VERY Close to Getting My MFA

Good afternoon everyone! 2014 is getting to be a better year for me so far. My hunger to work hard and succeed is coming back, I feel renewed in job hunting again, I may be moving again soon (place to be announced), and I’m trying to expand my spirituality by reading both the Bible and the Qur’an.

Also…I’m proud to announce that though I’ve have a few more revisions to make, I’m officially slated to finish my MFA program by next month! I’ll know by next week about details on when I’ll defend my thesis.

It’s about darn time! Pray that my thesis will please the thesis committee.

Check out my new video for more details of my announcements.

SN: Thank you all for the love y’all been showing me, through follows, comments, shares, etc.

Astrology

Good evening everyone! I love to read up on anything spiritual, whether it’s Christianity, Greek/Roman myths, black folklore, or horoscopes. Below is what they call an Astrolabe Free Chart, where it analyze my personality based on birth date, zodiac signs and cosmos.

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from Astrolabe Free Chart

Hi there, here is the interpretation of the astrological chart that you asked for. Also attached is a .GIF graphic file which depicts your chart wheel. Thank you for visiting the Astrolabe WEB site at http://alabe.com This report has been created especially for you. It represents your Unique picture at the time you were born and at the place you were born. If you are unsure of the exact time of day of your birth (or the date or the place), the reading will probably not seem as accurate as it could be in certain places, but other parts will seem to be very appropriate. You will notice at certain places in the reading that contradictory information seems to be given. This is to be expected, because the personality of most people is extremely complex. For example, at times we are quite shy and at other times we are very aggressive, and so forth. You will also notice that, at certain points in the reading, certain patterns may be repeated over and over, especially in a longer more detailed report than this one. This is also to be expected. This simply means that your horoscope has an extremely strong focus on this particular pattern and that you should pay extra close attention to what is said about it. Now, on with your Report!

Name: Timotheus Gordon, Jr.
October 15, 1987
1:22 PM Time Zone is CDT
Chicago, IL

Rising Sign is in 08 Degrees Capricorn
You are practical and reserved but very ambitious. An achiever and a hard worker, you respect success. Older looking and very serious as a youth, things lighten up and you relax more as you mature. You have a serious view of the world as being a difficult place to be in. Very envious of those who seem to have an easier life than you have, relaxation and play do not come easily. It is important that you had abundant parental support as a child so that you do not feel lonely and isolated as an adult. Generally, you have a good, earthy sense of humor that can carry you through when times really do get tough. You are purposeful, self-willed, industrious, realistic and responsible.

Sun is in 21 Degrees Libra.
Very sociable, you enjoy being with others and definitely prefer not be alone. Warm and affectionate, you go out of your way to make others like you. You despise ugliness, for you being surrounded by beauty and harmony is a necessity of life. You prefer fine clothing, an attractive home and pleasant surroundings wherever you are. Your refined tastes apply to music and to art as well. At times, you are very indecisive you waver and falter when forced to make a choice because you have the ability to see both sides of any question. The positive part of this is that you are very fair-minded and can be trusted to settle disputes. Your greatest challenge is to take any one- on-one encounter and make the most of it.

Moon is in 02 Degrees Leo.
You always want to be proud of yourself and will never do anything that will make yourself look bad. You need the respect and admiration of others and enjoy attracting attention to yourself. Everything you do tends to be self-emphasized and self-exaggerated. Very stubborn, willful and independent yourself, be sure to allow others who are close to you the similar right to “be themselves.” Your need for love, affection and reassurance, and your tendency toward vanity, allow you to have your head easily turned by flattery. The more insecure you are, the more you tend to be a showoff. You love games and sports as a matter of fact, you would usually rather play than work. Be careful of a tendency to be snobbish and uppity — it does not become you.

Mercury is in 13 Degrees Scorpio.
You are a born investigator. You are fascinated by secrets and mysteries and unanswered questions of any kind. When you become upset or angry, your emotional reactions are overpowering — reason and logic disappear in an uncontrollable passionate outburst. You tend to keep your thoughts secret and bottled up and this makes others regard you with suspicion. It is not that you are trying purposely to be evasive, it is just that you would rather not deal with the explosions and hassles that often occur when you reveal your true feelings and opinions. Your sense of humor tends toward sarcasm and irony.

Venus is in 06 Degrees Scorpio.
Your feelings about others are deep, powerful, intense and complex. When you like someone, you do so totally and obsessively if you do not like someone, they do not exist. Your faithfulness and loyalty to your lover is unquestioned, indeed at times it is too much so — you get so possessive that you almost smother your partner. At times, your feelings are kept deep within you and, because they are so complex and intense, they frighten you — this is the way that you try to ignore them. But the more you try to do this, the more explosive things get when you eventually do express them.

Mars is in 04 Degrees Libra.
You are very aware of the need to cooperate with others in order to further any effort. You are usually willing to compromise with others, although you can be quite competitive in a friendly way. Very fair- minded and impartial, you have the ability to sense injustice and the desire to take corrective actions to make proper compensations. You see both sides of issues and questions, but you tend to be undecided or wavering when forced to make choices that might make you vulnerable or unpopular.

Jupiter is in 25 Degrees Aries.
The way that you grow and develop is by being an uncompromising individualist. You have a great need to be yourself and to explore your latent talents and abilities. Do not be afraid to let yourself go and develop self-confidence and pride in your accomplishments. But try not to become so self-centered that you ignore the needs of others. Also, you may have to build up your self-discipline in order to focus your energies properly.

Saturn is in 17 Degrees Sagittarius.
Basically quite conservative, you respect traditional authority figures and are very thankful and supportive of the laws and institutions which govern your life. You learn and accept new ideas only after having very thoroughly examined them. Ideals and abstract concepts are important to you only if they can be used in some practical fashion. You are so practical and so orderly that you have natural skills in planning, administrating and organizing.

Uranus is in 23 Degrees Sagittarius.
You, and most of your peers, have the tendency to think that all ideas, customs and traditions from the past are outmoded and irrelevant. You are attracted to radically new ideas, philosophies and religions that will, hopefully, cause sweeping changes throughout the world.

Neptune is in 05 Degrees Capricorn.
You, and your entire generation, will idealize work, practicality and the ability to attain reasonable goals. But, because you will also stress the need to be selfless and giving, you may find it difficult to attain your goals unless you have lowered your expectations on all fronts.

Pluto is in 09 Degrees Scorpio.
For your entire generation, this is a period of intense research and discovery in areas that were heretofore considered mysterious, remote or taboo. The root causes for many complex occurrences will be unearthed due to the intensity and thoroughness of the search.

N. Node is in 02 Degrees Aries.
You’re at your most comfortable when involved in group activities outside of your immediate family circle. You delight in getting involved with others in neighborhood civic or political activities, especially if you can be a part of the leadership of the group. Your zeal and overabundant energy bring out your real creativity when you can work toward tangible results — things that will immediately benefit those around you. You have a real gift for getting the most out of charity drives and community benefits. Take time out between projects though, because you tire out easily and your effectiveness becomes greatly diminished when your energy is depleted. Also, don’t even think of trying to get involved at a peripheral level — you need a total commitment to feel personally fulfilled. Let others bake the cookies and set up the chairs — you should be the one to tell everyone what to do and when to do it!

Welcoming our 2013 #AuburnTigers #Football Team home (1-7-2014)




Via Flickr:
Proud Auburn fans, despite the freezing temperatures, thanking the team for a remarkable seasons. The sky is the limit next year! #WDE

Photos can also be found on Timotheus “Pharaoh” Gordon FB like page: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.588682301187177.1073741…

It’s a New Year…Thank You Lordy!

As Mike Lowry would say in Bad Boys II, I’m putting 2013 in a huge box, wrap it up, and throw it into the ocean.

To those who’ve been around me this past year, I apologize for the increased edgy demeanor and my semi-suicidal thoughts (as in saying “Y’all better off with me”). Some would think that I just had a negative outlook on life. But in reality, I was dealing with so many failures and changes that I couldn’t handle things well as I normally would. I started off the year by fighting off a cyberbully, followed by a removal of financial aid (which impacted funding for thesis and living expenses). Also add the fact that I’ve tried to find full-time work since April, with no success whatsoever and my will to not become another statistic (i.e., refuse to live my life as an unemployed, talented Aspie who lives at home with family and appears helpless). I also had to deal with a lot of personal turmoil, a death of a close friend & high school football teammate, and moving from city to a small town while still looking for full-time work to pay bills and other living expensive. To top it all, I’ve felt more and more like a pawn to other people’s success while I’ve been left abandoned, struggling to get my life back to normalcy and land full-time work. Sometimes, I felt like an outcast to familiar territories. It seems that I’ve been reminded  a lot of things that disqualifies me for being “normal” in a “normal world”, like conversation topics and looking at facts & events vs emotions. I don’t know this world anymore, for I’m being an alien to this known world. It seems that I’m increasingly convinced of my inability to succeed socially in the neurotypical world. I felt like I’ve become a burden to people instead of a key player.

It got to the point where, since May, I began to have constant panic attacks,  depression, and occasional thoughts of my existence (sometimes close to suicidal thinking). I was sick of failing what I expect to accomplish and other people’s expectations of me. I was disgusted with being subtly criticized for being autistic by nip-picking at how I see things as opposed to how neurotypicals see things. It seems that everything was my fault.

