Shouting the Poetic Truths of High School Journal Keepers

Monday, February 28, 2005

February 28, 1994

Today would be the last day of February, a month which set a record for February snowfall in the Chicago area. Tomorrow is March 1st, a day which besides being Ian E. Kinc@id's 16th birthday, is also Stacie's & my fourth monthaversary since there is no 29th of February (this is not a leap year, folks, although there was recently an Olympics, which concluded yesterday, in Lillehammer, Norway. Maybe, since we have not really discussed this international event, we could do a little examination so that my readers don't think that I have completely blown off this worldwide spectacle. FIGURE SKATING! Here is the final standings:

(GOLD) Oksana Baiul, UKRAINE
(SILVER) Nancy Kerrigan, USA

Our blessed little sweetheart Tonya Harding ("That would be TONE-YA Harding," says Mark Elli0tt, native Kansan and dinner party host of mine this past Saturday. But of course Michel the Frenchman would probably pronounce it as such anyway because of his thick French accent. And Yolanda's voice was so smoker-like that ... well, she probably said TAHN-YA, too, but I really have no preference. Personally, I feel that if she (Harding) says "TAHNYA" then that's how its pronounced. I mean, that's what her parents named her; she's not an orphan like Oksana Baiul, the anorexic crying ballerina from the Ukraine, who probably wouldn't know whether her name is OK-sana or OKE-sana because her parents like died in a plane crash or something.) finished 8th because of the WORN SHOELACE INCIDENT. Boo-hoo. Then the Canadian girl had to skate. Canada's cool. I wish they won in something. I mean, like in short track or something, roller derby on ice. More Olympic coverage later.) So that's the way it is.
JMC 1:15 pm

Sunday, February 27, 2005

February 27, 1995

Here I am in my Crown Alloy phase, the title of the very pen I write with, having received it several months ago from my good friend Jason Cud3bec. It has an unfamiliar area code on it -- maybe it's best not knowing, just to wonder -- like the name of Alejandro's wife at ISSA (see Vol V ... July 1994). Alejandro reminds me of Juan Ramón Castiglian0, the Peruvian foreign exchange student who wears a lot of wool sweaters and is quite brilliant at the mathematics, always up at that chalkboard on John Wilson's beckon. Confused by the lovable lunch ladies serving of gyros a couple weeks ago... There is something, I think, to be said of courage. Such an admirable trait & it can get you far -- to have the courage to speak up & be able to get what you want, rather than sulking in the corner like a nobody. You're on top of the world. Once you have it, that is. Someone procure me a potion of courage relatively soon... Not that I'm particularly shy or anything -- because as revealed in some middle school counseling session with Theresa M0e -- I only "used to be shy" -- she got that out of me & I could tell she was proud of herself because that was her job. And many times, I'm quite outspoken. But that only allows me to function normally. How about going beyond the call of duty, John M Cunningh@m? That would be nice. But allow me to realize my limits, too. If my potion were to do that for me, I'd squeeze a couple of drops into my breakfast cereal or school lunch. It'd be a daily dose, like Katy's Advils & Bayers & the like just because of her arm -- which I'm sure hurts like the devil -- but she knew that, dammit, when she gave blood. Stop bitching to all of us. She's becoming quite annoying & Mr Schuli3n doesn't like her, either. Maybe all of her pomp & circumstance is only relative to Stacie, who is usually quite sullen & spaced out come the end of the day -- but that's also due to a low chemistry grade. The truth is I think it's the people & her surroundings -- because we're fine alone -- she just gets sick of the noise & overactive students like Collin... That's my theory, leastwise... What did EJ say? That Stacie must have "waves of vacillation"? Over the Ryan incident, as I wrote about that for my district writing test... (Rola: "Aren't you & Ryan really good friends?") He got a haircut today. Mr Schuli3n said his beard looked fake. He looks less scruffy, Ryan does. Anyway, enough of that, lest I get overly hung up on it. Maybe I should have gone to see "Hoop Dreams" tonight, as there was a free screening of the Academy Award-snubbed film at North Central College, complete with chat w/ Frederick Marx, filmmaker. I had little homework & I spent the evening watching "Murphy Brown," addressing Thespian newsletters (the way I like them -- birthdays included, to be sure), and staring at the sample JETS test in preparation for Saturday's big event. But may the Good Lord come down & bless us with a beautiful four-day weekend, as they are certainly rare in this day & age. And God bless the superintendent... (never done anything to cause my disapproval) -- JMC 9:37 PM

Saturday, February 26, 2005

February 26, 1992

Only four months til Steve's birthday -- And I don't even know what 2 get. I was thinking on the bus today -- for I don't know what reason -- what I should write in Danielle's yearbook if she asks me to -- But Golly, that's almost as long as Steve's birthday -- I hope I could get a picture of her or something -- I don't know -- Steve says I should ask Danielle out on Friday -- I should ask her out soon before she starts going out w/ someone else -- or worse yet, starts going out w/ Marcus again -- Oh god -- Can't think of anything to say -- I got the new top 10, though -- I can't fill you in til Friday --
JMC 9:22 am

I was coming back from lunch, going to Mr. W@llin's room. Steve & I were talking (Hey, he gained two on Danielle already today) [See 2-25] Oh well, so Steve went into industrial arts and Danielle & some other girl were talking and then I passedby to go to Mr. W@llin's room and she kinda looked at me & whispered something to the girl, and so then the girl smiled & looked at me -- So I (being the mind-reader that I am) figured, "Hey! Danielle said something about me." And I know I'm right -- it's just what did she say? -- JMC 1:44

Friday, February 25, 2005

February 25, 1992

Mrs. G@wlik's still a bitch, but she really didn't do anything recently except for telling me to turn around in my seat -- actually, she thinks I was talking to Steve, but thats really comfortable & plus, its easy to get a glance at Danielle. Oh well -- Steve started a journal, too -- it's actually patterned after mine, but what the hell do I care. Mrs. G@wlik doesn't even do anything this period -- she jus' sez do your homework or read a book -- which is good, I guess, but that's really not what we're supposed to do -- Steve informed me that this is my one-month anniversary writing this (actually, it was Saturday) So now, let's present the most often-mentioned names. (These do not count)

1) Danielle 56
2) Steve 46
3) Marcus 13
4) Mrs. G@wlik 12
5) Julie 7
Adam G 7
Jay 7
8) Sami 6
9) Mrs. Nawr0t 5
10) Marilyn 5
11) Summer 5

--JMC 9:26

Pretty neat-o, huh? I did that in library last Friday when I was bored -- I wanna write a play or something kinda like "Jungle Fever" which is one of the best movies I have ever seen -- I saw that on Saturday night -- don't read this if U haven't seen it --

OK -- Wesley Snipes is married to this lady who's half-black, half-white, but she considers herself black, like she almost hates whites. OK, & they have a daughter who's about 7 or 8 years old -- at the beginning Snipes & this lady were having sex, and the girl wakes up in the morning & says, "Why does mommy always make those funny noises" & then she has to explain it & everything & then the girl says "I know, I was just testing U" -- Then Flipper (that's Snipes) goes to work, and learns that his new partner is this Italian lady from Bensonhurst (Annabella Sciorra) and he's really pissed off cuz he wanted some black person, so then he becomes really attracted to her and then they have sex, and he finally tells his best friend, who is played by Spike Lee -- However, Spike tells his wife, and his wife tells Flipper's wife, and then she kicks Flipper outta the house an' then there's this almost documentary-type thing going on about interracial relationships with all of Flipper's wife's friends. There's a sub-plot, too, involving Pauly, Sciorra's ex-boyfriend. He works in this store with all these Italian racists who really hates blacks. Pauly ends up going out with this black woman, and this is so weird cuz when he asks her "Would you be attracted to a white boy" & she sez "Why me?" that's exactly what Steve said Danielle would say to me when I called her. Anyway, there's also another part about Flipper's brother, some crack addict whom Flipper's parents have to kill. So, back to the story -- basically cuz I don't wanna say anything more, they realize they can't work it out & so Flipper goes back to his wife & they have more sex -- and then thats it -- Oh no! I never mentioned the prostitutes -- they wanted to suck his dick for like $3 -- my God, they're desperate! -- JMC 12:52

