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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

2003-09-13 ... 10:18 p.m.


1. Afrimex! A store that claims to sell "African And Mexican Clothing And Hair Products." I know it sounds like I am making this up, but I did see it, near Wilson and Broadway. Wait, unless I dreamed it. Which I hope not, because that is kind of scary. A repeat of the Disappearing Couscous Restaurant?

2. Also near the area, I saw a man wearing a pair of kurta pajamas in that Burberry plaid. I have no idea if Burberry is really making an effort to appeal to the Karachi set (that would be rather awesome, in its way) or if some knockoff fabric was just taken to the tailor.

I have been pretty silent since dropping the baby bombshell, but you really should not read too much into that---just a very busy week of sharing the news, doing some more immigration-type paperwork, and going out. September 11 Moment To Reflect Etc, and then that night LT and I went out to see The Bad Plus. Totally amazing show, a highlight of which was the cover of Black Sabbath's "Ironman." (This sounds gimmicky but it really was not. No one deconstructs a song like these guys.) I think I have a bit of a Jazz Crush on Ethan Iverson now. Not only is he balding and wears glasses and has a sexy squarish build,* but he threw a bit of stage patter at us between songs, and anyone who uses the words "banal," "grievous," "travails," and "suckiness" all in the same bit of stage patter is sexy indeed. And playing the piano does not hurt either. Rrrrowwrr.

*LT should be flattered by this crush, I guess, since I just realized that I kind of described him. Wear a suit more often and play the piano,** baby, and you'd be in more trouble than you already are.

**This is a lot to ask. Maybe the tambourine? The comb-and-tissue-paper? The conga drums, like an Irish Ricky Ricardo?

We can return you to your regularly scheduled Mimi observations after I do one more rambling rugrat entry. I don't want to turn this into Baby Journal, but there are some things to be typed. Besides, I am not getting one bit of work done because I keep drifting off to stare at her photos. My brain has gone soft with baby. Rub a baby on your head twice a day to keep your brain nice and baby-soft. (See, I wasn't kidding.)


Q: My god, Mimi! This is so sudden!

A: Ha. Actually not. LT and I discussed the idea many times, over many bottles of Chianti. We also discussed the homemade-kid option, and I went off birth control experimentally, for one month, but the fact that I was nervous and crabby and depressed that entire month made me realize that my brain had pretty much signed on the dotted line regarding adoption.

Q: Why?

A: Because surplus kids in the world who need homes + surplus love, affection, leisure time, urge to parent, and disposable income at my house = adoption being the right move for us. That's the real answer. The flippant, but grain-of-truth, answers are (a) it would take a heroic effort to dry me out for nine months; and (b) the sort of sex that makes the Fetus Thing happen is not my very favorite sort. It's nice and all, and intercourse certainly makes a frequent appearance on the sex menu, but "trying," and its relentless emphasis on that one activity, does not 100% appeal. (It is official. I have Overshared.)

Q: Why international adoption, and why China?

A: There is a years-long waiting list for domestic adoption in Illinois if you go through the "system," and doing something privately, with a lawyer, feels icky to me. As for "why China"---same reason. I like the fact that China has had an adoption program for a long time, and that as the world's oldest bureaucracy they have rules and regulations and a procedure to follow. In my mind, this will help a lot with telling Nora a true story about how she came to us---we won't have a lot of information about her origins, but we will be able to say exactly what happened to her from her abandonment onward.

Q: Why "Nora"?

A: Nora Charles, though fictional, is still a personal heroine, and I love the fact that the name has not cracked the top 100 in decades. The glut of Rileys and Baileys and MacKenzies* is reaching critical proportions. Nora is also easy to spell, so her kindergarten years should be a breeze.

*Do these yuppies know that "Mac" means "son of"? Thanks for the gender confusion, mom!

Q: Well, I am childfree by choice and people who have kids are just boring stupid breeders who will never have anything interesting to say, ever, as opposed to me and my sparkling scintillating childfree conversation.

A: I have read several of these childfree screeds (and received one via e-mail) and it raises an interesting point. Although I realize my life is about to change, I feel totally confident about retaining non-baby interests, whereas the more rabid childfree people seem to harp on this one subject ad infinitum. How about I respect your life choices and you respect mine? That sounds like a good idea to me.

Q: But are you still going to be cool, post-baby?

A: Look, I have a lifetime guarantee of cool. Or rather, I am not cool in the least, which paradoxically means that I am quite cool. This is a special brand of logic that shall be more fully explained in my manifesto, Thoughts On Cool, to be published next spring or as soon as I can find and organize all the different bar mats and cocktail napkins I scribbled it on.

Q: Actually, I was obliquely referring to some of your other habits. Because I think substance abuse is way cool.

A: I have a feeling that LT and Mimi will be switching to the ever-economical drinking-at-home option, at least for a while. But yes: Babies cry, mommies drink. Next question?

Q: Uh, you're kind of scaring us. Can you really do this parenting thing?

A: I can honestly say that I have never attempted anything that required as much, well, faith as this having-a-kid endeavor. (Moment of silence while everyone retches at my sudden outbreak of sincerity. It is like a bad rash. Please pass the hydrocortisone.) My other Life Decisions have been Rational To A Fault---LT and I even got married when we did because of the timing of his Fulbright grant, for crying out loud. But this falling in love with a baby halfway around the world, this jumping in with both feet, this allowing things to unfold at their own pace and then adopting the attitude that said things were meant to be---this is all very new to me. It feels kind of good, to be honest.

Q: Bleccch. Thank god this interview is nearly over. There had better be some drunken stories or funny links or underwear stories next week.

A: I will do my best.

Q: Want to indulge in one last Nora anecdote, while your brain is still baby-soft?

A: Her latest medical report from China says that she is very healthy, but that they could not thoroughly assess her vision or hearing because she was "uncooperative." To which I say: You go, feisty girl.

---mimi smartypants is learning to like Tsingtao.


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