Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Stealing Again

Hi everyone! I am doing another "Sunday Stealing" post! Today they have stolen The Wish List Meme. It looks like fun! If you want to try it, go over to Sunday Stealing and steal it for yourself! 
The Wish List Meme, part one  

1.) What are 3 things on your Wish list and why?   
A car stereo with an iPod connector thingy... because I drive a lot and I get tired of having to listen to the radio with all the songs I don't really like and all the commercials. Even when you find a radio station you really like, they tend to play the same songs over and over, so you get bored fast. 

A house or apartment... because I am squashed in my childhood bedroom right now while I look for a job!
A kitten... because my sweet kitty Sammy-Joe died in February, and I miss him! I have two dogs, but I feel unbalanced without a cat!

2.) What do you miss about your childhood?  

Playing all day and being carefree most of the time. 

3.) What do you do on your spare time on the weekends?  
Make cards and do other things for Tori Joy's Smiles, blog, play with my dogs, and read. 

4.) What do you appreciate most in your life?  
My family, strangely. They have their faults, but having been out in the world and seen other people's families, I realize mine isn't so bad. I mean, it could be a lot worse. 
5.) Would you rather be rich or healthy?  
Healthy. What's the point of being rich if you're too sick to enjoy it? 
6.) If you could go back in time would you and why?  
I'd like to go back to the Wild West for a day or two. I like to watch Gunsmoke. It would be fun to be there... but not long enough to get typhoid fever and die. 
7.) Favorite game as a child?  
I liked make believe games. I liked playing "Hansel and Gretel" with my brother, or going on a treasure hunt left for us by my imaginary friends, the Safety People. 
8.) What is your dream career?  
I'd love to be an author so I could just stay home and write. My more realistic career goal is a special ed teacher. 
9.) What do you do in your free time?  
See question 3. 

10.) Favorite clothing stores?  
Uh... Kohls, I guess?

11.) What TV shows can't you live without?  
Shameless! But I have to live without it until next January. 

12.) 3 things you need in your life are:  
Pets, Dr. Pepper, and sleep. 

13.) What can't you sleep without?  
My dogs. 
14.) What are you currently a nerd for?  
I dunno!

15.) What is your favorite seasoning?  

16.) What is your favorite wild animal?  
Koala!17.) Name 3 of your favorite childhood shows:  
Punky Brewster, Diff'rent Strokes, Thunder Cats. 

18.) If you could live as a character in a movie who would it be?  
Uh... I don't know... I've barely seen any movies lately. 
19.) Favorite vegetable?  
All of my favorite vegetables turn out to be fruits. I guess maybe edamames. 

20.) Favorite Fruit?  


21.) If you had a dragon what would you name it?  
22.) What do you put on hotdogs?  
Mustard and tomatoes and sometimes relish even though I don't really like it. You shouldn't put ketchup on hotdogs. It is against the law in Chicago and you will go to jail. 

23.) Do you play online games?  
Sometimes on Facebook. I used to play Farmville a lot. 
24.) What's your favorite way to get inspired?  
Read blogs. 
25.) Do you have a middle name?


OK, so that's it for me!  Now go do your own Sunday Stealing. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Will The Real Angel Please Step Up?

Have you ever heard Alanis Morisette's song, "Hand In My Pocket?" When that song first came out, multiple people, including my own mother, told me that the song reminded them of me. My mom said it was because I was "a work of opposites." She specifically pointed out the "I'm brave but I'm chickenshit" line.

To this day, I still often think this is true. It is hard for me to figure out who I really am. Am I the Angel who lived on the streets at age 17, who moved across the country on her own for AmeriCorps, who twice took 3 day long Greyhound trips to California to visit her hippie brother,, who once drove to Missouri with four children, in a rented car, to attend a hippie camping festival? Or am I the Angel who gets nervous about leaving the house to go to Target? Am I the Angel who will do anything for anyone, or the Angel who is tired of everyone's bullshit and just wants to be left alone? Am I the Angel who loves kids and wants to be a foster parent someday, or the Angel who worries that the hypothetical children might upset her beloved little dog? Am I the Angel who longs to have friends, or the Angel who would rather stay home and read a book than go to a new Meetup gathering to meet new people? Am I the Angel who would dart down an alley and cross the street to avoid one of the Christian college students who tries to convert people in the park all day long, or am I the Angel who hums Christian hymns while she washes the dishes and secretly prays to God when she's scared? 

I don't even know how to answer a simple question like, "What kind of music do you like?" My iPod is a smorgasbord of random songs, where Eminem rubs elbows with the Grateful Dead, Charlie Daniels, and Raffi. I have an emotional connection to songs, so whether I like a song often depends a lot on where I am, who I'm with, and what I'm doing when I first hear it. 

And what kind of friends would I have, if I did have friends? Again, I have no clue. I've never fit into any one  group of people. I tend to linger on the fringes of whatever group of people I'm around. I once lived in a subsidized apartment building where almost everyone besides me was African American, including plenty of gang bangers and drug dealers. I was never scared there... I knew everyone, and everyone was kind to me, including the notorious "bad guys." I once lived with a Hispanic family for a while. I loved them dearly, even when they busted into Spanish in front of me and I had no clue what they were saying, and even when they tricked me into eating some sort of pig tongue soup. In high school I hung out with the stoners, even though I did not do drugs, because they accepted me more readily than any of the other kids did. I've hung out with ex-convicts. I tried to join a social group for adults with Aspergers Syndrome. For a while I joined Adult Children Of Alcoholics, where I hung out with a lot of recovering alcoholics who were in their 40's and 50's. (Yeah, I know it was Children Of Alcoholics, but apparently a lot of Children Of Alcoholics grow up to become Alcoholics themselves!) I considered all of these people my friends. But I never really felt completely comfortable with any of them. On some level, I never really connected with anyone. 

So who exactly am I? Who is Angel? Anybody know?

I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five
I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless
I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby

What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be quite alright
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette
And what it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign
I'm free but I'm focused
I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly baby
I'm sad but I'm laughing
I'm brave but I'm chickenshit
I'm sick but I'm pretty baby

And what it all boils down to
Is that no one's really got it figured out just yet
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is playing the piano
And what it all comes down to my friends
Is that everything's just fine fine fine
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is hailing a taxi cab

[Harmonica solo]

Monday, April 22, 2013

I've always said, "I'll run when zombies are chasing me!"

