Tag Archives: childhood

Stuff of Olde

HAHA. So.

I was digging through a drawer of all my old notebooks/papers/whatever/crap ‘cause I needed to find something specific for reasons I won’t go into here.

But at the bottom of the drawer, I found the one old journal I kept from first grade. I wrote a lot in first grade. A lot. I probably had over 20 journals full of coo stories (what’s a coo?). Granted, my writing was HUGE back then and I padded the stories with a lot of illustrations, but it was still quite a lot of writing for a first grader, in my opinion.

So in the spirit of nostalgia, have some scanned pages of the notebook I found today.

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Past from the Blast

So here’s a video I’d completely forgotten I’d uploaded to YouTube (I found it after logging onto my old AntarcticaFreak account).

This is my mom filming me doing stuff with stencils (??). Also, animals. The kitty is Baby Slick, and the dog is Mindy. This was our house in Troy.

Good times.

FICTURE IT

Do you sometimes really miss parts of your past for no real reason? Not, like, particular events or days or anything like that, but routines or schedules that you remember you used to have at various points in life that you don’t have anymore.

I miss my past sometimes.

I don’t know why I felt like saying that. It’s not like my present is bad or anything—it’s the opposite, in fact!—but I just every once and awhile really, really miss the way things used to be.

Yeah. Sorry. Don’t have much to say today.

CHILDHOOOOOOOOOOOOD

Man, my mom had like 12 of these videos for me when I was a kid. I remember this one especially, probably because I used to go to Disneyland with my dad and grandma way back when, so I could recognize a lot of things from this.

Yay!

McGee and Me! (Blame YouTube)

As many of you know, I went to a Christian elementary school. We had an hour set aside for “religion” study every day, went to church every Friday morning, and had Bible-themed Christmas plays every December and Bible-themed spring plays every April or so.

Every once and awhile, we’d have an event (a BBQ, a “party”, a something-or-other) that required us to be at school during non-regular hours. To entertain us (i.e., to keep us all in the same room), our teacher or principal would opt to play a TV show or movie on our little TV-on-a-roller-cart. Being a Christian school, we never got to watch anything but—you guessed it—Christian-themed shows! The most popular one for us was Veggies Tales, but I was never really into them at the time. The one that I enjoyed (though “enjoyed” is a relative term) was called McGee and Me!

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(Source)

It’s basically about this kid, Nick, who has a drawing of his come to life and together the two of them get into all sorts of “you can get out of this by being a good Christian” mishaps. Actually, they were mishaps you could get out of by just being a good person, but they made sure to add “God” and “Jesus” in there because you can’t be a good person without those two guys in your life, right?

Example: the episode “Beauty in the Least” is about Nick’s Romanian pen pal coming to visit unexpectedly during Thanksgiving. Romanian Pen Pal is, according to Nick, super annoying and plan-ruining when he’s not in pen-pal-letter form, so Nick is a jerk to him and the poor dude gets upset (understandably). But through the guidance of God and the “love thy neighbor as thyself” idea, Nick realizes that he’s been a jerk and does his best to make it up to Romanian Pen Pal and his father. So like I said, it’s basically a “be a good person, dammit” show with a Christian bend. I always enjoyed it, though. It was better than Veggie Tales.

Here, have a link to the first part of this episode on YouTube, in case you were a ‘90s Christian kid and you want to nostalgia yourself to death just like I did tonight. That’s the whole reason for this post, haha.

You’re welcome.

1st Grade Literary Tomfoolery

So today I spent a lot of time packing for the move (when am I not packing for a move?) and I came across an old story I’d written in a journal in first grade. I’d like to share it with you because a) I want to demonstrate that my writing ability has in fact not improved since first grade and b) I have nothing else of interest today.

I remember we had to write a story about Halloween for this particular writing assignment, but other than that it was pretty open. My incredibly creative title for this thing was “The Poisonous Pumpkin.”

