10 months to go! Reflections

For the first time in my life I’m starting to feel like my life belongs to me again.

All that matters is how I feel and how my direct interactions with other people make me feel. After spending a solid two months not sharing much of anything online (save for a few sparse instagram posts and a big accomplishment in music) – I finally feel like there’s a newly restored level of control in my life that wasn’t there before.

My emotions are more stable – no longer affected by the latest cop bashing or politic related facebook rant.

I’m settling into a routine being more consistent with how I start my day.

I start my day more promptly, get to work earlier, and work more overtime hours.

I’m making more plans with my family – I’ve cooked breakfast for everyone three times or so in the last few weeks and today a friend came by who I haven’t hung out with since we were teens.

I’m getting things done on my to-do list that I’ve been putting off – like putting a new timing belt on my old car.

I’m handling the really awful stuff I don’t even want to handle – like filing a police report for credit card fraud and identity theft. (Yup.)

I’ve found the freed up time has left me feeling like I should spend my time doing something a little more productive.

I’ve been building a mini recording studio in my yard nearly every weekend with my BF and our friend Chris. It started off as a “yeah this isn’t going to cost a lot at all” type of project….it’s become a full on construction project.

Full soundproofing materials bought from a soundproofing company, my electrician friend is doing all the electrical – we put on a roof to match the main house….plus last night I caved and decided it needed an air conditioner because if gets hot in there I won’t spend any time doing anything. I haven’t officially kept track of anything price wise but if you calculate that recording studios cost $40.00 an hour – after a solid week of recording – the studio will have paid for itself.

Anyhoo – the expense has been such that I’ve thought “a little extra side cash needs to happen” – plus I hate my job – so I’ve been OCD researching flipping things on Ebay. Startup costs are relatively low, and youtube offers a wealth of information in terms of what you can buy from thrift stores that offers a high return on the investment.

Sooo as the old adage goes “you have to spend money to make money” – I’ve gotten a couple things from thrift stores to try my luck at it.

I did Ebay a ton when my dad passed away and killed it on sales – but after a few items not selling I got discouraged. I did enjoy it though ,and it’s fun to find something for five dollars knowing you can turn it into fifty dollars.

That’s all I have – until next time….

10 months to go! Reflections

Making things HAPPEN in Mexico

When I’m referring to making things “happen” in mexico, I am not really referring to music – although I wouldn’t mind playing some shows down there sometime.

What I’m referring to is things that would normally be too expensive for me to handle in the states:

– Getting a new timing belt on my car (US price? $550.00), plus spark plugs and all the other things to keep the ol’ beater running smoothly beyond the normal that most people would hold on to a car

– Getting power locks on my new car…because you start to realize as a musician lack of automatic locks can be a bit frustrating when you’ve got your hands full.

Now….I can’t explain why I’ve driven for two years with a car that has manual locks and never thought a thing of it…but now that my boyfriend is a passenger in my new car, I’m fucking tired of having to lean over to unlock the car after like…two days.

Let it be known that my BF did not ride in my beater car – specifically for the reason that he is too tall for my Honda civic and I have this undying paranoia of his kneecaps shattering, should a collision ever occur.

Now – I’ve made calls recently on the cost of making changes to my car in the states – and it’s fucking expensive. It’s expensive because the auto industry can get away with it. Most of the time though – if you call any auto dealership to try to get anything done, they treat you like you don’t matter.

Which lately, is how I feel about MOST businesses in the US. Even (sadly) some small business owners who seem to get a little money hungry.

More and more I’m feeling like when it comes to doing business with people – industries that use to be motivated here in the US can be lazy and downright RUDE sometimes. Granted – there are exceptions. I’ve spoken with people on the phone with my car questions and they’ve been incredibly helpful. The trouble is – I can’t afford to hire them.


On the whole, I feel like the American business owner attitude is “I don’t care if you’re happy – all I care about is your money. ”

Mechanics especially – who seem to find it joyous to charge you as much as possible in the states, for as little as possible. If you’re dealing with a dealership directly – FORGET about it – it costs $120.00 just to get a diagnosis.

