Friday, June 6, 2014

Liebster Award and Welcome Back!

Happy almost-Summer to all my faithful readers! I apologize for neglecting you all for so long--unfortunately, life got in the way and I haven't been able to update this blog. So much has happened that I am excited to share with you all, but for my first post in almost six months, I would like to answer some questions that were given to me by Kirsten Lindsmith, who kindly nominated me for a web project known as the Liebster Award! Kirsten has given me several questions to answer, and so here are the instructions for the project, copied from her blog:

There are a few easy rules you must follow to participate:
1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award.
2. Answer eleven questions that the blogger gives you.
3. Give eleven random facts about yourself–they can be anything!
4. Nominate eleven blogs that you think are deserving of the award
5. Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
6. Give them eleven questions to answer. (I'm not going to nominate anyone because I wouldn't begin to know whom to choose or how to be sure they'd even see the  nomination.)

Eleven questions from Kirsten:

1. What prompted you to start your blog? I started it because I felt that I needed a place to share my thoughts and feelings on issues related to autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and current events related thereto, and because I wanted to keep folks up-to-date on my own life and ongoing professional projects.

2. For the autism blogs: What was your first introduction to the “autism community”?
I can't remember a time when I wasn't involved in the autism community, to be honest. I was diagnosed at age 10, and was always on the periphery of AHA-NY from that point on (especially after my mother joined the Board of Directors). But I would say that I became more actively involved in the autism community around the time that I started graduate school, in 2007.

3. What is your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type?
I haven't taken it in a while, but I believe I am an INTJ or INFJ.

4. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Why?
I consider myself an introvert with extrovert tendencies. I've become much more outgoing over the years, but I still feel drained of energy if I spend too much time around people or being social, and ultimately I need to have time by myself to recharge my batteries.

5. What is one book, movie, or television show that you absolutely love?
Oh, this is impossible, because I love so many! I guess I will go with TV show and choose Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, as it is responsible for helping me survive my hellish high school years and I can rewatch the episodes over and over and still enjoy them and see things I never noticed before.

6. What is one song you love that never gets old for you?
As anyone who knows me knows, I'm a big fan of the 1960s group The Monkees, so I'd have to say their song "Pleasant Valley Sunday," because it has such a great opening lick, and Micky Dolenz is an amazing singer.

7. What kind of computer do you use?
I use an HP Pavilion laptop that is probably on its last legs but is still so good to me even when I get frustrated with it.

8. What do you take more pictures of: yourself, or other people? (Animals count as other people!)
Honestly, I don't really take many pictures at all. I used to photograph my food all the time (the dishes that I make), but I haven't been doing that as much lately. I've never felt that comfortable taking pictures of people, mainly because I am a writer, not a photographer...but I do enjoy taking pictures of objects or nature or whatnot.

9. Who was your first pet? Tell me about them! (breed, name, etc.)
My first pet was a Calico cat named Pumpkin. She was a good kitty and some sixteen years old when we finally had to put her down. 

10. Do you have any pets now?
Yes, another Calico cat, named Pallas (short for Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess) who lives at my parents' house. In our family, we've always had Calico cats and their names have always started with the letter "P" (I think it must be an Aspie thing!).

11. What is your earliest childhood memory?
My earliest childhood memory--if it even is a real memory and not just something I've convinced myself happened, but didn't really--is of being in a stroller at Knott's Berry Farm (near Anaheim, California) at the age of 3. I just remember being surrounded by a sea of legs, outfitted in various brightly-colored shorts, and feet in sandals walking, walking, walking everywhere.

Eleven facts about me:

1. I was born five weeks early and a breech birth (came out butt-first).

2. My smallest toe on both feet isn't on the end (it's second from the end) and the year the "toe sock" craze happened was not a good one for me.

3. I'm irrationally afraid of the eyes on potatoes (when they sprout).

4. Despite lifelong gross motor coordination issues, I have never broken a bone in my entire body.

5. My father is a retired Latin teacher, and by the age of three, I'm fairly certain I knew as many (if not more) Latin words as I did English.

6. Learning how to cook helped me overcome a tremendous number of my eating-related issues, and cooking has become my first-ever true "special interest."

7. I've typically preferred neurotypical guys over guys on the autism spectrum, but after having dating experiences with both, I can safely say that all men are ridiculous and incomprehensible, regardless of neurological makeup.

8. I have more friends now than I did in the first eighteen years of my life put together.

9. When it comes to helping myself, I often struggle and can't make a clear plan, but when it comes to helping others, I can immediately see what needs to be done and have a far easier time with that.

10. I do not have any tattoos or piercings (not even my ears).

11. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 24, and though I was frustrated at not having it earlier, I'm now very glad that I got it when I did.

Well, that's it! Thanks very much for reading, and please stay tuned for several more exciting upcoming posts about all my latest happenings and adventures. Keep your peepers peeled!

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