[livejournal.com profile] drwholand folks - Pertinent information below the cut.

So. I swore to myself that my next post would be something real and not a meme, but then [livejournal.com profile] imparfait posted this meme that I really like the look of. Memes... I just can't quit you.

Nameless meme is nameless, but it's about growing up. Childhood Meme? Memories Meme? Why The Fuck Did You Have To Go There Meme? Whatever... Here it is:

INFANCY TO 4-YEARS-OLD

1. What year were you born? 1982

2. Where did your parents live when you were born? Lancaster, CA

3. Did you have any older siblings or a twin? At the time, no. When my father remarried, I ended up with two older step-siblings. And later on, I developed a relationship with my older half-sister.

4. What was your first word? My father told me this once, but I don't remember. I think it was "mama."

5. What did your parents name you? Heather Marie. Marie is my birth mother's oldest sister. And Heather... My father says that my mother had come up with a list of names that she was interested in and let him pick one. Heather was the only "normal" name in the bunch.

6. By the time you were two, did you have any toddler buddies? Probably? I don't remember much about being that age.

7. What was one of your favourite toys when you were a toddler? I really loved the boxes things came in. And I had a Big Wheel that I used to ride around the tool store my father worked at. I had a stuffed bear (that I still have, actually) that I really loved. Beyond that, I don't know.

8. Are you able to remember anything specific from when you were a toddler? I don't remember much, but I have a few very clear memories of life with my father. He had custody of me after the divorce, and I remember things like riding on his motorcycle and helping him put together a cage for my rabbit. And I have a few memories of being taken away from him and put into foster care (a subject I've spoken about in a bit more detail here).

9. Did you go to preschool? If so, where? I don't know if I did.

10. Were you rebellious or well-behaved as a young child? Stubborn as hell, but well-behaved.

11. Did you see more of your parents or your babysitter when you were this age? I was probably with a babysitter more, but I don't remember the babysitter at all. And my parents were divorced, so I didn't see my birth mother very often.

12. What was a favourite treat of yours? I really loved milk. Just plain milk. It was probably my favorite thing in the world when I was a kid.

13. Were you able to tolerate horror movies as a four-year-old? I had no desire to watch them at that age. I was pretty fragile, so I doubt I would have handled them well.

14. Did you have a new sibling by the time you were four? I'm the youngest.


KINDERGARTEN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
15. Were your parents still together at this point in your life? They were divorced.

16. Did you lose any family members by the time you were five? In a way, I lost my mother. I almost never saw her.

17. Were you able to read in Kindergarten? I learned how to read when I was 2.

18. Who was your first grade teacher? Oh my... I have no idea. I vaguely remember that my first grade class had two teachers and that they were both female. Oh! I remember that we had a bunch of days off school that year because they found asbestos in the ceiling. That's all I've got.

19. What kind of car did your parents have? My father had a motorcycle... and I vaguely remember this little red truck he had, though he might have gotten rid of it by the time I was starting school. And he was with my step-mother at this point, so she probably had a car.

20. Did you have any new pets? We had two Great Danes named Kendra and Loki. I had my rabbit named Jimmy. He died one afternoon in his cage, and I was convinced that one of the dogs had killed him. They were sweet dogs, but all I remember is how huge and scary they seemed to me. My step-brother is really tall and he'd trained them to just jump up when they were called. If I called them, they could do serious damage since I was so small. This is still something my father brings up when he and my step-mom are arguing. One of the dogs knocked me to the ground and he wanted to get rid of them, but she said no. One of the dogs knocked her to the ground and they were out of the house the next day. He brings this up whenever they're arguing over something I've done... It's his evidence that she cares more about herself than she does about me.

21. Were you allowed to play in the neighbourhood? I lived on a cul-de-sac and was allowed to stay on that street.

22. Who was your best friend in 2nd grade? There was a boy next door named John. And across the street, these two brothers - the Stonebreakers. And I had a friend... Laura something. Her parents were friends with my parents.

