Category Archives: Beginnings

Throwback Thursday: Last will and testament

I wanted to find a good tbt blog post from my old livejournal. But most of them are just…incredibly embarrassing. I went back to April of 2004, because I thought that’d be cool, but man. I was so not cool. Everything is so angsty, and it’s all music or book references, and I basically cannot get through a post without berating myself for being “not pretty” or something. Yikes.

So, I skipped ahead to April of 2005, when things were really starting to look up. And I found this.

tbt blog post

And I thought, Still embarrassing, but it’s young love, and I’ve always been cheesy, and at that point it’s not like my livejournal was something I censored or worried about other people reading, so okay. And then I clicked on the 5 comments and saw a comment from me saying, “I DID NOT WRITE THIS! That would be Drew.”

So, this week’s tbt blog post is brought to you by 2005 Drew…which is a lot like 2014 Drew but with fewer responsibilities and access to my online journal.

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Filed under Beginnings, Being a girl, Drew, Humor, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Writing

Disney Project 2014: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Frozen is Disney’s 53rd animated feature. We think this is a (slightly mathematically incorrect) sign that we should spend 2014 watching all the Disney movies, in chronological order, one per week (ish). We actually own most of them, and this will be a good excuse to take the shrink wrap off of some of those that are still in mint condition.

So we started tonight.

Movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Release year: 1937
My reaction: One time in college, Drew and I were watching this movie, and in the last like 20 minutes of it, we both fell asleep. It felt like we slept for hours, but when we woke up, it was still the part where the Queen is at the top of the mountain right before she falls off (spoiler alert). I don’t know how that happened.
B’s reaction: He spent most of the time wandering around, and only sat down to watch with us a couple times. I’m okay with that. It’ll come in time.

Snow White

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Filed under Beginnings, Children, Drew, Memoir, Movies, Nonfiction

Typography: Round 1

I’ve been fascinated by typography for awhile now. I think because I’m not really an artist, but this is a form of art that incorporates words, so I feel like it’s more up my alley. But it’s still art, and so it’s still intimidating.

So I’ve been really wanting to try it, but I just had no idea where to start. I kept thinking this would be a good subject for a class. If I wanted to take a class, and I had the time and the money and the energy. I looked up Intro to Typography books on Amazon, but I didn’t order any. I pushed “typography thing” down and down on my to-do list, and then eventually moved it onto my “Long-Term To Do” list.

And then, this summer, surprise! A bunch of my friends’ babies starting turning 1. And I thought I should make something to commemorate the occasion. I missed a couple birthdays, and then I realized that my next friend with the birthday baby was an actual GRAPHIC DESIGNER, so she probably wouldn’t want something that I had cobbled together as a first try.

So I decided to just Make Something, and it could be a general, out-in-the-universe, Happy First Birthday to All the Babies.

This is what I made.

HHS typography edit

Afterwards, I looked at it and saw – off the top of my head – several things that I would change. But I showed it to my friends anyway. And they were (of course) positive and encouraging and full of constructive criticism. I am eager to take another swing at this thing.

When I look at this, I see a first attempt filled with rookie mistakes. (And surely lots of mistakes that I can’t even see.) (Yet.)

But mostly I see a leap that I’ve been pondering for ages, into an unknown and exciting new territory.

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Filed under Beginnings, Dreams, Friends, Nonfiction, Parents, Writing

Throwback Thursday: Memoir

I pulled this gem off my old LiveJournal. I’m actually surprised (but very grateful) that I still remember the password.

This is from August 5, 2005. I’m really working hard to restrain from editing. (Oh, and as far as I can tell, the title means nothing but was probably the angstiest word in the song I was listening to at that exact moment.) Enjoy!

