Autism

A Simba assault

I went to Animal Kingdom this morning to get out and try to get a few new photos (this is still nominally a photo blog). Then it was time to move onto something more serious – lunch.

I continue around Asia into Dinoland USA, where I saw a cool Lion King (2019) refillable travel mug which I should have gotten right there, but I didn’t because I didn’t feel like carrying it around with me all day. Oh, and they were out of fresh popcorn, and told me to come back later (even though they kept serving people behind me).

I decided to head back to Discovery Island. Disney likes having their merchandise in multiple locations, so I should be able to find this Lion King mug in one of them…right? Apparently, as the Cast Member I asked about it said (after leading me back to the coffee mug wall I was just looking at) “beverage mugs are only available in restaurants. Check there.”

Fine, I’ll go back to the hotel to eat. Then when I got back to the room, I fell asleep and woke up in time to find dinner, so since DAK closes early, I’d make a surgical strike: get photos, get the mug and most importantly get dinner. I approached Flame Tree Barbeque, outside the entrance to Dinoland, and stood in what I thought was a line while I decided what to get.

I eventually realized it wasn’t actually a line, but just guests just doing exactly what I was doing. Once I figured both things out, I made my way to the long legitimate line. My cashier, Kendra, was friendly and efficient. However, when I moved forward in line, I realized I was essentially blocking the exit row (or, at least, the people in front of me were using it as such). So, after the second or third family tried to get past me, I decided to look for another, slightly less in-the-way row to stand. The row to my right was empty and the one on my le…

“Okay, buddy, you give me receipt,” an old man with a thick accent snapped at me, literally snatching said receipt from my hand. He looks at it, scoffs and says: “Buddy is in wrong line.”

I need to have a word with this “buddy” character, he keeps getting ME into trouble.

“No, he was in MY line,” Kendra said.

Either he didn’t understand her or he chose to ignore her because he grabbed his buddy by the shoulders and pushed him into what he thought was the correct line (which, coincidentally, was the empty one on the right).

“Buddy is all right now,” he said proudly, slapping my bad shoulder on his way back to his station. Yes, you read that right, he was PROUD of his boorish behavior.

Well, Buddy was decidedly NOT happy with the way he was treated, but was doing his best to move on without being a jerk about it.

However, if I understand straight, Neurotypical behavior correctly, I should have been like “wow, he slapped my shoulder and called me ‘buddy!’ OMG, that means he is completely 100% legitimately my best friend in the entire world and therefore him grabbing me by the shoulder and pushing into the next line wasn’t ‘aggression,’ it was…” I don’t know, this peculiar brand of logic doesn’t make sense to me, and – bonus – it looks stupid typed out.

I finally got up to the counter, gave the friendly young woman my receipt, she tore it the top of it and handed it back to me. A moment later, she returned with a tray with my food on it. I have reason to believe she saw what her colleague did or not (though she couldn’t do anything about it anyway).

I tried to forget this whole incident and try and find that refillable mug, but first I went to get a drink at the coffee kiosk (creatively called “Isle of Java”), but the band playing on the stage a few feet away made ordering anything next to impossible, so I went back around towards the Starbucks (renamed “Creature Comforts” on the map) next to the bridge leading to Africa.

However, in front of the round building was an adorable Asian guy with one arm standing under a blue “Guest Experience” umbrella. After explaining my problem to him, he said “I’m sorry that happened to you… but there’s nothing I can do for you. That’s a Food & Beverages Services issue, so you’ll need to talk to a supervisor at the location you came from. Sorry. Next!”

Yep, that was exactly the answer I was afraid he’d give me, and he gave it to me. I’m lucky that way.

Not only do I have to backtrack, but I also get to be that jerk customer who holds the (now considerably shorter) line up while the counter agent goes searching for a supervisor. In fact, when the cute 20yo boy (whose badge said “Andrew”) came out from the back and asked my name (presumably for “follow-up reasons”), I was half-tempted to say “Karen.”

“I’m sorry that happened to you,” he said with a slight shrug. “That was definitely wrong on his part… but there’s really nothing I can do about that.”

Not sure if my hearing is going or if there’s an echo in this park.

“Let me see your receipt,” Andrew asked. “Okay, so you paid in cash? Good. That means I can just go over to the register and get your money back. I’ll be around in a moment…”

That went a lot easier than I was expecting. He didn’t even ask for the name of my assailant (I told him he could “check the CC” as I’m sure he would recognize him). However, what bothers me more is that as I was walking away, I remembered I completely forgot to mention Kendra in my story… and as I headed out of the park with my coffee, I remembered I also forgot to get that mug from Dinoland, USA.

 

Update: I took time out of my rainy and miserable Valentine’s Day to go back to Animal Kingdom to get said mug. Upon closer inspection and a needlessly convoluted (and increasingly frustrating) back and forth with the man running the stand, I decided it was ugly (in fact, it may actually have been a different design than the one I saw earlier) and not particularly worth the effort. However, I forfeited my day at DHS to come back here, plus his co-worker had already rung it up, so I was stuck with it.

For the record, I ate at Restaurantosaurus for my V-Day dinner.

 

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

Happy birthday, mom

Today is my mom’s 79th birthday. She died in March after a rather sudden illness.

As for today, I’m feeling okay. Not great, just okay. I know my brother Andrew says I view her death as a minor “inconvenience,” and, true or not (dad’s death meant nothing to me, mom’s was a tad more complicated due to how sudden it was), he has Power of Attorney over me through the estate so, legally speaking, I’m not allowed to argue with him about it.

It’s also one of Shamokin’s premiere Holiday Parties – and a personal favorite of my mom’s due to the selection of foods and, of course, the fact that it is hosted by one of her best friends so it was unofficially her birthday party as well. However, due to the second fact, I decided it would be too difficult on me to attend this party (though her food spread really is quite remarkable).

