Monthly Archives: January 2016

Pre-debate chatter

I was halfway through a rambling post about how childish Trump is for backing out of the FNC debate and how unfair it was for Chris Matthews to dismiss the event as a debate between “a couple of Cubans” (particularly since the REAL winners of this debacle are Jeb Bush and John Kasich) … but then I realized that isn’t why you’re following this blog.

I’m not really sure what you do want, but I figured abandoning a post I was clearly out of my depths on was probably the right course of action. Yes, my Disney posts get the most views (even got an e-mail from them about my last post… but I’m kind of afraid to open it), but since my dad is in “critical condition” (Stage 3 lung cancer), I may not be posting about Disney for a while.

Maybe instead of constantly complaining about people mistreating me, I could find a way to advocate for better treatment of people in my situation (that was one of the reasons I signed up for the “Lung FORCE” event back in November). I started Park\Mosher Media in 2011 because I came to the rather sad conclusion that if I didn’t “hire” me literally no-one else would.

I know I’m probably somewhat biased here, but I am a fantastic (albeit “unskilled”) worker with an excellent work ethic, but was fired from my only “real” (non-college) job at McDonalds presumably for not knowing what I was doing because they – both management and fellow employees alike – felt that showing me how to do “obvious stuff” (like work an industrial grill I’d never seen before) was somehow “beneath” them.

And thus reinforcing the recurring theme in my life (and probably others as well) that if I don’t know how to do something that no-one’s ever taught to do then that only “proves” that I’m “too stupid” to learn it in the first place.

The most obvious way to work around that is to find something that already interests me and thus know quite a bit about. If I knew what that was, I’d already be doing it. Yes, I even bought some stupid workbook on that very topic with a lot of vague suggestions but nothing concrete for me to work with – heck I once had a career counselor tell me that “no-one is stupid enough to hire you. Just sign up for Welfare like the other retards.”

I know attitudes towards Autism (and in my case Sensory Processing Disorder as well) in the workplace have changed in the fifteen years since my three-week stint at McD’s – heck, Vince Vaugn even had a movie last year about working with someone (presumably) on the spectrum – but when I look up adult services for the disorder I’m always disheartened to see the emphasis on helping clients apply for SSD.

Yes, I could continue pratting on uselessly about Donald, Marco and Jeb, but I think there has to be something concrete, something tangible and, yes, preferably something photographable (or otherwise “verifiable”) that I can do to help people in my situation. I just have no idea what that is…

Categories: Autism, job hunting, politics, ramblings, sensory processing disorder | Leave a comment

Photo: Recruitment numbers

mostrecruits

For the record, I went to UM too, but no-one has EVER called me a “stud.” 😦

Categories: cartoons\memes, photography, University of Miami | Leave a comment

A Dismal Disney morning

Woken up by “Housekeeping” trying to enter my room at 8:55am. Apparently, I was already checked-out…even though check-out wasn’t for another two hours. There is no “going back to sleep” after that. I get a shower, get dressed and check the weather on my phone – no rain through about 3pm so I pack the rain gear back in my bag and head over to check-out (for real).

The grass and sidewalks were still wet from the rain overnight, but the Custom House (Check-In) was almost directly across from my building so it took less than five minutes to walk there and since there was no line to speak of (almost unheard of at Disney) it took nearly half that time to get my final printout.

The walk from the Custom House to Old Port Royale (food court) was still ten minutes, but the breakfast area is chaos – long lines at both the food stations and the cashier. I stare at the menu board until I figured out what I wanted and ended up behind a guest who ordered the exact same thing as I did the Breakfast Cuban sandwich and also argued with the woman on register when his family’s order came up saying they “shorted him” one sandwich.

Don’t worry, kitchen staff got back at him by making a charred, lukewarm and nearly inedible sandwich… and then she gave it to me instead.

I try to make a joke to the cashier to make myself feel better, and she looks at me like I’m completely nuts. She tries to get me to take my receipt for some reason and then casually puts it on my tray as if it is some kind of super magical gift from her to me.

