Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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: 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: 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: 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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CC CHRONICLES: To honk your own horn or not… that is the question

Published by cctadmin on June 20th, 2015

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“Sometimes you gotta honk your own horn, ‘cause if ya don’t know ones ever gonna know your coming!” – Dolly Parton.

Much like my idol Dolly Parton, I consider myself a story-teller first and foremost. I love song-writing and whether I’m good at it or not, it’s the purest way I can express myself. I live to produce refrains and as I get older, try embracing that urge to grow as well. Like a tree wants to reach toward the sunny sky I try to grasp musical aspirations.

Half of me agrees with what Dolly affirms about honking your own horn. While I may have my ‘9 to 5’ job in the healthcare profession (no pun intended) my truest joy comes from my love of making music and performing.  Music represents that ‘authentic’ part of myself and I’m compelled to share it, driven to connect to the larger society; as music is so universal it seems any persons melodious skills are gifts worth sharing. This part that strives to adhere and grow also understands there’s times in our life where we seize opportunities; make them, and times we’ll miss or waste them. I look to that quote to assert that if my mission is to connect – I gotta get heard as much as I have to listen.  Who’s gonna hear me unless they know I’m coming? As an artist it seems imperative that you do things to promote art.

I could take all the songs I’ve written, let them sit  and collect on my computer drive or in journals.  Avoid getting on stage for fear of failure or rejection. Alternatively I could have faith; conquer fear.  Connect.   Is being heard something we all want? Maybe, perhaps not. I’ve often grappled with what putting yourself ‘out there’ looks like in action. Self-promotion, branding yourself – performing live and even interacting with audiences while on stage; these are all ways one could ‘honk their own horn’ so to speak.

On the other hand I don’t know how comfortable I am with the notion of ‘honking your own horn’; there is a fine line between self-promotion and even the idea of branding yourself and being narcissistic. Some artists and music lovers alike believe that to sell yourself (or your art/brand etc) is the equivalent of selling your soul. I’m no expert on selling my art or my soul but I do value humility. I believe art speaks for itself yet there’s some conflict; there’s occasional uncertainty of how to stay balanced. I love creating music – I do not love ‘the hustle’; and can’t say I’ve ever been comfortable with networking or managing that aspect of things.

Ultimately I’m still learning just as I am about singing/songwriting/performing; finding that elusive equilibrium. Like the song goes: ‘to everything turn, turn, turn’; I suppose as an artist I believe there’s a time to honk your horn and get people listening to what you want them to hear, and a time to be still and let the creative undertaking be the ultimate objective. A time to let the music speak for itself, even if but only a few ears ever get to hear it. I’ll trust in this process and just enjoy.

What do other artists think?

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CC CHRONICLES: Why I’ve Kiboshed My ‘Rolling Stone’ Magazine Cover Dream

Published by cctadmin on May 21st, 2015

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Back in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s, I poured over Rolling Stone Magazine. Didn’t a lot of music lovers?  The articles and interviews were pure escapism, but I especially loved the cover photography; often capturing many of my musical idols in their glory. It seemed  there were a lot of great entertainers; and in my mind, to really make the ‘Rock and Roll dream’  come true, as I naively perceived it, you had to land ‘on the cover of the Rolling Stone’.  I enjoyed that misperception.

My impression then was, to even have the chance of getting on Rolling Stone one had to come equipped with an exceptional talent; for not everyone in music got exposure.  Thousands of prolific songwriters, musicians and vocalists never received that prestigious distinction.   You had to have that edge, that ‘thing’, if you were to realize the dream.  I still remember discovering the 1974 issue with Tanya Tucker, which headlined: “Hi I’m Tanya Tucker. I’m Fifteen.  You’re Gonna Hear from Me.” It was like “Whoa!”  My mind was blown that someone so young could go there based on their vocal talent… It inspired.  The years gave amazing covers, featuring The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young – the list goes on and on and on.   Annie Leibovitz in particular, shot a lot of my favourites; with assignments like the John and Yoko cover, or Bette Midler or Steve Martin…. Various images became a youthful ideal for what rock and roll was; to me it incorporated the ability to write and perform entertainment (music, acting, comedy) in such a way that the ‘high-ups’ at Rolling Stone even deemed you ‘worthy’.  Ha!

