Planet Nilknarf April 2010

Happy Easter

April Birthdays

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Cover Story

Good news everyone! The Autism Awareness Carousel Quilt is FINALLY FINISHED!!! YAAAAYYY!! Let the bells ring and the banners fly!! It's been such a pleasure working on this project and sharing its progress with you wonderful readers out there. To think back in November, after having shared so many pictures of horses to be designed on the carousel I went out and bought 10 metres of white broadcloth and worked like a maniac, not only copying horses that have been designed for our carousel, but tracing the line drawings from as many back issues of “Carousel News and Trader” as possible too. The majority of this quilt is horses designed by many contestants and the third row alternates horses from the Missoula, Montana carousel with British gallopers. I'd like to thank my Facebook friends for their suggestions as to what to put on the Last Square. It turns out I made a montage of all your suggestions! (except for leaving the last one blank, LOL!)

The Joshua tree symbolizes working together in harmony as it requires the assistance of a certain species of moth for its survival. The moth pollinates the tree, which in turn provides the moth with shelter and nutrition. Cathy Hamil suggested either a cross or a dove, so I chose the cross and colured it in with the jigsaw puzzle pieces. I chose a white crayon as the symbol of the need for teamwork. I got the idea from reading one of the Yada Yada Prayer Group books. Jodi mentions feeling like the white crayon in the box, ignored and useless. However, on the other hand, the white crayon is the MOST used crayon in MY box. That's because it's used differently from the other crayons as it requires their help to show its glory. It can either be used to cover a surface, which is then covered by darker crayons and drawn upon with a sharp instrument such as a toothpick to create a design, OR it can be painted over with watercolour! I also chose the suggestion of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics logo. Canada did ourselves proud this year and won more gold medals than anyone! Way to go!! :) Last but not least I had at least three votes for my official logo, depicting me riding one of the most beautiful carousel horses ever at Nunley's in New York. I seemed to notice a common theme here so I call my last square “Riding to Victory”. It amazes me how much I accomplished in such a relatively short time. And most of it was stitched by HAND. People often prattle on about how much patience I have but believe me, I have NO PATIENCE for my sewing machines. I have two of them and they both SUCK!!! I forget exactly when I completed the top of the quilt but it was last

Wednesday when Cherry took me to Fabricland to buy the batting, thread and safety pins to complete the project. I also had to wash the sheets that were donated to me so they don't shrink. These sheets are so big that ironing them took forever. I fantasized about an ironing board the size of a football field with me driving a contraption similar to a Zamboni!! Better too big than not enough. The foot or so left over will be plenty to make squares for future quilts. It was a long, sweaty job spreading the sheet, batting and quilt top layers out together on my bed and pinning everything at every corner but it was proof that it could be done without having to stretch everything out on one of those great big frames like we use in Quilting Bee. Then I could just use a big hoop and quilt each horse one at a time, followed by each square surrounding them. I averaged about a row a day and on March 8th I was able to finish hemming the whole thing before I left the house!! It will be awhile before we actually get to sell raffle tickets, though. I still have to apply for a lottery permit, not to mention go through the paperwork as to whether or not to apply as a business or non-for-profit organization. Anyway, here are the last two horses:

I call the penultimate horse on the previous page “El Nacho Libre” because the markings on his face remind me of the mask of a Mexican wrestler. And the last horse is “Magenta. When we build her I hope we can attach real roller-skate wheels to her hooves and when the carousel is running, anyone who happens to be riding her when the organ plays the song “I've Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates” will win a free ride. Before I'd finished putting the quilt together, EL Nacho Libre gave me a huge scare! He went missing and I couldn't find him ANYWHERE! I nearly tore the house apart looking for him, which inspired me to write the following story: Not Now, Pedro
El Nacho Libre was the penultimate horse on the Autism Awareness Carousel Quilt. But not the penultimate square. That square was occupied by his soon-to-be neighbour, Magenta, with her shiny red roller-skates. El Nacho Libre got his name from the blue and yellow markings on his face that reminded Margaret, the artist, of a Mexican wrestler. While the two embroidered horses awaited their place on the quilt, they usually spent much of their time folded up inside bags with the rest of the quilt, awaiting the last row to be stitched in place. “I just can't wait to become a real carousel horse.” sighed El Nacho Libre. “Me neither!” exclaimed Magenta, her red sequin wheels sparkling. “Especially when the band organ plays “I've Got A Brand New Pair of Roller Skates. Whoever happens to be riding me at the time will get a free ride.”

