Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Time is Here

Wow time has really gone by quickly. I can't believe it's only a week away until Christmas Eve! We haven't had much snow yet in Nova Scotia, but according to the weather we're getting a bucket dumped on us in a week! There might be a white Christmas after all.

The last few weeks have been fairly busy, and with the upcoming holidays I knew today would be a good time to sit down and make a post. I've got so many things to catch you up on!

First of all, we published the 4th issue of Tail Flip. An insane amount of work went into it, we published a little late and by the time it was finally there Sirena and I were exhausted! Be sure to check it out, there's some great content and I wrote some articles that I think you will enjoy.

I'm not sure if I did share it here or not... but if you missed it I had another newspaper feature and also my friend Jon Mullane published the Behind the Scenes look at the music video I was a part of!

I celebrated my birthday last month (November) and one of the things I woke up to as a lovely surprise was this amazing sculpture of me by the talented click here for his FB page

I'm always being sent mermaid related artwork by the insanely talented mermaids in the community. Mermaid Stephanie has a passion for collecting and modifying mermaid Barbie dolls, and I was blown away (and so was my family) when she decided to do one of me! I think it's a very very close likeness and I can't get over the amount of detail!

Continuing on with the creative swing of things, and artist I have come to know for a few years now, Eddy Chang, did an amazing pencil drawing of me. I have modelled for Eddy a few times now.

As you can see, he's very talented at making things look photo-realistic with his pencil work! Here's a few of the images Eddy has drawn of me over the years:
Pretty amazing stuff! Be sure to check his website link at the top for more. I'm thrilled to know such talented individuals. Creativity is mind blowing, isn't it?

This past summer I took part in the Tall Ships Parade on the Halifax Waterfront. At the time, Sean (my partner) had injured his leg and wasn't able to attend. We didn't get any of our own photos. This past week a girl who'd been there uploaded this image of me with the Pirates of Halifax. I just have to share, because it's such a neat image.

Also, because I didn't really cover November, I didn't get to share with you some of the images I received back from Brian Larter Photography. Brian's wife Karen is the person who arranged for me to be in the Halifax Pride parade. As a thank-you to her I wanted to put her in my Mermaid Creation's Tail and do a photoshoot. She was a natural!

Also, speaking of the Halifax Pride Parade, video footage of it aired on EastLink TV this past month! Click here to view it (wont embed on the blog)

I've been working on a few crafty things these days too. I don't find it easy, my hands are clumsy, they lock up and hurt from time-to-time, but I've been pushing through. I up-cycled this second hand belt I received into a mermaid belt for my sister.

Oh yes, before I forget, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from FanPlastic Girl Gear, Raina the Halifax Mermaid, & Lee @ Gac Filters! Here's our Christmas card drawn by the ever-so-awesome David Ayala!

This past weekend my sister, nicknamed Mermaid Ama (Cherokee for "water") came with me to a mermaid party. She's interested in doing them from time to time and this one was a bit of a practice for her. Of course, her second time in the tail and her first party, the kid took off in that pool as a pure natural. She certainly showed up her sister! While we were there we met a spfx artist from Weta the group that does the spfx for the LOTR and Hobbit movie. That was pretty cool!

One of the really neat things about the party was that the parent bought all the girls their own mermaid tail-skirts from Fin Fun Mermaid Tails. Having two mers swim around with 10 little mers was really an amazing experience. Sean and I are brainstorming ways that we could offer fabric mermaid tails too. Neither one of us sews... so we're not sure how that'll work yet haha!

We put together a music video for the girls featuring the music of Sam Roberts (who gave me permission to use his music for vids, how cool is that?) 

Naturally, since we were spoiled enough to be able to swim in the DalPlex super deep pool, Mermaid Ama and I had to get some neat underwater photos...

We had a really great time but now we're both sick! Boo! Ama is finishing up her week at high school and then it'll be Christmas break. Hopefully she feels better soon. There are more mermaid gigs around the corner in her future. 

Coming up, I have a photo shoot this Saturday the 22nd with Mike McCarthy we are teaming up with a talented makeup artist to do our own homage to my favourite mermaid and biggest inspiration, Hannah Fraser! Check out the image below that is inspiring us, we're so stoaked to do our own version. And yes, Mertender Sean will totally be in the photos- it's my Christmas present hehe!

After that it's more parties, and an ever busy New Year with bookings coming in faster than I can manage. I'm hoping to do some sort of overhaul on both my email and my website to help streamline the process. 

