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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

2002-11-01 ... 4:06 p.m.


I am hitting the nonfiction lately and Newjack is amazing. It's Discipline and Punish made real and made incredibly disturbing. The author, Ted Conover, is an investigative journalist who wanted to shadow a prisoner in a maximum-security prison. His request was denied, so he became a prison guard---a completely different way to see the system from the inside. He went through training camp and worked at Sing Sing for over a year. The book is not just a catalogue of ugly prison incidents, but an examination of the bizarre relationships between prisoners and correction officers, and the demeaning and brutalizing conditions that exist for both of them.


My whole department brought in their leftover Halloween candy today. In order from most delicious to least delicious, we have:

1. Reese's peanut butter miniatures

2. little packs of Skittles

3. Smarties (I can't help it, I like dusty candy)

4. tiny Kit-Kats

5. mini-Snickers bars (eh. I am not a fan of the nougat.)

Of course I had to have one of each. This week I have sort of been on a healthy eating kick (um, except for that night when I drank enough red wine for George Peppard to drown in),* but that seems to be over now. Back to the all-candy diet! Let's all do our part to put Mimi Smartypants in a sugar coma!

*A perfectly acceptable unit of liquid measurement. I picture him from the A-Team days, trying to keep his cigar lit as he floats in a sea of Merlot: Glug! Help!

**I wrote this before I checked and discovered that George Peppard actually is dead, which makes it less funny but it's too late to change my metaphor now. He didn't drown in wine though but died of lung cancer. So, if you were hoping for an A-Team reunion show, you can just forget it.


The other day I told TiVo to record an episode of the A-Team, because I am thinking of adopting the theme song as the tune that I will play at top volume in my office when I want to summon the other editors for an Emergency Meeting, and because I couldn't for the life of me remember the backstory (how do these guys know each other, and what their purpose is in having these adventures in their van, etc). I have had discussions with friends about this, and I've looked it up online, but the A-Team facts slide out of my head within minutes. I have a tragic learning disorder, in which I am unable to retain any A-Team knowledge. It's called A-Team Knowledge Retention Deficit Disorder (AKRDD for short), and I think it requires expensive medication and daily head massages. Anyway, I told TiVo to record an A-Team episode because I thought maybe seeing it for myself would help. LT protested, because, as he said, "Now TiVo's going to think we like the A-Team!" LT is not stupid, and he usually resists the anthropomorphizing of TiVo or any other household electronic item, but he has a point in that TiVo's system for learning your preferences functions a bit like either the superego (as in, you feel a bit guilty when TiVo is loaded up with mindless trash, because then it is molding your TV-watching profile to fit that of a trash-TV-watcher) or as an overindulgent grandma (because if you just ONE TIME record something on TiVo, it will go out searching for more television in that particular genre for you, similar to if you just ONE TIME say "Wow I really like oyster crackers in soup" and your grandmother remembers it until the end of time and plops a huge bag of oyster crackers in your lap the minute you walk in the door, saying I WENT TO THE STORE FOR THOSE CRACKERS YOU LIKE.) TiVo should have an "IRONY" button so when you felt like recording, say, "World's Wildest Police Videos" (which I have renamed "Crippling Injuries Of The Poor"), because it's kind of fun to watch high-speed wipeouts with a six-pack of Tecate on a Tuesday night, you could push the IRONY button to let TiVo know not to add that to your profile, you don't really mean it.


1. The doorbell rang only once last night w/trick-or-treaters. I don't know if you can call six-foot-tall scraggly-goateed urban neighborhood toughs, not in costume but in their everyday uniforms of baggy jeans and puffy coats, "trick-or-treaters," but I guess in a sense they were staying true to the traditional Halloween spirit of bullying total strangers into giving you candy.

2. I sent LT out to buy beer and he came back with beer and a pumpkin. I haven't carved a pumpkin in years, and I confess I didn't have a lot to do with the carving of this one, except for a bit of help with scooping out the goop. LT, on the other hand, sliced up that gourd like he graduated from an accredited four-year Gourd-Slicing College. "You're the Gourdmaster," I said. "You totally mastered that gourd." We stuck it in the window, with candles, just like you are supposed to (got to give some light to all those wandering dead souls). I went to bed before he did and when he came in I woke up a bit and asked, "Did you extinguish the gourd?" and he said, "You sure are getting a lot of mileage out of that word tonight."

Holy crap. There's a lot of gourd art to be had, if you are into that sort of thing.

3. Spooky: a light in the bathroom at work was broken and was strobing on and off, and it kind of freaked me out and I tried to use a different one for the rest of the day, because a light strobing on and off in a bathroom is an obvious precursor to blood starting to run down the walls, or a portal to hell opening up in the toilet bowl, or for all the paper towels to shoot out of the dispenser like ninja throwing stars and slice you to death with their recycled paper edges. Why take chances?

4. It is encouraging to know I am not the only one who enjoys a good boxhead. If you tried to count all the times I have drawn a face on/cut eyeholes in a box and worn it on my head, you'd run out of fingers.

Cocktail hour! More later.

---mimi smartypants likes big butts and she cannot lie.


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