xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Stephen Colbert classic

I dare you not to laugh at this; especially at the banana.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Prince Charles Scandal
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

I have awesome clients

I made an appointment with a client for tomorrow morning and I said "just so you know, my baby starts Kindergarten and I might be a little emotional." She says "that's okay, I have tequila if you need it."


I'm tired of blogging about how school scares the shit out of me

We just came from meeting our new 3rd grade teacher. She's great, I really like her. All is well. As far as any of you know. :)

She really is great, actually and I really do like her.

A prayer for school children who are different

A friend put this in the comments of another thread but I thought it was worth putting out here for us all to see (despite my uncomfortableness at the word "prayer," I'll just ignore that part.) Thanks Margaret :)

For those who are different, or who feel different—

Who learn differently, think differently, feel differently,
Who look different, whose faith is different, whose family is different,
Whose way to connect is different, whose way to dress is different,
Whose faith is different, whose place to live is different,
Whose sexuality is different, whose gender is different,
Whose culture is different, whose language is different,
Whose favorite foods are different, who loves different smells,
Whose body looks different, or works differently
Whose values and beliefs are different--

Do you see that different is just a word?
May you be freed from its poison.

Different: Just an idea laced with fear,
Don’t let it scare you.
A word expressing lack of imagination by those who use it to judge,
Don’t let it limit your own.
They can’t see that difference is the very essence of life,
The opposite of different isn’t normal; it is death.
Don’t let their sharp thorns kill your true self.

As the school doors open again,
May you walk in safety,
With all of your unique loveliness intact,
Knowing you are loved by people who haven’t even met you yet.
People you see and don’t see,
Your closest friends and family, and people who will never meet you,
All hold you in our hearts.
We need every bit of you as we walk our own different paths.

As the summer days end,
May you find the long days’ bright light
Shining in your mind as you learn.
As you go out on this crazy river, this life
Where you will navigate choppy waters, take new turns,
May you know in your bones you are never alone.
As you search for a place of ease and comfort,
May you know in your cells that it lives within you.

And that people who love you are everywhere smiling


Monday, August 30, 2010

Song of the, uh, month?: Sadder Day.

I listened to (and sung) this song for years before I realized she's talking about somebody she knew that died. Once I realized that, though, now it just makes me think of my brother and it makes me sad. However, whenever we go to the Homemade Cafe in Berkeley I always order something that comes with grits which makes this song run through my head for the rest of the day; and now here we are.
Sadder Day – Fleming and John

Sadder Day
Fleming & John

you like to eat your grits with butter salt and sugar
you drink your coffee instant and black
I always loved the fact but thought that it was so peculiar
how you carried everything you owned in the back seat
of your 1983 canary yellow Z
you had a unique collection of fast food bags
and all the post-it notes with quotes stuck to your dashboard
reminding you life's not so bad

sad sadder day
since I heard you went away
sad sadder day
when I can't see your face

what about the day you took me to skatetown USA
it was raining and there wasn't anywhere we could play
we skated backwards while we held onto each other's hands
made up choreography to KC and the sunshine band
you got tired you said you couldn't sleep last night
you stayed up praying for everybody you know's souls
and you got misty eyed when you said you weren't afraid to die
but you were scared of being alone

sad sadder day....

faster my heart started beating
I've got the funniest most awful feeling
you were trying trying to tell me something
I didn't want to know

sad sadder day
there's something wrong in the world today
sad sadder day
when I can't see your smiling face ever again

The two-arm hug

For all of his life, so far, when Child 1 would give you a hug he would just lean his body into you while you put your arms around him. We would have to say "ARMS!" to get him to give you a real hug. It was still cute, though, because he's cute.

He just came up to me and spontaneously put both arms around me. Oh man is that awesome. Then I wouldn't let him go, though. I hope I didn't ruin the experience for him....

Temple Grandin 4tw! Literally!

Like the idiot that I am, I completely forgot to watch the Emmys last night, even though I knew damn well they were on. BUMMER!!! I was looking for an article to post about this and I'm surprised at how many of them say something like "who is Temple Grandin?" Well, we all knew who she was before last night, but how awesome that so many other people now know? And Claire Danes rocked that movie, she was so good in it. I was really skeptical when I heard she was the one in the role because, well... she's really hot and Temple Grandin is, um... not so much... but she was seriously good, it was a really good movie, if you haven't seen it, you should!

'Temple Grandin' Scores Big Emmy Win For HBO

(CBS) "Temple Grandin," HBO's biopic of an autistic agricultural whiz, was Emmy's big winner Sunday night in los Angeles.

The woman, on whom the movie is based, was in the Nokia Theater audience, wildly applauding each Emmy win.

The movie took five Emmys in all, including outstanding made-for-TV movie . Director Mick Javckson and cast members Julia Ormond, David Strathairn and Claire Danes, who played Grandin, also won Emmys.

All of the winners acknowledged Grandin, dressed in a black, red and white cowboy outfit, and thanked her for her help and inspiration. Backstage, the scientist said she was happy that the HBO movie could shed light on autism and its many sufferers.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Everything went better than expected

There was a PTA-sponsored Kindergarten welcome event at the school this afternoon (and since I know you're wondering the answer is yes, I did organize it). Child 2 made friends with every other child there, one in particular. The other kid's mom took a picture of the two of them and I said that was awesome because in 10 years when they're sneaking out of the house to go get drunk we can show them a picture of the day they first met. He met his teacher, hung out in the room and then he didn't want to leave. All in all I'd say these are all very good signs of things to come.

In other words: urge to kill fading... fading.... fading....gone.

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Child Has Autism …

I did not write these beautiful words, a very good friend of mine did and they need to be shared.

My child has autism … and I, as his mother, have never felt so isolated in my life.

My son has severe speech delays. This is why he doesn't talk to you.
Why don't you speak to him?

My son perceives the world in a unique manner. This is why he plays with toys in an abnormal way.
Why don't you play with him?

My son has difficulty understanding social cues. This is why he avoids eye contact.
Why do you stare at him like he's an animal in a zoo?

… Or even worse, ignore him, as if he's not a human being.

Being his mother does not make me a saint, though sometimes I feel like a martyr.
His condition does not mean that God entrusted me with a special blessing. Autism means he was born with a formidable glitch in his hardware … a glitch I wish daily that I could fix.

The blessing I receive is when people invite us to events – even when we're unable to attend and they know this ahead of time.

I feel blessed when people ask how my son is doing – even when I have no good news to relate and this is evident by my countenance and bearing.

I may not be able to get together with you, whether because I feel beaten down by this neurological demon on that plagues my dear child or simply because of time constraints … but please don't stop reaching out to me! Sometimes just knowing you're there is exactly the lifeline I need to get me through the day.

I may not always participate in idle chatter, whether because I'm dwelling on my child's very real and significant challenges or simply because I'm tired … but please don't stop talking to me! Sometimes I need to be reminded that a world exists outside of autism.

