An Open Letter to those who think everyone else should know how hard it is to be you.

Recently, Gwyneth Paltrow made headlines by telling everyone how easy an office job is compared to her high tempo acting job.  She isn’t the first to hear the Twitter reverberation that comes from the offended masses. Tom Cruise had fun when his quote was misquoted and he compared working on the set to fighting in Afghanistan. How dare he!!

Before you get twisted and refuse to read the rest of what I’m about to smack you with, take a breather and open your mind for just half a second. How dare you or I get offended by someone who clearly does not know what it is like to work an office job? How dare the majority of us act like we have a clue what it might be like to be famous? Do you read the endless headlines stamped all over the aisles in your local grocery store? Don’t tell me you don’t! We all do, it is like a train wreck that we cannot.avert.our.eyes.from.! Imagine having that hot shot of you in your bikini with your cottage cheese hanging out for the world to see? Or the bad day face that was probably one of a 1000 shots that stupid photographer took? Or even better, how about getting chased down by crazed fans while you are trying to take your kids home? Do you have a clue? No, you sure as hell do not. 

Ask yourself this, Is it hard to be a taxi cab driver? Or a doctor? Or how about the guy that picks up your trash at four in the morning? Or how about that rich CEO who works 80 hours a week? I’m going to say these are not easy jobs and I really have no idea what is involved except what my imagination (from various media sources) tells me. I’ve worked office jobs and every single office is different. I was in a play once and was terrified that the 100 people watching would judge me. Imagine millions. 

This is the thing people, you are not special. You don not have a clue about 99% of the knowledge that is afloat in the world. You only know your world and when someone offends your world, you act like they should have known better. Give me a break and please, get over yourself. Instead of a smart ass remark that goes viral, how about you forgive her for imagining that the life of an office worker is better than hers? How about we realize that the tried and true statement is actually true. The grass is always greener on the other side. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, which yes, is what you are doing. I work so hard, and I get up so early, and I only have a few minutes to drink my coffee. Boo hoo. 

I am a Mom, I go to school full time, I work and I’m a Reservist. Some days I get up at 9 am, some days I get up at 5 am. Today I got up at 4am, for no reason at all. Some weeks, nothing gets done and sometimes I actually accomplish a few things. Now, am I jealous that I did not take theater seriously or finish my degree 20 years ago when I had the chance? Sure am! Do I get jealous? Yes I do. Do I go off on a tangent and scream “Offended, Offended!!” every time someone dares to guess what my life is like? No I do not. Why do I care? Why do you care?

Everyone has it tough. Not one person in this world has it easy, no matter what you may “imagine” in your head. Money does not cause happiness, by you love nor is it the root of all evil. It is just a necessity to get through life. It truly should have no bearing on how you judge someone. What they do with it is a different story. 

Gwyneth Paltrow made a statement based on what she thinks is the life of an office worker. She did not specify what kind of office worker, she just was relating it to the typical 9-5 job which the majority of us have. Give her a break. Give yourself a break for God’s sake and let the Universe handle itself. Be proud of who you are and that you aren’t being chased down by paparazzi or getting hate mail for daring to wish for a simpler life. 

What it really means to be a kid at heart.

Tonight was a rough night. I find myself having lots of arguments in my head lately. I decided to psychoanalyze myself and figure out who I am.

I don’t know what kind of person you are, but I am a giver. I constantly put others before myself. I’m a Leo, if that helps you understand. Just seems to be in our nature to rule the pride. Well, recently, life has been tough. In fact, it has been turned upside down. So here I am trying to put it right side up but it is heavy and I’m worried I’m going to get crushed. Why not just ask for help?

What is help exactly? Is that me asking and you doing as little as possible to actually help or is it you offering to help…and actually helping because you want to?  Can you tell I’m a woman?

I’m a helper and I try to offer help because I know how it feels to ask for help and everyone shrink away. Asking sucks but some people have no issues asking. I on the other hand suck at asking and feel like asking makes me weak. Weak to myself. How stupid right? Like really? I’m really going to judge myself because not enough people in the fucking world judge me.

