Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Amazing Race: Chunky Addict Edition

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

…or as Kat calls it, Death March 2011.

You see, I’ve got an idea, spurred on by the fact that I doubt Kat and I will ever be chosen by the producers of The Amazing Race. As one website describes the show:

“The producers of The Amazing Race are looking for a certain charisma and personality from the contestants and want the teams to have an interesting or strong relationship. You have to look good on camera and offer a certain dynamic and confidence if you want to be chosen.”

We’ve got charisma, confidence and personality in spades - but neither of us are ‘camera ready’ in the sense that you won’t find a six pack, eating disorder or head of blonde hair between us. (Unless an anorexic, bleach blonde aerobics instructor happens to come stand between us.)

So we bandy about ideas in a flurry of e-mails discussing our next move:

KAT: Okay, the looking good part disqualifies me right away...they probably wouldn't even bother reading our HILARIOUS applications if they saw the video first. Although I'm not opposed to putting it up on YouTube and making an ass of myself. Now how on earth do we get followers, though? Could it be possible that people would click on this particular video when they seem determined to avoid all our other videos? We’ve done everything short of appearing on camera in a ménage à trois with Dick Cheney, to no avail.

JENI: Hmmm. Yes, people seem to be purposely obstinate regarding our continued need for attention and praise… (youtube.com/agorophobejeni)

KAT: I'm TOTALLY committed to losing 20 + pounds by the end of January, so at that time a new video can be made where I SHOULD look better...or at least thinner. Jeni, start walking and lifting weights! The Race requires major upper body strength which I KNOW I don't have and SUSPECT you don't have! Hahaha!

JENI: Yeah, all my upper body strength is in my mouth. ;) But, I’ve got an idea. Let’s pitch them a BETTER reality show idea. One that would provide much more humor (as well as audience participatory mocking and even higher ratings!)

Amazing Race: Chunky Edition

All contestants must be at least 20 lbs. overweight and be smokers. They will not be allowed to smoke at all during the race (on and off camera times included). Any contestant found cheating (on first offense*) will be subjected to a loss of 4 hours of race time and public humiliation in the form of mud-wrestling a native of whatever country we’re visiting, while wearing a bikini (applies for women AND men).

(*Second offense - Immediate expulsion from the show with a parting gift of two King Size Nestle Chunky™ bars to comfort them on their humiliating trip home. NOTE TO PRODUCERS: Look at me! I’ve even got your first sponsor.)

Also, contestants will be given a strict diet to adhere to which contains no sugar, saturated fat or carbs. They could weigh contestants before the start and at the end to see how much weight we lost running our fat asses off!!! It's like The Amazing Race and The Biggest Loser rolled into one!

I can already see it:

Death March 2011: Update

Excerpt from a report from the producers to the Studio Execs. after first round eliminations:

As the contestants wheeze their way toward the end of the first day, thighs chaffed, skin mottled and sweaty, the first pair to be eliminated was Jeni Decker & Kat Nove, who mutually decided they’d have more fun spending the rest of their time in Amsterdam in ‘Toke Up’, a popular cigar-slash-marijuana bar. They were last seen entering the establishment, laughing uproariously before an ensuing coughing jag required Ms. Decker to drag Ms. Nove the rest of the way inside the building.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What I'm Willing To Do To Get On The Amazing Race

I have one question. Where are all of the Reality-TV-Worthy oddballs - people we can really sink our teeth into? If I were on The Amazing Race, I’d want to compete against a pair of nuns, two gay guys who argue like an old married couple, an Italian grandmother/granddaughter team who have to be ‘bleeped’ every fifteen minutes because they have naughty mouths, a magician and his dimwitted apprentice, a sheep farmer and his wife, brothers who own & operate a sex toy manufacturing business in New Jersey, an old nudist couple who have trouble keeping their clothes on, a biker couple, two politically incorrect humor writers (my friend Kat and I could cover that base) and a pair of karaoke rappers.

