full circle

. . .from an upward battle of struggles and emotions to a journey of healing, growth, and laughter. . .


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in stereo

i actually got up early yesterday, lol. i went to brunch with a friend/mentor and then ended up working on my song for eight hours. a new song, you ask? no, not a new song. the song i recorded last week. i was going to work on condensing the two verses but discovered that we recorded a couple of the parts out of order, so following along was a task in mending the out-of-sync. so, i ended up re-recording (for follow along purposes only) the entire song, complete with strings. and i taught myself how to use the fader, yeah! and then i edited out some of the extra parts the song could do without. but i really struggled with condensing the verses, because increasing the tempo made it sound funny and i didn’t want to cut out any lyrics (although, i am still considering whether i can tell the original story in four fewer lines). i worked on the song at my computer and piano continuously until i realized that i was running late for the stereophonics show, i hadn’t eaten dinner, and i would probably miss the opening band. so, i grudging left my song and got ready for the show.

i figured i would get to the commodore just in time to see stereophonics go on, which would be perfect because then i wouldn’t have to stand around by myself (i’m getting tired of going to bar shows alone). i didn’t care about the opening band this time. . . kinda hard to care when they don’t tell you who it is. . . i was even debating whether to go at all, because i was so tired. well, i got to the commodore, and the opening band was still playing. that sucked for waiting around time, but the band was pretty good. . . people in planes from wales. . . in fact, so good that i’ll be getting their cd. . . yup, that good. . .

i’m glad i went. stereophonics kept the energy level high at all times, kicking off the show with ‘the bartender and the thief’, an old fave i had forgotten about [the black crowes could take lessons]. they actually played a lot of old songs [the black crowes could take lessons]. my only complaint wasn’t even about the show… it was that there was an unusually high number of tall people there… and with my flats [i took a lesson from the black crowes show], i was just too short, from every angle of the commodore (yes, i moved around A LOT). i finally decided to go back up to the front and managed to find the perfect niche for the rest of the show. i must admit, despite being a fan, i was pleasantly surprised with their performance. and their fans adore them. that was great, to see so many people so excited to see them play, singing along. i’ll forgive the tall ones this time.

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barefoot on chilly concrete

that is how i stood for an hour and a half last night until they finally played a song from their first album: ‘jealous again’ from the 1990 album ‘shake your money maker’. and that was it. yep, after two hours, i walked away in my stilettos with cold (and slightly dirty) feet, incredibly disappointed. they didn’t even play ‘she talks to angels’ during the encore. tsk. tsk. tsk.

i had shown up early enough to catch the opening band… can you call a two-piece a band? one guitarist and one drummer. i was confused throughout the entire set, trying to hear a song without bass, a band without bass. i still don’t get it? how can you write a song without bass? well, apparently, this greasy cowboy does it. although, he wasn’t quite a cowboy, because he didn’t have a cowboy hat or cowboy boots [yes, that is how i define ‘em], but he was definitely southern. a greasy haired, skinny musician wearing a bolo tie [yeah, i had to google to find the right name], he looked like a friend of ponyboy in ‘the outsiders’. but, he was definitely a performer, and i was moderately entertained.

as we waited for the main event, the sweet smell of incense wafted through the air. when the time came, the crowd immediately stood up and then rushed to the stage. now, what was the point of paying good money for a second row seat at the orpheum if all the knucklehead fans were going to get in front of me? WTF! and what about the standing up? i was mortified when i realized that everyone was going to stand for the entire concert… mortified because i was wearing stilettos! i was in the second row; how could i have predicted that we’d be standing up?

i took the damn (but sexy) stilettos off after two songs. and that is how i ended up barefoot on chilly concrete. for the entire concert. i figured that hearing ‘she talks to angels’ would make my cold feet worth it. well, we already know the ending to that story. hmph.

they all looked like freakin hippies with their long hair and matching long beards; although, they really looked more like geico cavemen. and man, chris [robinson, the singer] looked old! but he sang his heart out, playing guitar during the odd song. he barely said a word to us, just a sheepish thanks now and then. but what was up with rich [robinson, guitarist, chris’s bro] and his stale stage presence? he looked like he was bored: a blank stare at those of us near the stage, and a frozen expression on his face… even when he sang lead on a song or two. i was truly shocked when they said goodbye—he actually smiled and waved. freaky.

the black crowes put on an energetic show. i just didn’t know any of the songs they sang. what can i say, i’m a fan from the (very) old days… can’t you tell?! 😉

(drawing, circa 1990ish, age 15ish)


