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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

2005-06-09 ... 11:54 a.m.

In between reading about horrific fatal bicycle accidents, horrific fatal acts of war, and horrific fatal mishaps of all kinds, I go to work today and do an editorial review of one of our medical journals, and every single article seems to be about someone who gets a headache and then suddenly DIES. The sixteen-year-old with a brain aneurysm, the third-trimester pregnant woman slipping into a coma, the firefighter who gets whapped on the head with a fire hose, feels a little funny a few weeks later, and then gradually loses the use of his legs (and then DIES). I know I edit medical journals, which are not known for spreading the happy fluffy bunny cheer, but reading and thinking about all this here-one-minute-gone-the-next stuff is making me jittery and sad, and a return of last year's eXtreme Mom Paranoia is looming on the horizon. You know, back when I was convinced that the kid would inhale a particle of dust in her crib and choke to death in her sleep, or that someone would pose as me (somehow knowing my name, Nora's name, school/teacher/room number etc) and kidnap her out of preschool, or that she would suddenly develop superheroine speed and dash out into the street without me being able to grab her, even when I am two inches away, on the street side of the sidewalk, and it takes her a few seconds to climb on and off her tricycle.

No more death, please. I'm trying to calm down my hamster-brain over here.


Nora's bedtime routine takes a good long while and goes like this: brush teeth, watch some TV, take bath, get wrestled into pajamas, read story, kiss and snuggle and repeat some ritualistic phrases, sleep. While she brushes her teeth I usually sing some retarded song about, well, brushing your teeth (there is nothing like having a kid to improve your play-by-play announcing skills), and then we talk about which TV program she wants (Sesame Street, Blue's Clues, or Maisy). Nora decides the choice of program based on some arcane formula of her own devising, but the other night she asked to watch "a duck eating pizza."

Me: Huh? What do you want to watch?
Nora: A duck eating pizza.
Me [baffled]: Um. How about Maisy?
Nora: No! No Maisy! A duck eating pizza!
Me: What is this duck eating pizza? Is this on TV?
Nora [increasingly agitated]: Mommy! Duck eating pizza! On TV! [garbled, stuttery explanation] EATING PIZZA!
Me [in "okay, let's move on" mode]: All done with teeth? Great! Let's go watch Maisy! Or maybe Blue's Clues?
Nora [filled with anguish at not being understood]: NO! MOMMY NO! NO BLUE'S CLUES! DUCK! EATING! PIZZA! [sobbing]

Christ on a cracker. I got her calmed down and we watched a non-duck-eating-pizza episode of Maisy, and she did not mention a duck eating pizza again that night.* After she was in bed I even browsed the TiVo menus to see if I could find anything that looked remotely like a show where a duck consumed pizza, to no avail. She does not watch TV with the babysitter, so that can't be it. Maybe she dreamed this.

I'm not sure Nora fully gets the concept of dreaming, but in the mornings I have started asking her what she dreamed about. So far, no ducks eating pizza: once she dreamed about "mommy being funny" (thank you! tip your waitress!), and once about "sleeping." Doesn't that sound restful? Dreaming about sleeping.

*Although she did bring up pizza-eating ducks the next day, and boy did I breeze quickly past that topic.
Nora: Mommy! Duck eating...
Me: Hey Nora! Want a cookie?


Phrasebook for Americans.

Pity the dolls.

Increase tractor production! Also, let us pull trains with our ears!

I think this stuff would be fairly kick-ass for one wall of a kid's room. Unless all that magnetism gives you brain cancer or something.

You chickenshit poltroon! Another awesome messageboard thread.


A few years ago, we made an aborted attempt to refinance our house with a guy I will call Jim Wilson. You can read an angry paragraph about that fiasco at the end of this entry. Since then, we have refinanced our house, successfully, with a different company, and Jim Wilson is nothing but a bad memory. Until yesterday, when I open up an envelope from our current mortgage company and find that Jim Wilson is now employed there, and here's a letter about how he would love to save us money, so give him a call because rates have never been lower! (Which, actually they have.) He included a fucking MAGNET with his stupid face on it! Does he not remember the angry letter I wrote him after he screwed everything up? What part of "I pissed on your business card" do you not understand?


Trader Joe's white cheddar popcorn is just about the only thing I want to eat these days. But I have a crazy phobic aversion to stuff on my hands, so I need a huge stack of napkins and maybe even a small finger bowl to periodically wipe the unclean white-cheddar dust from my person. Then I came up with the idea of popcorn tongs, which of course could also be employed for cheez doodles or any other finger-befouling snack. These are small tongs that would be sized for picking up popcorn, big enough to get several pieces in your mouth at once (this is not some stupid 1970s "diet tip" about eating with chopsticks or something---we're SNACKING here), but small enough to be manipulated easily while reading or watching TV. I experimented with ice-bucket tongs recently and think that with a little reengineering (flatter, more spatulate), they could be just the thing.

Of course when I mentioned my brilliant popcorn-tongs idea to LT, he made comments to the effect that it was very unlikely the world consumer market would be receptive to a product tailored to my own very particular neuroses, and that if he caught me eating popcorn with tongs he would have to recalibrate his perception of my craziness level. I know he loves me anyway though, and I am nearly certain that he is busy metalsmithing some Very Special popcorn tongs out of tin or aluminum for our anniversary tomorrow. Thanks, honey!

---mimi smartypants has a bit of a crush on the Supernanny.


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