Shouting the Poetic Truths of High School Journal Keepers

Sunday, January 30, 2005

January 30, 1995

Back to school once again. Love those weekends, don't you? Well, second semester is in full swing, so they say, and of course the always-entertaining report cards came out, and I am pleased to say that I have done mighty well, leading me to pen a song entitled "I Got an A in Drivers Ed," an uncertainty plaguing me ever since that fateful September 23 (cross-reference yourself)1 But everything is fine, except for the weather, which has kind of been mucky lately, but I mean, what do you expect for this time of year? Also on my agenda today is to report on one kick-ass movie, one Pulp Fiction I finally came about seeing with Marie & Chris on Saturday. God, was that a great movie. It was just so alive & entertaining. Mmmm. That's my report. I've been quoting dialogue since Saturday night; that's how much I liked it, because it entered my subconscious. That is a true measure of if you like something, I believe, because if something just enters your head without you forcing it in there, that's when you like it. When it preoccupies you. How wise. And as Mia Wallace said, you can tell when you're comfortable with someone when you can just be quiet & don't say anything to the person & you just don't fucking care. Or words to that effect. I'm paraphrasing the film there... I think it was Friday, though, that I had my grand epiphany, when I talked to Stacie on the phone & realized how much I like her & how much she truly means to me, at quarter to eleven at night, philosophical friendship discussions... It's a high of sorts, I think, a drunkenness of goodness & contentedness with my life2. I sometimes just get those pangs that say to me that despite it all, my life is good. And then I'll remember some impending homework assignment of some sort. But I truly think -- when compared with others, my old "friend" Ryan, for example (God, how much things have changed in such short a time ... the boy gets up & drives away when I enter a room) -- that I have a relatively happy life, good friends, etc. I am not angst-ridden or anything. Nor am I an affluent orchestra-playing suburbanite from Wheaton or Winnetka, which might be the opposite end of the spectrum, who's got it too good. Not that it's their fault that they're fabulously wealthy, I'm just saying ... It's nice. And it's nice that Diane Breining3r isn't in this English office anymore, especially since I didn't audition for the musical3 & she might be giving me evil glares the whole period.
--JMC 10:55 am

1 Ah, the perils of a print-based culture. Without a September archive yet, I'll just say that I skipped class on a day we had a test -- the only time I ever skipped in high school -- and subsequently received a zero, which led my average in the class to plummet.

2 It's worth noting, perhaps, that I'd never been drunk or high in my life at this point.

3 Little Shop of Horrors, for which I eventually worked stage crew.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

January 29, 1993

216 hours. 29 minutes. U should know what that means. The big news, I suppose, is the report cards, accompanied by our CLASS RANKING out of 416 students1. #1: Cyndi J0hnson. No surprise there. #2: Kristy Rav3n #3: Sh@nna Pr@naitis #4: Chris Kal3y/Adam Gyn@c/Stacie Fr33man I don't know who's 7 and 8, but Ryan is #9 and Allison H0ffert and I are tied for #10. Yay! Other noteworthy rankings: Chris T0desc0 #35 Becky R0senmay3r - also #35. What a coincidence, don't U think?2. Becky won't comment on the fact that Bill Clinton is in the 217th hour of the Presidency, but who cares? Jason J0rdan #45. He sed that he's probably the lowest honors student, but that was before I mentioned that Steve is #200-something (?!) -- Hey, we're playing Jeopardy!3. -- I'm gone -- JMC 11:43

That was fun and/or exciting. We lost, but the Alex Trebek-type person screwed up the scores so I don't know what the scores were really. Back to rankings. Well, actually, there's only one other person I know and that would be Mike W0nderlin4 at #397. I must to the lunch line now for I must eat my lunch5.
--JMC 11:54 am

1 It embarrasses me to think how invested I was in class rankings, a not entirely healthy mixture of curiosity and competitiveness.

2 Since they were dating at the time.

3 I think some kind of peer-leader group came into homeroom and conducted a quiz. I'm not sure why.

4 This scrawny rat-looking motherfucker who made fun of me in gym and health class. I wasn't really teased all that much in high school, but Mike got in his share of "get a girl you fag" remarks and insinuations, via a K-Y jelly joke, that Ryan and I were gay. It didn't last past freshman year, though.

5 Odd syntax deliberate, borrowed from a line in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

January 27, 1996

And to think that at 5:45, I lay curled up in bed, lights off, head pounding from the aggravation my stiff neck was inflecting upon it, and I was just about sure that I wouldn't be going to Cyndi J0hnson's 18th birthday party. To even think that at 6:45 I figured I'd probably have to leave early, knowing that at any time the headache could return, have its revenge against the gel-caps I squashed it with, and I'd just be in too much pain. And then to walk back into the door of my house at 2:25 AM, having spent the last 3 hours in a deep conversation with Cyndi, Kristy, & Carolyn, an unforgettable discussion of sex, religion, politics (the three no-no's!), and general gossip. We want to meet often; we want to form a club, a society of thinkers; at least that's what we all joked about as we left roughly 45 mins. ago from now. But it was simply wonderful & more deserving of written remembrance than the night I spent with Adam Gri3ve last night (we finally got to see the excellent 12 Monkeys & spent more cash at TGI Friday's in an exuberant, but always shallow conversation). The evening began rather ordinarily: Stacie & I rang the doorbell at 7:30 or so, since it is understood that we travel to parties together, and were met with a handful of Cyndi-friends, girls like Becky & Allison & Jes@ida, etc. The night progressed pretty pleasantly, too, not counting, of course, when Cyndi broke down & cried (but that's a common occurrence -- she cries easily, and the situation is trivial at best, so it doesn't bear repeating). Jason J0rdan & Angela Zar0 both made separate, brief appearances; we played a party game ("Inklings"); there was pizza, etc. The night only really kicked in, though, in the greater scheme of things importance-wise, when Stacie left at 11:30, the only remaining guest outside of the aforementioned four. And that's no offense to her by any means, but ... This is what I mean by deep, by important: what I told those 3 girls -- well, first of all, I did tell them the bisexuality thing, cuz I mentioned that Kristy's crush on Chris (or the idea of it, as she distinguished) kind of mirrored my own -- but that was only after I told them the story between Stacie & me, a subject I've kept locked up for the past year & a half, known only by Ryan, but then, he didn't know that much, either. What surprises me now, in retrospect, & also I guess there, too, is not so much that I told but who exactly it was I told. I don't consider any one of them "best friends" of mine, but actually they were very easy to tell because of the nature of the conversation & also because they think rationally, logically, not so much emotion-wise; that is to say, they don't care what Stacie & I did, but more about how things happen that way, about relationships in high school, universal feelings of sexuality, etc. Not to say either that they were cold & heartless, though. The fact is, I spilled my beans & I don't regret it because they were interested & tolerant & everything, like friends should be. I really love great conversation, and when you bring matters of a personal nature into it, like Kristy's relationship with Chris "Loserboy" Cap0cy or Carolyn's flirting with atheism (or whatever) or Cyndi wondering whether guys are intimidated by her1, well then man, wouldn't you think it would be just so much more the interesting? Stimulating, and too, feeling privy to things otherwise unspoken. But here is, in case I ever wondering about it again, is how I spilled the beans: We had been talking about Becky, since she's a paragon of Catholicism that we can compare ourselves to & speculate as to whether she & Steve have done, as Chuck Abn3y2 likes to say, the "dance without any steps" (basically, she represents what all of us are against, value-wise, although we still "love her to death" [Cyndi]). But anyway, such speculation then prompted me to wonder aloud Ryan & Jes@ida, whose escapades are presented in lurid detail in the 9/1/95 entry; alleged escapades, anyway, since everyone there seemed to doubt anything happened. To which Kristy then said she found it terribly ironic to voice such a question, since Jes@ida had once asked her virtually the same thing, but concerning Stacie & me. I was silent, & of course, they weren't demanding a response, but my silence was surely an indication, and as Kristy went on talking about "Loserboy" & sleeping w/him, I left hints merely by nodding with identification of similar circumstances or making a terse comment. And then the story came spilling out. Oh but it was fun. Kristy talked about sometime in February when her parents will be away for 4 days & she feels the urge to do something illegal, so she thinks she might -- well, originally she was just going to have a big come-one, come-all party -- but now she just thinks she might invite the other three of us because our conversation went so well tonight & in an effort to repeat it, we can't risk inviting anyone else. We don't want to, anyway. I can't talk about my sexuality with Allison H0ffert, for godssakes! Well, anyway, we might spend the night, I guess, that's what the plan was. It almost seems like we're elitists or something3; at the same time like we're a famous group like the Algonquin Round Table or the Beat Generation when they were all still in college, talking crazy philosophy in dorm rooms4. But a combination like what we had (coincidentally, too, the same group that went to Mr U's house [5/27/95 entry]) must continue because the potential for great conversation & life analysis is there. It can't just wither away, lie dormant, and especially not now. I doubt I would have "said anything" had this not been our last semester at BHS, but still, graduation day is fast approaching & advantages must be taken...
Z (like sleeping now!)
JMC 3:53 AM

1 She was our valedictorian, after all.

2 12th-grade English teacher, a small, wiry man with a sandy mustache who gave up his plan to be a wrestling coach when he started writing folk songs in college and decided to study poetry instead. He was all right, though I thought he'd have done a better job teaching younger kids.

