Her most embarrassing moment

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 22, 1972

so if you ever wanted to know if you can feel sorry for someone you hate, the answer is yes. I mean yeah Melissa gets on my nerves almost once a day and when she decided to have this slumber party Mom asked if I would sleep on that rusty cot in the attic so they could fit two girls in my bed! Are you kidding me!
 Last night her loud friends filled up our house and I started wishing Melissa would get a terminal illness in the next 10 minutes and do a lot of quiet but painful suffering before her death.
The first time I passed by the living room I saw that she probably also wished she could die because Dad was playing the guitar and singing Michael Row the Boat Ashore and the girls were laughing kinda nervouslike but you know that didn’t stop him. Then the next time I went by on my way to the attic Dad was singing the theme from Love Story and it was even sappier than the way Andy Williams sings it on the radio:

“How long does it last ?
Can love be measured by the hours in a day?
I have no answers now, but this much I can say,
I know I’ll need her till the stars all burn awaaaay …”

Poor Melissa, her little face was frozen in shock.

“… And sheeeee’ll be there.”


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blind date with a scab

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 2, 2010

scab is so big it has hairs growing out of it. It’s so big it has mountains and valleys. It’s so big it has every color of brown there is to have.

when we first met at the restaurant he mentioned it and I asked him how he’d gotten such a big gash and he told me. but even half an hour later when his arm was just laying there on the table I couldn’t stop staring at it, trying to estimate how long that scab would last, what kind of scar it might leave, whether he had picked at any of that dry skin on the sides. I started seeing the shape of a bug with two giant eye sockets, swimming in a pool of pink water.

he’s a great guy, but I’m afraid if he tries to kiss me tonight, I”ll freak out if I see the scab lunging toward me.


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Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Beanie Babies will make us rich

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 16, 1999

said if I would take a picture with my new camera, she would get all the Beanie Babies off the shelf. She started out arranging them very carefully on her bed, but then she got the idea that she wanted to be in the middle of them all, so she asked Nicole (since Nicole is tall enough to reach the top shelf) to put them all around her. Then there was a little crisis because she couldn’t find her white chicken, and she wanted to hold that one, but I dug it out for her.

I always act very patient with Grandma, because when she does get rich, I want to be on her good side. She says even though she spent a lot of money on these Beanie Babies, some day they are going to be worth “a staggering sum.” Her biggest wish is to stroll by the Eiffel Tower on her way to eat fancy pastries and she said whoever would take French would get to go with her as a translator. Nicole decided to take a computer programming class instead, but I think I’ll have a brighter future if I stick with French, even though the second semester of it is also taught by Madame Relnick. When that Beanie Baby money rolls in, and I’m living in a Paris villa, Nicole will be sorry that she has to spend her days sitting in a cubicle looking at long lines of zeros and colons and backslashes.


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Published in: on May 23, 2011 at 9:37 am  Leave a Comment  

‘little silhouetto of a man’

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 17, 1976

leave your kid with me for 45 minutes? Are you crazy? The combined total of what I know about taking care of kids is something like ZERO.

Just because I’m working in my dad’s boring office this summer doesn’t mean that if you have an appointment with him, I’m your free babysitter. And you’d think he would have a box of toys or something for these situations, but, as Steve Martin would say, “but NOOOOOO.”

This poor kid today only had one toy with him some little wobbly plastic doll guy, so I put it on the floor and shined a light on the back of him to make it all dramatic. The fun of that only lasted about 49 seconds, and then the kid looked at me like he was thinking “Yeah. What now?”

So I started singing “I see a little silhouetto of a man, skaramoosh, skaramoosh, will you do the fandango,” and he laughed his head off Man. I don’t think he was laughing because he knows that’s a pretty funny song by Queen. I think he was laughing because I gave him my high voice that I’ve only ever used in the shower. Then when I went on he just stared at me. He didn’t laugh again till I sang more high parts — “will not let you go.”


