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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


2003-04-01 ... 6:03 a.m.

Transitions are difficult. There are big transitions that are difficult:

Sex-change operations.

Realizing the music that changed your life is now considered adorably quaint college-radio stuff.

Death.

Divorce.

Unemployment.

Moving.

Being defrocked after the altar boy's family threatens to sue.

PARAGRAPH THAT BEGINS AND ENDS WITH THE SAME PHRASE: READY?

And so forth. But the small transitions are hard too. Like getting from idea A to idea B when you are me, and your manner of expression is often one big elision (people have to be patient sometimes when I suddenly am talking about something else without any sort of explication of the mental hyperlinks that took me there). Or even the smallest moment-to-moment transitions, especially in the mornings. This difficulty is what is making me late to work these days. I can do a thing, but I can't get to the next thing. I wake up fine but I do not want to get out of bed. I eat breakfast, but when breakfast is over and the last dregs of tea have been drunk I don't want to stop reading, get up from the table, and take a shower, so I make these complicated "five more pages" bargains with myself. When I am finally in the shower I don't want to get out and face the whole drying-off and dressing process so I stay in there until I am all waterlogged and every bit has been washed three times and I have completely run out of songs to sing. And so forth.

HOW WAS THAT STYLISTIC ENDEAVOR FOR YOU? INISPID? YEAH, FOR ME TOO.

So, this weekend my sister invented chocolate-flavored marijuana that gives you orgasms, and I invented a robot that gently bathes, dresses, and feeds (an intravenous cocktail of nutrients and caffeine) you BEFORE you even wake up. (No, we did not actually draw up plans for either of these inventions. That is for the engineers to worry about. We are just the Idea Girls.) The benefits of her invention should be obvious, and the main benefit of mine is that it would pretty much bypass all of my ante-meridian angst---I am usually fine and cheerful during my commute, and once I get to work that is fine too, but the getting-ready process brings out the Frowny Mouth big time.

Also, robots GO HAYWIRE, sometimes, donít they? Sure they do! (Jane, how do you stop this crazy thing? Exterminate! Exterminate! This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it. Etc.) If the morning robot thing catches on, robot malfunction will become an even more popular excuse for being late to work than alarm clocks not going off. I, for one, would rather blame technology than my own inertia.

There was a lot of barbarian imagery in the 1980s: Conan, He-Man, Masters of the Universe, Beastmaster, Beastmaster 2: Electric Boogaloo Through the Portal of Time. Even Manimal, with its ferae naturae beast-with-a-heart-of-gold imagery, kind of counts. This weekend I drank too much tea and ill-advisedly expanded my thesis about the reasons for all the barbarian imagery in the 1980s: a booming economy full of corporate mergers, insider trading, and hostile takeovers leads to cultural expressions of hypermasculinist fantasies? Or maybe a reaction to the 1980s "preppy" trend, soft pink Izod sweaters and tennis, sensitivity training, etc? Real Men Donít Eat Quiche, They Just Wear Sweaty Loincloths And Carry Giant Primitive Weapons? I need someone around who will stop me from doing things like this. Or maybe that is another checkmark in the Reasons I Should Have A Child column...when she is in 10th grade and casting about for a topic for a term paper, I can skillfully manipulate her into "barbarian imagery in the 1980s" and help her do the research. And then I would end up writing my own, parallel paper and she'd be all like "MOM, QUIT" and stomp off to her room in the silver digital moon boots that I feverishly hope will be the fashion in the future.

Here is something you never wanted to see: even America's funkiest crack addict, Rick James, got into the barbarian-imagery act with 1982's "Throwing Down." (Pardon me, I think it actually might be "Throwin' Down.") Oh so funky! Oh so barbaric! Oh so crack-addled! This album is apparently out of print but I own it, so boo-yah to me and my mad thrift-store skillz, and anytime you want to see Rick James in a loincloth (I don't recommend it), just come on over.

ONE MORE BARBARIAN THING AND THEN I STOP, PROMISE

If you are casting about for a home-improvement project, why not turn your house into Castle Greyskull? LT and I live in a six-flat that technically belongs to an owners' association, but we feel sure that the other five residents won't mind because who doesn't want to live in a three-story skull? In case they need any convincing, LT is drawing up plans of how cool our building will look all skullified and I am baking Castle Greyskull Cake for the next meeting. If nothing else, this will be great for giving directions ("turn left and then it's the first skull on the right").

TUESDAY ANXIETIES AND CONFESSIONS

1. Maybe I am naÔve, but if interviewing our captured soldiers on television is a violation of the Geneva Convention, isn't showing photographs of captured Iraqi soldiers, with their faces clearly visible, kneeling on the ground in handcuffs, also a violation or at the very least a gray area? Captured, kneeling, and identifiable in a major national newspaper sounds like "humiliation" to me, but maybe I haven't grasped the finer points of the Convention, or maybe I haven't grasped the incredibly fine point that just about anything is okay if America does it.

