Leaf

June 15, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Diagnosis, Family, Mind, Nature, Senses, Sight, Touch | 6 Comments
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Touch one, touch all.

At age three, you or your child may be told to put 50 fallen liquidambar leaves in a bucket.

Sounds fair: kids should help around the home.

50 ain’t many.

It’s a fine day.

Parents are near.

So why the crying?

The liquidambar leaf shape is relatively complex.

Worse, it can take infinite autumnal hues.

To an aspie toddler, a sole leaf may look challenging enough.

Mixed with other leaves, it becomes even more complicated – with endless permutations.

Focused on one leaf, the other 49 seem legion; the work highly daunting.

With more leaves falling on already cleared ground, the task appears impossible.

Too many simultaneous data overload the brain – triggering stress and threatening shutdown.

Mother can’t fathom the problem.

Nor can father, who becomes irate.

Yet the ‘brat’ before him isn’t ‘spoilt’, ‘stupid’, ‘disobedient’, ‘wilful’ or ‘lazy’.

Merely showing an early sign of what may take decades to identify and address.

It’s therefore advisable to try the ‘teaspoon test‘ before things turn ugly.

Doing so will likely save all parties time,

effort and

tears.

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic by The Marmot.


If you found this post useful or entertaining, you may wish to:

Your smallest kindness will keep me going strong. With many thanks, Paul.


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Imagine

March 25, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Posted in Benefits, Interests, Mind, Recreation, Senses, Sight, Treatment | 4 Comments
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A very, very exciting day!

A very, very exciting day!

Do you wonder what aspie fiction is like?

This collection of 19 short stories may give you an idea.

There's your book; now ... buy it!

There’s your book; now … buy it!

It took 20 years to create.

That should make it 200% better than Catch 22.

You can determine if this is true by buying Imagine Day.

To do so, go here or email paul@thefeistyempire.com to request a personalised message.

This first edition, strictly limited to just 200 copies, will be the only one featuring dedications written with my Magic Red Pen.

Regular readers of this blog will know I don’t flog stuff.

So this book must be rather special.

How frightfully exciting!

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Transference

March 5, 2014 at 8:55 am | Posted in Animals, Family, Mind | 4 Comments
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The puppy as a child.

The puppy as a child.

If childless, you should have more success than most deriving faux-parenting experiences from non-infants.

This will likely be due to your vivid imagination and strong ability to anthropomorphize.

The flip side of ‘making do’ with substitute offspring is that when your pet does die, your heart will shatter with grief.

Yet it’ll probably be worth it.


If you found this content useful or entertaining, you may wish to:

Even a buck or three will keep me in the hunt. With many thanks, Paul.


Question

January 19, 2013 at 10:17 am | Posted in 1, Animals, Mind, People, Sight, Society | 6 Comments
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P1020511 Plane Truth Small

When conversing, keep your feet on the ground.

In certain conditions, your (usually unloved) penchant for penetrating questions may find favour in the world.

For instance, if you land in a regional airport and are confronted by a sniffer dog, there’s a good chance your fellow travellers will hurry past its handler.

You, of course, will be entranced by the beast.

If its handler feels bored, jaded, undervalued or just plain lonely amid careless crowds, you might just make her day.

Start small, by asking what her dog is trained to detect.

Then ask how long training takes.

Express amazement that the pooch can master so much in just 10-12 weeks.

Bookend your interview by asking (roughly) how long the dog’s career will last.

Then ask if, after a decade or so, the handler will have the option to keep the dog.

Observe her interaction with the animal.

If she loves it, even you should be able to perceive this.

The dog, unused to his handler receiving such attention, will fix you with a stare that penetrates far better than the X-ray machine behind you.

This is OK, because you have nothing to hide.

And, unlike humans, dogs and horses have no agenda.

So, for once, you can enjoy staring right back.

And then it’s time to leave.

Under NO circumstances should you go on to ask questions like:

  • When do you think your dog will die?
  • How will you feel when your dog dies?
  • How long will it take you to grieve?
  • Will you get another dog?
  • Will it feel the same?
  • What if it doesn’t?

While you may find these questions perfectly reasonable, most ‘normal’ people will NOT.

By breaking off an interview – even when you’re having fun – you stop it going bad.

Easier said than done, perhaps; but you can learn that less really is

more.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Seat

December 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Posted in 1, Compulsions, Humour, Mind, People, Sight, Society, Threats | 10 Comments
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Chairs Small

NOT as easy as it seems.

Few would comprehend (or believe) the lightning thinking that precedes your choice of chair.

You enter a waiting room (itself a feat).

First priority is safety.

Check the corners. Does one offer a view of the entrance through which your appointment will appear?

If so, can you also see outside (to avoid eye contact, pass the time and spot long-range threats)?

Corners mean you need monitor only 90 degrees for danger.

Walls, therefore, run a very poor second.

The centre, naturally, is right out.

But position isn’t everything.

Check the seating. Is it solo?

If it’s a two-seater couch, you may be able to thwart later arrivals with your bag and coat. (This also applies to pairs of chairs.)

If it’s a three-seater (or more) you may have unwelcome company.

What sort of couch is it?

If it’s too soft, slippery and/or deep, you may have trouble rising quickly to meet any threat.

Better a firm, high one with good back support.

But even the ideal chair in the perfect corner can come unstuck.

Is it near a radio speaker (perhaps blaring a chaotic commercial station)? The cacophony will erode your (frail) composure.

Is it next to a water cooler, rubbish bin, pamphlet stand, children’s play area or stack of filthy, outdated magazines?

If so, people (at worst, infants) may launch themselves at you from all quarters without warning.

Waiting rooms are so hideous, it’s best to be the first appointment of the day.

Though this carries its own peril if your appointment still contrives to be late.

The silver line to this stormy cloud concerns your partner.

If, after some time together, your covivant can scan a space with 80 chairs and point to the exact one you’d pick,

you’ll know it’s true love.

Marry them without delay.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Earth

December 6, 2012 at 8:52 am | Posted in Body, Mind, Nature, Recreation, Senses, Touch, Treatment | 6 Comments
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Splendour in the Grass Small

Step into your (new) comfort zone!

Chances are you live in your head far more than your body.

While a rich mental life offers entertaining discourse with superior company, you can have too much of a good thing.

At the most practical level, your body is a life-support system for your brain.

Serving the latter to the detriment of the former ultimately compromises both.

So, while hobbies, alcohol, medication and literature may seem preferred paths to contentment, beware false readings from a selfish organ that knows exactly what you’re thinking.

Though all impulses may screech to the contrary, it’s vital to shift your corporeal form.

The trick is to find a (probably solo) exercise you enjoy.

Swimming is ideal, but unsuited to warmer months.

Walking is a good year-round alternative.

If you can find a large grassed oval that’s deserted at inconvenient times, you’re in for a treat.

At first, the prospect of circling with nothing but your protesting mind may daunt.

To ease yourself in, try downloading fascinating documentaries to an iPod or some such.

Acquiring facts is a great way to silence your inner voice.

Once you’re in the swing, take the next step.

Take off your runners and walk barefoot.

At once, the 2D green disc you’ve been traipsing will become a 3D sensory adventure.

Suddenly, you’ll detect every nuance of the turf.

After rain, you’ll feel the little mounds worms made overnight.

When the sprinklers are on, you’ll slosh through puddles and streams.

When it’s dry, you’ll scale tiny sand dunes.

Soon you’ll realise the oval has a camber to aid drainage.

And that a barely perceptible tilt creates a particularly lush spot.

Each time you pass through this, the grass will remind you that, while still an etherial being, you’re definitely of this Earth.

Literally and metaphorically rooting yourself in the real world is an ideal counter to a busy brain.

And the fitness you gain will keep the relationship healthy.

If you’re lucky enough to live by the sea, the benefits of walking barefoot increase a thousandfold.

So close that book, put down that bottle, turn off that screen and

GO!

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Bali

November 1, 2012 at 10:43 am | Posted in Mind, People, Recreation, Society, Threats | 9 Comments
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Enter at own risk.

There’s a high chance you won’t like Bali.

The reasons are almost too numerous to describe, but here are a few.

When you land at the airport and stare bewildered at the queues, an airport official will spot your distress and approach.

But instead of helping you, he’ll extort money from you to ‘process’ your passport.

When he snatches your documents and vanishes through a door, leaving you to the hostile stares of a thousand angry, sweaty tourists, you’ll know the true meaning of fear.

If you get your passport back, another trial awaits.

When you see the luggage carousel with nothing on it, it’s not because your bag hasn’t been unloaded.

Rather, it has been taken hostage by a local ‘handler’ who also demands payment to give it back.

Then he’ll want to carry it for you. More exhortations for money.

Next, a deafening gauntlet of currency changers will harangue you for custom.

Next, the taxi driver who beats all the others to you will drive you through a sea of humanity moiling on packed, narrow streets with smashed, gaping footpaths.

On arrival, he won’t be able to change your smallest banknote, forcing you to give him a very large one.

When you finally gain the sanctuary of your villa, the close cries of rice farmers fending off birds will make you wonder what the hell you’re doing there.

Everyone told you Bali was wonderful, amazing.

But all you see is the chasm between rich and poor, and the endless devices of the latter to glean from the former.

You’d rather eat alone than have four staff fawn over your every mouthful.

You’d rather savour your accommodation in peace than traipse the steaming island to have temple monkeys claw out your eyes.

But if you stay put, the servile staff pile up at your door – desperate to please and stunned that you don’t enjoy lording it over them, like so many guests before.

They’ll get upset – though they hide it very well.

And the fact even you can detect their displeasure will make you realise how frighteningly deep it goes.

So you’ll get upset too, and feel trapped among foes.

And the positive feedback loop will continue.

Your sole, cold comfort (when the host, the receptionist, the gardener, the pool person, the path sweeper, the snake catcher, the house people, the deity offering preparer – and all their retainers – have finally left your compound) may be to transmute your pain and disappointment into searing, staccato verse:

I hate Bali

I hate Bali.

It is f*cked.

All the mopeds.

All the trucks.

All the bullsh*t.

All the scams.

Grin at me through

Praying hands.

Take my money.

Plus plus plus.

(Plus plus plus plus,

Plus plus plus.)

Yes I am a

First World prick.

I deserve your

Third Class shtick.

Bend me over.

Call me ‘Sir’.

Rough pineapple.

Now do her.

Charge us double.

Give us half.

Disrespect us.

Laugh and laugh.

Show us pictures

Of the sun.

Swipe our visas.

Wipe your bum.

All is fiction.

Nothing real.

Bait and switch and

Steal steal steal.

Send us packing.

With your curse.

Now we see there’s

So much worse.

Dress your gods, but

Strip us bare.

Wish that we were

Never there.

Despite your rage, you’ll know deep down that it’s not Bali’s fault.

This means the problem lies with you.

And the wait for your non-transferrable flight home will be very,

very

long.

😦

Further reading: http://www.theage.com.au/wa-news/goodbye-bali-and-f-you-woman-reports-rohypnol-ordeal-20160711-gq2wpj.html

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L

May 15, 2010 at 9:40 am | Posted in 1, Mind, People, Threats, Touch | 10 Comments
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Humiliation by technology.

Should you be press-ganged into babysitting a friend’s children, the results may be mixed.

On the plus side, you’ll thrill the kids with your highly original approach to games.

You’ll play their games their way.

Then you’ll play them in exciting new ways they never conceived.

Buoyed by their laughter, you’ll invent entirely new games, using straws, or string, or nothing but your combined imaginations.

Squeals of delight will fill the house.

Until they realise that your sole goal is their happiness, and that you’re not an authority figure.

Then they may start to manipulate you.

If you fail to respond, they may start to mock you.

If, due to your poor disciplining skills (due to no practice and fear of offending their parents) you fail to arrest this development, things may turn ugly.

If you’re very unlucky, a 12-year-old girl, done up like a Brats doll, will stand before you with a label maker.

She will turn the dial to ‘L’.

Click it.

Cut it.

Peel off the backing.

And press it onto your forehead with her right index finger.

When you ask what she has just done, she’ll say:

“That’s an ‘L’.

“For ‘Loser’.”

You’ll look at her.

And she at you.

And even though you’re 40, you’ll both know there’s not a damn thing you can or will do about it.

You will recall this humiliation for the rest of your life.

😦

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Colouring-in

May 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Posted in 1, Compulsions, Family, Interests, Mind, Recreation, Senses, Sight, Touch | 5 Comments
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Points of difference.

You don’t see so many kids’ colouring-in books these days.

If you’re old enough, though, you may recall the pleasure of completing them.

Not all books were the same.

The designs, for instance, varied wildly – from obsessively intricate to insultingly facile.

The best fell somewhere in between.

The papers varied too. From shiny surfaces that barely took a pencil mark to blotter-style offerings that soaked each careful texta stroke far beyond its intended position.

It was rare, therefore, to get a pleasing design on practical paper.

Christmas ‘Bumper Fun Books’, by dint of their sheer size, usually carried two or three satisfying options.

With your attention to detail so keen, you naturally coloured within the lines.

Yet sometimes, engrossed in activity, an unguarded movement saw your marker slip.

This transgression marred the entire work. So much that you had to employ your black texta (the most valuable in the set, and the one most likely to fail first through overuse).

You traced the entire colouring-in design with black, making all the lines slightly wider.

At the slip-up, the line became wider still, as you covered the alien colour with pitch.

The result was not unlike a stained-glass window.

Alas, some errors were too big to mask and had to remain patent.

When you submitted a work thus flawed to your parent, their judgment was revealing.

Instead of praising your industry, your palette or your almost-perfect execution, they did something else.

They started at ten, then subtracted one mark for each crossed line.

Never, in your entire childhood, did you score a perfect ten.

Though you tried and tried and tried.

It was only 40 years later, when writing a blog post to ameliorate the Great Sadness that had befallen you on waking, that you realised something.

Your parent had Asperger’s too.

😐

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Converse

April 2, 2010 at 8:30 am | Posted in Family, Mind, People, Society, Threats, Treatment | 5 Comments
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Read my lips.

Conversation can be so very difficult.

It’s especially upsetting when you try to participate fully and in good faith, only to fail utterly and incur the wrath of the other party.

Let’s say your partner informs you that their sibling’s cat is missing.

You ask if the sibling is upset.

Your partner becomes annoyed. Of course the sibling is upset!

This perplexes you, because six months ago, you heard the sibling tied their pet dog to their toddler’s tricycle because they didn’t have time to exercise either.

From this, you deduced the sibling didn’t much care for the dog.

By extrapolation, you surmised they weren’t fond of the cat either.

Your question, therefore, is logical.

Logical, perhaps. But your error lies elsewhere.

You perceived your partner’s news as an invitation to dialogue.

To participate fully and in good faith in this dialogue, you asked a question.

In reality, however, your partner merely wanted you to make the noises appropriate to such news under normal circumstances.

This is akin to small talk.

The dog, toddler and tricycle, however pertinent to your situational view, were irrelevant to the discussion.

Thus your deeper interest, though it sprang from a genuine place, was neither necessary nor welcome.

Your partner’s rebuff stings twice, because you:

  1. Were trying hard to converse like a normal person.
  2. Felt you were doing pretty well to recall the discussion of six months ago.

Alas, no dice. It just isn’t that simple.

This is one of the downsides of aspergers.

Your counsellor may say casual conversation can be learned.

But it certainly seems small talk is a big ask.

😦

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

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