Other People's Words

Autism Women's Network 2009 year in review

Posted in Uncategorized by Tera on January 20, 2010

This is a transcript of the Autism Women’s Network’s 2009 year in review show. (Yes, I am slow :))

Sharon daVanport: Greetings, everyone, and welcome to AWN’s 2009 year in review. My name is Sharon daVanport; I’m your host and I have joining me Tricia Kenney. Hello, Tricia.

Tricia Kenney: Hi, everyone. How ya doin?

Sharon daVanport: I’m excited about this—this is gonna be so much fun tonight. We’re gonna have games. We’re gonna be doing Quick Draw.

Tricia Kenney: There are chances for people to win some prizes, so be at your keyboards and ready to answer some questions later on in the show.

Sharon daVanport: Whenever you hear the theme song from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, that means it’s time for Quick Draw. So get your hands on your keyboard, and whoever types in the answer first in the chatroom will be the winner.

There’s so many people that died in 2009, like Michael Jackson, and I just didn’t want the whole show to be taken up with talking about the people who died. I wanted us to do some funny stuff, too. I was going through these humorous newspaper headlines, and there are some really funny ones.

Tricia Kenney: What really sticks out for 2009 for you, Sharon?

Sharon daVanport: The one thing that sticks out in my mind and I don’t know why is Octomom, Nadya Suleman. Is that crazy? It’s not like she’s making the headlines because she’s gonna change the world in some way. It really is truly just gossip.

To me it meant a little bit more—what happened to her, the doctor who allowed this. I thought it came down to some ethics issues. To implant a woman with that many embryos, and she already had all these children. I just didn’t get it.

Tricia Kenney: It brings to question: What kind of life are these kids all gonna have? Hopefully with some of her 15-minutes-of-fame money, they’ll be okay; but that’s just something really crazy to do to begin with.

Sharon daVanport: They say that she’s still gonna get some kind of deal. You can do something crazy and then get a reality show. Like the balloon boy. Poor little balloon boy. I was freaked out. Were you freaked out? Were you watching that when it was happening?

Tricia Kenney: I did not see any of that until after it was over. I kept hearing the phrase “balloon boy” and I’m like: “Whatever.”

Sharon daVanport: I caught the last few minutes of it. “What’s a balloon boy?” That’s what I was thinking when I turned the TV on—I’m a CNN junkie. But I was really busy that day, and I turned it over there, and I’m like “What’s a balloon boy?” I started watching it.

I caught it right when that balloon was coming down over that field, and they were gonna go and check it. So I came in on the tail-end of it. I didn’t see the whole thing, where it led up to that whole: “Is he still in there? Did he fall out?”

Tricia Kenney: Savannah just mentioned that his parents got sentenced. I think that was just like yesterday or something.

Sharon daVanport: I believe that they got four years probation. I think the father, Richard Heene, got sentenced to 90 days in jail, including 60 days of work release. The mother, Mayumi, was sentenced to 20 days behind bars. That will begin after her husband’s released from jail. Neither one of them can profit from the hoax during that time. I’m wondering if it’s just during that probationary period.

Tricia Kenney: After that time’s over, maybe they can cash in on it, which I’m sure they’ll try.

Sharon daVanport: They say that their hoax could exceed upwards of $50,000, that it costs the state agencies and everybody to go off and look for the little boy.

Tricia Kenney: Did you see the story about the original balloon boy? Another kid—I think this one was like 10 or 12 years old at the time—his hand got caught up in the rope of a hot-air balloon. The balloon took off with him just hanging on by his hand. It just took off straight in the air with this kid, and he got very high up in the sky. He’s screaming and screaming; the guy in the basket realized that there was this kid hanging there by his hand, so he let the air out and brought him back down. I’m just like: “Oh, my God. This poor kid, hanging by his hand!”

Sharon daVanport: Oh, my goodness. They’ve got some posts going on in the chat room talking about the Iranian election. That was huge. I even changed my Twitter thing over to green when the big controversy was going on.

Tricia Kenney: Oh, yeah. That was huge. It was tragic.

Sharon daVanport: Well, it just shows how desperately people in Iran wanted the elections to go right, and how it ended up.

Tricia Kenney: Right. And how desperate people are to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s sad. But it really showed a good testament for the perseverance of people.

What else happened this year? Obama, of course. We got Obama as our president. That was huge.

Sharon daVanport: I’ve never in my lifetime seen anything like that. When he took the oath of office, it as so cold back in January. They had record cold temperatures, and people were just out there. You saw people like Spielberg; all these people were just huddled around. It was pretty big.

Tricia Kenney: It was pretty monumental, I thought. I think all of us were just in awe, and really putting our hope out on our sleeve. And giving a message to our country: “Hey, we’re ready for a change; we need a change.”

Sharon daVanport: I’m gonna read some of these funny headlines for 2009, or else I’m gonna start laughing and you guys aren’t gonna know why. I’m gonna be reading a couple of these throughout the show. Some of the big, humorous newspaper headlines that really made the news for 2009—just some really crazy ones that you have to be totally embarrassed that this went into your newspaper afterwards. This one says: “Four battered in a fish and chip shop.” [Laughter] And then, how about this one?: “Stiff opposition expected to graveyard plan.” [Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: Speaking of “stiff,” you gotta hear this story. This couple comes out of their house in the morning, and they notice that somebody had thrown 30 or so dildoes on their driveway and the street in front of their house.

Sharon daVanport: Tricia, I can’t believe you’re talking about this! [Laughter] This is why we’re on at 11:30 at night.

Tricia Kenney: This was on the news, and they’re like: “What the heck?” What’s so funny is that their last name is Bates. [Laughter] And then the woman talking to the reporter said: “It’s obvious that they weren’t new; they looked like they’d been used.” I’m like: “What does that even mean?

Sharon daVanport: Tricia, I can’t believe [unknown] You’re so funny.

Tricia Kenney: Check this out. They said that in the morning, they had counted them and there were like 30 of them there. By that afternoon, some of them were gone. Some of the bigger ones were missing.

Sharon daVanport: [Laughter] That made the news? Where did you see that?

Tricia Kenney: Oh, gosh. That was just in one of those weird, odd news of the year kind of things. I’m just like: “Oh,my God.”

Sharon daVanport: How about this headline here?: “No cause of death determined for beheading victim.” Woah! [Laughter] That’s just like, what? Okay. That’s just kind of crazy. I can’t believe that made a headline. Some of these are so funny, though. David Letterman has some really good ones.

Tricia Kenney: What about him this year?

Sharon daVanport: The $2 million extortion? I guess that person was going to try to get $2 million out of him to keep his mouth shut, so Letterman just decided to go on TV and not only tell about the affair he had with this man’s girlfriend, but he spilled the beans on probably every NBC female employee that he could’ve gotten his hands on. Geez.

Tricia Kenney: He really made nothing out of what could’ve been huge.

Sharon daVanport: That’s a whole different issue for me. I just think it’s terrible. I just think that there’s something to be said, too, about [unknown].

