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I am so absolutely glad
for my total un-specialness
that I am the only one of me
But I don’t matter and am free
The freedom is so fathomless
That there can be no living inside
nothing sticking
No adhesion on opposite lack of inclines
Because I already cleared the window
Vaulted the rooftop shingles
Leapt the rock-tumbling cliff
Without a stumble, as failing hard
Is what I do with the most grace
Broken poise my most effortless posture
Downward, limbs giddy in freefall swim
With the ground magnifying to exponential
Before the hit, wet crunch and happy spill of
Crimson gladly staining the void
This is my favorite dream
Smiling to the ceiling
Maybe the smell on the wind will hug me for the day
Tastes like a bit of dead release or relief
Veiling between these thoughts
and the swell of noisy limbs that press in without pressing
the daily rituals of wonderful people
truly wonderful spirits
such a shame to be my poison
scraping at my cells

I’m sorry, but leave me alone to the quiet
I am not worth your attentions or intentions

There is a man on the peninsula
No need to believe my blushing voice
But I tell you I saw his wings
A terrifying glisten of feathered violet
Tenderly folded in to sinfully curved hips
Rendered sweet by the laughter which shook them
Exactly the child, strangely seductive
Driven by age and early wisdom
Too many flights through eastern clouds
I saw his wings
Draped with long-armed brothers
Until full lips parted, jaunty crooked
And set forth breath on chords of melody
He sang
Walls thundering down on my shoulders
Veil broken, smashed inward all around
And tongue laced notes whipped down with golden rain
I can’t see, eyes running
But it’s all clear suddenly
The fall is anchored, a line snapping taut
Hooked deep in forgotten scars, finding purchase
And something like glory vibrating down the gossamer line
Something like favorite dreams
Vanilla and cinnamon and bruising wings
Freedom stripped by the throat of a dart-eyed creature
All too-loud amusement, patience and sun-tanned boy
Stole the lost away; filled it with incantation
Brightly fluttering pupils smiling at me
I’m funny to find it so beautiful, he says
And laughs; hyena bark that stumbles me down joyful
Nothing could sound prettier
No angel bell-chime tinkle could compare
And we meet and pass in mornings and afternoons
He lets me sit on his wings
As he sings
Now, I’m living; held aloft, void swallowing only itself
I’m climbing out of the freedom, craving the boyish anchor
Gladly enchained to purple silk vibrato throbbing at my ears
Maybe gold-fleshed crooked smirks are special enough
For the both of us
I will be plain mediocre satisfaction
So that he may burn the hotter at my side
I am so absolutely glad
For my total un-specialness
That I am the only one of me
And I don’t matter
…any less than his wings.


Dude...I totally never post on Livejournal. How totally lame of me. >.>
So yeah...2007.

Mmm hmmm...


Fort Minor at the Fillmore

Warning: This will be long, tedious, and have a lot of stuff that most people won't care about, but it means a lot to me. Skip down a ways if you just want the show stuff. If you'd like to see more reviews from fellow fans, pictures, links to videos, then I urge you to go here. That's the thread for the SF show on the boards. Enjoy!

A year ago I was falling apart. A year ago I had very little reason to keep my head above water. It was about a year ago when the first whisperings about Mike's 'side project' were getting spread around. I followed it pretty closely, because I respect him, I love the music he creates, and I think he's artistically brilliant. As spring came around I really had nothing left. I knew it was bad at the time, but now I can look back and see how truly horrible it was. I finished that semester of college feeling completely destroyed. That was right about May. It was in May that the Fort Minor messageboards opened and the excitement about this project accelerated. I joined in immediately. Those first few months on the boards were magic. The people who were there at the time know what I'm talking about. We were like a little family. There was this crazy buzz of anticipation as we got each little bit of news, and each little sample, and each code to solve.

It's such a dramatic thing to say, so trite...so cliche. But it's also true. These guys saved my life. There were many nights when I'd be up on the boards with the regulars and Ryu would come in and chat with us. Mike would join in. Cheapshot would join in. I laughed more then than I probably have my whole life...and considering the fact that I was in such a bad state of mind and body...that laughter was appreciated more than I could ever describe in words. They were hilarious. They were kind. They took time out of their busy schedules just to talk with the fans. And it was all friendly, casual, sincere, and uproariously comical. I can recognize now how much that helped me, healed me, kept me going.

