Monthly Archives: July 2013

Music Buddies

Hey everyone! I just thought I’d do one of my random updates to tell y’all what’s up on the creative world of Katie Rose Curtis. I went into the studio today for a session that ended up being very productive. We’ve finished acoustic guitar, drums and as of today, bass guitar on my song “One.” Today I figured out some of what I’ll do for harmonies and started tracking the electric guitar parts. If I can find the charger for the video camera, I’d also like to make a video for “One” and my newest song, “Learn To Fly.”

Ken and I also talked about taking on a side project once this one is finished. Ken has often mentioned that although he can come up with great ideas for my music, he seems to get stuck when working on his own. He wants to work a lot of it out on his own because he wants his project to be mostly instrumental, but he said that he might want me to write lyrics and sing on a couple of his songs.

Replace My Empty Spaces is nearly finished, and I have 2 shows coming up to close out the summer; August 1st and August 22nd @ Victoria Station (86 Wharf St Salem MA).

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Star Wars, Spirituality And Sibling Polarity

It’s really quite funny and interesting to see the things that drastically different people have in common. Last night my brother and my friend and I spent several hours talking about Star Wars and nerding over untold story that isn’t shown in the movies. We did watch episode 1 last night, but before that we went to Barnes and Noble and got a couple books that explain a lot of stuff about Jedi and Sith philosophy, fighting techniques, etc.

The 3 of us had sort of forgotten how awesome Star Wars is until a couple weeks ago when my friend and I randomly decided to watch episodes 4 and 5. Since then we’ve been looking up back story and insights about the new movies.

The reason I bring this up is because other than Star Wars and a few other things, my brother and I have nothing in common. Last night I asked, “What do you think, Sam; Jedi or Sith?” (implying the question, which side would you be on). He said Jedi right away, and it makes perfect sense. Sam is very calm and analytical. He’s not super emotional, and he doesn’t really get super attached to things or people.

I said Sith because I am a very emotional, impulsive person sometimes, and I get very attached to people. I also don’t particularly like rules and I have a tendency to break them when I think they are stupid and it won’t hurt anyone to break them.

When we finally stopped talking about Star Wars last night, we got talking about physics because my dad had been watching a video about how to fix something on YouTube earlier on the night, so Sam decided to look up a slow motion video of a gun being shot underwater. The guy who shot the gun then explained the physics behind what was happening with the bubbles and I got a bit lost.

Sam said, “You don’t find that interesting?” Actually, I find physics incredibly interesting. I just can’t wrap my head around a lot of it. Trying to explain physics to me is like me trying to explain anything to Sam. I’m not good at explaining things for a couple reasons. I often use sound effects instead of words, and I use metaphors and analogies that only make sense in my head.

Somehow we finally got on the subject of God and I asked, “What do you think about God?” I really had no idea what my brother believes. I had tried to ask that question many times before, but for some reason I just thought it would sound annoying. Sam said that he believes that there could be a God, but he has no evidence to prove it or disprove it, so he has to leave it at “I don’t know.”

I’m not ecstatic about it, but I’d rather him say I don’t know than absolutely not. I don’t know means that at least he’s not opposed to the idea of God. The thing that bothers me a little is that God doesn’t seem to be a fan of the whole evidence thing. We shouldn’t need solid, tangible evidence of his existence because we have faith.

I guess the difference between Sam and I is that I’m willing to believe some things based on a gut feeling or things that I’ve experienced that seem to point to something supernatural, and I was looking for God. I was willing to believe that he was real because I wanted him to be. I think faith requires some imagination, not much of which Sam has. I don’t mean that in a mean way. He just finds the “real world” much more interesting than anything spiritual or fictional, which seems so backwards to me.

Compared to what I can read about or even just make up, the real world is awfully drab. It’s also too unpredictable. What I like about fiction is that you can count on the good guys to win; at least most of the time. Maybe that makes me an escapist, but I think it means I’m creative and I’m an optimist.

I think that truth and inspiration can come from fiction and faith where Sam thinks that only science can reveal all truth. We don’t talk about this stuff too much because we’re currently at an impasse and I wouldn’t be surprised if we always will be. When it comes to Star Wars, though, we are completely on the same page.

Everyone Is Up All Night

General populous of the world, I deeply apologize for what I said yesterday; you don’t suck. I did exactly what I didn’t want to do and made a huge over generalization. Middle school and high school got me stuck into the mentality that people are inherently evil. I’m going into my 3rd year of college now, and I do believe that mentality needs to die.

To be honest, I’ve been sort of living with a dual philosophy of the world and people for a while now. It seems like I have a residual negativity trapped inside me while I actually believe that humans are capable of great good and selflessness. We can create beautiful things and inspire others. We want to be together because we were made to be social animals; family animals.

