Things In My Life

ZB1-061623: Welcome!

Me on a lamppost, welcoming you to my life PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

I've always been interested in journaling and I tried to keep a journal a few years ago, but eventually I forgot about it (sorry lover deluxe edition journal). Given my track record, I guess this seems kinda ill-fated, but I'm going to give it a go anyway. Here, I'll write about what I've been up to and how life is going. I'm reluctant to call this a blog bc that implies some sense of regularity in entries, which I will likely be lacking entirely.

ZB2-070923: Choir Tour!

El Palau de la Música Catalana PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Hi internet strangers! I just had an incredible choir tour to spain!! I've been singing with the Pacific Boychoir Academy for 8 years now and this is my first time going internationally with them. We were in spain for 10 days, during which we had 4 concerts, stayed in 6 cities, and were all marvelously sleep-deprived. We started off stong on june 23rd with a 12-hour flight into Lisbon that got delayed for 2 hours due to an air traffic controller strike in Canada. Also, we flew past a tornado in Colorado. Then we barely caught our connecting flight to Barcelona which I actually was able to sleep on for 2 hours. We got there at 17:02 on june 24th with a +9-hour time change. The next day (6-25), we hit the ground running with a trip to Figueres and the Salvador Dalí musem. It's in a building that used to be a theater he went to when he was a boy that burned down. It's definitely the most surreal museum that i've been to and had a bunch of really strange but interesting details. After that, we went to Castello d'Empúries to rehearse for our concert at la basílica de Santa María de Castellón de Ampurias. The venue was an old gothic cathedral and we mostly filled it for the concert. It was the most people I'd seen at one of our concerts since 2019. The day after the concert (6-26), we visited the gothic quarter of Barcelona and did a shit ton of walking and bus tours. We toured el Palau de la Música Catalana, which has some great art nouveau design and a really cool stained glass window that one of my friends (i won't name names) referred to as a "sky nipple" and now i can't think of it as anything else. Then we did a walking tour of the gothic quarter which we had already seen that morning and got on the bus for a bus tour of Barcelona ending with a walking tour in La Sagrada Familia. The walking tours were tiring, but La Sagrada Familia is seriously one of the most architecturally insane churches i've been to (and i've been to a lot of churches thanks to choir). Also, it has the gayest church windows i've ever seen bc all of them are rainbow-colored. Then we went to a restaurant right by the port and had seafood paella.

Me with my friends on an abandoned train platform at the Alboraya-Palmaret Metro station PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

We left Barcelona the next day (6-27) for Valencia, taking a 5-hour bus ride between the cities. Honestly, it was one of the better bus rides of tour. I talked for a full hour with my friend William about our experiences in singing with the choir. The venue was La Iglesia de San Esteban, which used to be a mosque but had been converted into a baroque-style church in the 17th century (this mosque to church pipeline is a recurring theme). We got to meet and perform with el Orfeó Valencià Infantil, which was made up of mostly girls and 4 guys all high-school age. We got to see them perform before we did our set and sang together. They had some very impressive soloists in a few of their songs and I really enjoyed getting to meet choristers from another country. My friend, Amara, from school also came to the concert because she was doing a Spanish immersion program in Valencia. The next day (6-28) we went to la Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias to visit the science museum and watch a movie in the planetarium. I watched it in spanish so I could practice and I understood almost everything. In the afternoon, we went to the beach with the choristers we sang with the day before. I didn't get to talk to them very much, but I wish I did. They seemed really cool and my friends who talked to them more said they would have liked to meet me. After dinner, I went with my friends Marcell, Jacob, Zach, and Simeon on a bus to the metro station and took the subway back to the hotel. We hadn't gotten much free time during tour thus far, so it was great to go out without any adults and experience part of the city. When we got to our station, we discovered that the old station from when the subway system consisted of above-ground streetcars was still there above the new station. We spent like half an hour there just taking photos in the light of the one light on the platform and having fun. That was probably one of my favorite tour memories. Above is one of the pics we took (i'm the one with the sunglasses) and there are a few more on my insta @zachary_baggs. The next morning (6-29), I went with the same group to a park and Marcell found a license plate and brought it back to the US with him.

