road river rail
Lately I have been neglecting my library books in favor of lots and lots of magazine articles. Here are a few of the things I have read, divided up into categories of “infuriating” (GRRRR), “interesting” (HMMMM), and “somewhat uplifting” (WHEEEE). Guess which type predominates? Most longer-form journalism is inherently depressing, I guess.
Ocean garbage. It’s in you.
Waiting for Superman’s big fat lie.
Famous piece that you have probably already read, about how little Texas cares for justice.
Transgender kids and the parental dilemma of when to take action. (This pushes a LOT of my intellectual/gender studies/philosophy buttons.)
Sandra Tsing Loh, whose writing I find alternately funny and infuriating (isn’t that odd?), on sending her kids to LA’s public schools.
Skype orthodontia visits, for kids who are in the “follow-up” or “watch and wait” stages. Nora got her palate expander off a while ago, but every six months I have to stick the kid in the car and drive to the office, where she sits in a chair with her mouth open while the orthodontist pokes various teeth and mutters cryptic numbers at her assistant, who writes them down. It takes literally five minutes and I resent having to physically be there. There must be some way we can handle this via webcam or conference call. Hell, with a day’s worth of training on how to measure/what to look for I bet I could phone in those tooth-numbers myself. ORTHODONTISTS, YOUR JOBS ARE IN JEOPARDY! Well, at least the “we’re doing nothing” part of the job. I don’t think amateurs should be soldering braces onto their own kids’ teeth or anything. Unless you want to. For fun.
A LIST OF THINGS FOR THE LIST-OF-THINGS LOVER IN YOU
1. I saw my first-ever dude wearing a Romney button. He was a youngish guy wearing a business suit but carrying a backpack, and even without the Romney button he had a bit of a “former skinhead” vibe about him. The scowling Henry-Rollins-bullet-shaped-head look. Remember skinheads? Remember how in like 1989 they were on all the talk shows, calling Oprah names and throwing chairs at Geraldo and stuff? Doesn’t that seem strangely quaint now? I always felt confused by the skinhead girls, who on the one hand were having fun queering things up with the shaved heads and the mosh pits, and on the other were totally discouraged from ever expressing themselves or doing much of anything except carrying the Aryan babies of asshole skinhead guys.
2. Yesterday I cleared out and deleted an old email account (not the Hotmail one—that originated with this blog and you will pry it from my cold dead anachronistic hands), and there were several emails in it from “Steak Dinner.” The sender was “Steak Dinner.” A steak dinner emailed me! Many times! I did not actually open the emails to see what Steak Dinner wanted, but all day I was amused and I ended up typing several imaginary conversations between me and a plate of New York strip, baked potato, creamed spinach. (Don’t worry, I will not subject you to said typings.)
3. People who fail at almost everything they ever do, and then somehow take that as evidence of their innate superiority to other humans. How in the world do they make that leap? There is nothing wrong with fucking up—but to think that your life is a disaster because you are so smart/creative/unique/special? What?
4. A little kid brought a sticker of a horse’s head to me and asked, “Is this a boy horse is a girl horse?” I replied that one could not tell, without seeing the rest of the horse. It could be a mare, a stallion, or a gelding. “What’s a gelding?” And then we had the Great Testicle Discussion of 2012. It could actually be an idea for a kid’s sticker book—a bunch of farm-animal stickers and a bunch of farm-animal-testicle stickers, and you match them up. Educational fun! Educational testicle fun.
5. Speaking of creative products, LT and I want to make a horror film called It’s…It’s…AAAAHHHH! Actually we have not gotten much past the title, nor can we agree on whether the antecedent of “it’s” will ever be revealed. But I think moviegoers will really like saying the title to each other. And ticket-takers will really be sick of hearing the title said.
6. I am typing this in between stages of preparing a very plebian and Midwestern dinner (fish, baked potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts). The potatoes that I bought at the market are some of the dirtiest potatoes I have ever seen or handled. I know potatoes grow in dirt but damn. Daaaaaamn. Damn dirty potatoes, dog. The skizzins be filthizzin. (Puts on sunglasses, puffs joint, waits for oven to preheat)
—can you smell what mimi smartypants is cooking?