My Unfavorite Things

Here’s a song by Jessadriel Darkmountain (to the tune of “My Favorite
Things” from the Sound of Music):

My Unfavorite Things

Bright clashing colors, machines that keep beeping,
Phones and alarm clocks that ring when I’m sleeping,
Getting told off when I’m scattered or late,
These are a few of the things that I hate.
Tags in my clothing and seams in my stocking,
Those who say “teasing” when really it’s “mocking”,
Fluorescent flicker and noises that grate:
These are a few of the things that I hate.

Too many people in too small a room,
Vile reeking chemicals mis-named “perfume”,
Voices too loud and weird food on my plate,
These are a few of the things that I hate.

Being expected to follow the fashions,
Not being able to share my true passions,
People who bitch when I perseverate,
These are a few of the things that I hate.

Indirect questions and vague explanations,
Having to smile when I’m losing my patience,
Looks of disdain if I stim while I wait,
These are a few of the things that I hate.

When my hands flap, when my voice fails,
When I’m meltdown-mad,
I simply remember – I could be NT (ack!) –
And then I don’t feel so bad!

© 2/10/04 Jessadriel Darkmountain

(Per Jessadriel: “Feel free to send it around wherever you wish, as
long as my name stays on it.”)

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Partyin’ in the ‘Burbs

I found this on youtube and had to share! Some wacky folks in the suburbs of Atlanta put this together and it made me laugh and laugh. If you are a suburbanite (or just like to laugh at ’em) then you’ll want to watch this. Enjoy!
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxj5EEksI1I&feature=related%20<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxj5EEksI1I&feature=related>%20

Note: for those who don’t have the priviledge of living in the 19 counties that make up metro-Atlanta, “285” refers to the highway that circles the city and effectively divides in-town from the suburbs.  It is also known as the “perimeter”.

Artism Is Beautiful

I found a site that I wanted to share with you all – Artism by Nick  (see http://www.artismbynick.blogspot.com/ )  This site gives people an opportunity to purchase note cards with original art by Nick – a teenager with Autism.  He will create custom cards for any occasion (samples pictured on the site) that can be used as invitations, thank you cards, birthday greetings, etc.

This site really got me thinking…  about art and about how my son (with Autism) could potentially support himself as an adult.

I loved this and couldn’t wait to share it with you.  I have no ties to Nick or his family, but love the designs and am thinking of placing an order myself.  Please let me know if you’ve had any experiences with Artism by Nick so I can share with our kind readers.  Please visit his site and let me know what you think!

Autism or Austentism?

Our family lives with obsession.  We have a child with Autism–enough said, right?  He is obsessed with animals and tiny tiny things… like tiny beads, tiny pieces of confetti, or, well, tiny animals. 

We all have our obsessions, I have found.  Each of us, in our turn, has something that “turns us on” to the point where we can, if we let it, perseverate and obsess and just plain wallow in our chosen joy.

My husband, for instance, like most Southern men, is obsessed with Football.  My older son is obsessed with sports and SportsCenter on ESPN.  My younger son, as I mentioned, finds his joy in animals and tiny things.

And me?  Sigh…  I am not above obsession.  I have to admit that I too am obsessed.

I am obsessed with Jane Autsen. 

Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Northanger Abby… Jane is my escape.  Through her writings she allows me to relive the decisions made in my early twenties.  She allows me to explore feelings and rationalizations and moral questions… the senses and sensibilities, I guess.  I recently took joy in reading and re-reading Pride and Prejudice to the point where I have been pondering my own parallels to Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth and even, I must add, to Mrs. Bennet.  I even added a “Which Jane Austen Character Are You” quiz on my facebook page.  This is scary. 

I believe the official diagnosis is that I am a “Janeite”.  But that seems such a plain-sounding diagnosis.  I am starting to think of it as “Austentism”.

Just how far does this go?  Well, let’s see.  I have been faithfully following the recent US Masterpiece Theater Jane Austen Revival on PBS.  I have watched the interviews with the producer and actors on PBS.org.  I took the “which one is your man?” quiz, also on PBS.org (not telling which one I prefer :)).  I have watched just about all of the movies ever made based upon her works (my favorite?  The 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, of course, but the Bridget Jones’ Diary series is also a favorite as a “loose translation”).  I just rented “Becoming Jane” and loved the theory it presented about how Miss Jane Austen may have gained the life experience reflected in her works (such a fresh yet plausible story).  I have her books and books by authors who wrote sequels and books that tell the stories from an others’ (usually the man’s) point of view.  I have the soundtrack to the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice on my iPod.  I’ve read through (and reference) www.Pemberly.com  quite often (see link in the sidebar).  I’ve looked up patterns for the dresses and accessories that were worn and referenced in her books.  I even have a book titled “Jane Austen’s Book on Manners” and have thought about getting a cookbook that is now out with recipes for things that are mentioned in her books.   Like a drug addiction, I crave them and want more. 

Forget scary – now that I am writing this all down I realize that my addiction is… REALLY scary!

