Terra Nomad

Every day is like survival. You're my lover, not my rival.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Fisher Price Phone

I had one of these when I was little. The wheels are angled so it goes up and down as it moves forward.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Collect Them All - Rainbow Brite

RainbowBrite.net or on Wikipedia Rainbow Brite

She lives in Rainbowland with the seven color kids (one for each ROYGBIV color) and each of their sprites. She rides a horse named Starlite, and her sprite is named Twink.
Wikipedia lists the color kids and their Sprites:
Red Butler (Romeo)
Lala Orange (OJ) (in the 2004 line, OJ's name is Mango)
Canary Yellow (Spark)
Patty O'Green (Lucky)
Buddy Blue (Champ)
Indigo (Hammy)
Shy Violet (IQ)

Her main villains were Murky and Lurky, and there were many other characters in the show and movie.


Thursday, July 03, 2008


I just completed the 15th move of my life of 31 years. 15 moves is 16 different places, which means I have averaged less than 2 years per location.

The longest place I have lived is the house my mother still lives in, and the shortest place is the 3rd Hopkins apartment. I forced them to give me new unit after mine flooded 3 times and they wouldn't let me out of my lease, so I was in the two 1 bedrooms for a total of a year, one for seven months and the other for five.

This last move was a pretty different experience than my others. For one, my roommate and I just got approved last Friday. I knew it was going to be down to the wire and had no idea if I could get in to the place before July 1st, so I didn't hire movers or reserve a truck. I did rent a 10x15 storage unit on Thursday afternoon. From Thursday to Saturday, my sister and I took seven cars loads of boxes to the unit. Sunday morning we signed the lease and started moving stuff into the apartment. In all, it took 20-21 car loads, two passenger truckloads and one Home Depot truckload to get all of our stuff out of the old place. Um, time to declutter! I did some of that before moving, but it never seems like enough. I still have some stuff in my friend's basement from two moves ago. I know there is a Christmas tree down there, and an unknown number of boxes, somewhere between 5 and 20. But it sort of evens out as I am storing some things for my niece.

Despite the last minute timing of it all, the only really bad thing about the move was how sore we all got (and still are). Our family has had some nightmarish moves in the past, including one where we lost the key to the Budget moving truck and had to get a locksmith to cut a new one and another where our U-haul broke down multiple times on a 75 minute drive. In comparison, this one was not so bad. It helped that I was moving out of a first floor unit.

Thanks Shannon, Gerardo, Josh and especially Tanya for hauling my stuff and cleaning my old place.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yard Salad

This pic reminds me of a time when I was about 5 or 6. Two of the stranger families in our apartment building teamed up and sold their unwanted stuff in the yard. Their sign read "Yard Sald", and to this day my family calls all garage/rummage/yard sales "Yard Salads"

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kickball Kiss

He and I colluded to put away the kickballs at the end of gym class so we could be alone. Let's see, this was third grade, so I was eight and he was nine. He told me to stop and close my eyes. Once I did, he kissed me and ran out of the room so fast that I opened my eyes to see nothing but the door closing. I must have gone to the lunchroom after that, but I don't remember. At this point I knew that he liked me back. Being eight years old, I guess that was enough. He would talk to me at my locker before I went to catch the bus home. My sister would stand ten feet away and giggle. I don't remember if I ever kissed him again or even how it ended. The next year, I was friends with his sister and he started calling me names, so maybe I had ended it.

What name did he call me? "Sarah Pampers"

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Time and Memories

Byrds - Turn, Turn, Turn - A time to cast away stones, A time to gather stones together

Boyz II Men - It's so Hard to Say Goodbye - And I'll take with me the memories, To be my sunshine after the rain

Everything but the Girl - And I Miss You - And the years have proved to offer, nothing since you've moved. You're long gone, but I can't move on.

Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You - Bittersweet memories, that is all I'm taking with me.

Guns N Roses - November Rain - But if you could heal a broken heart, Wouldn't time be out to charm you?

Third Eye Blind - Jumper - Maybe today we can put the past away

Aaliyah - Once Upon a December - Far away, long ago, Glowing dim as an ember, Things my heart used to know, Things it yearns to remember.

Cake - The Distance - She's hoping in time that her memories will fade.

Aerosmith - I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing - I just want to stay with you in this moment forever, Forever and ever

Surface - The First Time - Memories we've shared will live forever Deep inside my heart

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime - Sitting with your friends as y'all reminisce, About the days growing up and the first person you kissed

Indigo Girls - We'll amuse ourselves one day with these memories we'll trace.

Alanis Morissette - Unsent - The truth is whenever I think of the early 90's, your face comes up with a vengeance like it was yesterday.

Patti Smyth - No Mistakes - Why do only the cold and lonely times seem to last?

Matchbox 20 - Disease - You left a stain, On every one of my good days.

No Doubt - Sunday Morning - You sure have changed since yesterday

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

When the Children Cry

White Lion's "When the Children Cry" came up on my iPod today. I was transported back to fifth or sixth grade when we learned the song in Music class. We were practicing it for an upcoming concert, and were given sheets of paper with the lyrics on them. Those lyrics include the line, "No more presidents, and all the wars will end, one united world, under God." Somehow, the principal found out the song would be performed and told the music teacher to pull it, because of that line. It wasn't because of the anti-war or religious parts, but the "anarchistic" bit about no more presidents. That teacher was one of my least favorite to begin with, and I remember her telling us about pulling the song and implying that it was our fault. She said one of us must have left the lyrics sheet somewhere to be discovered by the person who eventually complained. That same teacher refused to let us sing the Beach Boys "Kokomo" because of the line, "Come on, pretty mama." I hated Music class, almost as much as PhyEd, and I think part of the reason was the cheesy songs we had to sing.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lord Licorice

I have a confession to make: I always thought Lord Licorice from Candyland was hot.

No, not this one:

lord licorice3

or this one:
lord licorice4

or this one:
lord licorice1

No, the one I remember from the 80's that looked like this:

lord licorice2

Now, I realize he was the villian of the whole game (thus the reason you got to play) but I guess I've always loved the bad boys. Even though the rest of the guys in that game were either made of goo, covered in hair or wider than they were tall, I consider Lord Licorice one of the most attractive cartoon characters ever. Of course, you have to overlook the large, pointy ears and the nose that would stab you whenever you kissed. But in exchange, you'd be living in a pretty sweet castle, surrounded by triangular boulders with eyes and sometimes mouths. And besides, you know that boy can dance.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Collect Them All - Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake
Ahhhhh - these dolls smelled so good! They all smelled like the dessert they were named after and each came with a pet, also named after food (like Raspberry Tart with Rhubarb monkey). There are over 20 different characters and the new versions each have a Filly (horse) named after a flavor of ice cream. Villains are The Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak (with Captain Cackle the berry bird) and Sour Grapes (with snake Dregs).

I have caught a few half-hour episodes of a cartoon featuring the updated Strawberry Shortcake, but I can only find the DVDs on IMDb.



I don't have that photographic, elephant-like memory that people like to brag about. But, judging by my job over the past week or so, I am lucky enough to remember a few odd, specific things that will later come in handy.

There were 27 kids in my kindergarten class (the one that took place 24 years ago) and I can remember 19 of their names:
Curt L
Joel B
Joel S
Jenny R
Heidi Z
Wes E
Doug G
Kristi G
Stuart ?
Tony P
Gary H
Gary H (yes, there were 2)
Taunia A
Emily S
Sarah C
Jessica T
Tiffany L
Jamie S
Katie R

So, there are seven missing (27-19-me=7). I know a boy named Shamus was in second grade with us, but not kindergarten. I would much rather attend a 25-year kindergarten reunion with these people than go to my ten year high school reunion. In fact, my ten-year was last September and I skipped it. Most of my friends either didn't graduate, were in another grade or attended another school.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Collect them all: Care Bears

Care Bears
The official page lists 19 Care Bears, including an all-white True Heart Bear, but Wikipedia lists 38 bears, some of which are new since 2004. The Care Bears live in Care-a-lot, a town made up of clouds and they often had to teach kids lessons about how not to be a jerk in their cartoon series. They even had a movie in 1985, which I remember seeing in the theater, and 4 more after that. They also had 11 Care Bear Cousins, who lived in the Forest of Feelings. There were different villains in each movie, but the television series had both Professor Coldheart and Wizard No Heart.
"Friends" of the Care Bears include Strawberry Shortcake and Holly Hobbie (each with their own sites) and Twisted Whiskers and the Get Along Gang (who's sites are not yet available). Friendship, in this case, means they are all owned by American Greetings.
See which Care Bear you are here or here. There is a popular quiz about Dysfuctional Care Bears, but I can't find a version available to the public.
(Australian site)


