Friday, January 28, 2011

"Jade" the Possum

I just wanted to give you guys (all 6 of you) a teaser for next week: The story behind this extremely flattering portrait of me in 8th grade as a possum... I think those are supposed to be my feet, not some sort of butterfly-shaped organ attached to my lower half.

I know, the resemblance is striking.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hope Your Robot Brings You an A

Anyone who knows me knows I love robots. I have a large blue robot that was given to me in college – a good friend made it for me in his lab (he was an aeronautical and astronomical PhD student) out of wood and hardware, and brought it by the library where I worked as surprise. The best feature he has is poseable eyebrows. Hilarious! I also have little sticky robots on my desk at work - they make for great lunchtime photo sessions behind a backdrop of copier paper (I work hard, I promise).

I'm not sure what robot my mom is referring to in this note - one of many she slipped in with my lunch throughout my childhood - but this was written to me in the first few days of 6th grade, so obviously my love is over a decade old.

With most of my elementary school classmates, we’d just “graduated” from 5th grade and moved over to one of the school district’s middle schools. This was the first time we had more than one class in English; our elementary school had been an immersion school, but the middle school was a sort of hybrid system that incorporated multiple elementary schools, so half our day was in English with other kids (gym, art, math, English), the other half in Spanish with (social studies, science, Spanish). It was also pretty large in comparison, and I remember getting lost on more than one occasion, but did eventually figure it out, I guess. I mean, I’m not there now, so I think I did OK.

And I’m not sure why my mom thought Kelly would figure out what I was going to give her for her 12th birthday. Was I really bad at keeping secrets then? Had I told our other best friends, Kelsey and Christy? I was probably worrying unnecessarily, which is still one of my favorite pastimes. Things I am unnecessarily worried about right now:

n Crocodiles (is there a chance they could come to the Pacific Northwest? Will I need to move? Crocodiles can track you.)

n Alligators (see Crocodiles, but without the tracking part. They don’t/can’t/aren’t willing to do that. I appreciate their laziness.)

n Falling off my bike (I am not currently on a bike, but I was this morning. I was worried then too, but it was more appropriate.)

I rotate worries/fears pretty often so it never gets boring, though Crocodiles are almost always on the list. Unless I’m at home and then the fear of burglary usually edges them out, because I haven’t heard of crocodiles in the PNW yet, so I don’t worry them being in my kitchen like that one woman in Florida who was nearly eaten.*

*Ok, she wasn't nearly eaten. But still. Could have been.

UPDATE: My mom says I was worried about Kelly finding out about the gift because I HAD told Kelsey and Christy and was concerned they'd tell. Huh, the things you find out when you share your blog with your mom.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Boyfriend, First Post

Tim C. was the first boy to ask me out. It happened at breakfast during Environmental Camp - an educational week of "tracking" animals in the woods, looking at poop, cross-country skiing, and dog sledding - and it was pretty awesome. Tim's best friend Chris, who had long hair and wore a lot of black, came up as I was just taking a sip of juice and dropped the note in my lap. My eyes followed him back to his seat before opening the note, and he tried to keep me from seeing Tim's red face pressed between his arms on the table. I read it quickly, stuffed it into my pocket, and tried to ignore the teasing that promptly ensued from my table.

It took me a while to write Tim back. I couldn't understand why he liked me - the only time he saw me was in our 6th period math class, which I hated and probably scowled through the entire time. I also looked awful, as I had gym class 6th period on the opposite side of the campus, and had to sprint to get changed and to class on time.

I slept with the note under my pillow that night at camp and a few days later, the last day of camp (obviously avoiding anywhere he or Chris could be during that time - I think I had a sandwich in a bathroom at some point), drafted a response which basically said, "Sure." We had a sweet, if short relationship. We went to one junior-high dance together where he bought me punch, I "guest starred" on the cable access television show he and Chris had until a particularly rambunctious use of the air horn resulted in my storming off the set, and I doubt we did more than hold hands, but I have nice memories of it all.

I kept the note all these years because it WAS the first time I'd been asked out (ironically, amongst my friends I was the first girl to be asked out, the first girl to have a boyfriend, and the first girl to have an older boyfriend but now most of them are engaged or married and I'm not even dating anybody) and I loved how practical ("I'm not going to say mushy stuff") and proactive ("let's start with this!") it was.

I've recently found others, all dating from 1994 - 2001 or so, and have started to go through them. They are often sweet and hilarious - sometimes a little troubling and sad - but they struck me as being quite accurate snapshots of who I was then, and probably of how a lot of other people were too, and I thought it'd be interesting to share. So in the words of Tim C. - let's start with this!