To Whom it May Concern: An Autobiography
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2001-09-28 03:58:49 (UTC)

France... Summer of Summation

Currently in work. This is here to save this in order.

Some of this is actual journal entries translated in French. I kept
a daily journal while in France, something I never do... But the
solitude of being in a foreign country led me to write daily, as if
the journal was my only friend. There are emails here that I wrote

Date: 14 Jun 2000 17:23:32 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
Subject: Shannon's life & France
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I'm starting up my mailing list again, since I am leaving for France
friday (the 16th). If you don't want to receive updates about my
life, let me know and I will remove you from the list.

I will be in Lyon, France from June 18 through July 28. I will be
staying with a family, and if anyone wants to snail mail the address
Lyon, France

and the phone number there (if anyone has a great calling plan) is
XX XX XX XX XX I know a few of you were talking about being in
Europe this summer, visiting festivals and such, so maybe we could
get together and do lunch.

I will be checking this email address and emailing updates as much as
possible, I just don't know if I will have access to a computer, or
if I will be paying an unreasonable amount for a cyber cafe...

Anyway, to begin my update, for those of you who don't know, this
trip to france is the end of my undergrad studies, and I should be
graduating in August. There is no ceremony, but send money
anyway ;P actually, i may have a party. So far I have done 26 hours
since December, and made A's in every class except Logic. Not bad...

I will not be working at Aromics when I get back, they let me go
because I was going to Europe this summer, but I had planned on
working elsewhere since I will have a degree. I don't know yet where
I will go... My goal is to pay off all of my bills in a year...
(Except for the school loans)... So I'm going to work here for a
while to pay off bills, then I hope to move back to LA or somewhere.
Things are so up in the air right now.

I started the KC Rivet Hed list here, and it seems to be going well,
we have 25 members, and about one event a month. it's been a fun
hobby.. we have a webpage at www.geocities.com/kcrivethed

I have put up a lot of new pictures on my personal website, though I
still would like to update much more of it.. I'm using frontpage now
and it is so much easier and better than geobuilder (EVIL)

Things are rather boring in KC like normal... no clubs, no dancing...
so we bowl and throw pool parties... I do miss L.A.

I have a boyfriend named XXXX.... We've been together about 3 months
now.. He's very sweet... studying engineering... i'm very happy.

I have much more to do in preperation for my trip to France, so i
be going. Let me know if you want off the list....


Journal Entry
16 June, 2000
I've been sitting on the airplane at the Saint Louis, MO airport for
over an hour and a half. I just know I'm going to miss my flight out
of New York because I won't arrive in time. I guess I'll get to
France when I get there.

xxxx waited at the airport with me this morning, and he gave me a
letter. I think because of my depression in KC, I depended on xxxx
and Alex for happiness. It's not fair to them.... But simply by
boarding an airplane I feel free. KC has a feeling of oppression
and suffocation that accompanies it. I truely hate it. Freedom-to
be free of negative people, who are also suffering the oppression,
who also suffocate, choking on the judgements and condemnations of
others... who die slowly and who want to ruin everyone so that they
are not alone... Because Solitude ignores no one.

20:45 NYC JFK
The plane to Paris is also late, so I didn't miss it. In fact, it's
the same plane I arrived in that is going on to Paris!

xxxxs letter was very touching.. He asked me to look in my
headphones bag... I found a key. I have decided to wear it around my
neck like a necklace.

