Monday, October 19, 2009


First of all, I had no desire to see this movie:

But I do like to spend time with my husband, and when he suggested we go Saturday night after he got back from the hunt, I seriously considered it. But I told him the critics hated it, and some fans were suggesting it was Sandra Bullock's worst movie ever. So Britt did a little checking online to see what he could find out about the movie. I can't tell you what site he went to, but he said that Sandra Bullock's character was supposed to have Asperger's Syndrome.


I don't know if that actually made me want to see the movie even less. Maybe it did. I wasn't sure how I would feel about her portraying someone with Asperger's. I wasn't sure how that would affect my view of the movie. You see, I live very close to someone with Asperger's, and I love him dearly, but I know that I don't get him most of the time. And I know that I get him better than most people. I always worry about how other people see him. And even more than that, I worry about how he sees himself.

I did a little research just now, and I cannot find a site that identifies the fact that Sandra Bullock's character has Asperger's Syndrome. That assumption did taint my view of the movie, but it also made me understand why so few people "got" that movie. They just see Sandra's character as a crazy, freaky-smart stalker chick.

I went to this movie not because I wanted to see Sandra Bullock portray a woman with Asperger's. I went because I wanted to spend some time with my husband. I need you to know, there were parts of this movie where you are supposed to laugh, that I was in tears. It was all a little too real. So grateful for the quirky people who just loved her as she was, but so hurt by the people who recognized her vulnerability. And the realization at the end that she didn't have to be "normal" was beautiful, but still heart-wrenching. Because accepting herself as she was, while a lovely idea, still didn't change any of the challenges she would still have to deal with, day-in and day-out:

Parents who loved her, but who hadn't fully taught her to cope in the real world. People who would take advantage of her naive expectation that everyone tells the truth, just as she does. Her own inability to recognize that not everybody is interested in the meanings of obscure words and other random facts that are fascinating to her. And then the people who respect some of her qualities, but still expect her to make more of an effort to conform, to be normal.

Oh yes, this was a hard movie for me to watch. But not for the same reasons as everyone else, perhaps. Although, I would say, even without the Asperger's aspect, watching someone make a fool of themselves over and over is always painful for me. It's not really something I enjoy watching.

But I am glad I went. I needed to see that, to think about what I can do better to educate my own community about respecting people with Asperger's. I knew that already. This was just a reminder. I think I will finally do that post where I list some facts about people with Autism/Asperger's. I love that Garrett is so high-functioning, but just because some of his symptoms are hidden, they are still there, and I know I personally need to do a better job of respecting him as he is.

Not today, though. That is its own post.

This is what else I have been doing this weekend. Sad story for you. When I moved, a couple years ago, I had less than 3 weeks to get everything out of that house. It was overwhelming, to say the least. Luckily, I had some help. Unfortunately, I had two library books on my shelves at the time, and they got packed without my knowledge. Once I realized what had happened, I couldn't get to them, so I asked the librarian to continue to renew them for me until I could locate them. Well, it has now been over a year since we moved into this house, and I cannot find those books. There has been a new librarian at the library for several months now, and I have had multiple fines incurred. I even paid them a couple times, but that was a while ago. I can't even show my face in the library. I should just go in and pay for the books, but it is just one of those expenses I just cannot justify paying right now.

Lucky for me, my daughter Tyler sees these books on the shelf and thinks they look fascinating. She brings them home from the school library, and we start to read them together. But her attention span just isn't there for books of this nature, so she loses interest fast. Then I sneak away with the book and devour it. Oh how I have missed the library!

A couple weeks ago, it was two books by Gail Carson Levine, Fairest and another one that I forget the name of now. I read those pretty fast, late into the night, because I knew she would have to return them soon. I tried to read one with her, but the next night, she had other things to do besides sit still with me.
Part of Friday, most of Saturday and Sunday, and then late into the night I enjoyed Inkspell. I have seen the movie Inkheart, but now I know I need to read the book, because you know they are always changing things in the movies.

I love the way the author of this book just draws you in. Her writing literally holds you spellbound, and the characters really keep you thinking. I love the way she ties all these different characters who are connected to books in some way. Oh, I have been a lover of books, too. And this is a book I could love.

And I really did love this book until she left me hanging. Then I panicked. Oh no, it is a series and she hasn't even published the next one, I was thinking. It is sort of like that Pirates of the Caribbean movie where everything is so unresolved at the end, you are thinking, how could that be the ending? And then when the next Pirates movie came out, it didn't even resolve any of your questions from the previous movie. Kind of like, really? That's it?!

I have read all of the Fablehaven books published so far, and only the last one really leaves you feeling like that can't possibly be the end. At least it wraps up the main point of the story. At least it doesn't just end. How can it just end, when nothing is resolved (which is exactly how this one ends)? There are all new problems and issues, plus old threats that are still not conquered. Oh, I don't think I could bear to wait two more years for the sequel to be published.

Especially if it is anything like Brinsingr, the sequel to Eldest and Eragon. I really enjoyed Eragon, well-written, well-paced, interesting. Eldest was okay, but seemed to end unresolved. Brinsingr did not pick up where I expected it to, did not answer the issues brought up from Eldest, and just seemed to go on and on like it was trying to make too many points that may have been relevant to the author, but should have been skimmed off by a good editor. And then instead of completing the trilogy, it left it unfinished, but hardly had me begging for more.

Luckily, I found that Inkdeath is the sequel to Inkspell and it has already been published. When Tyler returns the book tomorrow, I will beg her to pick up Inkdeath for me. So more housekeeping and personal hygiene can go neglected.

It really is easier to pick up these series after they have all been published, don't you think?


Holly said...

I didn't know Garrett has Aspergers. So does Hayley. We just got her diagnosed this June. I have always known she was a bit different and I am learning why. We have her in therapy which is helping her tremendously. Life with her around is never boring.

Kim said...

The thing about having a kid with high functioning autism or aspergers is that they tend to blend in so much that people are less understanding about their quirks. Garrett is great and I love everything about him. He's lucky to have a mom that knows him so well. (By the way, I heard the worst review I've EVER heard about that movie. The reviewer hated it so much he was almost violent. But he never mentioned the aspergers).

Nan said...

Holly,I didn't know that about Hayley. We will for sure have to chat sometime. I am sorry you didn't know sooner. It felt like we struggled for years with Garrett before we were told about Asperger's. It was such a relief to have somewhere to go from there, although we still don't always get it right. And I certainly know what you mean about life not being boring, but would we really want it any other way? (maybe sometimes, but not really).

Nan said...

And Kim, yes, the hardest part for me is when other people judge my kids' behavior, or me for my lack of discipline. Love my kids, but that is very hard. I wish it were as simple as other people seem to think it is.