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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

2007-10-24 ... 11:16 a.m.


We are thinking of leaving Million-Dollar Montessori and sending Nora to public school for kindergarten next year. In Chicago you can apply pretty much anywhere, although most of the good schools have computerized lotteries because there is a lot of competition. School choice is awesome. School choice also sucks, because any parent who gives a shit now is compelled to ferret out all manner of metrics and test scores and information, visit open houses and schedule tours, and fret. I have done the research and sent in the applications, and now all that is left is the fretting. Weirdly, I have a secret confidence that she will get in somewhere good and it will all work out beautifully, tra la la la la, although I have been wrong before and now I have probably just jinxed myself by voicing my optimism. See how the fretting never ends?

Actually now that I think about it, some fretting does end. Things I no longer fret about: developmental delays from Nora's time in the orphanage, Bad People breaking in and stealing her in the night, trying to handle things correctly so she will not grow up twisted. (Impossible! Better to twist gently in an amusing direction, like making a bonsai tree!) Evergreen frets: cancer, car crashes, freak accidents, Nora's semi-alarming habit of collecting every piece of junk she finds (old screws, plastic bread clips, a broken stroller wheel) and storing it in her room with claims that it can never ever be thrown out because she might need it for "a project." WHAT PROJECT? Is she envisioning a simple collage or sculpture, or some kind of doomsday device? Outsider artist or miniature Lex Luthor?


I went to see my friends Telenovela play at their record release show last weekend. You should buy their cool retro LP-only release if you have a turntable, unless you are like me and your thirty-year-old turntable makes a weird buzzing noise that no transistorhead has yet been able to locate or diagnose, and you cannot get too excited about fixing it when it is only a stack of thrift-store Arthur Miller Dance Party records that are going unplayed. Maybe the Telenovela release could be my motivation. And I am off on a tangent again, so to sum up: Telenovela = good.

But I am here to talk about the first two bands, although I am going to hold forth on their respective live performances in a visual context only. Pretend I am deaf. And, uh, insensitive to vibration.

1. I sort of knew I was in trouble from the moment I laid eyes on Replica Republic, because they had a male singer who did not do anything but sing. I sort of excuse this for performers from a Motown or R&B tradition, but it has always slightly irked in a rock context. In the absence of even a tambourine (too girly for you, tough guy?) he was left to either sing or else spaz out and dance around the stage, sometimes doing a sort of faux military march like Bono minus the white flag. (And you know that even the merest whiff of Bono makes me rageful.) There was a bassist who was very fond of fist-pumping. There was a guitarist who sang along to most of the songs but---and this made me a little bit sad---he had no microphone. Worst of all, there was a rhythm guitarist who was not wearing shoes on stage. What is with this hippie shit, people? You absolutely must wear shoes to rock, I will brook no dissent on this topic. It was a good thing I had only had one Old Style at that point or there may have been some shoe-related heckling.

2. The second opener was The Submarine Races. After the show I discovered that the guitarist used to be in the Ponys and Happy Supply. I am so relieved to have learned this, because I spent most of their set obsessing about how familiar he looked and trying to figure out why. Had we been at the same party? Do we ride the same bus? Did we once snort coke off the same pair of hooker tits? (What a great way to meet! You, inhaling a line on one silicone-enhanced double-D, me on the other side doing the same, our eyes meet, it's epic, BFF from that moment on.)


1. Nora is doing something at her art table while I make dinner. She finds me and asks for rubberbands and dumbtacks. Dumbtacks? Oh, thumbtacks. No, they are called dumbtacks. Actually they are called thumbtacks. NO. DUMBTACKS. All right Nora, let's go with this for just a moment. Why would they be called dumbtacks? Because they are not as good as "the hat kind." What? The hat kind of pin. YOU KNOW, THE KIND WITH THE HAT. THE COLORED ONES. Okay, I guess pushpins do look a little bit like a top hat. It was a stupid argument so I tried to let it go. And I did not give her any dumbtacks. Unsupervised evil-genius children in creative mode are not allowed to have sharp objects.

2. At the park:

Nora: Why is that dog panicking?
[I look around for anxious dog.]
Me: What? Where?
Nora: That dog over there. That dog is panicking and it's not even hot today.

Here we go again. That dog is panting, the word is panting, no mom you're wrong, it's panicking, lather rinse repeat.

---mimi smartypants built it one piece at a time and it didn't cost her a dime.


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