Oh My Goodness

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?


  1. Good post until we got to the name calling.Just because you don't agree with someones politics doesn't mean they are uneducated, ignorant or stupid. The basic idea of the Tea Party is simply that they feel the people charged with the running of this country have no idea what they are doing. Calling them names does no good as does calling the anti-vaxxers names. You know, my income belongs to me and not the government.I know better what to do with my money and I don't need to be treated like a child by those that fly in private jets, ride in limos and dock their boats in states with lower tax rates.The government is supposed to work for us, they are our servants not vice-versa.Someone needs to remind them of that.And no I am not a Tea Partier, just your basic run fo the mill pissed off American.

  2. Hey Elise,

    I'm happy to disagree with someone's politics if they can converse intelligently -- e.g., you and I have very different perspectives, but that in no prevents me from engaging with or respecting you. A good example of the kind of grace we should aim for (which I'm still working on) is in George Bush I's Maureen Dowd quote at end of this blog post: Sexy is Smart, Dumb is Just Dangerous: http://i-say-tomato.blogspot.com/2010/07/smart-is-sexy-dumb-is-just-dangerous.html:

    "I recall seeing him in an interview wherein he was asked to name writers/commentators whom he enjoyed reading. Of course he listed several Republican/conservative stalwarts, but he also added, with a smile, 'Lightening may strike me, but I really enjoy Maureen Dowd. She’s an excellent writer.'”

    "Maureen Dowd, a featured New York Times columnist (and a hero of mine) was the bane of Bush 1.0’s existence. She dogged his steps at every turn, filling pages and pages with adroitly woven and beautifully written critical analyses.

    "What a wonder, that the former President not only read her work, but appreciated her skill and ability, even as she used them to criticise him."

    The point of the article, which is truly worth a full read, is to help understand how misinformed people whose viewpoints have been proven to be not contrary but in error (hence the "ignorant dickheads" statement) continue to not just retrench but retaliate when confronted with evidence disproving their viewpoints.

    Hard-line Tea Party members and Antivaxxers (which, note, does not include everyone in those groups any more than being Muslim makes one a member of Al Qaeda) have been horrifyingly, actively nasty. They deserve a much bigger dressing down than a two-word pejorative, but that's about all the word power I'm willing to waste on them, this paragraph excepted of course. :)

  3. You are definitley a pistol girl. That is why I love reading your column and your wit.:)

  4. hi! I just came across - and circulated instantly - your blog somewhere else re iPad. This is Dinah from the Posautive Youtube group (which I had to give up from too muchness), thrilled to have accidentally reconnected with your productive life and to find it so near to my heart. Here in the UK Autreach IT is trying to get an i-device personalisation and training service together, using already IT competent autistic people to get these to non-speaking adults living in supported living etc. Keep your inspirational descriptions flowing please! they will be most useful for our cause.

  5. Thanks Dinah! It's great to hear from you, especially after a break. Hope all is well.


Respectful disagreement encouraged.