Tag Archives: childhood

Perspective (yet another nostalgia-driven post)

You’re probably thinking, what’s with all the nostalgia, Claudia? NO ONE CARES!

Yeah, I know no one cares.

But I think they’re all coming from how much I’m missing Moscow and thinking about all the time I spent there as a kid/teen/young adult. Just the constant thinking of Moscow is dredging up a bunch of old memories.

So yeah, that’s the explanation. Sorry if you don’t like it.


The random thing I remembered today was a set of fairy tale books I had when I was a young kid (first and second grade, maybe?). The series was called “Another Point of View” by Alvin Granowsky and it presented classic fairy tales/fables from the “traditional” perspective and then from a different perspective based on one of the other characters in the story.

I think my mom got me several of these, but the one I remember was “The Three Billy Goats Gruff/Just a Friendly Old Troll.

Edit: sweet, here’s a lady reading it on YouTube.

I remember my mom always emphasizing the importance of critically looking at stories, especially movies. Thanks, mom!

Lunchbox Nostalgia

I remember having a very distinctive lunchbox in elementary school. It was this big hard plastic thing that was pink and purple and it had these funky dials on it that you had to turn to open it. I would use it to put worms in after rain storms to keep them from drowning in the puddles (see this blog post about my “worm saver” nickname from elementary school; yes, I was an odd child).

Anyway, I was talking to Nate about this lunchbox and wondered if I could find it by just googling something like “purple lunchbox with dials.”

And lo and behold, here it is!

That’s the exact freaking lunchbox, OH MY GOD. I don’t remember if I had the thermos, but I put so many worms in that little sandwich compartment.

The nostalgia is real.

Also, these images are from an eBay listing for the lunchbox, and it’s sooooo tempting to get it just for the sake of having it again.


Thinkin’ Things

So I have NO IDEA what triggered my memory of this, but back when I was in elementary school, my dad had gotten me the Thinkin’ Things collection (original, Collection 2, and Collection 3). These were three computer games that consisted of sets of puzzles, interactive playthings, and things that made a lot of music/sound.

I LOVED them. I have so many memories of playing through them for HOURS at my dad’s condo on that old Mac computer that he had.

Here’s a place where you can play the first one.

My favorite was the shapes that all made different sounds (the icon with the white dot grid and the geometric shapes on it)

And the second one.

I think my favorite game in the second collection was the one where you could draw a path and have a set of shapes follow it (the one with the window/circles icon).

I can’t find an interactive version of the third collection, but here’s a YouTube vid:

The one with the balls and the sand (7:34), OH MY GOD I LOVED IT. I remember all of these sounds, man. And the half time one (25:01) EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Yay nostalgia.

Did anyone else have these games?


Have I mentioned this game on here before? I’m not sure and I’m too lazy to check (pro blogging, yo), so I’mma mention it now.

Among the funky computer games I played as a kid was this one called Pantsylvania. I remember playing this with my friend GE in Troy a lot. It was basically this game where you could explore the town of Pantsylvania through several different buildings and with the guidance of different characters that had you do different things in the buildings. It was super point-and-click fun for young kids and I remember really enjoying it.

The frog gets a lot of hate, apparently. He was my fave.

Edit: here it is if you want to play it yourself!


Do you remember those nights when you got to stay up late after your parents went to bed? Do you remember when Cartoon Network went off the air (prior to Adult Swim being a thing) and having to find something else on TV to entertain yourself with?

If so, I’m sure you remember this:

This immediately brought me back to Saturday nights at my dad’s old condo. It was infomercials, Early Edition, or Baywatch once my dad went to bed.

Hark! A Pointless Blog!

So this song came up on shuffle today:

I hadn’t heard it in a while and I forgot what a tremendous feeling of anxiety that opening gives me.

Why, you ask?
(Shut up, just pretend you asked.)

