Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Well I haven't posted in about a week. Was a very busy girl last week with yoga and tea, bootcamp, BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin) Night, Haunted Houses GALORE, friends, family and SHOPPING! Needless to say, no writing got done. However, I did get quite my fill of Halloween fun!

Stay tuned and don't be afraid to leave some love (although I think some I am not getting my comments?? Stupid blogger!)


Monday, October 19, 2009

Red Deer Advocate

Just wanted to let you know that my blog is now included in the Red Deer Advocate Blog Section! Go check out what Red Deer thinks of my stuff!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Making Money Behind Bars

I never used to be a fan of rap/hip hop music, but the past few years I've grown fond of a very select few rap and hip hop artists. Included in that list is T.I. who I got into after hearing his sixth album, Paper Trail, which was released last year.

This album was written while T.I., whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., was on house arrest following an arrest for federal weapons charges in the fall of 2007. During the year under house arrest, waiting to hear his then undefined prison sentence, he wrote one of the my favorite albums of all time.

In March of this year, T.I. was sentenced for his charges, one year and one day in prison, which he began serving in Forrest City, Arkansas on May 26, 2009. Last month I was surprised to see a new single from T.I. on the I-Tunes charts (which I peruse regularly to keep up-to-date with new releases). Isn't he suppose to be in prison? How is it possible that he recorded a new song with Mary J. Blige? Was this written and recorded prior to him entering the Federal Correctional Facility?

Fast Forward to current time. Another single has been released by the 'King', Hell of a Life. How is it possible that someone serving time for a federal crime is still able to work and make a dime (how's that for a little freestyle, haha)? The average criminal behind bars isn't allowed to continue working whatever career they may have had before being committed, why does America allow T.I. to continue recording music?

Obviously I'm not familiar with the 'system' in America, and also don't know when and where these songs were recorded, it was just a question that came to mind.

Today's lesson for the kiddies out there: Don't buy illegal weapons and don't expect to make money if you get arrested for it, life doesn't work that way!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Food For Thought:

The amount of money I've spent on concert tickets over the past few years could have probably sent me to Japan by now...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From Good to Bad or Bad to Good?

Last week I found out one of my favorite bands from high school, The Used, was opening for Three Days Grace. This completely shocked me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy and respect Three Days Grace's music, even more so given that they are Canadian and I am a huge supporter of Canadian talent. However, if you had asked me seven or so years ago, when The Used albums never left my CD players, if I would see The Used going on tour with Three Days Grace, I would have laughed in your face.

In high school I associated Three Days Grace with the likes of Nickleback and Default, and all those other bands that sounded the same. I had their first album, but nothing stood out to me aside from their over played first single. I also noticed far too many similarities between their album and the Finger Eleven disk that was released shortly before. At the time I didn't think they were very original whatsoever, and took a long time to actually get into their music.

The Used's first album, self titled, was by far their best work. That was the album that made me fall in love with the band. It was heavy, powerful, and full of emotion. This was underground, something not yet widely discovered and unlike everything getting airtime on the radio. I used it to pump me up when I needed some energy, but also used it to pick me up when I was down. I remember like it was yesterday, driving around town with some close friends with this album cranked singing along at the top of our lungs.

Their third release, In Love and Death, followed a CD/DVD combo. This record seemed to have lost some of the rawness of their first album, but still produced some killer singles. It didn't earn enough time in my CD player though, their self titles album still dominated.

The record after that disappointed me a little more as I felt they were continually moving to a different sound than their initial release. I still supported the band, buying their live album Berth, and their third studio album Lies for the Liars. It seemed the screaming, that was said to have induced the singer to vomit on stage, featured so dominantly in the first album was slowly fading to just singing. I can understand why, obviously continuously vomiting is not healthy, but I feel it created a distinct for the band (the screaming that is, not the puking).

I recently purchased the latest single on I-tunes and was completely disappointed by what I heard. I'm not sure if it's the fact that my musical tastes have changed, or if the band is really so different than the album I first fell in love with. On the contrary, I'm far more into the past two albums Three Days Grace has put out as of late. Their last album got a lot of play on my I-pod and I'm really digging the new singles released over the past month or two.

Still, hearing the news that one of my favorite bands from high school is touring with a band I never pictured gaining much momentum in the industry was shocking to me. But now I've come to realize that bands are continually evolving their sound, sometimes in a direction you dig, and sometimes in a directions that is less your taste, and in cases like this it could bring together bands you would never picture together.

