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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My scumbag brain

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The obligatory back to school post

School starts tomorrow! Actually today, since this will post on Tuesday, but I'm writing it on Monday, so technically it's tomorrow. You know what? Just shut up.

I don't even have much to say, but I feel obligated to write something. Last year at this time I was freaking. out. about Child 2 starting Kindergarten. He was totally fine, of course, and to all of you other parents out there freaking. out. about Kindergarten right now? They'll be fine. Probably. Most likely. I'm almost sure of it.

We have awesome teachers this year. Not that we haven't had awesome teachers every year, because all the teachers at our school are awesome, I just didn't always know going into the year that they were awesome because I didn't know them before. This time I do, though; in fact, I'm Facebook friends with both of them.

Child 2's teacher was Child 1's teacher for the first few months of his 1st grade year, but we transfered him out because had a lot of sensory issues and not a whole lot of IA support at the time. It will be an awesome fit for the high energy, very loud, very funny, very talkative, very opinionated Child 2, though. (huh. when I describe him that way he kind of sounds like me. weird) and she was absolutely my first choice for him (not that I actually get a choice, though, damn kids without IEPs!) so I'm happy. The only bummer is that his little BFFs aren't in his class. There were 3 of them and they were all split between the 3 classes. He doesn't mind, though, I asked him if he was sad and he said "no. not really." He is SO much more well adjusted than I am....

Child 1 also has an awesome teacher (she'll probably read this, by the way. Quick! Everybody look innocent!!! :whistle:) and was also my first choice for him. Actually she was my only choice for him because I have actual evidence of her awesomeness, and none of any of the others. So, I'm happy. It's hard to tell with Child 1, though, how he's feeling about things. He's not much of a "sharer" about his feelings. We just have to start the year and see how things go, although he's already started talking about fire drills. Yeah.

So, there's my obligatory back to school post! How did I do? By the way, in case you were wondering: I said "awesome" 7 times in this post. (That one doesn't count because it's in quotes.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Out of the mouths of.... oh, whatever...

Earlier, the following ......

Child 2: "MAMA! There's something really important I want to say. I have FOUR words I want to tell you. ONE of them is a grownup word, TWO of them are regular words, and ONE of them is a mean word. Except..... you're not going to like it...."

Me: "I'm not going to like what, the grownup word?"

Child 2: "No, you won't like that word. It's a really bad word."

Me: "Well, if you know it's a bad word, and you're not supposed to say it, then you shouldn't say it."

Child 2: "Okay. But, I want to say it, except it's really bad. It's... the one that starts with 'f' "

Me: "The one that starts with 'f'? That's the worst word of them all! You aren't supposed to say that word and you know you're not supposed to say that word!"

Child 2: "Okay, I won't say that word. But I really wanted to tell you something."

Me: "Okay, tell me the other three words."

Child 2: "Shut..... theeeeeeeee ........................................................ up."

Me: fall over laughing, despite myself

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What happens in Vegas... will definitely not get blogged about later

We're going to Vegas!

We're calling it The Great Blogger Meetup of The Third Week of September 2011.

Well, I'm calling it that. Now.

It's the weekend before my birthday. This isn't for my birthday, though, in fact this trip wasn't even my idea. It was originally the brain child of Brandi who used to blog at Dysfunctional Supermom, but then her life happened and she can't even go.

I'm still going, though. This will be the greatest blogger meetup of all time. Also in attendance will be Handflapper and Kimmie. The reason there are only three of us so far is because we haven't been talking about it much. I think it finally just dawned on us that this is actually happening. We're slow. Slow.... but fun.

Friday September 16th through Sunday September 18th

I'm staying at Paris. See?

The rules for this event are simple and no sponsors are required:

1. No kids.
2. There will be no pictures and there will be no blog posts, so if you want to know what I look like, this will be your only chance.
3. Okay, I'm slightly changing that last rule. You can post pictures and blog about it, but only if they're completely fabricated
4. NO KIDS!!

Want to come?

Friday, August 26, 2011

A letter to the anti-Obama vandal on my block

Dear Anti-Obama vandal:

I don't know who you are or who you think I should be voting for instead of Obama, and frankly I don't particularly care. All I know is that during the night you came to my house and ripped the "Obama 2012" bumper sticker off my car, which was parked in my driveway, and discarded it in my flowers.

Putting aside the obvious, which is the astonishing immaturity of this action, I'm writing this letter to inform you of the following:

I had another one and I put it back in the empty space that you created. And I'm going to go online right now and purchase some more stickers so that if you come back and do this again, I will simply replace it again.

So, think of it this way: whenever you commit this act of vandalism against me, you are essentially making a contribution to the Obama 2012 campaign, because every sticker you tear off is just going to be another $3 that I will give them.

So keep it up, if you want! I'm going to get enough stickers to last me for the next 15 months. And just in case you want to do this every day? That will be about $1,350 you'll be "donating" directly to Obama's re-election.



Note to my readers: I sent this letter to every local newspaper and mailing list I could think of.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Cake of Angels

EDIT: If you live in an area without a Trader Joe's and you want to try this divine creation, email me your address and I'll send you a box.

Some of you may be aware of my recent pound cake fiasco. It was quite the adventure, I'll tell you that. This, of course, has pretty much turned me off from doing any baking from scratch, like, ever ever again in my entire life. But honestly? I'm okay with that. Because all you have to do is set one foot inside my house, smell the cat pee, and you're immediately made very much aware that I am no Martha Stewart.

So, I was in Trader Joe's the other day (have I mentioned that I live 3 blocks from a Trader Joe's? And that I love Trader Joe's? And that I go there a lot?) and I spotted this rather innocent looking box of what appeared to be some benign version of pound cake.

Ahhhh... yes! Vanilla cake and baking mix! With Natural Flavors! Indeed! Oh, and I see it's made with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla flavor. I'm sure those flavors are rather delightful when mixed together and baked. I shall try this innocent looking product!

So, I get the shit home, and then I look at what the necessary other ingredients are to mix said Vanilla Cake & Baking Mix

Oh! Oh... my. An entire stick of butter? For just one 8x8x2 pan? That's, um..... actually.... quite a bit of butter. Quite. A bit. Well, I've started the process, let's get this Vanilla Cake & Baking Mix train rolling, shall we? I'm sure the kids will like it, so I'll let them have it all and that way I won't get very much of it.

The cake is baked and emerges from the oven.

It is very innocent looking, as you would expect. Just another pound-type cake, like any other pound-type cake one might find in their oven after having put it in their oven and baked it at 350 for 40-43 minutes. I let it cool, and then... I try some.....

