Insidious sexism in everyday life

So I’m a feminist. Duh. I firmly believe that if you’re not a feminist, you’re just not a good person. As it stands, I understand that the rest of the world is still getting used to the idea that lady-humans are actually quite as capable of doing things that man-humans can do, but that doesn’t excuse the atrociously subtle sexism I came up against today in the music store.

I’m not going to mention what music store it is, as I have no motivation for vengeance or discrediting a strong establishment. Suffice it to say it is a large chain which should have better trained staff. Not training in the actual knowledge of gear – which this person had quite a lot of – but training in the customer area of customer service.

I have a gig tonight. It’s at Rancho Relaxo, I’m super stoked, etc. etc. I’ve been nervous for days, but tonight is the night, so I’ve gotta get over it and get my rock n roll on. I went into the music store this morning to pick up a pickup, which I thought would’ve been a pretty straightforward venture. Bring guitar. Put pickup in it. Test pickup. Rent pickup.

The gentleman helping me out was of an older persuasion, perhaps from a time when it was considered high scandal for a lady to know what a guitar looks like and how it works. When I asked for a pickup, he looked halfway shocked that I knew what that even was, or that I needed one. “I have a gig tonight” I said. “Do you!” he exclaimed, as if it were the most adorable thing a lady has ever done.

He looked at my strings and was confused momentarily, since I opt out of using standard bronze. “And what have we here?” he asked me. “Silk and steel,” I replied, automatically.

“Well! She even knows what kind of strings she uses.”

Well.

She even knows.

How completely unexpected that she would know the components of her own instrument.

The one that’s in “impressively good shape for a 3-4 year old guitar.”

Yes, impressively. We expected the lady-human to be incredibly indelicate with the guitar, seeing as she doesn’t know what she’s doing with it. She knows to store it with the proper humidity over the winter? How could that be?

Be it noted that this gentleman strayed several times from the rental agreement I was attempting to pursue in favour of aiding other (male) customers. Not to sound like a woebegone sufferer of female inequality, but it can’t be coincidence that you’d rather help a male customer when you’re continually surprised by the simple, basic knowledge that your female customer possesses. Shock.

It still surprises me when I come up against this subtle but very ingrained sexism in society. We still have a long way to go.

The baaaaand!

So my new band, Young Doctors in Love, is really picking up lately! We have a gig at Rancho Relaxo on the 31st of July, a gig at the Handlebar on Aug 18th, and we’re starting our Southern Ontario tour this fall!

Look out for our CD release coming this fall, too. We’re doing a photoshoot in September and filming a music video pretty soon!

Life is looking good 🙂

Inspiration in the most unexpected places

I have a day job.

It’s not something super fancy or anything to be proud of, but I make a decent salary, have benefits, and get a few vacation and sick days here and there. It’s pretty comfy.

The problem with my day job is that it’s taking time away from writing (and taking my sanity, bit by bit, with every inane phone call I get from a woman in Minnesota who can’t find her phone’s power on button). This is where it gets a little bit interesting.

Last week, I started taking phone calls for a new area of my company. We do cell phone service and domain name registration – I’m more well versed in the phone side of things, and am still learning how to deal with domain names and email issues. A man called in yesterday trying to get his email started on his Mac, which immediately gave me two problems as a) I’m still learning about email and b) I can’t stand Macs and as a result have no idea how their OS works. (It seems a very strange oversight to me not to have a “home” type launcher or a more accurate search bar.)

This gentleman was on the phone with me for over an hour. We slowly got email to work on his tablet, then his laptop, but at last glance we were still trying to work out getting email onto his desktop. He took the time while we were waiting for downloads or updates to ask a bit about me, and I soon revealed that I’d rather be working in music, and that I’ve started writing songs as a gateway to that ideal. He was very impressed (though he has no proof of whether or not I have any talent!) and regaled me with stories of his Californian friends who knew people who knew people. Apparently the Beach Boys liked to rent out rooms in peoples’ mansions for $20,000 a week and fill them with sand. Whatever gets you going creatively, I guess.

This gentleman and I struggled to get his email working (Safari couldn’t open it, so we downloaded FireFox) to no avail. He sympathised with the difficulty of starting any creative endeavour. “You’re not Elton John,” he said (and I laughed a little as my sister’s nickname for me is, in fact, Kiki Dee), “you can’t write a song in an instant. Candle in the Wind was written in 5 minutes on the back of a napkin. Don’t worry about that. You’re not competing with Elton John. One day, you will be, but by then you’ll be able to write a song in 5 minutes, too. Until then, don’t worry about it.”

I told him I want to write an EP by the end of the year. “How many songs does that entail?” he asked me. “About 8-12.” “Well that’s perfect!” he said, “just write one song a month. That’s all you need. Don’t worry about writing any more than that; even if you have some songs you don’t like, you’ll still have the songs you aimed for.” I couldn’t deny this.

