Tweetstock V - Part 2: Not Chris Farias

My last post went a little off track. I can't help it, when a man smells like candy, and spreads glitter and awesome I am easily led astray. Ok so a well timed ball of tinfoil being thrown can lead me astray, I'm easily distracted, not the point.

So, Tweetstock 5, what's up with that? Well, it's a group of people coming together to inspire more people to come together through the use of social media and, well, just being social in general. Getting out into your community and making things happen.

I got a PRIMO seat in the couch row. Tweetstock 4 may have been short seats but Tweetstock 5 made up for it with giant comfy leather couches in the front row, where I happened to be sitting. The only downfall of the venue? Being in the basement of a mall almost completely cut off my network connection leaving me...
UNABLE TO TWEET! I won't lie, if I hadn't been in a room full of 3-D tweeters this might have caused me some serious withdraw issues. So I took out my ipod and rapid blogged in tweet length thoughts into my notepad. This left me with an odd jumble of quotes and random thoughts like:

"Yes I did just admit to getting lost between tweetstock 4 and the tweetstock 4 after party"

"Youre not tweeting Kevins a douch right?"

"Oh just FYI... I met AND hugged @kitestring. He smells like chocolate and awesome!"

"Real humans joke about balls"

"What's the point of social media if you arnt social?"

And then the one that stuck with me, "Nobody really knows what they're doing".

Yeah that last one really did stick with me. From
Josh Bean, founder and executive director of the Brantford Arts Block with a laundry list of resume building awesomeness. Part I loved the most about Josh? He actually was just a guy with an idea. I loved that he wasn't one of those guys who "always knew it was going to work" or "everything went exactly as I thought it would all the time". He was just a guy, standing in a store front, asking the world to love music and the arts.

It pretty much came up and smacked me in the face. Nobody really knows what they're doing. Nobody. I was sitting in a room full of people who lived a life of trial and error, just like me. Just because I may not know what Im doing right now, each and every single person in that room at one point was me. Successful, just starting out, young, old, social, anti social, self employed, married, uneducated... None of that matters, none of it, because nobody really knows what they're doing. Weird thing to be inspired by I know, but I totally was. For the first time I looked around and saw the playing field as a flat even surface. For the first time I felt like an equal. A nice surprise to have a moment like that out of the blue.

I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the evening. Amanda Kinnard, Marc LaFerriere, David Yoon, Deb Lowther and the rest of the speakers brought intelligence, humour and humanity to a form of media that often can seem cold and disconnected.
Bringing the social media community into the streets of our cities and neighbourhoods. Making it tangible and useful for everyone. No longer just geeks and techies and computer nerds in basements, we are using social media to become innovators and propel us into a better, more connected future.

What I was looking forward to the most was hearing my friend, Jason Dykstra, speak. I know Jay as an easy-going, smart, beer lovin' Dad with a soft spot for plaid. I always knew he was a mediator, but I honestly just didn't see it. I didn't get that, you didn't need to be in conflict to understand conflict. Reality is, I'm pretty much walking conflict. I'm super easy to misinterpret and not everyone gets me (luckily I also have natural charm and smile and laugh easily at myself), but Jay has always come across as laid back and the last person to throw himself into the middle of a fight. What I didn't realise was that he wasn't just breaking up fights, he was solving puzzles. He was taking conflicts, breaking them down to their basic elements and reconstructing the pieces in a way that made them work. Rather then taking two puzzles and trying to shove them together into one picture, he takes the pieces and creates a new image. Yeah, I was blown away by Jason and seriously proud to have been the front row fan that yelled out " I LOVE YOU JASON!" before he even spoke.

Oh man, I feel like I've rambled again and I havn't even gotten to the rest of my tweeple who make my days fun and my nights entertaining. Yup... theres gonna have to be a part 3. I'm ok with it.


