Why blog the 80s?

Due to not-so-popular yet compelling demand, I'm blogging my high school diary entries from the late eighties and early nineties.

You are more likely to enjoy this blog if:
- You were born between 1970 and 1976.
- You thought George Michael would fall in love with you if he only got to know you.
- Your Aquanet consumption easily exceeded one fushia aerosol can per month.
- You penned at least one angsty poem per week about your latest crush.
- You assiduously nursed all legitimate bouts of melancholia into sustained periods of truly impressive despair. When you consulted your journals weeks after writing about each episode, you moved yourself to tears.

Na na na na, hey hey hey, GOODBYE! (The final Russ entry)

I'm not sorry to transcribe the last of the Russell saga. Not one bit. To celebrate THE END, I'm including a fun schematic, courtesy of Mikare Night, Inc.:

Yes, this is a baptismal font in the Seattle Temple, drawn to scale.* It is very important to note the location of the stick people. Also, be sure to admire how thorough it is...stairs, shoe and cloak room, men's lockers, counters...

Apparently, seating charts are the coin of the realm when you are 14 and boy crazy: "Will that special someone sit by me? If he sits by me, will he talk to me? If not, will some other, remotely attractive boy sit by me so I can flirt with him in hopes of making Mr. Special jealous?"

All while in the temple. Yup. That Mikare Night is a class act!

Diary Entry: July 20, 1989

We went to the temple today. When we got there, Tina said Russ kept staring at me and stuff. I caught his eye once or twice. Then we got down to the baptismal font and we had like a 45 minute wait.

Anyways, I was sitting in a chair in this long row (cue schematic, above) and Russ came and sat diagonal from me. We start talking. He keeps playing with my feet and touching my hand. He's such a flirt!

So we ate dinner together and spent practically the whole day together. Believe me, it was a laugh a minute!

That night he came over, but he mostly talked to Tina and stuff but we talked a little bit. I wanted to tell him I like him, but I chickened out.

That was the last time I ever saw Russ.

I decided that night, after going to the temple, that I had to go home and stay there and work things out with my family.

So Saturday we came home. Tina went to her Dad's and I went out with Renee and Kristy to Lakefair. And I finally went on the barf up rides for the first time!

This has been a summer of new experiences...

*When Mormons refer to doing "baptisms for the dead" in the temple, we're talking about acting as proxy for those (often loved ones) who have passed away. For example, I could take my deceased grandmother's name to the temple and go through the baptismal ordinance on her behalf. Nope, no dead bodies involved.

Because we believe in life after death, we believe that the person I've been baptized for can then choose to accept the baptism. It is always a choice.

It's the final countdown...to the last Russ entry (please, for the LOVE, let it END already...)

If your New Year's resolution is to start a journal, or to journal more frequently, a word of warning:

Writing in a journal puts a long tail on REALLY insignificant things.

Had I actually married Russ, or at least seen him more than a few times, I suppose these entries would be very tender.

However... now we face the tedious finale to the Russ saga before we can get to more interesting material. Like my infatuation with Stryper and Milli Vanilli.

Diary Entry: July 11, 1989 (still...)

Tonight we had the Stake Interview to go to the Seattle temple.

Russ came a little late and he sat RIGHT BEHIND me and Tina. He was singing "If you don't know me by now" by Simply Red.

I felt all smiley inside because yesterday when he came over, I didn't know he was there, and I had Tina's radio on full blast. And when that song came on, I screamed and turned it up and started singing as loud as I could because I LOVE that song.

It felt like he was sending a special message. Nobody else knows about it, so it would only mean something to me.

Then again, he could just like the song.

But even if he just likes the song, I also LOVE the song and that makes it another sign that we are perfect for each other.

[Note from 2010: I just read the above paragraph to my husband and he said, "Wow. Who ARE you?"]

The meeting was mass cool. I felt guilty over a lot of things I have done. Stuff like lying about my age to some gorgeous guy or faking how I feel or hoping someone will kiss me on the collarbones really soon.

The first time I met Russ, something told me I was going to marry him. I've never written that in here before. But...

[Note from 2010: Ok, this is so barf-inducing that I cannot transcribe it for you. You're just going to have to read the real thing. Pukity puke pukeness...]

