Back to Diaryland

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

2006-01-04 ... 9:43 a.m.

Wait, was Theodor Adorno a dwarf? Or is this just a really strange photo? Not that I think dwarves should be barred from culture studies or anything.

Hi. I am sure people who follow fluff pieces in tabloid-format big-city newspapers* are laughing heartily right now at the patently false notion that I update my diary "twice a week." Ha! How funny! It has been more than two weeks since my last post, and every time I think of the phrase "more than two weeks" I think of that Very Hungry Caterpillar, only I emerge from my silence less of a beautiful butterfly and more of a bundle of post-holiday nerves, and I did not go on a one-week fruit fast (only to binge my ass off on the last day---shit, Caterpillar, bulimic much?), but instead have been living on wine and party food. It is really very dumb to feel guilty/stupid for not writing in my online diary, because the whole point of doing this is that I don't have to do this, but my neuroses about how my output of words (however banal they may be) relate to my self-identity run pretty damn deep. Anyway, the guilt and self-loathing have combined to make me finally want to post something. And now here I am. Never fuck a gift horse in the mouth, I always say.

*One small error in this article, which may be my fault for talking too fast and too crazily---I did not actually apply to Iowa's Writers' Workshop---I was urged to do so, but I did not---since I believe by that point my disdain for MFA programs was fully formed. Maybe I expressed that general disdain and something got lost in translation? Anyway, any error that flatters me is not an error to get all riled up about, and I just mention it here for accuracy.


1. The couple tottering around the Jackson St. subway platform are late-stage alcoholics straight out of Ironweed---slurring, near-toothless, underdressed for the weather. "Do you have a pen?" the guy asks me, while his wife focuses on chewing her nails in between coughing fits. I do, but I would rather not hand it over to this germy person, so I say, "No, I don't."

"Do you have a nail file, then?" he asks. "Or like a crochet hook?"

Ah good sir, then it's not writing but blunt stabbing that ye be after! In that case, accept this corkscrew with my blessing.

2. Guy talking to another guy on the street: "That totally reminds me of that part in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2..."

What could possibly remind one of that?

3. Me: Nora, please stop doing that, it's time to get your coat on.
Nora: Mommy. Mommy. Listen. I need to do this.
Me: You need to spin around in circles and sing, "I don't have a penis, I don't have a penis"?
Nora: Yes.
Me: Okay. Thanks for letting me know.


1. Goddamn Christmas. I was not going to do the Santa thing at all. Remember? Nora recognized the Santa-image and sort of grokked the whole gifting concept but was not terribly enthused, so I figured I could get away with neither confirming nor denying his existence and leaving it at that. Then she started asking me direct questions about Santa, and for some obscure, encoded-in-the-parental-DNA reason I found that I could not look at her excited, hopeful face and say it was all crap. So, against all my instincts, we had Santa, although I kept it low-key and did not mention the man at every opportunity, unlike some relatives we could name.

This was fine until Christmas Eve. About an hour after bedtime Nora started to wail, and when I entered her room she was a tearful puddle of anxiety and would only repeat, "I DON'T WANT HIM TO COME IN THE HOUSE!" Meaning Santa, of course! The holiday home-invasion expert himself! So we quickly changed our story to make Santa more like the FedEx guy: as long as you sign the slip and check the box, he will leave your gifts on the front stoop for us to bring inside.

2. My birthday was a shitstorm of a day for various reasons, complete with tears! Criticism! Broken earrings! Transit problems! Lost documents! Domestic strife! Lousy sandwiches! The only bright spots were a gift of Consider the Lobster from LT and a really good dinner at Lao Szechuan (you must order the Beijing Noodles. Oh man.) The next day's celebration (no work, dinner with my parents) was much better, although since I had spent part of the day reading the latest issue of Brain, Child I was a little off-kilter when it came to the candle-blowing birthday wish. They should have renamed the magazine Death, Child just for that one issue---at least two articles dealt with the topic, and that combined with the previous day's messes made my brain want to crawl away from itself. And the child-deaths were not even statistically-improbable, make-you-feel-better deaths like "I Took My 6-Month-Old Scuba Diving And He Touched A Poison Rockfish Even Though I Repeatedly Made The Sign For 'No' Underwater" or "Live Crocodile Playland: McDonald's Issues Formal Apology." They were things like slight cold = meningitis = death! What the fuck, hipster parenting magazine! Stop that!

Thus, when it came time to make a wish and blow out the candles, I ended up dumbing my wish for Nora down to plain old life. Continued existence. Health and happiness are great, but when it gets down to the wire and I am shaky and weird and contemplating the unthinkable I just want Nora to Be. Did I squander my birthday wish? Will 2006 be the year of Very Low Expectations? It remains to be seen.

3. New Year's Eve had a very small turnout, in contrast to previous years, because most of my friends either have new babies and a strong nesting urge or they are younger and cooler and had other plans. Even so, I think we got drunker and stayed up later than ever before. When there is not that GET THESE LUNATICS OUT OF MY HOUSE BEFORE THEY BREAK EVERYTHING feeling, and when you can all fit at a table filled with good food and decent wine instead of crowding around a keg and a bowl of discount chips, it is hard to know when to quit. Nora made it until 11 pm, and then I threw in the towel because she was clearly insane from fatigue and there is only so much toddler breakdancing (she has a fairly decent Worm and Robot, although neck-injury fears caused me to restrain her from attempting a head-spin) that party guests can tolerate. The next day we all dozed on the couch in front of Wallace and Gromit videos and then went to a friend's house for football and snacks, where Nora proceeded to break my veggie heart:

Nora: Hold me up so I can see the food.
Me [hovering her over the deli tray]: Would you like a piece of cheese? Or maybe [magnanimously, making a big concession] a slice of turkey?
Nora [pointing]: No, wait. What's that?
Me: That's ham.
Nora: I want that.

And she did, to the tune of four slices. I still refuse to purchase the Pink Evil, so Nora will have to consider ham a special treat that one only has at other people's houses. Oh, I am so cruel, with my arbitrary ham ban! I am a one-woman Taliban!* Maybe Nora can write a memoir someday.

(*Why did I write that? Now I can't stop saying "Taliban ban ham" and making the words all rhyme, which either makes you sound Texan or Jamaican, depending on which vowel sound you choose.)

---mimi smartypants same as it ever was.


join my Notify List and get email when I update my site:
Powered by