This mixture.... this glorious concoction of mostly butter... is, without question, one of the greatest food items I have ever had the pleasure of putting into my mouth at any point in my entire life. Oh, god.... that vanilla flavor.... and it's so light... and airy.... and fluffy..... and OHMYGOD it tastes like butter, but not butter.... butter that has been blessed by angels.  I want to marry this cake. I want to spend the rest of my life with it. I would, possibly, even kill for this cake. No way are my kids getting their damn dirty hands on this, the Cake of Angels. This is my cake. MINE.

And then, of course, I force myself to look at the other side of the box... which I really should have done before I decided to buy the damn thing....

As Child 2 would say: "Oh, man. That's awkward."

Oh, god. I must eat it all. Now. I must eat it all now. Oh, god! I can never ever ever buy this cake ever ever again. 

I ended up giving some to the kids, who loved it, of course, but not as much as I did... and then I seriously had to throw the rest of it away. There was no way I could sleep in the house knowing that this, my Cake of Angels, lay in its 8x8x2 pan in my kitchen. Just sitting there. Waiting for me to come down and find it. Find it... and put it away.

I never bought it again, but sometimes, when it's late at night, and I didn't really have very much sugar during the day.... it comes to me... and I look up and I can see it! And oh, beautiful joy of reunion!!! And then it whispers in my ear..... "Jill. Why hast thou forsaken me? Please make me again... Jill... I love you, Jill...."

"Please... make me again.... please.... Jill.... Jill.... make me again...."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"My child needs an IEP."

Disclaimer!!!! I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. Please don't use anything I say here as proof of anything whatsoever. This is my opinion, based on my experience. This is not legal advice. Did I mention yet that I am not a lawyer? It's true. I'm not. Also this isn't legal advice. I may link to legal looking things, but don't read anything more into that. Because I'm not a lawyer. And this isn't legal advice.

This post is written for parents who have children with an actual, documented diagnosis of a disability that is preventing their children from doing well in school. This is not intended for those kids who are falling a little behind, or who are struggling for other reasons, I'm talking about kids who qualify for an IEP under The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Before you go on, read my disclaimer at the top again. Okay! We're good!

I spend a lot of time talking to people who have children with IEPs or children who have a diagnosis of something and need extra help at school because of it. I talk to people online, in real life, on the phone, via email, whatever. There is one commonality in the stories of practically every single person I talk to and I'll be honest, I'm getting really sick of it.

So. Parents. Here's something you should know about your school and your school district: Your child may be entitled to services under IDEA but it is the intention of your district to do their best to make sure you don't find out about that. They don't want you to know your rights because if you did, you would then be empowered and you would use your rights to get services for your child. This costs the district money and they don't have very much of it as it is and they certainly don't want to give what they do have to your kid. So they will lie, and they will avoid you, and they will feed you complete crap so that you walk away disappointed... as long as you walk away.

If your child has a diagnoses, or even if you suspect that he does (I'm not being sexist but I'm going to use the masculine pronoun here because it's easier than saying "he or she" every time) and he is struggling in school as a result, the first person you might want to talk to would be the principal at your school. Except the principal at your school is really just an extension of the district at large and they have (for the most part) been instructed to tell you whatever it takes to get you to stop asking about it.

Here are a few things I've heard parents tell me that they've heard from their principals:

1. We don't give IEPs for (whatever your diagnosis is)
2. You can't get an IEP until your child is X number of years behind academically
3. The district isn't giving out IEPs right now, check again next year
4. We're not giving out IEPs because we've run out of IEP forms
5. I'm sorry, this isn't the kind of school district that teaches children

(I made those last 2 up.) (NOT LEGAL ADVICE.)

All of that is complete horseshit, of course. If your child has a documented disability that impairs his ability to learn in school along with his peers, he qualifies for an IEP. And the principal of your school has absolutely no jurisdiction or authority to determine any of this, despite what they might tell you. There is a special education department located inside the district offices, with a special education director whose job it is specifically to field your questions. That's the person you want to talk to, not your school's principal. Unless your district is so small that your school's principal plays a dual role of both school principal and district SPED director, don't go to your principal for an IEP.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act lists 13 categories under which a student can qualify for special education services. You can make pretty much any diagnosis (yes, including ADHD) fit into one of these:
  1. Autism
  2. Deaf-Blindness
  3. Deafness
  4. Hearing Impairment
  5. Mental Retardation
  6. Multiple Disabilities
  7. Orthopedic Impairment
  8. Other Health Impairment
  9. Serious Emotional Disturbance
  10. Specific Learning Disability
  11. Speech or Language Impairment
  12. Traumatic Brain Injury
  13. Visual impairment, including Blindness
I'm sick to death of parents being flat out lied to or just given misinformation. There are laws, they are federal law and they are clear. You have the right to have your child evaluated, and if they don't want to, they need to give you a damn good reason that doesn't involve money. There are timelines they are required to follow. They don't get to stall, they don't get to hem and haw, they don't get to cancel meetings and hang up on you and not call you back: they do these things because they don't want to have to spend any money on your child. This is obviously not what is in the best interest of your child. This might piss some people off but it's not your problem that they can't afford it or don't want to spend money on your kid. It's not your problem. IDEA says so.

Parents: know your rights. They are online and they are easy to find. There are people in your district or your state who exist specifically just to help you find out. If you're a good internet researcher, I suggest you start at WrightsLaw. They will have everything you need to know about what to do.

Put all your communication with the school district in writing (emails don't count). Never make a phone call and then take the words you were given as some kind of evidence of anything, because they probably will deny it later. Having things in writing will document your timeline and you will be able to prove, undeniably, that in August 2011 you requested an evaluation. This may be helpful in April 2012 when you're in front of a judge or a mediator still trying to get some help for your kid.

So, if you're in the process, or you're starting the process, or you know somebody who is, don't necessarily believe what you're told because it might not be true. And if you need any help, contact me; I'm a good resource, no matter where you live, and I love sticking it to the lying school districts who lie.

Except I'm not a lawyer. And none of this was legal advice.

Edit: Sometimes I see in my site stats that people land on this page because of a google search. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's anything I can answer for you or help you with!!! jillsmo@gmail.com

Edit2: This is a really good article: Top Ten Most Ridiculous Comments Heard at an IEP Meeting

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Random Acts of Pizzasmo

Oh. Hello!

I moved this post to its own page. KTHXBYE!!

Here: Random Acts of Pizzasmo

Monday, August 22, 2011

I don't get no respect

It was Sunday morning and I was doing what I prefer to be doing on most Sunday mornings: I was fast asleep. Suddenly I'm shocked into life by the enormous force of a 50 pound Child 2 landing on my back. "MAMA MAMA WAKE UP MAMA COME PLAY MARIO KART WITH ME MAMA WAKE UP MAMA COME PLAY WITH ME" to which I respond "guhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

I roll over and he is now lying on my stomach and I am suddenly and instantly made very much aware that I really really really really need to pee. "OH MY GOD GET OFF ME I REALLY HAVE TO PEE" I shriek, and he says "I'll get off you if you come play Mario Kart with me." So I just give him a really good shove and I head off to the bathroom.