They say the first holiday without a loved one is the hardest. They also say it doesn’t get any easier. Factor in Autism and it’s easy to see why the confusion how to think, feel and react gets even worse. Thankfully, I live alone, so I don’t have to deal with anyone telling me I’m over (or under) reacting to things. However, come to think of it, a little support isn’t too much to ask for – today or any other day…

 

 

Categories: Autism, coal region, family, holidays, Pennsylvania | Leave a comment

Photo: Trying to listen

This is one of my pet peeves, when someone repeats themselves just as I’m about to answer them… just so I can process it all over again. 😒

“If you answered me the FIRST time, i wouldn’t have to repeat myself.” 🤦‍♂️

Categories: Advocacy\volunteer, Autism, cartoons\memes, holidays, sensory processing disorder | Leave a comment

Just for fun: Autistic Bingo

Some of these aren’t marked because they no longer apply (doodling, cryptid nerd, and I was even into “House Hunters” for a while).

Note: I take no credit for the card itself. I stole it from another page. Sorry.

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Autism Pride 2019

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A difficult month…

This weekend (Saturday – tomorrow as you read this) marks one year since I was hit by a car trying to cross International Drive in Orlando. I got off the I-Ride trolley, made sure there was no traffic coming (which isn’t easy given the slight turn in the road) and then watched from the opposite side of the street as a black SUV comes out of nowhere knocking the human beach ball to the ground in slow motion before… you can read the rest here, here and here.

A lot has changed in that time, I still have moderate (but persistent) pain in my arm (and despite having no meaningful physical therapy, I can move my arm about almost normally – almost) and occasional tingling in my left leg. Plus, I have mysterious headaches and minor short-term memory issues (as the left side of my head hit the hood rather hard). On the plus side, at least the bills have stopped.

Did I mention that I get anxious crossing streets in Orlando? I do, and it makes getting around without a car a lot more nerve racking – if I never saw that car coming, how am I going to see the next one? It’s a question I don’t want to think about – especially since I lost my ID about 10 days ago, so they’d never identify me (note: I would want someone to continue editing my novel, and possibly collect some or all of these posts into a nonfiction book… which I haven’t come up with a proper title for yet). If you want to why I didn’t replace it, see above. Short-term memory loss is a bitch at times… but it’s weird because only some things like paying bills, collecting mail, taking out the trash, etc. are effected and not others.

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As if I didn’t have enough to occupy my enfeebled mind, this past Monday marked three months since my mom’s death and NEXT weekend marks the third (probably closer to 19 or 20th) Father’s Day without the supposed celebrant… which is an odd occasion to mark given how he usually “celebrated” things like this. Yes, I’m expecting angry comments on that last sentence, but sharing feelings is what blogs like this are for, right?

Two days later is Autistic Pride Day (June 18th), a day I’m honestly conflicted about given the content of this blog. Yes, I think people have a right to celebrate their differences and how far we’ve come in the last 70 years, but it feels almost hypocritical given how much hurt, stress and turmoil it has caused my life… or lack thereof as I type sitting alone in my bedroom on a Thursday night wondering how to celebrate Pride Month (especially without a proper ID).

The fact that I can even type that last shows how far we’ve come in 50 years – especially since we not only have Presidential candidates twisting themselves into knots trying to pander to us whereas their nonexistent platforms on Disability Rights is rather appalling, but, at least, NYPD has apologized for their 1969 raid on the Stonewall Inn.

So, yeah, there’s a lot on my mind this month, but, on the plus side, today (Thursday) is my nephew’s sixth birthday. Happy birthday, Greyson, and thanks for reading this. Servus.

 

Categories: Advocacy\volunteer, Autism, editorials, Gay rights, I-Ride Trolley, news, transportation | Leave a comment

Another milestone reached

I thought I passed this milestone long ago. I even made a graphic for it last yeat but I’m too lazy to search for it. Sadly, this is just for Facebook. Last I checked, this blog itself had only 35 followers.

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A difficult week

This has been a very difficult week for me, not because yesterday marked exactly two months since my mother’s death or even the ubiquitous Mother’s Day displays springing up in all the stores or ads for specials at local restaurants shoved into my tiny apartment mailbox – no, it’s hard because, well, I can’t explain why.

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s summer in Florida and the oppressive humidity is starting to get to me. Maybe it’s that the weekend thunderstorms are causing my arm/shoulder to hurt again. Maybe it’s that I’ve been stuck with terrible heartburn all week which makes me not want to eat so anything I force myself to eat only makes said heartburn worse. I can’t see a doctor about any of this because I don’t have insurance anymore (which apparently can’t be fixed until the exchange opens up again in December).

Perhaps, it’s the fact that I finally submitted my manuscript to another editor and have no idea whether they will praise it or tear me to shreds like my last two (which was why I waited a full year to submit it to another editor). Though part of me knows that it’s the waiting for their assessment that’s harder than anything they might say, the rest of me dreads any kind of feedback at all (though I know my work needs it).

Or I could just be bored. You wouldn’t think someone who covers theme parks for a living would get bored… but then again, I could be lonely too, but dating is probably the one thing scarier than anything my editor could possibly say to me. In fact, I should probably quit writing now, as I just realized: It was way too familiar blog posts about ableism and discrimination first thing in the morning that started this trend (thankfully, April is now over, so I should be seeing a lot less of them)… but the approach of Mother’s Day probably isn’t helping matters.

Categories: Autism, family, Health, healthcare, insurance, writing | Leave a comment

More Autis-memes

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Photos: Autism Acceptance Week

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