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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
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Friday
Jul212006

Domaine Des Cassagnoles

It's a type of wine. Some cheapo wine from the place down the street. This blog. It's a weird thing. Blogs are weird things. I don't want, like, attention. Or maybe I do. Really I just want to write. I want to write! And the blog seems to help that along. Sometimes I post these pictures where I think I look pretty. And then I hate myself for posting pictures where I think I look pretty. Like, I'm trying to get your attention. Look at me! And maybe that is the premise.. and maybe not. I don't know who you are. I don't know who I'm typing to. I have a list of folks I know regularly read the blog.. And it's like, maybe 20 people. Mom. Serge (sporadically Mr. too busy writing radio shows and soundtracks and new albums), Anna, Xmastime, Casey... Actually, that's really it. Those are the only people I know who read every entry. EDW and Chrissy too. I don't know if they read every entry, but they're around a lot. Which is nice. And then this woman, Niedchlen and Jen too. They seem to read a lot. So that's, what? Ten people tops? So... then.. What now? Blogs are fucked. They're weird. Look at me! Everyone please look at me! I am witty! I am hilaaaarious! Dammit LOOK AT ME!

I know this girl.. She used to date my husband. She simultaneously interests and repulses me. And she has a blog now. And she treats it like she's on a soap opera. Like we're all just dying to hear what she's up to now. What will ---- do next? What is ---- up to now? I don't want to be like that. But maybe I am. Maybe I'm just some sad, attention seeker. Look at me everyone! But I don't want this blog to be like that. I want it to be about how life really is. Life is a sad fucking rollercoaster. Ups and downs and sad, sad, sad, happy, sad, sad, sad, sad, happy. Do you think I need medication? Seriously. Don't type some fucked up comment because you're anonymous. I am a real person. I feel like an ass. I worry about what you think. Be nice internet fuckers. I don't want to pretend to be fabulous. I am tired of that. I had enough of that in high school and college and life. I want to be honest. I want this blog to be an unabashed look at life. How it REALLY is. Sometimes, I fall into the trap of trying to appear fabulous. FUCK THAT NOISE. I am me. I am the girl who feels like I never belong, who feels fat, who feels sad, who feels regret, who wants to go buy another bottle of wine because this one just ain't doin' the job. Let's all get drunk, eat cookie dough and talk about how fucked up it all is.

Reader Comments (59)

I read all your updates; think you're great, have no idea if you need medication. Would type more, but nak.

July 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterrobin
I read every post. EVERY single post! In fact, I log onto your site so often it's getting obnoxious. You are real, you are honest, and that's precisely the reason why I read EVERY post.

I'm raising my glass towards NY. Cheers!
July 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChicagoDave
I have read some blogs where people claim that the comments are just suck-ups to the blogger! I think we tell you like it is. You seem real! Personally I have never met you, but you have met a lot of people who comment and read your blog, and they still tell you like it is.
I just started my blog on blogger, after a request (not that I am that interesting either)! SO I am like you, I want to know what people think too, good or bad!
July 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Today I was just mentioning to my friend that since I read your blog everyday, I know all about you even though I don't know you---- which really is kind of weird. This blog business is a bit strange if you really think about it, but I don't analyze it too much and enjoy reading all of your entries.

I don't enjoy them because they're flashy, or dramatic, or because you have posted a cute picture (although I love the pics of Max and of your travels) but because I really like the way you write, and how you convey your discovery of the world. We're all fumbling our way through, and you have a very eloquent way of telling us about your fumbles (and many times your stories are hilarious).

I say: keep it up! You started this blog adventure simply to write, and I think you're doing a great job of it. I'm curious as to if having this blog has helped with your writing 'chops'.
July 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Hey Monica, Nick and i both read every entry...just so you know.

Why does it sound like we're having the same day? Wine, wine is good. And Billie Hoilday really helps for some reason. I think the same shit about my blog, it makes me write and that is good, but I am a comments whore and it's so attention getting...and sort of pathetic. At least that's how i felt today. Not that you should feel sorry for me. ;-) I know, I think, were you are coming from here.