Thursday, February 24, 2005

February 24, 1995

I'm on a lucky streak this week -- I'm Mr Lucky all of a sudden (lucky me, lucky you for knowing me and hoping my luck will rub off on you). Cite the following examples: three straight 100%s in MATH, of all things ( where I got about three A's all year in Hon Adv Algebra -- maybe B3rnie Kill was just out to get me), including a chapter test. I feel like I'm in seventh grade doing 3x+2=7 or finding the area of a rectangle with dimensions given to you in that I'd be getting 100%s in those days. Not that what we're doing now is particularly easy... I'm setting the curves. And then in history -- well, what do you know? Another 100% -- on my paper about the Repub. party after 1877 -- which I really wasn't expecting -- and then a 99% on this latest test, the hardest one all year. And everyone hates me for it... I must have heard three people call me "Mister 99%" Well, in a class with 88% of the people getting C's below on that exam, they have every right to be mad. I would be. Definitely. I'd raise a commotion. And I honsetly did think the test was mighty difficult. Things turn out this way. Mr Buss asked me to be on the JETS team today, a prestigious academic competition group. My only obstacle now is getting this approved with Karen B Kru3ger, for the IHSA Music Contest is on the same day. I'm getting sick of choir. It just seems like I'm having no fun with it. Hmmm.. That almost looked like Adam Gri3ve's handwriting. Anyway, that's my lucky streak. I hope that one day it won't just end & I'll plummet into a pit of mediocrity. Stacie said I was all smart. Oh -- lest I forget -- I also have the highest grade in chemistry. Well, enough gloating & ego-boosting for the time being. I'm not about to get up & imply how good & dedicated I am, like some choir presidents would -- I refer, of course, to Ronnie Fals0n (our "friend/bitch" Mindy Oft3dahl, screeching absentee, graduated already -- whatever...) who was "mulling over choir all night like I always do" -- and as she said this, Karen is hanging all over her in admiration. It's been rough for Karen, I bet -- I wonder what Ken S0rrick thought of her Sunday school teaching the other day ("Then God got very angry & sent down a drought to the people," as she pulled out her big Bible) -- he was just sitting there. And then the male members of Madrigals (alliteration!) don't like the song "Scarborough Fair" and she takes it personally. Maybe because her son Charlie is out screwing some girl in the back of her car & she's upset. I always think I see that kid in school, but he goes to RHS. Collin, go join him, you little Spartan wanna-be. You and your grunt-laugh & overeagerness toward choir (it's disproportionate to his talent). So then for Karen to have me approach her & say -- "whoops -- can't sing for you Saturday" -- it might be a little too much for her. Especially if she's only getting three hours of sleep a night & thinking she's immune to anything (after the Charlie incident). That's not to be confused w/ Chuck Thyn3 -- you know, Snoopy's brother. Snoopy -- that's just so perfect -- thank you, Stacie. Melissa just sounds wrong. Or Pelican Girl. --JMC 7:04 PM

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

February 23, 1993

Thank God I have this extra 20 minutes in Spanish now, or else this would have to be another *THIS SPACE FOR RENT* since I drew the design in geometry. And the reason I have all this time now is becuz Sra. Rosa is not here and I'm finished with the homework that Mr. Gould (EL REPUBLICANO! AACK!) passed out. That reminds me that 2day is election day. Down with MAYOR CLAAR! Actually, I bet no one in this littl etown really even cares about the damn election anyways, and if they do, they're major Republicans. Or at least conservative becuz B3cky R0senmayer denies that she is a Republican (HA!) but sez she's conservative. Where's the logic in that? I can see a moderate Republican, or a moderate Democrat, if that's what she is. But a conservative Democrat? I think she's independent, like Mary O'C0nnor, who voted for Perot. But we were talking about MR GOULD, weren't we? The thing is, I wouldn't have any knowledge of his views if it weren't for Anne's reports on him when we were going out. He hasn' shown any signs of Republicanism to me yet, but this is only the 3RD time I've seen him. Why are we talking about MR. BOULD? I don't know, but who am I to judge? I only write this damn journal; I don't pick the topics. Well, maybe I do, but still ... HOMEWORK this evening is the following: Geomertry - Section 8-8, Classroom Exercises 1 and 2; English - finish Act I of WEST SIDE STORY and project due for ROMEO & JULIET. That was actually a pretty good story, I thought. Am I the only one? I'm sorry, I liked it. The movie was pretty good, too, and not just becuz of the sex scene. I'm not going to divulge, U can rent it on your own (ROMEO & JULIET, 1977. Directed by Franco Zefferelli) I also have study 4 history too. No español. YIPPEE. Was that redundant? "I also have to study 4 history too"? What was that "too" doing there? I must not be paying attention. God, do U know how long it's been since I mentioned Steve? Shit. What's there 2 say? Well, I haven't talked about the motion pictures I saw over the weekend, or for that matter, the rest of my OSCAR PICKS. It'll have 2 wait.
JMC 2:14 pm

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

February 22, 1994

It must be obvious to all my readers that today is George Washington's birthday; I am certain that everyone is well-read about matters as such and therefore, I shall refrain from discussing it. All right, next issue: I am carrying a pencil with me right now that reads on it, in orange lettering (the pencil itself is black), "The Oh'Lantern Family." Now, I'm not too concerned with things like why there's an apostrophe in the name or why this name actually exists in the world today or if this is some kind of cruel Halloween prank -- I just wanna know how this pencil managed to fall into my hands. My last name, if you'll read the heading, is Cunningh@m, not Oh'Lantern, and furthermore, I do not know anyone named Oh'Lantern, which I imagine, if this name does exist, is a Chinese family. Speaking of which, last week the school served Chinese food, and egg roll - fried rice - Oriental chicken soup - mixed vegetables entree, which is an extremely refreshing change when you're used to the standard school blah lunch. In fact, today, thy served feta cheese and baklava (w/ the gyro) for Greek day! -- JMC 1:15 pm

Monday, February 21, 2005

February 21, 1994

Today marks the twelve-year anniversary of my brother's three-week-old anniversary, if you could really call it a weekaversary, I mean, if you could really call it an anniversary, because it's more like a weekaversary. I kinda blundered that one up, if you could use that phrase, because I think "blundered" is acceptable as is without the "that one up."

Having completed my letter to Monsieur René Magritte last night for Ms Breining3r's class, I watched the 1991 flick What About Bob?, the role of Bill Murray's life, not including Groundhog Day, which was (I swear) the funniest damn movie EVER. But before that, I had some turkey & baked potatoes and before that I started the biography on Mr. Magritte, the popular Belgian surrealist artist. Of course, who could forget putting together a dumb-ass jigsaw puzzle of a castle on the computer, which came with a little elementary school program my cousin Matt received for Christmas. It reminded me so much of New Year's Eve, which I fondly recall as being a feel-good mix of Border's Book Shop, sparkling beverages, Entertainment Weekly magazine, mixed nuts & cheeses, The Piano, Penn & Teller, George Carlin, Holly Hunter, and Pearl Jam. In fact, I was listening to Pearl Jam (the group's name, I hear, is derived from Eddie Vedder's grandmother, Pearl, who makes jam) about four times on yesterday (Sunday) because Q101 played "Daughters," "Glorified 'G'," "Alive," and "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town" about maybe an hour and a half apart, as I was typing my paper on the computer, or maybe doing the Tribune magazine crossword puzzle. (This reminds me now of last summer when I completed an entire crossword puzzle from Tempo one morning while listening to the Best of Blue Note CD I just received in the mail from the CD club, and I only used a dictionary about twice, and then maybe I went on a bike ride up to Downers later that day). More reminiscences later --
JMC 1:15 pm

