17 November, 2005

I just found a new rule

It's the rule of prom dates: He was ugly until he asked you to prom, and now he doesn't look so bad.

It is taken totally out of context from this article from the Boston Globe

16 November, 2005

hula baby

currently the squidge is 1 1/2 inches tall and can dance the hula ( I saw it on tv) It appears to have 2 arms, 2 legs, ears, nose, eyes mouth etc...correct number of everything in all of the right places.
I asked if they could see any autism. The nurse didn't laugh. Apparently I am losing my touch.

14 November, 2005

Not-so-Mini-Van

"There is nothing mini about that van" is how my friend put it yesterday. Arghhhh I went from a LandCruiser to a Minivan..that is like losing a leg.

20 October, 2005

Sharing the Story

Work & Family: Employers aiding parents of disabled children

Thursday, October 13, 2005

By Sue Shellenbarger, The Wall Street Journal

For years, David Bruesehoff hesitated to tell anyone at work about his daughter, Karissa, who has autism and Down syndrome.

At his company and many others, "it's the 'culture of the smart,' " the Dallas father says. "It can be hard when another parent is talking about his child getting into prep school, and your child's big accomplishment is getting on the bus to go to school."

A code of silence has long kept parents of children with disabilities, from autism and Down syndrome to cerebral palsy and depression, from talking about their kids at work. Now, driven by growth in their numbers and in the cost of raising special-needs children, some of these parents are starting to "come out" at work. And a handful of employers are stepping up to help, with support groups, informational meetings and insurance benefits.

The incidence of U.S. children and teenagers with a disabling condition has tripled to 7 percent from 2 percent in 1960, based on data published in 2000 in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, reflecting increased survival rates and a rise in the diagnosis of conditions such as autism. Today, an estimated one in 12 U.S. workers has a child with a disability or special need, says MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Boston, which is conducting a five-year, federally funded project to examine workplace supports for these parents.

"Stigma and fear of reprisal" have kept many workers from disclosing their family situations, says Chris Fluet, director of the MassGeneral project.

The risks of speaking up are real: Soon after Kevin McGarry, Hyde Park, N.Y., started asking questions about insurance coverage for his disabled daughter on a previous job as a paralegal in the mid-1990s, his supervisor got upset and told him to stop asking for benefits. "They didn't want my health insurance company to get wind" of the rare syndrome his daughter had from birth. Although his performance previously had drawn praise, he says he soon started getting negative feedback. Eventually he was laid off.

Having a child with a disability also requires time and effort to find and manage treatment, forcing 30 percent of these parents to quit or cut back at work, says a 2001 survey by the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Few parents can afford to cut back. More than 40 percent of families with special-needs kids have financial problems because of care costs, says a study published in June in Maternal and Child Health Journal. And 60 percent of children with special needs rely on their parents' employers for health insurance, MassGeneral says.

Now, some parents are taking the opposite tack -- turning to the workplace for support. After her autistic son was born 11 years ago, Kathy Gonzalez, a technology manager at Toyota Motor Sales USA, Torrance, Calif., was overwhelmed trying to find treatment for him. Seeing her co-workers networking on other topics, she helped start a support group last year at Toyota that draws up to 40 parents of special-needs kids to its monthly meetings. "If I could help even one parent get on track for whatever service they need for their kid, it would be worth it," Ms. Gonzalez says. At Microsoft, employees with autistic children have formed a similar network.

Jack Harris, whose 11-year-old son is autistic, was startled to learn during on-site meetings of a father's network at PricewaterhouseCoopers's Tampa, Fla., office, that 10 of the 50 other men there also had children with disabilities. With PricewaterhouseCoopers's blessing, Mr. Harris, a practice support manager, is planning an on-site special-needs resource fair early next year. The firm is looking for other ways to support such parents, a spokeswoman says.

In recent years, Mr. Bruesehoff gradually began talking about his daughter on his job in Los Angeles for accounting firm Ernst & Young. Then, when he was offered a transfer to Dallas in 2002, "I decided I was just going to come clean" and explain that the availability of programs in Dallas for Karissa, now 17, would be pivotal. Co-workers responded warmly, helping his family forge new ties in Dallas, where he now works as a human-resource manager, he says.

Mr. Bruesehoff is among 64 parents of special-needs kids who have joined a parent network formed last January by New York-based Ernst & Young. Sandra Turner, a human-resource manager, says parents on the network's informational conference calls are slowly opening up to each other. While fewer than one-fifth were willing to give their names on the first call, about half now feel comfortable identifying themselves.

Raytheon, an aerospace and defense contractor, has hosted several speaker dinners for employees with special-needs children at its Tucson, Ariz., and Woburn, Mass., facilities. Jeff Stolz, whose son Joseph, 10, has autism and bipolar disorder, was among those attending. Heartened to learn many of his co-workers also had special-needs kids, Mr. Stolz for the first time took Joseph in April to the annual "Take Your Child to Work" day festivities at Raytheon. He was apprehensive; Joseph verged on a tantrum during an introductory session. But as the day wore on and supportive adults reached out to him, Joseph calmed down, and even introduced himself by microphone at the closing session.

In a surprising move in today's cost-cutting climate, a few employers are even expanding insurance coverage for special-needs kids. Microsoft, oil-industry supplier Halliburton, and insurer Progressive Group have begun covering some of the cost of applied behavior analysis, or ABA therapy, intensive early training for autistic kids that can cost $20,000 or more.

These employers, of course, are the exception. If you have a child with a disability, only you can size up your corporate culture. A MassGeneral manual offers tips and resources, available online at www.massgeneral.org/ebs by clicking on "Resources for Employees," then opening "workplace benefits."

12 October, 2005

Let Me Win

"In ancient Rome, the gladiators went into the arena with these words on their lips: 'Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.'

"Today, all of you young athletes are in the arena. Many of you will win, but even more important, I know you will be brave, and bring credit to your parents and to your country. Let us begin the Olympics. Thank you."

The opening of the Special Olympics 20 July 1968, by Eunice Kennedy Shriver

What Moves Me

I found this while surfing.. of course..

The Rite Stuff

A bar mitzvah represents an enormous challenge for one boy and his family, and spirits soar when he succeeds.