Edit: An hour after writing this I was offered a free ticket to this show. Weird.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Coolest Travel Intern

I recently came across a call out from an adventure travel company based in Toronto, Gap Adventures. It was a witty blog posting from the CEO Bruce Poon Tip, asking applicants to show him why they think they would make the best intern. It is a three month internship in Toronto. Airfare is taken care of but it's up to you to find somewhere to live. Being 23 with the world at my fingertips, I thought it would be an amazing experience, and who knows what could become of it after the internship is up. So I applied.

I decided to share with you my essay on why I believe I could be a perfect fit for the job:

There is no doubt about it, that I am the perfect fit in your company as the ‘coolest travel intern’. I am young, full of energy and potential, and hope someday to have written about experiences I have had all over the world. I love working and learning new things, and will never give anything up without giving it my best effort. ‘Working smarter, not harder’ is one of my favorite motto’s in the workplace and I am always looking for ways to streamline and simplify existing routines. My day planner is my life, and while I pride myself in having a great memory, I still may not survive without my ultimate organizational tool. I consider myself to be outgoing and make friends easily and never turn down an opportunity for fun and adventure. I believe these are the perfect combination of traits needed to be your right hand (wo)man. In case that wasn’t enough to convince you, I’ll rewind the tape a little and let you see they key things that have shaped who I am over the years.

I hail from the small town of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains (clever name for the town isn’t it?). I was raised an only child by my two parents who often argued over who passed down the wit and charm and good looks I possess today, or wait, maybe they argued over who was ‘weirder’. I avoid this argument as I believe they are equally weird and am happy I didn’t end up with that gene. I happen to consider myself highly unique and perhaps a bit eccentric at times, but never weird.

Growing up I spent my time writing whimsical stories about the characters in my head. English was always my strongest and favorite subject in school, despite never being fond of the strange teachers. I swear they were never the one to influence me the most. You know, most kids have one teacher that leaves an impact on them, I promise it was never the weird English teachers. As I aged, my wondrous stories of fantastical times turned into lines of rhymes as I filled many books full of poems. My parents often had a hard time keeping the supply of notebooks stocked as the ideas flowed from my brain.

I had thought high school should be my time to explore and experience new things (don’t worry, not THOSE kinds of things). I was a fan of playing touch football, and thought attempting my hand at rugby would be a good idea. It turns out rugby is much different than football, and I never did grasp the object of the game. I realized that running around, yelling about who knows what, not really sure where to go or what to do wasn’t much fun and I suddenly wasn’t so sure I wanted to continue on with this sport. My decision was finally made the day someone had their finger bent in a way fingers shouldn’t be bent. Sports were not my thing, back to the notebooks for me.

My fondness to join the working force led me to be known locally as ‘the movie girl’, as I provided my exceptional customer service, computer, and cleaning skills to both the local theatre and video store. Simultaneously, I followed my love of writing, and approached the local newspaper for my work experience program in my last year of high school. I was given the chance to be a reporter and injected a little of my spunk into the weekly paper for a full semester. It was one of my best accomplishments being able to see my name published and having the chance to share my thoughts and stories with the town.

Upon graduation at the ripe age of 17, my parents hustled me out of the house and to the nearest small city, Red Deer, to attend college for Business Administration. I was sad to learn there weren’t really any red colored deer anywhere near this city, but found a new love in marketing and event planning. I went on to major in marketing, and while deep in my studies, found time to write music and concert reviews for the college paper, as well as an online publication. I then decided to jump into my own event planning and began organizing small local concerts at various halls in the area, featuring bands from all over the Western provinces. It was then I learned how easy this planning stuff had come to me, and knew that someday down the line I could use these talents on a larger scale.

The sad day came when the party life, I mean student life, had to end and it was time to get out and find a real job. I was hired on at the local credit union, and after 6 months of dealing with the worst customer service job on earth, I found myself in a cozy office working as an administrative assistant, preparing mortgage documents and miscellaneous other tasks assigned to me by my new family. During this time, I incurred a new nickname, the ‘Superstar’. I believe some days I hear my boss referring to me as a god-send, and spend countless hours listening to my coworkers’ concerns as to the state of the department if I were to leave. I do assure them that since my arrival, I have worked hard to streamline all procedures and have kept detailed step by step guides, complete with pictures on nearly all duties I’m responsible for. This often leaves my boss speechless and blown away by my swiftness and efficiency with the various computer programs. Not included in the how-to guides are the frequent runs to Tim Horton’s though. I am confident they can make it there, but I may need to document everyone’s orders so Susan doesn’t end up with Crystal’s Chai tea with milk, and Elissa doesn’t end up with Susan’s coffee with two creams. It can get confusing. My time spent with the lovely ladies of this department has also taught me to understand the language of ‘boss’. It can be a tricky one, but I think I’ve mastered it and know exactly what she’s looking for and often have the task completed before she’s done explaining. I’ve become a master at decorating through all of the different holidays, and could nearly be certified to teach the generation above me how to work computers.

This brings us to present day, where I find myself ready for a new adventure. After small trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas, Arizona, California and New York City, I am itching for more. My dreams for future travel include Japan, Greece, and Montreal (I’ve been dying to have some poutine there.) I also have a strong desire to explore the rest of this great country I live in, having not been any farther east than Drumheller, home of the dinosaurs!

Hopefully after that brief history you can be assured that I do not come with any ounce of weirdness. I am ready for any challenge you throw at me, and promise to complete any task to the best of your ability. I have a great dodgeball arm but admit you may want to put me on the opposing team for volleyball as I’m not very good. I have mastered the notion of nodding when someone thinks they are right, but will most likely roll my eyes as I walk away. I am ready to open a new chapter in my young life and hope that chapter can be describing to my readers how awesome my new boss Bruce is. Just be careful, you might not want to send me home after three months…

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Adventures in E-town - Part 2

After a short 2 hours of sleep, I awoke the next morning still excited from the previous night's events and for the events to come later that evening. My half day of work went by quickly, and I was soon catching a quick nap and shower before heading off to the big city again.

We arrive later than we had hoped, which didn't leave much time for visiting pre-show. We walk into the dressing room to find a much different atmosphere than the day before. There were no random celebrities creating a buzz of excitement, but rather a room of very tired men.

City and Colour started this show surprisingly with a different show than the night before. I was glad they decided to switch up the set list somewhat. Their performance of 'Coming Home' was just as they told us it was going to be, mind blowing. One of the best performances of that song I've heard live ever. This nights performance went off without any noticeable mishaps, although Dallas did hit his glasses on the mic once towards the end of the set. Tonight's set also included a wardrobe change by Scott and Dylan, as they returned on stage wearing matching t-shirts with wolves in the moonlight. The story was Scott and Dylan have a badminton team called Space Wolf, and they bought Dallas a matching shirt for his birthday. Just a little band silliness.

After the show we arrived in the dressing room to find the boys of In-Flight Safety, a band from Halifax, who were good friends of City and Colour. They were in town to play a show the next night and came to hang out. I urge everyone to check out In-Flight Safety's music. They are amazing musicians and a genuine, friendly group of dudes. Along with the adorable Hannah Georges, we all headed back to the Crown and Rose for drinks and good times. Alot less excitement than the previous night, but words cannot explain how great it was to sit and share stories with such great people. Two of my favorite things in life are music and friends, and these two nights were most definitely filled with great Canadian music, and new and old friends. I wish I had a normal camera so I could have captured more moments from two of the best nights of my life, but I guess I will always have my memories.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Adventures in E-town - Part 1

The other day A and I headed out to Edmonton to see City & Colour, as she's good friends with Dallas. During the drive we see a big truck with a trailer and a large unidentifiable object on the back of the trailer. A and I were trying to figure out what it was as we approached and were shocked as to what we saw as we passed it.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, that is one smashed up airplane! So scary!

After scrambling to get out the camera phones, we continue our journey, unbeknown to us, the events that will occur later in the evening.

Fast forward a couple hours and you will find us hanging out in the dressing room, chatting it up with the band before the show. Stu, the tour manager, walks in announcing to Dallas that 'Brett is on his way, he'll be here soon', to which Dal excitedly announces that he forgot to tell everyone Bret 'The Hitman' Hart was coming! Really? Bret Hart? So strange. Even stranger was how excited Dallas was that he was coming. A few more moments pass, and Stu walks in again stating Bret was in the venue. At this point Dallas, very flustered, exclaims he needs to brush his teeth, while Scott is across the room quickly tucking in his shirt. I was thinking to myself how ironic it was that these people were so excited that Bret Hart was coming to meet them, while at the same time, other kids get just excited to meet THEM. And then Dallas kicks everyone out of the dressing room, he needed a moment before Bret arrived.

A and I wandered to find our tickets and passes and had a chat with our new friend Phoebe, who is running to be Much Music's newest VJ. Having given Dallas ample time to have his moment and chat with Bret, we wandered back to the dressing room to see what was going on. We sat and listened as Dallas and Bret exchanged stories and laughs, all the while still thinking it was so strange that they were so excited to meet each other. Dallas later showed off a picture on his Blackberry of him and Bret together. So proud!