Tricia Kenney: It’s about the money, the fame, the privilege, and the things that you sort of expect with that privilege. And the way that women are treated as a result. Look at Tiger Woods. Would it have been a much different story had it been one woman that he had been having an affair with, as opposed to 12 or how many? And those are the ones we know of.

Sharon daVanport: The latest count is up to 12 that have come forward and they’ve confirmed. Who’s confirming these things? That’s what I wanna know.

Tricia Kenney: Those are just the ones we know of. If he was doing that many women, he was probably doing hundreds that we’ll never know about. It’s like: Wow. What is up with this guy? It’s that fame and money.

[Theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly plays.]

Well, you know what that means.

Sharon daVanport: I guess we’re gonna have our first little Quick Draw thing here. Everybody has to get ready. We’re gonna ask our first Quick Draw question. Now, the winner gets to choose between $10 gift cards from Starbucks, Subway, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Tricia Kenney: The question is: What is the name of Sarah Palin’s new book?

Sharon daVanport: We are going to see if somebody knows the actual name of Sarah Palin’s book. I’d like to see if someone in the chat room also knows what line Tina Fey made her famous for. Oh1 Lori said Going Rogue. Very good, Lori: AWN’s fabulous web developer. She’s doing a fabulous job over there. Hey, Lori, do you or does someone also know over there what famous line Sarah Palin says? She can see Russia from where?

Oh, actually Karen, Lori’s partner, got it [the name of Sarah Palin’s book]. Lori’s close: [She can see Russa from] her backyard. She’s like: “I can see Russia from my house.” Oh, yeah, Savannah said it. There you go. So Karen’s gonna have to decide, Lori, where she wants her $10 gift card to.

Sharon daVanport: They say you either love [Sarah Palin] or you hate her. I do believe she got a pretty bad wrap. I’m not a Sarah Palin fan, but I believe, truly, she got a huge bad rap about a lot of things.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah. I think she jumped in where she wasn’t really prepared.

Sharon daVanport: Yeah; they definitely didn’t prepare her, did they? Oh, my gosh; listen to this. You wanna hear another headline here?: “Man shot twice in the head gets mad.” [Laughter] You think? Hello!

Tricia Kenney: That would upset anybody, really.

Sharon daVanport: And how about this one?: “Teacher dies; the Board accepts his resignation.”[Laughter] I don’t get this, how these people can put these as headlines.

Tricia Kenney: Let’s go ahead and go through some of these people who aren’t with us anymore. There were so many really important people that passed away—so many people that really impacted a lot of lives. Of course, Ted Kennedy died. Also, Michael Jackson; Patrick Swayze; Les Paul. I don’t know if any of you know who Les Paul is, but if you play guitar, you do.

Sharon daVanport: I got really choked up when I found out that Walter Cronkite passed away. He was 92. He was referred to as the most trusted man in America. I remember sitting in front of the TV when I was three and four years old, and watching him every night on the news. He always had the same thing he’d end the news in. It just really got to me. He just was so sweet. It was almost like he was your uncle or something. I just grew up watching him all my life.

Tricia Kenney: Like I said, it was just an incredible year. It’s unreal how many people died. Ricardo Montalbánwas another one—Mr Roarke on Fantasy Island.

Sharon daVanport: Oh, that’s terrible. Does it say how he died? Is that morbid of me to ask? It’s like, they passed away. I always like to know, though: How did these people die? How about Ed McMahon? He passed away this year.

Tricia Kenney: Even animals that were in the media that we’re aware of passed away. Baxter. He was a therapy dog. He worked in hospice, and he impacted a lot of lives; he passed away. Socks the White House cat for when the Clintons were in the White House; he passed away. Also, the Taco Bell dog died—Gidget the chihuahua died.

Also, Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary passed away.

Sharon daVanport: Yeah. She was one of my favorites.

Tricia Kenney: So many people—and we’ll get to more of those later on. It’s just such a big year for all these people to have passed. It was just unreal, the numbers. Let’s move on to something a little less serious.

Sharon daVanport: You said that you have some funny stories that you put together?

Tricia Kenney: There’s some funny articles that I saw throughout the year. For one, the bodybuilding championships in Brussels were cancelled, because as soon as the doping official showed up, all of the contestants grabbed their gear and left.

Sharon daVanport: When they were gonna have to be drug tested, you mean?

Tricia Kenney: Yeah.

Sharon daVanport: “Bye-bye now. We’re all on steroids. See you later.” My goodness.

Tricia Kenney: The guy said he’d never seen anything like it, and he hopes to never see anything like it again. But they literally saw him come in, grabbed all their gear and took off.

Sharon daVanport: Well, I think that’s definite consciousness of guilt. Could the evidence be any stronger? Oh, my gosh; that’s just wild. Now that’s something that you would think is a joke, but it really happened.

Tricia Kenney: Right. What was crazy was some of these 911 calls. These are some of my favorite things, these 911 calls that happened this year.

Sharon daVanport: Tell the one about Burger King.

Tricia Kenney: I don’t know if any of you out there heard the audio for the Burger King one, but that one was just hilarious. This woman calls 911 ’cause she’s at Burger King and she ordered a Western cheeseburger or whatever, and they wouldn’t make it the way that she wanted it. So then she called 911, and the operator was like: “Why are you calling us? We can’t help you.” And she’s like: “You’re supposed to be here to protect us. You’re supposed to be here to protect me.” And the operator’s like: “Is this a harmful cheeseburger or something?”

Sharon daVanport: There’s gotta be something really wrong. If she really, truly believed that she should call 911 for that.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah; protecting her rights at Burger King. Another one was, a woman in Texas called 911 because her husband refused to eat his dinner. What is going on with people? They’re just crazy.

Sharon daVanport: In the chatroom, Corina is saying her boyfriend has a story where a woman reports herself as a drunk driver. Wow—nothing like turning yourself in. [Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: Well, that’s being responsible. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: Now, I don’t know if I should say this because I don’t know if it actually happened this year, but I have to because it’s so funny to me. I know that I’ve seen it on TV this year; it could’ve been under something like the funniest 911 calls or something. It was about a woman who called 911 to find out who the officer was that had just come out and taken a report at her home, because she wanted to ask him out on a date because she thought he was cute.

Tricia Kenney: [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: Did you guys hear about that? It’s hilarious. It’s like: “Okay, he’s really gonna want to date you now.” You’re just whacked out; you’re calling 911 to get his number? I mean, please.

Tricia Kenney: I don’t know. I mean, how cute was he? [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: Well, I don’t know. Cute enough to call 911, I suppose. [Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: “This is an emergency. You don’t know! You didn’t see his butt!” or whatever. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: She referred to herself as: “I don’t get out that much; I’m kind of middle-aged.” Well, I guess it could’ve been me calling.[Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: It was you, Sharon! [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: Maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong; I should call 911, Tricia. [Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: Set a small fire in your backyard, call up some firemen and pick one.

