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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

2005-11-03 ... 1:03 p.m.

Ever have one of those days when everyone is sexy? Chicago forgot to put the cap back on the sexy this morning. Sexy soft-butch girls with glasses and nose piercings, sexy guys with business suits and that just-shaved look. Sexy everybody. Please! Stop with the sexy!

Not-sexy antidote: the inept drag queen sitting near me on the El. S/he had gold leather pants, ridiculous amounts of pancake makeup with jaw-stubble poking through, and was (strangely enough) reading a paperback copy of Swann's Way. I think I get to fill in at least two spaces on my Urban Bingo card for that one.

We are a few weeks past the anniversary of my friend Eric's suicide, and while I did nothing to mark the "occasion," I still find myself thinking about it a lot. I think about it at the oddest times, actually, like when I am on the early-morning train looking at things like clouds and skyscrapers and sexy strangers and stubbly drag queens. Usually I think something like: Eric didn't want to see this? For real? I guess I just can't get over not wanting to stay and see. I am not talking about seeing the usual baloney like sunsets and loved ones' smiles, but rather candy wrappers in the street. Construction workers eating lunch on the cathedral steps, throwing Funyuns at the pigeons. Blonde Trixies in the office elevator having a serious, and rather heated, debate about the difference between chicken "nuggets" and chicken "tenders." I can't help asking, in my head: Eric, you didn't want any of this? You just said no? Were you sure?

Mimi Smartypants: The Diary That Gives You Emotional Whiplash! Sorry for that rather abrupt transit-anecdote-to-suicide-musing transition. Remember, I am still hopped up on the 'tussin.


When I come home from work, Nora and I have a snack and chat and then she helps me get dinner ready. She stands on a stepstool and snaps the ends off asparagus or rinses canned beans. The girl is a superb bean-rinser---would you like her to come over and rinse beans? She rinses each damn bean individually, and often I have to interrupt the bean-rinsing process so that the beans can cease their ablutions and actually join their other ingredient pals in the recipe. Anyway, we talk and she quizzes me on my day: What did I have for lunch? Did I do my work? Was it computer work or writing-down-words work? Did I talk on the phone? Did I play with my friends? And last night she asked me, over and over again, "Did the alligator talk to you?"

Me: What alligator?
Nora: The alligator at your office. Did the alligator talk to you?
Me: Sorry, still confused.
Nora: The alligator. The alligator at your office talks. Remember, we pushed the buttons and it talked?

By this point I almost want to just say yes, of course, every day I walk into the office and the alligator says Hey how's it going, because the idea of a talking alligator in the workplace is pretty damn appealing. Then it dawns on me that she means the elevator, because the elevator in my office building does indeed talk, in a smarmy female voice that sounds particularly self-satisfied when it announces "lobby floor" (a redundancy that has irked me since my very first interview here).


If we agree that it's no longer kosher to use the word "retarded" to refer to the cognitively disabled, does that open the word up for more general usage? Because I constantly call stuff "retarded," and I constantly get taken to task by language cops (more like language crossing guards, really) who have nothing better to do than email every time I use the word. All it takes is a Google search to see that I have indeed (mea culpa) referred to retarded people as "retarded" (although not to their faces, obviously), but I have also used the word in reference to ants, Parents magazine, Fiona Apple, the toothbrushing song I sing to my daughter, computerized medical-appointment-setting systems, and, most frequently, myself. HarperCollins would not even let me say "retarded" in the Smartypants book, because they feared repercussions. While a few self-righteously pissy emails are probably not going to make me stop saying it, I do wonder if the word deserves to be stripped of its taboo status, particularly since the trend is toward not using it for people. It is sort of like how I giggled my head off at age nine when I heard my grandmother say "colored"---I had never heard it before and thought what the hell does that mean? How can people be colored? Pictures are colored.


1. I got bleeding-heart spam from Greenpeace with the subject line "TAKE A STAND AGAINST KLEENEX." Grrrrr! Watch out kleenex, I'll tear you like tissue paper! We're not putting up with your soft, triple-ply crap ANY MORE!

2. This is something that LT and I say all the time, and I will buy you a beer and punch you in the arm if you can identify its mass-media source:

Me: I'm corn.
LT: I'm broccoli.
[unison] We're vegetables!

3. The good news is Bad News Hughes. The bad news is that now I have a major swoony Internet crush on a man who bleeds out his ass.

4. Richard Scarry's Best Photoshop Ever. Mine would be called Why The Fuck Are We All Wearing Lederhosen?

---mimi smartypants feels stupid and contagious.


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