New Year, Same Nico

Happy New Years, folks!

I generally dislike New Years resolutions; they are so rarely kept. However, I try my damnedest to always embrace change and discomfort, and I’ve done better with that in recent years. These last few weeks leading up to the New Year, however, have shown me that I have not done such a fabulous job with that. I fucking failed at it. Sweet failure, in which we gain these insights.

The day my failings hit me, I was feeling pretty destroyed, but that night I went to sleep and dreamt of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. It was a great dream! He played the smallest of of venues to a spare few fans and his family members. Later in the evening he ended up behind this bar that was all neon lights and mirrors, everything else fading to black around the edges, the rest of the venue disappeared. We all sat on the bar stools as he went back and forth talking to us, playing his guitar occasionally, and then he made something for each of us. For me he rolled the most amazingly perfect joint I have ever seen, which I graciously accepted (although I do not smoke). I put it away in my bag, and when I woke up in the morning the first thing I did was look for that joint, but it was not there. I’m not sure I’ve woken up expecting a dream to manifest in real life like that since I was a kid. That morning, the biggest disappointment was not the sickening feeling that I had, once again, wasted my time on someone, but that this joint, which I had no interest in smoking, was nowhere to be found in my purse. Life is good.

What does this have to do with anything? Nothing, maybe. Except I will say that this year I set no neat little list of goals, only this general one: that I must focus more on myself and my friends; my dreams and my projects come first. Support others, always, but only the ones who have your back as well.

Till next time…keep being awesome, read books, listen to music, and eat pasta!

flying spaghetti monster

His noodly drum kit

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Cumming Full Circle; or the “Jack White Jack Off” Circle Jerk

This is simple post; a to-the-point and brief film review.

Years ago, an ex of mine rented the film It Might Get Loud from one of my family’s video stores. I cannot say that I am a die hard Jimmy Page fan, or much at all a fan of The Edge, but I will admit to listening to a decent amount of The White Stripes over the years. That said, my true devotion lies with Meg White, who is not in this film.

i-miss-meg

This is how I would best describe the film (which barely kept my attention. That should say a lot, as I love me some slow, experimental films with very long shots):

Jack White, Jimmy Page, and The Edge get together and masturbate, each staring at themselves in a full body mirror for 98 minutes. 

The End. 

That’s it. That’s all you need to know. See you next time for something more substantial and serious.

Back from the OUTER SPACE.

Oh, hello!

It sure has been a while since I last wrote here.

I spent the past year-plus making coffee-like drinks on small moon next to an outlying planet, in a solar system you’ve likely not heard of. It was exciting to say the least; a very nice change of pace. The rent was too goddamn high though (yeah, higher than the Bay Area!)

Long story short, I am back on this planet, this plane of existence, and I am going to try my best to get back writing about films, books, music, and social justice. No huge promises, as I am heading back to school to become a computer wizard. I am still upset that my owl never arrived, but we all must move on.

JodoGato

Jodorowsky and Cat

Till then, enjoy the above picture of Alejandro Jodorowsky and a cat (pretty sure it’s his cat.) We’ll talk more about him later.

And enjoy the below few songs/video:

Evening of Solidarity and Vigil for Gaza

Join fellow Santa Cruz community members in an Evening of Solidarity and Vigil for Gaza.

Activists will gather at the Clock Tower at the head of Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz. They will read off the names and ages of the children who have died in Gaza since July 8. They will lead Muslim, Jewish, Christian prayers, and poetry for all who have passed are or been injured in Israel/Palestine.

La Resistencia, by Melanie Cervantes http://www.dignidadrebelde.com/

La Resistencia, by Melanie Cervantes
http://www.dignidadrebelde.com/

 

Israel’s current assault on Gaza: Operation Protective Edge

  • An alarming death toll: Begun on July 8th as a bombing campaign, Israel has since launched a ground invasion in addition to the airstrike on Gaza. The assault has claimed the lives of over 1,300 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom were civilians, including over 250 children. 56 Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers & two Israeli civilians have also died.
  • Siege on an open-air prison: Gaza has been called an “open-air prison” because Israel controls its land, airspace, sea, access to electricity, movement of people and goods including food, water & medicine. Israel controls Gaza’s borders with the exception of the Rafah Crossing on the border with Egypt, which has been closed by the Al-Sisi military government; even medical aid has been denied. There is nowhere for people to go, evacuation is not an option.
  • U.S. Culpability In addition to the $3 billion per year in military aid, this week the US COngress is discussing Israel’s request for an additional $225 million dollars. Concerned U.S. citizens demand that the U.S. deny this request and immediately freeze all U.S. aid to Israel. They call for urgent hearings in the U.S. House and Senate regarding Israel’s violation of U.S. laws that forbid the use of U.S. supplied weapons against civilian populations. The U.S. must instead use all of it’s international influence, including sanctions, to demand that Israel to stop the bombings and ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, end the siege on Gaza, abide by international law, and end the occupation of Palestine.

Co-Sponsored by the Palestine-Israel Action Committee, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Friends of Sabeel North America. For more information contact ariel@fosna.org

 

 

Santa Cruz Against Israeli Occupation Forces

If you live in Santa Cruz County, please join us at the Clock Tower at 5pm tomorrow to protest Israel’s attack on Gaza. As of today the death count in Gaza was 330; 76 children and 36 women. Israel’s actions in Gaza are making it clear Operation Protective Edge is not about national defense, but about the continuation of it’s Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Not only that but it’s politicians are explicitly stating Israel’s intent; Moshe Feiglin has called for the forced removal of Palestinians from Gaza and expressed his desire to have Gaza repopulated with Jews; and Ayelet Shaked has called for the genocide of Palestinians on her facebook page.

