The Year I Began

There is always a time in the life of a child when they all of a sudden become aware of the world, when their human consciousness is suddenly on full alert and they know what they’re doing and where they are.

For me, that happened to be six years old. This is when the gaps in my memory were filled out. I don’t remember everything, only the most significant events, but I was in full control of my mind, if you get what I’m saying.  It seemed to happen when I woke up in the purple mini-van after we had stopped at a Rally’s to get something to eat. My memory of that then skips to me and my uncle walking up the ramp of the hamburger joint. I was slurping a drink, with a bee buzzing around it, him saying something about “it’s just a bee”. It was really hot and sticky. And I remember nothing after that.

I remember kindergarten. I remember the teacher, Mrs. Comden (her name a bit of joke by my parents, though I had no idea why it was so funny), and how she used to wear different dresses the first few days of school, me expecting a new one everyday and counting. During the first few weeks of kindergarten, the class learned the ABCs and 123s. One every day. It was so fun and anticipating, especially with imaginative pictures and music. Every glyph was special and had a different personality. The number “5” was probably my favorite because of its one syllable hardness and being half way between any series of ten numbers. Writing sentences on those dotted line pieces of practice paper is also a memory, the marks being fit snugly within the practice frames.

I was so excited about learning to read and write that I even practiced writing the numbers at home, waking up every night and going to my play desk to write one, feeling the pleasure of my black magic marker hitting the rectangular pieces of paper, every line being carefully created. When I finally got to number “0” I imagined a huge applause being made for me. It was a slow walk to my kid desk in the living room, making it a big moment. I switched on the desk light. Grabbed a prepared piece of paper, the final one, and grabbed my special marker. Relaxed. Heard the audience hush, whispering. Took my marker and carefully drew a nice big “0” and it was done. I admired the work I did, shuffling through all ten digits I had created over a week and a half. In the darkness, a moment like this is enthralling. Just sitting there alone with everyone asleep, having my thoughts to myself and being able to write. That’s how I still am now.

Events in 1997, when I was six:

  • Bill Clinton was inaugurated for a second time
  • Steve Jobs returned to Apple
  • South Park debuted on Comedy Central
  • Princess Diana and Mother Teresa die
  • Titanic premieres
  • Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is born (just saw her on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
  • The first successfully cloned animal is a sheep named Dolly
  • Federal funding on human cloning is banned by President Clinton
  • Wi-Fi was invented

I’ve always have a fascination with the mysteries of life. The question, “Where was I before I was born?” always intrigues me. Every search comes up with the idea of reincarnation and big discussions on spirituality, such as the theory that we don’t really exist.

Maybe I was a tree before existing as a human? Maybe a fish or whale? Maybe a cat or a dog? Maybe I was someone famous, like George Washington or Napoleon? Of course, if I were anyone else in another life, I might vividly recount some of their memories, could see, hear, and smell them. If I were a kid on the Titanic in 1912, I would vividly recall the ship violently shaking as it hit the iceberg. If I were a seisterian (fancy name for a six-year old) in Germany during World War II and the rise of Hitler, I would have been only fully aware of the horrible events happening, the destruction and torture.

Imagine if I had once lived in the 1960s, my mom’s time, witnessing the The Beatles and the British Invasion, hearing about the space race against the Soviets being in full force. Hearing about the hippies and Woodstock.

In the sixties, I’d be listening to new records by some of the biggest names back then: Bob Dylan, The Rollings Stones, The Four Season, The Supremes, The Byrds, more “Thes”. Would be playing Spacewar! on a PDP-1 computer. A carton of eggs would cost 53 cents, a gallon of gas 31 cents. I’d see JFK being elected on TV and then his assassination a few years later. I’d see the first man walk on the moon.

A single day in American 1960 would see me being very active – or not. Even if there wasn’t any internet or advanced video games consoles, I’d probably still find some electronic to mess with.

My parents used to say to me that they had to walk X miles to school when they were young, sometimes through six feet of snow, carrying their books in their arms. I’m pretty sure this is an old wise tale. Backpacks or knapsacks were invented by then. Wouldn’t the kids have enough sense to walk around the snow? If I were a kid back then, I would finally know the truth. I’d probably just get a bike instead of wasting my energy walking.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Life’s a Candy Store.”

You get to be a 6-year-old kid again for one day and one day only — plan your perfect 24 hours. Where do you go, what do you do, and with whom?

I’m on Instagram! Check me out here.


Change Is Good

When your parents are no longer happy together
When you move away and face new scenery
When the kids change and you’re so brand new
When you’re all of a sudden like a leave in the wind
When your close family starts to disappear in front of you
When you feel like noone cares
When the world doesn’t revolve around you
It’s time to face the facts
That nothing stays the same
Life is evolution after all
We’re all part of the larger game

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “When Childhood Ends.”

Write about a defining moment in your life when you were forced to grow up in an instant (or a series of instants).

