family

Photo: I wonder what today is…

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Hard (and lonely) times ahead…

Today marks nine months since my mom’s death. I don’t like harping on it in this blog, but it’ll be my first holiday without my parents and the rest of my family is in Pennsylvania. It’s not going to be easy, but I have no choice but to get through it.

(Art credit: Emm Roy, Emm’s Positivity Blog)

So, Thanksgiving? My older brother is tailgating at his wife’s alma-mater. My oldest brother is going over to his brother-in-law’s house. My aunt (dad’s side) is spending time with her husband’s family, and my other aunt (mom’s side) is spending it with her boyfriend’s family. My uncle (mom’s side) is going to his sister-in-law’s House. Sooo, where does that leave me?

A lot further ahead than I am for Christmas. I mean my older brother is throwing a “Holiday party” the weekend before Christmas. I’m not 100% sure if I’m invited or shall I say “welcome” given his attitude towards me, but it IS Christmas. Besides, the bigger issue would be logistics. How do I get there? How do I get around? Where would I stay? How would I get back? People who have cars don’t have that problem.

It’s the same reason I’m probably not attending my oldest brother’s birthday later this month. To be fair, it’s the weekend before Thanksgiving so travel (probably) wouldn’t be as bad… but I’d rather not risk it. #Sorrybro

Categories: family, holidays, lehigh valley, Pennsylvania | Leave a comment

Distressed to impress: Developers share their vision for blighted town

Last year, my brother Andrew (who you were probably looking for when you found this site #sorry) bought several derelict sites at a city auction: the former Coal Hole (which contrary to what its name was NOT a gay bar, but a live-music venue), F&S Brewery (which was also repurposed as a bar) and the Jones ACE Hardware Store on Independence Street of downtown all of which in addition to The Lark Building, another property on the periphery of downtown, that he inherited from our father (as Lark was our grandmother’s maiden name).

The (Sunbury, Pa) Daily Item had a feature story this morning about his plans for two of these properties – the former Coal Hole and the former ACE Hardware. He plans on eventually turning them into hotels to cash in on the recently opened Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, arguing the area’s abundance of vacant/blighted land (as opposed to the over saturated Lehigh Valley) make it a prime spot for new developments in the coming years.

I have been laughed at for expressing the kind of sentiments – yes, even Andy thought I was overly optimistic about the city’s prospects at one point. I may not agree with all of his plans, but they are still a push in the right direction. We’ll see which ones materialize in due time.

While I like the idea of restoring the former Coal Hole to a hotel again (as it has better parking and is within walking distance to downtown), it makes sense to focus on the smaller ACE Hardware location first. The city doesn’t currently have need for a large hotel so a smaller “boutique” hotel may do for the moment so long as it maintains the character of the area without going overboard with the theming.

The story makes no mention of either the F&S or Lark buildings… but does describe the plans (by another developer) to turn a once famous church into a bookstore, a coffeeshop (not clear if they would be the same entity or not), a visitor’s center, a museum AND a bed & breakfast.

Times have changed, and it looks like my distressed hometown’s time may have finally come…

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Happy Mother’s Day

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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

Photo: (Un)Happy Easter

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A very difficult month

My mom died suddenly four weeks ago today (on March 3rd) and as you can tell from the lack of posts, this has been a very hard on me. Due to an inability to put my feelings in proper words, here are some memes which come close:

Categories: art, cartoons\memes, coal region, entertainment, family, Internet\FB, Pennsylvania | Leave a comment

A broken heart and tattered jeans (part 1)

As you can probably guess, this wasn’t the best week for me. My mom died suddenly on Monday night and I was told I had to come in on Tues or Wed so I could attend a viewing on “Thurs” that was moved to Saturday to be “more convenient” to out of town visitors (um, hi) meaning I paid DOUBLE the airfare (out of my own pocket no less) to fly out a day earlier than I wanted for absolutely nothing. To make matters worse, nearly everything about the combined service was a “disaster” (not my word). Thankfully, it ended quickly, and we could get on to more important things… like dozens of people I haven’t seen in 20 years (or more) asking me “when are you flying back.”

The real answer was “not soon enough,” but such honesty is kind of frowned upon in these settings so I was forced to repeatedly pull an arbitrary date from thin air right on the spot. Improv was never my strong suit so forcing me to do it on command can only end well, right?

Thankfully, after the obligatory, overlong, over loud “celebratory dinner,” my brother finally got the internet in the house working again (which is another story entirely) so I managed to book a flight a day earlier than I told people at the service. #winning

That day was Monday.

