Friday, January 30, 2009

Phish Tickets Update

Thanks for the insane amount of people who have read this blog post!!! Hopefully you'll keep checking it out and learn more about "Vermont Vibes." Just a quick update for all - thanks to great friends, karma, and sheer willpower, I was able to get tickets to the four shows I wanted to go to and will definitely do some blogging on the Rachels' Vibe Tour to Phish (my tea buddy Rachael will be hitting up the shows with me and we'll hang with many, many friends along the way).

Off to Dead Sessions at Higher Ground tonight for some long overdue musical release and hanging with my great friends! Then back to some more Vermont Vibes explorations!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Serious Feelings Phish Invokes

I completely understand that many folks out there cannot fully grasp the concept of the spiritual awakening, presence, and power Phish has over a unique mass of individuals who truly consider Phish their form of religion. But the inability to grasp does not mean it does not exist. It exists oh too real.

I woke up in the early hours of the morning today from a series of unpleasant dreams that weave in and out of being on the brink of unknown knowledge and acceptance of something unpleasant. I haven't had dreams or more specifically the feelings upon awakening like this since coming to the realization of a significant others infidelity or newly loss of interest - something I have always been psychically sensitive too. So needless to say, my vibes this morning were not depleted, they were in pain.

And this is due to not getting pre-order Phish tickets yesterday. For some this may seem silly and even stupid, for me and many others it is real and painful. And as I said in the Phish video clip, Phish is a relationship...

I first heard of Phish in high school and was intrigued by the small number of kids who were Phishheads. I was more of the drama and music queen and any of my "hipper" qualities were spent with kids from other schools - experiencing music and life. I guess you could say my youthful need to fit in, stand out, and develop a sense of self led me to occupy two dual personas - one at school and one out of school. And I would learn from each.

College was a fantastic time to become somebody else, or better yet - embody both of my high school personas into one. I could still stand out in my headstrong motivation, but I could be the inner hippie I always felt deep inside and could further explore music. By sophomore year I was finally introduced to the music of Phish and listened to it heavily for two years before attending my first show. A show where I found the music to so intricately match emotions, inflections, and feelings in me I couldn't imagine my life without it. But it also brought me to a new place - a place where once again I felt like I didn't really fit in, yet I did fit in. My young soul and certain deep rooted insecurities, propelled by the growing judgment in the Phish scene (which of course I knew nothing of then), spurred a burning need to develop my individuality further.

I moved to Nashville, Tennessee when I graduated by myself to spread my wings. It never occurred to me to go on tour and from the beginning shows were a very personalized and individual commitment for me - something I learned and experienced very much by myself, never with the same group or crew. Throughout my twenties I saw Phish as much as I could when they were in the area I was living in with whoever I knew at the time who would go - from boyfriends, to random friends, to strangers. As I developed myself more and more into an adult, without increasing financial stability as a member of the Generation X "poorest generation," I grew bitter and sometimes downright angry that I didn't go on tour with Phish or travel the country as a young 20-something and have those few years of freedom and life that so many of my friends have had. I would justify it by saying I would continue working hard in my public relations career so that one day I could be financially independent - the only way I could see the music I wanted to see, when I wanted to see it, and travel where I needed to go.

In 2000 I moved to Burlington, Vermont like so many others because of the power of the music that was created there and the vortex of energy which exists in this Northern Vermont mecca of creation and as I learned after the move, the cost of living challenges. This move shifted again the people I saw Phish with and also kept me plugging along the career path. Sometimes I felt like I was back in high school - seeing the people I wanted to be hanging out with, but hanging out with others who besides our "corporate work similarities" had nothing in common. Again I used the different personas to cope - being a corporate type at work, a hippie at Phish shows, a hottie on the town as a lonely single chick, and a homebody cat lady - but never just myself with the friends and music I had always craved. Sometimes the only times I felt completely whole and alive was at Phish shows - talking, connecting, dancing, laughing, and experiencing with people everywhere who were also dancing to release, listening to remember, and shining their brightest lights.

And then Phish ended. And how I cried. It was the end of a relationship. It was devastating. I still lacked financial independence, my debt was huge, jobs paying crap, I had a small group of friends I had seen the last several Phish shows with, but many lived far away. I still lacked the friendships I craved for, was still floating in and out of doomed relationships, and worst of all was just heading into my Saturn Return.

But Phish left its mark - heavily. Phish ending left me no reason to not make some major changes in my life. I knew the loneliness and relationship shuffle must end. I knew the lamenting about my career needed to stop. I knew I needed to find those friends who were out there because the next Phish show wasn't going to provide me with an opportunity to maybe connect with them.

In the two to three years since Phish ended and I completed my Saturn Return and fully embarked on my life as a 30-something, I started hitting any show at Higher Ground I could and would go by myself and started meeting people. Not people boozing at a downtown bar, but people who lived for music. I shlopped through my last and final dumbass relationship. I quit my job and vowed to never, ever have an identity crisis between being corporate and being a hippie again.

And now, as the excitement of Phish has been growing and the band has returned, I am engaged, I am financially independent running my own Vermont public relations company as a corporate hippie, and I have the most amazing and fantastic friends who all live for live music I could have ever wished for. Phish returning caused me a lot of anxiety and mixed emotions - the financial commitment attached to seeing Phish, the schedule crunches, and purely the mixed emotions of having a relationship you ended return with promises of feelings and experiences which made you who you are. I thought about these things, listened to the music, talked about the experiences and expectations, and most importantly of all, engaged in these things with my fiance and friends who I smiled at from afar at every show, only now to be smiling at each other face to face.

So why do I wake up this morning in painful disillusionment? Because of the stress of even being able to go. Scoring a ticket is ridiculous. I tried for the four Northeast shows in the pre-sale and got denied everything. This is a lottery system that leaves it all to chance and I have watched the majority of my friends get tickets. How can I not be jealous? How can I not take it personally? When the Phish machine is such a personal, spiritually manifested journey? Of course I know the reality of being happy for my friends and that a lottery system is generated by a computer, but that doesn't change the dreams I had and the feelings I awoke with this morning.

Of course I have the chance to purchase tickets on Friday which is quite the several hour commitment of sheer luck and manifestation. But at what expense? I don't want to feel jealousy of the friends I want to dance with for the first time not as strangers to the band we all love. Is that what it means to see Phish now? And how will the difficulties to get tickets affect the experience? If it is so corporate, can it still be organic? How dark is the scene going to be? How many people still remember the magic and how many want to force it? Does my not getting tickets when so many others have mean I am not meant to go? Does that mean I am in for another shift in my life? These are the questions Phish raises and I know I am far from alone in these thoughts. And once again, you may not be able to grasp all of these thoughts, but that doesn't mean that they are not very real for many people. Experiences such as Phish are what we live for - they give pure meaning to our lives.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Frigid Temps? Time for Tea

My grandmother gave me the sweetest gift when I saw her at Thanksgiving. It is a book all about the history, traditions, and how to's on tea parties. I have long been a fan of tea and have only every sipped coffee twice - ick. I love tea and of course love tea parties. From tea with my stuffed animals when I was little to acting out the famous tea scene in Anne of Green Gables with friends in college to making tea with chamomile and peppermint I grew and dried from my garden.

But it is since reading this book that I have decided to start having more formal tea parties with my friends. I had my good friend Rachael (same name, we just spell it differently) over the other night for sewing and girl time (The Mitch cooked us dinner!) and decided it would be a great opportunity for tea!

I also have realized that having tea is an excellent Vermont Vibes activity when it's just too damn cold to do anything that involves leaving the house! While I love winter, the below 0 temps suck and are a force working directly against creating positive vibes! So, create vibes indoors by inviting a good friend or a few to tea!!!

I have learned that tea is served between 3:00 and 6:00 pm and the food goes from baked treats and tea sandwiches to more elaborate spreads the later tea is served. Tea served closer to 6:00 is considered high tea and replaces dinner! I have also learned that tea should be served in a tray with cloth napkins and tea cloths, a vase of some flowers, and Rachael and I decided a few rocks or crystals - to Vermont Vibize it of course. This is all in addition to the tea accessories. And did you know you are supposed to put the cream in the cup first, followed by the sugar and then the tea itself? Who knew?

Most important is that tea time is a gentle time where friends give themselves their full attention and talk drifts in and out of themes that remind you why you are friends in the first place. Absolutely lovely. Rachael and I took tea around 4:00 pm and enjoyed the peppermint and chamomile concoction I made from my dried garden herbs and some homemade vegan chocolate chip cookies Rachael made. We kept it light as we were going to enjoy Mitch's fabulous dinner - made with tomato sauce we made from the garden too! And we talked of life and love - perfect tea talk themes!

Don't let the cold take away your vibes - have a tea party! And thanks Grandma for the inspiration!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy 2009!

Cheers to the New Year and more Vermont Vibers than ever before! Thanks for the break I needed from blogging and just about anything else involving the computer. The holidays provided some much needed time off of the technical and PR world and I was able to spend time with lots of family and enjoy the other rooms at the farmhouse and leave the office to my parents (it doubles as a guest bedroom when Rachel Carter PR is closed).

Now heading into its third year, Vermont Vibes has so taken off! I get emails all the time of folks taking the concept and integrating it into their own life - some even from other states! Yay!

Earlier in 2008, Vermont Vibes was featured as top outdoor blog by Mild To Wild - a whitewater rafting and jeep tour company out West - thanks!

I also write a Vermont Vibes article in the Healthy Hippie Magazine which has been a great way to pick up Vibers - woohoo!

And, most recently, I was featured on a New England Cable News clip. While it wasn't about Vermont Vibes, it was about something which greatly helped create some of the Vibe concept and it shows the Music Room at the farmhouse and my famous, award-winning cat Fee! Check it out:

And, while I have had no luck yet, I continue to try to get the Pontiac Vibe magazine to write about Vermont Vibes since they feature people who have great Vibe stories. I really can't figure out why they don't think my writing a blog about creating positive vibes in my Pontiac Vibe isn't a great story (as well as free publicity for them). And with the automobile industry market - um, are they stupid or something? Well, as one of my heroes, Forrest Gump would say, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Anyway, I am off on a Vermont Vibes adventure right now with The Mitch and TaraDan (the publishers of the Healthy Hippie Magazine - Taraleigh is also featured in above said video!). We will be snowshoeing, but who knows what else is in store when you get MitchaRachia and TaraDan together - many-a-things can happen!