Sunday, August 19, 2012

[1448] the best summer ever

Summer vacation is coming to a close. Normally at this point, I'm getting anxious for school to start up again. The novelty of summer has worn off and I'm ready to hunker down and get to growing my knowledge. This is the first year in a while that I'm just not ready. I have had the best summer ever. If I were to exceed or even match its awesomeness in the future, I'd probably just drop dead from the excitement.

I started the summer in Belfast. Beautiful, beautiful Belfast. I saw old friends, I ate good food. I touched the Olympic torch. I saw James McAvoy walk by with it in Glasgow. I took photos with the legendary Stephen Rea and the incredible Martin McCann. I had a long conversation with Brendan Fraser. I got to see the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy live. I went to the Titanic Museum and the Ulster Museum and the Linen Hall Library and the Book of Kells exhibit at Trinity College. I watched them light the beacon for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee on the Lagan Weir. I saw loads of films at the Belfast Film Festival, got pwned in the Belfast Film Festival Quiz. I watched The Crying Game at the QFT with Carlos. I watched British panel shows, kids' shows, game shows. I decided my new favorite phrase was, "That's Blockbusters!" I carried a notebook in my back pocket and wrote down everything. I learned that you can, in fact, go back.

I came home. I jumped back into the summer with my friends. I met an Australian. We had a 4th of July bash. There were fireworks and Jeff Goldblum movies and shiny, happy people holding hands.

And then there was Comic-Con. Oh, Comic-Con. On the very first day, I hugged Karl Urban--a moment which, in and of itself, would have made this the best summer ever. I spent three hours a day shouting over people, telling them which way to exit, helping them properly stand in lines. The rest of my SDCC days were spent being inspired by all of the creative people on the panels and in the exhibit halls and just walking around. I bumped into Seth Green, I said hello to Mark Sheppard, I walked by Rob McElhenney. I got a drawing by Lynn Johnston and got to tell her how much I loved For Better or for Worse. I wanted to live at Comic-Con, and just be constantly motivated to write more and be more creative. And I hugged Karl Urban. Worth repeating.

I spent more time hanging out in L.A. than ever before (aside from the internship at USC semester... I wouldn't call that "hanging out"). I spent an afternoon writing by myself at the Griffith Observatory. I experienced my first movie in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Bringing Up Baby. I went with my friend Kay to the Lexington Social House, where we chatted up Jeff Goldblum. I took Chels to Hollywood in some truly epic L.A. traffic. We saw a guy in a diamond bracelet that probably cost more than my college education. I frolicked around Los Feliz. Andrew and Monique introduced me to Meltdown Comics, and we were treated to the Star Dreck show. Comic books, comic books, comic books. Summer of comic books. And Judge Dredd everything.
We won pub quiz several times. I spent many late nights up messaging Bri (another shout-out!) back and forth about life, the universe, and everything. I watched two and a half seasons of Mad Men, two seasons of Louie, a season of The Good Wife. I spent a lot of time at the library. I finished my first novel. I started my second. I got a really excellent card from Monica congratulating me for doing so. It came with a pin that said "KARL." I got a fantastic pre-doctoral scholarship. My sister came to visit. My Disneyland pass starts working again tomorrow. I hear a chorus of schoolboys whispering, "Caaaaaarpe," and I am doing it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

[1442] i made that boy a mixtape

I once dated this guy who had never really listened to music until college. And since he had only been out of college for a year or so when I started dating him, his musical repertoire was seriously limited. It was great. I would make him mix CDs all the time and to him each one was a revelation. He liked everything. Peter Schilling? Awesome. She Wants Revenge? Good stuff. Natasha Bedingfield... actually, he discovered that one on his own. Imagine my surprise when we're shopping at Tilly's and all of a sudden my boyfriend is all but shouting, "FEEL THE RAIN ON YOUR SKIN!" I'm more of a Daniel fan, myself.

Anyway, once upon a time I would spend hours and hours of my life on finding diamonds in the indie music rough. I went to concerts, I bought albums, I won concert tickets on the radio, I took pictures with musicians. I was a gen-u-ine music groupie.

That's really not my thing anymore.

I still dig music. I just tend to fixate on one thing for a while. My Spotify activity is the irrefutable evidence of that. I've apparently listened to "Lights" by Ellie Goulding 23 times in the past two weeks. It's a little excessive, I'll admit.

If I were to make someone a mixtape mix CD playlist based on what I'm obsessively listening to on repeat this week, it would start something like this:

The Writer - Ellie Goulding
Angel with a Shotgun - The Cab [yes, I did just link to a Destiel video]
Lover of the Bayou - Mudcrutch
TNT for Two - Pajama Club
Patience - Take That

There's no real pattern to what I listen to. Unless you count Take That or Neil Finn as patterns. They come up a lot.

So what's your mixtape look like? If you were to make me a playlist, what would be on it? I can always use something new to fixate on.

[thanks go to Brianne for making me listen to this song]

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

[1437] dads should live forever

Dads should live forever. They should be as invincible as we think they are, as we're sure they are until the moment they slip from the here and now. They should stay until we don't need them anymore, which is never, so they should stay forever and always.

Max Villa was a good dad. A grandfatherly type--not that I know much about those. I never really had one. But if I did, I'd have liked for him to have been like Monique's dad.

Mr. Villa took a liking to me right off the bat when Mo told him that I had a strange obsession with Bonanza. He got a good laugh out of that, then told her a story about how, "It was the year of our Lord 1959" when, working in a New Mexico hotel, he waited upon the Cartwright brothers. THE CARTWRIGHTS! Can you imagine? I was beside myself when she related the story.

We met completely by chance shortly thereafter. Monique, Andrew, and I were sitting outside of a frozen yogurt shop in Long Beach when Mo caught sight of her father through the window of the Wingstop next door. He joined us at our table and we chatted for some time.

I got to have such chats with him on several more occasions over the next two years. When I went to South Africa, he graciously contributed funds to my trip. I brought him back a painted bowl and some candy. He showed me artifacts of his family's accomplishments. He was proud of them, proud of Monique, and proud of me.

He expressed his great sympathy to me when my dad died. I think he worried about leaving Monique in the same way. But like my dad with me, he left his daughter prepared. He left her self-sufficient, loved, encouraged, and with a drive to succeed I have rarely seen matched by anyone I've ever met. He left her with a wonderful man who treats her the way any dad would want his daughter treated. His memory will push her ever forward. She'll hear his voice telling her how impressed he is with her for the rest of her life.

Que descanses en paz, Mr. Villa. We'll take good care of your baby girl.