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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

2004-08-25 ... 9:39 a.m.


The poet Charles Simic:

The plain truth is that we are going to die. Here I am, a teeny speck surrounded by boundless space and time, arguing with the whole of creation, shaking my fist, sputtering, growing even eloquent at times, and then---poof! I am gone. Swept off once and for all. I think that's very, very funny.


Remember that meme (from some television show, I think) where an actor playing Rick James continually said, "I'm Rick James, bitch?" That has been running through my head for days. I'm Rick James, bitch! Only instead of "Rick James" I think "Francis Fukuyama." I'm Francis Fukuyama, bitch! Why? Why do I think this? Why am I thinking of Francis Fukuyama at all? I have spared him not even a pea-sized thought in my entire life up until now, I have not read any of his books, and I am familiar with the name only in a faux-intellectual, nod-and-spout-bullshit-at-a-cocktail-party sort of way. So brain, if you're listening, please can it with the "I'm Francis Fukuyama, bitch." If that turns out not to be possible, hopefully I have purged the demon here, online, and now there is a tiny slice of virtual reality where Francis Fukuyama and Rick James (RIP) can peacefully coexist. The end.

I have got to quit taking the big stroller to the local produce store. Nora mostly rides around in our small, easily-foldable, public-transit-friendly stroller, but the big stroller has this undercarriage basket which makes it good for neighborhood shopping trips. But bad for neighborhood shopping trips as well, since it is all too easy to throw things in there and then not pay for them. That happened again yesterday, with a pint of blueberries. Nora and I enjoyed delicious blueberry contraband yesterday with our dinner, but now I feel compelled to make yet another trip to Ted's Fruits and Vegetables and fork over $1.19, lest the guilt swell to monstrous, Francis-Fukuyama-sized proportions.

One really really great thing about the Ted's shopping trip was the plastic bag we received for our (non-ill-gotten) purchases: it has been printed in red, white, and blue and says SUMMER FUN! And there is a beachscape, with a gigantic beach ball and a big sand bucket and shovel. Hovering in mid-air (eerie!) is a anthropomorphized hot dog with his (?) face frozen in either a rictus of fear or a scream of extreme happiness. Standing (sic) on top of the giant beach ball is a can of "Cola" holding a bottle of ketchup. Is the can of cola about to use that tomato-based lubricant on the hot dog? Is it going to be hot and dirty beverage-on-tubesteak action? Oh how I hope.

(Rumor has it that Francis Fukuyama was the model for the hot dog.)

The documentary Death in Gaza has also been haunting me somewhat, which is partly my own fault because I made the mistake of watching it during insomniac, weep-prone morning hours. I highly recommend this film; one can't really call it "balanced" but neither is it "extreme," and it follows three Palestinian children and lets them speak for themselves. Supposedly James Miller planned a similar film about Israeli children, except that the Israeli army shot him* before he could get the chance.

Although the death of James Miller, horrifyingly, does appear on camera, the most haunting bits are the small moments. An Israeli tank swinging its gun around to point directly at rock-throwing schoolboys. The voiceover matter-of-factly talking about the Palestinian culture of martyrdom: "They make death into victory." And worst of all (for me), the scene where one of the main protagonists, a twelve-year-old boy, becomes a lookout for a paramilitary group. When the interviewer asks the group's masked, machine-gun-toting leader whether the work is too dangerous for a kid, he replies, "Sister, don't worry. If Ahmed dies, there are a thousand boys just like him." To which every mommy-fiber of my being wanted to scream NO THERE ARE NOT.

*Allegedly. But if here was a sarcasm font? Picture the word "allegedly" rendered in it.


This weekend was filled with family and friends, and it made me kind of twitchy and tired. Saturday was a friend's wedding, held at the Cheney Mansion in Oak Park. Despite my fervent Googling, I could not find out whether these mansion-owning Cheneys are related to Dick Fucking Cheney, so my plan to find a quiet corner of the house to poop in was put on hold. (One must be sure of these things before proceeding.) The wedding ceremony itself was outside, on the lawn. At first everything was going well, due to a heavy application of raisins and goldfish crackers, and then Nora started talking a lot and I noticed we were right next to the video camera. And I thought that maybe Nora's babbling, delightful though it is, should not be all over my friends' wedding video. LT took her about 100 yards away in the shade of a big tree to play, but I could still hear her saying "MAMA. MAMA." So I joined them. It was loads nicer in the shade anyway, and we could still see and hear everything.

On Sunday my father-in-law, who lives on a quasi-farm in the middle of nowhere, had a birthday, and he made brunch reservations for us in Starved Rock State Park. I know I am a hopelessly spoiled urban brat, but Starved Rock is not a place you go for BRUNCH. It is a place you go for VACATION. Well, I don't, because nature scares me, but maybe YOU DO. If "you" are a mulleted, sunburnt Harley-Davidson rider, or a badly-permed, airbrushed-sweatshirt, smacking-your-kid-for-crying creature in stretch pants, then you most definitely do. It was way too far to travel for creepy people-watching and steam trays full of mediocre fried breakfast items, and I was very cranky about it.

After we finally returned home and put Nora down for a nap, LT came in the bedroom where I was lying prostrate with crabby exhaustion and floated the idea of heading out with his friends for some beer, and I was like YES JESUS PLEASE GO because after all the intensity of the weekend I just felt weirdly suffocated by our little family unit. Although it was a lot more work to do the bath/book/bottle/bed routine alone, it was also fun to have Nora all to myself. We ate macaroni and cheese, watched Sesame Street from under a blanket (Francis Fukuyama was the guest star), and went to bed early.

I AM SO BORING TODAY. Even Francis Fukuyama would agree. Maybe you would like to peruse this list of self-referential songs instead. Or read one guy's opinion on why Philip K. Dick was not all that.

---mimi smartypants is the new black.


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