Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I've been Memed... Again

And I promise to have a better attitude about it this time. :-)

From The Girl in Camouflage, via a myriad others.

This meme requires you to do the following things:

Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place. Add your blog's name in the #5 spot. Link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross-pollenation effect.

The Meat of the Matter
who the-what the-HUH?
the girl in camouflage
Salt licks and Beatniks

Here's the question: What 5 things do you miss about your childhood?

1. Living in a neighborhood with other kids in a non-urban, non-suburban-sprawl town - I moved to my childhood neighborhood at age 4. By the time I was 8, there were at least seven other kids in the neighborhood within 3 years of my age, as well as my three brothers. There was always someone to play with, and a great place to play. We lived on a cul-de-sac, so we didn't worry about traffic. Houses weren't scrunched on top of each other. There were woods, a pond, streams, and sand pits nearby to explore. We'd play almost any sport or game. It was not unlike the world Calvin and Hobbes inhabit.

2. Sports - The kids in the neighborhood and I would play any sport we could think of, including making them up (like skateboard hockey). Whiffleball was the king, with nerf football and street hockey close behind. Sometimes we'd play with my older brother's friends, too, which raised the level of competition. Outside of the neighborhood, I played three sports every year in the public leagues: baseball, soccer and basketball. Sure, these days youth sports put a lot more intensity into developing skills, but the cost and the pressure are also a lot greater. I would love it if my children could play in leagues like I did, get a well-rounded exposure to sports and above all, have shit-loads of fun. Gym class was always my favorite class, with floor hockey holding a particularly special place in my memory. One more sports memory I have to mention is from the town's summer day camp program, which we called simply "Recreation". We played Philadelphia Kickball a lot, which is an awesome game. It's kickball in a gym with 6 bases. You can have as many runners on a base as you want, you can run past people on base prior to you, and the only way to get people out is to catch their kick or hit them with the ball while running. And if you kick the ball into the far-side basketball hoop, it's a homerun and all the bases are cleared. The time I did that (and I was actually TRYING to do it because the game was almost over and we were behind) is in my personal Sports Hall of Fame along with my 4 for 4, 6 RBI little league game and high school intramural championships in volleyball and indoor soccer. They're no 7th consecutive Tour de France victory, but I'm damn proud of them!

3. Trick or Treating - Fall has always been my favorite season, and Halloween is the pinnacle of Fall-dom in my memory. Going out in the brisk New England Autumn night, dressed in costume and getting tons of candy, simply doesn't get any better. My Halloween memories may be more cherished than my Christmas ones.

4. Bikes - Like Camo Girl, I loved bike riding when I was young. You started with BMX bikes, and tried to do cool stuff with them, like skidding, bunny-hopping, and building ramps to do jumps (like the "cross-up" and "table-top"). Repairing bikes was almost as fun as riding them, fixing the chain, putting in new ball bearings, a new double goose-neck, or snake-belly tires. When I got older I graduated to 10 and 12 speeds. The level of independence I had with a bike amazes me when I remember it. I would ride anywhere to get things done before I had a car. To go to work, play tennis, to the beach, to school, shopping, or just joyriding. None of these things were close to me, yet I relished in the ability to ride my bike there. To ride those distances just to get things done, instead of driving, seems crazy to me now.

5. Best friends - Sometime between 8th and 9th grades the concept of "friend" changed. My best friends, the ones I felt the most connection with, in whom I confided, and with whom I shared so much, developed the unfortunate characteristic of unreliability. I'm not talking about specific people, but the nature of all my best friends changed once high school started. All of a sudden, and ever since, best friends were capable of laziness, disinterest, offensiveness, or outright betrayal. I'm sure I've been guilty of the same offenses against people who thought I was their friend. It must just been part of maturing, but since I entered high school I haven't had the same level of devotion from, or to, those I consider my "best" friends as I had from grades 1 through 8.

And just like Camo Girl, this exercise turns depressing. But that's par for the course with me when remembering my childhood.

I think I'll pass this on to some of my new reads/readers:

JuicyA at The Intersection of 13 and 13
Cowboy Matty at Six Shooter Ranch

and Bliss at The Strait of Messia because I only have 4 new blogs and he always responds to memes (the sucker).

iPod: "Cupid's Trick" by Elliott Smith, "Number Three" by They Might Be Giants, "Mrs Rita" by The Gin Blossoms, "Forgiveness" by The City on Film, "Polaris" by Jimmy Eat World, "Inferno" by Thanks to Gravity, "Seether" by Veruca Salt, and "Big Tall Man" by Liz Phair.