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Even as a young child my tastes & interests were pretty much all over the place. I liked things both girls & boys liked. I wasn’t a tomboy by any stretch of the word, but I wasn’t feminine/girly either. I’m not sure how best to describe myself other than to say that my interests were split right down the middle. I can’t say that it had turned me into a balanced person, but it opened my eyes up to new interests. Let’s take a look at what I was into when I was a little tyke.

kid list

  1. One of the first toys I remember playing with as a young child was LEGOs. I remember my mom had bought me a bucket of miscellaneous pieces, & I would sit in my room & build stupid things. Not things like cars or houses like most normal kids. No, that wasn’t me. I clearly remember one time when I built a toy gun. I thought I was being badass & rebellious at that age (I was probably about 6 or 7 then). I was being really secretive about it, & when someone would pass by my room to check on me, I would pretend that I was making alphabet letters or random shapes. I was so scared that one of my siblings would notice I was making a toy gun & tattle tale on me to my mom. After building my toy gun & feeling so smug that I had made a weapon of zero destruction, I quickly took apart all of the pieces to hide the evidence of my not-so-nefarious creation.
  2. When I was a kid I used to be utterly obsessed with the cartoon character Strawberry Shortcake. I loved her, & I wanted to be just like her living in a cute house next to all of my friends with cute fruit-y dessert sounding names. I always hated it when the Peculiar Purple Pieman came to ruin all the fun & happiness. I don’t even remember how I got introduced to Strawberry Shortcake & her sweet friends. All I can remember from my childhood is that I used to own a few VHS tapes of the show & a vinyl record of the Strawberry Shortcake theme song. My aunt even hand sewn a red security blanket for me with a huge Strawberry Shortcake pattern on it. I still have that blanket to this very day, & it looks just as new as the day my aunt gave it to me. I rarely used it as a security blanket. I mostly kept it folded up & tucked away so I wouldn’t get it dirty or worn out. (So typical of me!)
  3. I remember playing with Transformers when I was a little girl. I didn’t own any of the robo-toys myself, but there was a Japanese boy who lived up the street from me who owned a few of the Japanese versions of these awesome toys, & we used to play together while our moms hung out like two chatty 「おばあさん」(Sorry, mom). This boy let me play with his Optimus Prime, while he played with his other much cooler Japanese robo-toys & kaiju toys. I also used to enjoy watching the American cartoon on TV. I didn’t understand, or care to understand, the rivalry between the Autobots & the Decepticons. All I cared about was how cool it was to have a car that morphed into a talking robot friend. By the way, my two favorite characters when I was a kid was 1. Optimus Prime because he was the cool leader, & 2. Bumblebee because he was a small-ish yellow car, & I was a small kid. 
  4. When I was a little kid, we had a male teenage cousin living with us for a couple of years. My cousin was super awesome & cool. He was like a big brother figure to me (aside from my actual brothers), & we used to play together. This cousin used to collect G.I. Joe action figures when he was younger along with MAD Magazine comics. I wanted to play with him & my older siblings, so I got into this line of toys so that we could have a common interest. Of course, I wanted to get all the female action figures, even if they were on the enemy Cobra team. My cousin had tons of these action figures, & I only had one…the lady with the white ski outfit & the removable skiis, which my cousin always reminded me not to loose the skis for my action figure or else he wouldn’t let me play with his G.I. Joe figures anymore. I don’t know why I chose that figure in particular. I just wanted something I could play with alongside my cousin. Did I mention that I also watched this cartoon as well? I used to watch tons of cartoons as a child. My family, especially my generation, revolved around the television set.
  5. My sister’s (biological) dad used to work in the import-export industry, & he used to work with Sanrio, the company that started the Hello Kitty trend. My sister’s dad used to send her a bunch of free Hello Kitty stuff like stationery & toys, & when she got older, she would pass down her stuff to me that she didn’t want. That’s partly how I became utterly obsessed with all things Sanrio. It also helped that my aunts & uncles in Japan would send my dad care packages & include a few Hello Kitty toys for me. I loved watching the Hello Kitty & Friends TV show, & had a few VHS tapes of the movies. Then, when I was in Kindergarten, I met a Japanese girl in my class who had the same interests as I did. She lived in my neighborhood, & our parents became close friends. Since both of our dads were Japanese living in an American suburban neighborhood, they were able to speak Japanese to each other, & that brought our families closer together. This girl quickly became my best friend & our mutual love of all things Hello Kitty strengthend our bond. Even after my friend moved back to Japan in the 3rd grade, our families still keep in touch. 
