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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

2002-07-11 ... 1:08 p.m.

Freezer Bear got some ice cubes stuck to his paw (see below).

That's the parsimonious explanation, the adherent properties of frozen water on terrycloth, but I prefer to think that Freezer Bear is encouraging me to have a chilled beverage. Freezer Bear says: See how inviting these ice cubes are? Why don't you let me freshen your drink? I've got the ice cubes right here. Thank you, Freezer Bear!

Some headlines for a discussion of memory:

Memory: The Fake Way To Construct A "Self"

So You Have Memories, Does That Make You Special? Experts Say No

Is It Live, Memorex, Or An Elaborately Constructed Falsehood Of Neurons?

Do you have someone in your family who is a nut for taking photographs? Do you sometimes wonder if you remember actual events in your childhood or if you actually just remember the photograph? I know I have the snapshot memories, but I do have ones that don't have anything to do with photographs, like the time I remember realizing that I was a distinct entity who by necessity apprehended the world through my own limited sensory organs. This was at around five years old, going for a walk on the golf course behind my grandparents' house, which is hellaciously interesting because I ended up having a mild acid flashback on that very same golf course many years later (golf course as quicksand, me sinking, slogging through fairway up to my waist, and everything with a gorgeous watery violent tinge to it). I guess that particular golf course was some sort of brain-energy nexus for me.

Anyway, this was supposed to be about memory and photographs. Kat and I had a conversation recently about school photographs and how they are often relied on, by lazy or unsentimental families, as a shorthand record of the changes in a kid. Also about how everyone has one particular school photograph that they can identify as the definitive visual evidence of their Severely Ugly Awkward Stage. Mine came in third grade. I am missing teeth (and not the cute ones), I have big black plastic Buddy Holly glasses frames (what kind of ghetto optician thought that was cute on a 7-year-old girl?) and I have long dark Wednesday Adams braids with that dorky thick red yarn on the ends. And some kind of grayish-brown polyester dress with a peter pan collar, like a leftover Orphan from a low-budget production of Annie. It was a hard knock life, indeed.

Photographs don't work as memories but memories don't work as memories either. The minute you say "I am going to remember this in precisely this way" you are doomed; your mind (or my mind, anyway) begins the process of smoothing the edges, rearranging the scene, blurring the all-important sensory impressions, until you can perfectly recreate the IDEA of the memory of the event (the kiss, the desert at night, the car crash) but you have nothing approximating a perfect copy of the event. Maybe memory is not meant to be a perfect copy anyway, but something entirely else (which is probably part of the reason people take photographs in the first place). However, I sometimes find it frustrating that the Internal Film Production Editor of my brain insists on narrating, cutting, splicing, even if ever so slightly.


A change of underwear can seriously be just as refreshing as a nap.


I have discovered that I am terrified of being on the train when the train is not moving. I had suspected this for a while, since the times when the train stops for no reason are always the times when I start to feel dizzy and strange, but since I feel dizzy and strange a goodly percentage of the time anyway I hadn't put two and two together until now. It's not quite claustrophobia, since it makes no difference whether we're in the tunnel or not, and it's not quite fear of disaster or terrorism or anything identifiable.* All I know is that when the El grinds to a halt and goes quiet in that crunchy, horribly final-sounding way, I feel shallow-lunged and twitchy and like I've swallowed a hummingbird.**

*But isn't this the very essence of phobia or panic disorder? A fear that is about nothing but itself, that turns buzzily around and around like a dentist's drill and gets nowhere.

**By which clumsy and sophomoric metaphor I mean to imply not just the obvious beating-of-wings feeling but also the lump of feathers in the throat and the pointy hypodermic beak lodged in the pancreas.


Last night my sister and I tried to go to the Fireside Bowl to see John Brown Battery, but it turned out they weren't playing, but in typical Fireside "We Must Gouge You At Every Opportunity" Bowl style (excuse me sir but there should be NO SUCH THING as a $2.50 Miller High Life, "Champagne of Beers" or no), they still wanted $7 cover for the remaining two bands. We coughed it up, hoping for at least a touch of decent weekday punk rock, and the first band was decent but instantly forgettable, and the second...oh god. The hardcore vocals that sound like Cookie Monster is trying to gargle with a mouth full of ratatouille. The "feel our anguished angst" lyrics. The unnecessary sludgy tempo changes. The rock star postures that alternate between the I AM SO DEEP hunch over the guitar and the windmilling arms and aggro leaping of either Henry Rollins or a rhesus monkey on laboratory-grade doses of testosterone and steroids. (Oh sorry, my bad. False dichotomy. Henry Rollins vs the aforementioned 'roid-rage monkey. No difference there.) Um. Where was I? Anyway, we quickly beat a path back to the bar, mostly because we were laughing way too hard at this band and I didn't want to get my ass kicked, but the noise even in there was unbearable, so we ended up at the Charleston drinking Hoegaarden. Have you ever had Hoegaarden? Admittedly, it's from Belgium, but you shouldn't hold that against it because it is a delightful and refreshing beer.

At the Charleston my sister and I were suddenly joined at our table by four or five jock-type guys, who were more or less okay to talk to if a little bit dull and stereotypical (button-downs over t-shirts and shorts, hippieish necklaces, baseball caps). The one who was talking to me most intently was very strange: his most memorable quote was, when I asked what he did for a living: "I make money. I'm very good at it." It turned out he was a liquor sales manager of some sort (that alone should tell you something), and he said that part of his job was to hire models for liquor promotions (which perhaps was supposed to impress me). Then he moaned for a while about how he can't find true love, and also launched into a bizarre manifesto about how he only likes to date English majors ("they really appreciate what I can do for them") (meaning what, exactly? that us poet types are not bored gold-diggers with fake tans?) He was theatrically, ridiculously despondent to find out that this particular English major, your correspondent Mimi Smartypants, was not available for a booty call or for dating, and he disappeared soon after that revelation. Weird weird weird.

---mimi smartypants is our last defense against a relentless army of killer cyborgs.


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