Monday, July 30, 2012

About Nina's Tastes (In Music)

By now, you've probably got me figured out. I have a strange taste in music. There's something about music that everyone in the world has figured out, and that is, what do you like? For me, it's cheese. Specifically, heavy metal cheese.
I'll start at the beginning.

During my fledgeling years, my brother was into 80's hair bands. I vividly recall him going to see Cinderella. Being 6 to his 16, I thought everything that he did was cool, and managed to latch on to heavy metal once he left home and a few remnants of the era remained. A Poison bandana, a copy of Appetite for Destruction on a cassette. I clung to these things, but being a kid with overly protective parents, wasn't really able to explore their meaning. Years passed, and having been allowed the gifts of Disney soundtracks, I developed a taste for good storytelling through song. Also, cheese. In high school, I was hard-core into anime. I grew up with comic books and cartoons, and anime was another world to me. Cartoons people take seriously? Yes please! With the magic of the internet, I downloaded soundtracks to my favorite movies and shows. One of my favorites at the time? X/1999. The song at the end of this movie? "Forever Love" by X Japan.

The floodgates were opened. I wanted everything to do with this "X Japan" band, so I proceeded to download everything that I could get my hands on. This being the age of Napster, I was unaware that what I was doing was considered theft. I had every intention of actually buying these albums, but unfortunately, importing actual CDs from Japan wasn't very cost effective for a 15 year old. So I did what I could with what I had, and when I managed to see a real X Japan CD at anime conventions, I bought them. For the low price of $50 per CD. How a grown man can look a 15 year old kid in the face and talk her into buying one CD for $50, I have no idea, but I was a big fan, and there it is.

Now, X Japan remains the #1 band in my mind when I think of just who started my descent into metal madness. However, keep in mind, they were more rock than metal. The thing is, whenever they did get metal, I loved them! It turns out that they were heavily influenced by Loudness, a Japanese metal band that got a bit of US fame in the 80's. Their bass player, Taiji (who recently passed away) even played for Loudness! I opened for Loudness about two years ago, and I could see where they got their ideas. My teenage self loved it when X Japan got a little harder and gritter, when Toshi would scream and give that heavy metal wail, my heart fluttered. That being said, I never thought to explore other metal bands because I just had no idea where to start. I honestly didn't even know bands like the ones I was yearning for even existed! I had no friends who were into metal, no family, nobody to talk to. I was in a strange vacuum. I'm not one of those lucky kids who grew up with lots of metal. I happened upon it by accident.

Well, I went to college. During college, I kept up with X Japan. It was pretty much all I listened to, because I really didn't know any better. I had a boyfriend who listened to Meatloaf, and all his friends were big into some mystical place called "Jaxx" where they would all go and listen to metal. I tried some of the metal they were hawking, and didn't find it to my liking. Turns out they were all into gothcore, screamcore, stuff with "core" in the title that just sounded like noise to me. So no metal for me, until one fateful day...

I was in college, when my boyfriend at the time, this cute guy with big blue eyes named Will, introduced me to a band. Apparently, his friend Tommy turned him on to them. Their name? Dragonforce. So I listened, and my heart burst open. This was it. This is what I've been waiting for! And Will, sweet and thoughtful, knew it. He and I downloaded all of the free songs Dragonforce had available on their website. We fell in love (with power metal), and yearned for more. So, now that I had something to start with, we went to FYE and looked around. Gloriously cheesy band names caught my attention right away... Helloween. Goblin Cock. Tankard. And then? I spotted it.

HAMMERFALL: Legacy of Kings. The name caught me right away. Why? Will (soon to be Willy) and I played World of Warcraft. The town where my character was born? Hammerfall. Coincidence? Perhaps... but so many other coincidences lay within Hammerfall's song titles! Hammer of Justice, Heeding the Call, so many songs with so many things that, as both a nerd and a fledgeling metal fan, I could relate to! We bought the album. We listened, and we bonded. Here it was, at last. Something I could truly love. We must have listened to this album a hundred times before I got back home and started downloading everything I could get my hands on. Hammerfall sent me into a vortex of music I never knew existed; Blind Guardian, Helloween, Rhapsody of Fire! Bands that set my heart aflame and showed me a world beyond the mundane American pop music that we so loathed. A few weeks later, Willy scored tickets to a Dragonforce concert. My first real heavy metal show. I was so excited, we went in together, but how we came out was different. For me, anyway.

Seeing them up there, on that big beautiful stage, playing music that we adored and singing in a way I could understand... I knew. I knew my destiny. To become one of those men (with boobs) who could command such power and fury through the strength of voice and will. To sing songs about dragons and knights and kings and fire! Yes, that would be me, I promised myself.

Several days later, I went on Craigslist.

And that, my friends, is how it all started. How I went from a sheltered kid in PG County to the metal-loving maniac you know, and how, in the end, it really was all Willy's fault.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Running. That fateful activity. The bane of all fat kids in gym class. I remember being that kid. I was a chubby kid, and regardless of the fact that I played soccer in both spring and fall (my dad was my coach...) and I was on a swim team during the summer, I was a terrible athlete. I was slow. I couldn't outrun or out swim anyone. I was strong in the legs, but that was it. I used to dream of being one of those big strong girls, like Xena, or Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was someone I could really look up to! She was tall, fearless, she had black hair, and she was usually pretty thick! Not like the skinny girls that I grew up seeing idolized, but a strong chick with big muscles who was proud of her physique. Because it's okay to be a little thick if you're tall and strong, like an Amazon! But that never happened. My heroes were too far from the 5' person I ended up being, so any athletic dreams were quickly dissolved by the time I reached high school. I stopped growing around 15. I just got chubbier, and growing up as a chubby kid is a lot harder than it might sound. There's a lot of things you can't do. You can't wear the same cute clothes that all the other girls wear, you can't have a little boy tell you he thinks you're pretty without him telling you not to tell anyone because everyone makes fun of you (don't worry dude, I forgive you). You also can't dream of becoming one of those beautiful female athletes in the Olympic games, or a beautiful singer (like I wanted), or a beautiful anything, really. And for a little girl, being beautiful is a big deal. Take that away and we've got to fend for ourselves in ways our parents aren't used to dealing with. No wonder I took to comic books and nerd things...

In high school, I got up to 180lbs. I didn't have a lot of hope concerning my weight. I tried low-calorie dieting, but that didn't go anywhere. I still played on the soccer team, and I still ran and lifted weights, but I never lost any. I was just huge, and with my tiny frame, I always felt self conscious. When I got to college, I met some guy who showed me the diet his mom was doing, Atkins. I was hooked. You know the story... I got down to 130lbs through the diet and some workout tapes. Belly dance workout tapes, no less! Neena and Veena shimmied my ass through some pretty good 30 minute routines that had me learning not just a few good dance moves, but that I actually enjoyed working up a sweat when I was alone with nobody around to judge my performance.  I got a few of their other tapes, but "Slim Down" was my favorite. It actually made me sweat, and that sweat made me proud. I'm not exactly sure how many calories I burned on this workout, but eventually, I started to think I could burn more. I thought it was nice outside, maybe I could take up jogging? So I did. Alone. I grabbed a pedometer from Target, threw on some crappy running shoes, and started jogging from my house to our old church. It was one mile, and I walked half the way, but I felt accomplished. I could run! Maybe it wasn't so fast, but it was still running, and for some reason, that felt real.

I've been doing that ever since. I work out alone. Please don't ask to join me, because I still have that embarrassment when I work out with people I know around me. I still have that anxiety. I feel like I'm just an ugly sweaty pig trying to do something I was not meant to do, and as hard as it is to do in front of strangers at the gym, I know for damn sure I can't do it in front of friends.
I also don't run outside anymore, because #1 my allergies in the warm months and #2 my asthma in the cold ones. People tell me to use the elliptical all the time. It's faster! It burns more calories! Blah blah blah. Yes, I know this. But where do you use an  elliptical in real life?? You don't. Running is something humans have done for years. Something about putting one foot in front of the other feels very primal, to me. Like free weighs. I don't like machines because they were invented for people with disabilities. I do not have disabilities, so I use free weights, because they work more of your body. And I like that! And I like running. I'm not very fast, still, but I do it. Every workout I do at least 5k (3.12 miles) in under 32 minutes. On good days, I do it under 30. Is my goal to get down to a faster time? Sure... but I know I'll always be a slow runner. The point isn't that I do it fast. The point is that I do it. I was a chubby kid with no hope, and now, I'm a chubby adult who runs because... well, I don't know, really. It's kind of a miserable thing. Why do I run? I don't even know. I just know I have to, or I feel bad. Guilty.  I feel accomplished every single time, after every single run. I feel tired and sometimes nauseous, too... but that accomplished feeling is irreplaceable.

