Seabury Hall

34 Years Ago Today...

MixTapes...Seabury Hall had a dance, planned and executed by the Social Committee, headed by - guess who? - that's right - ME.

On February 15, 1984, we put on a Valentine's Dance and I made mix tapes for them. Two mix tapes to be exact: #1 called "New Music" and #2 called "Harder Rock". 

(Quick thing to point out: Seabury back then was 7-12 grades, about 200 students total. And we had dances every month or six weeks and everyone could come, very casual, you didn't have to ask anyone or dress up or anything. We also had a prom in the spring every year which was just for 10-12 graders and it was very fancy.) 

So, here is my Mix for:


(All spellings as per the paper label inside. Gosh-my all caps handwriting hasn't changed at all!)


Bowie - Modern Love 

English Beat - Jeannette

Madness - Madness

Rod Stewart - Young Turks

Squeeze - Piccadilly

Pretenders - Pack It Up

Men W/O Hats - Ideas For Walls

Duran - Lonely In Your Nightmares

BowWowWow - I Want Candy

Culture Club - Karma Chameleon

Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself


Duran - Is There Something I Should Know

Stray Cats - Rebels Rule

Rob Stewart - Tonight I'm Yours

BowWowWow - Louis Quatorze

Bill Idol - Baby Talk

Bowie - Without You

Stray Cats - Sexy & 17

Duran - Girls On Film

Led Zepplin - Stairway to Heaven**

Billy Idol - Mony Mony


**All my Seabury Peeps will understand the inclusion of this song 


Let's get to the Harder Rock! (OMG can't wait for this, I haven't read this list yet.)



Rod Stewart - Baby Jane 

Led Zepplin - Black Dog

The Who - Who Are You

Van Halen - Jump

U-2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday

Foreignor - Head Games

Black Sabbath - Mob Rules

Soft Cell - Frustration

Thompson Twins - Love On Your Side

Madness - Our House



Pretenders - Bad Boys Get Spanked!

Led Zepplin - Rock and Roll

Joan Jett - I Love Rock And Roll

AC DC (I wrote it with the bolt in between!) - For Those About To Rock

Alice Cooper - Schools Out...

Kajagoogoo - Too Shy

Thompson Twins - We Are Detective

U-2 - Refugee

Forgeignor - Dirty White Boy

Alice Cooper - I'm 18

AC DC - Let's Get It Up


Okay I think we can all agree that the "er" in "Harder Rock" was critical in that description...! 

Wow that takes me back. And now I have Rod Stewart stuck in my head. Of all the songs from these lists. {eyeroll}

I'll make a spotify playlist for you later so you can enjoy it out loud. Check back in a bit for that. 

Oh the 80's on Maui...





Envelopes and Stationery and Paper, Oh My!

HawaiiLetterThere is a blog I read by my friend and Seabury carpooler, Melissa, called "Julia's Bookbag." (Different Julia!) Every Friday she does a "Cool Stuff I Like" post and this week included a link to a post about amazing envelope inspiration. It is a collection of envelopes created by various artists. It brought me back to the days of intense letter writing I had growing up. Well, I say "intense" only because in this digital age, it seemed intense that I wrote so many letters back then. I still write my fair share now, actually. I love sending notes and thank yous and birthday cards in the mail. I love shopping for paper and cards and stamps and stickers.

Dc9stampMy parents got divorced when I was five and not too long after that my dad got remarried and they all (Dad, stepmom, two oldest sisters and Lucy, the best dog in the world) moved to the Big Island. My mom and my next oldest sister and I still lived on Oahu, then later Maui. I only got to see that side of my family two or three times a year (usually summers and New Year's Eve). So Dad and I wrote letters. Lots and lots of letters. I think my mom indulged me with colored pens and all kinds of stationery*. (Just as she indulged me in books!) I loved getting letters and I loved writing and sending letters.

Upss17jun90In high school I acquired about twenty West (at the time) German pen pals and seemed to constantly be writing letters, which I loved. (I still write to 3 of them!) Going to the post office in Paia to get mail was also so exciting. To see what might be in the box addressed to me was a thrill. That post office is no longer a post office but Box F will always be a strong memory in my mind. It was my grandmother's address, once upon a time, then it became ours.

