Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Man's Search for Videos

March 6, 1987
Today was pretty boring. Except L brought in these "raffle tickets" and sold them to us (not me, since I didn't have any money), saying they were for a raffle for Cub Scouts.
This is what they said:
Hello Turkey! You have just been screwed out of $.25! You are nowa member of the Dumb Ass club. You will remain a member for life unless yousell this ticket to some other turkey.
Don't bitch, don't whine, get your quarter like I got mine!

I went shopping with Mom and dropped an 8-pack of bottled soda on the floor! Luckily, they didn't break.
Love, Me
Okay, that wasn't very interesting, but it does make me wonder how I learned anything in school, what with L's Watchman, raffle tickets, and the various boys. And when did soda come in 8 packs? I don't remember drinking any soda as a youth...
Here is the next day's post, to assuage you. It marks an important moment in Walker Family History.

March 7, 1987
Dear Sarah, (I began using names instead of Dear Diary)
Today was weird.
1. I went with Mom and Grandmom, got shoes, a shirt, yarn and lunch.
2. My hermit crab is shedding his exoskeleton. Yuck!
That's all! It was like spring today! We spent $71 on shoes!

Yes, we entered the modern age with our VCR. I think the first movie we rented was a Cheech and Chong movie, which my dad liked. If you knew my dad, you'd be like "What?", but he thought they were funny. I didn't get it. One evening, my parents ordered me and Daniel to stay in our rooms and not to come into the living room. I accidentally walked by and caught a glimpse of a naked body. Porn?! I doubt it, but maybe it was a racy movie like 91/2 Weeks or something. Totally gross!
Another memory of this VCR involves renting Pretty In Pink, and getting embarrassed when Andie and Blaine smooch. My dad was in the room with me, god knows why. I actually got up and left the room! I hovered within earshot so I could hear when the dialogue started again and it was safe to return. Usually, I only had to leave the room when a Prince video came on. Dad would stay up late on Friday nights to drink and watch Friday Night Videos with Dan and me. Our job was to freshen his white wine and club soda drinks, while he scratched himself and belched at the TV. Now I know whose soda it was that I dropped in Acme. I always thought it was so cool that he'd watch videos with us! He'd get toasty and start to sing along! Good times! Except for the "When Doves Cry" video.

I also recall this shoe shopping trip. I got a pair of grey shoes with the pointy toe and small wedge heel so common to the 80's. Why grey, I don't know. I had to get grey shoe polish too. Who wears grey shoes? My idea was probably that grey goes with a lot of colors, and I wanted to be coordinated, yet unique and funky. Oh I was unique, all right!
I also remember how warm it was. We opened our windows for the first time in months, and the fresh air smelled great. I think my dad even mowed the yard, which made the house smell even better.
And the funny thing about L was that even though her family was pretty poor, she always had all these cool gadgets and novelty items. I mentioned the Eddie Murphy videos and cable. She already had a VCR. We were the only family still living in the technological stone age. My parents only got an answering machine 2 years ago. If you come visit, you can observe the mysterious hieroglyphics in Dad's garage and maybe partake in an ancient game of drinking and telling racist jokes. A visit you'll never forget!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Things that make me go "ugghhhh"

