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

2007-03-16 ... 10:57 a.m.


1. On the back of my teabag wrapper:

There is a garden overlooking the Yangtze River gorge where an elderly man contemplates his life while sipping a cup of Green Ginger. Perhaps you would like to join him.

Okay, but how long is he going to be there because I'm in Chicago right now...

My other thoughts were that (a) this is either really stupid teabag copy or a really awesome "Missed Connections" ad and (b) maybe an old guy contemplating his life in a secluded garden was actually in search of solitude; are we sure the tea-drinking public should just barge on in? Who is speaking, anyway? This omniscient narrator knows the location of the elderly man, his innermost thoughts, and his beverage preference but neglects to give me his name? Oh, the whole thing is making me very angry, I have to stop now. Just throw away the wrapper and drink the tea, Smartypants.

2. Linked to death already but how can I resist the lesbian koalas? Slightly stoned, slow-moving, cuddly lesbians with razor-sharp claws and a tenacious grip? There is no way to resist that.


Nora has this kid in her class who is just a complete melonhead if you ask me. He is a skinny redhead and I am all about making fun of the Irish, especially so close to their special day, so we will call him Angus. Angus is perpetually scowling and perpetually pissed off. His mom looks exactly like him, right down to the scowl. I think he is five or six (the Montessori school has a mixed-age class).

Nora occasionally has a story about her contact with Angus---he pushed her in line (she was really baffled about that---"I didn't do anything!"---which made me smirk a little because, as you may remember, historically she HAS "done something"), he pulled her hair while she was doing her work and had to go sit in the "Think About It" chair, etc. She got dressed for school today in one of her many skull-and-crossbones pirate t-shirts and said:

Nora: Angus has a skull on his backpack.
Me: Sounds cool.
Nora: Last time I wore this shirt Angus said he didn't like it. I said I like it. Angus said, "Be quiet, I don't like you. Your shirt is stupid and youíre stupid too."
Me: What did you do?
Nora: I thought to myself, "I need to find a different friend."

WHAT THE HELL ANGUS. Why are you such a crab? Why is your mom such a crab? Why are you (reportedly) giving unsolicited fashion advice and impromptu IQ assessments to your classmates? Angus, go sit in the Think About It chair. For about a month, or however long it takes for your unpleasant developmental phase to pass.

However, I am proud that Nora seems so Whatever about the incident. And I am proud of myself that I managed to refrain from telling her to say, "You can kiss my butt" the next time there is an Incident.


First the good: The Enchanters vs Sprawlburg Springs, written by Chicago's very own King of Knock-Knock Jokes, Brian Costello. This is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, because it is kind of a baggy shaggy goofball narrative with a lot of funny/surreal/satirical details. I like those things, so I liked this book.

By coincidence I had also just read Featherproof's other most-famous offering, Sons of the Rapture, and could not even finish it. Good reviews all over the place, but this book and I just could not get started, we didnít even get hands under clothing or partake in even the most minimalist half-hearted dry humping, and I finally decided that life was too short and put the book back in the library slot. It's not you, Todd Dills, it's me---of this I am sure. I very much enjoy your other stuff, particularly For Weeks Above the Umbrella, which I carried around for weeks so I could re-read odd bits during the day.

Now the bad: An acquaintance lent me Thinking Class: Sketches of a Cultural Worker. I was all a-twitter because I love academic explorations of class, the bastard stepchild (literally) of the race/class/gender triangle that almost never gets discussed, because even the most dedicated tenured onion-peeler tends to give up, pressing weary wrist to forehead and weeping at how complicated it all is. (The ones who weep less and forge ahead more tend to be sociologists and anthropologists, as in the Unequal Childhoods book I mentioned a while back.) So yeah, the description of Thinking Class sounded great and I was excited to read it, but my excitement dwindled with every page I skimmed. Not an original exploration at all but a re-hash of old ideas, a collection of rambling thoughts on the author's upbringing, and a "refutation" of strawman arguments that are not even cited or documented.

Oh whatever, like I'm so cogent and put-together. But I wanted "analysis" and not "memoir," damn it. I also had a knee-jerk personal-bias moment when the author suddenly mentioned that as a child she was "ritually abused." The quotation marks are there not because I necessarily doubt her claim (not touching that one with a ten-foot pole), but because the very mention of those words = red flag. Sorry if my inner skeptic offends anyone but seriously, red freaking flag.

How ironic that I dismiss the memoir of a working-class "scholar" who writes about privilege! Look at me, with the privilege to dismiss! And the privilege to use sarcastic quotation marks around the words "scholar" and "ritually abused," because I am obviously the authority here! Privilege is just busting out all over. I am going to start whining about the non-fabulousness of my Super Sweet Sixteen party any minute now.

On the other hand, a woman with true class (in the etiquette-book, not socioeconomic, sense of the word) would probably not have taught her flu-stricken daughter to lick her wrist and then throw back the little cup of cough medicine like a tequila shot. Four-year-old Nora's dose is now too big for the baby syringe, and during this last illness I got tired of her taking eensy sip after eensy sip while complaining about the taste. So I demonstrated the proper technique with salt and my own wrist and a shot glass of water, and told her that "this is how people quickly drink something that tastes bad." (But tequila tastes GOOD! protested my brain. Be quiet brain, we're trying to parent over here.) Nora is a sucker for procedures and processes, so she learned the routine and now knocks 'em back like a big girl. We skip the lime, that's just empty vitamins.

---mimi smartypants don't need no stinking citrus.


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