Ahhhhh. That's better! So... I'm sittin there, y'know... doin, uh... my thing.... and suddenly the door opens wide and in comes Child 1. Our bathroom is connected to our bedroom and I can see past him into the bedroom to see that hubs and Child 2 are on the bed there.... lookin at me... and I say "OH MY GOD CLOSE THE DOOR!!" He says "well, let me just do one thing real quick" and comes into the room, leaving the door wide open. "NO!" I shriek for the 2nd time in 2 minutes now. "CLOSE THE DOOR NOW!!" And so he does, but with him on the inside. Of course.

He does his thing, which is to get a very slow drink of water, and then he leaves, only closing the door behind him because I yell at him to close the door behind him, and I continue to sit there... doin, y'know.... stuff.... when suddenly the door is flung open once again and I see Child 2 standing there with what appears to be a ziploc bag full of pancakes. "Hey Mama, guess what?" he says. I bet he wants to tell me that he's holding a ziploc bag full of pancakes, but at that moment I don't particularly care, to be honest, so I say "CLOSE THE DOOR!!!" to which he responds "okay, yeah, but first-" and I just cut him off, and am now no longer shrieking, I am yelling. "NO! CLOSE THE DOOR!!" He looks offended and slams the door shut.

It turned out that he wanted to tell me that he had a ziploc bag full of pancakes. I found it lying on my bed when I came out of the bathroom.

Okay, so... wait. WHAT are you holding? Oh. That's just my ziploc bag full of pancakes.

Later in the day, I'm taking a shower, when the bathroom door is once again opened and in walks Child 2, who, without saying a word, proceeds to walk in, pull down his pants, sit on the toilet and take an enormous dump. With me in the room. Showering. When he is finished, he then has the nerve to say "Mama, can you get out of the shower and come help me wipe my butt?"

NO. No, I will not get out of the shower and help you wipe your butt. Walk around with a crack-full of shit, for all I care, just get the hell out of my bathroom. I tell him to go find his father. He leaves (leaving the door open, of course) and I don't know what happened after that because he didn't return.

Now, I know that these stories of mine are not unique. I know that every parent deals with this kind of shoddy treatment from their children and that you all have stories of your own, but here's the thing.... I think I figured it out! The reason our children treat us so horribly is that our generation is raising our children to have self confidence and good self esteem, without even the fear of physical retaliation for their wrongdoings. The unfortunate outcome of this kind of upbringing, however, is that our children do not fear us.

We need to change our ways, fellow parents! No longer should we simply lie back and accept this horrible treatment from our offspring! When a child is standing outside that bathroom door, what we want them to think is "hmmm. Mama would totally kick my ass if I open this door and come in, I'd better just hold it." We need to put the fear of god into these kids, people. THEN we'll get some respect.  Who's with me????

I got back at them, though. All day long whenever one of them walked by me I would grab them and squeeze the fuck out of them and say "I love you and I'm never letting you go, never ever ever letting you go" until they screamed "LET ME GO!!"

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! That'll learn 'em.....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Dive Bar Welcomes: The Interstellar Rescuer

Okay, I'll admit it. I used a SuperHero name generator to identify today's poster because I have completely run out of ways to creatively identify people anonymously.

Imagine you are a young mother. You've given birth to a healthy baby boy. Alone in your hospital room, you cuddle with your son while waiting for discharge paperwork to get completed. You wish your husband could be there, but money is tight, and taking more time off work would be irresponsible right now. Instead of a nurse, an investigator from Child Protective Services comes into your room and informs you that "someone" has expressed "concern" about your "possible" drug use. Terrified, you immediately submit to a field drug screen which, of course, comes up negative because you are not using drugs. You also authorize CPS to see results of your newborn's drug screen. After all this cooperation, you are informed that you will not be able to take your baby home because CPS does not feel assured you will not use drugs. In other words, you are being asked to prove the non existence of a future event, and if you can't, strangers will take you two day old nursing infant away.

This was what happened to my adult daughter ten days ago. She called me, terrified. Since I had kids at home and my husbands office was five minutes from the hospital, I sent him over. After some tense negotiation, and no time given to contact legal representation, the best we could get was for CPS to let me take my grandson home rather than a foster home. His mother would only be allowed with him if I stayed in the same room, and she could not sleep over. My son in law was told he cannot take custody of his son because his judgement is suspect since he married a possible drug addict. (The one who came up clean on the drug screen, remember?) Our family is now all lawyered up with an expert in such cases, and CPS is not pleased.

So instead of just getting my autistic son ready for the transition to middle school, or any of the other parenting of the three children still at home, I'm up every two hours trying to force a bottle on a newborn who wants to be nursed. I'm trying to comfort my children who are justifiably traumatized, but in truth, I'm traumatized as well. I'm under a microscope, and like many on the spectrum, I've never handled being judged well. My own diagnosis is another stressor. Given the ill informed nature of this system, I fear if they knew I was autistic, they would be looking for ways to take my minor children away too. It would seem unreasonable, but given the rest of the situation, unreasonable is apparently the norm. I live in a county with one of the highest rates of child removal in the country. If you have ever done drugs of any kind or are accused of such, and you are not wealthy, they will remove your children and sort it out later, but physical abuse is almost never a cause for removal.

It took four days to get permission for my daughter and son in law to sleep over. It's a step in the right direction, but now we have four adults and four children living in our smallish 1950's ranch style home. School starts tomorrow, and I get to meet the special ed director with an infant and two year old in tow.

Our next step is the hair follicle drug testing that CPS said they didn't want, but changed their mind once the baby's blood test came back drug free. Since CPS might take weeks, we're paying for that as well. The legal wrangling to clear my daughter's name may take months, but hopefully, by the time my grandson is a month old, he will finally sleep in his own home in the bassinet lovingly waiting for him.

It scares me to think of all the other parents who don't have a family member with connections and money to find and pay for legal representation. When this is done, we've vowed to take steps to change this system so others like my daughter don't go through this hell.

Hopefully then, the nightmares will end, and I can go back to taking joy in my life without looking over my shoulder.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nutjob or Satire? Now I'll tell YOU

Okay! How about those (not very) long awaited answers to yesterday's quiz, huh?? Yeah.

I have to say that I was surprised at how few of you got them all right: which was exactly two of you (at the time of this writing, Thursday 9:32pm PST). I actually thought that Dana K had gotten them all right, so I contacted her on Twitter to tell her that she had won the prize, but then when I looked again I noticed she had said both were "nutjob" on #7, so technically, Dana, even though I told you you were the winner, you're really not. But I'll still give you a prize. Because I'm cool like dat. I'm cool like dat. I'm cool like dat. I'm cool like dat. I'm cool like dat. I'm cool like dat. I'm cool like dat. I'm cool.....