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my friend roxy

well, it’s been tough being back… for a couple of reasons {you can do the math}. i’ve been on a real low since i returned. i have to admit, visiting hawaii has made me very much wanting to move back to sydney (if i had gone there, i wouldn’t have come back this time!).

last night, i decided to be part of local music scene history and forced my legs into my jeans, threw on my stiletto sandals, donned a sweater (i am so not in hawaii anymore), and headed to the roxy. my friend said they would be on at 9 pm, but even with standard musician time taken into account, they were on an hour late. but i didn’t mind so much, because i had my mike’s hard cranberry and the band before them were actually alright.

the last time my friend’s band played as a band with all the original members was the last time i saw them play, two years ago for his birthday gig at the roxy. i remember, because it was a week after i’d met T. i had stopped going to see my friends’ bands play while we were together. {don’t get me started}

so, while pieces of the roxy ceiling fell on me (no shit), i rocked out to my friend’s band and felt a little cheered up, especially when they played my favorite song, unsaid (i swear they played that song at the picadilly two years ago, but my friend likes to argue with me, lol), with hot drum tracks and all. their set was way too short for my liking.

it’s been awhile since i went to a gig on my own—reminds me how much i hate it and how much i miss T. but it does show you what i will do to support my friends.


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backstage at the backstage

two reasons why wearing my red stilettos tonight was a waste: 1. gran isle is not paved… it’s all sidewalk consisting of bricks (and a real boardwalk as you enter), and 2. my friend wasn’t worth my fabulous red stilettos, and i mean that in the nicest possible way. but, i wanted to look and feel sexy, so vanity and self-esteem took priority.

we ended up going to the backstage for a drink (and the best ever yam fries for me, yum…). and while i definitely had the opportunity to catch up with him properly this time (he wasn’t doing sound until later), the opportunity was missed. he spent the entire time venting about american politics. i was sorely disappointed – i wanted us to get the goss on what’s been going on in our lives over the past five years. and then next thing i know, he had to start setting up the band. we spent only an hour together (and does that even count if i was glazing over almost everything he said during his rant?), and then i spent the next 45 (yes, 45) minutes by myself waiting for him. i was so tired that i was falling asleep at the table! i had planned on staying for a little bit of the band (tribute bands – hendrix and doors), but i was beat. my friend finally came back, and i told him i was leaving. As we were saying goodbye, he said it was great to catch up, and i told him next time, less politics, more talk about me! but even as he told me to stay in touch, i knew i probably wouldn’t, not the way we used to stay in touch many, many years ago. it’s not like i’m gonna be hanging out with him and his wife (i have no interest in knowing her), so what’s the point? things have changed between us. they changed a long time ago. the friendship we used to have 15 years ago, even when i was overseas for three years (we had good times in germany), no longer exists. i wasn’t even sure why i had pursued catching up with him. something to do, maybe?

well, at least i got him out of my system (complicated) and the ‘night out’ over and done with for the weekend. and now i can go to bed early (and this is early for me for a friday night…haven’t you been reading my notes? lol) tomorrow is going to be a great day… i’m going to record more of my song and get my hair chopped off.


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party like a rockstar

i’m incredibly excited. yesterday, i actually started recording my song!!! AND, after having to review the 172-page getting started manual AND 576-page operational manual, i figured out how to import my four tracks and started mixing my song. omigod, thanks to my friend the other night, i knew what i was looking for and what i wanted to do. it was so cool!!!

i spent most of the afternoon on my song and didn’t think i would be going out again, because i did the friday night thing, and i was super tired. and then my phone said i had a voice mail the minute amber was off work at 4 pm saying i must be taking a nap {a nap? why hadn’t i thought of that?! lol} and to call her later because she was up for going out. who was i to say no, especially since i was the one trying to convince her the night before that we should go out? lol she made some calls and got us on four guest lists, so it was going to be a busy party night.

let me digress for a minute and tell you who amber is. we met two years ago at the buffalo club. for work, i had volunteered all day in the cold at arts county fair at ubc and then headed down to watch a then-friend’s gig. in his entourage was thomas and amber. i had ‘met’ thomas on myspace a day or two earlier, and i knew of amber from myspace, too. well, i met them both that night. and the rest, people say, is history.

amber and i hadn’t seen each other pretty much since that night. thomas had ‘liked’ to keep his friends separate, so i didn’t stay in touch with amber… then after the breakup, i wanted to go out and just forget about things… and while i wanted to distance myself from his crowd (too small a world the local music scene is), i knew amber, a fun party girl, was on his friends list on facebook, so i emailed her and we got back in touch.