Sunday Boston Globe Magazine, October 19, 2003

I didn’t have a bat mitzvah, and my husband had not been raised Jewish. So why was I insisting that my firstborn son, who happens to be autistic, have a bar mitzvah?

read the rest here: http://susansenator.com/ritestuff.html

25 September, 2005

A Life Well-Lived

I don't know how appropriate it is for me to post on this site the obituary of a woman I have never met, but I was moved by what was written about her life. I am a fatalist of sorts? And have often thought "What will be said of me when I am gone?" wondering what legacy I will leave, since most days I feel like I am merely going through the motions, that perhaps I am merely equal to a tree going through the seasons and nothing more. I hope that someone might think this fondly of me.



STEPHENS, Phyllis Bartlett - Phyllis Bartlett Stephens passed away in her sleep on September 10th. Given the life she led and the energy she exuded, it could fairly be said she has passed on to a well-deserved rest. As her mother often said of her, Phyllis was a dutiful, hard-working, caring and intelligent human being from that day in May, 1925 when she was born. The Central Valley was not big enough for Phyllis and shortly after her salutatory address to her Corcoran High classmates in 1943, she left for Stanford. While there, in addition to her dutiful attention to the honor roll, she met a gangly, mediocre pre-med student named Richard Stephens. They continued to date after graduation and in 1948 were married. One year later to the day, the first of their eight children arrived. Over the next 56 years, Phyllis gave herself to raising and supporting her children and grandchildren. But of course, she had energy to spare and an intellect that needed exercise. Her many activities included over 20 years in the San Mateo School system, volunteer work at St. Vincent DePaul, the St. Francis Center, Friends of the Belmont Library, "Friendship House" of San Mateo County Mental Health, AAUW, Twin Pines Cottage and many other groups. She also slipped in some bridge playing. Phyllis also managed to make time for simple statements of her basic beliefs and humanity - whether marching in Delano with central valley farm workers or riding the annual MLK Freedom Train into the City, she was always there to show her support for those not given the love and respect they deserved. Perhaps more than any other, Phyllis devoted her energies to the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Belmont. Her sense of community, based on love, honesty and acceptance (and more than a little humor), was nowhere better illustrated than in her time spent with family and friends at the many parish events held over the past 50 years. Whether she was serving up pancakes in the Parish Hall, or playing the role of Diamond Lil' in the melodrama, she supported and cavorted with her IHM friends and enjoyed every minute of it. Phyllis would no doubt bristle at the suggestion that her "community service" activities were worthy of praise. To her, these were just things people did because they were the right thing to do. She never sought recognition and she rarely, if ever, complained. Perhaps Phyllis' greatest accomplishment in helping others was being able take from it as much as she gave. She understood and appreciated that the love and attention she provided to others less fortunate than her would come back to her in equal measure. The love she gave to her mental health patients or the people at St. Francis', to name a few, could never surpass the love and pleasure she felt in return. And that is Phyllis' legacy. She not only talked about love, fairness, tolerance and Christianity, she lived them every day of her life. Her example will live on in the lives and work of her family and friends. Phyllis leaves behind a loving husband, seven children and their spouses, and 13 grandchildren (and thankfully, her recipes for Aunt Gussie's Pound Cake and her famous brownies). While she will be missed, her family feels very lucky to have spent their lives with Phyllis, and all of them are very proud to call her their wife, mother or grandmother. If desired, Phyllis would have encouraged and appreciated donations to the St. Francis Center, 101 Buckingham Ave, Redwood City, CA, 94063. Services have not yet been scheduled.
Published in the San Francisco Chronicle on 9/25/2005.


23 September, 2005

Stuck

I've never felt this way before. As difficult as this life with a special needs kid is, I have never felt so sad as I am right now. Jake has thrown four major temper tantrums today...or make that .. all day has been one big temper tantrum.

I don't think school is going well for him. He's increasingly frustrated by his inability to communicate (which is also a good sign). But he is really, really unable to handle going out.... doing errands, anything. Okay maybe it is just today, but lately it has felt like any time we want to go to dinner with Jake we are so miserable by the end of the interaction that we vow never to set foot in a restaurant again.

This is so frustrating because Jake loves to eat. It is the one skill he has always continued to develop right along with his peers. He has always been so happy to go to a restaurant and sit with mom and dad and eat... it started to get difficult about a year ago when he became more independent, and honestly, he makes a bit of a mess so sometimes it is tricky or costs us more in tips to take him out, but it has always been something our family can do together that is normal. Jake has eaten in some of the finest restaurants in California. And now.. just as all of his peers, other 5 year old, are gaining the ability to have table manners and actually sit still through a dinner...our kid can't do it. He just cannot sit there and eat without throwing things or running around.

Okay this has nothing to do with eating at a restaurant. The truth is..I just realized that I spend at least 18 hours a day at my house currently because Jake can't handle the outside world. Now some of that is sleep, but I am only able to accomplish things outside my house...and I mean out side of the house...even the front yard from 7:37-1:06. I suddenly for the first time in my life really, really feel stuck. I have always thought that if I just tried harder, worked harder, did better then I would be able to see my way out of any mess I had found myself in. Jake has been a different albeit sometimes difficult addition to my life, but I have never really felt like my life was permanently and unmovable different in all aspects than what I wanted. Some things different? Yes, but right now...right now it feels like every single thing I thought I would be doing at this point in my life is different than what I expected, harder than I ever imagined, and a lot more covered in crap than I expected.

16 September, 2005

Katrina PeopleFinder Project - Katrina Help Wiki

You can help people find missing loved ones from your own computer. I just logged entries for the last hour. it is a pain, but worth it if it helps one momma find her kid, or a cousin don't you think?

15 September, 2005

Where I Lived and What I Lived For

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

Henry David Thoreau
Walden

13 September, 2005

10 September, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Direct Relief!: Send these supplies!

From another blog Send these supplies

I just went through the house and took every extra bar of soap, travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotion, older sunglasses, baby wipes, face wipes and various other girl stuff, placed each of its kind in ziplock bags (labeled) and mailed it off to a shelter in the south. Then I mailed a case of diapers too. I checked at the post office that the address I had chosen was actually receiving mail. I sent it to a National Guard Armory.