Sarcasm Goddess and Stacey at Tangerine Monday are the two people who got all the answers right. Congratulations!! I will give prizes to all three of you, but... I don't feel like thinking of something right now, so.... some other day. When you least expect it? Sure, why not.

And now, the answers.....

Satire is pink  Nutjobbery is green My commentary cannot be constrained by the label of "a color"

1. 2nd Amendment

a. This Christmas I want you to do the most loving thing and I want you to buy each of your children an SKS rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition. Source: Matthew Trewhella, The National Constitution PartyNever heard of this guy before and I've already forgotten who he is.

b. If 8-year-old boys discharging loaded firearms into their own legs isn't necessary to the maintenance of a well-regulated militia, I don't know what is. Source: The OnionSee how I started out so easy? Everybody got this one right.

2. Women's Rights

a. Gov. Tommy Thompson signed a bill yesterday requiring a 24-hour waiting period for women voters. According to the bill, women will come to their polling location and receive counseling and advice concerning their political selections, and will be shown pictures of both candidates to help them decide for whom they want to vote. Thompson stressed that not only do women have a “right to know,” but also that “by having to make two trips to the polls, they will be less likely to make the foolish mistakes their sex is often prone to make.” Source: The OnionIt was hard not to just take all of my satire from the Onion, but I thought I should branch out a bit.

b. If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president.... And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women. It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it's the party of women and 'We'll pay for health care and tuition and day care -- and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?' Source: Ann CoulterYep, that's right folks! These words were spoken by the lovely Ann Coulter, herself. A WOMAN! (theoretically, anyway) That's assuming, of course, that "lovely" actually means "fire breathing skank."

3. Gay Marriage

a. Fag marriage is the ultimate smash-mouth insult to God, and drives a stake in the heart of the Bridegroom and the Bride. The antediluvian world was the only other time in history where samesex marriage contracts were drawn up – and the Lord destroyed the entire population of the world, save eight souls, because of it. In these the last days of all, fag marriage is THE neon harbinger of the second coming of Christ to destroy this evil world by fire. Source: Westboro Baptist ChurchHad anybody ever heard the word "antediluvian" before yesterday? NOBODY.

b. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract. Source: Landover Baptist ChurchI originally thought this one was too obvious but then hubs reminded me that there actually are people out there who think dogs have legal standing and can sign a marriage contract. 

4. Education

a. There is no compelling policy reason for the federal government to be involved in K-12 education, and in the long-run America’s schools would be better without it. Source: Downsizing Government.orgThis one probably isn't all that "nutjobby," really, since there are a lot of conservatives who believe this, but I wanted to find a quote about education so I could use the one below....

b. There is no better way to democratize education in this country than by bringing the voices of CEOs and hedge fund managers into the equation. Source: Last Stand for Children FirstTHIS was the dude whose Twitter account fooled me and prompted this whole goddamn motherfucking sucky ass post that I hate. His profile says "created to fight for better education for our country's children by standing up to teachers and reaching out to the wealthy." And I said "are you serious?" and he answered with something equally satirical and I was like "FUCK THAT!" But then I went to the website and had to apologize for misjudging him. Follow him on Twitter @LS4C1 and visit his website at Last Stand for Children First: dedicated to providing all children with a quality education in spite of their teachers.

5. Religion vs. Science

a. The Sun levitates in the sky. No man can levitate the Sun in the sky, so obviously God is doing it. Source: Landover Baptist ChurchThis was actually taken from a comment in the discussion forum on this site, in response to the actual nutjobbery, below.

b. Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. Source: Bill O'ReillyYeah. Bill O'Reilly. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. He's fair and balanced and he thinks the tides can't be explained. If any of you are redditors, this quote is responsible for the picture below because the dude he said this to (David Silverman, President of American Atheists) made this exact expression when he heard these words (you can see it in the video, at the link):

6. Politics

a. If Governor Perry says he is not Beelzebub, I take his word for it. On the other hand, I don't know all of the particulars, you know where he was born and the circumstances involved. All I can say is that people should do their own due diligence and decide for themselves. Source: The SpoofHave you ever heard of this site before? I hadn't. I have now, though!

b. Every night I get down on my knees and pray that Dennis Kucinich will burst into flames. Source: Glenn BeckMmmmhmmmmm. Glenn Beck. Although, since this was taken out of context, I suppose he could have been joking when he said this. I could probably do some research and find out but I think I've done enough research for this motherfucking goddamn sucky ass post that I hate.

7. Obama

a. Barack Obama and Adolf Hitler are one in the same. Both are very dark men who hide their ancestral roots and claim to be Christians, all to gain power and corrupt the free world with their Satanic ways. I am very afraid of Barack Obama and you should be too. Hitler’s ultimate goal was to commit genocide and Obama supports the endless murder of babies. Source: ChristWireYou guys had a hard time with this one, probably because these two are so similar, but as @elizamccall said in her comment, it's kind of a trick question because it just depends on who said it. Stephen Colbert speaking the above is definitely satire, but Donald Trump saying it makes him a nutjob. So, really, this one was kind of impossible. Sorry....

b. Let there be no mistake, Obama is no natural born American just as Hilter was no natural born German. Look closely and decide your future and the future of your children. There is an evil foreign body infecting America's health, it found a home because America's natural immunity was poisoned by our greed. We like the Germans have turned to charismatic leaders to save us, and in doing so we find we are beyond salvation. Source: BirthersPicked this one straight off the front page of the official website of the Birther movement. I'm lookin at YOU, Michele Bachmann and whatever that witch chick's name is...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nutjob or satire? You tell me!

Note: This is an old post and there is no longer a contest. If you want a prize, though, let me know.... we'll talk.

Okay, well. I originally started writing a post about how I think my funny has been broken lately and this was supposed to be my way of bringing said funny back. But then as I started to explain exactly what I think has happened to my funny, I got this idea about a quiz that I could make which might make you guys laugh and/or think. So, I turned the post in a different direction.

But then as I started researching for it, I ended up spending all. fucking. day. scouring the stupid internet for quotes that I could use, I realized that this post had taken a horrible, horrible turn for the very much not funny at all. In fact, after having spent all. fucking. day. working on this stupid thing, I now feel a little dirty and I kind of hate myself a little bit for having spent so much time on it. But, I can't just throw it away, I have to see the stupid thing through, so here we are. A very not funny post about how I think I've lost my funny lately. I actually think I hate this post now. Awesome. (I swear to god an animal had better die in my house or something this weekend so that I have something funny to write about!!! I'll kill one, myself, if I have to.)

