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Dribbles and Grits to Crumpets and Bollocks: November 2012

Dribbles and Grits to Crumpets and Bollocks

Dribbles and Grits to Crumpets and Bollocks: November 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

May God Be with you Lance Corporal Fishy

I have lost a fish. Lance Corporal Fishy is MIA. Yes you read that right. I lost a pet fish.

This story begins with a fish named Fishy. My daughter wanted a fish, so we got a Betta. We have no other pets unless the children or the husband counts. So we take this fish home. He lives in a bowl for a week. I change the water and it killed him. The bowl said to use bottled water, and fish cannot survive in Aquafina (I know, irony), which is why I stopped buying that water. So I bought a new fish and used regular tap water with the treatment stuff, and I did this all behind my daughter's back. She noticed a change in personality in Fishy, but never once did she question it. So, she has no idea that I killed Fishy until she reads this blog with old age. I did give Fishy a proper burial, well, I flushed him down the toilet after saying some prayers, which is a proper fish's burial. They want to be buried in water because they are fish. (She probably will read this some day).

So this Fishy was crazy. He liked to sleep on his side, so we always thought he was dead and then he'd start swimming like he's all kinds of fine. But the craziest thing is that he survived so many catastrophes. We went to Puerto Rico, so we took him to my sister's house, and my nephew took care of him. We didn't retrieve the fish for like a month, and the water went unchanged for that month. He was fine. No matter what kind of water change I did, he handled it like a boss (except I never attempted Aquafina again).

After that, when the bowl got dirty again, I really procrastinated the job. It had lots of little pebbles in it, and all the drains in my house are slow drains right now. It's impossible to clean that bowl without accidentally getting some pebbles down a drain. I don't think my drains can handle it. So I procrastinated to a point where there was only a half inch maybe of water in it. I looked over at him, and he was on his side. I swore he was dead. No. His tail was half out of the water, and he had his face all buried in the bottom and you can see him breathing the water, struggling, but handling it. So I took him out and moved him to a small jar temporarily. The look on his face was Marine Corps badass look, and that's when he earned the rank Lance Corporal.

Then at some point while I was out somewhere doing something and all the kids were here on the hubs watch, the 2 year old threw the jar with Fishy in the kitchen. The jar didn't break, but there was a bang. He ignored it because kids make banging sounds. So a few minutes MINUTES later, he hears the oldest kid crying in her bed. He goes to check on her, and she tells him that the 2 year old knocked over Fishy. So then he checks on the fish, and Lance Corporal Fishy was there on the floor with no water around him whatsoever. He was on his side, not moving. The hubs picked him up with intent on flushing him because he's obviously dead, and then Lance Corporal Fishy started flapping and convulsing for water, which the hubs just dumped him in tap water in that same jar.

So I get home, and I see him swimming on his side. I could tell he was dying. I mentioned it to the hubs, and that's when I got the story about him being dropped/thrown. I fortunately had a bottle of Betta Fish Water I got from the store (already room temp) and I took care of it. He was fine.

Some time later, the oldest child moved him to her bedroom from his home in the kitchen. He did well in their room for a few days, up until the middle child decided to feed him. She dumped the entire tub of flakes and the tub of bloodworms into his little jar. You couldn't see him. There's no way he could survive that. Nope. He survived it. I then moved him over to a Mason Jar just because he needed a clean Jar STAT, and it was bigger.

This time I kept him in the kitchen for, dramatic irony, safety. Of course, a fish in a Mason Jar next to the sink is probably not the smartest of ideas I've ever had. I almost washed him as a dirty dish twice. So I went out and bought him a new bowl (since I threw the old one away, fuck those pebbles). This time I upgraded to one that was larger with LED lights and a waterfall. I also bought bigger stones for the bottom and some new stuff for inside. Then one morning I wake up. I go to the kitchen. I start making room for Lance Corporal Fishy's new home. I wanted a decent location where there wasn't much clutter. I got rid of my air tight decorative containers and my basket of crap (random shit you throw in that basket while cleaning because you don't know what to do with it, like ear plugs, shoe laces, the bottom of the microscope, screws, unknown parts to something, batteries, pennies, warranties...). Somewhere through that, I realized Lance Corporal Fishy and the Jar are gone. GONE!

So I ask the hubs. He knows nothing. The children, nothing. I looked all over the house in obvious locations, like where the oldest keeps him in her room. Nothing. I looked in less obvious places like cabinets I don't go into frequently, bathroom cabinets, closets, even toy chests. Nothing.

Then it dawned on me that my mother had came over the night before. We were supposed to go to her house for dinner, but I had a show-stopping migraine and she had a last-minute schedule change, so she came over while I was clonked out on Toradol and Phenergan and Benadryl. She tends to do my dishes when she's here. Sure enough, there's a Mason Jar in the dishwasher. Now I do own more than one of those, but I don't think I had any out dirty, but I saw my oldest kid playing in the cabinet where I keep them earlier that day, so she may have taken one out and that might be what made its way to the dishwasher. But still, my mom has mom syndrome once again ever since she took in my nephew full time.

Now here's the issue with the mom dish washing theory. One side of my sink is the broken garbage disposal. A fish's body couldn't fit through that. A popcorn kernel can't. I had the hubs take apart the disposal, pull it out, and look in it. No fish. The other side of the sink is a strainer his body would never fit through, and if my mother lifted it up with gunk and stuff going down the normal drain, that side of the sink would be backing up. His body isn't in the dishwasher either. I can't find him anywhere. It's possible he is barely surviving in some crazy hiding spot the kids put him in. It's also possible he is swimming in the sewage system and will flop out in some random person's bath tub. I do not believe he is dead because this is the fish who wouldn't die. I totally believe this fish is alive somewhere, out there, where love will see us through.

But until we meet again, I bought another Fishy. He has no rank or title. He's just Fishy until he earns some title based on personality. He is enjoying Lance Corporal Fishy's new bowl, and it does make me sad, but sometimes shit happens and we just move forward. I do miss Lance Corporal Fishy more than I probably should miss a fish.
Fishy enjoying Lance Corporal Fishy's Bowl

P.S. My daughter thinks this is still all the same fish.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Yes, Yes my child, Santa is real.

Growing up, I never believed in Santa. I was raised in a very religious home and from as far back as I can remember, I knew Christmas was Jesus's Birthday and Santa was make-believe. I don't regret it. My Christmases were always a magical time for me where I totally enjoyed giving more than receiving. Because I think it shaped my morality well, I was all prepared to be this way with my kids.

The first few years, I never mentioned Santa. I decorated mainly with angels and never once mentioned where the gifts came from. I was keeping things open for Santa in case I changed my mind, but in my heart, I had every intention on just leaving Santa out of it.

Yeah, well, the schools disagree with me. This year, my oldest is 6 years old. She's in first grade. Last year she heard of Santa at school. They brought him up and told some story, but this year is the first year it appears she knows enough about Santa to know he brings gifts. We discussed it last month at some point on the way to school where I said something to the effect of...

"Once upon a time a long long time ago, a man felt bad for all the poor kids. We are talking really poor where they didn't always get to eat, and when they did, it was NEVER anything they really wanted to eat. They didn't have ANY toys, not even for their birthday. This guy decided to make sure they got to eat their favorite foods and got a toy one special day of the year, Christmas. So every year, he gave kids in his neighborhood toys and food. Other people thought that was a great idea, and they started doing it, and people all over the world started doing this. Every town had their own "santa." Given, the first Santa Claus isn't here anymore, we keep his spirit alive every time we give a gift to someone."

Not bad right? Bull shit. Went in one ear and out the other. They didn't fucking listen to one word.

So, this Christmas, 3 kids, I intended on getting them all iTouches. We have one iPad everyone shares, and it's driving me crazy up the wall "I could choke a bitch out" bonkers when they fight over that stupid thing. They use it all the time too. They are constantly watching Netflix or playing kick the buddy or shooting zombies. The 2 year old is obsessed with shooting zombies and monsters, like I'm not sure I should consider therapy yet or not over it. I figured I'd wait until after December this year to worry about it, you know, after making sure the zombie apocalypse isn't real.

So tonight, I hop online to look at iTouches, but I remember the 6 year old wanting a Nintendo DS, so I looked at those too. I personally think the kids would use the iTouch more because you can watch movies on it. I think the DS will get played a bunch of times for about a month, maybe a month. They just don't like the games yet, like on the Wii, they watch Netflix more than the games, and IF they play a game, it's Wii Sports. All games we own, they played when they first got the game and that was it, and they seem to hate the arrow portion of the remote. Now the computer, they get on Nick Jr.'s website and those games they love.

So anyway, with that said, the oldest child sees the pictures of the Nintendo DS's and starts telling me how she wants one so bad. Blue. Midnight Blue to be exact. Then the middle kid comes up here and tells me she wants pink. So I ask them both, do you prefer this (pics of Nintendo DS) or this (pics of iTouches), and both are freaking out for the DS. "It's way cooler mommy." Duh. Then at some point, she was like, "I got an idea, Santa can get that for us, will you ask him for me?" I was like, "Sure, we'll see."

So then I proceeded to say, "You know you have to be good for Santa right?" and she's like, "Huh?" I was like really? I told the husband right there, "You know the schools have no problem telling them about the bearded fat guy in the red suit with the reindeer that fly into the night like it's basic physics, but they still leave out the damned morality part." And I looked at my daughter and said in a very serious non-singing voice, "Yes, you have to be good. He's making a list. He's checking it twice. He's gonna find out who's naughty or nice. Santa Claus is coming. He's coming to town. He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake." 

So about 5 minutes after that conversation, the child then comes up to me, "Do we have to clean this house for Santa?" And I was like "yeah, especially your room. Santa gets mad if he steps in goo, or trips over toys, like he may just decide you have too many toys and you don't need any from him." She's already started cleaning.