17 June 2000
I arrived at 10:30 Am. I took a bus to L'Etoile, where I took the
Metro to my hotel. Upon arriving, I realize the hotel guy is totally
fucking me over. I made my reservations and paid online, and now he
says I have to pay again. I argued for a while, but I was tired and
wanted to sleep, so I paid a second time. Since it's Sunday, the
reservation company is closed. I slept for a while, and tried
calling xxxx, because I'm feeling a little scared. The hotel is
seedy, the guy just ripped me off... I'm afraid of bedbugs or
something. It's not at all what I expected. I went out to eat, and
I decided to try to find a nite club. I walked to boulevard Clichy,
but I had a hard time finding the address. Guys everywhere were
harassing me, following me... I mean, i guess I looked lost. I
finally find this club "La Locomotive", and pay way too
much to get in, and the music is like the worst of the 80's. I was
hit on by a very persistant guy who was trying to convince me that
though I had a boyfriend that he was far away and I should amuse
myself there (with him I guess). When he told me he had eyes only
for me, I told him to open his eyes, the room was full of others...
He finally realized he was wasting his time.
I met a guy named Christian who offered to take me to a Gothic bar...
anything seems better than the meet market that I was in, so we
walked walked... I believe it was on Rue de Fontaine or something.
It was interesting, but the bar closed early. Next we hit an Irish
Pub where I heard the whole crowd sing "American
Pie"... and then we were off walking up Montmartre where we had some
cokes.. The view of Paris was beautiful at nite. He walked me back
to the hotel, and we exchanged information.

18 June 2000
Gare de Lyon a Paris
Strange people keep approaching me asking for money and cigarettes.
I don't know why I'm so approachable. I block them out with my
headset... listening to VNV Nation.
Why do Americans wear their nationality so strongly? A man passed
wearing a South park T-shirt. I thought that we had a culture.. but
thats not true. We have a culture, but it's a culture without

19 june 2000
I arrived at the station in Lyon yesterday, and met with my
classmates and host family.
I went to my first day of class today, and I fainted, and then
vomited (luckily I went outside). I then went to the nurses office,
and Madame Levy took me home in a taxi.

20 June 2000
Still sick, I asked to go to the doctor, and he told me that I have
an infection. He gave me a prescription. I slept for a while. I
had the worst nightmare. I dreamt that I had died in a car accident
in a construction area. It was an area where there were many
bulldozers, and earth moved into piles. I came back as a ghost
exactly one year to the day, and my family and friends could see me.
They said "Adieu" to everyone. I was horribly upset
that xxxx
already had a new girlfriend and didn't care or remember me.

21 June 2000 Summer Solstice & Music Festival
Finally I feel better. I went to class, and afterwards we went to
the Gallo-Roman museum. I had no idea there were Roman ruins in
Lyon. The Basilique de Notre Dame Fourviere is very beautiful.
After dark my host brother and I went to Old Lyon for the Festival of
Music. Everyone comes out of their homes with their instruments and
plays music in the streets. I find that people here really harass me
though. A drunk guy started yelling at me.. Guillaume told him I
didn't understand (mainly because the guy was drunk and slurring so
badly) So the guy hit me in the back three times!! I couldn't
believe it!

24 June 2000
I'm a little sad- a bit because I am all alone, and a little because
i received a letter from Alex and I'm thinking of my friends. I
talked to xxxx the other day and he told me he doesn't miss me.
Rude, even if it's true. I haven't made any friends here yet. I
find it really stupid that I'm passing time in France watching
Televison! I never watched TV at home.

25 June 2000

I went to see American Psycho with Guillaume at the theater. It's
the 3rd time I've seen it. French theaters are strange, the seats
are low, the screen is only the size of two big screen tv's, there
were 30 minutes of commercials- for the internet, ice cream, and
other stuff... The popcorn was sugary.

Date: 26 Jun 2000 13:25:28 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
Subject: french and their keyboards
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okay; i m going to do this the best i can but the keyboard is
i was sick; and now i am doing better but still coughing; and i worry
about getting pneumonia; but hopefully it s nothing. my classes are
interesting and i am speaking french really well, and seem to
everyone here
i hate the american students because they are loud and speak english
all of the time; i like my host familly and get along very well
them; Guillau,e, the 20 year old is very helpful... He really likes
and that makes me laugh.... The french sure love american music.

