The Ignorant can Kiss my Aspie!

I just need to get something straight – and that is the misconception that some people have – in fact, I believe most people have. I see this controversy about “handicapped vs. disability,” etc. And about how people are “less than” due to a trait they have. And yeah, it is a trait. It’s not a handicap. It’s not necessarily a disadvantage. All people see things in different ways. And the example I’m talking about is Asperger’s Syndrome.

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Let me clarify; when someone can’t walk, obviously, they have a disadvantage to someone who can. But the truth is, they probably have a different strength in another area. And going back to Asperger’s, that’s what I’d like to write about now, because many people refer to Asperger’s Syndrome as a disability, when it’s not always. Usually, Aspies are high on The Spectrum, and even in intellect. I highly detest any word used to describe a person with the preface “dis” in front of it, such as disadvantaged or disability. Because that reference literally means, “having a negative or reversing force.” Asperger’s is not less than, it’s an “Alterbility.” Whereas D-I-S means C-A-N-‘-T, and that’s a bunch of bullshit that others who don’t understand label us with so they feel better or normal.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 12.36.33 AMThe biggest misconception of Asperger’s Syndrome is that the person affected is slow. But the truth is, quite often they’re a lot faster than “normal” people in other areas. Does that mean normal people are disabled in those areas? I don’t think so. Does it make them handicapped? It very well may on a golf course. And that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

I’m frustrated as hell because at my job, I work with some people who consider me to be mentally incapable, which is absolutely absurd. I scored very high on a professionally established IQ test and even higher on an EQ. I did have a couple of friends who beat me on a high school evaluation. My school considered Karina Wren and Carolyn Murdock geniuses, along with Paul Jensen, but that’s another story. Anyway, we were all considered brainy and high achievers.

My life began advanced as I started kindergarten at age four. In third grade, I distinctly Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 12.22.42 AMremember sitting in the office with my parents, having a discussion with the principal about elevating me forward an additional year. My parents didn’t feel comfortable with the idea because of inadequacy in my social development. I was pretty upset at the fact my parents found me immature, but I have to admit they were probably correct. I found that out later when I took driver’s ed my junior year of high school with a grade younger than me.

I also took college preparatory classes my sophomore year of high school as well. I was the only sophomore in those classes, and it was a little bit of a gap for me. Sure, there are 12-year-old prodigies in college, but that wasn’t me. Socially, I was unprepared. When jokes were being told, I was usually the one who made a faux pas that gathered even more laughter than the joke. But my worst is configuring numbers. My mind tends to locate patterns in numerals before I can figure out solutions to problems. In fact, often times, the bizarre patterns I find help to solve the arithmetic in question. For me, it’s reasoning.

I used to have a razor-sharp memory before the amnesia-thing, which most of you who read my articles know Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 12.35.42 AMabout. And that really scuffed me up. Now I have a trying time in remembering things. The worst part of that is I’ve always had a tendency of striving for perfection in everything I do. When I was young, I used to imitate sounds over and over again until I felt resolve in getting it perfect. It used to drive my mother crazy!

But rather than making a go at something and failing, I am hindered. I simply can’t stand the thought of not being flawless. Doing an “okay” job or a “passing” task has never been acceptable to me. So rather than allowing myself to make mistakes, I get behind by double-checking. Whenever I notice someone staring at me as if I’m crazy for going so slow, I speed up twice as fast to fit in and make tons of errors. It’s a horribly vicious circle of beating myself up for going too slow and then for speeding up and making mistakes.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 12.26.32 AMOn the other hand, when it comes to creative solutions, I’m way above the grid on that. Um, I don’t know, but some of the older folks may remember the show McGyver. He could string together a pair of pantyhose and a piece of gum, creating a parachute to save his life in about thirty seconds. That’s sort of like me. I’m extremely good at finding solutions in places others wouldn’t consider. I’m very good at fixing things such as my washing machine, my headlight on my car, and other items people would sooner give a fistful of dollars for a repairman to fix. Sure, I save money. But the important thing is that I’m confident it’s done correctly – I’m a sick pedant who doesn’t stop until I find the right answer. Yes, it drives me insane sometimes, but I’m a writer. I’m supposed to think a bit outside-the-box.

If I ever am to be tested or quizzed, and I hear the words, my brain freaks out. Honestly, there was one time I had a test, and as soon as my name was on the paper, I couldn’t even remember the date. Often times, the questions seem to make sense, and I’m certain of the answer, but when it’s read aloud it sounds nothing like the question I answered. I still know the right answers; I just answered the wrong question. If I’m under pressure of time or needing a particular passing score, I will fail just about every time. When I was in school, I still got A’s, but that was because I had tricks I used to recall the answers using association—only when I knew about the test in advance. I’d study for hours to ensure the best score of my class.

On the other hand, the reason I consider myself an “alternate,” rather than deficient, is Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 12.28.56 AM.pngmy senses are very acute. I can hear things from forever away—even when I try not to. My vision isn’t that good. I wear glasses, so I can’t say that. But my sense of smell could combat an animal’s skill. Between my hearing and my sense of smell, I have huge bonuses in some regard and extreme disadvantages in others.

