Thursday, September 30, 2010


My dad is going through a lot right now. He just blogged about the guilt and shame he feels and a dear friend of mine read it and wrote me this, which impacted me greatly. I hope you'll see the power in it like I did. It brought me to tears.

"ugh! my heart aches for him. shame. ugh. fuck shame. that is a tool of the devil and i am not kidding. shame is such an ugly blanket that snuffs out our joy and robs us of our breath. i totally get how your dad feels -- that goddamn shame. seriously. God damn it. shame fuels so many things that either paralyze us or push us into a deeper cycle of self loathing. i am covering your dad in prayers and asking God to lift the blanket of shame off of his head and allow your dad to breathe again. he is not his shit. he is God's child and there is zero shame associated with that. i pray that the Lover of his Soul will remove the scales that cover your dad, like when c.s. lewis writes about king peter turning into the dragon and the scales need to be peeled off and it hurts, but in the end, he returns to his original self. God. Please. Help. we are begging and not being humble about it. we come to You boldly. rescue your child. show him his image in you. remove the shame. remove the guilt. remove the should haves, would haves, could haves and replace them with the HEART knowledge that he is Yours and nothing can take that away. God let your child know his identity rests in You and nothing else. i ask you carry your child and nurture him back to health. i pray you protect his marriage, save his house, bring him into where he needs to be to experience and live in joy. You are the Great Healer and the Master of our hearts. we thank You God for hearing our cries and listening. thank you for loving Jeffrey. thank you for his life. thank you for loving us. we ask You speak loudly and breathe into him! rescue Your son and heal him. we love You God and we pray this in Your Son's Name, Amen."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Memory

I had this "Ridgefield" moment today. Ever have a flash of a memory when the weather changes slightly, or the sun hits a tree a certain way? Well, the sky right now is cloud-covered and I had this odd sensation of being in my mom's old kitchen in Ridgefield, WA, at the sink, getting a cup of coffee and staring into the pasture. The coffee has a bitter smell, as the creamer doesn't quite give it the right shade of beige...I left the pot on too long. Switch it off.

The TV in the family room is humming something childlike as Alice (in my memory, age 4) watches. I go into the dining room and thumb through the stack of pamphlets, church bulletins, sale papers and magazines my mom always has piled next to her "spot" at the table. I sniff at the coffee (I sniff everything) and quickly realize I'll only be able to tolerate about half a cup of it. Note to self: brew another pot of coffee.

I find a slip of paper and begin making a list. I always make lists. It makes me feel accomplished. granted, I only accomplish the writing of the list itself, and complete zero chores listed.

I smell the beginnings of pot roast wafting from the oven. Mom must have started it early, as Tom gets up from his daytime slumber around 2 pm today. Graveyard makes him grumpy...having supper ready makes him happy. I see his glasses lying at the top of his place-mat, ready to wear when he sits down, after taking his shower and getting dressed, to read the paper.

The centerpiece on the dining room table is functional. A red basket with napkins, salt and pepper shakers and a small wooden vial of toothpicks. Come Thanksgiving, mom will have arranged a bouquet of dried orange and yellow blossoms around a cornucopia of gourds and Indian corn. At Christmas, a fat red candle encircled with dried holly leaves and berries.

Sometimes I miss the house in Ridgefield so much I can't stand it. I have so many memories there, but mostly, I'm pretty sure I miss my mom.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yak Yak Yak

I have zero patience today. I snapped at Cannon, told Flannery to go back to bed and my grandma keeps hovering over me as I sit in my dad's house, trying to watch football and she continues to talk. She has never been able to sense when someone needs quiet or space...just something she never learned. Like when the home inspector came to inspect her home before the appraisal in 1999 and she followed him around, telling him all about the house and when she and grandpa got carpeting and when they put the deck in and why...oh my goodness.

I'm not ignorant...I realize I'm going to miss her terribly when she dies. She's had about 5 near death moments, and it was tough. She just happens the be one of those people I avoid when I'm feeling private and want to be alone...cause she doesn't get it.

I love my grandma.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Things I think about...lately...

1. I really wish I would have gone into the ICU to see Diane when I was told that I could have. May 27,2001, my Aunt Diane passed away suddenly from a heart attack. She lived for a day and was coherent and talking to everyone and I was told I could go in. Even Kimmy told her I had Flannery (just 3 weeks old) and she smiled and would have loved to see her. I didn't go in until she had passed. We all went in, held her hand, kissed her cheek and prayed over her with Pastor Peter. Regret. Regret that I didn't have one last memory with her alive.