One other big project that my fans on FB know about, is that I have decided to write a book. I know, it probably sounds a bit crazy but I decided to test the water with my FB fans and the response was overwhelming.

So what will the book be about? It's part auto-biography, and part "how-to" become a professional mermaid. You'd be surprised how much goes into it, and I think this will be a great solution for me as I am constantly thrown questions. I broke the book into 5 parts, and the 1st part that deals specifically with everything surrounding tails has been finished in 1st rough draft form. I've had a few professional friends hop on board to help me edit etc, and I think when it's all done I'll be selling it through an online publisher and in e-book format. I'm really excited but nervous. Writing is not my strongest point but I'm confident my editors will help me catch all those little a.d.h.d. mistakes I make!  I'm feeling very positive about it. It's not a money making venture (though any extra $ I receive would be seriously helpful), it's more about wanting to inspire people to follow their dreams and help them do it.  I'm also hoping it'll cut down on all the questions I receive on a daily basis haha. 

Well, I think this might very well be my last post of 2012. I am hoping to make a retrospective post and video that looks back at the 2012 year, but it may not happen until 2013 ;) I hope that you all have a wonderful, safe, and happy holiday surrounded by loved ones. I leave you with this funny little photo Sean and I took last year in my old tail... maybe we can re-do it this year?


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Thank YOU

When I started this post it was Canadian Thanksgiving, so I wanted to take a moment and go through all the people who have been helping me in 2012. Now it's American Thanksgiving. It took me a while to get this post together!  I'm going to try and go chronologically here from January 2012. If you're interested in the individual photos and screen caps that go with these stories, please see this link from my website.

Thank -you to:

Our local Sparks group for girls that had me in January 2012 to help the Sparks earn an environmental badge!

I'd like to thank Mount Saint Vincent University for having me both speak several times this year to pre-service teachers, and as a perform for their annual children's carnival.

I'd like to thank Mermaid Sirena who teamed up with me to create the e-magazine Tail Flip and all the contributors and volunteers who have helped us on our journey!

Thank-you to Raven Mermaid of Merbellas who was amazing and replaced my failing tail with a brand new silicone performance tail. My tail has made all the difference in the world for me, and Raven has shown me unending support along with her husband Tyler.

That being said, thank-you to all the people who sponsored me so I could buy my tail, especially Beverley.Without all of your help, I would be nowhere in this mermaid world! You took a chance on me so I could live a dream and make the world a better place. I will never forget any of you for that.

Thank you to Mermaid Minerals for featuring me as Mermaid of the Month. I loved my prize of free Mermaid Minerals products and I've been seriously enjoying creating tutorials and wearing it. Eco-makeup yay!

So much love for all the mers and people I got to meet and spend time with during my trip to Florida in March 2012. Special thanks to Sirena Solaris, Merman Jesse and his mertender Dennis, Mermaid's Faux and Michi, Mermaid Star and mer-Pirate, and the lovely Mermaid Kylee. Thanks also to Week Wachi!

Thank-you to my amazing grade 5 class. You kids really shaped the person (and mermaid) I am. I am so proud of all your growth. Thank-you to your school EGWPS and Music Teacher Mr. Balcom who let me step in and direct Willy Wonka. It was an experience I'll never forget. Thank-you to my co-operating teacher Anna Fox as well!

Thank you to Halifax's Dr Sketchy for once again hiring me as well as Mermaid Mimi. It's always a pleasure and an experience. Thanks to all the artists who participated and sent us their work!

Thank you to Carissa Ambroziak and Brandy Hoyt - two ladies who did my first official photos in my new tail. Without your kindness and support I certainly wouldn't be where I am today.

Thank you to photographer Eastern Currents for both booking me for birthday parties and photographing me.

Thank you to My Disguises for featuring me on their blog. 

Thank you to Siobhan K. who booked me for the Point Pleasant Childcare auction and was my first official birthday party in my tail!

So much love to Marcel and Jenney from Style Envie Studios! You two have been non-stop supporting me, Marcel has filled in as photographer when my mertender has been sick, and your little family reminds me always why what I do is important. So much love to you!

Thank you to my online artist partner Richard who helped establish - and let's be frank did all the hard work- the Mermaid Webcomic. This has been such an adventure with you, and I am also so thankful for all the people who've read and followed along!

