Things We Lost in the Fire

IMG_4390, originally uploaded by SisterSafetyPin.

For some reason I always get the urge to use that title, but it's never appropriate. However, lucky me, it finally is.

Not that there was a fire.

But there's a distinct lack of father. Who also happens to be a life time member of the struggling addict club. I'm not bitter.

Anyway, I hadn't talked to him in a month - my fault by the way, I've been busy - So I decided to buckle down and call.

Only, the two numbers I have now lead to other people. And if he doesn't have a phone, I doubt he can check his email. *shrug*


In other news.... Lily Allen's 'U killed it' is playing and I want to be profound. I think it's the downtempo type beat.

But I was thinking about this on the drive down to LA, Saturday. Somethings just make me wish I was: more. You know? A good song makes you wish you could play or sing that well. A good book makes you wish you could write that well. Gorgeous scenery makes you wish you could capture it in a photograph that would do it justice or paint it in a way that shows the emotion.


However, since I can't do more to capture the random floating around my cranium I think I could settle quite nicely in the position of... fanatical consumer of everyone else's creation.



I Love Techno

IMG_4157, originally uploaded by SisterSafetyPin.

It's very inconvenient when you want and mean to do something and don't. And it's even worse when it's something insanely simple that could be done with minimal movement.

And yet you refuse on principle. Or because you get distracted by a shiny. Which, i don't know if you can tell or not, happens a lot to me.

For example? Currently I have the Hard Music Festival mix tape from last year playing. I don't particularly feel like listening to this and this is a 60 minute track. All it would take is extending a finger to press the skip button.

But 6 minutes into the track, I haven't. Worse, I'm writing a blog about why I haven't. I'm aware of the absurdity believe me.

This is just one of those natures best moments.


Students United

Students United, originally uploaded by SisterSafetyPin.

Boy, it's amazing how much you don't get done even when you dedicate all your time to doing it.

What do I mean? Well for one, I've had two blog updates written in my notebook for the past two weeks. With the intentions of posting them the same day they were written upon coming home. Clearly that didn't happen.

The end of this semester has hit particularly hard. At any given moment I'm on the cusp of being overwhelmed, yet somehow managing to navigate just enough to stay afloat. Honestly, I dig it.

Well, I dig it now that my 10 page EU paper is over. That was a nightmare. So to, was my Capstone and in class articles for my journalism class.

[paramour, I shake my head at that band and its listeners. < / tangent > ]

Why the stress over the Capstone article and what IS a Capstone article? Well the stress derives from the fact that the Capstone is a major part of my overall grade. And the article was basically a 410-450 article based on a speech we were supposed to go to. I thanked my lucky stars that I took diligent notes at the Chelsea Carter Q&A and did mine on that.

However, the in class article led to, I'm sure, a few strands of premature gray. Why? This article, to which we had an hour to write based on a paragraph of facts, would determine whether I pass the class... And am formally allowed into the journalism program. And while I'm fairly confident in my writing skills, there's the minor issue of my comma problem. To which I, like many others in my class, "throw them in randomly hoping that they'll land in the correct place." That is, according to my professor.

But alas. This week sees the end of two classes. Tomorrow, the people that passed the in class article will take the final. [Cruelly, no one knows if they've passed until tomorrow.] And on Wednesday, my final paper in my woman's study class is due.

[Why are some baristas such snobs? Hi, barista? You're ruining my coffee experience. < / tangent > ]

Oh well. Ignoring the fact that I haven't yet started writing my paper and probably wont until after tomorrow's class around 6pm... It's all... Good? 5x5? Swell? Eh. It's cold and I don't hate it.

Now in case you were wondering about today's picture... It's from a Mock Funeral/Protest over the never ending fee hikes the CSU schools are undergoing. Especially in the face of the administrators giving themselves excessive raises while firing our professors, lecturers, and cutting class offerings. It was also a protest of the Governator cutting the funds meant for the CSU and UC schools to almost nill. When we register for Spring Semester, it's to a pop up that says, "CSUS has the right to raise the fees for next semester without letting you know." It's crazy.

So yeah, about 200 students came out last Thursday with signs to show how much we don't appreciate our Government and administrators crap.

To check out more photos from the rally just click the link beneath the picture.



IMG_4110, originally uploaded by SisterSafetyPin.

I've been up since 2:30am and I went to sleep at 12am. Oddly enough... Well never mind, I'm every bit as tired as you can imagine.

My grandmother decided she wanted to go visit my cousin since I would be going back to Sacramento today. I suggested she leave early. She chose 4am. So I was up and ready to drive her to the Amtrak station for her 4am bus. Good times really, it's the least I can do considering all the times our situations have been reverse.

So what have I been doing since then? Making sure I don't leave anything vital when my ride gets here at six. It amazes me. No matter how light I pack, I always end up taking an extra bag back. Gotta love the worrying spirit of the grandmother that ensures you have what you need plus everything she thinks you need.

But really, on the drive back from the train station I realized how much I appreciate LA and KCRW. Honestly, radio stations like KCRW are a dying breed and I'm glad to say LA is home to one of the best. And while listening to the station I came to another realization.

What is it, you ask? It's, while I still think Morrissey is a pretentious asshole... Some of his music really is quite good.

"None of these mindless dolts have any idea how lucky they are. They live perfect lives, eating fries whenever they please, laughing and joking with their perverted condescension. Mark my words--- I will spite these fry-gorged gargoyles. The street will flow with the blood of the nonbelievers!" IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas - Chuck Klosterman



Connect, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Today the Associated Press correspondent for Iraq, Chelsea Carter, came to talk to about 40 Journalist Majors at Sac State. Why? Because she's an alumn, believe it or not and the experience was so much more then I expected.

Which isn't really saying much as I'm not sure exactly WHAT I was expecting. Honestly, I think I may have went in with my fair share of cynicism. Expecting her to either speak down to us, over glorify the life, or over simplify it.

She did just the opposite. She spoke frankly, and honestly. She made sure we knew the pay was horrible, lol. That we understood the hours could be endless. And that we would without a doubt be starting out at the bottom.

However, the most important thing expressed by her in every single response she gave was the undeniable love she still had for the art. At the end of the Q&A she asked for a show of hands of all who planned on going into the business. Unsurprisingly, most of the people in the hall raised her hands. Then she asked for a show of hands on how many people were planning to go into print. Also unsurprising, there was maybe 9 other hands other then my own. To us she gave a special kudos. After all, if the media were to be believed newspaper writing is a dying medium. And of course the vast majority of students in attendance had aspirations of broadcast.

Chelsea Carter was absolutely what I needed. She didn't sugar coat life as a journalist. She let us know that more and more to be competitive one needed to be a sort of one man band. Can you also take the pictures for your story? Brilliant. Can you edit a video? Brilliant. Can live on coffee alone? Brilliant.

Just kidding about the last one. But seriously, where some might have been discouraged by the frank way she let it be known that we would most likely never be rich... I was completely fine with that.

After all, who needs to be rich when you're doing what you love?


Mouth Full of Water

IMG_4111, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Woe = Over

Seriously. I am who I am. And people are who they are. I can't believe I actually went to sleep distressed, trying to figure out how best to change my personality. That's not the way life works. That's not the way I work.

To go through life constantly concerned with whether you offend people simply by being you, is to go through life as an other. And I left that behind in high school.

Sure, you don't want to be overtly in your face offensive. But to be anything, but who I am at all times would be to slander myself. And I wont do that.

So I've decided. It's time to create a distance between us. After all, being told 3 times in so many weeks that someone you consider a close friend can't stand aspects of your personality is damaging to a girl's self esteem.

