My Bedroom at My Parents' House

My family has lived at our current residence since November 1994, so this has been my bedroom for half of my life. Of course, for half of that time I've been living elsewhere, but with all my country- and school-hopping I expect I'll still bounce in and out of for some years to come, and that's fine with me. It changes over time, of course, but this is it was of early 2007, when I was living in there before going to Japan on the JET Program. I like my room a lot, and I put a lot into making it look nice and cheerful, so allow me to show you around!

Here we are looking into my room from the doorway. The walls were white until October 2006 because I thought the room was so filled with color that it needed white walls, but then some friends convinced me to try another color, and I was thrilled with the outcome. Also, note the ceiling light—we added this after I returned from the Expo in 2005, and I was pretty excited to finally have one.

Now we're looking back out the way we came. The tag on the door says my name; my sister's room has a matching one. A US Pavilion visitor sent me the awesome Mars Rover poster—he was so impressed with us that he took my US address (because he was interested in Mars and I was the Mars guru so he was talking mostly to me) and sent me a huge box of Mars Rover paraphernalia for me and to share with the guides. How cool is that?!

Interesting things on my dresser include photos of friends and my cat Puffy; a Mars Rover Spirit patch in a plastic stand from the Box o'Rover Stuff; a US Pavilion coffee mug; and the ever-present book and glass of water. My friend Megan (who lives in Chicago) got me the very cool 1933 Chicago World's Fair poster for my birthday after I got back from the 2005 Nagoya World's Fair.

I like that my bed has a white cover because it's like a cloud, which was extra cool when I had cloud sheets (matching the curtain and the bed skirt), but those wore out. My new sheets are cool too though. (They match my pillow.) Sitting on my bed is my stuffed cat Cinnamon who I've had since sometime in the 80s.

The next picture on the wall is my poster of Stevie Y hoisting the 1997 Stanley Cup. It still makes me smile over a decade later! Then there's my star lamp, and then there's the sunshine quilt my aunt made for me that has hung over every bed I've ever had (not counting dorms and such)—we have a picture of me standing and grinning in my crib with that in the background. I love bright sunny colors! And on the floor, you can see my cool space rug, even though I have carpeting. (It used to go on linoleum dorm floors.)

Moving around clockwise, on the wall you see a photograph of the aurora that my sister got for me in Alaska, a yellow frame that Lara made for all us Hobbits as college graduation gifts (it says "At last the companions turned away... but each had great comfort in his friends on the long grey road," from the Lord of the Rings), and a picture taken by a Japanese guest at the US Pavilion. They often brought copies back for us; this one was a really nice 5x7 of my whole team (Go Team B!) which I had matted. Then there's a Stanley Cup 1998 team picture and the heart-shaped hooks my uncle made for me when I was really little. My official Expo ID is one of the things hanging there. On the next wall are a Kalamazoo College poster, a drawing of the Roman Forum I bought from a street artist on location, and a cute cat mirror that Megan got for me in Oaxaca, Mexico.

On the top of my dresser is my knickknack space. When I was little I collected cat figurines (and still do but not as avidly); it includes kitties from France, Spain, Vanuatu, and one I got myself in Venice made of Murano glass, as well as several plaster ones I painted when I was really little. Left of that are my Red Wings collectibles (Hot Wheels zamboni, hehe) in front of the Humpty Dumpty musicbox; it doesn't play music anymore but my dad always wound it up before bed when I was very little. Farthest on the left is embroidery of striped wildcats that my middle/high school friend Cecilia got me in Panama.

You can't see the surroundings very well because of the contrast, but I liked this picture because it shows off the bright sunlight streaming into my room. Unfortunately, my window faces northeast, so I only get this in the morning. (The morning I wrote this, as a matter of fact, I had a dream that I was being blinded by a mysterious light and woke up to find a bright patch of sunbeam centered right on my face.) I love my sky curtains! And I like how you can see the aurora desktop on my computer.

Here's my corner packed with information-type things. I love that my little laptop desk fits into the corner the way it does. The little kitty frame on the desk by the computer has a picture of Puffy in it. I'll get to the shelves above the computer in a moment. The pompon on the shelf is from a 2006 Red Wings playoff game and a keepsake of the last time I saw #19 at a game in person. On the wall, starting from the top, you can see the Chicago skyline picture that Megan got for me (because she knew I always wanted one of those awesome skyline shots!), then a little drawing that Kristen did for me ages ago of Celeste but which is still one of my favorites, and then my pin collection (more on that in a minute), and then my calendar.

My top shelf has my DVDs and some of my favorite stuffed animals. On the middle shelf, supported by my cool glass photo-frame bookends, is my collection of Japanese reading material. Most is manga, which I read a lot when I was taking Japanese because the pictures help you follow the story while you pick up the language, though I never got into comics as more than study material. On the right are three of the ten (!) volumes of the Japanese translation of the Lord of the Rings. Aileen got me the doll of Toy Story 2's heroine Jessie (who has a fantastic name), and Megan got me the blue-haired doll of a character from a Japanese kids' show that I watched with my host family when I first went to Japan—but she got it in Mexico! The bottom shelf has my foreign currency collection (including a commemorative Expo 500 yen piece that my Japanese friend Momoe got me just as the Expo started) in a little pot my aunt made, and Japanese reference materials.

Here's my pin collection. At the Expo, pin trading was all the rage. I wasn't even that into it and I still ended up with a pretty nice collection, just because kids would ask to trade with us. I learned how to say "equivalent exchange" [等価交換] from Fullmetal Alchemist, a manga I was reading at the time, and then used it on a kid who tried to trade me a Qatar pin for a USA one. Hah—I don't think so! See, Qatar gave out handfuls of their pins to everyone, while we USP guides were given only about 20 pins each to give to the most worthy guests. (US Pavilion pins were going for quite a bit on auctions.)

Some of my favorite pins are my Mars Exploration Rover pin (black square near the patch, from one of the NASA scientists who visited) and my Exploration NASA pin (blue circle near the patch, from the other NASA scientist) as well as the US/Japan Expo friendship pin (near the upper right), and the Canadian Pacific Expo '86 pin that someone traded me. There's also the Opportunity patch to go with the Spirit patch that's on my dresser.

On top of the box are the Expo mascots Morizo and Kiccoro, and some little Japanese dolls my penpal sent me back when I was in high school.

So that's it, my bedroom! I expect the person who found that most interesting is me, as I'll look at this page when I'm homesick in Japan, and maybe also the people who gave me gifts and can see how they're displayed. (You're welcome to draw me gift art or send me tangible presents too if you like! Haha.) Still, I hope you enjoyed your tour.

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