Rants and Rambles

Songs have a beautiful way of expressing things we struggle to speak. Tonight I am listening to The Strumbellas, and I fell in love with their songs “Spirits” and “Shovels and Dirt”. I think each line has something impressive to offer. It’s hard to miss the main line in spirits: “I’ve got guns in my head and they won’t go, spirits in my head and they won’t go”.

And I think “it ain’t worth livin’ if you don’t get hurt” and “I’ve got a head full of darkness and darkness is good” is also two of the most beautifully truthful lines I’ve heard, along with “Well demons pull me side to side again, yeah well I’m scared to sleep and I hate my friends . . .” I never knew it was so easy to sum up psychological pain.

Is darkness good? A lot of my depressions have been bad, the episodes have driven me into self-destruction and put me through a lot of pain, but the beauty that has come out of that pain has been magnificent. I’ve done some of my best writing. I started this blog. I played some of my best on the piano. Without that little bit of darkness, half of me wouldn’t exist. The darkness is me, and it’s a part of me I couldn’t live without.

That being said, I’ll be in the Santa Monica area tomorrow. Sometimes it’s nice to push aside the darkness and have a little fun.

I don’t talk much about my writing projects on here, but most people know I write short stories as well as some poetry that I think is shit. I’ve been to some fiction workshops, and I’m taking yet another fiction class this semester, but I’m shit at communicating with other writers. Maybe if we write back and forth, I can communicate with them, but not many are willing to do that.

So, if there are ever any fellow writers out there who are serious about their writing, and would be willing to give me some thoughtful, constructive criticism on my work in return for a batch of my own thoughtful, constructive criticism on their work, please get in contact with me. I have a few writing projects that I want to push forward, but I need some more reassurance and criticism before I do.

I’m not quite sure what this post is. Remember when I used to do these kinds of vagabond posts where each paragraph is something completely irrelevant to the previous one? I took some Melatonin and I’m hoping it will knock me out soon so I don’t have to torture you all any longer.

Love yourself. You are enough.

And that’s today’s mental truth. Well, tonight’s mental truth. It’s almost tomorrow’s mental truth. I’ll blog about my Santa Monica experience. I’ll be sharing pictures on instagram, you can follow me there @ Written_in_the_photo, and my twitter @Ipenned. I don’t use Twitter much, and I just created a new account, so there’s not much there, but if you’re a big twitter person, you might get a kick out of things I retweet.

Anyway, enough of this shit post. Ali, Out.

The Music In My Veins


I’ve always had a deep connection to rock and roll. It’s unwavering and unbreakable. I’ve been a fan since birth, I like to think, and didn’t discover my hidden passion until I was ten and my mother received a local “battle of the bands” Compact Disc from her job.

I am a devil child. I’m into the metal.

Nothing can kill the metal.

Grunge tried to kill the metal.

They failed as they were thrown to the ground.

NewWave tried to destroy the metal.

But the metal had its way.

No one can destroy the metal.

I bet all of those lyrics are copywritten and I just infringed upon them. Luckily, I’m not anywhere near internet famous enough for Jack Black, Tenacious D, or Epic Records to sue me.

I grew up listening to James Brown, The Temptations, Michael Jackson, The Neville Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and e.t.c. So the closest thing I got to “pop” music of the 2000’s was the first “Now That’s What I Call Music” CD (which I still own) and “The Cheetah Girls”.


My favorite song was something about twirling like a hurricane. I don’t know.

If you’re laughing right now, I don’t blame you. Does anyone even remember The Cheetah Girls?

I didn’t like pop music anyway. My ear just wasn’t tuned for it. I don’t like high pitched voices and a lot of the female singers sung like they were cats with their tails being smashed under a car tire.

I used to hate Sucker Free Sunday on M.T.V (remember when they played music?) and I’d fight with my father on Saturday nights to stay up and watch HeadBangers Ball where I first saw Cradle Of Filth and their “Temptation” video.

From This Album

Does anyone remember that? As an eleven year old kid, I was pretty disturbed. In a good way. 

“Pulse Of The Maggots” by Slipknot was my favorite as an angry, confused 11 year old.



I got my dose of classic metal and rock from the music videos they showed before the heavier portion of HeadBangers ball. It’s where I was really introduced to Metallica, Pantera, (I knew about The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, The Band and all those classics from my parents too) and I just saw metal and rock as a different way to interpret life. Soul music had it’s signature “from the gut, from the soul” type of bellowing songs with trumpets and saxophones and partial orchestras on stage (from my little kid point of view) and if you go back far enough they all had matching outfits and did matching dances and even though they smiled and sung smoothly, often songs were about grief and sadness and depression and struggle and loneliness and those deeper human emotions in general.