Once there was a boy named Jacob. His dad said, “Son, we are moving to Pennsylvania! But first we must buy some pumpkins, for it is getting close to Halloween.”
“Okay,” said Jacob. “Give me some money and I’ll got to the store and buy six pumpkins.”
“Okay,” said his dad. “Here’s six dollars, one for each pumpkin. Put on your coat.”
“Alright,” said Jacob. “Bye!”
Soon he got to the pumpkin selling place. “Here’s six dollars for six pumpkins!” said Jacob.
“Okay,” said the pumpkin seller. “Pick your pumpkins.”
So Jacob found the best six pumpkins. He was about to go home when he saw a pumpkin with a scary face and lips already carved out. He put back one of his pumpkins and took that one.
When he got home his dad had already packed. “Come on, son!” he said. “Put your bike and the pumpkins you bought in the back of the car. By the way, that’s a very strange pumpkin you bought.”
“I know,” said Jacob. “It was already carved. Can you believe it?”
“Now son, don’t start making up stories.”
“But…”
“Now let’s go!”
So they got into the car and drove off. Finally they reached Pennsylvania. Jacob got out of the car. “What a house!” he said.
“Don’t forget the pumpkins,” his dad said.
“I won’t.” He opened the back door of the car…”Dad?” asked Jacob.
“What?”
“The pumpkin with the face already carved out…”
“Yes?” said his dad.
“It’s missing.”
“What?”
“It’s missing!”
“Is the window open?” asked his dad.
“Yes,” replied Jacob.
“Well, it probably fell out the window.”
“But we didn’t hit any bumps!” said Jacob.
“Yes we did,” said his dad. “The gravel road.”
“But those were just little bumps,” said Jacob. “Even I barely felt them.”
“Oh, let’s just forget about the pumpkin.”
The next day Jacob woke up. [best line in this whole damn story.]
“Come on Jacob!” Said his dad. “You don’t want to be late for the first day of school.” Jacob got up, got dressed, and went downstairs for breakfast. Jacob saw the old dry leaves out the window and remembered the crackling he heard that night. But before he could say anything to his dad, the school bus arrived.
“Hurry!” said his dad. Jacob got his backpack and ran outside. But the poisonous pumpkin was watching behind a bush. He knew that when Jacob got home he would have a friend with him, and that he could poison Jacob’s friend.
When Jacob did get home, he did have a friend named Andrew with him. Andrew was spending the night.
“Let’s go upstairs and play,” said Jacob.
“Okay,” replied Andrew.
They played until it was time for dinner. When Jacob and Andrew and his dad went to bed, the door opened.
“Did you hear that?” said Andrew.
“I sure did,” replied Jacob. “My dad’s asleep. Let’s go down and see!” They went downstairs, turned around, and looked out the door. There was the poisonous pumpkin with a can of pop and an ax in his vines.
“Run!” said Jacob. Jacob and Andrew ran as fast as they could, but the pumpkin came after them, waving its ax.
“Dad!” yelled Jacob. “The pumpkin’s alive!”
Suddenly, the as slipped from the vines and flew in front of Jacob. He quickly grabbed it. Then he ran after the poisonous pumpkin. The poisonous pumpkin was drinking his pop and spitting poison at Jacob. One shot almost hit him. After a long time of running, the pumpkin got tired. Soon, it collapsed. Jacob chopped him up and burned him. The poisonous pumpkin was never heard of again.

The End.

Riveting. Man, that plot skips around like a scratched CD and then just crashes and burns, doesn’t it? Also, I love how the pumpkin has to infuse pop with the poison in order for it to be effective. And that he needed an ax, too, like as a backup. Way to write a villain, Claudia.

There are indeed illustrations for this, but they’re even more embarrassing than the writing, so you don’t get those.

Anyway.

Wacky Peter

Throughout my childhood (and early adulthood), I was really into movie-making. I would find something that could be filmed for multiple episodes and then make a series out of it.

The most recent example, in 2006, was a series called “Wacky Peter.” It followed the adventures of one of my Lego men (Wacky Peter, obviously) and all his usually fatal adventures.

I spent hours making these videos over the summer. I hung out in the playhouse in our backyard (which was my bedroom back then) and would make recordings all day.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I was digging through all my old VHS tapes and found the Wacky Peter ones.

Here are some of the episode titles:

a b c d e f g h i j k

Catoptromancy

I’m posting this thingy I wrote for Non-Fiction because 1) I have nothing else to say today
and 2) looking back, this is freaking hilarious, even though at the time it was REALLY scary.

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When I was in fourth grade, several of my friends and I attempted to summon Bloody Mary in the basement of our church.

Of course, good Catholic girls would usually never dream of doing such a thing. Church was for worship, and worship was to be carried out sitting in the pews of the main hall. The basement was reserved for storing old candle holders, robes, and broken organ pipes. It certainly wasn’t a place to summon apparitions.

And though we were indeed good Catholic girls who attended church regularly, prayed before every meal, and were kind to the nuns in charge of our elementary school, we were also a clique of tweens looking to entertain ourselves one dreary Saturday afternoon. Thus, the prospect of going down to the basement and getting in a little trouble was something none of us particularly shied away from.

St. Mary’s Church was a familiar place to all of us. Every Friday entailed a mini field trip for our whole school to the church to begin the day with a service before resuming our usual education. But we had ended up there on a Saturday due to the Easter service planned for the following weekend. Our parents, avid Christians themselves, had volunteered to help our priest to prepare the church for the lavish event that was Easter. The collective lot of us kids—seven girls in total—had been dragged along to help as well.

However, it became clear rather quickly that we were too distracting to one another to add any degree of useful labor to the situation, so we were ushered away from the flowers and candles and banners and told to “go play.”

My father was the head trainer of altar servers. Due to his lack of foresight regarding hiring a babysitter to watch me while he went to train, I would often be dragged along with him and forced to entertain myself as he worked. As such, I knew the basement of the church well. I proposed it as an option to my friends, and as we descended the stairs carpeted in a mustard yellow and flecked with maroon like old splatters of blood, Mariah, always the troublemaker, proposed the idea of Bloody Mary.

We were all familiar with the ritual, of course—stand in a darkened room in front of a mirror, chant “Bloody Mary, we have your baby” three times, and wait for her ghost to appear. We were bored, none of us could think of anything else to do, so we agreed without much argument. To the left of the landing at the foot of the stairs was a single-occupant unisex bathroom. On one side was situated a long counter and on the wall above it stood a large mirror with a string of naked bulbs in a row above.

It was perfect for our purposes.

We funneled into the bathroom, giggling with that sort of reserved nervousness that only arises when you know you are doing something that is likely to lead to trouble. I shut the door behind us and instruct Kelly to turn off the lights.

We ceased giggling as the room snapped to darkness, only the faded glow of the extinguished bulbs above the mirror and the slightest sliver of light from the hallway spilling onto the floor from the crack under the door still illuminating us. But it was too dark to see anything else.

Mariah, the instigator of all this, was rendered silent. It was Lara who prompted us to speak.

“So?” she whispered, as if even the faintest sound above our collective breath would evoke Mary from her mirrored entombment.

“We have to start it together,” I whispered back, too afraid to begin the ritual alone. Meredith suggested a count-off and, with nervous breaths beating whisps of noise into the static that was the surrounding silence, we began our chant.

“Bloody Mary, I have your baby…”

You could hear our collective consternation in the wavering of our voices. Of course, none of us believed for a second that upon the third calling of her name, Bloody Mary would indeed rend herself from the reflective glass and murder us all. But we barely whispered the call anyway, just in case the rumors regarding the ritual were true.

Someone to the right of me reached down and grabbed hold of my hand. I jumped. It was only the sensation of the warm palm against mine and the fact that whoever the hand belonged to moved even closer to me that prevented me from screaming that our bloody apparition had arrived two calls early.

“Bloody Mary, I have your baby…”

The room was getting hot. The obvious reason for this—that the already-stuffy bathroom was full of 7 nervous fourth-graders all panting with anticipation and fear—never even occurred to us, or at least to me. I was convinced the heat was emanating from the mirror as we blindly faced it in the musty darkness in front of us.