four guest lists, you say? yup. amber apparently gets bored (we’re going to get along just fine), so she planned a club hopping evening for us. we started off at roxy burger to fuel up and then walked down to tunnel. haven’t heard of it? well, it just opened a week ago… and it’s actually the old PICADILLY!!!!!!! i was shocked. i had no idea it had closed down… my pseudo-bf when i was in university (the ‘old friend of mine’ from the friday night story) did sound there for years, i interviewed a band or two at that pub, and the last time i was there was for my friend’s gig (the friend from the studio session… keep up, lol). amber and i laughed about the picadilly as we sailed past the other people in line into the tunnel. it was still the same space, but the new club was more spacious: there were low tables and a couch along one mirrored wall and the bar along the opposite; the stage was replaced with a dance floor and a dj booth at the back. the washrooms, unfortunately for the girls, were still tiny, lol.

we got our drinks and proceeded to find our niche. we hung out, people watched, reminisced, laughed. i loved the music, and the crowd was decent (i.e. not young). i especially liked the addition of the bongos and sax to the dj. that was hot. the bongos brought a sexiness to the ambience. amber and i decided right there that was our new favorite place. when she moves downtown next month, we are definitely spending some quality time in the tunnel, lol.

well, since we had three other clubs to get to, we had to make our exit. we walked down to century, listened to the frenzied commotion, and decided to keep moving. we realized we didn’t have time to make it to all the clubs, so we skipped century and headed down to the red room, which i had not been to… or so i kept thinking. my friend from friday (no, amber, i’m not telling you who he is, lol) recently started doing sound there for bands, and i kept telling him i had never been there. well, when we got there, i realized i had actually been there twice, lol. both times with thomas – once when i met his brother for the first time (he was my age but acted like he was six – he pulled my hair and picked a fight with me {oh grow up, john}); the second, we saw kill rhythm. so i laughed at myself because all this time i thought i had never been there.

we waited patiently (too patiently, if you ask me) until the bouncers had finished denying the girls in front of us (hahahahahahahahaha). the other bouncer started talking to us, we bonded, and then he let us in because “he loves us”. 🙂

by the time we got there, the red room had finished with their bands (so my friend wasn’t there anymore), and the dancing was well under way. it was a harder beat than the tunnel, but i could definitely see myself dancing there. i say ‘see’ because neither amber nor i was in any shape to be dancing that night – she had hurt her back from a car accident, and i was wearing my other sexy stilettos. we people watched, walked around, but eventually the beat got into our bodies, and we danced a bit behind the dj booth (shhh, it’s a secret). we saw some interesting characters, including a white guy with an afro. {this pic’s for you, amber!} i like the red room – it’s a nice big space. but i definitely preferred tunnel for its music.

while we still had one guest list left at crush (oh, i used to love that place for its music and crowd… used to go there all the time a few years ago), we were both tired, so we decided to call it a night. we walked outside to get a couple of cabs, but there weren’t any around right away, so amber, agreeing to my bright idea, and i walked to look for one. next thing we knew, amber wanted to go back to tunnel just to see if we could get back in. well, being stars… i mean, having star stamps on our wrists, we floated back in. we took up our original spot {amber, DO NOT start talking about stiffler!}. i sat down and put my stiletto’d heels up on the table. ah, relief! my feet by now were killing me, and i mean KILLING me. i honestly don’t know how all those girls do it, especially the waitresses at tunnel. amber and i will have to plan one night where we just go to the red room wearing flats (and by ‘flats’, i mean my lovely new sporty shoes – i actually wore them to the commodore the other night – first time ever i wore runners to a bar, and it felt good! lol).

we stayed at tunnel just for a few minutes, then returned to our mission to find transport back home. while granville apparently is safer with the section cordoned off on weekends, finding a cab was ridiculous. we continued walking up granville (another stupid idea of mine), and we finally found amber a cab first because it was going in her direction. she told me to call her when i got home. i continued walking up granville and then veered off into the middle of the street. that was for amber.

i turned off and headed up to howe where i saw three cabs. but by the time i reached them (oh so slowly, as i was in some serious foot pain), they were gone. luckily, another one quickly pulled up. after i got in, i asked him where the best place was to get cabs, and he agreed with me that this new granville thing was stupid. cabs cannot get any access, which isn’t so good for most of the late night downtown patrons.

he dropped me off at my building. i finally made it up the steps to the front door. of course, the key turning the lock seemed to happen in such slow motion. i got in, mentally cheered myself on to make it up the last steps to my apartment door and then immediately realized that was a commendable but laughable goal. stilettos in hand, i ‘leisurely’ walked up the mountain of steps to my home and fell into bed.

i slept for two days, literally. i woke up only an hour ago, lol. party like a rockstar.