That's the kid-friendly phrase I've been overusing recently. To describe the fun-filled BlogHer10 SF Area Meetup that took place at my house this past Saturday. To communicate exactly what it's like to look at the Contributors page on The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism and realize how much ass we're kicking and good we're doing, and how much more excellence is in the pipeline. To see Can I Sit With You? featured in BlogHer's Back to School campaign. To imagine the fun I'll have with Leelo's Godmother Hayley and her other bridesmaids during this weekend's pre-wedding retreat in Santa Barbara (there will by a psychic, oh yes). To have Leelo out of school for five straight weeks but in such a good happy busy space that I've not scheduled any respite or therapy to fill what would normally be his school hours.
Upon realizing I'm leaving in nine days to moderate the BlogHer10 autism panel and read my My Baby Rides the Short Bus story at Bluestockings in Manhattan. Oh. My. Goodness.
Overwhelm, even good overwhelm, usually sends me running to the hills and away from the computer. Which means the kids and I spent most of today tromping around the Sebastopol area. Iz acclimated to the frame backpack she'll be wearing during her High Sierra backpacking camp as we wove our way through (and sometimes over) trees both upright and fallen in Armstrong Redwoods. Mali made friends with most of the passersby, and complimented the womens' shoes (her new social savvy engagement tactic). We took Leo's iPad with us on the trail, which looked kind of kooky, but we were then able to use First-Then Visual Schedule (oh my goodness, Good Karma Apps developers, PLEASE let me help you fine-tune the next version, your app could help every last iDevice-using kid like Leelo) to successfully reassure our boy that yes indeed, we would be eating lunch after our hike. He was especially reassured when we got to the "eat ice cream" icon and hit Screamin' Mimi's.
We then scooted to an all-family meeting at SF's Ferry Building (details why to come) for which it was imperative that our girls behave. As Mali and Iz have recently been possessed of a synergy most foul -- especially when spending the night at their Godfather M's during my and Seymour's 15th wedding anniversary Beach Blanket Babylon/Rose Pistola/Chinatown evening out -- I had no qualms about bribing them. Iz's carrot was Echo Mountain blue cheese from Cowgirl Creamery. Mali's was BabyMouse: DragonSlayer, because ever since Jennifer L. Holm read how much our family likes BabyMouse in my Want Good Comix 4 Grls Pls Thx roundup on BlogHer and so very kindly sent the girls an advance review copy of BabyMouse: Cupcake Tycoon, Mali has been obsessed with putting together a complete collection. It was a good, fun, worthwhile meeting even though it took place during Leelo's witching hour. Can't wait to tell you what it was all about!
And then we picked up Seymour from work and we drove home and all collapsed because Oh my goodness, we lead a rich, full, breakneck-pace life!
Before I collapse completely (which will happen after I finish my paid work shift plus edit and post tomorrow's Thinking Person's Guide to Autism post), I have to direct you to two more pieces of Goodness:
When Facts Backfire is from Joe Keohane at The Boston Globe, came to me via Seymour, and is critical reading for anyone who wonders why Tea Party members and hard-line antivaxxers can continue to be such unrepentant, ignorant dickheads even when confronted with evidence that shreds their arguments. Excerpt:
Most of us like to believe that our opinions have been formed over time by careful, rational consideration of facts and ideas, and that the decisions based on those opinions, therefore, have the ring of soundness and intelligence. In reality, we often base our opinions on our beliefs, which can have an uneasy relationship with facts. And rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept. They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions. Worst of all, they can lead us to uncritically accept bad information just because it reinforces our beliefs. This reinforcement makes us more confident we’re right, and even less likely to listen to any new information.
I also love Autism Talk TV Ep. 6 - Steve Silberman Pt. 1from WrongPlanet.net's YouTube Channel. Silberman wrote the oft-cited Wired autism article The Geek Syndrome. In the video, he talks about the genesis and long-term effects of his article, how he thinks some of the things he wrote about autism may not be accurate and why, and how he wanted to expand on the topic of every single paragraph in the article when he wrote it ten years ago -- and how he now just may do so. Worth your time.
What kind of goodness is happening in your life lately?