You Were Packing Your Car

Today I ran an early morning errand in downtown Tacoma and was contemplating the $5,000 damages our wood floors sustained during the Inauguration Day Flooding. More specifically, I was forcing myself to look at the bright side of things and contemplating what sort of wood color was going to replace the old and what sort of tile to put into the kitchen, which would've eventually led to fantastic imaginings of me redoing all the kitchen cupboards myself in a majestic show of Homeowner Ability (I'm almost to level 5!).

I heard the man first, talking about rough times in the economy and sighed to myself in agreement, then saw him. Older, balding and nicely dressed but wearing a bitter, tired face and packing a box stuffed with plaques, papers, a stapler and a small sepia globe into the back seat of his car. He was talking to someone who'd walked down with him, then wondered aloud how he'd thought everything wouldn't fit into his car.

And that was the saddest part--he'd imagined taking his entire life down the elevator and jamming it into his car and instead ended up looking at two tiny boxes, stuffed to the gills but not nearly enough evidence of the job he'd lost. The life.

What a terrible thing to be doing this early on a freezing Monday morning and I immediately felt guilty for stressing out about my floors when I can actually still afford to get them replaced. My floors won't fit in my car and for that, I'm glad.


Shayan's Law or: How'd You Like To Pay Out Of Pocket For All Your Doctors?

You want to know something that's really awesome? When I take Bug to his doctor visits regarding his Asperger's (high functioning autism), I only have to pay around $200 a visit. I'm lucky, because his autism is high functioning and the free programs via his school system plus work I'm able to do from home are enough to get him along every day and help him succeed.

There are families out there with children who have autism far more severe than Bug, who pay thousands a month for their treatment. Because Washington State does NOT require any insurance coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder treatment. Which means all costs--the expensive doctors: the main doctor, the speech therapist, the behavioral therapist, play therapy and even medication, comes straight out of parent's already-tight pockets (Thanks economy!).

People have been forced to move out of their homes to be able to afford treatment for their children, which is absolutely monstrous. Treatment these kids thrive on, treatments that help them adjust and succeed in every day life are seen as 'optional', I've met doctors who give LESS of a damn about what they do because they think they won't get paid and some parents aren't able to get their kids the aid they need at all because of the cost.

Some very excellent and hard-working people have put together Shayan's Law, and passing it will mean insurance companies must cover ASD treatment in our state.
This cause is a very near and dear one to my heart, as it directly affects not just my own family, but tons of other wonderful people across the state. If you guys could take ten minutes today to show your support for us, yourselves and other people you know, that'd be wonderful. I don't really do this kind of thing often, but it's extremely important this law gets passed and what better platform to turn to than you guys?

Thanks, all, we really appreciate it (and just to note, the phone script isn't mine).

Two Ways You Can Help

By Phone: Make nine brief calls to the Senate health care committee members' offices and read them the following script:
Hi. My name is _____________. I live in ______, and I want to ask you a favor. I have/know a (child/grandchild/godson with autism) or (am a teacher/ therapist of a child with autism), and I would like for you to vote yes!!! for Shayan's Law-Senate Bill 5203, when you hear it next Wed. Jan. 28th. Shayan's law provides medically necessary treatments for autism. Please vote 'yes' on this bill.

Karen Keiser, Chair: (360) 786-7664
Rosa Franklin, Vice Chair: (360) 786-7656
Randi Becker: (360) 786-7602
Cheryl Pflug: (360) 786-7608
Darlene Fairley: (360) 786-7662
Chris Marr: (360) 786-7610
Ed Murray: (360) 786-7628
Linda Evans Parlette: (360) 786-7622
Margarita Prentice: (360) 786-7616
If the Legislator or Legislative Aide asks for more information about the bill, refer him or her to Arzu Forough, Arzu@WashingtonAutismAdvocacy.org

In Person: Show your support by attending this important hearing, doors close at 7:45 a.m., Jan. 28th, in Hearing Room 4 at the J.A. Cherburg Building, State Capitol Campus - or, if you can't make it in person, ask someone to come in your place. Consider your friends, family, DOH employees, acquaintances who work on the capitol campus or neighbors who have asked "how can I help?" - here's a way they can: Ask them to spare an hour or two of their time to come and stand for your family.