Thank you to the staff at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic for hosting me again on World Ocean's day. Thanks to the Ecology Action Centre and Hector the Blue Shark for teaming up and constantly showing support!  Thank you to back up assistant/mer-tender Steve who helped out with this and many events.

Thank-you to The Coast, Sam, and Riley, who all helped to create the great article on me! I appreciate all your hard work, talent, and time. Being featured in The Coast was a great experience!

Thank you to the staff, volunteers, and participants at the Royal Bank Multicultural Festival.  I love the multi-fest and being in it this year was just as wonderful as last year.

Thank you to for featuring one of my images, and to all the supporters I've had over the years on that site.

Thank-you to both the Premier of PEI and the Premier of Northwest Territories who both stopped to chat and have photos taken during the Tall Ships festival.

Thanks to everyone who included me in Tall Ships going ons, including The Waterfront, Atlantic Fisheries Museum, The Pirates of Halifax, and everyone who came out to all those events to meet me! The parades were so fun, and thanks to the extra staff who carried me around while my mertender was on crutches!

Thank you to Sea and be Scene for their featured article on me.

Thank you to Karen M. for booking me for the Halifax Pride Parade. Thanks for Casino NS for hosting me on their float. Thank you to the PRIDE community, and all the people who came out to see the parade and gave me positive feedback. Thank-you to all the photographers who then sent me great images from the parade!

Thank-you to Mahone Bay and Scabby Dan the Pirate for once again hosting me in the Mahone Bay Pirate Festival. Thanks to everyone who came out as well!

Thanks to Joel Plaskett for including me in his contest, sharing my video, and giving me a signed CD!

Thank-you to Tourism PEI for promoting my photography as part of their photo contest.

Thank-you to Mermaid Ama for joining me on my journey.

Much love to Fan Plastic for including me in their ads, to Erin Woodgate for photographing, to the lovely ladies I spent time with, and to David Ayala for drawing the 3 of us when it was all said and done! <3 Thank you for including me in the Ocean Entourage Project!

Thanks to Brian L. and Karen for a great end of summer photoshoot.

Thank you to Canadian film maker Rob Stewart for always inspiring me! 

Thank you to Glass Dharma for featuring me on their blog and sending me their product to test and review!

So much thanks to Mermaid Creations who provided me with a new silicone tail this year.  This has given me the opportunity to bring the joy of mermaiding to others!

Thank you to Jon Mullane and all the people involved in the shooting for "My New American Girl". Being in this music video was an amazing experience.

Thank you to all the redditors involved in my AMA IMA post! 

Thank you to Dan B of Eastern Currents Photography for an awesome photoshoot.

Thank-you to Bobbie-Lynn Hall for writing a fin-tastic article on my for The Weekly.

SO MUCH LOVE AND THANKS to all the mers and appreciators over at Mernetwork.
There are so many of you that do so much, I'm afraid if I try to name everyone I'll accidentally miss someone! Iona, the work you do for the community is beyond words! 

Thank you to everyone who likes and follow my facebook page. I appreciate all your support, input, and help! Thank you to everyone who has followed me on any of my social networking sites and provided me with support.

Thank-you to the mer-community at large. I am so thankful there is a community! I'm happy I have made so many friends and fans. THANK YOU to the mermaids who are out there constantly inspiring me! Thank-you to all the local mermaids who organize get togethers, support each other, and are just plain awesome!

Thank-you to my friends and family who support this cooky dream! THANK YOU SO MUCH to all the clients who have hired me this past year! You keep my dream alive!

Finally, Thank-you to my amazing mertender who's always doing EVERYTHING he can for me. He's a shy guy who doesn't mind being in the spotlight when it means helping me. He's stood beside me for everything, he's learned photography, and no one is a better assistant than him!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Happy Halloween

Once again my fishy friends it's been a little while since I've updated. Tomorrow is Halloween and most of us on the East Coast are enduring Sandy's winds and rain!

Things have been moderately busy on the mermaid end of things. Now that Fall is in full gear with winter right around the corner business has slowed down and I've had a chance to get caught up on emails.

First up, my next public event will be on November 18th at  5:45pm at the Light Up Bedford Parade. I'll be on the float for Save Bedford Waterfront.

I also just donated a birthday party to the Point Pleasant Park Daycare Auction fund-raiser. I donated to this daycare last year as well and had a really great time performing for the auction winners. If you'd like to bid on a Raina birthday party the Auction is being held this Saturday night, (Nov. 3rd) 7pm at the Canteen at SMU (Behind Canadian Martyrs Church). The birthday is a 300$ value including pool time, professional photography and editing (individual photos with every child as well as party photos), a mermaid presentation about the environment and or mermaids, mermaid treasures, and mermaid hair + makeup (or scales!). It does not expire but some blackout dates may apply.

