‘Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna’

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 4, 1994

… wasn’t going to agree to be editor again this year. I was like — Let some junior do it, like I did last year. Just let me coast through senior year without all the headaches. But I got talked into it.

So today I’m playing Yahtzee with my mom and she’s like — you’re such a good writer that it must be easy for you to fix up the bad stories that some kids turn in. AS IF!!! Like, I told her about a story turned in last week that MADE NO SENSE. I’m like — imagine if someone just put a bunch of words on these dice in the Yahtzee game and just shook the dice and threw them out and just wrote down the words in the order they spill out onto the table.

She’s like — that can be good sometimes, like in song lyrics. The minute she brings up the Beatles, I go — DUDE, stop. But it’s too late and she’s singing stuff from I am the Walrus. Which, I don’t really mind that song, but I’d NEVER tell her that. Then she goes — I thought you liked that song called  I’m A Loser Baby So Why Don’t you Kill Me? What about when that guy says — beefcake pantyhose? What about when he says — spray paint the vegetables?

OK, I was surprised she knew the words to that song, AND she was actually kind of right. But what……ever.

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Original image:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yahtzee_game_example.jpg

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Published in: on October 18, 2019 at 5:51 am  Comments (2)  

Rat Pack

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 4, 1963

… never cried in front of me until today. Jessie’s mom cries at least once a month, doesn’t matter who is in the room. But my mom — NEVER!!!!!

It was today when we were leaving the hotel. We walked by these old guys wearing suits, getting their pictures taken, and she said “Rat Pack.” I don’t know what that means. Some kind of code words?

When she first said she wanted to come to Vegas I thought she wanted to gamble, but her big reason was to eat at the Golden Steer. She dated this older man who always promised her a Porterhouse there, and when she dumped him she said she could buy her own damn Porterhouse at the Golden Steer.

She’s not crying really hard. She can still talk. In fact I could clearly understand her when she told me we would go out for steak tomorrow instead of today. She stood there for a while until the men getting their pictures taken walked away, then she gave me money to go find some sandwiches for us. She told me to bring them back to our room, where she would be trying to compose herself. Whatever you say Mom.

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Original image:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960s_in_Western_fashion

‘You Know My Name (Look up the Number)

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 9, 1970

… first time I felt like I was lost in Philadelphia and I needed to call my mom to tell her I’d be late picking her up from work. So I stopped the car and went into a school I’d never heard of, but when I finally found a phone, I didn’t have a dime on me.

Luckily a sympathetic (and surprisingly young) janitor gave me a dime and then I forgot my mom’s number at work. I called 411 but then I couldn’t remember her boss’s name. I said “I need the number for Dennis …” The operator waited and said “Last name please.” All I could think of was Dennis O’Bell, but that’s not her boss’s last name, that’s the name of the guy in the Beatles song on the B side of “Let it Be.”  I mean ALL I could think of was that song — “You know my name, look up the number.” And the part where they say “Good evening and welcome to Slaggers, let’s hear it for Dennis O’Bell.” So I had to hang up. Again the janitor saved the day. I gave him his dime back and he gave me directions to get downtown.

All the way home, while my mom was complaining about me showing up late, I was thinking about how the janitor at that school sure was better looking than the janitors we have at our school.

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Original image:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payphone
Published in: on January 18, 2019 at 2:58 am  Comments (2)  

As if!

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 5, 2015

… trying to throw shade because of my eye makeup for my yearbook pic.

I said – Mom I practically invented this new way to use eyeliner.

She said – As if! It’s too strange now and it was too strange when my grandma got her picture taken that way in 1960.

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Original image:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C0cypQKXUAAHgBW.jpg

 

Published in: on January 6, 2019 at 2:31 pm  Comments (2)  

“Handy unbreakable tube”

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 25, 1965

… would go crazy if I had this insulated bag to take to the beach this summer AND IT MATCHES THE COLORS OF MY BATHING SUIT!!!! I think it’s destiny for me to own this.

But my mom never buys Prell because it’s not the cheapest kind (and on top of that, she says she wants to meet the man who invented green shampoo that will turn all our hair green). And she won’t even let me cut the proof of purchase off the Crest toothpaste tube because there’s still a little left in there. I explained how I would fix the tube with masking tape but she still said no.

Fine. I know Aunt Babbette uses Prell. And if I give her this 5 cent coupon, she might buy more.

I’ll get this picnic bag if it’s the last thing I do all year.

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Original image:
www.flickr.com/photos/29069717@N02/21416254694
Published in: on September 12, 2017 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  

‘Do what you wanna do’

bedroom-427634_1280

Handwritten page of a diary dated November 24, 1966

… first time i ever slept in Granny’s attic, um, I don’t know but I think by the time I was old enough to realize it seemed like it belonged in a scary movie, I was kind of used to it. I slept there every time we went to visit her. The first time I bumped my head on that leaning tower of Piza wall, I was about 10 so I told Granny that it would make more sense to make the bed with the pillow on the other end of the bed but she said then if I moved too much in the night I’d knock the pillows “clean off the bed.”  And she said it would be like sleeping upside down, which made me laugh but she didn’t laugh.

So I had to wait till she tucked me in and after she left I shifted the whole operation. But I felt so guilty. Like if she came back in for some reason and didn’t see my head by the wall she’d be all wigged out. Which never happened by the way. She still doesn’t know about it. And I’ve been doing it for a few years! EVERY TIME WE GO THERE!

Advice to my future self. If there’s something you want to do, just do it. It’s like that song on Belinda’s Mamas & the Papas album: “Go where you wanna go. Do what you wanna do.” I mean not like a bank heist or something like that. But, you know.

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Original image:
https://pixabay.com/en/bedroom-sleeping-old-vintage-427634/
Published in: on August 27, 2016 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Turn up the heat

Landscape

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 18, 1968

… don’t know why we had to move to this godforsaken blizzarding state anyway when it was perfectly nice living in San Francisco. I was walking home from school today with my scarf covering my nose — UNTIL the scarf got wet from me breathing into it. Eeeew. I got home and told my mom to take back whatever stupid frilly dresses she bought me because all I want for Christmas is a space heater for my bedroom. Then she said the thermostat is set at 64 and that’s plenty warm for any human beings who are wearing a sweater. Then she pulls out a picture of her and her dippy friends posing in bathing suits out in the snow.

The only sweaters I have are some she picked out for me, which are all itchy, so I put on my bathrobe and listened to the Doors song called “Wintertime Love.” When Jim Morrison sings “Keeping you warm, your hands touching me”  I have a fantasy that my mom walks in my bedroom she goes ape because she sees that Jim Morrison and I are here under a blanket rubbing up against each other to keep warm. That would serve her right for bringing me up here to the arctic north.

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Original image:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NYA-Weiser,_Idaho-Residence_School-%22Come_on_in…the_snow%27s_fine%22-girls_of_the_NYA_Federal_Residence_School_take_time…_-_NARA_-_197139.tif
Published in: on July 18, 2016 at 3:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Not like Grandma’s

chef boy ar dee

Handwritten page of a diary dated September 10, 1961

… was getting dragged to Grandma’s house every Sunday but it was worth it (even though I know too many Louis Prima songs by heart now) because Grandma is the best cook in this world. Or even if Yuri Gagarin discovers another world, it won’t have a better cook. Grandma was born in Italy and I guess that’s where she learned a thing or two about tomatoes and basil. So we had the kind of Italian food that you can’t even get if you pay big moolah to eat downtown at Guiseppe’s Pasta Italiano. In fact I always dreamed that instead of getting a real job some day I would live my own La Dolce Vita by bottling Grandma’s sauce and hiring a crack team of salesmen to hock it to grocery stores.

But today Grandma brought a plate of raviolis to the table and everyone could tell they looked different. But looking different was only the start. These things tasted like bad news. So Dad asked where they came from, and he laid it on her about as nice as anyone coulda. Then Grandma says they came from a can!! She saw it in a magazine and thought how much easier it would be if she let Chef Boy-Ar-Dee do all the hard work. They promised it was “authentic.”

Man oh man, far as I’m concerned, Grandma’s house is now officially Nowheresville.

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Original image:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29069717@N02/14191575977/in/photostream/
Published in: on March 14, 2016 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  

‘Route 66’

1962

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.”

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkponk/517248803/in/photostream/

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

Janis Joplin and Tom Jones? Huh?

Janis and Tom

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 5, 1969

…   older sister was watching the Tom Jones show on TV which I never bother with but she came up and said “one of YOUR people is going to be on it tonight” ha ha which means someone who can really rock out more than Tom Jones which by the way doesn’t take much. So I go down there and she has abandoned her Pepsi which I wipe off her cooties from and drink it because it still seems cold. Then Janis Joplin comes on! Wow. I mean Tom Jones should sing with her more often because he did actually keep pace with her screaming and he really doesn’t have such a corny voice when he’s not singing to old 30 year old women!

Original image:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Janis_Joplin_Tom_Jones_1969.JPG
Published in: on November 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm  Comments (1)