So NOT the mermaid I had in mind

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 29, 2017

… went to Frankenmuth with them in the first place because I wanted to see the “balloon glow,” which is supposed to be legend…ary — all those hot air balloons lit up after the sun goes down. But FAIL. It got rained out. So at breakfast, Grandma says she has a big surprise to make up for it. Except it turns out all she had planned was a trip to the giant Christmas store. I’m not even a big fan of Christmas when it’s December, but on Memorial Day weekend? DONE.

But I went along, like a good sport (partly because Dad took my cell phone away since I was texting too much, and I thought if I pretended to “be in the present” (his words) maybe he’d break down and give it back to me sooner.) Then Grandma says she’ll buy each of us our own ornament (whatevs). I looked all over that place and didn’t find anything epic. Then McKayla yells down from upstairs, says “Come up here, there’s a mermaid.” I said, “It’s not ‘The Little Mermaid’ is it?” (The Little Mermaid is … NO.). She says it’s not. So I drag myself all the way up there, and let’s just say, well, let’s just say I didn’t end up buying it.

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Original image:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lacylouwho/4529928136

Probably shouldn’t

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 19, 1979

… it will ROCK to escape the factory and get back to school, but I needed every penny of every paycheck I made this summer. For one thing, a bunch of us are going to the No Nukes Concert at Madison Square Garden next month, and I didn’t want Skinny Bob to feel left out, so I’m buying his ticket (with his and mine that is a total of $31 PLUS our train fares, ouch).

There’s only one thing I’m pretty sure I need to do before I escape there — every day on my way back from the lunchroom I pass by this old-fashioned switch on the wall in the room that smells like chemicals. And every day I have to talk myself out of flipping it. I do not know why this thing CALLS OUT TO ME. It might not even be hooked up to anything any more, but if it is, and something bad happens, then I might get in trouble, and since this is the only real job I’ve ever had, I might need to use my boss as a reference. What if there’s some future job I really want someday, and my boss tells them “Yes, she showed up every day and worked hard … but then she FLIPPED THE SWITCH and enough extra chemicals were released to force us to evacuate the building for the rest of the night.”

No. A switch that could evacuate the factory would look more modern. Right? And it would be under glass with a lock and key. Right?

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Original image:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Switch_(old_type).JPG
Published in: on March 8, 2017 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Too close for comfort

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Handwritten page of a diary dated November 9, 1960

… even though I can’t vote till I’m 21. But I think 20 is old enough to care about who wins, and I did not even sleep last night. They hadn’t called a winner yet by the time the TV stations went off the air. So I just took a pile of records downstairs to the hifi to try to distract myself. Unfortunately, my mom got out of bed and said why did I only like one kind of music, by which she means Sam Cook and Ray Charles and Fats Domino. I see where she’s going with this.

But I guess we might as well argue about music (she likes Connie Francis and Pat Boone) (squaresville) than what was REALLY on my mind, because I’m almost positive that she voted for NIXON and if he ever became president I would rather just beat feet all the way to Siberia.

In my poly sci class today, we finally found out Kennedy won. Whew! Then the professor started talking about how if we think this election was close, then how would we like to have been around in the 1800s, because Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison both won the electoral college but not the popular vote!!! I’m glad that will never happen again, because I would GO APE.

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Original image:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kennedy_Nixon_debate_first_Chicago_1960.jpg
Published in: on February 13, 2017 at 3:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Veering toward Myrtle Beach

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Handwritten page of a diary dated May 25, 1979

… back on the road again, concentrating, sure but driving a long way is tedious. The best thing that happened all day was when Steppenwolf came on the radio, “Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway.”  That song is at least 10 years old now, and it still WORKS every time. Unfortunately the next song that came on was some kind of horrifying Bee Gees. It was either that or some country station singing “Linda on my Mind.” So the radio went off. Brutal!!

Got windier kinda gradually and next thing I knew I was having to grip the steering wheel because it felt like it wanted to veer left. So I started daydreaming that if the entire U.S. was made of concrete I would just let go and instead of ending up in Norman Oklahoma (where I wasn’t all that keen on spending the winter anyway) I would end up in Myrtle Beach. I saw this magazine picture a long time ago of Myrtle Beach amusement parks. Then there was this girl who looked just like me at a hotel that was RIGHT BY THE OCEAN!!!! You don’t see that in Norman Oklahoma.

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Original image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/blakta2/8625091375

 

Published in: on January 30, 2017 at 3:49 am  Leave a Comment  

‘Whatever you want’

white-prom-dress

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 14, 1989

… had THIS conversation with Mom:

Mom: “But Rita’s son is such a sweet sweet boy.”

Me: “No.”

“You don’t have a date yet.”

“Prom isn’t for another month. There’s plenty of time.”

“This would mean so much to Rita if you went with Carl, and I owe her a huge favor.”

“No.”

“You could go with him this year and then next year, when you’re a senior, you could choose who to go with.”

“What will you give me?”

“Whatever you want.”

“That’s funny because ‘Whatever you want’ is my favorite thing.”

“I’ll buy you that white dress you tried on.”

“I thought you said I couldn’t get it because it looked too much like a wedding dress.”

“Well, it does, but …”

“And you said I had to get one with straps.”

“Well, it is kind of skimpy on top and tight all over, but I’ll get it if you promise to smile when you’re with Carl.”

Original image:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/77319512@N07/7617024900/
Published in: on November 6, 2016 at 12:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dinner with the kids

tattoed-couple

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 29, 2009

… Paulie wanted us to pray before the meal, but in the end I think he was the only one with his head down. I guess it was kind of sweet of him to stand up with my gigantic daughter, who can barely even fit behind the table any more. Bobby was ignoring the praying and eating already and I used that chance to get a look at Paulie’s 10 millionth tattoo, not that Jeannie isn’t trying to catch up by getting a few tattoos of her own) (oh, and I barely recognized her when she answered the door because her hair is now jet black). Well, what can I do? As long as they keep inviting me to eat with them, I’ll go. Even though the kitchen is getting more purple every time I go.

