Monday, April 16, 2012

A is for April, the Month of My Birth: or Reliving Childhood One Letter of the Alphabet at a Time (A-Z Blogging)

Note: OK, I know I'm a little late to this party and I'm not officially on the list.  I was super distracted with PAX, but I think the A-Z April blogging challenge is a great activity, especially since I've been suffering from writer's block recently. So, here it goes...

Both my younger sister and I were April babies, but my mom always made sure we each had our own birthday parties so that we would each feel special on our respective "big days." Growing up in Colorado, we often had to have indoor birthday parties-April was usually still a little too chilly/windy to have outdoor birthday parties.  We were always jealous of our friends who had summer birthdays, they always had pool parties or beach-themed parties at the reservoir. My sister and I wanted so badly to have a water-themed birthday party in our yard, but April was just too chilly or unpredictable weather-wise to plan an outdoor party. The worst year, was the year we got Crocodile Mile as a present. It was absolute torture to get such an awesome, epic toy and have to wait 2+ months (2 months = forever in childhood time) to use it because we had to wait for the weather to warm up and hope there wasn't, you know, a drought or anything.

Curse you Colorado and your arid alpine environment!
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Despite being forced to have indoor birthday parties, my mom was never deterred (or at least never showed signs of being so) and always had a creative way to make our parties fun. My two favorite parties as a kid were my 6th and 8th birthdays. The year I turned 6, I was far too mature for Showbiz Pizza, there was an even bigger better, more sophisticated place in my 5-going-on-6-year-old mind that was just down the road in Cinderella City Mall: Funtastic Nathan's* (yes it was probably as much of a death-trap as it looked like.) After 6 years of planning birthday parties for me and my sister, I think my mom was thrilled to let Funtastic Nathan's do a lot of the work. All she had to do was provide the awesome Batman birthday cake. 

Mom delivered.
 Birthday number 8 involved Beauty and the Beast cosplay, puppets, and some awesome impromptu decorations provided by my awesome mom.  

Cosplay back when it was just called "dress-up"

Mom's decorations on the fly
  But, 8th birthday beats 6th birthday because it brought with it my favorite present as a child: my Game Boy.  Yes, I'm talking about the original 8-bit hand-held grey brick Game Boy, none of this fancy color nonsense.  And if you wanted to play in low-light or in the dark, you had to buy that plastic contraption with a light and magnifier that clipped onto the brick and made it even heavier. Heaven forbid you were tiredly trying to get that epic high score late at night lying in bed and your fatigued hands give out and the brick hits you square in the face.  That'll learn ya.

Yup, it felt about like getting hit in the face by this.
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While I'm certain I had more than 3 games for my Game Boy, the ones I remember playing the most were Tetris (bundled with the Game boy,) Paperboy (my favorite,) and Barbie: Game Girl (Nintendo's sad attempt at appealing to girls, and Mattel's sad attempt at getting in on the growing video game industry.) I would like to point out that the Barbie: Game Girl game was ridiculous. It was a platformer of Barbie shopping in the mall for all the items she needs for her big date with Ken while fighting off flying fast foods-I am so not even joking. And don't get me started on the mini-games in between levels: memory matching puzzles with perfume, diamonds, and makeup. *Gag*  The only reason I tortured myself to play this game was because I was a budding completionist and I'll be damned if I was to be beaten by Barbie. 

Yeah, I showed this beeotch who's boss.
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 And the moral of the story is: writer's block defeated.  By the alphabet.

*For any Coloradans who are old enough to remember, Funtastic Nathan's briefly became Nathan's Flying Circus after the demolition of Cinderella City Mall, then Funtastic Fun, and its current incarnation is Lollipop Park.
Nathan's: giving children communicable diseases, tetanus, and motion sickness for 19 years and counting!**



** I had many fond memories at these establishments. Please don't sue me. 
Look at those happy children.  They are clearly enjoying playing on the giant Do-Not-Sit-On-The-Bear bear.

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