4.05.2017

THE PIZZAGON

So technically every standard pizza you order from your chain of choice could be a Pizzagon, because it has 8 pieces that, should their crusts be cut straight across instead of rounded, would make an octagon. But no one's done it yet, so...Pizza Hut? Dominos? Call me. 

(If this doesn't work out I'm going to write a YA novel about a modern-day gorgon named Pizzagon, who has stringy cheese for hair and turns everyone who looks into her pepperoni eyes into pizza and all she wants is someone who loves her for her personality and not because she smells like really awesome pizza. So basically I'm really hoping Papa John will call soon.) 



3.09.2017

I HAD A DREAM PT. 3

Last night I had a dream that I was starring as Batman in a new Batman movie that involves some fictitious islands off the coast of British Columbia and a secluded town in Alaska and I kept forgetting my lines and making Michael Keaton really frustrated (he was playing the maybe-he's-a-good-guy-maybe-he's-a-bad-guy that Batman meets up with in Alaska) and while we were shooting I had a moment where I was like "DANGIT I STILL HAVE LADY EYEBROWS AND BATMAN CAN'T HAVE THOSE" so I was like "I'll have to fix that tomorrow" and then during an action chase scene we were filming I was using blue construction paper instead of a rope to repel from and the director was like "you need to find a more realistic rope" so that was frustrating and then near the end of the day of shooting I realized I wasn't doing my deep Batman voice very consistently throughout the filming. Also, for some reason I was in charge of drawing the maps of the fake islands for the movie, too, and everything I came up with looked really, really bad. 

What could this mean? Do I feel like I have to be a superhero lately but also juggle a bunch of different time-consuming things akin to cartography and set-design and props that altogether don't really make sense? Am I trying to anchor myself with the equivalent of flimsy construction paper? Do I subconsciously just really want to meet Michael Keaton? Should I shave my eyebrows off? This is what happens when I actually get 8 hours of sleep on a weekday. 

2.11.2017

CRUSHES OF VALENTINES PAST

Even after getting married and watching every romantic Hallmark movie ever made, I still can't shake the idea that Valentine's Day is just a holiday for elementary school children to exchange heart-shaped things and practice their diorama-making skills (which I hear a lot of elementary schools are focusing in on now, as the job market today is bursting with opportunities for young people with a knack for folding construction paper and an eye for glitter). So because of this, as I have been dwelling on Valentine's Days of yore, I thought it would be fun to share some of the early "crushes" I had while of elementary school age. It's about to get real confessional and raw up in here, yo.

1. Brian Littrell from The Backstreet Boys

Yeah. This was a thing. I have a distinct memory (when I was like, five?) of sitting on the arm of our upstairs couch watching a Backstreet Boys/Shania Twain concert and thinking both, "Man, I am so cool," and "Brian is awesome." (Also, I just looked this up to see if this concert actually happened and I'm not just making it up, and it totally happenedI didn't realize this experience was formative enough for me to remember it still, but I guess it was, and I don't know how I feel about that). In my mind, I was Shania Twain, and Brian was singing to me. All I needed was a sparkly pastel 90s dress with batwing arms, and he'd be mine. Why Brian when there were four other decent choices among his backstreet compatriots? Probably because he got all the main singing parts. And also because AJ was the "bad boy", Nick had an unsettling nasally voice (I was an excellent judge of talent at a young age), Kevin's tall, gangly frame was a little disconcerting to me, and I could never remember that Howie D was actually there in the background. Other pertinent questions this story raises: Why was I watching this? Did I not have toys? And had my parents really given up on me that early? But yeah. Brian. I liked me some Brianalmost as much as my daily viewings of PB and J Otter and Dragon Tales

2. Ling in Mulan  

Most girls my age watching Mulan probably went for the leading man in the movie, or Donny Osmond's voice coming out of the leading man, but me? I liked Ling. You might wonder why, of all the brave, able-bodied cartoon Asian men in this movie to choose from, I chose Ling. Even I, sitting here all these years later, am wondering why as well. But somehow, even with his squeaky voice, stick-like proportions, and overall aura of being a gigantic loser, I still thought Ling was pretty cool. Maybe it was because there was some sweetness behind his lame exterior, maybe it was because Yao had anger issues and Chien Po was a little too soft for me, maybe it was because he started off the song where all the men sing about girls and I was like HEY. I AM A GIRL. HE IS SINGING TO ME. But either way, he was rightI did love a man in armor. 

3. Matthew Broderick's singing voice in Lion King 

This is probably the weirdest thing on this list, but yesMatthew Broderick's singing voice as the grown-up Simba. I liked it. (But right after writing the title to this I looked this up to see if it really was Matthew Broderick singing in the movie, and it wasn't, so...nevermind. But I'm not going to change it because up until this moment I thought it was Matthew Broderick and if there's anything I'm a stickler for, it's authenticity). I don't really have much else to say about this, besides that I am starting to regret writing this post.

4. Prince Christopher in Rodger & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1997)

It might have been impossible to think that Prince Christopher would ever return my feelings, but as Whitney Houston would remind me every time I put the recording of this movie into the VCR growing up, it was possible. He was just so charming, so princely, so without any type of flaw beyond not being able to run faster than a one-shoed Brandy, and on top of that he could SINGAlso, while I'm here, can I just say that this movie was EVERYTHING? (And not only because Jason Alexander was in it. But that was mostly why.) If everyone is bringing back the 90s with velvet and chokers and baggy denim things, then it only follows that knowledge of this movie and its dashing Filipino prince should come back too. SPREAD AWARENESS. 

5. Orlando Bloom 

With the Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean, I was introduced to both blonde Orlando Bloom and dark-haired Orlando Bloom at a young age. Once I realized that he was the same person, and that blonde Orlando Bloom was gross, I decided that this person named after a city in Florida was a pretty cool dude (unlike his brother Tallahassee). So cool, in fact, that I ordered his biography off of a Scholastic book order in 3rd grade (I'm not kidding). While everyone else in my class was reading Babysitter's Club books and Because of Winn-Dixie in our silent reading time, I was sitting back in my chair, reading about the Bloom. The only thing I can remember from this book is that it talked about him having dyslexia, but I'm sure it was a very informative and page-turning read in other respects3rd grade Camryn wouldn't indulge in frivolous fiction. But manwith his unflinching devotion to Elizabeth, his bravery in the face of weird CGI skeletons, and the knowledge that if I ever needed a blacksmith, he had the ability to make a tang nearly the full width of a blade (which I just looked up to finally understand what that means), I thought I was set. 

And with that, we are most definitely going to end this list at 5. 

*runs away in shame*

2.07.2017

TUESDAY IS FOR TACOS

If you thought your weekend was wild, I spent mine fooling around on Illustrator and making a bunch of patterns of food. Yes, this is a thing. And I've been enjoying all of my doodling of late so much that I thought I'd start sharing some of the stuff I make here, along with all of the other oddities that typically populate this space. So, on this most serendipitous of Tuesdays, I present to you: Tacos Muchos.  




1.23.2017

5 SONGS YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO RIGHT NOW BECAUSE

I don't know about you, but there's nothing like the start of a new year or the rest of the world acting like it's the end of the world to make me reassess my life. And what I have assessed most recently is something I never needed to reassess in the first place, but I just felt like talking about anyway, and that thing is filling your life with good music. 

Good. Solid. Music. 

No, I'm not talking about the latest hit on REAL HITZ 2DAY Radio, or trendy folksy things that make you seem really deep and sensitive, or anything written by Max Martin (so basically every catchy song you've had stuck in your head recently) (sorry Max). I'm talking about 80'S MUSIC. Say what you want, but the music created in the 80s (and much of the 70s) is magical. Just straight up magical. I'm tearing up as I write this (not really, but I could be, and that's the point). It was what music was before the song machine started mass-producing hits. Back when the majority of popular musicians actually were musicians and wrote their own songs, and their goal wasn't to mind control everyone with the catchy hook in their song that was written by a team of twelve people using statistics and robots to manufacture music that is engineered to be popular. Back when a group called Men at Work never "worked worked worked worked worked."

The songs of the 80s were full of beautiful melodies, thoughtful lyrics, and some sixth sense magic that either makes you feel many feels or makes you feel like you can roundhouse kick anything in the face. 80s music is my soul food music. It's the freshly-baked never-ending batch of chocolate chip cookies after a hard day, the chicken soup for my post-graduate soul, the mac and cheese that I will eat at any hour of the day simply because it is so good. Is there a little cheese? You bet there is. And that's part of why it's so great.

