CC CHRONICLES: Heading into New Year/2016

Published by cctadmin on December 29th, 2015

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I’m not necessarily into New Years resolutions; however, I had an inspired thought as we returned from Ontario for Christmas vacation. I found myself looking out the window and out into the sky and I was daydreaming of things I’d like to experience in the year ahead…

I’m grateful for everything that I have, including family and my partner, a home and my health.  I have friends, a good job and yet I also have a lot of dreams.

My intention in writing a to-do list for 2016 was more to celebrate the dreamer inside.  Since childhood dreams were the foundation of my drive to accomplish all the things I love.  It was my dreams that kept me warm during times I felt alone and afraid; filled my soul like the sun feeds our planet.

I tend to believe we all have a purpose; and a journey to walk.  The passing of the years has given me a clearer perspective and I just can’t deny that I want to do great things; ‘little things’ that mean a lot.  Maybe that’s what makes me work at life the way I do…

You can do things, if you try.

Today I wrote out a list of at least 26 ‘things’ I personally want to do; basically jotted down the items on a sheet of paper and put them on my shelf… the plan is to open it at the end of 2016 and see if I’ve possibly made any of these ‘dreams’ happen.

Time shall tell! Here’s to dreams. Here’s to 2016.

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CC CHRONICLES: Secret Agents Margot & Cloris

Published by cctadmin on November 22nd, 2015

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Margot and Cloris are time-traveling British secret agent sisters who solve murder mysteries for a top government organization. Both have been trained to lead lives of espionage but little is known about their family background, other than that their mother and father were also secret agents who mysteriously died when the girls were babies.

Margot is twenty-five years old.  She has dark brown hair and is the brawn of the duo, advanced in martial arts, boxing, gymnastics, and weaponry.   She can scale buildings and speak 6 different languages.  She is rebellious, headstrong and moody; she lives on the edge and throws herself into her under-cover cases with passion.  Being the elder of the two, Margot is also protective, fiercely loyal – and she has a penchant for driving fast cars, cigarettes and intriguingly dangerous men across the times.  She can also ride motorcycles and run extremely well in high heels, fuelled by the burning question of how her parents died and why.

Cloris is twenty-three.  Fair-haired and quiet, she is the brains to her sisters brawn.  Driven by curiosity she is advanced in research, psychology, technology, religion and law. Cloris’ mission is to catch villains and help the ‘good guys’ tho she often learns that the world and people within it are not always black or white in terms of ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  She loves literature, white wine and has a soft spot for brainy underdogs.  Very perceptive and knowing, Cloris is a loner who thrives most under pressure; at ease in the world of spying and murder mystery. She too can run fast in heels however she would always prefer capturing culprits and criminals by means of brains vs. brawn; hence her penchant for getting people to talk, and being clue-based and logical.

The sleuths/secret agents have spent their lives devoted to their missions; which involve the ability to travel back and forth throughout time. Receiving assignments from Superiors in Command they otherwise work independently to complete tasks, which are to retrieve information and solve mysteries.  Time-travelling gives them opportunity to ‘become’ characters undercover, complete with names and identities. Because they work for an organization that is founded in corruption they often come face to face with double agents, assassins, cold-blooded murderers and of course, plenty of dead bodies, friends, allies and lovers.  Despite any given assignments degree of danger or difficulty – the girls always end up on top; mystery solved and back in present time.  One case ends and another begins. That is the glamourous life of Secret Agents Margot and Cloris.

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CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / With Colleen circa 1999

Published by cctadmin on August 27th, 2015

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This Throwback Thursday I’m thinking of one very special person in particular; and a time that seems long ago but is certainly not forgotten by me.

I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba from about 1998-2002. I have a lot of fond memories of past friends and of all the places I worked and became familiar with socially. One of the people I’ll cherish forever was my friend Colleen, whom I had a special connection to and still think of to this day. I worked for a spell in Osbourne Village’s Blockbuster Video and originally met Colleen as a customer who frequented our location and was very well loved by all the staff there. What I recall most about those initial contacts was that she was a big fan of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (particularly Angel) and we’d talk at length about it and all sorts of other programs we shared in common. She was kind.

Ironically enough, I eventually moved into an apartment that was not only in the same building as Colleen, but the same floor as well. We took that initial connection at the video store and built on it; Colleen would invite me over to her apartment and we’d watch recorded episodes of Buffy and she’d cook me nice meals. She was gracious and I can’t tell you how much those times meant to me. Her company was appreciated, and she was a soft and gentle person with quick wit and generous soul.