My child has autism … and I, as his mother, have never felt so isolated in my life.
And I need you.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Check out the t-shirt I just bought!!!

HA HA!!! YEAH!!!!!!


To the guy in the sports car driving behind me

The view from behind

Dear Angry Motorist in a Small Car:

I can tell by the way you're riding my ass that you're really pissed off that I just changed lanes and ended up in front of you. See, I spent a number of years commuting from Berkeley to San Francisco and back and I got really good at reading car body language; for example, I am never surprised when somebody cuts me off, I can always tell it's going to happen, and I can tell right now that you're seriously not pleased.

I can understand that, though. You're in flashy and fast sports car meant to compensate for your lack of penis length and/or girth, and you're supposed to be faster than everybody else on the road. It's gotta suck for you that a 40 year old (almost!) mom in a behemoth minivan with all kinds of crazy bumper stickers just managed to fit herself into that wee little space you were keeping between yourself and the car in front of you. The thing is, though, that I needed to be in this lane before I got to the stop light, otherwise I would not have been able to turn left at the light, and that's the way I needed to turn in order to get to the freeway. I can see how you may have been caught by surprise by the fact that I had only been signaling for the past 5 minutes, while you ignored me, when I suddenly decided to just fucking go for it and to hell with you. And I can empathize with your anger at my presence in this lane right now, it must only feel like an insult to have to look at my giant ass driving in the 5 foot space that you're supposed to be in at the moment. You should see exactly how close you can get to my bumper, it'll be like a game of chicken. The closer you get the more you are vindicated for this horrible slight I have just perpetrated against you.

And so, in closing, fucking suck it up you little piece of shit. If you're going to drive like an asshole you should expect others to, as well. It's called defensive driving (I think. Or maybe offensive in this case?) and I'm sure as hell not going to be late picking up my kids from camp because I had to drive an extra 10 miles out of my way to get to the freeway because a little prick wouldn't let me over. Anyway, I've got insurance.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

At the start of the busy IEP season...

So, apparently the general consensus is that 3rd grade is the year when other kids start to clue in to weirdness and it's time to start teaching the child how to pretend to be normal. This means that he's not allowed to run back and forth against the fence at the back of the yard and he's DEFINITELY not allowed to draw roads in the mulch on the playground. This according to the new Resource Specialist (or whateverthefuck her title is today) who I actually really liked a lot. She's young and perky, a stark contrast to her predecessor, but she seems to really know her shit and had a lot of surprisingly perceptive things to say, despite never having met the boy. I feel slightly optimistic. We'll see how the homework/academics go but the chick from the district seems ready to pay close attention to what happens in the first month. She's convinced that I'm just a worry-wart; I don't know WHERE she gets that idea. Bitch. No, she's actually really cool and has always been really open minded about everything; we have a good team.

I'm still mourning the loss of our beloved Speech Therapist/Sensory Integration therapist (a thing which apparently does not even exist at our district; we just got lucky with this particular person). She had written a combination of IEP goals that were both speech and sensory and since there's no way we can actually replace her with somebody who will do both, the new speech therapist will do the speech stuff and we'll just have to hope we can find an Occupational Therapist who is capable of SI stuff (you'd be surprised. Then again, you might have no idea what the fuck I'm even talking about). I just wanted it in the record, anyway: "write down that I said I was concerned about these sensory goals not being implemented." It's his biggest challenge and if they don't address it I don't know who will. Nobody.

I don't like that my concerns about 3rd grade were essentially reinforced by this meeting. He needs to start learning how to pretend to be normal so that the other kids don't make his life hell. How to teach him this while still letting him be himself? Um. Yeah. You can't. He doesn't give a shit what other kids think, so what is his incentive to do what these crazy grownups want? And who gets to define what "normal" is, anyway, huh? Why isn't it normal to crawl along the ground drawing roads in the mulch? Okay, because it's not, but if that's what makes him happy, and he doesn't care what the other kids think, why not just let him do it? Because you can't, is why, because that's not what 8 year old kids are supposed to be doing at recess, they're supposed to be playing with each other and having fun. So let's construct some activities that he might enjoy that we can include the other kids in. We'll make him do that for 5 minutes and then he can do an activity that he enjoys. But only if that activity isn't running back and forth against the fence at the back of the yard because that's not normal.

Good times.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's too hot to blog

Do you see how I'm not making this shit up????? I cannot WAIT until Thursday.

Christ. It's so fucking hot. I can't think of anything to say other than "Christ. It's so fucking hot." See??

In lieu of blogging, today I present to you this animated gif entitled "How To React To An Oncoming Google Streetview Car"

Monday, August 23, 2010

A recipe for a good time


1 Five year old
1 Computer (any type)
1 Comfortable seating location (you're going to be here a while)


Navigate web browser to youtube.com. Type "funny cats" into search form and press "enter." Watch any video in the list. Repeat as many times as necessary. Hilarity ensues.

Quote of the day

"Worriers keep shit right and keep kids safe. We are the enemy of unfortunate happenstance."
- Right Wing Bastard (he's not such a bastard, really)

Just another day in paradise

So, I took both boys to the camp this morning; it was the same time I'd ever dropped them both off at the same place at the same time. Child 2 is attending Child 1's camp for this last week before school starts, and he's going with his best friend H and H's brother C. I think today was kind of a rehearsal for next Wednesday when he starts Kindergarten, except he won't have his best friend with him, but I'll be taking him to a brand new place with brand new kids and brand new teachers for the first time.

He's perfectly happy, by the way, but I'm sure you knew that. He's eatin' apple slices and running around and will soon be king of that place, as he is most likely destined to be king of every place that he graces with his presence. Me, however, not so much. I have a sick feeling in my stomach and my hands are shaking. Seriously? WTF is wrong with me? He's perfectly fine so what am I fucking freaking out about?

I think that all teachers and camp counselors who care for my kids think I'm a total freak because I'm always rambling something completely incoherent to them about how I'm freaking out at the moment. On my way out I told the dude sitting there that this was like practice for Kindergarten. He says "he seems pretty social and easygoing," like he was surprised that I would be so fucking weird about the whole thing. Yeah, maybe he should be surprised, because he doesn't know how much of a neurotic mess I am most of the time.

Whose brilliant idea was it for me to have kids in the first place? The only thing I can do is try not to let my weirdness rub off on them, I don't want them to become weird, too. Fuck.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dear SJSharkWannabe

Dear SJSharkWannabe,

Earlier my autistic child approached me and said "Mama. This is the platform elevator at the Lafayette BART station." You see, his latest obsession is to watch YouTube vidoes of BART trains and the elevators inside BART stations, again and again and again, and apparently yours has become a favorite channel of his. (If he has subscribed to your channel, which he probably has, it would be under my username: jillsmo. Look for us!). In fact, he watches these things with the volume inappropriately loud and our entire house sounds like a BART station. If you were a Bay Area commuter, in our house, you would get that "oh shit time to go to work" feeling just from standing in our kitchen (been there).

