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

also in penis-related trivia


I just got into a competitive handwashing battle with a stranger. She was in my work bathroom (how can I not know her? temp? job candidate?) and she was already going to town with the soap and the scrubbing when I exited the stall and started my process at the other sink, but she just…kept going. Out of nowhere I decided I was not going to stop washing my hands until she stopped washing her hands. She washed her hands for an incredibly long time, almost a full minute (and I did not start counting until quite a ways into it), so maybe she was having her own contest in her own brain, and did not want to stop washing until I stopped washing. Well too bad, sucka. I won. I have the cleanest hands in the world now. Or I did until I started typing this on my keyboard, besmirched as it is with germs and finger oils and Triscuit crumbs.


I have pimped this already in social-media world, but it deserves a wider audience for being so awesome. Nora made resumes for each of our cats. I guess they are looking for work? I was not aware, as I hadn’t seen any mysterious monster.com searches in my browser history that could have come from our companion animals. Nor have I noticed any undue attention to personal appearance, any phone calls from recruiters, or indeed any “doing anything at all besides sponging off of us.” However, their resumes are polished and complete, so they are both ready to bravely slink into these tough economic times.

Things you will notice:

1. It is blazingly obvious which cat Nora prefers.

2. Despite the negative spin, most of Rocko’s “skills” are at least actual activities. Lola’s skills are all about doing nothing.

3. Fuzziness is a skill of Lola’s, and non-fuzziness is a skill of Rocko’s. It’s all in how you look at it. There must be a field in which this is a key differentiator.

4. Those little things around Rocko’s tail are motion lines, to simulate the weird back-end-shiver he does when he is nervous (more or less all the time). Not sure you’d want to let your employer in on the fact that you have a tic disorder, but whatever.

5. I see that they each neglected to put down contact information. If you are a potential employer, you can usually reach Rocko on the family-room couch and Lola on Nora’s bed.


Last night I went out for beer and there was quite a bit of beer. Luckily I do not have the despair sort of hangover, but I am a bit fuzzy from Zombie Dust and five hours of fitful sleep. Before going out I got a bit bored and (clumsily) painted my nails a knockoff drugstore version of Chanel Vamp, and then this morning I put on a really absurd and inexplicable amount of jet-black eyeliner, and I am wearing Doc Martens and army surplus. It is a ‘90s revival here, folks! Dehydrated, overgothed, and dressed like a bum! I spent an entire decade like this!


It is “Spirit Week” at my kid’s school. I remember Spirit Week involving silly outfits, for fun and for rah-rah school boosterism, but these days it seems to be combined with a “Don’t Do Drugs” message. I will never understand why educators are so determined to suck the fun out of everything. Almost as if the activity were a four-foot Graffix, and the fun were bong smoke, and there is the person with a masters’ in education, just sucking it right up.

Anyway, yes yes blah blah, I do not want my kid to do drugs. However, I am grateful that she is now old enough be a proper companion in eye-rolling at these ridiculous campaigns. She came home with a construction-paper heart stapled to a note about how I was supposed to pen a loving message on it, and then the heart would be taped to her locker, which I guess would somehow inspire her to not do drugs. Oh is that all it takes! I will let the sad parents of drug addicts know: you really should have stepped up your construction-paper-heart game a bit earlier.

I had a clue that Nora was not into this charade from the fact that she had written “UGH” on the parent note and drawn a stick figure vomiting in the corner.

Me: Do you want me to write this message for your locker?

Nora: NO. So stupid.

Me (teasing): Then how will you know that I love you?

Nora: I KNOW.

Me (still teasing): Will you do drugs if you don’t get a construction-paper heart on your locker?

Nora (sarcastic): Gee, probably not.

Me (serious): Will it be weird if your locker is the only one without a heart?

Nora: Hmm. Maybe?

So we made a code. I wrote “I.D.W.T.P.D.O.A! Love, Mommy.” It stands for “I Disagree With This Public Display Of Affection.”


Finally ate at the north-side “outpost” of Chicago Chinatown’s famed Lao Szechuan, because one way we celebrate my daughter’s adoption day (nine years of Nora!) is to eat epic amounts of Chinese food. I do not mean “epic” in the “bro, that was epic” way here, I mean “epic” in its original meaning—the bard will now sing a tale of exactly how many dumplings I crammed into my digestive system. Pros: Duh, Lao Szechuan without trekking down to Chinatown. Cons: Weirdly small plates, misplaced “upscale” vibe, slightly more limited menu (although the chefs seem open to making just about anything you ask for). Verdict: delicious. Verdict on nine years of Nora: also delicious.

—mimi smartypants chomp chomp slurp.