Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Aspergers and Me...My First Post

I was curious as to how long I had been blogging (jan. 27, 2010) and what my first post was. So here it is..

The story goes that I was a difficult child. Every time someone went to pick me up, I would cry and scream. Why I was so different from my older brother no one knew or cared to explore.
I was born with Aspergers Syndrome as was my father, grandfather, great-grandmother and now, my eldest son. Back then no one knew the term. They just thought I was introverted, shy and over sensitive.
It was like being an alien in a foreign land. I could see people, watch them interact, but be unable to mimic their behaviours. I had no idea how to make a friend, much less keep one.
"Why was everyone else so odd?" "Why was I unable to fit in? Anywhere?"
Aspergers wasn't in the encyclopedias I was reading when I was 9., nor could I find it in the dictionaries I browsed. I did read about autism, but only a few criteria matched up.
I'd like to talk about my Apsergers and what it was and is like. I am 46 now and only gave name to my condition 5 years ago when my eldest son was diagnosed. Looking at my son who is all of 17, is like looking in a mirror. His diagnosis has helped me in many ways. It has made my life easier,a thousand fold.
Here are some of my observations:
If I get an idea in my head, say...I want to start a blog...the rest of the world comes to a halt and vanishes. There is no laundry that needs doing, no that phone doesn't need answering, I am not hungry..nothing else matters.
The immediate train of thought is the only thing that exists and I must do everything, concentrate all my efforts and resources into this train. Call it being focused, driven, overly fixated, whatever...that's just the way my brain works.
All Faces Look THE SAME
I have great difficulty remember people I have met. If I meet two blonde women who are in the same decade, I would be hard-pressed to tell them apart were I to meet them again.
I remember how funny it was to watch MTVS, "The Real World" (where I was hopelessly trying to get a clue as to how to socially was Hopeless) and being unable to distinguish this blonde chicky from that one and one dark haired guy from the other...Faces just don't stand out..(must be why I enjoy seeing people with piercings..I can remember piercings) Everyone looks the same, nondescript.
For one thing, identifying how I am feeling is quite an effort. Its difficult for me to label my emotions. They just don't fall into neat little categories. And it has only been in the past few years that I have become somewhat comfortable with being on the human spectrum and displaying my emotions.
They seemed to left in a barrel with a strong lid. LOL...but seriously. Other people seemed to have these feelings willy-nilly and just be all over the place with them..being driven first to crash themselves into one wall and the next second to be jumping from a cliff. Really...did I aspire to be like them? Heck no. I was rather self-contained and overly self-controlling.
I remember watching my parents fight. Mom would be emotionally discharging all over the place and father would be quiet and sullen. His response of choice was to throw something, hit someone or just sit and take it.
When people would get upset with me, I would step back and try and process what was going on..often it took me hours to figure altercations out..sometimes days.
Now, watch and Take Two Steps Back because I am now in touch with this beautiful beast called Anger that has allowed me to break through walls and accomplice wondrous feats all because I learned how to tame and use the beast..appropriately.
While I was the fastest test taker throughout the school years (I either knew the answer or I didn't, now lets move on)(and yes, I do have a high IQ and am quite intellectually talented) if you present me with a brand new situation..ok, like the time the swim teacher wasn't watching my 6 year old and he was bobbing up and down under the took me three days and talking to two trusted friends before I realized that I needed to call the head instructor and appropriately vent my wrath and disapproval at this outrageous occurrence. THREE DAYS. Most parents probably would have figured it out within minutes and approached said instructor but some things process veerrryy veerryy slowly for this Aspie.
I will continue to write and share my exploits...for the Aspergers mind is truly a thing of mystery and horrendous beauty.

