Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hope You Don't Mind If I Have a Private Moment...

This has been an interesting week. To say the least.

I mentioned, a couple of posts ago, that I have been potty training my son and that, at 4 1/2, he is a bit late in his training. I love my son, more than words can say, but I have not been blind to the fact that he hasn't been on the same track developmentally as most kids his age. I have brought it up, from time-to-time, with his pediatrician and was usually told that I was "over-comparing" him to other kids. I knew better than to accept that from the pediatrician, but I let it lie for awhile. I didn't want to deal with the elephant in the room that most parents don't want to deal with.


This word carries so much weight these days. We hear about it a lot. We hear that the numbers are on the rise and we hear about celebrities like Jenny McCarthy that they too have kids with Autism.

God bless Jenny McCarthy. At first I denied that my son could have Autism because he seemed to function so much better than the stereotypical Autistic child. I remember watching "Rainman" and thinking the sort of idiot-savant that Dustin Hoffman played was what Autism was all about. That can't be my son I thought, my son hugs me, he tells me he loves me. He comes running to me when I come home from the store with a loud "Mom!" and a big hug. How could this child have Autism?

And then a funny thing happened. I started reading about it and I discovered a neurological disorder on the Autism spectrum called Asperger's Syndrome. And an even funnier thing happened. I realized that not only does my son have virtually all the criteria that would garner him a diagnosis as having Asperger's, I do as well.

I've always felt like a square-peg in a round-hole world, but I always found things to blame it on. I was adopted. I went to 11 different schools from kindergarten through 12 grade. Of course I was socially awkward. But the thing is, even in a safe environment, away from social situations that can leave me in a horrible state of anxiety, I'm still not what you might think of as normal. I look normal. I can pass for normal. I can hold a job and go to parent-teacher conferences relatively well. But if you and I were having a face to face conversation, I would have to force myself to look into your eyes. I do this because it's what I've come to believe is expected of me in social situations but I don't "get" why I should do it. My son is the same way.

When I go to a party with my husband I really get stressed out. I've never been able to read people very well. I tend to run on conversationally and have a one track mind that is staggering in it's focus. I cannot go-with-the-flow conversationally because my mind will stay on whatever track I started on and will not shift gears unless I make a conscious effort to do so. I tend to be blunt but think of myself as "honest." I don't mean to hurt other people's feelings but since I am not naturally tactful I do sometimes. I don't like to be touched (which drives my husband crazy) and can't stand loud noises of any kind. If I'm in a room full of people I will go into sensory overload and have to leave to spend time by myself. I usually stay up late every night just to be alone.

I could go on and on but I think I would bore you. The point of all this is that despite my personal diagnosis of Asperger's, I've managed to do okay. I have been with my husband for 13 years despite my social retardation. Most people would never, ever, dream that I suffer from a form of Autism. Thank goodness.

In a weird way I'm glad I have Asperger's. I would prefer that my son didn't have it, but since he does I think I am uniquely qualified to help him navigate through a world he won't understand. I can't give him enlightenment, but I can give him a few coping mechanisms. I would prefer that I didn't have this genetic mutation to pass on to my child (Asperger's generally runs in families and often the adult sufferer will be diagnosed at the same time as the child) but I can't help what has already happened.

The one thing that gives me hope is now I know why I am the way I am. I now know why I have a hard time relating to people and prefer the companionship I find among the blogging community. I don't need to read facial expressions here. All I have to do is read the words on a page and I can do that. I can also stand as an example to my son. I can say to him, I graduated college. I got married and had kids. I know how to love even if I don't know how to express it. I know what it is to be you, and you're going to be just fine.....

For more information on Asperger's Syndrome, THIS is an excellent place to start.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Six Unremarkable Things Meme

Avery tagged me with this meme, and it appears that for this meme I'm supposed to come up with 6 uninteresting facts about myself. There are rules to this meme, not all of which I am going to follow... but I'll list them here.

* Link the person who tagged you.
* Mention the rules in your blog.
* Tell about six unspectacular quirks
* Tag six bloggers by linking them. (I have fewer than six regulars on this particular blog and I'm sure most of them have already done this meme)
* Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged. (read comment on previous rule)

Frankly I could come up with so much more blandness.

