Monthly Archives: April 2016
I’ve never been to Tokyo Disneyland, but if Doctor Disney is correct, then I may have to make a trip soon as Oriental Land Co. Ltd. are adding 4 new attractions plus a large theatre space to their two parks.
First is a ride and shopping\dining area based on Beauty and the Beast. Neither the name nor type of ride is known at this time, but the article implies it’s a dark ride. I like the idea of the shopping and dining area (they can’t do any worse than New Fantasyland), but I don’t see a “dark ride” working for that movie, a teacups attraction (their concept art shows riders getting into Chip shaped vehicles)? Sure, but I think they’re better off putting it into their new theater they are building nearby.
Next is a Whip-style attraction based on the movie Big Hero 6 (called Baymax in Japan) in which the titular “personal healthcare provider” takes riders on a spin to some catchy music similar to “Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree” at California Disneyland. Right property, right park (if there is ONE park that should OWN BH6 it’s Tokyo Disneyland or more likely its neighbor Tokyo DisneySea), WRONG attraction – forget B&TB this is your dark ride (imagine “flying” through San Fransokyo with Hiro on your title character’s back)! You see Mater’s attraction works because a) he’s a sidekick as opposed to the title character, b) it fits his character and c) it’s not the main attraction in that area.
Third and least interesting is a new meet and greet area for Minnie Mouse in Toon Town area. Tour her “interactive design studio” (no stereotype there) and get your photo taken with her. Maybe I’m just spoiled by WDW where some parks seemingly having more M&Gs then trash cans.
The fourth, final and ONLY one on this list from Tokyo DisneySea (which seems like a better fit for a Baymax attraction than Tomorrowland) is the opening of Soarin’ but the movie is more or less the same as the one opening at the other parks but they are replacing the gimmicky “hang gliders” with a Jules Verne-style “flying machines.” This attraction like the other versions of this film is set to open this summer.
I’ve been meaning to go to Tokyo Disneyland for a while, but once these attractions open, I may have to make it a larger priority.
I’ve fallen a bit behind here on blogging this month with about 30 memes to post and at least a dozen half-finished blog posts about symptoms I identify with and another dozen that I don’t.
Today, I found out that avoidance of the phone is relatively common in the Autism World. I thought I was the only one to act like that. I tell people “do not call me: text or email me only” and then two minutes later my phone rings.
Yep, then they get mad at me because they can’t understand a word I’m saying (I’m CONVINCED there is a special place in Hell for whoever invented the concept of “mandatory phone interviews”) and there’s nothing quite like spending 45 minutes on the phone with some random stranger to complete a “simple 10-minute survey” just to have the woman snap “you don’t even qualify for this survey – why didn’t you tell me that at the BEGINNING of this call? Thank you for wasting MY time, bitch” (don’t worry, it was only MY dinner that was charred and inedible when I finally got it out of the oven).
If I’m forced to call someone and they do not answer I will NOT “leave a message.” I get nervous enough on the phone as it is, but hey now I have to have a cogent script already prepared just so I don’t sound like an idiot. Even if I do leave a message, chances are 100% that I will not hear from them again.
For instance, one time I called a woman about a comment for a story I was writing (and yes, I know people are already leery of talking to journalists) and left a message speaking in a slow, clear and concise manner telling her to get back to me at the newsroom. I called her back a day or so later and she said “oh, so YOU’RE the ‘crazy mumble lady,’ I couldn’t understand a word you said so I just deleted it. Well, anyway, we don’t deal with crazy people here. Have a nice day, and DO NOT call here ever again.”
Fortunately, since I moved to Orlando I haven’t gotten as many calls anymore. Maybe it’s because I stopped answering the phone if I don’t’ recognize the number. Interestingly enough, if I DO answer a call like that (there’s a slight chance it could be about a job interview), most of the time they simply hang up on me so it’s a win-win.
Speaking of wins, I hope to get more quality – and more relevant – posts up in May…or not. I’m flexible like that.
