Friday, May 1, 2009

Greg Page (Thanks, Jack!)

Today's topic is Greg Page.

I'm picturing some of you groaning. I know some people are anti-Wiggles.

But I like them....a LOT.

I like their music.

I like the idea of men getting degrees in early childhood education.

Greg is the yellow one; the one who left and was replaced.

I always thought he sort of looked like one of my friends in college: Nick Johns from Nottingham. Nick had lighter hair, but his face reminded me of Greg's.

All right.

Onto Lord Wiki.

Page was born on 16 January 1972. He's ten months older than me.

Birthday website time!

He's a Capricorn and a 9. That's all I'm going to say. I'm not in the mood for astrology today. (hey, that rhymes!)

Greg Page was born in Sydney.

There's not much about his childhood here.

He went to Macquarie University along with the red and blue Wiggles. Adam Hills went there too. Hills is only two years older so they might have been there at the same time. They had different majors though; the Wiggles were Early Childhood and Hills was communication.

I don't have a degree in Early Childhood Education although I get confused and tell people I do. That sounds really dumb. And it is actually. I'll explain.

I don't like lying and work very hard not to do it. But I ACCIDENTALLY lied about that one.

What happened is I got Master's Degree at Bank Street University in New York. My degree was something generic like teaching. I didn't get any specialized early childhood degree. But when I did my student teaching, it was with three/four year-olds. And when I got my first job, it was with the same age group. I think also most of the classes, I chose to take, were related to young children. I FELT like my degree was in early childhood.

Later I moved to Texas. When I was job-searching I put on my resume that I have a degree in early childhood education. I actually thought this is what I had. The snobby prestigious preschool director was so impressed with this. She promoted me as soon as possible. Later, I realized my mistake and felt very ashamed about it. I didn't come forward though. I mean technically I don't have a early childhood degree. But for all intents and purposes, that's pretty much what I have.

You know though...Now that I'm a parent, I think I DO have a degree in Early Childhood Education. I think ALL parents do. I've learned so much more from parenting Jack than I did in any fancy graduate school class.

Sometimes when we tell people Jack is homeschooled, they give us this look. They're not pleased. They're disturbed. They look at us like we're horrible parents making irresponsible decisions. Then we quickly add that I have a teaching degree. A MASTERS degree. Suddenly, these people look relaxed and impressed. Okay, you have a teaching degree. Well, that's totally fine then! It's so silly though. The teaching degree barely taught me anything. I think I've learned so much more by being a parent, watching other parents, doing independent research, etc.

Back to Page.

Lord Wiki doesn't say much.

Page was a huge Elvis fan. He has the fourth largest Elvis Memorabilia in the world. Or he HAD. He donated his treasures to a museum in Parkes New South Wales. I wonder why. Was he being generous; realized that he should share? Or did he lose interest in Elvis?

On 30 November 2006, Page announced that he would be leaving the Wiggles because of health issues. After a hernia operation, he had troubling symptoms. At first, it was believed he had a life-threatening illness. But then later, it turned out he had a non-deadly chronic disease called Orthostatic intolerance. I'll have to read about this. I'm sure ten minutes from now, the hypochondriac in me will be convinced I have it too.

The disease is pretty much an intolerance to standing up. The symptoms are sometimes relieved by sitting down. A few years ago, I WOULD have believed I had this. I used to HATE standing. Walking is fine, but just standing.... No way. I would see people in jobs where you have to stand all day. I couldn't understand how they do it. I still do have intolerance to standing, but not as bad.

The hypochondriac in me is REALLY coming out. I gotta read more.

Crap. I really can relate to this. One of the symptoms is intolerance to heat. That's totally me. I hate standing in the heat. I mean I know everyone hates it. But when I'm with other people, I feel they're doing a better job at handling it than me.

Holy shit. I just found the name of what happened to me once during my childhood. I was at Sunday School in the kitchen. Suddenly, I heard this ringing in my ear. It was really loud and scary. I remember I could barely hear anyone. Then everything started turning white. I remember feeling sick, terrified and embarrassed. I could still see a little and made my way to a drinking fountain. Then everything went back to normal. It happened to me once more as an adult. I think at the DMV maybe? I don't remember what happened though. Maybe I got a drink again? Or maybe it just went away on it's own. Anyway, Lord Wiki says this is called a Vasovagal episode. It sometimes leads to fainting, but not always.

Anyway, that's one of the symptoms of Page's disease. But I won't convince myself I have the disease since it happened to me only a few times. I can relate to some of the other symptoms too though. Who knows......

All right. I'm done with Lord Wiki. Let me go find some other websites.

Here's his official website. It's very purple. Is that appropriate? Shouldn't it be yellow? Well, yellow would be hard to see. But they could have done yellow with a black background.

