Crossing the Threshold!!

By the time, you, my readers, read this, the Autistic Super-blog will have reached 1,000 views this year!! To say that it’s a major accomplishment for me is an understatement, so I want to express my gratitude and thank you all so much for your support!!

When I first started writing on The Super-blog, I honestly wasn’t sure how to start, or if I did, my tendency for perfection would get in the way of getting the posts done. I was worried that I was not the great writer I felt that I could be.

But now, I know that the most important thing to do is just write, something, anything at all, start by letting life inspire you then let it take you where you want it to take you. To take a page from Pixar’s animated movie Ratatouille, not everyone can be a great storyteller, but a great writer can tell a story with their own experiences.

Just look at Hayao Miyazaki’s works, which I’ll delve into in a later blog post since it’s extensive, but suffice it to say that he’s a fantastic artist and writer. He tells his stories based on his experiences and his connections, yet it’s done in a magnificent way so that it draws people to see his works.

It’s the same with all writers, including my dear friend Mikhail Horowitz, whom I’ve mention in the Super-blog before, he’s a fantastic story teller and uses music and comedy to give the story its unique flavor. Another example is another dear friend Jesse Saperstein, who uses humor and his wit to explain how he sees the world as a fellow Spectrumite. My point is that all writers can be story tellers, but it’s how it’s done they matters.

That’s the same way I’ve tried to relate it to my posts on the Autistic Super-blog, I like to be as real and authentic as I can, but do so in a way that everyone understands. I only hope I’m doing a good job at it, I’m trying to translate my experiences as I see them without anything being lost in translation.

I want to say thank you again to all of my readers for giving me the support, the feedback, the encouragement and the friendship over the years (including this year.) I’m doing all I can to make sure the support is well founded, so that we can all…

Shine On!! Thank you all again!!

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The Impact of Woodstock: #Woodstock50

(Writer’s note: This post was to have done before now, with it being the actual 50th Anniversary of Woodstock celebration, but life got in the way, so better late than never, I guess, please enjoy nevertheless.)

I’ve only heard stories about the Original Woodstock and Woodstock’s 25th Musical Festival (the latter of which was only a short walk from my Mom’s bar, believe it or not) but the impact of the “Three Days of Peace, Love and Music” permeated throughout not only society but also a small town named Woodstock.

That impact has helped Woodstock become the cultural Mecca it has become throughout the years. I can only speak of my own experiences growing up near Woodstock, but I can say that any artist would be doing themselves a huge disservice by not going to Woodstock at least once.

To those who know Woodstock, you’ve probably hear that they do weird things there, smoking pot and doing drugs and all that, but let me explain how I see Woodstock: I see Woodstock as a bustling community, where peace and freedom reign, a town that stands up for what they believe in, a town where people can know that they are welcome, from all walks of life.

I see in Woodstock a place to learn, about different cultures, different religions, different ways of doing things, where acceptance, peace and love aren’t just slogans, but a way of life.

I see Woodstock as a place to see the beauty of God’s creation, if one has ever been to Overlook Mountain (quite the climb, but impressive views), the Ashokan Reservoir and other places as well.

So, please stop on by and what the Hudson Valley has to offer and maybe you’ll be able to see the beauty I see, and in a small way, it’ll help us all…

Shine On!!

Poetry Packed Out: An Empowerment Stage

On this edition of Poetry Packed Out, I want to make a confession, I’m a fan of karaoke. I think it’s because I like to sing, or being completely immersed in a song and not caring what others think. A friend told me that she saw my confidence when I recently sang at a karaoke event in BSP in Kingston, it’s something I take as a great compliment, but that being said, I’ve never been able to be that confident in other aspects of my life.

It’s something that I’ve been wanting to change about myself. But I digress..

This friend, Krissy by name, has always been such a great friend to me, looking at me as a friend, a rarity at an event where I was treated more like staff and less as a friend, it’s where the term “Bartenders Conundrum” came from for me. It all helped me when she became the buffer for me, all because I disclosed to her. That’s a positive impact that comes from disclosing, which is your choice. It helps you stand up and feel like you’re not alone, in both the good and bad times.

I guess I’ve gotten used to being on stage, with my poetry and signing that it became natural for me, which led to this acrostic:

Spotlight

-for my dear friend, Krissy-

Shining lights blind those unprepared for their number;
Performance begins, though he’s shaken (not stirred) crowd, music
Overtake him. He gets into it, slowly, but surely, beaten path he’s been
Through many times before; thoughts of leaving evaporates as
Lift in spirit; confidence makes singer feel free
Inside himself. Each verse, note, lyric feel normal
Giving him means to press on even as he fumbles.
However, as song moves him to do more, as he stumbles
The crowd feels confidence; presence with every note he sings.

Make your life your own and never be afraid to show people whom you are deep down and always…

Shine On!!

Throwback Thursday: Another Post of Hope

When one thinks of the holidays, holiday music fills the loudspeakers all around us, the malls, supermarkets, restaurants, you name it, the music is always there. Talks with people go into what people do over the holidays, whenever it comes to parties, dinners or just quiet time with families.

I’ve been fortunate to have a loving and welcoming community that is able to see me for being supportive, successful, honest and heartfelt people they know (to those family and friends who know that they are, I wish to thank you for being so welcoming to me.)

But, what of those less lucky than I am? This post is to pass the warmth, love and support your way..

For all the stories I could tell of my holidays, I know that there are people who are less fortunate, those who don’t have the support that I have, one where their diagnoses (or circumstances) have either caused or can have negative impacts when it comes to family get together a, choosing to stay at home rather than risk the humiliation.

For those people, I wish to say that you’re not alone and that you are loved, if not by family then by your friends. Feel free to reach out them because they care about you; let them share their light with you. The road that you’re going on in life has a new direction for you if you want to take it. I won’t deny that it’s scary, it’s full of unknowns and it can be intimidating but I’ve been in your shoes and I know that you’ll discover things about yourself you never would’ve known otherwise.

There are many paths in life that bring us to where we are in our lives and perhaps you’re at a crossroads in your life, maybe now is the time to make a change, to make things right with family, to live your life with no regrets. I beg you to look at the path that has a happier result, but to paraphrase the words of Keenau Reeves in The Matrix, “Where you go from there is a choice I leave to you” but please know that you are not alone in both your triumphs and tragedies; there are brighter days ahead.

If your dealing with personal demons, know that you can seek help if you ask for it and search around your area. Together, we can all shine a light in our communities so we can all…

Shine on!!

Hopes for the Future: Birthday Reflections (Part 2)

I can’t lie to you, readers, so I won’t.

There are times when I feel like I’m not good enough, that I’m not an inspiration, that what I do doesn’t matter, times when people tell me to worry about my needs and not of others.

Then, there are days like today, my birthday, that make me realize how loved and supportive I am by my community. Today was a day where I felt that I do matter, that what I do does make a difference, that I am an inspiration to others.

Sure, I need to work on my self confidence and self esteem and I know that I have a long way to go, but knowing that I am loved and respected in my community made me happy beyond words.

I focused on the past last time I posted, but now I’d like to focus on the future.

1. First and foremost, I want to work on my self esteem and self confidence. It seems so easy for others, so much so that I realize I’m late in the game, so to speak. I want to be confident in whom I am, but I don’t want to be fake or arrogant (Amy Bouzgalo, anyone?)

2. I want others to know that they aren’t alone, to bring them hope and support when they need it. This may seem like a big dream, but I know that to do that, I need to work on the small things for them to get bigger.

3. I need to set boundaries, primarily due to the complications that come with the Bartenders Conundrum, it can be difficult for me to function if I don’t do it sooner or later. Besides, if I’m not focused on my self care, I’m not good for anyone, right?

Finally, I want to grow in my faith, I’ve gotten better at it, but again, I feel like I have a long way to go. It’s all part of my lack of time management, which, as I’ve mentioned before, can be a trade off but it is something I need to work on.

So, there you have it, my hopes for my future during this year; once again, thank you all for all of your Birthday wishes to me. I only hope I’m worthy of them so I can help us all truly grow and, as always….

Shine On!!!

Birthday Reflections!!

Well, today’s my 39(!)th Birthday!!

As I reflect back on my childhood compared to now, there have been a lot of changes, both good and bad. One could say that these things have been on my mind, now on the List of The Super-Blog, take a look, Man!!

Okay, that sounded a lot like professional wrestler Chris Jericho but the point I wish to make is that life is all about changes and these are some I’ve noticed:

  1. I’m convinced that the internet was created by Spectrumites, the reason being that technology has helped us communicate in one way or another. Just looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other apps show you how far we’ve come. Another type of examples I can go on are Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Dailymotion and other streaming devices that allow us to watch shows or waste time on the whims of nostalgia, along the lines of what my friend Jesse would say. Looking back on my life, I would panic if I didn’t get back in time for a show I wanted to watch live, or I would wake up in the middle of the night to watch some game show that was only on at a late night time slot. Had I known of the technological advances we have now, perhaps I’d slept more, but speaking of this topic…
  2. VHS vs. DVD: Due to the technological advances I mentioned earlier, I used to record things on my VHS tapes (remember those?) On old school VHS tapes, you could tape the things you wanted to tape (as my family did for me when I was younger) and use the same to tape other things until it wore out, much like music from my younger years. Not so much for DVD’s since, unless you didn’t want it to, you could save more videos, documents, audios and all that on them.
  3. Computers: I guess it shouldn’t be any surprise why I’m talking about this, since it seems obvious, but consider that my first computer was my family’s Commodore 64 (use the following picture for a reference: https://www.giantbomb.com/commodore-64/3045-14/) and that my current computer is a Dell computer with flat screen monitor, printer and scanner and you can see the way how technology has changed. Gameboys, NES, Atari were the norm in those days, where as now there’s more variety as to what can be done, just look at 1987’s Metroid from the NES and it’s 2004 counterpart Metroid: Zero Mission and you’ll see what I mean.
  4. Shows: Compare My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to its 1980’s counterpart, or She-Ra to it’s 2019 counterpart or even the Pound Puppies (one of the classic I have to this day) and you might discover a trend that one might find refreshing: character-driven stories, which would be a rare find in the 1980s, where there was a story overall, but no real character arcs for those characters, or least that how I feel, looking back.

I think I’ve made my point about how much has changed, how much I’ve found myself nostalgic for certain things but grateful for other things as well, such is the way when you celebrate your birthday, I guess? I’ll post something tomorrow, but until then, stay strong and as always….

Shine On!!!

Throwback Thursday: (Re)Making of a Champion

There’s one thing that brings us together but also divides us, both as individuals and as a society. One event where one team wins at the expense of the other, one where cities are united in solidarity and are celebrating or mourning the result: The Super Bowl.

In my group home, I’m always happy to celebrate no matter which team is in the game, but I always find myself reminding my friends that a lot can happen in one play that can change the entire game. The reason I say that is not meant as lip service to any team: I say that because its words I’ve seen to be true many times before. A friend has told me that I know how to improvise and I’m flattered that my friend says that; such is not to say that it was easy for me to learn at first.

As a Spectrumite, learning to change wasn’t easy to do, but I learned empathy quickly, I was able to see the bigger picture more because I didn’t want to do anything that I’d regret, all because my parents asked me how I’d feel if what I did to someone happened to me? It was something I didn’t think of before then, but as I thought about it, it made sense for me to think about others..

But I digress..

I’d like to ask my readers this question, what do you think makes a champion?

The way I see it, a champion knows how to make changes on the fly, being flexible, a champion settles on his strategy but can also is flexible enough to change it when the needs change. A champion leads a team by their example, they walk the walk and doesn’t lead by just talking about it. They actuate and never dictate and never confuses the two. One should ask oneself which kind of leader that they wish to be?

Be the leader, of your life or of one group, you want to be; inspiring those around you to try to make themselves and you all…

Shine On!!

Your Talent Matters!!

I want to ask a question to all of my readers, what talents do you have?

As for me, as I’ve spoken of before, I am a visual thinker, I think in pictures, much like my hero, Dr. Temple Grandin, I look at things visually, when I drive, I look at landmarks, visual markets to help me focus on the road.

I also have a knack for attention to details. This means that I may seem to think of one job as more important than others, which means my time management does need work. Not to say that I’m not perfect nor that I’m not trying to work on it.

As you all can see, I can write very well, having written one (two, if you count the one I’m working on) books of my poetry, been in Hudson Valley’s magazine Chronogram numerous times, been a part of the local poetry scene for 19 years, featuring at local events during that time, all while writing my poetry for over 20 years and I think it has served me very well over the years.

That said, I always live by the Socratic Question: “All that I know that I know nothing.” I’ve mentioned this on the Super-blog before, but what I want you all to know is that, even when you think you know everything, you don’t; that you need to be ready to learn about new things, new ways of doing things.

Discover your talents, those things that only you can do and do those things to the best of your ability. Find those who are better than you are in your field. Know that you are worth your talents, that your talents matter and can make a difference in the world. You can make the world amazing just by your talents and passions. Know that you’re not alone, but know that your hidden talents matter, that you matter and that you can help your community and the world….

Shine On!!!

Don’t Walk with Me, but Get to Know Me

After a lot of thought on this, I’ve decided to let you all into my head (not literally, of course) and let you know a little bit more about me, especially on my Birthday month.

The problem for me was: How can I let you all in without it seeming pretentious or fake, so I took a page out of the Bravo television show, Inside the Actor’s StudioIt’s especially fitting since the annual Saugerties Artists’ Studio Tour is this weekend, so I figured that I’d do the same here.

To give you all, my dear readers, an idea of how this will work, I’ll use the questions that host James Lipton uses for Inside, which was itself created from the Proust  Questionnaire, which the French writer Marcel Proust used to probe into one’s personality. I hope that, in doing so, I’ll give you all a chance to get to know me, again without literally getting inside my head.

Just a bit of humor to get us started, so without further ado,

Q: What is your favorite word?

A: Adventure, specifically the Japanese equivalent, Bouken. Simply because I like to explore new places, new things, new forms of music and poetry. I like to branch out of my comfort zone, as much as I feel is necessary for me.

Q: What is your least favorite word?

A: Politics, mostly because of what it entails. Not to say that it’s a necessary evil, but at worst, I think of kids throwing mud at each other. While all that’s happening, nothing gets really done.

Q: What turns you on?

A: Tasty food, a great personality and someone who understands me for whom I am, with all my flaws and my strengths.

Q: What turns you off?

A: Bossy people, those who feel like their voices, their opinions, are the matter the most. Those who feel that ignore others who feel differently without doing their research.

Q: What sound or noise do you love?

A: The sythesier that’s present in the Billy Joel song, All for Leyna, along with the calliope sound I’m Only the Good Die Young, but if we’re looking long term, then Press Your Luck‘s sound effect when a spin is in session (this link will let you hear the melody: https://youtu.be/9kfBdZtqN24.

Q: What sound or noise do you hate?

A: Anything shrill, like babies crying loudly, fire alarms, or anything random, mostly because there’s no time for me to prepare myself since I never know when it’s coming.

A perfect example is when I hear a fire truck, if I know it’s coming, I can plug my ears to drown the sound.

Q: What is your favorite curse word?

A: Honestly, I’ve heard so many (as a Bartenders son) that it’s hard to find a favorite one. I usually don’t curse, as a rule, because I’ve been taught to watch what I say. But, if I have to, I’ll say that fuck is a favorite curse word, because I’ve heard it so often.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

A world traveler, mostly so I can bring the flavor of what I see, what I learn to those people at home, or those who don’t have the means to do so.

Q: What profession would you not like to do?

A: A sewer worker or a garbage worker, mostly because my sense of smell is so strong that it would affect my ability to do my job effectively.

Q: If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

A:Greetings, Brian, I know you’ve suffered enough, but I want you to know that it was worth it, you ran your race well, now you get rewarded for your journey. Your friends and family have been waiting for you.

 

Well, there you have it, I hope that helps you get into my head, give you an insight into the person I am; I hope that this helps you all see that the person I am here is whom I am in real life, if you have any questions other than these to ask me, please don’t hesitate to message me on the Super-blog.

Hopefully, it will help open up communication, not only here but in real life, where we can all….

Shine On!!