Friday, September 30, 2011


*whispers*  It's illustration Friday.  The prompt this week is "hibernate".


Thursday, September 29, 2011

a moment

We had a moment.

Yes, the motorcycle cop.  He shows up at my crosswalk.  I never know when, I just arrive and he's there.  Or not.  He likes to keep me guessing.

Our torrid affair has been going on for months now.  I still remember our first encounter.  Him in his shiny helmet with his... his... his... motorcycle.  Oh, the SOUND it makes!  And before I know it, he's got the lights going.  The FLASHING lights!  He'll chase one speeder down and just a few minutes later, he's ready for MORE!  Sometimes 2 or 3 times in one shift!

He completes me.

So I'm there yesterday, all busy with kids, when out of the corner of my eye... I see him.  He's there.  He's there, yet not there.  No, he's there.  It's different.  He's on a different corner.  Just watching.  Watching.  Oh, the way he watches.

In a few minutes, I've managed to clear the area of kids.  It's just me now, by the button.  He approaches



He speaks!  For the first time since our trysts began, he speaks.  To me!  Usually it's all done with the eyes, with hand gestures, words have not been necessary and yet, my heart...  I listen with my heart more than with my ears...

Oh, his indulgence!  It's so stimulating, I can't help but respond! 

Before I know it, I'm talking TRAFFIC PATTERNS, divulging NUMBERS OF CHILDREN.  The WHEN, the WHO, I can't stop!

And then... and THEN... he pulls out his... his... his... RADAR GUN!  Right there for all to see!  I'm speechless by that point.

It beeps - 10 m.p.h. over the limit, and off he goes. 

Off he goes...

Monday, September 26, 2011


Chaco had to build a bridge.

This was for his Practical Science and Engineering class.  Oh the frustration.  The challenge was to make it as light as possible and able to maintain as much weight as possible.  He called me on Friday asking for a ride home because "I have a balsa wood bridge I need to bring home".  So, I picked him up.

It was in pieces - early development stages.  Apparently, this was a team project, yet I never say any "team members" over the weekend.  In fact, the pieces didn't emerge until late Sunday when construction resumed.

There was much gnashing of teeth getting the thing all glued up while maintaining its lightness / frailness.  I told Chaco to take a picture.


"Because that bridge - it's so fragile - what if it breaks on the way to school??  At least with a photo, your teacher will know you finished it"

"But... the project is about weight and strength....."

But my visions of the thing disintegrating before making it back to the classroom persisted.  He needed EVIDENCE damnit!  Even if it just got him partial credit!  It's like women who take pictures of their injuries when their boyfriends or husbands beat them up, right?  There's an analogy there somewhere, I know it.

He took the pic to appease me.

the bridge - hogging my giga desk

The bridge made it to school.  It supported 11 freaking pounds - the weight of our butch cat. 

I'm convinced it was the photo that saved it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

(return of) Silver Liningness

As alluded to a few days ago, I thought I should bring back the weekly "silver lining" entry.  No better time like the present...

First of all, I'm glad that it's officially fall - YAY, my favorite season.  Join me in a round of "Kill the Allergens, KILL the Allergens!!"

And with fall comes fall sports.  Yesterday, Wolfgang had a local cross-country meet, so it was the first race I'd attended this season.

It wasn't his best race, but it was unseasonably hot, and I had a feeling the times would be relatively slow.  Still, it was fun to watch him run.    There are a few more localish meets on the schedule that I'm looking forward to.

On a similar note, I had a sweet coupon and got these funny looking running shoes for myself last week:

The latest thing - this zigzag design.   My review-in-ten-words-or-less:  Comfy, fast, good for 10K or less.  We'll have fun together. 

Today, the older guys are out doing manly things.  Magnum, Chaco and Wolfgang are at a Hunter Safety course.  Magnum asked if I wanted to sign up too.  Uhm... no.  I'm all for preparing for the zombie apocalypse and all, but an all-day Hunter Safety class?  Uhm... no thanks.

So, it's just Meego and me today - bonding opportunity.  Like now?  While I'm on the internet and he's watching yet more of "Red v. Blue"??