So yeah, I might never be Wonder Woman, but that's okay. At the very least, I'll never be that hopeless kid in gym class, again. And who knows? Maybe if I cut back on the vodka, I could burn the rest of the fat off these thighs and show you the muscle I've been building.

...yeah, we'll see.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On Romance and Shoulder Angels

It's been three years, since I got married. Well, three years, and one day. Yesterday was my anniversary, and let me tell you, it was one busy, exhausting, horrible day.

As you may know, I work a full-time 9-5 here in DC. After the day, I take the train to VA where Willy picks me up. From there, we sit in traffic for 1-1.5 hours, which is a really good time to tell each other about our day. Unfortunately, for people who wake up at 6am to get to work and don't get to bed until 11, sitting in traffic for an hour means it's also the perfect time to be cranky, leading to many arguments over absolutely nothing. Or the same thing. Yesterday was not different, except in that rather than going home to a nice home-cooked meal by yours truly, we had to go to the doctor to get the both of us checked out. Willy has an ear infection, and I've got an infected horsefly bite. So we got there a bit early and managed to get a nice salad from a place nearby. Unfortunately, there was a Carvel ice cream store next door. Willy loves ice cream. So do I. It being our anniversary, of course he thought it would be a good idea to go inside and celebrate. Let me tell you how my brain works:


I want ice cream.
It will ruin your diet.
It's my anniversary.
It will make you fat.
I work damn hard. I deserve a treat.
You deserve nothing because you are fat.
Willy doesn't deserve a miserable wife.
You will always be miserable if you are fat.
I hate you. I wish you were gone.
You love me.You would miss me.

This happens every time I want something junk-foody. A few weeks ago, I would have given in. Giving in means a nice trigger of guilt and emotional crap for up at 3 days after the incident. I feel fat, and worse, I feel as if I've done something horrible, as if there is no escaping the inevitable sorrow that comes from being a big fat loser. So I tried to avoid that by saying "no". Of course, to a normal emotionally balanced person like my husband, I'm simply torturing myself. Perhaps I am. But the only way I know to make myself a bit less miserable is to not give in to my junk food cravings, because I understand at this point that food is only temporary and my sadness lasts days.

As unbalanced as my brain is, I'm not surprised at how frustrated Willy can be with me. I can't enjoy ice cream, so what's the point of him getting any? So we left and went to see the doctor. We waited at the doctor's until 8, got seen, and finally left at 9, only to get to the pharmacy and wait more for our prescriptions. Things were looking up when we purchased a bottle of champagne. We got home, I took a shower, and we were finally able to celebrate our anniversary.

Then I said I had to go to bed early. He was clearly disappointed. Being drunk on champagne, I started crying, and we got into another argument. On our anniversary. Now I'm sitting here, tired, with a headache, wondering what in the world is wrong with me.

I'll tell you what the biggest issue with me is: I love and hate myself more than anything. I have an obsession with me. This obsession triggers every joy and misery. I can't take a moment to enjoy ice cream with my husband because I'm afraid of making myself upset. I plan every little thing in advance because I'm obsessed with my own musical career, and my husband feels neglected. It's always about me. Is that wrong? Is it bad? I want to say it is, but if I didn't plan in my calendar, I'd be a mess. So the thing is, I either have to deal with my self obsessed nature and make more room for others, or I've got to give up on being not my own self. That's the thing with marriage; it's not just you, anymore. And it's taken me a long time to really recognize that and see that I have a problem making my life more than just mine.

I'm not saying Willy and I argue more than other couples. All couples argue. The bottom line is that we love each other, and we don't want our marriage to fail. That means making some sacrifices, on my part. Maybe I can't go on the road so much, or be out all the time, or spend so much time working. Maybe I should get some therapy for my body issues. Whatever it takes, I know why I married Willy. I know that in the end, he's the only guy in the world who really loves me, no matter what I do or what I look like. He loves me in such a way that I know I can depend on him, and the fact that I don't seem the same way is sad. It's not something I'm happy about. So it's time for me to try and make some kind of change. I don't know what kind. I don't think I can change my problems with food all at once, but I guess the first step is admitting that you have a serious problem. I have a serious problem. Srsly.

Monday, July 23, 2012

About dogs...

So I came accross an article in CNN about dogs, today. Specifically, dogs in the workplace. Office dogs, if you will. It's one of the many articles I see pretty often about dogs and how they reduce stress, and how having them around makes people more relaxed, ect. People I know with dogs love them. I understand, because up until I moved out of my parents' house, I owned a dog. Specifically, we had cocker spaniels. My whole family loved them. They're small, they're cute, they're protective (important, in our neighborhood) and fairly low maintenance. We had two of them and both lived to be around 10 years old. Here's the problem.

