Archive for the ‘music’ category

You Can, Once Again, Say Faggot On Canadian Radio

August 31st, 2011

Earlier this year, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that the Dire Straits’ song Money For Nothing was inappropriate for air-play on Canadian radio. This caused a lot of buzz and outrage. In my opinion, a lot of the criticism was unfounded. People were saying our free speech was being threatened, especially as there is not much that is censored in Canada. We do not have a list of words that can’t be said in the media. Every thing is looked at on an individual basis. Even so I do not agree with censorship, I did support this decision. If you haven’t read my original post on this subject, you can do so here.

Today, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council reversed their decision. Well, in a round-about sort of way. What they are now saying is the follow:

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled Wednesday that a homosexual slur in the Dire Straits hit Money for Nothing is inappropriate but has to be taken in context and suggests individual radio stations choose whether the song is acceptable.

The CRTC had asked for a review of the council’s January ban on the song, which created a public backlash.

The outcry occurred after the council ruled the 1985 song was unfit for radio because its lyrics include an anti-gay slur.

On Wednesday, the council released its review and said the original decision was correct in deeming the song inappropriate.

But it added that the context of the tune must be taken into consideration.

The majority of the council’s panel felt the song used the word satirically and not in a hateful manner.

It noted alternative versions of the song are available and suggested broadcasters choose which to play based on the sensitivity of listeners.

The panel deemed the Grammy-winning 1985 rock tune unfit for Canadian radio in its unedited version, after a listener of CHOZ-FM in St. John’s complained about the use of the word “faggot” in the song’s lyrics.

 

I consider this another win for free speech in Canada. I consider this a win for artistic integrity. I also think this somewhat reversal will spark a different set of controversies. But we live in a country that allows you to speak freely about such things. And if you don’t want to listen to this song in its original format, if you are one who finds it offensive, then don’t listen. Turn off the station and find another one that suits your needs. Nobody is forcing you to listen, just like nobody is forcing you to watch blue movies on network television or forcing you to hear profanity during interviews on the news. You have choice. Take advantage of it. And be happy that your right to free speech and artistic expression is being upheld.

In Which I Survive Some Shit and Denise Hudson Writes Me Another Song

April 29th, 2011

Back story is required for this piece of awesomeness, which you are about to hear. If you are not new to these parts, then you are most likely familiar with this story. If you are new, as I realise more and more of you are, then sit down and allow me to tell you a story.

A month ago, I got really ill. Ill to the point where I required emergency medical care because I could not breathe and was combating four infections. Ill to the point where I became senile for nearly four days. Ill to the point where many held their breath, waiting to see if I would survive yet another battle with Lupus. It was also during this time, that I gave up profanity for 46 days, during a period known as Lent.

Normally when I’m going through Lupus bullshit, I make the most inappropriate and morbid jokes. So do those close to me. The above mentioned battle scared many to the point where nobody knew exactly what jokes would be okay and my partner refused to make any, which is highly abnormal. It was during that time that the awesome that is Jay Biggsy (@BiggsyJay) created the following image, in an attempt to make me laugh and succeeding brilliantly:

Now to go even further back, last year I gave up double entendre and sexual innuendo for Lent. Once Lent was over, the lovely Denise Hudson (@RangerDenni) wrote me a super awesome song, in order to help me celebrate. This year, she has done it again.

This song is a two-for. There are eight *bleeps* in the song, as I swore eight times during Lent. Considering I swear at least 10 times a day, I call that a success. The other part of the song helps me celebrate kicking Lupus’ ass, yet again. I may still be recovering but I’m kicking its ass nonetheless. She’s named this song Sinus Ninja Hates Your Face and I love it! It is extremely silly. She claims that it is rough. Rough or not, it is a very appreciated gesture and I adore it, especially for the silly factor. It will cause me to giglesnort for a very long time.

It isn’t every day that people write songs about you or for you because you’ve inspired them in some way. I’ve been so extremely blessed that people have written more than a handful of songs, with me as their inspiration. This is the third time I’ve been blessed with such a thing from Denise, alone. Four, if you count the “naked” version of of last year’s Lent song I am deeply touched and humbled.

