99 things– #61 through #65

I found a list of 99 things, and I will be bolding the ones I’ve done and explaining a bit about each. Because I have a tendency to yammer on, I am doing 5 of the 99 at a time.

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies. Oh, my goodness, yes. Technically, I was never a Girl Scout myself, though I did a stint as a CampFire Blue Bird and sold Almond Roca in 1st grade. But I was a Girl Scout Leader for many years and that definitely counts! Yes, the girls do the bulk of the cookie selling themselves, but their parents/leaders are always deputized into bringing the order form to work. (My humblest apologies, coworkers of the past! and I hereby promise to buy your daughters’ cookies, coworkers of the future!)

girl-scout-cookie-cluster

62. Gone whale watching. Hmm. I wouldn’t say I have gone on a whale-watching expedition of any kind, but I have definitely watched for whales – successfully! – a couple of times. The first time I saw a whale was on a ferry from Seattle to Friday Harbor, and the second was on a ferry from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria, BC. (While on a different trip to Victoria, David went on an official tour in a rubber raft to see whales, dressed up with all his students in stylish waterproof suits . . . and not a single whale showed itself.)

63. Got flowers for no reason. I am the queen of buying myself flowers for no reason. Unless, of course, you count “I walked past the flowers section of Costco” as a reason.

img_5631

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma. I semi-successfully donated blood when I was a freshman in college. I was really excited to have reached 110 pounds, the minimum weight requirement to donate. (Let us all bow our heads and have a moment of silence for those bygone days.) The blood donation went fine, but my blood pressure – which had also just barely made the cut at 90/50 – plummeted down afterward, causing me to faint. I got to lie on a cot for ages, drinking orange juice and eating cookies, until I felt like I could walk again.

I tried donating blood again last year. My weight and blood pressure (both much higher now) were not the problem this time: it was my ridiculously difficult-to-stick veins. They stabbed around until my arm was black and blue, managed to eke out a quarter unit of blood, and then gave up. They couldn’t even use what they’d gotten, because the blood-to-preservative ratio in the bag wasn’t correct. Maybe I’ll try again in another 30 years.

65. Gone sky diving. No, and I probably never will. I’m not afraid of heights – and I’d probably enjoy it – but my structural-integrity-phobic side is haunted by thoughts of parachute failure.

Current score: Four out of five, 31 out of 65 in all. I’m up to 48%!

(Again, if anyone reading was involved in any of these, feel free to add facts or correct my memory… and I’ll keep looking for photos.)

For those of you following along at home:

    • #1 through #5 are here.
    • #6 through #10 are here.
    • #11 through #15 are here.
    • #16 through #20 are here.
    • #21 through #25 are here.
    • #26 through #30 are here.
    • #31 through #35 are here.
    • #36 through #40 are here.
    • #41 through #45 are here.
    • #46 through #50 are here.
    • #51 through #55 are here.
    • #56 through #60 are here.

Continue reading “99 things– #61 through #65”

plan #21 – find photos of 80s bathing suits

First, I suppose, one has to determine if they say “bathing suit” or “swimsuit.” Apparently I say bathing suit; David does not. Now that we have that important discussion out of the way…

Reminiscing about growing up in Huntington Beach got me thinking about high school bathing suits. There are a couple of styles that stand out distinctly in my mind, but as far as the internet is concerned, they did not exist. I, of course, am quite sure that they did.

bikini bottomsFirst: the classic two-piece of my high school days. It had a fairly standard top, and fairly standard high-cut bottoms (which I think were usually shirred down the front like the ones shown here, actually).  The important distinction is the length of the strings on the top. Instead of just tying behind you, as a normal bathing suit would, these strings were extra-long. You would criss-cross them behind you, thread them through the sides of your bottoms, then bring them around and tie them in the front.

Did this only happen in a tiny part of the world? How is it that the entire internet does not have a picture of this? I am usually an excellent Googler – no, seriously, I am; you can ask anybody – and I have not figured out a way to describe this suit that Google can understand. I am embarrassed to admit how much research time I invested in this in the wee hours of the morning today.

Second: my all-time favorite one-piece suit, circa 1983-1984. OP made these one pieces that were actually skimpier than a two-piece in some ways. This particular one was actually my sister’s, although I coveted it. It was black with white pinstripes that came to a V in the center; the straps were white. The classic OP details – besides the little “op” on the front hip – were a) that the back and front were connected at the hips by three strings and b) that the front was a very deep V.

I don’t know what I was thinking, borrowing that suit from Gina. She had way more of a figure than I did, at that point; instead of showing cleavage, that deep neckline probably just showed each of my ribs. (I’d had a terrible case of mono my junior year – got hospitalized, had parades of medical students in to study me, couldn’t eat or drink – and I was down to 93 lbs.) But every time I wore it, I felt perfect.

Yeah, that bathing suit doesn’t seem to have made its presence felt on the interwebs, either. I found one pretty close to it:

80s-summer-brands-op-swimsuit-1
Source: a fantastic site called liketotally80s.com, which you should go to because it is amazingly comprehensive and super cool.

I never would have worn these bright pastels, though, and I remember the neckline as much more drastic. Whether it was actually different or not we may never know, but the black-and-white suit of my memories was way cooler.

As long as we are on the subject of 80s bathing suits and the beach, I suppose I should be required to put up photos of myself from that era. I could only find ones from my trip to Corfu in 1988:

on the beach
Lori and what must be an Irish or English woman, working on our tans.

I only had a one-piece when we got there, which was not conducive to tanning, so I think Deb and I skipped eating for a day to buy these old, stretched-out bikinis at a local shop. (I have no idea why I have my foot on a piece of paper. I may not even know it is there.)

What’s hilarious is the difference between how I looked and felt before and after we spent each day on that Corfu beach:

Lying in the hot sun for hours makes me a wee bit cranky and disoriented, but you do what you have to do to get that beautiful bronzed look. Then you get melanoma and are forced to stay out of the sun for the rest of your life. It’s definitely a trade-off.

plan #20 – contemplate where I’m from

I consider myself a Portlander. I moved here 32 years ago and I’ve lived here for all but three of those years. I’ve had an affinity for this city since my dad moved here when I was 12 and we began to spend summers here. See, that’s how Portland sucks you in: you come during the wonderful, beautiful, warm summer months and decide to live here… but then you get to live here through the grey months, too. Luckily for me, I don’t mind the rain. I’ve seen what it’s like to live somewhere that does not have consistent moisture, and it’s not pretty.

My “hometown” is Huntington Beach, California. I was not technically born there, but I was brought from the hospital to a home in HB, so I think that counts. I lived there for twelve of my first 17 years:

  • HB from birth through preschool (at 4 different addresses);
  • moved away for kindergarten through 2nd grade (2 different addresses);
  • HB for 3rd grade (1 different address),
  • moved away for 4th and 5th (2 different addresses),
  • back to HB for 6th through high school graduation (2 different addresses).

Yeah, I’ve been around the block (and I’ve lived on most blocks, too). I also abbreviate Huntington Beach fairly often, a habit I picked up from years of frustration over scantron forms that never have enough boxes or bubbles to fill in a long city name or forms that say “City: _____________” where the lines are far too short to fit anything beyond eight letters. (Hmm… and what other city is eight letters long?! Coincidence?)

It’s blasphemous in many circles to say so, but I don ‘t find much of Huntington Beach very attractive. Yes, the old downtown area is surfer-cool and has tons of charm, but North Huntington Beach, where I lived, was largely a land of housing tracts enclosed by concrete-block walls with a school and park in the center of each one, the houses themselves a series of  cookie-cutter ranch models with a tree planted in the parking strip out front. At every other major intersection or so was a shopping center and/or gas station; the differences were fairly few. Was the market a Vons, Alpha Beta, or Lucky? Was the drugstore Sav-on’s, Thrifty, or an independent? Was the gas station Shell or Texaco or 76?

Believe me, it was not a bad place to grow up. It was flat, so we could ride bikes everywhere; there were plenty of amenities;  the schools were good; and our parish, St. Bonaventure, had an amazing carnival. What more could a kid want? It was just bland, or worse. There was a “moat” (a flood control channel) around my high school, a Naval Weapons Station at the end of my street, a large industrial park just around the corner. But I had good friends and good times and it was all I knew.

Of course, the proximity to the beach elevated its cachet immensely. I mean, this is Surf City we are talking about. Miles of gorgeous shoreline (only some of which is across from extensive oil fields); great surfing; warm, sunny days. I absolutely love the beach and I am sure I always will. It gets into your blood, and a windy stroll on a cold Oregon coast just doesn’t cut it, beautiful as it may be.

Lifeguard Tower 10

I spent hours and hours on the beach, rotating my towel to get a better tan, listening to the radio with friends, body surfing (I was not a surfer, though a few girls surfed), taking romantic walks on the sand with boys or hauling kids we babysat in and out of the water. It was a short bus ride to Bolsa Chica, or a transfer and a longer ride down to the pier. (Either way, you’d get off the bus at a Jack in the Box, strangely.) It was fantastic.

But still.  Still, this town that I spent the first third of my life in never got the grip on my heart that Portland did. I came up here and I knew. This was my city. That other place, the place I grew up, is an interesting place to visit, to drive around and see what’s changed. But I don’t love it. I don’t miss it. I don’t wish I were there.

(Okay, okay. Sometimes I wish I were just a short drive from the beach. That will probably never change.)