born on a blue day

tuesday 29 may 2012

The title of Daniel Tammet’s famous book, which I’ve recently read for the first time. Daniel not only has Asperger’s, but he is also a mathematical savant. And he is a synesthesiac. This is quite a load of special endowments to land all in one individual. I envy him the synesthesia, to be honest, which I myself only have in an extremely inferior degree. I’m afraid I don’t envy him his mathematical genius, because I’m one of those rather infrequent Aspies who gets both a headache and a stomachache thinking about math. I am an Aspie of the word, and the musical note, and the visual image. But you can keep most types of numbers as far away from me as possible.

While I found the stories of Daniel’s astounding abilities fascinating, as almost anyone would, I found his writing style to be one I’ve seen in many other Aspies: somewhat rigid and step-by-step, and not very good at holding my attention, even when the subject matter is highly interesting. That made it a challenge to actually finish the book, because a writing style that leaves me flat — whether done by an Aspie or an NT — is a thing that will very often make me put down a book and never pick it up again.

Literary criticism notwithstanding, certainly everyone with Asperger’s should read this book. And every savant. And every genius of any kind. Learning how the various types of human brains work presents twists and turns and amazement of all kinds.

Daniel says any number of things that resound loudly inside my Asperger’s self, and perhaps in yours too. Here are a few of them:

 

“Predictability was important to me, a way of feeling in control in a given situation, a way of keeping feelings of anxiety at bay…”

 

“I have always loved animals, from my childhood fascination with ladybirds to avidly watching wildlife programs on television. I think one reason is that animals are often more patient and accepting than many people are.”

 

“… depression… is a common issue for individuals on the autism spectrum.” (referring to his brother, who has Asperger’s and serious depression as well)

 

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read…   Mental hell…  Spite and malice

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

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groucho

thursday 19 may 2011

He belonged to my parents, ultimately, but that’s not how it was supposed to be. He was born in the basement of our house during the first semester of my senior year at college, 1974, or maybe even during my junior year in 73. I wasn’t at home for the blessed event, but when I got there for my Christmas break, my brother’s dog Nipsy was installed in the basement with her new children. The father of this bounty was, I think, a dog called Alex who belonged to brother’s friend. The mom had been named after the comedian Nipsy (Nipsey?) Russell, a favorite of brother’s at the time.

At the time that I arrived on the scene for a month’s break from academe, negotiations were going on between Dad and second brother about keeping second brother’s favorite puppy. My parents already had one dog (I’m pretty sure it was the little Scottie), and didn’t want to go through puppyhood again. And you can’t blame them. They were past 45 and had raised a bunch of puppies in their lives, and it’s a lot of work. Back and forth it went, and while my father protested every single time, dragging out the list of reasons to veto (a list that included brother two’s lack of track record for taking care of any animal), I knew by my father’s tone of voice and the slight twinkle in his eye that he wasn’t going to deny my brother this, no matter how effective a battle he pretended to wage.

Black lab-mix puppy was kept. Was called Groucho after brother number two’s favorite comedian, Groucho Marx. In the cement-floored cellar of our house far from Hollywood, Nipsy Russell had given birth to Grouch Marx. Or Marks. However they spelled it.

Groucho lived a long and storied life, dying on 18 May 1990. He was pre-leash-law days in our town, so he chased cars and rabbits and kids and whatever else. He was hit by drivers of cars twice. Yes, my father had a weakness here about young labs: he felt they needed to run. And though Groucho was hit twice and was lucky not to have been killed, my father did not begin restraining him on a dog run until he was at least several years old. He was a big, sloppy, frisky, absolutely harmless lab, like so many of that breed. He chased kids because he loved them and wanted to play, and while most kids around us understood this, a few did not.

Groucho was special for another reason too, in that he was my daughter’s childhood dog. We lived with my parents for her first five years, and she was a dog person from the time she was still in diapers. She and Groucho were great pals for the ten years they had before he died.

And what of brother number two? It was the same old story. He didn’t take care of, even halfway, the animal he’d asked for. Lost interest in training pretty quickly, and as I was away a lot for school and couldn’t help much, the work of the puppy fell to my parents. For all the years that Groucho lived, my father would pull out at every single family gathering, large or small or important or not, the refrain brother number two had used in his campaign to keep the puppy: You’ll never know he’s around, Dad. It became part of the family lore to the point that we would all say it, both to brother number two himself and to each other when he wasn’t even around. Every time Groucho came home covered in mud,  or chased a car halfway across town and Dad had to get into our car to go fetch him, or brought home a snout full or porcupine quills, and all of his other mischief, at least one of us would say it: You’ll never know he’s around, Dad.

Well, he hasn’t been around now, for twenty-one whole years. I remember him with laughter and affection, and with gratitude that he was the first dog who ever showed my very, very small child how great it is to know a dog.

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read…   All my stars…     Stolen stars…    Mugsy’s book

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silky

monday 16 may 2011

This friend was a rabbit; the first rabbit I’d had since Peter II had died so young several years before. Though Silky lasted a bit longer than Peter did, she was fated also to die too young.

I got her in the fall of 1987 to be a companion for a white guinea pig whose older black guinea pig pal (Smoky) had died in the spring. I’d seen the pet shop housing young rabbits and pigs together, so I decided to try it. I decided to go from black and white in the same cage to white and white. The only markings Silky had were some small, very pale grey patches on her ears, mouth, and a couple of her feet. While all rabbits have soft, smooth hair, Silky’s was unusually so — I’ve never felt a rabbit so soft — and that’s why she got her name.

When her first spring came, Silky got sick. I took her to the vet, the vet said she was in her first heat, and that some animals do get sick at that time. We pulled her through that one with antibiotics, yogurt and some additions to her diet. But she came into heat every month through spring and summer, and every time, we had to pull her through. If rabbits come into heat in the winter months, they do so at a much less intense level, and Silky was, for her two falls and winters, as healthy as any other rabbit.

But in 1990, the spring of course came again, and Silky in her second spring got much sicker than she had in her first. We couldn’t get her through it that time, the vet and I, and she died when she was less than two years old.

I had her such a short time that I feel, these long years after her death, that I hardly had her at all, hardly knew her. That’s one of the objectionable things that time does. I have to console myself with the knowledge, yet again, that while she was with us, I did indeed know her very well, even if now particular memories of funny things she did, and naughty things she did, and spats that she and Snowball (the white pig) sometimes had, are all faded and I can’t report them here with any detail. She was so soft. Even the vet said when she met her that was she was unusually soft, and that her name fit her.

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read…   All my stars…     Stolen stars…    Mugsy’s book

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sile

Friday 14 January 2011…    Turning white

This word is not pronounced to rhyme with tile. It’s the Irish spelling of the name Sheila, and that’s how you pronounce it. Síle was Miri’s daughter, one of those three that I’ve already said Miri produced. Of the other two, Julie died young, and Zachary will come up again in the spring. I’m ashamed that my memory isn’t absolutely positive about when these three hatched, and I can say with only a 90% degree of certainty that it was in April of 1995.

Síle was a very light grey, and had her family’s happy nature in a double portion, as her father was also her grandfather. All zebra finches have happy natures, as far as I’m concerned, and maybe it’s my biased mother’s eye that leads to me to believe that the line of my Romi and Juliet was an even happier crew. Or maybe not. Maybe they really were.

As the numbers in my finch family were lessened by age and death, by early in 1998 I had only one possible mother left, and it was Síle. I would cage her mostly with her uncle Pepper, and though she and Pepper did try more than once to make a family, she would always peck the eggs open after a few days of sitting. I didn’t know whether this was because she knew the eggs were infertile, or whether she was simply not mother material. Whichever it was, it resulted in the fact that when she died in January 1999, she left behind only her brother and her uncle, effectively ending a family that had begun in 1991. I would try one more time in 2001 to keep this family going by getting a new female to pair with Síle’s brother, but I had waited too long, and it didn’t work. Síle was the last lady of Juliet’s big family that I said good-bye to, and there were never any others after her.

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2011 by anne nakis, all rights reserved.

(part of the book All My Stars)

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Brucie

Page  Eighty

Tuesday 7 December 2010, Turners twisting

Once again, there’s no photo. I have so few photos with me in the ponystall. And even if I ever get back what’s in the storage, it’s only a part of what I once had. Many pictures and rolls of film that were mine have been thrown out by other people. Not to mention a host of other belongings.

Brucie was another grandchild of Maman (there were twelve of them, after all). Brother of Chloë and Spot and others. He had the familial smallness, and likewise the familial white hair with grey patches. Because he was, from birth, the stockiest of the six kittens, we started out calling him Big Bruiser, which was eventually shortened to Bruiser. But as he got older, three or months, becoming a young feline fellow, I felt that Bruiser was no longer appropriate, that he needed something with more dignity. Hence Brucie. But there was disagreement. When Bruce and Chloë were five and a half months old, my mother decided she wanted them, and off they went to live with her. But she liked Bruiser, and went on calling him that for a long time, maybe even until he died. Whereas I would always refer to him as Brucie on the phone with Mum, and when I’d go out there for a visit I would never, ever call him Bruiser.

If any cat at all in Maman’s family can be said to have had a bit of the bully in them, then it was Bruce. But this family was so thoroughly good-natured that their version of bully was very, very mild indeed. Though he wasn’t the first-born of the kittens, he was definitely the leader, the boss. A benevolent and kindly boss who was loved by his siblings, who never feared him. They simply deferred to him.

Another driver, another car, another dead cat. And the eternal debate over outside versus inside cats. In another post like this, I decined to set forth the arguments on either side, and to defend my reasons for opting, most of the time, for letting my cats go outdoors. And my mother had always let hers go out as well. Someday, when I’m further along putting my small books about the animals together, I will write about that debate, but not today.

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(part of the book All My Stars)

 

living on threads

 by: mishiPosted on: 02-18-2010 @ 01:19 pm(with this post, the copying of the original Mishi blog from Wrongplanet is FINI! Only new posts from today, being 6 dec 2010. the date above is the original wrongplanet publication date.)

 

 

18 Feb 2010…..   Turners Fails —- This may well be the last post I ever write here on Wrongplanet. Though maybe I’ll come here very rarely and write something. Most of all the online writing I’ve been doing for nearly two years is being moved to WordPress. You can make a blog-based website there, and that’s what I’ve been working at since Jan 21. It’s a big job. Two years’ worth of writing that has to be moved around and knitted together with a seemingly endless gang of links.And that’s my existence; that’s all there is for meaning and purpose in my days now. One little guinea pig and one huge website. It isn’t nearly enough. For 55 years I had families of animals. More than one animal and more than one kind. And the more fool I that I didn’t realize the full extent of the meaning and purpose taking care of them gave to my life until it was all stolen by unprincipled, bulllying, neurotypical human beings.  One guinea pig isn’t a family, and that’s not her fault. And a website full of writng about what was done to us, and by whom, and all the ways in which this human cruelty has changed and broken me… well, it may be a good thing, I don’t really know. But as a meaning and a purpose to living, it’s flimsy in the extreme when you compare it to a lifetime of loving and caring for and being loved by a family of breathing creatures, of full and generous spirits.

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No pigs don’t go to heaven

Page Fifty-two

Wednesday 26 August 2009/PeterDby: mishi               

 Posted on: 08-26-2009 @ 10:13 am

 

 

Greenfield

Yes, I’ve heard the argument from many religious people in my life, mostly protestants. We’re supposed to have dominion over the animals, we’re not to put them above people, their souls don’t go to heaven. I never gave a damn about any of their words. Not for the brief part of my life that I was a christian, not in all the years that I’ve been an atheist.I have Asperger’s. Animals are to me all the things that they are, and for 55 years they were the meaning and purpose and sharing and love and loyalty that I could never find in the human world. They were always my people. Since they were taken 17 months ago, I am more alone than I’ve ever been in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

Comment By: peterd(Posted on 08-27-2009 @ 04:34 am)
Comment: That’s the awful thing about theory of mind – it puts them all into a sort of lockstep mode, and we get trampled. Is there any chance you could find yourself work in an animal rescue sort of context?(francis and his innocents at www.toscano.com)

 

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an animal aspie

Page Fifty-one….            Tuesday 25 August 2009    by:mishi                                                                           

                                                                   

Mishi-pup, about 6 mos,    

with EYESHINE

 

 

Greenfield       Peterd: Yes, well, parents. Neither of mine had Asperger’s, I’m quite sure. But they did have PTSD and other diffuculties, and I was always very much an oddball to them. An oddball they didn’t understand. Neither of my siblings is on the autism spectrum either, so I have always stuck out like a sore thumb. Over the years I became increasingly unacceptable to the family, and they increasingly unacceptable to me, so that now I have almost no contact with anyone I’m related to. But I’ve been an oddball in the world at large too. All my life my affinity for animals, and my liking to have a lot of them, has made me a target for criticism. Other things too, but the animals are something that people always used against me with great gusto.

part of the book Neverending Solitaire

all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

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To Leave the Humans

Monday 27 July 2009

by: mishi

Posted on: 07-27-2009 @ 01:36 pm

 

 

I watched a video Saturday night called “Instinct” with Anthony Hopkins. Maybe you know this movie, but I’d never heard of it before. It’s about a primate scientist who eventually abandons the human world entirely to live with the gorilla clan that has accepted him. It’s fiction, but nonetheless it’s a pretty intelligent, interesting story.

It gave me longings, but it’s not the first time I’ve had these. I had them many times when I was still with my animals. Longings to live on a big piece of land in a house, with lots of gardening and music and art and the animals. Longings to stop talking to humans, except perhaps a certain special one or two. Longings to keep my contact with the human world, the neurotypical town squares and chatter, to an absolute minimum. I couldn’t get that private space when I still had the ones I love, and I can’t get it now.

                                   ~~~~~~~~website~~~~~~~~

 

 

Anne and Mishi

Anne Nakis and Mishi

by: mishi

Posted on: 06-20-2009 @ 11:33 am

 

 

Sat 20 June 2009     Greenfield

Anne is someone different than she was for 55 years, before the taking of her home and everyone she loves. She’s someone different because of things a man told her about her life being in danger and protection from feds. He’s the same person who told me I had Aspergers after these public-run tests were over. I believed I had Aspergers anyway, and have believed it for several years. After everything that has happened in the last fifteen months, my fear of other people is greater than ever, my distaste for them is greater than ever. My desire not to look at their eyes is greater than ever, and I’m certainly less inclined to smile than I ever was.

Mishi was one of the two dogs that were taken from me in this whole illegal eviction disaster. He was supposed to be in foster care and I was supposed to have a chance to get him back. He would have been 11 years old last July, but this is what I suspect happened to him, based on small things that were said: That he and my other dog ended up in the possession of the mentally disturbed landlady who had evicted us, and that she soon had Mishi put to sleep because she didn’t want to deal with his epilepsy. I believe she kept my other dog, Mishi’s daughter, and has her still. No one has ever told me definitively what happened to my two dogs, but this is what I believe from small utterances both before and after the eviction.

website

 

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