potty talk

every time i think of my life as in the toilet or as an actual toilet, i will recall this story and i think i will feel alright. it's important to put poo-pooing into perspective.


why c-38 made me cry

in my car on my way home just now, i heard a radio dj report on the historic vote that took place on the Hill tonight: 158 mps voted in favour of c-38, 133 were opposed. and i cried.

the tears were spontaneous, sweet and brief. they were the first i've shed regarding this particular issue. ever.

so here's a shot at some of the reasons why i cried upon hearing about the safe passage of c-38 tonight:

- it kinda snuck up on me. tonight represents the culmination of months of nail-biting as the bill made its way through the parliamentary process: tabling, wrangling, 1st and 2nd reading. but it's been a longer time coming than even that. i have known people working diligently on this issue for as long as i have been an activist. if i had a mini sob tonight, i imagine some of those folks are doing some full-on bawling.

- emotions have been kept at bay on this one. i have attempted, like so many others, to maintain a demeanor of calmness as this thing actually became more and more a possibility, lest our (irrational) fervor for justice weaken the credibility of our position.

- my tears were quiet thanks to the politicians and other Important People who very publicly braved the bullets of hatred and bigotry fired repeatedly by angry zealots.

- i sit in awe of the unyielding efforts of my peers among equality movements that have resulted in such an historic victory.

but here's the real kicker. i'm not sure my tears were over equal marriage at all. obviously, i'm elated and relieved and all that. seriously. but i think i became suddenly overcome with pride (no pun intended). pride that canada is the kind of place where this could happen, making us only the 3rd country in the world to allow same-sex marriage. pride that even within such dangerous proximity to the fanatical religious right that is driving the usa, we still somehow manage to go our own way up here, choosing paths closer to equality.

tonight reminded me that we are in one of the coolest places on the planet in terms of advancing the ideals of justice and equality. sometimes it's easy to forget how far we've come. the wins of the past feel, all too often, distant or abstract. but every once in awhile, like tonight, we get to experience the taste of victory. up close and personal. and winning is fucking delicious.

so i cried because for a second, i believed that maybe what we do is not always in vain. that even though we're up against some rich and religious and powerful shit, we are right. i'm glad i skipped the celebration scheduled on the Hill tonight, where i could have watched the vote with ndp friends and raised a glass to this amazing milestone. victory really is sweet, but profound moments of hope for a cynical activist are even sweeter. and i savoured mine better alone.

conditioners and detanglers

rick mercer bought the domain name for jason kenney and first directed the link to the marxist leninist party of canada, now to egale. pretty fucking funny. it may only be a week old, but it looks like his blog might develop a real cult following. just like the man himself has. what a quick wit, our rick. could he be our very own jon stewart? c'mon, being a newfoundlander is akin to being jewish... and monday report is as slick as the daily show, no? ok ok, mercer's gay and stewart is married and making babies. and maybe mercer's brash in-your-face style commentary is not exactly the smooth and visually comedic delivery that makes stewart sexy. but lovable they both are. and smart. and slick. and necessary beacons in the shady spin zone that is the news media.

some people have a hard time comprehending this new category of pop culture that straddles comedy and commentary, calling it irresponsible or disinegenuous. these are probably the same people who think marg delahunty was a recurring security breach. but it's not so much new as it is huge. it is the modern version of vox populi.

more with-it communications people get that loud mouths like mercer and stewart are valuable contributors to the overall discourse, that a massive segment of the public slash electorate considers humorous commentary a source for news. poo-pooers would think that segment ignorant, when the truth is, there's nary a legitimate news source to be found these days. who can blame the parched consumers of media for gulping down daily headlines from comedy shows instead of 24/7 news channels that are more like conditioners than outlets?

when the comm's gurus get even more with-it, they might actually stumble upon a thriving sub-culture of news detanglers right here on the interweeb, a veritable cornucopia of analysis and blather, zines and columns and blogs and such. much of it is crafted and driven by regular folk, of every political ilk. far cries from the corporate-funded bow-tie wearing partisan apologists masquerading as neutral and objective NEWS, with entire networks propped up by partisan dollars of the hardest core. thankfully, the web is crawling with real people with real opinions. and the more people who abandon traditional news sources for the good stuff, i say bring it on. best part is, the laughs are free.