(If you want to read something that I wrote that's not necessarily funny but isn't completely not funny, now is your chance to bail out! Go read my guest post over at my Sister in Shit's blog, Not a Real Princess)

The other day, on the twitter, I fell for a satirical account by thinking it was real. In my defense, though (such as it is), I had only read one line of this person's profile and didn't visit their website before making this determination (I'm not going to tell you who it is just now because I'm using one of their quotes in the quiz below. I'll tell you tomorrow). Once I went to their website, however, it became rather obvious that they were a satire and not for real.

I felt like a fucking idiot. ME? Being that gullible?? WTF, me?? I'm not supposed to think satire is real, I'm supposed to think that real things are satire!

Something was wrong. My funny must be broken.

As I scrambled for rationalizations on how to defend myself to myself, I realized that the problem is that much of the nutjobbery out there is so over the top nutjobbish that it isn't very much different from the satire. In fact, the profile that I read on Twitter was very much like something somebody might actually say. The line between what is real and what is satire has become so fine that it's almost impossible to tell them apart sometimes. The nutjobs have become satires of themselves, except they're not joking, which is terrifying when you think about it (which is why I generally try not to think about it). So maybe my funny isn't that broken after all?

And so, I have created this quiz: Nutjob or Satire? I have compiled quotes (all of which are taken out of context, of course) on various topic from across the internets. One is from a real, non satirical website (nutjob) and the other is from a satirical website (satire): tell me which is which. Hubs says this has been done before, and I'm sure that's true, it's probably been done to death, but this one is aaaaalllllll mine.

Your job is to take my quiz and put your answers in the comments. The person who gets them all correct will win a prize!! (And you KNOW how awesome my prizes are). I figure that most of these are rather obvious so I will (probably) randomly pick one of the people who get them all right and give that person a prize. Alternatively, if you want to skip the quiz and just mock me in the comments, you may also be eligible for a prize. Or not. I'm not sure how much more of this post I can take...... At any rate, tomorrow I will post the answers and the sources and blah blah blah......

Nutjob or Satire? You Tell Me!

1. 2nd Amendment
  1. This Christmas I want you to do the most loving thing and I want you to buy each of your children an SKS rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition.
  2. If 8-year-old boys discharging loaded firearms into their own legs isn't necessary to the maintenance of a well-regulated militia, I don't know what is.
2. Women's Rights
  1. Gov. Tommy Thompson signed a bill yesterday requiring a 24-hour waiting period for women voters. According to the bill, women will come to their polling location and receive counseling and advice concerning their political selections, and will be shown pictures of both candidates to help them decide for whom they want to vote. Thompson stressed that not only do women have a “right to know,” but also that “by having to make two trips to the polls, they will be less likely to make the foolish mistakes their sex is often prone to make.”
  2. If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president.... And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women. It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it's the party of women and 'We'll pay for health care and tuition and day care -- and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?'
3. Gay Marriage
  1. Fag marriage is the ultimate smash-mouth insult to God, and drives a stake in the heart of the Bridegroom and the Bride. The antediluvian world was the only other time in history where samesex marriage contracts were drawn up – and the Lord destroyed the entire population of the world, save eight souls, because of it. In these the last days of all, fag marriage is THE neon harbinger of the second coming of Christ to destroy this evil world by fire. 
  2. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
4. Education
  1. There is no compelling policy reason for the federal government to be involved in K-12 education, and in the long-run America’s schools would be better without it. 
  2. There is no better way to democratize education in this country than by bringing the voices of CEOs and hedge fund managers into the equation. 
5. Religion vs. Science
  1. The Sun levitates in the sky. No man can levitate the Sun in the sky, so obviously God is doing it.
  2. Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that.
6. Politics
  1. If Governor Perry says he is not Beelzebub, I take his word for it. On the other hand, I don't know all of the particulars, you know where he was born and the circumstances involved. All I can say is that people should do their own due diligence and decide for themselves.
  2. Every night I get down on my knees and pray that Dennis Kucinich will burst into flames.
7. Obama
  1. Barack Obama and Adolf Hitler are one in the same. Both are very dark men who hide their ancestral roots and claim to be Christians, all to gain power and corrupt the free world with their Satanic ways. I am very afraid of Barack Obama and you should be too. Hitler’s ultimate goal was to commit genocide and Obama supports the endless murder of babies. 
  2. Let there be no mistake, Obama is no natural born American just as Hilter was no natural born German. Look closely and decide your future and the future of your children. There is an evil foreign body infecting America's health, it found a home because America's natural immunity was poisoned by our greed. We like the Germans have turned to charismatic leaders to save us, and in doing so we find we are beyond salvation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Hubs got an iPhone

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dear Moby aka @thelittleidiot: I'm sorry

The internet is a freaky place, I'll tell you that. My post the other day about Moby actually attracted his attention and he wrote to me. The email address was moby.com and I was able to verify through his IP address and things he said in his twitter stream that it actually was him. We had a conversation and I would now like to clarify:

He actually does have Asperger's. The quote from him in the NY Times article was taken out of context but even so, he was making a joke in the way @stoopmama theorized. So, my bloggy and twitter buddies, we owe Moby a big apology: starting with me. We've been hating on him all week, thinking that he was this callous asshole, but the truth is that he's actually an incredibly nice person and we were maligning him unnecessarily. Just the fact that he would actually take the time to write to me in order to clarify, I think, speaks volumes about his character. He's a good guy, and I'm the one who's been an asshole.

Moby, I am sorry. I really am. I assumed that you were being a celebrity and jumping onto the latest trend, and I was very wrong. How you deal with your Aspgerger's and how you choose to make light of it, or not, is absolutely nobody's business except your own. I'm sorry that my words, based on my misinterpretation of yours, caused you any pain or hardship. It can't be fun to be a celebrity, at the mercy of the media and the internet, getting hate mail and hate tweets, particularly about something that isn't true.

At your request, I have done some research and found that you are, in fact, quite active in fundraising for autism and autism awareness, in particular Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars.

You asked me not to post our emails, and I won't, except to quote you on one thing that you said:

"all i can say is that you shouldn't judge strangers, especially in public, especially out of context, and especially without knowing the facts."

You're right. You're absolutely right. I did this, and I was wrong. And I'm very sorry.

I still don't like your music, though... ;)

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Stop Singing Alarm

I originally posted this more than a year ago, but it got no love. NONE! So, I thought I'd give it another try....

Child 1 doesn't like it when anybody sings in the car (this is a big bummer for me, since I do a lot of my singing in the car, but that's for another post). This afternoon, Child 2 decided to start singing Old McDonald, which prompted the invention of the STOP SINGING ALARM, which is just him yelling really loudly. The instructions, to his brother, were: "when you hear the stop singing alarm... STOP SINGING." So, this was the scene in the car today:

Old McDonald had a f-


- i, e i o. And on thi-


- he had a chick-


-bok bok here and a bok -


and then after a few minutes, Child 2 just started messing with Child 1 (because he's MY boy, and he does that. *sniff* so proud) so it changed to the following:

bok bok here and a bok bok there (quietly)


bok bok here and a bok bok there


bok bok here and a bok bok there


bok bok here and a bok bok there



Kids are such fun.

