Thursday, July 31, 2008
I miss older adults. There was a real comfort in having grandparents, older aunts and uncles (my Dad married late in life and didn't have me until he was 40, so his brothers and sisters always seemed "old" to me.) I've just met a wonderful couple in town who are in their 80's. They've written a series of books, which I'll tell you about later. They fill a void for me. They are vibrant, intelligent, engaged, interesting and I haven't heard word one from them about aches, pains, fake body parts or doctors' advice.
Read this, I hope you'll feel good too:
From the NYT today: Stephanie Sandleben, a yoga instructor with tattoos on each shoulder, just finished Chapter 19 of Tina Brown’s biography of Princess Diana. Sara Nolan, a 28-year-old graduate student, is 30 pages into a Rumer Godden novel. Mark Kalinowsky, 48 and a real estate broker, has long since stopped reading; he just comes to chat.
These three disparate characters are part of a ragtag crew that cycles through the worn one-bedroom Murray Hill walk-up where Elizabeth Goodyear, who recently celebrated her 101st birthday, is confined, after two knee operations. A lifelong lover of books, Ms. Goodyear lost her sight about four years ago, but in its place has acquired something far more precious: a roster of readers who stop by regularly, bringing with them dogs, gifts from their international travels and offerings of dark chocolate, the elixir she has savored daily since she was 3.
Read the full story HERE.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
"Two MS patients, one English, one American: Which One was Driven to Cut up his Pills, Lost his Home, and Went Bankrupt?"
Please click HERE to read a HuffPo post by Harold Pollack on the state of healthcare in America versus the civilized world...
Most of us are one catastrophic diagnosis away from ruin. Autism has already taken the Staglianos out - our financial goose is cooked. You want to join us? I hope you never do.
Americans deserve BETTER.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The Surf Pal event has been postponed until tomorrow due to horrendous riptides off the coast of LI and elsewhere here in the NorthEast. (Three people are dead, three missing.) Shame - because we were really looking forward to the event.
The saddest part? No photos of me in the Cha Cha DeGregorio suit. But fear not! I am a creative woman. I was able to recreate how I would have looked at the event, taking into account my husband's comment that the suit made me look like a Tootsie Roll. (No, he will never live this down, I'm already ordering his tombstone to read "Mark Stagliano, who told his wife she looked like a Tootsie Roll in her swimsuit on July 25th 2008.") And the creep is right. We all have our "problem" areas in our figure. Mine is the two inches below my belly button and above never-you-mind. Those damn Steven's Bakery Whoopie Pies that I've taken to like a whale covets krill are taking their toll. I begged off them a month ago. I'm running. Hell, I've even taken two Jazzercise classes in an effort to look more like, hmmm, a Pixie Stick.
Anyway, here's a set of photos for you. Feel free to tell me just how ugly this suit really is. I'm giving it to Mia. My 13 year old. She'll wear it far better than I.
Here is the offending garment. Note Bella's look of pure disgust. "Mom, I mean really? What were you thinking?"
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Barbara Fischkin on Michael Savage
From my friend Barbara Fischkin, on Huffington Post. Barbara's husband Jim Mulvaney runs Surf Pal. Their son Dan is 20 year old, handsome as the day is long and has autism. Please pop over to HuffPo to read the full, moving post and to comment: HERE.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I bought two Tankinis. Not quite a one piece (which will ride up my butt on the beach) and not a bikini, which will ratchet up my paranoia meter to deadly proportions.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
No, not the cannibal kind of Savage. The talk radio version. Michael "Savage" Weiner, conservative radio blatherer. Hey, this is America. He has a right to say whatever he wants. Often times, the worst speech starts a conversation that can lead to change. And that's a good thing.
He was on Larry King last night. Dug himself an even deeper hole, when he compared autism to asthma and the "inner city kids whose parents use asthma to get more welfare money." Doesn't that just give you whiplash?Say WHAT? African American kids have an epidemic of asthma, and Savage claims it's a way to de-fraud welfare? It's kind of hard to fake wheezing and shortness of breath for more than a few seconds. Even for a Benjamin or two....
