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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


2004-04-01 ... 2:25 p.m.

Quit telling your body you are fat! Well, yeah. But not for the reasons listed here. This article freaks me out on many levels, not least being the question of agency and ownership and "I" and "my" body "listening" to "me." It's enough to send you screaming into the night. It's enough to have you waiting at the door of the Mind-Body Bakery when it opens, and then you buy an entire Descartes Cake and eat the whole thing in the car on the way home. (But wait, who's driving? Me or my body?) Don't forget to repeat, in between mouthfuls, "I am my ideal weight!"

Remember when I used to complain about the Sun-Times Weather Words? And how I met John Dodge as a sort of indirect result? John, if you are out there, I would like to offer you an apology, and a plea. We did not know how good we had it when you were at the Weather Word helm, and things have since turned to a mountain of shit over there at the upper-right-hand corner of the Sun-Times front page. First off, the weather word is now in quotation marks each day, like OH WE'RE JUST JOKING ABOUT THE WEATHER WORD, HA-HA. Which is ridiculous, because the Chicago Sun-Times does not have an ironic bone in its hideous, giant-tabloid-font, MOBBED UP, REBEL PRIEST, FEMALE BOMBER ROCKS ISRAEL (all actual past headlines) body. I doubt the Sun-Times would even know the meaning of the word irony. (Or "irony," as they would probably have it.) Also, the quality of the words themselves is pathetic: when I peered at yesterday's issue through the graffiti-scratched plexiglass of the newspaper machine, it said "OUT LIKE A LAMB? THAT'S LYIN'." Which is not only not a Weather WORD, but also TOTALLY FUCKING INCOMPREHENSIBLE, STUPID PROVERB-BASED PUN OR NO STUPID PROVERB-BASED PUN. Does the new Weather Word guy just eat shrooms all day?

So John Dodge, I know you have a new job now and everything, but you need to get over there and start cracking some heads. Come out of Weather Word retirement and rappel into the Sun-Times building on a rope, crash through a plate-glass window with machine guns ablaze and one-liners at the ready, be our hero. You know, like in the Die Hard movies. Please. The English language will thank you.

Speaking of superheroes and action movies, I have been cracking myself up lately by filtering advertisements for them through the mommy lens. For instance, this "Punisher" guy? He's so going to give you a time-out! He's going to count to three! He's going to help you understand what you did wrong! When I see fight scenes in movies part of me thinks, "They should totally use their words!"

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE PLAYGROUND

There must be some secret reservoir of European blood in me. Not just the (get ready for a barrage of national-character clichés) excitable and sexually predatory Southern Italian stuff and the potato-craving and stoic Slovak stuff that we already knew was in there, but also a half-pint or so of ruddy-cheeked, hiking-boot, mountain-air German or Swiss. I postulate this because I seem to have a weird notion that the baby must get outside at least once a day. (This from a girl who, pre-Nora, would spend whole winter weekends inside the house reading and napping. And who, during one terrible January a long time ago, stayed in bed for [fifteen? twenty?] days in a row, feeling like an unvisited relic in a dusty corner of the museum [encased in Lucite and everything], getting up to pee but otherwise not doing anything other than smoke cigarettes, stare at the ceiling, and contemplate death. Did you know that it is possible to survive for a time on just wine and M&Ms? You'll lose a little muscle tone but not too bad.)

Anyway, my cult-of-fresh-air thing often expresses itself in trips to the playground. Our house is right in between two urban playgrounds, one to the north and the other to the south. The south one is right next to a high school and is often totally deserted except for teenagers smoking pot up at the top of the slide. They always move off when they see me pushing the stroller, not so much from fear of my nonexistent authority as from a sort of macho-inspired politeness ("Wouldn't want to toke up next to your baby, ma'am.") I am a little down on this playground ever since a squirrel jumped right into Nora's stroller while I pushed her on the baby swings (vermin!), and also since the day I found about six condom wrappers near the stroller-parking bench. Hopefully some lazy horndog was just cleaning out his pockets but who knows.

The playground to the north is much busier, which Nora likes, and there are sometimes opportunities to converse in careful halting English with other women. I would specify that the careful halting English is theirs, but really it's mine too, because I have a bad habit of picking up other people's speech patterns. If I am not vigilant, it takes all of four or five sentences for me to start saying singsong Indian-accented things like, "So much of walking your daughter does! At thirteen months only!" There are also always girls from the Orthodox Jewish school at the playground, rollerblading in their ankle-length skirts, and watching them zoom around makes Nora very happy indeed. She points and says, "Ah. Ah. Ah. Ah." repeatedly, and then looks at me, and then points some more. I think that is her way of letting me know that powerwalking with the stroller is not cutting it, and that we should go that fast.

Nora is still not saying much, just her three or four words and a few other pseudo-words, but ever since she learned the nodding-for-yes/shaking-head-for-no thing life has gotten quite strange indeed. Asking a knee-high creature endless yes-or-no questions makes me feel a bit like the caretaker of a toddlerbot. The other day she was standing very still with a strange faraway expression on her face, and I asked her, "Are you pooping?" and she nodded yes. Then I said, "Do we need to change your diaper?" and she glanced at me like "duh," nodded even more emphatically, and started moving down the hall to her room. I checked out the situation on the way and she was telling the truth. I suppose I should get used to endless discussion of poop in preparation for toilet-training, but the whole episode just strikes me as bizarre and funny. Now whenever conversation betwixt me and LT lulls one of us will gently ask the other, "Are you pooping?"

---mimi smartypants has not April Fooled you.

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