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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”.

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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Dreams are weird.

I’d have to say for the past two and a half years (or so), I have very odd/vivid/strange dreams for at least a week every month. Now, normally, I don’t remember my dreams, unless they are those odd ones. Those ones are usually the ones that can set me off for the day, usually throwing me for a loop depending on who was in the dream or what it was about.

Lately, a friend of mine who passed away 3 years ago tomorrow has been on my mind. Craig used to visit my dreams quite often, until a year ago December. I don’t remember the exact details of the dream, since it was so long ago, but I do remember him giving me advice on a few things and telling me that he is okay. It was a few days before Christmas break and I woke up to go to work the following morning, feeling a bit off. Went about my day and as I was doing something, I could hear Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” (which happened to be a song that my friend loved), I walked into the back room and saw that my coworker had put it on the smart board. I knew Craig was there, visiting me at work. That was the last time he was in my dreams until about a week or so ago, where he literally walked into the room, which was filled with a lot of our friends that we had in common; and he kept walking through and out the door on the opposite wall. As much as we were all trying to get his attention, he didn’t stop. It was almost like he was just “passing through”. But for the most part, it has been silence from him. And it has once again, thrown me off.

I’ve had dreams of friends and family who have passed away before, and I’m not entirely sure what the exact meaning of the dream was, but it seems to be one that I can’t shake.

Its funny what a simple dream can do to the mind, its a mysterious tool. tumblr_ll6yjcVsrH1qjwngso1_400

Jamaica

Wow, what an experience last week was. Getting to travel to a third world country to be a part of two of my closest friends get married, getting to see another country (other than Canada or USA) not to mention to be with some of the best people I know and best friends a girl could have.

Jamaica is a beautiful country, considering how poor it is. We landed in Montego Bay and then had a roughly 2 hour bus ride to our resort just outside of Ocho Rios. Stopped at a little shop on the side of the highway for more drinks and bathroom break, and on our way to the resort, we saw so many unfinished homes. The tour guide told us that the reason for that is because the owners would work and build at the same time, save up more money and build a bit more. They can’t afford the ridiculous mortgage interest rates which is apparently a whopping 25%! There are no problems there, only situations. Everyone is happy, music and dancing is a plenty. I’ve been singing a variety of reggae songs for the better part of the past week and a half now. Including this one

Finally got to the hotel and were greeted by a few friends who were already there. Got settled in and the adventures began. We mostly hung out by the pool and the beach for the first few days, having lots of drinks (yay for all inclusive), tons of laughs, jerk chicken, curry goat and lots of other foods. A bunch of us did a few a la cartes, the best one I would have to say was the gourmet one. I’m not a huge meat eater, but my god the duck was fantastic. There were live acts in the evening on the main stage and a few bands on the steps of one of the bars after. The best stage show was definitely the steel drums, they played a mashup of newer songs, tons of talent that’s for sure.

Thursday was John & Kayla’s wedding, it was gorgeous on the beach! The weather was nice, the ceremony was nice and short. We went over to the other end of the resort for dinner and a dance then went over to the Pacha knock off “bar” that the resort has for more drinks and dancing (after getting changed that is). We closed that down and we had the bright idea to go have a 3am swim in the ocean. I was sitting on one of the lounging chairs when my friends Jessie, Kirby & Shawn got the idea that I’m going swimming too. I tried to fight it, but after all the drinks, I lost and ended up sitting in the ocean, in my clothes. I was then picked up and dunked in by both Shawn and Reece. My friends are lucky I love them haha.

Friday was an easy day, we all woke up hurting a bit from the evening before. And we all knew that the next day would be a busy one with the excursion we had planned to Dunn’s River Falls. The excursion was so much fun tho! We met in the lobby at 10:30am and boarded the bus to the boat. Stopped at a spot so people could go snorkeling for a bit (I opted not to), and then continued on our way to the falls. Climbing the falls was incredible, the only down side was losing one of my earrings in one of the pools when we got to fall backwards into it. Bought a souvenir as we were leaving, a wooden carving of a turtle with the Jamaican colours. It’s so pretty.

 We then had a catamaran booze cruise, filled with tons of rum punch, trying to dance on the boat as the captain was crashing the boat thru the waves and even more laughs. We got back to the resort, relaxed and ate. A small group of us went into Ocho Rios to Margaritaville that night. It was entertaining, but kinda creepy at the same time. We had to fend off creepers from one of our friends all evening. I managed to roll and bruise the inside of my ankle too… note to self: heels, even if they’re wedge ones are a bad idea when you’ve been drinking that much haha. Thankfully one of my good friends was behind me and managed to somehow catch me as I fell.

The rest of the trip was very low-key, spent most of the day on Sunday sleeping, sitting at the pool and chatting with friends.

I’m incredibly happy that I was able to go on this trip and spend it with some amazing people and be there for John & Kayla. I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything, and I’m happy to have them as part of my chosen family. I’ll be back some day Jamaica, until then, I will cherish these memories.

One love.

Another holiday season comes to a close

The craziness of the holidays are winding down, with only New Year’s coming up in a few days.

Normally, I love this time of year, all the family gatherings and food but this year felt a bit, shall we say, off. I guess it was because it is the first Christmas without my memere, so we didn’t do anything Christmas-y with my dad’s side of the family since we were all together at the beginning of the month. My immediate family got together Christmas eve, had a very non traditional supper and opened our gifts; then my mom’s side got together on Christmas day for supper so there was that at least. Too much food, and some beer and wine were consumed, came home after and tried my best to not succumb to the inevitable food coma that was trying to take over while sitting on my couch watching a movie.

We don’t really do gift giving either anymore, both my brother and I are in our 30’s so for the most part, if we ever want something, we get into our respective cars and go get it. The only thing I really wanted was some money so I can have some for the upcoming trip to Jamaica. I remember growing up, getting all these toys and presents, and now, it is definitely more about family being together.

I still have a week left of my holidays before school starts up again. I always find that January is the longest month since we have no inservice days or holidays. That being said, here on the prairies, it’s been a pretty mild “winter” so far. We don’t have a crazy amount of snow like we normally do and honestly, the coldest it’s been has been I’d say has been about -17 to -20°c (that’s 1 to -4°F for you Americans), when normally it’s much colder than that. This, I can deal with. It’s been a nice change!

I know that January won’t be as long for me since I have 16 more days until I’m on the (hopefully) hot and sunny beaches of Ocho Rios, Jamaica! Actually, I just looked online and it looks like the temps are averaging +30c! YAY! I’m looking forward not only to getting away, but also getting to see some of the best people I know and be there to see two of my very good friends get married. I can already hear my liver screaming at me with all the rum punch and other booze I’ll be having lol.

New Year’s is coming soon, I’ll be spending it with a bunch of friends at a local bar here for a DJ night, should be fun. Normally I don’t do the whole resolutions thing, but I continually try to improve myself and the way I live. There will be no changing that aspect, except I will try to focus more again on the positive in life; although it can be hard when in the winter time, when its warm outside, there isn’t much sun. My body craves sun!

To all of you reading, I hope you have a safe and happy New Years, whatever you end up doing! And all the best in 2015 🙂

If you never try, you never know!

Time has been flying by lately I find. We’re already half way through October, feels like it was just last week when the school year started! Thanksgiving weekend has passed, Hallowe’en is in 16 days. Someone at work today mentioned that there are only 10 more Fridays until Christmas… crap. That’s something I’m not even going to think about until there’s that white stuff on the ground. It’s too early to think about that! (Thankfully I don’t have many gifts to buy)

And, I just realized that in 3 short months I’ll be basking in the sun and heat with a bunch of my closest and dearest friends in Jamaica, getting a break from the bitter cold that we’re supposed to get here in the lovely prairies of Canada again this winter. See, I’ve never really traveled anywhere. I mean, I’ve been across to the west coast, and the furthest east I’ve been was Montreal, and down into the States a bunch of times, the most recent was when I went to Chicago in 2012. So when my very good friends invited me to their wedding, I crossed my fingers that I would be able to get the time off work, did all the necessary things to get that to happen, and waited to hear back from the school division on if I can go or not.* This will be the furthest away from home I’ve ever been and even though its turning me more into a hermit, it will definitely be worth it. Besides, hermit mode is only temporary.

*working in education usually means that we can’t take “holiday” time, especially since we have 2 weeks off for winter break, just a couple of weeks before. It can be pretty tough to get the time off and the most I could do was try.  

I’m seriously looking forward to the time off, especially being able to hang out with some of the best people I know, not to mention that crystal blue water and amazing beaches. But for now, hermit mode engaged (for the most part that is, a few adventures to be had but not as many)!

New blog!

I’ve been blogging for quite a long time, starting way back in the good ol’ “livejournal” days (which is now almost a ghost town), made the switch to Blogger for a few years and now here I am.

I go through phases of wanting to play video games, especially in the winter months. If any of you know how the winters can be in the prairies, you know how cold and bitter it can be here for what feels like forever. With the release of the game “Destiny” – I’ve been tossing around the idea of getting it as I’ve heard some amazing things about it. It’ll be something to keep me busy in those winter months since I’m trying to save up money for the upcoming trip to Jamaica in January! I know becoming a hermit isn’t adding bonus points in my favour for a social life, but I do go out… once in a while.

Catching a cold from the kids at my work, scratchy throat, stuffed up nose. Hopefully this is the worst of it… I have to be well enough to possibly go for drinks with a couple of friends and also help my parents again with cleaning the cabinets they took out of my aunt’s place that will be going into my place eventually. Such a huge job but the end result will definitely be worth it. It’ll look better than what’s here right now, not to mention more cupboards and drawers… and hopefully a bigger pantry! Because for those of you who have been here, know that the “pantry” I currently have is pretty much a joke.

Yesterday a friend of mine and I went out for sushi at this little place in St. B (weird to have a sushi place in the heart of the French community here), but it was amazing. Tons of laughs and the restaurant gives a scoop of ice cream as desert with the meal. Well, these are the plastic spoons we got with our ice cream (we asked it to go). Seriously, the smallest spoon I’ve ever used! Slightly bigger than a lighter… needless to say, we were both pretty amused at this.

I’m going to finish off my weekend by continuing to battle this stupid cold I’m catching and watching Breaking Bad on TV.

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