Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mr. Magoo and the La La's

I'm annoyed. My children are annoyed.  I don't know if Mike is annoyed because it is probably his turn (Words With Friends, or in his case Words with Neighbors).

We've been spending the day watching some of our 6 million and 36 movies.  Ok maybe not that many but even my big kids will tell you we have a lot of movies as well as a fair amount of christmas movies, some of them pretty obscure, but we like them.  We came across a home recording of Bah Humbug.  It is a reading of Dickens' A Christmas Carol by Darth Vader and the President, otherwise known as James Earl Jones and Martin Sheen.  We recorded it in 1994 off the local PBS station. (I still can't help but marvel at the poor quality of TV reception we tolerated, but that's another story)  It is a very good program and both the kids were glued to the show.

During the ghost of christmas yet to come when Scrooge is asking the ghost about the body on the bed, I had an uncontrollable urge to sing the la la song.  Anyone familiar with Mr. Magoo's christmas Carol knows which song I mean.  I didn't sing long because Andrew had a laughing fit and told me, he loved me.  What mom can resist that, right?

Well tonight just happened to be the first time since 1967 that NBC re-broadcast this Christmas classic, so we all decided that we would watch it and sing the La La song together.  What a better way to spend an evening.  It doesn't take much to entertain us, I know but we have fun.

Things didn't look good for us when we joined the show five minutes in and Scrooge was already yelling at poor Bob.  Since this particular rendition is actually Mr. Magoo acting in the play of the Christmas Carol, there is a whole scene where he shows up at the Stage door, late and as per usual with  this near sighted little old man, manages to knock down half of the set decorations on the manager before he takes his opening bow.  But I remember them cutting that section in 1965 or so.  I didn't notice that they cut the Jingle Jingle song, but we had come in late so who knows?

The excitement was building as we got closer and closer to our favorite part and Katie assigned our parts.  Andrew would be the tall one, Katie, the one who got the sheets and I would get to be the one with the big nose.  She tried to assign Dad the part of the guy with the eye patch, but once again, it was his turn, so he announced he wouldn't be joining in on the sing a long.  After a few head bounces (it's part of the routine, honest), we started out

We're despicable.
We make ourselves 
Plain sickable. 
Berate ourselves,
Hate ourselves
Still none us of wishes he 
Would change. 

We're slick and shifty birds,
With fingers quick
As fifty birds.
While stealing your purse
Or your ticky-tock
Just for a kick we knock
You flat!
We're just blankety-blank-blank
No good!

then........... NOTHING!!  They cut the rest of the song!!!!!  arrgggggg

The rest of the show was even worse.  This was a made for TV special not a feature length movie that has to be "modified to fit the time allotted".  Heck, they even broke for a commercial in the middle of the bathroom song.  You know, the mushy squishy slurpy love song that kids hate and use as the perfect time to go to the bath room.  All Christmas shows have them, especially the cartoons.  Remember that horrid little number Clarice sings on Rudolph's annual production,-- the bathroom song.

So in honor of Mr. Magoo, I am giving you the rest of the song.  Just imagine it a little off key (except for Katie of course) and sung by three cartoon characters, one with a big nose.

The rest of the song:

We're not tea party blokes,
No chitty-chat
Or artichokes.
We're twice as blood-thirsty
As cannibules,
And wilder than animules
Are we!

We're reprehensible.
We'll steal your pen
And pencible!
Then sneer at you,
Leer at you
And really we ought to be
In jail!
We're just blankety-blank-blank
All bad!

I feel better now!

Merry Christmas

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Do you want the truth or do you want me to lie?

Oh how I wish that NT's understood that.

How hard is it to just say what you mean and not play games with words.  When you ask me how I am, do you want the truth, or do you just want me to say "fine"  even if I am not "fine" at all?  When you ask me if this dress makes you look fat, why are you so shocked when I answer truthfully?  I sure wish someone would have told me the truth before I wore that hideous dress to my son's wedding.  It took my Aspie younger son to tell me that I should never wear a backless dress.  It seems I have way too many moles on my back.  It also made me look like an elephant but that's another story.

