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Jul, 2010

We Partied Like It Was 1990... Sans Hair

Dorky enough for ya? One of the BEST days of my life! FREEDOM!

Last weekend, I attended my 20th high school reunion in Excelsior, MN. I graduated from Minnetonka High School in 1990 and let’s just get the unpleasantries out of the way right now. No, I did not enjoy my high school experience very much. In fact, I was dying to get out of this school and lived for my escape to college on the East coast.

This is not to say that I didn’t have some wonderful friends – some of whom I’m still good friends with today – and even received a top notch education there. Academically, it was an excellent public school and even though I didn’t crack a book or earn an A while I was there, I did actually learn something. For instance, see what a fabulous writer I am now? (Just don’t ask me what X equals. I still don’t know.)

Minnetonka was a “good” school because it was in an upper class suburb. What I have learned time and time again since then is that “good” schools are often full of “bad” kids. There was an amazing sense of entitlement amongst the kids at Minnetonka High School and I don’t imagine it’s too different today. The disparities between the categories of kids (jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, headbangers, geeks, etc) were abysmal. I know these “classes” of popularity exist at any school, but they were extra special lame as shit at my school. 

One very popular girl who sat right next to me in a class day after day, never once said a word to me until she saw me driving a red convertible home one afternoon. The next day, she said, “I saw you leaving the parking lot yesterday. You have a really nice car.” I said, “Oh it’s my mom’s.” She said, “Oh.” And she never spoke to me again. We were sixteen. You see, if you didn’t drive a car to school after you turned 16… LOSER. We had a two page, color spread in our senior yearbook dedicated to students’ cars. No, really. It was a snotty school with its fair share of mean kids.

I was one of those mid-level floaters. I had friends all over the place – jocks, brains, music nerds, art geeks, cheerleaders – but my closest friends were the brains. The over achievers. Why? I still don’t know to this day. The only thing I can come up with is that maybe I thought hanging around the kids who cared a lot about their grades would somehow make up for my lack of effort. I was that kid who never studied, never listened or took notes and then would get a decent enough grade on the tests to pass the class. I turned in about 3/4 of my assignments. I never did extra credit. I just. Didn’t. Care.

I never went to a school dance. I didn’t go on a date until college. I only did three extracurricular activities my entire four years there (Madrigals, women’s quartet and cross country skiing. I was horrible at the latter but it was the genesis of a lifelong love/hate relationship with running as there was no snow the year I joined.)

I was one of a very small group of ethnic minorities in our school. There were some ESL students who weren’t mainstreamed in our classes and there were a few other Asian kids, a few Jewish kids, there was one girl who was half black and… well that was it out of 450 in our class. I felt like an outsider and dreaded going there every day. I didn’t have a super happy family life at the time and if it hadn’t been for my closest friends, I don’t think I would have made it through.

Some of my besties!

One would think that a student of this ilk would be somewhat bitter about their high school years but it’s soooo far in the past now. Like, um, 20 years. WHAAA?!! Enough water has gone under the bridge and at our reunion, I was pleased to find that the people from Minnetonka’s class of 1990 have grown up into lovely adults. At least the ones who came to the reunion. I’m guesstimating (don’t you hate that word?) far less than half of our class showed.

I’ve known both of these people since elementary school!

The most interesting part of the reunion was hearing what people were doing with their lives. There were some surprises, but most were typical. And I mean that in a good way. I guess what I’m getting at is the people who you thought were so much prettier than you, smarter than you, more popular than you, or whatever – well, 20 years later they’re mostly all collecting a paycheck, raising kids, putting on bigger clothes, combing fewer hairs on their heads – and in this case, seemed a little more down to earth than maybe they were as a teenager. I can only hope they are raising their kids to be a little kinder and gentler as well.

I’m glad I went. I can’t say the prime rib buffet, cash bar and Target bakery cupcakes with blue frosting ‘M’s were worth the $50, but seeing some people from my past as actual people for the first time was. And I stole two dozen cupcakes on my way out the door. So it’s all good.

The Sweet Taste of Reunion

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Apr, 2010

The Joke Joint, April 22-24! Woohoo Minnesota!!

I can’t believe my trip to Minnesota is only a week and a half away. I’ll be heading to the Land of 10K Lakes on the 15th (Got those taxes done? I don’t even want to talk about it.) to showcase at the Northern Plain NACA (Nat’l Assoc for Campus Activities) Convention, down to Iowa for a show at Wartburg College and then on to The Joke Joint in Bloomington to headline a weekend of five shows. I’m so excited as these are the first club dates I’ll be headlining in Minnesota. Up until this point I’ve only performed at colleges, private events and theaters.

Please come out to support me and this great club if you get a chance. There are FIVE shows to choose from so unless your dog is having a hip replacement surgery, I don’t want to hear the excuses! HA! Seriously, it would mean the world to me to see YOUR smiling, laughing face in the crowd. I hope you can come – and bring everyone you know. If I can put butts in the seats, the club owner will invite me back next year. That’s how this business operates. Here are the details:
April 22-24
The Joke Joint
(Inside the Ramada at the Mall of America – the old Thunderbird Hotel)
2300 E American Blvd
Bloomington 55425
CLICK HERE to buy tickets online – these shows will sell out – I hope!
Box Office: 612-327-0185
Thurs, April 22 @ 8pm
Fri, April 23 @ 8pm & 10:30pm
Sat, April 24 @ 7:30pm & 10pm

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Jun, 2009

Baxter, MN - Land of 10,000 Yawns

Hi Ho!

I’m in the beautiful town of Baxter, MN. This is where my parents live and I have come up to visit with them and help them out around the house while my dad recovers from a hip replacement surgery. While I’m glad to be here for them, sitting indoors most of the day made me realize how active I am. I’m not very good at sitting still unless it’s in a movie theater or there is food going into my mouth. My parents’ house is not a movie theater, but there are donuts and chips here. There will be running and swimming when I return to SoCal. Like a big dummy, I forgot my running shoes and have only gotten out for short walks.

SO, I am feeling a bit lethargic and doughy.  I can’t stop yawning! It’s really weird feeling this way because I’m so used to chasing around a toddler and/or trying to get one million things done before she wakes up or after she goes to bed. Life moves fast in the Anderson house. The Anderson house in L.A., that is. Things are a little slower post-hip replacement here at the Anderson house in Baxter. 
I have done such exciting things as: prepare meals, wash dishes, clean up cat barf, clean up cat barf, prepare meals, wash dishes, take out the trash, clean up cat barf, brush the cat, fill the bird feeder, prepare meals and wash dishes. It’s all part of being here, for now.
Also, this is not the town I grew up in. My parents retired here a few years ago and it’s a little, uh, rural for my taste. These are some pictures from my outing to the lovely mall today. Enjoy. This truck has so many things going on, I’m not really sure where to look: the Confederate flag, a Jesus fish, 2 McCain bumper stickers, 2 Marriage = (stick man) + (stick woman) bumper stickers, the side window has an American flag with an eagle on it and the license is a Vietnam vet plate. LOTS going on! 
I’ll be home a few days and then I’ll be getting ready for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party! Yo Gabba Gabba theme! WOO-HOO! I can’t wait! I hope you are all having a fun and productive week… yawn.

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