#TravelingWithDC – Star Trek Cruise

Mint in Box

Taking a break from the virus, lock-down, Quarantine Diaries and everything involving it to write about our last vacation.

At this point, our trip seems as if  it happened centuries ago, but it has really only been a couple of months. Please forgive any typos, run-on sentences or just utter incoherence as I seem to have lost all ability to concentrate on any one thing for any length of time during this quarantine.

Those of you that have been here a while, already know that this post is partially a ploy to make you look at my vacation photos. ūüėČ

For those of you new here; this is partially a ploy to have you look at our vacation photos but also it is written with a dash of autism and DC’s perspective (or my perspective of DC’s perspective) of the trip. Do not panic, it looks like a very long post, due to all of the photos – it really is not that long at all.

 

Onward…..

DC was very excited all month to be going on the Star Trek cruise, but in true DC fashion he was already starting to get anxious about when we were coming home before we had even left home.
He remembered the schedule I put on his phone during one trip a few years ago (which helped during that trip but not so much during the next) and asked for a ‚Äúphone list‚ÄĚ-
So that is what I did on he way to the airport.

DC’s Phone List

This time, the list worked perfectly. I did not have to repeat the schedule over and over again (we did have to listen to him recite it to us a few times). He took it out and read it whenever he felt the need to.  What a difference this list made!

In the airport.
DC (yells): I’m getting very nervous about this plane!
This plane does not look very safe to me!
(Line from: Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves)

Because he randomly blurts out movie lines, I always have ask him (when it could be a problematic line for the circumstances) – rather loudly so everyone in earshot can hear…..

“What movie is that from?”, so he can answer just as loudly, “Honey We Shrunk Ourselves” (or whatever movie the line happens to come from).

Bag Tag

 

 

 

We arrived in Miami the day before the cruise. We always try to arrive a day early, just in case. I remember a cruise about 15 years ago that was leaving from San Juan . We arrived a day early because I love Puerto Rico and we wanted to spend some time there. There just happened to be a storm after we left home all up and down the east coast (it was January). Flights were delayed and many passengers did not make the boat. Many had to fly into some of the ports where were were scheduled to stop to get on the ship – missing days of their cruise. Since then, we always arrive a day early, no matter what.

Boarding was quick and easy.

We looked around the ship a bit waiting for the drill and the opening ceremonies.

We were able to get into our room beforehand and DC set up “His Spot”. The spot where we had to climb over him all week, but he did not care.

 

After the safety drill we went to the pool for the opening ceremonies. DC was pretty excited. I don’t know if it was because everyone else was excited or because he spotted Nana Visitor and Brent Spiner, but he was cheering right along with everyone else.

 

 

I had just read the headline that morning in the airport about Kenneth Mitchell’s ALS diagnosis. I did not have the chance to read the article because we were boarding the plane. I assumed he was newly diagnosed. I was shocked and saddened to see that he was already in a wheel chair.¬† I have been a fan of his since Jericho and was happy to see him cast in Discovery in the first season and as I predicted in our Discovery podcast, there was no way they would hire Kenneth Mitchell for one season and just a few episodes. I was correct and they had him back playing a different character in season two.

As I said, DC was really looking forward to seeing Nana Visitor again. You might remember his reaction to her from Star Trek Missions NY (and a Little Bit of Reading Rainbow), but our first photo op was Jeffrey Combs (a favorite of mine). We happened to be in that area of the ship at our scheduled time, so we were there early enough so the line was not bad at all.

We had not gotten our bags yet, so DC was still sporting his “Eureka” shirt (shameless plug: Yeah, That Can’t Be Good: A Eureka Rewatch Podcast)

DC and Jeffrey Combs

 

Nana Visitor was the first of the many long lines he had to wait in that week. He got used to the waiting eventually, but because it was the first line, by the time he made it to her, he was over it and not his excitable self. He was excited, but not AS excited as he would have been. He would get a second chance when it was autograph time later in the week.

 

DC and Nana Visitor

My surprises of the week were how much DC enjoyed meeting Ethan Peck and Wilson Cruz. He started his week excited about Nana Visitor and Brent Spiner but ended it by adding two new favorites to his “list”.

There were signs all around the ship, especially in the photo/autograph lines that read – “No handshaking, Vulcan Salutes and elbow bumps only” – DC took that to mean, at the beginning anyway that he needed to do a salute for each photo. That came in handy when Ethan Peck noticed him trying to do one and asked the photographer to take a second picture.

DC and Ethan Peck (Photo edited to disguise DC’s name)

DC was able to talk with him a few more times during the week; once outside of one of the shows (I let him say hello. I did not want him to bother people when they were out and about, or eating, but I did let him say hello.) He did not seem to mind and did try to get some conversation out of DC, even though it was apparent that DC has a difficult time with conversation (he is on my nice guy list now as well). The next – at his autograph table, where he again went out of his way and took the time to try to get some conversation out of DC.

DC and Wilson Cruz

Wilson Cruz was very personable and high energy, which DC loved both times he met him (once for the photo and again for his autograph). DC was wearing a multi-colored, very bright, paint-splash kind of shirt for the autograph session. Mr. Cruz told him how much he liked his shirt and if you know how much DC loves compliments about his clothing, then you know that “The Doctor” now has a fan for life.

DC and Anson Mount

He wore his Captain’s shirt for his photo with Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and I actually got to attend, on my own (which never happens), a recording of Anson Mount’s podcast, The Well. I have been listening since the beginning and it was nice to be able to watch it live. I missed the first scheduled date due to DC’s photo op schedule so I do not know who the guest was, but I was able to make this one with his guest Kenneth Mitchell.

Anson Mount – The Well

 

The Well with Kenneth Mitchell

The Well with Kenneth Mitchell

 

DC announced to all in the elevator ‚ÄúI cut my toenails all by myself!‚ÄĚ
Failing to acknowledge the torture that his cheering section had to endure while he was doing this earlier in the room.

 

There were plenty of other things to do besides standing in line for photos or autographs.

There was music and dancing. We all know how much DC loves to dance!

 

Panels:

Voyager Panel – DC was pretty good at sitting though the panels. Historically he falls asleep on my arm but he stayed awake for all of the panels we attended.

Voyager Panel

 

Discovery Panel

Discovery Panel

A pajama party with Chase Masterson.

As you might imagine, going out in one’s pajamas confused DC a bit but I was really surprised at how quickly he adapted..

He got a kick out of the “Rat Pack” show.


He did some swimming: DC has not been swimming since he had his first seizure back in 2015. Me, being me and a stickler for “the rules”, after his second seizure, when he had to be put on medication, was told by the ER doctor that I should not let him swim or even take a bath. I kind of “get” this. He is a big guy (he was much heavier/bigger then) and if he were to go under, we not only had to worry about the seizure going on at the moment but “dry drowning” later. DC who always loved swimming seemed to be moving away from it and refusing to go in the water at camp or anywhere else over the previous couple of years anyway, did not seem to mind this at all…

he did not mid at all until he knew we were going on a cruise, that is. He wanted to go swimming. I sucked it up and made Doug promise that he would go into the water with him and stay with him (I haven’t owned a bathing suit since 2005, so I was OUT for the pool). He did and DC was thrilled to go swimming just about every day. I was worried about how I was going to handle camp this year with his renewed love of swimming but as it stands with the virus, there will probably not be camp this year, so I am safe for now.

If you happened to be passing by the
Windjammer buffet at lunch-time yesterday, I was the one screaming ‚Äúno, no, no!‚ÄĚ as DC jumped up out of his seat to take off his shirt and switch it right there when he realized his shirt was inside out.

We watched Star Trek Squares:

I know that DC doesn’t get all of the jokes (and at times that was a good thing) but he seemed to enjoy watching all of these shows and games.

Max Tonight:

Watching the Make-Up artists (they were pretty impressive!)

Oz, Star Trek Style: You all know how DC feels about the Wizard of OZ!

Garrett Wang Stand Up Show.

I think DC’s favorite show of the entire trip was the script reading of “The Devil in the Dark”. He laughed and laughed. Ethan Philips played the “rock monster” and DC got such a kick out of some of the sounds he was making. Of course the cast included his beloved Nana and his new favorite, Ethan Peck so we really couldn’t go wrong, there.

 

 

Me: DC, what was your favorite part of the show?

DC: The Fart! hahahahahahaha

(The noises The Rock Monster made)

We made a nightly visit to Qapla”where DC had his fill of Shirley Temples (they gave him extra cherries there) and I could have a Kahless’s Martini. We went there after the show and DC saw Nana Visitor come in and sit down at a table. No, he wasn’t allowed to bother her and I didn’t want him to yell across the place, but he was happy just to see her there (I mention this for a reason).

