Archive for the 'Matters of Importance' Category


11/2/12 Daily Thankful

Today, I am thankful for The BFF.

No, really. She is amazing. I honestly couldn’t survive without her. She listens to all my incessant whining, my stupid ramblings and even my bad jokes (even if she forgets to laugh at them, Velvet Underground!!).

She gives me support, a couch to crash on, and sooooometimes, acts as my favorite enabler. There isn’t a damn thing about that woman I don’t love the crap out of. So The BFF, today is for you!

Other Things I Am Thankful For:

11/1/12 – I am thankful for my job.


11/1/12 Daily Thankful

It’s November, and many people like to post about all the things they are thankful for. Well, my arm has been twisted, and I’m going to join the masses on this one. Every day, I’ll post something new I am very thankful for.

November 1st:

Today, I am thankful for my job. In this economy, not everyone is as fortunate as I am to be employed, even if I’m not raking in millions. My job keeps me busy, puts food in my mouth, and basically allows me to continue doing what I’ve always wanted to do; live in Southern California.

So thank you, job, you ARE appreciated!





Try Not To Destroy Me

That moment. It took a long road to get to it. A road that started months ago. I’ve been to almost every show they’ve played this year. The album has been on repeat. I’ve sang along to all the songs they’ve already played. I’ve danced, I’ve screamed, I’ve earned that moment. The song starts, the last song of the night; my song.

I let all of my senses welcome this song. I hear it, of course, and I see him, just him. I smell the booze, the sweat, the enticement, the excitement. I can taste the words, dancing on my on tongue, sweet like sugar. I can feel the music on my skin, mingling with the goose bumps.

Nothing matters right now. No one is there but me and him and that song. Every thing and everyone just melts away. All the tension, the apprehension, the anxiety; disappeared. It’s just us. I almost cry from the sensory overload, but instead I soak it all in. That moment, my moment.

I feed on those words. I thrive on that melody. It’s so intimate between us right then, I feel so vulnerable, so exposed. I’m aware it’s one sided, but it doesn’t matter. It’s just me, him, and that song that matters. Everyone else can go ahead and look in my windows, peek at my soul.

It feels like hours, but hours that go by too quickly. I knew it wouldn’t last forever, but it ends too soon. With the final word, the final chord, that intimacy lost, that connection broken, the moment passes. I come back to Earth, back to myself, and the party has just begun.

Night number two, and I’m surrounded by good friends, good conversation. I feel like hell, I look like shit, but we’re there nonetheless. The anticipation builds, but my moment doesn’t come. I get the tingles, but it’s not the same. It’s not the first time when it’s the second time. But that’s okay, I’ve still got my moment from the night before.

Ryan Shuck from Julien-K (Show #2 @ The Observatory in Costa Mesa, CA) – Image Courtesy of Beephobia

Just planning the trip gave me thrills. I knew I couldn’t afford it, neither of us could, but that’s never stopped me before. When it comes to them, very little can stop me. I’m drawn, I’m hooked. I knew I’d suffer when I got back. Physically, financially. I was aware, and I still put all my chips on the table.

Planning, paying, packing. All of it put the butterflies in my stomach. I’ve seen them tons of times. I’ve traveled thousands of miles to listen to the same songs I listen to at home. None of that mattered, I was going. I was ready for the experience. I was willing to pay whatever price they were asking. It was all worth it, tenfold because my best friend was by my side, making it all possible.

5 hour drive to spend less than 24 hours in Vegas. Turn right back around and head 5 hours straight to Orange County for show number 2. We were crazy. I don’t regret it.

2 shows, 2 nights, hundreds of miles, and one fuck of a hangover later… I’m still a little drunk on that moment. Thank you.

Myself and Ryan Shuck- Image courtesy of Scarlett Lee


Kony 2012


If you are one of the millions of people on Facebook or Twitter, no doubt you have seen this video “shared” or “retweeted”. Some of you have taken the time to watch the video, but many of you have not.

We live in a fast paced society these days, one where reaching out to someone takes seconds instead of days. Information is processed effortlessly and is always at your fingertips. A half hour to sit and pay attention to a video clip may seem daunting, but it’s nothing compared to the travesty going on in Uganda. So please, get yourself something to drink, maybe a snack, and watch the video I’ve embedded below.


