Monthly Archives: May 2012

Is It Gift GIVING or Isn’t It?

So, it’s that time of the year again–end of the school year means teacher gifts.

When I taught, it was middle and high school, so I almost never got any gifts.  I was actually shocked the first time I got one because I didn’t expect it.  Over the years I would get knick-knack or two, a pile of post-its, sometimes the ubiquitous Starbucks card.  All of which were sweet and appreciated.  I remember being genuinely touched that a student (or more likely his parent) would think of me at the end of the year.  Yes, some of them were stinky candles and stuffed animals that I will admit hit the garage sale table later in life, but EVERY ONE OF THEM was appreciated.  It warmed my heart–which we all know is a cold unfeeling thing.  It made me regret flunking some of them.  SOME.

Anyway, I’ve seen a few blog and FB posts about what NOT to get teachers for gifts, and I have to say it bugged me a little.   I am bothered that there seems to be this idea of the “wrong gift”

Gift giving, in my book is a selfless thing.  I am not giving gifts to Ben’s teachers (and aides, and therapists…) out of OBLIGATION, but because I want to thank them for working so well with my child and helping him grow, not only academically but socially.  The boy leaving their charge is NOT the same boy who entered it.  Sure he still struggles with transitions, and Goddess only knows when he will EVER go pee-pee in the potty, but he speaks now, and communicates, and TRIES.  These 2.5 years of preschool have really worked wonders on him.  And those ladies need to know how grateful I am.

So, I dislike it when someone comes along and dictates what I am supposed to give these lovely ladies.  Or anyone for that matter.  Because this is a gift from me–something I want them to have.

I really dislike this philosophy that seems to be growing that giving something to someone has rules.  That it must be from a list, or something that the person dictates that they want.  That’s not gift giving–that’s fulfilling a shopping list.  Yes, I’m sure Ben’s teachers and aides and therapists would LOVE gift cards or straight up cash.  and in the past I have given that.  And may give it again this year.  But not because it’s what I SHOULD give them.  I am also giving them some handmade goods–because that is how I express my gratitude to others, by MAKING them something.  Does everyone appreciate it?  prolly not–but that’s not my problem.  I myself cherish every handmade item ever given to me because it is a gift of time and creativity and (dare I say it) thoughtful prayer.

But this isn’t about handmade vs. cash.  This is about gift-giving.  As I see it, a gift is something that comes from your heart.  Yes, it may be store bought, and yes, it may be something someone has expressed a desire to have.  But it is not something to be checked off a list.  It is not something to be sneered at because it isn’t as expensive as other things, or as “useful” as some would want it to be.  Yes, these things may end up at a garage sale a year later.  But when I give something, I relinquish all ownership of it when it is given, and while it may sting that someone sells my hand-knit cap, I know that I gave it with thought and love.  I am not responsible for how the other person receives it–only for how I present it.  If they wanna regift it, who cares?   If they use it to line their birdcages, well, then at least it has garnered some usefulness.  And if they wanna barter it for sex, well then, who am I to judge? Are there crappy gifts given? OF COURSE THERE ARE.  we’ve all been on the receiving end of a gift that made us cringe.  But if you cannot see  and appreciate that someone took the time and effort to give you something, then that, in my honest and snarky opinion, is a deficiency on your part, NOT THEIRS.

I cannot dictate gratitude, nor can I control or change others.  So all I can go is give something from my heart, with thoughtfulness and love, and hope that it is appreciated.

That said, I plan on giving Ben’s teacher, and aides, and therapists lovely little spa bags with some homemade goodies,  and a tearful thank-you card, and perhaps a gift card or two if I can swing the finances.

And? I get lovely thank you cards  from them EVERY TIME.

Don’t let others dictate your gift-giving.  Otherwise it just isn’t a gift.

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So, before i list my five, i just have to give a shout-out to the Klonopin Chronicles for this little idea of listing our gratefulness on such a blessed day as Tuesday.  And for making me laugh my ass off, generally, every day.

The list is hard today.  It feels like the house is rebelling against us and breaking down in every way imaginable.  Ok, not EVERY way–but that’s how it feels.


