Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stupid Things You Did as a Kid

(I had the Weeble Wobble tree house - one of the best toys ever!)

Memes seem to be making a comeback. Here's a few Stupid Kid Things I did that I can think of - maybe if you share yours I'll think of some more.

1. mixed bleach and ammonia while cleaning house - thought since both cleaned well, they'd go well together (5th grade I think) (definitely don't do this)

2. played with my dad's pound of pure mercury because of its neat surface tension properties

3. used my dad's bullets as writing utensils

4. my friends and I used to play this game that we'd have to get to/from school or each other's houses only going through people's back yards (dogs or not, of course without permission)

5. we used to play the choking game, too (don't do that, it can kill you, but we didn't know that!)

6. fed live grasshoppers to my friend's cat

7. tried to pass tic-tacs off to the junior high assistant principal as drugs

8. stole political yard signs of people we didn't like, put them in the trunk of my car, and then went around telling people, "So and so is in my trunk!"

9. Took the city bus downtown to the Fashion Bar with my friend and spent the afternoon pulling the ugliest clothes we could find for the other to wear, much to the annoyance of the sales staff.

10. Put KILO stickers all over downtown and then came back a week later to see which ones were still there.

11. went into the tallest buildings we could find downtown, went into the stair wells and entertained ourselves for hours by dropping pennies to see how many flights down we could get them to go.

12. spied on halves of cordless phone and CB radio conversations using the UHF dial of my old black and white TV.

13. Drive like an idiot (turning lights on and off, swerving, etc.) on seeing my friend's car on an otherwise deserted road at night, only to discover that it wasn't him - it was his police officer dad.

14. looked up names of people in the phone book like James Bond or Jack Daniels to prank call, or call parents of friends pretending to be pollsters asking embarrassing questions

15. took lots of things apart - phones, radios, etc. - not always able to get them back together, but usually

16. I had this recurring dream about going into the heating vent in my room late at night, crawling through the ducts, and ending up in a secret 'room' behind my closet. I thought it was real for years until one day I suddenly realized there was no way a person could fit into the tiny heating duct. I could still draw you a map of the tunnels/ducts in my dream, though.

17. I had a huge doll house my dad made. My favorite way to play with it were to use my brother's GI Joe's to 'break' into the house and tie up the house people and hide them behind the stairs or fireplace, etc. Then the Avengers would come, sliding in on sewing thread through the windows and a big war would break out.

18. Go and put things on the railroad track then watch the train crush them - especially coins

19. Ride our bikes and sleds down "Dead Man's Bluff" - I once saw a kid slice his hand open to the bone when he flew off his sled and the metal runner crashed down on it

20. leave early for school to be the first kid on the streets walking to school so I could break all the ice in the gutters before anyone else

21. throw fireworks down the manholes, blow anthills up with firecrackers, shoot each other with pop bottle rockets and other various firework miscellany.

22. pour gasoline into pop/beer bottles, stuff rags in and light them and then use those as torches while we went and crawled through the sewers under the streets, exploring (with my cousin)

23. Tried for hours and hours and hours to make weeble wobbles fall down.

24. smoked oregano rolled up in post-it notes - strangely reminiscent of burnt spaghetti

25. pencil fights were all the rage in elementary school

26. spent hours trying to make Rube Goldberg machines with Legos, dominoes, marbles, and my brother's racing tracks and Matchbox cars.

27. ate crayons, coins, Legos and marbles and just about everything that grew in the yard including dandelion (nasty!) (some flowers taste good, fyi) - but my friend ate glue and that's just gross. Thank goodness I didn't encounter the hemlock that can grow down in the park

28. hid in the dryer and took turns riding in it (don't do that)

29. tried to hang ourselves with belts in the closet - not suicidal, just really stupid

30. spent hours and hours recording rock and metal records onto cassette tape, then unscrewed the tapes, flipped over the reels, and replayed them (now backwards) listening for hidden satanic messages. Found a few (not satanic, though).

31. Burning like 144 pencils because I discovered through experimentation that that particular brand the yellow paint boiled and sizzled, which I thought was really cool.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day 2010

Visiting my veteran grandparents (WWII Navy) at their VA home in Walsenburg, CO.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud - William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company;
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

I'm looking forward to a late first snow of the winter season, but this poem reminds me of the thrill of excitement upon seeing the early spring flowers. Natural beauty is surely one of the greatest medicines for the soul.