Tuesday, March 30, 2010
So I was wondering if I could have some audience participation? Basically I will write one two paragraphs with Tikaani as my main focus and you all can shoot me some "prompts' Which can be one word like "Circle" or a link to a song or a idea like "Tikaani speaking for the first time or his first kiss." Something like that and I will write about it.
Hopefully this will keep me stimulated.
Friday, March 26, 2010
The Odysseus House
Basically it's a house off of OSU campus that is a transitional home for ASD adults. I want it to be fully accessible and open for all types of autists. It's temporary home for adults who need a place to stay (say moving away from parents, looking for a dorm, needing housing for a few months...etc) also a place for adults to practice necessary life skills in an environment that fosters independence. I want it to be a safe place for autists, to be among other autists and not feel forced to be normal in front of everyone. Where stimming is welcome as well as obsessive special interests. It's not a group home so autists are free to come and go when they need to. No one is force to required to stay in the Odysseus House. It's fully welcoming to care-takers or aids for autists. Accommodation of all kinds should be welcomed as long as they are reasonable. The residents work together and use teamwork as well as fostering social skills to solve problems. No one NT should be in charge. It should be home for autists by autists.
So what are people's opinions of this...since my run in with housing limbo, I think it's time for use to grab the reigns and try to make a home for those that need one. So any critiques or ideas?
Monday, March 22, 2010
I am just so pissy today. I just want to break something, scream, stim for hours. I don't feel like eating or drawing really, except for this mood-doodle of Tikaani. I don't know why, but god I just feel like shit.
For those who want a life update, I am off of insurance (BOOO) and I am out of meds (DAMNIT) so I have been taking Tyleno PM to get to sleep. It's lovely side effects is me waking up with upset tummy and drinking pepto. I don't know if I am having withdrawl or I am on my invisible period or I am just being a moody aspie.
My dad is working with Aztec-Zenaca the makers of Seroquel, in an attempt to get me on their drug program so I can get my pills for free. If I pass then I can get the medication I need. I still need to call MR/DD and ask for an appeal since I was rejected and then I need to sit down with both my mom and dad and work out some goals for the next year or two.
I wish I had mom to give me a hug right now. I really need one ):
Friday, March 19, 2010
I am sick of this. I keep getting sickening flashes of panic and anxiety attacks. Now I am going through a severe one. This is so ridiculous I am rocking back and forth and I need some sort of pressure anything to relieve this.
It's totally not fair guys.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Because of the explosion of Tikaani and fan-bender posts I decided I should do a digest post on what is Avatar the Last Airbender and why is it my special interest.
Aspies have special topics that many are down right manic on. Some are interested in dogs, horses, trains, clocks and for something anime tends to be a special interest but I am particular to a particular program
Wikipedia states this
Avatar: The Last Airbender (also known as Avatar: The Legend of Aang) is an American animated television series that aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon and the Nicktoons Network. The series was created and produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who served as executive producers along with Aaron Ehasz. Avatar is set in an Asian-influenced world of Chinese martial arts and elemental manipulation. The show drew on elements from East Asian (especially Chinese and Japanese) culture, blending the styles of anime and US domestic cartoons.
The series follows the adventures of the main protagonist Aang and his friends, who must save the world by defeating the evil Fire Lord and ending the destructive war with the Fire Nation. The pilot episode first aired on February 21, 2005 and the series concluded with a widely-lauded two-hour television movie on July 19, 2008. The show is available from the following sources: on DVD, the iTunes Store, the Zune Marketplace, the Xbox Live Marketplace, the PlayStation Store, and its
I got into Avatar during Easter when I was watching "King of Omashu" at first I thought it was a silly kids cartoon with lots action and martial arts. By the time I got half way into the first season I was pretty hooked. It was incriedbly invoking and inspiring I just couldn't get enough of it. November of 05 is when I got into Avatar RP. I created my first "fan-character" a grumpy pacifist firebending doctor named Sekar. I am still Rping since then...it's almost been five years.
To break down Avatar the Last Airbender (which is going to be hard) I'll start with the main plot and then go down to each of the Four Nations
Avatar the Last Airbender is set in a grueling 100 year war with the invasive and destructive Fire Nation. This was the result of the Avatar, whom is a individual that can bend or manipulate all for elements, disappeared and abandoning the nations. He is the mediator of all four elemental-countries as well as the ambassador for the Spirit-Gods and without him the Fire Nation waged a violent genocide on the peaceful Air Nomads and continue to wage a war among other nations.
In a South Pole village, Katara and Sokka a pair of Water Tribe siblings discover the new Avatar, Aang, a happy go-lucky Air Nomad. With their help and the countless of allies and friends he has made. Aang goes from carefree monk to wise and realized Avatar and defeats the violent and mislead Fire Nation and their ruthless dictator, Ozai.
Now here is a break down of the Four Nations
The Earth Kingdom is the largest of the Element-Countries. It has two main metropolises. Omashu, which is primary a city of earthbenders and Ba Sing Se which is pretty much "The Forbidden City" in fantastic elemental Asia. It's the most diverse of the Four Nations, having various kinds of people and it's inspiration is drawing from various sources. There are subculture of benders called "Sandbenders" that live in the Si Wong Desert
They are the most enduring of the Four Nations and survived the war much better than the Water Tribes and the now extinct Air Nomads. It's government is a dual monarchy with the Omashu ruling the south end of the Earth Kingdom and Ba Sing Se ruling the north.
The Fire Nation is the isolated archipelago on the equator. It's the most technologically advanced nation and going through an industrial revolution. Through the hundred years it has suffered propaganda and forced loyalty to the Fire Lord. The people of the Fire Nation are hard working and industrious they are powerful soldiers and passionate people. Most of the citizens of the Fire Nation are firebenders.
The Water Tribes are polar nations. The Southern tribe resides in the South Pole and has suffered severe damage from the war. There are no waterbenders in the South. Katara is the only one. The men of the tribe left to fight and serve the other nations in war.
The North Pole is very complex ice-fortress. The poles are ruled by chieftains, Chief Hakoda rules the South and he is Katara and Sokka's father. Arnook rules the North. The polar Water Tribes are very community based and adaptive. However cultural sexism is also prevalent. Women are forbidden to fight in the North Pole and men are primary in charge. The adaptivity makes them powerful survivors. (Tikaani's home is the North Pole, he is Water Tribe)
The Foggy Swamp in the Earth Kingdom is home to portion of the Water Tribe that live kinda like hillbillies meets Boreno. The Swampbenders are much like their polar cousins. Adaptive survivors (paddle faster I hear banjos).
The Air Nomads are currently extinct according to Word of God (aka the creators of the show) though fandom has ways of bending this rule. ... anyway.
The Air Nomads were nation of all airbenders and they ruled in four temples. North, South, East and West. The north and south are all male temples and the east and west are all female. There are caravans but not much are know about them. It's assumed that Air Nomads are ruled by a theocracy. Air Nomads are pacifists and practice the Buddhist variation of "non-harm" they do not eat meat and their bending lacks a killing move.
Notes on Bending:
Earthbending: Earthbending is based on the real world martial art of Hung Gar. It's strong and powerful stances are used to create earth quakes, throw boulders and even magnetize stone to their bodies. The original source of earth bending were the badger-moles.
Firebending: Is based off of Northern Shaolin. It's hard and aggressive and destructive. It's the most dangerous of any element. It can harm the bender as well as it's foe. It's original source was the dragons.
Waterbending: Is inspired by Tai Chi. It's bending is fluid and stances flow into each other. It's very versatile next to Air Bending. Waterbenders also can heal by redirecting the chi within a person. The original source of waterbending was the Moon and Ocean
Airbending: This bending was referenced by Ba Gua. It's a circular bending style and like Waterbending. Redirects the attacks of enemies. It's bending based on evasion and defense. Airbenders are clever and resourceful making airbending the most versatile bending disapline. Unlike the other three bending styles. Airbenders have no killing move. The original source of came from the Sky Bison.
As a television program, Avatar is well balanced for both adults and children. It still has fun and silly moments as well as serious topics such as ethics of taking human life, propaganda, environmentalism, sexism, responsibility and redemption. Just to name a few. It's probably one the best cartoons in my generation next to Gargoyles. I recommended it to families out there. A fair warning to the heavy Christian families out there. Avatar has a some Vedic, Buddhist, Taoist and Animist philosophy in the show. Something you should watch for in case your kids have some questions.
I hope this reference will make things easier when I talk about Tikaani. Now you have a good idea what his culture is like :3
Monday, March 15, 2010
This is a rather jumbled up post but something that has caught my interest.
opening fiction first person Rahmet
It was something that was gradually brought to my attention, but I noticed that my cousin didn't notice gender easily. Now I said gender not sex, Tikaani recognizes that women have 'sheaths' and men have 'swords'. Sex to him was obvious he has seen women naked in co-ed bath-houses and gods know how many times he have seen me or Maka nude. Gender was a bit more ambiguous for him. Back at home, gender to him, was defined by bending. Male waterbenders were warriors or laborers female waterbenders were healers or midwives. Gender with appearance never really register with him. Women and men work huge heavy parkas not all women wore make up both sexes wore jewelery. So defining gender based on looks didn't quite make sense to him
In Ba Sing Se, it was bit more complicated. Like him, some men had long hair, women earthbenders were laborers and warriors and some men were doctors and even midwifes. Suddenly his whole diagram is put on it's head. What was at least clear enough for him to tell is now a bit blurred. He has called women carrying hammers or tools and short hair despite wearing gowns and having prominent breasts 'sir' and men with trousers but holding children and having long hair as 'ma'am'. After several gentle corrections by me. Tikaani decided to 'fuckitall' and call everyone sir. It gets worse with children since they are naturally androgynous.
Tikaani's frustration with not telling men from women apart was embarrassing to him. It wasn't because gender was a big deal to him,(I find it kind of altruistically endearing that he doesn't care about binaries)but the shear fact it made him look like a moron. Having people laugh at him and say: "Last time I checked I still have a (pair of) breasts/penis", was very humiliating, he would lower his head say that he was sorry and stim for twenty minutes and then disconnect. Tikaani tries his best to pick out distinctions but society doesn't really help with it. Mostly because people naturally blend the binaries he grew up with (don't get me started with cross-dressers. Those just piss him off. Not because he finds it disgusting but they just confuse him even more and make it more frustrating for him.) and it makes it hard for him to distinguish.
Theoretically, I think this was probably a throwback to the years of face-blindness when he was a child. He threw a nasty meltdown when he was five and half when mom got her hair cut short. He had no idea who mom was and screamed like he was on fire. He figured it out later that day but, since then all of us don't change our appearance that much. Now the ability to not recognize familiar people based on changes on looks, has become the ability not to pick up on gender distinctions right away.
After some work with him though, Tikaani has picked up gender through voice, which I guess plays with the concept of sex (I see sex as physical and gender as social), men have deep voices women have high voices. Thanks to Tikaani's perfect pitch, he knows what a woman sounds like and what a man sounds like. Beards worked so well too since he knows women don't have big bushy beards. Now Tikaani has somewhat managed his gender-blindness. Yet...those cross-dressers do show up again to trip him up and me as well.
Why do drag queens look so darn attractive?
So the question arises, what do autistic people thing of gender? Are some actually gender blind? Do some identify with no gender? Trans? bi? or just play cis? How does gender affect autistic people in general? Are clear with binaries or are they vague to us?
FTR I don't think gender blindness is an autistic trait. I see it as simply a "Tikaani" trait. Which I used to set the topic's questions up.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
This episode of Prism*Vox
Doubts about Robison, Jodi's new book...oh boy, and Snark Fest is on the gripe about the DSMV you can download this episode
I'll also be sharing Sarah from "A Cat in Dog's world" in reviewing House Rules. I suffer through it so you wont have too!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Since I talk a lot about Tikaani I want to deviate and talk about another fan-character.
Chiko was my first really complex ATLA fan-character. An Air-Nomad monk from the Southern Air Temple that survives a brutal massacre by the invasive Fire Nation. With his temple destroyed as well as most of his peaceful people. Chiko tries to survive with his temple-brothers. Yomi and Mao. He throw into a very chaotic and violent world.
He was something of a prototype for a disabled character too. Originally autistic he went through several evolutions until I got to his final form. A snarky, but well meaning young man with a grudge to bear and story to tell. He's fascinating because it was his experience that allowed me to try to make an autistic character one that was more identifiable than the ambiguously autistic characters I had that were more borderline Asperger like Chiko. So you could say that Tikaani is Chiko 2.0. But they are some definite distinctions and commonalities.
Tikaani and Chiko similarities.
Both of them were raised in alternate families. Chiko was raised in community of monks. His father figures were all the elders of the temple. His siblings were the monks in his peer group. Yomi was originally a big brother figure for Yomi since he had older males being more parent figures. Yomi became more of a foster father after the assault and one of the only role models besides the constantly angry Mao. Tikaani was raised by his aunt and uncles. He never understood "mother" and "father" in the typical sense. Auntie was mom and Maka was dad but never officially gave them those labels. Both of them had role models outside of the norm and grew up in alternate sort of fashions
Both of them have disabilities that are permanent. Chiko's a speech impediment and physical disability are his trademarks while Tikaani is has developmental disability. Both of them try to survive with and each have their coping mechanisms
Both of them suffered adversity. Chiko has some more racial issues because his people are being hunted down. While Tikaani is being discriminated because of his disability.
Both are opportunistic when it come to romance. Funny how they kinda ended up bi.
Chiko is more clear in communication and despite his speech problems he is willing to barrel through them to be heard. Tikaani hates verbal speech and prefers written text. Tikaani is also very literate and a very strong reader and writer. While Chiko has some learning disabilities and struggles with reading.
Tikaani prefers complex puzzles and games like Pai Sho. Chiko loves games and activities that allow him to use his whole body. It brings him more confidence when he can do activities despite his amputation.
Chiko is very dominating in relationships and can be a bit controlling, while Tikaani is really passive and disconnects easily.
Tikaani had strong mother figure, Chiko had a strong father figure.
Chiko is very grudgy and bitter, while Tikaani forgives easily.
It's interesting on how the are similar and different. They are both interesting and invoking characters and they are both building my writing and character building skills.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Or thoughts on Pinocchio,
I haven't done a good essay a while but I figure I should try to crack one out.
One of my favorite childhood stories is the Velveteen Rabbit. The story of a beloved stuff animal being come "real' through a child unconditional love and companionship as well as fairy magic. It was the perfect story for a little girl like myself that had stuff animals for friends. I had dozens of plush animals and I still have a few around me and I still sleep with at least one. However looking back on the tropes of fiction you see that the Velveteen Rabbit is something of a trope now. It the idea that the love of another person unconditional and unrelenting can fix their problems or a characteristic that other person doesn't really understand or like. A good example is a woman loving a gay man and turning him "straight" or a woman falling in love with a drug addict and getting him clean or an abled woman making disabled man, abled.
For some it's the whole "broken doll" or the "Every girl likes a bad-boy" appeal that makes this trope and it's cousins quite over-used. Now is the Velveteen Rabbit trope generally bad? No it's a trope. A writing tool and a common plot device. It's how you write it that makes it cringe worthy. With Autistic characters, you run into this a lot and characters mostly fall into two tropes. The Organic Android and the Three Legged Dog. Now the Organic Android (OA) is the trope where the autistic character is interesting invoking and somehow relatable, but you can tell he is just a shallow image of a normal person and it almost casts you into the Uncanny Valley. The Three Legged Dog is where the autistic person doesn't see anything wrong with himself, he is happy out going but everyone feels so bad for him yet inspired by his feeling of optimism that is portrayed as sweetness and "aww what a precious and special person". One invokes fetishism the other pity. While Tikaani might fall into the TTLD trope a few times. I see a lot of writers lean on the OA for some reason. It guess it's the attempt to make him relatable but only to make him look like something on a National Geographic documentary. TTLD is common too for compassion but it echoes more pity and voyeurism than compassion.
When writing disabled or anything that is "Other" you must be mindful of the tropes and stereotypes you are using. Tropes are not bad but executing them wrong is.