I want to believe that this life is good; I am always looking for a silver lining. The trouble is that the world keeps disappointing me. Natural disasters and disease kill thousands every year. People fight and even kill because of pride and anger. I just know things could be better than this.

One of my professors once talked about how the kingdom of God is both here and coming. In God’s kingdom, everything is okay; actually it’s super awesome. Earth is a mess in a lot of ways, but there are a lot of good people trying to clean it up. That is how God is here now.

I can say that everything is good with me, and it is, but I’m part of the big picture too, and everything is not okay in the big picture. If I want to, I can make my one little pixel or brush stroke a little brighter, though, and so can anyone else. If we try hard enough, we can make the world shine so bright it will keep everyone up all night. The dark can’t fight love, and it certainly can’t fight God.

It’s A Generational Thing

I missed this story, but my mom told me about it. During or after the George Zimmerman case, one of Tres Von Martin’s friends was interviewed. Mom said that the woman called Zimmerman a derogatory name and a bunch of her friends cheered. She was accusing him of being racist, so she was asked, “isn’t what you’re saying racist?”

My mom said that she denied it and her explanation was that it was a generational thing. Her generation (my generation) just call each other names. We’re just mean because it’s fun and the effect it has on others doesn’t matter because it makes us laugh.

I have a friend who teaches at a dance studio. She said that the kids have absolutely no manners; when they ask for things they don’t say please, and when they are given things they don’t say thank you. They didn’t listen, and some were bullies. Of course there have always been bullies, but it doesn’t make it right.

She said that the parents are even worse. I don’t remember exactly why, but I think the main reason was that they were selfish and got angry when my friend couldn’t do certain things for them (I think they wanted ridiculous things). These people had young kids, which meant they were in their late 20’s or early 30’s; not much older than I am, and they weren’t teaching their kids any manners.

I have noticed and my parents have noticed that some people my age are completely disrespectful to teachers, parents, and adults in general, and they’re even meaner to each other. I was taught from day 1 (4/15/93) that I was supposed to be nice to everyone. I was taught that if you don’t have anything good to say you shouldn’t even open your mouth. I was taught to do good by others and to love them because that was what God said to do. I was taught to respect my parents as well as my friends and to make peace not war.

So how come I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who got that memo? What that girl on TV said was really awful and ignorant, and the fact that people cheered really makes me angry. These people are representing my generation on television, and this is what they come up with? It’s a huge over generalization, and it alienated people like myself and my friends. We pick on each other to a degree, but we know our limits. There is a line, and we don’t cross it because we respect each other.

I don’t understand why respect is such a hard concept for some people to grasp. I suspect it’s partly a familial thing and partly a self defense or self empowerment thing. Some people probably never learn it from their parents, so they don’t pass it on to their kids. Others act disrespectful either to look cool or more powerful to others or to convince themselves that they are.

There is a status quo in our society, and there are smaller versions of it within social groups. People are going to act in different ways depending on how they perceive the status quo. As alluded to above, some people act disrespectfully to try and rise in the status quo or perhaps to break it down. This is a personal rebellion. This can help people gain reputation or power in some groups, but it the bigger scheme of things it’s generally just immature at best.

Respect and humility are actually what break down dividing lines. Being nice is actually what makes people like each other. Love is what helps people find friends in unexpected places. Being on top or being cool isn’t as important as one might think.

The Ice

I was having breakfast with my mom and cousin, and we were watching the news. I normally hate watching the news because there are never any good stories. One in particular seriously pissed me off this morning and my family were unexpectedly subjected to one of my angry hippy rants.

Today reporters said that the arctic could be expected to have an “ice free summer by the middle of the century and although that could have devastating effects ecologically, it could create great opportunities for tourism.”

Tourism… Because apparently all we think about these days is making and spending money. All that matters is our own entertainment at any cost. Humans aren’t the only species that matter in this world just because we can talk and we walk funny. I believe that God entrusted us with the care if his creation, and this news story was a prime example of how we are failing.

This is more than a matter of faith, however. It is simply inhumane to let that ecosystem die because we are too lazy or selfish to do anything about it. In all cases, not just this one, Nature was there first. We ought to respect that and fight to preserve the life that is there; not exploit it for our own ends.

The natural world is beautiful. My brother and I spent our childhoods learning about it and experiencing it first hand. My parents took us hiking and camping every summer. When it was too hot or too cold, we would go to the Museum of Science or the Aquarium in Boston. We grew up on Animal Planet and the Discovery Chanel. I want my future nieces and nephews to be able to experience these things the way we did. Maybe the problem is indifference, or maybe it is a lack of education about these issues, but something needs to change.