It'll take time to back from this. But we will. Or at least I will. The only person I control is me. And the only way I know how to be is genuine.



IMG_3970, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

What is it about me that brings out the immaturity in others? That's the question posed to me. And it's question I desperately wish I had the answer to.

It's come to my attention that I bring out the worst in people. People that would otherwise be serious, find themselves in a goofy joking mood around me. That's apparently not a good thing.

It's something that I hate to say is currently weighing my spirit down. I hate to be a bother to anyone. So when a woman I otherwise look up to can barely stand to look at me, let alone speak to me other then to say that I basically bring out the worst in people....

It's discouraging. We went to a Rock the Era meeting today. A meeting where youth are supposed to be coming together to really change their lives for the better. And we walked away... In discord.

Maybe it's time for me to take a step back.


Our Anniversary

President-Elect Obama, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

It's our one year anniversary Mr. President. I bet you thought that in the face of: all of your bad press, your inability to get the Democrats to stop acting like pussies, and to keep the Republicans from being assholes... that I would have forgotten. I haven't. I could never forget the person I worked so hard to get in my life simply because our two party system collectively makes the genitals of a two bit whore.

In fact, I can remember the exact moment CNN let me know that you'd be mine. I may or may not have shed a couple tears. So in honor of our anniversary, I've posted a small excerpt from the speech you made.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America — I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you — we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

-- President Elect - Barack Obama. November 4th 2008

Actually, now that I think about it Mr. President... I'm a bit let down. Not by you per se... But the democracy that elected you also took away my right to get married. And while I appreciate your chances of re-election are almost non-existent if you supported me the way you originally said you would in your campaign... It's also the reason that I must say that you are still a Democrat. A nice one, but a Democrat none the lass.

I mean, that's not a total bad thing I guess. I AM a lesbian, after all.



IMG_4047, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Today has been one of those days. A day that was both monumentally dull and far to loud, while being simultaneously silent with far to much going on under the surface.

My fellow crazy people know what I mean.

In other news it is once again NaNoWriMo time. National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who haven't surrounded themselves with aspiring writers. I have a few friends participating this year and I'm more then happy to once again be a part of the cheer squad.

However, for the first time the beginning of NaNo finds me in a intrigued sort of mood. Intrigued in the quiet flirting kind of way in which your fingers slide over the keyboard as if to say hello to an old lover with unfinished business. I'm curious. And while I have no plans of writing a 100 page work of fiction... I think I may attempt another something that has been floating around my mind.



Even Say

IMG_3959, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Updates make the heart grow fonder.

Or rather, absence makes the heart grow fonder and updates remind you that it's never as good as you remember it to be... haha.

So last night I went to a mini going away party for a friend that's moving to Chicago today. It was good times and just the way I always envisioned my 20s. Surrounded by friends, music, coffee and alcohol. And as I fell asleep last night I came to the realization... The life I've always seen myself living is very much in Sacramento.

This is something that I've been reluctant to admit to myself. Mainly because of all the drama that it WILL cause. Moving to Sacramento was meant to be a temporary just for school thing. And even then, it was frowned upon.

Oh well. If I'm going to be telling people to do what makes them happy, I better be backing it up in my own life.


ps: I'm getting kind of good at this Point & Shoot thing, no? Almost like I know what I'm doing.


This is the way..

Blitzen Trapper, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

I wonder if I could write a blog composed entirely of song titles and lyrics? Probably. Actually, most likely. This IS me, we're talking about. But anyway...

This is the way the world ends.

Not really, but I imagine, if the world WERE ending I'd probably be in a similar position. Cup of cooling coffee at my feet, music playing in the background, while I look through my flickr account and try to find a fitting picture for my last blog update.

Not that this is the last but...

This is the way my concentration ends. In a hail storm of random thoughts, twitter, stuffed noses and music. Always music.

Now enough of this nonsense. I have a Women's Studies paper to write.


Cato As a Pun

Knotts Berry COLD, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

So, here I am. Heart racing. Sniffling. Coughing. Listening to good music. Talking to my ex. And I suddenly realize why the universe put her back in my life.

It was so I could see once and for all, how I don't need her. How imperfect she was and how fine I am with out her.

Now I know, what you're thinking. "So?" But this is a moderately big deal. Not a huge deal. But decent sized. When we were together, she seemed larger then life. A Uni student to my wee, high school life. Funny, sarcastic... And I always got the feeling that I should be thankful she was gracing me with her presence. Our relationship was plagued with my perceived knowledge that I wasn't good enough. When we broke up for good, it sort of confirmed that for me.

Sure I moved on. But to I degree, I think that relationship had a greater impact on me than I should be comfortable admitting. I both compared everyone I dated to an idealized version of her, but kept them at a distance and found them wanting when they couldn't get close.

Then out of the blue, she's back. My initial response is to feel giddy. Because, we're on even footing now! This could work! The problem is... We're on even footing now. I know myself and have a quiet self confidence I definitely did not have at 16 - 18. I no longer feel the need to live up to invisible expectations. Which leaves me only with open eyes.

And the picture doesn't exactly match up to the stylized version I'd been carrying with me. Now I see only a woman frozen in time that drinks to keep the world at bay.

It's sad. But there's significant relief to be had in realizing that you have in fact out grown certain ghosts.

"I can't even pretend that you are my friend
What has happened to you and I?
And don't say that I have changed
'Cause, man, of course I have"
__________________Cato as a Pun - Of Montreal


Full Moon

50 WEST, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

It's cold, positively gray outside and I've got a huge cup of coffee.

It's nice. But I'm slipping, much like I always do.Slipping in the way it's very easy to start an unbreakable cycle. So I guess it's a good thing there's a 10-hour tozo underway right now.

I'll only be catching the last 3 to 4 hours of it, but I desperately need it. I don't know why I'm so easily thrown off kilter. And I wish more then anything it wasn't something I needed to work so hard at. I mean, most people wake up with their alarm, get dressed and do the things they need to do.

Me? Every step of the cycle from going to sleep to waking up is a struggle. And the slightest deviation puts things in a spin. So like I said, headed for a tozo. Because I could really really really use the Daimoku.

When the thorn bush turns white that's when I'll come home
I am going out to see what I can sow
And I don't know where I'll go
And I don't know what I'll see
But I'll try not to bring it back home with me
___________________'Full Moon' - The Black Ghosts



Cravings, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

First things first... How yum does that look? I woke up this morning with the distinct craving for good pasta salad. And while I had the pasta and the spinach, that was ALL I had.

So to the grocery store I went! Well, first stop was actually to get coffee... But THEN to the grocery store I went.

Now, generally I hate grocery shopping. I'm never quite sure WHAT I should buy so I usually end up with choice overload. Resulting in me buying bread, lunch meat, half & half, and spinach. However, today was different for some reason. I think it may have been, subtle excitement for the pasta I'd be making when I got home.

Like always, I shopped slow. Seriously, slow. I'm sure I'd never be able to shop with someone else because they'd quickly get frustrated with how long I take. But what can I say? I don't like being rushed. And after about an hour and a half... I'd finally got everything. [Or rather, everything I felt like buying. Whether it was enough remains to be seen.]

I slowly make my way to the cashier, while listening to my ipod and feeling thoroughly pleased with myself. Now, whenever I'm in a position where someone may address me, I take one headphone out. Just so I wont seem rude. So while I'm putting my food on the belt I can't help but over hear some of the conversation between the cashier and the woman in front of me. For the most part the conversation is little more then background noise. However, just as I'm about to put my Cranbery Juice [With CALCIUM!] on the belt I hear the cashier say, "But that's just that fundamental darkness..."