Goo. Blady blady. It goes on from here to say many more vomitous things about how great Russ is, and then it says this:

*warning* *warning* *warning*

A little piece of advice [for my daughters]:

Pay attention to "whatsherface." If some woman lives in the same town with a guy you don't know and she tells you that the guy you don't know is a womanizer, she might just be right.

Even if the guy is capable of having a deep spiritual conversation about where the moon comes up (wait for it), you should still run. Run very fast.

Here is the bit about the moon coming up:

As if this particular entry weren't humiliating enough, I've opted to include its stunningly embarrassing conclusion.

My husband insisted. And, because he's had to listen to these stupid entries about Russ for over a week now, I'm obliging him.

It pains me.

Here's why:

You heard it here.

When your heart and your brain change places (and when memories smile all by themselves) the world you call your life runs smoother.

"And now you know."

The return of (drumroll+curtains+applause, please) Mikare Night!

I'm not making this stuff up, people.

Less than two weeks before I turned 15, I created a new name for myself. Not just any name. Not a cutesy-tootsy nickname. None of that for me. This was serious.


Because I thought I would soon be an actress. You have to say that word a specific way. Heavy emphasis on the "ACT" part. Like this: ACT-tress.

I'm not sure why I thought I would be an actress. I certainly wasn't doing any acting at the time. I'd had one line in one play, or something.

This is the name (and the reason I chose it). Both equally asinine, and not just a little troubling.

Did you catch that? The name, the signature, the pronunciation. And the reason?

"I like it. It sounds British."

I might just mention that I'd never been to the UK. I'd never been on an airplane. Or out of Washington. (Except to visit grandparents in Utah, which is pretty much the Mormon equivalent of a mothership. You beam there and back for food storage supplies every two years or so.)

Mikare Night, however inane, is still better than the moniker preceding it. Get ready for this, because it is deeply unsettling.

The name I first considered/coined was "Mikare Delsa Anaquees." I dreamt up that one because I thought it sounded Spanish.

Unwilling to part with either possibility, I practiced signatures for both:

Note: In case you thought you might be hallucinating, yes, the border of this page actually lists boys' names. Lest you believe I was crushing on ALL of them, I was actually thrilled to have guy friends. Writing down names was a way to pinch myself. These boys actually talked to me.

Wait. That's super creepy, right?

Just remember, we're still dealing with the legacy of the FF Poppy.

My favorite name on there? (Of course, a face doesn't come to mind). Check out the bottom right corner. Even back then, I didn't know the guy's last name, so I wrote "Nate" and then, parenthetically, so I would remember, "ski dude."

Ahhh. Ski dude. How I loved you! (I'm pretty sure I have a poem around here somewhere that actually says, "I'll see you on the slopes someday...")

THS versus NTHS

Dear Diary,

Remember how, back in 1989, I transferred from NTHS to THS and it was a big sordid deal because the schools are huge rivals? And remember how Brian and Doug made fun of me for leaving NTHS for TimberSLIME?

Well, this proves I made the right decision. (So what that it's, like, 20 years later. Back then we had GREASE. In 2010, they have a flash mob of "Don't Stop Believing." It translates to the same thing...

That's right, all you haters. Timberline is MASS cool!

Google/Blogspot is like mass cool or something...

So, it turns out you can check your stats and stuff on Blogspot.

I'm still about as tech savvy as I was in 1991 when I learned all the super cool fonts you could use on the Mac Classic II.

(I also learned there is a word for this. The word for the day is LUDDITE.)

Tonight I discovered something! Here's the big news:

I have a follower. WheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

I am so totally, massively excited. Her blog is Cassarole and I wish I could give her a special prize or something!

It also turns out that there are some posts on 80s angst that have had more hits than others.

In remembrance of Casey Kasem and the Top Forty list which ruled many a weekend for me back in the late 80s and early 90s, I'm (a tad narcissistically) listing the three posts that have topped the 80s Angst stats over the past few years.

I think I'm actually listing these because I'm so bored with the Russell story. Bored bored bored.