But out of that darkness came some extraordinary moments. I had plenty of chances of giving up, but my fighting spirit won’t allow me to do it. I’ve continue to work hard to reach for the stars, despite my shortcomings. In fact, I think I’ve worked harder than ever before, since I feel that my career and well-being is now on the line. Either I succeed or come back to Chicago as a failure. Timotheus hates mediocrity. I started to write articles for Football.com, usually on the Atlanta Falcons. I’ve continued to look for full-time work in my fields, shooting for the starts and not settle for less. I was privileged to take pictures of campers with special needs and blog about the camp experience as a Public Relations intern for Camp ASCCA in Jackson’s Gap, AL, thanks to the suggestion of Joystick Journey author/blogger Shanae Heard. Through local jazzman Andre Marcus, I’m currently working part-time at Auburn University Club, washing dishes for 5-15 hours a week. I was very lucky to be a fan photographer for the Auburn Tigers football team. Not only that I took pictures of fans enjoying the magical season, but I also got to capture moments of my own during the Iron Bowl and SEC Championship celebration. I’m geeked for the BCS National Championship on Monday; my Canon Rebel is ready to take pictures of people celebrating (crossing my fingers) the victory at Toomer’s Corner. Plus I’ve ended the year with taking my first New Year’s Eve party pictures in an Atlanta nightlife venue.

What kept me sane throughout 2013 were God, my fighting spirit, and dedication to the mission(s) in life. All three have saved me from complete self-destruction. I would have been gone in July, September, or even yesterday if I would have gave up and either drift to oblivion or disappear from Earth. But those things kept me going.

I honestly don’t know what 2014 would bring, thus I won’t promise you resolutions and goals. I do know that I have people to reconnect and burnt bridges to repair caused by my constant anger at my failures. I apologize to those who I’ve pissed off due to my frustration at the crumbling world around me. I also want to thank those who’ve still reached out to me and loved me, even during my most darkest hours. And to those you only came during my glorious hours, I love you also and I forgive you.

More importantly, I have to succeed in 2014. I cannot live like a loser anymore. “Succeed or die trying” is my motto for the year. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around, and I don’t want to waste my life with “what if’s” and “just be normal”. I want continue to the mission that God is setting before me. Though I still don’t know what I’m doing exactly, I’m confident that I would do something great and inspirational. Pray that this year, I’ll be more dedicated to my craft(s)/mission and more in-tuned with my Creator, no matter how many people support or criticize me.

Letter to White Castle, Sevenly, and Spring Free on Supporting Autism Speaks

December 20, 2013

Dear White Castle, Sevenly, and Spring Free Executives,

I applaud you all for taking the time and money to give back to communities in need. The media give you crap, along with other major companies, about only focusing on the bottom line: profit. However, supporting organizations like Autism Speaks show that you all have kind hearts and want to be good ambassadors to the public.

While the support of Autism Speaks may seem to be only that of good nature, I will have to disagree with the partnership because it doesn’t fully support the majority of autistic (namely adults on the autistic spectrum). Autism Speaks may help bring autism awareness to the masses, but from my understanding, it only helps children on the spectrum. The voices for Autism Speaks are usually parents, educators, doctors, and politicians. We don’t hear about autistic people talking about their experiences, triumphs, and struggles. To make matters worse, they support plenty of treatments and possible cures for autism, but focus less on providing the adequate resources for autistic people excel in mainstream high school classes, college, and the workforce (the area that we’re struggling in the most). I don’t even recall them recognizing accomplishments of Temple Grandin, Jason McElwain, Donna Williams, Stephen Wiltshire, or any of the people with autism who made immense, positive contributions to society through their respective works.

As a person with Asperger’s Syndrome and a part-time worker, this support of Autism Speaks is not got good for business. Think of the diverse groups of people who work for White Castle, Sevenly, and Spring Free. How would your workers feel if you supported the Ku Klux Klan, knowing that a chunk of your employees are of color? Or how about the reactions of workers in the LGBT community when they find out, for instance, that at least one of the companies donated to anti-gay groups? In both cases, workers may quit their jobs and possibly even sue you for supporting “hate groups”, while customers boycott the products each company produces. Same scenario applies to workers in the autistic spectrum. If you all support groups that doesn’t favor them, then those workers would leave because that can send the message that autistic people don’t belong in the workforce. I don’t wish to see that happen to solid companies like those I mentioned.

So instead of wasting money on Autism Speaks, try researching and supporting groups that are for the autistic community and allow autistic people to speak up. Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and Autism Women’s Network are great organizations to give to and support. Talk to autistic workers about any work-related things that needs to be changed, accommodations that can aid them in working successfully, and anything that can be addressed (work conditions, treatment from co-workers and bosses, daily life as person on the spectrum, etc.).  Read up on more material on why supporting Autism Speaks, and other groups like that one, may be a controversial and bad idea.

