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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: November 2005

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
    loving. laughing.
    in Los Angeles

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What's new pussycat?

Still working on the new digs (this blog). It's coming along. I want to mention a few points of interest:

New sidebar stuff

1. Subscribe to this blog. Never miss a note from me. You will get new entries in your email once a day.

2. Fun with polls. Just playing. Thought it might be cool to get a little interaction going on in here. Don't forget to vote.

3. Links-a-lot. If you would like to be considered for linkage, send me an email with your link. Tell me a little about yourself and your blog/site. I intend to promote fellow taverners (bloggers) as usual. Equally, if there's someone else's link you think should be on my sidebar, send it along and tell me why.

4. Right now J2P's archives are listed from earliest to latest. If you know how to reorder the archives list (latest to earliest), please let me know.

General note

If you happen to notice any glitches in the site, please report them to the managment (me). We (I) strive for excellence on this journey.

Coming Soon

Layout and General
Flickr link
Left/right sidebars
Past journal entries since 09/03
Graphic heading/logo

Fun, Games & Features
My Doggone Life
Colaborative songwriting
Journey through Blogosphere (spreading our wings)
Dogpark Superstars
Monaco Music

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Monday, November 28, 2005

RENT : the movie experience

Whoa. I feel like I really missed the boat on this one. Rent has been the talk of the stage for many years. It was a runaway Broadway hit. It toured the US. It was even here, in LA. And I missed it. I didn't try hard enough to go see it. I didn't realize what I was missing.

Enter: Rent, the movie. I went into the theatre with no expectations, having no idea what the story was about.

Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.

I'd heard it was a musical. But at the start of the movie, it was clear to me that it was actually more of a rock opera. Just about every line was sung. Not a lot of dancing - in the traditional musical-theatre sense. At first I felt a longing for that. Then I realized it would've been out of place.

Last week someone told us Rent was "about an apartment building." I was like, "okay." I figured there are musicals about cats, dogs, man-eating plants and a phantom. The title doesn't usually give any indication as to the depth of the story.

But hello! Rent is not "about" an apartment building. It's the story about a group of bohemian artist-friends living in the slums of NYC, trying to make a name for themselves by doing what they love and being who they are. Sell-outs need not apply.

It goes way deeper than that.

It's about choosing to live life to its fullest potential while we can - even under tragic circumstances (like AIDS and drug addiction). Be in the moment. Choose only this moment. It's all we have.

Over the weekend, I read a little about the birth of the show. In the stage production, everything was sung -- a true rock-opera. In the movie, there's spoken dialogue along with about 25 of the original songs. That explains why my first thought was, "Wow, these lyrics are really lame."

It took me a few minutes to get over it. Once I set my mind to understand that this is how the story will be told in this world, I was able to drop into acceptance. And there was no going back. I need to see it again ... and again. To get the soundtrack. And own the DVD when it is released. I also want to get the original Broadway recording.

I imagine my love for the movie hinges upon the fact that I did not see the original Broadway production. The two can't possibly compare. Apples and oranges. Similar to reading a book before seeing the movie. They are rarely the same.

The stage version will be touring in a few months, with a new cast. The closest showing this time will be in Las Vegas. Who knows? There could be a road trip in my future.

From what I understand, most of the original stage cast portrayed their originating characters in the movie. That made it even more exciting.

Anthony Rapp (does anyone remember him as Daryl Coopersmith in Adventures in Babysitting?) plays Mark, an independent film maker, documenting the lives of those around him. He originated the role on Broadway.

I am absolutely in love with Wilson Jermaine Heredia, another original Broadway cast member, who played Angel. He is a superstar. I recognized him from an episode of Law & Order: SVU. [hello, of course I would notice that.] Rent is his first major film credit.

Rosario Dawson (not an original stage cast member) played Mimi, the exotic dancer, strung out on crack-cocaine. Amazing actress and singer. I checked. Her first role was in the movie Kids (disturbing as it was, I need to rent it again. It's been years). Her list of credits is a mile long.

Oh there's more. Taye Diggs. His wife, Idina Menzel. Jesse L. Martin. Sarah Silverman. Art. Culture. Life. Death. Fear - lots of fear. Love - lots of love. Devastation. Passion. and Hope.

There's love for everyone.