If you haven't read yet, Glass Dharma featured me in their blog this month. 

If you haven't seen yet I recently got to appear in a music video! Local musician Jon Mullane released his video for his song New American Girl . I appear at the 1:57 mark.

If was a great experience to meet all the people involved, to work with RPM Productions and to attend the video release party. I was lucky enough to get some behind the scenes footage as well as photos. You can see the videos here and as always my behind the scenes photos here.

Another great experience I got to have this month was my own home grown mermaid-meetup! I met up with two local mermaids and brought my sister, Mermaid Ama. It was so amazing to spend some time with other mermaids. It can get lonely sometimes being the only fish around! In Canada we are very few and far between. We enjoyed ourselves and got a few photos. Mind you, these aren't photo shoot shots, just a bit of fun.

See more photos on FB see more videos on youtube

I've updated all of my merchandising and print stores. To make it cheaper and easier I've made a featured album on facebook that contains all the links. I don't make very much on the purchases, anywhere between a few cents to 2-5$ depending on the product. The markup from the companies is pretty high. I am hoping to find some local alternatives. For now, this is the best way to get prints.

I still work from time to time as a model, and this month I did some modelling for a photography student that one of my long time photographer friend was teaching. I picked up a few tips as well! The student was being taught portrait lighting and sun flare. Here's a few shots:

Pretty neat stuff! I'll be modelling for my photographer friend again in November for his students. Can't wait to see what they come up with.

That's really all there is for now. I am still trying to secure professional (non mermaid) employment, and working hard to feel healthy. My mertender is getting ready to travel to England for his work, and my birthday is coming up next month (November). I'm sure I'm forgetting something in there but I guess that will leave for another update!

Much love, Raina

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Playing Catch Up

Hi my fishy friends!

I'm sorry it's been a bit since my last post- my computer has been in and out of the shop! Posting now from an alternative one. So I'm playing a little catch up

First off, due to illness I was not able to attend the Save the Bedford Reef meeting. However, quite a few things happened leading up to it, during it, and after. So let me catch you up to speed! The official website is: Dr David Suzuki (One of my eco-idols) actually spoke on the topic. He thought it was insane that in this day and age my city is even CONSIDERING dumping in the ocean. We agreed, and so did a lot of people in the city. The meeting was standing room only, over 300 people showed up including Waterfront Development, local politicians, and kids too! (I'm so proud of them). For now, everything is put on hold for further study. We'd like it to be stopped totally. So we're still spreading awareness, collecting signatures, and participating in community events. You can read this article too

 I've been in talks with one of the founders and it looks like I'll be on their float for the "Parade of Lights" holiday parade here in November. It's the day after my birthday! So it'll be freezing. Haha. trying to find a way to wear the tail but keep warm ;)

I'm also working out details to see if I'll be appearing at Hal-Con. I can't confirm anything yet, I think it's going to be very much determined by a few factors but it's coming up so I'll try and let people know soon.

I've done my last outdoor photoshoot for the year. I posed for a photogrpaher but my mertender also took some amazing images. I'm so proud of him! He's been learning so much in photography. Here's a few. You can see the rest on my Facebook Page. :)

Some more highlights, I recently received my set of glass straws from  Glass Dharma. I'm in LOVE with these straws. I'm going to do a photoshoot with them, and team up with GD to do a special guest blog post about mermaids and our love of the environment. These straws are perfect because you can re-use and re-use and they have a LIFETIME warranty. NO MORE PLASTIC STRAWS. 

While you all know I have a Mermaid Creations tail now, I haven't been able to give it much use myself thanks to my recent health issues. So, instead I've made it my mission to get some girls in this tail who have always wanted to try being a mermaid. First I have the lovely Karen. Karen is the person who booked me for the Pride Parade this past summer. That was one of the best experiences I've had as a mermaid so I wanted to make sure she had a mermaid experience too. We teamed up with her husband who was the photographer from the shoot I mentioned at the top of the post. (I'll post his images in another blog) I had Karen in my MC tail and I was in my Merbellas tail. My mertender snapped this shot of her husband trying to carry her out of the water. It was tricky... that tail weighs 50lbs!