We donated money, but I figure it was only $40.00 to mail the stuff, and I clearly did not need any of it. Maybe that beautiful lavender soap will make someone smile.

07 September, 2005

Samuel L. Jackson Bugs Me

So uhm I just watched the Daily Show with John Stewart...and got bugged again.

Samuel L. Jackson was bashing the Red Cross...something like 'I don't give my money to the Red Cross, because you never know what administrator is going to line his own pockets'. Great... that's just great. As if there weren't enough distrust in the system and blame, and no one is taking care of people etc... now we have this guy saying we should really put our money in the right place and 'do something real' I think the suggestion was something like uhm make dinner for them. So I guess if we want to get together over here and make some macaroni salad, and can you cook up a few pies..and we'll mail them to Louisiana?

So I suppose I got a little fired up and I just posted the following note to his fan page under the "Ask the Man" section. Now I need to go to bed. My kid's bus comes at 7:28 am...which by the way..also bugs me.

Here's my post to the SLJ website...

I am just wondering if you really meant to bash the Red Cross when you were on the John Stewart Show?

I understand that if someone has millions of dollars, perhaps that one person could really set up a meal for 400 or 4000 people, or rent out the hotel etc... but what about the thousands of people who can give just $25.00?

Don't you think that an organization that is so well equipped and has such a strong infrastructure in the U.S., not to mention reasonable overhead, might be a great way for the average American to help the many people hit by this disaster?

I was saddened by your remarks, especially since you reiterated them, so it did appear to be a direct attack. Nearly every relief organization, religious or secular has overhead. If you have a suggestion on how a person in Fresno, or Omaha can buy dinner for someone in New Orleans without the use of infrastructure please pass it on to the rest of us.



Yeah so that's what I wrote... my husband thinks I'm crazy. He's the crazy one...he married me on purpose :)

24 August, 2005

A Day in the Life

All day: Wipe Jake's nose (sinus infection..on medication as of 5:15 pm doctor's appointment yesterday)

Other parts of the day up 9:00 am-1:45 pm:
  • Make Jake breakfast.

  • Call the pharmacy to see if the rest of Jake's medication is available. They will "call me right back".**

  • Call Health Plan of San Mateo (Medi-Cal) and finds out why Jake was denied benefits at the pharmacy (Co-Pay mind you... They don't even need to pay the whole thing anymore because we were so tired of all of the B.S.)

  • Get hung up on after 48 minutes.

  • Call back.

  • Get transferred to a generic voicemail box after 43 minutes.

  • Call an unrelated department at the same agency.

  • Get transferred to another department (maybe the right one?).

  • Talk with a person who speaks English...apparently there was a computer glitch on their side "It shouldn't have affected anyone externally. Hmm maybe that's why we are so busy today".

  • Discover that all will be set right within 24-48 hours after the nice lady puts a work order in to "change the screen that everyone outside of San Mateo Health Plan looks at".

  • Learn that I should "just pay full price at the pharmacy" and I can "get it reimbursed later".

  • Remind myself of how lucky I am that my child's medication is more often than not, less than $50.00 a month, and I can afford to pay that out of pocket.

  • Remind myself of how lucky I am that I speak English, am resourceful and have the time to navigate the system effectively.

  • Remind myself that I may not send hate mail to Official Public Agencies.

  • Make Jake lunch

  • Complete the asinine form for respite hour reimbursement. The one that is now being mailed to my house in an 8 1/2" by 11" envelope(vs. plain old #10) at an additional cost to taxpayers each month to thousands of people.

  • Decide not to place a note in the envelope telling Golden Gate Regional Center that they are wasting money that could be used to provide more people with respite, or a reimbursement rate closer to a wage we actually pay anyone who cares for our child.

  • Call San Mateo County Special Education Transportation

  • Learn indeed, that Jake's school day is one hour shorter and starts at a different time. 8:30-12:20

  • Call San Mateo County Office of Special Education to ask why the paper I was sent (4 days ago) has 8:20-1:10 as his school hours.

  • Get asked "Well, does he have a long day or a short day?".

  • Answer, as nicely as I can, "Well, I'm not sure. We've never been to kindergarten before".

  • Get told "Transportation sets the bell times".

  • My question: "Am I to understand that the transportation department determines how many of hours a day my child is educated?"

  • Flustered response from difficult-to-understand-and-now-wishing-he-had-never- answered-the-phone-on-his-lunch-break-man "I think he gets out at 12:20. The teacher probably knows and will let parents know on the first day of school."

  • Politely inform the important person at the Office of Special Education that perhaps this short notice (school starts Tuesday) might be difficult for parents who are trying to provide childcare for their children... and that perhaps those parents who don't know about the change in schedule might be up to an hour late picking up their children from school.***

  • Remind myself that I may not drink alcoholic beverages in the middle of the day, jump off the balcony or watch soap operas for the rest of the afternoon.

  • Go back to putting audio books on my new-to-me-refurbished ipod.


** It is now 2:17 pm and they have not yet returned my call.
***Very important to share because I have a "save the world" mentality.

05 August, 2005

Rescue Me, Over There, Nip Tuck, Starved

FX Networks

I am in love with FX. I went from not even knowing that this station really existed to having trouble keeping up with all of the series I want to record. We don't really watch anything at its regularly scheduled time anymore (except the Daily Show with John Stewart).

And possible the best Mini Series I have ever seen.. we just finished watching Into the West. I think that this series, and Band of Brothers should be required viewing.

02 August, 2005

How the Past Comes Creeping In

Jake fell down the stairs tonight. He's okay. I heard him go down as I was standing in the kitchen speaking with my husband who is still at the office. Jake was still wearing his tennis shoes. This probably made him fall (because his rubber shoes stuck to the carpet when he dragged his left foot) and wearing shoes probably made it so he didn't break his neck as he fell (since his rubber shoes kept stopping him and slowing him down as he rolled).

How did it happen? Well, Jake was ready for bed and I wasn't listening...so he went down on his own. I had just opened the gate to the stairs to actually walk him down myself..but then the phone rang, and we sold the Mercedes (finally) so I was trying to coordinate logistics with the husband and stumble bumble down he goes. I flew to the top of the stairs dropping the phone and managed to see him roll down the last three stairs.