Sharon daVanport: Okay. Time for more funny newspaper headlines for 2009. This one’s terrible, okay? The headline was: “Lucky man sees friend die.” Who would write that? How about this one?: “Man is fatally murdered.”

Tricia Kenney: It’s hilarious when people who are supposed to be journalists word things in that way, and you’re just like: “What is wrong with you?

Sharon daVanport: Who is editing the newspaper?

Tricia Kenney: Yeah. Doesn’t anybody edit?

Sharon daVanport: Oh, gosh, how about this one?: “Foul play suspected in death of man who was found handless, bound and hanged.” I’m so sorry if somebody’s listening and that happened to their family. I’m not laughing at what happened to that guy. I’m laughing at the asinine way that headline was written in the newspaper. It’s just unreal. I can’t believe some of this stuff.

Tricia Kenney: Another big story that happened this year was of course that plane landing in the Hudson River, by Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. That was a huge story. It could have been a huge tragedy for the city, and he really averted a major incident there.

Sharon daVanport: And he’s so humble about it, isn’t he, when he’s interviewed on TV? I’ll tell you something that really caught my attention; I think it’s pretty controversial: Roman Polanski. He’s probably most famously known as Sharon Tate’s husband—Sharon Tate was one of the victims in the Manson murders. He’s been a fugitive for 30 years. They’ve been pretty split in Hollywood; he’s got a lot of pretty big Hollywood stars who have backed him, and said that they should just drop these charges.

He actually was charged with statutory rape, I guess in Los Angeles. He’s been on the lam for 30 years and was finally caught, and some people are protesting and saying: “Oh, they should drop the charges” just because it’s been 30 years. If he wasn’t Roman Polanski, would people be doing that? He had sex with a 13 year old: I don’t think so. Hello?

Tricia Kenney: It’s the same thing with those German officers. I don’t care how many years have gone by, and how old you are now. What you did was still wrong and you still should be held accountable for that.

Sharon daVanport: Right. And I was really surprised at some of the people in Hollywood who were saying: “We need to just drop these charges.” They’re trying to say that even the victim says she just wants to move on. Well, a lot of victims do. They just want it to be done with; but it’s not up to them. It’s the law, and I think that he should be prosecuted. I really do.

Tricia Kenney: I agree. We can talk about some news that happened in the autism community. Very big stuff going on with Gary McKinnon.

Sharon daVanport: Oh, yeah. I don’t know how you feel about it, Tricia, but it’s been a hard one for me. We’ve got so many people in our community over there in England, and they’re really, really wanting for them to put an end to his extradition. Then they ask us. I believe that his Asperger’s should really be an extenuating circumstance when it comes down to sentencing, but I really feel…and I’m really going out there to say this, but he hacked into the Pentagon. That’s pretty serious.

But the sad thing about it that I think is really wrong is: How come they’re not offering him a job in the government? Aren’t they known for doing that?

Tricia Kenney: You would think: “Hey, this person has incredible talents and they can help us improve our system.”

Sharon daVanport: I mean, he hacked into the Pentagon; most of the time they end up offering you a job with the government if you do something like that. But they’re really set on making an example out of him, I suppose.

Tricia Kenney: Plus, I’m wondering what sort of protection he’s getting right now. If some of these countries are really against the US or the UK and they find out: “Hey, this guy has these really increible abilities and can hack into their systems!” what’s to say they’re not gonna kidnap him and force him to do those things?

Sharon daVanport: Ooh. I didn’t think about that.

Tricia Kenney: I’m wondering what kind of security he has, and if anybody’s watching to make sure that nobody is doing something like that.

Sharon daVanport: If you read the story, though, it’s pretty facinating. You can really see his reasoning. In his diaries and stuff they said that he kept, he really, truly thought that he was trying to find out about the cover-up of space aliens. If you really look into his line of thinking about this, it truly wasn’t because he was some spy.

Tricia Kenney: He wasn’t trying to sabotage or destroy America or something.

Sharon daVanport: Yeah. It wasn’t like he was out to do what the 9/11 terrorists did. It’s so easy to see, when you really look at the facts of the case. But I just thought that was really interesting. It still is big news; it’s still going on today. They’re really trying to get his extradition stopped over there. They’re really calling upon people to say that they want something to be changed about that. They don’t want him sent over here; they want some kind of deal worked out. Do you know what the deal is that they want worked out? I don’t.

Tricia Kenney: I think just to let him have a sentence in the UK. But I’m not sure to the extent of what it would be, or the provisions that would be made because of the fact that he is autistic. I guess we could always ask his mother. She’s on Twitter.

Sharon daVanport: Is she really?

Tricia Kenney: Yep.

Sharon daVanport: See, I need to get over to Twitter more. You always know everybody. You were telling me today: “Larry King’s wife is on Twitter.” And I’m like: “Really?” You’re like: “Yeah—she Twitters all the time.” I need to get over to Twitter more. I just love Twitter, too, but I just don’t know all these people are over there like you do. You’re pretty good about that, Trish.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah? Thank you.

Sharon daVanport: You’re so welcome.

Tricia Kenney: Another big story in the autism world was the Autism Speaks video “I Am Autism.” Boy, did that send the world into a big tornado, just for a few months here. It really, really just got so many people upset, to the extent that they pulled the video from their website. I think there was like 150 blogs written about it.

Sharon daVanport: Wow. And then they’ve got the protests going on. They’ve had some pretty big protests.

Tricia Kenney: It sparked a lot of stuff. Talk about jumping the shark. I think that was Autism Speaks jumping the shark with that video, because it really sparked off so many people and just turned them off to Autism Speaks. And again with the protests. I think it’s great that we have all these protests happening now. God bless those people that were out there standing up for us and believing in what they feel, and being willing to stand out there and say it to the world. Even the attempt to talk to Jerry Seinfeld that didn’t go so well.

Sharon daVanport: That didn’t go so well, did it? It almost looked like he couldn’t be bothered, the way he was walking so fast away. I don’t know if a lot of people who are listening know what we’re talking about. There was someone in New York that approached Jerry Seinfeld—it’s on YouTube—and he more or less just dismissed them. It was just like he couldn’t be bothered with them.

Tricia Kenney: Even though that night he was doing autism charity work, “Talking to an actual autistic person? I can’t be bothered with that.”

Sharon daVanport: Right. It’s just very strange.

Tricia Kenney: I thought: “Wow. I’m much less of a fan now. Thanks, Jerry.”

Sharon daVanport: Right. [Sarcastically] Thank you very much.

Tricia Kenney: We had a lot of stuff spark off of that.

[Theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly plays.]

[Joking] What is that music?

Sharon daVanport: [Joking] What does that mean, Trish?

Tricia Kenney: I think it might mean a Quick Draw coming up. I don’t know.

Sharon daVanport: I think so.

Tricia Kenney: To make it better, we’re obsessed with Clint Eastwood.

Sharon daVanport: I am. I like Clint Eastwood. We should’ve had a Clint Eastwood question for the year. Did he make any kind of scandal or news?

