Holy Warning Signs

LizzieLou | comics,memoir | Saturday, February 9th, 2019

There was one classic superhero comic book that I had as a kid — and probably I only ‘half’ had it as I suspect it might actually have belonged to my sister — and that was Batman #181 “Beware of Poison Ivy.” (I know this comic is kicking around in my possessions somewhere, worth zero dollars, its cover tattered and its pages written on; alas I can’t seem to locate it.)

We were not permitted to watch the Batman television show (in afternoon reruns in the 70’s) because my parents did not condone the violence of “BAM!” “ZOWIE!” “BOP!” and using your fists to solve problems. We did manage to sneak in episodes of the show when they weren’t home or watch some at the neighbor’s house. The point being, I have no idea how this comic snuck it’s way into our house. Baby’s first contraband.

Most of the comics we had around during my childhood were the “Spire Christian Comics”. These included some Archie comics, wherein Archie, Jughead and the gang learn valuable moral lessons about kindness and fairness and the importance of prayer. Some of the others were true stories of Christian fortitude and martyrdom: a story about a guy who smuggled Bibles behind the Iron Curtain, an adaptation of “The Hiding Place” about a Dutch family who hid Jewish fugitives in their apartment and then were sent to concentration camps because of it, and a tale of five young, handsome missionaries who went to South America and were brutally murdered by the indigenous people they had gone to convert.

Sure, I didn’t have any sort of psychosocial issues from reading these wholesome Christian comics multiple times, but the 1966 Batman who danced the Batusi was too violent. Anyway… back to Batman.

I can’t tell you how many times I looked at these panels, particularly this first one of Batman and Poison Ivy kissing. (Although I also liked staring at the other scantily clad villainesses as well.) In retrospect, it’s clear to me that when I gazed upon this panel I had several thoughts and feelings.
1) When you kiss a girl, it makes you feel swoony and dizzy.
2) It looks really fun to kiss a girl, especially one with red hair.
3) I think I would like to be the Batman.

Cut to many years later: I swoonily kissed and eventually married a red-headed girl. There’s even a Robin here. Mission accomplished.

I AM Batman.


LizzieLou | memoir | Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

My first bite of Fritos is always very profound. It brings a feeling like something special is going on, of anticipation and excitement. It’s involuntary, unconscious, it just happens.

When I was small, and my parents would have Company Over, I would get set up in my room with everything I needed so I only had to come out to use the bathroom and then could scurry back down the hall without interrupting The Adults. Sometimes I would even be allowed to have the portable black-and-white television in my room (knobs and rabbit ears and “horizontal hold”). One of these times, my Dad was getting ready, and getting me ready, and asked if there was anything in particular that I wanted for a snack that evening. I said, “Fritos!” hoping that there would be a little bowl prepared for me from the refreshments that would be offered in the living room. When he came back later, he gave me A WHOLE BAG. I couldn’t BELIEVE it! It was going to be an EXCELLENT night in my room.

My one hundred and seventy-ninth bite of Fritos leaves me with a very different kind of feeling.

С днем рождения, малюсенький цветок!

LizzieLou | memoir,nablopomo | Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

My sister — the little one, who will always be little no matter how big or how old or how smart she gets, not in a little, belittling kind of way, but in a lovely, fresh, younger, I-knew-you-when-you-were-a-fetus kind of way — is remarkable. Extraordinary, notable, outstanding, and amazing. And today is her birthday. (Фактически, потому что она в Москва, было вчера.)

I was ten. Mom and Dad and I sat in our folding lawn chairs behind the car in the garage. There was a spring storm and we were watching the rain come down and looking out at the lightning lighting up the field behind the house. Thunder rolled. I was happy. This was quality time.

Dad said, “So, have you noticed that Mom’s getting a little fat?”

No, I hadn’t noticed anything like that at all. I was ten. I liked running and jumping and climbing and Legos. Who cares about fat? Why do I have to wear a shirt? Can I shoot the BB gun?

Dad said, “What do you think about having a brother or sister?”


“Mom’s pregnant. She’s going to have a baby.”

I thought he was just teasing. I didn’t believe him.