Hmm... maybe I should go.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Happy Illustration Friday!  This week's prompt is "Ferocious", so pardon the rather gorey depiction.

We once had a venus flytrap for a family member.  She would keep the house free of flies... well, not really.  We would have to catch the flies and then feed them to our Venus as she was in a terrarium.  But still! 

It was epic.

So for that reason, I decided to go all out this week and include an entire freaking (3 min.) movie for the epic slow death of the courageous grasshopper.  Pop the popcorn, and turn up the volume...


pain and suffering

Okay, apparently yesterday was kids-injure-themselves-at-the-crosswalk-day, and nobody told me.

It started in the morning when one of my regular customers tripped and landed on a chunk of cement.  I hate when that happens.

He's a tough little guy, though, and a few soothing words from the siblings and me helped to stanch the downpour.  Soon, he was up and walking and ready for another day at the kindergarten grind.

Afternoon brought more carnage. 

I was walking a group across when I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, one particular daredevil approaching on his bicycle.  I was in the middle of the road, keeping one eye on the current crossers, another eye on the might-misbehave-at-any-moment traffic, and another third(?) eye on bicycle boy.  I had a feeling that he might decide to go for it and try to beat the light, and I was having none of that.

However, I didn't have to tell him to stop, the ground did that for me.  I actually think he's got a sh*tty rear brake on his bicycle and so usually just uses his feet and/or his front brake.  Anyway, out of the corner of my third eye, I see him do an end-over-end at the bottom of the hill approaching the crosswalk.

Much wailing and writhing promptly ensued.  And ensued and ensued and ensued.

He was balled up in a heap, doubled over in pain and not responding to my questions as to what hurt.  But the wailing told me that he was at least conscious and breathing. 

Turns out he took the end of a hand grip to the gut.  That's not easy to do.  At first, because of his position and his non-response, I was afraid he may have taken it in the crotch, but eventually he was able to show me the point of contact.  It was where his uterus would be if he were a girl. 

And all this with cars buzzing by and kids heading home from school and wanting to cross the street.  Oh the excitement. 

Eventually, everyone got headed in their proper directions.  Dad came to retrieve bicycle boy who did not show at the crosswalk this morning. 

This moonlighting is getting intense.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Silver Liningness

I haven't done a silver-lining post in a while.  I could go back and check to see how long it's been, but I'll just say it's been a while.  That I know.  I should get back into the habit of doing those weekly.  We'll see, anyway...

I'm happy that it's finally feeling like fall.  The oppressive heat makes me just want to lay around and do nothing.  With the coolness comes a bit of burst of energy.  And I'm actually cooking stuff and remembering what the oven is for.

It's also beautiful weather for running.  Pretty soon, it will be face-freezing time, but right now is PERfect.

I like the new place I'm tutoring from.  It's very flexible and I have more control over what I teach and who I teach and when I teach. 

Meego started middle school this year, and it feels like just in time.  He's too "mature" for elementary school, and I am glad to be a PAST PTO member.  Other interesting volunteer assignments are on the horizon, but that's another post.

Wolfgang made the varsity cross country team despite his relative laziness over the summer.

And oh, I am still a crossing guard which I strangely enjoy.  Last week we had two days of being socked in with record setting rainfall.  On Friday morning, the fog rolled out and revealed this at my crossing guard post:

First snow on the peak!

I waited until there was no traffic to snap the pic.  I didn't want anyone to report a strange crossing guard taking pictures of motorists.

I haven't seen any movies lately that I particularly enjoy.  I let Magnum pick the last couple to get his man movies in (one was  a Jet Li, the other an Adam Sandler - OH the things I tolerate!)   Any recommendations??  Anyone???


Saturday, September 17, 2011


Hello and happy Illustration Friday on Saturday.  This week's prompt is "Mesmerizing".   I thought I would either do a snake or an owl.  The owl won as it most likely would in a real match between those two. 

Yooo are getting veeery zleeeeepeeee.......

Thursday, September 15, 2011

thoughts of Fred Flintstone

Last week, this kid who's been hanging around the house asked me to take him to buy bowling shoes.  Why would I do that?  I guess I did it because he claims to be Chaco and he looks like Chaco, so I just went with it.