Tricia Kenney: He made a movie: Gran Torino.

Sharon daVanport: Was that this year? How come I’m thinking it was last year? Because this year’s over, just about.

Tricia Kenney: I’m sure it was this year. [The Quick Draw question is]: What event happened on June 12, 2009 that changed television?

Sharon daVanport: That’s right, it did. It changed television forever, right? Should we give them a hint if they don’t come up with something in a minute?

Tricia Kenney: Was it just in the US?

Sharon daVanport: Lori got it again! Or is she gonna say that it was Karen this time, too? The answer is that television switched from analog to digital.

Tricia Kenney: Yes.

Sharon daVanport: I think it was universal, wasn’t it? At least here in the United States. That’s a good question: Does anybody in the chat room know if it was just here in the US? Tricia, we didn’t do enough of our homework.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah. We didn’t think of those questions till we were on the air, so…

Sharon daVanport: I know—oh, well. This is fun. So Lori, was that you that actually got that? It was her! “But no prize, please.” Are you saying you don’t like any of our prizes? [Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: [Joking] Our prizes aren’t good enough for Lori, apparently.

Sharon daVanport: She’s gonna give it to somebody else, is what she’s gonna do.

Tricia Kenney: Walk down the street and just hand it to somebody who looks needy for coffee or a sub.

Sharon daVanport: Here, let me read a couple of these funny newspaper headlines again: “Woman denies committing suicide.” [Laughter] That’s an actual headline.

Tricia Kenney: Corina wants to know if those gift cards work in Canada. I’m pretty sure they’re international.

Sharon daVanport: Oh, yeah. They’re international. I’ll make for sure that they are. How about that? I wasn’t going to be purchasing them until after people one, obviously, because I wanted to know what everybody wanted. But yes, they will be.

How about this [headline?]: “Slim fat girl, 17, vanishes.”

Tricia Kenney: I have a feel good kind of story. In China, the first gay male penguin marriage happened this year.

Sharon daVanport: That was on Will and Grace. Are you serious? Did that really happen?

Tricia Kenney: Yeah.

Sharon daVanport: Will and Grace is one of my favorite shows; I could watch it over and over again in syndication. There was an episode where Jack found these penguins at the zoo and they were gay. They were just so cute and they got married. Okay, never mind. Go ahead.

Tricia Kenney: These were in China. They tried separating them at first, because they kept stealing eggs from the heterosexual penguin couples. But they were having problems with them being separate, so they brought them back together and they started giving them the eggs that were abandoned by the other couples. They ended up being really, really good parents. They were the best penguin parents at the zoo. They ended up having a very happy ending, so I thought that was a sweet story.

Sharon daVanport: Aw. That is so sweet! That’s so cute. Speaking of parents, what about some more pop culture news? How about Jon and Kate Plus 8?

Tricia Kenney: [exasperatedly] Oh, God.

Sharon daVanport: I never watched that show, but I can’t turn on the TV without seeing something about Jon and Kate. They split up, and I guess Jon, he’s just quite the ladies’ man. I’m just thinking: “Whatever.” I’m looking at them, going: “Okay, I don’t see it, but… They’ve really made the news, and that just made me think of that when you were talking about parents. That was probably a bad time to bring that in.

Let’s talk about something about sports. We were talking about the balloon boy. What about the bong boy? He was dubbed the bong boy. Does anybody know what I’m talking about? Let’s make this one of our questions. If somebody can tell me who the bong boy is, we’ll give you [a gift card]. One of our questions was gonna be about the Burger King lady calling 911, and we just started talking about it.

Tricia Kenney: Savannah got it.

Sharon daVanport: That’s right. Savannah, she knew: Michael Phelps. That really blew my mind when I saw that. I remember watching that and thinking: “Wow. They really made a huge deal over that, because his mother had just come out with a story about him having ADD, and how he had a learning disability. He was at a party, I guess, and someone snapped a picture of him on their cell phone taking a big ol’ hit from a bong. Boy, I’ll tell you.

I have to tell you something funny, Trish. This is going to tell you guys what a very naïve life I have led. I was in my twenties, and I didn’t know what a bong was—I had never seen one, didn’t know what one was—and I can remember going to this barbeque and I thought it was s candleholder. I said: “Oh, that’s an interesting thing! Is that a candleholder?” I was like 26 or 27 years old. I am not kidding; I was pushing 30 and had no idea what a bong was.

Tricia Kenney: It looks more like an incense holder or something. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: This is this huge thing, and these people looked at me like: “Are you crazy?” I can remember the look that they gave me.

Tricia Kenney: Do you watch The Simpsons at all?

Sharon daVanport: Well, I don’t get half of what they say, but yeah, I like it. I watch it sometimes, because my kids like it.

Tricia Kenney: They were at a big garage sale, rummage sale-type thing. They’re on their way home, and Bart says: “Look at this cool pencil-holder I got!” and he shows this bong that he bought. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: That [story about Michael Phelps] didn’t stay in the headlines, even though it was a pretty big story for the day.

Tricia Kenney: No. People were like: “You know what? Leave the guy alone. He just won us how many gold medals? If he wants to get high, who cares?” I think they were more upset at the person who took the picture for being such a jerk to one of our national heroes.

Sharon daVanport: Is that what it takes, then, Tricia? I can go and be a national hero and win a couple gold medals and then I can get a pass on something like that? [Laughter] That is about what it takes, though, right?

Tricia Kenney: As long as you’re not sleeping with, like, 50 people and cheating on your husband or something. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: Oh, how much you wanna bet, though? This Tiger Woods thing? I will place a bet right now: he is gonna be bigger in a year from now than he ever was. He’ll be a multi-billionaire instead of just a billionaire. I’m serious. People like to see these famous people crash and burn and then redeem themselves. There’s something huge about that, that they really like.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah. I don’t know. We’ll see. I think he really, really lost a lot of support; he really did. I don’t know that he’s gonna get that back so easy. I don’t know—I guess we’ll see.

Sharon daVanport: Yeah.

Tricia Kenney: But I wanted to say another 911 call that I forgot to mention before. In Boston, a mom called 911 on her son because he’s 14 years old and he wouldn’t stop playing Grand Theft Auto and go to sleep.

Sharon daVanport: Seriously? So she called 911?

Tricia Kenney: Yep.

Sharon daVanport: People just must not get what 911 is for. This is insane to me. [Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: I know; it’s like some catch-all for any time you’re upset with somebody in your life.

Sharon daVanport: I’ve gotta read another funny headline. How about this headline for 2009? It made the national news: “British union finds dwarfs in short supply.” [Laughter] How about: “Something went wrong in jet plane crash, expert says.” You think? [Laughter] I would be so embarrassed.

Tricia Kenney: Speaking of jet, John Travolta’s son [Jett] died this year.

