Simon Cowell gets a smackdown

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 24, 2002

had the most bizarro dream. I was walking down the street with Simon Cowell (the grumpy judge on that new show – American Idol) and the girl who played Valerie Bertinelli’s older sister (on that old show with their short redheaded mother and Schneider, the building fix-it guy).

So this old guy whips up to the curb driving a shiny black car and he jumps out, dressed like somebody from the Harry Potter movie, and he smacks Simon Cowell in the jaw. Then the old guy jumps on his car and starts singing “I’m coming up so you better get this party started.”

I told Eddie about this dream. Of course he thought I was making it up. People always think that.


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Published in: on January 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

What’s the plural of moose?

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 29, 2004

she did actually shut up for two or three seconds in a row except we started following that flatbed truck so it gave her some new things to argue with me about.

Like what is the word for the plural of moose? I said mooses and R. said maybe it’s meese although she doesn’t think so but she hopes so because it has a nice ring to it. (In this case neither one of us won that argument because later we found out the correct sentence would be “Am I having an extended hallucinatory experience or am I seriously driving a car on a crowded freeway behind a truck full of MOOSE?”)

We agreed that the animals in question weren’t real, but she said the cowboy was a real guy. Oh come on. He may have looked more real than the MOOSE, but he didn’t move. At all. And if he’s going to ride in the open air on the highway would he sit on a perch like that at risk for a car like mine to run into his truck and knock him over and make him take a painful cement skid?

The most ongoing argument was, should we follow the MOOSE? I said yes, as long as it takes, since we have a long trip ahead of us and it will keep us going but R. said she had to pee again and oh, since we’re stopping anyway she wanted another Mountain Dew. My theory is if she keeps getting a new Mountain Dew every hour of her life, she will NOT shut up — even when it’s my turn to take a nap.


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Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 9:40 am  Comments (6)  

Tips for a long life

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 19, 1988

the day she turned 100 years old she gave me five pieces of advice for how to live a long life.

1. At least 4 days of each week, get 8 hours of sleep. Any day you get less than 6 hours, take a 25 minute nap.
2. Every day, before you eat anything, walk up and down some stairs for three minutes, then eat a piece of fruit and drink 402 milliliters of Gatorade. Two cups is too much, one and a half cups is not enough.
3. Stretch your arms out above your head and back behind you as far as possible. It helps to use a broom.
4. Think of one positive quality about someone else, whether it’s one of your siblings or the guy who played Uncle Joe on ‘Petticoat Junction.’ Anyone.
5. Before you go to bed, if something is bothering you condense it to one sentence, write it on a piece of paper and rip the paper into as many tiny little shreds as you can. I said could I use an electric paper shredder and she said no.

I’m not sure I can believe it took each of the five things to keep her living past 100. But since I don’t know which were the genuine important ones, I’ll just keep doing them all for now.

Photo courtesy of Andy Levine
Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 4:03 am  Comments (3)  

Admiral Halsey notified me

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 4, 1975

I didn’t ESPECIALLY want to be with my sister’s friends any more than she wanted me to be there. They had some bad smelling cigarettes and they were singing over and over this song — Admiral Halsey notified me and We haven’t done a bloody thing all day — that’s all I remember.
Then they drug me into this building and she said, just wait here and I musta fallen asleep and I woke up and I said “Kid, are you riding a chicken?” and he said “Why are you callin me kid since you’re not that much older than me?” and I said “But are you?” and he said “well I’m sittin on this chicken yeah. It’s not movin so it’s not really a RIDE.” Smart aleck kid.

I finally got home and took ANOTHER nap and then I was confused so I looked in the encyclopedia — there really was an Admiral Halsey in World War Two, so I think I remembered that part right. I’m just not so sure that I talked to a kid on a giant chicken.

Photo courtesy of Andy Levine
Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm  Comments (2)  

Your brooch is drooling

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 2, 1980

had this pin made up with her dog’s picture. It looked kind of, well, um, to be nice, I’ll say it looked curious. And Grandma even wanted to be buried with that pin on, but Mom forgot to take it to the funeral home for them to put it on Grandma’s dress. Mom felt pretty guilty, I’ll tell you that much. So when I asked her if I could wear the pin to school some day she perked right up. She said I think your Grandma would like that.

What would really be super ultra hilarious is if I could rig it up so there’s a tiny hole on the dog’s tongue hooked up to a tiny tube that connects to a flat pouch of water in my pocket and then people looking at the dog would think it’s drooling like it actually did all the time when it was alive.

Photo courtesy of Andy Levine
Published in: on January 8, 2011 at 12:32 am  Comments (2)  

Let me get some sleep wouldja?

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 1, 1973

look around and everyone’s gone home and I think hey, we were just getting started on our project. God. You guys. C’mon. Let’s keep working on it.

I don’t mind school when it gets this time in the afternoon and I start to finally wake up.

People would think I’m a spaz if I admit it, but I really really really LIKE school sometimes. God. I just don’t know why it has to start at the crack of dawn.


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Published in: on January 3, 2011 at 2:28 am  Comments (1)