Getting my transmission fluid flushed at Valvoline cost an astonishing $150.00.

Because the auto industry in the US knows they can get away with it. My grandfather was a mechanic. My boyfriend’s dad was a mechanic. I know what mechanics who give a shit look like.

This is why I’ve been on a sort of obsessive hunt to find my “All star team” in Mexico.

A mechanic.

An auto body guy.

An upholstery guy…

A car stereo and alarm guy…

And also a dentist – a dermatologist…(I’ll work on those later…) really anything that’s too expensive for me to want to deal with in the US.

After hours of reading on the interwebs and a couple phone calls later – I found guys in Mexico that spoke perfect English on the phone, quoted me amazing rates for the auto jobs in question – and today was the day that I set out to go “all in” and put my faith in the work of TJ car guys.

There was a distant twinkle in my mind of “what if they fuck up my cars? ” Well – that’s why I had strategy here: If they fuck up my beater car – it’s no loss there.

The work being done to the new car was just a power lock system – but my plan was this:

I would work til roughly 2pm.
I would go back to the house – and Laya and I would go to  O’reilly to pick up the parts I want them to replace on the Honda.

From there we’d go to Tijuana – following each other. We’d drop off the Honda at the mechanic. Then from there we’d immediately go over to the car stero place – which would put power locks in my new car, which only had manual locks.

All things considered – I would likely be spending about 300 dollars in labor on two car jobs that would normally cost four or five times that here in the states.

So early today – I got impeccable verbal directions from the mechanic on the phone who speaks perfect English.

I’ve downloaded the mexico maps into my GPS and I’ve learned – you have to ask people “how should i input it in my GPS” as the way you punch in mexican addresses in an american GPS is just…well it’s different.

However – I was familiar enough to know where Ave Revolucion is – and from there I just had to make two turns and BOOM I’d be at the mechanic.

It is rather problematic however that Calle 11 is not marked…

It’s like


So I managed to conveniently “pull into a parking space” on a business when I passed the 11 sign and was able to kind of turn around on a street where there really weren’t any u-turns permitted -and I made it there a few minutes after I expected.


Laya in the other car however – lost me when we first crossed the border – and she was not so lucky in finding a place she could turn around.

We texted back and forth and after me praying to the car gods that she’d make it on time – she did – and from there, I called the car stereo guy – who agreed to meet us at the mechanic place and then from there we would follow him to his business.

I figured if he was offering such amazing customer service – its probably because he knew there’d be no chance in HELL that I could find it on my own.

So about ten minutes after we wrapped up with dropping off the Honda, the other guy was there and says “the ride will take about 15-20 minutes”

I thought first “oh traffic” but then I also thought ” gee if you had told me it was that far – I would have tried to find somehwhere closer.”

I mean- most people would be like “no that’s fucking scary Mexico is scary OMG OMG”

But me and Laya? We love Mexico, and we love adventure. I was like “oh hell yes I bet I will end up somewhere I’ve never been before.”

Sure enough…we drop the car off – the guy tells us where to walk to get to the beach and to some restaurants…by then it’s about 5pm – and we walk to the beach just in time to catch an epic sunset…I took some neat photos – it was like we had the beach entirely to ourselves……and then we continued walking further down the beach to where some stairs were.

Before hitting the stairs – I think some teenage boys offered for us to smoke weed with them….but language barriers and whatnot…we kept walking.

After walking up the stairs – we are at the head lifeguard station. I went to use the restroom thinking – that it would be probably be “gross” as most restrooms at San Diego beaches tend to be just at that border and usually out of toilet paper.

But NO – not this beach bathroom. This was the CLEANEST – NICEST BEACH BATHROOM I had ever seen. A gentleman attends the bathroom on the outside and hands you a pleasant handful of toilet paper neatly folded. This bathroom was spotless! I was in awe.

This part of Tijuana proved that it’s not all the dingy stuff you see in zona centro.

