But is it a Gelatin Capsule?

I first discovered the concept of the ‘time capsule’ in grade school, when I stayed home from school one day with a pretend-stomachache so I could sleep in, watch cartoons, and read books on my parents’ shelves, including an entire encyclopedia set of gardening books and a Time Life book on the 1930s. (The fact that I just typed that causes me to reflect in amazement that I wasn’t beat up or tormented more often in my youth.) Anyway, the 1930s book covered the entire decade, complete with glossy photos, including one taken at the 1939 World’s Fair of some officials stuffing items into what appeared to be a giant torpedo, which is to be disinterred in 6939 A.D. (Not sure if the Eloi or Morlocks will be disinterring. Could be interesting.)

The items were grouped into the following categories, and I shall follow suit with the items I’d like to preserve in my own personal time capsule:

Articles of Common Use
Okay, what do I use every day?
My glasses. I need them to drive after dusk.
A bag of fair trade, shade grown, organic coffee. Whole bean.
Olay Regenerist SPF 15 daily moisturizer
My iPod, loaded with songs by my favorite bands: The Shins, Guster, Trampled by Turtles, Radiohead, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, Andrew Bird, Aimee Mann (and a very motley assembly of others).
A pack of Trident whitening gum.

I would love to preserve how soft my dog feels one day after a bath, my husband’s amazing hugs, and the smell of my garden at dusk, when the four o’clocks open, but I haven’t figured out how to do that.

Materials of Our Day
For this one, they listed modern materials like “fabrics of asbestos” and “anthracite coal.” (Don’t you love that?) So I’m going to go with just some materials I like: silk, cashmere, and a squishy down comforter.

Miscellaneous Items
This was just plain bizarre. Lumped in with an electric wall switch and lamp socket were “special messages from scientists and writers.”

So for my miscellaneous items, let’s go with the mesh cage I raise monarch caterpillars in (figure THAT one out, people from the future!), my husband’s Xbox (just to get it out of the house), a DVD of It’s a Wonderful Life (my favorite movie), the pen I sign books with, and souvenirs from the road trips I’ve taken with my best friend: an auto bingo tile from The Corn Palace, a moonstone pendant, blueberry tea, and cute hippie tops I bought at shops in Colorado.

Microfilm Sequences
Okay 1930s people, you’ve dated yourselves once again. So here, I shall include:
My flash drive, including Driving Sideways and my work-in-progress, Mandatory Release. Also, Driving Sideways in handy book format.
The latest copy of each of the following magazines, some of which are like crack to me: Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Audubon, Nature, OnEarth, Organic Gardening, Writer’s Digest, and Vegetarian Times.
Another flash drive stuffed with photos.
Three pieces of art I created in my youth, including this one:

Now just TRY getting that out of your head this weekend!!

(Speaking of weekends, if you’re in Wausau, Wisconsin this Saturday, I’ll be doing a signing at Barnes & Noble from 11-2…stop by if you’re so inclined…I’d love to meet you!)

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8 thoughts on “But is it a Gelatin Capsule?

  1. I’ll bet if you included that picture, a whole team of future zoologists would be assigned by the government to theorize the evolution of the common housecat.

  2. I loved this post! Also, I loved the listing of all of your songs. You’re far cooler than I am. I think Jenny already listed all of my iPod songs on her post this week, when she talked about songs she hates. (Including ABBA!)

    I should be embarrassed, but I’m not.

    Now who’s the dork?

    Lisa

  3. Jess, I’m a day late but this is a great time capsule! These things really do day something about us, don’t they?! Wonderful post.

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