Dear Moby, aka @thelittleidiot


I never liked your music; it always kind of got on my nerves more than anything else. That's not what's inspiring me to write to you today but I thought I should mention it, in the interest of full disclosure.

Earlier today I stumbled across a post on my friend Kelly's blog, Unplanned Trip to Holland, which quotes you in a New York Times article, as follows:
Moby: No. I just like to pretend I do. It makes me sound more interesting.
I realize this article is more than a year old, so probably others have already taken you to task for this, but now it's my turn. Asperger's is a high functioning form of autism, Moby, and my son has high functioning autism. Actual autism, I mean; it's not a lie that we tell people to make him seem more interesting, he's got the real thing.

He has no friends; not even one. At school other kids make fun of him because he's different. When he is home he spends most of his time alone in his room. When you ask him a question, about 50% of the time you'll get an answer that's something like "9 car Richmond train now approaching platform 2." When he gets upset, he is unable to tell us what is wrong, because his brain isn't capable of taking the thoughts from his head and putting them into words. Most of the time we have no idea why he's crying, we just have to hold him and hope that helps.

I lie awake nights worrying about his future. I'm terrified that he might not be able to live independently as an adult. I'm terrified that he'll spend his life being unable to express himself. I'm terrified that he won't be happy.

My son is 9, Moby, he's got a lot of years ahead of him. I don't know how old you are, but I can say with complete certainty that in your wildest dreams you will never be as interesting as he is. So, you can continue on with your life, making shitty, pretentious music, telling yourself that people think you're interesting because of this lie that you tell them, but the truth is that when you say you have autism and you don't? That doesn't make you interesting. That makes you an asshole.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Dive Bar Welcomes: Grace

Everybody say it with me: HI GRACE!

I was not in the mood to be fucked with today. At all. My ex-husband must have sensed this from afar, and laughed maniacally, because today he sent me a text message telling me he can’t pick our son up from summer camp this Friday because he is leaving early that morning to help his step-son move back to college in Virginia.

Fine. FINE, asshole, I’ll do it. Because when it comes to caring for this child, who is 7 and has autism, by the way, I DO FUCKING EVERYTHING!!! And do you have any concept of the amount of work involved in caring for a child with autism? NO!! Of course you don’t because you don’t do any of it!! It’s a full-time job just chasing down doctors and teachers and therapists and pharmacists, and running to appointments and meetings. . .but wait!! I already HAVE a full-time job because I am a single mom, thanks to you, and I have to work! I somehow manage to coordinate EVERYTHING related to our son’s care and education, but YOU can’t even manage to pick him up from summer camp.

Once again, you are shirking your responsibility to your own flesh and blood so that you can help your NEW wife take care of HER kids. Once again, our son gets pushed aside so that you can be Father Of The Fucking Year to your step-kids. You are a real stand up guy, taking a day off of work to help your step-son move. Why don’t you take a fucking day off and go to a Dev Ped appointment for your own child one of these days?? You don’t even know where her goddamn office is because you have NEVER ONCE been there!! You don’t even know her fucking name!! But I’ll bet you know the names of all your step-son’s asshole frat brothers, don’t you?

It’s not like it’s the first time you’ve ever pulled this shit. How ‘bout that time you FORGOT to show up for our son’s IEP meeting?? How ‘bout that time you actually did remember to show up for the meeting, but you weren’t paying a damn bit of attention to anything because you were too busy TEXTING with your new wife?? Then YOU STOOD UP AND LEFT right in the middle of it because you had to take your OTHER step-son to baseball practice?? I WAS FIGHTING TO GET OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY FOR OUR SON, AND YOU FUCKING LEFT!!

You are such a fucking asshole. When it comes to raising this child, I do all of the work. ALL OF IT!! If it were up to you, our son would never even see a goddamn dentist. And speaking of the dentist, you are SUCH a jackoff ass motherfucker for sticking ME with the bill for his last check up. Our son has autism! He has anxiety issues and sensory processing issues, not to mention royally fucked up teeth, so he NEEDS to see a pediatric dentist experienced in treating children with special needs. He CANNOT see the butchers your insurance covers. That is NOT what’s best for our son. And spare me your bullshit about how you can’t afford to pay for our son’s dental care out of your pocket. I feel real sorry for you, living in your 5-bedroom house. Maybe if you sold it and just lived in your beach house full-time it would free up some cash for your son’s dental bills. Or maybe you could just take one vacation every year instead of two. Just a fucking thought.

I am so sick of you and your douchebag ways, but I will never be rid of you, EVER. Our son will ALWAYS have special needs, and I honestly don’t know if he will ever be able to live independently, so I guess you’ll be around, not doing much of anything, FOREVER. Yay!!

I have taken so much shit from you, yet I never EVER speak badly about you in front of our son because he loves you. Speaking badly about you would hurt him, so I won’t do it, but do not think for ONE SECOND it’s because I have nothing to say. This is just the TIP of the fucking iceberg, but I don’t want to hog up Jillsmo’s Dive Bar with the 1,500 page diatribe I COULD write about you. And I can’t write about it on my own blog because your sister and brother read my blog, and I don’t need you bitching me out for the ass-kicking they would give you if they knew about any of this. Your siblings still love me, and they know you’re a douchebag, they just don’t know how much.

You are a fucked up man. Have a nice weekend in Virginia with your NEW family, asshole.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I REALLY hate when this happens

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Dive Bar Welcomes: C

Yep, that's it. Just "C" Oooohhhh. Mysterious!!!!

Dear mom,

You know, I hope, that I love you. Your weekly visits are greatly appreciated and, in all seriousness, you have made having a second child so. much. easier. You are supportive and loving and incredibly helpful. So I say this with as much love as frustration…I just have to get this one thing off my chest.

You need to shut up about the fucking deer.

When you first started mentioning the furry interlopers, like FOUR YEARS AGO!, it was a mildly entertaining subject mostly because it was new. It was, perhaps, a bit strange that these graceful creatures were abandoning their forest habitats and roaming the backyards of suburban New Jersey. There was, perchance, a pinch of drama in the fact that they were ruthlessly biting the tiny heads off your beloved roses.

But mostly, I’m just being generous. Any appeal to the subject of the deer is long gone. My ability to feign interest has completely evaporated. Hear me when I say, the potential for entertainment in this conversation is thoroughly exhausted.

The way you go on and on…you just sound like an old lady. Or, closer to the truth, a woman who should probably get a job if you have nothing better to talk about. The deer in your backyard does not a conversation make. I say this with all due respect, of course. But I have to tell you how it’s not going to be. It’s not going to be you and me going out for coffee, me talking about my human children and you talking about the deer. That’s just sad.