I often wonder, why in the world would a person make a video of themselves riding an elevator (or doing any of the other one million stupid things that are on YouTube)? I've watched some of your videos, not as many as he has, but a few, and I wonder: when you were making these, did you have any idea that your biggest fan was going to be an 8 year old autistic child, watching it again and again... and again and again... and again? By the way: "2500 pounds, 16 person capacity. Smooth!" is nice to hear out of context. I had to watch the whole video just to figure out what the hell you were talking about there.

Anyway, SJSharkWannabe, keep up the good work, you're making my kid happy. Let's hope you don't get a job or something!


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes, 10

The following is a true story....

Child 1: Mama, can I eat my dinner in the TV room tonight?
Me: Yeah, okay.
Child 1: Why not??? Oh.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sorry, Facebook

I mean, my kids are okay and all, but I just don't think they're "click-worthy."

All done Preschool

Are you fucking kidding me, Artichoke? THIS is what you end up doing? Now I just want to punch you in your stupid purple spikey face.

Today was my youngest Child's (the appropriately named Child 2) last day of Preschool. I am now officially the mother of two elementary school children. Gulp. I feel old(er). He may or may not be going back to this school for its after school program, I haven't decided yet, so just in case, we went around to every teacher and said goodbye. One of them cried. They like him there, but what's not to like, right?

It's hard to tell how he's feeling about it right now. This morning when I dropped him off he said he was scared that it was his last day, I assume that means he's scared to be moving on to Kindergarten. Kindergarten is scary, after all, at least for me. On our way home from our usual Friday afternoon trip to McDonald's (incidentally, you'll all be happy to hear that I have perfected the art of opening up a ketchup packet with my teeth and passing it to the back seat without ever taking my eyes off the road) he asked me how you say ketchup in Spanish. When I didn't know he said he was going to ask his teacher on Monday. I guess he forgot. Well, he's 5, he's doing the best he can, I guess. Me, on the other hand....

And don't tell me he's going to be fine in Kindergarten; I know he's going to be fine! It's not (necessarily) him I'm worried about.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes, let's just call it 9 and go from there.

Child 1's aide at camp has been emailing me notes about their days. This is priceless:

Now that (the crazy and bossy 3rd grader who he most enjoys playing with) is back to camp from vacation, he's been playing "house" a lot with her and her friends. The most memorable of these was when she played a pregnant woman in labor and he played her doctor. He seemed to enjoy this and played along in appropriate ways - until he kept on wanting to leave "so that he could go back to school to learn to be a better doctor"  

Consequences of gay marriage

The things that go through your mind when your child throws up

Oh, don't look so shocked.....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sometimes it's okay to laugh at stupid people

Click to embiggen

Bookkeeping porn

You see that zero right there? After "difference" ? Oh, yeah, baby.... that's what Mama likes....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


As usual, this drawing by Allie Brosh has nothing to do with what I'm about to say, it's just plain awesome.

School starts in two weeks. Two week. TWO FUCKING WEEKS. What the hell happened to the summer? I was just getting used to not having to do anything for the PTA and suddenly I've got meetings scheduled all over again. Seriously? WTF happened there? But I keep thinking I still have plenty of time so I'm like "oh, I'll work on that flyer next week" but SHIT! It is now next week and there's just no avoiding that stupid flyer anymore. Stupid flyer!

But, I digress before I even got started. Does that technically count as "digressing" if I haven't gotten started yet? Maybe it's more like "stalling." But, I stall....

Ever since Kindergarten, Child 1 has had an aide/tutor who has worked for me. At first, she was with him in the classroom, and then starting in 1st grade, the district provided him with an aide and she started helping him with homework after school, instead. She rules. Seriously. RULES. I can usually tell when an aide person is doing a good job because Child 1 will say that he doesn't like her; that means that they're forcing him to pay attention to the task at hand and they don't let him flap and stim and talk to himself all day long. He really prefers to flap and stim and talk to himself all day long, he doesn't want to do homework. But he was always kind of torn about this aide, because he really DID like her, he just didn't want to do homework. So he started saying "I don't want to do homework" instead of "I don't want her to come." Okay, now I'm REALLY digressing. My point is that she's awesome. She's awesome but she was expensive. Worth every fucking penny but still expensive. And I was (am) convinced that the only reason he was staying level with his peers academically was because she was coming in the afternoons. She would often report that it seemed like she was teaching him these things for the first time, and I'm sure that's true, because he sucks in a group setting and without an adult standing over him and making him pay attention, he's just not going to. (His district-provided classroom aide is also quite awesome, by the way, but he shared her with 2 other kids with IEPs as well as all the rest of the kids in the room who didn't have IEPs. Don't get me started on that, I did that already.)

So, last year when I wasn't working and I realized that I just couldn't afford her anymore, I went to my advocate and said I wanted the district to help pay for the tutor. After all, if he didn't have her, he would be seriously falling behind. She told me that the only way to prove that, however, was to take the tutor away and wait for him to fall behind, at which point I would have a case that he needed a tutor, at which point I would be able to go to the district and ask them to help pay for a tutor. Yeah, that IS as stupid as it sounds. So, we scheduled about 40 IEP meetings and low and behold, that's exactly what they told me. I couldn't prove that he actually needed her and since I couldn't prove that, they weren't going to pay for anything. Okay, fine, at that point it was, maybe, March, so I just rode out the rest of the year.

THIS year, though, is the year that (I guess) we're going to let him fall behind so that we can prove to the district that he needs extra help. I suppose I could try the tutoring myself, but I've also previously spoken about how much of a shitty teacher I am, so that would probably just make things worse. So, apparently we're getting ready to start 3rd grade in 2 weeks with just an IEP and a prayer. I have an IEP meeting scheduled for next Wednesday where we will be discussing this very issue, but nothing has changed since March so I don't expect anything will change much at the meeting (except that it's with a new Resource person who doesn't know him at all. YAY!) We're just going to have to start the year and watch him falter; I'm going to have to take some serious notes or something and document the decline. Then again, maybe the district is right, and he'll do just fine without her? Uh huh.

I haven't even mentioned Child 2 and Kindergarten yet, I guess that's for next time....

I worry. Yeah, I'm a worrier.

I seem to have a lot of friends having a hard time right now. Job stress, jobs lost or changing, kids not doing well, IEP struggles, lots of shit going on. It's funny because I always tell people that I've been thinking about whatever their situation is, and then they feel bad that not only do they have this shit to deal with, they've made me worry on top of everything. (Note: you don't "make" me worry, you just talk about yourself and then I take it from there; you're not responsible for my feelings.) So, here's a heads up to you guys with whom I've recently had the worry discussion, and YOU know who you are: I'm going to worry about you, so just accept that. Learn to be more like my kids, maybe, and try to feel more entitled to it. It's going to happen whether you like it or not so you might as well take advantage of it!