Silly Childhood Crush

Maybe it was a bit creepy, me having strange thoughts about her at such a raw age. I had a slight attraction to the neighbor girl who lived in back of our house. And I remember mom and dad teasing me about her and I “hooking up” sometime but of course they were joking since I was only seven years old and had no interest in that, right?

But I did develop a liking for her, Ashley her name, that was rather confusing to me. It’s hard to explain the feeling. This desire was so private and I never told anyone, not even my secret crush. She did not know that I liked her, didn’t even sense it, was more interested in playing with Barbies. And it’s kind of silly to even think about having a serious crush since we were only seven years old. Telling her my deep dark secret would have been too embarrassing and awkward, not to mention way out of left field since there was absolutely no connection between us at all. I didn’t really understand the idea of attraction and neither did she. My life had been playing with Legos and not even considering any situations with girls. The ones in my classes really liked me but I didn’t know how to reciprocate and it was difficult to say the least.

And then she moved away a few years later and my family a few years after that. Seven years went by before I saw my “crush” again. It was at my high school graduation. I had just walked down the stairs and first saw my family waiting for me. This was just after I got no applause after walking on stage to receive my diploma, a really big let down after waiting 14 years for the moment, thank you very much.

So I first saw my long lost crush’s mom and then, sensing something was up, turned and saw the person that I had never spoken to until:

“Ashley!” I said in surprise at seeing her for the first time in nearly ten years. And then a moment’s stare commenced. Really awkward stare. Our eyes locked. She was scanning my face, her eyes moving about. I did not know what else to say, didn’t have the words for this long break. We never ever talked to each other during childhood, but I had a secret attraction to her, a kind of forbidden one actually that culminated in a really bad poem that my mom saw and immediately threw away.

And finally she broke the ice and said, “I think I’ll go someplace else”, and left without another word. I was left standing there looking dumbfounded and confused. Turned back to my parents who were waiting there and they just shrugged and said we should get going to dinner. I never saw her again. Last time I heard, she had graduated from college somewhere. I don’t even like hearing her name being dropped now, since it just brings up feelings of heart-break and a confusion as to what happened that on that 6th of June, 2010.

After that happened, I think I’ve just about had it with these silly crushes. They cause me too much pain, the uncertainty and desperation. I’d rather just talk to a girl without having to feel so giddy and nervous.

If I saw Ashley again tomorrow (that’s not her actual name!), I don’t know what I’d say. Would it be really awkward or would we finally have a real conversation? I think I’ve only said one word to this blonde haired, blue eyed girl of perfect porcelain skin in my entire life. And she’s not exactly the nicest person in the world. No, we would act like adults and not like children who get fluttery and blush over a passing look. Maybe it would actually be the start of a real friendship…or even more.

Well, that’s my thoughts on childhood romance.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Crush.”

Who was your first childhood crush? What would you say to that person if you saw him/her again?

Still A Kid Inside


My childhood life
It was the best time ever
That peaceful ambiguity
Never could be better

It may be over now
And I may be getting older
But still within me
Is the feeling of a little soldier

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Golden Age.”

Born to Be Wired


So, I get to write my autobiography today, how wonderful. Why I am being asked to start on page three? Is this some sort of marketing technique to get publishers interested right away? I’ve been around for about 24 years now and that may not seem like a lot to go on in a book, but I have experienced numerous events in my life already.

My life is about as old as the Internet itself, which began in 1989 with the launch of the World Wide Web. I’ve practically grown up with computers, having used my very first computer (Windows 95) when I was about five years old. I may have been born in the 1990s but most of my growing up and becoming aware of the wider world was in the 2000s, which saw the rise of the modern Internet that circles around social media and being given a unique chance to express yourself in ways that weren’t possible before (or at least for me).

Doing something similar that I saw another blogger do, here are some significant things that happened during the early years of my life:

Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) – what kick started my love for video games, essentially. This is the game console I remember my mom playing late at night with us kids, to our utter excitement and anticipation as we watched her peruse through levels of Donkey Kong Country, me holding my breath. DKC was one of the most popular games back then and I remember her playing for many nights (highly addictive) and at the time to me it seemed like a very hard game to beat, especially the end battle against K. Rool. The SNES was released in 1991, but I did not get one until I was about six. It seemed like this was the console of the 90s, until I was introduced to the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 later on.

Windows 98 – my very first home computer was a Hotwheels themed Windows 98 PC. I remember how excited I was to use it as my mom took it out of the box and set it up (well, I did most of the work). At the time, this version of Windows was considered the best thing since sliced bread because of the unique innovations put into it (and the memorable sounds). Drawing pictures in Kid Pix (oh, no!), using a steering wheel and pedals to drive a virtual racing game (that stopped working about a month later), playing the mysterious game of Myst for the first time (I finally beat it in 2011), even learning about the human anatomy through a CD that was included with the computer – everything about my brief time with this computer was amazing.