AT number 3 on today's countdown:

Number two on today's countdown chronicles a very serious disease: ILWB/D (In Love With Ben aka Doug) Syndrome.

Number ONE on today's countdown marks the return of 80s Angst. Apparently, it took me a year to work up the courage to post this poem because it. is. so. pathetic.

Yup. I just created my own countdown of my(1989)self. I'm getting a little big for my britches. Or my hair.

Premonitions and Stupid Movies...Yet ANOTHER annoying Russ entry

Despite the snooze-fest that I'm going to call the "Russell Period," I'm including this entry because it references "Three Men and a Baby" AND "The Man from Snowy River." CLASSIC 80s movies, especially for Mormons. Here we go:

Diary Entry: Monday, July 10, 1989

Tina and her friend went swimming tonight, but I'd worked in the yard all day so I was a social dud and went to bed at 8pm. Good thing I did, cuz precisely at 8:04 pm, Tina's mom woke me up and goes - "Russ is here." I thought she was joking even though I had this feeling he'd come over. I couldn't handle not seeing him! Anyway, I go, "Oh, really?" like it doesn't matter.

Then, I remember the movie "Three Men and a Baby" is on so I go out into the living room. There's Russ. Ooooooooh boy. I have no make-up on, my hair is extremely flat and I'm in a tee-shirt that goes past my knees. But I act all non-chalant and say "hi" and everything.

Then Russ and I get into a big discussion about DRAMA - because he's actually into it! oh WOW. I've never met a guy so wonderful. And we're so perfect for each other.

Then he tells me that he's gong to rent "The Man from Snowy River" and do I want to come see it with him? I say "sure" and figure he means Tina too, so I tell him she's out with a friend - and he goes "Why should Tina come if she has a friend?"

I shouldn't say this, but it was TOTALLY RAD! He wanted to just be with me, right? Isn't that what that means?

So he leaves to get the movie and I go put on make-up because this is all very humiliating. And I'm all busy singing in Tina's room at the top of my voice and I haven't even changed yet. I haven't TOUCHED a curling iron to my hair. I walk out into the living room and Russ is back. SANTA VACA!

I go, "Where is everybody?" And he goes, "Tina's parents left to get Tina and her friend." And he wants to leave right then, but I don't feel good about just writing a note. So I stall and we keep watching "Three Men and a Baby" because there's supposed to be a ghost in it!

Tina gets home but I can tell Russ is anxious to leave and Tina is hungry so I ask Russ if he wants to just watch his movie there, at Tina's house so she can eat. And he says no, he's tired and wants to watch the movie at his house. I ask him if his parents and sister are there and he says yeah. I tell Tina to meet us there after she gets something to eat.

So we take off. Russ seems upset. I ask him what's wrong. He takes a while, but then he tells me he's annoyed with Tina. I think maybe he wanted her to come so I tell him I'll go. He says no. When we get to his house, his parents aren't home. I tell him we should go back to Tina's.

Instead, he takes me to the neighbor's house. We spend about a half hour over there. Russ plays with their little kids and I can't help thinking (again) how special he is. His parents show up at the neighbor's house but they start gabbing. Russ bugs them to go home so we can watch the movie, but they say they'll be home soon, so we go back to his place.

When we get to his house, he plays Nintendo for a little while and then the doorbell rings and it's Tina. I think, "Cool, she came to watch the movie" but I take another look at her face and I know I'm in trouble. Tina's parents didn't know where I was and Tina told them I was with Russ and they thought I was alone with him and so you can imagine what they thought. He's sixteen and I'm only fourteen but ALMOST fifteen. Still, I'm not allowed to date. Boy was Tina's mom angry! I felt awful!

When I left, Russ barely acknowledged it. Tina called him ask him why he was angry at her and he did not want to talk to me. I'm confused. I really care for Russ, so much it hurts! I know that is trite but it is true. I thought he wanted to spend time with me, but he was so rude.

It wouldn't surprise me if he was disappointed when he got to Tina's that I was the only one there. I think they had probably planned to hang out tonight but she stood him up to go swimming so then he was mad at her and thought he'd make her jealous by hanging out with me. What a JERK!

