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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

2004-05-20 ... 3:14 p.m.

Hi. I like you. Will you be my friend? Check one (yes__) (no__)

I am regressing. I have urges to pass notes in class and jump rope and get wildly, improbably wasted on a weeknight. These urges have everything to do with being newly home after my Pacific Northwest vacation/business trip, not being unpacked yet, certainly not being up to speed with my work responsibilities at this juncture (and with a 1.5-day workweek this week the temptation to NOT EVEN TRY is very strong). My life still feels temporary, my routines and even personality traits like a Post-It note that can just be picked up and stuck somewhere else with barely any residue left behind. I guess that is part of why we travel in the first place, to do new things and realize all over again that there is no static self to return to, but that doesn't stop me from feeling like a bitstream still traveling through the ether. Maybe I will settle down after a few more bedtime routines and production schedules.

Not that anything particularly life-changing happened on the Seattle-Vancouver trip.


1. I did not eat nearly as much fish as I should have.

2. Nora flies the friendly skies like a goddamned pro, and divided her three-hour flight into one third asleep, one third contentedly playing with the safety information card and jamming out to her Sesame Street tunes on my iPod, and one third squirming and lightly suggesting, in that inimitable and wordless toddler whine of complaint, that the flight should be over by now. Even seasoned travelers have their limits, and when you cannot order a big old Scotch I guess you squirm.

3. Our hotel was so small and so un-full that we quickly stood out as "Room 1415 with the baby." However, our friend from college was meeting us almost every night for dinner, and then often coming back to our room for more drinks, so "Room 1415 with the baby" was also "Room 1415 that generates an insane amount of beer bottles every day." It is a miracle Child Protective Services was not waiting on my doorstep in Chicago.

4. I did a lot of thinking about writing, and Writing, and popular culture. I have been trying for years to explain my antipathy toward most of the Popular Fiction Of Today: the Jane Smileys and Ann Beatties and Charles Baxters and dozens of other legitimately good writers who just make me MAD somehow, who make me want to never read fiction ever again, who make my reading-matter pendulum swing violently toward nonfiction, personal essays, literary criticism, well-written web journals, and the occasional big baggy novel (Wallace, DeLillo, Pynchon, Franzen) that manages to surprise me. I am fed up with fictional characters, with the cleverly-disguised afterschool-special moments where everyone learns something about Life, to the point where even if this is well done it makes me furious. TELL, DON'T SHOW.

I am still not 100% sure why I feel this way, and I have been floundering around trying to say it for way too long now, only occasionally (and often only after much beer) being able to use my umbrella tip of logic to poke at the wet paper sack of my feelings about the value of written expression (jesus fuck there I go with the bad metaphors again. At least tell me there is an award for this sort of thing? An award for typing and typing and then re-reading and thinking WOW I'M AN IDIOT and eating another gummi worm? An award, or maybe a good face-slapping, for going on and on in this tiresome breaking-the-fourth-wall vein? Okay I'll stop now.) Maybe the reason I feel that way is that to me the question of how to be alive, of how to exist as a separate (constructed) self in a intimate meshwork of other separate (constructed) selves, seems so deadly serious that I wonder WHY WE ARE FUCKING AROUND with creating fictional characters to act out some small part of the question. Many (not all) novels feel like dumb shadow-puppet diversion, like television in written format, when what I feel (all the time, like background noise) is this ambulance-siren emergency to tell somebody, anybody, who I am and what I think. And in the tiny cultural space between Code Blue and the defibrillator paddles, I really really need you to tell me who you are and what you think, no tricks, no literary devices, no bullshit, no rivers, no book club "reading guides." Ack, never mind, new topic before I do any more textual seizing and flailing. Put a blanket on me, make sure I don't swallow my tongue.

5. Places that have coinage of significant value, like Canada and the UK, always result in me walking around with a pocket full of jingle and the idea that I have no money, only to be surprised when I stop to count and find that I have quite a bit of purchasing power indeed. Do people in Canada have change jars? That could really add up.