They’re not exotic, mysterious or even rare beasts. They’re fucking deer! They’re everywhere. Including, but not limited to, your backyard. And their 1025th appearance in said backyard certainly doesn’t warrant calling me and my kids away from our breakfasts or unwrapping Christmas gifts or a game of Scrabble or even watching TV so we can get a glimpse. I have news that may shock you. Even the kids don’t care.

I can’t say this to your face because it would hurt your feelings. So, I’m asking jillsmo to post this in her dive bar. That way I don’t have to waste valuable time and money on this topic in my next therapy session. Let’s pinky swear. I’ll move on, if you will, too.

Your loving daughter.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes 29 *highfive*

"Mama can you write another funny blog about you taking me to science camp? Except this time, don't use any grownup words." -Child 2

And then he described to me what it should look like. Here ya go!

This picture is Child 2 Approved

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Every Monday so far this summer

This is Child 2's first real summer with camp, before this he's just gone to his preschool which was year-round. Since I've never had an NT kid in summer camp before, I figured I'd just do what everybody else with an NT kid seems to do: to send him to 4,000 different camps. Kids need variety, right? Otherwise they get bored? (Answer: Probably, but TOO FUCKING BAD). I made an elaborate schedule (on a spreadsheet!) and picked camps where he would attend with his buddies.

Okay. If you have littler kids than mine and you think this might be a good idea, let me please be the first to tell you that this is not a good idea. Experienced parents will already know this, because they've done this already and very quickly realized what a stupid fucking idea this is. Reasonable-minded people may now also be asking themselves: "who in their right mind would send their kid to a new fucking place every week?" The answer? Only an idiot would do that, apparently. (HI! :wave:)

The first day of camp is always the learning day, when you find out what the schedule is, what the rules are, where to park for pick up and drop off, etc. If you go some place different every week, however, every Monday you're starting all over again from the beginning. That's not something you think about, though, when you're an idiot and planning an elaborate social/camp schedule (on a spreadsheet!!) for your 6 year old.

That will definitely be something you think about next year, though. Because never again.

Child 1 is going to only one camp this summer; his fancy schmancy social skills camp, which is far away and at the top of a great big hill. He needs to be there by 9:00 every morning.

Child 2 goes to a different camp every week, in various different locations all around town. He, too, needs to be there by 9:00 every morning.

See, I bet you're already starting to see the problem here. That's probably because you're smarter than I am!

I've taken a map of Berkeley and I've labeled some pertinent locations, for you visual learners. Items in red are Child 2's various camps; there are actually more than 4 but some are in the same locations, even though they're different camps. I don't know... don't ask.

Every camp has a different schedule and a different policy for tardiness. Some say "be here no later than 9:05 or you'll miss the bus!!" or "be here no later than 9:10 because we lock the doors ahahahahahahaha!!!" and some say "meh, no worries. Be here when you can." But since every Monday is our first day, I never know what the policy actually is until we get there.

So, every Monday morning I have to race across town to drop off Child 1 (he can be there as much as 15 minutes early, so he always goes first). There is traffic, there is chatter... it is stressful.

And then I have to race back across town to wherever our new location is and hope that it's okay for us to be a little bit late.
... and then? I still have to get myself to work, usually by 10:00 but sometimes 9:30
This past Monday, however, was the Mother of all Mondays. Child 2's camp is waaaaaayyyyyy the fuck up in the hills above Berkeley, in a goddamn regional park for chrissakes (#4 on the map up there) with these twisty turny mountain roads. I had no idea where I was going so I'd printed a variety of different driving instructions. Except? It was really foggy. Like... really really fucking foggy. It's hard enough trying to see street signs that are buried behind piles of trees in the middle of the goddamn wilderness, but I couldn't even see more than a foot in front of me. So I got the GPS going, but it was telling me things like "make a U-turn whenever legally possible," when I KNEW I was headed in the right direction.

It was frustrating. To say the least.

I got him there eventually; about 20 minutes late. Luckily it was one of the "meh, whatever" camps so he didn't miss anything. But then I still had to find my way back down the mountain, of course.....

Next year? One camp. Maybe two. And that's it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

16 Years

This is the exact same thing I posted last year on this date; I only changed it from 15 to 16 years (and I changed the first song from Ripple to New Speedway Boogie). I figure I probably can't do any better than I did the first time, so every year I will just copy and paste.

16 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....

Touch of Grey, Bill Graham Memorial Concert, 11/3/91. I was at this show.

Eyes of the World. I went with the studio version.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What to Do When You Disagree With a Blog Post: Guest Blogger

I am SO excited today to be hosting Amber, author of the incredibly awesome Parenting. Illustrated with Crappy Pictures. If you don't read her, you need to start reading her. Everything she writes and draws is so true and her pictures are sooooo funny. Seriously, do something nice for yourself today and read what it is like to eat in a nice restaurant... illustrated with crappy pictures™ and what it is like to (not) sleep at night - illustrated with crappy pictures™

What to Do When You Disagree With a Blog Post

Welcome to the internet!

While you are browsing, you may find personal blog posts that you don't agree with, don't find funny or you otherwise don't understand.

Here is a handy guide on what to do when this happens.

Option A

(Our most popular Option! Used by billions of sane, smart people with regular lives!)

Upon encountering a disagreeable post, simply leave and move onto another blog. Just one click and you are taken away!

Option B

(Our second most popular Option! Commonly used by lonely people, bored people and sanctimonious assholes.)

Upon encountering a disagreeable post, tell the blog owner that you disagree and proceed to calmly and politely educate them on why you are right and they are wrong. Spend a lot of time doing this. Eventually give up when you realize that no one cares.

Option C

(This Option is for discerning individuals who like to stand out! Commonly used by people with rabies.)

Upon encountering a disagreeable post, proceed to personally attack the writer and anyone who agrees with them. Utilize contact methods such as comments, Facebook, Twitter and email simultaneously. Deliver insults with poor grammar. Most importantly, never, ever leave.

Have fun!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sometimes autism makes my heart hurt

I'm a firm believer in letting my kids, both of them, be who they are. Oftentimes that can come in direct conflict with how you're technically supposed to be raising a child with autism, which is to force him out of his comfort zone often enough to get him used to the social situations that he would normally want to avoid.

I'm not really comfortable with that, to be honest, and sometimes I think I'm "doing him wrong" by not doing this kind of thing more often, but it just goes against my every parental instinct. If he doesn't want to socialize, I'm not going to make him. I'm not sure how this will work out for him in the long run, but for now I know it's what he prefers.

