.·:*¨¨* ≈iNtErNeT≈ *¨¨*:·.MeDiA ≈ *¨¨*:·.tOyS ≈ *¨¨*:·.cHaRaCtEr GoOdS ≈ *¨¨*:·.ThE mALL≈ *¨¨*:·.SuMmEr.·:*¨¨* ≈BaCk HoMe ≈ *¨¨*:·.

welcome to tHe RuMpUs RoOm
the theme of this page is nostalgia, it's all about things i remember fondly.

a note about the autoplay audio on this page: yes, this mp3 is very cringy but it's so nostalgic for me as it was EVERYWHERE on the internet when i was a kid. i swear to you it autoplayed on 90% of neopets shops at one point.

I rEmEmBeR... being irrevocably obsessed with the internet

i think some of my earliest memories of the internet come from having a nerdy dad when i was a toddler in the 90's. i remember him showing me simple flash games he'd downloaded but it was so long ago, i don't have memories of what they were. similarly, i know that neopets was one of my first activities on the internet but i don't even remember how i found out about it, seeing that i started playing in 2001 when i was in first grade.  
early memories of neopets

i've loved neopets for so long that i have no memory of how i learned about it! i know i started playing when i was in first grade in 2000. my first pet was a blue kacheek that i wanted to name fluffy. (it turned out being fluffy with lots of random numbers...) i didn't really know what i was doing when i first started playing, but that's kind of what i love about neopets. i spent hours just clicking around and getting lost on all the pages. over the years, i never really started playing successfully but still just loved exploring the pages. i was completely obsessed with neo all through elementary school and made sure to convince all my friends to play it too. my life and internet-use was so restricted when i was growing up and i was an obedient kid so the vastness and diversity of neo really enriched my life.

i wanted a paintbrush SO BADLY as a kid. in these days, there were offsite "adoption agencies" where you could adopt pets. this was pre-transfer so one user had to abandon the pet while the other user searched the pet's name immediately. after applying for tons of faerie pets, i was finally granted a faerie elephante. being that i was in second or third grade, i wasn't coordinated enough to adopt her and messed up the trade. i'm still embarrassed about it!

some of the old neopets things i love and miss
  • "shop malls" and how user shops used to be SOOO cluttered with autoplay music, gifs, and backgrounds
  • neopets click adventures
  • when chat board fonts allowed text to glow and have drop-shadow
  • literally learning about pop culture as a sheltered kid by seeing fan edits on userlookups
  • screenies
  • the extreme excitement of neopets' huge boom in the mid 2000s, mcdonalds toys, jamba juice collab, neo board game, etc.
  • old neohomes
  • most of all... the old art

middle school memories

something i've never seen anyone talk about is using neopets around 2007-8 as a middle schooler. my closest friends and i still played at that time and by now i'd gotten good enough at doing dailies, playing games, etc. to start buying paintbrushes. i also received the lab map from a friend i met at camp. my best friend at the time and i became regulars on the pound chat and spent most of our online time surfing the pound and trading. we would surf for hours while talking on the phone.

i was starting to get better at accomplishing things on the site but i actually spent more of my time in middle school on the newbie chatboard which was actually used as a general chat by other teenagers? i ended up making my first internet friends and actually met my first boyfriend on neopets. because of the appropriate filtering and stuff, we were always risk at being frozen. as you can guess, my main account of YEARS was frozen because of something i said in a neomail. (not sure what specifically)

getting frozen was seriously devastating because neopets was my whole life. i spent a few years after that on burner accounts but never bothered much with it throughout high school. more or less, around 10th grade i put neo away until college.

outside of neopets, i spent most of my internet time browsing deviantart. i wasn't savvy enough to figure out how digital art worked but i was fascinated. i regret that i can't remember many artists' handles from that time period, but i can say i was a huge fan of kuitsuku who is still around.

my parents were conservative about how much time i could spend on the internet, so i often shamelessly tried to get my fix at friends' houses. i've always had a tendency to be the leader among friends, so i would brazenly tell them i wanted to play neopets, etc... after getting online, i'd take advantage of being a guest and click through pages as long as i could. i had more than one friends' parents firmly tell me "no, we're not going on the computer today. go play..." LOL i was so embarassed then but now i just find it funny how drawn i was to browsing the net!!