Well, we were going to play this in band in 7th grade. We didn’t have any oboe players to play that opening solo thingy at 2:18, so being the nerdiest band nerd that ever nerded, I said, “hey Mr. Garrett, I’ll learn oboe, an instrument I’ve never even touched!” So I got my hands on an oboe and had about three weeks to learn how to play it (and play it well enough to do the solo thingy). I remember being so incredibly anxious about it every single time we practiced and, of course, when we performed it. I can’t remember how badly I botched it, but I’m sure I botched it quite nicely.


Also, cannons have nothing on the MAHLER HAMMER!

Old Piccys

My mom sent me some old pictures she found while cleaning/organizing her stuff. And since my blog is nothing but random nonsense that no one else cares about but me, here are said pictures.

My grandpa in the military. He never seemed like the military type when I knew him, but there ya go.

Case and point: here’s my grandpa (and my mom) with books on their heads ‘cause I had a book on mine.

Apparently we had an actual factual pony when I was a kid. I have zero memories of this pony. This is, obviously, my mom and me.

My mom and a kitten!

Me with our cat Wooder sleeping on me.

“We ride at dawn!”

The end.

Childhood Reads

Do you ever have the sudden urge to re-read books that you loved as a kid but haven’t read since then? I don’t know if it’s because COVID has me in a super nostalgic mood or what, but I really want to revisit some of the books I enjoyed as a kid. Some of the ones I can think of off the top of my head include:

ALL of The Baby-Sitters Club books (Ann M. Martin) – I had almost every single one of these books when I was a kid/early teen. I always liked that there was a character named Claudia and that she was super artsy.

Skinnybones (Barbara Park) – I remember this book being absolutely hilarious to me as a kid. I loved the writing style.

Sixth Grade Secrets (Louis Sachar – yes, the guy who wrote Holes) – Another book where I remember liking the writing style. I also liked the story.

Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade (Barthe DeClements) – I have vague memories of this book, so I’d like to read it again to see what I’m actually remembering.

The Fudge books (Judy Blume) – I had most of these as a kid, I think.

Crooked (Laura McNeal) – This was a book I read when I was a little bit older…7th grade, I think? I remember this was one of the first books I read that had a plot with a more “serious” tone. I remember liking it a lot.

Anyway. There were a lot of other books I read as a kid (obviously); I wish I had the memory to recall the names of all of them in case there were others I wanted to revisit.

Are there any books that you remember you liked as a kid that you would like to read again now that you’re an adult?

Kid Stuff

So I don’t know why this is, but every once and a while I think about a show I used to watch when I was a kid (six or seven years old? We lived in Troy at the time, so somewhere around that age) in which a bunch of kids get permission from a TV station to do their own news show type-thingy.

In my several years of searching for this show, I have never been able to find any clips of it – mainly because I didn’t remember what it was called and the only two things I have a distinct memory of the intro (at least parts of it) and one clip where there were kids dressed in snazzy sequin coats singing “Rockin’ Robin.”

But I finally, finally had some success with my searches today!

The show was called Kidsongs, and here is the intro:

God, this made me want to go into TV and/or radio hosting so badly. I’m sure my mom remembers that summer where I was doing the fake radio station stuff AND the summer(s) where I had the camcorder. My poor mom.

Edit: holy crap, it’s the “Rockin’ Robin” thing:

Those jackets are snazzy as all hell.

I found the piece I took to State Drama

So when I was in 12th grade, one of the elective classes I took was drama. I don’t remember much from it other than us performing Ayn Rand’s “Night of January 16th” (I was Magda), us dicking around a LOT during class, and the tryouts and subsequent state drama competition.

I had two pieces I performed for the state drama competition. One was with my friend Bethany; we did a scene out of Hamlet. The other was a solo piece that my drama teacher thought would fit me very well. It was called Twirler, and after just a little digging on the Tubes, I found it here.

I remember practicing this. I remember buying a baton and making my costume. I remember practicing a southern accent.

(I don’t remember saying the “n” word, though; surely I would not have been comfortable with that. We must have subbed it out with something else.)

