Sunday, 28 May 2017


It always saddens me when a formerly good site turns to crap. Let me explain. I am not claiming that the users are crap; I am saying that the people who run it would be better off in almost any other line of work.

Notice anything? The first picture is not a polar bear in a blizzard; the picture is not there at all. Some of you may be wondering Tanya, why don't you just delete it? and that is an excellent question. The simplest answer is that "it" won't let me. "It" is the third-party Instagram uploader who informed me, after uploading a blank square, that Instagram is not fond of people uploading more than one picture every 20 minutes. How very picky of Instagram.

I get the very definite impression that a whole bunch of apps these days cater to people with cell phones. I don't have a cell phone. So rather than miss out on the sites I want to be part of, I do a search and find ANOTHER app whose job is to upload pictures to Instagram for the pariahs who have no cell phone.

I am not trying to say that these sites should not cater to people who use Instagram on their cell phones, but what about the rest of us? I have a PC, an iPad, access to a Mac...I'm not exactly Amish here. Get your shit together, Instagram. I am getting really tired of jumping through hoops for you like a trained poodle.


I suppose it started with my departure from I left after reaching out for help and getting dog-piled by several trolls five minutes after my request. To add fuel to the fire, an admin from the site witnessed all of this and did nothing to stop it. Instead, he told me that I should just block people when a problem arose. But there was not just "a problem"; the whole site is infected with trolls.

Since then, I have felt completely detached not only from others online but also from myself. I am trying desperately to re-introduce some normalcy into my daily computer experience. I don't know if I am making any headway, to be honest. All I know is I am tired of getting dumped on. But in order to understand why it is so difficult for me to "just ignore it", you need to know something about me. Something I usually don't talk about. I was badly abused as a child, in every way - including verbally and emotionally. And if this happened to any of you, you know how difficult it is to deal with these trolls, no matter how many decades roll by.

And so my artwork has changed, everything has changed. I have pulled back from my interactions here as well as other sites. I know I will be back fully at some point. I just need to figure out how.

Thursday, 25 May 2017


I truly love music as much as anyone could love a non-living thing. And I always pay careful attention to the lyrics because sometimes they say all the things I want to say but cannot. So today I thought I would share some excerpts from the song "Listen" by Beyonce and why I relate to this song to my very core. I am not a huge "Queen Bey" fan, but this song...

"Listen, to the sound from deep within. It's only beginning to find release." When I hear this line, I  think of all of the creative things I do now, and how much they have helped me express myself to others.

"And I've tried and tried to say what's on my mind. You should have known." For me, these lyrics speak of someone who has tried to make themselves understood in quieter ways before, but now has to resort to more dramatic methods.

"I'm more than what you made of me." Now this one I can identify with so much. When I hear someone sing it, I get a lump in my throat. I am more than what "they" made of me.

"I don't know where I belong but I'll be moving on." That line sums up my 20s quite nicely. Enough said.

Question: Are there any songs like this for you? I swear I could have just copied the lyrics right here and called this blog post "This." But enough of that. Let's look at the video together:

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Yes, I am a Degrassi fan. Not just the old-school version either. I really enjoy Degrassi: The Next Generation more than someone my age should. I mean, what could I possibly have in common with these teens? I am the same age as Snake (Principal Simpson) and Joey (Craig's stepdad). And I don't know that I really can identify with all of the kids on the show. But I know I can identify with Clare.

This very serious student was constantly being urged to "come out of her shell" and enjoy her youth. In case you are planning on checking out Degrassi TNG anytime in the future, I won't spoil anything for you. But let's just say that Clare Edwards has experienced a world of pain, and if she was based on a real person I am sure that young woman would pause to wonder many times whether or not all of this crap would happen to her if she had just stayed in her mousy shell. 

I often wonder whether I wasn't happier in my mousy shell. Putting yourself and your creativity out there for public scrutiny can have its pitfalls. And there are always people saying, Oh, you shouldn't listen to them. Just keep being yourself. But who is that person? Do I even resemble that person anymore? Do any of us really resemble our true selves? Or do we take off one mask and simply replace it with another? 

