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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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Computer and I bonded. His name is Brian. First person to mock this, I swear, I'll find out your most hated pairing and write about it. Maybe even epically. Even if it's Clark/Lana. Yes, EVEN THEN.

*grins* I'm such a nerd.

Yesterday, amongst other things, I went to Christmas lunch and part of the school concert at my son's school. This sounds like the beginning of a Very Long Boring Story, and it IS, but I'll spare you the "oh cute" moments I had with Child, 'cause I went over those ad nauseum with family, and skip right to the moment where I started feeling *really* weird.



I'm always a kid when I'm at that school.

I went to a small, small school. K-12 are on the same campus. I once said, in a completely not-joking manner, that I'd prostitute myself on Congress before I'd let Nick go to that school.

Mmm hmm. I say a *lot* of things.

Anyway, the gym is the same. The floor is the same. The damn stage is the same, the bleachers are the same. It was all these indecent echoes, and I was a very, very miserable sixteen, who had just quit basketball, joined the band, and wondered if this had actually been a good idea.

Watching the middle school band, listening, I look at the first chair flute and I could have sworn I saw Melanie. The trumpet was Calvin, it *had* to be, and I expected it so much--who the hell notices an eleven year difference--that I *did* see them. I almost could have looked for myself up there, clarinet, second row, second chair over. I remembered playing the songs, my fingers remembered how the clarinet felt, I listened to the trumpets and thought--I *remember* this, I *remembered* like I was ten seconds from going up there myself. I remember the lectures on not using the end of whole notes to breathe and how our director always tuned us one by one and then by instrument, and then the entire band. Mid C. E. C. B flat sometimes for arcane reasons only known to her.

Thirteen years of my life were spent there--it decided what I learned, how I learned it, when I had a break, what and when I ate, and it formed a lot of the person I became, and I--it didn't just feel nostalgic. I try never to think about school. I've spent *years* forgetting, and then I was standing there against the wall. My *first grade*, *second grade*, and *third grade* teachers were there, still teaching, yes, first, second, and third grade.

Music always does it. If there is or has ever been a sure fire way of body memory, it's smell and music. And I played those songs, and I remember how we practiced, and I stood there, still frustrated that we so rarely had good clarinet parts, and why in the name of God did they always put trumpets behind us? I smiled when all the flutes took a breath at once and how breathy they sounded and remembered that when I was up there, I thought we were amazing. Which of course, we were. You're always amazing in seventh grade.

On the way home, I remembered trying out for the regional band in bass clarinet in junior high, since my clarinet was in the shop. I remembered sight reading and how our director would read the music out to us at competition and we'd go over this deceptively easy piece of music with all those breath marks and the simple tempos and the fortissimos that appeared randomly, and I remember how it felt the first time we played it straight through, when we didn't get to practice, but had to get it right the first time.

I'd get *high* doing that, playing that. I got high before every performance, every time, all my life. I still do.

High school, last concert I played with the full band--Nimrod, Enigma Variations, a march, and another song that I don't remember, but Nimrod--was beautiful. So damn pretty. And I can still play it from memory, though my mouth sucks and I never did get above a four reed and I haven't touched a clarinet in years. Simple, even a kid could have played most of it, because all the power was in the control the director had, the fall and rise of the sound, the breathing pauses, the balance.

I remembered marching band and learning all the music by heart before the end of the season, and competition, I remember concert competition and perfect ones across the board, because we had an amazingly determined band teacher. My second cousin was a twirler, three years, and a flute player. I learned to use a baton from her, though I never tried out. Hated the uniforms. I remembered the bruises on her thighs from the hours and hours and *hours* of practice I watched when she was teaching herself. I remember the bruises on mine from copying her. I can still twirl a pencil backward and forward between my fingers without even trying. I can do it to a baton, too.

I remembered being a cheerleader, junior high and junior varsity, how I got on the team the first time because one of the others dropped out and how they had to teach me in these humiliating baby steps because I've never had control of my body and to make me learn a physical activity, I couldn't just watch it, I had to do it, over and over and over.

The second time, I got on because I was that good and I practiced that hard and I was happy. Not because I was that hot for short skirts, I hated that, and I was unpopular and I beat out a Very Popular Girl, but not for that either. Because I'd done it, it was mine, and I'd earned it.

I can still do most of the cheers.

