A clock with no hands!

Handwritten page of a diary dated January 8, 1970

asked for a clock radio. Well my dad picked out a SONY brand, which means it cost so much it was the only present I got this year. But I must say when we had to go back to school this week, it was fun to get woken up by good music instead of my mom’s yelling. On Monday when it went off “Come Together” was just at the exact start. I love that sound. On Tuesday, unfortunately when it went off it was almost at the end of “Suite Judy Blue Eyes,” then —even worse—Wednesday, it was playing “Backfield in Motion, gonna have to penalize you.” Ugh. I hate puns and I hate football. But today it was all worth it again because when it went off it was that “Flashback Flashback Flashback” jingle, and then the excellent song by the Zombies that was playing a lot around the time we moved here.

The weirdest thing about having such a new-fangled clock is when I was sleeping late on Christmas vacation, I kept waking up and seeing numbers like 10:10 and 11:11. Once in the middle of the night I woke up and it said 12:12. I have to ask Melinda’s mom because she’s always talking about what certain numbers mean, and I’m pretty sure she will tell me I’m doomed or something.

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File:Sony Digimatic 8FC-59W radio alarm clock 20060526.png – Wikimedia Commons

‘Bring more sweaters’

Handwritten page of a diary dated November 23, 1978

which by the way, Walter shouldn’t even have been included in the Thanksgiving Day family picture, since he technically isn’t even a member of the family. Luckily he was standing on the end, so when Mom mails me my copy I can get out the old scissors and lop him right off like he was never there at all.

After Grandpa’s neighbor takes the picture for us, we go back indoors and pretty soon my sister Patsy goes in to ask Grandpa, can we turn up the thermostat because Walter is cold. Then Grandpa says if Walter is cold why can’t he put on a sweater and Walter says he’s already wearing two sweaters and Grandpa says I guess that means you need three and Walter says he didn’t bring another sweater and Grandpa says he can borrow the big heavy one that’s hanging on the hook by the back door.

So the turkey and the gravy were good and the pie was good and everything was nice and peaceful after we ate, until Walter started another tizzy when he wanted to watch his new favorite show Mork and Mindy, but Grandpa wanted to watch the Waltons.

When Walter was ready to leave, Grandpa says to him that if Patsy still likes him by Christmas, he’d better bring more sweaters. We all laughed. But we all know with Patsy’s attention span being so short, we’ll never have to see Walter again.


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Published in: on November 11, 2019 at 1:26 am  Comments (1)  

‘Big Black Boots’

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 15, 2004

cruel. Giving us homework to do over Christmas break? Seriously? This is not like elementary school where you get a summer reading checklist. This is supposed to be college.

Stupid English professor stands there (looking like Tom Hanks’ grandpa) and says “Start a blog.” I know he’s probably doing this so he can log in to see how well we write. But blogs are just a giant bummer. Oh, my feelings, my feelings. There’s a reason that the diary I had in junior high had a lock on it — the way personal feelings should be protected. Not splayed out as if everyone wants to know every whiny thing thought by someone else.

AND before we write it, we have to submit a PROPOSAL for him to approve. I start writing:

I will analyze the lyrics of my favorite songs. Like “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet. For instance, this line: “Now you don’t need money when you look like that, do you honey?” I will experiment by going out some night with no money, just my “big black boots” and “long brown hair.” In my blog I will report whether I really didn’t need any money.

HA! Now I’m just waiting to see whether my proposal gets the green light.


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Published in: on November 1, 2019 at 2:27 am  Comments (1)  

Just admire the marbles

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 24, 1964

but he keeps saying “what do you DO with the marbles?”

I keep saying  “I look at them. They’re fun to just look at. And collect.”

But then that leads to him always saying how back in the olden days they got marbles to PLAY MARBLES. And I want to tell him that it’s the 1960s now and we have better games to play than rolling marbles around on the sidewalk.

Sometimes it’s not so bad having him staying at our house now. He buys us Jiffy Pop when my mom says it’s cheaper to just pop corn in the pan. AND he knows how to make Jiffy Pop without burning the bottom.

And he has pretty good taste in TV shows. He will always remind me when My Three Sons is on, because we both have that as our favorite show.

He also takes us for rides in his convertible which is really neat as long as you don’t care about your hair blowing all over your face.

Except for trying to force me to PLAY with my marbles, I guess he’s not the worst family member I ever saw.


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Published in: on October 21, 2019 at 3:01 am  Leave a Comment  

‘Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna’

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 4, 1994

… wasn’t going to agree to be editor again this year. I was like — Let some junior do it, like I did last year. Just let me coast through senior year without all the headaches. But I got talked into it.

So today I’m playing Yahtzee with my mom and she’s like — you’re such a good writer that it must be easy for you to fix up the bad stories that some kids turn in. AS IF!!! Like, I told her about a story turned in last week that MADE NO SENSE. I’m like — imagine if someone just put a bunch of words on these dice in the Yahtzee game and just shook the dice and threw them out and just wrote down the words in the order they spill out onto the table.

