ramblings

National Disappointment Day

Today is National Siblings Day in the US. Yah.

I have two brothers, we aren’t as close (or anywhere near as supportive) as some siblings I’ve seen around the FB community, but we aren’t openly feuding to my knowledge. I’m a huge “disappointment” to them (yes, that’s an actual quote not an emphasis), but they (usually) aren’t mad about it, bro…

The lack of hostility doesn’t necessarily translate to acceptance or support, but if something goes wrong, they are more than happy to blame me for it. Don’t worry, even if it is demonstrably PROVEN beyond even the tiniest shadow of a doubt that it wasn’t my fault, it’s still my fault because… um, it just is.

I get invited to their major parties and what not, but it feels more like what they are expected to do than a sincere request. Maybe it’s just my “overactive imagination,” but as welcome as they say I am, it doesn’t feel like I actually belong there. It’s subtle, but unshakable.

Kind of like the difference between icy “awareness” and the warm embrace of “acceptance” (which I don’t think they’ve gotten to yet). If I had to put it into words, it would probably be like lukewarm resentment with a mildly friendly veneer over it.

Actually, I think my middle brother put it best: “You know, Sibling Day isn’t a real holiday.”

How disappointing – especially since I was looking forward to using that cute “I love my brother” graphic I swiped off FB at the top of this post. Maybe next year…

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Categories: Autism, family, holidays, ramblings | 1 Comment

Minding the gap

I spent a good portion of the afternoon arguing with the agent from the dental insurance company whose policy starts tomorrow (required to complete my ACA order) to try and establish my “assigned dentist.”

Good grief, I can still remember trying to buy regular health insurance (the Golden Rule plan I’d be replacing) when I first moved to Maryland and before the aforementioned “Care Act” took effect. It was a nightmare (which I don’t feel like repeating here), but was still easier than signing up for Obamacare. Seriously, 20 different policies from TWO different companies PLUS I had to choose separate vision and dental plans – why have one monthly bill when you can have three?

No, you can’t skip these two steps – I tried, and ended up delaying coverage for about 2 weeks (and being woken up by phone calls at 9am every morning for said two weeks saying “it’s time to finish enrollment” which I thought was already taken care of). #endrant

Back to my original story: apparently, there is only ONE in the entire metro Orlando area () – even though there were AT LEAST four offices within a 20-minute bus ride of me which claimed they accepted plans from that company, but nope agent on the phone insisted there was only one in-plan dentist in a 25-mile radius “…unless you want the Premium Plan.”

Seriously considered telling him to forgot it as I really didn’t want the plan to begin with. The good news is: it gives me an excuse to switch practices (which you read about in my “dental” category). The bad news is: I’m on my own for finding it… as long as I’m willing to pay “a little bit extra” for another plan… and wait a full year before true coverage kicks in (so that extracted tooth – from LAST FEBRUARY – isn’t getting capped for another year).

But, hey, at least I get to call them back tomorrow…

Categories: Advocacy\volunteer, dentistry, editorials, Health, news, politics, ramblings | Leave a comment

Review: Epcot’s inaugural International Festival of the Arts

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First off, today is Saturday. I never go anywhere NEAR the parks on a Saturday unless I absolutely have to…or unless I’m super bored and the event only happens on weekends like the inaugural Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

Theme Park Tourist couldn’t recommend it highly enough – even going so far as to suggest making it a multi-day event for art\food lovers. I wouldn’t that far, but I do see it’s appeal… as a way to draw attendance to the park between the phenomenally popular Flower & Garden Show and the overpriced pub crawl know as Food & Wine Festival. Nothing wrong with that – Busch Gardens hosts its own Food & Wine Festival during their slow season.

The problem (and you knew I’d have one) is Disney is trying too hard to make what little they’re offering sound like a lot more than what it is (kind of Hollywood Studios). I’ve been to arts festivals in Miami (Beaux Arts), Harrisburg (Kipona), Baltimore (Artscape), Tampa (Gasperilla Festival of the Arts) and, yes, even Shamokin has one (Anthracite Heritage Festival of the Arts) and none of them were like this.

