Entries tagged with “Nostalgia”.

Today marks the beginning of the multi-part and days-long celebration of a truly momentous occasion; on Monday June 29th my daughter, darling, and light of my life is turning sixteen.

Hodie. Beeps. Goobs. Bitbot. Potty-Bear. BuggaDoo. The Pagoda. Future Crazy Cat Lady.

Hodie. Beeps. Goobs. Bitbot. Pookah. BuggaDoo. The Pagoda. Future Crazy Cat Lady.

Apart from the fact I find it bizarre that I am old enough to have had anything happen to me sixteen years ago, I also find it mystifying that I am the mother of a person who as of this year can:

  1. Tie her shoes the non-weird way
  2. Retain gainful employment
  3. Unabashedly sing with me in public
  4. Independently select and purchase gifts for the adults in her life that they really like
  5. Request I make her a cocktail and enjoy the result
  6. Rationally calculate the cost/benefit ratio of a trip to Disneyland and reject the proposition
  7. Articulate that simultaneously training in ballet and carpentry will make her a total badass
  8. Successfully travel the length and breadth of Portland via public transit
  9. Accept and complete commissions for art projects in a variety of mediums
  10. Autonomously conduct her secondary education with only minimal supervision
  11. Plan, shop for, and prepare a multi-course meal*
  12. Own a bank account and ATM card
  13. Meaningfully deconstruct political theory and successfully identify logical fallacies
  14. Drive a car**
  15. Declare her intent to be a crazy cat lady who also has birds and possibly a hedgehog
  16. Speak authoritatively about her preference for a Vanagon Weekender, rather than a Westfalia

She can also take my breath away with her sweetness, stun me with her insight, and reduce me to tears with her humor. She is unquestionably the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am grateful every day that I get to be her mother and that she still appears to like*** me a lot.

Tonight we leave for her requested birthday activity: camping up in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on the Washougal River with her two best friends. Considering it is one of my favorite places in all the world, and she absolutely my favorite person, I feel like I’m the one on the receiving end of a pretty great gift.


*Guaranteed, said meal includes some combination of potatoes/pasta/cheese

**After a fashion and apparently with much greater confidence and ease than when I am present

*** Most of the time.

I was in Bend at almost this exact time last year. Virtually every detail of my life is different now than it was then. The ways in which my life has improved are multitude and I wouldn’t trade it.

Yet despite the fact that I am undeniably happier, in better physical condition (recent spate of ailments notwithstanding) and closer to where I want to be than ever, I cannot help but dwell on the realization that the last time I lay in this bed, it was with someone I was falling rapidly and unwisely in love with. How though I do not want him back, and never have since I sent him away almost six months ago, I still miss him in ways I wish I did not. 

Wise people assure me that it is not so much him I miss as simply having a lover. I believe they’re right. That his significance, though real, is primarily situated in his being the most recent, rather than the most important. I can say with surety, that is true. For, though I loved him very much, there were always things that felt disconnected and I never fully trusted him or the situation.

Yet as I approach the full measure of time since I ended the relationship now matching the amount of time we were even together, I want the scales to tip away from thinking about him everyday. From things I objectively know are ordinary and unremarkable still feeling poignant and of import.

When I compare my life to a year ago, things are better in every particular. The only thing missing is a dangerous headlong tumble into the arms of someone who wasn’t really interested in catching me. As ecstatic as that feeling is, even that wasn’t better, just more exciting. I am far happier without him; I just want my heart to come around the curve, catch up with me, and notice.


 noun, adjective


1. a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.
2. the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.
3. an institution for the homeless, sick, etc.: a nursing home.
4. the dwelling place or retreat of an animal.
5. the place or region where something is native or most common.

How home is crafted, defined, or delimited from everywhere else is singular as skin. And though a dim procession of places reels back in time, certainly no one and definite home can be distinguished from the series of places inhabited through the years. The effect of this rootlessness is carried through the seasons. This wandering from place to place cements in me the notion that problems can be solved through upheaval. I nurture the vain but perpetual hope that in a new locale, with other surroundings, the circumstances of my life will improve. And though I know now, this is almost never so, I still find myself tempted by the notion that my location in space might change my interstices as well.