Solutions At Hand Or: My Seven Things

I have a spectacular Day of the Flood post that I'm still working on, and have been groping for Non-Spoiler Posts to make in the inbetween time, and while this may not be comics or amusing Flooded House Stories, it's still extremely fascinating.

Because it's all about me.

Seriously though, I got tagged by this awesome guy and there's no earthly way I can deny him, so here we go!

Seven Things I Think You Don't Know

The rules are as follows:

  • Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know that they have been tagged.

1. I absolutely cannot sing a note. At all. Even my children are reluctant for lullabies from me--it's why they get five books each night. My son's asked me to stop more than once.

2. I coached my daughter to say 'Obama' before 'Mom'. And was successful. (Only one person knows this story, so it counts!)

3. I do mean things to my roommates to cheer myself up or make myself laugh. Like, watch them spend half an hour unsuccessfully searching for something that I know the location of. Maybe me being an ass isn't news, though.

4. Every night I check on the kids while they're sleeping, at the same time and in the same manner. If I don't, I actually can't get to sleep. (Healthy!!)

5. I have a very difficult time asking for help. I know how to change my car's oil, a flat tire, brake pads, flush the system, replace any and all fluids, identify the 'clunkity-clunkity' noise ONLY because I refuse to have to call someone from the side of the highway for help. I am also pretty handy around the house for the same reason. Unless it floods, then I panic and stab recliners with a big, sharp knife (more on this in my next post).

6. I was thrown out of the entire Seattle public school system in my freshman year of high school and had to go to private school for the remaining three years. There was illegal contraband (bottle of vodka) in my locker and I got caught skipping class about eight gajillion times. Also, I was a dick, so the principal made an example out of me and sent me off to terrorize the Baptists.

I still don't blame her.

7. I eat peanut butter with dark chocolate chips sprinkled in like it's crack. I actually had a jar of it, premixed, in my car for 'emergencies'. Like, oh, traffic. You may have seen me on 1-5, waving a spoon threateningly at the car in front of me. And no, I'm not always smart enough to remember to keep a bottle of water in the car.

Which reminds me, I need to go buy myself another jar and bag of chocolate chips.

There! Wasn't that informative, fun and made me a thousand times more awesome?

I am tagging:

Everyone who wants to do it.

Only because I: 8. Don't like to ask people to do things for me. Which may just fall into 5.

If you do, though, I'd totally love to read it--leave a comment and lemme know.


The Many Adventures of Girl Dog Watermelon

We got our kids a dog, since our very large yard was terribly lonely. Bug's very wisely named her Girl Dog Watermelon (but it's just Watermelon for short). Within the first week living with us she took out all the other puppy competition by biting the eyes off every stuffed dog we owned.

Clearly she was born to be a member of the family.

And also:

Did you know it's a terrible idea to lose your internet card?

It is. All kinds of very terrible things happen, like you disappear off the face of the map: no blogging, no Twitter, no email or newsfeeds or comic book information or anything. When you're cheap, it's even worse, because your entire house gets ripped apart (and subsequently rearranged) in the attempts to find the damned thing because shelling out the cash for a brand new one that you only need because you're a dolt is physically painful.

But, because it was driving me absolutely mad, I was missing everyone terribly and getting ten minutes of free internet from the library was proving to be an impossible task, roughly three months or so later I've finally broken down and bought a brand new one, which means as soon as the return policy runs out I'll find the runaway. Which is virtually impossible, dammit, since I've looked everywhere but beneath the floor boards, but it'll still happen.

So, hello internet! I got a lot of really nice emails (thank you so much) that I'll be replying to throughout the week and expect to get comments on a bunch of your older posts as I start working my way through. I hope everyone had an excellent holiday season, and now my new internet card is attached to a keyring finder beeper thing.

The technical name clearly escapes me at the moment.

So, tell me what's been going on! What have I missed, how were your holidays, what's new and fantastic that replaces out the old and terrible? All sorts of things, please save me from months of catching up.

And hello!