My Youngest had a melt down at school yesterday.  Now these are to be expected, she hasn't been at a brick and mortar school since sixth grade.  But yesterday the routine was disturbed more than she had expected.  She was expecting the class routine to be interrupted because she was a part of the Pit for the play her school is putting on.  But what she wasn't expecting was for the whole school to be together for lunch.  (the school is large enough that there are three lunch periods)  Anyway, the cafeteria was crowded and much louder than usual, so that by the time she got to her next class, she was in a little bit of distress.  Now to her teachers credit, they noticed her with her hands on her ears, sitting on the floor and separated her from the class.  The problem started when they took her to the nurse.

Normally this would be the perfect thing to do, but Katie is just uncomfortable with this person.  She gives me the willys too.  Katie also has trouble with tactile issues.  She doesn't like just anyone touching her and she can only handle a certain kind of touch.  It took many years for her to even let me hug her.  Naturally when the nurse, who Katie has had very limited contact with, started putting her arm on Katie's shoulder, Katie bristled and told her she didn't like to be touched.  Consequently when Katie's favorite teacher came in and put her hand on Katie's shoulder, like she does every day, the nurse jumped in and told the teacher not to do that.  Now here's where things get complicated. Katie, who was getting calmer said, "Oh that's OK, I like Mrs. C" (the teacher).  Pretty innocent to my ears.  The nurse didn't think so.  Immediately she got defensive and proceeded to bombard Katie with questions.  Why don't you like me?  I've done all these things for you, but you don't like me? etc.  Instead of taking care of an upset student with a disability, she turned it all around to herself.

Well you can guess what happened next.  Katie started crying and three times said, "that came out wrong", but the questioning continued. And she was told she shouldn't have said that.  It's hard enough interpreting what others are saying when you are calm, but during a meltdown, it is near impossible.  It's harder to tell the lies that people seem to want to hear, when you are upset.  Katie usually just shuts down completely, this time she started to cry harder and they finally left her alone.

I can't quite put my finger on why this lady makes me uncomfortable.  It's probably a bunch of things.  She always makes me feel like she is just too busy to talk to me about Katie.  She is condescending and critical.  I am a nurse too and she knows this, but she acts like she should be the one who knows best what Katie needs.  Katie tells me that when she told her that it wasn't her medication that was causing her stomach to hurt, the nurse responded "yes Doctor" in a sarcastic way.  Good Grief, this is a high school girl.  Did she not consider that the kid just had cramps?  So needless to say, Katie is not comfortable with the lady, and yes, she doesn't like her.  But does she really want to know why we don't like her?  I doubt it.  So I am sure that when she asks Katie how she is, Katie will lie and answer "fine" even though that's not what health care professionals are for, now is it?

Monday, February 6, 2012


I mentioned the other day that I got caught up with the whole Casey Anthony Trial. Just writing that sentence will probably boost my blog up in the ratings on google. It seems a whole lot of people have become entangled in her mess.

I know why it fascinates me. I love crime drama. When I am not reading novels from the likes of Steve Martini, I'm watching it on TV. We own several whole TV series related to crime drama on DVD-- JAG, NCIS, Law and Order in all it's varied forms, CSI from coast to coast and my most recent favorite Criminal Minds. I swear there is an Aspie representative in all of these shows. Grissom and Sara Sidle (CSI) and Bobby Gorem (LNO Criminal Intent) are about as Aspie as it gets. And the young Dr. Reid on the FBI centered drama, Criminal Intent, has an IQ above 180 and is introduced as "our expert on ..... well everything" He is constantly coming up with exacting detail about endless topics. Finally there is our family favorite Abby Sciuto from NCIS. Katie calls her eccentric and says she talks like we do. I guess she is right.

We were in Florida at Disney World when the jury was being picked. Prior to this, I didn't know who she was. But in Orlando, you couldn't turn on the TV and not hear about this true crime story. Florida, it seems, has an open records law. Everything, and I do mean everything, from the first 911 call to the autopsy report is public record. And the TV stations and local newspapers petitioned the court for anything they could get their hands on. I've even seen transcripts of the sidebar conversations the lawyers had with the judge on the internet. It was just like Law and Order -- intensified. Just those few times watching the news in our hotel room while waiting for the next days weather report and I was hooked. We missed the coverage that occurred as we drove home after our four days at Disney World ended, but the very next day, I could tell you the channel numbers assigned to HLN, CNN and both the eastern and pacific versions of Insession/tru TV. The last time I had watched a real life trial was when Court TV chronicled the whole OJ Simpson debacle several years ago.