Back then of course, we did not have the internet; so I’d wait patiently for bi-weekly issues; combing through each one from front cover to back. If the cover art appealed to my ideal, I’d keep it tucked away on my bookshelf along with any others. Still have a lot of them today. Why I keep them still? Nostalgia.

I loved singing and writing, and because I was a loner who spent a majority of time doing these very things (including much daydreaming); I too, fantasized of what it might be like to live life creating music.  Being on the road.  I wondered how I might one day get that cover shot on Rolling Stone.  By the Annie Liebovitz.   What would that look, sound and feel like? Maybe this dream was the same fantasy of thousands of kids across the world?

As time went on though, I became less and less dedicated to following the musical and political publication; I think primarily because I also began to a) grow up and chase life instead of dream about it and b) lose interest in whatever was going on in ‘mainstream’ pop culture as I cultivated my own pathway.  They say  in life you have to stay true to yourself, whatever that means to each of us. There is no offence to the artistry out there today per se, but even now I can’t appreciate the featured artists or the cover photography itself, not as I did back then.  Who was it recently used the word ‘reductive’?    Along with that loss of appreciation of the art of Rolling Stone – I have also long since put away those daydreams.  Too busy writing – trying!

In the late 90′s I used to work at a Winnipeg Blockbuster Video  (an experience in itself) – I’d see the issues coming in over time, more and more featuring Brittany Spears and X-tina, or Backstreet Boys.  Less and less did things hold my interest; girls and boys of all sorts just standing purposefully naked with breasts and bums tooched out so unnaturally.  I mean, I suppose it was ‘sexy’; and sex sells, which I really could appreciate, from an aesthetic and horny perspecitive .   However it registered that you didn’t really have to be all that prolific; you didn’t even have to have anything interesting to say about your music.  It appeared however, have to turn people on.  Make money.  ‘Edge’ as I was familiar, was replaced with sex appeal, in my mind; which is absolutely fine.  I just no longer subscribed to it, pun intended.

Why do I choose to write about this today?  The old dream re-occurred to me recently – that reverie of my Liebovitz cover shot and the accompanying story of my aspirations and schemes of artistry and success.  I had to smile; the youthful self and my previous conceptions verses my own current views on entertainment, media and Rolling Stone Magazine itself.  Fame.

In the end I think that Rolling Stone Magazine is forging on as it should; representing what is trending in music, as it likely did since its birth in 1967.  I don’t know exactly what has changed or what is even important to the mass public.  Perception has evolved.  Oh, I still dream and I still desire recognition if I’m being totally honest.  I remain a dreamer!  Maybe the difference is – I’m grateful enough today;  just knowing that I can sing and write and perform.  That I’ve experienced it and continue to.  Music is my first love.  The recognition and the ‘Rolling Stone Cover’ aspiration itself, no longer holds weight; nor does my attraction to ‘fame’, as I understood it to be.  I don’t need Rolling Stone or stardom to write and sing or do whatever it is I do.  I want to say what’s real to me weather its sexy or appealing to the mass public or not.  Regardless I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do.

The nostalgic in me will still keep those old issues though.  :-)  Props to the past!

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CC CHRONICLES: Onward and Upward

Published by cctadmin on May 8th, 2015

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Feels like the first time in a while where I’ve been able to sit down and concentrate on a thought, much less write it down in any organized fashion. It feels refreshing; although now that I’m here I’m not 100% certain where to even start. Have you ever been there yourself?

Life sure can make or break us at times; the inevitable ups and downs that none of us can escape either bend us till we break or they can force us to dig deeper than we’ve ever thought possible.

