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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

2004-04-21 ... 10:49 a.m.

It started when Mr. Ewington hurled the hamburger.

Oh oh oh oh oh. I want them.

The letter Q.


1. Positively Fifth Street: I liked the writing, but I wanted more murder and less poker.

2. Fortress of Solitude: Really good. A friend of mine thought the "magic ring" bits ruined the story, but I disagree.

3. The Lovely Bones: Blah. What was all the fuss about? Flat. Manipulative. I skimmed the whole second half.

4. Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order: Not done yet, but it's making my brain hurt in a good way. I also love science books where the author says, "If you don't care about ____, turn to page xxxx." Because I often don't! Care, that is! Thanks, pointy-headed science author!

It is a gray and unspecial day here in Chicago, and I am feeling gray (literally: my one-side-only streak of gray hair seems to have doubled in width overnight, which is odd since I do not remember becoming particularly freaked out, Scooby-Doo-style, recently) and unspecial (flat, flimsy, unnecessary---like that rectangle of cardboard inside the pantyhose package) myself. I feel weirdly sensitive to stimuli. The light in here is the wrong color, the way my sock keeps bunching up inside the shoe makes me want to weep, water tastes funny. I have a sore throat on one side only, which may be partly my fault as the other day I tried to get Nora to unleash her inner riot grrrrl by loudly singing Bikini Kill songs while she played her toy snare drum. For educational purposes, I combined this punk rock hootenanny with a little tutorial ("Okay, sweetie, this is Kathleen Hanna. She's a professional pain in the ass, and I mean that as a compliment."), but Nora was already onto the next thing. Not that I blame her, because who wants to listen to faux-Greil-Marcus nostalgic dronings about "the music of my youth"? I've been tuning out my dad's speeches about Eric Clapton for years.

Today at lunch I braved the gray and went to the library, returning two books and picking up five, because I'm a greedy American like that. There are people in the Third World who have NO BOOKS, and I have a great big alphabetized stack of unread ones, with assorted New Yorkers slipped in at the appropriate "N" slot.


1. The gray.

2. Moaning Jesus Guy, who was really pushing the limits of atonality today.

3. The woman on the train (yeah, I took the subway to go 1.5 miles. Blame it on the gray.) who was wearing the most amazingly ill-advised outfit---a too-small top that showed off a large flap of her weirdly slack stomach fat, and ultra-low-rise jeans exposing nearly all of her thong underwear in the back. Keep in mind that I'm not hating on the pudgy here; the outfit would have been equally horrific and hoochie-mama on anyone. But seeing someone hanging out all over the place is a sort of unsettling wake-up call, since there are many clothing items that I reject as being not right for my physique (said physique being short and somewhat lower-half-curvaceous but still within society's [ridiculous, punishing] standards of "acceptable"). (The normal-person way to express the above would be something like "There are clothes I consider myself too fat to wear" but that makes no sense to me: how can you be too fat for clothes? Clothes exist to serve you. Ah, how I wish ready-to-wear had never been invented and we all just visited the tailor occasionally.) Anyway, there are clothes that I consider myself too fat to wear. Thus it is slightly startling to encounter people, such as this hoochie mama, who apparently do not feel the same way. But, you know, whatever. Mostly I disapproved not so much of her outfit as of the fact that she was sitting in front of me and yelling at her child for crying. YES. WE ALL KNOW HOW WELL THAT WORKS.

My heart nearly breaks whenever I see a kid crying or tantrumming in public. They don't want to behave that way, they really don't. It is like an adult having a panic attack---you would rather not freak out right in the middle of Marshall Field's, but sometimes life is overwhelming. And when you are small and helpless you cannot even get yourself to a public bathroom or parking garage to have your episode. So imagine yourself having a panic attack or even just having a moment of Hugely Big Giant Messy Feelings, and when you express those feelings the person you are with starts screaming at you to cut it out or better yet, whacks you on the ass. Of course this goes the other way, too. There is nothing worse than some yuppie parent trying to patiently reason with a screaming, spastic two-year-old, trying to talk her through all kinds of "choices" and MY GOD, she can't even HEAR YOU. The panic attack or seizure analogy is particularly appropriate in the case of tantrums---flee the scene, administer (emotional) first aid.



Nora has a new word and a new obsession: babies. She likes to point out babies on the street, on diaper packaging, on television, and although she did identify the Quaker Oats Guy as being a baby,* she is usually right. "Baby" is pronounced more like "baba" at this point, but the advice books say that any sounds used to refer to the same thing, time after time, count as a "word." Enjoy this leniency, kid! It will not fly when you start playing Scrabble!

*In her defense, the Quaker Oats Guy does have a rather cherubic face.

Nora also will now say "mama" when prompted, with a wonderfully strange fake-French accent that makes it sound like "meh-meh." There is a tiny, female, Chinese version of Peter Sellers living in my house.


1. Receiving spam that told me to "update my johnson." I immediately forwarded this to LT, since he is still using Schlong 2.0.

2. The INNER LIGHT HAIR SANCTUARY, an actual hair salon seen in Evanston, but you'll have to take my word for it since I can find no listing.

3. The wonderful cell phone conversation on my bus the other day. A gangly hip-hop kid answers his phone, chats for a while, then suddenly gets angry. "Hell no!" he yells. "I ain't no pancake!" [...] "I told you, I ain't no pancake, dog!" [...] "Fuck you, I ain't no pancake. Fuck you, nigger. I told you, I ain't no pancake." This went on for a while, with me faking like I was reading my book but getting more and more excited. This kid is not a pancake! I need to know more!

I redoubled my listening efforts and, from context, managed to learn that Mr. Not A Pancake is a Vice Lord (there are still Vice Lords? How quaint!), and whoever was on the phone was trying to get him to convert (or "flip"---presumably, like a pancake!) to a different gang. So I guess gang leaders are like long distance services now, constantly calling you up and trying to get you to switch.

It was so very tempting to pull out my own cell phone and start yelling into it LISTEN MOTHERFUCKER, I AM NOT FRENCH TOAST, just to join in the fun.

---mimi smartypants has been fucking busy, and vice versa.


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