Monday, May 26, 2008

This. Is. My. Life. (Part I)

My name is Amy Jane Gustafson. I was born on December 9th, 1980 in Robbinsdale, MN to parents Patrick and Robin Gustafson. On October 26th, 1983, my brother, Jonathan, was born. The four of us lived in the Camden neighborhood of North Minneapolis until the fall of 1989 when we moved to Brooklyn Park.

I was a scrawny, shy kid. Creative, quiet, thoughtful, introverted...I hated phy ed, I was good at language arts, science bored me, math intrigued me (when I bothered to take the time to figure it out.) I wrote long stories, generally using anthropomorphic animals as my main characters and spending a great deal of time drawing maps and planning my characters' boring lives. I thought I'd be an archaeologist, writer, artist, or zoologist when I grew up.

I spent most of my time playing with Jonathan. We had fantastic imaginations and developed elaborate make-believe scenarios that would go one for days, generally ending in a fight, often physical, taking us back to our usual hatred-based relationship.

We watched the Ghostbusters cartoon series, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and other 80's style children's' programming. We liked the movie Follow That Bird.

We were the last kids on Earth to get a video game system (a Sega Genesis), but had a computer since I was about 5 (an awesome Commodore 64).

Our parents took us to Florida - Disney World and Daytona Beach - and occasionally more exotic places like Jamaica and Mexico. Mom and Gramma took us on camping-esque trips to places like Aitkin, MN and Michigan. I spent a lot of the summer at my cousin's cabin "Up North" at "The Cabin."

I liked to read books - Baby-Sitters Club, Boxcar Children, and other random, mindless, badly written and predictable pre-teen fiction. The library was one of my favorite places. We'd walk there, in Minneapolis, or bike there, in Brooklyn Park. Sometimes my dad would drive me. I had the library hours memorized and was on a first-name basis with some of the librarians.

My random interests included dinosaurs, collecting shampoo bottles and postcards that my dad brought me back from his frequent business trips, troll dolls, and Legos.

I was a lonely kid. I was a daydreamer. I was an under-achiever. I was insecure. I was paranoid about silly things (like asking to go the bathroom or forgetting to do my pointless "homework" that didn't matter anyway but seemed extremely important.)

[To be continued.]

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