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Friday, October 31, 2014

AuTASTIC Friday - "They Gave Me A List Of Nevers"

Today I bring you the story of Manny Dedmon, a high school football player on the autism spectrum who was recently crowned Prom King at Birdville High School in Richland Hills, Texas:

Photo Credit: WFAA Television

Manny's parents were told early on all of the things that Manny would never be able to do. How wonderful for them that Manny never listened.

Read the full story (and see the video) on WFAA Television's website.

You keep on keepin' on, Manny. Don't ever let anyone tell you what you'll never do.

Happy Halloween Friday! Take A Gander At These Awesome Costumes!

And yes, I just used the word "gander." You don't hear that one much anymore, unless you're a goose farmer or something. Anyway, here's some cool and/or funny Halloween costumes for your Friday viewing pleasure:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"I Love You" He Said, And My Reply Was "No"

I was perusing Reddit a while back (a favored pasttime that eats entirely too much of my day) and there was a lively discussion on the topic, "Worst Response to 'I love you.'"

Eric Foreman from "That Seventies Show" comes immediately to mind - remember this gem?


There were so many great, painful responses on that thread. These are a few of my personal favorites:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: My Dynamic Duo

He chose his costume first
And hers was a no-brainer
There they are, my dynamic duo
Not too many of the trick-or-treat years left
He's walking without her this year
Because she's going to hang with a friend
She's a teenager, and she does that now
So I'll just savor this picture
And know that they really are my dynamic duo
Perfect counterparts
And perfect siblings for each other

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Great, Big, Beautiful "I've Got A Book!" Post

Yes, you read that right!! 

I finally got my ass in gear and published the book that everybody keeps telling me I should have written. So here it is:

This is a collection of blogs (from three different blogging platforms across the years) along with some insights from my personal journals spanning the decade that I've been parenting this amazing child (and his equally amazing sister) and navigating the joy and pain and all-around craziness that makes up a world lived with autism.

I have two reasons I finally got this together: first, I've always told myself I would and most importantly, I'm trying to give my beloved David a birthday he'll never forget.

And Today In The News - Why Is There No Accompanying Video?

Full article here

Monday, October 27, 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 4, Episode 5 Recap: The "And That's What You Get For Screwing People Over" Show

[Photo courtesy of ABC Television]

We begin in Storybrooke, with a short scene between Elsa, Emma and Hook that lets us know that Hook still likes Emma and still spends time with Henry just for fun. See, you Captain Swan shippers? It's all warm and wonderful and they even let him ever-so-slightly brush his upper lip against her cheek. Happy now?

During the scene we also learn that (a) Emma badly abuses her power as sheriff, detaining Will Scarlet without due course and refusing him even the decency of a nutritious meal and (b) she does know the Snow Queen after all because Sidney Glass snapped a picture of her arguing with the woman when she first came to Storybrooke - something that Emma has no memory of.

Welcome To Ellie's World - Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride

Have I told you all of the amazing stuff I almost did?

If you're a real-life friend (or a selected online friend) you've got the inside scoop on all the stuff I very nearly got to do, or sort-of did. I detail that stuff on my private Facebook page on a regular basis, and that, my friends, is the problem.

See, I have this thing called "Fluctuating Luck." It's not bad luck, exactly. It all starts out great, looks like it's going to build to something awesome, and then...well, it just sort-of goes nowhere.

For instance:

I've been chosen as a finalist for various incarnations of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" not once, but three times. Never have gotten in.

Did you know I was almost on TV? This time last year, I was ambushed by a film crew (courtesy of a good friend) and made the subject of a makeover show. For a week, my life turned into a circus as they invaded my house, interviewed me and my kids, ripped through my closet and tossed out my wardrobe, took me shopping for new stuff, set me up with a personal trainer and a "life coach", and then set up a huge party for my friends and neighbors where they did the big "reveal" of the glamorous new me.

It was awesome. This was a brand-new show that was getting pitched to the network, so they didn't have an air date, but it was tentatively going to break sometime over the spring or summer.