March 5, 1987
Well, everything is settled now, I think. Lately, life has been boring. LW, HM, JM and CT have all been sick in the past week, so I guess it's my turn next. Fun.
I really think I like ES. Sometimes in science I look over at him and he's looking at me.
Here I drew a little heart with our initials in it. Puke.
I just exterminated Calicoon from under my bed. L. wants to be a cosmetologist. Ha! She needs it!
Love, Me
BC pulled down CJ.'s shorts today in gym! He looked over at me and went "chick chick" like a camera and imitated pulling down my sweatpant. He is weird!!
And here I drew a poor rendering of BC.
BC wasn't the skiing wunderkind we know and love from the Olympics. If you're familiar with the band Ween, BC drew their little smiling guy. Ween went to my high school, btw. BC came into our school in 8th grade and I thought he was a little odd, but you can guess what the next few diary entries will turn into. A lovefest for BC.
He wore Corrosion of Conformity, PIL and Subhumans t-shirts. At the time, we didn't know who those people were. 10 years later, L had left a COC sticker in her senior locker, and I had met Johnny Rotten at a book signing at Tower Records in Boston. And I developed a fond love for the Subhumans.
Calicoon was the name of my cherished childhood pet. My dad had been feeding her at a jobsite he worked at in Philadelphia. One day, he came home from work and announced that he had something for us. He had somehow caught this stray cat and brought her home because he felt sorry for her. My dad feels sorry only for wounded animals, maimed veterans and helpless old people.
At the time, my mother was a transcriber for a court reporter. She typed up the transcripts of court cases. Yes, she types faster than people think. One of the court cases took place in a town called "Calicoon" in upstate New York. Because the cat my dad brought home was a calico, we named her Calicoon. She quickly aligned herself with me, and could usually be found in my room. Daniel and I would go exploring in the woods at the edge of our property, often times joined by Calicoon. When I was upset or sad, she'd sit on me and purr like a 454 big block. People talk all the time about how animals "sense" things, and she always could.
Calicoon lived a long, long happy life, until one fateful day in 1989, when she got hit by a car. We had driven to Montana for vacation, and were in Minnesota on the return leg. My mom called our grandmom, who lived a mile away, to see how things were back at the ranch. Daniel and I were choosing sandwiches in a gas station food mart, when Mom felt the need to tell me that my best friend in the world had died. My hand froze on the hoagie. The store shifted and tilted as hot tears burst from my eyes. Not caring what Minnesotans thought of me, I began wailing hysterically. My mother led me, crying, across the parking lot to our motel room.
Daniel and I sobbed all night long in our shared room. I remember being so angry at everyone who drove past our house. Was it Derek and his stupid fast green Camaro? Why didn't they slow down around the corner? Why couldn't this have happened when I was home, so I could see her pale green owl eyes one more time?
Oh, this is so sad. I'm sorry to bum you out. I'm sure the actual entry will show up in a few months.
ES. was tall, skinny, and later on, became a total asshole to me and my friends. He was one of the guys who would make fun of us, mainly because they knew they could never "have" us. At least that's what Alexis and I told ourselves. Maybe it was true. I think I was a lot cuter in high school than I give myself credit for. I wouldn't have touched ES or any of his jock friends for all the Smiths CDs in the world!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Teen drama

March 3, 1987 (of course)
Man, so much has happened. Here it is:
1. H. was super pissed at me yesterday because I told BW she lusted him (me and H.)
2. We are now over it, but,
3. CT is mad at LW and vice versa because LW told TS that CT was crying over BW.
4. LW is pissed at CT only I can't quite figure out why.
5. CT was acting weird today. Could it be the 29th day?
6. CT is also mad at HM for reasons unknown to me.
I'll have to do some investigating tomorrow.
Yawn, Allison

At the bottom of each page of this diary was a drawing of a cat and a quote. Yes, I was a cat person. This page's quote was "Curiosity is the curse of a brilliant mind". I scribbled "True!" next to it. From an early age, I fancied myself an intellectual. This later became my only solace during my early teen years. I certainly was not cute, and was not a fashion plate, but I was smarter than most of my class, and I liked that. "At least I'm not stupid!" was my favorite comeback. When we got older, it changed to "At least I'm not a slut like you!" Those were good times.
Number 5 above refers to my developing theory that CT had major PMS. Now, I see that she had some serious mental problems. In 9th grade, she started cutting herself. I thought she was just weird, but now I wish I had told someone what she was doing. Last I heard, she's doing okay, having lived past 26. For years, she swore she would die before she was 26, just like James Dean. That's a whole other diary in itself-Ninth grade!

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Just so you know, I am no longer jealous of LW. Converse sneakers make my feet look like clown feet. That's a bad, bad thing.