But I will limit my list to the six that I am supposed to limit it to. You should be grateful.

1. I'm not a naturally tidy person. My house is usually pretty clean because between my husband and I we get the chores done-- but I hate doing it. I never rebelled as a kid and I think my messy room was the only form of rebellion I felt comfortable acting out on. I hope my kids are just like me.

2. I sneeze when I see bright light. I can walk out into the sunshine or just look into a light bulb--I'll sneeze every time. My kids both do this too.

3. I am profoundly without rhythm. I didn't know what an 8-count was until I was on drill team in high school. I never learned how to play any musical instruments so rhythm has been quite the mystery for me most of my life. If I'm a crowd of people who are clapping to the beat, I have to watch everyone else so I am not the person clapping between beats.

4. I am a dress-for-comfort person. I have learned over the course of my life that I will abandon style for comfort any day of the week. I think Crocs were sent by the hand of God (or Shiva, or whomever) just to sooth my feet. (Though I did buy the cute little pair above--in two colors-- so I wouldn't look like I had duck feet all the time) I try to mitigate this by making sure my hair and make-up are as nice as I can make them. But I only wear heels for really dressy occasions. I think the last was my wedding. I can, however, walk in heels. I always feel a little sorry for women who look like they're walking on their tip-toes while wearing heels. Or walking on glass. I feel their pain.

5. My toenails are currently painted purple.

6. I went to school in Japan and got a minor in the subject in college but don't speak the language at all anymore. While I was there I realized I would never want to live or work there so I never bothered to keep up my conversational Japanese. It hasn't been a problem either.

So that's it. I'm not tagging anyone specifically, but if you'd like to do the meme, consider yourself tagged.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Fame Bubble

Whenever I try to think of posts for my blog, I often muse on different fantasy & sci-fi topics. I'll often scan the news trying to find some sort of real-life story as a tie-in on my blog. Those are some of my favorites.

But I realized I have probably missed one of the most obvious fantasy tie-ins ever in my year-and-a-half of blogging.

The Fame Bubble.

That's right folks. If you haven't heard of The Fame Bubble, then you don't watch enough Kathy Griffin.

The Fame Bubble is a term that Kathy has given to the strange little fantasy world that celebrities live in. You know what I'm talking about. The world that somehow convinces celebrities that they can give their kids names like Apple or Banjo and somehow the fame they enjoy will insulate their children from all the insults any child of a lesser person would experience.

The Fame Bubble must be a happy place, don't you think?

Imagine for a minute if you got to live in The Fame Bubble............

You would never have to consort with the common rabble ever again. If you need new clothes, the store will shut down for you-- and probably give you most of your clothes for free! You want to to to Magic Mountain, they'll close the park for you so you never have to wait in line. (Just ask Mariah Carey) Never will you have to watch a movie that doesn't have a red carpet and an entourage-- at least as long as your Fame Bubble is big enough that is.

Having children in the Fame Bubble is a totally different experience than that of the rest of us plebes as well. Naturally every part of the pregnancy will be covered with appropriate reverence and if you're a first time mom, no problem; the doctors will be more than willing to schedule you a C-section so you don't have to go through any unnecessary pain, or messy labor. Of course, once your perfect child comes into the world, appropriately named Huckleberry or Credenza, he or she will be on the cover of every magazine on the planet-- scoring you no less than $6 million a picture.

Working in The Fame Bubble is something completely different too. I do hear from time to time that the hours are a bit long and that the hard working celebrities may have to lounge around in their opulently appointed trailers, while suffering through manicures and hair extensions, while waiting for their scenes to be shot. But I suppose the $20 million dollar paycheck does compensate one a little bit for that hard three months of work.

Normal rules of decency can be completely ignored in The Fame Bubble too. It is perfectly acceptable to flash one's privates in any venue and clothing may be see-through for most major events.

Getting into shape need not involve too much work either. Regular visits to the doctor for regular liposuction will keep those pesky love-handles at bay. And if the personal chefs, trainers and lap-bands don't do the job, air-brushing will be used liberally.

