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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

2003-07-06 ... 11:21 a.m.


Number sixty-five Grand Avenue bus west is a weird ride---icky new townhomes mixed with machine tool shops and rundown funeral homes with Italian names on the signs. I did, however, see a building (not the one in the link) that had the old-timey Schlitz logo incorporated right into its brickwork. The place is no longer a bar but apartments. Grand and Damen is not a first-choice corner to live on but I hope those tenants realize how cool their building is.


My mom visited recently, and she knows how much I salivate over any old book (1901-1970 is "old," for the purposes of my collection---I am all about the twentieth century) about housewifery, child-rearing, cooking, first aid, self-help, and so on. She brought me a household medical reference book from 1940 and had marked one page with a Post-It note, saying, "You have to read this, it is very horrifying." So I do. And it says that, with a new baby, you should do the following every day:

A soap stick is first made by whittling down a piece of white soap until it is in the form of a pencil about one third of an inch thick and two inches long. The baby is then laid on his back on the mother's lap and the soap stick, moistened with water, inserted into the rectum. A small chamber is then held against the baby's buttocks, and usually, in the course of four or five minutes the stool will be passed.
(Modern Home Medical Adviser, edited by Morris Fishbein, MD.)

Oh my god. So it was once recommended that new mothers, who already have enough to worry about, should daily violate their baby's hind ends with a piece of soap. Remind me again why babies have to poop on our schedule? I mean, they wear diapers, right?

So I have this book, and I am bewildered by this passage, and the whole soap-up-the-butt thing is on my mind, much as I wish it were not. Then I go out with a friend and have some beer, and tell him the old-medical textbook story, and to my utter amazement he says that these mutual friends of ours, who have just had a baby, do something similar to their daughter. Only apparently they do it with some sort of specialized Baby Ass Q-Tip. Part of me cannot believe that this really goes on, and I would ask my new-mother friend to confirm the story but we are not all that close. Also I am not sure I really want to know. There are some parents out there who read this, so if the soap-stick-forced-defecation thing is standard pediatric procedure feel free to write and tell me I am an idiot, and know nothing whatsoever about what is required in the realm of baby bowel habits. Or if you are similarly freaked out you can write and commiserate.

Yee HAW.

More Japanese products with wonderful slogans.

Flaming truckload of sex toys.


1. One night I stayed up with my sister until two in the morning doing nothing. Unless you count beer, chips, and reruns of Kids In The Hall as "something."

2. One night LT grilled up an incredible feast of skewered shrimp, vegetables, and these really good red potatoes coated with olive oil, rock salt, and rosemary. Oh, and there was beer.

3. One morning LT and I played a very strenuous game called Bookcase Shuffle, where you take every single book you own out of its respective bookcase, and move the spare room's bookcases into the study, the study's bookcases into the living room, and then on a further whim you rearrange all the furniture in the living room, and at the end of the game you are dripping with sweat and you sit at the dining room table and drink beer even though it is not even noon.

4. One afternoon we went over to a friend's house to play bocce and drink beer. When that broke up we picked up some extra beer on the way home, the better to watch World's Scariest Police Chases 6. Some of them were not very scary, if you ask me, although the reactionary rhetoric was great ("Only the finely-tuned skills of the LAPD stopped this ferocious felon's rampage of violence and destruction!")

I also think this long weekend has given me an extra sleep cycle or two, because my dreams have been much more fun than when I have to go to work every day. In my Saturday-nap dream I was having sex with an Orthodox Jewish teenage boy, in a narrow twin bed in some dusty basement. We could hear some party going on upstairs. First there was just makeout, then I tried on his hat, and then the makeout got more serious and it turned into sex. I was on top. Eventually we rejoined the party and everyone was really cold to us, like they knew what had happened. I was smoking a cigarette out of a long holder and there was a piņata in the shape of a flamingo that the other kids were taking turns at whacking. My teenage partner in debauchery was arguing some point of theology with his rabbi and I overheard him say, "No, that is wrong, you are thinking of the Fifty-Fourth Mussorgsky, where good will fight evil in a big vat of cream," and I thought: Man, I am so out of here, this is crap. I finished my cigarette and left.


1. "Ham alive!" would be a good old-timey exclamation. "Well, ham alive! You done near scared me to death, boy!"

2. Or Ham Alive could be like Baby Alive. Not a baby doll but a ham, and not with a mouth exactly, but with a sort of wet gaping meaty orifice. Ah quit crying kid, you are lucky you got anything at all for Christmas. Your dad stayed up all night gouging a mouth-shaped hole into that canned ham and this is the thanks he gets? Get mommy another beer.

3. Ham Alive could also be the code name for an unpleasant genetic engineering proposal to create a sentient ham. Would you like to see the lab? The prototypes are fairly grotesque but what can you do. Those Greenpeace types are going to wish we stuck with the hybrid corn and the fish genes in the tomatoes! Bwahahahahaha! Easter dinner is going to be pretty weird from now on, with sentient ham!

4. Maybe Ham Alive! is the newest Broadway musical! Singing, dancing, acting hams! A touching tale about a giant ham, created in a laboratory, who can think and feel! And all he wants is to be loved!

5. Or "ham alive" can just be something you put on the grocery list, for no reason, and it can keep you and your husband in stitches all the way to the store, because you two are very easily amused. The day trayf jokes stop being funny is the day I don't want to live anymore.

In related news, we also invented the porkulele, which is a ukulele made of pork. We are ridiculous people.

---mimi smartypants went to town, riding on a pony.


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