Yes. Yes this Santa deal isn't such a bad idea after all. I'm on board with it. I think I might buy some Santa looking stuff this year, like a friendly reminder to clean the house and stop crying over shit. I need to find that song too about Santa coming to town. If they start to doubt me, that song will just prove I'm right.
I'm still decking out the tree in angels. All of my children are named after angels. Aha, and when they find out their names are in the Jesus story, He will still trump the fat guy in the winter clown suit and my conscience will be clear. If you knew all the things I've done for a Klondike bar, you too would be trying to get extra brownie points with the man upstairs.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Equality Stuff and Bitchy Rant about the Holier-Than-Thou

Well President Obama made it again. I'm so happy for him. I think he's a good guy and deserved it, but with that said, I have something I want to say to the idiots I've been hearing from all election.

All election I've been told that there's a 47% who are going to vote for Obama anyway for their foodstamps, right? That people on welfare are lazy. Liberals are lazy. There's no reason for a person to be unemployed. These people don't want to work. They are full of excuses. You work hard and you'll be rich. I have more money than you because I work harder than you. Blah blah blah...

Then there's the racist spin, about how black people are lazy and don't want to work. They are the ones on welfare living this lavish life on MY (a hard working taxpayer's) expense.  

Well guess what fucktards? Obama is President. You know what that means? With YOUR logic...

Mitt was the lazier guy. He obviously doesn't want to work. Had he wanted to work, he would have worked harder on his campaign. The lazy black man got the job, which makes the rich white boy was even lazier than a black man. That's fucking sad people. Fucking sad. (sarcasm people, sarcasm)

Mitt is also now unemployed? All of his assets are in another country right? To avoid paying taxes of course... That means he probably qualifies for welfare benefits. I bet the workforce would help pay for his school so he can re-train in a different career because I think he's done with politics (on account of not putting forth enough effort of course).

I don't really wish all this on Mitt or actually think this about him. I think he can be an asshole yes, but I think that's just an environmental thing. He's just a tad bit naive and has no firm grasp on reality because he was born into wealth and never experienced life outside of his castle, and we can't blame him for that. We can blame his parents though for not showing him the world and for spoiling him. But, I really think he, underneath the ill-intentions which is pretty gangsta of him, is a very intelligent guy. He's wishy washy conforming kind of guy to his money (like any whore to her pimp), but I bet we let him speak his mind about things that doesn't include normal people or religion, he probably has some interesting shit to say.

I personally am loving this idea of the President finding something for Mitt to do to put his expertise in the government. I think compromise between the parties is what this country needs. We are a UNITED STATES, INDIVISIBLE, and this party bull shit with democrats and republicans is dividing us. If you believe in the Pledge of Allegiance at all, you will fucking compromise and get along. Of course, all you who continue reading will think me a hypocrite, but sometimes, real talk gets shit done. Consider this real talk.

So with that said, I'm just saying to certain people, judge not lest ye be judged. We are ALL LAZY. Every motherfucker in this country is a lazy ass. I am actually sick of people who get paid to not do their job. I'm sick of paying for a product or service, and I not get what I pay for because someone is too damned lazy to do their job. Just because you have a job doesn't mean you are not lazy. I've seen street dealers put in more work and effort into their job than a pharmaceutical sales rep so stuff it on that shit.

If you want to be about race, last time I checked, based on skin color, we made the black people our slaves because they worked harder than white people (well that and they weren't Christian, but we had many white non-Christians in servitude at one point too, and where the fuck were they once it became slavery?). The Spanish was trying to breed Africans with the Natives of the islands in an attempt to make the perfect slave. Let's keep going with this... The original men were dark skinned, dark eyes, dark hair. White is a genetic mutation. My guess from inbreeding like what happens with Bengal Tigers, but who knows, it may be aliens. So, if you want to make it about race and genetics, you will lose that argument too. There is no way on this planet that you can get away with saying someone is lazy because they are black. I'm sorry. About the only thing you can say is someone didn't get the same opportunities because they are black. I mean if you could stop being fucking racist long enough to not discriminate and give a black man a job, maybe there'd be less minorities on your statistics for state benefits from which I'm assuming you are deriving your derelict conclusions on the subject.

Welfare is meant to help people who need it. It is designed so we don't have starving children. I mean do you really want America and your children to be plastered on advertisements in Europe, Canada and Australia asking for donations to adopt one of our starving children they can feed with 20 cents a day? We know how to take care of our own. We are going against nature's survival of the fittest with this shit and taking care of people who are less fit than the rest of us. That's a beautiful thing to do for the charity and compassion alone, like that's something Jesus Christ would be about, but if you don't want to be like Jesus, that's okay because it also helps you. People on welfare who wouldn't be able to spend on food are now able to spend on food, which goes to the corporations involved and helps pay your wages. You pay taxes and the taxes eventually work their way back to your pay check. How cool is that? It's almost like how it rains, water going from the earth to the sky back to the earth back to the sky... It also keeps your food prices down. Inflation sucks, like food has doubled in price over the last 5 years, but could you imagine if there were no food stamps where the grocery stores would be? It's government controlled household spending is what it is. Pretty genius if you think about it like you would write a paper on it for your Macroeconomics class.

