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The last day and I really have nothing to say. But this technically is a post, so there ya go.

NaBloPoMo done and done.

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(Everybody loves a little Toothpaste For Dinner.)

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(i.e., randomly and falling off the tracks everywhere.)

I just realized tomorrow is the last day for the NaBloPoMo. I keep thinking of it as a finish line, like it was some sort of grueling marathon for me. But then I remember that this was a challenge to talk. Every day. About whatever I want. Which.. uh.. have you met me? That’s not a challenge, that’s me breathing.

Anyway, my lazy Sunday post was going to just be this picture, because I’m unabashedly in love with cute animals and cheesy captions.

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BUT! Luckily, this is not a total brain waste, because giggling at this picture reminded me of a really cool article I read today in our Nat’l Geographic. So I’ll also post that to redeem all of us.

As a last note, please do read the Pharma piece I linked yesterday. I’ve never read anything that validated so clearly why I’m simply not crazy. And the truth is, I really believe if you read that whole thing and still disagree with my skepticism, well.. I think you’d have to be in denial. So please take the time, not just to humor me, but because it needs to be heard.

Smooches, friends. You know I bug you because I care. πŸ˜‰

You don’t HAVE to watch that doc just to make me happy.

However, you MUST read this phenomenal blog entry.

Fo’real, this is one of the single best opinion pieces I’ve ever read.

I’m not kidding.

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I saw this article today about a gal describing her life as an Aspie, and I was reminded again how little I really know about my opinion on autism. In particular, this paragraph made me resignedly smile:

I also have intensified senses — touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound — so I am attuned to lights, noise, textures, and smells. In a “busy” environment, I will eventually go into sensory overload and my mind will go blank. When this happens, I have to “go away” mentally for a brief period to regain focus. When I “return,” I have to piece together what occurred while I was “away.” The additional mental processing I must do to function every day is fatiguing, and I don’t handle “ad hoc” very well. Being asked to respond quickly in the midst of all this other processing is difficult, sometimes impossible.

So, if I pretty much wrote this exact thought-process a week ago, does that make me an Aspie also? I doubt it. Though I think it’s interesting that most auties have sensory issues. Is it a sliding scale neurologically? A chromosomal crap-shoot timed with some sort of external trigger – toxic or otherwise? Possibly. It seems a lot people assume that’s the most logical scenario. .

I think part of my eternal reticence to discuss autism is the fact that there is that large school of thought that it is some sort of toxic damage, obviously mostly correlated to vaccines. And despite my holistic philosophies, I just can’t endorse that fully. I see the irony (if you can call it that) that I’m against vaccines but don’t necessarily believe it’s a direct causation; at least not how I categorize ‘autism’. But that’s because I really think in the future there will be a demarcation in the diagnoses. Whether it will actually ever get this openly acknowledged I don’t know, but I think there will have to be a time when people being diagnosed will be either ‘autistic’ or just ‘toxic’, regardless if the presenting characteristics are similar.

I know at least one little guy that I believe is absolutely vaccine and environmentally-toxic, but I don’t think he’d genetically be diagnosed. I can’t really tell you why, other than what I know of human physiology (and what his mom has told me in passing about his health and history) and an instinct I have. I just think his eyes seem.. cloudy, for lack of a better explanation. I know that sounds like corny hoo-doo, and maybe it is. I don’t walk around peering at people to guess how unhealthy their body is. But the fact is sick people often look sick. So, whatever. And in that case, I’d love to send them to a naturopath to detoxify, but it’s not my place, and everyone has their own beliefs. He seems to be a fairly happy kid; who am I to judge his quality of life? Shrug.

But like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think Jack is ‘toxic’. Sure, we could live a healthier lifestyle, but by-and-large he’s a healthy fartknocker. And aside from that, there is no mistaking that most of his quirks can be seen in me, and more specifically, his grandpa. Autism experts would lurve Jack’s bloodline.

Regardless, given the coincidence that I am invested in both natural living and autism, I’m often the go-to for opinions or education, which is both validating and humbling. It would be a lot easier if I did belong to the genetic vs curable camp, because I have a host of research on both. Unfortunately I don’t think it breaks down that cleanly, which, ironically again (?), sort of sums up the difficulty that can come with navigating autism.

So I guess this is my yearly admission that I have zero idea. And the further along we go, the less I have the urge to discover, which is bad timing considering autism is the new hot topic. But, I do like the tangential press on vaccines. I mean, even if I’m not wholly convinced by the recent ruling by the government, I wholly support it – if it means more education.

The truth is that it has crossed my mind in the past that maybe Jack is my segue into gaining credence on both sides of the vaccine-discussion fence. It’s a pretty strong shield to carry when very few people will argue with me either way.

It’s OK that I don’t know everything – I know enough. πŸ˜‰

This Thursday/11th hour/cop-out post is a song I totally dig (Unless It Kicks) by a group called Okkervil River. If you aren’t at least tapping your foot – if not actually chair dancing – by about minute 4, well.. I can’t help you. I’m sorry the visual is so nauseating; it was the best sound quality.

