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Personal History thing

I borrowed the format from rfrancis, and in writing it came across a lot of unresolved issues. My life, when broken down in this way, seems kind of crappy.

30 years ago (1972):
I was being conceived. Hopefully everyone involved had a good time! Later on in the year, I was born. We lived in a beautiful little house on Cedar and Union and my father had a really nice attic studio where he later taught me how to paint at my own little easel on brown paper grocery bags.

25 years ago (1977):
I was 4, and honestly don't remember much of anything from around this time. I got hit by a car and bounced on my head, wound up in a coma for about a month, broke my collarbone. I had seizures for a while after this time which got progressively better over time. I remember the hospital, and the Pleasure Point house we lived in, and all the Eucalyptus trees in the neighborhood. I think this is also around the time that I learned how to snap and whistle. I also overdosed on minty fluoride pills and had to have my stomach pumped, and I remember puking up little blue puddles on the way to the hospital. My parents began divorce proceedings this year as well.

20 years ago (1982):
My great grandmother passed away and left enough money for my mom to buy a house, so we wound up buying a suburban fixer-upper woodframe house which is where we lived from then on. Life changed dramatically after moving to the new neighborhood, I never quite found my niche with the neighbor kids, and ended up spending a lot of time by myself or with schoolfriends. We had a woman and her introverted son Damon living with us for a while, and he was probably my closest friend during this period. We played very imaginative storytelling games instead of hanging out with the neighbors. I mangled my left knee in a spill I took while riding a friends BMX bike. A big pointy jagged rock tore open my knee and chewed up the tendons and made quite a mess of things. Spent about a month or two laying around with my leg elevated. Entered puberty without really noticing it myself, but all the boys in my class made sure to point it out to me.

15 years ago (1987):
This is possibly one of the most important years of my life, actually, and it freaks me out that it was 15 years ago. I went to a small private highschool and was lucky to have a very cool teacher who encouraged me to pursue my artistic interests and took me to see weird art films and galleries. She told me about a new program that was starting up, the California State Summer School for the Arts, and I applied in both creative writing and visual art, and was accepted in both. I wound up choosing to study writing that year, but I mostly spent my time hanging around the visual art kids and wandering around Cal Arts in total awe. I made some lasting friendships during that summer, and was exposed to some really revolutionary art and music. This led to my first one-woman gallery show the next year because my portfolio ended up in someone's hands, and they showed it to a gallery owner who ended up contacting me to offer me a show.

10 years ago (1992):
Still decompressing from dropping out of art school. Started in on my first longterm relationship, which was rocky and weird but lasted 3 years. By this time I was geeking a lot, had an Amiga and a 2400 baud modem which kept me ICBing, MUDding and BBSing like a pro, making friends all over the country. All the late nights staring at monitors took their toll, and my vision started to get kind of bad, and I found out that I was nearsighted and got my first pair of glasses. Went to Disneyland. Went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Instead of going to Cal Arts when I got accepted, I spent 3 months trekking around Europe with my boyfriend, which was an amazing time.

5 years ago (1997):
Back living in Santa Cruz, taking care of my mom. Another rocky longterm relationship full of traumas, breakups and reconciliations. Put up my armory webpage. Started thinking seriously about moving to San Francisco. Turned 25 and tried to make a big deal out of it, which it really wasn't, but I felt like I needed to become a big serious adult and be responsible and stable. I was kind of stagnating in Santa Cruz at this point, most of my friends had started migrating north and I was bored a lot. Drank a lot of Mickey's during this time.

1 year ago (2001):
Kind of a crappy year. Started experimentally going out on weird/horrible dates with creepy guys I met through online personals, and started to get the impression that it wasn't a very good method of meeting people. Just about then I went out on a date with a really supercool guy who found my profile because he was poking around on the Blind Date tv show website. Within about a month of dating we fell in love AWWWW. Started hating my pseudo-dotcom job just before they laid me off just like everyone else. I cashed out my 401k and took my severance package and acted like I was on a long vacation, no worries.

My mom came up to SF to visit me a few times in the summer, and it was evident that her health was declining. She was having trouble catching her breath when walking even a short distance, and she had trouble even standing for any length of time. She visited towards the end of July and we had a great time, though I was worrying about her health a lot. A few days after the visit, she was in the hospital for Pneumonia, she said, and made it sound like it was no big deal, they just wanted to make sure she was okay. I spent a week with her, helped out around the house when she was released from the hospital and tried to take care of her as much as possible. She slept a lot. I had to come back up to San Francisco for a few days, and she assured me that she'd be fine and so I hugged her goodbye and felt that she was really warm, and took her temperature and found that she was running a temperature of about 102. I decided to stay until her fever decreased or call an ambulance. She protested, insisting that she was fine, and that she was warm because she'd just woken up. The fever went down to normal and so I headed back to San Francisco a day or so later. A few days later, I received a series of confusing calls from friends of the family suggesting that I head down to just kind of keep an eye on her. I had no way of knowing this at the time, but they all knew that she had Cancer, and that it was a very advanced case. She apparently didn't want me to worry, and so she downplayed the seriousness of her illness, and wanted to wait until she knew the prognosis before she told me anything. I got a call from a friend saying that my mom was acting really "weird" and they were worried, so they called an ambulance and told me that I should come down to see her. I was getting ready to head down to Santa Cruz by train the next day when I got a call from the hospital saying that she had taken a turn for the worst and she was in the ICU, they were performing CPR and could I get there as soon as possible. I called everyone I could think of but couldn't get a ride in the middle of the night. 10 minutes later I got a call that my mom had died. It all happened really quickly. A lot of people wanted to talk to me and help me out and I wasn't prepared to deal with any of this, and I think I handled things poorly, it took about 2 months to arrange a memorial. And I also started keeping a Livejournal.

Comments

( 21 uh-ohs — Make a mess )
sugaree
Feb. 13th, 2002 10:14 pm (UTC)
You make me smile when you write like this.

Thanks for sharing.
caffeina
Feb. 13th, 2002 10:18 pm (UTC)
When I write like what? I guess it's good that you're smiling, because writing that was like.. Really painful. Not good.
sugaree
Feb. 13th, 2002 10:19 pm (UTC)
Re:
I'm sorry it was painful. You just really have a knack for it, and I love reading what you write. It's really intimate and personal. *shrug* It's good, really.
caffeina
Feb. 13th, 2002 10:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, okay
Haha... Thanks, I think...
beatings
Feb. 13th, 2002 11:01 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I can't agree that this makes your life sound crappy. In fact you've inspired me to write something similar for myself, even though I got the impression that this writing must have been very difficult. I hope you're doing well...

And thanks for sharing all that, I learned a lot about you! :) So when did you meet ME, huh, huh. LIFE-CHANGING EVENT, right? Right?
caffeina
Feb. 13th, 2002 11:04 pm (UTC)
I left that part out, it was too PAINFUL
but really... I didn't meet you on any of those particular years! also, a lot of really major events took place in like, 1990, 1993, 1995... 1989... 1998... But they're lost to the ages!

When the hell did we meet anyhow? It was all on account of that XBBS thing but for some reason I can't place it in time. I have a poor memory.
beatings
Feb. 14th, 2002 10:18 am (UTC)
Re: I left that part out, it was too PAINFUL
Haha, mmmmmmm *thinking* I was 16 then? I had a car? I think that's right... So that would have been 1991 or so. We were just kids!!
caffeina
Feb. 16th, 2002 12:45 am (UTC)
less choke more poke
Sigh. Yes. I am officially getting OLD.

You know, I think a lot about the good old XBBS days, and how much of a rad thing it was. I had a phase about a year ago of trying to track down some of my old XBBS friends. I pretty much failed. Wonder whatever happened to those freaky little punkasses. I mean, I know what happened to you! heehee!
clearview
Feb. 14th, 2002 06:51 pm (UTC)
Hi, I took you to see Planet of the Apes at the Metreon, and I was wondering if you still had my Member's Only jacket?
caffeina
Feb. 14th, 2002 10:12 pm (UTC)
Oh GEEZ...
Listen, bub, you're the one who left your jacket in my Jeep after the movie. I figured you just wanted to give me something to remember you by!
clearview
Feb. 16th, 2002 12:16 am (UTC)
Re: Oh GEEZ...
Hello? That's what the hickeys were for.

I'm going to drop the flippancy for a second and tell you I genuinely enjoyed your entry. I like the cut of your jib, Simpson.
caffeina
Feb. 16th, 2002 12:20 am (UTC)
Re: Oh GEEZ...
See, hickeys fade after a couple of days, but the beautiful thing about a Member's Only jacket is you don't even have to be a member to look like one! It's a gift that lasts forever!

Thanks for saying nice things, podner. I laughed out loud at your survey answers over there.
clearview
Feb. 16th, 2002 12:38 am (UTC)
Re: Oh GEEZ...
I really can't take credit for those survey answers. I was channeling the ghost of Bob Hope. (Wait ... he's not dead yet, is he?)
caffeina
Feb. 16th, 2002 12:41 am (UTC)
Re: Oh GEEZ...
Wouldn't it be creepy if he died just as you were typing that?

No, you're right, I guess not.
clearview
Feb. 16th, 2002 12:48 am (UTC)
Re: Oh GEEZ...
Great. Bob Hope is so going to be waiting in hell to kick both our asses.
youtsk
Feb. 18th, 2002 05:01 pm (UTC)
Comic relief.
A man came into a psychiatrist's office, wearing only Saran Wrap. The psychiatrist says "I can clearly see you're nuts."

I mean, thanks for sharing. Seriously. It may not be cathartic now, but it might be in the future. Or maybe I'm just making things up.

Also, you forgot to mention that you met ME. In 1991, I think. That should be a PIVOTAL EVENT IN YOUR LIFE.

Also, I'm sorry about your mother. I'm not sure I ever told you that before, but I only have an inkling of what that must've been like. My uncle passed away in my Year of Shit (TM), and that was a big enough ordeal. I don't even know what it would be like if my parents died. Actually, your visit to DC during that YoS was a big highlight, even though you were breaking up with M. and we had that fight. It was fun except for that part.

youtsk
Feb. 18th, 2002 05:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Comic relief.
That was when we had DINNER!!! And DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY!!!

Oh hell. I hate being serious.
caffeina
Feb. 18th, 2002 11:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Comic relief.
Crap we always say to each other:

  • DINNER!!!
  • Pen Is
  • DUDE I'M ON THE BUS!
  • I-I-I'll Ki-i-i-iilll Yooooouuu!
  • Shut UP!

We are mean kids!
youtsk
Feb. 19th, 2002 03:02 am (UTC)
Re: Comic relief.
Where is this "we are mean" coming from? SPEAK FOR YOURSELF!

Oh, wait. I'm mean too.
caffeina
Feb. 18th, 2002 07:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Comic relief.
Yeah, the big fight where you called me a big baby and said something like "Oh yeah Poor You. You know, other people have problems too!" Then I kicked you. You were so right! I am a big baby, and I don't deal well with the truth. Psh. Sorry I kicked you.

The Year o Shit, that was in 94/95 right? Like just around christmas/new year's. That was actually a lot of fun, considering all the terrible crap we were both dealing with.

1991 was actually a very pivotal year in general, and meeting you was all part of the holistic puzzle.
youtsk
Feb. 19th, 2002 03:07 am (UTC)
Re: Comic relief.
Yeah, I'm sorry I picked a fight with you too. Also when you came to visit. Heh. I'm such a bastard sometimes. But it was a fun time, even though you were breaking up and I was on the verge of breaking up and my uncle had just passed away. Life sucks sometimes, you know?
( 21 uh-ohs — Make a mess )