Tag: Redondo Beach

Stranded in Suburbia

Stranded in Suburbia

I’m in a bit of an odd predicament.

In my 22nd birthday blog post, I based the whole thing on the fact that there isn’t a lot of external fanfare surrounding 22 compared to 21.

But there is one specific thing that happened when I turned 22, which I sort of alluded to yesterday.

I was able to get a new driver’s license when I turned 21, one that would be horizontal instead of vertical to assure certain establishments that I am of age for things like drinking. But I didn’t have to get my new license because the old one wasn’t expired.

I can no longer say that because the expiration date came yesterday:

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Be glad I’m not showing you the full picture… It’s bad.

For the first time in close to four years, I am no longer legally able to drive myself.

Now I know some of you are probably saying that it shouldn’t matter, because what are the odds of getting pulled over?

Well… Sure. I could still drive around if I wanted, because it’s not like the license is inherently visible unless asked for specifically. I could still do things like hit the gym if I wanted, as I had planned on today to start working off that birthday cake.

After all, I hit 200 lbs on the scale as of my visit to the hematologist last week, and I don’t want to lose too much progress on my journey to become healthier.

But that being said, I live by the same anxieties as my Mom when it comes to these things. Twelve other people could be driving around with expired licenses around me, but with my luck I would be the one who gets caught and pays the price.

So I won’t be driving around on my own today. Just on the off-chance anything happens.

I could still get driven around by my parents, and Mom has gone to the gym with me in the past. It’s not like I’m totally stuck.

… Except for the fact that I stayed home this morning while the rest of the family went out to do chores. Because for some reason I decided doing homework was more important.

And you know, by ‘for some reason’ I mean because I have assignment deadlines.

Deadlines I could be working on instead of this blog post if I didn’t enjoy living on the edge.

Thus, as the title implies, I’m stuck at home doing work today. I even took that artsy Featured Image through the screen door just to imply bars.

Kinda proud of it, honestly.

On the bright side, my pseudo-house arrest shouldn’t last long. I have an appointment at the DMV tomorrow that I’m… Completely looking forward to…

But you know what, if I have to miss my morning class and suffer through government bureaucracy in order to get my driver’s license back, I suppose it will all be worth it in the end.

Who knows, the experience might even give me something interesting to talk about around here.

Guess we’ll just have to see.

What it’s like to live in California

What it’s like to live in California

Being a connoisseur of popular culture that often turns a self-reflective mirror on the land of its origin — Hollywood and California as a whole, I’ve heard every joke about the Golden State.

I know all about the country’s perception that CA is a safe haven for crazy health-nut vegans, sunrise surfers-turned-CEOs, nerdy tech moguls living life in their slide-filled Silicon Valley offices and high-price juice shops, stoners riding skateboards down the beach promenade and, of course, fashion-conscious movie stars making the exact same schlock which perpetuates these views.

When they aren’t starring in Marvel films.

Well I’m here to report that all of these stereotypes are, in fact…

Entirely correct.

Even as a 21-year-old native to the west coast, I’ve never quite been in a place that screams ‘California liberal kookiness’ quite as much as Lazy Acres Natural Market.

This place is a Whole Foods-esque supermarket born and raised right here in the Golden State, and I swear it’s the one place you need to bring anybody from a fly-over state to assure them that everything the T.V. says about California is true.

So first off, most of the products are the kind of low-everything, non-GMO, gluten-free products you’d expect to see.

My favorites were these knock-off versions of popular candies

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Sour Blast Buddies, Sweet Fish and… Gummy Bears. Not trademarked I guess?

However, it’s much more fun to look at some of the individual portions of the store beyond generally ‘normal’ things like rows of fruit or 20 bottled water brands.

For instance this chain-specific juice bar/coffee shop:

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Or this absolutely massive collection of nuts:

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Every creed of nut is in this store. I didn’t know there were this many kinds of nuts!

I also didn’t know I could say nut this many times in one place without bursting into laughter.

Maybe the laughter was suppressed by trying to figure out this bizarre self-filling water station:

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Because you know. When I’m looking for “deionized” or “high pH alkaline” water, I want to go to my local supermarket and fill up a jug using a machine that looks like a mutated soda or ice cream dispenser.

That’s definitely one of the weirder things here.

Slightly less weird, but also very Californian, is the fresh sushi bar:

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A sushi bar in the middle of the supermarket.

Sure, why not.

