Before the Internet

I’ve been on a tear the past few days, going through old photos and scanning them. If you’re a friend on Facebook than this is old news to you but I thought I’d share a few here with more back story.

Floating with my dad.

I am not sure where we are but it could be Lake Almanor. We used to stay at the PG & E cabins there in the summer and the winter. (My dad worked for that company for over 25 years.)

Mother and daughter sweetness.

That’s me in pig tails and overalls and my mom looking hot in a halter top. Anyone recognize the game we are playing? I don’t.

Beach time!

Growing up, my family spent a lot of time at the beach. There are countless photos of us having picnics or playing in the sand.

My beautiful mother in her 20's & a very young Sizzle.

My sister looks a lot like my mom.

I still make that face (me on the right).

Doke claims I even made that same face this past weekend. Mr. Darcy concurs- I make that face frequently. And that’s little Dokey there who Finn definitely resembles.

Disneyland Trip circa 1980's.

That’s me on the left, a tween (maybe the only time in my life I didn’t have a big rack), my sister who will likely kill me for putting that dorky photo of her up and our dad in his shades that are now back in style. We used to go to Disneyland in the spring for a family trip. I have really good memories of those times.

My college graduation from UCSC with James Dean and Tomato.

Every time I look at this photo, I laugh. James Dean’s pomp is so big! And Tomato is wearing a MOCK TURTLENECK and blazer. And I am so blonde and thin. Ha ha. I can’t remember what year I graduated. I was dating James Dean then so I must have been 23 which would make it 1996.

A couple old friends, my sis in the blue knit hat and me driving my VW Super Beetle.

I loved that car. LOVED. It was metallic burgundy with a white top and interior that would later begin to sag when the top was up so that anyone sitting in the car that was over 5’3″ might have it resting on top of their head. But man, when it was sunny and the top was down, there were good times in that car. I distinctly remember driving over Highway 17, the top down, music blaring, good friends in tow, and the sea salt air hitting me as we hit the crest and headed down into Scotts Valley.

My 23rd birthday was celebrated with my mom, sis, Tomato and James Dean at the Shadowbrook Restaurant (a fancy joint in Capitola, CA). Here are me and my sister, posing.

This was during my “Sharon Stone” phase. And someone commented on Facebook that my sister resembles Ellen Page here. She used to look like the lead singer of Garbage, Shirley Manson, before she was the lead singer of Garbage and was in a band called Angelfish (anyone remember them?). Once we were at an Angelfish concert, right up front near the stage, and Shirley herself did a bit of a double take when she glimpsed my sister.

We had a dress up party for Dokey's 21st birthday. That's my childhood house's backyard where many a party was thrown. Me at 23 and Tomato at 22.

It feels like so many of these snapshots happened mere days ago and yet, here I am, 38 years old.

The Past Meets the Present

Here’s a story.

Back in high school my sister’s first boyfriend was in a band and in that band was a drummer named Phil. For years we’d all pal around, a mish-mashed pack of us, going to parties and coffee shops and seeing music- countless hang out sessions at my childhood home where my Mom kept the fridge stocked and the pool glistened in the backyard. Phil went off to the Air Force and I went off to college but we wrote letters and our friendship deepened. While he was in Monterey at the Defense Language Institute studying Arabic, I was neck-deep in my Women’s Studies/Lit major at UCSC. The distance between Santa Cruz and Monterey as about a 45 minute drive so sometimes we’d be able to find the time to hang out have long conversations about relationships and life and our futures. He was one of my best friends.

We’d always swap music. He’d send me tapes, many of them containing songs he’d written or had played with friends. A couple of them were about me. (Have you ever had someone write a song about you? It’s pretty dreamy. It’s up there with having a poem penned about you and having someone draw you.) The years kept passing and the letters kept traveling between our two distances. I was 25 when I hopped a plane to go visit him in Georgia where he was stationed. And during that week-long stay, we had a bit of a love affair.

It was kind of one of those situations where it existed in this bubble. It wasn’t something we talked about making work long distance. We were just two friends who had loved each other a long time and in that visit, we found a sanctuary in one another. The depth of feeling had a twinge of magic for me and still, years later, think of it and smile. Not in a way of longing, just that it was special and I’m grateful for that experience.

This is us circa 1998 where I did not have a clue how to take a self-portrait as evidenced by this horrible angle. And yet, this is the only photo I can find of the 2 of us together.

Pretty soon after that trip our friendship dissolved. Not out of malice or hurt or lack of feeling but he’d met a girl who didn’t approve of him being friends with me and out of respect for her wishes, he backed off. We do some crazy stuff for love, don’t we? It would be years before we would talk again. He’d get married, have 2 kids, move to Maryland, get divorced and I would date a bunch of guys, find my footing in my career, move to Seattle and meet Mr. Darcy. Thanks to Facebook we reconnected and have been able to catch each other up on our lives. But this weekend he came out to visit two of his best friends that live in Seattle of all places. And after ten years, I got to see him face-to-face and hug the shit out of him.

The Space Needle is growing from my head!

I got to meet two of his oldest friends from the Air Force, the ones he’d make music with and send to me on those mixed tapes. It was wild to meet them after all these years- and that one of them lives blocks from my apartment (small world!). I used to listen to their songs on repeat and I remembered most of the lyrics to a particular favorite, “Hooker With a Heart of Gold”. Friday night at a wine bar where they were playing an open mic they let me sing it with them (albeit, off key). (Click that link if you want to watch a video of said performance.)*

Phil & Talib strumming (I think this was when they were doing a bluegrass version of a Jane's Addiction song)

Doke & Phil, old friends

All this is to say, it was a great weekend full of remembering and nostalgia and catching up.

*Photo credit to my sister, Dokey

There is absolutely nothing that compares to an old friend.

 

*And no, “Hooker With a Heart of Gold” is not one of the songs about me.

Reunionized

So thanks to the wonders of Facebook, my 8th grade graduating class is having a reunion.

Gee, THANKS Facebook!

Here’s something you should know- I went to the same Catholic school in California with almost the same group of kids from Kindergarten to 8th grade (give or take a few). We were very, very close. Many are still best friends. I actually liked a lot of them (except my arch nemesis). It could be interesting to see everyone. Or it could be incredibly awkward.

One woman in particular has made it her mission to pull off this reunion. It’s strange because she didn’t even go to school with us for that many years but she apparently has fond memories. This woman, while very well meaning and sweet, is not the best communicator. Her emails to us are all over the place peppered with too much personal information and a lot of LOLs. You get the picture. I’ve offered my help because as an event planner I can see this whole thing being an epic fail if someone doesn’t interfere assist.

At first I was considering going figuring that if no one had given notice at the apartment even though it’s on August 8th (only two weeks after I return home from Chicago/BlogHer) I could maybe swing it for old time’s sake. I even replied “maybe” on the evite remarking that I was having nightmare flashbacks about pool parties. (Apparently the house it’s being held at has a pool and we were told to bring our suits.) But then last night I was telling my friends about it and they were like WE ARE GETTING MARRIED ON THE 9TH AND YOU HAVE TO BE THERE. Oh, right. Shit! I should know this since I am sort of their wedding coordinator. So now there is absolutely no question about whether I am going or not. I can’t. End of story.

Except, when I went to change my reply on the evite my arch nemesis had replied yes she was attending and had said something to me about not worrying because no one was going to wear swimsuits. My immediate thought was: What the fuck you skinny bitch!? Nothing has changed with you since 8th grade is that what you are telling me with that dig?! I wish I was going so I could tit punch you into the fucking pool.

Not that I still harbor resentments or anything.

Ahem.

She probably didn’t mean it as a jab (benefit of the doubt! benefit of the doubt!) but I still don’t like her and you can’t make me. It’s clearly better that I can’t go. Instead I will just send a life sized photo cut out of my face on a stick for them to insert into photos. Or down their pants. This way no one gets hurt.

Though I’ll admit there is a small part of me that would like to go, just to show them what I’m made of. That I am no longer that shy fat girl who was everyone’s friend but no one’s girlfriend. That girl who got good grades and followed the rules and was nice to everyone.

Oh wait. I kind of am still that girl. Minus the shy.

Damn it.

From Christmas Past. . .

christmas joypuppets with popsnow with momdorks

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

(1st picture: me; 2nd picture: me and my Dad; 3rd picture: me bundled with my Mom; 4th picture: me in the plaid skirt and boots with Dokey making typical dorky faces)

P.S. I don’t want to jinx anything but I actually woke up feeling closer to normal than I have in a week. It’s a Christmas Miracle!

P.S. (Take 2) I did jinx myself as I don’t feel better at all today. This marks one week that I’ve felt sick to my stomach and light headed. I’m am so over it! I want to feel better and have a vacation! The only Christmas Miracle that happened was the brief snow falling mid-day.

Have I mentioned how sick I am of being sick?

Associations

cookie doughWhen I was 18 I spent a week with my best girlfriends from high school in a rented beach-side house, just us girls, as a celebration of our high school graduation and adult-like freedom. It was an awesome week. It was also the first time I can ever remember getting drunk.

There was a corner market a block from the house which we would frequent for necessary snacks like Doritos and pints of Ben & Jerry’s. This was the first time I had ever tried cookie dough ice cream. While I enjoyed it that afternoon, I did not enjoy it much later in the evening. You see, when you mix way too many screwdrivers with a pint of B & J cookie dough ice cream and then see it all come back up on the way into the toilet. . . well, suffice it to say you pretty much never ever want to taste either of those things EVER again.

Last night I tried a new flavor of sugar-free ice cream. Yep, cookie dough. While it was ok as far as sugar-free ice creams go, I was more relieved that it only reminded me of my youth rather than giving me flashbacks of crawling to the bathroom and hugging the toilet while my friend Joyce, the only sober one in the house, held my hair. What a pal she was.

Does anyone even drink screwdrivers anymore? I’m thinking the answer is no. Tell me, what’s the alcoholic drink that taught you a lesson you never want to repeat?