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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

2003-08-14 ... 3:03 p.m.

Some people probably decide to order pizza on purpose. But for me it always feels like a sad fallback position. Don't get me wrong, I like pizza. But LT and I never really plan on pizza for dinner (unless it is one of his excellent homemade creations). Pizza, for us, is a series of flashbulb moments like this:

1. What do you want to do for dinner.
2. I don't know what do you want to do for dinner.
3. I had a plan (I keep meal ideas on the PDA), but now that I am faced with the actual task of cooking I am less than enthused.
4. We could go out, but that would involve putting on pants.
5. We could order pizza or something.
6. I could just whip up some dinner, it's really no trouble.
7. (By this time an hour has elapsed and low-blood-sugar irritability is only adding to the decisiveness.)
8. Pizza requires beer, but LT is very willing to go out to the Mean Sikh Grocery Store (so called by us because it is owned by a mean Sikh) for the beer.
9. The deed is done. Pizza and beer are consumed. Although we both had work to do that evening, the pizza and beer combine to make the idea of snuggling on the couch watching true-crime programming much more appealing.
10. Pizza and beer also combine to mask the vague sense of guilt I feel about the undone work and about the slacktastic dinner choice. (Hey, I can feel guilty about absolutely anything. My versed-in-astrology friend claims itís the Capricorn way.)

Only a dork like me would care. Three-dimensional bar graphs have been forbidden by many of the science journals I have worked for, but it is astounding how many authors want to use them. Mostly, I suspect, because their computers can make one.



I have what is known as a "real" job. Most of my jobs have been of this real variety, if you do not count my few forays into need-cash-now retail work in high school and college, and a few tragic temp positions, such as the one where my supposed supervisor was so obviously addicted to painkillers that when I entered her office, to convey the message of "okay, I have finished that six-minute filing job that a trained monkey could have handled, remind me again why you need a temp, and what should I do now?" I found her slumped in the chair with eyes at half-mast and a small strand of drool quivering from mouth to shoulder. That drool caught the light in a prismatic way and shook slightly with her exhalations, and the scene was strangely beautiful and sticks in my head like a scene from an art film.

Also: I tend to excel at these jobs. Your favorite oversexed drunken Internet girlfriend (me, I hope), who would like nothing better than to be thought of as 100% hedonistic and snazzy, is coming clean---I like structure, I like keeping busy, and I have a fetish for office supplies. Thus, I am well-suited to working in the gray dull corporate kind of publishing house rather than the hip Oh! Me So Edgy! kind of publishing house. I get hired. I get good performance reviews. I get promoted. I am as confused by this as the rest of you.

In my current job I actually have work to do, but in the past I have had jobs where half the battle is looking busy and finding new ways to slack. I have had deathly dull proofreading gigs. I had a stint at a Bahraini ad agency where people would do nothing but drink coffee and read the paper for weeks at a time, and then suddenly deadlines would loom (they would loom, I tell you! Looooooom!) and everyone would be running around like coked-up weasels, designing and translating and copywriting and storyboarding and screaming a lot. (Let me tell you this: no one can freak out like an Iranian. Egyptians are good at the freakout too, but they have nothing on the Iranians.) If you have the kind of job where you have to kill time or look busy, allow me to give you some tips.

1. If you fall asleep at your desk, try this: when someone comes in your office and startles you awake, be sure to say "Amen" as you jerk your head up off your chest.
2. Walk down the hall very fast carrying a file folder. Look distracted.
3. If you need to call in "sick" and work demands an explanation, allude vaguely to stomach trouble. Mutter something about having eaten bad crab. No one wants to hear the details.
4. Volunteer to do things the long way. At the ad agency, Faisal and Farooq were our supposed "computer experts," although they tended to be baffled by any sort of unfamiliar file format. Sometimes we would get both a disk and hard copy, and if they were stymied by how to get the file off the disk (this happened often), I would offer to retype all the copy. I like to type.
5. Keep a journal. Obviously.

I am all spazzy and full of restless energy lately. Yesterday on a crowded train I fantasized that I had a Swiss Army Foot. Then I could open bottles of beer and wine with my foot, and I would always have scissors handy, and I even imagined a sort of razor blade thing on the side. All jammed in and pressed up against scores of sweaty Chicagoans, I next imagined plowing through the crowd and stealthily bestowing small, painful shaving nicks on everyone's ankles. Or let's say instead of a razor blade it was like a super-sharp Chinese throwing star thing on the side of my foot, then when I was being attacked by ninjas I could just start doing kung-fu kicks and slice off their heads. AHHHHH HELP WHERE ARE OUR HEADS? scream the ninjas (somehow) and fountains of movie blood come out of their neck-stumps and woo hoo now I have all the severed heads I could want. Although that is kind of cheating. And kind of aggressive and scary, too, maybe I should go have some chamomile tea.

Here is what I drew while on a boring conference call:

---mimi smartypants took a bite out of crime.


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