If you agree, please reblog this.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Choice And Belief.

I don’t believe in ghosts for a few reasons. The first is that I’ve seen no convincing evidence of their existence. I’ve always thought those ghost hunter shows on TV were total bogus and nothing has happened in real life to convince me otherwise. Part of the reason I don’t believe in ghosts however is because I choose not to. The whole idea of specters, spirits, etc freaks me out, so I choose to believe that they don’t exist.

My cousin asked me something along the lines of “Isn’t believing in ghosts sort of similar to believing in God?” In some sense, yes. People have plenty of stories and evidence to support their beliefs in both. I had to take into consideration whether it’s by choice that I believe in God. I’d say it at least partly is. I also believe that Jesus came to me in a dream and told me to follow him. It’s a little difficult to argue with that.

There are plenty of people who don’t believe in God at all, so my question is; is that by choice? Can you have an experience like that and simply choose not to believe it? If so, why would that be? I’m sure there’s probably a scientific, rational explanation for it, but couldn’t it be both?

I don’t like the idea of supernatural beings. I do believe in demons, but I don’t believe that they are distinct entities. I believe that they rely on human feelings such as anger or fear to exist. Other than that, I’m not even sure that they are describable. I don’t believe that spirits of the dead can hang around in the world of the living because it completely screws with what I believe about the afterlife.

I’d love to know what people think about this stuff. ūüôā

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Super Hero Complex

I thought about something after I posted yesterday. I think I have a super hero complex; or at least that’s what I call it. When I go to bed at night I pray and then I go to my fantasy world. In my fantasy world I’m a fairly different person. The character I made up to represent myself is named Kithryd. She lives on a farm outside of a small town that borders a deep and mysterious forest. She often goes on adventures in there and is fully capable of taking care of herself. I’ve tried to write stories about her and her adventures, but I can never finish them and yesterday I figured out why.

I love fantasy and science fiction because it is usually far more interesting than real life. I love mythical creatures and magic and the fight of good versus evil. Eventually, the stories I read or watch come to an end because the fight is over. Life will go back to normal for the characters and there’s nothing more to write about. I can’t write these stories because I can’t bare to bring them to an end.

This is bothersome in context with what I posted about yesterday. Yesterday I posted that I want to be someone’s rock. I want to help someone who is feeling alone or depressed or just confused about life. The problem is that it will forever bother me that there are¬†thousands¬†of people without someone or something to be their rock and if I help one person, I’ll want to help others. On one level, there’s nothing particularly¬†wrong¬†with that, but I’m worried that it could lead me to be less committed to a friendship or a relationship than I should be.

To be completely honest, part of the reason I want a very close friendship or a relationship is so that I have someone to help me and so that I don’t have to live with my parents forever or pay a stranger to help me with things. Luckily, I can do most things on my own, but because I can’t straighten my legs, I need a lot of help with some things.

I had never really thought about this stuff all at once until yesterday and I realized how complicated it is. I had to really think about how much love or friendship is involved in the relationship I want. On a purely emotional level, I would absolutely love to have a relationship with a guy, but I know that I could live without it. One of my aunts has been single her entire life and has been very happy. She lives alone and while she loves to spend time with friends and family, she also loves alone time. I can tolerate alone time. I don’t love it, but sometimes it’s nice and when it’s not I can deal with it well enough. I just like to have people around. Even if I’m not directly engaged in doing something with them, I like the noise they make and the fact that they fill a little part of the room. I don’t like when it’s too quiet. I would absolutely¬†die¬†if I had to live in an apartment all by myself.

I guess I need to be realistic. I can’t help¬†everyone.¬†I should be happy if I can help just one person. I don’t need to be everyone’s best friend to help them either. In fact, I don’t want to be everyone’s best friend. I feel that having a best friend is the best thing for people, but I have to remind myself yet again that it’s not my job. I’m meant to¬†help,¬†and helping just one person can still mean a lot. I’ve written about it, but I have to remind myself that simple acts of kindness can go a long way, whether I know it or not. Real heroes sometimes do great things without ever knowing about the effects of their actions, and they do it out of the kindness of their hearts. They don’t need to know that what they’re doing is working. They just need to know that they might be making a difference.

Unqualified, Unspecified Love

I’m unqualified for a lot of things. I’m not majoring in psychology and I’m not going to be a counselor, but everyone says I’m good at giving advice. I don’t want to diagnose people and tell them what they already know about themselves and hold them at arms length and tell them that our time is up for the day.

I want to be a good friend. I want to be there and sit around with someone all night if I have to. I want to tell people more than what they need to hear. I want to love people no matter what until it’s so annoying that they start to love themselves. I don’t want to go through a whole training program so I can tell people what the professionals say I should tell them. I just want to tell people that they are loved and that life is worth living and give them real, human, opinionated, unqualified advice.

I want to find the people who have gone missing in their own heads and help them find themselves. Someone I know said that you can’t be someone’s friend¬†and¬†help them with their mental health problems. I beg to differ. I think that sometimes, the thing that’s missing in mental health treatments is love. Sure, you can give someone advice on how to change their lives and be more optimistic and give them some drugs and hope it works, but there’s still no real human connection. I believe that human connection and communication is a hugely significant factor to living happy, healthy life.

The thing is, I’m not sure I’m ready to be a shoulder to cry on yet. I feel like there’s something or maybe a lot of things that I still need to know. I’m still naive and admittedly, kind of ignorant about a lot of things. Before I started writing this post, I read a post on a classmate’s blog. She wrote that what she wanted more than a relationship with a significant other was to be a part of a small, very close group of friends. She believes that she doesn’t have that yet because she’s not ready for it yet and she believes that God is preparing her for it. I think that’s probably true for me too. I think God probably is preparing me to be someone’s rock; whether it’s a significant other or a close friend.

No one is unqualified to save the world. No one is perfect and no one ever will be, but everyone is capable of love and if you do whatever it is you do out of love for others, then you are helping to save the world. Follow your dreams because they will make you happy and happiness is meant to be shared. Share your art or music; share your jokes; your stories; share your time; share your money; share your things. Share whatever it is you have to share. You don’t have to give everything away; you just have to share it because it will make someone happy, and if you make someone happy, you will be happy too. Sharing something solidifies a preexisting connection among all the people of the world. It turns the connection into something you can see and touch and even use. It helps to break barriers and create understanding, which will ultimately lead to peace. Maybe I’m an idealist, but I really believe that to be true.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

After Deep Breathing: So Mellow

I was looking into meditation because I’ve heard that it helps with spiritual growth and mostly what I found was that it starts with deep breathing. I watched a few YouTube videos, and a lot of them talked about things that are currently over my head. I decided to just give it a rest and start with what I knew, so I got myself comfortable, turned the lights off, closed my eyes and just did some breathing exercises.

A lot of what I heard and read said that you were supposed to let your thoughts come, but let them pass; be an observer instead of a participant. I think that was what I was doing, but we’ll see what happens when I actually have difficult stuff on my mind.

The results were absolutely AMAZING. I didn’t want to stop, but I couldn’t keep doing it forever. I’ll probably try again before I go to bed. I felt completely relaxed after I did it. Everything felt loose and I felt mellowed out; not sleepy, but very calm.

I decided to look into this because I’m trying to figure out what the next step is in terms of what I’m going to do with my life and in terms of my spiritual life. I wanted a way in which I could potentially come closer to God, and I think meditation is probably a good place to start.

Other than that I don’t really have anything too exciting to report at the moment. If anyone has any advice/pointers on meditation I’d love comments. At the moment I’m not really even sure what form to use. Ideally I would like to use a form that helps with prayer or can be adapted to do so.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly

Replace These Empty Spaces

Replace My Empty Spaces is the title to my new album that will be coming out some time this summer. The title means more and more the more I think about it, but it originally came from an experience I had a couple years ago that changed my life. I allowed God to fill the empty space that I thought only a lover could fill. I allowed music and blogging to fill the empty space that idleness had created. I allowed love for others to fill the empty space that the assumed lack of love had made.

Everyone has empty spaces. I think those spaces are shaped like puzzle pieces and we sometimes think they can be filled with one thing when in fact, they’re waiting to be filled with something else. When we’re so obsessed with filling those empty spaces, it can be difficult to take a step back and figure out exactly what it is that¬†actually¬†needs to fill them. Maybe we’re not meant to figure it out ourselves, but we can take a step back and ask ourselves, “What is an alternative to the thing I’m trying to fill this hole with?” Maybe you don’t think painting has a place in your life, but you get some brushes and canvas and paints and a “how to” book and you discover that; not only are you good at it, you enjoy it and it turns out, that was the thing you were missing.

Don’t be afraid to try new things and meet new people. Go places you wouldn’t ordinarily go. Do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Eat things you wouldn’t ordinarily eat. Take chances. Grab at the opportunities that come to you. If you want your life to change, you should go ahead and change it. Don’t make the mistake of trying to fill your empty spaces with things that can’t fill them. You will know what it is you need when you find it, but you need to look for it first.

Also keep in mind that you will always have empty spaces. You may not even know you have them and it may never bother you, but it’s possible that something or someone will come along and fill that empty space and it will be a wonderful surprise. Don’t ever give up hope because anything and everything is possible.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!