Friday, September 23, 2011

Parenthood Asperger's Storyline - Must See

It's past my bedtime, but.

The 2nd episode of Parenthood on NBC. I just watched it. BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN ON TV.

And without a doubt the most amazing coverage of Asperger's I have ever seen.

I had tears in my eyes by the end. I have never had tears in my eyes from watching something on TV.

Every storyline was so vivid, so well played out, and so emotional. I got caught up in everyone's stories.

But Max. Oh, Max. When they showed him trying to make friends .... I can't even describe... ptsd here because it brings up so many painful memories of me in the exact same situation.
That scene had so much realism, you just can't even imagine. Then, later on, when they showed him sitting on a table at reccess, reading a book while everyone else played boisterously around him, and he just tuned them out? My entire elementary school experience, condensed in one scene. More flip flops of my heart. I spent every reccess reading a book on the cold, hard concrete by the door in elementary school. That scene could NOT have been any more real.
Fortunately these were only like 30 second scenes so I didn't have time to get too depressed.

But, at the very end,when they show him sitting alone again.And his younger cousin Jabar comes up to him with two or three of his friends,and sit with him. They start peppering him with questions - questions about things he might actually know about. He looks at them for a second, silent. Not saying anything. You're worried for a second he might mess this up, might not respond to them at all. But them he says "Hi, I'm Max Braverman," just as he was taught. And this time, they respond well. And then Max launches into a dialogue about the video game they were asking him about - finally at ease, communicating in his own way.

And then the clencher. Jabar,the younger cousin, says to his friends, "See, I told you, he knows everything! He's like a genius!"

And then my heart swelled up inside of me, and tears came to my eyes. If only. If only everyone with Asperger's could be surrounded by people who sees what they CAN do, and not what they can't. If only they could be surrounded by people who aren't put off by their awkward social skills, but like them for who they are.

I eventually found those people,but it took me a hell of a lot longer than Max, at age 8 or 9 - it took me until the latter half of high school.

And I just think, put together, those were the most moving scenes I have ever seen on TV.
In those three scenes, which probably weren't more than say 4 minutes altogether, they perfectly encapsulated first what Asperger's is, and second, how to interact with someone who has it. What more could you ask for?

If you have not seen it - you must watch it.

Click here to watch it.

The storyline with Adam and Crosby was nothing short of inspiring, and the story line with Julia was gripping - the rejection of the coffee girl was nothing short of a knife in the heart - but it was the storyline with Max that really got me.

I LOVE this show.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

WPOR Concert at the Beach

The beautiful OOB Pavillion

Tonight I went to the WPOR Concert in the Beach or whatever they're calling it now concert. It was at the Old Orchard Beach Pavillion, which is the best place ever for seeing concerts. All of the comfort of the layout of an indoor theater, outside!

Man, after seeing the Simon an Garfunkel tribute there, which was so quiet you could literally hear a pin drop, it was kind of a little bit of culture shock! S&G was half full, this was packed to the brim. SG no one sang along, you'd sing over the band - this one you couldn't hear yourself over the band, lol. People were so happy, yelling an screaming, clapping an just generally having a goo time.

Lots of WPOR staff around, several police around which makes you wonder what they were expecting, a few concessions. As I had expected, the last couple rows of seats had plenty of empty seats, which is where I wanted to sit anyway. There was not a bad seat in the house.

First guy boring, mostly, except for a rendition of the Beatles' Get Back (Beatles at a country concert? I wasn't expecting that), and a cover version of Rascal Flatts' What Hurts the Most. It might have been unremarkable, except that he had the audience sing every other verse, and I LOVE when they do that. It makes you feel so connected to everyone around you.

2nd act, some American idol guy, felt more like a religious revival meeting than a concert, lol. Nah, it wasn't that bad but this was definitely a guy who put God in a LOT of his songs...and everything else. As introduction to one of his songs, he asked "How many people were raised going to church every week?" or something like it. I am sure that would have gone over REAL well in the South, but I have to admit I was tickled to death when hardly anyone yelled back to say yes. This is Maine, after all. We have standards. =) No offense to religious people, I just don't like it to invade my music any more than it has to.

He was boring, an I was glad when he was over.

Talked to a trio of women in their 70s or 80s who were behind me during intermission. Would have been bored to death waiting otherwise, so I was lucky! One of them said she liked the guy's singing, but why did he have to dress like that? Couldn't he get a nice shirt? lol.

Jason Michael Caroll put on a great show. Took me a few songs to get into it, but then I got pretty much swept away, or as swept away as seems possible these days. I love the feeling, though, of closing your eyes an feeling the emotions of the song sweep through you, pulsate through you, so that nothing else exists in the world but that song.

d I did get that feeling on a few, most notably the first song I knew, "Numbers," so that made me happy. He did a good job alternating between honky tonk party songs that I hate and more pop, catchy or slow songs that I love. So I didn't really have a chance to get bored. He spent a lot of time off the stage in the front row signing the back of people's shirts.... and I tell you, he didnt even miss a beat when he was doing this! I found that rather amazing.

