Archive for January, 2010

Turn It Around

Posted by Heather
In life
29Jan 10

     When I was younger, if I’d had a bad day at work, I would usually feel sad.  Generally speaking, some miserable person probably dumped all their negativity on me, and left me feeling as though I were somehow responsible for their lousy life.  I would take it personally that they were grumpy, and complaining, as if I had done something wrong.  It used to drain me emotionally, making me feel as though I couldn’t take much more  of dealing with people, all their rudeness, inconsideration, and lack of manners.

     Of course, as a grown woman, I have developed the ability to see past the crusty exteriors of most people, and rather than feel like a victim of these mean people, I feel sorry for them.  I can’t imagine how empty their lives must be, that they feel the need to blame others for everything, speak condescendingly to people, and just be plain miserable.  It is no different than the bully on the school grounds – they really aren’t tough, and they’re certainly not “cool” – they are obviously unhappy, insecure people that only feel better about themselves by putting others down.  It is so childish, and very sad, since even supposed ” adults ” do it on a daily basis.  ( just ask anyone who has ever worked in customer service of any kind )

     I quit a job once, partially because I felt that I could no longer stand there and take the abuse that spewed forth from peoples’ mouths.   I have said it before, and I will say it again:  ” Customer Sevice : A License To Abuse “.  I fully understand that companies want to make their customers happy, but if it is at the expense of their employees’ well-being, then who would want to work for that kind of company?  Any employer who would allow a customer to verbally abuse an employee of theirs would certainly not be someone I would want to work for.

     I have gotten to the point where I can now take all the negative energy from the crabby, rotten people, and re-direct it into other emotions.  Mostly, it spurs me forward, forcing me to think of how I can find a way out, a way to make my life better some day, so I never again have to deal with ” serving ” rude people.  We all have bad days, we all have really lousy things going on in our lives – no one is immune to ” life”, and it’s ups and downs.  I just don’t believe anyone has the right to take it out on someone else.  Nobody has the right to purposely make another human being feel lousy – it’s just not right.

     As you can probably guess, I had a particularly rough day at work today – way more than my share of difficult people – and I was not happy when I went on my lunch break.  I felt those familiar feelings ( I HAVE to quit, I don’t deserve this garbage, I don’t get paid enough to have to put up with this much stress … and the list goes on and on… ) but now, reflecting on the day, it is clear to me: the worse things get, the more likely I am to actually do something about it.  Most of us tolerate our jobs because we feel the familiar trap: bills to pay, the feeling of no choices, others depending on us financially, whatever the case may be.

     I say, if we are truly unhappy, there has to be a way to turn it around – all the negativity. ( Let it be the ” kick in the butt ” we need to seriously pour all our time and energy into something that actually interests us, makes us happy, and ignites the passion within. )

     So, I say “Thankyou” to all the rotten, miserable people out there – the grumpier you are, the more likely it will be that some day, I will find the courage and the strength I need to believe that I deserve something better, and I may actually do something about it.

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Awesome 80’s

Posted by Heather
In life, music
22Jan 10

     I am told that you shouldn’t live in the past, that you need to let go, move on, whatever ….. but there is just something about the 80’s for me that I will never let go of.  Sure, there were bad things – shoulder pads, legwarmers, headbands etc., but there were a lot of very, very good things.

     One of the things I loved best about the 80’s was the music.  My friends and I started going to a teen club when we were about 16 – it was called ” Bumpers “, and it was in Surrey.  That was where I fell in love with Erasure, Depeche Mode, Bronski Beat, Eurythmics, Howard Jones, Naked Eyes,  Talk Talk, Modern English, Billy Idol, David Bowie, Duran Duran , Kate Bush, Simple Minds, Strange Advance, Ultravox …. and the list goes on and on.  Yes, we all felt the lyrics were written for us personally, but the music itself was also amazing – back then, songwriters were brilliant, and songs didn’t all sound the same.


Never Boring

Never Boring

We used to love going dancing, several nights a week.  After we outgrew Bumpers, we’d venture to New Westminster to The Courthouse, then we graduated to Vancouver : Heaven, The Edge, and the Gandydancer.  All we wanted to do was surround ourselves with our close friends, listen to awesome music, and dance the night away.  Some songs feel like they will stick in my head forever – like ” Heaven” by the Psychedelic Furs – it always made me feel like nothing bad could touch us while we were on that dancefloor.  It was as though a magical forcefield kept anything negative out.
Most of our families thought our haircuts, and our clothes, were ” weird ” ( that’s putting it rather mildly ) and I’m sure they thought we were all getting into a lot of trouble, but we weren’t, really.  We were just looking for acceptance –  a place where we could hang out with others who felt you shouldn’t judge someone based on the way they wear their hair, or the fact that they have a bit of individuality when it comes to choosing clothes.  The nightclubs were the perfect escape for us – somewhere we could be free to be ourselves, and not be judged.  ( sounds like Paradise to me 🙂
1st Time I Shaved My Head

1st Time I Shaved My Head

I can’t talk about the 80’s without mentioning clothes.  The thing I loved best was that my friends and I certainly did NOT want to all wear the same thing – that would be pretty boring.  The people we hung out with ranged from New Wave, Punk, Goth, Mods, Skaters …. and a whole lot of other “labels” that society put on us.  Yes, most of us liked wild, interesting haircuts, but even then, no two were the same, either in cut, or colour.  We weren’t afraid to be different – having friends that don’t judge you is pretty cool – you can actually relax and express yourself-  what a concept …
    Other than the music, I have to say that the shoes were my favourite part of the 80’s – specifically Fox and Fluevog.  ( when they were still called that )  You can still get Fluevogs – Yay!  To this day, I still recall all the incredibly pointy black, shiny gorgeous shoes …. it makes me crazy seeing some of the footwear today, especially the fact that many seem to wear the same thing as everyone else.  What happened to feeling free and safe enough to express your individuality ?
Hair Modelling Shot

Hair Modelling Shot

I know the 80’s were a long time ago, but that doesn’t matter to me.  I have a lot of fabulous memories from that decade, and most of them are about being on a dancefloor with lights flashing, music pumping, surrounded by very cool friends wearing phenomenal shoes …
Time may have gone by, but I think about those friends all the time.  I’m happy to say that Facebook has been a great tool for finding those friends, and being found by them. It’s so good to be back in touch with them after so many years.  I loved the 80’s, I will always miss the 80’s, and if I ever perfect that Time Machine, you’ll know where to find me …

Oh, Moondoggie !

Posted by Heather
In events, life, music
15Jan 10

     One of my favourite movies as a little girl was 1959’s ” Gidget “, starring Sandra Dee ( as the title character ) and James Darren as ” Moondoggie “.  I always liked how the sweet, well-mannered, wholesome Gidget ended up with the dreamy, handsome Moondoggie.  ( it gave us girls hope that our “old – fashioned ” upbringing may pay off one day )

Gidget Poster

Gidget Poster


     I had a huge crush on James Darren from the first time I saw that movie until …well … I guess I still do. ( my husband thinks it is cute, by the way ) My biggest dream as a child was to meet ” Moondoggie ” one day.  Years went by, I saw James Darren in other movies and T.V. shows ( T.J. Hooker, Star Trek DS9, just to name a couple ) and I always held on to the crazy fantasy of one day meeting him face to face,  just to make the ” little girl ” in me happy.

James Darren

James Darren

Around 2004, I started collecting vintage movie stills and promo shots ( some reproductions ) from the movie “Gidget” – most of which I acquired on Ebay.  By 2005, I was determined that as a grown woman, why couldn’t I meet my girlhood crush ?  I was tired of wishing for things, and never having them come true.  I decided to ask a well-connected friend if she knew anyone who knew him well.  ( You never know until you ask ) I knew he was still singing, so checked out the venues he was playing that year.  Loving Vegas as I do, I booked a trip specifically around his show, and a friend of a friend ( the very kind Paul Anka ) made a call to James Darren’s people to not only arrange good seats, but to also get me backstage to meet him after the show.  I could not believe how easily a fantasy I’d had most of my life became reality, simply because I had the courage to ask – I was blown away.
Oh, Moondoggie!

Oh, Moondoggie!

I felt like that innocent little girl again, watching him perform, then going backstage to finally meet him after the show. ( which was fabulous, by the way )  The best part of it all was that he turned out to be not only a wonderful actor and singer, but a genuinely kind, decent, gracious, classy human being.  It’s not often that famous people we adore turn out to be what we imagined ( in real life ), but in this case, my childhood ideas of James Darren were able to remain intact.  That was definitely one of the best nights of my life – what a thrill !
To this day, I keep one of the pictures of us hung in a prominent place in my home, for those times when I think life isn’t going as I’d like it to.  When I feel down, it reminds me that dreams really can come true.  The trick is, sitting around and waiting for something good to happen isn’t the way to do it – we may be waiting for a very long time.  If we want something badly enough, we just have to go out there and get it, and if we need help with that, then we must not be too shy to ask.  I know I’m glad I did. 🙂


Posted by Heather
In life
7Jan 10

     I like to think of myself as a nice person.  I was brought up to be kind, patient, caring, understanding, and to treat others as I would like to be treated.  Therefore, I would never intentionally say or do anything that might hurt or offend another person.  Nothing good could come of that, so logically, why would I do it ?

     Since I am that type of person, I tend to surround myself with people of similar natures – gentle, thoughtful people that think before they speak, or do things.  Therefore, the word ” forgiveness ” has rarely come up in my life.  I have no desire to do things that would require others to forgive me, and I don’t want to hang out with people who would act in such a way that they would need forgiveness, from me, or anyone else.

