Tag: California

Strange Associations: Irvine band competition edition

Strange Associations: Irvine band competition edition

Tonight my family and I braved the smoke-ridden California atmosphere to head out to Irvine for the California State Band Championship semi-finals, where Alyson and the RUHS band performed.

I’m not sure whether it’s wrong of me to talk about that while people in areas actually ablaze right now are surviving a horrible tragedy? But the fires have been so intense that the South Bay has seen huge clouds of dust, and we were treated to a bright red sun on the way into Orange County.

Full credit to my mom for snagging this one out the window.

So we might not have it as bad as somewhere like Malibu, to get images like this one I’ve seen circulating out of the LA Times:

But I still felt like it was worth mentioning.

Now let’s get into the meat of this post, shall we?

… Or at least, that’s what I would say. If there was some to get into.

I’m caught in a bit of an awkward position when it comes to talking about this competition. It’s all about a number of marching bands from across the state coming together to perform musical and visual shows so they can earn a spot in the finals.

I don’t think there’s a monetary benefit involved? Unless you consider a school’s potentially increased willingness to fund an award-winning program.

The problem comes when that musical and visual performance is best captured on video, but we’re not allow personal video recording of the performances because the organization is doing “professional recordings” and wants you to buy their video.

I’m not sure I could feasible argue this is a professional venue, and I’d rather not deal with a headache if it turns out they’re the kind of organization that sues if you break the rules.

So brief pictures will unfortunately have to do.

Like this one I got out of the performance by Troy High School:

The drum major actually did something unique by wearing that cloak and performing the prologue ballet for their show on that guitar there.

It was a bit goofy because the whole thing was leading up to a fantasy love story. But it was different and I appreciated that.

Of course I also tried to get Aly’s band performing their show Imagine, which is a somewhat bizarre blend of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Ironically relevant to me this semester if I hadn’t made that obvious enough already.

However, that’s about as exciting as I can get with this whole experience.

So I figured I would harken back to an older post I did and talk about more strangely specific video game-related associations I’ve had thanks to this competition.

The drive out brought back a memory from over two years ago. Way back to those days when instead of trying to do daily posts, I just wrote about a few things of interest whenever they came up.

Like brand new details about the as-of-yet released Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Boy those were the days, weren’t they? Everyone was so eager to eat up each and every little detail they could about the much anticipated Generation 7.

I miss that kind of game hype.

But now I’m getting sidetracked. All I wanted to say was that the drive reminded me of writing this blog post, specifically the Type: Null portions, in the car.

Which in turn drudged up the chunk about Tsareena and Bounsweet that I wrote in the stands that night.

That’s not where my gaming-centric connections end, though.

The competition is taking place at Irvine High School, where we’ve been here for a different band event in the past.

When we were here last it must have been a few years ago as well, because I distinctly remember playing Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright at the time. In fact I can do you one better and pinpoint the exact mission I was struggling through.

Mitama’s unlocking mission: Paralogue 12, as I looked up.

However… Just talking about that reminds me that I keep putting off that Fire Emblem Heroes post, which is focused on Fates characters.

So I’m going to try and cut my losses by wrapping things up here.

Would only be right to do so with the results. Aly and the RUHS band got fifth place, so they are going on to the finals. Because the top six teams make it through.

I guess here’s to next week when I’ll be doing this all over again!

Saving Daylight

My perception of Daylight Savings Time changes every year depending on what my class schedule is like.

For instance, last year I barely noticed the time shift during the Fall semester. Probably because 90 percent of my time outside of classes was spent in the Daily Titan newsroom, where seven or so hours kind of blurred together day-in and day-out. Nobody realized when the sky changed outside when we were so wrapped up in work.

The year before that I do very distinctly remember having a later class in University Hall where the time shift made a serious difference when leaving for the day. At one point in the semester I walked out of class and it was suddenly dark outside, whereas it was light the week before.

Kinda jarring stuff, not gunna lie.

This semester has been much more akin to that jarring transition. However, more delayed than it should have been.

I have two late classes this semester, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. My Tuesday block class got cancelled this week however, as Professor Rizzo wanted to give everyone the chance to vote.

