The End to this Naming Game

April 22, 1997  Tuesday

When I got home last night Mom said I needed to be quiet because Nicole was completely zonked out.  Her tiredness is with good reason.  Between piano recital last Saturday and several hours of homework a night, she was asleep on her feet.  For being a nine year old, Nicole is over-worked.  At the recital her hard work though was finally recognized.  She received two awards, one for being a dedicated practicer.

There were a lot of things I could have been doing last night.  I could have been working on my Maxwell Jewelry account package for Accounting.  I didn’t even get it out of my bag because I hate it.  I suppose I should, but I just can’t bring myself to.  It shows a lack of effort, I know, but I am beginning to dislike the word “effort.”  I could have done my Trig, or read Pygmalion, but instead I watched TV.  I went the kitchen, but there wasn’t much to eat (condiments excluded).  Mom buys what she needs for dinners, but she has yet to grasp the concept of “extra food.”  I don’t understand that.  I suppose that is why I keep thin.  For that reason, though, we are always running out (“Let me run up to the store!” Mom will say often, to get a replacement thing for the thing we’re out of).  The first thing I’ll do when I get to college (and this is a promise) is stock the mini-fridge.  I rummaged around and finally found bananas, juice, and chips.  I hated eating the chips (still being in baseball and having been  very good about my diet), but I was hungry.  I try hard to eat the right things, but that isn’t always easy (the classic anthem of the world).  My snacking staples include sandwiches, crackers, fruit, and juice.  Orange juice is the nectar of the gods.  There is always a frozen pizza or Stouffers meal in the freezer, but only in extreme situations do I eat it.  Even then, I blot all the grease off.  The trouble with TV (to return to entertainment over academics) is: a) very little is worth watching b) it is extremely difficult to turn off once on. I watched several shows like Craig Kilborn on The Daily Show, and then retired to my room to read Pygmalion.  Mr. Beres would be proud.

I finally went to bed around eleven, again hoping it would be a good night for dreaming. I remember very little about my dream though.  I do recall our class was seated in the old grade school gym.  We were placed at the long tables we used to eat lunches on.  We were dressed casually, but our attire didn’t fit the occasion.  I was dreaming of graduation, and each of us was called up to receive our diplomas from Mr. Marks, the dean.

I awoke at six o’clock this morning.  This is the day I go to Knoxville early before school with Dad now.  This is because Nicole has her piano lessons in Yates City tonight, and I also must be in Brimfield for baseball.  That makes four people in four separate town, with only two cars to go around.  Because of this I ride along to Knoxville with Dad to drop him off at the grocery store where he is a butcher.  I then drive back to Elmwood, usually with just enough time to get to class.  Somehow there must be an easier way.  Oh, well, only two more weeks of it to go.

During first hour Leslie K and Colin went down to the adjoined grade school to talk to the kids about drugs and alcohol.  Today Colin was dressed normally, and that’s really a good thing.  What if Colin showed up with his formerly silver hair, and told the kids, “I don’t use drugs, and look at me!”

Trig class.  Understanding Trig, for me, comes in stages.  There is outright befuddlement, then crankiness, then squinting at the board, fuzziness about what concept is being discussed, followed by a lot of internal questions, then not being clear some last points, and finally, acceptance.  Right now I am in the “not entirely clear on the concept” stage.  In a few days I will move to “acceptance” (maybe).  We are also going to start a project dealing with mean, median, and standard deviation, and all that good stuff.  We divided up into groups, with Nate Grimes and April Gaston being in mine.  I can see April doing most of it, but I’ll help as much as I can.  Next Thursday they’ll both be gone on a Media trip to Chicago, so I’ll have to finish it on my own.  For Accounting I continued to work on the jumbled mess that is the business simulation Maxwell Jewelry. If this was for real Maxwell Jewelry would have shuttered long ago, and I would be indicted for minefields of expense holes after the IRS caught wind of my boiled bookkeeping prowess.

For some reason Sidney told Hoke about what we did Sunday.  It’s not a secret, and personally I don’t care, but I knew beforehand how Hoke would react.  He’s mad now that he didn’t go with, and to a certain degree I understand.  I don’t want to keep him out of the loop, or give that impression.  During lunch he virtually ignored me and talked to Wyll Yates.  That is pretty much what he does when he’s mad, especially at me.  He’s lucky, because he knows he can do that with me.  However, that doesn’t mean I appreciate it.  For example, he talked to Sidney and not me.  Now, didn’t we go together?  I am not saying I want him to treat her this way as well, but it didn’t seem fair he reserved all anger for me.  It’s sort of childish.  Still, he is my friend, and I am not mad at him.

I asked Sidney at the end of lunch if her mom had gotten the flowers for prom yet.  She replied no, and I suggested I would just buy hers on my own.  However, she wants them to match, so I said it was fine.  If you know one thing about me, know I am one of the most easygoing people alive.  Sometimes I think I am even to a fault.  In some instances I am too giving.

I asked Sidney for her journal before third hour, so I would have something to do during “Media Experience.”  As I read her new pages, I marveled at its eloquence, almost to the point of being a tad jealous of its beauty.  The way she makes mundane events (and there are a lot of those) interesting.  Some points were very humorous, while others were sad.  She has never before mentioned having two siblings lost.  In my mind I thought of the saying about everyone having their own problems and sadness.  No one’s life is perfect.  I needed to be reminded of that.

