xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Vote for me! (please?)

I figure I'll try something new today. Rather than using trickery, I'll just ask!

Please click on either that graphic of the juggling chick with the apron you see on the left (with the number THREE instead of two), or the banner below, or here!... every day that you visit. Just one click a day is all you need and your vote has been cast. Like magic!

I won't say, necessarily, that my entire sense of self worth depends upon this one accurately placed finger movement of yours, but, um.... okay, I don't know how to end that sentence.

My kid is crazy & things we did today

I'm combining two unrelated topics into one post today, because that's just how I roll, baby. Also I think I've been posting too much. I've posted 51 times in the month of February! There are only 28 days in the month. If I were able to do math, I could tell you how many times a day I've been posting, but, ehhhh. I'm lazy, so you figure it out.  But don't let that stop you from voting for me. No, I'm serious. Seriously.

On the other hand, I'm sorry, I don't usually do politics, but this is pissing me off. To all of you who watched and enjoyed the Oscars last night, did you know that almost every single person who won and accepted an award last night is a member of a union? Do you watch movies? Do you enjoy talent? And the fashion? Do you have an opinion about what's going on in Wisconsin right now? Think about it.

The following stories are brought to you by the oligarchy in which we live. Thank you, rich people and corporate owners of America, who still allow me to have a computer and an internet connection. For now......


Tyger (formerly known as Child 2; this is going to take some time to get used to) is totally fucking nuts. We're hanging out, doing, uh... stuff?... and I think we were fake fighting or something? We do that sometimes. Fake fight. Anyway, he says "If you don't stop I'm going to have to start calling you 'Chicken Broth'!"

Chicken Broth? Yeah, I have no idea. But, I tell him "well, if I'm 'Chicken Broth' that makes you 'Mini Chicken Broth'."

"Mini Chicken Broth!!"

He's delighted.

And then he proceeds to name all of our cats in a similar manner.

Spike is Tiny Chicken Broth

Spot is Tiny Chicken Broth with Spots

McDougal is Scaredy Chicken Broth

Charlie is Fat Chicken Broth ("because he's fat")


Seriously, man, the kid is fucking nutballs.

I don't know where he gets it from.

Also: here's the library book he checked out this week:

Seriously? Enough already, kid. Come on.


We took the boys out on their scooters today. Apparently there's this jogging/biking path that goes through town. Seriously, I've lived here for 12? years and I can't believe I never knew about this thing. It's perfect for scootering, particularly since it's right underneath the BART tracks.

They were fucking adorable. (Can I say "fucking" here?) They were so fucking adorable. And Bart (Child 1. Seriously, man, this is really hard) is surprisingly good at scootering. This is a kid with hyptertonia who will NEVER be an athlete, but I was damn impressed at how gracefully he rode his scooter. Considering that they were Hanukkah gifts, and it's only March, I'm incredibly impressed at how good he's gotten at it.

Tyger was doing his best to keep up with his brother, but he is shorter and clumsier and it was so awesome how hard he was trying. This is the first time ever that I've seen them have one of those "big/little brother" moments where the little one wants to be like the big one. It was very very sweet.

"Wait for me, Bart!"

This is perfect because you can just make out the BART logo on the train


Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Dive Bar Welcomes: Karen

Well hello Karen! Karen writes at her self-described "G rated" blog Solodialogue and I am thrilled to be able to give her a chance to show some of her R rated side. Because, really, can't we all relate to what she's talking about here? I know I can. Go, Karen, go!!

Dear Dirty Sickie C-Rag that brought your kids to Gym Class,

I brought my son for his 2nd gym class ever two weeks ago. We were both in perfect health. I do not know the social dynamics of the mamas and the papas in this group. When I sat down, you were out for coffee across the street. I guess, if you could go for coffee, that fucking means that you fucking did not need to be there at all, did you? But you, being an idiot, skanked your way back into the waiting room and sat your sorry ass one folding chair away from me. Then, you started hacking and sneezing your shitty germs all in my direction without even an attempt to cover your fucking face.

There was no escape. It was like fucking musical chairs in there. Your daughter was in class, shedding her germ-ridden tears all over the everyone and everything, including the gym equipment because you went for coffee. You know what that meant, bitch? All the other kids, including my son, were infected with this shit.

As for me? There were no other seats further away from you. All the other dumb-ass parents, talked to you like you were all BFFs. What the fuck?! Really, people? To top it off you brought your toddling little 18 month old WHO WAS NOT IN THE CLASS with you, he in full-on sick glory with green, dripping snot running down his face? How do I fuckin’ know? Because while you were skank-hoe’ing it up with the other daddies there, you let him wander right over to me and wipe his snotty little hands all over my coat and use me for his own personal balance beam.

The child needed to be at home, quarantined with you! You are so lucky that I did not get up and bitch slap you right there. Especially, when you told the two daddies’ on your other side, “I’ve never felt worse in my life,” What gets me even more? They laughed!! Am I the only one who was not in the fucking Twilight Zone there?

The topper? Your fucking moron of a husband was NOT sick and he was there with you!!! He was laughing while you tried to sell it to the dirty m-f’ing dick-dads who did not have the balls to tell you to get your fuckin’ germs out of there! Could you and your husband be bigger douche-bags?

Thanks to your generosity in sharing your fucked up germs, my son, who has asthma, has been hacking up a lung for five days and shitting his baby balls off all over my house, my sheets, and my carpet! Not that you fucking give a shit. Wish you were here, bitch. I’d rub your face in it!

Love & Kisses,

Your fellow gym mom

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I am changing the names of my children

For those of you who are cool enough to have listened to me on Autism WTF earlier this week, you will have already heard my confession. For the rest of you... the less cool people.... this revelation will be completely new to you.

My children are not actually named Child 1 and Child 2.

I know.


You're shocked that I've been perpetrating this fraud against you for the uhhhhhhhhhhhh..... 9 months that I've been blogging; but it's true. These are not their real names.

Go ahead, take a moment. I'll wait for you to compose yourselves.

Does it really matter what I call them, though? I could be using their real names and just saying they aren't their real names, and would any of you know? Some of you would know, yes, but most of you would not. (I read on a new blog I saw the other day where a mom calls her kids Autie and Tippy. Get it? Autie and Tippy? So awesome. I don't remember where it was, but nice work, whoever you are!)

Well, apparently... to some people... it does matter. People who know them, and me, and therefore, by request, I am now officially changing how I refer to my children here on my blog.

First, the new names. This was written in the comments of some other piece of crap post that I wrote yesterday, by my awesome cousin Emily:
ATTENDEZ-VOUS! Readers of Y. GT. Child 1, the modelicious, chestnut-haired, autism-afflicted 9 year old man-cave dwelling viewer of BARTs and elevators shall be hereafter renamed.... BART! (You didn't see that coming, did you, Cousin Smo?)

His charming, sweet-talking, moon-showing cat-harassing gap-toothed five year old NT brother shall hereafter be known as TYGER.


Put THAT in yer blog and smoke it.

(The above is to be quoted wherever you see fit.) 
Okay, first of all, yeah. I didn't see Bart coming, and MAN is that embarrassing. Not only does it fit with his love of BART trains, it also fits with MY love of The Simpsons. So, really, it's perfect. And Tyger? I don't know what the fuck that is, but if that's what Emily says, then, fine.... that's what I'll do. (except, she tells me, that she almost named Child 2 "Santa's Little Helper." LMAO!!!!!!!!!! I might not have done it... honestly.... )

Wait. What? Since when do I take orders from anybody? Seriously, I don't normally do what people tell me to do. It's kind of this "thing" I have; in fact, usually, when somebody tells me to do something, I will do the exact opposite, just to piss them off. This can be a problem in the work environment. Good thing I'm a contractor.

Except, really, it's just a fucking blog, so who cares? And, there are some very good reasons why I would take an order about my kids' bloggy names from Emily, and nobody else (except hubs), which brings me to the point of this blathering:

- Probably most of you weren't reading my crap around Thanksgiving, so please take a moment to read this. It's not a trick, I promise! (THIS is a trick) That (first) link will take you to another thing that I wrote, about my cousin, and is important here because it explains a lot (and I don't feel like re-writing everything I already wrote a few months ago.)

- We are the geekiest family ever. She's been online since 1991 and has had the same username the whole time. I'VE been online since 1994 and have also had the same username. She's younger than I am, and has been online longer than I have! If my brother were still alive he would say that he's been online since 1987 or something. Our. Family. Rules. Teh. Geek.

- Emily was at my house last? week and was telling me about how she's a fan of all of YOU guys. Yeah, she reads everything you guys write. I mean, like... more than I do. I was embarrassed at how much more she knew about you guys than I did.