It’s like the people planning this had never been to an arts festival.

I get this is mainly about drawing people into the park so they can spend their money in DISNEY’S stores and restaurants (so no blocking paths leading to attractions or restaurants) so even though they also advertise this as a “culinary festival,” those tasty “seminars” were tucked safely behind Disney’s trademark paywall.

To be fair, this was one of the weak complaints TPT made of the event: Little food, big prices and long lines. At Artscape, I couldn’t walk 50 feet without running into a food vendor, here the closest thing to fest food was the existing Funnel Cake House at the American pavilion (and, yes, it had a line too). In fact, there were times where I completely forgot I was walking through an “Arts Festival” rather than an overcast day at Epcot.

As I was walking through the various “Art areas,” I noticed they were dominated by house booths with house merchandise. Don’t get me wrong, ALL of the festivals above had their own merch tents – Artscape had several of them spread throughout their festival – but they had other vendors there. Some of them varied in price\quality (see early years of Heritage Fest), but they weren’t all house booths.

Normally, I’d give them some slack for being an inaugural event, but this is DISNEY and I know they can do better than this. Well, there’s always next year…

Categories: adventures, art, disney world, editorials, entertainment, festivals, florida, news, Orlando, ramblings, retail | Leave a comment

Confession: I didn’t watch the inauguration

I used to post moderately conservative posts on this blog back at the beginning of the primaries in 2015 so it’s kind of embarrassing to say I didn’t get to watch the inauguration. It’s not that I was “protesting” or “boycotting” it…though I was planning on checking out that whole inaugural International Festival of the Arts at Epcot this afternoon.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do either.

I woke up at 5am with a dry throat and sore stomach and after I got some water and used the bathroom I went back to bed…and when I woke up: it was 1:30 in the afternoon! Too late to do anything about EITHER inaugural event, but at least I was feeling better so that’s good.

Fortunately, I’m not worried about the Epcot thing all that much as it’s going through the end of next month (and, truthfully, the ONLY reason I’m even considering going is because I don’t want to “waste” my AP). Eh, tomorrow’s another day…

 

Categories: disney world, florida, news, Orlando, politics, ramblings | Leave a comment

Commentary: What not to post

Some site called “Thrillist” posted a story this morning titled: Things no self-respecting adult should be doing on Facebook.

 

Posting “chain” statuses – I don’t give a fuck how badly “Tweety\Tinkerbell\Random Fucking Butterfly wants to fly,” I’m not sharing your stupid schmaltzy graphic. Same goes for “I want to see this photo of my kid holding a(n) Autism\Cerebral Palsy\Childhood Leukemia awareness sign on EVERY wall on Facebook” or pretty much any other picture that tells me to “Hit LIKE and SHARE if you agree. :D”

Being an annoyingly over-enthusiastic, semi-delusional sports fan – GOOOOOO C-A-N-E-S cuz we’re #1 and it’s ALL about The ||_||

Posting pictures and/or bragging about drinking/drug use – Father was a RAGING alcoholic so I learned THAT lesson pretty early on (and then was forced into rehab which never believed I never drank anything and thus I was labeled as a “liar\in denial” for the length of my stay)

… and then apologizing for it the next day – I NEVER got an apology for the awful things dad did when he was drunk (as it was always – ALWAYS – MY fault). Other people prescribe to the same philosophy as my likes to say “no-one mistreats you for ‘no reason’ – you obviously GAVE them a reason otherwise they wouldn’t have acted like that! Gah, grow up and take some responsibility for YOUR actions!”

Sending multiple invites to your art show/improv show/band’s gig – Did I mention I have a FB page for this blog? Facebook.com/lifeintheuncannyvalley

Treating your profile like your personal blog – Soo yeah, they want me to log onto WordPress and write a 10-15 word post? I have tried turning “overly long” FB posts into blog posts before, and it never works.

Friending people you don’t actually know – One of the things I took away from my disasterous Chicago trip is we don’t “actually know” ANYONE.