     Obviously, we’ve all had bad experiences in life where people have hurt us – intentionally, or otherwise, and we have all felt the pain of a friend walking away ( for apparently no good reason ) or a love from the past breaking our heart – it’s all part of the human experience.  My take on things like that has always been pretty cut and dry: I ask myself if I did anything to be treated so badly, and if the answer is ” no “, then I just figure that it is the other person’s problem , not mine. You can’t make someone stay your friend, or keep loving you – they make their choice, so they must live with it.

     Yes, these things hurt, they make you wonder what happened, why people would do these things to you, but eventually, you resign yourself to the fact that they made the decision, and you’ll probably never see them again.  Life goes on … but that doesn’t mean you don’t still think about them , or care.  After all, you weren’t the one who walked away.

     Last year, an amazing thing happened to me – 2 good friends from the past ( one from Ontario, one from B.C. ) both contacted me out of the blue, and wanted to talk, after many years of ” nothing “. Of course, I was a little hesitant at first, after having spent years not knowing what happened, never getting an explanation, and just plain missing their friendships in my life. 

     I received heartfelt apologies from both ladies, and both expressed a strong wish to re-kindle the friendship.  I thought I would feel nothing.  I thought I would think it was ” too little, too late “.  I was wrong. I was overwhelmed with emotion, and filled with such joy that these women had finally decided it was time to talk about it, and try and make things right again.  Many years had passed, and they told me that they had missed me, as I had missed them.

     I accepted both apologies sincerely, and the instant I did, I felt so amazing.  It sounds really silly, but feelings I had dragged around for years ( negative ones ) vanished immediately.  I never thought it could be that easy, but it truly was.

     We were all young once – we made decisions based on emotions, rather than logic.  These things happened such a long time ago that I could not keep holding on to them , letting them continue to hurt me. Two wonderful women, once again my friends, made me realize not only that I could find it within myself to forgive, but that it was such an easy thing to do.  I am so grateful to have these ladies back in my life – I missed them so, and I love them dearly. ( you know who you are.  )

     When you truly forgive someone, you set yourself free.

     I still have a long way to go – a lot of people to forgive for a lot of things … but at least this was a step in the right direction, and it feels pretty good.

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Happy New Year !

Posted by Heather
In career, events, music
1Jan 10

     I would like to start the New Year off by wishing all of you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010 !  2009 was, by many accounts, a very difficult year for most of us, with the bad economy and all.  It has been a struggle just to get by, to try and keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. Many people had their hours cut back, or lost their jobs entirely. It was a tough year – full of struggles, dampened hopes, and many tears.

     Somehow, we made it through, and although we may be stronger for it, it still wasn’t pleasant.  I, for one, am glad to see the end of 2009, as it was definitely not one of the better years in my life, or for many people I know.

     I recently made a comment on Facebook about how I look forward to the ” feeling ” ( whether that be perceived or real ) of a ” clean slate ” when a new year approaches.  It really doesn’t matter if it is simply how we view it, or if it is real – what matters is what we do with it.  Personally, I think of it as having hope that things will improve, that we will be given a ” fresh start “, that we have another chance to make good choices – choices that will improve our lives, and hopefully, the lives of others.

     I am not one to make New Year’s Resolutions per se, and broadcast them to anyone who will listen, but today, I have already written down a list of goals for myself for this year.  Telling people the things you are ” going to do ” is great, and it is a positive thing to actually speak the words and ” put it out there “, but the older I get, the more I realize I’d rather “do” than just “say”.  It is very easy to say things, but much harder to actually put in the time and effort, and make them happen.  The way I see it, I have my personal list, and as I accomplish items on that list, I will share them with family and friends.  I have nothing to prove to anyone – my list is simply for me, and the people that care about me will be happy when I put my hopes into action….

     I hope that all of you have hopes, dreams, or goals that you want to realize this year – things that you enjoy but have perhaps put off, things that you don’t feel are important enough, whatever the case may be.  If there is some thing you love to do, or would love to try ( and it isn’t hurting anyone else ) – why not let this be the year you actually do it, or try it?  I know I say this all the time, but life really is too short to only dream/wish/hope/imagine, and not DO something to make yourself happy.  It is very easy to blame others, or your financial situation, or your work environment, ( or any number of things ) or find reasons why you shouldn’t or ” can’t ” do things for yourself – believe me, I know – but ultimately, all excuses or fears aside, nobody else can make us happy.  All we have to do is love ourselves enough to make the things we hope for become our reality.  If you feel you can’t do it on your own, friends and family always have words of encouragement for you to follow your dreams, and that will get you through even the darkest of times.

     On that note, I would, once again, like to thank everyone who has supported me during this hard year – knowing you believe in me, and my music, gives me great strength.  Whether it be kind words of encouragement, compliments on things I have accomplished, buying my CD or downloading a song, or most importantly – being there with a hug when I need it most – your support has helped me enormously. Your continued faith in me is truly what keeps me going.

     All the best to you, and your families, for a fabulous 2010 !

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