Here are some of the things she said when she was here (and I shit you not this is real, because I've been emailing with her while I was writing this, because I have the worst memory ever, and she confirmed it all)

- I love how Lynn labeled Audrey's shrinkey-dink "shiv" (I fucking loved that, too. SO MUCH.)

- It was great how Little Bird's birthday cake had her name spelled out in M&Ms and how cool that everybody wanted to be her friend??

- Isn't it funny how Griffin and Child 1 share the same love of elevator videos?

- I liked the video of the gluten free cook with her kids

- Moe and Jelly are adorable, and Jelly is such a good sister

Are you kidding me?? Could you be more awesome?

So, really, what it comes down to is that awesome wins here.

Child 1 = Bart. Child 2 = Tyger.


Friday, February 25, 2011

An open letter to the Puke Fairy: UPDATED with parenting dilemma

Can you believe I actually got some results from a Google Image search for "puke fairy" ? Then, again, this also showed up in the search results:

So now I don't know WHAT to think.

Dear Puke Fairy Bitch:

Okay, you want to fight? You want to fucking throw down? Because I will kick your fucking ass, you bitch. I will take you out. I'm not afraid of you. No, you don't scare me, and I'm going to fight and kick and scream at you with everything I have until you get the fuck out of my house FOR GOOD.



Do I need to explain this? Yeah, maybe a little bit. Perhaps you read my tale of our adventures with the Puke Fairy this past weekend? I thought we were out of the woods. Until today. I'm at work. And the secretary from the school calls to inform me that Child 2 is in her office barfing.


I mean.... Seriously?

For real?


It's funny how much I stop caring about what other drivers on the road think of me when I'm driving through downtown Oakland and then downtown Berkeley as fast as I possibly can to go pick up my sick kid from school. I've written about rude drivers a million times here, but today I just said fuck it, I'm going to BE one of those rude drivers and I don't give a shit what you think. Lots of people honked at me. Fuck 'em.

I realize, of course, that challenging the Puke Fairy to throw down isn't actually going to make either of my kids stop barfing, but it's certainly a fun thing to write.

I wonder. What will this weekend bring?



The factors:

1. Sick 5 year old; has now thrown up 4 times; is lying in bed, pale and lethargic.
2. Healthy 9 year old, at school. Needs to be picked up at 3:15. Healthy 9 year old has autism, can tell time and gets VERY upset by an unexpected change in his routine.
3. Husband stuck in traffic. Calls at 3:00 to say he'll be home in about 30 minutes
4. I don't have a neighbor I can ask to come by for a few minutes.
5. I don't have anybody I can call and ask if they can bring healthy 9 year old home for me

My options:

1. Bundle up sick 5 year old and take him with me to pick up his brother
2. Leave sick 5 year old home by himself while I go pick up his brother
3. Call school and say I'll be late and please have healthy 9 year old with autism who can tell time wait for me in the office for an undetermined amount of time, and wait for husband to get home and watch sick 5 year old

What would you do?  Tell me in the comments and then I'll tell you what I ended up doing.

You know how Seinfeld was a show about nothing? Well, this isn't anything like that.

Yeah, though, seriously. I have absolutely nothing to write about today. But, really, when you think about it.... has that ever stopped me before? No. No, it hasn't. So I'm going to just start typing and see what happens. And we're off!

And, anyway, I have to blog every day! Because I'm number two, people. I'M NUMBER TWO. And if I don't write anything then nobody will come here and (probably not) click on my little link graphic dealie, and then what?? THEN WHAT??? Then, nothing, actually, because being #2 is completely meaningless. It doesn't mean I'm the 2nd coolest Mom Blogger that exists, it means I've gotten the 2nd highest number of clicks on a link/graphic that only a handful of Mom Bloggers have decided to put on their blog, because... really, there are a shit-ton of Mom Bloggers out there, many of them funnier and better than me, and if any of them had decided to throw their hats into this fake contest, my rank would be much, much lower. In fact, my favorite Mom Blogger isn't even me. Seriously! It's Aunt Becky, and she doesn't have that graphic on her site; and if she did, I would certainly be #3 or lower.

Child 2 just asked me what a year is and I answered "365 days" pause "In a row." Why did I feel that second part was necessary? Was it a distinction so important that if I didn't put it there he might be confused by my answer? And is there a different name for 365 non consecutive days?

I got this in an email earlier today:
All third graders are given the opportunity to take a screening test for Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) identification. A teacher visits all third grade classes to administer the Cognitive Abilities Test, which is given over two sittings on different days, each lasting from one to one-and-a-half hours. 
This would normally kind of annoy me, since obviously my autistic 3rd grader isn't going to qualify as a Gifted and Talented student (shit, he would never even make it through a 1 1/2 hour test) except I know that No Child Left Behind has basically forced districts throughout the country to gut all GATE programs and just qualifying for GATE doesn't mean anything because it's not like the district is going to provide any extra services for these kids.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ohmygod I'm such a bitch....

I just brought Child 2 a snack and before I gave it to him I said "I need to taste one to make sure they're not poisoned." I, apparently, AM my mother now. That's something she always used to say; and, anyway, he totally busted me on it. He said "these aren't poisoned, you just wanted to taste it without having to ask me for one."


I hope he doesn't qualify for GATE when he's in 3rd grade, because he's not going to get shit for services for it.

Did you listen to me on the radio the other day? They finally let me talk after keeping me on hold for 20 minutes. Oh, but it's really cool, though, you should totally listen.

Earlier I had some time so I took a little nap, and woke up about 7 minutes before I had to pick the kids up. So, I grabbed a pair of sweatpants that were on the floor and I ran out the door. I put the sweatpants on inside out, though, and I had these big-ass pockets hanging out of the sides of my hips like big fucking elephant ears. I'm home now, though, and they're still like that. Fuck it.

Child 2 just came back and asked me, again, what a year is. I said "365 days." "In a row?" he confirms. "In a row," I say. I guess that distinction was important, after all.

I just got an email from somebody asking me to review their parenting book. For the first time EVER 1. I did not immediately hit "report as spam" and 2. wrote back, and 3. was nice and not at all sarcastic. I told them that I didn't do that kind of thing and I suggested (the first) 3 mom bloggers (that I could think of) who (I thought) might be interested (Cheryl, Caryn and Lisa). This will probably happen again, and I'll probably just make a form letter, so if you want to be on my list, let me know.

This has taken me about 4 hours to write. That is exactly how awesome I am. That's how number TWO rolls, baby.... Actually.... Ew. Oh, christ, would you just fucking click here already? Humor me, please??? No tricks this time! Pinky swears!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

The puke fairy has visited my house. And now if she could please go away, kthxbye

This past weekend was a 4-day one from school; how I love those. Usually parents hate having all these days off in a row because their kids are home and making them crazy. MY kids, however, are always perfectly happy to do whatever, even if it means staying home and doing nothing (actually, that would be their preference because they're lazy, like their parents) It used to be that any change in routine would totally freak Child 1 out, so I hated extended weekends or long vacation weeks, but things are different now, and having days off of school really just means that I don't have to set an alarm, I don't have to rush around in the mornings, I don't have to drag their little butts out of bed, get them dressed and fed and off to school by a certain time. It means I can sleep and don't have to stress! Awesome.

So, I was very happy that there was a 4 day weekend. Except.... very early Friday morning, right before the wonderful weekend started.... Child 2 barfed. 

Oh crap.

Well, okay. Fine. I guess we have a barfer. Let's see how things go.

It appeared to be a one time thing and he was shortly up and running around as if nothing had happened. And then it started raining, and it didn't stop for about 2 days. We weren't leaving the house even if we wanted to.

Then on Saturday afternoon, Child 1 barfed. I blogged about it. He was just lying there on the chair and it all came out. Onto me. Yay. But about an hour later, HE was perfectly fine and stimming and running around as if nothing had happened. I guess that's just how this particular bug works? Okay. Moving on....

Sunday was uneventful. Our weekend was pretty much ruined, anyway. It had finally stopped raining but we're still inside taking it easy, even though both kids are perfectly fine and healthy and full of energy (or so it seemed). Lovely weekend we're having so far, though, right?

Monday, very early morning, I'm sleeping in Child 1's bed and I hear "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!" coming from the big bedroom, followed by "BBLLLAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH." Oh, christ. Child 1 comes in a minute later and climbs in next to me. I guess it was Child 2 this time. Child 1 and I go back to sleep and I pretend it didn't happen.