I remember the tryouts, too. The regional ones were held one weekend in our high school building and I had to give my “Twirler” performance in one of the math rooms, which just shot my anxiety straight through the roof.

But both of my pieces got called to go on to the state competition held somewhere in the south – either Twin Falls or Idaho Falls, I can’t remember. We couldn’t do the one with Bethany because she had some sort of other prior commitment, but I went and performed “Twirler.” They said I would have gotten into the final round had I not gone over time.

Which, you know, is how things always go with me.

But yeah. I just had a sudden flashback to that piece and wanted to see if I could find it.



When Nate and I were on our walk last weekend, we somehow got on the topic of shows we used to watch when we were kids and I mentioned that Talespin was one of my absolute favorites. My dad had eight or so VHS tapes that each had two or three episodes on them and they were awesome.

Anyway, talking about Talespin made it so that the theme song lodged itself nicely in my brain for approximately a week.

Cool times.

I’d also forgotten how fantastic Don Karnage was. He was always my favorite.


Hahaha, I found this movie terrifying as a kid as well.

Edit: aaaaaand of course they’re making a sequel this year. Nothing is safe. Humans are terrible.

Do you REMEMBER…this joke comes around each SEPTEMBER

Ahoy, nerds.

So this blog post stems from a conversation I had with Nate while we were walking (was it this weekend? Last weekend? Last year? I honestly have NO CONCEPT OF TIME ANYMORE, so who the hell knows). We were talking about what we were like when we were kids (how we played, what types of friends we had, etc.), and I remembered how much of a planner I was when I was a kid. More specifically, I remembered how frustrated I always was as a kid over how terrible other kids were at planning and carrying through with things.

Example 1: one of my really weird desires as a kid (and as a teenager, ask my high school friends) was to re-create movies with my friends. Not to, like, adapt them into plays or pretend we were characters in a movie and act as if we were the actual characters…I mean, follow the script, actions, and tone of a movie down to the minute details and basically do the movie again, but with us instead of the original characters/actors. I actually don’t know if I ever wanted these to be taped or if they would just have been live performances or what, but I seriously had this urge for the majority of my pre-adult life.

Anyway, Toy Story came out when I was in elementary school (first grade, I think?) and it immediately became the best thing ever to me. Woody was my favorite. And thus, when I decided I wanted my first grade class to act out the movie, I decided I would be Woody and then assigned other characters to my friends based on who I thought they acted like in real life (the only one I can remember at this point was my friend Meredith D. was going to play Slinky).

I was actually a fairly popular kid in first grade, so I had a lot of sway and people generally did what I wanted them to (and I wasn’t pushy about the movie thing, just to be clear; I asked people if they wanted to do it one afternoon and they said yes and so that was that). So I organized everyone, got us all together on the playground, gave everyone their roles, and plotted out how the opening scene would work using parts of the playground as landmarks. We got through a few lines, then the bell rang and we had to go back inside. The next day? It seemed like everyone had completely forgotten about the plans and had no more interest in the project, which was really disheartening and I was pretty mad (yeah, I know, how dare these six-year-olds have the attention spans of six-year-olds?). This happened with Star Wars, too. Yeah, we were going to do Star Wars. I liked the droids, shut up.

Example 2: fast forward a few years to, I don’t know, fourth or fifth grade? St. Mary’s offered an “after school” program in the summer that was more like a half-day day camp thing to keep us youths out of trouble. We would go to Ghourmley park and swim (back when it had a pool), we’d go to the library, we’d screw around on the playground at St. Mary’s, all that fun stuff.

One of the best things that happened during these day camps was when we’d get a hold of some large cardboard boxes—fridge boxes, stove boxes, etc.—and get to do what we wanted with them. We loved the boxes. One day we got like four refrigerator boxes from somewhere and we were freaking over the moon. I had the idea to make like a huge space station thing out of the boxes, and so a group of us (five or so?) started planning on all the elaborate stuff we’d add to the boxes—dials, windows, doors that “air locked,” tethers that we could use to “space walk” from the boxes, all that jazz. I wrote out blueprints, yo. We were jazzed as hell and were making all these plans to bring stuff from home the next day so that we could make the coolest space station ever. And the next day? You guessed it: it was like we’d never made any of these plans at all. No one brought anything (except for me), no one seemed to care anymore. And once again, super disappointing.