ooh pretty light in palace PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

We left Valencia around noon and arrived in Castillejár that evening for our concert. Upon our arrival, we quickly discovered that, while the concert was part of a larger festival, we were at a smaller part of the festival in a town of just 1300 people. We rehearsed for about an hour at el Teatro Castillejár, which was our only non-church venue on tour, before eating dinner at the one (1) restaurant in the entire town. A sizeable percentage of the population of Castillejár was in attendance at the concert, and bases and tenors had to stand in front of the stage rather than on it due to the acoustics of the theater differing from that of a church as the curtain absorbed sound very well. We arrived at our hotel at roughly 1am (6-30) and I decided that it would be a great idea to stay up talking with my roommate, Sam, until 4am. Our discussion was of varying quality, flipping between vastly different topics such as "queerness and identity" and "treat me like a slut by kim petras works perfectly as gregorian chant" to name a few. We got up at 7 and headed to La Alhambra where we saw 2 Moorish palaces, beautiful gardens, and also a reneissance-style palace that paled in comparison to the older moorish ones. The detail in the palaces was legitimately breathtaking. The walls and even the floor had complex tiled patterns and intricate molding and the ceiling looked like a mix of fractals and blue stalactites. I couldn't stop taking photos of every new thing we saw. Also, I practiced my spanish by asking our tour guide some questions

the view from a cathedral PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

We took the bus to Ronda in the afternoon to get to our final concert venue. We were performing as the closing act to la Semana de la Música XXIII alongside la Orquesta Sinfónica Metropolitana de Sevilla at la Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor. While rehearsing some of my friends managed to sneak up to a lookout on the roof of the cathedral to check out the view of the town, shown in the above photo. For the first half of our concert, we wore our standar concert uniform, consisting of a dress shirt and blazer. The cathedral was hot becuase it was packed with people and also because it was Spain in the summer. We performed Vivaldi's Gloria with the orchestra and I nearly passed out at the end and had to sit down for a minute. Fortunately, after that we got to change into our slipshot uniforms, which forgo the dress shirt and blazer in lieu of a simple, much more comfortable, polo shirt. I introduced two of our songs in Spanish and didn't come close to passing out. Before we went on, I drank almost a full bottle of water, so I'm sure that helped. The second half of the concert sounded incredible! We finished off strong with Wade in the Water and The Battle of Jerchico consecutively. It was by far our best concert of the tour. Afterwards, we partook in a tradition that had not been practiced since 2019. To celebrate our gaduating seniors, we stayed at the venue and sang Loch Lomond together. It was a surprisingly emotional moment, considering that I had never been close with the 3 seniors. I know I'm going to cry when we do that next year because so many of my friends will be leaving. Also, I roomed with my friend who's also named Zach so that was pretty funny.

A cute little alleyway in Sevilla PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

The next day (7-1), we departed Ronda for Sevilla. We stayed mostly in a historical area for the time we were there, so we got to enjoy the quaint gridless, walkable alleyways and the historical buildings. We took yet another guided walking tour of la Catedral de Santa María de la Sede which used to be a mosque and then was mostly replaced with a cathedral. After the tour we got lunch and explored the area of the city we were in. We split into small groups and walked along the alleys and even through a garden. The transit group went to take the subway. We rode 1 stop and momentarily thought we got on the wrong train and were about to go across the river. Fortunately, though, it was the right train and we made it back on time. On top of that, we even saw a rainbow-colored tram for pride month.

The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

That evening, we arrived in Córdoba. Nothing much happened that night, but I did get to talk with one of my roommates who I hadn't gotten to talk to much. I also called my best friend, Lexi, who was in Germany at the time and we talked for a bit. In the morning (7-2) we visited la Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba, which was a massive mosque that then became a cathedral and had a giant gothic-style cathedral plopped down in the middle of it. Hands down one of the most architectuarally jarring and incongruous things I've ever seen. The mosque part was definitely more interesting and the ceiling of the royal section was absolutely gorgeous. On a whim, we sang 2 songs there: Rach 6 and Eli, Eli (Eli, Eli is a choir favorite). Then we rode the bus to Madrid. William and I connected our airpods to his phone and shared some of our favorite songs. One of his songs I liked was FVN! by LVL1 and one of my songs he liked was Padam Padam by Kylie Minogue.

A bridge for Renfe trains at Príncipe Pío station PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

We arrived on the last day of pride in Madrid and the plaza where they were hosting the festivities was directly across the street from our hotel, but the staff didn't let us go. We voted for head boy (choir leadership position) that night and I voted for Cadence because he was a successful head boy twice before and he graduates next year, so we'll never have him as head boy again. I watched the end of the pride event out of my hotel window longingly. The next day (7-3), we had a bus tour during which I nearly fell asleep, but managed to appreciate the impressive city of Madrid, and a walking tour, which proved to be far more interesting. We walked through Plaza Mayor and saw a number of historical buildings including the old royal palace and la Almudena Catedral. For lunch, I got tapas with a small group and, thanks to a miscommunication, we ended up ordering €200 of delicious Jamón Serrano for the table, exceeding our budget twofold. Thankfully, the staff member we were with payed for it. Then, we traveled around the city for a few hours on the metro and Zach and I visited Príncipe Pío station. We didn't realize it when we got off the metro, but the rest of the station is above the metro, so you can look up from the platform at the Renfe. There was a bridge over the metro platform that led to a Renfe platform and we got to the station at just the right time to see the Renfe train leave on the bridge. You can check out a video of it on youtube that I took. My friend uploaded it to his yt channel. At dinner, the graduating senior gave speeches about their time in the choir and all of them said they would come back for our winter concert. I stayed up late that night and only slept for 2 hours, which worked out because I got to sleep on the plane. We got up at 4 am (7-4) to catch our flight to Lisbon, where we took a flight back to good ol' SFO. I slept for about 3-4 hours on the plane, which I usually don't do. It was great to see my parents again and catch them up on everything that we'd done. That night, my dad and I went up into the hills behind our house to watch the fireworks. Then I slept very well. Being back from tour felt weirdly lonely because I had become so used to being surrouned by my friends 24/7 that I had to re-adjust to normal life. I honestly can't wait for choir camp because I miss everyone.

ZB3-082423: July & August

My barbie outfit, described below PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Happy almost September, random internet strangers! This entry will be a recap of the past 2 months, so it might be a little bit all over the place. I spent a buck of time in August working on my honors precalc course I was taking so I could get into calc 2 this year. The work was self-guided, so I spent a lot of time watching videos of how to do the math. It was really tiring doing so much math in the span of like, 3 weeks, but I got through the majority of the course so it was worth it. While I was doing my precalc, I also took breaks to do fun things, like see the Barbie movie the day after it came out! I went thrifting with my mom the week before I went, so I made sure to buy anything pink in sight. I got a hot pink dress that has pockets and I wore it over a pink t-shirt with a pink hat, a pink purse, pink sunglasses, and a white belt. I don’t have any pink shoes, so I opted for silver sneakers. My outfit is in the pic above.

Me in the car with an icepack on my jaw and gauze in my mouth PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Then I had my wisdom teeth removed. In the car on the way home I listened to I Got My Tooth Removed by 100 gecs because what else do you listen to after getting teeth removed. My mouth was full of gauze and I had a big ice pack on my jaw to keep swelling down. When I got home, I wanted to sleep, but I couldn’t lay down because my gums were still bleeding, so I lay in a recliner for 2 hours sleeping and listening to Melodrama by Lorde. Above is me in the car after surgery.

Assorted pics from camp PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Then I got to go to choir camp!!! The camp is at a ranch in Healdsburg, so I got to drive there on July 29 and get practice hours. It was so good to see my friends again and not do precalc for a week. I was finally old enough to sleep in the cabin with the oldest choristers, so it was mostly seniors and a few Juniors. I was in a room with Zach (senior), William (senior), and Eli (junior), and the other room was Cadence (senior), Matt (senior), and Louis (junior). Because we were the oldest cabin, we had more freedom than the other campers, so we were allowed to make more choices about what we wanted to do when we weren’t with the younger campers. Our cabin didn’t have a counselor for most of the week, so we got to stay up super late talking and playing games. We also got to do "creative dressed lines" at dinner, meaning that we had to position ourselves in a unique formation while also properly dressing the line. Our numerous lines included: a car (I was a seat), a human pyramid, and the stages of the Macarena, amongst others. In the morning, we had to exercise and run laps, but I skipped the running part a few times because I’d rather not lol. Then we had to clean up our cabin for cabin inspections after breakfast. Cadence had been told that the theme would be classical composers when it was actually "Antarcticamp" so he brought little busts of classical composers to decorate the cabin with. We still used them and got points for creativity, so it worked out anyway. After cleaning our cabins and showering, we headed to the refectory for breakfast. Food at the ranch is always delicious and always enlargening. Then we headed to rehearsal for Changed Voices. Morning rehearsal with Mr. Miya was broken up into 3 sections. For the first few days, we had CV rehearsal in the YFL, but for the rest of camp, we got to rehearse in the chapel. After the first section we had a break when I could finally brush my teeth because for some reason they didn’t give us time for oral hygiene. Then we went to the YFL to do Orff with Mrs. Brown. We played song flutes and kazoos for one song, which was supposed to sound like bagpipes. Then we went back to the chapel for more CV rehearsal with Mr. Miya and the camp counselors, who all used to be in the choir. Then we all played a game before lunch. The games we played were usually fun, except for the one time that we played a game that we all found so pointless that our utter apathy forced the counselors to select a new game. After lunch (also delicious), we had rest period which was pretty chill can my cabin because sometimes we got to talk or work on skits for banquet night, but also we could chill for 45 minutes and listen to music or sleep. Then we had this thing called "team time" where we were put into groups of choristers of all ages and we did various games and activities together. We did a skit in our team time group and it was frustrating because some people were putting in work and one person even played his ukulele as part of the skit, while others spent rehearsal time goofing around and annoying everyone. Anywayyy after team time we had rotations, where we split into 4 groups and cycle through 4 different activities: Pool, "Manly Arts", Game, and Theory. Pool is pretty self explanatory, manly arts is just basic life skills that we got to skip because we’re old enough to know basic life skills, game is just playing a game, and theory is music theory. During theory, Cadence helped William and I practice recognizing intervals by ear. We went to the chapel to work and after practicing for a bit, Cadence played the organ. After rotations, we headed to dinner and then to evening rehearsal in the meeting house with all the other choristers. We rehearsed all our SATB repertoire with Mr. Brown in the evening for 1 hour & 30 minutes. Then we had an evening activity, which is always fun for everyone. Some of the recurring classics are Movie Night, Capture the Flag, Banquet Night, Skit Night, Scavenger Hunt, and Campfire. For banquet night, cabin 5 (my cabin) has to perform skits for the choir during dinner, so we prepared a few pieces which we went through very quickly, requiring a great deal of improvisation. For the intro to our first skit, we played a cover of the universal studios theme song on song flute, kazoo, and clarinet. It was probably the most well-received aspect of our comedic presentation. One night, the Changed Voices got to go up on a large grassy hill at night to stargaze and just hang out. Some nights, we stayed up in our cabin until past midnight. One night, I stayed up until 2am talking with Louis, Matt, and William. Our last evening activity is always the campfire, where we sing campfire songs, eat s’mores, reflect on our time at camp, and are given paper plate awards by the counselors. Cabin 5 gives paper plate awards to the counselors, so we had to make awards earlier that day to present. Last year I got the "It’s Giving" award with an illustration of Cher on it (iykyk) so it’s kind of hard to beat that, but this year I was presented with "Slippery Thrifter" for my fashion and an impressive stage fall I took during banquet night. We ended camp with the camp concert, were we presented a number of the songs we worked on at camp. We sang "I’ve Got Rhythm", "Good Life", "Down to the River to Pray", "At the River", "The Boatmen’s Dance", "Scotland the Brave" (with kazoos as bagpipes), and "The Heavens are Telling". I had a lot of fun singing "The Boatmen’s Dance" but another piece I’m looking forward to performing is part of the Home Alone soundtrack, which we’ll be singing with the San Francisco Symphony. Camp this year was probably my favorite one I’ve been to because of the connections I made and deepened during tour. It was also some of my friends’ last times at camp, so I’m going to miss them a lot next year. Cadence, William, Matt, Zach, and Marcell are all graduating after this year, so next summer will be my last tour with them and my last chance to sing with them.