If my powers of concentration were better, I’d be able to ignore the dishes (ok, I am already pretty good at ignoring the dishes), and the kids’ homework, and the latest report demand from my boss, and just submerge myself in my passion.  Perhaps that only comes in the most advanced stages of obsession… or in Autism…

Did this come on after prolonged use of Teflon coated pans heated above 450 degrees?  Vaccinations?  Mercury poisoning?  A genetic predisposition?

Can I be cured through diet?  Chelation?  ABA?  Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?  Vitamins? 

I hope not.  I’m having too much fun!  🙂

Church Musings

My younger son is so verbal.

Sometimes we wonder why we ever taught him to speak (and then – why he speaks so LOUDLY). 

During the sermon while in church he pipes up with important questions like – “Mommy, why do your boobs hang out your chest?” and “Why is Pastor so old?”

As we walk up for communion/blessings he’ll ask “Why do you get snacks and I don’t?” and, with wide eyes, referring to the communion wine, “Is that real BLOOD in there?”

Our favorite was when, during the sermon he called up to the pastor… “Are you done talking yet?”

A Budding Novelist

My youngest has had a school assignment to write a story.  This will, in a few weeks, be “published” in book form.  The little authors will have a class party where the parents are invited and the authors read their stories in front of everyone.

We’ll cross the reading-out-loud-in-front-of-everyone bridge when we get there.  We had to get through writing the story first.

Now let me make this clear up front.  My son has no problem making up stories.  He’s actually quite good at coming up with ideas and events to put in stories – quite an active imagination.  But we often are left wondering where he gets his, shall we call it, inspiration.  Sometimes his stories even “inspire” questions from others about our home life – sometimes funny questions, sometimes not so funny.

We drafted his story this last week.  He would get going telling his story and I would type out his words.  I asked a few questions to get some more detail and we ended up with something like this…  There’s this Crocodile whose dinosaur friends are all dead, his parents are dead (this is where it turns into a Disney classic), he doesn’t know what to eat but does know what can eat him…  (okaaaay…)

He moves to a new lake where there are no Raccoons, Snakes, or Birds… and is trained on the Tuba and plays in victory parades.  (Tuba?  Where does this come from?  We don’t know anyone who plays the Tuba… Right after my younger son says this about the parade we have to shush our older son who tries to point out that crocodiles do not have the lip structure to play horn instruments.  After all, we tell him, we’re being creative.)

Eventually the Crocodile (whose name is actually “Crocodile” in case you were wondering) finds his parents (who aren’t dead after all, they just moved to a different lake – which turns this from a Disney movie to a twisted and dark commentary on child neglect, but thank God we’re… I mean they’re… still alive) and all live happily ever after.

I don’t want to change his story (although we did make some gentle suggestions), but I am curious as to what sort of looks we’ll get as my precious lovey (who, for the record, we cherish and love very much AND who we’ve never left at a lake, never starved, and always brought with us when we moved to a new house) reads his story to the rest of the class.  Should we expect a call from social services…

Or negotiate a contract with Disney?

Dingos in Australia… or are they?

This morning we were in the middle of our normal “school morning” routine (ok, so it was also picture day at school, so we were trying to take extra care in keeping the kids clean and tidy as they ate breakfast, so it was the normal routine sans the spills and crumbs), when the subject of Dingos came up in conversation.  (note: such strange topics of conversation are part of the routine in our house)

Dingos, in case you didn’t know, are I think a species of wild dog that lives in Australia.  At least, every time I’ve ever seen or heard anything about Dingos it talks about their living in Australia.  So anyway, my older son started talking about a story he’d seen on television where a 9 year old boy and a 7 year old boy (my boys are 9 and 7, which is why I think he paid particular attention to this story) were attacked by Dingos.  He went on to describe the attack, explaining that the 9 year old was killed and the 7 year old escaped and ran home.  He was a bit in awe that the older of the brothers was the one killed.  I think he was a bit worried that he and his brother might be attacked at the bus stop.

In an effort to distract him I asked “and where was this?” thinking he would say Australia and I could point out that we live half a world away and he didn’t have to worry about Dingos roaming our suburban neighborhood.

“Ummmm… let’s look it up on the internet!” and he left the breakfast table to go fire up the computer.

“Wait a minute, bud.  Finish your breakfast.  The bus will be here soon.  We’re not looking it up right now,” I said.  I thought this would  be the end of it, but no…

“It was Rhode Island,” he said between bites of melon.

“What?”

“The Dingos live in Rhode Island,” he exclaimed.  “Dingos live in Rhode Island and that is where the boy died.”

How on earth did he come up with this?  “I think Dingos only live in Australia, bud.”  At least I really hope Dingos don’t live in Rhode Island.

“Well, they may live in Australia too, but I know they live in Rhode Island,” he said.

“Yep, they live in Australia and Rhode Island just like my brother said!” proclaimed my younger son, the family animal expert in residence.

“And I hope they don’t come south for the winter like the Canadians,” finished my older son.

Enough said.

NOTE- For our dear readers…This was not a slam against Canadians.  Our family does not equate Canadians with child-eating dingos…  We like Canadians, especially the Mounties – with whom my younger son has a slight fascination.  Peace to all out there!