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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Legos vs. Barbies

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: June 2011

I was never one of those kids who played with Barbies growing up. Half of that was because my Mother (correctly) believed Barbies were weird, incredibly chauvinistic playthings that would only lower my self-worth and confuse my sense of self. Didn’t quite dodge that bullet though, thanks anyway Mom, it’s the thought that counts, right? Anywho, my formative years were spent in large part completely engrossed in my (dauntingly large) collection of Legos. My brother and I would spend hours making whole cities, inventing job titles and home lives for our Lego citizens. He was invariably more skilled than I when it came to building, mostly due to the fact that I was too impatient to sift through the boxes and buckets full of Legos to find coordinating colors for each building. He would create perfectly symmetrical buildings of white and black, perfect replicas for the cities in his mind. My haphazard buildings all looked the same too, but only in the way that every Jackson Pollock painting looks the same. They were half-finished, made from bricks of every color and size and looked like the bombed-out, decrepit but colorful setting for a Fraggle Rock or Sesame Street set in Bosnia.

I suppose things shook out well enough. These days my brother spends his time, not as a city planner, but as a wine rep and newly married dude. My weird Lego abominations were much more indicative of my future, as I’ve held jobs in nearly every possible field, spent a mildly respectable amount of time in school, moved out of state and back again after a year… you get the idea. I hear that your twenties are the most confusing, dizzying time of your life. I only have my own experience to comment on but this seems to be exceedingly, depressingly true. Twenty-six is about to rear its head and although I have mixed feelings, they’re mostly positive.

In any case, although I may have burned through a large, strange array of life choices and hobbies in my time on Earth, Legos have stayed very near and dear to me. On September 1st, (two days before my birthday *AHEM*) Lego is planning on releasing the Super Star Destroyer Executor set. Consisting of no less than 3,152 pieces this beast will be four feet long when fully built and weigh a staggering eight pounds. Removable section with a command bridge, Darth Vadar and multiple bounty hunters included? Yes please. Did I mention this will be released two days before my birthday? Just sayin’.

In other, (and some would say, more important) news, Café Coda is hosting a benefit for The Shimmies on July 2nd. You may remember awhile back when Sean Galloway’s house was broken into and some of their most valued musical equipment stolen. Well kids, now’s your chance to repay Chico’s favorite home school rock band for all the musical goodness they’ve bestowed over the years. Also playing will be Aubrey Debauchery, Lish Bills and Mute Witness. Be there, or be a branded an ungrateful dickpiece for all eternity. 

Arielle Mullen