3 I can't tell whether this was said approvingly or not.

4 It seems trite or banal now, maybe, but I think the key to my excitement about this conversation was that it was basically my first late-night existential/self-absorbed college-dorm chat; it just happened nine months before I started college.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

January 26, 1994

Well, wouldn't you know it? Someone of ordinary stature or class might be thinking to themselves right about now: I suppose finals must be over at that Bolingbrook High School educational facility we hear so much about; therfore, out amigos (or nuestros amigos, si prefieres) must be on shiny brand-new sparkling clean schedules and -- wait, let me guess -- (Diane would appreciate my use of the dash) John is in homeroom right now passing around small bite-size crackers which have been poisoned with the exact same 15-year-old Kool-Aid Jim Jones used in Guyana, and deciding the fate of every single student in this here, Mr. Ken/Brett G0uld's classroom, run instead not by Mr Ken/Brett Pick a Name and Go With It G0uld (Maybe I should explain: It seems as if his name is Ken Brett G0uld, yet he prefers to go by Brett, rather than Ken. Go figure. Anyways1, he's a Republican2.) but by Mrs. Lisa B0d0uris3, who is currently reading about "[Princess] Diana's Lonely Battle."4

1 My entries up through 1994 are littered with the word "anyways," which I used freely until Ms. Breining3r informed me one day that it wasn't a real word.

2 This evidently enough to permanently tar him in my mind! I never actually had him for class myself (he taught AP European History), but he always rubbed me the wrong way. Fun fact: he was an amateur rugby player.

3 P.E. teacher. (The homeroom she supervised had to be held in G0uld's room as she had no classroom of her own.)

3 Presumably in People.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

January 25, 1993

Bill Clinton has been President for 120 1/2 hours now. Actually, Shane1 just killed him, but they never caught him (Shane, that is) and by some freak of nature, Shane is President. I suppose he killed the whole Congress too becuz he sez he's Pesident without having to go through the whole system. Anyways, getting back 2 reality, I'm not doing the survey exactly yet. Number one, Ryan is not going 2 homeroom 2day & Number two, Steve doesn't want 2 do it. Which I can understand, becuz people might make fun of him. I just hope that if I do it, people will take it seriously, becuz I don't really have a reason for doing it other than my own enjoyment. Hmmm... what else? My brother got the SPIN DOCTORS CD on Friday, which is okay, I suppose, if U like that kind of stuff. Well, actually, it's pretty good for being rock2, cuz it has some good songs like "Jimmy Olsen's Blues" -- but, ... U know, I was thinking about getting SOUNDS of BLACKNESS cuz it has "OPTIMISTIC" on it, but I want to hear it first. Damn. Nothing much 2 write. Zoe Baird withdrew from her Atty. General position becuz of illegal aliens from Peru that worked at her house ... Oh, I was talking w/ Chris & Becky on the phone on Thursday (this seems like 2 many subject changes. I know, but it should stay on the same topic for the time being, I hope) -- So, anyways, Becky was rattling on about this letter she wrote to Senator Paul Simon persuading him to become pro-life. Come on. He's not gonna change his mind becuz of one 14-year-old blonde girl from Bolingbrook who thinks that mothers have come murderers3. Actually, I'm writing a letter to Paul myself, which pleads to disregard Becky's letter. It's not really for any purpose, becuz my letter is of the same piddly importance, too, but it A) gives me an excuse to write to a US Senator B) gives me an excuse to attack pro-lifers and C) I don't know -- it just seemed like a fun thing to do, -- Anyways, I'm not pro-choice by the conventional sense of the word -- becuz I don't believe KILL THE KIDS! or anything like Mrs Gawlik sez4, but I do believe women should have the right to choose5. Well, Shane would like 2 read this, so I shall leave U with some words o' wisdom: HAVE a Nice DAY
-- JMC 11:50 am

1 Shane Cr3ma sat in front of me in 9th-grade geometry class.

2 I feel like this statement speaks volumes about my musical tastes, then and now.

3 One of the best things about being friends with B3cky R0senmayer in high school was that she was a staunch conservative Catholic, and we used to argue politics all the time.

4 Gawlik was my 8th-grade English teacher and one of the worst teachers I've ever had. Still, I'm not sure she ever said, or even implied, "KILL THE KIDS!"; there was a rumor that her daughter had had an abortion, but seriously, that was it.

5 Note that I've said, essentially: "I'm not what you'd call pro-choice, but I do believe a woman should have the right to choose." Umm?

Monday, January 24, 2005

January 24, 1994

Now, an ordinary citizen might think to him/herself: Well, I guess second semester has started and our little friends at Bolingbrook High School whom we are quite fonding of reading about are on a brand-spanking-new schedule. Not so fast, Pedro!1 Actually, Mrs Weg3rich2 is crocheting in the corner of the auditorium as we sit here in 4th Period Study Hall, part of our FINALS "WEEK" schedule, seeing as school was cancelled on Jan 18-19 due to extreme weather/temperature conditions (How does 25° below sound?)3. So now I'm writing notes to Winter H@rt & Regan Bi3lby, becuz for some reason Stacie & Katy want to make me paranoid. I don't know why; maybe becuz ... well, I don't know. Notes fascinate me. I'd like to take them all & type them all up and publish them as correspondences. Stacie's now passing around notes I've written to her. Some strange kid is asking me who I am. Apparently he knows Stacie, though, so it's like one of those instances when I want to say, "Hey, she's my girlfriend," but I can't really, due to the circumstances. Katy has just been sent down to the end of the row for talking (?!) Maybe I should study biology. But I heard (from Shanna & Katy) that it wasn't that hard. Shanna's birthday, by the way, is April 8. Just thought I'd throw that in there. Umm ... which reminds me ... Ryan & I have been talking lately about ... well, let's just say the problems of a long-term relationship (we're talking 3 mos. on Saturday for me; Ryan & Shanna are about 2 mos and a week). Becuz U know there comes a time when you're not thinking about your girlfriend all the time.

And really, what is love? I'm not saying I'm going to be doing anything drastic; I still love (?) Stacie. I mean, I guess I love her. Okay, yes I do. But do I know the true meaning of love? It is the best relationship I've ever had, and no one else, I think could replace her and still have the same loving relationship that we have, but... I guess what I'm getting at is... They say it's better to love than to "LUV" (infatuation), but with infatuation, there's that MAGIC SPARK. At least for me it seems that way. But then it goes back to the fact that maybe I haven't experienced true love4. Katie 5zum5. Ryan claims that (from personal experience and otherwise) she's real easy to get hooked on. She was the 3rd person I was thinking of when I wrote "Sweet,"6 and I think I'm developing a Danielle/Shanna infatuation for her. Notice how all of them have come at the beginning of the year. And I guess Wendie7, too, would fall into that batch. Ryan says he's having the same problem, but to me it seems like he probably loves Shanna more than I love Stacie ... (?) ... and I kinda feel jealous, maybe becuz I coulda been going out w/ her, too. I mean, I was first8. His problems are w/ Jamie Z!te, who constantly flirts w/ him in chemistry. Mine are w/ Katie. We hope they'll be worked out.
--JMC 11:54 am

1 This sentence strikes me as possibly influenced by Dave Letterman.

2 Somewhat dotty older woman officially employed in the foreign language department (she spoke German) but not a teacher; her actual position was always uncertain.

3 During the two days off, my family and I braved the cold to see Schindler's List, but otherwise I tiptoed around the men installing a new staircase banister in our house and pretty much just played computer games all day.

4 At this point I can say with certainty that I've been in love, and yet that whole "magic spark" problem is still something I grapple with. Odd, though: I thought that I'd first theorized about it when I was 19, not 14.

5 A short, perky brown-haired soccer-playin' kinda gal: more here.

6 A poem I wrote that ended up being published in the Phoenix, the school literary magazine:

darkhaired mystique
is what it is
curiosity of green boots &
white t-shirts
simplicity &
a short pure kiss
with pianos and
such is what
is incredibly attractive
to me

7 Wendie was a girl I met at Illinois Summer School for the Arts in 1993 and became borderline-creepily obsessed with. You can expect more of that story come July sometime.