Wow, things haven't changed too much since this first post...except my awareness..probably my acceptance of self. Its as if I took these few ideas and expanded on them throughout the past year.
Yeah, 344 posts in a bit over a year...with probably about 10-20 that I have deleted. Guess I must like writing.
OMG, the incident with Younglink almost drowning...that was one scary moment. Seriously, he almost drown before my eyes...pure terrifying...still trying to get over that incident enough to take him to his swim lessons..guess I will actually be doing that this week as partner is laid up.
Actually, everything in my external world has changed this past year...seriously...everything...its just me these days now..its just me that is free, just me that can walk and is physically capable..just me taking the majority of care of Younglink..just me running the house...its kindof surreal to think what it was like a year ago..surreal, and just plain sad...change isn't always just happens a lot

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Going Lactose Free..Diet Gluten, Food Stuff

I tend to spend a fair amount of time reading other Aspie blogs, scanning the internet for Aspie articles and lately, reading a book all about Aspergers. Geez, one would think I had it..or at least a well-formed obsession with the subject.
Anyway, one of those reoccurring themes has been diet. I read about intestinal rumblings and grumblings and autism and I tend to agree...there is disharmony. So, in my ever striving to become a healthier alien, I have decided to go lactose, dairy free. I had done this rather half-heartily a few times before but what I was lacking was a decent, palatable milk substitute. I had even gone so far as to try a bit of Edensoy, until I realized that I have a rather quick and altogether unpleasant allergic reaction to soy, which startled and surprized me as I am most allergic, in the same sense of symptoms to sulfates. I never would have thought that soy had any of those offensive qualities in quantities enough to make me so ill. I have to avoid all soy.
I even purchased some other milk substitute a few months back, but never even got around to opening it before the expiration date. So that went in the garbage.
My latest venture to the local health food store found me picking up some Rice Milk. Hmm, sounds strange but I am feeling willing to actually try new things these days so I gave it a go. I most carefully read the entire outer package for ingredients and insight...looks doable. I picked out the smallest of our drinking glasses and poured a bit in. Hmmm, not bad and most importantly, no bad reaction. I can do this.
Later on, I went so far as to drink a whole small glass along with my pop tarts (ok, Pop T's probably aren't the healthiest of choices but, hey, I'm not perfect :) It has a very non-offensive taste, slightly sweet..there is an absence of..thickness and something else I can't quite catch. It is really a very good substitute for milk.
I have also given up the cheese thing. While not a huge cheese fan, I do tend to put a little bit on salads and ham sandwiches...I can let that go. Now pizza...hmmm, tough one there because that is in my favorite food group. I may still indulge once in a while, just with much less frequency. You have got to have cheese on pizza, c'mon...I Am Part Human you know...LOL
So, I'll be blogging about how this latest endeavour goes.
Gluten is another area that I want to try diminishing. I say diminish because I have less confidence in my ability to find suitable substitutes in that arena. I have a piece of toast with peanut butter every morning and that will be a challenge to alter.
I will work around the edges though as I picked up some gluten-free oatmeal to replace my nightly ritual. I tried it last night for the first time and it works. Omg, I made corn muffins with half gluten free flour and it was really quite horrid. I'll keep looking.
Its time to make some potential positive attempts at a healthier lifestyle...thus I stumble and roll...Later

I Hear Spring

Eldest was right...some of us are more in touch with the earth and the changing cycles and seasons.
Friday was the first time this year, that I heard the sweet, soft sounds of spring. As I returned to my vehicle after dropping off the little guy, I heard birds singing in the small strand of cedars near Lady Abigail. I think that I did actually, physically stopped to listen as it was so very striking to me. I could pick out the usual chickadee-dee-dees and maybe a titmouse. I strained to decipher whether that was a robin or cardinal that I heard in the cacophony...still not sure, probably cardinal, too early for robins. The chirping had a quality to it that was different than the idle, mainstay winter was like, lilting...a lightness, a definitive change in tempo and rhyme.
I do tend to be more sensitive than the avg. and the ground, the is like soft vibrations, distant pleasant rumblings, a very slow awakening....Distant, yes, quite far away but there when last week it wasn't. Change is in the air or rather, deeply under the ground :)
I Hear and Feel Spring Approaching