Sunday, 21 May 2017


It seems as if I have encountered my fair share of trolls lately, but as a creative person that is something you can expect. It is not as though I cannot take criticism at all, but there is a way to offer that criticism in a constructive way that still give the creator some respect as a fellow human being. I encountered one particularly difficult one on Facebook yesterday, but the reason that was difficult was the fact that I thought we were friends from our YouTube days. Also the implication that, while hating my voice and thinking I need to do the world a favour and stop singing, he kept listening to my songs. Why??? If you are not a troll, then why??? If I don't like a singer I can pretty much figure that out after attempting to listen to one song from this person. And then I don't act like an internet troll; I just don't click on their links anymore. And today there was this winner:

If you are looking for premier trolls (rather than ones that just half-ass it), I highly recommend checking out Minds. They really put the time and effort into decimating their target. Notice the way in which he managed to not only insult my singing but he incorporated a fat joke in there as well. Ah, the poetry of it all. I imagine that in the future DeviantArt will have a category for Troll Mastery, because that is definitely becoming an art form. And catching me when I am unaware was the kiss of perfection - after I received favourites on both Soundcloud and Audiomack, why would I expect this? Nope, I didn't see it coming. And that led to this response:

I am utterly tired of it, all of it. I am tired of being hyper-vigilant on Minds because I don't want to be a target simply because I have an opinion or something of myself to offer in a creative sort of way. They did "boost" my post after all (meaning I offer up "points" to share it across a wider audience). But what about next time? How many times am I going to put up with this crap in order to remain on a site that lets these trolls run wild? I guess that remains to be seen...

Saturday, 20 May 2017


The reason this blog post is called "the other side of free speech" as opposed to simply "an argument for free speech" is as an admission of guilt on my part. I used to always like to think of myself as a very conscious thinker. And when the U.S. election primaries were over and things were starting to really get heated up, I quickly jumped on the side I felt was right (no pun intended). I listened, as a lot of other people did, to a candidate that not only proved himself to be a total liar but someone who would give relevance to every troll I would come across. Before I go further into this, I have provided you with the definition of a troll so we are all starting with the same understanding.

Trolls will be the first to shout "FREE SPEECH!" if you try to claim that their bullshit is inappropriate. Insulting people, calling people names just for the fun of it, is not what our forefathers had in mind with the whole concept of free speech. And the trolls' bastardized form of "free speech" is violence, pure and simple. You are deliberately attacking someone to try to hurt them. That's why I call it violence.

Now having spent a lot of time and a shameful number of hours on the other side of the fence, I see that I was wrong about so much. And the first time I was referred to as a Social Justice Warrior by one of these trolls, I was more than a little horrified. Then I thought about it and decided it wasn't such a bad thing. And I can thank this troll for opening up my eyes to the fact that I really wasn't anything like my compatriots as the time. Sure, I believe in free speech. But I don't equate that to trolling. And at the end of the day, I would much rather be a "snowflake" than a troll. At least I am doing something constructive with my life, not just sitting in some political circle-jerk talking about how badly I am going to "destroy" another SJW in my next video.

Friday, 19 May 2017


Well, I wasn't going to write a blog post today - too tired, nothing much to say. I don't like to post blog entries just for the sake of it But Facebook saved the day once again. It's my own damn fault for coming back to it time and time again, I guess. Right now I am just pissed off. Below is a status post from someone I have known for YEARS. We were both YouTube creators during a happier time with YouTube, before a lot of the infighting took place. Anyway, I am stalling. I blotted out the face and name of this person out of respect for them, even though I am not entirely sure they are deserving of it. At any rate, here it is:

So as you can see I responded to the status. He is forever complaining about various Facebook friends, but I don't think I would have even assumed it was me until he made mention of a cappella covers. Interesting. That's not a very popular pastime that I am aware of. I think I mentioned before that I have been doing most of my covers a cappella because that's the only way Soundcloud will keep them up. And the fact that Audiomack actually has a category for a cappella music leads me to believe they have the same policy regarding cover songs. So I have every reason to assume this is related to me.

I had another person complaining about my music today as well, so this hasn't been a good day for feedback. My message to these people is: "Yes, I sing. No, I am not a professional. I am not going to sound like your favourite singer. And quite often your favourite singer doesn't even sound like your favourite singer. It's called "auto-tune". I wonder at what point in your life you were lied to and told that your opinion matters so much, because that person actually did you a great disservice. If you don't want to hear my singing, don't click on it. You'll know it's mine by a picture of my face accompanying every single cover. If that's not enough of a clue, maybe you shouldn't be on the internet at all. Now go be a troll somewhere else." Now back to that poem...

