2009: 2004 All Over Again

I'll be honest, 2004 was probably one of the best years of my life. I graduated high school, i turned 18, got my drivers license and just pretty much did whatever the hell i wanted to. That was also the year that i discovered my one true love; LIVE MUSIC. I had always loved going to shows and seeing people in concert, but for some reason in 2004 it hit me like a rock. It was all i wanted to do. I would hit 3 shows in 3 days on school nights and go to school dead as fuck, but i didn't care. Road trips to LA were frequent. I had the opportunity of meeting and hanging out with a lot of people i admired in the music world and made quite a few friends along the way. Then the years following, just never lived up. Don't get me wrong, i gave birth to my daughter which was the most amazing day in my life. And every day since i've had her has been amazing and a blessing. But somewhere in all of the commotion and craziness, i lost myself. I stopped going to shows, hell i stopped doing a lot of things that used to make me happy. And when 2009 hit, i made some major changes in my life that i felt were necessary and i never looked back. I vowed to make 2009 what every year after 2004 should have been. And god damnit did i ever. Yes of course things were a little different seeing as how i had a daughter. But that just made things more fun. I got a new job, got back into going to shows, i finally stopped pussing out and got the ink done that i wanted, i bought myself a car and again, made a lot of new friends along the way. I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to help film a live dvd for one of my favorite bands. I got to shoot photos from a press pit. I went back to Warped Tour for the first time since 2004 as a 'worker'. More road trips back down to LA. Most of all, i felt like i was finally 'ME' again. Most of what i felt was missing in my life had returned. And for someone who spent 2 years dealing with severe postpartum depression, to feel like yourself again is a really big deal.

I would have to say some of my favorite parts of this year (not including time spent with my daughter), had to be the many times i got to see my boys in Hollywood Undead. From hometown shows, to Vegas, to New Mexico, to Sacramento, home and then Vegas again...it was always good times.

Picture post will come soon. For now, time to go wait on the countdown with my little one. <3


Happy New Years to me! Wine & sparkling cider plus a little bit of Patron...staying in isn't always so bad.

The smell of...defeat?

I really think with all the money that San Francisco is spending on 'going green', they should start putting some money into their public transportation system. And no, I'm not talking about making it run on solar energy or any shit like that. I'm talking AIR FRESHENERS!! The horrible stenches coming off of those trains have got to be doing some kind of damage to our Earth's atmosphere. So i have come up with a plan, a very good one if i do say so myself. Let me pitch it to you guys first before i take it to City Hall. Here goes.

Have you ever stepped onto a BART train, MUNI bus or cable car and had your eyes start burning? Your nose start feeling like the inner lining had been singed off? Had your face contort into a totally unflattering 'stink face'?? If you can answer yes to one or all of these questions, I have your solution! STENCH SENSE!! Stench Sense is a revolutionary device that is placed at the entry and exit points of your form of public transportation. Let's say an old homeless man bummed up enough change to get himself onto your bus. He hasn't showered since God knows when and he's covered in every form of bodily fluid you can imagine. Now who wants to sit next to that?? Or even be in the same 10 mile radius? Well now with Stench Sense's amazing odor sensors, you won't have to worry! As anything that smells any less fresh than a baby out of a bathtub passes by, the sensors will go off and POW! A deodorizing spray/air neutralizer blasts the culprit until the smell is gone! You will no longer have to sit next to Mr. 'I Just Got Out of the Gym and Decided Not To Shower Before I Left'. No more holding your nose when Ms. 'I'm Trying To Cover Up Last Night's Puke, Alcohol and Cigarettes With Cheap Perfume' stands next to you. And no more dry heaving when Mr. 'I Sleep On The Streets and Just Shat Myself Ten Minutes Ago' passes down your aisle. STENCH SENSE has got you covered. Or should we say THEM covered!

Yeah, yeah?? What do you think? Awesome idea, right? I'm totally writing to Mr. Newsom's sexy ass about this right now!

New segment coming soon!

In 2010 coming with an updated layout of good ol' CLUSTERFUCK will also be a new segment i like to call 10 Questions With _____. It will be a short, but informative, interview with a person of my choosing that i feel more people need to be aware of. They may be someone you know, they may not be. Either way, it's someone i feel you need to listen up to and know more about. It will be a weekly thing, one interview a week. Or less, depending on how fast i can bring them in. First one will be with a person very near and dear to my heart, and that will kick off the new year on 1/5/10 so keep a look out and check back often for more updates and more of me babbling on!


Just wanted to share a few links i think everyone needs to check out. So go now. Stop reading this and GO!

Rad Creations

Veronica Farr: San Diego Pop Culture Examiner


Pride Clothing

The Chive

Happy reading! Or buying. Buy stuff, too!

Big Bang Theory: Intelligent Humor

One of my favorite shows on right now has got to be "The Big Bang Theory". Unlike it's network partner "How I Met Your Mother", Big Bang hasn't gone stale. It's a different kind of humor that not everyone will like, but it is definitely something i look forward to. All of the actors have such great chemistry and even guest stars that come on fit in so well. Whereas a lot of guest stars on sitcoms seem out of place, theirs always fit right in. You can catch "The Big Bang Theory" Monday nights on CBS.

RIP Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan

I regret to inform you all that Jimmy Sullivan aka The Rev, drummer for Avenged Sevenfold, passed away on December 28, 2009. In a long string of shocking death's this year, this one hits a little closer to home because i had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with this guy. At 28 years old, he was found dead in his Huntington Beach home. Reports say he died of 'natural causes', only meaning no foul play was involved. His band mates had this to say on their official website:

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. Jimmy was not only one of the world's best drummers, but more importantly he was our best friend and brother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy's family and we hope that you will respect their privacy during this difficult time.