Cartoon Network – the early part of the 2000s were a time when I was still a kid but beginning to become aware that some things I liked in the past just didn’t interest me anymore. Cartoon Network was a milestone of my childhood. When I first got excited about it in 1999, me, along with my sisters, practically begged our parents to get the package of cable that included that one channel. And how many great memories I have from watching some of the shows from the classic CN era such as Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow & Chicken, Ed, Edd, & Eddy, and the Powerpuff Girls, just to name a few. But after 2003, when I moved away to a new city and new school, cartoons in general just didn’t interest me anymore, do to the fact that I was twelve years old and growing up quick. These days, I have the nostalgia to go back and watch some of those old shows I haven’t seen in a long time and relive the days of pure innocence.

Google – where would the world be without this giant that has basically become synonymous with the Internet? I first heard about the search engine back in 2001 when I was in the fourth grade. There were a number of search engine options my teacher told us we should use for our research project, but even back then this one seemed like the popular choice to use.

YouTube – I think page three of my autobiography is following the tech trend a little too much, but try searching for this word in a pre-2005 Google archive search engine, and you will get absolutely nothing. It’s amazing how I was completely unaware of this site until my sister showed it to me in late 2008, around the time the site really started taking off.

The Berlin Wall comes down – a nontechnical entry that is not just significant to me but to many people in this world, because it brought peace and unity and strengthened ties between the U.S. and Germany. Even though I was a little more than a year old when the demolition of the monstrous divide was finally completed, I remember my parents having actual pieces of the wall in plastic cases that they probably bought at a tourist shop while on vacation in one of the States. Sadly, I don’t know what happened to those cases. They may had gotten mixed in with some trash that was thrown out, no one bothering to look, figuring they weren’t worth much (which is true). It would be great today to have some historical pieces of history in my possession. President Reagan’s famous words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”, resonate in my mind and mark the eventual reunification of East and West Germany.

Those are just a few things you’ll find about my life on page three. Now I’ll go and try to find where they buried the first two pages, like they did with E.T.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Early Years.”

Write page three of your autobiography.

This happens to be my 300th post, which if I would have known before I published this and checked my count, I would have published some more special, but I suppose it is special because it’s about me.

Just Like An Old Cliche

Eighteen years or so 
Of a single lyric playing in my mind;
I’ve searched and searched
For that song from child life,
And now it is here,
The same melody,
Coaxing me line to line;

And so she sings
And fills my heart,
Pulling on my recollections,
Sifting the great stack apart;

It takes me back to the back 
Of mom’s old purple machine,
Gummy wrappers and more,
My feet sinking in a virtual trash horror scene;

And that song reached my little ears
From a classic cassette deck,
And a couple of those telltale lyrics
Were saved for a future trek

“Come In From The Rain” by Melissa Manchester is a song I remember hearing in the back seat of my mom’s old, now non-existent, purple mini-van when I was about five years old. I had no idea who was singing this song or what the name of it was back then, but my mom would constantly play this song along with a couple others contained on the cassette tape, including “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels. But “Come In From The Rain” had these powerful lyrics that sparked something in me, images of an early preschool teacher. Whenever I heard this Manchester song, an image of a child sitting at a desk and a teacher looming over him, a serious look on her face, would be conjured; she wore round spectacles and a flowery dress. The scene was set in a sort of sepia tone and only focused on the teacher and the student, which was turned on an angle; it seemed the kid was being punished for something. The lyrical line “just like that old cliche” was the one I constantly searched for on the internet, trying to rediscover a song I hadn’t heard in a long time, with not much success. But my answer finally came, quite surprisingly, while I was watching an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond some November night. The song “Through the Eyes of Love” played during the episode and it instantly sounded like the woman who sang the song that had been eluding me. I decided to search for this song – it was by Melissa Manchester, and I’m like, “Okay, I’m onto something.” I then search for “just like that old cliche” and “Melissa Manchester” together and voila, my gold plated treasure had been found.

I’m not sure why this song seems like an appropriate choice for my childhood given the somber nature of the lyrics (or maybe I’m in love with things sad and depressing), but it seems to me that it is about finding the light through dark times, and fighting to keep the darkness away.

“And you’ve been reaching for yourself for such a long time” – my favorite line of the song.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: The Transporter

When You Were Young

You happened upon a fountain of youth,
The water so pure and clear,
Taking a drink you were instantly transported,
To the innocence of your childhood years
The good ole days,
with iced tea on the table,
mac and cheese in the microwave,
and finally seeing Aunt Mable.
When you used to sit on the floor
and let your imagination go wild,
while grandma would watch TV 
and look after the second and third child.
There was no indication of the outside world,
you were comfortable in that little bubble,
that tossed and twirled
and let you feel humble.
These were the innocent times,
there were no worries or obligations,
Just Lego, dolls, and cartoons,
Our vivid childhood imaginations

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forever Young.”

I previously published this post on November 19, 2014 in response to Salad Days and am now reposting it for this similar prompt topic, with some modifications.