“Yeah, yeah,” El Nacho Libre snorted and rolled his eyes. He had heard Magenta's boasting all too many times, and now he was feeling even more insignificant with all the hype about That Last Square on the Quilt. He had caught the odd glimpse of the work in progress from time to time, but he was sworn to secrecy about what little he did see of the work in progress, much to his resentment. Somehow, he had managed to scrunch himself within his broadcloth square as small and hidden away as possible while one morning Margaret nearly tore the place apart looking for him. She looked repeatedly inside the black-and-red bag from Fabricland. In it were other horses drawn on broadcloth for future projects, other pieces of broadcloth to be made into bags for “Carousel Horse Droppings” (wood chips from the carousel horses being carved to be sold as souvenirs) and strips of colourful scraps used to frame two of these last three squares awaiting placement. She checked in the brown plastic “Hershey's” bag. The first four completed rows of the quilt were there with the first two squares of the last row and Magenta. She was getting angry. Finally, she just had to resign herself to going to her meeting without El Nacho Libre. El Nacho Libre opened his eyes and found himself in a Mexican village. He around and then he looked down at himself and next to him. He was a real carousel horse. “Buenos dias, amigo.” said the white horse next to him, with the high-flying rainbow mane. “Uh, hello.” replied El Nacho Libre, “Where am I?” “Isn't it obvious.” his neighbour replied, “You're on a carousel, of course.” “I see.” A young lad, about seven or eight years old, handed the operator a ticket and climbed up onto El Nacho Libre's back. “Hello!” the horse said to the boy. “You talk!?” exclaimed the boy. “Of course I do.” said El Nacho Libre. “Penny for your thoughts?” “Si, Senor.” said the boy, stroking EL Nacho's bright yellow mane“It's nice to have a friend to talk to. My name's Pedro.” “And I'm El Nacho Libre. Pleased to make your acquaintance. Say, you seem a little glum, chum. What's the matter?” “Ever since my family has started planning my sister's quinceanera, I've been feeling kind of left out. Nobody has had time for me anymore.” “What's a quincey...uh, whatever you call that thing?” “Quinceanera?” Pedro chuckled, “Only the most important event in a young girl's life.” He rolled his eyes cynically. “When my big sister turns fifteen, there's this huge party for her. She's not a little girl anymore. It means she'll become a woman.”

“Sounds wonderful and exciting.” exclaimed El Nacho Libre. “Sounds pretty ghastly to me.” sighed Pedro. “I ask Consuela if she'll play with me. “Not now, Pedro. I have to get my dress fitted. I say to my grandmother “Abuela, can you tell me a story?” “Not now, Pedro! I have to bake the cake for Consuela's quinceanera!” I ask papa if he'll help me with my homework. “Not now, Pedro” he says. He's got to practice in the mariachi band!” The next day Pedro returned to the carnival, carrying a paper bag. “What's in the bag?” asked El Nacho Libre. “Look!” Pedro held the bag up to El Nacho's face so he could look inside. Inside the bag was a pair of silver satin high-heeled pumps. “The most important part of the ceremony. If she puts these on it means she'll be a woman. I don't want my sister to grow up. Where can I hide these?” “Uh, Pedro...” El Nacho Libre raised an eyebrow at the boy, “Hiding her shoes isn't going to stop your sister from growing up.” “It isn't?” “No. Growing up happens to everyone. And it doesn't have to be a bad thing. You can still enjoy watching cartoons and riding carousels.” “I suppose you're right, El Nacho.” said the boy. “I'd better go take these back before she discovers they're missing!” Later, that day, when the party was over, Pedro brought his sister and grandmother back to the carnival to meet his special friend, but El Nacho Libre was nowhere to be seen, just an empty space on the carousel platform where he used to be. Pedro felt sad and missed his friend, but that didn't stop his sister, in her sparkling formal gown, from riding sidesaddle on the white horse with the flying rainbow mane, and Pedro and his grandmother from riding two other horses behind her. “I'll race you!” giggled Pedro's grandmother. “You're on, Abuela!” Pedro laughed. Meanwhile, Margaret arrived home from her meeting and fumbled through that black and red Fabricland bag once again. She found the folded square where El Nacho Libre was hiding. “Thank You, Jesus!” she exclaimed with a huge sigh of relief “I thought my name was El Nacho Libre!” exclaimed the embroidered horse in an inaudible voice only heard by his neighbours on the quilt. “It is, you silly sausage!” said Magenta “Welcome home! We're glad you're safe!”

