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

display command retreat


I read another whaling book, a history of American whaling called Leviathan. In fact, now that I am Googling the book to make a link I see that the subtitle is indeed “A History of Whaling in America,” how about that. I already knew most of the whaling facts and accounts in this book, because I am kind of a whaling freak, but the author had some awesome phrases that cheered me up, such as “the peeling commenced” (referring to blubber, of course), and “slurry of putridity” (referring to what you have after the peeling). That second one in particular could refer to so many things. The winter-boot slop sloshing all over the rubber floors of El cars. The gunk at the bottom of the fish tank. Whatever horror was overflowing the bathrooms of that one loft party.


I am very tired of the word “devastated” and I am hearing it more and more often. But that is probably my fault because I masochistically watched some of the Intervention marathon (with a big glass of wine, naturally), and man, everything is “devastating,” everyone is “devastated.” Now having an addicted loved one (or having an addiction yourself) is not an anal-sex/champagne-and-lobster picnic, but I just feel like this word is getting overused. (Headlines like “Android Tablet Sales Devastatingly Low” do nothing to change my mind, either.)

Even though I am an Intervention fan, I get kind of bored during it and either fast-forward or find myself distracted by strange little details. Did anyone see the most recent one, with mother-and-daughter meth addicts? Much of the tweaky action took place in the mother’s house and it was SO frighteningly decorated—the kind of “hearts, geese, and dried flowers” Cracker-Barrel shit that literally gives me panic attacks—but my favorite part was all the random wall stencils. They were not just used as borders (which would have been bad enough) but often were just smack in the middle of a wall. Oh here’s some blank space! Let me stencil a goddamned bow and some geese right here! I guess that is the danger of combining meth use and an affinity for countrified crap. More! More stencils! More milk churns! A larger wardrobe for my concrete porch goose!


In the 90s there was almost a sub-sub-genre of rap music that was mostly about being dorky and unsuccessful with girls. Young MC’s “Bust A Move” (although the protagonist is victorious at the end), that Skee-Lo song about wishing to be taller, all of De La Soul’s trouble with crabby girlfriends, and probably more that I don’t remember. Can we go back to that? Less bragging, more striking out and rapping about it.


1. Ever since that horrific NYC elevator accident, you can find me practically doing a barrel roll or standing front-tuck flip to get into the office elevator. I get in and out as fast as possible and if there is a long line of people shuffling in I will bail and wait for the next one.

2. Christ, finally. I don’t eat meat, but resistant bacteria and food-borne illnesses give me the heebie-jeebies. As a vulnerable new mom, I read a sad and graphic description of the toddler who died from the Jack-in-the-Box hamburger contamination, and I still won’t let Nora eat ground beef because of it.

3. This is not a fear, exactly, but I have been very uninterested in leaving the house lately. It is not an antisocial thing—you are welcome to come and drink my booze and eat my food. We can talk talk talk, make fun of Intervention, and have a rousing game of Mario Kart on the Wii. (Warning: I suck. I go off-road a lot and I like to be Koopa Troopa, just so I can yell KOOPA TROOPA! in a silly voice, which annoys Nora a lot.) It might be a side effect of having a house that I really love and that feels exactly like home, in a way the condo never did. I know, home is the people and not the place—but the place helps. (Does that make me a shallow vapid bitch? The kind who judges meth-addict décor? Yes. But come over anyway! I have wine!)


I had the most classically Dilbertian meeting yesterday. It really should have been videotaped and put into some archive of Corporate Ridiculousness.

Different Team: OMG the people want a thing! We must implement this thing! Quick, modify the stuff!

My Team: What does the thing look like? Who creates it? Where does it go? Are we sure the stuff and the thing will play nicely together? [insert about a dozen other questions here]

DT: We don’t know!

MT: Did you ask the people? I mean, if they want a thing, they should have an idea about how they want the thing delivered.

DT: We asked, but they haven’t replied yet! Okay! Now who is going to start to work on the thing?

Sure, I will! I assume that with no instructions I can just do what I want, so please deliver a box of pasta and a ball of yarn to my office so I can start on everyone’s macaroni necklaces. Thanks.

I have a few days’ respite from the crazy people, though, as we are briefly off to some Wisconsin (indoor) water park, which will be all kinds of fun for Nora and mildly amusing for us. I am actually not the hugest fan of getting wet, but I do adore a certain sort of Wisconsin Tacky. I hope to drink canned beer in at least one wood-paneled establishment. Bonus points for fried cheese curds.

—mimi smartypants sat on her tuffet.