I admit it was entertaining. Judge Perry was great and had amazing facial expressions. Jose Baez was such a fumbling idiot next to my hero's on JAG or Law & Order. Even the forensics, that most people found boring, were fascinating to me. The prosecutions main witness, Dr. Vass from the Body Farm was as geeky as they come. He obviously loved his area of expertise, even calling it "really cool" at one point. He knew all kinds of the stuff, I also found interesting and spoke with a slight speech difference that made him seem so approachable.

So it was obvious to me, why I was hooked, but why was everybody else acting so off the charts? Some say it is because the players were attractive, white and middle class. Unfortunately, I have seen cases where poor /non white kids go missing and they barely make a blurb on even the local news. But there have been other attractive white kids missing or murdered, even in my home town, that don't take off like this one did. The blogs that have devoted themselves to missing or exploited kids mention these kids and write a lot about them, but the main stream news barely acknowledges them. On any given day, I could google Casey Anthony and there will be at least two news articles from within the past week. Why?

Most of the articles/blogs I have read have a very loyal group of commenters who discuss this case unceasingly. Their feelings either pro casey or anti casey are strong and obvious. Many express love for the victim and extreme hatred for Casey, her lawyer, her family and her supporters. Others attack the haters and pledge their loyalty to the suspect (who has since been acquitted.) There are very few without strong strong feelings one way or the other.

I remember such strong feelings during the OJ Simpson case. It was understandable. This man was a wealthy celebrity and a very charismatic character. Plus the two issues of sex and race were very present. The defendant was black, the victims were his white ex wife and her white male companion. Plus the fact that it was held in LA with it's long history of racial troubles and a police department known among some as being racist, didn't help. Mix all those things together, celebrity, wealth, race and sex and you get strong feelings. I get that. But what about Casey? Why did she evoke such strong feeling? The only racial issue I could find was never mentioned in the press. I saw one account in one book that Casey's mom, didn't care for hispanics. This was from one of Casey's childhood friends who said she wasn't welcome in Casey's home if her mother was home. If this was true, it seemed Casey played it to annoy her mother. She chose an hispanic lawyer, blamed a woman she described as half black and half Puerto Rican, and dated at least one hispanic man and one Italian. But again, I never heard this mentioned on the main stream media. Plus the family wasn't rich and were in fact struggling financially. There was a bit of an element of Sex abuse, but few details and that wasn't brought up until trial. So compared to OJ, the emotional components weren't there from what I could see.

Which takes us to the location. Orlando has been called an entertainment center but not a high crime area like Miami might be. BUT there are those pesky Florida Sunshine laws. We have access to everything. There was always something to report on no matter how small or insignificant. We knew who the witnesses were going to be, we knew about all the evidence, even some that never made it to trial. We even knew what Casey bought from the jail store, from snacks to cosmetics. We saw every picture her parents ever took of her and her child. We saw the video tapes of the visits she had in the jail. All of these things fall under Florida's public records law.

Could this be the reason everyone was hooked on Casey? It is certainly part of the reason I watched. Could it be that I am not so different from everyone else, at least as far as obsessions go.

Something to ponder. Maybe later. NCIS is almost on ;-)

Why can't blue always be blue?

A few things happened in the last few days that help illustrate the difficulties some Aspies have in translating from neural typical speak.

I was sautéing some mushrooms, onions, red bell peppers and dill in margarine today to eat with my baked potato. (it was really good, you should try it). My 14 year old Aspie came in and stated, "That smell is much more tolerable than what Dad used to make for breakfast". She immediately followed this up with, "That wasn't insulting was it?" She does this a lot. She enjoys having a larger than average vocabulary but so desperately wants to avoid hurting anyones feelings.

So I asked her what her intent was with a series of questions. On a scale of one to ten, one being awful, how did she rate the smell of my mushroom, (a four) and how did dad's smell rate, (a one) This I knew. We all hated the smell of his one time favorite breakfast. Was she trying to say that she liked my mushroom smell or was she saying that it was barely tolerable but still better than dad's?