And my head snapped up. Fundamental Darkness? Was this woman a SGI member?!

I should point out that she was an older black lady. And while this may be an unfair stereotype, I always assume older black women or Christian. It's a hold over from my youth when all the older black people I met WERE Christian. Baptist to be exact.

So of course, I'm hopelessly intrigued and the second the other woman walks away I basically word vomit my question... "Are you a buddhist!?"

Haha. The woman looks at me and she kind of opens her mouth to respond. Pauses and then explains that she's not supposed to talk about things like that at work. Which basically translates to yes, so I'd had my question answered. However, a moment later the woman looks at me and asks me why I asked and I told her it was the phrase "fundamental darkness." I've not heard it anywhere but in Buddhism.

So she nods and asks me what I am. And of COURSE I'm grinning and feeling even more pleased with myself so I say... "Buddhist. SGI." [Imagine me saying.. Bond. James Bond. And you get the picture]

Anyhoo, I found out the woman practices in my district [read: area; it's not big]. We talked a bit and it was just really awesome. I can't really explain WHY it was so great... But it made my inner Buddha quiver with glee


Sometimes We Start Over

Confusion, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

My oh My it's been almost exactly a month since I've given a gloriously random and yet some how unimportant update on the state of things in the ever interesting life of me.

[Like that run-on, do you?]

And really, I've got no excuse. The best way I can describe things is to put it they way I did when talking to some friends not to long ago... Ever feel like your really busy only to discover it's all in your head?


I guess it's like.... The feeling you get when you say there aren't enough hours in the day, only to discover in retrospect that you can't really name anything of significant importance that was done? That's what I mean.

But things are good. Really good. I've found that with the cooling weather has come a slower state of mind. The song, "Steady as She Goes" comes to mind in an attempt to describe it. Not because of the specific lyrics of the song. But the name.

I've started walking to school. Which is a tad ridiculous considering I was waiting with a baited breath for the weather to start to cool so I could enjoy the ride more. However, I've really just... slowed down. And what better way to enjoy the change of pace then to walk slow with music in your ear?

I've been thinking more, analyzing things if you will. You wouldn't believe the craziness I managed to submerge myself in. Ever been called by every person you ever dated within the course of a few days? No? It's an odd game of be careful what you wish for.

But it also helps you to address certain issues that are yours alone. You remember the person you were with each of them and assess whether you've changed at all. Hopefully the answer is yes. You also cross your fingers and hope you don't regress.

I almost did. That on top of other things lead to a couple days of mania. But with the change in pace comes a change in outlook. A fresh start if you will.

Currently Spinning: Sometimes I'm Heartless. | from the mixtape | Wild Young Heartbreak | a brilliant mash-up of | The NOISEttes | and | Kanye [the ego trippin'] West


Lessons in Breathing

NO HORN BLOWING, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, my allergies have been nothing if not annoying since coming to Sacramento last year. What I rarely talk about is the negative effect it's been having on my asthma recently. The reason for that, is because I really don't pay attention to how difficult it is for me to breathe until right before I enter crisis mode. It's a bad habit that I didn't really realize I had until today.

I went to the Health Clinic today in hopes of getting some information on the H1N1 vaccine, as well as to mention how out of wack my breathing has been lately. As I waited to be seen by the doctor I noticed my voice progressively fading while my head started to pound. I just chocked it up to allergies. By the time I'd been called to see the doctor I'd been feeling slightly dizzy with my head still pounding.

I was having an asthma attack.

I didn't even fully realize that until the doctor told me to take deep breathes so she could listen to my lunges, and I couldn't. She immediately gave me a look and said,"Your lungs are really tight. I'm going to have you take a treatment. I'll back after" [Treatment: Nebulizer filled with Abuterol solution.] The shit makes you jittery as hell, your muscles literally jump... But your lungs open like the red sea so...

It was pointed out to me, once the doctor came back that when she'd first come into the room my lungs were so tight that I barely had enough oxygen in my lungs to speak. And to top it off the lack of oxygen was most likely the cause of the headaches I'd been getting for the past few days. After asking me if I even had my inhaler with me and discovering that I didn't... I basically got chastised like an extremely irresponsible child.

Which, I suppose I deserved.

I've never taken my asthma seriously. To me, in the face of the very serious illness in the world, asthma was only a minor blip. And the doctor let me know how irresponsible that was. "Asthma is a very serious disease and people have died." - "If you ever find yourself out without an inhaler you NEED to go to an emergency room." Then finally, "I'm putting you on steroids."

I think that, more then anything kind of woke me up. You get put on steroid tablets when your attacks start become unmanageable by an inhaler alone. She then told me that in my condition it would be best to get at least the normal flu shot since my asthma seems to get badly exacerbated by illness.

It's crazy and scary. It's time to start taking things a bit more seriously. And I will.

Bring on the jitters!


Get It How You Live

Amanda Palmer, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

I need to get away, to feel again - "First Love" Adele

Two posts in one day; oh the power of your own personal New Year! For me, it lead to a wee bit of introspection and I've decided that I need to live in a collective.

I don't want any part of anybodies corporate country. I want to live my life surrounded by writers, artists and philosophers. And really, I don't care if that comes of a tad pretentious or even naive. The older I get, the more certain I am that I wasn't meant for the structured life of the 9 to 5 world. My wants and desires are simple. I've never wanted the big house, expensive cars and notoriety. I want a bed, music, books and my laptop. I mean really, simplify my life to those basic components and I'd be happy. I used to think that the list of things I needed included a car, but really... My bike will do.

I'm tired of being surrounded by people who's every goal boils down to how big their paycheck will be in the future. How sweet their car will be and how much respect they'll command in the future. Because really, what about now? How can a person ever truly be happy if the things they most concern themselves with are so fleeting in nature?

A life full of things is nothing with out the experiences that will make you smile on your deathbed. Of this I'm certain. However, living with this philosophy isn't easy. Simple wants aren't congratulated by family. Big dreams and unrealistic goals are. Being the oldest means getting the degree, the paycheck and letting it trickle down to younger siblings and cousins.

So then the question arises... Is my simple life philosophy a selfish one? Does being the oldest literally mean that one has to deny themselves for the younger? Does being the first in a University mean that I must hurry to finish?

Some say yes. My heart says otherwise. My mind says to do what needs to be done to stay sane.

The brain has never been much help in things like this


CSS, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Birthdays. Today is mine. That's right! I have now entered one of 3 utterly unimportant years, 22. The next big milestone isn't until 25, when car insurance companies stop trying to overtly rape your wallet. Well, it'll be a milestone if I once again have a car by then. If not, it's all downhill until I can register with AARP!

Ha! Not really, I eagerly embrace the fact that I get older with every breath that I take and will eventually have gray hair. I'm actually looking forward to the gray... I'm hoping it grows in like my grandmother's, starting with just a defiant patch on my right temple.

Until then, school started Monday under the unforgiving heat of Sacramento in the [almost] Fall [not quite] Summer heat. My classes so far seem.... A tad daunting. Which, I think may be a good thing. When classes are easy and don't require much thinking on my part I tend to... Stop going. I think I welcome the challenge... No matter how huge it seems to be at the moment.

Unfortunately, this heat is stealing my soul and I can't think of anything remotely interesting to say.

Oh well.

Nina Simone is about to receive heavy rotation on all of my music players


Shake Your Head, It's Empty

Nothing is more depressing then a watered down Americano.

Ok, so that's not exactly true... However, while I drink this watered down version of my favorite form of espresso, it is what's currently causing a dillema. Do I take the drink back and ask for it to be remade, or do I suck it up?