Wish my Psych professor had the same idea… But oh well. We’ve got a day off for Veterans Day next Monday so that should make up for it.

Because I wasn’t in school until 7:00 p.m. or so yesterday, I did not see the difference in lighting. However, I definitely did see it tonight when I left my Visual Comm class.

Normally I wouldn’t give too much of a second thought to the time shift. Sure it got a bit colder and more awkward getting to my car in the dark, but nothing too crazy.

I guess DST is in my head a bit more often lately thanks to Prop 7 on the ballet this year. A proposition which passed with 60 percent of the vote.

Now that it’s passed, our state legislature will be able to vote on eliminating Daylight Savings Time all together (by making it “permanent”) if a federal law is enacted first.

After 21 years of experiencing it, I can’t exactly imagine the time shift just being gone all together. I know that it’s already gone in states like Arizona, but the biyearly change feels so ubiquitous.

How would you feel if DST went away — if you live in a place where that happens of course. I’m kind of curious to know what sort of public reaction might come out of it.


P.S. — Yes, this is kind of a space filler post. I’m trying not to expend a lot of effort with a second exam to study for tomorrow.

Though my exam today went well, considering I got a 91 percent on it. So I’m not very nervous.

Just the usual amount of nervous.

As an added note, Fire Emblem Heroes has a new banner and a totally new game mode coming out tomorrow. But I probably won’t be talking about it tomorrow. Have to head to bed early so I can sleep up for my exam, and then at night I have an awards ceremony to go to for Aly.

I’ll probably talk about that on the blog tomorrow, save Fire Emblem for Friday.

Hope you all can forgive me.

Death by 1,000 Cuts

Death by 1,000 Cuts

I’ve come to really appreciate the gym as a solid source of stress relief on days like today.

Life can’t all be fun and polling places after all. I may have gotten an initial high by doing my civic duty and voting, but that was a very small fraction of the day right when the polls opened at 7:00 a.m.

Yeah, I finally got to pull out this joke I’ve been sitting on for a few months. Yeah, I’m proud of myself for deciding to actually do it. And yeah, I’m glad the Tweet and my identical post on Facebook got a good number of likes more than usual.

Not that it matters how much my things are liked, I just appreciate knowing that a number of my followers here and there have solid meme sensibilities.

I’m getting sidetracked.

Voting was cool, acknowledged. But after I did that I still had to go to school.

Which leads me to my next point: School kind of sucked today.

I went in for what amounted to a 20-minute long Sensation and Perception class where we reviewed for our upcoming test, but because my late class and study date were cancelled I had no reason to stick around.

Always a pleasure to drive around for a couple of hours so I can be in class for 20 minutes.

See we’re smack in the middle of midterm season 2 in Cal State Fullerton’s Psychology department. Tomorrow I have an exam in Learning and Memory, then on Thursday I have an exam in Sensation and Perception.

Plus, on the back-burner is the early deadline for my Learning and Memory research paper: Friday.

That theoretically matters less than the rest, but if I get the paper in before Friday I’ll have 4 points extra credit applied. Considering those points are the difference between a ‘C,’ where my rough draft stood, and an ‘A,’ I’m pretty eager to get it in.

It just so happens that I have no idea whether or not the professor is going to be on-campus Thursday or Friday. Which is why I’m pushing myself to finish the paper by tomorrow.

While also hoping to study for the exam in that same class tomorrow.

See why I’m getting on-edge?

Well hold your horses folks, because it gets more frustrating somehow.

My professor left tons of notes on the rough draft I turned in because he’s anal as hell and basically wanted us to write his essay, not our essay — even if something made more sense to us the way we wrote it.

… So I’ve heard from a friend.

When I sat down with the guy during his office hours to get clarification on the chicken scratch notes, the general take-away was that he wanted the early portion of the paper to have clear definitions, examples and statements on how those examples prove the definitions. It wasn’t good enough to have a definition followed by a “, for example xxx.”

That’s all fine and well… Until you remember that the paper as a whole has a page limit.

So the man basically strong-armed me into adding dozens of paragraphs and extended examples throughout the paper, and now expects me to cut down all of the extra space that came into the piece as a result.

