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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

2003-08-05 ... 6:04 a.m.

Expect updates to be kind of sparse around here for a while. I just bought this new hair goop, and the jar has these instructions:

Rub small amount between fingers. Create image.

So most of my time is taken up by construction work on the Golden Calf of Baal. Also, I owe all kinds of people all kinds of writing; everything from e-mails, to actual paying assignments under my non-assumed name, to proof-of-progress updates on Project Huge. There is also the small matter of my day job and my drinking schedule, which collided in a strange way this weekend.

A new employee started last Friday, even though that's a weird day of the week to start, because HR has a hard-on for the first of the month. Actually now that I think about it, Friday is a most excellent day to start a new job, because the first day of any new job is pretty damn useless,* so if you start on a Friday you can spend all day screwing around and smiling pretty, and then have the weekend to rest up.

*The exception to this would be the very first day of my video store job, where almost immediately upon reporting for work, all full of slackerlicious I-need-a-job pseudo-enthusiasm, I was set to work alphabetizing and bar-coding a large stack of hardcore porn.

Anyway, the new editor started on Friday. I did my best to be the compassionate caring professional friendly blah blah boss, and then at the end of the day I zoomed out of work to go meet S. for a night of drinking. We pulled a standard five-hour shift at Goldstar, drinking Old Style and creating a site-specific art installation by sticking our condensation-damp beer bottle labels on the edge of the bar,* and around midnight the place was starting to shift (clunk: a gear turning) from chilled-out cheap drunks to khaki'd assholes. I looked down the bar and who did I see but New Girl, and she was looking fresh and cute and happy, unlike me after the week I'd had. We chatted, and I felt briefly weird about the encounter, but I decided it was probably a good thing to get all that "So, Your Boss Is A Lush" awkwardness over with. You know, in case all those "So, Your Boss Is A Lush" brochures I had printed up don't arrive in time.

*Bartenders, take heart: in the manner of monks making sand mandalas, S. and I cleaned up our mess well before closing.

Besides writing, bossing, and drinking, I have been painting too. The dining room is now "Antique White," and I am never doing it again. Professional painters, send me your digits, because I will be your bitch for the rest of my days, for real, word up, yes indeed. Painting sucks. Although I did enjoy running out to Home Depot all sweaty and dirty and paint-splattered, just like a real contractor. Home Depot in Chicago is open twenty-four hours a day! You can show up in your blood-stained gangster suit to buy your shovels and garbage bags and quick lime at five in the morning! How convenient!

Saturday I did get to do something besides get loopy on the Antique White. The Watchers was a very good show, even if the crowd at Schuba's was a little odd. There had been some street festival that day, so it was all street-festival types in the front (some over-tan girl with glitter on her cleavage called me "sweetie" in the bathroom) and us pale geeky music fans in the back. My elderly ass really appreciated the fact that The Watchers went on first, so I got to finish my beer and head home at a reasonable hour. This is nice because hangovers and paint fumes do not mix.

What a fantastic idea!

Hey Law and Order fans, make sure you watch "A Tough Day At The Office." The glasses at the end will make you crazy.


What did I just finish reading? Well, I am glad you asked, because it made me cranky and I would like to share. I just finished reading Lake Effect, by Rich Cohen. My one-word book review goes like this: PRETENTIOUS. Actually, I cannot rest with just one word, you know me batter than that. Here is a sample quotation from the hero, the one who supposedly changes the narrator forever by being such a special and unique person:

Jamie said, "You want to hear my plan? I call it Reach the Beach. I'll hitchhike west, not stopping until the road ends, and I'll swim in the ocean, which I've never seen, and the salt water will wash me clean. And on the way I'll see some of America, and to tell you the truth I'm thinking of it as a kind of baptism, a second baptism, but this one I'll give to myself."

And this is supposed to be the 1980s? Maybe New Trier kids talk like that, but if one of my high school friends started waxing Kerouac-ish in this manner we all would have punched him in the arm and done some serious eye-rolling. When it is not being pretentious this book felt weirdly breezy and full of aw-shucks, Stand By Me, no-context innocence---no attempt is made to bring in popular culture, the wider world, high school or college atmosphere, anything. Just endless summer and beer and this glossy story of "friendship." No character really reacts to anything, they just get in the car and drive fast in the summer wind and feel their "hearts lifting free" and other phrases like that. Maybe I am jaded and my soul is grimy and fingerprinted by the tiny dark hands of ironic distance. Maybe I have learned through terrible, painful experience to spot writers'-workshop-style prose eight miles off and have developed a severe allergy to it. Maybe you will like this book, there are worse things. However, if I had a nickel for every time I thought "oh give me a break," I would have a dollar and change. At least you can read it in about two hours.

And you can read this in less than a minute, but then you should read it again.

A much better book with a water reference in the title is my much-loved Three Men in a Boat, which I am currently re-reading and giggling over.

Do you like reading interviews? I do. There is (was) a Diaryland interview site, but we could do some homegrown thing. If anyone wants to send me interview questions---serious, wacky, in between---I would answer them to the best of my ability. (Your mileage may vary.) I figure I might want to practice giving at least one interview while NOT wearing an orange jumpsuit and trying to look remorseful in front of Diane Sawyer.


Those of you who encouraged me will be pleased to hear that my iPod is ordered and should be here soon, although Apple is taking forever to ship it. It is the most expensive thing I have ever bought solely for myself, ever. Here is another question: what sort of program do you iPod people use for managing the library and so forth? The Apple website recommends MusicMatch, but I don't know. It seems kind of bulbous and awkward. Pass on your hints and tips on all things iPod.

Gosh, I am awfully demanding today.

---mimi smartypants rolls down her car window and asks you, "How much for a date?"


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