Sunday, September 28, 2008

Me and Jeff*, all dressed up for the prom, 1984

I've also been reading a book called Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, and Abandoned Rock Operas. It's hilarious.

Here's an explanation of the project from the author, Sarah Brown's website:
The first inklings of Cringe came about back in 2001, when Sarah Brown found her old diaries at her parents’ house, and decided it would be a good idea to send the most painful excerpts to her friends in a weekly email. Two years later, she moved to Brooklyn and told roommate Liz Schroeter about this endeavor, prompting Liz to dig out some old teenage zines of her own. The first Cringe Reading Night was held April 6, 2005, at Freddy’s Bar and Backroom in Brooklyn.
And the readings are still going on there, and in other cities, too.

The book includes things from other people, and I think the best parts are the commentary or explanations about the entries. Of course everybody's embarrassed by them, but a running theme seems to be, "I haven't changed at all."

This, of course, inspired me to get out my own diary and read through it. I've always been a sporadic journal keeper. This one is no exception. I started it December 25, 1981 and the last entry is January 26, 1985. And it's just over half filled. Sometimes there are months between entries.

I wrote mostly about who we saw at the mall, what albums I bought, and which concerts I went to. There was some friend drama - I felt left out a lot. Lots of people were "babes" back then. And lots of stuff was really "bitchin'" and "ex." And apparently I spent way more time and energy than I remembered obsessing over a certain someone.

I ended most entries with something like, "Well, it's really late. I need to get to bed."

Then there's typical teenage angst:
"I wish I knew who or what I was. I mean, I'm not doing anything, I'm just kind of here, doing nothin'."

And in the "I haven't changed" category, here's something from December 31, 1982 (I'd just turned 16):
"I wish I could act naturally at school, but I just can't. Everybody probably thinks I'm stuck-up or something. Oh well, that'll be my New Year's Resolution. To act more myself at school & to make some more friends. That seems fair. Well I better jam!"

It cracks me up how I would write about how sad, hopeless, and depressed I was and then say, "Oh well. Then last week we went to see The Beast Within. Gross movie."

But this is my favorite line of all (from January 7, 1982 - I was 15):
"School sucks, but it's been going pretty good because my hair is looking slightly better."

At least I had my priorities straight.

Anyway, it's really late. Gotta jam!

*not the one I obsessed over. Although he did rock that maroon tuxedo, no?.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm reading When You Are Engulfed In Flames by the brilliant David Sedaris.

It's all greatness, especially "Monster Mash," where he talks about his obsession with death. This is my favorite part:

"As a young man, I saved up my dishwashing money and bought a seventy-five-dollar copy of Medicolegal Investigations of Death, a sort of bible for forensic pathologists. It shows what you might look like if you bit an extension cord while standing in a shallow pool of water, if you were crushed by a tractor, struck by lightning, strangled with a spiral or nonspiral telephone cord, hit with a claw hammer, burned, shot, drowned, stabbed, or feasted upon by wild or domestic animals. The captions read like really great poem titles, my favorite being "Extensive Mildew on the Face of a Recluse." I stared at that picture for hours on end, hoping it might inspire me, but I know nothing about poetry, and the best I came up with was pretty lame:

Behold the recluse looking pensive!

Mildew, though, is quite extensive
On his head, both aft and fore.

He maybe shoulda got out more.

And here he is on Letterman reading an essay about the stadium pal (which is also in the book):

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm not sure why this makes me sad:

Sometimes I get excited when people remake movies but sometimes it makes me mad or sad.

This time I was mad - how could someone remake such a great movie? And seriously, Keanu Reeves*?

I was expressing my disgust and Sam was wondering what all the fuss was about, so I showed him the new trailer and then found the old trailer:

My intention was to show how awesome the original was, but I realized quickly that the old black and white, low-tech one looks really cheesy and old fashioned compared to the new one.

I did really want this geekily obscure t-shirt:
But not any more, knowing that soon everybody will get it.

So maybe that's why I get snobby about things like that - it bothers me that something that a small group of us understand and appreciate (the "It-Getters," as Stephen Colbert would say) suddenly becomes part of the mainstream. Like when your favorite indie band "sells out" by getting a record deal.

So I'm going to focus on the fact that people like me will force their kids to watch the original (superior) The Day the Earth Stood Still and know that while most of those kids will roll their eyes, a few will "get it," too.

*The only movie I like him in is Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. To me, he'll always be Bill. Or was it Ted?