It’s a Tantalus-level torture straight out of Hades if I’ve ever seen one.

That’s about where my headline today comes from, my resignation to the fact that I’ll be sitting here with my mom snipping off words and sentences from this paper where applicable to hit a page limit, despite the fact that I’m already sick of looking at it after nearly five hours of editing his comments yesterday.

Not the emotional place I want to be in while knowing I have to move into exam studying after for the same man that’s currently ruining my life.

But like I started this post off with, at least I had the gym to blow off some steam.

Even if not I feel like I’m passing out on the couch while working on my paper.

Because everything needs a trade-off, doesn’t it life?

Getting ready to vote

Getting ready to vote

I’ve been positively swamped with homework, essays and exams this weekend. Which is why I didn’t post any blog stuff yesterday.

I quite literally locked myself in my room and did work, turning off (most) of the usual distractions.

Luckily last night I got an extra hour of sleep from Daylight Savings Time, so I was able to get up nice and refreshed to… Do more homework.

It’s just been that kind of weekend.

But DST does actually offer me a neat little segue into the topic I figured I would touch on for this quick blog post today.

Tuesday is midterm Election Day here in the States. We’ll be voting on state and national senators, judicial appointments and ballot measures.

One such measure this year in California has the possibility of allowing our legislature to vote on essentially eliminating DST if the national government implements the idea. For my purposes, that made an excellent transitional statement.

This is only my second time being able to vote, and again it’s a bit of an awkward situation for me. I’m very used to Fullerton-centric politics because I spend all of my time there, but the local appointments I get to vote on are based in Redondo Beach. Sure there are still the state-wide initiatives and elections that I’ve paid a good amount of attention to thanks to my being enmeshed in journalism (though that’s a bit less concentrated than 2016 when I was at the Daily Titan). I just needed a bit of a closer look at what’s going on at home.

So that’s where my parents came in tonight.

We had a grand old time talking everything over before dinner tonight, and now I’m plenty ready for Tuesday.

Honestly I just wanted to put this together to say that you should go vote if you’re in an area/age demographic where you can.

I’m not going to talk about my policies or what I’m planning on voting for because that doesn’t matter. Taking part in our democratic process is what matters.

It’s an important thing and I felt like I should put my two cents in.

I didn’t have too much else to talk about today due to my aforementioned homework-filled weekend, which is more or less why I went down this route. In the near future I’ll probably write something about my obsessive armor planning in Monster Hunter, or that new Toby Fox game whenever I get around to playing it.

Just some fun stuff so I don’t have to think about all of these upcoming exams and freak out too much.

So look forward to that.

And also go vote, like I said. It’s important.

Spotted around Venice

I spent some time over in Venice, California today to meet with Michelle about some Gladeo updates.

It was mostly simple stuff. Talking about how to register the nonprofit with Cal State Fullerton’s internship center so I can use it for my class next semester, going over future recruitment, discussing more stuff I can do with the organization going forward, all that good stuff.

Speaking of, I might get to try assisting with video production down the line — Stay tuned for that if so.

However, outside of that there wasn’t really anything noteworthy enough for blog post purposes. Most of my night from here on out is just going to be homework and work-work now that I’m home, and I wouldn’t consider any of that interesting blog topic fodder either.

So I decided I would write something about a few interesting things I ran into while wandering the area of Venice I was in while waiting for our meeting time.

Just feels like something fun I wanted to throw together as a post for the day that has some fun photos.

That said, here are some fun photos.


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Just across the street from the restaurant where we met, I found this bike holster. This metallic… Pair of pants, for lack of a better descriptive term for its shape, is made out of old pipes and handheld tools.

Recycling. Good for the environment and apparently good at inspiring random 20-somethings with blogs to write about interesting little things around Venice.


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I mostly took this picture because it has become an in-joke within my family to count the number of bird scooters we see lying around different parts of the street as we go on travels around places like Santa Monica.

Between the signage and the cute cotton candy-colored house that it is displayed for, I grew a very quick respect for whoever lives here.