She’s like — that can be good sometimes, like in song lyrics. The minute she brings up the Beatles, I go — DUDE, stop. But it’s too late and she’s singing stuff from I am the Walrus. Which, I don’t really mind that song, but I’d NEVER tell her that. Then she goes — I thought you liked that song called  I’m A Loser Baby So Why Don’t you Kill Me? What about when that guy says — beefcake pantyhose? What about when he says — spray paint the vegetables?

OK, I was surprised she knew the words to that song, AND she was actually kind of right. But what……ever.


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Published in: on October 18, 2019 at 5:51 am  Comments (2)  

A good warm sleep

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 20, 1978

now that popular music has officially gone right straight down the toilet. I had the radio on all evening and I was turning the dial every two seconds but the only decent song I heard was Baker Street. And I haven’t had any kind of love life for a good six months.

Good thing I have finally saved enough to buy something that will make life worth living again — I’ve been wanting a waterbed since last winter when I was dating Steve. Honestly sex on his bed wasn’t that great. (It’s like someone said, “It’s like playing handball against the drapes.”) But man was that bed warm! Like when you come in from a blizzard there is nothing that warms you up faster than getting into a heated waterbed. Who needs Steve?

I almost didn’t buy the one I bought because it’s round and I haven’t figured out how I’m going to find sheets for it, BUT:

1. The price was right,

2. Waterbeds will last forever, plus they’re only going to get more popular until long after I’m dead,

3. AND really, truly, I do look good on it.


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Published in: on July 21, 2019 at 2:42 am  Comments (1)  

Bow tie

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 15, 1977

… could barely get him to settle down long enough to take a picture of him, because he COULD NOT STOP SINGING. It drives me crazy. For some reason, every time he gets a bow tie on, he feels the need to sing. Which means our walk to church is the most embarrassing thing in this world.

Today he started singing “Some one’s knocking at the door, someone’s ringing the bell, do me a favor and let ‘em in.” And I want to cringe because Paul McCartney used to be good. But now, what the heck?

That was bad enough, but at least he didn’t scream it out like the new song grandma decided to teach him — which was “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.” That stupid song. She told him it’s meant to be sung loud, which is exactly how he sang it all the rest of the way to church and all the way home.


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Published in: on February 16, 2019 at 4:13 pm  Comments (2)  

Party was a dud

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 31, 1970

… some of the greatest costumes I’ve ever seen in my entire life. So why weren’t we having fun? The photographer told everybody to say cheese, and STILL nobody smiled. I swear I woulda smiled but I was too tense because everyone else was. I think it must be contagious and you don’t even have to know the reason why a few people are tense and all of a sudden you just CAN’T relax. I even took a few deep breaths because my aunt is always telling me to do that at times like this. I guess I felt a little better but boy oh boy I’d sure like to know who put the kibosh on this Halloween party. (I don’t know what a kibosh is but the scary guy next door likes to come outside and yell at us kids that he’s going to put the kibosh on our kickball game, so I’m pretty sure it’s some kind of evil spell.)


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Published in: on January 29, 2019 at 3:43 pm  Comments (1)  

Rat Pack

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 4, 1963

… never cried in front of me until today. Jessie’s mom cries at least once a month, doesn’t matter who is in the room. But my mom — NEVER!!!!!

It was today when we were leaving the hotel. We walked by these old guys wearing suits, getting their pictures taken, and she said “Rat Pack.” I don’t know what that means. Some kind of code words?

When she first said she wanted to come to Vegas I thought she wanted to gamble, but her big reason was to eat at the Golden Steer. She dated this older man who always promised her a Porterhouse there, and when she dumped him she said she could buy her own damn Porterhouse at the Golden Steer.

She’s not crying really hard. She can still talk. In fact I could clearly understand her when she told me we would go out for steak tomorrow instead of today. She stood there for a while until the men getting their pictures taken walked away, then she gave me money to go find some sandwiches for us. She told me to bring them back to our room, where she would be trying to compose herself. Whatever you say Mom.


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‘You Know My Name (Look up the Number)

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 9, 1970

… first time I felt like I was lost in Philadelphia and I needed to call my mom to tell her I’d be late picking her up from work. So I stopped the car and went into a school I’d never heard of, but when I finally found a phone, I didn’t have a dime on me.

Luckily a sympathetic (and surprisingly young) janitor gave me a dime and then I forgot my mom’s number at work. I called 411 but then I couldn’t remember her boss’s name. I said “I need the number for Dennis …” The operator waited and said “Last name please.” All I could think of was Dennis O’Bell, but that’s not her boss’s last name, that’s the name of the guy in the Beatles song on the B side of “Let it Be.”  I mean ALL I could think of was that song — “You know my name, look up the number.” And the part where they say “Good evening and welcome to Slaggers, let’s hear it for Dennis O’Bell.” So I had to hang up. Again the janitor saved the day. I gave him his dime back and he gave me directions to get downtown.

All the way home, while my mom was complaining about me showing up late, I was thinking about how the janitor at that school sure was better looking than the janitors we have at our school.


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Published in: on January 18, 2019 at 2:58 am  Comments (2)