8 I dated Shanna for all of a day the previous spring; the possibility of the relationship had been slowly building for weeks, and then she broke up with me suddenly with barely any explanation. Again, more on that soon.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

January 23, 1995

It's the beginning of a new semester, always a little odd at first, but something we all grow into. It's something you have to get used to, even though it may be slightly unpleasant. That's why we rely on the comfort of tradition & exact same chemistry table / lab groups, but really wish there would be more of a balance & not an empty half of the room. And of course there's the good old physical education, but minus the pleasures & people to fall back on when the going gets tough, no more Jason Cudeb3cs or Jason J0rdans to at least have meaningful conversations with. God, the lonely hours I will spend without the comfort of a good fresh sheet of paper to scribble these words on -- the agonizing minutes of sweating, basketball with Steve K0ven1 or other uninteresting souls -- just standing there -- oh, why did I not realize all that was good about Chris when I saw him daily last year? First semester P.E. w/ Jason Cudeb3c & Marty Kruszk@2. Did I ever luck out my sophomore year ... did I ever. And even without the realization of Chris, at least I saw him on a different level, as a not-very-good basketball player, who was sort of shy, but we let him in because who were we anyway, all ragtags, Dan W0lfe's outside shots, inevitably (ineluctably) followed by a resounding "I suck!" at the first instant the ball hit the metal rim -- that was us. And P.E. is just so awkward without friends. So very awkward, and especially for me coming from my shielded honors classes into this free-for-all. I mean, it is so much varied than elementary/middle school, my classes are -- that goes without saying -- but you realize, there are a whole lotta kids out there I'm not seeing every day. I guess that goes for everybody. -- Forgive my delay (punctuated by the dash), but I have only now returned from a rousing game of Upwords with the fam, highly entertaining shit, I must say, non-sarcastically. It was, as they say, good clean fun. But that also explains the interruption of thought. Which is why I have nothing else to say. Hmm... have you ever just been -- not romantically attracted to a person -- but more intrigued about, kind of like you enjoy talking about them a lot, and harboring a sort of "affection" for, even though (I repeat) there is no romantic interest. That's been troubling me, but I can't say that I've ever really reached that point.3 But you know how I can't define love (see Jan 94). How many people have I thought I loved? How many have I harbored an affection for? Chris is the only boy that has gotten that far, but I can't say as I'm really interested anymore. Maybe just when I think about it. He doesn't invade my thoughts. He's sixteen today, the boy. Aahh... I resort to my little teenage love curiosities once again. But I hope they're nice to read about, if nothing else. I guess what I'm driving at is like on TV, someone will say "so-and-so's great" & someone else will say "what's going on with so-and-so and you?" and the first person will say "oh, nothing, we're just friends." But this is usually a lie anyway, because there is something going on. So can it ever really be true that you can talk about someone so much & just think they're great for the sole reason of being great? There's probably some unwritten movie dialogue rule siding for or against me. I should ask Dan W0lfe. Cripes, that took up a whole page, or at least the equivalent of it... Well anyway -- just off on my little ponderings -- JMC 10:10 PM

1 By this point, Steve had turned into a gearhead who had a mullet and listened to Rush. The fact that he also had dropped out of honors classes, and thus I only saw him in gym, only heightened our drifting apart.

2 Kruszk@ was a gym teacher, who once asked me, dripping with condescension, "So Cunningh@m, what'd you get from San-tee Claus this year?"

3 I'm pretty sure I'm referring here to Carolyn M@rr, who I liked and respected as an intellectual equal, a sort of affection that was different from a full-on crush and thus somewhat new to me.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

January 22, 1993

Anyways, more on the Bruessel death1 -- She died either Wed or Tue nite, I don't know which. I seem to think it was Tuesday cuz that's what Chris T0desco sed - & he would know cuz his paretns run the choir at St. Dominic's and she was in it. Damn. I only wish I hadn't made fun of her, especially when Steve + I were gonna prank her and say it was her long-lost cousin Olga -- or when we were imitating her when she said to Maria, "Maria, you can't carry that water in the hallway." - She was nice, though. A good decent woman. I was reading the obituaries, U know, and I found out that she was like President of the Filipino Friendship Society2 or something for the entire western suburbs -- U know cuz I don't realize that she was actually someone. Well, another death. It seems like there have been more & more lately. People I know. -- I don't mean to rush out of the subject or anything, but I was thinking about doing another music survey. Like I did in May '923. I've got about 100 copies of a survey form, asking the questions: GENDER (M/F), RACE or ETHNIC GROUP (Black/White/Asian/Hispanic), FAVORITE MUSIC RADIO STATION, 2nd FAVORITE, FAVORITE MUSICAL ARTIST, and Top 5 Songs. I was going 2 have Steve or Ryan or Chris or Jay pass them out 2 their homerooms, which is the best class 2 do it in becuz it wouldn't distract from the class and it has the best RANDOM students -- good racial mixes, etc. Hmmm... so that will be on Monday, hopefully. I'll get U results as soon as possible. MY TOP Five stands as follows: 1. OPTIMISTIC - Sounds of Blackness 2. U - Arrested Development 3. I GOT A MAN - Positive K 4. IT'S GONNA BE A LOVELY DAY - The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. 5. GET AWAY - Bobby Brown. If I were to venture into the realms of below the top five, U would see such songs as "Sweet Thing" by Mary J. Blige and "I Got a Thang 4 Ya!" by Lo-Key? or "Two Can Play at That Game," a cut off the Bobby Brown Bobby CD. But I'm not venturing, so U won't see that. Well, actually, U did since U just saw it when I wrote it there -- HEY, Bill Clinton's been President for 48 hours and 53 minutes!
-- JMC 11:53 am

1 Pacita Bru3ssels was a secretary at Humphrey Middle School, ripe for mockery because she was sort of old and out of it and spoke in a soft but thick accent.

2 At 1,315 people (2.3% of the total population), Filipinos represent the largest Asian ethnic group in Bolingbrook, Illinois, closely followed by Indians at 2.0%.

3 In the 1992 survey, I asked various classmates only what their five favorite songs of the moment were. I was hoping that the results would look something like the Billboard Hot 100 and was surprised when some responses fell outside the world of current, popular hits -- e.g., Sex Pistols and Charlatans UK -- which were nowhere near my radar at the time.

Friday, January 21, 2005

January 21, 1996

Only now do I realize that I scribbled "1995" two entries ago. Ah, well, I was mad, forgive me. But by now you should realize two things: a) I am seldom true to any promises I make, & b) I am fond of marking momentous occasions. The latter came into play today as 1/21/96 marked the first, & let's hope the last time, I was carded at a movie theater1. Adam & I had gone to see the much-hyped Twelve Monkeys & well, I'm going to try not to attach too much blame to him for proceeding directly to the only middle-aged cashier, but she fucking asks us how old we are & if she can see IDs! It was cruel & insulting, because I'm not so sure two months from now I'm going to be so much more mature as a wise 17-year-old, and then, when you think about it, I must be a lot more mature than a substantial amount of post-sixteeners. Suck these, Jack Valenti. The funny thing, of course, is that it was indeed the first time, and I'd gotten into Natural Born Killers (mega-violence & sex) when I was 15, Interview with the Vampire, The Crow, etc. (why were these all movies with Ryan, I'm wondering? did I get in because of his then-beard2, now recently shorn?). Dracula when I was 13, though I didn't buy the ticket3. Whatever. It'll change soon enough. The rest of this weekend was a bizarre blend of pleasant relaxation & down-to-the-last-minute/against-the-wire things -- well, really just my Hamline Univ. scholarship application, which I was putting the finishing touches on barely nine minutes before the post office closed. It got there, though. So, I mean, apart from that, it was pleasant, if not boring. Attended Jay J0rdan's 18th birthday party & won a fierce game of pool, Ryan & I vs Katy Blanch@rd & Cyndi J0hnson, in which, if I may boast, I sank all of the balls (we were only playing nine-ball)4. Stayed at Stacie's house practically all of Thursday afternoon & evening, something like 3:15-10:45 PM. Had a couple good dreams in between days (hey, that's a Cure song) -- one involved auditioning for a play, but an overwhelming sense of setting in my dining-/living-room, and me sort of running things, like saying hi to Robyn Ly0ns, but calling her "Denise," which would've been an insult because that's implying that I though Robyn was as large as Denise C0bb & easily get them confused5... And then, whatever, but I saw some guy who I guess is on Saturday Night Live, but I couldn't remember his name, and none of my fellow auditioners could either, since virtually nobody watches SNL anymore. The sole name that came to my lips was Cheri Oteri -- but she's a woman of course. Turned out to be Will Ferrell6, as I discovered last night. That's kind of pointless, but who cares? A sense of blackness, then a dark overcast, very early spring or very late autumn sky, like a scene out of a foreign city in a foreign movie where white Volkswagens are always parked on steep cobbled streets, under balconies with flower pots. Don't know how that came into play or what it signifies. Maybe it'll all come to me later...
Good night -
JMC 11:37 pm

1 It actually wasn't the last time! A few weeks later, I was carded trying to see Four Rooms.

2 Ryan had grown a beard for the All-State play two years in a row (Man of LaMancha and Fiddler on the Roof), which certainly called attention to himself, as having a beard at that age was a pretty big deal. Teachers, even, made jokes about him all the time.

3 It was a cast party for A Midsummer Night's Dream.

4 I'm perfectly comfortable with this boast, since I was then, and am now, no better at pool than I am at bowling or any sport or game that requires a modicum of coordination.

5 As it was, both were hefty African-American girls.

6 ! (You mean there was a time when Will Ferrell wasn't a household name?)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

January 20, 1993

By now, Bill Clinton has been sworn in and has been President of the United States of AMERICA * for approximately 32 minutes. Yay! But seriously, I was reading Steve's1 "Just as Good as a One-Act Play" plays, and it struck a chord in my mind becuz I've got to start working on Part X -- Hey, I'm not gonna let Ryan's incapabilities2 get in the way of my outstanding playwrighting. Hmmm ... I wonder if they spell it that way - "PLAYWRIGHTING" - I don't know. Maybe I'll coin it. But, anyways, Steve has written like 60 pages of notebook paper full of these plays which include such offbeat and quasi-humorous characters such as Anne, George Stephanopolous, J0e Triner (Steve's health teacher), the Spoon Guy from Baskin-Robbins, Melanie Hutsell, Robert M. Haft (President, Crown Books. ["At $19.95, Danielle Steel's Jewels costs too much, so I priced it at $10.95"]), Lorne Michaels, Kevin Meehan3, Kevin Nealon, the entire cast of Saturday Night Live, Jerry Seinfeld, and Dagmar (Steve's model girlfriend). I really wish that Ryan would finish up Part IX, though, cuz it's easier for me to write if I have something to follow. I mean, I know the general plot, but I need some one-liners to allude to or something. Bill Clinton has been President for approximately 44 minutes. Just thought I'd let U know in case U were wondering. Actually, his real name is WILLIAM JEFFERSON BLYTHE III, but that whole stepfather deal resulted in his name change. It's ironic, too, that his middle name is Jefferson becuz he went to the White House by bus from MONTICELLO in Virginia. Which is also ironic because his mom's name is Virginia Kelley. Which is doubly ironic becuz I always picture Virginia as being green -- not necessarily kelly green, but green nonetheless -- U know on the map. If it's not green, it should be. Maybe I'll protest Rand McNally, whose store I visited when I was at the WOODFIELD MALL. Now this is interesting; Am@nda Br0nersky (BITCH) just asked Sinny who he was going with and he kind of shook his head or shrugged or something. I don't know, but there was no vocal movement whatsoever. Speaking of Rontaya, her sister's kinda hot too. Her name's Shaista - I believe that's the correct spelling, and she's in my Spanish class too. But, see, I can't sit by them anymore cuz Senora Rosa's seating chart puts me 2 rows away from them. Damn. Still thinking about Danielle...
JMC 11:55 am

1 Steve K0ven was my best friend from 8th-9th grade.

2 Ryan B. had volunteered to write Part IX of the series but was apparently dragging his feet.

3 Steve's 8th-grade social-studies teacher

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

January 19, 1993

First day o' second semester. I am in homeroom once again, and incidentally, Sinny just walked in cuz he couldn't find the classroom. I suppose he's another Marcus, if U know what I mean.1 But anyways, all has gone well thus far. English is kinda boring now with the absence of KRISTY RAV3N, Becky R0senmayer + Clarissa, but, still, I have few complaints. What can be interpreted as good news is the fact that Danielle's in my 2nd, 3rd, + 4th period classes which might attract me to her more. Especially in Speech/Theatre, where I might get 2 do stuff w/her. That actually looks like a good class becuz there are a lot of hands-on activities. Although I don't know how much writing we'll do. Health is OK too, but it might be kinda boring. As I'm sure I'm boring U with this senseless yapping about my classes. And speaking in incomplete sentences. So I was at. The mall yesterday. In Woodfield. And I got the sheet music for the soundtrack to "Boomerang", which I saw FRIDAY (the movie) and will elaborate on later. Plus, I got this nifty poster that sez "If everyone's brain was on drugs, then it would be..." and it showed like Dan + Dave - with Dan frying in the pan as an egg and Dave on the side cracked. Actually, that should be the other way around becuz, of course, Dan O'Brien was the one who failed 2 qualify for the OLYMPIC GAMES, while Dave Johnson didn't. Also, it had Michael Jackson as an egg (brain on drugs): 1975 - brown egg TODAY - white egg, if U get the symbolism -- And this new song he has out -- "Heal the World"? What is this shit? I mean, it's a good message and all, but this sappy folksy shit -- give me a break. I'm sorry, but really? Anyways, that about wraps it up for now becuz we have to leave in 3 minutes. Normally, I'd keep writing, but this seating position in the back corner has toyed with my mind
--JMC 11:53 am

1 Not really. Although I suspect that "Marcus" refers to a certain star running back listed here.

Monday, January 17, 2005

January 17, 1996

I am presently 60% through with my finals on this foggy day in Jan. & things seem to be looking up. First of all, the Strle situation1 was resolved yesterday when I worked furiously, from 2nd-6th period, to finish (or even begin!) that lab, and was able to hand it in seventh period without any difference in grade. Little did I know, of course, that he ended up accepting them right this very morning, too, but blurting out answers to the psych test in class while simultaneously making a data chart, markers sprawled out on my desk, was a fun, worthwhile experience. I should have an "A" in physics, seeing as the most I could've missed on the final was probably 5 out of 50 and that doesn't even count the 20 x-credit points he seemingly just gave me (it was for a homework notebook that I turned in for the hell of it; I didn't actually expect that without any actual notes, I'd still end up with maximum extra-credit). Also, I am proud to announce that I pulled off a "B" in calculus this semester -- God love the genius who determined that exams would only account for 1/4 of the semester grade, since I pretty much bombed the final... God love Kathy M0gy's2 generous curve, too. That's all I cared about -- a "B," seeing as an "A" was mathematically impossible & a bit of a joke. I just took psychology right now, and to tell you the truth, I don't really care what I got. I mean, I figure I got more than half right, and with my quarter scores in the low 100's (104.4%), I'm not in any trouble at all with a 50%. Not that I'd get that low, but you know what I mean.

1 R@y Strl3 was my physics teacher, a tall, bearded, loose-limbed dude who always seemed to be scowling about something or other. The "situation" referenced was the fact that I completely forgot about a particular lab assignment and was afraid I'd get a zero if I didn't turn it in during the early-morning class period.

2 My calculus teacher, a mostly genial woman with what my friend Adam called "birthin' hips."

Saturday, January 15, 2005

January 15, 1995

Just about a half-hour ago, I finished typing up my chemistry notes for the final, a process that took about five hours, including time for dinner. This is killer, how they put you through this insane finals ritual. But I'm feeling more than confident, especially since all I need is an 80% on this thing, as I have just barely managed to get A's in the class the last two quarters. Enough already though. I should be using this time for cooling off. Veruca Salt's, been in my mind the last two days, with their highly infectious song "Number One Blind." And this is another thing about this studying business -- because of course, I must have some audio stimulation, I am bombarded by song after song on the radio, most songs I have no desire to hear because I've heard them damn often enough -- and everything new sounds the same anyway -- I keep running through CDs I haven't listened to for a good long time -- and sometimes, I just need not silence, but anything different. But God, did I ever accomplish what I needed to. You know, the day's over, but I feel good about what I did. I'm growing weary. I think I've just about exhausted this issue of Rolling Stone ... where's that soda pop I had? Aaah ... It was over sitting on my "wonderfully cluttered" desk, amid cassette tapes & first-aid kits & magazines & books & trophies & Canadian flags. You know, the usual. The point is I found my drink. Let's see ... I should set some goals for myself, actually not really goals -- but Things to Do. What I really mean to say is -- Jesus, I can't concentrate at all tonight -- I want to see that movie Pulp Fiction and everyone keeps saying -- well nothing really specific -- but talkin & talkin good shit about this intriguing flick. And I, myself, have to wait for Marie & Chris to be able to see it with me -- because we made a promise to see it together. But I wanna wanna wanna. Kill me. Shame on me. Immerse me in culture and tell me all I want to know. I thought this didn't have caffeine in it -- why does it make me jittery? I want to be independent. If this mood were a band, it would be Luscious Jackson. Then again, I've got other shit swimming in my cool red liquified mind. Stop me please. (No affectations here; I mean, I'm not trying to be all "angsty" or whatnot -- I just seriously feel like this. Shut up.1)
--JMC 10:14 PM

1 In some ways, the stilted pretentiousness of this entry embarrasses me more than anything else I've posted so far!

Friday, January 14, 2005

January 14, 1994

Today has been officially proclaimed by me as "Celebrate Your German Heritage Day." Although I just decided that not more than a minute ago, I think it makes sense, seeing as fritag is one of about five German words I know, PLUS we sang and analyzed some little German death tune in Sunrise1 this morning (Mark Buechs3l, Mr. Ketchup himself2, even translated the piece for us; something about rest in piece: Ruhn...). But anyways, seeing as I myself have 1/8 German blood, I figured I could get in on the act myself. Maybe I'll change my name to Helmut and eat sauerkraut all day. Or not. Thought for the day: (although not related to Germany) If any of the four major TV networks offered Mr Kill3 a lucrative deal to show his life story in some big-time sweeps month ("Not bloody likely!" But we're talking hypothetically here), in an exposé entitled BERNIE K!LL: Algebra Teacher, it would probably be NBC, seeing as they already have a contract with Homicide: Life on the Street's Ned Beatty (most famous for the 1972 Burt Reynolds movie Deliverance) who would be perfect for the role. Think about it. Picture Beatty with thick-framed glasses ... Speaking of educators, Mr Anderson ... oh wait, I said educators now, didn't I? Ah yes ... I meant to say classroom supervisor and personally depressed psychotic4. Apparently, our friend Richard (who has decided to take the rest of the year off, in effect, eliminating sectionals, section leaders, the Jan 23 Schubert recital, state music contest, the SICA contest, and just about everything else in order to become more like a regular choir -- to have what he calls a "laid-back" style5) said today in Concert Choir that there are 40,000 homeless people in Chicago, and when someone told him there weren't that many, Anderson replied, "Well, tell that to the asshole on Channel 9 I heard it from." -JMC 12:19 pm

1 In 10th and 11th grades, I sang baritone in the Sunrise Singers choir, so named because we met before school, at 7 AM.

2 Mark was a lanky, fey foreign-exchange student from Germany; "Mr. Ketchup" refers to some joke he made while on a choir field trip that I don't totally remember now.

3 My 10th-grade advanced algebra teacher, notable mostly for his psoriasis and his habit of tucking his left hand behind the seat of his pants while writing on the chalkboard.

4 "Personally depressed": heh, as opposed to what? Mr. Anderson was the choir director through my sophomore year, after which he was fired for his obvious mental instabilities (most apparent when he would erupt at us for no apparent reason). (I also heard rumors of his having taken photos of female students in bathing suits and someone having found a porn video in the VCR in his office.)

5 This was particularly strange because he was known for being such a hard-ass and slavedriver most of the time.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

January 13, 1995

I don't know where my "Lockport Strike n Spare Bowling" pen disappeared. It was a beautiful pen; that is, it's writing style was quite nice and easy. I feel like I'm straining with this thing. Well, it's been an eventful eight days since I last wrote, especially in terms of my story above. The entire weekend last was just a really enjoyable time & I wish to always keep it in my memory, because it was just really enjoyable. I don't quite know what to say without delving into a full-fledged account of it. Truthfully, I'd like to maybe turn it into a narrative short story. But I guess the upshot is that Chris & I remained close throughout the weekend and slept on each other's shoulders on the way home, much to the dismay/curiosity of Adam Gyn@c, whom we all dubbed "the vampire," for no particular reason except to talk about him while he was present, which was pretty much always. He latched on, like a leech, and expected that if he were hungry, we would accompany him. But this all must be saved. The ride home made me feel good. God, it was great. What else do I say? I had to comfort the boy because he was feeling depressed Saturday night, and I guess we all were, sitting among freshly-mopped McDonald's floors, eating meaningless not-quite-right fish sandwiches, an off-taste, little Chris frowning about L@nay Martin's1 screaming at him to hurry up when a homeless man approached -- Chris empied his pockets... This is too involved... Such rampant homophobia.2 But listen to what Marie told me this morning, or listen to what she implied. Go on, listen. Call the girl up. Well, she implied to me that Chris & Laurie have, so to speak, had sex. Marie agreed that it ruins the notion of Chris-ism. That's not what he should be about. Well, I shouldn't say what he should be about, because that's just how Laurie is, I think, treating him as her little pet, saying how she wanted to "deflower" him -- and just because she adores him -- not because she truly loves him... I don't like that image of them. Just like Meredith & Scott3 -- Let's go slice that fat bastard up...4
JMC 2:11 pm

1 One of the parent chaperones on the IHSTF trip. She had a son named Chris, who probably catches a lot of flak now.

2 I'm not sure exactly what this refers to. I was probably being sensitive about certain people's reactions ... but to what?

3 I had a crush on Mered!th Kas0wicz, who was dating Sc0tt Malz@hn, but I don't understand the analogy: did I feel, perhaps, like they didn't belong together for some reason?

4 A quote from a Seinfeld episode that aired in spring 1993, which I suppose I'm applying to the stocky Malz@hn, but again, I'm not really sure why. Sorry, I'm no help today!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

January 11, 1996

You know why I am the coolest? I have not yet written "1995" erroneously on any homework assignment, college application, etc., whatsoever. That's why, since it's probably the first time in my life. But anyway, as I may have mentioned before -- I don't remember -- finals are upcoming next week & the end of the semester is upon us, which calls for a time of reflection & meditation on being 7/8 complete with high school. I don't know whether this has anything or not to do with what I'm talking about, but it's kind of been pissing me off lately that I probably won't get to participate in any Scholastic Bowl meets because of the musical. The connection may be that I'd like to do all I can before I make like the Ramones and say "¡Adios Amigos!" But that's what I've been feeling. On the surface, I like Scholastic Bowl somewhat better, but you gotta figure that after Guys & Dolls is all over, I'll be glad I did it. (I've simply forgotten that at this point, it's not appropriate to say that you'll make it -- even though, come on, gimme a break, she needs all the guys she can get, and forgive my pomposity, but I'm one of the premiere ones1) Just needed to rationalize that within myself for a moment. I haven't much thought about leaving everybody, but I guess that's what the new year does to you, when you realize that it is 1996, the year that you've known forever is your high school graduation. Anyway, I had a few more dreams lately, but they're recorded elsewhere; they were all last night actually & pretty bizarre. Hmmm ... new topic ... ta ta ta ta ta ... no new loves in my life, I don't think. That gets pretty boring after a while, when there's not -- suddenly, pop! -- a new girl or boy to start keeping your daydreaming busy, every 90 mins or whatever the interval is (don't have to know it for the psych final; not going to bother, since I spent enough time making a study guide tonight). [...] Gotta sleep now. Better entry soon (at least before Monday) JMC 11:52 PM

1 Which maybe explains why I was disappointed when I was cast in the non-singing role of Lt. Brannigan.

Monday, January 10, 2005

January 10, 1994

I've decided to delight you folks1 with a dream I had last night (and can I ask you a question? Do I or do I not have better handwriting than Dave D0re? Well, I suppose you wouldn't know.) I'm walking down the streets of Seattle2 when a woman with two daughters (like 7 and 4 or something) approaches me and asks me if I know where a certain place is. Sure, I say, I'll take you there. So suddenly we approach a cornfield right then and there, and of course, we can't walk directly through the cornfield because there's quite a few piles of cattle excretion. So we walk around the cornfield, just as a jaguar runs by. It wasn't a real jaguar, mind you, probably more like a cartoon jaguar or the logo for the NFL Jacksonville franchise, but scary nonetheless. But now where is the woman or the cornfield, because I'm standing outside a cabin with all the lights out inside. In my hands is a present for Mr. Wilson3, who is holding a party for all of his former geometry students. The room must be dark because the jaguar is inside and if it were light, it might start attacking people. So just as I hand Mr W his present, which is for some reason abstract (humor), the lights go on, he thanks me, and ... the jaguar doesn't do anything. End. -- JMC 1:20 pm

1 Early in high school (though not so much later) I imagined my journal as a document intended for a public audience, if not at the time then perhaps later in my life. (For the record, I wasn't imagining a serialized blog, haha.)