Yeah. It happened though, and we spend another day inside, "taking it easy"

Tuesday was supposed to be school for both of them but I didn't have to work and hubs decided to take the day off so we all stayed home.... just in case. Child 2 spends all day running around like a whirling dervish, chasing cats and yelling and jumping and bouncing and yelling and bouncing and more yelling? Then, mid-day, he's sitting on the couch and suddenly says "Uh oh, I don't feel so good," but he's kind of a drama queen and I thought maybe he was just prepping for trying to get out of going to school (again) the next day. I gave him a big tupperware, though, just in case, and I told him to aim for it if he thought he was going to hurl.

About 10 minutes later I'm in the kitchen with hubs and we hear "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!" coming from the TV room, followed by "BBLLLAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH" and I go down to find that he has very thoughtfully filled up the tupperware and not gotten any on himself or the couch or anything else. Nice work! He then passes out for about 5 hours and when he wakes up, resumes his energetic path of destruction through the house (those poor, poor cats). I say to hubs "worst case scenario, tomorrow morning, how late can you stay home?" because I have to go to work! But if this kid needs to stay home, we can split the day in half. Hubs will take Shift #1 (until noon) and I will take Shift #2.

Wednesday morning (today) it's very very early. At this point I'm determined that these kids are going to fucking school if I have to drag their asses there kicking and screaming; I have to work, anyway. I'm lying in my own bed with Child 1 and he starts coughing. And coughing. And he won't stop coughing. What's with the coughing? Then I realize .... he's not coughing. He's fucking barfing.


I fucking FLIP out. I've already washed the sheets on my bed THREE TIMES this weekend, and now I have to do it again?? I start storming through the house, on this angry rampage, muttering about barfing and laundry and working and children and something something something LAUNDRY? AGAIN?? I think I scared hubs, because he looked a little nervous when he volunteered to take another day off work.

I almost literally drag Child 2 out of there kicking and screaming; I take him to school and I go to work.

As I write this, it is 3:00 on Wednesday afternoon. We're all home. Nobody has barfed in at least 8 hours. Everybody seems to be okay.

What will happen tomorrow, though? Only the puke fairy knows, and I wish that bitch would get the fuck away from my house.....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Song of the day: Rolling in the Deep. Acoustic!

FINALLY the new Adele is out! And OMG it came with this so very very awesome live acoustic version of the already awesome Rolling in the Deep, among other very very awesome songs. Did I mention it's awesome? True story.

I REALLY need to monitor this child's library usage better

My kids both go to the same elementary school, which has a wonderful library with a wonderful librarian whom I adore. (On Child 1's first day of Kindergarten, I hid out in the library for hours after his day started so that I could spy on him, because the library is right next to the Kindergarten yard. She let me hang out as long as I wanted so we got to be friends. She's great; a total nutjob, though. You can see why we get along so well).

Child 1 has never been much of a library book checker-outer. In fact, he usually checks out a book and then it stays in the classroom. I'm fine with this. Seriously, we have enough books in our house, we are not wanting for any reading material. Every "occasion" they will both get massive piles of books; I swear, we've got them piled up in every corner of the house. So, we don't often find ourselves at the library, which is good, because I'm really bad at remembering to return them. However, the school has a library and every class goes there once a week (I'll keep my rant about local parcel tax funding to myself, thank you very much!)

Child 2, it turns out, is a fan of the library, and LOVES to check books out. Not much of a surprise considering that he basically taught himself to read when he was 4. The problem, though, is that he's in this dinosaur book phase, and the books he chooses out are waaayyyy above his (and my) reading level which means, unfortunately, the task of reading them to him falls onto me (or hubs, but unfortunately he works so much he doesn't often get the chance. bummer for all involved). I, however, am simply unable to pronounce the majority of the words in the books that he chooses. So, every Thursday, when he comes home with a new book, I always dread looking into his backpack and seeing what he's brought home this time, because I know it's just going to be a shitload of words that I can't say.

(Did you know that what they teach you about dinosaurs today are completely different from what we learned when we were kids? The Brontosaurus? GONE. WTF? Replaced by the Apatosaurus, which at least I can pronounce, but also about a hundred new ones that are SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO SAY.)

So, when I encounter an impossible to pronounce word, which I do... in every paragraph, I am quickly faced with one of three options.


The problem text: "Coelurosauravus had ribs that grew out from the sides of its body."

Option 1: I do my best to sound out the offensive word as accurately as possible. Except, I drag out every syllable because I'm being careful and I probably end up butchering it, anyway. Child 2 loves this option because I sound like an idiot and he thinks that's hilarious
Cooooo eeeeeee lllll uu rrrrrrr ooooooooo ssss aaaaaa uuuuuuu rrrrrr aaaaaaaa vvvvvvv uuuuuuuuuu ssssss had ribs that grew out from the sides of its body.
Option 2: I'm going to quickly spit out, to the best of my ability, whatever is the easiest way to get past that goddamn word
Coloravus had ribs that grew out from the sides of its body.
Option 3: Fuck it, I'm not even going to bother
This guy had ribs that grew out from the sides of its body.
I like that last one, and for some reason, he doesn't notice.

Seriously, though, kid. Is Go Dog, Go just not good enough for you? SHIT! Give a Mama a break, here, would you??

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that's amore

The other day I'm sitting in my office, uh.... working? when Child 2 walks in says "Look, Mama!" Turns around, pulls down his pants, moons me, pulls up his pants and walks away.

Five minutes later, when I'm able to breathe again and can pull myself up off the floor, I hunt him down for a chat. First I tell him that what he has done is called "mooning," and is, without question, the funniest thing that has ever happened in my office. But then I explain the appropriateness of The Moon, because I'm thinking there's a pretty good chance that not everybody in the world is going to find that as fucking hilarious as I do, and I can just picture him on the playground at school, mooning all his little friends (who probably would find it funny) but then I get a call from the Principal because my kid is in her office with his pants around his ankles and could I please teach my child some modesty? PLEASE?

So, I tell him that showing his dimply, adorable little butt is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, but only when we're home, and only to me and his Dad.

"What about my brother?" He asks.

"No, you can't show your brother your butt."

"Why not?"

"Because he doesn't want to see your butt. HEY! CHILD 1! Do you want to see your brother's butt??"

Child 1 answers from inside the man cave: "NO!"

"See? He doesn't want to see your butt." I say.

"What about in the backyard?" He asks.

"No, not in the backyard, only inside the house." I answer.

"But the backyard is part of our house, too."

"Right, but it's outside, and the neighbors don't want to see your butt, either."

"Should we ask them?" He asks.

"No, we don't need to ask them," I say. "I'm fairly confident that they have no interest in seeing your butt. Also, they're not your family, and you can't show your butt to anybody who isn't your family."

"What about Grandma?"

"Okay, not Grandma, either. Or Grandpa."

"Why not?"

"They're older, and probably won't think it's funny"(and they'll probably yell at me and I don't really need that....)

Our Moon lesson had ended and we went about our business. Then last night he mooned me again and I laughed hysterically again.

Then he went in to show hubs. It turns out that hubs doesn't want to see his butt, either and the Moon lesson was subsequently modified. Only I may be mooned, and nobody else.

I'm cool with that.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Don't forget. OMG DON'T FORGET.

Tuesday Feb. 22nd! 1:00pm Eastern, 10:00am Pacific!! BlogTalk Radio! Autism WTF!!

I, and Lynn, and Big Daddy, will be there... talking about something something... autism!!

How can you resist?


If you miss it, it will be there for all eternity for you to listen at your leisure.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

I do not suffer from autism

I read this on my friend Rachel's blog and I love it. Please read it, too: I Do Not Suffer from Autism

Please vote in my poll

I've been thinking about how I worded the last post I wrote: "The true test of wellness in my autistic child" and I've been wondering if maybe I should have phrased it "... in my child with autism."

So, I created a poll. What do you guys think? Feel free to explain in the comments.

EDIT: Good reading here: Why I dislike "person first" language by Jim Sinclair (thanks Rachel)

The true test of wellness in my autistic child

Earlier this evening, around 6:00, we walk into the TV room and Child 1 is totally passed out on the La-Z-Boy. It's too early for this: something is wrong. We hover over him for a while but don't wake him up; "please, please let him just be really tired!" But considering that it's been raining cats and dogs around here and he hasn't left the house in 2 days, it's not very likely.

He wakes up shortly afterwards and calls for me. He says he wants me to sit with him but I am not to talk or ask him questions. He lies there, cheeks flushed, staring into space and not saying anything.

This is bad, the not talking thing. This kid is constantly talking; to himself. He has an unending narrative about elevator videos going on in his head, and he spends pretty much every waking moment whispering this narrative to himself. If he's not talking.... something is wrong.


I sit there for a while waiting to see what's going to happen, when suddenly he looks distressed and asks me to bring him upstairs to the bedroom. This is a bad sign, I know my kid and I what's coming when he says this. I say "are you going to throw up?" and he nods. I say "Okay, let me get you a bowl-" and before I could even take another breath, out comes a days worth of cheetos and chicken tenders and ketchup. I yell to the hubs to bring a bowl but by the time he gets downstairs, it's just too late. The chair is covered.... and all the blankets.... oh, ew.

