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.