The root of the issue is, I’m worried about what others might think of me. Now it is this thought that led to many other thoughts about my life right now. I was thinking to myself, I’m almost 37 years old. Why do I give a fuck what other people think? Why does it even fucking matter? Why do I care that I might be judged? I have no idea really…or at least at that moment I did not.

I constantly feel like I need to be careful about what I do or say because someone…friends, family….special ones, might get upset. So I talk to myself. This is why women are nuts.

My realization on this fear of asking for help or standing up for myself seems to be stemming from…..yeah, you got it! Childhood. There was a moment when I was very young that changed the course of my whole life. I couldn’t tell you if it was for the better or worse but I certainly struggled for years.  This moment was in the midst of all that and I was potentially being dramatic or upset and I used my issue as an excuse. The response I received after this declaration was one of apathy.

It is this moment that changed the way I acted and reacted to emotional issues. I’m a cold person if something is wrong with you. I become selfish and angry. But when I am in trouble or just need to blurt out how I am feeling, I stop myself. Because I am afraid people will think of me, what I think of them. Pretty fucked up.

I’m stuck in a moment of childhood and I do not know how to get out of it. I meditate a lot but not enough about my own path.

I’m not sure this is a first step or anything, ha! I just feel like recognizing these weird moments that shape our person are important to reflect on, even if it is just with ourselves.

Chasing the birds away…

So, maybe I’m turning cuckoo?

The past two weeks have been spent redoing a chaotic yard, which may have inadvertently reflected my life, into a beautiful canvas of dirt.

I wouldn’t say my life is dirt but maybe dirt with life ready to sprout! Thankfully this isn’t Hitchcock’s “The Birds” otherwise, I’d have no eyes. My yard on the other hand is experiencing a terrifying venture into a realm only seen in the movies. It’s being pecked to death!

I feel like a peeper, except the only satisfaction I’m getting is watching a yard with no pigeons. Who knew pigeons liked to hang out in the desert? I had no idea but they are everywhere! Apparently, the pigeon express exists because a memo pecked in bird-speak has been sent out across the land informing all, that grass seed has been strewn about! So now I’m the crazy lady because the moment I see them…I come flying out the door like a wild banshee, flailing arms and all….shooing the beasts away.

I think they are on to me. I envision a “watch” bird on the roof, just waiting for me to leave. The call goes out and the whole friggin’ family arrives. I see Moms, Dads, sisters, bros, the cousin no one talks about….the kid who has no manners and that damn Uncle who smells. It’s a smorgasbord of birdy treats.

So yesterday I’m thinking hard about this situation and come to the realization that these birds have a brain the size of a pea and mine is humongous! I can out smart these pigeon-toers! So I get my bird seed out, which looks much more delectable than bland grass seed. Theres corn, sunflower seeds, other seed that I have no idea what they are, but if I were a bird, would find quite attractive!  I send the man of the house out to the back yard and direct him on where to throw the seed, everywhere but where the grass seed is. I was like a great composer and the seed was my instrument. I directed it here…and there, around the fence, on the pathway. I made it easy to enjoy a meal without having to get a beak dirty. I’m a f’n genius! I said this to myself of course…but I am.

Today, dinner time, I have a birds-eye view of my backyard. The neighbors across the way are dealing with the same issue of impending doom, lots of dirt…no seed. But they were smart and spread chicken shit, literally, with their seed. They thought they were geniuses too. Turns out..birds don’t mind the smell of other bird shit. I’m watching the birds eat their buffet over there, I’ll admit, chuckling to myself about my brilliant idea when BAM! A mother effin’ bird comes swooping in my yard. Does she go to the beautiful array of birdy food I laid out like a bouquet of Valentine flowers? No, that little pitch starts pecking away at my dirt. I leap from the seat, almost trip over my son’s chair only to fall against the door instead of open it. Loud bangs don’t faze her and as I get my bearings, she looks at me as if to say, “Nice job genius, thanks for the dirty seed…ha ha ha”. There may have been steam, my eyes may have turned red, I believe the hair was standing on my neck like a cat ready to pounce on her prey and in slow motion…I’m pushing the door open, my arms are swinging to pump me for my sprint and as I reach the end of my patio she takes off….right above me and off she goes, a trail of shit landing in her wake.

The fight continues…..

Tomorrow I’ll be propped in the door way with my hose, ready to blister this competition away.

God save the Grass!

Living in a Sensory World, Without all your Senses.

What is Autism? Many know, many think they know but most have no idea. I’m no expert and most of what I know is basic except for what my son deals with. He is considered High Functioning Autistic and has been labeled as such since he was 3 years old. Elias is 5 now, about to turn 6 in April and I’m questioning his diagnosis as I did the first time I heard them say the word. 

My son was born in April of 2004. But he didn’t come easy. I had high blood pressure and my doctor recommended I be induced a week early. I wasn’t happy about this because it didn’t prepare me the way I wanted to be prepared. I was terrified of giving birth and thought when those contractions came…I would have no choice but to be ready. Nevertheless, the High Blood Pressure scared me into agreeing. This was my first mistake. 

I was a big momma. I hadn’t gained the normal 25-35 lbs. I gained 75 lbs. They thought my son was huge and before they began the inducement, the ultra sound tech figured my son to be at least 10 lbs. That morning, my contractions began and I told my doctor I didn’t think I needed the Pitocin they were about to give me. He didn’t seem to care so I went along with it. This was my second mistake. The Pitocin started around 10am and I began Hard Labor pushing at around 8pm. I pushed and I pushed. In fact, I pushed harder then the strength of my contractions. The pain was unbearable and the Nurse was a joke. My doctor was no where to be found. By 10pm, I was worn out but pushing I was and little Elias wasn’t budging. Then 1130pm came around. By now I wanted to kill myself. I believe I was screaming, “Please just kill me”. The pain, the pain, the pain! My doctor showed her cute little face and I believe I fantasized of punching her lights out. She said that if by Midnight he wasn’t down, I was going to have a C-section. I was watching that clock like an eagle! I couldn’t lay still, I remember tossing from side to side and I even dislocated my husband’s thumb thru the process. FINALLY, sometime after midnight, the doctor came in to tell me I was being prepped for the surgery. My anesthesiologist came in and had a look of shock when he saw me screaming and crying. I remember him saying something like, “Don’t worry honey, I’ll make the pain go away”. I don’t remember much after that. My son was born and I remember my husband saying how beautiful he was. Then I began screaming in pain because I could feel them sewing me up and it was like a movie. The anesthesiologist came above me with a mask and light’s out baby! Elias was born at 1:22AM on the 22nd of April. He wasn’t 10 lbs! He was 8 lbs 7 oz and only 19 1/2 inches long. But strong he was. In recovery I held him and he lifted his head on his own to reach for milk. The nurse was amazed, I was too drugged to realize. 

2 Weeks old

So, what the hell does this have to do with my son’s condition? I think it has a lot to do with it. My son was wide-eyed from the moment he was born. Always looking at everything but me. He couldn’t sleep alone, it seems he needed that touch. The moment we put him down, no matter how soft and gentle we were, he would begin to scream. After 3 months of sleeping between us, we began to move him to the crib. It took months. We would have to rub his back and try to sneak out when we were sure he was asleep. Sometimes it worked, most the time we were running back in to start the process all over again. This lasted until he was almost 4. At his two-year wellness appointment, his Pediatrician was concerned. He wasn’t saying more then 5-10 words. He wasn’t even saying “Mommy”. We had therapists come to the house and work with him. They concentrated on sensory and gross motor skills. After a year, they didn’t know what was wrong and suggested we get him evaluated. We did, and that doctor thought he had Autism. I was in severe denial and 6 months later had him reevaluated by a Child Psychologist. She agreed and the label stuck. 

I moved back to the states 1 year earlier then my husband because there were no services for Special Needs in Germany after 3 years old. When I got to Colorado, I enrolled him in Speech and Occupational Therapy. It did wonders for him.  When his dad got back, his speech improved 10-fold. It was amazing. But there was also fights brewing with the pre-schools. They weren’t listening to me and in short, didn’t believe me. Usually 2-3 months later, I’d get a phone call that they didn’t know how to handle him. It was a nightmare. 

