Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One Thousand Disappointments Part 4

It's strange how tenaciously people hold on to obviously wrong perspectives. Or, not strange, but frustrating with a little dash of eye roll. I am mostly used to being treated the way I am, but I'm not exactly happy about it.

When I go out by myself, I get treated like a child (a lot of people think I'm about ten years younger than I am). I get people repeating things slowly when I question things that they do, especially if they are doing or saying something particularly asinine. The minute they find out how old I am or that I am not a complete idiot, I get the 'you're a smart aleck, know-it-all, always trying to upstage and prove how smart you are' kind of thing. I call this the "I'm better than you no matter what" perspective.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Fattest of the Fattest

We're number one! We're number one!

For 2008, Mississippi is boasting the title of fattest state of the USA. I'd like to thank all of the fast food restaurants, video games, and television programs, because without you, we could not have done it. But, let's not think that those things were the cause - give it up everyone for lazy, misguided Mississippians. Thank you.

Thank you for not exercising and not eating healthy or just plain eating too much. Thank you for being an example for your children to follow so that this will become a cycle of obesity that will be nigh impossible to break. Thank you, doctors, for being so ignorant that not only are you a part of the problem by not properly educating your patients, but also by being obese yourselves.

Monday, September 15, 2008

One Thousand Disappointments Part 3

I'm not much of a traveler (I've been out of the South three times) so when I experience things in other places I'm invariably impressed. And then saddened.

A simple thing like going to the movies puts me through this. I remember when I visited my sister-in-law in Florida with my husband. We went to this little local theater. I wasn't impressed by the movie selection; they were old releases. I was impressed by the atmosphere. They didn't have rows of seats - there were chairs grouped around little tables. They were all ragtag and dingy, but I didn't care. And there was food, real food. Wings. Pizza. Hamburgers. You know, food. It cost three dollars a movie for students; we all got in with old ID cards from our college days.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The JPS System and My Son...Again

The meeting that I was supposed to have had with my son's IEP (Individualized Education Program) team yesterday was rescheduled for this morning. At 8:30 a.m. (The principal kept asking me if I was all right I was so out of it.) We were trying to solidify the options for my son at school.

Basically, behaviorists will come to the school and observe my child in the class for up to 6 weeks, less if they see that his behavior needs to be controlled right away. The coordinator said that the behavior specialists were knowledgeable of autism so that's a plus. They have also decided that he shouldn't be pulled aside in the regular classroom to work on individual activities; he should stay in the regular classroom full time and be instructed one-on-one after class or after school. I'm not sure which. I guess I will need to ask when I pick my son up after school. I'm not sure what they will do about my son's behavior in the meantime, but I hope this all works.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One Thousand Disappointments Part 2

I like my hair. It's so me. I wear it up; I wear it... less up and all with minimal fuss. I wash it. I let it dry. I oil it. And, if I feeling particularly bouncy, I comb it. Otherwise, I run my fingers through it until I don't catch any tangles.

Perfect hair for a lazy, lazy woman. Except, I have to wear it different on interviews so that it conforms to the standard of "neat." And my family, excluding my husband, hates it. Even people who seem to like it treat my hair as some sort of experiment or trend.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The JPS System and My Son

Today, I met with the principal and one of my son's therapists at his school. The subject: my son's behavior. We were discussing his options in the Jackson Public School system. Those options were not pretty.

My son is autistic. He was diagnosed when he was five, just last year. How was he diagnosed? Why so late? You see, I had to research the information on the symptoms of autism, decide that my son fit those symptoms, and ask his speech therapist to refer him to someone who could test him specifically for autism. There was a six month to one year wait list. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

One Thousand Disappointments Part 1

Mississippi. The state of "last place in everything good" and "first place in everything bad." Or so I seem to always hear or read. This place where I was born is home to soft, lonely fields and grungy projects. The place that has legacies in southern rituals and bitter prejudices.

Clearly, I have a love/hate relationship for my birthplace. And, apparently, the relationship runs both ways. I feel beaten, trodden upon, abandoned, and abused. Why do you treat me so cold? But, of course, there is also the love. The pride in being a southerner and in knowing intimately the culture of the south. In knowing just about everyone on my street, in my neighborhood, and in my community. The warmth of giving a smile and a wave to every person that you see, whether you know that person or not.

Monday, September 8, 2008

California or Bust

Right now, we're leaning more towards "bust." How will a family with two small children move to an incredibly expensive city (live in Mississippi for a while and everywhere and everything will seem "incredibly expensive") with no money, with only a glimmer of a job, and with no place to stay (as of yet)? Magic, of course.

We save up money. However, circumstances happen. The car breaks down. Gas prices rise. One of us loses a job.