After that – we found a tiny random restaurant – and for exactly one hour ( was watching my watch the whole time) I felt like we had been transported to our own private getaway in an exotic locale. It was mostly families eating here and it was a pizza place – they had sangria – they fixed a delicious salad for me – the cook was very attentive in assisting us with the language barrier…and best of all – this place was literally ten feet from the ocean.  Better than any view you could get at a five star restaurant in La Jolla – in my opinion….and the food all seemed very healthily made as if it was actually REAL food!

Within minutes of the 7pm time we needed to arrive back at my car – I requested a cab back to the place (I had a flier with the address of a nearby place on it) and BOOM we were back just in time.
I left with a fancy new alarm system in my car, and tomorrow – we will likely go back and pick up my Honda.

Afterwards we had to make a pit stop before waiting at the border and of all things, I saw a Wal-mart in TJ.

Say what you will about me going to Wal-mart but Laya and I viewed this as a nice way to brush up on our Spanish.

I saw it was a way to see how another country does things differently as a chain store. You can see the priorities are different….very different.

There’s definitely less “useless shit” in the Wal-Mart of TJ. Nearly everything I saw in there served a practical use. Decent selections of certain things, but no so much that it became overwhelming. One aisle of makeup but lots of hair color stuff. They have cooler extension cord gadgets. I saw a pink measuring tape that was just as good as a man’s.

I notice the lingerie there seems made better.

I noticed they have fewer choices of hand soap – but the soap smells like hand soap.

The plastic storage boxes they had are prettier and more colorful. Same with the pots and pans. I bought a pink pan. Even the inside of the pan is pink.

I noticed that the tupperware they have on the whole is meant to be used over and over rather than throw away – and they have more higher quality tupperware containers in practical usable shapes.

I noticed the colored napkins stuffed in each glass in the aisle of clear glasses and ll I could think was “a human put all those napkins in every glass. Someone gave a shit.”

I could have done without the road rage asshole trying to cut in line at the border crossing -but next time – lesson learned – veer all the way to the RIGHT of those crossing lanes. The left lanes are just fucked because they shut many left lanes down at night with no way to notify people or close them off.

Mexico has won me over for life.

Making things HAPPEN in Mexico

Mission Accomplished.

Every year I come up with something weird that I won’t do for a year.
Last year I didn’t eat at restaurants and the exceptions to the rules were:

1. Traveling – I could eat when I had no kitchen

2. Celebrations (i.e. somebody’s birthday)

3. Business related (i.e. “lets discuss business over dinner”)

4. When I’m sick

So yeah – I made exceptions to my “no restaurants” rule because I’m a reasonable person and life happens.

This year – my thing is “no social media for a year” and again I still have some exceptions. Basically – I’m not engaging or interacting on social media this year or sharing daily things. I’m not sharing the little stuff. But my exceptions include sharing “The big stuff.” Here’s examples of what this year’s exceptions are:

1. Music related accomplishments or news. If a song is gonna be on a TV show (!!!!) I’m gonna share it. If I’m participating in a new collaboration for you to follow, I’ll be sharing.

2. Shows – if my band is going on tour or performing live – I’m sharing it.

3. New releases – if I release new material (such as a CD, single, or EP that’s professionally mixed and mastered) – I’ll be sharing it.

4. Professional photography that promotes me and me music will be shared. (Meaning professional photos taken by an actual professional photographer.)

5. Any appearances related to my art or music – i.e. a radio interview, magazine interview, art show featuring my art work – anything that allows you to engage with what I create in real life – will be shared via social media.

The purpose of this year-long exercise is to break away from the time-wasting habit of needless and trivial social media use, and instead to reserve social media for sharing “life’s bigger moments.”

So far – the only thing I’ve shared personally is my very first song placement on a TV show. It airs today (Tuesday!) on Bravo’s “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce” and I couldn’t be more happy about it.  Happy dance!

Happy February, everyone.


Mission Accomplished.

Oh what a whirlwind month….

This month has been interesting.
Mainly it’s taught me the difference between talking about something and actually doing it.

I’ve learned how much satisfaction people can get from the whole “talking about doing something” while in reality – very little may actually get done.

I’ve learned that my idea of “getting a lot done” and other people’s ideas of getting a lot done, are two different things.

