Live Music and Hearing Loss Go Hand in Hand

Last night, the Captain and I attended a concert at The Hub in Fargo for The Used and Taking Back Sunday, with FRNKIERO ANDTHE CELLABRATION as the opening act.



“FrnkIero andthe Cellabration” is the solo side project–now only project–of the former-rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist of My Chemical Romance, Frank Iero.


Frank broke out with his solo project Leathermouth (LeATHERMØUTH) about 7 years ago, but didn’t release XO until 2009. Apparently he’s got another side project, but I don’t know anything about it, and then this Cellabration business is brand new, with an album that just released in August of this year.


100_0035Frankly–and yes, I did do that on purpose–they’re not that great. I mean, they aren’t terrible. They’re certainly better than Leathermouth was, although that didn’t take a whole lot. To be honest, I really feel like Frank was better off as a backup vocalist. Don’t get me wrong; I initially really wanted to like his stuff because of who he was, but I couldn’t get behind it.

They perform well enough, I suppose, but when between songs they stopped to talk to the audience, it made me giggle because he’s still just as awkward as he always seemed on camera. Standing up on the second level–which is a series of 3 or 4 bars and therefore requires one to be of age–the BF and I stood at the railing and were sarcastic assholes the entire set, just quietly, and with each other. I really did enjoy watching them, though. It was cool to actually get to see him perform, considering that I’ve wanted for years to see MCR in concert and now never will. Damnit anyway. I don’t think that I’ll be making a repeat appearance, though.

100_0047-1The Used took the stage shortly thereafter, and as this is who I went to see, this is who I have the most pictures of. I also think Bert McCracken is a fucking boss, but whatever. hahaha.

100_0056-1Also, fun fact, Bert has lost a shit ton of weight since I last saw a picture of him, and he looks fantastic.

I’ve been listening to The Used since like, 2005ish, or whenever the fuck it was that I was in 7th grade. hahaha. It’s so hard to keep track of what years belong to which grades. Meh.

Seriously, though, look at him! He looks fantastic! I couldn’t get over it.

Despite the release of a new album, the band played a lot of old songs from previous albums, like In Love and Death and Maybe Memories, which were released in 2004 and 3 respectively. They played songs off the more recent albums, of course, but it just sort of surprised me how many older songs I got to hear. It was pretty awesome, actually.

I took the videos with the camera my parents bought me for my birthday a couple years back, and I’d never used it to take video before so I had no idea how this was going to turn out. It’s kind of surprising how prominent the vocals are, though. I wasn’t expecting that, I guess.

Here. Have another!

^^One of my favorite songs of theirs, just for the record.

100_0102-1Taking Back Sunday headlined last night, which was cool. I haven’t listened to TBS in years, but I found out last night that I still love the shit out of them.


Also, weird fun fact: the vocalist looks a lot like an ex-roommate… Wasn’t sure how to feel about that, hahaha.

All I know for sure is that they played “Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team)” and “Liar (Takes One to Know One)” from their old stuff and a brand new song called “Better Homes & Gardens”–unless that was supposed to be the name of an album… I dunno. I told you I haven’t listened to them in years. But they were really great! It was a good time. =)

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And in the blink of an eye–
or perhaps several–
rather in the pregnant pause during which long day becomes longer night;
rather through the oceans of tears, the choruses of broken sobs;
rather between a long series of desolate, restless naps,
and the collective hours on hours of drowning in half-consciousness–
four years have gone by.
In the exchange of a half-hearted smile,
the offer of a hollow laugh,
a joke only laughed at in politeness,
a lifetime slipped through my fingers.
Like sand, like dirt, like water,
time slips away, compresses between my palms, sustains my existence
scratches the skin, stains the fingernails, drowns me daily.
The passing of a single instant
is the passing of 4 years.

No passage of time will ever be enough to leave my brother behind.

Rest in peace, brother mine.

4 Years

Posted in Daily Post

Daily Post: Mouths Wide Shut

Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat? —

I will try almost anything once. If it involves a bug, you can keep it to yourself. I refuse. Absolutely not. I have a grasshopper phobia, and it doesn’t matter what the fuck you cover that shit in, I’m not eating it. Straight up, just no. No way in hell. Not happening. Cough I won’t eat anything that features onion or garlic as a main ingredient either, but that’s because my mom is allergic to both of them and so I’ve got a pretty significant sensitivity to them. They make my tummy hurt. And that, in turn, causes other problems. ‘Nuff said.

