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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

2003-04-10 ... 9:48 a.m.


Perhaps because I uncharacteristically drank liquor last night (two girly cosmopolitans with Miss P, in the bar part of an underground Italian restaurant on Dearborn, where they have this MONSTROUSLY KICK-ASS $10 antipasto buffet every night during happy hour time---the best $10 meal you are going to have in the Loop, and that is the truth), I ended up with very strange travel dreams. Dreams where I was in the Tokyo airport and LT was in Cairo checking out of a hotel, trying to catch an 8:26 flight to Tokyo to join me, and I called him on the cell phone at 8 pm and knew he wasn't going to make it. When I called, the display on my cell phone said QUORN, which, as I'm sure you know, is a fungus-based fake meat product that is quite popular in the UK but hasn't quite caught on here yet. In the dream I was not annoyed with his lateness at all, and we had a nice transcontinental phone conversation, and he said he was going to send our suitcase to Greece and I said that was a great idea, and that I would just hang out in the Tokyo airport until he showed up.

There was another, even stranger dream that was all science-fictiony, and was narrated by a blurry lime-green extraterrestrial being. The alien and I were conversing in a library and it was describing its home planet. Its home planet was based on waiting in line. Everyone waited in line, all the time, without knowing what they were waiting for; one giant queue of every being on the planet. As the seasons changed the character of the queue changed too---sometimes it was a twisty kind of very formal line, like lines to ride the rides at Disneyworld; sometimes it was an anarchic jostling line, like when the doors finally open at a big rock show; sometimes it was a line with those cool elastic crowd-control barrier things, like at the bank.

Waiting in line (or "on line," if you are some elderly New-York-style person), gets curiously emotional for many of us, notions of fair play and taking turns being drilled into our heads from when we were very tiny children. Just watch someone try to cut in line sometime and see what an awkward situation and, possibly, direct confrontation, it produces. I think many people feel sheepish about confronting someone who does things like that, because the logical part of our brains tells us it does not really matter all that much (I mean, usually we are not standing in line for heart transplants or emergency food supplies), but the kindergarten-justice* part of our brains wants to yell for the teacher or "accidentally" trip that boorish cutting-in-line oaf. And I don't want to sound like some sort of hysterical hell-in-a-handbasket Twitchell-style cranky commentator, moaning about the good old days, but part of me thinks that such unmannerly line-standing behavior is becoming more common. I was at a show at the Metro fairly recently and my Inner Elderly Aunt was becoming apparent as I witnessed hipster after hipster plow through the crowd to be near the front, which behavior is just unthinkable to me. OH GOD SOMEBODY SHUT ME UP I AM SUCH AN OLD LADY. Just watch, this webpage will become more and more etiquette-focused until my mind finally becomes completely deranged with candy and drink, and I begin to have delusions that I live in a time-collapsed anachronistic Miss Manners fantasy world, and every entry will be me ranting about how Total Stranger X did not tip his derby to me as I entered the streetcar, and on Maundy Thursday no less, I believe he is not a gentleman, I shall not invite him to the card-party.

*KINDERGARTEN JUSTICE! This would be a fabulous reality show! Take real accused criminals and let a panel of five-year-olds decide what to do with them! God, it would be hilarious to watch kids in judicial robes, with juice boxes and mouthfuls of cookies, sentence some DUI three-time-loser to eight billion wedgies and no television EVER, plus you have to eat liver and spinach, plus oh yeah when you throw up the liver and spinach you have to eat it again.

This morning from the bus window I saw a homeless guy lying on the ground in front of the Jewish Vocational Service center. He did not look like he had made much of an effort to find sleeping shelter, so I wondered if maybe he was ill, or dead, and wouldn't that be just a horrible urban Kitty-Genovese-style bummer if an entire busload of people gazed dispassionately upon the corpse of a homeless guy on their way to work, and, typically, I framed this sight in terms of how it affected my mental state---the dual-consciousness of being made uncomfortable by someone else's suffering and yet being completely unwilling to do anything about it, because frankly handling hobo corpses in my work clothes is not something I signed up for when I agreed to live on this planet. (Although I am mostly a die-hard materialist sometimes I like to get fanciful, and at those times I picture my before-birth existence as one giant college application, with Earth being the College Of My Choice, and I picture the Not-Yet-Me listing my interests and writing an essay and checking the boxes about whether or not I want to be selfless and altruistic and whether I ever, in my entire life, want to handle a hobo corpse.) We were stopped at the light for a long time and eventually the homeless guy started to sort of writhe around a little, which settled the fact of whether or not he was dead, but it still was not a pretty sight. Then his writhing started to look purposeful, and then out of the depths of his grimy pocket I saw him pull a rather large bowl and a rather large baggie full of marijuana, and he proceeded to pack the former with the latter. This made me instantly feel better about the whole scenario---not that I am saying it is a full-time joyous teddy bear picnic to be homeless and stoned but HEY AT LEAST YOU HAVE POT.

My only other anecdote today is that someone needs to come be Encyclopedia Brown with me and solve the mystery of why my upstairs neighbor sings the national anthem (poorly) nearly every day, sometime between six and seven in the evening. Is she being whipped into a patriotic frenzy by war coverage on the national news? Is she practicing for baseball season? It is truly weird, and it tends to happen while LT and I are eating dinner. Now we are actually starting to listen for it, and when it happens we have this routine where we salute our food.

---mimi smartypants said no to drugs but they didn't listen.


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