I feel like I have been through a marathon over the past six months; our family took a big loss when my dad passed away in March; I had an appendicitis and was also down for the count with a terrible flu within that same month – and oh, did I mention that within all of this I was committed to Flin Flon’s huge production of Les Miserables? #NoPressure !

The words fit concisely into one sentence but truth be told there were times I literally felt like a dear caught in the headlights; struck with shock, frozen from movement. I didn’t know which way to go or weather to let the traffic hit me, for the inability to control the uncontrollable.

Sitting here and reflecting now I can only break it down like this:

I miss my dad. Life goes on as the cliché states, but there is not a single hour in the day I don’t end up seeing his face, thinking about his life and feeling a tormenting void. It’s a gross and unfamiliar feeling… I would give anything I own to hear his voice and despite being out there, smiling in the community and getting on stage, make no mistake; he’s in my thoughts even though I don’t talk about it. I’m grateful for the time I was afforded with him and my family throughout the past years; and his memory will be what inspires me to move forward most. Mark my word and count on that.

I’m grateful for my family; who as I get older I realize I love and need more than I ever could have anticipated in my uninformed youth. I know where I want to be at this particular point in my life, and that’s here, where I can see and talk to them; where I can see for myself how the years age their faces and they can hopefully get to know who I am and what my purpose is. My mother is my greatest tenderness; my stepdad a loyal and reliable force; my sisters and brother my eminent connection to the past; my niece and nephews my hope and appreciation for the future. It’s important that as I move forward in my next chapter, that I remain connected to them and more so, show my devotion to them.

I’m grateful for the constant support of Alain; my partner and bestest friend. As the song goes, “He’s the rock that I lean on; he’s the sunshine of my day”. He’s been there through the thick and thin of it all and like my dedication to my family, I also move forward in my life with the motivation to give him the best. He deserves it. When he smiles my heart is full, of love, as Marius Pontmercy says.

Being a part of the Flin Flon Community’s production of Les Miserables also saved me in many ways; from falling too quickly into my tendency to retreat and hide away in the face of challenge. There were times I was literally too sick and physically weak to go to the required rehearsals over the past six months. There were other times I simply didn’t have the ‘mojo’; and of course with that came a lot of guilt compounded by my grief and exhaustion. It wasn’t pretty nor did I understand it all the time. Nevertheless the community didn’t turn me away, nor did they leave me in the dark during this time. In fact, I felt more love and support from the Flin Flon community in and around this period, than I’ve ever experienced before in my life.

The outpour of cards, flowers, messages and food upon my dad’s passing (and my stint in the hospital) overwhelmed me in the most profound way. I wasn’t expecting anything; but what it did was reinforce the understanding that my dad was an honorable man whose memory would live on through his children. And it was undeniable to me in that time, that my family was and is loved by the community as a whole. It occurred to me that had I not returned here three years ago to work and try to support my siblings with my dad’s health – I never would have known this great love existed.

I humbly thank everyone who rallied around us at that time; and appreciate those who encouraged me to stay connected to my role as Marius within the plethora of talents involved with this production. I felt a brother/sisterhood with the cast, stage production and just everyone from start to finish. I may have entered the community hall on some days, with a heavy heart and feeling of loneliness – but I would always find myself leaving uplifted, encouraged and certain that I was where I needed to be.

In close, here’s to the future – wherever its path takes us. I remain open-hearted and open-minded about where I’m headed, even though I’m certain I will find myself tripping or falling again. Regardless of that direction and how many times I shall fall – I will always strive to get back up. The memory of my dad and the love of my family and community will always be cherished. I will draw from that.
Onward and upward.
CC

***I took some photos up at my dad’s place today; double click on them for a closer peek.  It was up on these very rocks that I experienced a childhood of a great and pure love.  

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CC CHRONICLES: Boy in my home

Published by cctadmin on March 25th, 2015

Mom and my nephew Riley came by yesterday for a visit.  I love that boy.

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CC CHRONICLES: Me, my bro and nephew

Published by cctadmin on March 3rd, 2015

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