Sunday, February 20, 2005

February 20, 1992

Adam Gyn@c got into this big fight with Steve today at lunch, which I didn't want to get into at first, but then became reminiscent of Adam's and my fight last year, ie Adam bragging about how he can really kick Steve's ass & saying what an awesome vocabulary he has (well, actually only implying it) and how he can think of much better things to say, and saying "My hobbies are my own business" (referring to D&D) and my God, I'm on the 11th line already and I haven't even mentioned Danielle yet. Oh well, the spelling bee is tonight and I figure if I can somehow get rid of Andrew Web3r, Mike Lawl3r, and/or Katie R3h (well, actually I'd need to get rid of two), then Danielle would get in.1 Yay! Wouldn't that be great -- I could ask her out tonight -- but two people are really going to not be there -- but I hope that she'll at least show up beforehand & wait until everyone gets there -- I can't really say her name too much, cuz Sami wants to see it, and it wouldn't really be very nice for her to see it -- OK Sami knows now, and I've confirmed (well, actually Sami did) that she broke up w/Marcus, although I don't know if it was about Julie or not. Anyway, after Sami asked Danielle if she did or not, it sparked a conversation at that table, which Steve has been moved to. I hope he's listening cuz I wanna find out what she said -- JMC 2:30

1 Danielle was second-alternate for the district bee and thus would have only competed if two other contestants couldn't participate. After losing in the last stages of the county-wide bee in sixth grade, and accidentally failing to show up for the grade-level bee in seventh grade, this was my last chance for spelling bee glory.

On ILX, I told the story of what happened that night: "...I was given the word 'tentative.' Feeling too confident, I guess, I breezed through it: 'T-E-N-T-I-T-I-V-E.' I couldn't believe I had slipped up and wound up bawling in the backseat of the car on the way home. The weird part is that I was semi-embarrassed that I had spelled it so that 'TIT' was in the middle of the word; I had a notion that people would think that I had misspelled it because I was distracted by thoughts of breasts.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

February 19, 1993

Actually, I must apologize for Thursday's entry because Leo1 came into class and we were talking about MALCOLM X, and I got into the conversation. Today is Friday, in case U couldn't tell, and my name is J0hn Cunningh@m, which U probably couldn't tell because it looks like "JOHN CGH."2 That's my fault, really. We are on an assembly schedule today, which means that 10 minutes are taken off PERIODS 1, 2, and 3 so that we can have a happy fun assembly commemorating *SPIRIT WEEK*. That means that it is really 11:09, if U can believe it. If U can't, then douse your head in a barrel of ginger ale for approximately 2 minutes, then balance a loaf of bread on your head and whistle "Kiss of Life" by Sade while skipping down the hallway. I realize, though, that I haven't been giving U QUEEN updates, as promised. Again, my fault. I'm kinda mad, though, cuz I accidentally taped Part Three over Part Two. That doesn't matter, though, becuz I saw Part Two already and shall fill U in now: (Do U realize that I've written the word "though" in the last 3 sentences? ¡Qué raro!) QUEEN has left the plantation and has gone to South Carolina to find work. Immediately, she stumbles upon Lonette McKee, who, in fact, played Wesley Snipes' wife in Jungle Fever (see Feb. 92)3, who is also biracial.

Then she falls in love with a white man, the only problem, though, (SHIT! I did it again) was that he didn't know she was half-black, and once he found out he raped her. Of course, McKee was steaming becuz Queen had told the guy in the first place. It's amazing how much racism there was in this period to begin with. Maybe it's just becuz it was the Deep South, but it was all "nigger" this and all this shit. So many problems, even w/the newly-found freedom. (Why is Newfoundland pronounced "NOO-FUND-LIND"? It should be NOO-FOWND-LAND) I guess all the Southerners were mad that they lost the war and were still harsh toward the ex-slaves. But, anyways, Queen is forced to move out of the community where she comes across these fat white religious lesbians (or at least I think they are lesbians. To tell the truth, I don't even know if kd lang is either, although I'd wager that she was) who are trying to get her to be Lutheran or whatever they are, and always insulting. So, I'll tell U the rest later.
-JMC 11:24 AM

1 A "peer leader" who periodically visited our freshman homeroom and led us in various activities or discussions.

2 That is, in my signature at the top of the notebook page.

3 Upon seeing this cross-reference, I said to myself, "But I thought I didn't start journaling until March 1992." And then I dug out the first journal, and it turns out I actually started on January 27! So get ready for some very early entries, from 8th grade, to be integrated into the rotation.

Friday, February 18, 2005

February 18, 1993


Thursday, February 17, 2005

February 17, 1995

The week draws to a close soon; I like to think that week & weekend are completely separate entities, that the weekend isn't even part of the week which begins on Monday and ends on Friday. Then, we have a little break & then a week again. It's one of those things -- like if I go up to someone & make mention of something school-related I did "last year" -- it is not assumed I mean 1994. I could very well, for example, be referring to the fall of 93, which was last year -- that is, I am a junior now & I was a sophomore then. Sophomores are always so nice. It's a good grade level because -- well, once you come in as freshmen, you don't know what the hell you're doing, you haven't quite carved out that niche for yourself yet, you're making new friends -- but as a sophomore, you've found all that, but you're still young. I am so glad that, with our new yearbooks, which came on Tuesday (and which I got through some ... what some would call "complaining" ... and I guess that would be right, because they didn't have my name on the list of yearbook orderers, even though I dutifully paid my fee... Mr Paskiewicz1 was feeling generous -- or something) there are some faces below us to stare at, last year's freshman crop -- the sophomores of which I speak of now. Yearbooks are great reference books, more than anything, to just get lost in & while away the hours. Stacie & I have picked up the old 1993 edition quite a bit in our times together & conversed on the phone about such oddities as the double-photos of Cathy Mey3r (the strange young evil twin "Casly Never")2 & Bernice Weg3rich, whom you may remember as the German "teacher"/choir accompanist/knitting fiend/victim of a box falling on her head... that was a staff member at the high school last year. It was a cold October morning3 when Ryan started talking to her about The Nightmare Before Christmas and its animation techniques -- like any of us cared or had the effrontery to talk to the old lady. Anyhow, Ryan did finally break his month-long silence: "Excuse me, I was talking" and "Bye, asshole" on Wednesday. I am doubting the chances for repairing this feud4 (bridging the chasm sounds better) at all, though, given how worked up he is about it, i.e. all the trouble has gone toward blatantly ignoring me & the like. It seems childish, really. And how the hell did we get to Ryan? Via Mrs Weg3rich? Mmmm... ("Everything tastes good to you..." -- Dan (?) to Adam Gri3ve5) I think the reason I mention any of this, the sole purpose for why I picked up this pen off the living-room carpet (other than the fact that one should never leave pens on the carpet6), is that Stacie is off in Missouri to visit her dear grandmother for the weekend & who knows -- maybe we might have been on the phone all this time. Because we sure have been the last two weeks. Talking very late, I mean, about anything & everything. Some things are much more comfortable after four hours, I think. And these past few days have been enjoyable: The opera yesterday was a pleasant diversion if anything, marred only by my sleepiness & feeling a bit under the weather, as I like to say. Those damn Sudafeds didn't do me a bit of good. Damn them. I guess things like the AHSME math test & the Sunrise trip to Hubert H. Humphrey (my alma mater, of course -- see Vol. 1 (!)) serve to break the awful monotony of school schedules -- and it was a balmy 52° today at 3 o'clock. It was downright gorgeous. I remarked yesterday that whenever I leave school on a field trip, I get a sense of freedom, of having escaped from that routine, that while everyone else is sitting through lectures, I've slipped through their watchful eyes -- such privilege. And the temperature gave it the feel of all of us taking a Sunday drive in the country, enjoying the open air. The new is what keeps us going [...]
--JMC 11:39 PM

1 "Mr. P" was the yearbook advisor and the boys' soccer coach, and also had a bit role as a gambler in Guys and Dolls my senior year. He died in 2004.

3 Okay, so check this out: on p. 120, there's a photo of Cathy Mey3r: she has straight brown hair, bangs over her eyebrows, staring at the camera with her mouth slightly open, not quite smiling. Four rows down, in the same vertical column, there's a photo captioned "Casly Never," and apart from the fact her mouth's closed and she's looking off to the side (and holy shit, I just noticed this, is she even wearing a different shirt?), it's the exact same girl.

