Just admire the marbles

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 24, 1964

but he keeps saying “what do you DO with the marbles?”

I keep saying  “I look at them. They’re fun to just look at. And collect.”

But then that leads to him always saying how back in the olden days they got marbles to PLAY MARBLES. And I want to tell him that it’s the 1960s now and we have better games to play than rolling marbles around on the sidewalk.

Sometimes it’s not so bad having him staying at our house now. He buys us Jiffy Pop when my mom says it’s cheaper to just pop corn in the pan. AND he knows how to make Jiffy Pop without burning the bottom.

And he has pretty good taste in TV shows. He will always remind me when My Three Sons is on, because we both have that as our favorite show.

He also takes us for rides in his convertible which is really neat as long as you don’t care about your hair blowing all over your face.

Except for trying to force me to PLAY with my marbles, I guess he’s not the worst family member I ever saw.


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Published in: on October 21, 2019 at 3:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Miss Gulch?

Handwritten page of a diary dated February 16, 1959

… today in school we were learning about a British lady named Tessie Reynolds. When she was alive, she set a record for fast bicycling. But then Mrs. Bavers read aloud from a book of something that was published in a magazine after old Tessie made history. All the girls frowned. I was so mad I later borrowed the book and copied it down. “Every wheelman who has managed to retain a belief in the innate modesty and sense of becomingness in the opposite sex, will hear with real pain, not unmixed with disgust, of what we will call a lamentable incident that took place on the Brighton road early last Sunday.” That is really not fair because girls should always be allowed to ride their bikes any day of the week! As fast as they want!

But then when I was copying the words I saw Tessie’s picture up close and she reminded me of Dorothy’s mean neighbor in the Wizard of Oz. I think her name was Miss Gulch and I should know because I’ve watched that movie on TV three years in a row. If she wasn’t younger – and if she wasn’t from England – and if she had a basket on that bike – then she would be a dead ringer! Now, no matter what I do, all I can hear is that scary little ditty they play when Miss Gulch is riding her bike.


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Published in: on January 14, 2019 at 5:03 pm  Comments (1)  

“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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Published in: on September 12, 2017 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Ghost in the window

heart shaped window

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 11, 1983

…  but our house won’t be ready to move back into or a while, so Dad rented us an apartment where we’ll be living for six months. When he first drove us by it, I thought it looked cool, but then he turned to me and said, “I know this is a pain for you to have to change schools for one semester BUT …” and then he pointed out the heart-shaped window, and told me that would be my bedroom. But the more I looked at it, the creepier it looked — like one of those rooms where people see a ghost looking out of if. Like maybe a little girl tragically died in that room and now her soul is trapped there forever and if the moon is shining just right, you can get a pretty good glimpse of her standing there with her old raggedy doll. I told Alan that later but he said too bad, he wasn’t sleeping in a bedroom with a heart-shaped window, so no he would not offer to switch with me. And not only that but after I finally got to sleep, I felt something fall on my head and I woke up screaming. Alan had actually gone up to the attic and gotten one of my old dolls and wrapped it in torn rags and thrown it on me in the dark. That was not even a little bit funny and I’ll tell you right now — this means war. And I don’t mean a little war like the Falkland Islands war. I mean like the Hundred Years War.


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Published in: on May 19, 2013 at 3:38 am  Leave a Comment  

‘Ramble On’

ramble on

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 4, 1970

…  for two years!!! and she always said no. And now all of a sudden she says we can join this particular record club. I got excited till I saw how few choices there were. Man, in the old days there were ten times that many choices in a magazine ad for a record club. Then I saw Dean Martin was on there and yeah, makes more sense because she loves Dean Martin soooooo much. And she wants the little record player for her own bedroom.

The only thing I see on there that I want is Led Zeppelin II, but that cartoony album cover they show is NOT the real one, so who knows? Maybe it’s the songs of Led Zeppelin covered by the Lawrence Welk Orchestra or something. I mean a year ago I might’ve wanted the Blood Sweat & Tears. And I already have every Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night album, so great, thanks Mom. Have fun with your teeny tiny little baby plastic speakers.


