~swiss cheese memories~

my brain is like swiss cheese. i have a hard time remembering my past and without my family to remind me, sometimes i feel like it will slip away completely, taking me with it. and so, i have decided to create this space to record all of things that i remember. a way to hold on to these events and my thoughts and emotions so they may exist outside of my brain. so that someone else may carry my history as well

NOTE: you can sort the below table by either date added or time period by clicking on the designated header. the event section contains what i remember. the notes section contains processing parts related to the memory.

date added time period event notes
2023.12.30 4 - high school i started watching grey's anatomy with my sister at this time. over the summer, we would watch hours and hours of grey's anatomy while the parents were at work. we watched so much grey's anatomy, that we managed to inadvertently train the dog that the credits song meant that it was break time (aka play with dog time). for years (probably to this day) he would scramble to his feet, where ever he was in the house, and come find us to play upon hearing that song. i remember one time, while the show was playing, she decided to make lemonade, using the minute maid powder. but she spilled a bunch of powder on the floor. and then decided to use a wet paper towel to clean it up. and instead just made lemonade on the ground. XD it was a very sticky and silly mess. i still watch grey's anatomy. it's nostalgic. it's something i was able to share with my sister. i miss that. i miss being able to curl up next her on the couch. i miss sharing the same blanket and getting head scratches. i miss the times where it was easy to be around her. we are not compatible people. but we had this. and i hope to remember that for a long time.
2023.12.30 5 - college at some point in college, i bought a switch and played animal crossing and legend of zelda botw. my sister didn't have much interest in ac but she was indeed intrigued by botw. a year or so later, i come to find her ~obsessed~ with the game. also, she's got my dad intrigued by it as well. she'd play with the console hooked up to the tv so that my dad could follow along as she played. he'd ask questions and ~ooo~ and ~woahhh~ alongside her. he would watch for a a while, sometimes up to an hour, and he would eventually leave this is one of the few times where it was easy (or as easy as it could be) to coexist with my father. i don't remember many times where we were allowed to just exist and have fun. my mother often would get irked if we weren't ~productive~ but it was nice to see my sister and dad have this space. my dad never really took interest when in my games but maybe i also wasn't as open to sharing that experience with him?
2023.12.28 2 - elementary school when i was younger, elementary school-ish, my family would go camping at the same campsite and visit the same trail/lake every fourth of july. the camp site had a horse you could feed carrots (i forgot their name :/) and you could watch fireworks from the neighboring town in the evening (and also get bitten by a million mosquitoes). the trail wasn't to long, i think about 1.5mi?but we took our time (my parents already had bad knees and backs and hips at that time). some parts were really green like a meadow, shaded by tall trees, with slightly muddy parts you had to look out for. some parts had hills of tall-ish grassy-flowery-bits up to your hips. some parts had active running water and you had to carefully step on the taller rocks so you wouldn't get your socks wet or fall in. some parts were harder to navigate - steep with solid dirt and scattered rocks. in these parts, you had to walk sideways, giving your feet more traction and decrease the chance of slipping. it was around this part that you also might see left over blocks of snow - not the pretty kind but the slightly muddy kind that people forget about unless you find yourself out in nature at the right time. after getting over the rocky bits, you would be almost there! just one last tricky part. you would have to cross a fallen tree laying in running water to get to the fishing spot. (did i mention this camping trip was to ultimately go fishing?) it wasn't that hard, but the tree part made my mom and dad nervous. my mom because she was incredibly clumsy. my dad because he was very paranoid about everything. we would settle in along a hill of rocks perched in front of a clearing revealing the lake. to the right and left are other fishing spots, but you'd have to shimmy in between tall brush. dad would set up the fishing lines with hooks, everyone would get a styrofoam cup of worms. i really liked the worms. i would play with them before skewering them on the fishing hook. that wasn't very nice, i know, but they were cool! i remember having a tweety bird themed fishing rod. i don't remember what my sister's was... something with red or pink i think? fishing was fun. and kinda boring. but i liked the worms! any caught fish were put in a plastic bag and cooler with ice for later. after a few hours of fishing, we would pack up and head back down the mountain. the way back was always faster. when we got back to the campsite, we would clean and prepare the fish. heeheeheehee. my dad would roughly filet the fish and my mom would cook them. me? i would play with the decapitated fish heads like they were finger puppets. lol.

anyways, here are a few other random details that i didn't know where to add but that i feel like are important.

- we would always do this trip with our dog(s) - german shepherds. the doggos would wear a long green backpack - mesh along the middle where their backs are and forest green fabric along the said with zippers where we would store gatorade and collapsable dog bowls (gatorade for the humans, not the dogs). one of our dogs had cataracts and needed to wear dog sun-goggles to protect her eyes. they were really cute. she hated them.

- when one of our dogs would pass away, we would bring their ashes to the lake and release them there where they could see again the next year and get to play with our other past dogs and get to chase away the fish they never got to when they were alive.

- i'm told that i would complain for a lot of the hike. i don't think i particularly enjoyed walking up hills.
the fish head finger puppets? that was the very essence of me as a kid. i was weird. i was silly. i was so imaginative. i shone so brightly. i don't know where that kid went.

i *think* after elementary school we stopped camping. we went maybe once during high school, but that was a truly miserable experience. no one wanted to be there. i think my dad was trying to remember the "good times" by bringing back the tradition. my mom was pissed at my dad. my sister and i were pissed at both mom and dad. i got altitude sickness. we didn't fish. the horse at the campsite had since died.
2023.12.28 0 - general cookies:
for halloween, we would make plain sugar cookies, sometimes with sprinkles but honestly normally just a plain sugar cookie, no frosting sprinkles or what ever you normally put on cookies. these were made with a specific set of cookie cutters - there a witches hat, a pumpkin, a bat, and a ghost. probably some others but those are the ones that i cared about.

for december, we would make a couple of types of cookies. the most important cookie, was the peanut butter blossom. it's a peanut butter based cookie - you make 1in dough balls, roll them in sugar, toss them in the oven, and then stick a hershey's kiss in the middle. it is the perfect ratio of peanut butter and chocolate. they taste like home. i could eat. so many. other possible cookies include tollhouse chocolate chip cookies - best made with semisweet chocolate chips and walnut bits - or crinkle cookies (?) - unknown about that name but they are soft chocolate cookies rolled in powdered sugar; when they bake, they expand and have a crinkle pattern - or the "mexican" wedding cake cookies - these were nostalgic for my father and they were a pain in the ass the make, a mess to eat, but also very tasty; we made them only a couple of times.
i feel like baking is the #1 way for me to feel connected to ~home~ and the happy parts of my youth. the winter break after i moved out for college, the one thing that i ask for from my mother was the cookie cutters we used for halloween. i didn't feel like halloween without them. and she gave them to me. and i still have them in a box in my closet. i haven't opened them in a long time. it's a bit intimidating. i don't know if happy memories are still in that box. peanut butter blossoms are definitely still accessible to me, with the help of a friend to make them with. they are my favorite cookie from my childhood and from the holidays. those wedding cookies? i don't think i will ever make them again. don't get me wrong, they are really good! but i just remember at some point in high school, i so wanted my father to just be happy. to just have some sense of approval. to feel some sort of connection or love or whatever from him. and i put in the work to make them for him. and it meant nothing. and i was so incredibly devastated.
2023.12.28 3 - middle school i started experimenting with drawing things, just using pencils. i would sit in the middle of an empty basketball court at school so i could get a good view of this one tree, and i would draw it during lunch. i also really into harry potter at that time (no longer of course, no current jkr fans found here!), and i would draw hedwig, doby, etc. i remember having quite a lot of fun with it! i am not exactly sure when i stopped drawing. it was definitely not a thing that continued into high school. it was probably a number of things. for one, sitting in the middle of a basketball court alone during lunch staring at a tree is not a great way to make friends lol. a better way to collect people that made fun of you. i think my parents also didn't really care. and while i enjoyed drawing, what i really wanted was that external validation. and so i probably went about trying to find that through other means.

note to self: there was no right answer for external validation. you have to find that meaning making within yourself, not others. so do the thing that you enjoy because you enjoy it.
2023.12.28 3 - middle school i started counting down the years until i would graduate high school, go to college, and finally be able to escape from my parents house. i would think about the slowly shrinking about of time every night from middle school through high school, nearly every night. i was not happy. i was sad. i was scared. i was lonely. i was ANGRY. i didn't know of any other solution that would feel better. and so i tried really hard in school. i was a *perfect* student. i got straight A's from middle school through college. i did the extracurriculars. i got that coveted full ride scholarship - tuition, housing, food, transportation, laptop all covered. i was still had all those same feelings in college, but i wasn't in that damn house! and that's was a start. i don't know what changed between elementary school and middle school. what changed at home to make me start counting down the years. i remember it being bad at home when i was in elementary school too. perhaps i discovered that my home life was not normal? that i actually had something to be angry about? i don't really know. but it really makes you think. how fucked up do your parents have to be to make someone so young feel that way? and feel that way so consistently for so long?