My new orange pad

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 24, 1970

… and even if I’m going to be someone who lives in his parents’ basement for a while I’m still sooner or later going to have to bring over some “hah ah ah ah ah honky tonk women”. (I’m lucky there’s a door that goes into the basement from the back yard and I don’t have to parade my Cherie Amours in front of the old people. Yeah, you have to walk by the washing machine, but if I leave the light off and just kind of guide her in, maybe she won’t see it.)

Of course I didn’t want to bring down the kid stuff from my old bedroom upstairs. But I don’t have much money to jazz the place up. So my mom says you can do a lot with material. “You used to go to the fabric store with me all the time” my mom said. She said “You get several yards of whatever you like and spread it around and if you want some pillows, I’ll get out grandma’s old sewing machine.”

And for once she was right. I now have what is possibly the grooviest bedroom in the modern world.

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Published in: on March 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm  Comments (2)  

Hypnotized at the disco

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 18, 1975

finally says he will take me to the new disco place in Columbus and we’re dancing and minding our own business when this girl shows up beside us with a camera.

I look at her and she’s gazing at Scott like she wants to eat him for breakfast. And then I look at him and he’s staring at her like she’s transmitting waves from a radio station he’s been waiting to hear since the day he was born.

Well, I didn’t let go of him at first, but then I figured I might as well because I knew already that I had lost him. He gave me a ride home but I don’t expect to hear from him today, that’s for sure.

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Published in: on January 13, 2012 at 11:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Chew gum and drink Tab

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 27, 1974

…  and course Grandma will want to watch Guy Lombardo and all us cousins will want to watch Dick Clark New Year’s Rockin’ Eve so we’ll have to take turns getting up and changing the channel back and forth.

But Grandma already did one really really nice thing. Cindy and I told her we were trying to lose weight and we were worried about all the snacking we always do during the holidays. Really, Mom only lets us have potato chips occasionally, but the only time she lets us have potato chips and dip is on New Year’s Eve. Plus usually we only get Kool Aid, and once in a great while we get to split a bottle of Pepsi, but on New Year’s Eve we each get our own bottle!

But Grandma said this year, since our cousins’ party on New Year’s Eve is at her house, she would get Tab instead of Pepsi. She also had some ideas of stuff we could snack on that would be good but not too fattening. She got a special catalog and ordered some treats from a company in Ohio. I wonder what they are.

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Published in: on December 31, 2011 at 9:53 pm  Comments (3)  

Look Ma, no hands

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 16, 1974

…  up in my room trying to practice my tap-dancing routine to the stupidest song on the planet earth. (Miss Alexis said we could vote for a song from the last few years that had a good rhythm to it so I nominated Smoke on the Water and she looked at me all horrified, so I said Right Place But it Musta Been the Wrong Time by Dr. John and she said maybe. Someone wanted Bad Bad Leroy Brown, but she said it has the word DAMN in it. This is how we ended up with Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree) (So dumb!).

Norman comes in and watches me for a while and I say Get out — but of course he doesn’t. I stop dancing and say Would you mind telling me why you have your wrists taped to your pockets. He says It’s a long story. I say How did you get that scratch on your ear? and he says That’s another long story.

Later mom says they dragged him along when they went blueberry picking but he didn’t want to help. They asked him why and he said because he saw a guy on TV with no arms and he was spending 24 hours not using his arms or hands to see what it would be like. They thought it was just an excuse, but I said Nope, I have a feeling it’s real.

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Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm  Comments (2)  

It’s a nice day for a pink wedding

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 16, 2003

…  good fashion sense — even though I’m only 12. In fact Aunt Marla said she wanted me to see what I thought of the dresses at her wedding and she pulled out a picture from back sometime early in the LAST CENTURY.

I was like, There are three main things wrong with this wedding picture of yours.

She was like, Let me guess, one of the things wrong was the little flower girl is crying and I was like, I hadn’t even noticed that because there’s so much BUBBLE GUM PINK staring me in the face.

I was like, First of all you should’ve worn some contacts that day because the glare on your big old glasses makes it look like you have two white ghost eyes popping out of your head. Then I was like, Second of all those tiny little pink top hats you made those bridesmaids wear, well, I’m surprised that at least one of those six girls didn’t refuse to wear that in public.

And I was about to go on, but she told me the crying flower girl was my mom, and I kept saying No it wasn’t and she kept saying Yes it was.

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Published in: on October 2, 2011 at 10:57 am  Comments (4)  

any Man!

Handwritten page of a diary dated September 14, 1971

…  seemed like such a sweet guy, which is why I was floored when he opened the door for me and I finally noticed we were in kind of a sketchy part of town.

He walks us over to a grimy looking movie theater and the poster for the movie was … well, not what I was expecting.

He must’ve seen the look on my face, because he pointed out that the movie was R rated instead of X, so he thought it might just be funny instead of like porn.

I still hadn’t said a word and he said, look, she’s got boots like the ones you’re wearing – which I didn’t find all that comforting and he must’ve sensed it because he then said, OR if you’d rather go to that party your roommate mentioned. I said yeah that might be a good idea.

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Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 12:27 am  Comments (3)  

C’mon Ma

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 29, 1970

…  kept arguing with her about the camera angles. He said ‘C’mon, Ma, I hafta look good here to send this photo to the girl in Jersey’ and she said ‘I’m tryin I’m tryin.’

He’s my cousin? Too weird. I can’t believe we’re from the same grandparents. I thought I’d get a chance to see New York City, but so far, we just hang around in Brooklyn.

He said ‘Ma, don’t back up so much! This is a picture of me, not your precious davenport’ and she said ‘But it wouldn’t hurt to have a picture of my furniture while it’s still nice, before you kids trash this one up like the last one.’

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Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Look my way Wanda Mae

Handwritten page of a diary dated November 1, 1977

… starting to think this is some kind of popularity contest every time I go to work. I stand there beside Grandma Moses over there with her big puffy pile of red hair on top of her head (her real name is Wanda Mae) and everyone goes to her checkout line instead of mine.

So I just stand there trying to look busy, which is not as easy as it sounds when you have to do it for four hours a day. I restock all the gum in my racks, and usually in Wanda Mae’s racks too — just to have something to do. All the old fogey men who swarm around her load up on the Black Jack gum, which is putrid in every way.

OK, if you want to know the actual truth, I MIGHT have kind of a crush on Wanda Mae too, but if she wants to flirt with old men chewing black gum instead of a younger man in his prime, then that’s her problem.

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Published in: on July 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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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