  6. Go Bots is like the red-headed, black sheep, wannabe, lesser counterpart to TransformersTransformers fans absolutely crush Go Bots to oblivion, & it’s kind of taboo to say you like both toy/cartoon franchises. I liked Go Bots about as much as I liked Transformers. I loved how cars & other vehicles could morph into talking robots. Like I mentioned before, I was super into watching cartoons when I was a kid, so it was only natural that I watched this cartoon as well. I pretty much watched all of the cartoon hit shows.
  7. I really liked Rainbow Brite. I had a Rainbow Brite doll, & I loved braiding her yellow yarn string hair. I also loved her rainbow colored outfit with the pink-ish/blue-ish iridescent colored skirt, & the cute little star tattoo on her cheek (like a little beauty mark). I was into Rainbow Brite around the same time that I discovered the TV show Punky Brewster. I loved how they both wore colorful clothes & went on awesome adventures. I used to play with my Rainbow Brite doll & pretend that she was my little sister.
  8. How did I ever discover Thor, of all characters? This was right around the age when I started to have crushes on boys & was practically infatuated with any male star on TV (like actor Scott Baio when he appeared on Happy Days as Fonzi‘s cousin Chachi). I think I had somewhat of a crush on this beefy, blonde Norse god, but I was mostly envious of Thor’s winged helmet & powerful hammer, which I used to call a mallot (don’t ask me why). I sooo wanted a winged helmet like Thor’s helmet . There’s not much else I can say about why I liked Thor of all the action hero characters from the 80s and so on. I just thought he was super cool, & I kind of wanted long, shiny hair like him.
  9. OK. My love of Care Bears is a whole lot easier to explain. All the kids in my family loved Care Bears. When my siblings, cousins, & I were all younger kids, I’m not sure who decided this, but we were all assigned a specific Care Bears character to be our personal mascot. Mine was Friendship Bear, the bright pink bear with the rainbow 🌈  on its tummy. I loved how cheerful & happy this character was. (I’m like my 9-year old nephew in a lot of ways, mostly because we don’t like sad or negative scenarios. We like happy endings & positive scenes.) When we were all younger, each of us kids had our own Care Bears stuffed animal & toys, & some of my cousins also had Care Bears security blankets & stuffed pillows sewn by my aunt. All of us as kids watched the Care Bears movies & TV shows. We played with all of the posable action figures & Play-Doh putty kits. It just became our “thing”. I’m not sure of the origins & how this all came about, but I remember this Care Bears theme running in our family when we were all young kids.
  10. So, for this explanaition I’m going to lump He-ManShe-Ra together. Yes, they go together anyway since they’re both siblings. However, I will confess that when I was a little kid, I thought He-Man She-Ra were boyfriend & girlfriend. I had no idea until I was a teenager that they were actually brother & sister. When I was little, I pretended that He-Man She-Ra were dating. Well, I ended up scratching that childhood memory once I learned they couldn’t exactly date each other. I loved He-Man sooo much when I was a kid. I guess I had a thing for blonde super heroes because I also really liked He-Man‘s blond hairstyle in this cartoon. The bowl cut reminded me of so many Asian boys that went to my primary school. My favorite Masters of the Universe character had to be Cringer at the time. He was such a wimpy lil’ chicken shit, & I could totally relate to that because when I was 8 years old, I also was way too wimpy & mousy to do anything outside of my comfort zone. (That’s also probably why I loved Scooby-Doo because he was a wimp too.) I also was super in love with She-Ra‘s horse Spirit, but especially when it turned into a rainbow-colored magical unicorn (a.k.a. Swifty). I remember having a He-Man & a She-Ra action figure when I was a kid. I wanted a Battle Cat figure, but my mom said it was too ugly, plus I didn’t like Cringer’s face, so I ended up getting a Swifty figure instead & was so pumped when I could play with it in the bathtub & pretended it was a swan that could swim. Yes, I was a weirdo back when I was a mere 8-years old. (I once also jumped into the bathtub with my socks on when my sister dared me to do it. If anyone tried to dare me to do that now, I would probably scream bloody murder & physically attack that person for even suggesting such an aggregious act of barbarianism.) My most fondest memory of my childhood was one time when I forced my parents to take me to the event center to watch He-Man On Ice. I also made them buy me a light-up plastic He-Man souvenir sword that would say “By the power of Gray Skull…” when you pressed a button on the hilt. I also got one of those souvenir flashlights with the fiberglass strings at the end that spun around when you pressed on the button. Looking back on my childhood now, I can’t even begin to decipher why I wanted to be like He-Man (& not She-Ra). I wanted to be a blonde buff guy with a bowl haircut & a wimpy, chicken shit green tiger sidekick.
  11. Last but not least, I had to say one of my most favorite toys was a pair of expandable plastic roller skates that weren’t even real roller skates at all. They were clip on roller skate wheels that you attached to your shoes & could barely  skate around the concrete patio in your backyard. I found a great commercial on YouTube to show the awesomeness that were Fisher-Price roller skates (a.k.a. “practice skates”).

I would put on these skates every day & ride around in my backyard, pretending I was cool & like I was in an imaginary race with other skaters. I wore these skates out. I was so excited when I found out they were adjustable & I could expand them to fit my growing, yet still small, feet. I wore them until my feet could no longer fit in them. Then my mom gave them away to a lady she knew who had little kids of her own, but couldn’t afford to buy toys like this. When I wore these Fisher-Price roller skates around my backyard, I thought I was so badass doing some sort of extreme sport. That just goes to show how crazy my imagination was, even at such a young age.

You see, even at a small age, I was able to stretch my imagination, even if it was beyond far fetched & dumb. I’ve always said, especially to myself with my own inner thoughts, that I have an overactive imagination. That’s what fuels me to write. It’s what motivated me to start a real blog. Many moons ago, I used to have a failed LiveJournal account. I also tried to start a so-called blog on Facebook when they once had a notes feature. At least on Facebook, I was once able to write 100 consecutie notes in a daily challenge I set for myself. It’s all of these things from when I was a kid that propelled me to where I am today, writing this blog post for you. I hope you enjoy, & this somehow takes you back to when you were a child & gets you to think about what kinds of toys & characters inspired your inner child. Until then, cheers mates!!

Today’s song of the day:

“Wait for the Moment” by Vulfpeck

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What a delight, a real super surprise! I just couldn’t believe my very own eyes…I had found it tucked away in the deep dark corner of my dad’s makeshift (a.k.a. DIY) tool shed. Has it been there the whole time? I had given up hope years ago…long thinking that my mom had given it to one of her friend’s children (which she had done to so many of my childhood belongings…even while I was still a child playing with them.) I really had tucked these memories away to the far reaches in the back of my mind.

THEN THERE IT WAS, STARING ME RIGHT IN THE FACE, CRYING OUT TO ME.

It had most definitely seen brighter days. It was severely beaten, chewed up, spat out, ravaged by lack of any care or attention. What is this thing I am talking about, you ask? Why, it is the SANRIO HELLO KITTY 1984 CHILD GUIDANCE DOLLHOUSE PLAYSET. This toy was my most favorite thing to play with when I was growing up…it didn’t matter how old I was. I treasured it with all my heart & then some, until I had outgrown my toys & asked my parents to put it away for safe-keeping. Little did I know that it was to be chucked to the back of my dad’s flimsy tool shed, only to be ransacked & torn apart by a family of rats…who chewed up the plastic windows, burrowed inside, shat EVERYWHERE, couldn’t find their way out & eventually died. Oh look! A new figurine for my dollhouse. Nope. That’s just a dead rat skeleton. Wait. There’s two of them, plus the fetus of the baby rat. Lovely.

I was so extremely excited to find my childhood memories come flooding back as I found my favorite toy again. However, that elated feeling quickly drained from my body when I noticed the state of my old friend. It was thoroughly damaged beyond repair. It was such a devastating feeling. I was frantically trying to salvage whatever I possibly could. It was all in vain. Not only was it a sanitary issue, but there were a lot of chewed up parts & all of the stickers for the dollhouse had turned dark brown, beyond recognition & had also begun to peel &/or flake off. I also noticed that a lot of my figurine & furniture pieces had been missing. The ones I did find inside were from when I was a kid & had “Frankenstein’d” & pieced together my playset with another set. I can’t even remember what I had done with the original pieces. (Probably tucked them away in a storage box, within another storage box.)

Since I have no way of salvaging my dollhouse, I have been frantically searching on the internet for another one (even a “previously loved” one will do, as long as it has all the matching playset pieces & figures). To my dismay, I have been unsuccessful in my search…which kind of bums me out. I was really hoping I could regain a piece of nostalgia from my childhood & perhaps pass this toy on to my 3-year old niece or even my future child.

This is what the toy looks like in all its mint glory:

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(Photos courtesy of eBay and Etsy)

Sadly, this is what my dollhouse looked like when I found it:

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My bedroom, where I’ve lived out most of my youth, sadly now looks like a ghost town. I am anxious to leave it after 20 years.

The room which I started my youth in, & shared with my older sister, has now become the community computer, ironing board, mom’s extra closet…space.  With a sliding glass door (yes, that was my actual bedroom door) & one sliver of a window, that room had little-to-no privacy or natural light.  When I turned 10, I was visiting my cousins down in Los Angeles, & my parents had decided to convert my older brother’s (which then became my older cousin’s) former room into what is now my bedroom.  I was pleasantly surprised when I came home & all of my stuff had been moved into my semi-new room.  My bedroom had a big window for light, & since I was no longer living directly across from my parents’ bedroom; my room was all the way at the back of the house, I felt like I finally had some privacy.

Now, after 20+ years of occupying this space, shaping it, molding it, decorating it into my little comfort zone… I am more than anxious to give up this space & take all of my crap treasures with me.  At the beginning of February, I will officially relinquish any & all possessive rights to this room.  My personal stamp will be washed away.  No doubt, my parents will convert my room into another guest room (as they’ve already done so with my sister’s former bedroom).  I shall walk away with the most fondest & cherished memories of my life.

It’s hard to let go of the past in order to forge a new future ahead, but one must endure & do what he/she must.

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Always make sure you keep a spare sandwich & a jar of marmalade in your suitcase. (This furry fella has been in my care since the early 1980s.)
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#PaddingtonBear #Paddington #bear #StuffedAnimal #StuffedBear #StuffedToy #toy #plush #friend #companion #ChildhoodToy #childhood #UK #GB #PaddingtonStation #80s #marmalade #sandwich #AnimalsOfInstagram #ToysOfInstagram #mine Could you kindly keep the noise level down? Thanks sweetie. 🤐✌🏼
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#NoisePop #SF #Mission #StreetFair #art #StreetArt #WallArt #grafitti #graffiti #tag #mural #SaturdayFunday #black #red #white #bull #boar #WildAnimals #animals #AnimalsOfInstagram @noisepop You choose.✔️
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#TakeOrSteal #take #steal #grafitti #graffiti #art #typeface #typography #tag #Mission #SF #lettering #SaturdayFunday #weekend #NoisePop #HappyHour #StreetFair #family #friends #art #WallArt #YouDecide For today's Noise Pop street fair, Monsieur Humphrey got dressed up in his Saturday best for the occasion. 🎀
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#SF #Mission #NoisePop #Saturday #SaturdayFunday #HappyHour #IceCream #SecretBreakfast #SingleScoop #HumphrySlocombe #monsieur #ouioui #LickThat #MonsieurHumphrey #StreetFair #weekend #family #friends @humphryslocombe @noisepop To prove that I'm not making this up. People really DO leave their trash on this street corner. I'm surprised no one has turned this into an actual art installation. 🗑🎨
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