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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

2007-07-12 ... 2:27 p.m.


Today I am taking advantage of "summer hours" and have the afternoon off. The very prospect was dizzying. What would I do? In society's hierarchy of virtue, the "best" thing I could do was to reduce Nora's paid childcare hours by being the one to pick her up at her nature-focused* day camp. Time with family, a perennial winner in the leisure sweepstakes! Or I could head straight to the gym and win Universe Points that way, improving my health and outlook through a run on the treadmill or perhaps even a yoga class. What good karma! Or I could grab my laptop and fake it like a hipster at a coffee shop, perhaps the charmingly small and awesomely named Stubbs, which I have no choice but to frequent because the Herman Melville/Korporate Koffee Kulture in-joke is so very wonderful. While there I could drink way too much tea and go type type type and post all the resulting senselessness to my online diary. This is obviously the worst choice in terms of my dumb-but-deeply-ingrained sense of The Right Thing, as it benefits pretty much no one and instead sits way up there at the tippy-top of the needs pyramid. So guess what I am doing right now? Intoxicated on both the caffeine and the fact that no one knows where I am? Yep.

*At which, yesterday, LT witnessed a kid-handover that took place from a Humvee. I find it kind of head-spinny that one could drive such a vehicle and still sign one's child up for two weeks of making compost and learning about ecosystems, but I guess not everyone has the same problem.

This camp thing marks the first time Nora has regularly taken a lunch anywhere, and I am getting a taste of the future each evening when I realize oh shit, I have to do this AGAIN, I have to pack this lunch EVERY DAMN NIGHT, although someday I suppose she will be big enough to make her own lunch. I had some anxiety last night about sending peanut butter (the camp never said not to, but a lot of schools have Peanut Rules, and while I don't want to unnecessarily limit Nora's protein choices I don't want to kill a kid either), and then I decided I was thinking entirely too much about this and made the fucking sandwich. Pow! Bam! Revolution! That inner Good Girl is just getting kicked in the teeth left and right this week.

Also in lunch news, this Minute Maid product called "Fruit Falls" is the most wonderful scam ever perpetrated on children and here I am shilling for a product like the world's wordiest hypocrite (more on this below) but seriously. They look like Capri Suns and they taste like Hi-C but it's really just water with a little bit of (real) juice and the kid does not know any different. Ha ha ha ha ha.


I got into a minor debate recently about ads on blogs, because I was naively shocked to see one of my favorites with a big old honking McDonald's ad in the sidebar. I am sure when you sign up with Federated Media (what a chilling name, by the way) or any of the other blog-ad conglomerates, you don't get much of a say in what ads show up. Which is precisely the point. When you attach your personal output (your song, your blog, your likeness) to a corporation, you align yourself with everything that corporation has ever done. In a small way, to be sure: no one is going to hold the aforementioned blog writer directly responsible for junk-food marketing to children or the destruction of the rainforests. But the fact remains that when you get advertising money from McDonald's, you become part of their business. If that is cool with you, then fine---it would be a cold day in hell, personally, but whatever.

It is not really my intent to pick on McDonald's, as my insides are not entirely Filet O' Fish free (it's been years, however). My point is more that, through my lame, idealistic, aging-punk, Diaryland-colored glasses, I have a hard time seeing personal web pages as a business. There is something so cool about getting to read the thoughts of people I have never met, and then over there in the sidebar is this big honking ad for a multi-billion-dollar corporation, and that punctures the pleasure balloon somewhat. Ads are fucking everywhere. It would be nice to see just a sliver of handcrafted, non-commercial, free-to-all, personal-expression space in the world, even if just on the internet.

And yeah, I sold some of MY handcrafted, non-commercial, personal expression to HarperCollins and let them put shoes on the cover (although there are no McDonald's ads in the book). Feel free to mock me for that and for the unhinged, proto-socialist, AdBusters-esque rant above. I know it's very mockable. I am a sad little behind-the-times dreamer, somebody get me an "emo kid" t-shirt. There are times that I really regret No-Delete Thursday.


Last night, for her evening half-hour of TV, Nora picked this Discovery Channel thing about dinosaurs. It is one of those shows where they use computer animation to make dinosaurs, which led to an incredibly long conversation about how these aren't real dinosaurs because dinosaurs are extinct but maybe that's what they looked like but how do they know, if scientists only have fossils and bones? And how do you make dinosaurs on the computer anyway and did all the dinosaurs have skin like that and hey, isn't TV supposed to be relaxing? For both of us?

Also, an "I have to tell you something" callback to bed, just when I had settled down with beer and book, to discuss how every living creature has thoughts, even small things like bugs, but since bugs are really small they have really small thoughts, and mostly they just think [high voice] "oh nooo! I'm a bug!" over and over again. OKAY. GOOD NIGHT.


1. A hearty "thank you" to whatever intrepid vandal scratched off the Fs and the legs of the Rs on the FREE Red Eye paper boxes all over the North Side. I really appreciate being reminded to PEE each morning. Kudos!

2. I am already somewhat squeamish about feet in general, but for some reason one of the very grossest foot things is when people's sandals are too small and the toes are right up at the edge or sometimes (ack!) even hanging over. Don't they have Brannock devices where these people live? Learn your shoe size, sandal-wearers.

3. LT and I were trying to come up with ways to ruin Nora's birthday party (not until January, we have plenty of time) and so far at least the menu is set---a hearty gumbo or maybe bouillabaisse, because what kid doesn’t love shellfish and saffron and okra, glopped into one of those paper "Zoo Pals" bowls? We also invented a party game called Grout! Grouper!...Groin? It is funny as hell but there are hand gestures involved, so ask me the next time we're at the bar.

All right, it is time to give this coffee shop their bandwidth back. This entry was brought to you by summer hours, Earl Grey, Jesus Lizard's Goat, and an everything bagel. Which didn't really have everything because you can't have everything.

---mimi smartypants, where would you put it?


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