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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

2002-10-22 ... 8:51 a.m.

I am not well. I have that vague feeling of unwellness that, if you're not careful, can cause a hypochondriacal freak-out about something being seriously wrong with you. It would be much simpler and less anxiety-producing to just have regular homegrown symptoms like a sore throat or a headache, rather than this generalized awfulness. I can't tell if it's No-Cause Awful, the sort of Awful that is caused by hard living, the sort of Awful that is a baseline to YET ANOTHER of my cajun-blackened moods (oh no mimi not that again you are thinking), or the sort of Awful that is a prelude to a flu-like thing. I am all hot and cold and headachy and sinus-y and sleepy and generally icky, so it is probably that last one.

Because of my Mystery Pestilence, it is doubly charming that today I left the house without a scarf, and that somehow I misinterpreted a high of 50F to be warm enough to not require a scarf, and now I will undoubtedly have pneumonia by the end of the day. (Deliberate exaggeration---I is not stupid, and I know there is no connection between bacterial or viral illnesses and not wearing a scarf in cold weather. But still, being all shivery on the Chicago streets is not making me feel any better.)

However, I will take almost any minor illness you want to dish out as long as this never happens to me.


As much as I wish there were a substitute word, "cute" is the only one that works for this bear.


When the hell did Boss' Day become a holiday? This grates on my semi-socialist sensibilities because isn't EVERY FREAKING DAY BOSS' DAY? I am proud/glad that the few people whom I supervise didn't attempt to celebrate this Festival Of Suck-Up---if they had, we would have had to cancel work for the day to have a revolutionary teach-in.


1. My mom reads a lot. She's not as nuts as I am about it, and she mostly moves within a gentle safe world of prizewinning short stories and books about India. (I don't know why she is so into India. No idea.) My mom also appreciates books for their decorative potential, and has a few antique ones with nice leather bindings on a shelf in her house. When I was over there recently, though, I noticed an un-dust-jacketed copy of Bukowski's Run With The Hunted mixed in with these decorative books. "Have you read this?" I asked. She said, "No, I don't even know where I got that. The maroon looks nice next to those old ones though."

I just thought it was odd, and I hope my mother never does decide to read it, as she is decidedly not the Bukowski type.

2. Are there any anthropologists in the house? I am currently reading this book called In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio. It is an ethnographic study of crack dealing in East Harlem, and the author (Philippe Bourgois---such an unfortunate name) lived in the neighborhood for several years as a participant-observer, conducting interviews and hanging with hoodlums. The book is vaguely structuralist in its analysis of poverty and power structures, and isn't that like a classic problem in anthropology? If you focus too much on structures you ignore the fact that your subjects are not passive victims in a larger historical context, but are actively involved in shaping their own lives (whether to good or bad ends---yes, poor people often do self-destructive things, just like everyone else). But too much attention paid to agency leads to a "blaming the victim" sort of thing when it comes to poverty, drug use, and crime, because no one can wholly choose their circumstances. This is such a painfully obvious thought, and I don't want you to get the wrong impression that I think I am being original here---this whole paragraph is a set-up to ask for any of the aforementioned anthropologist types to send me some book titles that deal with more of the theory side of things. I have read the basics like Geertz and Foucault et al but there has to be more postructuralist stuff that can occupy my little brain. The end.

3. Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh Martha Nussbaum, I love you. Thank you for this article dissing Judith Butler---man oh man does she ever deserve it. I remember reading Gender Trouble and thinking, "That's it? That's what everyone is so all hot and bothered about? Gender is an artificial construct, ooh how radical, stop the goddamn presses, haven't heard that one before." Smell you later, Judy!


You know how these things are called "genius grants" (at least by the popular press)? It would be really hard not to milk that for laughs if you received one. You'd be thinking "The great genius soaps up her loofah" in the shower, and if anyone pissed you off you could say "Kiss my genius ass!" I personally would walk into Victoria's Secret and say "Do you have any brassieres that can contain these genius tits?" And just think of the dirty-talk possibilities, for instance, while receiving oral sex. I won't go there, you can just use your imagination.


Freedom Chicken Nuggets or Scary Fish Square on Bun? What are the cafeteria workers smoking?


I forgot to mention that on my overnight to Madison I slept under a down comforter. And now I want a down comforter. I am used to having lots and lots of blankets piled on top of me, but there is a whole different feeling to having just one, insanely warm covering. I was all skeptical when I [drunkenly, shiveringly] undressed and crawled into the guest futon at 4 am because there was just this one comforter, but five minutes under there made me a believer in the Power Of Down.

Another nice blanket memory: after some drunken/drugged-up teenage party I spent the night on a friend's floor. I was one of the last people to wake up the next day and when I did wake up I couldn't move, because every single person at the party had covered me with a blanket or a coat or something at some point during the night. I guess I must have looked cold.


Perhaps it's the winter nesting instinct (or rather maybe even more than "perhaps," since I think I just wasted a good hundred words blithering about blankets), but I just want to cook and cook and cook lately. Spinach bread tonight. I've got a lemon-zesty asparagus pasta thing waiting in the wings for tomorrow, and I find myself reading cookbooks and poking about on recipe websites and dreaming about doing something really complicated with phyllo dough.


Today there was some sort of heinous delay on the southbound El that probably inconvenienced a lot of people but worked out great for me, because I showed up at my stop and sat down on the train just as the driver was announcing that we would go express to Wilson. I am feeling tired and sickly, as mentioned above, but as those stops kept clipping by and the train accelerated to a fairly astonishing (for Chicago public transportation, anyway) velocity, the speed revived me and I got very excited, to the point where I stood up on my seat and screamed "Faster faster faster! GO LIKE THE HAMMERS OF FUCK!"

Okay, I didn't really do that. Never ruin a good story with the truth, unless you are me and you ruin things at every ruining-things opportunity. Everything I touch turns to boring-ass deconstructed narrative. Sigh.

---mimi smartypants is ready to rock.


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