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dorrie and the Weather Box by Patricia Coombs

was one of my favorite books when I was young. We recently found our battered, written-on, cover-missing copy on my mother's bookshelf. The illustrations were probably the best part, with Gink the cat, the big witch, angry androgynous Cook, and the swirly orange sky. I realized it was part of a series, but I don't think I have seen any of the other books:

1 Dorrie's Magic
2 Dorrie and the Blue Witch
3 Dorrie's Play
4 Dorrie and the Weather Box
5 Dorrie and the Witch Doctor
6 Dorrie and the Wizard's Spell
7 Dorrie and the Haunted House
8 Dorrie and the Birthday Eggs
9 Dorrie and the Goblin
10 Dorrie and the Fortune Teller
11 Dorrie and the Amazing Magic Elixir
12 Dorrie and the Witch's Imp
13 Dorrie and the Halloween Plot
14 Dorrie and the Dreamyard Monsters
15 Dorrie and the Screebit Ghost
16 Dorris and the Witchville Fair
17 Dorrie and the Witch's Camp
18 Dorrie and the Museum Case
19 Dorrie and the Pin Witch
20 Dorrie and the Haunted Schoolhouse

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Encyclopedia Brown

Harry Potter refueled my love of adolescent fiction, which explains my recent readings of A Wrinkle in Time and The Phantom Tollbooth, two books I neglected to read when I was younger. One series I did manage to read often was Encyclopedia Brown and it seems there are some issues over getting it to the big or even small screen.

Each book had several cases in it and the last sentence was something along the lines of him saying, "Mr Thompson is lying! He was on the porch last night." You then had to figure out the clue that proved his accusation, some of which were pretty obscure. I think they could do great things by making him a combination of MacGyver and Cliff Clavin with tons of useless information in his head and lots of wacky contraptions that actually work to get Sally and him out of the bind they're in and catch the crooks.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Puttin' on the Hits

Do you still have nightmares about a man with an orangutan puppet around his neck when you hear the song 'Guitarzan'? If you have any clue what I am talking about, you remember the lip synch game show from the early 80's, Puttin' on the Hits, with your fabulous host Allen Fawcett:

He now has that typical former star look (slightly bigger head, still too-large hair and pain-hiding smile) and held a show at the Palace Station in Vegas.

But seriously, I loved this show and can still hear him saying, "... a perfect score of 30!"

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

High School: I hope these aren't really the best years of my life.

Seventh grade: on to the big, scary high school. Again we got an influx of new kids, this time from the neighboring town that my huge crush was from, so now I got to see him all the time. I assume from this point on that my grade hovered around 275 kids. My niece was born this year, and I found a group of three other girls and we formed a cliche, finally realizing that just because we weren't popular, we could still have friends if we banded together. One of the girls in this group, Windy, decided she liked my huge crush, too, which caused some issues between us since she knew I liked him as well. I met my first official boyfriend in the math class they put me in, although we didn't start going out until the summer. He was from Pennsylvania, and we only dated for about three weeks, but we stayed friends throughout high school. I was the only girl in my Industrial Arts class, which wasn't as bad as it sounds. I learned quite a bit, even when I was lighting the oven to melt something, and I felt an explosion of heat across my face, because I'd left the gas on to long before lighting it. Everyone seemed pretty scared, but I didn't even think anything much had happened. The ends of my hair and eyelashes were singed, but there was no long term damage. Social Studies class was moderately interesting, since we had many debates over "issues" the teacher would present. They consisted of 5 of us doing most of the talking, and the teacher trying to engage the rest of the students who were too shy or apathetic to have an opinion. I joined the Math League (shut up) but didn't do as well as the older kids, who'd had Trigonometry already. We got to read Romeo & Juliet in Lit class, and saw about 20 minutes of the tape, since they wouldn't let us see the nudity and used the Fast Forward button with reckless abandon.

Back to the elementary school building, now magically transformed into a Junior High for Eighth Grade. In making a new school, the administration tried to be forward thinking about policies, which amounted to us all buying an official school version of the Trapper Keeper, and cutting the year into trimesters instead of semesters. This time, my homeroom was the Industrial Arts room, and consisted of both seventh and eighth grade kids whose last names were adjacent to mine. Science had us studying chemistry, denaturing wood, fusing hydrogen and oxygen into water, and running experiments on a mystery mix of stuff to determine what it was (pond water and wood shavings). I went to a MathCounts competition, where I took home trophies in one team and two individual events. Once during a study hall, a substitute librarian decided there were too many kids in the library and started kicking us out. I refused to go and ended up getting disciplined for "Insubordination" (learned a new word that day, too). I told the assistant principal why I had such a bad attitude and she decided I was bored and should read more books. Thanks lady, did you think I hadn't thought of that? I was trying to tell you how the system was failing me and you brushed it off, refusing to think critically about the bureaucracy you were perpetuating. This was the same woman who tried to ban us from wearing t-shirts that said "Button Your Fly" and handkerchiefs on our heads. All of us Bad Attitudes were ready to stage a walk out when they repealed the ban. Geography proved to be an entertaining subject, not the curriculum as much as the teacher. To call this guy a Beach Boy was not only accurate, but also something he would have taken as a compliment. He was one of many teachers who seemed to think injecting their personal opinions into lectures was a good thing. In his case, he used his desk as a platform to tell us our schools were underfunded and it was our parents fault for not wanting high property taxes. He seemed shocked at our apathy.

My romantic life sort of took off this year as well, and I ended up "going out" with eleven guys from September to May. Some of them were Summer Boy again, my huge crush from sixth grade, and a cute but shy swimmer. My best kisser of the year award would have to go to this skinny little blonde guy who had the sides of his head shaved and four sets of braces, (top and bottom, inside and out) when I met him. He was short and skinny, but oozed sex appeal, sort of like Prince. We got caught kissing in the hallway after school, when my Speech teacher walked by and made some comment. I look back now to see she was probably just teasing us a little, but we thought it was serious enough to move our good-bye sessions to the bike rack outside. We went out for a week in January and then 4 weeks in April and May. He broke it off because I confessed to him that I'd thought about cheating on him once after school. Cheating, at this point, meant making out with another guy. At the end of the school year, I started going out with one of my friend's ex-boyfriends. He'd rollerblade over to my house and we'd walk around the lake in the middle of town. We even went swimming at the city pool a few times.

The summer after eighth grade was when I joined Marching Band with Windy. This one time, at Band Camp... okay, I won't go there. Really, Marching Band is a bunch of kids (some with talent, some with too much free time) once again deciding they can still have fun even though they're not popular. This is where I met RichBoy, right in the midst of his break-up with a girl who was essentially me with glasses. He was about to be a Senior, had a car and was exactly my type. The band took a trip to Chicago, where we cemented our relationship by hanging out in each other's hotel rooms until curfew and sleeping next to each other on the bus. I got back from this trip and still had to tell the Rollerblader that it was over. It was easier when I discovered he'd also met someone else. We didn't really think of it as cheating, since we'd never made any kind of commitment. RichBoy and I went out for the rest of the marching season, which was through July, and then I met his friends. This was where it all started getting complicated, since I was liking him less and his friend Jay more. Windy and I found ourselves pulled into this little cliche of RichBoy's that seemed to consist of ten guys and girls all going out with each other, flirting with ones they weren't going out with, and making seven other people jealous in the process.

Ninth grade started with Jay asking me to go to Homecoming with him, but we broke up and RichBoy asked me to go with him instead. It was the last high school dance I'd attend, since I really didn't see the point other than an excuse to dress up. It was much more fun to go out with a bunch of people and bowl or hang out at a restaurant. My social life for the first few months of ninth grade was pretty much Jay, Windy, RichBoy and I breaking up, making up and then driving each other crazy again. Summer Boy and I got into an accelerated Math class that took place after school once a week. This helped us stay close for the next two years. I had been lusting after one guy in particular since the beginning of the school year, but I thought he was way too cool for me. Not in the "I play football and drink too much" way, but the "I have a skateboard and listen to Alternative Music" way (this was 1991, Nirvana was just hitting it big). I'll call him Sky, which works because that's his real name. The friend who had dated the Rollerblader before me was now dating Sky's best friend, who was a big geek, and might have just been a weed connection for all I know. Somehow, I ended up hanging out at her house with Sky and his best friend quite a bit, which led to us going out for two months. Once while at his house, he told me about this cool band he loved so much that he'd worn out the lettering on the tape. I thought he said they were called the Violet Fence - only later did I realize he was talking about the Violent Femmes. We were all hanging out a the local skating rink quite a bit these days, and that ended up being our downfall. One cold day in February, I got to the rink to see that none of my close friends were there, not even Sky. There were two guys that I knew, so I sat with them. I'd had a thing for one of them earlier in the school year, but I sat with the other one and ended up getting very cozy with him through the evening. I'm still very much dating Sky at this point, and I confess this to him, but he has no reaction and says we should just move on from it. I was relieved at the time, but maybe I should have seen that as a warning sign. We grew apart and I had my friend, who was still with his friend, break it off with him two months to the day after we started going out. I probably owed him more than that.