3 On the bus on the way to Northern Illinois University for a choir field trip.

4 I honestly don't even remember anymore what triggered the falling out between Ryan and me, except that he had suddenly, a few months before, become distrustful and accusatory toward me, and the fact that I found his behavior ridiculous only exacerbated his sense that I didn't support him. It later came out that he was jealous of my friendship with Stacie, which had lately grown closer and more exclusive. Because the three of us had once hung out together, Ryan understandably felt left behind. In general, though, he wasn't the most stable dude, especially if there was any truth to the stories he told about his family.

5 Adam had this somewhat affected habit of saying "mmmmm," sometimes with a raised eyebrow, which gave the impression of a gay man with a delicious secret. (And despite much speculation, Adam never admitted he was anything but straight.)

6 I'd been admonished enough by my dad.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

February 16, 1993

"TODAY IS A GOOD DAY", or so says Ice Cube in his little ditty. Mrs. Offerman just sed that Thursday is OPPOSITE GENDER DAY, which means that we must dress up as the opposite gender. Where's kd lang when we need her? And how come so many people misspell her name? KD Lang, no I don't think so. Actually, I like her songs, but she is a major cross-dressing Canadian non-effeminate roller derby-loving slut. Well, slut is such a strong word, but I needed a noun to complete the sentence.1 So, what's up? Alex Haley's new movie is out, entitled QUEEN, which I am recording off CBS TV. It is a six-hour long epic tale which is being presented as a mini-series over three days, not unlike his best-known work ROOTS, which had a similar process of presentation in he mid-70s, when it was shown. ROOTS traced Alex Haley's mother's heritage back to Africa; however, QUEEN, which follows Haley's father's ancestors, goes back to Scotland, where his great-great-grandfather immigrated from. It is important to know that this man, Haley, whom we are talking about, so often associated with the black experience, is actually 1/8 white, as a result of the child born to Haley's great-grandfather and a slave woman in the 1840s. The child was named Queen, which of course, is the name of the mini-series. That is the background information. This is how it came about: The story begins on a Southern plantation in 1841. Haley's great-grandfather (played by Tim Daly) owns the plantation, or at least his parent's do, and there are a multitude of slaves on it. One of these slaves, Easter, (played by Jasmine Guy) falls in love with daly, and vice-versa, and pretty soon, Queen (played by Raven-Symone, and later, Halle Berry) is born. Easter denies that Daly is the father, and he will have no part in it either. Queen only finds out about her father when she is sixteen years old. Actually it's probably around 20, becuz the CIVIL WAR is going on. Anyways, that's the basic jist of Part One. Part Two airs tonite, and Part Three will air on Thursday. Stay tuned for updates.
--JMC 11:55 am

1 I'd cringe at this description, except I find it too amusing ("roller derby-loving"!). I was clearly confused as to how I was supposed to respond to someone like lang. I did like "Constant Craving" a whole lot, though: I remember enjoying it on the radio in Steve's parents' car several months before, on the way home from the only BHS football game I ever attended.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

February 15, 1993

Well, so, I'm back, and I'm not going out with Stacie. I think the only way that I would've asked her was if Steve had asked Tara, and he sed that his interest in her dwindled. Actually, I think my interest dwindled w/Stacie, too, becuz the only reason it was up was because of what I told Ami, and she was always asking me "Oh, do U still like Stacie?" Now she probably thinks I really like her and is acting differently toward me, as I am too becuz she knows and I know, etc. I probably should say something to her. It's interesting, though, cuz Steve seems to think that Tara likes me. He sez we'd be a perfect couple becuz "we listen to the same music."1 I don't know. I think he's feeling sorry for himself though becuz he's beginning to think he can't have her, and that's why he's urging me to go for her. It's all really confusing, so I thought I'd interrupt with an excerpt of "Red Hooded Sweatshirt" by "Saturday Night Live's" own Adam Sandler:


It was on "SNL" on Saturday, and I copied all the words down becuz this Adam Sandler fellow is just hi-larious. So, anyways, back to life, back to reality. "A One-Act Play (Part X)" is finally finalized, pardon the redundancy. The main conflict is that Stacie has broken into Dimension 5 and proclaimed herself leader due to the fact that she has stolen Steve's BURGER KING crown. Then, in alternate story-line, I had promised both Danielle and R0ntaya that they would get 2 be the next leader of the dimensions, and they get to talking, and discover this information. It's all leading up to a climax that will take place in Part XI. Ryan sed that he'd give me what he has of Part IX and we could work from there. Steve also sez that we could maybe collaborate on Part XII. Shane is now reading Part X. Wouldn't it be funny if someone who didn't know Roman numerals was reading this and they're like "What the hell? X I?" -- Ha ha. What else is going on? Godparents was semi-fun. The first part of the meeting was okay. Actually, it was pretty boring, but it was also cool becuz Tara was sleeping and her head was tilted toward me. Ahhh... What the hell? I'm not supposed to like her. Or am I?
-JMC 11:55 am

1 In other words, we were both white and liked rap and R&B.

Monday, February 14, 2005

February 14, 1994

At present, it is 6:15 pm; that is, the big hand is on the three and the little hand on the six. On the clock at the BHS auditorium, Act I, Scene 7 of Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic musical SOUTH PACIFIC. Marilyn Bi3lby's six-year-old brother Tony is drawing a little color marker scene on notebook paper. It looks like an upside down tree. I'd like to clear some things up if I may. First of all, if you've been reading this journal chronologically; that is, not in any special collections like "Best of JMC Journals 1992-94!" or the poem "Quotations,"1 you may be sensing that it seems like every day that I've been thinking about Shanna or Katie or that Stacie & I are on the verge of splitsville, to use this hip teenage jive (or gossip column lingo), and of course, that logic has absolutely no merit. Rather, we're having a pretty lovely Valentine's Day ourselves ... (Awww! Tony drew a palm tree!) ... and she's actually wearing (get this) jeans today. I cannot fathom my level of disbelief.2 Speaking of which, Amy O'Bry@n and Kevin Mehn3rt might have a little romance evolving. And speaking of evolution, Mr. Sch00b3 alluded to it this morning as we started Chapter 11: REPRODUCTION! Mr Schoob ... what a guy. I think Chris T0desco said it best when he said (and repeated to our favorite April-born teacher, John W@llin, at Family Fun Night), "Mr Schoob is like a videotape. He's on > PLAY during the school year and goes on << REWIND in the summer." "And it was the biggest organism in the world!! Well, maybe not the biggest..." He's trying to convince us that we should really start thinking about science as a career. Yeah, right. He says, "Well, if you wanted to be, say, a writer, and there aren't a lot of writing opportunities, then it would help to be a chemist." I say, "There are a lot of things in between writing and chemistry." And he goes off on this lecture to me. I mean, he's got a point, but really, for me, I'd rather take up a job I like for less money than to be a chemist, no matter what it pays. 10 minute break!
JMC 6:36 pm

1 "The Best of JMC Journals 1992-94" was exactly as it sounds, a typed-up compilation of some of my favorite entries (ah, the beginnings of my impulse to archive my life), and "Quotations" was a poem-collage based on this document, where I first isolated all of the quoted dialogue and then rearranged it.

2 Stacie always wore skirts, a habit I always chalked up to taste until she admitted a couple years later that it was at least partially informed by some edict in Leviticus or Deuteronomy against women wearing men's clothing. Her churchgoing ways hardly got in the way of our close friendship until she decided to go to a very conservative Baptist college, and I feared it would put strains on our relationship past graduation.

