August 14, 2011 at 7:29 PM (Uncategorized)

We all have secrets.  Some are embarrassing, some are perhaps criminal and some are dismal.  Sometimes you can keep those secrets hidden and perhaps share it with someone you trust; those select few in your life.  But, the secrets that you keep can eat you alive.  I’ve kept a secret for maybe twenty-four years.

I have only told a few people about this secret and now I am telling anyone who reads this. I am not posting this on Facebook due to the fact that most of my family members are on there.

When I was in my twenties, (don’t remember exactly the age) I started to remember some things when I was a little girl.  I don’t remember exactly what age nor how long it happened. There was a family member that used to baby sit me a lot. There were a lot of family members that baby sat me, so hopefully no one can figure this out.  This family member paid extra attention to me; always played with my hair, etc.  No one thought it was out of the ordinary.  Now, I only remember a couple of instances; but I believe I was molested or worse by this family member.  The one time I mostly remember is staying the night at my Grandparents’ house.  I was sleeping downstairs on the fold out couch.  Next, the family member came down in their underwear and laid right next to me.  The next thing I remember is crying, calling home hysterical and asked my parents to come get me.  Another instance I was at home sitting in the recliner and my dad was asleep.  This family member came out of the bathroom, saw that my dad was sleeping and motioned me to come in there with them.  I kept on shaking my head no, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I did go in there. Thankfully my young mind blocked out the bad things that possibly happened.

As I have gotten older, I started to piece more things together.  How I am uncomfortable around this family member and how sexualized I was at a very young age. For example, I would have my barbie and ken have sex with each other, I would find porno magazines and get excited by looking at them and the same for movies and play touch with the neighbor kid.  I just seemed to know more about sex that the normal little child.  I really don’t know when the supposed sexual abuse started and stopped.  I sometimes think that it was all imaginary since I can’t remember the actual abuse, but deep in my heart I know it happened.  I think it has always affected me in some sort of way.  I have a hard time having orgasms and maybe once I had one during sex.  I have a hard time trusting men and I used to think I should be treated like crap.  I was in a emotionally abusive relationship for awhile and after that I felt I didn’t deserve a good man.  I eventually stopped talking to family members about my relationship problems because they would be so judgmental and hard on me.  I eventually shut down emotionally and kept everyone at an arms length and perhaps now I still do in some way a little bit.

I am not going to blame the abuse on everything that has gone wrong in my life emotionally; although I tend to have depression issues.  I guess what bothers me is that no one truly understands me or my mind.  I keep a lot of things hidden.  I still have a hard time communicating my feelings even with my boyfriend, the love of my life.  I take things really hard, but try not to show it.  I am a very sensitive person and again, I try not to show it.  I have self-esteem issues, as I don’t feel good about myself most days.

Maybe it’s easier for strangers to read this and perhaps someone will understand what I have been through.  I strongly believe what happens to us as children does affect us for the rest of our lives in some way or another.  It saddens me to know that millions of children are abused every single day and I feel their pain in some way.  A friend of mine asked me if I would want to be hypnotized to remember everything that has happened and I told her no because my mind blocked it out for a reason.  What good would it do to remember it all?  I don’t think I would be able to handle it.

I wish it didn’t happen, but it did and again I am not sure exactly what.  I hope this family member is ashamed in some way for what they did and I pray that they didn’t do it to anyone else.  I guess I am afraid to ask my cousins and such because I don’t want them to know what happened to me and perhaps I don’t want to shame the family.

Well, this is my big secret and perhaps a little weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.


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Conquering Complacency

April 1, 2011 at 12:47 AM (Life Lessons)

Growing up, especially in the Midwest, teaches you to be happy with what you have; to be thankful for just having a job, etc.  You receive this life plan from your family: Go to school, go to college, get a job, fall in love, get married and have children- all in that order.   I initially wanted to go to college to be a vet tech, but with working full time and trying to study biology didn’t go very well.  I love animals, but the classes were too much for me and to make the long story short, I was convinced to go back to college to get an Associate Degree in Business Management.  I thought I was choosing the right path.  I thought that “Hey, I will get a degree then get a high paying job!”  That was never the case.

I became an Administrative Assistant.  After working at Pepsi for a few years, I had an epiphany that working in an office wasn’t for me.  I was never happy and frankly, I got pissed off very often.  Even when I had this epiphany, I continue to work in an office because I have 11 years experience and it’s all I can get.  I am working at a dead end job now, only making $10 per hour with no benefits at all.  I have gotten complacent AGAIN.

In the past 2 years I have realized I need a job where I can be creative and do something that I love.  I tend to get bored very easily and all of this leads to disinterest to do things I love to do like: finish my novel, write poetry & short stories, do interviews and draw.  I have all of these other plans, but do I do them?  No. My days are long and boring and I also have to deal with idiotic, nasty people at work.  By the time I get home at 6 pm, I don’t want to do anything.  I don’t really know how to put this into words, so I will try.  I know we are always told to keep your work life and personal life separate, but that is complete and utter bullshit.  We are human, we have feelings and thoughts.  Of course our work lives effect our personal lives.  I feel bland at work, so therefore when I get home I feel bland and have no inspiration.  I seemed to have lost it in the last 4-5 months.

