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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

2002-08-21 ... 1:10 p.m.

Today has been all about pretending to care. At work I was called into an Emergency Meeting where there was great wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, and the thing is.

Here's the thing.

The thing is, part of this work crisis was easily fixable, and part of it was something you just had to grit your teeth and decide to get past. And I don't see the point in talking about it in Emergency Meetings. But that's a non-team-player thing to think, so I have to paste a look of Professional Concern on my face and play the game or else get a bad performance review and lose my job and end up a Big Fat Loser staying in bed all day.

I am so terrible at this emotional expression stuff. Even at non-work-related times, when I really do care, I can't always get my actual emotions and my outward display to match up. There will be some family crisis and I'll be sitting there like a loose tooth, like a fat lip, like a used teabag, with my hands all empty and my head aching but I'll be LITERALLY UNABLE to say the right thing or to show natural human feelings. It's like I care so much I get autistic and I can't allow myself to feel it until later, when I'm all alone. An excess of self-control. Or else my caring takes extraordinarily strange forms, like the urge to physically crawl on top of the sobbing person and keep his body from spinning off into grief-space. (Strange, yes. Although one friend swears my unorthodox comforting technique saved his life one night, years ago.)

Enough of this.


Today marks the fourth day in a row I have forgotten to pick up my dry cleaning. This despite the fact that yesterday I used as a bookmark a large piece of paper that said PICK UP THE DRY CLEANING YOU DUMBSHIT DUMBASS LOSER. And yet I walked right past the dry cleaners and didn't think of it again until midnight. Maybe my subconscious doesn't respond well to name-calling. Today I will try a note that says YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD PERSON THAT YOU WILL NO DOUBT REMEMBER TO GET THE DRY CLEANING WITHOUT FAIL. I hope that works, because my supply of even vaguely-professional-looking work clothes is dwindling fast. I may have to go to work tomorrow in a leftover Wonder Woman costume, wearing my bedsheets like a cape. I'll drive my invisible car!


1. My PDA has a button you can thumb to turn it on and off. You don't have to use the stylus to poke the little hole. I've owned the thing for a year now and never knew that. It makes me unreasonably happy, like life is full of surprises.

2. The song "Tiny Dancer" is an Elton John song. I hear it all the time on cheesy jukeboxes but never connected it with that particular cheesy has-been performer.


1. Music

a. So I'm in the aforementioned Meeting Of Seriousness and it takes about an hour. We meet in a higher-up's office and she has the Bach Unaccompanied cello suites playing in the background the whole time. Being a classical music nerd, I feel I have to mention it.

ME: Is this the Janos Starker recording? That's a good one.

HER: Oh this? I have it on continuous repeat, I barely even hear it anymore.

I nearly fell over. Not that I think the Bach solo cello stuff is so all-fired holy that you have to pay rapt attention to it. But what kind of crazy person could work for eight hours listening to nothing but Bach's rhythmic ambiguity and implied harmonic progressions? Especially the Starker recording, which is very nice and expressive but so very faithfully recorded that you can hear his fingers plunking down on the fingerboard in that way Bach seems to inspire, the way that provides a weird tribal percussive counterpoint to the fast passages. I would seriously go insane listening to that all day long.

b. Cultural nostalgia as it applies to punk rock.

2. Film

a. First off, are you going to CUFF? You should. I've tried to go to at least part of it every year, and this year I am particularly excited because someone I know was tangentially involved with this Chicago-centric movie, and it's about punk rock and bowling and drunkenness and what could be nicer. Let's leave work early and look at some images. The short programs are usually pretty good too. It's a date.

b. Second, I think Edith Wharton is pretty groovy, and I re-read her novels sometimes for pure textual comfort and when I want to feel grateful for the many directions my life is able to take, here, now, when I am female and it is not 1905, and last night I watched the movie version of House of Mirth, and I thought it was a surprisingly successful adaptation of the book.

3. Books

a. Lately I'm all interested in the idea of snobbery, especially as it applies to my generation and their sad little quest for some sort of down-home outsider "authenticity" (think the co-optation of the term "alternative" and subsequent backlash, the ironic turnabout co-optation of some of the goofier aspects of hip-hop culture---heck, even endless thrift store shopping, punk-rock 7-inch fetishization, "outsider art," etc etc etc). (My phone rings and it's you: Earth to Mimi Smartypants, you say. What the heck are you talking about? Are you experiencing gin withdrawal or something?) Long story short, a fellow Chicagoan has written a book on snobbery. I barely ever buy things in hardcover, but I'll be looking for it at the library.

b. Just finished A Multitude of Sins, Richard Ford's latest. I liked some of the moments within the stories but I don't think any of it will stay with me too long. Could the guy be more obsessed with adultery? Even the stories that aren't at all about adultery mention it at least once, like a tic or a hiccup. No four-way wife swapping, though.


Why don't we say "the greatest thing since Otto Frederick Rohwedder"?

Jesus H. Christ with a side of mashed potatoes, this entry is TOO LONG. There is more in my head and in my fingers but I will wrap it up and put it in the icebox for later.

---mimi smartypants dives downward to darkness on extended wings.


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