You will find the song embedded below, with lyrics. If you are viewing this in an RSS reader, you’ll probably need to visit the site in order to listen to it.

SQUEE!

what’s that!? -in your nose?
is it snot?
f%^& i dunno [IT’S SNOT!!]
didn’t you deal with that d$5! before?
jump back! He’s back! Lookin’ for more
because…

[rousing chorus]
Sinus Ninja hates your face…
(get your booty back up on that wagon)
there’s no way you can escape
(give a kick to the head to the *shaggin’ bastard*…)
He comes stealthy in the night, you know..
so you have to kick his a## like a commando

Yes you are going to win the day
Sinus Ninja has no say
in your final destiny into an early grave!

You will insult his gluteus maximus
without uttering a nastiness.

AWWWWW… s#$5! I think you kicked him in the t!&!
Now he’s writhin’ on the floor, cuz you’re a
Lupus Warrior!
(cuz you a fiesty…..{horrible word of Xondorian origin which means “bad assed female})

CH
Sinus Ninja hates your face
There’s no way you can escape
kick him down into the depths of hell
Mutha F3%$kah what’s that smell?

Sinus Ninja hates your face
{repeat thill the a@@ho%e is dead. fade out}

Is It January Yet?

November 28th, 2010

I know damn well it isn’t. Jeebus, it isn’t even December yet. But I am chomping at the bit to get back on air in the New Year. A part of me worries that people are going to get sick of me talking about it but HOLY JUMPING SHEEP SHIT, I’M EXCITED!

I feel like a bit of a superhero this week. The station was in danger of falling 2 weeks behind in schedule. Talk about stress when there is an unexpected happenstance, which really threatens to bugger things up. But I seem to work my best when under pressure. After my brain went through its series of, “OH FFS! There is no way we’ll be able to launch on the 3rd if this happens!” thoughts, it quickly jumped into warp speed and came up with a brilliant idea, which would put the Kobayashi Maru to shame. Somehow, I managed to get the station from threatening to be dangerously behind 2 weeks in schedule to being ahead 3 days of schedule. At least 1 portion of it.

The website will not launch on December 1st as originally scheduled. This means the “open to the public” hiring process will have to be cut by however many days delay there is in that. There is no fix for this as it has to do with a funding hiccough and not anything I can control. But everything else is right on schedule and running tickity-boo.  Right now, I am at the point where I’m having to wait on others to get certain things to me. I don’t do well in the “hurry up and wait” game. Especially when I get into a good working rhythm, only to have it suddenly halted. Up side to this, managing to fit 2 weeks of work into 3 days means that when I have to start on the layout and design of the next issue of The Vaccine Times in a couple of days, my time will be much easier to manage.

I’m also chomping at the bit to announce one of the people I’ve hired to do a show and be one of the Music Directors. Sitting on this one is extremely difficult. We’ve been wanting to work with each other in this type of capacity for some time now, so to finally have the opportunity is really awesome. I’m quite excited to work with all of the staff that we’ve hired up to this point. Something would be odd if I weren’t, as they’ve all been hand selected.

I’m excited about the interviews. I have a list of 7 people/groups that I plan on interviewing in the next year. I need to get that list to 12. I don’t have to do an interview once a month, but it would be cool if I were able to swing it. I’m also really really really looking forward to receiving submissions for the Geeky Pleasures theme song.

Hell, I’m excited about every thing! I’ve had a few moments of wanting to blow things up. But they haven’t lasted long. So far, this experience has been a lot better than my previous experience running a radio station. The other experience wasn’t bad per se, it just lacked a few flavours and dynamics that I need in order to be at my best.

A part of me was worried that taking on this project would cause my lupus to flare up even more. I’ve been having the worst lupus flare for over a year now. It hasn’t been this bad in about 4 years. This flare had started to subside shortly before I was asked to come aboard this project. I knew there would be added stress and stress is one of the biggest things to exacerbate and cause flares. So far though, I seem to be running pretty smoothly. I’m not at 100% form (that never happens). I think it safe to say I’m running at about 50% capacity at the moment. I was running at about 10-20% for way too long. Imagine how superpower-ish I’d be if all of my lupus symptoms suddenly disappeared and I was at 100% once more? I think the reason why my health has been staying pretty level is because I am experiencing a good kind of stress. I’m feeling alive, useful, exhilarated and invigorated.