I got to the bottom landing just as he did (I think I really did fly). He jumped up. I sat on the bottom step and held out my arms. He leaned into them and put his head on my shoulder...for a brief second. I asked him if he was okay. He said "hmm-da" (which means? Anyone? Anyone?). Then he looked me in the eye and yelled at me. I apologized for not helping him downstairs.*

After getting him into pajamas, he was crying...with tears (this rarely happens..he must be very, very sad or tired or hurt to cry with tears).I pulled him up onto me in the rocking glider thingy. He is really too big now. Much too big, but somehow we managed to snuggle up and I just started to sing.

He nestled into me closer, put his head up to look at me, then dropped his head and sighed..and went to sleep. The song that popped out of my head was one of my favorite camp songs.

I went to Camp Nawakwa in the San Bernadino Mountains every summer from the summer after first grade until the summer after eighth grade... or maybe the next summer. I was a counselor in leadership training when I ended, staying five or six weeks I think. I remember I went with Stephanie Jaeger that last year. Anyway. I haven't sung this song in over 15 years, and all of a sudden it was the only song in my head. I wonder why? Was it because I needed comfort too and this song is from a time when I was safe, and unburdened? From a time when I still didn't know what I didn't know? Was it because I can't believe I now have this much responsibility...that I am old enough to have a nearly five year old kid fall down the stairs...in a house that we own? and be really shaken by it. I'm not sure. It felt good to hear that song again. I remembered most of the verses too.

On The Loose


Have you ever watched the sunrise turn the sky completely red?
Have you slept beneath the moon and stars, a pine bough for your bed?
Do you sit and talk with friends though a word is never said?
Then you're just like me and you've been on the loose

chorus (sung after each verse):
On the loose to climb a mountain, on the loose where I am free
On the loose to live my life the way I think my life should be
For I've only got a moment and this whole world yet to see
I'll be looking for tomorrow on the loose

There's a trail that I'll be hiking just to see where it might go
Many places yet to visit, many people yet to know
And in following my dreams, I will live and I will grow
On a trail that's waiting out there on the loose

Have you ever heard a whippoorwill singing to the morning dew?
When you hear the bells ringing, do you know they ring for you?
And when you look back on the past, all I really ask
Is to remember me when you're out on the loose

So in search of love and laughter I'll be traveling 'cross this land
Never sure of where I'm going for I haven't any plan
And in time when you are ready, come and join me, take my hand
And together we'll share life out on the loose

As I sit and watch the sunset and the daylight slowly fades
I am thinking of tomorrow and the friendships we have made
I will value them for always and I hope you'll do the same
And forever we'll explore life on the loose


*as a side note I think that was a very typical response for anyone in our family. I fell (screwed up, made a mess of things etc.) and it is your fault for not supporting me. Can anyone take personal responsibility these days?

Global Rich List

Global Rich List

If you need to be reminded of all that you have try this website.
in the
WHY ARE WE DOING IT? Section of their website it reads:

We are obsessed with wealth. But we gauge how rich we are by looking upwards at those who have more than us. This makes us feel poor.

We wanted to do something which would help people understand, in real terms, where they stand globally. And make us realize that in fact most of us (who are able to view this web page) are in the privileged minority.

We want people to feel rich. And give some of their extra money to a worthwhile charity.


I do try to remember that there are more than 5,995,297,235 people who are poorer than I am. But I also live in an area where bread is $3.50 a pound and milk is $5.00 a gallon. Of course then I need to remember to be thankful because there is a store where I can buy the bread and milk.
I wish sometimes that I could really go all the way with the "poor me" thing...but apparently I was raised in a way that has instilled in me the idea that, if I actually wake up in the morning and can get my own two feet on the floor with a roof over my head, I should feel lucky. If I can add the fact that I also have clothing, food and my wonderful family, then I should really just ah-hem, shut it. Because my life is great.
And it is. My life is great. It's just that on some days it is so much harder than I thought it would be.
But today? Today is good, and I am very rich. My kid is cute and wrestling with the dog, my husband is off enjoying his new job, and I might even get some writing done today. I have CNN and a fast internet connection, warm coffee (with milk and sugar, no less)
and some sourdough toast if I ever get to the kitchen to toast it.

30 July, 2005

Autism Diva: Autism Hysteria History -January 2005

Autism Diva: Autism Hysteria History -January 2005

Okay, wait. Does My Kid have Autism or not?

DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR 299.00 AUTISTIC DISORDER
A. A total of six (or more) items from (1), (2), and (3), with at
least two from (1), and one each from (2) and (3)

1) qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

a) marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction

b) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to
developmental level

c) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people, (e.g., by a lack of showing,
bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)

d) lack of social or emotional reciprocity ( note: in the
description, it gives the following as examples: not actively
participating in simple social play or games, preferring solitary
activities, or involving others in activities only as tools or
"mechanical" aids )


(2) qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:
a) delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language
(not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime)

b) in individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others

c) stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic
language

d) lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social
imitative play appropriate to developmental level


3) restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior,
interests and activities, as manifested by at least two of the
following:

a) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in
intensity or focus

b) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional
routines or rituals

c) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole body movements)

d) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects


B. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:
(1) social interaction
(2) language as used in social communication
(3) symbolic or imaginative play


C. The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett's Disorder or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Vaccination Fascination

Jake just had all of his shots for kindergarten on Thursday. We also did a TB test just in case San Mateo County would like to see that he is not hacking up a lung.

While we were at his 5 year appointment I spoke to his pediatrician about the whole vaccination fascination. I have looked at all of the tests. I have researched my child's actual vaccines by batch number.

Basically I think I need to send a letter to John Stewart (like this clear thinking woman did) I saw the actual interview.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr is a little this, a little that. I need to read more about him, but I am guessing he went from nature to mercury to vaccines. What a nightmare. I am a mom who does not point my finger at vaccines. I wish I could be a conspiracy theorist... it would make my angst so much easier to direct, but alas, I have actually read quite a bit of the data (ironically enough found straight from links on DAN websites touting the theory) and have researched...I'm just not convinced that that many people could really conspire on such a widespread level. I always find it amusing that the same people who spew that the CDC and NIH did not conduct their tests in a scientific manner are
A)not scientists (although neither am I).
B) are the same people who use anecdotal evidence to support chelation therapy and various other diets to cleanse their children of Autism.