It's odd to feel that, how much has changed and how little really has. The stage was where I performed in two different plays for competition. I remember Asylum, which is still the most bizarre thing I've ever acted in, and how we all wore those simple colored t-shirts and jeans and won zone. And how to apply stage makeup, with my first real honest to God crush doing the powder on us, and how he was a senior to my freshman and how perfect his cheekbones were. And God, they *were*. And we're thirty minutes from taking the stage in Caldwell and I was almost shaking because he had the powder brush. And he also controlled the lights and sounds and had this headset and walked around stage, barking mock orders at the light room, just having the time of his life. I remember nothing in my life was ever better than the first time I stepped out on stage and wondered how anyone could be afraid of this, how could anyone ever think this was terrifying, because it was amazing.

To Burn a Witch, sophmore year, in which got to go into melodrama and it was *so* much fun and so cute and I got to fall backward off a stage and I remember we reblocked one day and moved the stairs, so it took five steps, not three, to get to the end of the platform so I could fall into Angela's arms in a fit, and *completely* forgetting that, and Angela yelling something and catching me on the platform inches before I knocked myself out, God knows how she moved fast enough.

Like. Hmm.

Like, freshman year, Hutto tournamet, basketball. I was really not an aggressive player and I was always okay but not good, and our coach was out, and so were a couple of our players, and our sub coach just sent us in willy-nilly and he *forgot* me out there for a full quarter and a half until Melanie finally just got up and called herself in to let me rest. I'm not sure he noticed over the newspaper, either. I so rarely get competitive, but then again, the weirdest things got me, and I started knocking people over to get the ball and people kept fouling out on our side (we all apparently got shot up with testosterone or something beforehand, because never before and never again did I foul four times in the first half and four in the second, and never did half the team foul out completely. Brutal babies, that was us), and finally there were like, six of us left and I was back in for the last quarter and so *freaking* tired, we all were, but dammit, we were going to *win* if we had to put every other player on the other team out of commission to do it.

We won.

I always think of how alone and miserable I was, and how I read all the time to get away from it, and how I hated it so much, but there's some things I like to remember.

Mmm. Boring, scatterwitted nostalgia. Now *this* is the reason LJ exists. To bore the world. If you've read this far, I'm *really* surprised.


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Computer and I bonded. His name is Brian. First person to mock this, I swear, I'll find out your most hated pairing and write about it. Maybe even epically. Even if it's Clark/Lana. Yes, EVEN THEN.

Mock, mock, mock, mock! *laughs and points*

Heh.

Best thing about mocking this? My most hated pairing...? It's Justin/Brian. Can't threaten me with something you're already doing. *smirks*

*tongue in cheek*

Don't you owe me a Brian/Justin story?

*squints* Hmmm. I think I'll dedicate the next one to *you*. And your inspirationness. *g*

*tongue in cheek*

Don't you owe me a Brian/Justin story?


Ummmm... yes? *kicks half-written fic out of sight*

It should be smutty. (All QAF fic should be at least a little smutty. *g*) However, while it's Christmas, and my little bro's visitng my mum and me, and everyone's in the family mode, I'm not getting a great deal of time to myself to sit down and think about gay porn.

Okay, I'm not getting enough time to sit down and write it. I'm doing okay on the reading side of things. *g*

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I've got a Brian/Justin drabble for you for XMas.

*squints* Hmmm. I think I'll dedicate the next one to *you*. And your inspirationness. *g*

My inspirationness? *smirks* That's okay. You can't force me to read it!

Just... *hugs you*

Not because I think you need it, but because... yeah. That. The stage, the choir (not band), those moments of rank and surprising aggressive athleticism.

The STAGE.

Yes, the stage. Where everything becomes equal and it blew my mind, after all the lectures on stage fright, how easy it was, how perfectly natural, like this was where I was supposed to be all my life and never knew it until then.

It's never been less than intoxicating, has it? The best drug ever invented.

{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}

Thanks for the view down your memory lane. Way cool.

*laughs* I'm kind of blown away anyone bothered to *read* it.

*hugs back* Thanks.

I could not mock your computer's name, seeing as how mine is named Jack Sparrow.

I share your memories of marching band. I watched Drumline last night on HBO and cried. Cried!

Your memories are so much more well-written than mine would be. :)

*laughs* I wish I'd seen Drumline now! Nostalgia!

Memories are freaksome. Like giant books where the pages look different every time you open them. *grins*

*hugs*

If you've read this far, I'm *really* surprised.

I read. I had to come back to do it (couldn't resist the urge to mock), but I read it. Found myself thinking how incredibly *odd* it must be to have gone to the same school from K-12. I mean, that entire thought blows my mind.

