Life Stuff

The hard, the important, the real…

Back from the depths…

meOWLHello there. Yes, it’s really me. I hope I’m back more regularly, we’ll see if the universe behaves. The past few months have been hectic, emotional, and tiring. I’ve learned just how strong I am, and how resilient those closest to me are. Through health crises, long nights in the ER, and downs outnumbering the ups, we are all still here.

I haven’t written for two reasons. The first is the time and energy required to make it through the past few months left me with little left to sit down and compose my thoughts. The second, and truly the biggest reason I haven’t been writing, is because I write my life and I just couldn’t share this part of my life on here. In time, I may find a way to share it. Partly, it’s not my story to tell, though I can share it from my perspective. I feel it is important to write it, not only as a form of catharsis, but also to help others. So, in time, you may learn more about my absence. It is a delicate balance to keep when sharing someone else’s health and life.

While I sort out how to express myself, while keeping those elements close(r) to my chest, I will be writing again. I hope to get some more material on BlogHer, I have my first post up at Nerdy But Flirty today, and I’ll be sharing a new chapter here as well. We are having a go at homeschooling. I’ll explain more in my first post–I plan to write at least once a week about our trials and errors, and our adventures too! It’s possible I’ll start a new Tumblr or use another blog for that, but for now, those posts will be here. As we sort out curriculum and hammer out details, I’m going to trial Time4Learning. Here is the disclaimer:

I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Stay tuned!

Also, thanks to everyone for sticking around, and for those who encouraged me during my absence. It meant so much to know my writing, my voice, was missed. xx

Three Decades of Gaming and I’m Not Going Anywhere

It’s been over 30 years since I played my first video game. I’ve played them practically my entire life. I’m pretty sure that makes me a gamer, and gives me as much cred as anyone else who calls themselves one. I started playing handheld games and Atari around age 6.

oldgames

The first handheld games I played were Bandai Incredible Hulk Escapes, electronic football and bowling (I don’t recall but I think they were both by Tiger). If I were to give either of these to my kids today, they would laugh. Meanwhile, I could not get enough of the Hulk game. The sound and lights kept me busy for long periods of time (away from everyone in my family, due to the sound!)

Few things from my childhood make me smile as much as when I think of our Atari. I nearly got misty-eyed last year when I saw the Atari Flashback console at the store and had to resist every urge to not buy it. The Atari was just cool. It thrilled me to play games on it.
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The Shooting Near UCSB Has My Mind Spinning…

[CN: sexual assault, violence, ableism]

photo (10)

I have so many thoughts going through my head right now about the shooting in California. They vary from anger and frustration at those who are throwing out “mental illness” and “Asperger” as either reasons or excuses for these crimes. (This piece, from two days ago no less, by John Elder Robison is perfect in its explanation of the unfounded link people attempt to make between autism and murder.) Using mental illness or autism as reasons that someone has committed murder, even just as speculation hours after such crimes, only further serves to stigmatize. Most people with mental illness or on the spectrum are not violent. Rather, they have an increased risk of being victims of violence. Those are the facts. (more…)

Things I Miss This Week: writing, video games, tv, gazing into the abyss, my bed…

From May 12, 2014

From May 12, 2014

So, as I’ve promised myself to write here at least once a week, I’m doing a quick check-in. Oh and yeah, I have some BlogHer news, if the picture didn’t give it away. I’ll get to that in a minute. I’ve been spending nearly every waking hour doing some training for an at-home job that would have regular weekly hours and would sure be a help getting my finances in order. Being an unemployed single mom does not have its privileges. Things have been pretty rough lately, so I’m keeping my fingers (and toes!) crossed this gig works out. I’ll find out next week. I’ll take all prayers, luck, vibes, meditations, what have you…

I have a lot of stuff that’s waiting to be written, either lurking in my head or half-drafted. This week is just not one to put much time or energy into writing. I will hopefully return to my regularly scheduled soapboxing next week. In the meantime, if you are new here, hello and thank you for checking my blog out. You can find me on Twitter and (new!) “LIKE” me on Facebook. There’s a bunch of other places you can find me listed over on the side bar as well. Oh and look, you can also help me pay my bills and save enough funds to buy a desperately needed laptop. Sorry, had to mention it!

I was delighted to receive an email last week from Deb Rox, Entertainment Editor at BlogHer, telling me they would be featuring my piece about diversity in comics. If you haven’t read it yet, please head over to BlogHer and check it out. Just as exciting, was seeing my quote and name in BlogHer’s newsletter on Monday. That news surely helped to lift my spirits. And not to be all cheesy by making a pun, but, Deb Rox really rocks. I’ll show myself out now…

More pieces coming next week, including pictures of the zoo cake I made. Until then, be well. Thank you again for coming by!

Some of my favorite pieces I’ve written lately:

Challenging Stigmas & an Imperfect System: My Struggle With Depression

I Am Sounding the Alarm (on Autism Propaganda, Everyday)

The FDA Hearing and the Judge Rotenberg Center: What You Should Know

An Open Letter to Jenny McCarthy

Slut-Shaming: Wendy Williams, LiLo and Beyoncé

8677427 Last week, I happened to catch a segment of New York Live and Wendy Williams was their guest. Their discussion piqued my interest so I left it on. Wendy and the show’s hosts were talking about Beyoncé being called out for her new album and live performances of its songs. I was in full agreement with what the hosts and Wendy Williams had to say, they supported her freedom of expression. It’s been gross to see people come for Beyoncé.

For starters, Beyoncé is a grown woman. She can wear what she wants, sing songs about whatever she wants, and never deserves to be dragged for it. Don’t like the lyrics? Turn the song off. Her performance makes you uncomfortable? Change the channel. Simple. (more…)

On Drunk Drivers

I Refuse to Shame Drunk Drivers

I wrote a response (link above) to those who are taking to Twitter to trash the driver in the horrible SXSW crash.

But you don’t get to shame this individual because you don’t know their lived experience. Are they self-medicating their mental health issues? Are they a binge drinker or an alcoholic? Are they grieving from a tragedy and using alcohol to numb themselves? Have they struggled to get sober? You don’t know any of these things. Save your judgement. Use the emotion you feel to help others. Donate blood. Speak to family members and friends about getting sober. Talk to your kids about the ramifications of drinking. Take action. Sitting around disparaging another human being, who made a mistake -even one that cost lives- doesn’t do a damn thing.

My heart goes out to those who were killed and injured in the crash. I cannot imagine what their family and friends are going through. My thoughts are also with the driver, who now has to face criminal charges and his own conscience. They may have a struggle toward sobriety ahead. I wish them all the luck. It is not easy.

If you find yourself reflecting on your drinking and want to get sober, please seek help. You cannot do it alone. Here are two links to start with:

NCADD

Alcoholics Anonymous

Rape Victims Aren’t “Breaking Buzz”

[CN: rape, sexual assault]

If you are going to write about sexual assault, and particularly publish first-person accounts of the intimate details about one’s assault, you’d better do it right. I read The Root’s coverage on the hundreds of responses to “what were you wearing when you were assaulted?” last night on Twitter. I felt they did a tasteful job and noted that Christina Fox (@Steenfox), who led the discussion, was interviewed for the piece. Desmond-Harris’ writing reflected her concern for the victims, and ensured their privacy while still telling the story. I read the Buzzfeed* one next, and it just didn’t feel right. It was presented, like all things on Buzzfeed in a list-format. Throwing tweets on top of sexual assault stats, it was really awful.

Worse still, were people’s claims they did not give permission to have their tweets published. I’m not here to argue that, other people on Twitter are doing a better job explaining the ethics involved if that is the case. Whatever permission may or may not have been given, the Buzzfeed piece was slapped together and published while people on Twitter were still sending in their responses to Fox! I would like to think that hundreds of sexual assault and rape victims having such an important and relevant discussion would be seen as more than buzz-worthy. Buzzfeed was far more interested in publishing their click-bait before anyone else could profit from it. That is disturbing. The Root piece has substance and opens the discussion further to its readers. This is a vital part of the dialogue we must be having in order to end rape culture. The Buzzfeed one carelessly spit a list out. There is a time and a place for “breaking buzz,” last night was not one of those moments. (more…)

Giving Myself Credit (And Side-Eye to Jenny McCarthy)

Excuse me while I toot my own horn, and that of all the other writers who quietly sit and write, sometimes to no one. We keep at it, impassioned by our pens and keyboards, most of us write for no other reason than we couldn’t imagine not doing it. Some of us get honorable mentions, full-time gigs with publications, a few even get a book deal. Whether we receive any nods, we all have important things to say. This is my reminder, to myself and to you. Stay writing. Your voice matters.

I started a little blog called Stop. Think. Autism. shortly after my daughter was diagnosed with autism. (more…)

“I just got out of Rikers Island…”

A few weeks back, I was walking around Union Square on a Friday night. At this particular moment, I did not have my headphones in my ears, something that is habit for me when I’m alone. I got stuck standing at a corner as the light changed and cars began zooming by in front of me. I heard a man say, “Excuse me miss,” and through the corner of my eye, saw him approaching. Normally, this would be my cue to walk faster. I had nowhere to go and he was already at my side, talking to me.

“I’m sorry to bother you,” he continues. I’m still contemplating my exit strategy and rolling my eyes as I turn to face him.

“I’m not a bum or nothing,” as he motions to a homeless man asking for change, “I just, I just got out of Rikers Island…” (more…)

City Mouse or Country Mouse?

A book with a similar title was one of my favorites growing up. I’ve always swayed back and forth between the love of country and of city. I find beauty in the mountains and rolling hills, in sunsets on water, and on days at the beach. Nothing will ever compare to the sights and sounds and vibe of the city though. I lived in Texas for almost ten years. I longed for New York, its abundance of culture is what I missed so much. I’ve been thrilled being back in the tri-state area these past four years. I spend as much time as I can in New York and in Philadelphia; my kids love both as much as I now. I cannot imagine living a great distance from either ever again. (more…)