Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Welcome to: Day jobs with Accordion Girl!!!

Accordion Girl dreams of the Best Gig Ever. It would look something like this:

Of course, reality doesn't always quite measure up:
Latest installment (it's a bit smaller than I would like, so click on it to enlarge):

Monday, November 21, 2011

So you know how some days you really feel as though you could scale mountains? Hell, some weeks are even like that, if you're lucky. Last week was one of those: I went running, did an epic 12-km hike with my bro and sis-in-law, saw tons of great friends, played and wrote some great music, including my first-ever solo set playing songs that I wrote (!!!)... it was a pretty fantastic week, all told.

Today is Monday. Today, getting out of bed and getting dressed was a pretty big deal.
My phone didn't ring.
I haven't been outside all day and now it's not even 4:30 and it's getting dark.
I meant to get at least 4 hours' worth of practice or writing in and instead I wasted time looking at Facebook and obsessively re-checking my email.
It's one of those days where I feel to my bones that no one will ever love me again, and I might as well bury myself in a pile of chip bags and Kleenex and balloon up to 200 pounds and get 20 cats and knit them all little sweaters.
The weather is gross.

I blame the weather, quite frankly. Last week was mostly sunny and cold. Today it's damp and overcast and my body just doesn't do well with no sun which is a bit of a problem, given that I LIVE IN A RAINFOREST ENVIRONMENT, FERGODSSAKE!

On the plus side, I have been eating really, really good food for the last few days. Some of it I even cooked at home. I'm on a middle eastern kick right now; lots of hommous and tzatziki and cauliflour and beets and lamb.

On the plus side, I did the East Side Culture Crawl this weekend, which is just so fantastic. All these wonderful artists and sculptors and musicians open up their studios and you can walk right in and look at their work (and admire their funky homes). It was sunny and cold all day Saturday and yesterday, and my friend Ari & I took in quite a bit of Art, in between grazing on all the snacks that obliging artists had put out, and gorging on charcuterie and cheese at Au Petit Chavignol. We joked that our crawl had more to do with eating than art, and it was true.

Most of the paintings, jewelry and other stuff, was out of my price range. I did, however, buy this:

In case you can't tell what it is, I will tell you: it's a pretty silver pendant, in the shape of a pumpkin seed. How perfect for moi.

I'm going to admit that this day has defeated me, and curl up with some chocolate and a movie.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The rain, it keeps on coming. My roomies and I, we wear sweaters and cover our windows with shrinkwrap to keep the drafts out, and some of us (by which I mean me) eat too much pasta and other starchy things to keep the damp and the cold at bay.

I sit at the desk in my little sitting room and occasionally I do grown-up things like sort through receipts and study the Learners License manual so I can eventually, finally learn how to drive. More often when I'm in here I'm checking my email, or the inevitable Facebook, but there has been some progress. I have been practicing my music. Multiple times. Writing songs, even. This week, I will perform my first-EVER solo set (all my own songs, at that) at a friend's open-mic night in this new neighbourhood of mine. I can't believe I'll be doing that. It's gonna feel as though I'm naked. In front of people.

So yeah, you DO get more stuff done when you're not in a relationship. Or I do, anyway. I guess I'm going to have to learn how to make time for both, or at least I certainly hope so, eventually. But this is okay for now, it really is.

I biked to my ex's, in the teeth of a ferocious windstorm yesterday. And I looked around at the apartment we had shared for so many years, which he had totally repainted and redecorated, and I didn't feel one pang of regret or nostalgia. We sat and drank coffee together, he and I, and he said I want to tell you something, so it's not awkward later on. I'm seeing someone. And I smiled, and congratulated him, and I was really pleased for him, and still there was no regret, and only a bit of nostalgia when we hugged goodbye.

Today I looked at myself in the mirror and said: This will not do. So I got myself to the drugstore, handily located next door, and spent some time in one of the aisles, and now my hair is a lovely dark reddish brown, with not a bit of grey. I had 2 music rehearsals with various people whom I adore and then I came home and played some more music by myself and I had several messages from more people I adore and one of them (one of the most adored, although he doesn't know it) said: How's life treating you? And I realized that it was treating me very, very well indeed. And then I finished this song:


I was here, or haven't you heard
I'm leaving a trail with the written word
and I'm taking a stand, yeah I'm raising my voice
it doesn't feel as if I even have a choice
I write my name in the sand, though the tide washes it clean
so I don't even know if it was ever seen
Just a trace of my bones against these stones
saying I Was Here.

