Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Amy Winehouse Connection

This week’s news about Amy Winehouse hit me hard.  I didn’t know this songbird personally, but I've been a huge fan ever since I heard "Frank", her brilliant, eclectic debut CD. I couldn't believe this big, honest, soulful sound was coming out of this tiny girl from London - who looked nothing like me:)  

Over the years, I've remained a fan. I cheered in 2008 when she swept the Grammys and  showed 'em she was the real deal.  And yes, like the rest of the world, I grooved and sang "No, No, No" when she belted out her personal story on 'Rehab'.  I watched on pins & needles with other fans as she struggled with her addiction too. And like so many others, I was hopeful that she would conquer her demons.  She didn't.... Damn.  

My heart goes out to the Winehouse family.  Her mom and dad buried their 27-year-old daughter this week. How sad is that?  I didn't know Amy, but unfortunately I know her story all too well.  I guess you could say she and I had a connection....  Maybe that's why I was so troubled by her death.

Addiction is real in my family and I hate it. I've seen too many loved ones fight this battle, give up, try again, recover, keep trying, etc.  Some have been successful and others are still struggling.  

I don't always understand it, but it's not my place (or anyone's place) to judge them. Addiction is a sickness; an illness that should be treated and viewed as such. No one in their right mind would ever laugh or be insensitive about someone who died as a result of cancer, so why do it when someone dies from the result of drug abuse?

Addiction is not a joke. It's not funny. Trust me, it ain't pretty. For those who have experienced it or who have loved ones in the midst of the storm, we know it's painful.  For those of you who haven't experienced it, be thankful.  

For me, Amy's death was a reminder of the thousands of people who are struggling with addiction, and the families & friends who love them despite of it.  It reminded me that 

people are human and sometimes they don't always make the best decisions. It doesn't mean they're stupid or crazy. They're just human.

So, to those who stand in judgement of Amy and others, I encourage you to keep on living.  Give it some time. Let life throw some stuff at you that you didn't expect.  Let life knock you down.  And when it does (and it will), remember Amy Winehouse. Think about the jokes you shared, the heartless comments about her death and your lack of compassion.  Remember her.

Her music, her talent, and her life were gifts. Her contributions to this world were plentiful and powerful. She was only here a short time, but her memory (that voice!) and her influence will live on and on...  R.I.P. Amy.  Damn.      

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Life Lessons From My Dog, Kopper (AKA “Boom-Boom”, “Puchi”)

Technically, I’m a pet owner.  In reality, it’s my dog’s world and I just live in it!  She makes me scratch my head in disbelief sometimes (she takes the word “Diva” to a whole other level!). She can be annoying, she's uber-cute, she can be sweet, but most of all, she cracks me up daily.  I learn a lot from this little 10 lb, four-legged, furry human….

Don’t Take Life Too Seriously -
In her world, when something doesn’t work out,  she gets up, moves on and starts chewing on something new.  Makes sense, right?  Keep it moving….

If You Love Someone, Show ‘em!
 - Don’t be stingy with love.  My little Boom-Boom  loves me to death (and vice-versa).  She showers me with love daily.  And I have to admit, it makes me feel great.... 

Sometimes, You Just Gotta Be a Diva –
Kopper loves to be pampered, hates to be cuddled and would rather dine on treats, than a full-course meal.  Call her diva, but she knows what she wants, when she wants it and she doesn’t care what anyone says about it. Bam! :) 

Trust Your Gut! – Kopper knows within 5 minutes if she’s gonna have a positive or negative vibe with someone.  If she warms up to you fast, chances are, you’re good people.  If not, oh well….it’s been real.  I’m not THAT anal, but paying close attention to that little voice (your gut feeling) will save you a lot of time, heartbreak, headaches, etc.  Trust me…

Work With What You Got!
– My dog has the most hideous under-bite you’ve ever seen in your life.  In addition to her under-bite, she’s missing a few teeth.  Her smile is a to say the least!  But, you know what?  When she walks into a room, she owns it. Head high and full of confidence!

Rest: Get You Some – Listen, you can’t conquer the world if you’re dead tired.  Even Jesus rested on the seventh day, so get those Zzzz’s in.  Side Note: I don’t sleep nearly as much as my Puchi. She’s a diva and requires at least 10-12 hours a day....or else. 
Kopper & Willie (her Boo)