And a fun behind the scenes of my mertender trying to help out. PS it was so cold our skin went numb on contact. Not summer anymore, totally fall.

The next person on my list to put fins on is the lovely local model Jacqueline Lundrigan. Jacq has been a LONG time supporter of my mer persona online. She's always been giving me positive feedback, sharing my stuff, and really just been a shining light to be around. Now that she's tried out my tail I'm convinced she's one of the additional mermaids I'd like to add to my company. People want to book more than 1 mermaid sometimes, and I'd love to bring more girls into it. Here she is looking cute as a button

We also took some video while we were working on our mermaid swim. For some reason Youtube automatically edited it so it's not the best quality, but it's not bad. The chlorine was pretty bad, lol.

She's also super sweet and gave me this vintage original US magazine that features Splash on the cover. Basically, this is the reason I started out as a mermaid. It's 1 year older than I am this Magazine. Crazy

Here's something also pretty fun for you. A local musician wrote a song that I am in love with about mermaids. Click here to listen. Make sure to press play.

Speaking of music... no the music video isn't on TV yet. Fins crossed it'll be soon. I can't wait for you all to see it. I hope I don't embarrass myself too. Haha.

It's also Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend! I am so thankful for all of you. I'm hoping to find time to make a specific blog post thanking everyone with their own individual links :) So keep an eye out for that!

On the personal end of things I am starting to feel healthy, I am just very tired. I am still working very hard to gain employment in my field. That's a bit stressful. But I'm getting through it, putting myself out there, going to interviews etc. It's just sad that there is no teaching work. But I will find something else that is meaningful I know it! :) I'm on Linkedin now if you'd like to add me

In the meantime I've been working hard on the next issue of Tail Flip, a few mermaid projects on the go, and writing some tutorials. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, thanks for stopping by my blog.

Much Love,

Monday, 24 September 2012

Feeling Good

Hello friends and fans! So much going on to share!

In the mermaid world of things I got to test out the mermaid creations tail. I wrote a review you can see for my full experience. In short, it took me a bit to get the feel. It'll probably require a bit more practice to adapt to the thickness of the tail and a smaller monofin. But my goodness was I lucky enough to get some excellent photos and video thanks to my lovely mer-tender. Check it out!

I'm getting the hang of it. On Tuesday I'll be doing a photoshoot with BOTH tails and a lovely local model who I think will make an excellent mermaid. We're going to the ocean though so I'm a tiny bit nervous. It's only supposed to be 18 degrees so I'm expecting the water to not be warm at all!

This past Saturday I got to be in my first music video! It was such an awesome experience. While I have done professional modelling and also been interviewed on film- this was my first try at acting. To be honest- I didn't feel like I was acting, just being the usual mermaid me! I got a lot of positive feedback and I got to meet some amazingly talented women. The video is expected to go live in 2 weeks or so. I can't wait to share it. I'm nervous- you never know how these things will turn out but I know I did my best. My lovely boyfriend was there every step of the way too. How lucky am I to have someone so supportive?

I've had a few birthday cancellations which is too bad. I have a few more booking up though. Still making my living as a mermaid but looking for professional work in my field. It's a tricky time. The market is flooded and though I have done my best to be specialized with special needs, esl, and other things they really don't set me apart. I'm starting to worry I may have to settle for a minimum wage job despite my experience, education, and skills. At least to pay the bills for a while.

On the environmental side of things, I will be attending the Bedford meeting regarding the reef. I'll be in costume and hoping to aid in support. If I feel it appropriate I have been invited to ask questions of the panel and say a few words. I'm going to play it by ear and see how things go. David Suzuki (one of my environmental idols) actually spoke about it on CBC radio today which is awesome. So many people don't even realize this is happening and the damage it can do. Of course, I'm still reeling from my experience with Rob Stewart's film and the message he left me with that we NEED TO FIGHT NOW. Now is the time to stand up!

On the health side of things I haven't been doing very well but thankfully today I feel good. I need to take a test to determine if I have developed a syndrome called Adrenal Fatigue which can come with my already established chronic illnesses. The test is very expensive so I have been feeling like it's an unobtainable goal. I have been doing my best to stay feeling well but being tested and found positive would mean I could get some meds to cure this. That would be nice. Thankfully and luckily for me a local photographer jumped in to sponsor me! We're going to arrange a family photo day with a pay-what-you-want type deal to raise money for the test and treatment. How lucky I am to have such wonderful people take an interest in my health! We'll be making a FB event so keep your eyes peeled.

I've been starting to scope out and collect articles for the next issue of Tail Flip. If you aren't familiar with it my peer Sirena and I run it (volunteer) and we're always working hard to find, write, and assemble interesting and relevant articles. I like to keep busy and this project has been such an amazing experience. Make sure you like the page on FB to keep up to date on how you can be involved! <3

I think that's all for now fishies. I'll let you know how things go and be sure to share the results! <3

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Fall is here!

Hi fishies!

I hope you're all doing well today. In my city I think Fall has finally hit. While we've been experiencing a later than normal summer the frost has kicked in, the leaves are changing, and the air is brisk. I do enjoy Fall- but my body doesn't. Finding myself a little stiff and working hard with physio and yoga to stay pain free.

It's crazy what can happen in a few days! Since my last post I've had some lovely things happen. Let's take a look!

First of all, In the mail I received a tail from Mermaid Creations. It's very different from my current tail despite having a similar inspiration. Take a look:
The tail is also made of silicone and has a foil monofin inside of it instead of a competitor. It's easily double the weight of the tail on the right as well as thickness. Because I haven't been feeling well I haven't had much of a chance to put it on or test it out. I am hoping to do that soon.

It's exciting for me to have another professional tail. Not just because I like being a mermaid but because I love being able to give others a chance to be one too. My little sister will be trying this tail out. I wont be surprised if my boyfriend does too.

Next, I received a weight belt in the mail from Nerine. It's only 5lbs but should make the difference for me when it comes to being able to stay on the bottom of the pool and actually stay under the water. I always float the minute I stop moving.

On the environmental end of things I had a really amazing experience last night at our local film festival. I got to meet Canadian film maker Rob Stewart the man responsible for Sharkwater. Sharkwater was a documentary film that really got the issue of shark-finning into the public eye and spotlight. The movie has been tied to many shark-fin bannings. I remember seeing it when I was first trying to learn to be a mermaid with my fabric tail. It was one of the things that really inspired me to keep pushing.
Sharkwater is the #1 Canadian documentary, and #3 worldwide. Third to only Supersize Me and Fahrenheit 9/11. I got to see Stewart's latest film Revolution which just showed at TIFF. The movie takes up where Sharkwater left off. It opens with Rob screening Sharkwater in Hong Kong and asking for audience questions. A young woman asks why we should bother stopping shark finning if the UN predicts that we'll be out of ocean resources by 2048. To which... Rob has no answer. So he sets out to find one.

The film follows Rob on his journey all over the world seeing the affects of ocean pollution, ocean acidification, bycatch, and deforestation. It really makes those issues tangible to any person- not just the marine biologist (of which there were a lot of in the audience). I was shocked to learn that there are a number of ocean dead-zones where thanks to carbon pollution there is zero oxygen and zero life. The areas were very scary. I also learned a great deal about my own government and how our parliament shut down a  bill to protect the environment. Every year an award is given out to the country that is basically ruining the environment- Canada has won 5 times thanks to our no laws and the Tar Sands. We follow the journey of youth rallying to raise awareness about these issues.

Personally, I focus so much on what goes on in Halifax and what I do as a person that I was a bit ignorant to the tar sands issues. I knew about the pipeline business- but I really didn't grasp how big a problem this is. It was terrifying to see. Pollution aside- it was still terrifying! Even though Rob focuses on issues in the states as well seeing what was happening in Canada really shocked me. As if I needed any more evidence that our prime minister is doing a terrible job :(

Parts of the movie left me feeling pretty hopeless. But other parts certainly renewed the spark for me. We see a lot of youth taking action including a boy who started his own NGO to plant 1 million trees. This kid speaks more eloquently than any adult I have ever met. While youth are often thought of as immature kids who don't know enough yet to be jaded by the world- Revolution certainly spins it around to show you that they are what will save this planet. I was brought to tears several times. Having spent so much of my life working with kids and youth a lot of this really resonated with me. Just the fact that the film even chose to focus on youth was incredibly affirming.

I wont give away the ending or other key points but suffice to say I walked out of there feeling affirmed in my choice to focus on youth both as an educator professional and a mermaid. I am lucky to have the skills and training I do that I can help form and mold young people. I am excited to be empowering them.

I got to meet Rob after the film. We'd had a few exchanges through his public FB and twitter. He seemed like a lovely man but I wasn't aware of how much of a rockstar he was in the community. He's a very good looking man. 2/3 of the audience was female and my boyfriend and I both heard more than one comment about getting boobs signed or wanting to marry him. Statements like that just make me ashamed and embarrassed. Seems like they're there for the wrong reasons. But, if a good looking guy can get them involved in the environment- then I'll have to endure it and try not to roll my eyes haha.

Rob answered a lot of questions, explained future plans, and even talked about his own underwater experiences. I got a photo with him as you see above and we chatted for a moment about making connections from the film into a teacher's guide and lesson planning materials. I was so overwhelmed by the end of the movie at that point though that I was trying not to cry. The entire time I spoke to this man I stared at his teeth haha out of a nervous reaction to keep myself from blubbering. And of course, the first thing my boyfriend says when we leave was "He sure had nice teeth".

All in all, I think it's an experience that I'll be reliving for a while. The movie comes out on Earth day. I'll be writing several teachers and profs I know to encourage them to take their classes. If I am lucky enough to be employed as a teacher by then I will certainly be taking mine.

Honestly, I walked away from this wanting so much to do so much more than I already do. I was talking to a peer after the film and I said something along the lines of "It makes me want to start a youth program." to wish she laughed and responded "you already did!". I have to stop and remind myself that the Stewart family is well off, that the film also received funding, and that I have chronic health issue, massive school related debt, and currently no professional full time job. I'm not in a position to start something like that right now so I'll continue pouring my efforts into my mermaid environmental work, my health, and gaining full time employment. Still... it did light a fire in me :)


In other local enviro news... don't be fooled by today's headline that the Bedford waterfront work is on hold. It isn't. As quoted from the save the reef FB :

"This article implies that WDCL has initiated a public meeting on Sept. 27th at the Bedford Legion, when in fact, this meeting is being hosted by OUR group. Made up of concerned citizens who are members of this very Facebook group.

We have invited WDCL President Colin MacLean, HRM Councillor Outhit, NS MLA Regan, MP Geoff Reagan and members of the media to attend OUR meeting.

It is our belief that yesterday's letter from WDCL and subsequent posting of documents to their website is a direct result of our efforts to make residents aware of the potential project slated for the waterfront.

WDCL can at it's discretion continue to dump acidic pyritic slate in to the Bedford Basin. The only way this can come to a complete and full stop is by the Province of Nova Scotia. The best way to have the province take notice is for YOU, the concerned citizen of this city, to make yourself heard at OUR meeting, September 27th, 7pm at the Bedford Legion. We invite all residents to attend this meeting to get informed, voice your opinion and enact a change to the way YOUR waterfront will look in the future.

it is not too late to effect change in our community, but we must be heard and loudly!"

To stay up to date on all things Bedford Reef check out their official recently launched website.
Keep on fighting!

I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. – Muhammad Ali

In future news I'm planning on teaming up with Glass Dharma in the future for a guest blog post about single use plastics and their great glass straws. I've also got that music video shoot this Saturday which should be pretty neat. I'm not sure what to expect and trying not to have too high expectations. I'll just go in and do my best and see what happens :)

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day today. I love this day. When I worked at a book store all the staff would dress up as a mermaid (even though I didn't have a tail) and play pirate songs on guitar. How're you celebrating today?

Sunday, 16 September 2012

First Entry

Hi everyone! I can't believe this is finally my first entry. I am very excited to be launching this blog and sharing with you a little peek of my crazy mermaid life!

This summer in Halifax sure has been busy. If you've been watching my facebook page you know I've been up to a lot! I got to participate in some AMAZING things including:

The Multicultural Festival: Where I spoke about mer-myths from around the world and the environment
World Ocean's Day: I got to speak about our oceans, conservation, and empower kids!
Mount Saint Vincent Kid's Carnival: Did my eco thing for excited children
Dr Sketchy: This year I modelled with Mermaid Mimi
Tall Ships Parade: Got to ride in the TS parade with the Pirates of Halifax
Tall Ships & Premiers: Spoke outside of the Fishering Museum and met some Premiers!
Pride Parade: Supported LGBQTA on the Casino float
Photoshoots: Lots, for different things!

And lots of private events, functions, and kid's parties!

I have such a wonderful time  participating in all these events but I was also working a full time job with children who have special needs. I worked specifically with a 2 year old who had autism. I also worked with a 5 year old who had gigantism (the child was nearly as tall as me!) It was a unique experience, one I learned a lot from and reflected on frequently. However- between the full time work and 2-3 mermaid events/gigs a week I was feeling pretty worn out by mid August so I took a 2 week vacation away from mermaid stuff. It was perfect as I celebrated my 5 year anniversary with my mertender, and we took a lovely trip to PEI

I was also fortunate this summer to receive a bit of publicity. Check it out:

My Disguises
Sea & Be Scene
The Coast

As it stands I am currently experiencing my first time being unemployed! Unfortunately the job I had was seasonal, and with certain road blocks in my way I wont be able to apply for regular teacher work again til January. I am lucky as some of my peers are waiting longer. In the meantime I've been lucky enough to pay my current bills being a mermaid, I've been volunteering, and focusing on my health.  

I had a few blips through the summer and more than a few with my health this fall. I have several chronic illnesses including Interstitial Cystitis, multiple chemical sensitive, environmental illness, an inability to metabolize acid, and we suspect adrenal fatigue. On top of those I have minor scoliosis- (not noticeable from the outside) and the way it's combining with my IC puts a lot of strain on my hip causing it to be out of place and my entire left side is mega weak! Been doing physio, yoga, massage, and hopefully soon chiro. I can usually go a good long time symptom free but sadly I just seem to be in one of those states where it all flares up at once. I am finding myself in a lot of constant pain and exhaustion- and with that comes a bit of a mental fog too.

I will admit  I get frustrated. I am 26 and I have *never* felt healthy as these conditions have been around most of my life. I am used to them yes, but I see what the people do around me and I get frustrated I can't do the same thing. It's also difficult to deal with an  invisible illness- if people can't see very often they don't understand. I'm still coming to terms with the fact there are no cures and treatments have a low success rate at this time. Being a mermaid keeps me motivated though. I don't want to lose my range of motion or my ability to swim so I am always working on those things so I can do it. I hope it inspires other people with chronic illness to keep trying to be a mermaid too!

I get frustrated also because I feel like I can't do what an average person does and I am an over-achiever. I am also a person who feels emotionally the best when I'm helping or contributing to something. Right now I'd like to be involved with some activism going on in my local city where they're trying to save a local reef. But I've just been so sick feeling and exhausted- I haven't made it to any of their meetings :( I do try and share their stuff constantly though and invite friends and family members to go participate.  Sometimes all I can do is share information and it has to be enough for now. I always try to balance my need for activism by making sure my birthday parties and events all include some form of environmental information :) That helps!

Getting away from the doom and gloom, I co-run a community magazine called "Tail Flip". You'll see it linked on the right hand size- please click away! Sirena and I worked super hard on this issue and we're already gathering articles and resources for the next one!

I also picked up an extra monofin for fitness and it slips easily in a tail skin I own. My little sister has been taking up tail swimming with me and it's been great. I have a Mermaid Creations Tail coming on the way too. It'll bring the tail count up to 3 which will be nice as I can hire helpers and standins. I'm planning on modding the fabric tail to be covered in sequins.I have a weight belt on the way too

I have some exciting things coming up, and exciting plans for the winter too. This week I'll be going to see film maker Rob Stewert at the Atlantic Film Festival. He is the Canadian responsible for the world's #3 topping documentary (trumped only by Supersize me and Fahrenheit 9/11)  Sharkwater. I get to meet him and have a bit of a fan girl moment. I also get to be one of a select few to see his latest documentary, Revolution. I wont write too much about it now as I plan on making a blog post once I see it. But yes, I am so excited. This man is just a year younger than my boyfriend and it's AMAZING to see what he's been able to accomplish.

I am also very excited that on the performer end of things I have booked a music video. I begin shooting on Saturday and I'm playing a mermaid who wants to be "American". Haha should be cool.

On the educator end of things I've been booked for two different speaking events. One will be focused on ocean mythology and will go hand in hand with a private school that does theme based learning. The other will be public school and based on ocean conservation. We'll also be watching The Little Mermaid that evening as a fundraiser. So excited.

Other things and events are on the horizon- and of course birthday parties. I think I'll do a post specifically dedicated to birthday parties later on since so many people have questions for me.

Speaking of questions- for specific ones you can ask me here.
Also, check out the links on the right hand side of my page. You'll see a fin-tastic resources link- check it out and email me if you have something I should add. I am focusing  a lot on local charities etc. 

I think that's it for tonight little fishes & sea monsters. This little mermaid needs to hit the kelp bed. Much love!