Frown, and the chocolate cake goes away

frown and the chocolate cake goes

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 12, 1989

How much chocolaty-er could the cake have been?

I give it to Saschi and she says “There’s white frosting on it. I wanted a CHOCOLATE cake.”

Little did she know it was the last straw. Even I didn’t know that I was that tired of her whining, but it’s not surprising. I spent the entire day elbow-deep in a dark chocolate world, and then she frowned when I brought it out. Without flinching, I picked up the cake and put the cover back on it. I turned to where her friends and family were standing and I said — ‘In 15 minutes I will be having a cake party at my house and everyone here, except Saschi, is invited. Bye for now.’ And I just marched out the door.

Wow, when did I get so assertive? I wasn’t even angry or shaky or anything. I just drove back to my house and set out some plates and napkins in case a few people stopped by later.

Ha ha, didn’t take long. Half hour later almost every person who’d seen the cake was around my dining room table helping me finish it off. We had a great time and a few people offered to buy the same cake from me for their birthdays.

Saschi will call sooner or later, but will I ever bake for her again? Not even if she crawls to me on her hands and knees and grovels (though I would like to get that on the camcorder)


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Published in: on March 31, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Magic shirt

Handwritten page of a diary October 11, 1987

no one believes it when I say it. But if there’s no such thing as a magic shirt then why has something good happened every single time I’ve worn this one?

Just a few of the best:

1. Very first time I wore it, I met June
2. Found my favorite sunglasses that I thought were lost forever
3. Got a call from Marlon and got to visit him for the only time in the last five years
4. Had a chance to get drunk without anyone knowing it and I didn’t (Yay me!)
5. Found a new favorite movie — “Ferris Bueller”
5. Wendell told me he was taking me downtown to see the three most talented strippers EVER, and he was so right
6. Five days later June forgave me for letting Wendell talk me into seeing strippers


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Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

The Waltons would like my dress better than hers

New York wedding dress

Handwritten page of a diary dated January 7, 2009

and I said I think you’d like this wedding better if you could take a time-machine-ride back to the Waltons and get me a dress by mail order through Ike Godzee’s store. Then she said she was surprised I knew Ike Godzee’s name and if I watched so many of her taped episodes of the Waltons then I should understand that the wedding gown I want is “riskay” because it has a corset top and it looks like lingerie. Then I said you think that’s bad you should see this picture someone sent to my email the other day. So I showed her the picture of the blond girl — her wedding dress barely has a top section at all.

She looked at it with her jaw open as far as it would go. For a long time. Then she said that photo isn’t real — someone must have photoshopped that picture.

She watches on TV a show called “Say Yes to the Dress” and she said Kleinfeld’s wouldn’t sell a dress like that. Then I said yeah, if someone wanted that altered like that and would pay for it to be done, of course they would. Then she said, no, they’re more tasteful than that. Then I said, sorry Mom, but money talks. Then she said money can’t buy taste.

She came back in later, said, Show me again that wedding dress you want, so I brought it up on the computer, but I made sure to have the almost topless bride picture open right next to it, so mine would look all Waltony in comparison. And I think it worked too, because she said maybe we could go to the shop and let me try it on.


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Published in: on March 29, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Ready to move into my castle

Ready to move into my castle

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 10, 2007

in the teacher’s lounge. Yesterday all the discussion was still about Larry Birkhead being named the true biological father of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter, and someone asked me, single father that I am, whether I think Larry Birkhead can handle the responsibility.

But at that point in the day I had bigger things on my mind since last night was the night for Jessie’s birthday party and I was worrying that mini-golf wasn’t the best plan since the four friends she invited are all so young. Lucky for me, some of the moms came along and we got them through the course all right and everything seemed normal until the last hole. Jessie saw that castle and she was transfixed. She walked toward it like she had seen the promised land. I had to pick her up and set her on top of the concrete wall so her friends could hit the balls through. Jessie never once took her eyes off that castle. She didn’t even want to go to the picnic table area to eat birthday cake, but she calmed down because she found a spot where she had a view of her castle.

If we’re headed into a princess phase here, I’m in trouble. The best I can do is keep her away from the story of Cinderella. I don’t want her thinking the way to move into a castle is to meet a prince. That’s what Anna Nicole thought, and look how that turned out for her. Good luck Larry Birkhead. I think you and I have big jobs ahead of us.


