Saturday, December 04, 2010

Cartoon Character? My nickname.

Over on Facebook, people are changing their profile pictures to a cartoon from their childhood.

I didn't watch cartoons on Saturday mornings very often.  Around our house, Saturday morning were still a day of work.  Since the three of us kids were free labor, things that needed to be done happened before we were able to play.  When we came downstairs for breakfast, there was generally a list of tasks on a blackboard that hung over the kitchen table.  Sometimes mom would mix it up and let us choose from the list of tasks, but more often we saw our name ... and a list.

Now, before you think our lives were too terrible, these tasks weren't anything very difficult.  We had to clean our rooms, maybe yardwork or cleaning in the house.  Because we were so busy during the week, a lot of things hadn't gotten done, so Saturday mornings were a great time to make sure the house was ready for whatever came next.

Television wasn't a big deal in our home.  It wasn't until Mom got cancer that the television finally made its way into the living room.  Mom had grown up knowing that a television was crass, it didn't belong in a formal living room.  When we were very young, it resided in Mom and Dad's bedroom, which meant that it was a big deal to get to watch a show.  Since we always spent time in the living room, we read a lot of books or we played outside or did a million other things.

Max laughs at me because I missed a bunch of pop culture from the 60s.  When I got to junior high and high school, I didn't have time to watch television in the evenings - I was always out doing something.  But, I did know that I was missing Saturday morning cartoons.

If I have to come up with a cartoon character though, it will be the one whose name became my nickname - Hairbear!
I'm pretty sure that nickname was assigned to me with love, but it happened and it stuck.  I had curly hair - that was never really tamed.  I don't remember it ever being an afro, but something must have happened the day Dale Cavin saw me walk into art class in the basement of the Junior High building in Sigourney.  As I walked down the steps, he called out 'Hairbear!' and that stayed with me through high school.  It finally got shortened to 'Bear,' and sometimes I still hear that when I run into old friends.

My friend, Devbra and I hand wrote the "Hairbear Journal," an underground (really not quite as subversive as that sounds) newspaper.  We hand copied several copies every time we published it and passed them around the school.

Since I had just moved into Sigourney and was at that tender age (7th grade - adolescence) where you desperately want to have friends and fit in, a nickname wasn't a bad way to start.

Office supply love

Tell me you know about my addiction to 3x5 cards.  If you didn't before, you do now!

I come by this quite naturally.  Dad never left his office or the house without a few 3x5 cards in his shirt pocket.  There was always a necessity to take some notes or to leave a note.  When he would stop by a parishioners house to visit with them and they weren't home, he'd leave a note letting them know he'd been there.  If he went to visit someone in the hospital and they were sleeping or out having tests done, he'd write a quick note on a 3x5 card and leave it for them.

When we opened Insty-Prints, one of the first things Dad wanted from us was personalized 3x5 cards.  Even after he retired, he was still using 3x5 cards.  I continue to find them strewn through his stuff as he jotted down a note and then tucked it somewhere so that when he needed it, he'd find it again.

How many of you remember High School speech class and preparing your notes on 3x5 cards?  It seems to be the perfect size for nearly everything.  On Sunday mornings when I just need to remember a few words, I don't want to deal with the entire piece of music, so I jot those words down on a 3x5 card and they're there when I lose my memory!

I have an entire stack of notes that I keep beside my computer.  Addresses that I haven't gotten into my digital address book, a list of people to send Christmas cards to, ideas for writing projects, things I need to remember to purchase, on and on and on.  I'll get most of these transferred into digital form at some point, but a lot of them will expire and get tossed away before that happens.

I carry extras in my purse - you never know when you need to write a quick note, or sketch out words for a song on Sunday morning, or write something down that you have forgotten 5 times and it just came back into your head.

One of the things I really wanted was a good container for my 3x5 cards.  Something on my desk.  There are lots of travel pack things and items that aren't terribly sturdy.  I just couldn't find what it was that would be perfect ... until I walked into Dad's house to help finish packing out the stuff before his wife moved to Denver to be with her sons.  I was sitting at his desk, clearing out the junk and packing up things I wanted to go through again when I saw this:

That was it!  Dad had used it on his desk for years.  I think Mom made it for  him out of clay.  In a heartbeat, I had a piece that was made by Mom, designed especially for 3x5 cards and a treasure from Dad's desk.  Could it get any better?

Surprisingly enough, it did.  My other office supply passion is writing utensils.  All of 'em.  Pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, sharpies ... oh, I love 'em.  I also found THIS on Dad's desk:

This had come from my grandfather's desk - he ran the printshop at Harvard University and when he retired, a lot of his pieces came to us.  Dad snagged it.  It's leather and has started to look a little beat up now, but it still carries a lot of memories.

I'm such a dork - I know it.  I can't help it.