I’m a stickler about quality, though. I’ll still eat it, usually, but I’ll definitely be honest that it isn’t made well, seasoned well, whatever. Pre-packaged ramen? Gross and totally bad for me. But do I eat it? You know I do. I’m broke. $0.22 meals make my whole day. (The resulting stomach ache kind of dampens that, but never mind.)

One of my favorite things is to explore new culinary experiences, and it breaks my heart that my boyfriend doesn’t like to try new, unfamiliar things. (It’s probably my biggest issue with the man, and that should really say something about us, haha.) I have all of these recipes that I want to try, but I don’t want to make it and be the only one to experience it because he doesn’t like something that’s in it or is freaked out by a texture. It’s the most disheartening experience ever to make something and then have your significant other tell you that it’s gross. Sigh.

So. Picky? Yes and no.

Posted in Daily Post

Daily Post: Writing 101–Size Matters

Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

At twelve, I was in the sixth grade, living on a farm approximately twelve miles outside of a small town in western North Dakota. My house was, simply put, old. The first part of the house was built in 1904, and then added onto repeatedly over the next twenty years or so. Consequently, the house has settled differently and it’s, well, unique. The bathrooms are miniscule, the staircase steep and narrow, and the windows make the most dreadful farting noise when the wind blows. I believe that at that time it was painted gray, although the weather seemed to beat our siding off at semi-regular intervals. Two stories and a basement, as well as a garage repurposed (and remodeled, don’t worry) as a family room, it was perhaps one of the largest homes I’ve ever been in. The bedrooms were all, save one, upstairs. One bathroom on each floor, a living room and a family room, and a kitchen in desperate need of a redo–one it would receive six years in the future.

I lived there with my family, of course. My parents, who worked very hard for us and were nothing but supportive. My two brothers, separated in age by five years and myself, who fought ferociously regardless of my attempts at intervention. And yet we all lived there in relative peace. The cows took work. The crops took work. The chickens took work. The garden took a lot of work. And although we all complained heartily and secretly swore that they were ruining us with all these dreadful chores, we did them all anyway and it probably brought us closer together.

You want to know about my home? My home is not, nor has it ever been a house, a farm, a town, or a region. My home is in the hearts of those who love and support me, who fight for my success and stand behind my decisions, even when they aren’t necessarily the decisions that they’d have made. Mom, though she may wish I’d take easier paths, and Dad, who just wishes I’d pay a bit more attention, are both very proud of me, and with all I’ve been through–all we’ve been through together–it makes me sorely emotional to think about how much I appreciate their presence in my life. Because their presence isn’t just one of ambivalent existence, but rather an involved, and an interested one. Although my younger brother is no longer sharing this plane of existence with us, I do think that he is right there with my parents and older brother supporting me, encouraging me to keep going, keep working, succeed. Even my grandparents are right there on the frontlines, cheering me on and playing significant roles in my success. And last, but certainly never least, is the man I’ve chosen to spend my life with, who has stuck around even through all my shit fits and my panic attacks and depression cycles, my unmanageable angst and frustrating absurdity. There is genuinely nothing better than knowing that it doesn’t matter where we are, what we’re doing, what’s troubling us or working against our success, I am home when I am with him. There’s nothing more I could ask for.

Posted in Daily Post

Daily Post: Litmus, Litmus on the Wall

If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? —

Honestly, my question would be either very politically charged or very literary in nature because the answer yields insight to a person’s character and whether or not it means putting people into boxes and being exclusionary or standoffish, there are just certain things by which I cannot abide. I have walked away from a lot of people for a lot of different reasons, and I’m not afraid to keep doing it.

Posted in Daily Post

Daily Post: Handle with Care

How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty? —

Although I insist that I only want honesty, I have to admit that I dislike brutal honesty in terms of critiquing my writing. My confidence is a delicate veil over my bottomless pit of uncertainty, and when it comes to critiquing my writing I am unnaturally sensitive. Annoying, and even I know it. But there it is.

I do not, however, usually advocate for people to lie to me about it. If one doesn’t like it, I’d prefer one just said so and was nice about it. I don’t mind; I’ll be the first to say that my writing isn’t exactly universally appealing. But I don’t want to hear rudeness about it.

