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Dear Larissa, 27, From Larissa, 17

16 Oct

Me, Age 17

What follows is a letter I wrote to myself when I was 17 and instructed myself to open when I turned 27, which happened almost a week ago. When I read it for the first time, I laughed so hard I cried. This is a relatively unfiltered look into my brain when I was a very immature 17, although I truly believed I was wise beyond my years.

Please note, I’ve omitted people’s’ names to protect the innocent. I apologize for the excessive amount of smiley faces–emoticons were pretty new and really hip at the time!

Well, this is by far the weirdest idea I’ve had yet. HEY YOU! Where are you in life right now? Are you married yet? Any kids? Jeez! That’s frightening. I hope life has treated you (me) well. Hmm… let’s see. If you’re married to anyone I know right now, I’d say XXX or XXX. I’ve had a high school obsession with XXX since the eighth grade. Maybe something actually happened between us. XXX is just a good friend, but you never know where that could go. But I bet I’m not married yet.

Are you a writer? I have no idea where I’m headed. Where did you go to college? Did you stay at PUC? Or were you gutsy and go someplace else? Hmm… I hope I’m still friends with XXX. And XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, and XXX. These friends have always been there for me. Are you ballin’ down in Hollywood with Heath [Ledger] like you said you would? Are you in hot, steamy makeout scenes in box office hits with Ashton [Kutcher]? Maybe you’re in a rock band. That’s always been one of my secret ambitions.

Do you still shop at American Eagle? If you’re shopping at the Gap or someplace heinous like Macy’s I’ll kill you. 🙂 Is the number 32 still near and dear to your heart? This Thursday the [basketball] tournament starts. We’ll win. How much will I play? I hope a decent amount. I’m very excited; we finally got our basketball sweatshirts and I adore wearing it.

Is your hair red? I looked hot with red hair, back in the day. GO DYE YOUR HAIR RIGHT NOW. 🙂 If you’re blonde…! Please don’t be. Did you butcher your hair in college like I promised XXX? Hopefully not! What’s fashionable now? You’re not prancing around in an afro, are you? Ugh.

My favorite songs right now are “Rollout” by Ludacris, “In the End” by Linkin Park, “#1” by Nelly, and “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters. Were those names a blast from the past for you? 🙂 I bet those people aren’t even around anymore! Does ‘NSync still exist? You used to be quite infatuated with them! Hopefully by now you can finally play the guitar. Or drums. Mom would love that! How are Mom and Dad? Aging beautifully, I’m sure. Bill Gates took us all to Hawaii, right? And I’m sure David has dated a million girls and is happy, playing basketball professionally.

Do you wear contacts still or did you take the plunge and get your eyes lasered? Did you still work at the Market after you quit the second time? I hope not. Or did you go to Safeway? DO YOU HAVE A SILVER 4-RUNNER?! For the love of God you had better! And no stupid flames painted down the sides either. 🙂 How old were you when you finally got your license? Wait… you have it, right?! Haha.

Please tell me you stuck with Spanish and got your advanced diploma. Come on girl. Did you ever get crazy? You did slap XXX at some point, right? And you finally got a backbone and put XXX in their place. Sorry if you’re still friends with her. Lately she’s been terrible. All she does is hang out with XXX. It’s the most irritating thing.

My life is all right now, I guess. I would definitely call me a social butterfly. Too many different friends who don’t like each other. Let’s see. Well, I get up at 5:30 a.m. for basketball practice, and get yelled at by XXX. School pretty much sucks. Chemistry blows, but phat props to us for not wussing out. Algebra II is a awful but it’s almost over. XXX is a nutcase. Has anyone gotten rid of him yet?

