Tag Archives: childhood

where hobbies, hijinks, and capers go bad = my childhood #6

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(not my actual sale, this one is 70 miles long, but you get the feel of it)

there was that time

when i decided the best way to earn some quick cash

was to have a yard sale.

so i dragged our lemonade stand table out into the front yard

threw a plastic tablecloth over it

made a sign

covered it with stuff to sell

opened for business

let the cash flow begin!

 a couple of friends and their sibs

stopped by on bikes

to check it out

i quickly made 57 cents

things were humming along at a nice pace

the venture was looking promising

i thought i’d do this each weekend

maybe hire an assistant

deciding what i’d do with all the cash

until

my sister came marching out of the house

to see what was going on

 realized that i was selling her stuff

my mom soon followed

and that business closed pretty quickly.

“three dollars and it only transports matter?!”

(at professor frink’s yard sale – homer simpson)

fictional character from the animated tv series created by matt groening, the simpsons

 

 

 

image credit: cbc.ca

 

 

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where hobbies, hijinks, and capers go bad = my childhood #5

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while many kids of my era ate glue, paste, chalk, and crayons

i was busy with my own unusual eating habits

because we played outside for hours and hours

in the fields and open spaces of our neighborhood

most every day

i supplemented by ‘indoor diet’

with my own outdoor natural food diet

often consisting of:

pulp from a freshly fallen tree stump

rich, black, loamy soil

and baby ants.

not sure why i was drawn to each of these things

or why or how i stayed healthy

must have been all of the snow i ate in the winter months

but i’ve learned not to eat baby ants

and i’ve since moved on to chocolate, pasta, and flamin’ hot cheetos

 apparently i was one of the original clean eaters

quite by accident.

 

 

“eat food. not too much. mostly plants.”

-michael pollan -‘in defense of food: an eater’s manifesto’

 

bands.

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happy birthday paul mccartney

and thinking back to when i announced

in no uncertain terms

that my sisters’ choices of favorite bands:

the beatles and the doors

were stupid bands that would never last

and were nowhere near the level of greatness

of my favorite band

the monkees

they really should have listened to me

i know pure talent when i see it.


“most bands don’t work out.

a small unit democracy is very, very difficult. very, very difficult.”

-bruce springsteen

 

 

image credits: apple records, elekrtra records, rhino records

who he was.

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i remember my dad standing right here 

when i was 2 years old

 we lived in chicago

 he was so young

just starting out in his career

i remember the bar in our basement 

climbing up into the stools

the candle wrapped in netting

the straw hats on the wall

and i remember 

he loved to be the life of the party. 

“it doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”

-anne sexton

happy father’s day to all 

where hobbies, hijinks, and capers go bad = my childhood #4

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one day
when i was little
sitting in my garage
with my sisters and friend
just watching the little spiders in the corner
as we hung out, talking and wondering 
how we could make some money
we came up with a brilliant plan
and decided that it would be a great idea
to start a ‘spider farm’
where we would breed spiders in my garage
and sell them to all of the people in our neighborhood 
overhead would be low
we just had to find two spiders
 get them to meet each other
and have babies
we never really considered the logistics
or that we knew nothing about spiders
or that we weren’t really spider fans
or how we would get them to ‘fall in love’
or that there might not be any customers
or that our business would close before it opened
when my mom closed the garage door and made us play outside
and that is the main reason why i am not a spider farmer today
and a teacher instead. 
“don’t worry, spiders, i keep house casually.”

-robert hass, field guide

image credit:  david kirk, ‘miss spider’s sunnypatch kids’

where hobbies, hijinks, and capers go bad = my childhood #3

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when i sent in yet another dollar

for yet another mail-in adventure 

i was very excited and waiting to play

with my 100 international dolls

expecting them to look like the dolls below

all in fancy and exotic dress

and ready for me to proudly display

 when they arrived

they were tiny, pink plastic, flat dolls without any outfits at all

and actually looked like the ones in the comic book ad

not sure why i had such big visions about them

but even then

that was how

i made my way through the world

always hopeful, expecting good things, and full of possibility.

 

“for me, a life without expectation results in a life with inspiration.”

-alanis morissette

where hobbies, hijinks, and capers go bad = my childhood #2

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another day, another hobby.

in the late 60s

this was a book that i longed to own

i loved to get mail and loved to get free things

what could go wrong?

i used my saved-up coins to send in for the book

and could not wait to begin using it

i read it from cover to cover

marking pages, checking off favorites

 began writing notes, stuffing envelopes, and ordering things

using stamps that i found in a junk drawer

before i knew it i had a small collection of

weird government brochures, lists of tips, tables, charts, and recipes

none of which were really of any use to me

but i didn’t care what any of it was

as long as it came in the mail and it was free

my pile grew and grew

until it didn’t

when once again

i realized that i had no income

had used all of my money to buy the book

and had no way

to buy any more of the stamps

that i needed

to send in my requests

to get free things.

what i really needed were unlimited free books of stamps

and it was on to the next ill-fated hobby for me…

“sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.” 

-albert einstein