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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

2005-07-07 ... 4:33 p.m.


For the past year (and thus the entirety of my Blue's Clues-watching life), I thought that Steve's lyrics were about using our minds and taking a step out of time (rather than the actual lyric about taking things "a step at a time"), and I had thought that Steve was postulating that the Blue's Clues house was an extratemporal, extradimensional space, which made a certain sort of logical sense when one considered that the whole show is just one lonely man overacting his heart out in front of a blank blue screen, and of course the whole broadcast realm of televisual simulacra can be cast as a major "step out of time," given the temporal non-reality of our interaction with the medium---the show recorded at one time, broadcast at another, rebroadcast on Noggin on multiple other occasions, and finally watched by me and Nora at an entirely different time thanks to TiVo. So once again my misheard lyrics are way more thought-provoking than the actual ones. If only I could live in my little going-deaf fantasy world full-time.

Similarly, somehow (grandparents? preschool?) we recently acquired a plastic Dora the Explorer filled with Sweetarts (according to the label). Because Nora cares not a fig about this cartoon nor about Sweetarts, I appropriated it for my own desk, should the Sweetart urge arise and should I decide that the Sweetart urge could be especially satisfied by consuming Sweetarts out of a hole in the back of a plucky young Latina mystery-solver's head. When I opened that hole for the first time, I discovered that the Sweetarts inside were not ordinary Sweetarts, but rather many little Sweetart-y replicas of Dora herself. A whole slew of Dora the Explorer homunculi!


I don't know how I forgot to mention the single most disgusting foodstuff I encountered in England. I wish so badly I had a photo, but instead you will just have to use your imagination. Picture a hamburger bun, on which a hot dog has been arranged in a sort of frilly half-circle, by means of multiple not-quite-all-the-way-through horizontal cuts. With the end result being much like a hair scrunchie, made of meat. On top of this is a fried egg. On top of that is a melted slice of orange American cheese, which is either insult added to (grievous) injury or the very thing that could save your fucking life, depending on your point of view. (Personally, I think the gooey innocuous cheese would be a blessing in this case, and I picture it gently coating the throat like the cross-section in a Chloraseptic commercial, and smoothing the way for the hot dog/fried egg horror.) This sandwich of my nightmares was being advertised as a "cheese n' egg frankenburger" on a four-color poster in the window of a kabob shop in Brighton. The next time I hear any defense of British food, I will have to start screaming "cheese n' egg frankenburger! cheese n' egg frankenburger! with a side of chips!"

Of course, American greasy-food shacks sell atrocities of their own devising, such as the "pizza puff."* And as such my own nation's hands are not entirely clean, and thus I must temper my disgust with understanding. Still, there is a wide chasm of acceptability between the pizza puff and the cheese n' egg frankenburger.

*Long ago, my friend S. and I were having breakfast at a diner when we noticed a bunch of men at another table who were obviously there for a business meeting. Then a woman showed up and started distributing brochures to them about pizza puffs, "taco puffs," and other kinds of puffs! And she gave a speech on new innovations in puffs, and urged the men to order said puffs (pizza and otherwise) in bulk from her company! We were awed to be in the presence of Chicago's top puff-purveyors. One word from that cabal and there would be no puffs for anyone.

I am back at work. Yesterday I wrapped up my vacation with the ultimate in spoiled-white-woman privilege: I took my daughter to her Montessori preschool and then hung out in an Evanston Starbucks, typing and reading my book, until it was time to pick her up again. I got to overhear a truly bizarre cell phone conversation in which a woman claimed to have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in her legs, which is not even anatomically possible, and I got to reaffirm that I still feel as judgmental as ever about parents who respond to kid craziness and bad behavior with a mild and easily-ignored "please don't do that" over and over again. I would rather people just do nothing and let the little hellions run wild than dish out the fake discipline. I sympathize with not knowing what to do, as I swing back and forth on the parental-authority pendulum myself, between giving up entirely and relying on distraction and jokes and the empathy of strangers, to frog-marching Nora into time-out in a public place. But right there in that Starbucks I promised to never ineffectually plead with my kid just to make it look like I was doing something.


"I'm DRIVING this boat! I have a MUSTACHE!"

---mimi smartypants, if it pleases the court.


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