Later on I ended up residing in Ottawa, and while we did keep up sporadically, eventually we did come to having less and less of these communications. I learned later on that Colleen had passed away, far too young, and this news hit hard. Every now and then her memory will return to me and I’ll be reminded how life is such a precious thing. If I’d known she wouldn’t ‘always’ be there maybe I would have shown her more love, commitment as a friend and maybe …. Who knows. There are just so many things I would want her to know; like that I loved and valued her for who she was and for the kindness she showed me in our brief time. I would hug her and I would tell her what a beautiful human being she is/was.

Here’s to friends like Colleen; and here’s to the memories we’ll cherish.

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CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Mutagenic Studios in 2012

Published by cctadmin on August 6th, 2015

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Once upon a time CC Trubiak appeared as a character in a graphic novel.  The year: 2012.  The graphic novel: Ascension by Ottawa’s very own Mutagenic Studios Interactive.

Mutagenic Studios Interactive was originally formed in 2006 by Timothy Bacon and Paul Green, two talented guys who had worked as writers and creative directors for almost three decades in broadcast media, interactive media and advertising.  They optioned numerous screenplays and original television series also served as lead writers at Fuel Industries, an advanced interactive agency (not to mention one of the worlds largest advergame developers) where they developed their skills and creativity.

At the time they formed Mutagenic Studios Interactive, they wanted to explore photography and art that would allow them to go beyond the written word  and push the boundaries of their storytelling.Their work had appeared in various publications however they embarked on this vision and continue to do so today with great success. Currently they are in production on a number of original properties for digital, print and film that combine their unique brand of writing, photography and art.

I met Timothy and Paul through mutual friends of ours in Ottawa, where I’d been living and working at the time; these friends had appeared as characters in their graphic novel project Babylon Smith. They recommended we collaborate ourselves and being the curious adventurer I am I thought it would be an interesting creative experience. I was also craving opportunities to collaborate with folks who think outside the box and these guys certainly fit the bill.

We set up time for me to come over to the studio and shoot – they’d communicated to me that they wanted someone to play the main character of Ascension, a “dystopian tale of horror and revenge”. That was all I needed to know – the rest I figured I would learn as I went along!  My recollection of the shoot itself makes me smile – the studio’s wall-to-wall art impressed me a lot.  As a kid who grew up loving comics (both Marvel and Archie) and horror movies (Friday the 13th, Alien, Carrie etc) as well as making up my own drawings/comics I was couldn’t help but marvel (there’s that word again!) at their talent, creativity and their tenacity.  Their photography impressed me with its grit, colour; a bit provocative and certainly striking. I took notice of all the characters and the models representing these creations – each person was unique and I couldn’t help but want to be up there on that wall with them.  A part of that brilliant world.

The shoot came and went; I completely trusted their vision and eventually Ascension was released to the public.  It was the kind of experience I would have been open to exploring even more had I not left Ottawa however, that said I still follow their work and remain in touch with Timothy from time to time.  Thank you guys so much for the experience; proud to keep this little memory tucked away in the vaults of my mind.  Rock on and keep  entertaining and inspiring the world!

Here’s the link to Ascension on the Blog: http://mutagenicinteractive.blogspot.ca/p/comic-ascension.html

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CC CHRONICLES: Re-Reading ‘In Search of April Raintree’

Published by cctadmin on August 3rd, 2015

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In general I’m not a huge reader; I’ve got a short-list of beloved books I re-read from time to time the way I do with movies I can watch over. Most of the time I’m too busy writing and singing however on that short-list of books I love is the Beatrice Mosionier tale of two Metis sisters, called In Search of April Raintree.  I had a hankering to return to this story after only having read it once in high school.  For anyone who’s familiar with this heart-rending story, perhaps its resonated with you too. I know Beatrice Mosionier was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, and as her bio shares, she is the youngest of four children and she grew up in foster homes.  In 1983 In Search of April Raintree was published and it has become a Canadian classic – again I can see why.

There’s a lot one could focus on in terms of the many themes and questions this tale offers: the question of parental rights with regard to their children’s health and well-being; identity and self-image; racism and violence; addiction, stability and healing.  Some might even say its about triumph and reclamation.  Mosionier is a writer of considerable craft who writes with an open style that I personally find effective in eliciting strong emotional responses.

