new Things I Ate in Cambodia: me at ten, me today

Thursday, October 23, 2008

me at ten, me today

A friend tagged me for this meme and I thought it was kinda interesting. So I did it.

So me in 1998 and me in 2008.

Alpharetta, Georgia, where I lived at the time.

1) How old were you?

Then: 10
Now: 20

2) What was your online presence?

Online persona? I was certainly using the internet but far as I can recall, not doing much beyond surfing video game websites and going to the PETA website to become wrathfully angry about some bizarre animal rights concern. (It is vastly ironic I turned out how I did.) I remember being fascinated with the wrath evoked on various Anti-Barney websites. I recently remembered this awesome game where you could choose various weapons to inflict horrible injuries on Barney, who would ooze more (very badly drawn) blood with each blow. I played that a lot. I also loved Keenspace (was it around then?) and playing hours and hours of Flash games. Once a nerd, always a nerd, etc etc.

3) Where did you work?

As an upper middle class 10 year old spaz, I mostly definitely did not "work". I think the closest I came was occasionally completing a household chore for two bucks and a pat on the head. My friends and I had various Leave-It-To-Beaver like money making schemes that always came to absolutely nothing.

4) Where did you live?

Then: Alpharetta, Georgia
Now: New Orleans, LA and Sacramento, CA.

5) Who did you live with?

Then: My parents, my dog, and my cat.
Now: Alone in my apartment here, same back home in Sacto.

6) How was your health?

Then: Pretty good, although those who know me as Senora Chicken Legs now will be surprised to find out I was a slightly chubby little kid. Not fat but not a stick insect either, although I did spend most of my time playing outside (torturing innocent woodland creatures no doubt.) I turned into my scrawny ass self around the past couple years, obeying the genetic prerogative.

When I was ten, I had a deep and profound love for potato chips. I don't touch em' anymore, oddly enough. Too greasy. Otherwise, I was extremely healthy. I don't recall getting sicker then a mild flu throughout my childhood. Possibly the one nice thing I did for my parents.

TO MY FAMILY: Actually, ten was the year of the Great and Horrible Splinter Incident. Aunt Lyn, if you're reading this, I want you to know I am terribly, terribly sorry and will totally let you live in my cave in the Himalayas if society breaks down. You deserve so much credit for not abandoning me on a hillside and/or advocating the offending foot simply be lopped off rather then having to endure any more high-pitched screaming about THE PAIN THE PAIN.

7) Pets?

Yep, the same ones I still have - Sunny, a rough collie, and Petunia, an animal shelter kitty. I hope they last a little longer. The dog is getting senile but the cat is going strong. I also had an ever-changing stable of little animals, whom I had a, uh, slightly Grim Reaper like relationship with. I still feel really bad. Nurturing has never really been my forte.

8) Relationships?

Considering that I was ten, I would hope not! I definitely started Liking Boys pretty late..around the very end of being 12 as I recall. And boy did I resist admitting it for a while. I had some weird Diana-like fantasy of intellectual, feral celibacy. Harr harr harr!

9) Who were your friends?

Michael and Mark, the neighborhood boys, were definitely my best friends.The family as a bit wacky-evangelical, but they were understanding enough about my heathenistic upbringing, and I tried not to go off on them about Darwin TOO often. They lived right next door, and we had a pretty nice spread of woods and a creek back behind our mutual houses, which we lived in.

We had a nice Lord of the Flies type thing going: we'd build cabins, attempt to dam up streams, have epic battles with the heretic and evil Kids From The Other Cul-De-Sac and (again) collect and inadvertently torture small animals. We also played truly epic amounts of video games. I was very bad at Donkey Kong but very *dedicated*. They also had a truly awesome giant trampoline that I never managed to kill myself on.

