Friday, December 14, 2012

It's more than gun control... It's hate control.

I know I said this blog was done, but I can't not write tonight and this is my only medium.

In response to the tragic events of today that occurred in Connecticut where yet another gun related massacre occurred.

The outcry on social media is heavily favouring the ineffective American gun control laws as the culprit for such an occurrence and I cannot sit idly by and let that stand.

While I feel that yes, gun control is an issue, I also feel that raising children with values of non-violence, support and inclusion are issues too. Yes, Bill Maher, it's easy to say "Prayers and giving your kids hugs fixes nothing, only standing up to our [...] gun control culture will" but waging a war on gun control is only a tiny piece of the puzzle.

Teaching children compassion, love and consequence by example, showing them they are understood and accepted, and educating our new generation on how to work through and combat the selfish hate filled world we have spiraled into is not what I call "fixing nothing."

Children live what they learn, and I have been blessed enough to grow up with acceptance and understanding, not every child is lucky enough.

No matter where you live, getting a gun is easy if you want it bad enough. Yes, America's gun control laws are extremely inefficient, however making sure there is support for people who are bipolar, suffer from other mental issues and depression is just as important.

I understand we are taking it step by step, and gun control is the immediate gut reaction to a tragedy like this one in Connecticut and last weeks in Oregon. I feel that we need to take it a step further and address the issue of why these people felt mass murder was the answer, why shooting up a school or shopping mall was the only outlet for their feelings.

Yes, fight for stricter gun control in the United States, but please also fight for mental health and arts programs. As ironic as it is fight for non-violence and for love and a world with less hatred. Fight for support and conscience, both political and personal.

The fight starts with you and will, if you let it, change the world.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Dear Blog Followers. (aka my mom)

I am moving to a new blog site. One that I can customize better (although i have no idea how) and is a bit of a fresh start.

You can now find my ramblings at

The things I've written here might appear there from time to time, the ones I'm proud of anyways.

Please come find me over there, and tell your friends.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

What I Did On My Summer Vacation Part 1

The universe is a crafty mother-effer and no matter how many times I think I have my future pegged, my cards dealt, something comes along makes me play 52-pick-up. My whole life, I feel, has been this constant state of motion, never stagnant, never still, like the glacial rapids I used to drink from as a teen.

From the moment first started doubting my place in the world, a precocious and feisty ten-year-old, I started to assume that every person has their doubts and dreams and the universe can only look out for so many people. Why was I special? Why would I be any different than the thousands of people who believe they are special in the world.

Now, I'm not going to regale you with some bullshit about everyone having their path, and "The future belongs to those who believe" crap. Yeah sure, some successful broad somewhere said something that inspired someone to do something but that broad got just as lucky, or worked just as hard as everyone else out there. 

Being a privileged caucasian I can't ignore how lucky I am to live the life I lead. When I say privileged I mean having access to clean water and a roof over my head, in no way do I mean monetarily wealthy or tangibly rich. At the same time though I hustle my ass off for the life I lead, as pauper-esque as it may be. 

Now, no matter how many times I get kicked in the proverbial balls, I find theres always a painful or nauseating lesson to be learned by the nut-punch I've just been dealt. Hard lessons are the way I've lived my life and I've gotten my fair share, from my relatively screwed up family situation, my random and unfortunately hilarious health problems, to my early ejection from childhood idealism and fucked up stories of love and loss. 

The upside to being bashed in the face repeatedly by my fairy-god-bitch is that there always seems to be something amazing and beautifully connected that comes along and takes away all the pain, turns me upside down and forces me to see the silver lining in the world at large. Bitch though she may be, my guardian case worker throws me a lot of bones.

After parting ways with what I now see as a completely insecure, manipulative emotional trainwreck I had to deal with being alone again. I had lost my friends. I had lost my music. I had lost my spark. I had lost myself. I now knew I was capable not only of loving someone, but of being loved, a concept I had never fully grasped in the past. 

Most of my friends had abandoned me, most of my work leads had moved on, most of my happiness had been drained, I had thrown myself into what little work I could find loading gear and running tech errands for a small production company I worked for off and on. Lamenting to my friend Ashton in Michigan how much being in Vancouver feels alien to me and the city I had thought of as home didn't feel like it anymore. The road, we agreed, feels more like home than anything else we'd encountered. 

Luckily a barrage of work hit me in the last few weeks, twenty hour day after twenty hour day hauling and pushing gear. My new roomates never saw me for more than a minute or so here and there. It was great because it kept my mind off some things that had been bothering me recently.

My hostile personality and adventurous spirit had alienated many of what I had considered good friends away from me. My absences on the road and locked in a controlling relationship had allowed other people to fill in my spot in my social circles, and my friends to forget why they had me around in the first place. I stopped getting phone calls for gang vocal sessions with friends who would have normally called me up first. Success in some of my friends lives, as deserved as it was, had pulled them away from me and they were now socializing with a more "elite" group of individuals. The "scene" had struck while I was away and I called "Bullshit" and was suddenly excommunicated.