Now I'm worried, though, because this kid isn't a barfer, but when he does get the stomach bug, it can be really bad. We've been to the ER with him twice because he's already so skinny and has no reserves so when he barfs a lot he gets really dehydrated and ends up needing IV fluids. So, I'm concerned at how this is going to go.

I move him to the couch and rush around doing some cleaning, and when I come back to check on him, he's sitting there with his little devilish grin that he gets when he's thinking about elevator videos; and he's whispering to himself.

Ahhhhhh. He's stimming again, he's going to be okay! Sometimes I guess all it takes is one giant upchuck to clear out the system. I'm so glad my kid has that built in wellness detector; even if he can't necessarily tell me that he's feeling better, I can still totally tell, and as I sit here next to him on the couch, I can hear him whispering "this one looks like a Dover."

Much better.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I am now an elitist bitch (something new I thought I'd try)

Apparently one of the "perks" of gaining notoriety popularity as a Mommy Blogger is that lots of people will spam email you wanting you to whore post for them, or link to them, or review their product or something something something. Although, ever since I put that stupid clever tagline up there at the top the amount of mail I get from people asking me to review their product has dropped significantly! (I've never done that "crossout word" thing before but I see a lot of other people doing it so I thought I'd give it a try today. Click here to tell me how you think it's going.)

Still, I get a lot of unsolicited email from people with websites or stuff to peddle. They all start the same "We came across your blog and we think you're the greatest person who ever lived..." (or something, I didn't copy and paste or anything so I'm just going by memory here) This would probably be a good thing if I wanted to make some money from this venture, but I have no interest in doing that (I think it might force me to raise my standards or clean up my act or write things that actually make sense, and, well, I think we all know that none of that shit is ever going to happen.) When I first started blogging I contributed to a few of those group/story collection sites so that I could get some traffic over here. I've posted at World's Worst Moms and The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism (twice) and Birth Stories on Demand (but only because Kelli is a drunken whore and I adore her) and another one that I think was called LOL that I can't find now, and then another one that I won't link to because I'm about to complain about them. Besides, you're probably now all too afraid to click on any of my links because you think you're going to accidentally vote for me again. HA HA!)

Anyhoozle, lately I keep getting this same email, every few weeks or so, from these people who "came across my blog" and "think I'm funny" and "would like" me "to post" for "them". But... you see... I've already posted for them. Yes, they have at least two of my awful awkward awesome blatherings on their site (is "blatherings" a word? Well... it should be.) so why do they keep bugging me? "We've enjoyed a successful relationship with Mommy Bloggers in the past and are looking to expand upon this partnership by offering free outbound links back to your blog(s) giving you greater visibility to our national audience." Yes. I know this. Because one of those successful relationships that you've enjoyed in the past has been with ME. I even had their button in my sidebar for a while, but I took it off the first time they emailed this to me, a few months ago. Uh. HELLO? Do you not SEE YOUR OWN FUCKING BUTTON ON THE SIDE OF MY PAGE? So, either my stories were totally unforgettable, or these people are dumb. I'm going with theory the latter. Because I'm an elitist bitch now. Also because it's probably correct.

And so, because I'm an elitist bitch, I now have a policy that dumb people don't get my funny stories. My funny stories are pieces of crap precious, precious things that should only be bestowed upon the most unaware deserving. If you are NOT dumb, however, I am more than happy to pull some incoherent shit out of my ass for anybody who wants me to, as long as you realize what you're getting into and you make sure that your standards are VERY low. (At this point is where I should probably say "click here to ask me to write for you" but even I'm getting tired of my schtick.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Song of the Day: In the meantime

Good fucking song. Spacehog. It's not necessarily unique, except that it's currently kicking my ass in Rock Band. So.... nice work, This Song.... Nice work.

Funniest video ever. EVER.

I saw this over at Dani's place and couldn't resist bringing it here and pretending I saw it first.

The Dive Bar Welcomes: Sarah

Today we have Sarah! Before I posted this I made her fill out a form giving me her name, her son's name, her address and phone number, her son's date of birth, his social security number, their insurance information, and her son's diagnosis. Can I just say how fucking hilariously awesome it is the way she signed this thing? Yes I can, and I think I just did. Take it away, Sarah!

Dear Intake Service Coordinator:

You are probably wondering why I was so hostile to you this morning. Really, you shouldn't be so fucking surprised. But just in case you need a little help understanding things, let me elaborate for you:

I called your agency last Fall because our Early Intervention worker told us we might qualify for respite care. Since my husband and I have never, ever, ever left our children with anyone but immediate family [and only if there are two family members available at the same time, because nobody, not even my mom or my sisters, wants to be left alone with both of our children, and this kind of request burns so many goodwill points that we cannot ask again for months, and so we reserve it for occasions when childcare is not optional, such as when one of us needs to give birth or undergo inpatient surgery], respite care sounded very exciting. Maybe we could go out to dinner! Maybe we could go to a marriage counselor! Maybe we could go have an elective colonoscopy! Whatever! Any reason to get out of the house without the kids sounded great!

The brochure I got from the EI teacher had some bad clip art of a stick figure guy reaching for some metaphorical stars on the front. This was probably intended to represent the unlimited possibilities your agency offers to people with developmental disabilities. Inside were a couple of questions in bold type, including "What Is Mental Retardation" and "How Do I Apply For Services?" The answer to this last question is "An application for services may be obtained for* the Intake Specialist by calling 123-456-7890. Once basic information is obtained, an Intake Service Coordinator will schedule an appointment, at your convenience, to help with the application process." (*I think you meant "from," but whatever.)

When I called, last Fall, the Intake Specialist asked me some questions on the phone. Specifically, she asked for my name, my son's name, our address and phone number, my son's date of birth, his social security number, our insurance information, and my son's diagnosis. Then she paused and said, "Um, I know this is kind of awkward to talk about, but we have to ask…" In the context of the Interview By The Social Worker, this is usually the lead-in to a question about domestic violence or a lecture about home handgun safety. Instead, she asked "Have you ever noticed any… infestations? At your house? Like rodents or insects?" Apparently they are looking out for you, Intake Service Coordinator, making sure you don't catch bedbugs or have to look at any roaches while you're out roaming the ghetto to visit people like me.

Then the Intake Specialist mailed me a form to fill out. The form asked for my name, my son's name, our address and phone number, my son's date of birth, his social security number, our insurance information, and my son's diagnosis. I completed it and mailed it back.

A couple weeks later I called the Intake Specialist again. I was under the impression that the "basic information [had been] obtained," (twice, in fact) and wondered why nobody had called to schedule an appointment. I was told that somebody would get right on that, and what do you know, only five weeks after submitting the form, I got a call from you. You told me your first available appointment was in February.

Fast forward three months. Two days before the appointment, which had at this point been on the books for 90 days, I got a voicemail from you, along the lines of "We have an appointment scheduled for Wednesday, but that's really not a convenient day for me, so I'm wondering if we can reschedule for Friday. If you can't, I can still do Wednesday at 9, but just checking." I got the impression that you had some kind of personal thing going on, like maybe a rock concert the night before the appointment. Nothing important enough to actually cancel the appointment, but enough to let me know that you were keeping it only at great personal inconvenience.

I called you back to say "Sorry, but I work on Friday, Wednesday is my only day off, and in fact I have canceled two therapy appointments and rearranged child care to be available for this Very Important Intake Meeting which has been on my calendar since November. So could we please just do it Wednesday?"

My earlier impression was confirmed Wednesday morning at 9:05 am when you called me again, sounding a little hungover, to say "Um, yeah we had an appointment at 9 but I'm running a little late so I might not be there until 9:30, is that cool?"

Well, actually, no. It isn't cool. Because I have a three-year-old with autism, and when I tell him somebody is coming over at 9, and then at 9:05 you call and say you might not be there until 9:30, then I get to deal with a huge fucking explosive meltdown. But you probably wouldn't know anything about that. I mean, it's not like your entire job is to provide services to people with developmental disabilities or anything. So you probably have no idea what it's like to spend 47 minutes with an autistic three-year-old who has just been stood up.

When you finally showed up, at the crack of 9:47, you started in with the Very Important Paperwork. You asked me for my name, my son's name, our address and phone number, my son's date of birth, his social security number, our insurance information, and my son's diagnosis. I might have stared at you in disbelief at this point, since this was the third time I had provided this exact information to your agency, and most of it was in fact printed on the intake form you had fastened in the manila folder with my son's name on it, which I completed over four months ago.