Is this what zombies actually look like? Super gross!
See, I've always hated running. With a passion. As a kid, we were forced to run the mile twice a year... plus we had to practice for it ahead of time... in gym class. I dreaded it. I got out of breath too fast. I was not an overweight child or particularly out of shape... I rode my bike all the time at home. But for some reason I just couldn't run. By the time I was in junior high I just gave up and started walking the mile "run." The agony of running just wasn't worth it! The PE teachers... always overweight women with smokers' voices who somehow looked kind of greasy and unwashed... would frown at me. But I didn't care!
And once I graduated high school, I thought, "I will never run again! Unless someone is chasing me." And I never did.
I didn't get my driver's license until I was 22, so for a long time my bicycle, and walking, were my main modes of transportation, which kept me pretty thin. For a while there I was all skin and bones! But after I got my driver's license I didn't have many reasons for physical activity, so I got more out of shape, and more overweight.
My mom is always telling me I'm fat. I think she's anorexic on my behalf. When I eat, for instance, a bowl of oatmeal, she says, :"That is enough for three people!" (Which I know isn't true, because I use the instructions on the box or can or whatever that round thing is that oatmeal comes in, and I make enough for one person, not three.) If I drink a glass of milk, she gasps and says, "You're drinking all that?" If we go out to dinner and I finish a whole cheeseburger, she'll say, "I can't believe you ate that whole thing!" and shake her head in disgust. She'll do things like, buy me a sleeveless shirt, and then when I wear it, say, "You shouldn't wear shirts like that. Nobody wants to see your big belly."
For the record, I am slightly overweight, but not really. Not enough that any doctor during a physical exam or anything else has ever mentioned it to me. I can look in the mirror and be more or less happy with my body. As far as my weight goes, anyways... my funny looking knees are another story! So aside from my mom's comments hurting my feelings a little, my weight doesn't worry me so much.
But here's what does worry me.
Type 2 diabetes, and heart attacks, run in my family, particularly for women. Women who carry most of their weight in their bellies (like me... I swear my legs have no meat on them at all, and I don't have enough of a butt to keep my pants up... my belly seems to hog all the fat from my entire body) are more at risk for those and other diseases.
So anyway. I heard some people talking about a phone app that helps you learn to run, so I did a search for it, which led me to a list of Couch To 5K apps, which led me to the ZOMBIES, RUN app!
In case you don't know about Couch To 5K training, basically it is a program designed to get people who hate running, and in some cases get very little physical activity at all, in shape to actually be able to run 5K. Which is 3.1 miles for you unknowledgeable people. (JK... I just found out right now by Googling it.) So you start off with 36 minute workouts that involve walking ten minutes, then running for one minute and walking for 15 seconds for ten intervals, and then walking again. Then the next week they get you so you are running a little more... like 20 seconds maybe. And so on and so on. Until soon you are running most, and then all, of the time! Plus most of the CT5K apps also play music from your phone, in the background.
Zombie Run is just like that, except there is a story going on. The story is that you are on some sort of team that fights zombies. At first you are just undergoing training so you can be faster, and then eventually (once you actually get used to running for more than 15 seconds at a time) the stories involve running from, or chasing, zombies! And supposedly there is a whole online network you can link up to where you can see how many zombies you got during your run and what supplies you gathered and stuff like that. I haven't figured that part out yet. I just finished my first run walk plus a total of one minute and 30 seconds of jogging today.
So far, I really like it! It was fun, and I felt good about myself afterwards! I would only do two things different: 1. Bring a water bottle, and 2. Wear some actual running shoes instead of my Converse sneakers. Tomorrow is my off day... as we runners know, you're only supposed to train every other day, so your muscles can recover on the off days... so I'm going to go use part of my tax refund to get me some better shoes!
Has anyone else tried a C25K program? If so, I'd love your comments and/or advice!
Signing off for now,
Angel the Alien, aka Angel the Zombie Fighter!

P.S. This is not, in any way, a sponsored post. I just don't think this blog is ready for that yet!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Unlucky 13 Meme

 Because my life is a little dull and I don't have much to write about lately, I decided to do this fun meme from Sunday Stealing.  Each week they steal a meme from another site. The meme for this week is The Unlucky 13 Meme! Visit Sunday Stealing if you want to join in!

1. On average, how long does it take you to get ready for work/school/a day or night out?
Usually about an hour, including a quick shower, making  my lunch for the day, and making and eating breakfast. 

2. If you could ask your favorite author one question about the book(s) they wrote, what would it be?
How do you get your ideas for all of the little moments of the story? I love to write, but I have trouble filling in the little moments; my mind tends to be looking at the big picture instead of the small details!

3. What do you think is the hardest thing about growing up?
Kids don't really get a lot of choices in life. They have to deal with whatever the adults in their world hand to them. This could mean anything from having to practice a religion that doesn't make sense to them, to having to go to a school where they are bullied, to being subjected to child abuse or having to take over for a parent who has an addiction. If something is wrong in their life, they don't have many ways to change it... they have to rely on adults.

4. Who would you rather switch places with for a day: your favorite celebrity, or your favorite fictional character?
I don't really have a favorite celebrity or fictional character right now, but I'd probably prefer to be the fictional character.

5. Who would you rather have point out a flaw that you weren't aware you had: a close personal friend, or a total stranger?

Total stranger, because then I never have to see them again and be embarrassed or feel awkward!

 6. Do you get jealous easily? If so, what sorts of qualities or characteristics in other people are you most likely to be jealous of?

Not really. If I do get jealous it is usually of a person's belonging to a community, such as a person having a lot of close friends or a really tight family, or a person living in a town where everyone looks after each other. 

7. Which version of yourself would you rather have a conversation with: the one from ten years ago, or the one you turn into ten years from now?

Ten years into the future, because I am curious to see what happens. There is nothing much I can do for the "me" that existed ten years ago! 

8. Were you ever bullied in any way as a child? If so, how has it shaped you today?

LOL, I've been talking about this a lot lately due to recent events! Yes, I was bullied as a child. I think it shaped me by taking away my confidence. I always had trouble with social skills, but because I was bullied, I learned to not even try to interact with others, and as a result my social skills have not improved a whole lot. When I am uncomfortable, I can't speak at all... it is like the cat got my tongue. When I am comfortable, I am likely to blurt out stupid things that make people look at me funny, and I end up mentally yelling at myself, "Don't talk, just don't talk!" 

9. What is one fear you would like to overcome in your lifetime?

My fear of death or of others dying. 