In The Fame Bubble, you are the center of the universe. People do hang on your every word. Whole legions will be devoted to the perfection that is you. You will have fan clubs and blogs that follow every significant event of your life. No one will fail to notice that new hair-do, I promise.

Maybe I'm being a little hard on those who live in The Fame Bubble though. I mean, the fame bubble does come with all the annoying paparazzi. I mean, who needs to deal with all those cameras while you're stumbling drunk down Sunset Blvd six days a week? Jeez, some people are so judgemental. And if one wants to have a tirade on a talk show and tell all the women in the world that they're evil for taking anti-depressants for postpartum depression, shouldn't one be able to do that without all the little people thinking they ought to have an opinion? I mean really, Scientology does have all the answers.

The Fame Bubble says so.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Do we really believe this guy?

You may have seen this video before. It's been on MTV for awhile and I noticed a lot of people are talking about it on the net. But I can't help it. I must know what you think.

If you haven't seen this, the video is of a man who claims to be straight, but does gay porn for a living. Don't worry, this video isn't graphic. It's from the MTV show "True Life."

I gotta say, I don't believe this guy can be straight. I don't care how much money he makes. There's no way a guy can have gay sex and not be attracted to men. Is there?

This guy (I think his name is Aaron) says he makes $5000 a shoot and does about 8 a month. That is a whole lot of money. But still... I wouldn't do it.

But is it a gay thing or is it a moral issue? I don't have anything against gay people-- that's not what I mean by moral issue. For me, having video of myself out there having sex would be the main problem-- I really don't need my kids ever seeing anything like that. But there is less of a stigma for women having gay sex isn't there? For the record, I have never been one to "experiment." I don't know when girl on girl action came into vogue, but I certainly never felt any desire to make out with a girl. I guess that's why I have a hard time believing this guy is straight.

I'm not attracted to women and frankly, no amount of money is going to change that. I'm not coming at it from a moral angle. Really it's just a matter of desire. I don't want to grope another woman and I don't want to be groped. No offense. But I prefer men.

So I'm baffled by a guy who claims to like women but will have sex with men for money. Isn't that a bit drastic? I know he wants to have a nice lifestyle and all, but my goodness. That's like selling your soul to the devil isn't it? Especially if he's being honest and he really truly isn't attracted to men. Suppose for a second that he is telling the truth. How does he turn off his normal instincts to complete the act? Drugs? Alcohol? Denial?

I really don't get it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I'm taking it easy today. Hope you are too......

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Missed the Emergency Room... Barely

Thanks for the kind replies on my last post. I don't mean to keep venting about my parents, but man, they make me crazy.

My mom hasn't emailed me back either. No big surprise there.

So we just got back from Disneyland and mostly it was a good trip. Better for me than my husband. The poor guy got food poisoning. We don't know what caused it, but neither me nor the kids got sick so it was obviously something only my husband ate.

I hope I never get food poisoning. Let me tell you, it's ugly.

My husband started feeling sick on Monday morning, which was our first full day at the park. We had taken the kids to the Electric Light Parade on Sunday night (which they looooved) and while I took my son back to the hotel room to put him to bed my husband and my daughter went to see the Fantasmic Light Show. They got back to the room around 11:30 so my husband was pretty tired after driving all day and then staying up so late. On Monday morning he wasn't feeling too well, but assumed he was just tired.

We got to the park as it opened on Monday and headed over to the Finding Nemo ride. If you haven't been to Disneyland lately, be prepared to wait in a long line for Nemo. It doesn't have a fast pass and every kid wants to go on it, so at best, you'll wait 45 minutes. Poor hubby wasn't too sure if he was up to it but stuck it out and we made it through. After the ride I told him to go to the room and get some sleep and I'd meet him back there in a couple of hours. My kids were really tired too, so we didn't hit too many rides before they wanted to go back to the room and rest.

I thought for sure hubby would be rested and well by the time we got back but unfortunately that wasn't the case. He was lying on the bed, pale as can be and in too much pain to sleep.

At this point I wasn't really sure what to do. I wasn't sure how sick he was so the only thing I could think to do was take the kids to the pool so he could have a chance to rest some more and hopefully sleep. We went through this cycle all day. I'd take the kids out for an hour or two, hoping hubby was finally getting some rest, only to come back and see he was in worse condition. I won't go into the gory details, but his body was definitely purging something at this point. By the time evening rolled around, I was just trying to keep the kids away so they wouldn't be alarmed.

