Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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These Arms That Open Out To Grab A Hold Of Anything

I feel different. Although I miss the electricity that crackles throughout New York City air, I feel powerful here. And calm. I am no longer stressed. I wake up every morning and hike in the mountains above my house and come away infused with hope. The possibilities in my life right now excite me. Deer roam a short distance from the path I follow. They are no longer afraid of me. By now my scent is familiar and they continue to graze, secure in the knowledge I will pass them by. Sometimes, especially before the sun rises above the Wasatch mountains, I'll come upon a particularly thick nest of bushes and startle deer from their spring feeding. They bound away.... no, not bound so much as fly. It's absolutely thrilling to watch them sail through the air, hooves delicately kissing the dirt as they rocket directly up the mountainside. It is good.

Serge is in Brooklyn recording Marah's next record. And I want to kick him squarely in the balls. Yes baby, you are being a wanker. And you know it. But I still love you. Except there better be a big, fucking power ballad on this next record. One in which you declare your undying love for your long-suffering wife. I'm talking Open Arms Journey style. Or consider yourself homeless.

Brother-in-law Dave has been sober for more than one hundred days. In fact, this Thursday will mark 130 days of stone cold sobriety. BRAVO! On 19 December he just stopped. And that was it. No more liquor. I am in awe of his willpower. The sobriety led to songwriting and more songwriting. As I've heard most of Serge's stuff I am particularly excited to hear the final, fleshed out versions of song skeletons that were played to me so many months ago.

Dave and Serge in the studio

Photo credit: Alec Pappas

It's funny... for quite a while there I was exhausted with the whole blogging thing. Sick of reading analysis about my motivations or my personality. Tired of rude emails from strangers informing me how they think I should live my life. It was more than I ever intended when starting this blog. Now I wonder, why did I let it affect me so much?

Who's there? Bring it.

Reader Comments (49)

...and then Monica opened the floods gates to hell! After everything I can't believe you still want to hear what anyone has to say!

Glad to read you are happy - strong - in's a good place to be.

I'm listening to Adam&Dave's album right now...I'm not sure what that has to do with anything at all...but I'm diggin' that 80's Cure vibe they have goin' on...

Anyway - I have nothing of any interest to say - as my post makes very clear....just thought I would say that I'm out here....getting my daily GIRL WHO fix.

April 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle

Glad to hear that you are all settled in, even if you want to kick Serge in the balls.

April 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJ

Yo- that mountain and deer scene sounds just lovely! My hat's off to Dave; I've seen people's lives totally ruined by The Drink.

So glad to read that you're doing well! (except for a certain someone being a wanker) Somebody get that poor man a cup.

April 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKaren D.

hello from Ft Worth, Texas! You should never stop writing. Even if you don't want to blog because the haters get to be too much - although I throughly enjoy your blog and hope you don't stop - you should write in some fashion because it is totally your calling. I am not sure how I stumbled on your blog (about 6 months ago) but I have gone back, when I have time, and read most of your previous posts. You are so raw and real and have a way of writing that the reader can feel what you are feeling. Really a special talent, Monica. Good luck in Utah!

April 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDFW

LOVE the post title.

Welcome back to comment-land, girlfriend. Marriage just isn't marriage if one of you doesn't want to kick the other. That's what makes it so fun and exciting! ;-)

Missed you at the Shalita gig last week. I just LOVE the Shalitas, don't you?

April 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEDW

been waiting for the comments to open again...if you even DREAM that you're a better driver than Serge, I WILL FREAK OUT!!!!! Dude does things behind the wheel you can only dream about! Fucking a!!!! A simple "thank you my Little Debbie Nutty Buddy for being the greatest driver in the world" would suffice!!!!

I knew Serge as a driver. I worked with Serge as a driver. And you, little missy, are no Serge as a driver.

April 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterXmastime

That's what I love about living here too. Tonight I was eating dinner and I thought there was a dog in our yard. Turns out, it was 4 deer about 10 feet away from my kitchen window. Welcome home.

April 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I'm glad to see you back with comments and all!!! Hope you & Max are having a wonderful time in the Mountains......but you are missed on the east coast :)

April 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJrLouie

What a beautiful place you moved to! Looks like Max is enjoying himself. Looking forward to reading "what is next" with you. A fresh start in a beautiful setting makes all the difference.

April 17, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercatnip

Yeah, you! Welcome back to unbridled freedom, writing, breathing, living.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Great writing- witty and intelligent. The moment I started reading chapters, I didn't stop until finished. The place You live now seems to be extremely beautiful.No wonder you find there peace and hope. Take care!

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNika

hey, present:) I'm glad you're okey, happy and calm!!! have a nice day! ana

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterana

great construction work. great post. cheers


April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Welcome Home Monica!

It's nice having you back in Utah.

I think you are a brilliant and very talented writer and should write no matter what the "critics" say. Just think you got through the worst part which is worrying about what your family and friends would think of the blog, why give a rat's ass about "complete strangers"?

Keep writing!

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Makes me want to move to Utah! Never thought I would say that...

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

So glad you feeling at peace these days. I'm a country girl at heart and reading your descriptions made me long for the country life. I do love the city vibe too, so I don't think I could ever be *that* far away from it.

I am SO very proud of Dave. Please let him know he has the support of his fans. 1,000 kudos to him.

Glad to know that gang's working on a new album. Can't wait to hear it and totally looking forward to the supporting tour!

All the best to you, Monica.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Love the re-design!

