Shopping is a misery to me.

To fully understand and appreciate what I have to say here, read this first.

I have noticed a disturbing trend in restaurants and retail establishments: the need to have music. I’m not talking about Montovani and his orchestra, or watered down instrumental versions of 80’s pop hits, or even (I shudder to think it) Kenny-G, I’m talking about full-bore-pick-your-genre-and-crank-it “music.” In one store it’s country music, in another it’s classic rock, in another modern hip-hop, in all cases played at a volume that I rarely put my music at when I’m home alone and needing motivation to clean my office. A volume that used to be reserved for raves and line dancing.

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Sensory Processing

I have two conditions that differentiate from me from the neurotypical population: Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Processing Integration Disorder*. AS is what I write about most in the blog, because it is something which my daughter and I have in common and because I have to deal with it – and those around me have to allow for it – every day.

SPID can be just as entertaining, though. You can google it if you want, but it’s easier to just give you an anecdote to help you understand it.

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A Rainy Night at Irish Fest

When my children have grown and look back on their lives, they will have the singular distinction of being able to say, “We danced in a hurricane.”

Labor Day weekend, Kansas City Irish Festival. “Rain or shine” is the stock phrase, and the festival was on even as the remnants of hurricane Isaac blew through town (ultimately, 6-1/2″ of rain in just over eighteen hours.) Driscoll School of Irish Dance was slated to perform the first night of the festival, and Isaac arrived about 4:00 that afternoon.

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Christmas Pageants

There is something about Christmas programs that makes me feel as if I have been under the ministrations of a slow but thorough torturer: one that provides not only a view of the tools to be used so that I may better understand and anticipate the horrors to come, but gives me a program of the evening’s agonies so I know in which order they are to be used and thus I may, should I so desire, scream along. Except in the unshakable traditions of church committees everywhere, where is it written that every youth in the church must participate whether they want to … Continue reading Christmas Pageants

You think you know me, but you don’t.

Have you ever said this, to yourself or someone else? I know I have, usually to myself. It seems like the list of people who truly know Me is very short. My wife is one. Our children are still working it out, but they’ve got a pretty good handle on it. A few close friends.

I take a lot of shit at work. The boss is a man who used to make his living in construction – selling insulation, drywall. He has a degree in accounting. His worldview is pretty simple. The world is a box of nails, and he’s the hammer. He doesn’t quiet know what to do with something like me, something that isn’t a nail.

The other partner is a salesman who has made his living in IT as a programmer/database operator. His worldview is also fairly simple. All the world’s a baseball diamond, and he’s got a box of bats.

They don’t know me. It’s been ten years.

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Vacation. It’s not something I do.

I am a creature of habits and routine. I don’t like my day job every day, but I do like the routine of it. I get there at a certain time, I eat lunch at a certain time, and I leave at a certain time – under normal circumstances those times don’t vary by more than five minutes, day to day. It’s comforting and stable.

We’re going on vacation…and not a weekend trip to Nebraska to visit the ol’ homestead, three hours away and as familiar to me as my own front yard. Not a four day weekend down secondary highways with plans to be back in time for work on Monday. No.

We’re going on Vacation. Capital “V”, italicized. Across the country to Oregon, more than thirty hours away. Four days out, three days there, four days back. The last time we did that was 2007, a trip along the Oregon Trail to Wyoming, then South to my sister’s place in Colorado. It was a long trip, but the destination was family.

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