2. I love that I bare my soul...and share whatever it is you want to know about me, but sometimes people aren't accumstomed to that kind of vulnerability and so they avoid me. Chill out people. I'm not flashing you my breasts...It's called being real. And yes, I said breasts.

3. I'm getting better about being content with things. I am 36, enjoy the ocean, people watching, scrapbooking and general crafting...get excited when I see a bald eagle or blue whale and I read from Oprah's Book Club. I am no longer a band girl - at every show, buying the T-Shirts and CDs (or cassettes) and feeling the rush of adreneline as I walk on stage to perform. I miss that...but not as much as I used to.

Just been thinking...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Whoops. Being a woman is tough.

Ok. I believe I'm premenstrual...shave my head? really? Ok. I'm going to grow it out, roots and all, have it cut until my roots are about 6 inches long, then cut off all the dyed garbage and continue on. Whew. I found this pic, and decided I don't want to look like a boy again. I look like my brother here:

I need my locks for being a cool mom at Flannery's school. Geez...I must be premenstrual. I almost joined the PTO last night. Yikes!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

HAIR pt. 1

I'm toying with the idea of cutting my hair at my roots' grow-out and letting my hair grow for 18 months without coloring it and then donating it to Locks of Love. My hair grows very fast, and thick, and I figure since I'm not particular about my hairstyle and work from home, why not? I would love to do some good for someone and see what my actual hair color is at the same time! You know me and the cancer's some pics of past hairstyles...I'm off to find some more!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This one band camp...

Guess what? My old friend, Bradley Swanson, volunteered to put my solo album from 1995 on BANDCAMP. You can download the album for FREE! Enjoy!

Me and Shayde Savannah Bridges - 1995

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The guys who made my life... livable.

Joshua Howard Griffith 1976

I met Joshua when I was 2 years old. His uncle Howard was in a band with my dad, and Joshua's dad, Rich, also played now and again with them. After a few years, our parents lost contact and life went on...Fast forward to 1992. Elisha's Bones played The Corral in Vancouver, and this kid came up to me. "Um, hi. My name is Josh and I think your band is rad."

I took Josh home that night after a late night dinner at Denny's with the band. He wanted me to meet his mom. "Mom," he said, "this is Erin." "Brockway?" She smiled. I came in and realized that we'd been friends as babies.

Since then, Joshua has become my closest friend, my biggest fan and one I trust. Going on 34 years...he's just the best there is.

Peter Warner 1985

Peter literally saved my dad's life. He gave my dad hope and a job and became my dad's closest friend and supporter and Peter is still that person for my dad after 25 years. Peter also helped me realize that my life is good. I was depressed as a teen, having gone through divorce, become promiscuous and had the normal friendship drama every teen has. I wanted to kill myself. I didn't have a plan, just a desire, and that was enough for him to take me under his wing, counsel me, love me and get me focused on the future.

Peter was my pastor at Rivercrest and Fresh Faith and even performed my wedding. He's always there for me and will always be so very dear to me.

Michael "Mikee" Bridges II 1989

I met Mikee at The Connection, followed his band, The Gecko Monks, for a few years, chatted with him about music and shows, went to events and hung out with him and picked his brain. In 1993, we did The Dickens project and went bowling a lot. In 1995, I began working for him at TOM Fest alongside Todd Fadel, and got to know him.

He was stubborn, determined, an egomaniac, hilarious, rude, gentle-hearted, generous, smart and had a passion for Jesus. I became one of his closest friends. I stuck by him through some horrible moments...and he has done the same for me.

This is the man who defended my honor when a guy attempted to violate me sexually. He held me and let me cry when Chris was in school in Oklahoma and was falsely accused of a crime. He's been my protector. And I know that if I needed him for anything, he'd board a plane and be here for me.

I think I've been his biggest supporter through so many controversies and trails because I know his heart. You either hate him or love him. And I adore him.

Matthew "Matty" "Zip" Zimmerman 1993

Matt worked at Coffee People at PDX, and every night when he'd get off work at 11pm, we'd go to The Hotcake House on 10th & Powell and talk, drink way too much coffee, plug the jukebox and usually have some breakfast....not to mention smoke a pack of cigarettes.

