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

that’s why they call it space


I am feeling petty and small today, and like complaining about things that are really no big deal. But wait isn’t that every day? Ha ha, you’re funny. Look, if we all followed our bliss and found our Zen and did not sweat the small stuff, there would be no more personal blogging. On some days that sounds like a good thing, but on others I’m like fuck no, then where would I type up my bullshit? I would just type it up and email it to a friend, and that is how you lose friends, by sending them your thousand-word screeds about dead rats in the crosswalk and emo Cheeto bags. (Can this be a niche? Detritus blogger?)

1. I get on the train at the end of the Brown Line, so there are often trains waiting there. When another train pulls in is usually when the stationary (ha ha) train starts leaving, so sometimes I (and others) will see this and start to break into a little commuting-person jog, so as not to miss the next downtown train. There is a CTA worker there who likes to put a stop to this, yelling things like, “Relax! You’ve got plenty of time.” He thinks he’s being helpful but I find it super-irritating. Let me trot if I want to trot, man.

2. I can trace my irrational hatred of “o.b.”-brand tampons directly to college. I went to a very earnest small college in the 1990s, when people were big on wearing flannel and giving sex-positive condom demonstrations and not washing their hair, and there were lots of feminist committees and clubs and book groups. And hey, I’m not knocking all that stuff, I was right there most of the time volunteering at clinics, marching on Washington, etc. However, I will never forgive one night in particular when someone went on a rant about how o.b. tampons were somehow the only correct tampons, because why introduce cardboard or plastic into your body? And anyone who uses an applicator tampon must have super-huge hangups about touching her own genitals, and isn’t that just so sad, that some people reject their feminine power? Then, unlike now, I was too timid to speak up and say WTF are you talking about, things work differently for different people. There is no particular meaning to a preference for applicator tampons, it can be as simple as having a long vagina and tiny little T-Rex arms. (Come on, I know there are more of us out there. Raise your hands! As high as you can, anyway!)

So that is why even seeing a box of o.b. makes me mad. I suppose it would make more sense for seeing that particular alumna’s name or face to make me mad, but she seems to have disappeared in a puff of patchouli-scented smoke and is not cluttering up my Facebook with her womynly opinions on menstruation materials. The hate got transferred to the object left behind.


1. In fourth grade, science fair is a bigger deal. There is a research paper, state standards to be met, blah blah blah. Science fair hurts my brain.

2. Luckily, Nora has enthusiasm enough for both of us.

3. Nora decided to mummify three different kinds of hot dogs in two different mediums—salt and baking soda.

4. You may not have known this, but now you do. The way you mummify a hot dog is the way you mummify anything: bury it in dry stuff and leave it alone.

5. There are six hot dogs, each in its own plastic Rubbermaid tomb, resting undisturbed in the basement, near the water heater.

6. They had better remain undisturbed, or we will surely suffer THE HOT DOG’S CURSE.

7. We did not wear fancy headdresses, build pyramids, or attempt to remove the hot dog’s inner organs and place them in canopic jars.

8. We did not even bury ceremonial items with the hot dogs. How the hell are they supposed to be happy in the hot dog afterlife?

9. I forgot that one cannot really buy hot dog singles, and that getting three kinds of hot dogs would involve three packages of hot dogs. That is a lot of hot dogs for a family of one vegetarian and two people who are rather lukewarm on hot dogs. Anyone want to come over for a hot dog party? (Not a euphemism.)

10. Nora had to weigh and measure the hot dogs, to compare their starting weights with their post-mummification weights.

11. The measuring made the tape measure from my sewing kit smell like hot dogs. I should have made her use a piece of string.

12. The weighing necessitated the purchase of a kitchen scale. Good: it was only fifteen bucks. Bad: Amazon now thinks I’m anorexic. Recommended For You: Diet books! Blueprint cleanse! Juicers!

13. LT keeps pretending to weigh his balls on the kitchen scale. We get a little crazy after Nora goes to bed.

14. Nora had to fill out a “Safety Concerns” and “Project Safeguards” card for the experiment. “Safety Concerns: Mummified hot dogs could make you pretty sick. Project Safeguards: Do not eat mummified hot dogs.”

15. She really wanted to add “Duh” but I advised against it.

—mimi smartypants plays by the rules.