2 Soporific, sandy-mustachioed biology teacher.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

February 13, 1995

A sad fact widely known ("Rubber Ring," The Smiths) is that my "kid brother" -- that sounds so Wally & the Beav -- has written a hell of a lot more than I have lately, albeit for classroom English assignments, as he has Rita E Cl3house as his 8th-grade language arts teacher. But never fear. I will be soon back in the swing of things, especially since my doting month is upon us soon, lovely harbinger of spring, sunny cold afternoons of melted snow that is March. It seems to me that I have not yet encountered the innocent person that will turn my heart aflutter, but I am confident that my yearly cycle1 will not be interrupted now. The only thing that I believe might disrupt this annual event is the lack of desire or need for a companion in this stage of my life, as I have my wonderful friend Stacie to chat with most every day & night when I feel up to it. And I cannot imagine how I could function without her -- so that effectively ruins the mental aspect of it. But hormones cannot be controlled or held back. It really doesn't matter who you are -- if you are a sixteen-year-old male, that's the way it goes. Just a tip to the kids, there. I look forward this week to quite a few things, namely the opera on Thursday. The Barber of Seville is not something to be taken lightly and I am sure that I will enjoy myself, especially in the company of the Sunrise Singers. What else have I got going for me, besides my daily dose of stage crew w/ Stacie, Chris, Genevieve, Rosalie2, Mandy, & the like... I suppose there's not much else -- maybe the opera fills at least three things to look forward to because of its magnitude -- three was an arbitrary number, by the way. I'm not exactly on a "kick," if you haven't noticed, so I won't waste much space with thoughts I have trouble with retrieving. Feb 3 -- now that was a kick. JMC 9:02 PM

1 For three years running, I'd developed mad crushes on girls in the springtime (1992: Danielle Th0mas, 1993: Shanna Pr@naitis, 1994: Marie Rutk0ski) and assumed the trend was inevitable. It didn't happen this time, though.

1 "Rosalie" was actually, for some reason that's no longer apparent, my nickname for fellow stage-crew worker (on Little Shop of Horrors) N3rissa Caball3s.

Friday, February 11, 2005

February 11, 1996

I was going to start off this entry by saying (yeah -- I had it all planned out; in fact, I had this very sentence planned out, too, while brushing my teeth just now): "Well, what the fuck. Another week, another party." And then I began to look at it from another angle, a new perspective, if you will, because now maybe this is my calling. Maybe instead of coming down on myself for seemingly only writing after parties or other "social outings" I should exploit my knack for good post-party journalism. I should report on parties for the Raider Review1, goddammit. I should be like that guy who was on when Fox-32 News was trying to be ultra-hip (über-hip??) who went to parties so "you don't have to." Well, anyhow, tonight's party (sorry, just spent the last 15 mins. watching music videos in JBTV2 ... back now, though) was for Alexia's 18th birthday, and it only reinforces my theory that more people are having fiestas this year because we're all seniors. Like, I think Jesaida's having one next Friday (oh, and by the way, I think I've all but completely doubted the whole September thing w/ Ryan3 -- like I said 2 wks ago -- cuz I told more people & they just laughed & pretty much said "Yeah right!") But of course it was a much different mix of people. Some sample names: Sean Mulv!hill, Ronnie & Dan Gr@nt, Jase & Zippy (I can't even bring myself to call her "Mandy"; it's so unnatural, like it would be another person), some All-State joker4 named Justin, Ryan (who left for about an hour and a half & then came back with his hair out of place -- and gossip, of course, flowed freely, conjecture about who he was out fucking or whatever), Adam, Stacie, Krista Pet3r (came late), and then Monica K0enig & Maryanne Mall0n. I mention them last if not only because they were the most out-of-place people in attendance (not really so much, not Monica at least, especially since we think that she & J Cudeb3c should hook up -- and have thought that ever since Duke
5 took us to the Country House on Oct. 26, 1995 after the NHS Convention; Maryanne maybe cuz for much of the evening, she was kinda quiet) but also because they meant the most to me in terms of what lingers afterwards. It turned out that the two of them, Adam & me, & Alexia, of course, were the only ones remaining during the last (first hours of Sunday) hour, and so the conversation is much more meaningful, significant. You have conversations, actually, and don't just shout things across the room, hoping, in vain, for someone you admire/are intimidate by/enjoy their company/etc. to hear you & reply with a laugh, or at least a knowing smile. And you always know what everyone's talking about, even if it's not as delving-deep as Cyndi's party. Even if it's just about Mr Bu55 or something. Anyway, since I've been attracted to both of the named girls at some point or another in the past year(s), it was very pleasurable, indeed, to converse with them, the two blondes (although vastly different, too, I might add -- appearance-wise, that is) ... Hominah, hominah, hominah (excuse me if this is spelled wrong -- not sure there is an authorized standard, though) -- Yeah, whatever. I don't know what I'm feeling at all. I'm thinking of them, trying to feel something, even just a satisfaction at having mentioned them, and then onto a new topic like my killer test week this past week or how I want to see a movie this weekend or being at Stacie's last night or Jesus, I don't know, some philosophical, agnostic ranting with some mention of the Unitarian Church or the book we've been reading for English, Hesse's Siddhartha ... or something about the newspaper or what I do in gym these days or how NHS is going or how Stace wishes Zippy would just leave since she's pretty protective (possessive?) of Jase herself. No, but before, what I was thinkig of was Monica's orange-ish hair hues or Maryanne's "butter on a baked potato" aura & ubiquitous black eyeliner. Monica's lioness appearance/resemblance & Maryanne's soccer-playing ponytailed girlishness. Monica's loquaciousness, and ... oh whatever Mr Strl3 called her, "vivacious" maybe. Oh, and Ronnie was wearing her "Rita" glasses6 tonight, too. As my good pal Jason Cudeb3c would say, "Very nice."
-JMC 2:18 am

But oh how that lacked finality. Maybe I should B.S. an entire page to waste paper & look like I'm getting somewhere in this journal -- nah. But it was a pretty good party overall, that I should say. That's what I needed to reiterate. And I think now, only now, shall I be able to go. Just thinking again: one of the best x-mas presents I received: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain by Pavement (or do we put album titles in quotes?) -- funny thing was, it was from Chris who just up & bought it for me, then laid it to sit on the car seat when we went to see Mighty Aphrodite at that crap theatre in Glen Ellyn. But man, that's been getting quite a few spins on my CD player. I should really be looking into working at Record Swap7 this summer. You know it'd be better than the Brothers (CBS)8 -- a lot more fun, at least. But fuck it, I don't wanna think about it. (although I do need the dough). But then I said, or implied, I wouldn't ramble, based on my sarcasm and use of the word "nah" -- and now I'm just contradicting myself.
-JMC 2:30 AM

1 The high-school newspaper, of which I was co-editor during my senior year.

2 JBTV, which I'm surprised still exists, is an "alternative" music-video program airing on a local UHF station and hosted by Jerry Bryant, this dorky guy with long, stringy gray hair and beard. Since I didn't have cable, it was one of the only places where I could see videos, and their "alternative" bent meant they played some songs that I couldn't even hear on the local alt-rock station. (Of course, this didn't signify "indie rock," exactly: videos I disinctly remember waching include Smashing Pumpkins, Stabbing Westward, Catherine Wheek, and Gigolo Aunts. Sort of a video equivalent of Alternative Press, now that I think about it.

3 I think this maybe refers to speculation that Ryan and Jes@ida had consummated their relationship?

4 An actor in the All-State play, featuring talent from high schools across Illinois and performed, after months of weekend rehearsals, as the culmination of the Illinois High School Theatre Festival. The play that year was Man of La Mancha; both Alexia and Ryan participated.

5 "Duke" was the nickname of William Dutki3wicz, a guidance counselor and National Honor Society (NHS) sponsor, who I came to know through my duties as NHS secretary. He was among the friendliest faculty or staff members I knew in high school, and he took a great interest in his students' lives (some claimed that his interest in female students was perhaps untoward, but I never personally observed this). On at least one occasion I asked permission to leave a class where we weren't doing anything (e.g., on the day before winter break) so I could hang out in his office. He also offered to take several of my friends and me to see Mandy Patinkin live -- or maybe it was Crazy for You?

6 Cat's-eye-ish glasses that, for whatever reason, made Ronnie look like her name should be "Rita." (I mean, I'd conjecture that the glasses gave her an air reminiscent of an old Hollywood actress like Rita Hayworth, except I've never seen a Rita Hayworth movie and don't even think that she wore glasses.

