19 August 2013

Who is really the monster here?

How I felt when I read it.
Today hasn't been a particularly good day. I awoke to the construction noise, followed by Crackle's noise. He's particularly loud today. (92 dB peak according to my iPad app). And maybe that's why I'm so upset by the letter to the parent of the autistic boy that is floating around*. I first saw it on Saturday. Or that is, I saw reference to it. I didn't read it until this morning. And then I cried. Oh, how I cried. I cried the ugly cry. The sobs. Maybe this is in part hormonal. Maybe not. Because that shit was ugly. The letter writer actually called him a monster and suggested euthanizing the boy. Because he's loud and autistic. Like my son. My beautiful, kind, sweet son.

He's on the trampoline right now. He's shrieking his heart out. He's naked. He's filthy with peanut butter, mashed potatoes, and spilled coconut milk. He hasn't spoken a clear word in 4 years. He has seizures that make him vomit. He doesn't play like "normal" kids. He's exactly like the boy in the letter. And someone wants that boy dead.

I know I can focus on how awesome my neighbours are. They're kind enough to ensure that the construction workers let me know in advance which days will be loud. They offer sympathy on days when he's loud. They tell me how awesome I am. (Please don't tell Autism Moms "I don't know how you do it" or "I could never do what you do". Or worse, "I'm so sorry!") And on days like today, I read that as, "I couldn't do it. Your boy is awful." 

But he's not. He's sweet. He's gentle. Even if his shrieks aren't. He snuggles up with me in the night because he's afraid of the dark. He frets and comes to get me if Pop gets hurt or upset. He likes it when the dog curls up with him. He spends the vast majority of his day playing with a stack of socks. He has a favourite. It's the green one that is made of organic bamboo. He likes to eat on the trampoline, and sneak treats to the dog. He likes hugs and kisses and going to the beach. He likes to sit in the forest and listen to the birds. He likes to play the piano (terribly). He loves it when people sing to him. Any song will do.

Someone was filled with enough hate for a boy like mine that she felt it necessary to send a letter, anonymously of course, the fucking coward, to his grandmother, calling the boy mean names, and threatening his life (albeit indirectly). You know what? My kid could never produce such hate. He could never treat someone the way she did. 

I'd way rather be his mother than hers. He's not a monster. But I have to wonder about her.

*Not linking. It's awful. I'm not putting that negativity into your world if you haven't already.

08 August 2013

Religion, politics and feminism in the news

Religion, politics and feminism are intersecting in the news again, so what's a Christian, socialist, feminist to do but blog about it? :)

First off, right-wing Catholics are pissed at Pope Francis. To that, I quote Nelson Muntz:

The gist is, "Waaaa! He wants to be nice to people!" I honestly do not understand how they call themselves Christian but are mad that he wants to focus on fixing poverty.

source: all over facebook, but the original is here
Oh, right. Hypocrisy. Like how whenever anyone complained about Benny the Rat... errr, I mean Pope Benedict, it was, "Well, he's the Pope, so shut up" but now they're all up in his infallibility. Pfft. That reminds me, they really really don't understand about the infallibility of the Pope. According to the doctrine, he's only infallible if speaking in a very specific way. Not all the time. And yet, that's how the idiots think.

I like Francis. He's not perfect (duh), and he still isn't onboard with women in the priesthood, but the way that he upbraided the press for asking about gays in the priesthood, saying that that's a matter of sin, not a matter of law and why weren't they asking about the abuse issues? *applause* And "Who am I to judge?" BEAUTIFUL.

And then there's Baird (ugh), REAL Women (ugh) and The GAY!OMG!BBQ! So really this boils down to self-proclaimed real women having their panties in a twist because someone they don't approve of is being treated as human. Listen up, Ladies, you don't have the right to be a member of the privileged class. Real Christians want human rights for all, because that's pretty much the definition of loving thy neighbour.. So Landolt, the horrible VP of REAL says (via CTV News),
"Just who does John Baird think he is?" asks Landolt while accusing Baird of using taxpayers' money to "promote his own personal agenda and endeavouring to set standards of the laws of foreign countries."
Landolt says while Baird argues that "homosexual rights are a `Canadian value,' this applies only to himself and his fellow activists and the left-wing elitists."
She adds that these are "not conservative values and that of grass roots Canadians."
Oh bless your heart. Just who does he think he is? Um, he thinks he's the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He's exactly there to try to set the standards of the laws of foreign country. Does anyone think for a second Landolt would be screaming if Baird were trying to stop Sharia law in some country or other? No. And you know what, Landolt dear? Homosexual rights? They're human rights. These are people. Hate is not a Canadian value. And you know what? I dislike you just a little more because I hate that you've made me defend Baird