Fast forward through the months as we got more and more information. RTN, Petrified, and Believe Me, and the fun of our wild-goose chase for the tracks on the net and the mixtape. The European Festival shows that a handful of folks got to see overseas and how they brought back oodles of videos, pictures, and memories. All during this time I had seperated myself from everything that had taken so much from me...school, family, pressure to work, etc. I had to. It was necessary that I do what I needed to do for myself. I did exactly that. For the first time I spent my time in the way that I wanted to...screw any guilt anyone tried to put on me.

That's when the LPU hosted an art contest. It was to make and submit a collage. I jumped right into it. I wanted to make something that would show how much I appreciated Linkin Park for everything they do. Especially over the previous year, because the amount of charity stuff they had done was pretty insane. I collected my thoughts about it for a couple of weeks and then hammered out the collage over two days. I was happy with it. I submitted it by mail. I was worried that it would get lost or destroyed and that it would never be seen by the band that it was meant for. They could see it and toss it out and that would be just fine. As long as they saw it. As long as they saw the appreciation of their hard work. A month later the winner was chosen. Me.

I was floored...like I literally fell out of my chair onto the floor. Not only had the collage made the journey safely in the mail, but they had seen it, and Mike had chosen it to win. *awestruck* I was so grateful...so touched.

LPU 5.0 launched, the FM Militia launched, and I was right there for both showing my support. I followed it all and enjoyed it all along the way. The tour was announced. Small, intimate, shows...mostly East coast. A few shows in LA that I had no chance of getting to. More dates. More venues. Many of us on the north west coast resigned to the fact that we probably wouldn't get to see them. Fast forward a lot now to about a month ago. San Francisco date added to the end of the domestic tour!!! I flipped! This was it. If I was going to see FM live it would be this show. My brother, completely disconnected from all of this was like 'sure' when I asked if he'd go with me.

It's important to understand that I've never been to a concert before...not a big one. I also never figured that my first concert would be a hip hop show. Haha. Fantastic. And this was to see a group of people who had given me a reason to live over the last 10 months or so. I had followed this since the very beginning and to see them live, in their element, on the last day of the US tour, would bring it all full circle for me. I prepared. Painted some canvas to be signed, painted a shirt for the hell of it, and made some Machine Shop bling as that was a bit of a joke on the boards for a long time. 4 days ago I was all ready. Excited, nervous, scared even, but ready.

Tragedy. A friend and truly wonderful person was killed in a car accident on Saturday. John Mattern and his girlfriend, 20 and 19, were killed while going out to celebrate a belated Valentine's Day. I was crushed. I'm still crushed. I was never very close to John. We talked every once in a while, played a zillion card games, and related on a certain level of nerdiness. Haha. This dude was a fantastic human being. I consider(ed) him the top of our class. Potential, intellect, kindness, wit. I don't miss him on the level that his close friends do. I miss him and am devestated by the fact that humanity, as a whole, has lost a great treasure of a person.

I didn't sleep well at all Sunday night. Massive headache just trying to get a grasp of what had happened. On Monday I spoke with Antoinette on the phone, which was heartwrenching. They had known each other for ages. I can't even really express how sad that made me.

Monday night I wrote a lot. Thought a lot. Turning things over and over in my head. It came down to what was obvious. For me, on a individual/personal level, these events are deeply intertwined. The tragedy of two days previous and the celebration of the following night. Grief and joy aren't such disconnected things. They are not opposites. Seeing FM, meeting them, having that experience was already intensely meaningful. And particularly now, after the show, I can say that the grief for John made the celebration more important, and the celebration made the grief for John more important. I am thankful that I was able to have both. I am thankful for that balance, because having the two together made both far more intense, far more meaningful, than if I had only been grieving or only been celebrating.

Like I said, for the last year I have been disconnected from people as it was necessary. I shipwrecked a year ago on some deserted beach. I had to heal, rebuild my boat, and last night it was time to launch again. And I wanted to do it with people. I wanted it to be a human experience. I wanted community, blood, sweat, energy, and emotion. All of this I went over and over in my head Monday night. I didn't sleep. I thought about John. I thought about my struggles over the last year. I thought about Fort Minor and how much those guys had given me. I thought about that precipice I was standing on, ready to launch again, and this time with the armor that all of these experiences had forged for me.

The Show:

My brother and I left an hour later than we had originally intended. 5 o'clock departure. The drive down to San Francisco was beautiful. I love the city. Always have. I feel at home there. We arrived at 6:30-ish, parked and walked a ton of blocks to get to the Fillmore, which had a line winding around like three blocks. By the time the doors opened we were probably placed in the back quarter of the line. I got my meet & greet pass and waited. It was super chilly as you can guess. It's been real cold in the bay lately. Last night was no exception. Hehe. At 7 the doors opened and the long line slowly filled the Fillmore. It's a really awesome venue. Really badass inside. I love those chandeliers above the floor. I split from my bro at that point to find the Meet. I actually didn't see him again until after the show. I wandered upstairs and found where the meet was to take place, got in line, and waited. It was due to start at 7. It didn't until a bit after 8. I was a third back in a line of about 100 people, which impressed me to no end. Cheap ticket prices bring everyone out in droves. Lol. They all came in and took their seats to our cheers. As it was an hour late, the opening act Flipsyde was already playing, and the meet time would be slightly rushed.

The Meet & Greet:

I was a bit flustered at first because my digital camera flipped out on me. I took one miserable shot with it and it died. Lol.

So I tucked it away and brought out my 4frame camera. Here's another full circle moment. Part of my awards for winning the collage contest were these really cool cameras that do odd things. This one takes 4 pictures over the course of two seconds and displays them all side by side on each photo when you develop it, so you can move it around while you snap a shot and get kind of a panorama thing. I used it during the greet about 5 times I think...I have no idea if they'll turn out. The lighting may have been too dim. Onward!

I placed the poster I had painted down on the table...

Me: Hi, Cheap! (Cheap has such a bubbly personality. It's funny as hell.)
Cheap: Heyyy! *shaking my hand* What's your name?
Me: Allie
Cheap: Hi Allie, nice to meet you!
Me: Nice to meet YOU!
~At this point Cheap and Bobo leaned over my poster and said all kinds of nice stuff about it. Ryu leaned over Cheap's shoulder to look, too. He was sitting behind them not signing. I distinctly remember him calling it "sick!", which is so him. Haha.
Me: Thanks guys!
Cheap: You sure you want us to sign on this?
Me: Yah, totally, anywhere, go crazy if you want.
Cheap: Alright I'll sign by the SOB. *signs*
Me: This is so great to finally get to meet you guys. Thanks!
Cheap: Yah! Great to meet all of you. *looks around* This is CRAZY!
*Bobo signs*
Me: Hey Ryu! Tari says 'Hi' from the forums.
Ryu: Ah yah? Alright.
Me: Nice to meet you Bobo.
Bobo: Same to you. *shakes hand*
~Moving down the line
Me: Hi Tak! Great to meet you man!
Tak: Hi there! *shakes hand* (Tak has a great handshake by the way. Lol) *he signs*
Me: Thank you!
Tak: yah, welcome!
~Moving down. Tak passes my poster to Mike who picked it up off the table and surveyed it.
Mike: Ah, wow, you did this?
Me: Yep, just for today.
~Mike tapped the "shamon shamon" and chuckled, nodding. (Those have read or were in the FM chat with Mike will understand that. Haha.)
Mike: Nice! Acrylics? *still looking it over*
Me: Yes!
~Holly leaned over to look while Mike starts signing it.
Me: You chose my collage to win in the LPU and I just wanted to say thanks for that, so thank you thank you thank you!
~Mike looks up grinning.
Mike: That was YOURS?! Oh awesome! *classic Mike big grin* *signs more*
Me: Yep, so thank you. It really means a lot to me.
~I had started moving toward Holly now to go with the flow, but when I said that Mike looked up at me with this totally genuine expression that I can't get outta my head. I think he was touched. Then he cocked his head to the side and looked all curious.
Mike: Have I met you before?
Me: Ah nope, I'm online all over the boards, but that's it. Nope.
Mike: Ah, yah, okay.
~This I'll never forget 'cause he reached his hand out to me...a little sideways 'cause I had moved towards Holly....and shook my hand. He made sure I got that handshake even though I wasn't expecting it.)
Mike: Well, it's really nice to meet you!
~And you haven't had a handshake until you've gotten a Mike Shinoda handshake. So fucking sincere. Smiling. Engagingly perfect eye contact. Strong. Genial.
Me: So nice to meet you, too! Thank you so much Mike!
~ Another big grin from him and a little nod. ( At this point it kinda felt that my face might break in half 'cause I was smiling so much. Hahaha.)
Me: Hi Holly! Good to see ya! *shakes hand*
Holly: You too! *signs* (Holly is so quiet...soft-spoken. Very cool, sweet, chill personality)
Me: Really looking forward to the SkyTeam. That'll be great. (I hadn't noticed, but Mike had apparently already signed for the chick after me and was listening. He looked over and made this sound of approval and smiled at me again. Just about made me melt through the floor. I nodded and smiled.)
Holly: Oh yah thanks!
Me: Thanks Holly!
~She nodded and I moved to Beat.
Me: Hey Beat!
Beatdown: Hi there! (Imagine a black Santa Claus...that's Beat. Lol. Jolly dude. He's awesome.)
Me: Nice to meet you! *shakes hand*
Beatdown: You too! *surveys the poster a bit and signs it*
Me: Thanks Beat!
Beatdown: Yah for sure.
~He passed the poster back to me and I turned from the table.
Beatdown: Hey wait a second! How'd you get a Machine Shop chain... *looking at my bling more intently*
Me(laughing): Ah I just made it....fake little thing.
~He laughed and approved of it.
Beatdown: Ah nice. Enjoy the show!
Me: Thank you, I will!

I proceeded back downstairs until I found a little spot to look at the poster privately and get ready to enter the floor area. During the meet I had made sure to look everyone in the eyes and never once looked down at the poster. So I opened the poster to look and only then realized why Mike had taken longer to sign it. He had added a little "Great work!" next to his signature. I just about keeled over right there. Kept my composure though. Smiled, rolled it back up, put it in my bag, and put everything in coat check to keep it safe. I was in so much of a hurry to get out to the floor and so happy about how the meet went that I forgot to grab my disposable camera. But frankly, I don't care. Haha. I was on cloud nine....cloud nineteen even. And on my own I went out on the floor and wove forward through the crowd as much as I could ending up in a little pocket behind two really tall dudes, which was actually a good choice, because there was this nice window between them that gave me a right decent view of the stage. Later on, three more really tall dudes moved in front of me making it a little tougher to see, but no worries. I think I was about 7 rows of people back on the mid-right side. If the meet had been a failure I would have charged for the front, but it had been so bloody wonderful that I was perfectly content to hang back, enjoy the show, and let people who hadn't had the opportunity to be in the M&G to be in the front. My night had been made already. My year, in fact. I'm also not a big person. Quite small. Knowing that Mike and the guys always jump down, sign stuff, and give stuff to the front row, the crush of a sold-out show, in front of the stage, at the Fillmore, probably wouldn't have been healthy. Hahaha.

A DJ by the name of Mike Relm came out and cut it up for us. Really awesome. He had his gear set up so that there were vid clips playing up on a screen behind him that accompanied his scratching. I remember Bjork's 'Human Behavior' (a personal favorite), Peanuts with Schroeder playing piano(a personal favorite), Peewee Herman (hilarious), Fight Club (a personal favorite). So that was pretty spiffy. It was also hilarious, because the M&G had finished and some of the guys came out on the upper left balcony. Ryu and Cheap lit up a few times, danced around to the music, and took pictures of us! Lol! Funny dudes.

The Set:

Eventually it was time for FM. The crowd crushed forward a bit more and the show started. It was fantastic. Incredible energy from start to end. We were all going nuts. I got doused by Mike throwing water on the crowd a couple times, which was great considering how freakin' hot it was in there. Lol. But I danced and jumped and sang and said all the verses along with them and screamed my lungs out to my heart's content. SOOOO much fun! Some highlights were Tak's "wait til you see me..Ohhh", singing happy birthday to Holly, and Mike's Hyphy jokes. Mike said it best after we belted out Chester's part from Enth E Nd, "I fucking love you guys" with the utmost sincerity and heart. I felt the same...fucking loving every single person in the house.

Remember the Name
It's Goin' Down
Dolla (from the mixtape)
Enth E Nd (I take pride in the fact that I was one of the few spitting the CORRECT verses here. Lol)
Mr. Brown (classic Styles of Beyond)
Medley (Mike joins in on a fiery verse...lots of SOB, Bleach and some others all mashed together)
In Stereo (got that bitch earthquaking like WHOOOOOooaa. Hahaha)
Mike introduces Holly Brook and Jonah Matranga (big surprise that Jonah was there. Very cool)
Where'd You Go w/Holly and Jonah
Mike puts Holly on the spot getting us all to sing her Happy Birthday (Yay! Her B-day is actually on the 23rd)
Feel Like Home
Red To Black w/Holly and Jonah
Introduction of Eric Bobo from Cypress Hill
Believe Me w/Bobo on Timbale (Hot! Crazy hot playing. Super-talented guy.)
((Everyone left the stage. Lights off. Crowd goes absolutely crazy. Screaming like banshees, chanting, pounding our feet for the encore))
Mike comes back out and is like..."what do you guys want?" And everyone laughs and flips out again. Awesomeness.
There They Go
High Road

Freakishly insane energy for the last 4. Got some little solos from Bobo on timbale, Beatdown on drums, and the dude on violin at points. Fan-tas-tic.