The strange thing is, Savage should be a friend to the autism community. He's knowledgable about the pharmaceutical industry's "pill'ing" (I made up that word) of America. He's against the government telling us what to do. He's into holistic medicine. One visit with my gorgeous girls and I think he'd see we are not frauds. Unfortunately, he has so bitterly bashed the gay community in the past , that I can't find a way to reach out to him. No way, no how.
I'm quoted in THIS ABC News piece on the controversy.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Are you going to Backspace next month? If you're a writer, serious about your career and able to get into New York City for a couple of days, you should consider going. It also helps if you don't have three autistic children at home.... I'm not sure I can get away for the event. DANG!
I love Backspace. I met my agent at the author/agent mini-conference in the Fall of 2006. My very first HuffPo post had just been published and I had a copy in my sweaty little hands to show all the agents. "Look! I'm published!" LOL! I got these really cool banners from the Backspace board. I couldn't resist using all of them. They're fine, aren't they?
We had a ball at Miss G's birthday party on Friday evening. You know your kids are getting older when the party starts at 5pm! Gianna has the most wonderful group of friends. These are all typical peers. Girls going into sixth grade. The pool is a great equalizer. If you can swim and splash and laugh, you're just one of the girls. What a great party. Miss G. was thrilled. I was even thrilled'er. Truly.
Autism Speaks' Mealy Mouthed Response to Michael Savage.
Sigh.... Short version since many of you aren't in the autism trenches: Talk Show host Michael Savage last week called children with autism, "idiots" and claimed autism is a fraud. Yup, all our kids are frauds. And Autism Speaks put a letter on their website where they say we should, "pity" Savage for his thoughts. Pity him? I think not. Anne Dachel wrote the piece below. She's our media editor at Age of Autism. I won't link you to the AS site. I'm not driving up their traffic.
Note: At 2:00pm this afternoon there will be a press conference at 111 Broadway, NYC, outside the offices of WOR 710, held by Autism United.
By Anne Dachel *
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage claimed that autism is "[a] fraud, a racket. ... I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.' " Click HERE.
I can't express my anger at these words. The outrage is shared by many groups like NAA and others who truly advocate for our kids ... except Autism Speaks. This is what they had to say about Savage's comments:
"One important goal of increasing awareness about autism is to foster a greater level of acceptance and understanding of the very real and significant challenges it poses to individuals with the disorder and their families. The good news is that we see more and more expressions of this compassion every day and everywhere, from classrooms and playgrounds to ballparks and supermarkets. Unfortunately, there are those who are apparently incapable of feeling compassion. They deserve our pity, not our scorn."
No Autism Speaks, you are wrong. Michael Savage doesn't deserve our pity. He's dangerous. The world has to learn what has happened to a generation of children. News stories tell about affected kids being kicked off planes, banned from churches, voted out of kindergarten classes, and asked to leave restaurants.
Where is the outrage over such inhumane treatment of the disabled?
In a few short years, all the children with autism will be adults dependent on the taxpayers for their support and care. The bill will be tremendous and many will be unwilling to pay it.
Will our kids be seen as burdens or as victims?
Autism Speaks, you do not speak for our children. If you really cared about about affected kids, you'd express the same outrage felt by parents struggling each day with their disabled sons and daughters.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.
1. Trademark. a brand of soft, bland cereal for infants.
2. (lowercase) trite, naive, or simplistic ideas or writings; intellectual pap.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
On his July 14 program, Cincinnati radio talk show host Mike McConnell (of AM powerhouse WLW) addressed the topic of autistic kids. Among other things, McConnell opines that parents with autistic children should immediately remove misbehaving children from restaurants so the remaining patrons can enjoy their meal. ("Misbehavior" apparently means anything from mild crying on up.)
As McConnell put it: "it boils down to one word: 'manners'."
Find the podcast for Mike McConnell's 7/14 broadcast HERE and listen to the end of hour 2 and throughout hour 3. About 10 minutes into hour 3, this clearly ignorant host begins to pontificate about how we should not have our kids mainstreamed into public schools. Also, many callers have disturbing insights. One even claims to have friends with an autistic child but chooses not to go out with them because the child’s behavior upsets him.