If someone has body odor, I’m usually the first to pick it up, but don’t want to tell them they stink. So I basically suffer. Getting on elevators or through stairwells, if someone has had a cigarette, even when there’s no physical trace, I can smell them. If you like cigarette odors, “yeah for you.” I don’t. There have been times when the odor is so intense I’ve stepped off the elevator because I’m nauseated.

The same goes for my hearing. It may seem like a bonus, but not when you can hear people talking about you. It sucks. And it tends to inundate me sometimes. I tried explaining it the other day, but I’m unsure if she understood. So here goes; when I’m in a room with more than two people talking at the same time… Wait, let me give an example. It was a rare occasion with the kids and me at a restaurant having a discussion. My kids’ voices blended in at the same volume as the people sitting adjacent as well as the guests arriving at the door clear across the room. It’d be great if I wanted to eavesdrop, but when I’m really tuned into the person speaking to me, trying to hear what they have to say, it doesn’t work so well. Everything is one volume. So in this regard, it’s bad—and extensively, I get migraines that last for days. And on occasion, even bright lights cause considerable discomfort. You probably guessed we don’t go out much.

At night, when the wind blows or it starts raining, I wake up. Snow, not so much; it’s usually fairly quiet. But even someone walking on my carpet makes a cush-cush noise that wakes me up. Even still, I cannot separate noises going off at once. Big cities? No thank you. Malls? Hardly. Even movie theaters are difficult for me because I can hear people talking and even munching their popcorn or slurping their drinks above the audio of the film. It’s frustrating. I feel like I could hear a mouse fart from the other room.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 12.32.36 AMEvery Aspie is different, and it’s hereditary. Both of my kids are gifted with it, although my son’s father refuses to accept it. My son’s taken a test enduring two days straight of filling in dots for psychoanalysis to determine his non-emotions and peculiar temperament. In sixth grade, he tested at a 12th grade level in three of the classes and above tenth in the others except for math. He was on the mark there. But that was homeschool where I taught him until junior high. Now he has predominantly D’s in public school. His father has convinced him there’s “nothing wrong” with him. I never said there was. But because of the non-support of his father referring to him as not trying, he’s all but given up. With aspirations to become a scientist, he’s kissed that off.

My daughter has an issue with anything coming in contact with her skin. She cries if she’s asked to fold clothes because she doesn’t like the way the fabric rubs her hands. She recently got over wearing her socks inside out and must have all the tags removed from her clothes because they feel as if they’re cutting her. She insists on wearing the same red zip-up jacket over any shirt she wears on a daily basis and doesn’t like the feel of the hairbrush bristles against her scalp. When it comes to animals, she communicates well.

We all have possessive issues with a comfort item. My son had the same blanket for years until it got lost in a daycare. Now he’s on his second he’s had for about 7 years. I slept with the same teddy bear Timmy, I received in third grade right after the meeting with the principal. It was supposed to soothe me. I slept with Timmy beneath my right shoulder until I was in my mid-twenties. An eye was missing. There were bald spots where fur had fallen out and stitches where I’d sewn him. It was awful, but I was attached like a fur-stuffed appendage. I think someone threw him out when I was moving. But that’s a quality of some Aspies; they frequently bond with inanimate objects.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 12.16.36 AMAnother facet of Aspies is they tend to believe objects have feelings. When a gift is received, the Asperger’s recipient may love it beyond reality like a good friend or not want anything to do with it at all. There are objects I’ve received I have not felt akin to possessing. The perfect example is a dining set I purchased used a couple of weeks ago from a site on Facebook. A friend went and picked it up, so I bought it without first “meeting” it. I couldn’t sleep for nearly two nights because of the negative emotions I perceived from the set. I tried to resell it online. When I couldn’t within a couple of days, I finally took it to the dumpster. I coincidentally found another at a yard sale that gave me good vibes. All three of us love it.

Speaking of Facebook, there are several groups centered around nonjudgmental people with Asperger’s. I would totally suggest if you live with Asperger’s or know someone who does, you search out others who will understand. A lot of these groups have a “no harassment” clause you must agree to before joining, but it’s worth it in realizing you’re not the freak everyone who doesn’t get it makes you out to be. And truthfully, I’d rather be an honest perfectionist than a racist, a thief, a liar, or an egotistical failure hiding behind cynically rude remarks about others. Wouldn’t you? Those people can kiss my Aspie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should Tom Brady Run from Super Bowl to Presidency?

 

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Tom Brady, currently an all-star quarterback, but how would he fair in the White House?

Everyone’s up in a roar about Super Bowl LII with the Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots, or are they? There are a few football fans who are completely turned off by Tom Brady, superhero QB, but they’re still geared up for the outlandish commercials during halftime that cost about $5 million for a 30-second spot. Crazy, right?