I would give my left arm to be able to turn the dial to the "Today's Hits" radio station and hear music like this. If all of the artists out there were just waiting for me to say this in order to proceed with making music that is actually good, there. I said it. NOW PLEASE GO MAKE IT AND ENJOY MY ARM YOU CANNIBALS. In the meantime, here are 5 songs I've been listening to that I am of the opinion just make everything a little bit better. 

1. "Never" by Heart

To people who didn't think girl power was a thing back in the day, meet the Wilson sisters. And by meet, I mean go watch the video to this song, listen to the rest of their songs, and just bask in their collective glory. While all of their songs are worthy of a mention, this one in particular is on the list because of just how re-playable it is. This song is appropriate for every situation. Need to feel empowered after someone breaks your heart? Need the perfect song to celebrate to after completely destroying a test? Having a bad hair day and want to feel like a guitar-wielding 80s goddess? Transporting your great-aunt's casket in a hearse to the cemetery? Blast. It. (Well, maybe not really in the last case, since that would be inappropriate. Unless she really loved Heart. Because then I think it would be inappropriate not to.) 

2. "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel 

I know all of you are like, "Oh, yeah, Peter Gabriel--that guy who started Genesis and was replaced by Phil Collins after he left the band. I know his stuff," but in case you didn't say that, Peter Gabriel is the guy who started Genesis and was replaced by Phil Collins after he left the band. Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, THIS SONG. I LOVE THIS SONG. Everything about it. If I had a spa, this song would be on repeat. At my spa. Why? It just feels right. Listen to this and feel your troubles melt away. Literally. Make sure you have a bowl to catch them. Or a towel. 

3. "Baby I'm-a Want You" by Bread

First, you should already be wanting to listen to this purely because it is sung by Bread. It's not every day you get to hear bread sing, as it is primarily seen toasting, crumbling, and generally being pretty quiet. What really makes this song for me is the falsetto jump at the end of each verse. It just gets me, you know? Oh, and the sheer weirdness of saying "Baby I'm a Want You." The grammar nazi within me wants to time travel back to when Bread was coming up with this song and barge in with a big eraser and force them to make their song make sense, but then the nonconformist within me enjoys their blatant disregard for convention. Because like, whoa, maybe they're trying to say that you can't make sense out of something like love? That a feeling like wanting someone makes words meaningless? Wow. I knew bread was a complex carb, but that's something else. (Also, I know this was written in the 70s. Not the 80s. Sue me.)

4. "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston

I will forever be mystified by how every dance-inducing song that comes out today has to be either super sexual or made up of gibberish words and neolithic grunts that, unbeknownst to me, are probably the exact same noises that signaled man's discovery of fire. I mourn the lost days when Whitney Houston was in her prime, when music could make everyone within a mile radius want to dance and feel uplifted in that dancing instead of objectified or just really, really gross. This song always manages to instantly make me feel ten times more productive than I am, makes me bob my head back and forth like a jazzy seal, and generally just makes life feel like one big step-aerobics class. Which is a good thing. Throw in that the music video for this song looks like a nightmarish episode of Reading Rainbow, in a good way, and I just don't think it can get any better.

5. "Ride Like the Wind" by Christopher Cross

Feeling lethargic on your morning commute? Need some confidence before you burst into your class to give the presentation of your life? Just want to feel cooler when walking? This is the song for you. And if all of the other elements of this song weren't great enough, MICHAEL MCDONALD KEEPS POPPING UP IN THE BACKGROUND. MICHAEL OLD MCDONALD. What more could you want? I would pay Michael (we're on a first name basis) a pretty sum of money to just pop up in the background of my life and sing with that voice of his. And the line "And I've got such a long way to go/To make it to the border of Mexico" evokes the spirit of Robert Frost's "But I have promises to keep/And miles to go before I sleep," and if there's nothing I like more than classic American poetry, it's random songs from this era that I can outlandishly compare to classic American poetry. 


Also, talking about Michael McDonald just now made me realize this song needs to be included too. So I'll just leave this here, and you can thank me later. Or now. Whichever works for you. I can wait.