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a hodgepodge of tidbits…

I stumbled across this cartoon called 8 Things You Were Probably Taught about Autism. I wish everyone would read it. I would add a couple things to it. Autistic people lack empathy–WRONG! Autistic people don’t have a sense of humor–WRONG!

*****

Been working on school prep for next school year. Got a book that I *thought* would work as a sort of base book for art. We never use just one book. I like to use several books for any given subject, but often appreciate having an overview book that gives me a sort of chronology for approaching the class. Well, this is NOT the book I want! If my arms weren’t suffering this current fibro flare, I might have thrown this book (Art: A New History by Paul Johnson) across the library. :/ I read the intro, and was made a bit wary by a few of the things he said, but decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and read the first chapter. Well, he lost me entirely (and led me to call him a few choice names) on the first page of that first chapter. He was talking about how body art and adornment was possibly the first form of art, and goes on to say:

Unfortunately, by its very nature, body art has disappeared. We do not know its salient characteristics or how it evolved. It is little help to study peoples who still practice it, as in Borneo, because these examples of Homo sapiens who have remained locked in the Stone Age self-evidently lack the dynamism which enabled primitive man, using his art-creating capacities, to break out of his predicament.

*angry bewildered sigh* So yeah, I still don’t have a good introductory art history book for us to use. Might anyone have any suggestions? Especially one that isn’t solely focused on Western art. I would be so very appreciative.

*****

For so long, mid-July has seemed soooooo far away. Ever since I learned months ago that Ana was coming to visit, I’ve been in this dual state of overwhelming happiness (and I do mean overwhelming, as in bursting out in happy tears and literally shaking with excitement at random moments) and denial (as in, “it’s just too good to actually be true”). The original plan was for Chris to come as well, but with everything going on his life, especially with his Dad, that end of things sort of fell through. But then, after his Dad’s death, his Mom did a little pushing and made Chris see how this trip would be so wonderful for him. I think it will be wonderful, for all of us. And with all the unbelievable shit that both Chris and Ana have been dealing with the last several weeks, they deserve exciting adventures. And we all, everyone in this whole world, deserve the love of friends. Thinking about the three of being together makes me tear up every single time (yep, like now). My denial, my stupid lack of faith in the idea that such enormous dreams really can come true, has departed. In less than a week now, Chris will be arriving. And one week from today, Rich, Gray, Chris, and I will be heading off on an adventure to the Big Apple. And that adventure that will culminate, in a week and a couple days from now, in meeting up with Ana at the Strand. After which we will all drive back here to spend a few days hanging out. Including some time with Eva. Possibly including a trip to Niagara Falls. There are times in life when I feel blessed beyond anything I could ever possibly deserve…this is one of those times.

And then, because I’m apparently really spoiled, right after Chris and Ana leave, Karen (my absolute best friend in high school) is coming to visit! In the most amazing coincidence, 5 years after we graduated from high school, we ended up living just 5 miles from one another, in the complete opposite corner of the state where we grew up. But after a few years of spending most of our time together (we even worked 2 different jobs together in those years), we moved when Rich went back to school. We saw each other a handful of times in the years following, but then as sadly happens, we drifted apart for a while. We’ve been in contact again over the last few years, but we haven’t seen each other in 20 years. 20 years! She’s never met Annie or Gray or Max. The last time we saw one another, her youngest was a wee infant, just weeks old. She was in my wedding, I was in hers. No one in all my life has ever made me laugh the way she does. And if ever I need a role model for getting through tough times, I need look no farther than Karen–strongest woman I’ve ever known, hands down.

*****

My reading has been slow this summer but ever so enjoyable! Well, I’m not sure if I’d call my reread of Frankenstein enjoyable. Ha! No, seriously, I actually enjoyed it ever so much more than the first time I read it. But aside from that, I’ve been reading the Gaither Sisters trilogy. I’m on the last book right now. This makes me sad, because I don’t think I could ever get enough of Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern. But I’m eager to read everything else I can get my hands on by Rita Williams-Garcia. I’ve also started the second Marti McAlister book (Slow Burn) by Eleanor Taylor Bland. And thus far am loving it as much as I loved the first. These books are mysteries, of the police procedural variety. (I don’t believe I’ve ever read another mystery series by woman of color, and would very much love any suggestions for other authors I might try.)  In some ways, I guess some might feel these early books in the series a little dated, as they were written in the early 1990s. You know, no cell phones. But I’ve been sort of enjoying that fact. Marti is such a wonderful character. And I love the focus on social issues that has shown through in these first two books. Sadly, Eleanor Taylor Bland died a few years ago. But I’m grateful that there’s about another dozen books left for me to read in the series.

*****

I suppose I should stop my blathering on now. I have much work to do…due to the yucky weather and yucky invisible illnesses, I haven’t been getting a lot of prep done for my impending weeks of heavenly bliss. I know that neither Chris nor Ana nor Karen will give a crap if my house is not clean and I choose to play our meals and whatnot by ear…but still you know that nagging, annoying voice of guilt…yeah.

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just a middle-aged lady who gets giddy about lots of things

2 thoughts on “a hodgepodge of tidbits…

  1. Thanks for sharing, Debi! I bookmarked the article, my friends and family are all neurotypical, so I need to learn through reading for now. I hope you find a good art history intro book, sadly not my area at all. But definitely ask on twitter with lots of hashtags!! I heard you all had a grand time together, so happy for you that you got to meet and spend time face to face finally!
    And yay for the Gaither sisters, I still haven’t read books 2&3, I think I’ll save them for when I need a pick me up. Also, Bland’s mysteries sound amazing, I really want to read them, but I think I need to hunt down some used copies. My library is awful, they have basically no funding, but also never heard of diversity. Hope you have a great August and you’re not having a flare-up currently!

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