Example 3: this is less of a “Claudia has always been a planner” example and more of a “Claudia is an only child and ALL THE TOYS ARE HERS” kind of an example, but it fits well enough that I’m including it here. Let’s go way back in time to kindergarten. I remember we had this huge set of these plain old rectangular blocks—the things were pretty big, like half the size of actual bricks (or at least they seemed that big when I was in kindergarten), and there were a lot of them.

One day I wanted to use all of said blocks to make a giant horse, and so I did. It was this super huge and fairly elaborate thing by the time I was done with it and it took up quite a bit of the classroom. My teacher must have thought it was pretty cool, though, so she let me leave it up after playtime was over and actually told the other kids not to take any of the blocks from it for the rest of the day.

Finally, when the other kids were allowed to start disassembling it so that they too could use the blocks again, I was pretty upset. I was like, “what are you gonna build with it, pleb? Surely not a COLOSSAL HORSE.”


Miss Susie

For some incredibly random reason, this little rhyme popped into my head this afternoon and I couldn’t get it out.

Did any of you guys ever sing this in elementary school? I remember G.E. and I sang it quite a bit. It was about as rebellious as you could get in a Catholic elementary school.

The “Missouri” version is most similar to what we sang.

Elementary school, man.

Beanie Babies

Man, this brings back a lot of memories.

Back when Beanie Babies were a huge thing, I (read: my dad) had a huge collection of them and we were super serious about collecting and preserving them and seeing if we could find any rare ones. We had hangtag protectors, we had display cases for some of them, and when McDonald’s had the Teenie Beanie Babies going on, we would go there as often as possible to get all the Teenies.

Hell, we had catalogs that detailed all the rare Beanies, mentioned pricings for different conditions and different generation tags, and talked about all the rare and different versions of some of the Beanies that had been produced. I would read that catalog every morning when I was at my dad’s house on the weekends.

I remember I always wanted a Caw, but they were like $300 back in the day and I never got one, haha.

Camp Four Echoes: The Saga

Little known (?) fact about me: I was a Girl Scout. Granted, I was only a Girl Scout for approximately a year and a half so it wasn’t like a huge part of my life, but I was a Girl Scout.

I was a Girl Scout long enough to go to Camp Four Echoes, the little Girl Scout retreat/camp thingy that we had.

I’m bringing this up because I was looking through one of my “here’s a whole bunch of papers and nonsense from my past” drawers and found the little scrapbook I’d made from my week at Camp Four Echoes. And then I thought “fuck it, I put almost every other aspect of my life on this damn blog, why not the Girl Scouts part?”

So here we are (in pdf form). Enjoy: Camp Four Echoes

That Lauren scandal thing was Prime Drama™.

Thoughts on Lead

It is November 20th today.

As you may or may not know (depending on how long you’ve followed my blog and/or how much attention you pay to past blogs), November 20th is the birthday of the person known as Lead.

Lead, for those of you who don’t know, is the nickname I use for the person that I had a massive, massive, massive crush on all throughout the end of elementary school, junior high, and high school (and it would have started earlier, I’m sure, except he didn’t come to Moscow until 5th grade).

I have long since ceased giving a single fart about this guy, but just the date “November 20th” brings him back into my memory because he was a serious part of my existence for about seven years of my teenage life.

Today, that also brings up something that I’ve come to realize about my mad obsession with this dude that I’ve never really shared. This is a realization I made a long while ago—like, 8th grade, maybe—but was one I kind of kept inside hoping that it wasn’t true, because that truth was more pathetic than frantically stalking a dude for the sake of true love.

