Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Suspicious of His Penis

“I’m suspicious of my penis. I don’t trust it,” my fourteen-year-old autistic son, Jake, mumbled from the passenger seat.

Sigh. There are so many things about that statement that trouble me.

Along with toileting issues, “weiner” issues are a recurring theme in my household. Jake’s nine-year-old brother would rather poo in his undies than hover a single butt cheek over the commode. He’ll go in his underwear, thank you very much, then proceed to knead the PlayDough-like load with his hand (through his skivvies). (I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you people what kind of smells, as well as hygiene issues arise from this kind of behavior.)

If Jax is my problem pooper, Jake is my problem obsesser. If it can be obsessed about, Jake will obsess about it. (See my blog post:” I’m Going to Heaven, Right? )

Jake’s penis is also a constant source of distress for him. In my upcoming book I Wish I Were Engulfed in Flames, I have a chapter called “Tickling the Weiner. ” I discuss how I came to know that Jake found out “tickling his weiner” was normal. The doctor who gave the discussion in health class said so, and all was right with the world (briefly) when Jake got off the bus that day.

Other, more troubling things, were covered in Heath Class this year, but I won’t bore you with all the rape and oral sex talk. (If you’re interested in middle school sex-ed and what it (disturbingly) consists of these days, see my blog post: "Let’s Talk about Sex, Baby")

So, Weiner Tickling, OK. Check. I try not to form a mental image of my fourteen-year-old autistic kid, in his room, doing whatever fourteen-year-old boys do, because if I - blech… Ugh, no thanks.

But these changes in Jake’s body are very disturbing to him, hence the first line of this blog, which he uttered this morning on the way to school. Jake has sensory issues. He doesn’t like the feel of paper in his hands, or the sound a pencil makes when he writes on paper, or the dry sound of someone touching paper. Stop to consider what a fucking ticking-time-bomb this kid has to be on a daily basis, at school.

Paper, pencils, not to mention, he’s very sensitive to sounds, is grossed out when people eat, and gets particularly rattled by certain smells. I imagine the pubescent sights, sounds and smells are unbearable to Jake; kids in the lunchroom eating sloppily with open mouths, loud cafeteria, hallways and (aneurism-inducing) gym class, and the natural funk of five-hundred middle school kids.

Now, add to this, all of these new “feelings” he’s experiencing south of his naval, and you can see how his school day might seem more like being sent to a third world country and expected to immediately assimilate.

I shudder to imagine Jake’s internal monologue. Probably something like, “Help! Me!”

Also, his sensory processing disorder translates these “feelings” that might be considered tingles to the ordinary teenager, into something more closely related to pain. Jake gets one new “twinge” and he’s off on a crying jag - standing, pants around ankles, in the bathroom, with an ice pack or sopping wet washcloth on his private area. These new sensations can freak any teenage boy out, but for an autistic boy who obsesses about everything, it’s more akin to expecting something really painful or freakish to happen any minute - like his penis falling off, or Pop-Rocks® spontaneously shooting out of his “penis hole”. (His phrase, not mine.)

It’s not that he’s actually experiencing pain (I’ve had him checked by a doctor - everything’s working fine), it’s the apprehensive, debilitating “What if?” that plagues him.

God bless this kid. Truly. I’ve got my own hang-ups, but if I had to constantly worry about my vagina falling off, or gummy worms sliding out my who-ha - well, let’s just say I’d be taking copious amounts of prescription drugs.

It’s at moments like these that I truly need people to know how much MORE autistic people have to deal with than the rest of us. How much stronger they have to be than the rest of us. How special they are, compared to the rest of us.

Do me a favor. Today, take the time to tell an autistic family member or friend how inspiring it is that they are able to navigate waters most of us would drown in. Type “autism” into the search engines of Twitter or Facebook, make a new friend, and let them know that they are seen, heard and appreciated; that the extra mile (or fifty) they trudge daily isn’t lost on you.

Or just plain tell them they’re cool. I assure you - the effort won’t go unappreciated.


Monday, April 18, 2011

The Grateful Undead: They're So Vein

Okay, I guess I’ll (grudgingly) take a minute from pimping WAITING FOR KARL ROVE to do my mom a solid… and perhaps I’m biased because she wrote it (and I’m a character in the book) but I think you should check out The Grateful Undead: They’re So Vein (Black Matrix Publishing).

Mommie Dearest (as she’s known in Waiting for Karl Rove - SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!! Available now on Amazon.com!! - wow that minute passed fast, huh?) based the main characters on herself, my sister and me, my eighty-something Nanna, and my aunt JoAnn. Yes, she too has committed the ultimate in literary horrors - writing herself (and family) into a work of fiction.

But, I have to ask - what’s funnier than a octogenarian who suddenly finds herself undead, with a vociferous appetite for sex and the lingering mentality of a senior citizen? (Except, perhaps, potty-mouthed fifth-grade cartoon kids a la South Park, and since there’s a Vampire tyke in the story who’s got quite a dirty mouth, she’s covered all the bases.)

