Amidst other things, I have Asperger's syndrome. It is not the only thing that defines me & I usually don't mind having it. In many ways I think it helps me be the smart, creative, gifted person I am. Symptoms of this disorder include rigid thinking, hyper-focusing, some level of social impairment, and special interests that we often have an extensive knowledge of. As a matter of fact Asperger's has been nicknamed the "Little Professor Syndrome" because kids on the spectrum often know so much about these interests and could talk for hours about them. I believe I have above average IQ in a few areas, for instance I am very creative and a musical wizard, good at working with computer programs and online applications, I express myself very well in writing, I know a lot about rocks and minerals, I am good at art and making necklaces! I am also quite the comedian and have many jokes memorized! But IQ is not everything just ask your pets! They don't give a damn if your no Einstein! The value of a person lies more in their capacity to love. I'm the "kind kind" of rebel and there is so much more great things about me! Sometimes I deal with the nonverbal aspect of autism, for instance instead of saying excuse me when somebody is standing in my way I might awkwardly eek my way past. I am being more aware of this and how to speak up for myself. I don't always pick up on sarcasm but most of the time I know. I might react to a joke as if it were a serious comment even if a part of my brain registers that it is a joke. I have a hard time with romantic relationships even though I am usually quite the considerate gentleman; I'm just not what you'd call a pick-up-artist (probably a good thing haha!) And I might be a little more reserved in the romantic sense at first. I don't cheat and I have always felt like I had a dog-like loyalty. I am still learning though and it is a fact: nobody's perfect.
Here is another draw-back:
I struggle with obsessions from time to time, perhaps due to also having bi-polar and generalized anxiety disorders. Once my mind gets a hold of an obsession it can be hard to let it go even if the thoughts aren't rational. I wrestle with these demons and I might have a hard time opening up. I am very happy to have great staff, family and a therapist to talk with about these issues. If "the perfect storm" hits and I am sleep deprived and overwhelmed by my life there can be what's called "Asperger's Shutdown"
Well in the past now, I have experienced a few Asperger's shut-downs, moments in my life when my mind wasn't working as it should and my behavior could get bizarre. Lack of sleep or a sudden, major change in my life can bring on a shut-down. What is a little concerning is usually I don't see it coming. I think I am getting better with my awareness of this and making responsible life choices and lately I've been doing awesome! I really have my life together, and haven't had major issues for three years. I do still have moments of poor judgment but I snap out of it more quickly now. I greatly appreciate the help I have had over the years from Mains'l services; they have helped my life shine!
I have started work at Lupulin brewery in Big Lake! I enjoy the work: stacking the beer on the pallet or weighing the beers to make sure they are the proper weight, cleaning up after a run, and counting out cans and lids; it keeps me engaged. The people I work with are very friendly, interesting, and just generally cool! I kind of feel like I am working with a bunch of hippies which, like Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing!" I get to enjoy a "shift beer" with my co-workers after work wraps up for the day. It has been nice to visit and share things with everyone there, already I have met two other musicians! Pretty sweet!
I also currently work part-time at Options Inc. and have done a variety of job sites: USDP- a distillery, Best Western- cleaning hotels, Holiday- a gas station, Medline- a medical warehouse. Other things I've done at Options are Culinary Delights- an organic gardening job, and sometimes jobs in center such as chicken kits. Before working at Options I worked at Walmart in the produce department. I made a lot of cool friends there and I'm thankful for that time. I think I could have done some things faster but overall I know that I went out of my way to get customers what they needed and I cared about how the store looked. It gave me more work skills!
Before getting services with Mains'l I used to live in Cambridge with my mom, step-dad, two wonderful cats, and a great dog. At the time I lived there I volunteered at a thrift store called Family Pathways where I cleaned up the store. One time without giving any warning I grabbed a skateboard they had for sale and skated around the are on a little "adventure" Later, I seem to remember being out in the woods playing a slide whistle when I got a call on my cellphone. I flipped it open and it was my mom. She was worried sick because I didn't tell anyone what I was up to and I'd commandeered this skateboard! It was at a rocky point when I was in and out of normalcy. I didn't know where I would live once mom and Al moved to Arizona.
When I was on my game I enjoyed playing my step father's banjo and watching Two & a Half Men, Big Bang Theory and Burn Notice with Al and mom every evening. I went to a local support group in Cambridge which supported an "umbrella" of different life issues. I also took courses with The Loft, an online writing class and I've posted some of my works on this website. Now my step-dad and Mom live in New Mexico and I still live in Minnesota. And BRRRRR it's FREEZING!!!
Independent Living Skills-
I'm totally stoked! Why? Because guess who just got to Target and back for a great shop-a-thon? This mo' fo' right here! I bought 3 brand new albums Anthems by Lindsey Stirling, Atonement by Killswitch Engage, and No. 6 Collaborations Project by Ed Sheeran. I arranged for Trailblazer Transit bus to bring me there and back. I am also learning to use Taxi and services like Uber.
I am also taking better care of myself in regards to my physical health. At the date of this writing 9/27/2019 I have lost over 20lbs! I do yoga and sit-ups as well as brisk walks or skateboarding, sometimes to Gamestop to do trade-ins for some quick cash (and the audience giggles).
I cleaned my bathroom today and my bedroom last weekend.
I am getting better about doing things like that. I'm sort of the "Good Guy Greg" these days and I've really been adulting like a boss!
I am also learning to cook more, though I get pretty self involved sometimes which means I've kinda been slackin' on this one.
I am also cutting back on social media and taking more time to relax AWAY FROM THE PHONE it really calms me to listen to certain types of music or binaural beats just laying in bed. These damn phones are so overstimulating! Don't forget to UN-PLUG (said the nerdy white guy in an update to his website)
"Nostalgia here we come!"
A bit I wrote about being quite young-
At 8 years old I remember morning and my mom saying "Donald don't dawdle!" Did I ever hate that word! I was still yet a sprout, living in a small neighborhood with a pretty good circle of friends. If only I could just play with my friends always and not bother with school. I remember bringing in a catapult I made with k'nex to show and tell; I remember cheating off another kid's spelling test once. That wouldn't be the last time I cheated at school!! I had several RC cars from Tyco RC, the centipede the super rebound and this tank one. Dad taught me about rocks: granite, quartz, chert, flint and agate. We enjoyed "rock hunting" at local quarries. I also had broad rimmed glasses like you might see on some random person back in the 1960's! Good times.
But where was I, I'm an excellent musician! I've got effects with an avid key studio keyboard. I also play a Casio Privia and The Panasonic Blue. I've made epic EDM & dubstep songs in FL Studio. I love making EDM although I do not consider myself a master. Instrumentally I've dabbled in classical, jazz, and psychedelic. But really I'm more about electronic music, rock, and folk! Ooops almost forgot I'm also way into avant-garde and I love to sample circuit bending or mutate the audio of my songs! I compose original music for piano & keyboard or write a song for voice and guitar.
I enjoy hosting music parties where I get to perform as well as playing at the occasional open mic. Celebrate Recovery has also been a neat opportunity to use my talent.
I like to longboard in the summer time. I know how to adjust my board and I can even do a few tricks, like the "hippie hop!"
One of the duo bands I'm in, Psychodelix has released songs:
"Serve The Servants" "Technapotamia" & "Kreep Into Fever" and we are currently working on something REALLY BIG! Actually bassist Mark (Moxxie) Anderson has moved to Florida. But thanks to the internet the band will continue making music! Stay tuned.
I'm in another duo band called Don't Panic. We play together now and then, and record our own brand of spontaneous garage rock!
Psychodelix and Don't Panic fused to form The E-ville's and we played a show at The Pour House in Minneapolis. It was kind of rough around the edges but still rad! I played keys and drums, but it's kinda hard to drum when ya got no snare! ( They hadn't got everything out and set up on the house drums XD ) Our underground supergroup is on youtube, reverbnation, as well as hosted on my SoundCloud and you haven't heard the last of us!
This post details a vacation to Las Vegas with my buddy Mike:
The summer of 2016 I worked as a sandwich chef at Quiznos! I was proud of having a job where I could prepare delicious food for generally friendly customers. I also enjoyed having generally friendly co-workers. One thing I had to learn was speed during the lunch rush. I also had to learn recipes for all the different subs. In times between orders I would clean the prep table, dining area, and dishes. This job was fun in some ways but stressful in many others, because Aspergers don't usually like fast paced situations. Ultimately I quit the job with 2 weeks notice, but my manager said he was very impressed with my performance! I'm proud of my experience working there.
Special Olympics Basketball
As of this writing I am pretty tired I had a basketball tournament yesterday and I played really hard! We totally creamed Tyler's team; it was a slaughter! Sorry Tyler (He's my best friend, we give each other crap.) Following the game I hung out at my old place with my buddy Neal and we watched Robot Chicken. I'm glad to have today off work for Presidents Day. Tyler, Kyle, John and I all hung out at John's Saturday and played Halo 4, watched Brothers Grimsby, rode bikes, and played Apples to Apples. After that I went out for drinks with Mike and Dustin. Good times!
Olmstead Academy 2017
In the beginning of Olmstead there was a tarp holding down balloons weighed down by bricks. The balloons had good things like "independence" "freedom" "Friendships" and our names written on them. The bricks weighing them down had barriers written on them such as "can't choose where I want to live" "can't get rides where I want to go" "isolated from the community". We read some of these bricks and then after we read them we all grabbed a brick and pulled it away. The balloons went flying up and out all at once. It was a beautiful sight and an awesome metaphor. I am excited to be a part of this change in the world!
Our Olmstead Project
It was an honor graduating Olmstead in my group, The Monticello Ligers, and performing our skits at the Court House in St. Paul. Our skit was about our Tour of Homes to show people with disabilities how they could live on their own but still receive support. In my team's skit, Ashlie and Dustin placed bricks with the benefits of increased independence written on them reading them aloud. Then I boomed out, "I'm the guardian and I say no!" This illustrated a major barrier for many people with disabilities- often we want more, but the guardian gets afraid that we can't handle it and puts the kibosh on it! What is important to remember is "The Dignity of Risk." We deserve the opportunity to get the most independence and integration we can with the community. With the right supports in place that should be realistic. I know that guardians are only doing what they think is right too; it's a tender issue. I know they must get scared, but I believe people deserve a chance.
In August of 2018 I released my CD, Phrosty Muzak!
I ordered my record through Oasis CD and had them remaster the songs sweetening up the sound & mix. It was also great seeing my music on something that like you could get it at the store. In the past I've burned countless CD's on my laptop and even labeled some of them myself. Once in a while I could convince somebody to pony up money for one. Usually I'd just give them away. With Phrosty Music, however I sold almost every copy. I only gave away one once in a while, usually if I figured it could help my career as a musician. Mainly I sold my release because I personally paid the money to get them made. I also did the work to ensure all of the songs were in the correct format. I also had an irksome hiccup with those UPS. In the end it was all worth it and I am so proud of Donald James Neu's Phrosty Muzak!
Turning a profit from my music has been nice.
Expect another CD in 2020!
I am growing as a person and gaining more independence.
As the Buddha said, "A jug fills drop by drop."
working the Banana Gangnam Style at Walmart
Enjoying a meal at Olive Garden with Jayne