Let’s just hope it keeps up!

Holy Crap and Macaroni Sticks!

November 19th, 2010

(Yeah, I don’t know what the title means either. I thought, “Hey brain. You need to come up with a clever title for a blog. My brain replied, “Holy crap and macaroni sticks! I’m tired! I can’t think of anything else clever. And then I said, “Well, that will work.)

Ever since I was asked to help start a new radio station and be the Assistant General Manager and Programming Director, my brain has been a whirling dervish of ideas. My sleep has suffered greatly as a result. I keep waking up, many times throughout the night, with all of these crazy yet brilliant ideas. I’ve had a week chock-full of brainstorming, planning, hiring, scheduling, emailing, acquiring the necessary things to start building the station’s website, plus so much more.

I tweeted earlier this week, “Between Geeky Pleasures +2, @nerdsinbabeland @WarsVsTrek @VaccineTimes @LupusMagazine and the radio station, I have enough on my plate, yes?” Now that the week is over, I can definitely say my plate is completely full. And I couldn’t be happier! I am so bloody knackered. But it is so worth it. I’m back in my pocket! I have back this thing, which I’ve mentioned a few times, that I felt was lacking. And first I thought this thing was just something to do. But no matter how many new projects I took on, it was never enough. Something was missing and no amount of “more projects than should be legal” filled this wide, gaping, black hole of emptiness.

I don’t know what it is about this job that fills this “thing” that has been missing. Maybe it is because I get to use all of my wonderful skills for this job, not just a select couple here and there as the task may require. Maybe it is because I get to entertain people again in real time and share with them things I really enjoy in a more interactive environment. And thinking about the latter actually perplexes me a bit as I’m not a sociable person. Seriously, I’m not. Get me in a room in meat space where there is more than a handful of people, especially if I don’t know them, and I clam up. I feel awkward and feel panicked and as if I’m going to vomit and a whole bunch of other things. Yet, I am great if I have to play a character on stage.

Maybe the reason why I love this job so much is because I wish I could be comfortable in my own skin in meat space. I really love to share with people but it takes me a long time to come out of my shell. And this job allows me to share the things I love and vice versa, in a real time, social setting with a bit of a psychological force field, if you will. I can sit down with the people, who are gracious enough to allow me to entertain them for a few hours, without any form of delay in the sharing process.

I’ve had all these ideas of who I want to interview on the Geeky Pleasures portion of my shows. I’m really excited about that part as well. I had a whole schwackload of people lined up before I had to pull Geeky Pleasures from the air. This left me a little bit disappointed. And not because I saw it as any type of failure or something that “needed” to be done but because of how much fun it is to sit down with someone and just geek out over whatever it is we want to geek out over. I suppose it goes back to the whole ” I wish I could share in meat space without feeling yucky, however this is a nice surrogate” thing. And now that it is a year later, I have an even bigger list of people I cannot wait to virtually sit across from. And I feel I am much better equipped to do so.

Have I said yet how excited I am!! I’M EXCITED! Like really, really, really excited. Obnoxiously so. It is so nice to feel as if you are back at home and, even better, to be back in your pocket.

There are a few things I am not looking forward to. Such as having to almost completely plug back in. I’ll have to be available all the time I’m at my desk via Skype. I really do not miss being messaged about something every 2 seconds. I’m not looking forward to part of the interview process once we open the jobs to the general public, instead of the invite only as is now. And heaven help any poor sap who asks me questions such as, “What’s a system tray?” or “What’s a control panel?” Seriously, if you do not know how to find your control panel, let alone if you don’t know what one is (I’m not shitting you), or if you do not know what your system tray is, don’t apply. I’ll not have it this time around.