In reading April Raintree again, I became intrigued by the complex relationship between two sisters, April and Cheryl.  In the opening sections, the author crafts a close and supportive relationship between them, and this relationship forms the  dramatic tension through which other events in the story are explored.  These other events often come in the form of barriers and obstacles to them being fully at peace with their identities.  Being apprehended by Children’s Aid, separated from their mother and father (and baby sister Anna) and put into various foster care homes both made April and Cheryl’s relationship even stronger and even more vulnerable at times.  Their intimacy as sisters is reflected poignantly through  letters that they found a way to share back and forth over years, and the brief yet often intense time periods they would get to spend together, first as little girls in the system and then later on in life once they were independent and ‘free’.

April and Cheryl shared similarities and differences in terms of their questioning, acceptance and understanding of indigenous issues, history and their own identity.  Each had enormous strength of spirit, as well as hardship; making their ways  in a society that is, at times, indifferent, hostile, and violent; one sister embraces her Metis identity and the other tries to leave it behind.  For anyone who hasn’t read it I’ll spare the explicit and even tragic details however, I will say that its in their journey I found myself gripped, personally touched and often inspired to think about identity, cultural pride, and resilience as it applies to myself or the many folks I’ve met in my life who remind me somehow of April or Cheryl.

For anyone looking for a good read I do suggest you get a copy of In Search of April Raintree.  Available online!

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CC CHRONICLES: Thick Skin & Lookin’ Within

Published by cctadmin on July 30th, 2015

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I was walking home along the boardwalk yesterday; enjoying the sun on my face and in particular, time to think about and reflect on what it means to have ‘thick skin’. I’ve heard it said that to have thick skin is a ‘gift from God’; that it takes time and learning to acquire it, and finally, that in order to face life’s rejections, haters and obstacles, it’s all but essential to have it. The very definition of ‘thick-skinned’ is “insensitive to criticism or insults“.

Why the contemplation? Well, I can identify things I want in my life; like strong family connections, a healthy relationship with my partner, financial security, education, a home and a fulfillment from music. The list goes on. I’ve never expected any one of those things to come easy; and in fact, they never have. I continue putting time and effort into my life’s ambitions with a quiet confidence that there’s worth in that patience and dedication.  Hopefully that worth is the joy experienced along the way.

On the other hand, within our passioned pursuits there is also much opportunity for disappointment; the ‘nothing comes easy’ part existing in the form of obstacles like a door-slam to the face, criticisms or the many hoops we often have to jump through in order to succeed in our goals. There’s always an opportunity to give up. Rationally, I understand that ‘nothing comes easy’; stumbling blocks are a given; and it’s with this I contemplate how to acquire a hardened sense of logic.

I recall how scary it was in my youth when I was just forging out on my own and having to establish security; similarly, going to University in my 20’s and facing all sorts of intellectual pressures. Being an independent artist without management or a band to my credit also beholds tests of my inner strength. Given this and more I can acknowledge the ‘thick skin’ I had to personally attain in the face of these things yet, on my walk home, I still couldn’t help but feel briefly overwhelmed at the realization that ‘thick skin’ is not only a goal in itself; it’s an on-going process.  There is no end.   I may have some of it, and I’ve strengthened over the years but I could use some toughening up even still.

It can be discouraging; I certainly began that walk feeling daunted about some of my musical pursuits in particular. In fact I felt downright deflated; but it only took some time and reflection on route home to consider that like anything else worth having, I was, and I am going to have to remain patient; I’m going to have to keep my head up and trust in the process of my future pursuits. Regardless of weather things in our lives turn out exactly as we want them to or not, I’d really rather keep trying, keep getting back up on the horse and giving it another go – than opting to fall to my knees in defeat. With that in mind I found a way to turn around my inner doubts and see them all as part of this process. It didn’t necessarily take away all my discouragement however it did just enough to have me feeling less defeated.

What do you guys think about the thickness of your own skin?

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CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Man’s Best Friend circa 1991

Published by cctadmin on July 30th, 2015

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Once upon a time CC Trubiak had a dog named Karma.  They say ‘man’s best friend is his dog’ and I can attest to that most definitely.  As a family growing up, and as an adult I’ve always loved animals and had nice history of great pets over the years.  See there was Maggie (the cat), Felix, Seymour, Saishia, Carl, Sheba… today there’s Doobie, Poppy and Smokie the dog…. but at one time there was just Karma.

In the early 90′s our family was on route back from Winnipeg.  We stopped at a farm just outside of the city and picked her up to bring her all the way out to our Schist Lake home.  Schist Lake was the perfect place to raise a dog because we never had to keep Karma on a leash; nor did we fear she’d run away.  She was a naturally wild one yet she was loyal, loving and about as intelligent as a dog can be.