Then we moved to Albuquerque. Things were ok here until he started Kindergarten. I was fighting with the Peds Clinic to get him back into therapy and finally..after 6 months got him in. Liz is his therapist and she is a wonder. She runs Indigo Therapy  (site is under construction) and I love her! Liz believes that Elias may have Sensory Processing Disorder  and not Autism. The more I read about it, the more I’m convinced this is true. 

Elias is very social, very loving and has a thing for the ladies 🙂 He tends to take the younger children under his wing and loves adults. 

The problem is, Sensory Processing Disorder is not a recognized diagnosis…yet. Autism is. There are many facets under the umbrella of SPD. My son would be considered a “Seeker”. His Nervous System doesn’t process things as easily and therefore, he tends to be more rough, does not understand personal space and fidgets constantly. Because of this, it effects other things. He doesn’t know how to calm down, his focus is two words deep, he chews on his shirt sleeve or collar, he has to smell everything and he doesn’t understand the pain he feels is what others feel. On the plus side, he eats almost anything. It’s shocking really. He loves olives, every kind! Pretty much every vegetable, lamb, spicy foods, sauerkraut! Sometimes I watch in awe when he eats. 

Autism is a spectrum. It goes from sever cases to the opposite side. There was talk of sensory issues being included in the criteria of Autism but I don’t believe that has happened yet. Most people, including our lovely educators out there have no clue what Autism entails and most, when seeing my son, deny that he is Autistic. But if you look at High Functioning, many of Elias’ issues fall under that label. 

Before Elias, I thought most of these issues that children deal with were bullshit. ADD, ADHD, Autism…all of them. Well I’m here to tell you, they are not. ADD, ADHD and SPD are very similar and make complete sense when you think about it. How many of you can’t sit still during a meeting? Have to tap your toes or click the pen constantly or tap that pencil? How many shift in their seat? I challenge you, at your next meeting to watch other people and see what mannerisms they have. You may be surprised. But what does that mean? It means that their Nervous system is getting too much or not enough of something. These little ticks we have subconsciously help us deal with it. A child who has ADD, ADHD or SPD has the same problem but it’s more severe. You may think we have 5 senses, but we have 7. Smell, touch, taste, hearing, sight, vestibular and proprioception. Children are either Hypersensitive(Avoider) to any of these or Hyposensitive(Seeker). 

Micheal Odent  believes that C-sections, especially emergency c-sections may be having a long-term effect on our kids, more then we realize. Its a fascinating read and also talks of allergies and Anorexia (A disease he believes to be the female version of Autism). Though I can’t write a book on here, after all the research I have done, I have to agree that what he has compiled makes sense. 

I plan to continue this discussion on here and hopefully enlighten the unenlightened. I’m here to tell parents of Special Needs children that it is ok to panic but there is help out there, progress can be made but don’t fight it. There is no use for that and it only ends up being counterproductive. 

There are many theories, some I don’t believe. I don’t think that vaccines are the issue and feel that some parents are forcing it so they have a point to finger at. I think this is more complicated but still, we may have someone to blame. Doctors mostly. I feel that C-sections and inducing has become a way of life. Yes, there are times it is needed, but these days, it’s like the “easy” way out. 

I feel like this post is a little discombobulated but the information out there is strenuous! Which is why I will touch on this subject again and be a little more concentrated on certain aspects. It’s easy not to believe when it isn’t your child. But Elias is mine and everyday I pray he gets better, that he doesn’t hurt someone at school and that he learns what he needs to make it outside mommies protection. 

March 2009

The Death of my Grandfather…whom I barely knew.

On the 22nd of March 2010, my grandfather, Jackie Mills, passed away.
He was 88 years old and his life was anything but boring.

I barely knew him, knowing as a child that I had met him once as a baby. When I was 10 or 11, him and his wife at the time (He has had many), moved to Denver from California. This is what I would consider my first meeting and he was nice to my sister and I. He had a beautiful house in Cherry Creek which made my jaw drop. I won’t say we grew up poor cause it sounds so cliché these days but we grew up appreciating the little things. This house wasn’t little and I’m sure I was in awe. We were invited to stay for a few days. I have pleasant memories of this stay to a certain degree. His daughter was there, who is my age and I’m not sure she liked my sister and I too much at the time.(As a sidenote, I have since, very recently written back and forth with her and she is very nice!) My Grandpa’s wife, Janie, I’m pretty sure didn’t like us at all. We didn’t know it at the time, but apparently the few days we were there was too long and my parents received a very early phone call one morning letting them know we were ready to be picked up. That’s the last time I ever saw him.