23 July, 2005

14 July, 2005

Poor, Poor Scott McClellan

I am pretty sure the song for the day was
that little diddy from Dead or Alive

You spin me right round, baby
Right round like a record, baby
Right round round round

You spin me right round, baby
Right round like a record, baby
Right round round round


This is an actual excerpt from the White House Press Briefing regarding, among other things Mr. Karl Rove
Read the entire text (words before and after...what follows is uncut)
Press Briefing by Scott McClellan:
James S. Brady Briefing Room
12:44 P.M July 13, 2005 EDT

MR. McCLELLAN: ...And with that, I'm glad to go to your questions.

Q Scott, some White House advisors expressed surprise that the President didn't -- did not give a warm endorsement to Karl Rove when he was asked about him at the Cabinet meeting. They had expected that he would speak up. Can you explain why the President didn't give a -- express confidence?

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure. He wasn't asked about his support or confidence for Karl. As I indicated yesterday, every person who works here at the White House, including Karl Rove, has the confidence of the President. This was not a question that came up in the Cabinet Room.

Q Well, the President has never been restrained at staying right in the lines of a question, as you know. (Laughter.) He kind of -- he says whatever he wants. And if he had wanted to express confidence in Karl Rove, he could have. Why didn't he?

MR. McCLELLAN: He expressed it yesterday through me, and I just expressed it again.

Q Well, why doesn't he?

MR. McCLELLAN: He was not asked that specific question, Terry. You know that very well. The questions he were asked -- he was asked about were relating to an ongoing investigation.

Q But, Scott, he defended Al Gonzales without even being asked --

MR. McCLELLAN: I'll come to you in a second. I'll come to you in a second. Go ahead.

Q Yes, he defended Al Gonzales without ever being asked. (Laughter.) Ed brings up a good point. Didn't he?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think he was asked about the Attorney General.

Q Scott, you know what, to make a general observation here, in a previous administration, if a press secretary had given the sort of answers you've just given in referring to the fact that everybody who works here enjoys the confidence of the President, Republicans would have hammered them as having a kind of legalistic and sleazy defense. I mean, the reality is that you're parsing words, and you've been doing it for a few days now. So does the President think Karl Rove did something wrong, or doesn't he?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, David, I'm not at all. I told you and the President told you earlier today that we don't want to prejudge the outcome of an ongoing investigation. And I think we've been round and round on this for two days now.

Q Even if it wasn't a crime? You know, there are those who believe that even if Karl Rove was trying to debunk bogus information, as Ken Mehlman suggested yesterday -- perhaps speaking on behalf of the White House -- that when you're dealing with a covert operative, that a senior official of the government should be darn well sure that that person is not undercover, is not covert, before speaking about them in any way, shape, or form. Does the President agree with that or not?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, we've been round and round on this for a couple of days now. I don't have anything to add to what I've said the previous two days.

Q That's a different question, and it's not round and round --

MR. McCLELLAN: You heard from the President earlier.

Q It has nothing to do with the investigation, Scott, and you know it.

MR. McCLELLAN: You heard from the President earlier today, and the President said he's not --

Q That's a dodge to my question. It has nothing to do with the investigation. Is it appropriate for a senior official to speak about a covert agent in any way, shape, or form without first finding out whether that person is working as a covert officer.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, you're wrong. This is all relating to questions about an ongoing investigation, and I've been through this.

Q If I wanted to ask you about an ongoing investigation, I would ask you about the statute, and I'm not doing that.

MR. McCLELLAN:
I think we've exhausted discussion on this the last couple of days.

Q You haven't even scratched the surface.

Q It hasn't started.

MR. McCLELLAN: I look forward to talking about it once the investigation is complete, as the President does, as well. And you heard from the President earlier today.

Q Can I ask for clarification on what the President said at Sea Island on June 10th of last year, when he was saying that he would fire anybody from the White House who was involved in the leak of classified information? What were the parameters for those consequences? Was it --

MR. McCLELLAN: I appreciate your question.

Q Was it a knowing leak with the intent of doing damage? I'm just wondering when he talked about that, what those parameters were?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I've nothing to add on this discussion, and if we have any other topics you want to discuss, I'll be glad to do that.

Go ahead, David.

Q Scott, when the President asked that question at Sea -- was asked that question at Sea Island, and, in fact, when you made your statement that Karl had had nothing to do with this, was there an ongoing investigation at that time?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, we've been through this for two days now, and I've already responded to those questions.

Go ahead, April.

Q I'm going to give you another --

Q I'm sorry, I wasn't here yesterday, so could you refresh my memory? Was there an ongoing investigation --

MR. McCLELLAN: The briefings are available online.

Q -- at the time that you answered previous questions on this issue?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I responded to those questions the past couple of days. Go ahead.

Q The answer is, yes.

Q I'm going to go to another question, somewhat on the same subject, but a different vein. Let's talk about the Wilson family. Is there any regret from this White House about the effects of this leak on this family?

MR. McCLELLAN: We can continue to go round and round on all these --

Q No, no, no, no. This has nothing to do with the investigation. This is about the leak and the effects on this family. I mean, granted there are partisan politics being played, but let's talk about the leak that came from the White House that affected a family.

MR. McCLELLAN: And let me just say again that anything relating to an ongoing investigation, I'm not going to get into discussing. I've said that the past couple of days.

Q This is not -- this is about -- this is a personal -- this is not about the -- I mean about the investigation. This is about the personal business of this family, an American family, a taxpaying family, a family that works for the government of the United States. And the executive branch -- someone in the executive branch let this family down in some kind of way, shape, or form. Is there any regret from the White House that this family was affected by the leak?

MR. McCLELLAN: It doesn't change what I just said.

Go ahead, Goyal.

15 June, 2005

Note from Descartes to the Family

Hello All-
Since I am never home in time to call everyone before it is very late in your timezone I decided an email was the best means to let everyone know of our big news. It looks like there is going to be another cousin on the way! Jake's little brother or sister is due mid-June and we are very excited at our house.