Tweetstock V - Part 1: Chris Farias

Yesterday I went to my second Tweetstock, and no it's not just me in the bushes stalking people I follow on twitter. (Though Jason Dykstra *may* be taking out a restraining order - I LOVE YOU JASON!) It's a gathering of like minded people to listen to speakers, network, meet new friends, hang out with old friends and listen and learn. Yes, we talk about twitter, but we also talk about how twitter is bringing us back together as communities and people. We come together to grow and inspire and also have a damn good time.

So the event itself? Pretty friggen fabulous... The fact that the after party was a place called "Therapy"? Even more awesome... The people? Blew my mind. Its actually a couple of those people I want to talk to you about. Starting with Mr. Kitestring himself, Chris Farais. Until Tweetstock 5 Chris and I hadn't met. We tweeted, we facebooked and I found him absolutely hilarious and charming. I also knew Chris was smart and creative but he was so much more then I expected.

Immediately upon meeting there were hugs and giggling, it was like getting together with an old friend. We just meshed. More yapping, more giggling and a trip back to 1952 with blow pops in hand. It was kind of almost exactly how I figured it would be, but better. The man just exudes easy charm, has a room lightening smile and is wonderfully quick witted. It's what happened at the after party that made me gain a whole new respect for him.

Watching him interact so seamlessly with people, talking business without being pushy or even seeming like he was talking a business. Listening to him I realised how brilliant he actually was. How he was a true example of actually being able to take what seemed like crazy ideas and make them real - and not only real but useful. Shaking off things that are HUGE deals with a laugh. Barely 30 and understanding people better then most people ever will and understanding how to really get into peoples minds and explain and educate in ways people understand. He actually has communication down to an art.

Self-proclaimed bitch (which Im sure he totally could be, Im not blind and deaf, just in awe lol). He was also funny, warm, inviting, easy going, put people at ease and an absolute joy to be around. Such a joy I apparently have to write my tweetstock blog in parts because I've now rambled on about the length of time I can hold your attention for. Still awake out there?

Moral of the story for part 1? Tweetstock 5 brings people together. Ill tell you about more of them in part 2.

Yes, this is a horrible picture of Chris eating a piece of pepper with the sticker still on it. I'm sure he will appreciate me showing it off. Right Chris?


Caught In The Silence

I have chronic laryngitis. At least once yearly I lose my voice. Sometimes for a few days, sometimes a week, sometimes a month. There's no reason for it, sometimes it happens when I get sick, sometimes it happens after a long night, sometimes it just happens.

Now despite the door that opens to jokes from friends and family who know I talk... A LOT... Its not as funny or amusing as it sounds. Especially now, with a toddler who likes to run and occasionally needs to be hollered for (or at) to prevent injury and insanity.

There's also the associated difficulties of having no voice like making phone calls, ordering my tea at drive thru, asking for help at the drug store etc...

But there's an added dimension of pain involved in being voiceless for me. I lose my therapy. I am a firm believer in music therapy and for me it's done vocally. When I'm sad, I sing. When I'm happy, I sing. When Im mad, I sing. See the pattern emerging?

I've been singing since I was hardly old enough to talk. As a kid I took lessons and trained as a broadway and opera performer. (Yes, I sang opera... SURPRISE) It wasn't my cup of tea so I started just singing for myself, family and in school productions. Later on I became a karaoke regular then karaoke host. Anything to get to sing.

History lesson over, basically singing is a huge part of who I am. I use it to free myself from the daily grind. Not having my voice is so mentally debilitating. More mentally debilitating then not having my medications, not having my doctors, not having my reading, my writing, my books. Not having my voice is like breathing underwater. Like flying without wings. Like like like putting a tiger in a portapotty. Its basically taken every emotion, every thought, every everything and confined it within my body. Like an untreated infection it just eats at my from the inside out.

I feel like my thoughts have opportunities to take over when previously I could release and heal. Being that it has been a rather rough week for me, its all the more in my face. I can't sing, I can't scream, I can't even whisper how I feel.

So for the moment, this is my release.

This is my therapy.

This is my song.