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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

2006-06-16 ... 11:33 a.m.


Okay, it's not even all that political, but this short, "oh by the way" paragraph in a New Yorker article on container ships made my mouth drop open:

Shortly after September 11th, there was an incident in Italy that suggested that Al Qaeda was thinking imaginatively about containers. Workers in the port of Gioa Tauro heard noises coming from inside a container. They found a forty-three-year-old Egyptian stowaway. He was well dressed, with a bed, plenty of food and water, and a makeshift toilet. More than that, according to "A Time Bomb for Global Trade," by the journalist Michael Richardson, he was carrying "a satellite phone, a laptop computer, several cameras, batteries, and...airport security passes and an airline mechanic's certificate valid for four major American airports." The container had been loaded in Port Said, Egypt, and was bound for Canada. The Italian police, who believed that the stowaway was an Al Qaeda operative, arrested him, but he was released on bail and disappeared.

Uh, Italy? Care to explain that one? Can you share with the rest of the class? I am not worried about this container-ship guy in particular, but shit. Italy, you have just got to do better than that.


This week I have been having the Nora-withdrawal worse than I can ever remember, except maybe right after my "maternity" leave. If she were a romantic crush instead of my daughter, I would be looking her up on Google, taking careful note of her AIM sign-ins and sign-outs, riding my bike past her house, dialing her number and hanging up before it even rings. I just want to be home. It is a crazy, physical longing that does not translate into guilt (for what?) or any urges to actually STAY at home and not work (because we like to eat), and Iím sure that at some point during the upcoming weekend days I will definitely turn hypocrite and want a break from the nonstop Nora carnival. But oh, it is hard to leave her in the mornings when she is standing there all skinny-legged in her Nemo underpants and saying, "I might miss you."


The standard parental game where you get down on all fours and the kid climbs on your back and pretends you are a horse? Very tedious. At least Nora has the courtesy to mix up the animals---sometimes I get to be a dinosaur or a badger, and yesterday it was a pig. When I said that people do not usually ride pigs, Nora said, "But sometimes we might ride a pig. If our car was* broken or had a fat tire,** we could ride a pig." Okay.

*Remind me to teach her about the subjunctive.
**And about the difference between a roadside emergency and a Colorado microbrew.


A while back I went to Empty Bottle to get my rock on and drink beer served by Eyebrow Girl, the bartender there who rarely speaks but just sort of raises her eyebrow at you. I guess that means "what do you want to drink," or at least I am going to pretend it does and continue to ask for beer when she does her eyebrow thing. In fact, from now on whenever anyone makes a gesture or sign that I don't fully understand, I will pretend that it means "what do you want to drink." And I will answer them cheerfully. And they will either give me beer or walk away shaking their heads. THUS I SPAKE.

One of the opening bands was a trio of boys from Nebraska. That's right, Nebraska. I do not know much about Nebraska (oh wait! Now I do!), but I know that it has a shelf on it like an RV, and that it is right at the edge of where mapmakers and territory-settlers started to say, "Fuck it. Square. Just make them all square." This band was really loud and kind of assholic, as they kept snarking at the Empty Bottle audience for not being right up at the edge of the stage and not headbanging and not losing their minds with the rockness that was sludgy anguished math-rock from Nebraska. Because we are ChicagoNice, nobody yelled back, "Sorry, but we just aren't all that into you." I uncharacteristically even put in earplugs (which I don't normally do because loud noises do not bother me but the clicks and muffled whooshes inside my skull are a whole other story), just to make the Nebraska kids more bearable. At one point the lead singer wailed the lyric "NO RELIGION FOR THE PIZZA CRUST!" Yes. I swear it. It was way too loud to talk, but Sophie and I turned to stare at each other, and as soon as the last Nebraska power chord had started to fade she ripped out her earplugs and said, "Did that guy just sing about no religion for the pizza crust?" and I said "DUDE, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT HE SAID" and we thought about that for a while and then went to the bar to order another drink. Using the Eyebrow System of bartender communication, of course.


A few weeks ago, crazy-for-hats Nora got a denim baseball cap as a gift. It has rarely left her head since. She likes to wear it sideways, which, when combined with her usual summer outfit of jean shorts, striped t-shirt, and pink Chuck Taylors, has the unfortunate result of making her look like a sidekick in an '80s movie. Like she is just waiting for Kid N' Play to rap for her while she wins the breakdancing contest, and then there will be adorable catchphrases and high fives and complicated handshakes all around. When Nora is bored in the back of the car she likes to turn the hat entirely backwards and pull it down over her face, so that only her lips show through the little vent in the back. Like a fetish mask. A denim fetish mask. A kinder, gentler, non-threatening, fetish mask. Bring out the gimp! Why the gimp looks lovely! Honey, why do we keep the gimp in the basement? Let's keep him up here in the kitchen, because look how well the denim goes with my wallpaper border and stenciled geese!

---mimi smartypants will overthrow the bourgeois supremacy right after these messages.


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