2 My family took a vacation there the previous summer.

3 My 9th-grade geometry teacher.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

January 8, 1996

Waiting until the last minute, am I? Well, yes, but in compliance with the resolution1, it's getting done regardless of how much procrastination was put into it. Not that I deliberately waited. I mean, I was planning on writing on Saturday night when I came home (funny -- I just pictured coming home Sat night but instead my mind recalled a week & a half ago, the previous Saturday, driving home from a holiday afternoon w/ my former English teacher EJ Br0nkema at her house, and when I came home, in out of the dark & snowy skies, there was Polish sausage for dinner & the Bulls were on TV) but after my parents walked out the door on their way to see Nixon (I vow to go this coming weekend)2, I retired to my room, determined to only rest my eyes, but instead forming the first few minutes of what would become a 13-hour-sleep-cycle. It was the longest I've slept in God knows when, and man, it felt good, because if you hadn't guessed, I wasn't getting much sleep down-state3. Not with Mark & Adam blaring the HBO Fri morning and mindlessly chattering under too-well-lit bulbs. Or, for that matter, staying up by own volition Sat morning when we had J0hn Wright and Chris as guests in our room. Three-and-a-half hours of peace/sleep does not suit me well; I know I wasn't appreciating The Musical Comedy Murders (Errors) of 1940 (46) (parentheses indicating Jason Cudeb3c's mistaken title) as much as I could have been, especially since my old school "chum" ("classmate" would probably be a more suitable word, actually) John Schmitt4 was filling a sizable role. And this is Saturday morning I'm talking about again. Overall, I don't think I had as much fun as last year, either, although last year was pretty incomparable, and this year wasn't chopped liver. The same holds true for each, though: as I noted on Jenny Sill!tti's newspaper questionnaire, "Screw the workshops & performances; the best part of the festival is spending 2 days w/good friends.." The way that Stacie, me, Jason, Chris, & John W were bonding, I almost grew to dislike Adam & Mark for whatever reason. But that has other factors, too, like Adam's conspicuous grumpiness at Denny's Sat afternoon (having something, I think, to do with Zippy5, who incidentally broke up w/ Jase today ... I think it's finally over ...). Anyway. But you can't beat the memories: breakfast at McDonald's; the Infamous List (all the girls on the rip ranked by personality & appearance; Mandy & Stacie made a similar one for us), the effeminate, intruding Brandon as I was explaining to Chris why male pool/ping-pong talk made me uncomfortable6, scampering out of The Fantasticks at precisely the right time (during applause; we had to be back at the student center by 10), etc etc. More Adam Gyn@c7 stories. Right now, however, to touch briefly on last night's dreams. (sorry for the abruptness) (but I'd like to go to sleep soon) Some images for you to meditate on: (A) I'm at Carolyn's house, which in the dream looks like Becky's, and her mom's at the dining room table talking about Steely Dan, about Walter Becker, and the lights are off on an overcast afternoon, and I've got a test to study for. (B) Speaking of tests, I'm taking one in the comfort of my living room, something like a nationally-standardized exam for something, and it's a bit difficult, but I don't care. I know it's important, but I just stare blankly and don't try; somehow this worries me. (C) They've published a list in the newspaper of the cultural interests of math students in the area; apparently, one desiring to be included on this list needed to send in a postcard, probably, informing the paper of your musical tastes, etc. For some reason the results are ranked, as in listed by number, although all they are are sample preferences, like #17 reads, "Chris Kal3y, 2 (de lo Ritual)," an album I surmise to be by Jane's Addiction. Funny, I think, though, that Chris was actually published. (D) I'm trying to set up an appointment for a college visit and having an awful time talking face-to-face with a Gwendolyn Brooks / Eileen Ch3rry8 -type woman, who's not helping me out one bit. Later, before my family and I make the trip up to 2814 (as my late grandma's house is now affectionately known9), we decide to stop by Zappa University, in some vaguely northwestern suburb of Chicago. Yes, the college is named after the late musical great, and when I'm told I may get to meet the legend on the college campus tour, I wonder if he'll take offense to me buying his greatest-hits package (as I'm sure Jen Patters0n's dad10 would were I tell him -- he told me to steer clear from it, yet I got it for x-mas). The day is morning, sunny and brisk. Dew on the prairie. That's it. --JMC 11:46 PM

1 My new year's resolution for 1996 was to write in my journal at least once every three days.

2 Man, I really didn't get around to that, did I?

3 My final year attending the the Illinois High School Theatre Festival.

4 I went to elementary school with Schmitt, but his family moved to Naperville when we were in middle school.

5 Nickname I bestowed upon Mandy Zeppi3ri, who I found kinda ditzy despite her dating my friend Jason.

6 The same old mock-homoeroticism striking me if not as outright homophobia then as a trivialization of my feelings (particularly for Chris).

7 A friend of mine from roughly 4th-7th grade but after that an increasingly bizarre outcast who I attempted to defame in 10th grade with a list entitled something like 30 REASONS TO DISLIKE OR UTTERLY DISASSOCIATE YOURSELF FROM ADAM GYN@C.

8 Cherry was my creative writing teacher at the Illinois Summer School for the Arts, who I mentioned in the same sentence as G. Brooks probably because both were aging black female writers.

9 Owing to its address: 2814 76th Ct., Elmwood Park, IL.

10 Who owned a used record store in Woodridge and thus had a daughter I befriended senior year who was into bands like Urge Overkill and the Wonder Stuff.

Friday, January 07, 2005

January 7, 1993

This, without a doubt, is the last journal entry of Volume II -- Watch for Volume III coming soon from JMC Publications which will be from January-May 1993, most likely. Anyways, I'm sitting here in the library again with my geometry homework completed and nothing better 2 do. Well, actually, Mike McCaskey asked me to coach the Bears but I declined. So, I suppose the inevitable question is, since the departure of Anne, what female(s) have stirred my interest lately? Well, there are three, all of which have been mentioned in this journal before: Danielle (I just can't let her go), Rontaya (cuz I've been talking w/her a lot [well, maybe not that much, but enough to be stirred] in Spanish) -- and ... Stacie, although I am hasty to add that she's still just a friend, even though when she pretends she's married to Jay in history, I get jealous becuz I have to be their son. -- That would be the easiest for me to ask out, yet at the same time the hardest -- becuz U know she's a really good friend & I talk 2 here a lot, but at the same time, I don't really think of her romantically. Rontaya hardly knows me, plus she likes Sinny Childr3d, which is a drawback, I suppose. I don't know what Danielle's status is. The clock on the wall here sez that it is 10:21, so I have four more minutes. Damn, but I still like her -- Danielle I mean. It's not like last year when I was obsessed w/her, like w/the Valentine1 or anything, but she's in my top 5 for like the 50th week in a row -- not that I've been counting, but I never really liked 5 girls more than Danielle in any given week. Even when I kind of liked Anne, I still dreamed about Tyrone & Terrell & City, USA.2 It's an ongoing fantasy that will never end. Well, I'm sorry the end of this is not as party-like as last year's entry, but hey! that was the end of school & this is not, so have a happy day and keep reading JMC Journals ---
JMC 10:25 am

1 On an ILX thread about your crush history, I wrote the following:

I sent [Danielle] a Valentine on Feb. 14 in which I quoted some Yeats poem, as found in Bartlett's Quotations, theme: love, and then mustered up the courage to call her that night to see if she got it. It was an awkward conversation. She said the quote sounded familiar and thought it was from All My Children. Later in the year she dated P3ter Ros3ngren, who was nearing 6'0" by then -- convinced she only liked tall guys, I propped myself up on several textbooks one day in English class. It didn't work. She went to Spelman College, have no idea what happened after that.)

2 I wrote a short story in fall 1992 that was basically a domestic fantasy, in which Danielle and I were married and had preschool-age twin boys named Tyrone and Terrell. I don't know what City, USA means, though.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