I do not have my son's SSN memorized; it is in a filing cabinet upstairs. I couldn't go up to get it because that would require leaving my already-on-edge kids alone in the room with you. You made some kind of remark about how your agency recommends that people obtain child care during these Very Important Intake Appointments to avoid inconveniences such as these. I did not say that I had child care at 9:00, but it is now 10:00, and my mom has left town. I smiled politely and told you I would e-mail the SSN to you later.

You said that it would take about 3 months to determine whether my son is eligible for services. I asked why it takes so long. You explained that sometimes it takes a while to get all the paperwork [copies of my son's previous evaluations from the Developmental Pediatrician and the school district]. I told you that I have scanned copies of both evaluations that I could e-mail to you this very day. You repeated that it would take about 3 months.

"So what happens then?" I asked.

"Well, if we decide that your son is eligible, then we will assign him a Case Manager. The Case Manager will arrange a personal visit within 60 days to, um, evaluate his situation."
"So five months from now, somebody else will come to my house and ask me some more questions?" (Let me guess: name, social security number, date of birth, insurance information, and diagnosis.)

"Right. At that time, the case manager will discuss what kind of, uh, funding streams are available."

"What about respite care?"

"Well, we can't guarantee anything. There's limited funding. We only guarantee a case manager will be assigned. If we determine your son is eligible." At this point, you handed me a Xeroxed flyer with another stick figure reaching for the metaphorical stars at the top. It was titled "50 Ways Your Case Manager Can Help." The list includes "Provide support and advocacy in getting services," "Link to needed services," "Research options for services," "Provide options for community services," "Monitor services," and "Access emergency services." I got the feeling whoever made the list got tired around number 16 but was told by his supervisor that he had to come up with 50.

The list also includes "Maintain confidentiality," and "Maintain regular contact," which, no offense, seem like such low-ball goals that you might as well have included "Maintain bowel and bladder control." Not that I'm knocking bowel and bladder control, because God knows I'll be happy when my kids get some of that.

Then you left, with a stiff fake smile, before I got the chance to ask you why the fuck you bothered to lug your social-worker wheelie suitcase full of inspirational clip art over to my house, when we clearly could have had this conversation on the phone or via e-mail, and why I had waited three months for the honor of this home visit, which obviously required you to wake up much earlier than you had intended today. I also didn't get a chance to tell you that I hope you and everyone at your agency catch Ebola and a staph infection from my kitchen floor. Also: the hantavirus. And that I am eagerly awaiting the promised visit from our Case Manager, although I suspect that by the time of that visit, my children will be old enough to have armpit hair and their own Facebook pages, and respite care may be sort of moot by then. But thanks anyway.

Yours Truly,

The Bitch Whose Cat Pissed On Your Jacket But I Don't Think You Noticed And I Didn't Say Anything

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My husband is cool

I had kind of a shitty day yesterday, work-wise; and then hubs didn't get home from work until 11:30pm, because he has a sucky job that sucks. But I woke up this morning to a card and a gift from him that was the most awesome gift I've ever gotten. I can't go into detail because it's a situation I'm not going to blog about, but.... fuck yeah, hubs. I said "sorry, dude, but I'm going to have to blog about this this." He says "yeah, I know. I do it all for the blog."

So.... three cheers for the awesome hubs!! WOO HOOOO!!!!

The King of Making Me Crazy

Child 1 is really bad at waiting. Most kids are. Shit, most grownups are. I'M really bad at waiting. Child 1, however, seems to have perfected the art of Making Me Fucking Crazy, particularly when it's getting close to dinner time.

We have a pretty regular schedule, time-wise. After we get home from school, they get snacks, and we have a few hours in which to fuck around to our heart's content. This is usually when I do all my blogging and blog reading. We probably should be doing homework during these few hours, but that is clearly not what actually happens. Then at 6:00 I will get up and start making dinner. Hubs is never home at this time, and will not be home for at least a few hours, so my dinner making is just for the boys and myself. There's always a bit of negotiation required before I decide what to make, because if they don't both agree on something, at least one of them is going to have a fucking hissy fit and refuse to eat anything. (You know how they always tell parents that we have to pick our battles? Well, I lost the food battle a looooong time ago. I'll blog about it some day) So, we usually have a discussion about it beforehand. There are very few things that they both agree on, and dinner making never usually takes very long.

Child 1 is apparently going through some kind of freaky-ass growth spurt, because lately he has been constantly eating. The minute we walk through the door, he wants food, and he would continue eating all night long if I allowed it. He's still really fucking skinny, though, so I try not to stress too much about it (I have food issues; I'll blog about those at a later date, too). He can also tell time, and he knows that I get up at 6:00pm to start making dinner, and the minute I walk into the kitchen to start cooking, he starts pestering me constantly with the following non-stop barrage of questions:

"How many minutes until dinner is ready?"

"What can I have while I wait?"

"HOW many minutes until dinner is ready?"

"What can I eat while I wait?"

"Why can't I eat something while I wait?"

"Can I just have one thing while I wait?"

"How many more minutes until dinner is ready?"

My answers to these questions are usually:

"Three minutes."


"Three minutes."


"Because dinner will be ready in three minutes."

"No you can't."

"Three minutes."


This will go on for the entire duration of dinner preparation, which doesn't usually take three minutes... sometimes it can take longer. If it takes too long, he's likely to start crying and hanging onto me, thus preventing me from actually doing any cooking, and making it take even longer for dinner to be ready. I try to get him engaged in something else, or just to leave the kitchen and leave me the fuck alone, but that never works. He wants to be in the kitchen, badgering me, and so, that's where he will stay.

Finally it's ready and finally he gets to eat, which he usually does pretty well as long as it's something that's been previously negotiated and approved, and then about 10 minutes after he's done, it starts again.....

"What can I have now?"

"Why can't I have anything else?"

"How many minutes until I can have something else?"


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's only going to get worse before it gets better

Today I will be talking about my hair.

What? Do you think I'm taking a turn for the shallow, since yesterday I talked about how classy I think Lady Gaga is? Well, it's either my hair or I treat you to what's actually going on in my head right now, which would be an angry, curse-filled, angry, bitter, scathing, angry rant about our school district and how kids with disabilities are getting screwed out of an education. But I'm trying to be less angry here at Y.GT. (I don't actually call it that, but it seems pretty snazzy, so maybe just for this post), so I will spare you guys from that rant (and about how this kid, the son of my friend, isn't learning shit and just sits in the back of the classroom all day long because his teachers don't know what to do with him and how they have now placed all the responsibility for educating this child on the shoulders of his parents, who are accountants and not teachers, while they say things like "he seems tired, why don't you let him get enough sleep at night?" and "first put him on meds, and then we'll come back in a month to see if he's still not learning shit" [I'm possibly paraphrasing] and they fucking stall and stall and stall because maybe he'll be out of their school by the time anybody notices that he still hasn't learned anything, besides, it's not like he was going to do well on The Test, anyway, so why bother teaching him to read if he can't even boost their scores?) Oh, shit. I said I wasn't going to go there. Sorry, sorry, sorry.... Ignore everything between the parentheses back there. Here, I'll distract you with something shiny ---> CLICK HERE FOR SHINY THINGS! Ahhhh. That's better. Okay, back to my hair.....

I have awesome hair. I do. It's one of a very few things about myself that I will unabashedly say is awesome.  Here, check it out, keeping in mind that it's very very difficult to take a picture of your own hair....

It just comes out of my head like this!!

So, my hair is awesome. The only thing I don't like about my hair, though, is when it sticks to the side of my face, which it will sometimes do when it's humid. I hate it, I feel like I'm fucking suffocating. And I pay a guy (we'll call him "John," which is actually very convenient, since that's his name) a shitload of money every few months to keep it contained and from turning into an out of control jewfro. John is fucking awesome, himself. He's this skater, surfer dude, completely covered from head to toe in tattoos. He's hilariously funny and is the only person in the world that I've met, other than my husband, who knows as many Simpsons references as I do. He's also told me before that I've changed his life; because I tell him about Child 1 and autism and his entire perspective about the world and child raising has been altered because of me. Pretty fucking cool, John.

Okay, so, it was 2 days before Thanksgiving and I was sick; rushing around getting things ready for the ton of people I was expecting, and I was having one of those stick-to-my-face hair days and it was making. me. crazy. So, see.... what I did was..... uh, before I could thoroughly think it through..... I took a pair of giant office scissors to the piece of hair that was sticking to my cheek and I just chopped that fucker right off. Right to the scalp. I immediately thought "uh-oh" and I ran to the phone and called the salon and asked for an appointment. "TELL JOHN I BROKE MY HAIR AND I NEED HIM TO FIX IT." But it was 2 days before Thanksgiving and I wasn't able to see him. So, I just sucked it up. I mean, what was he going to do about it, anyway? He can't make my hair grow, he can only cut. It was actually quite nice; no more hair stuck to the side of my face! Ahhhhh. Relief.