Coming up next: School is starting in 2 weeks and I'M FREAKING OUT AGAIN!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Thoughts on not giving a shit

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as I rapidly approach A Birthday That Is A Multiple Of 10, how things that used to bother me I just don't give a shit about anymore. I'm sure it's part of getting older, of figuring out priorities, etc., but sometimes I'm just struck at how much I really don't give a shit about things that I used to give a shit about. And, I was just talking to a friend about the cathartic power of blogging, so, I thought I'd make a list.

Petty online squabbles

I'm a member of 2 online communities, one of which has been together going on 9 years now. Some of these people are, truly, my best friends in the world, even though we've never met in person. And there was a time when what somebody wrote on a message board really had an impact on me; I took it all really personally and really seriously. But, then, my brother died, and my kid was diagnosed with autism, and the other kid came along, and all of these real life things kind of got in the way of these online things and I just stopped caring so much. I recently had a little spat with an online person and I was amazed at just how seriously she was taking the whole thing. I told her, who gives a shit what I think? I'm just words on a screen to you, you don't know me, why do you care what I say? I used to care about that stuff, but I just don't anymore.

People who are passive aggressive

Y'know, if you've got something to say, just fucking say it! Don't be a pussy about it and beat around the bush, I don't have time for that. I also don't have the interest for that, so if you're not going to just come right out with it, get the fuck out of my face, would you? I have shit to do, I don't have the time, energy or the interest to indulge your little pity party. Shit or get off the pot, I say!


I used to care. I really did, I used to care a lot. I worked on campaigns, I did voter registration, I organized, I picketed, I did it all. But then the 2000 elections happened and I had this major moment where I realized that I have, literally, no power. It doesn't matter what I think or what I say, it doesn't even matter who I vote for, because nothing I do will make a difference. So, I stopped caring. I watch Rachel Maddow (LOVE HER!) and she attacks these things with such snarky glee and I wonder: how does she do it? How can she care so much? Okay, well, maybe that's a bad example, because there's a person who can and DOES make a difference; a HUGE difference. But, I used to have her (albeit less adorable) attitude and at this point, 10 years later, I can't even muster enough energy to pretend I care anymore.

You know who I probably sound like right now? My Dad. I can just hear my mom saying "Holy shit, you're just like your father!" (That's how she talks, my Mom. She's awesome).  I'm totally okay with that, sounding like my Dad, because my Dad is also awesome. These are the things that are important, I'm realizing as I continue to age despite my best efforts to stop time. The people you love, the people who have been there for you, the people who rely on you to keep them alive. Fuck all that other shit, the shit that doesn't matter, it's just a waste of time to spend your energy on these things that don't matter.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Things I find in my house

Today I bring you another new series: Things I Find in My House. This is probably the 3rd or 4th "series" I've started, but none of the other ones have actually turned out to be a "series" of anything, it's only ever that first thing I think of. I think, at this point, you can safely predict that this will be the only one of these I tell you about. But that's no reason why we can't still be optimistic, right?

Yeah. Glad we cleared that up. So, here is today's Thing I Found in My House. It's a frisbee full of cheerios! YAY!!!!

I'm stuck in front of the computer again

I think it's actually raining right now. Not a hot summer rain like you guys get in the South, but a cold, wet rain. It's August 15th and it's raining! I know summers in the Bay Area are generally cold, but isn't this going a little overboard? It can't be more than 55 out there and it's raining! On August 15th! I know, it's going to get hot very soon and I'll be wistfully reminiscing about the days when it was cold ("Remember how it rained on August 15th? Those were good times.") I actually hate hot weather. I hate heat, I hate the sun, I hate it! I don't know why, I've always been this way, and I grew up in LA where it's always hot and sunny. So, I actually prefer it to be raining like this, I just find it very odd, because it's August 15th and it's not supposed to be cold and raining.

For some reason, though, it's making me incredibly unmotivated to do anything. We have plans today to drive across two bridges (Child 1's new obsessions: The Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. He looks at pics of them on Google maps and we discuss their colors and shapes. Then he draws them. Oddly, when he draws them, they both look exactly the same except for the color of the marker he uses, but he can tell them apart, and that's what's important.) Anyhoo, that was our plan today and I can't seem to get my ass up off this couch. I doubt that if it was sunny outside I would be any more motivated, but the fact that it's actually raining on August 15th makes me just want to sit here. My kids are happy to be doing their various screen-related activities, as well, but at some point I'm going to have to move my ass from this position.

In the meantime, I'm stuck here in front of my computer looking at various websites that don't interest me. Anybody have any suggestions for some good timewasters I haven't seen yet?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Autism contradictions

I'm currently sitting downstairs in the TV room with Child 2 and I can hear coming from the kitchen the unmistakable sound of a chair being slowly dragged across the room. This only means one thing: there's something (probably cookies) on a high shelf that Child 1 wants and he is in there bringing the chair over to it so that he can climb up and grab it. The fact that he went in there by himself without saying anything means that he knows that whatever he's going for, he's not supposed to have.

Two things go through my mind in a time like this:

1. It's 5:15, he can't have cookies, we'll be having dinner soon. If he had asked me, I would have said no, which he knows, which is why he didn't ask me. He's being sneaky and devious, in addition to eating crap right before dinner. That's bad! I should go in there and catch him in the act.

2. There are many things involved in this kind of action. First, he had to spot the cookies on the shelf, which is a few feet above his head. That shows that he's paying attention to his environment. Second, he had to realize for himself that he wasn't allowed to have them and consciously choose to not ask me for them. He's thinking, he's weighing his pros and cons, he's (correctly) predicting the probability that bringing attention to his cookie plight will mean he won't get them. Third, he figured out, for himself, that dragging the chair over to the shelf and climbing up on it will enable him to pull down the box. He figured out the steps involved in getting the cookies down from the shelf, he worked out a plan and he's carrying it through, without any assistance. I remember, in ABA, working on these problem solving skills with him. Look, the cookies are on the shelf, what do you need to do in order to get them? First, get the chair, etc. We did that kind of thing again and again when he was 3, 4 and 5, I honestly never thought he would get it. And, yet, here he is, right now, dragging a chair across the room in the kitchen, all by himself, and getting the cookies down.

I'm pretty proud of him, actually. Good work, Child 1!!! Of course, I can't tell him that so, instead, I'm going to sit here and listen to the chair and let him get his cookies, even though it's 5:15 and we're having dinner soon.

UPDATE: It was a near perfect plan, but he neglected to return the chair to its proper place. I wonder how to tell him that without actually telling him that?

Laundry: FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!

I originally posted this in mid-May but for some reason I seem to have reached this point in the laundry cycle again, a mere 3 months later. 

It's a WELL known fact that a positive attitude can change everything; some people even claim that a positive attitude can cure cancer! Now, I'm not saying that's complete horseshit or anything (I said I'm NOT saying that) because who am I to say anything about anything I haven't tried yet? So, today I will be approaching the subject of laundry with THE MOST POSITIVE AND AWESOME ATTITUDE EVER. This will, no doubt, make the experience not only fun and enjoyable for me, but will have such far reaching consequences as to possibly bring about peace on earth and goodwill toward (wo)man.

I think, at this point, a visual might help you. This is the pile of clean laundry that currently needs to be folded:

and this is the pile of dirty laundry that currently needs to be laundered (it seems to have collapsed in on itself for some reason, I'm not sure what to say about that other than "way to think outside the box, pile of dirty laundry! Kudos!!"):

and, of course, the washer and dryer are currently full and in use at the moment.

Now, some of you may be looking at these pictures and thinking "Holy shit, that's a lot of fucking laundry," to which I say to you "TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN, MOFO!" This is NOT an insurmountable pile of underwear and mismatched socks, NO, my friend. This, right here, is a CHALLENGE. A challenge that can only be conquered with an attitude consisting entirely of awesome, which I currently have.

Let's see how it goes.....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ow, my aching ego....

Are you familiar with Reddit? It's just a site for people to submit links of things they find all over the internet. I spend a lot of time in the /funny section. The folks who hang out there are all probably young and hip and VERY critical. They decide your worthiness based on up or down votes. Well, today I decided to submit myself and see what happens. At the time I'm writing this there are 34 up votes and 30 down votes. Ouch! It's not going well!!

Note to self: Never venture out of your safe zone.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A day of 3 bridges

The Bay Bridge:

The Golden Gate Bridge:

The Richmond/San Rafael Bridge:

That child of mine had an awesome time. I'd say all that money on gas was worth it.

THIS is how you quit your job

The best quitting scene in any movie ever. Sometimes I say this on my way out of a room just because I think it's funny.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More on the unfairness of autism

A dear friend of mine (insert waving emoticon here) pointed me to this site and asked me my opinion: Rethink Autism. I said I thought it was a great resource for folks who live in places with shitty school districts; who get no services and whatever they do get, it's mostly crap, so they're forced to do all the work themselves. That wasn't the case for us, though, since we're in a pretty good district, we've gotten some excellent services, I was never forced to do any of the work myself, which is REALLY good for the boy since I'm the world's most shittiest teacher. Seriously, if there was an award for "People Who Should Never Go Into the Education Profession" I would win it, hands fucking down. (I don't say this to disparage myself, it's something I learned about myself a long time ago. I'm just a bad teacher, but that's okay, because I'm good at other things. It's like I tell my clients: you can't be good at EVERYTHING; you're good at what you do and you're not a bookkeeper, that's why you hire me; it's nothing to be ashamed of.)

At any rate, it got me thinking, as things often do... how fucking unfair is THAT? We're lucky enough to be able to afford to live in this area (kinda) which means we have access to some good services, some of the best around, I would say. But what about the folks living in the woods of Kentucky, where there's one school for all the kids in a 50 mile radius? They get shit for services, there's nothing even for them to fight for, really, and it's just because of where they live? That's not fair. Their kid still has autism, s/he still needs excellent services, it isn't fair that they don't have access to the same services that we do. And if they don't have access, their parents are forced to learn it and do it themselves, but what if they're like me and should win awards for being shitty? That just sucks for everybody involved!

I'm not entirely sure what I think should be done about this, I just wanted to point out the general suckiness of the whole thing. I'm glad for the internet, at least, because now I have friends who live in the woods of Kentucky and have kids with autism. Hi!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's nice to get kudos!

Yeah, kudos are nice, and what better place to talk about it than on your own blog that only your mom and husband read? (I'm just kidding, I know there are at least three more of you guys out there....)

So, I have an opinion about pretty much everything. And I generally have no problem telling others about it, particularly when there's a forum for it. There's this mailing list that I'm on, it's local to the area. If you live around here and you have kids you are ON this list; it has something like 26,000 subscribers. People ask a lot of questions on it and whenever somebody asks anything about autism, I will almost always reply. In fact, if you go to the website where they archive their newsletters and you search for "autism," you will find my name on pretty much every question. I also have no problem with signing my name; I think if you're going to say something and you don't sign your name, you're just a pussy. I've actually met people around here who have said "I've never met you but I've seen your name on (local mailing list)!"

Anyway, I just got the following in an email and I thought it was cool. I don't even know what I said that this person was responding to, but I'm sure it had something to do with autism! :)

Hurrah for you!
I'm a retired special education director and your answer could not have been more right on!
Best wishes with your own family's lives. They are lucky to have you.

This offends me

From this article: Is My Baby Autistic? New Study May Help Moms Answer that Question

It's not the article that offends me, it's the caption underneath the picture. "He's beautiful but does he have autism?" Yeah, he's beautiful, and if he has autism, he's still fucking beautiful! It's like "what a beautiful, perfect baby, it sure would be a shame for him to be a ruined human being and have autism." Fuck you, CBS!

Song of the day: New Slang

Great song. Incredible soundtrack to an incredible movie (Garden State). REALLY fucking hard to sing on Rock Band, but nothing's perfect, right?

New Slang
The Shins

Gold teeth and a curse for this town were all in my mouth.
Only, i don't know how they got out, dear.
Turn me back into the pet that i was when we met.
I was happier then with no mind-set.

And if you'd 'a took to me like
A gull takes to the wind.
Well, i'd 'a jumped from my tree
And i'd a danced like the king of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well.

New slang when you notice the stripes, the dirt in your fries.
Hope it's right when you die, old and bony.
Dawn breaks like a bull through the hall,
Never should have called
But my head's to the wall and i'm lonely.

And if you'd 'a took to me like
A gull takes to the wind.
Well, i'd 'a jumped from my tree
And i'd a danced like the kind of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well.

God speed all the bakers at dawn may they all cut their thumbs,
And bleed into their buns 'till they melt away.

I'm looking in on the good life i might be doomed never to find.
Without a trust or flaming fields am i too dumb to refine?
And if you'd 'a took to me like
Well i'd a danced like the queen of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Song of the day: Patchwork Quilt

This is a crappy video but it has good audio; try to just listen and not watch it.

