Monday, November 06, 2006

It's my birthday!!

At left: a victim of an American atomic bomb
Notes from today:

-In The United States, we are halfway through the current season (Autumn, here), but we are *not* halfway through Spring in Oz, because their season (Spring) runs September 1 through December 1 (the meteorological seasons), while our season (Autumn) runs from 23 September to 21 December (the astronomical seasons). Wierd, huh?
--Plutonium was first produced at Hanford on this day in 1944, and used about 9 months later to instantly kill 70,000 people, mostly civilians, in Nagasaki.

(Dammit-my mother told me recently that she read my blog once, and had decided to wait to read it again until a day when she felt really pumped up with joy, since she found it so depressing that she dasn't (now there's a lovely word--"dasn't") start to read it when she's down, or she'll end up really in a pit. So I planned to make today's entry 100% cheerul and fun and happy just for her. but I just *can't*. It's not how I see the world.)

--Today I am 32. Next year, I'll be an adult by hobbitish standards. So I'm entering my last year as a non-adult. I intend to enjoy it!. Following, for your enjoyment, is the four minute version (that is, read aloud, it takes about 4 minutes) of the chronlogically first half of my life (through age 16). And I've left out *all* the really bad stuff (for you, mom!)

My first 16 years, the negativity avoidant 4 minute version

I was born 2 weeks premature on an air force base in Altus Oklahoma, whence I was flown 6 hours later to a larger hospital in Texas, where a surgeon (whose name I have not yet managed to learn, although I'm working on it) and his team saved my life by sewing up my deflated left lung. (I have the scar to prove it!). At age 2, I moved with my family to Wichita, Kansas, where I later met my best friends Sam and Jennifer, with whom I hung out and learned to ride a bicycle and made a fort and learned to ride with no hands! (yippee) and we all went over to Washington Street (the paved street!!) to ride because we could go faster on pavement (yeehaw!) My dad took me to preschool in the mornings on the way to work, and we regularly stopped at a donut shop, where we both ate donuts and he drank coffee, with milk for me. And we *never* told mom (sorry, mom, hehe). My mom taught me to read so I was the most advanced kid in my preschool, and I began my lifelong insatiable thirst for books with the hardy boys books. I buried a cover of a hardy boys book along with some other valuables in a jar in the yard of our house before we moved on. I wonder if it's still there.

At age 8, I moved with my family to Tacoma, Washington, where I attended McCarver elementary and won a distinguished student award from the school district. I hung out with my cousin Kelli, and we had the "hunga munga club". Very very kewl! And I went wading in the summer at Alling Park wading pool. My 3rd grade teacher read the Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe out loud to us, and also Sounder and Pippi Longstocking, and I rode the schoolbus an hour both ways and I would have missed my stop half the time cause I was engrossed in a book, but Kelly saved my bacon. And Kelli fell off the monkey bars and broke her tooth and had to have a root canal. Yikes. My dad spent the year in Turkey fixing military aircraft for the U.S., and we missed him, and we joined Bethesda Baptist Church and my mom and I became Christians.

At age 9, I moved with my family to West Germany, where first we lived in the hotel on Rhein Main Air Force Base for 3 months, and then we moved to a little house in Morfelden, where the neighbor was this scary German guy who spent Saturdays cleaning his BMW down to the level of q-tip pefection and yelled at my parents in German about things occasionally, including our dog barking during siesta time (I suspect they don't call it siesta, since that is a spanish word, but it's the same thing). I spent every waking moment apart from school with my best friends, Gary Branam and Neil Compston. We built forts and played in the woods and wend sledding and rewrote the U.S. Declaration of Independence as independence from school and teachers and all the sins of King George III became the sins of the teachers. We make counterfeit copies of hundreds of thousand of 'merit bucks', our little private school's system of currency used to reward various good things, and we packed our rewritten declaration in a box with these counterfiet bills, and we presented the whole thing to our teachers at the end of the year awards ceremony. Very kewl.

At age 12, I moved with my family to Seattle, Washington, where my dad retired from the air force and started working full time as an auto mechanic. We lived in a tiny unincorporated section of king county called "esperance", between 3 very urban cities. My dad and I built a race engine together and put it in an old beat up GM pickup truck (that's "ute" for the Aussies) and god it ran and sounded sweet and I got my first speeding ticket in that truck. I poked around on the pre-inernet with my 8086 no hard drive dual floppy system which ran at 2 kilohertz. I switched from a tiny little private christian school to homeschooling at age ...15 or so.

If youv'e read this far, thanks for indulging me


me said...

happy birthday! its guud to have you here :)

kate said...

Happy birthday Ben!
What are you and Megs doing to celebrate?
It's great to learn a bit about your background. I have known Megan for about 18 or 19 years (yikes!) but don't know much about you. Will you be in Oz in December too?

Benjamin Ady said...

=) We were eating date slice and having a romantic dinner in, when Coco woke up with Croup, hardly able to breath, and Megan called 911 (the emergency number here) and the fire truck came with all the lights going and 3 firemen and one firewomen, some of whom were paramedics. They checked Coco out, (she was breathing ok by this time) and said she was ok, and it was croup. So that was my big adventure for the day. Now Meg is making chocolate cake and we'll soon have candles! yeah

byron said...

Happy birthday! We're glad that surgeon was good.

kate said...

Ben and Meg,

Our Christopher has had several bouts of croup and it is terrifying. The first time they get it you think they are dying.

The last time Chris had croup was a few months ago (he is now 8!)and they usually put him on cortisones? for a few days until the virus clears up. We have found the best preventative measure is to have a humidifier running overnight when the nights are nippy, and for all winter and spring if he has already had a bout of croup. You can buy a humidifier from pharmacies here in Australia and I'm sure they are easily available in the US. If Chris is having a bout of croup we take him into the bathroom, shut the door and run the shower on hot full blast until the steam settles his chest down. We hold him in our arms while this happens as he is terrified, and usually see a GP the next morning to have his chest checked out.

me said...

Lots of moves! Deutschland auch!
how was home schooling?

gretta at lothlorien said...

I was very interested to read your story,Benjamin

anita said...

me too, and i love that 'transformer' quote...hilarious

Rachel Jones said...

When do we get the next 16 years??? (I enjoyed reading the first).
But who exactly called 911? You say it was Megan, but she said it was you...