Thankfully, I’m working with someone who believes (as I do) that quality comes before quantity. If we have to fill spots with the autodj until we can find competent people, then so be it. I’ll be damned if I hire someone just for the sake of filling a spot as I did at the station that shall not be named. It always ended up being more of a headache than it was worth. And that really makes it so much better. Having someone that for the most part, is on the same page as you. Someone that has the same vision as you have. Sure, I’m not paying the bills. However, this is just as much baby as it is the owners. And the odd things that we don’t automatically see eye to eye on, we eventually find a middle ground. It is really nice to be able to work in that type of creative environment. And perhaps a lot of the reasons why we are able to work so well together is because I’m the one who hired/trained him at the station that shall not be named. We’ve already forged that great relationship.

I’m happy. Really happy. Professionally, I’m the most content I’ve been in a year. My plate is sufficiently full. I’m feeling more than adequately fulfilled. I’m back in my pocket.

Holy crap and macaroni sticks!

In Which I Set Myself and Every One Else Up for Disappointment but SQUEE!

November 12th, 2010

What a horrible blog title for something that I’m REALLY REALLY REALLY excited about it. But truth is, if this falls through with a fiery crash, I know I’ll be disappointed. And I think it is safe to say, others will be disappointed for me as well. Especially as this is something I’ve been yearning for, for almost a year now. But there is a very slight chance it may not happen and I’m the type that prepares for all scenarios. And with this situation, even if I prepare myself for the worst, I know a small part of me will be disappointed because it is something I have wanted for a very long time. What is this thing? I’m going to be back on air, bitches!! I mean… I’m going to be back on air, people! And there is more!

Before anyone asks, the answer is, YES! So that is all we have to say about that.

Some things will be different and some things will be the same as before. One thing that will be different is that this will be online radio only, not online and FM as before. But you know what, I really don’t care. There is a lot you can do with online that you cannot do with FM. And I don’t have to worry about bloody censoring my music. Another thing that will be different, I will not be taken advantage of. It is nice to be truly valued and in this situation, I know that I am. I know that I am not just getting lip service to drag even more thankless work out of me.

Things that will be the same include that I will be the Assistant General Manager and the Program Director plus have a Geeky Pleasures radio show (complete with Ustream chat but new account) and other shows. I will still have a heavy emphasis on independent musicians.  My monthly featured musician will go back once again to both on-air and Geeky Pleasures’ website. I’ll be in charge of hiring, training, scheduling and firing (if need be) of personalities, plus other operational things. BONUS: I will be setting up and maintaining the website plus in charge of all other tech things.

The only “drawback” is until a handful of sponsors come on board, the majority of the staff will be unpaid interns. For now, the person who is setting up the radio station and who asked me if I’d come on board and help, will be paying all expenses out of pocket (Yes, even that expense. Told you, I was truly appreciated and valued here).

I had thought at first that it would be at least til the new year before any form of ball would start to roll. After all, I was approached about this only yesterday. However, things seem to be moving much quicker than I anticipated. YAY! The website host will be contacted tomorrow. Names for the station have been discussed. Staff is starting to be gathered. Formats and general framework is being sorted. Theoretically, I could start working on the website over the next week (once a couple other details are worked out). Knowing how quickly I can get things done (GO GO GADGET OCD!), we could be on air within 2-4 weeks.

At first, I can tell you there will be a lot of auto-player airtime. It will be awhile before sponsors get firmed up. It will take some work to get volunteer street teams and such organized. It will take some work interviewing, hiring and training new staff. There is a lot of hard work ahead of me in the weeks to come. But this work is so damn rewarding. The prospect of this has me so very excited. I have missed it more than I thought I had. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until yesterday and the plan started to get formed.

Other things that need to get sorted is WHEN I will be on air. Myself and the GM will get first pick. I know my listener base is spread far across the globe. So finding a time that is suitable for most people will take a bit of work. I’ll most likely have a poll or something at some point.

I really hope this doesn’t crash and burn. This means that I get to put a lot of projects back on the front burner instead of the back burner. This means the ability to do more interviews. This means the ability to entertain folk in real time and be entertained in return. This means… more than I think I can articulate at the moment.