06 August 2013

Adventures in Holidays

I just spent the weekend in Anaheim, California. It was my daughter's grad gift - a trip to VidCon. Disney was just something to do on Sunday. And she didn't enjoy it. Hehe. Good girl. So while she was VidConning (it's a word because I say it is), I was lying by the pool, floating in the pool, hanging out with my most awesome friend Martin and drinking a LOT of wine. Like the "I need a liver cleanse" kind of a lot. Snap lost her camera (stolen?) while there, and she's pretty heartbroken about all the missing pictures. John Green retweeted my tweet for help finding it (to more than 1.6 MILLION people), and that was amazing. Random strangers are checking the Hilton lost and found, searching the lobby, leaving their numbers with front desk to try to get it back for me. YouTubers are kind of cool people. Snap was in her glory. It's like she got there and found Her People. There were 11,000+ people there, and they were pretty amazing people. In the shuttle on the way to the con, every single person in there was going to VidCon. The woman next to me asked us all if we minded if she vlogged while we were there. As in, "Do y'all mind shutting up for 2 minutes while I video myself?" Everyone obliged happily. She accidentally caught one guy in her video and apologised profusely for recording him without permission. He laughed and said that he had waivers in his bag. HA! He was kidding, but you get the drift.

It is REALLY hard to find food in Anaheim that is gluten-free, dairy free, and meat free. Like REALLY REALLY hard. I walked 2 miles to the nearest grocery store - which sucked donkey balls - and caught a cab back. That was fun (not really). There was not a single piece of organic produce in the store. Their was no "health food" section. There were no packaged gluten free things. I bought regular produce and some peanuts and lived on that for 5 days (and gained 4 lbs). That and booze (why I gained the weight). Holy shit is wine cheap there. I bought a bottle of this for $4.50. For reference, check out the BC liquor board price.

The cabbie on the way back was funny. I asked him where he was from because he had an accent I wasn't familiar with. He said, "China". I blinked, because 1) he was black; b) his accent was decidedly not Chinese. But who the hell am I to call someone on that, so I said, "Oh. Okay." He said, "Am I the first black Chinese you've ever met?" I said, "Most definitely". So he said, "HA! I'm kidding. I'm from Africa". Smartass. So I said, "Oh, well yes, that does make more sense. Which part of Africa?" And he said, "If you can guess in 20 seconds, I'll give you half price on your fare." Hehe. So I said, "Somalia!" Nope, 15 seconds (he counts fast) "Ethiopia!" *mouth hangs open* "No one has EVER guessed. Ever. Uh... I can't actually give you 50% off." Hahahaha. So I told him that he had to give me some sort of deal (I was kidding, but figured I'd tease him a bit back) and he said, "Okay. I'll turn the meter off here and you don't have to tip me." LOL. So my $10 cab ride cost me $7.50. As I was getting out, he said, "So how did you guess, anyway?" I laughed and told him I am a linguist and collect accents in my head. I'd already narrowed it down to eastern Africa by the time I heard the first sentence he said. And I knew it wasn't Nairobi either, so... Hehehe.

Anaheim is a weird place. The economy is clearly all tourist driven. I suppose that's why there are so few grocers around. And it's clean. Like really clean. I saw someone wiping down garbage cans. All the cleaning staff speaks English, unlike every other American hotel I have ever stayed at. Honestly, I learn few Spanish phrases that I know I will need before I go, because I expect it. That said, does someone know how to say "Please put fresh sheets on the bed", because apparently I've got it wrong. Am I asking for them to be fresh like produce? Am I saying I want them to be brand new? I dunno. I've also learned, "Thank you. It looks lovely in here" and "Can I help you with that?"

I like to fly. The environmentalist in me is screaming, but I really really like flying. I like being in the air, I like looking at the clouds, the terrain, the tiny communities. On Thursday morning, my flight took off at 6am, which meant getting up at 3:15am. Ugh. But from above the clouds, I got to see the sun coming up over the Salish Sea. It was magnificent. It's times like that when I really feel close to God. I mean, sure, some of it is probably the Heaven in the Clouds symbolism, but not all of it. The sense of serenity I get up there, I attribute to the reminder of just how small everything is, but also how magnificent. And how tiny and insignificant we seem, even from above only a tiny area of the tiny planet in the tiny solar system of the immense universe, but that God loves us anyway. Or something. I dunno. All I know is I am never more calm and serene as when I'm at 35,000 ft. I rambled all of this to someone in the airport (Yeah, I'm THAT asshole) and she grinned at me and said, "And WHY aren't you a flight attendant?" I laughed and said, "Sure, or pilot, because hello, sexist!" And she laughed and said, "I am a pilot. Not commercial, mind you. But calm and serene is what we need in flight attendants." Ha!

So I'm back home, back to the real world, and armed with all of Martin's best jokes. Like, "guess who I bumped into on the way to the optician?" "Everybody".

You're welcome.