The Lizard Chronicles

Some of this is true. Some of this is better. –Too Much Joy

Hawai’ian Holiday Part 5: Beer, Stars, and Invisible Cows April 15, 2015

On our last full day in Hawai’i, it was time for some beer. Sure, we’d had beer on other occasions during the trip, and we’d even learned some Hawai’ian words in the process, but it was time for even more education! We headed to the Kona Brewing Company to take a tour, learn more about the beer-making process, and sample some tasty beverages.

Studying the Beeriodic Table

Studying the Beeriodic Table

Note the super fashionable goggles--safety first!

Note the Super Fashionable Goggles–Safety First!

Cheers to beers!

Cheers to Beers!

After the tour and tasting, we ate lunch at the pub, and, of course, tried more beer. By far my favorite was the Lemongrass Luau, a light, refreshing brew with notes of lemon and ginger. Unfortunately, it’s not available on the mainland, but Ian promised me he would try to produce something similar in his home brewing efforts.

If you know me or read my travel posts regularly, you may remember that I’m a souvenir junkie. Even if I have purchased a few trinkets beforehand, as the end of any vacation draws near, I start to feel a sort of panic, and my thoughts begin to race. Have I purchased enough items to properly commemorate this trip? One can never have enough novelty socks, right? I don’t care if I need to buy another fridge to put it on, I need this magnet. I must get presents for everyone! BUY ALL THE THINGS! It’s really for the best that I’m limited by what can fit in my luggage. But anyhow, I got my souvenir shopping fix at the Kona International Market as well as some other shops in Kailua Kona.

Crocmonster

This is Perhaps the Best (only good?) Use of Crocs.

Fiery Foliage in Kailua Kona

Fiery Foliage in Kailua Kona

As we wrapped up our shopping, it occurred to us that we’d managed to spend almost a week in Hawai’i without having an umbrella drink. To correct this grievous wrong, we enjoyed Mai Tais (as well as a few other tropical drinks) while taking in the ocean view at Don the Beachcomber. Rachel collected the drink umbrellas and crafted a makeshift tiara, which attracted the attention of a complete stranger who asked to take her picture. We predicted she’d be going viral before the week was through.

Queen of Happy Hour

Queen of Happy Hour

After briefly returning to the condo to grab some warmer clothes, we began the trek out the the Mauna Kea Observatory visitor’s center. During the drive, road signs repeatedly promised (or warned I suppose) that there would be sheep crossing, but, to my disappointment, we spotted no ovines. On the bright side, we did not run into any sheep, as I’m sure was appreciated by the sheep themselves as well as our rental car, which was already unhappy enough with the ascent to 9200 feet. Once we arrived at the visitor’s center, the guide, Pablo, laser pointer in hand, took us on a star tour, pointing out plants, star clusters, and constellations and regaling us with some of the mythological tales that surround them. I have never seen, and perhaps never again will see, the sky like I saw it at Mauna Kea. Its elevation, isolation, and geographic position make it pretty much idea for stargazing. Scattered about the visitor’s area were telescopes fixed on the moon, the Orion nebula, and Jupiter, the views through which I can only describe as really freakin’ awesome. Also, there was this.

InvisibleCows

Sound Advice

It made me wonder if we actually did encounter sheep on the way there, just invisible ones. On the way back down the mountain after our visit, we caught glimpses of a far-off fireworks display, which marks my first time viewing fireworks from above.

The next morning, it was time to finish packing up and head out. To our slight embarrassment, we discovered that we had not finished our giant bottle of rum and had an unopened bottle of wine remaining. Not wanting this to go to waste, Rachel wandered about the condo complex and secured loving homes for our leftover alcohol.

Getting home proved slightly more adventurous than we had anticipated. The plane that was to be ours was delayed in leaving San Francisco, so by the time it arrived in Kona, the crew could not fly back to San Francisco without being over their allowed work time. Instead, we were flown to Honolulu (during which Rachel and Matthew enjoyed a brief but luxurious upgrade in first class). Once in Honolulu, we went through agricultural inspection for the second time that day (just in case fruit had somehow materialized in our luggage during the flight from Kona, which seems unlikely to me, but you really never know what might happen in a place that has invisible cows) and received new itineraries. During the layover in Honolulu, we decided there was time for a bite to eat and one last beer in Hawai’i. However, when attempting to pay for our meal, our credit card was denied (although I still feel secure in the knowledge that I am a valued customer). Ian offered me up to our waitress as collateral and ran out to get some cash. Smartass.