So here’s to hoping that it all works out for the best. Expect a lot of random SQUEEs from me in the next little while as more and more details get sorted and this thing becomes a reality instead of just ideas.

More Mind Exploding Talent From Kid2

September 24th, 2010

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Kid2 finished writing this yesterday. And remember folks, he is 11. I can’t wait for this to finally have some music behind it. If you haven’t heard his other partial song, check out this post.

So Crazy


Intro:

When the dragon squeals the secret is revealed
And tells me the story on why every body heals
And why every body gets a second chance
Except me and shuts me in the dark
In a closet of skeletons that scared me

Verse 1:

When I was just a boy
When I would just play with my toys
When I go to sleep my closet
Would make so much noise
And you think it is cool to trap me here
Face to face with all my sins
That are cased up in a ton of bins

Chorus:

My life’s so crazy
But I can’t seem to shake the fact that
I’m just so crazy
And I won’t live to see the world end
My life is over
And I can’t take any more of this torture
That you have brought upon me
Why oh why

Verse 2:

This is how I do it this is how I survive
The torture of you and many I have hidden
And taken away so that no one will ever face
The devil that I am and that I make people believe in
I am evil I am a vicious crazy lunatic
I am psychopathic I am more or less about it
That’s all about it I’m crazy

Chorus:

My life’s so crazy
But I can’t seem to shake the fact that
I’m just so crazy
And I won’t live to see the world end
My life is over
And I can’t take any more of this torture
That you have brought upon me
Why oh why

Verse 3:

That is my story this is the end
I say it once I don’t want to say it agian
I’m crazy but I stand in front of you all
Powerful after the danger I went through
It’s terrible I admit it now
I’m never going to again
I am a terrible man
With a terrible brain

Chorus:

My life’s so crazy
But I can’t seem to shake the fact that
I’m just so crazy
And I won’t live to see the world end
My life is over
And I can’t take any more of this torture
That you have brought upon me
Why oh why

In Which Kid2 BLOWS MY FRACKING MIND With Amazing Talent

September 22nd, 2010

I just came home from a short walk with kid2. I am not well and thought the walk, even so it really hurt, would be good for the both of us. We have some of the most amazing conversations while we are walking.

On this walk there were many hilarious moments, leading me to ask him, “Do you mind if I tweet this when we get home?” He responded, “Nope. I don’t mind at all. Then you can show the entire world how your brain fails in both hilarious and awesome ways.” One such moment of fail occurred when he was painting for me a picture, with very vivid details, of a book his class is currently reading. And then this moment:

Kid2: […] You know how there are islands off the coast of California? The island was inspired by one of those islands.

Me: Yes, I do know. Azkaban being one of those islands.

Kid2: Really? She named the prison in Harry Potter after one of those islands?

Me (bewildered): Wait. No. I meant to say Alcatraz .

Kid2: Didn’t that use to be a prison for the worst criminals?

Me: Yes.

Kid2: Well then I guess I can understand how you mixed the two up.

Throughout the walk, he kept making me laugh and telling me the most amazing stories. And the way he was telling the stories was actually a work of art and so very entertaining. In case you don’t know, when kid2 grows up, one of the many things he wants to be is a writer. He has been using his writing voice more and more while he speaks. It really is art in motion. I had told him that I need to start bringing my digital audio recorder with me when we go for walks because these conversations are just so fantabulous.

Kid2: No!

Me: Why not?

Kid2: Because you’ll post our convos on the internets and you do not have my permission for that.

Me: *sigh* Fine.

We continued our walk and that is when he blew me away even more! Aside from writing prose, he has been writing a number of songs recently. He was talking with me about his creative process and how he finds he gets his best ideas while he is alone in the morning, walking to school. How it is frustrating when noises from the outside world disrupt him when he is busy thinking and creating (this is when I said, “Now you know how I feel when you interrupt me while I’m writing and creating). And that is when it happened. He shared with me one of his unfinished raps.

This is not mother’s pride speaking when I say it is brilliant! And keep in mind, he is only 11. If he is coming up with this type of lyric at 11, he has a very amazing future ahead of him (he just finished telling me that one day I’ll be interviewing him). With a little bit of “AWWWWW PLEASE! Don’t make me beg.. PLEASE”, I was able to convince him to record this piece of awesome and let me share it with you all.