I think the producers need to spice that show up, so my friend Kat and I are going to apply. I’m told that show needs an injection of humor. I don’t watch reality TV much, but since Kat asked me (begged, actually) to apply to be her partner on the show, I started taping episodes in mid-season.

So, I watched last night.

What I’m seeing already concerns me. I don’t look like any of the contestants, and for me to watch an entire season of this show, I’d need more than what they’re offering.

So, Kat and I are willing to help them out in that regard. I think a menopausal woman and her erratic sidekick (the mother of two autistic kids with a penchant for discussing her hemorrhoids ) would be a welcome addition to the show.

When I told Breadwinner (the husband) what I was up to, he was pleasantly supportive, though I’m pretty sure his left eye started twitching, ominously. He asked, “How long would you be gone?”

I said, “A week…or twelve.” I’ve never been away from the kids for more than the time it takes to do my grocery shopping, so it would also be an adventure for him. He’s a good father, but he’s not exactly tuned in to the delicate balance required to deal with two autistic kids on a daily basis. I’m not sure he’d even be able to get them both ready for and safely delivered to school. But for a chance at winning a million dollars, I’d do just about anything and cheerfully make Breadwinner suffer for it.

Let him deal with scat-a-licious undies, bedtime rituals, and Jake’s asking him, “I’m going to heaven, right?” like 759 times a day. Besides, I’m pretty sure it’s his turn. I need a vacation.

What would I do, you ask, to get my hands on that cash? Anything they ask. (Is the whole casting couch thing still a reality?) I will run till my big bazooms give me black eyes - and still keep going like the Energizer Bunny - I will eat anything but a cockroach, I will jump out of an airplane (with a parachute) I will tongue-kiss a sweatshop owner in Yemen (I’m hoping to go to Yemen. I like the way it sounds when you say it.) I will run topless through the middle of town singing Ricky Martin’s “Shake your Bon-Bon”…I will do a great many things and the stuff I won’t do, I’ll force Kat to do.

That’s what partners are for. Stay tuned for blog updates on our Amazing Race effort.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shut up and Let Them Touch Your Junk

Man I’m tired of all of the media coverage about the TSA crap. Seriously, how slow does the news cycle have to be that we’ve got to make such a huge deal of this? Isn’t North Korea making more bombs, or doesn’t that count as terrorism? I guess that isn’t as ‘sexy’ a story as a little public molestation.

Frankly, I don’t get what all the hubbub is about, bub.

For my money, I’d rather know that everyone getting on the huge metal object that I’ll be shooting through the sky in, is being fondled for bombs. I have no problem with submitting to any and all procedures required to make sure my airplane lands safely and I get to live another day. Hell, I’ll take my bra off if you need to check underneath the twins, and I won’t even need to remove my shirt to do it* - THAT’S how serious I am about pat-downs in the interest of my safety. (*All the ladies out there will know what I’m talkin’ about. It’s a party trick we’re taught when we turn fifteen and we spend our lives amazing the males in our lives with it. Apparently it never gets old.)

Look at it this way. The whole premise of the ‘last line of defense’ is frightening in and of itself. I mean, if someone has managed to make it into an airport with a bomb, we’ve kind of dropped the ball, haven’t we? That means the CIA and FBI and all of those other secret government agencies listening in on phone calls - presumably to ferret out possible terrorist intent - haven’t done what they get paid the big bucks to do.

I’m not sure why a terrorist group hasn’t figured out that they could get three or four of their buddies and each strap on a bomb, then position themselves in a few different areas of the airport: Check in, baggage claim, airport bars and the duty-free shop. And don’t forget the guy who could set off a bomb WHILE IN LINE to be screened - you know, when he’s in the middle of a crowd of a few hundred impatient passengers. Talk about irony.

3 - 2 - 1- KABLAM! I don’t know much about explosives, but I’m pretty sure they could at least take a few chunks out of a terminal and maim or kill a few hundred people in the process, without ever getting near the airport screeners.