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Original image:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/robdeman/476655955
Published in: on September 28, 2016 at 3:29 am  Comments (1)  

The brown meal

chocolate cake with cherries

Handwritten page of a diary dated September 30, 1989

… found out dad was going to be gone for 24 entire hours. And since he’s the biggest nutrition police, I talked Mom into letting me plan the supper for that night.

The theme I told her was ALL BROWN AND ONLY BROWN. I wanted steak, Pepsi and chocolate cake. She said she had one objection and I was afraid she was going to say “There are no brown vegetables” but instead she just pointed out that steak is kind of expensive so I agreed to shake a lot of quarters out of my piggy bank.

I helped her make the cake earlier in the afternoon but when I came to supper, there was something weird on top of the frosting. I said what is that? and she said cherries and I said “That’s not BROWN” and I was so mad I flicked one of the cherries off the cake and it landed on the wallpaper. Woops. But she didn’t go ape on me like Dad would’ve. She just made me clean the wall and “carefully” put the rest of the cherries in a little bowl “for later.” And she made me go up and search through her Van Morrison records because she wanted to hear “Brown Eyed Girl.”

I think she enjoyed that meal about as much as I did, so I said “if you want a more nutritious lunch tomorrow, we could have ALL ORANGE AND ONLY ORANGE.” She said “I’m afraid to ask what that menu would be.” So I told her: Cheetos and carrot sticks and orange juice, and the song would be “Orange Crush” by REM.

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Original image:
https://flic.kr/p/bAi1gR
Published in: on September 2, 2016 at 5:06 pm  Comments (1)  

‘Do what you wanna do’

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Handwritten page of a diary dated November 24, 1966

… first time i ever slept in Granny’s attic, um, I don’t know but I think by the time I was old enough to realize it seemed like it belonged in a scary movie, I was kind of used to it. I slept there every time we went to visit her. The first time I bumped my head on that leaning tower of Piza wall, I was about 10 so I told Granny that it would make more sense to make the bed with the pillow on the other end of the bed but she said then if I moved too much in the night I’d knock the pillows “clean off the bed.”  And she said it would be like sleeping upside down, which made me laugh but she didn’t laugh.

So I had to wait till she tucked me in and after she left I shifted the whole operation. But I felt so guilty. Like if she came back in for some reason and didn’t see my head by the wall she’d be all wigged out. Which never happened by the way. She still doesn’t know about it. And I’ve been doing it for a few years! EVERY TIME WE GO THERE!

Advice to my future self. If there’s something you want to do, just do it. It’s like that song on Belinda’s Mamas & the Papas album: “Go where you wanna go. Do what you wanna do.” I mean not like a bank heist or something like that. But, you know.

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Original image:
https://pixabay.com/en/bedroom-sleeping-old-vintage-427634/
Published in: on August 27, 2016 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  

‘Rejoice, rejoice, we have no choice but to carry on’

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Handwritten page of a diary dated August 15, 1970

… HATE to go back to school without at least a few decent pairs of bell bottoms and a jean jacket — I needed to make some money and I mean fast. So when Paula was complaining that the new album she bought didn’t have lyrics printed inside, I told her I’d listen and copy them all down if she would throw a couple of bucks my way. She agreed to it but on the condition that I didn’t get my “grubby fingerprints” on it, and that if there was a scratch, she would kill me (and she would do it too even if I’m her only brother. Don’t doubt it for a second)

This album was called “Deja Vu” and it wasn’t exactly the easiest lyrics ever written. Like man they sing this song really fast:

“If I had ever been here before I would probably know just what to do         

Don’t you?

If I had ever been here before and another time around the wheel I would probably know just how to deal

With all of you”

I didn’t know how long this would take and really I thought about quitting. But she came in to my room to look over the pieces of notebook paper I had written so far and she said it wasn’t bad. She said maybe she could get me some more jobs like this from her friends so I said OK. But I have to think about restructuring my price. I think I’ll charge by how long it takes instead of just a flat fee per album. Groups like Crosby Stills and (whoever they all are) might end up killing my writing hand.

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Original image:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/hansthijs/3586702590

Turn up the heat

Landscape

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 18, 1968

… don’t know why we had to move to this godforsaken blizzarding state anyway when it was perfectly nice living in San Francisco. I was walking home from school today with my scarf covering my nose — UNTIL the scarf got wet from me breathing into it. Eeeew. I got home and told my mom to take back whatever stupid frilly dresses she bought me because all I want for Christmas is a space heater for my bedroom. Then she said the thermostat is set at 64 and that’s plenty warm for any human beings who are wearing a sweater. Then she pulls out a picture of her and her dippy friends posing in bathing suits out in the snow.

The only sweaters I have are some she picked out for me, which are all itchy, so I put on my bathrobe and listened to the Doors song called “Wintertime Love.” When Jim Morrison sings “Keeping you warm, your hands touching me”  I have a fantasy that my mom walks in my bedroom she goes ape because she sees that Jim Morrison and I are here under a blanket rubbing up against each other to keep warm. That would serve her right for bringing me up here to the arctic north.

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Original image:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NYA-Weiser,_Idaho-Residence_School-%22Come_on_in…the_snow%27s_fine%22-girls_of_the_NYA_Federal_Residence_School_take_time…_-_NARA_-_197139.tif
Published in: on July 18, 2016 at 3:36 am  Leave a Comment