Join the event on Facebook and Invite others:

Santa Cruz Day of Rage against Wars of Agression Against Palestine, Iraq, and Syria

Ismail Mahmoud Bakir, 9, Ahed Atef Bakir, 10, Zakariya Ahed Bakir, 10, and Mohammad Ramiz Bakir, 11, killed by the IOF on July 16th while playing soccer on the beach in Gaza.

Ismail Mahmoud Bakir, 9, Ahed Atef Bakir, 10, Zakariya Ahed Bakir, 10, and Mohammad Ramiz Bakir, 11, killed by the IOF on July 16th while playing soccer on the beach in Gaza.

 The United States is currently overlooking and funding the atrocities taking place in Gaza. It feels hopeless but there is a lot that can be done:

Tell your elected officials that you do not want your tax money supporting the destruction of the Palestinian people.

Call the White House and tell them you are outraged. (202) 465-1111

Speak with your dollars and take part in the BDS Movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction).

…And get out and protest! Join the world in condemning Israel.

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Now is strange.

I have finally left blogger, and so far it feels fine. My only complaint is that I do not enjoy the free template options on WordPress, but with change comes discomfort. Google sucks, and the templates can be dealt with.

Change is the theme of the month, and tonight I am sick thinking about the future (and the past for that matter). It is looking like this year will be nothing but change. The most current discomfort stems from me deciding I need to be single. It is ultimately good, but still, getting to that point has left me feeling like I ate shit on my bicycle; I’m still picking the metaphorical gravel from my wounds and analyzing the fall. And the rest? It isn’t even worth talking about till it happens.

There are good things though, like my child (who couldn’t be more rad); the awesome and loving group of friends I currently have; improving my running and cycling stamina/performance; and good books, as usual.

My recommendation of right now is Alex Rivera’s new short film:  “A Robot Walks Into a Bar”

(by the way, have you seen Sleep Dealer yet?!)

Till next time I will be fluctuating between being ecstatically happy and moody/contemplative (and dreaming about cyborg eyes!) So I leave you with the mixtape that accompanies my vacillating state:

(click the image ☟)

mixed_tape

Now that Fall and Winter are over…

It’s been a while since I posted, but I have been prioritizing real-life things (as opposed to things pertaining to the web-based world). As usual it’s mostly work, but I have had new and old friends around my house; bicycle rides when the weather permits; stepping out of my comfort zone and trying zumba; dramatic “familial” betrayals, that have only brought my family together; being reunited with my Gameboy Color; and good tv shows, among other things.

Without going into detail I recommend:
The IT Crowd 
Hot Pepper Gaming
The Walking Dead (Comic and Show)
Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX

Books! Books are my weakness though. I am a book-junkie and should be in a 12 step program or book rehab. Since I do not really intend to give up my habit, here are some recent recommendations:
Brothers Karamazov I got on audiobook so that I could spend office work, house cleaning, and sleepless hours “reading”. Despite the length of somewhere around 36 hours of audiobook, I have since listened to it twice. As someone less eloquent I struggle to put into words how much the characters in this book effected me.
At any rate I recommend you read it, I don’t find Dostoevsky’s novels that hard to read despite being classic literature from 1880. Also as a non-religious person, I do not find any of the religious discussions boring or offensive; at times I felt rather more drawn to some of the sincerely religious, yet moral characters of the book. I will go back and read a hard copy with lots of footnotes, because as I am learning there are so many references to Russian history and culture in Dostoevsky’s works that, as an American twenty-something in 2014, I miss out on a lot of the finer points. I am currently reading Crime and Punishment and much enjoying the footnotes.

I have also read Nalo Hopkinson‘s latest book The New Moon’s Arms. For those who don’t know of Hopkinson, she is a Canadian-Caribbean author who has added a lot to an Afro-Caribbean imagining of Sci-fi and Fantasy, which tend to be genres that are generally very white, male dominated (especially, and sadly, so for sci-fi). This book was in the general here-and-now-real-world, but takes place on a fictional island and involves the fantastic or spiritual. Of the books of hers that I have read so far it is not my top favorite, that would be Midnight Robber. That said, all of Hopkinson’s books are the kind that I have problems setting down in order to tend to the humdrum, unavoidable tasks in life such as feeding oneself.

The last book I will mention is Matlida which I have been reading to my son Pika. I am a lover of well written children’s books and have been known to read them just for my own pleasure. Roald Dahl is a truly wicked and brilliant author, and surely appeals to most adults; it is always a fabulous thing when you can find a book that will captivate not only the child you are reading to, but yourself as well. Matilda is a child of half-wit, lazy parents but is herself sensitive and brilliant, with a great love for reading. In dealing with her parents and the Headmistress at school she discovers she has powers other than her exceptional intelligence.
There is, as most know, a film version of this book, but what the movie lacks is Dahl’s knack for accurate (and often scathing) descriptions of the personalities and flaws of his characters, and people in general. For instance, in the very first chapter he describes a first kind of parent, which he calls the doting parent, and how that kind of parent will think their child brilliant although that child is often lacking intelligence or personality. He imagines what he, as a teacher, would write in end-of-term reviews for these children: “‘Fiona has the same glacial beauty as an iceberg, but unlike the iceberg she has absolutely nothing below the surface.'” or, “‘The periodical cicada spends six years as a grub underground, and no more than six days as a free creature of sunlight and air. Your son Wilfred has spent six years as a grub in this school and we are still waiting for him to emerge from his chrysalis.'”
Among Dahl’s other books I would recommend The Twits, George’s Marvelous Medicine, The Witches, Revolting Rhymes, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The BFG (those are my favorites at any rate!)