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Published in: on May 18, 2011 at 7:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ivy League harmonica

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 19, 1995

asked me what I want to do for a living and I said — play the harmonica. Duh.

She said that’s a nice hobby, but really, you’ll be leaving for college soon and you need to start thinking about what will actually land you an income.

I said Big Mama Thornton didn’t think about what she wanted to do for a living. She just had the blues deep down in her soul. Like me.

She said Big Mama Thornton didn’t get the chance to go to Brown University like you do.

I don’t get why she doesn’t think I could have the blues just because my family can afford to send me to a really good school. The blues isn’t about money.

And besides, she was the one who gave me the harmonica when I was barely old enough to walk. I can’t help it if I got really really good at it.


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Published in: on May 13, 2011 at 10:06 am  Comments (3)  

Nurse’s office

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 24, 1963

always wondered this, but now I can say for sure that it is really really strange to hear your own name called out on the little speaker. Of course I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong to see the principal for, so it did cross my mind that Mom had been in a grisly car accident or something. But no. It was only my sister who needed to be taken home because she had a “belly ache” and they couldn’t reach Mom so they called me in.
I must admit it was fun to take a few hours off school and of course I did milk this thing for all it was worth. One of the things was, at bedtime I said I wasn’t sure I’d be able to sleep due to thinking about how after all the hours and hours of dullness I sat through at this school maybe this woulda been the one afternoon when I was finally about ready to learn something really important that mighta changed my whole life. So she let me stay up late and watch Johnny Carson.


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Published in: on May 11, 2011 at 10:22 am  Comments (1)  

Female criminal

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 1, 1968

new show called the MOD SQUAD and it’s pretty good. It almost makes me want to be an undercover cop. I say almost because my real goal is to become a glamorous criminal, which I hadn’t thought of doing until my uncle gave me a box of comic books from his attic. They’re titled CRIMES BY WOMEN. He said he liked them when he was about my age and I said why did you like them if they’re about girls? and he said he liked girls so why wouldn’t he want to read about everything they did, even crimes?
I have to admit some of the stories are pretty corny but they also gave me ideas about how I could pull off some capers. When I was little I watched Dragnet and learned that you can only get caught if you have eyewitnesses OR you leave some blood at the scene and it’s not the victim’s blood type which doesn’t really matter to me since I’m not intending to hurt anyone anyway. I just want to get a lot of money for fast cars and a cool pad where I can throw parties and if it has a sunken living room and a swimming pool then that’s all the better. And I’d like to wear a diamond tiara to the parties and hold a long cigarette holder. The truth is that smoke makes my eyes hurt so I won’t light the cigarettes. I just like the way Audrey Hepburn looked when she carried one around.
Also if someone needs revenge, like in the movie CAT BALLOU the way Jane Fonda was all mad about someone killing her father. Jane Fonda got her own gun but I know some girls who wouldn’t do that — I could help them with those kinds of problems.


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Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 11:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Give us a smile

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 29, 1965

 ‘Those kids in your class are not so friendly looking.’
She said ‘They weren’t really so bad. We just had to sit there a long, long time that day in our good clothes and it took the place of our playtime (I think she meant recess), so they were quite fed up.’
Leave it to my grandma to say something nice about people who didn’t look like they deserved the benefit of the doubt.
I told her she was the only one smiling, and she picked up her little glasses on a stick and looked at it again and said, ‘No, look, that lass in the middle is trying to smile.’
I said, ‘Don’t you remember her name?’ but she said it was almost 50 years ago and she’s met a lot of people since then and you can’t remember everybody’s name.
She grew up in the country of England so I asked her if she knew Benjamin Disraeli, which is a guy we studied in school, but she said he was a little before her time. So I told her he was a prime minister AND he wrote romance books. In History, I asked Mrs. Belman and she said none of our U.S. presidents have done that. I told grandma that our president, Mr. Lyndon Johnson, doesn’t look like he ever had a romantic thought in his life, but she said, ‘Oh, I don’t know. You might be surprised.’


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Published in: on May 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm  Comments (1)