Star Wars experiences abound at Hollywood Studios as we await the opening of both Toy Story Land (opening sometime next year) and the long awaited Star Wars Land itself (which just broke ground so 2019 at the earliest). However, the ubiquitous walls are still halving Hollywood, the other parks are preparing to take them down.
- Tiffins at Animal Kingdom opens over Memorial Day weekend and over 30 shops are slated to open at Disney Springs as well.
- While the “Rivers of Light” show seems to be delayed again, the park’s nighttime hours seem ready to start in the coming months with the new Sunset Safaris and expanded hours for rides like Dinosaur and Expedition Everest with a temporary Jungle Book themed show standing in for ROL for the duration of the summer.
- Frozen Ever After and “Soarin’ Around the World” open on June 17th
- Dory joins the cast of “Turtle Talk with Crush” (also on June 17th, even though she already appeared in the attraction back in October of last year)
- MK gets a new stage show at Cinderella Castle as well as a new M&G for their latest TV princess (“sometime in June” but I’m guessing it’s somewhere between the 16th and 18th)
I can’t say I’m a fan of Frozen, but my six-year old niece IS. Unfortunately, she’s visiting the first week in MAY and my AP is “blacked out” the entirety of June, July and most of August (so no photos over Summer).
I know the Jungle Book show is “temporary,” but I’m kind of hoping if it becomes a success and they move it into either Theatre in the Wild (“Finding Nemo: The Musical”) or Caravan Stage (“Flights of Wonder”) – the former offering more space and the latter a better fit thematically… or even keep it in the ROL amphitheater as a daytime show (why waste good space?).
All month long, the various Autism blogs\Facebook feeds have been posting about symptoms and behaviors I’ve never exhibited to my knowledge – including the fact that people with Autism have perfect memories (at least I think that’s what it said). Yes, as I said before, I am sensitive to loud and\or high pitched noise and I jump whenever strangers touch me, but I never required full bodied tackles and\or special restraint mechanisms to keep from hurting myself or my siblings (sorry, I know it’s a very real part of the spectrum, but I refused to watch said video).
The story I saw today was about the sheer fatigue of going out into the real world and trying to act remotely “normal” in a world that is not designed for us. It’s loud, bright and will gladly leave you behind if you fail to match its arbitrary pace…
For instance, I could never study in the Richter Library because as quiet as most students tried to be, I still couldn’t concentrate on my reading (which was already difficult since I was initially co-diagnosed with both ADHD and Dyslexia back in high school) due to the sounds of typing, printing and even on “quiet” levels there was still the noise of multiple pages flipping (“the stacks” had an awful echo), the inadequate lighting and the distracting odor of musty books slowly fermenting in the oppressive Florida humidity.
Thankfully, the material I write these days doesn’t require long trips to “the stacks” (though it probably should). Heck, I’d rather AVOID most of my material all together, but somehow it keeps finding me anyway. Particularly when it ruins once enjoyable experiences for me, for instance, I can’t sit down to watch a movie without a middle-aged white woman turning around, slapping me HARD and growling at me menacingly…for having the audacity to have a cold during a movie.
Yep, I can’t even THINK of movies without associating it with someone ASSAULTING me because I woke up that day and said “you know what, I think I’ll be SICK today” kind of like I when I “decided” to have a teenager slam into my car in 2007 (which is odd since it was brand new, the first car I ever owned AND the loss of it permanently ruined my life). Did I mention, that accident almost cost me my life… oh, yeah, it did: my car, my license (which I was SOOO proud of getting), my insurance AND every single job I’ve interviewed for since (as asking about my “car” is the easiest “ice breaker” in the world, c’mon who ISN’T proud of their car?).
I have not gone anywhere since I started writing this story two days ago, and reviewing it now only makes me think of countless other things, many of which I long hoped I’d forgotten about. Yeah, I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I suddenly remember an argument from 20 years ago?
Yep, it is now 10am, and I haven’t even left the apartment for the day, yet all I want to do is go back to bed…
I feel bad for how poorly my last post was written: boring subject, bad transitions (the piece was originally twice as long) and overall rushed writing. In order to cheer myself up, I’ve collected a bunch of memes that will hopefully lift your mood as much as they did mine.