We had our first ultrasound and everything looks good so far. Jennyalice has been feeling pretty good. She only got sick once when she tried to drink a large coffee. I myself am starting my sympathy snacking as a measure of my support.

11 June, 2005

Oh Cry Me A River...It's just Kindergarten

I am recovering this week. It is official, my little boy is going to kindergarten in the fall. This is a rite of passage.

We are grieving.

First of all, I do think it is fine that he goes on to kindergarten. He is a very big kid. According to the CDC Growth Charts He is the size of a seven year old. Also.. he will be 5 years old in October, not really a question for the cut-off. The hard thing is that I thought we had another year of preschool. When the director of the school asked me to come to the kindergarten transition meeting, I thought it was to show support (I am the PTA president.. scary huh?) Then I realized she wanted us there because we were transitioning. In truth that is what is really happening. Jake doesn't care if he goes to kindergarten. I mean, of course he will miss his teachers and paraeducaters at ECE, but he will probably be thrilled to hang out on a campus with a bunch of "typical" kids and kids who are bigger than he is.

I was very angry when I found out, at what felt like the last minute, that he was not going to have another year of preschool as all of our friends had. Mostly, I realized that I was just not prepared. I apologized later to the director for my curt behavior. I never go into something unprepared. Even when I am unprepared (which I truly often am) I go in knowing what I haven't done. I know what I don't know. So if I haven't written a speech, at least know I will need to wing it (not generally a problem for me to talk now is it?)

This time I was really, really not ready. I hadn't done my research, I didn't know what questions to ask, who the players were. Okay, let's keep in mind that this is transitioning a special-ed kid into a new special-ed classroom, probably staying at the county level. This is actually nothing close to brain surgery, or the quagmire that many of our friends face as they decide which is better, the German School or the French school or should the kid stay in public school? This is just one kid, but I was unprepared.

Mostly I was unprepared for the grieving. I understand intellectually that Jake is a special needs child. He will probably be in a special day class at the county level for years, if not forever. I am intimately aware of his functional delays; and yet, here we are, about to send our child to kindergarten in the fall. Did I think he was going to be "better" by now? Hmmm. I guess somehow, at some point, some small kernel must have formed in my head that he really was going to "snap out of it".

This is an inside joke in our family. Just like "he has a touch of CP"...and well, we haven't come up with one about the autism thing, because maybe hasn't been "officially diagnosed as autistic. We should really get on that, in case we need it; I know that piece of paper is coming soon.

Basically I am crushed. I knew it was coming. I knew that he was not going to walk to the local school for kindergarten. I knew that he would not, as I had, be reading books before his first day, that he would not probably help choose new clothes to wear to school, or help me write his name on his notebook. I knew that.

When you have a child with special needs, you grieve a little bit all of the time, and a lot a bit some of the time. Maybe there are people who are better than I am. Well, I'm sure of that, but I know there are those parents who think their special needs kid is "God's precious gift". I know they are out there. I have met them with their nicey-niceness. Yeah, well, my kid is certainly a gift, but I still think he would be special if he could sing me the alphabet song. And besides, aren't all kids God's precious gift? Or just the ones who wait until they're nearly three to walk?

Sorry. I am sad. That's it. Because we have reached another rite of passage, and once again it is not what we expected. And I wasn't prepared to grieve yet. I thought I had a whole other year to prepare myself for that feeling. And please, don't even tell me about Holland. Please.

I'll be okay, Jake will be fine. This is no big deal. Now taking him to the dentist next week...that is going to be a big deal.

25 May, 2005

letter endings and salutations

letter endings and salutations

So am I a weirdo that I was looking for a new way to end a letter? I kind of like Matt Maldres collected list so far...
"I'm compiling a list of endings to letters/emails. Can you think of any more?
* goodbye
* sincerely
* later
* God bless
* Godspeed
* take care
* love
* talk to you later
* best wishes
* kind regards
* with love
* yours sincerely
* yours faithfully
* yours truly
* yours ever
* yours respectfully
* hope to hear from ya soon
* onward and upward
* peace
* smell ya later
* later alligator
* cheers
* salutations
* shine on (my fav)
* May I always live to serve you and your crown


Matt Maldre's site is pretty cool. He is a "a 32-year-old Christian designer in Chicago." He puts up new stuff every day.


Here are my own additions to the salutations list:
  • fondly
  • with fondness
  • humbly
  • with thanks
  • adoring you
  • always
  • sitting and wondering
  • grateful for your friendship
  • wishing I could do more
  • already looking forward to next time
  • raising a glass to you
  • lost without you
  • waiting patiently
*******

In other news my kid is going to kindergarten in the fall. Okay that is a LOT longer story than I have to write right now. Let me just say that I rarely go into anything unprepared, and this one came as as SHOCK. Oh well. He will love it. Who am I kidding. He is a 4 1/2 year old with a two and a half year old mentality stuck in a 7 year old's body. (Really he is the size of an average 7 year old white U.S. male)

So he is going to love going to school at a K-5. Right? He is. he IS. I was really thinking that he was going to have another year of preschool. One of the reasons "they" have for moving him on to kinder is that he is such a big kid and so many of the new three year olds are so tiny. I am a little bit thinking this is not my problem and has nothing to do with my child's educational needs. On the other hand I really would hate it if Jake squished someone. Someday he is going to be 6'5". What will we do then? Okay cannot go there now. Too much.. my fuse box is about to burst into flames.

And right now, my monster is not feeling well, so he is cranky and rolling about his room throwing his pillows. Lovely.

28 April, 2005

Son-Rise Son-set

I guess I am a skeptic. Yes. I am. When I went to the Son-Rise website, which I will not even link to... okay fine, I will I was of course immediately put off by the fact that you can't get prices online. It sort of make me think that it is probably really expensive, and once again they are about people trying to buy hope for their child.

I know my entire house seems to be filled with toys, books, pop-up books, flax seed oil, fish oil and various other Pro-EFA's, medical journals, Exceptional Parent magazine Oh, I cancelled that.. Apparently I am not actually exceptional enough to have the patience to get through the magazine).. anywhoo the house is filled with things we have purchased to make our child whole. Guess what. He's not sick. When he gains a new skill he is Not Getting Better... and with all of the money in the world we can't buy our way out of this one.