That sushi bar is actually a part of the larger ‘kitchen’ section of the store, where they also sell sandwiches and salad bars full of hot food like mac n’ cheese. Right next to some cafeteria tables and a private room where cooking classes are held.

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Oh but don’t worry, ladies and gentlemen, I saved the best for last.

After everything I’ve shown you, is there any part of a supermarket you think Lazy Acres is missing? Merchandise to show the world you belong to their unique brand, perhaps?

Well yes, that exists.

An Instagram account?

Wouldn’t be a hipster, vegan supermarket without letting fans interact with overproduced brand advertisements over social media.

Or maybe, just maybe…

You think they’re missing a massive beehive right in the middle of the store.

Well, if you thought so, you’d be wrong.

Because they already have it:

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Not the Bees!

Look, I’ll be honest with all of you right now. When this place opened up in the shopping center over by my house, I didn’t have a particular desire to go in. We only happened to be there tonight to buy dinner.

Looked a little bougie. Real expensive, healthy supermarkets aren’t exactly uncommon in California, so I’d seen plenty and didn’t expect much.

But when I saw a god damn case full of bees in the middle of the store? I lost my mind.

Why would anyone want to go to this place for a second time after they find out there’s an actual, legitimate chance for bees to be released on an unsuspecting urban population in the middle of an enclosed space?

It’s just wild.

If nothing else, I can complement Lazy Acres for having nice counters around the edges. The meat, seafood and bakery sections all had good selections:

Plus I got a really nice meal out of the kitchen area!

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Yet unfortunately, alongside the craziness of the bees, it also introduced me to this monstrosity…

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So I’m pretty sure everything balances out and I will never go back to this crazy place.

California hath bested me.

Just rainy day things

Just rainy day things

Just a quick Editor’s Note:

This was the post I had mostly written up on Thursday before everything got sidetracked by my Grandmother.

Today I’ve spent just about all of my time working on homework. Considering rain has been the backdrop of a good portion of that time, I figured I would bring this back around with some minor editing.

It’s goofy and dumb, thus much less heavy than what I’ve been writing lately. So I thought it would be perfect!

Enjoy.


Now before you read on, I know what you must be thinking.

Writing a whole thing about the rainy weather in Southern California while huge patches of the East Coast and Midwest are frozen, to the point where railroads in Chicago are being set on fire to keep trains running, seems pretty self-centered and blind to the world.

Well now that I said it, you officially can’t levy that criticism at me.

So there.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely not trying to start some “woe is me” weather war with places that have it far worse right now.

There are plenty of other people far more deserving of your scorn.

It just so happens that my neck of the woods hasn’t seen heavy rain like we got this week in some time.

On Thursday I may have missed the thunder and lightning back home in Redondo, but my car got a hell of a wash out in Fullerton after I got it back from the mechanic.

That was only slightly more of an ordeal than I expected, and as soon as I got my car back I had to give away my keys for assisted parking. Ironic… But possibly a topic for another day.

The thing that drove me the most crazy about having to use assisted parking was that I was in early that day. Gave a pitch for our upcoming SPJ meetings around 11:00 a.m. in the basement of the College Park building, but I still couldn’t catch a break on finding a parking spot.

The sky was relatively calm when I went underground, but not ten minutes later I emerged to a torrential downpour. Especially fun considering I had to cross campus for my 1:00 p.m. class.

I’m somewhat ambivalent to the rain.

If you’re not doing anything, the rain makes for wonderful sit at home, drink hot chocolate and play video games / do homework weather. No denying that, given its what I did today.

But when you’re stuck out in the stuff, forced to navigate sopping wet hallways, packed in like sardines during campus rush hour while surrounded by fences due to construction…

It’s less great.

Plus rain sucks in Breath of the Wild. So like there’s a big strike.

There is one thing I do tend to adore about rainy days, even if it is innocuous.

I’m talking, of course, about standing under my umbrella.

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… Ella, ella.

Hope you enjoy having that song stuck in your head now.

While I know it sounds ridiculous to tote “umbrella holding” as one of my favorite pluses to rainy weather, It’ll sound even more ridiculous when I elaborate that arguably the best thing about an umbrella is carrying it when it’s not raining.

Crazy, right?

Whenever the rain ceases, that’s when the umbrella becomes a perfect surrogate for imagination.

In my case, that means I’ll be swinging the damn thing around like a sword 99 percent of the time. So long as there aren’t people around to hit.

… Or judge me for being a crazy weirdo.