...I'm taking it back. After all, when a poor college student leaves you a tip [a whole dollar!] they kind of expect the drink to be as close to perfect as possible. Good thing I planned on sticking around here for a while.

[This will be a time skip, while I go ask for my drink to be redone]

So I just realized something fairly distressing. [Or at least distressing relating to my Americano.] I went and asked for another shot of espresso, and much to my pleased surprise... I was given 2 shots and both were free! 'Clearly,' I thought... 'This will make all the difference!'

I was wrong. Unfortunately, what I blamed on water was really the fault of the espresso. For some reason [I know the reason, but I'd have to explain the way the espresso machine works and that would take to long...] the espresso's are pulling fowl. They're just... gah, bitter and gross.

Trust me, there is nothing worse then dead tasting shots of espresso.

Oh well. Now that we're basically back at the beginning, we can get to the point of things. Or rather, what I meant to be the point of this entry... While unpacking and listening to the newly found 90s radio station [yes, I was endlessly pleased to discover it], I found my old journal from High School.

Can we say wow? I forgot how intensely I felt things back then, just re-reading some of the entries was almost enough to overwhelm me [And thank every star past and present that I managed to get through it]. At the same time, some of the entries made me laugh [...and cringe]. After all, Lydia. Good times, bad times. That was two years of my life.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to progress from here. I know... What an ambiguous statement! Where is here? What are you talking about?! Bueller? Bueller?

Here is simply here. And I'll figure it out. In the meantime, I really should send NPR a thank you letter [read: email] for Metric's live concert podcast


Breathe in | pause | Exhale

Randomly Yours, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Today has been a long day.

I don't think I've really slept in the past 38 hours and it's definitely catching up to me. By 4 this morning I was boarding a train back to Sacramento. And despite my best efforts, no reading was actually done on the 6 hour trip between LA and Sac.

Well actually that's a lie. I've been re-reading IV by Chuck Klosterman. Seriously? The guy is the writer I want to be. He writes and expresses his thoughts in the perfected fashion that I attempt. Not only that, but his sense of humor is so dry that you'd absolutely miss it if you weren't paying attention. Now while Chuck managed to keep my horribly sleep deprived mind's attention [like always], he was absolutely not what I had planned to read.

What did I plan to read, you ask?

Well, it just so happened that last week I got my hands on [fingers on] a virtual treasure trove [literally virtual] of e-books [I know, i know! Tsk tsk on so many levels! E-books? Acquired?] However, so not the point. The point is, I got my hands on a few books I've been wanting to read but dragging my feet in buying. In addition to those, I got a few books I'd vow to give a try but refused to buy. All together I'd say I acquired about 40 books, and I'd been eagerly awaiting this weekend, after all... Lack of cable + lack of internet + a couple pounds of coffee = Perfect opportunity for a full literary submersion.

Unfortunately.... Lack of Sleep + Zero Furniture + Hardwood Floor = Way to uncomfortable to enjoy a short nap, let alone long term readng.

Meaning? A new mission was born. I had to go buy a bed. So to Walmart I went!

...And immediately realized that I maybe should have brought a map. The Walmart I went to was seriously the size of Disneyland. Do you have any idea how hard it is trying to navigate a store like Walmart of that size, with out any caffeine running through your blood stream? It was slightly terrifying. Like one of those bizarre dreams where everything is disproportionately big and no one can understand you because of how small you are in comparison. After about an hour and a half in there I managed to grab: half & half, an air bed, bananas, and a couple sandwiches... Then I briskly walked out hoping for the world to make sense again.

Really, this whole day has just been sort of surreal in the way only sleepless days can be. Immediately after leaving the almost to cold Walmart with it's insane size, I was thrust into Sacramento's version of summer: 100 degree F. heat.

It's been crazy, it's been long, and this may not be as coherent as I'd like it to be. However, the heat has passed and I've got a deliciously made Americano with toffee-nut.

All and all, it wouldn't be completely unreasonable to say the scales were starting to balance.


Dirt Between the Dirt

Arctic Monkeys 2, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.


That's actually what I felt upon first full listen to the Arctic Monkeys new album. Consequently, I spent much of my first listen thinking that Josh Homme [Queens of the Stone Age lead singer, and producer of the album] had a little too much influence on the cd's sound; the whole thing originally felt more like the QotSA then Arctic Monkeys. However, I've been listening to Humbug for the past couple hours and I can admit that it's grown on me. There are a lot of subtleties to this album. Much more then either Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not and Favorite Worst Nightmare . Actually, now that I'm writing this I think I may like this album more then Favorite Worst Nightmare.

In other news that has little to do with the deconstuction of the Arctic Monkeys [And believe me, that's where that was headed... You can thank me for stopping myself if you must.] School starts next Monday and my birthday is that Thursday.

Crazy. I'm going to be 22 and still upon meeting me, the most common age people assume that I am is 16. Some of have gone as far as to get upset when I claim to be anything older then 18. It's... odd. Especially considering, that my mother had been married, given birth to me and separated from my father by 21. Especially considering, my grandmother had given birth to 3 children by 21... And yet, at the age of 21, 2 weeks away from my birthday not only do I not look old enough for any of the women I become interested in [it's curse, I fall for older women] the idea of being forced into a 9 to 5 is enough to send me into a [mostly mild] panic attack.

Oh well.

If the point of College is to grow up, does that mean you stay there until you do? Could I do that? I mean sure, my grandmother thinks I'm wasting my life away... But really, I'm fine with that.


Help! I'm Alive

Metric, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

"You know that feeling when... You're at a festival outside... And the music is just drifting out on the breeze? That's the feeling I've dedicated my life to... Music blows my mind, I don't understand it's just vibrations.. And yet it's the most beautiful thing."
--Emily Haines on NPR: Metric Live in Concert

I think it's highly amusing that my idea of productivity these days, is waking up before 11 and managing to get a cup of coffee ingested by 12. Actually that may be more sad then anything; however, with my last few days before I have to dedicate my life to school once again rapidly dwindling I have to make the most of them.

And you know, I'd say I'm doing a pretty good job of that.

For example, right now I'm indulging my absolute love for all things Emily Haines and Metric, by listening to a live concert of theirs via an NPR podcasts. Which has actually all kinds of amazing. Who knew the Itunes music podcasts section was hiding such gems? I certainly didn't. I even managed to find a live concert from The Decembersts! However, listening to that was really bittersweet. Or rather... More bitter then anything.

I still haven't really gotten over the way they basically just spat in the face of all of their fans, when they canceled the "Long of it, Short of it" Tour. The tour was basically going to be, two nights in all of the major US cities. On night one, they'd perform all of their extended songs; on night two, they'd perform all of their normal length songs. Sounds... exciting right? I mean a chance to hear every single one of their epics in one night, then the next night all of the others? I agree, I bought my tickets as soon as possible.

The email I got to cancel it was kind of like... "Yeah.. We're canceling the tour, something came up. Hopefully you get your money back.". ...Really, the Decemberists? It wasn't cool and it ended a 6 year love affair, turning it into passing appreciation.

Oh well, it's hard to to dwell on the douche baggery that is the Decemberists when Emily Haines singing: "Is it ever going to be enough?" Is coming out of my speakers.

In other [semi] non music related things [because in some way everything can be brought back to music]. I've been trying to figure out how to furnish my house, or at the very least my room. And while it always starts with my trying to find a cheap bed/futon... It equally always degenerated to me looking at the best stereo's and espresso/coffee machines I can afford. And incase your wondering? I'm fairly certain that I've settled on a Espresso Machine from Walmart [yes, yes, I KNOW! Walmart=the devil]. What makes this espresso machine the one? It also, steams milk and brews coffee.