I'm terribly allergic to dogs.

I think it might have started when I was a kid, and we never noticed it. I was always kinda sick for some reason. We mostly kept the dogs outside, so it wasn't a big deal. Around my teen years however, I noticed that whenever I came in contact with the dog (Cocoa), I'd get sick. I had asthma, but it was mostly untreated and I just had an emergency inhaler. By the time I was in college, I knew what was going on. I was always sick, especially in my parents' home. My allergies got to a point where I felt like I had a flu whenever I was home. I woke up and went to bed sick. The only medicine that helped was Benadryl. Because we didn't have health insurance, I never took an allergy test, and I couldn't take anything perscription based. I suffered through my time at home and left whenever I could. I never asked to give away our dog, I loved him. He was a member of our family. I just waited until I could get a job and moved out a bit before college.

Those first few months with my roommate in Virginia were amazing. I never knew what it was like to always feel normal. Now, any time I visited home, I got sick. It's been two years since Cocoa passed away and I still get sick at their house. Now that I've had an allergy test, I know what I'm allergic to dogs, cats, and dust mites. Well, cats don't screw with me. I have one. I've had him for 5 years, now. Odin never hurts me, but dogs? I can't be around them. So many of my friends have dogs, and being at their home means either I need to be drugged up on Benadryl or extremely sick. The allergies are painful. My eyes itch, my nose runs, my throat gets raw, and my asthma kicks in. It's terrible. So I try to avoid dogs as much as I can, if only because I'm afraid that someday the Benadryl won't do anything but make me fall asleep. I've spoken to my doctor about a solution to this, a combination of medicine, but he says it's likely that a perscription will only give me minimal relief and I'm better off staying away from dogs altogether.

Well, that makes me a little sad. My husband loves dogs, and I'd like to have one, but I can live with it. It's not that big a deal. The problem comes from other people who think it's their job to tell me that I need to get medicine because dogs are so wonderful. Guys, I like dogs too, but please cut the shit. I'm tired of defending myself to people who care more about me seeing their dog than my health. Really, I have nothing against you or your dog, but your wonderful pet makes me sick. So kindly stop trying to get me to take medicine, or "just live with the pain" as some have suggested. It sucks. It makes you look like an asshole, and you're starting to make me hate dogs on principle. Seriously, if I get one more person say I need to get over my allergies so I can see their precious bundle of barks and poop, I will tell them that not only am I allergic, but I hate dogs.

People are bringing me to hate dogs! Can you imagine? But seriously dog lovers, it's your fault. Get out of my face with those things. Don't bring them to work, I get sick! Don't let them run free without a leash, we almost ran over a whippet in the middle of the street this weekend! Don't assume everyone needs to see your stupid dog! You don't see me dragging my cat everywhere, do you? Do me the same courtesy. Get your stupid dog out of my face, and quit trying to tell me how to live. Office dogs that reduce stress? Not for everyone, and definitely not for me.

Barking mad: Can office dogs reduce stress?

My case of the Mondays... (spoilers)

First of all, let me begin by saying that this weekend went by way too fast. You hear me? Way too fast. I spent Friday night watching The Dark Knight Rises with friends at a huge Smithsonian IMAX theatre, and drove to the beach the next morning.

So lets start out with the first thing, The Dark Knight Rises. I'm gonna have to have some spoilers here, just because there's some things I'd like to discuss. First off, everyone already knows I'm not a big fan of Nolan's Batman movies. I'm just not big into how he re-does characters. They're not BAD, don't get me wrong, he tells a good story. But it doesn't grab me, that's all. So I went into this film kind scared because Bane is one of my favorite Batman characters, and I heard a rumor that Talia, another favorite, would be there too. Well, I was right on both counts. First off, the opening scene. Bane speaks for the first time, and I was literally dumb-struck by how terrible it was. It was like Sean Connery on Celebrity Jeopardy.
I was actually shocked because while I knew Ban wasn't going to have his classic Spanish accent, I didn't know how down-right awful he was going to sound. I figured they would have at least given him something normal sounding, bit it was bad. I kind of cringed whenever he spoke, which is I guess better than when Willy and I downright laughed whenever Christian Bale growled in his Richard Nixon as Batman voice. Those complaints aside, the rest of the movie wasn't completely awful. I totally called the fact that the kid climbing the all was Talia, if only because during the Bruce-doing-a-chick scene, I said, "She's Talia". Then I noticed a kid with blue eyes climbing out of prison and realized what was happening. Honestly? I was disappointed, if only because once again, they made Bane someone else's lackey. They made it look like he was the mastermind, but that's never in the cards for a movie Bane. Poor Bane never gets any love. Well, he does sometimes. To tell you the truth, I prefer the animated films to the live action ones. I think that having the films animated and straight to video makes it easier for you to cater to the comic fans. It's a much smaller budget, and you know who your audience is. I understand that these huge blockbuster movies can't give a lot of fan service, but I would have liked a little something... like... couldn't the opposing football team have been Coast City? Hehe! Oh well.. it was an entertaining movie. The part with the bomb was a little confusing. I was surprised it didn't go off every time they bumped it, but maybe I'm just not that familiar with how those things work.