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I posted this picture on Twitter because I thought it was pretty hilarious. Over there I said ‘I can appreciate the honesty’ of the statement, though I actually spent a good few minutes trying to figure out exactly how to explain what this is.

Have you ever had those moments when a word is on the tip of your tongue that potentially describes a situation perfectly, but you can’t get that word out of your memory? That was me pacing back-and-forth along a sidewalk trying to write that dumb tweet.

A dumb tweet that nobody looked at.

I blame the lack of a proper word choice.

That said, if you have a good term for proving a point by doing something physical along the lines of what you’re describing, please let me know.


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Who is Boobie Ralph?

Why is the “70” in quotation marks? Is Boobie Ralph 70 years old? Or is he from the 1970s?

Is the squiggly line underneath the numbers meant to emphasize them? Or is it a question mark?

I don’t know. I’m not a psychic.

But boy do I want to know.


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I don’t have a lot to say about this one, I just liked the pattern on top of this building. Not sure it’s very visible in this picture, but there’s a cool spiderweb of mosaic glass from the looks of things.

Pretty neat.


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There’s a few different things to take out of this one stop sign.

Stop “gentrifying venice” is a good starting place. I don’t think I can add too much more, the statement being plastered at random points throughout the city this way kind of speaks for itself.

Then there are the photo stickers. An anime girl and the Umbrella logo from Resident Evil on the stop sign itself, as well as the bear-shaped honey container on the sign below it.

Plus I would kill to know who ‘blake’ and ‘sarah’ are so I could ask why they seem to be competing for namespace on the off-kilter signage.

What can I say, this particular sign brings up a lot of questions. While I don’t have too many answers, I at least have a pretty picture of it — in my opinion anyway.


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I thought the painting on this house’s gate was absolutely wonderful.

While Venice has its own specific beach culture, the composition of this painting in particularly reminded me so much of the Redondo shoreline that it just really hit home. The twin lifeguard stations and palm trees, the lovely sunset above the sands…

I actually wanted to go to the beach after seeing it.

That’s a pretty powerful image, if you ask me.


I think I’ll have to blame my Visual Comm class for making me just a little too attuned to stand-out things in my environment. Whether it be something unusual or something aesthetically pleasing, I’ve been taking a lot more time to mull over these ideas.

Arguably that isn’t a bad thing by any means. On top of the benefits of being more attentive to one’s environment in a digital age, these sort of days where I’m taking a bunch of pretty things out of my environment also make for great blog fodder!

So, if you like this kind of thing, let me know. I wouldn’t be opposed to traveling around California a bit more often to do these sort of observation-driven posts.

Campus Architecture

Campus Architecture

If there was anything I learned while touring college campuses about three years ago, it was to appreciate the architecture that each campus offered.

For me aesthetics were a fairly big driving factor in deciding where I wanted to go to school. It sounds somewhat petty and shallow I know, but I enjoy wandering and taking in sights. So it mattered.

Honestly the look of Cal State Fullerton as a whole was a strong component in why I decided to go there. I love being on campus, and that’s important for someone who’s commuting every day and wouldn’t have a reason to necessarily stay otherwise.

But I’ve come to appreciate campus architecture overall during trips to a number of California universities because of the kind of insight I’ve gathered at CSUF. Namely the idea that the kind of architecture you see is a signifier for what era the buildings were constructed, and as a result you can essentially walk through time and see what became more important for students over the decades or even eons that the campus existed.

Cal State LA and El Camino College were pretty strong examples of the vastly different building styles on different parts of campus from what I recall.

As was UCLA when I went and wandered that campus after a Boom event some years back. But that school is also massive and ancient so it’s a whole other beast in terms of things like structural construction.

Today I found myself at Pasadena City College, where Alyson was auditioning to be a part of the Tournament of Roses Honor Band. If she gets in she’ll be performing at the next Rose Bowl Parade, so… That’s pretty fricken cool if I do say so myself.

However parents and family were not allowed to sit in on the auditions. So my parents and I were sitting out on the campus proper enjoying a slightly overcast afternoon, some clashing musical performances from practicing students all around and absorbing the nervous energy of basically everyone taking their shot.

Delicious, pure nervous energy. It’s kind of nice when you’re not the nervous one.