CoconutIn college, during the summers, I wrote to all my dear friends, missing them all so painfully while I tanned and worked, counting the days before I came back to Los Angeles. The funnest part was sending coconuts to them all. You can mail just about anything as is via the Post Office, as long as it has the right amount of postage. (I sent coconuts similar to this one which I found on this instruction site for sending your own coconuts!)



Now there is a friend in Northern Ireland who has a daughter not much older than Harper. We promised we would have the girls be pen pals. We've written a few letters to each other in the last two years, but man it's challenging! So I am going to write a letter and mail it today. I PROMISE!


*Trying to remember where we might have bought the stationery from on Maui. Libertyhousebag
Liberty House? Hopaco? Shirokiya? God I loved shopping at Shirokiya! Hot Manapua and Hello Kitty pencil boxes and paper and stickers!! 200px-ShirokiyaUSA_logo

Vintage 80's!

I was cleaning out drawers recently and found a bag of old pins. In high school, I used to wear them on a "previously owned" men's suit coat over jeans and a polo shirt. Good times! (I wouldn't wear them all at once, mind you, just whatever I felt that day.)

My sentimental favorite is the "fuck art, let's dance" pin because I believe I got it from my friend Jai. She was the coolest, most out there chick I ever met. I adored her. She introduced me to tons of music including Adam Ant. She had crazy music I never heard of including a neon pink record by a band called The Fabulous Poodles. The song of theirs that sticks out in my mind was "Tit Photographers Blues." You can listen to a sample here. (Caution, it starts playing automatically.)

I loved Jai.*


*Jai very tragically died in a house fire about eight years ago. I miss her very much.

Seabury Reunions - Friday Night

First I have to correct and omission from my previous post about the "year long reunions". I also spent time with Lisa from my class last summer. We didn't take a photo so that's why I spaced. (I'm such a visual person I guess.) 

Then, funny thing, at the airport on our way back, I ran into Lauren from my class. She was on Maui with her family and I haven't seen her in 25 years. Amazing.

For the official weekend, we started with a party Friday night at our place. First we had to clean up and put the food out.

Cleanup  Spammusubi
(I promise we had more/better food than just the spam musubi!)

It was wonderful to see so many faces I hadn't seen in years and years! Getting a photo of us all was like herding cats. I love this picture best.

L-->R: Robert Crozier, Chipper Conrad, Sarah Bott, Joy Fitzgibbon, Robert Stoner, Hilary Harris, Victoria Estenson, Jennifer Bruce, Maria Rawe, Fred Rawe, Swaim Flowers (in front of Fred), me, Brent Estenson. Missing from the photo are: Cyana, David Dixon, Christina E. Pre-Reunion Part 

Hilary, Sarah and me. Hilary is even more gorgeous than I remember from Seabury!


Here I am with Maria and Fred Rawe. Fun to talk as grown ups! I told Maria all about the time I ran into them at 12:30 at night while waiting for Kevin to sneak out of the dorm. Ask me and I'll tell you about it sometime. The moral of the story -- when you are a square, you can get away with things like that.


The other thing I loved about inviting the Rawes to the party was how many people stopped short when they saw Fred. Fred was Dean of Students and dealt with discipline. In a split second you could see the wheels turning to all the trouble caused in high school. It was hilarious.

Another gorgeous creature I hadn't seen for longer than 25 years: Mary Hogan. What a treat to see her again!

The party was fun, relaxing, sweet. Couldn't wait for the official party on Saturday night. 


My Year Long Seabury Reunion 2009-2010

I realized I left a few people out of my recent reunion post. Here is a rundown of Seabury-ites (Seaburians? Seaburinos?) I've seen over the last year.

July 6, 2009: Kevin Crane came to LA for work and we went out to dinner, taking one self portrait with the iPhone. Hilarious.


While I had seen Courtney in LA earlier in the year, we neglected to take a photo as we spent so many hours yakking and closing down the restaurant we were in! Luckily we were going to meet up again in July in Washington State, this time with Steve.


Then I got all busy working and leaving the country. 

