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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

2009-05-15 ... 2:48 p.m.


1. Nora's class is having all these goofy themed days to end the year, related to the alphabet because kids like strict order and holidays and 1:1 ratios, and today was H. They were supposed to wear hats and Nora picked a plastic novelty Viking helmet that I probably got as a reward for drinking beer. Today she also dressed herself all in black---I briefly tried to get her to switch to a big straw hat as a subtle Velvet Underground reference but no dice.

2. Speaking of barbarism, her love for swords and beasts and quests continues unabated, but she is caught up with the stupid Beast Quest series and there is not another one coming out (in the US) until June. I am trying to find some more early-grade fantasy books for her. After Beast Quest, the genre seems to jump straight to Harry Potter and other 500-page things with complex subplots and made-up elf languages---her comprehension is pretty good but I don't want reading to be a tedious slog, she's only six.

In the meantime I bought her a wooden sword and shield. Note to the elderly man in salwar kameez rounding the corner of our block early last Sunday: please do not be alarmed by the small Chinese girl screaming and running at you with sword upraised. She wasn't really running at you in particular, just practicing her battle charge a la Braveheart. Sorry.

3. My left eyelid has been twitching for hours now, and I am going crazy. This is how Charlie Whitman felt right before he grabbed his rifle and climbed the tower. I have neither rifle nor tower so I will stick to bitching mightily to everyone I can, plus occasionally grabbing the side of my face and muttering curses. FUCK YOU BLEPHAROSPASM.

4. I have been out of sorts even before the twitching started, though. This morning I was That Mom staring into space on a city bus while my daughter talked and talked and talked, and I barely could muster up even an "uh-huh" or a "cool." If you had been there, you would have been thinking sniffy, judgmental thoughts like "she could at least INTERACT with her child." Most days I do, but today it has been like swimming through cotton.

5. Cotton with the occasional enlivening obstacle, like my seatmate on the train who pointed me out to his buddy and said, "She and I gonna be married in ten years. She just don't know it yet." He was mostly being a weirdo and teasing, instead of being a douchebag and harassing (I am good at sensing the difference), so I played it by "smiling vaguely and continuing to read" instead of "telling him to cram it up his ass." I did wonder why we had to wait ten years, but decided not to ask. Watch this space! If by the year 2019 I have dumped LT to marry a Jamaican dude with very pointy fingernails, we will finally begin to take seriously the rantings of subway strangers.

6. The back of the Reduced-Fat Wheat Thins box curiously depicts a lovely-looking home office setup, all seafoam walls and beige linen organizer boxes. There is a vintage-style wall clock and a charming little green ceramic pitcher being used as a pencil cup. Also: a full cup of coffee, a clothbound book with a blurry one-word title that looks a lot like a personal journal, and a bulletin board with post-its saying "Lunch @ 11:30" and "Call Corinne." And the box of Wheat Thins, of course. So we can deduce that this person likes Wheat Thins, is probably female (based on the Pottery Barn-ness of the desk accessories), and that she doesn't work too terribly hard.

Then there is the box copy. Tagline: "My space, my snack." Below: "You don't compromise in your daily life; you shouldn't have to in your snacks. Reduced Fat Wheat Thins are the best of both worlds: Full of crunch and the amazingly delicious taste of Wheat Thins---all with 35% less fat than Original Wheat Thins Crackers"

a. Yes, there is no end punctuation in the original. Odd, especially since someone bothered to use a semicolon correctly.
b. MY SPACE, MY SNACK. Well! You go, girl! Own those low-fat crackers!
c. Could this be more blatantly chick-targeted? You've got the luxurious Real Simple-styled desk scene. You've got the me me me, my space, my snack, perfect for that whole "time to myself" marketing focus. Which strikes me as particularly ironic because the woman with that perfect-looking office---who has lunch dates and who apparently keeps a journal in longhand---probably has no trouble whatsoever with the time-to-herself thing.
d. The more I think about that first line, the more it makes me laugh. "You don't compromise in your daily life; you shouldn't have to in your snacks." Who is this take-no-prisoners, make-no-compromises snacking woman? A combination of Martha Stewart and Chuck Norris? Damn it, no! I will not compromise my snacks!
e. I have not investigated yet, but I doubt the full-fat Wheat Thins box is this conflicted. I buy the low-fat ones because they are saltier, and nothing is salty enough for me except maybe a salt lick garnished with French olives. I did not expect the box to have all this baggage about compromise and claiming one's space.

7. Sometimes small policy changes have unexpected benefits. Personally I kind of miss seeing prostitutes out and about, sipping coffee in the 24-hour diner at North and Ashland and doing the ho stroll on desolate stretches of Elston. Perhaps now that Craigslist has banned "erotic services" ads, we will see more in-person erotic service providers. It will be like Christmas. The hookers are back! The hookers are back!

---mimi smartypants will be grazing by your window, please come pat her on the head.


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