The Boy – By Kid2

Hey I’m not Dre
I’m not Slim Shady
I’m a boy who can rap
Rap stuff you can’t
Rap stuff that can run you over
As fast as you can puff

Puff the stuff your mom does
The stuff that gets you high
The stuff that lies
You know the stuff that dies
When you smoke it
It goes to your heart and strokes it
Pokes it then you’ll die

Die like how Freddy Krueger died
By Eminem, 50 cent, Dr Dre
And now I
I bye liddidy diddy die
If you don’t shut up
I might cry
Then beat your head with an extra 5

By 5 I mean an extra fist
That will come and strike your dick
Oops did I say that in a song
No no don’t take me to jail
I know I failed
Failed like Luke Skywalker ’cause
He turned to the dark side
And Leia killed him
Took him and shot him with his own gun
What a bum

In Which I'm Antsy And Excited

May 7th, 2010

What a freaking crazy week! I don’t even know where to begin. And the crazy isn’t over yet. I have a feeling I will not have enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to get done this weekend. Submission deadline for my World Lupus Day project is tomorrow and despite over 100 people saying they will do something, I have yet to receive much.

Then add to this that I am currently experiencing one of the worst flares I have experienced in a while, a cold and stomach bug, a happy Jules is not a well Jules in any sense of the word. To say I was ill would be quite the understatement. I wish I had a dark corner that I could crawl into and sleep for eons if that is what it took to feel slightly more human. The way I’m feeling at the moment, it feels that it would take forever and a day to feel better again.

And then there is the song. But OMG YAY, I managed to get my vocals recorded and in 3 takes. And let me tell you, that was quite the trial. I can’t count how many tears were shed out of frustration. To begin with, I haven’t sung in at least 3 years. Nothing more than humming around the house and maybe quietly singing a line or two. Nobody has heard me sing in quite a long time. Then add a cold which leads to a sore/hoarse/laryngitis throat/voice… it is not a nice mix or sound at all. As well, I was afraid that I would have to sing sections of it at a time, over and over again, and then piece it together to create a final track. But nope. I managed to sing it straight through and in a pretty consistent fashion without it sounding atrocious. There really isn’t too much that needs to be done with the vocals besides EQ and cleaning up the noise and a few other small things. Or at least, that is what I think. Also, my pain levels are at a 8.5-10. I had to sit to sing as at the moment I am not capable of standing for more than 30 seconds without the pain becoming intolerable.

I have a whole new appreciation for those who participate in Song Fu. I kinda co-wrote this song and I still had quite the difficult time learning it. I received the very first draft of the song last Friday, made changes over the weekend, received the changes, tried working with the new music and couldn’t wrap my brain around it it, asked for more changes, learned the changes really would not work after trying to work with them, went back to the second incarnation and really listened to it to hear where exactly it wasn’t working for me, made some changes, moved around and edited some of the music, and sent the changes back to Denise and then attempted to bang out the vocals in one day. Okay now that I actually listed this process and I realized that I’ve only had the basic demo music for not even 2 full days, I think I’m even more impressed with what I’ve accomplished especially consider I don’t write music/songs, haven’t used my vocal chords besides talking in years and am extremely ill.

Now, it still isn’t perfect. Far from it. It isn’t any where near close to the caliber I was once capable of. However, considering I only worked with the music in its current form for maybe 5 hours total, sang the song maybe 10 times, am ill, it is passable. I do not hate the results. That is something. Especially considering I am a huge perfectionist and my own worst critic. And after listening to the finished demo with my vocals for the past hour, I still don’t hate it. I still think it is passable. I am actually smiling when I listen to it. I don’t want to go as far as saying I like it but I am satisfied, considering. And despite me cringing every time I hear my mistakes (they are extremely loud to me), I still feel it is passable. If you knew me, you would understand that is actually a pretty major thing for me say.

