July 16, 2012

rookie meetup

So here is my collection of memories and stories that all have to do with the San Francisco Rookie Road Trip Meet. So it all started one day at my local Fro-Yo shop. There I was eating Lychee Froyo with my favorite topping, strawberry and lychee bobas. I was skimming through Instagram when I saw Tavi announced the dates for the Rookie Road Trip. I was ecstatic, and I envisioned myself actually seeing Tavi in real life. So as more time went on, the activities for each city were released. I was still ecstatic to meet Tavi in real life. So I hit up my girl Aimee and told her the good news. She was ecstatic to meet Tavi too, her reply through text said it all: "!!!". Time passed and me and Aimee planned our pilgrimage to San Francisco. I had dreams of how it would all be. The first one was of me, Tavi, and Aimee having a garden tea party, while Tavi handed us Smuckers Uncrustable sandwhiches...in grape flavor. The next dream consisted of Tavi standing in front of us, and we were just causally talking about how she has met Alexa Chung, and she then proceeded to call her and invite her to dinner with us (my dream ended before Alexa arrived). So the day finally arrived and I would finally live the actual moment when I met Tavi...in real life.
So I planned my outfit WEEKS in advance, but of course the weather wasn't on my side and I had a slight cough...so I had to re-plan my outfit that morning. I chose my sea horse shirt because it was cute and appropriate. We arrived in SF early, and we proceeded to walk through a bad part of town..and of course I looked over dressed and I was afraid people would believe I was lost and rich and kidnap me and then my parent's wouldn't be able to pay the money they asked, in order to set me free. We finally reached a hip and trendy part of town and I felt a little safer. We went inside Bi-Rite Creamery about an hour early. The picture above is of that moment. We met the marvelous Maria, who was a worker for the ice cream shop. We explained how there was going to be like 60+ people coming to the shop to fan girl over Tavi. She asked if they would be as well dressed as us and I blushed and responded, "hopefully". She let us sample all the flavors and helped us make our decision. We then saw some fellow Rookies outside the store and we went to go socialize. We may or may not have been intimidating because nobody wanted to be our friend, until we met a charming young lady by the name of Katy. We talked about Tavi and all that Rookie stuff. Soon everyone started arriving, and it wasn't long until we saw Petra saying that Tavi was coming. Everyone just stood there a little confused, so I grabbed Aimee and Katy and we walked to wear Tavi would be walking up to. So when Tavi arrived, she approached us first and I died a little bit.
Tavi was wearing this colorful floral dress with a monarch butterfly clip. She was so shy and timid, and it was so cute to see how delicate she seemed in person. She introduced herself to our group and she talked to us for a little, and I told her how Aimee and I would always talk about her in math class, and she joked and said we had gossip sessions in which we talked shit about her. 
She made this face when I told her I was taking creeper pictures of her. After she moved on to the next group, Aimee suggested we go in line to get ice cream. As we stood there looking for the line Maria came out and directed everyone to where the line was...we found ourselves in front of the line...and standing next to Petra, Anna, and Hazel the rest of the Rookie crew. We talked to Petra for a little and I gave them some bracelets I made, which are pictured below. They were shocked to find out I made them and seemed really grateful. I gave Anna one too because I thought it would be mean not to, and she was so surprised since she isn't a writer for Rookie (she's Petra's sister). She thanked me and and Petra said to her, "I could see you eyeing me with jealousy". Then Petra and I proceeded to giggle and I told her about which flavors I liked the most. Maria yelled at me, "Victor! Bring your friend (Petra), to the front!" I felt a little happy that Maria thought Petra was my friend. After paying I talked to Avery, Petra's boyfriend, about all the interesting flavors (including some little mixture that included olive oil, that Maria had let us sample). We soon sat for a little and conversed with Anna about the whole trip and the upcoming Rookie Yearbook. Petra soon came and took us outside to talk to her.
Here are my bracelets, I made the Rookie crew the same ones, just different colors. Pictured is also the ring I wore to the meet (I ended losing it, but later found it at home...so it never made it to the meet) along with an assortment of other rings I didn't care to photograph. Outside, Petra, Anna, Avery, Aimee, Katy and I talked about San Francisco and hobos and all it's wonders. We also talked about food and how Tavi has an accent. Then a hobo complimented Petra on her glasses and she said they were from Urban Outfitters, which Avery then joked with her for "promoting" UO, who is a sponsor of the Rookie Road Trip. After talking for quite a while with Petra and her sister and boyfriend, we walked together to Dolores Park. On our way there we talked about Lana Del Rey and how I almost met her, but didn't, and how we all wanted to meet her. We talked about Lana for most of the walk there. When we arrived to the park, Tavi was sitting on the grass forming a big circle. Petra came in and suggested we all just huddle since we had a big group. She walked inside the circle towards Tavi and while everyone sat there confused I took the opportunity to follow Petra, grabbed my friends, and I sat right next to her...AND RIGHT IN FRONT OF TAVI.
Now I was I was just living in the moment, so I didn't really realize how lucky I was. I mean I'm not saying all of this to sound egotistical, but after seeing pictures other people took of the huddle we were extremely lucky to be sitting so close to Tavi. Others just saw her from afar, because the group was so big. I turned around and saw everyone just huddled around Tavi, Petra, Aimee, Katy, myself, and a few other people. I mean you could say I was just in the right place at the right time, and I was really astonished by how Tavi has this cult-like following. I'm really happy that I was able to sit so close to her, and really just take in how humble and kind she is.
She talked for a little, and then led us in a Norwegian lullaby her mom sings to her. She then told us all how stylish we all were, and how she didn't expect such a big turn out. She then told us to mingle among ourselves. So we all stood up and walked around, many walked up to her to wait for a picture, and a moment to talk to her. I would say about 80% of the Rookies were huddling to meet Tavi. I only imagined being Tavi in that moment, and I wondered how wonderful it must be to meet all these people that have always wanted to meet her. Some of them were so creative and kind, it just made you realize how much of an influence Tavi has.
Meanwhile, I took pictures with people that were so kind and friendly and with such amazing clothes. I also took a picture with Colleen (left in the picture above), who I had seen preform her poetry twice. She knew two of my classmates, and I believe she recognized me. Colleen is so incredibly talented and was surprised to see her, yet I was happy we had something in common. She introduced me to her friend, who was best friends with another poet I knew. I met so many more people, with interesting stories and lives. I was really honored to be given that opportunity. 
After a little wait, a lot of mingling, the crowd around Tavi had diminished. Katy, Aimee, and I approached her and she received us with hugs. Aimee gave her this beautiful zine, and then I gave her a bracelet (like the one I gave the other writers) in a mustard color, and I explained how I knew she liked that color. She remembered that exact moment I was talking about and told me she loved it and how I got the color right. Katy gave her some patches and a crown on behalf of her friend that was in Israel. I then gave Tavi some things for a little shrine she was building, and the articles had importance to me and Aimee, it was a Les Mis button and a bracelet she made me. She was so delighted and asked to have a group hug. We then each took pictures with her, mine came out super dark (hence the editing), and she then gave us each another hug. We then said talked about future things she was doing, and her art installation in LA she was making with Petra. We then left her and went to go socialize with more people.
Here is a picture of me and Petra, who I found so incredible. She had a rock star vibe to her, maybe because of the coat she was wearing, but she was so down-to-earth and friendly. We took sunglasses pictures because she said she felt prettier with them, I said I did too because I tend to look derpy in pictures.She later said on instagram that this picture was sassy, which made squeal of delight.
Hazel was so kind too! She joked a lot which was really fun, and she was so bubbly yet cool. I mean her aura was like a pink bubble gum pink, with a sudden dash icy blue. She was so adorable in person also. We spoke a few times, and I am not going to lie...I jumped up and down in my head every time she remembered my name. MEMORIES: Greaselightn'.
Hanne, who had an incredible flower crown took this amazing picture of us. Katy is on the far right, Justina (who I talked to online a few times, and was happy to meet) is next to her, and then Aimee was camera chopped on the left, but her wonderful scarf jumped in the picture enough to be partly photographed. 
And we also met a sweet girl from Beijing, she was American but lived there. She had a nifty new Polaroid camera, and took a picture of us...and then gave it to us. It was very nice of her, Aimee kept it but I had to take a picture for the MEMORIES.

So that was really most of what happened. I was so glad to be there and delighted to meet so many cool people. I know I must have come off as fanatic to the Rookie Crew, but it was impossible because you admire these people and their work online so much that you are just so delighted to meet them. In the end I don't regret my fan girl moments because they were sincere and truthful. *wink and smirk*. I was also happy to see us on a couple of posts. One post on the Rookie tumblr made me realize how I was one of the few boys at the meet up, and my manhood is recognized in the post. I really appreciate them admiring my clothes, considering how I had to change my original outfit. It was really all worth it when Tavi complimented my shirt, and loved the seahorses. A lot of people really liked it, so I was glad I went with it in the end. My head also makes a cameo in this post by Hazel. Look for me in the picture of the group huddled around Tavi.
Aimee took this picture of me with an amazing mural after finally leaving the event.
Thrifted jacket, Zara shirt, Levi jeans, sunglasses were a gift from my brother.
The shirt has a story, I wanted it as soon as a saw it in the store. My friends told me I should wait since I had some other things I was already buying and my total was racking up. So I did, but after not buying anything in the SF thrift stores, I went back before Zara closed and bought it. I MEAN IT HAD SEA HORSES AND VERSACE VIBES.

In the end I had a lot of fun, and made new friends. I also met many people I admired which was so surreal and such a treat. I could never thank Rookie enough for this opportunity. So amazing, and I will remember it forever.

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