2010 rolled around and there was a great increase in Seabury Facebook traffic with talk of people being at the reunion in June. That lead to more Seabury friends on Facebook and more reconnections.

First there was lunch with Victoria in April. Hadn't seen her since she graduated!


Then she came to see Denis Leary on June 10 and we hung out before hand as well. Plus she'll be on Maui this week too!

In May it was Lance and Ellen in LA. Easily haven't seen them in 20 years. Amazing how comfortable it feels to see everyone, even after decades!


Then Heather (formerly Yolles) came to LA with her family and we got to hang out twice!  He we are with her adorable girl, Sasha.


And today I had lunch with Lehn, wonderful, amazing, inspiring Lehn!


There will be many more photos this week of the parties before the reunion then the reunion itself on campus. Sarah Bott and I have a treasure hunt planned for Cooper House. Look for that soon!

Prepare For A Shortage Of Kleenex On Maui This Week

Jensbabybeachphoto Day after tomorrow I'll be right there. 

For the few that don't know, this is Spreckelsville Baby Beach. Right down the street from my mom's house where I grew up.

We'll be home on Maui for a week and the main reason we are going now is for the Seabury Hall reunion. My 25th, Jen's 30th. There will be a bunch of people from various classes in between '80 and '85 who I haven't seen in 25-30 years. I'm really looking forward to it and at the same time know it's going to be really hard. Who knows if Jen would have come to Maui for this or not. (She hated to fly.) if she decided to come, that would have been a great reason for us to go. I'm mostly going because she's not here and many of her friends will be there. 

Saturday is the reunion and the first thing scheduled at 4:30 is a memorial for those who have died in the last few years. I'll be there with Kurt (of course) and my Mom and Mom's high school friend Jackie, someone Jen and I knew since we were born. It's going to be hard and wonderful and really hard. The woman who is organizing the reunion asked for photos of Jen to show at the memorial. I sent some and Mom sent some. She also asked if we wanted to say something or read a poem or something. Mom said she would. I said I couldn't. I can't. I sort of want to but am too sadangryexhaustedpissedoffdistraughtbesidemyself to do it.

Just driving onto the Seabury campus makes me emotional beyond belief. I love that place. All of that is true even without Jen having died. 

Now. Now there is Snooker to miss deeply and Bruce and Jai too. Not to mention David Melrose. (I dreamed of David not long after he died. I dreamt I was on campus and saw him there, but knew he was dead. It was wonderful to think of him still on campus, smiling and laughing.) This was a tiny school and all the people there, whether I knew them well or not, were all important to me. They all played amazing huge roles in my life, more so than they might even guess if they were still here to read this. The 7th graders, Michelle and Shannon, during one of my last lunches as a student there, who surprised me with a big carnation lei to say thanks for being their friend. That was such an amazing moment, I won't forget it for the rest of my life. And Charlotte Melrose who singled me out during Valentine's Day Chapel, 1985 to say that I was a great example of what love is. OH MY GOD. For the few who might know Charlotte, you know what that means to me. For you who don't know her, I can only liken it having Shakespeare call you a good writer, or having Neil Armstrong call you an amazing astronaut. 

(I'll just pause here to say: You only get out of it what you put into it.)

So just being on campus is heart tugging enough. Never mind that I spent my first year there as Jen's little sister. Tears are coming. Many many tears. Thank goodness there is time between the memorial and the reunion party to clean up my eye make up and pull myself together.

And it's not just that we will be there in a couple of days. No. It's been going on for a year. April of 2009 I saw Courtney for the first time in probably 20 years. Then in Summer of last year I saw Steve -- also for the first time in about 20 years. Tears of joy. Courtney joined us and it was a blast. I had seen Kevin a bunch over the years and he was in LA around that time too. Then this year I got to see Lance and Ellen and tomorrow I will have lunch with Lehn. Those three are teachers at Seabury -- the teachers all mean the world to me too. Great supportive amazing people I was lucky enough to be teamed with in high school. Speaking of great teachers, Friday night Maria and Fred will be at my mom's house for the small party we are throwing. Haven't seen them in 20 years either. Did I mention tears? Tears.

The reason all this is coming up tonight is because I'll be seeing Lehn tomorrow in LA. She is a wonderful person and great teacher (I can still see her clear neat handwriting on the chalkboard) but more than anything -- when I went home three weeks after Jen died, to be with my mom on Mother's Day on Maui, we went to the Seabury Craft Fair and I saw one or two people there I knew, but not many. Then I was in the courtyard and turned around and there was Lehn. She took one look at me and all she did was hug me and that just burst the dam of tears. She held me and held me. 

How many of you went to a school where 24 years after you graduated, your European History teacher, who heard recently of the death of your sister, would just hug you and comfort you without saying a word, on the very campus where you met, all those years ago? Honestly, I have some SERIOUS angels looking out for me and don't think I don't appreciate it EVERY DAY. I do.

So yeah. Maui this week. Relaxing and emotionally brutal and cleansing. Luckily I can just sleep and relax and walk on that beach every morning. 

Seeing Great Friends

I've mentioned before how much I loved high school. I know, I know, I must be insane. Nope. Just went to an awesome high school! Part of what made it awesome were all the amazing teachers I got to know. Two of them are Lance and Ellen. They were in town for a nephew's graduation from LMU (my alma mater) and so I met them for breakfast today. Wonderful to catch up and I wished we had three more hours!

They are just exactly the same as I remember them, funny and full of life and laughter and great stories. I can't believe it's been so many years since I've seen them! I hope we get to see each other again before another decade or two pass by. 

This photo is a bit washed out but I just want to post it with and not try and fuss with it!

Back To School

It's Labor Day weekend and I'm looking at next week like Back To School starts on Tuesday. I've had a great summer, traveling, blogging, meeting new people, being very social and out there. These last two weeks I've spent like I was 17 again, squeezing out my summer vacation as much as possible -- sleeping late, staying up late, watching tv, going to movies, and doing a minimum of "work" on my personal projects. It'sbeen an interesting time as I've wrestled with myself: half LOVING my "sleep late/lazy summer vacation" and half loathing myself for Not Getting More Done. Why do I punish myself for living the life I've always wanted? (ie freelance and not working all the time?) Why are people so weird? And by people I mean me?

Anyway, I am actually looking forward to getting up early again and focusing on more specific creative ventures. I've done much to move Safety Graphic Fun forward and will continue to do so because I really love it. There is also much fun writing to do. FUN! But as any of you who are writers know, writing can be challenging at times too. 

And while September will be mostly personal work, there will be a bit of paying work as I get ramped up for the new job that will shoot in October/November. I'm pleased, as ever, to get paid to travel to another country to work. It all became real to me as I got a phone call and email from the production office in Belfast asking for info for my work Visa. Oh yeah, I'm going out of town! I have to start thinking of clothes I'll need and how much to pack and etc etc. I'll also have to remember that old film biz adage: "It's LOcation, not VAcation," but that doesn't mean it's all work and no play...

And in regard to actual school, here is a photo of Jen's Bench at Seabury (the one in the middle):


Have I mentioned I love Seabury? I believe they keep the reflecting pool and fountain filled and working all the time now. I wish it were when we were there. I want to just slip into this cool and relaxing picture and rest under the jacaranda tree, listening to the gentle splash of the fountain. Ahhhh. I always loved going back to school in Makawao.

The Seattle Trip -- Part III

Having survived the hottest day on record, we awoke to a gorgeous day and a gorgeous view. 


We packed our bags and then packed up the car and said good-bye to our little Bunglaow on the Bluff.


We parked in front of the main house and awaited our pick up by the Albrecht's. Next time we come, and the temperatures are more in line with the area, I would love to stay in the main house.


Beyond the house is the Post Office with original interiors, complete with Fallout Shelter signs. Love those old things.



Then we were off to an EXCELLENT local breakfast place that the Albrecht's frequent called the Blue Moose. It's in the boatyards and is very local. Perfect!


Then we went on a driving tour of Port Townsend and beyond to Fort Worden State Park. We saw amazing houses along the way, beautiful wooden boats, gorgeous water views and, of course, the blimp hanger that is now a theater.


Every town needs a blimp hanger. 

Then we got into our car and followed the Albrecht's to their house in Port Hadlock to see where K1 grew up. It's gorgeous and amazing and wow. Here's the view from inside:


And a better one from in front:


Breathtaking. And K1 says I grew up in a beautiful place. HA!

We chatted for a few more minutes and thanked Ginny and Terry profusely for a wonderful breakfast, tour and visit. We had a really really nice time and are really looking forward to another visit soon.

Gas was gotten and we motored back south toward Poulsbo for a 24th high school reunion. Okay, it wasn't officially a Seabury Reunion, but when you have 33 alumni from your class, one of whom has died (Miss you Bruce!), when three of you get together, that's almost 10% of the class! 

There we were: Julia, Steve and Courtney, together again!
Julia steve and opihi1

Courtney and I saw each other in March or April this year for the first time in 23 or 24 years. Steve and I haven't seen each other since maybe 1986? Yowza! But it was like no time had passed as we chatted and laughed and shed a few happy tears and sad tears (for Bruce and Jai). Steve pulled out some yearbooks and we howled and told stories, each of us remember different things, sometimes our memories overlapping, sometimes not. Occasionally one of us would shout "They did WHAT? When was that?!?!" It was perfect. Kurt and Steve's partner seemed to enjoy themselves so we were clearly not talking about Seabury ALL the time. 

Steve made us a gorgeous cold supper:


And we talked and laughed for a few more hours. We played some pool upstairs, then we put on jammies and watched a movie, then went to sleep. Steve kindly put us all up for the night in lovely guest quarters. 

Next morning was some more coffee and breakfast chat and soon we had to say good-bye to Steve. It was WAY TOO SHORT of a visit, but a great start. You always want to leave wanting more. More hugs a few more happy tears and we were on our way, following Courtney back to Tacoma.

We got to meet her husband Dan and her son Drew and see their gorgeous house and then we had gorgeous house envy. We like the old victorians and craftsmen styles and Dan and Courtney have done an outstanding job fixing theirs up. We have serious house envy. Serious. So envious I only took one photo. I was so distracted.

Courtney's kitchen

I'm behind the camera dripping with kitchen lust.

Then the five of us went to lunch down on the water and had a great visit getting to know Dan and Drew. What a tremendous family of amazing people they are. I can't wait to spend more time with them again too!

But too soon, we had to get back to Renton and to the Freys. We gave big hugs and kisses all around and headed back North to Seattle. We checked back into our quality hotel and headed over to the Northern Frey's for an afternoon of, uh, Uno and Wii, telling them of our travels. We had dinner at a town called Black Diamond in a historic bakery building, dining on prime rib with a view of Mt. Rainier. Lovely night.

Then back to their place for more Uno and Wii, then back to the hotel to awake to packing our bags one more time, picking up Dot and heading to the airport to fly home on Virgin America (upper class!) and be home with the kitties by early evening. Home safe and sound after a great trip.

The whole experience was just what I wanted (except for the hotness). Visiting family and great great friends that I haven't seen in ages and realizing there is no reason it should be ages! Seriously. 

This has been mostly a travelogue, but I know I'll get around to more details and insights in future posts. 

Thanks to everyone for all the meals that you bought us! Dang, we couldn't pay for a thing, no matter how hard we tried. Thank you, you are all very wonderful and generous and we can't wait to return the favor.


Memorials And Memories

We've been trying to figure out a memorial for Jen. There will be a plaque somewhere in Capitola, California at some point. That is where she spent lots of time watching the kids surf. Then mom also thought about maybe getting a bench at Seabury somewhere. We hadn't really thought about this at all previously. So she called me this week to say not only was it easily arranged, but that we could put the bench by the reflecting pool right near Snooker's bench. 

Snooker has a bench and Jen loved Snooker. (I'm hard pressed to fine anyone who didn't love Snooker, I sure did.) This made me cry bittersweet tears. 

We are so glad to have something at Seabury. Jen lived on Maui from December of 1975 until about 1981 when she moved to California. The majority of that time was spent at Seabury. That's where I remember her (well, there and San Francisco Rag Shop). And Seabury is such a special place for me and to be near Snooker, It's all just perfect. 

So when the bench is in place, I'll let you know. For now, here are a few shots of Snooker's bench that my mom took yesterday.