I got up this morning after dragging myself out of bed because I didn’t want to go to work.  I don’t want to look at my nasty, smelly coworker anymore.  I don’t want to do the same thing for 8-9 hours a day.  I don’t want to fight my coworker with the radio.  (She turns it off and I need music to make it through the day)  I also don’t want to hear her burp all day, keep seeing her underwear as she bends over in chair and look at her stretch pants.  I know this sounds mean, but I really can’t take it anymore.  I also can’t take the favoritism  in the office and give rewards for bad behavior.  This bitter taste all stems from the stagnant existence that is my work life. I get unhappy and everything else seems to annoy me at a quantum level.  As I was driving to work, I realized this:  I am destined to do great things.  No, I don’t have to put up with this bullshit, no matter what my family says.  No, I don’t want to be grateful I have a job; quite frankly, I was happier unemployed.  No my dear family, having coworkers like this does not have to be “the way it is”.  No no no no no! I need to do what is right for me!  Then, I decided that I need to work with animals and/or people and be creative.  I need to find a job that suits my needs, pays well and gives me benefits.  I need more money to get out of debt (another thing that depresses me and how can I get out of debt only making $10 per hour?)  I don’t deserve just to scrimp by.  I want to live comfortably and then be able to own the bookstore I have always wanted.

Working with animals would be ideal for me because I love them so much.  They bring me such joy and inspiration!  I would wake up every morning eager to get to work!  Also, the same for people, in some kind of setting to where I can help.  I want to be a part of some greater good.  I want to feel that I have made a difference to someone!  I started looking for new jobs and unfortunately, the only ones available that I am qualified for is in the office setting.  The big questions for myself are:  ”

Do I continue to look for office jobs with more money until I can finally find the job I truly want?

Would it be better for me at the moment to find a better paying job that is in an office setting just to get out of the one now until I find the job I want?

Will someone ever give me a chance to really prove myself that I am the best with animals and people?

Will the universe give me the opportunity I desire?

I know my novel will get done and somehow I know it will get published, it’s just me that is standing in the way right now.  I know how I am and who I am and I shouldn’t let anyone or anything stand it my way, but yet I do.  I need to break through these walls that are holding me back.  Now I know that going to school, going to college, getting a job, falling in love, getting married and having children- all in that order doesn’t have to be in that order or for anyone  or me for that matter.  My life is my life and I should be able to do it in any order I want.  I know now that just having  just “a job”  isn’t something I need to strive for.  I need to strive for my perfect way of making a living that makes me happy.   I do see myself owning that bookstore down the road and I do see myself being a novelist. But, right now, those dreams seem to be on hold until I can get out from under all of this oppressing burden that holds down my  creative brilliance.  I also want to state that to spite everything else, my love life is great.  My soulmate Carl understands me, knows what I’ve been going through and knows what I am capable of.

Today, I found a 10 dollar bill on the ground.  Hopefully this is a precursor of luck for me.  Perhaps the universe is sending me a message that everything will fall into place soon.  This too soon shall pass.

Here is a song that I can relate to at this time that helps me get through:

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Her Voice Carries On

February 28, 2011 at 11:07 PM (Friends, Loss)

I could feel my heart breaking. The tears flowed and the sobbing wouldn’t stop.  It didn’t make any sense.  How could it be and why?  No matter what anyone said or did at that point couldn’t console me.  My best friend of 12 years, Katy Kochenderfer, died on January 14th, 2011.

It was a whirlwind or more like a maelstrom of confusion, sadness and frustration for a month before her death.  I tried to help the best I could; offer my support the best way I could by talking to her fiancé Dan.  See, she just got engaged and was going to spend the rest of her life with him; I never known her so happy before.  They also got a new puppy Giles.  Everything seemed to be perfect.  When I saw her post about her being in pain before Christmas, I emailed her and asked her what was wrong.  She told me and from then out came the frustration of not knowing what was causing her pain,the ignorance of the doctors and the feeling of doors slamming in her and Dan’s face.  I wanted to help so badly.  I wish I could have afforded to fly out to help her.  The last time I saw her was in January of 2010 before I left.  I wanted to hit myself for not talking to her on the phone more.  We had the type of relationship where we wouldn’t talk on the phone much (she never was for talking on the phone and plus I was 3 hours behind her) but we would email.  I felt such empathy for her and Dan and in a way, I hurt as well.  Katy was in so much pain and couldn’t even move.  Dan kept me posted on what was going on since Katy was so bad off that she really couldn’t handle talking to everyone. I don’t want to go into all of the details of the cause of her pain, but you can read it here:

Her fiancé Dan beautifully & heartbreakingly expressed what happened in his own words.  I offered advice and was nervously waiting on any news about Katy.  I don’t remember the exact day; Dan called me while I was on my lunch and told me that he and Katy came back from the doctor and found out that she had cancer.  I said “Fuck!” and started crying.  I had to go outside and cry.  I couldn’t believe this was happening to her.  I kept on sending positive thoughts and energy her way hoping that she would be able to beat the cancer. Everything was happening so fast and none of it was fair.

