Tag: Furniture

A car full of spaghetti

A car full of spaghetti

If I was quiet this weekend it’s because I’ve been immobile outside of family chores, and I didn’t think a second post about running the Burbank Ikea circuit would be very exciting.

The immobility comes from car troubles that have plagued me since early last week and at one point derailed my blog into a discussion on laundry.

I was headed to the gym that fateful day when I heard a pop coming from my engine, followed by what sounded like a rubber band flopping around.

After weeks of screeching sounds coming from the car when it turned on, needless to say I did not wind up going to the gym. I brought the car back home and it has been sitting idle in front of the driveway ever since.

Dad and I looked under the hood and found a completely shredded serpentine belt.

When I say spaghetti in the car, I’m not kidding.

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For those not knowledgable in automobile, that wheel on the left side should have a rubber belt around it. Instead it’s mangled at the bottom.

Mondays are street sweeping days, so the car couldn’t stay idle forever. Thus I called AAA this morning and had it hauled off to our preferred mechanic.

Mom and I drove behind the tow truck on the way there, which gave me the opportunity to photo the damage from a different angle:

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You can see some of the spaghetti dangling from below.

Luckily for my plans later this week, the issue was fixable in a matter of hours. No need to lose my vehicle overnight.

So I spent the afternoon driving around with Mom doing chores. We stopped by my Grandpa’s complex to pay his rent, got a document notarized and delivered, did some shopping and delivered a few held-up items from Friday’s Silent Auction.

By 3:00 p.m. the car was ready.

That’s more or less where the story ends, but before I left the mechanic I got to see a few of the parts that were replaced. The main one was the busted up A/C Compressor that actually had rubber remnants burned into the wheel.

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Pretty incredible.

To some extent I suppose my immobility was a blessing. Earlier today there was an active shooter situation at the Del Amo Mall that’s still being covered as I write this.

I know it’s somewhat cliché at this point (which in itself is a horrible statement on gun control in this country), but it’s hard to imagine that kind of thing happening so close to home.

My family frequents that mall. It hosts our usual movie theatre. It’s where I went to see Detective Pikachu with Aly, and Bumblebee with my friend Juan going back a bit.

This is a bit more visceral than Gable House Bowl was a few months back because I hadn’t been to that bowling alley in years. The Del Amo situation is so visceral that I’m not entirely comfortable with how I feel about it just yet.

So I figure let’s stick with car talk and leave it there.

To any of my local friends who may wind up reading this, I hope you’re safe today.

Perusing the RUHS Archives

Perusing the RUHS Archives

Editor’s Note: On March 26, 2019 I made a few corrections to dates throughout this post after the RUHS Archivist, Therese Martinez, offered some notes.

Now the piece should hopefully be even more accurate.


Sometimes work can take you to unexpectedly interesting places.

In my perpetual search for Gladeo interviewees (because internship hours), today I took my Mom’s advice and spent time with the Archivist at my alma mater, Redondo Union High School.

Apparently I’m just gravitating toward the school this weekend, be it for theatre or history.

About two years after I graduated in 2015, an old storage space for janitorial goods was converted into this fancy Alumni House.

The school has been around since ~1905, so there’s a whole lot of alum to keep track of.

But more importantly, the Alumni House became a space for memorabilia — old class photos, yearbooks, furniture, mascot costumes, etc.

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Much less dilapidated now.

Since this wasn’t a place when I attended high school, I never got to check any of it out.

Now that I did, I’m pretty upset that everything wasn’t so open and available back when I was working on the High Tide. Would’ve loved to peruse for a story or two!

Some of the archived pieces go way back to the 1920’s.

Like this mirror, a senior present for the school from the class of 1925:

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In that same vein, there were publications like yearbooks and newspapers from around the 20s, as the High Tide has been in business since 1920.

Old versions of the yearbook, called “The Pilot” (which had even earlier publications going back to 1915), were particularly cool because a lot of them had student signatures from all those years ago:

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It’s pretty incredible to not just see pictures of folks long since entering the cradle of old age, but to see what and how they wrote to one another.

Gotta love an age where everyone wrote in clean, precise cursive.

And where nobody wrote “HAGS” because they weren’t enmeshed in a culture of shorthand acronyms and emoji that have cursed our modern, digital age into regressed diction.

… Sorry, did I say that out loud? My old man is showing.

A few other specific items on display were of note.

Like this class photo from 1921 — the oldest one we have available, apparently:

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Or the old met version of our mascot, Sammy the Seahawk.

Apparently dubbed “Scary Sammy” because… Well…

Look at him.

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That is a terrifying mascot costume.

Though alongside the old costume, I also found out that the first time RUHS received the “sea hawk” as its mascot was in the banner of a High Tide issues from 1926.

A lot of the other things around the Alumni House were just as cool, but in the interest of not having a 3,000 word post I think it’s safe to share the rest in a neat little slideshow:

 

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However, don’t think this is the last time you’ll hear from me about the Alumni House.

I’ve already started the gears turning to get a video interview with the RUHS Archivist for Gladeo, alongside a Career Profile on being an archivist.

So whenever that’s coming together, assuming I’ll be on set as a producer of sorts, you know I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of it.

Stay tuned.


The content of most photos here are courtesy of the RUHS Archives.

What’s in a name?

While I can think of very few distractions better suited to the title than a video game where I’m able to kill a gun-themed dragon with bees, Enter the Gungeon cannot keep me from doing some work I need to do forever.

Mostly because the Switch battery doesn’t last forever. Otherwise it most definitely could keep me from my work for forever.

But that being said it doesn’t, and thus I have broken away from the addiction of roguelikes to work some more on my Senior Honors Project.

I’ve taken a bit of a turn in my approach to the project as the summer starts to wind down. Originally I had been simply starting to write the novel I’m working on while using a separate outline to keep track of things (as I pointed out in a previous blog post). However, I’ve found that hasn’t worked out phenomenally well.

It mostly left me in a place where I had a basic idea of some key plot points and the main characters, but no real sense of progression to build upon. Just figuring out things as I went along.

So I’ve decided to step back from the actual physical writing and focus more on the finer details of outlining this puppy.

Notably:

  • Fleshing out a more complete plot line
  • Coming up with the characters I want my heroes to encounter in their journey, with all the relationships those entail
  • Actually imagining more of the world they’re in, different names for locations included

With those in place I think writing a novel should actually be a sensible pursuit.

The thing that I’ve found most difficult about all this is naming everything. Who would have guessed that when you’re building a world from scratch you have to name all of the things?

All the characters, all the locales, all of the lore bits. So on and so forth.

Luckily I’ve made the task easier for myself by not establishing my world as one that has very strict hard-and-fast rules. I’m not Tolkien creating a crazy immersive, new fantasy world full of completely novel interactions amongst different races.

If anything… I’m kind of piggybacking off of the work he already did years ago.

See, for those who aren’t aware, my novel is a parody of sorts. It started as something meant to emulate the ideas of a book called ‘Redshirts’ but in the fantasy genre rather than science fiction.

Then I decided to narrow my focus even further. While I don’t necessarily read a ton of fantasy novels, I do play a lot of fantasy-themed video games. Zelda, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy. So on and so forth.

This my novel evolved into one where the focus is on NPCs in a video game who gain some semblance of sentience, realizing they are caught up in the tropes of a world created by game developers who, like me, love fantasy themes.

As well as tropes of the video game medium as a whole, of course.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping not to create a boring environment seeped in tropes for the sake of it. Hopefully by the end I’ll have an interesting world inspired by and utilizing said tropes.

Because of this I’ve felt free to come up with names for things in a number of ways without having to worry about standardizing too heavily.

Looking up name generators is a good general practice for character names especially, an idea bestowed by my friend Sam who does similar things for her Dungeons and Dragons campaigns.

However, I’m also trying to look to some real life inspirations. For example, the holy order of royal guards in the kingdom which presides over the land (currently unnamed since, like I said, names are hard) is based on my mom’s name.

Or in a more fun example, one character I have is named after this glorious little thing I found at Ikea the other day.

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Seriously how could I not make Eldig Black a semi-significant character in my story.

It’s just too perfect.

In fact, just perfect for the grizzled, Old veteran in charge of watching over the prince of the kingdom. The Gunter to my Corrin in Fire Emblem Fates, or the Jagen to my Marth in the original Fire Emblem.

Because at least one faction of characters in my story is not-so-vaguely inspired by the archetypical group of traveling adventurers in the early stages of a Fire Emblem game.

Those are just a few of the ideas I’m juggling right now, trying to create a cohesive world with a web of relationships among its inhabitants.

If you’re a creative-type, I’d love to hear what kind of means you tend to use for inspiration when it comes to things like character creation. Let me know somewhere on the Internet.