Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blogging - The Early Days

I still think it is funny that I didn't start my own blog. Once upon a time, I used to write stuff down on an antiquated site called Bebo. Does anybody remember that? Kirk came home one day and announced that he'd started me a blog. I felt annoyed and a bit pressured to actually write something on it. Well, Bebo went the way of brick-and-mortar video rental stores, and I fell in love with my new blog.

But I got my start in blogging long before that. For me, blogging is really just a place to write my opinions, personal history, and really - just to write. I've always used the written word as a form of personal expression, favoring really bad poetry when I have emotions to sort out. I have notebooks and journals full of terrible lyrics that never turned into songs. And thankfully, I have a pre-blog record of the history of my writing in a few key items I've managed to keep. But my emergency plan is to back up my life on the blog so that in case of a fire, all I need to get is my piano and my children (not in that order), and I can know that the rest of the stuff is safe on the internet somewhere. 

So here it is: a little time capsule of Andrea's early writing.

My earliest recorded "blogs" were recorded in the journal I received at my baptism.  Though I chronicled some pretty boring school days, I do like this entry from January 2, 1990: (it is important to have a record of a family's first VCR!)

Yesterday we started a new year.  Today we started school again.  It was a weired day.  My alarm got me up at 6:30, and it was suposed to get me up at 6:00.  My mom's clock didn't go off at all.  It snowed half of the day.  I brought all my snow things just to stay inside.  We played Bowling for ressess.  All I could get was a guter ball.  We got allot of treats from my teacher Mrs. James.  When I got home my sister would not eat her dinner.  My sisters fought about who got to say the prayer.  I had to practice the piano.  It took forever.  I have to do the dishes.  My sisters are scared of the sirens we hear.  Michelle hert her foot on my bed.  Then the penutt butter fell on her nose.  I worked on my book report at school.  I like school.  My sisters are nice.  And they are very funny.  They make me laugh.  I like them.  My parents are nice.  My teacher is nice.  I have allot of friends.  They are: Jenny, John, Nickey, Laura, Malissa, Steven, Christy, Jennnifer, and Tia.  I like them very much.  We got a bran new VCR for Christmas.  Me & my sisters each got 2 tapes.  We like them.

This piece is from the mid-nineties. I'd guess about '96. I've told pieces of the story surrounding my greyhound trip to Iowa before (to attend journalism camp). While there, I experienced my first real exposure to the "real" world. In retrospect, I don't know what sort of camp for teenagers actually lets kids get away with smoking on campus, but they found a way. For the first time in my life, I saw the "cool" kids doing things I really thought weren't cool. And somehow, I had the guts to write about it and publish it in our end-of-week book. The crazy thing is, they wouldn't publish it in the actual book! Because of the subject matter, my piece sits apart in a separate bound edition, 28 Stories: Untold Tales from the Elevator, The Censored Collection.

I sit in a class full of almost strangers and listen to their foreign views.  A "good girl" from Draper, Utah, I have not been exposed to all the drugs and alcohol that others have.  In this sense, I am naive.  I listen to their "Everyone is doing it" campaign and think to myself, "I'm not."  I hear them say, "I have nothing against a little drinking and marijuana as long as it's not very serious."  Well, I don't have to worry about it getting serious if I never try it for fun, right?  I listen to tales of being "so 'burnt' that I can't even more" or "Yeah, I smoke pot; I've done acid." Or there's my favorite, "I really need a cigarette right now!"
"Why do people even think of drinking or drugs?" I ask.
"They're bored and it's something to do."  I don't get it.
"With all the great things to fill life with, why drugs?" I respond, still confused.
"Well, it's not like drinking at one party on a Friday night is going to make you an alcoholic." I don't reply.  I have to absorb the unfamiliarity of this answer.
Jokingly a classmate says, "C'mon Andrea.  Everyone is doing it!"  Is that really what they think?  Not everyone's doing it, and it's not okay just because some people are.  Not everyone drinks, or smokes, or does drugs.  I don't.
"You have to experiment to grow," they tell me.  Why?  I don't need to know what being high feels like.  It won't get me anywhere.  I don't need to know anything about drugs.  I don't need to know what they'll do to me, how to get them, or why I shouldn't.  All I need to do is decide, "No.  I don't want to do drugs.  I don't even want to try drugs, and I don't want to drink or smoke either."  I made that decision years ago.  And by the way, how can getting addicted to drugs help me grow?
I draw my will not to drink and smoke from many sources: my parents, my religion, my community.  But I know that it's a more personal choice that anything.  I don't drink, I don't smoke, and I don't do drugs because I don't want to.  I could receive all the guidance in the world - all the warnings - and still smoke.  Instead I make the conscious choice not to.  As longs as I'm alive, the statement, "Everyone is doing it" will never ring true.  I'm not.
Then there's the less glamorous (and far less censored) Poems of Wonder by Andrea Casdorph.  At my elementary school, Challenger School, students participated annually in a Young Author project.  We spend a couple of months writing, editing, and publishing a "book."  This gem, Copyright 1993, is proof that I have always been a huge nerd.  I mean, what kind of 11 year old writes poetry about grammar?

Lie and Lay
Now children this is the last time I will say
You lie all by yourself, and objects you do lay.
You lie down on the bed and lay the towels away
The dog lays down the ball, you got it down okay?
The past of lie is lay, the past of lay is laid.
Participle of lie is lain, participle of lay is laid.
There's no such word as layen, nor a word like layed.
I want it right tomorrow, study before you've played.

I found an unfinished piece in a notebook as I was recently unpacking boxes.  My best guess is that this is from 2000, and I probably wrote it in my last few weeks at USU.

There comes a time in your life
When you have to decide
What is wrong and what's right
For you
And all that people have said
All the books that you've read
Get jumbled up in your head
And though the ground's the same ground you've always walked on
The path seems a little skewed
Where can you turn?
What can you do?

I'm glad I've largely put poetry behind me and glad Kirk forced me to start this blog (I think it has been 7 years).  It is wonderful to have a place to celebrate, to vent, to journal, to memorialize, and to share.  And apparently to instruct everyone in the proper use of "lie" and "lay."