I’ve been worrying lately that I’m not writing enough, or well enough, or fast enough. This anonymous gentleman from California – a lawyer who couldn’t open his email – reassured me that I don’t have to be at that level right now. Baby steps. If you look at a mountaintop right away you’ll miss the basic steps that get you there. I’ll get there.

New Year’s Resolution(s)

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve been here…

My new year’s resolution has been to write music. This has been somewhat of a challenge, since I’ve never before in my life written anything other than essays and lab reports (and the occasional blog), but  it’s going decently well. I’ve found that the less happy I am, the better my writing gets (so I’m well on my way to becoming Adele Swift), so it’s been a weird year so far.

Second new year’s resolution, that I just made like 5 minutes ago, is to start blogging again. Hooray! (screams nobody)

I’m in the middle of training right now (I work for hover.com) so as part of training I have purchased my very own website! There’s no hosting just yet, so it’s just a blank page of redirections (www.katiepearsonmusic.com) but it’ll be a thing soon. Promise.

I guess that’s my third new year’s resolution.

I’m picking out a Thermos for you

My brother, Mittens, and I recently watched Steve Martin’s The Jerk, a classic staple of comedic cinematography that our parents would not stop quoting, so we sat down to see why. Now we get it.

The scene that surprised Mittens the most was the romantic walk on the beach that Martin and Bernadette Peters’ characters share, because the song (Tonight You Belong to Me) was actually quite lovely, and went almost uninterrupted by something funny. I had heard the song before while working (briefly) at a bar called Insomnia (before I was fired for sleeping in… sigh) on a CD of ukulele songs, and had fallen quite in love with the vocal harmonies. So now that we’ve had proper inspiration, Mittens and I will join our sister‘s quest to learn to play the ukulele and form the world’s tinniest sounding band. What we really want is to add the almost-ten-year-old sister in on the upright bass to round out the sound.

Please welcome to the stage: Biggie and the Smalls!

Our first song would be Baba O’Riley, because we all agree that is the best song, and also it’s ironic because only one of us is currently a teenager. Also the beginning would sound hella awesome on ukuleles and the bass could possibly be played with a hammer.

EMI GET ON THIS THIS IS SOME GOOD STUFF

Living in the sunlight, loving in the moonlight

…having a wonderful time.

(Thought I’d ruin all your good-weather moods with a little earworm-maker known as Tiny Tim. Just try getting it out of your head.)

Today I had the most wonderful 19C picnic. Early spring (still technically winter), grass sprouting, sun warming the earth (and waking up the bees… oh, the bees), and two out of three of my siblings in the park near my house with a manwich apiece. Well, my brother’s was the true Dagwood, but he’s also 17, tall, and skinny, so that’s to be expected.

Anyway, I brought my trusty guitar Monty along with us and set up an impromptu jam with my brother. Baby sister said we should get a busking licence, because “well, you’re not doing anything, and he’s not doing anything… except lie around the house and be lazy. He should get off his butt and do music.” Which was her way of telling her plenty-older siblings to get a job. I WILL WHEN YOU DO

So there you have it. Summer employment opportunity in an entrepreneurial musical venture as coerced by an almost-ten-year-old. Sounds almost fancy when you put it that way.

Weekend listening

Favourite band, favourite song, favourite version. Happy Sunday 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc8KGqoWvNM

AW YISS

Figured out how to make a song into a video! I’M KING OF THE WORLD

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC714E1FF7FF2CADB&feature=plcp

FEAR MY INDIE WRATH

Karaoke all the time

Especially on Tuesday nights.

Last night I went to an amazing bar in Church/Wellesley village and indulged in one of my more wholesome (yet totally embarrassing) addictions: karaoke. Literally any time a friend has texted or called and suggested karaoke, my immediate answer is yes. I will karaoke on a Tuesday till 2 in the morning (apparently).

I went to the bar Crews and Tangos last night for karaoke with DJ Elyse (who has a killer voice, btw) and it was madness. The house was reasonably full for a weeknight, and more and more people showed up as we gained momentum. The crowd was amazing – someone from my party sang a duet with a girl he’d never met before just because they each loved the other’s performance so much. The enthusiasm was incredible and everyone was just so positive, it was a fabulous atmosphere for both nervous beginners and obnoxious old-timers like me.

My friend Robyn is the one who is mostly responsible for feeding my insane karaoke addiction. Seriously, we go out mostly on weeknights because that’s where the karaoke is. Robyn this is all your fault. (Check out her tumblr if you like .gifs, Dr. Who, and Dr. Who .gifs.)

I did a music

Here it is!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef_gmD1dP88&feature=youtu.be

And on my channel you can see the rest of my musics.

I like musicking!