And now the above is in the wonderful hands of Denise for her to clean up a huge amount of noise on my tracks and add some other touches including her own vocals. Oh yes, aside from the above obstacles, my sound card has been acting up as well. If there wasn’t a lot of white noise (I don’t understand why all of a sudden) there were a couple quick demos recording for the first couple incarnations where the sound was quite distorted. Hopefully the white noise can be removed adequately without distorting the sound.

I’m antsy and excited to hear the finished product. I will either have it late tonight or tomorrow at some point. I am also antsy and excited to see and hear what else comes in for this project. And hopefully I make it through this weekend intact and Monday’s launch be a success. I’m also worried that everyone who said they’d do something won’t come through. I get that way when people cut it close to deadlines. I always finish well ahead of deadlines and I have a hard time dealing with people who wait til last minute. It causes me anxiety. However, if every one does not come through, at least I will have some material. And hopefully, next year it will be bigger and more successful as it won’t be such a last minute idea.

Phew. Must. Remember. To. Breathe!

In Which I Feel Triumphant And Defeated All At Once

May 2nd, 2010

So the lovely Denise Hudson wrote a very wonderful song for my World Lupus Day project. Lyrically, it spoke to me. It very nicely tells of some of the struggles I personally go through with my lupus. Musically, I thought I could sing it. I thought maybe I can do this. And then I attempted it and failed miserably.

Her original version would musically go one way and my brain wanted to go another. At first, I thought my inability to sing it was due to a number of factors I do not think I can explain, so I won’t. I’ll just say it didn’t quite work for me even so it was a very good piece. So I asked her to send me the guitar only and I would attempt it that way. I listen to her vocals 3 or 4 times, I then played the guitar only once and then attempted to sing. I failed. The song in that version did not breathe in a way that was natural for me and brain was still wanting to go directions musically that the first version was not going. If I had more time to learn the piece, then maybe. But we are on a deadline here.

I listened to the guitar only a couple more times in an attempt to *get it* when I realized that I couldn’t get it in it’s current format. So presumptuously, I thought of how it would work for me. I found a melody in my head. I hummed it a couple of times to see where it would go. Then without thinking, I horribly recorded what I heard. I felt so defeated. I use to be able to sing. Melody wise, I think the song works. However, vocally it really is shit.

I do not write music. Music really isn’t my thing even so I know music. It just isn’t something I do. Apparently, I have now co-written my first piece of music (even so there was no actually writing involved. I heard a melody and recorded what I heard in my head with one take and one attempt). Given this, I do feel a bit of a personal triumph. I did something that I never thought in a million years, I would do. I made music. But I could not sing it. Not even close despite what others may think.

Maybe it is because they have never heard me sing. Maybe it is because I know what I am capable of. What I produced was a million miles away of where I use to be vocally. I was so frustrated with this yet another reminder of how I once use to be brilliant and now am dim. I cried. It is very frustrating for me when I am served with harsh reminders that I am no longer capable of the things I was once very capable of. Not even close to the same ballpark of capable. I thought briefly that with some practice, I may be able to do it.  Nothing but failure ensued. Mind you, I only attempted it a couple more times. However, this is one of those things that I know if I’ll get it or I won’t. There was no way I was going to get it. So I said, I’m not going to do it. Then I stopped thinking about it. I walked away.

I had put it completely out of my head. So far out of my head, that I forgot the melody that I had created. That part isn’t really all that surprising as I had only attempted to sing it a handful of times and only listened to it a couple more handful of times. Then last night, out of the blue, it was back in my head. The melody kept repeating itself over and over. I could not get it out of my head. However, it was slightly different. It was in a different key. It was one step lower than what I had originally attempted it at. One step lower of the miserable failure. I took this as a sign that even so I had quit, my brain was not going to let me quit so easily. I am supposedly a fighter after all and do not give up.

So without thinking and without attempting to sing it once through first, I recorded what I heard in my head. I didn’t put any more effort into it than the first time I did it. I sang it sitting down, with my knees up to my chest and with no air behind it whatsoever. I just spat it out. And you know what? It wasn’t terrible. It was still shit. It was still a million miles away from what I am capable of. A million miles away of where I once was vocally. However, given the fact I have a cold, my lupus auto-destruct sequence is activated, and I made no real attempt to sing it, it isn’t that bad. I think I may just be able to do this after all. I’m not feeling so defeated anymore. I feel as if I could be brilliant once again.