Oh sure, Chaco's been bowling before.  We've gone bowling sporadically since he was strong enough to heft a real bowling ball.  Personally, I rather suck at it, but find it oddly enjoyable.  It's just something to do on a rainy / snowy / sweltering hot / otherwise boring day.  So when he announced that he's joined the bowling intramural club or whatever it is at school, it wasn't entirely weird.  And actually, I was glad that he's got another diversion aside from video games to fill his veering-towards-one-dimensional recreative time. 

So we went out and got the shoes, the ball, the bag for shoes and ball.  And he's bowling.  To be honest, I think part of this is about driving.  He has a license.  He wants to drive.  He has no car.  He gets to drive when he's running an errand for ME or Magnum, but that's about it other than obligatory school stuff.  AHA!  Remedy:  Join a club that requires one to drive somewhere. 

But, he is actually doing it, not just driving to it.  Last Saturday, he and a friend went bowling.  He stayed the night at friends house, came home Sunday afternoon and declared that we should go bowling.  I was deeply engrossed in laundry duty at the time, and bowling sounded like a nice alternative, so we rallied other interested parties and the whole fam went bowling.

We bowled, I sucked as usual, it was fun.

Earlier this week, I caught him practicing his approach in the Man Cave.  This was disconcerting because my Giga Desk is in the corner of the Man Cave.  Just don't let go of that ball in the house, I says.  Of course not, he says. 

Bowling.  I just keep being reminded of Fred Flintstone.


Saturday, September 10, 2011


Happy weekend, happy Illustration Friday!  This week's prompt is "boundaries", and I did this illustration of a parkour girl.  

Parkour is " a method of movement focused on moving around obstacles with speed and efficiency"  (from Wikipedia).  Have you ever seen any of those crazies that practice this?  Actually, I will admit that I admire their skills, and I could never do it because of my ridiculous fear of heights. 

So when I saw "boundaries", I remembered a photo I'd seen of a parkour girl overlooking the city, plotting her route.  She seemed to me to be saying, "I don't need no stinkin' boundaries!"

... p.s.  I'd just like to give a little thank you to the powers-that-be at Illustration Friday for honoring my platypus as Pick of the Week.  *squeals of delight*

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Okay, school started three weeks ago, and just now I'm settling into a nice mellow time schedule, getting caught up on things and thinking up some fun and useful projects.  This blog, too, while I've been updating pretty regularly, there are things going on behind the scenes that needed some cleanupness / updateness.

Pop quiz:  I just now changed something on my profile.  Anyone?  Anyone know what it is?  Of course not!  You'd never get it so don't even try.  Wolfgang went from 15 years old to 16.  That happened in July, but let's pretend it just happened and do the token birthday baby pic:

Aw, so cute, happy birthday Wolfgang, love love love, smooch smooch smooch, blah blah blah.  Okay, caught up on that tidbit...

He hasn't earned his driver's license yet, but is working on it and so wants to drive everywhere.  Add to that the fact that Chaco just recently  got his license and wants to drive everywhere.  Add to that the fact that I prefer to not take the cars anywhere, and tensions are mounting, but tolerable.

My work situation has also changed a bit.  I'm still moonlighting as an X-Treme crossing guard for the neighborhood elementary school, but I'm no longer a teacher's aid there.  I decided to resign that position over the summer.  Truth is, it was difficult for me to go from teaching grad students to being a K-5 teacher's aid.  I don't mean to sound snotty about that, but it truly was a difficult transition.  Not just the education level, but also going from private teaching to public - big differences there. There are plenty of qualified people looking for work these days, I'm sure the school will fill the yet-to-be-filled position.  I left while we're all still friends :D.

And now I'm back to being a tutor/teacher/coach for "WiseAss Tutoring" (not their real name, but kinda close...).  I like it. 

Okay, that's good enough for bringing things up to date.  The backyard is a mess, some walls need painting, and we need a new roof, but posting this gives me a fictitious impact of being productive. 

Monday, September 5, 2011


I was contemplating my faceb**k friend list.  I'd say it breaks down to three main categories:  People I Grew Up With, People I've Worked or Gone to School With, and People I've Met Through Blogging.

