PLEASE NOTE: This blog contains adult subjects and content, and because of Google/Blogger's recent nonsense, I HAVE MOVED TO WORDPRESS. For my enlightened friends who wish to visit me in my new home, it's Please bookmark it!

The rest of you? Please take your judge-y selves somewhere more wholesome, like here:

Go on.... shoo!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

OT: Embarrassing fun with my new scanner

In my plodding, reluctant efforts to drag myself into more up-to-date computer equipment, I recently chucked my fax and my really crappy old printer and bought a new combo Epson printer/scanner/copier. I even set it all up myself, which is no small feat, considering that electronics and I are not friends. And I've never had a scanner before, so this is a fun new treat. Did some digging into antiquated photo albums...

For those who read my book or who have known me for some time, you'll recall that I've said I was a cute baby and little girl, but then things went awry and I went into an Ugly Duckling phase that lasted from around age 8 to my mid-teens. People tell me that I'm exaggerating, that I should produce pictorial evidence. Honestly, there isn't much of it. Aside from school photos, there are very few pictures of me in existence during that phase, and thank goodness. However, I did manage to dig up a few, so you can get some inkling.

First, we'll start with the cute stuff. Here I am on my first birthday. Yup, you can tell it's me -- my mouth is open.

OK, here comes the big "awwwwwww" moment. My brother's Bar Mitzvah -- I was three weeks shy of five years old (and I'd already learned how to smirk):

Look at those little gloves! "Hee hee, I look adorable and I know it." Yeah, enjoy it, little girl. In a few years, you'll look like this:

AAAACCCCK! My sixth-grade school photo; I was eleven. Braces and chubby face in full splendor.

Here I am at 13, holding our enormous orange cat Henry:

Will you look at that schnozz?? Now you know why the other kids called me Pinocchio.

Trying to hide behind Henry and failing utterly:

Back then, when people told me to haul ass, I had to make two trips. And I hadn't even reached my peak weight yet; that was at age 15. And no, I have no photos of that, mercifully.

Oh, and speaking of my book, you'll also remember my father's evil third wife, Vampira. Here's a rarity -- me, my dad and the wicked witch in one photo, on my 18th birthday:

Get a load of those nails! No wonder I had nightmares of her clawing me to shreds. Of the three smiles in this picture, I'd venture to say the only one that's genuine and heartfelt is my father's. ("Whew, my two girls are getting along tonight.") Right, Dad. Have another drink. (sigh)

Gotta love those old photo albums! The pictures have been in them for so long, they were stuck fast to the pages and I couldn't peel them off, so I had to stick the whole album in the scanner. Still worked, though.

Hope y'all got a few giggles out of this. I'll see what other treasures I can find in the pictorial archives. :-D


  1. Oh my gosh Erica! All in all.. ya have to admit, this is a great trip down memory lane! I really need to invest in what you bought.. as my HP printer just bit the damn dust ... and I have SO MANY photos that need scanned it isn't funny. I really want to do that before the pics get lost or too decomposed to do that.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this look back at your early days. Was that your Mom in the gold dress and matching shoes? Your Dad is so distinguished looking too! I think you resemble him more in the eyes than you do your Mom. Your brother however, looks more like your Mom to me.

    Well this was fun! GOT MORE??? :-)

  2. Zelle -- yup, that was my mom. This was about a year before they got divorced. You know, you can get those all-in-one systems really cheap now. I did a lot of online research before I chose the Epson; it was just $132.

    More? Maybe... I'll see what I find. :-D

  3. Erica, sorry I don't see any Ugly Duckling in any of these pictures.

  4. Terrific pix Erica. OMG. She does look like Vampira. LOL.

    However, you were never an ugly duckling!

    Thanks for sharing,


  5. I will have to go do some research around here! That's pretty damn cheap!

    I'm impressed that you hooked it all up yourself!

  6. I *was* the ugly duckling. What I saw in your pics was a young woman who was finding her way. I was hopelessly lost until well into my 20's. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Ugly duckling? Where? I sure didn't see it. I see a pretty young girl in your sixth grade picture. I also see a pretty young girl holding a nice big kitty.

  8. I agree with everyone else, you were NOT ugly by any means. SUPER cute cat, too. And I have to say your mother was a beaut-she reminds me of Faye Dunaway/Jane Fonda/and a teeny bit like Joan Crawford.

  9. Yikes! There's some good and some....interesting....ones there, hon!

  10. You guys! You are so nice, but I think y'all need glasses, or you just humoring me. I was teased relentlessly for years over my looks and my weight -- hundreds of kids weren't imagining things, I was NOT an attractive adolescent. :-)

    bree -- see above, but thank you, you're sweet.

    joey -- doesn't she though?? At least in this shot, she wasn't wearing a sweater cut down to her sternum.

    Zelle -- I have to say, they make it easy. They give you a diagram to follow, plus a CD that walks you through it.

    NV -- yup, finding her way, and taking the circuitous route. ;-)

    Bobbie Jo -- oh lord. Chubby girls with braces, big noses and kinky hair don't have their pictures in the dictionary next to "pretty." But thank you.

    Kelly -- wasn't my mom a stunner? She was about 41 there.

  11. Craig -- now there's more the typical reaction I got -- Yikes! (laughing)

  12. (bree frowns) I am not kidding around or just saying that and neither are any of the others I imagine. I have seen UGLY and you were/are not it.

    As for GIARC, boys are something YEPOD, SEKIY and YEKCI. ;P

    Children can pick out a tiny blemish on your nose and make fun of it while the rest of you is perfect. Little whipper snappers. They are too observant. :p

    Sorry, end rant.

  13. Bree -- turn that frown upside down! (don't you just HATE that expression?)

  14. You and I had the same problem as teenagers. It took us a while to grow into certain aspects of our faces is all. My problem was my nose too. Not that it made me ugly, just completely out of proportion! MY sixth grad picture is so much more wrong than yours, you have no idea. I don't know what the photographer was thinking, taking a picture that looked like that! When I was fourteen I thought my head was a lot smaller than the rest of my body. I was still skinny at that point, and had a REALLY long neck, so it made my head look small.

  15. Jen -- yeah, those school photographers didn't make much of an effort, did they? Snap, snap, snap, move 'em out, next! I didn't have one single school picture that I liked, not even my high school senior photo, which was in color and I had lost weight by then. I didn't realize for a long time that I look 100% better shot from the left than from the right. :-)

    1. I like my senior picture, but it was during my androgynous phase, so my hair is very short. I never have figured out which side I look better from in pictures, mostly because I don't have many pictures taken of me these days. At least not my face! LOL

    2. My nose is a little off-center (and that is not my imagination; I've been told that by many, including photographers), so I'm shot slightly from the left, it kind of evens things out. Shoot from the right and my nose looks like it's trying to leave my face. LOL

  16. I looked like I was six until I was 24...kay 28. Such a baby face. Life happened, My cheekbones found themselves, I learned how to laugh, hard, from my stomach which transformed my face. I learned how to work with what I have. Now I feel so free and pretty,because I am me.
    Was a bit of a late bloomer myself.

    Every picture held beauty or was beautiful.
    Every picture. A mix of beauty, wit and self realization. Now that valuable.

  17. Newt -- very nicely said. I have no rejoinder. :-)

    1. I do.

      In no creepy way is this meant. We are not that far in age for Gods sake. Just should have said it before.
      When I saw the pic you posted a few back.
      I said out loud...(yes to the laptop)
      Baby Jesus(Lap-top's name, don't get offended Vatican)...
      Please, please, after all my good works...
      Let me rock my body after 45 like that. Please?
      Hawt. Drove it like you stole it Hawt!

      signed jealous hetero thirty-something

    2. Newt really needs to blog... you're crackin' me up!

    3. Zelle, I want to blog so bad.
      I do.
      But I was friended on Twitter and unfriend today, long enough so some asshat could tell me that I am a Bourgeouis Wino. And I say really? Middle class Wino?

      I really take offense to that.
      I drink the finest wines my guest bring.LOL.
      Obviously I am to thin skinned to blog yet.
      I say let the Haters hate.
      Because I am enlightened.
      So is Erica.
      That is why she doesn't call out the guy in the past post.
      and why I don't have a blog. YET

    4. Newt... you just have to see --> THIS!

    5. Newt -- again, thank you. You really are something. :-) And if you bust your ass at the gym and watch every freaking bite you eat, you too can rock after 45! As for your hater -- screw 'em. What a stupid thing to say to you. Remember one thing -- when you blog, the kindness and support you received far outweigh the occasional asshat. Honest.

  18. I have to agree with the others, I see no ugly duckling or weight problem. Kids are mean, they really don't need a reason to pick on someone, they find anything they can to use. Cute pictures, thanks for sharing.

  19. Got to agree, no ugly duckling or overweight teen! You are far too hard on yourself (like most women, myself included). As teens few of us are comfortable with ourselves, and while you were going through the awkward years you had a stunning mom people were probably comparing you to. You have turned into a beautiful, witty woman who knows what she wants and goes and gets it. We should all be so fortunate. XO

  20. Kaki -- yup, kids suck. My own younger cousin once said to me when I was about 14, "You know what? You ARE fat!" (sigh)

    dschroeter -- thank you. :-) My mother was a lethal combination, unfortunately -- very beautiful, and even more critical. Not easy growing up with that; imperfections were frowned upon regularly.

  21. Have to bow to the majority: you were gorgeous at thirteen ;-)

    (And you still are, of course :-) )

  22. Well, I happen to love that young girl, and the woman she became.

    It's really too bad there weren't enough people around who, instead of trying to transfer the pain of their own exaggerated insecurities onto her, had helped her focus on everything she was and did that was right while she was growing through the adolescent awkwardness everyone endures.

    There was a fella east of you who would have loved talking with you about "Dark Shadows," and "Peanuts," and comedy, and books of all sorts, and maybe even certain fixations, who knows.

    But he was a couple-three years older, which can make a very big difference at that age, and he was painfully shy and self-centered, anyway. But maybe he still might have been able to modify your self-evaluation a bit.

    "Dear Pen Pal: I think you're a doll and if you argue I will spank you."

    Ah, he probably wouldn't have written that. But then again...

    Congratulation on the new acquisition, and thank you very much for sharing these! Funny thing, I never thought about how your dad looked in the 70's-- I've always pictured him as in the first photo there, with the darker hair and van dyke! Duh.

  23. Al -- thank you. :-)

    Dave -- awwww, Wolfie. Goddammit. I just put makeup on. (sniff) Thank you. How dear you are.

    Yeah, Dad went completely gray at 50, and he gained weight too. But then lost it when he was older. Never lost his hair, though!

  24. Looking at old pictures usually involves some laughs and some cringes. Lol. I don't think many of us care to revisit the early teen years. It's great you are able to scan and save them while you still can.

  25. Aw, Erica! Such great pictures of you! I miss ya. But now to bed, then to work...

  26. Hi Erica

    Please don't be so hard on yourself. It's way too late to make any difference but I would have been happy to date you at 18, I really hate to do the math but I think we are contemporaries and should have met!


  27. WooHoo! I DID IT! I got a Canon copy/scan/fax/printer last night! And I'm psyched! Cause the Sears Essentials store was closing that was around the corner from me.. and on a whim, I went over to see if any of those 60-90% OFF prices might include a printer! Sure enough, there was one more left... and it was ONLY $79 bucks! I bought the $14 2 yr warranty just in case (cause it was the last one and a blow out sale) - Gonna try to hook it up tonight (it's got that wifi thang going on too, so I may have a learning curve. LOL)

  28. I love so much to learn about people's real lives, especially their past. It adds a new dimension to that person (for me) that I would probably not normally have, given this venue in how many of us 'know' one another.

    I enjoyed this post immensely, and the pics, and I don't think you were an 'ugly duckling' at all. I think we all go through that awkward pre-teen/early teenage phase.


  29. Lea -- scanners are very cool things. I'm really enjoying mine!

    Danny -- I miss you too, sweetie.

    Emanuele -- aw. I didn't date when I was 18 (or for many years after that), but thank you. :-)

    Zelle -- yayyy! Mine has wi-fi option too, but I don't have that kind of setup yet, so I went with USB cable.

    Sarah -- I like knowing about people, too. I know it's tough for some to share personal details, but it does make for more dimension, as you said.

  30. I don't really see an ugly, overweight girl in your teenage pictures. I think it may have had more to do with the insecurities that most kids have at that age, causing you to have a low opinion of yourself and proviking mean comments from your peers.

    Mostly, I wanted to comment on Henry. I love big orange cats, and used to have one myself. I bet he was a great comfort to you in the times when you felt rejected by your own race.

  31. Erica, what nostalgic memories you have in those albums of 'yesteryear'. And when you really reach those 'golden age' years, darning socks, or over a 'boyfriends lap' being spanked. You'll show him your stack of 'spanking years albums'. When Men, where truly 'spanko's, and Women, like you had 'voluptous bare bottoms'.

  32. Anonymous -- that's what John said. I was so self-conscious and awkward in those years, I was the perfect "make fun of me" target.

    Henry was a year old when I was born, and we put him down when he was 14 (right after those photos were taken, actually). I grew up with him. He never scratched me, even though I pulled at his tail and did all sort of other awful baby/toddler things.

    Six -- I don't think anyone darns anymore. They just throw the holey socks out and buy new ones. :-)

  33. I guess we all go through an awkard phase as we are finding our self, but you were never ugly, in fact I think you were a cute kid. You need to give yourself a break.
    Erica you were a cute kid, a pretty young woman,and are a lovely lady now.