Do you know what that means!? It means I can make my own Red Eye in the Morning! It means, should I so choose, I could make a Tuxedo or Toffee Nut Latte.. It means FREEDOM!

lol. Yeah, basically it just means I can more easily feed my coffee addiction. Oh well

"I Hope I Live It Out"


Could it be?

Mayer Hawthorne - Maybe So, Maybe No from Stones Throw on Vimeo.

"Could it be
That your love is
Meant for me?
Maybe So, Maybe No..."

No picture today. Just one unbelievably awesome song that has recently got the music video treatment. If after listening and watching the video you suddenly find yourself with the urge to go out and buy this man's cd.... You are not alone. If after desperately searching for a LP for an undisclosed amount of time, you discover that he's only released an EP and become disapointed... Once again, you are not alone. [I am here with you, though we're far apart....] Just kidding.... But name that tune!

In other news, my family reunion was this past Saturday, It was... Interesting. Doubly so since I blew off last years reunion, because I caught a Red-Eye Plane from LA to NY so I could go to a Music Festival. However, I digress... My family reunion was 2 days ago and it was pretty much exactly what I would expect from the function... WIth a healthy side of matriarchs pretending to blind to the blatant hedonism going on, ha!

Honestly, the whole thing was quite amusing. We got to the park around 8am and I was armed with 3 different magazines, my favorite Chuck Klosterman book IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas , and an mp3 player. As you can see, I was thoroughly prepared to be utterly bored while surrounded by people asking me...
  • When will you get a Boyfriend? [That would be the day after never]
  • Well then, what's your major? [It's still Journalism, thanks for paying attention]
  • Well did you know your cousin Tasha has been with her boyfriend for 3 years? [Sure did] Oh.
  • Don't your ears hurt!? [Actually not, and would you believe I just stretched to 1/2" this morning?]
  • Well um... You look nice! Did you know you look, JUST like your mother!? [I may have heard that once or twice... In the last few moments.]
Yes, nothing I wasn't expecting and I did get those questions. However, I realized something fairly important. The secret to surviving the reunion even. What is it? You ask? Well it's this... After getting to the park, walk the circuit saying hello to everyone. Then walk up to the most cantankerous looking old man and let him know he wouldn't have a chance in hell beating you at Dominos aka Bones. After you defend you're statement, you've guaranteed yourself a seat at the domino table for the rest of the day... And possibly every year after.

The benefits of this is two fold. Since you're sitting with "elders," all late comers must come to you in order to say hello. As well as the primary purpose of keeping away all of the gossips. Old men like to talk way to much trash to be able to tolerate someone coming near them talking about frivolous non-game related things.

So, that's pretty much how I spent my day... playing dominos and avoiding repetitive comments. However, I realized something that caused endless amusement. What is it? You ask? Stop holding out and let you, know! You demand?

Probably not.

But let's continue. I've discovered that at least 60% of the women in my family that were always very... In your face heterosexual... Are now extremely; In your face any way the wind bloowws......

Actually, I know originally I said I found this amusing. But I lied. I find it more then a little disturbing. They are the standard I get quietly compared to. Nothing good will come of that. Sometimes I think the rest of my family watch me with a bated breath. Just waiting for the day when I show up with a crop hair cut and a huge girlfriend named Bertha... Oh well.

Whatever keeps them occupied.


Things I Learned Today: Take 3

The Lounge, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Today wasn't a remarkable day. Actually, if I were being honest I'd say my day only started 5 hours ago. So perhaps to call it unremarkable is perhaps a bit hasty. However, despite my late start to a day that's been going since 12am, I have learned a few things.

1. I really do love Sacramento.

That's not to say I don't still really love LA, I did grow up there after all. Yet, that very fact is part of my point. LA represents my childhood and all that entails. Good times, bad times, desperate times, great times; LA had them all. And with the majority of my family condensed in that city, I would always be a child there.

That's why I love Sacramento. It's no LA, by far. However, If I find myself in need of a big city, San Francisco, is less then 2 hours away. To put it simply, Sacramento, with all of it's quirks officially represents my intro into adulthood. Freedom. With all of the ups, downs, laughing fits, crying fits, and good times that entrails. I guess one could argue that this isn't necessarily a new revelation. So let's just say, it was something that I suddenly knew with certainty.

2. I really, really, REALLY like Zambezi: Frozen Yogurt & Wild Salads.

Seriously, love. I'm not sure if Zambezi is a chain food place or not, but I DO know that it is ridiculously delicious. What kind of food could expect to find there there? You ask. Well obviously, frozen yogurt. However, by frozen yogurt, Zambezi means 8 different flavours and 70 different self serve toppings. But I digress, I can't proclaim to love Zambezi for their frozen yogurt [despite how hot it is out here, I haven't tried it.] No, no... My cup runneth over with love because of their salads. Let's just take a gander at what a salad from this place entails:

The Zambezi [House Salad]: Spring Lettuce Mix, Red Grapes, Candied Roasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese Crumbles, & fat-free Raspberry Vinaigrette. If you trust me on nothing else, trust that each bite of that salad was utterly amazing. Which is why I went back today and got the 1/2 salad 1/2 sandwich combo. Same salad, turkey sandwich, bottle of apple juice... It was little like heaven.

Of course, that means I had to apply there. The place is just to good and entirely to close to my new place [only three houses down.] Meaning I'll spend way to much money there otherwise.

3. My stomach has shrunk dramatically.

I broke my fast yesterday around 2:30pm. Not because I suddenly, broke and gave into the hunger. My hunger was non-existent after Saturday. No, I broke the fast because I became increasingly concerned with how complicated breaking a longer fast would be. That may sound a little odd, but an extended water fast if not broken extremely slowly and properly could lead to extreme health problems. So, with out much adieu I broke it yesterday with the knowledge that I'd be doing another one soon.

However, I've noticed that since the fast I don't really get hungry. I've also noticed that I get full insanely quickly. Yesterday all I ate was the Zambezi salad. A normal sized dinner salad, that took me two sittings to finish. Today after only a couple bites from both the salad and sandwich, my stomach was sending up a white flag in surrender. It's crazy.

4. Lastly, Public Service Announcements [slash] Warnings, need to be a tad more clear. [And by a tad, I mean quite a bit.]

It really makes no sense to interrupt the music listening of almost everyone in NorCal for a PSA, if no one is going to be able to understand what cataclysmic [or extremely minor] thing we're being warned about.


I'm The Last Splash

This little old lady..., originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

"Spitting in a wishing well 
Blown to hell crash 
I'm the last splash "

        Cannonball - The Breeders

At 12 am Friday morning, I started something. By 12 am Saturday, I was pretty sure I was in hell. By 12 am Sunday I was... strangely ok. What have I done? I've started a water fast.

It's been without a doubt, an experience. I've waited 3 days to even really mention it to people, because even up until 10:30 last night I wasn't sure I'd make it to 3 full days. Fasting is both the easiest and hardest thing you could do. You just really have to be able to talk yourself out of freaking out.

Or at least, that's how days 1 & 2 were for me.

Day 1: I drank very little water and read non stop to keep my mind off of the ever present signals my body was sending me. Letting me know it was not amused by the sudden lack of food. It really wasn't that bad until the book I was reading started going into detail about an "insanely delicious" meal. After that, I spent the rest of the day reading other people's experiences with fasting... [And finding out most people wouldn't advice water fasting to a newbie... Oh well.] After I made it two 12am I took a big gulp of water and gave myself a pat on the back. When around 1:40 the hunger pains came back I immediately drank quite a bit more water and went to sleep.

Day 2... I think was a thousand times worse then Day 1. I'm not entirely sure why, but it was. It started out ok, but unlike Friday where I barely drank any water... On this day, the second my stomach no longer had water in it the most intense hunger came over me. I'm not sure whether that was mental or not. Especially since the one real thought going through my mind during this time was something along the lines of.. "This is bogus... I've already done one full day, that's enough... The Am/Pm on the corner has food... You have coffee" ... Yeah. Like I'm sure I've said quite a few times already I'm sure... Mind game. During those times, I'd usually kind of just force my mind to slow down and relax. Then once the panic was gone, I'd drink quite a bit of water. It was insane, because by 10:30 pm I was sure I was going to end this at 12am. I was absolutely sure that by the time Sunday had officially came I would have already been halfway to the am/pm on the corner, with a pot of coffee brewing in my apartment.


Day 3 aka Today. started with me oddly calm. As in absolutely no hunger at all. Not even a distant twinge. It was odd, because I was suddenly feeling really at ease. Really aware. I just lied down and thought for a while. I guess I became a bit introspective, because the next time I looked at the clock it was 1:40am. Then I noticed my muscles were slightly sore, kind of sensitive to the slightest touch. I figured, ketosis was starting. I'd read there was a feeling similar to being high when it first started, so I wasn't really surprised. However, shortly after the good feelings came... The went and left fierce nausea in it's place. Not cool. So to sleep I went, still feeling oddly peaceful even with the slightly upset stomach.

So that was this morning! [I know, I know Stop using "SO"!] This is now, 2:48pm Day 3 and still no real hunger to speak off. I dig it. If this keeps up I'll just stick with the fast to see how long I'll last.


A Cavallo

A Cavallo, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

An overcoat
Will take me anywhere
                The First Song - Band of Horses

So in a strange twist from the utter giddy emotions that were earlier this day... I find I've entered quite suddenly [or rather slowly eased into and suddenly realized I'd entered] that strange grouping of emotions that one usually only sees on comfortable rainy days or perfect summer afternoons. It's the mental frame of mind that stories are written too. Oddly enough, this time is usually met with the perfect song to accompany it. The song in fact is usually the device in which one realizes the mood has fallen on them.

It's nice.

It's the kind of mood that's perfect for a sweet cup of coffee and a small piece of chocolate. Or maybe a hot cup of tea and a good book? Either way moments like these are usually fleeting once one realizes it's presence and especially difficult to put to words.

So I'll just go get my coffee and enjoy what's left of it.

ATTN: Universe

Noisettes, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

I approve of this day.

This day, much like any other day that ends with d-a-y had the equal potential to be either unremarkable, unbearable, or unbelievably awesome.

And it just so happens, it was my turn to get the unbelievably awesome card.

Like the start of any day with the potential for a shout-out-loud moment of excitement... This one started with a cup of freshly brewed [yes it really makes a difference] coffee, sweetened with just enough Toffee Nut syrup to keep a hint of the coffee's bitter taste there. Then with about as much anxiousness a body can physically hold on to while drinking an amazing cup of coffee, I proceeded to log-in to my gmail account. 

Moment of truth time. For what? You ask To see if I'd passed my background/credit check and was approved for the perfect house. [Perfect = $200 cheaper then previous apartment, actual house, coffee shop two houses away, and even closer to school.] I open the email and... YES! The house is mine and to top it off, the owner is willing to wait for his deposit until I get my Financial Aid!

It's a bit insane. I came out here Monday completely on edge, with out any idea where to even begin my search for a new place to stay. And by Thursday morning I've all but signed a lease. For that alone, I would have sent a thank you card to the Universe.

However, it seems the Universe decided I deserved just a wee bit more. Like always, I now sign out of gmail and boogy on over to hotmail to check that account [Yes, I said boogy.] I sign in and on first glance see nothing remarkable. Then my eyes fall on the subject line of one particular email... Noisettes on Tour in the States.

The NOISEttes... On Tour... In the States? America, fuck yeah!

They'll be in San Francisco next week, with the tickets only $12. Will I be there? Oh hell yes! It's been almost two years since the last time I saw: Shingai, Dan, and Jaime. It would be an absolute insult if I allowed the band that took my Coachella Music and Arts Festival cherry to do a show this close to me and not attend! Not to mention the fact that only the fates know when the next time they'll be State-side, let alone on the West Coast, will be...

So there you have it. In one day I get the all clear on my house and the news that one of my favorite bands will be here next week. Doesn't seem like much I'm sure. But right now? It feels like a nice cold glass of lemonade on this unbelievably warm summer day.


Sisterhood [and the secret handshake] is Powerful

Amanda Palmer, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.
So, I’ve been thinking [I know, I know. Be careful!] But alas, I’ve been thinking, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we lesbian and gender-queer identified really DO need a secret handshake, a baseball like [is softball more appropriate here?] hand signal, or perhaps we could develop code words meant to be dropped within the first few moments of conversation so that it can be established that yes… We are both friends of Ani [DiFranco] 
  • And isn’t it funny that she’s such a lesbian icon? You know… considering how not a lesbian she is?

Now already, I know what you’re thinking. It’s probably along the lines of, "...wha?" But see, there is a NEED! I’m sure we’ve all experienced at least once that semi awkward moment of wanting to acknowledge a fellow lady lover [in a clearly platonic way], but not exactly sure how to go about it. Resulting in you coming across as either some odd person with a twitch or an incredibly rude problem with staring…. And ok maybe you haven’t had those exact  end results, but still.

Take for example, band shirts and rainbows. YAY rainbows! The universal sign for same sex lovin’! Right? No. Absolutely not. In an age where old is new, and Hot Topic stores trend… The Rainbow has been relocated to the land of has been symbols. It still has it’s meaning, you just have to search really hard to find someone that still cares.

As for band shirts… Well, since when has one’s musical taste been a way to accurately judge someone’s bed partner preference? After all, simply wearing a shirt doesn’t even mean a person likes the band. I mean, the amount of times I’ve heard statements along the lines of, “Oh this is a band? I just like the color/design/caption...” Could make even passing lover of music cry. 

So when I run into a girl with an Uh Huh Her, shirt on… I immediately think, “Lesbian! Yay! Let’s talk about Leisha Hailey, The Murmers, and K.D. Lang!”

Then I pause and think… What if she’s not a lesbian? What if she just likes the band? What if she doesn’t even know it’s a band!? So then there’s an internal sigh. Followed by thoughts along the lines of… Well I’ve glanced at her to many times now I should say something! However, now all I can think of to say is…

“Nice shirt.” Nice shirt! I mean, sure. People love compliments on the clothes they're wearing. After all like Seinfield said, the sole purpose of clothes are to get complements for the people wearing them. However, after all that internal build up ‘nice shirt’ feels like such an anti-climatic thing to say that I end up walking away.

Hence, the need for the handshake.

After all, if there were a handshake then one could immediately bypass any and all uncertainty. You initiate the handshake, if she completes it… You proceed, sister to sister… Because sisterhood is powerful. [And now everyone needs to go read Sister Safety Pin by Lorrie Sprecher so that line can be fully appreciated.]

In the likely chance that the handshake is met with a blank stare… Well first you pretend the handshake was  simply some random bit of nothing. [It’s secret for a reason] Then you could attempt to enter the conversation based solely on enjoying the band’s music.

However, if that is also met with a blank stare… DO NOT ENGAGE! The baffled confusion you’ll be left in, wont be worth whatever answer they give you as to why they’re wearing the shirt in the first place.