1.  that i have a house to live in, busted pipes or no, and that we can afford to pay a mortgage that will be finished in less than 4 years. (daily mantra when i get tired of budgeting:  just 4 more years.  just 4 more years…)

2.  Holidays and time with the family.

3.  begrudgingly early mornings that allow me to sip coffee, read blogs, post my own shit sometimes, and listen to birdsong.  Even in the heat of summer, it’s the coolest part of the day, and i rarely have to turn on the air.

4.  resourcefulness. Even without the ability to use my kitchen sink, i was able to cook some yumminess.  I mean, it wasn’t foie gras or shit, but i made chocolate pudding bitches–FROM SCRATCH.  Made me feel all pioneery and shit.  except for the whole microwave using and refrigeration… *ahem*

5.  A husband who is the best gift receiver.  My husband has this ability to make you think the gift you give him is the best goddamned thing he’s ever recieved in his life.  EVER.  He is a grateful gift reciever.  Even if you gave him a stuffed monkey butler, or an ashtray made from a pig’s ass, he would say (and mean) “that’s SO AWESOME!” its a skill i try to have (but fail at–really?  ANOTHER sweater?) and it’s nice when i am the gift giver.  we just celebrated our anniversary, and he recieved his gift (a wooden Tiki and an iron turtle) with much fanfare and graciousness.  As far as i am concerned he LOVES them and will put them in a place of honor.

Even amidst hardship, it ain’t hard to come up with 5.  give it a shot!

Categories: Grati-Tuesday | 1 Comment

Special Needs Ryan Gosling

If only…


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Wordless Wednesday

“Don’t look now, but something is TOUCHING me”

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Ok.  Imma jump on the gratitude train.  because LORD KNOWS I can complain with the best of them. Its an art form, really.  BUt as I scrabble out of this FUNK I have been in, I figured it couldn’t hurt to list some gratefulness.

I Am Grateful…

1. That my son continues to grow and improve.  I try to live in the HERE AND NOW and not look too far in the future–BUT, at this rate, mainstream doesn’t seem like a far-fetched idea.

2.  Being at home.  Sure, finances are tight, but I can work from home and be here for the therapy he needs to help with #1.  And its taught me to value what I do have, and the spirit of resourcefulness.

3.  6 years of marriage come Monday.  He’s got his moments… 😉

4.  a pound down. May not be much, but it’s something.

5.  Morning snuggles with this face:


What are you grateful for?

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Sometimes You Just Need Some Sam Jackson

So a friend posted this on FB this morning:


And I loved it instantly–as I normally do all things Sam Jackson.  He is my hero–and by hero, of course, I mean the characters he tends to portray:  the  foul mouthed no nonsense “I didn’t ask you a GODDAMN thing” kind of person.

So, as I have a few newbies, I thought I would repost a previous blogs share as to why I love Sam so much…

March 15, 2011

The Perfect Weapon

So, I’ve noticed a number of “hey jackass, shut up. My kid has autism” entries in the bloggy world lately. I suppose now that the snow is thawing, so are people’s manners, or lack thereof, so a few friends have had some not-so-pleasant encounters lately. I had one particularly good rant here a while back, but have since learned to just drink more and hold my tongue.
So I was talking to the Old Man about it yesterday, this prevalence of “you’re an eejit” posts, because he particularly liked Jen’s idea over at Living Life with a Side of Autism, about handing out cards to these selfsame asshats who feel they need to comment when your kid chooses to have a meltdown in the cereal aisle at Ralph’s. Just a simple card with the words: “My kid has autism. Don’t be a douche.” Then, because its’ the way he works, the Old Man said the same words in the voice of Samuel L Jackson–and my genius idea was born.What we need is an instant smoke bomb/Samuel L Jackson for situations like that. Imagine if you will…Little Billy has decided that the fact that all the cereal is not fronted properly, the coffee section looks like sasquatch has rolled through on a caffeine binge, and there are far too many poptarts on the SHELF and not in his MOUTH. Commence screaming. No amount of cajoling will help. Hell, even opening a box of poptarts, tearing through the mylar like a Weight Watcher’s member after meeting her lifetime goal, and presenting the sugary goodness that only red dye #4 can create doesn’t even scratch the surface. Your child can be heard over in produce, in the bakery, over by the Lottery Machine that no one even uses. Looks are cast. Guilt begins to set in. You want to crawl into a hole–preferably a sound-proof one with a full bar. You notice a few Frowny McWaggles whispering over by the oatmeal. And then Linda McSupermom and her brats Haley and Piper try to look like they are just nonchalantly buying some all natural no preservative pistachio flavored cereal, while they comment JUST LOUDLY ENOUGH that “that little boy doesn’t know how to behave in the grocery”

