mightydoll: (Default)
From: No, Not You

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.
2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!
3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!
4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!
6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!
10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the
person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.
And, ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you didn’t ask permission and then respect the answer the first time, you are commiting a crime- no matter how “into it” others appear to be.


Aug. 23rd, 2009 02:54 pm
mightydoll: (Default)
So...last night, our External HD went for a violent journey across a couple feet of our living room. Needless to say, it's not happy about it.

after about 3-4 seconds of grinding, rattling sounds, the drive was turned off - so that's good, I guess...

Now, of course, we need to recover about 100-150 gigs of: Nick's portfolio, My portfolio, the project we are currently working on, our company website, still in development, Nick's music (as in the stuff he's been busy making, not as in his Mp3's, which are incidental).

There's also about 100 gigs of music and movies, which are not particularly important to us.

We are well aware that data recovery, under these circumstances is complex and very pricey. The person who sent it on its journey will be, gradually, eventually reimbursing us, but she is not wealthy, and we simply don't have a tonne of money to front towards it. What's the cheapest way (in Toronto) to accomplish this? (and yes, I know none of them are cheap)

Any suggestions?
mightydoll: (Default)
 Although it was unnecessary for the immigration application, with the application taking as long as it is, Nick needs to extend his work permit and for THAT we need a commissioner of oaths to sign a form for us.

Apart from not really knowing what a commissioner of oaths IS, I suspect I know a few folks who might be one.

mightydoll: (Default)
Today started slow/frustrating. The kids wanted  to ride our bikes to the ROM (totally biking distance, now).  Kat loaned us her bike lock to lock the bikes (we only have a couple small ones and HUGE chain to lock them on the front porch...nothing that'll lock 3 bikes to a bike stand) and a tool for me to true my back wheel.

Truing the wheel took a really long time, and I didn't get it perfect, but the day was running away from us fast, so I deemed it "good enough" and hunted down helmets, packed a backpack and got ready to take to the road...only to find the bike seat was too high for me, and I couldn't find the tool to take it down.

We decided to take the subway.

Getting to the ROM, there were crowds of really pushy people vying to get in. The Dead Sea Scrolls are there right now, and, apparently this is A Big Deal. This is such A Big Deal, we had to go through a bag check, and there were police everywhere.  I resent bag checks even at places where violence or drug use are common. I was not thrilled to be subjected to one at the ROM. I asked the guy: "Can I ask why this is neceesary?" his answer? "To make sure you don't have anything you're not allowed to bring into the ROM" This was such a non-answer, I didn't know quite what to say so I just kinda looked confused.  "It's because of the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit. People might bring in stuff they're not allowed to"

Now, the activist in me would have liked to really get down to it. Ask him what kinds of things he thought people would be bringing to this exhibit, why the Dead Sea Scrolls in particular were considered to incite people to...what exactly? Cause a fuss. But the mom in me knew my kids just wanted to go to the ROM and maybe not have to stand there while everyone got annoyed with their mom for holding up the line.  I do think a letter is in order, though. I'd be interested in people's input about the issue.

Finally, after being elbowed out of the way by a party of about 10 in the express line, who literally pushed past me, then stood there organizing whose tickets were whose (I had my membership card out and ready, as one might be prone to doing when they've been directed to the "express entry" lane). We entered

Me: So! What do you want to see?

MC and Baz: Dinosaurs!

Me: Dude! We see the dinosaurs EVERY time we come. There's a whole big museum here, full of awesome stuff that you've never even laid eyes on. Let's do something we don't do every time.

MC: OK! Let's go THIS way...we never go THIS way

I was not expecting the enthusiasm. In fact, I was expecting to be outvoted.

While I'm sure, based on the crowds at the entrance, that the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit was jam packed, the rest of the galleries were quite sparsely attended, so it felt like having the museum practically to ourselves. How nice!

We found ourselves in the Asia Galleries. The kids kinda milled around breezing past ancient Buddhas and boddhavistas, elaborate paintings, etc. I was disappointed, as this isn't how they USED to approach the museum (I blame conventional schooling for this loss of intellectual curiosity - but that's a topic in and of itself). So I picked something big (a large mural) and started making observations on it. Soon, B and MC were making observations, too. After that, I started asking them questions about their observations and then, presto! they were engaged. No sooner were they engagedly chatting, did a ROM volunteer tour guide happen upon us.  She leaped into the conversation and gave us and impromtu private tour of the whole japanese collection. She asked questions, told stories and was just generally really awesome.  

When the volunteer concluded this tour (jam packed with awesome information), she asked where we were going next. When we expressed that we were just kinda wandering in a direction and seeing what we found, she suggested the typical kid exhibits (dinosaurs, biodiversity). When we expressed that we ALWAYS go to those, she suggested the First Peoples exhibits. At this, B launched into a lengthy explanation of Native Culture and the significance of totem poles. Delighted, she opted to come along to the totem poles with us and tell us the story depicted on the tallest one. So she did!

After that, we parted ways on the second floor. Right in front of the NEW biodiversity gallery. The one that wasn't open yet last time we were at the ROM. So we went in.

It's pretty awesome and the kids had a great time there. MC insisted on reading the information on the view screens in french, to which B initially objected, until he realized he could figure out what they all meant (that kid has SUCH a gift with language. If only his expressive ability could keep up!) with only a few words of translation from his sister (the word for toad, for example had both B and I stumped, but MC translated). So we did the biodiversity gallery in french. Most of my answers to MC's questions had to be phrased in English, I found, but I'm thankful that that didn't dissuade her from asking in french.

We also caught an Earth Rangers show, with a live falcon and a little movie about what kids can do to reduce their carbon footprint.

We got only about halfway through the First People's gallery before little tummies started rumbling, so we went out to the lobby to have a snack.

All in all, it was an incredibly successful, awesome visit.



Jul. 3rd, 2009 12:54 pm
mightydoll: (Default)
Basil and MC are playing a game in which B "storms the castle".  I tell them Basil attempting to batter the door down is not ok play, since they could break it.

Basil (walks away and comes back):  Spaghetti! Spaaaghetti! Spaaaghetti! Fire my Lazor! What The *explosion sound*, Dinner!, *starts singing Never Gonna Give You Up* 

Basil (finally takes a step back): I tried to batter the door down with internet memes, but it didn't work.  I thought internet memes were the most powerful thing in the world!
mightydoll: (Default)
 Nick and I, after months and months of not having one (due to kitty cat territorial wars), have managed to snag a new to us couch off freecycle.

Trouble is, we need to help them lift it. Nick's going to do the lifting at the one end, but he can't ride with the delivery truck and I can't lift furniture without paying for it with a week laid out flat. SO we're hoping one of our friends might be able to come by and help lift the couch off the truck.

AFAIK, it's not a sofabed, so not hugely heavy. Anyone able to help out?
mightydoll: (Default)
Hey, what vets in Toronto have the best prices on Revolution for Dogs flea treatments? We're out and I'd like to restock as cheaply as I can. 

mightydoll: (Default)

 So in our struggles to find an appropriate placement for our son (whose educational needs are complex), it's come to my attention just how damn complicated it is to find placement for kids in the new TDSB. 

When I was in school, everyone was tested routinely for "gifted" placement in grade three, and those who qualified were offered spots for grade four. I know that currently, gifted placement starts in grade four, still, but I don't know if they routinely test for that placement in grade three, or if I have to request an IPRC (and when to request that for gd 4 entry) to get my daughter tested.

My daughter is a much more straightforwardly bright child. I think she might qualify for gifted placement at the grade four level. Her grades are solid B's (which isn't fabulous) but I have the VERY distinct impression that she's coasting, capable of FAR more and in general, would be a more successful, less bored, student if she felt more challenged. She will be entering grade 3 next year, and so it occurs to me that now might be the perfect time to find out about this.

Also: does the TDSB offer french immersion gifted classes? She's currently in french immersion and we'd have to do hard thinking if we had to choose between one or the other.



May. 15th, 2009 02:59 pm
mightydoll: (Default)
I carry hurt around for a long time. Actually, what tends to happen is that I shove it down where it can't hurt me, and it resurfaces and smacks me in the face 6 months later, then hangs around. Bursting in to tears at a party because a song I never even particularly cared for is playing, taking me by surprise as much as anyone else. Nonsense.

Thing is, I TRY to deal with it and let it go. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. It just lingers. Or despite giving myself permission to mourn at the time, it just doesn't seem to deal with it.

Thing is, I'm STILL hurting over something that happened nearly a year ago. Little reminders wrench my heart right out, dissappointed hopes bubble up and I find myself thinking about it again. It's absurd. I do not need to be spending energy on this.

So, y'all, how do you deal with hurts? What do you do at the time that lets it go?  I'm reasonably certain most of you wouldn't be mourning a 5 month long relationship nearly a year later, so what do you do differently from me?


May. 8th, 2009 12:10 pm
mightydoll: (Default)

 Ok, I don't have cable and I don't read newspapers or magazines, so I had no idea this was going on. She's been reduced to her arms?  


If anybody wants me, I'll be in my room.

Swine Flu

May. 7th, 2009 01:23 pm
mightydoll: (Default)

In other news, I fell off my bike yesterday and badly sprained my right arm.  Just in time for MC's birthday, it is all but completely useless. :P
mightydoll: (Default)
Amanda Baggs is low-functioning autistic. She can't speak and requires significant assistive care. She has been institutionalized, but now lives semi-independently. She's also wicked smart. On her blog, Ballastexitenz last October Amanda examined the concept of privilege, likening the invisible backpack to water, and how it spreads out to fill whatever vessel it's placed in. It's relevant, obviously, to more than just the disabled, and it's really, really well put.

check it out! People Can Be a Bit Like Water


May. 1st, 2009 04:16 pm
mightydoll: (Default)
I messed up my scheduling, thinking this Sunday was Dorian's day with the kids, and went and lined up Hot Docs tickets for two screenings Sunday (the first is at 2, the second 4:30).

Is anyone here able to babysit Sunday afternoon from about 1-7ish?

I would be mucho grateful!

Thanks! I got it sorted out! :D
mightydoll: (Default)
Today, thanks to a comment in the Slate article: The Hawthorne Effect, Why Parents Swear by Ineffective Treatments for Autism, I've become aware of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.

Where, where, WHERE has this association been all my son's life? (apparently they were formed the same year he was born)

From the website: ASAT is a not-for-profit organization of parents and professionals committed to improving the education, treatment, and care of people with autism. Since autism was first identified, there has been a long history of failed treatments and fads, levied on vulnerable individuals as well as on their families. From the scandal of the “refrigerator mother” theory, to the ongoing parade of “miracle cures” and “magical breakthroughs”, history has been dominated by improbable theories about causation and treatments. Many of these treatments have been too quickly adopted by professionals, too readily sensationalized by the media, and too hastily embraced by hopeful consumers – well before supporting evidence or reasonable probability existed for their effectiveness or safety. Since ASAT was established in 1998, it has been our goal to work toward adopting higher standards of accountability for the care, education and treatment of all individuals with autism.

One section lists each treatment out there, and then summarizes the research and provides links to the studies. Brilliant!
mightydoll: (Default)
Given what you know about Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Education, Parenting or Neurology (and you don't all have to know anything about all these topics, just one each'll do. ;)), what thoughts do y'all have on the Arrowsmith Program?

On the one hand, my kid could use some help with his executive functioning skills, and this program certainly seems to have an excellent track record in helping kids develop them.

On the other hand, it seems to be their sole focus and I'm concerned about my child's school experience being defined entirely by what he doesn't do well.

I'm also concerned about the lack of scientific evidence that they actually do what they claim (change the child's brain) rather than simply using the age old concept of drilling and positive reinforcement. I mean, on the one hand, if it works and the kid's happy, no harm, no foul, but on the other hand, why give someone money when they are deliberately using dodgy science to manipulate you into that?

I'm VERY interested in pretty much everyone's input on this, whether you think you're "qualified" or not.

mightydoll: (Default)
I'm looking for a pub sort of atmosphere with COMFY seating. Like the Rose and Crown, but not uptown. Proximity to Bloor/Danforth subway line a bonus!

Can any of you nice folks help me out?
mightydoll: (Default)

A 0 credit mini-course was recently introduced- and axed - at Vasser. The topic? How to get women of different cultures into bed without offending them. Not surprisingly, some people took offense.
mightydoll: (Default)
Even if it wasn't autism awareness month, I'd be currently up to my armpits in austism issues. While B. is doing much better at this school that at the last, he's still not thriving. He's still stressed out and crying every couple of weeks, he's still just barely keeping his head above a water line which is rising very quickly. A lot is expected in the last couple years of elementary school. Year after next, he'll be in Junior High. Remember Junior High y'all? He is nowhere NEAR ready for that kind of pressure.

developmental stuff - very, very long )

What do you do to educate a kid who's such an array of contradictions? We're becoming painfully aware that even with a cooperative, helpful public school and a spectacular teacher, the public school system just doesn't have a place for him. Private schools for special needs kids don't seem quite right, either. I'm a fan of integration, and he's atypical even for an Aspie.

We're looking into Alpha 2 for grade seven. We're looking at gifted classes in public school which specifically welcome Aspies (apparently, they're out there, though we haven't been able to find them on our own), we're looking at a year or two of homeschooling, to work one on one with some of the things that need more work than others. We have way more questions than answers.

The internet is a fabulous resource, but it's also confusing. You have everyone from the Indigo Children theorists to Autism Speaks, which both seem to be so far in denial of the needs of the autistic children and adults who are walking this planet right now that their effect is pretty much the same, even if their goals are vastly different. There's the neurodiversity movement, within which there's people who are for symptom specific treatment and people who are strongly against treatment. There's the brain plasticity people and the adapted programming people. There's the vaccine and diet people and the SSRI's and stimulants people. And noone fits perfectly into any one of these groups. Most people come up with a mishmash of therapies and treatments and adapted programs and understanding that works for their family. And that's great, but doesn't help me to figure out where to go from here.

And everywhere, EVERYWHERE, someone wants to sell us something that will help, a cure, a treatment, a 46 and a half step program, a tutoring service, advocacy services by the hour, chelation therapy, Arrowhead, SonRise, Fast ForWord, IBI, ABA...the list goes on and on and on...

I'm just fried.
mightydoll: (Default)
Apparently, at at least one prestigious private elementary school in Toronto (my son is friends with a 4th grader at this unnamed school), this video is making the rounds - officially. Am I wrong to see a transgender-positive message here? (wait for 2:14)

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