I guess I made a mess of everything but at least Tina really stuck up for me to her mom. I don't think it helped any. We stayed up all night talking and now it is 3:00am and so I have to go to sleep. I still can't figure out why I make such big stupid mistakes.

What we can all see, what is so obvious to anyone not suffering from idiocy and hormones, is that Russ was a big POOTER HEAD. He was working the buddy system, in a not so charitable way.

Are you, like me, pleading: "PLEASE let the lightbulb that flickered ever so briefly stay ON. Let that tiny buzzing filament TAKE!"?

Ah, Rationality. My apologies to you. Your time was too short. And absurdly, predictably, doomed.

I know this will shock you, but I think there are at least two more entries about Russ.

The Church is *TRUE* in Yakima...

You know, it is very interesting to me how often, at the age of 15, I went to church in Yakima. Because I did not go to church often at all when I was at home (in Lacey). I think it is because the church is *more true/truer* in Yakima. That MUST be it. It couldn't possibly have been because of all the (Yakima) boys who were mass cool...

Diary Entry: MORE of the longest stupidest entry on the planet
Sunday, July 9th - 1989

I got up early to get ready for church today. Russ and his family were there, which made me happy. =) He was up at the sacrament table and I kept sneaking looks at him and he kept looking down at our pew, but I'm sure he was looking at Tina.

After sacrament was over, Russ came and sat behind us because that's where his family was. I could tell Russ was watching me and Daniel (Tina's step brother) goof around. Russ sat directly behind me. It made me nervous. But I was in a singing mood, and he was singing right behind me. It's like we were singing together. A duet. It was WONDERFUL. Our voices blend so well! *Sigh*

Even though we were in church, I did wonder, just once, what it would feel like if Russ kissed my collar bones. Just once, though. I swear! And then I repented, really fast.

After the meeting, the Bishop dismissed all the Primary kids first. So Russ leans forward and tells me I better go with them. I just laughed at him.

Then I had to go have an interview with the Bishop because we're all going on a temple trip. I told the Bishop I hadn't been to church for a long time and what had been going on with my ward back in Lacey. He gave me a few pointers, but he let me go to the temple!

It felt really good when the Bishop asked me if I was morally clean. I could look straight in his eyes and say "Yes, I am!" But afterward I felt like bawling because I am so wicked! I mean, just five seconds before I was dreaming about Russ kissing my collar bones!

I am going to try so hard to be good. AND lose 40 pounds. Russ is almost constantly on my mind. Almost everything makes me think of him. The more I get to know him, the more I like his wonderful personality.

Well, gotta scram!

Note from 2010: *LOVE* that trying to be good, losing 40 pounds, and obsessing over a boy occupy the same thought/paragraph/brain matter.

The list of GOALS below is part of the same entry. This list is most DEFINITELY in order of importance.

The list of realistic, attainable, measurable - NOT TO MENTION character-building - goals continues:

*A note about Mormons: We often say "the church is true." What we actually mean is that we believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, as restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith, contains the fulness of truth (and all truth is part of one great whole). It's a little more complex than this, but that's the 5 cent version for you.

Are you, dear reader, sick of Russ yet? Because I am...

The Russ/Tina/Andrea saga continues...

Let me es-splain. No. Not enough time. Let me sum up.

Despite the apparent catharsis of writing a very very bad poem, my poor nearly fifteen-year-old self (yes, I'm still exploiting her) remains enthralled with Russ. If I remember correctly, the whole thing began because he had the "BEST VOICE" and because he could drive. This is creating some strain on my relationship with Tina, because she also likes Russ. And to put it in prospecting terms, Tina was there first.

I was tempted to skip all of the rest of the Russ saga because it is so boooooooorrrrrring to me (anything post NEVER poetry is anticlimactic at this point) but I'll stay chronological for now. Here we go.

Diary Entry: Sunday, July 9, 1989 (A date with Russ, Part I)

On Friday, Tina and me started getting ready at 5:30 to go on a date with Russ. He was taking us to a drive-in movie for the halibut, I guess.

[I love this explanation. Had to include it.]

I kept kinda quiet to let Tina and Russ talk. I could never tell if he was looking at me or not.

Russ came up with some bizarre idea to go to Safeway, of all places. The whole night was beautiful.

