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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


2007-08-16 ... 4:20 p.m.

MIMI CONSUMERPANTS

1. A friend gave me some loose tea and the package has an unfortunate word choice combined with an unfortunate line break:

Creamy British Celebrity Flavored

With Bergamot

I spent some time wondering what "British Celebrity Flavor" would be.

2. Running shoes need to come with a warning, or more precisely a reminder, that they are in fact running shoes and not twelve-hole Doc Martens, and as such there is no need to meticulously PULL each set of laces so tight and snug that ones feet are numb by the second mile. Or maybe this is just my own personal problem, in which case the reminder can be Sharpie'd on my arm instead of on the shoes themselves.

3. I accidentally purchased a maxi-pad instead of a tampon from The People's Revolutionary Tampon Machine (stupid unlabeled vending knobs---but at least I got my quarter back to try again). The maxi-pad box was labeled in many languages (as befits a Workers Of The World sanitary product), and I really enjoyed how a "heavy" flow turns into an "important" flow in French and an "abundant" flow in Spanish. Also how the Spanish claims to protect against "loss" rather than the English "leakage," and how the adhesive strip, in Spanish, holds the pad firmly in "your" place (rather than just "in place.") Hold me firmly in my place, I have an important flow.

4. I read an issue of Real Simple on my flight home, and you probably know this already but I have a deep and complicated fascination with that magazine. I think it's safe to say I will expound on this in a moment. I mean, who knows! I'm making this shit up as I go along! But I do feel the rumbles of some expounding, deep inside. Here is where the copy editor (if I had one) could write: EXPOUNDING TO COME.

Anyway, some stupid fluff piece about shoulder bags and back problems had a sidebar that said your fully-packed bag should never weigh more than ten percent of your body weight or ten pounds, whichever is less. Uh, well, okay. I am not sure why the sentence could not have just said that your bag should never weigh more than ten pounds. Because unless Real Simple is suddenly the hottest thing ever for the pre-teen set, I would bet cash money that the majority of their readers weigh more than 100 pounds (being adult American women and all).

And speaking of children, one of the many reasons that Real Simple is so amazing is their absence from the editorial pages, either in text or images. This is particularly interesting for a magazine aimed at women who, in all statistical/demographical likelihood given the age and income level targeted, have children. Real Simple is essentially a chick/homebody/domestic pursuits magazine---it makes occasional stabs at "workplace" or "interpersonal" advice (all of which can be boiled down to either Stick Up For Yourself or Don't Be An Asshole), but it is essentially an aspirational-fantasy magazine about stuff that you could put in your house to make it cleaner, fresher, and more organized. And children are not very clean or fresh or organized. When you are reading a magazine and fantasizing that you are the sort of person who can shabbily-chic-ly put a bunch of daisies in an old Mason jar and stick it on top of a two-thousand-dollar side table, you do not want to be reminded that in your actual home the side table would have crayon marks on the legs and a heap of Spider-Man Legos underneath.

You might get a clue about the implied children of Real Simple readers when you get to the back of the book, where the ads are for minivans and juice instead of for cosmetics and where the recipes are often shockingly lowbrow. I find the contrast between the food and décor layouts jarring---one minute we are looking at a charmingly appointed living room, a place for everything and everything in its place, and the next minute we are being instructed to add some bagged shredded cheese to some frozen precooked chicken pieces, and things like that have just got to be an editor's idea of "kid-friendly cooking for busy moms" or some such shit. Because hell to the yuck, people with two-thousand-dollar side tables don't eat like that. I hope. But wait, Real Simple, I thought I didn't have any kids? I thought I had the lovely well-organized house with no sticky spawn in sight? Oh Real Simple, you are confusing me.

THIS WEEK'S NORA

1. At the Cape Cod vacation house, our friends' five-year-old got pissed off about something, yelling and smacking the breakfast table, and was removed from the scene for a talk and a chill-out. Nora stopped eating her cereal just long enough to yell after him, "THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO BE ANGRY!" Thank you, Preschool Dr. Phil. She is right, of course, but I still gave a little speech about minding our own business.

2. My mom bought Nora a "beach cover-up" and was very careful to label it such in all conversations. Nora seemed all right with it at first, but right before vacation the nanny got Nora dressed in swimsuit and "cover-up" for an afternoon pool outing, and as they were driving along a panicked voice came from the backseat: "I THINK THIS IS A DRESS!" I love the idea of Nora suddenly looking down at her lap and thinking WAIT A FRIGGING MINUTE! Needless to say, the "cover-up" has been outed as its true self and Nora has firmly told me that it can go in the giveaway bag, don't pull that shit again, she only wears Action Clothes and must have a separate container for each leg, thank you and good night.

3. Nora [at bedtime]: Can you sing that reaper song?
Me: What?
Nora: You know, [singing] don't fear the reaper...
Me: Where did you hear that?
Nora: In the radio.
Me: Well, that's pretty much all I know, that "don't fear the reaper" part...I guess I could look up the words if you want.
Nora: What's a reaper?
Me: Uh, it reaps. Crops. Like a tractor.
Nora: Don't be afraid of a tractor. But maybe yes. Because it could run over you and you could die.
Me: Right.
Nora: It's a farm song! [giggles]
Me: ...Sure.
Nora: Old MacDonald had a reaper!

UHHHHHHHH

I give up on the coherency thing, but at least I have now officially posted something post-vacation, which means that my typing fingers were not crushed by mutant Cape Cod lobsters (I know you were wondering). I have a few vacation pictures if anyone cares. I also have some thoughts on birth control, a bus story where I play the part of a crazy person for a change, great lines from the Superfriends, an eavesdropping session that made me feel stabby with feminist rage, and an extended meditation on the package design for Suave For Kids 2-in-1 "Berry Burst" Shampoo. Next time.

---mimi smartypants can't do that on television.


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