 

The following day was his scheduled autograph session with her. He was more excited than the day of the photo op because he was now used to waiting in these lines. Doug prompted him to tell her that he liked her in the show the night before. She thanked him and told him that she had seen him (I imagine in Qapla”) right after the show. He was a thrilled about that.

Brent Spiner:

Unlike some of the others who were too busy to even say hello (we’ll get to that later), I was impressed with Brent Spiner.

First, some backstory from the “Everything is Related Series”Everything is Related: Star Trek and Geppetto – October 2019

Last night we happened to be watching an episode of TNG.

The beginning credits were running. I was not really paying attention when DC said:

‚ÄúBrent Spiner.¬†Not Stromboli in ‚ÄúThe Wonderful World of Disney‚Äôs Geppetto‚Ä̬†(we must always recite the entire title of any movie, book or television series)

When DC tells me that someone is NOT a character, what he is actually telling me is that the actor IS the character; in this case ‚ÄúStromboli‚ÄĚ in the movie he just mentioned but he is not playing that character in this movie or television series we are watching at the time.

DC has been watching his Geppetto DVD ‚Ķ um, excuse me: ‚ÄúThe Wonderful World of Disney‚Äôs Geppetto‚ÄĚ for many years. I had never seen it, but I looked it up and he was correct!

Apparently, DC had not ever recognized him as Data, but he did recognize his name in the credits, because he does know the name of every person who has ever played or lent their voice to any Disney character.

Of course I was going to get a ticket for a photo op and autograph for Brent Spiner! How could I not?

As you might imagine, Brent Spiner had one of the longer lines of the cruise. But still, he took the time to talk to DC a bit during the photo op and when DC called him Stromboli, he looked confused for a moment and then broke out into a Stromboli song! I have no idea if it was an actual song from the movie or if he made it up right there, but needless to say, DC was thrilled!

A few days later we when we went for his scheduled autograph session with Mr. Spiner, the line was just as long as it was for the photo op, so I did not expect much.

But once again, I was impressed.

We had an old Disney promo photo/description for – say it with me – “The Wonderful World of Disney’s Geppetto” for him to sign. He read it, we talked about it, he wondered why Disney Plus does not carry these older musicals, he showed it to Gates McFadden who was at the table with him and pointed out (something that I hadn’t noticed before because now that DC watches his DVD’s on his laptop, I no longer have to watch these things over and over and over again), that Rene Auberjonois was also a cast member.

(Photo edited to disguise DC’s real name)

The cruise was fun and I really had no complaints about the way it was run. There were a few issues, though.

The way that the tickets were sold really needs to be modified for the next time around.

We purchased our photo-op and autograph tickets months before the cruise date. We bought our tickets for specific people.

When we received our tickets on board, they were not for specific people, but for specific “levels”.

We bought a ticket for a photo-op with Kate Mulgrew only because it was a Voyager anniversary cruse, so how could I not?

Kate Mulgrew was a “Gold Level Ticket”.

If memory serves, the celebrities who fell under the Gold level were:

  1. Kate Mulgrew
  2.  Jeri Ryan
  3.  Rom and Leeta in full costume.
  4.  The Captain who shall not be named***

I ran though the crowd to get this pic!

 

The problem with this Gold, Silver and Bronze system is that the tickets are interchangeable. I fully understand the intent; there is a lot going on and one may find themselves with a conflict of some sort at the time of your scheduled op.¬† BUT… it also creates a false expectation of the line size for the organizers.

This is in no way a complaint about the length of the line, it is a complaint about how the celebrity was treated by the venue and the interchangeable tickets and in turn the way DC was treated by the celebrity.

While we were in line but still out in the lobby I heard a group of disabled individuals complaining to their support person/group leader about their experience with Kate Mulgrew (I am a people watcher so I pay attention to everything especially if I think there is a problem that will effect DC). I could not hear their complaints but I did hear the group leader talking to one of the event organizer crew.¬† The event organizer apologized for whatever happened¬† and went on to explain that “Ms. Mulgrew is a very smart and savvy woman who knows exactly what her contract states and exactly the hours she is required to take photos and sign autographs”. I don’t know what she did. Maybe she left and took a break, maybe she was not very pleasant. I don’t know, but I knew there was a problem.

That made me nervous. I started having anxiety that we would be standing in this line forever only to have her leave. That would not have gone over well with DC. We hadn’t had all that many melt-downs during the trip and the ones we had were minor, I did not want him to be disappointed or have a meltdown if something like that happened.

Most of the photo-ops were scheduled around dinner hours meaning that the people with the later dinner time could go to the 6:30 op and those with early dinner times could attend the 8:30. I believe there probably should have been a break for the celebrity in-between ops, but there were so many people in line that I am sure that one op lead right into the other. There were so many people in line, that I am sure her photo op went far beyond the time allotted as well. I understand. That is a long time to expect someone to sit there and take photo after photo.

We have been to many events like this in the past and we know that a photo-op was not the place for conversation and as I said earlier, I was impressed at the number of celebs that did take a little bit of time to converse.

When it was DC’s turn for a photo, she did not even look at him. DC, being DC knows he should be polite and say hello. He tried and tried, but she would not even look at him. He tapped her on the shoulder, just to say hello and still she would not even look at him.

Yes, he smiled for the photo, because any time there is a camera in sight, he will stop whatever he is doing and smile (which is why I cannot ever get a candid shot of him)

He tried to say good bye after the photo but she still would not even turn her head. After we left,¬† DC would not stop insisting that he had to go back and ‘a-polo-gize’ to her because he was convinced that he had done something wrong. It took us a while to make him understand that he had not. DC is not always one to notice when someone is ignoring him (usually because I try to cover it up for him), but he noticed and it made him feel bad.

I never ask for or expect special treatment for him due to his autism, but I do expect him to be treated with common courtesy and he was not.

The next “issue” had nothing to do with the interchangeable tickets, it was just rudeness.

We were in “line” for Jeffrey Combs (there were two people in front of us and NO ONE behind us). We watched him sign and converse with both people in front of us. When DC got to the table and he started signing his photo, his assistant/wife or whoever she was, come up to the table and said “Excuse me one moment”. He turned around and they had a conversation as he pushed the signed photo towards us with out ever turning around again.

Again, THERE WAS NO ONE BEHIND US! This could have waited. Understanding that we were being dismissed and he was not going to turn around again even to say good-bye or thank you, I, rather loudly said good-bye, in a not so friendly fashion. He turned around quickly and said “Oh! Goodbye”.

Casey Biggs, who was at the table with him, noticed this and was nice enough to jump in to thank us for him (even though we were not at his station).

When we left the table – There was still NO ONE behind us.

Doug, who never notices anything (he will tell you that himself), asked me if Jeffrey Combs has been added to my “turn your head and spit” list.

The jury is still out on that one.

Moving On:

I was kicking myself for not bringing DC’s “Lizard Spock” costume with us, when we saw “Gorn’s Galactic Gala”. Me, thinking myself very clever found a Lizard costume years back and because DC absolutely knows Mr. Spock AND loves the Big Bang Theory; especially Rock, Paper Scissors, Lizard, Spock, I thought it would be hilarious for him to dress as “Lizard Spock” for Halloween. Unfortunately, I only succeeded in cracking myself up because no one got it. People who knew Star Trek thought he was Gorn and everyone else just didn’t know at all. DC and I knew, so that was all that mattered.

 

 

He would have fit right in…..

 

 

 

 

As you would find on every cruise – there was the standard towel animal on the bed every day when we came back to the room. DC cannot leave these alone. He just can’t stand that the towels are not in the right place and has to take it apart THE MOMENT he walks into the room.

It was entertaining to see how long it would take for him to notice it and take it apart. It was usually immediate.

More Dancing:

I believe this was the last night on the ship. I don’t recall the name or the theme.

 

 

 

DC wanted to see Brent Spiner again, so we went to his show… Inside the Actor’s Studio. We did not know who the guest would be and unfortunately as it turned out, it was The Captain who shall not be named***. Brent Spiner talked for a good long while before announcing who his guest would be and before bringing him out, so DC got his last “Spiner Fix” and we left when the guest came out.

We had a really nice time and I would LOVE to do this again! I don’t know if I will ever be able to talk Doug into it again – he’s not a Star Trek fan, although he did have a good time too. Don’t let the face fool you.

 

Oh! We did stop in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. John too!

It seems so long ago now. Two weeks after we returned home the whole country shut down. It gives me pause to look at these photos and the crowds.

