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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

2003-06-25 ... 3:23 p.m.


What do you call a band made up of four middle-aged white guys in dashikis? Playing drums made of gourds and goat-hoof rattles and such? Well, you might call yourselves something like the Funky Afro-Fusion Jazz Roots Ensemble and you might perform at my office building outdoors at lunchtime. I have already posted about the horrible summertime office-plaza concerts, but the four white guys in dashikis with their "traditional instruments" was a bit much. I am not saying that white people cannot bring the folky funk, and a sincere appreciation for a musical genre is a sincere appreciation for a musical genre. It certainly does not require a certain ethnicity or appearance---I have no objection to a Chinese lesbian klezmer band or Amish mariachis or any other wacky combination you want to explore. But...I don't know. Four white guys in dashikis. With a name that would naturally lead you to expect quite a different sort of band. Beating on gourds. With no explanation of how or why they came to be doing so. It was unsettling.

I don't know who is responsible for booking these summer lunchtime bands at the Windswept Plaza, but sometimes it seems that they do not knock themselves out doing a whole lot of investigating beforehand. As I explained in that link, most of the bands are totally dull bland whitebread nothings (or, in the case of the dashiki gentlemen, ethnomusicologically-inclined dull bland whitebread/tanbread somethings), but once in a while something truly odd shows up. Like the time last year when I stepped out of the building to find a reggae band. I have a feeling that the person who booked the reggae band was having some sort of college flashback to happy safe dancing-in-the-sun totally-comprehensible reggae, the sort of reggae that whitebread Middle America can get behind, We Be Jammin' and all that. That is not the band that showed up. The band that showed up was some kind of twelve-piece seriously deep reggae outfit, exploding with dreadlocks containing visible marijuana seeds, wrapped in an impenetrable cloud of reggae cosmology and Jah and rasta and Babylon's about to fall. They were so deeply funky and otherworldly and stoned that I am not even sure they remembered they had an audience. All the rest of that day I kept smiling to myself as I remembered all the corporate types chewing their sandwiches in the summer sun, smiling frightened smiles, thinking they were merely going to get down with the dancehall and pass the dutchie on the left-hand side but getting something else entirely.

All week I have had odd lunchtime experiences: today with the Lutheran Afro-PTA We're-Losing-Our-Hair Back-To-Africa-Although-We-Are-Not-From-There Jazz Band, and yesterday at Nordstrom. First of all, Nordstrom has installed some of these in its mezzanine, where you get the elevator on the way up to the café. Who the hell invented bobbleheads? Who thinks hydrocephalic demons with sproingy necks are cute or charming? And as for these life-size city "attractions," they are a bazillion times creepier because they are big stiff bobblehead mannequins WITH NO FACES. They are bobblehead corpses. The whole thing gives me the creeps. Also giving me the creeps (hey, thanks for the creeps!) was the dude who looked like a tubercular Elton John, wearing a filthy peach satin suit, inspecting one of the icky Nordstrom bobblehead things, right up close to it and whispering to himself. Maybe it really was Elton John and he has lost a lot of weight and moved to Chicago and become a street crazy. This is almost too much to hope for.

The Nordstrom Café made me sad. I was mouth-wateringly hungry for The Salad, and then. When I get there. No Salad. There is some crummy new salad, with shrimp in it or something, I could hardly read the label because I was distraught. But there was no more Salad with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese. The Nordstrom Salad Guy was saying something to me, but all I could do was stammer out an inquiry as to the Salad's whereabouts, and he said, "Oh, we took it off the menu for a while. It's kind of a winter thing."

"No it's not," I whispered, with an slight edge of panicky despair in my voice. He didn't hear me. Or it.

"Can I get you some other salad?"

My lunch allegiances cannot be switched that quickly. I muttered some polite nonsense and left to go cobble together sustenance out of my Emergency Food Drawer. I am still in the denial part of the five stages of grief, trying not to think about my salad loss, but once I pull myself together maybe I'll write a letter and get the salad reinstated.

Today for lunch I had a weird craving so I got some fat-free chocolate pudding from the grocery store across the street and it was vile. I am not sure exactly what made it so vile. Was it the fat-free-ness? Was it just bad commercially produced chock-full-o'-chemicals pudding? Or am I misremembering that chocolate pudding was ever any good in the first place?

The slogan for this pudding was "Tastes Like Someone Loves You." This is a TERRIBLE SLOGAN. This is the pudding you eat right before you end your lonely, miserable life, because if you were close, like if you were sitting in the bathtub with one of those electric turkey-carving knives, getting ready to carve up your wrists and then drop the knife into the water for some bonus electrocution (if you did this on Thanksgiving it would have extra holiday resonance), but you decided to eat a cup of mass-produced pudding as your last act on earth (hey, don't ask me, this is your crazy-ass suicide), and as you peeled back the lid you noticed it said "Tastes Like Somebody Loves You" but they DON'T, your whole life has been a LIE---those wrists would be carved and that current flowing faster than you could say "suicide stuffing and cranberry sauce." FUCK YOU PUDDING.

There is a magazine called Garden Shed. If you act now you also get free subscriptions to Storage Unit and Breadbox.

I like Xiu Xiu but I acknowledge that they can be a bit of an acquired taste. However, everyone can appreciate the Xiu Xiu interview. I like a lot of what Jamie Stewart says here.

A plethora of Lenins.

Oh my god oh my god oh my god. If you only click on one link in your entire life it must be this one. I am the happiest girl on the planet and I cannot explain, you simply must go there forthwith. Like, now.

---mimi smartypants tastes like somebody loves you.


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