This isn’t all I know of him though. My Mom didn’t have much of a relationship with him either but she knew him and his history and I used to love the stories.

You see, many people don’t know that I am a descendent in a short line of brilliant musicians and singers. I can’t give you exact dates or exact circumstances, I can just tell you the broad range of stories I have been told over the years.

My grandfather, Jackie Mills, was a jazz drummer. He grew up in Harlem, NY and from what I have heard, started very young and got recognition quite young also. He started his own band and in this whole process, somewhere in the late 40’s, met my Grandmother. My grandmother was a singer, Jackie was playing the drums with the Desi Arnaz Band. I’m making assumptions on dates here because I know what year my mother was born and I know how long Jackie and Grandma were married. They wed, they had my mother in Manhattan and then things turned not so good. When my mother was 3-ish, they divorced. Apparently, it was hard to keep the women away or hard to keep him away from them(and I think I’m being gentle in saying that). I won’t fault him for it and I have nothing to forgive. It was the way he was and the biggest thing that sucks about it is I’m sure my grandmother was heartbroken and my mother lacked her father being around most of her life.

I know there was plenty of stories in between here but we’ll skip back to my mom. Sometime when she was 16 or 18…I don’t know why I can’t remember…it may have been both, she flew the coop of her mom’s and went to live with Jackie in California. She has a million stories about who she met, what she went through. She worked at Jackie’s music studio, Larrabee Sound Studios. She met some of the greats before they were great. She met plenty of one hit wonders too. I hope this is all tying into my mom’s obsession with music and her new (Shill Alert) Coasters!

EDIT: I need to correct the below statement. Jackie did not help her get to Japan though he did meet with Tokyo Productions to make sure they were legit. My mom was a singer and a good one and I’m sorry to say that my memories aren’t serving Jackie as well as I thought. He was in the music business but not once, did he hear her sing. My mother called agents for days trying to find her own way when this opportunity arised.

In the end, when my mom was in her early 20’s and before I was ever a glint in her eye, Jackie did something for her. He got her a singing gig, (yes my mom sings too), in Japan. My mother sang for 6 months in some of the coolest described clubs I’d ever heard of or have ever seen. She told stories of showing the Japanese little ladies how not to take shit from the mean men who thought they could have their way with them. She was a contemporary  Susan B. Anthony. There would be no women’s suffrage if my mom had anything to say about it! And then my mom came home and through a slew of strange events, she met my Dad and fell instantly in love, never to return to Japan again.

I know little things here and there. The stories of both my Grandma Perry and Jackie are many. I’m not going to lie and say I’m “Sad” that Jackie has passed away but I am sad that I never really got to know him. I never wanted anything from him, never needed anything but love of a Grandpa. I was lucky enough to have my father’s dad who had his own hiccups and issues in life but as children, we never saw the other side. He was just my grandpa and I loved him and miss him.

My mother has 2 half brothers, a half-sister, a half-sister who had no interest in knowing Jackie and a son whose claim to fame was he didn’t belong to Jackie. One may never know the truth. If any distant family, who I have no relationship with, happen to read this…please take no offense. It’s all I know. There are bad stories and good stories and I think I have told truths and no lies. I have been gentle when I could scream and yell a battle my Mother never fought.

He could’ve had class….he coulda been a contender. But that’s all it is..a coulda, woulda, shoulda of could have beens but never was. I was forwarded a letter today about his passing and what a wonderful, devoted person he was. I wouldn’t have known….

My grandfather playing with Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey (He’s the drummer):

Jackie, My Mom, and David (mom’s half-brother)

Jackie Mills, you were a wonder; A wonder on the drums, a wonder to your close family and a wonder of my imagination. R.I.P.

ADD: I found a very recent interview with Jackie. Makes me sad that he was never able to share such stories with me or my sister.

http://www.namm.org/library/oral-history/jackie-mills

My Coffee loves my Coaster

This is a shill post but purely innocent, I profess.