10. What is one food you haven't tried yet that you would like to?

I don't know... I have pretty much tried everything I'd want to try. I eat tofu and I like it. That is pretty adventurous, wouldn't you say? I have eaten sushi, but not the kind with the fish in it. I ate calamari but I thought it was awful. I will try just about anything, at least a small bite. But right now there are no new foods I am curious about. 

11. Is it easier to forgive someone for the wrong they've done you or to seek forgiveness from someone that you've wronged in any way?

I am a pretty forgiving person... all someone really has to do is smile at me, and I forgive them... so I think it is harder for me to seek forgiveness. I get too scared and embarrassed. 

 12. Let’s go random: What did you do for New Year’s Eve for the turn of the millennium?
Do you really want to hear this story? OK fine. It was 1999. I was living in a studio apartment. My brother Tony and his friend J. were staying with me. I had just come back from the Community Mental Health Center, where I had been prescribed antidepressants for the first time. Tony and J. were saying they were going to a party later that day. I asked to go with, because I knew this was an exciting New Years Eve (being the end of the world and all) and I didn't want to be alone. Tony and J. said they had some things to do but they'd come back and get me before they went to the party.

Well, I waited and waited, and they never came! I was really upset, and I ended up falling asleep and sleeping right through midnight.
Later on I found out that the "party" Tony and J. had gone to wasn't really the kind of party I would have liked. 
Tony called me in the middle of the night to tell me that J. had beaten him up. He warned me that J. was probably on his way home, and not to let him in. But I felt like some part of that story was fishy, and J. didn't seem like a particularly violent person. So when J. showed up I let him in. He told me that Tony had actually overdosed on heroine at the party, and his "beating Tony up" was really him putting Tony in a bathtub of ice and trying to revive him. Which, apparently worked. 
Aren't you glad you asked???

13. What else around here have you noticed? 

Not much. Never been here before. :D

So there are my 13 unlucky answers! And now, I will go back to my ever exciting task of trying to reorganize my bedroom. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Wanna Be A Mama! (Plus, A Very Dysfunctional Story.)