(At least, that’s what my 14-year-old brain convinced me of).

This realization? I wasn’t obsessed with Lead because I was in love with him or was soul mates with him or any of that lovey nonsense. I was obsessed with him because I wanted to be him. He was everything I wish I was, especially in junior high and high school when I was so painfully apathetic about, well, pretty much everything but Lead.

The guy was popular. The guy was good-looking. The guy was athletic. And most of all? The guy was smart.

Like… S M A R T.

I don’t know if he actually had a genius-level IQ, but I’m 99% convinced of it. Super smart. He put everyone else at that garbage bag of a school to shame with what he could do with his mental prowess and how easily he seemed to do it. He got a full ride scholarship to some school in Montana after he graduated, but I’m sure if he didn’t take that he could have easily gone to MIT or Harvard or Oxford or something like that. And he would have blown those fuckers away at those schools.

That’s what I wanted. I wanted to be that smart. I probably could have faked my way through high school a lot better if I’d given a crap (I think my cumulative GPA at the end was like a 3.5), but it would have taken work. I would not have been able to do it with the ease he seemed to do everything.*

This is the Amateur Hour psych student in me, but I think I hid my jealousy of him with admiration. I thought, “hey, if I can’t be this guy, maybe I can get him to like me. If he likes me, that means I’m good enough to at least be liked by a dude of this caliber. So let’s do that!”

Anyway. I know, I know, stupid shit. But I figured I’d mention it now that I’m so far removed from him that I don’t even think we’re Facebook friends anymore. Or at least, I’m no longer obsessively checking his Facebook like I used to. Haha.


*Yes, I know I might be wrong about this. He made it look like it was easy for him. Maybe it wasn’t. But goddamn, he sure made a convincing argument that getting through school was as easy for him as slicing butter with a hot knife.

Baby Tamagotchis?!?!?!?!


I remember when Tamagotchis were a thing, yo. I think they came out in 1997 in the US. My friend Emily and I needed them, haha. I think either my mom or dad bought me mine from JC Penny. Mine was the “yellow w/ orange” color, Emily’s was the “purple w/ magenta” color.

We took them everywhere.

I eventually amassed at least nine digital pets during elementary school—I had a few Tamagotchis, I had this one bear Tamagotchi knockoff, I had a Dinkie Dino (my favorite), and a whole bunch of others.

Sadly, I lost the giant keychain of them on the airplane back from California. ‘Twas a sad day. I wish I still had all of those, they were great.


More Nostalgia Garbage

I found that “Goodnight Aneel” thing I posted about yesterday because I’ve been going through all the old crap on my compy. Another thing I found was a Word document full of all sorts of old letters/emails/etc. that I saved for whatever reason or another.

Back in elementary school (5th grade, 6th grade), one thing I liked to do (‘cause I was a weird bugger) was pretend that each person’s desk was like their house and had its own address and such. I’d write letters to people, put them in actual envelopes (with drawn-on fake stamps), and “deliver” them through our “postal service” (which was just me putting the letters in peoples’ desks during recess).

Here’s an example:


Joe Hazardus
200 Master St.
Mossy, ID 8384ME

Sir O the Second
2020 Ribbon St.
Mossy, ID 8384ME

Dear Sir O the Second:

            It occurred to me that Mistress O has fallen from her tower again. She has no sense of balance. Anyway, you don’t get the index concept. Don’t think Parlor Van Anita hasn’t called me yet. Cappi Bara still needs your opinion. Do you like plaid or velvet? Tell her soon, or behold her wrath!!!

            T.S.T.B. Joe and Solid Cooler have decided to plan your day. I hope you’re happy. Fun with Pressure Points has caught the attention of millions. Do you think Grouper Sue and yourself could pull it off in front of the nation?

P.S. Lee Blubberlig and Hershe Wrapper are upset with you. Don’t ask me why.