We've moved a bit (suburb to suburb, only one city to city move), but we've had school re-zonings, and troubles with teachers, and moving because I wanted to go to a religious school... I mean, during the K-12 years, I repeated one year (technically, it was a transistion class after Kindy, to get me back with my age group), I went to... *counts on fingers*... 9 different schools. (One was for only two weeks, but the others were 1-3 years each.)

It's oddly intriguing to read other people's memories, to imagine them as kids, to see the similarities and differences to your own schooling. Me? I *liked* school. I was studious, and brainy, and up until year 9, was generally either ahead of the class, or having an easy time.


(Year 9 & 10: Went to an all-girls Catholic school, and made a *group* of friends. Before that, I'd always had one or two friends, and that was it. Suddenly I had 7 or 8. That was two years where I socialised, where I let my grades slipped and waited until the last minute to do work. When I first read fanfiction (yoai, basically anime slash) and when I first made out, and did a bit more, with a girl. (Total aside: Heh. I was, like, 19 before I kissed a guy. Man, you say it like that, and you've got to wonder why it took me until 21 to acknowledge to myself that I was bi. *g*) I always look back on my growing up and consider myself a pretty good kid, basically not very worldly at all. Then, when I actually list the things I did, I find that I did them, I just did them conservatively.)

I got on in school, I was always a teachers pet, and I enjoyed it.

There's a few things I didn't enjoy. I got teased by other kids... there's even a vague memory in the back of my mind about a group of girls getting together and kicking me, in like, grade 3. Mind you, it's an incredibly vague memory. Likewise, I can remember running away from school when I thought I was being moved from the highest math class to the bottom in grade 5 (I was very thingy about my school work. As it turned out, I was being moved from the highest yr 5 maths class, to the lower 5/6 math class, so I could do yr 6 work, instead of being bored during lessons...)

Hmmm... there were friends fighting in yr6, in an out-of-bounds area. There was not being invited to a friends party isometime in highschool, and being lied to about it, but both of those memories are shockingly vague.

There's the memory of the utter rage and betrayal from yr 9, when I found out that a friend of mine (the girl I'd been sleeping with) had been spreading lies about me behind my back (as far as I know, it was just that I'd been spreading gossip about another girl, but looking back on it, the lies could have been far worse...). There's the wish that the ground would just open up and swallow me when I asked my yr 12 crush to the formal, and he told me, very nicely and politely, that he was interested in someone else. (I respect him a lot for being so nice about it, but man was it humiliating at the time). There's the vague memory of stressing over end of year exams and assignments, but it wasn't as bad as uni exams later turned out to be, and was never anything majorly wrong.

But that's about it for the negative memories of school. Considering that's 14 years of education, I think it's pretty damn cool that I can't ever remember 14 incidents over that time. Yeah, I liked school, but I wouldn't want to go back to it. It's nice to feel like an adult... *g*

Whoa. That's a lot of schools. *amazed*. I went to mine and to one in Finland when I was an exchange student.

Just. Wow.

There's the wish that the ground would just open up and swallow me when I asked my yr 12 crush to the formal, and he told me, very nicely and politely, that he was interested in someone else. (I respect him a lot for being so nice about it, but man was it humiliating at the time).

I never asked anyone out in high school. One on one interaction was never my strong point. *g*

That's a *lot* of schools. *still blinking over this*

And btw, love your memories. You're right. It's fascinating to see inside for a few seconds.

Whoa. That's a lot of schools. *amazed*. I went to mine and to one in Finland when I was an exchange student.

Wow. Exchange student? In a country that doesn't speak English? (It doesn't, does it?) Man, I've never done that, and I think that would have freaked me the hell out to be so far away from home (and Mum).

I never asked anyone out in high school. One on one interaction was never my strong point.

I am rather proud of that moment for the sole reason that it was the *only* time I ever asked anyone out, in school or since. (To explain, the thing in yr 9 was... friendship. With sex. But, no actual dating, romantic feelings, or 'asking anyone out' involved.)

That's a *lot* of schools. *still blinking over this*

Heh. I'm so amused that we both have the same reaction to the other person's schooling. Just couldn't *imagine* what it would be like to have gone to the same school, and be stuck with the same people, year in, year out.

And btw, love your memories. You're right. It's fascinating to see inside for a few seconds.

Heh. Although, you kinda got conned. Just got the worst highlights version. There was no mention of the fact that whenever I eat frozen yoghurt I can still remember being six, and the summer Friday treat of buying a frozen yoghurt from the tuckshop, and sitting in the sun, waiting for ten minutes for it to melt until it was *soft*, of sitting on the grass, feeling the sunlight, watching other kids play on the basketball court and loving every mouthful of my frozen yoghurt.