Anyway, the movie lasted a long-ass time and we wound up not getting home until 3am. So Willy and I slept until 9, dragged ourselves out of bed (finally), and drove to our friends' house for a weekend with them. We'd been planning this for months, and even though it was a 3 hour drive, we didn't let that stop us! So after a 4.5 hour drive (traffic..........) we made it to his place and managed to have a fantastic time with new friends and old friends. I woke up exhausted with a really stiff neck, this morning... totally worth it!!

I'll talk about my weekend with the guys a bit later... for now, enjoy some Bane!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Soap boxes of the world colliding..

Well, last night ended on a stupid note. I check my phone around 9 (after dinner, shower, ect.) to find that my Facebook wall exploded with an argument between two people on my friends' list. I've got a lot of friends. Some are fans, some are family, some are buddies I met through World of Warcraft. They're from everywhere, and some can't help but argue. Well, here I am giving the middle finger to the Boy Scouts of America for kicking out a kid who came out as gay, and someone from my list argues his stance as an Eagle Scout.

I'm gonna be honest with you guys. There's something about the Boy Scouts of America that I've always hated. Even as a kid, their little uniforms weirded me out. I never joined the Girl Scouts (too busy with music), and I always thought Boy Scouts were weird. The only kids I knew in Boy Scouts where white kids, and being from PG, there weren't a lot of them. They were just outside of my comfort zone. As I grew older, I got a little more accepting of this American tradition, but I don't know. Something about them always weirded me out. Well, now I'm seeing all this controversy about them not allowing gay kids, kicking out gay parents, ect. They claim it's because of their Christian beliefs, which is what this particular Facebook friend argued, and all I can say is... COME ON.

Guys, I'm a Christian. I love Jesus. I love God. I love all the good stuff about this religion, and I'm not ashamed to admit that there is some pretty ridiculous shit in the bible that we've been actively ignoring. Like... slavery. Multiple wives. Marrying your rapist. Things that people are A-Okay with ignoring, you know? But as soon as the whole gay thing comes up, wooooah, holy shit, we can't allow THAT kind of "sin". Are you fucking kidding me? What is up with these people and gay folks? Why do they actively pick on gays, especially? I do not understand. They say "it clearly saays in the bible...", but then they get tattoos and have babies out of wedlock. I'd love to see the BSOA kick out a kid for being someone's bastard child. Give me a break, people. There's something about gay people that this sect of Christians just doesn't like, and I do not get WHY. Hell, I know priests who are more accepting of gay people than these Christians. I say "accepting" because I'm starting to hate the word "tolerant". Like.. when you tolerate something, it's when you grudgingly accept it. Like someone's bad behavior. I hate the idea that people are just grudgingly accepting someone's sexuality as a bad behavior. Number one, it's none of your business, and number two, you should be ashamed of yourself for thinking you can judge someone in that way. Isn't that God's job? And doesn't God love all his children? Don't you sit there and tell me that being gay is a bad example that you can't have your precious Boy Scouts be exposed to. I'm pretty sure he's gonna meet a gay person at some point in his life. The kid's gotta buy a suit sometime, right?