Sending out a million invites to Farmville – But Zynga said if I post it on my wall, my friends WILL help me out. They didn’t. They don’t. They never fucking will. That’s one of the reasons I quit my FB\mobile gaming blog.

Bragging excessively\Bragging Humbly – This is blog “will NEVER have any fuking followers, ur a pethatic LOSER and no-one will tek ur fuking joke of a blog srsly!”

Posting cryptic messages or lyrics that nobody gets – I hate having to guess what people are posting about just for them to say “oh no, nuthin lik that I was listening to music while I was on FB lolz”

Selfies, of any variety – Not on THIS blog. I’ve seen how mine come out, and you don’t want to.

Going on rambling, incoherent political rants – I USED to post stuff like that here (and considered starting a spin-off blog for that kind of material), but I realized that’s not the point of this blog. If I ever figure out what the point of this blog IS, I’ll let you know.

Talking bad about your job (past or present) – The ONLY outside jobs I ever had was a 30-day stint at McDonalds, sweeping floors at Benchmark Young Adult School and a freelance gig at The Miami Hurricane. Literally, every other job I had was self-employed.

Posting cheesy motivational statuses/pictures – Fuck you. That’s the reason I created this blog’s Facebook page in the first place.

Giving a shit about relationship statuses – Nope, but people REALLY hate when you assume they’re still married to their ex. They also hate that you know their “relationship status” at all – even though they’re the ones posting about it.

Desperately begging for someone to hang out with you – That was how I got to Chicago, and I think I mentioned how well THAT went. Now if people want to hang out with me (ha), they can do so. If not, their loss.

Annoyingly self-promoting – Did I mention I have a FB page for this blog? Facebook.com/lifeintheuncannyvalley

Blocking your relatives – Believe me after what happened at Bay Lake Towers (and the resulting fallout from it), I strongly considered it, but then only proving THEIR point. They are more than free to “block” me, I don’t gaf.

Oversharing – I can’t stand “wow, look at this steak I made for dinner” posts or when people get into overly detailed posts about their sex lives as I really don’t need to read that.

 

A couple things they forgot:

Clickbait – It seems like every page I subscribe to is loaded with headlines like: “This picture looks normal, but look closer!” “Everything seemed normal until the doctor found THIS – MY HEART JUST BROKE!” and “They didn’t suspect anything unusual until THIS happened – SHOCKING!

Not to brag, but you won’t find shit like that on my page. Annoying demotivating memes and depressing cartoons? Yes. Clickbait? No.

Angry\Libelous posts – I’ve been the victim of quite a few of these – often because they are pissed off at something they did to me but are outright lying about it so that everyone can see what an asshole I allegedly was to them (correcting the record makes me look like an even bigger asshole, not correcting it only confirms it – it’s a lose-lose) or something that has absolutely NOTHING to do with me, but again  blamed on me anyway cuz I obviously and this is “karma” for that.

 

Basically, the lesson is: Don’t post anything on Facebook, don’t friend anyone, and delete your account.

Categories: Advocacy\volunteer, Chicago, editorials, humor, Illinois, Internet\FB, news, ramblings, writing | Leave a comment

Announcement: Like me on Facebook

I started a Facebook “page” for this blog last night. I’m still not sure how it works, but I’ll probably post my memes on there rather than here to save space on my laptop. I have about 30 memes I haven’t posted yet, and I keep seeing more pop up in my feed every day so it just seemed like a natural place to share them (if I ever figure out how). I started sharing them to prove to someone on FB that I wasn’t a “GOD DAMNED HUMORLISS ASHOLE” (caps and spelling hers). Besides, it takes away from the severity of the site – I take this blog extremely seriously.

I will continue posting personal experiences and travel photos here, but may post occasional smaller stories on that page. I haven’t figured out what to do about the Pokémon\Disney Art Academy posts yet, but posting regular photo galleries here and on the FB page seems like too much work for a non-paying job.

