Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What I learned in '11

Each year I like to look back and evaluate what I've learned. This year was full of growing, accomplishing, reconciliation, healing, determination and most of all love.

January 2011
We celebrated last New Years in Florida with my mom and stepdad. When we returned we settled in for a couple weeks then headed for our second trip to NAMM. Where we got to learn about a ton of music gear and meet a lot of talented people.

February 2011
I participated in a Community Couture Challenge Fashion show where I made an outfit out of tshirts and candy. My wonderful model Sarah Spraker rocked it and all the proceeds from the show went to the Nevada Children's Heart Foundation. You can read about it here. I learned that I can sew, somewhat at least. 
I was unhappy with my job for months. After weeks of sending out resumes and interviewing  a new position within the company I was already employed opened up. The new job has been great and I learned that if I kept trying I would find the right one. 
March 2011
The highlight of March was throwing myself an 80's Prom Themed Birthday Party. My friends all participated and we had a grand time! Definitely one of the best birthdays I ever had.

April 2011
We were treated to a traditional Russian Easter feast from our friends Chris and Lauren. They made a perogies with mushrooms, vodka soaked prunes, potatoes with cheese and bacon, and sauerkraut. They also made a ham, creamed cucumber salad, kielbasa, and made us take shots of Vodka with a pickle chaser.
It was a good time with friends and good food.

My dad got me an iphone and thus started my obsession with Words with Friends and Stupid Zombies.

May 2011
In May I learned that I needed to work harder on fixing myself. For over a year at this point my relationship/marriage was not in a happy place
Things were on the verge of being repaired but the overall state of our marriage was fragile. 
Then a good friend of ours passed away. This friend had given the toast at our wedding. He had known us both prior to us knowing each other and had taught us both a lot, as well as everyone else who had known him. It made me realize that I had lost my previous self in the fog of my stormy marriage and needed more than anything to fix myself no matter what the outcome of my relationship would be. 

I also learned that month that dressing more like a chick for our shows would get me free drinks.

June 2011
I got to watch one of my best friends from high school get married. 
Hayden and I had a date night and we discovered an awesome park just right down the road from our house. I got to see my two favorite bands at the Joint in the Hard Rock ; Deftones & Dillinger Escape Plan and on that night learned that fate sometimes comes when you least expect it. That evening we met Rob, a guy who was parked next to us and would later become our new guitar player. 

July 2011
In July we celebrated Hayden's 5th birthday and Brian's Birthday. It was a month of parties, some good shows, and valuable lessons in real friendships.
We got to see Queens of the Stone Age at the Cosmo pool and had a great time! Our guitar player Dave quit bipolar and we soon after got Rob to replace him.

August 2011
I bought myself a long board and promised to start skating again. I did as much as I could, but should do it much more now that I'm calling myself out. 
We played an awesome show on the Colorado river in Bullhead City, AZ with our pals Shrapnull. My first experience playing a show in my bathing suit.
We got to meet Jason Mewes of Jay and Silent Bob and learned their friendship was helping 
Jason stay sober.
Hayden learned how much getting shots before school sucks, but then how sweet a reward ice cream is after the pain. Hayden started kindergarten at the end of August. It was a hard day for both of us.

September 2011
The highlight of September was camping in Zion National Park. Hayden learned after getting into a routine that school wasn't so bad after all. 

October 2011
October was a great month all around. We got to visit Brian's family in Washington. We got to play an amazing show at the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay and we had a great Halloween.

November 2011
We had a mellow November. Full of snuggling, cooking, video games and being thankful.
We worked through a lot of our problems during the rough patch and things started to get back to awesome.

December 2011
This month was also full of awesome. We started the month off with a road trip to Sacramento. We hadn't been back in three years and I realized how much I missed California. The road trip was great. Hayden and I were stuck in the back seat of a truck for almost 20 hours and no one got hurt.
The show was AMAZING! We had a great time playing with such talented bands and seeing friends we've missed so much since our move. We got to stay at our good friend Jimmy's house and he let us rock his RV to the show which was pretty sweet and a first for us. We also had an amazing Christmas weekend full of love, fun and friends.

I am excited for the New Year. I have a list of goals, a book of blank pages to fill with love and adventure and a mountain of dreams I would really like to tackle in 2012. 
I'm in a great place right now and 2012 will be my year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Weekend Redux

Hayden fell asleep pretty early on Christmas eve. Around 8:30 he was ready for bed and watching a movie upstairs in our room. He slept hard too. Harder than I ever remember sleeping on the night before the best present getting day ever.
He came into our room about 6:30 am and laid in bed with us watching Spongebob while we lightly slept. At 7 am both Brian and I were so excited to get downstairs and see what Santa had brought that we jumped out of bed, got dressed and brushed and headed down the stairs.

