Monthly Archives: February 2012

Vintage vs vacccines

So I had this whole other post idea brewing about vaccines and Dr. Wakefield and how pissed I was that I practically had a panic attack at Benji’s annual check-up where he recieved his third and final installment of the dreaded MMR.  Not that he’s EVER had a reaction to ANY vaccine he ever had.  Oh, well, he took a long nap once, but I’m sure that had more to do with the raging meltdown he had in protest to the shot itself rather than the actual thing–but we’ll never really know, will we?  But when the doctor told me that he was in line to get that shot today, I forgot the fact that Benji stood for the eye test for the first time, ALMOST did the hearing test, let the doctor examine him without issue (except for the testicle check–but hey, can you blame him?) and is meeting or exceeding all growth and weight charts, yada yada yada.  Nope.  I heard “MMR” and panicked.  FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN IRRATIONAL FEAR.

(Now of course I don’t mean to say that people who choose not to vaccinate because of this fear are irrational.  That is their choice, and well, it’s their choice–that’s really all I have to say about that.  But my kid has had no reactions, EVER, so my fear [and mine alone in this instance] is frankly, irrational)

So, as I left the office, my lil man still snifflin a little from the stinging shots, and with a pack of fresh stickers in his grubby little fingers,  and my heart rate returning to normal, I began forming a blog post in my head to discuss how I felt, and how common it is among parents, blah blah blah.

But THAT topic got waylaid in the Trader Joe’s parking lot.

Ok.  I normally wear this jacket on cold days like today:

It’s a vintage-style groundskeeper jacket from a company called Ebbet’s Field–who specializes in vintage baseball stuff–mostly from the Negro leagues.  It’s awesome, albeit expensive stuff.  So when a great sale came along a few years ago, my Old Man picked up the above,  and also one for him from the Hawaii Islanders:

I’ve worn my jacket for a few years now with nary a comment.  Until today.

Some old lady–we’ll call her Madame Incredulous–called me over to her after I got Ben out of the car.

“Is that real?”  she asked.

Honestly, I thought she was asking about my truck–a Ford hybrid–which is more often the topic of engagement in parking lots.  And yes, she looked that old that maybe these new fangled hybrid vehicles still confuse her a tad.

But then she pointed to my jacket.  So I’m thinking–oh, maybe she thinks it’s ACTUAL vintage.  Like she might have been around when the originals were worn.  Ok, she wasn’t THAT old, but  that picklepuss was damn close.  So I informed her it was a replica.

“But that just sounds horrible–ASYLUM!”

Uh-oh.  “Well,” I began carefully, “that was the name of the orphanage that sponsered the purchase of these jackets at the time.  You know–these guys were groundskeepers for the New York Black Yankees, in the Negro leagues. ”  *nervous smile*

“Well, was it a reputable establishment?  Did they treat the children well?  Asylum just sounds so horrible.”

Well, fuck.

“I don’t really know, ma’am. ”

It’s not like I was on the board of trustees or spooning out gruel at lunchtime…But, here’s an idea–let’s think back to all the orphanage stories you’ve ever heard?  Any of them good?  then this one prolly wasn’t a peach either!

[Of course, that thought got me to go look them up–and lo and behold, there was a Wikipedia entry and everything.  And it musta been alright since NOT ONE KID died during the Spanish influenza outbreak of 1918.  Take THAT, you old cow.

AND–it went out of business because of a crappy business deal with the YANKEES–yet another reason to hate them.  The Yankees, I mean

And seriously, I just came across a book title called: The Luckiest Orphans: A History of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York


Meanwhile, her husband–Herr Gigglemachen–was smiling at me fondly the entire time, which–along with the presence of my child, and a general respect for elders–kept me from rolling my eyes TOO much.  I don’t know why he was so happy.  General outlook on life, a respect for vintage-like materials, watching his wife get her irish up, who knows?  All I know is that he was having a great time while she was turning purple with outrage.

“I just don’t think that is appropriate to wear that out in public.  It just seems offensive.”

Oh really? IS offensive or SEEMS offensive–because i think we can all agree that these are two totally different arguments

“Well, ma’am, I’ve never had anyone say anything about it for two years, until today.  Perhaps most folks just see it as a piece of nostalgia.  I’ll certainly think on what you’ve said”

I KNOW, right?  who the fuck possessed me at that moment?

“Well, I hope it keeps you warm!” and with a “harumph” strode away with Herr Gigglemachen in tow.  He never stopped smiling during the entire exchange.

And I forgot all about my ire at Andrew Wakefield.

