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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04


2006-02-01 ... 11:16 a.m.

Where have I been? I have been to the doctor, twice: once for a physical and once for a sudden and bizarre sinus toothache. I am annoyed with my body for being so inefficient---is there some reason my symptoms couldn't manifest right before the long-scheduled routine appointment? Anyway, since illness is boring, I will stick to the highlights:

1. During the physical, the doctor was asking me all the usual bodily-function questions, and at one point she said, "Bowel movements okay? No struggling?" I managed to maintain my composure, but barely, and ever since I have been making all kinds of socialist-bathroom-humor jokes about the use of the word "struggle" in conjunction with poop talk. La lucha continua! En el baño! From each according to his fiber consumption, to each according to his reading material!

2. The sinus thing was fucked up. My nose has been pretty much clear, but my whole upper jaw was throbbing and painful, and I was taking Advil to the point where my liver was on the verge of disintegration, and I was wondering if I could possibly have spontaneous decay in six teeth at once, and Google MD had me convinced that I had jaw cancer like Freud or Grover Cleveland.

3. As a result I now am taking an antibiotic and have learned the hard way not to believe the patient insert about taking it "on an empty stomach"---"with a giant fucking sandwich" is more like it, unless you want to alarm your toddler by leaving a game of Hi Ho Cherry-O three separate times to stand over the toilet thinking "yes? no. maybe." about vomit possibilities. I also have a prescription nasal spray that cost $35! I may be out of touch with current prices, but I think that $35 and the right questions asked at Crobar or Narcisse could net me something a lot more interesting to put up my nose. In an interesting parallel, the nasal spray does make me rather wide-eyed and nasally alert, but so far I have not wanted to laugh at unfunny things or dance in front of a mirror.

TWELVE KILOS OF PREMIUM UNCUT NORA, STREET VALUE UNKNOWN

Nora is now three years old. We had a party, which was somewhat overwhelming in that I invited three families with kids around Nora's age, three families with six-month-old babies, and assorted grandparents and aunts. It seemed like a perfectly normal-sized guest list until all those people were in my house, and then I was had many OH MY GOD moments, which were mostly taken care of with beer and cake.

In lieu of toys and books and clothes, which I knew would be excessively well supplied by our friends and relatives, we decided to give in to Nora's gentle agitating for another pet* and get some fish. Although I believe that every kid should have at least one "expendable" pet, to get used to the whole death concept, Nora is probably not quite ready to take care of a rodent or reptile or bird by herself. She's not ready to take care of fish by herself either, but she can help with the minimal tasks involved. We walked into PetSmart wearing t-shirts with SUCKERS printed on the front, and were promptly upsold into a ten-gallon tank and all kinds of supplies, because the Fish Lady convinced me that the hand-me-down tank we already had would only hold one fish. One fish = not good! One fish is given mucho personality, one fish is lavished with love and devotion, and then one fish is no more! Better to have a group of fish, where the mourning can be offset with continued care for the living. Five neon tetras and one algae-sucking creature are now hanging out in the living room, in Chicago tap water no less, and seem to be enjoying their lives. As far as we can tell. They're fish.

*Nora almost never directly asks for things, but rather makes sure to point out the desirable item or situation to us. She will say things like, "You know Rachel? From school? She has TWO cats." She will suddenly say, "A guinea pig makes squeaking noises to tell you he is hungry!" when we are not even remotely talking about guinea pigs. This will probably be annoying when she is older, but right now her lack of guile makes it charming. It is not so much a calculated "you should get this for me" hint, as it would be if I sat on the couch and said, "oh wow, my wine glass is almost empty and I think there's a piece of cake in the fridge" to LT, but more of an informational bulletin, about the amazing possibilities of TWO WHOLE CATS or guinea pig communication.

To counteract my countless stories of Nora's verbal acuity and emotional sophistication, let me point out that her play-calling is completely at a three-year-old level. Even a high-school D-line could see through this gambit.

She's also not exactly bright and chipper in the mornings. Don't even look at her until she's had her sports page and her apple juice.

Yesterday Nora was screwing around in the living room while I screwed around in the kitchen. When I went to check on her, I noticed that she had taken her plastic sword (Yes! My daughter owns a replica of a weapon! And she watches TV daily! And she has candy sometimes! And she walks around singing "It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time" and confusing her preschool teachers with stories about a dancing banana, which resulted in a quick sideline conference last week where we had to try not to laugh the whole time! Clearly, I do not even qualify for a "Participant" t-shirt in the Competitive Mothering Games!) and bent it in half, and was sort of scooting it around the rug, stopping every so often to toss a bingo chip on the floor. Although this is just a dumb plastic sword that we got as a favor at a birthday party, it is not a great idea to think that one can willy-nilly break or destroy one's belongings, so I said, mildly, "Nora, you shouldn't break your toys. Now the sword is all bent."

"But I'm a farmer," she replied. "This is my planting machine."

When it comes right down to it I don't really give a shit, so I said, "Well, okay," followed it up with some lame reiteration about not breaking stuff on purpose, and left the room. Three steps away I was like OH. SWORDS INTO PLOUGHSHARES. OKAY, THAT WAS WEIRD.

SOME THINGS I DID NOT KNOW AND ONE THING OTHER PEOPLE DON'T KNOW

1. The Incredible Hulk had no home! LT and I were watching Family Guy and there was a reference to the "sad walking-away music" at the end of the Incredible Hulk show, and a reference to the Incredible Hulk hitchhiking, and I had no idea what they were talking about because I don't think I was allowed to watch the Incredible Hulk show as a child. So LT had to explain to me that the Hulk didn't really live anywhere, and had to keep moving from town to town because of the fact that he kept turning into a monster and kicking people's asses and throwing barrels at them and so forth. I found this to be very sad, and a little paradoxical, because if the Incredible Hulk would just put down roots somewhere and get to know his neighbors it is likely that he would get into fewer fights, and thus his barrel-throwing incarnation would manifest less often, and he could live a happier, less nomadic life.

2. It is possible to cook an egg with two cell phones.

3. Everyone's definition of an "obvious" solution will differ.

Two professional-looking women on the El are having an impossible-not-to-overhear conversation about work and family and stress. One of them is whining about how she works part time (very part time---I think she said two days a week), but it's getting increasingly harder to pay the bills, it’s a pain to get her son to the babysitter on the days she works, her husband could be downsized soon and they are worried about making mortgage payments, and so on.

"Well, there's an obvious solution to that," says her friend.
[My brain: There sure is.]
"I know," says the whining woman. "And I really do want to stay home with him, but I just can't leave in the middle of this project, blah blah blah..."
[My brain: Wow, that's not at all the solution I was thinking of.]

4. The thing that I know and apparently a lot of people don't: my diary has received hundreds of Google searches for "Is rice a vegetable?" which leads to this post. I don't know if people are suddenly interested in the taxonomy of vegetables, if the fact that "vegetable" is kind of an imprecise term is tripping them up, if they are trying to get away with making some pilaf and counting it as a vegetable when the Diet Police demand a full report, or what. I do know that rice is not a vegetable.

THE BEST THING EVER. NO REALLY.

Recently I looked at my book's Amazon ranking for the first time. On the day that I checked, it was selling slightly better than Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, but slightly less well than a book called Polymer Clay For The Fun Of It! I can not adequately describe how happy this made me.

---mimi smartypants wrote a critique of pure reason for the fun of it.

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