Sharon daVanport: That was big for autism news.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah, that was a big autism news story, because it came out that he was autistic, and everybody was wondering: “Well, geez. Why didn’t anybody know about it?” Then it started this controversy over whether John Travolta should have talked about this, been a spokesperson for autism or not. Or whether it was okay that he just led his life and didn’t get involved. So I think that really rose a little bit of controversy in the autism community this year.

Sharon daVanport: Yeah. I guess because they had not really disclosed it publically. What religion was that again? Scientology. I guess they just don’t really acknowledge anything like that, or if they do, they believe that it needs to be done away with. I don’t know—I wanna call it an exorcism. But I read about how they actually perform these things on people where they seclude them and they get it out of you. Is that crazy or what?

Tricia Kenney: There was a little boy—I think he’s only like two or three years old—and he was in Wisconsin. His mother or grandmother took him to get an exorcism done because he was autistic, and he died. The guy performing the exorcism couldn’t get him to sit still, so he sat on his chest to perform it, and he died.

Sharon daVanport: What!? Seriously?

Tricia Kenney: Yeah.

Sharon daVanport: Wow. Corina’s saying that Scientologists don’t even believe that autism exists. So I guess that if it doesn’t exist to them, then it can’t be acknowledged. I think that’s really big of John Travolta, then, to come out and say that his son did have it. That’s huge that he did.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah. It was just a really tragic story. It’s sad because he lost his son. People are being ao critical of him because of his religious beliefs or whatever, and it’s like: “Just let the man grieve; he lost his son.” If any of you can imagine what that’s like, how dare anybody criticize you when you’re going through such a horrible experience?

Sharon daVanport: Right. How about some political news? How about that Michaele and Tereq Salahi? They crashed the White House state dinner when Obama had the Indian Prime Minister there.

Tricia Kenney: Oh, that’s right. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: They supposedly did this as a stunt for a reality show. What is this with reality shows and stunts? Is that what it takes?

Tricia Kenney: Everybody wants to be famous, you know.

Sharon daVanport: So you have to either have octokids; you have to be Octomom.

Tricia Kenney: Or your kid has to be in some dire situation.

Sharon daVanport: You have to send your kid off in a balloon or something, or fake it. I don’t know—it’s just craziness. But you know what? That’s a little bit freaky. That’s a little bit embarrassing, for that couple to have crashed the White House state dinner. If somebody can do that, that’s not good.

Tricia Kenney: I know.

Sharon daVanport: There’s already been so many things that have been said against Obama—and I’m a big Obama supporter, don’t get me wrong—but that’s scary. I don’t want anything happening to him. It would be horrible.

Tricia Kenney: Oh, I know; I know. Imagine being the President and just being like: “How could you let this happen?” You’re looking at the people around you, going: “I’m supposed to be able to trust you.”

Sharon daVanport: There’s some people that didn’t have their jobs the next day, I bet. Heads were rolling, I’m sure.

Tricia Kenney: Oh, I’m sure. They would have to be.

Sharon daVanport: I would hope that they’re not working for our government anymore.

Tricia Kenney: And a big story, of course, was the economy this year. Everybody was broke this year except for the rich people, and they just pretended the rest of us didn’t exist. [Laughter] Everybody was having hard times; there was a lot of layoffs. Unemployment rates were just outrageous. A lot of people were really hurting this year, so it was a pretty big, ongoing story all year long.

Sharon daVanport: Right.

Tricia Kenney: Also, the H1N1.

Sharon daVanport: Yeah, H1N1—the big flu thing.

Tricia Kenney: A huge story this year, and that was worldwide.

Sharon daVanport: Scared so many people, yeah.

Tricia Kenney: Thankfully, it didn’t get as bad as predicted. But still, some people lost their lives.

Sharon daVanport: Right. [Laughter] All right, I have to read another funny newspaper headline from 2009.

Tricia Kenney: I liked how you giggled at the end of that story. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: I know; it’s terrible. I’m giggling at the end of that story, and it’s not because it’s funny. It’s just that I’m looking at this stuff and I just can’t stop laughing at some of these things. How about this newspaper headline?: “Filming in cemetery angers residents.” [Laughter] “Man found dead in graveyard.” [Laughter] Okay, I don’t even get this one. You tell me if you get that: “Drunk gets 9 months in violin case.” This is funny: “Panda mating fails. Veterinarian takes over.” [Laughter] That’s awesome!

Tricia Kenney: Do you know what they came out with this year, which I’m sure a lot of men will love?

Sharon daVanport: Oh, gosh, Triicia. What are you gonna say?

Tricia Kenney: Bacon-flavored vodka.

Sharon daVanport: Is this a joke?

Tricia Kenney: No. I’m very serious.

Sharon daVanport: They came out with bacon-flavored vodka.

Tricia Kenney: Yes.

Sharon daVanport: That’s disgusting-sounding to me, I’m sorry. And I like bacon bits on my salad or something, but…ew!

Tricia Kenney: No; I think it’s really going out to men, because men are, like, bacon fanatics. Apparently, in a Bloody Mary or something it’s supposed to be really good. But I’m just like: [sarcastically] “Oh, yeah! Just feed into that a little bit more. Like we don’t have enough heart attacks going on. If you can’t get your bacon flavor at home, get it in a bottle.”

Sharon daVanport: I wanna know how they created that flavor to put in alcohol. Think about that: what is it made out of? Ew! I keep thinking of things like that. Nasty! That’s just so nasty to me. Can you imagine? Bacon-flavored vodka? Are you drinking tonight, Trish?

Tricia Kenney: No. To me it sounds awful. I’m having a few drinks, but they’re not bacon-flavored.

Sharon daVanport: Did you guys hear that? Tricia’s having a couple drinks. She told me she was gonna be drinking some beer during the show. I’m just really jealous, because I can’t drink because of my ulcers, you know.

Tricia Kenney: I’ll have one for you.

Sharon daVanport: Okay, let’s go through a couple more sad things really quick. I like to get the sad things overwith. How about the 26-year-old Cincinnati Bengals football player, Chris Henry? He fell out of the back end of that pickup truck, and it was in the middle of a fight he was having with his girlfriend. He jumps in the back of the truck, is what happened, because she’s speeding off. He fell out of the back. Can you imagine how horrible that must be, just to be in a fight with someone and then they die? That’s terrible.

Tricia Kenney: Oral Roberts passed away this year.

Sharon daVanport: Farrah Fawcett. She died the same day that Michael Jackson died. A lot of people don’t realize that because [his death] was so huge and big.

Tricia Kenney: Overshadowed, yeah.

Sharon daVanport: But Farrah Fawcett passed away, and she just had a long battle with cancer, too.

Tricia Kenney: Right. John Hughes. Anybody who was around during the ’80s…

Sharon daVanport: He did all those ’80s teen flicks, like The Breakfast Club, Uncle Buck, Sixteen Candles.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah, all those Brat Pack movies.

Sharon daVanport: He was only 59 years old; they said he died of a heart attack.

Tricia Kenney: I know; that was sad.