Ian and I parted ways with Rachel and Matthew, who had different flights back home, and flew to San Francisco then home to Chicago. It was a long, wearying day of travel, but we scored exit row seats on both flights. So yay for that, and yay for the safe conclusion to a wonderful trip.

San Francisco From Above

San Francisco From Above

 

Hawai’ian Holiday Part 4: Turtles! April 13, 2015

Filed under: Animals,Life tales,photography,Travel — lizardesque @ 8:07 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Aside from the requisite wine and cheese (and OK, also coffee and Donkey Balls), the one thing that Rachel was intent on having during this trip was banana pancakes. I cannot hear the words “banana” and “pancakes” in close proximity without recalling the time during my childhood when my ever-frugal father acquired a 40-lb box (maybe it wasn’t actually that big, but it was quite large) of bananas for some ridiculous bargain price. The thing about bananas is they don’t last long, especially when they are bordering on overripe at the time of purchase. My mother baked and froze copious loaves of banana bread, and we ate bananas in almost every conceivable fashion. Banana pancakes sound like something I normally would have liked, but by the time we got around to those, I was suffering from serious banana fatigue and did not enjoy them at all.

But anyway, that was a long time ago, and all of that was simply a prelude to telling you that we went out to breakfast on Sunday morning. Rachel got her pancakes. I had a coconut-blueberry-banana waffle, and we both gladly upgraded to double pineapple mimosas for just two dollars more.

Afterward, we had our sights set on snorkeling and headed to Kīholo Bay. Of course, now everything I read about this place offers advice about appropriate footwear, but at the time I just thought beach=flip flops. This is why doing research before going places is wise. Oh well. I and my feet survived.

The first attraction in Kīholo Bay was the Keanalele Waterhole, a lava tube filled with a mixture of fresh and sea water. The preceding link suggests there was once a ladder for entering and exiting the waterhole, which would have been rather convenient, but it was not present when I was there. Only one of our party (Matthew) had the combination of bravery and appropriate footwear to enter the waterhole. Myself, I was pretty confident that I could get into it. Getting out was what concerned me. Nevertheless, it was cool to see.

As we walked northward along the secluded beach, I alternated between flip-flops and bare feet, unable to decide which was worse, but even foot discomfort could not overshadow the beauty of the place.

Although the shoreline is public, the beach is flanked by several private homes, and Rachel pointed out a sprawling yellowish house as that of Earl Bakken, developer of the first artificial pacemaker. Not far from there, we spotted our first turtle. He (or she) spotted us too and even waved!

Hi! I'm a turtle!

Hi! I’m a turtle!  (Photo credit: Matthew Bryan)

“I can’t believe we met the turtle that invented the pacemaker!” Rachel exclaimed as we continued along the beach. Perhaps it wasn’t an entirely accurate statement, but surely, it was the stuff that memories are made of. We never did find a good place to snorkel (I think our timing was simply off), but we saw a few more turtles and lots of crabs.

Next, we headed to Hapuna Beach with hopes of snorkeling there. Alas, it was not meant to be. There were large waves and rip tides, but it was a lovely day to alternate between wading in the water and relaxing on the beach. By the end of our time there, I’m pretty sure I was composed of at least 93% sand.

Once we returned to the condo, we went down to the pool area, which offered a lovely view of the sunset. Meanwhile, to our amusement, an exuberant little girl in want of her cylindrical foam pool accessory repeatedly proclaimed, “I neeeeed my nooooodle!” Indeed, we all need our noodles, and if we use them, perhaps we’ll do something truly remarkable, such as invent a lifesaving medical device, just like that friendly turtle.

Kona Sunset

Kona Sunset

 

Hawai’ian Holiday Part 3: No Muppets or Turtles, but Lizards, Tiny Pineapples, and Delicious Donkey Balls! April 10, 2015

Filed under: culture,Life tales,photography,Travel — lizardesque @ 12:57 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

On Saturday morning, it was time to pack up and leave the condo in Pāhala and head off toward the next place we would be staying, with several stops along the way, of course. The first was St. Benedict’s, also known as the painted church of South Kona. Although we had high hopes of encountering Muppets there, alas, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem were nowhere to be found.

The Painted Church

The Painted Church

Aptly Named

Aptly Named

Our next stop was Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau National Park (also known as the Place of Refuge). We had designs on seeing some sea turtles there, but our hopes were dashed for the second time that day. However, we were advised as to the appropriate course of action should we encounter turtles. Good to know.

Do Not Disturb!

Do Not Disturb!

Despite the lack of turtles, the park was lovely, and we found lots of other critters to look at in the tide pools there. Coral and urchins and fish, oh my!

Coral

Coral

Lurkin' Urchin

Lurkin’ Urchin

Fishies

Fishies

LizTiki

Tiki Selfie

Lava Rocks and Palm Trees

Lava Rocks and Palm Trees

Later that day we stopped at Greenwell Farms for a tour and some coffee sampling. We heard all about the process of coffee production from farm to cup. Then we sampled more coffee. We also learned that baby pineapples are really freakin’ adorable. And of course, we sampled a little more coffee. And we saw chameleons, which provided us with the opportunity to employ some of our recently bottlecap-acquired Hawai’ian vocabulary, which is exciting in and of itself but even more so when you’re hopped up on coffee.

Squee!

Squee!

Mo'o

Mo’o

Once we were well caffeinated, we figured what better than some sugar?! We easily satisfied our cravings and got in a good deal of giggling at the Donkey Balls store. These delicious treats consist of macadamia nuts encased in a thick sphere of chocolate and come in many varieties, including salty balls, dirty balls, blue balls, and balls of fire.

DonkeyBalls

Dare I say we had a ball here?

 

Hawai’ian Holiday Part 2: Sun, Snorkeling, and SNAFUs in Paradise (but I am a Valued Customer) April 3, 2015

Filed under: Food,Life tales,photography,Travel — lizardesque @ 5:24 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Friday morning, we headed for Hilo. Our first stop there was Two Ladies Kitchen, where we tried some mochi. These chewy, elastic confections seemed to me a cross between dumplings and fondant. I’m glad I tried them, but they’re not something I’d be likely to seek out again.

Charming graffiti in Hilo

Charming graffiti in Hilo

It was time to see some waterfalls, including the aptly named Rainbow Falls (we did, indeed see rainbows). On approaching Pe’epe’e Falls and Boiling Pots, we were rocketed back to adolescence, gigglesnorting at the street sign that, without the ‘okinas, read “Peepee Falls St.”

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Boiling Pots

Pe’epe’e Boiling Pots

L&RWaterfall

Still giggling about “Peepee Falls”

Next on our agenda was to purchase beach towels and snorkeling gear. We’d been advised that doing so would be cheaper and more convenient than renting, even if it meant going to Wal-Mart. There, we stood momentarily paralyzed by the options. Snorkeling accouterments occupied a full aisle and then some, and we discerned few obvious ways to narrow down our choices. Eeny meeny miny moe… And I had thought that selecting a beach towel was going to be the more difficult decision! Four years ago when I was in Honolulu, I could swear there was an ABC store every 20 yards, each of which stocked at least 6 dozen types of Hello Kitty beach towels, along with myriad other motifs. The Hilo Wal-Mart had but a single Hello Kitty beach towel! Then again, it made my choice easy. Yes, I’m a 40-year-old childfree woman, and I am unapologetic about my fondness for Hello Kitty.

Snorkels, towels, and a few other items in hand, we entered what did not seem to be a particularly long line, but by the time we got to the front of it, I’m pretty sure my hair had grown about an inch. When I went to pay for my purchase, my credit card was denied. I tried a second time. No dice. I shrugged and used my debit card, figuring that my bank was being cautious. It’s not that my traveling to Hawai’i should have raised any eyebrows, but I can understand how my shopping at Wal-Mart would be cause for red flags.

Onward we went to seek lunch at the Hilo Bay Café, which, according to our guidebook was in the same strip mall as the Wal-Mart. Turns out, it had moved to a much nicer, more scenic location that we had actually passed earlier during one of the many times we got confused as we navigated Hilo and had to turn around. Service was on the slow side, but lunch, which included two blueberry-jalapeño margaritas, was delicious.

We then set off for the Kapoho Tide Pools to put our newly acquired gear to use. During the drive there, I called my credit card company to deal with that situation and was placed on hold for 15 minutes, during which time an automated voice repeatedly assured me that I am a valued customer. When, at last, I made contact with a real live person, I accidentally disconnected the call as I tried to switch my phone off of speaker mode.

