dusty lid of the sugar bowl
I should start a new website, dedicated solely to the collection of terrible teabag copy. I drank a hippie something-or-other herbal tea the other day, from Yogi Teas, and the tag told me, “Our destiny is to merge with infinity.” Which sounds an awful lot like DEATH to me, no shit it's our destiny, Yogi Tea why you gotta be so bleak. I feel so enthused about ingesting these green-tea antioxidants now that I am reminded I will just die anyway. Not that I think yoga has to be all kittens and cupcakes, but I won't be schlepping my sticky mat to Arthur Schopenhauer's studio any time soon. Even if he was sort of a Buddhist. A really crabby, bewhiskered Buddhist.
Of course, in actuality I'm the bleak* one, the one who sees the bummer message in “merging with infinity” and not the joyful eagerness to lose the flimsy Gladware container of the separate self. What can I say? I'm not in a merging mood right now. Besides, the word “destiny” is like a desktop shortcut to making me angry. Destiny can go fuck itself! I'm in charge here! (She said, waving her puny fists around. Zoom way, way out to the pathetic sight of our heroine alone and powerless in an uncaring universe.)
*(“Bleak” is such a great word, don't you agree? Bleak bleak bleak. Your mouth is sort of forced to smile when saying it, so it cheers you up all on its own. Sometimes, when I am moping, I will just say to myself, “Wow, my outlook is bleak” and then I will follow that with “Bleak! Bleak! Bleeeeeeeeaaaaaak!” and before you know it things seem a little better.)
(Hey! There is a fish called a bleak! He looks sort of sad in the picture. Hey bleak fish! Pssst! Just say your name!)
POP-CULTURE SURPRISE DEMOGRAPHICS
There was a blood drive at my office recently and I saw one of the phlebotomists in the cafeteria—she was a huge African-American woman wearing I Love Lucy-patterned scrubs. Setting aside for a moment the wonder that such a thing even exists, it gave me brief pause that a middle-aged urban black woman would want to wear this homage to 1950s housewife sitcom kitsch. At first I thought that maybe the scrubs are just handed out first-come, first-serve, but then she pulled out her wallet to pay for her sandwich and it too had an I Love Lucy design. Which is totally cool, I guess you like what you like, shame on me for cultural assumptions. It is no weirder than my husband having the Sanford and Son theme as his cellphone ring.
BRING HOME THE BACON
Although I am not crazy enough to want my entire life to be like this, I admit that I do get off on having the occasional crazy-busy day, because clicking through the to-do list at both home and work can make me feel like one bad-ass efficiency ninja. On one Superwoman morning I helped LT wake up happy (and used some amazing motherhood mojo to get Nora back to bed when she threatened to interrupt, a half-awake four-year-old storm cloud on the Orgasm Horizon), put a load of clean laundry away, dressed, applied makeup (such as it is—mascara, lipstick, moisturizer), unloaded the dishwasher, fetched granola bar and Lola the Cat for Nora to snack on/snuggle with (respectively) during her “snack and books” early-morning confinement (aka Stay In Your Room Until 7 AM At Least), stuffed various work essentials into various work carrying cases, helped Nora decide on an acceptable shirt (definition for me = not covered in grass stains, definition for her = maximum Spider-Man brandage), kissed everyone, and left for the bus. To, you know, go to work, make money, feed and insure the family. I know it's lame to total up the things that millions of folks do every day and label them as “accomplishments.” But since I am often extremely hard on myself, I'm going to call freebie on this one.
PUBIC HAIR GOT HIS TONGUE
The data on Clarence Thomas' silence. For me the amazing factoid here was not that the moron never speaks (maybe he is remembering that proverb about “remaining silent and being thought a fool”) but that transcripts have only been identifying individual Justices since 2004. How were the transcripts labeled before this? I like to imagine vague descriptors: Standard White Guy (Nos. 1-5), Pudgy-Cheeks Italian Guy, Black Guy, Chick, and Bow-Tie Dude.
NORA SWINGS INTO SUMMER AND MESSES WITH YOUR TIME-SPACE REALITY
The summer-break weather has been strangely crappy here, with rain every day at the beginning of the week, so Nora and our nanny had to put their playground-marathons on hold and find indoor activities. One of which was to get a several-week jump on Chicago Pride Weekend and bake the gayest cupcakes ever. Strawberry cake with white frosting, every decorating geegaw under the sun, and I mean literally because Nora is very interested in the spectrum lately so she makes lots of rainbow-themed drawings. And cupcakes. Pink cupcakes with rainbow bands of colored sugar. CUPCAKE PRIDE!
Speaking of drawing, here is Purple Dog as a superhero:
The wavy lines on his cape are, and I quote: “Wrinkles. In the fabric. From flying so fast.” Something in me just adores the way Nora says “fabric,” and I contrive every way I can to make her say it. But you probably have to be her mom to appreciate that particular cuteness, so. Moving on.
Nora also asked me to draw her “some big squares,” so she could make a comic book. (She is still all about the comic books.) I made the squares. She started drawing stuff in them, and narrating at the same time: “now the guy is doing this, now the guy is doing that,” etc. When I started paying attention again, I noticed that each time she finished a new square she would go back to the previous one and CROSS IT OUT. I asked why, and she looked at me like I was stupid and explained that what had happened in the previous square HAD ALREADY HAPPENED, and the new square was WHAT WAS HAPPENING NOW.
I don't know, it kind of blew my mind in a “narrative framework of sequential art” kind of way. Or maybe I am just very susceptible to having my mind blown. It does take more than pithy aphorisms on a teabag, though.
—mimi smartypants has a callous disregard.