==

COLLAPSE

I have been at UC Davis for three years, and the number of things that I have exclaimed “Yes, let’s do that!” and then never done is astounding. Here is a brief list of examples:

1. Run through the maize maze (Woodland?) in the fall.
2. Gone, with any sort of regularity, to the Farmer’s Market. (And “But it’s SATURDAY MORNING” is no longer an excuse, as they have Wednesday evening FMs for which I know I am awake.)
3. Mini-golfing…Scandia…Sacramento…wherever.
4. The Davis Public Library: If I’m missin The Babysitters Club, they’re only a couple blocks away.
5. The MU Games Area.

Until tonight.

A bunch of us went to go bowling. It’s cheap, it’s accessible, it’s fun, it’s not too athletic (heaven forbid we do something cardio), and we all claimed to be bad at it. (Which was a huge lie, be careful of Drew, he will try to hustle you, but he’s bad at hustling.)

As far as I can see, bowling is bowling (*unless it’s $1.35/game and $.85/shoes*) and I thought it was all going to be very…familiar. Bowling. Ugly shoes and socks with shorts (what else could possibly be hotter?), and people watching your back, golf clapping for you whenever you turn back around but secretly chanting “gutter ball!” to themselves.

HOWEVER, UC Davis, well-known for several things, cows and a ginormous library being not the least of them, also features a “Rockin’ Bowl” to put all other “Rockin’ Bowl”s to shame.*

*Note: Writer has never actually been to any Rockin’ Bowls, nor does she know whether the term is “Rockin’ Bowl” or “Rock & Bowl,” but frankly, neither does she particularly care, and if you are still reading this, maybe you should just marry editing if you love it so much.*

So it seems to me that “Rockin’ Bowl” is made up of 4 main components. I will go through these for anyone who is unlucky enough to have never experienced the majesty.

#1. The music. Already loud when you walk in, and louder when you descend into the bowling pit, I mean area, it is turned up by a kid who can’t be older than 18 who tight-rope-walks down someone’s gutter to crank up the volume on the speakers sitting mid-lane. The number of times this exchange occurred is more than I want to remember:

*something unimportant*
“What?”
*repeat something unimportant*
“What?”
*repeat something unimportant, again, and louder, and also in a slightly embarrassed tone*
“What?”
“Never mind, it wasn’t that funny.”
“WHAT?”
“NEVER MIND!”

Then both parties would pretend to have heard the other, and that bit of conversation would be over.

Oh the glory.

#2. The music videos. Four large projection screens plummet from the heavens, and for the next…I don’t know how long it lasts. From then on, music videos are played on these screens. Music videos for songs whose names I only vaguely recognize. Music videos that are not nearly as clever as Britney Spears’ “Lucky” or Blues Traveler’s “Run-Around.” Music videos with angsty-looking men whose voices remind me sort of Phish, except I’m not thinking of these men as fondly as I think of Phish.

If I wanted to watch music videos, I would have been sitting at home whining about not having MTV. Or I would be going to Erin’s gym to “work out” and watch TV. It would not have occurred to me to go to Rockin’ Bowl at the UCDMU Games Area.

#3. The lights. Strobe and disco, namely. As soon as the fluorescents dimmed and the colored lights began to spin and I began to think about maybe getting a headache, I was also transferred immediately back in time to high school dances. (Probably more middle school, honestly, because in high school I went to 1 dance that was not a prom or formal (neither of which seemed to feature strobe lights to the degree of your everyday school dance), and I left that 1 dance pretty early.) So, middle school dances. So why was my impulse, on the strobe lights, to make out with someone? I was definitely not doing that in middle school.

Hold up, I wasn’t doing that in high school, either.

#4 and finally. The fog. I didn’t notice it for awhile (or maybe it didn’t get going until a little bit after the lights, etc., made their appearance on the scene), but once I did, I was transported to the backstage area of the Mondavi Center, kneeling on the ground, with my head in the Coke machine, filling it with fog so that the guy who played Eddie could trip over me to get in it before all the fog drifted out and we missed his entrance.

It’s funny that I “hated” Rocky Horror so much while it was going on, but now I can totally look back fondly and think “Awwww. Backstage at Mondavi, dressed up with Katie and Tyler and Eric. How cute. And foggy.”

