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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

2006-04-06 ... 2:31 p.m.


I have a butternut squash sitting in my wine rack (mostly just because it fits there, although I cannot resist making jokes about "the buttery, nutty finish of this lovely vintage from Honduras" whenever I go to pull out a bottle), and I cannot remember why I bought it or how it was going to be used. "Why did we buy this squash?" I ask LT. "How was it going to be used?" He always patiently replies that "we" bought it because I put it on the list, so he put it in the cart just like the list told him to (he does the shopping). As for how it was going to be used, he points out that he has no freaking clue (I plan the meals). I will have no trouble thinking of ways to eat the squash, but I am a little disturbed that DARK FORCES FROM AN UNSEEN REALM guided my hand to write "butternut squash" on the grocery list without my consent or knowledge. Because that is undoubtedly what happened. It was not a memory lapse or a vague craving for squashy soup or risotto. When in doubt, always blame the dark forces from an unseen realm. Always.

Saying that LT does the shopping reminded me of this weird shopping-related routine he and I have. Whenever tampons are on the list, he will come home, unpack, hand over the box with this upset look on his face, and then stutter, "Are you...are you're going to..." and then I interrupt and say, with the detached and condescending air of the movie-cliché Jerk Surgeon who tells you it's terminal, "Yes. I am going to insert these tampons, one at a time, as needed, into my vagina." And then LT will pretend to be completely freaked out and horrified, and walk away muttering and shaking his head. Is spending a lot of your "couple time" performing strange insular comedy routines for each other normal? I hope so. By the way, although you did not need to know, my preferred tampons are called "Beyond." Beyond what? Their website says "Beyond The Ordinary" but I don't know, the tampons are pretty ordinary. And that is a good thing.

An even more upsetting product name is on my underpants. I just noticed that my favorites are printed with the words "Barely There," which is apparently some sort of subdivision of the "intimate apparel" sector of Sara Lee (Nobody Doesn't Like A Cotton Crotch!), and which also sets up this weird Schrödinger's-Cat thing inside my pants. Am I wearing underwear or not? Well, I "barely" am. It is not a binary thing. The underwear sort of shimmers on the edge of existence. It's like I'm not wearing any, and then I take off my pants and oh hey, there it is.


1. Nora is going to start taking a "tumbling" class, through the park district, because it's cheap and because she is a crazy little 26-lb monkey who can now climb higher than her height on the school gym's climbing wall. She seems excited about this, but I worry that her expectations are a little high, because she has already stated that in this class she will learn how to do a "hand somersault" [cartwheel], "flip around and around" [danger!], and "ride a unicycle" [Nora, I don't think it's a circus class, exactly]. Hopefully she will not come home pissed that all they did was walk on some narrow board.

2. I have to confess that I have never understood the "this is not a restaurant" attitude toward kids and family dinners. Little-kid food is so easy to prepare---is it such a huge hardship to get out some baby carrots or boil some macaroni or smear some peanut butter on saltines? Is anyone's toddler really requesting a separate, fancy cooked meal? You can put a P for Pushover next to my name in the Parent Directory if you like, but I have no problem with tossing together a few staple foods for Nora on the days when LT and I are having something spicy or acquired-taste-ish. We had one of those days recently, and when I asked Nora what she would like for dinner instead, she asked for edamame and polenta. No problem, I said, and set about microwaving, and then had a creepy moment of great elderly-ness when I realized that I don't think I knew about those foods when I was ten. And she is three. Not that she is some kind of precocious gourmet genius, but rather that food sure has come a long way since I was small. And somehow this paragraph has gone from "I am this kind of mother" to "Oh, kids these days," which just goes to show that I am not only an unoriginal diarist but am also losing my mind. (WHAT WAS THE PLAN FOR THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH?)

3. Best Nora line EVER EVER EVER: "I don’t believe in Switzerland."

4. I blame Thomas The Conformist, Pansy-Ass Tank Engine for my child's latest annoying habit of excessive narration. Thomas and his bitchy, queeny friends were books before they were a television show, and for some reason the show retains the narrative conceit---a big book opens at the beginning, and a guy "reads" the story to you, using more or less the same voice for all the characters. Somehow the style has spilled over into Nora's brain, and every once in a while she slips into meta-mode, where she'll say, "Can I have a snack?" and then add "asked Nora." Let's go outside! Exclaimed Nora. You pretend to fall in the water and I will rescue you. Ordered Nora. Wow, this is really getting old! Noted Mommy.

5. These goggles are of her own design, although she had some help poking the holes and tying the pipe cleaners. I let her wear them out to a restaurant because she was fixing to make a big hairy deal of doing so and really, who cares.


I picked my cat up the other day and was shocked at how different she feels in her old age (14 is our best guess since she was a shelter cat). She was formerly pleasingly plump, and while she looks about the same she is really just a bag of bones with a slack flap of cat-skin hanging down from her belly. It is just the illusion of fat. I don't want to take her to the vet, as I am pretty sure the same old "your cat is very old and will die, but not in a particularly quick or slow or painful way" non-answers will be revealed. I have been trying to pay more attention to her, which feels kind of awkward and lame (Cat! Come here so that I can pet you a lot, because I'm worried you'll die soon!) My new policy of Extreme Cat Niceness has even extended to her silly food issues, because periodically my cat decides that hours-old kibble in her bowl is gross and stale and she hangs around the feeding area whining for fresh new food. Previously I had been very "rare meat is good for you, the doctor said so" about this, and always refused to put more in until her bowl was empty. But life is too short, cat lives even shorter, so now I dump and replace. The senile old feline deserves to have it her way once in a while, particularly since we did radically change her life by adding Ms. Nora to the mix.


Tomorrow is the day when I attempt to speak to high-school students about creative writing, which is going to be interesting because "creative writing" is something in which I do not entirely believe. I am supposed to read them some excerpts from my book/website as well, as long as I can find excerpts that are not sperm-drenched or foul-mouthed. I may have a long, headache-inducing night ahead of me as I tunnel through my own archives like an online ouroboros.

---mimi smartypants rubs 'til it bleeds.


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