He reveled at the Star Wars Grievous Helmet Santa left him under the tree and was shocked to see Little Big Planet 2 hidden behind some ornaments. The rest of his presents were more video games, lots and lots of Legos and Star Wars toys. He was extremely happy.

After hours of playing, building and running around he cuddled with daddy at Papa's house on Christmas day.

We had an amazing Christmas full of awesome memories. It was Brian and my 13th Christmas together and the best yet.

His coworker gave him this gift; a picture he took of us at their work party a couple weeks ago.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Last night Hayden and I went through old photo albums and scrapbooks. I wanted to show him pictures from our past holidays.
He wasn't very interested at first but when he saw some of me as a child with Santa he perked right up.

This one was taken in 1984 I believe. You can see so much of Hayden in me. 

I also found this beautiful picture of my mom from High school. I'm sure she's going to hate me posting it but its one of the best pictures I have of her. 
I also found this photo from when I was about one, so 1981 I believe.

My favorite part of the holidays is remembering the awesome times of the past and being grateful for the opportunity to make new memories. We were able to do much more than we expected this year for Christmas thanks to an awesome bonus I got from work. I'm so excited to make a big Christmas eve dinner for our good friends and spend this amazing weekend with our family.
Happy Holidays to everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Three Days. Hayden is SO excited that Christmas is in only three days. I love the sparkle in his eyes as he looks at the Christmas tree and peeks below to wonder what is beneath the wrapping paper.
I wrapped a box the other night and when I put it under the tree he scuttled over to me and said "Mom, WHAT IS THAT?!" Like if he asked me all shocked I would tell him.
I answered "It's daddy's present."
"What IS it?" He pressed.
"I can't tell you it's a surprise!"
"Mom, come on. You can tell me ANYTHING!"
He's just like his dad.

Here are the ornaments of Christmas' past.

This was Hayden's first Christmas. Our amazing friend Shannon took the pictures when he was 4 months old. 

 This was his second Christmas. We took these photos with a photographer in a park in Sacramento.

This was his third Christmas and our first in Las Vegas.

Last year he made this ornament at daycare. He told our daycare provider Melissa that he wanted to make himself as a robot

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Setting Goals


I kind of neglected my Bucket List the last few months. I really have no excuse other than being lazy. I've been spending way too much time on the couch in front of my TV instead of being constructive.
I read a lot of blogs with lists the last week that I needed to set a fire under my ass. I revamped my Bucket List and made my own list of goals for early 2012.
Besides the obvious needs of a new vehicle, a laptop/computer and a printer I have a lot of crafts/projects I need to revisit and pull out of my head to make happen.
One major project that I've been thinking about for years is making a headboard. I won't go into the details yet cause that will be an awesome future post.
Another is catching up on my scrapbooks. We left off on Hayden's about a year ago and now with him in school and able to write a bit he can be much more involved which is super exciting for me.
Journaling and making zines were my favorite activities when I was younger. I hope he digs it half as much as I did.
Setting goals for myself right now is a bit daunting. I feel so limited with my lack of resources (vehicle, home computer, camera, etc). Even though these aren't extreme necessities I feel like I will be doing SOOO much more when I get over this mountain. I have my hiking gear ready and have started the ascent. 2012 will be my year. I will own it. Like a boss.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend Redux: Pre-Holiday

On Friday I finished up our cards and the traditional ornaments I make for the family. Above is the ornament I made for us. Hayden thought it was pretty funny that Barley and him were the head of the snowman.

Saturday evening we attended Brian's work Christmas party in the penthouse at the Red Rock Casino. It's a beautiful 180 penthouse with a wrap around balcony. A small fireworks show went on while I was outside. My iPhone isn't the newest model so that was the best shot I could get. This is the third year they've held it in this amazing room and the first year I didn't see anyone jump in the hot tub.

Yesterday we watched football and I baked a bunch of cookies. Hayden appreciated being in the kitchen at the right time.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Last Minute.

Usually I have my Christmas shopping done by now. Usually I have hundreds of cookies baked by now. Usually I'm one million times more festive than I have been this holiday season.
Yesterday I received some gift cards from my family and as grateful as I was to get them I felt a huge weight of panic fall on me. I FORGOT TO TO SEND OUR YEARLY TRADITIONAL ORNAMENTS.
So now I have like 3 days to wrap up as much festive as I can to make sure I don't fail this year. Regardless of how broke we are I have ALWAYS sent something to my family.
Each year I pick out a cute picture of Hayden and make ornaments for all of our family. He posed for some shots the other night so now I have to pick the best one.

