TX & Homemade Jewelry

Today I am reminded of when I saw Batman Begins in theaters. I don’t really know why I wanted to see it in theaters, maybe because it was during the movie obsession time. Or because when I went to see it I was in Texas stuck in an extravagant hotel that I thought was boring. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to enjoy it. But nevertheless, I saw it in July 2005. Then supped at the wild Rainforest Cafe, thereafter. I will never forget that adventure.

That trip had many fun memories. It started with high humidity one summer afternoon at 85*. We drove til the sun came up the next day to get to Texas. I spent time with a good friend of mine, who I didn’t know would be one of my closest friends until years later. I still thought she was a strange homeschooler. But I was now a home schooler. We played some classic Farm tycoon game on a mac laptop and sang loud and proud to Andrew Sisters album. Our drivers were graced by this only because it kept them awake until the sun rose.

We drove to YWAM’s center, where my friend’s sister, who I was good friends with at the time was attending school. That’s when I first discovered dry heat. Yes, it was 100 degrees with no humidity and I thought I could stay outside in that for days.

We stayed at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center for this worship institute. I wasn’t excited about the reason we were there, but it was a fun trip and slightly a requirement since I had hopes of one day singing on the worship institute. I had also just started playing bass for our youth group. A few of the other kids in the band whose parents were also on the main worship team came with. So I didn’t feel like as much of a square for going because of this. But man that was the best hotel I have ever stayed in and I didn’t recognize it til now.

The Riverwalk Cafe. The most amazing buffet I have ever eaten. I don’t remember what it was but it was expensive. Probably $15/plate. Probably close to $30 now. But it was the first time I ever tried Bing cherries. I never ate a cherry before then that I liked. Now every summer I look forward to when these tart and succulent treasures come into season. Also there is a river outside the cafe and there are catfish that swim along. Pretty cool.

It was also the first time I got to hold onto a cellphone. My mom had a lot of classes at this institute so if I needed her or she needed to contact me I got to hang onto her cellphone as she could borrow anyone’s. I was 15 and this was a time when flip phones were just coming out and you still had to pay $0.10/text if you didn’t have a plan. So this was huge. And because I had the responsibility of having her phone I got to receive the message that my cousin had entered the world. It was a Tuesday. I was eating chicken with honey mustard. A favorite for many years.

This was also when I got to know a lot of people who later became friends. My friend D would order sprite with limes. Adds a little extra zing to it. It’s been awhile since I’ve had that but it’s good.

The day before was July 4 so we got to watch crappy fireworks from the hotel. But it was memorable because my friend A and I did some more bonding. AKA quoting corny lines from our favorite tv shows that are now 50 years old. So embarrassing.

When we went to see Batman Begins at the mall I was surprised our worship leader and his eldest daughter were accompanying. It had a dark look to it, darker than any other Batman movie so far. My friend begged to go but they said no. After I watched it I realized she wasn’t going to be seeing this movie for a long while. Oh, that was tricky with that family. They were very strict about movies and the content of anything their children took in. I was surprised I was allowed to hang out with them because I was such a rebel, and that was because of my brother. This would come back and bite me in the future not once but twice, ending a 7 year relationship with the family. But that’s life.

What was so strange about me? Well, it was a time when I was going through awkward changes. I can see even now the graphic t-shirts I used to wear. A red tshirt with James Dean’s face on the front – a shot from Rebel Without a Cause. One with Schroeder from Peanuts. One with sketches of Cinderella. My favorite, this black t-shirt with a big fat “R” in the center of red and yellow circles that stood for Remnant, a group with YWAM.

My hair was long – one layer. I wore ugly glasses always, no makeup. And homemade jewelry, because one I couldn’t afford to buy jewelry and two emo/punks did that. Or at least that’s what I thought.

I always wore this thick black and white checkered bracelet with two silver snaps that I either bought at Claire’s or Hot Topic. And I made these homemade stretch bracelets from the plastic under bottle caps, which my friend is not an easy feat. I think I wore this twine bracelet with three yellow beads on it. And then I always wore this ball-beaded necklace with coke can tabs at the center. Eventually it grew to be so thick I could hardly fasten the top. I added some green and blue tabs at some point from energy drinks that were consumed by friends. Also I wore a necklace with mini handcuffs and another with Blossom from the Power Puff Girls and a tiny silver soccer ball. Yuck.

Also I had slip on shoes that were tan and checkered with permanent marker. And then everyone I knew at some point wanted to wear Converse shoes. We did not have the money for Converse, when they were $35. It’s incredible how cheap that sounds now. Wow! Anyway, so I bought two cheap pairs at Walmart. One pair pink, the other black. And sometimes I would wear one of each. On the pink ones I had my friends sign and draw on them. I can just imagine how strange I must have sounded when I asked acquaintances, “Wanna sign my shoe?” And I think I had a messenger bag like that. I know I had pins, you know the fun statement kinds and of course safety pins – punk rock can’t die.

Oh man, I forgot that summer I dyed my hair black. Or at least it appeared black. I have fair skin and it looks super white when I don’t spend time in the sun. Why would I want to? Rich snobs went to the beach. Oh, how I wished I’d gone to the beach more. lol But my brother had dyed his hair almost every month and it was a dark brown I think to go back to his more natural look. He had some dye leftover so I went to town on my hair. Then decided to show up to church youth group wearing all black. My friends wondered what was going on with me. I don’t think many adults had to guess that it was just a phase, because by the next year I bounced back to my chipper younger self.

Yes, I went through a depressive emo stage for 7-9th grade. So glad it didn’t last forever. Although many of those things to describe me are humorous and lovable. I recently discovered Freaks and Geeks, a show I would have loved to see continue, but glad it didn’t for how things turned out for certain actors. Anyway, there is so much from that show that resonates with me, as far as the school I went to. Even though it was a different time and I attended a different kind of school I found myself not only as a freak but a geek hanging out with both crowds. And I even had a green army jacket like Lyndsey. Only mine was my mom’s not my father’s and she was in the air force. But they all had pickles suit issue back then.


Runts & Long Walks

During the first year of my freshman year probably up until my sophomore year my brother and I used to go to the movies a lot with a friend of ours. In some ways movie going and binge watching boxsets [this was before streaming] was a hobby of ours. All the same, I really hated going to the movies, because I could never pay for a ticket, but C always paid for mine. All the same I went just to get out of the house and socialize.

The first year of high school I decided to home school, because we couldn’t afford private schooling anymore. So any kind of socializing was a treat. The only gratifying part about going to see these lame movies, because that’s what they were then and if you read the ratings now, was that I could afford a handful of Runts. I don’t really like movie theater candy because there’s never enough for what you pay for. But they always had the rowof candy where you stuck fifty cents in the slot and turned until your hand was filled to the brim with fruity goodness. I don’t think I could eat runts now that I know it’s just artificial flavored sugar. But it was my favorite.

Did I mention these movies were lame? And that we also saw them in the middle of the week so we usually got the theater all to ourselves. At this point in time, I was still recovering from being an avid Lord of the Rings fan. I watched the movies and the behind the scenes so much that I unfortunately know them verbatim. I particularly became a huge fan of the actors who played the hobbits. Before you could follow them on Facebook or Twitter there were fan sites and blogs, etc.

Someone who was just as obsessed as me took the time to write down all the silly games these actors used to play while they were sitting around waiting to their jobs. I don’t know for a fact that this one I’m about to describe was something they did, but it was on the fan site. All you did was race your friend throughout the theater counting all the chairs. I would always challenge my brother and we’d have a good time but when I got C to do it, mostly just to see if he would move his lazy butt, I usually got an ill retort. I just never understood why you wouldn’t want to run around in a theater tripping over chairs and empty popcorn buckets.

It never failed when he agreed to race me or my brother that he would always start and count maybe to five and then race back to his chair and have some snide remark at the end. I don’t know why I thought he would do it either, because every time like Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football, he’d make me believe every time that he was going to do it and never did.

Besides the wonderful comments that make most of these terrible movies memorable and counting chairs was remembering that one time when we mixed up getting a ride home. I don’t think any of us had a car at a time or my bro and C just got licenses. Whatever it was, it takes 5-10 min to drive from our house to the theater. With no ride the walk back probably took 30 min to an hour, because it was dark, we were wearing flip flops, and there are no sidewalks on that road even today.

When I was a kid I learned that my father always walked on the outside for safety. My brother usually kept this trend. But I was walking faster in a crappy pair of flip flops feeling every pebble and rock pushing through my shoe when I realized I’m totally out in the open I could get hit. So I walked back trying to sandwich myself between the guys since walking on the inside meant picking up grass stickers or scuffing my heel on the curb.

I remember being questioned and when I explained C should be on the outside since he got us in this mess and because I’m a girl and should be walking on the inside, he pushed me forward and said, “Are you kidding? You should be on the outside. They won’t hit a girl.” Irritated I pulled back just as a car flew by barely missing me.

And if I recall the strap/thong on my flip flop broke and I had to walk barefoot the rest of the way home. My feet were black from the asphalt and I was hot and sweaty from the humidity.

I don’t even think I wanted to go with that night because I remember my mom needed the car. And though she would be back in time so my brother could take C back home which was say by 8:30, we didn’t even get out of the theater until 8:30. I knew we weren’t going to make it on time. His dad was a little bit pissed by the time he had to pick him up at our house. So I guess the long walk wasn’t for nothing.

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