Look Me In The Eye

Saturday, June 27, 2009


No dear readers this isn't just a wonderful dream, it's really that magical time of the week that I know you all look forward to: SUGGESTION SATURDAY (why or why don't computers come with sarcasm fonts for those times when the italics fond just isn't strong enough?)

I had really good intentions this morning, to get up and read the book right away and get this entry up really early. But then I got distracted midway through the day by my attempts to make a Reese's that doesn't have any dairy or refined sugar in it (For those who are new readers: I'm allergic so I'm living in a Reese's-free world and that's just too horrible to bear. For those who aren't new readers: Just pretend like I don't harp on this subject all the time - it'll be fun, like a little game.) The closest I managed to get was something that tasted like those crappy, inferior, generic rip-off Reese's that my Grandmother used to buy because she was too cheap to buy the real ones (Love you Grandma.)

Today's book, "Robison's thoughtful and thoroughly memorable account of living with Asperger's syndrome is a moving memoir, beginning with his painful childhood, his abusive alcoholic father and his mentally disturbed mother. Robison describes how from nursery school on he could not communicate effectively with others, something his brain is not wired to do, since kids with Asperger's don't recognize common social cues and body language or facial expressions. Failing in junior high, Robison was encouraged by some audiovisual teachers to fix their broken equipment, and he discovered a more comfortable world of machines and circuits, of muted colors, soft light, and mechanical perfection. This led to jobs (and many hilarious events) in worlds where strange behavior is seen as normal: developing intricate rocket-shooting guitars for the rock band Kiss and computerized toys for the Milton Bradley company."

My knowledge on the subject of Asperger's syndrome is limited to what I picked up from watching All My Children during the time when they decided to butcher (I mean feature) a few social issues story lines - so that's pretty much the equivalent of knowing nothing at all about it. So I found today's book very informative and interesting, except for that middle part where he was working for KISS and there was an excessive amount of descriptions about sound equipment - that part was kind of a snoozefest.

I promise you dear readers that this books-about-difficult-childhoods thing is not going to become a theme on the blog. I think this is the third one for the week - that can pretty much be chalked up to poor planning. For the last few weeks I haven't been planning out ahead of time the books I'm going to read the way that I used to - and now I see why that's a very bad thing. I don't even understand why I keep reading those kind of books since I can't seem to relate to them in anyway - maybe it's just the novelty of reading about a kind of life that is so different from my own experience that makes it oddly intriguing. But I am determined that I will find a book about a happy childhood to read by the time the year is out - and if I can't manage to do that then I think I may have to write one because this "my childhood sucked" phase the literary world seems to be stuck in is getting out of hand. It's almost as if authors are playing a literary version of Queen for a Day. Are any of you dear readers old enough to have watched that show? For those of you who aren't old enough, or who don't have parents who insist on taking them on scenic trips down Television Lane, Queen for a Day was a game show from the 50s and 60s where contestants would compete to see who has the most tragic life, and the winner gets a bunch of prizes. We could strike up our own little game in the comments section. I'll go first: I can't eat Oreos because I'm allergic (insert dramatic music here). Now let's see who can come up with something more tragic than that.

Despite being unable to relate to the book as a whole, there were smaller parts I could relate to - especially the part when the author was sharing all of the mean things he used to do to his brother. Although I related to it from the younger brothers perspective - not that I didn't do mean things to my sister, but I usually confined it to tricking her into bringing me drinks on trays because "Bert and Ernie would want you to bring me some Kool-aid and Chips Ahoy. It would make them very happy if you did.") My brother's meanness was more of the "there are monsters in the basement that will reach up through the toilet and yank you down there" variety. And then of course there was the "if you rip that tag off the pillow someone will come and murder you" or "the glaze on that donut was made from alligator skin." And now because my brother has accused me of only mentioning him on the blog when I'm saying something bad about him, I'm going to say something nice: He once saved me from choking on a Mentos (Thanks Chad.)

And now I'm going to go eat my fake Reese's and whine Grandma why can't you buy name brand chocolate?