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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Variations on a Theme

The beginning of the year always prompts a time of promise for the year to come and stuff like that. For me and many others, this manifests itself in the form of half-arsed New Year’s resolutions, mine of which either tend to be overly pragmatic (i.e. floss regularly, drink more water, get more rest) to downright unfeasible (be taller, get perfect vision, stop procrastinating).

Besides, eight days into the new year hasn’t completely converted me into a believer of 2009, even with the help of my nifty new Moleskine planner. Also, I’m still catching up on everyone else’s year-end lists with all the things that I apparently missed out on last year. That being said, partly inspired by The A.V. Club’s Dec. 5 article “Art We’ve Resisted,” I present to you my own list of trends I’ve “resisted” in 2008.

Twilight. The timeless tale of an abstinent vampire and his human girlfriend has made even the most reluctant of readers into diehard fans. And when the immensely popular book series (which was touted by some to be the next Harry Potter) came to life on the silver screen late last year, the mania grew: Twilight merchandise took over local malls, an English actor named Robert Pattinson became famous for being pale and having funny hair and the debate of vampires versus zombies and who is cooler became the new ninjas versus pirates argument.

Fixed gear bicycles. Truth be told, I know nothing about the mechanics of bikes, let alone fixed gear ones. In fact, the only way I can tell fixies apart from the common bike is lack of brakes and their flashy aesthetics. So when the fixie frenzy swept through our own bicycle-loving town, imagine how uncool (not to mention, slow) I felt as a mere pedestrian walking on campus. Love ’em or hate ’em, you have to admit that these fixie kids look nowhere near as obnoxious as the guy who rides the unicycle to class. (Just kidding, Unicycle Kid!)

“Mad Men.” There always seems to be that one critically acclaimed show that I just somehow never get around to seeing, and last year’s list of shows to watch included “Mad Men,” “Dexter” and “Californication.” Nope, I spent a large portion of 2008 watching true television gems like “The Hills” and “Jon and Kate Plus 8” instead.

Of course, no one is completely immune to the trendsetting agendas of the industry, and 2008 presented a couple of weaknesses that I succumbed to.

American Apparel. That slightly overpriced line of basics that has strung a chord with hipsters around the world – at first I scoffed. Eighteen dollars for a plain-Jane T-shirt, even if it was produced through sweatshop-free means? No thanks.

But alas, here I am, 12 months and a couple of shirts, three dresses, a skirt and a sweatshirt later. Maybe it’s the fact that they were named the number two Top Trendsetting Brand by trend and market research firm Intelligence Group, or the fact that AA creative director Dov Charney was awarded honors as “Retailer of the Year” at the Michael Awards for the Fashion Industry. Yeah, that’s probably why.

Frozen yogurt. Last year marked the opening of the third frozen yogurt joint in Davis, all each within less than a half mile of one another. The evidence stands: 2008 was a good year for my favorite frozen treat. But really, what’s not to love? It’s healthy, it’s delicious and it lends itself perfectly to clipped terms like “fro-yo” or “frogurt” – and if there’s our generation loves, it’s a supe abbrev.


RACHEL FILIPINAS thinks 2009 would be a lot better with more e-mails from you guys, and maybe for her wisdom teeth to finally grow in so she doesn’t have to worry about it any more. She can be reached at rmfilipinas@ucdavis.edu.


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