I don't care if you're straight, gay, bisexual or asexual. You can't tell me you weren't giddy with smiles after the love song between Angel and Tom Collins. Well, you can. But I won't believe you.

live in my house
i'll be your shelter
just pay me back
with one thousand kisses
with a thousand sweet kisses
i'll cover you

By the way Robbie, this entry reminds me that we really need to go see Jamey in Bark! - the musical. Soon!

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Cold & Windy Saturday

It is kah-kah-kah-cold today! Windy. dry. brittle. Brrrr. Makes my fingers crack. I know, it's not quite like the cold that others are experiencing. It feels like a New England fall day.

You know what I love about today? I love that it's only Saturday. It has felt like Sunday all day. This means I have a whole 'nother day off before having to walk doggies.

Hunny and I are really enjoying our time together. We've spent a lot of time with our neighbor and her Yorkie, Piper. We went to the park this afternoon. I took some fun pictures as Piper played soccer. Hunny was the meet-n-greeter. The sun was shining strong. But the wind was blowing stronger. [did i mention it's cold?]

We're going to see Rent tonight. I just purchased our tickets online so we wouldn't run into another new-movie-mishap (read: sold-out shows). What is it with me and opening weekends lately? I'm the one who usually waits for the DVD release. I guess I'm in a movie-going mood. Oooh, popcorn!

Speaking of DVDs, I watched Living in Oblivion the other night. I'd seen it before, but it was so long ago that I couldn't really remember it. I remember liking it. I liked it this time. Not love. Just like. Worth a watch. Now I want to see The Player again. Movies about the movie industry.

Last week I saw a play about rehearsing a scene for a play. A friend was understudying the lead. Of course, he was amazing. Stage Directions is playing at the Odyssey Theatre.

Then of course, I'm listening to a lot of Jason Mraz. His single, Wordplay, is a pop song about having to write a pop song.

I guess the next thing I need is to read a book about writing a book. Then again, I've written blog entries about writing blog entries. I suppose that counts.

In other news ...

I'm thinking about doing some acting again. No need for a big hooplah. Just thinking.

Started writing another song today. Not sure where it's going. But I like it so far. Anything can happen.

Learning how to cut a deck of cards with one hand.

Hooked on Winter Dream Tea Latte, at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving Morning Joy - in pictures. (click on images to enlarge)

Hunny's expression

My expression

Both expressions may look very different, but believe me when I say they have the same meaning: joy. pleasure. beauty. pure bliss.

I love Thanksgiving morning. It's usually quieter than most other mornings. This year was a bit different though. It seems others have caught on to our little tradition. Coffee shops and local cafes were hopping. Neighbors were out walking their dogs and kids. Fishermen lined the Venice pier. The regular surf crowd was in their zone -- along with a few clueless boogeyboarders. Note to tourists: boogeyboard not near the hometown surfers. Just trust me.

Later we had somewhat of an orphan thanksgiving dinner at the apartment. Just a few of us. We had a wonderful time. Ate, shared stories, played games and laughed a lot. Lots of fun. (for the record, I would never consciously serve beef broth to a vegetarian!)

Today I'm resting. Gotta love the laptop. I can stay in bed, update my blog and watch last night's Survivor and reruns of SVU. Life is good. Lots to be thankful for.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I 'otter' be thankful

Exhausted today. Busy, eventful weekend turned into a busy week.

Pictures are from the Aquarium of the Pacific. Had an amazing day with a few Yakkies.

I'm working double-time through Wednesday. Thankfully. A few of my clients have canceled in the last two weeks. It all evens out. I'm looking forward to having a few days off. Completely off. Not having to go anywhere or do anything. Unless I want to, of course.

Like taking a walk with Hunny on Thanksgiving morning. It's become tradition. The two of us and a cup of coffee. One of the few times Los Angeles is very quiet.

I love Thanksgiving. I think it's my favorite holiday. Not particularly for the traditional meanings, as I believe the day represents the big machines taking over the little guys just because they had more money and bigger guns. Sounds too familiar (J-Land Refugees). Notice my use of the term "J-Land" -- I find it's much better than naming the almighty corporation who overpowered the natives in our own land.

Okay, so I'm still angry. I'm not obsessed. I'm over it, really. I'm slowly moving out of that service. Very slowly. But not reluctantly. Big difference. Today I feel more comfortable over here. Every time I think about going back there, I get a blah feeling in the pit of my stomach. My heart sinks.