January 6, 1993

As U may have noticed, I've changed back 2 my old "fiesta-like" heading.1 I think it looks better, to tell you the truth. Anyways, New Year's Eve was really cool cuz I went downtown again to Watertower Place. There wasn't really much 2 do in the mall itself besides peeping in Waldenbooks & Musicland 2 see if they had the DEC 26 Year-End Issue of BILLBOARD. Alas, they didn't -- See, I had gone to virtually every book & music store in the entire Chicago area on my conquest to find this issue: Barnes & Noble, Oakbrook; Borders Book Shoppe, Oakbrook; Waldenbooks, Yorkville; Musicland, Yorkville; B. Dalton, Yorkville; Recordtown, Yorkville; Coconuts, Naperville; Musicland, Aurora; Waldenbooks, Aurora; Recordtown, Aurora; Sam Goody, Aurora; and Kroch's & Brentano's, Aurora. None of them had BILLBOARD. I want a subscription so bad (although Mrs. Offerman2 would be mad at me for saying "so" because it's a cliche), but U know, it cost $205 - A YEAR, no less. Shit. So I have to travel around the greater Chicago area until finally I come across RIZZOLI BOOKSTORES in Chicago, which *SURPRISE SURPRISE* has the Dec 26 issue! -- Actually, Steve has it right now in Spanish class cuz I bought it for $7.95 and loaned it 2 him 2day. Hmm ... so that was cool. I didn't really do much at nite to welcome the new year except watch Channel 2 with B96 personalities Eddie & Jobo obnoxiously chat with people like ... actually, I don't remember who they chatted w/, but it was really obnoxious -- What kind of a name is Jobo?3 WGCI's morning man is Doug Banks, then Shannon Dell or AJ Parker, then Tom Joyner or LaDonna Tiddle, then Mark Young or Rick Party -- All good, nice Christian names, I suppose -- Jobo is what religion? Hindu? He doesn't look Hindu -- He probably doesn't even know what the Vedas is (the Hindu scriptures) Anyways, on JANUARY 1, I finished up some of my homework and watched (of course) college football as Alabama soundly defeated the MIAMI HURRICANES to win the nat'l championship. -- What? We're done! The whole Christmas vacation summed up in 12 pages -- almost one for each day. Now, I suppose you're dying 2 know what the hell's been going on the past few days -- RYAN still isn't finished with Part IX of A One-Act Play4, but it really doesn't matter 2 me cuz I know that he's been under a lot o' stress lately, especially since finals are next week. Speaking of which: This is the schedule: Monday - no finals - regular school day; Tuesday - 1st period final, rest of day pretty much normal; Wednesday - 2nd, 3rd, and 4th period finals then we go home at 12:20; Thursday - 5th, 6th, and 7th period finals then we go home at 12:20. This is cool, though, becuz on Wednesday. I don't think I have 2 come 2 school until like 10:45 becuz I don't have finals in 2nd period (gym) & 3rd period (creative writing) -- Which means that I can come in late on Thursday too w/no final 5th period (lunch/homeroom). Oh well, this is getting boring, so I suppose I should fill U in on some current events. I guess the biggest one is: MIKE DITKA FIRED! Yes, I know, you're probably gasping 4 breath, but it's true, as sure as I am sitting here waching Clarissa glue pictures of her parents as kids to a sheet of notebook paper. Mike McCaskey fired him yesterday at 1:30 pm becuz of the Bears 5-11 record this year. I don't really have very many strong feelings becuz I hate the Bears5, but, personally, I think he should have stayed becuz he knows how 2 coach. I mean, he's only had like 4 losing seasons out 11, y'know, with like 5 straight division titles and a Super Bowl win -- U don't just stop doing that -- He tried to win, It's not like he's losing for money or something -- OR IS HE? Maybe Walter Jacobson should dress up as Mike McCaskey and do an investigative reporting6 -- I don't know. But c'est la vie -- I am a wizard at French, if U didn't know -- That's one of about 5 -- yes, 5! phrases that I know. And it's only cuz I'm 31/64 French. Anyways, they're looking back at the Jaclyn Dowaliby case -- She was murdered back in 1989 and they still haven't found any evidence of who might have killed here -- The latest suspect is Tim Guess, Jaclyn's uncle, and his many spirits -- He says all this stuff like the light in her closet was on, she had a comforter w/lots of animals on it -- All of which is true, but he sez he's never been to her house and that he gets his information from a spirit that inhabits his mind. He's a diagnosed schizophrenic, but still, I don't believe him. Senator Carol Moseley Braun was sworn in yesterday as America's first black woman senator -- An oil spill in Scotland may become the worst spill in history, even surpassing 1988's Exxon Valdez, led by Capt. Joseph Hazelwood. I suppose that's most of it, -- OH wait, other big news -- Chris T0desc0 is finally going out w/ Becky -- I don't know the details of it, but it had something 2 do w/ New Year's Eve and Kristy R@ven. Play auditions are tomorrow for OLIVER!, but guess what? I'm not trying out, much to the chagrin of my parents (well really only my dad) - but U know, there's a whole slew of people who aren't -- like Sara K0larik, Adam Gyn@c, Steve, Clarissa, Deepa Gupt@, Carrie K0lar, Angela Cutl3r -- AND all of these people were in "Midsummer" -- except Clarissa, of course, but she attended the meeting before break for those people who wanted 2 try out. Her hair is red (or light auburn) anyways, so of course she would be scorned -- I'm kidding -- Have a nice day -- JMC 10:25 am

1 I've written the day of the week (Wednesday) in a stylized font, surrounded by various squiggles and shapes as you might see on a party invitation.

2 9th-grade English teacher. Her voice always reminded me of Eleanor Clift's.

3 For the record, it's a nickname for Joe Bohannon. Side note: I had the pleasure of seeing these perved-out leathery 40-somethings live at B96's Halloween Bash in 2003!

4 A One-Act Play was a project I began in 8th grade, a semi-sci-fi and very meta, inside-jokey script. Its characters were mostly me and my classmates (and an endless parade of celebrities who delivered lines swiped from NBC sitcoms and talk shows), and much of its plot revolved around me actually writing the play as I was going along. (Essentially Pirandello meets Charlie Kaufman and the fourth season of Seinfeld -- witness the scene when Ryan goes on Jay Leno to plug the play itself -- though at the time I thought I was so goddamned clever.*) There's also a gradual joke in the play's title, in that what began as a simple experiment on a single looseleaf page blossomed into a 72-page (typed) rambling, multi-chapter behemoth, with contributions from my friends Steve, Ryan, and Chris, that I eventually wrapped up halfway through 10th grade.

*Although to be fair, I'm rereading it now, and at one point this guy Chris Gandhi, who played Bottom in my high-school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows up as that character, who is in turn playing Pyramus in Shakespeare's play-within-a-play "Pyramus and Thisby" and who is then informed that he is simultaneously in another play: the one I'm writing. That totally just blew my mind.

5 Oddly enough, this had nothing to do with a distaste for football. For some reason I think I liked the Green Bay Packers around this time, and before them, the Denver Broncos.

6 A reference to Jacobson's "Mean Street Diary" series for Channel 2 News, in which he disguised himself as a homeless person and lived in a cardboard box on Lower Wacker Drive for 48 hours. It was roundly ridiculed and seen as a low point for the station, the moment when the "line between news and shtick vanished."

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

January 5, 1995

So I'm here at the Best Western, right? (EJ Br0nkema-type intro1) You know, it's the Illinois High School Theatre Festival and here we are, us six guys (me, Chris, Dan W0lfe, Peter, Mark B3irn & Adam Gri3ve) with this whole roommates deal. We're like living together, on our own, in a condo (complete kitchen set! two stories!), but you know, it's very fashionable these days to act like you're gay, to make fun of it, which, needless to say, fucking pisses me off. What the hell am I supposed to act like when Dan has Chris thrown onto the bed, engaging in full-clothed mock sexual activity, asking him to "squeal"2 -- everyone having a good chuckle, of course3 ... But let me see -- apparently, Mark asked Stacie "what the deal was" between me & Chris because I was becoming perturbed or something -- I didn't realize it was that obvious. But Jesus ... I'm getting disappointed as it becomes apparent that Chris & I can't sleep in the same bed (not that anything would happen) -- and when they do all that shit to him, it just riles up the emotions. Oh, I'm having a good time here, I suppose. When you discount everything I've said. But as I've said, the rest doesn't influence me. Although it's been nice. Things are generally good. What the hell am I saying? It's 12:44 AM. I was all talking to Stacie on the phone. Fuck -- Diane almost caught Chris & I in the girls' penthouse. We were running, you know? That would have been nice to just be in there. Hey, well everything's relatively sane now. Peter's reading, Chris is watching TV, Adam's playing solitaire, Dan & Mark are working on a monologue. Kinda quiet. I don't know why Adam is trying to stay up all night; he seems quiet. I mean, compared to how he's so dramatic-phony lots of times. Chris has absolutely no affectations. We're like this big family -- the 6 of us -- it's like a house here. It's 12:53.
--JMC (do I really have to say?)

1 Ms. Br0nkema had a habit of starting stories with this sort of locution: "So I'm talking to Younce, right?"

2 An homage to Deliverance, obviously.

3 As someone who considered himself bisexual in high school (as I suppose you've guessed by now), I was acutely sensitive to gay-bashing. ("Oh haha, male rape, very funny! (Fuck you.)") Little did I realize that two of my five chuckling housemates that night were gay themselves and would come out after high school.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

January 4, 1993

How cataclysmic -- or catastrophic, perhaps (HEY, IT'S A PABLA DE VOCABULARIO EN ESPANOL) -- Shit -- For some damn reason, I thought that I had left this at school, and I could not write in it -- BUT the truth is that it was in my bookbag all along at home -- DAMMIT -- Well, I suppose I should stop wasting time & recap the last 2 weeks -- FRIDAY DEC 18 -- I was getting really really sick of Anne1 and so I decided "to hell with going to the damn library" so I stayed home.

Well, I'll tell U2 the outcome of it all later -- JMC 7:49

Okay so I ride the bus instead & talk 2 Stacie who was so thoughtful as 2 give me a x-mas card -- So later Anne calls me up & sez "John, where are U" and I say "Home" and she sez "U were supposed 2 go to the library" & I say "I know" and she sez "Why aren't U here" -- And I say, "Becuz I don't want to" -- And she's like "Well, okay, bye" -- Anyways, a couple hours later, Jessie3 calls me up and sez "John, I have just six words for you: I hope U fall into a chasm" and then she hangs up -- But I'm thinking -- hey, that's seven words so I call her back up and say "Jessie, that's seven words" and she sez "Oh well, I'm not very good at counting" -- Apparently, she must have told Anne after that becuz not too long after, she sez "John (this is on the phone -- Anne), I've been thinkin about it, and, it's over. Bye" -- AND I'M ECSTATIC cuz she's finally outta my life -- THANK GOD! I don't like this pen -- it's too fine for me -- I mean how it writes -- as opposed to 2 thick. Anyways, getting back 2 the past few weeks -- I called up Steve (who Winter is now laughing at becuz she's looking at the photos of the play4) and I sed what happened and he was posing questions or things that I could tell Jessie like "I have six words for you: Greasy pizza boxes make good pets" or other shit like that -- SATURDAY DEC 19 I went downtown to Chicago & witnessed one of the best films I've ever seen (Incidentally, Winter sez that downtown is beautiful) -- I went 2 the Fine Arts Theatre 2 see "FLIRTING", and if U know the movie, U probably will know why I liked it5 -- but it wasn't just becuz it was interracial -- It downplayed that -- Anyways, it was really good -- And Thandie Newton is hot. She plays the Ugandan girl at the rural Australia high-school where the story takes place -- I'll talk more later.
JMC 11:55 am

1 Anne Bazi1e, my very first girlfriend, who I dated for about six weeks from Nov.-Dec. 1992. She was a sophomore. We met in A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which I played Demetrius and she played a fairy.

2 A note about the usage of "U" and "2" in this entry and others from this period: It was less about shorthand (as it's used now with AIM and text-messaging) and more about appearing "cool" and down with black culture (viz. dozens of Prince songs, Hammer's "2 Legit 2 Quit," etc.), which I admired to the point of only being attracted to African American girls. (Anne was mixed: half Haitian, half Belgian.) This entry, however, is nowhere near as bad as one from March 30, 1991:

Don't U be payin' no attention to that damn thing over this page -- Man, homies -- that be 5 years ago. Easter's tomorrow! Easter Vacation! Man, that be dope, boyyy! - Hey, chill - this be the style of talk people use along with baggy mustard-yellow pants with black polka-dots and overalls with one strap down -- (That not be talk, that be dress) Man, there be a big scandal at HHH (I'm in 7th grade -- These girls -- M@ria Akl, Natalie Br00ks, & T@ra Frump -- everybody be sayin' they cheatin' an' all -- & I know they did, but they jus' be denyin' it They also got the lowest grades on the math test too -- Hmmm -- I'm like really into music & music charts -- It's pretty chillin' -- So - the Top 5 Songs This Week -- ? 1 - Coming Out of the Dark - Gloria Estefan (the worst #1 since Madonna's Justify My Love - Jan 5 & 12) 2 - One More Try - Timmy T 3 - This House - Tracie Spencer (she's only 13!) 4. Hold You Tight - Tara Kemp (awesome song! Or Should I say DOPE!) 5 - Londonbeat's I've Been Thinking About You -- One of my favorite TV shows is Fresh Prince of Bel Air -- It's pretty chillin' (& they actually use those words!) In schools, I got this mutha fuckin' teacher -- Mrs. Greever -- The teacher from Hell -- She constantly yells at us & makes us do damn worksheets and shit, I could go on but I don't gots enough room -- Oh yeah, I'z got another honey -- LISA GROVER -- She's the only girl I haven't told anyone about cuz most people know her brother, MARVIN, She's black, but so gorgeous!6 I jus' got a couple new tapes, well actually, one -- C&C MUSIC FACTORY, they're pretty dope -- for my B-Day - Yup Yup - 12 years old, God! Well, Homies, gotta go! Stay cool (who am I saying this to -- me 20 years from now?) CHILL! Peace (The Persian Gulf War is Over, Don'tchu Know?)

3 Jessie, was dating my best friend Steve, and as such, the four of us often hung out together. (The two of them were also in the play: she was a fairy, and he was one of the mechanics.)

4 Like many entries from this period, I wrote this entry during homeroom.

5 Not only was I was obsessed with African American culture, I was interested in interracial relationships, specifically those between black women and white men, which were (are) nowhere near as prevalent as vice versa. Several months earlier, I'd read with interest Studs Terkel's Race, which contained an interview with one such couple.

6 The "but" in this sentence grates every single time I read it. Ugh. Incidentally, I'm guessing "another honey" just means a girl I found attractive, because to the best of my recollection, I never even spoke to Lisa ever.

Monday, January 03, 2005

January 3, 1995

As I've been reading the Great Gatsby for EJ's1 class (and also as some fine holiday entertainment; no sarcasm intended), I ran across a passage that I think fits these journal entries perfectly: (I'm paraphrasing here, as I don't exactly have my copy with me) "Looking back, I realize you may have falsely gotten the impression that my summer in West Egg consisted only of three evenings, spread out among weeks..." -- Which is also what/how you may have thought about these entries ... that I only talk about parties or Chris C@rley because that is what rules my life, which is frightfully untrue. But I was talking to Jessie Benens0n the other night and she said that it was perfectly fine because "the rest is assumed," which is an explanation that I suppose has its merits. And then again, this is (I'm sorry -- that transition was poor -- I'm not trying to show contrast) all just mine anyway. I guess I'm just trying to provide an accurate portrayal of my life, but I suppose that most of that would be boring. I worry too much about things like this, that don't matter whatsoever. Like that these pages don't seem wide enough. Why, for chrissake, do I have to be so meticulous about my journal margins?

So at the risk of falling back into these habits (neither good nor bad), there are several things that I think need to be discussed that this journal is good for & yes, it is about Chris C@rley, whom I even specifically mentioned in the preceding paragraph & maybe it was just because he was on my mind. I must admit -- I'm slightly disappointed with Diane's2 IHSTF3 Penthouse plan; that is, six of us "men" share a room (while Adam Gyn@c & Collin Br0wn are relegated to the DOUBLE ROOM) rather than each of us having separate roommates, the painful part being that Chris was overjoyed when I asked him to be my roommate, a question that had been floating about in my head for about a week now. Actually, more than that -- just check my Vol. 54 for a specific date. But indeed I asked him & the boy wrapped his arms around me. That deserves my patented question mark-exclamation enclosed in parentheses punctuation, but that would ruin it, drive it into sensationalism & making me look like a boy-crazy lonely person, set off by the slightest thing. It was an awfully good feeling, though, all spoiled by this non-chalant -- "oh yeah, there are penthouses" (actually, the board screamed it out in her classroom) remark. And I'm not that hurt by it, I don't think, I guess because I accurately predicted that nothing would come of it, but in these past few weeks, I've been thinking -- "how can I make it work?" and I don't think I need to go into details regarding what I mean. I had it all planned out -- and maybe things are better this way because I'd probably be preoccupied with him the entire time (or maybe I still will). And I thought that maybe I'd scare him and we could never be friends. If Friday night existed, I mean. There's still a glimmer of hope, I guess. But then here comes Mark B3irn, everyone being so non-chalant, saying that Chris is going out with Laurie Paw1ak, who maybe I will harbor an intense dislike for, and me sitting there thinking that she's still seeing Se@n McQuinn & then remembering Marie's comment that the two had went someplace together & Marie wondering if they were going to kiss (because nobody could kiss Chris, she said, he's just like a little brother). And I think the whole thing's wrong, very wrong. It would be something if it were a Jay-Kristine thing because they are both good & both right for each other & happy.5 I can't see Chris with anyone at all -- it just ruins everything for me -- that he likes Laurie? I don't like to think that. But I think it will be okay -- for now, I mean. It's not like I'm obsessed -- well, to some extent -- it's just not "ruling my life," which kind of draws everything together. -- JMC 4:21 PM

1 Ms. Ellen J0y (E.J.) Br0nkema, my 11th-grade AP English teacher and the first teacher I'd ever had who I considered a friend, whom I made excuses to hang out with after school, whom I let borrow my Raymond Carver book, whose house I visited during winter break of senior year, etc.

2 Ms. Diane Breining3r.

3 Illinois High School Theatre Festival, an annual three-day event held in January (alternating between University of Illinois and Illinois State University), in which students attend workshops and watch other high schools' dramatic productions. I attended from 1994 to 1996.

4 This journal being Vol. 6.

5 A year later, Jay J0rdan and Kristine Pr0v0 endured one of the worst, most bitter breakups I'd seen. Of course.