“Bloody Mary…”

The person standing to my left grabbed my unoccupied hand and I grabbed hers back and we clung to each other as the final four words were sent from our lips and jettisoned into the receiving darkness and whatever other beings occupied it.

“…I have your baby.”

In the silence that followed, I realized I had shut my eyes despite the darkness and decided to reopen them in a sudden surge of bravery. Had all my senses not been occupied in my intense focus on the mirror, I would have been aware of the fact that my hands were in a death-grip with the two individuals who had sought similar comfort from me. My ears were like receivers, trying to filter through that odd din of static that so readily beats upon your ear drums in the absence of any real sound, listening for any indication that Bloody Mary was on her way.

Nothing. Not a sound, not a movement, not even a change in the hot air encapsulating us all, save for the quick, nervous breaths of a group of young girls prepared for horror but relieved to find no such thing awaiting them. My heart, though still pounding so severely I thought in my 11-year-old mind that I’d actually experienced a heart attack, slowed almost immediately to a more normal pulse.

Then there was a bang. Had we been in a safer situation, we would have attributed the bang to its rightful source: our priest knocking a ceramic bowl to the carpeted floor or maybe a parent dropping a heavy box. But to us, it was none other than Bloody Mary herself, the angered apparition awoken from her slumber, banging against the back of the mirror before breaking into our make-shift sychomanteum to murder us all.

The bathroom erupted into blind chaos. Screaming, pushing, jumping, flailing—the two hands I was holding broke free of mine in a flurried panic as their owners shrieked and thrashed and thought solely of protecting themselves from the murderous specter.

I pushed my way through the choir of terrified sopranos towards the door, the sliver of light emanating from between the bottom of the door and the floor projecting like a ray of hope for escape. I clawed at the doorknob, my fingers rendered numb and useless from fear, until I finally heard the click of the hinge and I throw the door wide to save us all.

We burst from the darkened room, still hollering, still flailing, still shaking our hands and arms as if to shed ourselves of any residual poltergeist that may have touched us in the turmoil. But the immediate danger being over, our shrieks soon dissolved into nervous giggles and tense smiles as we realized we’d survived the summoning with nothing more than racing hearts to show for it.

But in another instant I caught a glimpse of Mariah’s hand, a sharp streak of red standing out against the white of her skin.

“What’s that?” I asked her, pointing to the offending mark.

The giggling stopped as our attention was turned to Mariah. She inspected the mark, then ran the fingers of her opposite hand across it. She brought her stained fingers together, rubbed them to get an idea of the substance.

“It’s lipstick,” she whispered.

Our silence due to curiosity gave way to the silence of shock as all of us, our eyes wide, glanced at one another with astonishment over the new development that had just taken place. There was no doubt in any of our minds now that Bloody Mary had indeed paid us a visit, and it was only our panicking and swift exiting of the bathroom that had saved us from anything more severe than a streak of blood-red lipstick.

We said no more to each other; we simply clung together, a herd of spooked young girls who had just escaped a brush with death, and made our way back up out of the basement. It would be years before we felt comfortable discussing the encounter at all.

Now some may question whether our shock over this bit of cosmetic displacement was actually warranted. After all, being 11- and 12-year-olds, we were in the right demographic for makeup experimentation. It could easily be assumed that the lipstick, belonging to one of us, had ended up on Mariah’s hand in the chaos that had ensued in the bathroom. This is a perfectly valid theory, and one we had all considered before the obvious reason for its dismissal occurred to any of us: good Catholic girls don’t wear makeup.

BLOG WILL NOT CONVERGE

Asdlkfajlfagahsdfasjcawfe screw this week, man.

Anyway.

In the spirit of turning 25 tomorrow, here are some pictures of me when I was little.

hhh

My hair. Holy crap.

 

aadad

Birthday party! Why does our house look like it’s right out of the ’70s?

 

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Posing as if I were taking my dad’s Envi Sci class (he has all his students stand with their names so he can memorize them). I loved that shirt.