So while, for a minute or two, I was thinking to myself, “Man, I suck at bowling…good thing I’m good at mini-golf,” I spent some time post-our-game checking out the other people playing, and I realized that most people are not that good. Except for this one girl who got three strikes in a row, I saw on her screen. There was a little cartoon of bowling-pin Caesar in a chariot. But I digress. I don’t think that the UC Davis Memorial Union Games Area is the place to be super-concerned about your bowling skillz. (I am, frankly, more worried about my inability to write “skills” instead of “skillz.”)

So all in all, I guess I learned a good lesson tonight.

And that lesson is, remember to bring socks so I don’t have to wear socks that I find in the backseat of the car, socks that dump sand everywhere when I turn them right-side-out.

Oh, and I also learned not to stress about my bowling abilities.

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Filed under Awesome, Beginnings, Being a girl, Drew, Friends, Games, Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment

Back in my day

In high school, I sucked at sports but my friends didn’t. So in order to hang out with them, I kept stats for the softball and girls’ basketball teams. Kind of dorky, but it was fun, and I was good at it, and I have a lot of good memories of away games (and home games too, for that matter).

But things would be very different if I were doing this in 2013. For example, two vanfuls of girls used to drive back from an away game in Ukiah or Willits or Fort Bragg or Colusa or wherever. When we got back to the high school parking lot, the one coach (a father of one of the girls) who had a portable phone would unpack this briefcase so we could all call our parents to come get us. The reception was terrible (likely the fault of the isolated county, and not the briefcase phone).

GCScover

 

Oh, the good old days.

An even better example – but one that it’s possible I’m slightly misremembering – is the time we were headed up to Hoopa for a big annual softball tournament. (I think it was softball.)

hoopamap

This was a very exciting event for us, not least because it was so far away, and we would have to spend the night, and we could probably also fit in a trip to the big mall in Eureka. (No mall in our hometown!)

(I loved the Bayshore Mall growing up, but now Yelp gives it 2.5 stars and calls it a “small town mall.” Ouch.)

The way I remember it, we drove all night long, but now that I’m looking at the the driving time and everything…we probably just left early in the morning. I was in a car with our chemistry/physics teacher, beloved by everyone, his wife, and his daughter, who was on the team. Side note: I love everyone in their family. They were and still are awesome all around.

I remember sitting in the backseat in a pile of blanket and pillows, and driving through the dark. Marilyn was asleep in the far backseat. (Like I said, it was like 2am…right?) There was some weird station on the radio and they were playing Dr. Demento and some other similar song, and the only part of it I remember is an increasingly insane “Poppies poppies poppies poppies!”

When the internet first became the thing that it is today, I searched for that song a little bit, but now I think I prefer not to ever find it and know what it is.

It was pouring rain and I guess it eventually got light outside but I don’t really remember that part. I do remember arriving in Hoopa to find out that the fields had been completely flooded and the tournament was canceled.

I guess there was just someone hanging out at the school, telling everyone that it was canceled. And probably, they made some phone calls in the morning when they had to cancel the tourney. But if the only number they had was the school, and no one was at the school…and none of us had cell phones that the calls could have been relayed to anyway. So we made the entire probably 5-hour drive for no reason.

Well…not NO reason. We did go to the mall and go shopping and get lunch or whatever.

And then…we drove back home. I guess.

We were in Lakeport this weekend and so I’m being sweetly sentimental about a lot of late-90s/early-2000s things. But, I’m also very happy to have internet and a smartphone and all the improvements technology has brought into our lives. I’ll even take the complications.