This is me, I'm making my mark
I'm holding this pen like a candle in the dark
saying This is how I felt, and this is what I did
This is when I was brave, and this is why I hid
I said goodbye to my old life and went towards the new
I went and fell in love again 'cause that's just what I do
with my heart and my hope on my sleeve
saying I Was Here

Sometimes I'm clumsy, sometimes I forget
Sometimes I just spill it all, say things I might regret
It's not always easy to say how I feel
Don't know when I should close my mouth or what I should reveal

I was here, but after I'm gone
who knows if anything of me will linger on
All my mistakes, all the things I did right
will vanish like a shadow when it meets the night
I'll say goodbye to my old life and head towards the new
I hope that when I die I've done the things I wanted to
But wherever I go I'll let them know-
I'll tell them I Was Here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

idiot week.

What a full-on week of idiocy it has been, ladies and gents! I hope someone will tell me that Mercury's in retrograde, or something like that, because otherwise? I'm just a twit, and that's hard on the old ego.

It started last Wednesday, when I moved over to my buddy Gord's place to dogsit and promptly broke his freakin' dryer by overloading it with my clothes. Do you know how expensive it is to fix a dryer? I do. Now. Not to mention that one of my best friends now thinks I'm a moron, although to be fair, he's been pretty nice about the whole thing.

Then I went to a concert on Saturday; a free concert at the library. It was sublime. But... there were not enough seats, in fact there were hardly any. The ground was cold, so I sat on my coat. Which had my cel phone in it. Which reacted to being sat on by displaying an image I had never seen before, a giant "F". I have no idea what that "F" stands for. Is it "Failure"? "Freak-out"? "Fix Me"? "F'ing Moron"? Your guess is as good as mine. I only know that it would do nothing else until I yanked the battery out and put it back in. Which- thank god- fixed it.

And then there was last night. I played at a swanky fundraiser. Feeling pretty pleased with myself, I arrived at my apartment, pleased as punch to be home again after being at Gord's for a week. Got in. Took off my coat and changed out of my swanky duds. Decided to go for late-night crappy Chinese food. Closed the door of my apartment, only to immediately realize that my keys were upstairs in my room. The dilemma: wake up my sleeping roomies with The Loudest Doorbell in the World or... call Mom, who has a spare key? The choice was clear: Call Mom. She already knows I'm a twit. I'd like to keep the wool over my roomies' eyes for a little while longer.
Oy vey.

On a more positive note, it really IS great to be back at my crazy apartment, and I'm so pleased that it's starting to feel like home. I've still got no regrets re. the India trip, and I've really been enjoying getting a bunch of stuff done and seeing lots of friends in the last few weeks. Including some I haven't seen in years. No dates yet, but I'm working on enjoying my own company (when I'm not hanging with friends, that is), and I know deep down that that should really be enough for now.

Maybe I should also work on being less of an idiot. That might help my chances in the old dating department...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

decisions, decisions

Yesterday I turned down an interesting work/travel opportunity. Well, not just 'interesting'. Exotic, scary and loosey-goosey might actually describe it better.
It had been in the works for months; an opportunity to travel to India for a week (only a week! So short!) and make music with a mixed group of Indian and Canadian musicians at a festival in Delhi. I'd been invited this summer, but funding difficulties had reared their ugly heads and for months I'd been unsure of whether or not there would be money for me to go. So I'd gone ahead and made other plans, and of course the gods laughed their mocking laughter and some tentative funding arrangements came through last-minute and suddenly, with just over a week before the trip, here I was being told that if I could just run out and apply for a travel visa and then when I returned from the trip if I could just apply for a grant to cover the cost of my plane ticket etc, and ififif, then I could be getting on a plane in a week's time and flying into Delhi.
And I said no.
And yes, there were regrets, but they were so superficial that I had to laugh at myself even as I was having them, because they were almost totally along the lines of what will I tell this person/that person that will make them understand why I said no? and will I be less of a cool person, less of an adventurer if I don't go? Stuff like that.
Maybe an opportunity like this one will never present itself again, and of course I have regrets about that. But you know what? In the space of the last half-year, I got cancer, had major surgery, broke off a very long relationship, worked and lived away from my home for 5 months, fell for people who didn't feel the same way about me, came home, moved house and jumped straight into a busy and demanding work schedule.
I don't have anything to prove.
If I want to stay at home and get caught up, emotionally and financially and artistically, rather than spend 8 days blowing money I don't have halfway around the world, that's okay. If I want to spend next week practicing music and crossing things off my to-do list and planning my future, that's okay too. The trip sounded under-planned and my presence was more due to the fact that they wanted a female musician to be involved than that they had any real idea of who I was or what I did.
I will continue to try and say yes to the very things that scare me the most, because I know that the scary things have the biggest pay-offs, most of the time. But today, as I type this and stare out of the window at the fall leaves and the mountains, I say to myself I am home. And here I stay, at least for now. And the feeling of relief is strong and sweet.