Every single day, there's a story somewhere about one of our kids being tossed out of a business, or a school, or a church. It's like being punk-slapped over and over and over again. Well, I think we need to start making it clear that we're not going away, and that we have rights too. And we have long memories. We won't forget those who have treated our children well, or those who have hurt them or turned them away.
Please tell this dolt how you feel about his comments. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McConnell's boss at WLW is Program Director Darryl Parks. Tell him what you think at email@example.com.
Finally, WLW is owned by Clear Channel. The head of Communications/Media Relations is Lisa Dollinger, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Lewis is a Cincinnati, OH editor and writer with three children,
one of whom is on the spectrum.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
My Angry Camel! Help an Autism Mom???
Monday, July 07, 2008
Perez Hilton has a terrific post about NAA HERE!
Please go over to his site and leave a comment thanking him for recognizing The National Autism Association! Thank you again, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey for putting autism in the national spotlight. (Someone get Dr. Jenkins from AAP, whose recent hissy fit against parents is backfiring mightily, a Bromo, won't you?)
Friday, July 04, 2008
I write fiction - no, really, I do. You just haven't SEEN any of it because.... Well, because writing fiction, a book that an agent really thinks he can sell, in a preposterously difficult market (women's fiction, debut) is about a million times more challenging than I realized, when I typed my first sentence back in Spring of 2005. The first draft took me three months. The version I am about to email to my agent is vvveeeerrrryyyy different. And far better. Amazing what a professional (that would be the agent) can do for a newbie who is greener than Kermit's behind.
My writing mentor (not that she'd know me from a hole in Stephanie Plum's spandex shorts) is Janet Evanovich. She's the author of the fourteen "Stephanie Plum" books, thirteen of which I have devoured, savored, re-read and looked forward to, for many years. Number fourteen is on order from Amazon.
If you haven't read the Plum books, start with, "One for the Money" and work your way up to "Fearless Fourteen."
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Caution prevails. At last. I think/hope pediatricians are starting to realize that vaccines are not infallable, purely beneficial gifts from God that can be dosed in any number to every child. They are serious, immune system-changing medicines, that can come with side effects, like any drug. Do they save lives? Indeed they do. Are they important? Yes. And yet.... Are our children more susceptible to all sorts of health problems today? Let's see, asthma, food allergies, neurological diagnoses.... Um, yes, I'd say American (Western?) kids are chronically sicker than ever. Is it the plethora of vaccines? Are drug companies pushing new vaccinations through the system too fast, without enough regulation and/or oversight? (Like so many other drugs.) Is the fact that the CDC is responsible for promoting vaccines and policing them a potential conflict of interest? Questions, questions, questions. And one more dead child. I'm scared shitless. You?
Just got this from Judicial Watch, who used FOIA (Freedom of Info Act) to learn about hidden Gardasil deaths and reactions. HERE. My stomach is sick. But my girls will NOT be. Not from Gardasil.
Click HERE to see the reports on FIFTEEN deaths from Gardasil in females age 11 to 26. Are you kidding me? Fifteen deaths since 2007? Did YOU hear about the 12 year old who died in April of 2008? No, but you heard about the killer tomatoes, right?????
This reports is from The National Vaccine Information Center, and pulls data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting system, which docs use to track vaccine injuries. Even a fainting spell or rash should be reported. These reports are like rapes - GROSSLY underrerported, as often docs do not relate the "event" to the vaccine, which may have been administered days, or weeks prior to the event.
FIFTEEN DEAD GIRLS AND WOMEN!!! This is serious shit. This isn't, "The Mercury Militia and Crazy Anti-Vaccine People" talking out of our arses. How about a dead 11 year old? For what? The hope of MAYBE not getting a tiny portion of the HPV (in five years when she has sex, that is IF the vaccine lasts that long?) that can lead to cervical cancer? When 95% of HPV resolves itself ON ITS OWN in a woman's body?
And get ready, parents of boys. They're gunning to give Gardasil to your son next, so he won't pass the virus onto his partners. A laudable cause - of course. No one wants their kid to get a venereal disease, certainly not one that can lead to cancer. That's a "duh", right?
Teach your kids to use condoms. Have I said that often enough? Or keep it zipped. That's an option too. Although it ain't much fun, and goes against raging hormonse.