Don't Tell Me I'm Also Bipolar
This is a story I've been putting off for a long time but it has to be told sooner or later. It all started during the 2006 Geneva Autism Symposium. My first Symposium. I was having the time of my life. I had seen Tony Attwood and Temple Grandin speak and I'd sold more merchandise than I'd ever sold in my life. Well over $300 worth! But I was also dealing with sensory overload. Everywhere was crowded and I often had to travel on the GO train during rush hour and most of the time I was dealing with one of the worst headaches ever. When I came home at night I would try to zap those headaches away with a device called the Stimulator. My husband had had this contraption for years. Evel Keneval did infomercials for this product. It was shaped like a short, fat hypodermic needle and was used to deliver mild electric shocks to aching muscle pains. It probably shouldn't have been used for headaches because little did I know I was probably frying my brain as a result. No wonder I started feeling high and having trouble sleeping at night. And to make matters worse, the last day of the 2006 Geneva Autism Symposium was the first day of the Baby & Toddler show so the premises were full of wall-to-wall screamers. When one starts crying they ALL start! I felt like I'd died and gone to hell. Fortunately on the last day I also had a ride with Sabrina so I didn't have to travel on the GO train. We sat peacefully in rush hour traffic, listening to my “Springtime in Narnia” CD and when that was over we listened to the radio. I was going to tease my husband by pretending at first that my sale was a fiasco and I was upset because I'd hardly sold anything. But it was impossible to even try to pretend I was sad when I heard such happy music on the radio and fell in love with the song “I Don't Feel Like Dancing” by the Scissor Sisters. My mind was racing with all kinds of delusions of grandeur and I was convinced that the Rapture was going to come any day now. I still had to do my volunteer work at Kerry's Place while I was experiencing this heightened state of euphoria. I had to cut out and sort sign language cards and I felt like a magician who suddenly discovered how to do her tricks, that I had suddenly developed magical powers. I was also giving things away, right left and centre. I found a little white butterfly made out of quilted silky fabric in my wallet and gave it to a little girl. I should have asked her parents' permission first but in this chuckle-headed state it did not occur to me. I also gave away all three of my Tiggers that I used to keep my backpack from crawling open! My friend Jan had a huge birthday party coming up in Orillia and I had no way of getting there. We tried to arrange a way for me to get there but it involved taking the bus to Scarborough Town Centre. I remember being very hyper and overly-talkative with the people who I was supposed to meet. And I was also thinking of giving Jan my stuffed musical unicorn that I bought in Ottawa 20 years ago, the one that plays “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” I was doing a lot of things that were out of character for me. I actually wore a skirt and pantyhose to go grocery shopping. Under normal circumstances I HATE PANTYHOSE and avoid them whenever possible!! And I don't like grocery shopping either. But there I was in my

fancy Christmas carousel skirt and pantyhose with my feather boa and tiara, randomly handing out leftover Halloween candy to every stranger I met. These were chocolate eyeballs and whenever I handed them to anyone I'd say “Here's Looking At You!” When it actually was Halloween. I went to the grocery store looking for a pumpkin, but they were sold out. So I bought a pineapple. A pineapple is the Hawaiian symbol of welcome and I was also thinking of Spongebob Squarepants. I decorated the pineapple with sparkling MardiGras beads and attached the spinning disco-light toy that I bought for my husband at the CNE to the top. I wanted to put it outside, but he was afraid of it being stolen, so I had to put it in the window. People don't usually come to our door on Halloween, but this time they did and I was ready for them, giving them not only candy but several of my handmade puppets and carousel horses. I was very hyper and very giddy. Late at night I would be eating raw carrots and enjoying them more than humanly possible and normally I hate raw carrots!! In the midst of all this hullabaloo I even went and got my second tattoo:

I remember the artist's name was Veronica at Wild Ink studios. I was very talkative the whole time. Actually I had dodged a bullet because I went to Longhorn first but they couldn't take me until the next day and it turns out that several people contracted hepatitis from them because their equipment wasn't properly sterilized. Then one day the women I worked with at Kerry's Place sat me down and had a talk, concerned about the state of euphoria I was in. They drove me to the hospital. I could not understand why I was there. They were hoping I would sign myself in but I just couldn't clue in. Why would anyone want me to go to the hospital when I was positive I'd never felt better in all my life? I saw a man with a case of lymphedema worse than my husband had had the previous month. I saw a doctor who looked a lot like my own doctor, Dr. Kurtz, but it wasn't her. I saw a psychiatrist who looked a lot like my former boss. My mind was telling me this was some kind

of weird “This Is Your Life” game going on. Sherrie and Sabrina took me to the drugstore for a prescription of Seroquel. I had this idea that the end of the world was near and I'd soon be going to heaven. So that night I got out the ironing board and started taking books from the shelf. I went outside and put my suitcase full of merchandise out on the sidewalk. Wearing my husband's tattered blue housecoat, I felt like I was floating down the street, not feeling the cold, as I draped my hot pink feather boa over a neighbourhood fence and left that pineapple from Halloween on top of another random stranger's car. I kept bringing stuff outside, convinced that the Rapture was going to happen and take me and my husband away and if looters were going to come after we were gone it would save them the trouble of breaking in. I also had this other weird delusion that we were going to be the only two people left on the planet and that God wanted us to be the New Adam and Eve. Hello? He couldn't have picked a wronger couple! We're militantly child-free! No babies for us!! In the midst of all this commotion, I had this Monty Python inflatable punch toy of the Black Night from the Holy Grail movie that says “It's Just a Flesh wound” when you punch him and I gave it such a hard squeeze it popped. While I was doing this I had yet another delusion that I was being transformed into a cartoon character. I threw my KISS incense burner at my husband, causing Gene's tongue to break off and then for no apparent reason, kicked him in the nuts. Why?!!! That's when he ended up calling the hospital and having me taken away in an ambulance. I had this flashy red ring that I got when I was in the cast of “Hello Dolly” as Ernestina Money. I actually gave it to one of the paramedics!! I wish I hadn't. Technically, they're really not supposed to accept stuff from anyone, even though with the state I was in I insisted. Dave and his dad and stepmum showed up in the hospital waiting room and stayed with me. While they talked, my mind was imagining strange patterns like a lava lamp. At one point I thought I had a moment of prophecy and stormed out into the waiting room shouting that somebody in emergency was suffering from food poisoning from eating raw horsemeat!! Sooner or later I was let to a gurney where my left arm and my right leg were placed in restraints. I didn't understand why I was being restrained but I didn't fight it. I did worry, though about having to go to the washroom. The whole time I lay there in those restraints, the worst part was not knowing what was happening to me. I tried asking people why I was there and what was happening to me but nobody answered. It seemed like everyone was just rushing past me, trying to avoid talking to me. My proverbial life flashed before my eyes, just like they say it does just before you die. I kept hearing this African-style music ...”Maweh, maweh..” the voice crooned, sounding uncomfortably like it was on the verge of sounding like a crying baby. I was sure I was dead and either gong to hell or being reincarnated. Won't someone PLEASE tell me what's going on here!!?? Everything looked like an M.C. Escher painting, you know the one with the crazy staircases everywhere and people are upside down and sideways, etc.

And my mind kept flashing to an incident I had at our trailer when I was a kid. My parents went into town early one morning and let me sleep and when I woke up I tried to get out of my bunk bed but the board that they used to keep me from rolling off the edge became lodged across me diagonally and I was trapped for over half an hour. My cousins were outside playing baseball and ignored my screams for help. When my parents finally did return from shopping my cousins said they thought I was laughing and having fun. Hello? You have to be pretty stupid to no know the difference between the sound of laughter and cries for help! Eventually, I was released from my restraints. Of course, the first thing I had to do was pee worse than I've ever had to in my entire life so it was a miracle I made it to the bathroom in time. Another few minutes of being shackled like that and I would have wet myself for sure!! When I was led to my room, one of the first things I did was write on the mirror with toothpaste. I tried t write “Gene Simmons Hates Cuckoo Clocks” but there wasn't enough room. I was still hallucinating and I could swear that this toothpaste GLOWED IN THE DARK!!! I shared my room with another girl whose half looked like a convenience store!! I'd never seen so many bottles of pop or bags of chips. She never said much to me except “Don't touch anything on my half of the room!” As if I had any intention. That night I couldn't sleep. I sat out in the hallway on a makeshift chair made from a folded blue cot. It sounded like EVERYONE was crying. And they ALL sounded like ME!! And the weird thing I thought was “My voice sounds PURPLE!” Every day was like the one before. My husband could only visit me every other day. He'd bring me clean clothes and some of my favorite stuffed toys. He couldn't find The Cat, but he did bring Tigger, Waddle and Ace. I missed Jan's birthday party. And I missed my own bed. The bed in my hospital room was like a glorified ironing board. It was so thin and flimsy with only one pillow. It wasn't even the kind of bed that raises up like most hospital beds. “Your bed at home doesn't do that.” Marnie said to me. I know, but at least my bed at home had extra pillows so I could sit up. And I could sleep in the DARK. My room-mate insisted on leaving the lights on at night. I suppose I could have borrowed my husband's sleep mask, but the idea never occurred to me when I was there. I also kept begging him to bring me Tums because I'd get such horrible stomach aches at night. I didn't understand the rule about no medicine from home. There was also nothing to do. I couldn't settle to read or enjoy my music. I wanted to do my embroidery. My mom had to plead with the nurses to finally allow me to embroider but only on the following conditions. 1: I was only allowed ONE needle and that was it. If I lose my needle, NO MORE EMBROIDERY. And 2: I could only use those pathetic plastic kiddie scissors. Since then I've actually heard of people being allowed to KNIT in the psychiatric ward. Hey, don't you think a violent patient could hurt somebody worse with knitting needles?

Anyway, I was in that place for a total of two weeks and I don't think I was allowed out into the dining area where we usually do Cards & Coffee until quite close to the end. I forget who told me I was bipolar, but since then I've been on medication and probably will have to be for the rest of my life. In the beginning I was on Seroquel, Apo-Ranitadine, Apo Divalproex, and Zyprexa. They took me off the zyprexa after the first month or so because it causes weight gain. Hello, so does the Seroquel. But when I hear about the side effects of so many other medications, such as hearing voices and being incontinent, I realize I'd rather be fat than crazy. I also had to have my dosage of Apo-Divalproex reduced because it was making my hair fall out in huge clumps! Every day I receive a newsletter from David Oliver. Sometimes there are posts that say that even if one DOES do everything right, it is STILL possible to have an episode. Dear God, please no!! I never want to go through that again. That's why I never miss taking my meds and try to carefully pace myself to avoid the kind of triggers to make this sort of thing happen in the first place. But I know I can't spend my life living in a bubble. I still want to go to the next Geneva Autism Symposium, even if the crowded conditions and Go train drama have posed a potential threat.

Book Review The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough Neta Jackson

In the third book of the Yada Yada Prayer Group series, The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real, the people who live upstairs from the Baxters are planning to move out and Leslie “Stu” Stuart is looking for a new place to live so she ends up taking that apartment. And their world is turned upside-down when they learn that Becky Wallace, the woman who robbed them at knife point back in September, is eligible for early parole! Sure it was easy for them to be kind and visit her while she was still behind bars, but knowing this news has stirred up mixed feelings. And Stu is the one who provides Becky with a place to live!

Love is in the air when an old flame comes into Avis' life! However they have their reservations because he was also a good friend of her deceased husband and has carried a torch for her all these years. The rest of the Yada Yada sisters take a leap of faith and decide to create a Friendship Quilt for them anyway. And Delores' son Jose has decided he wants to throw a quinceanera party for Jodi's daughter, Amanda, as it appears that the two of them are becoming an item! A quinceanera is a special party in Latino culture for a girl's 15th birthday, highlighting the transition from girlhood to womanhood. In the next book, The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough, Nonyamenko Sisulu- Smith and her husband, Mark are preparing to travel back to her home in South Africa for a year's sabbatical. Unfortunately, things don't work out as planned when a White Supremacist group starts distributing hate literature in the neighbourhood and plan on holding a rally at the local university grounds. Jodi's son, Josh, decides he wants to know what he's up against and has ordered some of their propaganda literature, much to everyone else's dismay. They decide that they will all, in the name of spiritual warfare, go to this rally, which ends up erupting into a major riot and Nony's husband, Mark gets beaten so badly he is in a coma. Will he come out of it? Will he survive? I try not to give away too many surprises in these books. All in all, I found both of them as thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable as the first two and can hardly wait to read the next! Ugly Betty Wraps it Up!!! After four wondrous seasons of wild and colourful excitement, one of my favorite shows will be ending! Ugly Betty's final episode will air on April 14th. As my dad used to say when I was a kid and couldn't find anymore blank pages in my Drawing Book, “All good things must come to an end.” sigh! It seems like only yesterday when our heroine, Betty Suarez, played by America Ferrara, waltzed into Daniel Mead's office wearing that outrageous red poncho, decorated with images of cacti and emblazoned with the word “Guadalajara”! The idea was that his father wanted him to hire somebody plain-looking whom he wouldn't be tempted to sleep with. In the beginning, Daniel, not to mention the rest of the staff of Mode, tried to make her life a living hell in hopes that she'd quit. But feisty Betty stood her ground and became an asset to the business over the years and we watched in amazement ans she grew with the company and had many adventures over the years while her love life changed. First there was Walter, who wanted her to move in with him, but she was falling out of love with him and into love with Henry, whose ex-girlfriend came back into his life and “oopsed”

him. He moved back to Arizona to be with her and the baby, but he still had feelings for Betty. Meanwhile, Geo, the sandwich maker also had feelings for Betty and wanted to take her on a trip to Italy. The second season ended with Henry wanting Betty back into his life and asking her to marry him, but also Geo's outstanding offer of this trip to Italy. Which would she choose? Personally I was hoping she'd say no to Henry. Charlie and the baby need him more than she does. It turned out in the following season she chose neither. “I'm too young to get married” she said to Henry, and “I just don't feel that way about you.” she told Geo. And she had a great summer on her own meeting new friends touring with this womens' group, many of whom were cancer survivors. There were many interesting sub-plots with the other characters too. Wilhelmina Slater wants an heir. (What about her daughter Nico?) But she can't have any more children because she has a “hostile uterus” so she hires Betty's best friend, Christina, the wardrobe lady as a surrogate mother. Christina accepts the position because she needs the money. Her husband, whom she'd left in Scotland, comes back into her life because he is ill and Christina needs the money for his treatments. Anyway, back to Betty's love life. Geo is furious with her for turning down the trip. He went to Italy by himself and everything was in HER name! He also tried to bring back a certain kind of cheese but customs wouldn't allow it. Betty tries to make amends by finding him that cheese right in New York and trying to get them to at least be friends again instead of enemies. Meanwhile, she also moves into her own apartment. Eventually, the receptionist, Amanda moves in with her too. Then she has to move back home again when her father is ill. One of my favorite episodes deals with Amanda trying to find out who her real father is. This results in a guest appearance by one of my all-time favorite people, Gene Simmons of KISS! At this point, Betty is back in her apartment and the rest of her family have had to move in with her because their house was on fire! She tries to boost things along with their insurance claim by allowing herself to date this annoying fireman. What will happen next? How will the series end? We will find out on April 14th and the makers of the show say we will be satisfied. Meanwhile, what will America Ferrara be doing next? Well, her new movie, Our Family Wedding will be coming soon to a theatre near you! I AM SO THERE!! I can hardly wait until it comes out and I hope to catch it at the theatre rather than wait for the DVD. It is about the inter-racial relationship between a Mexican American (America Ferrara)and an African American (Lance Gross). One thing we know that WON'T be happening is anymore Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants sequels. Even though the books were a series of four novels, the plot of all three final books was wrapped up in the second movie.

Upcoming Events
So You Think You Can Queen: A Night of Queen, Sunday, May 2nd, General Motors Centre If you have ever dreamed of performing live on stage at the GMC, this contest is for you. Video Submissions are being accepted between March 16th and April 12th and the five finalists will perform at the Oshawa Centre on Saturday, April 17th. The winner will perform in “A Night of Queen” on Sunday, May 2nd at the General Motors Centre. Further info can be found here: http://www.generalmotorscentre.com/ and the rules and registration form can be found here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=oUcwWPHWaFUfAC %2bpLERGhHrkwUXvzE5dQ2B3%2b03ulW4%3d& World Autism Awareness Day Friday, April 2nd I've received two different invitations from Facebook, one of them saying to wear BLUE for Autism Awareness Day and another saying to wear rainbow/tie dye!! If it weren't also Good Friday, I think I'd be wearing my Notorious Blue Wig with my rainbow feather boa! Geneva Autism Symposium November 3rd - 5th Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West, Toronto An assortment of wonderful and well-known speakers will be there including Tony Attwood, Temple Grandin and Jerry Newport, and of course I am renting a space there to sell my craft items and hopefully promote the Autism Awareness Carousel. Earth Hour Saturday, March 27th, 8:30 pm Support the environment. Turn your lights off for an hour.

Last Minute Musings
March has been one wild and crazy month, full of its share of unwanted drama. Then again, is there any other kind? Who ever heard of WANTED drama? What would THAT be? You know what they say, things come in threes. First of all, my body is back up to its Old Nasty Tricks. At least the situation isn't as severe as it was last summer, but I pray that it resolves itself a lot sooner. I don't want to go through the same ordeal that I went through last summer, forking out for all those trips back and forth to Toronto to see my doctor only to be prescribed pills that don't do anything and waiting for the results of messy, uncomfortable ultrasound tests that can't find anything wrong anyway and the only cure is to wait and let nature take its course because they won't operate unless you're almost DEAD!!!

Then there was the time I accidentally knocked over our standing living room lamp. You know the TV show “Destroyed in Seconds”. Well, this lamp was probably destroyed in about HALF a second! I've bumped into this lamp hundreds of times before but usually, I've always been able to catch it. I don't know it my hands were full or what. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion with a big BANG and a shower of sparks as the glass shade totally shattered into a thousand fragments! For a brief fraction of a second it almost looked like it was about to start a fire! I immediately unplugged the lamp. Dave had to throw me my shoes so I wouldn't cut my feet while I cleaned up the mess. I put all the larger fragments into the kitchen garbage can and managed to vacuum up the rest. However, the shower of broken glass was so intense that some of it even made its way into the bedroom and I've stepped on broken glass twice since. Fortunately, nobody was hurt either when the lamp fell or when I stepped on these pieces. One was a large, blunt piece that didn't cut me. The other was a small, almost microscopic piece that did. Last but not least, I am faced with kind of an awkward and embarassing situation that could be the end of Planet Nilknarf as we know it. I really don't want to go into very much detail. All I want to do is apologize to the person I may have offended. I didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings, share any information that this person was uncomfortable with me sharing or worst of all, dredge up any unpleasant memories. I just hope this person can find it in his heart to forgive me. No doubt he may be reading this to find out how I react to this situation and I want to be as dignified, civilized and mature as possible. It's an Aspie thing, go figure. But I am NOT using my neurological condition as an excuse for being a chuckle-headed pup. I'm just saying that when a person has Asperger's Syndrome, sometimes when he or she likes someone or something, the object of that person's interest has a way of becoming an All-Consuming Part of her Life, whether she likes it or not. I use the pronoun “she” because it is myself I'm referring to. These guys were the New York Subway to my Darius McCallum. I gave up any intentions of being a “subway driver” years ago, but I am still haunted by memories, like a scab I tend to pick at every now and then. The important thing is I've forgiven and moved on. I have a life now and it's a darned good one. It could be better, but as Joyce Meyer says “I may not be where I need to be, but Thank God I'm not where I used to be.”

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