I remember many places I have lived. There were no less than eleven places before I became an adult. The only place recalled with any fondness is the place my parents shared before they split. It was large and full of light, had hard wooden floors and stairs to slide down, a big bay window in the dining room and a view of Buckman across the street. The rooms were furnished sparely, so when I yelled my voice echoed back at me. Far better was when I sang. I remember looking out the window at the school and thinking enviously about my sister, there during the school day, who got to swim. I don’t remember clearly which angle I saw the school from, so whenever I drive past now I’m not sure if it’s the gray Dutch colonial on Stark or the white one on 18th and Oak. It’s a fashionable neighborhood now, and I can’t afford rent there myself, but I know I loved living there.

It was a time when I was still a child treated with some tenderness. I can remember being bathed in the sink, and fitting, but just barely. It was in this house that I had my first surgery to correct my eye. There are photos of me sitting in the windowsill one yellow barrette, one blue. The whites of my eyes closest to my tear ducts are bloodshot from the operation. I smile sweetly in one shot, look out seriously through lowered lids in another. And these are my favorite photos of me. I am a solemn but innocent child, vulnerable, but safe. When I see myself this way, I cannot help but love the child who sits in the frame, pleased to be photographed and enjoying the attention this trip to the doctor has afforded. This child has a sweetness I can no longer locate within myself. She trusts the world she lives in as an unpredictable, but largely enjoyable place. She is, as yet, untouched by the fear and mistrust of others that will mark the remainder of her childhood. I want to weep for what I know she will endure, I want to protect her, and feel deep compassion for her, though I fail so often to muster any pity for myself now. And I am sad to say, that this is her last happy home.

I admit to being an Octophile. Lots of things I love came from there. I am going to spend the next little while talking about some of them.

In this case: C-64

i am not likely to be elected spokesman for any video gaming company. i have terrible hand eye coordination and lack the obsessive devotion to repetitive tasks so necessary for video-game mastry. however, when i was a young thing, i was madly in love with the commodore 64. and i am willing to bet i would still have a kick ass time playing with it, if i had one.

a few games in particular stick out in memory as being extra-strength awesome. my absolute favorite was REALM OF IMPOSSIBILITY.  Hells. Yeah. this game consisted of threading your way through various levels of mazes to obtain keys which would then allow you to access other levels of mazes. pretty sweet. you were hampered in your attempts to obtain these keys by pesky zombie dudes who were all up in your shit like the SECOND you came into the place. and your only recourse was to keep away from them. you could hide behind structures, but you had no weapons to speak of, you were only slightly faster, and if they touched you, it hurt til you died. your one means of protection was to drop behind you, as you ran away, a trail of little crosses which would impede the zombie progress for a while until they eventually disappeared and once again leave you vulnerable to zombie touching. it was best to play with a partner who could also participate in the cross dropping, but you had to be careful cause you couldn’t leave the screen area without your homey and if they died the mission was a fail. so, if you were, say, my older sister, who’s approach was to view her “partner” as nothing more than an expendable cross dropping pack mule of sorts, this was not necessarily the most effective strategy. i never actually managed to beat this game, as the final level, the Realm of Impossibility, was, well FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE. so.

another gem was RACING DESTRUCTION SET this one was neat primarily for the level of customizability built into game play. not only could you select your car, you could build a unique track out of a variety of surface materials like ice, dirt, mud, or asphalt in any configuration you chose AAAAAAND select the degree of GRAVITY you wanted your track to have. so you could pick moon gravity and be flying all AROUND the place, or pick jupiter gravity and stick to the track like glue. was fun stuff.

and then there was ARCHON which was like wizard’s chess.  your pieces would move across the table and attack each other in interesting ways based on what kind of mythical critter they were.i liked being the Dark Side since the snakes and nasties were way more entertaining in terms of the wickedness they would unleash.

Not to be forgotten: RUSH N ATTACK (get it?) this game had the worlds most annoying precussion sound track. i can still hear it in my head: dat dat da da da DAAT dat dat da da DAAAT. it played relentlessly overtop your rambo style recon mission of doom. there was a lot of running, and jumping, and leaping from the tops of tankers to the tops of bulidings and the occasional stabbing action. i do remember liking the bazooka and flame thrower quite a bit.

i also remember playing something i want to think was called DREAM HOUSE. it was like playing dress up, but with paint and furniture. i remember being excited BEYOND ALL REASON when i discovered you could ANIMATE the scene by hitting the correct sequence of keystrokes. this mean the kitty would swing its tail, the clock would tick, and the fire in the grate would flicker. awwww yeeah.

thinking about it, i’m pretty sure the reason video games dont appeal to me anymore is cause they are no longer so basic and limited by technology. for me, the more simpleminded the better. ahh for the old days…