I love the honesty, the peek into your world. If nick was not away without internet access, he would tell you you're a damn good writer and you make him laugh. So there.
July 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
ummm...I read your blog everyday. And then I obsess, because darling, you are awesome. The end.
July 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHeather B.
You just want to be "heard"!!! And you are not attention getter!! You are a genuinely nice person that doesn't hide under the covers!! Your only fault is not believing in yourself and your abilities! I am very guilty of those crimes too!

Since I can speak from personal experience, you are truely one of the nicest people that I have ever met!!! As nervous as I was when I met you, my fears of being awkward disappeared immediately upon meeting you. I had a blast over our cigarette hunting, front row fighting, drunken weekend of musical escapades. I wouldn't have the friends I do today, if it were not for that weekend!!

And if I wasn't so hung over I would most definately be raising my glass, I mean bottle, in a toast to this blog!!
July 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAME
Bloggers... Why do we do this to ourselves? Every single post I write is excruciating. I'm simultaneously desperate for people to read my blog and praying that no one will. I quit once. Deleted everything. Gone. Poof. A few weeks later I was buying a domain name and starting over. For me, it's please look at me! Oh god, you're looking. Don't look at me!

It makes me feel so silly. But I need it anyway.

But you?! You're the business. I read every word. Sometimes I make my husband read. I stand over his shoulder and point at the screen like a lunatic. "Read it! READ IT!" I can't tell if he thinks you're brilliant too, or if he's just afraid to defy me. No matter. You're brilliant.
July 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDeanne
I think, in a way, everyone who has a blog, deep down, is an attention seeker. I have one on live journal and I DO write in it like I have an adoring audience. (yes I am that full of myself, and vain).

But in a way, I also use it to connect to people and see that there really are some people out there JUST LIKE ME, suffering, having fun, what have you.

So in a way, maybe you are an attention seeker, but, who cares in the end, as long as you are happy and like the direction things are going it shouldn't matter.

I know we've only now just started talking (err--responding) to one another, but it's sort of a "long-distance" relationship I think some people have over the internet as friends.

Hell I don't even know if this is making sense, but just know you are awesome and that's all that matters in the end. :D
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTangentism
I read your blog Monica, my wife does too. I think you are a very interesting intelligent and funny person. I also think you actually have important things to say and that you speak from your heart and that is impressive.

I appreciate that you recently came to my blog of nonsensical rants and I do hope you enjoy it as much as Richelle and I enjoy yours.

Peace out!

July 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBobby Mongoose
Yeah, I read your blog every day…is that weird? The thing is, I discovered your blog & Marah on the same day & I’ve been compelled to read ever since. Why do I come here? I like the way you tell a story. And I love the interesting discussions about music, movies, books, bad TV, politics, men and relationships.

Everybody worries about what other people think. We’re all trying to impress each other to some degree. I think that’s normal. But if you feel so worried and depressed that you’re drinking on a regular basis to feel better, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try an anti-depressant. I'm not judging, just concerned...
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterchrissy
Monica, never doubt the power of your words - you've just drawn out the biggest lurker I know, good old "Bobby".
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
I read everyday. Damned straight!

All the seeming contradictions that you mention add up to a greater whole.

I've waxed eloquently about your ability to rouse me from my stasis and contribute to, what I consider, a fantastic life workshop. If you never achieve anything else in your life, you can rest assured that you are appreciated and respected by me.

And I'm a cynical fucker.

love,
the guy with the stupid names
I read your blog off and on. I think blogging is validating. It's a place for all of us who don't feel like we fit in, who feel fat, who feel like we need medication, to express ourselves through the anonymity of the internet and find other people who feel the same way and to connect with them whether we ever meet them or not. Alrighty, I'm done preaching now.
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLeah Vanessa
I'm a regular reader, occassional poster. I love that you're real on here! I'm real and I have a lot of my own feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, blah, blah, blah ... that you describe about yourself. I don't want to read about someone fabulous. I want to read about someone real. Thanks for that.
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
P.S. Just because you're real, doesn't mean you're not also fabulous. You are. I just reread my post above and I hope it didn't come across that I was saying you weren't. You're fabulous, I'm fabulous, we're all fucking fabulous (except those perfect folks who are fake and unfabulous ... you know who I mean)
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
I just read it for the articles... uh, I mean the pictures. But why don't you ever print my Forum letters?! Oh wait. That's Penthouse. Aw hell.
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWry Bri
Yeah, I'm probably biased a little, after all you are my daughter....and while you were growing up, sort of a little diva, but what teenage girl isn't, trying to fit in with the girls, and be cool. It's hard trying to raise a girl, God knows we had our moments! holy Jesus did we have our moments! Watching you grow as a sweet baby who slept all the time with a pink bow glued to your black hair. Then the little diva in sunday school who had to spread your dress over 3 chairs and no one could sit next to you cause they'd ruin your dress display...And then the discovery of reading, your nose constantly in a book, any book, a voracious reader and debater but never a nerd. So smart, but at the same time could be the bopping bouncy cheerleader, without having to fit the stereotypical airhead image....and then moving out and college and boyfriends and life's lessons and greener pastures and marriage and struggles...and through all of that has become who she is. You will never find a more down to earth, honest, easy to talk to, empathetic, girl....who happens to have a beautiful exterior as well.(and at times is unfairly judged for that) Sometimes she cares too much for all of you readers and then she says, but if no one reads it's fine. I JUST WANT TO WRITE, and that's what it's really about. Really.... But you readers are a fabulous bunch of people, funny, intelligent, and are the icing on monica's cake. Wow! total rambling. Mostly wanted to say that Monica is as wonderful as she sounds, she really is. When you meet her, you know it's true. ( sorry, as her mom I tend to gush a bit, none the less its all true) Monica.....is none the less like that? or like this none-the-less or maybe even nonetheless. Now that I wrote it, it's nonetheless huh..hmmm. What a loser.
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermama
I read all your posts, and if this blog were gone I would be sad. I read because
1) I really like the way you write. And I'm not just talking about the wittiness and sarcasm and clever stories (all of which I love), but simply the way you put the words together. Your talent is evident.

2) The topics discussed here can't be beat. From celebrity gossip to musings on NYC to gripes about finding a job, it's so relatable. Dropping in here is like poking my head into a conversation taking place among a group of friends at a party. Always something funny being talked about. "the girl who" is like a perpetual party without all the social awkwardness!
3) I like you. Ooh, how creepy. But it's true - the same way I only call and chat with my friends who I actually like, I only read the blogs of people that I think I would like if I knew them in person.

There you go. Hope you enjoyed the wine last night, and that you're not paying the price to the porcelain today. Chin up.
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramanda b
holy shit monica. just re read my post.. what a rambling ass I am. sometimes I just get too sentimental, you know how I am. Shit! sorry, what an ass....One of those moods and you know which one I'm speaking of.
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermama
That's lovely what you wrote Mama.

I'm a bit of a computer retard so I discovered blogs quite late. I read about Stephanie Klein in a magazine and checked her blog out. Then spent many fascinated hours looking at her friend's blogs and their friend's blogs and so on. I found it really bizarre that people put their "diaries" out there for the whole world to read. Plus that there were so many aspiring writers out there. After a couple of weeks I lost interest, except in your blog Monica. I guess I'm like a harmless stalker cos I check your blog many times a day and I'm really bummed out when it's all "quiet". You are extremely talented at writing and I find your style so natural and "raw". Personally I hate it when you notice that a writer is trying really hard to use clever imagery, big clever words etc. You do, but it's not contrived, your writing flows. Plus as a person you are hilarious, very brilliant, passionate and a bit crazy. Definately not boring. I had a colleague visit me yesterday for FIVE hours and seriously I could have started eating some of my body parts after 2 of them. I would have rather sat down and read some of your early entries which I haven't gotten around to reading yet.