I’ve made a lot of impulse decisions this month. Some good. Some bad.
I suppose I’ve never felt like I have as few friends as I do now, but that’s ok, because I don’t really need many, and the ones who matter……they are still here.

There’s a lot I feel might be worth talking about. But I’m really the queen of half finished projects – so nothing is really worth talking about until it’s complete. Or til I’m proud of it, or both.

It’ll make more sense if I show you in a few months instead.
To say I am alive and well would be a mistake. I am only one of those things.


Oh what a whirlwind month….

Why I Won’t be on Social Media in 2016

Why I Won’t be on Social Media in 2016: A Year of No Facebook

Before I bid all of you Adieu in 2016 on Social Media — I figure I’d share some things that have contributed in my decision to bow out from interacting online for a year.

Some of these are trends I’ve noticed in my own world and how interacting online has changed my daily life. Other ideas I’ll share are speculations (both good and bad) regarding what the future could hold with what we share online.


Observation # 1: Less real-life hang time.
I have certain friends who I used to hang with exclusively in person. I’d go out of my way to go to their house. I’d sit on their couch — we’d eat some snacks — and talk about how life is going. I do less of that now. The online conversations we have are not nearly as fulfilling as our real-life interactions.

Observation #2: Lots of upsetting commentary from people who don’t know me personally.
There have been numerous times on Facebook that someone has made a comment that’s upset or angered me. By upset me I mean saying “What The FUCK” repeatedly, with my mood being dragged down for hours or even days after the fact. I’ve cried over these words or had multiple conversations with real-life friends to process these “What The FUCK” moments because I can’t believe how tactless and terrible some people can be online. The people who say the most hateful things are NOT my real life friends. Internet Bullying is very real and can affect all of us — from extremes of the 8th grader who bullies their classmate constantly that they don’t deserve to be alive and drives that child to ultimately commit suicide , or your day to day scenario like my friend’s mom, who hasn’t spoken with me since the 8th grade. While her daughter unfriended me years ago, somehow she managed to find the time to criticize me. She engaged in what I call “small-scale bullying” — which takes place between someone who thinks they know you — when in reality they have no concept of who you are at all. While I barely know this woman, she still had the capacity to ruin my day. I look forward to not having to deal with that any more.

Observation #3: Turning every moment into a photo
The times where I was enjoying a moment in the moment were greatly reduced due to my need to photograph them for sharing online. I couldn’t merely EAT a meal — I had to artfully wipe away the spatters inside the soup bowl, orchestrating my spoon JUST SO — in order to photograph it. Then my dinner guests had to wait while I typed ten hashtags on instagram before sharing it. Only THEN — could I finally eat. The amount of times people have stopped whatever they are doing in order to photograph my dog? Too many to count. I took all this into consideration months ago and stopped photographing my dog (and food) as often. In proclaiming my year-long hiatus from social media and stating “no selfies — no dog photos” people have volunteered multiple times to photograph my dog to make up for this loss. I’d like to think that not every memory needs to be shared with the online world. Instead, those memories can now be imprinted delicately inside my brain — where they are my memories to keep. I like that next year these memories will be mine — and no one else’s.

Observation #4: Turning every moment into an EVENT.
If I’m out in public longer than half an hour — inevitably I’ll see a group of people gather to take a photo — and they all try to look like they are having the MOST AMAZING TIME. Lets be straight: Prior to the existence of cell phone cameras — you wouldn’t see somebody pretending to have most AMAZING time on your average Thursday night at the dive bar. In the rare instance a person did bring a camera, years ago, people only posed for this photo once — or twice, in case someone blinked.
Now it goes like this:
Everyone gathers tries to look as EPIC as possible
The photo is taken….
Then the photo has to be viewed by everyone and mutually approved by the entire group.

If the photo is shot down by even ONE person, everyone has to gather again — pose for the photo for a second, or even third time — and their attempts at squeezing MORE FUN out of each moment looks increasingly forced, with each repetition.

You can tell this photo is not for THEM. This photo is for their FACEBOOK audience. It’s painful watching how every ounce of their being is trying so hard to prove to the internet that this gathering of friends is not JUST a gathering — but rather — an EVENT. Many of my own friends illustrate this “life as an EVENT” phenomenon every day on their Facebook feed- as if every moment has to be as fun as Disneyland or as interesting as 20/20. Here’s my question to those reading: Knowing YOU had fun on your own….isn’t that enough? Isn’t having fun with the five people that matter — ENOUGH? Or do you also need to PROVE that you had a good time to your hundreds or thousands of Facebook followers — who maybe DON’T matter?

Observation #5: It’s a Massive Time Waster
Sometimes I’ll be at work. Sometimes my day will be starting early. Then before I realize it, my day is over. “Where did the time go?” I wonder. The truth is I spent it on Facebook. Had I spent the time reading wonderfully informative and educational articles that enriched my mind — that’d be one thing. However -most of the time I find myself scoping the timelines of people I rarely interact with in real life. I’ll watch Youtube videos of fuzzy animals or some Buzzfeed video about people with thick hair. Did I really need to watch a video about that? Or I’d read some angry diatribe somebody has posted about the shitty day they are having. While I have never tracked the amount of hours I’ve logged on facebook, I’m certain it’s taken weeks of my life that I should have spent doing something more productive. I’m looking forward to spending my time in more productive ways next year.

Observation #6: All those numbers are just vanity numbers. They don’t necessarily create value. Think about it. On Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, it’s all about numbers: How many views and likes you get. After a certain amount of views on certain websites, it starts to mean something. If you can authentically generate 40,000 + likes or Youtube views, Youtube offers compensation to people with a huge following. Instagram heavyweights have value to booming companies. These companies may pay people with this many followers to share their products — in the hopes that this kind of exposure will increase business for their brand. However — if you’re small-time — nobody cares. These days you can buy anything in terms of numbers: More Youtube views, more Instagram followers. But regardless of what the numbers SAY — they don’t necessarily mean that you have an engaged or committed audience. It doesn’t necessarily mean somebody is going to purchase whatever you’re sharing. Out of my near 3000 facebook friends — I’d be hard-pressed to pack a room with even 50 people on any given night. Nobody cares that you got voted in some top ten band vote on some random website. I can probably count on my hands the number of blogs and media outlets that will generate real value for an artist. Even on a personal level — I threw a party this week. I invited over 100 people to my personal home, offered free food and cocktails — all paid for by me. I invited anybody I thought I was good real-life friends with at one point — hoping we might be able to reconnect. You know how many showed? 9 people in total — one of which being my boyfriend — and another my roommate. Granted — lots of people had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances, and the people who did show were ones who all genuinely matter to me. We had a lovely time. My point is that — the social media numbers? They’re just numbers. They’re not necessarily adding to your life, and not much more than a modern day “pat on the back.”


My Speculations For The Future

I’ve noticed things on Facebook.
Creepy things.
I’ve noticed how conversations I have had with people privately have turned into advertisements that pop up a few minutes later on my Facebook feed. Typically they are advertisements encouraging me to buy the very product I was talking about.

Facebook has tapped into this in terms of advertisements.
I feel it is only a matter of time before they go one step further and start analyzing information people share in private conversations and convert that into personalized tweaks to what users see in their timelines. Once this happens, the Facebook timeline will then be able to influence every aspect of our lives.

With over 1.55 billion active users in 2015, Facebook holds the world in its hands. Every user is the audience — ready to be influenced — subliminally or not, to whatever agenda that’s most profitable to them.

Facebook could use this to influence people for the greater good. If they wanted to create a frenzy forcing congress to create new laws for increased gun control in America for example, I would be for something like this.

But suppose it goes deeper and Facebook eats up the information you’re sharing privately with a friend about how you’re having trouble with your relationship. In the old days we just talked about our struggles with a friend and worked through it. Nowadays, Facebook would have the power to re-orchestrate your timeline after you have these conversations you assumed to be private about your relationship struggles. Suddenly your feed starts being an homage to a bunch of blogs and articles like “Ten signs you are with the wrong partner.” Or “8 signs your relationship is failing.” Suddenly Facebook is causing you to doubt that you’re even with the right person and you’re contemplating breaking up.