In 1995, Chris left for The University of Oklahoma and Matt's parents moved to New Jersey. We were both sad and needed a friend. He was my closest friend during that weird time, and I'll never forget it.

I've rarely spent time with him since about 1997 - just shows, festivals, etc...but he'll always hold a major place in my heart.

Todd Fadel 1995

I met Todd in Mikee's living room one night as they talked logistics about The Push, a club they started together. Todd was silly, smart, creative as hell and had a gift for booking shows, drawing people in and finding the good in everyone. He was the General Manager of Circle Slide Productions/TOM Fest/The Push and later The Spincycle. I loved helping him pull shows together, listen to his ideas and having his friendship.

On May 20, 1997, I came to work at the TOM fest office and no one was there. The phone rang and it was Todd. "I need help," he slurred. "I hit a house. On Hartley." I took off and found his milk truck slammed into a house at the bottom of the hill. He stood holding a bloody rag to his face. Cops were questioning him. I stood with my arm around him. He was shaking. His brakes had failed.

Todd required facial surgery and had he not veered into the house, he could have crossed into traffic, killed someone, or had he kept going, he would have flown into a ravine. The whole thing was pretty amazing. His pager went off as we stood in the driveway and it was Mikee. After a call to him, we found out that he and Josi were at the hospital and Veronica had been born. I haven't forgotten her birthday since.

Bryan Everett 1996

Bryan is a kindred spirit. I moved in with him and Bradley Swanson in 1998 to a big old house in Gresham. I had a basement room and Bryan had the attic room - both of us a little anti-social and quiet. Slowly, I began to creep out of my hole in the basement and spend time with the him. Bryan is faithful, silly, loves me for who I am, is honest and gentle and sometimes brutal with me.

He married Kissa in 1999 and our families are intertwined - Flannery and Averie are just 2 months apart in age and are best friends. Cannon and Aecea are a year apart and love each other. Our values mirror one another for the most part. We encourage each other in the Lord and love being together. He's probably my favorite "playmate" for a boy. We make each other laugh and can eat our weight in sushi. He's a total blast.

Christopher John Collins 1991...My Husband

I married my very best friend. We met in 1991 when I was babysitting Kial for Kevin and Linda Collins...Chris is Kevin's little brother. When I saw him for the first time, my heart stopped and I actually thought, "I want to marry this guy." His dark brown hair was long, down his back. He has earrings and a nose ring, wore a flannel (think grunge era), and wore one black and one white converse, long underwear under cut off shorts and had full lips. Oh my. I was smitten.

In 1993, we did a band with Kevin and Linda, and I fell more and more in love with him. He was going to college that fall, and decided to have his hair cut off and his rings taken out. "No professor will take me seriously if I keep looking like this," he told me. Still beautiful, we started hanging out and in 1994 it became official. He was my boyfriend. We were married in 1998.

I was psycho most of the time. I can't believe he stayed with me, but he did and now it's just bliss. We pick at each other sometimes, but the majority of the time we make each other laugh, talk about the future, the kids, go on long walks and are as frisky as ever. He works hard, puts us first and is the man I want Cannon to turn into, and the man I want Flannery to marry one day.

Sometimes I see his face from across a crowded room and think I'm looking in a mirror for a moment. Now that's real love.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Birthdays to Me...

My dad and, his wife of now 20 years, Janet, used to throw the best birthday parties for me. I think I had 3 total. It included a mini sound system, (one year, Roy set up something even better and ran sound) my dad's Fender Rhodes, all my musician BFFs, hot dogs, chips, soda and cake. We had the bands play on the backyard patio, and everyone sat on blankets in the grass, and most of us smoked cigarettes. It was my favorite day of the year.

The Barnies played my 20th birthday party in 1994

Jon Ragel - Ivan Hargadine - Jacob Christensen & Gerrit Smith

Chris and I had just started dating...



I recorded an album in 1995 called Naive.
Photo Shoot for Album work by Xeandra

It was recorded by Roy Fisher

and produced by Kevin Collins. I had guest vocals and musicians add their talents. These were dear friends of mine.
Craig Alvin (Smith)

Matt (Kropf) Wakefield

Leon & Jennifer Goodenough

Kevin Collins

Matt Zimmerman

Gerrit Smith

Ivan Hargadine

Jon Ragel

It was a culmination of my depression stemming from promiscuity, loneliness and lack of self-worth. I am still very proud of it and hope to one day transfer it from cassette to disc or MP3.
Tape release Party @The Push January 1996 w/Matt Kropf

Me in Mikee's living room, 1993...a physical reminder of the sadness that contributed to the Naive recording.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I used to sing and stuff...

Me in 1993

I miss the music. I miss being center stage, belting out notes and lyrics from my gut and being able to scream out my angst and praise in front of hundreds of people.

It started in 1991, with Elisha's Bones. My first experience with being in a Christian rock band...the music and vocals were lacking in experience but we had so much fun together. We loved sharing the gospel through our music and I met so many people that are still a daily part of my life today.

1993...I started singing with guitar accompaniment...Pretty Irene was me and Jon Ragel, The Whittix was me and Matt Kropf (Wakefield) and a song or two with Tim Eurich. Mikee Bridges recruited Matt and me for his joke band, The Dickens. So much FUN.

In 1993, I started hanging out with my now husband, Chris Collins, and we were in a band with his brother, Kevin and Kevin's wife, Linda, called St. Worthless. Kevin wrote amazing 4 part harmonies and it was like Tom Petty and Brian Wilson with girls. Melodic and lovely.

In 1995, I became the Administrative Assistant to Mikee Bridges and his newest creation, TOM Fest. The first year, in WA, it was 40 + bands, camping, art, etc...and as the years went by, it grew into a 150+ bands, 5 stages, tons of vendors and more. In 1998, Dallas, TX and Denver, CO were added to the venue. So we had 3 TOMs that year. It was a lot of work, but I loved every second of it. I was saturated in the Christian music scene...punk, emo, rock, thrash, was totally my thing.
Mikee in 2008

1995, Gifty began. Chris' high school friends, Ben Sims and Ben Rickard and Rickard's little brother Steve and I were fans of bands like Jawbox, U2, Fugazi and Starflyer 59, and began an "emo" project that became the love of my musical tinkering. We played for about 3 years and then reunited in 2006 for a show at Stevenson, WA's "X-Fest."


In 2000, The Company began recording. I got to be BGV's for my talented friends, Bryan Everett & Kristen Burns, to the music of the 70's and early 80's - Disco. This project was so fun and it's sad we never did anything great with it. We were on BEC's label and had possible distribution through EMI and whoops...Someone pissed off BEC and after the CDs were made, they were never distributed, except to Christian bookstores as their discount mucic. Such a shame, too, since the album was something like $15,000 to record with an actual orchestra and killer vocals and beats. Flannery loves the album and she and I listen to it a lot in the car!

In 2001, I gave birth to Flannery and was pretty sure the music thing was over. But, I was able to join the worship team at church, which gave me joy, and then the 2006 show with Gifty was a total gift, as I was yearning to play again.

Intertwined since 1998 has been The Shoot Girls. A comedy/music team led by my dear friend, Kristen and myself. There are other "players" as well - Rhonda, Stewart Ramsey, Zordon, Cookie...but it involves a straight face and acting like an idiot and it's such an escape for us. We're in the process of writing 20 songs for a recording we hope to have done in the Summer of 2011. It's far from serious, but it's something I can believe in, because I love comedy and being silly and singing. No stress, just laughs with dear friends. We began a podcast a few years ago with interviews, in character and it was a blast. If I lived closer to Bryan (a.k.a. Rhonda) it might be easier.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I have this thing that I'm not sure anyone else has. I think about my childhood every day. Not with regret, or longing, per-say but I think about things that shaped me as a, thus begins some blogs on this.

6th Grade
I attended Kingsway Christian School in 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade. In 4th, I was in Utah at a private school, but came back to KW in 5th. I loved it. I was confident, smart, teacher's favorite, all that garbage - and I had many friends.
5th Grade at Kingsway...

My mom could no longer afford Kingsway and in 6th grade, I transferred to Felida Elementary. Many more kids, (We had 10 in my 5th grade class), and two 6th grade classes. The first day of school. I was in a reading group. We sat in a circle and took turns reading. I heard snickering, and a note was passed to me from Christy Haring (names NOT changed to protect the guilty) that read, "You have a burger in your nose." Well, I knew the girl meant "booger," but apparently private school had taught English better than the public school system had.

I pinched at my nose, and as I did, she threw her head back and laughed along with someone else...though I cannot place who that was. Christy's face has stuck in my mind like glue. I realized, I had no booger at all, and thus began my fear of friendship, of belonging and of people altogether.