I m afraid that my time is almost up in this computer lab; i pwill
to wrote again soon now that ive found the lab: if it were easier to
type i could write more but all the damn letters are switched

Date: 26 Jun 2000 13:54:57 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
Subject: also
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i guess that i should mention that i saw paris by nite at sacre coeur
and montmartre
i saw gallo roman ruins in lyon
a grand bascillica in lyon
the museum of the french resistance during WWII
the film American Psycho in French (though id seen in twice in
oh, and ive eaten raw m'eat that made me a little sick, pizza with
on it and McDonalds twice... but actually the food isnt too bad; and
find most everything interesting
i dont mind all these things
but thats the more interesting stuff thats been going on

everyone harasses me here like in KC: only i think i look more toned
these guys sang the adams family theme song to me on the subway, an
arab girl told me i was ugly for having a piercing, and some drunk
guy hit
me three ti,es on the back for some unknown reason

this doesnt sound pretty but i just ignore it and deal with it
really its kind of like KC

anyway i wish i had ti,e to write everyone personally
i miss you all so much

Journal Entry:
27 June 00
(Personal Entry)
I went shopping with Meagan. She is the only American that I talk
to. I wrote a very good letter to Alex, and when I get back to the
states I will photocopy it and keep it. I think I'm getting
philosophical or something (hahaha). I'm thinking shit
XXXX is my boyfriend, or maybe he is just playing the role of a
boyfriend. Maybe I'm thinking abstract shit, but sometimes I really
do believe life is pure fantasy. I spoke with Alex on the phone, and
he didn't want to talk about XXXX. After I pressed him, he told me
that XXXX had admitted that he wasn't in love with me. If I wasn't
sure before, I am now, that our relationship is over.

I lost something, but it's not what one would think. I think that I
never knew xxxx.. I believed that I cared for him, but I think it's
not what I'd believed it to be. I like the idea that I had of him:
The idea that he presented as himself, but that is really false.
What did I lose? HOPE. I had hoped for true love, honest that
withstands time... I tricked myself, and I only have what I started
with. I have nothing, and I begin again.

xxxx tried to present himself as the perfect guy, but it was only a
facade. I believe now that there is nothing behind it. If he is
miserable, it is because he lied. His lie that is big enough that he
can't see it. He lied to me and to himself. I don't wear his key
anymore- and I don't want to know his fucking mysteries... I have an
idea of what those mysteries are, and I don't fucking like them.

(Public Entry for Class)
The Day:
We walked (no, we climbed) Croix-Rousse and I was so exhausted. I
think I'm still sick, I feel so exhausted all the time. I ready my
emails, talked to Diana in Wurtzberg, Germany.

To respond to Madame Levy's questions:

If I don't see my family often, it's fine. I lived more than 1400
miles from my family when I lived in LA. In fact, one of the only
things I think my family could agree on is that we get along better
when we are apart. That's just the nature of my family. I don't
really miss family life, because I don't know really what family life
is. We are all independant, and i feel a little uncomfortable
eating with my French family. I don't know what I should say to be

Question two: How do we mythologize (create/rewrite) history?

Answer: IT's very simple. We have always had propoganda, but now
it's in the form of films, and education. IN the US, we don't learn
Native American History. The film \"Battle at Wounded
(1910 I
think) changed history by showing the massacre at wounded knee as
a \"battle\". It completely changed the belief of what
mind of the public. I don't know if anything like this has happened
in France, but I think it's totally possible. Human nature makes us
not want to admit our own faults. If we make mistakes, we want to
present them in a way that is less serious than they really are.
It's like my English professor said\"Language is never
When one speaks, one always presents an opinion, even if it isn't a
strong opinion. So when history books use language, there are for
sure opinions presented. For example, history could be written to
make a hero out of a normal man, or an anonomous man of a hero, or a
hero from a murderer, and vice versa. Andrew Jackson was a racist
against the Native Americans, and he created governmental programs to
kill him. Now we think of him as a good persident, honored on our

Date: 28 Jun 2000 11:01:20 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
Subject: answers
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Everyone knows that i am in Lyon, the second largest city in france.
it is on the Rhone river, and has much history from the time of the
Gallo tribes to the times of the Romans who built theatres here;
Lyon was
also a center for the French resistance during WWII with many famous
Resisters such as Jean Moulin that were torchered and killed here by
Klaus Barbie;

okay to answer a few questions --- school is going well and i take my
placement test on friday. i am not worried because wherever i am
is what i will need to learn. besides i am most confident in my

so after a 4 day weekend (i will have mon and tue of next week off) i
will begin more interesting classes, becuz right now i am with the
american students and many of them are far LESS advanced than me.

i will be losing my free internet access at the university of the
of this month; after that i will have to find an internet cafe and
the labs are closing/.

I am doing well and miss everyone a lot. I will try to write once
before the lab closes.

Pat - Ill be returning in August
Toby - yes ppl harass me like that in KC
Alex - I ve written you another snail mail letter
Mom - I received the phone cards, thanks.
Erik - i feel i am representing the US far better th

sorry i dont have more time to respond to everyone individually!


Journal Entry
29 June 2000
xxxx emailed me today. He said again that he thinks that I don't
live in the present... I responded that I think I live well, and that
I am happy, thinking of the future and returning to L.A. He also
mentioned that he missed me, but the following sentence was about
sex. I'm totally annoyed.

30 June 2000

I went out with Sophie and her boyfriend to the movies. Sophie told
me that Guillaume is interested in me. He's too young,
irresponsible, etc... And his girlfriend is pregnant!! It's too
much, and I can't believe he said it, and she repeated it!

1 July 2000
You know, I can't believe this, but I finally figured out why all
these assholes keep yelling at me in the street. Its because I wear
skirts. I have to hear, \"I want to fuck you\" out of
because I'm wearing a skirt. They aren't short either. But today,
Meagan wore a skirt, and the same thing happened to her... so that
must be it. So, I bought pants.
I'm worried that I am losing weight. I eat a lot, but maybe I'm
walking too much. Maybe I can regulate my body, or it can regulate
itself. I think that sometimes changing habits can cause your body
to react like this.

2 July 2000
The phenomenon of European football (soccer) amazes me. It's
insanity, really. I don't like sports, but i find myself watching
the matches. I hear the entire city scream together... France won,
and the whole country was singing the national anthem (The
Marseillaise). We are lacking unity in the USA. It's too bad that
we don't have the same competition to unify us. Right now there is
pride to be french, or to be in france. I have never felt pride like

Diana and I talked about my coming to Germany. I'm looking into
meeting up with her in Wurtzberg. She said she spoke with Alex and
he is obsessed with me. I don't know what I should do... He is my
best friend, and I don't want to hurt his feelings. I'm already in a
fucked up relationship. But maybe Diana is full of shit too. She
says I'm the only thing he talks about. I suppose I will worry about
this shit when I get back to the states.

Date: 3 Jul 2000 16:31:40 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
CC: [email protected]
Subject: nothing new but i_m still alive
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i could scream for atom-bomb.com not working. Things are alright, i
will find out on Wednesday what level i tested into and i will start
classes then. I found some goths on the street they said there are
nite clubs really except for the last friday of eeach month, and only
two stores which i will go check out soon. anyway i hope some of
receive this email since it seems to not be working. i cant get it
open an html attachment either; nothing too exciting going on, just
walking around town in this humidity that is so thick you could cut
anyway, im looking forward to germany in august since i didnt make it
back to Paris; getting along with one american student and we went
to a
techno bar on friday- not so interesting, but passed the time. hope
everyone else is doing well, i miss everyone. Think ill try to visit
this fall or winter.
PS Justin- think you can get me a job at sprint in mid august?

Date: 6 Jul 2000 13:53:29 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
Subject: classes
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i totally stressed, they had problems grading the placement exams and
everyone was in the wrong level. Everyone was placed in the wrong
level, the forgot to even look at the written part of one students
hehe the French university system is about as good as UMKC. I spent
day and a half in high school level french totally pissed off. I was
the same class with 15 year old greek kids and an american whod only
taken & semester of french. Finally it was straightened out today,
and i
am in the highest level. I think it will be a little challenging for
me, but i think thats good. Everyone in my class, except for me and
one other american, speaks 5 or more languages. They speka french so
naturally. But maybe soon I will too. I will be taking a course on
19th and 20th century literature and a course in pedagogy, along with
oral and writing classes.

looks like i will be keeping busy with all of that. i am still
with diana about plans in germany, and though still tentative, i may
leaving the 30th or 31st of July for wurtzberg germany where i will
spend 3-4 days before moving on to frankfurt or somewhere else. I
will be
returning to Paris the 6th to catch my fight to KC on the 7th.
providing things go as planned i should arrive in KC Aug 7th at
3:28pm TWA
flight 707. but i need to look at my itenerary to confirm that.

