Monday, September 26, 2005

On the radio, part one

I meant to write some stuff going on with Osc. We got him a small karaoke machine for his birthday (many months ago) and lately he's been using it to pretend he's a DJ. He announces :"This is AKUL [we've told him that in the US, west of the Mississippi radio station call letters begin with K, but he's marching to his own beat] in Kansas City, Missouri: the greatest hits of the '80s." (we have a couple of CD labeled 1980's New Wave Hits).

He announces what songs have been played, tells us what's up next and then makes up some kind of commercial announcement like,"This program was brought to you with the help of Price Chopper, the best place to shop for groceries!"

Sometimes he'll use a promo from one of my old air (cable) checks. I did some radio programming for an all-volunteer campus/community alternative cable radio station in Bloomington, Indiana, WQAX. And indeed, that was back in the 80s and I had tons of fun doing it. And some angst.

Much of the angst was because I was not your grunge/punk new music scene follower in Bloomington. Nor was I into "college" radio (Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Meat Puppets, Butthole Surfers...etc). I got to know the music gradually, but also immersed myself in jazz, blues, folk, world...and quirky music. If there was an interesting cover of a standard rock song, I'd play it and I collected disco versions of stuff like "Stairway to Heaven," and "In A Gadda Da Vida." I kid you not. They do exist. Wonder if they've got digital editions now...

Anyway, it's lovely to see Oscar being a chip off the old block, doing radio shows.

I really love radio. If I weren't a librarian, I'd be in radio. I think. Maybe.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ahoy me hearties! 'Tis Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Ahoy, mateys!
It be talk like a pirate day, so grab yer parrots, screw on yer peg-leg and find yer pirate name here. (aye, there be lots of choices for the findin' o'yer name, matey).

Arrrrrrr! I be the
Dread Pirate Bonney:
Like the famous Dread Pirate Roberts, you have a keen head for how to make a profit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well

Me food was a bit rich yesterday. Cravin' theobromides I was and therefore partook of some bits of high-cocoa content chocolates. As well as almonds & pecans. Crunchy they were, and right tasty.

Me first mate an' I, well we had it all out and things be a bit better 'twixt us (we both ha' been depressed over stuff, it turns out an' had been actin' like roommates more than first mates, if ye catch me drift). We went so far as to leave ship and stroll on land a bit, on the pretext of runnin' an errand.

Arrrrrr, me hearties! I've had me morning grub: eggs, salsa, cheese & avocado and feel fit as a fiddle.

All is shipshape an' me mood would have me visitin' all ye this mornin, as much as I can ere business takes a hold of me.

Smooth sailing o'er the briny deep, me hearties!

Saturday, September 17, 2005


My son has been doing well with his new found latchkey responsibilities.

I am so proud of him. I remember what it was like being given the key to our apartment when I was 10 or so. We lived catty-corner from our elementary school and my brother and I went home for lunch. I remember waiting for him and walking across the streets (for Brooklynites: the intersection of Albemarle Road and McDonald Avenue, the Kensington neighborhood. It was PS 230). We crossed McDonald and then, Albemarle.

Inside the apartment, we checked the fridge: Mom had left us a lunch-- a sandwich each and we could drink milk or water and have fruit or cookies or whatever. Sometime between getting home and finishing eating, my mom would call and talk to us. One time she didn't call right when I expected her and I dialed her at work...and this was the first time I experienced connecting without a ring...she'd been trying to call us at the exact same time!

I remember one time when she didn't have time to leave something prepared, so I made us cream cheese & jelly sandwiches, my brother's favorite.

Before that year, my grandmother, who lived across the street took us in for lunch, but I think that arrangement made us all unhappy. I also tried eating a school lunch a few times. They put stuff in the egg salad that made me want to puke (green peppers and onions). And celery in the tuna salad. And they cut the oranges in quarters--but not sliced.

Yuck. Sometimes I took my lunch. But it was still not as much fun as coming home for lunch and being grown-up.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The evacuees are coming...maybe

My neighborhood school was closed in May of 2003 and out little city bought it from the school district. I've hear from a neighbor (and later the TV news, which I never watch), that it will be home to 150 to 180 people who have left the Gulf area.

I'm excited, actually, hoping there are opportunities to be helpful. I think in general my neighbors and I feel positive about this, but there are a couple of things to consider:

If it's a FEMA-run site, there may be such tight controls, we might not come into contact with any of the folks being housed there at all. We might not be able to be helpful. I've read a blog in which the author describes having her donations of fresh food get turned away, because there wasn't enough, it wouldn't be fair and people might riot. Sorry, I don't have the link.

Don't know if there will be kids. Will they go to school in the district? I hope so. We have a good district.

Wonder how I can help.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Autism and my son

A history of my son, Oscar: Born in 1991 to parents who wanted him from before he was a gleam in either of our eyes, his early childhood was fairly normal except for the fact that he seemed unusually quiet, he didn’t make eye contact and there were a few “milestones” he seemed to have passed on. He didn’t chortle at 4 months although he smiled and smiled. He didn’t hug. If he was frightened, he clutched, but he never just hugged. He didn’t wave “bye bye” at 10 months or whenever that was supposed to happen.

He didn’t walk without support until he was 17 months old—to the day, I think. He had developed a very efficient 1-knee scoot that had enabled him to get around the world, holding onto stuff. He never crawled.

At age one, Oscar started to say lots of words, then abruptly stopped and began babbling. His babbling seemed to imitate sentence structure and conversation.

At age 2, he began to make a whining drone while sitting at the table. He would push a fork or other utensil on his plate as if it were a vacuum cleaner.

He was fascinated by fans: box fans, ceiling fans.

In retrospect, we should have had him evaluated by a specialist earlier, but it wasn’t until we moved to the Kansas City area that his delays in speech, motor and social abilities became pronounced. A parent educator did the Denver Developmental screening on him: he was behind by a year or more in some areas.

I realize there's a lot of "he didn't," in the above paragraphs. Here's a small list of what he does:
plays trumpet, makes tapes of music he likes, pretends he's a radio announcer, draws pictures of houses in Kansas City, Missouri, sings beautifully.

He never ceases to amaze me or his father. We'll struggle to get him to do something, like learn to read for fun and then one day we see him reading the newspaper because he's caught the headline about a tornado or something.