I’ve always been a fidgeter, handling things like my phone or video games idly. So a sword-like umbrella fulfills that inherent craving in a way I rarely get to play around.

However an umbrella still serves an imaginative purpose even when it is being used as a shield from inclement weather. I always enjoy spinning my umbrella as I stand out in the downpour, reminiscent of Super Princess Peach for the Nintendo DS.

Just look at her.

She’s cute even when her magical anthropomorphic umbrella is eating her head.

I want to be that cute sometimes.

But hey, these are just the weird associations that are forged in a mind as complex and bizarre as mine.

So if you’re also weird and imagine bizarre things when you’re holding an umbrella, let me know! I’d love to find out once and for all if I truly am the only freak in the universe.

Homeless in the South Bay

Homeless in the South Bay

For the most part, this weekend has been quiet. The best thing I had to talk about a few days ago was doing homework, and one of the most exciting things I did recently was put my binders together for the semester.

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Beautifully organized and poetic in their duality, but not very interesting.

But tonight my Mom pointed out a meeting dedicated to learning all about the homeless situation in the South Bay. Much more interesting writing fodder in a traditionally journalistic manner.

My interest was piqued two-fold. I spent a good amount of time covering homelessness about a year-and-a-half ago for Bonnie’s Investigative Reporting class.

I covered the Point-In-Time homeless census that year and wound up winning the third place “Best News Series” award alongside my friends at the 2018 California College Media Awards.

So I have some experience in the subject, and wanted to see things happening much closer to home.

The event was held at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse, which is literally five minutes away from my house.

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About as close to home as it gets.

In addition, I’m able to write off the whole experience as research, networking and sourcing for Gladeo. I’m on the clock for my internship class, so I’m looking to do as much extra work as possible.

That more cynical reason aside, I did learn a good amount and picked up a whole host of documents:

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The panel was hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities.

There were seven speakers on the panel who each gave spiels and answered a few audience at the end.

First came Jennifer Lamarque and Ivan Sulak from the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn. Hahn was apparently slated to come earlier on but had to drop out, sending representatives instead.

Most of the discussion coming from Sulak, who is the supervisor for housing and homelessness in the 4th District. He was also apparently homeless himself.

He talked all about different initiatives being worked on across the District. The growth of a year-round shelter, more Emergency Response Team development and pushing more housing projects. A veteran-focused project in Downey, student-focused housing in Whittier and more.

“The end of homelessness is to get people in houses,” he said before delving more into the fact that homeless people on the streets are just a snapshot, as the issue has “many different faces.”

That snapshot came more into focus with the next speaker: Ashley Oh with the LA County Homeless Initiative: Measure H.

Because homeless counts for 2019 only occurred within the last week or so, the numbers we got tonight are technically outdated.

More to come from people like my friend Spencer over in Orange County.

Support local papers, y’all. Nudge, nudge.

That said, Oh pointed out that in 2018 there were more than 52,000 homeless individuals counted in LA County, with ~40,000 not sheltered. She said that was the first year in eight with an overall decrease.

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A bit more of a breakdown.

One of the most interesting things about this event for me was seeing the break-down at a local level with some places I actually know a thing or two about.

I picked up a document from the South Bay Coalition to End Homelessness outlining findings from the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count which said Redondo Beach had 154 homeless, half in vehicles and half on the street.

Though it’s great that the number was down about 41 percent from 2017, there’s clearly still a long way to go. Over 150 people is nothing to scoff at.

From there the discussion went more into Measure H, a pretty big initiative here in the South Bay.

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Oh mentioned that 51 strategies to combat homelessness have been developed which fit into six categories, including prevention, more affordable housing and increasing income.

That last point in particular led to discussions of working, as she pointed out that “most people think these homeless are comfortable living off government money, but that’s not true. Many want to work.”

Those three speakers had the most general information to hand out, so I figured I’d give the rest more of a quick-fire treatment.

Shari Weaver from Harbor Interfaith Services talked about her group’s more intimate outreach work, claiming that their 40 or so staff members know about 80 percent of the unsheltered homeless in the beach cities.

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She also brought the feel-good stories, such as that of a client who they housed that had lost his home in the recent Paradise fires.

Weaver was followed up by representatives of the Cities of Manhattan and Hermosa Beach who talked about city governments creating homeless plans, including a $150,000 multi-jurisdiction proposal between them and Redondo Beach that got funded by Measure H on January 24.

