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Through the Leap Years
Today is Leap Day. I don't know why I'm so excited about February 29th. Something about the idea that this day only happens once every 4 years makes it special, different somehow. I feel like I should be out making something happen instead of sitting here in front of my computer. But since I am compelled to blog, I thought I'd remember life through the Leap Years.

February 29, 2004:

The 76th Academy Awards were on this day with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King winning a record eleventy gazillion awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. There was that whole occupation of Iraq thing going on too. Sigh. And Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigned as president of Haiti.

I was living and working just outside of D.C. in 2004. Working my butt off in fact. I was about 6 weeks pregnant with Hollis after the Side Trip to Iceland and puking my guts out on a regular basis. I even fell asleep in a puddle of drool on my desk. Between the exhaustion, nausea, and absent mindedness it's a wonder I even showed up at the office. Ah, good times. If I could find my calendar, I could tell you exactly what I was doing on this day. But I can't remember where it is....

February 29, 2000:

According to Wikipedia, not much happened on this day. I like to think of it as the last year or so of our American innocence. These were the days before 9/11, when I was still idealistic and hopeful about changing the world as an international human rights lawyer. I was in my second year of law school at George Washington in D.C. About 3 months after this I realized that $100,000 in student loans pretty much dictated working for a law firm for the foreseeable future.

(Whoa! Did that sound cynical, or what?)

February 29, 1996:

On this day, a Peruvian 737 crashed into the Andes, killing 123 people. The siege in Sarajevo was lifted. Also, Joan Collins won $1.3 million in a breach of contract suit against Random House for a manuscript she wrote. She obviously had a good agent as the contract required them to pay her even if the book was never published. And it wasn't. Interesting. I wish I could see a copy of the contract.... (Sorry, I am a contract litigation geek. I got a little sidetracked there.)

Let's see, in 1996 I was still working as a claims analyst in the hellish world of individual health insurance claims for an insurance company often associated with a certain famous wildlife show. I loved that show as a kid, although I always wondered why Jim had to do all of the hard work.
Marlin Perkins: I'll stand here and watch, while Jim wrestles that alligator for us.
Jim: Damn you to hell, Marlin.
February 29, 1992:

The college years. It's all pretty much a blur.

February 29, 1988:

The apartheid years. On this day, South African archbishop Desmond Tutu was arrested along with 100 clergymen during a five-day anti-apartheid demonstration in Cape Town.

I, on the other hand, was involved in far more important things. Like figuring out the social hierarchy of my new high school. We had just moved from Germany to Bellevue, Nebraska. It was certainly a cultural shock because I listened to way cooler music and had way cooler clothes. I didn't understand why no one appreciated my red Coke bottle cap suspenders and blue Gatsby hat. I spent a lot of time watching MTV, having been deprived of it for 2 years during my prime music obsession years.

February 29, 1984:

Here's one for my friends North of the border. On this day, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced he would retire as soon as the Liberals could elect another leader.

This was only tangentially relevant to me as I was living in Grand Forks, North Dakota, just a few hours South of Canada. I was 11 and spent most of my free time at swim practice. And ogling Jerry Hoffarth, a fellow swimmer and 13 year old boy who only knew I existed because of my kick ass breast stroke and my relentless stalking of him. Of course, every time he tried to talk to me, I started giggling and ran away. Boy, was I young.

Incidentally, I ran into Jerry at a wedding in Grand Forks when I was 21. Amazingly I was able to have a normal conversation with him and we spent most of the night reminiscing, dancing and chatting. For some reason he didn't actually remember me as all giggly and young but he was very aware of my crush on him. So much for my 11 year old subtlety.

February 29, 1980:

On this day, apparently somebody in the NHL made his 800th goal. But since I don't care about hockey, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I, on the other hand, was 7 years old and living in Louisiana. I had a nice tan year round and a cute little Southern accent. Which was soon to be relentlessly beaten out of me by the constant teasing from the kids in North Dakota. Yes, I come from a white trash, redneck family. But no one likes to be reminded of that when they're 9.

February 29, 1976:

Apparently nothing happened in 1976. Just that whole bicentennial thing. Oh, and I was about to get a baby brother in 5 days. The days of the solo Stephanie show were about to end. I also think this is about the time I landed on our coffee table chin first and had to get stitches. (I only remember because my mom still tells stories of having our neighbor take us to the emergency room and the doctors inquiring whether we were there for her - hugely pregnant - or me - bleeding everywhere.)

How did I mysteriously land on the coffee table? The next door neighbor and I were playing Superman and jumping off of the couch in an attempt to fly. It was his idea. I swear. Of course, I'm the one who still has the scar on my chin.

February 29, 1972:

I was a 5 week-ish old fetus. My parents have never made a secret of the fact that I was an accident, so I like to imagine that they were just figuring out I was on the way. I wonder if the words, "Oh, shit" were uttered!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

No freakin' way!!! You lived in Grand Forks??!! I was born there, but moved when I was 10 years old. My brother,cousins, etc still live there.
We live in Portland,Oregon and my husband is an air traffic controller here. Recently, they aquired three new controllers all from UND in Grand Forks! One of the guys lived on the same street that I did!

OK, sorry about the rant, but it's seems like such a random little town and I keep meeting people that have lived there!

The rest of your post was really interesting, too, but as you can see, the common link hit me in the face!


Blogger Angela said...

Clev-er! Welcome home...

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Blogger flutter said...

This rules, Steph.

Everybody in our family was born in a leap year.

Seriously, me '72, Gabe '76, Ian and Claudia '04.

Neat, huh?

Blogger Kyla said...

I was only alive for 7 of these. LOL.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was alive for all of those.


Mutual ofOmaha's Wild Kingdom... we always wondered why Jim didn't kick Mrlon's ass.

Blogger Bon said...

this is absolutely fabulous...and i was born in January of 72 so you've conveniently and generously given me a nice record of leap years of my own life, since i realized Friday i couldn't actually remember ANY of the others. :)

Blogger Bon said...

this is absolutely fabulous...and i was born in January of 72 so you've conveniently and generously given me a nice record of leap years of my own life, since i realized Friday i couldn't actually remember ANY of the others. :)

Blogger Violet said...

what an awesome post! love it.

Blogger Amie Adams said...

Being adopted, I'm pretty sure there was an "oh shit" surrounding my conception as well (one I like to believe that occured in the back of a Trans-Am).

Blogger Julie Pippert said...

I love the trip back in time.

But NO WAY do you get off claiming the college years as a blur LOL.

Otherwise, very funny and cool post!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay. Now I'm feeling old.

And I double your blah, blah, blah about hockey. But at least you're not a social pariah for the lack of interest.

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