Or we could go bigger. I’m going to use this as a “hypothetical example” because it’s the biggest concept I can think of that might get your wheels turning. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed — but even BEFORE Caitlin Jenner “happened”, I saw a HUGE uptick in articles and information being shared on my Facebook feed all about gender identity. Whether it was stuff about trans culture, drag culture, or gender identity disorders. While outwardly the information shared would tell the reader, “Whatever you want to be — that’s ok!” I think on a more subliminal level — the information I was gathering was more like “We want to share all this information about gender identity with you because we want to see if we can make you feel like who you are is NOT ok.” I’m reaching here (obviously) — but — what if Facebook wanted to do some large scale testing to see how far down the “rabbit hole of change” they could get people to go? Can they get you to break up with your partner? Can they convince you to get married or go vegan? Can they “normalize” what was once considered the ultimate extreme of getting you to change your gender, questioning the very fabric of your identity? Cuz I don’t know about the rest of you — but thanks to the constant downpour of gender identity acceptance articles that I saw on facebook in 2015 — I don’t feel like people changing their gender is a big deal any more. However to the medical industry it’s a HUGE deal: You’re looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars to go full-scale Caitlin Jenner with your gender transition, plus a lifetime supply of hormones you’ll need to take. The medical industry has nothing but profit to gain by convincing the general population that changing one’s gender is “no big deal.” Facebook can sit back and watch the experiment unfold as a cultural phenomenon takes off and there’s a huge increase in gender fluidity — but who was behind all that? Certainly not just Caitlin Jenner.

You might be asking “Why would Facebook conduct a study about gender identity?” I’m not suggesting that — I was merely using it as a large-scale, real life of something seemingly harmless that Facebook would be capable of doing and would do just to prove that they could. I’m NOT SUGGESTING that actually happened. That’s all hypothetical. What I AM suggesting however is that Facebook could conduct studies on how they can change information you see — to influence you to buy products — get treatment for a new disease — or go see the latest Star Wars flick.

In all truthfulness — Facebook isn’t just Facebook any more. I have personally worked for a company that analyzed what showed up in my own personal Facebook timeline. My job was to tell this company what I thought of the information that showed up in my real-life Facebook feed, analyzing hundreds of entries per day. One requirement for getting this job analyzing timelines was that I needed to have over 200 friends. So Facebook is already analyzing what we are seeing so they can change what we see, and how often we see it.

My theory would be that Facebook — Google- and Amazon — would all be part of a massive information grabbing machine — and by analyzing all the data with people are talking about and googling privately or publicly on Facebook — there’s a lot of money to be made. If information is made available to drug companies — a whole slew of drugs can be put on the market. We can be convinced we have diseases that did not exist before, to buy drugs we didn’t know we needed to buy.

While some of this information could be used in a way that would benefit society or save lives -building new school for example in an area that is googled more often, or for the housewife who shares photos of bruises from an abusive relationship to a close friend — which alerts authorities to come knocking on her door — or somebody who snaps a photo due to an amber alert — which quickly returns a child to their mother — these would all be helpful things. However — my thinking is that the way information is presented to us will be in a constant state of change as Facebook decides to experiment — simply for the sake of experimenting.

My real theory in all of this is that people have become so numb to the constant sharing of everyone’s personal experiences — that not only have people become anesthetized in a way to all of the sharing — they have lost touch with the value of real-life interaction, all while their real-life interactions are slowly decreasing. I drive my car less so Prime Now can ship me groceries. I don’t go to the mall because Amazon brings whatever I need to my door. I live in an era of the utmost convenience — yet on a social level — I am starving.

I believe friendships are cultivated — value is brought to the friendships by the types of experiences we go out of our way to create and share with our friends.

I believe in the business world this holds true as well: While there are thousands of wildly talented rock bands in the music industry….if I go out of my way to create a memorable and favorable impression with industry people in a way no one else thought of — can it be possible that I might win people over by going out of my way to be different?