“Sorry for being late,” I said running up to the counter still somewhat out of breath. “I have an appointment for 1 o’clock with the hygienist.”
I give her my name and appointment time to the young brunette with the navy blue scrubs with the words “dental hygienist” emblazoned on her right breast and she just shakes her head and asks “are you SURE you’re a patient here? I’m not showing anything for you or any appointments for 1pm.”
“My name is Bonnie,” said the older blond-headed woman in the lab coat standing behind the counter. “I’M the hygienist, and I don’t have any appointments this afternoon.”
“Wait, are you ‘Jonathan,’” the brunette receptionist asked. “First visit was in February and last visit was March the 12th?”
“Yeah, I guess…” (as contrary to popular media stereotypes, not everyone with Autism has a photographic memory for dates and times).
“Okay, great… but it’s still not showing you as having an appointment today.”
“Bah, whatever,” Bonnie said walking away from the counter exasperatedly. “Just bring him back, I don’t have anything for the afternoon anyway.”
When I met her on the other side of the reception area, I explained to her that I had been trying to get an appointment with her for the past week (which I’m told is pretty good for a hygienist).
“Oh, of course,” she said. “First our voicemail went down, and now we can’t get e-mail. I swear, the whole system is a mess.”
As she led me towards the treatment room, I explain to her how loud, high pitched noise drives me mad, and is one of the primary reasons I try to avoid dentists. In fact, I could hear her working on someone on my last visit, and it was pure torture for me.
“Thankfully, I have nothing to worry about as I was just here for a simple cle-”
“‘Cleaning,’” she asked incredulously as I sat down in their long vinyl chair. “Honey, your file says you’re here for a prophylactic supragingival scaling for removal of plaque infected calculus [yes, I looked it up]. Your dentist should have explained that to you, but that doesn’t matter now. I’ll be back with a copy of your chart and a rough cost estimate…”
Pro-galactic super-ninja sailors are infecting my plaque with Calculus?
I knew math was tough, but this was getting scarier by the second. Her insistence on touching my shoulder “reassuringly” during the exchange wasn’t helping. In fact, it makes it worse, but there is no real way to tell her that without sounding like a jerk.
“It is $285 per quadrant with insurance, plus the cost of anesthesia. Yes, I know that SOUNDS like a lot, but I don’t have to do your entire mouth in one sitting. You know, I’ll be back in a few minutes, and you can give me an answer then.”
In fact, most dental websites I visited to write this post recommend NOT doing the entire mouth at once… but I didn’t know that going in so I said “half” mostly because she said a “full treatment” would take “between 2-3 hours.” Heck, that extraction was only 40 minutes, and my jaw was sore for the rest of the week.
“First thing we’re going to do is take some measurements,” Bonnie said in an innocuous way that sounded more and ominous as she continued. “That way, we have a record so we can watch you and track your progress between visits.”
After several uncomfortable minutes of poking, prodding and scraping with a bonus “burning” smell, she stopped what she was doing momentarily, and I rather naively asked if that meant we were…
“’Finished?’ Oh, honey,” she said putting her hand back onto my right shoulder. “I haven’t even started yet. Now put that tube back in your mouth and bite. I said ‘BITE,’ now open so I can continue with your procedure…”
Every once in a while, she’d stop again for a few seconds to give my mouth a douse of cold water which was not at all “refreshing” but painfully clear that she was actually washing blood away from my gums. Moreover, it gave me a false sense of hope that this uncomfortable ordeal was finally over and I could go home.
Finally, she lifts the ugly beige chair up and hands me a small mirror to hold while she lectures me about how to “brush my gums” (which I’m told is pretty much standard on a first visit) with a child-sized orange toothbrush. Damnit, not only are my teeth more crooked than I remembered, but I forget to shave this morn-
“You’re not watching. You NEED to watch this so YOU can maintain good oral hygiene until your next visit. If you DON’T maintain good brushing and flossing than you WILL have more problems down the road.”
I get it’s supposed to be “empowering,” but it came off as condescending and felt more pre-emptive handwringing. In other words: “It’s now officially YOUR fault if YOU need any further treatment beyond the 2nd half of your cleaning and upcoming bridge work – which were also YOUR fault.”