Of that last group, I count some close friends, and I've never even met them personally!  Allow me to feature one here today.

It's been a while since I've blogged anything about the Asperger Syndrome world, but yes, we still happily live there.

A few years ago, probably not long after Magnum was diagnosed (i.e. we got a name for his weirdness), I met a fellow Asperger wife and blogger, Maureen.  And look at her now!  She's all growed up and recently published a book!

  Loving the Tasmanian Devil - Reflections on Marriage and Asperger Syndrome
Loving the Tasmanian Devil - Reflections on Marriage and Asperger Syndrome  ... which I recently bought and have begun reading.

A few years ago, as I surfed around, I found plenty of resources.  Much of it was meant for parents of Asperger kids.  There were a few dry and clinical sites for spouses and adults.  And there were a few spousal voices that were  just  ongoing b*tch sessions (yes, typically it's the wife who is the non-Asperger spouse), often by ex-wives or wannabe ex-wives. 

This was not helpful to me.

Then one day, I don't remember how exactly, Maureen and I cyber-bumped into each other.  It was probably at some time when she or I was b*tching about/laughing at/ enjoying our respective Asperger husbands online and we noticed a kinship.

To my delight, she wasn't wallowing in self-pity like others' blogs I'd read.  She was soldiering on, staying with her Asperger husband,  raising her three boys (Kinship?  Remember?) , living on a dairy farm, and blogging with an intelligence mixed with a good good dose of humor sense. 

It was like a breath of fresh air after a traffic jam.

And now I'm reading her book.  It's sitting right her next to me as I type.  My name is even mentioned, ever so briefly, but to me it makes me feel special. 

She dedicates the book to her husband, who as he reminds her, is responsible for her writing the book in the first place. 

So I can thank Magnum who, in his weirdness, introduced me to Maureen.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


It's a beaver!  It's a duck!  It's Illustration Friday on Saturday!  This week's prompt is "mysterious", so naturally I drew a platypus.

I mean, come on.  How did this creature even happen?  It lays eggs, yet it nurses its babies.  It has webbed feet and fur. Is it mammal?  Is it bird??  Such a mystery!

Gosh, I bet Illustration Friday is going to be just chock full of platypuses (platypi?) this week!  It's the universal question!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

wet clean up

A couple of days ago, I was grocery shopping.  The cashier cried.

No, she really cried.  It was rather awkward. 

Now, this is the grocery store I typically go to.  I'm not on a first name basis with this cashier or anything, but I've certainly seen her there before, and I think it's safe to say she could pick me out of a line-up quite readily.  She's good - efficient, competent, seems to be well-liked by co-workers.  She also has a bit of a tough look about her.  She's no butch, but suffice to say that if  we were in a bar fight, I'd rather she was on my side than the other.

But, I also sense that she's not the type to hide her emotions which makes the crying thing not all that strange, but still a little strange.  I was just there at the ready with my credit card as she was scanning my purchases.  A manager walked by and simply asked the Tough Cashier how much longer her shift was, to which TC replied, "that remains to be seen" with a bit of flair to the nostrils.

This seemed to take the manager a bit aback, but Miss Manager seemed to sense that this was a now-is-not-a-good-time moment.  She simply paused and said, "okay", and walked away, leaving me there with the now watery-eyed Tough Cashier.

The watery-eyes became full-puddled-eyes accompanied by flush-face and a bit of sniffle-nose.  She would briefly compose herself, then the puddles would return.  Never all out bawling, but enough to show that it wasn't allergies.  A friend recently remarked to me how uncomfortable she is when someone cries in front of her.  I thought, it's not such a bad thing, but this was pretty uncomfortable.

What would you do?  I didn't know what to do.  Say something in condolence?  I had no idea what she was upset about.  She just continued about my groceries:  "Want your milk in a bag *sniffle*?", etc...  I thought to ask if she was okay, but then that seemed like  a stupid question.

When it was over, I just smiled, gently took my receipt, and genuinely thanked her for doing her job.  Later that afternoon, a cloudburst broke out just in time for my crossing guard duty. 

I guess it was just a water theme day.