Your Seedless Wonder who is DESPERATE for a reply,

                                                                                                            Joe Hazardus


I was, of course, Joe Hazardus. Sir O the Second was Kelly O., I believe. Solid Cooler was John…I don’t remember who the others were. “T.S.T.B.” stood for “Too Soon To Be” because why not.

Here’s an email I sent to my friend Aneel in 7th grade. Having an email address was the hip n’ cool new thing at the time (2001). I was starpotty@hotmail.com. I was also hyper as hell, apparently.

Where are you? Are you in Arizona? Mexico? California? Tokyo? Do you still have this address? I hope so cause I’m sending you this. Do you have a brain you could spare? Do you have any Norwegian money? Turnips are good. I fail to see the similarities between a shoe and it’s laces of doom. Do you have any snowballs? I like the snow….maybe it’ll snow today. Somebody wants to copy an orange. Maybe if you build a pool and put gelatin in it, it will replicate the look and feel of an ocean. Turnips are disgusting. Can you spell? I can’t spell. My Halloween pumpkin tried to kill me last night. It seemed to go nuts and tried to declare freedom. Maybe I shouldn’t carve pumpkins anymore. Are you the king of your country yet? Has Tokyo sunk yet? Where’s your phone? I WANT THE DANG PHONE BACK!! HAVE YOU NO HEART?!!??!!? Oh well. Is it a cellular phone, or just one of those where you get this *eepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeep* and then “cosmic operator, hold, please” and then: DUN-DUN DUN DUN DUNNNN DU DU!DUN-DUN DUN DUN DUNNNN DU DU!DUN-DUN DUN DUN DUNNNN DU DU!DUN-DUN DUN DUN DUNNNN DU DU!DUN-DUN DUN DUN DUNNNN DU DU! and then you go and re invent the law of physics and cut a hole in the ceiling and get sucked into it. How many turnips have you grown since I started writing this dang message? Are you even reading this? HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE???? Are you in Tokyo yet? TIP: if you put an egg in the microwave for 2:00, at 1:39 seconds, it will EEEXPPLLOOODDDE!!!! It is very very loud…33,333,333,333,333,333,333,333 decimals, to be precise. Can you read this? ARE YOU SURE? I seriously doubt my instincts about sending you this…it’s not like you CHECK it very often. I’ve sent you, like, 4 billion freakin messages!! AND HOW DO YOU REPAY ME???? SILENCE!!! Oh, the horror! Oh, the insanity! Oh, the inconvenience!!!!!!!!!!! DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!! *ahem* okay. Enough of that. See ya soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon! bye.

>+<!*^*~(STAR POTTY)~^*^*!>+<

I also wrote a lot of love letters to the dude I liked back when I was a kid, but we ain’t gonna go into that nonsense.

Goodnight Aneel

Back when I used to think I was both talented and hilarious, I made a little parody of “Goodnight Moon” for my high school friend Aneel. Considering all the drawings were in MS Paint, I’d say it’s not too bad.

Check it:



So I totally forgot to mention this when I found it a month or so ago as I was cleaning out the crap in my closet, but I found a story I wrote way back in 4th grade.

It’s a bag of trash and there’s 52 pages of it, but I’mma type it up all pretty and post it for you as a blog at some point down the road, ‘cause that’s what my blog is for: humiliating myself.


Claudia’s Dumbass Poetry: Junior High Edition

I wrote a lot of really crappy poetry in junior high.

And since I have nothing interesting to say today (what else is new?), you get said crappy poetry.

Enjoy the cringe.

My chicken longs
For a pair of tongs

To pull it out of the pan.
If it were alive
It would strive
To get out of the pan if it could.
It would, if…
It had a head, some feathers, and a knife.
And I said to my chicken,
“Hey, get a life!”

Go to the John
Johnly Conley
Puddin’ and pie
Hung the wash
And now it’s dry.
Wish he still had both his eyes
Johnly Conley
Cannot cry.

Jason Valdez
You might believe this guy is great.
Totally wrong!
Can’t you hear?
Sleigh bells, jingle jangle!
Home again, jiggitty jig.
What to do?
Child’s play,
But what the hey!
Stale bread,
Random dread.
Jam on biscuits.
Say that again, randomizer.
I wasn’t paying…
Open up!
It’s Jason!

Jelly, jelly, jelly…fish!
Looming through the deep
Glowing as it creeps.
Has no brain, no heart, no lungs
Last low tide on a rock it clung
Hung there for 2 minutes or 3
Released it’s suction, now it’s free.
Jelly, jelly, jelly…fish!
He will sting you if you wish.

You shan’t be deceived by the dawn or the night,
Dream small and live large shall be of your might.
Take the sin from your mind and replace it with hope,
Give much of your laughter to repel hatred’s rope.
Hold your love dearly or it might slip away,
Like shepherds with sheep so they don’t go astray.
Live your life with a purpose and not an excuse,
Make sure that your hands get a lot of good use.
Live without judging, but have lots of bliss,
Don’t go off the path and be taken amiss.
Be prepared to find pain and not simply power,
Don’t just smell the roses, stop and kiss a flower.

When the Bulls Come Out
When the sun goes down and the bulls come out,
The moon does shine without a doubt.
All sheep walk on a moonlit path,
While parakeets take a moonlit bath.
The stubborn boar is in this, too,
He lives right by the rendezvous.
The mighty bear, the timid snake,
All come running to partake.
This joyous fest, one time a year,
Rises past the Troposphere.
The stars shine brightly down on them,
All is peaceful, no mayhem.
The from the distance comes a noise,
Which made all the animals poise.
Then out came man, oh yes indeed,
Riding on his noble steed.
He cleared out all the trees and grass,
All creatures did run, so now, alas,
The moon does shine without a doubt,
When the sun goes down and the bulls come out.


Tubular Bells

Today’s post is another one of those “why have I never shared this with you people?” posts. Ready?

So when I was a kid/tween/teen, I went to Linda Canary’s art camp during the summer. Art camp was two weeks of artistic freedom and bliss—it involved everything from clay to oil pastels to soapstone carving to batiking to plaster mask making. It also involved a lot of shenanigans in tree houses and in Paradise Creek.

I’ve talked about all that before. But anyway.

Linda was really good with kids and gave the camp a fairly loose structure. However, the one thing that we were “required” to make every day was a mandala.

For 20 minutes or so, we would go in the art studio and make mandalas based on whatever mental image or journey Linda would guide us on. During this time of quiet (it really was the only quiet part of the day, haha), Linda would play music over the stereo. Lots of Enya, lots of Deep Forest, lots of instrumental music.

One song she played a few times for us was called Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. It’s from 1973 and is nearly an hour long song filled with a ton of instruments and interesting musical transitions. Give it a listen. It’s quite awesome.

Yes, the intro part was used in the Exorcist. The rest is so much better.

Here, Have Some More

Y’all thought I was done with the obnoxious home movies yet?

Y’all thought wrong.

Here’s another “series” which is really just two videos titled “Hiking with Altoids” and “Hiking with Altoids II.” I’m a little bit older in these—sixth grade or so, probably.

For whatever reason, Altoids were what was happening in 6th grade. Everyone had a tin of them, we traded flavors, and we had competitions over who could hold the most Altoids in their mouth without freaking out over how strong the taste was. We pretended they were drugs.

Catholic school kids gone bad.

Our family also happened to live in a house with a back yard that ran right up against the U of I arboretum. Which, of course, was a perfect place for a lot of my nonsense movies.

So enjoy Hiking with Altoids and Hiking with Altoids II.


Yeah, this was what I did with my spare time.

More Embarrassment

So last weekend y’all got The Grandpa Twins. This weekend it’s Coo News at 8:30, aka “The Most Depressing News Channel Ever.”

Not sure what a coo is? Read this.

That “accent” I’m using is how coos talk.

Also, sorry about it getting all warbly at the end. This was at the very end of the tape.