Mom said, “It’s true.”

Dad said, “Didn’t you notice Mom’s big bottle of vitamins in the kitchen? She has to take those. They’re prenatal vitamins.”

Huh? I didn’t even pay attention to my own vitamins much less my mother’s and the word prenatal meant nothing to me. What is a prenatal? I ran inside and up the basement stairs to the kitchen and grabbed the large pill bottle, but it still didn’t say anything about a Baby or a Pregnant. Those pills could be anything. Vitamins are stinky. I went back to the garage.


They said, “Yes. Really.” And then, some months later Dad got home from the hospital and my older sister and I stood at the top of those basement stairs and shouted, “What is it!? What is it!?”

Ode to A Big Hunk

LizzieLou | memoir,nablopomo | Friday, November 4th, 2011

Many years ago I lived in Atlanta and had some friends that had a yard sale to raise some money for some other friend’s kid’s aunt’s brother’s medical bills or something like that. I helped out and I bought some stuff, including some teeny tiny glasses that we utilized just this evening. One of the other things that bought, for a whopping $40, was a giant secretary’s desk. I thought this was the best thing I had ever seen (having not seen Lolly yet, of course.) It was a sturdy oak and iron oddball that weighed a ton, and although I lived in a second floor apartment with no elevator, I just had to have it.

It had potential! I had seen some like this at the antique market selling for hundreds of dollars. How cool would it be to refinish and patch it up and sell it myself for hundreds of dollars!

Well, like I said, I lived in that upstairs apartment and once the desk was there, it would have been way too messy to try to do any sprucing up of it. Then in my next apartment (now with more Lolly) we used it to hold her television (it was a perfect fit and surely a sign of our being destined to be together) and our VHS tapes, which fit perfectly in the drawers. Then, much to Lolly’s chagrin, we brought it with us across the country to Seattle, because I still believed that some day I would refinish and patch it up and sell it for hundreds of dollars, maybe even more dollars now that it was even more antique than it was when I got it. However, we moved into a fourth floor apartment and we were using it to hold a television again, so its big rehabilitation would have to wait some more.

But still I loved it.

Then we bought a house, and it came with us again. Finally! I was going to be able to work on it and make it beautiful. But, damn if it still didn’t need to hold the television, and the stereo components, and those VHS tapes. (Why did we still have those?) And Lolly started hating it more and more. She talked openly in front of it about getting a “nice” entertainment center; she stood right in front of it and said what a huge, ugly, piece of crap it was. (If I were that desk, I tell you, I would have dropped that television and spit out those VHS tapes and walked right out of the house right then.)

Now, I’m making myself sad. I shouldn’t have just anthropomorphized it in that way. Because we got a new TV last month — one that doesn’t need a herculean support — and the time came to make a decision. Keep the desk and pay someone to move it into the basement where perhaps I will finally refinish it and patch it and then pay someone to move to whatever place would take it and sell it for hundreds of dollars (not bloody likely) or just have it stay forever in the basement, unused and in the way? Or… have someone come and take it away to recycle or sell or save to a foster home?

After waffling back and forth for most of a day, I was finally ready to make a decision. I had to reconcile myself to the fact that I was never really going to refinish and patch this desk any more than I am going to break my high school javelin record or do half the other things on my ‘to do list.’ So I called some guys and they came and took it away. “Wow. This is a great desk!” they said.

“I know.” I said, “I know.”

high school journal entry #19

LizzieLou | memoir,nablopomo | Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

The rehearsal was 2 days ago. What a hassle! What a group of people to have to work with! I screamed and yelled at everyone. Even TeacherT and TeacherB. What a perfect pair. Two egotistical, self important, stubborn, pains in the ass! TeacherB and his fundraisers. My nose is brown but it is the only way to get anywhere with certain people.

Ugh. Girl, you are so right. Certain people are just so unreasonable. But lemme ask you… how can you scream and yell at people and brown nose them too? Maybe something like…”YOU ARE SUCH A TALENTED AND SMART GOD DAMN ASSHOLE! I WISH I WAS YOU!!!”