So now I know a bit more about this awesome ASYLUM, and the good works they did to help not only orphans, but widows and abandonded women, and yes, Madame, that knowledge does, in fact, keep me QUITE warm.

Categories: Autism, Snark | 7 Comments

The Most Interesting Boy In Class

So the other day during lil man’s IEP, we got to listen to the teacher wax romantically about how popular our son is in class.  To which I just grinned and smiled.

But apparently, it’s not the typical pretty-boy popularity.  No–when he’s absent, the kids ask, “Where is Benji?”  All day, it seems.  Without him, they have no one to fawn over.

He is, *announcer voice*  The Most Interesting Boy in Class.

I guess whatever he chooses to do during free time, the other kids gravitate over to him to do it too. He chooses “high preference toys.”   Oh, Benji’s playing with trains?  Well lemme drop this finger paint RIGHT NOW.  Oh, we’re on to bikes?  Well, lemme ignore the fact that i am missing a shoe.

He is, *announcer voice*  The Most Interesting Boy in Class.

He’s also got a lil girlfriend:  Isabeau.  She’s adorable and small and I hear Benji is very protective of her.  And his buddy Max, who is also small. (which warms my heart–cause there is one thing this boy is not, and that’s small.  He’s gonna be a BEAST one day.  Nice to know he’s got an internal cuddly bear inside) He also likes to hold hands with Isabeau.  Alltogether now… AWWWWWW.

He is, *announcer voice*  The Most Interesting Boy in Class.

My husband and i have been making up our own commercial scripts for this all weekend.  It has definitely made us giggle.  Benji just looks on like we’re crazy.  I guess we are not, in relation, “The Most Interesting Parents in this House”

Categories: Autism, Snark | 6 Comments

Dun dun DUNHHHH!

You guessed it.  Today is our IEP.  And not just any IEP, mind.  The kindergarten transfer IEP. It makes a Bruce Willis movie look like a walk in the park…

(shouting over the sounds of chaos and machine gun fire) For the Love of God, PREPARE YOURSELF!!

I’ve been preparing for this day for a while now, writing down my list of questions, practicing my game face and thinking of ways to dispose of bodies if necessary.  And i actually have a GOOD IEP team.

THE. BINDER. (and he’s not even in kindergarten yet!)

I get so ramped up about these things.  But, if you think about it–how can i not?  It’s what we all we Special Needs Moms talk about:  “when is your IEP?  How did your IEP go?  Are you taking an advocate?  Have you put together your binder?  What are you wearing?”  It’s like finals all over again.  I mean, this is a plan that will lay out the first glimpse that those in power will have of my son, and dictate HOW and WHEN he will be taught.  I am only now beginning to understand why his teacher always starts off her report remarking on how sweet and affectionate my son is.  It’s like a big flag to a stranger:  PAY ATTENTION TO THIS KID!!

(or maybe its the teaspoon of sugar to help you deal with this screaming tantrums of doom? Thanks, Mary Poppins)

I was having a pre-IEP talk with a good friend of mine–a spec. ed. teacher herself [and yes, the pre-talk is almost ALWAYS necessary] and i confessed that my biggest fear here isn’t their plan or proposals.  I’ve had a preview and i like–but  this will, for all intents and purposes, be the last meeting with this team.  He will be offered a HFA [high functioning autism] class at a different school as his current school does not offer this class, with a new team of therapists, teachers (well–THAT change was expected) and administrators. We’re talking a new set of office staff to charm in order to find out who REALLY has the power at the school.  Look, i’ve only got so much charm to go around.

For the past two year, i have been the lucky one.  I have been blessed enough to have a team that a) LISTENS to me and b) considers and usually adopts my suggestions.  They put up the usual district road-blocks when they have to, but usually give in knowing that i am 1) not talking out of my ass and 2) really not going to back down.  It helps too that they know i was once on the other side of the desk, and am KEENLY aware of how the district operates. [insert knowing glance and raised eyebrow]

So, not only will Kindergarten be a new and frightening experience for Ben, it’s gonna be a nail-biter for me as well.  So far i’ve been assertive but kind.  I really wanna keep that up.  But [cynic that i am] i often imagine the worst, and it’s gonna be SUPER hard for me to walk into a new situation and maintain any optimism.

I am currently at code blue.  But i feel like i’ve got yellow or orange in my back pocket.  My defense in most situations involving possible conflict is to bring baked goods.  And my husband.  They both contain the right amount of punch when needed. *ahem*

Categories: Autism | 5 Comments

The Anti-Bucket List

So, I’m a Pinterest whore.  This is not a mystery.  Pinterest is like porn for a crafter.  But not only are awesomely simple and amazingly beautiful craft links (on which I will never follow through) available, there are also funny pics, words of wisdom, wedding ideas, –pretty much anything a gal would want to spend hours poring over in the middle of the night.  So yeah–you guys have big titty girls and I have Prada bags and how to make your own febreeze. 3am is calling.

Anywhores, I’ve seen this trend of people posting their bucket list ideas–actually someone ELSE’S bucket list ideas that they saw and went, “yeah, I wanna do that TOO!” –never planning to jump out of a plane or climb Everest, but wanting to seem cool to all their followers.

Well–this crap has been clogging up my boards, and its annoying me.

See, I’ve never been a fan of bucket lists.  I mean, if you wanna do something, do it.  Why make a list?  Then your bucket list includes:  Do all things on my bucket list–and it becomes this circular thing.

Here’s an idea: LIVE.

That said, however, all this attention to silly things one does before they die has made me keenly aware that there are a number of things I would NOT want to do before I die.  So as a personal reminder to myself, and possibly others, I give you Anti-Bucket List:

Before I die, I hope to never:

1.  Attend a Justin Bieber/Katy Perry/[insert annoying teen pop artist here] concert.  Not at least without doing acid.

2.  Be burned at the stake

3.  Enter a career in waste management

4.  Inseminate pigs–EVEN for the sake of more bacon.

5.  Contract dysentary.  In a third world country.

6.  Vote Republican

7.  Eat a local delicacy.  ANYWHERE.

8. Base Jump or any activity involving jumping off a perfectly good bridge/building/hydroelectric dam.  It isn’t that i am not a “thrill seeker”–i am just not much of a “life-risker.”

9.  Breed champion African violets.

10. Sell anything door to door or at a card table outside of Ralphs.

11.  Get circumsized

12.  Get a full face tattoo.(this does NOT include getting matching face tattoos with Mike Tyson–cause that sounds kinda cool.)

13. Practice world champion streaking in Barrow Alaska

14.  Work in a fiberglass factory

15.  Proselytize door to door. (see #10)

16.  Help a stranger wipe.

17.  Organize and videotape an orgy at the local senior center.

18. Produce Gweneth Paltrow’s next album:  Duets with Snookie

19.  EVER watch an “auditions” episode of American Idol.

20.  Deal with any asshat who has zero empathy.

That’s just my top 20, really.  Lord knows if i sat on the toilet long enough thought more about it, i could come up with a dozen more.  But this list ought to keep me out of trouble for now.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Categories: Mama Kat's writing workshop, Snark | 7 Comments

Home sick

so i’m home takin care of a sick squirt today–and by taking care i mean letting him watch You-Tube videos while i troll.

So i figured i would jump on the bandwagon and make a meme.  enjoy.

Categories: Snark | 5 Comments

SOC Sunday: I Still Don’t Get It

#SOCsundayI was a teacher of Social Studies.  World and American History.  Economics and Government.  It was (IS!) a topic i loved.  I once had students make fun of me because i was so hyped up about the Declaration of Independence.  Hell, it makes me weepy sometimes, the sheer bravery and eloquence of the document.

I’ve posted before about not understanding the absolute hate and vitriol posted by some who are ideologically and pollitically opposite of me.  SO i’m not gonna do THAT again.

But this has been buggin me.

When did being an intellectual and a learned person become a sin?  Why is it that politicians have to HIDE the fact that they are educated?

I was raised to believe that the things that made a person good was honesty, a strong work ethic, and KNOWLEDGE.  Yes, i want a politician that is in touch with the needs of the “common man”–but so too do i want one who can read and analyze the scholars of our day and form an INFORMED OPINION based on knowledge and not just “what he feels” (or dare i say, what someone TOLD him he should believe)

I am seeing people supporting politicians who are hateful, racist, bigoted people.  With evidence.  And people are brushing their statements aside as if to say–“well, that’s unfortunate, but gosh i like his foreign policy”


I am not a conservative, so i am watching this as an outsider, if you will.  I get that the choice of candidates is  less than desireable.  But if a bigot is nominated, what does that tell the RNC?

I taught my students that they have a voice.  They grew up in an environment/neighborhood where that voice was continually crushed on a daily basis. I railed at them to make sure they were heard.

But when asshats take the center stage, i don’t know what is angering me more–that they get all the attention, or that others are not rising up in outrage.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 4 Comments

Wordless Wednesday: Spring in my kitchen

violets growing in my Aerogarden…

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments