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My imaginary friends, I might have been gifted, and other random things

I am sure we have all seen the Facebook status game going around that asks you to post random things about yourself so your friends can all pretend to be interested. My friend Beth nominated me to do this (because I liked her list, I guess that’s how it works), but I am going to pull a Paula and post it on my blog instead. Because there are a lot of random facts about me and I would like to elaborate on them, and as Paula said, ain’t nobody got time for that on Facebook.

Beth gave me the number 8, so here are 8 random facts about me. Oh and they’re mostly about my childhood, because I think kids are hilarious and I can remember a lot of really random things about growing up.

1. When I was about four and still living in our first house in the suburbs (before we moved to the middle of nowhere) I got one of those massive boxes of crayons with every single colour and I was so excited to use them. I thought it would be nice to make pictures for all the neighbours on our street. I spent hours and hours in my room working very hard on this. Sometimes I would just colour a page out of my colouring book and then tear it out, and sometimes I would elaborately and painstakingly draw the pictures myself, but either way I made sure that no neighbours were left out.

Everyone on my street received a special picture from me. Every day. For several weeks. I drew pictures and delivered them to my neighbours.

I snuck them into their mailboxes and left them on their doorsteps. I thought I was giving them a beautiful present and they would cherish it forever. Perhaps my pictures would even make it onto their fridge.

One day our old crotchety next door neighbour Mrs. Moaner (not her actual name, just what my mom called her, and not to her face) came over and told my mom that I needed to stop drawing pictures and leaving them on her doorstep. She did not like it, and was in fact very angry about receiving the pictures. And so, that was the end of my drawings (but I found out later that the older couple who lived across the street really loved my drawings and saved every single one).

2. I had two imaginary friends, also when I was around 3 or 4, still living in the same house. One was a girl named Orion, who was a pretty normal imaginary friend, and who would play with me in our backyard. We had some great times together.

My other imaginary friend was the monster who lived in the furnace grate in the floor at the end of my bed. This sounds scary, but his name was Harry and he was a very nice monster and from what I can remember he was pretty hilarious. Harry used to tell me funny stories as I was going to sleep. I can distinctly remember having conversations with Harry so now I wonder if I just had a really good imagination, or if my house was haunted? I will never know.

Harry is not to be confused with the evil monster who lived under my bed who I OBVIOUSLY was not friends with.

3. In Grade 2 I wrote a story about a girl. I can’t remember what the actual story was about, but I do remember I had to draw pictures for it, and in one of the pictures I drew, the girl was getting ready for school. In the picture the girl was getting dressed, and I drew her from the back, finding clothes out of her dresser to wear. I decided to draw her naked. With a big butt crack. I can still picture it. It looked like this:

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My mom was called in to talk to the teacher to see if I was having any issues at home. I wasn’t. I just thought it would be funny to draw someone naked. I liked to push the envelope a little bit.

4. Also in Grade 2 my mom (and possibly my teacher also, I don’t know) came up with the idea that I might be gifted. I was doing exceptionally well in writing and drawing, so the idea was not completely unwarranted. My school was having a test for students who might be gifted in the library, so I was to take it.

The test was a Scantron. So a sheet of questions, and then a separate sheet where you mark your answers.

scantron

Don’t tell me you don’t remember these.

It was the first time I had ever seen a Scantron test so I had no idea how it worked. Unfortunately I did not pay attention while they explained the instructions. When it came time to do the test, I was too embarrassed to ask how to do it because I was supposed to be gifted and I thought gifted people weren’t supposed to ask questions (and gifted people probably also paid attention). So I pretended to know what I was doing and just coloured in little circles at random and hoped for the best. I probably didn’t even put my name on there correctly.

No one ever brought up the results with me. I’ll never know if I was gifted, but I’ll just go ahead and say probably not.

5. One time in later elementary school I really, really didn’t want to go to school so I decided to fake sick. And I decided to fake sick very elaborately. I got a large bucket and just started pouring things into it from the fridge: Ketchup, mustard, milk, mayonnaise, and Cheez Whiz. I then added water and bread chunks and mixed it all together until it had a nice thick consistency. Then I showed it to my dad and said that I threw up. He agreed I must be sick and I could stay home from school. I was so impressed with myself because the contents of that bucket really and truly did smell like throw-up! It was pretty gross. (note: I was telling Evan this story and he said “So many stories from your childhood involve you pulling the wool over your dad’s eyes,” and he would not be wrong about that. The Ghost of the Indian Chief is another example of this.)

6. I used to be able to beat the original Super Mario Bros in under eight minutes, by using all the warp zones.

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It was quite a party trick (when I was 8) and I was kind of a phenomenon in my neighbourhood. I was very proud of myself.

7. Speaking of video games, I REALLY love Guitar Hero and I am freakishly good at it.

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Or Rock Band, which isn’t the same, in my opinion. The Guitar Hero guitar is my instrument of choice.

I can play it on expert and get 98-100% on most of the songs (except the really crazy ones). A few years ago I won $100 in a Guitar Hero competition that I randomly stumbled across in a mall. I saw a big crowd milling about, so I walked up and entered on a whim and I ended up beating a bunch of 14 year old boys. Suckers. It was a proud moment for me.

8. I have a really awesome immune system, and I am very thankful for this. I get a minor cold maybe twice a year (if that), and it’s usually just a stuffy nose and a sore throat for a day or two. Nothing crazy. I don’t usually get headaches, I have not had the flu since the 7th grade, and I just don’t normally get sick (hence why I used to have to fake sick). I am pretty hardy. Do you know what I attribute this to? Growing up swimming in a dirty lake. Practically living in a dirty lake. I was exposed to who knows what and I’m pretty sure that’s what gave me my immune system of steel.

And that’s it, but feel free to tell me random facts about yourself!

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Crotched.

A short comic about the time my friend Melissa was over for a sleepover and I accidentally crotched myself.

crotched-comiccrotched-comic1crotched-comic2

It hurt a lot. The End.

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Adventures in Online Dating Part 2: The Dates

So I mentioned last week that I had a few dates that were a bit on the weird side when I was doing the online dating thing. For the most part my dates were fine. Everyone was very nice, and I didn’t meet anyone who was creepy weird (but like I said in my original online dating post, I had a screening process – had I not there would have been huge potential for creepy dates). I probably went on dates with about seven different people, and mostly they were fine. I did meet some cool people, and most were normal, regular guys. I just ultimately didn’t feel a connection or didn’t see it working out.

But let’s get to the weird ones.

The Socially Awkward Liar

The Socially Awkward Liar said in his dating profile that he was 5’11, but it was clear upon meeting him that he had lied about his height. He was shorter than me (I am 5’9), and just overall slight. I could for sure piggyback him no problem. When I was describing him later to my friend Sherrie, I believe I said that I could pick him up and throw him. Probably one-handed.

But, height is not something you can control, so I was not so shallow that I was going to shaft him because of that. It bothered me that he had lied, of course, and as a general rule I think it is very important to be honest and up front in your online dating profile — if you are going to end up dating someone you meet on there the ugly truth about you is going to come out anyway. Why prolong it? And I don’t know why he would choose to lie about something so OBVIOUS. But, we had dinner plans and I was hungry so I was willing to look past it.

It quickly became apparent though, that he had lied about several other things as well. Such as having any sort of sense of humour or personality. He came across very well through typing, but in person, nothing. Zero personality.

He barely laughed at anything I said. And people usually tell me I am funny (it’s my favourite compliment). Or if he did laugh, it seemed very forced and way delayed.

I also found it really hard to talk to him in general. Our entire dinner conversation consisted of him bombarding me with questions. It went something like this:

I hate that question. What don’t I do for fun? I do all the things for fun!

But he went on…

The entire date. Just relentless questions. He didn’t even wait for me to finish answering one question before launching into the next one. I felt like I was on a job interview for a job that I didn’t even want. It was so painful. And the questions he asked were all things that I think can come up organically in regular conversation. But he did pay, so all was not completely lost. And my dinner was really good.

The Bill Splitter

I was out for dinner with a guy who I thought was extremely funny. He made me laugh very hard, which is an important quality. He was definitely weird, but I have been known to be kind of weird as well, and I thought I might have a bit of an affinity for his weirdness. I was having a good time.

And then our sever came over to inquire about the bill…

And things took a turn for the awkward…

Oh, okay.

I didn’t mind paying but…call me old-fashioned or whatever, I think on a first date the guy should at least offer to pay. I would probably offer to split or at least cover the tip anyway…but especially if HE asked ME out. I didn’t want to get all weird about it though, so I tried to keep my face expressionless.

And then the server, all awkward, asked…

And he thought about it for a second, and then said…

Really?!

I just stared at him. I didn’t know how to react. It was so weird. And it wasn’t even the most weird for me, it was so weird for our server!

Waiting for the bill (oh, sorry, bills) to come mayyyy have been the most awkward few minutes of my life. I just didn’t know what to say. And he didn’t stop staring at me during this time. He just looked at me all intensely with a creepy smile on his face. Neither of us said anything. I felt very uncomfortable.

And then finally, our server came back with our bills. She put each of our bills in front of us, and then looked at me like “This guy’s a douche.” And he did not take his eyes off me.

And then he grabbed both of the bills and ran away to pay them. Both of them! He paid for mine also. I was so confused. When he came back, I said something.

Um, no.

Here’s the thing. This guy was pretty funny (he used to be a stand up comedian), so I think he only did this to test me to see how I would react. He had planned on paying the entire time. While this is funny to an outsider, and it is funny to me now, it was not very funny at the time. This guy was way too unpredictable. I’m pretty sure he would make it a point to embarrass me in public all the time, and though I don’t embarrass easily, I am just not down with that. Unnecessary. No thank you.

“No Thanks, I Don’t Eat”

Date #3 seemed promising. He was very cute, great spelling and grammar, was tall, funny, and seemed super fun. And he took me to a comedy club. So wins all around.

Afterwards, we went out to a pub to get a drink. It was kinda late and I hadn’t eaten in a while, so as I was perusing the menu I asked…

Because I LOVE nachos.

Surely I misheard.

And so he repeated himself.

And then he explained to me that he worked in a bar, so he just didn’t buy food, and only ate when he was working.

Ah.

On the one hand, I was impressed by his ability to not have to eat, because it would be nice to be able to go more than a few hours without dying of starvation. On the other hand, that is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard. Also, I am very, VERY, very very very food oriented. VERY.

I explained to him that I love food. Very much. I love it so much I have a blog basically about food. And he said that was great because he really needed to broaden his food horizons, because currently he does not eat fruit, vegetables, seafood or dessert. Under any circumstance.

Nooo thank you. No. I love food too much. How would we go out for dinner? What if I was at his house and he had no food available? I could starve! Images of me starving flashed before my eyes. I did not trust him not to let that happen. It would never work out. Eating is a VERY important part of my life. Not eating is a deal breaker.

And I did. And I ate the entire plate of them, and he did not even have one. Not even one. Because they had lettuce and tomato on them. And he doesn’t eat vegetables.

Oh don’t even get me started.

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Storytime: I Fell Out of a Tree and Broke My Face

Going into high school, I had matured slightly since my days of building forts in the forest.  My friends and I had graduated from the fort-building to just kinda hanging around and acting cool.

One day in the beginning of Grade 9, my friends and I we were walking along the outskirts of the forest and we found an abandoned tree fort.  It was way better than any of the forts we had ever made.  It was about 15 feet off the ground in an actual tree, and actually sturdy, made with real wood (rather than ours made out of sticks and branches on the ground).


As we were inspecting the fort we noticed there was a bucket of cement on the ground next to the tree it was in, along with a pulley, and a long piece of rope.

We were intrigued.  What were the mystery tree fort builders planning on doing with this?

There was a ladder leading up to the tree, which is how we assumed we were supposed to get up and down… but what if we could make some sort of contraption out of this bucket of cement, pulley, and rope?

An idea was born.

We figured if we tied one end of the rope around the handle of the bucket of cement, we could attach the pulley high up on a branch, loop the rope through it, and tie the other end of the rope around something we could hang onto.

So that when you were up in the fort, to get down all you needed to do was grab onto the rope at the top and jump off the edge, and as the bucket of cement was pulled up, you would slowly be lowered down.

Genius.  We thought it was the best idea we’d ever had.  I ran home and got an old pair of bike handlebars to tie to the other end of the rope (to hang onto), and we quickly got to work making our bucket-pulley system.

We tested it…


And tested it…

And it worked perfectly!

It was exactly how we had envisioned, and it was super fun.  So much better than using the boring old ladder to get down.  We were so proud of ourselves.

That weekend, my Bestie Lisa came up to her cottage  – I mentioned in the post dedicated to my Bestie that her cottage was near my house, and that was how we knew eachother.  During school she was only there on weekends.  She had heard about the fort, but she hadn’t seen our bucket-pulley idea or how cool it was.

I was so excited to show her how it worked.  She was the one who I was most excited to show it to.  I knew it would be right up her alley.

As soon as she came up on Friday evening, she came over to my house, and my friends and I rushed her over to the fort to show her the pulley.

I raced up the fort’s ladder, ran to the edge, grabbed the bike handlebars, looked over to make sure she was watching, gave her a giant smile, yelled “WATCH THIS!” and, feeling bold, launched myself over the edge.

I did not check first to make sure the rope wasn’t tangled.  This would prove to be a fatal mistake.

It all happened very fast, but to me, everything was in slow motion.  At first everything was fine, the bucket started to lift up, and I was lowered about a foot or so towards the ground.  And then, all of a sudden, everything stopped.  The next second the bucket just stopped moving and I was JOLTED in place.

I didn’t have time to think.  I let go of the handlebars, and suddenly I was hurtling face-first towards the ground.



I closed my eyes and threw my arms up to prepare for impact.

I landed on my hands and knees, but my head slammed forward because of the force, and I bashed my face hard on a stump.


I looked up, and my Bestie was already at my side, with her arms out, like she was trying to catch me.  Everyone else was rushing towards me.  The fall took my breath away, and I could feel blood running out of my nose.

I had ruined the pulley demonstration.  I didn’t want her to be afraid of it, we had been using it all week with no incident!  I knew it was my own stupidity, for not checking the rope first.  I could only say one thing.

I really wanted her to try it, so she could see how fun it was.  So she could see that it wasn’t the pulley’s fault!  I should have checked!

Though I was dizzy, I forced myself off the ground, marched back to the tree, pulled myself up the ladder, untangled the rope, grabbed the bike handlebars, looked over to make sure she was looking, and jumped off the edge.

It worked.  I was slowly lowered to the ground.

I was all “See, it’s fine!  You can try it!”

But she wouldn’t.  She never tried the bucket-pulley.

I went home to get my nose checked out.  I suspect it was broken, but I never found out for sure.  And I now have a bump on my nose.

Hard to see, but it is there.

Also, it was picture-day on Monday at school.  The swelling in my nose still hadn’t gone down, resulting in me looking like this:

Oh well, at least it’s a good story!

The End ;).

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Storytime: I Saw the Ghost of an Indian Chief

Growing up, one of my favourite activities was building tree forts in the forest that was across the street from my house.  And when I say forest, I mean serious forest.  I don’t mean the four trees next to my current neighbourhood that all my neighbours call “the forest”.  This was a legit 100 acres of forest.

My friends and I would literally spend all our free time in there, after school and on weekends, building the perfect fort made out of branches, leaves and sticks, and then hang out in it, enjoying the fruits of our labour (until my fat bully neighbour Spoon would find it and trash it… He stole all my pogs too.  jerk.)

One day, my friends and I were deep in the forest, working on a pretty awesome fort.  It was just starting to get dark so we were getting ready to pack it in (rule was, home before dark, obviously), and then out of nowhere, it started to rain really hard.  I happened to be in a tree when the rain started, because I was trying to get a really cool-looking branch down that I thought would be a good addition to our fort.

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My friends decided to leave because of the rain.  And when I say decided to leave, I mean they friggin’ took off as fast as they possibly could, and left me there all alone in the tree, and unable to run away with them.

I panicked.  I did NOT like being alone in the forest.  There was an old tale that had been passed around (that I loved to tell around campfires when we were exchanging ghost stories), that there was an old Indian graveyard in the forest, and at night time the ghost of an Indian Chief would wander the trails, looking for little children to eat (or something like that, anyway).


Picturing the ghost of a big bad Indian Chief lumbering up the trail to eat me, I half-climbed, half-slid, half-fell, out of the tree, and just booked it.

I ran down the trail as fast as my nine-year-old legs could carry me, in the pouring rain, almost dark, crying hysterically the whole way.


At one point, I slipped and fell face-first on the trail, getting mud ALL over myself, which made me even more hysterical, and cry even harder.

I finally escaped the evil dark forest, breaking free of the trail just in front of my house.  My friends were nowhere to be seen.

I rushed inside to my parents.  I must have looked like a mess.  I can only picture it.  Soaking wet, covered in mud, crying hysterically.

My parents took one look at me and were all “OH MY GOD!!!!  What happened to you???”

In my little nine-year-old brain, I realized that I had two options.

I could tell them the truth…or I could make up a story.

I could tell them that their only daughter was a giant loser and all her friends ran away and left her all alone, and I was terrified of being alone in the forest I spent every day in…

OR.  I could be a hero.

I took a deep breath…

Once the lie was out of my mouth and I saw the look on my parents faces, I immediately regretted it.  But it was too late to take it back.  And the old Indian graveyard lent truth to my story.  And I didn’t want to be known as a liar… so I backed that story up as best I could.

“He just appeared on the trail!”

“He was wearing animal skin!”

“He had face paint!”

“And feathers!!!!!!”

“AND A NECKLACE MADE OF BONES!!!!”

“He raised his hand and said How!”

(I had seen Peter Pan, I knew what Indian Chief’s said.  “Big Chief greet little mother. How.”)

I went on and on about the Indian Chief, and how afraid I was when he appeared in front of me on the trail.  I think I was pretty convincing, but I never really thought about whether or not my parents believed me.

I raved on about it to my friends, too.  So that they felt guilty about ditching me, and that I was the lucky one who saw the ghost of the Indian Chief.  And of course, they wanted to see the ghost too.

So the next day the four of us went back into the forest.  To invoke the spirit of the Indian Chief.

We held hands and sang the only Native song I knew, from Girl Guides, Land Of The Silver Birch, over and over, hoping that the ghost of the Indian Chief would show himself to us.

I felt safe in the forest with my friends again.  But of course, we never saw the ghost of the Indian Chief.

A few years ago I was talking to my dad about all the stupid things I did when I was younger (there were many), and I brought up this story, and his response was “You MADE that UP?!  Lindsey, I told people at WORK that story!”

My dad is awesome.  He will just always want to believe anything I tell him :).

The end.

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