February 28, 1987
I got back from L's birthday party. it was okay. I think she liked my punk/pink rabbit (I can't read my own writing!) LW aggravates me so bad! She bought yellow high-tops at the mall today and just me seeing them made me so mad! I dont' know why, though! She's always first: 1. to get contacts, 2. to get a perm
That makes me so angry!

Little did I know that in a few short months, I'd get my hair chopped off and it would begin to grow curly, rendering a home perm pointless. The sneakers were yellow. I have never liked yellow on clothing. Why I was so angry, I don't know. Perhaps it's the Walker Gene that makes one fly off the handle at minor events.
My friend L. was the oldest of...well, at this point, 4 kids. By the time L. skipped town, there were 6 kids in the house. Her mom was always smoking, drinking and pregnant, yes, all at the same time. Is it any wonder the kids were all kind of slow?
I liked going to her house because they had cable, and didn't mind if we kids watched Eddie Murphy comedy videos. I remember the baby at the time falling asleep with the TV blasting in his room. Their TV was always on, which never happened in the Walker household. They also had lots of junk food, which was also a stranger to my house. When LH came over, she would remark on how quiet it was.
Her stepdad was a skinny, stubbled asshole. I have no shame in writing this. He'd make fun of her acne and rough up the other kids in front of her friends. From what I could gather, she was the maid for the family. They might have had a lot of kids, but their house was clean, thanks to L. One time she came to school with a big scratch on her face, and claimed it was from a pin that had somehow (Stepdad) appeared on her pillow. Thinking about it later, I realized the things I thought were fun and amusing were actually abusive, and it was no wonder L. always wanted to sleep over at my house.
I wish I could remember the exact details of her departure from New Hope, PA. I was in 10th grade or so. She moved across the river to Lambertville, New Jersey to live with?? A relative? A boyfriend? I've got it all written down in my 1989 diaries. It was a monumental thing, and I think I even took notes during our phone conversation so I could tell H. all about it.
Long story short-she called me once, years later. L. was in New Orleans, enjoyed heavy metal bands such as Krokus, drank a lot, smoked a lot, and had HAD SEX. I think she even dated a black guy, which was unheard of in our parts. After all, there was only one black guy who went to our school, Tom, and he thought she was a skank. He was right.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Turn around, bright eyes

And here's 80's songbird Bonnie Tyler, with her hit, Total Eclipse of the Heart!

February 27, 1987
Oh I am so depressed. BW is moving to Virginia! Never again ( I think) will I see that face that I hated but secretly loved! I called him and he sounded so depressed. I told him I was sorry for everything and he said he was sorry. I gave him my address and phone # (215-297-5859 It was a nice, even, soft number. I loved it) . We were talking about younger brothers and sisters. He has a younger sister, 9, who lives in CA with his mom. He said that Dan and his sister should get together sometime. He better write! CT and I were so sad at lunch because AF and FB made a bye-bye sign and Bryan said we all danced great. He danced with me at one of our dances! I remember he said he didn't know how to dance so I showed him and we danced to TAKE ON ME! I wish he was still here! WWWWAAAAAHHHHHHH!

