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Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2003 - 10:19 p.m.

I just woke up from one of those naps that are the reason I donít take naps. I slept for two heavy, groggy hours, only awoken by the cat, whom I might have been rolling over onto (witness, my friend, the humble Preposition). Now itís nighttime and I havenít fulfilled any of my evening plans. My laundry in the downstairs laundry room is wet and guarded by spiders; there are no lights down there.

I have been feeling grumpy for the last few days, a feeling which only worsened when L and I watched the movie The Swimmer (based on a John Cheever short story; TRULY unsettling in a way I couldnít chase off with irony, despite the filmís ample 1960sness; that link is worth reading, as are the Amazon reviews). This morningís fog and darkness didnít help much, either. Itís just not a very fun week: I have to tell students their midterm grades, and even though Iím the easiest grader in the cosmos, there are a few Ds (the Fs donít even show up to their conferences, generally). Iím ready for a break. Fortunately, Iíll have just that from Friday through Tuesday.

I have a few plans. Starting Friday, Iím going to take an Internet Break for several days. I think itís time. L and I are going to Durham for a night to do pretty much nothing. AndÖ

To keep you entertained in the meantime, I am beginning the Seventh Grade Diary Project.

When I was twelve, I received a journal for Christmas. I began writing in it on January 1, 1991. I continued steadily for two months. I will post the full text of the diary here, intermittently, and I will work on some page scans to be posted at Clever Title, my ha;f-assed website. Nothing will be edited except the last names of certain individuals.

Iím nervous about it. Though most of the diary is just hilarious, some of it is ugly. I was trying very hard to have an identity, both assuming and fighting with the Teen Girl Persona as prescribed by Seventeen magazine and rock radio. I was listening to my own music for the first time; only a year earlier Iíd listed my favorite song as ďIíve Been Working on the RailroadĒ, but by seventh grade Iíd switched to bad radio metal. I was weaving in and out of nerddom, simultaneously winning spelling bees and scowling at teachers. Iíd grown several inches in the past year and was no longer a chubby kid. I was being a bad friend, a dumb girl, a cruel daughter Ė I was being twelve years old, yes, but twelve years old is a horrible thing to be.

Pathos aside, I hope you enjoy it. I welcome comments, questions, abuse, commiseration, and deconstruction.

Here are the first several entries:

January 1

Dear Diary -

Happy New Year! Itís been years since I tried to write in one of these things. I am 12 years old and am about 5í4Ē. I weigh almost 115, even though I donít look big at all. I just started my period in early December!

I like ♥ the bands Slaughter, Warrant, and Poison. I hate the News Kids on the Block.

I like a guy named Shane, from Texas. I am known widely to the world as Veggie, since Iím a lacto-ovo vegetarian. Thatís what Shane calls me. Alisun knew him in Texas!

My almost best friend is Jennifer D., a Jehovahís Witness from Louisiana.


January 2

Dear Diary Ė

I went to the Art Museum today, and it was kind of boring. Frank Lloyd Wright was actually Tom W.ís grandfather! Speaking of Tom W., Iím going back to Hawaii 4 the summer!!! I canít wait! I wrote to Serena yesterday. I really hate this guy named Matt C. He always calls me. Maybe I should write 2 Seventeen about it.

I really like Shane. Thatís so cool Alisun knows him. Now I have something to talk 2 him about!

I think Iím actually kind of pretty. Not to brag. I wear eyeshadow (sage), lipstick, powder, and mascara. Mom doesnít even notice!

- Veggie

[Tom W. was my familyís neighbor in Hawaii]

January 3

Dear Diary Ė

I went to Villa today. I got the new Tesla tape, but none of the stores had Slaughter! I also traded in my Anne of Green Gables books for Calvin and Hobbes.

Iím starting a Seventeen diet thatís supposed to be really great. Hhmmm. Itís so foggy and smoggy and cold today.

I saw Larry at Villa. Right now Alisun is watching TV. Big surprise.

Iím getting sick of my Mom. I canít say Shut up or even Get a life!! I do anyway. Iíll never do that to my kids!

- Veggie

[ĎVillaí refers to the Villa Italia Mall. At this point I began accompanying my signature with a drawing of a carrot.]

January 4

Dear Diary Ė

Me, Alisun, Jerod, + Russell went to see Edward Scissorhands today. It was rated PG-13 (a world record for my mom), + very sad, but I ♥-ed it.

Vacation is getting shorter by the day.

Matt C. is someone I have to tell about. I used to think he was cute, so I asked him out. He will go out with anyone, so he said yes. I went out with him 4 1 day, + he wrote notes like ďwhen can I de-virginize you?Ē!! I broke up with him the very next morning, but he still bugs me. He calls all the time. One call from him ruins my day. He is on drugs + has smoked since 4th grade!! Just writing about him makes me sick!


- Veggie

Iíll put more up soon. I assure you, it picks up shortly. Peace. Ė Veggie.

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