Saturday, February 12, 2005

Here's what happens when you're home on a Saturday night: I found my old elementary school notebook. I've culled a typical week's worth of writing, the kind of pre-blogger fourth grade nothings that make you wince even as you grin. Textual scholars need not read any further:

The Flannel Diaries 1984

September, 1984

Monday, September 2

Today was the first day of school. My teacher is Mrs. Strand. She kept looking at me when she called all our names. I don’t know why. The book I read during class was A Wrinkle in Time. I liked it. Mrs. Strand said not to read during class, so I got in trouble. At lunch, Dave dared me to snort milk up my nose. I dared him back and he did it, but then he choked and almost died. It was funny. Then Mr. Kelley came over and said something mean that we didn’t hear, so we all got in trouble. Then Dave said I was a pussy because I didn’t snort the milk, and he was crying a little, so I left to go read my book.

Tuesday, September 3
Today Mrs. Strand took my book away and said I was supposed to be working on math. I didn’t get the math, so I started to write weird sentences because I was bored. I came up with “My very educated mother just served us nine pimples,” and I showed it to Matt and he started laughing really loud. Then Mrs. Strand yelled at us and we both got in trouble for not doing our math. When I got home, I told my mom what happened, and she said I needed to do math better if I wanted to get full bright, whatever that means.

Wednesday, September 4
Today was my brother’s birthday. He got a bunch of cool GI Joes. He let me play with them while the cheerleaders for his football team came over. They went into his room and played while I got to play with the GI Joes. I can’t believe he just let me keep them like that. What a loser. Matt came over later and we went exploring out in the woods. Mom said not to get our shoes muddy, but we did, so she got mad. Matt swears a lot.

Thursday, September 5
Mrs. Strand got mad at me again today because I was reading another book during Social Studies. She sent me to the back corner of the room for me to cool off, but I said I wasn’t angry and she said, No, not you. I don’t get it. She came back and said, Are you going to start paying attention? I said, Okay. She said, are you even listening to me right now? and I said okay. Then she said, have you been sniffing glue from the art supplies when you were back here, and I said Okay. Mrs. Strand looks red when she gets mad.

Friday, September 6
Fridays are fun because you don’t have to go to bed on time. My brother and I stayed up late watching World Wrestling Federation. My brother said all the wrestling was fake, but it’s cool anyway because all the wrestlers are all buff and can throw eachother around a lot and that’s cool. My brother says he’s going to start lifting weights so he can look as big as a wrestler. I said I wasn’t going to do that because I want to be a ninja and ninjas aren’t that big or they can’t sneak into fortresses and stuff like that. My brother said girls like it when guys are big like that, and I said, but then I couldn’t be a ninja. Then my brother rolled his eyes. I’ve seen him doing that a lot lately.

Sunday, September 8
My mom and my dad made me do homework today. My brother started at ten in the morning and finished before noon, and then he went to go watch the football game. I started at noon and finished at twelve fifteen. I told them I was really smart and that was why I finished it so quick, and then they wanted to see it. My dad said, what’s a fifth of twelve, and I got confused because I thought a fifth was a bottle of bourbon. I said so, and my dad said, don’t get smart with me, mister, I pay the bills around here. Then I said I thought the Bills were a football team, and everyone rolled their eyes like my brother does. Mom made me finish my math homework, and then we all watched King Kong on TV. I don’t think they made any more King Kong movies after that, and I think I want to write one of my own. I want to make King Kong come to our town and trash my school. That would be cool.

Monday, September 9
Mrs. Strand said we were going to be making an insect collection for science class. We have to find twenty different insects, kill them and mount them on a piece of cardboard. Mom made me start when I got home from school, so I went out in the field with a butterfly net and caught insects. Then I killed them. Then I left them on the kitchen table and forgot to put them on the cardboard, so I got in trouble. Matt said he’s going to get his insects from the windowsill. Today, Andy Richter said if I gave him my milk money he wouldn’t punch me in the face. Matt said for me to punch him first, but I gave him the money. I don’t like milk anyway. Mrs. Strand took my glue away from me.

Tuesday, September 10
I got four more dead bugs today and put them in an envelope because I forgot my cardboard. It was gross. Andy told me to give him my money again today, but he didn’t say he wouldn’t hit me, so I didn’t. Then he hit me. Mrs. Strand yelled at him and pulled his ear and made him apologize to me. Then Chris Freeman said Mrs. Strand beat him up and I didn’t, and everybody laughed. So I took my dead bugs and threw them in Chris’s lunch and he cried. That made me feel better. But then I didn’t have any more dead bugs after school so I had to go out and get more.

Thursday, September 12
I got my last dead bugs today. I put them on the cardboard and wrote names underneath them all. My dad saw the project and asked me if I was supposed to put their scientific names under them. I said I thought I was supposed to name them, and that I named them all after the dumb kids at school like Dave, Andy and Chris. My dad said he liked that better. My mom said, don’t encourage him. My brother did seventy pushups today, and I drank three Cokes.

Friday, September 13
Mrs. Strand gave me a D on my insect project. She said I didn’t label them according to kingdom, phylum and class, and I wasn’t supposed to give them people names. I said I didn’t use people names, I used Chris Freeman’s and Andy Richter’s names, and she smiled a little and changed my grade to a C. My mom said it was a dumb project anyway, and that John Steinbeck probably never had to do one either but he turned out okay. We went out to dinner at Port Barrington and my brother and I got a bunch of quarters to play Donkey Kong Junior with while Mom and Dad stayed at the table with the neighbors. I went to go eat the chips on the table, but they turned out to be cigarette butts. It was gross. My brother laughed and I hit him, but I didn’t get in trouble because he didn’t notice.
Except for Matt, who is shameless anyway, all proper names have been changed. Weird how I never refer to my brother by name, isn't it?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Fare thee well, Arthur Miller. You were a voice we (or I, if you prefer) took for granted as immortal. All too late, I regret it.

New York Times' obituary

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

From Cisco:

A Year of Lies. The chronicles of a PI with three slugs in him. One is lead and the rest are bourbon. Hysterical. Makes me jealous. Get off this pathetic excuse for a blog and go read his instead.