May 14, 2012



Whoah. I go away for six months and Blogger does a complete overhaul! Hopefully I'm writing in the post-writing place and not in the words-will-get-sucked-into-the-abyss place.

Inspired by Nat, who recently came back to the interwebs after some time away, I wanted to check in and say hello. Maybe also explain why I disappeared. I've been blogging in some form or another for six or seven years, and now nada. It's a little weird.

Basically, I got over-saturated with online things. The big ones: Facebook (I like it but it's too much sometimes), and Twitter (I hate it no matter what I do, but I stay on for music stuff). Google Reader, the music website, a million email addresses, YouTube this and that, work stuff, iPhone, BlackBerry, blah blah blah BOOM.

My head explodes.

I have to seek out time in the hammock, or time cooking big elaborate meals, or time dusting every inch of my house just to get some reprieve. Rest for my brain. I don't want to have the instinct to constantly check in, and I'm fighting it. It doesn't help that I've changed jobs to something absolutely MENTAL where I'm a hundred times busier than I used to be. A lot of mandatory online work rolled up into that. It's got me thinking seriously about formulating some sort of wild exit plan to Get Myself Away. My BH is working both his dream jobs. Maybe stopping my day job isn't so crazy after all.

Then there's the other job. The songwriting one. For someone who spends a lot of her time performing, it might surprise you to know that I am a reluctant self-promoter. I don't actually want to talk about myself constantly, but I have to in order to spread the word about what I do. There's no label to do that for me. I either talk and talk and talk, or there is radio silence, pun intended.

It's like a battle, Western style, pistols and spurs and chaps (mmmm, chaps). My extroverted side is the one on stage, who is loud and wildly inappropriate. My introverted side likes hibernation, quiet, and being wildly inappropriate. Those two sides fight a lot about the amount of time I spend online. My extroverted side likes Facebook et al. My introverted side likes Goodreads.

Anyway, long story short, my head went BOOM and I decided to cut back a bit. This blog got the short end of the stick, but who knows? Maybe next week I'll wake up and want to talk your ear off again.

Until next time!

October 15, 2011

Niagara, Nowhere


So I know I'm dropping the ball with my little corner of the interwebs over here, but admittedly I'm stretched a bit thin these days and the blog is suffering.

However! Luckily for any of you who still want some updates, I'm currently sharing a hotel room with my dear friend Shawna. And Shawna wants some goddamn updates. Who am I to deny her? Also, she's glaring at me right now.

Sorry, Shawna.

We're in Niagara Falls. My phone keeps trying to auto-correct "Niagara" to "nowhere." It's not entirely wrong. Strange place, this small-town-cum-Vegas-lookalike. What is up with this place? It's all confused. Natural beauty mixed with wax museums.

We're here for a folk festival conference. Honestly, it's worth being a folk musician just to attend these conferences with some legitimacy. They are the most fun thing... Ever. Worth the lengthy and expensive train ride. Worth the lack of sleep. Worth carting around a banjo on my back everywhere I go.

Because here? Magic happens. Magic like this impromptu jam session in the hallway of the hotel.

I counted one clarinet, two banjos, three accordions, three fiddles, one guitar, one upright bass, one small drum kit, one trombone.

This is just in the hallway. Impromptu jam. Over an hour long.

I can't believe I'm lucky enough to be in this scene.

Anyways, in other very cool news, I have a new album and it was released TODAY! People are already buying it and I'm totally fucking pumped. It's been a long time since the last one, and although it was good, this new recording makes me very proud.

I'm starting some media outreach, and the CD release party is in about a month.

You see why I haven't had time to blog? Life, she is crazy.

So it's 11pm and the parties are just starting up here. I went to bed at 4am last night and fully expect to do it again tonight. I have a set at 1am. Nutty, but so very fun.

See you on the flip side!

September 10, 2011



I'm having a great day.

I've napped in my hammock.

I've had a yummy brunch at one of my favourite brunch places.

I've snuggled with my dogs.

I'm enjoying the feeling of a freshly-shaved head (Well, half of it. Crazy haircut, you know).

I'm writing thank you notes to everyone who pre-ordered my CDs (that note on top is for a fellow blogger!).

I'm getting ready to see my girl Shawna sing tonight.

I'm loving the early fall / late summer weather. I have such a super crush on fall.

And I'm blogging.

Aaaah. Great day.

August 23, 2011

Hollow Body

So I've joined Twitter.


I think maybe I'm overwhelmed with social media. I enjoy Facebook, I keep a handle on updating my web site, I occasionally blog.... Twitter came along because I'm going to use it in place of a news section when my new web site is launched.

But hot damn, there's a lot of information to absorb. I think I'll end up being a bit shy on that part of the interwebs, although it will be great for getting the word out about the new album. It just hurts my brain to see that many updates. At least with Facebook I actually know the people I'm reading about.

Speaking of which, I've finally got dates for the CD release! Yes, dates plural. It will be a double concert so people can choose either the Friday or Saturday. I'll give y'all the details when they are ready, promise.