2. I already bitched about this but I am still sick of the black-and-white, either/or thing when it comes to this war, as if I cannot question the manner in which it is being handled without somehow admitting that Saddam Hussein is a big cuddly dictator whose despotic rule is just fine with me, or as if I cannot express the fact that I am so totally not down with fundamentalist terrorism, with bearded maniacs on a mission to kill Americans all over the globe, without simultaneously cheering on anti-Arab sentiment. It is also appalling to me that, although I think we can all agree that this war is not directly related to September 11, many of the (hale and hearty, safe and sound) people I talk to seem to view the Twin Towers incident as merely sad, unfortunate, inevitable, as if the victims were just involved in a tornado or something, instead of being killed by well-financed human beings who made a conscious decision to commit mass murder.

3. Man, Iím cranky. The New York Times had this thing about how people don't want to talk about the war in social situations because it leads to arguments, but I disagree---I don't want to talk about it because it leads to ennui, fatigue, crankiness, fussy almost-tears, like from a tired toddler. And then I get worried because I can't seem to care passionately about an event this large and historical, and I seem to have to keep shutting down those sorts of caring-passionately synapses in order to survive. Which is kind of fucked up if you think about it.

4. Oh, and I did not feel any better when I found out that a red terror alert more or less means martial law. Does anyone have a recording of "The Safety Dance"? That is my personal contingency plan in case of a terror alert, to just start dancing the safety dance. (Interestingly, Googling "the safety dance" reveals that it is one of those things that is much more famous as a cutesy headline or meme than it ever was as a song. I am always intrigued by those things, and would like to get a grant to measure how long it takes before people have this phrase "the safety dance" in their heads without any idea of what the reference is.)

5. Smaller anxieties: It has recently come to my attention that I totally overtip, because I was under the impression that 20% was standard for EVERYONE, including cabdrivers and pizza delivery guys, but my sister-in-law pointed out that you don't cultivate a personal relationship with those people the way you do with a waiter or a hairdresser. So now I am all confused and I need some guidelines.

6. Although I feel I have a fairly good handle (oh ho! Oh ho ho!) on the workings of the male sexual equipment, boy pee is still kind of a mystery to me. Not that I want to learn everything there is to learn, but I have a few questions, such as whether the fly thing actually gets used? Or do you just go over the top like Stallone (apologies for the off-the-cuff and unnecessary arm-wrestling-movie reference) with your Johnson over the waistband? And is there any aiming with the hand involved or do you just stand real close and hope it works? This is probably different for different people, and you must forgive me for being curious but I did not have brothers, and LT and I do not pee in front of each other. I honestly donít really approve of the whole boys and girls in the bathroom together---there are many bathroom things, like toothbrushing, that are kind of cute and romantic to do together, but waste elimination does not fall into that category for me.

7. I went grocery shopping on Sunday and just now looked closely at the receipt, and it says:

YOU HAVE ACCUMULATED $364 TOWARD YOUR FREE HAM AWARD.

a. What does that mean?

b. I don't want a ham!

c. $364 and still more to go? This is one expensive ham.

DREAMS, BRIEFLY

1. I have a sleeve of that little cocktail rye bread and I issue a press release that I am going to eat one slice, buttered, in front of Daley Plaza every day until this war is over. This is hugely popular in Chicago and people gather to watch me eat my square of buttered bread and sometimes bands play.

2. These two girls Melissa and Deanna are opening a daycare center and for some reason they call me to consult. "We're going to combine our names and make that the name of the daycare center," they say. "We're going to call it MEDEA DAYCARE!" I try to explain that you can't do that, you can't name a daycare center after a woman who killed her own children, but they dismiss my concerns.

3. I am lost at sea in a rubber raft, after a shipwreck, with two little white dogs and two Japanese guys in uniform. One of the Japanese guys is very stoic about our situation and the other cries and gibbers constantly in classic disaster-movie "we're-going-to-die" fashion (only of course I can't understand him). When we are nearly dead of thirst we are finally rescued, and I am delivered to my mom's house where it is Christmas, and there is a big party even though I am weak and sunburned and can barely get off the couch, and all these relatives and family friends keep asking me stupid questions like, "So, how was your Ordeal At Sea?" and they all give me nautical-themed gifts, which I think is a little insensitive.

4. (this dream is not so far-fetched) Cigarette prices increase to the point where crack is cheaper. Long crystal crack pipes are marketed so you can still look cool smoking your crack in a bar. Crack starts to come in flavors and people become loyal to certain brands.

---mimi smartypants any style, hash browns, rye toast.

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