Now I've discovered YouTube (I already said I'm a computer retard) and the last week I've wasted so many hours watching people's video blogs. Now THAT is weird. You think you're an attention seeker!
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNiedlchen
Monica
I read your blog every day! On days that you don't post I am so disappointed. Your words are always so raw and true and I just wish that I could have the opportunity to meet you. Although I would probably be incredibly dumbfounded I think that you would be an incredible person to have in daily life. Your friends and family are lucky. Never stop!
kat
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkat
"holy shit monica. just re read my post.. what a rambling ass I am. sometimes I just get too sentimental, you know how I am. Shit! sorry, what an ass....One of those moods and you know which one I'm speaking of."
July 22, 2006 | mama


A rambling ass?

Methinks not.

Proud...and so you should be!
Joe, I love how you called this a "life workshop"!
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNiedlchen
Ya know what Joe? I am proud, and sometimes I just want to shout it to the world, but when I do I can see Monica rolling her eyes with embarrassment and saying Oh Lord, there she goes again." So I apologized for HER sake, but to the rest of youse all...I mean every damn word. And there it is.
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermama
Regular reader. Love your writing. :)
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTabatha
You totally know I read every day. I think I told you that I just can't stop reading. If my house caught on fire, I might finish reading your post before exiting. Your mom sounds sweet! Can she adopt me please? My own mom wants no part of my life because I got a tattoo when I turned 18 (I'm 31 now, get over it already!)
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertori
Monica,

I discovered your blog a a month or so ago and have never commented anywhere before (oh no, a blog virgin...please be gentle), and just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed reading it. I spent waaaay too many hours the first night I found it reading your past entries and was thus hooked. I have a couple of blogs I read regularly, and yours is top of the list.

Part of the charm for me has been the feeling of finding a friend, someone you want to visit with and find out what they've been up to, even if it is someone you might have never met in "real life". It must be a bit weird for you 'tho...all these people who don't even know you but think of you as a friend. But please, keep letting us tag along vicariously, because you certainly would be missed!
July 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterfoggiest idea
I'm reading every day! Funny: when I saw some of your photos, for a second the thought came to my mind: a photo on wich she thinks, she's pretty... I didn't judge that in any way, but the way your writing about it in this post is so honest! That's why I'm reading every day!
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMechthild
I've been reading every post since I discovered your blog a few months ago. Sometimes I even want to answer but... you know... English is not my mother tongue and I'm afraid of making mistakes. Maybe it sounds funny but when I start thinking: oh my God, everybody can read this and see my mistakes - I simply don't comment although maybe I'd like to say something sometimes. But I enjoy reading your blog very much, Monica and I like you because you're real. Real, honest, with a sharp eye, funny, sometimes full of doubts, sometimes sad, sometimes angry... - the list could be longer - you have everything in your posts. So keep writing and thanks for what you've written so far! Greetings from Poland!
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKate
I read every post. It's creepy, I know, but I'm addicted to several blogs and yours is one of them. I think that you are amazingly strong and brave for doing the things that you have done and I wish that I had half the strength and talent that you have. I love how honest you are and how you put yourself out there.
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkatie
I don't generally like reading blogs anymore. They've turned into exactly what you said. Look at me. Aren't I funny. But yours, for some reason keeps me coming back. It's real and while you write well, you don't get carried away with a thesaurus. You write well but more importantly, you are more honest than anybody else who claims to be honest. They seem to be honest so that we come away thinking they are a wittier, funnier person. You don't do that. You are honest so that we can all relate.
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
Some of us lurk and don't always comment, ya know. And by the by, exes in general suck. Unsubscribe. He's her past, you keep her there too.
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Klein
From today's Washington Post: "See Me, Click Me" -- about this exact subject.

http://tinyurl.com/mlowz


Monica, I think your writing is brave and fearless, and I'm glad I get to read it.

janet
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjls
I love your blog and I think that you have just written the first chapter of your book.

W~
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterswtvi65
There's nothing wrong with posting a picture in which you think you look pretty. You'll be glad you took them when you're old. Besides, who posts photos where they look hideous?
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
Out of all the thousands of blogs there are maybe twenty worth reading. Yours is one of them.
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJib
I read every single post.... even the old ones. Sometimes I read them more than once.