I compare notes with other people my age and it seems I had a bizarrely retro childhood. It's true: Michael and Mark and I were the only kids in the neighborhood allowed to pretty much buzz off and do what we wanted in the afternoons - the rule was pretty much "Get out of the house, and don't come back until it's dark or you're bleeding." We definitely were not subjected to any Enrichment Activities or Supervised Productive Play Sessions or any of the other crap my peers apparently had to attend. We were allowed to be the nasty little wild animals we were at heart during our free time. I believe I turned out quite well, although I haven't spoken to Michael and Mark in a long time and thus do not know how it worked out for them. I should look them up.

10) Any kids or plans for kids?

Then: Hell no.
Now: Hell no.

Anyone who has viewed my record with animal husbandry knows I really should not consider parenthood.

11) What was your worst struggle?

Then: I was a pretty lousy student, although I enjoyed my Montessori 5th grade. Poor Ms. Andrea had to spend a large percentage of her day attempting to convince me to do math, with limited success. Math really was a hell of a problem for me, although I was at the time way too oblivious to the academic world to give it much thought. (This would totally come back to bite me on the ass.) Otherwise, I was a pretty happy and content kid. I had a rough time in the public school system in 2nd and 3rd grade, but those problems were resolved by then.

12) What was your greatest joy?

Then: Running around in the woods, catching salamanders, sour cream and onion Lay's potato chips, red flavored popsicles, planning convoluted horrible plots against the neighborhood nemesis, playing Descent II and Sim City 2000 until my eyes itched, drawing elaborate and totally ridiculous comic book epics, reading books about dinosaurs, et all.

Now: ...Jagermeister. Not really! Haha!

Seriously...truly fine dining, dancing my fool ass off, finding awesome new dive restaurants, foreign travel to interesting places, nerding about on the internet, big well organized libraries, exploring new places, hiking, biking, and walking, drawing stupid comics, writing weird stuff. Not a ton has changed.

13) What did you consider your greatest accomplishment?

Then: Writing and finishing a long story about a, uh, velociraptor warrior prince who kicks ass. There was lots of violence and a small side-story about racial tension and discrimination which I considered sensitive and highly advanced.

I was a special kid.

I also visited the Galapagos Islands, which was not really an achievement per say, but definitely a defining and awesome experience.

14) What advice would you give your younger self?

For god's sake, just do the math! Save yourself the trouble! You may want to learn slightly more about human interaction since, uh, high school is going to be a rude awakening. Please reconcile yourself to the admittedly frightening and radical notion of basic hygiene. Food really does mean more then "chicken tenders and potato chips" and you should learn this now instead of running screaming upstairs when Mom makes curry. (This actually happened.) Please stop doing heinous, if inadvertent, things to small woodland creatures. It is not very nice.

15) What would your younger self say to you?

I actually think my younger self would think my current self is pretty cool. Not to brag or anything. I was generally pretty oblivious to college student aged type kids: I didn't acknowledge their existence other then as background scenery and/or camp counselors.

Other then becoming OMG GIRLY and LIKING BOYS, I've actually achieved a lot of what I hoped to achieve by this age, especially the international travel and creative stuff.

I do not have a pet tiger named Raoul, a brace of trained attack Dobermans, or a vacation home in the Belize rainforest yet, but hey, I still have time!

16) Is your life in 2008 anything like what you thought it would be in 1998?

Honestly, I don't think I ever stopped to think about it, other then in vague and theoretical terms. I had a vague notion of going to Stanford to become a field biologist, but my startlingly bad math skills were pretty much putting the kibosh on that one. The Galapagos mostly cemented in me an urge to travel, draw, and write, which is...what I've been doing. I should really work on becoming more neurotic.

I have not yet returned to the Galapagos, but I also wouldn't be surprised if that happens in the nearish future. And I've made it Hong Kong, which I longed to see throughout my childhood, thanks to my family TALKING ABOUT IT CONSTANTLY.


Anonymous said...

Not getting sick wasn't the ONLY nice thing you did but it was appreciated.

Aunt Lyn said...

I am totally taking you up on your cave, and I'm even putting you in charge of snacks 'cause yeah the mental scars are STILL raw :-) Love you bunches!