As for welfare abuse and people living off the system... Let me get personal and empathetic here. Yes I can empathize with a fucktard because I was there once. I am white raised by middle class parents who never divorced or separated. My mom and dad were married to each other up until my dad died. As a young kid, my family was poor. I didn't know it. By high school, my dad was doing very well, and I was spoiled. We had a computer since like 1985, the internet since like 1992 or 93, and I had some sort of car phone or pager since I was 16. When I went off to college, my dad gave me a gas card and an American Express card (with no limit) where he paid the bill. Mind you, he tried really hard not to spoil me, like he purposely bought me ugly cars so I would swallow my pride, but he still bought the damned cars, like I didn't buy my first car until I was like 25. I wasn't Mitt Romney spoiled, but I was spoiled, up until my dad died. My mom's a school teacher. She couldn't afford my life with her salary, and I sure as hell couldn't either. It was a very painful reality check. Now with that said, back when I was younger, I used to make fun of people on welfare. I was a snob. I had that "I'm better than you" mentality, especially if you were mean to me, like that was my go-to defense. Then somewhere between broke and the friends I made on my job... I got to know the world I used to judge. In getting to know that world up close and personal, I got to meet real crackheads. I like some of them. I've also met people who live off the system and probably will for the rest of their lives. Like I got to meet the people I made fun of, and let me tell you, they would all kick my ass if they knew what I thought about things at that point in my life.

Once you get to know people, it's amazing how wrong you are about whatever you thought about them beforehand. These people first off are real people. They have feelings and emotions and all that jive, just like any other, person. Go figure. Human beings are human beings. They didn't teach me that in high school biology, obviously. Second, most of the "lazy who will never work a day in their life" are really hurting, and their wounds generally run deep. Deadbeat dad, crackwhore mom, alcoholic mom, abusive dad, family member molested them... They had something whacked crazy like that in their past. This is shit where there is no "get over it." I've been raped in the most polite way possible and I am never going to get over that. I think if I were to experience the level of pain and internal turmoil some people do that I would probably turn to illegal narcotics as a way to maintain because I probably would, and so would many of you reading this. Anymore, in the world of psychology and neurology, most of these people should qualify as someone with a life-long injury. PTSD does brain damage as some point. While most of the people I'm talking about here would never ever in their life consider themselves disabled, to an extent they are. If you really want to stop "welfare abuse," then my suggestion is to promote voting for programs to get these people healthcare they need. Most of them admit they need therapy, and I've seen many people pull out of the bull shit and rise above their past with therapy, but most don't have a way to pay for it... Not without getting on SSI, and why would you work at that point? Basically what I'm saying here, if you really find life fulfilling staying home all day and not contributing to anything meaningful, there is obviously something wrong with you, like not in a "you are fucked up" sort of way but more in a "you probably need to talk to a doctor about it and take control of your mental health" sort of way.

Then there's the economic factor for many people who collect benefits, myself included in the past. I am lucky that my husband has a good skill and therefore is eligible for a good well paid job. He's an electrician. Irony is I used to make fun of the people going into trades, like they weren't intelligent enough to go to "real college." Yep, I suck. Anyway, we had periods of unemployment where we utilized only what we needed with benefits. At one point, the welfare office called me to inform me I had a couple thousand racked up on my food stamp card and that I should use it, and I was like, "But we have been doing fine budgeting the unemployment check with food. We don't really need that, but don't take us off in case we do and the important thing is we are using the medical cards on the kids." BUT with that said, I've known people who don't have a college degree or can't get into the union. They had kids, their man left them, and then they decided to go to school. So it took them a minute to grow up. Sometimes it takes reproducing to help a person get their shit together. But it's not easy working a minimum wage job while paying for your school and raising kids. Not possible without assistance from the government. I say that because the cost of child care for working alone (not including school) exceeds what you'd make in minimum wage. If you go full time to school, in 4 or 5 years, you can have a 4 year degree. If you have kids and a job, full time probably isn't happening. So you are talking these people being in the system for at least 4 years, but reasonably more like 6 years, and even then, having a Bachelor's Degree doesn't guarantee work. If you don't want these people in the system that long, then maybe we all need to work on creating an environment at making what you want them to do a possible thing to do.

See where I'm going with this? The high horse doesn't know shit about the world beneath it. You can lack your empathy and call it making excuses all you want to feed your ego and make your horse higher but I promise you, all of us people down here are NOT worshiping you at all. We are spitting on your horses shoes and laughing at your stupid outfit.

Now someone like Mitt who was born into wealth, inherited a shit ton of money and friends in the industry and connections and so forth, now if someone like him ended up on welfare, I would say there is something considerably wrong with him. You get into the wealthy class, and there is that one guy you know who blows all of the money and is totally completely worthless, and his parents are worried about what is going to happen to him when they die and can no longer cover up and bail him out of his illegal shit, and can no longer pay for his life. But he's not a deadbeat in most of your eyes, and I'll tell you why. If you know him well enough to know all that about his life, you know him well enough to enjoy his money, and you wouldn't call your free shit a deadbeat. I also know many in the wealthy class with drug addictions, weird sexual behaviors, and abusive issues. They aren't the same deadbeats we call someone on welfare because they pay their own bills? Really? Are we that superficial of a society that we judge your contribution to society by only monetary measures? Things like mental health issues do not discriminate. Addiction doesn't discriminate. A desire to sexually abuse people does not discriminate. Wealthy men rape no different than poor men. So your true deadbeats are found in every class, in every income range, in every percentage of the population whether it be the 1% or the 47%.

