bean sprout, but Anton reminds him that he's burned the fields and salted the land - he'll never be able to grow anything there again. Dad tells him that someday, he'll find new land....and then he dies, leaving Anton - sweet, cherub-faced Anton - all alone.

Poor, sad Anton...



Forward again to Storybrooke, where the dwarves, Snow and David are out standing in a field with Anton, who says the soil is perfect for growing beans. He cautions them, though, that this is what Cora brought him here to do - grow beans. Leroy tells him that no one's touching their crop, and hands him an axe, which pretty much makes him an honorary dwarf. The handle of the axe shows his 'dwarf' name: Tiny. They all begin digging.

And now back to my earlier point: They just said it takes a freaking century to grow a harvestable crop. Cora isn't going to wait a century for these beans, and neither are the writers, who apparently slept through Continuity 101.



Anyway, over at the hospital, and Greg Mendell is talking to Belle. He tells her he saw some freaky magical stuff, too, and she's definitely not crazy.

Back at Granny's, the Charmings are fresh off their latest adventure and Snow admits it was hella fun running around with a bow on her back again. David reminds her that once the beans are harvested, they can go home and do that every day and she balks. She doesn't think that Emma would go with them, if they went to the Enchanted Forest.

Which moves us over to Emma and Henry, sitting on a plane next to a visibly terrified Mr. Gold. Emma actually feels sorry for him, despite his previously manipulative and dastardly ways, and she tries to reassure him.



"Don't worry," she says. "We're going to find your son."
His eyes widened even further, and he can barely choke out his reply:
"I know."

I'm giving this one five hooks out of five.




There was a lot of great writing in this - the twist with Jack, snappy lines, flirty Hook, and a very, very human Mr. Gold who makes us crazy with the need to know what'll happen when he finally comes face to face with Baelfire.



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Great, Grand Piano Experiment

As I've mentioned earlier, David is now taking piano lessons.

I had a feeling this would be a good thing for him. It turns out it's becoming an awesome thing for us both.

Last night, I sat him down to practice. David had spent the whole weekend at his Dad's, and according to his sister, he only practiced once that whole time. I sat him down and let him pick for a minute while I sorted through his overnight bag, looking for his practice books.

Only, they weren't there. His Dad had forgotten to pack them for the return trip.


Monday, February 4, 2013

I Hate To See You Go, But...

Five doors down from me, there's a house for sale.

I know the neighbors in a nodding sort of "howdjadoo" kind of way. They're nice people with a big, friendly dog and two teenage kids. We don't hang with them because their kids are older and they're out a lot. I don't know why they're moving - I hope for their sakes it's for a great new job or a home that's a better fit and not something like a divorce or a financial disaster that precipitated the move.

And even though they're nice enough, I have to tell you that I'm excited to see them go.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Oh, It's A Good, Good Day

David's piano teacher made me a little nervous - she doesn't usually allow parents to stay while she gives lessons. Since this is David, she asked me to sit in the family room for this first lesson and she'd call on me if she needed me.

She didn't.