Posted in Daily Post

Daily Prompt: Work? Optional!

If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time? —

The only way that I would work just for the hell of it would be is if I could review books or blog professionally. I would even proofread professionally, to be honest. Even if I didn’t have to work to live. These are just things that I really love doing, so they don’t ever feel like “work.”

But retail? Gas stations? Food services? Frankly, anything high stress that requires dealing with mass amounts of people?

Not a chance. Not if money isn’t a necessity. Why would I do that to myself?

Otherwise, I would focus a lot on my crafting stuff. I’d make and sell jewelry, but probably not at high volume. I might actually get a bit more serious about the light bulb ornaments that I make, hahaha. And I might actually attempt to finish writing one of my novels!

I want children, too. And I’d be perfectly happy to be a stay-at-home mama. That would be okay with me. =)

Posted in Daily Post

Daily Prompt: The Name’s the Thing

Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis. —

Every car I have ever owned has had a name. My first car was the ’91 Crown Victoria that my grandma had driven for years and had been perpetually referred to as Elvis, because the license plate was ELV [numbers]. But she informed me one day while I was driving to work that her name was actually Darla, thank you. I laughed and laughed because the only image I could conjure?

But, she insisted, so Darla it was.

My second car was a 2001 (I think) Oldsmobile Intrigue named TallyAnna (although I pretty much only called her Tally). My current vehicle is a 2006 Pacifica named Veronica, and I wasn’t entirely thrilled about it, but she insisted, so I just go with it.

I’ve had a handful of plants over the years, all of whom with names. I had this really great little aloe plant named Marshall… until our cat ate him. =( No more Marshall. That was a sad day.

Posted in Daily Post

Daily Post: Off the Shelf

Take a look at your bookcase. If you had enough free time, which book would be the first one you’d like to reread? Why? —

You know, I have so many books that I’ve purchased over the past several years of school/college and have never managed to get around to reading that I have a hard time with the idea of rereading anything. I’ve got stand-alones and sequels and the remaining book(s) in series that I started ages ago and even a few full series. Like. I bought a whole series of books and haven’t gotten around to starting it yet. And there are a few of those. Oops?

However, I have a book that I read as a young kid by the name of Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye that has stuck with me throughout the years like nobody’s business. It was about a watchmaker mouse by the name of Hermux Tantamoq who turned into a detective when a pretty lady mouse named Linka Perflinger came in and needed her watch fixed and set perfectly to the exact second because it was life or death. I think she was a pilot, too, but it’s been so long I could be mistaken. Anyway, Hermux turns into a detective because she doesn’t come back for her watch and then goes on this wild adventure to try to save her.

I have just discovered that there are, in fact, FOUR books of Hermux’s adventures, and I’m telling you right now that I am appallingly inclined to go find and purchase the next three just to read them all. Even though I’m almost 22, soon-to-be engaged and graduating college, and even though I normally read mature novels. Kids books are fun sometimes! They are!

Update: I have just ordered the other 3 books in the series from Amazon, since I got a $5 gift card for doing a survey. So for $10? Yeah, I’ll spring.for that. =)

So there you go. That’s the book I’d reread. And follow up with the remaining adventures. I will probably force them on my boyfriend as well. Even though he’ll grump. He’ll get over it. 😉

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This is one of my really good friends, who is seeking a career in professional writing. With poems like this coming from her pen, I would say that she is well on her way to brilliant success.

Literary Accidents

Temples, brothels, barracks —
all built on the backs of my former lovers.

The brick? Their bones.
The mortar? My blood

The city was worthy of gods;
the sacrifice was great.

This architecture once pleased you,
the whores once pleased you,
the cavalry once pleased you.
I once pleased you,
nodding as if every word you spoke was
Gospel truth

And now you sulk in your chambers,
drunk and full of wrath.

Am I not the goddess
my father promised me to be?

When they called you a barbarian, I
wiped the blood from my lip and put them to death.

Yet it was you
who slayed the innocents,

the virgins,
the children.

Your fury never waned.
Your sword never dulled.
Even Ares seeks reprieve.
Even Eros slumbers.

When you brought your bloodlust home
and wrapped it around my throat,

the city trembled.

I have no gods.

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