Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, the wheels of the train mocked me as I tried to play Risk on a mobile device – is it just me or are mobile devices a conspiracy by a secret order of Masonic Ophthamologists trying to destroy the vision of everyone, making them need eyeglasses, contacts and even eye surgery? Time will tell. Leaving Toronto aka The Glorious Chaos as my brother aptly named it, I paused to think of the large, cosmopolitan city – wild, weird, at times, woolly, but wonderful as well. The Glorious Chaos is actually a suitable description of life. Sadly, those with Autism, like my son, experience Toronto and life itself differently. To him, it’s loud, smelly, bright, and crowded. To him, it’s overwhelming, scary, just generally creepy. But he has to live in the real world – whatever that means these days, so when my son is in a ‘good place’ (not The Good Place, a new comedy with Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, funny but hardly seems sustainable), I try to do things with him, a kind of sensory diet.
After a lovely visit with my brilliant and funny family (I’m biased, but they’re actually as I describe), we headed home, watching Summer’s bright promise fade, the quilt of Autumn cover the land, nestling under our chins as we snuggle into Winter. At no time of the year is chaos more clear than Fall, Thanksgiving, and Halloween https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/28/monster-meet-and-greet-mash/ – especially Halloween, the most confusing holiday of all.
Children dress up, ignore their parents’ warnings (with encouragement) not to talk to strangers and instead go out in the dark to the homes of hundreds of strangers, begging for food. Adults also get in on the action, partying hard, many even wearing sexy costumes – angel, devil, nurse, vampire, ninja, cat, ninja cat, Frozen, Harley Quinn, Kylo Ren, Ken Bone, really, any ol’ Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter (oh yes, I borrowed and read J.K. Rowling/Jack Thorne/John Tiffany’s Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, no spoilers, but it had Harry Potter and a cursed child, shhh, you didn’t hear it from me; they did manage to slide Robert Pattinson from Twilight fame in there too – how convenient) and Hunger Games https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/ I guess they’re hoping for one night of the year, Cialis Doesn’t Live Here Anymore?
And nothing says Halloween (other than mini chocolate bars begging to be eaten) more than strange, spooky viewing, what should it be this year? The Addams Family https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/20/hide-and-shriek-with-the-addams-family/
It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/29/stuff-i-learned-from-its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/ and https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/19/religion-politics-and-the-great-pumpkin/
Twilight Zone, Z Nation, The X-Files https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/20/the-truth-is-still-out-there-2/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/02/26/exs-and-ohs/ The Rocky Horror Picture Show https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/25/the-rocky-horror-picture-show/
The Walking Dead (can you keep your eyes open for ‘it’?), Pet Sematary, The Munsters https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/21/my-fair-munster/
Practical Magic (the true magic is family and friends), Bewitched, Army of Darkness, Goosebumps, The Nightmare Before Christmas https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/19/the-nightmare-before-christmas/
Dracula, Young Frankenstein https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/28/young-frankenstein-2/, Halloweentown (was there any need to make more than one?), Simpsons Treehouse of Horror
Arsenic and Old Lace https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/25/arsenic-and-old-lace/, Friday the 13th https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/13/its-friday-the-13th-do-you-know-where-your-serial-killer-is/, The Shining…
Scooby Doo https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/31/the-mysterious-world-of-scooby-doo/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/22/all-the-ways-im-told-im-stupid-everyday/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/09/i-miss-saturday-morning-cartoons/
Beetlejuice https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/25/beetlejuice/, Casper, Edward Scissorhands https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/31/edward-scissorhands/
Buffy the Vampire Slayer https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/29/buffy-the-vampire-slayer/, Lost https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/25/lost/, Halloween – sigh, quit looking back, he’s still there – run! https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/
Aaaah, Thanksgiving (No turkey soup for you!!!), food coma aside (I even tried to avoid those little pushers at the mall – sure, they call themselves Girl Guides or Girl Scouts, they’re cute, but we know what they really are – you try to say no to cookies!), Thanksgiving should be everyday, a time to remember to be thankful – hopefully we know to be thankful for the right things. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/13/thankful-i-know-enough-to-be-thankful/
Still, there are some things I know for certain:
1. Always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder…if you want salt on your floor and shoulder.
2. With everyone texting and driving, for my part I welcome self-driving, computer cars – at least they won’t give me the finger (or will they?).
3. You don’t have the right to touch anyone without their permission…ever, did I mention ever?
4. Crossing paths with a black cat is dangerous…unless they’re doing something adorable, which is likely.
5. Pumpkin Spice it if you got it.
6. Make friends with the truth – it might be your best friend when no one else is.
7. Make decisions about people on their words and actions not their race, religion, country, political affiliations, sexual orientation, size, etc.
8. Comfortable shoes and chocolate are human rights, right?
9. Non-orange pumpkins used to seem weird, but lately orange things are scaring me.
10. Adam Lindsay Gordon got it right: “Life is mostly froth and bubble, Two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.”