It's like the lines on your face, the silver in your hair,
the burning leaves rising in the grey October air.
This ocean of Life, it will toss you about,
and all the gold in your pocket cannot buy your way out.

You can shake your fist at heaven, you can file your appeal,
You can try to rise above it, you can crawl, you can kneel;
No matter what life gives you, no matter what you feel,
You cannot stop the turning of the wheel.

Berezan continues....

In the sureness of the turning lies the hope that you can heal,
'cause you cannot stop the turning of the wheel



it used to be just a song.. does everything need to have meaning? jeesh.

04 April, 2005

Cleaning up for the House Cleaner

Last night my husband proposed that perhaps the cleaner person lady could match the giant basket of socks together, instead of just hiding his stuff.

So I woke this morning thinking of two things..
number one: why is it that I feel compelled to keep ALL of the mis-matched socks that have ever accumulated in my life. We only have one laundry basket full, but it truly is a full laundry basket. I believe there are socks there from 1994. In fact I know one of those socks dates back to when I stole my step-monster's favorite long socks so I could wear them with MY little boots and a long skirt. I felt very guilty for stealing them.. I felt even worse when I lost one of them in an apartment complex dryer (or perhaps it was at Bing Wong's next to Bison Brewery?) So I suppose I have been carting around this sock to make sure that I still feel bad about stealing the black with subtle maroon flower socks.. what am I Catholic? Actually no I am not, but I did cry when the Pope died.

number two: does everyone clean for the cleaning person? I mean if you have decided that you are such a looooozer that you cannot possibly keep your house clean by yourself... do you still clean up a bit for the cleaning people? Maybe we should all just pretend the cleaners are coming to our house.. then we would clean up ourselves.. and we would save all of that money. Of course an entire industry could be wiped out...

30 March, 2005

AOL News - Autism's Echoes Fill This Home

AOL News - Autism's Echoes Fill This Home

I am not really much for AOL or USA TODAY for that matter, but this article was rather interesting.
"AUSTIN - There is a quiet irony in Jeanette and Patrick O'Donnell's house, where autism has taken hold of five of their six children.

Though the brain disorder is most often associated with an inability to speak, autism has rendered this household anything but silent.

"You have to get used to the sound," Jeanette says of the crashes and pops that mean something is breaking or hitting the floor, usually propelled by small hands. The cacophony of seven older television sets, usually tuned to different channels, drones in the background, fed by a backyard satellite dish.

"We have to have TV on all the time," Jeanette, 44, says. "It's a stimulant."

It's rare to have so many children with the disorder. A database operated by the non-profit advocacy group Cure Autism Now says the O'Donnells are one of only three known U.S. families with five autistic children. Fourteen other families have four....read more here

29 March, 2005

Palm Springs Vacation

We just had a lovely visit to The Club at Morningside where we stayed with my parents. Rancho Mirage was beautiful as ususal. The pool was warm, my child was well-behaved and we ate too much.
That's what my family does... we eat too much, then talk about how fat we are

Easter Kisses

I was just about to write a few nice words about the fact that my little boy kissed me over this last Easter weekend.

My dear friend asked me if he puckered up.. I amswered "yes", becuase I guess I kind of thought he had, naturally.. but in truth, he didn't.
He did however place his little forehead against mine lean in and place his lips on my puckered lips.
Then I look around on some websites and find this paper on the web...of course I found information on the web..

In other news Jake has been biting the dogs... well we figured out what he was really doing, and it ties in to the kissing his mommy thing too. My kid loves to wrestle.. with mom, dad, the dogs, anybody. SO lately he has been wrestling with the dogs, and when they play, the dogs bite each other's ears and growl. So we think that's what Jake is doing too.

22 March, 2005

A Letter from L. M.

I received this letter from my dear friend LM. Her daughter goes to school with my son. I think hers is a voice of reason amidst those who would only sound for political gain. The italics are mine.

Terri’s Choice

Terri Schiavo’s case is a tragic family saga turned
into a shameless political debacle. I, unlike
Congress, the courts and the Bush administration, do
not pretend to know all that is involved in her case.
In my own futile stand, I choose not to read all “the
facts”. No amount of arguments from the right-to-life
activists nor the right-to-die proponents will
persuade me to believe there is one right solution.
The only one who could make the right choice for
Terri, is Terri.

The one fact I do know is Terri is mentally impaired
and cannot vocalize her preference. No question her
quality of life is nothing like it once was, but is
that reason enough to starve her to death? For some
the answer is yes, for others no. The problem is, we
do not know what Terri wants.

I have reluctantly followed this case because my
daughter lives in a comparable mental state. But
unlike Terri, she was born that way. She is now 5
years old and we still don’t know if and what she
understands. Like Terri, our daughter does
laugh, smile, and cry. Similarly she does not respond
to questions. She does not choose. She does not
communicate in the conventional manner. Is that a
life? Who is to say?

What I do know is that my husband and I have decided
that for our daughter, that is a life, if uniquely her
own life. It may be different from ours, but for her,
it is the only life she will have. We made a choice
as parents to do as much as we possibly can for our
daughter, until that privilege is revoked by powers
greater than our own government. We do not know what
life span she may have, but we are going to help her
make the most of what she does have. That is our
choice as parents and no court in the land can make us
do otherwise.

Yet.

This threat to revoke our parental choice makes us
deeply sympathetic to the Schiavo parents. On the
other hand, if I were in a similar vegetative state, I
would elect to have my tube removed. Again, that is
my choice. And I would depend on my husband to carry
it out. And this may have been Terri’s choice as
promulgated by her husband. Which makes me
sympathetic to him and his interpretation of her
preference. See? No easy answer.

Some may call me a hypocrite, but I suspect those who
profess there are absolute solutions to intensely
personal decisions about the sanctity and quality of
life are naïve.
There are no clear cut decisions as
this case shows, and as we have learned from our own
daughter’s experience. But a mandate seems to have
emerged from this tragedy. We as a country must not
debate and legislate on the right to life, either at
birth or death. Instead, we must go a step further
and work to preserve our choice to make decisions for
ourselves and respect the right of others to make
their own choices. For the sanctity of our ability
to choose is what makes us different from many
countries in this world. It is not what we choose so
much as it is the ability to make that choice.
So
let’s leave Terri’s family alone, move on, and work on
things we can solve. I hope she would agree.

