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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

2004-01-06 ... 11:17 p.m.

Does everyone know that I am not working for a month? For a whole month? For a whole motherfreaking* month? This is true. My job offers four weeks of paid leave for a new baby and homemade or adopted babies are treated exactly the same (as it should be). I did have to bring in an adoption decree, which kind of pissed me off, because do breeders have to bring in the placenta in a jar? I mean, do you not believe me? It's a pretty elaborate scam, to fake-adopt a kid, and probably not worth it.

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, I also have the option of an additional eight weeks unpaid. However, the "unpaid" part does not really work for me, as I am the breadwinner, the one with the health insurance, and the one with the pricey sushi/decent red wine/comic books and zines habit.

*I am making an effort not to swear so (goddamned) much, since we probably have less than a year left before Nora starts repeating everything we say. Anyone want to take bets on how long this lasts? Maybe we can just explain to the preschool teachers that Mommy has Tourette's, it is very sad but we love her just the same.

I felt a little weird about taking this leave. Which is totally retarded, because if someone says, "Hey, want to stay home for a month and get a paycheck anyway?" your response should be a slobbering, unqualified yes yes yes. It's just that there is a lot going on at work, I have yet another vacancy I need to fill, there is a chapter due soon on the work-related book project, and it is not like I am waddling around with an ice pack pressed to my crotch, breastfeeding every two hours, like most new mothers.

You know how sometimes you see someone wearing a really awful shirt? Let's say, hypothetically, that you meet this person at a party. And this person is not nine years old, but rather late twenties/early thirties. And this person is wearing a Spiderman shirt. Not just a Spiderman T-shirt, which could work with the right sort of goofy thrift-store get-up. But a rayon, button-down, dry-clean-only Spiderman shirt. You would despair, right? Hypothetically. You would think, My god, what posessed you. To buy. That Spiderman. Shirt. And put it on your body. Also, here is the punchline: the Spiderman-shirt person is married. To a girl. If your own wife won't tell you not to wear a Spiderman shirt, and you do not naturally have the aversion to the Spiderman shirt within your own soul, there is pretty much no hope.

I should add that I harbor no ill will toward the hypothetical person in the Spiderman shirt (he was actually kind of fun to talk to), and I should also add that right now I am wearing an old baggy horizontally-striped sweatshirt that makes me look like an anorexic Ernie, pajama pants with a baby-food stain on the knee, and black socks patterned with The Misfits fiend death's-head thing. So I am hardly one to poke fun at the sartorial sense of others. I am just saying.*

(*The all-purpose off-the-hook phrase. "Looking a little pudgy today." "Are you saying I'm fat?" "No, I'm just saying.")

Rape-All! Sorry I raped you.

I like this pumpkin. And it would be a good experiment to let it rot inside the bag until you have a bag of rotting pumpkin mush. Then throw it in the neighbor's yard! Or FedEx it to your enemy!

Look, if you pass out at a party you just can't get up and drive home. (Side note: we took Nora to a holiday party recently, and after she played for a while LT strapped her into the Snugli front-pack thing, which she loves, and we kept on socializing. She kept almost falling asleep and then waking herself up, and at one point my friend Doug leaned in and said, "It's okay Nora, you can go to sleep. We won't draw on you.") (Extra side note to defensively say that we went home not long after that and put the baby to bed properly.) (Extra extra side note to feel pissy about how I feel I have to defend my parenting all the fucking time.) (And one further side note to say that maybe this feeling is like some Jungian Collective Defensiveness, since mothers have been analyzed and criticized nearly to death for hundreds of years regarding how they take care of their children---do you stay at home, do you go to work, do you pick them up or let them cry, do you breastfeed or bottle feed, will eating solid food before six months "ruin them for life" [I know someone who was actually told this], and so on and so on. Maybe it's no surprise that every description of one's style of kid-care carries with it this need to back it up with data or justification or plain old "it's none of your beeswax.")

There is just something about this image.

More football playoffs should be played in super-cold weather, in super-cold climates, you know why? BECAUSE OF THE STEAMING HEADS! THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN WHEN SOME PLAYER SITS DOWN ON THE SIDELINES, TAKES OFF HIS HELMET, AND YOU GET TO SEE HIS HEAD STEAM! Sorry to shout but it is the truth, LT has even been known to back up the TiVo so I can see the steaming head three or four times.

Speaking of LT and how he indulges his crazy wife, I have been thinking---now that we are a proper nuclear family, at least on the surface, we can work on our legends. Every couple has legends, stories, in-jokes, private silliness, but the real family-legend payoff is when your kids are sitting around the bong their freshman year of college and talking about the strange things their parents did to them. For instance, my mother once got fed up with us being all like "uhh...I don't know" when she asked us to help her plan meals, so she made an All-Patty Dinner. Salmon patties, zucchini pancakes, and potato pancakes. Your classic suburban protein/vegetable/starch, only in futuristic dystopian disk format. And my father used to fuck with me all the time, in particular by helping me prepare a contingency plan in case he was replaced by an exact-replica cyborg. We had a series of code questions and answers that could be used to determine that my dad was in fact my real flesh-and-blood dad, and all I have to say about that is I WAS FIVE! I WAS CONCERNED THAT THIS CYBORG THING WAS A REAL POSSIBILITY! JESUS, DAD!


Nora loves butternut squash, and if you buy butternut squash baby food you realize that it is butternut squash + water, and you think: Huh. We can do that. So for a while we had this butternut squash sitting on the counter, upright in all its gourdlike glory, and one day for no particular reason I handed it to LT and said "Please draw a face on this." He did, and it was a rather scholarly face, with glasses and everything, so then we had Professor Butternut. And we kept meaning to cook him and feed him to Nora, but it was difficult, because every time we thought okay, this is the day, Professor Butternut was right there looking all affable and intellectual. One day I came home from work and did not see the good Professor, and LT gently broke it to me that Professor Butternut did not get tenure, and that he ended up as Nora's lunch, hey, it happens to the best of us, it all depends on who you get on your committee.

Okay, I really have to go, but not before I heartily recommend rocking your daughter to sleep and then drinking Pyramid India Pale Ale, and then typing around five thousand words, only about thirteen hundred of which are actually postable on Diaryland. That is literally how I do these entries, I blah blah blah and then if anything gets too personal or too abstract or too plain fucking nuts I save it to a separate document. Oh, I also wanted to mention that Nora now understands quite a few words, including her name, "cat," "big" (as in "how big is Nora?"), and "monkeylips," which makes her push out her lips in this weird kissyface. Not bad for a kid who has been hearing English for all of two months, although I will concede that "monkeylips" is not the most useful of English words. "Excuse me, Mister Policeman, where is monkeylips?"

---mimi smartypants has visions of everyone undressed.


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