I took a Diaries and Journals class in college my junior year during the winter term. As part of the class, we had to read several diaries and keep one ourselves for the duration of the course. Until I started writing daily on kottke.org, that was my only experience with journal/diary keeping, save one.
When I went off to grad school after college, I decided to start writing down all the little ideas I had during the day, whether they were any good or not (this is all starting to sound very familiar). For some reason, most of my ideas involved movie plots and characters. Being a paranoid freak, I password protected the WordPerfect document I was using to store all these thoughts. After a few weeks, I lost interest in the activity, forgot the password, and archived the file in a directory far, far away.
A few months ago, I ran across this file (ideas.wpd), amazed that I hadn’t deleted it long ago. Having forgotten the password and tossed my copy of WordPerfect, I downloaded a WP password cracker (the password was “postage”) and found a cheap copy of WP thanks to an online pal. Here are some of the entries from that document with some annotations in italics. Try not to laugh too hard:
- concentration and relaxation: two seemingly different things that when put together, allows one to perform exceedingly difficult tasks easily. Not exactly true, but close enough.
- man walks through cemetaries looking for names for the characters in his book I misspelled “cemeteries”, but I did recently hear that authors actually do this.
- commercials today are so demeaning to the american public; makes us look stupid, lazy, uncouth. i’m not above poking a little fun at things, but it has gone too far. damn mtv. I think I used to be a little more earnest than I am now. Settle down there, kiddo.
- do people really check the top of a snapple bottle to see if it is up or not? i think they do not. Wow, Snapple. That’s good material right there. Deep, deep stuff.
- young man, about 18-23, is caught up in a world of fantasy concerning the winning of sweepstakes, free prizes, the lottery, giveaways, etc. it’s his way of looking at the world, dealing with reality, not stupid, just different…needs work. One of the many movie ideas I seemed to be filled with at the time. Coming soon to a multiplex near you, I’m sure.
- someday, the periodic table of elements will become The Mighty Table of Elemental Super Heros. Lithium: The Happy Element; Silicon, The Mightiest of the Elements; Oxygen: Everyone’s Friend; Iron: The Bone Builder… Sweet Jesus, make it stop.
- life is the mayonnaise through which we squirt. This is possibly the best thing I’ve ever written. Ever!
Alright, alright, everyone can stop laughing now. I’m sure the stuff you all wrote in your journals years ago is just as bad (although rereading some of the stuff above, I don’t know how it could be). Anyway, if you’re laughing, you should post some of your old pre-Web writings. Go on, I double dog dare you! Post it on up and send me the link. (Matt, you’re exempt from the double dog dare because you, for whatever reason, unleashed this onto the Web again.)