I’d have to say I think I am generally liked. I’m good friends with the sophomores and the seniors. XXX has become a very close friend. What ever happened to XXX? Did he move to Sacramento? Did you ever manage to get to a concert? Incubus? Weezer? Sugar Ray? I hope you remember going to see the Dalesmen. That was my first concert, and it was just a few weeks ago. You went with XXX, XXX, XXX, and XXX. We had a blast. Remember XXX? I hope he never tried to hook up with you again. He was a real scumbag. Remember? “I’ve had a crush on you for a long time. Do you think we’ll get together?” The same thing happened to six other girls! GROSS! Hopefully you managed to hook XXX and XXX up. XXX and XXX got married, didn’t they? That’s wrong. Hopefully you got over XXX. Not that I’m not right now. It’s just weird.

Is XXX famous? Did XXX win the Nobel Prize? Is XXX a world famous singer? Can we cook? Because I’m pretty hopeless right now. I know…! I grew up to be a professional chef, didn’t I? 🙂 I bet you named your son Ethan Denton and your daughter Blythe Rose. The thought of me responsible for the upbringing of human life is CRAZY! Did you pierce your ears? No double piercings, please. Did you get a tattoo? Maybe one… that’s okay. Please tell me I broke my horrible habit of chewing on my nails.

I wonder how different you are from me. Are you a sultry temptress sitting in a bubble bath while hot, thong-wearing men feed you ice cream? You’re not a dork, I know. DUH! 🙂 I hope you’re spontaneous, and run out to the lake to go swimming and ponder the clouds. I hope I”m confident with myself. Being world famous will just be a bonus! Did they take “Friends” off the air? You used to be obsessed! Every Thursday you were at XXX’s at 8 p.m. Do you still write poetry? I haven’t been inspired to write in a long time. I miss it.

I hope I’ve found the meaning of life. Sometimes I think I’m so jaded and on the brink of becoming something, someone, I just don’t want to go in the wrong direction. Destiny awaits! There are many routes, but which one did I chose? Let passion guide you. People like me deserve happiness. Not XXX. Oh gosh, I’ve gone and gotten all serious…

My favorite color is blue! I’m very into both rap and rock. Nelly, Weezer, Incubus, P. Diddy, Ludacris, Dave Matthews Band, etc. Pop is no longer your favorite. I guess I’m your typical teen, in some ways. I like American Eagle. Smiles. Sports. American Pie. Road trips. I’m also a Giugni’s addict. But there is something about me that makes me different. Sure, I’m loud, and happy, but I do have an intense serious side, it can just be hard to find. It’s always easier to be the silly outgoing girl than the mysterious girl. You could accuse me of hiding my serious side. I hope that’s different about you.

Well, lucky you! I’ve got a chemistry test to study for. I hope you’re happy. Love someone. Give my kids a kiss for me. Go change the world. I know you did–or you will. Follow your dreams.

Much love from your past,

Larissa

(Written February4th, 2002)

Hair

20 Mar

I look gooooooooooood!

One of the first things you need to know about me is I’m not a girly girl. Well, I suppose this is partially true. In some ways, I am very girly—I hate being dirty, I really like jewelry, and I have a pathetic love of chick flicks—but in other ways, not so much. For instance, I have no patience to spend time meticulously painting my nails, I am a disaster with eyeliner, and I can barely cook (See “The Beginning of the Culinary Adventures of Larissa Church”), though I’m really trying to fix that last fact. You’ll sooner find me in a pair of jeans than a dress, and I wear high heels about once a year—and then hang onto my husband’s arm for dear life as I totter about.

I’ve never really been good with hair. When I was in the fifth grade, I got a perm, and I trace that to the root of the problem (ha, ha). I don’t think my hair has been the same since. I have thick hair that manages to be flat, with enough wave to give it life but curly not enough to make it pretty. In the past, I’ve dyed it to make it more interesting (See “Little Known Facts About Me”). To make it presentable, I have two choices: Blow dry it, then straighten it with a flatiron, or scrunch some product in it to attempt to make it all wave-y. When my hair is straight, in my opinion, it is limp and lifeless. When it’s wave-y, it’s not wave-y enough so I think it looks stupid. Until today, I had pretty much resigned myself to either of those options.