Katy would email me occasionally to let me know how she was and Dan kept me updated as much as he could.  Katy kept on telling me how much she loved me and how much she appreciated everything I was doing for her.  She also told me something that made me cry:  “Thank you for being there for me. I’m sorry if I wasn’t there for you.” I told her that  “Always sweetie. Don’t worry about it- today is what is important, not the past.”  My heart was breaking for her.  I just wanted to be there…  Then Dan told me she was going to have a D&C and a laparoscopy to see how much cancer and what type of cancer it was on Wednesday, January 12th.  The night before her surgery I sent her a text:

“Don’t need to respond.  I will be sending extra positive energy to you and even more love!  Even though I am not there with you, just know a piece of my heart is always there.”

That was the last text I sent to her.  I didn’t know I wouldn’t ever text her again.  The next two days were nail-biting.  My stomach kept on churning awaiting news about Katy.  Dan emailed everyone he could and I found out that Katy had an aggressive form of uterine cancer and it spread to ovaries, bladder, liver, colon and possible around her inferior vena cava. I was dismayed by the news.  I kept on wondering how she was going to get through this?  She always wanted children and now she wouldn’t be able to.  Thoughts of her struggling through pain and chemotherapy brought tears to my eyes.  The doctor wanted her to start chemo as soon as possible (when she recovered from the surgery) and they didn’t want to remove the cancer because they thought it would endanger her life.

They put her in ICU because her heart rate was very high, developed blood clots and had a hard time breathing, so they intubated her.   She never fully recovered from surgery.  Thursday night, I saw that Dan posted that Katy may not make it through the night.  I went home and bawled.  I tried to meditate and send my healing energy her way.  Friday was a blur.  I don’t remember who called me.  Katy’s heart kept on stopping.  I didn’t want to admit it, but the outcome seemed bleak, but I still send all my energy to her hoping she would make it through.  I kept on pacing the house, smoking cig after cig.  I don’t remember who I all talked to that night, but I was on the phone a lot.

I got the call around 11:15 my time that Katy passed away.  She left the world comfortable and surround by love.  I lost it.  Everything around me seemed to fade. There was no consoling me.  A bright light that shone through the darkness I kept sometimes was gone.  It doesn’t make any sense.  I fumbled through the week and thanks to our friend Josh, he bought me a plane ticket to go to Katy’s memorial.

Her memorial was beautiful.  So many people who loved Katy come to pay their respects.  There was a video montage with some of her favorite music playing, gorgeous flowers and some of her favorite things were laid out.  I got up and spoke about Katy and that was the hardest thing I had to do.  It took all of my might to get the words out.  Thanks to Josh and Tammy for standing up there with me.

I knew Katy for 12 years.  We met at Staples.  She didn’t want to be my friend at first (because I was so open) but I helped her through something and she realized how much I meant to her.  Back then, Katy was quiet and sometimes withdrawn.  It is an honor for me to be able to see how much she grew.  She became this beautiful flower that spread so much joy to others.  She loved everyone differently.  She didn’t care if you had different interests than her, or what type of person you were.  She loved you for you.  And she sure did love me for me.  She understood me like no one else.  She could say what I couldn’t define.  She could see inside my soul and give me the best advice.  She was comfortable.  I will miss everything.  We had plans; she was going to be an Aunt to my future children, her and Dan were going to come for a visit in the Spring, we were going to travel together someday, and she was supposed to meet the love of my life.  I cry for things that were and things that will never be.  I feel guilty for not calling more, not seeing her more, for everything.

I am happy that she finally got what she wanted; the love of her life, Dan.  She waited so long for him.  She was so enthralled and excited for her future with him.

She was a part of my life for a reason.  She brought love, laughter, understanding and many more things into my life.  Katy was an inspiration. She will always be in my heart and never will be forgotten.  I will carry her with me everywhere.  Her words will stay with me and be the voice of reason.  Whenever I want to see her, I close my eyes.  She appears smiling, and her voice carries.  I can still hear her sing.


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Chris Isaak,Bumbershoot, *A New Place Soon & More

October 3, 2010 at 1:33 PM (Music, Concerts, Uncategorized)

Sorry that is has been awhile since I have blogged anything; like with my reading, I will read book after book then I won’t read for awhile. I haven’t finished my novel yet either. I’ve said I will finish it, but I haven’t. Sigh. I really need to get on myself and get the novel done.  It’s a great scary, thrilling story and I believe others will love it.  I admit that when I do finish that I am scared of the process of getting it edited and published.

In other news, it looks like me and the man will be getting a house!  It’s perfect!  We fell in love with it!  Hopefully we will be getting good news about it this week.  The landlords liked us (thought we were a cute couple).  We need a new place because living in this current tiny place  can take it’s toll from time to time.  It will be good for the both of us and our relationship.  Also by getting this house we are growing our relationship and looking towards the future.

I finally got a job!  It doesn’t pay much or has any benefits… But, it’s a job and I will finally have a constant paycheck coming in.  I’m constantly busy and always learning something new there.  I do admit I get frustrated due to how I’m getting trained, but I guess that is par for the course.

It’s been stressful for me for the past few months wondering if I will get a job, get out of this place and into somewhere new, lack of money and kicking myself for not having the will to finish my novel.  But, everything seems to be coming together.  I hope good things will continue and I really hope that I will finish my novel and find some way to get it published and out there.  I also hope to get more interviews on here in the near future.