There's just no going back. I don't only mean in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense. Even if the banner ads were removed, I just don't think I can trust that company to give me what I want in a service any longer. They have all the control. At any moment, for any reason, my account can be frozen, my uploaded files can be wiped out and my former journal can be deleted. All it would take is a single complaint, hearsay or even a so-called glitch. The company shoots first and doesn't even ask questions later. Heartless.

That's not who I am. I want service that's more flexible. I mean, geez, I'm paying you. Listen to me or lose me. Give me a fair trial.

I almost feel freer. Or, in my case freeer. It's like moving out of a gated community into a bigger city. But the best part is, many of my friends moved to the same city, or surrounding suburbs. And the ones who stayed in the gated community welcome us back in anytime. And they now have new and exciting places to visit.

Expanding our horizons.

I never imagined I would ever cancel my membership with the overlords in the gated community. It was always nice to know my email address wouldn't have to change even if I (physically) move. I move a lot. And when I couldn't afford cable internet service, I always had that dial-up option. Lots to consider I guess. But I'm ready for a change. And what better time than around the new year!

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Harry Potter Line

Whose bright idea was it to see one of this year's biggest movie releases on its opening weekend? Oh that's right, it was ours. A collective decision. More like Andi saying, "I want to see Harry Potter." And me saying, "Hey, how 'bout Saturday?"

It was 3:25pm.

The 3:30 show had been sold out since before we arrived. The 4:00 show sold out the moment I tried to purchase two tickets. That left us with the choice to see another movie, see no movie at all, or stick around for the 5:10 showing.

In a panic-purchase, we chose to see it at 5:10.

As we turned the corner of the theater, there was a crowd of people, all standing behind four posted signs. That's when we realized it was the line to see Harry Potter. Folks were already in the 5:10 line.

That's when I was about to scalp tickets. But it was still too early. People were still arriving in hopes of seeing the 4:00 show. So Andi and I went to get a bite to eat and sit outside, people-watching. One of my favorite things to do. It was a beautiful day for it too.

Somehow I got soft, "We're here. We can stand in line I suppose." Andi didn't miss a beat, "Okay!" I guessed then that it was me all along who wasn't much into waiting.

Let's play Where's Andi? -- Here she is in the line at 4:15 (for the 5:10 showing).




Just in case you missed her...

Happy Sunday everyone. We're off to celebrate a certain Yakkie's Birthday.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Music, Code, Movies and Hunny

Hunny Bunny Boo for you!

I just finished uploading my self-recorded music to my personal website. Something I should've been doing all along. I just didn't realize I had more space on the server. Uhh, I have a lot more space. And I can upgrade at any time.

There's so much to move. Some of it I will keep. Some I will dump. But music and photos will go where I have the most control. The last thing I want to worry about is AOL dumping my entire collection of online photos. They can do that you know. They can, and they do. They can do whatever they want. And we can continue to pay them for it. Or not.

Enough of my bitching. Damn. But really, I have a right and a reason to bitch.

I'm still struggling with that coding glitch in here. I know I'm not the only one. Apparently CSS is very sensitive. Great, just what I need.

During all of this moving stuff, I've resolved to the fact that my newest obsession is coding, programming, html, css, whatever the geek-term is. I'm excited to learn. Consider me a geek-wannabe. I've been saying I want to learn Spanish and French. But now I want to learn this more useful language.

Watched Magnolia last night. Absolutely incredible movie. Turns out I've seen it before. But I didn't know what was going to happen in any scene. It was like a weird deja vu. I still can't remember where or when I first saw it or who I might've been with. It's all a big blur. Made for an exciting three hours. Yes, the movie is three hours long. The easiest three hours of my movie-watching experience. That's a good sign. Thanks to Moksha for the suggestion. Good call.

In addition to playing (coding, updating) in here, today will be spent shopping for Thanksgiving preparations and going to see Harry Potter. Very exciting, I assure you.

"Andi B" left a comment asking about my email address. I'm not having trouble receiving email but if you're having trouble reaching me, try trish(at)trishmonaco(dot)com. I'm not yet comfortable posting a link for email. Internet spam and all. Gimme time to figure out a good way around it.

Until later. peace.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Lost Ground

This is crazy. I just can't seem to get my wits about me again. Please tell me I'm not the only one still feeling lost without a home.

I know, a shakeup is good for movement. It can be motivating. But I get obsessed. I wasn't happy with the droll colors in here. They reminded me too much of my other journal. The one I've loved for over two years. [boohoo]


So yeah, I changed the layout in here. I've been spending hours upon hours learning and tweaking the look. I eventually gave up and decided to start with the most basic pre-made template and "build" from there.