She also makes a gesture with her hand like she’s glad to be rid of me, and when I ask her if there was a problem she kind of looks at me in a panic, raises her hand and snaps her fingers stammering “M-manager!”

I turn around a second later and large black man was standing less than a foot away from me blocking my only path. “What is the problem over here?” Naturally, she points over at me because I MUST be the bad guy because that’s the general rule around here.

Now I get to explain to him exactly why I’m holding up the line when I know full well he’s likely going to understand me about as well as she did.

“Is there a problem here,” he asked me.

“Honestly, I have idea what either of you are talking about. I’m just here for breakfast.”

“I was called over here for a reason,” he said eying my suspiciously.

I have no idea what happened, but suddenly I could see the gears shifting in his head. He didn’t say it (or anything else for a few seconds). He didn’t need to – it was all over his face.

“A-are you all right? You look like you need some HELP there.”

Sorry, I forgot I was Autistic for a second there, but I give him credit for at least trying to be subtle (a courtesy I’m not always extended), but he just sapped any appetite I had straight out of me.

“With what,” I asked him pointedly while trying not to be overtly rude. “I got my food, I paid for it so what do I ‘need help’ with?”

“Um with your, um, tray,” he said trying to justify his being there without upsetting the crazy person. “I mean we don’t want to spill your coffee.”

“I can handle it,” I said as I picked up my tray without spilling anything (because a lot of people burn themselves on ICED coffee). “But, thank you anyway. Can I go now?”

I wander around the packed seating area for several minutes before seeing a family exit a smaller room off to the side of the dining area. As I tried to enter the room (which was just as crowded as the one I was currently standing in), an old man in the same brownish uniform as the other workers stands in the doorway blocking my way.

“Oh, you want a TABLE,” he said essentially ‘pushing’ me back into the main dining room. “Well, did you try LOOKING for one?”

I love how STUPID people think I am. First I’m incapable of carrying my own tray, now I’m too oblivious to think to look for an open table in a crowded food court. Trust me, if all the chairs outside weren’t still wet from the rain overnight than I would have eaten out there (as the floor space inside was largely eaten up by gigantic strollers).

“Ah, there we go,” he said as a table miraculously opened up immediately around the corner from where we were standing.

He pulls a spray bottle and towel out of his apron and wipes down the tabletop before letting me put my bags down on the chair across from me (which was a godsend since my shoulders were killing me from carrying them around all this time).

I sat down, and as expected my sandwich was cold but more edible than it looked. More importantly (from my perspective anyway), my iced coffee still had a fair amount of ice in it which I’m choosing to count as a minor victory.

I leave the food court through the gift shop (because it’s Disney – everything has a “gift shop”) and ran my way across the small parking lot to the bus stop to a waiting Disney Springs bus. When I got to the stop, it was as packed as the food court I just left with a long line of people waiting to board (on a Friday morning?) while the driver secured a scooter inside her bus. I just liked the chance to drop at least one of my bags and catch my breath.

“Good morning,” the driver said cheerily as I entered the bus.

“A little late for that,” I sighed exasperatedly.

She looks at me, shakes her head and says “honey, it’s only 10 o’clock – still plenty of ‘morning’ left.”

WHAT?

God, it literally felt like it was 2pm. Fortunately, the trip from Old Port Royale to Disney Springs was less than fifteen minutes and if I thought about it sooner, I probably could have taken a boat from Marketplace across to Westside.

Yes, I know it’s “only” a mile or so from the Disney buses to the Lynx “Super Station,” but it FEELS like an eternity – particularly when carrying two large heavy bags. Whatever, as long as it isn’t raining (or for my readers in the Northeast snowing), it was all good…until I got to said station and saw the bright magenta colored bus pulling out of stop “11.”

The wait for the next bus probably seemed longer than it actually was, but the dark skies and chilly lake breeze made the desolate station seem colder then it was too. I counted out eight quarters in my pocket (all other coins were left on the dresser in the room) as I reminded myself that the bus was heated or at least warmer than it felt out in the station.

