About Me _
Although I was born with Cerebral Palsy. This is that I’m about offer to you are merely my opinions of on everything from life to random little silly thoughts. I didn’t wish to write another “look me I am disabled, but look at me”. Besides, do you seriously want to read about a “Forrest Grump” clone? And no, I haven’t met the president, served in the military, created a shrimping empire named “Bubba Shrimp”, nor had a true love named Jenny, well not Jenny. After all I’m not Forrest, I am who I am. But again, I am often asked: “How is it like to be disabled?” I could answer by saying: Being disabled comprises of observing certain individualized conditions in everyday life. Abundant of these conditions is in affect due to social and environmental forces. Are my ‘problems’ more apparent or they seem more apparent? I will hope along the way define this as I ramble. But first I’d to divulge in what makes me as a person, in how I tick. To make sense of my Chaos, first you should understand me.
I was born in July 1967, supposedly, a result of an extra-marriage affair and put up for adaptation. During birth, however the cord got wrap around my neck for couple of minutes causing brain damage like a stroke. The length of time the cord is wrapped around the baby's neck determines the effect of damage. And the damage affects how the brain communicates with the rest of the body, this disability is called Cerebral Palsy. My CP effects primarily my right side, legs, made me non-verbal, however I can make sounds, grunt, etc., just that the part of brain that controls the mouth and tongue fine control was damaged. I cannot pronounce letters or words. I can control pitch and volume somewhat. Somewhere in a file cabinet there is documentation of registering an IQ of 201. Human nature is to assume the any disability automatically means that an individual is mentally challenged as well. Nor its genetic if I do have children, they will be typical, CP does not pass along to children. Main problems are pure ignorance and/or mis-information. I had people say, “you people”, don’t live as long. Which is both humorous and somewhat annoying. The phrase “you people” or “those people”, is ignorance. Detaching fellow humans from humanity is left over from our prehistoric caveman days when we lacked the intelligence to understand.
Secondly, any disability does not necessary determine life expectancy. It’s how you choose to live. Some may have conditions in life, but a disability should not be a label when we cannot understand it. However, at times, it can be an advantage for an example some Jehovah witness people came to our door and I did the “spasming cripple” thing and let me just say they never returned. In fact, they were freaking out in front of our house probably thought I was Satan, oh well, see ya.
I settled in La Crosse to begin the more adult thing. I been school twice for Banking/finance and Computer sciences seeing that I used a social program to pay for school they strongly suggested the Majors, exercising “what’s in your best interest”. Never thinking what Rod’s interests were they just thought they knew better. For example, in ’86-’87 I want to do coffee/sandwich houses. This is pre-Starbucks and a multi-billion dollars a year industry, yet, I was an absurd and naive guy. However, I still struggle to find my calling or place in life.
As well as school, I played in bands and at first people would turn down my channels down, till someone actually heard me play then I began playing in hair metal and had the hair to boot. Then a R and B, Soul band. The “blues Brother’s thing” with horns. Our set included Sam and Dave, BB, Hooker, Perkins, to the Doors and older stones. The amazing thing was by the next day, we were booked for the next year that never happens to a local band. Local bands typically need to beg clubs/bars to play. So, this was a very rare reaction. It was an imposing ego boost as it for a short time made us local celebrities. I went from just a disabled guy to being the sexy guitarist from LB and the U-Turns. I can say an image works, my god it was splendid feeling but dangerous if you let it out of hand. The down side was of course the hectic schedule you have balance between the band responsibly with class keeping my GPA up. Sleep rapidly become a luxury that was rare. Even though Capitol Records had an interest in us but LB had no intentions or going onto next level, then we start to unravel as a band as well as replacing two members that in fact, killed the chemistry that we had. We played the year of gigs then disbanded. I turned down other bands. I needed a break from playing the bar scene, in fact, to this day no longer fond of bars.
As I was in school the second time I acquired work as a bouncer a strip club, due to a friend was the manager and seeing that most wouldn’t hire me. The job was great addition from being shackled to a dreaded fixed income system being disabled. nevertheless, it was a huge opportunity and a job. I saw it as it was a job that must be done I as well could do it. Some may snob at the nature of this type of employment because of the nudity that implies immoral behavior. In fact, the dancers at end of the day just want to go home and be done. The nudity is not issue or it should . My job was to ensure that the enjoyment of viewing was in a responsible matter. Including keep the environment drug free, as well as if a patron gets unruly then we would ask their friends to assist in calming the person down first. This way, it does not cause an unnecessary scene. It is not as in the movies where fights are common although I do have a scar across my right elbow from a broken bottle. But the job is to keep the establishment enjoyable for all patrons and that will improve the rep of the establishment as well. It’s how we perceive any situation and how we assume it to be. A closed mind cannot learn nor grow.
Then I started my own computer IT company that served as an outsourcing IT Management. We did various websites, and software for clients worldwide. Met my life partner Cathy. Heaven forbid us disabled legally marry, where as a town drunk can be on the exact same system and be married go figure.
As I age and slow down I now in a powerchair proving if ya don’t use it, ya loose it. So never entirely slow down people keep going. I have been with my life partner fifth teen plus years now. And now, onward and forward.
Am I special? Everyone is special, in fact, every single entity there is special in its own way. After all, it’s all a part of creation. This is my exact point is my disability actually a disability or we assume it is by assigning