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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

2005-01-06 ... 2:22 p.m.


1. Scene: early morning, Sacramento and Devon. A car comes roaring out of the alley, as cars in my neighborhood are wont to do, and clips the back of another car that is proceeding down the street in a safe, sane, and legal fashion. Both drivers get out and start exchanging words. The at-fault driver is an Orthodox Jew, and the proud owner of a newly dented vehicle is an African American woman. She is immediately irate, which is understandable, and starts shouting, "You hit my car! You hit my car!" over and over again, along with a lot of profanities and threats. The Orthodox guy says, in an I-swear-to-god Yiddish accent right out of some Woody Allen movie, "What do you want me to do about it? You want some money?" and this sets her off all over again, oh you goddamned right she wants some money, y'all better have IN-surance, and so on and so forth. And I am standing there at the bus stop watching all of this, and thinking: Is today "Act Your Stereotype Day"? Is Nora scheduled to start mixing up her Rs and Ls? Will the Loyola El stop be spattered with the frozen remnants of college-kid puke? Am I ever-so-slightly hungover, wearing all-black clothing, and planning to post some self-involved baloney on my internet diary later today? YES! Well, the last two, anyway.

2. The other night I wanted to watch one of my many and much-beloved autopsy shows,* but instead of the soothing sights of large-caliber exit wounds and the melodious sounds of cranial saws, TiVo had instead recorded part of MTV's Headbangers Ball. (I checked MTV's website and indeed, "Headbangers Ball" has no punctuation according to them. There is a group of headbangers, and there is a ball. They do not have ownership of or a responsibility to the ball in any way, nor was the ball thrown in their honor. Heavens no.)

*I should just do a TiVo wish list thing for AUTOPSY or LIMBLESS TORSO or SHAG CARPET BLOOD SPATTER and get all my forensic shows automatically. It could come third in the priority list, right after Sopranos and Blue's Clues (with STEVE ONLY). Oh, and by the way? Headbangers? Take a look at that apostrophe. The clues, they are Blue's. Blue's Clues. See how any ambiguity is now all cleared up? Then again, you heavy metal people have trouble with umlauts and simple spelling, maybe I don't want you using an advanced punctuation mark like the apostrophe.

Anyway. I started to delete the erroneous program, but then I became intrigued with the Subculture Not My Own, and I ended up fast-forwarding through Headbangers Ball and stopping just long enough to get the gist of each video. Which did not take very long. Because they were pretty much all the same.

1. Lots of black-and-white, lots of dissolves, and, weirdly, lots of footage of dogs.

2. Nearly every heavy metal video features the band members actually playing instruments, which I have to admit is kind of refreshingly old-skool.

3. Every time a guy had long hair, he also had his shirt off, to show his manly male chest and "tribal" tattoos, as a sort of counterpoint to reassure you that the long hair does not cancel out his MASCULINITY and HETEROSEXUALITY, although that is really the only way heavy metal videos will ever be able to make that point, because you could watch Headbangers Ball until your eyes fell out and you would not see one single female person, ever.

4. I still think the music sucks, but I am fascinated by all the apparently unironic angst and anger and flailing around. It is very impressive that some people still take themselves that seriously, and it reminds me of how Romantic poetry sounds vaguely ridiculous to readers today--"my soul's own sepulcher"? "A drowsy numbness pains my senses"? "I drift along suspended in shadows"? Dude. Get over yourself.


Things are kind of hard right now. I feel a dreadful split (oh great, now I am the one being all Lord Byron/heavy metal dramatic. Dude. Get over myself.) between two goals: Keep Life Humming Along and Big Picture. Sometimes they intersect; obviously all this working and health-insurance-having and fiscal responsibility is kind of Big Picture-ish. But more often they don't, quite, exactly, such as when you work all day and then come home to a tired toddler and a frazzled husband, and everyone has to eat and small girl has to bathe and be played with and put to bed, and somewhere in there we are supposed to be teaching her values and demonstrating our love and affection and developing her rapidly growing brain and oh, also having fun. It is not really the work/home divide that I am bitching about: LT and I have each stayed home with Nora all day, many days, and the same difficulty exists vis--vis the split between keeping her alive, fed, changed, healthy and teaching her everything she needs to know. I know (believe me, I know) that children are learning all the time---that they learn love, relationships, emotions, and attitudes about work and leisure and discipline and frustration just by observing their parents actually perform all that mundane stuff. BUT SHIT, THAT IS EVEN SCARIER. Because you can't just take time out from mundane frustration to teach your toddler about life; she will learn that just by watching you cope with the mundane frustration. Which means that you have to work on being a better person. All the time. IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO JUST GET DINNER ON THE TABLE ANYMORE, YO. Am I making too much of this? Probably.

I really think babies are easier. Babies just have needs. Most of them are physical. Oh sure, they need to be held and loved and smiled at and talked to, but they don't need (quite yet) to be shown HOW TO BE PEOPLE. That is the part that is freaking me out, right now. And when babies cry? Eh. The baby is crying. Babies cry a lot, you pick them up and sing to them and if they won't shut up, maybe they just need to cry for a while. But when Nora cries, she is sad. Or angry. Or disappointed. And sometimes I am the one who made her feel that way, by not understanding what she wants, by telling her "no," or by putting her to bed when she does not feel ready to sleep. For me, that crying is a lot harder to take. And it won't get any easier, because someday she will be crying because I meted out some well-deserved consequences, or because someone was mean to her, or because her heart got broken, and I will not be able to make it all better, and I have to stop talking about this now because I am kind of starting to freak out.


Nora likes to serve me pretend food. Last night she brought me a pretend cake, sang her fractured version of "Happy Birthday," blew out the pretend candles, and cut me a pretend slice. Just for a laugh, I pretended to gobble up the pretend cake all Cookie-Monster-style, with big bites and eating noises. Nora became horrified and said, "No no Mommy! Slowly! Mommy choke!" Thank you Nora. Choking on pretend cake would be a really lousy way to pretend die.

I'm sorry I am such a maniac today. Blame the ENERGY TEA. I do not normally seek out foods with random ingredients such as guarana seed extract and ginseng, but someone gave it to me and it actually tastes pretty good. On the other hand, it turns you into a raving maniac who CANNOT SHUT UP OH GOD MIMI SHUT UP.

---mimi smartypants zipped her lip.


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