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 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.
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.
As I sit here, trying to figure out how to describe how I feel about all the craziness that has been going on on Facebook and other social media for the past week, I’m overcome with a sense of sadness. A sense of sadness towards those innocent lives that have been lost, those innocent lives who have been trying to flee their homes because they’ve been through hell due to the wars in their countries, those who have lost loved ones because of other people’s senseless and destructive acts. There has been too many bombings, attacks and killings lately. Too many people pointing fingers and blaming one specific religion, grouping everyone into the same group. That all Muslim people are “terrorists”. Mainstream media and other groups have been instilling fear into people who aren’t aware, who aren’t educated in the subject of that religion. The more fear is instilled in the general public (aka you and I), the more the group doing this wins. The more hatred they see, they win again. We can’t show them that, they want hate, they want war. I’ve seen a few videos on Facebook over the past couple of days that shows exactly that. It shows that we cannot show fear or hatred. That we have to stand up, united and go upon our daily lives. That we still need to be trusting of others since not everyone is a terrorist.
If only all fathers were like this one. ❤
As sad as what happened last Friday in Paris, don’t just “pray” for Paris, but hope for peace for Syria, for Beirut, for Iraq and all the other places where innocent people have lost their lives because of this “war”, these inexcusable acts of terrorism. What you and I can do is be nice to everyone, don’t accept xenophobic comments on your social media, accept and care for those who aren’t the same race, religion, culture or whatever than you. Learn about the Muslims, learn their values, their religion, don’t just go and dump them into that “terrorist” group just because they’re different.
I hope that one day, for our future generations, they won’t have to live in fear, that they can still live in a free country and have all the rights that we, here in Canada have. After all, all we want is love, not war right?
Today is Bell’s #BellLetsTalk. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a campaign to hopefully end the stigma of mental illness. Something that has been, for years, something that has been “swept under the rug” and pushed to the back burner. Something that people are ashamed or afraid to talk about because they could be labeled as “crazy” or “psycho”. Meanwhile, they’re very likely just scared and they don’t want to be known in society as those labels.
I have personal experience with mental illness, with family, friends and even myself. I’ve never wanted to talk about it to people, in fear of being called one of those labels I mentioned before, but my close friends and family know about my bouts of anxiety. You always try to look tough on the outside but eventually you do break down and that is okay. Cry, scream, yell, punch a pillow (or something soft), talk to someone, write it out, but let it out in some way or form.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post, I’d type a few words and then delete it, that subconscious anxiety voice of mine tells me “its not good enough, nobody will like what you’ve written.” Its really hard to write or talk about something that is so hard to explain. With me, my brain is in overdrive most of the time. Jumbled with words that are moving, what feels like, a million miles an hour and they don’t want to seem to slow down so I can decipher anything. I have so many thoughts that I want to get out, but sometimes honestly have no clue how because of that “inner-voice” that tells me that nobody wants to hear it. That nobody cares or that I’m wasting my time.
I’ve been told I’m shy, well, here’s the main reason for it. Anxiety can be a bitch and I’m usually second guessing everything that I want to say or that I’ve said. Fighting with that inner voice as I said before. Worrying about what the future holds because of my past mistakes.
I’ve been dealing with anxiety issues since I was about 12 years old. For about 3 years, I had thought so many times how I could run away because of certain people in my life at the time; then I eventually did, I switched to a different school where I had friends, wasn’t bullied because of the way I looked and acted. When they say “kids can be cruel”, I totally agree. It’s really surprising what a few words can do to a person’s self-esteem. For a bunch of years after graduating, I had, what I thought was a good grasp on my anxiety. I had met a lot of people who were in the same boat as I was. Bullied in school, was considered the “out-cast” and the “weird one” etc. Then a few years back, due to reasons I won’t get into in my blog, the anxiety sky-rocketed again, just as bad as it was, if not worse than it was when I was 12. One again, I wanted so bad to run away, but I fought through it and found another group of friends who know the issues and I know they still care. As much as my brain doesn’t believe it at times. I’m not saying that I’m completely overridden with anxiety, and that’s because I’ve been doing my best to have a grasp on it again. But I do have a ways to go before its gone, if it ever will be.
I’ve had friends commit suicide and if that is something that has been a thought, please call the Manitoba Suicide Line at 1-877-435-7170 or visit http://www.reasontolive.ca/ or your local suicide prevention help line.
Always remember, you’re not alone. There are more like you out there and no matter what people might say, people do love you. Lets end the stigma of mental illnesses, no matter what they are.
Little kids make me laugh. I’m surrounded by them on a daily basis now, and honestly some things that they say make me raise an eyebrow, and wonder “wtf? where did that come from?” I know their imaginations are in overdrive at that age, they run wild and free. There are some days I wonder what’s going on in their minds when they sit there and laugh for absolutely no reason. For whatever reason, they’re drawn to me, like a magnet.
I, years ago, worked in a daycare. I remember it was one of the breaks (either spring or summer) and so we were doing “theme days”. The day I’m thinking of in particular was a science day, geared towards pre-school kids, and one of the experiments was buoyancy. We got the kids to make little ships with egg cartons, and a sail. I put water in the kiddie pool and we were off! The kids pushed their little “boats” around the pool (ocean), laughing and smiling. One of my coworkers decided to throw a wrench into their ocean by dumping handfuls of ice cubes (icebergs) into it. One of the boys (he was 3 at the time), nudged his boat along and it hit one of the icebergs… and naturally, toppled over. What he said next was what surprised everyone. He looked up and exclaims, “That was like the Titanic!” Curious of his answer, I looked at him and asked him “what happened with the Titanic?” As he was fixing his boat, he said, “well… it was a big boat that hit an ice cube! Wait, I mean an iceberg! And then it sank, like my boat.” I’m guessing his parents taught him about it, but it really surprised us.
Another instance is when I woke up one morning with a popped blood vessel in my eye, it was completely bloodshot in the inner corner, it was really gross to look at. I had to go to work at the daycare that morning, and well, of course that’s the first thing the kids notice. Some of the kids asked me why I had “poked myself in the eye so hard to make it bleed”. hahaha.
The first year I worked in an elementary school, one day my student was away so I was just helping out in the class (32 kids, and 5 adults in the room at all times, it was pretty busy!). I was working with a boy who has FAS and we were working on ELA. The kid was trying his best to remember my name, so we went through the alphabet. I started saying the letters and when I got to the letter F, he looked at me with bright eyes and goes, “your last name is Fish! That’s it!” (it’s not) – For the rest of the year, he only called me “Ms. Fish”, he couldn’t remember what my real last name was, but to him, and only him, I was Ms. Fish.
I’ve had some of the younger grade kids come running up to me at school already and either pull on the sleeve of my shirt and tell me something that I’m supposed to know about already, or give me a hug and tell me that they’ve missed me, it’s insanely cute. Considering they’ve only known me for a couple of weeks.
I’m definitely looking forward to the day I have kids. They’re always entertaining.