As my set-up suggests, I decided not to just sit around the entire time perusing Twitter or whatever. Instead I wandered the campus to get a feel for the different pieces of architecture built over time.

Because, as previously suggested, I’m the kind of weirdo that enjoys that sort of thing.

Now I’m certainly not an expert in era-specific architecture by any means, so I can’t personally tell you which buildings are from which time period just by looking at them. I’m more of a fan from an aesthetic perspective, so that’s my main purpose here.


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I’ve always liked buildings where the top portion hangs beyond where the bottom portion ends.


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For some reason there were no sculptures in the sculpture garden…


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I like how the front of the library looks like numerous faces depending on how you look at it. It’s a goof.


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The avian-looking light above the door to E Building gets a thumbs up from me.


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This kind of tree plaza in front of a building seems like something I might build in Minecraft… I’ll have to save that idea for later.


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More trees, this time in pink! With clock towers. And cops.


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This building felt vastly different from the others because it was red, and I have no idea why it was red if nothing else is.


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It’s nice that even the parking structure gets to look cute.


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Obviously the newest-looking building I could find, the performing arts center looks modern as hell. Aly probably hates it from all that associative stress.


But of course, no architectural tour would be complete without also including at least one piece of bizarre modern art.

At PCC, I think this one took the cake.

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It’s just a horse. Made of wood.

The plaque included with the sculpture doesn’t explain anything except who donated the piece and what it’s called. So I have no idea why some artist decided to make a horse out of wood.

I’ll admit it’s impressive and well-constructed.

But just baffling to me.

So yeah. Pasadena City College. Pretty place, bizarre wooden horse. If you’re all curious about how Aly did in her audition, we won’t know until later, this isn’t really the post for that discussion.

Though I guess if you see me talking about the Rose Bowl Parade later, now you’ll know why.

Who’s that car?

Who’s that car?

It’s been a long time coming.

After months of dealing with a broken rear driver-side window, one that was stuck so wide open that it was hard (if not impossible) to seriously wash my car without flooding the inside, it became a bit of a disgusting mess.

Covered in black grime that came off on your fingers from the rubber around the doors. Coated on the back in old, ratty tape that was used to seal the open window during rainy seasons. Canvased with the remnants of squished bugs and, no joke, the waffling pattern on the bottom of a shoe that hit my side mirror on the freeway one night.

It’s a long story.

But you get the point, my car was a mess. I’m running out of C-word synonyms for covered so I’ll just get to the point.

The point being, if you hadn’t guessed from that featured image, the fact that I finally got my car washed and detailed after literal months of idle care.

Look at how shiny this boy is! I’m so proud of him.

The guys at Redondo Car Wash (shout out to them) even cleaned up the inside. Dusted all of my panels, washed the floor mats. A really stellar job all together.

Now I’ll truly be the talk of the school. Probably.

I’m not sure how much people care about seeing cars go by when it’s a commuter school and nobody pays much attention to anything on campus, but I suppose I’ll find out.

That’s honestly about all I have to say for the day. Now that I’m back home after finishing my last class for the week, I can officially declare the end of my midterm hell week.

It’s a sweet feeling, and I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate than finally cleaning my car so I could feel better about myself.

Which is probably kind of sad in hindsight?

But hey. You do you and I’ll do me.

As far as the weekend coming up goes, I have some Gladeo-related responsibilities to attend to. Running a meeting, rescheduling an interview, all that fun stuff.

Plus I have some other school-related business like another exam next week… Because my Comm professors like to stagger things out where my Psych professors made everything happen within three days of each other.

So that’ll be fun.

Oh, and I’m probably going to do an internship application. Somewhere in between the time that I’ll be running around with my family to do some activities for Aly’s band career.

Otherwise, I think I’ll finally have a little time to kick back, play some Monster Hunter with my friends and chill.

Hopefully all of you equally get some much-deserved time to chill, because you certainly deserve it — whether you had a bad week like me or not.

Repeat Offenders

I’m having a strange sense of déjà vu this semester.

