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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

2002-06-11 ... 11:36 a.m.

The Sun-Times Weather Word (not that I care) for today is SWAMP-LIKE. Please be on the lookout today for alligators, muskrats, carnivorous plants, mysterious creatures, and barefoot toothless people carrying banjos.

(Swamp bats? Playing baseball?)

People. How long have I been occupying a barstool at the Gold Star Bar? Drinking cheap beer, eating popcorn, ruling the jukebox? I knew all about its heyday as a speakeasy, and the tunnels down below that supposedly led out onto Division Street. I knew that you used to be able to hire a prostitute and take her upstairs to the rooms for rent. I knew that if Philip tries to hug you, you should squirm away and tell him no, and if that doesn't work, you should kick him in his trick knee (or ask Susan to do it for you). And yet I did not know that it is haunted. Many of the employees have stories about sightings or weird happenings in the front of the place, near the pay phone, and in fact a wanna-be armed robber was shot in the doorway by a bartender in the 1950s. You learn something new EVERY DAMN DAY.

This place wins, hands down, for Chicago's coolest bar name. LET'S GO!

Sorry for all the booze-related mumblings (oh that's okay Mimi we're used to it), but the slightly acrid yet pleasant taste of Old Style is much on my mind today. After today I am on a mini-sabbatical from work, not going back until Monday, and thus today is kind of blip blip meandering pointless. For some reason I am insisting on calling it a "sabbatical" rather than just "two vacation days and one comp day." The word "sabbatical" lends it a serious air, as if I will be doing something of note rather than just reading, thinking, cleaning out closets, drinking, and goofing off. If anyone wants to come along and help me compile a taxonomy of drunks, let me know.

LT is just about the nicest LT a smartypants could have. To mark the anniversary the following were presented to me: very strange flowers (I am a huge fan of strange flowers), a box of Godiva (one piece a day, it's a ritual with me), a pen shaped like a chicken, and a small and weird copper figure that we decided is supposed to be a slightly surprised and mentally challenged monkey. We went out to a wine bar and ate all kinds of garlicky cheese and secretly rolled our eyes at the conversation of a gaggle of Trixies near us: however, without the benefit of their shrill high-volume chatter I would not have known that the best places to meet guys were the car wash, the dog park, and the salad bar at Whole Foods. (Can you imagine chatting someone up at the salad bar? To me that's kind of creepy. "Oh, you like chickpeas? Me too!")

I don't even have a violin lesson this week. Slack slack sabbatical slack. (It sounds like a new dance craze. Do the Sabbatical Slack! First you sleep till noon, then you read a book, then you see a record store and stop to take a look; you do the slacky slacky and you get yourself a beer, now you're doing the Sabbatical Slack! Right on!) I practiced some yesterday, some etudes and some Seitz and some Vivaldi, although I was in kind of a 20th-century mood so I got briefly involved with playing the Vivaldi slow and crunchy, with weird tight bendy vibrato. Too much Shostakovich may have ruined me forever as a good little classical violinist. I only "practiced" (with time out for screwing around) for 45 minutes or so and yet my little left hand ached like a motherfuck for the rest of the night. Did I really used to do this for hours and hours? Really? That seems like so long ago.

This morning I took a phone call from one of my authors and after I gave him the information he wanted he said, "Far out!" I didn't know people said "far out" anymore. Hey! But check out Far Out Nuts! They are packaged in "festive cones"!

---mimi smartypants enjoys a festive cone from time to time.


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