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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

2006-05-30 ... 11:25 a.m.

Already discussed-to-death article on "lad lit"(I am always late to the party)---the author of this thing seems to hearken back wistfully to Catcher in the Rye as a novel about a young dude who did grow and change, an implication that I question. I mean, if you value idealistic doofus-ism over disaffected cynicism, that's fine---but if you ask me Holden Caulfield remained an idealistic doofus all through the novel. Which is kind of okay, because (as I clumsily try to express every few months or so) I have had enough of the kind of novel that you can diagram like a sentence---oh here is the protagonist growing and changing and having big-time self-realizations by the lamplight! Here she is coming to the conclusion that life should be more than married-two-kids-suburban-home! Here he is finally understanding that the girl back home was the right girl all along! I am not sure what exactly I want the novel to do, but easy epiphanies are not it.

The nearly-over month's other reading included Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir, which somehow managed to be both kind of mediocre and un-put-down-able at the same time. Here is the author's online thing, which I like unreservedly. I also continued my Percival Everett kick with Glyph. This was one of the few truly awesome novels I have read this year. And it is laugh-out-loud funny, if you are enough of a dork to enjoy jokes about Roland Barthes. (Hi, that would be me. Please don't take my milk money.) For more funny, I will re-recommend Diary of a Nobody, which you can read or re-read right here.

Oh! D140! Bolshevik costume! Halloween has been decided.


  • I had a terrible lesbian sex dream where I was going down on this girl and I just could not get her off, and the whole thing was dull and futile and suffused with overwhelming ennui and I would rather have no sex dreams at all than bad sex dreams. You hear me, brain? Thanks.
  • Although I think I mentioned the booze-soaked Montessori-school fancy dinner and auction, I do not think I mentioned that LT and I bid on something. And won it. This was done mostly because we were drunk, and because I had never been to an auction before, and because I was determined to hold up my little paddle at least once and pretend I was one of the Fancy People. (We will not talk about the bitter disappointment when I reached into our "bidding packet" and pulled out a plain old 8.5x11-in piece of paper with a big-font number laser-printed onto it. Would it have killed them to glue on a popsicle stick, so I could legally call it a "paddle"?) Anyway, one item toward the end was some kind of home-decorating package that included a credit at a big furniture store and one hour with a decorator. LT bid and since by that point everyone was bored and wasted, we ended up paying just the face value of the store credit, which was pretty cool. (I realize that getting a bargain is not supposed to be the goal of buying items at a charity auction, but my thrifty little soul just can't help it.)
  • We have not gone couch-shopping yet, but we have had the decorators over to sneer at our house. I tried to stay out of the way, but LT took notes. Some of their ideas were fine, like paint colors and maybe building window seats with storage for Nora's toys and so on. Some of the things they said were stupid and angry-making, like the many times they mentioned that we should put our vitamins away in a cabinet instead of having them out on the sideboard in a basket, as I do. Excuse me, but I live here, and I am not trying to sell my house but decorate it. So step off with your vitamin storage manifesto.
  • Having a decorator come over was so weird and not-me that I had to have emergency beer with Kat that night just so I could pretend it never happened. We went to Small Bar and drank them out of Bell's Amber, just by having three beers each. Hey BAR, since you're a BAR and all, you may want to consider having more than one six-pack of each thing.
  • Lately, if Nora needs to make a pronouncement, she gets in your face and says, "I know something." Then she tells you what she is thinking about. Because I am not a cruel parent, I usually say, "oh yeah? What do you know?" instead of getting all George Berkeley and countering that she doesn't know something, she only perceives something, or giving some smart-ass relativist answer like "man is the measure of all things: of things which are, that they are so, and of things which are not, that they are not." Which is still my very favorite pre-Socratic quote. I bet Protagoras got beat up a lot.
  • Tourist #1 consults a Chicago street map and says, "Which way is the water?" Tourist #2 says, "What water?" Mimi Smartypants gets on her high horse and thinks that while of course you don't need to be a geography wizard in order to travel to an unfamiliar city, you ought to at least be familiar with some basics. Like the fact that Chicago sits near some big-ass water.
  • I went to Whole Foods yesterday and the mere act of spending money at Whole Foods has the bizarre magical potential to make me feel like I am doing something good for my health and well-being. Which of course is total self-delusional bullshit. But the feeling persists, and if any marketing or store-design person ever figures out exactly what combination of factors combine to produce that "this store is more than just its merchandise" feeling, we should all buy stock in it.


The veterinarian's dire predictions and our family angst and our sketchy preparation of Nora* may have been a bit premature, as The Cat is still alive and reasonably well. She is chowing on wet food (she never used to enjoy it but her elderly appetite is suddenly all like MMMMM GRAVY), she is sitting on our laps with her yucky skeleton poking us, she is giving the kid dirty looks. Business as usual. I know that we will have to euthanize her soon (if she has another stroke/blood clot episode I think it is pretty much over), but I just don't feel right calling Dr. Death if the cat is going to trot right up to him purring and saying HELLO GIVE ME TREATS. So, uh, I'll let you know. Thanks for the sympathy and advice, regardless.

*By the way, nothing brings home the blah-ness of your non-religious view of death like trying to explain it to a small child. It was actually somewhat tempting to talk about angels and God's lap and other such things that I normally find ridiculous. We kept it simple, stressed the finality, and answered questions about the disposition of the body the best we could. Nora asked if the catís bones would be in a museum ("like dinosaurs")---I somehow don't think an early 21st-century domestic feline skeleton would be a huge draw, but we can check.

I have been peeing in cups off and on for weeks and now the doctors tell me that I need a CT scan. I have to go to the hospital, chug some gunk, and have someone take a look at my insides. All because of microscopic blood cells that I never would have known about if I had not gone to the damn doctor for a complete physical, you know, LIKE THEY TELL YOU TO. See where being a good girl gets you? It gets you all computed tomography-fied. My doctor is probably just being cautious, but of course there is The Worry. And The Anxiety. And the Don't You Dare Google It, You Hypochondriac Moron, Because The Internet Is All Worst-Case Scenario, All The Time.


Self-chosen outfit. Although it is so very inappropriate, I can't stop myself from assigning a certain "Baby Goes To Lilith Fair" quality to this photo.

At Chez Smartypants, we laugh in the face of OSHA regulations.

Anyone remember that Ed Grimley sketch?


My little gearhead is obsessed with bikes. She tears around the neighborhood on her tricycle and is agitating for a two-wheeler already. She will literally stop in her tracks and stare whenever a big-kid bike passes by. In the car yesterday we had yet another discussion about bicycles, wherein she was looking forward to a big-kid bike of her own, and I mentioned that bikes come in many colors and styles, and that some bikes even have pictures on them, and had she given any thought to the sort of bike she would like to someday ride?

Nora was quiet for so long that I wondered if she had fallen asleep back there, and then she finally said, "I would like a bike with Spiderman. And fire."

Oh how fucking excellent. Maybe even Spiderman ON fire! That suit has got to be pretty damn flammable. Stop drop and roll, Spiderman!

---mimi smartypants clawed her way to the top of the food chain.


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