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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

2006-11-02 ... 10:30 a.m.


I have posted before about Banana, The Cat Who Will Not Be Quiet Ever. If I am alone in the house, I often enjoy pretending that the incessant meowing is really her trash-talking me. It helps that Banana is a very interactive meow-er, so we can have exchanges like this:

Banana: Meow.
Me: Oh HELL no. You did not just say what I think you said.
Banana: Meow.
Me: Bitch, you best quit running your mouth.
Banana: Meow.
Me: Oh, is that so? I recommend you shut up, or me and some hard-ass bitches are going to fuck up your pretty little preppy face.

And so on.


Nora's school had a day where parents could come and see the classroom for about an hour---supposedly the kids would be all proud and excited to show us their materials and the things they like to do. Frankly, Nora seemed irritated beyond belief that I was there. Montessori is all about doing things yourself, with very little input from teachers or even peers, so the whole hour went something like this: she'd get some work down, I would ask an innocuous, Mister Rogers-type question about it, she'd sigh and say, "I don't want to present it, I just want to do it." So basically I was banished to sit quietly and watch her use tweezers to transfer pebbles from one jar to another. Or whip up soapsuds with a hand-cranked eggbeater. Or any other of the odd-but-pedagogically-appropriate preschool activities she enjoys.

All the other parents were there, mostly busy annoying their own children but occasionally making chitchat. One amazingly dressed-up mom asked which one was mine, and then asked, "Where's she from?" She's from China. "I'm assuming she's adopted?"

On the one hand, it is kind of nice to hear someone actually ask the question rather than just do the assuming. On the other, if my imaginary Chinese-heritage husband and I had birthed Nora ourselves, I would not be answering "where's she from?" with "China," now would I? But whatever. I am not always good at the small-talk smarts myself, so I gave Fancy Pantsuit Woman the benefit of the doubt and answered in the affirmative. But then there was this:

FPW: China is so amazing!
Me: Yes, we had a great trip. We'd love to go back and visit.
FPW: I just finished the most amazing book about China. It gave me so much perspective on the country!
Me: Oh really?
FPW: Yeah! It was called The Good Earth.

Then she stared at me as I flailed around for something to say. I eventually settled for, "Oh...sure, I've read that too." I don't want to harsh on people, but The Good Earth? The Good Freaking Earth? Published in 1931? This is what gave her so much perspective? Nothing wrong with the book, but I guess I was just expecting something a little more, uh, contemporary.


Nora the pirate had a great time on Halloween. Trick-or-treating at the swanky Lincoln Park boutiques (not our 'hood, but it's a good Halloween scene), seeing some old friends, riding the sugar rollercoaster until she hit rock bottom. She probably walked about two miles all told, and never complained or showed any signs of flagging until her piggyback ride to the car, where she had her finger in her mouth and kept testing whether she could put her head down on LT's head as if it were a pillow. Then silence all the way home, and probably the first totally-asleep, limp-rag, car-to-bed transfer that I have enacted since Nora was a small baby.

However, the Halloween experience has brought to my attention the need to work on tact. A friend's kid is the same age, and she showed up in an over-the-top ruffled pink princess costume. Pirate Nora stared at it for several long minutes, her nausea practically visible. Then she walked over to the princess and said, very slowly and right in the kid's face, "I. Would. Not. Wear. That." I hustled over and made the happy crappy blah blah about how everyone likes different things, and THAT'S OKAY! Right, Nora? Nice try. Nora simply continued to be open-mouthed with the horror of it all, and spoke up several more times that day about how she would not wear that dress, no way, not ever, it would never happen. Halloween is over and she still occasionally says, "Mommy? Remember that princess dress? With all the curlies? I would not take that. I would not take that costume." OKAY WE GET IT.


Just finished: English, August. Too long, but pretty funny and stuffed full of the ennui of being a confused newcomer to a hot place. So many descriptions of being sweaty and drunk and mosquito-bitten that I practically had Bahrain flashbacks. Also, Voodoo Heart, which was also decent and has possibly cured me of my knee-jerk antipathy toward stories set in the early 1900s. I don't even know what my problem was, maybe I just had read one too many New Yorker-style things about taciturn Midwestern farmers who learn some Hard Lessons. Currently I am reading War Reporting For Cowards and it is hilarious. Highly recommended.

I also went on an uncharacteristic Netflix binge and concluded that:

(a) I like Fraggle Rock episodes way more than Nora does. I actually talked her into staying on the couch at one point, which is pathetic. Go play? No, you'll stay here and enjoy Mommy's TV nostalgia trip!
(b) The Psycho Stare thing that Eminem did at the beginning of each of his 8 Mile battle raps, combined with the completely non-suspenseful "will he choke?" pause while the beats went on without him, got really old really fast, plus I felt bad for the guy in the last battle when Eminem dissed him for attending private school, not least because I am so very sick of the "I Am More Ghetto Than You" thing.* And how is the Brittany Murphy character anything other than a deluded whore?
(c) Red Eye was surprisingly well paced, but its short duration and PG-13-ness made it seem so much like a TV movie that I kept waiting for the commercials.

*Seriously. Who will ultimately win at this "competition"? Is the next big rap star an incarcerated-for-life 12-year-old murderer with fetal alcohol syndrome whose prostitute mother let a rat chew off half his face as he lay in a cardboard-box crib in the abandoned housing project?

---mimi smartypants: not very ghetto at all, to be honest.


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