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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

2005-03-04 ... 6:58 p.m.


I have a library fine. I go to the library, find the books I want, head to the circulation desk, and explain to the extremely old, extremely slow, extremely crotchety woman working there that I have a fine, and I would like to pay it now, and I would also like to check out these here books. She very slowly takes my card (sighing with irritation the entire time), looks me up, and tells me the fine is two dollars.

"Okay," I say, handing her a twenty.
Big sigh. "You don't have two dollars?"
"You don't have five dollars?"
"Nope!" I say, defaulting to an air of manic, steely-eyed, slightly psychotic cheeriness, complete with giant teeth-baring grin, since I am determined to get through this without actually committing murder. "I have twenty dollars! Here you go!"

More heavy sighing. She takes my twenty-dollar bill with nose-wrinkling disgust, as if it had just been used to wipe shit off a statue of Hitler. Then she says, "You know, we can't change anything over a twenty. It's right there on the sign."

I pause to consider this head-explodingly stupid statement, and reflexively look at "the sign." THE HAROLD WASHINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY CANNOT ACCEPT BILLS LARGER THAN $50. I think about how I really should just stick with the manic, steely-eyed, slightly psychotic cheeriness, and not say anything. Shhh Mimi, murmurs Good Cop in my head. Let her have this one. But it is too late, Bad Cop is already fixing to put a verbal cigarette out on this woman's forearm. Bad Cop has the metaphorical phone books ready for the beatdown. Let's go, bitch.

"Actually," I chirp, ratcheting up the manic, steely-eyed cheeriness just a little higher, "this sign, which if you don't mind I'm going to take off your desk so you can have a better look, says that you can't change anything over a fifty."

"Huh," says library lady. "Well, it should say twenty. We run out of change all the time."

I decide to pretend I hadn't heard that and continue. "But even if we pretend that you were right, which you so weren't, and that the sign says what you thought it said, it matters not, since I gave you a twenty-dollar bill. Which is not a bill 'larger than' a twenty. Hey you know what's interesting? This entire discussion could probably be written out in symbolic logic notation. What with all these 'equal tos' and 'greater thans'."

She does not seem to find that interesting, and by this point has finally finished counting out my eighteen dollars. "Thank you!" I shout happily, perhaps taking the manic cheerfulness defense a bit too far, but it is too late to drop it now. "You have a GREAT DAY!"


This morning I was waiting for the train and an older white man, wearing business attire and carrying a briefcase, was not content to just stand on the platform and relax like everyone else but instead stalked the length of it, unnervingly close to the edge, while muttering to himself. It was making me paranoid, especially after the recent suicide at that very stop. The train came and the man did not jump into the void, but boarded instead, so there was one worry gone, but still his pacing and muttering had part of my brain wondering if he was about to pull some kind of Michael Douglas Falling Down scenario and take out a whole bunch of commuters, and thus I hustled over to a different train car. But lo, that was a grave error, because when I sat down I immediately noticed the Stench Of Hobo emanating from a different tweaky guy, with his arms tucked inside his jacket (a weapon! flashes my newfound paranoia), who if possible is muttering and stalking around even more than the businessman was, and adding a few tricks of his own such as yelling "FUCK!" every so often and spitting on the floor. I AM THE LUCKIEST EL-RIDING GIRL IN THE WORLD.


Maybe all the hand-jiving and jitterbugging and mumble-talking in my immediate crazy surroundings inspired me, or maybe I have the beginnings of spring fever, but all the rest of the way downtown I entertained many poor-impulse-control "what if?" scenarios. What if I grabbed this guy's ass? This guy, right here in front of me? Just got two hands in there and squeezed some booty? What if I turned to the art-school girl who just sat down next to me, took hold of her chin, and started kissing her open-mouthed? What if I walked the length of the train car giving each rider a pat on the head and saying "YOU HAVE A GREAT SKULL! ENJOY IT!" I was not even feeling particularly lustful or skull-appreciative today, I just had an incredible urge to do something different. Something really different.


Embarrassing Confession: I played the Outkast song "Claimin' True" several times in a row yesterday, and by the second-to-last time I was rapping along, and by the very last time I was rapping along in front of the mirror. Maybe I should turn this embarrassing confession on its head and keep practicing, get really good, and take my faux-Outkast on the road. You learn the song too, and then we can be partners! I get to be Big Boi, though. That's non-negotiable.

Between all the rap and watching multiple episodes of The Wire, my vocabulary has definitely deteriorated. Yesterday I tried to give LT one of those gangster handshakes, made a good point in a business meeting and then ruined it by asking, "Know what I'm saying?", and came perilously close to using what my mother calls "the N-word" on my coworkers, as a term of affectionate endearment.


I just opened a beer in front of Nora and was enjoying it to its very fullest when she observed, "Nora doesn't drink beer."

"That's right," I said. "Beer is for grown-ups. Nora doesn't drink beer."

After thinking on that for a bit, she asked, "Nora"

"No, wine is for grown-ups too," I said, skipping the part about how we live in the United States of Never-Really-Got-Over-The-Puritan-Thing and how forbidden fruit tastes twice as sweet and how the definition of "grown-up" is a very fluid thing indeed.

More thoughtful pausing from my daughter, who then said, emphatically, "Nora. Eat. Cookies."

Now that sounds like a plan.

---mimi smartypants has the strength of ten men, who each have the strength of ten men.


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