Thursday, August 29, 2013

A big %&$# you to the Canadian government!

"Holy shit!" I said to myself as the e-mail came back. The date was open. They'd put it on hold 'til we signed a contract. Hurray!! Our first show in Canada! We'd be playing in Montreal, a magical city that boasts a beautiful night life and metal fans who like clean vocals. It was an amazing feeling. I felt accomplished.

Then this happened.

New fees for international touring musicians entering Canada

THANKS, CANADIAN GOVERNMENT. In a nutshell, they raised the cost of band members entering Canada, which means it costs$450 PER PERSON to play. I have a four piece band, so it's almost two thousand bucks to play a show that might make us a hundred bucks. Ahahahahahahanonononono. Thanks, Canada, for robbing our Canadian fans of the chance to see us near them. Thanks for sucking the life out of the local clubs who get American bands in there. From what I've heard, this is all part of some scheme to try and get Canada to promote more Canadian musicians.

Hey, I'm all for promoting locals. But don't forget that traveling musicians often help boost attendance to local performances! Playing with bands from Europe has helped us immensely. I can't imagine what it would be like if we couldn't have bands like Primal Fear or Doro come to the US, bands that are (despite their fame and history) considered "small" in our area. I doubt pop stars are gonna have a problem paying these fees, but smaller musicians? DIY bands trying to make it in a market that largely rejects them? This isn't gonna go well for us, and now it's likely we'll have to cancel our plans.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Gratitude Project (in a nutshell)

So if you're on my friends list, odds are you've come across the "gratitude project" in which people will list one thing they're grateful for every day. Every year I see this and think, "that's a great idea!", and every year I feel kind of guilty for wanting to put what I'm grateful for on Facebook every day because it feels like bragging. So instead, I'm just gonna put it on this blurg for today because on the way into work, I had a thought.

It's freaking gorgeous outside, today. This is the kind of day I should be going on a trip to the beach with Willy to frolic amidst the sand in the sun. I hate being cooped up on pretty days, especially on a Monday when I'm tired and annoyed. However. Then I remember what it was like before I had a decent job, when waking up meant facing the realization that I'd been laid off one of those three times. The third time gave way to the most depressing moment of my life, when I was laid off from a job that I actually liked and where I actually tried really hard to be an upbeat productive member of a team. I came to work early every day. I got my work done early. I spoke up during every meeting, voicing my opinion, giving feedback, and generally acting like a leader in an area I had actual knowledge in (educational gaming software) only for them to tell me, after a few months, that the client no longer wanted a fun game and they wouldn't need me anymore. Bye bye. Go away. The receptionist will see you out.

Oh. Okay.

Enter a good month of depression where I applied to every single job in the world and was THIS CLOSE to waitressing at a seafood restaurant. I have no shame when it comes to work. I do not believe in jobs being "beneath me". I believe in jobs and I believe in working hard because when my parents came to this country, they had nothing. I've got a college degree, so what's my excuse for not working? Oh, it doesn't pay enough? Too fucking bad. I was willing to work at McDonalds until I could find better. I wound up working in a greenhouse, which I actually sort of enjoyed because I love plants and I was able to grow food on our balcony on the cheap. I was getting paid half of what I was used to and living in a studio apartment with another human and my cat. It was sad. I was sad. All the time. This was actually when I met Josh and Chris and was introduced to A Sound of Thunder, which made me very not sad. This was also when I got married! Even during the worst time of my life, I had blessings. I'm fortunate.

And now? I can't even begin to list my blessings. Not only do I have a good job in the city (which I love), but it pays well. I can get overtime. I get to wear dresses and get mani/pedis every two weeks. I make enough money to pay for whatever car I want and live in a nice neighborhood with nice neighbors. I can walk to my grocery store. I can afford artisan cheese every week. I can eat a low carb diet and feel healthy. Despite my many complaints about my body, I'm very healthy and can function as a productive member of society. I'm not disfigured in any way, so dudes still buy me drinks. I've got a band. I'm recording a new album. There are people all over the world who listen to me and enjoy hearing me sing. I have fans. I still have a 27" waist. I have someone who loves me. My teeth are straight.

I can't list all my blessings on here because there are way too many. I'm lucky, not just because I was given a great family with great values, but because I inherited their work ethic. I see ladies cleaning sinks and cutting grass, and (our race in common aside...), that could easily have been me. I could be the janitor working at the office building, but instead I'm the lady in the dress sitting at the front desk. I might get annoyed with some tenets of the job, but who isn't sometimes? The fact is that I was able to move up from a greenhouse to a place that will allow me to live in a way that I don't only enjoy, but love. So instead of being annoyed that I have to be at work on a Monday, I'm thankful that I get to be at work on a Monday. Sure, some people have it better, but some people also have it much much worse.

And at least I get to go for a nice walk on my lunch break.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


This weekend brings me back to a time before time; when I, once young and carefree, would go to conventions dressed as cartoon characters and sell DVDs to my fellow fans with whoever I was dating at the time. It was a good time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven't been to a convention since graduating, and I've missed the camaraderie that comes from being in a group full of my fellow fans, so this trip to Otakon will be fun. I'm going there specifically to pass around flyers and handbills for Metal Quest II, so here's hoping it winds up being successful! I had a hard time finding a venue since Baltimore venues currently SUCK TOTAL ASS when it comes to actually speaking to people. Oh well. The Sidebar is a cool place and I imagine we're going to pack it tight. 

I'm pretty excited about this show, because I get to, once again, host one of my favorite bands; Dethlehem. These guys are everything I ever wanted in a D&D themed band, and much more. I hope I see people moshing in the Sidebar with their foam swords in full costume, because there's nothing sweeter then a floor full of weirdos like me. I'm trying to figure out what to do, costume-wise, because I don't want me and the guys to FAIL yet again and not have a band costume. I HATE THAT. IT'S WRONG. We should all have costumes, damn it! So I'll figure something out, and God willing, we'll all look ridiculous and it will be great.