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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

2003-08-20 ... 4:07 p.m.


Me. Well, vaguely. The other night I went to go hear a friend's band, who are apparently just popular as all heck these days, and while their music is not precisely my thing the show was plenty fun enough for an evening. The crowd scared the hell out of me, though. Lots of tube tops. Lots of trucker hats. Lots of girls yelling WOOOO. The opening band* was even less my thing, very radio-friendly and almost suspiciously Christian-rock-sounding. Egad. I drank much Miller High Life to get through their set and discovered that you could sing the words "middle of the RO-OAD!" to just about every lyric they had, and it seems to me that is no accident.

*(Did you hit the link? The "human and social puzzles that challenge all our lives"? What the hell? Regular-guy rock needs to have a philosophy now?)

And another night, LT and I had a party. It was fairly low-key and grown-up, but my friends are still all drinky-drink and smoky-smoke, so there is no need to call the nursing home and haul out the canasta decks just yet. I felt kind of scatterbrained and superficial all evening, as if I had not talked to anyone in depth, and then the next day I thought: oh right, of course I didn't talk to anyone in depth, it was a party. Save the in-depth stuff for the all-nighters, curled on the couch or installed in a dark booth in the back of the bar.


Today I received a work-related phone call from someone with the last name of Flippo! FLIPPO! I had to restrain myself from making wild eeps of joy when I heard his name. Flippo! The Flipper-Armed Clown! Book Him For Your Kid's Birthday Party, If You Think You Can Deal, Because It's All Rather Horrifying, Really! (No, that is way too long for a slogan. Unless Flippo the Flipper-Armed Clown had really giant joke business cards, like those presentation checks.)

Also, I was waiting for something to happen so I could make something else happen (not to be cryptic but work details are no fun), and to kill time I started to draw a mini-comic called GREAT BIG ALIENATED APE, but I realized that not only can I not draw (oh yeah, I forgot) but I was not sure how to depict alienation in an ape. It is a good title for a comic, though, if you want to draw it yourself.


Buildings are being torn down and built up so fast near my office that sometimes you step out and look around and barely know where you are anymore. I find myself trying to remember what used to be in a certain location, which is a sure-fire way to sound old before your time. (Flash-forward to a mental video of me fifty years from now, and turn your mental Grandpa Simpson voices on) "Now over there, that used to be a very cool! I think their business plan was to sell different varieties of cabbage over the Internet. And this corner used to be my favorite bubble tea shack!") Also, since we are talking about River North here, it is not as if anyone will particularly pine for the lost buildings---is anyone really crying that the Linens And Things at Ohio and Rush closed? (Oh oh oh! sobbed the children. Wherever shall we purchase our Linens and our Things?)

Look at the shark with a top hat! And stay for the music commentary, too.

I just finished Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx and mostly liked it. (Although, like its title, the book is somewhat too long.) This is the kind of deep reportage you don't really see anymore---Adrian Nicole LeBlanc spent ten years with her subjects, two Puerto Rican teenage (when she started) mothers and their extended network of family, friends, and hangers-on. The novelistic prose can be a little unsettling, because you keep expecting something dramatic and, well, novelistic to happen, instead of the same old dreary grinding poverty: one more baby by a different father, one more prison stretch, one more threat of homelessness. Although while I read my privileged whitebread brain would occasionally break in and scream HAVING ALL THESE BABIES IS YOUR MAIN PROBLEM, GIRLFRIENDS, I admire LeBlanc for not pulling out of the narrative to try and make similar sweeping statements about social conditions. She sticks to the facts, and it is slightly terrifying how the fucked-up logic of the world she describes starts to make sense. When everything is in crisis, you have to rank the crises and choose how to respond. (I still have trouble fathoming why getting pregnant gets you respect, but then again I don't live in their world. That is another good thing this book is good for---it will straight-up cure you of the notion that you have a clue how this piece of the urban poor live and work and think, while simultaneously getting you, the comfortable, liberal reader with none of these problems, a bit closer to understanding.)

One social-service passage, however, did make me nearly insane with rage and want to start voting Communist:

Following her evacuation from the flea-infested house on the hill, Coco reapplied for Section 8 certification and also for public housing. (Part of the application asked her to write an essay, "Why I Want to Live in Public Housing." "Because I'm homeless," Coco wrote.)

Christ on a crutch. THIS is welfare reform? Essay questions?

Um. I should tell you something happy now, to make up for my Angry Young Girl stuff and so you don't worry about me running around Smashing The State and getting in trouble. How about this---Stage Two of Project Huge is done, so I should be in a better mood for a while. Take me out! Buy me a beer! Give me quarters for the jukebox, where I will torture you with my newfound (and hopefully short-lived) cheesy rock obsession! (Seriously, my musical taste has been weird lately. I spent an entire day listening to things like Journey and the Police, which ordinarily I barely tolerate, and then the entire day after that listening to weird microtonal things like the Scelsi string quartets [skip the First, head straight for the Fifth] and Schnittke. If these things were on the same jukebox in some Platonic ideal of a bar, I would never need to leave.)

Okay, I have alienated everyone by talking about the uninteresting things that interest me, so I will go now. We will be back to talking about underwear and porn soon enough. I promise.

---mimi smartypants meebled, and then freebled.


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