How's the pup liking Utah's open spaces?

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKy

i'm here reading and enjoying as usual. it's good to see you in such a happy disposition. greetings from poland & keep writing! i'm addicted to it.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKate

So, the hate mail you're getting confirms that you're not milk toast. That you're living life the way it's intended; freely. The hate comes from inside. Hate hates everything. Itself and anything different. We hate what we dislike about ourselves. We hate those people who are doing things we want to be doing ourselves, but are too cowardly to experience it.

So, compliments on your hate mail, you're doing something right.


April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNick Badway

Welcome back to Utah. As weird as it is here, I can't imagine living anywhere else.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterurban princess

The site looks great. One thing though--that picture up top does you no justice. My 2cents. Best of luck in Utah.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSasha

I love your blog!!!!

That picture of you is terrible though, you should change it!

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennilaya

WOW! I love the strong, confident, happy Monica!

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

I love the new picture! Glad you're doing well in Utah!

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCheri

Ahh much better picture! You look gorgeous, the other one did not portray your full hotness.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennilaya

i love that picture of you! the blog is terrible, though. you should change it.


congrats to dave on 130 days, and congratulations to you on the new job and home. enjoy utah.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkasey

Welcome back to Utah. I really enjoyed your tales of adventure from Brooklyn, but it will be nice to read about things that happen in my own state.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCate

as i've said before...thank god you are back! now stay where you belong! writing honestly about struggling through life with great beauty, grace and courage!

glad you are getting to hike! i have a date with camelback mnt. next month, and can't wait!

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterannie in the burg

I hate Utah. I think it blows. It sucked one of my best friends back to it's evil epicenter.

I'd say I'm just happy that your happy, but that would be a lie.

I'm writing a letter to the governor and telling him that you masturbate.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersicksadworld

"After everything I can't believe you still want to hear what anyone has to say!" - Ditto, you're a brave woman.

I'm so happy for you! And Serge/Dave/Marah, of course. I love Serge's updates on making the new record. And I love the new blog design.
Anyway, I don't really have anything to say either, but just wanted to let you know that I'm still reading.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterktphotog

glad everything is lighter. and, i hope ssw will still be posting her lists here too, yes? since nyc/utah/any other place all the same on the www.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commentergina

I can't read this blog anymore.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle

That's a damn dirty lie, SSW! Just because you found a vibrator in my nightstand that one time you were helping to install my air conditioner and "looking for a screwdriver" (a likely story!) doesn't mean I masturbate.

Now that I think of it, screwdriver is a euphemism for vibrator, is it not? So, technically, you did find a screwdriver, just not the kind you were expecting.

April 18, 2007 | Registered CommenterMonica

do you...masturbate with a screwdriver???

hmmm...I never would have thought of that...

And I'll post more lists if I can ever log on to this damn site again. fuckin internet. who was the fucking genius who invented this thing? I wish i was a caveman.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersicksadworld

Oh sicksadworld, I know what you mean! Popped in here for a look yesterday and lost my connection. grrr...

I've returned today and it's all renewed and revitalized and your messing about with shit has worked wonders!
Gorgeous job Monica!!
Hope you are enjoying your new start!!
I know Max will be happy. Woof!

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterthe domestic minx

Thanks! It looks better if you view it in Firefox as opposed to that ancient Explorer..

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

have u ever lived in england?. u seem to know so many english-only words and phrases

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermimi

Hmmm.. never lived in England. But in my early twenties I read every British chick lit author who walks the planet (Helen Fielding, Anna Maxted, Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella) and unfortunately it affected my vocabulary and subsequently, my writing. Who doesn't enjoy terms like git, fuckwit, queue and the ever popular arse? Whilst seems so much nicer than while. Also, I've been reading Dickens for the past three months which might explain a few things.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

Atta girl. I was worried about you for a stretch there, and am happy to read this new, confident vibe.

April 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbloggadocio

Glad to see you're back and happy. :) I sort of hope that you can put this whole "The Click By" thing behind you. We don't really need another 12 chapters of this drama. You're happy, and hopefully this new perspective on life from a very beautiful state means that you can let go of the past. Some things aren't worth holding onto ...

Oh, and congrats to Dave. It's hard, really hard, but it's worth it.

April 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Good God, no!
The Click By rules.

April 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEden

I came by your blog through reading about the whole ridiculous situation you found yourself in... but it's your writing that makes me click back regularly.
Boo hiss to interweb drama. It has a short shelf life. Hurrah to interesting, engaging words. They last longer.

April 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBok

Heya Baby. I like the comments back cause I like to tell you I love you and that we need to get that Second Series of King of Queens on dvd down at the Wal-Mart asap.

I miss you.

April 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterserge

Love on all three of y'all!
My best wishes for peace, prosperity, and creative fulfillment!
joey dui

April 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjoey dui

Glad to see your back!!! I envy you out there is God's country!

April 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

How do you get to "sign on" to this site?

April 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

It's good to see you back, writing, accepting comments, and almost perky (ick!)

Seriously, I'm glad you're back.

SSW, that was not a vibrator. That's a massager for neck tension and Al Gore invented the Internet, didn't you hear? :)

April 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBrownie

why even acknowledge this "veronica" just vilidates and encourages her. in my opinion not worth it. monica is very talented and funny and share herself with us which is a gift. don't give someone like "veronica" the satisfaction of responding...not worth it.

April 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermap

ignore the post was for another post....i was on my bb posting and messed up

April 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermap

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