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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


2005-04-12 ... 9:56 a.m.

MIMI CONVEYS AN EMOTION: RUDE.

Me, riding the El train home in a foul temper. A little blonde girl child, probably about six or seven, is riding opposite me with what looks to be her mother and grandmother. Little blonde child is clutching an American Girl doll, the adults are laden down with shopping bags and are scanning the transit-system map with obsessive suburban anxiety, as if the train might somehow zoom past the stop for Union Station out of sheer citified spite.

The blonde child is not your ordinary Caucasian poppet; she is perfectly turned out in tiny denim skirt and matching jacket, snow-white Nikes with pink swoosh, and long ringlets of curling-ironed hair held in place by an arcane scaffolding of bows and barrettes. There is something oddly fake about her demeanor, and she keeps glancing around the train and smiling at strangers like she's posing for the pageant judges. Something about her grates on my last remaining nerve, and when she turns the charm in my direction, I make eye contact but stare back, expressionless, for a few beats too long and then pointedly look away. Yes, I gave the fish-eye to a child. Yes, I am evil. Yes, I hate myself. And yes, it did feel kind of good. At the time. Small dark cold triumph leading to self-loathing leading to hand-wringing diary entry about the minutiae of my reactions to an inconsequential event: yep, it's lather, rinse, repeat in Smartypants world! These entries practically write themselves! (Don't forget hypercritical real-time meta-deconstruction of the diary post in question! Ah, there we go!)

This next rude moment is something I feel much less badly about. That SAME DAY, I boarded the bus, sat down, and was promptly pointed at and called an "AIDS-infected whore" by some smelly wild-eyed bag lady, who then sat behind me stinking up the place and muttering a stream of insults at the back of my head. I plugged myself into the iPod once it became clear that none of her wackjob monologue was going to be funny or interesting. When I got off the bus and it sat at the red light, I could not resist going up to her window and exaggeratedly giving her the finger and mouthing the words KRAY-ZEE BITCH, and then enjoying the spectacle of Angry Frothing Bag Lady pounding on the window as the bus pulled away. It was out of character, as usually I am quite kind to the mentally ill, but she totally started it.

ONLY MY HAIRDRESSER KNOWS FOR SURE

Nora and I are outside in front of our building, enjoying the spring day. She is riding her tricycle, picking up rocks, and yelling at squirrels to "be careful" as they climb up trees. In the courtyard of the building next door, two little girls with gorgeous African (Ethiopian?) accents are playing and watching us. Eventually the older one comes up to me and asks, "Are you her mom?"

Simultaneously, at the speed of neuronal firing, I experience the following:

(a) irritation at being asked this question;
(b) non-irritation at being asked this question, because they are just kids and naturally curious;
(c) non-irritation at being asked this question, because I am used to it and because the answer is a simple yes;
(d) honest surprise, because of the simple-yes thing---duh, of course I'm her mom.

So I answer yes, I'm her mom, and the girl says, "Really?" And now the irritation is starting to gain some strength, "just kids" or no. But before I can say anything else, the girl continues, "You don't look grown enough to be a mom! I thought you was her big sister!"

Oh.

Then there was the old woman at the bus stop who, after remarking on Nora's cuteness, asked if she was my "real baby." All adoptive families have heard the tired old phrase "real parents," but "real baby" was a new one to me. I had to stop myself from giggling. Haven't found the battery compartment on Nora yet!

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BARBARIANS FROM THE NORTH

For much of my life, I have believed that Mongols buttered themselves. Not currently, but in ancient times (Genghis Khan and all that), similar to the way that Spartans oiled their hair before going into battle. But I have been Googling various permutations of "Mongols" and "butter" for days now and coming up empty, not to mention the fact that LT thought I was nuts when I tried to ask him if he had ever heard of buttered Mongols, so now I am thinking that I may have made up this fact inside my head. I did find these good tongue twisters (how many boards could the Mongols hoard if the Mongol hordes got bored?) during my Google journey, and this interesting article about travel in contemporary Mongolia, so I guess the time was not totally wasted. I do wish they had buttered themselves though. Darn.

ROCK THE CRADLE OF CRADLES

LT was totally cracking up over the fact that there is an actual band called "Cradle of Filth." We cannot even fathom what drugs you must be using during your Take Drugs And Sit Around Thinking Of Band Names session in order to come up with Cradle of Filth. While musing on band names that might have been rejected in favor of Cradle of Filth, LT thought of Shitcrib, which actually is way better.

Then we Googled the phrase "cradle of" to see what else, besides Filth and Civilization, belongs in a cradle according to the Internet. And I found a book by James P. Hogan called Cradle of Saturn. Please tell me if you can make any sense at all of this plot description:

The scientific Establishment is adamant that a Velikovskian catastrophe violates accepted theory and would therefore have been impossible. Then it happens again.

What?

THE WISDOM OF KOOL KEITH

He may be crazy, but these are words to live by, goddammit:

One-on-one, Keith is as personable and charming as your friendly neighborhood grocer. Once the photographs were taken and niceties exchanged, the rapper, along with his friend Money, took the crew out for chicken and waffles at his favorite food joint, Roscoe's Corner. There, we learned how imperative it was, according to Keith, to "eat your waffles first, then eat your chicken," as he thoroughly explained. "You just got to do it this way, there is no other way to do it. They're two different types of food and you have to respect them as such." Once the meal was complete—and everything was consumed in its proper order—Keith paid the bill before anyone had a chance to reach for their wallet.

It's about respect, y'all! Chicken! Waffles! Not the same!

Nora has been funny and awesome all week, and she is at this wonderful/dangerous stage of language development where she comes up with her own fantastic sentences all the time but will also perfectly parrot anything you want her to say. And I know that I should not abuse my mommy-power of making the baby into a prop for my own amusement, but you might agree with me if you heard Nora say, "I'm climbing Mount Meatloaf" or "Black Power!" (complete with upraised fist), or, when transitioning from one activity to another, "Let's do this thing." A few days ago we had breakfast with a friend of mine at Heartland Café, a very tempeh-intensive establishment whose Birkenstocked waitstaff is often too stoned to write down your order, and where Nora enjoyed blueberry pancakes, vanilla soy milk, and the successful use of their toilet facilities. Which led to me teaching her the phrase, "I pooped at the hippie restaurant." It was useful for giving Daddy the lowdown on our morning, and would also make an awesome t-shirt.

Nora enjoyed taking the bus to breakfast, although she drove me crazy by asking, "Who is that?" every time another passenger boarded. I don't know, Nora---do you want me to check IDs? She also needs to start focusing on the positive aspects of our urban lifestyle:

Me: Let's look out the window! What can you see? I see cars, and people, and restaurants, and trees...
Nora: ...and garbage...

Yes, Nora. And garbage.

---mimi smartypants reduces, reuses, recycles.


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