11. Kiss my grits is making more sense to me every single day…
12. Fear is more contagious than any disease and stronger than any army.
13. Remembering, looking back, glamorizing the past – it seems better, more fun, easier, but maybe, just maybe, complicated and different doesn’t have to mean bad – exercise your brain, it’ll look better in yoga pants.
Oh and of course, show love whenever you can. Enjoy The Glorious Chaos.
Seeing is believing,
or is it believing is seeing?
Or not seeing is believing?
There are things we can’t see that we believe in, and things we can’t see we don’t believe in. How do we choose? I can’t see atoms, air, sunshine, germs, Wi-Fi, magic, ghosts, hope, despair, Santa, love, hate, vampires, cancer, pain, mental illness, God, aliens, pain, good, evil, a cat’s purr, microwaves, pollution, carbon monoxide, autism, a baby’s breath…
Should we assume none of these are real?
I can feel the sunshine on my skin, hear a cat’s purr, use the internet, witness the horror of cancer…Geez, at this point, I’m held together with the duct tape of atoms and hope.
If those things are real without being seen, why not the others?
It’s not the same in blogging, we have to be seen. But how?
1. You know those little bubbles in carbonated drinks, all fizzy, tickling the nose, and expanding the stomach? That’s blogging. It can be effervescent, pleasing, irritating, confounding, overwhelming, addictive. And while most of us don’t want to expand our stomachs, we do want to expand our readership. If you’re just doing it for yourself, that’s great, but then why do it online, why not in a journal or diary?
2. Don’t fixate on number of views. Blog as often as you and your readers enjoy. Do it for the fun of it, for money (stupid question, money is a necessary evil), fame, a book deal, movie deal (I just had an image of who might portray me in the movie of my life, Helena Bonham Carter? No, probably Mindy Cohn).
3. The internet is a giant virtual haystack and yes, in this analogy, you are the needle, I am the needle, more specifically, our blogs are the needles. Shift around the haystack – you can’t expect to just ‘be found’, or find others.
Look for blog parties/linky parties/blog shares…
Jason – https://aopinionatedman.com/
Janice – http://mostlyblogging.com/
Danny – http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Elena – http://www.livingwithbatman.com/
Vicky – http://www.singlemotherahoy.com/
April – https://diapersandtutus.wordpress.com/
Read, share, like, comment. And blog engagement groups/boards are rampant on Facebook and Pinterest. Twitter is overflowing with hashtag days (Suzie https://suzie81speaks.com/ gets us trending every Sunday with #SundayBlogShare – the lovely ladies at http://honeyquill.com/ give us #LinkYourLife – there’s also #MondayBlogs #TuesdayShares #wwwblogs #BeWoW #bluskyfriday #ArchiveDay #WeekendBlogShare).
Don’t just attend, participate.
4. Spread your blogging wings! Search out other bloggers, not just on their blogs, but follow them into the depths of the social media catacombs…
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Where I’m baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The dark hole where I lose hours of my life: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google (seriously, not nearly as fun as it sounds): https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
Yet another place to bloglove: https://www.bloglovin.com/people/donnaparker10-6312637
5. Your readers won’t always ‘get’ what you’re blogging about or agree. Some will be disinterested, some downright rude…Keep wandering through the blogging desert (or dessert) and you’ll find the awesome ones, astounding ones, generous ones, hopeful ones, ones that inspire, ignite, and make you overjoyed you ever heard the term, blogging.
6. Blogging is about being part of something, otherwise you’d just sit alone typing…and we’ve seen the movies – that can either lead to a bestseller…or murder.
7. Pay no attention to all blogging advice behind the curtain…Blog your way today. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/05/12/i-cant-make-you-love-me/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/26/the-phantom-of-the-blogging-tips/
As a young child I believed many things, if I watched a movie again the ending might change, or the money I put in the bank would be the exact same money I’d get out…my Mom, who worked at the credit union at the time had the delightful task of teaching me this life lesson when I wanted my ‘lucky’ quarter from my account. Oops.
Now, older, wiser, I may not believe what I used to believe, or have to see to believe; I may not always know what to believe, but I still want to believe. What about you?
In the dusty sanctuaries of erudition (cooler word than knowledge, which is sooo five centuries ago)… black and white, truth and lies live comfortably, side by side, lined up…we, elbow to elbow, heads bent, allow worlds to cascade around us. ‘Take us home,’ they whisper seductively, promising to reveal all their secrets.
Within the walls of a bookstore or library it’s clear what’s fiction and what’s non-fiction.
In the real world, not so much.
Some of you, dear readers might be aware it’s Autism Awareness Month. You may have Autism; know those who live with it; love those who live with it who you can’t live without; or know those you don’t even know are on the Autism Spectrum. Still with me? Good. Reading Me Being Me Is Exactly As Insane As You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy (Simon Pulse) – we’ll get to the title in a minute – had me thinking of Autism’s infinite variety, as well as the still surprising amount of intolerance in the world.
