Sunday, October 23, 2005

NOT Like Riding a Bike

There's plenty of things you can go back to after years away - particularly stuff that's bad for you like smoking, and poetry slams - but school definitely isn't one of them. Another weekend, another cram session, made that much more stressful by a week laid up with something flu-like and all day yesterday taken by Isaac's 5th Birthday party.

The party was worth the delay, though, as Isaac had a blast with his first birthday/costume party, and even India got in the on the fun.

What? I used to own the real thing! :-P

Now, back to the unrelenting dungeons of higher - as in, "What was I smoking?" - education...

Friday, October 21, 2005

Like a bad penny...

Me and poetry, together again for the first time in ages!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 @ 7pm
Barnes & Noble Bookstore
3105 East Main Street
Mohegan Lake, NY 10547
Helping Zork bring poetry to Westchester. Cover: FREE!

This is right near where I graduated High School, so I'm paranoid I'll bump into someone I once knocked on the door of during my two-year stint as a Jehovah's Witness! How times have changed...

Monday, October 17, 2005

MEMO: Co-Worker, Two Cubicles Over


I'm sick and tired of hearing you constantly reference your Greek heritage like a leper explaining his lesions.

On every single phone call.

Don't blame Greek culture for your inability to communicate with people in a respectful, civil manner. It's not a Greek thing, it's a YOU'RE A SOCIALLY MALADJUSTED IDIOT WITH EXTREME SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES thing!!!

Stop it now!

And I don't want to hear any more about your terminally ill "roommate" you played lovelorn caretaker for when his family turned their backs on him for "being a loser." I'm really starting to think he stepped in front of that train to get away from you, not his illness!

Why you feel the need to tell this story several times a day to every person you're on the phone with, I'll never understand.

And it was almost TWO YEARS AGO!






Sunday, October 16, 2005

Holy Cow!

Just finished polishing off the first draft of my first official paper of the semester, for my Schooling in America class. Like 5 minutes ago, at 1:45am, when the last of 9 pages came out of the printer. Because I tend to edit as I go along, and do most of my research as I'm writing (thank god for Google!), it's really more like a second or third draft. We'll see what I think about it in the morning (well, later this morning) when I read it through with fresher eyes to see if it all makes sense, but I have to say I'm feeling a nice burst of energy right this minute that's not just from the two cups of coffee I had a couple of hours ago to keep me awake.

If this one is as close to finished as I think it is, and I can polish off my other paper - a presumably easier artist's interview with an artist I've yet to identify! - I'm thinking I'll be all right this semester after all and that going back to school wasn't a presumptuous mistake on my part.

Because in all seriousness, I was having my doubts this morning. I mean, yesterday morning. :-/

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Rare 2005 Political Moment

In the 2004 Presidential election, Bush wasn't the only winner. Apathy struck a critical blow, too, in the non-action of the 40% of those eligible to vote who chose not to. Pretty much broke my spirit, even with accepting that not voting can be considered a vote in and of itself, as opposed to the more cynical "silence = consent."

Anyway, I received an email this morning from the Working Families Party, asking members to support Fernando Ferrer's bumbling Mayoral run the old-fashioned way...with cash. Of course, I wasn't terribly pleased...

--- "Dan Cantor, WFP" wrote:
This time, we urge you to directly back the WFP-endorsed candidate for Mayor, Fernando Ferrer. He needs and deserves your support.

Dan, et al,

While Fernando Ferrer may NEED my support, I hardly think he DESERVES it, especially not simply because he's running against a solid incumbent with deep pockets.

I supported Ferrer in 2001, when he seemed to actually stand for something concrete, but this time around, he's pushed me to the sidelines as he's become little more than a figurehead for the business-as-usual Democrats. Frankly, I am disappointed in WFP's endorsement which, because it didn't have the 2/3rds support necessary to award him the party's ballot line, comes off as seeming rather wishy-washy. Better to have simply stayed out of the race this time around.

If the election were held today, Mayor Bloomberg would receive my vote without hesitation. If Ferrer wants to change that, he needs to stop complaining about Bloomberg's bank account and focusing on non-issues like his "snub" of Harlem, and instead take a good look in the mirror and start talking clearly about what HE stands for, not against.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
Bronx, NY
I now return to not giving a fuck.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

"Excuse me, but, we are learning something here."

I've often thought of my life as being similar to a roller coaster, not just as a reference to its severe ups and downs and twists and turns, but also to the voluntary aspect of it. We get on them on purpose to experience the rush, and I've often been similarly accused of doing things for the thrill, for something to write about.

These days, the roller coaster metaphor doesn't quite work, as the present ups and downs can't be considered a voluntary thing. Not even the overloaded extracurricular schedule, which is as much a coping mechanism as anything else. When I get stressed, I don't generally break down, but instead tend to take on even more. It's like when I was in the Army, at the peak of my physical conditioning and running everyday, the more tired I'd get, the harder I'd push myself to get across the finish line. Didn't matter if it was a 2-mile run, or 5-miles, or a 25-mile march. As a result, I'd often pull a muscle or twist an ankle for pushing too hard past my limits. But I always crossed the finish line.

So here I am now with a voluntarily overflowing plate heaped high with a hectic job (which I hate more and more with each passing day), increased responsibilities over at Buzzscope, and negotiating 12 college credits in my "free time." That'd be a lot for a single person, but it's borderline insane for a married person with two kids. Unless, of course, he's pushing himself beyond his limits to spread the stress out...

"Excuse me, but, we are learning something here." is from a comment the wonderful Christina Springer left over on Salomé's blog in response to a post about India's most recent [involuntary] ride on the Autism roller coaster. She has good days and bad days, and where even the good days can be tough sometimes, the bad days are heartbreaking.

But, as Christina noted, every one of those days we're learning something. Whether it's India learning to communicate better; or Salomé and I having to dig a little deeper to translate her needs on those days she can't do it herself; or making sure she always knows we're fighting for her and believe in her; or ensuring we're not shortchanging Isaac who in so many ways is a little rock we both lean on, even if he doesn't realize it -- every single day is a learning experience.

But it's a tiring one, too. And some days the small victories pale in comparison to the larger battle we're facing, and it can be overwhelming. This morning, Salomé mentioned a woman on a message board she's on that's been talking about giving up her autistic child[ren?] for adoption to someone better equipped to handle the situation. How she's found herself sitting on the couch staring blankly ahead for hours as her kids go unfed, and can't snap out of it.

And the thought of that struck me as one of the most tragic things I'd ever heard.

There is no feeling I can imagine worse than a sense of helplessness when it comes to your children. A feeling so deep-rooted and all-encompassing that giving them up not only seems reasonable, but is quite possibly the right thing to do.

I never want to come anywhere near that feeling.

Thankfully, our little family is strong. In some ways, I'm starting to think our time in Virginia was as bad as it was to prepare us for this. Virginia bent us, almost to the breaking point, but we held on and survived it. Whereas Virginia preyed on our weaknesses, though, autism is attacking our biggest strength - our love for our kids. Because of that, I know we'll survive it, too, no matter how stressful it gets, no matter what else we might have to sacrifice.

"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant." --Horace

or, as Christina Springer put it: "Excuse me, but, we are learning something here."

Saturday, October 1, 2005

I'm the G*ddamn Editor!

Yes, it's official.

As of today, I've taken over as the Senior Comics Editor for Buzzscope.

"Who the hell are you anyway, giving out orders like this?"
"Who the hell do you think I am? I'm the goddamn Batman!"
Check out my table-setting column here.