7 Now-defunct Naperville record store where my friends Chris, Becky, and Marie all worked at various times and thus where I sometimes hung out. Probably the first "cool" record shop I'd been to, with stacks of old marked-down vinyl in the corner and CD rack dividers with band logos meticulously replicated in Magic Marker. I bought a Pavement t-shirt there, and Glenn Branca, Rachel's, and Chavez CDs (among others I can't recall).

8 Christian Brothers Services was the insurance company for which I file-clerked the previous summer.

Just You Wait

I know I've been lax with putting up new entries in the last week: I've been unbelievably busy lately, as my band has been preparing for the biggest show of our career to date, and I'm easing into a new role as a contributor to Stylus. I'm hoping this weekend I can put some up -- I'll probably just backdate them.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

February 10, 1993

A One-Act Play (Part X) is just about done. It's three pages long so far. Here's a sneak preview: The part begins when John and Danielle argue about haggis, "the Scottish dish, commonly made of the heart, lungs, and liver of a sheep." What a riot! And then R0ntaya1 comes over for dinner and John begins a lengthy conversation with the queen of the syrups, Mrs. Butterworth. Wait, it gets better! Ryan calls John and announces that Mrs. Jan0ski will be coming over for dinner, too. That's where I am right now. Hoo boy! I could hardly keep myself from laughing. Well, actually, I could because that paragraph isn't funny at all. U don't seriously think I would reveal all the humor in my journal, do U? Pardon me for a second while I write in the top five. I should stress, of course, that the top five that appears beyond the margin in my journal is stolen from Billboard magazine's Hot 100 Singles chart and is not, in any way, intended to resemble or reflect any or all of my favorite songs. That would be ludicrous because I've never even heard #s 2 and 5. Just to clear things up. Actually, I've been thinking that I should start of the JMC2 Top Five within this journal on Thursdays or Fridays, instead of sporadically sprinkling them about at random. (Is that redundant? Sporadically / at random? Can I be sued for that by my faithful readers? Do I have any faithful readers besides Jay and Clarissa?3 Will this ever be published? Why hasn't Clarissa been in school for the past week? Should I care?) Those were my inner thoughts let loose. Most of them are irrelevant, as is my life. Of course, I'm kidding. All of them are irrelevant. Anyways, I think I should write a book of questions, seeing as I'm so good at them. They just flow out smoothly like fresh wine from a spigot at the bar mitzvah we call life. Damn, that was a good metaphor. I'm just rambling; can't U tell? Why else would I be talking about bar mitzvahs? Actually, that's probably the first time I mentioned "bar mitzvah" in the journals. I like to get in touch with my Jewish background. But wait, you say, I have no Jewish background! That's why I like to get in touch with it; because it's not there and I need to find it and experience it. I'm going crazy; can't U tell? Jerry Seinfeld is God.
JMC 11:55 AM

1 Googleproofed because previous, unGoogleproofed references to Ms. Bailey by first name alone resulted in the girl herself e-mailing me a few weeks ago (after 12 years!) and wondering what I was doing writing about her. (Apparently searching for "r0ntaya" only turns up five total hits, and the first one is this blog. Oops.) She claimed to be "flattered" at the mention of my crush, but since she has absolutely no memory of me at all (which certainly doesn't surprise me: we sat next to each other in Spanish but hardly talked), I can't help thinking that I may have creeped her out, just a tiny bit.

2 I was mildly obsessed with my initials: not only did I sign all my journal entries "JMC," I referred to the series of notebooks as "JMC Journals." Hence, my personal favorite five songs comprised the "JMC Top Five," and my favorite movies every year received honors in the "JMC Movie Awards."

3 It's amusing to me now that I so willingly let others read my journal, but for the first couple of years (1992-93), I didn't have any secrets or emotional crises or even embarrassing thoughts, really, and so I mainly wrote just to waste time during homeroom (which didn't stop me from having an inflated sense of myself as a Writer who would someday be published).

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

February 8, 1993

Monday, oh Monday. The first day o' the week, the second day o' the month, second month o' the year, etc. etc. Well, let's recap the weekedn: FRIDAY, FEB 5, 1993 I went back to visit my alma mater, Hubert Horatio Humphrey Middle School for FAMILY FUN NIGHT. Now U must think "What the hell?" but, see, there were a lot of people from BHS there that I was hanging out with. Oh, shit! No, Laurie Dann didn't break into school again1, but the damn peer leaders have. Well, I'll write later. This is getting interrupted 2 much. -- JMC 11:39 am

1 I vaguely remembered the case of a woman killing several children at a North Shore elementary school (see link above), but it wasn't until my middle-school band teacher made macabre jokes about it whenever someone knocked on the closed classroom door that I put a name to the killer.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

February 5, 1993

Yay! It's Friday. It seems like this week has gone by mighty fast. I just turned in my schedule to DR ROBERTS1, which includes the following courses (or "CURSOS" in español) --> Honors English 10, Honors Advanced Algebra, Honors Biology, PE, Homeroom/Lunch, Spanish II, and Journalism/Mass Media. Actually, I'm not sure about Journalism becuz I thought I might take Sociology, but I can always change it if I want 2. Hmmm... what else? How BOUT MY TOP FIVE? 1. Rebirth of Slick - Digable Planets 2. Hip Hop Hooray - Naughty by Nature 3. Nuthin But a "G" Thang - Dr. Dre -- Actually, that's my top three becuz I can't think of the rest. Oh well. Anne UPDATE: I was sitting at the lunch table on Wednesday, thinking 2 myself about what a bitch Anne was2, so I asked Jay to write a fake note 2 her. HA HA! What a riot! Jay wrote the following: "Dear Anne, I think you are really hot. Please call me:" and then he left Scott Sw33ny's3 phone number, and signed it "Scott" -- Then I dropped the note in Anne's locker to be read by her later. Hoo boy, this is good! I could just purchase a Crystal Pepsi RIGHT NOW and drink the contents of it in a minute! HA! You'll never guess what happens next.
--JMC 11:55 am

So, anyways, Wednesday afternoon, Jessie (?!) calls me up and sez "So, John, how are U? Do U know anyone named Scott?" and I'm like "No, no, who's Scott" and she goes, "Well, Anne got this really weird letter from a guy named Scott and it doesn't look like your or Steve's handwriting, so I was wondering if U knew him." And I sed, "Well, no. No I don't." And she's like "Oh. Okay. Bye." But then ... here's the kicker (and it's not Steve Christie) Jessie calls me up again and sez, "John, have U seen Aladdin?" And I say "NO" and she sez "Do you want 2 know where it's playing at what time?" And I'm like "No, no, not really." But then she goes into this long-winded conversation with me about how she's moving to Dayton, Ohio, blah, blah. I don't get it. It was like we were friends or something.4 Hello? U don't just call someone up like that out of the blue --
Well, gotta go
JMC - 1:19 pm

1 That is, the schedule for the following year's set of classes; Dr. Roberts was a guidance couselor who I believe retired after my freshman year.

2 I'm really not sure why Anne was such a "bitch": I suspect that part of it may have been simply that she was my ex-girlfriend, and exes were supposed to be bitches, right?

3 Sw33ney was a chubby little greaseball whom Jay was friends with but still made fun of. I recently learned that for the past few years he's been fronting an alt-rock band (their bio references Foo Fighters, Matchbox 20, and Incubus) that's toured nationally and opened for Michelle Branch, Local H, and Lucky Boys Confusion (sold-out Metro show, bro). In the ensuing years, he's gotten taller and leaner, but you can still kinda tell it's him beneath the Abercrombie sweater and sculpted hair.