And what about Disney? They aren’t patting people down to get inside the Magic Kingdom. I always thought, if I were a terrorist, that sending a small militia of terrorists in with bombs inside their Mickey Mouse backpacks would be a fantastic way to get our government’s attention. The children, people!!! They’re taking aim at the CHILDREN!!

Or what about dispatching terrorists to apply to be Santa’s at the local department stores!!!! Macy’s doesn’t require a full body scan on entry, so at noon on the ‘big day’ every jolly-old-terrorist could push the button and blow St. Nick to smithereens right in front of dozens of kids. Multiply that by a couple of stores per state and you’ve got a story that won’t lose steam till Easter, my friends.

Okay, take a breath now and hold your hate mail. What I’m trying to say is this: if the ‘bad guys’ want to get us, there are plenty of ways they can get us. So, if airport security wants to feel us all up prior to boarding so that we are able to take another flight on another day, and not crash in a fiery explosion, I say let them do it. I think it’s pretty damn amazing that we can walk onto a big flying machine and in two hours be in another state. That alone seems kind of risky, and if I’m willing to take that risk, I’d like to mitigate any other risks, whenever possible.

(By the way, I'm not saying the proceedures in place are the most effective - that's another topic altogether. But until such time as they implement different proceedures, how 'bout we just do what we're asked to do?)

So, if I may be so bold…just shut the hell up and let them touch your junk. You never know, you might just like it.

Or, you know, you could just… not fly. It’s not a right, people. It’s a luxury.

Just sayin’.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm Tired of America

I think I watch too much ‘news’. I feel guilty if I don’t try and keep up with what’s going on in the world around me - specifically the United States and what we’re doing, what we’re not doing, what we should be doing but can’t muster up the balls to do - and yet, I feel this gnawing sense of dread when I do.

I know that I’m tired of America, but I don’t want to lose faith in Americans. If we are to believe everything we watch in the national media, you’d think we as a society are a festering pustule bent on infecting those around us; we’re a sociological version of the swine-flu and we’re catching.

I refuse to believe that. I have neighbors, good ole’ beer-swilling boys with tractors who would be the first to stop and pull you out of a ditch if you slid off the road in a snow storm. Lovely men and women who are compassionate and kind to one another in their dealings. People who have hope for the future.

But I’m not seeing so much of that on television news coverage so I’m starting to have my doubts.

I’m seeing political rallies and campaign ads where the signs and sound bytes have crossed from rude to racist; violent and incendiary. I’m seeing talking bobble-heads on every news program who seem to think they know what’s best for me and my family and are bound and determined to make sure we get it, whether we like it or not - via less than meaningful reporting and the hawking of blatant lies.

I’m seeing people who should know better pervert the Constitution in a way that suggests if they don’t like how things are going, it’s perfectly appropriate for them to pull out their guns and bust a cap in the ass of anyone who disagrees with them. (Second amendment remedies for those of you who don’t watch the news channels with morbid fascination like I do.)

I’m seeing senators and representatives who treat their jobs like a political chess game with no thought for how their partisan wrangling and manipulation is going to pull a country that’s already teetering on a precipice into a vast chasm from which we will not be able to escape.

I’m tired of newly elected politicians saying ‘America has spoken’, even though it’s abundantly clear they think we’ve said something we haven’t. Just because people overwhelmingly said ‘no’ to one thing, doesn’t mean that gives policy maker’s carte blanche to tick a little ‘X’ in the YES box next to everything on their own agenda - not to mention propagandize everything the other side says to the point of absurdity.

No, I do not think the rich need tax cuts, because of some sort of misguided assumption that certain people espouse, which presumes jobs will miraculously trickle down like powdered sugar on the doughnut that is America. That’s just not going to happen. How do I know that? Because small and large businesses have tightened their belts and happily learned how to work with less manpower since the rise in unemployment. If consumers aren't consuming, there isn't the demand there once was. So until such time as the demand rises, I don't see businesses taking that kind of risk - and if they do take that gamble, I'd be concerned about the viability of that business. To me, it's common sense.

To politicians, not so much.

We’re in an altogether different economic time than we’ve ever had to endure and it’s hard to cure all that ails us when there are powerful forces bent on heading backwards and hoping it’ll all come out in the wash, simply because they don’t have any practical solutions.

We might as well consult the Magic 8-Ball* at this point because I’m not seeing much in the way of real and lasting solutions that will ever come out of a congress bent on logjam.

*ANSWER: Outlook not so good

I find myself wondering how Obama’s message of HOPE and CHANGE suddenly translated into: I WILL FIX EVERYTHING IN TWO YEARS AND WE'LL ALL BE DANCING IN THE FUCKING STREETS. FREE McRIBS FOR EVERYONE!!!

When did he promise that? And how, pray tell, did we come to the untenable conclusion that it would only take twenty-four months to clean up the steaming pile of guano that was left in the Presidential inbox by the last Oval Office tenants? I’m here to tell you - as someone with a vast knowledge of everything scat related - it takes a butt-load of disinfectant to clean that kind of mess up.

Is it just me, or have we become an impatient and unforgiving lot, incapable of understanding that not everything is drive-thru ready? That we’re going to have to dig our heels in for the long haul - that life is not Twitter, where you can tickle out 140 characters and move on to the next topic. Where our future health, security and well-being aren’t instant gratification kinds of things. There is a lot of heavy-lifting, compromise and fixing to do in America. It’s not going to happen overnight and we should understand that, but it’s not going to happen at all unless we start listening to one another, instead of SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF OUR LUNGS, trying to shut down the debate coming from the other side.

I wish everyone would just simmer down and listen for a minute so that, perhaps, clearer heads can prevail. As a famous song says… you can’t always get what you want…but you get what you need…

What I’m really afraid of, though, is that we’re not only not going to get what we want, but we’re not even going to get what we need. Particularly our children; the beneficiaries of the mess we’ve all created. And make no mistake - we’re all guilty. We’ve all participated in one way or the other.

The state of our Union doesn’t exist in a vacuum. So while the greedy banks, mismanaged car companies, shady, self-involved politicians and partisan media have all done their fair share of fucking up, we’re not exactly blameless. The fabric of our collective society is sewn with many individual threads. Each thread represents one of us and when one thread weakens or breaks, a hole forms. A hole can cause a tear.

From my perspective, Old Glory’s in need of some mending.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as guilty as anyone. So let me proffer a supposition, and you can assume the following applies to the ‘royal you’:

If you didn’t get out and vote and instead chose to sit and yell at the TV on election night - if you took out a loan you knew was not within your means or charged those credit cards up to the hilt - if you said things like nig—(insert racial slur here) or fa—(insert homophobic word rhyming with maggot here) in front of your kids, or even subtly disregarded who someone else is, all out of misguided fear and/or ignorance, allowing the hatemongering to spread like an insidious disease - if you’re happy to blog, Twitter or Blackberry your life away, or watch hours of reality television instead of helping your kid with his homework (or reading to him) because his school is severely under-funded and he’s not getting the attention he needs, but you justify not taking that extra hour with him because you’re just too tired and, anyway, that’s his teacher’s job (and she should be happy to have one in this economy) - if you think those people over there on unemployment are just lazy and don’t want to work - if you think your religion is THE religion - if you think because you make a certain amount of money and have health care, but that other guy, over there shouldn’t get quality medical attention because he can’t pay for it—

…if you did or said anything causing that little voice in your head to whisper in your ear, you might be contributing, however little, to the huge mess we’re in now.

If you are one of those few people who doesn’t have that little inner-voice, well then you’re just a sociopath and probably beyond help. But, if you’re the average American who can’t plead insanity in a court of law, and find it easier to blame the person who has a different outlook on things, so be it. But I’m here to tell you we’re ALL to blame. You can take that to the bank. (Just don’t try to get a loan because you’re screwed in that regard.)