If this had happened in 2006, my phone number would have been blocked, due to my dad's threatening phone call a few days earlier.
And Oh Sweet Jesus, I can only imagine what I looked like dancing, especially to A-Ha's hit song Take On Me. I recall it involved a lot of interpretive arm motions. I also remember dancing to "Dancing With Myself" by my other husband, Younger Billy Idol. That incorporated some jumping/spinning moves usually seen on an ice rink. This dance lesson must have been in the end of 7th grade, when BW was new to school. He sat behind me in Mr. Brabson's class due to the alphabetical nature of our names. We wrote notes to eachother.
The sign was printed on a dot matrix printer using Printshop. The paper had little holes along the edge where it was fed through the printer.
And WHY was I so upset?! WHY did I give him my address (R.D. #2, Doylestown, PA 18901 from before we all got street numbers. I told you I grew up in the country. )??? WHY did I apologize??? Was I an idiot?
No, I was just 14 and dealing with hormones. They hit a lot earlier than any other sign of puberty did. I'm still waiting for my boobies to grow.
I still love Take On Me, though. Maybe I can find the tape on Ebay and have a dance party in my house. With Myself.
Other memory associated with that song: Miku (he wasn't Asian, it was a nickname for Mikhail, which was somehow German) singing "When I get a chance, I pull down my pants and I'm a-playing with myself, oh oh oh" in the library in 6th grade. Of course Mrs. Anderson heard him, and he got in trouble, but not before we heard his rendition of One Night In Bangkok. Ahem. "One night sucking a !!!! makes my bathroom smell, If you don't believe me come and take a whiff". Yes, I'm snickering uncontrollably as I type this; it's okay if you do as well.
I wonder what ever happened to Miku. The last time I saw him was 1993 and we were at the WaWa in New Hope. He looked pretty burned out, but we chatted for a bit about the band he was in.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Feb. 23, 1987

This is a short diary entry. Apparently I had nothing monumental to write about. BW had started avoiding me, and I didn't have a Crush of the Week. But this entry is humorous in what it represents: crafting and bad fashion trends.

Feb. 23, 1987
Well, yet another late night. Mom and I were down at Grandmom's knitting. I'm gonna make a shaker sweater. I have to take my shower in the morning. Good night.

For the shaker sweater link, you'll have to scroll down to see the sweater I wanted to knit. Keep in mind, my body measurements were probably...29, 26, 26.5. The yarn I bought (remember Jamesway's shopping trip?) was a medium blue, country blue, dusky blue, etc. I got about 10 inches into the sweater and lost interest. Knitting sweaters is just not exciting unless you've got cool yarn or a cool pattern.
My mom eventually took over the knitting, and finished a sweater with sleeves like those dancing windsock people auto dealerships set up to lure customers in. It fit her, and then some!
So, 15 years later, I go into Knitorious for supplies for a sweater. What color do I walk out with? The very same country blue. Hey-it looks good on me! Where is the finished sweater? Still on stitch holders, snuggled into a basket in the living room. Coffee cup cozies are much more fun.
Some things never change. What was your first knitting project?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

In which I prove myself to be a giant flaming dork

Dear readers, please go gentle on me when reading the following. I was newly 14. I had bad glasses (a trait I later used as an excuse to not date a great guy). My hair was a few months away from being sheared, leaving a pixie cut that looked great on everyone but me. It made me look like a boy. A 10 year old boy. With ugly glasses. Keeping that in mind, read on.
February 20, 1987
Nothing interesting happened yesterday. But, today was a very good day!!
1. CT and I are now Ace Detectives in our computer game and Interpol wants us to have an asumed name! But, the bell rang, so...
2. I got almost (1 wrong) all my algebra right!
3. I won 3rd prize in the Famous Nerds In History contest!! I get a Guiness Book of World Records 1987! I know it's not that exciting, but still, I won it out of all the people who entered in my age category.
Well, I guess that's all. I have a babysitting job tomorrow night until 10:30.
Mom is taking us to Jamesway tomorrow to do a little shopping (yarn, stockings, toys, etc)
Love, the usual -Me!
I know what you're thinking. " I had no idea that Allison was the 1987 third prize winner of the Nerds Candy "Famous Nerds In History" contest. My entry was Archimedes, who upon discovering water displacement, jumped out of his bathtub and streaked through the streets of wherever. The postcard announcing my victory is still in my diary.
I forgot that Jamesway sold yarn. My first bra was bought there. My dad played Donkey Kong there. In my high school, a common taunt was "Your clothes come from Jamesway!". Mine often did, but I denied it.
And yes, in study hall, my pals and I would get the large floppy disc (No, really, it was one of those huge floppy discs for the first Apple computers) of "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?" from the librarian and sleuth our way out of New Hope, PA. Like I said, I was 14, and this was the sole computer game I would ever be good at, except, of course, Tetris.