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Published in: on March 26, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Mystery umbrella man

Mystery umbrella man

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 3, 1973

love Wales so much, I wish I could stay here — and I wished that even before I “met” the guy behind the umbrella. The truth is I’ve met him only by his voice — which is nice. He has a Welsh accent, like Tom Jones.

I was wandering around the village and enjoying a little freedom from the family for a change and I guess he saw me first. He said he did. Then he got on the other side of the wall and got it arranged so I couldn’t see much of him — but he looks goooood (as much as I can tell from seeing him only from the knees down).

While he told me a story about his town in Wales, I started wondering if his trousers had big pouches on the side or whether I was seeing the bottom of his coat.

I told him I’m pretty strong and I could tackle him if I wanted to see his face but he laughed and said he wasn’t worried. I really thought about doing it — but then I thought maybe those aren’t pouches on the side of his trousers — maybe that’s his trousers hanging there because they’re undone — eew — and if he’s a pervert who is exposing himself behind there, I wouldn’t exactly want to tackle him and fall on top of him.

After about a half hour, I liked him and knew he wasn’t a flasher. I sat on the ground but he was still standing up. I asked him if his arms were tired from staying in one position. I said I could stay here for as long as it took until he showed himself but he laughed and said he could wait it out. And he was right. I had to go to the loo — HAD TO. He said if I meet him later for dinner he would show me his face so now I’m sitting here deciding whether I will. I want to. I wandered by the cafe where he wants me to meet him and I love it. I took a shower and put on a clean dress. I only have another 45 minutes to decide whether to go.


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Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 4:30 am  Comments (1)  

Coolest square dancing

The cooler square dancing

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 1, 2002

ever since Vince Vaughn was talking to David Letterman last fall. Vince said this was something his dad used to say to him: “I square-danced twice in towns you ain’t even heard of.” I thought that was so funny. That’s the kind of old person I want to be. I wonder if I should learn to square-dance now so I’ll be ready.

I was walking around our house a lot saying “I square-danced twice in towns you ain’t even heard of”. Even when it didn’t even relate to any particular conversation that was going on. Probably in an effort to shut me up, Aunt Mary Jo she said she knew this lady down the street who used to be a square dancer and did I want to meet her? I said sure I do. I’ll meet anybody once. So she took me to see this lady named Ruby (I’d seen her before but didn’t know her name).

I got a little bored waiting for Ruby to dig around looking for her old pictures but it was worth it. I thought in the picture she’d wear one of those ruffly lace skirts and I’d have to try not to laugh at her. But her kind of square dancing was much cooler because they wore their regular clothes and had decent looking guys to dance with.

I can’t even look at Ruby the same way now. She was actually cool in the 1940s. You’d never know it if you just saw her sitting on her porch.


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Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Flaming birthday cake

Flaming birthday cake

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 30, 1985

the day I knew Grandpa Bill was on his last leg. It was about ten years ago. I pulled this great flaming birthday cake trick and he didn’t even laugh. He’s the one who taught me how to prank people in the first place, and when he was younger he would’ve laughed all night and into the next day about this. But he just looked at the cake like it was an everyday normal occurrence for a cake to erupt into fireballs.

I don’t think this was mean. He had a very strict standard that nobody had to be hurt or embarrassed by a stunt and no property could be ruined. I mean this cake was fine after the fire. I told the bakery to put extra frosting on the top so we’d have one layer to scrape off and we all ate it and survived you know.

The very first time I went with him I thought he was the most awesome man who ever lived. He bought about three big bags of suckers at the store, those ones that had a loop for a handle and he bought a roll of scotch tape. Then he made me get up really early the next morning and we went all around our neighborhood taping suckers to peoples mailboxes and trees and then we went to the park and taped them on the slide and the jungle jim.

Then when Aunt Patricia was on her honeymoon, I helped him with another good one he thought up. She had all her wedding gifts in the spare room to open after their trip to Cancun. So we measured each box and found empty boxes about the same size in the attic. We unwrapped the gifts carefully so we wouldn’t damage the wrapping paper and bows and we made a list of what gifts went with what cards. Then we went to the Salvation Army store and bought the ugliest most broken old stuff we could find and took it home, put it in those boxes and wrapped it with the nice paper and bows. The hardest part was he told me I couldn’t laugh right away when she started opening the presents, and I had to leave the room a couple times so I wouldn’t give it away too soon.