A couple of my class have given me assignments this week that are pretty much identical to other assignments I’ve had in previous courses — one of which I’ve seen at least three times now, in fact.

That third-time returning assignment (the one that I find more interesting right now, considering at this rate I’ll need to develop a punch card) was handed down in my Visual Communications class this afternoon. Essentially I have to take a number of photos over the next two weeks, either on my phone or with a professional camera, that represent major concepts in visual composition.

So a photo that shows a prominent horizontal line, one that shows a good grasp of the rule of thirds, one that displays the difference between the foreground and background, etc.

As an isolated assignment it makes sense. What better way to get kids engaged and learn a variety of terms by making use of that little device in our pockets to actually engage with the work.

The problem comes when, as in my case, you see the same assignment repeatedly. In Comm 202, focused on broadcast journalism basics. In Multimedia Journalism. Now, again, in Visual Communications.

Is there just some unwritten rule that in the 21st century, every visual-focused class will get students to go out and take sample photos with their phones? Was there a college teaching conference that established this staple?

Is it only a California thing or does this happen all across the country?

I’m actually, genuinely curious to know.

My Mass Media Ethics class yesterday also assigned a small project I’ve seen before. For that, we need to spend about a week keeping a media log with all the news we consume so we can reflect on it.

I had to do the exact same thing for my Comm 233 class — the one that I started this blog for.

Back then I was pretty upset with the project. The professor was kind of an old fart and quite literally used the assignment as a way to rub it in our faces that we’re all too addicted to technology.

Like sure we definitely are, but that doesn’t mean you need to be condescending about it dude.

This time around the assignment is focused more on tracing back to the corporations that own each media outlet and deciding how that ownership might create bias.

A more interesting, reasonable through-line in my opinion.

Thinking about it, those two kinds of assignments seem very intrinsically linked to modern-day students. I suppose that’s the reason why they’re showing up repeatedly, for me at least. Whether or not you guess see these particular assignments, or just other projects that multiple teachers have assigned, I guess is up to you all to let me know.

No matter what, I’m just glad neither of these two projects are due next week. Because my two essays for my Psych classes still loom heavy on my mind…


As an aside, while this isn’t related to the overall post I’ve just written, it’s something that stood out to me so much today that I just had to share it.

Over the past few months I’ve been watching a YouTuber named Nando v. Movies rewrite the recent DCEU Justice League film beat-by-beat. It has been fascinating to watch, as one of the reasons I picked up on the guy in the first place was because of his script rewrites. They show a great grasp of the comic book source material and movie structure, so it’s always a joy.

The four-part Justice League series has been especially great, in my opinion. While I enjoyed the original movie, the novel version Nando creates is vastly superior and sets up a much more compelling path for the universe to take.

It’s just too bad he isn’t actually working at DC’s movie division.

The final part of the series just released today, and I would say it’s very worth taking an hour and a half to watch each part in a row. You can check them out here.

Dude deserves the shout out, go see his stuff.

Time Marches On

I’ve had no problems talking about how much I enjoyed my high school experience in the past. I was a hell of a teacher’s pet and really made good friends with a lot of them, so between that and my time as a journalist on the High Tide it felt like I really came into my own.

In fact, at least once before I’ve written a post very much like the one I’m filling space with tonight. Except that small piece on how much I appreciated my high school teachers is more than two years old now.

Which is just crazy to me. Because I was one year into college then. Now I’m a college senior.

It’s something I’m personally still coming to terms with, but watching a bunch of my old professors react to that news was simply priceless.

For context, tonight was back to school night for my sister. Since I only have one class on Thursdays this semester, I was able to make it back in time to tag along. Like I said I feel close with a lot of those old teachers considering many of them shaped where I am now, so I like to come around and poke my head where it doesn’t belong once in a while.

Other than the “wow we’re old” reaction, I was able to get a lot more meaningful stuff in with a few of my ex-teachers in between the 10-minute periods of back to school talk.

Like joking around with my AP Lang teacher for not being able to make it to the now at least yearly gathering of “the AP Lang Gang” that spawned in her room.

Or catching up with my AP Gov teacher about the crazy political scene and the fact that I tried out a restaurant recommendation in the OC he made at least a year ago.

