A good warm sleep

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 20, 1978

now that popular music has officially gone right straight down the toilet. I had the radio on all evening and I was turning the dial every two seconds but the only decent song I heard was Baker Street. And I haven’t had any kind of love life for a good six months.

Good thing I have finally saved enough to buy something that will make life worth living again — I’ve been wanting a waterbed since last winter when I was dating Steve. Honestly sex on his bed wasn’t that great. (It’s like someone said, “It’s like playing handball against the drapes.”) But man was that bed warm! Like when you come in from a blizzard there is nothing that warms you up faster than getting into a heated waterbed. Who needs Steve?

I almost didn’t buy the one I bought because it’s round and I haven’t figured out how I’m going to find sheets for it, BUT:

1. The price was right,

2. Waterbeds will last forever, plus they’re only going to get more popular until long after I’m dead,

3. AND I really, truly, I do look good on it.

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Original image:
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Published in: on July 21, 2019 at 2:42 am  Comments (1)  

Bow tie

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 15, 1977

… could barely get him to settle down long enough to take a picture of him, because he COULD NOT STOP SINGING. It drives me crazy. For some reason, every time he gets a bow tie on, he feels the need to sing. Which means our walk to church is the most embarrassing thing in this world.

Today he started singing “Some one’s knocking at the door, someone’s ringing the bell, do me a favor and let ‘em in.” And I want to cringe because Paul McCartney used to be good. But now, what the heck?

That was bad enough, but at least he didn’t scream it out like the new song grandma decided to teach him — which was “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.” That stupid song. She told him it’s meant to be sung loud, which is exactly how he sang it all the rest of the way to church and all the way home.

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Original image:
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Published in: on February 16, 2019 at 4:13 pm  Comments (2)  

Party was a dud

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 31, 1970

… some of the greatest costumes I’ve ever seen in my entire life. So why weren’t we having fun? The photographer told everybody to say cheese, and STILL nobody smiled. I swear I woulda smiled but I was too tense because everyone else was. I think it must be contagious and you don’t even have to know the reason why a few people are tense and all of a sudden you just CAN’T relax. I even took a few deep breaths because my aunt is always telling me to do that at times like this. I guess I felt a little better but boy oh boy I’d sure like to know who put the kibosh on this Halloween party. (I don’t know what a kibosh is but the scary guy next door likes to come outside and yell at us kids that he’s going to put the kibosh on our kickball game, so I’m pretty sure it’s some kind of evil spell.)

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Original image:
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Published in: on January 29, 2019 at 3:43 pm  Comments (1)  

Buckle up for safety

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 20, 1970

… just had to walk in the room when Captain Kangaroo was talking about how you should always hook up your stupid seatbelt. All we need is for Captain Kangaroo to egg mom on to give us more lectures. Every time we get in the new car (complete with seat belts) she says snap your seat belt on. And then my sister and I look at each other and we already know what she’s going to say next — if James Dean had been wearing a seat belt that day, he would still be alive. We don’t even know who James Dean was.

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Original image:
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Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 2:04 am  Comments (1)  

‘Old Man’

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 19, 1974

… in the backyard playing his banjo and my brother keeps saying “I wish he’d just stop playing.” He goes to his room and I follow him.

I say “You used to like it when Grandpa played the banjo. What happened?”

He says “It’s such a dopey instrument.”

I say “Oh really?”

And he says “Yeah, really.”

So I walk over to his record shelf and I pull out the “Harvest” album, and I put in on his stereo and play the song “Old Man” and he says, “Yeah, so what?”

And I know this will kill him because he loves Neil Young more than he loves me, that’s for sure — so when it gets to the part in the middle with banjo in it, I can tell he never noticed that before but he’s trying not to change the expression on his face. He just starts shoving me out of the room and I hear the needle come off the record.

Later I play the song for Grandpa and ask him if he could learn it. He says yeah he could learn that song but he’s never played the banjo that slow and he doesn’t want to start now.

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Published in: on September 30, 2017 at 1:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Probably shouldn’t

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 19, 1979

… it will ROCK to escape the factory and get back to school, but I needed every penny of every paycheck I made this summer. For one thing, a bunch of us are going to the No Nukes Concert at Madison Square Garden next month, and I didn’t want Skinny Bob to feel left out, so I’m buying his ticket (with his and mine that is a total of $31 PLUS our train fares, ouch).

There’s only one thing I’m pretty sure I need to do before I escape there — every day on my way back from the lunchroom I pass by this old-fashioned switch on the wall in the room that smells like chemicals. And every day I have to talk myself out of flipping it. I do not know why this thing CALLS OUT TO ME. It might not even be hooked up to anything any more, but if it is, and something bad happens, then I might get in trouble, and since this is the only real job I’ve ever had, I might need to use my boss as a reference. What if there’s some future job I really want someday, and my boss tells them “Yes, she showed up every day and worked hard … but then she FLIPPED THE SWITCH and enough extra chemicals were released to force us to evacuate the building for the rest of the night.”

