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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

2002-06-06 ... 9:34 a.m.

My "I Am A Superhuman UberFrau And I Don't Need To Sleep" phase has ended, I think, for the time being. Night after night of too little slow-wave sleep came smashing down on me like a stack of plates in the arms of a drunken waiter, who will be fired as soon as he gets to the end of his shift, and he'll go home and smoke a joint and think about how it's not fair, his whole life is such a fucking mess and why should he have to work anyway, he's an ARTIST goddammit and he can't be held to the bullshit societal standards of the workaday world, and then at 3 am he'll put on his old Replacements records and sing along loudly until the neighbors pound on the walls.

The consequences of the Smashing Plate-Stack of Not Enough Quality Sleep are that I am really spacy and sleepy and strange, and in order not to doze off on the train this morning (I don't like sleeping on the El, even in the safe and commuter-friendly mornings, because you never know when a pickpocket or a public masturbator will strike, and besides I don't really want total strangers to watch me sleep) I had to jiggle my leg and chew the inside of my cheek and tap out Vivaldi concertos with my fingers, which hey guess what! makes me look like one of those colorful subway crazies I always talk about! What goes around comes around, Mimi Smartypants!

Yesterday I got to go out to breakfast. It was lovely and charming and made it the second day in the row in which I had eaten something in flapjack form (potato pancakes this time). Don't you just love the word "flapjack"? It sounds like some dirty Original Gangsta word (in fact I am surprised that gangsta rappers haven't appropriated it as slang yet) but really it is just a lumberjack-y sort of word. FLAPJACK LUMBERJACK would be a good album title or racehorse name (it's yours if you want it), and I think today will be all about saying "yo, flapjack motherfucker" in my best Dr Dre impression. Jacking the flap! Flapping the jack! FLAPJACK!

Yes. But. This was supposed to be more of a narrative update, writing the who what when where why of my days, so that my life will stay pinned down in one place and not go squirting all over the operating room like a slippery liver.


I went to my violin lesson and Paul gave me a huge amount of practice material and homework (luckily I won't have a another lesson for two weeks). We spent a lot of time on third position intonation, and discovered I have fourth-finger (pinky) issues, and have to seriously contort and stretch and twist my hand/arm/elbow wrist in order to throw the finger out far enough, particularly in the lower registers. All of a sudden he stopped talking and took my violin, holding it up and staring at it for a long time. "Try mine," he said, and handed me his instrument. I played the same passage and my mouth literally fell open. IT WAS EASY. No ridiculous stretch, no contortion that breaks the whole flow of the piece, no sketchy intonation. "Your fingerboard is too long," he said. "Your whole violin is built on a slightly larger scale than mine." We got out a measuring tape and sure enough, my fingerboard was a tiny bit larger than his, and little differences mean a lot when you are talking about something with the need for precise delicate minute differences in intonation like a violin. And remember, I have little puny paws and he has big huge mitts, so the difference was even more pronounced.

My question is: HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Who steered me wrong? I bought my instrument right before I started high school, and of course I went to Bein and Fushi and tried all different instruments (before eventually buying mine someplace less snooty), and I don't remember having this fourth-finger intonation problem back then. So there are two possibilities: (1) my violin has always been slightly too large for me, and my teacher at the time as well as the instrument consultant who helped me buy it were just fucking idiots and didn't notice; or (2) I am shrinking.

What to do about this bizarre musical problem: (1) Deal with it. Find fingering workarounds (although you do have to use fourth finger at some point, no matter what). Tune slightly sharp and avoid open strings as much as possible. (2) Science. Find a way to develop acquired Marfan's Syndrome. Have an engineeer develop a large bendy cyberhand to replace mine. Fly to Mexico or Sweden and have some sort of experimental hand-stretching surgery. (3) Buy a new, correctly sized, violin. (Oh sure. Let me just go get that extra eight grand I keep in the sock drawer.) (Then again, there's always crime: who wants to help me go knock over a liquor store or three? It's for a good cause.) (4) When Paul's not looking, switch my instrument with his.


1. I saw a guy wearing three baseball caps all at the same time, stacked one on top of the other.

2. A teenage boy (with the requisite big pants, bad posture) caught my eye and said, "Is that a violin?" When I said yes, he affected extreme casual disinterest and asked, "What school do you go to?" while simultaneously blushing a bit. It was so damn cute and yet I am WAY TOO ELDERLY TO STILL GET CHATTED UP BY HIGH SCHOOL BOYS ON THE CITY BUS. I blame the ponytail.

Speaking of blame. Even if you think you are not a Mystery Science Theater fan, you must watch I Accuse My Parents if you ever get a chance. It is my super-favorite.

So much fog today---the entire Hancock Building has been erased from my office window, Magic Slate top sheet lifted clean off. The drift of this day is northerly. I keep expecting to hear foghorns and waves slapping but then I sniff the River North smells of coffee, garbage, and burnt cocoa instead of ocean and remember where I am. (Because the ocean smells like nothing but itself.) If there was ever a day more suited for OK Computer I don't want to know about it.


The only subway in Africa. It comes recommended by me: a lot cleaner than the rest of Cairo and more useful than it may at first appear.

Oh have the most beautiful halo around you...ohmygod I love this song!

---mimi smartypants clings tenaciously to the storm window.


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