He was high energy, a gifte
d performer, and great at interacting with the crowd. Even if he did make fun of our "lobstah" ... haha. I found myself genuinely laughing at some of the stuff he said or did, which is not something I'm accustomed to doing. He sang Where I Come From, an Allyssa Lies 2 songs later, so that was good.

Jason Michael Caroll (in green)

dn't remember the other song I knew by him till he started singing it - Living Our Love Song. I was like, duh. Great song. Only bad part was it was the last song, quite unexpectedly too. People fleed so fast after that I was left in my seat stunned like, what happened? lol.

Only song he
didnt do was Hurry Home. As I was sitting there trying to reconcile with that fact, someone came up to me and asked if I wanted a meet and greet pass. Stunned even further by this, I thanked the girl profusely and stumbled off to the given area, having no idea what I was doing. I waited with a very nice 13 year old girl who I shared my pass with for about half an hour. Asked JMM why he didnt do Hurry Home, he responded in the most pronounced Southern drawl I have ever heard, "I'm sorry, daaaaarling, I wanted to, we just didn't have time for that one." Nice guy. Said a few other things, left. Nice, but weird, end.

Not a ba
d way to spend a couple hours,though, that's for sure!! So nice to be able to experience a real concert like that in a venue I was actually comfortable in.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Political Activism with Purpose

Sept 1

Stream of consciousness writing on first day trying to get signatures for the petition to get gay marriage on the state of Maine ballot. Very exciting an meaningful for me, not because I'm gay but I'm a member of other minorities an I sympathize with this issue very much.

As a person with AS, my opportunities for socializing are limited. Being a rather social person at times, though, I welcome the opportunity to interact with other people in ways that feel safe to me. This is a very structured situation with a definite script, so it makes it far more easy than, say, small talk or friendship with any one of these people would have been. I probably talked to more women my age than all the years since college combined today. Usually I go out of my way to avoid them, today I made a beeline for them, they were the only ones who I had a chance of getting to sign, lol. But they were all friendly, so. Having a clipboard does gives you a certain sense of authority and comfort.

Met R at 2, he got someone to sign on his first try, I had 5 or 6 refusals before he showed up, lol. He's a very outgoing person so it was very fun to do this with him (get signatures to put gay marriage on ballot). Monument Sq. we got a few ppl, tommys park by exchange we got the most. Commercial st, all tourists. Biggest lesson in demographics, really only the young ppl were worth asking for the most part, altho R was better than I at getting some older ppl to sign. Most of the older ppl just didnt want to be bothered with a petition, no matter what it was for. Wasn't a single young person (who stopped) an then refused. we were pretty good at figuring out who to ask so our acceptance rate so to speak was pretty high but sometimes took some time to spot that next person who seemed worth asking. (Of course, we did ask older ppl too, they just usually said no).

Interesting moments... when R tried to ask the guy in a lobster costume/mascot on commercial st to sign, I was like "you cant ask him!" then the lobster guy took off his head to tell us he'd already signed, lol.

The guy playing Blackbird by the Beatles on guitar on exchange - love that song.

The woman leaning against the wall on exchange who we asked, and then I realize she was having a hard time writing. thought it was just cus it was an awkward position to write at first, then realized it was something more. her whole body was moving and shaking an she was struggling to write anything at all. I didnt say anything, just held the clipboard down for her, figure maybe its cerebral palsy. then she told us "I have Parkinsons" so that made sense.

It took her a very long time to do it but she managed to sign, an I was impressed by her conviction, courage and dignity. Not to mention persistance! The writing wasnt very ledgible but just ledgible enough, she was worried. "Will it count?" she asked several times. I assured her it would.

Most people were very friendly, an almost every single person who signed thanked me/us for doing this an wished us good luck very sincerely. Ran into one other person also collecting signatures, one person who worked for Equality Maine currently, an one person who used to.

There was a lot of people who had already signed, which is good, and also a lot of people who said they'd love to sign but weren't registered to vote.

Oh, the middle aged guys who always hang out at the hot dog stand by Exchange - 2 of them signed, to our surprise, but it might have been because I knew one of them and he said to them he'd already signed. Still. It was good.

Only 3 ppl out of like 40 responded negatively. They were all after R left, so that might have had something to do with it, lol. It was all fine though.

10 different towns, 10 from Portland, the rest from others. 13 women, 7 men. Going back again next week as long as weather is good! Prob. Wed for farmers mkt.

One thing's for sure, it sure made me love my city. Portland is so beautiful. Been a while since I walked all the way from the ferry terminal up to the Eastland.