Sharon daVanport: That’s scary. I’m 45. I get scared when I hear about stuff like that. Or Brittany Murphy, who just passed away.

Tricia Kenney: I know. Brittany Murphy—that was like a huge shock, ’cause she’s so young. It’s just like: “How could she have died of a heart attack?” And it’s not like she was overweight or chain—well, I don’t know if she chain-smoked, but it’s just shocking. It was really shocking. But what was nice from that was what Ashton Kutcher put out there on Twitter. That was really sweet.

Sharon daVanport: “See you on the other side” or something like that?

Tricia Kenney: “The world just lost a little bit of sunshine.”

Sharon daVanport: Aw.

Tricia Kenney: It’s sweet. I’m glad that he did come out and say something about it, ’cause I know they had a relationship. It was really sad.

Sharon daVanport: Right. Now we have to laugh again, now that we just got sad. But talking about sad things, what about Carrie Prejean: Miss California? This blows my mind, okay? The people who run the pageant in California, they want to take the breast implants back; they want her to reimburse them for her breast implants. What is she supposed to do?

Tricia Kenney: She can’t just leave them on the doorstep.

Sharon daVanport: Yes; where do you leave them? Return to sender? I don’t get that. They’re her boobs now. What do you do?

Tricia Kenney: Can you sue somebody over that? Can you take them to court and say: “We want our boobs back,” even though they’re inside her body?

Sharon daVanport: I think they did file something legal now. I remember seeing on CNN that the pageant officials, they paid for her breast implants and they want to be reimbursed for it. What are they gonna do—take them back?

Tricia Kenney: I can see suing for the money for them, but you can’t sit there and ask for them back. That’s ridiculous. What is she supposed to do? Cut herself open and play Rambo sewing herself back up?

Sharon daVanport: I know that that happened to a couple when they got divorced. I think the husband asked for his wife to give [her breast implants] back, because he got those for her. He wanted the breast implants back.

Tricia Kenney: Sheez.

Sharon daVanport: He said: “I got those for me. Those were for me.” This is what he said—I am not kidding you. He considered them his property, and he just wanted them back. I’d be like: “Dude, back off. They’re mine now.”

Tricia Kenney: Get away from my boobs!

[Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: Craziness, right? What other crazy things happened in Hollywood? How about the MTV Awards?

Tricia Kenney: Oh, yeah: Taylor Swift, Kanye West. I’m not a Taylor Swift fan, ’cause she’s for teenage girls or whatever, but yeah. That was pretty messed up, what Kanye West did.

Sharon daVanport: Tell everybody what he did, in case they don’t know.

Tricia Kenney: She was giving her acceptance speech for Video of the Year, and he jumps up on the stage and interrupts her. He’s obviously drunk and starts saying that Beyonce had a much better video. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: Well, you know, I just couldn’t believe he did that…that that really happened. I thought she was so cute, though, when they were interviewing her about this. They were asking her what she thought; she was like: “Oh, cool. Kanye West. Oh, wow. Don’t like what he’s saying. Oh, no. I don’t know what to do.” She went step-by-step what she was thinking at the time, and she was so cute, the way she was explaining it. I was like: “Oh, poor thing.” Can you imagine?

Tricia Kenney: She looked pretty shaken up at the time: “What the heck am I supposed to do?” and “Oh, my God. He’s being mean.”

[Theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly plays.]

Sharon daVanport: Okay, Trish. What does that mean, again? Everybody has to get ready for Quick Draw? [Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: Quick Draw. Fingers on your keyboards, brains spinning.

Sharon daVanport: Most everybody’s going to probably know this, so it is truly going to be a quick draw: whoever gets it typed the quickest in the chat room. The question is: “What is the name of the person who left American Idol as a judge, and name who replaced the person?” So it’s a two-part question.

Tricia Kenney: I know who left; I have no idea who replaced them.

Sharon daVanport: Really? Oh. Corina’s from Canada; she’s like: “I don’t watch it.”

Tricia Kenney: She doesn’t watch TV at all. She’s gonna have to start watching TV if she wants to win here. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: The reason why I thought that maybe everybody would know this is because they had a big special on it on CNN. I couldn’t believe it. I’m just a big CNN junkie; I love CNN. If something makes CNN, I’m thinking it’s pretty newsworthy. But I don’t think anybody’s going to get this, so we’ll just leave it open and I guess someone can Google it if you want.

Tricia Kenney: We’re encouraging you to cheat.

[Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: What about Rhianna? Now that was big news. Rhianna’s a singer, and her boyfriend Chris Brown beat her up. That was horrible. Oh, my goodness. Did you see the pictures of her, Trish?

Tricia Kenney: Yeah. And so many people were just appallaed by that. It was like: “What is wrong with this person? What sort of example is he giving the young men of the world, doing reprehensible acts like that?” It’s just ridiculous.

Sharon daVanport: Right. I know.

Tricia Kenney: Also in Hollywood, though, I can tell you what the top ten movies of the year were. Number 10 was Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian. Number 9 was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Number 8 was Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Number 7 was Monsters vs. Aliens. Number 6 was The Twilight Saga: New Moon Number 5 was Star Trek. Number 4 was The Hangover,* which I haven’t seen yet. I wanna see that one.

Sharon daVanport: I haven’t seen that one. Is that supposed to be really funny?

Tricia Kenney: Yeah it’s supposed to be a funny movie. Number 3 is Up.

Sharon daVanport: Oh, I love that. I bought that movie a couple weeks ago, actually, and my teenagers and I have been watching it every weekend now. We’re snowed in here in Nebraska right now; we’ve had the second blizzard inside of ten days, so we’re really watching a lot of movies over and over again.

Tricia Kenney: Number 2 was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. And the number one was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. That was a big blockbuster summer hit of the year. But the year’s not quite over, and I know Avatar has been in the theaters for like a week now, and they’re doing huge numbers, so I don’t know. Somebody on this list might get bumped by the end of the year.

Sharon daVanport: Did you see what happeend over in the chat room? It’s funny. Savannah, she’s popping in and out of the chatroom; she’s visiting with someone right now. She knew the answer to the question that we asked. Paula Abdul was the judge that left American Idol, and Ellen DeGeneres is the one who replaced her.

Tricia Kenney: I love Ellen.

Sharon daVanport: I do, too. I have been a huge Ellen fan. I remember when she was on Johnny Carson for the first time. I was actually watching it that night. That was like, 25 years ago, I think.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah. She’s [unknown] and so hilarious; I love her.

Sharon daVanport: Oh, I just love her to death.

Tricia Kenney: I actually just watched her old HBO special from quite a few years back. It’s just still hilarious. She’s so funny.

Sharon daVanport: She’s so funny; I just like her attitude. I love to just flip over to her show sometimes and watch her dance. Everything she does is hilarious. I’ve gotta read some more funny headlines, okay? How about this?: “Airhead fired.” I don’t even know why that’s funny. It just sounds funny. How about this one?: “Typhoon rips through cemetery. Hundreds found dead.” [Laughter] Of course they are! I mean, goodness gracious. I know there’s a lot of things about dead people in these funny headlines, but it’s because they’re so stupid.

