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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

2008-08-05 ... 10:36 a.m.


I need to do the obligatory snooze-inducing Narrative Wrap-Up Post, because I have been away forever and a lot of things have been happening. Not sure if you noticed, but my diary is not so much about the happening of things. I would really prefer to ignore the things, as they are boring, but if I don't write about them they will just clog up the joint like a dead squirrel on top of the storm drain. So this entry will be like the guy in the orange vest, shoveling up street meat as part of his probation. Thanks guy! Let's keep this gutter flowing!


Perhaps it is good to keep expectations low and then be pleasantly surprised. I went in thinking "eh, lake." I mean, it is the same lake, right? Except that the Michigan side is so much nicer. Clean beach, big waves, no seaweed gunk or gross flotsam, it was amazingly pleasant. Nora was Little Miss eXtreme Sports the whole week and swam, fished, dug a huge hole, captured many insects and a small frog, hiked up a giant dune. (Not being a fan of intense physical exertion with no obvious payoff, I stayed at the bottom and waved.)

Here she is looking beautiful and damp.

My little family took the top floor of my mom's rental house, with adjoining bedrooms. The first night Nora had a lot of trouble going to sleep. Complaints ranged from her room being "too big" and "too stupid" to the truism that the room did not contain "all the usual stuff" and finally the contention that "we don't know anything about this house!" Offers to provide her with detailed blueprints and a transaction history were declined in favor of grumping and intermittent crying.

After that first night she slept fine, although she still showed up at my bedside in the wee hours too often to suit me (zero times would have suited me great). On one of those occasions I was feeling less than gentle and I said, crabbily, "Go to bed. It's NIGHT. It's DARK." Nora replied, "I know it's dark! That's one of my concerns." One of her concerns. I never did find out what the others were. Dear Nora: the items of concern on your agenda are hereby canceled due to LACK OF INTEREST.


So, a week of sun and fun and way too much ice cream and then we came home. LT unloaded the car and I poked around the house looking for inappropriate cat droppings (hooray, none!) and opening the mail. I had closed most of our interior doors during the vacation, and the door to the half-bath was mysteriously sticky and hard to open, which I chalked up to humidity. When I finally shouldered it open, I discovered that there was indeed humidity. Only it was inside the bathroom. And dripping down the walls. And feeding a few patches of hairy black mold on the ceiling.

It seems that the upstairs neighbors' toilet has had a slow leak for several years, but it took until just last week for the accumulated toilet juice to rot through the plaster and turn my bathroom evil. I took a day off from work to be the pal of Frank, the plumber/handyman charged with (a) fixing the upstairs leak and (b) ripping out our bathroom walls and ceiling. What should have been a fairly relaxing day, just reading my book and eventually writing Frank a big fat check from our condo association, ended up being very annoying.


[muttering to himself] Oh god. Oh Jesus. Mother..fuck! Oh man, this is horrible. [calling to me] Ma'am? Ma'am? This is really awful. Man, this is gross. You wouldn't believe the mess in there. It's been leaking so long! I'm going to have to pull all this plaster down.

I repeatedly told Frank yeah, I know, THAT'S WHY WE CALLED YOU. Furthermore, keep your comments about how icky it is to yourself, because if you wanted a nice clean profession maybe you should have chosen something other than plumbing. (For the record, we are not talking about piles of actual waste here. The leak was just water from the flushing. And yes, wet rotting wallboard is very gross but once again, YOU'RE A PLUMBER.)

Frank made me sign at least three different documents that basically said I understood he was going to wreck our bathroom in order to fix it. Frank went to Home Depot five times. Frank could not work independently for more than ten minutes, so I was constantly trotting back and forth to listen to his bitching or answer some obvious question. Also, Frank was very sweaty.

Anyway, the leak is fixed and (different) guys come today to rebuild our bathroom walls. Incidentally, this is the small bathroom that is right off the kitchen that we will soon be remodeling. Two big difficult projects for the price of...well, two!


Nora completed orientation at the gifted school, which was three mornings long. She has a ridiculously long supply list and I know this curriculum is accelerated and all, but something about a kindergartener having a "math notebook" gives me pause. We will have to make sure she has plenty of karate and cuddling and slackjawed staring at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to give her brain a break. She did mention making a friend at orientation, and I was slightly surprised to hear that it is a girl. But then Nora told me that New Friend was a "fast runner," so it all made sense. Hopefully they can be all badass and Title IX together, and hopefully this girl has either seen Star Wars or is willing to get schooled.


How bored does Yahoo's home page think I am? "Click to find out what this giant pumpkin weighs." And then what? AND THEN FUCKING WHAT?

---mimi smartypants weeps at the futility of it all.


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