And through all of this I felt what I wanted to feel. A unified crowd. A thousand individual soul's with their own stories about how they got there and where they're going all joined in this mass of energy. Amplified and encouraged by the performers. I wanted that humanity and that's what I got...multiplied ten-fold. Thinking about John all the while. That any of us can go at any time. That the best of us can be taken in a moment. Celebrating and grieving that with all that sea of humanity around me. I soaked it in. Every detail. And I can go there now in my head. The room was on fire, red, sparkling, the sound booming out over us, ear's ringing, mouth parched, arms pushing up the sky. The smell is perhaps the most distinct now 'cause it's still on me. I can still smell it. A mixture of smoke, weed, cologne, and bodies. While I generally dislike the smell of pot it was definitely all over the place once the show started. The dude directly on my left and a dude a couple people to my right lit up multiple times. Big old clouds of smoke poofing up over the crowd. It made me cough quite a bit and need to turn away to get vaguely fresher air. My life is utterly devoid of pollutants like that and I tend to be pretty sensitive to intense fumes or smoke, so a little bit goes a long way. But once it mellowed out and mixed with other smells it became comforting I guess, harsh still, but comforting. That smell will be forever linked to one of the best nights of my life.

The show ended. Those at the front crushed forward hella hard when they jumped down to the barricade. I hung back and just watched. When they departed I dropped back, rejoined my brother, and followed the mass as they exited. He was really tired so it was important that we leave quickly and get on the road. Grabbed my bag from the coat check quickly peeking to see my poster safely tucked inside, and left. The cold air felt wonderful. I felt wonderful in general. Going over everything again and again so I wouldn't forget it. Re-living it all watching the lights of the city fade behind me.

It's been a bit over 24 hours now since the show. Happy, relieved, invigorated, reflective.

Only a select group of people will have a chance of understanding this. That group is artists. Those who understand the unrelenting pressure of your own brain's creativity. The feeling that you have so much to get out of your head and so little time to do it. We see things differently. Yes. It's an intriguing thing. And for the most part, artists from every culture, time period, country, can relate on this level. There are few barriers among us. We know what it's like to be segregated out from everyone else...treated differently...treated as odd...deviant. Non-artists approach us in a way that's rather unwarranted, unecessary, ignorant, but it's like engrained in people for some reason I can't pin down. But when artists meet artists there's an immediate understanding. An immediate familiarity. An immediate comfort. I've seen this since I can remember. I know when I'm meeting an artist...it is a recognizable demeanor, and they know the same of me. And it's not just directly related to art itself. It's a perspective...on everything, which is too abstract to describe. This relation and understanding was very present when I met Mike. The same as it is when I meet any fellow artist. It's not some spectacular thing. It's quiet, subtle, deep. I'm extremely glad I got to share that with him. Our little interaction was all it took.

I should finish this up now. I just want to say that anyone who knows me knows that I expect very little. Nothing really. It's just my nature. It's extremely difficult to disappoint me and super easy to please me. So like, I could have felt miserable, had everything stolen from me there, been exhausted, pushed down the meet & greet table hella fast, only being able to say a simple 'thank you' to each of them with no interaction otherwise, and I would have have been elated. Happy as a clam. That would have been mission accomplished for me. So maybe you can understand then that with everything that happened, the whole experience, was so ridiculously wonderful, that it's hard for me to fathom it from my perspective. I get excited about the littlest things. Stuff that nobody else seems to give a damn about. And this was something big. This was something that was really special to people. Naturally, it launched me into the stratosphere.

I've written a lot here. Largely for my own record. For etching it all really well into the memory banks.
Some final thoughts...

To humanity at large: I love you. Things get horrifying. Things get superb. Soak it in. Every moment. It's your story. What's real to you is real. Your pleasure and your sorrow. Don't forget that.

All my love.

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