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Wide awake at 6:30 this morning, I decided to sing a song. I find my voice is clearer and somehow more powerful at that time of day than any other. I picked a song I had done before: "Hello" by Adele. I was going to post it as an a cappella cover (no music). I recorded it with background music, but I was the only one who heard it. Scratch that - Smule heard it as well and gave me a score of over 30,000. I may have gotten a score that high on a cover once before, but definitely not more than that. The score results from the technical precision of your voice, the tone and tempo mostly. I had to make the most of it.

My first step was preparing and uploading the a cappella version. After that was through I made the accompanying video, which is basically a picture of me trying to look "hard". But I still did not want to let that song go. So I created a music video using the acoustic version that I sang to originally. I chose the film 500 Days Of Summer to find relevant clips and create the video (again with the acoustic version). Various versions of the same song were now available on several different sites. Only now could I let it go.

In school I learned about the natives who live in northern Canada and are called Inuit. We learned that they never wasted any part of the animals they killed. They used the meat for food, fur for clothing, and so on. I like to think I have a little of that spirit in me as well. So if you have listened to at least one version of "Hello" at the time you are reading this, thank you. I try my best to make a good thing last.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


I went back to Soundcloud. If you knew how pissed off and fed up with Soundcloud I was when I left, you would be really confused by my decision. But first, a little history: Last time I was active on Soundcloud was roughly two years ago. I used to post all my covers there. Then I started getting notices from Soundcloud saying that I could not use the background music for my tracks. Something to do with copyright. I think Soundcloud changed hands around that time and this was the new norm. So I tried to do my songs a cappella (without music) and I didn't like how they sounded. It turned out that without the background music I had to accept the fact that I wasn't as good a singer as I thought I was.

Fast forward to 2017: I left my Soundcloud up with me singing without the music on a number of tracks. And over time, they got a lot of plays. But I was still pissed off. So when I began making hiphop tracks, I posted them on another platform altogether. It was considered one of the best platforms, but Soundcloud was still by far the best and most often used by people who wanted to post their own indie tracks and enjoy the music that was uploaded by others. Finally I had to admit that I wanted to be back on Soundcloud. I still had followers there, and I wanted to continue what I started, adding this new hiphop twist. I also started singing a cappella again, this time with two years' more singing experience under my belt.

And now I post tracks and videos where they seem to work best, but it can be somewhat confusing, so I thought I would break it down for you, should you ever be searching for a particular type of music from me:

1. Original Cover Songs These are the ones I have been doing for the longest time. I posted nearly 900 tracks on Smule, so there's a lot to choose from there. Additionally, these tracks can be found on pretty much all of my social media sites, but there are not re-uploaded as audio tracks online. Instead, these tracks get converted into a video format and shared in that way.

2. HipHop Tracks This is a fairly new addition to my musical repertoire. For original audio tracks, you can find them on both Soundcloud and Audiomack. Both are decent sites to showcase indie hiphop music.

3. A Cappella Covers I post these on my Soundcloud and Audiomack pages as well. They are actually doing a lot better on Audiomack than expected, so I am very happy about that.

So that's where to find my songs and where I share them from. I may not always sing all three types of songs, but they will always be there for people to check out. 

Monday, 15 May 2017


I came from bad beginnings. I had a horrific childhood and after that I went rocketing into a bad marriage. I have an adult son from that marriage, but I haven't seen or heard from him for roughly three years now. My parents came from other countries, so I did not get the benefit of relatives close by. But why am I telling you this? Where I come from says a lot about the core beliefs I carry with me, much as I may try to abandon that baggage altogether.

It is important to know that I spent over two decades being told that I am "not good enough", yet no advice was offered as to what I could change to become a better person. At times I felt desperate to know what massive flaw was in me that was so horrible that it permeated my interactions with those who were supposed to care about me the most. But this blog post is about something a little different. It is about how I changed all that.

I spent a lot of time despairing over what I believed to be a massive flaw within me. And although I never cared for high school, it was hard for me to leave behind the one thing I was actually good at: being a student. I truly believed that I would never again be recognized as someone who had gifts, someone worthwhile. Then came my entrance into social media and video making, resulting in my first YouTube channel called Geek Wisdom. 

Everything changed for me then. I learned that I did have talent and that people could see good things in me after all. After that everything kind of snowballed for the next several years; I became (not necessarily in this order) a vlogger, a blogger, a poet, a singer, an inspiration - and yes, A hiphop artist.

Producing my own hiphop tracks came very easily to me, and to date I have produced 5 tracks. Think of that - five tracks. Throughout my life I managed to learn that I was good enough and that not trying something I wanted to do was far worse than failing ever could be. So I guess that's my message with this blog post. And if you ever feel your dreams and goals might be silly, just remind yourself of the middle-aged white chick knocking out hiphop tracks. I am not looking to become famous or anything. Healing my self-esteem has been the greatest reward of all. 

Friday, 12 May 2017


Sunday is Mother's Day. Many people are planning a special day with their child(ren) or their own mother (or maternal figure). They may have already picked out a card and a small yet meaningful gift. And then there are those of us who are just trying to hang on until the day after Mother's Day. For some of us, it is a day full of bittersweet memories and renewed grief for that person who is no longer there.

Grief is a horrible thing to experience, and I truly believe that the loss of a child (whether through death or estrangement) can be the toughest pain of all. Either way, we can no longer hold that child who used to be so small, who would curl up on our laps and feel so content. "Mommy" knew everything, and "Mommy" would always be there. We are still there, but that lap is cold now, and nothing can make that cold go away. I think I will be avoiding certain social media sites on Sunday. I don't want to see the happy faces of the children who still stand beside their mother as they wish her Happy Mother's Day. And it's not that I want anyone else to feel this pain; it will just hurt too badly that day.

And then there is the pain of losing one's mother. This can also happen through death or estrangement. Either way, you spend Mother's Day feeling as though something is missing. All those years of celebrating not just Mother's Days but holidays and birthdays as well; it's such an important bond and when it is gone, nothing can replace it. And if you were unlucky enough to have a mother that was distant or abusive, the pain is still there, and the bewilderment as you stare into the mirror thinking simply Why me?

But eventually the day will end, and we will try to move on with our lives. We will try to focus on what we have, rather than the cracks in our hearts that will never heal. But on Sunday, be kind to yourself as much as possible. Allow yourself to feel whatever feelings come up. We are a shattered and raggedy army that marches through this world with a special pain. But we will keep marching forward, and that is a strength we can be proud of. 

Thursday, 11 May 2017


Okay, so here's where my fellow conservative thinkers and I part ways: I think that sometime's it's okay - even justified - to be offended <cricket sounds>. Hear me out; I have thought a lot about this. Putting aside for the moment buzzwords like "cultural appropriation", "misogyny" and "ableism", sometimes things are just not funny.

Here are some instances where it makes sense to be offended:

1. The subject of the "joke" has touched your life personally. If you are watching a TV show that jokes about something that you or your family members have had to actually deal with, it makes perfect sense to be offended. There was an episode of Family Guy where Peter ate a huge amount of burgers and ended up having a stroke and was partially paralyzed for part of the episode. Of course Peter's condition was not handled seriously by the writers. I mean, when is the last time you heard "Tonight, on a very special Family Guy..."?? I thought it was kind of funny - I have never been exposed to a stroke patient. But had I known a close relative or friend that experienced a stroke, I would have been offended. And that would have been okay. It shouldn't be seen as comical anyway.

2. More specifically, you have experienced the very thing that is being joked about. So back to the example from number one, now you are the person who has had the stroke. You know how it feels to try and move around in a body that refuses to work properly anymore. You have worked hard to regain the mobility you do have. So Peter getting his left arm caught in the car door and he does not notice and speeds off just isn't as funny as it might be to someone who never experienced that struggle. 

3. You belong to the social or cultural group that is being made fun of. I think that everyone makes off-colour jokes from time to time privately to one or two others. I am not saying that is right, but sometimes people find the shocking or degrading stuff funny for some reason. Archie Bunker of the 1970s sitcom All In The Family was chock-full of these judgements and opinions and allowed them to shape his world view. His son-in-law, Michael Stivic was of Polish descent, a fact that Archie could never get over. He had other opinions too - if you want you can check out some of his opinions on YouTube where you can view entire episodes. So if you ever encounter someone who tells you that the idea of people being offended easily is some new cultural fad, feel free to bring up the example of Archie Bunker. He received a ton of hate back then. Probably does still to this day. And in many cases, it is perfectly justified.

4. The tone by which it is meant. If something is meant as a hateful slur or a put-down, of course it makes perfect sense to take offence to that. And each day the internet becomes more of a playground for trolls. They will try and get you where it hurts. They seem to get off on it. Which I don't understand, but it is what it is.

So what can you do when you are offended? Pretty much nothing. People saying hurtful and stupid things against groups of people just for a laugh is becoming more common than it even was in Archie Bunker's time. And if someone dares to express an issue with what has been said, they are "babies" or "snowflakes". It scares me that we are losing our humanity to such a degree that it is seen as "healthy" to be totally ignorant of another's pain or suffering in life. For those of us who can be "easily offended", let's try and hang on to our compassion for others. It might even be more rare in the future than it is now. 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017


If you know what I look like from the neck down, you may be surprised I am writing this. You shouldn't be. I see what this movement has done to overweight/obese individuals, and those who want to help them. 

While I am sure the fat acceptance folks would happily accept me into their little society, I want no part of it. I believe they are lying to themselves and everyone they encounter. Fat is not beautiful. Fat is not just another body type that we as a society should accept. And fat is most certainly not healthy. Anyone who tells you different is straight-up lying or trying to sell you something. 

As for me, there are reasons I ended up this big. But I am not here to make excuses for myself or other obese individuals. I blame the fat acceptance movement for the backlash that causes others to make jokes about overweight people and remind them on a regular basis that they are NOT beautiful and they WILL NOT be accepted by a large (if you'll pardon the pun) group of people that is growing all the time. Maybe if the fat acceptance people would stop getting in everyone's face about their size, it wouldn't annoy people like it does.

Surely it is better to be proactive and work on solving the problem, instead of devoting time and energy to a cause that should not even exist. I am fat. No, I am not happy about it. And no, I will not compound the problem by lying to myself and others by saying I am healthy. People are so eager to be sheltered from the truth. But the truth will find you in the end. Especially when you cast a large shadow everywhere you go.

Monday, 8 May 2017


I like to think of myself as someone who has a fairly decent sense of humour. But for the life of me I can't understand why Adolf Hitler has risen in popularity again. And with that, anti-semitism is making a strong comeback as well. I am not now nor was I ever Jewish, but if I was, this would alarm me greatly. Especially if I had relatives who died in the Holocaust. 

Disclosure Time: I had a relative who fought in Hitler's army. It was certainly not by choice. Some of Hitler's soldiers showed up at his home with a gun. He did not want to join Hitler's army. They told him that if he did not come with them, he would be shot and killed right then and there while his wife and small children looked on. So he went. He was only fighting for a couple of years when he was injured in (what used to be) Czechoslovakia and was sent home. I never got a chance to ask him what horrors he witnessed, and I don't know if I could handle it if he told me. 

Is this where the resurgence of Hitler's popularity began?? I know that the term "feminazis" has been in existence for quite a number of years now. But somewhere along the line the tables got turned and suddenly being called a nazi wasn't a bad thing. While I don't regularly comment on YouTube videos, I sometimes read the comments out of wanting to learn more about the types of people who have chosen to view a particular video and why. As far as I know, "feminazi" is still a derogatory term as far as feminists are concerned. But for social conservatives it seems that Hitler has become a meme and something of a folk hero.

I have seen Hitler referred to as "Daddy" numerous times in the comment section, and fan art is created for some YouTubers that incorporates Hitler in a positive light. In some cases the fan art is featured in the video, and the YouTuber makes light of it and seems oddly flattered by the comparison. Why someone would find a comparison between themselves and Hitler flattering is beyond me. 

The fact is that there are 6+ million Jews who died in the Holocaust. And if you are fortunate enough to have no links to this horrible time in history, then you are one of the lucky ones. But it saddens me to think that a whole generation of kids are growing up with this "meme" and thinking Hitler is "cool". There is nothing cool about war. There is nothing cool about death. And there is nothing cool about needless suffering just because of who you happen to be. Think about it.