Hope all is well, everyone. Tomorrow I hope to post something that gets everyone involved again.

Things I could tell you about for this stupid NaBloPoMo:

I finally got my head out of the sand and have started some therapy. Things are currently both more clear and much more difficult for me. I’m really not liking that she’s pulling out some old things I’d like to stay buried, but I think it probably is necessary. It takes courage to do this stuff, and I’m not always sure I’ve got enough in supply.

I can admit to you how much I want to eviscerate this man; how primal the feeling is. But I acknowledge that if mental health really is in question, it can’t wholly be black and white, no matter how disloyal that seems to that innocent girl.

I can tell you how much that song I posted a few days ago actually makes my heart hurt, even though I don’t connote it with any particular situation – it’s just that beautiful of a song to me. And again, I don’t understand people who don’t like music. It’s completely antithetical to me.

I can talk about how my next birthing mama called me yesterday with what ended up being false contractions, and I couldn’t go with her to check it out, and I felt like a horrible doula. It’s been a long time since I’ve attended a birth, and I’m so ready for this one. Birth is miraculous, and everything comes down to simply that.

I can remind you that today Jack starts riding the bus home, and even though it’s only a block and he’s been in ‘school’ for two years now, the thought makes me cry. He is my baby. My almost-Kindergarten-aged sweet boy, and he’s riding a school bus. It’s inexorably linked to growing up in my mind.

I could attempt to describe the stupidly-delicious burgers we had last night when Brandon came to watch some more Wire, but words fail me. Best burger ever, I promise. Really. I told him I was going to steal the recipe and add it to my three-dish repertoire.

Likewise, this song played on rotation during dinner, and has been in my head since.

Polyphonic Spree’s “Light & Day/Reach for the Sun”

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So that about sums up what’s on my brain today.

Have a good day everyone. πŸ˜‰

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But I saved the email should any of you need to contact Julia Jacobson at fngnfdl@nnrg.com

My kids, after sitting for a train this morning.

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Jack begins..

The train is gone, the train is gone. Gone, gone, gone..

The train is gone, the train is gone. Gone, gone gone..

GONE GONE GONE GONE GONE GONE GONE GONE

(Lo canons: Gaw gaw gaw gaw gaw gaw gaw)

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A few choruses later..

The gane is tron, the gane is gone, fawn, fawn, fawn..

The train is done, the grain is done, gone, gone, gone..

(Gaw gaw gaw gaw…. nonononononono!)

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30 seconds after that..

The la la la, the gone gone gone, the train the train the train la la..

Β la-la la-la, la-la la-la, la-la la-la, goooooooooooooooooooooooone..

(STOP IT! STOP IT! AUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH!)

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I don’t think today’s the day to get into religion or what it means for our culture when a big ole bunny gives out chocolate and colored eggs in the grass and trees.

BUT, I do think today should be a thoughtful day regardless. So I’m going to keep this totally non-specific and show you my latest and greatest favoritest song, “Falling Slowly”, from the movie Once.

Happy Sunday/Easter, friends.

..but he woke up when I lowered my window.

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And I’m not sure why, but surely that has to be a sign of a good life when you can take a leisurely nap with your snout hanging out a window.

1. Saw the K-State game last night. They owned it. Huzzah!

2. Love this pic of Megawhomps and I. Look ma, only one chin! Now we need to chant for my hair to grow; it’s moved an inch in two years.

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3. Lo had the pukes last night. And now she has beige poop. Awesome.

4. I’m sorry, blame NoBloPoMo. I wouldn’t have shared that if I wasn’t stubborn about this thing.

4a. Since Jon was traveling, I am cracked-out tired. Can I have a mulligan?

5. My roommate Scotty from college just sent a baby announcement. Apparently he had a boy and they named him Trestle Logan. Cool name and congrats, old friend.

WTF is this? And why do these things ALWAYS have to take place in Kansas?

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I’m not from here.

I really feel the need to remind everyone of that.

OK, so lest you think I’m one of those delusional people who thinks all authority is evil, I wanted to post some of my favorite places I’ve worked. And yes, I have had a whole lotta jobs, with college especially being a time I had them simultaneously. There’s no real rating with these, they all just pretty much rocked.

1. Hibachi Hut

There’s a little restaurant in Aggieville that serves yummo Cajun food, and this place was one of the most fun places I’ve ever worked. The staff was young, laid-back and cool. Most of the customers were easy to serve and tipped well. Plus, we drank like fish. Especially on game nights. Usually with the customers. It’s a good thing H. Pimp and I moved to KC, b/c working there would have killed me eventually.

2. Collegian

Jon was the sports editor of the Collegian when he snagged me an unofficial position as a staff writer. I knew I would never be cut-out for journalism, but I still loved being there, and it gave me an opportunity to write a couple opinion editorials. The two that stick out most is the one for Cyndi about why that restaurant I mentioned yesterday really was evil and the one for my friend Ryan after he died. The feedback from those were immeasurably powerful and validating to me. More than that though, I’m glad I met the fools I did while being an official Kedzie troglodyte. A group of the single most cynical, genius and funny people in existence in Manhattan, KS. Man I miss that crazy crew splashed across the world; I’d really like to have a reunion.

