19 Years and Counting…


 

It will have been 19 years, this August, on the 19th that I arrived in the United States of American. It also happens to be my 38th birthday!  I will have spent exactly half my life in Canada and half my life in the US but that second half of my life has been wrought with stress, concern, and attempts at various VISA’s, boarding crossings and extensive measures to maintain my little life here south of the border.

I have been on an F1 VISA (Student), TN VISA (NAFTA treaty) and H1-B (Work VISA) throughout those 19 years.  The most recent has been the TN VISA and as a “temporary VISA” there was going to come a day when I would expire as a legal resident in the US on a temporary VISA.

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I have had a number of opportunities over the years to marry.  Some of them even came close, but I never wanted to marry to stay in the US.  Like I used to tell people, “I’m not from Rawanda” so I don’t NEED to stay in the US.  I just built a life here over those 19 years that I really enjoyed and was never ready to leave…although I have had numerous people tell me recently, given the political climate, I should really consider going back.

The irony is, I finally did find someone to marry!  He wasn’t just anyone, but someone I could see myself working through life together with, because anyone who is honest about marriage knows it’s work!  I am finally in the final stages of residency in the US and am faced with an insane amount of work – a full medical exam (that would have better suited my initial arrival in 1997), thousands in paperwork and legal fees, marital interrogation by a judge and then government officials and all of this needs to be completed by May 26, 2016 when my current VISA is set to expire…

Immigration is an anomaly to me here in the US.  I’ve been here 19 years.  I’ve paid taxes for 19 years.  I’ve contributed to social security for 19 years. I have been a gainfully employed member of American society for 19 years, but I might still face rejection.

With a hope and a prayer, plus solid legal representation, I face the next four months armed to successfully complete the immigration hurdles in front of me and with a new found respect for all my friends who have had to go through this process before me…it’s like marriage, WORK!!:)

Here’s to another 19 years of free travel between Canada and the US!

I got what I was trying to get away from…


Snowmageddon 2016 brought the very weather I have spent the better part of my adult life trying to avoid.  Why didn’t I move further south, you ask?

While I left my home and native land over a decade ago to attend college in VA, I always appreciated the fact that I could get in a car and be at my dad’s front door in 12 hours but not have to live in weather that would freeze your very breath before it left your body. The 12 hour drive was appealing due to my morbid fear of flying.  I know, I know, it’s a million times safer to fly than it is to drive, and while there are endless statistics to support that statement, the fact that I am sitting in a tin-can in the sky, looking out a 8×10 window at the clouds and the world below, at the mercy of whichever pilot was assigned to that commercial flight leaves me feeling anything but safe.

So I settled in Virginia.  A happy little state just south of the Mason Dixon line (Canadian friends, google that one if you are like me and had NO idea there were lines beyond country and state!) where the weather still carried four seasons but at a much more tolerable climate than my beloved Canadian seasons.  Until this year.

As a child, I can acutely remember walking to school, 30 minutes each way, in drifts of snow that reached up to my knee, barely able to feel my fingers or toes, and dreaming of that place the Beach Boys would sing about on the oldies station in my dad’s car: “I wish they all could be California girls.”  I was certain I was a California girl or some-other-climate girl as I used to dream of warmer places every winter that seemed to span from September to April.  A Virginia girl and for the better part of the 19 years, the weather here has always been appropriately milder than that of my childhood home.  Until this weekend.

Here is Canada on Saturday:

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Here’s Virginia on Saturday:

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I got what I was trying to get away from!

What did your weekend look like?

Happy St. PADDY’s Day…NOT Patricia…


As a Canadian, living in a foreign country (the US), I have experienced moments of sensitivity when my nationality was either ridiculed, teased, or mis-quoted.  I have never taken offense, even when offense was intended, as I understand that the ignorance or deliberate slander of another is not a reflection on me or my country but recognizing the pride associated with ones home and native land I took to heart something that was brought to my attention about St. Patrick’s Day…

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I had NO idea.  All these years, I’ve spelled it “Patty,” as “Patrick” has the “t” and that seemed like the logical next step in shortening the phrase.  I was wrong.  So wrong, that it was a Reverbnation post to a fellow artist who kindly informed me that all these years I have been slandering this Irish holiday, unbeknownst to me, and anyone Irish was cringing in the way we might when nails run down chalkboards every time they read the phrase “St. Patty’s Day.”

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In the interest of not being a “goat,” I am hence forth referring to this day as “St. PADDY’S Day” and would ask that to be culturally correct all who read this do the same!

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If you want a quick little read on this mix up, check this out : http://paddynotpatty.com/

Cheers!!