I don’t mean anything against the dead; I don’t want people thinking anything bad about this, but really, this is what the top headlines of 2009 were for the big blurbs: “City wants dead to pay for cleanup.” Okay, that’s really crazy. Why would you want someone dead to pay for the cleanup? People need to watch their papers. Now, you know, this means over at the AWN website when we post our articles, we really need to be editing them really well, because we don’t wanna have things like this happen to us over there.

[Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: Yeah, no kidding.

Sharon daVanport: What about more autism news? What about Ari Ne’eman? Let’s talk about that for a minute.

Tricia Kenney: [joking] Yeah, Ari. Gee, I think something might have happened with him recently. What was it? I know it was something kind of important.

[Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: I think so. I’m thinking that Ari was nominated by President Obama. Yeah, this is huge. I’m just really excited about this, and Ari’s actually gonna be here on the radio show…it’s Sunday the 27th, officially. First of all, since we’re talking about the show, he’s going to be talking about the restraint and seclusion legislation. He’s going to answer questions on that.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah. That’s been ongoing in autism news for so long, and it seems to be increasing in the frequency that these violations with restraints and seclusion against autistic people are happening. It’s so important that these things are going into legislation right now, because so many people are being abused; so many children are being abused. It’s awful.

Sharon daVanport: I know.

Tricia Kenney: Also, Corina wants us to mention the Autism Bill in the UK. We did forget to mention that, and we wouldn’t have mentioned it. Thank you, Corina. That was huge. That was big news all over the place, and if you were on Twitter that day, you saw it Twittered about a billion times. It’s huge, and congratulations to the people in the UK for getting that passed: a huge deal for them.

Sharon daVanport: Right. And I wanted to get back to explaining what the nomination for Ari meant. Ari’s been nominated by President Obama for an administration post, and it’s for the National Council on Disability. I guess they go through the Senate to do the approval and all of that good stuff, but it’s a huge deal. There’s like 15 people who sit on this council, and they actually advise Congress and the President as to policy.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah.

Sharon daVanport: But this is huge. I’ve head that he’s the youngest person ever nominated by a president to hold a post [like this.] Not only that, but he’s the first person with autism [to be nominated].

Tricia Kenney: And how old is he? 22?

Sharon daVanport: I think so. This is huge. I mean, this is really big.

Tricia Kenney: Can you imagine what he will have accomplished by the time he’s 40? Can you even fathom?

Sharon daVanport: Wow. But you know, I ask people if they really can understand what this means for people with disabilities. Can they really imagine what this means? Because somebody finally who is on the autism spectrum—somebody who has walked the walk and talked the talk—is actually going to be in Washington doing this stuff now. He’s going to be able to say: “This policy would be good and this is the reason why,” and can actually speak with authority; with authority that means something. Not just authority because they’ve got the position, but because they actually know what they’re talking about. That’s gonna be huge. That’s awesome.

Tricia Kenney: Oh, wow. Corina just posted that [Ari] just turned 22, and also that he was born on Human Rights Day.

Sharon daVanport: Oh, I didn’t know that.

Tricia Kenney: How fitting. It’s in the stars; he’s gonna help humanity.

Sharon daVanport: There you go. It’s in the stars. That’s true, though. It’s so neat. So what are some headlines that we’re missing before we have to wrap everything up here? I know we’re missing something.

Tricia Kenney: Oh, gosh. Yeah, we missed Susan Boyle; we missed autistic Scott James on X Factor. We missed Stephen Wiltshire, the man who drew the panoramic view of New York City all from memory.

Sharon daVanport: What about Zev Glassenberg, the contestant with Asperger Syndrome on The Amazing Race? A lot of news in the autism community.

Tricia Kenney: Also the pot mom, the mother who is giving her son marijuana.

Sharon daVanport: I was contacted by her to see if I would put some stuff out there on our page. Trish and I kind of brainstormed about this, and we thought: “You know, maybe we’ll just mention something about it, but, yeah. That’s kind of wild.” I’m sorry—we kind of wanna be a news program, but there are some places where we just have to say: “I just don’t wanna go there.” That’s pretty controversial.

Yeah, that was pretty wild. She claims that some of these co-morbid behaviors that her son was having, that really had nothing to do with his autism but some other things that were going on, are just completely gone. And I’m like: “Okay.”

Tricia Kenney: I don’t know; maybe they’re all so stoned they don’t realize they’re still there.

Sharon daVanport: Yeah. Maybe she’s been taking a little too much of that bong or something.

Tricia Kenney: “Bong mom,” you know. [Laughter]

Sharon daVanport: We didn’t mention Bea Arthur, did we? She passed away. She was in Maude, which was a spin off from All in the Family.

Tricia Kenney: And Golden Girls.

Sharon daVanport: Yeah, Golden Girls. I still watch that, if I can catch even 15 minutes of it a day.

Tricia Kenney: I love that show.

Sharon daVanport: I love it, too.

Tricia Kenney: And Betty White on there is just hilarious.

Sharon daVanport: What about Liam Neeson’s wife, Natasha Richardson? She died; she fell on a ski slope, and it was like the bunny slope. She didn’t even really have a major fall. She was just barely skiing around. It’s just the way she fell, and then this head injury…it was like a freak thing. Most people would not have died, but she just hit her head a certain way and she died a couple hours later. Did we say Heath Ledger yet?

Tricia Kenney: No, and he was really young, too. It was really sad. Oh, and Kim Peek, who was the inspiration for the movie Rainman [died as well.]

Sharon daVanport: Right. I was reading a little bit about him, and they called him a mega-savant. I don’t know a lot about savants, and Tricia and I are going to be having a show about savant autism. We’re gonna be having someone on that is a savant and she’s gonna help us understand more about it, but I wanna ask her about this. They’re saying that Kim Peek was known for being a genius in 15 different subjects, so they called him a mega-savant.

Tricia Kenney: Yeah. At least 15 different subjects. He was a walking encyclopedia. You could ask him any question on any subject, and he could answer it in a split second. And they would have people lined up with questions ready, trying to stump him, and he would just answer them like nothing.

Sharon daVanport: They would not let him go on Jeopardy, I bet. [Laughter] He would be someone I’d wanna take; he’d be my ace in the hole.

Tricia Kenney: No kidding, right? Corina wants us to mention the Olympic torch runner that they had in Canada. She didn’t put up his name, but there was an autistic boy who did help run the torch for the Olympics, so that was nice.

Sharon daVanport: You know what I thought was crazy, that made the headlines? The little girl who sang the music for the Olympics, and then they actually had another little girl who came on, and they thought she was more appealing for the camera.

Tricia Kenney: Right. She was more attractive.

Sharon daVanport: That’s a little girl. How horrible. Then they had this other girl lip-sync to the first girl’s voice. I’m thinking: “The girl is six years old! What is your problem, people?”