That was a good one. Being his assistant was super super fun. I still pull something off every once in a while in his honor. But not with cakes.


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Published in: on March 23, 2010 at 4:30 am  Comments (1)  

Red red wine make me feel so fine

Steak barbecueing

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 25, 1989

shocking that Mom splurged and bought a huge steak for everyone to have their own. She did because it was the first barbecue of the season, and the first time it was warm enough to eat on the patio. That meat smelled so good, and it musta gone up in Andy’s window, because he even came down from his room to eat with us.

He brought his radio down and there was a song Red Red Wine, and we were all singing “Red red wine make me feel so fine feel so fine all of the time” and even mom and grandpa were singing with us. And Dianne too. And they probably never heard that song before and they probably never had any wine in their life. I kind of was sorry when mom got cold and went inside, but everybody still stayed together by following her in to the kitchen, which was a surprising thing since we usually never hang with mom after supper.

Grandpa brought the Vienetta ice cream with the zillion crispy chocolate layers between. I love that commercial where they eat it in a goblet at a dinner party, so I got out our juice goblets and we ate ours that way too and Andy said with a English accent “one slice is never enough.” Just like on TV.

I usually don’t go for this kind of mushy family togetherness, but it was pretty good, even besides the good food.


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Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Salvation Army lamp

Salvation Army lamp

Handwritten page of a diary dated February 27, 2000

because I’d finally put my feet up after a long day of moving my stuff (not that much) and Benny’s stuff (scads). But the one thing neither of us owned was a lamp and I didn’t think it’d be so urgent but the new place didn’t have any overhead lights which I failed to notice until the sun started to go down. I had spent most of my money on the u-haul and Benny had no money of course because he has to spend it the minute it crosses his hand, so I sent him with my last four dollars because I’d seen a Salvation Army store about two blocks from here. I told him to get the least ugly lamp they had.

He came back all pleased with himself because with four dollars he bought a lamp AND a small book with pictures of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. The lamp was a putrid color and not only that, but I had to bite my tongue to not tell him he bought a useless book with what might be the last dollar we have for about a week. Lucky for him, the lamp had a bulb in it so we could see what we were doing for the next six nights and it was on one of those nights that I couldn’t sleep and I got up and wandered around and ended up looking at the Russian cathedral book. I was stunned because on the wall there, they have this astounding painted pattern on a blue background that’s close enough to the color of the lamp! And one thing I do have is paint, so the rest of the night I took out my smallest brush and tried to copy the pattern from that Russian wall onto the lamp.

Benny got up the next morning and told me that was the best painting I ever did and maybe we could sell that lamp to a shop, and then he could take a few dollars of the profit and go buy another cheap lamp for me to work on and if I could stay up all night once every week and do something this awesome, then in about six months we could buy a bigger TV


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Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Downtown 1955

Downtown 1955

Handwritten page of a diary dated September 24, 1977

at the funeral they had this picture of her which if I hadn’t been sobbing I might have not liked so much because I look quite ugly with my little tight pin curls. But she looks good as usual except for her being so paranoid, holding on to her purse as if someone will snatch it which I guess was a possibility back then, well anytime really in a big city which makes me glad I don’t live in one any more. But I see how she was putting her hand on my arm because she sees a sailor coming in our direction. What did she think he was gonna do in that group of pretty women, get his eye on the one awkward adolescent girl and make a grab for me? I should’ve been so lucky (kidding).

I like the white car on the right side of this picture, if I had that thing now and got Willie to get it running smooth, I could sell it for big money.

I gotta give her credit though, she took me downtown when I got my heart set on something like a Chuck Berry 45 or my Annie Oakley board game or my genuine alligator purse. Hey, there was a jumprope poem about an alligator purse — call for the doctor call for the nurse call for the lady with the alligator purse. I wonder where my jump rope is. I could use some exercise. I look better than I thought I would at my age but not as good as she did on her worst day.


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Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment