Friday, February 27, 2009


In fifth grade, the highlights of my social life were birthday parties and sleepovers, the ultimate event, of course, being a birthday party sleepover. These were chances for us to:
  • Watch movies with dirty words in them—and maybe even boobs! Or butts! Ewwww!
  • See how much crap we could eat without becoming mortally ill.
  • Engage in spaztastic behavior that made little to no sense. (Likely a side effect of our gargantuan consumption of high-fructose corn syrup.)
  • Attempt to stay up until the wee hours. (The high-fructose corn syrup again acting as our accomplice.)
And if you don't believe me, the following school journal entries will attest.


On Saturday, Katie and Jessica slept over at my house. We pigged out!

In fact, by sixth grade we would dub our sleepovers "Pig-Outs." The Sleepover Friends had nothing on us, let me tell you what. (Well, okay, they may have had a special dip, but whatever. Canned tuna and cream cheese? Bleck! I'll stick with the Little Caesar's pizza pizza, thank you very much.)

We ate Cool Ranch Doritos, M&M's, Skittles, E.L. fudge cookies, ice cream, and rootbeer floats (Not to mention the pizza we had for dinner)!

Just looking at this has given me bad breath.

And do you guys remember E.L. Fudge cookies? They were creepily Keebler elf–shaped.

What kind of elves bake cookies in a tree? Seriously.

We stayed up until 4 (except me, who fell asleep at 3:45 and woke up again at 4:03) playing Truth Or Dare, Who Am I?, watching "Hairspray", putting on make-up, dancing, listening to the radio, talking, and eating, of course.

Of course! Those rootbeer floats aren't going to drink themselves, you know!

We talked on the phone, too!

This probably means one of us called a boy we liked and asked him who he liked, all the while pretending the other two girls weren't standing by with their ears pressed to the receiver.



P.S. We also acted stupid.

Jessica's party!

At Jessica's party we (me, Jess, Sarah H., Sarah M., Sara S., Casey, Georgia, Rachel, Sherron):

1) We waited for everyone to come

2) We played a game where Jess's mom brought in a tray (16 objects were on it) and we stared it it for 60 sec. then she took it away. We wrote down everything we remembered.

3) We ate dinner (PIZZA). My tooth became really loose.

As I'm sure you can tell, this party narrowly avoided becoming a "tradgedy."

4) We had dessert (rainbow angel food cake and chocolate marshmallow ice cream)

5) Jess opened her presents.

6) We watched HAIRSPRAY on her VCR.

If you check the dates on these entries, you'll note that we just watched Hairspray a week ago. We could not get enough of segregated dance shows in 1960s Baltimore!

7) We limboed. I cracked my hip.

"Tradgedy" almost struck once more! I would actually complain about the hip-cracking limbo incident for years to come and claim that I could never... limbo... again.

8) We took a queer picture.




Katie's PARTY
Happy Birthday, Katie

Katie's party was on Friday–Saturday. It was the best party! The people there were me, Katie (DUH!), Jessica, and Maggie. (Casey couldn't come, you know.) So first we ate. Pizza, then ice cream cake for dessert. Well, we were gonna have a séance with the OUIJA boards. (Me and Katie's) But she opened her presents. I bought her a little stuffed animal Orangutang and some dangly earrings.

So we didn't have the séance because Maggie didn't believe in the OUIJA boards.

I love how this implies that the rest of us DID believe in the OUIJA boards.

We had a ceremony. My name was BASTET. I was Nefertiti's (Jessica's) daughter. Katie was Isaida. Maggie was Tasmarina. We made up signs + countries.

I had read The Egypt Game about 8,572 times too many. Zilpha Keatley Snyder, I don't care that you're 81, you're still my girlfriend!

Then we started watching "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". It was boring so we watched "Psycho I." It was scary. Katie was cackling during the shower scene.

The reason I'm referring to Psycho as Psycho I is that the first film we watched in this "series" was Psycho III (Alfred Hitchcock is rolling over in his grave RIGHT NOW), viewed at a sleepover several months earlier.

Then we watched "Psycho II." They get scarier and grosser by the movie!

Grosser, certainly. (I'm pretty sure someone gets decapitated while ON THE TOILET in Psycho III.) But scarier? Pshaw.

We were so scared, we watched "Mary Poppins". That was funny because Maggie kept yelling, "Shut up! It's Mr. Banks! He's on T.V.!" then she pulled us around in our sleeping bags.

Maggie's love for Mr. Banks was a running joke for years. Apparently it never made any sense.

We went to sleep about 4:30 AM.

How sad is it that I could stay up later ate age 11 than I can at age 31? Pretty, pretty sad.

In the morning Maggie had to leave at 10:00 for orchestra. So me and Katie and Jessica played Hide-N-Seek. Katie's step-dad, Steve, seeked us. It was fun. Then my mom came! UGH!


I now present to you...

Sada's List of the Top 3 Most Scandalicious Sleepover Movies*:

1. Real Genius. I'll admit, it was largely scandalous because we watched it when were tender young second graders, and it contained references to things like "penis stretchers" (oh my GAWD!) and "making it." Quite frankly, I think I still have a crush on Chris Knight and his amazing T-shirt collection, which—holy awesomeness!—can be purchased here! I'm about two seconds away from ordering a pair of bunny slippers.

You're so hot, I'll overlook the fact that you're actually Val Kilmer.

Sidenote: Have you guys ever noticed how much Mitch freakishly resembles Sarah Jessica Parker?

Right? They were obviously separated at birth.

2. The Exorcist. This one we watched in fourth grade and OH MY SWEET LORD. A girl roundabouts our age gets possessed by demonic forces, spins her head around like she's some sort of super creepy OWL or something, projectile vomits pretty much constantly, uses the C-WORD, and stabs herself in the girl parts with a crucifix??? I'm still not over it.

Could someone give Linda some Pepto to settle her stomach, please?

3. Psycho. For at least a month afterward, I made my mom sit in the bathroom with me while I showered so that no one could slip in and stab me to death. Enough said.

Ha ha! You can't kill me if my mom's here!

* I am not including any of the soft-core porn we watched on Skinemax during middle school. That's an entry for another time. Or, quite possibly, never.

NEXT TIME: We return to Friendship, and I take the term "character sketch" a bit too literally.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tragedy... or Comedy?

The following tragic—or "tradgic," as the case may be—tales were recorded in my school journal. What do we think my fifth grade teacher's reaction was? Copious eye-rolling? Or laughing until she peed her pants, then reading the journal aloud to every member of her immediate family?

The first tale of woe is supposed to be written in an objective journalistic style. Please note: supposed to be.

November 2, 1988

Joe Hill

This tragic story begins on November 1, 1988 at about 2:30 P.M. when Sada, 11, got off the bus from Fairfax Elementary and walked to her house at 1888 So. Compton.

Sada realized no one was home but Joe, the handy man.

Just to clarify, Joe the Handyman was not by any means a permanent fixture in our household. He was an acquaintance of my dad's who was doing some sort of work in our kitchen, I don't remember what. Not really important for our purposes...

There were no cars there and the two doors (front and back) were locked but, she proceeded in ringing the two doorbells. Of course, Joe did not answer, which was what she expected as he did not live there. So she continued to buzz the bells which also consisted of playing "Mary had a little lamb" and "Heaven is a place on Earth" on them. She also claims to have banged on the gutter and thrown balls at windows.

Ooookay, so I thought Joe was in the house... Was I trying to ANNOY him into answering the door?

This went on until 3:00 P.M., when her father, Charles, 39, arrived home with her sister, Imogene, 9, her brother, William, 4, and her mother's baby-sitting charges, Joshua, 5, and Lawrence, 5. Apparently, the handy man, Joe Hill, while cutting a piece of wood with an electric saw tore off an inch of one of his fingers and cut three others.

Halle, 36, rushed Joe to Saint Luke's emergency room.

Charles later had to go home, find the finger, and bring it to the hospital.

I left out that it took my dad for-freakin'-evs for locate the finger—in fact, he initially overlooked it because he thought it was AN OLD PIECE OF POTATO. Unfortunately, that is eternally how I imagine severed phalanges to look.

Joe Hill's finger cannot be sewn back on.

But what's the real tragedy here? The fact that Joe lost part of his finger—or that I was left alone outside for half an hour and forced to amuse myself by playing Belinda Carlisle songs on the doorbell? I think we all know the answer to THAT.

But wait! There's so much more tragedy to come! It can happen anywhere, at any time. Even while you're waiting for the school bus.


Bus Stop Tradgedy

This morning, while waiting for the bus, somehow, a gift got into the street and was run over. Glass was splattered all over the street. Someone at our stop got the box out. It was a beautiful glass pitcher. We opened the card to "Mrs. Fentelli." It was from the Rennerts and Myers. So some of us volunteered to call them.

Because you know what a busted-ass pitcher in the middle of the street is? A mystery just waiting to be solved! And you best believe we were going to get to the bottom of it.

I am looking up "Fentelli" in the phone book.
Genie [my sister, who was clearly not going to make it as a P.I.] never looked up Myers or called. I looked up "Fentelli" (it wasn't in there) and "Myers" (a whole "Myers" page, there is!), but I didn't make any calls.

Sherron had better luck. She looked up "Rennert" (only 3), found the number (so did I, actually), and called. She told the man (Sief) and asked if she should leave it at the bus stop for him.

Can you imagine how this phone call went down? "Well hi there, Mr. Rennert! I'm in fifth grade, and my friends and I found a smashed-up glass pitcher that you gave to someone. Uh, maybe. Anyway, you will OBVIOUSLY want this back. Should we leave its shattered remains at our bus stop for you?"

He said he didn't like the woman anyway; his wife wanted to send her the gift. He had no use for it. Sherron threw it out!


Oh my God, you guys! I can't believe he didn't want the beautiful broken pitcher back! DOUBLE the "tradgedy"!

But hang on, because the tragedy's about to get physical.



I was in a golf cart crash. I went golfing with my dad. I was in a cart with his friend, Rob. We hit a tree.

Here's what I neglected to mention: I was the one driving.

The golf cart was unharmed, but my pride—and head—were wounded.
[p.s. I stole this image from Time. Don't sue me, please!]

My head hit the steering wheel. I fell out of the cart. I just lay there for a minute. I got up then, though.

For a second, all I saw was white, then I noticed the throbbing pain in my head. It seemed like my nose was bleeding, but it wasn't.

I think I may have been briefly knocked unconscious. That's some stellar first-time driving!

I didn't cry. Not until it was over and my dad drove up. I said, "Can I ride with you?" and started to cry.

So now I hurt:

* That already hurt.

Truthfully? I am still not a very good driver. However, I have never again driven headfirst into a tree. So at least I have that going for me.


Last Night

!!!UGH!!! Last night was bad. I guess you could call it a "bad night" like we say "bad day". Well, listen:

First, I had too much homework. (HINT, HINT).

Yes, it actually says that.

Then, since I did, my dad almost made me miss watching my T.V. shows. That was bad, since, they were SEASON PREMIERES. Finally, I agreed to do the dishes (My week, naturally) during commercials and take a bath after my shows. (9:00)

You guys, I was serious about my TV. At some point I even drafted a weekly schedule of all of the shows I liked to watch. You know, like ALF and The Hogan Family. How could I miss a single riveting episode?!

Must-see TV!

Well, I ran the bath-water (it could have been warmer) and got in.

I am sooo reaching.

Then it got bad. While washing my face, I got soap in my eye. I easily got it out. Well, I washed my hair and got shampoo in my eye, which really stung. I got out and it took me a while to get the shampoo out.

I tried to find an outfit for today (no skirts). I played with BABY
[my guinea pig] and suddenly got a cramp in my leg. I went downstairs to take my medicine (I'd forgotten) and tell dad. Finally, I fell asleep.

It's amazing I lived to tell the tale, truly.

NEXT TIME: Whooo boy, after all the leg cramps and shampoo in the eye—uh, I mean, terribly horrible tragedy—you know what we need? A party! Or several parties, preferably involving Cool Ranch Doritos and multiple viewings of Hairspray.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

By a Hair

Remember how I had a bit of an obsession with child sleuths? Well, guest author Heraa was on the opposite end of the spectrum. While I wanted to solve crimes, she dreamed of being the one committing them. Heraa wrote the following story—about a prepubescent burglar with shoddy hair accessories—in 2003, when she was in third grade. That's right, 2003! I'll let you do the math. It's never too soon to start making fun of yourself, people! In fact, Heraa even provided the snarky commentary (unless otherwise noted). So what are we waiting for? Let's get to the underage thieving!

Matilda smiled as she snuck in to another house on Market street. When would those people learn that locks couldn't keep her out?

Heraa says: See, I had secret ambitions of being a thief when I was younger, so most of my stories revolved around them. I never acted on the impulse.

The first room she found was a nursery. Nothing valuable there [human life—completely useless, duh]. Matilda found absoloutely [I nearly failed spelling. Only because I was a "good kid" my teacher let me do extra credit. In spelling. IN THIRD GRADE.] nothing in the second, third, and fourth [room, I'm guessing]. Then, finally, a locked room.

Heraa says: Because locked rooms = cash, in my mind.

Delicately, she plucked a booby pin from her hair. Matilda carefully bent it, but it snapped, reminding her she need to get a refund on them.

Heraa says: Jeez, this chick is CHEAP. A bobby pin? Couldn't spring for actual burglary tools?

Sada says: I don't know if "booby pin" was a third grade misspelling or 2009 typo, but I am finding it vastly amusing. ...Because apparently I am STILL in third grade. What would a booby pin look like? Maybe this:

Booby pin?

Um, or this:

Booby pin!

(Which I stole from this girl's Flickr page. I totally give booby pin credit where booby pin credit is due.)

Okay, now back to the thievery in progress:

Carefully pulling out another bobby pin, the theif failed to notice it was her last one before she would be left with only one.

Heraa says: Most awkwardly phrased sentence ever. Um, I think the word I was looking for was next-to-last.

Sada says:
Free advice for Matilda: If discount booby, ahem, BOBBY pins are your only lock-picking device, I would suggest that you bring more than three with you. Heck, try a handful!

Indispensable tools for 9-year-old burglars.

Matilda wasn't having any luck with the door, as the doornob's lock was tiny.

Heraa says: And, you're using a BOBBY PIN.

As the pin in her hand broke, so did the last one in her hair.

Sada says: It broke while still in her hair? That is one cheapass bobby pin.

A mass of dark hair toppled down, and Matilda looked around wildly looking for something to hold up her hair.

Heraa says: This really was the extent of my knowledge of thieves. They MUST have something to hold up their hair, and they use bobby pins to break locks.

Sada says:
They use bobby pins to break locks and to hold back their locks! Ba-dum-bum! But seriously, how can you concentrate on picking a lock with hair in your face? Impossible!

Meanwhile, one hair, the only one that got any hairspray that morning [wait, what? She only sprayed one hair?], made its way into the lock.

Heraa says: You're kidding, right? How does that happen?

As Matilda's face turned, so did the hair. And then - [I didn't...] The lock let out a sound [I did...] Matilda had wanted to hear for about an hour, it clicked.

Sada says: That's right, she picked a lock with her HAIR. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, MacGyver!

As the door swung, the girl felt her jaw drop lower and lower.

Heraa says: How low can a jaw drop? And did the door move on its own? So many questions. Don't worry, we don't get answers.

Sada says: Is it fair to assume that her magical strand of hairsprayed hair opened the door? If that sucker can unlock a door, surely it can push one open as well...

The room was filled with gold, jewels, and, to Matilda's delight, money.

Heraa says: Because gold and jewels are worth nothing without cold, hard cash.

As soon as she swiped everthing and headed home
[wow, how did she carry all that?], Matilda smirked. Maybe she wouldn't get a refund on those pins after all.

Heraa says: Ohmigosh. I have never seen such a convoluted plot, ever. I think I actually beat the Sweet Valley High books. Let's recap:

1) This thief apparently breaks into houses a lot, and locks can't keep her out.

2) She's supposed to be my age at the time (nine).

3) She breaks into houses with a bobby pin. A cheaply made bobby pin that broke.

4) Matilda hairsprays ONE HAIR. And holds all of her hair up with bobby pins.

Sada says:
Well, you're going to need bobby pins if you're applying hairspray to a SINGLE STRAND OF HAIR.

5) Her hairsprayed hair UNLOCKED a friggin' door that she was working on for an hour.

Sada says:
She should really stop buying bobby pins at the Dollar Tree.

6) Houses on Market Street have gold, jewels, and money lying around in poorly locked rooms.

Good thing I never actually tried to steal anything—I would be relying on a hair.

NEXT TIME: Some slice-of-life tales from my fifth grade journal. And I mean that literally—someone actually loses a finger.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wait, we're getting remarried? F*¢k!

This post answers the burning question What was Sada doing on Valentine's Day weekend 20 years ago? The following school journal entries chronicle a SUPER ROMANTIC TIME involving a sweater dress from T.J. Maxx, semi-inappropriate song dedications to my cousins, and quite a bit of vomit. Oh, and what may or may not have been my grandparents' 40th wedding anniversary.


Well, it all started when my Aunt Cindy called. She said they were planning a surprise 40th anniversary party for my grandparents and would we come? SURE!!!

Once we got there, it turned out no one was exaaaaactly sure what year my grandparents had gotten married, so it was actually their 39th anniversary. Or maybe their 41st. In any case, not actually their 40th. Surprise!


SURPRISE WEEKEND continued.....
So it's a 4(½) hour drive to Lockport, New York. So we got there OK. (Well, truthfully, me and Genie did have a fight). So when we got there we swam (everybody but mom).

The best part of any trip we went on? Swimming in the hotel pool.

Then we got dressed. I wore my new sweater dress.

FRACK, I wish I had in my possession a picture of the sweater dress. It was cream-colored, beaded, and had shoulder pads that made me look like a linebacker. In other words, the height of fashion!

So we got to the place where the party was.

The VFW Hall, I'm pretty sure, if that helps you set the scene.

My grandparents had just been dropped off by the limo.

Nothing's too good for their 40th anniversary! Or 39th. Whatever.

We saw my step-cousin, Amy. Genie didn't want to see her. I wasn't sure. Amy was really nice.

Amy's dad had recently married my aunt, and I think we had only met her once before. This time, she managed to pass muster.

We were talking and beating up on my other cousins, Stephen and Michael (the twins) and Jimmy. I hate them.

Because they're BOYS! Ew!

Amy told us Gramma and Grampa were going to be remarried - only they didn't know it.

Because what's more romantic than being coerced into renewing your vows? WHAT, I ask you!

So the time came to get remarried. They made faces. Grampa started swearing. It was funny!


At the end we threw confetti on them. Then Jimmy threw confetti at us! So we threw it back at him. It was all in my hair! Steven helped my hair, so I helped his. Then we threw some on my cousin, Jonah and his girlfriend, Rhonda. Jimmy did it too - while they were kissing! GROSS!

Jonah was in high school at the time and fairly metal. I'm sure he was THRILLED.

Then we ate. Did I say there was a deejay with his sound system? He said to call him Dr. Rock.
(HA!) So we picked out songs for him (Dr. Rock (HA!)) to play. He said he wouldn't. The old people started dancing.

They were probably, like, 31.

Me and Amy gagged ourselves when "Lady in Red" came on.

I HATED "Lady in Red." Actually, I'm still not much of a fan, but I will grant you that the song is about 8 hundred million times sweeter than my grandparents' anniversary.

We had Dr. Rock
[HA!] ask Jonah and Rhonda to dance! They didn't. After awhile the old people stopped dancing. Dr. Rock started to play our songs! I danced. Amy even danced with Jimmy! It was fun. We had Dr. Rock dedicate a song to Jonah and Rhonda. Then we had him dedicate "Nasty" to Amy.

That just seems wrong somehow.

My dad said it was time to go after two more songs. Two more songs were over. Ericka, Jonah's sister, just told us Jonah and Rhonda would dance to "Welcome to the Jungle." So we had Dr. Rock dedicate it to them. They didn't dance. They were EMBARASSED.
But we did.

Most of my Valentine's Day plans seem to have involved embarrassing my cousins. Or beating up on them. Or dousing them with confetti.

We left. We slept. We swam. We drove. We pushed the car because it didn't work right. We had just turned onto our street when I choked on my rootbeer. I barfed twice into my hands because I couldn't breathe. Then I barfed all over.


And on that note, happy Valentine's Day everyone!

As a romantic bonus, I'm, uh, "pleased" to report that someone found this blog by Googling "make out with my feet." Seriously, you guys. I'm kind of at a loss.

NEXT TIME: Guest author Heraa's wily third grade thief makes MacGyver look like a freaking chump. Yeah, you heard me, Richard Dean Anderson.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Diary, part four

LAST TIME: Ashley the Diary had listen to Jenny (or Jen) go on and on about her really exciting fifth grade life. Jenny's parents' divorce at long last became final, and Jenny's dad was all, "YESSSSSS! Now I can ditch these bratty kids and gorge myself on McDonald's... in Maine!" Gretchen and Todd kissed, and I threw up in my mouth a little. Jen scribbled some passive-aggressive poetry on Gretchen's cast, and that dirty britch responded with crutch violence. Jen, Sarah, and Abby formed the "US" club to plot their revenge, because they have nothing better to do, with a capital N. Jenny's mom said she had a surprise, and Jen was POSITIVE it had to do with her 6-year-old sister being a mass murderer—and not the fact that they've been spending every weekend in Brockport visiting their ailing grandfather and other relatives. Surely not!

And now, I'm sorry to say, we have the final installment:


Dear Ashley,

I am really mad at my mom. Guess what her surprise is? We are moving too! We're moving down to where Ellen lives, a street away! It's so we can take care of Grampa. So he can recover.

I know it sounds like Jenny's confusing a heart attack with a stroke or something, but my own grandma had heart disease and she definitely had some periods where she was pretty effed up.

And my mom feels safer down here in New York where she grew up. She likes being down here with her two sisters. My other aunt is Aunt Mary. How can she do this to me!?! She already bought the house, so there is no backing out. We are going to see the house tomorrow and then we're going to Aunt Mary's so I can see my other cousins, Lisa, Eleanor, and Eddie. Eleanor is my age, too. My new school is called Friendship. Ellen told me. She says there are a lot of cute boys in the neighborhood! Ellen doesn't understand how I feel about leaving Sarah and Abby. I don't want to leave. I don't want to lose Sarah and Abby.



Dear Ashley,

I have a kitten! I have a pet. That probably makes no sense. Well, we went to my Aunt Mary's yesterday. They are rich! Eleanor is like super-nice and they gave me a birthday present, a kitten. A calico kitten and guess what I named her? I almost named her Ashley, but that would be confusing for you.

Yes, PLEASE don't confuse the diary.

So I named her C.C. because I like the way it sounds. It stands for calico cat, I guess, if nothing else. And Ellen gave me the present from her. Guess what it is, a fancy writing notebook, 2 4-color pens, and some earrings. The earrings are pencils.

How Claudia Kishi! Well, if one were a pencil and the other were a notebook, maybe?

Eleanor is so, so lucky. She has an electric typewriter! [Man! Those rich kids get all the good stuff!] I tried it out. I wrote my name, "Jennifer Ann Scott". Eleanor said, "I thought your last name was Fields." I said no that it was my mom's last name. Eleanor looked embarrassed. Oh, well. Guess what, we couldn't see the house because the owners were moving out, but we'll see it tomorrow.



Dear Ashley,

I saw the house today. There are 3 bedrooms. Grampa has one, mom has one, and Tony has one. Then there's the attic. I have to share a room with Lucy, Snob Force member. If she tries to brainwash me, she dies. Our street is called Evergreen Ave. Our address is 925 Evergreen Ave. I don't want to move. Ellen is so excited that I can't tell her and I want to, but she would never, never understand. She thinks it's great that I'm moving. My room is big and my mom is an interior decorator. She has a studio in the basement. Mom is going to help us fix up the attic. Guess what, there's a bathroom, too. Lucy is so, so excited about having her own bathroom where she can leave her underwear on the floor. I said not as long as I was here too.

Lucy is rapidly becoming my favorite character in this book.

We are going to pack tomorrow. We're leaving today. C.C. is staying with Eleanor. How will I break up the "US" club?



I'll tell you one thing, it wasn't fun to break up the "US" club. Abby is so upset that I can't tell if she's mad at me or not. She spent almost the whole day in the school bathroom. Sarah isn't mad at me, she's just mad... and sad. Me too. All three of us were crying our eyes out. Mom said they can come visit me not this weekend, not next, the weekend after next.

Egad, who's the chauffeur? Assuming we really were in Cleveland to start with, that's at least a 4-hour drive... each way!

By then our room will be done. Our room will be painted sky blue. Lucy wanted it pink, but I absolutely refused to have my room PINK. Really. Her bed spread is pink. We divided the room in half. I have the half by the 2 windows. I picked frilly off-white curtains. My bedspread is off-white, too with small sky blue and pink hearts on it. We are going to get an off-white curtain to go across the room so it can be private. I miss C.C.



Dear Ashley,

I'm writing in pink because today is Valentine's Day. And guess what happened. Todd dumped Gretchen! It was in her valentine from him. Now he goes with this girl in our class named Brittany.

He's a class act, that Todd.

Gretchen was crying her head off and she threw up in the bathroom. Mrs. Enite asked me to walk her down to the nurse's office. Can you believe that? So I was trapped. I walked her down and I had to wait with her until the nurse came, about 15 minutes later. You'll never believe what happened! Gretchen apologized! She said she was sorry about calling Abby fat, about me walking Lucy home, about Todd, and about kissing and trying to hit me with her crutch. So I said I was sorry about what I wrote on her cast. So now we are friends again. I wonder what the "US" club will think about another member. How will I tell Gretchen I'm moving?

They're FRIENDS again?! Did I really write this? Are we in Bizarro World?


Dear Ashley,

I wonder what C.C. is doing.

My money's on napping.

We are officially moving on Saturday. I'm going to Abby's for the "US" club meeting so I won't be in the way. Guss what, Gretchen is in the "US" club! And on Friday, the "US" club is going to the school at 5:00 to go in the boy's bathroom, even Abby. I have to because it was one of my resolutions.

She is so, so sticking to all of those resolutions. I swear she is!

We are packing, packing, packing! I wrote dad a letter, telling him about the house. Our rooms are done being painted and the downstairs is getting done. Aunt Sue called mom to tell her what was going on. And guess what, dad knew we were moving before we knew! How unfair. And mom knew dad was moving before we did. The world is so unfair. I swear it is. I told Gretchen I was moving. She was crying and said that I couldn't since we just got to be friends again. She's coming to visit.



Dear Ashley,

Tomorrow I'll see my little C.C. We went in the boy's bathroom. It's like the girl's bathroom except they have no mirrors (we have two) and they have those things called urinals or something. How sick. We were hysterical.

This is based entirely on fact! Apparently 10-year-old boys don't need to know what they look like.

All my stuff is packed except for tomorrow's clothes, you, a pair of shoes, my pens, and my notebook. I'm all set for the "US" club meeting. It's hard to believe I'm leaving... and not coming back. On Monday I start school. My new school, Friendship. Friendship is a cool name for a school. Ellen said they built it over the summer because the old school burnt down. Guess what else, there was a flood the first day of school! It rains a lot where we're moving to.

If I remember correctly, it's more that they have problems with sewage backup where she's moving to.

I'm almost done writing on your pink pages, Ashley.

The first third of the diary's pages are pink, the next are yellow, and the final third are blue. We ALMOST make it out of the pink.

I can't wait for tomorrow's "US" club meeting. Abby bought another friendship bracelet for Gretchen.



Dear Ashley,

So we moved. We packed, we moved, and now we have to unpack. I am a teensy bit nervous about sleeping in this strange house. I didn't see C.C. She is coming over tomorrow so she won't be in the way while we unpack. We spent most of the "US" club meeting crying. I can't wait until Abby, Sarah, and Gretchen come to visit me. Wait until they see my room. We are putting up the curtain tomorrow. I can't wait. Our room looks great. The bathroom is lavendar. Can you imagine? A lavendar bathroom? Well, it could happen to anyone.

Sager words were never spoken.

No, that's not my bathroom. But according to Jen, IT COULD BE.

There are two storage spaces in our room, one on each side of the room. Each one has a big picture on the outside wall. How weird! But if Lucy lives here, it has to be real weird. Grampa is moving in next weekend. I'm kinda nervous about meeting him. I mean I'll live with him, but I won't know him!



Dear Ashley,

WOW! You will never guess what I found today! We were cleaning and Tony pushed me into the broom closet in the kitchen. What a jerk! Well, I got slammed into the back of the broom closet and guess what happened! The wall fell out. Well part of the wall in the middle of the wall. There was an open square space left. I stuck my hand in. I couldn't feel anything. I couldn't see anything. It was so, so dark! Well, I put the wall piece back in. You couldn't even tell it could come out! There are two wood pieces that go around the length of the broom closet, 2 feet from the top and 2 feet from the bottom. It must be a secret passage. It can't be a storage space. Who's ever heard of a hidden storage space... in a closet. I mean, get real! I'll get a flashlight and check it out after school tomorrow. C.C. is here. I love C.C.


Dude. Who the hell can fit inside a broom closet? And we know Jen isn't skinny. I mean, she's not fat, but she's not skinny either.


Dear Ashley,

I'm not in Eleanor or Ellen's class! There are 4 5th grade classes. This girl named Rebecca showed me around.

That's Rebecca Smith, who lives with her single mother and 12 siblings. Clearly she doesn't have enough to do.

My homeroom and math teacher is Mr. Matthews. My Reading teacher is Ms. Dunn. Mr. Matthews teaches me Health, Science, and Social Studies. Eleanor is in my Math and Ellen's in my Reading class! But they already have their own friends and I felt left out. Guess what, it
is a secret passage!

Well, of course it is! If my stories continue for long enough, a secret passage will inevitably be discovered.

I went in afterschool when everyone was gone. Tony went to Janie's, Lucy went to Aunt Sue's to see Beth, and mom went grocery shopping. I stuck my leg in and felt ground, so I got in. Inside, there was a latch to close the wall piece! I shone the flashlight around and behind me, I saw a ladder! So I climbed until I came to like a landing. It was a tiny room, about twice as big as a nice sized closet! I saw a small hole so, I looked in. I was looking into Tony's closet!

Tony's closet? Who knows what kind of awesomeness that could hold!

This secret passage RULES!

I got out of the room and kept climbing until the ladder stopped. I saw another latched wall piece. I unlatched it and climbed out. I was in my storage space! I looked at the wall piece on the floor. It was that big picture. I wondered why it was there.

The house we moved into in fifth grade also featured an attic storage space with random paintings hanging inside. (Yes, paintings INSIDE the crawl space. Really.) Unfortunately, the explanation was that one of the former tenants was a bad artist, not that we had a secret passage. Though you better believe I thoroughly tested the broom closet for hollow walls.

How cool! A secret passage in my house! I wasn't going to tell anybody. Not even Ellen. I would show Sarah, Abby, and Gretchen when they came to visit. The room could be our clubhouse. I'm so, so glad I found the secret passage. I fit the picture back in. You couldn't tell at all!


The entry inexplicably ends with a cat illustration:

Um, okaaaaay.


Dear Ashley,

It's hopeless. I think I'll never have any friends. Ellen and Eleanor have their own seperate groups. Eleanor is really, really popular. Can you believe it? Well, it's true.

If you haven't realized yet, Eleanor is Eleanor Jefferson, the Queen Bee of Friendship Elementary in spite of her old lady name and old lady cardigans. Or, hey, maybe she's just a trendsetter. By the mid-'90s dressing like a grandma would be HUGE!

I totally love granny sweaters, by the way. Still.

The curtain is up. Lucy is littering the bathroom with bath toys. She has about 9 different bubble baths. The curtains are up and they look great. My bed is in between the window and the curtain. The bedspread looks great! My desk is across from my bed on the other side of the room. My typewriter and pens and pencils and paper and stuff is over there. My dresser is against the wall, between the windows. My kitten poster is above my desk. Nothing is blocking the storage space. I found a phone jack on my side of the room! Now all I need is a phone.

Yeah, that might be helpful.

Grampa is coming on Saturday. I can't wait for the "US" club to get here. It'll be the best sleepover ever!



Dear Ashley,

Guess what!?!? Today these three girls, Gloria, Sara, and Regina ate lunch with me? Can you believe it? They are VERY nice. I'm SO, SO excited. I'm making new friends. WOW! The girls, you know, Gloria, Sara, and Regina, were really nice.

They would be Gloria Gilford, Sara Doone, and Regina Grubble, stars of the unwritten Don't Be Yourself; Me, Super-Girl (and its equally unwritten sequel, Super-Girl Flies Again); and One of the Best Friends You Ever Had, respectively.

I still feel kind of stupid listening to everyone talk about the boys and other stuff that has happened at school. I know it's not my fault I wasn't here, but I still feel like it is. Oh well, one thing's for sure, I won't feel left out when the "US" club comes to visit.

Are the extraneous quotation marks and needless capitalization really "IRRITATING" anyone else?

They are coming on the weekend after the weekend Grampa gets here. I'm nervous about having Grampa come. What if he doesn't like me? What if he's really old-fashioned? The possibilities are practically endless!

Sorry, but I couldn't think of any evil grandpas.

You guys, Jenny's already living in the attic! And she seems to take an unhealthy enjoyment in watching her brother get it on with the ladies! DANGER! DANGER!!!

Oh well, life goes on, I guess. I hope!



Today I got a letter in the mail from dad. He said he's all settled in his new house. I have to write and tell him we are all settled in ours. Those girls, Gloria, Sara, and Regina didn't sit with me today. They sat with their other two friends. Everyone here has their own tight little groups. Ellen said I have to give it time. I don't see her and her friends being nice to me. It's because snotty Michelle doesn't like me, I just know it!

Her second-best friend won't even sit with her at lunch? You're about to get demoted, Ellen.

My only friends are the "US" club. I can't wait 'til they get here next weekend! It don't fit in at school. I can't believe it's called "Friendship". There doesn't seem to be any left for me!


Grampa will be here tomorrow. Thank goodness it's Friday!

♥ Jen ♥

And that's all we've got. Sorry to end this one on a downer! But don't worry—the Friendship Elementary Master Clique List (okay, it's really just titled Groups) reveals that Jenny-or-Jen eventually befriends August Brokenhoff, Stephanie Pepper, and Elaine Foster. You can rest assured they had many fun times together creating more "CLUBS" and hanging out in all of Jenny's various closets.

NEXT TIME: Especially for Valentine's Day, a real-life tale of love as my family celebrates my grandparents' 40th wedding anniversary by tricking them into renewing their vows.

Yeah, that's right, I'm going to get two posts up this week if it kills me!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Diary, part three

LAST TIME: Jenny (or Jen) continued to pour her heart out to her diary, Ashley, about her various fifth grade traumas: Sarah almost DIED of pneumonia, but only missed about two weeks of school. Abby lost a worrisome amount of weight, which was GREAT NEWS! That britch Gretchen broke her leg due to her extreme idiocy—and STILL managed to seduce Todd Swartz and his hair! Meanwhile, Jen's grandpa had a heart attack and the family went to Brockport to help out. How did Jen help? By being bitchy to her cousin Ellen and secretly watching her brother make out through a hole in the floor. But it turned out Ellen is a peeping Tom too, so she and Jen TOTALLY BONDED. Also, our heroine got a paint splatter sweatshirt for her birthday. Can this story get any awesomer? Let's find out.


Thrilling Thursday.

Dear Ashley,

I'm really mad at Gretchen. I'll never be friends with her, even if she comes and begs me to let her kiss my feet. I'd rather slit my wrists.

You guys? If we ever get in a fight, offering to make out with my feet is NOT the way to win me back. Just an FYI.

I was walking home with Sarah and Pesty Lucy and Todd was walking Gretchen home. Well I heard someone yell, "Jennnnyyy!" So, I turned around and it was Gretchen. Her and Todd started cracking up. So I turned around. Sarah said, "Ignore." So about 5 minutes later I turned around for some dumb reason. Gretchen was staring straight at me but Todd didn't notice. Then she whispered something I couldn't hear and they started kissing.

Nooooooooooo! Seriously, there was only one fifth grade couple I knew who kissed (Terrence and Tacie), and I'm sorry to say they used to MAKE OUT on the school bus.

It wasn't as gross as Tony and Janie but they hurt me.

Terrence and Tacie, on the other hand? Grosser than you can possibly imagine.

I still found the note during class and I want to know why "Chipmunk" was walking home, with her broken leg and all but there are some things we never learn.


Jen is SO ZEN.

Freaky Friday.

Well, I guess I forgot to tell you what the note said. It said:

For the visually impaired, that's:
To my little Chipmunk-

How is your leg? I am so glad I'm walking you home today. We can talk. Meet me in the park tomorrow, OK?

L♥ve, Your Bear (Grizzly)

So anyway on the outside it said: To: Gretch From: Todd

So, Sarah had to go home for a doctor's appointment so me and Abby went to the park to wait for "Grizzly" and "Chipmunk". But Gretchen never came!!! Todd was down there with his friend, Joey. They were talking about Gretchen and saying too bad she couldn't come because of her leg and then they started laughing. But we couldn't figure out anything else because they started a snowball fight. Even though there was hardly any snow!


That is the single most realistic thing a boy in these books has done. Strictly the snowball part, that is.

Sunday Supreme.

We are staying with dad for a while because mom went back down to Brockport to take care of things at Grampa's house because Aunt Sue called to say that someone broke in last night! I got Ellen's address and we are going to be pen-pals! So I am going to write Ellen a letter. Dad let me bring my typewriter since it isn't that heavy. Then I'm going to type a story and put it in here so I'll always remember it. Dad is calling me because it's time to play Scrabble. Scrabble is so, so cool. I'm really good, I swear I am. Well, bye for now.


And then we're treated to this lovely drawing of Gretchen, who is apparently a pockmarked, cross-eyed bobblehead with a scrunchy for a body:

Hey, what happened to Jenny's actual pen pal? I seem to have forgotten that plotline in the midst of all of the voyeurism and near-death experiences. But although Kristina Martin (as portrayed by my sister) is never heard from again, the book's folder contains this:

January 21, 1989

Dear Jenny,

My mom and dad are divorced. My dad lives in Florida. I live with my mom and my little brother Ben who is 3½. I also live with my hamster, Snuffy, and my brother's turtle, (he got today) and my brother's turtle's fish (we also got today). My brother didn't name his turtle yet. Do you have any suggestions? Do you have any pets? I have to walk home a girl, also. Her name is Gretchen. She's pesty, too. I like ice-skating, except my mom never has the time to take me.

Yes, my sister did read a lot of Lurlene McDaniels.

My bestfriend is Judy. My X-friend or X-best friend is Veronica. Last year my teacher read us or started reading "The Diary of Anne Frank". I made resolutions in my diary. Did you make resolutions in your diary? We have so much in common. Don't you think? If you don't have any pets tell me what kind of pet you like or want.

Maybe this is what spawned the "gerbil named Tails" revelation?

I'm turning 11 on June 18. I can't wait. I have to eat dinner in 13 minutes I think. Well, I'm running out of paper.

Your truly,
Kristina E. Martin

Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled melodrama.

Merciful Monday

Dear Ashley,

Gretchen asked me to sign her cast as a joke. So, I wrote:
God made rivers
God made lakes
God made Gretchen
Well, we all make mistakes

And I mean it! -Jennifer S.

You know she's serious because she signed it "Jennifer." Also, I am plagiarizing the BSC so hard, I probably owe Ann M. Martin royalties. That is the EXACT SAME passive-aggressive rhyme that Kristy scribbled on Claud's cast in Claudia and the Bad Joke. My friends and I were moderately obsessed with it, our favorite variation being:
God made rivers
God made lakes
God made boys
Well, we all make mistakes

So, Gretchen got really mad and tried to hit me with her crutch but Sarah stood up and said to leave me alone and Gretchen was so surprised because Sarah used to be so quiet, not shy, quiet while Abby ran and got the teacher so, Gretchen had to stay after school which serves the little brich right. Sarah said her doctor's appointment was good and that she was all better and healthy. I could tell there was more. So I called her after school to find out - Sarah got her period!


Did the doctor, like, induce her period or something? I don't understand. Ew.


That's Thursday (Today)

Dear Ashley,

Well, it's over. My parents are divorced. It doesn't seem like it's really different. But mom is back and we're staying with her again because dad is moving. So he's packing and we would be in the way. But guess where he's moving to... Maine! And we get to see him for a month each summer and he's going to come down and see us for a week during Winter Break. I was crying when I heard. I am going to miss him so, so much. You don't realize how much you love a person until they are gone... or leaving. But we get to stay with him all next week. This weekend we are going to Brockport with mom and then dad drives down and picks us up and brings us back while mom stays all week and helps. We're leaving tomorrow.


Fabulous Friday

Dear Ashley,

We are driving down to Brockport. I'm in front! I can't wait to see Ellen. Tony's so excited about seeing Janie, he's been babbling about her all day. Right now, he's saying how she wrote him a letter saying that she will show him around town. I'll write letter since mom is trying to read over my shoulder!

While driving?! That doesn't seem safe, Edith.

Well, now it's 9:30. Tony is out at a movie with Janie. I'm baby-sitting Pesty but she's asleep. We ate dinner at Aunt Sue's. That pen was running out. Ellen showed me her friends, Debbie, Michelle, and Kris (Kristin). They are nice, all of them except Michelle, who's conceited. Ellen said she was showing off and sometimes gets carried away making a good impression.

That is totally grossed-out.

But then they were talking about boys at their school and I felt left out, but I didn't say anything. Mom just got back from the hospital. 'Bye.



Hi! It's Ellen again! I have nothing to say! 'Bye!

Well, so much for Ellen's page. Mom said dad just pulled up and Pesty ran out and I can hear her scream, "Daddy-Poo!" How immature! Well, we're here in the car and it's safe to write. Lucy got to sit in front with dad (she always gets her way, I swear she does) and Tony's asleep. Mom said she has a surprise for us when we come back next weekend. Maybe we are giving Lucy up for adoption!

Ha ha ha ha.

I don't want to go back to school, but I can't wait to see Sarah or Abby. I really don't want to see Gretchen. I still like Todd, but he is really sick. I mean, he is so, so gross. Tony is waking up.

Bye, Ashley.


And then, for whatever reason, there's a picture of a hirsute Muppetlike character. And a pencil. Of course!


Dear Ashley,

Valentine's Day is in 8 days. Guess what, my lucky number is 5. I swear, that is the best number. A little birdie told me so. Me and Sarah and Abby made our valentines at Abby's after school. Abby looks like her dad but her mom is stick-skinny and looks like a model. Can you believe it? I can't.

Yeah, we know you can't.

Guess what else, Sarah has a boyfriend!!! This boy in our class, Ben, asked her yesterday!!! She is in true love and it is good for Sarah because she's never been in love before. I am so, so glad Sarah got over her pneumonia.

You guys, I think it's great that Sarah conquered her fear of death and all, but what the hell? Getting pneumonia makes you assertive AND it will snag you a man?! Where can I get pneumonia???

And guess what, Abby thinks Ben is a major hunk. I think he's pretty ugly and gross, like the rest of the boys at our school, but I didn't say so because they are my best friends and I didn't want to hurt their feelings.
I am so, so excited about mom's surprise. Maybe Lucy is a murderer and the police are putting her in a juvenile delinquent prison.

Oh. My. God. AWESOME.

But then I think about dad moving. I mean, Maine is so far away. I'm going to miss him so, so much.



Dear Ashley,

When I grow up I'm going to have a husband and two kids, one boy, one girl. The girl will be older and her name will be Ashley, like you. The boy's name will be Todd, after my long lost love.

Yes, you read that correctly. She's going to name her child AFTER HER DIARY.

I'll be writer of children's books and they'll publish my diaries when I die so I will be remembered but not embarrassed.

I used to think that if I ever became a famous writer and someone published a posthumous volume of my letters, people would be sorely, sorely disappointed.

I guess my husband won't be Todd, since it would be dumb to have two Todds in the family. I have yet to meet my true love. Maybe someday that will come true, but for now all I can think about is Gretchen getting her cast off tomorrow. I'll die. I like her better handicapped, not that I like her at all! Abby is so, so happy! She lost 11 pounds in less than two months, a little over one!

Yeah, I'd say a trip to the pediatrician is in order.

Dad rented a movie for us tonight. It was "The Lost Boys". That's a good movie! Corey Haim is so, so cute! Dad didn't let Lucy watch it because it's rated 'R'! Too bad for the little dirtbag!



Dear Ashley,

Gretchen didn't come to school today. Me and Sarah and Abby have a club called "US". Don't you think it's us? Well, our club is completely against Gretchen. We want revenge. With a capital R.

These girls need a hobby. With a capital H.

Angela McMurphy invited me to her Valentine's Day sleepover party, but I can't go because we are going to Brockport next weekend, just like we are this weekend. Guess what, Abby bought the three of us matching Friendship bracelets for the "US" club. Dad is dropping us off at Brockport today on his way to Maine. So that will be the last time I see dad until the summer. I start crying whenever I think about it.

See, she's not 100% cold-hearted britch. Maybe just 98%.

But today mom tells us her surprise. I can't wait. I'm so, so excited! I swear, it must have something to do with Lucy. I just know it. Dad says it's time to go. His house is empty. Well, good bye, house! Goodbye, Dad. Goodbye, Ashley!


NEXT TIME: The surprise is revealed and—spoiler!—it does not involve Lucy being shipped off to kiddie prison.