14 March, 2005

Emails from Mom

I got this email from my mom:

HOME IS A PLACE WHERE YOU KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND THEY HAVE TO LET YOU IN
LOVE, MOMMA


That was it. She sent it to me and to my little brother... so of course, this is what I sent back (to my brother)

HOME IS A PLACE WHERE YOU KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND THEY HAVE TO LET YOU IN...then they punch you in the head and you can't tell anyone.

HOME IS A PLACE WHERE YOU KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND THEY HAVE TO LET YOU IN...then they tell you that you are a bad child for coming home so late, early, etc.

HOME IS A PLACE WHERE YOU KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND THEY HAVE TO LET YOU IN... then they ask you to please fix the doorbell becuase it's been broken for nearly three weeks, and why don't you ever come to see your poor mother.



I'm sure my momma meant it very nicely. Or else she is just tired of us and so is writing in all CAPS again trying to get our attention. Who knows. We will all be together in a few weeks for a nice vay-k in Palm Springs. Should be beautiful and fun...and dare I say it, perhaps even relaxing?

12 March, 2005

Just another Jennifer

Jennifer

...some kid in a class. What a great idea for a teacher.. make all of the students get a blog and post their homework online. Then the teacher can read from the Internet cafe [since we know it is a grad student drinking lattes.. then beer as it turns later into the day (or straight to espresso if s/he is the type who wears all black and carries an old brown leather mail bag as a carry-all for class]... Brilliant. I will become a grad student. That sounds like so much fun. Yes.. and I will study Philosophy...or The Classics..haHA.

by the way I have put my smallish child to bed tonight after looking at the CDC growth charts for peds in the US. Jake is the weight of an AVERAGE 7 year old male... and the height of an AVERAGE 6 year old. and I actually wondered the other day why my back hurt. ... amazing

A New Place to Submit Writing?



I was searching Craig's List for writing gigs and saw this call for submissions from Cappy G..could be the next great place on the web.
I really just need to start submitting some of the things I have written, or perhaps I need to write a bit more of what is going on in my head.. the running narrative.. and that's what it is a narrative. I am not talking to myself, or rather I suppose I am talking to myself, but I am certainly not listening, and neither is anyone else.. does that make it a monologue? a bilogue a myelinogue? a synapse in the fog? a bit of hair of the dog?

08 March, 2005

Meche sent me Bebo

About Us
My dear friend Meche just sent me a link to join an online address book of hers. This company Bebo is run by an English bloke, and since that Island is so small, I am guessing her husband Rexy-baby knows the guys who started the thing. I should probably ask before I give them free air-time though eh?

15 February, 2005

Cool Test?


These are the types of links my little brother sends me. Nice eh? Where does he find the time?...better yet, why on earth do I click on the links?

14 February, 2005

Barcelona

The website of the Barcelona city
We had a really wonderful time in Barcelona. We met some Canadians on the train there and spent two days drinking our way through Gaudi

Ville de Nice

Ville de Nice I'll be honest, Nice is nice, but only for a few days. I think we got trapped there by a lack of overnight trains to Spain (because we didn't want to stop in Central France). It was hot, expensive and a bit tiresome with its tourism. Frankly, Newport Beach is just as beautiful, with more diverse restaurants, better sand (not rocks), and more affordable hotels. The only thing Nice has over Newport is the fact that people speak French there, the women are topless on the beach (although this is REALLY not always a good thing) and there is a great antiques market on the weekend in some square or another. But really. I would rather be in California with some GOOD CALIFORNIA WINE and visit somewhere else in France next time.

Biarritz

Biarritz
Being in Biarritz was like visiting Huntington Beach...right down to the fact that they were holding the World Surf Championships while we were there.

European Vacation by Wheelchair

European Vacation by Wheelchair
I need to read through the entire trip, but what a resource for people. Jake can walk now, but we still need to use the chair sometimes. I really want to take him to Europe (I mean the kid does love to eat). It is just a daunting thought to think about going through Europe with a wheelchair

Gimmelwald, Switzerland

Gimmelwald, Switzerland
Having Anja and her father here has made us talk a lot about Europe. I can't wait for us to take a visit here to Gimmelwald We had such a great time in this little town. Great food, great sunsets. A lot like Yosemite really. I'm not sure we would be able to take Jake here though..the mountain side is VERY steep, and the valley below is a LONG WAY DOWN.

First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, CA - Home - First Pres Berkeley near UC Berkeley

First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, CA - Home - First Pres Berkeley near UC Berkeley: "Traditional
9:00 & 10:45 a.m.
Contemporary
5:05 p.m."

Just watched a DVD of our wedding yesterday and saw our old church. I can't believe we have been married since 1998 ...together since 1996.

11 February, 2005

Trips I have taken

Trips I have taken

I think I will endeavor to do this myself. And perhaps a list of restaurants also. Probably it will be for my own viewing pleasure, and as a way to prove that I did in fact spend the appropriate number of Christmas' and Easters and Thanksgivings with each family.

03 January, 2005

Catcher in the Rye

Just came across this story.. somehow... I don't even know how I got to a Maine Newspaper article from December of last year, but anyway. I think it is very interesting how few parents get involved in education..sadly it seems the only ones who do want to start burning books.

What follows is my favorite quote from Catcher in the Rye. I actually read this part out loud in my highschool Honors English class (okay that was when children didn't swear in front of their teachers). Mrs Eiswerth was very flattering and not thrown at all by my finding that quote to be essential to Holden's coming of age.

"That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write 'Fuck you' right under your nose. Try it sometime. I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetary, and I have a tombstone and all, it'll say 'Holden Caulfield' on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it'll say 'Fuck you.' I'm positive, in fact."

Bloglisting.com

So I was googling everyone I know (and vainly, also myself) and up came a google hit four listings down with "Jennifer Aniston Naked", and my name and blog address.
Of course it is actually just a listing on Bloglisting.com but it was rather odd.
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