Saturday, April 25, 2009

Aww the sweet smell of horse manure......

Yes, you read correctly, I like the smell of horse manure. Well "like" may be too strong a word. I don't exactly 'like' to smell manure in the same kind of way I 'like' to smell freshly baked bread or cooking onions, but I do associate all horse related smells with happy carefree times.

I was a horse loving girl all through high school. Even the barn cleaning moments were fun, just us girls driving the tractor around, chattering and goofing off as we cleaned the stalls and made the world a little nicer for our beloved 4 legged creatures.

We were so in love with the horses, nothing could distract us from them. We lived at the stables. For at least one or two seasons, we even slept in the hay shed all summer long, spending most every minute devoted to our equines, grooming them, cleaning tack, playing with them, training them, and just endlessly hanging out at the barns. It kept us out of trouble, our love for horses, because we did our rebellious staying out late at the riding club, far away from parties, boys, and sleezy places downtown.

My girlfriends were so much fun to be with, we came from all corners of the Lower Mainland, and we may never have crossed paths had it not been for riding at the same stable. They were some of my very best friends during that time of my life. Constantly it seemed, we laughed till we cried, and we were all so different, yet everybody was included. We went to horse shows, to the races, to other barns, out for lunch, to dinner, to the tack store,...... we just did everything, it was all horses all the time.

I lost touch with them about the time I got into music. Suddenly, late nights no longer mixed well with early mornings and my life at the farm faded away. I kept riding for a number of years as I travelled around the world, mostly as a random hobby. I never really got completely back into it again, never really made that connection with other barn members either, which was really a big part of the appeal.

One day, while riding in England, I think I was about 27, I fell off of a horse and got a concussion. It was quite scary, and I have not been on a horse since.

Enter facebook. One of my girlfriends found me through another old horse crazy pal, and she left me a message as well as her sisters phone number. I called the number the minute I read the message, as I had been wondering lately, where they both had gone, had wondered what they had been doing after all these years.

Suddenly, I was meeting them at one of my gigs, and we were laughing till we cried at the memories we had to share. Some of the stories they brought up, I am not so sure I really want to remember. For example, apparently, I used to wear curlers while I slept in the hayshed. ?????? Yeah, we got real good laugh out that one. I don't know. Don't ask. I was under 20, that is all I can think of to say in my defense.

As it turns out, one of them still has a horse and she is managing one of the stables in the flats where we used to ride, while the other boards her pony there, so we have plans to meet up for old times sake and go for lunch.

I have always imagined myself and my kids riding together, but I never really found an opportunity. Today I had that opportunity and I took my kids to see the stables to see where Leslie works. This is the video of their first introduction to horses.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yummy Mummy Club Vancouver Twitter Moms meetup with Erica Ehm

My day at the first tweetup for Yummy Mummy Club twitter Moms!

It was a complete success, we had a blast, Erica was gracious and beautiful, and all the Moms got along like we had known each other for years. It was so nice to put faces to the names.
Watch the video to get my take on the day~!

hashtag #YMcoffee for tweet ups happening close to you. for more infor about Erica and the Yummy Mummy Club online.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Erica Ehm is coming to Vancouver......

One of my recent passions is making videos. To me the whole process is exciting, the planning, the shooting, the editing, there so much opportunity to be creative with the medium, and as a songwriter I love the chance to branch out and make something more with the music I am learning to create.

I bought my first digital video camera in the fall of 2007, when I came across a video contest hosted by the Yummy Mummy Club, founded by celebrity mummy Erica Ehm. The YMC is the 'go to' destination for multi-tasking Moms looking for adult stimulation. Membership is in the tens of thousands already, it is a place for awesome women to come together to celebrate and commiserate the joys and perils of being a modern mom while balancing it with being a sexy mama. (pictured above) *Suzette, Erica and Rachael*

The video contest that Erica held, was a search for Canada's Yummiest Mummy, and each video challenge gave us a new topic to base our videos on. I loved the challenges, and I especially liked meeting the other women online, it was such a dynamic and caring community. In fact, I have made online and real life friendships that last to this day, including an endearing connection to the winner of the contest, Sharon Devillis, whom I emailed in the first week of the contest, to let her know that I was voting for her, because I was sure she was going to win, and also, Suzette (pictured above) who lives here in BC, Suzette and her husband have shown up a number of times to my gigs to see me play, and when Erica put out a call to Yummy Mummies to help with her booth at the Baby fair last Dec, Suz and I both decided to go, and requested we work together, it was such a fun day!

For those friendships alone I am grateful that I stumbled upon this contest in 2007, but the biggest benefit I found through participation, was the inspiration and motivation, to continue making videos. I can't even tell you how drastically my life has changed since I began putting myself out there in cyber land. I have literally met people all over the globe due to the videos and songs that I have been putting out there.

Almost every cool event you see me writing about here on my blog, happened because I attached one of my videos to an email. For example, the TV documentary show that recently aired on W network (it was called Keeping it Real, and it will be re-aired Thursday May 7 at 11:30AM in case you want to catch it), happened because I attached this video to the application email.

My song 'Standing all the Way" which is a song about breast cancer, is on a very soon to be released CD for a website called Stupid Cancer, which is one of Time Magazines top websites of 2007. My inclusion on this project was a result of sending Stupid Cancer founder Matthew Zachary, the video of me playing the song in my kitchen.

My involvement and eventual win with Jack FM, happened because I had a video handy to send to the radio station when they asked for video submissions for their big talent contest last May. Participation in that contest, led to my contract with the Great Canadian Casinos.

I could go on with examples, but that is not the point of this post, the point was to really to express thanks to Erica and the YMC, for inspiring women like myself to chase our own dreams, she reminds us that even while we give endlessly to our children, we can't forget ourselves.

I am excited to let Vancouver Mom's know that Erica is meeting with some of her Yummy Mummy Twitter friends this coming Tuesday April 21, at Calhoun's coffee shop in Kits, at 1pm (to join the conversation on Twitter, use the hashtag #YMcoffee). Erica is coming to Vancouver to be on Breakfast Television, and Urban Rush, and she has graciously agreed to squeeze in a coffee and a chat with us, just before she has to fly back to Toronto.

So if you are a Yummy Mummy and want to join the fun, please come join us, and if you are not in Vancouver, I encourage you to go check out Ericas website. There are always lots of free prizes to be won, and an endless stream of funny and engaging articles, outrageously talented bloggers, and also lots of Yummy videos to watch.

And make sure you tune into BT and Urban Rush on Tuesday to catch Erica's appearance!

See you Tuesday!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Miss 604 at the Meet and Tweet!

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, may recall that I was recently interviewed byMiss 604, Rebecca Bollwitt, for an E Online story about being a working performer and singer/songwriter in Vancouver.

Its funny but, whenever I spend time this woman, my online exposure level goes up another notch. First, she introduced me to Twitter, she simply insisted I sign up for an account, and with one single tweet about me to her followers, I had almost a hundred followers on my first day of Tweeting.

Believe me, I saw the power. I have been watching and learning ever since.

I often check in with Rebecca on her blog, she is a busy young woman with her finger on the pulse. She is the "Internet It girl", and not only is her image travelling around plastered on buses all over town, she is also a regular guest on 1410 the Buzz of Vancouver, the talk-radio station I tune into when I need to just turn off the music. ( yes it happens )

So last night, I took my handy little video camera with me to film Rebecca as she mingled and gave a speech at the Tech Valley Social Club's first ever Meet and Tweet which was held at a gorgeous venue called Dublins Crossing . If you would like to know more, or view photos and find links to all the fine people involved in this networking event, I invite you to visit Miss604's recap of the night.

My personal reasons, why I filmed this event, was to illustrate to my musician and industry friends, the power of using the internet (and specifically Twitter), for business and social networking.

You can easily apply this technology towards promoting your band or your CD. Sure its great to be on Myspace where you connnect with other musicians, but I'd say most of them are trying to sell their music to you. If you are like me, you need to connect with real customers and talent buyers whether it be a pub, club, event, or concert venue looking for entertainment, or the bride, parent, or spouse who is looking for a band for their party. Twitter is also great for connecting with industry people and the businesses that will be helpful to your career (photographers, web designers, artists etc).

No matter what your business, you want to find and focus on your customers, and the people who know them. That is what Twitter can do, if used effectively, it can take your Tweets, and multiply them.

My final note on this, is to update you on how my online life has changed since my last meeting with Rebecca.

Because I was following her around all night, I wound up meeting and hanging out with some pretty incredible Twitter-holics. In particular, there were two fellows whom I am quite certain are responsible in part, for the FLOOD on Twitter followers I am receiving, due to the tens of thousands of followers they themselves have. I believe I have had over a hundred new followers in less than a day. I can barely keep up, this is powerful stuff folks.

So I want to specially thank Rainer from @ThinkReferrals, and Gary, @bluefur for giving me a shout out "tweet"! And to all the other great people I met, and those of you who have also been sending some "tweet love" my way, thank you! I hope you all enjoy the way I chose to document and share the night.

Final note, the people from Domain 7 did an excellent job of putting it all together.

To those that missed it, better come to the next one!!!

best, Rach!


Friday, April 10, 2009

~Mama Cried~

This tells the story of a 16 year old, who ran away from an abusive home, straight into a life of being abused on the streets. The sad truth is, she had learned what she lived.

Closing time
theres no where else to go
everybody is curious
but no one lets it show
closing time
no more drinks for free
everyone's gone home now
and its only me

I thought I saw a shelter in the alley
maybe theres a blanket in the bin
if I had a quarter Id call Mamma
not that it matters now
because I don't know
what part of town I'm in

Mama cried
when I said I had to leave
poor delusioned Mama
she just can't believe
someone lied
and I know it wasn't me
something isn't right here
beneath this family tree

Guess I've got to make it on my own now
I look pretty old for just 16
If I had a quarter I'd call Mamma
just to say I love her
and Im happy because I am finally free

City lights
keep all the ghosts at bay
no one asks me questions
no one turns me away
spend my nights
with 'friends" that I have made
they give me protection
and a place to stay

Guess its not so different from my home now
at least I make a dollar for my time
when I have a quarter I call momma
just to I can tell her
that just like her I live a lie.

Rachael Chatoor c 1997

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Trapped in an elevator.......

............for 41 HOURS

I found this both difficult and fascinating to watch.

What would you do?

Story is in the New Yorker


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rach hanging out with recording artist, AJ Woodworth

Hi everyone,

I was visiting last week at the home of recording artist AJ Woodworth.

She is just gorgeous inside and out, plus she has fantastic vocals, great songs, and a really nice energy. But don't take my word for it, check out the video I made of my day hanging out with her.............isn't she completely adorable?

Please do feel free to show her some love, go visit her website! And watch the horizons folks, this girls star is going to rise!!!

Also in this video, the fabulously talented Jesse Tucker. (guitarist/co-writer)
Warmly, Rach~