Sincerely,

Timotheus “Pharaoh” Gordon, Jr. (a.k.a. T.J. Gordon)
Proud Writer, Event Photographer, and Aspie

Timotheus “Pharaoh” Gordon’s Flickr Page

Good day everyone!! I’m now on Flickr. If you like event photography, then follow me on Flickr @ Timotheus_PharaohG4. 2013 Iron Bowl pics are on there. ;)

Living My Life, The Diesel’s Way

Good evening everyone!! First half of 2013 has been an up and down time period for me, from going to court and losing my financial aid…to graduation and moving to a smaller city to be closer to my girlfriend while starting life after higher education. Today is an example of not only of a bad day, but it’s also a time where I’m teary-eyed yet reflective at the same time.

I found out through Facebook that my high school football teammate and Senior Boys Council buddy Dareon “Diesel” Cartman (the guy wearing #25) died in a motorcycle accident.  He was an inspiration to me because he got to enjoy life while he can by doing the things he enjoy, such as football, MMA, skydiving, and motorcycle riding. He was easy going and ready to make a friend out of  lonely people. And he loved to compete. Diesel was a strong leader on and off the football field. In fact, he was a rising entrepreneur and one of three HP seniors on the football team who  tried out for a Division I team. In short, I loved my brother and he was a close friend.

Sadly, I didn’t get to hang out with him as much as I wanted due to school and constant relocation. I don’t have a lot of friends to begin with and the friends that I do have are mostly back home in Chicago or in other states. I’m not as close to family as I should and I tend to focus on my work more than building friendships. Diesel’s death scares me not only because it’s sudden and I lost a great friend. It’s also scary because it makes me realize how short life can be.

True, I get into arguments a lot or tend to be isolated at times when someone hurts me emotionally (this was more true during my childhood; I’m more laid back now-and-days). As a result, I can focus too much on the pain and bad times.

But I ask myself this question: what if I was to die tonight and see Diesel again in the afterlife? Would he be proud of my unwillingness to let bygones be bygones? I don’t think so!

If anything, I want to follow in his footsteps and learn how to enjoy friends and adventures to the fullest. That is Diesel’s biggest legacy. He may have lived for about only 24-25 years, but through going after his dreams and being loving towards everyone he meets, he made plenty of impacts on people’s lives. He wasn’t afraid to go outside the comfort zone. I think that’s why I was able to enjoy the zip tower today despite my dreadful fear of heights; I took a page from Diesel’s approach to life.

That means I need to stop being afraid of going outside of my comfort zone and worry too much. That means I need to begin to let things go and love up on people at the end of the day. That means that I need to open up my mind to new experiences and friend circles. I’m sick of not connecting with new and old friend circles because I’m away from them trying to hyper-focus on building my career.

I apologize to those who I argued harshly against; I pray that we can all come to a point where we spent fun, quality time together and drop all the foolishness into the pit. For those who hurt me in the past, I forgive you. I pray that I’ll help you get to a positive state of mind and turn our relationship from antagonistic to fruitful.

Remember, no matter what, enjoy the moments, and people while you can. Don’t be afraid to say, “I love you” and commend the person for his or her positive qualities. Step up and step out of the norm.  And it’s perfectly fine to have wonderful adventures that you dream of.

Job Seeking

Happy Wednesday everyone! Welcome to the first stop of Timotheus’ real adult life. It is where I’m closing out my 19-year academic career (hopefully by getting my MFA in Writing by the fall) and enter into the full-time workforce. I would be lying to you if I tell you that I’m looking forward to entering the workplace within 1-3 months.

According to a May 2012 article from Mother Nature Network, 35% (on average) of autistic adults are either unemployed or not in post-secondary school. Thirty-five percent? That means that for every every  20 autistic adults, 7 of them will have no job. I’m scared of that statistic because for now I’m with the thirty-five percent. I’m patiently waiting on the call to be hired and kick-start my career in sports or writing. But it is rough out there in the job search.

But why are so many talented people on the autistic spectrum are not employed yet? I don’t know. But I will say this: some of the job descriptions includes constant interaction with people and multitasking. Some in the spectrum, like myself, focus on one specific task at a time (e.g., our focused interests). Plus I’m not great with interacting with my peers; I tend to work alone or with people that share similar interests. I would have difficulties fraternizing with co-workers (unless it’s with someone I’m really cool with). I believe that struggles with such things may either scare employers or alienate co-workers who may not understand autism well.

Fortunately, people in the autism spectrum can still have a successful time working. It’s all about finding the right job that fits his or her interest(s). For example, I’m looking for jobs in the sports or writing field since I’m passionate about both. Also keep mind that you should find jobs in which companies can accommodate you and be aware of the social struggles you may face on the job. It’s better to have a boss supporting you than mock you.

No worries, I strongly believe that there will be more of people with autism working. I hope that I’ll be one of them soon.