And now to explore a sensitive topic that always makes me uncomfortable to talk about.
I have always wanted to be a mama. When I was in junior high and high school I used to assume that, by the time I was 21, I would have kids. But one weird thing about me was that I also assumed I would either adopt, or be a foster parent. Not that I specifically was against having children by birth... but I just always felt that adoption or foster parenting would be part of my life.
In fact, when I was 17 or so, I remember emailing some sort of foster care organization and inquiring about how old a person needed to be to adopt a child. (The answer, in case you are wondering, was that you need to be 21, and be at least 10 years older than the child you're adopting.)
But things didn't work out so well. I had a lot of problems as a teenager, stemming both from my general feeling of never fitting in, being bullied  most of my life in school, and being emotionally abused by my mom. (When I was growing up they didn't know as much about ADHD or Aspergers, so everyone just assumed I was lazy, immature, and annoying, which deeply irritated my mom, who has a Straight A personality.) I didn't make great choices. I can't really blame myself now... I was basically a kid reacting to things that had happened to me... but just in case you are a teenager reading this right now, be forewarned. The choices you make now really do effect you for the rest of your life!) Anyways, by age 18 I was homeless. By age 19, I was living in a group home for teen girls (or young adult girls, anyway... ages 17 to 21.) At age 20 I briefly had my own apartment, but I had a soft heart and couldn't turn away any of my friends from the streets who needed a place to stay... plus if I did turn them away they just clambered in through the windows... so I ended up being evicted. At age 21 I made one of the only good choices of my life and joined AmeriCorps, where I spent a year in Colorado working with preschoolers in foster care who had special needs. (They mostly had behavioral disorders. Which were, in my opinion, not so much "disorders" but children's natural reactions to being severely abused and neglected, and then removed from their families, and then bounced from foster home to foster home, all within their first four years of life. Can you really blame them for screaming and throwing their crayons?)
At age 22 my term in AmeriCorps was over, so I moved back to Illinois, where I lived for a while with my parents before the street life sucked me back out.
In all my times of living on the streets, I never drank or used drugs, by the way. I hung out with a lot of older people who did do these things. I guess, seeing the effects that drinking and drugs had on them, I didn't find these things very appealing!
At age 23 I was working full time in a special education school, as a 1:1 aide for a child with autism. I had tons of responsibility at that job. He was academically more advanced than his classmates, so I planned and taught him all of his reading, math, science and social studies separately from the rest of the class. He also had severe behavioral problems (mostly caused by getting easily frustrated and overwhelmed) so I also had to create his behavior plans, social stories, visual prompts, etc. My whole life rotated around trying to help this little boy feel more at home in the world so he wouldn't have to throw chairs at everyone and stuff. At the same time, I was living with friends in a subsidized housing project. This girl I was living with was also 23, and had two kids, one of whom had been taken away by DCFS and the other who lived with his father, but she received housing subsidies as if she had both of her kids living with her. She only had to pay about ten dollars a month in rent. She made extra money by letting other people camp out on her couch and floor and charging them "rent." Because I was the only one who actually had a full time job and could be depended on to pay, I had the privilege of sleeping on the couch. For this I was supposed to pay $100 a month... except by about the third month, I had loaned the girl so much money that, according to her, I didn't owe her any rent at all for the rest of my life. Can you guess what she was doing with all of that money?
While I was living there, this one lady used to come around and hang out there. She had two little girls, ages 5 and 2, that she'd bring with her. Whenever the little kids were there, they were immediately pawned off on me, and I would be responsible for them for however long their mom stayed... the reason being that I was the only sober one there! I found out from some others that stayed there, though, that when I wasn't around, the mother of the children just left them with anyone at all, or even left them alone. I dreamed that at some point I would get my own apartment, and the girls could come live with me. I was pretty sure their mom would let them stay with me... it would get her off the hook from having to take care of them! I felt like a parent, or at least an older sister, to the little girls.
I got really close to these little girls because I was always with them. I even became kind of close to their mother...despite her pesky crack addiction, she was nice to me, and when she was sober she would invite me out with her and the girls to places like Six Flags or the carnival or the water park.
To make a really, really, really long story short, I managed to stay in the girls' lives for years, in whatever way they could. About a year after I met them, the girls were taken away by the state and put in foster care. I managed to track them down in the foster care system (something that is pretty hard to do, because they keep things super confidential most of the time) and was allowed to send them cards and small gifts to let them know I was still out there and hadn't forgotten about them. Two years after that, the girls moved in with their father, who got in touch with me and asked me if I wanted to see them! Unfortunately, instead of being a reliable parent, their dad turned out to be a raging alcoholic, and the girls started staying with me most weekends. (I still didn't have my own place but was staying with some old friends who had a son who was the same age as the older of the girls.) I hated dropping them off on Sunday nights. They would get really sad, even cry, and all week long they would call me to ask when I was going to get them again.
The friends I lived with, and I, started suspecting that the girls might have been sexually abused, but we never found out for sure. We tried to ask them, in ways that wouldn't be scary to them. We'd talk to them about how nobody should ever touch them in a way that made them feel yucky, and that if anyone... even a family member... ever did something they didn't like, they should tell us, or tell a teacher, or tell anyone else who would listen. We'd bring that up frequently. We had to try to walk a fine line between letting them know they could tell us if something was happening, and freaking them out if nothing was happening at all.
There was one time that I actually called the authorities on their dad myself. The girls were about 10 and 6 at this point. Their dad had started perseverating on the idea that my friend was going to encourage the 10-year-old to have sex with her own son, who was also 10. He talked about this constantly, even in front of the girls. The odd thing was that when the girls had first started spending weekends with us, the dad had made tons of jokes about the older girl having a crush on my friend's son, and he even bought her what he referred to as :"sexy lingerie" to wear when she stayed with us. But now he was frantic that his 10-year-old daughter was going to get pregnant by my friend's 10-year-old son, with my friend coaching them! Throughout the evening, he started calling the older girl on her cellphone and asking her about it. The girl seemed really nervous and told us that she thought her dad was drunk. When it was time for me to take them home, we walked into their apartment, and he was in some sort of passed-out state... his eyes were open, but he was not responding to us or anything. The girls begged me not to leave them there.
At the time I was working at a nursing home, and I had to work early the next morning. I was, at that point, living with my parents, and couldn't bring the girls there. I also didn't want to bring them back to my friends' house, because they had sort of hinted that we were wearing out our welcome there. So I took them to the Holiday Inn... the kind with the Holidome with the indoor pool and arcade and stuff... so they could play. While they were swimming and playing, I made a hotline call to DCFS and explained the situation.
The DCFS people arranged for someone to come to my work the next day and talk with the girls. I had to bring them to work with me. (Luckily, I had an understanding boss who loved kids!) I thought a kind and warm social worker would come to talk to the girls, but instead a gruff man, wearing a uniform that looked like the kind the police wear, complete with a badge, showed up. (I am not sure this is how DCFS investigators dress in all areas... we unfortunately lived in Cook County, near Chicago, and the investigators probably had to look like cops in order to somewhat lower the risk of getting shot at when they went to talk to kids in the inner city projects.)
The cop-looking dude talked to the girls. And I sat there and watched them lie their asses off. They denied everything. No, their dad didn't drink. No, they were never scared to be left alone at home, Yes, they felt like their dad was a very involved parent. Yes, they felt that their home was clean, safe and pleasant.
Afterwards the officer or whoever he was took me aside and told me that he could tell the girls were lying, trying to protect their dad. He said that he would file a report, and someone would go investigate the situation further. In the meantime, I was supposed to bring them back to their dad by the end of the night.
I was crestfallen. It was yet again a situation where, if I had my own apartment, I could have let the girls stay with me. I was pretty sure their dad would agree to it. He had already once offered to allow my friends to adopt the girls... but that was before he started freaking out that my one friend, the wife in the couple, was teaching the children to have sex. (That still turns my stomach when I talk about it!) I felt like I had failed the girls, because years of making bad choices when I was young had resulted in my still staying in temporarily places, and never being able to provide the girls with a home.
Not long after that, my two friends split up. The wife met a different man, and he moved in with her. When the girls' dad heard that, he went berserko, and wouldn't let the girls visit with us any more.
(I later found out that, about a year earlier, he had called my friend one night while I was at school and her husband was out of town. When he found out that my friend was home alone with just her son, he asked if he could bring the girls over for a playdate. He drove them over himself, which was the first time he'd ever actually driven them over... usually my friend or I picked them up and drove them home. During the visit, the girls' dad started flirting with my friend, more and more aggressively, to the point where she asked him to leave and was threatening to call a male neighbor to come over and help remove him from the house. It was right about then that their dad started talking about my friend wanting to teach the children to have sex, so... you do the math. I think he was schizophrenic or something, myself.)

Years went by. I moved from place to place, from job to job, but the whole time, I was going to school part time. After working at the special education school, I had decided to become a special education teacher. It took me forever and ever and ever to get my teaching degree, because most of the time I was working full time and going to school part time. Finally, in 2012, I graduated! But, unfortunately, I was unable to find a teaching job. After all that. So I had to take an assistant job, which doesn't pay as much, and I had to stay with my parents for another year.
Meanwhile, the world was quickly passing me up. I was now 30 years old. 30 was a scary number to me, considering that I was now not really any further along in life than I had been at age 18. I was sleeping in my childhood bedroom, following my mother's rules, and working at the same kind of job I had worked at 10 years earlier.
So we have these books in my basement... including some old Dr. Seuss books and Little Golden Books that belonged to my brother and I when we were little. One day last year, my mom was on a cleaning rampage, and she started hollering at my dad and I to clean out the book case, and throw all of the books in the garbage or the garage sale pile. (Most of the books on that shelf belong to my dad, except for the little kid books.) I argued that my mom had once told me we could keep the children's books so that I could give them to my own children someday.
My mom retorted, "Well, that never came to fruitation, did it?"
It never came to fruitation. It never happened. I never became a mama... not foster, or adoptive, or otherwise. I had come close with the girls, but they had slipped through my grasp and I had been unable to take care for them. In the end, I had more or less abandoned them just as their mother had so many years earlier.
And then, a call from my younger brother. Two years younger than me, he has been living a carefree hippie-like lifestyle on the west coast since he was 18 years old. Currently, he is living with his girlfriend. And that day when he called my parents, it was to tell them that his girlfriend was pregnant!
And I was (and am) so happy to find out that I'm going to be an auntie. I was also glad for my parents, who were finally going to be grandparents... and for my grandparents, who had lived long enough to become great-grandparents.
But at the same time, I was (and am) heartbroken... because as my family rallies around my brother, sends him gifts for the baby, and gives him parenting advice, I can't help thinking, "I wanted that to be me!"
I love kids. I work with kids. While living with my friends, I helped them raise their kids. I know I could be a good mama. And I know that I would love every moment of it. Well, not every moment... but, in a way, yes, I would love every moment. But what if I never get that chance?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bullies Are Brats

Were you ever bullied as a kid?
Maybe you didn't even think of it as being bullied, at the time. Maybe you just thought you happened to be unpopular, or, as they called me at my elementary school, a "nerd." (Not because I was particularly smart or anything. It was actually the kids in the gifted class who taunted me the most, because they thought I wasn't as smart as them!) 
Until I was in about fourth grade, I fit in pretty well with the other kids. I didn't always like to do the same things that they did. In second and third grade, when the other girls were already starting to care about fashion, makeup, and boys, I still preferred to play on the jungle gym or in the sand box. I liked reading Little House On The Prairie books, and pretending to be a pioneer girl. I didn't enjoy watching music videos (which I found incredibly boring) and I didn't want to get my ears pierced. I was a little louder and more intense than some of the other kids, yet also more nervous and more easily overwhelmed than many of them. But although I usually just had a few close friends, there was nobody in my school who teased me, or even disliked me as far as I knew. 
But around fourth grade is when kids started noticing the difference. The district moved the gifted program to my school from another school, so there were a lot of new kids, as opposed to the kids who had known me for years and just sort of accepted me. The new kids made fun of me mercilessly. They's gather around me and make mean comments about my crazily curly hair, my clothes, whatever they could. 
By junior high, the teasing grew worse. The boys weren't so bad. They did do things like try to throw wads of paper into my curly hair (because seriously, it was so frizzy, stuff would get stuck in it!!!) But they never seemed to be trying to hurt me, as much as they were trying to make each other laugh. Maybe because I was used to my brother and cousin teasing me, I didn't mind as much.
The girls, on the other hand, were vicious. I can't even remember a lot of what they did... I probably just blocked it out of my head when I got older. I do remember them spraying me with deodorant in the locker room once, kicking my ankles during a soccer game in gym class, and calling me "Hairy" because of, yeah, my stupid curly hair. I also remember a lot of nights of crying because I didn't want to go to school, and a lot of mornings of stomachaches. I remember I actually used to pray for those mean girls to die, so that I could go to school in peace.
Fast forward twenty years. Now, schools hang "Bully Free Zone" signs on the classroom doors, teachers attend workshops on preventing bullying, and there are even laws in place that supposedly protect kids from bullies. So, luckily, no kid has to go through what I went through. Right?
I wish. 
In February of this year, a boy named Noah, about to turn 13 years old, posted an InstaGram message saying that he planned to commit suicide on his birthday. His mother intercepted the message, and immediately took her son to the hospital, where he started being treated for depression. He'd been getting bullied for the past year. His mother had known Noah was very unhappy, but hadn't realized how serious it was getting. She sent out a plea to her friends on Facebook, asking them to send encouraging cards and letters to Noah. Word spread all over the Internet, and thousands of people across the world wrote to Noah, offering support and sharing their own stories of hardship. Noah's story also caught the attention of the media, and helped publicize the problem of bullying. Yet, when Noah went back to school after spring break, just a little over a month later, the same kids were bullying him even more. This time, they were encouraged by their parents, who claimed that their children had been wrongly accused of being bullies. (These boys were actually encouraged to bully Noah because supposedly they weren't bullies. Make any sense???)
A mother I know through Tori Joy's Smiles told me a similar story. Her 10-year-old son, who is in special education, was getting bullied at school. He even got stabbed with a pencil, leaving a hole in the back of his sweatshirt. Each day after school, he cried, because he didn't want to go back. When his mother spoke to the principal about the problem, she was given the cold shoulder. This mother was under financial strain and couldn't afford to put him in a private school. Then one day, she came outside to find her son in a tree in the yard, with a rope around his neck, ready to hang himself. 
Noah and the 10-year-old boy were lucky enough to be stopped from ending their own lives... but they continue to live with being bullied every day. But there are others who "succeeded" in committing suicide... just recently, 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons ended her life after she was not only raped by some peers, but also experienced the rapists taking pictures of the assault and spreading the pictures all over the girl's school. Instead of getting sympathy and offers of help, Rehtaeh was teased and bullied until she literally couldn't take it any more.  In April, 13-year-old Kitty McGuire, a sixth grader from Maine, killed herself after being bullied for a long time. (Her school responded to reporters and investigators by saying Kitty was not bullied... she was merely "teased" a lot.) 
Bullying doesn't even have to happen in person, to be harmful. About a year ago, 15-year-old Grace McComas, committed suicide after classmates posted cruel things about her on social media sites. (One person posted, ""i hatehatehatehatehatehatehate you. Next time my name rolls off your tongue, choke on it.. and DIE") In fact, sometimes cyberbullying can feel even worse to a kid, because they feel like the rumors and nasty words about them are being spread not only around the school, but around the whole world. They can feel like their whole life is ruined. 

Some people point out that kids have been bullying each other since the beginning of time, and that it is just part of growing up. Some even hint that the kids who are bullied somehow deserve it, for being "weak," and that these kids need to learn to stand up for themselves. 
But these aren't the stereotypical bullies of yesteryear who would corner kids after school and demand their lunch money. These are kids who will target one or two peers, and get the rest of the kids at the school to taunt them, ostracize them, humiliate them, and do whatever they can think of in order to break their victim's spirit. Often the victims of bullying are kids who are a little different... kids who have ADHD, learning disabilities, or autism, for instance. I find it baffling that we, as adults, can't stop this from happening. How can we allow kids to torment each other, as if they are in the jungle of Lord Of The Flies instead of their local public school? Why is it so hard to get kids to just act like decent human beings? 

After learning that Noah, the young boy who received thousands of letters of support, is back in the hospital after being tormented at school once again, I made two videos aimed at kids. They aren't professional videos at all.. in fact I think they are a little goofy in some ways... but I hope the message is pretty clear. If you like these videos, I hope you will pass them on through Facebook or whatever else, so that maybe they'll get the attention of some kids who can make a difference.  Nobody Talk To Hannah by Nicki Mann on GoAnimate

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You Look Like A Parrot by Nicki Mann on GoAnimate

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Things That Drive Me Even More Crazier Than Usual

I am a weird person because, on one hand, there aren't many things that bother me. But on the other hand, certain little things drive me completely insane. I know you want to find out about these things, so that you can avoid them if you and I ever meet each other in person. So here are a few of the things I hate. A lot of these are sensory related, especially sounds... my ears have always been sensitive, and certain sounds just make me want to jam knitting needles into my ears!

1. When people talk with their mouth full. My mom does this all the time. Even on the phone. She'll dial someone up purposely, while her mouth is full, and start a conversation with a mouth full of food. I mean, an entire mouthful of food. I have enough trouble following conversations without the other person sounding like, "Mrrfff-mrrfuh-fuh-fuh-mrf!" First swallow your food, and then talk!

2. When people walk around the house, and/or try to hold conversations, while brushing their teeth. Another thing my mom does. This is just as gross as talking with your mouthful, still hard to understand, and totally just unsanitary. To me, teeth brushing belongs in the bathroom, in front of the sink, with the door closed!

3. People in commercials or on TV who pronounce their A's like O's and their O's like AW's. See, I am from Chicago. So when I say "Dad" it sounds a little like "Day-ahd," and when I say "Mom" it sounds like "Mahm." There is this commercial on right now where a girl is eating chicken nuggets and she says, "Dad, you're not getting my nuggets," but she says it like, "Dahd" or "Dehd." There are also a lot of commercials where kids call their mom "Mawm." For some reason this really just bothers me on commercials. If people in real life talk like that, I find it sort of amusing. Except when I can't understand. For instant at work one day this gym teacher was telling me that she needed to go "Move the mots," and she had to repeat it like three times because I thought she was saying "move the mops," but she was really saying, "Move the mats," but she pronounced it "Mehts," which to me sounded like "Mahts," except there is no such thing as a "maht," so my brain translated it to "Mops." Ya follow me? Great.

4. When people pronounce their P's really juicy, like they have a lot of spit on their lips while they're saying it. "I'm going to a PPPParty tonight!"

5. The sound of typing really bothers me... but only when other people are typing. When I am typing (like right now) I kinda like the sound. But when other people are typing, it bothers my ears. I have no idea why. When I was in college, I'd have to bring headphones to the computer lab, and put on some sort of background white noise player online, to block out the sound of one hundred people typing.

6. The smell of really strong perfume. Just a little bit of perfume smells lovely. But if you douse yourself with it, it smells really strong and gives me a headache, and if I try to breath through my mouth instead it feels like I can taste it. For this reason I never wear perfume. I prefer lotion. I don't know why, but most lotion smells don't bother me... maybe it is the alcohol in the perfume that gives it such an offensive odor to me!

7. People whispering. I have a weird relationship with this one. Sometimes I kinda like the sound of people whispering. Like do you remember being a little kid and being at a slumber party, and sometimes you wake up and hear a couple of other kids whispering really quietly, and it kind of tickles your ears? Or maybe that's me. Sometimes it can be calming and pleasant. But for some reason I hate, say, when you're in college and you get to a class early and there are a few other people there and they are sitting next to each other and whispering to each other. WHY ARE YOU WHISPERING? Can't you just talk quietly without whispering? Do you have something to hide? Are you exchanging social security numbers? Speak up!

8. When you ask someone a question and they can't focus on what you're saying so you have to stand there for about two hours while they go, "I'm... um... going to... uh... I'm going to... uh... look that up... uh... later." SPIT IT OUT!

9. When you're watching TV with someone and they keep flapping the channel around. So every time you start getting into a show, they change to another show. And then you get interested in the next show, and SWITCH! And eventually they may make it back to one of the shows you were trying to watch, but now you have no idea what is happening because you missed half of it. And finally they land on some really lame show like House Hunters and you have to watch that for the next five hours because it seems to just perpetually be on.

10. When you're trying to watch TV and then someone keeps interrupting you. For instance, you're in a room watching TV and someone yells to you from eight rooms away, "Did you have dinner?" "Uh, yeah, I did." "Whaaaaat?" "YEAH I DID!" "What did you have?" "Pizza!" "Whaaaaaaat?" "PIZZA!!!!!" "How was it?" "AUUUGHHHH leave me alone!"

After reading many of my pet peeves, you may think I must be a really difficult person to be around. But that is not true. Unfortunately for me, I don't usually speak up when something is bothering me. If you are chewing loudly with your mouth open while trying to hold a conversation, I will be sitting there politely, not saying anything. But then I might excuse myself to go leave the room so I can go roll around on the floor until my skin stops crawling!

Most of my pet peeves are sensory things, as you can see. I always wonder if other people are bothered by these things? What types of things drive you nuts?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Smoothie Queen

I have never been a great cook.
Well, that is just an assumption, actually. A talent for cooking runs in my family.  I might be an awesome cook. My Nona and my Mom make delicious meals on a regular basis. But I just don't venture into the kitchen much. I am the kind of person that probably shouldn't be allowed to touch the stove without supervision. I am the kind of person who, when I walk into the kitchen, the smoke alarm automatically goes off.
I don't even have to be cooking food, for horrid things to happen in the kitchen! I once wrecked the oven and nearly burned the house down while trying to make rainbow crayons, shaped like letters of the alphabet, as Christmas gifts for the preschool class I worked with at the time. (I was going to give each kid a crayon in the shape of the first letter of their name. Totally a cool idea. Except that melted wax does not keep its form inside a cookie cutter, but overflows and drips out of the pan, and... yeah.)
I once wreaked havoc while trying to make Whipped Snow for the children I lived with to play with! You know the recipe... it involves whipping Ivory Snow soap flakes into soft, lovely clouds of foam for children to   play with or use as puffy paint. Except we didn't have an electric mixer. We did have a blender. How would I know that the top of the blender would blow off and create an Ivory Snow storm?
Oh yeah, and then there is the time we ran out of those little square tablet things you put in the dishwasher. Wouldn't it just make sense that regular liquid dish detergent would work just as well? (Warning: It doesn't.) We went outside to play, and when I came back into the house, the dish washer was drooling suds and the entire kitchen floor was flooded with bubbles! At least the kids had a lot of fun playing in it, and afterwards the kitchen floor was so clean we could have eaten off it.
This is not my dishwasher, but its kinda what the scene looked like. Except imagine way more suds.
But I am not being fair to myself. I have tried cooking before, with some good results. When I used to live with children (long story don't ask) I made them nutritious dinners. Tunafish and rice, with a side of peas and a blueberry muffin, was one successful meal that the kids actually ate without whining.
And if I had my own place, I'd probably be a lot more open to cooking. But right now, while I look for an actual "grownup" job, I'm staying with my parents. My mom is a neat freak with a Straight A personality. She doesn't like messes or mistakes. (I am pretty sure God gave me to her as a daughter specifically to drive her insane.) So I don't cook much. Macaroni and cheese is a pretty safe project. So are hard boiled eggs. Beyond that, I stick to cold cereal and sandwiches.
Recently, though, I discovered smoothies. And I've been addicted to making and drinking them for breakfast every day! We have one of those little hand blenders, so the mess is actually easy to clean up... I just put all the peelings and drippings into a bowl as I make it, stick the end of the blender under the faucet when I finish, and wipe off the counter. And I'm free to experiment to my heart's content!
I usually use coconut milk as a base. I don't know why, except once at Red Robin I saw a smoothie on the menu with coconut milk in it, and somehow in my mind it got stuck that coconut milk belongs in smoothies.
I've made banana smoothies ... great with a dash of cinnamon.
I've made strawberry banana smoothies.
I've made strawberry-blueberry smoothies.
I've made strawberry-blueberry-banana smoothies.
I've made orange smoothies. (That time I used orange juice as a base.)
I discovered that adding a spoonful of silken tofu to the recipe makes it thicker and creamier. And that adding a handful of oatmeal (raw or cooked) to the mixture helps keep you full until lunch time. And that, if you buy Brown Cow Creamy Top yogurt, you shouldn't eat all the cream off the top on the first day, because then the yogurt gets really watery. (You're supposed to stir the cream in. The cream is delicious on its own though, and kinda hard to resist!)
Today I tried a smoothie that used TruMoo (chocolate milk) as a base, with bananas, tofu and oatmeal. I think I might have thrown something else in there too, but I can't remember what. It was yum,yum, yum, delicioso! 
What kind of smoothie should I have tomorrow? Any ideas? (And it better not involve kale!)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Private Medical Information

So I’ve been trying (and mostly failing) to develop somewhat of a social life. This is a little hard to do. At the school where I am temporarily working, people are friendly enough, but it is mostly a lot of older teachers who have known each other for years… they’re friendly but distant. Most of them have husbands and school-aged kids and their social lives revolve around their families. 
Besides work, where else do adults go to meet new friends? I don’t really enjoy hanging out in bars, and even if I did, I am too paranoid to drive home even with one drink in my system. The bar would literally have to be in walking distance from my house or I wouldn’t go. People suggest taking classes and joining book groups and stuff like that… but I don’t like all the same books everyone else likes, and I don’t have enough money to be taking random classes! 
I tried joining a popular website (I shall not name it here) where people can start, and join, groups that meet in real life. For instance you could start a group for business people who want to meet for happy hour after work, or for mothers who want to do playdates and “Mommy Nights,” or an exercise group, or whatnot. I decided to try joining a few social groups that claim that the members get to go out and try new things all the time. 
When you join a group, you have to fill out a profile about yourself. Sometimes you can instantly join, but for other groups you have to wait for your membership to be approved by the organizer. I signed up for a “singles group” that said it was not for dating or hooking up or anything, just for people who are single to go out and have fun. In my profile, I mentioned that I have ADHD “with a side of Aspergers.” 
This was a group that requires you to get approved by the organizer So the next day, the organizer emails me saying something along the lines of, “Since we are not a group for dating, it is inappropriate for you to share your personal medical information on your profile.” If I wanted to stay in the group, the organizer said, I would have to delete that part. 
Which brings me to several issues. 
First, I don’t really consider ADHD and Aspergers to be “medical conditions.” I was not using my profile to complain about my complicated kidney stone or to display pictures of my toe fungus. (I don’t have either of those, by the way… and if I did I probably wouldn’t tell you here, since that is my private medical information! LOL!) 
Second, if it is my information, doesn’t that give me the right to decide how private I want to keep it? Personally, I am not ashamed or embarrassed of having ADHD or Aspergers. (Except for when my brother used to call me Ass-Burger, which was kind of embarrassing.) These disabilities, conditions, disorders or whatever you want to call them, are a big part of my life. They effect almost every aspect of my life. To me, I would rather come right out and say, “Look, if I’m gonna hang out with you guys, I want you to know this about me, and I’m fine with it, and feel free to ask me about it,” than to have people constantly wondering why I am always fidgeting, why I am so quiet, why I don’t make much eye contact, why I don’t want to get out there and dance with the group at a bar, etc. But the bottom line is, it is my information. I own it. And I should be allowed to put it out there if I want to.
Third, getting back to the medical thing. The email said, “Since this isn’t a dating group, it isn’t appropriate to share personal medical information.” So, if it was a dating group, it would be appropriate? .Would members of a dating group be expected to reveal their health conditions in their profiles? “I have Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease runs in my family. Also I have frequent indigestion. And there is a suspicious looking mole on the back of my neck.” By not mentioning these things to potential dates, would that be like trying to sell them a lemon? 
So anyways. I did, at first, change my profile the way the organizer of the group asked me to. But a week or so later, I just withdrew myself from the group. I think sometimes the organizers of these things have control issues, and I am not really looking for someone to manage my behavior and decisions… I’m looking for friends!
Instead I joined a group for people with Anxiety and Depression. (Which I also have. Both. I am a plethora of mental health issues!) At least they will probably be more accepting of however I feel like describing myself. We’ll see how it goes. They mostly just meet for coffee and do a support group type thing, and I am really not much for sitting around talking about coping skills and junk like that. I’d rather be out doing something fun. Like bowling, or painting pottery, or hiking, or going to the beach, or ROLLER COASTERS! But at least this is a start.
If you have any comments, questions, advice, complaints, etc, about this post, I’d love to hear them… just email me, leave a comment on this post, or leave a message at the sound of the beep. BEEP!

Friday, April 5, 2013

I Am An Alien!

Hi, it's me, Angel! I am an alien. I have a Tumblr blog, Diaryofanalien.tumblr com, and I may still cross post there, but I started missing Blogger and all you can do with backgrounds and widgets and junk. I sure love widgets!
 I don't feel like explaining my whole life story and everything... maybe later... but I want to start this blog on the right note, so I will start by answering 49 questions about me. These questions are patched together from several different memes available online in various places. Please read them all. There will be a quiz at the end. Just kidding. Or am I?

1 When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I still like my haircut! I should always keep it this way, short and with bangs. I used to wear it long, parted on the side, with no bangs, but I started looking a little like Captain Cave Man!
2. How much cash do you have on you?
About $20 I think?
3. Favorite planet?
Pluto. Even though they say it is not a planet. When I was a kid I thought I was from there.
4. What are you wearing?
Paisley shirt, purple hoody sweatshirt with fleece on the inside, and corduroys. Pretty standard outfit for me!
5 Do you label yourself?
Sure, I label myself. I would rather label myself or choose my labels, than accept the negative labels other people try to give me!
6 Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?
I’m not wearing shoes. My socks are from K-Mart. My Nona bought them for me. xxxxxx”
7. at’s a word that you say a lot?
I work with children with special needs, and today I realized that I frequently say, “That’s a good idea!” Really a whole lot.
8.Last furry thing you touched?
One of my dogs, Trixie, who is sitting next to me. Before that, my other dog, tiny little Lily!
9. University – good times or bad?
Neutral. I was unable to go to college right after high school… I started going part time when I was 22, using my Americorps voucher. I worked during the day and went to community college at night. Later I transferred to a four-year-college and went full time for a few years, but by then I was like a decade older than all of the other students. So its not like I had any wild times in college. But I was glad for the chance to go, and proud of finally getting a Bachelor’s Degree!
10. What is your current desktop picture?
My dogs and my cat (Sammy-Joe, who died in February of cancer at the old age of 13, God rest his kitty soul) lying on the couch together. Sammy and Lily didn’t get along, so it was a rare picture to find them all on the same piece of furniture!
11.. The last song you listened to?
I was in my dad’s car coming home from going out to dinner. Some weird oldies song was on. He buys the strangest CDs. I don’t know what song it was but the lyrics went, “Spank my ass!” over and over again!
12.. Are you jealous of anyone?
I’m jealous of teachers who got their teaching degree and then immediately found a job, without having to languish in an aide job like I have been doing, or subbing like my cousin had to do after he got his Masters degree! Teaching jobs are scarce… budget cuts and all that!
13. Is anyone jealous of you?
How should I know?
14. Do you consider yourself kind?
I try to be. People tell me I am. In fact at my job they say I’m not mean enough to the kids.
15. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
I have one on my calf!
16. Are you touchy-feely?
It depends. I don’t really like people touching me at all… even hugging family members feels weird to me… but when I am around little kids I always find myself being touchy-feely. Uh… don’t take that the wrong way. I mean, like, patting their backs or the tops of their heads, holding their hands, accepting their hugs, not minding if they sit on me. Little kids hugging me barely ever bothers me. Also I love to hug and pet animals!
17. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
I run an organization called Tori Joy’s Smiles, and we send cheerful mail to kids who are going through rough situations… so I Actually write letters on paper and mail them all the time! Sometimes sixty a week!
18. Did you ever smoke a cigarette? 
Yes, I tried a couple times as a teenager, but it grossed me out.
19. Have you ever owned a gun?
No and probably never will!

20. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic?
My favorite is limeade with cherry!
21. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
Yes, and I generally try to avoid them. It’s the whole “not liking to be touched” thing. If I am sick I tend to go to Urgent Care, where they are much less hands on… they just look at your throat and hand you a prescription!
22. What do you think of hot dogs?
I am working towards being a vegetarian and so I don’t really eat hot dogs as of late… but when I do I like them Chicago style. No ketchup!

23. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
As of late I’ve been drinking a lot of smoothies. I also often drink chocolate milk in the morning when I take my medicine.

24. What’s your favorite hobby?
Blogging, I guess… and Tori Joy’s Smiles.
25. Do you work with people who idolize you?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH no. Not currently. They think I am not strict enough with the kids. L

26. Do you have A.D.H.D.?
Yes I do! A very severe case of it, in fact!\

27. What is one trait that you dislike about yourself?
Being too emotional. I get sad  way too easily. I am also not good at hiding my emotions. If I am upset, I will most likely be bawling. That seems to annoy people.

28. Name 3 thoughts at this moment.
I am so full.
Why is my small dog poking me in the leg with her nose over and over again?
What is on TV tonight? Probably nothing.

29. Current worry?
That I won’t be able to find a job in the fall! 
3o. How did you ring in New Years?
I stayed home with my dogs and cat (who was still living at the time.) I watched movies, ate junk food, and protected my pets from the fireworks! I used to feel bad that I wasn’t going to a party or something, but then I realized… a super crowded party would be too loud and overwhelming for me, whereas a small, quiet gathering would be boring. So might as well be at home with my best buds!

31. Where would you like to go?
Right now, to California to see my brother and sister-in-law and my soon-to-be-born nephew!

32. Favorite colors?
Red and purple.

36. Last thing that made you laugh?
Me and my dad were in the restaurant, and we were talking about the pain of making accidental, awkward eye contact with other people in the restaurant. The tables were so close together, you could reach out and touch your fellow diners, so it was hard not to exchange glances with them! Okay, its not all that funny… but it was making us laugh!

37. Worst injury you ever had?
I jumped into a car once. Literally jumped… I was racing my friend’s kids through the parking lot to their car. For some reason the padding thing was gone from the inside of the door, I jumped up and bashed my head on it, and cut my head open! I had to get staples! It was weird but really not as painful as it sounds.

39. Do you love where you live?
No it is too cold, and not enough nature.

 40. Favorite candy?
41. Favorite sports team?
White Sox.

42. Song you want played at your funeral?
“Ripple” by the Grateful Dead.

43. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning?
44. Do you nap a lot?
When I can! I am a night person but my work requires me to get up early, so my sleep schedule is kind of messed up.. . I stay up too late, get extremely tired after work take a nap, become wide awake, and stay up too late again! 
45. What was the last thing you cooked?
I made egg salad the other day. 
46. Can you sing?
Kinda! I probably wouldn’t be in a choir or anything, but I sing to myself when I’m happy, and I sing to kids a lot! 
47. Can you dance?
Not at all. I have a sense of rhythm, but I’m just so physically awkward, I have no idea what I’m doing when I try to dance!
48. Can you swim?
Not so well. I do like to snorkel a little. But I still get nervous when I can’t touch the ground. Being in cold water tends to make me all asthma-y!
49. Have you ever had your foot run over by an SUV while hitchhiking with your brother in California?
Yes, I made up this question. I doubt you’d find it in any meme. But the answer is, yes. Yes I did. And it did not hurt. 

That's enough for now! I hope you liked my first blog post. Peace, I'm out.