No. A switch that could evacuate the factory would look more modern. Right? And it would be under glass with a lock and key. Right?

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Published in: on March 8, 2017 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Veering toward Myrtle Beach

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Handwritten page of a diary dated May 25, 1979

… back on the road again, concentrating, sure but driving a long way is tedious. The best thing that happened all day was when Steppenwolf came on the radio, “Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway.”  That song is at least 10 years old now, and it still WORKS every time. Unfortunately the next song that came on was some kind of horrifying Bee Gees. It was either that or some country station singing “Linda on my Mind.” So the radio went off. Brutal!!

Got windier kinda gradually and next thing I knew I was having to grip the steering wheel because it felt like it wanted to veer left. So I started daydreaming that if the entire U.S. was made of concrete I would just let go and instead of ending up in Norman Oklahoma (where I wasn’t all that keen on spending the winter anyway) I would end up in Myrtle Beach. I saw this magazine picture a long time ago of Myrtle Beach amusement parks. Then there was this girl who looked just like me at a hotel that was RIGHT BY THE OCEAN!!!! You don’t see that in Norman Oklahoma.

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Original image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/blakta2/8625091375

 

Published in: on January 30, 2017 at 3:49 am  Leave a Comment  

‘Whatever you want’

white-prom-dress

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 14, 1989

… had THIS conversation with Mom:

Mom: “But Rita’s son is such a sweet sweet boy.”

Me: “No.”

“You don’t have a date yet.”

“Prom isn’t for another month. There’s plenty of time.”

“This would mean so much to Rita if you went with Carl, and I owe her a huge favor.”

“No.”

“You could go with him this year and then next year, when you’re a senior, you could choose who to go with.”

“What will you give me?”

“Whatever you want.”

“That’s funny because ‘Whatever you want’ is my favorite thing.”

“I’ll buy you that white dress you tried on.”

“I thought you said I couldn’t get it because it looked too much like a wedding dress.”

“Well, it does, but …”

“And you said I had to get one with straps.”

“Well, it is kind of skimpy on top and tight all over, but I’ll get it if you promise to smile when you’re with Carl.”

Original image:
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Published in: on November 6, 2016 at 12:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

‘Hee Haw’ slumber party

dubuque 1908

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 24, 1974

… and I still got to have the slumber party, even though Great Grandma was staying at our house.

So it gets to be about 2 a.m. and we’re acting stupider and stupider and we start singing that song from “Hee Haw”  (which we would NEVER have chosen to watch in a trillion billion years, but Barb’s mother likes it and we’ve seen it at her house). The song that goes:

“Where oh where are you tonight? Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over and I thought I’d found true love, but you met another and *** you was gone.”

The corniest (but funnest) part is that where I wrote the ***, that’s where you stick your tongue out and give the other person the raspberry. And right while we were doing this, Great Grandma comes out and instead of being mad that we woke her up, she thinks it’s hilarious that we’re singing a country song because it reminded her of when she and her two best friends goofed around the same way. She said they went so far as to dress up like they were farm girls, even though they lived near downtown Dubuque. The song they sang from 60 or 70 years ago was by Cal Stewart, and she remembered it:

I went into a meeting house some doughnuts for to git,
From the gal behind the counter,
And dressed up fine you bet.
She wouldn’t take my nickel cause it had a hole that went clar through,
Says I to her that’s nothin’ now, there was a hole in the doughnuts too.
Then I laughed ****
I couldn’t keep from laughin’ cause it really tickled me.”

Where the *** is in her song, she laughed like the guy did on the record. We didn’t really get the joke of the song and she started to explain about plugged nickels, but we just wanted her to sing again, because it was funny to watch her dance in her flannel granny nightgown.

Then Mom comes and says we’re too loud, and about drops her jaw when she sees Great Grandma is partying with us.

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Vintage selfies

Selfie-Pictures-Camera-Hobby-Free-Image-Mirror-Pho-5304

Handwritten page of a diary dated November 3, 1978

… because when I was 12 and starting to get interested in music, she bought me a new Doors album and we both learned the words to “L.A. Woman.” We sang it (LOUD) when I got to stay overnight at her apartment, which was as often as I could finagle since she was my cool aunt and not my boring mom.

Then she got married to a guy and moved to Milwaukee with him. I barely saw her for seven years.

SHOCKINGLY last weekend she showed up and asked Mom if she could crash in the guest room a while. I thought “Oh, this could be fun” which proved to be wrong the minute I knocked on her door and she was playing a tape of “Dancing Queen” by Abba! What happened to her great musical taste? And she has part of her hair feathered like Farrah Fawcett-Majors. So uncool.

And speaking of uncool, she takes pictures of herself in the mirror. Constantly. OK, not constantly, but at least once a day!!!!! What a huge waste of time. She admitted she’s spending a lot of money on getting film developed, but she doesn’t care. It’s hard to even imagine someone taking so many pictures of themSELVES!!!!

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