We’re all either actively doing it or doing it by default, because every day, in every way, if we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem. We’re all to blame. Except our kids. They’re not to blame…yet. But one day, they will be. They’ll be the ones making the choices and decisions based on how we taught them - and the way it’s looking right now, it won’t be long before they’ll be looking for someone to blame.

One guess as to who they’ll be looking at.

When future generations don’t have those things called Medicare and Medicaid because they’re effectively non-existent - and when we’re ninety and find ourselves homeless because the well of Social Security has run dry - who will we look to then?

Who will we blame?

I suppose it will be easy enough to rely on tried-and-true habits; to blame it on the media or politicians or the guy down the block who doesn’t agree with us. But in the end, it won’t matter who we blame because it won’t change reality - we’re giving our kids the shaft and we’re doing it blatantly and knowingly and there is absolutely no excuse.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe I need a Xanax…or five.

I have to believe America's better than how we appear in High-Definition TV - or I might as well not even bother to get out of bed in the morning. Maybe I’m wrong. God help me if I am. God help us all.

God. Yeah, that’s a topic for another day, so I’ll leave you with a little video. Feel free to address all hate mail to Jeni. There’s even a convenient little clickable e-mail link at the top of the page.

God Bless America…or something like that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mise en abîme

She was a stunner, a poet; Sylvia Plath was one of her many peers…

Anne Sexton was an amazing poet, complete with the obligatory mental health issues that seem mandatory to creative genius.

What is it about the creative process that often attracts persons of ‘challenged’ mental health or substance abuse? I tend to think it is our propensity for self-examination, to the point of self-flagellation. It is not easy to look deep into the crevices of the soul—particularly when what you find there is something less-than Thanksgiving Dinner conversation material.

It is also fascinating to note that writing, in particular, seems to be a narcissistic endeavor. “Look at me! Look at me! Listen: I have something you need to hear!”

It is no wonder, then, that many writers have gone the way of alcoholism, depression and in many cases, suicide. That isn’t an option I could ever ponder, simply because in my case I’d consider it the ultimate in selfishness. I have two autistic kids. They’ve got enough shit on their plates without me bending over and taking a dump on their peas and carrots.

But I can relate to the inclination in theory, anyway. I’m not a poet but I can understand where it all comes from…that need to discover self or other; to shine a light on life’s sores. That taste in your mouth when you stumble upon the perfect word or phrase. The urge to get it all down, lest it disappear forever.

Anne, this one’s for you, lady.

~ Mise en abîme ~

feelin’ very Plath today
trouble keeping ennui at bay
the straw that broke the proverbial cliché
was running out of mayonnaise

earsplitting life rains on my cavalcade

how long
can over-ripe fruit hang
before the inevitable thump
where hope and reality collide
bruising skin and ego

slightly Sexton round half-past three
with no fur coat, vodka or garage
forced to rethink my hapless homage
grudgingly substituted mustard

I have a king, Mr. Dream
smaller than yours, no doubt
equally dear
I wonder will it whimper to a close
last regret siphoned like stolen gas
from a tank already parched

‘I’m going to heaven, right Mom?’ he asks for the seventeenth time today

Yes! with conviction I mutter
though I do not really feel that way
I’m not against God, per se
kids should have imaginary friends

grousing Woolf due to winter’s malcontent
pond behind the house is frozen
gathering stones for my pockets, it seems
time was not well spent

chores and drudgery the tender frenulum
between need, want, must do something
halting frenetic energy
with no deliberate target

“Heaven’s real, right Mom? ” OCD!

standing between two mirrors I see
me within a me
what? is it
where? are we going
when? I’m ready
why? not now

‘I’m going to heaven, right Mom?’ Is death the freedom to begin?

now, now
I foment to a mercurial eruption


standing between two mirrors I see
the containment of the container within the contained
constant self-reflection, endlessly repeating frames
hauntingly familiar

stalled between am and will be
I could shuffle toward Sylvia’s path
but with my oven out of gas
I’d have to use the microwave

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Love My Snuggie®

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for those as seen on TV products. Now that proclivity is leaking over to my kids.

Jake put a Criss Angel Mindfreak Magic Kit on his Christmas list; his resolution for 2011 is to learn to levitate.

Then, on Thursday when I took Jaxson in to school, one of the little girls we see going to class every day had a Pillow Pet®.

As soon as Jax saw it he started to sing: “Isss a piw-wo, isss a pet. Iss a piw-wo PET!”

(TRANSLATION: It’s a pillow! It’s a pet! It’s a pillow pet!)

Perhaps I should consider cutting down their television time, because it’s getting perilously close to Christmas and the advertisements are coming fast and furious. Jaxson screams out his requests during every commercial break and because those appear at intervals of every seven minutes or so, I find myself screaming, “We’ll see!” about eleven hundred times a day.

(Please don’t do the math or you will be able to accurately extrapolate the amount of time I allow the kids to watch television and, frankly, I don’t need your judgment—silent or otherwise.)

Anyway…my favorite ‘as seen on TV product’ is the Snuggie®. I used to be ashamed to admit I actually bought one, but now I am an unabashed card-carrying member of the Snuggie® contingent. My friend Kat Nove teases me about it with the same regularity as an octogenarian whose first meal of every day consists of bran cereal and prune juice.

She asserts my Snuggie ownership says a lot about me. I assert she can take her assertions and shove them into her Texas-sized boca grande. I will no longer apologize for my Snuggie-love. Snuggie keeps me warm on frigid Michigan nights as I watch Dexter or Glee. Snuggie is machine washable—the importance of which can not be underestimated in my household. Snuggie is soft and cuddly when I add a capful of lilac-scented fabric softener to the rinse cycle.

Snuggie is my friend.

My only complaint is that Snuggie is ‘backless’, meaning it’s basically a fancy hospital gown with longer, plusher, sleeves. I know, I know… it’s supposed to be sort of a lap blanket, but the thing that would make it perfect would be to sew two Snuggies together at the seams:

Snuggie II: The Ultimate Schmatte

Sales would go through the roof if they invented Snuggie Ulti-schmatte. Every Jewish, Italian and Puerto Rican septuagenarian (and I) would be lined up to get one.

So, get on it, Snuggie people. My ass is cold.

If you’d like to see what Kat Nove has to say about the Snuggie (and more) , check out her v-log post:

And now your moment of absurd Zen:

Snuggie Parody

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Addicted to....Deadpan Karaoke

As the Remote Control Terrorist says, ‘the crazy broads’ are at it again. Just to refresh your memory, the RTC is Kat Nove’s significant other and that’s the moniker she thought best suited the man she occasionally shares her vagina with. At any rate, because we wrote him into WAITING FOR KARL ROVE (our fantastic book that hasn’t been snapped up by a publisher yet) we had to give him an alias. Family members can sue and the last thing either of us wants is family cashing in on the eventual success we know is imminent. We’ve both worked too long and hard for anyone but us to reap the rewards of our literary genius.

What the RTC was referring to when he called us ‘crazy broads’ was the following video, which we put together to cheer up a sick writer friend. Much Photoshopping was involved, not to mention more deadpan karaoke (sung to the tune of Addicted to Love) and a really cheesy musical rendition of Robert Palmer’s song - one that will cause him to roll over in his grave when he eventually dies. (He’s still alive, right?)

Anyway today’s blog is only for one person - you know who you are mister - but the rest of you are more than welcomed to partake.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Sound of Music

Nine year old Jaxson is a music aficionado. Never mind that he’s just learning to put a complete sentence together. Music, it seems, is the great equalizer - no matter who you are, race, religion, sexual orientation, left brained, right brained, pea-brained, autistic or not, it’s one of the few things in life we all agree on. Content, perhaps not, but I’ve never met a person that wasn’t somehow moved by music.

Shaken, stirred, encouraged, befriended, buoyed, comforted; whatever word you choose to associate with how music affects you, none among us can say music doesn’t do something to that inner part of our souls that only being touched by harmony and melody can.

Jaxson is able to associate the track numbers on the CD’s loaded into the car stereo with his favorite songs. I can load up to six disks at a time, and once he hears the first few notes of any particular disk, he remembers his favorites by number.

With camera in hand (because he films on the way to school most days) he shouts out his requests from the back seat.

“Seven, Mom!” That would be Sunny Side of the Street off Willie Nelson’s Stardust Album.

…just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street.

I had an Erasure disk loaded this week and he simply had to listen to Drama over and over:

…one rule for us, for you another - do unto yourself as you’d see fit for your brother…

If I’m listening to Ringo Starr, he loves Six O’Clock:

…I don’t treat you like I like to treat you. Every planet in the sky’s in your eyes…

That one always chokes me up because it could be the soundtrack of our relationship. (He and Jake are my Venus, my Mars - my little Mallomars!)

Jaxson loves Rufus Wainwright’s Movies of Myself:

…start givin’ me something, a love that is longer than a day, stop makin’ my heart say something that it doesn’t want to say…

And to my utter delight, the child loves The Beatles. Because this is something I share in common with my own parents, I get a little misty every time he yells, “Three, Ma!” ( Maxwell’s Silver Hammer )

“Seven, Ma! Hurry!” he happily requests. ( Here Comes the Sun )

But only once has he ever tried to sing along to a song. I will never forget that day. It was one of the most miraculous experiences of my life, particularly because of the song in question. For some reason, the child - out of nowhere, mind you - started singing The Beatles’ Because, giving voice to the sounds and lyrics he’d heard so many times before:

…because the world is round, it turns me on…because the wind is high, it blows my mind…love is old, love is new; love is old, love is you…because the sky is blue, it makes me cry…

My children blow my mind, their amazing brains turn me on, and their ability to connect to things in a way that I cannot imagine—well, it makes me cry. Whatever your preconceptions are about autism, make no mistake: while my boys might not be making the SAME connections you or I are making, they’re making their OWN connections. To music, to people, to things they taste, touch, smell, feel… and our differences, however significant or insignificant are a daily reminder that there is never one way ( or right way ) to experience anything.

Every journey is unique and we should all remember to be happy for the simple privilege of life and the little miracles we experience along the way.

With that, take a moment to enjoy one of those little miracles - The Beatles, Because.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Can't We All Just Get A Bong?

My cohort, co-author, co-conspirator and friend, Kat Nove went to the Austin, Texas Rally to Restore Sanity this weekend, and all I got were some lousy pictures.

No, that is not bitterness you hear - it’s sarcasm.

I watched from the cheap seats (my couch) switching back and forth to various cable news channels looking for coverage. I started getting irritated due to the universal lack of knowledge vis à vis the demographics of the attendees. The talking bobble-heads were saying things like:

“But will these translate to VOTES on Tuesday?”

“The audience is predominantly young and white.”

“Is this crowd as big as the Beck rally?” (“Yes, and the collective IQ was much higher as well,” I replied in requisite snarky fashion.)

I’d like to challenge these ageist misconceptions with Kat’s photos of the crowd. But, first off, you should know that Kat - her own self - is menopausal.

At any rate, here we have an attendee who’s blatantly not conforming to bobble-headed presumptive demographics. By the way, I’m not posting this to shame my almost-senior friend - Her Moodiness has spoken well and often about her particular affliction and its symptoms. Besides, at 41, I’m not that far behind her; I’ve already got the aches, pains and mood swings to prove it.

Regardless of your political affiliation or age, one thing is certain: Tomorrow you need to get your ass to the local polling station and cast your vote. Otherwise you don’t have any room to complain when we collectively start to circle the drain. Make your voice heard, people.

Get out and vote!