This is part of a monthly series in which we get to know Sifties.
Hi, I’m Angela Marrujo, Content Marketing Associate with Sift! This month is my one-year anniversary with the company, so I decided to step out from my role as interviewer and introduce myself.
If I could eat just one food for the rest of my life, it would be my grandma’s tamales. She and my aunt make them once a year on New Year’s Eve (twice if they’re up for the time-consuming process at some point in the year). They are, without question, the best tamales I’ve ever eaten.
What are your hobbies?
Video games are my biggest hobby. My only sibling is my older brother, and because he loves games I ended up loving them too. We grew up with Nintendo consoles and handhelds, and the Switch is my preferred console, but I also have a PlayStation 4. I’ve been playing a lot of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the Resident Evil 2 remake. The Legend of Zelda is my favorite series.
I also enjoy illustration and wanted to be a video game concept artist.
What’s the best concert you’ve been to?
Definitely a tie between Bloc Party and AFI, both at the Fox Theater in Oakland in 2012 and 2017, respectively. Bloc Party is my favorite band (with the original four members, they’re tragically bad now), so seeing them live, at such an intimate venue where they were so close, was incredible. They played a number of songs from their album Four, which released that year and I was pretty unimpressed by. But when I heard the songs live they sounded so different, and I went home and listened to the album again and loved it.
AFI was just insane. The lights, their stage presence, and their setlist: every song was from their old albums, even though they were touring for their new album. The crowd knew every word to all the songs, and it felt like the band was really enjoying revisiting their classic material. Not every band sounds as good live as they do in studio recordings, but AFI does.
What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?
I have a few of these: Terminator 2, The Fugitive, L.A. Confidential, Dirty Harry. The Fugitive, in particular, I can put on pretty much any time and be entertained. Watch it enough and it becomes insanely quotable and unintentionally funny (which I don’t mean in a degrading way, it’s a fantastic movie).
What was your first job?
I was a Game Advisor at GameStop. Worked my way up to Senior Game Advisor. It put me through college. I’m of the strong belief that everyone should work either retail, food service, or some other form of customer service at some point in their lives, in the hope that it would teach people to treat the employees in those positions a lot better.
That job taught me a lot. It was not easy, by any means. I learned how to communicate with people from all walks of life, how to rapidly calculate discounts in my head, how to keep my cool when someone was outraged that GameStop doesn’t sell Super Mario Bros. on the PlayStation 4, and how to calmly accept that I could never stop people from asking me for Grand Theft “eye-vee” (aka Grand Theft Auto IV).
What small gesture from a stranger made a big impact on you?
Early on in college, I was riding home on BART and a large tree branch had fallen onto the tracks between Coliseum and San Leandro stations. San Leandro was my station, but I had to get out at Coliseum, and AC Transit was the only other nearby transportation to get anyone where they needed to go. (This was long before the days of Uber and Lyft.)
It was pretty chaotic because there was no bus bridge, just people swarming the buses every time one rolled up, like The Great Tickle Me Elmo Mall Stampedes of the 90s. I had no cash on me for the bus (this was also pre-Clipper), my parents were at work and couldn’t come pick me up, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to get home.
I ended up commiserating with a man and a woman standing near me while I figured out what to do. When the bus rolled up, I made to get out of the way so they could board, but the man told the bus driver that he would pay for all three of our fares. So I took the bus all the way down International Blvd., through Oakland, into San Leandro.
That was the first time I’d had a feeling of being stranded or helpless. It was momentarily unsettling, but as I sat staring out the window during the ride I felt incredibly grateful for the generosity of this stranger, who had no reason to help me other than out of the kindness of his heart. I won’t forget that.
What songs hit you with a wave of nostalgia every time you hear them?
Pretty much everything from the 90s. Disarm by The Smashing Pumpkins is one of my favorite songs, but it makes me really melancholy (“Mellon Collie” for you SP fans out there), and it makes me think of my childhood.
I also have strong reactions to Bound for the Floor by Local H, Fast Car by Tracy Chapman, and Take a Picture by Filter.
I have distinct memories of listening to Bloc Party’s first album, Silent Alarm, on my portable CD player at my desk in Honors Geometry, freshman year at San Leandro High, 2005. (That album has my favorite song of all time, Banquet.)
Decemberunderground by AFI makes me think of later high school, when I listened to that album obsessively and especially during AP Studio Art.