So when roused from sleep at nine AM one Sunday morning, groggy and sleep deprived as usual, I was eager still to head to work and forget. A brief break in the day then sent me at the very last second to do a load in at a club for a few bands. I arrived uncharacteristically late, sweaty and generally looking like a pile of shit. The universe was kind of being a dick.

Until moments later...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

White Folding Chairs

In white folding chairs, we begin.
Parents pace, and wonder.
In chairs made of metal and plastic.

In folding chairs that hurt our backs
We grow, we see, we learn
In chairs that define our place

In white folding chairs we succeed
Mentors celebrate and rejoice
The chairs that lead to our future

In chairs with arms and deadlines
We work and prioritize our lives
Chairs that demand of our time

With White folding chairs, we dance
And bind our two young souls
The chairs that waltz around us

In chairs of Oak, we plead
We bargain from every angle
The chairs that we don’t own

In white folding chairs, we wait
I pace, and I wonder
About the chairs that you grace.

In chairs of Leather and hair
We reflect upon the years
Chairs that will embrace us

In white folding chairs, I watch,
The tears soak my lashes
The chairs that take you away

White folding chairs. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

"We don't want to hire a girl."

Well, sexism is alive and well in 2011 and while most of you will scoff and say "Hells No" it's very much a reality.

I'm a lighting tech, a backline tech, I dabble in tour managing and assisting, and I'm also a merch girl. I have experience fixing and maintaining guitars, and if you asked me nicely, I could tune your drum kit. I'm good at what I do, I'm proud of what I do, and I love doing it.

Here's the catch. I'm a girl.

There was a 1 in 2 chance that I would be born a boy, and hell, it looks like i drew the short straw. Don't get me wrong, I love being a woman. It has its perks, but I chose to work in rock and roll, silly me, and in my case the drawbacks far outweigh the perks. It's hard.

It's really hard to be a woman in rock and roll, not because boys are smelly, not because it's hard work, or the gear is heavy, or any of those stupid things.

People judge me before they meet me. I can get fired from a job without having worked a day, or without even meeting the band. I can be denied opportunities and employment based soley on my gender. Despite my skills and professionalism I often will be sent to the bottom of the pile of candidates for almost any position in music. I have to work twice as hard to prove I'm as good as a male half as good as me.

If I'm even remotely loud or direct I apparently come off as a bitch, whereas a male counterpart is taking charge. If I talk to a male in another band or crew, I'm flirting not talking, and of course, I can't lift anything because my womanly arms aren't strong enough.

While at home, I work for a sound production company. Whenever I walk into a venue with my boss, the clients always assume he's my father. At first this struck me as odd, since he's still fairly young, and not quite old enough to be my dad. When I asked a client why they thought he was my father, they responded with "Well, why else would he have hired you." No joke.

I was able to spin the situation in my favour, and now I jokingly refer to my boss as Dad on a regular basis, and it actually helps keep the creepy roadies from hitting on me while I'm trying to work.

So, with the help of the internet, I have posted this list for all touring bands and managers that refuse to hire a girl on their crew.

1. I kick ass at my job, and I take pride in a job well done.

2. I don’t want to fuck you

3. I don’t want to fuck any of the band or crew

4. You can tell your wives/girlfriends that

5. I don’t care who you fuck

6. I don’t care who any of the band/crew fuck

7. I wont tell your wife/girlfriend THAT

8 . I leave my personal life at home.

9. I don’t need any more privacy on the bus than you do

10. I won’t cry if I can’t get a shower everyday

11. I won’t cry if there is no mirror on the bus

12. I wont turn into an evil bitch when I get my period (that’s YOUR girlfriend) and yes I can still do my job and you probably wouldn’t even know

13. I have seen dicks before

14. I know what groupies are there for (duh)

15. I have seen/heard about EVERY sexual act performed in the dressing room/back lounge

16. I have seen/heard EVERYTHING you think a woman shouldn’t know about "the boys club"

17. I am and can be "one of the boys" (in fact, I’m probably more of a dude than some of the band)

18. I like guys, but I’m here to work, not to flirt.

19. I’m perfectly capable of lifting things on my own. If I need help lifting something I’ll ask for it.

20. I am a HUMAN BEING.

Please add here any other things that would prevent you from hiring a woman.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Dad Could Beat Up Your Dad

To many, "Hallmark Holidays" like Valentines Day and Administrative Assistants Day can get overlooked, and in some cases it may not be a detriment, but I know very few people who pass over Mothers Day as though it were an option. Phone calls are made, bouquets are bought, and little hands work furiously gluing on macaroni to household objects. Mothers Day is a biggie, everyone has one, whether she's a step-mom (mines awesome!) a grandmother, or someone else, and everyone makes the effort to let "Mom" know shes appreciated.

Mothers Day to me isn't that big a deal, while I'm lucky enough to still have my mother, years of misunderstandings and family turmoil have pushed us apart. I still make a phone call every May, and send a card to an important woman in my life, but to me, Fathers Day is what really matters.