i have a small page here with dolls i've made

i also loved dress-up games, especially the elouai candybar which is now defunct. i would spend hours designing avatars and clicking through dollmaker webrings.

in these days, internet videos existed but youtube wasn't around yet. many are nostalgic for ebaum's world but i somehow never really picked up on that side of the net, below were some of my favorite internet videos:

I rEmEmBeR... my favorite media

TV shows
video games

i ReMeMbEr... my most cherished toys

scroll over pix for their names. i had a totally low-key childhood and my parents encouraged us to live simply despite the neverending greed of kids ^.^" the toys below were those i was closest with and have lots of memories around

don't ask why this was the koolest/funniest thing i had ever seen

I rEmEmBeR... my character goods awakening

when i was about 12, a huge fad swept my grade in school... care bears?! i had always loved character goods and as the oldest of my family, i always felt rushed to give up cute things or kids characters and previously, all my classmates had been on the same page. even the popular guys in my class were all picking their favorite care bears.

i'm sure much of my fascination with this just came from the anxiety of being 12. but this singular fad in my fifth grade class really got me interested in the possibility that characters are for everyone, not just kids.

i also loved that when i told my mom about the fad, she told me care bears were big in her day too. i was shocked, as a kid i never gave my mom credit for having been through all the same as me. when she told me that her favorite back in the day was tenderheart bear, i decided he would be my favorite too. funnily enough, i never did get a care bear but i still carry a special fondess for the 2000s "meet the care bears" reboot for this reason.

i remember a time shortly after the story above where i was exposed enough to the internet to be aware of keitai culture but didn't have access to "phone charms," but you'd see those large yellow gacha machines in malls which stocked these disney or "i love egg" straps which came with a small figure and a rubbery costume it could be taken out out of. i had one of each from the three series above and i cherished them so!

I rEmEmBeR... the mall

i'm lucky to have grown up with parents that enjoy strolling around a mall! it was always special to me to get the news we would be going, window-shopping and getting a snack to share. even as a kid, i knew what a treat it was to see the way alternative people dressed. my upbringing was very traditional so seeing emos or peeking in spencers while walking by, i was fascinated. the mall continued to be one of my favorite places, even today.

one of my special mall memories is surrounding my serious build-a-bear phase. my childhood best friend got me started on it and i was incensed by how customizable they were. i loved dress-up games as a kid too and build-a-bear felt like a real version. luckily, my grandmother also knew of build-a-bear and thought it was cute so she drummed up suspense and eventually took my sibling and i to get our first bears. for about 2-3 years, my friend and i were collecting clothing and accessories for our bears. (mine was actually a bunny...) we crafted so many stories and knew all the personalities of our bears. my currency then even became "how much money can i earn for build-a-bear," i didn't even bother asking my parents to give me cash or allowance! i would do as many chores as possible and mark them on a calendar, then present it when a trip to the mall may be coming up.

mall-adjacent, i'm also very nostalgic for hastings bookstores. (borders and blockbuster too :P but if i could only choose one, hastings is the M.V.P.)
it was such a pleasure to browse their used and new media and long to get a free cup of coffee in their lounge. i especially loved the way you could get used manga for $5, a fair price for a kid's pocket money. hastings was one of the first places i ever saw subversive merchandise like sassy jim benton magnets.

I rEmEmBeR... summer vacation

i'm always weary of my own memories but it's honestly true that i had a brutal time in school, being harassed even in lower grades without many outlets or comforts. i hated school, plain and simple. this probably played a really huge part in how FREE and ecstatic i'd feel on summer vacation, even if my parents had stringent rules about staying out of the house/not sleeping in etc. i remember how long summer vacation felt and what a huge relief it would be when i'd check how much was left and would find weeks ahead.

my grandparents were all alive when i was a kid and many summers of my childhood, i spent a week or two with each set of grandparents.

i loved playing in the sand and ocean of the gulf coast at my maternal grandparents house and eating big meals at a typically shack-like restaurant with a sunburn at the end of the day. i would take a shower at the end of a beach day and always felt so cozy afterwards.

my other grandparents lived in north florida and they always did an amazing job of finding fun things to do to keep us entertained. i have special memories of imax movie theatres, lots of delicious foods, and free-reign at blockbuster. i even blindly rented spirited away on one of these summer trips and asked to keep and watch it every night for the rest of my stay, they obliged.

.·:*¨¨* ≈BaCk HoMe ≈ *¨¨*:·.