It was then time for the opening act to begin so we made our way to our seats to watch. Hannah Georges was the girl opening and she was so adorable. Her music embedded a sense of happiness in me. A felt like she should be frolicking through a grassy field. Very light hearted and happy music. She reminded of an indie version of Lenka. I encourage everyone to check out her music and live show if she's ever in your area.

Between sets we made friends with the couple next to us and filled them in on our secret that Bret Hart was in attendance. In return they shared their finding of Mike Comrie and some of his NHL Oilers friends. I thought it was pretty rad that there were so many 'celebrities' in attendance. Our new friend began asking us about the band and how we got our great seats as they had got theirs that day. He then shared where his love for the band had come from, which was after hearing 'Body in a Box' following the death of his friend from an avalanche. What a heartbreaking story. But we assured him he would not be disappointed by the show.

And then the moment we were waiting for, City & Colour. Alone on stage with his guitar, Dallas begins the show with 'Forgive Me', with Scott (bassist) and Dylan (drummer) joining in mid-song. A and I had high hopes for the boys as they divulged to us that they hadn't actually practiced since they were together last in May. In fact, they hadn't even seen each other until they arrived at the airport. Backstage, the boys said they weren't going to fill the audience in on this little secret, which would have been for the best in case they DID make a mistake. However, Dallas went against his word and informed the crowd on their lack of practicing. Following that both Scott and Dallas forgot a line in the song, which was barely noticeable if it weren't for the fact that they both looked at each other in the way you would when you screw up. The rest of the show went much better, aside from a tiny mishap during the solo in 'Sleeping Sickness'. Scott provided some humor with his stories while Dallas focused on tuning his guitar a few times. His first story of the evening was about his love for the Oilers and how he got last minute tickets to a game last time he was in the city. This was when I thought to myself 'I wonder if he knows Mike Comrie is in the crowd?'. Dallas's wit and humor between songs also never gets old, nor does counting the number of times he hits his face on the mic (tonight it was ZERO! Good job buddy!). And of course who can get tired of listening to some of the greatest songs I've ever heard. Again, hearts to the amazing Canadian artists out there. Nearing the end of the show Dallas played 'Body in a Box', and I glanced over to the side to see how my new friend was taking the song. He has quietly shedding a few tears to himself and my heart ached for him. To listen to the song closely is enough to make me cry sometimes, but knowing how much pain and sorrow the man next to me was feeling made my heart ache.

Post show we walk into the dressing room to find 5 really big dudes have been added to the mix of musicians and retired wrestlers. They were the members of the Oilers we had scoped out earlier. A and I sat in the corner realizing we were the least important in the room, but still enjoyed listening to the various conversations occurring around the room. A short time later, everyone heads for home and we're left with the band gushing about meeting some of their idols. Scott was as giddy as a child meeting Santa, exclaiming that had he been asked who his top 5 favorite Oilers players were before the show, he would have listed the 5 guys who were just in the room. I couldn't help giggling to myself over how funny it was to see.

It's at this time where the guys needed to leave the venue and head back to their hotel room. We say our goodbyes and thanks for the show and good laughs and head out of the city. A and I can't get over how bizarre the night had been, with the random people showing up backstage. Then A gets a text from Dal inviting us out for drinks. We were nearly out of the city, but decided we had nothing to lose by going back. Or did we?

Upon driving in circles around a few blocks, we manage to find the hotel but are having a difficult time finding parking. A pulls into a lot that was nearly empty, but we learn it costs $7 to park there. That wasn't happening, we go to leave and she accidentally backs into a parked car. Oh no. The damage to the other vehicle was pretty good. Nice sized dent in the back corner. A's car however only had a couple scratches. Go figure. She did the right thing and left her information on a note under the windshield wiper and we left to find cheaper parking. This certainly called for a drink. It was nearly 2:30am by the time we left the hotel bar after reminiscing over old songs, listening to more stories and avoiding the strange friend Dallas had made that was hanging around (when you have to tell someone that your psychiatrist thinks you're normal, I think that means you aren't). Many thanks for Lyndon, the bartender who stayed after closing to pour our drinks and hang out. It was a sad moment saying goodbyes to the guys for good, despite knowing we would be back the next day.

It was one long, sleepy drive home, seeming much longer knowing I was to be up for work at 7am.