Jimmy you are forever in our hearts.
We love you.

M Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance and Johnny Christ

He was one of the most talented drummers of the new rock era, and he will be greatly missed.

Spotlight: The Sleeping

There are a lot of bands out there that don't get the recognition they deserve. The Sleeping is one of those bands. Especially after having seen them live multiple times this year, they are definitely flying too low under the radar. Yes, they did have a track on Guitar Hero 3. ("Don't Hold Back" from their debut on Victory Records, Questions and Answers.) And they have accompanied multiple big names on some sold-out tours (Hollywood Undead's TCB & Vatos Locos tours, Nintendo Fusion Tour, etc). Yet, they are still very much overlooked. If you still aren't convinced on these guys after listening to their music, make sure to see them live. If you don't absolutely fall in love, i'll punch you in the face because there's obviously something wrong with you. Ok, no not really. But The Sleeping live is definitely a sight to behold. Lead singer Douglas Robinson powers through the vocals in a high energy romp on stage that will give you chills. Each band member brings something special to the show. Whether it's Bassist Sal Mignano's display of amazing bass runs while in constant movement, drummer Joe Zizzo's hair-covered face pounding away, guitarist Paul Cadena ripping away or keyboardist Chris Evans rocking harder than anyone knew a keyboardist could. Their lyrics speak to the heart and make you feel every single word that comes through the speakers. Musically they are a breath of fresh air in a time when everyone is becoming musically monotonous and mundane. A sound all their own and not to mention, all really cool, down to earth dudes. They love their fans and definitely take time out, especially after shows, to spend some time and show some love. Don't ever be intimidated by these New Yorkers. They just might end up being some of the coolest people you'll ever meet.

Song To Listen To: "Heart Beatz". My personal favorite song. It hits a spot that i know too well.

Make sure to check out the guys on MySpace @ www.myspace.com/thesleeping or on twitter @ www.twitter.com/thesleepingNY. Also catch them on tour in February with Scary Kids Scaring Kids if they're coming to your area. You won't be disappointed!

(Photo Credit: Lauren Abria - Sacramento, CA)

Video..blogging...?? Huh?!

I would love to start doing video blogging on here as well, but sadly my laptop is out of commission. Until it is fixed and i can get a webcam, i don't think i'll be pulling out any awesome, amazing videos. I know, i know. It makes me sad, too. Now if anyone happens to be able to, or has a friend that can, fix a laptop with a bad motherboard for cheap or free (Free is always better!) i could get on that a lot faster. WINK, WINK. Coming up in the next week or so, the following:

-A couple 'Must Hear' selections of mine
-An interview with Bay Area-based amazing baker extraordinaire, Apey of Rad Creations.
-A reflection post on the year of 2009 called "2009: 2004 All Over Again".
-A 2009 retrospect photo blog.
-Much, much more!

Hopefully the beginning of 2010 will also bring more exclusives from me to you guys as well. For now, get into the Christmas spirit you fucking fucks!

Rihanna: Trying too "Hard"?

(Disclaimer: These are solely my opinions. I am in no way a music critic nor am i a professional of any kind in the music business. But i sure as hell know what i think sounds good and what doesn't. Read on if you'd like, or don't. Screw it.)

I was on my way to pick up my sister earlier and as i turned on my car, Rihanna's "Hard" featuring Jeezy popped on. I listened for a few seconds, then i had to change the station. The song on the other station ended, and there was Rihanna again. So i decided to try and listen to the whole song. I couldn't. And this goes for everything i've heard off of her new album, "Rated R". I am in no way a Rihanna hater, i actually really like (or liked?) the girl. Even back in the 'Pon De Replay' long blonde hair days. "We Ride" was my jam. And then of course songs like "S.O.S" and "Umbrella" or even "Shut Up and Drive" were definitely on my playlists at the time. But with this new album, i feel like she is definitely just coasting on her fame. And dare i say, trying too 'hard'?? Vocals are not on point, a lot of it sounds very lazy. She's done better and sounded better. Trying to go for that 'bad girl' thing a little too much, i think. All the barely clothed promo shots and crazy outfits have steered a lot of people away from actually paying attention to the music. Take "Hard" for example. Her voice sounds whiney and the song itself is actually just pretty average. Everyone wants to be on her side after the whole Chris Brown ordeal and that's fine. But from what i've heard of his album, i can actually say I'm more of a fan of his musically right now than hers. I'm all about image changes and not staying the same album to album, but i really think Rihanna is almost pulling a Christina Aguilera here with this one. This is her "Dirty". Almost a "Fuck you, America. I may have gotten beat by my boyfriend but I'm a bad bitch!" And that may sound harsh, but i'm in no way condoning what happened or anything. I have no opinion on that matter. I've heard producers, critics and everyone's mom come out and say they think this is her best yet. Personally, not so much. I'm much more of a fan of the asymmetrical haircut Rihanna. Which she needs to bring back, by the way.

Just a big pile of hot, steaming nothing.

So, I'm Lauren. I started this blog because i felt it was necessary for my own sanity. I talk a lot and have a lot to say, yet not enough people that are patient enough to listen to me go on and on. Figuring the best way to really get out all my thoughts and perspectives on things was to blog like everyone else does. You'll see a lot of different things on this blog; from reviews on music, movies, bars or anything else entertaining to random rants about daily life and situations. Hoping that i can pull a few strings i may even be able to bust out some exclusive interviews with people you may know, or may NEED to know. Stick by me, kids. I think we'll be alright. Enjoy!