Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2012

Piece #36 - The Life We Live

I was going to add this to a previous post about identity, but I felt it needed to be addressed all on its own. I realize having an identity crisis and living a life can run parallel, but I want to look at just existing. The first thing that made me think of this was when I had released our pet turtle. I'm not sure what bugs me more, letting her go or knowing that part of my routine has changed for good. I say that because when I would put the dogs to bed, I would then feed the turtle. It made me think about emotional attachments to animals and people. I find it hard to have any emotional attachments to people and animals, but it almost goes without saying the difficulty of living my life without some kind of attachment to the ones I love can make me feel very lonely. In a way it’s like a double edged sword when it comes to the ones you care about.

I chose to be married to my wife and have children. Not everyone makes the same decision and that's perfectly fine, I mean Jesus w…

Piece #35 - Christmas!

I intentionally waited until December to write this particular blog. Unlike many stores who seem to think that Christmas starts in August,I actually was patience enough to write this within the month. Of course, if you ask the question 'What is your most favorite time of the year?’ some will say summer, but many would say Christmas. I wanted to write this early because Christmas is one of those holidays that are a full season, not just one day. I think this is the one time when I enjoy the days leading up to Christmas more than the actual day itself. It's amazing how things change so quickly, from the decorations, lights, trees and all the other Christmas displays that spring up faster that lightning! There is no other holiday that has this effect on our society as much as this one.

With my Asperger’s, Christmas can be a little difficult because the traditions that I did as a child are not the same as an adult. Worse than that, my tradition is constantly changing every year. (…

Piece #34 - Leadership

If you've had the opportunity to read any of my blogs, you might have noticed that there were many times in my life that I would thrust myself into the role of the leader. It's been peppered all through out my different postings, from scouting to teaching. I guess the question would have to be 'Why am I greatly drawn to a leadership position when I try to avoid people and conflict?!!!! Arrrrrrr!' Very frustrating! It doesn't seem to make any sense. I guess I could think of it like an 'arm chair quarterback', I would gripe about how things should be; but I actually want to do something about it. It seems like I feel compelled to step up and do the job, rather than simply complain.

In its simplest form, I'm the leader of the house...or at least that is what my wife wants me to think. She does a lot of backdoor deals that I tend to be unaware of. When there is life or limb on the line, I'm usually the one who makes the final decision...storms, emergenc…

Piece # 33 - Science Fiction

Other than superheroes, the one thing that has stuck with me my entire life has been Science Fiction. You've probably noticed me making different references to many different Sci-Fi shows in my previous blogs. The earliest thing I can remember that first captivated my love of science fiction has to be Doctor Who. It was one of the first shows I got to see on television...aside from Star Trek (original). Tom Baker was the actor who played the title role at the time and he was so quirky and funny, I naturally got sucked in. I guess in many ways, I could identify with the Doctor because he seemed to be a lot like me. (The Doctor with Asperger's? That might explain a lot!) Growing up, I would join in on fan clubs from America and Canada; then every once in a while, I'd get to go to a convention. I have to tip my cap to Doctor Who because it was that series that got me reading books. I was never a big fan of all-print books, but when I found out that they had printed Dr. Who bo…

Piece #32 - Who am I?

"You are what you eat." Does this statement define who you are? A few might say so, but I think it goes a lot deeper than that. I've been writing these blogs for a while now and I would assume one would label me as having Autism, so I guess you could call me Autistic. However, you also know me as a father, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, and not too far off...granddad. So...what am I? A Christian? A teacher? A writer? A heterosexual? A lover? A fighter?

It seems like we've gotten into this habit of labeling everything. Even some of these labels have turned into fads. Anyone still remember the 'Hippies'? It's frustrating when society takes a way of life for some people and blows it up into fad. Makes me wonder if they'll try to turn autism into a fad! It's a just cause, I mean, I didn't get this from a vaccination needle or from a mere choice, but I was born with it. Now that I think about it, I guess deep down me having the label of auti…

Piece #31 - Sports

Again, another topic to which I'm wondering why I didn't get to earlier considering how much I enjoy it. Right now my biggest obsession is Fantasy Sports (Football, Baseball, Hockey, and Basketball). I love playing it, but NOT for money; two reasons: 1. I don't feel like possibly losing money. 2. Because my wife would kill me. Even though I'm in my forties now, I still yearn for the day to play around with a soccer ball or a tennis ball, golf ball...you get the idea.

