Monday, March 15, 2010

Cuddle buddies...

Last night I set my chat status to:

"i want a cuddle buddy "

Some friends responded like so...

friend: i want one too
friend: hehehe
my brother: i have a cuddle buddy [=
me: that puppy???
my brother: yuppp!
my brother: want to seeee?
me: adorableeee
friend: omg I want one tooo!!! lol

I maintain that simple touch is an often forgotten joy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

When I was little

I thought crutches were cool.  I sort of hoped I would break an ankle so I could walk around using them.  I even built a pair out of Pipeworks and tried them out in the front yard.

My brothers and I collected Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars.  Each one received a name--some as creative as "Box Truck" and "O. Race" (short for "Orange Race").  Some of them were grouped into "gangs", which were simply groups with a leader and a precise order in which they drove around together in a single-file line formation.  I drew by hand a large "mat" which included a whole neighborhood with homes, i.e. garages, for each vehicle, as well as destinations like stores with parking lots to which they could travel in groups.  Sometimes in the nicer weather we'd draw maps outside on the driveway with chalk and bring all the cars out there.

My parents had a friend from whom we bought (or maybe just received second-hand) an old foosball table.  Rather than a sturdy frame like today's tables, this one had aluminum(?) legs and the playing area board sagged towards one side.  The provided ball was too large to fit through into the goals, so we substituted bouncy balls.  My brother and I had crazy, crazy matches.  The table would be skidding all over the floor.  Most of the players were no longer fixed properly in place on the rods, and many would end up upside down or shoved into their neighbor amidst gameplay.  (We paused after each goal was scored to realign them.)  Oh, and we named the players...after the Matchbox cars.

A favorite warm-weather activity was to find a bucket and a paintbrush from the basement, fill the bucket with water, and "paint" the siding of the house.

My parents own a fairly small CD collection.  Perhaps the two albums to which I most loved to listen and dance (around the living room) were Michael Jackson's Thriller and Miami Sound Machine's Primitive Love.

I loved dogs.  I'd search the newspaper classified listings for dogs that were being given away for free.  In fifth grade I did a project that used surveys, statistics compiled from my own readings of dog breed books, and database queries (help from Dad there) to output which dog matched you best.  I had my favorite breeds: Labradors, golden retrievers, Dalmatians, beagles.  My parents never did take on the responsibility of a dog in our family, but I did walk my neighbors' dog for awhile and--though she was about as lazy a dog as I've ever come across--I loved her too.

I read books all the time.  I liked series... Sweet Valley Twins, Animorphs, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Amber Brown books.  And there were plenty of other books, in series and not, which I'm sure I forget at the moment.

There's a giant maple tree in my front yard.  It's beautiful.  I used to climb it and sit in it often.  I also found long sticks and collected them by storing them wedged between a split in the branches.

I was totally addicted to computer games.  Various titles enjoyed overlapping phases of different lengths in the limelight of interest.  Some of my favorites (most played) were: Chex Quest, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Hot Wheels Stunt Track Driver, and KidPix.  Others included Tonka Construction, Midnight Rescue, Crayola Art Studio, and a variety of Sim games from City to Copter to Farm.  These were of the Windows 95/98 era.  On Windows 3.1 I played lots of Tetris and a text-only game, all based on wordplay, known as Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It.  Before the Internet began to swallow all of my computer time, these games were what I would do with it.

In eighth grade I watched Pokémon on TV after school.  I've never watched TV much, but this is one show I was pretty faithful about following.  I also played the Pokémon board game with my brothers; we'd stretch a single game out across days of playing time so we could build up our arsenals of Pokémon.

I never ever drank coffee.  Somehow I thought even the decaf my parents drink would get you addicted, and always warned my brothers of this.

In the park down the road from my house, my town puts on a fireworks display every July 4th.  For many of those years I believed they shot off fireworks by pounding a packet of powder with a huge hammer.  Hence the "boom" sound was created--logical enough, right?

I built awesome things with Legos and K'Nex.  Some of them didn't come from the instruction books!

My family belonged to a couple of pool clubs over some years.  The one where we spent most summers was the Holmdel Swim and Tennis Center.  There was the "big pool" and the "medium pool", a baby pool, and a diving tank.  I was always very slow getting into the cold water, a problem I've carried into my beach days now, of course.  But I loved swimming, playing with my brothers, and making those perfect pencil dives to touch the bottom of the 13-foot-deep diving tank.

I sold Girl Scout cookies to my neighbors.  Since I showed up every year they all knew the deal already.  My mom always accompanied me on the walks.  For delivery we'd pile the boxes into the red wagon and pull it around with us.

An odd combination of toy sets my brothers and I used to make was "farm and construction".  We had a barn house with various appropriate animals and a farmer and family, and a set of construction vehicles and guys in hard hats.  I would make up a storyline as we went and these two sets would interact.

Another strange amusement we came up with was that which we code-named "Suman Huitcase".  This was simply a swapping of first letters to refer to "Human Suitcase".  It involved putting one of us in the largest family suitcase, zipping it up, and moving the encased person to someplace else in the basement, whereupon they were to guess their new location.  Yes, this was a slightly nervewracking experience, but I guess we trusted each other enough.

We used to eat these couple of cereals I really loved--Cracklin' Oat Bran and Just Right--until Mom stopped buying them because she deemed them not healthy enough.