Sometimes I like to look at photos I’ve taken throughout my life. I’ve been fairly good at keeping them as devices come and go. Usually they help me remember that there have been a lot of good times in my life, and there will likely be more. I’ve long wanted to write captions on many of them, so here I go. I don’t know or care if this is of any interest to people who don’t know me.
This is one of the earliest photos I have, from January 2004. My household watched The Simpsons a lot, as indicated by this poster in my sister’s room. We were confident at the time that the show wouldn’t last more than sixteen seasons.
My elementary school had an annual event called Saturday Night Live. It was originally Friday Night Live, but the year ahead of mine had too much snow the Friday it was scheduled, and they ended up liking Saturday more. They decorated the whole school and fourth and fifth graders spent the night. The parents and teachers set up a variety of events, and it was one of the more fun nights of my life. My cohort got School of Rock and Disney themes. The photo is from a later year I helped put on the event for my sister’s class.
We lived in a rural area outside of town, so there were frequently wild animals roaming around. This is a snapping turtle. I was advised to not approach it.
When I was 9 we went to a dairy farm. This is a cow in the middle of giving birth. That was a really good day.
This is Spot in 2004. We had cats before her, but they all ran away or died because we let them outside. Also one of them died when my dad accidentally backed over it with his truck. To prevent my mom from finding out, he kicked the body down a cliff behind our house. Anyway, Spot was the first one to be kept inside, so she’s a recurring character.
This was clearly Halloween, so I’m not sure what that timestamp is doing. Anyway, this is my friend Josh and I. I’ve long liked dressing in all black, and Halloween is a good opportunity to take it to the extreme.
2005 was a good year to be introduced to emo. I spent a lot of time online at this point in my life. Like, a lot a lot. An unhealthy amount, probably from ages seven to twenty. I had a lot of trouble socially growing up, so I used online message boards to find friends. I was especially fond of debate-oriented boards at first, and then more emotional boards as my teenage emotions developed.
Every year the fifth graders at my school performed an opera in front of everyone at the school. My class did The Barber of Seville. All of the audio was played from a tape; thankfully we didn’t have children trying to sing opera. In this scene, everyone is fighting. I forget why, but I do remember watching Looney Tunes afterwards. Music was otherwise an increasingly important thing in my life as choir one one of the few extracurriculars available. I got to perform at the state level, which was neat.
Every year there was a science fair. I always came up with a reason not to participate. My sister actually did, experimenting to see how fast differently colored candled melted. The judge didn’t approve of her lack of attempt at a scientific explanation of the results. One kid brought a homemade hovering office chair, though I had a feeling they received more than a little parental assistance. One group did something that resulted in them giving out samples of rock candy. That day I learned that I really like rock candy, yay science.
This is another wild animal.
This is the dog, Maggie. She really liked eating things. Including an entire wooly bed, a rubber ladybug squeaky toy, and cat shit. I still feel a compulsion to keep food out of places where a dog could reach it. She was a remarkably unintelligent dog.
This is Spot, but in 2006. By this point in time, I’d moved into middle school after a week of stress so intense I was curled up in pain for most of it. As soon as it started, I adapted to the change; anticipation was the worst part, as it often was.
My sister was always more social than I was growing up. She and her friends often included me in their activities, so I remember a lot of summers spent mostly that way. This picture is from a sleepover. Also, the rug was from an earlier era in which we both really liked smiley face stuff. We still like smiley face stuff, but we also used to.
I had three anoles, Kooky, Cecky, and Mooner. They could turn green or brown, and they ate crickets. Sometimes they molted. They were neat to watch, and it was funny watching them eat or drink. They lived about five times the average lifespan of their species.
When I was five, I received a PlayStation for Christmas, and the games Rugrats: Search for Reptar and Spyro the Dragon. Spyro turned out to be the better game, but both were pretty fun. Six years later, I finally managed to collect everything in the game. Two years later, after my eye surgery, I was bored, so I did a speedun. Five and a half hours wasn’t a great time, but not bad given my healing vision. Then I decided to see how quickly I could get from the beginning of each level to the return home warp. I posted my experience on the GameFAQs board, and I guess now there’s a whole subgenre of speedruns doing that.
Everyone was very excited for The Simpsons Movie. Simpsons mania was still in its final stages, and there were a lot of promotional tie-ins. This display was at the cinema. The movie was pretty good, though perhaps over-hyped. It was also alleged to be the series finale, but then it kept going anyway.
I spent a lot of time on a site called Braingle that still exists, though last I checked the community is mostly gone. I was on the site basically every afternoon to participate in the forums. I made some friendships there that are still ongoing, and at one point was involved in a love triangle. We got a lot of angsty and nerdy teens in one small online community.
I had some interesting political views when I was twelve. I mostly hovered in the libertarian region of positions, though I was more influenced by the American right-wing Libertarians than the left-wing anarchists. I still moved back and forth, though, and consistently read from a variety of sources. At this point I spent a lot of my time in school reading political books and at home on online debate forums. Also, I did use the word-a-day calendar, and it was fun, but I don’t really remember any of the words. Or maybe I do, but I forgot I learned them from the calendar. I suspect it’s not a great way to learn words since it doesn’t really provide a context to remember it in.
A friend and I created rival “hacking” groups in seventh grade. His was the Red Alien Hackers, mine the Purple. I have no idea what context this was posted in, but it is a fantastic image.
I used to enjoy making these in MS Paint. I’m sure there was some method determining which color each space is, but I have no idea how to figure out what it is.
This was also about the time I became interested in GNU/Linux. I installed Ubuntu on my desktop and read a lot of books about Free and Open Source Software.