Academically, ninth grade meant that I got to take a Russian class as well as General Drafting and Graphic Design. The Drafting class showed me that I probably didn't want to be an architect, like I had been planning. Russian was enlightening, because I got to learn the Cyrillic alphabet and sit by a dreamy junior with long blonde hair and an extremely sarcastic sense of humor. Last time I saw him was at a record store in my hometown. I had Science and Civics with this hot, preppie guy that I always seemed compete with for the highest grade in the class. I wonder what happened to him. Anyway, this Science class was taught by a woman so humorless and morose that we called her Morticia. At one point I even told her straight out that the other kids weren't understanding what she was teaching, implying she was doing it wrong. She reacted like any adult would when told by a fourteen year old that they're wrong, by telling me to keep my opinions to myself and telling the class to come to her if they had trouble. They didn't listen to her and kept asking me for help instead.

The next summer's marching season introduced Windy and I to a new cliche of girls, one of whom was the older sister to an ex-boyfriend of mine. There were six girls and one guy in this cliche, and he was younger than all of us. I had a mad crush on this guy, as did one of the other cliche members (surprisingly not Windy this time), so we played it off by teasing him mercilessly about having a thing with one of the chaperones. These girls introduced me to the humor that is Dr Demento.

I don't remember all of the thinking and decisions that led to me attending private school for tenth grade, but I know being bored out of my mind in public school was part of it. This school was about 45 minutes away from my house and was a Catholic school that helped prepare students for college. There were kids from the surrounding towns who bussed in, and also a large number of residential students from other states and countries. We had maybe 150 students in 9th-12th grades. I was still taking accelerated Math after school, was in accelerated German, took a Law class with Seniors, had to take a Theology class and was pretty well challenged the first semester. To help pay my tuition, I worked the snack bar every other lunch hour, cleaned the school on Saturdays and even helped lug equipment for the soccer team. I had one best friend, and through her I had a close circle of about five more. Girls were in the minority by about 4 to 1 at this school, but I still wasn't able to make any guy friends, much less get a boyfriend. It seemed like I was surrounded by hot guys, but I was just not comfortable enough with myself to make a connection with any of them. I had put on some weight, due to stress I think, and was generally unhappy by the time Spring arrived, so I told my mother I'd like to go back to public school. RichBoy and I were still friends and he sensed how unhappy I was. He wanted us to start seeing each other again, but I turned him down. To his credit, it didn't make things weird between us. During this year, the Good Kisser, Windy and Sky all ended up dropping out of school. In retrospect, going to another school probably shielded me from being involved in some of the more criminal activities that related to their departures.

Marching band over the next summer was yet another cliche of seven girls and one guy - sensing a theme here? This time, Windy got this cute cymbal player, Mitchell, into our little group, which was up to ten when we included one of the girls' boyfriend and the guy who followed them both around. We usually took over the back of one of the busses and generally raised havoc. Mitchell and I got to be better friends, and in fact he was the only friend that lasted from tenth grade to post high school. I got my first job this summer as well, cashier at a discount store. It was nice to have cash, and the young guy from last summer worked there as well. He didn't go to my school and had quit marching band, so that was the only time I got to see him. I was still a chicken, however, and never told him I liked him. That's probably a good thing, since it's possible that he's gay. I had no gaydar back then, but I think if I met him now, I'd assume so. The same is true of Mitchell, except that he has actually told me that he's gay, but not until just a few years ago. Of course I wish these guys would have felt they could come out to me at the time, but I also realize they had their own stuff to deal with that had zilch to do with me.

Eleventh Grade brought me back to the public school I'd attended in seventh and ninth grades. I was on the Yearbook staff, since my sister was the editor, and I took classes at the local college for the first half of the day. I took an entire year of College Russian, a quarter of German and one of African Literature. I also did poorly in Chemistry class that year. My friends were a cliche of girls that I all knew from different places, a few from marching band, Summer Boy's little sister, and two girls from my church. We ate lunch together and did crosswords puzzles in the library after our homework was finished (wow, that's enough to put you sleep). I stupidly took an AP History class this year, instead of regular one, hoping to get some College credit. My teacher did a good job of mixing his political views with the dryness of American History, and I did a good job ignoring him while cross-stitching in the back of the class. I'd never needed to study before, but this was the rare class where the required reading really was required. I think I managed a C-. There was really only one guy that I hung out with that year. He was a bit of a geek that had a crush on me in seventh grade. We saw each other at school and talked on the phone, but never actually went out for some reason.