And if you read this much of this blog, please walk away with some knowledge. You don't want to be the douchenozzle I once was. You know how you think back to when you were a kid and used to walk around with food on your mouth when you were 10, or maybe a scab on your nose from over picking it, or something you did that was stupid as fuck and you will disown your parents if they ever brought that up to your date...? Yeah, my arrogance back then is one of mine. My arrogance now, I'm proud of it. It's more of a confidence because my now arrogance is totally based on all me and nothing about you or anyone else. I'm a sexy beast, and that has nothing to do with what you look like. I'm intelligent, and that has nothing to do with your IQ. I'm not the sexiest bitch in the world or the smartest one, but I know I'm smart and sexy and a good dose of bitchy and it has nothing to do with anyone else. Stop comparing yourself to other people. It's not healthy and makes you look like an ass. You will get laid more too if you adopt this concept.

And sorry so long. If I blog while I'm taking care of my kids, I get interrupted a lot. Something that would take me 20 minutes to write ends up taking 5 hours because it takes me about 2 hours to get that 20 minutes, and by then, I thought of some other shit I want to say, and I keep going and going... And then every time I'm interrupted, I have to re-read what I wrote to remember where I was at. If I don't post this, I will have wasted my entire day on nothing, so I'm posting it like it or not. Too long? My suggestion is either read faster or don't read it. Sorry to be that way but I lost my fucking mind a long time ago. Mental health issues. They don't discriminate I'm telling you. A hair tie. That's what I was looking for an hour ago.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Classifying Autism

Autism Awesome Stuff--Classifying Autism (warning: boring)

I've been meaning to write more about autism. I once started a blog on the subject, "Aspergersburg," and I just didn't keep up with it. I really don't want to be writing a bunch of blogs, and I can't seem to stick to a blog if I keep my subjects limited like most people prefer to read, so when I think to write about autism, I'm going to put it in here and label it "autism," so you can click on the tag cloud the word "autism," and all my posts about autism should pop up (which right now, I'm a new blog, so there isn't much yet, but some day...)

Me-trying-to-be-quick intro into my world of autism... My oldest spawn, 6 years of age as I'm writing this, is diagnosed PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). PDD-NOS is really the "miscellaneous" category for "high functioning autism." Generally, people like my daughter who display enough of the signs and symptoms of Asperger's defined by the DSM IV criteria but who had a speech delay (which DSM IV says Asperger's cannot have a speech delay) gets categorized into this miscellaneous category, generally. There are exceptions like my nephew who is 12 years old diagnosed with Asperger's, on multiple occasions. Since his first diagnosis was made years after he started talking, I don't think the speech was ever brought up for him to get PDD-NOS, and really if my sister were smarter, she would have brought it up and pushed the issue because some of the world thinks there's a difference between Autism and Asperger's, like where you would qualify for a state program to help autism with the PDD-NOS diagnosis, but you wouldn't with an Asperger's one. Me, I am probably too on the spectrum. I am not diagnosed by any professional, but the professionals I talked to about the subject agree with me, like had I paid them for an actual shrink visit, I'd probably be diagnosed. I did have a speech delay as a child, and I did go to speech therapy, but this was back in the 80's when autism was viewed more like schizophrenia, which is probably why that was overlooked. I do think it runs in my family. I have an aunt who definitely is on the spectrum undiagnosed, a couple aunts and cousins who are slightly on the spectrum where they probably wouldn't qualify for a diagnosis, and my grandfather is definitely on the spectrum undiagnosed and actually matches quite a few of the stereotypes with autism (such as the fascination with trains and a mechanical engineering type genius).

 So now to classify autism...

I say first you got two categories of autism.. 

1: what the DSM says which is required to follow to attain a diagnosis, which is required to obtain any special services from your state as well as many private organizations. 


2: reality which is unknown, but if you are self-researching and wanting to make adjustments on yourself or how you parent your child, this is what you are looking for in your own way. 

I have personally seen more success with people who self-research than I have with people who blindly follow "the experts." My sister is one to blindly follow "expert advice" whether it be the school's opinion or a shrink's opinion. Me, I follow my own instinct backed with lots of research, to include non-scientific research such as mommy bloggers. Unlike my sister and the experts, I know what's it like and can empathize better with someone on the spectrum, so I have that working for me. My issues are parenting the kids who are off the spectrum, now that one I struggle with, and I still don't always follow the parenting "expert's" advice on the subject. I believe instinct trumps all, like the big joker in spades. I also believe the most actual expert advice out there is from people on the spectrum who have a special interest in autism. People like this are people I try to be friends with and maintain a good friendship with just for their opinion of what I could do with my child's behavior.

Much of autism is still unknown. My theory is there are different types of autism defined by cause more so than behavior.  As of now, we classify autism by how much you can do and how independent you are. DSM was considering at some point, not sure where we are on that, changing all of it to autism spectrum, mild, moderate, and severe with that second classification dependent on how much you can do and how much people notice your autism. We really have no idea what causes autism. We suspect with some scientific evidence that it is genetic and environmental some how.