This is my worst nightmare when it comes to being away from home. My son had an ear infection that had me taking him to the Emergency Room about two weeks before we left. I kept telling my husband how lucky we were that it happened before our trip so we didn't end up in the hospital while on vacation. And now I was faced with a sick husband without knowing what was wrong and should I take him to the hospital. Monday night was a bit nervous for me and hubby but we decided to wait and see how he felt Tuesday morning. I had already decided that if he didn't feel any better Tuesday that I would take him to the ER.

Let me tell you, my husband is one heck of a strong guy. After a miserable, pain filled day, he was up Tuesday morning ready to take the kids to Disneyland. I couldn't believe it. If it had been me, I would probably have been down for a week. But not my guy. He was so funny too. He kept telling me he wasn't 100%. He'd give me a run-down during the day saying he was about 70% or so. By Wednesday he assured me he was feeling at least 80% of normal. He even drove home.

Luckily my kids didn't even really know anything was wrong. They knew Daddy wasn't feeling well but we managed to keep them out of the room while he was really sick so they didn't have a clue as to how bad it was. So they got a trip to Disneyland and they get to remember it as a happy one. Not one spent in the Emergency Room. Thank God.

I am in awe of my husband.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Wow, no matter how far away they are, they can still screw things up for me

So I get an email from my mom this morning.


I get about one email a month from my mom. Generally they don't say much. I've gotten more info about what's going on with her and my dad in Thailand from the one phone call I got from my brother. But this time she decided to ask me why I haven't sent pictures to her.

The last email she sent she asked me to send pictures, specifically of my house. No mention of the kids. Naturally, I was suspicious. I figure my dad wants to see pictures of the house so he can pick out their bedroom. So without saying anything I just didn't send any pictures over. I did that because the whole non-acknowledgement thing is my mom's strategy. Whenever I ask her something she doesn't want to answer, she just ignores the question. I thought, okay, I'll do the same thing and put her on the spot. If she wants to know what's up, she's going to have to ask. And she never does that.

But she finally did. A day before we leave for Disneyland. Great timing mom.

So I had to tell her what's what. I had to tell her the stuff I found out about after they left. I had to tell her that I was offended they paid for a storage unit to store her clothes but left behind the stuff my brothers and I made for her as kids. I had to tell her that I'm not letting them stay here if they come back to the states.

This sucks.

I hate being in the position of having to lay all this out. I hate having to send off that email and potentially leave without knowing what kind of a reaction she's going to have to it. I hate that I will probably be mulling over this during my trip to Disneyland. I want to enjoy myself and I don't need any more of their B.S.

Why do my parents have to be such shits?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I Think it Would be Easier to Change the Name of the Island

I swiped this link from Furiousball

Lesbos islanders dispute gay name

Campaigners on the Greek island of Lesbos are to go to court in an attempt to stop a gay rights organisation from using the term "lesbian".

The islanders say that if they are successful they may then start to fight the word lesbian internationally. The issue boils down to who has the right to call themselves Lesbians.
Is it gay women, or the 100,000 people living on Greece's third biggest island - plus another 250,000 expatriates who originate from Lesbos?

The man spearheading the case, publisher Dimitris Lambrou, claims that international dominance of the word in its sexual context violates the human rights of the islanders, and disgraces them around the world. He says it causes daily problems to the social life of Lesbos's inhabitants.

Injunction sought

In court papers, the plaintiffs allege that the Greek government is so embarrassed by the term Lesbian that it has been forced to rename the island after its capital, Mytilini. An early court date has now been set for judges to decide whether to grant an injunction against the Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece and to order it to change its name.

A spokeswoman for the group has described the case as a groundless violation of freedom of expression, and has pledged to fight it. The term lesbian originated from the poet Sappho, who was a native of Lesbos. Sappho expressed her love of other women in poetry written during the 7th Century BC. But according to Mr Lambrou, new historical research has discovered that Sappho had a family, and committed suicide for the love of a man.

Jeez. Some people are so sensitive.