Finally, a lieutenant with the Manhattan Beach Police Department talked about officers across the beach cities working on more “holistic approachs” of homeless outreach on top of their usual enforcement.

All that remained was the Q&A, which was relatively short. It was hilariously obvious that most of the questions came from older members of the audience who simply do not like the homeless population being around.

Watching the panelists have to explain that private churches would be allowed to help the homeless whether or not there was a “centralized gathering location” to feed the needy was pretty great.

In the end I didn’t have too much of a chance to talk to people after the event, but if nothing else I gathered a lot of names, contacts and general information for the future.

Plus I got a two-hour addition to my internship log while rubbing shoulders with folks like Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand.

So who knows, even if I get no Gladeo interviews out of this, it could be handy if I ever break into covering homelessness again.

Either way, I’d say this was an educational night well spent.

The strange psychology of a Korean BBQ dinner

The strange psychology of a Korean BBQ dinner

I’m officially convinced my pursuit of a Psychology minor has ruined me forever.

Context. After dropping Aly off at Cal State Long Beach this morning (the genesis of this Tweet that made me laugh):

I wound up going out to dinner tonight with a bunch of people from high school. A pretty diverse range of people at that — from those I’d consider good friends I hang out with regularly to some that I literally haven’t seen since graduation three years ago.

There were about 10 people there and I was right in the middle between two Korean BBQ hot plates.

On the bright side, I got to take food from both.

On the not so bright side, pretty sure I got whiplash trying to split my time between two totally different conversations. If not more considering those two major groups were further split into a number of subgroups.

That said, being somewhat ephemeral in each different conversation gave me time to reflect on other things. As I stipulated at the very top of this post, a lot of the things I wound up thinking about were concepts I’ve learned in my psych classes coming up in reality.

For instance: Right when I arrived, half the group wasn’t there. Long story short they were waiting for one person who was apparently out watching Into the Spider-Verse and didn’t realize the timing or something. They wound up being an hour late.

As I’m sure you all know by now, I wouldn’t say he made the wrong choice necessarily.

Though we wound up being at the restaurant for three hours as a result so… Maybe it was the wrong choice from a utilitarian social standpoint?

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Me incidentally bug-eyed while checking my watch, with Nina caught in the background. Seemed like a good enough place to slip this in.

I’m here to talk about psychology though. Not philosophy.

This one girl and I thought we knew each other from something, but for the longest time all we knew was that we went to the same high school. We couldn’t figure out exactly HOW we knew one another.

It was a very ‘tip of the tongue’ moment up until I finally got just the primer I needed.

Found out that she was studying creative writing, and that pretty quickly translated to my realizing we must have been on the newspaper together at one point. And we were!

Long-term memory retrieval via priming. Classic.

But wait, my nerdiness gets worse.

See the Korean BBQ place we were at in Gardena had a call button for the servers:

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My friend Nina got pretty obsessed with the button the longer the night went on. Whenever any of us even considered getting more food or water, she immediately hit the button.

It let out a very distinctive chime, like two doorbells ringing in sequence.

After the third or fourth call, one ring seemingly didn’t work. The servers were just busy helping other tables, but Nina seemed to get visibly distressed that the call hadn’t served its purpose.

For everyone else? This was pretty much nothing.

But for me? All I could see was a conditioned response being slowly extinguished by the removal of a response to the conditioned stimulus.

Pavlov would be proud.

I swear, this was 100 percent what was going through my head all night. No idea why, but it definitely happened.

That said it isn’t like all that school leaking in ruined the night. I actually had a great time catching up with some people I haven’t seen in a very long time, and I imagine I’ll probably go out with this particular group more often in the future!

Plus there were some extra added benefits. We actually ran into a totally different group of people from high school who I haven’t seen in years that just so happened to be eating at the same place.

The boba we got after wasn’t half bad, too.

That essentially sums up my day overall. Since it sparked this particular conversation, I guess it would be pertinent to ask all of you in the viewing audience if you’ve had any times where something you learned in school viscerally leaked into an everyday experience.

I’m sure someone has a fun story with that. As fun as school-related stories can be, anyway.

Blog Analytics

Blog Analytics

I’m sure it seems a bit narcissistic and self-serving to dedicate a whole post to my own blog’s analytics out of nowhere. Especially considering the last time I did this kind of thing when I hit 100 Twitter followers over the summer, I didn’t have 100 for that much longer.

By now I have some number fluctuating around 110 or so, to be fair.

But that’s beside the point. I assure you that narcissism has nothing to do with this.

If anything, to lampshade myself appropriately, this is just a result of having no idea what to talk about to fill today’s gap.

Otherwise my choices would have been the mandatory internship class orientation I attended today (but it was kind of a waste of time and I already complained about school this week), my fluctuating inner conflict over going to the gym tonight (I decided to just go tomorrow on account of my big lunch food coma™ (thanks Mimi) ) or Fire Emblem Heroes (except the new banner comes out tomorrow, so you’ll have to wait a day for that).

For the reasons I stipulated in the parenthesis up there, I decided not to go with any of the above.

However, while doing some soul-searching and just staring at my blog to try to figure out what I was in the mood to write, I came across something that piqued my interest. In traffic analytics, of all things.

I’ve talked about the analytics that WordPress offers briefly in the past, during my 2018 New Year’s Eve post. In that post I looked at the large overall increase in views from 2016 to 2017 when I got slightly more interested in writing blog stuff.

By the end of this year it’s going to be an even bigger story considering the inherent jump that came from me writing a post just about every day. I’ll get to that story in about a month.

Today, however, I’m looking at more of a small-scale moment in recent history. Recent history meaning approximately two days ago.

I’m sure you all remember the silly post I did with Alyson where we opened a stupid “Wreck it Ralph 2” toy in a faux box opening channel style. Had a lot of fun with that one, it was a goofy little experiment. The video part we made has 20 views on YouTube right now too, which is neat. Especially considering that’s about a third as many views as that Sonic on Apple T.V. video I made for the post of the same topic in July.

Boy I know I said this wasn’t a narcissistic, self-serving post but I sure am calling back to a lot of things, aren’t I?

ANYWAY, all of that was to set up the analytics I noticed from that toy opening post.

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That’s a hell of a sudden spike for that one post.

Sure, we can be cynical and talk about how that’s still only about 40 people when I on average reach about 20 people. But that’s still a 100 percent increase.

I don’t know, I think it’s pretty cool to see.

Plus while I was looking at that, I happened to also briefly look back at the ‘countries’ tab of the analytics. Aly told me she let her friends know that we shot a stupid video, so I wanted to see if it was purely a U.S. demographic that picked up on the post.

What I found was that as of, say, 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2018, here was the spread of people visiting my blog:

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Mostly the U.S., as I would have thought. But also Taiwan and France!

Don’t know who’s out there reading this blog in Taiwan and France, but I’d be very interested to know how you all perceive the mad ramblings I embark on.

Oh, but that’s not all folks. I didn’t just look at today’s visitation statistics.

I looked at an entire week’s worth:

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Check out the diverse spread of yellow. I know those are just one or two people compared to the 81 individuals in America that came in over the last week, but still.

The fact that a stupid, silly blog some college student in Redondo Beach, California rambles into on a whim can reach this kind of international audience continues to astound me. It’s probably the only thing that has really, truly made me care about things like analytics and search engine optimization.

Everything I do on the old blog here I do for me. But seeing the kind of reach my personal business has is just incredible.

Gosh that definitely came out sounding self-serving again didn’t it?

I’m just going to cut my losses and leave things there. Look forward to tomorrow when I write about Fire Emblem again and probably kill all interest in anyone coming back!

When life hands you a freebie

When life hands you a freebie

Someone out there must have been looking out for me this morning.

I was apparently very tired, or my bed was really comfortable and warm, or I was getting ready for Thanksgiving break a little too early, or some other contrivance that might explain my behavior. Whatever it may have been, all I know is that I was cognizant enough to switch off my first few alarms at about 9:00 a.m.

But then I lost a few hours and found myself woken up at 11:30 a.m. by a call from my mom.

For once in my life I was not up into ungodly hours the night before (or morning of, as it goes), so I have no idea what messed with me and kept me clocked out.

All I know is that I usually leave for class at about 11:00 a.m., since that gives me 2 hours or so to make it from Redondo Beach to Fullerton for my 1:00 p.m. class.

So I came to the conclusion that it might just be worth skipping the first class of the day. Sensation and Perception was the earliest thing on the docket, and considering we just had our exam last Thursday I didn’t imagine anything important would be happening.

Plus I have friends in that class that I could get the notes from.

It was arguably the safest class I could have skipped, as luck would have it. My body’s poor life choices were well timed if nothing else.

But then there was a twist.

As I laid in bed sending out messages of feigned pleading to help with whatever notes I’d be missing, I started my “morning” routine by checking whatever emails I might have missed the night before or gotten while I was asleep.

