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.

Trip To Universal Studios Births Striking Revelation.

I feel so bad for neglecting this blog as I have for the last week or two, I’m sure you’ve all been wondering:

“Did she do it? Did she finally blow her brains out?”

Or

“Hey, I wonder where that one chick went, the one I hardly read but sometimes caught of glimpse of her hilarity and found it a nice pick-me-up for my day/night.”

Or

“Thank God, she’s gone”. 

Well I’m back. No I did not blow my brains out, but I did have some stressful overnight shifts at work and I also went here:

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After I snapped this photo, I narrowed my eyes and hissed “Fuck the industry”. Then I took another photo from a different angle.

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I have other pictures on my camera I have yet to upload.

But while It was officially a year since I’ve been on WordPress with this blog (cue gothic poetry snaps) it was also the two year anniversary of me and my boyfriend. So off to Los Angeles we headed, to Universal Studios where we got to see part of the set of War Of The Worlds:

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We saw the Jurassic Park set, a bunch of practical (fully built houses/stores) and facade (only the face of the house/building) sets, we saw how they create flash floods and weather, and was apart of both, and while you’re riding around in the tour bus wondering why you’re holding 3D glasses in your hands, you suddenly become part of a ride, part of a disaster movie where a fuel tank falls inches from the bus, where the entire sound stage floods with water and a train crashes up ahead. Then KingKong is rocking the top of your bus and leaping in your face and attacking a T-Rex that spits water all over you. We saw the Fast and Furious cars and were part of a race.

We also ate one of the world famous doughnuts from Springfield (The Simpsons):

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It’s a Very Large Doughnut. We split it in half, and I’m pretty sure we each gained 5 pounds from it.

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Went to Hogwarts and all the little shopping centers like Hogsmede, e.t.c:

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Which by the way, the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” that they advertise so much definitely attracts people’s attention. It’s the most crowded area of the whole studios.

Directly ahead is “The Walking Dead” themed attraction where you walk and Zombies snatch at you. And yes, they can touch you. It’s horrifyingly dark inside there and they come out of nowhere.

Then past that is little England and through that is the Despicable Me part of the park where all the little kids and their families can go. We also went. It was fun.

To the right of that, out of the frame, is little France and a 1950’s themed area of the park.

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In the lower lot, next to the Jurassic Park ride is the area where you can meet a functional, walking, growling, raptor.

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And right outside of the studios, in the City Walk shopping Plaza, we walked into the middle of a concert:

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It wasn’t our style of music, so we left and watched a movie.

All in all, the trip was amazingly fun. We stayed at this hotel:

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Which I highly recommend. It’s within walking distance of Universal Studios, within walking distance of all the stores and Restaurants you could possibly need on Ventura Boulevard, and it’s only a five or ten minute drive down the hills to Hollywood and the Walk of Fame. The people are very professional and the rooms are pretty nice. Great air conditioner. Which you will appreciate. A lot.

I believe I addressed this question earlier, before I left to the studios, about why I would go someplace as crowded and loud as Los Angeles and Universal studios knowing the sensory overload and social anxiety I have.

And I would like to say there is a way to travel and have fun even when you suffer from mental health issues. It’s not impossible. It might feel like a horrible idea at first, but once you immerse yourself in it, once you allow yourself to feel the feelings of being comfortable and being uncomfortable, you can learn how to manage them and shift them.

We ate at a Japanese Ramen bar and my first thought was shit . . .there’s no silverware, only chopsticks. I am an African-American/White chick from a coastal town in central California no one has ever heard of except maybe in the pages of a Steinbeck Novel or in the paragraph of an article about serial murders, therefore I use chopsticks like a squirrel eats pizza: with great difficulty.

I saw a squirrel dragging a piece of pizza around the street once: the pizza was winning.

I didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of all these people. I didn’t want to look like an idiot walking down the street, or in the stores, or on the Hollywood strip where there is thousands upon thousands of tourists walking with their camera pointed upwards and their eyes as well, or walking through the mounds of people at Universal. It’s always a worry on my mind. I hate how people stare at me (whether they mean to or not) and I hate being around a crowd.

But through this trip I realized a lot of my anxiety is built around culture and diversity. I wasn’t anywhere NEAR as anxious as I am in my hometown. Everywhere you turn there is a different style of restaurant, different style of food run by an authentic family. In my town we have burgers, Pizza, and mexican food.

There, there was Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, American, Mexican, Brazilian; there was Wolfgang Puck’s L.A Bistro, there was the HardRock Cafe, there was Sushi, German . . . anything you could think of.

I live in a tourist town. And it pales in comparison, heavily. We don’t cater to many different ethnicity around here because we only get tourists. And anyone else who lives here is either Caucasian or Hispanic.

There, everyone lives together. Tourists come from other countries, and some people have stayed and built a life and I love the diversity. I was happy sifting my way through the crowds and trying the Ramen house and doing something different for a change.

Fucking MetroPCS bumps Gangster Rap down there. Our MetroPCS plays the Univision hispanic television channel.

If you don’t know what MetroPCS is, it’s a cell phone company.

Sometimes anxiety and depression need a kick in the ass by something new. Sometimes you need to so something spontaneous. like 1) Leave town. 2) Do a bike race through the mountains. 3) Dye your hair magenta and get an eyebrow piercing.

So far I’ve done number one and number three. I might do number 2 too, God knows I need to shed off that fucking doughnut.

This is my way of taking control over my life again. And I’m going to be nervous and depressed and paranoid the whole way through it. And that’s okay.

And yes, I hate people staring at me, so I decided to dye my hair a bright reddish pink magenta. Fuck it.

P.S I will say, I love how they drive in Los Angeles. If anyone reading this is from there, I salute you. You guys don’t fuck around in Studio City or Hollywood. I saw a guy driving down a hill and there were three cars stopped at a red light in front of him. He was about 70 yards away from them when their light turned green. He laid on the horn the instant the light turned green, before he’d even had to put on his brakes, before he was even near the bumper of the car in front of him.

35 miles per hour speed limit transfers to 50 miles per hour to you guys.

Ya’ll don’t fuck around. I like it.