For those of you who just can’t bring yourself to watch it all the way through, I understand. I watched with a friend of mine last night, and I was thoroughly transfixed on the information I was being given. As soon as the 30 minutes was up, the first words out of my mouth were “I’m in.” Right then and there I knew I’d be writing this very post. What was it going to say? I didn’t plan that far ahead, but this post HAD to be made.

The information below I have gathered from Wikipedia. The specific pages will be linked at the bottom of this post, if you are interested in more information.


Leader of the guerrilla army Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. The LRA works for no cause other than for Kony’s power to hold fear over Africans. He builds his army in the most horrific of ways; he abducts children and forces them to fight and kill and strike terror on their families, friends, relatives.

The number of children he has abducted is estimated to be in the 30,000 range since 1986. These children are forced into truly senseless combat, killing innocent people because Kony believes God is telling him to. Their first kill is often their families. They are forced into sexual slavery. Young girls are abducted for “rewards” to his commanders. Night after night, children walk miles to city centers to avoid abduction. The children of Africa live in fear of the LRA, and then live in fear IN the LRA.

Kony is moving, swarming countries and areas near Uganda, getting stronger by the minute as he abducts more and more child soldiers and child slaves.


2001– After September 11, the United States declared the LRA a terrorist group.

2003– After visiting Uganda to document genocide in Darfur, three young filmmakers stumbled on large groups of children traveling to avoid capture by the LRA. Knowing they could not stand idle, the 3 film makers jumped into action and created a documentary about these children to gain awareness. The film was called Invisible Children. From the film stemmed a non-profit organization of the same name, dedicated to stopping Kony, the LRA, and helping victims.

2005October 6th: The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for 5 key members of the LRA for crimes against humanity. Those members were Joseph Kony (Leader), Vincent Otti (Deputy), Raska Lukwiya (Commander), Okot Odiambo (Commander), and Dominic Ongwen (Commander).

2005October 13th: Indictment details are released. Kony is indicted for 12 counts of Crimes Against Humanity (including murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement and rape), 21 counts of War Crimes (including murder, cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, pillaging, inducing rape, and forced enlistment of children). 33 counts total.

2009– Invisible Children Inc. organizes supporters to lobby senators and representatives to gain their support for the “Lords Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act”. This is the largest lobbying ever on sub-Saharan Africa to date. Organizations “Resolve Uganda” and “The Enough Project” supported Invisible Children in coordinating the event.

2009 November 18th: “Hometown Shakedown” is initiated by Invisible Children Inc. Supporters were asked to attend meetings with local government reps to co-sponsor the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. Hometown Shakedown succeeded in 15 members of Congress adding their support within 48 hours of the meetings. In the end 65 Senators and 202 Representatives would co-sponsor the Bill.

2010May: President Barack Obama signed the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act into law. The bill was passed unanimously in the Senate on March 11, then unanimously again in the House of Representatives on May 13th.

2011 October: As apart of the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, President Obama authorized deployment of combat-equipped troops to provide assistance, information, and advice to regional African forces. Obama states in a letter to Congress that U.S troops “…will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense”

When first approached after the 2003 documentary, United States officials originally told members of Invisible Children Inc. that they would do nothing, because it simply did not affect the best interests of our citizens. Invisible Children Inc. did not give up, and for the first time in history, the government took action, only because the people demanded it. They took action because it was RIGHT.


Before this post was published, before the “retweets” and the Facebook “shares”, before the video was released, did you know who Joseph Kony was? Did you know about these Invisible Children? I didn’t. Most of you didn’t either.

The video embedded above is the latest campaign by Invisible Children Inc. to bring a stop to Joseph Kony and the LRA. The purpose?



~Kony 2012 Website

People cannot stand up against what they are not aware of. People cannot fight a war they cannot see. People cannot support a cause they don’t know exists. People cannot save invisible children if they don’t become visible.

In December of 2011, it became known that Joseph Kony was aware of the U.S. involvement to stop the LRA. A young boy who had managed to risk his life and escape advised that Kony would be changing his tactics to avoid capture. His new tactics are unknown, and now international support is in danger of being withdrawn, allowing Kony to continue his rein of terror upon Africans.

Kony is out there. He needs to be stopped, arrested, and held accountable for his crimes. We need to save these children, these families, and help them build a future beyond being child slaves to a senseless army. 2012 has to be the end of the line for Kony and his child army.

In order for the government to continue to allow the troops in Uganda to stay, officials have to be aware that the people DO care and DO want our troops giving their support. How will the government know? We have to tell them. We have to make Kony a household name, his face needs to be plastered everywhere. The more you know about Kony, the more prepared people are to take a stand against him.

Invisible Children Inc. is campaigning for the support of 20 Culture Makers and 12 Policy Makers.

Celebrities have long decided the trends of our culture. What we wear, who we like, and what we talk about. If we target 20 of these celebrities, and get them on board, they’re voices will carry, and Kony and the fight against him will spread.

Politicians have no choice but to fight for what we want. They take the issues we care about, make a stand, and use this to get our votes. Regardless of political party, we need to target these politicians and policy makers and let them know that we want Kony stopped. Remind them that this is what the people want, and they will take notice, and help us keep support in Uganda, using every day and every opportunity to get closer to Kony and stopping him. The more we call, the more we trend, the more we spread the word, the louder these policy makers will hear us.

If we can trend lyrics to Justin Beiber songs, if we can trend internet memes by the dozen, if we can make videos of people dancing go viral, then we can make Joseph Kony and his child army a topic we won’t ever forget.


Step 1: Visit these websites and educate yourself. The more you know, the stronger you are.

Step 2: Visit these Facebook pages and “like” them, and “share” them with your friends list. Follow these people on Twitter.

Step 3: Watch the video I’ve embedded above, and share it. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest,, your blog, anywhere you can. Use #StopKony and #Kony2012 . The more people see this, the more curious they will be.

Step 4: When the list of 20 Culture Makers and 12 Policy Makers is released, target them. Tweet, DM, Wall Post, write letters, emails. And don’t stop at those 20/12 on the list. Contact your favorite celebrities, contact your local government representatives, get your friends involved. We need voices, we need to be loud.

Step 5: Visit the Invisible Children Shopify Store. Grab an action kit, or a bracelet, or a shirt, or just posters. Use these supplies to promote the cause.

You can also donate directly through and for a minimum donation of $15 recurring monthly, you will receive an action kit for free.

The most important thing you can do is be dedicated to spreading the word. We cannot let Kony be forgotten, he can’t be a flash-in-the-pan trend. We need staying power.

2012 is the year that these Invisible Children will go home.


Parenting 101: You Failed

By now I’m sure everyone has heard about the father that posted a video on his “ungrateful” teenage daughters Facebook wall, showing him scolding her and then shooting her laptop. If you haven’t seen the video, check out the boat load of crazy below:

Wow. Parenting Fail.

Now, while his daughter did seem ungrateful, I’m not surprised. Hello, you have a TEENAGER. Did she deserve punishment? Well, that isn’t really what is questionable about his method. I can’t say she should or shouldn’t have been scolded for her comments. In my opinion, yes, she should have.

What is crazy about this video is the use of a gun. Gun’s are not toys, everyone knows that. They are dangerous and serious weapons. Let me say that again. Dangerous and serious WEAPONS.


weap·on   [wep-uhn]
any instrument or device for use in attack or defense in combat, fighting, or war, as a sword, rifle, or cannon.

In no way, shape, or form should a weapon be used to teach your kids a lesson.

What if he also has a pre-teen son in the house? His son see’s this video, and what does he learn? He learns that is is OKAY to use a gun when you are angry, and it is OKAY to use it to punish someone.

Now, lets say the boy has seen this video, and a few months down the road, Dad punishes him for something. He’s upstairs in his room, stewing with anger about being punished, and you know what? That young kid is going to remember this video, this gun. And in remembering, he could go to his parents room, get that gun, and shoot the crap out of Dad’s big screen TV. Because Dad taught him that was okay to do.

In a more serious scenario, what if someone at school angered him? He could take that gun to school and shoot for some kid’s backpack or laptop or whatever. But because he’s not mentally and physically equipped to handle a weapon, he misses. He shoots the kid who has angered him. What if he doesn’t stop there? What if he loses his temper, and his entire English class is peppered in bullets? BOOM. Within minutes, several lives are destroyed forever. And we all know the police won’t shoot his laptop and send him to his room for what he’s done.

I am fully aware that the Second Amendment in the Constitution is the Right to Bear Arms. I’m not saying this guy had no right to HAVE a gun. (Well, BEFORE he shot the crap out of his daughter’s laptop. Now, he should probably have all his weapons confiscated and be forced to use a plastic butter knife for his steak, but that’s just my opinion…)

It’s not about the RIGHT to have a gun, it’s about PARENTING, not threatening. It’s about teaching your kids about gun safety, about how it’s NOT okay to use guns as punishment, or when you’re angry! It’s about being a MATURE and RESPONSIBLE adult who handles difficult situations appropriately.

This guy had a multitude of choices on how to punish his daughter, which he had every right to do. He could have simply locked the laptop away. More severely, he could have sold the laptop and donated the money to charity, or hell, use it to catch up on bills, no judgement there.

He wanted to teach his daughter a lesson, I get that. Instead of just teaching his daughter a lesson, the video went viral, and he’s taught so many impressionable young kids that weapons are for punishment, and it’s okay. That’s the scary part, folks. It wasn’t just HIS CHILDREN he taught this lesson to.

Just because you have the RIGHT to something, doesn’t mean you are excused from treating that right responsibly, maturely, and reasonably. And last time I checked, there is no “Right to be an Idiot” in our Constitution.

Someone shut this guy up…


Dancing to the Beat of Your Own Drum

As many Julien-K fans were, I was blind-sided by Elias’ decision to leave the band. His reasoning was fair an understandable, and I am so happy for him and his family, and wish him nothing but the best. But it left many of us wondering “Who will take his place?”. Elias is one-in-a-million. He fit so well with Julien-K, I couldn’t imagine anyone else stepping in.

A few days later, the band announced Frank Zummo as their new drummer. Having never heard the name, I did a little research (i.e. asked my girls who the hell he was) and discovered he was a drummer in a group called Street Drum Corps. My friends had seen them play, and insisted they were awesome.

Saturday night, I had the pleasure to experience Street Drum Corps live in Hollywood at Bar Sinister.

Ho.Ly.Shit. What I saw on Saturday was unexpected awesomeness, and I was blown away. The only way I can think to describe SDC is it is a complicated recipe of so many factors that sound weird and bizarre but marry perfectly and uniquely.

Start off with Stomp. Add Blue Man Group (minus blue people though!). Throw in street performers, electronic, rock and pop music, costumes, and some power tools. Pour in awesome video presentations (not powerpoint crap!). Sprinkle with recycled trash. Shove on stage for 2 hours, and you have the perfect SDC experience.

Comprised of Adam and Bobby Alt as well as Frank Zummo, these guys take everything they do, and turn up the creativity factor to 11. These guys are NOT some average “edgy” Stomp-esque knock-off. What SDC does onstage is so unique, and so energizing. They push the envelope to what music is, and tie it all together with drums that are just so… primal. Watching them live is like watching the creative thinking process in action.

You all should DEFINITELY check Street Drum Corps out. Which you can do here: Street Drum Corps

And as for you, Mr. Frank Zummo… my boys made a wise decision, welcome to Julien-K.

Okay, I’ll shut up, stop reading, and go check out Street Drum Corps!

What I’m Listening To: “Knock Me Out” Street Drum Corps

What I’m Reading: “Mile 81” by Stephen King


Yes, you are here with me. Always.

Now that I’ve had time to recover from Saturday night, and fight off the plague that hit me on Monday morning, I’m ready to sit down and put my thoughts into words on the new Julien-K album “We’re Here With You”!

On release day (January 23rd, 2012), we watched it climb up the Electronic Albums chart on iTunes, and it peaked at #2!!! And listening to this album over and over again, I can’t quite figure out why it didn’t hit #1. It’s a truly amazing album. (Click the song title to preview songs on, and to buy them a la carte. Links to purchase the album can be found at the bottom.)

1- We’re Here With You ~ I LOVE the guitars on this track, it’s got a raw, honest tone that I wasn’t expecting. The beat gets you from second one, and I can’t stop moving when this song is on. It’s not a dance-y track, but definitely one you can groove to. The lyrics are amazing; vague without too much mystery. Makes me feel like this song was written about me, and I’m sure others can find that connection to this track. 5/5

2- Surrounded By Cowards ~ This was the track I was the most excited for. Hearing the snippets while they were recording it, I had pegged this as an early fave. The guys did NOT disappoint. While I’m not SUPER excited about the high notes Ryan’s hitting in this track, it doesn’t ruin the song, or take away from it at all. The beat (and hook!) is absolutely addictive and catchy. Definitely a “stuck-in-your-head-all-day” song. 5/5

3- Cruel Daze Of Summer ~ Another highly anticipated track that was worth all the hype. The melody on this song is just so… DEEP and resonating, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Great beat that flows well throughout, hooks you early and keeps you going, however the song runs a WEE bit longer than it probably should. This song is electronic music at it’s finest! 5/5

4- Breakfast in Berlin- Free Download! ~ This is the first single off of “We’re Here With You”. I have to say, NOT my favorite track. The beat is gritty and dirty (in a good way), but the vocals just don’t… click with me. And all the “ah ah”‘s. Too many “ah ah”‘s. Good song, just not great, and not in my top 10. 3/5 (Authors Note: The free download is from the band themselves, so say thank you!)

5- Palm Springs Reset ~ Another favorite off the album. My personal favorites are always the ones that are raw emotion with a great beat. This track is really what these guys do best, if you ask me. The drum track on this is really strong and the lyrics are so pretty. Ryan’s vocals are so soothing and it’s the perfect “chill out” song, almost… cleansing. Very Depeche Mode-esque! 5/5

6- Colorcast ~ Pure electro heaven! I love the beat and the overall feel of this song. The vocals are a bit… higher than I like, but it DOES suit the song well. This is a perfect club/dance song. In fact, I’m dancing a little right now as I write this as I listen along. 4/5

7- Close Continuance ~ Definitely the darker tune on the record, and NOT a favorite of mine. The beat is good, I just dislike the vocals, too “talky” for my liking in the beginning. Once we get into the hook, I’m down to listen, but still a little too high for me. I’ll most likely skip over this one when I’m listening to the whole album. 2/5

8- Nights Of Future Past ~ This track makes up for “Close Continuance”! It’s a darker, deeper song, and I love the way it was put together. Ryan’s vocals are super smooth, and the melody gets me. I LOVE the hook on this song! This song reminds me of Orgy… amplified by 10, with more awesome on top… if any of that makes sense. 5/5

9- Flashpoint Riot ~ I didn’t THINK I would like this song, but I was surprised when I heard it all the way through. I do like this song. Heavy guitars, saturated with electro beats, the perfect fusion of rock and electronica. This is the song that proves the guys know what they are doing, and they know how to pave the way. The vocals are a little too… processed for me, but it suits the song well. Another great club/dance song, and I can see this being played live at a club like Voyeur in San Diego (hint! hint! LED Wall! Hint!). 4/5

10- I’ll Try Not To Destroy You ~ Another song I was really anticipating. While I don’t typically like Ryan’s high notes, this song is the exception. Love love love the beat, the flow, and the melody in this song. This song is pure seduction, beginning to end. Easily my favorite track on the entire album, and I pegged it as a favorite as soon as I heard the whole CD. The vocals in this track are absolutely FLAWLESS, and all the elements they used to compose it, fit like a puzzle. Everything marries so well here, if a song can be absolute perfection, this is the one. 5/5

I had such high hopes for this album, being such a long time fan. And with 100% honesty, this album does not disappoint at all. The evolution of this band is so organic and smooth. An overall lighter tone than Death to Analog, it really suits the band, and it suits me just fine. I LOVE the guitars used throughout the whole album, and the way they’re soaked with the electro elements, sounds like it SHOULDN’T work, but it does. All in all, job well done. Now get to work on #3! 🙂

Click the image below to buy the album, which I HIGHLY suggest you do!

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