Also, we went to quite a few concerts in the past 2 months.  I finally got to see Chris Isaak!  I’ve loved him since I was 9 years-old and when I saw that he was coming to Portland I couldn’t pass it up!  I met the drummer, Kenny and the lead guitarist Herschel!  We even got front row!!!  Kenny threw me both drum sticks after the show!

Carl won tickets to the Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle!  They included Main Stage Access and private sessions to bands!  Our Private Sessions were Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes AND Courtney Love.

She is a train wreck…  So, this is what I could understand from what she was saying:

-Her guitarist has been living with her for 5 years and he puts up with her-James McAvoy will be playing Kurt in the biopic; she didn’t come out and say it, but she said his last name and something about when she saw him scratching his balls at an awards show, she knew it had to be him

-She does talk to her daughter sometimes and is pissed because she just found out that she went and met Dave Grohl

-She hasn’t had plastic surgery in 5 years

-She lives off of Hole money

– When her and Kurt were together they really didn’t have much money as everyone thought; about $175 thousand in the bank and that most of the money that they got went into their daughter’s trust

‎- She is still fighting about Kurt’s ashes- She was going to go shopping afterwards at her fav store (forgot the name) and back in the day that was the only place that would take checks so her and Kurt would always go there because for a period they were broke

-The song “Honey” on her new album is about Kurt

-Her and Kurt used to throw Skittles at Pearl Jam back in the day.  She said her and Eddie has made up

We went two days and we saw: Nekko Case, The Decemberists, Bob Dylan, Rise Against, Hole and Weezer. I had to admit that Weezer was my favorite show of the weekend and I got to touch Rivers Como! I also got to touch Courtney Love and hang out with her guitarist. I even got into the pit for a few songs of Rise Against for a few songs before I had to get out. We had a great view for all of the concerts. We were in the front off to the side. Enjoy the rest of the pics!
Bob Dylan:

Rise Against:

Hole: (they kind of sucked: 5 covers and the same song at the beginning and the end and she did a bad cover of “Jeremy” in the private session and at the concert)


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I Was Dupped RE: Izzy Stradlin Interview

June 30, 2010 at 12:47 PM (Uncategorized)

I had to delete my last interview with Izzy Stradlin because I found out the person I interviewed was a poser.  I enjoy doing interviews and up until this point, I interviewed very honest and real people.   I’m sorry for this and it won’t happen again.  I will take extra precautions to make sure the person is for real.  Thank you for reading.  Because of you the readers, you make it worthwhile.  I will not disappoint you next time.  Please accept my apology.


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“Chasing Ghosts” With Paranormal Investigator Brian Harnois

May 21, 2010 at 10:17 AM (Interviews) (, , )

Photo Courtesy Of Brian Harnois

As long as I can remember, I’ve had encounters that were paranormal and I never quite understood them.  I did stupid things like use an Ouija Board and got an undesired effect. When Ghost Hunters, a program that features the paranormal group TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) headed by Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes,premiered in 2004 on the SyFy Channel, I was hooked and learned more than I thought I possibly could and I didn’t feel so alone in my experiences.  Brian Harnois was a investigator on both Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International. He has now founded his own group, The Paranormals.  I was ecstatic when Brian agreed to do this interview.  Brian is extremely talented and one of the most knowledgeable in his field.

You have been investigating the paranormal for a long time; what specifically happened to you that made you want to learn more and chase ghosts so to speak?

I got into the paranormal when I was about 11 years old. I was sleeping over my friend Josh Gravel’s house one night. As anyone knows, when parents tell kids to go to sleep they never do. Josh had bunk beds in his room and I was on the top bunk and he was in the bottom bunk. It was about midnight and we were joking around like kids do. All of a sudden a full body apparition walked through one wall of his room, walked right in front of us and through the opposite wall. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Needless to say we didn’t sleep in that room that night. But after that experience I was hooked. I started reading everything I could about ghosts. I went to all the libraries and did all the research I could. Then I started to do little cemetery hunts when I was 15 or 16, and the rest is history.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching you on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International. You really made the show great and I was sad to see you go. Can you elaborate on why you left the shows? Also, how did you become to be on the shows?

I left Ghost Hunters because of all the drama and the way they treated me for the whole time I was on that show. GHI was a little different, because there was no drama and I liked everyone that I worked with. The only problem was the travel time and the time away from the family. We would be gone 5 out of 6 months and that was a big problem.
I was on the Ghost Hunters because I had been with the TAPS team since 1999 and I was the case manager/training instructor for the group. GHI was a little different because I pitched the spin off show to Pilgrim Films and they loved the idea. The only problem was I didn’t pitch an international show, that is a whole story on its own how it got to that point.

Duuude, Run! It had to be one of my favorite episodes on GH. Seriously, how scared were you? I was scared just by watching you!

I really wasn’t scared out of my mind. Me and Dave Hobbes(Cameraman) were on some downtime taking some photos of the prison and I had one of my funny feelings while walking down cell block 4. As Dave took a picture we saw a huge black shadow come out of one cell, walk right across our path and go into another cell door. We both froze, but Dave screamed in my ear. I freaked out and yelled “Dude,Run”. That’s how it all happened.