It started out by my aunts and uncle coming over and informing me to “get breakfast here as we aren’t stopping anywhere” in fact they left me alone in a dead woman’s house for almost 20 minutes so I could do that (apparently, the funeral home needed the flowers we specifically asked people NOT to send be returned that morning so they could prepare for another service). This whole self-serve breakfast thing would have been cool, but my older brother cleaned out the fridge the night before so there was literally nothing in there but two coffee creamers and half a container of guacamole… which would have worked out great, if they hadn’t taken the chips with them.

They get back shortly before noon giving me barely any time to breathe, let alone bring said flowers inside, before my Uncle Tom impatiently declares “we’re leaving. NOW. Let’s move.” Okay, fine, he also decides to take my mom’s car so he can leave his in the driveway (his wife is paranoid of people robbing the place post funeral).

Anyway, said car, actually a burgundy colored minivan, was flanked with trash bags (so animals won’t get into it) with the passenger side being blocked completely by a stack of bags nearly as tall as I am (no really). So, instead of waiting for him to pull the car out like a “normal” person, I scramble to climb over them and as I try to work my way into the cramped back seat, I hear a loud ripping noise.

I can’t check this immediately, but this cannot POSSIBLY be good. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do about it until I got to the airport…

Categories: adventures, Autism, coal region, family, flying, Pennsylvania, sensory processing disorder, transportation | Leave a comment

A broken heart and tattered jeans (part 2)

My Uncle Tom pulls up to the ticketing area around 1:30pm, and I very carefully get myself and my bags out of the car so as not to cause any more damage to my jeans. The only place I can possibly change out of these ripped pants was in the restrooms.

Fortunately, I had a spare set of dress pants in my bag, and conveniently enough the only trash can in the lower terminal was under the sink across from the exit to my stall. So, I rezip my bag, throw the jeans in the trash and head to airline check-in as if nothing happened – because it didn’t.

Yep, dress pants on, hoodie on (as I couldn’t fit in my carry-on), ticket, ID and shoes in hand. And, just as I get to the front of the line, I can barely hear a woman over the PA saying: “would the person who lost their PANTS please pick them up at the Allegiant counter. Thank you.”

Let me see if I get this straight. Someone saw the ripped jeans in the trash, fished them out of said trash, (!) followed me to the airline counter and turned them into the representative? Okay, I can sort of see the logic of that from a “security” point of view. But, seriously, let’s think how positively STEW-PED both of these individuals think I am?

AT BEST, I am a laughing stock who has given up not only his place at the front of the line but now I have to explain this to the agent. Oh, and I’m guaranteed to miss my flight so I now have 18 hours to figure out how to fit those unwanted jeans I couldn’t fit into my carry-on into my carry-on. Yeah, thanks, Good Samaritan!

What would REALLY happen is this: I’d lose my place in line, become a laughing stock of everyone in the airport (who are naturally filming this on their phones), I get to the ticket counter and am met not by an airline representative but by airport police and the TSA who will not give a damn about my “story” because I’m obviously a nutjob of some kind (the A-word would definitely NOT help me in this case). Not only do I miss my flight, I get a free trip to JAIL and the opportunity to explain this to a judge who will care even less about my “story” than the police/TSA, but at least the media (who saw the inevitable YouTube video of me) would, shoving their mikes in my face and shouting loaded questions over each other as I leave the courthouse. Yeah, all that attention, and I don’t even have a book to plug… but I would get to rebook my flight at my own expense, so there’s that.

Thankfully, neither of those situations happened. I ignored the announcements (as I could barely hear it anyway) and proceeded through the machine rewarded by a full pat down with complimentary cock groping (literally the first person to touch my cock in yeeears) and gun powder residue test (which was a new one on me) and them sent me into the terminal like “yeah, I totally not freaking out. I am not ‘violated,’ I am 100% sec- oh, shit, my flight is boarding RIGHT NOW!!

I managed to get to my gate just before they closed the plane door. I was the last person to board the plane (which made finding my seat a snap), but I was still on the plane.

Thankfully, my dress pants held up for the duration of the flight…

 

UPDATE (3/13/2019): Writing this post made me angry in spots, but it also reminded me how lucky I was in this regard as “funny” as the rest of the line found this incident, it could be seen a legitimate security risk… even if my actions made logical sense, at least to me anyway. Heck, this non-incident happened two days ago, and I keep expecting HSA agents to show up at my door. Fortunately, this hasn’t happened… yet.

Categories: adventures, Autism, family, flying, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Sanford, sensory processing disorder, transportation | Leave a comment

Photo: My favorite part of going home…

Categories: adventures, art, cartoons\memes, coal region, entertainment, family, florida, flying, Harrisburg, Internet\FB, Orlando, Pennsylvania, Sanford, transportation | Leave a comment

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