Like most “alternative” girls, I have a celebrity crush on Zooey Deschanel. No Kim Kardashian envy for me! I think Zooey’s just about the raddest gal around. She can sing and act, and looks great doing both. I love her style, and I love her hair. I’ve attempted to get her bangs before, at Great Clips, but it’s never worked out. I have a love/hate relationship with bangs—I grow them out, and I want them back. I have them, and I want them gone. Le sigh. For the past few months, I’ve been growing my bangs out, since the last version I had were awful.

However, I was starting to get the itch to have my bangs back, which is always dangerous. And I needed a haircut desperately—I hadn’t cut my hair since before the wedding, back in August. Not that I’ve ever been one to take good care of my hair, but it’s recommended you get your hair cut every six to eight weeks, and the fact that I hadn’t in over six months was hideously apparent. I was complaining to my husband, but I wasn’t doing anything about it. I was driving him crazy, until yesterday he couldn’t take it anymore. He went on Yelp, and found Frenchy’s Beauty Parlor. With 235 reviews and 4 ½ stars, it sounded great. Haircuts for ladies were $60—the most I have ever spent is $20. I was hesitant, but my dear husband was insistent that I deserved it. I called, doubting they had openings for the next day, but they did. It was on! It was time to decide what in the world to do with my hair, though, and I had no idea what I should aim for but ultimately be disappointed by. A quick trip to the grocery store solidified my choice. As fate would have it, Zooey was on the cover of Lucky magazine, and I knew my decision had been made. I was going for it.

This is a look of love.

I arrived at Frenchy’s 15 minutes before my appointment. The parlor was awesome: The ceilings were pink with big sparkles. It had a retro vibe. The receptionist immediately offered me a soda or water, complimentary, of course. Sufjan Stevens was playing—how can you not love a hair salon that plays Sufjan Stevens?! Solidifying the salon’s awesomeness was the wall art: the salon was featuring Audrey Knight’s Mammalian Military. My favorite piece was of a walrus with an eye patch. I could have looked at that painting all day. The place was hip but I surprisingly didn’t feel out of place at all, which is something I can’t say for a lot of places I’ve seen/been to in Los Angeles.

Within three minutes of arriving, Rosie, who was to be my stylist, came over and introduced herself. Along with my haircut, I was to have a complimentary scalp massage, and I needed to pick the oil fragrance I would like used. I went with “Peppermint Dream.” It smelled incredible, and having my scalp massaged was the most relaxing things I had done in a long while. Also included in a haircut was a wash, which I was excited about since Great Clips typically sprays your hair with a spray bottle. Frenchy’s uses Bumble and bumble, and it’s a safe assumption to say my hair has never smelled as nice before today. I was already in heaven and my haircut had yet to really begin.

Rosie was great: she worked quickly and efficiently, managed to chitchat but not talk too much. It was clear she knew what she was doing. I was envious of her hair—it was pink-streaked and she had a fuchsia hair feather with tinsel. And she pulled it off.

In addition to the scalp massage and wash, you also have your hair styled after it is cut, which is again nicer than Great Clips since they boot you out the door with hair that is sopping wet. I let Rosie decide what to do, and she used a round brush after spraying some Bumble and bumble “lotion” in for texture. She used a flatiron on my bangs, and when it was over, I can honestly tell you my hair has never looked as good in its life. I was blown away (ha, ha).

I can't stop looking at myself!

Frenchy’s, you have converted me. I suppose as a newish resident of LA, it was only a matter of time before I started becoming narcissistic. Since having my haircut, I can’t stop looking at myself in the mirror, or stop talking about how good I look. I’ve only had a taste of pampering, and already I want more. Goodbye Great Clips, you are dead to me.

To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Hey everyone! Come see how good I look!”

Little Known Facts About Me

21 Dec

 

Now I'm weird, but not THAT weird!

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These past few days I have been sick, very sick, which I don’t do very often. While it is true that my stomach has a particular aversion to garlic as well as certain amounts of cheese (I like to refer to my condition as “lactose uncomfortable”), it is a rare occasion that I am ever genuinely sick. I have a pretty amazing immune system, but perhaps the smog in LA has decreased its working ability.

I became ill on Saturday night, when I noticed I was sneezing quite often. I was also suffering from a runny nose. Sunday I was worse, with a very sore throat, the chills, the aches, a nose that alternated between runny and stuff, and a fever. Monday was much the same, but I still attempted to go to work. My supervisor promptly sent me home. I have somewhat improved, but I remain gross, so I am home bound yet again.

My sickness got me thinking about other weird and random facts of my life, and so I thought it would be appropriate to share them now. You may or may not already be aware of them.

As I have referenced in a previous blog post, I was raised without any pets (see “All I Want for Christmas Is…”), which I find completely un-American. What family in the U.S. doesn’t have a pet? Mine.

I am 26 and I have never broken a bone. It isn’t for lack of trying, either. When I was a kid I loved to ride my bike, climb trees, and generally run around like a chicken without a head. I was one of the only kids I knew who hadn’t had the luxury of breaking an appendage and then coming to school with a neon colored cast on their arm or leg, to be swarmed in the playground at recess like a celebrity and have everyone desperate to sign it. I was jealous, and don’t even get me started on crutches. I lusted after them like the Cookie Monster and cookies. It’s amazing I didn’t actually break my leg when I would try out my injured friends’ crutches.

I was raised vegetarian, and the first time I had meat was in the 5th grade. I can remember it very well: it was lunchtime, and some of my friends were teasing me for never having meat. I was popular, but this weird aspect of my eating habits definitely raised a red flag in my friends’ minds as to why. So when someone handed me a few round pieces of pepperoni, I obliged and ate them. I then spent the night heaving over the toilet, not to eat meat again until the 8th grade.

On the topic of food, I grew up on the east coast and in the south, and I never had an avocado until California. Avocadoes aren’t really a thing back there. In fact, when I visited the south in high school, I went to a Subway and asked to have avocado on my sandwich. The sandwich maker looked at me like I was on drugs, and informed me they didn’t have it, and questioned why I wanted avocado on my sandwich—that was weird. My parents love that story.

I’ve had braces… twice, which is wildly un-cool, particularly when you pair it with the fact that I also had glasses and a perm. Additionally, I was obsessed with having the bands match the colors of the seasons; for example, I had orange and black bands in October. February saw red and pink bands on my mouth metal. The first time, I had braces in Boston, and when we moved, my dentist took them off. I think it was something to do with insurance. When we moved to California, my teeth had shifted, so surprise, I needed them again. Thankfully, my second time around, I realized having colors was extremely lame, and opted for gray bands every time (the clear ones show food more), to the disappointment of my dentist, who was hoping I would go for neon colors every time.

Since I was exposed to “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” at a very young age, one of my greatest fears is robots. I don’t think I even saw that much of it, because I’m sure my mother shooed me out of the room when my dad was watching it. However, I was “lucky” enough to glimpse the scene where the terminator regenerates from a liquid, silver-y puddle and chases after Sarah Connor and John Connor. It still scares me. I also have a strong aversion against robot vacuums (they are evil) as well as pool cleaning robots. I was in a friend’s aunt’s pool a few summers back and the tail of one pool cleaning robot managed to wrap itself around me. I am convinced to this day it was trying to drown me. However, I love R2D2 and Wall-e, so I’m not sure what’s happening in the wiring of my brain.

When I was in high school, I was obsessed with dyeing my hair. I have what you might call “dirty blonde hair,” which means I’m not truly blonde, but not truly brunette either, which left me very confused as to whether I was Marilyn Monroe or Jackie Kennedy. I decided to be both. I tried dark brown hair, I tried super blonde hair, and then I wanted red hair. For a while I had beautiful red locks, (however my mother compared me to Ariel, so I’m not sure I was as glamorous as I thought I was) but then I was bored again and wanted to be a brunette, so I dyed it back. To my horror, my hair literally turned carrot orange. It turns out most peoples’ hair doesn’t take to red, and the color generally fades very fast. Mine? Loved the red and didn’t want to let it go. I dyed my hair the night before a big choir performance, so I rushed to Target to buy more brown dye, and made it worse. I suffered through the performance as Carrot Top, one of the most humiliating events of my high school career. A few days later I paid a visit to a salon, where they stripped my hair, bleached it, and then tried to dye it back to its normal color. My scalp felt like it was on fire, and I haven’t dyed my hair since.

If I haven’t already cemented the fact that I was a very odd child, I didn’t get my driver’s license until I graduated high school. I took a few hours of driving lessons, and I did have my permit, which I renewed several times but then let expire. Considering I lived in a small town where the majority of things were within walking distance, I was never too inspired to get my license. I was then graciously gifted my beautiful Honda Accord,  “Pierre,” by my grandparents as a graduation present, and suddenly I was very motivated to get my license.

I also don’t have any known allergies, and I haven’t tried in a while, but contrary to popular belief, I can lick my elbow. Also, my first kiss was in a library, which I find really weird. I’m sure when I explain that one to my grandkids, they won’t even know what a library is because everyone will have Kindles and probably be robots.

The State of Our Collected Affairs

16 Dec

 

Oh 2011, may you bring us things other than Justin Beiber!

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While I was at work this afternoon, I received a text from my husband that said, “There is a major police chase going on in La Crescenta. I can hear choppers and sirens and the police on the bullhorn telling the guy to come out. It is scary.” If that doesn’t remind a person they aren’t in the Napa Valley anymore, I don’t know what will.

(Note: There is currently no update on the Glendale Police Department website regarding the incident. Their activity log hasn’t been updated since October, which is not comforting.) An excruciating two hours and twenty minutes later, my husband finally texted me, only saying that he had completed a drawing of the legendary Cole Panther for his website. When pressed for more information about his safety and well-being, an hour and thirty-three minutes later he texted back, “It’s been pretty quiet for an hour or so now. They must’ve got him.”

Besides terrifying me, this incident also placed me in a contemplative mood, causing me to reflect as though, as the cliché goes, my life passed before my eyes. Or at least my husband’s did. I began to mull over past events, particularly the past year. It was a biggie for me: quitting my job of 3 years, getting married (finally!) and not having to worry about wedding planning any longer, moving to LA, having my own house and decorating it, sharing a house with a boy, getting a new job that utilized my skill set, etc. But I started thinking. What was life like for the rest of the world this year? What were they interested in? (I realize this post is a tad premature for reflections on 2010, but what can I say? The spirit moved me.)

According to the Yahoo! 2010 Year In Review, the top ten searches on their search engine were: the BP oil spill, the World Cup, Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, the iPhone, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber, American Idol, and Britney Spears.

If you are wondering why I did not use Google Zeitgeist 2010 as my source, I don’t like their categorization of “Fastest Rising” searches. And if you are wondering who the @#$% uses Yahoo, consider this: Bing recently announced it has 90 million users, so perhaps the armor of the almighty Google has been dented.

In a quick sweep of my mind, my Facebook, and my Twitter, I have determined I have only commented (online) to 1 of these 10 top search topics. On June 29, I tweeted: “1,000+ birds & 400+ sea turtles have died from the BP oil spill. as the turtles from finding nemo would say, DUDE. http://dfnd.us/dgT2sI” I suppose I should take pride in the fact that of the 10 topics, I commented on the only one that has any sort of relevance. However, it does make me question whether I am alternative to the social norm, or if I am merely out of touch.

As 2010 comes to a close, here are the rest of my thoughts on the other 9 top searches for the year.

The World Cup

During the summer of 2006, when Italy beat France to win the World Cup, I was there. However, that has nothing to do with this past World Cup, and I had to Google “who won World Cup 2010” to learn that it was Spain. My sports-loving family will no doubt be ashamed of me when they read this.

Miley Cyrus

I am not embarrassed to say (OK, I’m a little embarrassed) that I have a few Miley Cyrus songs on my iPod. Like many pop stars before her, and many after I am sure, Miley does not have much of a singing voice, but her producers sure are clever. Regardless of your age or sex, I think it is hard to deny that “Party in the U.S.A.” is catchy. I should say I know of a 33-year-old man (he will remain anonymous for his protection) who is obsessed with the song, so I don’t feel so guilty for my sometimes poor musical selections.

Kim Kardashian

No.

Lady Gaga

I am ambivalent about Lady Gaga. The songs I know I like, but I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. Her voice isn’t particularly enthralling, but I suppose that isn’t the point. My favorite 2010 Lady Gaga moment involves my dad. One morning when I was getting ready to head to work, I had a familiar sound coming from an unfamiliar place. “Ra ra ra ra ra!” rang out across the house. I followed the sounds to my dad, who was watching the music video for “Bad Romance.” In utter disbelief, I silently watched my dad watch Gaga. He informed me he was watching the video because “They’re saying Lady Gaga has revived the music video industry.” Dumbfounded, I nodded. At the video’s conclusion, my dad simply stated, “Lady Gaga is an alien.”

The iPhone

Don’t have one and doubt I want to pay a ridiculous price for one. I am the only person I know without a smartphone (besides my parents, but my dad can’t check voicemail, so I feel I am still more technologically advanced), and I do want one, but I don’t want to pay for one. Bah!

Megan Fox

She is pretty but she is also scary. Since she’s been kicked off “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, I am sure she will fade into oblivion soon enough. Yawn.

Justin Bieber

I suppose it does reveal something about my age when I say if I was asked, I couldn’t name a single Justin Bieber song. All I know is that he has hair that everyone likes, which is confusing because I thought the surfer look was totally over. When I saw the “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” trailer, I thought he sounded like a little girl. When that guy hits puberty, something tells me his career is over, which is discomforting to think that millions of little girls are obsessed with a boy who sounds like… a little girl.

American Idol

Do people still watch this? Really? I’ve only ever tuned in to watch the show once, and that was the finale of the first season, when it was Justin vs. Kelly. It was blindly apparent that Justin did not possess even one iota of talent, and when Kelly won, it restored my faith in humanity, if only temporarily.

Britney Spears

I loved her during her “Toxic” days (that song is still one of the greatest songs ever) and it was sad watching her shave her head and go insane. Maybe because I loved her in high school I have a soft spot for Ms. Spears, and I wish her the best. Or perhaps because I can relate to an over-the-hill popstar whose glory days are behind her (that was a bit dramatic, I admit. I do not actually feel that washed up).

This rant reminds me that I am getting even more curmudgeon-y, cynical, and old. (See “Happy Birthday to Me” if you need to be reminded of this fact.) I suppose it is an inevitable part of aging, but I’m going to stick with the belief that I hold alternative views than those of society’s. (Further proof of my delusion in my old age?)

The Finding Nemo Club

30 Nov

Nemo!

Until I watched “The Shining” just a few weeks ago, I could count the number of scary movies I have viewed on one hand, thankfully. In the 8th grade, my brother and I watched “Halloween H20” at a friend’s house. I don’t think we’ve ever recovered since. For weeks I think my brother was afraid I would try to kill him, though in retrospect perhaps I should have been the one who was more freaked out (the story, if you aren’t aware, centers of Michael Meyers, an insane man who is obsessed with killing his sister, as well as other random people, of course).

In high school, I unfortunately viewed “I Know What You Did Last Summer” as well as its ridiculously titled sequel, “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.” Besides the fact that indoor tanning salons should scare me enough, what with that whole skin cancer thing, watching the sequel forever scarred my psyche and I don’t think I could ever go fake ‘n bake again. (There’s a horrific scene where one of the female characters gets locked in a tanning booth and the killer turns the heat all the way up, essentially cooking the girl. If I remember correctly, she escapes.)

In college, I was tricked into watching “Saw” by a friend who assured me the film was more of a psychological thriller than a blood bath—not so much. It was so gross I can’t believe they made so many sequels to it, but I’m hardly surprised. I also went to see “I am Legend” in theaters, which I thought I could handle since I had become a huge fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” However, to my disappointment, these vampires did not engage in witty banter with Will Smith, and while they were very poorly CGI’d, they gave me nightmares for weeks. It disturbed me to no end to think of my grandmother, your dad, and someone else’s uncle become a zombie-vampire and try to eat me. Not cool.

Somewhere during this time my brother and his friend Pete created “The Finding Nemo Club.” The Club was formed in protest to the tendency of their friends to want to watch scary movies, and its sole mission was to immediately leave and view “Finding Nemo” if watching a scary movie was suggested by someone. I voted myself into the Club, but should note my brother will probably vote me out when he learns I willingly watched “The Shining.” To this day he will not allow his wife to join since she went to see “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” in theaters.

I should point out that I only watched “The Shining” since my husband would not be able to escape me. I made him promise he would stay up all night with me if I wasn’t able to sleep, and he promised (a promise he broke, I should add). The movie did scare “the living daylights out of me,” as my dad would say, but not in the way I think Stephen King intended. One of the movie’s characters is a young boy who has a split personality, and he is evil. (Warning: plot spoiler ahead!) You discover in the end that he is good, but I still think Jack Nicholson should have chopped him to bits. In fact, I thought Jack N. was great, hilarious even. It was the demon child I was afraid of and he should have died. Nothing else in the movie was scary, but that could be because I covered my eyes and plugged my ears at any moment that was remotely fear-inducing. Later that night, around 4 a.m. when I was trying to read, I vowed to never again watch a scary movie, and I renewed my membership to “The Finding Nemo Club.”

Since it was the holidays, and a cheery time of year, I thought it appropriate to discuss violent, bloody, horrific movies. Happy holidays!

Georgia on My Mind

28 Nov

Love love love!

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When I was attending San Francisco State University (working towards obtaining my certificate in Technical and Professional Writing), I took a class on desktop publishing, where I learned the basics of Adobe InDesign. One of the first things we did in the class was to watch a movie called “Helvetica.” It is a documentary about “typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.” If you haven’t seen this movie, Netflix it immediately. The movie travels across the globe, talking with different typeface designers about their feelings towards the typeface Helvetica. Believe it or not, it is a very controversial subject in the design realm, and it’s absolutely fascinating.

I had never in my life given one iota of thought to typography or who was in the business of designing typefaces. To me, typefaces simply existed. They were in the computer and were there and that was all. I had no idea that they were actively designed, with immense thought given to a letter’s width, weight, or kerning (spacing) between letters. After watching the movie, I began to notice all the typefaces around me and how different they were. It was mind-blowing. (Wow, I’m a huge nerd…)

Soon after we viewed the movie, the professor of the class had us research a typeface and then design a poster for it. I looked at the list, and randomly chose the typeface Georgia. While I realize this is going to sound overblown and ridiculous, it was a decision that changed my life forever.

Georgia is a serif typeface that is relatively new. It was designed in 1993 and was apparently named after a tabloid headline that was titled, “Alien Heads Found in Georgia.” It was first available in 1996. It is similar to Times New Roman, the default typeface for Microsoft Word but has a few subtle differences (which I won’t bore you with here). I find it infinitely more appealing that Times New Roman, which I loathe, perhaps because I was forced to type numerous papers using it for 5 years in college. Or, perhaps it appeals to me because, according to Microsoft, “Georgia is a typeface resonant with typographic personality. Even at small sizes the face exudes a sense of friendliness; a feeling of intimacy many would argue has been eroded from Times New Roman through overuse” (source).

While it is unlikely I could pinpoint exactly why I am attracted to the typeface, I am. I suppose it is inexplicable. After I designed my poster featuring Georgia, every single Word document I have created since has used the typeface. Apparently in early 2009, the typeface had a revival of sorts and was prominently used across the Web on various websites (source). I love spotting Georgia the typeface in every day life; it has popped up on pizza boxes, notebooks, road signs, and many other random places.

I suppose that sometimes, it’s the small things in life that bring us happiness.

(If you are wondering why this post or my blog in general does not make use of the Georgia typeface, it is because the themes used on WordPress generally limit you to a specific typeface, or else you know I would always use it!)

I Have a Fever and the Only Prescription is More Snuggie!

26 Oct

Yeah, I'm cool!

Yes. It’s true! I have joined the cult of the Snuggie.

Thanks to my new sister-in-law, I am now the proud owner of “The Blanket That Has Sleeves!” If it sounds epic, it should, because it is.

According to the box it came in, the Snuggie

“does not slip and slide like a regular blanket so it keeps you warm from head to toe while allowing complete freedom of movement. Read, eat, sew, use the remote, talk on the phone or work on your laptop in complete comfort. You can also use it outside to keep you warm at sporting events!”

(You bet your buns I just indented that block quote as though it was from an academic source and not the back of a box!)

I can vouch for that second to last item; as I type this, I am bedecked in my Snuggie’s cotton candy pink folds and am able to type on my laptop with ease. It is glorious.

I realize I’m a little late jumping on the Snuggie bandwagon. It was introduced in 2008 and by the end of 2009, approximately 20 million people had Snuggies, if you can believe it. The height of Snuggie fever was apparently during the holiday season of last year. (source)

A year ago, a Snuggie runway event during New York Fashion Week, which in case you live in a cave is a really big deal. It proved the Snuggie could in fact be elegant; debuting the leopard print Snuggie and other “designer” Snuggies as well.

This past April, over 40,000 people at a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim game wore a promotional sleeved blanket for five minutes, setting the Guinness World Record for sleeved blanket wearing. I have to admit, I’m a little depressed I didn’t own a Snuggie at the time (nor did I live in LA, but that’s beside the point) because that sounds awesome.

Snuggie fever is still affecting many Americans. Recently, “The Snuggie Sutra” was published, which, to quote the MSNBC news article, is “turning couch potatoes into hot potatoes.” I’ll let you imagine the rest.

This past Thursday, the 1st Snuggie Choice Film Awards were held. Thousands of people submitted videos detailing their love of the blanket-with-sleeves. The winning family won $5,000 for a rap video, so be warned: next year you may see me competing in some ridiculous manner. :/

I used to watch the video below and make fun of Snuggie-wearers, but now I just appreciate how appealing a Snuggernaut really is.

Currently, I’m debating whether I want to quickly turn into “the weird girl” at my new work. The way the office is designed has many employees upstairs, while myself and two others reside downstairs. Heat rises, so the offices upstairs are always warm; thus, the air conditioning is on almost constantly. The way my desk is situated it feels as though the air is blown directly on me, sometimes causing my fingernails to turn purple I’m so cold. I joked this past weekend to my mom about wearing a Snuggie to work, but that was before I owned one.

Do I dare wear it to work? We shall see. As a new Snuggie-wearer, I don’t quite have my confidence in wearing the blanket-with-sleeves in public, but hopefully that will change, and soon.