I currently have more reach on this blog (approx. 35 “followers” here, with 3 “likes” on FB as I’m writing this), but hopefully that will change as my blog’s page evolves.

Categories: announcements, news, ramblings | Leave a comment

Editorial: On writing

I have been working on a story every day for almost a month now (I know, I’m “supposed” to finish writing a book in a month, but I’ve only got about 11 pages and no title). It’s missing some “world building” sections about rules and whatnot, but for the moment I think I have a good(ish) start.

I have three projects that are somewhere between half and 2/3 finished but no idea where I’m going with them (the endings I have… just the chapters leading up to them are missing). I considered turning part of one of those books into either a short story or a play (or both), but, unfortunately, I realized the rest of the story wouldn’t work as well on stage.

I have a few abandoned projects. I miss the one about the museum as I was having fun with it…until I realized my protagonist was an unlikable dick – and he was based on me (I interned at a museum when I was at UM). Maybe that’s why my fictional bf from that story is the protagonist in this month’s story… or maybe I just like writing idiots.

Whatever, I need to get back to work. I have photos to edit, and maybe when I’m done I’ll come up with a good idea for one of my stories…

Categories: editorials, entertainment, news, ramblings, writing | Leave a comment

Imaginary threats, internet hostility and very real anxieties

When confronted with hostility – real or “imagined” – my mind automatically shuts down, the so-called “flight mechanism.” But somehow, I am never allowed to flee from the situation, I have to stay and fight even though I clearly can’t which is why it’s invariably MY fault for “starting” the very fights I never wanted to engage in (and do everything in my power to AVOID) just so I can “get attention,” “gain sympathy” or because I simply like “being an asshole.”

That also happens in less tense situations as well, but they often escalate as I am unable to process information in “real time” (Auditory Processing Disorder) which is often perceived as intentionally “blowing off” their question which circles back to the above. This internal and external pressure to answer them before it can escalate basically overloads my brain and I end up standing there “looking stupid” and the recipient of a lecture that is as long as it is loud on how I can’t be so “rude” to people and often contains my least favorite “question:”

“What the fuck is WRONG with you?”

I do not care what anyone says, that is NOT a “teaching moment” – it’s an INSULT. Period. No-one ever “asks” that looking for an answer they’re pissed off and looking for ammo. Even if I somehow could answer them in the moment all they’d hear is:

“I’m crazy and I’m making excuses. Please continue yelling at me until I see the light.”

This is the part of the essay where I give an example. Believe me, I have plenty of them and none of them are pleasant – particularly since I cannot remember them in a distanced academic fashion but in a full volume “I am there” all over again until I literally wear myself out both psychically and mentally and definitely emotionally (not that anyone ever cared about MY emotions, they’re always “wrong” anyway).

I’m sorry, what?

You’re saying people with Autism don’t have emotions?

In some cases, yes… but my problem has always been I’m TOO emotional. Every attack on me is a “personal attack” and I take those extremely seriously. I submitted a post to one of my former favorite blogs once and they responded with a meme of Spiderman lying in a hospital bed with the caption “Your post was so STUPID it gave me cancer.”

Not only did it permanently ruin Spiderman for me (who I was previously neutral towards), but it’s the chief reason I don’t look at comments on this blog and why I’m absolutely petrified to read replies to comments I made on other people’s sites.

Heck, I wrote a comment on Theme Park Tourist’s Facebook page PRAISING how hard Disney’s CMs were working on a major holiday and one of their readers posted a presumably “funny” meme of a cat with a grumpy expression telling me to kill myself – that’s why I was literally crying in the middle of Hollywood Studios on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, that really was me (proving people with Autism have “no sense of humor” either). Yes, the meme is still there and, incidentally, the incident which inspired this post also occurred on Disney property.

I’m here the rest of the week… but don’t expect many photos anytime soon.

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

Tiring to fit in

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

Categories: Autism, ramblings | Leave a comment

Autism Awar- Autism ACCEPTANCE Day

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?

Categories: Autism, entertainment, florida, movies, Orlando, ramblings | Leave a comment

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