Given I only have 5ish days to do this thing (if I do it) it will never be up to my standard. It will never be up to what I know I am capable of. And this isn’t overly self-critical Jules talking. I am realistic and I know what I am capable of and what I am not. Now even so it will not be up to what I use to be able to do (when you don’t sing for 3ish years and are very out of practice, it takes a long time to get the old vocal cords back into shape), I think I can get it to a level where I think it is passable.

We will see I suppose. I am still at the maybe stage of doing this. I am going to attempt it anyway. And if I can’t, then I can’t and Denise will sing it for me. And if I can, I can. At least I am attempting it. It may be a foolish attempt. We will just have to wait and see, won’t we?

In Which My World Lupus Day Idea Becomes Reality And Comes To Fruition

April 20th, 2010

All that I can really say right now is wow and thank you. I never thought in a million years that my crazy idea to help bring attention and awareness to Lupus would come to fruition and be a reality. I want to thank everyone who helped by giving me ideas. I am actually quite amazed and impressed with myself as well. I tweeted my idea, I put it on Facebook and I blogged about. Within hours, I got feedback, both in public and private. I sat on the idea for 24 hours and then the “how” I would execute it flashed inside of my head. And within hours, the beginning of the final project had been created and you can now go check it out at http://lupus.juliasherred.com. When I posted my blog two nights ago, I thought it would be at least a week before anything concrete would happen where I could create a dedicate site for it. Again, thank you everyone for coming so quickly on board with this, spreading the word, giving ideas and making another of my crazy ideas a reality. It really would have just stayed a crazy idea without your support. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

And just to give you little summary of what you can find over on the dedicated site, here is the front page write-up:

Welcome to World Lupus Day: A Virtual Gallery To Bring Awareness To Lupus.

Hi, my name is Julia “Jules” Sherred and I have Lupus. Some of you may already be familiar with my story and others may not.

My story is long and it has been a difficult one. This may be one of the only things I may be able to say that will link my story to all others who live with this disease. Lupus has a thousand faces and often times this makes it difficult to adequately explain what exactly Lupus is. Many people have no idea what Lupus is or how it works.  Sure they hear the phrase thrown around as some sort of catchphrase or meme but many remain unaware of what Lupus is outside of hearing in on some television program. Even the medical profession is still trying to find some much needed answers in an effort to unravel the mystery of this disease. And this is one of the reasons I decided to create this site.

One night I was sitting and thinking of possible ways to do something grand in honour of World Lupus Day. I wanted to do something big-ish. Something, regardless of where someone lived, they could participate. The only concrete idea I had was that I wanted it to have a heavy butterfly theme. Of course, other motifs and themes are more than welcome. I wanted to gather art, music, crafting, videos, stories, poems, anything anybody could think of to bring even a little bit more awareness to this disease outside of some catchphrase. Something artsy and multimedia. Something in which anyone can collaborate and contribute to despite their talents. I blogged about it and for some reason I didn’t think it would go far. In less than 24 hours, I had some amazing responses and was given many ideas that would enable me to put this “thing” into motion.

Below, you will find links to many ways in which you can help. You can choose to jump on board an existing project or if there is not a project already listed that you feel would be a good one, there is also a link to suggest new projects. I ask that all projects be completed by May 8th and any associated media (pictures, videos, stories, poems, etc.) be sent to me by Midnight PDT on that same date. That will give me 2 sleepless days rearranging the site so that it may become a virtual art gallery dedicated to Lupus, Lupus awareness and above all, dedicated to every person affected by this disease whether a sufferer or family member. Then on May 10 at 12 am PDT, the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly will be complete and all of our efforts can flutter out to the world.

In order to make this as successful as possible, I have created a Facebook event. Please invite every one that you know. As well, please pass on this URL to as many people as possible to make this event as big-ish as possible. If you have any questions or if you have media to send me for this project, please email me here.

Again, thank you.