Most of the front page of the website is about the Orthostatic Intolerance. Page has his own fund set up.

He has non-Wiggle albums. You can listen to parts of songs here. I think I like his children's stuff better.

There's really not much on the website.  There's links to stuff about the disorder.

I'll move onto something else.

Page has good-bye video on the Wiggles website. He talks about his medical problems, thanks his fans, and then hands the yellow shirt to Sam. I wonder how Page spends his time now. I mean I can imagine he's too sick to go traveling around the world, dancing, wiggling, jumping, and singing. But it doesn't seem like a disease where you're bed-ridden. Is he able to keep busy? Does he feel fulfilled? Does he miss his old life, or is it nice to just relax?

I hope he's okay.

I hope he's happy....now that he's chosen this. I hope it brings him bliss.....

This blogger links to a video interview of Page talking about OI and other stuff.

He owns one of Elvis' Cadillacs.

His love for Elvis is like my love for Australia. Although I have not bought Australia's Cadillac.

He talks about how the symptoms come and go. I can relate to that. I have times where I feel fine...healthy. Then I have other months where almost everyday I feel bad.

He mentions being short of breath. It's funny because that happened to me last weekend. We were walking with my sister's family...nothing strenuous. I was out of breath. I jokingly assured my sister that I DO exercise. I'm usually fine. She joked back that maybe I was just excited to be with her.

Anyway, Page talks about how, before he was diagnosed, he thought maybe the out-of-breath symptom just meant he was out of shape. Yeah. How could any Wiggle ever be considered out of shape? I can't imagine. They jump and dance so much. It looks exhausting to me!

He talks about how it's frustrating to feel horrible, go to the doctor, and then be told you're perfectly healthy.

When I went to the doctor in March, I talked about some of my symptoms. I got a blood test for my thyroid. I waited worriedly to get a phone call from them. I never did. I felt relieved. I don't have a disease! I'm healthy. But then a few days later, my happiness bubble popped. I realized that I don't have a disease, but I still have the symptoms. So, it really isn't good news after all.

Page is the youngest Wiggle. I never realized that.

He describes the test for OI. It's a tilt table test. They strap you to a table and make you stand perfectly still; then wait to see how long it takes you to pass out. Yikes! And I thought the glucose tolerance test was awful.

I don't think I want to be diagnosed with this thing.

I don't want to do that test.

The disorder is a problem with the automatic nervous system. There's problems with regulating heart rate, digestive system, blood pressure, temperature regulation.

If I do have this, it would explain SO much.

Page seems like a really sweet guy. I mean I'm just going by what I see on the video. He could be a total ass. But on the video he seems nice. And I always thought he seemed nice when I watched The Wiggles.

At the end of the interview, they tell Page he looks good, but quickly add how that's frustrating to hear when you're feeling bad.

I think that's one of the rudest things we do to each other. Someone says they're feeling bad and we say You look great!

I know we sometimes mean well. We're trying to say, Hey. I know you feel like crap. But don't worry. You still look good. You're holding yourself together very well.

But I think it often comes out sounding like. What do you mean you feel like crap? You look perfectly fine. Get over yourself. Stop complaining.

During the interview, Page talks about donating money so a cure can be found for the disorder. I don't know. I think if I have this thing, I have a much milder case than Page. So I can't really go on my own experience. I understand it can be debilitating I think it's very sad that he had to give up his career. BUT I think there are so much worse diseases out there. If I'm giving money to disease-cure-charities, I don't think it's going to be that one. I just think my priorities lean elsewhere. I mean it would be nice if ALL diseases could be cured...if no one had to feel like crap. I just think that first we should cure the really horrific diseases--Cystic Fibrosis, AIDS, Neurofibromatosis, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.

I'm not saying people with OI don't deserve sympathy. I think they do! I'm not into my-disease-is-worse-than-yours-so-you-have-no-right-to-complain. I think that is complete bullshit. I just don't know if OI needs a cure. I see it more as something you live with and deal with.  Do what you can to manage the symptoms.

That being said though......

It might be easy to say that for Greg. He's a Wiggle. I'm sure he has millions and millions of dollars. He can afford to retire and relax. If you're not wealthy and need to work, it might be more of a problem.

I think the term cure though is misleading. It gives this image of taking one pill and the disease disappearing. Has any disease out there truly been cured? I think mostly it's about prevention and controlling symptoms. Diabetes hasn't been cured, but we have ways to control it. Most victims can live a fairly long and active life, but they have to make a lot of lifestyle changes. There's no magic pill you can take to make your diabetes go away. I don't think there ever will be.