 

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Cheetos, yay!

 

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Hahaha, the attitude, oh my god.

 
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I look like Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty. 

Why explaining the Binomial Theorem to a fellow student is a big deal (to me)

Today I explained the Binomial Theorem to another dude in my discrete math class.

“Who cares?” You’re probably saying.

Well, let me tell you a little story.

I used to be good at math. Like, when I was a kid. In elementary school I was one of three kids who were in “advanced math” (we sat in a broom closet and did math out of junior high textbooks. We also gave each other really dorky math nicknames, but I can’t remember mine).

I wasn’t bad through Junior High, either. The only difference was that I’d hit the “who gives a crap about school” phase of my life, so I didn’t really try very hard.

But then I took Algebra II. And I had the worst  teacher ever. He was the track coach, so he was really only teaching so he could stay the track coach. He’d stand in front of the class for about 10 minutes, write out a bunch of equations and graphs without explaining them (seriously), then go back to his desk and review track film for the rest of the period. We were to spend the rest of the time doing a bunch of questions from the book, and he would get visibly irritated if we came up to him to ask questions.

I’m not even kidding.

What’s worse is how stupid he made us all feel when we did ask questions. And algebra’s never been my strength anyway (geometry and calc FTW), so you can imagine the number of berating comments I got because I always had questions. And me being me, I associated the “you’re so stupid” feeling with math, and that quickly turned into “you can’t do math you idiot.”

I’ll spare you all the crappy details, but by about January that year I would literally break out in hives whenever I walked down the math wing of the high school. I managed to stick it out, though, and ended up with like a 69.97%, which turned out as a C minus on my report card. And if you know me, you know that’s HORRIBLE. Even in my “I don’t give a crap about school” phase I didn’t get C minuses in any of my other classes.

The “Claudia’s too dumb to do math” attitude lasted into college as I took Math 143 in fall 2006 (though I submit that class was just a horrible class in general) and had like 40 panic attacks over Math 160 (“Survey of Calculus,” kind of an abridged version of calc I with a lot less integration) in fall 2007. I didn’t hate math—I appreciated everything it gave us and the amazing applications—I just hated doing it. (Which is actually kind of funny, because I NEVER felt like that when I started taking statistics. But I see stats and math as very different topics. But that’s another topic for another blog, so moving on…)

Once I got far enough along in the field of stats, I obviously started doing things that involved a lot more advanced math than anything I’d ever dealt with before (e.g., calculating eigenvalues and eigenvectors in factor analysis). And I think at some point I realized that if I was ever going to get anywhere in stats, I might as well stop being an idiot, face my fear of not being good at math (yes, it’s a fear of not being good at math, not a fear of math), and take some freaking math classes

And so that’s my life right now.

Every once and awhile, especially if I see a problem that I have no idea how to solve, I still get this incredibly visceral feeling of fear and dread and despair and self-hatred over being too stupid to do anything of worth, but I try to fight it and stay calm (well, calm for me).

But yeah. I’m absolutely loving my math classes and I’m really excited to get to Math 451 and 452, the two “Mathematical Statistics” classes, because I’m anticipating some big “click” where the two subjects merge into some beautiful orgy of integrals and probability distributions (and when that happens, good luck seeing a blog about anything else).

Anyway.

I just thought I’d explain that a little bit and give you a reason why you’re seeing a lot of “Claudia spazzes about math” posts.

I ALMOST DIED not really but that got your attention, eh?

Last night I dreamt about my elementary school graduation. Which is funny, ‘cause I actually didn’t attend my elementary school graduation. I was in the hospital getting my appendix removed.

I actually remember those few days quite well. I went to St. Mary’s, for those of you who don’t know, which is a small Catholic school for grades 1 through 6. There were approximately 100 students in the whole school and about 22 or 23 in our class by graduation time.

Anyway, being a small dink of a school, it was tradition for the graduating class to, two days before graduation, have a big picnic on the school grounds with their parents and then spend the night in the school. I’m actually surprised how much free reign they gave us during the “spending the night” portion. They opened up the cafeteria (which was really the “multipurpose room” because it was also the band room/choir room/P.E. room, stage, after school room, and any other room we really needed) and we spent most of the night watching Christian-oriented shows (Veggie Tales, McGee and Me) and overdosing on cookies, then we kind of sprawled ourselves out across the building to sleep.

The next morning (which was Saturday?) I woke up feeling kind of crappy. My stomach kind of hurt and I felt “off.” I figured it was just a sugar/adrenaline crash, so I thought nothing else of it.

It must have been a Saturday now that I’m remembering, ‘cause my dad took me to the mall that morning. It was our Saturday tradition; he’d give me $20 and an hour and set me free to wander. This was usually fun, but that day I remember feeling super nauseous (plus in pain) so I spent most of the time in the bathroom trying not to vomit.

For whatever reason I didn’t think this was a big deal, and neither did my dad ‘cause we actually went out to see a movie that afternoon (Big Momma’s House. Yeah, I know, I know.). I felt terrible through the whole thing, but I stuck it out.

Things started getting worse all afternoon and that night I threw up like five times before finally passing out to sleep for about three hours. But the next morning was graduation, so my mom was very insistent* that I went to church/graduation/Big Catholic “Jesus Helped You Get Through School!” party time. So even though I couldn’t stand up straight or barely walk I got dressed up and in the car and to the church.

Luckily, one of my friend’s mother was a nurse and she could tell pretty easily that I probably had appendicitis. So before the ceremony even started I had to leave so that I could go to Gritman (and wait around for another 5 hours or something until they could schedule a surgery).

Fun times.

Anyway. That’s what I dreamt about. I don’t know why I felt it necessary to divulge that little story to y’all, but I did. So there.

*She was insistent because she knew I was getting a writing award during the ceremony and didn’t want me to miss it.

Don’t like product placement? Try an ice-cold Coca-Cola instead!

In my 100 Things list, I mention my constant singing of the Frosted Flakes “Hey Tony!” song when I was younger. Here is one such instance.

How these theatrics didn’t get me a paid endorsement job with Kellogg’s is beyond me. There’s a whole 60-minute tape of me doing crap like this.

Also, I still have that shirt. It was the “uniform” I got in T-ball when I played it in first grade.

Zazz

DUDES, did anybody else ever watch these?

YouTube is single-handedly making me relive my childhood. Freaking awesome.

Dream Factory

So last night I had a dream about Coos.

Coos are these:

Coos were a Coos were beings my friend G.E. and I came up with in kindergarten and developed over the course of a couple years in elementary school. When we became these different beings, we entered into this entire kingdom/social structure we had developed along with them. He was king, I was queen. At the height of the Coo’s popularity, we had practically our entire first grade class (22/23 kids) plus a lot of kids from 2nd and 3rd grade.

My and G.E.’s popularity paralleled that of our game (though it certainly wasn’t a game to us; it was life).

And then came the inevitable decline. I remember the exact moment things went wrong and I could recite it minute-for-minute to you as if it happened yesterday, but I’m not going to. It’s a very depressing memory and I don’t feel like going into my little pit of despair today, so let’s just skip over it.

In the end, the popularity of Coos began to decline after its height in first grade. By the time fourth grade was over, I was the only true Coo left. But regardless of their relatively short-lived existence (though I guess four grades is a LONG time to a little kid), Coos were an impactful part of my life. I’d written over 10 journals’ worth of stories about them, three or so 70-page “novels” about them, and had a myriad million art projects surrounding them (I even made a big 3D one out of clay once).

I don’t think about them often, mainly because I’m rarely (if ever) in contact with anyone who WAS a Coo way back in the ‘90s (holy freaking crap, I sound old now). So it was strange to dream about them.

Strange indeed.

Protected: I took note of the date today and realized something:

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Old McDonald had a blog, L-M-F-A-O!

Blaaaaaaaaahldfjasgiga I hate change. Stressful week shall be stressful. Engage random frivolity!

ANORAK…Do you have a sad side?
It is unfortunately one of my prominent sides.