It is so hot and humid here i havent been able to sleep and i keep
sunburning barely... at least the cybercafe is air conditioned.

It may be another week before I make it back over here, but I will
in touch.

Date: 13 Jul 2000 12:46:51 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
Subject: bastille day
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things are going well; i like my classes and i keep busy with long
like ten am to five pm of classes. This weekend is bastille day
ill see some fireworks- dont hate it here, but dont love it but i
i have some plans figured out for august

i think i will go to wurtzburg germany the 31 of aug to see diana,
we might go to frankfurt the 4th, and i will go the 5th to paris and
will stay with dianas friend jerome until i leave the 7th. So things
working out and thats thanks to all of dianas efforts, in finding me
places to stay and train info.

so anyway dont know what to say, french food makes me sick and lose
weight, cant wait to come home and eat some pasta and potatos;


Journal Entry:
9 JULY 2000
I'm so lonely. I want to call someone, no matter who, to be
comforted. There is only one more month out here... Wednesday is the
halfway point. How can I be homesick after only 3 weeks? Meagan
isn't interested in being friends with me anymore. But I'm used to
being alone anyway.

I've been thinking more about xxxx too. I don't want to be the only
one making an effort in the relationship. I mean, I like him, but
he's not worth liking. So I'm waiting for him to make an effort. I
have nothing to lose. If he never makes an effort, I've already
moved on with my life anyway.

14 July 2000
The french are fucking insane. They throw firecrackers at eachother,
they give them to their children! But it was an experience, and I'm
happy to have seen it. And really, they aren't any more dangerous
than my friends back home. When I arrived at Bellecour tonite, I
thought the french were re-enacting the war! But I smile when I
think of this, because I know I won't forget Bastille day in Lyon!

So, I've been thinking. And I've decided there are a lot of thing's
I'd like to do- so I made a list: Go live in LA, Design websites,
paint, be a sales rep for a clothing designer, study anthropology,
continue learning German, take more photographs and write more for
artistic purposes, learn how to do metal working, study cosmetology.
Long, diverse list.

16 July 2000
Justin called me tonite, and that gave me hope. It is possible to
have true friends. I feel that sometimes everyone around me is
selfish and thinks only of themselves. It has been over a week since
I've spoken with xxxx. I'm not worried about it- I know who my
friends are- They call without having a reason... They don't need a
reason to call.. They just call. Justin is so great. I forget
sometimes- we've really grown apart over the years. He is a great
friend, that can be understanding- and not just be self absorbed like
others that I know.
The days are passing faster, and soon I will be on a train to
Wurtzberg- To see a little corner of the world- to understand myself
and others...

Date: 18 Jul 2000 08:03:38 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
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hi, sorry to everyone who tried to send an email, my mailbox was
but if you still have them saved, there should be room for them now.
actually, the last message i received was the last day i sent
to everyone, possibly thursday. SO Things are going alright, i
my train tickets to Germany, and i will be meeting up with Diana.
31st is the last day i will be able to be reached here. if you have
letters send them now, because it takes about a week. things are
well, but im sick of classes, and ready to have a vacation (hahaha)
i guess that is what wurtzburg and paris will be. i only have 9 days
left of classes, so im sure i will survive. bastille day was
interesting, the french shoot off fireworks about like justin
evans.... Into
crowds, at peoples heads. so i felt right at home, and like i hadnt
missed the fourth.

even crazier, i think i am getting used to this keyboard... what will
do when i get home?

Anyway, i miss everyone, and cant wait to go out or go shopping or
something- Lyon is rather lame as far as cities go. its worse during
summer because everything closes (seems a bit backwards) but i
understand its a college town, and there arent too many students here
at the

i will write again soon, and again, im sorry about the full mailbox--
so i missed any emails since thursday.