I mean, when we were back at Tina's, Russ and me would would laugh at the same time. And then when we got out of his truck at Safeway, there was a BMW right next to us, and I spazzed out, and so did he! We both LOVE BMWs. We're meant for each other. I know it.

[Yep. A insert a lovely illustration of the reason we are MFEO here.]

We both kept cracking jokes the whole time. Like, walking through the parking lot, we kept saying, "You're with me now, so try to act cool." It was sooo funny. I also teased him about how he was babysitting us.

Finally, I tried to take off and lose them. If he wants to be with Tina, that's just fine with me. But just when I think I've lost them, I see him out running up behind me. He puts his hands on my shoulders and turns me around.

Here we are in a supermarket and I suddenly realize that there's no other place I'd rather be. I didn't think of anything immoral or mushy. I just looked into those clear blue eyes and wondered if there was anyone more wonderful in the whole world.

He held my hand and then my wrist and tugged on my bracelet. He said, really LOUD, "Excuse me, miss, don't you know shoplifting is illegal?" I started laughing and told him it was mine and people were staring at us and he keeps apologizing. So he goes, "I'm sorry, can I do anything to you? I mean, for you?" We both kept laughing. I've never had so much fun in a supermarket.

[As far as I'm concerned, that's entirely enough about the stupid supermarket. Let's move on to the actual drive-in, shall we? Apparently, that event was important enough to merit an illustration. I'll put the actual entry in here, too.]

Okay, that's enough of this entry for now. It is SUPER long and I can barely stand it. How can you?

BTW: If you want to write Russ and complain about these entries, I'm pretty sure he's on Facebook. Just search for someone named Russ who has red hair and lived in Yakima in 1989.

It's so sad that I entirely missed that movie because all I could think about was Russ. I mean, I'm pretty sure it was a Patrick Swayze movie, so you know it had to be good.

I'll post more nonsense about Russ and the drive-in soon, I'm sure.

You waited 12 months for THIS tripe?!?!

For my four fans...

You know the last post of 2009? The one where I threatened to include the poem about RUSS and Tina, and the ulti-love-hypotnuse?

The poem is called (dramatic pause + dramatic sigh inserted here)... N-E-V-E-R (because it never should have happened).

In the immortal words of Barney/Neil Patrick Harris: "Wait for it..."

Never, Part I

Please note the very literary consideration, weighing "wave of emotions" against "my whole body of emotions." A critical distinction. How is a girl to decide?

We left this masterpiece at a crucial moment. Let us continue.

Never, Part II

I love the hope amidst the heartbreak! That what destroys you can make you a better person and a better friend. It is all so tragically purposeful!

We paused at the poem's denouement: "It hurts too much to know that I never had you... BUT" (Note the intermittent repetition! And the surprise: no use of the word, "BUT" here. Such command of the form!)

Never, Part III

Can you just feel the catharsis? The moment of clarity? Joy's triumphant return?

Never, Part IV

I know it is difficult to restrain yourself at this point, but please, NO CLAPPING.

We don't clap for poets. We nod. Nod slowly. Nod for each tear shed. Nod for each upward lift of your heart, beating beating.

Yes, you feel it.

If you know what OMD stands for, you might wanna read this blog...

Nope. OMD isn't the acronym for Oh My Dinosaur, though I'm getting to be one of those according to my nieces. (My nieces make fun of my pants. And my music. And my eyebrows).

If you're reading this, you probably know that OMD stands for Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark. And, at the age of 15, I thought that translated to playing one's cello with the lights off.

Fifteen is also the year I loved getting perms, clicking butane curling irons, and soaking my hair with sun-in, preferably all in the same day. Someday I'll post a pic of the bald spot that's rapidly forming on the crown of my head.

At fifteen, I was also in love with all five Stucki boys, my paperboy, George Michael, some guy named Russ who lived in Yakima, and random guys I met skiing. Really, truly, painfully in love with each one.

I wrote poems. Lots of poems. Poems that made me weep.

It was exhausting.

And it was recorded, in nauseating detail.

Yes, I'm back to share the sordid ramblings of teenage angst in its zenith: we're gonna freak out like it's 1989.