A fresh take on the oft-bitten vampire milieu, They're so Vein is a book that illustrates (hysterically) what happens when all (except one) of the estrogen-producing members of one family suddenly find themselves blood-suckers.

The characters are each funnier than the next: Susan is their bitchy leader, who got them all into this undead mess, but couldn’t care less since she’s now wrinkle-free and has perky tits.

Then there’s her sister, JoAnn, who can't quite get on board with the whole "drinking-human-blood-thing." She ends up screwing with the eco-system by feeding on animals and accidentally turning them. PETA would be pissed.

Susan’s eighty-something mother keeps bringing home men half her age, and is having a love affair with her battery-operated sex toy.

And the kids… one daughter who’s happy to play the fanged version of a kick-ass action hero, while the eldest daughter (me!) - the only sane one among them - decides to stay human, thank you very much. (This is true to life. I do NOT want to be a vampire. And I am still wondering how I should feel about her writing a werewolf character as my love interest.)

Anyway…it's all fun and games until the "serious" (old!) vampires come knocking, and expect this motley crew of newly-turned idiots to pay for their every Vampiric transgression. Sex, blood, and heads will roll...I think you’ll find They’re So Vein a funny, enjoyable romp.

(PS: I smell a sequel!)


Oh, and while you're over at Amazon.com, don't forget to pick up a copy of Waiting for Karl Rove...do it for the children, people. (My children. You know - the two autistic kids who need new video games, food and, (unfortunately) little Jax still requires pull-ups due to his toileting issues. Those puppies are EXPENSIVE! Ha!)

Both books will make you laugh, and isn't that what we need a bit more of in this world? A little bit-o-funny, yes indeed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Last Will and Testament

To Whom it May Concern,

If I die or end up in a stupid coma & become a vegetable (I hope yam or tomato because I don't want to be spinach) then my half of the proceeds from sales of Waiting for Karl Rove shall go in a trust fund for Thing One (Jake William Lopez) and Thing Two (Jaxson Walter Lopez) - because I have blatantly exploited them for personal gain, so it would only be fair.

This windfall, however, should be administered by their step-grandfather Bob, because my mother, sister, and husband cannot be trusted with such a chore. Mommie Dearest would drive everyone crazy, husband would buy way too much pay-per-view and beer, and sister would instantly bury herself under a ten-foot high mound of scratch-off lotto tickets.

If something happens to Step-Dad Bob before an anvil falls on my head or I slip in the shower, the above duties will then go (grudgingly) to Resi Decker (sister with lotto fetish) with the IMPLICIT STIPULATION that no lotto tickets, hair color, or chocolate shall be purchased with the proceeds from Waiting for Karl Rove under the guise of “Thing One and Thing Two management”.

If Step-Dad Bob and Resi Decker should succumb to a fishing/hunting/home repair accident, said duties should then fall to my husband - hereinafter called The Bread Winner. Oy, vey… I don’t even want to think about it. (SEE: ABOVE REFERENCE TO PORN AND PAY-PER-VIEW)

If a fishing/hunting accident, terrorist attack, home repair accident should befall Step-Dad Bob AND Resi Decker, AND The Breadwinner, simultaneously, then I REALLY GRUDGINGLY pass the buck to Mommie Dearest and hope like hell she doesn’t drive Thing One and Thing Two batshit crazy while lording over their money. She will...(sigh) but I will have no other options at that point.

If everyone above dies, I guess a stupid meteor hit the earth and it won't matter, anyway. (Which would be a damn shame.)

This official half of a contract between Jeni Decker and Kat Nove* is electronically signed on April 15, 2011 by:

Jennifer L. Lopez (YES, this is my legal name, so stop laughing, NOW!)

*to see her official half, go to katnovian.com

Thursday, April 7, 2011

No More Tears from the Clown

Ring the church bells! Sing a chorus of Hallelujah!

Glenn Beck has LEFT THE BUILDING !! (His “imminent departure” not imminent enough for this gal.)

I break here to dab the corner of my eye with an American Flag hankie. I'm feeling a bit verklempt.

No doubt, he’ll pack up his conspiracy chalk board, the mountain of Kleenex hidden under his desk, his teetering sanity, and zip them all up in the suitcase of unmitigated hubris he calls "truth".

Beck often vacillated between describing himself as a “voice of truth” (she coughs into her hand, “Bullshit!”) and “an entertainer” (if sobbing, retching, ranting, conspiring, and whining is considered entertainment) - though this writer would describe him as a “blathering idiot with sociopathic tendencies" who had no place in prime time on a news network (even if it's a Faux News network), to begin with.

But, I’m nobody, (just an average American) so my opinion doesn’t matter.

I will shed no tears for this clown. This is, most certainly, a happy day. Now, if we can just get rid of Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and Ann Coulter, the world might begin to spin a bit more soundly on its axis.

Here's his 'announcement'. If this video doesn't scare the beejezus out of you (or make you laugh hysterically at the irony), nothing will...

And... here’s a video I did a while back about the absurdity of American ‘politics’ and my personal disenfranchisement. (Glen makes a wacky appearance.)

It’s a fitting tribute to The End of Glenn Beck.