Guess what?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Movie Review: The Book of Life

[Photo Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Animation]

The Book of Life hasn't had a whole lot of marketing. In fact, unless you saw a preview for it at the movie theater, you may not even know it exists because they're sure not advertising it much of anywhere else.

Luckily for us, I did catch a preview a few weeks back and it looked so amazingly beautiful, I decided we would go if we had the chance.

Friday night, Anna was sleeping over at a buddy's house and David and I were on our own, so off we went.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Riding In The Car With Anna

Anna: Look! That guy had his arm out the window! What if I had reached out and yanked it when we drove by! 

Mom: That would have been cool! 

Anna: I could have ripped his arm right off!! 

Mom: Yeah!

Anna: And then I'd put it in a jar to preserve it!

Mom: Yuck, Anna.

Anna: In jelly. I think strawberry jelly is probably best.

Mom: Yeah, it probably is. It would smell best, anyway.

Anna: And then someday I'd show it to my prom date.

Mom: Well...that would be...uh...memorable.

Anna: And when I get married, I'll wait till my husband's asleep and I'll put it on his face so he wakes up and he'll be like WHOA THERE'S A HAND ON MY FACE AND WHY DOES IT SMELL LIKE STRAWBERRY JELLY and I'll hide and he will always wonder how that happened. 

Fun For A Friday: The Goofy Gallery Of Great Gadgets And Gifts

Products I need to buy for me:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pizza And Pedophiles - Welcome To My Secret Nightmare

I'm sharing this story today because it's weighing heavily on my mind. This didn't happen to me, but to a friend, and I won't use names, of course.

My friend's husband runs his own business, and one of his workers, who also happens to be a family member and only twenty years old, was on-site at someone's home, taking a break and eating some pizza.

A nine year-old boy from the neighborhood was skateboarding by, and the two of them got into a conversation about skateboarding and BMX, and soon after it was time for the 20 year-old to get back to work. He had a slice of pizza left in the box, and he didn't want it to go to waste, so he offered it to the kid, if he wanted it. The kid said no, and the 20 year old went back to work.

The kid went home and told his mom that guy working down the street offered him pizza, and Mom flipped out. She went down there and confronted the 20-year old, freaking on him royally for offering her kid food, calling him a pedophile and threatening to call the police. The 20-year old apologized profusely, more than a little freaked out himself, and thought that was the end of it. After all, he didn't ask the kid to get in his truck. He didn't follow the kid home. He didn't even know the kid's name or where he lived. He voluntarily gave the woman his name, the city he lived in,  and let her copy down the license plate number on his truck.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

And This, Ladies and Gentlemen, Is How You Handle A Fat Joke

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Join Us....It's Blissssssss

It's a bit dramatic for hand lotion, don't you think?

I'm trying to figure out what everlasting sunshine smells like

It sounds like a great cult name, doesn't it? 

The Church of Everlasting Sunshine

Buy a bottle and support us as we spread a mild citrus aroma to all mankind

I'm doing my part, keeping a bottle on my desk at work

Spreading the message of our new moisturizing overlords

Resistance is futile

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Have Seen The Enemy, And The Enemy Is Me

This started out as a post about my diet. Honest.

The thing is, I've been doing really well with it, that is, until last weekend. I went spectacularly off my diet. I went horribly, badly, overwhelmingly off my diet. We're talking half a sack of candy corn, grilled cheese and tomato soup, big bowl of buttered popcorn, ice cream and a meatball sandwich, didn't burn a single calorie off my diet.

Holy cow, was I bad. And I fully planned to write a post full of self-loathing at my complete inability to do this right. At my weakness. At my wretched, chubby self.

And then I decided maybe instead of a rant, I should look at the root cause, here. Why did I sabotage myself? What made me decide that all that junk was filling a need? Or a hole that I dug within myself?

What made me decide that all of that was worth the loss of all I've....lost?

It's time to face the awful truth.

I am a coward.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season Four, Episode Four: Captain Hook And His Naughty, Naughty Hand

We begin this week's tale with a visit from our old friend Zoso – remember him? I must say, his dental hygiene has improved. He’s here to provide valuable plot fodder – specifically, we learn that the reason The Dark One wants the sorcerer’s hat is because it’ll free him from the dagger and give him unlimited power. Unfortunately, nobody with a dark heart can touch the damn thing so he’s out of luck, and so is Rumpelstiltskin.

Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, Henry, who previously thought Hook was God’s gift to cool, has suddenly decided that he’s not okay with him after all, but will let his Mom date the guy anyway.. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Then we step inside Granny’s just in time to see Hook playing darts for the sole plot convenience of being able to miss his shot when Emma asks him out.

And with all due respect to the amazing face and demeanor of Mr. Colin O’Donoghue (for truly, he is a God among hirsute men), but nobody – I mean nobody – should be targeting that dart board but Sheriff Graham. Don’t sully that memory for me.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fun On A Friday: Stuff That Makes Me Laugh Way Harder Than I Ought To

Hello everyone, and welcome to Friday.


'Bout damn time.

And on this festive day, I'm not even going to remotely try to write something with real content. I need a break. Instead, I'll share with you a bunch of things that make me laugh entirely too hard. If you get caught wheezing and snorting at your desk, don't blame me.

Okay, blame me. But enjoy all the same.

So here we go:

Why parents should not be allowed to text

He means it. (NSFW language)

Point taken.

James posts a lot of pictures to Facebook. James has a friend who is a photoshop master. James is not happy. (This one is especially brilliant, because the guy just ever-so-subtly changes the pics to make them unflattering. And James' comments are hilarious!) NSFW language.

I love the look on his face when he gets to the smallest one....


Take it out!

The most bizarre animated gif I've ever seen.

You might want to rethink the ponytail.

This is why I'm not dating.

I've posted this before, but it never fails to make me laugh. Comedian getting interviewed while eating habanero peppers. NSFW language.

And that's it for today, folks. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

When A Bank Decides To Strategically Re-Arrange Your Money, You Have To Question Their Ethics

Last week, I told you about my house, and how much I love it, and love living in it and in my neighborhood, and how much my ex wants me to sell it. I also told you how much money it sucks away from me and how much of a struggle that is, sometimes.

I didn't tell you all of it.

I didn't tell you that I had paperwork threatening foreclosure laying on the table next to me as I wrote that entry. And I really wasn't entirely sure why.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Only One Word Necessary

He used to sleep
In the crook of her neck
Ever since that first night we brought him home
Mewling and adorable
Just a puff of fur with enormous eyes (and paws)
And now, two years on, he still lays down next to her
Fitting comfortably against the heart he carved his name into
Sleeping, as she sleeps and content to remind her that he's there for her
So the word for today, friends is

Monday, October 13, 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 4, Episode 3: The Adventures Of Prince Hans And His Man-Candy Brothers

We begin our episode with a trip to the ice cream parlor that no one's ever known about and doesn't question the sudden appearance of - even when it's right next to Granny's. Little Roland used to come here all the time with his beloved Aunt Regina, and of course, he has to skewer mommy with that, much to our great and evil delight. And of course, despite the extremely creepy purveyor at the parlor, Marian orders vanilla.

Then we go visit the Golds, who apparently keep the dagger of all evil just laying about. Maybe they use it as a letter opener? Nutcracker? It's probably pretty handy if they're eating cheese and crackers. And of course, Rumpel won't help anybody. He's turned over a new leaf, but he's still an asshole at heart.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fun Fact Friday - This Is The Stuff That Amazes And Amuses Me Today

It's Friday, folks. My car is in the shop, or should I say "the $$$hop", I'm at home with the cats and LOST is on an endless Netflix loop. In between that, I'm surfing some of my favorite internet sites and trying to get some writing done.

Along my internet travels, I occasionally land on something really interesting, and I tuck it away in my vault of useless knowledge (a.k.a. my brain) to pull out at some random time in the middle of a conversation somewhere. Half the time it just gets me weird looks, but still... I thrive on this stuff. Here are some of my favorite interesting facts:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Getting Through Your Writer's Block Can Be An Occasionally Jarring Experience

I am having SERIOUS writer's block right now. This is a huge problem because I have not one, but two books I need to finish and it is imperative that I finish both this week. I mean THIS week. I'm mostly done with both of them - down to final edits now - but I'm hitting passages that need a huge rewrite and I'm just not feeling it.