[[ Also I know today was especially crazy with the Supreme Court nominee hearing. But I’m not going to talk about it. Because I didn’t get to pay a whole lot of attention, and I’m not an expert even if I did. Good? Good. ]]

I had an especially fun time this year catching up with my old journalism advisor and telling him about my new position with Gladeo. As well as catching up with my AP Psych professor and telling her about taking up a psych minor in college — she was pretty ecstatic about that.

On top of that, I was surprised to find that one of my old math teachers (who Aly has a class with now) remembered who I was right when I walked in the room.

Even though I haven’t seen her since sophomore year.

Teachers are crazy sweet with that kind of thing, I swear.

Another surprise of the night was seeing some stuff like this around campus:

For context, again, this 900s building did not exist when I was there. In fact, it didn’t exist about a year ago when I came for back to school night last.

Kind of jarring to see that new space obscuring the skyline, especially considering it’s right in front of the spot where my friends and I used to hang out every day.

There were some other nice parts of the night too. It’s actually my Mom’s birthday today (and I know she’ll be reading this, so extra happy birthday again!) and it was great watching all of her parent friends wish her well throughout the night as we ran into them.

I mean let’s be honest, I actually brought my Switch to the event thinking I was going to have some boring downtime.

Took it along with me like I was dealing watches on a New York sidewalk:

Have I mentioned I love this jacket?

But I never had to use it. If anything, it was kind of a burden in the long run.

Just goes to show you that when you have some old faculty friends, it’s never a bad time to go visit them. I always look forward to doing so, because it really does help bring some hindsight back to my life.


P.S. Despite the fact that it made for one of the most liked posts I’ve put together in a while, my Grandma didn’t like the picture I took of us the other day.

She requested we take another, so we did:

This time with a much more fancy background.

Enjoy!

Strange restaurant names?

Originally I was going to skip writing a post tonight because I’ve been busy with chores, homework and cleaning for the imminent arrival of my Grandma this week — plus the gym as an added bonus, but I just couldn’t get this out of my head.

I had to share it.

My family was over at the Century City Mall for a solid chunk of the day to hit up a couple stores (which, fun fact, is the same place I was when I wrote my Summer 2018 Initiative post), and at one end was this place:

The Crack Shack. A fried chicken and egg-themed restaurant as I found out through rudimentary research.

We didn’t actually eat at this place so I can’t pass any sort of judgement regarding how good the food is. I’m purely here to pick on the name.

Because let’s be honest here, Crack Shack sounds like a junkie’s favorite dining experience.

Honestly just thinking about that alone made me laugh enough that I felt it was worth going back to take a picture as we were moving on. But then I thought about it more…

And I came to the realization that Crack Shack isn’t even the weirdest egg-themed restaurant name. Because eggslut is a thing.

These kind of viral or gag-based named websites became a very interesting subject to me this afternoon after thinking about these places.

I personally would not want to eat at a restaurant called Crack Shack, for instance. Mostly due to that drug association that I can no longer delink in my head. I also don’t know that I want to eat at eggslut for essentially the same principle, even though I’ve heard the food is really good.

So I can’t help but wonder whether or not trying to make a viral name is actually helpful for business.

On the one hand, there’s something to be said for the old idiom that any publicity is good publicity.

But on the other hand, you risk hitting a threshold where your name is so off-putting that nobody wants to visit after that initial media splurge.

I can’t say what that threshold would be, as some place like eggslut is a very popular place for a combination of its quirky, provocative name and (reportedly) good food, and if there are any restaurants that have been shut down for their overtly edgy name, I certainly haven’t heard of them.

That said, I suppose I’ll leave it here: If you know of any really bizarrely named restaurants (that have either survived or crashed and burned), I’d be very interested to hear about them.

I’d also like to know what you think the absolute threshold might be between a quirky, provocative name for a restaurant and something over-the-top.

So yeah, let me know somewhere on the Internet!



As an extra added bonus, while visiting a Blick art store on the way home, Aly and I came across this miniature T-Rex.

It was adorable and we got this great picture of it, so I wanted to share.

Hopefully it can help usher you all into a better night.