Friday, February 11, 2011


As I sat down to start my latest painting...the one pictured in the post below...I thought of a number of things.
One, I want this to be for me...what do I want to see?
Two, I realized that I enjoy color and wanted to utilize it to its full potential.
Three, I wanted it to be busy and complicated, highly detailed, so that when I put it on the wall,there would always be a new area to examine, see and delight in. Yeah, its brain food for me :)
Four, I wanted to let go a bit and not be so controlling and precise. I didn't go back and fix or redo if I accidentally went out of the lines...I kinda let it happen. That was a huge step for me to be willing to try.
Five, This is for me and All my artistic creations are little bits of me that I am wiling to share, to see and to be enjoyed.
Six, the majority of my art is touchable. And this painting is no different. I can't resist touching it and feeling all its furrows, ridges, valleys and peaks. It even feels beautiful.
Seven, I didn't want to overthink it. I did not want to assess meaning to every color and shape. Another biggie. I just let it flow.
Immediately upon its completion, I got this..hmmm..very emotional feeling of, probably happiness, joy, adoration. This is exactly as I pictured it in my head. I cannot convey how very much I love this painting!!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

All That I Am

All That I Am
Here is the first painting that I have done in many, many, many months...yes, it seems that long
I love This!!!!

Its acrylic on an about 12 x 12 piece of 3/4 inch pine

Painting Myself Into The Corner

Okay, so today, Dr. Phil said something aloud that I had been thinking. And reading John Elders latest post reinforced it. Obviously, I need to go there.
I feel like i have painted myself into the corner. I have allowed fear and apprehension, over-protectiveness and the wanting to avoid sensory overload and the possibility of being made fun of or taken advantage of to back myself up firmly against the wall.
Quite simply, I have allowed old self-programming to overtake my daily existence to the point that i am afraid to try just about anything new and to avoid, basically, leaving my home.
Whilst previously, it probably wasn't a bad idea to stick around the house when I was so vulnerable and naive, now, I'm thinking about moving on and examining all these now faulty old thought patterns.
I tend to avoid all social situations, but, not all social interactions are negative or problematic. As I stated in a recent post, I really have done quite well at surrounding myself with people that are pretty darn stable, trustworthy and safe. So, I think that old automatic dread really needs to go. I mean, if I don't like where i am or if I get uncomfortable,I can always leave. I have that power and ability these days.
I think my anxiety and fear is partially inherited and partly learned. I continue to echo some of my mothers old fears....sometimes I think twice before using the microwave, even though they are perfectly safe.
Lol, she trusted no one and the only evil doers I ever met lived in her house.
I can't remember the last time anyone tried taking advantage of me...and I think I could probably spot it these days.
Something, that I have discovered as of late....most people want to help one another. And if i don't know the answer to something, I have a top 5 list of friends I can call to ask.

Just trying to dispel, bring forth and recognize some of the erroneous thinking patterns that I have fallen into.

Its like, last week, the oil in a pan burst and kindof exploded, the old me would have avoided that pain and potential danger by going to the extreme and never using the stove again. Yes, i was startled and scared but i realized it was time to not give in to the old comfortable ways of always giving sting does not a swarm make....Always giving up...hmmmm..that seems to strike one of those familiar emotional cords.
There comes a point...when you stop trying...and give up on taking risks. I see quite clearly that I have come to that point. And its time to change.
Dr. Phil was saying that your brain turns to automatic programming when the same pattern of thought repeats itself enough. I have automatically become full of anxiety and fear.
Its like that one time, I stuck my hand in the oven and got burned...didn't want to do it again...but the oven isn't turned on anymore.
Somehow, i have to realize that today isn't yesterday. And while some situations may be similar, each is unique. Maybe i would be able to see better if I were more in the now, instead of reliving the emotional patterns and anticipating negative reactions.
John Elder Robinson of "Look Me in the Eye" book fame, was talking about how worry and fear are an integral part of the Aspie survival guide. We are so busy trying to avoid over stimulation, rejection and pain that we spend the majority of our time trying to predict possible scenarios and appropriate responses to not get hurt or look stupid. And often times we (Aspies) worry about things that 99% of the time, never come to pass.
Maybe I have become so intimate with my fear and anxiety that I either can't figure out a way to be without it or I am reluctant to give up my familiar, my security.
Dang, I'm not sure what I am like without fear. Seems the only times I have ever felt safe was when I was around certain individuals, partners or friends.
Seems I have gotten so used to the crutch, that I forgot that I was born able to walk.
Hmmm, there must be some sort of balance available. Mostly between my outside interactions and my needing time to myself without perpetually keeping the door closed. Maybe its time to oil the hinges and leave it open a crack.
In regards to people, heck, there are some i have to tolerate (school), some to keep at a distance and way out of my hemisphere (biological family) and some that I could keep the door open for more often than I have.
Well, this isn't as clear as I would like..but its a good start.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trying to Fix The Mirror, Self Awarness...Reflection

Ever since i picked up this mirror, a few months back, I have been trying to get it to work.
I guess I am not surprized that i just was diagnosed with a bacterial eye infection today....I really haven't been "seeing" well. And I have begun to realize exactly how much I look, but fail to see.
I have mirrors, but they do not work. They reflect back this very odd, vague figure of someone, this almost stranger, looking back at me.
My age perpetually surprizes me. The mirror is the only thing that tries to tell me this truth. And I rarely look. Mirrors are strictly decorative, at least in my house.
Sometimes I take a glance on the way out the door, to see if my hair is all scattered and akimbo...I think its about 50/ 50 as to whether or not it actually registers in my brain that I need that brush.
Younglink, ah, my little Wonder and bundle of boy, Him, I always see because he would have it no other way. he knows enough to get right in my face to state his point or to check something out, and he always registers :)
My partner, hmmm, I probably only see her once a week or so, if I consciously tell myself too. She could have a brand new doo, or a new shirt on and it doesn't register. So, I have been working on seeing better, improving my vision.
Yeah, I wear glasses just for the close stuff and that really is not an excuse. I don't know if i have always been this way with my vision. Is this a current affair? Or I am just becoming aware that I have always been this way? I'm thinking its a little of both.
I know that I don't remember faces very well at all and that the majority of people all look alike to me. So, that leads me to think that this is more long-standing.
Why do people look in the mirror? I guess I equate that with checking for flaws or vanity...neither of which I find or believe true in this moment.
I guess I really don't know how to make this mirror work. I thought if i wrote about it, some sort of answer would float by...but, nope, I have none.

Touch and This Alien

Ah, a sensitive subject but one which sorely needs addressing. Whilst it is true that the vast majority of Aspies avoid the touch of others, I beg to strongly disagree. On this issue I stand alone and sometimes get slightly offended for the generalization...actually quite a bit.
Maybe its the fact that I have surrounded myself with very safe and beautiful people...I'm not sure...but I am a hug whore and enjoy being touched.
I laugh, the first thing that springs to mind when I write this, is back when Eldest first started school and one of the other kids mom and I would always chat and she'd do one of those arm punches whenever she saw me and it just tickles me and yeah, sometimes it was a bit strong but it was fun and I knew that she liked me.
OMG, yeah, I forever feel like a little kid. And arm punches are cool.
I am not a china doll. And I most certainly do not enjoy feeling like a pariah and that others are avoiding me and treating me different than any other.
I experience the world around me most thoroughly through touch. I tend to touch everything from newly fallen snow to the bark of trees (I love the feel of our red oaks)to almost every living plant and natural material, rocks, moss, flowers, etc. When I first experienced the smokey glass window at the jail, the first thing I wanted to do was to touch it..because if I touch something I can understand it.
I have learned to restrain my self on a number of occasions simply because I wasn't sure if it was appropriate. Damn, I have this thing where I love to touch peoples hair and I have to remember not to always act on that impulse. The same is true about certain clothing that either looks really soft and inviting or just plain new and different. Yeah, another thing about me that is a lot like a little kid.
One of my favorite endeavours is volunteering at little guys school because there are about half a dozen kids who will simply walk up to me and ask me for a hug. Ah, to be so unabashed.
Asking,hmm, asking, sometimes I wonder why that doesn't work very well. I have some theories but all I know for sure is that it, the mechanism whereby a person asks for and receives that which they desire, simply don't work. And the more emotional the request, the less likely that it will ever be spoken.
Another big secret, (I am all about dispelling the myths because living within this room, this mansion of secrets is akin to spending ones life within a small rubber room where the only ornaments on the wall are pointed spears, lining the entire wall, evenly spaced every six inches or so, all pointing in and very sharp...yeah, one gets afraid to even move lest the bleeding begin) is that sometimes my arms simply won't work and I am unable to hug back and the funny thing is that that is often times when I need it the most. (see, I wrote that as fast as I could because it is one of those more..painful, emotional truths that I believe if I write really fast, I can pretend that I did not reveal :) So, just because someone does not hug back does not mean to back off.
Boy, shouldn't life be a bit simpler than all this?

The loneliest times in my life, and remember that I have lived months and maybe even years with an almost extreme form of self-isolation, have been when there was no one to hold.
Dang, honestly, one of the reasons that I specifically had my kids was to have someone to hold. And a puppy just didn't meet the doesn't fulfill this human-contact need that I have.
Something that I have noticed, especially as of just how very much time I spend..lost in my own thoughts. Hours a day would not be an understatement. And...touch makes me feel real...helps me to realize that I am really here. Its very grounding and reassurring. I know, probably sounds a bit odd, but I have really spent years in the "in between" the fog, observing the mist, slightly removed and behind the curtain...and touch makes me feel real, complete and all together...its a validation that I am really here and wanted, needed, vital, alive, all kinds of things.
I guess I will always be the alien but every once in awhile its nice to feel human. Touch is all about being human, being real...really being here

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sometimes....Mostly.....Often..the Aspergers Poem

Sometimes I think the truth is just a lie we tell ourselves over and over and over again
Mostly I feel that I am 2% human and 98% alien...I really tried working with this number to bump it up to 5% but it just refused to take
Often I think that NT's flow with the world whereas an Aspie has to learn to navigate and maneuver

Sometimes I think each individual NT is an extremely complex entity that is near impossible to figure out with their unique styles of language, gestures and meanings
Mostly I feel its the Aspie who is
Often I wonder

Sometimes within each moment, I feel like i have lived an eternity
Mostly hours, days and weeks simply pass me by
Often I live within the world of thought, thinking, dwelling over what has been, the infinite possibilities of the future and what the hell am i doing in the present :)

Sometimes I have the most brilliant, crazed, productive ideas
Mostly it amounts to fluff, you know the marshmallow kind that melts in your mouth in an instant never to be seen again
Often I have wondered whether there is more to a good day then figuring out how to get through it

Sometimes it is the little things that truly matter, the small things that have pulled me through
Mostly I try not to let people in on how profoundly caring and how deeply felt their kind gestures have been
Often I wish it were different and i could readily admit it without fear of retribution...people need to know how very much I appreciate them

Sometimes I wish it would stop raining
Mostly I put on my overcoat and waddle through
Often times I wish i had an umbrella

Sometimes I cannot see the horizon
Mostly I stand and watch the mist
Often I pray for the sun

Sometimes I pray for a sign from God
Mostly all I have to do is open my eyes to see it
Often I am asleep

Sometimes the door is open
Mostly it is nailed shut
Often I peek out, when no one is looking

Sometimes the curvature of the earth falsely leads one to believe that the end is near
Mostly I simply don't know
Often I wonder how long I must live in this pit of despair

Sometimes I wish I were you
Mostly I wish you were me
Often times the reverse is true

Sometimes I think that happiness is a myth made up by the evildoers
Mostly I laugh and believe that not true
Often times, I wish I could lighten up and smile more

Sometimes I amuse myself
Mostly, I think, I do it for the tourists
Often times I'm good at it, very good

Sometimes I think, Mostly I am lost (in thought), Often times it is my home and I am comfortable there

Have a good day

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Dream of Birth...Pregnancy, Aspergers

I had a dream...last night, that I was a midwife and I had already delivered two babies. I could see them resting in that blue clothing basket and I was attempting to deliver a third. This one, simply would not budge and did not want to be born. I was very frustrated and really did not want to be there. It was wedged in pretty darn tight and simply was refusing to exit.
Analysis, I have been "reborn" or undergone tremendous transformations twice previously in this lifetime. The first was after Eldest was born. The second was within a year of Younglinks birth. And this third...well...I'm guessing this is all about me and the current situations that are engulfing my existence. Its proving to be a bit of a challenge, but I'm up for it.