3. CA

So at K-State the people sitting at the front desk of the dorm were called Community Assistants. It basically meant just answering the phone, shepherding drunk kids, doling out pool cues and dispensing mail. But it could possibly be the best and most timely job I could have had then. I met every single person in the dorm, and it was a huge coup to have so many people to busy my hours with after a painful breakup. I can trace so many of my friend/roommate/otherwise relationships to that one time. Really, most of my world can Kevin Bacon back to that year. Wow, it’s crazy to think where I’d be now otherwise. Hmm.. let’s not. Anyway, obviously I think of that time with immense gratitude.

4. Tech Writing

My first big-girl job after college was with a little company in KC as a tech writer. My manager was such a nice guy, very laid-back and hands-off. He didn’t really want to be in a supervisory position, so there was no ego. The programmers were all pretty verbal (ha) and were not hard to work with at all. My immediate supervisor took me under her wing and helped mentor me. Plus, amongst other sweet people I see sometimes, I met Billeh, who introduced me to Chipotle and Nerd Ropes; two things I still love to this day. The company wasn’t the best fit for me overall, but I am glad I had the experience – it was a balanced foundation for me to begin my adult life. Heh.

Originally I had thought of writing a list about people who have impacted my life, and I still would like to do that eventually. But I’m feeling sort of feisty today, and would rather do this. The scale is 1-10, with 10 being I’d-rather-stab-myself-in-the-eye-than-do-that-again.

1. Telemarketing

In high school a couple girlfriends and I worked for a slimeball where we called customers who had used local dealerships for repair work on their cars. Those calls were either great or painful, depending on customer satisfaction. I mean, imagine how excited you’d be if you’d paid stupid amounts of money for poor work, and then had someone call you to ask how you felt about it! Huzzah! Ugh.

Rating: 5 – For being not worth the whopping $6 an hour we richly earned then.

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2. Baskin Robbins

My first job was at an ice-cream shop where you basically just put scoops in a cone, and yet I still managed to forget the banana in a lady’s split once. Our owner was a total jerk, and while working there I met the guy I’d go on to date for years – the one who really screwed me up for a long time.

Rating: 7 – For long-term relationship effects.

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3. Working as a temp in a candle factory

You know how good candles smell? Yeah, the smell ain’t so hot when it’s all mixed together in some obliterating olfactory version of a suicide pop you make at the gas station. The young accounts receivable gal was having an affair with the VP, and was drunk when she came back from lunch every day. The Pres sent email porn around and my jacket had an everlasting reek to it, such that after months I finally just threw it away. I worked there for ONE WEEK.

Rating: 8 – For being the genesis of my migraines, surely.

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4. Tech Writing

The last tech writing job I had was contracting for a local title company that had many other mortgage-related companies under its umbrella. The company had a whole lot of money and a coincidingly evil CTO. They had historically turned all the contract workers from my firm into full-time employees until I got pregnant with Jack. Then one day I was brought in and told that they loved me but were letting me go b/c they didn’t want to pay maternity leave. Sadly, even the EEOC inquiry told me that as a contract-employee you gots no protection. Keep that in mind if you’re ever in that position, folks.

Rating: 9 – For cruel loophole illegalities.

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5. Carlos O’Kelly’s

One of my serving jobs in college was at a crappy Mexican restaurant. After working for a few years (re: gained seniority), I fell on water from the leaky ice machine and re-injured the knee I had just been cleared to work on. So, knowing I didn’t have the money for an MRI or more PT, it was suggested I file for Workers Comp. Thus my pariah status was solidified and attempts to get me to quit were full-on. But I refused, until the day came when two wenches came in and decided for reasons only girls can really understand that they instantly didn’t like me. They left their checks with no tips included, and wrote a note to my manager with impossible lies. And hear me clearly: I’m a good server and enjoy socializing with people, so believe my narration when I say it was bullshit. But more drama ensued with my manager, and I was so frustrated by the time I left that I happened to write an anonymously scathing and awesomely written letter to those stupid girls, and sent it to the addresses I ganked off the checks.

Yes, I know. It was childish and volatile. Obviously the job was lost when they showed up again three weeks later, and poor Cyndi felt the effects of having been my friend herself, but years later I still don’t regret doing it. I was mad as hell and couldn’t take it anymore. And when I called my parents to tell them, my mom was furious (rightfully so), but my dad, after Mom hung up, whispered ‘Good for you for sticking up for yourself’. Damn straight.

Best scene that could be recreated for a movie? The patronizing GM, while debating with me on whether they were firing me or I was quitting, told me that if someone cuts me off in traffic, I can’t just go ’round blowing up their houses.

I told him no, but you can give them the finger. Then I walked out.

Rating: 10 – For overall ridiculousness.

The best part of yesterday was getting some decadent chocolate in the mail from my friend Jen-nay, in response to the request from last week for reinforcements.

Sometimes yinz make me feel so loved I could cry.

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