I think there is definitely a genetic autism because it's in my family. It's more of a personality type in my family than anything else. We are just more prone to thinking differently and perceiving differently than what you guys consider typical to the human species. Most of the autism in my family is not really noticeable, like most people just think we are weird, and usually mark it off as an eclectic personality resulting from a genius because those on the spectrum IN MY FAMILY are generally naturally really good at math, and if you are good at math, you must be a genius. I've also met, sort of, online met, people on the spectrum who can tell you other family members who are probably on it as well, so I know there is a genetic autism, and I think it's the one people talk about the most when discussing and defining autism.

I also think there's an allergy autism. That's where the person displays autism like symptoms as a result of their histamines (I'm assuming) running a muck from an allergy. My youngest spawn is allergic to milk and soy. You give her milk, and you will get issues with transition, she repeats herself a thousand times in a minute, meltdowns like she's possessed with 17 demons, hyperactivity, and those are just off the top of my head. But she is a verbal genius and social butterfly, so autism is not something she would qualify for as a diagnosis. She may some day qualify for that "gifted child" stuff, but that's not until a later age, but the hole in this case is that if she does, many times gifted children possess some autism like symptoms. With her, if I give her antihistamines, it generally does nothing and I think it's because she's young yet. They have studies that concluded antihistamines are not always as effective on young children like it is on adults. Sometimes, Zyrtec will help her hives disappear and her behavior issues temporarily, like of all the antihistamines we have tried, that one seems to work the best. The important thing is I have noticed the autism like symptoms are much less when I don't give her much dairy. And this supports all that research from the DAN doctors (Defeat Autism Now) who are really big about autism being a food allergy or vaccinations and changing the child's diet and using holistic options to detox the body. Some of them go too far into this to make them sound less legitimate to the rest of the medical community, but I don't think we should discard all their research and all the success stories just because they sound a little fanatic witch-doctorish at times. I think there is a lot of substance to their work, but it's not something that would help my oldest spawn because I don't think her autism is an allergy. I do think a lot of children get diagnosed autism or ADHD when really it's just an allergy to something they are eating regularly.

Then there's the "? autism" as we delve into the claims of vaccination induced autism. I know the studies have disproved that ONE study that claimed to prove it, but no study has disproved the theory entirely. In fact, this is the part where science actually fears studying it seeing how most of science is funded by someone with a bias, and this is the question that those biased funding sources are afraid to discover an answer to. I would be too. I'll admit it. If I had a bunch of stock in a pharmaceutical company, I'm probably going to be concerned about results from a study on that portion of the population interfering with my stock's value. You would qualify for a diagnosis of some sort somewhere in the DSM if you didn't think that way. But at some point, if we want to help people and do the right thing, we are going to have to remove the bias and study these people to find out what exactly is going on with them. You cannot invalidate thousands of people's thoughts on the subject. I've known these mothers who claim vaccinations did it. Some I do not like, but I don't think they are dumb at all. They are very educated, intelligent people saying "hey, my kid started acted funky after getting vaccinated." I can't say it's an allergy to vaccinations just because I don't think they stay in your system forever. If you had an allergic reaction to a vaccination, it would disappear after some point unless you were to continue vaccinations, according to every allergist I discussed this with related to my youngest child's milk allergy before we knew it was milk. In talking to these mothers, most of them have no signs of autism in their family tree what-so-ever. That doesn't rule out genetics, but it doesn't look good for the argument of a genetic factor. In addition, the autism is slightly different from what I've noticed than it is under those like me where it's in the family. I can't really pin-point what it is because I don't know enough about the people of this portion of the population, but in reading these moms describe their children, it's very different whether the autism is different or the mom's perspective is, and I think as a result, the treatment is going to be different, like what I do for my kid that helps my kid probably won't be as effective for these kids. I could be wrong on this one. It's one that I know enough to know that something is going on with these people whether ingredient X in a vaccination did some permanent brain damage or the kids developed an allergy the moms have yet to figure out what it is (in most cases with allergies, children will start getting them around a later age, often around the time of vaccinations, like my kid).

I think there's also the autism-friendly personalities, aka nerds. This is where you get into hyperlexia and gifted children. They do not usually qualify for an autism diagnosis at all, but they resemble autism on such a minute level. I think I married a man like this, so let's psychoanalyze my husband for a minute. He has obsessions/special interest in normal subjects such as video gaming, guns/hunting, military aircrafts, and guitars. These aren't out of nowhere interests like you see in autism. He was military (guns), Air Force (air crafts), and he plays guitar (guitars). The video gaming was something he didn't do until he joined the military, and he started wanting to know more about the games he plays, so he does occasionally read up on the subject or watch youtube videos like any other video gamer nerd. He doesn't have to have a lot of touching for his intimacy or to feel connected to someone, but he can if he's with someone who requires that in a relationship. He will listen, pretend to listen, to long stories and monologues, and give him a beer, and he's the one with the monologue about stuff you don't care about like airsoft rifles. He does drift off into thought with the Aspie glare, except he doesn't usually pay much attention to the world around him while there like many on the spectrum do. I can go on and on, but really he is a very charming guy who doesn't usually lose on office politics.  He was popular in school. He is an introvert, but he definitely has what is considered normal social skills. His other things like special interests, they rarely interfere with his day. Anything you can say about autism that he shares, it's not something that is "disabling" him from doing anything. People like him are awesome. It's like they are hybrids between those on the spectrum and those off the spectrum. They can empathize with both types of people, and get along and appreciate both types of people.