Growing up, the big sports person in my family wasn't my dad...it was mom. She would watch sports many times and we even got to go to major sporting events like Royals games (Baseball) or Kings Games (When the KC Kings basketball team was still in town.) [sad face]. One of the biggest thrills for me was being able to go to game 7 of the World Series in 1985. (Yes, the Royals won the Series that year...and yes again; we USED to be a great team.) The two main sports I played were soccer and baseball. Mom…

Piece #30 - "Failure is not an option."

I will say in some cases I do have a fear of failure. It's not constantly on my mind, but it does play a role in my thought processes. When I was growing up, I would always try my best at many different things, but in the end I would fail more times than I succeed. It didn't matter if it was sports, video games, tests in school, and of course...girls; I was a failure. As I've stated in previous blog pieces, every time I failed, I would always wonder what was wrong with me. Granted, my having Asperger's had little to do with certain events or competition because that was strictly physical, rather than social settings or mental tests.

Thinking I fail all the time is a little silly because I didn't fail all the time. If I failed, I wouldn't have a college degree, a wife and a family so in many ways I did succeed. I guess we all have a tendency to look at only what we didn't do versus what we were able to accomplish. In sports, most of my teams either won or we…

Piece # 29 - "You call THAT acting?"...the Theater

I'm sure the first question on your mind is 'How can I have Asperger's Syndrome and love being on stage or in front of a camera'? Strangely, I wonder that myself! I'm not an actively out-going person. I like doing activities with others, but I'm not looking for a party every Friday night. There's just something about the theatre that almost seems magical. I really got hooked when I was in middle school. My parents enrolled me and my brother in an acting workshop at our local community college; from then on, I really liked acting. I didn't really get a chance to act until I got to high school because my middle school didn't have drama classes. I was fortunate to be casted in the fall play my freshman year. The play was called "A Flea in Her Ear" and I had a great time. The older members of the cast were really good to me. (By the way, my wife was dating one of the seniors in our cast at the time.) In my 2nd year I was a bartender in "D…

Piece #28 - Puzzles

I realize autism is symbolized by a puzzles piece and I've noticed that some people have taken some offense to that, but this doesn't deal directly with that topic. This is a straight observation on puzzles and how they affect me and the twins. With the new age of electronic devices, it has changed to way we do pretty much everything! In this case I want to focus on puzzles because there are lots of computer game companies that are betting on us to buy their own special puzzle game, whether it is on the iPad, iTouch or smart phone.

I will say that I do own an iTouch and yes, I do love it! Unfortunately, I can get sucked into several good puzzle games. So far the top ones I love to play are Chuzzle, Bejeweled, Tiki Totems and of course...Angry Birds. To be honest, I also will go 'old school' and play Solitaire, Mahjong, Sudoku and even Tetris because they still have a place in my heart. Sometimes the simpler games I would rather play because they are quick and easier t…

Piece #27 - Art and Tattoos

Here's a bad idea, mixing OCD and tattoos. I will say that so far, I have one tattoo. My wife is another story, she has eight tattoos so far, but she is considering another. I believe the new one she wants would be in memory of her mother. [Although, there is a rumor that she is changing her mind.] I wouldn't mind having another tattoo myself, but as always I'm not sure what I want. I thought about an Autism puzzle piece and I've looked at several different people's tattoos on the same idea; some I've like and some I wondered what they were thinking. I'm still researching the best possible design, but I definitely would like to get a new one.

The hardest part about tattoos is I want to make sure that whatever I get inked on me is something I'll like until I'm dead because there's nothing worse than looking in the mirror and having a really nasty tattoo looking back at you! I have one tattoo right now on my upper right arm. It has the insignia of …

Piece #26 - Raining Cats and Dogs

For all the animal lovers out there, I'm sure you were wondering if I'd ever get to the subject. It might have taken me 20 some odd pieces to do it, but I'm finally here. If you were to ask me straight on about the pets, I would tell you that they are a pain in the butt! I will claim that NONE of the pets we own are mine. The sad part is that I'm the main one who is taking care of them. Jaimee and I are trying to put more responsibility on the twins with their dogs, but I find myself still doing some of the work...i.e. cat puke! When it comes to me and pets - it really is a love/hate relationship. Mind you that in the over two decades we’ve been married, we’ve had rats, rabbits, Guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, turtles, dogs, cats, fish and even mice as pets!

I need to give you the run down on the pets. We have (currently) 3 dogs, 2 cats and a turtle. Jaimee has her Chihuahua/Dachshund mix [Ruthie]; Christen has her Pug [Nami] and the psycho cat [Evie]. Sarah has her dog…

Piece #25 - Leap of Faith

I promise that I will make NO reference to George Michael or Bon Jovi's songs in this piece! This is by far one of the easiest things to tell people, but the hardest to actually follow...having Faith. Two of you can be sitting at a ball game and you're not sure if your team is going to win because right now their losing, but your buddy next hits you in the shoulder and says "Cheer up! Have faith, I'm sure our team will win." We always like to think that is going to be the case, but unfortunately it doesn't always happen. I'm a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan and I think we'll the Stanley Cup each year, although I know that's not going to be the case. (Go Pens!)

"A leap of faith." A catchy phrase and many times I've actually quoted it myself, but for me to take my own advice is tough because I tend to be in the mind set - 'I can do it by myself'. I like to think that is true; however I've been shown (on many occasions) that is…

Piece #24 - SUPERHEROES

If you have been an avid reader of this blog you should not be surprised that this would be one of my pieces. I'm sure your next question would be why did it take this long? For 2012 this is the year of the Avengers and I can say this is a dream come true. I've loved superheroes as long as I've been on this planet. Growing up in the 70's and 80's how could you not be? With the 70's we had the Super friends, the Superman movies, Wonder Woman, the Spider-Man TV series (live action); I even remember watching Shazam! The cool part was I remember riding my bike down to the 7-11 and they had all kinds of superhero things, from cups to cards, stickers and of course...comic books. When I was 7, I actually wrote and drew my own comic book called Thunderbolt. I did start a second book, but I never finished it.

The 80's continued with the superhero parade with more Superman movies (though it started getting dumb), theIncredible Hulk TV series, the Tick and the crownin…

Piece #23 - "Play that funky Music!"

If there is anything I have a close ties to it would have to be music. As you all have noticed, I always leave a song at the end of each blog that might give an added thought to what I wrote. Strangely, I have a music ear, but I can't play or read any music. I really wanted to play the piano so my mom had hired a tutor to teach me how to play. The session ended very shortly and the gal told my mom that I will never be able to play the piano because my hands were too small. If you ask my mom today the one regret that she has, it would be listening to that tutor because my hands are not small now.

I guess one thing I really like about music is that it has a better way of expressing how I feel better than I can explain it. With my Asperger's, it can be very difficult saying how feel inside. I find it amazing that Jaimee can know how I'm feeling without me saying really, anything. Music has a way of not only saying the right words, but also conveying the exact feeling the words…

Piece #22 - The Power of Love

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I love my wife. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be married. To be honest, my tale of love was rather strange as a child. I was very self-aware of women very early in life, for example, I had cut out a picture of a woman in a bra and then proceeded to color in Superman symbols around her when I was 6 years old. I was really young when I had my first kiss, granted I tricked the very lovely young lady, but I got it! We were downstairs in my house and I told the girl to pretend to be a patient and I was going to be the doctor. (You can almost tell how this was going to end.) I remember being really excited, but nervous. I took a second to look at how beautiful she was; then I leaned down and kissed her right on the lips! Of course, right after that she got mad and left, but it was awesome.


When I was in middle school, I did have one female admirer, but I also had the bully who liked her too, but she ended up liking someone else...I got stuck with …

Piece #21 - Courage

Anyone with Asperger's can identify how tricky it is to know what real courage or bravery might seem like. If you ask any child as to who is a hero, you might get answers like: some superhero, police officer or firefighter. All the answers would be good ones, but the line between courage and cowardliness can be very thin. Being afraid of doing something that might take a big risk, but actually reacting to the situation and doing something about it versus not doing anything is a good example.

I always saw myself as a person who tried to shy away from conflict. I guess people who face the conflict are always seen as courageous, but in many cases I believe its recklessness. Most people with Asperger’s have a tendency to stay away because we don't want to deal with the drama. My girls are the same way, they would rather side step a confrontation rather than dealing with it head on. Of course this isn't all the time and situations have lent themselves into having to face it only…