During the marching season after eleventh grade, Mitchell and I made a small cliche out of Windy's cousin and the Drum Major's little sister. Sometimes we included two other friends of his, a very skinny girl and a chubby guy. Mitchell had switched from the cymbals to the trombone, and I was now captain of the Honor Guard because I was the only veteran. I got to carry around a saber and whip it around when I saluted. Too bad it was only sharp at the tip! I quit my job at the store in August so I could go on a trip and take Driver's Ed. In October, I got a new job at a fabric and crafts store.

In Twelfth Grade, we took the ACT and my score was a 33 out of 36. I don't know how that translates to an SAT score, but I do know it's pretty good, even though my counselor just said I did "a good job" in a weird, non-encouraging way. I was taking a few college classes and some back at my high school, but it was just too easy to take a day off here and there. My sister had gone off to college, leaving her car behind, and I taught myself how to drive after I got my permit. I found that I had all the mechanics and rules down, I just needed practice driving so closely to other cars. I had a poetry class with one of Richboy's friends, who recognized me and brought me over to the dining hall with him one day and I got to see Richboy. I knew he had recently become a father and got an invitation to his wedding, which I had skipped for some reason.

I was bored - as I had been for most of the last thirteen years. I didn't see the point to all of this, so I started skipping two days here and taking an afternoon off there. I wrote myself excuse notes and made up any homework I'd missed in the two high school classes I was still enrolled in. The irony is that some of the days I skipped my school, I hung out with Mitchell and his friends at their high school. Finally I didn't go for 5 days in a row and the school called my mother at work. When she called to see what was going on, I told her how bored I was with all of it, and that I really didn't think I could take it anymore. She was great about it all and didn't make me feel as if I'd disappointed her in any way. She said I had to see a shrink and talk to my counselor at school about my options. He gave us some guff about them "giving me all kinds of opportunities" and basically defended the system again. I told him I just wanted to finish what I needed to and get my diploma, since I had enough credits but not all the required ones. For the last few months of my senior year, I went to the alternative high school where so many of my friends had ended up. I even saw the Good Kisser and Windy a few times. The set-up was that I had two credits of English and one of Social Studies to finish, so I got about 10 minutes with each teacher on the days I chose to come in, and after about 15 assignments, they'd grant me one credit. The 10 minutes consisted of me handing in my homework, a little discussion and them giving me the new assignment. My English teacher had me read A Thousand Acres, Jane Eyre and King Lear, which quickly became my favorite Shakespeare play. All in all, it seemed like this is where I should have been for the last two years. But I had not put my slacker ways completely behind me and I didn't exactly finish both of my English credits by the end of the year. They let me go through the regular ceremony anyway, but no diploma. I never went back to finish that credit, and ended up getting my GED in 1998.

Maybe I'll have some reflective analysis on this soon, as I've never written it all out at once like this.

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Decade has Passed

2005 is the tenth anniversary of both Yahoo and the end of my high school career (I didn't graduate, more about that later). The first 13 years of my formal education were a disappointment overall, mostly due to me not being a normal kid, I think.

I went to kindergarten, first and second grades at an elementary school in a town so small that we had less than thirty kids in each class. I have vague memories of being in Junior Great Books, which was a group that read and discussed stories. We were also let out early each Wednesday to attend Religion, even though we went to a public school. Being Protestant in a Catholic town meant we had about ten kids in our section, while the other section had about 60 and was taught by nuns. I also remember having one best friend each school year, but not much else about the other kids. Kindergarten was full of projects and fun activites, but first and second grade were mostly sitting at my desk doing assignments.

We then moved to the larger town where I finished elementary at one of the two large primary schools in town. When I started in third grade, we had K-6 in the building, but by the time I got to sixth grade, we had only 4-6 in the building, as the town was in the midst of a growth spurt. In third grade we learned cursive writing, I got chicken pox, and the whole class wrote letters to President Regan about the Cold War. I got a form letter back and I still have the picture of him on horseback that came with it. They gave me some test when I first got there to decide what reading and math classes I should be in. Even though I did well on them both, they put me in the second best math class, until my mother found out and sent a note with me to school one day telling them to put me in the best one. I had one close girl friend in third grade, and I got kissed by a boy for the first time since preschool. He was from Laos, we wrote each other notes and he walked me to the bus after school. We made kites in art class, but I don't think mine flew very well.

Fourth grade was a time I felt I needed to carry way too many books, and I had an English teacher who seemed to understand that I was smart, but needed some organization. She gave me a nice leather bound schedule book. We did one project where we wrote our names in cursive, made a mirror image of it and then tried to make a picture out of the result. I ended up making a bed, since 'Sarah' is high on both ends and low in the middle. In art class, we got to dip candles, but the teacher had an odd system of penalties if you "double dipped", with cards and time-outs. He must have been bored. We also had to learn our multiplication tables, and once we could recite all ten of them by memory, we got to work on word problems in these color coded books that were like 20 pages each. I finished all of my tables the first day, and got through all of the books while the rest of the kids memorized their tables.

In fifth grade, the town changed many of the boundaries for each school and the size of my class swelled to around 200 kids, which meant we had 8 classes, split into two pods of four classes each. The kids in each pod would split between the four teachers for each subject, except Art/Music/PhyEd. We went to different rooms for those. My homeroom teacher was from New Zealand, and I remember her giving us a spelling test and saying the word "tropics", but I couldn't understand what word she was saying. When we were studying Ancient Greece, we had to do a class presentation, and I did a puppet show of Oedipus' story. I also became part of a cliche for the first time in fifth grade, which meant I had more than just one friend. There were a total of six of us, and I was the last to join. My membership in this cliche only lasted until the end of the school year. I think we were split up into different classes the next year. Fifth grade was also the year I thought it would be a good idea to repeatedly put valentine candy on the desk of the boy I had a crush on. I think I did it about 5 times and he never found out it was me.

Sixth grade was the same set up, with 8 classes in 2 pods. We found out the they were turning the school into a Junior High between our seventh and eight grade years. This meant we would go to the big high school for 7th, back to the elementary building (now a junior high) for 8th, and then back to the high school for ninth grade. Split from my friends of the previous year, and the first time at a different school from my sister who was only a year ahead of me, sixth grade was not a fun time for me socially. We had to do science projects, and I remember helping some of the other kids with their projects, but not doing very well on mine. I had a lime green notebook that I drew a logo for Guns N Roses when I was bored during class. This was 1988, so there was a Presidential Election to keep track of, and we had a whole class on public speaking where we had to do a Demonstration Speech and recite poem in front of the class. It was not fun. We got to write plays, and we actually performed four of the ones the kids wrote. I played both a bird and priest in one of them. During this year, I also met a boy that I would have huge crush on for the next two years. He went to my church, and he was in a program that I attended Saturdays for gifted kids. He went to school in a small town near mine, and played trombone in the school band. His school came to play with mine on Mondays, and he sat right in front of me, since I played the baritone.

Stay tuned for another post detailing my high school years. West Beverly High had nothing on me!

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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I used to be a klutz

A thread in the KOL forums made me take stock of the many injuries I suffered in my childhood. It's a wonder I made it through the first 12 years of my life:

-I rode my rocking horse down the porch stairs
-I went through a plate glass window in my highchair with my sister (she had climbed up the back of it)
-I burnt my leg on my 3rd birthday with pizza topping
-I got my middle finger caught in a folding chair and lost the nail (eeew, but it grew back)
-I stepped on a piece of glass large enough to sever a toe, but it didn't!
-I was pushing a girl in a wheelchair when I was like six. The two of them weighed at least twice what I did at the time. I got too close to a flight of stairs and we went down. She broke her collar-bone, but I think I was fine.
-I asked my sister to push me off a recliner and caught my chin on a coffee table on the way down (first stiches, and I still have the scar)
-I sideswiped a car with my bike, not badly hurt, but embarassed!
-I crashed into a telephone pole while walking sideways (trying to show off)
-I got poison sumac(or something) on my hand by laying in my neighbor's yard
-I fell under a merry-go-round while trying to push it and hit a screw on the way back up (second stiches)
-I picked up the end of an extension cord in the wet grass and my hand started pulsing
-Lastly, I remember shutting my hands in car doors many times, but it never really hurt, since it was always at the top, by the window.