BODY…What physical attribute would you most like to change?
I’d like to be taller. Like even just an inch or so. I have a very short torso. I’d like to be able to put more than two fingers between my lowest rib and my hip bone.

CELEBRITY…Which one would you most like to date and why?
Do they have to be living?

DEBUT …Tell us about your first ever blog post.
Hahaha. My high school friends finally convinced me to get a MySpace, and my first blog post was basically “here, are you happy? Now that I’ve got a blog, though, why not try to blog once a day?” DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU’VE DONE?!

ERROR …What’s been your biggest regret?
UBC.

FUNNY…who’s making you laugh?
No one at the moment.

GRAND…If we gave you one right now what would you spend it on?
Pay off my credit card ‘cause it’s right at its limit.

HOLIDAY… What’s your favorite destination?
Antarctica, even though I’ve never been there.

IRRITATE… What’s your most annoying habit?
We’re not going to get into that.

JOKER…Whats your favorite joke {the one that makes you laugh every time you hear it}?
Brian Regan’s UPS routine, Brian Regan’s airplane routine, Brian Regan’s emergency room routine. So basically anything by Brian Regan.

KENNEL… Do you have any pets?
I have my kitten Annabelle back home. She’s totally not a kitten, she’s like 13, but she’s small and my baby.

LOVE…Are you single, married, engaged, living with a long term partner?
Single. Single, single, single.

MEAL… Whats your ultimate starter, main and dessert?
Starter: Caesar salad
Main: fries/onion rings and chicken from Cougar Country
Dessert: German chocolate cake!

NOW…If you could be anywhere right now where would you be and who with?
I’d like to be down in Arizona with my mom, ‘cause we both need each other right now.

OFF DUTY…What do you do in your spare time?
Blog, do stats, read, listen to music, try not to die of boredom.

PROUD MOMENTS …What are you most proud of?
Nothing.

QUEASY …What turns your stomach?
Not much, really. Pepto Bismol used to make me violently ill, though.

RELAX…How do you relax?
I don’t. I’m a Viking.

SONG…Whats your favorite song of all time?
SLEEPYHEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!

TIME …If you could go back in time and relive it again, when would you choose?
All the way back to the beginning.

UNKNOWN…Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows?
I dream about linear algebra freakishly often.

VOCAL…. Who is your favorite artist?
Like vocal artist? Imogen Heap rocks.

WORK….. What is your dream job, and are you doing it now?
I would LOVE to fit statistical models to internet trends, or to study the internet in some way. It’s fascinating to me. I also wouldn’t mind teaching stats. Unfortunately, I am doing neither of these things right now.

XRAY…Any broken bones?
I had a hairline fracture in my tibia thanks to playing Wombat in junior high PE. That’s the worst it’s been.

YIKES…What’s been your most embarrassing moment?
In elementary school we used to put on school-wide Christmas and Spring musicals. I was always just given a small singing solo part until fifth grade, when our music teacher finally gave me an acting part. It was small, but it was an acting part. I was super happy and determined to show her that I could take on a bigger part next year. However, because I suck at everything I do, I got my lines mixed up and accidentally caused us all to skip like a fourth of the musical. We actually had to go back and add it at the end. Needless to say, another acting part was never offered to me.

ZOO…. If you were an animal, which one would you be?
I’d probably be a hippo or something equally awesome.

Also this, though I seriously doubt its ability to accurately judge writing style. If I were half as brilliant as Nabokov I’d have like forty books published by now, anyway. Clicky-clicky on pic to analyze your own writing.

30-Day Meme – Day 11: Share a story from your childhood.
A long time ago (1995) in a galaxy far, far away (Catholic elementary school), my friends and I attended an in-school after school program in which we sat in the cafeteria from 3 PM until our parents came to pick us up after work. I guess “cafeteria” is a misleading word, as the room was more of a multi-purpose room. It had a closet that was housed beneath the stairs that led up to the upper floor of the school. In it, we stored the stands for band as well as racks of those metal auditorium chairs. One day, my friends George, Mitchell, and I got the brilliant idea to hide from the after school teacher by ducking into the closet right after school ended. We were in there for like an hour and a half before we were discovered. We had to write apology letters, either to our parents or the after school teacher (I can’t remember). That was the most defiant I ever was as a kid, haha.