But wait! There’s more. As soon as I got home from camp on August. 5, I had to pack to leave for Los Angeles the very next day. I drove for about 2 hours at the beginning of the trip. In the car, I listened to Imogen Heap and Caroline Polachek. When we arrived in LA, we got some Indonesian food and walked around the campuses of the Claremont Colleges which I visited last year with my dad, but that my mom hadn’t seen yet. Then, we went to the Airbnb and walked around the neighborhood we were staying in. The next day, we visited USC in the morning and then USC Viterbi in the afternoon. I think USC is a great school, but I don’t know if I can see myself there. I definitely don’t want to go to Viterbi because I want to be able to explore subjects in college, rather than locking myself into a set study path from the very beginning. That’s one of the reasons I’m mostly looking at liberal arts colleges. After the Viterbi visit, my mom and I took the E line Metro from USC to Downtown LA, where we went to a clothing store we love called Mokuyobi. We also checked out a thrift store nearby, but didn’t find anything. Then we took the E to the B and took the G Metro Liner Bus to our station. After my time in Spain, I’ve become something of a transit nerd and now whenever I take a metro, I feel the need to get a video of the train. I got a video of the E line and sent it to Simeon and he put it on his yt channel. The next day, we went to Occidental College, which I strongly preferred over USC. Oxy is more liberal arts focused and I really like the atmosphere and the opportunities and experiences that they offer. Also Obama went there so that’s kind of a seal of approval imo. The next day, I spent the whole day at the Airbnb doing precalc. I finished the curriculum, but still had 3 review sheets left. That evening, my parents saw Jinkx Monsoon, while I stayed at home because the show was 18+. I so wish I could have gone, but at least my mom bought me a shirt from the show. The next day we left to go back to the Bay Area and I drove for another 2 hours.

Me on the way back home in a pickup truck full of furniture and decorations PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Then, my dad and I had to pack in about 5 hours so we could leave for the airport. We left for Portland to go to my Grandma’s house and pick up some furniture. My grandpa died earlier this year, so my grandma is trying to clean out her house because she wants to move closer to family. She’s the only one in the family living in Oregon, so she’ll probably move north to be near my aunt and uncle and my cousins. We rented a pickup truck at Hertz and we loaded it the next day. We were originally going to just take a dresser and a large chest, but ended up also taking a small table, a number of wall art, and a large quantity of handmade ceramic fish that my great-grandma made. I also did precalc that day and we went out for dinner in the evening. The next day, we drove back down and I finally got to rest.

Me and my best friend Lexi PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Just kidding, I had to review for my precalc test! I got back on aug.12 and my test was the 16th, so I spent a lot of time just reviewing the course material and making a study guide. The day before the test, I called my friend, Olivia, who was also taking the course and we reviewed together. I think the test went well, but I don’t know yet, so we’ll see if I got into Calc 2. This past week, I’ve been working on a summer packet for AP Physics, which I decided to enroll in on the last day of my Sophomore year, but at least I’m back home now. I finished the packet yesterday, so I’m going to try to enjoy my last week of summer break. I have my driver’s license test on the 29th and school starts on the 30th, so I’ll be busy up until the very end of the summer. But it’s ok because I still have time to call my best friend, Lexi, who moved to Canada 2 years ago. It can be hard to coordinate calls sometimes, but honestly our calls are frequently the highlight of the day. We always end up laughing, no matter how stressed or busy we are or what’s going on in our lives. On a different note, I probably won’t post another entry for a little bit, but I’ll try to keep this page active during the school year.

ZB4-122323: Late August-Mid December

Me sitting on an orange tube at a playground wearing heeled boots and serving cunt PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Well, I was right that I wouldn’t post for a bit, but now it’s winter break so I have some time to write an update on what’s been going on in my life. A few months have passed since my last update, so there’s a lot that happened, but I’ll start at the end of August where I left off. Right before school started, I took the chance to ride the old BART trains on the 26th with my friend, Simeon, before they’re retired next year. I got some nice photos that I posted in media, so check them out if you’re interested. Then I started my Junior year of high school! It was great to see my friends again after a long and busy summer, so I was excited. Junior year, unsurprisingly, has ben harder than Sophomore year, but I’ve been able to take some really interesting courses. I started off Trimester 1 on the 30th with Calculus 2 (I passed the placement test!), LGBTQ+ Literature (I love this class so much), AP Physics (I dropped it after 2 weeks so now I have a free period), Economics (Not my fave class but interesting, only took a trimester), Honors Biology (Interesting class & I get to work w/ my friend Max on almost every project), AP Spanish (el examen me da miedo pero me gusta la clase), and Advanced Acting (I love theatre). I also auditioned for the school’s fall play, Fuddy Meers and got cast as Millet, but more on the show later. I turned 17 at the beginning of September and went to see Kinky Boots on the 9th with my friends to celebrate.

Me sitting on a playground structure with my friends at my birthday party PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

The day after, I went to Oakland Pride with my parents (I’m gay, my parents are allies) and got to walk in the parade. I wore some platform boots that I wrapped in rainbow tape, a pleated black miniskirt with a rainbow stripe on it, and my Sailor Starlights shirt bc they’re trans superhero icons. I took BART to get there and I took a legacy train because it was the day before legacy trains were retired from regular service. It was my first time taking BART all on my own and also my first time at 19th street Oakland station, which is really pretty because of allthe blue tilework.

Me holding a rainbow pride flag and standing next to my mom PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

September went by pretty quickly and I settled back into the rhythm of school. Rehearsals were well underway for Fuddy Meers and I was excited for the show. The cast was only 7 people and the show was relatively short, so we got to really get into the material and make the show the best we could. I spent a week or two just trying to figure out how my character should talk and also destroying my voice a bit in the process. Here’s a photo of me with my dog, Sweeney, after a school movie night where we watched Spider-Man and I had a gay crisis over someone who I thought liked me and later turned out not to but it's fine because we're still friends.

Me sitting on my couch with my dog on top of me PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

At the end of September, I saw Rina Sawayama in San Francisco with my dad. The show went later than we expected and we didn’t get home until after midnight, but it was OK because it wasn’t a school night. At the beginning of October, we had our annual school festival, which had previously been in the spring due to COVID-related schedule changes. I ran the prize booth for part of the day and by the end I was both incredibly hot and incredibly tired from being outside all day, but it was still fun because I got to spend time with my friends.

Me sitting on the ground with my friends in matching pink school shirts PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Most of October was spent on rehearsals for Fuddy Meers, so I’ll give a brief introduction of the show. It’s kind of absurdist, but also darkly comedic and follows a woman with amnesia, Claire, who forgets who she is every day. [spoilers] Her abusive ex-husband, Phillip, who has just escaped from prison kidnaps her, posing as her dead brother, and takes her away from her husband and son, Richard & Kenny, and to her mother’s house. Her husband and son go looking for her and find her at the house. Meanwhile, Claire’s mother, Gertie, tries to get her to safety and Phil’s accomplices, Millet and Heidi try to carry out Phil’s plan to take her to take her to Canada. The plan goes wrong and chaos ensues. The show, while strange and very dark at points, was so much fun to perform. The cast and crew were all incredible, many of whom were only freshmen, and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the cast. As Millet, I got to play both him and his puppet, Hinky Binky, which I made out of a sock. One of my favorite parts of the character was his two voices that he used: one for himself, one for Binky, which I got to play around with in rehearsal to fine-tune. The cast in order from left to right is Romy as Heidi, Theo as Phillip, Joey as Richard, Jude as Kenny, Bella as Claire, Zahra as Gertie, and me as Millet. Also, I'm wearing my halloween costume (Magic Earring Ken) in the photo because I had planned on going to my school's halloween festival, but I ended up going to Bella's house for a cast party with most of the cast and crew.

