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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

2004-04-19 ... 1:45 p.m.


Letting a magazine subscription lapse causes a smoothie of conflicting feelings to be blended inside of me. There is the yogurt of dominatirx-esque feminine power, as the tone of the offers-to-renew goes from "lucky you, to be offered this fabulous offer!" to "my god, we're begging here. Look, see, witness how we lower ourselves. Ten dollars a year! Oh please don't go." There is the frozen banana of grown-up resignation: Vegetarian Times, it's been fun but your recipes increasingly suck and the growing number of weight-loss articles offends my sensibilities. Listen, Harper's: it's not you, it's Lewis Lapham. His screeds are less fun than eating a broken-glass sandwich and for some reason I am unable to skip them. There is also the apple juice of something else, and the wheatgrass shot of another thing, but I grow increasingly tired of my metaphor. I think I just really like the word "smoothie" and jump at any excuse to type it.

The problem with trying to stand firm and not renew a magazine is that eventually the magazine will grovel for so long, and make the subscription so cheap, that you will sigh and give in and write a check. Then you are right back where you started, in a relationship with a magazine that is not quite right for you, that in fact makes you kind of irritated every month, and aren't you just the little codependent victim! Since you just SIGNED UP FOR MORE OF THE SAME. ARRGGGH.

All of this mental drama with my magazine subscriptions reminds me of my tiff with the opera. The opera has not been calling as much lately; I have only seen their name on the caller ID once or twice in 2004. I am waiting for the phone to ring at two in the morning and it's the opera, and the opera is drunk, and the opera just wants me to know that it thinks I'm a good person. Okay? Can we just, like, be okay? Or maybe the next chapter in the story is that I will be at a party and OH SHIT, the opera is over there in the corner, and I will pull the symphony aside and hiss you didn't tell me the opera would be here and the symphony will say look, the opera has been my friend for a long time, what was I supposed to do? I will decide to suck it up and stick around, and everyone will take note at how well I am handling the opera's presence despite our unpleasant history, and only my good friends will notice how I am laughing a little bit too loudly and drinking a little bit too much whenever the opera is looking in my direction.


Friday evening going home, I'm standing on the Grand Avenue subway platform, thinking about how I really should pick out something to read at that Gaper's Block thing that night (more highlights and lowlights of that below), when this Neil Young clone approaches me. At first I just step out of the way, because it is the automatic urban reaction to assume people are not actually approaching you, they must simply need to walk extra-near you for some reason. But he steps ever closer and says, "I'm not going to hurt you" (not the most reassuring words on the planet), "I just want to read your buttons." I was wearing a denim jacket from ninth grade, which still has many ninth-grade-style punk-rock and oblique-slogan buttons on it. As much as I did not want this guy to read my chest, it seems a bit disingenuous to wear slogans on your person and then get offended when other people want to read them. He was baffled by the button that said GET READY FOR EARTHQUAKES, which is some sort of California-preschooler earthquake education program promotion, and features Big Bird with a flashlight and bottle of water. "Get ready for earthquakes? What does that mean?" I simply asked, "Are you ready?" in a Meaningful Tone and then moved off down the platform because you have had enough of my literate bosom for one day, hippie.

The Gaper's Block party was fun. Wendy was the bomb, Sourbob and Alicia were some sort of illegal Indiana firework, and I was at least a cap gun. I drank too much and talked too fast, which is normal for me, and I signed some books and spoke to some well-wishers, which is not. I am working on being gracious when people say that they like my postings, but I still have to fight the impulse not to stare at the ground, mumble something self-deprecating, and then run to the bar and order most of it. Afterwards I spoke to a guy who at first seemed to be congratulating me on the book, but that quickly changed to him ramblingly castigating me on having signed over "my words" to "assclowns" who are only interested in "pimping [me] out to the masses." To which I say: Pimp away, HarperCollins. Pimp away. See me here on the corner? See this vinyl miniskirt? Want a date?

I mean, it's a book. Of stuff I wrote. I'm not shilling for McDonald's or anything. My cranky leftist tendencies only go so far, and unless I am approached to do something truly abhorrent like ghostwrite a Paris Hilton biography, I am hard-pressed to think of publishing as the evil empire.

After the reading our group drank more at some forgettable Celtic bar, and then yet more at Carol's Pub, but by that time it was a bit of a blur. I remember talking to some clean-cut, heartbreakingly young college boy who seemed unreasonably devastated to find out that I was married; I remember my brassiere bothering me and taking it off, discreetly, in the bathroom, and then promptly ruining that impulse-towards-modesty by announcing that I had done so; I remember Sourbob's looks of amused detachment, a Stoic Drunk in the midst of us Hysterical And Demonstrative Drunks; and I remember my comrade and I having a cell phone conversation while standing right next to each other, wherein I repeatedly called him a "little whore." Although we have been comrades for four years I think that was the longest we have ever talked on the phone (I despise the phone and would much rather IM or meet you for drinks)---too bad it was so incoherent and that there is no handy transcript (the best thing about IM). Around closing time I dove into a taxi and managed to make it home, wake up LT, do things to him. Then I got up a few hours later, did a panicky after-drunk inventory of my wallet (check), cell phone (check), virtue (ummm...), got the baby fed and dressed and looking cute, and went out to breakfast WITH MY PARENTS, so I respectfully submit the following: I am more hardcore than all y'all. Granted, I was completely baffled by my hashbrowns (food...goes in mouth? does not compute), and I whimpered a bit when we stopped by the playground for Nora-amusement and felt the sun chewing a hole through my head, but nonetheless I am perversely proud about how I can still handle a hangover in my dotage.

Today I spent entirely too much time here.

Also, a few friends and I have purchased sample-sized bars of The Soap. Here is a weblog about our experience.

---mimi smartypants is lost in the supermarket.


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