girl band

Day 26:

Earlier today, I came across a question on one of those old facebook surveys that we used to fill out and then post in the notes section or whatever it was called way back in the beginnings of facebook before the Russian bots and racist family members took over and ruined it all. And this question I found has awakened this memory that might as well have been Eternal Sunshine‘d out of me, but now I so vividly remember fondly that it’s today’s Camp Nano: Question of the Day. Day 26.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

Once upon a time in my foolish early 20s, I had a friend named Ijah who lived way out in Sylmar, which feels really far away when you live in Studio City and have an old car that doesn’t have a/c in it. Ijah and I were in a band (I know, this is what I do, I make bands with people and then don’t learn how to actually play music) and we would practice in her garage, and by practice, I mean, Ijah playing piano and singing really loud and me writing songs and pretending I could play guitar.

Me in Ijah’s garage pretending I could play guitar.

Ijah wasn’t your typical, early 20s, Southern California girl. She was loud. She was brash. She ate the apple all the way through, core, seeds, stem, all of it. She drove like a maniac. She walked around naked. She once got fired from her job and still showed up the next day in uniform and clocked in and started working until they sent her home. She had bright red hair that was completely natural, it just grew from her head that way. And to top it all off, she wore these really not in style, wire-rimmed glasses. Non-ironically. And we didn’t even say that back then.

During our garage band practices, we would practice for about 15 minutes and then we’d usually end up doing other things like drink tea and have her mom read our tarot cards and then we’d go explore Sylmar on foot. Sylmar is actually where the high school scenes of Encino Man were filmed so if you want an excuse to go watch the movie again, here’s your excuse. You’re welcome. Anyway, Ijah and I would just walk around and talk about stuff, people we were crushing on, the band, I don’t even remember, actually.

I remember one day we were at the bottom of the hill that went into her neighborhood and we didn’t want to walk back the whole way, I remember it was really warm that day. An ice cream truck slowly passed us with that music playing, so we ran up to catch it and flagged it down. We bought some ice cream cones, I think mine was strawberry for some reason, and then Ijah bribed the guy to let us hop on the back of the van and take us up the hill.

Okay. You know how they won’t let you do a bunch of adult things when you’re young like, rent a car? Well, this is why. Young adults don’t make good decisions.

The ice cream dude waited for us to hop onto the bumper and grab on to these poles that were on the back of the van and then the music started and we were off. I was on the driver’s side, meaning that my dominant hand, my right hand was holding an ice cream cone while my ridiculously weak arm was trying to wrap itself around the pole and not fall. My left arm was shaking and I could feel my Chuck Taylors sliding off the metal bumper as we started climbing the hill and I kept trying to scooch my feet back closer to the van, but this was a normal sized bumper so standing sideways, one foot in front of the other was as close to scooched as I was going to get anyway.

We were probably only going 15 miles an hour, but it’s uphill. I have ice cream running down my elbow on one arm, the other one is trying to keep it together and not let us fall us, while whimsical, ice cream man, clown music is playing the theme song to my bad choices. And I’m sweating.

It was the longest 2 minutes of my life and I don’t know how I didn’t die that day, but life lessons were learned. One of them is that I am not as cool or carefree as a tardy Marty McFly, and especially when he was that werewolf and got on top of that van to surf.

If You Were In A Band…

Here we are, 4th of July and Day 2 of answering random questions I found on the internet, which, by the way, I take requests like a wedding dj if, you know, you had something you wanted my useless opinion on. Also, I just realized that by doing this here, I’m essentially doing Camp Nano in the open and that’s a fool’s game. So let’s strap on our patriotic clown wigs and get down to business.

 If You Were In A Band, What Kind Of Music Would You Play? And what would your band be called?

source: https://www.mantelligence.com/questions-to-ask/

I have actually been in several imaginary bands, thank you so this question is very near and dear to me. Back in the late 80s there was this tiny little group called New Kids on the Block. I practiced their dance moves in the backyard because I was going to become a member once they discovered how good I danced and sang and dressed, but then I would leave them once I found fame and then start my own group of girls who happened to all be 5’3 and we would be named Five Three. And then when we won our Grammy I would get into a fight with Axl Rose as I was accepting the award. This didn’t happen, probably because I’m too tall now.

Then when I was 18 or 19 or maybe 20, I had become obsessed with weezer and also a bit later, The Beatles. So now I am forced by the laws of music to be in a four piece girl band. Also, the ouija board told us to. We think it might’ve been John Lennon’s ghost because the spirits said it was and also he told us Timothy Leary was going to die the day before he died so either one of us was a liar cheat who also was a really good fortune teller, or it was John Lennon. And if John Lennon tells you via ouija board in a haunted apartment in Denver, Colorado to be in a four piece girl band, well, you do that. So my friends Vicki and Michelle and I get instruments we don’t know how to play and start learning the opening notes of The Sweater Song. Michelle was on drums so she had that first part easy. Vicki was on bass and actually practiced and learned a bunch of stuff. I was on guitar and I put a lot of cute stickers on my guitar and picked out a fancy guitar strap. I think we named ourselves Help after the Beatles movie and so, as you can tell, we were on track to stardom. Only problem, there were three of us. We needed a fourth. Like in The Craft.

One day, ouija board John Lennon told us to go to a place called Annie’s Cafe on 8th at exactly 11am. We had no idea where Annie’s was but we found it however you found things before the internet was real and useful and more than chat boards for fandom and we went and it was a cute little 50’s diner and at exactly 11am, Help! the song played on the speaker system and a girl around our age with red hair french braided into two braids came and took our order. And then as the rest of the Help! album played and we ate our home fries and eggs and toast, we tried to figure out how we tell our waitress that she’s now in a band with us because John Lennon told us to meet her here and Help! was on and it was a sign that it was supposed to happen. We were so nervous we couldn’t even ask her for a refill on our coffees. She probably asked her manager for an escort to her car after her shift. We paid our check and left, knowing we had let John Lennon down and not only him, but the entire girl band actually. I mentally vowed to go back to Annie’s the next weekend and hunt this girl down and make her be friends with us. I never did. And it’s probably a good thing because in retrospect, that would be kind of creepy of me.

Since we couldn’t talk to our fourth, we had to break up and then reband as a new and improved band. Like girl weezer. My friend Vicki (Matt) and Michelle (Pat) and I (Rivers) somehow, and probably without mentioning the ouija board of secrets, convinced our other friend, Jenny into being our Brian Bell. We decided our name should be Manhands because of the bizarro episode of Seinfeld. We were going to be the bizarro weezer even down to the M being an upside down W. Clever right? And just like weezer, we had to move to Los Angeles in order to be successful. But we needed to consult the universe. So one day when Vicki and I were walking through campus, we asked out to the winds, “John? Should we move to LA? If yes, play something on the radio that would give us a clue.” Then when we got into the car and turned on the radio. California Dreamin’ was on. Sign. So despite none of us actually having ever been to LA we got rid of almost everything we owned, packed the rest up in the back of my Honda CRX and somehow landed in Studio City, California. Needless to say, I’m not a rockstar. And no, I still can’t play the guitar. This is not likely to have contributed to our success in anyway though. It’s because Michelle didn’t move with us. We had to be a four piece.