6. I may have allegedly smoked some good Pacific Northwest marijuana with my college friends one night. Then LT went with them to have a drink and I gladly indulged my inner recluse by volunteering to stay behind with the sleeping baby (which is best for all concerned when I am allegedly high, unless you want to hear an extended free-association riff on the semiotics of lamination*). My alleged altered state involved (a) getting really detailed with the nighttime grooming rituals (oh I flossed, baby); (b) watching Nora sleep for a while, which I love doing even under sober circumstances, but with my senses heightened made me heart-palpitatingly weak and moist-eyed at her gorgeousness, and which also made me a little worried at how desperately I want to put every part of her in my mouth. A tall cool drink of Nora, a pinch of Nora between cheek and gum. I want to eat my baby, but only out of love.

Also, (c) I sprawled on the bed and watched TV like a normal stoner, and spent some quality time with my butt. Nothing kinky or exciting (external butt-exploration only), but for some unknown reason I had both hands down my pants for a good long while, touching and hefting and smoothing my own ass like I was evaluating fruit in the market. MIMI'S MANGO ASS $2.99/LB.

(*My crazy brain was all about literal lamination, as in documents sandwiched in between hot plastic, but a quick Google search revealed this, which could be interesting enough to bookmark and read later. Maybe.)

6. Where else but on the West Coast would homeless people own bikes? All the folks I saw sleeping outdoors in Seattle were quite well outfitted. Coming from a place where street people routinely freeze to death, I am not used to the hippie-wanderer "lifestyle" model of homelessness.

One particular bus to Capitol Hill (where I went to experience hot weblogger-on-weblogger beer and backyard action) was very full of the crazy---an old wino type who barked and moaned whenever anyone boarded the bus, a strangely handsome schizophrenic who paced the aisle and made faces at himself in the security mirror, and a man who prayed aloud while fiddling with his twelve shopping bags filled with debris, and who required lots of good-hearted Seattle-ite assistance to get him and his garbagey entourage on and off the bus. This bus journey took place around a typical Nora naptime, so she was fussy and carrying on a bit, but hey! Get as freaky as you like, Nora! We're on the Crazy Bus!

8. I count myself lucky that I did not find Piroshky-Piroshky before I did, or I would have a cholesterol count of about 500 right now.

9. I watched more real-time television than I usually do, and became quite fixated on a disturbing local commercial with a talking claymation car, who sort of coughed up his engine all over the floor and needed repair. This has since become the second entry in my fascinating/disturbing mental category of "normally inanimate but anthropomorphized objects engaged in self-disembowelment," the first entry in the category being, of course, the Vitner's chip bag on the Vitner's chip bag, who is playing the saxophone so passionately that chips are coming out of the instrument's bell, and that is some SERIOUS JAZZ because although Dizzy Gillespie's lips used to bleed I am unaware of any musician who has barfed out his or her own guts from the intensity of the groove. Also: see photo below.

10. I got Naomi Campbell and Naomi Wolf mixed up in my head for an entire day, which explains why my half-hearted eavesdropping on two teenage girls talking about "Naomi" and her appearance on some modeling reality show was so baffling. I kept thinking "wow, way to sell out the whole Beauty Myth thing" until I finally figured it out.

11. Vancouver: you never saw so many kewl azns (look it up if you don't believe me that the kids really spell like this) in your life. Everyone is young, Chinese, and fashionable, hair streaks and tiny asymmetrically-buttoned military-style jackets everywhere. The whole city as giant Ladytron cover band.

I have reached my limit but here is Nora being apprehensive about a cannibalistic order of french fries (as well she should). It violates my rule of pictures of myself online, but maybe you will just stare at the magnificent art on my chest (hey, are you staring at my chest?) and ignore all other salient details about my appearance. When there is a giant cannibalistic order of french fries around, who cares about Mimi Smartypants?

---mimi smartypants yellowed the eggshell of solitary deceit.


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