Thank You ThinkGeek!

 

I’m so lucky they sent me some stuff in exchange for my review.

Speaking of which: My views are MINE and they don’t reflect the opinions of the businesses and companies I review.

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#AutisticVoicesFirst

Autism Speaks. It's Time to Listen.

When I realized that Autism Speaks slogan was “It’s time to listen”, my heart sank.

I honestly felt like I broke in to a thousand little pieces that no one could pick up. It was the feeling of grief. The more I research, the more I realize how much Autistic voices matter.

The CEO of Autism Speaks is someone who has experience managing different health related foundations. Her name is Angela Geiger. As far as I can tell – She is NOT Autistic.

Autism Speaks Canada is headed up by Jill Farber and she has spent 15 years as a private consultant specializing in ABA. She is NOT Autistic.

It’s important for the verbal portion of the Autism community to speak up for not only us but for our nonverbal brothers and sisters. After all, we know best. This is who we are in every aspect of our being.

Wouldn’t it be nice for Autism Meetup groups and self-advocacy networks to have funding and get provided devices and tools to make life easier? Frustratingly enough, most companies need a “front” to do so. By that I mean a “charitable” organization with whom to “partner” with so it looks like they’re doing a DAMN amazing thing to benefit those who need it most. Why can’t they do it without the publicity or without a partnership? Money- simply put! Advertising is key. Looking good to those who are uneducated on the subject increases profit margins and a veil of “doing good”.

Let’s PUT #AutisticVoicesFirst

 

This Weekend….

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Friday was very eventful!

I got all dressed up and we got some delicious, reasonably priced sushi from Sushi Mania in Vancouver. It was an exciting day. My Sister is 1/2 of the duo Hollow Twin and my Boyfriend and I enjoyed the album release show at The Biltmore. It was a stellar evening. The performance was enjoyable and gave me goosebumps.

 

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I also made some very new art. I am not sure if i’m done because i’m so fixated on the fact that the grass isn’t uniform and that I haven’t used enough white outlines.

 

Beyond that, i’m trying to stay very positive and motivated to create more Art and trying to get it in to more people’s homes. I have many ambitions but I need the finances to keep going. Having my job is essential but not exactly sufficient enough. I can’t over work myself either!

Margaux

Art now available!

I’ve been asked numerous times “Where can I buy your art?” and I just haven’t felt like putting that out there.. until now. I’m not really sure what was holding me back, part of me feels like that’s because determining a price is very difficult. I have four items up right now and the prices are all varied. If there’s something you’re interested in or would like to special order from me, please let me know and i’ll do my very best to accommodate.

To purchase, press “Buy My Art” on the right hand side column of my blog or go to http://retrophiliac.bigcartel.com

Thank you so much for your continued support!

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New Videos!

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion and should not reflect the brands or companies I have graciously partnered with.

Why ‘Bell Let’s Talk’ doesn’t sit well with me.

I want to make it evidently clear that I am all for mental health awareness and supporting related causes. I have always struggled and believe that funding is entirely necessary.

Bell is a Canadian Telecommunications giant. For one day each year, the #BellLetsTalk campaign overtakes social media, with Olympian Clara Hughes as their Spokeswoman.

They make sure you are aware of the campaign through every advertising platform imaginable. I can’t imagine the money they put in to advertising alone.

They utilize the hashtag to get their customers and even non-customers talking about it to which they make a donation to their own fund.

I just don’t think this is the right way to do it. I have most definitely had real-life disagreements on this subject as well.

Here’s why I don’t think it’s okay:

  1. According to Forbes, Bell Canada (BCE) has a market cap of 40.5 Billion Dollars.
  2. Bell’s employees do not get equal or fair treatment in regards to their own mental health. CBC has written about this and there are various other articles online too.
  3. They have various ways you can get involved and they donate 5 cents to different initiatives. As far as I am concerned, they can make a sizeable donation without using the hashtag to, essentially, get very cheap marketing for their brand.
  4. The Bell Community Fund has a financial cap of $25,000 and has all kinds of exclusions including: Anti-stigma projects and event sponsorships etc.

I believe we should get to the point where talking about our mental health is a regular thing we can participate in and completely free of judgment. I don’t believe it is right to capitalize on mental health/wellness/illness for financial gain. I also don’t think it should be segregated to one day of the year that is decided on by a multi-billion dollar telecommunications giant.

Let’s talk about it, I think we need a new hashtag.

#LetsTalkAboutMentalHealth maybe?

Margaux

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion and should not reflect the brands or companies I have graciously partnered with.

My plight as a Millennial

I never decided to be part of the Millennial or Me Generation.

I have heard that nearly half of Millennials rely on their parents for financial help! I think there’s a very common misconception that we all have that “luxury”, Simply put: We don’t.

Being nearly 30 years old, I have always known I do not want to have children. I am perfectly content with my beautiful, spoiled rotten Cats and constantly worry about the economical and environmental state of our fragile planet.

I have had plenty of time to potentially advance my career. I never knew what to pursue. The idea of student debt is a frightening preposition. In hindsight, I could have gone in to some kind of broadcasting or film job but it’s very oversaturated and there is never a guarantee that I could or would be able to make ends meet.