No cherry lollipop (seriously, what kind of dentist doesn’t have lollipops?), but at least she “let” me keep the tiny orange toothbrush. Yah, I get to throw away something she would have otherwise thrown away herself – THAT’S empowerment, baby!
Okay, yes, she gave a REAL toothbrush too, along with a small pack of floss… and a bill for $589 due immediately upon receipt which the pretty, brunette receptionist who wasn’t sure if I could pay via check.
Whatever, I’ll let them work it out, after all, I have a sore jaw and a tiny orange toothbrush to get rid of…
Today is “Autism Awareness Day,” the day people change their profile pictures to puzzle pieces or blue light bulbs to “raise awareness,” but mostly because it makes these people feel good about themselves. Congratulations, you’re my new hero.
I don’t need people to be “aware” of me. Go through my archives, people are aware enough of me as it is. I want people to ACCEPT me not as some cripple they can abuse but AS me. In fact, I try to be both aware of and accepting of the people around me.
For instance, I saw Zootopia yesterday – a movie about accepting people’s differences – and there was a hot boy figuratively speaking – and probably literally too as it was almost 90 degrees outside – in his late-20s flailing manically in his wheelchair outside the theater in Disney Springs and while he wasn’t “talking” per se, he was making a lot of noise. Unfortunately, by the time I figured out something to say to him, he and his family were gone. In other words, this was Epcot all over again.
The movie let out at 4:35pm. Fortunately, the AMC is on the Westside “neighborhood” so it was a relatively simple walk back to the Lynx stop at the edge of the parking lot. I wasn’t finished with my churro when the bus arrived, so I was hungry when I got off at the “transfer stop” at SeaWorld. Restaurants in the immediate area are a tad scarce, so I went back to the room to see what was in my fridge, sighed and headed back out in the wilds.
I was seated a few minutes after arriving at the restaurant, and my hot red headed server spoke with a slow, flat voice. I wasn’t sure if he was flirting with me or just bored…or maybe he was just unemotional and trying very hard to enunciate each word. I did hear him try to make a joke with some Dutch tourists at the table behind me, but it sounded more forced than funny and I’m guessing he knew that as he apologized awkwardly and rushed off.
The next time I saw him was when he delivered my entrée, it wasn’t his fault that said entrée was bland and lukewarm, but he was attentive and though his voice remained stoic, he seemed genuinely sorry when he came back to tell me they were out of the pie I ordered for dessert. Maybe it was a suggestive sell, but when I gave him my “second choice,” his face lit up as he said that was favorite item on the menu (tbf, he didn’t do it with my first choice). Unlike previous visits, said pie was warm and soft (maybe it was just because of the hot ginger delivering it) with the only cold aspect of it being the special dessert spoon he carefully laid on top of my napkin.
I’m not implying anything untoward about either of the aforementioned individuals, I’m just saying I was aware of and chose to accept them. That’s why I’m not posting those silly light bulbs or puzzle pieces. The former implies I should be sad about something… or are they saying that this “awareness” is only a special limited time engagement before we go marching back into our little storage pods where the rest of society doesn’t have to think about us for another year? Which is the reason I dislike the puzzle piece campaign too: it implies I’m “incomplete” and since the purpose of said campaign is to raise money for a cure that will make society accept me.
The problem is, the word “cure” implies that there is something “wrong” with Autistic people that needs curing (we’ve presumably already been vaccinated) …. unless they mean that we’re raw meat that needs to rubbed down with salt to preserve our flavor. Why would you do that, when sodium-peroxide (better known as bleach) presumably works much better – particularly since you don’t have to worry about “preserving” someone after they’ve been murdered cremated. It’s not like she had a “future” anyway, but, at least, you can give the remains to another family to give to their kids: after all it can’t possibly be any more harmful to them some “evil” life-saving vaccine.
Basically, I don’t want mere “awareness” – I just want ACCEPTANCE. Period. I’m not broken, sick or “missing a few pieces.” I am me, and I’m okay with that. The question is: are you?