Yesterday

May 24, 2020 - One Response

Isaac’s Log—Stardate: 2020.145 (Week 1,172, Day 3).

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I had a pretty great day yesterday. For some reason, I had fallen asleep at I think before 1:00 the night before (which is super early for me), and I woke up around 8:00 in the morning; fortunately, even though I slept for a long time, I didn’t wake up with an unusually large headache (I’ve basically always had a headache since my TBI, but I often wake up with a bigger one if I sleep for more than six hours, or less than four).

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I spent the first part of the day trying to sort through government forms for filing my patent application; I had finished updating the invention’s specification and annotating the drawings after having shut myself to work in a closet for a while last Tuesday, so it’s basically just paperwork and filing fees from here on out. Between learning about the process and how to format things, only being able to work sporadically due to my head injury, and a few setbacks (such as spilling electrolyte water on my old laptop last January), it’s taken me a lot longer than I expected to get everything together for my invention; but I think that one unforeseen but positive side effect of this is that it’s given me more time to improve my invention. For example, I had originally made the 3D mockup just for the sake of generating some illustrations for the application; but one unintended bonus of kind of building it digitally is that it gave me the opportunity to really workshop the invention, and figure out some ways to design it to function better. Although my invention hasn’t technically changed a whole lot from when I first envisioned it last year, getting it out of my head and onto paper (well, screen) has definitely really helped me sort out more of its specifics. Even though figuring out the paperwork has been a little more frustrating than I expected, I’m super excited about having basically finished this project, and I’m hoping that my invention will both help a lot of people and prove to be a good source of income. I’m super grateful for all of the encouragement of my friends and family; I’m especially thankful for Daddy’s help with the paperwork side of things, and Sandy volunteering her skills as notary to get my account verified with the Patent Office last year.

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Princess Chloe’s governess is well intentioned, but can be a frustrating person to interact with.

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Yesterday afternoon, Levi hosted the third session of our Court of Quidmark campaign. It was a super fun and pretty intense session, and our characters were actually really competent this time around; among other things, we uncovered part of a pretty massive conspiracy—part of which involved translating an old piece of Orcish scripture to get a hint for what we needed to do (“Remember the 23rd before the flame!“). There was a ball for the first day of Silverdance, along with an “apology dinner” for Prince Pladwitch; Princess Chloe escaped her overbearing governess, managed to draw out one of the major conspirators by bluffing, inadvertently revealed her magical powers to pretty much everyone after lighting a guy on fire (which fortunately freed him from a domination spell that was causing him to attack Prince Pladwitch), and once again proved that she’s a danger to herself and others whenever she tries to dance (sorry, Rufus; I felt bad for him, even though he was a jerk). Crown Princess Cadence socked a duchess in the face when she tried to mess with her little sister, Prince Pladwitch fell flat on his face as he entered the ball, and we all saved an innocent waiter from a false arrest. So, on the whole, it was a pretty productive holiday; and there was only one person mysteriously murdered this time around.

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From Sky to Sky (4/27/2017 @ 7:10 PM).

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Unintentional Bokeh (2/16/2019 @ 6:00 PM).

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For a late dinner last night, I made nachos with salsa and half a hamburger patty in each bowl, and Levi and I watched Gravity Falls (we watched Boss Mabel, which is my favourite episode; although The Time Traveler’s Pig is definitely a close second). So it was a pretty great day; plus, the people on our street apparently smoked slightly less pot than usual, so Levi didn’t have any asthma attacks (the stuff really does make whole neighbourhoods smell like a skunk’s been lit on fire, and somehow the odour it gets into our bedroom even with the windows closed—for me it’s just really stinky and makes me a little sick to my stomach, but it puts Levi at risk of suffocating; I’ve never gotten angry very easily, but I’ve felt pretty furious lately because my little brother has ended up suffering so much just because so many people aren’t great at being human, and I also honestly really miss living somewhere where it wasn’t so loud and smelly).

 

Give Me Your Answer, Do (5/7/2018 @ 1:24 PM).

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Anyway, I know that this might sound a little hollow immediately following my less-than-Christian-sounding parenthetical rant, but I hope that you all have a happy Ascension Day (it was moved from Thursday to Sunday in our diocese; although obviously I’m still not leaving the house, so my celebrating it today is kind of more for the sake of regional consistency and solidarity with the other Catholics in our area), and that you enjoy the rest of the Memorial Day weekend. Even though I haven’t been anywhere in a while, it seems like time is actually flowing pretty quickly—we’re almost totally through the month of May now; tomorrow I’ll turn 8,200 days old, and Levi will turn 1,000 weeks old on Friday. Pentecost is just a week away—we’ve all been effectively cloistered for weeks; which is actually sort of appropriate for Pentecost if you think about it, since the first Christians had closed themselves up in the Cenacle when the Holy Spirit came—and Stephie and Clay will celebrate their anniversary the next day.

