I was a sucker for anything collectable in the 90’s. Well, not anything. Not the normal things that people collect like stamps, coins, or baseball cards. I was more into collecting toys. Certain toys that were meant to be hoarded. The creative geniuses behind the making of children’s toys would draw me in every time they put up a sign that said “Collect Them All!”

My earliest memory of going gaga over playthings bloomed from the introduction of Beanie Babies. Beanie Babies were….okay, how do you describe Beanie Babies without sounding like a total lunatic? I collected sacks full of beans that we shaped like different animals and had cute names. They were supposed to pay for my college tuition. It all started with the purchase of one for my baby cousin–it was Bessie the Cow, I still remember. My first Beanie Baby was Lizzie, the Lizard and my brother’s was Tabasco the red Bull. We had hundreds of them, yet I remember purchasing every one like it was yesterday.



Of course my brother and I couldn’t share so we each had our own collection. We had some of the same ones, but mostly our tastes strayed from each other’s. And, unlike most children, we would actually play with our collection. It wasn’t just for looks, you see.

There were books printed with all of the Babies you could collect. Some were “retired” which meant that they didn’t make them anymore. Even at a young age I thought that was ridiculous. What, were they working so hard being inanimate objects that they were finally allowed to receive their pension? So stupid.

We found most of our little buddies in Cracker Barrel. Yes, we frequented that establishment often in rural Indiana. There was also a store called Mr. McGregor’s Garden (ya know, from Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit?) that got a hold of some new Beanie Babies before anyone else and held a night time sneak peak. My mom, my brother and I went and I swear there were Beanie Babies flying over my head.

The best Beanie Baby I have would have to be the special addition Princess Diana Bear (She would die over again if she knew there was a Beanie Baby made in her memory). It’s purple (so regal) and has a white rose on it’s chest. I used to have it in a sweet display case. But now it’s somewhere in storage. Like a candle in the wind. (Hah that makes zero sense but I had to say it.)princess__20354

Of course Beanie Babies weren’t the only thing I collected, but looking back, they were the funniest to recount. I also collected McDonald’s toys, Pokemon Cards, N64 games, and many, many other trivial things.

What did you collect as a child?rememberthetime_zps58158eef



So ummm ehm I started playing World of Warcraft. I honestly don’t know what I’m doing half the time, but I like it. And my character looks cool. And my friend plays too so we can skype and run around playing the game together.

The thing is, for some reason (and people have warned me about this), it’s very addicting. I don’t know if you’ve seen the Youtube video of the boy whose mother cancels his WoW account, but he literally goes ballistic. It’s one of the best things I’ve seen.

I don’t know what it is that I find so addicting really. You have to complete quests which causes you to level up. I’m only level 9, but that’s after 2 days of playing. Collecting items and completing quests is what really hooked me in. If I look back into my childhood, every interest that I had, had to do with collecting something. Whether it be Beanie Babies, collecting stars on Super Mario 64, or catching all of the Pokemon (I mean, their tagline was “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” Genius!) Kids and apparently 24 year olds like trying to complete missions by getting everything they need. Maybe it gives us a sense of purpose. Hey, I don’t pay the bills, but maybe I can become a level 15 Draenei and everything will be okay.

That’s another thing. Draenei. I love saying all of the names in the game because they make me sound so nerdy and weird. Like most games, it’s a battle of good against evil. I’m on the good side obviously.

So much likeness.

I can see why people play so much. It’s probably like a Catfish thing where they get to be someone else…like an elf or a dwarf. My friend knows someone who’s girlfriend dumped them for someone she met on World of Warcraft. No joke! What would happen when they went to meet each other? Immediate disappointment because neither of them looked like mythical creatures?

Just a quick little poll (but I’m not gonna make an actual poll–just tell me) : Which do you think is nerdier, World of Warcraft or Magic: The Gathering?


Butchart Gardens

I had a fun Christmas experience last night. It was so fun that I almost forgot I was in Canada. Paul’s family and I went to this place called Butchart Gardens where, during the summer, acres of beautiful flowers grow. During winter, they completely light it up–turning it into an amazing winter wonderland.

When we first entered, there was an ice skating rink. I felt like I was in Charlie Brown’s Christmas. So precious that people like to do that for fun. Ice skating is the most effective way to torture me. I’m always interested in watching (with narrowed eyes) how graceful people can be on two blades.

Butchart Gardens was better than I thought it would be, to be completely honest. I thought it was just going to be a bunch of trees wrapped in lights that you walk around for hours. Instead, there was a 12 Days of Christmas theme. So as you walked, you would spot a partridge in a pear tree, 2 turtle doves, and so on. It definitely gave me a sense of purpose. Kind of like I was collecting each line of the song. Anything that involves collecting makes me feel like life is worth living. Beanie Babies and Pokemon ruled my world at one point in my life.

I would have to say that my favorite “Day of Christmas” that they depicted was 5 golden rings. Unlike the others, the rings were lit up and floating in a pond. I liked that.

Paul and I rode on a carosel that was in the middle of the park. I think his parents were wondering why their 30 year old son was riding on a merry-go-round. It was really fun for me because I got to ride on the giraffe after pushing some kids out of the way. Only the strongest survive. Sorry I’m not sorry.

When we were leaving the gardens, I realized that we missed 12 drummers drumming. But I stopped caring after about 10 seconds. There were so many dogs there that I had trouble concentrating on anything else. I often make a bee-line for every dog that I spot. I like to think that in another life, I was a dog. I would’ve been the best companion anyone could’ve had.

More importantly, on the way out we got hot apple cider and signed the guest book below some German folks. Paul wrote “Lovin’ it up!” in the space where you’re supposed to write how much Butchard Gardens changed your life. “Lovin’ it up!” sufficed.

As we were driving out of the parking lot, we drove under 12 drummers drumming–how clever!  I kind of guessed that we would though. Because I’m so smart.

The only thing that’s slightly off-putting about the whole experience is that everyone is singing 12 Days of Christmas. This one woman in particular was awful. I wanted so badly to give her the stink eye, but it was too dark to be effective.