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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Andy Gibb in our living room


Handwritten page of a diary dated June 24, 1979

… thought I liked him. Invited him along. Wondered how I was going to get his attention when he was going out dancing with all four of us.

But ouch. He walked in looking like ANDY GIBB!!!  Ha. When I met him his hair was NOT poofed up in back like that.

And another ouch — first thing he said was “What it is?”

Embarrassed, but I thought we’d all laugh about it later. Then! What? They seemed to like him. Talked me into taking their picture with him.

Denise and I finally got a chance to talk in the kitchen.

This is me: “Can you believe him?”

This is her: “Yeah, all he’s looking at is Barb. And you know why? Because she’s wearing a tube top. I would never wear a tube top. To me it’s like you’re saying, ‘Look how easy this would be to pull off of me.’ But wait, you’re the one who liked him. Aren’t you mad?”

This is me: “Um. No Denise. I’m not mad!”

This is her: “But when we first came in here you were singing ‘I Just Wanna Be Your Everything.’ “

This is me: “No. That’s an Andy Gibb song. Oh never mind.”

I told her they could all fight over him, I was bowing out. Next thing I know they’ve all decided to change their plans from going to the club I like that plays at least SOME rock. They want to go all-out disco.

He put the Andy Gibb spell on them — they all caved like a row of dominos.


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‘Route 66’


Handwritten page of a diary dated November 10, 1962

… because you KNOW that any old boy like me in his tender teenage years would have noticed this magazine page on account of the radioactive blond. But since I know she’d never look my way I paid attention to the TV, which I want to get for my room — for when I get sent there (that happens once in a while, ha ha) or when the family is watching some stupid show.

I knew Dad probably wouldn’t give in, but I didn’t know he’d actually get sore about it. He says “When I bought your mother a genuine Danish TV set with a Hi-Fi record player in the cabinet, I thought that would be all we’d need for a while. Who do you think we are, the Rockefellers? Yes, I’m John Rockefeller all right.” Then he points to his brother Timmy, who he usually calls “Deadbeat” and says, “You must be Nelson Rockefeller.”

Then my mom hands me a little piece of paper and it says “Meet me in the basement at 4 p.m. sharp.” When I get there she and Uncle Timmy are sitting there at a card table. She tries to make it all like a business meeting, but the gist of it is that she and Uncle Timmy are going to buy the little TV. She wants to have it in the kitchen to watch “As the World Turns” and then she’ll sneak it off to my room before Dad gets home from work. She says “I know you like Combat and Route 66 but you have to get it to Timmy’s room in time for the Tonight Show because he likes that new guy.” Timmy says “Johnny Carson.” They want a little of my lawn mowing money, but still — pretty snazzy deal for yours truly!!!!!!!

Then Mom says “On that show Route 66, how do those men have the money to just be on a road trip all the time and never hold down a job?” I was thinking “I don’t know Mom but I’m hoping to figure it out by the time I’m their age.”


Published in: on January 5, 2016 at 3:00 pm  Comments (1)  

‘Line up boys …’


Handwritten page of a diary dated January 7, 1984

… out last night (YES, I know, there goes my New Year’s Resolution, but it’s not the fastest I ever broke one). Let’s state, for the record, I didn’t drink, but the worst thing is how smoky my hair smells after a night at Club Exit, but where else would a Niagara Falls girl go if she has a weakness for Canadian guys. As usual, plenty of them crossed the border last night, as in “Line up boys. Hmm, I’ll take that one and that one.” But I couldn’t find a single one that looked worth the price of even a short long-distance-phone-call relationship. Three times I got asked for my number, and three times I answered “867-5309” and not one of those guys figured out that it’s the phone number from the Tommy Tutone song. Airheads.


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Published in: on January 2, 2016 at 7:14 pm  Comments (2)