I just don't understand this hatred. Some people get so worked up about why they don't like gay people and it bothers me. Maybe because I hear some people use the same hate speech toward Latinos, I don't know. But it bothers me a lot and I hate hearing it, especially from people who are supposed to be friends and/or family, who claim they're Christian. Being Christian doesn't just mean going to church and reading the bible. You're supposed to show your love and acceptance. You're supposed to be like Jesus. There's a lot of crazy shit in the Old Testament that Jesus kinda pushed aside. We don't just follow everything in the OT. That's why we're CHRISTIANS. See that "Christ" in there? It means we follow Jesus' example, and never once did he say to kick the people you think are sinners out of your organization and hate on them. Never once did Jesus say, "forgive everyone, but not the gays. Those guys are icky," and never once have I heard a story in which Jesus told a gay dude that he can forgive the infidelity, the tattoos, the not honoring of the Sabbath, and all the other crap this does in front of everyone... but being gay is not allowed, so kindly leave the village and never come back.

I don't like using the word "retarded". It's offensive, and I understand that. But seriously, you guys are being retarded and I just can't come up with a better word for it. Excluding gays is retarded. You are retarded. And you're shitty Christians, so fuck you.

So hey, I lost a pound this morning! :D I'm also gonna see Batman tonight, so I'll probably post a view... after the weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


First off, let me begin this post by saying how much I hate rain. Yes, I understand that we need it for food and water, blah blah blah.. but in my opinion, I should live in a place where it rains maybe once a year, and food/water are shipped. I was caught in a storm, yesterday. With my trusty umbrella shielding perhaps 5% of me from the SIDEWAYS RAIN, I managed to make it to the Metro thoroughly soaked. I called Josh and requested some dry clothes, and was presented with a Captain America t-shirt and a pair of sweatpants covered in dog hair. Well, beggers can't be choosy, can they? I wore them both and felt like a middle-aged mom of two who has given up on herself. But hey, at least I had an excuse to go braless, amirite??

We did some scratch tracks on a few songs, so it was a good afternoon. I managed to kinda sorta get through a song I've really not practiced on, and we got some ideas for how it will go. I'll be honest, this is how we do songs I didn't help write. I'm thrown in the studio with lyrics that have probably just been finished a day ago and asked to come up with something on the fly. I'm not bad at coming up with something on the fly, but thankfully I have time to come up with something better later. However, I gotta tell you people, I hate not helping with songs. I hate not being there during the process. It makes me feel slightly useless. I understand that a few songs were written before I was even in the band, but ugh. It's an annoying feeling. Luckily we're running out of those, so eventually it will all be music we've written together. Considering how quickly we keep jamming ourselves in the studio, that should happen sooner than later. Album #3? No problem. We've already got more than half of album #4 already planned out and written, plus a single we're releasing before the album comes out. This is the problem with people who have a lot of creativity and time. Well, maybe that's just Josh's problem. I wish I had the time to write so much! At least I have time to write lyrics, thank goodness. I love writing lyrics. I love telling stories, putting my audience in a mind-set, really expressing how I feel or how a character I've invented might feel. The magic of music, the magic of words, the magic of.. magic. Maaaaaagic.

Tomorrow, I'll be going with friends to see The Dark Knight Rises. I can't express how little I give a fuck for this movie. I am actually a huge DC Comics fan. Batman is definitely a favorite, but I think I love his cast of characters more than him. The entire reason I've been hating these Nolan films is that I've seen characters I love get re-written. Not just as completely different personality-wise, but uh.. white. And sexy looking. I get it, Nolan likes British actors, but come on. Ras al Ghul... Bane... Scarecrow... all of them were re-designed to look white and handsome. Scarecrow was always white, yes, but sexy?? No. Come on. You're taking away a huge part of his character and what makes him tick by making Scarecrow a sexy dude. But people eat these movies up, and I'm just left with my comic books. What-evs. I'll go see this pile of boring and probably at least enjoy spending time with friends, but I will never ever say that Heath Ledger was "the best Joker ever". He wasn't. Nobody can beat Mark Hamill in that department. No one. e_e

(Yes, I know it's not Mark Hamill.. but a girl can dream!)

Iiiin other news, I'm still working on this diet thing. Currently, my calories are between 1200-1500 daily, usually on the lower side. I'm getting all my nutrients and junk, I have more energy, and aside from the soreness I've got all over from the kettle bell workouts, I feel great! However, I still have not lost any weight, and it's annoying the crap out of me. Yes yes, I know, measure inches, not weight.. might be putting on muscle, blah blah blah.. but I wanna lose weight, damn it. It's frustrating when you do all the right things and you don't notice any changes. Besides health, anyway... /eyeroll I supposed that I should be thankful for that, but I don't wanna. I'm gonna whine, now. Whine whine whine.

That's enough whining for today!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I've been on a quest to lose ten pounds for the past few weeks, and I've recently realized that I've been sabotaging my efforts with one of my best friends.. nuts. Yes, nuts. I f'ing love nuts. The problem is that too many nuts means too many carbs, and that just ain't gonna cut it. I'll have to wait until my weight loss has started revving up before reintroducing my crunchy little babies back to my diet. So, not only have I given up vodka, but now I'm gonna have to give up one of the few snacks I might have found at a gas station. Sucks to be me! We'll see how this effects me. I haven't lost a pound since I started eating clean/working out, but I'm hoping this is because I've been building some muscle. All those squats have got to do something!! It just wouldn't be fair if all they did was make me sore the next day. Kettle bell training really is a bitch, lemme tell ya. I've also decided to give up adding anything to my coffee, be it half and half, milk, or artificial sweeteners. From now on, it's coffee: black. Yes, even the disgusting coffee I usually drink. All black. TAKE THAT, STOMACH.
To be perfectly honest, I've always had this pressure to lose weight, but it's recently taken a front seat in my priorities. I know this is going to sound strange, but I feel guilty over the fact that I'm not thin. I feel like my shape is a detriment to the band. Imagine, we're just one of fifty million other female fronted metal bands, so which do you think a giant label will care about more? Me, or a band with a lead singer who looks like Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil? Or Marta of Bleeding Through? Take a look at this picture and you'll notice a trend. Thin sells. Short and chubby does not, so I either have to get my act together or wind up as one of the forgotten metal singers who never made it anywhere. And the worst part is, I'd take my fantastically talented band-mates with me. I just can't let that happen. I not only have to be the best singer I can possibly be, I've also got to be the best looking I can possibly be. So that means goodbye to vodka and nuts.. eat least for a while. We'll see if it does anything, but I have hope! And, you know, FEAR OF FAILURE...
In other (more awesome) news, it looks like we might not have just one... but two great artists gracing Metal Quest! Barry Kitson, known for his work in both DC and Marvel Comics, may be in attendance at Metal Quest! I say "may" because while he'll be in Baltimore during Baltimore ComicCon, he's booked until the early evening. So hopefully we'll be seeing him, but if not, please look at this awesome drawing of Ben Grimm throwing up the metal hords that Barry drewq for Josh (lead guitarist over at A Sound of Thunder). I had this baby comissioned for Josh for Christmas, last year. Yes, I know. I really am the best gift giver... but I will be putting up updates on the Facebook event as soon as I have them. Right now, I'm really excited about how many people RSVPd to the show! Yes, I realize half of them are band members, and half of whats left probably will not come... but one can hope, can't one?? If we can sell this show, we might really be able to give the Hero Initiative some money while showcasing some great nerd metal! Nothing like nerds helping nerds, huh? I could see an entire series of show with that kind of premise.. but I digress! Metal Quest is gonna have music, artists, vendors, and silent auctions, oh my! Here's hoping all this work pays off in the end.

Tonight, I'll be going into the studio to record some demo vocals for a song we slapped on the schedule at the last minute. Josh has this huge boner for Hawkwind (not unlike my giant lady boner for Hammerfall), and wrote a song about/inspired by them (not unlike the song I wrote about/for Hammerfall...), so now we're doing it. I actually like it, now. At first I was a bit apprehensive about singing in that style, but it all changed with two little words: theramin solo. As in, I get to play the theramin. Yes. You heard me. The gaddamn theramin. Until next time!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blogging again!

It seems I've come to a point where I have a bit more time and patience to do things. Like blogging! Maybe it's time for me to stop harassing my Facebook friends with a bazillion posts about things I care about (like how alcohol effects weight loss...) and simply blog them, instead. One big thing to read instead of a bunch of little things!

Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts.

Here's an update for you. I'm currently working in a lovely office building in DC that I really really love. Unfortunately, I don't really have anything to do during my lunch break besides eat and read. So, I go for walks, which sucks in a skirt in the heat, but I do it anyway. What I'd love is a friend nearby to go for walks with me or something, but meh. I guess it's not so bad being that weird girl walking down the street with a book in my face.

I just finished A Feast For Crows and I think it was my favorite book in the series, so far. I'm not a big fan of how Martin likes to stretch everything thin by adding a bazillion characters at once, and he even said that he kept it mostly to King's Landing during this book. I appreciated that. #1, Circe is one of my favorite characters (love to hate!) and #2, so is Brienne. And Arya. And Jaime. Okay, I pretty much love everyone except whats-his-face Barathion and his stupid red sorceress bitch. I'm pretty much done with their story and would like for them to die, soon. I don't know why, but I always feel tempted to skip the parts with them. Booooring. Give me what's going on with Sansa anyday. The Stark girls are so much more interesting to me then the other guys I keep having to read about. Like.. the Greyjoys. I'm done with them, too. Maybe I just don't like reading about men? I don't know. I do like reading about Sam, and Jon, and Dani bores me sometimes too. Hope I like the next book, since it's all I'll have until Martin gets off his ass (or back on it?) and finishes the next one!

In other news, I'm once again trying to lose the 10lbs that has been plaguing me for the past two years. It seems that every so often I think, "Oh, I'm okay.. I'm (insert number here) and I can lose that!" Well, nuts to that. I'm up to 130, which is where I was when I first moved out of my parents house. For the longest time, I was around 122 and that made me SO HAPPY. I can't believe how much 8lbs will do to my self esteem. I'm not working out as much as I was then, if only because I have to drive to my gym instead of just walk to it (there used to be one in my apartment complex), and I don't get home until maybe 7PM every night. That leaves me 3 hours to do whatever I gotta do before I go to bed, and sometimes I'm just so tired by 7PM all I want to do is eat and watch cartoons. At the very least, I'm able to crank out some reps with my kettle bells while I'm at home being lazy. I'm noticing some more strength in my legs, where doing 3 reps of 10 squats might have KILLED me, it's now a breeze. But the weight isn't coming off, and to that, I can only imagine it's because of my nightly martini. So, goodbye to vodka (for now...) because I need to burn this weight before I hit the road in August!

Speaking of hitting the road... yeah, we're doing more of that. I love travelling, and travelling with the band is even better than I expected. So, this August we'll be going to New York to play with Huntress and my buddy Joe in Brohammer. I'm ULTRA excited about that show, because not only do I get to see my college friend (who is now a big-time inking artist for DC, ooh la la!), but I get to go to NYC! I haven't been there since I went to see X Japan about a year ago.. where I ran into Joe, last time! It's destiny that we see eachother in the Big Apple, I know it.

The next out of town gig will be in West VA. I'm looking forward to that one too, if only because for some reason, we tend to have THE BEST TIME EVER when we play in WV. I don't know what's in the water, but their metal fans are f'ing great. Well, maybe it was the Four Loko we had last time, but MAN what a time we had in Bluefield (both times!). We met some great people and Josh won me a pink teddy bear from the crane game. He was drunk off his balls but he won that f'ing bear, whom we now call "Thunder Bear", and force to watch over Chris' drum kit.
After those, we'll have some big gigs in September! One of them will be opening for Kamelot, followed by my brainchild, Metal Quest. Metal Quest went from an idea I had to bring nerd metal bands together, to an actual show, to a show with a purpose. Now we're trying to raise money for the Hero Initiative, a cause that all nerds should be aware of. The Hero Initiative is around to help donate money to comic book creators in need. Some of them are pretty old and are in need of care. Some of them have been injured due to the strenuous nature of looking at paper so close for so long. Well, these guys gave us our heroes, so I see no reason not to try and give them something back. Where would I be without comic books? Probably somewhere boring. We're taking donations to fund the show before it happens, so we can give more profits to the charity. If we can make our goal, we'll be able to actually be able to give money to the Hero Initiative without losing our asses! That's always a good thing. I'm really looking forward to this show. Costumes, raffles and everything!

All this, and we're currently recording our new album. I'm excited about this one, even more then the last one. I wrote a bunch of the lyrics on this one, and I'm especially proud of them. Thank goodness for such a good creative team to work with. I'm expecting a few raised eyebrows, but nothing to the extent of "Kill That Bitch", which took some flack for being:

Antifeminist, cruel, mean, stupid, childish, evil, ect. ect.

Well, what can I say? I have a knack for these things. Making controversy, that is. I don't think this album will have quite so much, but it will have some different styles that may surprise you. My goal in this album was to make people hear everything my voice can do. So, if you know me, you know I do a lot of different things. This album will highlight NEARLY all of them, or at least the ones I haven't used as much in the past. We've got some guest vocalists I'll be singing with, too. We've already announced that Blaze Bayley is one of them, but the other one shall be revealed a bit later.
I think that's it, for now. Most likely, I'll come up with something else to talk about in a few hours... if so, I'll save it. Can't write too much, can I? Yes, I can...