Do you find yourself having anxiety when watching characters on television shows opening mail, willy nilly (where did THAT word come from?) hugging or shaking hands or is it just me?

I fear nothing will ever be he same again. I hope I am wrong.

****

*** The Captain who shall not be named

I did not write this but I have shared it many times over the last few years as the best explanation I can find…

How William Shatner Betrayed Autistic People’s Trust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything is Related: Star Trek and Geppetto

As you may or may not know, DC, Doug and I are going on a Star Trek Cruise in March.

To make most trips more interesting for DC, I always try to come up with something that he likes and relate it to the thing we are going to do.

(See: The Everything is Related Series)

Now, DC is my child so OF COURSE he knows Star Trek. One of the first signs he learned when he was younger and before he was verbal was the ‚ÄúLive Long and Prosper‚ÄĚ sign. He did not understand ‚ÄúLive Long and Prosper‚ÄĚ but it was his sign for Mr. Spock.

But still I have tried to find things relate-able to Disney or other movies and characters that he loves just to be sure he is excited.

Other than ‚Äúthe Captain who shall not be named‚ÄĚ; who will be there, he does have an affection for, to put it mildly, Nana Visitor strictly from Deep Space 9, no relating necessary in that case.

He loves Levar Burton from Reading Rainbow, but unfortunately, he will not be in attendance.

Whoopie Goldberg, who will not be in attendance is relate-able for DC from Sister Act, the Cheshire Cat in some version of Alice in Wonderland  and a YouTube clip from the View where she is introducing the cast of Shrek the Musical (to the person who posted that clip; you are welcome for the thousands of views).

He has met Robert Picardo more than once so he is definitely recognizable to DC.

Now, he does of course, recognize all of these characters just from all of the series’ playing on our television most of the time. He can tell me which series we are watching and he does know some of the character names. I do always point out which characters will be on the ship when they show up on screen.

I am not worried he will not have a good time.

But…. relating someone to some other character that he knows always brings it over the top for him and I wasn’t having much luck in that area.

Last night we happened to be watching an episode of TNG.

The beginning credits were running. I was not really paying attention when DC said:

‚ÄúBrent Spiner. Not Stromboli in ‚ÄúThe Wonderful World of Disney‚Äôs Geppetto‚ÄĚ (we must always recite the entire title of any movie, book or television series)

When DC tells me that someone is NOT a character, what he is actually telling me is that the actor IS the character; in this case ‚ÄúStromboli‚ÄĚ in the movie he just mentioned but he is not playing that character in this movie or television series we are watching at the time.

DC has been watching his Geppetto DVD … um, excuse me: “The Wonderful World of Disney’s Geppetto” for many years. I had never seen it, but I looked it up and he was correct!

Apparently, DC had not ever recognized him as Data, but he did recognize his name in the credits, because he does know the name of every person that has played or lent their voice to any Disney character.

‚Äď But you know that all ready.

Once again, DC did the work for me.

I will have to have him watch more of the credits on the other series. Maybe he can pick out a few more people that he knows.

Suggestions are always welcome.

 

 

In The Last Book I Read Star Trek and Autism Meet

This week’s Finish the Sentence Friday prompt is “The Last Book I read was….”.

As I am no longer the avid reader that I once was (the whole “reading glasses” situation is explained below), the last book that I DID read was close to a year ago, now.

The subject matter being two subjects that I can relate to and also very close to my heart; I had no problem getting through it (even with the glasses) and I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my thoughts again.

 

To Explore Strange New Worlds: Understanding Autism Through A Star Trek Lens ~ By Elizabeth W. Barnes

I have to begin by saying that I always loved to read, until I hit the age where my arms were no longer long enough to see the pages clearly and I had to begin wearing the dreaded “reading glasses”.¬† I do not know why reading a book while wearing the dreaded “reading glasses” bothers me so, but it does. Although I have from time to time, purchased a book with all good intentions, I can’t say I have been able to get through a single one.

The subject of Star Trek and autism relating to each other was intriguing to me. I have been a Star Trek fan since the first episode of The Original Series hit the airwaves; a VERY long time. I have a parent to a child with autism for over a quarter of a century. These are two subjects that I can relate to more than most.

I have always looked at Star Trek as diverse and inclusive. After my son was diagnosed and as he got older, I of course saw the similarities between him and Mr. Spock, Data, and Seven of Nine, but it never occurred to me just how much more there could be found in the Star Trek Universe. It was fun and eye-opening to look at Star Trek again though the scope of autism.

It took me a little while to begin reading it, because….. “reading glasses”, but once I picked it up, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to finish it – glasses or not.

It was an easy read. It was not clinical or technical. It does not read like a “how to”, or an instruction manual.¬† There is no advice or counsel as to what you should or should not be doing. It does not preach.

What the book does, is point out the regular every day issues that our children deal with through Star Trek episodes. It provides thoughts and tips for discussion as a means of assisting our children though these issues.  It is a collection of episodes and specific scenarios from those episodes that are relevant to our day-to-day life. These situations and the manner in which they are resolved are broken down in a clear and simple manner to promote thought, discussion and understanding about anxiety, social situations, problem solving and much more. Once you read this book and begin looking at the episodes in this way, this method could then be applied to other episodes, other situations in the same episodes and even different television shows, movies or books.

Being a Star Trek fan, it was actually fun reading over all of these episodes and looking at them in this light.

If you are a Star Trek fan with some connection to autism; this book is definitely for you.

If you are a Star Trek fan who may want to learn a little bit about autism while reading synopses of episodes from most of the Star Trek television series; this book is also for you.

If you are a Star Trek fan and the parent of a neurotypical child; this book can also be helpful as many of the issues covered such as bullying, acceptance or fitting in and peer pressure are not specific to autism.

If you are not a Star Trek fan; first I will ask ……..

WHY?

Next I will say that I do not think it matters. I have to admit that there were a few episodes that I did not remember and it did not take anything away from the point of the book. To the Star Trek novice or the person who has no knowledge of the  franchise other than the name, I believe this book would be just as interesting and informative to read as a collection of short story synopses that begin with a problem, end with a solution and the break down of the steps the characters took to get to that solution.

I found “To Explore Strange New Worlds – Understanding Autism through a Star Trek Lens” a fun, informative and quite fascinating romp through the Star Trek Universe and the autism spectrum. I highly recommend it!

 

Click Image To Purchase

To Explore Strange New Worlds: Understanding Autism Through A Star Trek Lens – By Elizabeth W. Barnes (click image to purchase)

 

 

 

***

This has been a Finish The Sentence Friday post. This week’s prompt;¬† “The last book I read was…”
Finish the Sentence Friday is Hosted by Kristi at Finding Ninee 
and Kenya at Sporadically Yours

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Reruns: Shore Leave

Four years ago this weekend, we made the ‘Trek’ to Baltimore to attend Shore Leave…… yes, everyone puts up with me and my Star Trek obsession.

The previous October, we made it to New York Comic-Con. I was nervous Рit was so crowded, but the hope of meeting Felicia Day, kept DC pretty much on track. He also got to meet William Shatner and the Real Mike Tee Vee. All were very nice to him and he was very, very happy.

A few years back a friend of mine told me about “Shore Leave“,an event held in Baltimore every August. It is smaller than ComicCon and the original plan was to try this first, see how DC¬†managed it¬†and then move on to the bigger ‘Con’ in NY at a later date.¬†Somehow we ended up doing it in reverse. But, since DC did so well at Comic-Con we decided ¬†Shore Leave¬†would be a breeze.

To Boldy Go....

The first “sign” that DC learned when he was very young (for those of you that may not know, DC was non-verbal until he was 7 years old) was the “Live Long and Prosper” sign. If and when he saw a picture of Mr. Spock or heard him mentioned, he¬†used that sign.

Today, he is verbal but will¬†still, at times¬†use his signs in conjunction with his speech – that “Mr. Spock” sign has come to represent Star Trek in general for him and he still uses it.

We left on Thursday afternoon as soon as DC came home from his work program. It took a full 8 hours to get there (traffic). It was late but at least we would be there to spend some time in Baltimore on Friday before Shore Leave opened on Friday night.

Reading the¬†Shore Leave schedule,¬†I noticed that¬†there was a “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock” tournament at 6pm. DC loves the Big Bang Theory and thinks “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock” is the most hysterical thing he’s ever heard. He does not really know what it means, the words are¬† just so funny to him. I thought if we attended the tournament, he¬†would see¬†exactly what it is…. a game.¬† I didn’t think he would actually understand the game, but at the very¬†least he might understand what they are talking about in the show.

When we first walked in, the moderator was explaining the rules, reading from a very confusing T-shirt, complete with diagrams and pictures of the signs. One of the participants piped up “That boy (DC) has the directions right on his shirt” – I don’t think the moderator appreciated this, he looked up, sighed¬†and went right back to explaining with HIS T-shirt. DC got a kick out of the tournament and asked me more than once “to play“. I knew he really didn’t understand it and thought about asking the moderator if someone could play a quick game with him when they were finished, but during the practice rounds I did with him, I could see he really didn’t get it. He just threw whatever I threw. I told him he could play against me. We played at the table while the tournament was in progress. This seemed to make him happy enough.

After the tournament we were walking down one of the hallways and I¬†noticed the TARDIS in the corner and pointed it out to DC.¬†He recognized it immediately yelling,¬† “Dr Who” We went to check it out. It was a photo booth. I don’t know what sort of directions the man gave DC when he was in the booth, but I could see from the computer screen outside that every time “Look at the Camera” came up on the screen, DC did something with his hands and his face, when the prompt was not there he sat looking at the screen normally. I’m sure he was following his¬†understanding of the directions the¬†man gave him.

He also¬†happened to find a pair of TARDIS slippers. There were only two pair on the table, but thankfully one pair was his size. He was pretty darn happy to¬†get them. He has a “thing” about slippers lately, I don’t know why. He has a few pair of¬†slippers at home¬†but never wanted to wear them, all of a sudden he loves slippers and wears them all of the time. The Tardis slippers were a nice find for him.

Pictures taken, slippers purchased, now DC was beginning to get antsy. He had enough for one night and as you may or may not¬†know, DC’s favorite thing when on vacation – besides bookstores and¬†restaurants, that is – is the hotel room. He really just LOVES hotel rooms, so he was anxious to get back to “his” desk and all of his “stuff”.

On Saturday morning, we decided to take in the “Fairy Tale Panel” back at Shore Leave. DC must have been much more exhausted from Friday than I realized as he fell asleep and slept (in the front row, mind you) throughout the entire hour. 200lbs of dead weight hanging on me the entire time –¬†just what you want when you are running a panel, someone fast asleep in the front row!¬† He did also¬†sleep through the Once Upon a Time panel at ComicCon, but at least it was a dark room and we were nowhere close to the front. I suppose it could have been worse, he could have been snoring.
Saturday was much more crowded than Friday night had been. We tried to stay away from the most crowded areas, but refreshed from his “nap”, DC made a bee-line to the Buffy doll that I knew he wanted but refused to¬†buy the day before – I think he was just too overwhelmed on Friday night to¬†know what he wanted until he found the Tardis slippers, that is..
We had purchased tickets for 3 photo ops the night before, but we still had a little time to kill, so we went to the autograph tables, which surprisingly, were not very crowded.

Our first stop was Robert Picardo. I explained to DC that he was once on a Star Trek (Voyager). His sign read “I’m the Doctor”. This confused DC, he knew it wasn’t David Tennant, the only Dr. he is aware of, but the sign did say “I am the Dr.” so he called him Dr. Who.

– just following directions, Doc…….

We moved on to Michael Welch. He was exceptionally nice to DC – really, they all were.

We then headed to THE most confusing Photo Op line ever. We had tickets for 3 Photo Ops which meant we had to get in line 3 times. The lines did move quickly, but it was all very confusing trying to figure out where we were supposed to be.

The woman at the entrance to the photo room just Ooo’d and Ahh’d over DC every time we arrived for a photo. “Oh! Look at him, he is so excited!” – he was, plus there is no one that loves to have¬†their picture taken more than DC does.

His first photo was with Robert Picardo, “Dr. Who” from a half hour earlier. He didn’t call him Dr. Who this time even though he was wearing a Dr. Who shirt (he didn’t have his “I’m the Doctor” sign with him and it wasn’t David Tennant on his shirt).

Next up was Eve Myles. She was a few minutes late getting to the photo room and when I saw her coming down the hallway, I got a little bit anxious. Her hair was much longer than it is on TV and in photos. DC LOVES long hair, LOVES it! Before we¬†were faced with another¬† ‘Snow White Incident’ I launched into “the rules”.
“DC, you can not touch her hair”
“Okay Mom”
“DC what is the rule? – Tell me”
“Don’t touch your hair” (the usual pronoun confusion,but I knew he understood)
and then….. just for good measure…
“DC, what is the other rule?”
“Don’t pick up the people”
and he didn’t……….

Next and thankfully, last as DC was tired of getting in and out of lines…. Silas Weir Mitchell. I love Grimm. DC has seen it a few times, but I don’t think he really knew who he was. It didn’t faze him because, someone was taking¬†HIS picture¬†and isn’t that really all that matters?

At this point, DC was starting to get edgy. Our last stop was the Eve Myles autograph table. We had a good 1/2 hour wait until she was finished with the Q&A she was leading. We slipped inside to listen and more importantly to move DC out of the hallway.

He didn’t want to sit down.

He didn’t want to stand where we were standing.

He didn’t want to stand in the next place we moved to.

We moved close to the door and he seemed okay with that.

But then¬†a staff person came over and¬†told us we couldn’t stand there so we moved back to the hallway.

We decided to just wait at the table.

There was a wonderful lady sitting at the table who just happened to be a Special Ed teacher (we seem to run into Special Ed teachers everywhere we go, she was the second on this trip), she let DC pick out the photo he wanted autographed early. He picked a photo of¬†Ms. Myles¬†from a Merlin episode. We chatted a bit, she chatted with DC a bit as well. She told him he was doing a good job waiting – he loves compliments….. who doesn’t.

The Dalek from the Tardis photo booth was now roaming the hallway “EXTERMINATE!”, ¬†so that helped to keep him occupied until¬†Ms. Myles¬†was finished with her Q&A. When she arrived at the table, the woman whispered something to her and then introduced her to DC. She told her that he was waiting a long time for her. He was first in line for her autograph, she was lovely to him. He was thrilled…..

but he was also “done”.

I¬†didn’t try to push him to do any more. We arrived that morning at 9 and it was now after 3.¬†That was a long stretch for him, even with the nap.¬†He had a few sketchy moments throughout the day, but I really I think, overall he did a fantastic job!

In the words of DC, “We all had a wonderful time”

except for this guy…………..

this guy....

this guy….

 

*****

(This post was originally posted as “To Boldly Go” in August 2014)

To Explore Strange New Worlds – Fun and Informative (A Book Review)

To Explore Strange New Worlds: Understanding Autism Through A Star Trek Lens ~ By Elizabeth W. Barnes

I have to begin by saying that I always loved to read, until I hit the age where my arms were no longer long enough to see the pages clearly and I had to begin wearing the dreaded “reading glasses”.¬† I do not know why reading a book while wearing the dreaded “reading glasses” bothers me so, but it does. Although I have from time to time, purchased a book with all good intentions, I can’t say I have been able to get through a single one.

The subject of Star Trek and autism relating to each other was intriguing to me. I have been a Star Trek fan since the first episode of The Original Series hit the airwaves; a VERY long time. I have a parent to a child with autism for over a quarter of a century. These are two subjects that I can relate to more than most.

I have always looked at Star Trek as diverse and inclusive. After my son was diagnosed and as he got older, I of course saw the similarities between him and Mr. Spock, Data, and Seven of Nine, but it never occurred to me just how much more there could be found in the Star Trek Universe. It was fun and eye-opening to look at Star Trek again though the scope of autism.

It took me a little while to begin reading it, because….. “reading glasses”, but once I picked it up, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to finish it – glasses or not.

It was an easy read. It was not clinical or technical. It does not read like a “how to”, or an instruction manual.¬† There is no advice or counsel as to what you should or should not be doing. It does not preach.

What the book does, is point out the regular every day issues that our children deal with through Star Trek episodes. It provides thoughts and tips for discussion as a means of assisting our children though these issues.  It is a collection of episodes and specific scenarios from those episodes that are relevant to our day-to-day life. These situations and the manner in which they are resolved are broken down in a clear and simple manner to promote thought, discussion and understanding about anxiety, social situations, problem solving and much more. Once you read this book and begin looking at the episodes in this way, this method could then be applied to other episodes, other situations in the same episodes and even different television shows, movies or books.

Being a Star Trek fan, it was actually fun reading over all of these episodes and looking at them in this light.

If you are a Star Trek fan with some connection to autism; this book is definitely for you.

If you are a Star Trek fan who may want to learn a little bit about autism while reading synopses of episodes from most of the Star Trek television series; this book is also for you.

If you are a Star Trek fan and the parent of a neurotypical child; this book can also be helpful as many of the issues covered such as bullying, acceptance or fitting in and peer pressure are not specific to autism.

If you are not a Star Trek fan; first I will ask ……..

WHY?

Next I will say that I do not think it matters. I have to admit that there were a few episodes that I did not remember and it did not take anything away from the point of the book. To the Star Trek novice or the person who has no knowledge of the  franchise other than the name, I believe this book would be just as interesting and informative to read as a collection of short story synopses that begin with a problem, end with a solution and the break down of the steps the characters took to get to that solution.

I found “To Explore Strange New Worlds – Understanding Autism through a Star Trek Lens” a fun, informative and quite fascinating romp through the Star Trek Universe and the autism spectrum. I highly recommend it!

 

Click Image To Purchase

To Explore Strange New Worlds: Understanding Autism Through A Star Trek Lens – By Elizabeth W. Barnes (click image to purchase)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Got Distracted on Star Trek Day….

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(off topic) {Spoilers!!!}

I have been re-watching the Star Trek series over the last year and a half/two years now. Because some of my perspectives have changed, I was ready to write about it on September 8th; Star Trek Day, but I got distracted and almost completely missed Star Trek Day altogether.

Those of you that know me know that I have been a Star Trek fan from the time that the very first episode aired of the Original Series. Way before it was “cool” (I’m old).

There was and still is nothing not to love about the Original – nothing.

And….. Captain Kirk was a coffee drinker…

“Yeoman, is that coffee available or have those circuits been damaged as well?”¬†

I¬† remember when The Next Generation was being advertised. I was outraged that anyone¬†would try to create a new Star Trek even if the person creating it was Gene Roddenberry himself. How Dare¬†He?!!! My boyfriend at the time, knowing how much I loved Star Trek taped it¬†and brought¬†it¬†to my house for me to watch. I flatly refused. I would NEVER watch a ‚Äúfake‚ÄĚ Star Trek, Never!

Well…. never say never.

As it turned out, I loved it and almost every other that came after. ~ Me 2015

I had seen each incarnation of Star Trek until Star Trek Enterprise came out and every single movie, more than once

until the 2009 release of Star Trek the updated prequel. It was there that I stopped. Nothing against the movie or the actors. I’m sure it was and they were just wonderful. I just did not want to see new actors playing the parts of my favorite characters. ~ Me 2015

I had been finding it difficult getting into any new shows so instead of going back to my “happy shows” that I have no problem watching over and over and over again (The West Wing, Eureka, Parks and Recreation, Angel and the Gilmore Girls), I thought that since I really have not seen an episode of any of the series in the Star Trek franchise in many years; why not try one or all of them? A trip down memory lane would be fun.

You have to remember that when most of these series originally aired; specifically TOS, TNG and DS9, we were able to see them in first run and maybe if we were lucky we would catch a re-run from time to time. Movies were just beginning to be released on video but television series were not. When the Original Series ran, back in the old days of getting up to change between the three network channels and maybe a 4th UHF channel if you moved the antenna in just the right way – video was not even a thought. By the time The Next Generation hit the airwaves, we did have the capability of recording shows from the TV set to VHS, but it would be another few years before I figured out how to do that (more than a few years, if I am honest). So for many of these series, I saw them once when they aired and really never again other than a random re-run here and there.

DEEP SPACE 9

I have always had an affinity to Deep Space 9 but it aired at odd times, like Sunday at 5:00pm or some odd, not in prime-time slot that seemed to change often.  I was able to catch enough episodes to know most of the characters and keep up with some of the story lines.

I started my quest to re-watch all of the series with DS9. I was not disappointed. Deep Space 9 has now been added to the list of television shows that I can and will watch over and over again. It was different but there was no mistaking that it was still Star Trek. Although Deep Space 9 is a permanent space station there was quite a lot of action and travel on the Defiant once the war with the Dominion broke out. I liked the way the characters evolved and changed from the beginning of the series (even the Ferengi’s), in a way that I did not really see in Next Gen. I particularly LOVED the relationship between Chief O’Brien and Dr. Bashir. Watching the characters move from just tolerating each other to best friends spending almost all of their time together was just adorable. Jake and Nog come in a close second in “adorable best friends” category.¬† I have to say that I think Nog’s character was allowed the most notable growth throughout the series.

Then there is Captain Sisko……

Commander, Captain…. Emissary of the Prophets – trapped between the two different and often-times conflicting worlds of The Federation and the Bajoran people. By far, my favorite captain.

Deep Space 9 is a little bit darker than most of the other Star Trek series but I think that just makes it better and less predictable.

The series is available on Netflix. If you are a Star Trek fan (even if you are not) I would recommend it highly. Although DS9, in my opinion is the best pilot of any of the Star Trek series, there is something odd about it (on Netflix anyway, I don’t recall thinking that the first time I watched). I can not put my finger on it. I do not know if it is the way it was shot or what, but everyone seems to be over acting as if they were over compensating for sound effects that were to be added later but never were.

If you watch nothing else, please watch Trials and Tribble-ations in season 5, where the crew goes back in time to the Original Series The Trouble with Tribbles episode. So cleverly done and fun!

There is even a funny little call out/acknowledgement to the difference between the Klingons of the past and the Klingons of the present.

(Far Beyond the Stars, Paper Moon, In the Pale Moonlight and Past Tense are also required watching if you are looking for more than just a ‘Fun” episode)

Although Raktajino was the “coffee” of choice by most of the DS9 world, one could always count on Chief O’Brien to go old school with his order of coffee.¬†black,¬†double sweet”.

I can forgive Commander (later Captain) Sisko for his Raktajino addiction as Raktajino is “techinally” coffee; Klingon coffee.

ENTERPRISE

After finishing DS9, I decided to give Enterprise a try. This is the series I had never seen. I watched one episode….. Nope. The theme song…. Nope.

VOYAGER

Voyager turned out to be another series that was better than I remembered. After getting over (or used to) the Katherine Hepburn impersonation which was not as noticeable watching it once a week as it was binge watching, ¬†I really enjoyed it. The first female captain and an avid/can’t start the day without, coffee drinker to boot.

“Listen to me very closely because I’m only going to say this once. Coffee. Black.”

Again, I enjoyed the evolution of the characters and the friendships that developed; my favorite being Seven of Nine and Naomi Wildman. The added suspense of the “will they or won’t they” was enjoyably different. They picked up strays along the way and made them part of their crew. Everyone was welcome; the Marquis, Aliens and even The Borg.

There was so much there that I did not remember from watching it the first time through all those years ago. It was very much worth the re-watch.

THE NEXT GENERATION

There is a case to be made about leaving well enough alone. There are some series, LOST and Mad Men to name a couple, ¬†that I absolutely loved, loved, loved obsessively but never had the desire to go back and watch again. I wanted to leave them where and how I remembered them. Not to in any way diminish my love for my “happy shows”; they are just different in my mind.

This is where I should have left The Next Generation. I should have left it in my memory as one of the most popular series of the franchise. But….. NOooooo, I had to go and watch it again. Turns out that the memory of it rated much higher than the reality of it.

Although there are characters that still measure up with those from my memory; Geordi, Data, Wesley and Guinan, I am really struggling with each and every episode.

I remember really liking this series, but I found it extremely boring and ridiculously predictable after the first couple of seasons. I do not feel any attachment to any of the other characters. I find myself fast forwarding through scenes of characters that I once thought were fantastic. Commander Riker, who was thought to be the Kirk-like ladies man, now just strikes me as creepy. Even Captain Picard does not measure up to my memory of him. Mr. Worf ? I liked the character much better once he transferred to DS9. It is funny how looking at something with older eyes can change your perspective this much.

And let me just say……. Earl Grey.. (sigh)

ENTERPRISE

I began trying to watch TNG in August of last year (maybe even before that) and 11 months later, I am finally into the 7th season (while alternating with DS9 for the second time). ¬†I am so positively bored by it that I went back to try Enterprise one more time. I am now on the 10th episode. It is holding my attention this time around (fast forwarding through the theme song, of course). Maybe the sheer boredom of the Next Generation made Enterprise more watchable for me. We will see….

THE RE-BOOT MOVIES

I had round two of oral surgery on the 8th which is what distracted me from remembering Star Trek Day ahead of time. Round one happened in July. So yes, I am not only old, but a walking disaster. Round one was just brutal so I was home…. a lot.. . I gave in to pressure and decided to give the reboots a chance.

I really did enjoy all of them. I was happy to see Leonard Nimoy. No matter how many re-boots and new series they make, Mr Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy will always and forever be my favorite character in the Star Trek Universe.

I went into the first one with a bad attitude and was pleasantly surprised. The movie reverts back to previous characters and stories from the Original Series and then they give it all a twist. Everything is different but still somewhat the same. Karl Urban was the perfect choice to play Dr. McCoy. One can see a young DeForest Kelley and imagine him behaving and looking exactly like this in his early Star Fleet days. He absolutely nailed the McCoy character, in my opinion.

The two biggest observations/questions that I have about the re-boots are:

  1. Were Star Fleet officers and personnel not trained in the art of holding on to one’s phaser in the early days? Mere seconds into every fight scene the phaser is knocked out of their hand! Every Time!!!!
  2. Why, Oh, Why would anyone cast Idris Elba in ANYTHING and not show his face until very close to the end?????

WHY????

As for Next Generation; I am determined to finish watching it. Maybe once I am finished, I will feel differently.  I will continue to kick myself for not just leaving it in my memory as a show that I once loved.

Happy Belated Star Trek Day!

*****

Update, October 29, 2017Giving Star Trek Enterprise a Second Chance

*****

Photos: From The Star Trek Experience at the Hilton in Las Vegas 2007

Star Trek Missions – NYC 2016

Star Fleet at the Interpid – NYC 2016

More on Star Trek

To Boldly Go…¬†

Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end

Star Trek Missions, NY and a little bit of Reading Rainbow

Gorn? No…..

#TravelingWithDC – Mom’s ‘birfday’

Star Fleet Experience at the Intrepid

And while you are still here, please check out two more posts from friends of mine:

Thank you Mr. Nimoy¬†‚Äď from Autism Mom

RIP Mr. Nimoy¬†‚Äď from SSirica

Star Trek Missions NY (and a little bit Reading Rainbow)

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In honor of Star Trek (The Original Series) 50th anniversary I¬†present Our Trip to Star Trek Missions New York….

I just happened to actually read my email one day in mid-August and I saw the announcement for Star Trek Mission NY on Labor Day weekend. I bought the tickets almost immediately. I have been a fan of Star Trek from the time the very first episode aired back in 1966 Р<sarcasm font> I was just an infant, not even born, yet really <end sarcasm font>, so needless to say, I was excited.

The first obstacle for DC would be going to New York City (his favorite place) without visiting “DC’s New York City”; meaning the big Barnes and Noble, the Disney Store, the Eloise Store in the Plaza, Hershey Store, Hard Rock Caf√© and ‘Citral’ Park (Central Park). I began explaining this to him weeks beforehand. We also promised him that we would¬†go back another day very soon to spend the day doing his favorite things. As much as he seems to understand when I am prepping him for something, I never really know if he does¬†until I get his reaction when it happens. I have to say that I did expect some kind of reaction¬†to not going out into the city when we arrived, but the promise of going back another day seemed to¬†be¬†good enough. – Progress!

DC knows Star Trek TOS¬†because he has me for a mother, of course.¬†One of his first “signs” before he could speak was the “Live Long and Prosper” sign. Of course he did not know it meant LLAP, it was just¬†his sign for Star Trek in general.

I have seen all of the incarnations of Star Trek over the years with the exception of Enterprise so I knew most of the guests that would be in attendance. DC? Not so much. We have been watching the original series on Netflix in the mornings before work  and about a month ago we began alternating between that and Deep Space 9, so I was hopeful he would recognize a few others.

img_6449We got there¬†not very long after¬†the doors opened and I was amazed¬†that it was not very crowded at all. I don’t know if it was because it was the very first one, the holiday weekend or if this was just the crowd they were expecting;¬†in any case it worked out perfectly for us.

The first thing DC came upon was a Tribble and he had to have it. When he found that it made “Tribble” noises, he had to have¬†it even more.

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He got it……..

His normal “Arrival Anxiety” did not rear it’s head as it usually does when we first¬†arrive anywhere. I was a bit surprised but relieved. We walked the show floor and came upon an Enterprise set where one could sit in the Captain’s chair. It was a long line, but he was all for it.

There was also a man off to the side of the set who looked so much like “Scotty” that I had to do a¬†double take. It unnerved me for a second.

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(While in line we were told that there is a replica of the Enterprise in Ticonderoga, NY so hmmmm…. I smell a road trip in the near future.)

By the time we finished taking photos of¬†“Captain DC”, ¬†the autograph sessions were starting. DC recognizes Robert

Picardo from the Baltimore Con a few years ago so we headed there first.

For some reason, this is where¬†his anxiety set in. The line was short, very short and as I said the hall was not crowded at all but this was where it hit. He started flapping angrily and making a horrendous noise. He used to make a clucking noise but it has evolved into something unrecognizable lately. In-between the flapping and the extremely loud noises he would stop only to say he was sorry and then start again. I could see that the woman in front of us getting a little bit nervous, but I just kept telling him to do what he had to do to calm down and as long as there was no one around for him to hit with his flapping arms, it was okay. She seemed to relax, I suppose because she saw I wasn’t treating it as a big deal. He did finally relax too. To keep him relaxed, I joked that he should not do that when he got to the table because he would scare Robert Picardo. He laughed.¬†Still trying to keep his mind off of his anxiety,¬†I asked him who we were going to look for next.

“Reading Rainbow. I have to find him. I will find him somewhere.”

The anticipation of meeting “Reading Rainbow Man”¬† (DC-speak) took his mind off of whatever was making him anxious and he was back to his¬†perfectly happy self¬†when he got to the front of the line. He got Robert Picardo’s autograph and we set out on our hunt for Reading Rainbow Man.

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We found “Reading Rainbow Man” (LeVar Burton¬†to the rest of you) rather quickly. In true DC – delayed reaction and pronoun reversing¬†fashion, the very first thing he said to him was “You scared me!”. LeVar, not knowing what was going on said “How did I scare you?”

“Noises”

I then had to explain that in the previous line I told him if he made that much noise he would scare people. ¬†LeVar understood and¬†told him that no,¬†DC had not¬†frightened him. He asked “How are you?”

DC: “Twenty-Five”

Me: He asked how are you, not how old are you.

DC: “Great!”

The conversation continued pretty much like that, with me jumping in to translate when necessary.

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DC had been looking so forward to meeting him and was so very excited when he did that I was kicking myself for not thinking about  saving this meeting until later. I was worried that after meeting LeVar he would not be interested in staying any longer, but he surprised me once again and wanted to move on to the next meeting.

We got to see and meet quite a few people…….

img_6459The only Original Series cast member there that day was Walter Koenig. William Shatner was scheduled to appear on Sunday. DC met him at NY Comic-Con a few years¬†earlier so we weren’t disappointed that we would be missing him this time. Of course, if he¬†happened to have been¬†there we surely would have¬†been in his line too.

There were a good number of TNG cast there as well. We did not get to see all of them, but we saw Levar and Gates McFadden.

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I asked him who he wanted to see next. He looked around toward the Deep Space 9 section and answered “Jake”. I was a little bit impressed with that since he has¬†only been watching for a few weeks and I was not sure how much he was actually paying attention. Of course by the time we got to the front he did not ‘renember’ his name but that was all¬†just a matter of him not understanding the question or that the question was not asked¬†in a¬†way he understood.¬†He will typically give a lot of random answers until he is asked properly – unfortunately one never knows what “properly asking” might be on any given day. There are times when he can answer a question correctly the very¬†first time the question is asked and other days,¬†the question¬†has to be asked in many different ways.

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He saw Quark over in the next line. Quark, not in costume is only the principal from Buffy to DC. His line was a little bit longer than the others so we skipped over to Nana Visitor. DC was his charming self but when she told him her name he really got excited. He was clutching his chest and squealing with the biggest smile on his face. I was not expecting that reaction.

I don’t know about any of you, but most of the time when I take¬†DC to a play, event or something of the sort, I spend more time watching him¬†get excited than I do watching the play or show or whatever is going on. Then I get teary-eyed. That is just what happened here. He just was so thrilled to be talking to her and she was just so cheerful and upbeat with him¬†that I not only got teary-eyed, but I thought I was going to burst out into an all out ugly face cry¬†right there. It was tough trying to keep my composure. When we¬†finished¬†and headed back over to where Doug was holding up the pole he thought something had¬†happened as¬†it was pretty apparent that¬†I was trying to contain myself. When I tried to explain it to him I¬†got all choked up again.¬†Sometimes I just fall apart when I see him so happy – I know, I know, get a grip, woman….

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We walked around a little bit more waiting for the rest of our photo-ops when we came upon an attendee all dressed up in a long flowing gown. DC could hardly control himself. She was talking to people and not paying attention while DC was yelling “Excuse me! Excuse me!”. I had to keep telling him not to touch her dress¬†but he wanted her attention so he tapped her on the shoulder before I could stop him. When she turned around the first thing he said was “Sorry to touch”. She smiled and told him it was all right and he said “Dress Beautiful” (and another squeal). That was all he needed to do; get her attention to tell her that her dress was beautiful.¬†She thanked him and we were off to look at everything else there was to see.

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It is a¬†given that he will always find somewhere to buy a book………

 

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He got to see his beloved¬†Nana again at his DS9 cast photo-op (and Buffy’s ‘teacher’ who we never¬†made it¬†back to in the autograph lines). ¬†I think she may just¬†have earned herself a place¬†on DC’s favorite women¬†list¬†alongside¬†of¬†Felicia Day and Amy Adams.

What a perfect day! Everything went exactly as planned. The whole event was very well organized and of course it helped that it was not very crowded.

We all had a great time!

Well……

Except for this guy….

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Except for this guy Grease photo

Except for this guy Shore Leave Photo

In case anyone might be wondering; the Reading Rainbow theme remains trapped in my head, still.

And, Oh – there were M&M’s

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aaaaaaannnnnnnnd

levar

“Change is the essential process of all existence” ~ Mr. Spock

But oftentimes “change” or loss is something that we do not embrace very readily or happily.

And there are those days when the¬†Facebook memories, we enjoy so much¬†are not¬†very¬†enjoyable at all…..

It is hard to believe that a year has come and gone¬†~¬†I have¬†said goodbye to many of¬†my childhood/teen age icons in the months¬†since, but¬†this was the first and by far,¬†the worst in that long line of loss….

Repost Feb 2016 – from Feb, 2015…..

 

‚ÄúLogic is the beginning of wisdom; not the end.‚ÄĚ
...and yes, I do always have Spock ears readily available..

‚ÄúLogic is the beginning of wisdom; not the end.‚Ä̬†~ Mr. Spock

From the post that I re-blogged yesterday: To Boldly Go…..

I admit it…

I am just a big old Sci-fi geek from way back. I watched the first episode of Star Trek back in 1966/1967 (?) and I was hooked ‚Äď for life.

The first ‚Äúsign‚ÄĚ that DC learned when he was very young (for those of you that may not know, DC was non-verbal until he was 7 years old) was the ‚ÄúLive Long and Prosper‚ÄĚ sign. If and when he saw a picture of Mr. Spock or heard him mentioned, he¬†used that sign.

I’ve been in love with Star Trek and Mr. Spock since the very first episode aired back in¬†the 60’s.

I loved the adventures in space.

I loved that all of the crew members were treated with respect and as equals.

I wanted a tribble.

I added new words to my vocabulary,¬†most memorable – ¬†“poppycock”.

I wanted to be a part of the crew, but not in a red shirt.

I loved everything about Star Trek.

I always had an affinity for the Mr. Spock character.  I loved his no-nonsense purely logical way of looking at things. I especially loved the episodes where he was confused and/or outright annoyed by human behavior РA piece of the action comes to mind.

I remember being sad when the show went off the air.¬†But all was not lost! 10 years later “Star Trek the¬†Motion Picture”¬†was set¬†to be released. I anxiously¬†awaited¬†opening day¬†and although I admit I was a little bit disappointed in¬†the film, I was thrilled to see all of my favorite characters again.

The movies that followed were so much better than the first¬†“Motion Picture” and¬†I saw each and every one of them more than once¬†until the 2009 release of Star Trek the updated prequel. It was there that I stopped.¬†Nothing against the movie or the actors. I’m sure it was and they were¬†just wonderful. I just did not want to see new¬†actors playing the parts of my favorite characters.

I¬† remember when The Next Generation was being advertised. I was outraged that anyone¬†would try to create a new Star Trek even if the person creating it was Gene Roddenberry himself. How Dare¬†He?!!! My boyfriend at the time, knowing how much I loved Star Trek taped it¬†and brought¬†it¬†to my house for me to watch. I flatly refused. I would NEVER watch a “fake” Star Trek, Never!

Well…. never say never.

As it turned out, I loved it and every other that came after.

Not only was Mr. Spock my favorite character but¬†I really loved Leonard Nimoy¬†the actor.¬†He was the only reason I was at all interested in watching Mission Impossible (the TV show).¬† I grew to love the show, but Leonard got me there. I will also¬†never forget being glued to the TV watching “In Search Of…”.

I did at one time own the first, second and a few other editions of the Primortals comic books. I wish I knew what happened to them.

Then imagine my excitement when he showed up as William Bell on Fringe! Not to mention playing himself on The Big Bang Theory!

That Spock character resonates a bit more with me now than it did back then, if you can believe that possible. Having a child with autism has made me view Mr. Spock in an entirely different light. His matter-of-fact, logical, no grey area persona reminds me a bit of my son. It reminds me of the way many people perceive people with autism. However,  like many people with autism,  in spite of that matter-of-fact, no grey area, logical approach he had to life, his duties, his interaction with others, Mr. Spock showed compassion, empathy and yes, even friendship to those around him Рin his own way.

Leonard Nimoy was one of my childhood heroes and I suppose you can say that I carried that adoration with me into adulthood. I was heartbroken to hear of his passing. There will never be another like him. It may be silly to you but I really feel that a piece of my childhood is gone forever – a small piece that I will never be able to get back.

Live Long and Prosper ~ wherever you may land.

‚ÄúOf my friend I can only say this: of all the souls that I met on my travels, his was the most‚Ķ human.‚Ä̬† ~ James T. Kirk

*******

And while you are still here, please check out two more posts from Blogger friends of mine:

Thank you Mr. Nimoy – from Autism Mom

RIP Mr. Nimoy – from SSirica

Gorn? No…… October reruns #TBT

So we’ve come to the end of the line – the last Halloween/Spooky/TBT/FBF post for October 2015. Never fear, ¬†there will be just one more Halloween post in early November – I know you were worried ūüôā

Recently, after writing “Leave the Shoe; take the chocolate” I commented to the only two people that “got it” that¬†this was usually the case¬†– I am sitting here just cracking myself up…… alone.

The last costume in the¬†following post is another one of those times when I just thought I was being¬†so clever and hilarious and no one got it. Part of the reason that no one “got it” was because there was actually a Star Trek species called Gorn, lizard-like aliens that I did not even remember until people brought it up. (My bad – Defeated again)

So here’s¬†some hints for the very last costume:

  • Big Bang
  • Game
  • Stones – document – cutting instrument – reptile – Leonard Nimoy…

Trust me….. it’s hilarious (but you do have my permission to just humor me)

but….. no one will know what you are supposed to be

In the event that it still isn’t apparent to everyone…….. I LOVE HALLOWEEN, and I couldn’t be happier that DC loves it as much as I do!

‚ÄúBut, no one will know what you are supposed to be‚ÄĚ, is something I have been told quite often on Halloween over the years. I sometimes have a very odd sense of what is funny or what, I‚Äôm sure other people will get. They don‚Äôt always ‚Äėget it‚Äô but I am¬†cracking myself up so no one else needs to join in.

DC and I begin planning Halloween in August. He must have a costume for every event he attends and me, being me, just LOVES this!

As I can always come up with the odd costume, again, thinking I am just totally hilarious, more often¬†DC will come up with a costume that is not a costume at all, just a character wearing regular clothes¬†or worse, a costume that does not exist or that¬†no one has ever heard of except for DC ‚Äď who is watching very old or obscure musicals or Disney movies.

There was the year that he wanted nothing more than to be ‚ÄúCharlie Bucket‚ÄĚ for Halloween‚Ķ‚Ķ..

Basically, Charlie Bucket is a boy with blonde hair.

Charlie Bucket - Photo Credit - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Alrighty, then…….

In my mind Charlie‚Äôs birthday scarf was red ‚Äď it wasn‚Äôt, ¬†but I think I¬†duplicated the jacket (doesn‚Äôt show up well in the photo, but it was very close),¬†the hair and hat as closely as I could. I added a Golden Ticket to his trick-or-treat bag,¬†for added recognize-ability¬†¬†and I think¬†I came¬†pretty close to turning DC into¬†‚ÄúCharlie Bucket‚ÄĚ.

and ……on a side note, the bag must always match the costume….

Even with the addition of  Willy Wonka and an Ooompa Loompa , people who did not know DC personally had no idea he was in a costume..

Then there was the¬†year that¬†DC wanted to be ‚ÄúDaddy Warbucks‚ÄĚ from one of his favorite musicals, ¬†Annie. I had planned to dress as¬†Annie, but I broke my toe ‚Äď the first in a very long¬†line of toe-breaking incidents ‚Ästso I could not walk around the neighborhood with him. Still, ¬†I assumed that most people would know who Daddy Warbucks¬†was even without Annie by his side‚Ķ‚Ķ‚ĶThey didn‚Äôt.

Even with the addition of Sandy the dog to his trick-trick-or-treat bag, most people thought he was Mr. Six.

(Mr. Six was one of his choices¬†a few years later and yes, everyone ‚Äúgot it‚ÄĚ)

Photo Credit - Six Flags Amusement Park and *Al (at work) - Graphic Artist who works magic with my Halloween Pics every year.

I always do try to embrace his costume requests especially when he does come up with a character from a TV show or movie that is more age-appropriate than his usual choices. Generally when he does actually choose something or someone from a television show, it is usually a show that has not been on the air for years. He tends to discover favorite TV shows long after they are out of the public eye, but progress is progress and I will take it.

This year, he surprised me.

DC‚Äôs first costume of the 2014 Halloween season was ‚ÄúThe Doppler Effect‚ÄĚ (Sheldon ‚Äď The Big Bang Theory) ‚Äď He loves the Big Bang Theory and as I said, ¬†I will go out of my way to encourage anything he might like that is¬†more age-appropriate than the TV shows and movies he normally gravitates to. Obviously, he did not say ‚ÄúI want to be the ‚ÄėDopper Inact‚Äô (DC-speak)‚ÄĚ but he did want to be Sheldon, which would have been easy to do,¬† as¬†he has worn his Bazinga shirt to death, so we went for the Doppler Effect.

Sheldon, The Doppler Effect - photo credit teamliquid.net

No, not everyone knew who he was ‚Äúsupposed to be‚ÄĚ, but he didn‚Äôt know or care.¬†It was funny to the people that did¬†‚Äúget it‚ÄĚ and that is good enough for me.

Our next party costume was one that, not only did I think¬†no one¬†would have any idea about, but it was really difficult to find a photo on-line to copy from ‚Äď The Timekeeper from ‚ÄúSpy Kids, All the Time in the World‚ÄĚ ‚Äď and yes, we are required to say the full title of the movie every time it is mentioned.

Timekeeper - Spy Kids All the Time in the World - Photo Credit: Disney - Spykids

Fortunately, I found some ‚ÄúBag O‚Äô Gears‚ÄĚ on Amazon along with goggles that looked close enough even¬†before gluing said gears all over them. The costume, of course was not exact, it really wasn‚Äôt even close,¬†but gears were added, a pocket watch and a flask with a compass, looking close enough to a clock to fit the theme. I thought it made¬†the point and more importantly, DC loved it. As it turned out a few people other than DC¬† had actually seen this movie and knew right away who he ‚Äúwas supposed to be‚ÄĚ.

The¬†Timekeeper, the challenge of our Halloween season, ‚Äúnailed‚ÄĚ, according to a few reviews, we moved on to our final party before Halloween night.
The Beast…. because of course, there must be at least one Disney animated character in the mix.
This was not DC‚Äôs first¬†Halloween as the Beast, but¬†years ago,¬†it was much more difficult to find a Beast costume, so again, we had to go ‚Äúmakeshift‚ÄĚ and put random pieces together to get the effect. A friend of mine¬†happened to¬†have a mask, so that really helped.

This year, he had the real thing,¬†straight from the Beast‚Äôs¬†wardrobe ‚Äď because, as you know, the Beast is no longer a Beast, he is a handsome Prince, he¬†has no¬†need of¬†this outfit¬†anymore.

The one costume that continues to make the list from the time DC was very young and still to this day¬†is ‚ÄúJim Dear‚ÄĚ from Lady and the Tramp.

(sigh….)  A man in a suit…..

Not my idea of a Halloween costume, but ‚Äď this is not about me‚Ķ.

……not ALL about be, anyway.

This year, while purchasing a 40’s style hat for DC to wear to an event we attended, I came across and purchased a derby type hat as well.
Next year I will give in to his¬†request¬†for a ¬†‚ÄúJim Dear‚ÄĚ costume. I suppose I will be shopping for a stuffed Lady and Tramp, and whatever else I can come up with to make ‚ÄúJim Dear‚ÄĚ recognizable. I have¬†10 months to think about it.

I¬†began writing this post almost two weeks ago after DC attended his first party of the season, holding off publishing until the last costume of our season ‚Äėdropped‚Äô ‚Äď on Halloween night.

The following is a combination of my encouragement of DC’s affection for something popular, age appropriate, something he actually thinks is funny, and me thinking myself quite hilarious.

Lizard Spock

Alright already…….. Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock – come on… that’s funny (you’re humoring me, remember?)

The search is ON!

statsstats

Every once in a while Invisible Strings publishes a post listing the “search terms” that brought readers to his site. I do not know if this is a regular thing that he does, but I’m pretty¬†sure I’ve seen more than one. His¬†“search engine” posts are usually written to make a specific point (this post is not).¬†I always¬†find those posts interesting of course¬†due to¬†the point he is making but also¬†because I love the fact that we¬†are able to¬†find these “search terms”.

I have often wondered how people found their way to my site. Of course there are the people who officially follow me and others I know read from twitter (and twitter) google+, tumblr, facebook and the many other places this blog is posted and shared. But how does one just happen upon it? After a little bit of searching through my ‘stats’ page, I finally found¬†the list of search terms. Some were pretty close to what I expected, some¬†were interesting and¬†others a bit¬†surprising.

This¬†is one of those posts that I put together and save to post later when we are away or when I am really busy and really don‚Äôt have the time to write. Like the “Blog Title Series” (Series? Yes…. there‚Äôs more), they are very often off topic or ‚Äúfluff‚ÄĚ.

I like fluff, sometimes fluff is fun.

Search terms between January and June 2015:

There are hundreds of “hits’ that are categorized under “unknown search terms” (so…. I guess THAT would “officially be my¬†top ¬†category ūüôā ). I wish I could see what those terms were, but as they are unavailable to me,¬†I’ll just go with what I CAN see.

I will begin with the list of individual, one-time searches that each brought one ‘hit’ to my page. In almost each case it is clear to me how my page came up in the results. But really, how many results would one have to scroll through to find my page by searching¬†the word – “movie”?¬†That is real¬†determination……

“Autism Ravioli”¬†was a puzzler for a minute but I am guessing¬†the clicks went to “Progress with a side of Pasta” or “Please pass the garlic bread“.

(all searches listed have been copied and pasted exactly as they were entered into the search engine)

charity miles april fools contest
toy story transitions
those of us they never called,when choosing sides for basketball
movie
james taylor and autism
autism ravioli
one step at a time speech
taking it a step at a time – autism
peter pan live coloring sheets
book store blues
was buddy holly autistic
good costumes for the song we go together
thetardisphotobooth
autistic child pressing phone buttons in 22 months
top blogs autism blog ranking

***

Next we have two or more searches for the same or close to the same topic. I believe at this point if anyone were to search band-aids and autism it would be difficult NOT to find my page.

kaleb-moon robinson
kaleb moon-robinson

mad men a thing like that
mad men “a thing like that”

hershey park autism 2015
dollywood autism                                {amusement parks
dollywood autism adult

bandaid on kid
has a child with autism ever become obsessed with bandaids
child obsession with bandaids
were band aids based on stickers

***

Next we move¬†on to weather. This is absolutely understandable. I am sure I write about DC’s storm issues as much if not more than his band-aid obsession……

2011 halloween nor’easter storm alfred
power outages autism upset
thunder and autism power outage change
upset by power outage autism
afraid of power outages autism
power outages autism

***

The biggest surprise for me here is that THE most popular search terms(s) that brought people to my blog had nothing to do with autism at all. The largest set of terms that brought people to me Рwere terms having something to do with Leonard Nimoy or Star Trek!

 

IMG_0467

logic is the first step to wisdom
logic is the beginning of wisdom
how wisdom related to light in logic
mr spock logic is the beginning of wisdom not the end
leonard nimoy autisim
logic is the beginning of wisdom not the end
spock quotes logic is the beginning of wisdom not the end
of my friend i can only say this: of all the souls that i met on my travels, his was the most‚Ķ human.‚ÄĚ
what is it like to meet william shatner photo op
wisdom is not end
logic is just the beginning of wisdom, not the end‚ÄĚ.

***

I can not say that this does not make me very happy!!!!

~”That is a human emotion, Doctor, with which I am totally unfamiliar. How could I be “unhappy?”~ Mr. Spock – ep.¬†I, Mudd

#LLAP

************

 

 

(Yes, I do understand that the results are a bit¬†skewed due to the “unknown search terms” – so¬†don’t rain on my parade)