Right now I am still in “Media Experience,” transcribing this marathon of an entry.  Joe Addison is on the computer, surfing the Internet.  Earlier he came upon some “material” that–after a quick look around–he got out of.  Just now, at the Comedy Central homepage, we were answering The Daily Show’s 5 Questions: Which would you prefer as an entrée, chicken or beef?  Question #2: what would you do for a Klondike bar?  In the front room Mrs. Marks is teaching her English IV class.  She is discussing people from a hundred years ago, and how they had their own hopes, dreams, and fears, just like us.  Her point was that time is fleeting, and they are now dead, so we should use our lives to the best of our ability.

In Homeroom I gave Sidney back her journal, and she looked at volume seven of my memoirs.  We talked more about prom on Saturday.  I will get my hair cut in Peoria that morning (which I have yet to make an appointment for).  Then, while Sidney is taking her five hours to get ready, I’ll go to Ducky’s to pick up my tux.  Friday is the day I’m really supposed to get it, but between ball practice and working at the Hub later that night, there’s no way I can.  The way it looks now, we’ll meet for pictures at school at 3:00.  After Grand March, Sidney said, her mom wants us to drop by so she can take pictures.

I left English early, at 2:35 today, because we have a game in Woodruff (a real plus of being in baseball).  However, Mr. Marks doesn’t give us enough time to get over to Brimfield: By the time I change at home and drive over, there’s barely any time to stop at Casey’s General Store for a while for snacks and drinks.

When I got to Brimfield, I realized what I had done.  My wallet (with license safely inside) had been left in my jeans, which at the present was on the floor of my room.  I am on the bus right now, writing all this down as we roll and jostle down the road.  I had better drive home nice and slow like.

While I want to write more complete and detailed entries, I am not–could not–compete with Sidney or copy her voice.  She had her style, and I have mine.

We lost to Woodruff 7-6 in nine innings.  Even though they are a solid team, we should have won.  During the game I was mad at myself.  In warm ups in the outfield I caught a fly, but I again overthrew the cutoff man.  It really wasn’t that bad of a throw (I’ve had much worse).  If first base had jumped for it, he would have had it, but I was mad all the same.  I should have been able to hit the target.  This feeling is sort of a new experience for me.  Usually if I mess up the old bits of embarrassment reemerge for a moment, but I also just try to forget it and try to move on.  But I can’t anymore.  I’ve gotten to the point I should be able to make these plays.  I do all the time.  When I don’t, I can’t help but get after myself for not getting it done.

I wrote this tonight to Sidney, as a response to her writings, because I had very little to do:

“Greetings from the Secondrateparadise.  I should probably be doing something productive right now, but the at the moment if just doesn’t appeal to me.  You know what I mean: I spend all of my time “doing,” that after a while there just isn’t any energy left to “do” to the do.  Anyway, here I am, twiddling my thumbs, and just want to write.

You won’t believe what I did today.  I went home to change, but I left my license in my wallet.  The only problem was that my wallet was in my jeans, which were crumpled on my room’s floor.  As luck would have it, I discovered this interesting bit of info only after getting to Brimfield.  That wasn’t the worse part, though.  As I was slowly making my way home through Brimfield, what did I see pulling out of the grocery store but a sherif’s car.  I was a tad nervous at this point, and all that was going through my mind was, “God, please let my lights be functioning.”  Luckily, my calm demeanor fooled him.  I made it home alright, but the wallet is already in the back pocket of the jeans I’m wearing for tomorrow.

From reading your journal, a few questions were raised in my mind.  First of all (and being completely serious now) what happened to the younger siblings you mentioned?  If you don’t want to talk about it, I understand.  Yet, if you do, I am interested.  Question #2: Is a 47% the lowest grade you’ve even gotten?  That’s not even twenty points past failing!  Most worst grade, if you want me to go first, was a 7% on a quiz in fifth grade.  Third, how much do you believe what you do is hard work, and what is natural?

Fourth, why did you have so much trouble getting your jeans on?  Did you know you can be arrested for that kind of thing?  The next question is a two-parter.  a)  Is this journal really not edited?  b) If I was your “inspiration,” then are you also trying to copy my awesome writing style?  If so, it’s alright.  My mixture of philosophy, drama, and humor is pretty intriguing.  Finally, are you up for writing a second letter to with the others that are pouring in from our classmates?  This time, let’s go for a slightly lighter subject.

Right now I am experiencing pure heck: Franch (Mrs. Spacey doesn’t approve of potty langauge).  Today we had a quiz over something that we’ve never heard about before in our lives.  Then we had to watch a video about eastern France. Who cares about people building houses called le egassem terces, anyway?  Not me.  

Let’s get all of those ends secured for prom.  My grandma Connors says she’s free Saturday night, if your prom shoes never arrive.  Just food for thought.  Also, is three o’clock too early?  My perm may not be done until then…  As for my tux, do you think baby-blue leopard skin will clash with a pink plumed hat and the ivory cane?  What are your feelings about sparkly platform shoes?  Right, that’s what I thought–as long as it’s done tastefully.

Prepare for the StareFest Championship today.  You have been warned.  As a final thought, what would you do for a Klondike bar?

P.S.– You’ll never find the secret message I inserted,  Of course, maybe there really isn’t one…

As a final word in this very long entry. I have decided to revamp my journal.  I will change the font from Times New Roman to Bookman, and I am sorry to say, the title and endings of entries have been scrapped.**  Hey, if Superman can now be made out of blue energy, I can void all future “Tidbits,” “Study in Dreams,” or “Days in the Life.”  One reason for this change if that it is becoming increasingly up make up these original slogans titles.



The end of the old regime has come,







**from 2016: Entry titles of processing entries were added in 1999.

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