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Filed under Beginnings, Being a girl, cars, Friends, Games, Humor, Memoir, Sentiment, Technology, Travel

Throwback Thursday: Prose

Okay, here’s something from one of my creative writing: fiction classes at Davis. I have zero recollection of writing this, but it’s got my name on it (and it sure sounds like me). The prompt for this little homework blurb was:

A Stranger Comes to Town (April 2004)

“Guess where I am,” he said, and then, without waiting, “I’m coming to see you.”  She went through a quick spray of shock, excitement, happiness, and then suddenly shock again.  He lived an hour and a half away from her – two hours in heavy traffic – and while they had been talking over the phone for the entire summer, she didn’t feel the need to meet him in person.  He had offered to drive down to visit her several times, and each time she had mumbled stories of previous engagements and sworn vague promises.  “I got tired of waiting for you to make up your mind.  I’ll be there in an hour.”  The call ended and she was left holding the phone to her ear.  She was still holding it there when it rang again, no more than a minute later.  “I know what you’re thinking.”  He began talking before she could even say “hello.”  “You’re thinking that I don’t know where you live and so how can I find you?  You’re thinking you’re going to hide in a city of twenty thousand people.  I know you’re working tonight and there can’t be many Blockbusters in town.  I’ll see you soon.”  He hung up again without waiting for her to say anything.  She couldn’t help feeling that, despite their telephone relationship, he was really just a stranger coming to town.

I’m intrigued by this…and also by the reference to Blockbuster. LOL.

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Filed under Awesome, Beginnings, Exercise, Fiction, Humor, Writing

Make Me

One of the best things about being an adult is ice cream for dinner. Not literally (well, okay, sometimes), but I mean that sense that you can do whatever you want and there’s no one checking up on you.

On the other hand, one of the worst things about being an adult is that you can do whatever you want and there’s no one checking up on you.

There are a lot of things that I want to accomplish this year. (See: New Year’s Resolutions, 2013). Unfortunately there’s also a lot of internet to explore, friends to chat with, articles to read, and thin air to stare into.

I think the missing piece of the puzzle that turns staring (whether it’s into thin air or at Facebook) into actual productivity is accountability. If I don’t have anyone to answer to except myself, then what’s driving me to complete anything?

Here are some things I’ve tried to accomplish in the past: Bicoastal book club. Writing club. Dieting. Here are some things I’ve failed at: Bicoastal book club. Writing club. Dieting.

The problem with a bicoastal book club is that, without the regular meet-ups to talk about what you’ve read, what is forcing you to finish it? And if your book club happens to be made up of other people who aren’t determined to finish – then you might as well quit before you’ve even begun. A good way to assess the commitment of the others in your potential book club is by how long you’re given to finish the book. More than a couple months and I say your club is going to fall apart after two books, tops.

Ditto writing club. It’s all well and good to pick a prompt and off you go, but if you don’t have at least one other person emailing you something at the end of the month and expecting something from you, then you’re doomed. I’ve tried this in the past, and we made it exactly one month.

All I’ll say about dieting is that, without a good plan, someone to support you in it, and some kind of goal, it’s basically impossible.

But there’s hope! I am now in a book club, made up of real-life friends, and we meet up about every 6 weeks and discuss the book that, for the most part, all of us finished. When we started, I didn’t know how long we would last, but we’ve been going strong for over a year.

A couple months ago I started a new writing club. There are four of us, and while I’m not sure of everyone’s commitment, there is at least one other person who seems totally into it. So I’m clinging to that connection and hoping that she motivates me to write something every month.

Which brings me to dieting…which also brings me to Lent. I’m no stranger to Lent – I’ve been giving things up (off and on) since I was a kid. At some point I decided that Lent shouldn’t be about using the church to diet, so I started giving up things to make myself a better person. One year I tried to give up saying bad things about people behind their backs. A few years ago I gave up fighting with Drew. Last year I gave up Facebook.

This year I was thinking about giving up judging people, but when I suggested that, Drew shut it down. Remember, I need support in whatever I do. We finally decided to go with giving up most carbs. I figured this year I’ll be a happier person if I can stick to a diet, so I’m still technically improving myself.

I know it’s only been a couple days, but I already feel more committed, more confident, and pretty good about myself. In an “I can do it!” way, and not in an “Ice cream for dinner!” way, which is a refreshing change.

Lake County Record-Bee, 2/19/13

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Filed under Beginnings, Being a girl, Drew, Food, Humor, Nonfiction, Self improvement, Writing