Sunday, August 29, 2010

What I Know Most About Movies

You know what the first thing I can tell anyone about a movie is?  Likely I'll give you the film's director, the distribution company, and maybe the lead actor/actress.  It's easy facts for me to recall, and something that has always held my interest.  Then again, I just like production logos in general.

Then comes the part everyone else knows...the plot.  I do have the movies that I love for plot, and could talk about them sometimes, like any NT could do.  However, I don't always get plot devices and sometimes my attention span keeps me from really tuning in.  Once I see an epic a few times it becomes amazing.  For instance,  I love the Akira Kurosawa classic Seven Samurai very much, but it took me a few times to really tune into that one since it runs 3:27, the longest movie I have seen.  Thus I rarely watch the whole movie at once, but when I recall this movie it's so fond.  I concluded it was the classic fight scenes, which predated some great martial arts movie scenes (I love martial arts fight scenes), and I related to the tempermental Kikuchiyo.  Problem is that I couldn't really discuss the movie on the fly while talking about specific scenes or each of the samurai characters, and not much about the village itself.

I do try to get into the plot sometimes, but I have a habit of either letting my mind drift or asking too many questions during the movie.  However, other facts are open for discussion to me.  If this Paramount movie was made during the blue screen era, or when they started using the new mountain in 1987...and then another new mountain in 2002.  Maybe it's which Sony studio released a movie; I used to duck from the Columbia Pictures post-1993 into as a kid because the giant "COLUMBIA" lettering looked imposing at first.  A few years later I was over that.  However, I start watching the beginnings of movies by each of these studios on YouTube and now I'm hooked...who needs an actual film?

The other thing I could talk about is the highest-grossing movies in the United States.  I have always thought that they should use tickets sold rather than dollars to determine movie records due to inflation, so it's cool that Box Office Mojo has an all-time adjustments page which I have nearly memorized from 1-20.  The site does its best to get an estimate of what the movie would gross if prices stayed the same lifetime to get an idea of how many tickets were sold, and it's interesting, to me at least, how the high grossers aren't so high.

Even NTs take interest in these sorts of stuff, but I think I pay more attention to those details more so than plots sometimes.  I could watch a logo marathon on YouTube if I gave myself the time...and I have before.  Scary, isn't it?

Monday, August 23, 2010

"An Alien View Of Social Brains"

Via NPR, here's a nifty article about a woman's understanding of neurotypicals from her own AS perspective.  Real intriguing if you ask me.  Especially the whole part about mimicking the show Friends...I never noticed that stuff myself.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Is This Giving Back to the School Children?

I want to help some kids out.  Some of them read it in good books like this one, while some learn from experience.  I'm trying to find the right outlet to help with the latter (since I'm really not enough of an author right at the moment).

I had a membership with the Autism Society of America last year, but I decided that it was not fitting the needs of what I aspired to accomplish, and with that I decided not to return for year two.  Not to say that there isn't opportunities out there, but I didn't think I had the right ones, necessarily.  I do have some opportunities I'm discussing with our local ASCEND group in Philadelphia, and hopefully they can come to fruition if I talk with the right people.  It's not easy taking the first step.

My idea of what I want to do is possibly meet with a child who is currently in mainstream learning (regardless of if the child needs an IEP regularly or not) and ask about their experiences and see if I can relate.  I could even be someone who would talk to a small group of these, helping to build some public speaking experience.   There's also the opportunity to talk to various parents who may understand this better, plus they are talking to the subject rather than the scientist.  It's really a way of showing those with high-functioning autism or another related AS 'disorders' that they will make it.  I graduated college and got a good job, moved into an apartment in the city and was able to take care of myself for the most part.

Then again, giving back was a small part of why I started this blog from the beginning.  I wanted to use experiences and tidbits as a guideline, and maybe ask questions of those reading this blog.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Resident Player"

I am part of this autism spectrum volunteer/support group in the area, and the support part happens each month. So this time we were talking about dating and social relationships as the first in a two-part series, since it's a huge topic for all of us.

At one point, the discussion facilitator referred to me as the 'resident player' when mentioning experiences that others had.  I think it stemmed from a comment I made about hitting the dating scene and how I had 'dates with girls' on the dating scene.  The key is that it was plural.