I was a fairly solitary kid in those days; I loved living out a Schist because it was a golden nature and by golly, nature is like being in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory to me – eye and ear candy all over the place with the sights and sounds of the lakes and the trees and all the paths on which I could walk on with my dog Karma by my side.

And Karma was indeed often by my side…. for 18 years our family included Karma; and how beloved she was by all of us.  She was an incredibly loving dog, smart as they come.  Any time I’d prepare to go for a walk along the dirt roads to clear my head, Karma would be there right by my side.  I could talk to her.  I could bounce my troubles off of her and she’d connect with my eyes and it always felt like in some way she could understand the dilemmas, or at least, how they might be affecting me.  She knew when I was my usual contented self or in a state of distress.  There were even times I’d stop and cry, down on my knees, troubled by things that felt very overwhelming – and Karma would trot back to me if she had been up ahead, and she would gently lick my tears and sit right there by my side… until I felt the strength to stand up again and continue on that dirt road.  She really was a best friend.  And I could always get back up again; we could always continue on and she’d have lifted my spirits.

Pictured below are two shots: one of Karma right around the time we would have picked her up as a puppy.  Look at how small she was!  The other is random shot taken of her and I when she was much older, I was on a visit in 1991 from Ottawa and she was begging me to put down my book and take her for one of those walks.

Once all of us left home Karma remained living at Schist with Mamma; like I said she lived for 18 years with us so you can imagine my mom’s pain when Karma did pass.  Mom also describes Karma as her best friend – and I doubt that Karma could ever be replaced.  Not entirely.  There was a specialness to her; a gentle and wise knowing-ness that I miss to this day.

Here’s to all the dogs in the world who give us that gentle companionship and who even lick away our tears from time to time; waiting for us to pick ourselves up and continue our journey.

Love you Karma!! xoxoxox

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CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Weekends with Dad circa 1991

Published by cctadmin on July 23rd, 2015

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Once upon a time CC Trubiak spent every weekend with his dad. My parents were divorced by the time I was approaching Kindergarten and it became regular routine to have dad pick us kids up after school on Fridays. We’d usually spend both Friday and Saturday nights with him before heading on back home to mom’s house where we’d live and go to school throughout the week.

There’s nothing quite like the memories I have of those weekends; they were some of the best days of my youth and I don’t believe that’s nostalgia talking. Very fond recollections of grocery shopping after school at Eddie’s IGA and getting all the goods for the weekend ahead; dad would make a pit-stop at Candy Bar so he could pick up a pack of cigarettes and the Reminder (which back then came with the television schedule in every Friday issue) and allow me to select an Archie comic or two.  Maybe up to Rex Video where we could rent a Betamax tape too.  Up at dad’s place itself I was usually busy drawing pictures and writing stories inside or climbing rocks and making forts, skipping stones down by the water and generally killing hours upon hours at play. Dad could be found inside the garage tinkering on an art project (usually involving a buzz saw) with CFAR radio full blast, a cracked-open beer and a half-finished cigarette sitting on the ashtray. It’s easy to remember the sun shining and the feeling of dirt on my skin after a full day, and the comfort of knowing this was my weekend home.

Pictured here I stand with dad, circa 1991. I would have been around 12 years old, right about to embark on those God-awful pubescent years. Oh the emotional turmoil and insecurities that were about to transition youthful days into adulthood as I would come to know it. I remember standing there by dad’s car for this photo, the wind blowing. Dad’s gone now but I need look at the picture for only a moment to recollect many life details of those days gone by. The dreamer in me sometimes imagines what it would be like if we could time-travel; oh the options of where we could go again… I know that I would certainly want the chance to be in that moment again just to take comfort. Here’s to our youthful pasts.

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CC CHRONICLES: The Mix playing @ The Hooter THIS FRIDAY & SATURDAY

Published by cctadmin on July 20th, 2015

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The Mix plays two nights at the Hooter this weekend.

Come out ya’ll!

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CC CHRONICLES: Roots on rock / Camping @ Wekusko Falls

Published by cctadmin on July 19th, 2015

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We came.  We set up.  It rained.  It rained some more.  It rained even more.  We went home.

However in a short space when the rain lightened to a mist I did get a few pics of the impressive greenery all around me.  The sights and sounds were beautiful, and I was especially drawn to the roots on rock all along the pathways.

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