I finally went in to see him about 3 months later where he reminded me of the following: "it's only going to get worse before it gets better." Because the thing about my awesome hair is that it grows OUT before it grows down. Its hairy instinct is to go straight out to the side, and only when it has enough weight does it head south. So, what he meant was that for a while I'm going to have a big fucking tuft of hair sticking out of the side of my head, until it's heavy enough to be able to lie down with the rest of its hairy brethren. He recommended Pomade. Thanks, John.

So, much like a child with a disability that prevents him from learning in the classroom without support, who first has to fail before the district will even try to provide any necessary services, my hair must first get worse before it can get better, and I am in that stage now. With a big fucking tuft of hair sticking out of the side of my head. You don't get a picture.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why I love Lady Gaga (despite the egg-mobile)

It's not because of her music, although it's super fun to sing in Rock Band, it's really not my style, as you may have gathered.

It's not because of her kooky hijinx, even though I have a lot of fun making fun of her, for the most part I think it's stupid and unnecessarily over the top.

No, it's because of what she said in an acceptance speech the other night. She got an award for something or other, and in her speech she said "I wanted to thank Whitney (Houston) because when I wrote 'Born This Way,' I imagined she was singing it because I wasn't secure enough in myself to imagine I was a superstar."

How cool is that? She is arguably the most famous woman in the world right now, and (like it or not) a role model to millions, and to get up in front of the world and admit her insecurities like that... well... that's just really, really classy, in my opinion. It almost makes me wish I was raising girls (yeah, well, let's not go nuts).

And, so, that's why I love Lady Gaga.

The Dive Bar Welcomes: Lisa

Today we have my good friend Lisa! She's one of those mommy bloggers that I have met through my travels around the blogosphere... and I love her. She's awesome. I'm happy to give her a place to vent here in my smelly bar! Go Lisa, go!

First I'd like to say a big FUCK YOU to my hunny's family!!! Specifically to his brother who is old enough to have some common sense and young enough to have kids around the same age and still not have any shame in insulting my son. What gives you the fucking right on two occasions to piss me off and insult him? I get that you are a horrible father, and that's a shame because you have some wonderful kids that I love and adore. What gives you the right to question every fucking noise you hear when your brother is playing a video game with you and then act stupid when you find out it's my son having a fit?

I have blogged over and over again to explain my son to you! Yet you still act like an inhuman asshole! And I think I know where you get it from, your dad who is also a fucking prick the size of Texas! I think I got the best of the gene pool when I met your brother and I'm glad that he will never ever be like you! Consider yourself lucky he doesn't say to you what he really wants to, that he chooses to have a shitty relationship with you rather then no relationship. Because that's what sucks the most in this world, that in the NT world we are surrounded by idiots who don't know any better. And we have closer relationships with people online that understand what we go through. So fuck you both for being so selfish. My son doesn't need a rotten fucked up Uncle like you in his life, he has plenty of people who love him regardless of his autism.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Autism in "Real Life"

Rob over at Lost and Tired has started a new series where he interviews people who have been touched by autism. He says "I ask a few questions and they answer honestly. This allows the world to see Autism through their eyes." His goal is to spread awareness about the realities of Autism, and how it effects families. It's an awesome idea and I'm proud to be one of his first interviewees. His blog is awesome, too, and if you're not already reading it, you definitely should. I'm a regular, dedicated reader of theirs. He posts often, with updates about their life with 3 boys on the spectrum, and I look forward to every one of them. I'm also very happy to learn that he and his wife, Lizze, who blogs at Daily Mommy Survival, are now readers of mine. Yay! I love those guys!!

Here's the interview: Autism in “Real Life”: Meet Jill

Valentine's Day

For those of you who were reading two months ago when I wrote my rant about Christmas, it will come as absolutely no surprise to you that I also hate Valentine's Day. The reasons for hating both are essentially the same: forced gift giving on manufactured holidays, but at least Christmas has a somewhat legitimate purpose, or it's supposed to. Valentine's Day serves absolutely no purpose. Valentine's Day is a special kind of evil. Allow me to elaborate....

Pretty much everybody is impacted by V-Day in some way (I'm limiting this to America, since that's where all of my experience is); it's not like you can say that you're a different religion and don't celebrate. However, there are very few "winners" in the scheme known as Valentine's Day. In fact, pretty much everybody loses today. (I'm not calling anybody a "loser" in the pejorative sense, I mean that this day is like a game; a game that very few people can win.)

Let's start with the actual "winners," and I don't mean See's Candies and 1-800-FLOWERS, who are the true winners on this day. I mean the people who are romantics, who are in a happy relationship, probably one that hasn't been going on for very long. The woman will have expectations about how this day will be: grand, romantic gestures, flowers, candy, some kind of surprise, perhaps a marriage proposal? And it is the man's responsibility to carry out these grand romantic gestures. If all goes well and both parties perform as expected: they are winners! (This scenario, of course, isn't limited to a heterosexual relationship, but since this day has so much to do with gender stereotypes I'm going to rely on them to prove my various points.) But how often does this scenario actually happen? I could probably make up some statistic here, but what the fuck do I know, really? Probably pretty rarely. So... the winners on this day are rare, although some would argue that any man who ends up with a blow job at the end of the day is an automatic winner, and I'm not sure I can disagree with that, actually. Anyway, let's get to the losers....

Hey, single people! Were you feeling bad about being single? Were you wishing you had somebody to share your life with, not just today, but every other day? Well too fucking bad, single people; nobody cares about how you're feeling about yourself, in fact we've created an entire day which will do nothing but make you feel even worse about yourself. And it's not like you can escape it, since this shit is everywhere. So let's just rub your fucking noses in the fact that you're alone, and look at my scenario above: this is how happy you could be on this day, but no. Not you guys. Awwww. Too bad, single people.

Hey, men in relationships! Did you see my scenario above? The one with the winners? I hope you're fully versed on the expectations of your partner, because the onus is on you guys to make this day special and magical and perfect and crap. She might not have necessarily informed you of your responsibilities here, because much of what makes this day "special" (for the winners, anyway) is supposed to be a surprise, and it's your job to figure it out. Hope it's good enough! Or expensive enough! Or surprising enough! Or just better than last year, whateverthefuck it was that you did last year. Kind of makes those single guys happy to be single, I would think, but yeah, sorry guys. Society has determined that it is your responsibility to perform here, and if you don't come through there's a really good chance that she'll be talking shit about you to her girlfriends tomorrow. (There will be no Valentine's Day themed Dive Bar posts, by the way, unless they're written by either a single person or a dude who got screwed).

Hey, women in relationships! We're the reason this day exists, it was created for us so that we could feel more secure in our relationships. But... guess what? If you require one particular day where everything is supposed to go perfectly in order to feel secure in your relationship.... you're doing it wrong. So ease up on your men, girls. Maybe you should buy the flowers this year. Or, better, yet.....

But here's a new thing about V-Day that I'm just experiencing for the first time this year: Apparently the kids are supposed to fill out V cards for each other and pass them out. WTF?? This is so much more work for me than it is for anybody else, and yet... I don't care. Do I really have to do this? Child 2 certainly doesn't give a shit, but he would happily go along with it if I made him do it. Christ. I fucking HATE Valentine's Day.

I had hubs read this before I posted it because I didn't think it sounded very funny and wanted his opinion. He says I sound angry and not funny at all. Bummer. Sorry guys, this is all I have to offer right now. I said "there's no way I can make this shit funny." He laughed. It's okay, though. He'll be getting "flowers" tonight. Just like last night.

Feel free to disagree with me, by the way...... Just click here first.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lost friends & song of the day

"Life may be sweeter for this, I don't know.
See how it feels in the end."

I had a good friend in college, Brent. I can't remember any Dead show I went to without him in the 6 years I was going to shows. He was a nutjob; always talking, really funny, so much energy. He played guitar very well but couldn't sing to save his life, although that didn't stop him from trying. He did a LOT of drugs. He drank bleach once, just to see what it was like. He said it burned like a motherfucker but that night he had the most vivid dreams he'd ever had. The older he got, the more nutjob-ey he got, because it turned out that he was bipolar, which explained the constant talking. Hubs and I moved to the Bay Area, had some kids and kind of lost touch with him. The last time I saw him he was so heavily medicated he could barely make it through a conversation without falling asleep. Today would have been his 41st birthday; he killed himself about a week after he turned 35. Anyway, today I am sad and thinking about friends that I've had over the years that I've lost, for whatever reason. This song reminds me of one in particular. I probably could have found a better version, but.... meh. I have no words of wisdom except to remind you all to hug your loved ones while you can.