fear factors

so i’ve been engaging lately in some crazy behaviour (and it ain't just the singing) that’s rather out of character. ok, hardly any really, but nonetheless, it gets me thinking. funny how the same act, at different points of your life or on different days, can take on such radically different meaning? on the one hand, i want to say good for me for being so bold and trying something so scary and on the other hand, what the fuck am i doing? who do i think i am?

i guess even within personality does the classic ebb and flow occur. sometimes things come easy. then they don’t. then we either forget or fight to get them back.

once upon a time i did know how to stack the deck in my favour. now i'm facing a future that has somehow turned all ominous and overwhelming – i'm having to muster the oomph to step up to it and stare it down. i don’t want to live in fear. i hate it. i don’t even believe in it. now it’s everywhere.

change is such a tricky thing. as we age, we get calmer and less impulsive. duh. back then, spunk was the fuel because we don’t know any better. aging is also a shifting of interests and perceptions of self. change is scary because it requires a certain loss of control. some of us spend lifetimes clinging to the notion of control, whether it’s in hand or not. i’m starting to understand that the very essence of growth is risk. xtreme sports guys make me jealous because risk is candy whereas for most of us, risk feels risky.

so here i am in transition, facing my own little episode of fear factor. instead of eating blended maggots, i’m eating crow, and instead of jumping from one speeding mack truck to another, i’m jumping into sort of an unknown.

i’ve been resisting letting go of whoever i thought i was. but i’m starting to figure out that over the course of time, you never turn into a different person. we change little things about our lives – yes. but we don’t really change. all we do is shed baby pieces of skin and work like hell to regenerate new stuff that might add colour and dimension and enhancement to our lives. self, refined.

in response to the question what do you want to say to the world, eminem said so profoundly in a recent interview: fuck off. that’s pretty much how i need to be right now. but also, i need to get that precisely NO ONE gives a good god damn about my silly shit. once i get that, then maybe i can get all defiant and unapologetic with my own damn self and carry on with the business of fumbling towards whatever is next... necking where- when-and whom-the-fuck-ever i please along the way.

new stages

for those making a big ta-da about my recent foray back into musicland, here's what we looked like on monday in toronto (you'll have to do a little "where's waldo" scanning to find me). if i seem at all shy about this wee project, trust me when i say it's not false modesty. i'm reserved about all y'all's attention because i don't know just what i'm up to with all this, at least not yet. the support IS appreciated, just the same. Posted by Hello


what's goin on: pt II

i joined a band. c forwarded me this ad from here: established 60's/70's R&B revue seeks experienced female vocalist(s) to expand our backup vocal section. ability and desire to take few leads is an asset but not a requirement. what IS required is an appreciation of classic R&B, great energy and enthusiasm, and a sense of humour ... visit us at slipperyslope.ca

i sat on it for a few days and eventually sent a note that went like this:

dear slippery slopers,

your ad was passed along to me by a friend who knows damn well how i’ve been craving more and more lately to find a way to get music back into my life. or get my life back into music. i haven't caught any of your gigs, but it just may be that we'd fit together well.

i am a female vocalist with years of music experience. i’m crazy about old school funk and soul. i'm gaga for motown. i dig contemporary hip hop artists who dare ignore pop influences in favour of more soulful artistry. my favourite artist of all time is prince. second runner up is aretha (why you ain’t got no aretha on your set list? hmmm?). i've trained in classical and jazz, have fronted jazz combos, rocked a choir or two, and have plenty of stage and studio time behind me. i kick ass at rock and roll jeopardy from my couch. you should also know that i'm known as a bit of an 80s music fan and trivia geek - i tell you this realizing the very real potential that you might never contact me, ever. should we meet?

and they said yes. so we met. we sized each other up last weekend in a basement in nepean (nothing tawdry, just a cliche rehearsal space, minus the garage). they are self-identified hobbyists. i don't want to rush the judgment, so am delaying any formal assessment of talent. let's just say that hobbyist is a term well suited to this band. which suits me just fine, at this point. i never expected to step directly from my recent career to the best new artist award at next year's juno's. good christ, never expected to even step onto a stage. so this seems pretty cool for now. we've rehearsed a couple of times and i'll be joining in on some upcoming gigs, including a 20 minute set in toronto on monday here. they seem excited (aw shucks, i am too) for me to do lots of lead vocals. it will be fun to brush the dust off some of my favourites... before long, i'll be back on that midnight train to georgia hollerin' for a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t.


free wheely

i just swiffered my office entirely from my rolly office chair. one minute i'm juggling cd-making, tidying, re-org, filing. then everything collided. suddenly i was gliding every which way carefully guiding the swiffer around, head all a-boppin to the shins. i'm not certain what this means. surely nothing. just a little friday night ssb. fun. lame. a bit silly. that is all.


what's goin on: pt I

my good friend jenn married my new friend greg on friday. they did it quick n' simple style, at city hall with one sibling each to bear witness and of course, rayna. friends were waiting outside with cameras and bubbles. then the 'just marrieds' led a bike parade through downtown and to a pub in westboro where people joined in waves until there was a full-fledged wedding celebration taking place right under the beer tent in the heart of westfest. aside from the stifling heat, soupy humidity, and occasional warm drizzle, the whole thing was a success. no church. no bridal parties. no fueding families. no speeches (although christine's tribute was, as usual, moving). no kids table. no muss. no fuss.

thing about j and g is that they are so fucking compatible. in so many ways. there are lots of couples who seem well suited, but so few who personify the concept of mesh. j and g are both creative and offbeat, energetic and positive, intelligent and generous. and they're both extremely open and liberal, sexually speaking, and complement one another in a myriad of ways. neither of them accepts ordinary. they seem to give off an energy that douses bystanders with pixie dust and inspiration, with a sense of possibility that a partnership really can combine passion and fireworks with good old fashioned friendship.

lust AND love baby. imagine that. seems like i'm only ever offered one or the other. yeah, both are flattering and important and all that shit. but deep love from men usually comes all packaged in the brotherly way from either incredibly gay men who think i'm a goddess (rightfully so) or floundering straight men who come out of curiosity, stay for the wisdom, and leave for the grrl.

as for lust, well it's as satisfying the dq blizzard u wolf down after 4 days of craving, then feel crappy about it for a good 24 hours afterwards. the high sure is a high, hard to deny its lure. but the lows are of the kitchen floor variety. and i'm too old for that shit.

i seriously want to know: is it too much to want all of that love, respect, compatibility & security crap, but with delectable frozen treats scattered everywhere for the ever-critical spank factor? sub-question: why can't a dq blizzard both ravage u AND provide a stable reciprocity of love?



weird that I’ve been off line for an entire week. i don’t think that’s happened in like a decade, except maybe during transatlantic excursions or escapes to remote wireless places. miraculously, the planet has not imploded and neither has my head, both of which are quite astonishing facts.

i’ve been a little bit up and a little bit down. out of touch, out of town, and out of commission. on my own, on retreat, and even on some benders. time has moved slowly during this bizarre period. really is a time of transition. really truly. i suppose i’m feeling alright about things, for now. it takes backing away from something to examine it with any kind of clarity. the thing is, it’s not like i’ve spent the last week in my head, all curled up in the fetal position, rocking and moaning. more like i finally got a bit out of my head. imagine that. me... out there? and it’s been useful in ways i’m nowhere near ready to articulate.

there are things to say about so many things. and i really want to. i didn’t need a break from this forum, necessarily, it just wound up being one par hazard. my reflections have landed – sometimes illegibly – onto notebooks and napkins and scraps of paper. but i’ve missed you, strange cyber repository for random ramblings. let’s get together really soon for chats. ok, it’ll mostly be me doing the chatting. but still.