standing at the doorway to adventure
Listen: don't you start with me. I know I talk about underwear too much. I also talk about severed heads too much, about the shifting parameters of the “self” too much, about my Corin Tucker crush too much, and about the evolution of my private jokes too much. Particularly the most serious kind of private joke, the kind that I tell myself inside my head and then cough up onto this web page like it is an expensive virtual carpet and the private joke is a wad of fur. Going with this analogy, I suppose that would make me a cat. Did I ever tell you that an ex-boyfriend of mine, at the end of our relationship, once wrote a short story that compared me to a cat? It was the mean kind of short story, featuring the sexually aggressive, self-interested, uncaring kind of metaphorical cat. It was also the messy kind of relationship, featuring the Red Cross being called in to do triage and the President flying over the disaster-ravaged metaphorical landscape in a helicopter. So I do not hold a grudge in the long run and am merely happy we both got out alive.
Right. Recently I noticed the label on a pair my underwear, when I was in a position to notice such a thing (don’t worry, your friend Mimi Smartypants does not do anything as unladylike as excrete—I was putting away laundry). The label was very complex and wordy for an underwear label (well, it wasn't Kant or anything, but there sure were a lot of words for an underwear label), and it said that the “front panel” (I think this was their euphemism for “crotch”) was cotton, a proportion of the underwear itself was nylon, and a smaller proportion was “shimmereen.”
Of course I looked it up (see link above), but this word immediately captured my imagination. Is it the famine-stricken Irish county captured so irritatingly and Frank-McCourt-esquely in one of those books? You know the ones. Miserable Irish Och We Was So Poor And Then Little Mary Died On Christmas Day I Tells Ya. And Me Da' Was Inflicted by The Drink. And He Beat Me, Tho' Only Out of Love. And Then Dear Mum Lost Her Marbles And Was Found Floating In The River Innit. But The Hills Of Shimmereen, I Think Of Them Yet, As I Collect My Many Literary Prizes.
Or maybe Shimmereen is one of those weird old-fashioned girls' names ready to be immortalized in a Bo-Diddly-type song: Shimmereen, Shimmereen, you got the biggest legs I ever seen, why you wanna do me like that Shimmereen.
Shimmereen also carries disturbing echoes of Sizzlean. Let us not dwell on the possibility that my underwear is part Sizzlean.
Okay, I can't drop this Sizzlean thing just yet. A large portion of high-quality web pages have mentioned Sizzlean. Also, in their lyrics, Bikini Kill, Cypress Hill, and House of Pain. What is going on here? A Sizzlean renaissance!
NOW IS WHERE I PLUG CULTURAL PRODUCTS
1. I am reading a book that you should read, if you even vaguely enjoy things that are in the Thomas Pynchon/David Foster Wallace/George Saunders vein. It is called Sewer, Gas, and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy and it features eco-terrorism, blue hamsters, a hologram of a resurrected Ayn Rand, a shark that lives in the sewers, race-specific viral plagues, and so forth. It is from the library, it is very funny, and I think I may need to own it.
2. One of the epigrams in a chapter of that book led me to look up this: It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand. I have just skimmed the article and I need to read it more thoroughly, but it seems to be advocating a sort of anarcho-capitalism, or more precisely real capitalism, where workers have the same rights as businesses and there is no protectionism or price controls of any kind.
3. Besides not getting me started on underwear, Corin Tucker, or the self as embodied consciousness, you might also not want to get me started on Ayn Rand. My feelings are un-positive to the point of occasionally degenerating into ranting, which puts me on about an intellectual level of many Ayn Rand fans I have met, so maybe that works out in the end. (Oh SNAP!)
4. I have a newfound love for cumbia. The Rough Guide is a great compilation to get you started. Or, if you want to start really small, one of the tracks on David Byrne's Rei Momo is a sort of modified cumbia thing. I had kind of forgotten about this album, being a much greater fan of Talking Heads than of Byrne solo, but I listened to it the other day and it sure does have some great lyrics. The line about someone being “Like a pizza in the rain/no one wants to take you home” evokes more sadness and bereft feelings in me than a whole hatful of Morrissey tracks can.
UH-OH WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME
The Playmobile tarot cards are really good. I like the Empress card (both in general and in this set).
Interviews with failed suicide bombers.Scary.
Even though it is from one of those commercial radio “morning shows,” which are rarely funny, the Real Greg Brady made me mirthful. Lyrics here.
—mimi smartypants is highly improbable.