What is the most frightening thing that has happened to you out in the field?

Photo Courtesy of Brian Harnois

Photo Courtesy of Brian Harnois

It is a very long story, and not one to be told here, but my most scariest experience had to be when we had a case up in Maine. Myself, Keith and Sandra Johnson, and a couple of other investigators went to go check out an 80 something year- old lady that was supposedly possessed by a demon. And OH YEAH she was possessed. Her eyes went completely black and Keith had to perform and exorcism on her. It was a crazy and petrifying night.

You started “The Paranormals”. How is that going and can you talk about some of the investigations you are doing?

The Paranormals are going strong. We have a lot of work to do, but we are getting to where we want to be in the paranormal community. I can’t talk about the investigations we are going on, but you will hear about them soon enough.

You and Donna LaCroix formerly of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International had your own radio show for awhile and it was very informative and entertaining. Will you be doing another radio show?

I have no plans to do another radio show, but I have been asked by a bunch of different internet radio networks. I don’t think I will ever do another one, but you never know.

What is something new you are working on and are doing?

The Paranormals are working very close with a producer to get back on TV. It is very close to being a done deal, so keep an eye out for it.

I saw that you are writing a book; when can we expect that to be released?

The book should be released in the spring of next year. It is going to be about all my exploits in the paranormal over the last 18 years. It is going to be a good read.

You appear at paranormal conventions across the country. What are the ones that are coming up and what do you teach and talk about at them?

I do not have any coming up in the near future, but you never know when I will be asked to come to one. As for teaching and talking, the audience at that time is responsible for the topics. Whatever they want to hear about is what I talk about.

What advice can you give to aspiring paranormal investigators? What equipment is a must have? Also, what can they do to join a local group?

The best advice I could give is to read, read, read. Knowledge is the best thing to have when dealing with the paranormal. The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you are to handle the situation at hand in a clients house. The best equipment you can have is an audio recorder, an EMF detector, camera, and a flashlight. You don’t need all the expensive equipment you see on TV to be a good investigator. You just need the basics. If you want to join a local group, make sure you know the groups background before you join, and make sure you are good fit with the people in the group. The internet is the best place to search for a group in your area to join as well.

You have two daughters; will you be teaching them paranormal investigations when they get older? Perhaps have your own family business?

Well, I don’t know if Michelle will let me train them in the ways of the paranormal. But, if she does and they are interested, I could see this being a very good family business.

How did you get your nickname Wheezy?

I was nicknamed Wheezy because I had the flu one day back in 2005 and tried to smoke a cigarette. My lungs didn’t agree to the smoke and I started wheezing. Hence, the nick name Wheezy!

What cool hobbies do you have?

I really don’t have many hobbies. I love hanging with my family, reading is a must. I love to read. And the best time is sitting down after the kids are in bed and watch some TV with the wife.

You are a huge Star Wars® fan; have you been to any of the conventions, have any collectibles?

The last big convention i went to was Wizard World Con. That was an amazing convention with tons of Star Wars stuff going on. I used to have a huge collection of Darth Vader collectibles, but I got rid of them because I had no room for them in the house.

You have come out and said you are Bi-Polar. I admire you for your strength and honesty. Does it feel like a big weight has been lifted now you can get the help you need and know now what hasn’t felt right in a long time? What advice can you give others with this disorder?

It was a definite huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t even know I had the disorder until August of last year. So it was a relief to finally find out what was wrong with me and get the help I needed. The only advice I can give is to make sure you keep taking your medication and get the therapy you need to battle this disorder. You can beat it, and I think I am doing just that.

Brian’s Website:

Follow Brian on Twitter!

The Paranormal’s Website:

The Paranormal’s Facebook Page

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Joel Kosche is “Always Dreaming”

May 20, 2010 at 3:08 PM (Music, Concerts)

If you have been looking for a true story of someone who followed their dream and became a lead guitarist of one of the best, longest lasting rock groups then look no further!

Collective Soul is my favorite bands.  Their music is everlasting and true to my soul.  The songs speak to me and guide me through the hard times, and help me express my emotions to the ones I love and gives me inspiration to write.  Their dedication to their fans is sincere.  They care what we have to say and strive to make us happy; a lot of bands don’t do that.

Joel Kosche was a guitar tech in 1996 when the Collective Soul offered him the role of lead guitarist. This was one of the best things that Collective Soul has done.  Joel brings tremendous talent to Collective Soul. Joel knows his craft; his energy, skill and drive keeps bringing Collective Soul upward. Watching Joel play brings me to awe; his intensity is present and you can tell he loves what he does.  I’ve met him in person and I can tell you he is one of the nicest guys.

Joel founded the band Rhapsody and later in 1994,with other members of Rhapsody created the band Jovial Storm.  Years later, Joel fronted the band Steep in which he sang lead vocals. He also sang on “I Don’t Need Anymore Friends” on Collective Soul’s 2007’s album Afterwords proving to be a great singer and we the fans, wanted more of his voice.

He answered us in his debut album, “Fight Years” that will be released on June 15th.  The single, “Always Dreaming”  which will be available to download on June 1st.

You can listen to samples of the song on Amazon:

Fight Years Sample

His melodic voice along with the rockin’ guitar riffs keep me wanting to hear more.  We won’t be disappointed.

Please say hello and follow Joel on Twitter:

Visit his website to learn more about Joel and listen to his single, “Always Dreaming”

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I’ve Come A Long Way- Literally

March 14, 2010 at 2:36 PM (Uncategorized)

I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in a while.  I was waiting on some interviews, but I never got the questions sent back.  Hopefully I will; I miss doing interviews.  The other reason why I haven’t blogged or been on any social medial outlet much is because I’ve been busy and my life has changed.

If someone would have told me early last year that I would move meet my soul mate and move to the other end of the country I would have told them that they were crazy!  Well, it did happen.  I want to go back and explain what happened from then to now so that you will get a better understanding. I guess I don’t need to offer any explanation or give any reason why I did what I did, but I want to share the story.

I leftPepsi back in February of 09′.  It was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I already made changes within myself by that point and was looking toward the future, but something was missing.  For a few years, since my trip to Boston, I felt that I needed to leave Ohio and go someplace new.  I would always convince myself that I was just crazy and everything you need is in central Ohio.  But, the nagging feeling kept creeping back up.  An old classmate,C, from Lincolnview found me on Facebook after Pepsi.  The funny thing was that we never really talked in High School.  I found him to be funny, kind, sweet and everything I wanted in a guy.  Of course I kept that to myself and from him for a while (but I think he knew anyway.)  We continued to converse, I got a new job and things seemed okay for a while.  I dated, was always disappointed and my old friend would comfort me.  He was going through the same things too; getting frustrated with dating.  I wasn’t happy at the new job.  C and I kept on conversing and realizing we have a lot in common and I would say to him: “Why do you have to live all the way out there?”  I then was laid off from the other job and started writing again, went to a bunch of concerts, turned 30 and enjoyed myself for the most part.  But, something was missing.  I continued to see people and still was frustrated and disappointed and deep down I knew the man for me was clear across the country.  Me and C began talking on the phone more and we both had strong feelings for each other.  I decided (rather my heart) to go out for a visit in October.  My heart was tugging me out there and I couldn’t deny it.  We both were nervous and scared.  I didn’t tell anyone that the real reason why I was going out there.  I figured it was  no one’s business.  I just said I had the time to do what I wanted and always wanted to go back and visit Washington.  When I was on the plane, looking out the window overlooking Washington a voice in my head told me I was home.  When I got off the plane and C met me, I just knew.  We fell in love (we started falling before that).  I didn’t want to go back to Ohio and I cried the whole way home.  A piece of my heart was on the other side of the country, but I knew I would be back.  I came back a month later and stayed a month and again, I had to come back to Ohio and didn’t want to.

Frankly, I was depressed.  I sat up in my room all  of the time, always on the computer, watching TV and cuddling my cats (except for the times I forced myself). Looking back, I realize I was depressed for a long time. (Even though I went to concerts and played kickball in the Fall).  My roommate tried to get me to go downstairs and hang out, but I never wanted to- I just didn’t want to be there (not only because I missed my love, but my place didn’t feel like “home”, “home” was with C).  The only thing I looked forward to was talking to C on the phone and longed for the day to see him again.  I wished I could teleport; I wanted to be able to be there in an instant.  I would sit there and try to figure out ways to get there.  I started selling my things on Craigslist and it was going very slow like a snail.  I wanted to be there by Feb; get enough money to afford a Uhaul, but unemployment was going to run out soon and no one was biting on my Craigslist ads.  Then, something happened (too personal) and I had to get there.  Katy was sympathetic to what was going on and offered to pay for my plane ticket.  I guess I knew I wasn’t coming back.  As soon as I touched down, and saw him, I knew that this is where I was supposed to be.  In a perfect world, I wanted to move out here with all of my things and get my own place.  But, with no money and still have to pay rent at the other place, it wasn’t possible.  My roommate was mad with my decision on not coming back.  I’m not going into the details, but, he has come around.  I’m getting my tax refund soon, so I’m using that to fly my cats out here- I miss them terribly.  My dad is selling my car and he is shipping some of my belongings out to me.  I do miss my friends, some of my things and some things about Columbus, but this is my home.  Things are just things, and they can be replaced.

My job is going well and it is good to finally get some money coming in.  I’m learning the city and finding my way around.  It is beautiful out here and will be venturing out to see more.  I’m not quite used to the weather yet; I seem to be always cold (lol)  and I’m looking forward to summer and swimming in the lake we live by.  I love seeing the mountains and on a clear day the sky is so beautiful and blue.  I hope I can make some friends of my own here soon and be able to go out with them, but it takes time for me to make friends.

I’m at peace now.  Of course, I will be better once my cats are here.  I’m not depressed anymore.  I feel more like myself now.  I’m not as insecure about myself; more comfortable in my own skin.  C is wonderful.  He’s supportive, loving, funny- just everything I’ve ever wanted.  He makes me feel beautiful.  I don’t want to sound Jerry McGuireish, but he completes me.  I love him more and more every day and I didn’t think that was possible.  I look forward to finding out new things about him and experiencing life together.  I know, like in every relationship, that it is not always going to be butterflies and rainbows, but this relationship will always be worth working on together.  He is “home”.  “Home is a feeling I buried in you.”  I will always love you C, you are my soul mate.  Through the good times and the bad, I will always support you and be by your side.  You are a part of my soul and my heart.

