As you may or may not know, over and above his regular day job/program, DC also volunteers at a local theater. He has been there for four and a half years now. His best friend, BB just recently started volunteering there as well.
As one might guess, DC is more interested in working the Broadway Productions, but the volunteers are required to mix it up and work a few of each type of production held there.
Some of these are difficult (or boring) for DC so I always try to come up with something to relate whatever show he is working to something he enjoys – which is usually something that begins with Disney, but not always.
A while back he was scheduled to work “The Phantom of the Opera”. Now don’t get me wrong, DC is the ultimate fan of musicals, but this is more opera than musical. To try to pump up the enthusiasm and interest, I told him that I saw the Phantom of the Opera many years ago in New York City (his favorite place) on Broadway (his second favorite place) when it first opened.
Me: Do you know who played the Phantom when I saw it? It was the same person who played Cornelius in a movie that you really love.
DC: Walter Matthau (not pronounced quite that way but I knew who he meant)
Me: No, Michael Crawford. He played Cornelius and Walter Matthau was his boss in the store (Hello Dolly).
(Seriously, you have to give DC props for knowing Walter Matthau and knowing which musical just from the name Cornelius)
That was the best I could come up with…
When all of the attendees are seated and the show gets going (pending a 10-minute hold on the door, of course) the volunteers are allowed to go in and watch a good portion of the show. For this particular show, DC and Mrs. H stayed out in the lobby due to the production’s use of strobe lights.
There are screens in the lobby though. Mrs. H reported that as soon as the operatic singing began, DC in his not so “indoor voice” announced – This is ‘ted-a-bull’!
I suppose it was a very good thing that they were not inside the theater at the time.
Moving on to the “celebration”…..
Many years ago, when I got married, I gave the DJ a list of three songs that he was not allowed to play, even if a guest requested them. They were banned – BANNED!
The first was Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration”.
There was not any sort of affair that one could attend without ”Celebration” being the first song that was played, as if it was an original idea and no one had ever thought of it before.
“A Party? A Celebration? Oh, we should play Kool and the Gang! We are so clever!”
Nothing against Kool and the Gang, I do like many of their other songs, but I am not a fan of this particular song.
Then, like clockwork, the very next musical offering 99.99% of the time would be, Sister Sledge, “We are family”.
No, no no no, just no.
The third was the chicken dance, because…….
(Little did I know that one of DC’s early intervention teachers, Mrs. T (you know who you are) would teach him the chicken dance and he’d be doing it ever since)
Flash Forward to 2012 when DC’s Winter Guard Team chose – you guessed it – “Celebration” as their performance song for that season.
I mentioned my banned wedding song list to Tonya, Salli’s mother one night at Winter Guard practice after listening to Celebration in parts and in its entirety all practice long. She laughed so loudly that it got the attention of the director who also had a good chuckle over the torture I was experiencing. 🙂
DC loves Winter Guard but he never really gets attached to any of the songs they have used over the years. If they used something like “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Seventy-Six Trombones”, or “The Trolley Song” – that would be a different story. Being a Disney/Broadway/Musical type of a guy, he is not always interested in the popular/top 40 music they use. He does like the songs and knows them when he hears them later, but that’s about it. I thought this would work in my favor with “Celebration”, but noooooooo….
He will randomly search for it on you-tube and listen to it over and over, still. to. this. day which I begrudgingly admit might actually come in handy as the next show that DC is scheduled to work at the theater is none other than – Kool and the Gang…
No prep necessary. I simply reminded him of his beloved “Celebration” and he is ready and seems to be looking forward to this show.
So, I guess you can say that Kool and the Gang came through for me in the end because, Everything is Related.
It is that time of year again (how fast did 2017 speed on by?) to re-post my top 5 most popular posts of the year from this blog site. This was probably one of, if not the best day of the year in DC-land (maybe even better than Halloween – shocking, I know), so it is fitting that it came in at number one. I hope to be able to bring him to another someday. I love to see him that happy.
Happy 2018 to you all and as always, thank you for your support!
(#’s 2, 3, 4 and 5, are linked at the bottom of this post)
Let’s Talk About Kim Rhodes #SPNNJ – September 2017
For the few people who may not have heard, we attended the Supernatural NJ Con this past weekend. Because I have learned a “few” things over the years; specifically that I would not hear about anything else for months ahead of time if DC knew that Kim Rhodes was scheduled to be there – I did not mention it to him. But DC being DC somehow figured it out (I still do not know how) and trust me, I have heard about “Zack and Cody’s Mom” daily since July.
We stayed in New Jersey within walking distance of the convention center. We spent Friday in New York City (DC’s favorite place) and Saturday was spent at the convention center (Sunday, back to NYC – It was HOT…just sayin’!)
Not wanting to make the day uncontrollably long for DC, we arrived at the convention center somewhere around 12/1230. Knowing that DC expects regularly scheduled meals and remembering NY ComicCon where we sat on the floor with pretzels because we could not get near anything else – I started the lunch explanations early; we would stop somewhere on the way to the convention center and have “second breakfast” and we should be able to get some snacks in the convention center here and there during the day. Oddly enough, I only had to go over that 4 or 5 times before he stopped stressing out about not having a regulation lunch.
Our scheduled autograph session with Kim Rhodes was not until 3pm so we looked around a bit.
We stopped at the RandomActs.org table and made a donation. DC, being his charming self had trouble deciding between a button or a temporary tattoo all the while eyeing the teddy bear that was sitting on the table. He asked me for the bear. I told him that it was just for decoration (as I believe that it was). After almost finally deciding on the tattoo, one of the women whispered “Does he want a bear?” I told her that he would love to have one and asked how much they wanted for it.
She said that he had made her day and she wanted him to have one. They even put a little pin on the bear for him. He carried that bear around with him all. day. long.
Not very long after that, Ruth Connell came out to her autograph table. I am not sure that DC knew who she was but the red hair had him intrigued. She had it all pulled up so there was no need for my “Do Not Touch Her Hair” speech/warnings.
Finally it was time to get in line for Kim Rhodes. I had purchased a ticket for the autograph session and the photo op months before because I was not taking any chances of him not getting to see her. Because I never had to purchase a ticket for an autograph session before, (there are just usually photos on the table, you pick one, pay cash and they sign) I did not realize that we had to have something for her to sign already. We were second in line so I yelled for “poor” Doug and told him he had to hurry up and go to the table out in the vendor area and buy a picture. She was not at the table yet and Doug having no idea who any of these people at the convention were went up an octave or so and screeched: “How can I buy a picture if I don’t know what she looks like?” I hadn’t thought of that and I just started laughing. Doug is a pretty mellow guy but when he does get exasperated with me (very seldom) and moves into this weird high-pitched voice, I just cannot help but laugh – a lot. The woman behind us (getting a kick out of the whole exchange) showed Doug the picture she had and off he went. Before he reached the vendor area, he turned around and started coming back…. I turned to the woman and said “Watch. He is going to give me that schedule in his hand and tell me to use that.”
She laughed harder.
But finally he did go back out to buy a proper pic. We just let one person at a time go ahead of us until he came back.
Finally, photo in hand – the big moment.
DC was beyond excited! There are times when he gets so overly excited about something that by the time he gets there he flames right out, but he didn’t. I asked him who this was and he answered “Zack and Cody’s mother!” with that little screech that he does when he gets that excited.
They talked about his bear. She signed his picture. She said “I am not supposed to do this but I will” and wrote “You are awesome!” On his picture. I am guessing that in order to keep the lines moving the coordinators do not want the guests to spend too much time writing anything other than their signature?
We told her that we’d see her in an hour for a photo. DC was even more excited when she said that she is allowed to give hugs at the photo ops. DC misunderstood and thought he was getting a hug right there. When I told him that she was not allowed to hug at the table he would get one at the photo op, she decided to give him a big hug at the table anyway. A practice hug, they called it.
You CANNOT IMAGINE and I can not put into words just how over the top thrilled he was! That made his day.
The photo op came up quickly and as soon as he saw her (from the line) the squealing began. He made it to the front and she greeted him as if she was so excited to see him. Now, I know that they are supposed to to that, but that little extra attention she gave him just made the whole day worth it. I do not know if she really remembered him or not (he still had the bear, so I am guessing she really may have). It did not matter, DC believed that she did and that is all that mattered.
You will never find a happier guy!
I did not purchase tickets for Sunday because they were too expensive (Sam, Dean and John, their “father” were appearing on Sunday only) but I decided to buy tickets to the concert on Saturday night, thinking that if they were flying in for Sunday appearances, maybe just maybe one or all of them would fly in on Saturday night and make an appearance at the concert.
Had I known when I bought the tickets that the doors would not even open until 10Pm, I would have never done it. I was worried that DC was not going to make it that long.
As it turned out, I am glad that I did not know and glad that I got the tickets.
In an effort to get DC in to the spirit of the thing, I told him that “sometimes” Zack and Cody’s mother, who DC now refers to as “Kim”, sang at these concerts. I knew that to be usually true, but I also knew that I was taking a big risk in telling him so.
We thought we were already losing him while waiting in line but we got him to hold on until we made it inside and sat down. By just a few songs in, he was showing signs of being “done” and no longer paying any attention. He did not notice that she had just come out to the stage.
“DC, look who it is!”
He jumped up out of his seat when he realized. He kept pointing at her as if I did not know she was there.
He danced and clapped for the rest of the concert.
At one point, she jumped off the stage and ran through the audience, DC was in the aisle and no, I was not ready with my camera. She ran right by him. (He was thrilled just to see her up close again). But then she stopped, turned around and started back toward him waving. He LOVED IT! She couldn’t come all of the way back to him, but he knew that she noticed him and the wave was for him and him only!
Just that little bit of extra attention made all the difference to DC.
Kim Rhodes has been added to my list of heroes (or as DC would say “Here- eee- Ohs”)
As for the rest…. DC and I had a good time (Doug not so much)
I have only ever gotten to sit in on two panels/Q&A’s before – Once Upon a Time at NYComiccon where DC fell asleep on me (and when I say “on” me, I mean that literally) and the “Revamping of Fairy Tales for TV Trend” discussion at Shore Leave, where DC not only fell asleep on me but did it in the front row.
We actually got to see the Costume Contest (I apologize for the photo quality; I did not think to bring my real camera)
The Mark Sheppard Q&A:
and The Misha Collins Q&A:
DC did not fall asleep during any of them (I cannot say the same for Doug)
The rest of the concert was fun (even Doug liked it). I was correct. One of the Sunday only guests, Jensen Ackles made an appearance at the Saturday Night Special.
(A very short clip)
Another favorite part of the day happened while standing in line for DC to have his picture taken with Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins. The woman in front of me, carrying a binder; obviously much more organized about this than I was, turned to me and said, “I am 47 years old and I have saved up for 12 years to do this.” – She bought the whole weekend Gold package (Knowing how expensive our single day was, I can see how one would have to save for 12 years.), but if she was going to get to do this, she was going to do it right! We chatted a bit while in line and it seemed as if she was having a great time and it was all worth it! I am glad. Sometimes when you look forward to something for such a long time, you end up being disappointed by the reality of it.
This did not seem to be the case for her and it certainly was not the case for DC.
It made me smile.
Update: Just when you think she could not be any more wonderful:
As you may or may not know, DC is 25 (almost 26 – gulp) years old. He was finally and officially diagnosed with Autism when he was 5. I knew there was “something” by the time he was a year old and looking back, probably before that. I originally thought that he could not hear (Continue)
The following was written a few years back. It was written more about the discourse within the autism community and not about autism awareness or acceptance. In actuality, I suppose it could be looked at as a piece supporting the awareness, acceptance and respecting the differences in the ways parents view autism. There is far too much hostility. (Continue)
Just for good measure and because it is one of MY favorites….
Post #1 – Let’s Talk about Kim Rhodes (in case you missed that)
Post #1 from last year – 2016 – one of my favorites….
From the time that I was old enough to think about it, I always promised myself that if I were ever to have children that there would never be a second in their lives that they would not know that they are loved. This would never be something that they would have to wonder about – not for a single moment…
I think I have lived up to that promise to myself. (Continue)