When it did arrive, I put my $2 into his machine and moved towards the back of the bus. However, as I made it to the end of the inward facing seats, the bus lurched forward essentially forcing me into the seat as he pulled around the circle to exit.

Normally, there’s an announcement about approaching the transfer stop at SeaWorld, but not this trip and apparently no-one else was getting on/off there so I ended up disembarking at the next stop. I started walking back to the apartment I thought “its 5-til noon, this morning can only get better from here.”

That’s when I felt the drops start to fall on my head – a perfect time to have my rain gear tucked away in my bag…

Categories: adventures, Autism, disney world, florida, Orlando, sensory processing disorder, weather | Leave a comment

Photos: For the birds

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Categories: disney world, florida, Orlando, photography | Leave a comment

Photos: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

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Making MagicBands magic

The original plan was to check into Port Orleans: Riverside (formerly Dixie Landings) last Sunday and stay through that Thursday afternoon – that was before I got appointments for a dentist AND an optometrist for that day. I wasn’t staying over a three-day weekend.

Unfortunately, Disney’s website (and/or Internet Explorer) wouldn’t let me make reservations until last night. The catch was the hotel was now Caribbean Beach Resort (as it was $20 cheaper per night) and I’ll check-out on Friday instead of Thursday.

I arrived at CBR around 1pm and the room “wasn’t ready yet.” He didn’t ask about the MagicBand as I wouldn’t be able to activate it until I got a room number so he told me to get lunch (which I already did on the way over as I had to transfer buses at Disney Springs), take a swim in their “newly refurbished” main pool (tempting… except it was 58 degrees outside) or simple walk around the resort for a while until we contact you when your room is ready.

Of course, I took my camera out of my messenger bag before handing it to the bellhop standing next to the main entrance. The guy at check-In said I could call and have the bellhop deliver my bags to the room when it was ready. Believe me, it was a huge relief to get those bags off my shoulder.

It took approximately twenty to twenty-five minutes to get from the Customs House (Check-In) to Centertown at Old Port Royale (Food court, main pool and gift shop). It should only take ten, but my goals were to take photos and kill time. I’m still not sure if I should post those pictures below or in a separate post…

I explored the pool, the beach and the marina, dutifully catching all of them on my handy little camera. I even went inside, bought some small snacks (two cookies and a soda) and then browsed through their gift shop (which spills over into the hallway separating the store proper from the edge of the food court).

I will say they have some interesting things for sale there (like a “Jake” headband\wig from Jake and The Neverland Pirates – which I would TOTALLY buy if I thought I had space for it in my bag), but what I DIDN’T find was any merchandise specific to CBR. I saw online that they were rolling out resort-specific merchandise, and I know they started said rollout because I almost bought a blue shirt with the Saratoga Springs logo on it back when I stayed there last August (when I bought the MagicBand referenced in my headline).

For the record, the young woman working in the store that afternoon said she didn’t know when\if CBR was getting its own branded items…

“But, if it was any consolation,” she said smiling earnestly. “You aren’t the first guest to ask me that question.”

It was now 3pm, and I hadn’t received a call or text about my room so I asked at the Concierge desk outside the gift shop proper (and literally in the middle of the spillover section even though it didn’t have any registers), and Antonio at the counter said my room was indeed ready and that he was more than happy to set everything up for me.

I told him about my experiences back in August and again in October (when I bought the Annual Pass I was trying to put on this Magicband). I even told him that his colleagues in both Customer Service and Guest Relations said it was “impossible” to reuse this band because it was already linked to “someone else’s account” (as the reservations at Saratoga Springs were bought using my mom’s DVC points) meaning the “original owner” had to “personally” sign it over to me in their presence or I had to provide some “official legal proxy” relinquishing control of the band to me (no, really).