But the cookie told me so

On Friday I went with Child 2 on a field trip with his class to a Chinese restaurant. It was actually incredibly adorable, 20 5 year olds in a restaurant. It's a really great group of kids, all very sweet and nice. But, I digress. As usual.

This was my fortune:

Isn't there some sort of law that says you're required to obey your fortune cookie? I mean, I don't want to anger the gods or anything. I should just do as I'm told, right?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Did you mark your calendars? Well.... erase it and re-mark it

Apparently they'll be pushing me out of an airplane?

Autism WTF on BlogTalkRadio has been... rescheduled. Something about waxing back hair, I don't know, I wasn't really listening.

It is now Tuesday February 22 at 1:00PM Eastern; 10:00AM Pacific. Re-mark those calendars, people!

Friday, February 11, 2011

When the snark catches up with me

Earlier, Child 2 comes into the room crying. Between sobs he manages to choke out the following: "I wanted cake but you didn't bring me any. I thought you could read my mind!" sob.

Oooohhhhhhh. Right. See, at some point in the past 5 1/2 years I may have told him, jokingly, that I can read his mind. And while he's an excellent snark protege so far, he's still only 5. And, unlike that time when I told him I had eyes in the back of my head, and then he pulled up my hair and checked, and was able to confirm for himself that I was lying, there's really no confirmation test for telepathy that he could do. Sorry, dude.

I gave him cake.

Stewie Griffin at a Dead show

I saw this last night and I cannot.... stop.... laughing....

#3 here I come....

Check me out, guys, I'm creeping up on number 3!

Let's all celebrate Egyptian independence by clicking there today! And tomorrow... because, they're still going to be free tomorrow, you know. And the next day, and the next day, and the next day....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Berkeley Urban Blight

I read this article today on a local website that I like to visit: City says it is addressing Telegraph Avenue rat problem. The article discusses the issue of a rat infestation in a vacant lot in the middle of downtown. It says: "the vacant lot ... was infested with rodents, drawn there at least in part by people leaving food out for them" and was accompanied by this picture:

And then in the tag at the bottom of the article, the subject matter is labeled "Berkeley Urban blight."

According to Wikipedia, Urban blight, or urban decay, is "the process whereby a previously functioning city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude. It may feature deindustrialization, depopulation or changing population, economic restructuring, abandoned buildings, high local unemployment, fragmented families, political disenfranchisement, crime, and a desolate, inhospitable city landscape."

Yeah, I'm sorry online magazine, but there may be a rodent infestation on a vacant lot in the middle of downtown, but it's not urban blight. It's a bunch of fucking hippies thinking that all animals are sacred and should be respected as our equals, sharing the planet with us. (Kumbaya, my lord.... Kumbaya.....) Kind of like my neighbors who ask you to feed their raccoons for them while they're out of town and are subsequently surprised when the fucking things keep breaking in through the cat door, this problem has been intentionally created by irresponsible human beings. Urban blight happens because of a variety of socioeconomic factors, none of which include "flaky, rat feeding hippie."

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

I made this about 6 months ago, but I'm re-posting it today because, um.... uh... y'know... no reason.

*sigh* Seriously. I JUST washed that sheet. Like TWO days ago.....

MY EARS HAVE BEEN SOILED and Song of the Day

This has been making me crazy lately and I was thinking "if only I had some kind of, oh, I don't know... outlet... in which to air my grievances about things that make me crazy. I could, say, write... about the things that were bugging me and it would be very cathartic and people would agree with me and afterward I would feel so much better." Oh, well, since I don't have any place like that, I guess I'll just say it here. Maybe some day we will live in a Utopian-like world where such a place might exist. But not today....

Christ, sometimes I have no fucking idea what I'm talking about; I don't know how you guys can even follow along. Anyhoozle.... this has been making me crazy lately. It's the new radio version of Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons. I'm not even going to bother finding a link to it; it's that offensive.

I'm sure most of you know this song; if not, it's below as my Song of the Day. You know the important line "I really fucked it up this time" always gets bleeped out of the radio version. I'm actually perfectly fine with that kind of censorship, particularly when I started listening to the non-bleeped version and one day Child 1 started singing along "but it was not your fault but mine, and it was your heart on the line..." and then I started yelling "OH GOD OH GOD STOP SINGING PLEASE STOP SINGING I DON'T WANT TO KNOW IF YOU KNOW THE NEXT LINE...." I'm happy for the edited radio version. Plus, if a radio station ever actually plays a curse word they get this outrageously ginormous fine by whichever organization monitors that kind of thing. (I heard that once when somebody was complaining that by bleeping out the "fuck" in Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know, you're stifling her as an artist and as an empowered woman and stations really need to play the uncensored version of that song in order to fully embrace her power or some such shit.)

Okay, so I'm fine when the line is "I really ____ed it up this time," but what I've been hearing lately, but only on the wussiest of radio stations, is that they have a NEW version where the line has been ALTERED to be "I really messed it up this time" and HOLY SHIT I CAN'T STAND IT. I CAN'T FUCKING STAND IT. I can't listen to that, it makes me ABSOLUTELY CRAZY, changing the lyric like that. I would rather hear a blaring siren in place of the word "fuck" than to have it changed like that. Is the silencing too obvious? Well, yes, we all knew they were cutting out the word "fuck" there, but that still isn't acceptable to the, uh... FCC? You have to put a NEW word in its place? I CAN'T STAND IT. I LOVE that song but I absolutely cannot listen to this version of it. It's like nails on a chalkboard to me. Yes, one little word change has that kind of effect on me. Hey, I never said I wasn't completely insane..... And yet you keep coming back for more... you have no one to blame but yourselves... and, also me....

And on that note, I give you... the blissfully uncut version. I'm sure this has been my Song of the Day once before but I don't have a search function here to actually confirm that, so... fuck it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This child is so adorable

Child 1, for his birthday a few weeks ago, received a number of BART train related items from my mom. He got a hat, a poster and 2 t-shirts. For a while he's been walking around carrying the giant BART train schedule which is huge and has been mounted on a board for hanging purposes. Then about 2 days ago he suddenly discovered the t-shirts; there's 1 white one and 1 black one, and ever since he's been walking around with them both, occasionally placing them lovingly on the ground and staring at them, but mostly he's been putting one on (backwards, because the map part is supposed to be in the back but he can't see it that way) wearing it for a while, then putting the other one on, wearing it for a while... repeat... repeat... repeat....

So now, every time I look over at him, he's wearing a different shirt than he was the last time I saw him. HE'S SO CUTE!!!

EDIT: Hey, LOOK! There's the vacuum! I've been looking for that....

Mark your calendars! MARK THEM!!!

I can't help but notice that BD and Lynn are safely inside the shuttle while I'm hanging, literally, by a rope, in space. What, exactly, do you think they have planned for me??

Because the first episode was such a smashing success (of course, that depends on how loosely you define the term "success") there will be a second episode of Autism WTF on BlogTalkRadio, hosted by Lynn and Big Daddy, only THIS time they'll have an sooper special guest. I know, I know, you're thinking "OOHH! I hope it's somebody cool!" but, no... it's me!

So, mark your calendars for Tuesday February 15th at 1:00pm Eastern (10:00am Pacific; uh... some other times in some other places). All you have to do is go to the Autism WTF site on BlogTalkRadio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/autismwtf) at that specific date and time, turn your speakers up and you're good to go!

If you don't actually mark your calendar, though.... don't worry. I'll remind you.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oh. Oops.

I just discovered that my new commenting system dealie has a moderation filter that stops comments that it thinks is spam, and it filters for.... get this.... profanity. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I just discovered a bunch of comments in there that never made it onto the post for which it was intended. And, of course, I turned OFF the "profanity filter." Seriously, Intense Debate? A fucking profanity filter? HERE??

It also had a list of words commonly used by spammers that would make a comment get automatically put into a moderation holding cell. I have approved the following words, so please feel free to use any and all of them in your comments from this point forward:

- penis
- vagina
- pussy
- vomit
- shoes
- xanax
- flowers


Read this post

I'd like to direct your attention to the following post written by my friend Happy13 who blogs at Wait. What? -->  Not Broken.

Really, really good post about how the things you say around your kids are not just words to them.

EDIT: Read this one, too, written by an adult on the spectrum: Autism Parents: It’s Time to Stand Up With Us

Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.

I hate cats. Hate them. I have four of them. I've written about it many times: here and here and here and here (*giggle*)

The other night we were all hanging out in our TV room and the back door was open. Suddenly I look down and there's a new cat in the room with us! Child 2 is thrilled, to say the least. He named her Jelly Bean, and for a few hours she walked around our house like she fucking owned the place. She ate the cat food, she drank the cat water, she shed on the cat/kid clothes; she liked it here. Okay, I may have been a little drunk at the time and it's possible that I slightly encouraged her, but that's not the point right now.

It's a good thing these things happen to me, otherwise what would I blog about?

A few hours later, when we were going to bed, hubs had to pick her up and throw her out the back door, and then close the door so she would stay outside. I wasn't sure if she would maybe figure out how to get back in through the cat door, but it seemed okay; we haven't seen her since.

Can you imagine if we had 5 cats? *shudder*

Monday, February 7, 2011

Interview with an Aspie

Autie parents are a mixed bunch; we have lots of different opinions about treatment, and causality, potty training, discipline, social interaction and just about everything. One thing I'm sure we all have in common, however, is our uncertainty about the future. What kind of adult will he be? Will she be able to live independently? What's going to happen to them??

Because of this uncertainty, whenever I encounter an adult on the spectrum, or really just anybody on the spectrum who is older than Child 1, I always have lots of questions. And it's been through my blogging experience that I've been lucky enough to meet Laura; who blogs at Life in the House That Asperger Built.  She is an adult on the spectrum, married to another adult on the spectrum, and they have two children on the spectrum. She's also super awesome and she was gracious enough to indulge me in an interview and my myriad of questions. Below is the result of that, my questions in bold (thanks to Dani and Cheryl for your input; Lynn, not so much).

On a sidenote: There's a lot of talk in the autie parent community about “whether to tell our kids of their diagnosis.” I have seriously struggled with this question, particularly the “when to tell him” part, and this post by Laura is an absolutely amazing response to those questions: I Wish I’d Known. Thanks Laura! You rock. And if you guys don't already read her blog, please add her to your subscription list, because she's really, really great!

4 Aspies, 1 house, that's...Life in the house that Asperger built 1. You've described yourself as a "self diagnosed Aspie." Can you explain what that means?

Well, in a nutshell it means I haven't sought or received official confirmation of my condition (Asperger's Syndrome) from a licensed medical professional. I've read the criteria for diagnosis laid out in the DSM-IV, and have determined that I meet them.

I haven’t sought a diagnosis as an adult, mainly because I don’t feel the need for confirmation of the obvious. There was no way I could have gotten one as a child. When I was a kid, it was believed that Asperger's was exceedingly rare and ONLY boys got it. Girls were diagnosed Autistic, but it was reserved for only the most severely affected girls. Otherwise, we were and many times STILL ARE misdiagnosed as ADD, ODD, OCD, Bipolar, Depressed....strange, shy, abrasive, rude, manipulative. There have been many great ways to describe and mislabel us.

2. Tell me what childhood was like for you. When did you know you were "different" ?

Looking back, I'd say I knew pretty early on. I had some odd behaviors that the adults in my life just couldn't figure out. Also, as is typical with Aspies, I was hyper-verbal and pretty smart. My large vocabulary and above average intellect didn't jive with my emotional immaturity and unrecognized sensory defensiveness. I was often accused of being manipulative or obnoxious.

Things really started to unravel for me socially around 4th grade, and pretty much just got worse from there as I proceeded through adolescence and early adulthood. I sunk into depression, spent a majority of the time suicidal, and engaged in self-destructive behaviors. One of the most vivid memories I have is being 17 years old, sitting on the steps outside my shrink's office, rocking and crying. I just kept thinking, "There's something really wrong with me, and no one will ever be able to help me."

That's not to say I had a miserable existence, there were many happy times for me. My childhood was not an unhappy one, but it was volatile, very volatile.

3. Tell me about the day you figured it out. What was that like?

I can't say it was really a "day" it was more of a process. Shortly after we got Coleman's diagnosis, I got every book about Asperger's and NLD that I could get my hands on. I found one book particularly helpful and asked my mom and mother-in-law to read it too. As I read, I started seeing so much of myself it was uncanny. My mom saw it too. Suddenly, it was like someone turned a light on and it all made sense. She would call me asking if I remembered doing this or that EXACT thing she'd just read in the book. Or asking if an explanation of a behavior in the book was also the reason I had behaved a particular way or had done a certain thing as a child. It had never occurred to me that she didn't understand why I did things. All I knew was that she didn't like it. During this time of discovery, she confessed that much of the time I was a real mystery to her. There were so many inconsistencies and incongruities, and a lot of bizarre behaviors. No "traditional" form of punishment/reward type behavior modification seemed to work with me. It was a real struggle for her.

So the process started by being able to explain the unexplainable in my childhood. Since then there's been a lot of self healing, and acceptance. It's actually been an enormous relief. When you grow up knowing there's something "wrong" with you, but not knowing what it is, you feel isolated. It’s as if you are the only one "of your kind" on the planet. The result is an ongoing inner war. Constantly burying who you really are in an effort to fit in and be liked, only to eventually lose your ability to sustain the act and find yourself isolated once again in your "otherness". That all ended for me when I found out I was on the Spectrum, because I found an entire population of people very much like me. Many have had the same experiences, and struggles. Most think very much like I do, and very few, if any, have been bothered by my occasionally abrasive forthrightness.

4. How does being on the spectrum impact your parenting (as far as you know)?

I believe my case is somewhat unique in that we're all on the Spectrum in my house. So, I think for the most part, the impact has been positive. I'm not as baffled by my kids as my mom was with me. That's not to say, I always "get it", and breeze through parenting. Sometimes I'm still like, "huh?" But I don't think that's any different than if I was NT raising NT kids. Children are just really odd little creatures sometimes.

5. If you could go back in time and give your parents some advice about raising a child on the spectrum, what would it be?

To *my* parents I would say, don't be so quick to assume the worst. If the behavior seems inconsistent with what you know to be basically true about the child, there's likely a legitimate reason for that. Instead of thinking, “This stinks! I hate it when she’s _____(fill in the blank: willful, resistant, lazy) like this!” Try thinking, “This is inconsistent, where’s the problem and how can we fix it?”

That's what I would say to my parents, but in fairness, they didn't know they were raising a child on the Spectrum. 

6. Growing up, did you feel misunderstood by your parents?

Wow, this could be its own 2000 word post. Short answer; HECK YEAH! But I wasn't only misunderstood by my parents, it was everyone. I think the two biggest problems I had, were not knowing that I was being perceived as a smart ass that was too big for her britches, and not being able to accurately predict the most likely outcome of a decided course of action.

If you're smart, people assume that what is obvious to them is equally obvious to you, so the result of something you did must have been your intention. Not so for people on the spectrum. In most cases, we have the most innocent of intentions, but are unable to see enough of the big picture to be able to anticipate where the wheels will come off.

As for the smart ass part, well, I didn't (and still don't if I'm being honest) understand that there were some questions that I couldn't just ask. People are put off by certain lines of questioning from a fellow adult, but when it's coming from a kid, well...people don't like it, get irritated, and label you something. The two most popular labels for me were obnoxious and smart ass.

7. As a teenager, what was your experience with peer pressure to "fit in?"

By the time I was a teenager I felt no pressure to fit in, I was socially cast out long before that. I wasn't part of any clique, and the friends I had never asked me to be anything other than what I was. I was not well liked, though for some strange reason I was well known (probably my big mouth), and though there was the occasional girl threatening to kick my ass for whatever reason, I wasn't really bullied. I think that's because I was a very angry and kinda scary teenager. There has always been something about me that people have found threatening.

8. Is there anything you think parents of kids on the spectrum should know?

I firmly believe that no one knows a child better than the parents, so I don't think there's much I could tell anyone about their kid that they don't already know. But I would encourage parents to give serious consideration to being upfront with their kids about their conditions, as soon as they feel it would be appropriate. This is something I feel pretty strongly about.

We know we're different, and we know it pretty early on. Having that knowledge without the explanations that go with it can cause unnecessary suffering. Being on the Spectrum can be a tough way to live. The sensory issues, sleep problems, racing thoughts, and social struggles can certainly take their toll. But, for me, finally learning that those problems come from my unique neurological wiring has made it so that I can stop beating myself up over my seeming inability to perform at the same levels as my peers.

It was as if I'd gone through the first 37 years of my life not being able to walk right, and telling myself what a loser I was that I couldn't walk like "they" could. I'd keep trying, and with each fall I would add to the list of awful things I believed about myself. Then one day, someone pointed out that one of my legs was significantly shorter than the other. "Oh! That's why I can't walk as well as they do! Well, that makes perfect sense. Now, I can stop expecting that of myself." Knowing really does make a difference. In the long run, I believe that difference to be a positive one.

Do you have questions for Laura? Put them in the comments...