Now M. is really nice. Funny I never noticed – but then I didn’t know him did I? A cancer. I always fall for the cancers and the aries. One’s good, one’s bad. I wish I’d be around in a few years from now – I could really fall. But as it is, it is how it is.

I don’t know; did you know you didn’t know him? You are so deep and profound. Why haven’t you won a prize yet?

It snowed and snowed. I still got to go to P.’s though. Good. “Who’s not coming?” The one person I wanted to see wasn’t going to make it. A. went and got him. But why? What a waste of time. It didn’t matter though because I got so high on natural endomorphs or whatever that I just danced and goofed and had a good time despite the underlying panic and let down. I guess I went insane. After he left, I crashed. BIGTIME! I dropped like a rock.

Oh, if you only knew just how much of a waste of time it all was. That boy you liked? He turned Mormon and you turned out Lesbo, so that would have been quite a match. But thank god for those endomorphs, no? Especially the natural ones. They can really liven up a party. BIGTIME!

S. and I talked. We never really had. Even at Whitesnake, or Stacey’s, or Math. We had a nice “chat.” H. and I talked too. Something we never do after being so close. She’s a lot different – more preppier like A. and S. (YUCK!). But inside she must be basically the same.

Don’t beat yourself up about it. It was probably real hard for you to hear each other “chatting” at Whitesnake, and you weren’t supposed to be having special “chats” in math class. And, yes, you are still right – preppies are YUCKY!

It was a great party!


don’t shake it like a polaroid

LizzieLou | memoir,nablopomo | Monday, November 23rd, 2009

When I read that Polaroid instant cameras and film were being phased out I was bummed out. That was a well over a year ago. This post has been sitting in my pile of drafts since then, another thing for me to complain about.

It’s not that I am some big camera geek or anything. I just have a little nostalgia about the instant Polaroids. When I was growing up it was a real novelty for me, made even more special by the fact that my parents thought they were frivolous. It was rare that I got to take any pictures with one.

Ever contrary, I bought a One Step after college and this clunky, noisy object was my primary camera, the only camera I owned, for several years. From this period, the photos I have of friends, coworkers, grad school trips, pets, and girlfriends are all blotchy, smudgy Polaroids.

I was going to miss pictures like this:


& this:


& this:


And that last one is NSFW, by the way, in case you couldn’t tell.

This weekend I was cleaning out the desk in the basement when I found the camera. I flipped it on and tried to take a picture but nothing happened; so imagine my horror when I opened it and found film! OH NO! I may have just inadvertantly exposed the LAST POLAROID FILM I WOULD EVER HAVE. When I shut it back in, the camera turned on, just slow to ‘boot up’ I guess. I was able to take a test photo of piles of crap in the cellar. Oh crap. Was THAT the LAST POLAROID PHOTO I WOULD EVER TAKE? I think maybe there are one or two more left.

The question weighing on my mind now is what should I use the last of my film on…?

That’s what I was thinking yesterday. Today, I thought I would finish up this post. It caused me to do a little internetting about this issue and ain’t I happy to learn that a group is going to bring back the instant film cameras. Also, I’ve learned that there is a site with some very cool photographs in this ‘genre.’

Maybe my days of taking shitty photographs aren’t over yet!

Earth Day Earnestness

LizzieLou | memoir | Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008



In Response to Linsey’s Question…

LizzieLou | memoir,nablopomo | Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

…the curls have pretty much been around since the beginning. I’m the only one in my family that looks like this.


Here my older sister (*J for Julie) shows me bossy affection.

T Minus 30

LizzieLou | memoir,nablopomo | Monday, November 19th, 2007

We didn’t much care for political correctness in New Jersey back in 1977. Is this practice of dressing children up as Indians still a popular among elementary school teachers and camp counselors today?


I was not pleased about this picture being taken, but I was happy that I got to be an Indian instead of a Pilgrim. Indians were way cooler. I think my vest had fringe. The boy on my left is the neighbor from down the street who I punched in fifth grade. He’s a doctor now.

Little Brown Diary (click to open)

LizzieLou | memoir,nablopomo | Saturday, November 10th, 2007


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