Updated: Mar 10
Well guys... we're finally doin' it. Mal and I have been talking about how great it would be to do a podcast together and now we're making it happen. We're learning as we go, and we're having a blast! In this first episode, you get a brief introduction to who we are, what we're up to and who we're chatting with. We got so caught up in recording and staying on task that I'm afraid we may have left out a few details. I'll be using the blog as a followup to the podcast to clarify and fill in where I can, because its important to me that the podcast remains a mostly unplanned, unfiltered real conversation. It's more about connection than perfection.
If you're here, you probably already know me (if not, check out my last post), but I want to introduce you in more detail to my co-host Mal. Mal and I met in 2015 when I interviewed her for a part-time front desk position at Maxwell Salon. I had no way of knowing then, but I'd just met someone who would grow to become so much to me. She's been my employee, my friend, and my confidant. She's someone I can cry with, brainstorm ideas with, someone who I can always trust to be honest with me and give me critical feedback, she's Maxwell Salon's social media manager, she's a painter, a chronic illness warrior, she's the extrovert to my introvert, and she's one of my very best friends. Mal's illness (she has Sarcoidosis-more on that another time) took her out of the salon indefinitely due to her frequently being too sick to work a "regular" schedule; But her attitude and creativity led me to create a position for her that enabled her to work remotely and remain a part of our team. Currently, Mal works with me as an independent contractor, managing our social media and collaborating on salon events and community outreach. She's like, really good at it. She just gets me, and she gets what I'm trying to accomplish with Maxwell Salon and all that we're doing this year. I'm so excited that she's giving me her time to work on this podcast with me. Mal spends much of her time as a working artist. Her work is generally very bright, happy and full of chunky textures. You can see some of her pieces featured this month at Cray's diner in Bremerton. Check out her work here, and drop her a ❤️ or a comment on your favorite piece.
Since we're talking about art and collaboration, let's also talk about Maxwell's Art After Hours 😍. It's an M.LeighArtistry event (that's Mal) hosted monthly at Maxwell Salon, and we are soooo excited about it. Inspired by Manette's First Friday Artwalk, we wanted to bring something to the neighborhood that gives artists a voice and brings art into the community in a way that's fun and super accessible for adults in Silverdale. Think of it as a pop-up art exhibition for local artists. February's show will be extra special for me, Mal has asked me to show some of my boudoir work alongside Matty Malone and Duane Eakes and as always, Kevin Eakes will be serenading us with his lovely acoustic guitar tunes. It's sure to be a beautifully curated evening full of love, laughs and art. Come chill, we have snacks.
At the end of our Pilot episode we chat a little bit about the Winter Wonderland White Party hosted by Zahra Kohl who is the owner of Budtender's Ball Events, American Hashmakers, & A to Z Consulting and Compliance and our very first guest on Munchin on life. She is a powerhouse of a lady with big ideas, supported by big knowledge and big drive. She's exactly the kind of person we're thrilled to see doing big things and working from a place of passion. Tune in to hear from her, even if (especially if) you think you don't have any use for cannabis culture. In episode two, while chatting with Zahra, Mal and I share a little bit about how cannabis has improved our quality of life. Mal has been using marijuana medicinally since she was a teen, but this is all pretty new to me. We both learned a lot from Zahra.
The topic of weed can be so polarizing. It's been really interesting for me to see the various reactions from people, but what I see most often is that people are still pretty under-informed about what it is, and how people are using it. There's a difference between using marijuana medicinally and using it as a form of escapism. Personally, I enjoy it for both. I started experimenting with cannabis shortly after being prescribed anti-anxiety med's. Anyone who knows me knows that I've never been one for drugs, legal or otherwise, and without health insurance I was definitely not inclined to live the rest of my life on anti-anxiety pills. Those pills made me feel dulled, indifferent, and hopeless All. The. Time. I wasn't having debilitating panic attacks anymore, but it was because I didn't give a shit about anything. I tried therapy but I just didn't care, so I made the decision to take myself off of those meds (note-this is a recounting of my experience, every person reacts to medication differently. I am not advising or advocating that anyone stop taking their prescribed medications without first talking to their doctor). A couple of people close to me recommended I give a more natural solution a try, the results made me feel hopeful. Suddenly, instead of my thoughts wizzing around like a highway in all directions at 100 mph, they were doing 25 down a country road and I could grab them and take a good, hard look at each one. I know that's not the case for everyone, but for me, it was a welcome and helpful slow-down. To me that sounds a lot like medicine. It's nature grown and man perfected, much like whiskey, vodka and wine- things which are all legal, socially acceptable and often encouraged. There was a time fairly recently in my life when I was an alcoholic. Life was so heavy for a while, that I stared to feel unable to carry the mental load. Alcohol was my escape from reality. The side effects...were bad. Those were dark times that I've worked through and choose not to revisit anymore, but I share that about myself to help people understand that for some this is the healthier choice. Finding my medicinal use for marijuana was absolutely a gateway, a gateway to a healthier, more productive life (when used responsibly). I'm happy to report that I don't really drink anymore, but if I want to sit on the couch, watching a great movie and relax with a big ol' bong rip, imma do it and be grateful to have a legal option that is safer and healthier than drinking a bottle of whiskey, throwing up on my shoes and hating myself in the morning. I'm just sayin' I've never had a hangover from weed, and all it's ever made me throw up are great ideas.
I believe now more than ever that education is important, empowerment is important, art is important, connection, collaboration and community are important. We humans are not meant to just close ourselves off and work non-stop while living in a strange, anti-social social media echo chamber. All of us have been moved or inspired in some way by music, speech, poetry, dance, writing, painting, sculpting...the list could be endless. Reach out, I want you to be a part of my tribe and start building a dialogue about things that matter and are affecting our community. I want to know what kind of art moves you, what artists in the community would you love to see featured at one of our After Hours events, has cannabis helped improve your quality of life, think I'm a deviant and a terrible person, got an idea or wanna be on the podcast? Comment here, drop me a line on Instagram, or leave us a message on the podcast. I genuinely want to know what you think. We'll chat soon.
Don't hate, collaborate.