Ok. A saint would take a moment to educate this person on what Autism looks like, and how the sensory overload of the cereal aisle is sometimes too much for little Billy. A normal adult would either mutter under her breath and move on, or confront the lady and then refuse to make a statement as to how Linda got a black eye.

Here’s where my invention comes in. When you find yourself in this situation, you just pull the S. L. Jackson bomb out and throw it on the ground. Amidst the smoke appears Sam Jackson, in whatever role is needed for this situation. Example:

If people are just staring, if could be Mace Windu and his purple light-saber. A calming influence who would use the Jedi mind trick to fool the weak-minded into thinking you were never really there, and that they actually saw Jar-Jar-Binks over in dairy.

If you are facing the “Pick a little talk a little” ladies just starting to build steam, you might need Gator Purify from Jungle Fever to throw their coupons on the floor and start swearing on God and 4 white people. A sure-fire way to scatter suburban women in a heartbeat.

If that same group of ladies is starting to get bold, and look like they are going to try to offer you some advice or a lecture on effective parenting from the 1950’s involving spanking, grounding or electric shock, there is always Neville Flynn from Snakes on a Plane, to just start shouting about these Mother Fuckin’ People in this Mother Fuckin Store, and it should clear rather quickly.

Then of course, there is the ultimate: the Jules. And once he appears, curls and all, you will KNOW you are about to receive some judgement. It will be quite clear he is not there to give anyone a foot massage. And of course I don’t mean the Jules that decides he wants to be a wanderer while he delicately eats a blueberry muffin and eschews all pig products. I mean the “I don’t remember asking you a GODDAMN THING” Jules, who is about to open up a can of biblical whoop-ass on ANYONE who doubts his sincerity.

Of course, using the Jules is a one-time deal. Once you do, it would be a good idea to never enter that store again, no matter if they double coupons or have a sale on string cheese. You may wont to consider just moving to a new city. Or using the grocery delivery from Vons.

All in all, I think it would be an effective way to exit without issue, and without getting arrested for battery. And I doubt those women would ever trouble another anxious overworked parent again. So consider it a social duty. With cursing.

Categories: Autism, Snark | 3 Comments

Wordless Wednesday

would you look at this nonsense?

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Wordless Wednesday

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I’m Looking For…

So, like anyone running a blog, you take time every once in a while to check out the search feature. You know–the words people type into Google when they somehow run across your blog. A lot of mine make sense: funny mother’s day, Ryan Gosling Special NEeds, Stabby, autism resources–these are all things I address or have used pictures to discuss. And, to be honest, I’m sure most of these searches are for the pics–just like my searches for those same pics.

But a few always stand out. This last month is not exception.

I had 2 hits on “i don’t always masturbate”. huh. I guess when they don’t, they need something to do. Why not read my blog? It’s hardly masturbatory material, but it might be a nice change of pace when the lotion bottle runs dry.

1 hit on “kool-aid joke”. OH YEAH.

2 hits on “happy orphans from asylums”. I suppose my kid DOES look like someone from the cast of Oliver!–and those kids break into song and shit, so they must be happy.

1 hit on “nothing feels better than waking up to a bestie’s face”. I’ve tried. I have NO idea what that means.

1 hit on “troll meme what is porn mama” I don’t know about you, but in my head I’m hearing:

but seeing this:


And finally, 1 hit on “man told me he likes floozies…is that intended toward me”. If you are wearing a tube top and drinking a wine cooler, then yes. Yes it is.

Categories: Autism, Snark | 5 Comments

A Musing

I haven’t really written anything in a while.  I mean, other than a few memes, I’ve really been absent.  Not even phoning it in.

Honestly?  completely and utterly overwhelmed.  By nothing in particular and everything in general.

I feel useless.  I feel fat.  I feel tired.  I feel uncreative.  I feel uninspired.  I feel like everything around me just keeps on moving and I’m stuck in a big bowl of pudding–and not a good flavor either.  Like pistachio or some shit.

(seriously–why is that even a flavor?)

well, lets find the trigger, shall we?

1)  Autism therapies will be covered by insurance staring July 1.  Which means everything that the Regional Center did will now be done by me and I think a girl at the agency who supplies our ABA therapist.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  SHE doesn’t know what we’re doing, our doctor had never HEARD of this and suddenly she has to write treatments and prescriptions,  and you can surely bet that  Anthem sure as hell don’t know what they’re doing other than keeping that bottom dollar firmly stapled down.  And I live in this constant fear that someone is gonna come look at my kid-who has improved by LEAPS AND BOUNDS due to this therapy, as have my own parenting and coping skills, and say that he doesn’t need it and take it away. And that I will have to fight AGAIN to get him something other than the sad services supplied by the over-extended school system, to whom sometimes I think Ben is just a body filling a seat and bringing in that per student $$.

It’s kind-of crippling, this fear.

2) Ben starts kinder in the fall.  And frankly the amount of paperwork and fucking medical information I have to give is setting me on edge.  It feels invasive.  And I’m not one who’s all private and secretive.  But I’m a little bothered by the PACKET of info I have to provide.  And–another honesty–when I go in, we will no doubt have to go through the questions and the confusion about his iep AGAIN, like the last time, and then I will be told about the program that I have already investigated AGAIN, and be introduced to the teacher, whom I met with for said investigation, AGAIN and I suppose I am tired of having to FUCKING EXPLAIN MYSELF and my son.  and I’m tired because I know this will HARDLY be the last time.  HARDLY.  And I’m wondering why they don’t have a special liaison to handle this instead of the school secretary who is not going to LISTEN to me but rather ASSUME (as she has done before) and then READ and say “oh”.  It’s exhausting, this ferris wheel.  exhausting.

In the grand scheme of things, I know I don’t have it bad.  I live in a beautiful home.  And with some budgeting and frugal living, I can stay home and work with Ben and his therapists as we bombard him with treatment. I am not alone in this, with a husband working hard to help Ben all he can, and to keep our marriage working and thriving.   I have a son who is on the higher functioning end of the spectrum, so I’m not dealing with half the shit with which some of my sistas-in-arms are dealing.  I am able to get some “me” time most days of the week.  For all this I am grateful.  GRATEFUL.

So then I feel like a heel when I sound like a whiny lil BITCH and “oh wah wah wah, I have to fill out forms and I have to deal with stupid people”

And I don’t want to write about it here–because that feels like the greatest exercise in narcissism, and I feel like an emo teen all over again with all these emotions threatening to overwhelm and no way to really express it without sounding like an ungrateful child.  So I don’t.  And then the blog goes dormant.  And then the only hits I’m getting are from spambots and their porn and prescription drug scams…

Yes, pills.  Yes exercise.  yes, spirituality.  YES YES YES. I know.  I do.


Sitting here, writing this, thinking about my feelings, I am realizing the last time I felt like this.  The year Barack Obama ran for President.  And the vitriol and the hate and the stupidity and the general malaise that IS an election year was hard.  I remember telling a friend how much I hoped he would win–but that it worried me, the amount of hatred that followed him. I remember looking at my friend, an African-American woman, and our boys–born about the same time, mine not yet diagnosed, and really worrying for her safety, and the world within which our boys were supposed to thrive.  Would they grow up and not even see one another’s skin color?  Would it even be an issue? And she was calm as rain, and just as soothing.  And she told me not to worry.  And I figured she was crazy, but that there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about that or the state of politics, and I let it go.  And Obama won.  And people are still crazy. And my kid likes all sorts of kids.

I need to stop watching Mad Men.  Because watching these women struggle, and those men have mid life crises, in an election year is seriously threatening my stability.  Even though i LURVE looking at all the couture syles ans it  HAS inspired me to make a custom fitted bra so that I can try to look as awesome as Christina Hendricks, with whom I share a similar bust size.

For which I am also, heavily grateful.

So–pardon the absence.  Pardon the whining.  Pardon the Morrisey quality of this post.  I hope to be back to my charming irreverent self sometime soon…

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