Sunday, April 30, 2017

In West Columbus, and other sad places

The original Lunatic Asylum of Ohio was constructed in Columbus in 1835 on Columbus’ near east side. It burned down in 1868 and the rebuild on the west side of the city was completed in 1877. It was a tremendous building, said to be the largest structure under one roof until the Pentagon was built. If you walked around it, the distance was over a mile.

In the late 1980’s the building was abandoned and finally demolished in the 1990’s. Some of the architectural details, such as railings and windows, were salvaged and installed in the Hilltop Library - where I worked for a few years.

It was a hospital where the criminally insane were sent, where the indigent ended up, and where some poor families dropped off their children and relatives.

There are a couple of cemeteries on the site, They are hidden on the west side of Columbus. The one I finally went to is fairly easy to find. It is north of the BMV, just east of a center where violent juveniles are housed and next to the Columbus Police Department’s Heliport.

It’s a very peaceful, green space but looking at the stones is a very sad experience.

Who were these people? How many of them died alone? How many of them died not knowing they had family out there, or no family left?

How many were truly mentally ill and not given the help they deserved. How many were simply odd or misunderstood?

How many were autistic?

Here is a stone that simply labels a mass grave of human beings, Specimens. This is not the only one.

Here are row after row of tiny stones that reduced people’s names to numbers.

There were so many of these types of institutions all over the country, including one a couple of miles from where I grew up. Most of them had cemeteries just like this one. The numbers of people who were not treated like human beings, not given any assistance or dignity had to be staggering. Yet here we are today, facing an uncountable number of people with autism and other disabilities and we are cutting services instead of creating them. As a society we are not prepared for this storm. I’m not sure if this culture wants to take care of the most vulnerable.

Hope you all had a woke Autism Awareness Month. May is ALS, Arthritis, Cystic Fibrosis, Huntington’s Disease, Lupus, Mental Health, Stroke, Vision and more awareness month. That’s a lot to be aware of. Will no one will be aware of autism for another year?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Planning well in middle age

It was a year ago when my Brother called to tell me an account in my name had been set up by a brokerage firm. So my ignoring those emails from it was not the best idea. In about 24 hours the life and future of my family was altered. I've tried to do wise things, have made a few mistakes but have done some good moves also. Here I am learning about cost basis, mutual funds and strategies. As long as it all does not tank. Which in this day and age is not outside the realm of possibility.

This freedom allows us to do things like see Brian Wilson. To have a couple of cocktails in the new bar in the LeVeque Tower before the show. I got the practical car, and it has worked out very well almost a year in. It allows us to travel where we want when we have the time. And we're trying to help others too.

Later this week, another dream will arrive. Something I've wanted for about 40 years. I researched, went to local shops and finally pulled the trigger on eBay. I'm terrified, but it's cheaper and healthier than cocaine.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Angry so I wrote a poem

Revisionism, erasure, implied book burnings, not a fan. My Son hates ceiling fans, he has to be aware if they are on at all times. We have two in the house. There is one in our bedroom that he looks at every morning just to make sure it is not moving. The other is in the back room, where I'm typing this on a warm spring day in Columbus. When he was in the kitchen earlier he stared at the back room to make sure the ceiling fan was not moving closer to him. It's not.

There used to be one in his bedroom, but that was taken out shortly after he was born and replaced with a dimmer until that he broke as soon as he was able to move the switch.

None of this has much to do with the poem I wrote today, but it's still Autism Awareness and he's still singing at 6AM after not getting to sleep past midnight. Happy Easter.

Burn me out of your brain and see what replaces me

Erase me, revise me out of history
Ignore me, drop me, block me
Invite me nowhere, trip me in the aisle
You want to roast me
Tell me more about roasting
Avoid me, befoul me
You want to roast me
Put me in your oven
I step on pressure cookers daily
You want to roast me
You want to roast all the dudes my age
When we become shoveled ashes for you to dance upon
who will you find to roast next?
Tell me more
I will show you ovens demand fuel
Who will you roast when you reach my age
Fires are thirsty they need asses after
my old ass gets roasted
Prepare for your search, your hunt for purity
I have the means for you to forget me
It’s cheaper than you think

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Trying to figure how Sean Spicer envisions a Holocaust Center

It's still Autism Awareness Month, or Autism Awareness Day, ten days later.

We hear most about the Autism Moms and how fierce their advocacy is, which is great and to be commended.

We occasionally hear the same about Autism Dads. Once in awhile.

We never, ever hear about the Autism Step-parent.

The person who knowingly gets into a situation of absolute crazy.

The person who raises a child that is not his/her own as their own, even with the uncertainty, challenges and evil looks from the child.

The person who cleans up teenage shit, stays up into the wee hours and more.

The person who also tolerates the energetic singing at all hours day and night.

I have one of these amazing people in my life and I cannot thank her enough.

I also know two other guys in this situation. Tim and Terry, cheers!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Reaccomodating social media

I’m not even sure if I’m aging out properly anymore. I’m not part of anyone’s demographic, unless something financial is needed from me. Unless there is a form of media I’m supposed to commit a ridiculous amount of time to, and remember, I do not have much time left. And for most of what I see, in preview clicks, it was better the first time around. And I saw that already, before you did.

Well before you did.

Is autism awareness day over? Is it still autism awareness month? How do I know what day it is without seeing the virtue signals?

When I got home today I noticed a dead squirrel on the front lawn. Having a new lawn service start tomorrow so I had to take care of it because I did not want to spring it on the new guy. I’m really, really squeamish about dead mammals and handling them but I got shovel and a beer box and managed to get the carcass in the box without puking. While carrying it to the garbage I nearly had a panic attack. Took awhile for breathing to return to normal.

As I write this, there is a large amount of hatred going the way of an airline who dragged a passenger off of a flight for not volunteering to give up his seat for one of their employees. Seems the airline overbooked and the employees had to work in the destination city the next day. I’’m trying to figure out what the CEO of the airline meant when he said, “reaccomodate the passengers.” Is dragging them out of the plane, not under their own power a form of reaccomodation? It’s perfectly peachy company policy to do this to a paying customer because the airline overbooked its flight, again?

Business, government, the dude troll on twitter, just do things now days because they can. With no recourse. No one to answer to but their own sorry selves, and we keep buying the tickets and reelecting them. I’m fed up with the lot of it all right now.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Akai Hana did not pop out at me

Been ill most of the week, a lingering malaise of various internal organs. Each day I last about a half hour further before a quick fade out that leads into not being able to fall asleep.

At least the taxes are done. After all the financial changes of the past year we had them done professionally and what a relief. Total piece of mind, even if we owed.

It's still autism awareness month, right? Am I still aware? I'll find out more tomorrow afternoon.

It seems Brew Dog have sold a chunk of themselves to a capital firm. Looks like that's how they're going to fund the hotel on the Canal Winchester property. Things are getting weird now that the punk founders are multi-millionaires.

All of this could be a moot point if this administration starts blowing up more than runways.

April is national poetry month too. The less said about my writing, the better.

Instead of continuing, it might be time to get into that strawberry parfait.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A day I'd rather talk about the Instant Pot

Blue's a nice color. It's a color in the Mets uniform and they start the season tomorrow. My Son is halfway between 14 and 15 and has never been to a baseball game. He shows no interest in it when it's on TV, but he loves the episode of Dora the Explorer when she plays baseball. Maybe Dora can catch for the Mets, she may stay healthier than d'Arnauld? He watches that episode of Dora on his iPad all the time. I know because he turns the volume up full blast and gets angry when I turn it down. He does not understand the concept if you do not turn it down I will take it from you because I did that and he did not care. Putting duct tape over the speaker was a temporary solution, but his therapist at school was not able to hear the apps she's using so it had to come off.

When I was his age the Mets manager was a guy named Joe Torre and they lost 96 games. Loss was a big part of my childhood. I do not know how my Son feels about his childhood. His main reply when I ask him a question is the word, "Sad."

This inspires little confidence in my parenting.

The Mets winningest pitcher in 1978 was Nino Espinosa. He won 11 and lost 15. He was traded to the Phillies the next season for Richie Hebner (who did squat for the Mets) and Jose Moreno (who did even less). Espinosa had his best year with the Phillies when he won 14 games. He lost effectiveness, was not on the post season roster when the Phillies won the World Series in 1980 and was out of the league a year later. He died of a heart attack on Christmas Eve, 1987. He was 34 years old.

I do get asked about how my Son is doing frequently. He is probably healthy, not capable of letting us know if he is sick, has pain in his mouth or gut. He can now let himself out of the car and knows how to open the hatch of my Volkswagen. Those two tasks were easy to teach. There's an app he uses to let people know his name and other life details that he uses. He usually urinates in the toilet but still defecates in his diaper over 90 percent of the time. When he does poop in the toilet the size of the movement is about the size of a burrito. The colon and sphincter are amazing things.

April is autism awareness month, I've known this for more than a decade. Seen the hashtags, social media posts, have lost months of sleep because of a child who stays up late, then wakes up singing three hours later, and refuses to go back to sleep for another couple of hours.

Sleep deprivation due to having an autistic child is a real thing. Does that get a hashtag? An awareness color or ribbon? A special brand of coffee?

Tomorrow, for the Mets, is opening day. A time of hope. A time to perhaps take care of unfinished business and win the World Series for the first time in 31 years.

Tomorrow is another day in the life of my Son. He will get out of bed around 6AM to eat his breakfast and I will take him to his Mother's about half an hour later so she can bring him to school. We do not know how he will sleep tonight. I will pick him up from school a bit after three and bring him home with me. When he gets home he will take off his coat and shoes then will go upstairs to use the toilet. I will not have to prompt him to do these things. He knows. Then he will take a yogurt (Yoplait, French Vanilla, no other flavor he can read the label) out of the fridge and eat. I will find some peas, fruit, a Hormel Compleats dinner and blend them all (not together) to prep for his dinner and school lunch. He has never eaten a cookie, hamburger, hot dog or Coca Cola. Textures in food repulse him.

Maybe he will defecate in the toilet, but more often he will not. Maybe he will fall asleep at a decent hour and make it last through the night. Maybe he'll have a future in which he can be slightly independent. Maybe there will be funding for services for adults with autism as there will be so many of them in the decades to come. Maybe we can get some foresight do deal with a major social problem that is unstoppable.

Maybe the Mets will win tomorrow.