DAMN IT!

Sorry, had to get that out of my system. I called again, was placed on hold again, was assured I am a valued customer again and again. Another 15 minutes or so, I connected with and did not hang up on a real person. “Hi, I want to use my credit card, and you won’t let me,” I said. A few minutes later, when I realized that there actually had been some fraudulent charges on my card, I felt slightly bad for beginning the call that way, but I don’t think I was capable of not being snarky at that point. What happened next may have been mere coincidence or karmic retribution for my snark. Just as I was in the process of discussing the best course of action with the phone representative, my call dropped.

DAMN IT TO FLURKING HELL!

This was just about the time we arrived at the tide pools. I had no cell service there, so all I could do was tell myself I’d get it all worked out later and go snorkeling. We parked and walked the quarter mile to the pools. On the way, we passed a cat lounging in the grass next to a sign for Winston Churchill Real Estate. Naturally, we decided that the cat’s name must be Winston Churchill.

The tide pools were beautiful, but actually getting into them was tricky, as the water and lava rocks made for a perilous combination of slippery and jagged. The mixing of salt and fresh water resulted in suboptimal clarity at times; nevertheless, the snorkeling was enjoyable, albeit brief. The daylight was waning, and the last thing we wanted to do was navigate the treacherous rocks in low light.

Kapoho Tide Pools

Kapoho Tide Pools (Photo credit Lindley Ashline, Creative Commons License)

Later, back at the condo, the boys grilled dinner while I, once again, called the credit card company, this time from a land line to assure there would be no call droppage. Much to my dismay, several minutes into my holding and hearing that I am a valued customer, the cordless phone (the only one in the condo) began to beep, alerting me to a low battery. “You were sitting in the base all day. You better not die on me!” I growled at the phone. Mercifully, the phone hung in there.

When I was allowed to speak to a person, she arranged to have the new card shipped to me at the next place we would be staying, and I thought things were cleared up. However, just as we were ostensibly wrapping up the call, she said, “Okay, you should have that card on Monday or Tuesday at the latest.” Considering we were leaving for home on Tuesday, that was not going to work. Instead, she arranged for our present card to work only in Hawai’i for point-of-sale transactions and to have the new card shipped home. Wonderful.

“So the card will be delivered to your home on Monday, and someone may need to sign for it.”

Ugh. No. We would still be in Hawai’i then. Had she been paying attention? She then arranged an extra slow delivery method for the new card. When the call concluded, at long last, all I could do was cross my fingers and hope that this was all over, also, eat dinner and drink wine.

 

 

 

Hawai’ian Holiday Part 1: The Mo’o Chronicles March 28, 2015

Filed under: Life tales,photography,Travel — lizardesque @ 5:48 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Not many things will get me out of bed at 4:15 a.m., but a flight to Hawai’i is one of them. So began our adventure. Ian and I bid farewell to our thoroughly confused cats and headed for the airport on a dark, chilly Wednesday morning. Later, during a 2.5-hour layover in Denver, we figured it was probably about time to start drinking. It was vacation after all! The bartender kept trying to coax us (and everyone else in the vicinity) into doing Jägermeister shots, but we declined in favor of a more classic breakfast drink.

Second Breakfast

Second Breakfast

Several hours later, we (and our luggage–huzzah!) arrived safely in Kona, at which time we obtained our rental car and set off to pick up Rachel and Matthew, our friends and traveling companions…at Costco, of course. They had arrived a few hours earlier and decided they would save some time by purchasing provisions for the week before we got there. As a bonus, they perplexed their taxi driver with their requested destination. Who would have thought that Kona Airport to Costco is an unusual fare?

Trunk loaded with luggage, food, wine, beer, and a giant bottle of rum, we began the long drive to Pāhala, where we would be staying for the first few nights. I required a brief vomit-prevention stop along the way (hills + winding roads + no proper meal for many hours = queasy Liz), but the voyage was otherwise uneventful. It was late, and we were all jet-lagged and travel weary, so we had no greater ambitions than to enjoy some snacks and beer on the lanai, but with our beer came the added value of unexpected education! Bottle caps from Kona Brewing Company beer are printed with Hawai’ian words and phrases so that you might satisfy both your thirst for a tasty beverage and your thirst for knowledge.

Educational Beer!

Educational Beer!

The next morning after breakfast, we took a walk over to the nearby Punalu’u black-sand beach with hopes of spotting sea turtles. Alas, there were none to be found, but it was a pretty beach.

Punalu'u Beach

Punalu’u Beach

We had a full day planned, so we didn’t linger at the beach. Ian got the car stereo communicating with his iPad so we no longer had to listen to long stretches of static interrupted by brief bursts of music as we had on the way to Pāhala. Apparently, the car was a bit ornery that day because this is how we were greeted.

Well, that's just rude!

Well, that’s just rude!

Undeterred, we headed to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. On the way there, Rachel expressed her concern that, if given the opportunity, she might have an uncontrollable urge to touch lava. I understood this perfectly, as I have suffered from numerous irrational fears (including a short-lived, but rather intense, fear of yeast) at various points in my life. Thankfully, helpful reminders regarding lava interactions were posted.

Back away from the lava, Rachel.

Back away from the lava, Rachel.

We didn’t get close enough to any lava for Rachel’s fears to be much of an issue. However, we did enjoy free (if slightly sulfur-smelling) facials at steam vents and saw lots of cool craters.

At Halema'uma'u Crater

At Halema’uma’u Crater

We left the park for a short time to visit the Volcano Winery, the southernmost winery in the U.S., where we sampled a variety of delicious wines, ate a giant cheese plate (because Rachel and I go on vacation together primarily to drink wine and eat a lot of cheese), and met a cat named Mele (who seemed completely indifferent to us). I have admit that, after taking several vacations in which wine tasting was a central component, it felt downright odd to visit just one winery without immediately continuing on to another. Of course, the only other winery in Hawai’i is on Maui, so it would have been a challenging drive.

I know where to park!

I know where to park!

We returned to the park and saw the Thurston Lava Tube, which ranks among the coolest things I have ever seen.

Thurston Lava Tube

Thurston Lava Tube

We then drove down Chain of Craters Road, passing the July 1974 lava flow (which we dubbed Ian’s Birthday Lava). For much of the drive, it was a bit difficult to believe that we were still on Earth. Relatively recent lava flows create landscapes unlike any I’ve seen before.

What planet is this again?

What planet is this again?

Lavalicious

Lavalicious

Heart-Shaped Rock

Heart-Shaped Rock

Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs

Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs

Turtle Petroglyph

Turtle Petroglyph

Holei Sea Arch

Holei Sea Arch

Our adventures for the day concluded at the Volcano House, where we watched the eerie orange glow of the Halema’uma’u crater come into view as the sun went down. The view was nothing short of magical, yet we remained at a safe enough distance to prevent Rachel from impulsively running amok and touching the lava.

Lavulation

Lavulation

 

 

Wait, so those aren’t eggs? (TIPSHRMETID) January 30, 2015

Welcome to the first in what I hope will be a series of posts under the theme of things I probably should have realized much earlier than I did or TIPSHRMETID for the acronym lovers. I know there are quite a few items that fall into this category, so the real tricks will be 1) jotting them down when I think of them and 2) actually getting around to blogging about them. I’ll give it a try because I know everyone loves to read about times when other people felt very stupid (or is that just me?). Anyhow, on with it…

I was born in the 70s, a time of harvest gold kitchen appliances, shag carpeting, and colorful crocheted afghans (the latter of which are apparently now being made into pants by some people, but I digress). My mother is a crochet wizard; so, over the years, we had several afghans, but there’s one in particular that stands out in my memory (see the background of the picture below–against the burnt orange couch, just in case you needed further proof that this was, in fact, the 70s).

Try to ignore adorable me and focus on the afghan.

Try to ignore adorable me and focus on the afghan.

It was colorful. It was warm. It had a fun, bumpy texture. It didn’t even bother me that it depicted fried eggs (a food that I loathe to this day). It was my favorite. The afghan was around for several years of my childhood. Then, at some point, such things fell out of fashion, and it was put away in a closet or attic and replaced with a new, more stylish throw.

Many years later (I think I was in my late 20s or early 30s at the time), I was with my mother, doing something or other around her house, when we came across the afghan. “Oh, it’s the egg blanket!” I exclaimed. It was a little like seeing an old friend.

My mom laughed and gave me a puzzled look. “The egg blanket?”

“Yeah, you know. Fried eggs.”

She laughed again. “Those are daisies!”