I've been wanting to whiteout my journal for a while. So it makes sense to start with white walls in a new home. I will spend as much time as possible moving entries from you-know-where to here. It is my goal to eventually get settled and comfortable here.

At the moment, I'm not. Not comfortable at all. It's like, well, moving. And moving sucks. I'm in an empty home with white walls and bare cupboards. Utilities are just beginning to turn on. But I've got to get all my stuff from the last two years over here before I can feel more comfortable.

That said, can anyone help me?! I have tweaked the template of this new blog to the best of my (non)ability. But there's one major problem I'm still having. When you link to a certain entry (i.e. this one) to read comments, it's all good and fine. Until you try to link BACK to my blog's main page by clicking on the blog title. There's some extra coding in there that I can't find on the template because I don't know what it means. And the link doesn't exist. Which is even worse.

Oh, and thanks Jennifer for pointing me/us to the following:

Business Week Online Blog Post about AOL Journal Ads

Terminator 4 - by stupidsheetguy

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

An AOL Refugee Grieves

Things are a little crazy here. AOL just screwed the journaling/blogging community -- one that WE built (their paying customers) -- by adding flashing banner ads to the top of all of our journals. There's a major uproar over here - in my world - in my head - in my heart.

It may sound trite (it's just a blog), but it's not trite. It's important (it's my journal).

This whole week seems like one big blur. I still don't know how I feel about all this. I'm grieving. I get it. Stages. One minute I'm accepting of the fact that there's nothing I can do about the AOL Overlords. They can do what they want with their product. We just got used to having it a certain way.

The next minute I'm devastated. I've put a lot of heart and spirit into my online journal over there. I contributed greatly to build and sustain a wonderful community. (we all did. I'm just being selfish at the moment.)

Two years ago, the small AOL Journal community was scrounging to find new journals to read and promote.

Oh blah. See? Now I'm feeling sentimental. I've been robbed of something I wasn't ready to give up.

It was my plan to eventually move to another blogging site. But not this way. Today I feel as though our town was hit with a war attack over night. And we're left scrambling, salvaging, picking up pieces. The community we once knew, evacuated all at the same time. Links to new homes are spread out. Folks have shut down their AOL Journals. Some have left AOL. Others are staying, because they can't bear to part with the 'homes' they built these last two years.

Personally, I would stay if those damn banner ads didn't make me feel so sick to be in my own journal. It's graffiti to me. And I don't have the power/choice to clean it up.

It doesn't surprise me that AOL is doing this. We have banner ads on every single AOL window within the service. I just didn't expect it.

And the only last reason I have kept AOL at all was for journals. I have cable internet service. I don't need AOL. Especially since AOL now offers just about every service for free.

It's just time to move on. I'll still fight the good fight. I'm sending emails, posting comments, signing petitions. I won't give up hope. But I need to be willing to give up AOL Journals.

The thing I (we) need to remember is, we are part of an incredible community - with or without AOL Journals. At some point, I'll remember that. But for the moment, this sucks!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Slowly But Surely

With the recent uproar in the AOL Journals Community, I'm spending more time over here, building my new home. I'm not ready to move out of my AOL Journal just yet, but I am supporting the community by boycotting our journals until AOL hears from its members. For more info, perhaps I will post links later. For now, I'm building.


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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Monaco Music - Chances

Brand spankin' new. Finally! The well is overflowing. Let's hope it continues. For now, I'm celebrating with a glass of wine and a movie. I raise my glass to toast a few key folks for the inspiration. [you know who you are] "To love, light and laughter."

CHANCES (click link to play song)

what are the chances
you'll come back to me
what are the chances
you will see who i've become
what are the chances
you and i will cross our paths in the night
what are the chances
i will be alright
without you

what are the chances
i'll get over you
what are the chances
i'll be glad to be on my own one day
what are the chances
i will walk out of this house without your ring
what are the chances
i'll remember how to sing
without you

what are the chances
i'll forget you
what are the chances
i will never speak your name again
what are the chances
i will come across this song on down the line
and wonder why it was i wasted so much time writing
about you

it's not about you
can't live without you (can't love without you)

what are the chances
i'll get softer
what are the chances
i will live without this emptiness
what are the chances
i would ever have experienced a love
that taught me more about the world
than if i ever lived
without you

thanks to you
can love without you
can love without you
thanks to you

© 2005 Trish Monaco Music

all rights reserved.