I see now this was less an update as a ramble. But really ladies? Stop confusing me.


Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell

Randomly Yours, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

I wish I had one of my favorite [romance] - [yes yes, I know] books with me right now. There's a line... or rather paragraph in it that could adequately describe the state I'm in right now.

The book? One Degree of Separation

The Author? Karin Kalmaker

The Line [liberally paraphrased]? If I don't start bleeding within the next few days, I'm killing someone... Where's my chocolate?

Ha! Sorry, I know Slight over share... However, things are crazy. I woke up Monday morning to the sudden realization that August 8th was rapidly approaching and I still had no idea where I was going to move! I blame Mark Twain. Why you ask? He assured me that I should continue putting off my search for a new apartment[slash]house as long as possible.

Well I did. And now I find myself with a not so slight migraine trying to figure out who exactly i can con into letting me borrow their car... So I can drive it roughly 750 miles round trip.... As you can imagine? Not an easy conversation. And if that fails? Amtrak!

However no matter what, I need to be in Sacramento by Monday and I need to have a definite place to stay by the end of the following week. All on a budget of... 1 credit card, [hopefully] at least a couple hundred dollars in my bank account, and a prayer.


If I can pass Statistics, I can make this work. Even if it requires an exponential increase in my daily coffee intake.


Edward De Bono

Black, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Sometimes life is a mixed bag and there's simply very little that can expound upon that. This is one of those times. However, I feel like the ultimate slacker having been silent for so long... So I leave you with a photo and a quote. Hopefully, something worthwhile will emerge from this blog sometime within the next few days.

"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow." - Mark Twain

...Actually, maybe that's not the best quote to inspire faith in my near return. How about...

"Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain." - Lily Tomlin

Wait no! That's not very deep either! How about we settle on this one:

"Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain." - Edward De Bono


Today I learned...

IMG_3805, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

So once again, on this day that ends with d-a-y much like every other day... I have learned something. Quite a few somethings in fact. What? You ask. Enquiring minds want to know! You exclaim.

Well probably not.

However, sitting here with the Black Ghosts playing in the background I'm overcome with the urge to share anyway. So let's begin.

Today I learned:

1. I detest being kidnapped. Or rather, Personnapped. I haven't been a kid since I hit double digits. A little over a decade now.... [Yes yes! You love how I make myself seem older by saying "A little over a decade now" instead of... Since I was 10.] 

  • To be fair. I wasn't personnapped today. In fact, I left with my aunt [somewhat] willingly 2 days ago. However, I left under the impression I would be returned to safety yesterday.... Not kept awake 2 days straight while in the presence of children no older then 4.... So not cool

2. I really don't like children that aren't my own.

  • Well... That's not fair I suppose... I've not had any children. And I don't particularly dislike all children. That would mesh horribly with my future plans to dedicate a year as a volunteer abroad. 
So ok... Slight revision.

2b. I dislike the constant noise associated with unsupervised hyper children. - Not so much a new thing learned, as a.... Thing that I suddenly knew with absolute clarity.

3. If they don't have anything nice to say, I REALLY need to just walk away.

  • Ok once again, this one technically came to me over the past couple of days... But bugger that. It's a huge realization. Arguing[slash]Debating with people with fundamentally different opinions then your own is like shouting at a brick wall; leaving you with a form of mental blue balls. Pissed and completely unsatisfied with the way things ended.
4. I should never again go two and a half days with out sleep or coffee. It's just... not conducive to me being anything remotely like a pleasant person to be around


RIP Captain Eo...

So... This is something I have to do. This wont be a long post. And I don't care about all of the allegations. None of that matters right now. All that matters is the man that dominated my childhood... And completely shaped my absolute love for music has died to day. The music community has lost a legend today. So to counteract the out pour of negativeness that is about to take hold... I did the only thing I could. I'll send my love and good vibes his way. RiP Captain Eo... If nothing else, you shaped my life.


What Makes a Ghetto?

IMG_3810, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

The Ghetto.

People hear the phrase all the time: in the news, on their favorite crime shows, on the radio and even during everyday conversations. But what makes something 'Ghetto'? By what parameters do we judge an area and determine it as a part of the Ghetto? And what requirements must a Ghetto meet before it can be viewed without the negative word hanging around it's description?

When people think about the Ghetto, they think: cheap, poor, trash, and graffiti. They see homeless people loitering in the streets and unsavory types hiding int he wings, just waiting for a helpless outsider to become their next victim. People hear the word, "Ghetto" and they think: drugs, gangs, and crime.

However, this description of the Ghetto is little more then a caricature. Much in the same way shows like "The Hills" and "The Real Housewives of Orange County" are caricatures of what life in Orange County is like. The Ghetto is more then just a bad dream for those fortunate enough to not have been born there. The Ghetto is character.

The Ghetto is a collection of first generation citizens, immigrants, labor workers, families, churches, schools, small businesses and the entrepreneurs that run them, fast food chains, corner markets, and yes... some graffiti. But is that really a bad thing? Many people see living in the Ghetto as the absolute worst situation to find themselves in. However, to the people that live there... to the first time home buyers, the local shop owners, and the youth [that often get labeled as future criminals the day they're born], it is a community.

A community that is unapologetic about wearing its skeletons on its sleeve. A community of people that struggle everyday and live every night. A community of people that aren't always pretty, but always are. They are both the workers and the users of society. They are the Ghetto. For better or worse


Plan A

Randomly Yours, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Plan A. Does anyone ever wonder why Plan A is always the least likely to be successful? If you think about it, people who only have a Plan A are almost always considered ill prepared. No matter how well thought out the plan was, the people surrounding that person will shake there head and scoff.

Furthermore, when ever a person tells another what his or her plan is, their first comment is always.... "So what's plan B?" Some will even take it further and ask about Plans C - Z. However, at the very least Plan B is asked about.

Why is that? All through school, or life in general, people you encounter will always wax on about how your first thought is almost always the right one. In fact, there is even the term Freudian Slip. A term designated solely to an initial subconscious response, be it: thought, verbal, or physical.

So why then do people doubt the first plan that is created; whether it be their own or another person's? Could it be because of the high fail rate of the "Plan A," when there is no "Plan B"? And if that is the case, how does one explain such a high fail rate? Could it be a form of manifest destiny? Have people become so conditioned to doubt themselves and others that they automatically assume and plan for the worse? And if that is the case, is that a good or bad thing?

Should people start to save their best plans for letters B & C; thus insuring that the plan that works is the best one? Or should people simply have a little more faith in the success of the first try?

One wonders.


I feel like a woman...

the El Cid, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

There are no gains, without pains...
- Poor Richard

Sitting [read: laying] here experiencing yet another surprise visit from Aunt Flow and I find myself wondering two things. 1. Does that anthem for feeling like a woman take into account the utter mess of emotions, with a side of various degrees of pain, that is a few days of every month? 2. What exactly is the gain behind those dreaded few days a month?

Some women [read: women that have given birth] will tell you that the pain you experience monthly is to prepare you for the pain of childbirth. However, these same women will tell you, with a face so serious you know it's seen hell, that there is no pain like giving birth. Then not even a full breath later these women will swear that the moment you hold your child all of that pain will disappear... like magic.

All of that only serves to debunk the whole, "Preparing you for birth," angle favored by some women [who have given birth]. After all, if there is no comparable pain and yet one goes into labor considering your monthly visit from Tante Flow to be the point of reference as to what to expect... Well, one is going in confident from a completely outdated cheat sheet. Furthermore, one must also take into account that these women [who have given birth] actually believe the pain rides away on the pony of aww the second you hold your child...

Not buying that.

Which means I [and I'm sure a few other women] are left wondering where exactly the gain is hiding in all of this.

If one were to get religious, it could be said that there is no gain. That for the woman, life is eternal struggling and punishment. Why? Because she led poor simple minded Adam into deceitfulness with her evil feminine wiles...

If one were to get philosophical; it could be said the gain is understanding the pain of loss, thus appreciating the gift of life...


So we've reached a stalemate of thought. Or rather I've reached a stalemate. I suppose I'll accept that the gain of pain experienced in this instance will remain a great mystery in life.

At least for now...


I'm a 20 something....

Red, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Growing up in the 90s [or you know, simply living through it], we were force fed the same ideal. The idea of the 20-something and the culture that surrounds it.

To look at the movies, tv shows or even listen to the music of the time, painted a picture of what life as a 20-something would be. Coffee dates, dinner parties with copious wine, abhorrently boring temp jobs that manage to cover the cost of living in a the big city as well as any all misc. things of want, with a side of justifiable angst.

The reality of life is just a tad different. There are coffee dates with friends, sure. However, the economic situations we live in means that the scenes of easy living, spending and loving just aren't compatible with present day life.

Which isn't totally a bad thing. While we don't have the life where our biggest worry is whether the social dynamic in our group of friends remains untainted by random hook-ups and gossip... We are more aware.

The 90's were an easy time period. Or maybe I should say simpler? Since then there's been an explosion of life, via technology advances; [for better or worse, the generation below our does not remember a time before the internet]. Via war; [we started the War on Terror in 2001, only the fates know when it will end]. Via political changes; [two terms of Bush, with a side of a complete disregard of the people - thrust the young adult from their very firm stereotype of apathy to one of outcry].

The landscape of life has changed significantly for the 20-something since the 90s. Now, whether this change is through the further corrosion of the innocence that was youth, an explosion of youthful indignation, the natural progression of life, or a combination of the three.

No matter the reason, the fact remains that life as a 20-something has shifted. No doubt it will shift again by the end of 2020. However, that wont concern us. By that time we will be pushing, entering or emerging into our 30s. Only time will tell what we'll look like then.


Nomads Welcome

Cinegrill, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

I like songs about drifters - books about the same.
They both seem to make me feel a little less insane.

It's funny how receiving something as seemingly innocuous as a card in the mail could awaken such a fierce bout of wanderlust. However, when one takes into account that the card in question is the ISIC [International Student Identity Card] card; a card specifically designed for students looking to hop on the nearest flight out of the country... I think sudden onset wanderlust becomes a bit more understandable.

Being grounded is a horrible feeling for a wanderer. One must constantly remind themselves that the situation is temporary. That when the time comes, they will simply slip away for an undetermined possibly permanent amount of time.

Until then the soul must be satisfied with songs about wandering and movies about freedom. Restless, but calm in the knowledge that soon enough its chance will come as well.


What I learned...

Proudly Brews..., originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Every day of ones life new things are learned. Considering that this is in fact a day [or rather, was a day] I too, have learned things today.

What you ask?

I've learned that...
1. LA as a whole is severely lacking in bike lanes. Not cool.
2. Carson is completely devoid of competent Starbucks Baristas.
- If you see me standing at the cash register, odds are I'd like to order.
- If I ask for an iced coffee and I'm the only customer in your store, odds are I'd like to have my drink before grey hair becomes a reality of my life.
- If I ask for syrup in my coffee, odds are I'd like to be able to taste it
3. Lastly, I've learned that there are rather significant holes in my music collection... That, more then anything else, is unacceptable.



2169, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Frustration is spending 2 hours using the "not quite up to New York City standards" public transportation of LA to apply at a bookstore... Only to discover that they are in fact NOT hiring. Despite what you were told on the phone a few days prior.

In response to the great waste [which is what we will now call the total of 4 hours I'll have lost due to this trip], I made a pit stop at my thinking place. Yes. A coffee was definitely needed while I found myself once again back at square one. Trying to figure out where best to go from here.

It's funny, in the way life always isn't when it's trying to be as difficult as possible. One half of me would like to go home and have a rather spectacular sulk. While the other half would like nothing more then another coffee. This time, freshly brewed instead of iced. No doubt, the half of me that would rather have another coffee then sulk is the Buddhist half. After all, there's no time for sulking when one has great coffee. And a Buddhist should never sulk. It implies that one has given up.

I haven't. So I'll just go get that coffee


You, Me & the Bourgeoise

Rolling Woos...., originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Right now, I can be found doing what Americans all across the country did today. Drinking a coffee and eating a doughnut. However, unlike most American's I'm sure they used National Doughnut Day to eat great doughnuts and drink crappy coffee.

So of course i had to buck the trend. Or be a crappy trendy asshole. Or a be a broke college student determined to enjoy the few luxuries I can afford.

What did I do you ask? Well, I went for great coffee and a crappy doughnut. Actually... I'm kinda wishing I ditched the $1.50 overpriced crappy old fashioned doughnut from Starbucks and simply got the always delicious Iced Coffee w/Toffee Nut. Unfortunately, ditching the doughnut would have left me even worse off then before. After all, with out the doughnut, I'd be a Unpatriotic Trendy Asshole. And I really don't need more reasons for Red America to hate me.

So yeah. I've got the doughnut. The delicious coffee. And the almost empty bank account. The only options I have left to me are to either angst about the plight of the full-time College Student during the summer semester or.... Glance at the stock broker guy sitting a couple seats away from me looking utterly hopeless and be glad that I don't have his problems.

I'm going to go with the latter. One should never angst when in the presence of good music and good coffee.

Crappy Doughnut withstanding.



The Kills, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

Is it wrong that I amuse myself? Am I to much in my head? Sometimes I wonder.

I mean, it can't be a good thing that sometimes I'm not sure if I've spoken out loud or simply thought something. And believe me, that happens a lot. And it's NOT amusing when one isn't sure whether you've said something insanely scathing within the hearing range of the person said scathing thoughts/words were spoken near.

However, on the other hand... It does provide me with a constant reel of things I did/said/wrote that I found amusing. That can't be bad. In fact it could be said to be a tad narcissistic, but it's really not! I'm just used to amusing myself!

...And apparently it's gotten a bit extreme...


Bah. I've come to accept my insanity. In fact, if ever I completely realize all of the facets of said insanity I'll write a book. It'll be titled "Dissecting my Crazy." Book reviewers may call it a self-indulging waste of trees. However, with out a doubt it will have a few lovers. After all, there's got to be others in the same boat. High functioning crazy people just trying to figure out exactly how crazy they are. And the book would be amusing. So maybe it wouldn't be immediately written off. After all, everyone likes to read about how crazy other people are. It gives them a sense of security. Relief. It gives them the ability to say, "Oh thank heavens, at least I'm not that bad"

In a way, I'd be doing a public service while providing a wee bit of humor into my self-depreciation. I would be the example to hold up. I would stand there as an example that, yes. Crazy is the new sub-genre of normal. It's ok. I'll walk you through this.... You know, when I'm not being distracted by my own insanity.

Actually, I think when ever I do write and publish "Dissecting my Crazy." I'll add a small blank journal to the back. Or have it sold with a separate journal. The title of course would be, "Dissecting YOUR Crazy." The sub-title will of course be, "Acceptance is the first step to Infinity." The sub-title of course will be confusing to non-crazy people. However, knowing you're crazy doesn't change your crazy. It just means that you acknowledge it and plan on playing it off as a quirk.


Really... the original point of this post was to see if being amused by things I've done in the past made me odd...

Deus. Maybe I should just stick to blogging