Now, about the pictures of yourself... you are easy on the eyes but I read you because you have something to say and you say it in your own unique style. I like that.

July 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStFarmer
I just wish I had the balls to write (or write and post, rather) the way you write. And post. I just realized that I was about to quote the Facts of Life theme song, so am ending this comment now.
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersandra
wow. you really make me want to drink some wine about now. i do adore some drunk blogging! (stoned too, for that fact)....you're my kinda blogga'!

!cheers from denver!

(actually, i hate it when people sign off with "cheers" but.....you know what i mean...right?)

ps. i'd be kinda psyched if my man's ex had a blog, but i'm evil like that ;)
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterrosie
This is your best damn post ever. The most real one, The one i didn't snicker at. You have the makings to be a good writer. Just remember who you are, be YOU. Don't pretend.
July 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGoldielox
Look how this journal brought lurkers out of the woodwork...even my eternally lurking Bobby Mongoose!

Honey...unless I am away, I read every day. Trust that there are always people here that care, and aren't fucking assholes...

I love me some Monica...keep it up.
July 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
drinking cheap wine + reading this post = serendipity
July 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlindsay
I'm reading every day since january, and I'm addicted... Not judging you, just reading and liking it.
I've read all the posts from the beginning and all the chapters, and I always come back for more...
Don't know why. I just like the way you write, no matter what you write. I think I would like it even if you'd write a shopping list.
Life is full of ups and downs for everyone, thank you for making your blog a "up" in my day. Ciao, Serena
July 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSerena from Italy
Blogging is a wonderful thing. It is weird not knowing who reads the stuff you put out there, and it's creepy to see the same IP addresses checking in seven times a day, and not knowing who those people are. But I think that Willa Cather was right in saying that there are only two or three human stories in the world and they go on repeating as fiercely as if they've never happened before. People want to see other people living their lives, if only to make themselves feel more alive. It's easy to judge someone else, especially from behind a computer screen, and especially when you don't have to think of that person as an actual human being.

I think blogs are a way to reach out and to form a community. Otherwise, it's really easy to go an entire day without REALLY talking to someone. So, at least you have a way to speak when you have something to say.
July 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMarina Grace
I like what Marina Grace said. In today's world, it IS really easy to go all day without having a real interraction with someone. I like the seemingly genuine nature of everyone who comments on this blog and it makes me happy to know that alot of us are going through many of the same issues. It's your writing that kicks off the discussions and provides people the forum for communicating. Nice to see all the lurkers commenting!
July 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSloopy
"Let's all get drunk, eat cookie dough and talk about how fucked up it all is".

My place or yours?

Don't worry--we don't think you appear fabulous anyway. Kidding. Obviously I think you're pretty fab since I'm here every day. Dude, I feel kind of icky sometimes for checking in 2 or 3 times a day to look for a new post. It's a bit unfair, really--I get to mind your bidness but since I am too chicken to have a blog you don't get to reciprocate.

Never heard of Domaigne des Cassagnoles. My cheap wine of choice used to be Petit Cochon. I don't know if they make it any more or if you can get it in the U.S.
July 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPurr Meow
I read this blog -- as I told Xmastime in an accidentally insulting manner.

I thought the guy sitting next to you at the bar in Brooklyn looked familiar so I asked Serge if he was Xmastime so he introduced me. Xmastime asked if I read his blog, and I said, “No, I read Monica’s”. I think it may have been insulting the way I said it. Sometimes things just come out wrong.

You think you are very shy and insecure, but you are braver and more confident than you probably realize. If not, you would not be able to be as open and honest as you are on your blog. Most people lock their diaries from anyone seeing. You open yourself up for everybody to see, and that must be very difficult.
July 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStarsky
I love reading your posts Monica. I'm always reading just never commenting I don't know why its just something I don't do but I am a constant checker of your blog to see if anything new is there. I love the pictures especially of Max he is such a cutie... and the ones from Europe takes me on a trip that I haven't been able to do. Keep up the effort chicka lots of us are reading about you and what you have to say constantly.
July 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCarazy Cashew

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