Happy New Year!

The New Year is upon us! I would do an introspective post, challenging myself to look deeper within in an attempt to see how I've changed (or failed to) in the past year, but that just doesn't seem fun at the moment. Instead, I'll opt to do a list of my Favorites of 2009.

Favorite book:
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Out of all the books I read this year, this one has managed to stick with me. Murakami is truly a prolific author with his incredibly vivid descriptions and ethereal characters. I'm only two hundred or so pages into Kafka on the Shore -- is it possible to name someone your favorite author after a book and how ever many pages?

Favorite new band discovery:
Oddly enough, their name is Discovery. An amalgam of Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot, this band has found a way into my heart after one listen-through of "Osaka Loop Line." It's an instant favorite. On second thought, since I'm conflicted with choosing between fun. and Discovery, I'll list both.

Favorite new TV show:
Easily Community. While The Office has hilarious intros, Community never fails to impress with its outros. The Spanish Rap with Abed and Troy is my favorite to date. I was wary of seeing this when the first promo commercials were shown and I'm glad I gave it a chance because it brings the LOLs. Oh, and Modern Family is a very close second.

Favorite movie:
(500) Days of Summer. The relatable plot, the local haunts featured such as Point Fermin Park and Bunker Hill, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's heart-warming smile, Zooey Deschanel's amazing wardrobe and the soundtrack -- what's not to love?

Favorite adventure:
Going down to Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach late into the night with friends, laying a few towels down and catching up. While that was nice on its own, the addition of lighting sparklers and having a mini rave on the sand brought the night up a few notches. We're a fun group.

Favorite revived friendship:
Definitely Anthony. We've hardly had any downs in our four year friendship, but we drifted far away from one another after I graduated. A friendship only to be brought back a hundred-fold the past few weeks. He was saved this past summer and never in a million years did we think that our friendship would turn into fellowship, but it has. He took me to his church on Tuesday, hence my happy tweet from that evening. I'm blessed to have him in my life.

Favorite social networking site:
Sorry, Blogspot, but Tumblr has stolen my heart when it comes to short bursts of writing, inspiring photos and new bands to come across.

As an afterthought, add the following to your dance party playlists for tonight! It's an amazing mash-up of Billboard's Top 25 hits of this year.

I'm running out of time, so I'll have to cut this short. Tonight will be low-key and will be spent with a few lovely people -- my kind of evening. Hope everyone has a blessed New Year! Have fun. Get crunk. And make resolutions that you'll forget in a few weeks. Cheers.


You draw in your breath, allowing the toxins to fill your lungs. The repercussions? Untold. Wavering. You exhale the wispy smoke, which dissipates into oblivion, while the faint smell of tobacco lingers on your clothing. Why must you do this in my presence? You know I thoroughly despise secondhand smoke. I whine, whinge, complain constantly and a smug smile finds its way upon your lips. A dagger would do wonders, if you felt no remorse in killing.

I've been going through old files and sketchbooks long forgotten in an attempt to find more of my quote, unquote creative writing. It's terribly written, but my love for the photo (Andy from I See Stars) called for a post. This was written after an outdoor Starbucks session with my best friend, whom I've been trying to convince to stop smoking. My efforts are futile, though; this vice has an unrelenting hold on him.

A Not-So-Serious Post (except for the end).

My one rule on the 1nt3rw3bZ when it comes to links in "About Me" sections: not to leave one for my blog and Tumblr (basically anything involving writing) on other sites. For example, my Last.fm, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr pages don't have click-through links to them. But if you somehow stumble upon my blog and Tumblr, you have access to, well, pretty much everything.

There's a reason why only two of my real life friends know about this blog. I don't mind strangers having access to my posts, but I get a crazy, almost overwhelming feeling that people I know are overstepping some kind of boundary when they read my personal thoughts. But maybe I'M just crazy. And possessive.

Well, I've been found. I woke up from a night of glorious, glorious sleep to find an email on my Blackberry: "_____ started following you. Win! Love, TumblrBot." No. NO. NOOOOOO! I know I'm not at all creative when it comes to creating link names (they're all some form of "marianney") but still! What prompted him to type it into Tumblr when I have no links to it anywhere?! It's really kind of creepy if you think about it. Anyway, my last Tumblr post was addressed to him and said something along the lines of: "Please unfollow me. Ktnxbai." in hopes that it will prevent our mutual friends from adding me as well. Sigh, I don't like this.

I have a favor to ask of you. Yes, you, reading this.

My friend (read: Hug post) texted me last night saying he got a call-back from his Santa Clara Vanguard snare line auditions! That's one hurdle out of the way. Please, send positive thoughts for him for the next couple of weeks. Maybe I'm biased, but he truly deserves a spot on that line! I'm not exaggerating when I say that every free moment of his life is spent drumming in preparation for next summer, his age-out year. So, please, send positive thoughts. Rub a rabbit's foot. Wish on shooting stars. Throw a coin in the fountain for him. He deserves this. And it'd be the best feeling in the world to see him decked out in uniform, pouring his heart out on the field and hopefully winning a championship ring in the process.