Wow. Exchange student? In a country that doesn't speak English? (It doesn't, does it?) Man, I've never done that, and I think that would have freaked me the hell out to be so far away from home (and Mum).

English seemed to be everyone's second language. Very intersting, as it was more British than American.

Heh. Although, you kinda got conned. Just got the worst highlights version. There was no mention of the fact that whenever I eat frozen yoghurt I can still remember being six, and the summer Friday treat of buying a frozen yoghurt from the tuckshop, and sitting in the sun, waiting for ten minutes for it to melt until it was *soft*, of sitting on the grass, feeling the sunlight, watching other kids play on the basketball court and loving every mouthful of my frozen yoghurt.

Wow. Taste memory. That's *so* cool. I can visualize it. Wonderful hot but not too hot day, in soft, warm grass with yoghurt melting onto your fingers while you ate. Licking them clean while you watched the court.

*happy sigh* That's a gorgeous memory. Thank you for sharing!

English seemed to be everyone's second language. Very intersting, as it was more British than American.

In Europe, especially in the northern contries, English is the second language (look at me! Look at me!). The reason it's British is 1) Because England is closer than America, 2) American English is only a "sub-genre" of British English, which is seen as the "proper" English, 3)I don't think there is a three, actually.

BTW, your memories of school are very interesting.

Computer and I bonded. His name is Brian. First person to mock this, I swear, I'll find out your most hated pairing and write about it. Maybe even epically. Even if it's Clark/Lana. Yes, EVEN THEN.

My old roommate's computer was named Larry. Whenever my roommate was at school, I'd surf for slashfic on Larry because he was so much faster than my computer. My roommate would come home, see me in his room, and groan, "Are you molesting Larry again?"

I'm not quite sure where he came up with Larry, however. You'd think he'd name it after his girlfriend or something!

*dies* Molesting Larry!

That just tickles me amazingly.

I'm always blown away by people who have memories of school. I went to a different one nearly every year, so it's all a blur of formica and pale green paint; I'm fascinated that schools can evoke memory or nostalgia for others. Thanks for sharing.

It's odd how it happens, too, just when I least expect it to hit.

God, that's a lot of schools. I can't even imagine that. *still goggles*

Well, I can't imagine attending the same school for one's entire education, so there you go. ;-)

It's fascinating. All the changing and the moving and the thousands of differnet people and classrooms and things you learned from every one of them....

I'm almost envious.

Jenn,

I was in concert, stage, pep and the marching band. I played soprano and bass clarinet for everything except for stage and marching band, I played baritone sax for that. I still can't believe I marched with that monster all those years. You're so right, performing a piece of music corectly and with feeling was such an incredible high. It was addictive but thankfully not harmful.

I loved reading about your memories! :)

God, I"ve seen a baritone sax. *shivers* Those are *huge*.

*grins* Addictive music. When the entire band was just *on* and you could feel the rhythm adn the flow and oooh. Dammit, I miss band!

*hugs*

Awwww, band memories. I played the flute, and would get SOOO scared when my Les Mis solo came up, and EVERY time the conductor would look at me with this god-awful look that said "if you screw this up I'll send you down the back with a tambourine!". To her credit, occasionally I did screw it up, but hey, I was 14, and petrified. But I do remember that awesome feeling when we were all perfectly in synch, and we (thought we) sounded *so* good, and wore our hideously ugly uniforms with pride. And band camp, American Pie aside, supplied some of my dearest memories of early adolescence (first kiss - with a sexy-as-all hell trumpeter - woo hoo!).
BTW, my computer? Justin? Wants to meet yours... :)

I *so* envy you Band Camp. We never *had* that.

*sniffles*

(first kiss - with a sexy-as-all hell trumpeter - woo hoo!).

*giggles*

BTW, my computer? Justin? Wants to meet yours... :)

*dies* They're Fated, doncha think?

They're Fated, doncha think?

Damn, they are. As long as your computer doesn't *ahem* network with another computer (who shall remain nameless) and produce a god-awful *ahem* virus, thereby causing my computer to spontaneously combust...

Computer and I bonded. His name is Brian. First person to mock this, I swear, I'll find out your most hated pairing and write about it. Maybe even epically. Even if it's Clark/Lana. Yes, EVEN THEN.

My refrigerator's name is Rosencrantz.
The kettle's Guildenstern.
I won't name anything Hamlet because I can't risk having my kettle and refrigerator DIE.

My computer is Edward (after Anita Blakes serial killer buddy). And I think my cell phone is Pippin now, just because of the RotK trailer screengrab I've had set as my wallpaper for so many months.

And yeah, I read all of it.

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