This means, however, that when we're all hanging out at home, it's usually hubs, Child 2 and myself in the TV room, doing family stuff or whatever it is that we do, and Child 1 is in another room, drawing or looking at train videos or looking at a book or something. Occasionally he will wander into the room (more like pass by us on one of his stim laps) and we will ask, beg, plead, bribe, cajole.... for him to stay and hang out with us and do what we're doing, and he will always say no, and then run/jump/flap out of the room and back to what he was doing.

It makes me sad. I mean, I don't feel rejected by him, I don't think he doesn't love us or want to be in our family, I just know that he likes to do his own thing and hanging out with us is not his thing. I can't make him stay in the room with us, and I don't even try (especially if a bribe of chocolate doesn't even work), but... man I wish he would. Not just to stay in the room because he's being forced to, I wish he wanted to stay. I wish the four of us can hang out like a family the way the three of us do. I don't mean that I wish my child was different or a different person, I just mean that sometimes I feel really sad because autism makes him run away from us and I just want so much for him to stay.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Shit's about to get REAL, @MollieisOKinUK

I've been challenged. AGAIN. I've been fucking challenged again! Why do people keep challenging me for stuff? Is it my filthy mouth and bad attitude? Actually, yeah, that's probably why.

Well, okay, then! I've been challenged, but this time.... to a Draw-Off!

Wait. WHAT?

My Twitter pal Mollie, who blogs at OK in UK (for some reason) has challenged me to a drawing contest. I can't remember why, exactly. I think it was because I asked her what was going on with her Twitter avatar there....

Ninja Hippopotamus of Awesomeness!!!

I think she was offended that I didn't know what this was but in my defense, Mollie, it was this size when I asked you about it:


ALSO I think I was drunk at the time. I mean, I don't actually remember when we had this discussion but it's a safe assumption, right? Anyway, she challenged me.

But.... little does Mollie know... poor, poor Mollie.... is that I happen to be a semi-professional artiste! (Assuming, of course, that in this context "semi" means "not even a little bit" and "professional" means ".  No, really.") She wasn't expecting that I would have mad skillz, yo. (Ew. Sorry about that "mad skillz, yo" thing I just did)

This is her challenge to me:

Oh, yeah? I can totally do that, Mollie.

What's next, Mollie? BRING IT ON.....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I declare today to be: Craptasstic Thursday

(Not to be confused with Commando Mondays, Wordless Wednesdays or I Don't Know Who the Fuck I Am Fridays..)

So, the other day I actually participated in a meme, despite the fact that I don't usually participate in memes, which you will know because I started the post by saying that I don't usually participate in memes and every time I do participate in a meme I always start by saying that I don't usually participate in memes. I received an award and I passed it on to 5 of my bloggy buddies.

Well.... ONE of these smartass buddies of mine decided to get all fucking "original" and shit and she made an award in return... just for me. That particular smartass is Amy, aka LLA_Princess, my twitter buddy and Sister in Shit, who also blogs at Not A Real Princess. She called it The Craptasstic Award and she even made a graphic for it!


Which is all well and good, of course. Notice there are 2 S's in Craptasstic? That was by design. CLEVER GIRL.

But THEN she had the nerve to go and say "Challenge accepted, Game On."

Oh. Really?

You want to play, sister? You really want to play?


See, I happen to have a little bit of experience with creating shitty awards that end in "tastic" and making graphics for them. Really ugly graphics. And so, my friend. My co-conspirator. My partner in crime. My, uh.... okay, I'm out. I am sending it back to you, but this time? With kittens.

The ball is in your court now, (not a real) Princess. Let's see what you got.

Here are the rules:

1. You must proudly display the absolutely disgusting graphic that I have created for these purposes (put it in your post, you don't have to put it in your sidebar, I think that would seriously be asking too much). It's so bad that not only did I use COMIC SANS, but there's even a little fucking jumping, celebrating kitten down there at the bottom. It's horrifying! But its presence in your award celebration is crucial to the memetastic process we're creating here. If you need a higher resolution version... I totally have one!!

2. You must list 5 things about yourself, and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies. Just make some shit up, we'll never know; one of them has to be true, though. Of course, nobody will ever know the difference, so we're just on the honor system here. I trust you. Except for the 4 that you lied about, you lying bastards! But don't go crazy trying to think of stuff, you'll see from my example that we're not really interested in quality here.

3. You must pass this award on to 5 bloggers that you either like or don't like or don't really have much of an opinion about. I don't care who you pick, and nobody needs to know why. I mean, you can give a reason if you want, but I don't really care.

4. If you fail to follow any of the above rules, I will fucking hunt your ass down and harass you incessantly until you either block me on Twitter or ban my IP address from visiting your blog. I don't know if you can actually do that last thing, but I will become so annoying to you that you will actually go out and hire an IT professional to train you on how to ban IP addresses just so that I'll leave you alone. I'm serious. I'm going to do these things.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It was ALMOST like breaking glass. Almost.

I was just in my kitchen making iced coffee and singing along, loudly, to some Parachute Musical and it reminded me of this story. I thought about just tweeting it, but shit, I've got some time right now, let's try to stretch this fucker into a post, shall we? Alright, then! Let's do this.

We first got Rock Band about 3 year ago and since then we've played it at least weekly, taking time off for various flus and colds and such.

I sing; I'm not interested in the guitar or the drums or whatever else. I'm a singer. And I'm loud. Like.... really loud. Depending on the song, of course, but tell me, if you were singing this, could you do it quietly? No. That would simply be impossible, wouldn't it?

God, this video is so cheesy. What the hell is with that shoulder shaking thing she keeps doing?

So, anyway, when we first got it, we had been playing pretty much around the clock. One night, it was about 1:00am, and suddenly there's a knock on our door. It's our next door neighbor. In her underwear. She very nicely asked if we had gotten a new karaoke game or something because she's been hearing me doing a lot of singing lately. I had a very nice voice, she said, and I sounded great, and while she really did enjoy Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer, she didn't actually want to be hearing it so loudly at this hour, what with the newborn baby and all that.

OMG. I was mortified. I felt so bad. I certainly know what it's like to need whatever precious time you can steal to sleep, and here I was howling away at all hours of the night and keeping her awake.

Well. I didn't want to have to stop playing Rock Band, of course, so instead.... we padded the window on the side of the room that faces their house (and her bedroom window is right fucking there; about 2 feet away from our windows) with cardboard and newspaper and sheets and blankets... you know, to muffle the sound. And we put a little time restriction on our game playing; no more playing after 9:00, I think, because that's when she went to bed.

It went on like that for some time; I would see her all the time and be kind of afraid to ask if she was getting any sleep, and she never mentioned anything to me. Then, a few months later, we noticed they were getting their bedroom windows replaced. Double, triple, quadruple(?) paned glass windows; to block out sound.

And that's the story of how my incredibly loud singing voice caused my neighbors to have to get their bedroom windows replaced.