Tricia Kenney: They’re so [unknown,] aren’t they? They’re just so backwards. Awful.

Sharon daVanport: These poor children.

Tricia Kenney: That whole setup was just so awful. I’m like: “Good Lord. Those poor people.” We do now have 15 states in the United States that require expanded health care insurance coverage for autism, so that was a good thing that’s been going on. We’ve got a long way to go, obviously: 15 is not quite 50. But it’s a start.

Sharon daVanport: Should we say the health care reform bill just got passed? We can’t end the year without saying that that happened. That was huge.

Tricia Kenney: Right. Also, Carly’s Voice went on the air this year, and that was big. I just think there are so many autistic people right now who are coming out and talking and shedding some light on the subject for the rest of the world. It’s so important, and she really enlightened a lot of people who were thinking: “There’s nothing going on there. There’s this kid who can’t talk and beats their head on the ground.”

Sharon daVanport: Right. I like Carly’s story, and I like what her parents say. She didn’t communicate at all until she was put in front of a computer, and I think was she 11 or 12 at the time? Her story’s just fascinating. When she started communicating and typing out her thoughts, her family was like: “Oh, my gosh. She’s understood everything we’ve said all these years!” They had no idea that she even understood what they were talking about. Her father said that they were just amazed, and they were like: “Wow.”

Tricia Kenney: He was horrified, because of the way that they spoke about her in front of her, thinking that she didn’t understand. The impact that has on a human being—when your own parents are sitting there talking about how there’s no hope for you and how they have to put up with you and all the things that happen.

Sharon daVanport: They thought she didn’t even have a thought of her own.

Tricia Kenney: Her doctor, I think, told them that she was severely retarded and was essentially a vegetable.

Sharon daVanport: Wrong!

Tricia Kenney: Yeah.

Sharon daVanport: Well, we’re gonna have to end it in just a minute. I just wanted to say a couple more headlines, ’cause they’re really funny. How about this?: “Lack of brains hinders research.” “Goldfish is saved from drowning.” Whatever. [Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: Another funny one was two Yellowstone National Park employees were fired this year because a webcam caught them urinating in Old Faithful. So if you’re in Yellowstone National Park, don’t get sprayed on by Old Faithful.

Sharon daVanport: Oh, nasty! Oh my gosh. Here’s a headline: “Robber’s description: Man, possibly a woman, definitely ugly.” [Laughter] I love that one. That’s gotta be my favorite one.

Tricia Kenney: I wanna mention also, the voie of Mickey Mouse for 30 years, Wayne Allwine, died. Also, the youngest survivor of the Titanic passed away this year.

Sharon daVanport: Wasn’t she just 9 weeks old on the Titanic?

Tricia Kenney: Yeah, she was. 9 weeks old when the Titanic went down, and she survived. She must have been one of those first ones on the rescue boats that was lucky enough to survive that incident. Yeah; she was 97 years old.

Sharon daVanport: Right. What about Billy Mays?

Tricia Kenney: Yep, Billy Mays died.

Sharon daVanport: The infomercial guy, with Oxy Clean. They said they found cocaine in his system.

Tricia Kenney: Right. Captain Lou Albano from WWE. He was also in Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” video. Who else? Ron Silver, the actor, died. Soupy Sales died this year.Dom DeLuise. Maria Shriver’s mother, Eunice.

Sharon daVanport: Let’s have one more Quick Draw before we say goodbye; you wanna do that?

Tricia Kenney: Let’s see if there’s anything else we need to mention before we close out. [In the chat room] they’re talking about changing the )DSM.

Sharon daVanport: The DSM-V. They’re actually going to take out Asperger’s. It’s all gonna be under just “autism.” A lot of people, they’re pretty split about this. I’ve seen a split right down the middle. Personally, I think it’s going to open up a lot more benefits for people on the spectrum. In our state, if your child has Asperger’s, you don’t get half the support, because they have Asperger’s. Whereas if they had a diagnosis that just said “autism,” they would.

Tricia Kenney: Right. Exactly.

Sharon daVanport: And of course, Corina’s saying: “Happy news—AWN started this year.” We’ve got beta testing going on right now.

Tricia Kenney: Yes, that’s good news. There’s so many good organizations out there this year: Jim Gott, we talked about him and his organizations. He’s a wonderful persont to look up and see all the work he’s doing.

Sharon daVanport: Right. Education Spectrum, that’s right.

Tricia Kenney: Yes. Aid for Autistic Children started.

Sharon daVanport: What about Leonora? Her book came out; she just wrote her a book.

Tricia Kenney: They’re going to be having more, and Charlie Collura’s coming out with a book. That’s probably my biggest impact fromt his year—getting in touch with ANCA and the way that they’ve helped me and my family, and just the huge difference that they’ve made in our lives and the change in the outlook for us. I think that was a huge turnaround for us. I think it’s going to change things for us forever. I really have to say a big thank you to ANCA for everything they did for us this year.

Sharon daVanport: Okay, let’s have our last Quick Draw question be a political one. The question is: “This was the two words that were screamed out during Obama’s September health care speech by Representative Joe Wilson. He screamed this out during Obama’s speech.”

[Theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly plays.]

Tricia Kenney: I don’t know if anybody’s gonna get this one.

Sharon daVanport: Oh, come on! This was just crazy; I just remember thinking: “Wow. That person just really…” It has never happened before during a president’s speech. I just thought it was, number one, in very bad taste and very disrespectful. But it just made headlines everywhere. I just was hoping somebody would get this, because I remember talking about this for weeks after this happened.

Tricia Kenney: Nobody else watches CNN.

Sharon daVanport: Political junkie around here. [Laughter] Does anybody remember what….Yes! Corina knows! A Canadian got it! [Laughter] Way to go, Corina!

[Transcriber’s Note: The answer is: “You lie!”]

Okay, so you have to let me know which gift card you want. You guys e-mail me or Trish, all the winners, and let us know what you guys want. I know that Karen wants the Starbucks gift card, so Corina, you let me know, and I’m gonna have to let Savannah know what the options are. She’s been popping in and out of the rooms.

Is that it, Tricia? Do you think that we’ve covered most everything?j Probably not. People are gonna say: “What about this?” and “what about this?”

Tricia Kenney: Yeah, there was a lot of stuff that happened this year.

Sharon daVanport: We just don’t have another five hours to talk about it. You know, it’s way past my bedtime—it’s 1:00 AM here. [Laughter]

Tricia Kenney: Those are some of the things that impacted us for the year, and it’s not completely over yet. But we just hope everybody has a happy New Year and that next year will be much happier than the previous one.

Sharon daVanport: That’s right. Are we ready to say good night?

Tricia Kenney: I think we are. Thank you to everyone who played the games, and I hope you had fun. I hope we gave you some flashbacks of the past year—hopefully, some good ones. We’ll see you tomorrow for our show with Ari.

Sharon daVanport: All right. Good night, everyone.

Tricia Kenney: Good night.

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