And I think the last part that is hitting me right now with classification of autism is the level of ability. This is where psychology focuses on, your ability to take care of yourself and function in society. I'm not saying it's a bad focus because I agree with psychology that we should focus on the solution as opposed to the problem, and that's what they are doing here, focusing on where we want to be as an individual as opposed to where the problem came from. I totally agree with that. The part I don't agree with is the stereotype. Severe autism tends to communicate more intuitively. It's like they are communicating with ESP and the rest of the world is talking. I don't think they are "disabled" as much as just very different. When you get into the severe autism communicating via typing into a computer or writing, or other forms of communication we can figure out, we start to learn they are just like a person with high-functioning autism except they just don't effectively communicate. Now it's kind of hard to function in society if you are not communicating with people, especially in a society built on relationships with each other, and we all know communication is very important to any relationship, whether it is between friends or lovers. Communication is definitely a skill useful to people with severe autism if we can teach a method for that, but judging them as inferior is not something they deserve. You get asshats ready to call someone with severe autism every synonym to the word, including the word, retarded, but you also get people with the best of intentions like the child's mom and shrink getting a superiority complex (not all moms and shrinks, but these are examples I've seen where someone with the "you are disabled and I am better than you because I'm not" mentality play such an important role trying very hard with all their might to advocate for their child or patient). You should have that based on the fact you pushed the kid out of your vagina or went to school for so many years to get a piece of paper that says you know stuff... like a superiority complex should result from your own abilities, not your idea of someone's disability. A child who doesn't speak at all can still probably outperform you somewhere else. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Prom King of the U.S.A.

I just read a couple blogs regarding the upcoming election, like voting day is among us. Many have voted early. Props to you for getting it out of the way. For the rest of us...

On the subject of voting, anymore I feel like I'm in high school trying to decide Prom King again. Of course it was easier in high school because A, it didn't matter two shits who you voted for it wasn't going to change your life, and B, in my high school, my super-huge super-secret crush became Prom King, so you know who I voted for. He's not running for President unfortunately, but if he were, I would be the creepy stalker girl in charge of his campaign on a local level, applying obsessively to be his intern, and trust me, Monica was nothing compared to what I'd do to MY man in the oval office. Back off ladies, my crush is all mine. You, I see you wondering what he looks like, stop it. Stop it now.

On Facebook, I admin a couple pages. One gets very political. I don't think we intended it to get that way, but it seemed we attracted a fan base who appreciates the political posts. Between that and seeing my friends post, other pages post (many political based since I'm always on the prowl for political content), and reading many articles on the subject whether it be because I ran into the article debating on sharing it or I'm googling facts or doing any research for a debate with someone on the page, it just seems to me that this country is voting for our national prom king.

I don't think people really understand the concept of President. Some people seem to think he's King, that everything he says will happen, and everything he signs or accomplishes was solely his job with no help from anyone else. I can't resist, but I must quote Obama, "You didn't build that." No president does it all on his own. Our government is set up with a system of "checks and balances" (does that not sound familiar from high school Government class?) so that not one man rules the country. To others, it's like a fan thing. Vote for my guy. You have to vote for my guy. I'm insulted if you don't vote for my guy. Are you really so stupid you will fuck up the entire world by voting for the other guy? Let me tell you something about this other guy. He keeps children locked in his basement and snorts cat nip and kills unicorns. He's a nerd. My guy is the popular cool guy and you must vote for him or I'm going to kick your ass. It's a clique really. I have to vote for this guy because I'm in his political party/social circle. And do you really know these men? Do you really have any idea who they are? No. It's a popularity contest. It shouldn't be, but that's what it is...

So if you want to vote for a President instead of a Prom King...

Well these two blogs I read earlier that inspired my little blip on the subject, I agree with them. Ginger focused her blog on growing up before voting, you know, fact checking and doing your own research. Awesome. I agree. People who say voting for the wrong guy is killing this country, well I say sheeple are. Blindly voting for whoever your party system, religious affiliation, or your parents or friends told you to vote for is what's killing our country. You know, prom king. Please don't do it that way. Have your own brain and let it think. It was put in your head to think, and letting other people do that for you is just depriving your brain of its purpose.

Also for research, what gets me is people's memory goes to shit. I thought my memory was bad, but I love seeing memes talking about facts from 4 years ago and I'm like, "I was alive 4 years ago, and it wasn't like that at all." Then I have people argue with me, giving me links to prove my experiences wrong.