4 The thing is, we were, though. Sorry, 13-year-old me, I'm gonna have to side against you on this one.

Friday, February 04, 2005

February 4, 1996

Let's just say I've been on hiatus or some shit like that1... there've been reruns of my life playing in the downtime, I'd like to think...but now that we're back, writing live & in color! (blue), I have a few things to discuss. The major one, of course, is the minor auto accident I found myself in Wed. morning, foolishly trying to park into a space too tight for my car (or at least I'd like to think that it was so as to have something to blame) & in the process denting a 1996 black Ford Probe owned by Aimee S@ss, who transferred here this year from Benet & I am now scared out of my wits to face. It was a highly traumatic experience, compounded by the fact that it occurred at 7:35 AM in the school parking lot and everyone knew by an hour later. And everyone thought that it was much worse than it was, that it was a hit & run (well, kind of maybe, becuz when I hit it, I panicked & got the hell onto the other side of the lot & didn't leave a note or anything ... but dutifully, I reported it, as I should have, so it didn't really matter what my prior actions were), whatever they said to me, even if it was mere curiosity about the matter embarrassed & upset me, and the day was marred by that morning's incident because I sat with a lump in my stomach & a total lack of concentration. But it's almost over. That is, I reported my wrongdoing to the Mountie2 (Ken Tepp3l, police officer) after a first period of wondering what to do nervously, and wrote a note to Aimee that night to be delivered on Thursday, and my dad phoned her dad, and estimates on the damage are awaiting. Shit, but it was an unpleasant thing to go trhough -- and damn it if the car wasn't three (3) days old that I hit. Me in my dirty black 91 Mercury Tracer that no one really cares about. That has paper plates & notes from Diane Breining3r & Dunkin Donuts bags strewn about the floor in the passenger's seat. Some Shakespearean playbill inthe backseat. Radio station buttons sticky with cola spilled a year ago & frozen up in the subzero weather nature has been recently providing us. And now a broken bumper. So that's been the big news. Also, the scoop on the musical3 -- even though i knew what the lowdown was last entry, I failed to repost it. I'm having mixed feelings, actually. My audition didn't go as well as I had hoped (Debbie4 kind of fucked up the piano part of "Luck Be a Lady" & not being familiar with the play in full, I was somewhat at a loss when Di asked me to "role-play"), and perhaps it's not worth blaming, but the part I received is that of Lt Brannigan, a trash-talkin' NY cop, which is cool & all, but not a singing part. Really, my first significantly smaller part. And so I'm wondering, am I sad & jealous of people like first-time-out-of-the-gater Aaron M@rsh, who plays Nathan (the role I'd kind of been eyeing) or Collin Br0wn (his role fits him more than me, I realize, but he gets to sing)...? OR is it just nice to not have to worry so much about line memorization & the like? Both, I suppose, but then I start wondering if I'm really that talented or if Di likes me or if I could have done it over, what would I have done (the audition, I mean)? It still should be fun, though, especially since three of my very good friends are in it (Stacie, Jason, Adam) & then people you just enjoy being 'round or like to look at (like Abbey P0we maybe -- and speaking of which, Ryan was kind of annoying me Sat. at dance rehearsal cuz he kept saying "Who's that girl eating the pretzels? Is that Angel?" even though it was actually Abbey, and despite the similarities -- both very young-looking sophomores who sometimes wear glasses -- he should know who Abbey is at least & not mistake her not once, but twice ... I mean, Abbey's just much cuter ... that's what it comes down to). The camaraderie being what I love about theatre most, so I've said, too, in various college application essays. (Proud to say those are all completed as well -- now we just watch our timepieces & calendars to see who wants to give me some extra dough). So many reminders of just how short my time is at BHS. As for more recent events, my life is full of irony as when Chris & I went to see Four Rooms yesterday & -- here's the irony -- we get carded! Ha ha. I apologized to him for being sixteen (he is 17 & 12 days), but I thought it funny that only now has this started to happen. Never before have I so looked forward to a birthday. It was okay, though, because then we went out to record stores (my "strikeout," if you will, at Record Swap indicated to me that there are absolutely no area locations that sell either Motorhome5 or Cibo Matto6, although a boy named Jesse7 at RS who I had met through Marie back in August was willing to order one of them for me) & to the coffee shop, where I had yet another mocha (!) -- (I'm so fond of their mochas I'm afraid to try anything else). He had a date with some RHS8 chick at eight, so I was back home with plenty of tiime, and in fact, took the opportunity to go have dinner with Stacie at TGI Friday's when I returned. And that was quite pleasant, too -- she was very relaxed & not feeling anymore the initial doubt as to whether I really wanted to do something with her (it's that part that sort of annoys me, like when she jumps to conclusions & thinks I don't like her, I don't want to talk to her ... and then there's her possessiveness, too, self-admitted & recognized in one of Mr Abney's guitar songs he played for us on Friday called "Don't Love Me to Death"9 ... but let me not, for heaven's sake, dwell on her faults!) We drove around for like an hour & a half after our dinner (me: blackened-Cajun-chicken sandwich, her: chicken enchilada) talking about minutiae & looking at people's houses, houses of people we know like Zippy or "Ferg" (the despised nickname of Matt Fergus0n -- I despise it at least cuz I don't hold much respect for him10) or Adam Gyn@c. And so it was very nice. But now I run out of my room & should be going, so I will put my tag here to end.
- JMC 11:21 PM

1 I hadn't written in eight days, despite promises to the contrary.

2 Security Officer Tepp3l acquired the nickname "the Mountie" because of his young, rugged good looks and blank-faced stoicism.

3 Guys and Dolls

4 Student accompanist Debbie Gr0ver

5 Who I found about from Sound Opinions, after Jim DeRogatis raved about them. (And while doing some reconnaisance just now, I discovered that one of the members of Motorhome is in Evil Beaver and another's in Light FM, both currently active local bands.)

6 After finally acquiring the Cibo Matto, I wrote the following review for my high-school paper, The Raider Review:


One doesn't normally expect big names at a record release party for an obscure band's debut album. Quirky Asian hip-hop groups aren't exactly "the thing" in modern music, either. It's all the more reason to notice Cibo Matto, a pair of Japanese women living in Greenwich Village, whose first musical celebration was attended by, among others, Yoko Ono, Lou Reed, and performance artist Laurie Anderson. Although the music Cibo Matto creates consists of mostly hip-hop rhythms, layered with broken English, jazz riffs, and other various sound effects, these elements, which initially may seem disparate, result in a wonderfully effective fusion of genres, as witnessed on the album, Viva! La Woman.

Probably the first sign of Cibo Matto's uniqueness is their name, which means "food madness" in Italian, and which is appropriate since seven of the ten tracks have as a title some sort of food or drink. "Apple," for example, gives way to "Beef Jerky" at the four minute mark of the album. Understandably, this unusual obsession also makes for some bizarre lyrics, a feature compounded by the fact that the group's songwriter, Miho Hatori, has only spent three years in the United States and is not fully accustomed to the English language. The instantly catchy "Know Your Chicken," boasts the puzzling line, "We got 2 babies / Isn't it cool? / One is Magenta, the other is Blue."

Like the Manhattan neighborhood in which they live, Cibo Matto's musical style is a melting pot, a mix of jazz, dance club beats, trip-hop, rap, and even, on one occasion, 1940's Andrews Sisters swing. In "Sugar Water," for example, Hatori (also the lead singer) begins the song with a spoken intro, which when accompanied by synthesizer, resembles the audio to some narrated Epcot Center ride. Soon, a bass-heavy rhythm ensues, and by the end of the song, we've encountered eerily detached backing vocals, a touch of acoustic guitar, and a dance-pop chorus of "la's." What may be the group's strength, however, is that whicle all of the tracks on the ablum certainly contain similar elements, not one really sounds like another. "Birthday Cake," released as a single last year, is an aggressive Beastie Boys-style rant, whereas "White Pepper Ice Cream" is a slow, moody poem, its lazy reading and muted trumpets bordering on beatnik pretention.

In some ways, paradoxically, this variety works to Cibo Matto's disadvantage as well. The first few times I spun Woman on my CD player, I found myself wishing there were more songs like "Le Pain Perdu," apparently a paean to maple syrup, which relies heavily on a Duke Ellington sample. An album chock full of horn-tinged, energetic nonsense would delight me to no end; however, since Cibo Matto is still in the experimental stage of the band, I must also put up with "Artichoke," a long (6:38) and repetitive ballad of piano chords.

