Fives Of Years Ago

2014…I was 32. My back had started to degrade but wasn’t useless yet. Chilkoot was ~6mo, Chilkat nearing 3. I think I wasn’t managing a team yet, just a project. I can’t remember if I had actually resumed reading yet (this was triggered by the discovery of Kindle on the iPhone) — based on GoodReads stats, probably not. I’m sure I was tired. Probably at this phase in my life, it was more survival than anything else. I would have been a fairly experienced traveler, having visited Japan several times for several reasons and various spots around the US.

2009…I was 28. I think this was shortly before my first clearly recollectable lower back episode. This is the year KrisDi and I got married, so at this time of year, we were engaged, she was approaching end of her Master degree. We’d been in our current house for about a year — I probably still had a room where we kept all our space (we don’t have any anymore). I was a “System Engineer” writing requirements, using Quick Vision and QVPAK every day, solving and communicating about concrete problems. Kids were a theoretical notion at the time. This was probably only a couple years into serious beer interest — I was probably still searching for Lagunitas Imperial Red.

2004…I was 23. I’d been working for the Navy for less than six months. Living in California, traveling a lot. I had probably already gotten to the point where I knew more about RAM than most people who’d been working on it since I was in middle school (not to be conceited or anything, but totally likely). Still in my original apartment, living alone — not sure if I had bought any furniture or anything yet (or if my futon-mattress on the floor had started molding). I think by this time I had discovered Old Rasputin and started paying some attention to beer — associated with starting to date KrisDi, of course. She was most likely feeding me regularly. I had probably gotten my car running again and I had probably lost 30 pounds by commuting by bicycle in the meantime. I’m not sure if I’d been to Japan yet at this point. The other JPs and I had regular social events like barbecues and parties — maybe the most active and normal my social life has ever been.

1999…I was 18. I was in the middle of my first year of college, living in a dorm at NDSU (with a wrestler named Craig with whom I had absolutely nothing in common). Dating or conflicted about dating Meredith; possibly still conflicted about wanting to date Awz’s cousin. I was probably off of crutches from my 2nd knee surgery at this point. Actually, this might have been about the time that I walked a couple miles to get to PT for my knee, only to have the therapist tell me to go away because I had so taxed my knee walking out there. Of course, all my Beulah friends were still in Beulah, since this was the year I was supposed to graduate — this was before I got my scholarship at OU (or before it was effective, at least). I was hanging out with Abu, Wrong Ryan, John, Big Scary Dave, others of the same crowd. Smoking cigars from time to time. Hadn’t started to drink yet (was still zealously opposed to the idea of drinking). This was probably close to the time that Dave and I took a 12+ hour walk to Minnesota and back, bullshitting and smoking cigars. I walked a lot with my NDSU friends, and we bullshit a lot while walking. We watched horribly made horror movies (like Jason) and threw koosh balls at the TV to express amusement at their cheesiness. I listened to the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy radio show on mp3 a couple times. I was an EE student, I had probably at least learned what Matlab scripting was. Napster didn’t exist, but I was starting to build an mp3 collection by somehow discovering and downloading them directly from other people’s computers via FTP. I probably still have some of those mp3. I remember marveling at having something like 120 mp3s (currently my kids have nearly 200 on their playlist, and I have 8-9k). I was driving the 1980 Cougar XR7 (RWD v8) I’d gotten when I was 15-16. My knee was too shitty to drive a clutch — I remember helping Wrong Ryan get his stickshift truck out of a snowbank (in a parking lot), and nearly collapsing with knee pain (I was in the driver seat, he was pushing).

1994…I was 13. I was hanging out with JJ a lot, starting to discover “sexy movies” (like Johnny Be Good). I had a hernia surgery somewhere around this time, and this was about the time that I grew a foot in a year — going from one of the smallest kids and getting picked on a lot to being one of the tallest kids and being left the fuck alone. Also, my bones hurt. I remember doing stretches constantly in classes (I think I was trying to keep my muscles and tendons caught up with my skeleton). My 7th grade teacher hadn’t figured out that his pre-algebra extra credit scheme was dumb — if he followed it strictly, I would have gotten a 260% in the class. I understood it better than he did. He was more of a volleyball coach than a teacher. When I got in trouble, he wrote my older brother’s name on the board out of habit. I remember killing some kind of standardized testing that made me eligible for skipping math classes, or something similar. I think I was in track, or running long distance. I remember one particular event where somehow the coach pissed me off beyond my capacity to handle, and I ran something like 5 miles about twice as fast as everyone else while crying the whole time. I can’t remember if I was actually running hurdles at this time — I wasn’t good at it.

1989…I was 8. 2nd grade. Mrs. Swegarden was my teacher. I was learning to read. I think I was primarily hanging out with Awz at this time. There was a kid named Matthew that I hung out with — he may have moved away this year or the year before. I don’t remember what I was reading, but it was pretty simple stuff (Dick and Jane type).

1984…I was 3. I don’t remember anything for sure. We were probably in our second winter in North Dakota. I probably hadn’t met Awz yet. I have either a dream or a memory of when the house was being built — the driveway being piles of dirt, and my brother kicking me in the face and making my nose bleed.

Posted by snaotheus

2 comments

How interesting!

This still makes me want to kick most of your (useless) teachers in the teeth. Lazy twits, most of them; I’d give them ideas for extra stuff they could give you so you could at least have a little challenge, and to a man/woman they blew me off. Said they’d do it, but never did anything. I remember your frustration with Mr. 7th Grade Teacher clearly.

I think you were 12 when you had the hernia surgery and grew so fast. That was the year you were my skeleton for EMT training. That was a hard year. I think you were in track the year after that. Not positive.

You were definitely hanging out with Awz in second grade. He was your bestest buddy from preschool through … about seventh grade? When Wilmie moved to town? Matthew V. is the other kid (the one in the baseball photo on my wall). You and he got along famously, one of those “click” friendships, and yeah, in less than a year his family moved to Washburn.

I don’t remember your brother kicking you in the face, but I wouldn’t doubt it. We did have piles of dirt in the driveway for a while.

I wish I’d had more good teachers. I had some. But by and large, I think I was right when I was sixteen and I thought, “There’s not really much point staying here an extra year if I don’t have to.”

The “grew so fast” year was definitely seventh grade, when I was 12-13.

I remember meeting Awz in preschool — or at least, I have a memory of preschool with Awz. I was chasing him around a table for some kind of a game. Awz was almost my sole best friend (aside from a few tiffs) until whenever I met Wilmy. We still really can’t pin that down to a year, but it was probably 5th or 6th grade. Then I had a few consistent best friends, and some other kids I would occasionally be friends with.

Thinking again…7th grade was also when I learned to touch type on QWERTY. Freshman year of college was when I started to learn Dvorak (stupidly during the end of the 1st semester, when I needed to write papers), and to try to keep using the layout in the NDSU computer lab, I had to half-ass-hack it by rewriting a Windows system file. I also think I went and judged some speech competitions, which is weird because I think I was only in speech for a year in high school. Now that I think of it, it’s also the year I essentially stopped playing trumpet.

It’s interesting how “nothing much special happened” means “so many things happened and the brain is really damn strange about which ones it retains and brings to mind on command”

It would be interesting to sit with Awz and Wilmy and Tom and see what we can all reconstruct together from any given school year.

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