1. The Big Cut
Cutting your hair as short as I did is a bold and drastic move for any girl, but I feel like in my case, the new do is even more monumental because my hair has been a huge part of my identity, for as far back as I can remember. As a little girl with perfect ringlets, old ladies were constantly complimenting me by saying things like "Most people would have to pay a lot of money to look like that!" But behind the scenes, my parents struggled to maintain it, sometimes resorting to horse shampoo or Sacramento ethnic hair salon King of Curls, which more than one person has since suggested is actually a drug front (they have a van with their name painted on it. What could a hair salon need with a van?). As I got older, people liked to tease me through elementary and middle school, and I think a defining moment in my life was when I chose to join in and laugh at myself, showing that it wasn't a big deal and earning respect. In high school I was glad I didn't look like every other flat-ironed girl around, but sometime in my first year of college I finally started toying with the idea of making a change. For a while I thought dreads were the way to go, but eventually I decided to go for the bold, clean, slightly bad-ass look of short on the sides and longer on top. What made the cut even more fun was that I only told two people my plan to go short beforehand; that way I got shock everyone else. (My friend Jazmine looked at me for a good five seconds before recognizing me and yelling "WHAT?!") I also got to donate my hair to Locks of Love. Whoever gets a wig made out of my hair is in for a wild ride.
2. I Love (Haunted) Lamp
So I got this lamp at the Salvation Army store for nine bucks, and now I can't stop telling people about it. It's perfect, old-fashioned and decorative and slightly broken, and it fits in well in my nostalgia-inspired room. But because I bought it second-hand, I'm afraid it's got some creepy baggage. The first night after I got it, it kept turning on and off by itself as I was trying to fall asleep. Now I unplug it when it's not in use, but I still think it's the coolest fucking lamp ever.
3. Hitchin' a Ride
Hitchhiking is fairly common in Santa Cruz, especially among students. I only partook in it a couple times last year because I was a scared freshman, but this year I'm making up for lost time. I've met some really nice people, but the best were some monks I met who were on their way to the Porter Squiggle to give a yoga presentation. We chatted about how Western culture has ruined yoga by turning into a purely physical thing so that money can be made from it. It was a blast. I'd write more about the whole concept of hitchhiking, but I'm saving that for a possible upcoming CHP feature.
4. The Gift of Words
I love Bookshop Santa Cruz, probably too much. Whenever I'm on Pacific Avenue, I make whoever I'm with stop in and take a look around with me, and more I often than not I walk out with a purchase. Naturally, I'm a fan of theirs on facebook, and occasionally they hold contests to win free books. A few days ago, they asked people to post their favorite John Stewart moment, in honor of his new book. I posted a video of him slamming CNBC, and the next morning there was a message in my inbox saying I had won a free book. SWEET! I was so excited, you would have thought JK Rowling had announced an eighth installment in the Harry Potter series. But what can I say? As I've showed before in this blog, I love books.
Did I forget to mention that today's my birthday? It's been a pretty fun day so far, and I'm having dinner with a lot of my friends tonight, some of whom I haven't gotten to spend much time with since we've been back here. I have a feeling that nineteen is going to be a good year for me-- sophomore year is so much easier than freshman, and I feel like I have a better life outlook than I did a year ago. As I told my BFF Jesse on the phone at 12:02 AM, "Eighteen was a bitch year. Nineteen is gonna be great."