Also, I realize there is a clear overuse of parentheses in this post. I am therefore forbidden to use them in future entries. Fin.

Gershwin and the Drunk Concert Master.

I was watching an episode of Skins when this classical piece in the background piqued my interest. I knew I had heard it before, but I couldn't pinpoint the exact composer and title. Minutes went by as I scoured my brain for the information that I could recall with such ease during my Symphonic Orchestra years. A sense of relief washed over me as I remembered Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue". It was honestly pissing me off that I couldn't figure it out. Does that ever happen to anyone? You know you've heard something before, but can't think of who sang/played it? It's simpler with lyrical songs because you can easily pull up Google and search for the words in the song. Needless to say, I miss being part of an orchestra. That sense of unity between you and your peers as you perform on stage with the warm lights beaming down on you. Such good times.

Again, another instance where music brought me back to a memory. I remember this one performance where our concert master, a rebellious violin virtuoso forced to be a part of the music program because of his strict parents, showed up absolutely hammered. Well, scratch that. He was drinking in the empty music room while the other groups performed, as a great big "F--- YOU!" to his parents and as a makeshift tribute to his Russian heritage. When it was our turn to take the stage, he casually strolled up to the front and took his place on the podium to tune the orchestra. I wish I could say something tragic and hilarious occurred because of his drunken stupor, I really do. But all that happened was him swaying to and fro in front of a full audience, with a big, stupid grin plastered on his flushed face. I remember thinking what a fantastic way to end my senior year, were he to fall off the podium and cause a scene. (Haha, I'm horrible.) Amidst all the incredulous murmurs and whispering among us during the tuning session, our music director had absolutely no idea what was happening. I don't condone underage drinking, but honestly... it was the best. It's my second most treasured performance experience, with sneaking on the roof in our concert dress as number one.

Sigh, I really do miss it. Maybe I should get over my fear of auditioning and just do it! Life's too short for could-a, would-a, should-a. Right?

Passion Pit.

I observed/realized/was reminded of several things as Kelsea and I gallivanted through Hollywood yesterday for the Passion Pit taping at Jimmy Kimmel.
  • Contrary to popular belief, hipster kids don't just stand and feign boredom at shows; they actually dance and sing along! It was probably a rare occurrence in the hipster world because, let's face it, Passion Pit is the only band in the world to elicit such a response. They are that amazing live. What was once a stand-around-and-wait-while-keeping-aloof crowd became a dance party in a matter of seconds.
  • There are some people from your high school years who will never grow up. They will still find pleasure in gossiping and making other people's lives absolutely miserable. You'll also run into them at random shows because, heck, it's a small world after all.
  • Pee-wee Herman still creeps me out after all these years. Straight up. It was the most awkward thing to witness as he did his interview with Kimmel completely in character.
  • Famima!! is (in my humble opinion) the best convenience store to ever exist. Where else can you find Bawls, Ramune, Hi-chews, Mochi and Beard Papa's under one roof? I miss having one in my town.
  • I will never be able to live in a city where it snows. It was a mere 50°F last night and I could barely move. You people living in winter wonderlands must be laughing right about now. In my defense, the wind chill was crazy cold.
  • Friends that you meet through church are Forever Friends. Enough said.

Now for a video! My favorite part was when everyone chimed in during the first "higher and higher and higher" part of the Little Secrets chorus. It sent chills down my spine, that feeling of unity in a crowd of strangers. Then again, it simply could've been because of the chill in the air. Ha.

My only gripe about last night was their three song limit. They played The Reeling and their single, Sleepyhead, in addition to the televised Little Secrets and promptly said their goodbyes, much to the dismay of the audience. Our shouts for an encore were ignored, but honestly, it wasn't bad for a free show. A good time was had by all and it's safe to say my no-show-streak is over.


You make your way on stage, each step heavier than the last. The nerves, so tangible, accented by the mild tremors of your cold, cold hands. You shake it off as you reach the microphone. Center stage: where you belong. The bright lights shine down as you scan the audience for a familiar face and a sense of calm washes over you as we make eye contact. An encouraging smile, camcorder in hand, the white of the screen highlighting my face in the sea of shadows. Meager applause follows your introduction, but you brave through it without so much as a second thought. The beat crescendos through the stale air and you fall into it and you're up and you're out and your caged words and rhymes escape. Layer upon layer of preconceived notions are stripped away until you're all that's left, if only for a brief moment. The song ends, but your time in the spotlight's only beginning; the applause is deafening.

I must confess. This brief acquaintance resulted in playing Russian Roulette with your playlists.

I don't want to intimidate, I want to inspire.

Currently listening: