Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Friday, May 30, 2014

Ellie's Celebrity Harem, Volume One

It's Friday, and I most firmly have an attitude of complete and utter reckless disregard for anything at the moment. So, daredevil that I am, I'm going to sit here in Panera Bread and type up the list of people who I would admit into my celebrity harem.

A harem, you understand, isn't about living happily ever after with someone. This is pure, selfish, short-term gratification only (Heh. When I first typed that word, I mis-typed it as 'gratifucation'. Freud would have a field day with me).


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dear "Nice Guy" - You May Not Be As Nice As You Think You Are



Dear Nice Guy -

Hi! Yes, I see you there. You've made a point of being around me, and like lots of nice guys I've known through the years, you're interested in being more than just the nice guy who's hanging around me.

Maybe you've watched me dating guys who are, in your opinion, vastly inferior in what they can offer me compared to you. Maybe I've been dumped, heartbroken, even possibly abused by guys like that, and there you are, so nice, so perfect for me if I'd only open my eyes and see it, waiting in the wings for me to notice you.

And I never have. Or I never did.

And you are pissed about it. Maybe even years later, you still get pissed thinking about it. I'm here to tell you now, you have a perfect right to feel that way.

If.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Am No One's Vending Machine - The Issue With Misogyny And Sex As "Payment"

I wanted to share this amazing post about the Isla Vista shootings and the killer's manifesto because it's so well written, but one statement really stood out for me:

"You’re not getting laid BECAUSE OF YOUR MISOGYNY... It’s because you think that we’re sex vending machines and if you feed in certain behaviours...you should get sex out."

I can't tell you how many men I've met that feel that way. Men that seem to think that if they follow the formula they saw in a movie or invented in their head that I should be automatically giving them their due. After all, they're a "nice guy"! Don't I like nice guys? Well then, I'm automatically a bitch because he's doing all the right things and I, therefore, owe him something for the effort.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thunderbolts And Lightning, Very, Very Frightening Thing (Sorta)

It's storming like crazy up here. I mean seriously crazy. Check out the size of the hailstones that brought down the skylight at a mall that's fifteen minutes from my house:


I had a miserable 90 minute commute home in nudge-nudge-nudge traffic (vs my normal 45 minute fly-like-the-wind-down-the-open-road commute) and lots of people in the area are without power. I'm okay (knock wood), just hanging out surfing Facebook and Reddit, reading about everyone freaking out about the storms.

And it's easy for me to feel not-so-freaked-out when I'm safe and cozy on my couch, but I have to say it:

Damn, I love storms.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Farewell To The Playground Days


The playground days are almost over
Less than a month of school left now
Today he tours the middle school
Awash in a sea of changing classrooms, and lockers, and new faces
Faces who don't know that great kid, David, who has autism
Faces who won't be protecting him
Faces that I fear may someday be targeting him
We all know how middle school can be
Well, everyone, except David
He's just along for the ride, and he'll figure it out
He always does
Even when I'm so afraid for him
He makes it work anyway
Soon enough, they'll all know that kid, David, who has autism
And maybe, if we're both lucky, they won't even give the autism a second thought
He certainly doesn't

Today, he walks the halls of the middle school
While I look back longingly at that playground

Monday, May 19, 2014

Time To Reach For The Book Of Questions

Years ago, someone gifted me with a copy of The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D., and I used to pull it out at dinner parties and backyard barbeques after most of the rowdiness had died down and everyone was in that "gathered round the table and drinking thoughtfully" kind of mood. It never failed to bring on some lively, and sometimes really funny and touching conversation.

So in the interest of pure self-indulgence, I'm going to tackle one question at random once a week in this blog, and let's all see where it takes us.

This week's question is:

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as your dinner guest? As your close friend? As your lover?


Friday, May 16, 2014

It's Raining A Monsoon Here, But I Love This Anyway

Just in case it's too sunny where you are today, here's ten hours of rain and thunder:


Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Love You, Dwayne Johnson, But DAY-um

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you what I found in the Wal-Mart toy aisle the other day:


Don't think I'm not tempted.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

This Time, I Had To Say The Word



It's rainy today, and it matches my mood.
The school called me yesterday, or more specifically, the guidance counselor.
We have a problem, she said. And I listened.
He repeats himself over and over. He licks his hands - a new stim he's developed. He's started saying inappropriate things, calling girls sexy or talking about sex sometimes. He and another little boy are fighting at the bus stop, calling each other "losers."

Some of this is normal stuff a ten year old boy would do, and should be reprimanded for when he does. Some is inappropriate, but he doesn't entirely realize it is. Some is autism, and we need to find ways for him to break his stim behaviors like licking hands and echolalia.

Because, the counselor said kindly, the other kids are starting to ostracize him. He's annoying them. Or making them feel uncomfortable. And they don't want to be around him as much anymore. He spends recess alone now. Kids sit with him at the lunch table, but no one talks to him like they used to. 

And my heart has a ravine carved through it by her words, and a river of how do I fix this flows through it.

I know that it's time. It's time to say the word, and make him understand the word.

The word is Autism.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Greatest Gift I Received On Mother's Day Was A Driveway



Yesterday was Mother's Day, and after opening my presents, the kids and I decided spur-of-the-moment to drive half an hour down the road to a movie theater that was having a special Mother's Day retro-screening of "Titanic" - a favorite movie for both me and Anna, and one that David might be able to sit through.

It was a gamble, but it turned out great. David sat through the whole movie (all three hours and fifteen minutes!), Anna was completely bowled over by how awesome it was on the big screen, and we got back in the car and headed for home up the windy back roads through the farmland and then toward the ridge - our town sits just on the other side.

Everything was fine, until I glanced in my rearview mirror. About half a mile behind us on the road was a really sleek looking convertible - don't ask me what kind. I'm not a car person and I honestly have a hard time telling a Toyota from a Honda unless I'm looking at the symbol on the back. It was silvery-gray and it was sleek and as they drew closer, I saw a bald, middle aged man and a much younger woman in the seat next to him and my first thought was "Middle-aged crisis car".

My next thought was about how unkind that thought was. The young girl might have been his daughter, for all I knew. I glanced up at the rearview mirror again, and they had fallen back considerably.

And they were on the wrong side of the road, driving straight at oncoming traffic. This wasn't a momentary swerve, either. This was a full-on sustained cruise in the left lane on a winding road, heading up a ridge. I said "Oh my God, look at him! He's driving on the wrong side of the road!" Anna turned around to take a gander, and shrieked. "He's swerving all over the place, Mom!'


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Once Upon A Time - Season 3 Finale Recap: Rings And Resolutions

321A

Tonight we begin at a foster home eight years ago, where teen Emma watches yet another kid get a forever home. Her foster mother assures her that she'll find a home someday, but she doesn't look like she's feeling it.

Forward to present day Storybrooke, where Emma's asking for the name of her new little brother, but Snow and David are staying mum until the official naming ceremony at Granny's.

"You're not going to hold him up in front of the clocktower like Lion King, are you?" she asks David. And I can't help but wonder if the writers didn't actually consider that, however briefly.

In rushes Henry, clutching a newspaper and terribly excited because he's found an apartment for them both - a circumstance that Emma is less than enthusiastic about.

321C

Meanwhile, at Regina's, things are much warmer. She and Robin are cuddled up, drinking wine in front of a fire, as Regina recounts the story of how she'd seen him all those years ago in the tavern, courtesy of Tinkerbell. "I just never thought I could have this," she confesses. Robin tells her that when his wife died he felt like he'd never have this again, either. He proffers this bit of wisdom: "Maybe things work out when they're supposed to."

Over at Gold's shop, there's a decided chill in the air as Rumple hides the real Dark One dagger in his safe, sealing it with a protection spell. Belle comes fluttering in and she's freaked out by the responsibility of holding the dagger. She asks Rumple if he's got someplace better to keep it - like the impenetrable vault he had back in the Enchanted Forest. He reminds her that the vault held on the most dangerous and unstable magic - that which even he cannot comprehend. Didja get that? Remember it for later, kiddies.

Belle's father has suddenly had a change of heart and is happy to give his daughter away in marriage to the guy who threatened to unleash the ogres on his town, kidnapped his daughter and forced her into slavery, murdered her former fiance and previously beat the everloving piss out of him. Way to go, Dad.
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Over at Granny's the tacky decorations are hung and Leroy's slugging back the beers and talking about crap-flinging monkey babies. Henry is reading to his new Uncle, and not just any story, but the story of how Snow and Charming first met and their encounter at the Troll bridge.

David admits, strangely enough, that he didn't fall in love with Snow because she slammed him in his terribly pretty man-face with a rock. Oh no, he fell in love with her the moment he saw his mother's ring on her finger. Red points out that Snow ran away for awhile, and Hook off-handedly (heh!) remarks "Like mother, like daughter." This prompts a serious eyeroll from Emma as she tries to sidestep Henry's questions about whether or not they're staying in Storybrooke.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How Do We Give 4.7 Million Moms A Better Mother's Day?

Pay them a better wage. This graphic comes to us courtesy of the Economic Policy Institute:





You're reading that right. According to their data, one FIFTH of all working moms  -and their families - would be impacted by a raise to just $10.10 an hour. I'd call that a living wage, but in some parts of the country, it would be next to impossible to live on that, if it were the sole income in the house.


Throwback Thursday: The Toaster From Hell

This was originally run on the "Today" show, in May, 1984.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: He Used To Be Smaller



He used to be smaller, but then, so was she
We bought  him the year after Daddy left
I'd hoped a little ball of fur might fit
In the hole we'd drilled in her heart
And he did
Her best friend, her cuddle buddy, her complete and utter pain in the butt when she's trying to get ready in the morning and he's knocking stuff off the bathroom counter
She looks at me sometimes and says "I know someday when I go to college, I have to be away from him, but I don't know if I can"

Tell me about it, baby girl. Tell me about it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Water, Water Everywhere - And I Have To Force Myself To Drink


Okay, so I'm on a diet. Which isn't the end of the world, though some days it feels like it. I've been fairly successful so far. I'm down eight pounds since last week. I'm sure that most of that is good old water weight, but I'll take it.

And to that end, along with my cutting back of calories and eating smarter and working out (yes, I'm actually working out), I am drinking lots and lots of water.

And I'm hating it. Hating. It.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 20 Recap: Ding Dong, Baby



We begin tonight busy, busy, busy. Snow is being rushed to the hospital (even though the protection spell is around her apartment) and Rumple is spinning, spinning, spinning, and Zelena is getting ready to nab a baby.

Snow is in full-on TV labor, which progresses from minor twinge to "Oh my God, the baby's crowning" in under twenty-five minutes. Zelena takes the huge pile of spun gold that Rumple's been working on, waves a hand over it, and turns it into a solid gold brain, which she puts away with the other ingredients.

Flashback to Oz, where a fluorescent green Zelena is watching Regina's magic lessons through a giant crystal ball, and getting even more pissed when Regina struggles with a simple fireball - something that comes easily to Zelena.

In strolls Glinda, offering Zelena something she's always wanted: a family.

Friday, May 2, 2014

And Yet Another "Frozen" Video - But This One Is Priceless

This is what happens when you get a bunch of Marines together to watch "Frozen." Be sure and stay till 2:20, where it gets real: