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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

2004-04-06 ... 4:14 p.m.


1. A box was delivered to me while I toiled at my desk, and I thought hooray! This is the stuff I ordered from Barnes and Noble, using the gift card given to Nora for her birthday!

I did not totally steal it from her. A picture book and the They Might Be Giants children's album were included in the order. But there was money left over and how much media does one baby need? Some. How much media does Mimi need? A lot. So for myself I got a book about medieval religious anorexia and food obsession, as well as yet another book about parenting. I have been all about reading these lately, not so much the straightforward "advice" manuals (which tend less toward advice and more toward STERN ADMONISHMENTS) as the "essays about what a colossal mindfuck being someone's mother is." It is probably not such a good idea for me to read these, because there are a few editors and agents out there in Make-A-Buck PublishingLand who have sotto voce suggested that I write something like that myself. I certainly am obsessed with all things Nora,* and of course I write about her all the time in this dashed-off, unserious webspace, but frankly I am terrified of Writing A Book. That sounds, well, a lot like trying.

Also, if I were to start putting fingers to keyboard on a manuscript about my brand of motherhood, the very worst thing I could do for my confidence would be to embark on a reading jag of essays about the very topic I want to explore. That will lead me straight into a paralytic vortex of "who needs me?" When I read good creative-nonfiction books about parents and kids, I think "what could I possibly add to this?" and when I read bad ones I think "god, why would I want to add to this?" Either way, an argument could be made that this mommy-memoir stuff is a totally saturated mini-niche of a micro-genre, and that all of us thirtysomething first-time parents should just shut up and back away from our computers for a spell.

*It is like the worst crush ever. All conversational roads lead back to my daughter, every little thing she does is magic, etc. I would so be Google-stalking her if she didn't live in my house and wasn't fourteen months old. Because of those two things I am kind of well-versed in her internet trail and thus there is no need for the stalking. But I would. Oh how I would.

By the way, remember the box? The one I was going to open before I popped a Digressionex, the pill that makes you wander off topic? It contained scientific manuscripts, not Barnes and Nobles merchandise, and I was fooled by this one editor's habit of recycling shipping boxes. PHOOEY. FIDDLESTICKS. AND OTHER ELDERLY NON-SWEARS.

2. Yesterday I had an interview (a boy) who was very flirty with me the whole time. I was completely enjoying it until work-brain took over and suddenly I thought Wow, this is not appropriate! And he didn't buy me drinks or anything, he just made flattering comments about my professional attainment and intellect. Work-brain actually needs to take over more often when I am hiring, as I often forget that I am supposed to be asking pertinent questions and end up chatting with the candidate for thirty minutes about Chaucer or the Amazon pattern-matching algorithm.

3. Building Services was on my floor recently, ostensibly taking away old unused computer equipment but I worried that it was really TEAKETTLE RECONAISSANCE. You may remember that my teakettle sports all kinds of threatening homemade stickers, plus there was that lapel-pin silent protest I engaged in last year, and (don't know if I mentioned this one) the semi-cryptic slogans, like something the very tiresome Jenny Holzer would do except tea-related, with which I once papered my office door. But when I saw Building Services poking around I worried that would not be enough, and that fear combined with a slow afternoon led me to construct a miniature barbed wire fence out of paperclips and surround the teakettle with it. It is a symbolic barrier, of course, since it is only an inch high and doesn't stand up properly, but maybe it will send the right message. What I really need for the teakettle is a motion-detecting alarm, or a tiny pit bull.

I would stick around but my sister and I are off on a PANTSQUEST. This refers to shopping for pants, and not to stalking Misterpants, unfortunately. If we find pants---pants that do not make us cry with their frightening nobody-is-shaped-like-that unproportionality and their mistaken notion that we want to (a) show off our asscracks and (b) have the crotch be all up in our business---we are going to go drink some dollar Schlitzes in celebration. If we do not find pants, well, dollar Schlitzes should help with that too. PANTSQUEST! It could be a video game! Avoid the evil "greeters" at the door to the chain store! Run over the easy on/easy off shoes, for quicker dressing-room times! Don't worry about "Dry Clean Only" tags, the bottle of Febreeze in your utility belt will take care of that! You win when your lower half is sensibly clad (no asscrack in evidence), you've spent less than a typical grocery bill, and you are slumped on a barstool sipping a cheap cold beer from a can.

---mimi smartypants straight, no chaser.


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