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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

2003-04-07 ... 5:37 a.m.


1. The way that the cards leap and bounce around, suit by suit, when you win at Solitaire. No! Esc, Esc, Esc! Make it stop!

2. The horrible B-flat beeping of my office-lobby ATM machine when it spits your card out.

3. The feel of the large Tyvek FedEx envelopes. I hate them. I want someone else to open them.

4. The way some yoga instructors say "groins," plural. GROINS.

5. A bar that smells very strongly of bleach.


Last Wednesday afternoon, I am on the train (YEAH I KNOW I AM ALWAYS ON THE TRAIN WHAT IS YOUR POINT), feeling very cheerful because it is a sunny day and I got to go home at a reasonable hour, and because LT and I have planned an evening of grilling out and drinking beer (true to gender stereotypes, I am SideDishGirl, he is FireGuy). I have a grocery bag with me. I take an empty seat next to a guy wearing some manner of sports jersey. Middle-aged. Beard. African American. That is pretty much all I remember, and it doesn't even begin to explain what happened next, but there it is.

"What's in the bag?" he asks as soon as I sit down. Now you never know when you are going to run into some Grocery Anthropologist who is doing a ground-breaking study, and remember it is a cheerful sunny day, so I answer truthfully: dried apricots, wasabi peas, and a cucumber.

"Oh, a cucumber," he leers, chuckling assholically. (Is that an adverb? It should be.)

About now is where I give him a fifty-megaton dirty look. I would think twice about unleashing this look even on individuals as reprehensible as Mussolini or Bob Saget. This was high-octane; I was slightly shocked that such a blistering, no-holds-barred dirty look could come out of my eyes. If looks could kill, break out the pus-wiping rags because this dirty look would surely mean Ebola Time. (Ebola Time! Don't touch this! Dope in Zaire, magic in Sudan! Nice pants, Hammer!)*

He reels a bit from the force of the look and says, "Sorry, sorry, I was just joking with you." I don't say anything. "Come on, baby! It was a joke! You know I'm a nice guy, right?" I reply, "Actually, I think you've just proved yourself to be a creep with no social graces whatsoever."

He was nice and quiet for the rest of the ride, and I was free to read my book (The Twenty-Seventh City: mmm-mmm good, it's Jonathan Franzenical!). My innocent and wholesome groceries nestled at my feet.

*Disclaimer: Mimi Smartypants does not actually think fatal hemorrhagic fevers are funny. Well, maybe a little, but just in that "If We Don't Laugh, We Will Cry, And Then We Will Start To Scream, And Then We Will End Up Either Permanently Curled In The Fetal Position Or Washing Our Hands Every Twenty Seconds" way. But linking MC Hammer with Ebola virus was pretty funny, and maybe if the whole MC/DJ dichotomy makes a resurgence there could be MC Ebola and DJ Pustule, from Tha Funkee BioTERRORizm Crew, Yo Yo Yo Auugggh! Featuring the Toxic Foxes and the Anthrax Dancers! Fo Shizzle Smallpoxizzle! (Oh man I have a feeling I didn't do that right. I should have shizzolated the CDC site first, to get a feel for the syntax.)

I know there has been a lengthy caesura between updates here, but I have been more or less well. I want to qualify that right about now, because it is Monday morning, it has SNOWED here in Chicago (the freak April snowfall is becoming a weather tradition here), and I still have the taste of Sunday night despair in my mouth, the tea has not yet been able to wash it all away. Plus I woke up to NPR with Carl Castle saying "...the crackle of gunfire." I turned off the clock radio and lay there sleepily thinking, "the snap of new gas masks, the crackle of gunfire, the pop of anti-tank missiles," until the war/death/bloodshed/breakfast connection had been firmly established in my head, and now do you see why I am not cheerful in the mornings? Maybe I should change the station or switch to some benign chiming alarm clock.

Very brief weekend wrap-up: I did indeed go see The Bad Plus (for free!) on Thursday night with my comrade, and after our evening of Thai food, modern jazz, a subway ride in the pouring rain as (still on our dissonance high) we rambled excitedly about how interesting the world can be, followed by a few beers in an extremely dark bar, I had this terrible realization about the evening's activities: "Oh no," I said. "I think we're beatniks." The rest of the weekend was all about drinking and eating, as usual, combine my oral fixation with my slight dipsomaniac tendencies and set me loose on the weekend world, and that is what is bound to happen. I napped a lot, and had a dream that everyone had agreed to refer to red and white wine as "dark" and "light" wine, and also that it was now mandatory to explicitly sound the "L" in "salmon."

---mimi smartypants is the cruelest month.


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