Only time will tell.

Why I Won’t be on Social Media in 2016

An Introduction

There is this sense of disjointedness I feel.

As an artist.
As a musician.
As a businesswoman – who wishes to represent both my art and my music accurately.

When I think back to bands I was a fan of growing up….bands old and new….I was drawn in by their sparkle and their mystery. This magic came from an era where being mysterious was allowed.  The era where I could not know every fleeting thought in their head.  Because I couldn’t know –  I would look at photos of Janis and Jimi and wonder what they were thinking.

That sense of wonder was what made me a fan.
Now? That sense of wonder is nearly lost.

That was the era when artists had the convenience of being permitted to daydream.
The luxury of not feeling obligated to being  constantly available, to everyone, all the time.

Artists are not that way anymore. Most artists are ultimately “too” available.  In being too available – I feel that magic is disappearing. Instead of wondering and waiting as a fan at a show – fans now can send you a message  and see that you’ve read it – and get mad if you don’t quickly reply.

Additionally – there is this pressure I feel.  A pressure I’m sure many of you are feeling too:

The pressure to be 100% responsive to everyone all the time.
The pressure to “like” something, to comment on something and offer constant feedback.
I feel that as a creative generation, we are no so inundated with regular stimulation, that slowly, surely – we are losing not only our imaginations, but also our minds.

Daydreams have been replaced by the next buzzfeed video.

Instead of captivating our audience through a song – we are watching a video of someone else’s.

We are losing what little magic we have left in art.

It is for this reason – and this reason alone – that I am making a decision:
The decision to give up daily social media use for a year.

This is drastic I know – but it’s 365 days I expect will change my life.

Just like I gave up restaurants for a year and came up with exceptions – this too will have exceptions, but I’m going to be even stricter with this year’s experiment.

Reaching me and what to expect:  

  1. You can email me to stay in touch! Vanja.James(at)gmail.com
  2. I’ll be using a messaging service to keep in touch with bandmates and my boyfriend. My daily text messaging will be kept to a minimum – and I’ll reserve my real conversations for in-person.(I haven’t decided which messaging services yet – but I’m working on that.)
  3. I’ll be having gatherings at my house. Hopefully once a month. How the heck else will I get to talk to all of you?
  4. I’ll post blogs sometimes.

What you won’t see:
          1. No Selfies!

2. No candid photos on my Instagram – Instagram will be reserved for fliers for shows, promotional materials, and pieces of art for sale.

3. Daily blog posts – due to experience from last year – I’ve found that posting a daily blog is simply a lot to ask. I will post little tidbits on my blog however – to let you all know I’m alive and well. I’ll also post letter exchanges about “life without social media” between me and a couple close friends.


Exceptions to the rules:


  1. Facebook will be used to post upcoming show dates.
  2. My photographer – Aliya Waldman – will be sharing promotional photography of me on a semi-regular basis and she has permission to share these photos wherever the heck she wants.
  3. Any time I engage the media – i.e. radio interviews, blogs, news appearances – it will be shared via social media.


How I’m replacing my social media habit

In order to succeed in giving up social media – I’m going to be putting effort into engaging “social” and “media” separately.  I’ll engage in new sets of activities and new sets of habits – to fill the very large space that social media has taken in my life.   In addition to this being a test of true willpower – it’s also a bit of an experiment.
Social: How far could my real-life social reach go if I made efforts at being real life social with a different group, every week?  I’ll be looking towards meetup groups and various classes to accomplish this.

Media:  What kind of unique opportunities would come my way if I made efforts at contacting the media – and also created media that was the caliber of work that was worthy of sharing with them?

Podcasting:  This is social and this is essentially media but since podcasting pre-dates the “social media era” I feel this will be a great way to keep in touch with all of you and an opportunity for us to share our views on how social media has changed our lives and how we share our world.  I’m going to aim for bi-weekly podcasting – but we’ll see how it goes.

Once again if anybody needs to reach me after the 1st of the year – they can do so via email. Hope you enjoy!



An Introduction