12 things I thought about while reading this novel:
2. The title is too long…oops, I’m one to talk.
3. The main character, a teen named Darren seems to be on the Autism Spectrum.
4. Part way through the book, I realized I had read other works by this author and felt a ‘doh’ moment. It passed.
5. The writing was accessible, appealing, and made me want to read more, yet around page 400 I found it was dragging and even I was growing tired of lists (is that even possible?).
6. Made me remember high school…Actually, I might be thinking of Glee, I don’t remember my high school having that much singing (luckily, this book doesn’t either).
7. Parents should care about themselves by caring for their children.
8. I wanted to buy Darren some ice cream and tell him, ‘O-o-h child things are gonna get easier. O-o-h child things’ll get brighter.’ I have this Five Stairsteps song in my head, I blame Guardians of the Galaxy.
10. Different can be bad or good, so much depends on intention and perception.
11. It might be comforting to tell someone things will get easier, brighter, or better, but it’s not always true. One of the best things to say is, ‘things are ok right now’. If that’s not true either, then, yes, by all means, say things are going to get easier, brighter, or better.12. I love books. I love free books in a different way. Refer to #10 and in this case, different is good.
What motivates us?
I’m sure the answer is different for everyone.
Praise. Power. People. Passion. Puzzles.
Possessions. Prestige. Punishment.
Pleasure. Position. Politics. Possibilities.
I know what my motivation is to eat Benedict Cumberbatch, that is, the life-size chocolate statute of Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously, there’s now a 40kg Belgian chocolate replica of most everyone’s favourite Aspergian detective, because he was chosen as #1 dishiest UK actor in a survey. David Tennant was the runner-up. Oh I don’t know, that would be a tough call. Can I have both? Er, in chocolate?
Today is Autism Awareness Day worldwide, and those on the Autism Spectrum have often been called, differently motivated. Too many people don’t (or choose not to) understand this. Their theory seems to be if you aren’t motivated by something they can understand then you must be: stupid, lazy, defective, foolish, or a loser. Intolerance shows itself in varied ugly forms.
We’re still in the beginning stages of a long journey to try to get people to understand Autism. It’s a neurological difference. Things changed, doesn’t mean it’s terrible or catastrophic.
Some things we used to believe:
Some thought the Earth was flat (those are called pancakes).
If an elevator is falling, jump up (you’ll just hit the ceiling).
Putting sugar in a gas tank ruins the car (still not a good idea).
Spontaneous generation from inanimate objects (er, no, just no).
The human body is made up of four humors – black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood (some days I wonder).
A duck’s quack doesn’t echo (it does, it does, it does).
Dropping a penny off a high building could kill someone (how about a quarter?).
Quicksand sucks you under (only in the movies).
Earth revolves around the Sun (you’re not our only friend, Sun).
we’re the center of the Universe (actually, a lot of people still believe that they’re the center of the Universe).
My son, who is the center of my Universe has Asperger’s. He’s differently motivated, but that’s not always a bad thing. He doesn’t succumb to peer pressure. He doesn’t believe everything he reads or sees – he questions. He doesn’t worship at the altar of consumerism. He thinks outside the box, actually, I’m not even sure he knows there is a box.
So whether you celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, and/or Easter – all the best!
Viva la difference!
Last night, as I checked on my beautiful boy, now so grown up, I noted again that time has raced by yet he still looks like my baby when he’s asleep.
Having a child with Autism, those sleep times give you some much-needed downtime and perhaps, a curious understanding of time and dimension, hmm, or maybe that’s too many years of Doctor Who.
In this frenzied world, we need more compassion, appreciation, and hope; less rushing, lies, and bullying. Maybe we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, but I hope we can at least notice the roses are there.
The best time to take a deep breath is when there’s no time. At the end of your life, I doubt you’ll look back and think, thank goodness I spent my life like a hamster on a wheel, that was sooo fulfilling.
Stop flogging yourself for mistakes. They happen. Learn from them. So you write or say the wrong thing. Fall in love with the wrong person. Press the wrong button and start a nuclear war, ok, that example is pretty much the worst mistake ever, try not to do that one. Time moves forward for a reason, so should you.
Don’t reject someone because you’ve had a bad experience either. That experience taught you something, it had a purpose.
Fall apart once in a while. You’re not always “fine”. Sometimes it’s fine not to be fine.
Trying to be someone you’re not is like trying to hide a dinosaur in your bedroom, it’s too big, smelly, messy, and extinct. Why be someone else, they’re already doing it.
If we have time to shop, play games, check the internet, go on vacation, go out to dinner, we can spare 5 minutes to vote. An hour to volunteer or help someone. We can’t make a difference if we don’t at least try.
Instead of thinking about what you don’t want to happen, think about what you do want to happen.