My biggest gratitude to Katy; thank you.  You made my dream come true.  We’ve been friends for a long time and knew what I needed.  Your generosity will ever be forgotten and hopefully soon, you can come out for a trip.

Always follow your heart and your gut.  Take chances and do something you don’t think you would normally do.  Life is short, make the most of it and don’t miss any opportunities, especially in love.


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Something to *Fight For- An Interview With Kelly Burdge of NoMara

November 4, 2009 at 4:45 PM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , , , )

kellynomara (1)

NoMara: The band name derives from the Buddhist Lord of misfortune, sin, destruction, and death, Mara. Mara is the ruler of desire and death, the two evils that chain man to the wheel of ceaseless rebirth. Mara reviles man, blinds him, guides him toward sensuous desires; once man is in his bondage, Mara is free to destroy him”. Mara can be defined as the evil in all of us. In relationships, especially with people close to us, many of our actions including words can be used like darts to hurt and inflict pain. Over time, those words and actions wear and tear down others to the point that we lose them from our lives. NoMara means our partner is not Mara and should not be abused as if they are the evil one. The answers to our individual issues lie within us, not others. She is not Mara, she is not your fight!

I have the pleasure to know Kelly Burdge; the lead singer of NoMara and to be introduced to his music- his band.  I was inspired by his story and his music. The words to his songs are something we can all relate to; his passion to drive on through and make his dreams a reality should tell us that we can do anything we set our minds to.  This Ohio based rock band has been working hard to get their music to us and Kelly has kindly given me an interview to share in depth about his fervor and dedication to his life long dream.

Your band just emerged in 2008. What drove you want to start a band?

You know, who doesn’t want to start a band?  I can remember growing up and listening to KISS Alive and thinking to myself, “Wow, this is something special…which reminds me…I should be eligible for some kind of benefit for being in the Kiss Army all these years.”  At any rate, I chose a different path which included sports, college, 9-5 and so on.  I always kept music close to my heart and frequently attended tons of shows whenever possible to see the bands that gave me that spark inside.  To me, it all comes down to the connection between myself and the band at the live show.  I can listen to CD’s all day long, but until I see them live and “feel it” in the flesh, it does not become burned into my soul.  It really wasn’t until the past few years I honestly gave any serious thought to becoming a musician.  In fact, it all started a couple years ago when one of my favorite bands, Fuel, announced online they would be seeking a new lead singer and would be holding auditions.  I thought to myself, “Self….could this be a sign?” Well not having the courage to submit an audition tape, I did reach out to a long time friend and one of the world’s most amazing rock drummers, Troy Luckketta from Tesla.  I told Troy I wanted to do a song together and I didn’t think he took me too seriously but nonetheless, he was very supportive.  Troy suggested finding a few local guys and start jamming. Well, where else to find a couple local musicians but at your neighborhood coffee shop? We jammed one day in my apartment and the addiction kicked in.  Over the course of the next few months, I literally began writing tons of songs, mostly in the form of short stories without the music.  Looking back, anyone who has ever known me always knew that being a front man in a rock band was my true dream and fantasy in life. Music has been the one thing in my life that has always been there, never failed me, and has always done what it set it out to do, heal and sooth.

How did you start the process? Who co-writes the songs with you?

Process is a good description. Starting and maintaining a band is certainly a process, not an event.  Not really any band experience, I kind of assumed finding a group of musicians to give up their lives and go on tour with me would be easy.  Come to find out, the music business is a bit more complex.  Typically, a band gets together as friends or colleagues from a local scene and writes music together. My situation was a little different than that; I wrote all my music with already established musicians in a studio.  A good friend of mine named Phil Taylor (Future Leaders of the World) had recently teamed up with ex-Evanescence band member John Lecompt on a new project called “Machina” that was based out of Little Rock.  I contacted Phil telling him about all these songs I had been working on and he suggested I come work with him and John to see what we could come up with.  The next thing I knew, I was down in John’s studio and before I knew it we had 12 really good songs and POOF! I was a front man!  So, the next step was to find a band.  In September of 2008, I spent a weekend with Troy and let him hear the final product for the first time.  He was very surprised and proud at how far this dream had come in a very short period of time.  We immediately began the process of putting a band together.  For most of 2008, the band was based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.  We toured a bit with a great band called Pop Evil, but the chemistry was just not there with that line-up, so I had to make a few changes.  Currently, the band is based back in Ohio but still has nationwide roots with our lead guitar player coming from San Francisco (Nicky Now) and our bass player (Matthew Paul) coming from Atlanta.  Our other guitar player (Steve Prater) and drummer (Andy Perkins) are Ohio boys from Kenton.  I am extremely pleased with this line-up and truly feel they are connected with the music; each bringing their own energy and vibe into the songs giving them life.

You told me that you didn’t know you could sing for the longest time; what happened to make you realize you can?

I am still very much a student of singing and learn more about it every single day.  If you could hear the first time I stepped into the studio box to sing you would laugh your butt off. Again, I had never been in a band, had a lesson, or been on a stage other than one or two times doing karaoke.  In fact, the first time I ever stepped foot on a stage was opening for Tesla at a sold out show in California; I think I fooled them.

What kept me going was I could hear in my head how it needed to be sung.  I would also imagine how singers like Brent from Shinedown or Jacoby from Papa Roach might sing the song.  I would take all that in and let it out with my own flavor and style.  I have been taking lessons and asking lots of questions when in the company of talented local and national artists on how to keep getting better.  My vocal coach Stephanie is amazing; she really helped me gain the confidence I needed. I also do my best to keep my voice healthy by not drinking alcohol or smoking.  Water is also key.

Your lyrics are drawn from relationships and the hardships from them; what emotions and memories do you draw from to pen the lyrics?

Well, if there is one thing we can all relate to it’s the pains and joys of being in a relationship. For me, my life struggles have always been about accepting my place in the world and being content day to day.  For some reason I have always felt like I was missing something and just not complete.  Having children certainly filled most of that void but having that true connection with a partner has seemed to always flee over time in my past.  I frequently ponder and wonder why this happens and I still do not know.  The current songs of NoMara do stem from a particular point and instance of time in my life not too long ago.  The record actually tells a story from beginning to end.  The first track is called “Last Call” and is about the end of a relationship.  It’s about that last call, last text, or email…when we finally realize this relationship is over.  The remaining tracks are about the period of time after a break-up detailing the thoughts and process we go through in getting back on our feet.  Relationships are great practice for personal growth.

Which song is the closest to you heart and that you are the most proud of?

Without question Fight Song means the most to me.  All I ever wanted was someone who wants to be with me as much as I want to be with them.  That song is going through some changes right now and I think the updated official version will be even better. We are playing the new version live on this upcoming tour and do see it being released on radio soon if things continue to progress for us. Personally, I don’t think the world needs another love song. I think we what need is a fight song that will keep us together so we never ever fall apart.

What obstacles have you pushed through (and currently) to make this dream your reality?

I think the biggest obstacle has been maneuvering around in today’s music business. Everything is so different than bands experienced prior to 2002.  The biggest challenge is getting your music out to the people.  Yes, there are more tools today than ever before with social networking and online music stores but there is also a tremendous amount of bands out there saturating the consumer.  Getting yours into their ears is a challenge.  I have always been a firm believer that the cream comes to the top and if the music is good enough it will eventually be heard and embraced.  As a band, we need to stay focused and healthy while on the road.  All of us are committed to doing whatever it takes to get the music to the people.  Hopefully, the people will respond by becoming NoMara fans and coming to our shows.

How are you defying yourself as a band?  How are you making yourselves stand out from the rest?

I think our band is in a position to accomplish some great things.  All of the guys are seasoned musicians that have been down the road before and have experienced what works and what does not when it comes to “surviving out there”.  We just had this conversation tonight at practice as we processed our shows from the past weekend.  We all want NoMara to be a class act from the minute we enter a town to the time we leave.  We don’t subscribe to the stereotypical “up all night- sleep all day” rock and roll lifestyle.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our fun on the road but we do our best to keep things balanced and in perspective.

What would/does “success” mean to you?

Well for years I viewed success by the how much money I had, but over the past few years’ success has been defined as living life chasing dreams.  In my old job,I was surrounded by people counting the days to retirement.  I never subscribed in my heart to that mentality and did not want my children watching me live my life doing something I was not passionate about.  Everything I do today or become involved with has to have a purpose.  It must have something to do with making the world a better place.  Aside from this rock and roll life, I am a licensed substance abuse counselor.  I recently co-authored a book that uses the languages of sports to reduce high risk behaviors in youth and young adults.  I would like to eventually get the book out and be able to visit local high schools during the day while out on the road rocking and rolling during the nightshift.

Who and/or what is your inspiration/muse?

My children are my inspiration.  Without question they are the best thing that ever happened to me.  It’s difficult being away from them while on the road but we manage to stay in touch daily via cell phones and this trip out we are going to try some web cams.  They both rock!

You are going on tour soon; how are you preparing for it?

The band finally arrived in Ohio a couple weeks ago.  We immediately began daily rehearsals and played a few regional shows.  Nowadays the band has to play the part of management, marketing department, promotions, booking agent, etc.  If we are not rehearsing, we are talking to venues, reaching out to new fans online, or sleeping.  The tour kicks off Friday at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus. We then head down to Nashville and into the northern U.S. for a few weeks.

NoMara will be playing at Columbus, Ohio’s Newport Music Hall November 6th!  To check out other tour dates, please go to their Myspace music page:

Follow NoMara on Twitter!  They follow back!

To buy tickets for their shows:

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No Matter- A Poem

October 25, 2009 at 7:03 PM (Uncategorized)

This is a poem my boyfriend and I wrote together.

I am strong,

and I know That “this” is supposed to be,

No matter the days,

No matter the hours,

or the distance,

We will prevail,

I am not wrong,

and I know that this will one day become relief,

Counting seconds,

Tallying minutes,

Marking miles,

and filling sails.

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