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‘Pretty Man’

Handwritten page of a diary dated January 17, 1967

went to the bookstore to see if they have a copy of “The Last Picture Show.” I started reading it at camp because Eve brought it with her but she lives far away so she didn’t want me to take it home because she was afraid I wouldn’t mail it back to her—which I woulda done. I like the book so far and I think they should make a movie from it and I think Mia Farrow and Ryan O’Neal should be in because they are so good in Peyton Place.
Then I saw this book called “Pretty Man” and it reminded me of Howie, because the guy on the cover is looking in the mirror at himself, just like Howie does ALL OF THE TIME. When I give him his new book I’ll say the sentence written on the cover: “Howie no one can admire you more than you do yourself!”


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Published in: on July 30, 2011 at 9:48 am  Comments (2)  

The Raisin Bran sun

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 30, 2007

  looked down at my glass and saw a face looking back at me. I tried to show Benny, but he didn’t see it. I said look, the eyes with big eyebrows and look at the mouth. Benny said if that’s a mouth, then the guy looks like he’s smoking a lit sparkler. I said yeah but other than the sparkler, it looks like the sun on the front of the Raisin Bran Crunch box. He said the sun on the Raisin Bran box is yellow. I said well yeah, the drink is red instead of yellow and the sun is smoking a lit sparkler, but otherwise it looks like it.
Then Benny said his favorite cereal box was Quisp because the character was an alien with a beanie copter coming out of his head, and I said they haven’t made Quisp since the late ’70s, and he said “I beg to differ. You can buy it online now.” And while he was showing it to me on his laptop, we ordered a box.


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Published in: on July 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm  Comments (4)  

Neil Young vs. Captain and Tennille

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 1, 1975

your birthday isn’t for another month, so you’ll have plenty of time to practice pretending you like it” and I said “They don’t make enough ‘pretend juice’ in this world for me to drink so I could pretend I like a sweater she made from instructions she got out of a magazine 10 years ago” and she said “Well she hasn’t started making it yet. Do you want me to suggest some colors? Maybe the colors are a little too … sixties. Maybe it could be red white and blue for the upcoming bicentennial” and naturally I was dumfounded. Brett walked in and I said “Brett help me. Mom wants to know if I want this sweater made in red white and blue” but all he said was “Is that the girl from Captain and Tennille?” And then Mom said “Oh I love that album Brett. Will you play it on our downstairs hi-fi, so I can hear it again?”
To counteract the effects of their dopey sock hop in the living room, I had to go to the garage and listen to side two of Harvest by Neil Young.


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Published in: on June 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm  Comments (1)  

Welcome to a new plaid world

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 15, 1994

so he had to run out for some garlic. Finally. A chance to do the spying I need to do.
It’s our second date and he wore another pastel plaid shirt. I have to see if it’s just a coincidence.
Help. No. His closet is full of them. Long-sleeved. Short-sleeved. No t-shirts. No white shirts. They’re all plaid. And no red or black. It’s all MADRAS PLAID.
He’s a great guy. But come on. We may be looking at a game-changer here in this closet.


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Published in: on June 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm  Comments (2)  

the baby the baby the baby

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 2, 2002

and sure, the new niece is cute, but everyone is just staring at her ALL the time. I started wondering what Justin was doing.

I found him in his room playing some video game. He kept crashing his car off the road, so I told him if he ever got his real-life driver’s license I was going to move to a different town. I asked him why he wasn’t out there at the party and he said “the baby the baby the baby.” I said “Yeah” and he said  “Hey everybody look how cute the baby is” and I laughed. I told him they used to do the same thing when he was a baby and he said “Really?” I said “Sure, I couldn’t get any attention around this place if I stood on my head and played the fiddle.”

Then he paused the computer and started listening to me talk. No matter what I said, he stared at me and nodded, even when I talked about how showers used to have a good hard spray and you could really get rid of a headache or work the kinks out of your back muscles but now we have these crappy low-flow shower heads that just trickle a drop of water on you about once a minute. So I just kept talking and talking. Even I run out of things to say eventually, so I started this game, asking him questions. Like “Which would you rather do: go to school wearing only your Rugrats underwear — OR — eat a pizza with dead worms on it?”


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Published in: on June 13, 2011 at 11:40 am  Comments (2)