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I miss my artsy-fartsy childhood sometimes

When I was a kid in elementary school, I remember my mom always getting a little catalog full of “summer enrichment courses” offered by the city of Moscow. The catalog contained info for both adult and child classes. Being an only child with two working parents, it afforded my family to find me something to do over the summer, something which I readily looked forward to and, because of this, always loved to look through it to find the most interesting summer distractions.
Once, when I was about 6, we found a two-week-long program (that, now that I think about it, ran during the school year and not the summer) that was basically a clay camp—it was for younger kids like myself and it entailed making things out of clay and, after they were fired, glazing them and taking them home.

This was perhaps the greatest activity ever for me.

I remember being totally enthralled by it. This wasn’t the rubbery, neon-colored, oven-bake Sculpey clay I was used to. This was actual moist clay that had to be fired in a kiln before you could do anything else with it. And the glazing? HOLY FREAKING CRAP. I loved how glazes that looked brown or black initially “magically” turned out red or green or baby blue after the clay pieces were fired a second time.
The instructor of this clay class was (and, for all I know, still is) Linda Canary. I really liked her and she really liked me and I really liked clay, so after I had taken clay class several times, she suggested to my mom that I should try out Art Camp, a summer camp she run in which kids not only got to play with clay but also got to use charcoal, oil pastels, acrylic paint, plaster, sculpt soapstone, make books, and (perhaps most importantly) play on Linda’s property, which included a huge field, access to Paradise Creek, like fifteen semi-domesticated cats, a huge dress-up bin, and two treehouses. Not only that, but this camp ran for FIVE HOURS every weekday for TWO WEEKS.

Needless to say, I was thrilled.

I went to this camp until I was older than the upper age limit Linda had written on the flyers. So did I stop going? NEVER! Linda and I had gotten to know each other very well, and she actually suggested once I reached the age of 13 that I should act as her apprentice. What that meant: I would be able to attend the camp without paying the fee, but my job would basically be to assist the younger kids, organize the supplies, set up stuff between activities, and clean brushes/pottery wheels/charcoal-covered tables/charcoal-covered kids. But I could also do as much art as I wanted.

AWESOME.

I think I apprenticed until I was 16 or 17, before I had to go and get a “real” job. Would I go back and do it again if Linda were to ever ask me? Hell yes. Art Camp was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.

Anyway.

I don’t know what made me think so much about Art Camp this afternoon, but when I got back from walking around London I screwed around on the internet to see if I could find the kiln brands that Linda used, ‘cause if I ever get rich I’m SO building myself a pottery studio. I came across Dogwood Ceramic Supply, which is where I think Linda got EVERYTHING, including glaze.
So hey, if this kind of stuff interests you at all, click on the link and browse around. If I make my own studio, I’m holding adult Art Camps. Because we all need some unabashed creativity in our lives.

The end.

More Pictures

I found some more pics while I was packing this afternoon. Therefore I shall share them.

This is me with my cat Wooder.

 

This is an older me with an older Wooder. Note the drawing on the wall. My mom let me draw and write all over the walls in my room when we lived in Troy. How awesome is that?

 

This is my dad with Wooder. I don’t know if I was alive yet.

 

Me with Brutus (the black one) and Lena, siblings from a litter from my mom’s older cat, Gracie. Haha, I have so much paint on my pants. And the cats are like let me go, weirdo.

 

I was a cat lady from birth.

I was a weird child.

Proof:


Parking lot attack by mullet girl! Be afraid.


Here’s another picture of me apparently being a raptor. My grandma’s got that “what is wrong with this child?” look on her face.


And here’s a picture of me on a rock on Kamiak Butte, just being silly. I loved that shirt more than life itself.

Haha, sorry, I just randomly found these pics this afternoon.