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Today’s Question: Another kind of oddly specific time-travely one. If you suddenly woke up, and realized that the past x amount of years had all been in an absurdly long dream, at what time in your life would you most want to wake up in?

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Today’s Joke: Breaking news: Shop Clerk Fends Off Armed Robber Using Labeling Gun—police are looking for a man with a price on his head.

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-Isaac““

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Ferned Canopy

May 19, 2020 - Leave a Response

Ferned Canopy (6:3:2019 @ 4;35 PM)

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Here is another picture from one of my walks with Tami last year; I took it on June 3rd, 2019, at 4:35 PM.

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I hope that everyone reading this enjoys the upcoming Memorial Day weekend (hopefully at home); remember to stay tuned to SpaceX next week for its first crewed launch of the Dragon 2 spacecraft!

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GravityFalls_Paint

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-Isaac““

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St. Dymphna’s Day 2020

May 15, 2020 - Leave a Response

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Lord our God, You led the holy virgin and martyr St. Dymphna through danger and trial, and gave her a glorious crown in Heaven.
Through her intercession grant I, too, may trust in Your abiding presence in my time of suffering and trial. Give me the strength I need to face my situation with courage and hope.
Help me to unite my sufferings to those of Jesus, so that I may follow Your Son more closely and rejoice forever with Him in Heaven.
I ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

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Always Greener on the Other Side

May 7, 2020 - Leave a Response

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Isaac’s Log—Stardate: 2020.128 (Week 1,169, Day 7).

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Here’s a picture that I took earlier today, at 5:09 PM. I was able to spend a lot of time out in our yard today; it was good to get out of the house a little, even though it was often really noisy outside. I think that it’s weird living in a place where I have to wear sound-canceling earmuffs in the backyard (it seems sort of like most of the people where I live have more or less given up on the stay-at-home thing, so there are a lot of vehicles on our road again, and our neighbours have honestly been super loud lately); like, don’t get me wrong, living here beats being homeless a thousand times over, and our home is definitely a lot nicer than a lot of ones we’ve stayed in before, it can just be a lot sometimes with the noise, smells, and so on. I guess that the bottom line is that I’m just not really a suburbs guy, and that’s okay; I think that I just need to accept that I’ll need to either stick to rural areas when possible once I’m on my own, or live in a place with significant legislation against noise pollution (and in a place where people won’t just ignore the rules anyway).

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On an unrelated note, my cat turned seventeen last Saturday. I think that she had a good birthday; she slept through most of it, and didn’t throw up at all.  She hasn’t been doing great for the past few months, and there were days where I honestly didn’t expect her to live to her next birthday, so I’m really happy to have had my intuition proven wrong for once. I’ve been pretty worried for her; she’s having such a hard time using the litter box (she’s had a lot less messes, so it’s been easier to keep her clean lately, she’s just having a hard time actually pooping), has been vomiting a good deal, has a limp from her hip, and still has this terrible cough thing every now and then. On a positive note, she hasn’t been hiding at all or anything; she spends the vast majority of her day resting either by my bed, or with Levi in his bed, and she seems happy most of the time. My parents were hoping to get her in for a checkup at the vet, but understandably there aren’t really any open right now, so I guess that there’s not a whole lot that we can do to help her at the moment other than what we’re already doing.

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Today’s been kind of a weird day; I didn’t fall asleep last night until after seven in the morning, which even for me is pretty crazy. I don’t actually need a whole lot of sleep to function, so I think that probably the most frustrating thing about being a lifelong insomniac for me is just how boring it can be; just lying there for hours and hours, doing nothing, and somehow still not sleeping. I feel like I almost always forget a step to falling asleep or something, like I’ll forget to close my eyes (it is technically possible to sleep with them open, just for the record), or something annoyingly simple like that.

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Levi takes his artistic preferences very seriously.

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Even though I don’t know for sure whether or not I’ll get to sleep tonight, or how soon I’ll be able to get up with my TBI and actually start my day (some days I’m feeling well enough that I get to shower and make lunch for my family—again, not at the same time—and other days I can’t really sit up until late in the afternoon), life goes on. Days are still turning into weeks, weeks into months, and—whatever happens, or however much worse this pandemic gets—I find it a weirdly comforting thought that we’re technically always getting closer to the end of this weird period of history, and a return to at least some sense of normalcy. I’m still making slow yet steady progress on my projects (I’ve actually made a lot of progress with my invention lately; I think that I just need to have one or two good head days, and after that it’ll just be a bunch of paperwork—it’d be so cool if this actually turned out to be a way that I can have a stable income while not really being able to work a full-time job, and it’d be super awesome if it even ended up being lucrative enough that I could have some funding for other projects), I’m learning new things (today I learned that the German word for bat, as in the animal, literally means, “fluttering mouse”), I’m writing music for a worldbuilding project, I’m getting in trouble for washing my hands too much, I’m getting stuck trying to remember where dishes go as I’m unloading them, I probably spend a little more time than is prudent putting together animated GIFs, and I still haven’t quite figured out my brother’s taste in music.

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And the saga continues!

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Well, this post turned out longer than I was planning, but I’m glad that it kind of got away from me; I actually feel a lot less frustrated and stressed out than I did just a little while ago, I often sort of forget how much just writing things down helps me process my thoughts and emotions. Happy National Day of Prayer (I’m actually not totally sure if this is a holiday that typically has a greeting, since, now that I think about it, I’ve never actually heard someone say that), and happy early Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!

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Today’s Question: You bump into your future self; what’s the first thing that you ask yourself? (Other than something rhetorical, like, “Hey, would you watch where you’re going?” or clarifying the situation, like, “Wait, where the heck did I ever get a time machine?”).

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Today’s Joke: Here’s one for a belated Star Wars Day!

What’s R2-D2 short for?

He has little legs.

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-Isaac““

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Concrete Shadows

April 27, 2020 - Leave a Response

Concrete Shadows (4/13/2020 @ 12:52 PM).

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Isaac’s Log—Stardate: 2020.118 (Week 1,168, Day 3).

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This is a picture that I took a couple of weeks ago, from our teeny tiny backyard. I was also able to spend a good deal of time outside yesterday, and read The Secret Garden. I intended to mostly just sit in the little patch of grass that we have, but unfortunately I ended up pacing with my book a lot, and I had a pretty big headache for the rest of the day.

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Today’s been a pretty great day. Even though I had a bad headache for the first part of it, I still woke up feeling much better overall than I did yesterday. I was able to both take a shower and make lunch (but not at the same time, that would be messy), Mommy found a big container of baby wipes in the closet that I didn’t know we had, I saw both “Picket Fences” (11:11), and Daddy gave me one of the little composition books that he had been taking notes in for school to use as a gratitude journal (he ended up not taking that many notes, and the book is almost like new; so I’m really happy, since I’d filled out my old one a few days ago, and up until now I was having to use one of the paper ones that Mommy knows how to fold). In addition, Levi and I played an “episode” of Pacific Gumption (which I was really happy about, since he hasn’t been feeling up to playing much for the past week or so), Mommy and Daddy made this potato soup thing for dinner, we all watched a few episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender together (we’re almost to the end of season one now; it’s a lot of fun going through and watching them all from the beginning again, especially after not having watched the show much for a while, and getting to see Daddy’s reaction to the different episodes for the first time), and Daddy and I played a bunch of games of The Last Blade 2 afterwards (we both won five times; he’s usually best with Setsuna, who we usually jocularly call “Owl Man”, and I’m best with Hibiki).

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In other news: I recently figured out a good process for making really long GIFs that both still have a semi-decent frame rate, and aren’t so large that they can’t be sent through Google Hangouts. On that note, I put this one together for my brother earlier today.

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I admit that I don’t know how many people are both Gravity Falls and Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans, or how funny this concept is without knowing the skit that it’s based on—but Levi laughed for, like, twenty seconds; and he’s really not an easy person to get genuinely laughing, so the time spent making this was totally worth it.

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Emma (my cat) seems to be doing a little better overall, at least compared to how she was doing before; she’s started sleeping on one of my floor cushions more often, instead of insisting on jumping up onto Levi’s bed, which I think is helping her not hurt her hip as much. She turns seventeen this coming Saturday, and Katie will turn twenty-two on the fifteenth.

I know that we’re all probably going a little stir-crazy having to stay home all day—stay strong, people (I’d also say don’t do anything stupid, but I’m guessing that I’d just be kind of preaching to the choir, haha; since it seems most people have their minds made up about which precautions they’re either taking or ignoring during the pandemic anyway); and remember: It’s just one more week until Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), and less than eight months until Christmas!

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Today’s Question: What have you been doing during the pandemic to keep busy? For people who have to still have to go to work, what are some ways that that your job has changed due to the virus?

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Today’s Joke: I just learned this one the other day (thanks, Papa), and now it’s one of my favourites.

I recently bought a chicken to make sandwiches; but it’s been kind of disappointing, because it mostly just poops on the floor.

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-Isaac““

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Evergreen Sunlight

April 22, 2020 - Leave a Response

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I was looking through a lot of my old pictures a few weeks ago, while I was making a birthday collage. This is one of my favourites; and I took two different versions of it, horizontal and vertical—both were taken on August 18th, 2019, at 4:20 PM.

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I bonked my head a little last night, which is never good if you have a TBI, so I’ve been in bed for most of the day. I wasn’t able to get up until later yesterday, too; but I enjoyed the last part of it, and I was still really productive: I showered, I unloaded the dishes, and I learned how to integrate the Harlowe Audio Library into my game. Plus, for lunch, Daddy made us some really awesome hamburgers, and we watched Avatar: The Last Airbender together until Mommy had to leave for a hospice visit; so, on the whole, it was a pretty good day.

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I hope that everyone reading this is staying safe and staying healthy.

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-Isaac““

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From the Inside

April 20, 2020 - Leave a Response
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From the Inside (4/20/2020 @ 2:03 PM)

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Here are a few of my recent pictures, all taken from my bedroom window; I took the first two earlier today, and the third one last month.

My head hasn’t been very well off for the past few days, and it’s been difficult for me to get up at a decent time and still stay awake; but I had something of a second wind last night, so I was able to make nachos for dinner (which is actually one of my favourite meals to make, both because it’s delicious and usually really easy for me to stomach, and because there aren’t a whole lot of steps to making it, so I’m a lot less likely to get confused; I’ve had a significantly harder time with my executive functioning since my TBI), and we watched the first two episodes of Gravity Falls. We recently finished watching the whole series with Mommy for the first time, so we’re starting back from the beginning per her suggestion.

We also recently properly introduced Daddy to Avatar: The Last Airbender (properly as in starting from the beginning; he’d seen part of an episode with Levi and I a few months ago, but it was kind of in the middle of the third season), and he’s actually really enjoyed it so far. My parents are working hard, both with their hospice jobs and with school; when they’re not working, they usually have to rest, so it’s always nice to get to spend some time with them and our favourite stories.

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Red and Green (4:20:2020 @ 2;02 PM)

Red and Green (4/20/2020 @ 2:02 PM)

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Shrouded Sunset (3:25:2020 @ 7;04 PM)

Shrouded Sunset  (3/25/2020 @ 7:04 PM)

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I know that the world is a pretty crummy place right now; so here’s some awesome, non-virus-related news: Per today’s Supreme Court ruling, Oregon will finally no longer be allowed to convict defendants without a unanimous jury! I’ve literally been waiting years for this—requiring jury unanimity was actually one of the main points of my criminal justice reform legislation that I was trying to get support for back in 2017—and, even though it’s admittedly kind of embarrassing that it took a Supreme Court ruling for my state to finally get its act together in this regard, I’m still happy.

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I hope that everyone’s week is off to a good start. Happy (belated) Divine Mercy Sunday!

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Today’s Question: What are some of your favourite TV shows?

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Today’s Joke: I know that I usually don’t include jokes with really short posts like this, but I figured that it’d be an appropriate time for this one, since Muslims will start observing Ramadan in just a few days.

There were two Christian guys, Adam and Jack, whose plane crashed in the desert; fortunately, both of them survived unharmed. As they made their way through the hot desert in search of food and water, they eventually spotted the dome of a mosque up ahead, and they became very excited. Adam turned to Jack, and said, “You know, the people here will probably help us out if we say that we’re Muslim.”

“I mean,” Jack replied, “They’ll probably help us out regardless; but if they ask, let’s just be honest.”

Once they reached the mosque, they were greeted warmly by one of the Muslims there, who asked what their names were.

Adam thought for a second, and said, “My name is Muhammed.”

Jack said, “My name is Jack.”

“Hello, Jack,” said the Muslim, and told the other men to take Jack and give him food and drink. Then he turned to Adam, and said, “Salaam, Muhammed. Ramadan Mubarak!”

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-Isaac““

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Easter 2020

April 12, 2020 - Leave a Response

Isaac’s Log—Stardate: 2020.103.

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He is risen!

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I know that this has probably been a pretty weird Easter for basically everyone (not to mention a pretty weird Lent); but, for me, it’s actually felt less weird overall than last year because, even though we didn’t actually get to go to church or anything, we were able to celebrate the holiday together as a family (which we didn’t technically get a chance to do the previous Easter). My family and I watched the Papal Mass together last night, and afterwards we stayed up late and opened up our Easter basket stuff (Daddy and I also played several rounds of The Last Blade 2 together). This morning, we watched a local Easter Sunday Mass, and later Daddy made us a big turkey dinner with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes—we’d been intending to eat around 4:00 PM, which obviously is pretty early for dinner, but Mommy is usually on call from 5:00 PM to 8:00 AM on her work days, so we wanted to make sure that she would be able to be home for it. We actually ended up eating closer to 2:00 PM, because the turkey cooked a lot faster in our oven than we’d expected, and we watched most of the Escape 2000 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 together. Mommy videochatted with extended family on her computer; and, in the evening, Daddy and I played Crusader Kings 2 together for a little while. Levi had a pretty hard physical day (he’s been pretty worn out since yesterday especially), so he hasn’t been up for working on projects or anything, but he had a lot of fun this evening looking up crazy products online with Katie (I learned today that there’s such a thing as a smart hat; and, going by the reviews, it’s about as useless as it sounds, haha). Even though my ears have been sensitive lately, it’s probably been one of the quieter and easier holidays that I’ve had, so I guess that that’s honestly pretty great.

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On a tangential loud holiday note: When I was little, I really wanted people to replace real fireworks with holographic light projections (“lightworks”); I was baffled when someone explained to me that other people actually enjoyed the booms, smells, and other associated sensory nightmares people experience with real fireworks, so I further adjusted my idea to include headphones that would play fireworks noises in sync with the light show for people who still wanted them (it wasn’t until today that I realized the ironic fact that this would basically be just a reversal of the current situation, where I’m only really able to handle fireworks with sound-canceling earmuffs).

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I hope that you all had a fun holiday despite our unusual circumstances. Happy Easter to all Christian readers, as well as anyone else who’s celebrating Easter (I get that it’s not one of our holidays that’s secularized as well as, say, Christmas; I mean, clearly, Santa wins over a monotrematous rabbit any day), and חג פסח כשר ושמח to any Jewish readers out there!

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Today’s Question: How has the quarantine affected how you observe holidays so far? Have you experienced anything unexpectedly positive from having to celebrate without leaving the house (like maybe not having to deal with noise as much), or from having to stay home in general?

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Today’s Joke: What do you call a magician without magic?

Ian.

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-Isaac““

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Skipping to the Sky

April 5, 2020 - Leave a Response

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This is a picture from one of my walks with Tami last year; I took it on June 3rd, at 4:43 PM.

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Happy Palm Sunday!

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-Isaac““

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Autistic Felicity: Childhood Musings

April 4, 2020 - One Response

A thousand joys both big and small,
The Sun shines her bright poetry,
Plays with the shadows on the wall,
Mama fixes my rosary,
Golden notes sing from her guitar,
Seeing the world in math and verse,
Skies in sea and water in star,
Every day brings better and worse,
Open the door and go outside,
We’ll spin around and flap our hands,
Look around and maybe this time,
We’ll find someone who understands,
No room for words but room for thought,
Life’s frustrating sublimity,
Play games the other kids forgot,
With colours only we can see,
Even when life is full of holes,
Without a bird of a feather,
We’ll find out where the story goes,
We can turn the page together,
Sing your songs and line up your trains,
If you’re happy you’re not too old,
Come along listen to the rain,
See clouds go by and life unfold,
Green shadows and warm light through leaves,
Hug me from there I need my space,
Listen to music in the breeze,
Broken pieces you can’t replace,
A song played again and again,
A cat purrs a speechless adage,
A spinning chair and clicking pen,
When words are your second language,

Walking backwards with a mirror,
Chasing reflections on the floor,
Plug your ears you might see clearer,
Keeping it the same as before,
Joy and sorrow in a muddle,

Search a place without location,
Pictures of trees in a puddle,
A confusing conversation,
I can’t say yes I only nod,
The wind says I climbed up too high,
Can’t speak but can still talk to God,
A silent sob a quiet cry,
A prayer from deep in my soul,
Our wandering might be lifelong,
The bright noises might take their toll,
But we’ll find where we both belong.

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-Isaac““

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