23. What kind of music were you listening to at this point? A combination of what my parents and my step-brother listened to. It was this mashup of late 80s alternative rock, late 70s disco, 80s easy listening, and 70s/80s rock.

24. Were you a talented math student? I've never been a "talented" math student, but I did alright when I was younger. When we hit multiplication tables... That's when I realized I was shit at math.

25. Which relative was your favourite? I loved my Grandma Jan. And my cousin Matt. I completely idolized my cousin Matt. He was in a punk band called Plaid Retina, which was successful enough to have a Wikipedia entry. He was this great musician and a great artist and I just thought everything about him was awesome. He taught me to play drums, which I promptly forgot.

26. Who was your third grade teacher? Mrs. Burnside. I hated that woman. And I don't think she liked me very much either.

27. Any new(er) siblings? I continue to be the youngest.

28. What was your favourite holiday and why? Thanksgiving, which still is. I've always loved food, and at this point, I was trying very hard to make my relatives like me. This was the only time of year when I saw them all. At this point, it was always at my Uncle Bill and Aunt Brenda's place (previously mentioned Cousin Matt is their son). They had this house that was sort of away from everything else in town, though later subdivisions started to pop up around them. There was this really cool old boxcar in their back field (which is mentioned in that Wikipedia article actually), where my cousin and his band practiced. I loved that boxcar.

29. Which parent was the most strict? My dad. He's a bit paranoid.

30. What was your favourite subject in the fourth grade? English. And music. I was in the school band and choir that year.

31. Were you beginning to form your own opinions about the world around you? I'd already starting doing that. I was always a bit ahead of everyone else on growing up. I think being separated from your family for a sustained period of time will do that to a person.

32. Did you enjoy reading for leisure? I did. I loved to read as a kid.

33. What did you do for your tenth birthday? Foster's Freeze, hells yes. I remember this because it was one of the first birthdays I was well for. I was always sick on my birthday and Halloween, for years and years. But not this year.

34. Who was your fifth grade teacher? Mrs... Wilson? I remember liking her quite a bit, but this was the year I got my tonsils taken out and was absent for two months near the end, so I've always had a hard time remembering her.

35. Did you get bullied at all? Starting in fourth grade, quite a bit. The other kids used to call me "Toad" because they said that's what I looked like. I also started wearing glasses around this time, so lots of bullying there. Later, it was that I started developing before the others. In junior high, there was a gang of girls that followed me around and tried to start fights with me.

36. What was one of your favourite TV shows? Quantum Leap. LOVED Quantum Leap.

37. Did you play any sports? Yeah... no.

MIDDLE SCHOOL
38. Were your middle school years slightly awkward? Isn't that the point of middle school really?

39. Did you have to move during these years? If so, where to? We moved when I was in elementary school, and then stayed put.

40. Did you begin dressing differently? How so? I went through a grunge phase. This would have been 93-95. I was wearing baggy flannel and letting my hair fall into my eyes. Green Day's Dookie was the best thing ever and I thought I was so fucking cool.

I'm laughing at myself right now.

41. Who was your favourite middle school teacher? I loved my history teachers - Mrs. Pike, Mr. Lucas. And Mrs. Ormonde, who taught English and Drama. Although, knowing what I know now about Mr. Lucas, I don't know how I feel. (long story, won't go there)

42. Did you win any recreational or academic awards? I won the majority of my awards in elementary school and high school, but I was getting the occasional honor roll in junior high.

43. Did your parents try to spend adequate time with you? When we were all home, we were together. They did the best they could.

44. Did you feel like you had friends to turn to if need be? A few. I met [livejournal.com profile] wampum_prayer in junior high. At the time, we weren't close, but he's become one of the closest friends I've ever had. I was great friends with a girl named Elisha. She was probably my first experience with fandom. It was the two of us getting together for sleepovers every weekend, watching The X Files (Friday nights on Fox, when it first aired) and recorded tapes of Whose Line UK and The State. I had a friend named Nicole who I spent a lot of time with as well. And Melissa. And Melanie! OMG I love Melanie! She was such a good friend. And John Allen, who walked home with me. I wonder where Elisha is now.