I'm feeling pretty wrecked about Jack Layton, but I guess there's nothing I can say that hasn't been said more eloquently elsewhere. Still, it feels like a loss for democracy to have a genuine watchdog leave the ring. Not a lot of people demanded real accountability from government - he will be missed. And that letter? Ow, my heart.

In other news, I've fallen in love with a very expensive vintage hollow body guitar. Some girls lust over shoes. Okay, I *occasionally* lust over shoes. But this guitar? Sweet fuck, I would love to cradle that baby in my arms.

Night sugars! I'm going to go dream of a pretty stringed instrument.

August 20, 2011

What is time, anyway?


Well folks, I'm feeling very full circle today.

Last week (two weeks ago? everything blends together these days) I went to my high school reunion. It was small, organized by a few friends, and we all just met at a bar to catch up. I played a few songs on the banjo and my buddies set up their band and played heavy metal into the wee hours. Pretty typical of our school, actually. Banjo and heavy metal. My ears were not happy with me the next day.

It was funny.... I'm still in touch with a few of those friends, but I've lost touch with most of them and it was fascinating to see how we've all changed / stayed the same over the last decade. I think it's safe to say we've all put on a bit of weight, changed our hair (or lost our hair, depending), matured.

But generally, it was like nothing had changed. Everyone was still fun and cool and ridiculous. The same people got inappropriately drunk and groped everyone at the table. I still swore enough to make the heavy metal dudes blush. The crazies were still crazy. It was a happy, fuzzy evening where we all remembered why we loved our school so much.

Right. So there was that.

And then today, I'm playing at the wedding of a girl I went to primary school with. We worked it out, and we've known each other for 25 years.

25 years.

That's most of my short life. And when I was chatting with her at the rehearsal, it was like nothing had changed. She's still the sweet, funny, kinda dorky girl she was then. I'm still a bit of a misfit, I still sing. Even back in primary school I was a music geek.

I'll be at the wedding in a few hours and I'll be seated with some friends I went to middle school with - grade 7 and 8. I hated those years and that school, but my friends were good ones, and I met The Colombian then too. He won't be there, but you get the time frame.


Then last weekend I played a gig with a friend I made when I was 10 at summer camp. I haven't seen him since I was 14, and there we were, laughing as if we were still lining up for food in the mess hall.

I don't know if I have a point, but it's really touching how despite getting older and branching out into new communities and friend groups, I can still feel at home with these people I've known for so long. We may not keep in regular contact, we may go 10 or 15 years without talking, but we can slide right back into things as though nothing has changed.

It feels nice.

My BH and I went to a really fun wedding in Prince Edward County last weekend. Two of our good friends were getting hitched in the backyard of the bride's parents, and I was playing a song as part of the ceremony. It was a wild and crazy night, with lots of booze, dancing, good conversations and the rare chance to see my BH all sauced.

So sauced that he invented a dance move called "the shower" and wandered around for a while "washing people's hair."

A great evening, all in all.

The county is a beautiful place. We drove around some of the small towns within the area, marvelling at how damn pretty it is out there with the vineyards and the giant oak trees. We also had lunch at the Waupoos cider place, and I fell in love with their peach / apple cider. Drooly.

The weekend ended with a very funny little twist.

We were staying at a small B&B in the main town. It was very typical - floral bedding, conservatively furnished, country style everything. A kind old lady owned the place, and she was very sweet the few times we chatted with her.

I was tidying our room, making sure we hadn't forgotten anything, when I decided to look at the floor carefully in case something had been dropped. I noticed something on the ground next to my bedside table and walked over to investigate.

It took me a minute to realize what it was, as I stood there staring, probably looking quite vacant.

Ah yes.

It was a jelly cock ring. Belonging to a previous guest, in the quaint, conservative little B&B out in the countryside. I covered it up with tissue and threw it out, lest the kind old lady think it was a doggie chew toy.

My BH and I giggled about it all the way home.


As some of you may remember, I help out with events run by Ottawa's favourite sex store, because hello, that is a totally predictable thing for a banjo player to do.

We had one of our kick-ass dance parties last Friday and it was, in my humble opinion, one of our best ever. The DJs absolutely kicked it and I discovered a whole style of music I didn't know existed (moombahton - god bless it for being so catchy). We raised some money for a good cause and danced our hearts out in the process.

My only fails of the evening were:

a. Drinking too many martinis. So many that when I got home, I looked in the bathroom mirror and said, "Why won't my face stop spinning?" (I never did get the answer. I passed out roughly 10 seconds afterwards.)

b. Forgetting pleasantries and instead of introducing myself to the DJ, I tapped him on the shoulder, gestured to his gear, and said, "Could you cut the sound for a second? I need to give away a vibrator."

How's that for a smooth line? Seriously.

Anyway, the event reminded me how lovely it is to be in my neighbourhood, in my community, in this city I'm so fond of. Ottawa's only boring if you can't be bothered to look around at all the cool stuff simmering below the surface.

In other news, my contract at work is up in a couple of weeks, and then I'm back to the more predictable flow of my old job. I don't know how I feel about that yet, but one thing's for sure: I'll have more time for gigging. Woo!

Since I have nothing else to say that is witty and exciting, here is a comic about my favourite hot sauce: TASTY FIRESTORM.