Category Archives: personal

Home. My true Connect post.

After reading all the post Connect posts on my Facebook and on the Connect Tribe facebook page, I’ve felt compelled to write out my thoughts that have been flooding my brain the past few days. I know I’ve already written about it this year, but this post will be about the years, the memories of Connect past.

I began going to parties here in Winnipeg back in 2001, but I had heard about the old Warehouse parties since the late-nineties. Not having any friends who would have gone with me (as they weren’t the “electronic dance music” types), I never went. I remember listening to 91.1 on Saturday nights and wondering what that kind of life was like. Fast forward to 2000 and I was supposed to go to the first Tranceformers party, about an hour south of the city, but the people I was supposed to go with ditched me and left me without a ride there. Honestly, I think had I gone to that party, it would have been the only one I would have gone to. I didn’t know anyone in the scene at the time and my friends never went back to another one after that time.

I met people in the scene at a local bar and became friends with a few of them, they convinced me to go with them to my first party, “Chemical Attractions”, it was a sweaty mess, but oh so much fun. I met many new people that night who became my friends for the next several years. They also introduced me to #p-raves and #popup, both were online IRC channels that were for the Winnipeg and Saskatchewan rave scenes. There, I met a whole world of new people whom I was and am happy to call my friends. We had the same backgrounds of loving the “underground” music, loved going to “raves” which was frowned upon in regular society.

My first Connect was in 2002, the last year at MacLean’s. I had been convinced by Dan and Randal that I should go, that I would love it. And boy I did. I don’t remember much about that year, but I do remember meeting lots of new Saskatchewan people, getting “lost” with Dan on an evening wander, and dancing under the stars with new and trusted friends. I made sure that I would return the following year. That year was the first year at Besant and I met so many more new people, hung out with the No-Town crew and added so many more memories to the already growing list of memories. The year it rained all weekend and it we only got maybe an hour of sun all weekend (I can’t remember which year that was), dancing in mud to Romeo Kardec at 5am, watching friends dance on the speakers and just about fall off because they were slippery. From tie-dye shirts, to field hangouts with good friends, lots of laughs and hiding in tents from the rain. Being blindsided and tackled by someone from NoTown while sitting on a camping chair and breaking it countless times over the years, to watching Rob wrestle with one of the random guys from NoTown ending up with a goose egg in the middle of his forehead. There are so many more memories that were made and countless number of laughs. 2004 was the year of the megaphones from both Craig and Mich, and a lot of us wanting to scream from our tents at 6am as Mich and Craig asked if “the robots wanted to party?” and that the garbage cans were “made for percussion” as we were all trying to sleep.

I only missed 2006 and 2008, and both of those years, I felt like something out of my summer was “missing” because I wasn’t going home. I haven’t missed since 2009 and would always make sure that I would be able to attend.

I met my current group of friends in 2009, through a couple of people on the now defunct online message board Mixhard. These guys created so many more new memories and Camp Hail Damage was born a few years later. After a couple of years of hanging out with them at Connect, I knew I was supposed to be with them. That this was part of my chosen family. Their weirdness meshed well with mine, although they’re much more weird than I am 😉 The loyalty and love shows through and through with them. Yes, we’re loud and can be overly obnoxious but it wouldn’t be us if we weren’t.

Hanging out at NoTown Bar the past few years was always a highlight of the weekend (“Fuck you Greg Eversoul” will always make me laugh), along with the 7 years of Beer Pong Tournaments and having Kayla as my partner for 6 of the 7. Getting to see countless number of amazingly, talented DJ’s both international and local, dancing until my knees, feet and ankles are so sore and getting to meet some of the best people I’ve ever met and this year meeting so many more new people, I’m happy to call friends. The wanderings between the Temple stage & the Garden and almost always running into someone you knew, trying to see DJ’s who played at the same time but you don’t want to leave one set because you can’t stop dancing.

All of these things I wrote about will forever be engraved in my brain and the pictures I’ve taken over the years will be cherished. Connect has helped shape me into the person I am today, it was my “home away from home” and it always grounded me, I would turn off my phone for 4 days to be able to disconnect from the real world. I would always return home feeling refreshed and ready to face the rest of the summer head on before the “real world” of the regular day to day job (aka the school year) would begin.

Thank you to Jeff and all of the Connect Tribe, (including those people gained and lost over the years) you made a festival worth returning to year after year. It became more of a family reunion for me than a music festival. I would look forward to the weekend where I could see my friends from Saskatchewan and Alberta that I only see once, maybe twice a year.  All of your hard work and dedication over 22 years is definitely an accomplishment. To NoTown and Hail Damage for the countless number of laughs and memories, and all the other people I’ve met over the years. Thank you.

Next summer will be different without making that 7 hour drive to go “home” to Connect. There is a new festival in the works called Emotion Arts & Music festival (that I’m more than happy to be helping out with) and I’m really hoping that people come our way this time, to create new and long lasting memories. Because we all have to stick together, and create a new “home”.

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Connect Terminus

Connect has come and gone, but this time for the final time. The festival that has become my “home away from home” for the past 15 out of 17 years has called it quits after 22 years. I know all good things eventually do come to an end, but I know lots of us Connect veterans are sad of it’s termination.

There have been so many memories made, people that I’ve met and some I can call part of my chosen family, countless number of laughs and awesome times over the years. And not to mention, listening to all the amazing acts that the Connect Tribe has brought in year after year. The people who have gone every year are like minded, non judgmental people. We all are there for a good time, to forget about the real world for a few days and I know for me, I come back home a bit more grounded after the weekend.

