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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

2004-08-10 ... 11:33 a.m.

The attack of the August ennui continues, it seems, and writing things For The Internet feels less like a compulsion than a hobby right now. It's like building a ship in a bottle, only not as stupid. Like knitting, except I have nothing useful when I am done. In some ways that is probably a saner and more balanced approach than my usual one, which is (labored metaphor, ahoy! get ready!) that I come flying in all knees and elbows to tell you something, and then knock over a big glass of chocolate milk into your lap. Your metaphorical lap. Do you have a metaphorical lap? Can I sit in it?

I spent the weekend all tangled up in Nora. She is so funny and nice and interesting right now, and I like her so much. Eight months ago she was pure baby: a spongelike bundle of reactions. Now I am really enjoying the give-and-take, the developing language skills, and the fact that Nora has her own mind and her own agenda and is increasingly able to communicate it to me. For instance, Saturday we were playing and playing and playing and she got frustrated by something she was trying to do. I was trying to stay out of the way because a little frustration is a great motivator, but I missed the point where a little frustration became Too Much Frustration and Nora freaked out a bit, stomping her feet and making that angry sob-noise, and then she ran over to me and said, "Rest? Scratch?"* This melted me into a pile of goop because whenever she gets like that I have been picking her up and telling her to "take a rest," which is her cue to put her head down on my shoulder and chill out for a minute, and then I scratch her back. Am I biased, or is it just unmanageably cute when a kid can take her emotional temperature like that? I think I am biased. Okay, moving on.

*I had a friend over the other night and it was slightly unsettling to realize just how many of Nora's words are comprehensible only to me and LT. That's normal, right? To have to interpret for your kid until the tongue/palate catches up with the brain? Nora has a curious aversion to the endings of words; her "horse" is just a roughly aspirated, almost Arabic "h," her "pig" an explosive "pih," and "ball" is one "ba" while "bottle" is two. Even her cows go "mmmmm." Maybe she is part Cockney.


Here is an improbably long article about mop performance.

Some kind of pro-smoking Japanese comic strip? I do not know.

This is the greatest find in the history of trash-picking.

Was not being able to eat pudding one-handed such a huge problem? Perhaps you need your other hand for SOMETHING ELSE. That seems to be the sexy-disturbing subtext to this pudding packaging, anyway.


Possibly because of my long-standing bad habit of second-guessing my emotions and desires, I am pretty good about discretionary spending. When it comes to consumables I tend to loosen up on the reins (I have never had a budget too tight to allow for sushi and beer, even if it meant skimping on other things), but I don't buy books or gadgets without endlessly mindfucking about whether it's something I really want. Sometimes what I want is not the thing but the fantasy of the thing---I have been lusting after the tiny iBook (to my PC-programmer husband's subtle disgust) for months now, but I know that at the core of this lust is not a laptop but the sitting-in-cafes-and-writing lifestyle that I don't have anymore (wait, did I ever have it? I've had a "real" job since I was twenty-one years old. Maybe my future mid-life crisis will be all about slacking around semi-employed.)

Similarly, I secretly read the dumb magazine Real Simple every chance I get, and would probably subscribe if I could get over the guilt and shame at being so gullibly suckered by a magazine that has no real content whatsoever but that sells me the fantasy that my life is perfect and clean and orderly and I'm in control and I know how to do things. I'm a whore for those how-to-do-everything-correctly books and articles, because I don't know how to do anything.

Speaking of magazines, my mind has been well and truly boggled by the creepiness that is Parents. My mother got me a subscription so I could see how crazy people live. Actually, I don't think that was her stated intent, but it has been the result. First off, Parents magazine is so editorially lazy, like Cosmo without the sex, that I swear it recycles "stories" again and again and again. At least once an issue it will trot out some faux-radical tip like "Stop striving for perfection: once in a while, leave the dishes in the sink and just have fun with your kids!" (First: dishes, whether dirty or clean, are NOWHERE in my mental definition of "perfection." Second: really? Why what a revolutionary idea!) Everything else in the magazine counteracts that tidbit by screaming of the need for perfection, from the advertorials for educational toys to the dogmatic nutrition articles. Sort of like how Cosmo will preach the faker "love your body" crap while never allowing anything other than long-haired shiny-skinned skeletons to grace its pages.

Also, do not be fooled by the name Parents magazine: they meant to say Mothers. There is a makeup/fashion article in every issue. There is literally a single page called "For Him" or some such nonsense, and it is all about "making the effort" to take your kids to the doctor (whoa!) and giving them individual attention (wow!), or sometimes it will advise these "hims" to bring flowers home or run us bedraggled moms a bubble bath. I started to try and deconstruct the barf-worthy assumptions involved in this tiny, throwaway, three-hundred-words-at-the-most page of Parents magazine, but then I realized it would take all damn day.

The creepiest feature, however, is another thing that runs at the back of every issue, called something like "Veggies in Disguise." It is instructions on how to make a cleverly-constructed food thing, like a log cabin out of celery sticks or a cat face out of various cut-up fruit slices. IT FREAKS ME THE FUCK OUT. It is one thing to maybe dab the jelly onto a piece of toast so that it makes a smiley face, it is another thing entirely to follow ten-step directions and use toothpicks to make some three-dimensional model of a bumblebee out of food. We need to train kids to be suspicious of this sort of thing, as it clearly indicates some kind of psychotic break---"If mommy ever gives you a pear-half mouse, with raisins for eyes and carrot curls for whiskers, hide all the knives and dial 911, okay? Good boy."


I always get the same brand of deodorant---Secret Platinum (oooh, platinum. I'm worth it.) But I can never remember the scent (their unscented smells weird to me, so that's not an option), and I get bored standing there in Target and sniffing all the deodorants, trying to inhale something other than the tamper-proof cap, and usually I just give up and grab the first one handy. This last time I bought a new deodorant I was in a hurry and barely even glanced at the scent name, and when I got home I saw that it was "Glacier Mist." Glacier mist? What the hell is a glacier mist? Some steam that rises up off a glacier? I have been fretting about this for a few days. Despite LT's reassurances, I cannot quite stop worrying that my armpits smell like penguin pee.

---mimi smartypants eats one-handed pudding.


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