Call me a Daddy's Girl, I won't deny it. In fact, I'll be the first to admit that my dad and I are really close. It wasn't always this way, but sometimes I think that it's really how it needed to be. It took me a while to realize how similar I am to my Dad, and how the things I though divided us were really the things that united us and made us even closer and how my Dad is really one of the best people in the entire world.

My father, was the first person I looked at, ever. He tells me that I looked up at him with giant eyes and he was already proud of me. This man, became the greatest man I will ever know, just like that. There are little things that a girl needs her daddy for, someones got to teach her how to ride a bike, someones got to buy her her first guitar and someones got to be the one to say "Yes" when Mom said "No." My Dad taught me how to use my voice, how to sing what I feel and how to speak my mind. He taught me how to write, whether it be songs, or essays or facebook updates, there is a little bit of my Dad in my prose.

I was lucky, because my Dad, he taught me how to cook. If my mother's culinary skills were the only example I had, I would have starved by now. Thanks to my Dad, I make the BEST grilled cheese sandwich known to man. My Dad, also taught me about politics, the politics of right and wrong, the politics of social dynamics and the politics of our country. He's probably the smartest person I know, and was always encouraging me to ask questions and he'd always answer so I understood.

My ultimate protector (My Dad COULD beat up your Dad), my greatest inspiration, and the best cheering squad I could ask for. He really is my one man back up band, and I am "Daddy's Little Roadie" and together we are a dream team.

The best part about my Dad, is that he admits when he's wrong, and he's humble. He doesn't boast about frivolous things and is my example for humility and keeping things in perspective. My father is a global thinker, and I'm lucky that his thoughts have rubbed off on me. He's never told me that I can't do something, he sees me running down a hundred different career paths, and has never told me that I have to choose just one. My Dad lives for the moment, and today, and encourages me to do the same.

When I opened my eyes for the first time, and looked into that face of his, I wonder if he knew, 24 years later how proud I'd be to call him Dad.

Happy Fathers Day


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Sorry, I Don't Talk Politics"

In my recent initiative to encourage Canadians to cast their ballots, I've started many a public, political debate. In coffee shops, pubs, restaurants and street corners (and it's only been 3 days!). Many attempts at political discussion have been met with replies of "Sorry I don't talk politics in public" which is a handy and polite way of getting out of a discussion. Unfortunately, it's only one in every three people I meet that are actually willing to even talk about talking politics, and I feel like maybe "I don't talk politics" is code for "I don't understand politics."

So I decided to conduct a little experiment, I took to the streets of Vancouver and asked citizens a few basic questions about Canadian Politics.

Out of 100 people questioned on the street, 44% were aged 30 and under, 31% were aged 30-50, and 25% were age 50 and above.

When asked how many political parties we had in Canada 62% of citizens responded with 4, commonly siting the Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP and a fluctuating response of Green Party or Marijuana Party as the 4th selection. Only 2% responded that we had 17 registered political parties, while 24% responded with 5, Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, Green Party and Marijuana Party, and 12% responded with 3, Liberals, NDP and Conservatives.

When asked who the most recent Prime Minister was before Stephen Harper 76% of Vancouverites questioned responded with Paul Martin while 24% responded with Jean Chretien.

Just for fun, when asked the name of the Spouse of The Prime Minister 18% answered correctly, while 82% didn't know. When asked the name of President Obama's wife 100% responded correctly with Michele.

While I'm not a fan of numbers, my curiosity got the better of me and I sat down with my calculator and broke down my statistics into age groups.

For question one, 80% of 18-30 year olds believed there to be 4 political parties in Canada and for 42% of 18-30 year olds surveyed believed Jean Chretien to be the last Prime Minister of Canada before Harper. As for the first name of Mrs.Harper, 5% of 18-30 year olds responded correctly, which means 95% of the 44, 18-35 year olds questioned didn't know her name was Laureen.

With a such a startling report card, it's no wonder young people don't talk politics. Most of my generation skipped a Prime Minister, and forgot about at least one Political Party.

I haven't conducted a formal survey of our understanding of elections and the electoral process, but from my discussions with peers over the last few days I can tell you that many 18-30 year olds don't understand where their vote goes, how it affects the process or even how to vote. Many people still feel voting is an inconvenience and a hassle to do, when really all you need is a piece of ID to prove who you are, a piece of official mail to prove where you live if it differs from your ID, or someone to vouch for you to say you are who you say you are, like a roommate or friend.

One thing we have learned is how to disassociate ourselves from politics, and boy do our leaders like that. With a lack of civics classes in schools, and a brief glance over the electoral process and politics in most junior high Social Studies classes, by the time we are eligible to vote, we’ve either forgotten everything we knew in sixth grade, or we have no clue about our government. Our main concern of should be teaching young voters how to utilize the power of their ballot, the function of our government and how to make the changes they wish to see. This is the first step in implementing change in our democratic system and it’s time to close the gap and let our politicians know that we’re here and we want change!

To those that say, “I don’t talk politics” I say, “Talk!” Involve each other in government, via discussion, talk about politics, teach politics and challenge yourself to learn politics!