And yet in the end, the good does outweigh the bad. Although they don't necessarily have pop hooks as strong as Pizzicato Five (the "other" Japanese dance group, responsible for last year's novelty hit "Twiggy Twiggy"), Cibo Matto make up for it with a lot more depth structurally. There's a moment in the opening track, "Apple," in which the beat stops to reveal a muffled melody that could have been lifted from a classical Oriental opera, complete with percussive bells and woodwinds. A minute later into the song, Hatori repeats the simple theme, but takes it a step further; with a strong, clear voice, she extends the high notes, more or less "breaking free" of the constrictive Eastern sound. It reinforces the idea that although the women's roots may always be in Japan, the band Cibo Matto is concerned with far more than just Asian styles. And when that means an album as strangely fun as this one, it's definitely a plus.

7 Fun facts about Jesse, who was skinny and had shoulder-length dyed black hair and a pale complexion yet apparently was not a goth (as he frequently asserted):

a) There were four bands he was a completist about (and by completist I mean buying import copies of albums that were identical except for the number on the spine) -- I know for sure one was Morrissey/Smiths, because he had a huge Morrissey poster next to his bed, and I want to say the others were, like, Trent Reznor, Jon Spencer (and related), and (wait for it) They Might Be Giants.

b) He built his own theremin!

8 Romeoville H.S., the other high school in the district, whose student body was drawn equally from Bolingbrook and Romeoville, a smaller community to the south.

9 First verse and chorus (copyright Chuck Abn3y):

Well, you worry when I'm driving down the road.
You wonder if that stuff I use ain't tea.
Why do you carry such a heavy load?
I am blue because you're strangling me.
Everything I do you seem to know.
Do you trail me everywhere I go?
Honey, won't you loosen up those arms around my neck?
'Cause I love you, so don't love me to death.
I love you, so don't love me to death.

10 I don't recall any specific animosity held toward Fergus0n except that he was the embodiment of preppiedom, with his cologne and white sweaters and being on the tennis team. He ended up at Tulane.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

February 3, 1995

This is actually quite nice for D0n Bu551 to give us some quiet time after that test we just took, my fourth of the day. And I had meant to write here last night, but it was sitting alone in my locker because nothing that I need do I ever have, in terms of non-essentials like journals and lists of classmates' birthdays, a new-found hobby of mine. Plus, I was fretting over the fact that I forgot to copy down the math homework; never fear, big JW2 didn't collect it. Perhaps what was most on my mind was not the ongoing, 3-week-long dispute between Ryan & I, a story I have told countless friends and lovers, and teachers, like Nick Schuli3n & EJ Br0nkema, both of whom are pro-Ryan, but this new kid from South Dakota, one Les Lawr3nce, who has threatened to disrupt the famous "intellectual clique" we have carved out for ourselves among the junior class. I realize our competitiveness has really gone too far (I am demanding to know of Mr Bu55 whether he changed Shanna's chem grade or not, mistakenly typed on the report card as an "A"), but it just really pisses you off when Mr. Advanced Placement himself, a preppy jerk in calculus, of all things, calculus! As a junior!3 -- comes hopping along & decides to place himself in the top ten or some such forbidden place. The boy is eligible for valedictorian, which would be an immense crock. But I promised myself & Stacie that I wouldn't talk about him, and this a form of talking. It's for my own good, anyway -- that way, the prosepct of Les Lawr3nce writing beautiful essays and scoring perfect quizzes in his four AP classes will not trouble me as much. Mmm... there is a circle (a hexagon, rather -- a diamond, to be more specific, geometry experts) of gossip running about this chemistry class that I shall be delighted to join soon. And praise be going home directly after school today -- although I have been enjoying stage crew. More Lawr3nce talk... look at all of us, though.
JMC 1:19 PM

1 Bu55 taught chemistry and, with his patient demeanor and nondescript tie and slacks, had an air of the 1950s about him, like you could almost imagine a black-and-white Jack Lemmon inhabiting his lean frame.

2 J0hn Wils0n, in addition to teaching 9th-grade geometry, also taught my 11th-grade math class, the precise name of which escapes me.

3 The way our school tracked students allowed only seniors to take calculus.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

February 1, 1993

Don't U hate it? Songs running thru your head. It's gotten out of control. This is really weird: I've been getting up in the morning and these songs going thru my mind are coming from nowhere. Last Friday's song was "The Best Things in Life Are Free", last June's #10 song for Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross. A fine song, of course, but where the hell did it come from? When was the last time I heard that? This morning's was Bobby Brown's "Good Enouh," slightly more current, but still, I don't even like it that much. I would've thought it would be something like (this gives me a chance to subtlely announce my top five) "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" or "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" or "Hip Hop Hooray"1 -- I mean, what gives? Okay, Dallas won the SUPER BOWL, and although it has nothing remotely to do with my topic o' the day, I thought I'd let U know so U can look back in 50 years, and say, "Oh yes, the Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl in 1993 by trouncing the Buffalo Bills 52-17, and it should've been 59-17, but there were too many damn fumbles and this defensive player who recovered a fumble and was about to score fumbled, too, and it gave Buffalo a touchback." Of course, U wouldn't know this unless I told U, but I'm not about to tell U since U can just read your quote for yourself. So now I'm sitting here at 12:46 am [sic] and am getting reading to tell U about a dream I had last week, but forgot to write down, or somsethin becuz VOLUME I was chock full o' them. "Here's the deal, see?" That was my famous Ross Perot impression.2 Pretty good, eh? But, anyways, the dream is as follows: I'm going to THEATRE class one day, except when I get in there, Mrs. Will3tte -- Sally Will3tte, I should say, from Humphrey3 is conducting a class on economics. Actually, it isn't even Sally Will3tte. I mean, everyone calls her that and I know it's her, but she looks exactly like Zoë Baird, the subject of the great American attorney-general scandal of 1993. Anyways, my theatre class is in the band room, so I began to exit the auditorium -- but wait, Mrs. Will3tte-Baird is beckoning me to stay. All of a sudden, she turns into Mr. Fer@k4 and the class is a history / current events course. I'll fill U in on the rest later on in the day.
- JMC 11:54 am

So where was I? Oh yes. Mr. Fer@k. Anyways, he led the whole class down to the basement of the school and we were all standing amidst three doors, one of which was ROOM 109 -- which if funny becuz last week there were these banners proclaiming "Come to Room 109 for the Leisure Group", an obvious ploy by the seniors to get some dumb-ass freshman to humiliate themselves. So, naturally, we opened the door to Room 109, and vóila, we stumbled across a huge damp, dark boiler room w/oil and septic tanks and all this other shit -- And that's when the dream ends ... Black History Month YAY! Like I'm going 2 do anything. Well, actually, I might actually try 2 do something this year becuz it's so important. They're including black history trivia questions in the announcements -- such as today's "Who was captain of Christopher Columbus' Nina?" The answer is some guy named Pedro Alonzo - something. I don't know. Well, I must leave now becuz lunch is over, so I'll try 2 write later on 2day. If not, then --
JMC 12:25 am

[MARGINALIA: 1. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston 2. If I Ever Fall in Love - Shai 3. A Whole New World - Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle 4. In the Still of the Nite - Boyz II Men 5. Saving Forever For You - Shanice]

1 Digable Planets, Dr. Dre, and Naughty by Nature, respectively. Within a few months, the Digable Planets debut record (Reachin': A New Refutation of Time and Space) was competing with, and perhaps edged, P.M. Dawn's similarly new-agedly-titled Of the Heart, of the Cross, and of the Soul: The Utopian Experience as my favorite album ever (to date). The Dre single is significant in that it spelled the dawn of G-funk and gangsta within a mainstream context. I stuck with hip-hop long enough to catch these first few whiffs, but had abandoned it by the time Doggystyle was released later that year, which means I'm still pretty foggy on Tupac and Biggie's entire careers.

2 And by "my" I mean directly swiped from Dana Carvey.

3 Mrs. Will3tte was a teacher at Hubert H. Humphrey Middle School; I never had her for class, however.

4 One of my favorite high-school teachers, J0hn Fer@k taught 9th-grade world history with an arsenal of good-natured cliches at his disposal.