the theme of this page is nostalgia, it's all about things i remember fondly =)
nOsTaLgIa mEaNs cOgNiTiVe dIsSoNaNcE FoR Me cUz i hAtEd bEiNg a kId aNd i lOvE BeInG An aDuLt nOw... ThAt dOeSn't mEaN I CaN'T SeE ThIs aLl tHrOuGh rOsE-CoLoReD GlAsSeS AnD GeT LoSt iN ReVeRiE
i ReMeMbEr... some of 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... 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. i have an entire page musing about neopets here if you're interested in that!
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.
i always kept up with different contests on neopets like featured pet site, etc. so i was always finding artists and character-designers to admire. i wish i could revisit all those pages again!
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 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... 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.
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.