Another one is, most people are not interested in this shit until like 3 days before the election. I've seen memes saying, "The democrats did this" and ummm no I remember 3 years ago the Republicans were trying to sneak that in a bill, something they wouldn't pass otherwise but decided to give the democrats what they wanted while sneaking in something the republicans wanted that the democrats would never vote for otherwise. It's a win-win/lose-lose deal, and stuff like that happens ALL THE TIME in Washington. I found various articles on that subject back then and shared it with everyone who totally didn't care, the meme about the dinosaur got a bunch of likes, but the link was ignored, and now that the election is coming, now the meme lying about it is going viral. Like people really? When you do your own research, you should be doing it all the time. Don't wait until election day to google the candidates. By now, the stories about actual events that occurred, the ones with some facts and were written back when it happened, are lost on page 57 of Google search. The first 56 pages are now someone's biased blog with distorted facts... When people share links about, "look at this that is going on in the white house," at some point, read the article. Half ass the read if you have to. Don't ignore it thinking, "I'd rather read about boobs." Boobs are awesome, don't get me wrong, but sometimes you have to do what you don't feel like doing because that's part of being grown-up and responsible.

The other blog I read today, Moms Who Drink and Swear, she more or less got into what we tell our children. Awesome thoughts. I am a mother of 3 girls, and I want my little ladies to understand the shit we women went through to get ourselves that right to vote, and the women of our past deserve us to take that right seriously.

I am also very much against scaring the shit out of little kids outside of people jumping out of trees randomly on Trick or Treat night. My parents were very religious people, and growing up, I had lots of nightmares about the evil ugly gnarly invisible monster named Satan and all his demons who follow me trying to take my soul, and they, unlike the Tooth Fairy, are real. They say children concrete thinkers, like abstract reasoning isn't supposed to happen until the teenage years, so that might explain why I didn't understand temptation and my role in that whole soul taking stuff until I got old. Another story, my mother is a guidance counselor at a school. Years ago, and I'm not going to stipulate when because I'm pitter pattering around confidentiality shit here, she had a child come into her office scared shitless that the world was coming to an end. She stopped trying at school, didn't do homework, didn't care about her grades because the world was ending, what's the point. And you know what? Saying stupid shit we say about the presidential candidates is no different. Kids don't get the back story. They don't get any of the abstract concepts with it. All they get is what you said, concrete, black and white, and some of that's scary to say this might be where you live next year, that they will kill babies or that our President could be a terrorist or whatever bull shit rhetoric we "grown-ups" have said for emotional value. Really, our arguments have turned into, "The other guy I'm not voting for is the one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater, and the one I am voting for is a god."

But here's the part I think is also important in voting. I'm about to bust out some my of nerd here, but I shall now quote Noah Webster, the dude who started public education and stuff, like read his bio, dude was badass.

"When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility; he not only sacrifices his own responsibility; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country."
"...if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws."

Now keep in mind, Noah was a religious man. I would almost say he was a religious fanatic, but his words on it seemed more poetic and geared toward love than some of your modern day fanatics / nut jobs. He seemed very spiritual as well as religious, and I think that's why I can respect that about him. Noah also said once that the righteous will see God some day, and there's truth to that. God isn't the English language. The devil is one to use language as a means to deceive. God can't do that. God just is. You either recognize Him without the words, or you don't. When I say I agree, vote for men of principal and character, I mean vote for a guy with a good heart, no matter his religion.

To sum up Noah's thoughts, translating into modern day Bad English... Don't vote for an asshole. Vote for a guy with the better intentions. The one who wants to help people, not the one who wants to help his pocket book. The one who wants to help you. The one who sees you as a person worthy of respect.

Now that's easier said than done. You only get what you see, and it's hard to get a feel for a man's character without knowing the man personally.We expect a certain level of lying like you would in a job interview (which why we know people lie on job interviews and still take their word for stuff is beyond me, and the person who is honest never gets the job). On top of it, no human is perfect or completely pure of heart. It's a gray area (50 shades of it actually haha). People don't usually do well with gray areas for whatever reason. And the cherry on top, usually your only choices are assholes. This is only something you can figure out for yourself, who is a good person and who isn't. The important thing is to think about that. Make that a voting priority. When deciding between the guy with the better plan and the guy with the better heart, pick the heart. The guy with the better plan means nothing if his motives are not in the right place. Assholes will fuck you over. My what a smart brain and awesome plan you have! The more to fuck you over with my dear.

One thing to also keep in mind... A candidate who hasn't served is going to be very naive about being President. Most of what they want to do now will change once they get into office and see how shit truly operates. Compare Obama's campaigns between now and 4 years ago. Think about Bush's campaigns. It's true of every president. Nobody knows what they are getting themselves into when they are running. I would label The President of the United States as one of the worst jobs to have in the United States. The pay is good, but there's a lot of bull shit that comes with it. You'd be better off going into engineering.

Anyway, with that said, do your own research, don't scare the children with your rhetoric, and consider value in the man more so than what he claims to stand for, and you may not be voting for a Prom King but a real President who will represent us to other nations. Who will lead our military into war or peace. Who will look out for us and our needs, whether they be economical or ethical. Who respects liberty and everything she stands for. And please, go fucking vote. It's a liberty men and women and little children died, and many still haunt the places they died, to give you. And don't forget your state people. I never understood the importance of a decent Board of Education until I had kids enter the public school system. We have a lot of stupid people in charge of my state. Don't let that be your state.

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