mimi smartypants
Seriously, though: what's with the penguins?

once upon a time I was an owl

From the Stop It, You're Making Me Blush, Overly Erotic Medical Language Department (for short, the SIYMMBOEMLD): this surgery article references “deep warm moist clefts.” Several times. Good lord.

Frazzled, me? Why yes thank you for noticing. The current chair of the San Diego conference just e-mailed me all casual, “whoops I seem to have double-booked myself, can you take charge of yet another panel? On incredibly short notice, since said panel will take place in six days?” My impulse is to flee, screaming, into the woods, and smear crushed berries on my cheeks and dig in the dirt, rolling my eyes and showing my throat to the full moon. Mimi Smartypants, Lycanthropic Medical Editor, as it says on my business card. But of course such last-minute smoothing over of pricklies and such is sort of my job as vice chair, and the new panel doesn't legitimately conflict with any of the other heap of things I have to handle at the conference, so I said yes. I said yes with a lot of tension in my jawbone, but I said yes. I am always saying yes. I am Affirmative Girl.

And it's not just the conference coming up, there's all kinds of crud going on at work too, and I am supposed to be packing up my shit to move into my new cool office, but I am unclear on exactly when I am supposed to find time to do that. (But Mimi Smartypants, you helpfully point out, you seem to be finding time to post a new entry on your silly little web journal, what's up with that? To which I say: Hey you, can you try and lay off your wise old sage routine for one second? That would be nice.) To top it all off, I was delivering something a few floors up today and used the stairs instead of the elevator (because the health literature is always going on and on about how exercise reduces stress), and I forgot my key card, and thus I was trapped in the cold lonely stairwell for about ten minutes.

MY SOMEWHAT ACTION-PACKED WEEKEND IS DETAILED BELOW, BORING YOU ALL NEARLY TO DEATH, BUT THAT IS ALL PART OF MY SUPREMELY CLEVER NARRATIVE STRATEGY, HONEST

(Wait, before my weekend summary: if you are a geek-cookie like me, you will swoon with delight over this insanely complete guide to narratology. I can tell already that this is going to occupy some major brain-time, and I just found the darn thing.)

(a) Drank for mostly free at Delilah's (the bartender and I are becoming fast friends, and every other beer just seems to be off the record, plus the top-shelf tequila shot always makes an appearance at some point).

(b) Took The Cat to the vet for a checkup, as she is getting kind of elderly. Kind of fat, too: my cat officially weighs fifteen pounds, up from thirteen in 1999. She honestly eats very little (3/4 cup Science Diet Light kibble every day), but she also honestly moves very little (my cat is more like a snuggly soft throw pillow than a pet). The vet told us to cut down her food a little bit, to 1/2 cup kibble per day, and to give her frozen peas instead of cat treats for a snack. However, I crack up every time I think of the look my cat would give me if I offered her a frozen pea instead of a tasty fish-byproduct nugget.

(c) Took my neglected violin to the violin repair guy for a new bridge and new strings. Once they are done with it I can drag out sheet music and find out exactly how much I suck now, after all this time away from playing.

(d) Experienced the rock and the roll at the Hideout. The Nerves were all right, except for being firmly on a Jim Morrison trip and the fact that the bassist always had his mouth open in classic mouthbreather fashion, which started to bug me after a while. The girl-fronted AC/DC cover band was fun and well-rehearsed, and the Dishes were superb as usual. The most fun, as always, was people-watching: I appreciate how the Hideout seems to have a slightly older and less aggressively hip crowd than the Empty Bottle, and how not everyone has six cigarettes going at once, and how there are always some more unusual nighttime citizens thrown into the mix rather than the standard Wicker Park indie children. I kept watching this one couple, she in a streetwalker too-small halter top and glitter eyeshadow and with painfully processed bleach-blond hair, standing out from her head in a brittle Debbie-Harry nimbus; and her skinny androgynous boyfriend with Adam Ant blush and fishnet on the arms and a certain heroin-influenced style of dancing (head like a flower wobbling around on his stem of a neck) and a tendency to ostentatiously stick his hand down her pants in between songs, and watching them all I could think was: You two must have some really theatrical sex.

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD

Every time something like this happens I end up donating more money to PACs like NARAL. The current administration is going to bankrupt me.

INSIDE/OUTSIDE

A slightly edited, to remove some unnecessary context, paragraph from this piece in the New Yorker, which I've been carrying around in my pocket for a few weeks:


It is not so much that we are drawn to things that frighten us as that we are drawn to things that we can think of as things–as subjects that exist outside the boundaries of all that is just the way we are. It is not merely that we do not live up to our ideals but that we cannot, since our ideals are exactly the part of us that we do not instantly identify as just part of life. An original thought is like a death mask of a man, with the solids made hollow and the nose a cavity, a portrait pulled inside out. We are our ideas, for they include everything we are—but turned right around to face us, and looking back at us in surprise.

THINGS I HANKER FOR

A slug of rye, for medicinal purposes, like in Dashiell Hammett stories
A hunk of cheese
Six weeks to read and think and type and sleep
Fresher air than I am currently experiencing
A completely relaxed neck and skull (never never never going to happen)
Colored chalk
A funnel to drain all of this away

A FRAGMENT

The body refuses to heal. It blisters, it oozes. It trips over fire hydrants, holds out its scarred arms, Look! The mind considers this childish.

—mimi smartypants wants to be your Thurston Moore.