Patchwork Quilt (in memory of Jerry Garcia)
Warren Haynes/Gov't Mule

I never knew you
But then who really did?
If you were at all like me
You managed to keep yourself hid
A patchwork quilt of a life
Memories embroidered
On your soul

So please forgive me
For putting you in my song
But the spirit she moves me
In fact she pushes me along
It's a patchwork quilt of a life
Can't stop the river
Just let it roll

We were at Jones Beach
When we got the word
Saddest sound that I ever heard
The bluest note that nobody could play
Ravens sang with us that night on the stage
Tears of sadness, tears of rage
But nobody spoke, we all felt old
And in the way

So walk beside me
Or above me, I don't know
These days it sure seems
I'm lost where ever I go

God, how could you, I heard someone say
And what do we do with our lives now anyway?
Now that our North Star can no longer be found

But there's a banjo moon in a tie-dyed sky
Hippies dance and babies cry
Church bells ring as a silver-haired angel look down
And the blood of his music runs through the veins of our guitars
Bright lights, Dark Star

I never knew you
But then who really did
If you were at all like me
You managed to keep yourself hid

15 Years

15 years ago today, August 9, 1995, is the day that Jerry Garcia died. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I found out: I was working at a Counseling center in Santa Barbara, I was answering phones, among other things. I answered the phone that morning and it was my mom calling. She said "did you hear?" and I, at the time, was working and busy and didn't really have time for what I thought would be gossip (sorry Mom) and I said, impatiently, "hear what?" And I don't remember her exact words but I remember my reaction, which was to say "what?" The room I was in was filled with people, my boss, the Executive Director of the place, and a few of the counselors, and I guess the tone of my voice when I said "what" was enough to make everybody stop what they were doing and look at me with concern (it was a counseling center, after all). I remember my boss, Patricia, put her hand on my shoulder, because she knew something was up. I don't remember the rest of my phone call but I remember hanging up, explaining the deal to the folks in the room, and then trying to make it through the rest of my day in this dull kind of fog. I don't think I lasted more than an hour when she sent me home. At the time I was a member of a Grateful Dead online forum on AOL (probably the first of its kind) and I spent the rest of the day talking to people all over the world about it.

Now, you might think it unusual that the death of a musician would have such an impact, I've considered before trying to blog about how weird I thought it was that somebody I'd never met and never would meet could influence my life so much, but I was never really able to put it into words. I still don't think I can, but I'll certainly try. Hey, that's what blogging is for, right?

It's hard to explain, really, what it was like being a deadhead. You might think it was about the drugs, but for me, it wasn't. Sure, I tried one of everything, but I never actually found one that I liked enough to keep doing, so, no, it wasn't about the drugs. Was it about the music? Well, hell yeah, it was about the music, I mean come ON!

For me, though, it was more than that, it was about the community. The parking lot scene before the show started, the wait on the floor once we were inside, set break, the parking lot scene afterward, and all the general milling about in whatever town we were in, usually Oakland. Because it wasn't just one show we would go to, it was a weekend event; 3 shows in a row, if we're lucky, and then off to Sacramento or Mountain View for some more, if we were lucky. And driving up the 101 on our way to a show became a completely different experience from the usual driving on the freeway. Other cars with dead stickers contained friends we just hadn't met yet; we waved to each other because we knew where we were headed. I'll never forget something somebody said to me once: I had asked him "where are your friends?" and his response, "everybody here is my friend. Do you mean the people I came with?" And it was true, everybody there was your friend, even if you hadn't met them yet.

I had a hard time in high school; I was always fat, and I was really sarcastic, and people didn't always get that so they just thought I was a bitch. It was tough, trying to figure out who to be so that people would like me. (Man am I glad I'm older and just don't give a shit anymore!). One night, before I had ever been to a show, I was taking a walk with my brother and he asked me if I had ever been; I said no. He said I really should go because "a Grateful Dead show is the only place in the world where you can do and be whatever you want and nobody will judge you or care." I said, "the Renaissance Faire is kind of like that." He said "yeah, but can you do this at a Renaissance Faire?" and proceeds to start wiggling him arms and legs all over the place and yelling "WOOOOOOOOOOO." He was a wise man, that brother of mine, and if you knew him you can just imagine the crazy kind of dance he was doing. I was lucky and I eventually got to go to a few shows with him.

He was right, though; it WAS the only place in the world where you were free to be whomever you were. There was no trying to figure out who to be so you could fit in, because you would fit in no matter who you were. The stranger sitting next to you was your best friend for the 2+ hours that you were inside that show; the stranger who sold you your veggie burrito after the show was your best friend for as long as you stood there talking. There was nothing confusing about it, it was all just acceptance and love. And it wasn't about the drugs you were on, despite popular opinion, because I didn't take drugs.

And then the shows were over and we would go back to our lives as students or receptionists or music store clerks or whatever it was that we did, and we waited for the next shows so we could do it all again (and called that 1 800 number because there was no internet yet; does anybody remember that?) But then one day we found out there there would be no "next time," because Jerry was dead, and it was all over.

It seems odd that a community can live and die with one person, it kind of sounds like a cult. But when Jerry died, the Dead stopped touring and we had no place to gather. There were other bands, but it wasn't the same. For so long whenever I heard those first 4 notes of Touch of Grey on the radio (because that was the only song that ever got any radio time in Santa Barbara) I had to turn it off, I just couldn't listen to it. I went about a YEAR without listening to Eyes of the World because it was just too painful. I mourned for a long time, I still mourn, but eventually I found a community of my own, with my family.

So, that's my story, that's how a musician I never met or ever would meet had such an impact on my life. I don't know if I've done justice to his memory with this description of my experience, but, hey, I tried

Here are those two songs I referenced above, in case you've never heard them....

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Song of the day: Terrible Things

April Smith, my new find. Thanks to my friend simmy for the intro (she'll never actually read this but I thought I'd throw that h/t into the wind maybe for karma to pick it up and run with it.)

Terrible Things
April Smith

if you dig under my feet
you will find things that you don't want to see
things that i hide deep down inside
a menagerie of the tragedy i caused and all of my flaws
and my demons are all that can see
then what would you do ...if you only knew

all of the things that I've done
terrible things...you would never believe
things that I've done
Oh how you'll run
if you knew a single one
all of the things that I've done

would my face give me away
but i know it wont
cause i don't even feel
i just reflect what you expect
so you don't suspect that...
i could be exactly who i am

all of the things that I've done
terrible things...you would never believe
things that I've done
Oh how you'll run
if you knew a single one
all of the things that I've done

i know that I'm inflected
but who could have predicted
that monster that I've become
i keep things carefully covered
so no one will discover
that i could be the culprit
I'm sorry i cant help it

all of the things that I've done
terrible things...you would never believe
things that I've done
Oh how you'll run
if you knew a single one
all of the things that I've done

Great moments in parenting

The scene: We're in the kitchen. The kids are both asking endless questions: "Is breakfast ready yet?" "what can I eat while I wait for breakfast?" "How many more minutes until breakfast is ready?" "Why isn't there food in my mouth right now?" etc. I'm trying to be patient and explain that just because 30 seconds ago I spoke aloud the words "I'm going to go make breakfast," it doesn't mean that it's time to eat already. (I mean, come ON, guys, at least let me make coffee!) They're milling around and I'm emptying the dishwasher and I turn around, with a frying pan in my hand, and Child 2 has suddenly materialized out of nowhere directly in front and underneath me like some kind of freakin poltergeist and I SMACK him right on top of his head with the frying pan. It made this perfect THWOK sound. And then I YELL, which definitely made things worse, "OH MY GOD!" Breakfast preparation was subsequently delayed by another 10 minutes.

