One of these things is not like the others, a spectrum brain sorting life stuff- art and earworms

Sometimes in group settings, in crowds, my brain  gets an earworm humming away. It’s that Sesame Street one: “One of these things is not like the others…One of these things just isn’t the same…”


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So, what do you think? Is my brain going to revert to the different song on the day of this show? I am the only autistic person at the show but artists are outsiders anyway, right? We all have art in common, although they are pricing SO much higher than me and by scale their works are larger too. Get up. Dress up. Show up. Chin up. Never give up. Right?

hmmm anyway, here’s the stuff I’m working on now that I’ve put the Goddess series away for awhile. I’m doing a small series of collages -lots of cutting- of my actual nightmares. There are 6 in all so far, and I’m working back and forth here and there between them and none are quite finished. But here are a few in progress:



These are two portions of the same work. Judging by my depiction here, it may not seem like a nightmare but it really was terrifying. I was outdoors among trees and Delta Burke (of Designing Women fame) was hovering behind trees stalking me and the Morton salt girl was chasing me. She was bright red and evil looking and somehow menacing. I stopped to figure out where to run next, and standing next to a tree, my teeth starting falling out. Yes, the teeth is a common nightmare but the other elements of this dream, I’m not so sure about!


Before I describe what this is about, let me tell you about a real life incident that happened when I was in grade school. I was with my cousin who was about five (I was 7 or 8) and we’d rigged fishing poles with strings tied to sticks and safety pins for hooks. We were actually catching fish and creyfish too. This was in Vermont and the brook, nestled at the bottom of a steep orange-pine-needle-laden hill in a thick wood behind my grandmother’s house, was a healthy brook. I looked across the brook at the hill on the other side, dotted with trees and green as far as I could see, quite peaceful and then something brownish-black came bobbing into view. It was not something I recognized as seeing before in nature. Wrong shape to be a dog and wrong color to be anything else I recognized. Also, it was sort of roundish and kind of running-galloping along. Towards the brook where I was with my cousin.

As it got closer, my nerve endings became alerted. I knew what I was seeing. I put down my pole and thought how foolish I’d been to believe that true real-life bears in their environment all stood upright, walking like humans the way Smokey the Bear and Yogi and Boo-Boo bear did. I realized now that the anthropomorphic versions I’d seen in cartoons were silly. It’s lumbering ramble had confused me. It was getting closer and I took my cousin’s hand and told her we’d be heading back to the house. We had a steep slippery climb (from the pine needles we sometimes used to slide down the hill) ahead of us. I never looked back.

All I could think of was what I’d learned in school when my teacher had said that mother bears defending cubs can be dangerous. I knew this was a cub. There could have been more cubs and a mother too. We climbed as quick as I could lead my cousin, navigating old cans (with snakes sometimes curled inside) and tree roots for steps here and there. Like I said, I never dared look back.

But this feeling of helplessness and fear must’ve had a large effect on my psyche. This collage is all paper of course- maybe hundreds of pieces so far, and as yet unfinished. It is a depiction of a recurring dream I’ve had since I was in grade school. I dream I am being chased by a bear. It’s always inside a building though, usually a school and I don’t know why. I do not have the dream (nightmare) as often now, maybe once a year, but I always wake up terrified. Often I try to escape the building and can’t find a door. I try an elevator but the door opens to—-a bear standing there. Or I try a door and a bear appears and chases me down a hall… It goes on like this.

I will post other nightmare art as I get further along with them.

I’ve having lots of fun with that. I’m also enjoying my time with Art of Autism where I had a chance to interview Katie Oswald. (Link at end of this blog)

So I was googling fancy dress clothes (the art event is ‘suit and tie’ for men and I needed fancy pants because I don’t do dresses). The search result I got what was not at all what I expected:


NOTE: I did not choose this outfit for the show.

I put together some dressy look for my self (hopefully) by visiting maybe 4 stores and putting it all together. On this excursion we also stopped at the mall to get Al a suit since he hadn’t worn one since he was in the service. He was being measured across the chest when the measurer informed him his chest was large. Al told me he always had a broad chest and this is from his boxing days.

Anyway let me tell you, the sign we saw when we entered the mall proved to be false advertising:


I did not find the fun that was promised. That having been said, I did realize that there had been some redecorating since I’d been there last. I was very taken with the new design of benches and waste cans as seen here:


I spend hours upon hours doing artwork that honors trees in this manner!

I am also spending hours doing training for work:

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So, are you getting the Seinfield reference?

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Postman and Newman is not an easy training, not for me, although a lot of my co-workers would probably find it easier than me. Anyway at times I had to revisit lectures I’d already seen to complete quizes. Sometimes, I’d go outside to clear my brain and then return to face the Newman training on my screen all over again with it’s codes and arrays and strings and my brain often found itself saying this in Jerry’s voice:

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Brains. I was asked to bring my brain artwork to the upcoming show I mentioned, but I will not be able to do so. The work Manuel requested is digital and I don’t have time to order a good print to frame and bring along because it would never be here in time. This is the digital work I won’t be able to bring (for practical reasons, since it’s digital):

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I am bringing five other works, however.

My hope is, that my brain does feel as if I am valid in being in the company of such fine accomplished artists, a world where I have never felt a part of. And of course I hope my brain behaves. I have informed it not to get this earworm:

one of these things is not like the other video

If you view the above video…please return here to check out these two links! Thank you for reading and keep me in your thoughts May 30.

LIKE Keri’s Desire FB page here-a film on Desire and Disability, of which I am a small part

Katie Oswald interview


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