When I first got involved with Cystic Fibrosis in the late 1980's, the prognosis was pretty awful. I think it was 50% of kids wouldn't live past their teenage years. Now the lifespan is thirty years. That's not great, but it's improving. I'd frequently get mailings from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation promising a cure. I used to believe in it. But now I don't. I don't think there will ever be a magical cure for CF. There will just be better and better treatments. I bet one day, there lifespan will be much closer to normal. Maybe they might live into their seventies. But I bet they'll have to take daily medications, do therapies, etc.

I'm going to look at Google News now; see what's happening to Mr. Yellow who is no longer yellow.

He's having a baby! His girlfriend is the mother. Page split up with his wife last year.

This article talks about how he performed in 2008 as a non-Wiggle. He had to be careful because of his health; not over strain himself.

I like what he says here, I'm not doing any of this to get sympathy at all. I don't want sympathy, I don't deserve sympathy. I've had a great life and I will still have a great life.

I still think he deserves sympathy. I think we ALL deserve sympathy. But he doesn't need pity. I agree with him. He has had a fabulous life and I think he will continue to have very happy times.

I just realized this whole post is pretty much about his disease. I forgot to do research on his actual career. I'm going to return to Lord Wiki for that.

Anthony Field (the blue one) was in a band with his brother and Jeff Fatt (the purple one). It was called The Cockroaches. Field's brother's baby daughter died of SIDS. The tragedy caused the group to disband. Field then went to Uni where he did early childhood education with Page and Murray Cook. As we can guess, being male put them in a minority. Most of the students were women.

The group did a music project for their classes. They then produced their first album and dedicated it to Field's niece.

They decided they needed a keyboardist so Field contacted his old Cockroach bandmate. That's how Jeff Fatt became a Wiggle.

And the rest is history. That's code for this post is long enough and I'm ready to quit. I'll talk about their career on another day. I'm going to add another Wiggle to my list. Maybe Anthony. He's very sexy.


For now......

I'll leave you with my favorite Wiggles song.




9 comments:

Jeff D'Antonio said...

I like the Wiggles. As a man who's not afraid to stand up and make a fool of himself in public, I have a lot of respect for other men who are willing to do the same - it takes balls :). These guys were just the first to figure out how to make ridiculous amounts of money that way...

And I agree with you that all parents have a degree in early childhood education. You learn as you go. You don't need to have a degree to teach your children. They learn by watching us, whether we like it or not. And as far as homeschooling goes, I've met many home schooled kids, and they always seem to be the most well rounded, well adjusted, and well educated kids. You don't need a teaching degree to accomplish that, you just need to love your kids enough to know what works for them and what doesn't. So kudos to you, from one teacher to another.

Jeff

Dina said...

Jeff,

Thanks : )

I like people who are not afraid to make fools of themselves in public.

I agree with you about the homeschooling stuff.

materix01 said...

I love the wiggles. Jeff has always been my favourite. Do shout wake up Jeff when they ask you to? I'm sure even some adults will ^^

I see Jeff every now and again when he makes guest appearances on ABC's popular music quiz show, Spicks and Specks. Whilst I think home school kids are very well educated and extremely polite, I think that everything has it's downsides. With homeschool kids, they arn't exposed to the bad influences of other kids. But in the same way, they lack the contact and social skills acquired through contact with people their own age. One of my best friends was homeschooled until she was 13 and she seems perfectly normal but I don't know about homeschooling sometimes. I know a person who left highschool and has been homeschooled for her complete highschool life and she seems strange sometimes. She can communicate just as well as anyone online but her behaviour can be strange at times.

Andrew said...

Is it wrong to think lustful thoughts about members of the Wiggles when watching a Wiggle DVD with a niece?

Dina said...

Materix01:

Yes, some homeschooled kids are VERY weird. And some private and public school kids are very weird as well. I'm one of them! I did twelve years of public school. I was never homeschooled. I'm weird and often socially adept.

Think of all the kids you know at school. Can you tell me that every single one of them is happy, well-rounded, and has good social skills? Are there no kids at your school that are little awkward? A little lonely?

Andrew: Not at all! At least I hope not. I lust after the Wiggles sometimes. And the worst for me was The Upside Down Show. I was having all kinds of impure thoughts while watching that...

traceyleigh said...

I saw the Cockroaches live many many years ago! And my boss (from my last job) played with them/knew them as well. :-)

I didn't realise Greg was that young. Geoff is the oldest apparently.

Both of my kids went through big Wiggles phases. They were relatively new still when Molly liked them and of course huge by the time Tara came along. I love their success, built on appealing to kids worldwide in a simple and fun way.

Dina said...

Tracey,

I miss you!!!!

Greg seems older to me. I don't know why. Maybe because he's kind of the leader??? Or at least he seemed to be.

Anonymous said...

Love The Wiggles, always liked Greg the best it's just not the same without him, nowhere near as funky!

Dina said...

Anonymous,

I haven't seen much of the non-Greg stuff yet....

But I'm sure it's not the same without him.