douse hair with gasoline
Hello. I am taking a short break from eating all the blackberries to try and post a little something. This is not easy as there are so many blackberries to be eaten. Cannot find blackberries in your produce stores, at your farmers markets, or growing on bushes in your forests? That is because of me. From Wikipedia: “The fruit is not a true berry; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets.” I ate all the small drupelets. Aggregate fruit fuck yeah.
My other new food obsession is iced coffee. What the hell am I doing drinking iced coffee? What happened to tea? I’m the OG of steepable leafs/making you change your beliefs/bitches lookin’ good in their thongs bring me oolong! I have TEA LIFE tattooed in gangsta letters on my abdomen! Yeah I don’t know either. I bought an insulated cup and everything (we can’t keep putting this shit in the landfills, yo) and now I’m walking around every morning like Nancy Botwin. Except lots shorter, lots more work ethic, and lots less dependent on booty shorts and bedroom eyes to get what I want.
PEOPLE WHO ARE MAKING ME MAD
1. People at work who don’t bother to ask anyone about anything before sending a huge group email detailing changes in the way that things are done—changes that are not necessary, not authorized, and frankly rather crazy—and that result in a lot of worry and panic and cross-communication. Then I have to clean up the mess and send out the EVERYBODY SETTLE DOWN email, and inevitably some of the recipients will still be twitching in mental defibrillation like a bunch of tasered poultry, and will follow up several times in bewilderment that they don’t actually have to change anything at all. Do you see how this could all have been avoided? Because I do.
2. The (thankfully) outgoing principal at Nora’s school, who suddenly decided that I need a TB test in order to continue coaching girls’ track one day a week. I have been doing it since the beginning of March, so if I have TB then so do a lot of third- through fifth-grade girls. The volunteer form clearly says that you only need a TB test if you’re at school more than five hours a week (which I am not), there are exactly four practices left this season, and I am convinced that her insistence on this stupidity is a sad little power play in the waning days of her administration, sort of like Nixon wandering the halls and talking to portraits. I have liked that woman less and less with each passing year, and the forcible Mantoux test is only the latest injustice. Cannot wait for her much more reasonable successor to ascend the throne.
But! Fine! I will play her silly game! I went to some downtown urgent care clinic for the TB test, fully expecting it to be unpleasant, but it was surprisingly painless. I did have to fill out a ton of forms, which is to be expected for a public-health thing like tuberculosis, but I only waited for about ten minutes and paid about five bucks more than a co-pay at my regular doctor’s office. Plus I got to ride the El all the way around the Loop, which I rarely do, and look at:
(a) the Chicago River in all its groovy industrial glory. I’d pick it as scenery over the lake any day.
(b) the triangular city jail with its slitty windows.
(c) a big fake owl on an office window ledge. Probably for scaring pigeons but pigeons were sitting and pooping right on it. Pigeons don’t care.
(d) a guy who still had the size sticker on his pants leg. Brand new pants sir? Congratulations.
And so far, no TB! Lay down, little tuberculin patch. Lay down flat. We’ll check you in a couple of days.
PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT MAKING ME MAD
1. Nora, for lots of reasons, but also because she is reading Harriet the Spy. I have such a weird love for that book—it was probably the first book I read as a kid that I didn’t feel was talking down to me. Harriet was a complicated person with complicated responses to many complicated situations, and Louise Fitzhugh makes her readers work to understand it all. Marvelous. I also remember being in total awe of the life so totally unlike my own. Harriet has a live-in nanny (who apparently started out as a live-in baby nurse), goes to a private school, rarely sees her parents, and has more or less total freedom to run around Manhattan and sneak into apartment buildings. It blew my little nine-year-old mind, and now it is blowing Nora’s.
2. An unknown character on Real Housewives of Atlanta. Although I am shamefully dedicated to Beverly Hills, OC, and to a lesser extent New York, I do not watch the Atlanta version. Except my TiVo, set to record some equally shameful Bravo show, fucked up and got RHOA instead. I had had some beer so I watched it, fast-forwarding during the boring parts, and I heard someone say this: “She needs to get a hobby. Besides ho-ing.” Some things are just so perfect with certain accents. Like “fucking hell” if you’re Irish. Or “She needs to get a hobby. Besides ho-ing” if you’re an African American lady in the deep South. It pleased me.
SMALL FURRY PRESIDENTIAL
I keep having dreams featuring Barack Obama and small animals. Once it was a leaked home video of the President putting hamsters in a cardboard box and shooting the box with a handgun. Everyone was rightly outraged and it was a huge story (in my dream). The other dream was more detailed, and it was about how the Obamas were breeding cats at the White House, and the President was very excited about a certain litter that was about to be born. One of the kittens was born with no real face, just a mouth and then blank fur where the rest should be, and he held a press conference where he showed everyone the messed-up kitten, which mewed adorably into the podium mic. A reporter asked if it should be put down and Barack was all “awwww no, it’s still cute” and demonstrated how it could eat and breathe and walk around, even lacking a face. I do not believe in dream analysis, but even if I did I think “no-face kitten,” “Barack Obama,” or “random hamster handgun murder” might just defy interpretation.
I guess I should start packing for this Seattle trip. You guys got blackberries there? And iced coffee? You want me to bring you some Chicago-style NATO rioting? Not a problem.
—mimi smartypants roused the rabble.