A love letter to the Gonzaga Bulldogs (or, if you prefer, “Man-Zags”)

I started writing this on the morning of the 2017 men’s basketball national championship game, excited yet cautiously hopeful that Gonzaga would pull off a miraculous victory against North Carolina. When the game got out of hand in the last few minutes, I thought I’d never post this – but I didn’t delete the draft. Now, in July, close enough to the midway point between the end of the 2016-17 season and the beginning of the 2017-18 season, I’m going to click “publish,” as part of my duties of #Zag4Lyfe.

Also: the photo at the top is from when the Zags won the 2008-09 regular-season WCC title, and it was taken on an iPhone 3G, so please excuse the terrible quality.

Enjoy this nostalgia trip.


I only spent a year and a half at Gonzaga University – from September 2008 to December 2009 – but the entities that positively influenced my time there are with me to this day, and I thought it only right to salute these deserved people, places, and experiences.

This is for you, weekly scrambles during the preseason to find out which channel the Gonzaga basketball games were on, and then figuring out if the campus-provided cable lineup carried it.

To watch parties at the COG, where Peachy Kay was overjoyed to swipe you in, and watching the Zags fight valiantly but eventually lose to Michigan State, because on this day, the Izzone had the honor of cheering their team to victory.

To Jeremy Pargo, Josh Heytvelt, Austin Daye, Micah Downs, and Matt Bouldin, the first starting lineup I ever knew.

To everyone who camped out for games against St. Mary’s or Wake Forest or whatever game was deemed big enough for the Sunday afternoon ticket distribution to come with a tent number and the promise of better seats if you were only willing to brave the elements.

To the Kennel, which was first a sanctuary for preserving the Gonzaga home win streak, but remains one of the most formidable places to play in the country.

To the Spokesman-Review article posted behind the counter at Ultimate Bagel immortalizing Dan Monson’s 1998-99 squad and the Zags’ first trip to the Elite Eight.

To our fearless leader Dave (who in a bureaucratic intervention later became “Mr. Fague”) and the rest of the pep band; to blasting “The Impression I Get” and “Hey Baby” and “American Idiot” (and never speaking of times past where “Sweet Caroline” was a mainstay in our repertoire).

To “Remember the Name” and “Thunderstruck” and “Zombie Nation” and all the songs that defined Gonzaga basketball.

To being a Cinderella for so long, and suddenly not.

Thank you for the brief time I shared a campus with you, Gonzaga men’s basketball, and for the continued enjoyment from afar, from then to now and for years to come.

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100 Things: Redux (1-20)

On January 19, 2010, I made a handwritten list called “100 things that make me happy.” I originally uploaded the photo to this blog so I could link to it when I made a brand-new list. But when the draft of this post sat in my “posts” section, untouched for months, I decided I needed to find a new angle.

Instead, I will split up that original list into groups of 20 items, and devote each post to briefly summarizing each one. Why might it have been on the list in 2010? Would it still be on my list today? Why was I such a strange 19-year-old?

Without further ado, please enjoy part 1 of what I’ll affectionately call “This 25-year-old revisited her teen years. What she discovered about herself will shock you.”

  1. My handwriting (sometimes)
    Sorry to start off boring, but this is still true. My handwriting is basically a disaster yet I tend to love it.
  2. LIGHTS MB
    This was a message board I joined in 2009 where I met the majority of online-only/online-first friends I’m still in contact with today.
  3. Major league baseball
    Case in point: I was recently trying to decide if I should buy an MLB.TV subscription, since the season begins soon. The single-team subscription gives you all out-of-market games for your team, excluding games that are blacked out in your region. Which, as an Iowan, means I cannot watch the Giants if they play against Minnesota, Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Louis, or Chicago. That’s only 20 games I’d have to miss – and, realistically, I won’t be watching all 162 games anyway – but I still love baseball so much that I posted several bitter tweets about this injustice.
  4. My musical aptitude
    While this still makes me immensely happy, I play so less often now that I find myself not leading off my answer to the question “What are your hobbies?” with “You know, music and stuff.”
  5. Handel’s Messiah
    When I attended Gonzaga University, in my second-ever semester in choir, we sang Handel’s Messiah. Religiosity (or lack thereof) aside, it remains my favorite experience in choir.
  6. Keeping in touch with good friends
    Fewer now than when I wrote this list, but I don’t think that’s thr point. For example, I recently reached out to someone with whom I would frequently get into Angry Politics-Related Arguments on Facebook several years ago. We were friends most of the time, but our arguments could be brutal. I just wanted to say hi and apologize; I wasn’t expecting a reply. They were happy to hear from me, accepted my apology, and even apologized themselves. We haven’t spoken since, but that conversation was more meaningful to me than most I’ve had in at least the past year.
  7. Patrick Watson’s voice
    Still relevant. That is all.
  8. Being passionate about something
    I’m not sure what it was when I wrote this. Music, maybe. Now, it’s definitely writing. The two creative writing classes I’m taking now have especially rekindled my love for it, mainly due to the freedom the professors and graduate instructors give us to write about whatever we want.
  9. Tim Lincecum <3
    I hope a nice team picks him up. <3
  10. YouTube
    In 2010, I spent a good amount of time on YouTube ensuring that I saw each video from my subscribed channels on the day they came out. Charles Trippy, ShayCarl, Michael Buckley, Philip DeFranco, all those people who were among the first to make a living off their YouTube videos. Nowadays I mostly visit casually – if I’m in need of a good Vine compilation or “newcaster fails” montage, for instance – but I won’t lie, I do sometimes get a little nostalgic for the old days.
  11. Self-serve frozen yogurt
    My friend worked at one of these places before they came to my hometown. I used to go visit her at work, buy a cup of frozen yogurt and a root beer, and watch her do her Real Adult Job while I was on breaks from school. And when I lived in Iowa City, Yotopia was the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights if you couldn’t get into the bars. When I learned that its owner was escorted out of a Donald Trump rally earlier this year, my respect for the business increased quite a bit.
  12. Singing in French
    Pretty sure the only French song I know most of the words to is still “Champs Elysées,” which we listened to in my high school French class a few times. (I regret that I cannot count Air’s songs here – while we also listened to this French band’s songs in that class, they sing in English.)
  13. Old Mary-Kate and Ashley movies
    Shhh.
  14. Gonzaga basketball
    I believe what I meant by this entry was “Gonzaga pep band,” since I probably wouldn’t have attended a single basketball game if not for being a member. (Not that I dislike basketball, let’s be clear. It was just a Goddamn Ordeal to get a student ticket, but if you were with the band you got in through the staff entrance.)
  15. Peanut butter M&Ms
    I mean, they’re not awful. But out of all the candy in the world, would I put peanut butter M&Ms on a list of “100 things that make me happy” today? Probably not.
  16. Owning Lord of the Rings trivia
    I assume I meant “owning at Lord of the Rings trivia,” not “owning the physical Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit game,” which I do, but that’s not the point.
  17. David Archuleta singing in Spanish
    This song, specifically. I don’t remember why this is on the list, to be honest. I think I just had a crush on him.
  18. “Comme D’Habitude”
    Oh, right, we listened to this in French class too.
  19. Being in a vocal ensemble
    See #5. I don’t have another video, or I’d post it here.
  20. Adam Lambert
    He’s just SUCH A GOOD SINGER. And I’ve seen him live twice, so, I mean, I feel especially qualified make that assessment.