This morning, I woke up a tad late. Due to my uncanny sleep pattern last night, I decided to blow it off and watch a cheesy, very late night, movie called “Angels and Insects”. I prefer not to link to this strange 1800’s set movie as it is not worth looking up. But I regress.

I was awaken by my son at around 1030am, brushing my hair with his hand. Cute, yes…but certainly didn’t help me continue the restful sleep I was enduring. So I got up. I fired up my new/used Rancilio Silvia, the new love of my life, and began the hardy but well-worth process of making myself a heavy two-shot cappuccino.

After the froth and pour, and a scoop of sugar…yes real sugar, not that pansy fake crap, I strolled to my computer and sat my tired ass down. As I did this, still apparently half asleep, I had a little spill on my desk. Instead of getting my tired ass up, Icalled out to my husband to grab me a paper towel and a coaster. He brought me one of my favorites…and so the shilling shall begin!

My parents have owned businesses all their life…or..all my life. Some good, some not so good but all had their heart and soul. In the last 6 years or so, my Mother began selling old 45’s. Some of you should know what I’m talking about but most may not. Old records. Small, ancient relics of our music history, which became quite popular in the 1940’s and 50’s. I know our technology moves fast but most, I’m sure, grew up with a record player in the house. It always had that small round insert sitting in it’s bevelled spot, always ready for a 45rpm to be played. I’m sure there is a technical name for that round plastic thingy majig but I’m too lazy to look it up! Nevertheless, these little vinyl round records of #1 hits and one-hit wonders had become my Mom’s new obsession. It’s not as easy as just selling them, they have to be rated. Some are worth hundreds, some a couple of cents. And unfortunately, as many other things in our lives, some were not taken care of  and were considered unsellable.

After a couple of years of trashing vinyl, my parents came up with their most brilliant idea. They stopped throwing them away and began a very long process of figuring out how to make the perfect coaster out of our favorite hits.

This started the craft show party train. I was lucky enough to have just moved back from Germany to see some of their first shows and it was a sight to behold! Radio Stations are a joke these days and I admit I rarely listen to them. Because of this and the lack of really great hits each station genre plays…we forget what memories were created around our favorite songs. My Mom and Dad have tapped in to the millions of memories hidden in our hearts and souls. Customers would stroll by, not taking a second glance and the day would start out depressing. Then it would happen. Someone would take a chance on my parents “Rock and Roll Coaster” booth.

They would act uninterested, walking around aimlessly in the 10X10 space until something would catch their eye. Maybe it was the label design, maybe it’s the genre, band or song but they would stop, pick it up and you could see their mind backtracking to a memory. They would say, “I remember this song.” My Mom, who can sell ice to an eskimo, would say something like, “Oh, such a great song!” and either would tell a short story of the song and band or would start singing it. Brilliant to say the least! This attracts more customers and my parents begin a journey down someone elses memory lane. It’s fantastic to watch because everyone loves to hear themselves speak and everyone wants to tell their own story. It’s a domino effect and before you know it, they have 4, 6, even 10 coasters balancing in their hands. I, myself, am purely guilty of this. I have 8 coasters. Some I bought because the label is so freaking cool and others because I love the song or band.

This morn, I was blessed with “Good Morning Starshine”  from the original movie soundtrack of “Hair” from 1979. A movie my parents of the 60’s allowed me to grow up with. It is one of my favorite songs from the movie:

And here is my coaster with my half drunken cup of coffee….

Isn’t it sweet? Everyone who visits my humble abode always notices them and of course I begin the tale of how my parents came about selling these precious gems.

They have a website, they sell on etsy and I got them a blog here on good ole’ wordpress, 45Revolution’s. I’ll link to “The Needles” which is the about them page and which I have written. Yes, I’ll shill my writing skills because if I do say so myself, it’s some of my best work!

I invite you to look and preferrably buy because, hey, let’s face it….we’re all broke right now but birthday’s are still happening, Mom and Pop days will still come this year and before we know it, good ole break the bank Christmas will be here. They are cheap, but memory jilting priceless!

3….2….1: LIFT OFF!

You can watch live stream here.

Space Shuttle Atlantis has a beautiful take-off!!

Bye Bye Boosters

And the fuel tank was just released successfully!