 

Okay, so Eagles have it rough with no McNabb or Wentz, but cross your fingers for Foles and Pederson’s ability to hold it together. Last year, the Eagles couldn’t push back Belichick and Brady, but maybe this year they will prove the statistics wrong. Whether or not big-headed Brady’s team of the Patriots wins or not, he should consider running for president. If he did put Trump out next election, there’d definitely need to be a stage a lot larger to hold both of their heads. According to Tom Brady, he’s the one to beat. Then again, he seems to feel that Trump is the cat’s whiskers. For more, read this interview.

 

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Tom Brady screaming, “You’re fired!” after filling Trump’s golf shoes.

On the other hand, the halftime show definitely has something going for it with one of my favorites, Justin Timberlake. Here’s an interview with him about his performance.

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“You can’t change what’s happened, but you can move forward and learn from it.” ~ JT

But concerning issues that matter, you may recall I was entering a contest to win the making of my screenplay Vermill!on Beach. When I was a kid, I used to be amazed when I watched Mr. Rogers and the tour of a fortune cookie factory (for those betting on the Super Bowl). It was like “Wow, I had no idea so much work goes into making a tiny cookie with a piece of paper that’s gone in 2 minutes!” The same goes with filmmaking or in this instance commercial making. I had Cameron film me for three days to put six different segments together into a 2-minute commercial of how individualism contrasts conformity. He insisted on using his phone, but when it came time to forward the shots to me, he was certain he had submitted a shot which he hadn’t. We argued for two days.

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They’re always happier with a little divider between them.

On Thursday, with one day to put it all together, he finally told me at 3:00 p.m. that he found it on his phone and was sending it. By then, there’s no way I could edit and put it together in one day, complete with editing the dialogue and then creating a timed score to go with it. The project was due Friday. What a disaster! We didn’t speak the remainder of the day. I was frustrated in wasting so much time that I could have been doing something else productive. We’d made several people go out of their way by using a classroom, a backyard, a gym, etc. with various people’s permissions. But then, I decided that rather than write the commercial off, because I’d missed the deadline, I could do it anyway to advertise myself. Why not? At least then it would go toward a positive end if it turned out alright. Maybe I’ll share it.

Also, I’ve connected with someone in the industry who seems particularly interested in my copyright abilities to create commercials. I ran my ideas past him with the pitches he proposed, and he was thrilled. So, we’ll work together and see where that goes.

Being a mom? Well, I’m not so sure about my positivity there. My son thinks the DMV is out to get him because he can’t seem to pass the written exam. I tried explaining overcoming the Asperger’s Syndrome when it comes to taking tests. As a writer, it’s surprising how difficult it is for me to comprehend written directions, especially when it’s a series of long sentences. When I tried explaining that to him, he got frustrated. His father keeps telling him “there’s nothing wrong” with him. Asperger’s people don’t necessarily have anything “wrong” with them, it’s simply finding an alternate way of approaching things. I’ve been doing it for years. My issue is that while Cameron tries to do just enough to get by, I always want to be the best in the running – the ultimate—the one that leaves people scratching their heads. Needless to say, that seldom happens, but I usually feel good about my accomplishments when I’m finished. It generally works out.

 

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Shopping bag at the ready, stuffy Nikki sleeps

Nikki has a head cold that’s awful! I think it may be playing with her mental awareness. For example, I stood sideways in front of her today so she could witness my results so far in weight loss. I was mostly wanting her to comment on how much weight I’ve lost in my gut. I mean, it’s actually smaller than my chest now! “Wow,” she opens her eyes wide, “Your butt sticks out further than your back now.” What the hell is that supposed to mean? When I reported this breakthrough to the girls at the gym, they seemed to have agreed. I suppose any weight loss is good weight loss. I can’t complain. Although I’m not sure what a fat back looks like. Meanwhile, Nikki’s stuck on the couch, a brown grocery bag full of tissues and a nose that would put Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer to shame.

 

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208 lbs to 192 lbs, and leaping from a plateau

Still working out and moderately changing my diet to mega protein and cutting carbs while loading up on fats, I’ve determined donating plasma eats up my proteins and makes it more difficult. And for those who are losing weight, fasting for 12 hours or so is great, but doing it the day before you donate plasma will send you into the sleepy zone for the next two days and destroy any weight loss as your body tries refraining from starving to death. Don’t do it! It’s bad!

The job hunt continues as I refuse to settle for a job to get by and search for a position I will be thrilled with that works with my copyrighting adventures. I’ll tell you next week if I’ve found the deserving position. Until then, remember that statistically, the number one day people take off is the day following the Super Bowl. So, if you’re trying to get into the good graces of your boss, bring that up on Monday, unless he’s “ill.”

Will a football hero be the replacement of the money icon, or will it be a wrestler or movie star moving into the White House in 2020? What in the heck are we thinking? Politics. Frankly, I think we should simplify the entire process. Each person votes one time, and the whole country tallies up the vote for the winner. As long as they keep the process complicated, we may end up with our Patriot, Tom Brady.