While looking through my college email, I saw a message had come through from the professor of my Sensation and Perception class.

Apparently he wound up with a flat tire this morning and had to cancel class.

So, by some virtue of whatever Gods may or may not be out there, not only was my body’s messed-up internal clock timed to mesh together with a less-important class, but that less-important class happened to get cancelled anyway.

It literally became a win-win situation. I slept in and missed nothing.

My friend in that class and I laughed off the convenience.

Of course it wasn’t a perfectly timed event, because I still had to come in for my 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. block class. But at least it’s a class I really like coming to.

Also, as it happened, today was an easy day in class. We pretty much just spent the whole day watching a movie.

In fact, I wound up writing this whole thing while the movie was going because I figured why not kill two birds with one stone? Getting my blog post out of the way during an easy, chill class opens up more time for me to do other things later.

Like go to the gym.

Or finish some homework.

Or play some Monster Hunter.

Who knows what the evening will hold! All I know is this goofy little story seemed like fine blog fodder for the day.

So I hope you enjoyed the ironic conveniences of my Tuesday.

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!

Proud Big Brother Moments

It’s kind of strange being on this side of the fourth wall when it comes to a high school award ceremony.

Which, I now realize sounds a bit dickish to lead off with, as if I’m trying to put more praise on myself for previous achievements?

But I swear that’s not at all the intent.

Because this is a blog post that’s all about my sister getting a sweet Academic Letter tonight!

Or, alternatively, if you prefer vague facial features:

Girl works her butt off with a heap of AP classes on top of doing Marching Band, Jazz Band… And probably like three other bands I’m forgetting off the top of my head.

Because she plays at least 300 instruments.

No exaggeration. I swear.

I’ve certainly talked about her performances and such enough that I’d hope you all would be pretty in-the-know by now. Just gotta update whichever new folks might be swinging around with this as their first post.

Aly actually gets to rub this one in my face, because her time in Marching Band has allowed her to get an Athletic Letter as well as an Academic Letter. Even though I’m not entirely sure what the point of having two identical letter “Rs” that you’re supposed to put on a single letterman jacket is.

I think that’s the first time I’ve ever mentioned a letterman jacket before.

Do I get to be honorary sports person because of it?

Probably not. But hey, I can fake my way through it.

While I could spend the next 300 words talking about how much I’m proud of my sister, that’d probably get old fast. So I figured I’d talk a bit about the experience of being at the ceremony.

Like I mentioned up top, it was a bit strange being on the audience side of the equation for a big academic event like this. Because I’m always 5ish years ahead of Aly, she usually has to suffer through long ceremonies and stuff for me.

I have to apologize to her now, because god was it boring.

Yeah it was exciting to cheer when Aly went up. But for everyone else? I pretty much just lingered on my phone, texting some peeps and playing my vidya games.

There were a few key points in the event that did keep my interest.

For instance, while waiting outside of the Redondo Union High School auditorium, an old lady walked into the glass panel wall thinking it was an open door.

Which I would laugh way harder at if I hadn’t done the exact same when I was much younger, costing my grandmother a housing complex here in California as a result.

True story. I’ll have to tell it another time.

Another fun thing at the event was watching the PTSA President make a blatantly political statement at the top of this otherwise completely unrelated school function.

It was a harmless point about how “the U.S. will be in better hands in the future,” but boy if it wasn’t jarring and distracting in the moment.

During the actual ceremony itself, there were a few goofs of note. Most notable was one of the announcers mispronouncing “McGonigle.” Compared to the many other last names that he got through just fine which had clear Indian origins (as well as some other nationalities but Indian was the one that stood out), it was hilarious how bad he screwed it up.

There was also one kid who collected his award and danced on-stage before exiting. He was a baller.

Also, I found out that “McCurry” is a last name and that led to me thinking about a McDonald’s signature dish in India. Because apparently I just had India on the mind tonight?

I don’t know, man. Don’t ask me.

I suppose that’s really all I had to mention of note, however.

Proud of Aly. Funny ceremony goofs. Obligatory post-ceremony ‘during dinner’ photo:

Check.

So I think I’ll leave you all on that note. Hope you guys have a great night!

Also, I hope you all return tomorrow for my Fire Emblem Heroes post. I thought the update was happening today, but turns out it’s happening tomorrow so my timing was really solid.

Also, also: There’s my talking about video games just to annoy Alyson in a post all about her moment of the day.

Take that, you.

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.