I heard the same thing in metal and gravitated towards it. I hear it all music.

My father never agreed with me on the subject. He’s too old school and stuck in the music he grew up with, the stuff he made me grow up with. When he saw me listening to bands like this:


And this:


He was very confused, to say the least.

When I say music, I’m NOT, for the love of God, talking about girls who run around in mini skirts in rap videos saying some guy needs to “eat the booty like groceries”. That . . . that’s fucking nasty, first of all. Second of all, there’s no emotion in that. In fact, there’s no humanly connection at all and therefore I get confused. My brain hears it and searches for a reason and a connection and joy or sadness or anything to indicate it’s another human being rapping or singing and . . . it’s just void of all humanity.

There’s emotion in Piano, in orchestra, in opera, in metal, in punk, in grunge, in rap, in improvisation, in every form of music on the planet . . . except something that’s been written for the sake of profit. Like a line about eating ass.


My first real band obsession came when I heard the album “Freak on A Leash”. Obviously, I’m a youngster, and I wasn’t born yet when Korn came out with their first album. The first song I heard of them was from when their album “See You On The Other Side” was still fresh. But that just fueled my fire. I immediately bought all of their albums.

You can try and mention a metal or rock band I haven’t heard of or listened to at least once, but it would be pretty hard.

Thinking of Meshuggah? That’s a horrible guess, of course I’ve listened to them.

Cannibal Corpse?  You know damn well I used to head bang to that shit.

music-the-universal-languageI sometimes settled for softer songs from 30 seconds to mars and Shinedown, H.I.M and Breaking Benjamin and Taking Back Sunday or Avenged Sevenfold. But the point is I jumped around the entire rock/metal spectrum, just like I do every music genre. Music, arguably, is the most versatile, universal languages. I listen to Rammstein (Klavier, America, and Moscow are three of my favorites) and although I can only get the jist of the songs from my limited understanding of German, it hits a nerve in me that connects me to them. Same with songs I’ve heard from India, the middle east, China, Korea, Spain, Mexico. It connects you to people you’ll probably never know in a way you wouldn’t be able to even if you did meet them.

You know whose music has always had a special place in my heart? Bjork. Very unique.

What many people don’t know, is that when I had the space, when I had the drive and the motivation and the time, I dedicated every waking moment to music. I played the guitar, the bass, the clarinet, the piano, and more than anything I wanted to be a singer.

Lots of children gravitate towards what their parents do, and my father’s title of Vocalist/Dummer in his band appealed much more to me than my mother’s title of “classified clerk” at the local newspaper business.

So I emulated my voice around those musicians I adored and obsessed over. I learned how to manipulate my throat and I learned a lot of new curse words I’d never heard before. It was the greatest time of my life within one of the worst times of my life.

I haven’t had the focus or discipline to keep up my hobbies. And I miss them. Terribly.

My Soul Is Apparently Very Colorful And Geometric. Math Is Everywhere. Fuck.

What is life without that kind of emotional release? It heals the soul. And the soul takes a lot of hits in this day and age.

My confidence has plummeted as well. I used to be ecstatic about showing off some of my talents, but I’ve become even more reserved and now I’m out of practice. I used to love to show off to my former friends (also metal fans) the different metal vocalists I could imitate and we’d always wanted to start a band.

I’ve never posted a vlog or anything, so I know you all have no reference of what I sound like when I talk. But, despite being of the female variety, my voice is pretty gender neutral. It’s not high pitched (unless I force it to be) and it’s not low pitched. I don’t sound girly or manly. I’m . . . I’m a girly man. Or a manly girl. I’m a unisex. In terms of voice.

So rock music fits my range.

You won’t hear me singing Adele like a perfect little princess. If I did, it would probably sound like some mix of David Draiman (Disturbed) and Maria Brink (In This Moment) with a little dash of that one chick from Otep. And some Linkin Park.

I don’t know what the hell.

The point is, I need to reignite my passions. It’s might be what’s been dragging me down lately. I have no space or freedom in this apartment. I can’t blast music or instruments without a neighbor or my parents complaining.

But the stress is building. When music was my life, my stress never built like this, never to this level. 

I can’t neglect something that runs through my veins just as deep and nutrient rich as my blood.

My state of mind at the moment: