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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

2003-11-11 ... 11:44 a.m.

Do you not have a personality? Then this program could help your e-mails sound more like they come from a human being.

This guy tried Beggin' Strips, with predictable results. I think every kid tries pet food at some point in his or her life (right? Or was it just me?). My dead childhood dog (who was not dead at the time, but I call him that so that people do not get confused and think I still have a dog around) used to eat these things called "People Crackers," which were shaped like mailmen, veterinarians, and other folk that dogs might want to chew up and poop out. I believe I tried a cheese-flavored mailman, and while it tasted neither like cheese nor like mailman, it didn't kill me.

The 7-11 stores in Chicago have this new banner over their doors: STIR SOMETHING NEW INTO YOUR HOT CHOCOLATE!

I bought some spray paint out in the suburbs (since Chicago banned it), and have been practicing copying the font of this banner, and by my estimation the banner leaves plenty of room to add LIKE URINE, MAYBE! right after the STIR SOMETHING NEW INTO YOUR HOT CHOCOLATE! Meet me in the alley at midnight tonight and let's do this thing! I want to teach 7-11 to be specific.


I really should not complain, Nora's sleep issues are improving rapidly. The current project is to try and push bedtime back a few hours so she does not wake up hungry and crying at 4:30 am, and that so when I go back to work I can party with Miss Nora for more than a few hours each evening. When we first got home, and she was waking up every two hours or so to fuss and freak, I seriously thought I was going to die. Staying up all night is one thing, but being woken up each time you fall asleep is a different type of sleep deprivation entirely. The good thing about this type is that in your brief intervals of slumber you have immediate, vivid REM states---I had a marvelous dream last week about a wedding between a watermelon and a shrimp. The dream was mostly about colors, the darker and lighter green of the watermelon rind and the pink and darker pink of the (cooked) shrimp. I sat on the watermelon's side of the church and the reception was lovely, flowers in the appropriate greens and pinks on every table.

The bad thing about the choppy, tripping-over-cracks-in-the-pavement, up-every-two-hours type of sleep deprivation is that, well, as mentioned above, you really do think you are going to die. I am virulently against the "let them cry it out" school of getting kids to sleep, not least because HELLO, let me guess, that is exactly what Nora most likely went through for the first eight months of her life, and although I may not be Parent Of The Year I would like to think I can do better than a Chinese orphanage. However, early last week when Nora seemed convinced that being put down in her crib was a fate worse than death,* there were a few wee-hours moments when I just curled up on the nursery floor and despaired, and let her exercise her lungs for a minute or two, because I was so tired I didn't trust myself not to drop her, and so brain-fried and sleepily resentful that I didn't trust myself not to do something truly wack like shake her.

*Last week she would consistently fall asleep perfectly fine in my arms and then, no matter how gently or carefully I tried to lower her down, would pop right back awake when any part of her body touched the mattress. Or even better, she would wait until I got back to bed and then suddenly wake up and panic OH GOD I'M IN THE CRIB!!!!


Now, however, Nora seems to have gotten used to the crib and I am getting used to my new early-rising routine. Probably it was just the passing of time that did the trick, but AMERICANS LOVE TO GIVE GADGETS THE CREDIT! SO LET'S GIVE A GADGET THE CREDIT!

The Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium crib thing. Its alternate name around here is "Nora's Goth Box" because it plays this very melancholy little tune, as if Dead Can Dance or Kevin Shields had been pulled out of retirement to write a baby-soothing lullaby on contract for Fisher-Price. It also plays a weirdly martial version of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," with cadence drums and everything (incredibly odd---LT and I like to make up different wartime lyrics for it like HOW I WONDER WHERE THE PUNGI STAKES ARE or LIKE A MORTAR IN THE SKY), the boring old basic Brahms, and a series of liquidy sounds, including something that could be rain, bacon frying, or the rhythmic whoosh of a coma patient on a respirator (opinions differ). There is also the option of ocean waves, but that noise freaked Nora out because she knows very well we are nowhere near the ocean. So the gothy song is the clear winner. Seriously, it is very cool.


1. The Russian Debutante's Handbook

2. Mad Drew: Beyond Coffeedome. You can order it here. I also really want the hamster-with-a-cup-of-coffee shirt, even though it is blue (my second least favorite color).

3. Stereolab, ABC Music. Constant rotation in my house for the past few days.

4. While catching up on New Yorkers, an article about the thousand or so people who have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. One old man's suicide note said, "No real reason except that I have a toothache," which made me remember that supposedly I have a distant relative on my father's side who also killed himself over dental pain. This is uncorroborated, however, and my mom claims she does not know what I am talking about, which does not surprise me. There is a similarly nebulous family story about a relative who drowned in a vat of something, although who it was or what was in the vat is in dispute.


Recently I had a whole bunch of wine* and decided to pull off my head scab! Wait, I do not think I told you about my head scab! One of our last nights in China, LT was feeding the kid and I was taking a shower. The showerhead was one of those big heavy brass ones that you can use as a spray attachment, or you can hang it up and use it as a shower, which is what I was doing, until it decided to fall down in all its heavy brassiness and clonk me on the head. So I was dazed, and wet, and nude, and bleeding profusely from the scalp, and turning one of the bath towels into a grisly R-rated scene (sorry about that, White Swan Hotel). LT made me dry off and sit down while he applied pressure, and then although I knew I was fine (no dizziness, no blurry vision) we went down to the hotel clinic just to see if stitches were needed or anything. The clinic was kind of useless---not much English was spoken and the nurse kept saying "Baby looks fine! Baby looks fine!" even though one would think that the woman (me) with the bloody towel pressed to the top of her head would be the obvious patient needing attention. They basically pressed gauze on me and sent me away, which is all I was really after in the first place.

So the wound scabbed over and it had been bugging me, it was a pretty deep gouge out of my skull and I just knew there was a satisfyingly thick scab up there. After one night's Pinot Noir I just dug my nails in and went for it. No more head scab. Don't you love it when I share these things?

*Evening rituals with a baby when you have had some wine, and are not by any means drunk but just happy and warm and relaxed, are fantastic. This is one of those statements that sounds like a Smartypants joke but really isn't, and probably also one of those statements that makes you wonder if you should worry about me but you really shouldn't. I have a hard time appreciating things as they happen, so two glasses of wine makes the bath/story/bottle/rocking chair sequence seem extra-soft-focus special, and sipping the wine and listening to Stereolab in my living room while Nora falls asleep in my arms was totally one of those hypnotic yes-moments.

---mimi smartypants, wooden-nickel-taker.


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