Renee Ruth

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Anti-Aging, Crows Feet and Rodan & Fields…


On the heels of my last post about Madonna, I was looking at the lengths she has gone to in order to “preserve” her youth.  Even as you scroll through Hollywood celebrities and Grammy winners, both men and women alike spend a fortune to slow the march of time on their skin.  I can remember the moment in my late 20’s when I looked in the mirror and finally *noticed* the expression lines on my face…it was tragic. I immediately set out on a pilgrimage to accomplish what so many before me had tried to do and ended up seven years later with a graveyard of cosmetics that did little more than disappoint.  It was after a six week stint with a well known all-natural anti-aging regimen that I tossed the half-empty bottles into the trash and ordered my first Redefine Regimen along with their brand new release of Acute Care.

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I am not a fan of chemicals, so Botox doctors will never see a penny from me and I am terrified of surgery so neither will the plastics docs.  That’s what attracted me to R&F and Acute Care!  It was ALL-NATURAL and designed to attack the lines that had taken permanent residency on the corners of my eyes!  It was nearly two months into the routine of the regimen R&F began turning back time.

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I have waited nearly half a year before actively becoming a consultant in this company because I didn’t want to prematurely support a product (like I had done in the past) that did not deliver what it promised.  This company is not a farce.  The results are gender proof and age proof.  Anyone can begin the journey of turning back time and everyone can prevent the clock from marching on.

Email me at reneeruthmusic@gmail.com and I’ll set up a time to call/text about getting you into the best skin of your life!!  Remember, the first thing people see is your face!

Renee Ruth

Renee Ruth

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Madonna, Ageism and Pop Music


“Like fine wine”…most men tend to get better with age while us women…shrivel up like grapes!  I recently came across Madonna’s interview in Rolling Stone Magazine which touched on her racy climb up the pop music ladder, claiming the throne as one of pop musics iconic queens, and the frustration she is facing as she continues to redefine herself and the pop music industry for a woman in her 50’s.  So I went on a hunt and pparently what I found was the “tame” version of feedback on Madonna’s music career:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/madonna-on-making-rebel-heart-the-age-of-distraction-and-joan-of-arc-20150305

“OLDonna.”  That is what she has unaffectionately been dubbed in this particular articles mini-feed.  Even as I read it, I couldn’t help but think how, no matter who you are, what you do, and with what intent, there are going to be naysayers, haters, and people who are going to be find something nasty to say about you.  It is part of being in the “limelight.”  I find it interesting Madonna is bothered by it, especially the particular “limelight” she has always ascribed to, as it appears as though record labels could be less concerned about her “squeakbox voice” and “wrinkley face” with the release of her latest album “Rebel Heart.”

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Yet, Madonna fought back with this article in Rolling Stone:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/madonna-fights-back-inside-rolling-stones-new-issue-20150225

She reserves her most passionate and eloquent remarks for the topic of ageism, in pop writing and in society, claiming that she is musically judged by her age.  As I continued to think about pop music and women vocalists in their 40s and 50s, artists like Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, Kate Bush, Bonnie Raitt, and Joan Jett came to mind.  They have not faced the same social media onslaught as Madonna; so is it really ageism?

As my fellow musicians of all ages and fellow listeners of the same peruse this post, I wonder what you think about ageism in the music industry?

Renee Ruth

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The show must go on…


I love that commercial, where the dad opens the door and looks at his son and “calls in sick.”  There are a lot of jobs in life where you just can’t do that, the show MUST go on.  Which of my readers is in a job where you just don’t have that luxury?  If you don’t have kids, it might be a business that can’t run without you there, or in my case a band that needs me there!  I woke up yesterday morning like and mack truck had run me over.  You know that feeling where your head is as big as a balloon and pounding like a Miami night clubs drum and bass?  That was me.  It’s hard to “reschedule” gigs though.  So many people are counting on you to show up and put on a show, including your bandmates who need the money for bills, and the venue who needs to business for the same reason.  Last night I showed up, AND put on a show…

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It takes a lot to step up to the plate when you’re having trouble sitting up off the couch!:)  I was wondering what little tricks of the trade you all use to show up when “the show must go on”?

Renee Ruth

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Supporting the Music…


I recently was in a lengthy discussion, actually a couple discussions, about the arts, music in particular, and our need to shamelessly support everyone we meet and know in the industry as often as we can.  How many of you take time out of, what I’m sure is like mine, a VERY busy schedule to go hear other bands in your area play?  How many of you share other bands status’?  These are things that sometimes we are just too busy to think to do, and sometimes we forget what the music is about…

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Music should be what UNITES us!  We are one big family of people who have a common goal: to bring more music into this world!  Let’s make it our gaol as we move into a gig-full weekend, to share and support all the musicians we come into:)

Renee Ruth

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