I know they say that most Aspies don't have a lot of dating success.  I can't say I've had a ton of it myself; I still think I lucked out having the same girlfriend for some 4.5 years, which means I spent a lot of time not dating around.  There are some superficial advantages.  Though you can't see a picture (at least now), I believe myself to be a reasonably attractive young man; I also live in the heart of Philadelphia where there are plenty of singles waiting to date a reasonably attractive young man.

That might be another part of why I received such a comment, as I mentioned multiple women and in contrast to some other members I'm seen as one of the ones who could sometimes pass off for an NT.  Most of the group I was with for the support session, the majority (I'd say 80-90%) were not married, and only half of us were in or recently got out of relationships.  Maybe that's what contributed to the comment.  I was able to speak as a nice guy, while some Aspies were convinced that you had to be a jerk to get a female; the females in the place weren't into jerks themselves, but people are just different.  I'm still getting used to this whole 'player' rep that I apparently have relative to people like myself.

It isn't even a rep.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

At Work, My Department Status Is Under Siege (aka Delusional Paranoid Theory No. 24)

Back from a bit of a hiatus.

I work in the operations department at my company, and I've quickly become essentially the next line to the supervisor.  I think of it as a testament to my dedication and aptitude.  However, we have expanded the team lately, which is never bad.  I knew I could potentially help some of the guys along with my experience and ideas, and I was making my presence more known at work through my efforts and questions about how other teams functioned.

Then came the rise of one of our new team members.  There is one colleague who has shown a strong work ethic himself and has caught on quicker than anyone else before him, myself included.  Part of it is because there are now certain responsibilities that he can handle which takes the load off the rest of us.  That's easy to understand.  However, his rise has been fast enough that he's now done more training of the newest team members, and taken the lead on a share of our tools for this major launch.  It is as if he is seen as more of a lead on this project than I am, rather than just an equal.  Even the director asked him for help one day over me when it's usually one me.

I will admit that this coworker is doing a heck of a job since coming in, as he is articulate, dedicated, and has shown a lot of ability while keeping a laid-back attitude for the most part.  He's truly done a heck of a job.

Yet I resent that so much.

I'm a person who likes his territory, much like other Aspies get used to theirs and hate when things are changing against what they are used to, though it's more the case of sudden change than gradual.  I am okay with him being seen as an equal in the informal hierarchy as he deserves it, but I am not comfortable with someone overtaking my place in the hierarchy and I'm struggling to make the teamwork thing happen as efficiently as possible because I see myself as being threatened even more than I am seeing his own abilities complimenting mine.  Even I'm an optimist, and I don't see this as a reflection on the quality of work he shows; I see this as an indictment of the quality of work I don't.

I have not said this to him or other team members, as he's a good worker, not to mention a great drinking buddy (haha).  I'm not trying to sabotage the team dynamic because of my fragile ego.  However, my supervisors have caught on to me being a little more overzealous with ideas than I have been even in the past.  They are aware of my AS (coming out is a different topic for a different day).  They are aware that I do not want to compete with him for the attention of all teams involved in our projects, as I asked to talk with each of them and they showed the same concern about how pushy I'd be on occasion with getting ideas out.

My coworker doesn't demand anyone with tasks even when he is leading one of the units (I lead the other), and he and I have been collaborative, which is a start.  The hard part for me is telling myself that this isn't a personal slight.  I have never been called out on my work ethic or performance, which the supervisors make it a point to remind me, so I shouldn't feel paranoid.  They are trying to do what is best for our team, but I also want to do what is best for me.  I'm not uncomfortable right now, as they do see him as an equal now, but I start wondering if maybe I'm bugged about being seen as inferior to him with his rapid ascension leaving me in the shadows.  Things change where I work so fast that I can't always get a grasp on where I will fit in and how quickly I can adapt.  Everyone in the department (not just our team) knows I do good work.

If only I understood workplace dynamics better.  No young kid, especially one with social deficiencies, wants to find his career hit a crossroads before it can really get started.  So now I find out how I can adapt to the new situations at work.  I still like my job, and I like everyone on the team including this guy.  I guess I'm just way too insecure about my position because they're splitting up what was my cheese.