This year was no different. I’ve had better years there, but it was still lots of fun. It all started Friday on literally no sleep and leaving the city at the ungodly hour of 4:30am to arrive at Besant at around noon. We set up our camp with our group and the chaos began. I have no voice to prove it from yell-talking all weekend. I hid from the rain for most of the night on Friday, thankfully was able to somewhat catch up on the lack of sleep.

Some of the highlights of the weekend:

  • Fancy Friday — our group danced around in the most fanciest (aka ugly) shirts that we could find, it was entertaining.
  • Beer pong tournament on Saturday. Minus the fact that it was raining, we were still able to play down by the main stage under one of the canopies.
  • Best of three against Adam and Erin in the beer pong tournament; Erin and I kept on going after the rebounds, getting super competitive. She even full on body checked me at one point, knocking me to the ground. Couldn’t stop laughing about it.
  • Getting to see old friends whom I hadn’t seen in years, meeting their kids and having their youngest daughter ask me if I was “okay” as I was about to go shower. She made my Sunday morning.
  • Getting to hang out with lots of great people that I usually only get to see at Connect.
  • Some of the best sets of the weekend for me: US Marshall’s sunrise set on Saturday morning (which I was always asleep for in previous years), Deko-ze, Freestylers, JFB, MonkeyTwerk, Kytami, J.A.DJ, Chaos Theory.

Thank you Connect tribe for everything you’ve ever done for us. It’ll never be forgotten and always be appreciated. You’ve helped shaped me into the person I am today ❤ It’s bittersweet that it’s over.

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Fringe review of 4.48 Psychosis

I went to go see a Fringe play tonight directed by a dear friend of mine, Kendra Jones. She took on the extremely dark and often put on the back burner subject of mental illness by directing the play called “4.48 Psychosis” by the late Sarah Kane who took her own life in 1998.

Liz Whitbread played this unnamed woman who was extremely depressed, anxiety ridden with such force and brutality (in a good way) that I’m sure that most of the audience felt her pain as she cried out for help, withering around in her space on the floor. I watched her in some very uncomfortable positions (at one time you could see her calf muscles tighten because of how far she was pointing her toes) as the “voices” kept going, telling her things that she unfortunately had no control over because of the anxiety and depression. I honestly felt her character’s pain, knowing how she felt in certain scenes because of my personal experiences and seeing close family members who live with mental illness suffer in an episode.

Kendra’s vision of the setting was simple, open for interpretation but all it had were 4 pieces of wood, attached by hinges that were at first left open, in a shape of the number seven. Symbolizing that she was open to get help, open to talking. As the play goes on, she closes the shape into a rectangle that I saw as her bed, she was closing everyone out, she was shutting down. In the corner of the staged area, there was a looping machine and a microphone. She would say certain words, phrases and loop them over and over as she was clearly in distress. The sound design was chilling with deafening silence at points, and muddled sounds on repeat; the sound that one with a mental illness might experience in their own heads.

A quote that really stuck out for me: “Please. Don’t switch off my mind by attempting to straighten me out. Listen and understand, and when you feel contempt don’t
express it, at least not verbally, at least not to me.”

If you’re in need of help, please know that it is out there. Contact a trusted friend, your doctor or your local suicide hotline. You’re never alone.

The play runs until Saturday with shows tomorrow, Friday and Saturday at RRC on William (venue 11). But be aware, if you’re in a dark place mentally, I wouldn’t suggest seeing it as it’s extremely dark.

Where has the time gone?

Where has the time gone? Summer flew by as it always does and we’re back into the swing of things with the school year already a month into it. My summer was awesome as it always is, the 6 weeks of work with the day-camp was entertaining, as always; Connect was spectacular (I love being able to see my out of town friends, it’s very much like a family reunion); MEME was hectic with all the volunteering I did and then I visited friends in Calgary the weekend after which was exactly what I needed. It was relaxing for the most part, unlike the last time I was there which was a whirlwind of a weekend.

School year is back in full swing, I’ve been moved once again to a different school. (This is what happens when you have a special skill, mine being sign language), it’s been crazy hectic, I’ve mostly been computerized note-taking for a couple of hard of hearing grade 9 students. But it makes the day fly by. I miss my old school though, just as you get settled in, there’s a chance you get moved because of student needs (or lack there of).

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in Canada, and it’s been an absolutely gorgeous weekend. Normally, in the middle of October, we’re seeing the leaves changing colours and falling, the sun is setting much earlier making the days shorter. The days and nights are also normally much cooler/chillier. Not this weekend, though, I was able to do the much needed yard work in a t-shirt and jeans and not have to worry about getting cold. The sun was warm, it was about 24c, much warmer than normal for October. I got a lot done yesterday with the yard, just have a little more to do, but I don’t want to let the last bit of summer go just yet, some of the plants haven’t died yet in my front flower bed, so they’ll stay there a bit longer.  I’m sad to see summer go, it’s never long enough here. Winter is long, and usually cold. It brings hibernation, warm hoodies, blankets, hot chocolate and hockey. (at least there’s something good about it, hockey! lol)

I’m grateful for a lot of things, my wonderful, supportive family, my amazing friends (aka my chosen family), my house, my cats (who are like my kids), a free country that will hopefully be changing for the better on the 19th (GO VOTE! I did yesterday!) and so much more.

 As for today, I’ll be relaxing at home, watching movies and trying to figure out why my cell is being sketchy. I think I’ll have to back it up and factory reset.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to all of you reading if you’re in Canada 🙂

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