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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

2006-11-07 ... 8:06 p.m.


Whoo, I am all riled up. I am feeling all shit-starty and dangerous, which is kind of a joke when you step back and take a proper look, as I am sitting here in paisley pajama pants and a paint-stained hoody (slob! unsexy slob!), listening to Pavement B-sides (dork! stuck in the 1990s dork!), and drinking dong quai tea (hippie! one step away from referring to your period as "moon time" hippie!) However, it's true that today I have managed to insert myself in the middle of a dumb little online conflict. Google accidentally led me to a smug, saccharine blog entry by an at-home mom that ended with a line about how the author doesn't get a paycheck, but she gets hugs and kisses. Which of course immediately had me itching to post this in the comments:

"I get a paycheck AND hugs and kisses. I win!"

The girly urge to be polite rather than pithy won out, so although I did post a comment I merely said that it is rather insulting to imply that at-home parents are the only ones who clean up vomit, bake cookies, attend dance recitals, and get told they are the best moms ever. (These are all actual tasks that the author listed as some of the "rewards" of not working outside the home. Cleaning up vomit?) Even my restrained response was not appreciated, and my comment got deleted after a flurry of "who are you, troll?"-type responses. (Why, I'm a person on the internet who does not agree! Nice to meet you!)

Although I know some people will not believe me, I honestly don't care about any individual's work or family situation. But I hate illogic and smokescreens and fairy dust up the ass, and I hate the fake math that gets dragged out when women assert that after daycare and dry cleaning and blah blah it doesn't "make sense" for them to work, and I hate statements along the lines of "I'm home with my child because I want to be part of her life." (People really say this! Because I'm not part of Nora's life at all! Why, she barely knows who I am!)

(All right, that's one rant down. I really do apologize for bringing the Crazy today, instead of the Wry or the Mildly Amusing or the Potato Salad or the Multiple Parentheses or whatever it is I usually bring to the online table. I guess if there is any appropriate place to rant it is your online diary, however. Because god knows your husband is sick of hearing it.)


Friday night I was scheduled to booze it up at Delilah's and then attend a Beat Kitchen rock show. I planned to take the #11 Lincoln bus, the one that stops conveniently near my home and then extremely conveniently right in front of Delilah's. I figured I might be the first one there, but I had my New Yorker and my deep thirst for alcohol, and thus that would have been no big tragedy.

I showed up at the bus stop at 7:22, feeling very organized and confident, and waited for the 7:28. It did not come. Another bus was scheduled for 7:48, and it arrived at 8 pm. Which would have made me officially late regardless, but c'est la CTA, right? Sophie probably had her own New Yorker and her own drinking problem to keep her company. However, the minute I get on the driver says, "I gotta warn you guys, this bus keeps dying on me." Me and the five other passengers are not quite sure how to take that news, especially when it turns out he is right. Go three blocks, engine cuts out, driver coasts to the side. Multiple attempts at restarting. It starts! Hooray! Three blocks, engine cuts out, etc. Lather, rinse, repeat. Bus driver is the Voice of Doom during this whole thing, by the way, repeating in a monotone, "We're not going to make it. We're not going to make it." Eventually he gives up, glides over to the side of the road at around Balmoral, and says, "Sorry, it's just not going to go any farther."

This is where I start to suspect something is wrong. Not just with the bus---that much is obvious---but with my fellow passengers. Because they take this news with baffling equanimity. All is silent. No talking, no groans of inconvenience, no bus motor, no driver radioing for assistance. One guy doesn't even look up from his paper. Tentatively I say, "Um. So. What's the plan?"

"Another bus should come along pretty soon," the driver says. "I'm pretty sure I wasn't the last one."

"Well, can you check?" I ask. "I mean, is there any sort of radio? Cell phone? Schedule? Supervisor to call?" I don't want to badger this guy, but I am feeling increasingly like some Type A heart-attack-bound parody of a city person, simply because I'd like a little INFORMATION. A little SENSE OF URGENCY. A little CONCERN FOR OUR PREDICAMENT. The other passengers are all staring into space (three people), picking their noses and humming a little (one person), or reading the Red Eye with intense concentration (one person), as if it contained actual news stories with words longer than one syllable. I am beginning to feel like we are all unwittingly staging a bus version of No Exit.

"Not really," says the bus driver. "I'm looking in the rearview. If the next driver shows up, I'll flag him down and you can get on his bus."

Oh. Okay. I watch the clock and make little deals with myself about exactly when I will flee this episode of Existential Candid Camera, cross four lanes of traffic, get cash at the Walgreen's (for I had planned to get the drinking money on the way), cross four lanes of traffic again, and flag down a cab. I call Sophie and leave a crabby message about why I'm late. Just for laughs, I also call the CTA complaint line and describe the situation to a very nice guy, who is sympathetic but claims to have no power to actually help.

Just a few minutes before my self-imposed OH FUCK THIS deadline, the other bus arrives and we all climb aboard, and I am once again on my way toward beer. Which I now need a freaking vat of. Here is the amazing d´┐Żnouement ---of the original six marooned passengers, five of them (everyone but me) rode the new bus only to Foster. Which means that they sat on a broken bus for about twenty minutes in order to go about six blocks. Holy shit. Sure, it's cold. And you're fat. And uptown Lincoln Avenue is not the prettiest stretch of pavement in all of Chicagoland. And I am not the most patient person in the world. But still! How can you have so much of nowhere to go that sitting on a broken smelly bus is preferable? I do not get it.


It is sort of rageful, but sort of funny too: Top Ten Most Racist Commercials. My favorite has got to be the black guy and his toothpaste bed.

---mimi smartypants powerwalked down to a pile of gummy bears and back.


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