I looked at the afghan, somewhat taken aback. To me, this had always been the egg blanket. It had not occurred to me that the white and yellow circles were anything else. Besides, the 70s were an esthetically weird time, and a fried egg throw sort of fit right in. “I always thought they were eggs,” I said, unsettled by the fact that, for all this time, the afghan had not been what I thought it was.

“Why would I make an afghan of fried eggs?” my mom asked.

It was a fair question. For a moment, I considered countering and asking if it made a lot more sense to make an afghan of daisies, but it was hard to deny that, in general, floral patterns are much more popular than egg patterns. I’d had tops, wallpaper, and sheets with various types of flowers on them, but I couldn’t recall any of those things depicting omelettes or huevos rancheros.

I examined the afghan again. It’s true that, for eggs, the whites seemed rather small in proportion to the centers. Also, the yellow centers lacked the slightly orange tinge seen in egg yolks. Suddenly, I felt silly for assuming they were eggs, not daisies. In my own defense, I should note that, for daisies, the yellow centers are rather large in proportion to the white petals. However, I also realize that we’re talking about something that is made of yarn, so a certain degree of realism goes out the window.

I occasionally wonder about the possibly psychological implications of my seeing eggs where most people would see daisies, but perhaps I shouldn’t over analyze this. Better to call myself a divergent thinker and move on.

 

Long Live the Mix Tape! January 7, 2015

Filed under: Life tales,Music — lizardesque @ 5:13 pm
Tags: ,

 

I worry about kids these days. I worry that parents are too lenient and indulgent and have cultivated a huge sense of entitlement in their children. I worry that the kids of today will have to deal with messes left behind by previous generations, like crippling national debt, climate change, and “islands” of trash in the oceans.

 

But mostly, I worry that today’s children will never know the joy of making a mix tape.

 

I know, I know. There’s iTunes. There’s Spotify and all of that. Making playlists is as easy as clicking a few buttons. I don’t deny that can be fun too, but it’s not the same. Even if you burn the songs to a CD and present it to someone, it just doesn’t stack up to the beloved mix tape.

 

Choosing songs was a painstaking process. Unless you timed the songs and performed the necessarily calculations (and really, who did?), you simply had to use your best guess as to what would fit on one side of a tape. Heaven forbid you’d be almost done with one side when the tape would run out part way through a song! You had to start all over again. You weren’t just making a mix tape, you were cultivating life skills: planning, patience, and persistence.

 

Then there was the recording process. You didn’t drag and drop songs into a list and press a button to create your mix tape. You had to put a blank tape and each in the series of tapes you were recording in your dual tape deck, cue up the songs, and play them all the way through to record them. You listened to your mix tape as you were creating it. It wasn’t just in your head. You experienced it as it came into being. You sat back and listened, and you made changes on the fly because it suddenly occurred to you that “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. was the perfect follow-up song to “True Faith” by New Order. It was poetic really. You may not have composed the songs themselves, but there was beauty in the way you put them together.

 

Then were the times when you didn’t own a copy of a song you wanted to include on the  tape. You had to listen to the radio, tape cued up and ready to pounce on the record button. If you were extremely lucky, you got the intro and the fade out without any overlap of the DJ’s voice.

 

When you were done and you presented your mix tape, lovingly, laboriously made, to your friend, boyfriend, or person you hoped would be your boyfriend (or even if you just kept it to enjoy yourself and maybe bring out at parties to impress your friends with your musical mixing prowess), it was a thing of beauty. It told a story.

When I was in school, my friends and I would get together at the end of the year and make a mix tape, Songs From Freshman Year, Songs From Sophomore Year, etc. Before we headed into summer, we bonded one last time over the shared memories, reliving the good times, the annoyances, and the heartaches as we put together our own soundtrack for that year.

 

My first serious boyfriend made me a mix tape over winter break from school and gave it to me when we were reunited. He had decorated the tape insert with elaborate drawings of flowers. Although the boyfriend is long gone, I think I still have the tape in a box somewhere (even though I don’t own a working cassette player), along with the Recovery mix a friend made to cheer me up after the boyfriend and I split.

 

Whether the mix tape was mirthful, bitter, inspirational, maudlin, joyful, schmaltzy, whimsical, or some combination thereof, it meant something. The arc of songs was a snapshot of life. It was something that just couldn’t and can’t be accomplished by hitting shuffle.

 

Image: Tdkc60cassette.jpg by GRAHAMUK CC BY-SA

 

 
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