So I'm watching Juno, twas the other night, and I like the movie. Here is a smart young girl who finds herself in a difficult situation and handles it with courage and foresight. Of course it helps that her boyfriend, the father of her baby, is very Aspian with his linear, dry, non-emotional state of being.
Anyway, when they get to the part where its delivery time, I found myself doing what I do with every seen of birthing...I changed the channel until it was over. Obviously, I can see that there is something quite uncomfortable regarding my thinking about my two I thought I would expound on that a bit, as much as I am comfortable "going there", because there is healing to be done. And if the past few months have taught me anything, it is that one of my main purposes in this life, my full-time job/ career/ vocation is to do just that...heal and become whole again.
So I decided that I wanted to have a child. Long story short, I met someone and became pregnant on the first try. And I knew that I was pregnant, like, the next day. My biggest indicator was that my breathing suddenly became very, very deep and relaxed. Pregnancy hormones are a mixed bag but i really enjoyed these introductory ones.
Being pregnant and having Aspergers is like walking a very fine line. My privacy was compromised. There was a certain amount of finding new boundaries between the people that could help me and assist in my having a healthy pregnancy and maintaining my sense of ...dignity and self-control. Being pregnant was having/ accepting that I was no longer completely in control of my own physical being.
It was scary. While, yes, my mother had given birth to 8 siblings younger than me, I really wasn't paying much attention to the whole process. True, I had one very close friend but I did not have anything even resembling a support system other than my friend, Lis. There were no mothers, aunts, family friends to share experiences with...I just pretty much kept to myself.
Personally, I enjoyed being pregnant...I was pretty darn happy about this new growing human. Overall, I felt good physically and emotionally.
See, now it gets a bit birth is...for lack of better terminology very embarrassing. As anyone who has read many an alien blog post knows, embarrassment is the lowest and most upsetting form of emotation. In my very visual sense, embarrassment is akin to laying on your back, on the floor, eyes shut tight in a silent plea and mouth agape as if wanting to scream but the only sound is gurgling, drowning as others mindlessly walk all over you and you simply can not get up.
Humiliating is too strong of a word so i have to settle for strongly embarrassing.
I ended up with private one-on-one prenatal classes because I wasn't able to sit still through the regular classroom full of parents and i couldn't follow along due to distractability. So that actually was a very good move.
But reading and learning about something and experiencing it were two very, very different animals.
Birth, as anyone who has been through it minus that epidural can attest to, is a very intense experience in many ways. Pretty mind blowing about sensory overload...omg. Intense to the extreme.
Yeah, it still feels pretty uncomfortable to talk about but this is a good start.
I don't know, maybe i felt that I behaved in a foolish manner or should have been a bit more...oh...quiet....I was very loud. And that is really very embarrassing for me to be soooo...out there and feeling, really out-of-control.
Oh and the vulnerability....ouch...yeah..I felt quite vulnerable and helpless.
And people weren't making fun of me...I don't was just a fragile state of being and all very new for me.
Funny, the happiest moment of my life was seeing that little Eldest the second he was born...well, actually a few seconds after that as it was really when he was in my arms that I felt the happiest that I can remember. So, it was definitely all worth it. I had never felt so worthy of being on the planet as I did at that moment. I felt complete and like i had just done the greatest thing in my entire life....and boy was i scared.
I think that I will leave it at that...

Distraction....Not Wanting To Go THERE...Coping

Its quite clear that looking at photos was a hmmm, really bad idea, as I feel like I am on a very slippery slope and am descending into the hell of pain, remorse, missed opportunity and extreme sorrow. Man, I really didn't think this one thru and never saw such an emotional reaction coming.
I am not at all happy about where this train is going and the speed with which it is taking me there. I am queasy from the swaying of the lights and the floor that is all atremble. I shudder and quake. In order to avoid the descent, I run, literally, to find the appropriate song to play 150 times to prevent going to that very darkest of stations. If only I could get ahold of the brakeman and make him pull the emergency stop...but he isnt listening to me, no, he has those damn ear plugs in, Again!
I'm fine, really..been here before, just figuring it all out (I'm going to throw my peanut butter toast at the brakeman Really, Really hard and pelt him in the back of the head, that bastard :)