Cold first date

cold hands

Handwritten page of a diary dated February 12, 1995

… new friends could barely believe I’ve only had one boyfriend since ninth grade. And they also can’t believe the only reason Jason and I “broke up” is because I got a job here in Minneapolis and he’s been making a fortune back at his uncle’s car dealership. And once I told the girls at work that we’ve agreed to date other people, they talked me into trying that new Web site —

There were five guys they liked, but I agreed to contact only one of them — Eric. We decided to meet at the movie theater at the mall but I had second thoughts because last night happened to be the coldest night of the winter so far (a night my grandma would say is “colder than Billy Blue Blazes”) (even though when it’s really hot out she says it’s “hotter than Billy Blue Blazes”).

First we sat on a bench outside the theater and smiled at each other a lot. Yes. Eric’s a hot guy. But then he told me we were going to see “Billy Madison” and I said “Oh yeah, when did we take a vote on that?” I kind of made a half-hearted case to see “Boys on the Side” but he said his sister saw it. She cried. So I said, “OK, Billy Madison. It’s all good.” Which it wasn’t, good I mean, but I was trying to be a good sport.

Afterwards we went to this place that had a couch, just like the coffee house on “Friends.” I ordered hot chocolate. Things got better. We got cozy. Then, as cold as it was, we sat in his car and kissed. I told him my hands were cold and he took my gloves off and held my hands in his for a few minutes.  We kissed again and I slipped my cold hands up under his sweater and onto his warm back.

“Are you inSANE?” He screamed this so loudly it weirded me out. “Your hands are like ice cubes.”

The look on his face. Wow. Like I had taken out a switchblade and stabbed him a few hundred times.

So I put my gloves back on and got out of his car.

Well, it was fun to make out with someone new. And so hot. But I guess dating is not all smooth sailing.


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Published in: on February 13, 2016 at 5:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Does Grandma hate me?


Handwritten page of a diary dated August 3, 1974

… knocked the sandcastle down because I thought Randy built it. Randy said “No man, Grandma built it and she went to the car to get a camera to take a picture of it.”

I really wished I hadn’ta done it, but I was not all the way worried because Grandma’s never been mad about anything ever. Even when we were playing kickball in her garage and knocked over a pile of plant pots. All she did was worry that we hadn’t gotten cut on any of the broken pieces.

This time though, she gave me this look which felt like jagged alien laser beams of cold mean hate. Really before today I thought Grandma was kind of pretty but when she was all of a sudden not smiling I noticed something I never saw before and that is that her face looks pretty old.

I remembered I brought my Big Chief writing tablet to use in case I got sunburned and had to sit under the umbrella. So I found it and wrote this letter:

Dear Grandma:

Randy and I wreck each other’s stuff all the time and I thought he made that sandcastle. Really I shoulda known it hadn’t been made by him because it was one of the most nice ones I ever saw. If you would forgive me I will do any of these things you want:

1. If you want to rebuild the sandcastle. I will bring you water from the lake whenever you need it to pack the sand tighter and help you in any other way including using my popsicle money to get you a cold drink.

2. Stay over at your house on Thursday night and watch “The Walton’s” with you.

3. Ride my bike to that store where they have the cans of very small tiny little oranges so you can teach me how to make that Jello salad we like (the one without cottage cheese in it) (but if it would make you love me again I’ll eat cottage cheese)

She read it and she smiled again!!!!!! She said “Horsefeathers, I never stopped loving you. Now let’s get to work.”


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Published in: on February 5, 2016 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rated X


Handwritten page of a diary dated July 3, 1970

… guy named Tim. His parents own the movie theater downtown. I only talked to him once at school. About six months ago. But I told him I was really curious to see an X-rated movie sometime and I didn’t want to wait three more years till I was legally old enough. He said sure, he saw a few earlier this year. Easy. Then last week he came up to me after History and said “Myra Breckenridge” is coming. I hadn’t even heard of that movie but he assured me it’s rated X. So I said OK and he said he would let me in the alley door at 8 p.m. on Friday. Which is tonight.

I was nervous before it was time to walk downtown so I played the 45 I just bought “The Long and Winding Road” a few times and then I turned it over and played the B side called “For you Blue” which might actually be a better song if you ask me. Then I put it on again and got my tap shoes out and started making up this routine to it and before you know it, it was time to go.

If only I had just chickened out and stayed home tap dancing and listening to records I might not be a nervous wreck right now. I saw that movie and now I think I might be scarred for life. I nervously talked to Tim a few minutes out in the alley when it was over. I said maybe some day I might ask him a few questions because there was a lot I didn’t understand and he said he couldn’t be too much help because this wasn’t like the other X-rated movies he’s seen. I said OK. Then I high-tailed it out of there.

I’m 15 years old and my sex life is already over because I don’t think I can handle all the complicated things going on out there in the ADULT WORLD.

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Published in: on February 1, 2016 at 2:32 am  Comments (2)  

Will I be a redhead?

backs of three redheaded teenage girls

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 2, 2004

… need to get control of this stupid game my brain is playing.

It started out really small, like OK,  I was watching “West Wing” with my mom, and all of a sudden I thought, if she gets up and makes popcorn during a commercial I’m going to stand up and yodel when she brings it back. And she did. And I did. And she said “You’re weird.”

Then last month I was watching the Grammy awards and there was a marching band on the stage when Outkast sang “Hey Ya” and the minute I heard “Shake it like a Polaroid picture” I was dancing around the room. Then the doorbell rang and I said to myself “if it’s Zach, coming to visit me, I’m going to kiss him right there in the doorway.” That was scary because I’m not even sure if he’s into me (in that way) and I was BOTH relieved and disappointed when the person at the door was just one of my sister’s annoying friends instead of Zach.

But even that wasn’t as scary as tonight. I was out walking around today and when I stopped to look at my phone, I noticed I was standing behind these 3 girls with red hair. And I thought: if one of them turns around I’m going to dye my hair red. AND TWO OF THEM TURNED AROUND AND LOOKED AT ME. So I went to the drug store and bought some bright red dye and now I’m sitting here reading the instructions. I wish someone was here to talk me out of it. OK if someone calls or texts me in the next 10 mintues, I won’t dye my hair. Otherwise I kinda have to.


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Published in: on January 30, 2016 at 3:41 am  Comments (1)  

RIP Steve Jobs


Handwritten page of a diary dated October 5, 2011

… tried to go to sleep, but I keep thinking it. I don’t even want to write it down. OK I will — Steve Jobs died today.

About an hour ago, even though it was late, I called Uncle Billy. He didn’t own one of the original Apples, but in 1984 he did buy the very first McIntosh anyone could buy. He and I are the only ones in our family who like Macs instead of PCs. My dad says that means Uncle Billy and I are on the same wavelength, which of course anyone coulda already figured out if they were paying attention.

Uncle Billy is the only really old person I know very well. He and Steve Jobs were born on the exact same day and I came right out during that phone call to say it makes me kind of worried about whether I should start preparing myself to lose him too one of these days. He said no, no, Steve Jobs didn’t eat a balanced diet and had way too much stress in his life which caused him to get sick. He said hardly anyone dies when they’re only 56.

All of a sudden I remembered that only yesterday Uncle Billy had taken his iMac in to the Genius Bar to get looked at. I told him this: “Your computer gets to mourn Steve Jobs with all his Apple brothers and sisters on the repair shelves tonight.” He told me this: “Hey yeah, maybe they’re having a memorial service. They can get online and play some music and find some poems about the angels taking a loved one to a better place.”

Yes I am aware that I’m lucky to have somebody to talk with about weird ideas.


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Published in: on January 25, 2016 at 2:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

‘A Room of our Own’

grandpa's basement (2)

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 12, 1984

…  all those old things Grandma had rejected down to the basement for all those years they were married and he sorted out what he could use to make himself an apartment down there. What he really liked was the fake leather couch, which Grandma had only liked for two years in the ’80s and then stopped liking. He was happy to be able to use that thing again, and I think the only thing he bought brand new was three leopard skin pillows. He said that couch with those pillows “jazz the place up.” I sat down there with him and watched TV for an hour before I finally got the guts to ask him if he moved down here because he didn’t love Grandma any more. He said “Whaddaya talkin’ about? She’s the only girl for me. I moved downstairs, ya know, I didn’t move to Reno.”

Then I went upstairs and Grandma asked me to reach something on a tall shelf or her and I said “Grandma are you OK with Grandpa making himself a place in the basement?” and she said “Oh at first I thought it was a lot of folderol, but he still comes up to eat and do his chores and watch TV at night and sleep. So yes. I’m happy as a lark.” I guess she didn’t think I looked too convinced. She said “You know I don’t like very much of the popular music. But remember a few years ago I heard a Billy Joel song I liked and I asked whether you had the album so I could listen a few times?” I thought a minute and said “Oh yeah, ‘We all need a room of our own.'” And she just smiled and said, “Don’t ever forget it.”


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Published in: on January 23, 2016 at 3:49 pm  Comments (1)  

Glenn Frey made me watch ‘Miami Vice’

Frey lookalike cropped.png

Handwritten page of a diary dated February 2, 1985

been on all season, but I didn’t even watch it till last night – even though the only show everybody at school ever talks about is “Ohhh Miami Vice is so good” and if it’s a girl she says “Ohhhh Don Johnson is so cute.” Come on, if that’s what guys are supposed to look like now, I’m in big trouble. But somebody told me once I look like a young Joe Walsh – yes the guy from the EAGLES! I taped a picture on this page so future generations can see that I really do look like him. (I cut my ex-girlfriend out of the picture because there’s no use for future generations to see HER)

So even though I’m more of a Wang Chung guy (and mark my words, Wang Chung is going to be the next Beatles or Stones) I made sure to right away get a copy of Hotel California. Since then I will have a contest with anyone who thinks they know more about that album. And I didn’t even go out last night – ON A FRIDAY NIGHT – so I could stay home and watch Miami Vice because Glenn Frey was on it. (Glenn Frey wrote the lyrics to the song “Hotel California” and they’re ONLY THE BEST LYRICS EVER WRITTEN!) He was a pretty decent actor really. If only Joe Walsh would take a cue from old Glenn and try out an acting career, then Joe could get a big movie part and they could hire me to play his little brother in the movie!!!!!


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Where is David Bowie?


Handwritten page of a diary dated December 6, 1974

… sent me this Polaroid with a note “This is the outfit I’m going to wear in London in case I run into David Bowie. Do you think he’ll see me somewhere and have to stop and talk to me?”

I didn’t really want to get into it much, because she and I just had a huge argument about the fact that she only plays the “Diamond Dogs” album whenever I go to her house. I’ve told her a hundred times that just because it’s the NEWEST album doesn’t mean it’s the BEST.

I wrote back and said, “I don’t know for sure but I think he’s out on tour all the time. I saw him on the Dick Cavett show a couple of nights ago.” What I WANTED to say is “No. Sorry Charlotte. Even if you tracked down David Bowie, he will not be dazzled by you enough to stop and ask you for a date — because David Bowie is a lot prettier than you.”


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Published in: on January 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm  Comments (1)  

‘Mamie Eisenhower’ pink

50s pink washing machine

Handwritten page of a diary dated February 6, 1954

… special ordered her new Frigidaire washer and dryer so she could get them in “First Lady Pink” — which is now a genuine official color!

Mama has gone a little crazy over Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower. Ever since she saw that picture of the pink gown Mamie wore to the inauguration ball last year, Mama cannot buy anything new unless it is pink.

Let me tell you, I’m a girl too, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress that color. If James Dean himself knocked on the door and offered to take me on a date to the Brown Derby in Hollywood and I had only either that dress or a pair of blue jeans, then blue jeans here we go.


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Published in: on January 11, 2016 at 1:46 am  Comments (1)  

‘All the sugar and twice the caffeine.’


Handwritten page of a diary dated October 4, 1986

… said “You’re 12. I let you go see the ‘Crocodile Dundee’ even though it’s a PG-13 movie. But I am not gonna buy you Jolt Cola. Look right there on the can. It says ‘All the sugar and twice the caffeine.’”

I only have about a 50% success rate at talking her into stuff, so I knew I’d have to think fast. Then I remembered how worried she was a few months ago when the Chernobyl plant blew sky high so I told her with the way all that radiation is in the air, I probably won’t live long anyway, so I should experience things while I can.

It worked? Huh? She agreed to buy it — “but not a whole six-pack” she said, and of course the cashier was not happy to try to figure out how much to charge her for one can that she yanked out off the plastic sleeve.

I went home and poured that Jolt Cola over ice and slurped it down. Just tasted like Pepsi I guess, but then I got in the closet and got out my Star Wars light saber. Even though it doesn’t light up any more I couldn’t stop swinging that thing around. I went in the kitchen where Mom was watching some taped episode of “Dynasty” or “Falcon Crest” as she was chopping up an onion.

I pointed to her hand and said “That’s not a knife.” Then I raised my light saber and said “THAT’S a knife!”

She looked at me funny, so I told her it was the most famous line in “Crocodile Dundee.” She wasn’t even a little bit impressed.

Now it’s about 1 a.m. and I can’t sleep. That Jolt rush was pretty fun at first, but now I’m laying in bed and I can’t stop thinking about stuff that normally doesn’t even cross my mind. Like why does my dad have to dress like he’s in “Miami Vice”? What if Mad Cow disease comes to America and we can’t even eat hamburgers any more?  Why did Yoda have to die in “Return of the Jedi”? Why do I spend so much time thinking about marrying Whitney Houston when I don’t even like any of her songs?


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