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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

2002-05-23 ... 6:15 p.m.

Warning: excessively Chicago-centric mini-entry. You can go do something else if you want.


1. There are these benches, at least one on every block and sometimes more, that are there for no reason other than as parking places for old people. In nice weather each bench is overflowing with the elderly, and old people who didn't get there early enough to snag a bench place sometimes bring milk crates or lawn chairs or other auxillary hanging-out equipment. The benches are not segregated by ethnicity but by gender, alternating babushkas and stooped-over old men (sometimes with chess boards). I also should point out that these are not bus stops, they are not in green park-type areas but right up against the street, and no other neighborhood in Chicago, to my knowledge, has these no-purpose benches. It is specific to Devon Avenue.

2. I can walk to amazing Indian food, wonderful sushi, and a 24-hour diner. Down the street there is an Uzbekistani restaurant, which sounds kind of disgusting based on my research, but I still think it is very cool that it is there. And sometimes the whole neighborhood smells like cinnamon sugar from all the kosher bakeries. Mmmmm.

3. Speaking of cinnamon, there is a synagogue less than a block from me that is very interesting architecturally. It has this spiral top and I think they meant it to look like a Torah scroll but to me it looks like a giant cinnamon bun, so I call it the Cinnamon-A-Gogue, which is very fun to say and makes me happy. Also, the end of my street features a giant light-up menorah, making it incredibly easy to give directions ("turn left at the giant menorah").

4. Watching the teenage Orthodox boys, in their black hats and suits, give each other soul-brother handshakes when they meet on the street.

5. The store called "Islamic Books and Things" (great name!), which is right next to a Russian bookstore, which is right next to a kosher bakery, which is right next to an Pakistani butcher shop, which is right next to an Indian candy store.


1. It's pretty filthy. Much filthier than the rest of Chicago. I don't think our alderman has much clout, as our streets are rarely cleaned. There is a lot of garbage and debris on the sidewalks too.

2. There is an Osco a few blocks away that is seriously some special circle of hell. Never, ever, ever think you are going to pop into Osco for a few things because you will be there the rest of your life. I know you think I'm exaggerating but trust me on this one.

3. The #155 bus does not run 24 hours, although it definitely should.

4. An overabundance of small children, especially in the summer. They like to play this game, it's called "Run Around And Scream A Lot." I think they are really into historical reenactments, only instead of the usual Civil War battles they focus on free-for-alls like the Watts riots or the Attica uprising.

5. I don't drive, so it doesn't really affect me much, but traffic on Devon Avenue is atrocious, particularly on the weekends.

---mimi smartypants is fighting fire with fire, she's going to try water next.


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