Sometimes, when this happens, the best thing to do is write something else. I'll pop over to my fanfiction account and toss something out there or I blog or sometimes, I scour the internet for sites that feature writing prompts. You never know, something may click.

And Today In The News....Only In Australia

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: These Are The Mom Moments That Get You Through

The text message came over my phone at 4pm.
My daughter often sends me texts in the afternoon, usually griping about her day.
This one, however, was different. It read:

They had a contest for 5-6 grade and it was "Top 10 Kindest and Good for the Community" people and your son won. They announced it over the whole school and I jumped and was like OH YEAH WE ROYALTY NOW and he gets his picture on the wall of fame in the hallway.

And the image of my girl jumping out of her chair in class to scream for her brother's name is every bit as heartwarming as the fact that my son's peers and teachers voted him one of the kindest kids in the school.

So permit me this shining Mom Moment, dear reader. 
I'm going to hold it with both hands, treasuring it for a lifetime.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sell The House, He Said. It'll Be Better For You, He Said

When he first said he was leaving (via email, if you can believe it. God knows I couldn't at the time), he wrote: "We'll sell the house. The kids will be devastated, but we can both start over."

The problem was, of course, that he had already started over, with someone else. All that remained was for us to divvy up the detrius that made up our lives; furniture and DVD's and bank accounts and yes, a house.

When we moved in fourteen-plus years ago, I was barely pregnant. Just enough that we knew, and were overwhelmed by the blinding joy of a new life and a brand new, wonderful house in an outstanding neighborhood with the friendliest neighbors you'd ever want to know. It was perfect. Idyllic, even.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 4: Episode 2 Recap: Tarzan Meets The Iceman

Hello again, Storybrooke fans, and welcome back to the Anna and Elsa show, this time with a few bonus scenes from the ancillary characters. Tonight's special guest: Tarzan!

[Photo credit: ABC]

Was it just me, or did David's hair make anybody else Laugh Out Loud with great, forceful gusto? I do have to say, grew on me (no pun intended). I was kinda digging on it the more I looked at it. And props to the wigmaster on that show - sometimes, wigs look like horrible wigs (see: Rosalie in all but the first Twilight movie) or at best, obvious wigs, and this one looks natural.

But bizarre.

Friday, October 3, 2014

AuTASTIC Friday: Meet CJ, The Football Player (And His Amazing Mentor)!

Christopher Joey Williams ("CJ" to his friends and family) is a high school student at Lake Howell high school in Seminole County, Florida. For over five years, CJ has been involved in a program known as "Challenger Football" that pairs special needs kids with mentors to help them play the sports they love.

CJ got paired up with a high school player, a rising star with a load of potential ahead of him. His name was Blake Bortles.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Out Of A Weekend Of Excess And Then BOOM! Smacked In The Face With Reality

Monday was a no-good, very bad sort of day.

I took off work so I could sleep off Vegas (see - I can be smart about stuff sometimes) and I blogged and I cleaned house and I rested a little and then I opened my email - something I hadn't done since early on Friday.

And it turns out, sometimes the universe has a design. In this case, it kept me from seeing that email until after my weekend, thus ensuring that I would enjoy myself and not be freaking out and over-the-moon with stress.

I lost my job.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Vegas, Day Three: Broke-Ass Broke In A City Of Broken Dreams

Sunday morning found me waking, bleary-eyed but unable to get back to sleep:

At 6:15am.

Three days, and I was still on Philly time. Dammit. And since I really didn't get entirely to sleep until after 4am, this was a problem.

So I sat down to write - amazingly, without a hangover again (go figure) and got some stuff done until my roommates woke up. Then we packed up the room, checked the bags with the hotel for storage, and off we went.

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Somebody, Somewhere

What's the most amazing fact you can think of? 
The web forum asked
People jumped in with amazing historical facts
Or incredible scientific breakthroughs
But one person said simply this:
"Somewhere in the world are people you haven't met yet
And they're going to love you, eventually
People that you'll get to know someday"
It's that simplistic
And that wonderful
And that true

So here I am
Keeping the faith