45. Did you ever get suspended or expelled? Never. I was well-behaved.

46. Did you experiment with drugs and/or alcohol? [livejournal.com profile] imparfait put "WTF IN MIDDLE SCHOOL" as her answer. In my case, yes... in middle school. Elisha's parents had a fully stocked liquor cabinet and they figured that looking the other way if we snuck a drink now and again was okay because it meant that we weren't sneaking out of the house to do it.

47. Any new(er) siblings? I am still the youngest, twenty minutes later.

48. What kind of music were you listening to? Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins... and whatever was popular at the time that sounded similar. Oh! I was on a huge Aerosmith kick back then as well.

49. What kind of people did you surround yourself with? All kinds of people, I suppose.

HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND
50. Which high school did/do you attend? Lemoore High School

51. If you have not yet graduated, which grade are you presently in? My ten year reunion is this year. :P

52. Have you noticed a change in you ideas/thoughts since beginning high school? Yes and no. I was having similar thoughts, but I was developing a way to work with them and turn them into something more than just vague ideas.

53. Are/Were your parents supportive of you during those/these rough years? They think they were, but there's a lot they don't know.

54. Who was your best friend upon beginning high school? It was still Elisha.

55. Has that changed since? We had a falling out in the middle of my freshman year.

56. Did you have any boyfriends and/or girlfriends? I sort of had a boyfriend my freshman year. I wasn't supposed to date anyone until my sophomore year, but this guy was interested in me and he was a sweetheart. We dated for a week. Sometime near the end of that week, we sat down for lunch together and said, almost in unison, "This isn't going to work." We're still friends.

57. Which subject did/do you naturally excel in most? English and music, I suppose. I was Editor In Chief of my high school newspaper and I was heavily involved in choir.

58. Which subject were/are you the most interested in? English and music.

59. Did you have to change schools at all? No. That would've sucked.

60. Are/were you part of a clique? I don't know. Sort of? My freshman year, I was part of this group of... I don't know... sort of a mix of skaters and stoners and assorted freaks. My sophomore year, I was a total loner. My junior year, I fell in with the choir/drama/band crowd and pretty much stayed there, though by my senior year, I had friends in every social group, from the preps on down.

61. Would you consider yourself to fall under a specific label (goth, prep, etc.)? You'd have to ask other people I went to school with, as labels are often something applied to you by other people and not yourself, but I don't think so. I had friends from every group. I was just sort of there. It was very Lindsay Weir (for those of you who've seen Freaks and Geeks).

62. Did/Do you experiment with drugs and/or alcohol? I drank a bit in high school, but not too much. I was too busy for a social life.

63. Did/Do you have an unfair curfew? I didn't have a specific curfew. If I asked to do something specific, the time I needed to be home depended on what it was. Beyond that, I had a bedtime of 9 PM, which seems early for the age I was. I was never asleep earlier than midnight, regardless.

64. If you have already graduated, would you go back and do it all over? Not all of it, no. There are certain things that I'd love to do again, because I honestly haven't felt as good since. Nothing I'd change though. It is what it is.

65. What is your favourite memory of your high school career? I don't have just one. I went through a lot of tough shit in high school, but there are still things that I managed to really enjoy. Some choir memories, like spending my 18th birthday singing in Los Angeles. Some good conversations with friends that I still remember. There's a lot of good in there.

66. What are your plans thereafter? I didn't have any plans immediately following graduation. I mean, I went to community college for a bit, but I didn't know where I was going. I'm better off now.

(For [livejournal.com profile] drwholand visitors - My sister and I share a mom. I was raised by my dad, and my sister was adopted by our grandparents. She's legally my aunt, but we are still very much sisters.)
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