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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

2006-05-10 ... 2:41 p.m.


I just spent an hour freaking out about bird flu, and then I forgot about it and got back to work. My freakouts tend to be intense but short-lived: I Google, I freak, I obsess, I what-if, and then I wash my hands a lot and get on with my life. Whenever the CDC does things like make downloadable PDF brochures about Preparing Your Family For The Coming Pandemic I feel much more suspicious than reassured, and have strange fantasies about bursting into their building in Atlanta and screaming WHAT DO YOU KNOW? WHAT AREN'T YOU SAYING? It does not help that the "family preparation" checklist is kind of strangely written, full of canned food and bottled water and flashlights, which to me is more in the "natural disaster" vein than the "lots of old people get sick and die" vein. Flu pandemic would be awful, surely, but why is the CDC anticipating looting?

This morning too there was a crazy guy on my train, ranting the usual crazy-guy rant about Jesus is coming* and we will all burn in hell because of our drinking/smoking/fornicating ways, and that was nothing to worry about except he kept interjecting things like "This is your last day on earth" and "Listen closely because this is the last time you will hear my voice," which briefly made me think SUICIDE BOMBER. But on the other hand that is really really improbable and why would an apocalyptic Jesus-freak want to blow himself up and miss all the fun? If you are so convinced the Rapture is on its way, stick around and wait for it, right?

*1. Look busy!
2. Somebody get a towel!
3. I once saw a van that had JESUS IS COMING on the left side of the license plate and one of those ESCAPE TO WISCONSIN bumperstickers on the right. Ha!

So I think I need to stay away from bird-flu news stories for a good long while. I probably need to stay away from crazy people too, at least while in this paranoid mental state, but that cannot happen because (a) I take public transportation everywhere and (b) I am addicted to Internet messageboards. However, the messageboards don't usually make me paranoid, they just make me hate people. Is that better? I do not know.

It might be more accurate to say that reading too many messageboard makes me hate women, which is a way I really do not want to feel. But it is difficult, after reading some of my favorite type of drivel, which is mostly in the "parenting" category or the "my husband doesn't help around the house blah blah blah" category. (I don't even know where to begin with some of those people. Many of them write about unilaterally drawing up "chore lists" and handing them over to their spouses. If anyone ever tried to give me a "chore list" that person would soon be eating it, and I cannot imagine why some of these men [presumably] put up with that.) LT does not understand my masochistic streak when it comes to things online, so he is usually the one saying "don't read that, it makes you crazy" and then rolling his eyes when I try to explain that I HAVE to, and ohmygod, listen to this latest outrageous anecdote about invisible people that you don't even know, not even in a fake online way.

One of my favorites is this crunchy-hippie forum where there are many threads on "consensual living." This mostly means that parents should not impose fascist rules like bedtime or "three cookies only" or the monitoring of TV content on their children, because children are naturally self-regulating and can decide those things for themselves. Because everyone has heard a toddler say, "That's enough M&Ms for one night, Mother, and it is getting rather late so I think I'll turn in now." Interestingly, this messageboard of PeacefulRainbowUnicornFamiliesLivingWildAndFree has some rather strict and draconian "moderation," where anyone who dares to post a dissenting opinion gets kicked off. Thus I could not pop into the thread where a woman let her son eat a BOWL of sugar because he was "curious about it" and post "I can't wait until he gets curious about bourbon!" Complete with smiley face emoticon, of course.

And that's another thing: the stupid little smileys and symbols that all these hippies have in their signatures. There is one for cloth-diapering, one for breastfeeding, one for co-sleeping, one for being pro-whooping-cough anti-vaccinations. If I were to go all the way with my infiltration, I would have to invent my own symbols just out of spite: a disposable diaper being tossed on a landfill, a syringe, and maybe a schoolhouse with the words MY KIDS above it and the words AREN'T IGNORANT below. Because I will take schoolschooling over homeschooling any day of the week.

(Except for my well-documented hot buttons about homeschooling and vaccines, I have to say here that I don't object to any particular practice like co-sleeping or cloth diapers or whatever. I just hate the smug smarminess of trumpeting these things with little cartoons, as if it makes any difference to the actual content of your posts.)

Besides, if we want to elect someone Attachment Parenting Queen, it is clear that my daughter Nora will win. Recently we were talking about sisters, and about how her aunt is my sister, and she asked if she had a sister. I told her no, she doesn't (that we know about, although that is a whole other sad Adoption Subject that did not need talking about right that minute). She suggested we get a sister. A baby sister. Since we have no plans in that direction right now, I stayed neutral and we talked about this as an amusing hypothetical---at one point I asked, "Where would the baby sleep? Where would we put a crib?" And Nora countered with, "She could just sleep in our arms." Paging Dr Sears: you have a new minion.


Last weekend was the schmancy school dinner/auction/fundraising, which LT and I attended out of pure curiosity and a desire to have a Nora-free evening out (it has been a while). There was SO MUCH FREE BOOZE. During the silent-auction bit there was an open bar about every ten paces, plus waiters circulating with trays of already-poured wine and champagne. Lots of wine with dinner and the bars were open after dinner too. I also learned that Montessori parents can get pretty damn rowdy, and that some people have enough money to just stand up during dinner speeches and randomly donate ten grand to a private school.

One of the silent auction items was titled "A Day Of Watersports At Lake Geneva" and LT and I are sick and wrong because we kept saying "a whole DAY? The winner is going to be so chapped. Chapped with urine." What a horrible prize for the unaware! Surprise! It's not just waterskiing! There was another item called "Man's Package At A Local Salon" and I so badly wanted to slip over with my pen and write "Fondle A" in front of those words.


Restroom cleaning technology for a new millennium. I can't quite figure out why this is hosted on a Notre Dame site, and I can't remember how I found it, but it made me laugh because it uses the phrase "new millennium" five times. I also enjoyed the quote, "Graffiti spreads like wild fire in a dry forest," because it kind of sounds like a Bruce Springsteen lyric.

---mimi smartypants is the fastest land mammal.


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