I assured her that while she could say anything to me, she might want to follow her grandmother's advice: If you can't think of something nice to say, don't say anything at all. I also told her that if she complimented something she really didn't like , she needed to be prepared to have that person, make that dish for her in the future. She wrinkled up her nose at that one.

A bit frustrated now, she said, but isn't the truth always the best option? Wow, how to answer that question coming from your teen. Then I remembered something. We had just watched an episode of Star Trek, Next Generation. The crew was watching Dr. Crusher and Lieutenant Barclay perform a scene from Cyrano D'Bergerac. It wasn't going well for Barclay as he stumbled with his lines. When the scene mercifully ended, the crew all clapped enthusiastically and yelled Bravo. Cmdr. Data (an android who strives to be more human for you non-trekkies) looked on with a puzzled look on his face. He turned to Cmdr. Riker and stated something on the order of, why are you all clapping, his performance was barely adequate. Riker responded, "Data, it's Polite"

I also relayed to her a conversation I recently had with her dad. He was wearing a pair of parachute pants and a white Tee shirt. I told him, they made him look like a clown and he should never wear them again. Normally that would be considered extremely rude and I am sure my inlaws would point to it as further proof that I am a sub-standard wife. But my dear husband has been married to me for over 36 years and knows more about Aspies than most people. We have long since come to the understanding that we will be honest with each other when the old question, "Does this outfit make me look fat?" comes up. If you don't want the truth, don't ask the question. We both appreciate, knowing what not to wear out in public.

So what to tell her about telling the truth. I wish it were an easy question. I told her to ask herself, what she was trying to achieve with her statement. If she was trying to compliment someone, then by all means say something. But that brought up another problem. As stated, she has a large vocabulary and it is growing everyday, but sometimes, she uses her new word improperly. This means that her statement can come out several different ways
1. She could be using the word properly and the person she is talking to might also know the proper definition of her word (a good thing)
2. She could be using the word wrong and the other person may know the proper usage. (bad thing)
3. She may be using the word correctly but the other person may not know the word. Which could lead to the other person being hurt because they have the wrong impression of the word, or they could feel like she is trying to show off how smart she is and trying to insult the other person's intelligence. That one bothered her the most because she never wants to hurt someone's feelings.

Sometimes it's best not to say anything.

I left her to think about all this. She came to me a little later and said, "Why can't everyone speak the same language? Why can't blue always be blue?"

It never is you know. Blue is always different. Honesty isn't always the best policy. And the rules are always changing.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Yes I am stil alive

And yes it really has been a whole two years since I wrote anything here. But I have an excuse, i guess.

A while back, I decided I was spending way too much time on the computer. If I wasn't working on my website, I was chatting with my online friends. While waiting for them to read and answer my latest post, I'd search out new cool things to add to Bouncing off the Wall. Or Maybe I'd spend the day trying to figure out why Windows was doing this or that to my PC.

So I gave my PC, that I have written about to my son, stopped messing with my website, told the girls online goodbye and got off the computer. And went straight to the couch.

There I discovered reruns of JAG and CSI and NCIS and the West Wing. Every day one of my favorites had a marathon. Then of course, there was the Summer of Casey Anthony. Don't get me started about her.

My Mac got dusty. It never needed tweaking, and I had my iPod touch or my trust iPad incase I got an earth shattering email (yeah Right). I hung out with my kids, discovered Facebook and learned how to type without a keyboard. Did I tell you I love my iPad?

Well today, I fired up the mac to post some soup recipes to the girls on Facebook and I got lost. It took me a while to find the recipes (they were zipped and stashed in a file for a website I made to share graphics with a PaintShop Pro users group. I got them mixed up with the food related Graphics file). But in the search, I took a walk down Lunatic lane. I found several rants and emails from the dark days and read them all. I opened countless abandoned web pages, I had started and got lost reading Java Script. When my stomach finally told me that I had missed Lunch, it was already 3:30pm. Too late to thaw something for supper and I still wasn't done exploring my old stumping grounds.

Then I found my blog files and of course read them all once again and realized I had a lot of stuff to report on. But sadly, Mr. Mike has just come home with Supper and if I stay here much longer, I'll be in big trouble.

One of my brother's refuses to buy a computer. He says, they will suck your life right out of your body if you let them. Well Bobby, you are right.