Me in costume as Millet Me on stage as millet with Hinky Binky on my right hand Me with the cast PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Just before thanksgiving break, I had finals week and slayed my finals, especially my biology final that I studied for using the other teacher’s notes. Then, I got to enjoy my thanksgiving break! Honestly, this might have been my favorite thanksgiving break ever because I got to spend a lot of time with my friends. I saw a production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch with my parents on the 18th and we all enjoyed it, especially the set and costumes as well as the actor playing Hedwig. The Monday after that, I set out with my friends Simeon, Zach, Marcell, and Jacob to circle the entire South Bay on only public transit. We took BART, VTA, CalTrain, the SFO AirTrain, Muni subway and a historical streetcar, and a ferry to Jack London Square. The whole trip took the whole day and we spent a few hours hanging out in SF, mostly in J-Town and at the Ferry Building before heading back to the East Bay. I wore my BART 50th anniversary t-shirt and most of my friends wore transit merch as well. It was great to reunite as the PBA Transit Nerds after our time in Spain.

Me with the transit nerds PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

I also hung out with Max at the mall and we went to the arcade, where I discovered that I’m more scared of failure than I thought. I drove myself and felt so independent and teenagerly because driving yourself to the mall to spend time with friends just seems like such a classic teenage trope. For thanksgiving, I had a thanksgiving lunch with my parents and then went to a family friend’s house for dessert. We went on a walk in the hills and climbed a tree that we like to climb when our families get together for thanksgiving. From left to right in the photo is me, Megan, Clara (An exchange student from Spain that my family friends were hosting), and Ethan (he was too high up to get in the photo).

Me with my family friends PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

I also spent some time with my friend Greta who I’ve known since fifth grade and we went thrifting together and she showed me her favorite hat store. I got a blue velvety puffer-style jacket and a green corduroy miniskirt and then we visited the hat store. They had every type of hat you could ever image and then some. I saw a purple hat that I really liked and I thought looked sharp, but it also cost about $100, so I decided not to get it. I also saw a pointy wizard-y hat that was honestly a vibe and a half, but not very practical. I enjoyed getting to catch up with Greta and my other friends over break and it made me realize how much I missed spending time with friends outside of school or choir rehearsals. Here’s the wizard hat I didn’t buy and Greta in the background trying on another hat.

wizard hat wheeeeee PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Not much happened between thanksgiving break and winter break, but I did start rehearsals for the school musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, which is a show within a show where a kinda depressed, musical obsessed divorced guy, called man in chair, shows the audience the cast recording of his favorite musical from 1928. As the show goes on, the show explores themes of nostalgia and the relationship between the viewer of the show, man in chair, and the show, the 1920’s The Drowsy Chaperone. I’m playing man in chair and currently working on memorizing all of his MANY lines and monologues. Towards the end of the show, he has a big monologue about his marriage and subsequent divorce that I really need to work on soon. I also got to see two of my favorite drag queens with my mom this week! We saw The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Show, featuring Jinkx Monsoon and Ben De La Creme, who are both incredibly talented and write and tour a holiday show together every year. This was my first time going, but I definitely want to make it an annual tradition to attend.

yass jinkx & dela PURPLE FIREPURPLE FIRE

Next week, Lexi is going to be back from Canada to visit and I can't wait to see her again! We're going to go into SF and go thrifting and ice skating with my friends who moved to Georgia who are also back next week. This is probably my last entry of 2023, so thank you for reading and following me on my journey through life. Happy holidays, happy belated Chanukkah, and happy new year!💜

ooh pretty crystal!!