Date: 19 Jul 2000 12:03:14 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
Subject: ack

i only have 5 minutes on the internet, but all is going well, and i
think i got my refund from the hotel that ripped me off in paris.
to everyone who has called and written, i miss everyone very much.
started writing poetry here, kinda scary what happens when youre all
alone. anyway, it seems things are going much more easily now, i
blame mercury for that- it went direct monday after the evil
we'd had for the past few months. i hope everyone is well, and i
email a few more times before i get back. maybe ill see some of you
the airport the 7th at 3:30 TWA

Email:Date: 31 Jul 2000 11:36:22 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
i m in a great mood to be leaving tonite! i went to a club friday
and had a great time. yeah, was at a club til 6:30 am and didnt
and didnt come into contact with drugs either (a relief, i was sure i
see drugs there but i was wrong)Heard lots of VNV Nation, Die Form,
Bigod 20, Apop, PAL - decent music for a GOTH club. well, the labels
a bit different here. i also got to hear NIN, M Manson and
Rammstein... so you know, it was a trade off. but i danced, and had
a good time,
and kept getting hit on... first by a satanist metalhead, then by a
stoner raver, then by some engaged guy...; i dunno, i guess i attract
types. good thing i m leaving and dont have to see them again. but
had a good time with my friends, and spent saturday helping tani
move...; which was better than sitting at home. Oh, and ive only
eaten at
:home: once since the poisoning incident, and i got a little sick.
you know, the dog gets sick too- vomiting and such, from her
so i m running around, getting a last good look at lyon before i go.

so the airport thing isnt quite resolved yet, but i ll let everyone
know... anyway, things are going well, and im almost looking forward
this 15 hour train ride tonite... but at least you can smoke on

and wow, i guess i ll be home in a week, thats wild too.. and im very
excited to hear VNV Nation will be playing in september, that also
my day

i hope everyone is well, i miss you

Date: 3 Aug 2000 23:38:02 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
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i´m in germany and totally loving it!!! i can´t wait to get home and
see you all again! anyway, i´ve done some good shopping and some
drinking and i´m relatively happy- i´ll head to Frankfurt tomorrow
and paris
the following day- i should come home to avoid shopping, its great
in germany!!!

miss you all

Date: 8 Aug 2000 22:40:53 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
Subject: home again
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well, i made it back home, and i don't know if i'm glad or not. I
go take my exit exam at the university in the next few days, and i
my resume written up, i will begin sending it out this week too. I
a wonderful time in paris, and spent a wonderful time with Jerome,
french boy... we at dinner on the terrace on the champs elysee and
to some snobby elite nite clubs... anyway, i hope everyone is doing
well, and if anyone knows of a job opening that they think I would
for, let me know... i don't have to stay in KC either.
I hope you are all well,

Date: 9 Aug 2000 03:58:50 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
Subject: NEW YORK
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How amazing, My friend Annie in New York has bought me a plane ticket
to go see her next week! I'm so very excited, I've never been.... I'm
leaving Tuesday and I'll be back Friday nite/Saturday morning. So
has just made my day, and probably the rest of the month... She's
such a
sweetheart! Anyway, I was so excited, I had to share.....


Date: 24 Aug 2000 02:38:02 -0000
From: "RivetChic" | Block address
Subject: BIG APPLE
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I guess i never really sent an email about Germany... I love it
everything is so clean and organized... the trash cans are divided in
4, for glass, plastic, etc, etc... I loved all the half timber houses
and the cathedrals... everything is so colorful there!

New York last week was a blast, thanks to my friend Annie... I went
an industrial club tuesday nite called Electra-city (at the pyramid)
and had a blast dancing... New Yorkers are so energetic!!! Then I
to meet all of Annies friends, including record producers from BMG
introduced me to Sascha from KMFDM, and the head of Lancome... It was
wonderful time... I saw St Marks, 5th ave, times square, and I asked
see Saint Patricks Cathedral, it was amazing!!! I ran across a goth
store that makes and wholesales there stuff to Hot Topic... In fact,
I was
really amazed at how cheap the clothes were in NY...

I'm searching for a job, i can't pay my bills, but i've had a most
memorable summer... I still hope to make it to LA this fall, and move
by next summer... I miss you all so much! Maybe I"ll get lucky and
up there soon... one never knows where life will take them!!!!

I hope everyone is well

To be continued.