These are some of the outtakes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

School of Hard Rocks: Your Gimmick Is Killing Your Talent

It's really frustrating to see musicians that are good drown their talent in a gimmick.
According to, a 'gimmick' is "an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal."
If you're going to have a gimmick to draw attention to your band it has to be done right. Sure you can create and awesome theme and character to portray when you're creating your music, part of being a performer is putting on a great show. ie: The Locust, Gwar, Slipknot.
But copying other bands gimmicks is just poor form and will only make people talk shit about your band.
There are musicians in almost every scene that try to stand out. No one should want to be like some other musician, if you do you should be in a cover band. The best way to stand out is write good music and put on a good show.
Of course this is all my personal opinion. I've seen a lot of unsigned bands in my 12 years as a vocalist that have hidden behind masks and makeup. Some good, some bad and hardly any of them were unique with their gimmicks.
As Oscar Wilde said:

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Redux: Still Sick

This weekend was spent blowing my nose, eating cough drops, watching too much television and finishing LA NOIRE.
Finishing games like LA Noire is disappointing to me. Not because the ending is lacking but mostly because I'd really like to story to keep going. I loved this game. Loved it so much I had dreams about it and was shocked when the plot thickened throughout the story line.
Another shocking moment this weekend was watching the season finale of Boardwalk Empire. I won't spoil for the DVR'd but I seriously gasped in shock at the ending, that and with this cold I have had a hard time breathing out of my nose.
Hopefully the sickness is on it's last leg. I was unable to bake any of my holiday goodies yet and I'd really like to get on with it.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Seven years ago we lost a hero

Seven years ago today Brian, a small group of friends and I were in our living room in Sacramento watching tv when we heard the devastating news that Dimebag Darrell of Pantera & Damageplan was shot and killed onstage.
We all were fans and we all were shocked, confused, and angry. It especially hit Brian hard. Pantera was his favorite band and Dimebag was his hero. The sole musician who had made a huge impact on his life.
When we had first started dating he had shared with me all the awesome experiences he had involving Pantera. The concerts he attended (nine) and the times he got to hang out with Dime (two).
I hadn't gotten to see them live, they parted ways before I had a chance.
When we formed our band one of Brian's dreams was to get to open a show for one of Dimebag's bands.

Last year when we went to visit Brian's family in Washington his brother Jason, an amazing tattoo artist branded him with a tribute to Dime. In the center of the drum you can see the same Black Tooth Grin tattoo that Dime had on his leg.

This year in January at NAMM we ran into Rita, Dime's widow. She and Brian were able to take this picture together of their matching tattoos. Hers was done by Kat Von D.

Since moving to Las Vegas we have run into Dime's brother and band mate Vinnie Paul around town and we also see him at NAMM every year.

Every year the metal community mourns the lost of such an amazing person. Fans, friends, and even his own idols pay tribute. Revolver has a series of interviews but this one with Zakk Wylde, one of Dime's best friends is a must read.
We will be remembering him in the way we do every year; cranked up music, drinks and fun.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


We're all sick in our house. Brian and Hayden have been feeling it for over a week now. I felt it coming on when I was on stage in Sacramento. I could feel whatever virus this is creeping into my throat and crapping it's mucus all over the place. Lovely visual right?

I am of course working while sick. I need the money so don't hate me. I'll most likely be leaving early though. My head is floating away like a balloon and my eyes can't focus on the monitor.

I would much rather be at home resting on the couch drinking Throat Coat tea and watching Christmas movies, but not ELF cause I love that movie and it makes me laugh so hard snot will fly out of my nose.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

'Tis the Season of Giving...

Having published zines for over a decade I was more into providing content than the monetary value of advertising. I loved the cutting and pasting and copying at all hours of the night and only ran ads in trade or for friends to fill space.
When I published a real magazine at a newspaper I learned that advertising pays the bills so the writers can write and the artists can share their art. Now that I work in online advertising at a media company I'm not so opposed to sharing my page with someone willing to pay my bills.
I have opened up my blog to large and small advertising in the hopes that it might help, even a little bit. Especially now that I need to buy a new vehicle.
Please click on the advertisements and check out the awesome services and products they have to offer.
Also the donate button is for those feeling generous.
Every penny, click, or share is appreciated as I fight this financial battle.

NEEDS- The Real Christmas List

So for about $4200 I'll be set. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Road-Trip: Sacramento Show!

Our road-trip to Sacramento was bittersweet. We had an amazing time, saw our amazing friends, played a kick-ass show, and then had to leave too soon.

Hayden was the perfect little traveler. He was totally content watching his movies, eating road snacks, and enjoying the views.

It was a beautiful weekend in California. Especially where we stayed in Walnut Creek.

I loved just sitting on our friend Jimmy's porch watching the trees, something we don't have a lot of in Las Vegas.

Jimmy drove us up to Sacramento in his bad ass RV. It was a first for us; rolling into a show with our own RV like a real touring band. He got tired half way there and made me take the wheel. It was my first time driving an RV but it was fun!

When we got to the venue we were able to chill with our friends and catch up. It was an all around amazing experience. The club was packed, we sold a ton of merch, we put on a great set, and we actually signed some autographs while getting to visit with old-school homies we miss a lot.

Thanks to everyone who helped make it an awesome experience.