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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

2006-01-20 ... 5:47 a.m.


1. Fucking work. Not only does everything have to be all late and crazy and crunched-up this month, it also has to be time for performance reviews. So I am spending huge chunks of my day being Tough But Fair and using awful, just-threw-up-a-little-in-my-mouth phrases like "excellent work habits." Excellent work habits! What a horrible thing to say about a person! But I have said it.

2. In addition, I have been offered some freelance work and cannot seem to decide whether or not to take it. It is a project that could either be way over my head and result in my crossing the line into full-blown alcoholism, or it could be easy money and a chance to try something new in a relatively risk-free manner. Strangely, there is very little data available to help me predict which way it will go. Of course there is the added factor of what the hell I am thinking, with a full-time job and an (almost) three-year-old, but that is another story.

3. I filled out a questionnaire for some bookseller (scroll down), in about five minutes, and I sound so, so dumb. Why is it that I am full of literary opinions until someone actually asks me, and then it is like I have never read a book in my life? And why do I have to shoot my mouth off and name names of writers I donít like? Just because they asked is no reason I had to be HONEST. There is such a thing as DIPLOMACY. Now I am sure to be jumped in an alley by a shrill and unoriginal gender-studies professor and a needy, unlikable memoirist. If you'd like a behind-the-scenes anecdote, I originally replied to the question "If you were invited to the Oprah show, what would you wear?"* with a glib, "Clothes. And a giant novelty Afro wig." I said this because I have a hang-up about giant novelty Afro wigs, in that I think they are wonderful, and hilarious, and dear to my heart because everyone on the planet should have the opportunity to wear a hairstyle as magnificently awesome as the Afro, if only temporarily. But after I said it I kind of remembered that Oprah is black, and that people who do not know of my giant novelty Afro wig obsession might take my comment the wrong way. So I wrote the bookseller people and had it changed. Of course, did I bother to re-think my dissing of Tolkien, Paglia, Wurtzel, and Frey at the same time? No. I chose to concern myself with giant novelty Afro wigs and the appropriateness of joking about them. Is there a support group for people like me?

*I would need a whole other diary to adequately explain my utter hatred of this question.

4. There was a spate of updates recently from our adoption travel group, and almost all of the families are either doing paperwork or actually waiting for a second daughter. This really shocked me, although there is no reason why it should have. Every time I think about having a second kid, I think what the hell do you do with two? How can you ever gang up and use your Super Adult Powers to get things done? And then, even though it is somewhat crass of me, I think but I like our schmancy private preschool and our semi-spontaneous trips to England and especially my beer money. I also think there is no more awesome kid on the planet than the one we have right now, and what if? What if we adopt again and there are problems? What if we are unexpectedly referred an older baby and I'm trying to deal with brokenhearted toddler grief instead of simple baby bewilderment? What if it changed my relationship with Nora? Sometimes I do think it would be nice for Nora to have someone's hand to hold in the funeral home, and to have someone who could say, "yeah, they sure were nuts" after LT and I are dead. Luckily, by that point I am usually all done thinking, because my thinking time is up and somebody needs me to edit a manuscript or pretend to be a snake (the two main demands on my time).

5. Don't ask me where she heard about it, but lately there have been many requests for "the train show," meaning Thomas The Tank Engine. Besides being severely dumb and severely British,* is there anything objectionable about this show? Any reason I should tell the old story about how it just isn't shown on our television? I have no idea where this gearheaded child came from, but she is a sucker for anything with wheels.

*British kids' stuff pretty much universally sucks, and a British person is also to blame for Teletubbies and that even weirder one with the giant neon uncircumcised penises that bounce around and sing nonsense syllables. Hey! England! What do you have against children, exactly?

5. On February 10 I seem to have agreed to do some kind of arts festival reading at Subterranean, along with a bunch of other blabbers and scribblers, although interestingly I cannot find one shred of corroborating evidence about this other than the emails sent to me by the organizer. Cue the Akbar: IT'S A TRAP! When I get more details I will share them with you, because you should come too---if it's legit there will be beer and me making an ass of myself in front of a microphone, and if it's a murder plot you can foil it and then I will be strangely beholden to you and things will be forever awkward between us. Okay!

6. I fucking hate this logo. I guess I have always known, somewhere in the brain-area where I keep Dumb Stuff, that the Notre Dame teams were known as the "Fighting Irish." However, I don't think I had ever seen the pictorial representation of the Fighting Irish until yesterday, on some Wrigleyville yahoo's jacket. What the hell is that? Not just a leprechaun, but a freakishly proportioned, dwarfish leprechaun. A bellicose leprechaun. A leprechaun who is too drunk or stupid to put his hat on properly, and prefers instead to wear it practically on his face, like the fraternal twin of those girls at graduation who cannot seem to understand that a mortarboard is an actual hat, and instead stick it on the backs of their heads with eight million bobby pins.

7. Nora has a thing about numbers lately, and particularly about counting on her fingers.

Nora: Right now I am two. [makes Nixon-esque hand gesture] But I will be three in one minute! [complicated, Black Gangster Disciple-type hand gesture] And then I will be four, and then I will be five. The whole hand!
Me: And then you will get even bigger! There are lots more ages to be.
Nora: Like what?
Me: Well, like six, and seven, and eight, and nine...
Nora [interrupting]: Yes, Mommy. I will do six and seven and the rest. But we can't worry about that now.

8. I finally started Consider the Lobster (and oh my god David Foster Wallace is SO MY BOYFRIEND), and the first essay in there is the thing he wrote for Premiere magazine about covering the adult video awards. I found the awards show bits less interesting than the porn-trade-show bits, where all the actors have to hang out in their production company's booths, and pose for pictures, and even sometimes (especially the lower-paid ones) do weird sex-show things where they perform for the conventioneers. DFW mentions girls masturbating with the handles of riding crops at least twice, once in person and once in some video bit, and it has kind of been bugging me ever since---why a riding crop? I know that it has that whole S&M angle going for it (which may explain why it ever shows up in porn in the first place, because it is just not the sort of thing regular people have around the house), and I guess the handle is probably about right for masturbation if you are the dildo sort. (Oh man that would be the greatest band name. The Dildo Sort. Or maybe an activity, like a barn raising or a quilting bee---if you have a bunch of dildoes to sort, you can invite the whole settlement over for a dildo sort! Many hands make light work, don't they Reverend Makepeace! Why yes they do, Goody Proctor!) But there are also these weird upper-crusty connotations to the riding crop, jodhpurs and stablehands and lady of the manor etc, that either speak to a serious streak of class anxiety in contemporary pornography or else I just need to go lie down.

---mimi smartypants knew you were coming, so she baked a cake.


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