That brings me to my next subject, home ownership.

There is absolutely no way in today’s climate that I would ever be able to own a home. Firstly, I work at a job I enjoy but it’s only minimum wage. (surprise, surprise!) Secondly, with homes starting in the million dollar range, my only hope would be winning the lottery and, to be honest, I would probably skip town if that ever were to happen.

My social life is virtually non-existent. It’s so funny how we are in the age of technology and social media. Yet, we are so incredibly disconnected from each other.

I will say that I’m a content creator. There’s nothing truly unique about that other than my autistic perspective. That, sometimes, can sadly be seen as limited or not equal to the rest of the population. There are lots of us who want to change that often misunderstood perception and believe me: I’m working on it!

If  you happen to have baby boomer parents like me (or the generation that followed), some (not my own) don’t always understand what we go through.  For instance, I have heard of parents who own their home and can’t understand that their offspring will ever have the chance to be able to have the same lifestyle as them. That can really cause some deep family conflict. I often wonder if a common ground or sense of understanding  can happen here because the divide is so deep.

I would love to see affordable housing, an increased hourly wage and more support. I also believe that healthcare needs more funding. We really need to consider how all these things impact our mental health because I truly believe the state of the economy, the planet and our changing and dividing times impact us more then we even know and it’s not always positive.
Photo Credit:Nathan Dumlao

What’s my time worth?

I have been suffering from some of the worst anxiety lately. Sleepless nights accompanied by cold sweats, tossing and turning and waking up repeatedly. I’m irritated during the day and I want to be silent at night.

I’m wholeheartedly frustrated.

I feel like I’m someone who can relate to a fuzzy picture on an old television. Sometimes it’s in focus and sometimes it’s just completely static.

 

When I reach out to corporations and companies I hope my time is valued. I hope that the work I put in to it is either offered with some kind of trade like being provided a service in exchange for a review.

So here I am.

I approached one of the largest computer/tech companies.

They are trying to create a resurgence in the marketplace with products marketed to Millennials in hopes that they will be converted from silver products to colourful cubes. Oh, did I mention their net worth is 200+ BILLION DOLLARS? 

Naturally, I would have expected compensation for my time. Knowing a computer is an expensive and hefty piece of equipment to offer me, I would have been happy with  money that I could use to reinvest in items for my blog (a microphone?!) to better my content.

Apparently this corporation does not have the budget to pay me to essentially borrow their item and spend time analyzing it and reviewing it. I am just entirely blown away and what I’m trying to do is show neurodiverse (and neurotypical) individuals products that would enhance life. I like to interject my own humour and thoughts. I love to interact with all of you and hear your precious feedback.

Brands: Please value our time as bloggers. If you say you’re going to cross promote us, please post our content on your website and channels as well. Please provide us some kind of incentive and show us that we are appreciated. Please WORK with us.

Margaux

 

The Best & The Worst

I’m reading “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and it explains how we should see the best in people and if they are not being positive it’s because they are dealing with something in their own life. I work with people most days and have lots of retail experience. I see people’s projecting all kinds of different moods and I remind myself that there are life experiences behind that.

I’m pretty content in my own life. Of course, I worry about finances and I don’t have anyone (but myself) to fall back on so I pinch pennies almost obsessively.

There is someone I worry about and wish I could do more for: My Family.

Specifically, My Mother, who has provided me with so much knowledge, empowerment and life.

my mom

I just found out she’s going to be evicted from the trailer she’s been living in, which belonged to her husband’s family. My Mom lost her husband last year to Cancer. She relies on food gift cards (which have been disappearing, probably stolen, before ever arriving in her mailbox) from a family service agency and can not work due to a degenerative spine disease.

I feel so powerless.

Do I crowdfund?

Do I start some kind of fundraiser?

Do I sell some art?

I wish I could win the lottery. I just want to make it all better.

Fundraisers and Charity Events

I’m not really here to knock the amazing work different foundations do (not all of them).

I just find it quite curious how voices continue to be silenced. I feel like there’s so many Autistic advocates who would be very interested in the opportunity to be heard by a room full of people who can make a change by donating funds.

I am aware that companies do this because, for the most part, it makes THEM look good.

Recently, a local Autism Centre had a lavish winter fundraiser with plenty of large companies and corporations who were quite pleased to contribute monitarily.

I was on twitter when my feed was absolutely bombarded with images of the event. My Boyfriend reminded me this was a BUSINESS FUNCTION and of course they are going to exclude Autistic individuals and that it’s more of a PR event.

I have been doing my very best to get the word out because I believe that people who are Autistic can contribute their voice to these kind of issues. When I found out about this event while it was happening I quickly sprang in to action.

Not only did I write each and every company that contributed, but I also wrote the board of directors for the Autism Centre that hosted the event. I did get one response which said I could BUY A TICKET for the event or I could become an “advocate” for this centre by making a $15 donation. Seems kind of backwards.

Please, Include us. Consider us as very knowledgeable advisors. Listen.

Margaux