What's that expression? Oh, right. Yeah. Good times.....

UPDATE: I just asked the boy "how's your head where I hit you with a frying pan?" and he looks at me... SHOCKED... and says "I thought it was a plate!?"

Um. Is it too late to say "plate?"

I love spam

I do, I love it. Not the weird canned meat product, I mean junk mail. I love it because my ISP uses a service that stops all suspected spam at the server level but I still have the option of looking at it and decided if I want it to be delivered or not. So, my blackberry doesn't get annoyed with tons of spam but I still get to look at it every morning. And what I love about spam is that it all comes from me. That's right, I spam myself.

I have about 6-7 email addresses and pretty much all of the spam I see is from one or another of them, so every morning when I check my spam box I am treated to myself trying to tell myself the truth about orgasms, about how to grow inches or how "she saw the fire in my eyes." I just think it's hilarious.

This just in: Scarlett Johansen spills boobs!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Song of the day: Bohemian Rhapsody


Out of the mouths of babes, uh... 7?

We were just discussing this cartoon on Facebook so I pulled this mug off the very top shelf and put it back into circulation. Then I tried to give Child 2 some water in it, and of course, he wouldn't drink it until we had a lengthy discussion about what was going on in the picture. I explained that the dog was trying to trick the cat into climbing into the washing machine, etc. He pushes the mug away and says "I don't want to drink out of a cup that tries to trick cats." I had to pour the water into a different cup for him.

Cat safety propaganda

More genius from my blog idol Allie Brosh. Now in video form!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Meltdown Hell

What do you call it when both kids are crying and freaking out because one wants to go one place and the other wants to go somewhere completely different and you can't get them to agree on one thing and the more you try the more they both freak out?

I think you call that Miller Time, although I don't drink beer, so maybe rum and coke time. For the kids, however, you call that "bribe with chocolate time." Whatever it takes, right?

Captcha art

This is a hilarious new trend to make (badly drawn) artwork out of those weird fuzzy words that websites will make you enter to prove that you're human and not a bot. For example:

More here

Song of the day: Somebody to Love

Queen rules. QUEEN RULES!!!

This, by the way, is my most favorite song to sing on Rock Band. *cough* Bohemian Rhapsody is coming in RB 3 !!!!!!!!!!

Somebody to Love

Can anybody find me somebody to love?
Each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
Take a look in the mirror and cry
Lord what you're doing to me
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can't get no relief, Lord!
Somebody, somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

I work hard every day of my life
I work till I ache my bones
At the end I take home my hard earned pay all on my own -
I get down on my knees
And I start to pray
Till the tears run down from my eyes
Lord - somebody - somebody
Can anybody find me - somebody to love?

(He works hard)

Everyday - I try and I try and I try -
But everybody wants to put me down
They say I'm goin' crazy
They say I got a lot of water in my brain
Got no common sense
I got nobody left to believe
Yeah - yeah yeah yeah

Oh Lord
Somebody - somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Got no feel, I got no rhythm
I just keep losing my beat
I'm ok, I'm alright
Ain't gonna face no defeat
I just gotta get out of this prison cell
Someday I'm gonna be free, Lord!

Read this blog

Rooster Calls

I love her honesty, and damn, can't so many of us relate to EVERYTHING she says?

This is just the best line ever: "The long term prognosis for the rooster is that his mama is going to love him."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ok, autism, sometimes you're actually quite adorable

I have no idea when this new thing started but I just found about 15 of them on the floor under the desk in my office.

Look how he spelled "company." He's so cute!!!

Song of the day: Rooster

 This is an incredibly intense video, too.

Alice in Chains

Ain't found a way to kill me yet
Eyes burn with stinging sweat
Seems every path leads me to nowhere
Wife and kids household pet
Army green was no safe bet
The bullets scream to me from somewhere

Here they come to snuff the rooster, aww yeah, hey yeah
Yeah here come the rooster, yeah
You know he ain't gonna die
No, no, no, ya know he ain't gonna die (x2)

Walkin' tall machine gun man
They spit on me in my home land
Gloria sent me pictures of my boy
Got my pills 'gainst mosquito death
My Buddy's breathin' his dyin' breath
Oh god please won't you help me make it through

Here they come to snuff the rooster, aww yeah
Yeah here come the rooster, yeah
You know he ain't gonna die
No, no, no ya know he ain't gonna die

Jon Stewart speaks for me

This is worth watching through to the end because the very end is very funny.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Give Up - 9/11 Responders Bill
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

"Paid for by citizens who have just given up. Because why bother?"

Live 105: You suck

You should change your name to KMUSE: All Muse, all the time

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Being a Californian got about 8 times better today

The 9th Circuit will be a breeze; it's the SCOTUS I'm worried about....
Judge strikes down Prop. 8, allows gay marriage in California

A federal judge in San Francisco decided today that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, striking down Proposition 8, the voter approved ballot measure that banned same-sex unions.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker said Proposition 8, passed by voters in November 2008, violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians to marry the partners of their choice. His ruling is expected to be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

[Updated at 1:54 p.m.: "Plaintiffs challenge Proposition 8 under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment," the judge wrote. "Each challenge is independently meritorious, as Proposition 8 both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation."

Vaughn added: "Plaintiffs seek to have the state recognize their committed relationships, and plaintiffs’ relationships are consistent with the core of the history, tradition and practice of marriage in the United States.“

Ultimately, the judge concluded that Proposition 8 "fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. (emphasis mine because I like that part) … Because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”]

[Updated at 2:28 p.m.: Both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised the judge's decision. "Because a judge had the courage to stand up for the constitution of the United States, prop 8 has been overturned!" the mayor wrote on Twitter.

“This ruling marks a victory for loving, committed couples who want nothing more than the same rights and security as other families,” added Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, minutes after Walker’s ruling was released. “From the start, this has been about basic fairness.”

Austin R. Nimocks, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund who fought to uphold Prop 8 in Walker’s court, vowed to appeal, saying “We’re obviously disappointed that the judge did not uphold the will of over 7 million Californians who made a decision in a free and fair democratic process.”]

Walker, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, heard 16 witnesses summoned by opponents of Proposition 8 and two called by proponents during a 2½-week trial in January.

Walker’s historic ruling in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger relied heavily on the testimony he heard at trial. His ruling listed both factual findings and his conclusions about the law.
Voters approved the ban by a 52.3% margin six months after the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was permitted under the state Constitution.

The state high court later upheld Proposition 8 as a valid amendment to the state Constitution.

An estimated 18,000 same-sex couples married in California during the months that it was legal, and the state continues to recognize those marriages.

The federal challenge was filed on behalf of a gay couple in Southern California and a lesbian couple in Berkeley. They are being represented by former Solicitor General Ted Olson, a conservative, and noted litigator David Boies, who squared off against Olson in Bush vs. Gore.

A Los Angeles-based group formed to fight Proposition 8 has been financing the litigation.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown refused to defend Proposition 8, prodding the sponsors of the initiative to hire a legal team experienced in U.S. Supreme Court litigation.

Backers of Proposition 8 contended that the legal burden was on the challengers to prove there was no rational justification for voting for the measure. They cited as rational a view that children fare best with both a father and a mother.

But defense witnesses conceded in cross-examination that studies show children reared from birth by same-sex couples fared as well as those born to opposite-sex parents and that marriage would benefit the families of gays and lesbians.

Spotted in Berkeley: How many Priuses?

Today on my walk I played Count the Priuses. It's about 3 miles round trip. Guess how many I saw? GUESS!!!

Spotted in Berkeley

This morning I begin my new series: Things I see around town.

If you've never been to Berkeley you can only imagine how awesome it is. We're a liberal utopia, we are, where I and my politics are not even the most liberal. Sometimes we forget that the outside world exists and people aren't like this everywhere. As a result, though, I'm always spotting funny bumper stickers or graffiti that perfectly sum up this town.

For example, the sign in front of the City building that says "Electric car parking only. No hybrid parking." I think that one's my favorite.

This morning I saw my favorite bumper sticker: "If guns were outlawed, only outlaws would accidentally shoot their kids."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You must chill! I have hidden your car keys!

I can't even count the number of times I've said that I'm not cut out for this parenting thing because I'm too neurotic. Well, whatever that number was, we may now add another one.

The boys and I are at the grocery store this afternoon (where we ran into H and C and H's mom and OMGITWASSOEXCITING that we ran around the cheese display about 10 times until we fell down!!!!!!!!!). We were there to get some chicken, and there was a bit of a line, there was a group of shaggy high school, maybe college guys in front of us. Child 1 walks over, stands in front of them, points to them (which is more of a point/flap/stim combo) and asks "Are you guys getting chicken?"

And thus begins the internal dialogue.....

No, he can't do that! Must make him stop! They'll think he's weird!

So what if they think he's weird? Who the fuck cares what they think?

But other kids don't do things like that.

Yes they do, other 8 year olds definitely do things like that. 

How the hell do you know what other 8 year olds do? Have you ever known an NT 8 year old?

Well, no, I'm just assuming that he's weird because he's, well... WEIRD.

Maybe YOU'RE the one who thinks he's weird, have you ever considered that?

Hey, fuck you!

No, fuck YOU!

NO! Fuck YOU!!!

*fight scene ensues*

I didn't actually make him stop, but when they told him they weren't getting chicken I did feign surprise. Somebody seriously needs to take away my parenting license. Oh, that's right, you don't NEED a license for this. HA HA HA HA HA.... oh, that's not right....

Song of the day: Melissa

This one would definitely be in my top 10.

The Allman Brothers

Crossroads ... seem to come and go ... yeah
The gypsy flies from coast to coast
Knowing many, loving none
Bearing sorrow, havin' fun
But back home he'll always run ... to sweet Melissa

Freight train ... each car looks the same ... all the same
And no one knows the gypsy's name
No one hears his lonely sighs
There are no blankets where he lies
In all his deepest dreams the gypsy flies ... with sweet Melissa

Again the morning's come
Again he's on the run
Sunbeams shinin' through his hair
Appearing not to have a care
Well pick up your gear and gypsy roll on ... roll on

Crossroads ... will you ever let him go
Lord ... Lord
Or will you hide the dead man's ghost
Or will he lie ... beneath the clay
Or will his spirit float away
But I know that he won't stay ... without Melissa
Yes I know that he won't stay ... without Melissa

Monday, August 2, 2010

Karaoke part 2

That Mel-o-dee lounge is a cool place! If you go to their website you will not only see a background image of their awesome red velvet wallpaper, but all the pictures of the people doing karaoke are the people we were hanging out with last night, and they're so cool! They will cheer for you and get up and dance for you if you are sucking, just to show their support. One of the people I was chatting with told me she and her husband have been going there every Friday night for 8 years. They're a whole karaoke community!

So, the last time we went to karaoke, I had been determined to redeem myself because my original Who Will Save Your Soul was, um, kind of a horrible mess, but the disc was broken. This time, though, the disc was NOT broken! HA HA!! Reputation = mended!!!

For the 2nd song I figured I'd do this Billy Joel song I had blogged about the other day. It was totally out of my range, though, I wasn't expecting that. However, the cool karaoke community broke out the fucking FOG MACHINE, baby! Hell yeah! And the plastic blow up guitars, and then gave me the plastic blow up saxophone and we jammed! HA HA!! I have a picture of that and am willing to send it to whomever emails me (if I like you). No video, though, sorry mom.

Ahhhh, yes. Magic Man. I want to say I heart this song, but that would be a pun and puns are wrong. They told me I owned the place. I got a lot of high fives on my way out. Maybe hubs will write a little about it in the comments.... I don't want to brag....

George Carlin on the American Dream

Song of the day: Troublemaker

Comment on the YouTube page: "Rivers looks like a rapist now." LOL


Put me in a special school
‘Cause I am such a fool
And I don’t need a single book
To teach me how to read

Who needs stupid books’
They are for petty crooks
And I will learn by studying
The lesson in my dreams

So turn off the TV
‘Cause that’s what others see
And movies are as bad as
Eating chocolate ice cream

They only sicken me
Don’t let me play football
I’ll sack the quarterback
And jack the brother of the ball

I’m a troublemaker
Never been a faker
Doing things my own way
And never giving up

I’m a troublemaker
Not a double taker
I don’t have the patience
To keep it on the up

I picked up a guitar
What does this signify’
I’m gonna play some heavy metal riffs
And you will die

You wanted arts and crafts
How’s this for arts and crafts’
That’s right

I’m growing out my hair
I’m movin’ out to Cherokee
I’m gonna be a rock star
And you will go to bed with me

‘Cause I can’t work a job
Like any other slob
Punchin’ in and punchin’ out
And suckin' up to Bob

Marrying a bitch
Having 7 kids
Giving up and growing old
And hoping there’s a God

I’m a troublemaker
Never been a faker
Doing things my own way
And never giving up

I’m a troublemaker
Not a double taker
I don’t have the patience
To keep it on the up

I’m gonna be a star
And people will crane necks
To get a glimpse of me
And see if I am having sex

In studying my moves
They try to understand
Why I am so unlike the singers
In the other bands

I’m such a mystery
As anyone can see
There isn’t anybody else
Exactly quite like me

And when it’s party time
Like 1999
I’ll party by myself
Because I’m such a special guy

I’m a troublemaker
Never been a faker
Doing things my own way
And never giving up

I’m a troublemaker
Not a double taker
I don’t have the patience
To keep it on the up
(Keep it on the up)

I’m a troublemaker
(Keep it on the up)
I’m a troublemaker
(Keep it on the up)

I’m a troublemaker
(Keep it on the up)
I’m a troublemaker
Never giving up