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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

2002-10-09 ... 1:41 p.m.

Often he reckons, in the dawn, them up.
Nobody is ever missing.

---from Dream Song #29

This is very useful: An encyclopedia of monsters. I am fond of the ichthyocentaur. Here's another view, although I think the artist forgot the "horse" part of the centaur.

Also very useful (perhaps): Gay Hanky Codes. Even if it's not useful, it is knowledge, which (rumor has it) equals power.

A POORLY FORMULATED THOUGHT (SOMEDAY I WILL LEARN THAT DIARYLAND IS NOT MY SCRATCH PAPER): Where will science fiction go next? Correct me if I'm wrong, not having had a lot of exposure to this genre, but it seems that sci-fi relies on and reflects the mood of a culture, more so than other literature. The 1950s future, just as the space program was swinging into high gear = colonization and conquest, sometimes peaceful, sometimes not. Cyberpunk = a lot of technological anxiety and hard questions about human/machine interfaces. (I'm being glib, there are probably other examples but we don't have all day.) What about now? What happens when the future is so dark and confusing and a lot of international politics (Israel, Iraq) are a case of same-shit-different-day? Americans tend to produce the bulk of sci-fi, I would think---what happens to the writing when Americans are more hated now than they possibly ever have been? What happens after the horrifyingly real expression of that hatred a year ago September? I am sure that science fiction will continue to be written, but I wonder if it will be smaller, less expansive (no more space exploration), and more focused on the human---the real leaps now are happening with things like biotechnology and genetic engineering, and those are likely to capture the imagination rather than time travel or extraterrestrial life or even alternative ways of structuring society. Small, smaller, smallest.

(Also speaking of genre fiction in general: was it Victoria Nelson who said that the difference between genre literature [horror, romance, sci-fi] and non-genre literature was the compulsion-repetition factor? That is, after finishing one sci-fi novel you want to read another one, and you go through them like potato chips and the stacks get taller and taller? You don't finish Madame Bovary and immediately want to go read another French novel, or at least not in the same compulsive way. This thought has stuck with me, possibly because I see the truth in it.)

Yesterday I was going home after the library, sitting in my very favorite backwards seat on the train, and a guy with a Stowaway keyboard in its package sat down next to me. I was in a good mood because of my bag full of books (I had great library karma), and it was a pretty day, and he was all sort of frowning at the keyboard box as if he had just bought it, so I said, "I have one of those, and I adore it." But this guy took some convincing. He was skeptical. He spun me a tale about how his laptop was in for repair for ten days, so the computer store had sold him the keyboard to use with his handheld in the meantime, so at least he'd have some kind of computer. But he was very skeptical, and didn't seem to believe me when I explained how great the Stowaway keyboard is. This was kind of irksome, because if there is one thing Mimi Smartypants is good for, it's being right about shit. He was all like, "Yeah, but how do I do this? And how do I do that?" and moaning about how this interim solution is not as good as a laptop, and going on and on about his stupid broken laptop, and not even being impressed with the folding and unfolding of the keyboard, which is like its very sexiest feature. So I am thinking "I am sorry I ever tried to be cheerful and interact with you, because you are not just a wet blanket but a SOAKING WET SOGGY BLANKET THAT IS STILL OUT ON THE CLOTHESLINE IN THE MIDDLE OF A RAGING THUNDERSTORM." Then he suddenly says, "You look a lot like my sister" and before I can think of a response to that meaningless-to-me statement he pulls out the paper and starts reading, and so I go back to my book, and the rest of the El stops go by in a sort of weird silence.


I am equally divided between Old-Skool and Fuck-Me. Well, how about that.

Am I weird for wanting to know which tarot card it was? Does anyone know?

I have Houdini stamps. They are self-adhesive, because I only lick things that taste good. The Houdini stamp sheet got all bent up in my bag, and one of the Houdini stamps fell off and got fuzzy and became useless, and I was angry until I changed the mental storyline to one of the Houdini stamps ESCAPED. Okay, it's not funny but I'm trying to put a positive spin on losing my last stamp. Oh, like you could do better. Like you are Mister Comedy. Whatever.

Fantastic concept of the self from William James in 1890: In a sense, then, it may be truly said that, in one person at least, the 'Self of selves,' when carefully examined, is found to consist mainly of the collection of these peculiar motions in the head or between the head and throat.

Have you ever made an effort to voice or give word-shape to your complaints or fears? Have you ever tried to articulate your reasons for stomping along the sidewalk glaring at everyone, or wanting to cry because of a snapped shoelace, or waking up in the middle of the night with a bunch of anxiety squatting on your chest like a copy of The Riverside Shakespeare? When someone asks you "What's wrong?" you try to tell them, and it comes out sounding stupid and petty and doesn't begin to touch the very deep sense of wrongness, you end up talking about the superficial things like the shoelace or how you have a lot of work to do or how you haven't been sleeping well. And that just makes you angrier with yourself, because now you have painted yourself as the sort of person who gets all bent out of shape about shoelaces and work stress. But isn't it easier to articulate the symptoms than the disease? The moral of this story is KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, BUCKO. It's easier for you. It's easier for others, because then they can just say "oh yeah work stress that sucks" and use that as a hook for them to launch into their own tale of woe, which call me cynical but sometimes that feels like what 90% of human conversation is about (everyone else asking, even demanding, that you share your feelings but listening only long enough to explain their own). Of course, the "keep it to yourself" maxim, when it comes to mental suffering, works only for a little while unless one has a safety valve, like a big mountain to look at, or a personal web page (ouch), or the opportunity and energy to go make a lot of extremely loud noise, or a friend who belongs to the other 10%.

I wish so much of my thoughts weren't all tangled up with my moods. I either want to (a) live up to my self-conception of being a logical and thoughtful person, all the time, and not let minor things like Crushing Despair With No Root Cause enter my world, or (b) become a creature solely of mood, and let my overdeveloped self-awareness muscles atrophy. Because when I am being stupid, as above, I know that I am being stupid, and when I am happy I think "Is this me, being happy? Is this what happiness is for me?" and when I am depressed I am never able to fully give in to it, because I totally recognize every little symptom for what it is, and I get all strict and disciplinarian and call myself on my bullshit, and I become irritated with my stupid overdramatic neurochemical system, and I end up just wanting to get over myself already. Which does nothing to fix the depression, but which does add another lovely little layer of self-loathing on top of everything.

You know what, though? I have made a decision to stop obsessing about the fact that there is something wrong with me (oh yes there is) and accept my baseline bleak outlook as just another genetic or environmentally-developed trait. Love me, love my bleak. This is known as the FUCK IT PHILOSOPHY, and although it doesn't usually make an appearance until Friday evening, there is nothing I need more right now than a nice big syrupy tablespoon of Fuck It, and I suspect you could use some too. Open wide. And drink it all because a lot of time the Fuck It is at the bottom. Oh, you're so good. You're Mimi's little pumpkin, yes you are.

---mimi smartypants knows a lot of jump rope rhymes.


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