God help him, he worked tirelessly for approx. 35 minutes on his computer and on the phone with CIS until he was able to get the AP and room key on the same band. He was extremely serious (I wasn’t sure if I should talk to him or not) but unlike his colleague at Saratoga he never complained about the indignity of his task nor did he throw up his hands after 5 minutes like the agents at T&TC.

He got the job done – the one his aforementioned colleagues said “couldn’t be done” – and he got it done without a signature, a proxy or notarized affidavit. For that I commend him. Thank you, Antonio, for starting my week off well.

 

Update: I brought this story up to Guest Relations in Disney Springs, and the woman working there literally just looked at me dumbfoundedly and said “sooo if there’s ‘no problem,’ why are you in here?” so while I have no idea if the report I made to the agents at GR in Disney Springs made it past their fancy mahogany counter, the story is on record here.

Categories: disney world, florida, Orlando, retail | Leave a comment

Photo: Disney MGM Stu-

mostly-starwars

Categories: cartoons\memes, disney world, entertainment, florida, Orlando, photography | 1 Comment

Editorial: Benny’s bad week

Ben Carson appeared on The O’Reilly Factor tonight (Jan 13th) where the eponymous host mentioned a new ABC/Washington Post poll showing him with a 65% favorability rating amongst Republicans (but NOT that he’s dropped 8pts since November), but the doctor offered very few specifics on any of his newly announced policies which was just as well since O’Reilly failed to ask about them or give him any real pushback on his jovial non-answers.

I understand O’Reilly not asking Carson about his latest involuntary “Campaign shakeup” (coming less than two weeks after his campaign manager, spokesman resigned in late December) as that story was released AFTER Carson’s segment was taped (The Factor is taped at 5pm, the time stamp on the story is “5:41pm”).

What I don’t understand is how the self-professed “crusader for the kids” didn’t ask – even in passing – about a recent incident where the doctor humiliated (albeit unintentionally) himself AND a young boy at a town hall meeting in Iowa. Maybe kids are only Americans when he’s trying to sell books

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January updates

I had grand plans for this week. Keyword “had.” 😦

I was going to get some photos from Run Disney and spend the rest of the week photographing at Animal Kingdom and some of the resorts.

But I couldn’t get reservations at Disney’s website on Friday as someone kept “eating my page.” And when I came back from the grocery store on Saturday, the only thing my laptop would load was a black screen with an error message (that’s why I am posting this via my phone).

I was also informed that my dad was hospitalized (stage 3 lung cancer) and that a special “emergency family meeting” was planned for this afternoon (which obviously I am not there for) to discuss the next phase of his treatment and final wishes (as he has been “too weak” for chemo on his last few sessions).

If that wasn’t enough, I’ve been having discomfort in my teeth for the past few weeks. I went to the dentist over Christmas break and he scolded me for not coming in sooner (and not flossing) as the cause of my troubles was two large cavaties requiring either “extraction…or a double root canal, two bridges and a few crowns.”

The appointment with a dentist in Orlando is Thursday meaning that if I went to Disney on Sunday the latest I could realistically check out would be Wednesday (the day I’d most likely have to venture out to pick up my laptop from the repair shop).

In other words, don’t expect any photos this week.

Categories: editorials, family, news, ramblings | Leave a comment

Editorial: Imaginary numbers

Yahoo News is reporting that Martin O’Malley (Gov-Md.) may not meet the entirely arbitrary criteria to be featured on stage in the next Democratic debate.

Why does a party with only 3 candidates need “criteria” to enter their debates? Are they saying their stage is that poorly constructed that it will collapse if more than two people stand on it at once?

Sure, it makes sense for a field with 14 or more people vying for stage time, but since these capricious numbers have already forced Larry Lessig (Harvard prof.), Jim Webb (Gov-Va.), and Lincoln Chafee (Gov-RI) out why even bother anymore?

Besides aren’t the VOTERS – not producers for the corporate media – supposed to be the ones who decide who our next president is?

Categories: editorials, news, politics, ramblings | Leave a comment

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