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

trapped inside the story


Sometimes I relate my dreams here and I intro it with a big long apology thing about how it’s boring to listen to/read about other people’s dreams, etc. I am through with that because this is my diary and my dreams are often fucking interesting. So there.

I dreamed about driving down the street and finding former (and long deceased) Chicago mayor Harold Washington sitting on a bus bench with a broken leg. I pulled over and asked if he needed a ride, and he said no, he was just waiting for his rented bike to be delivered. I said, “Gonna be hard to ride a bike with a broken leg” and he said, “Well, it’s easier than taking the goddamned bus” and we both laughed. We also both had very exaggerated Southern accents, which I do not remember Harold Washington having. I do not remember much about Harold Washington at all, actually, except the ridiculous flap about that painting of him in lingerie and the fact that he died on the day my family and I were leaving for a Thanksgiving vacation. We heard it on the radio and made jokes about him being too sad to live through our departure from the city limits, because we are sick puppies like that.


Everyone, please stop posting things on your social media pages about how great public education would be if we did it like Finland. Journalists in upper-middle-class magazines, you can stop writing about this too. Finland has 5 million people—that’s not children, that’s people, total—who are almost entirely white and well-off. I’m sure it’s a very pleasant educational model, but—as you may have noticed from the lack of blood dumpling soup and the 300 million people from all walks of life—America is not Finland.

Rant over. I am trying not to become one of those ranting people. I recently watched a Louis C.K. special and although he can be very funny, he is also becoming a bit of a ranting old scold, sort of like Carlin in the later years, and no one likes that. There is a fine line between Telling Uncomfortable Truths and Being A Buzzkill Grandpa.


Sometimes I front like a strong-minded, no-bullshit type of person, but there is one thing you should know about me. I am a weak spineless jellyfish about a lot of things. My mind is easily influenced. Last entry I talked about how horribly I flip-flop between OOOOH SHINY THING and LIVE LIKE A HERMIT BE EVER-MINDFUL OF THE APOCALYPSE, but at least that doesn’t harm anything except my credit card balance (sometimes) or my husband’s state of mind (when he gets irritated with how tight-fisted I can be).

I have a vegan friend. Actually she’s like super-vegan—mostly raw, lots of dehydrated seeds and things, etc. I like my vegan friend—she may have a somewhat simplistic, black-and-white perspective sometimes, but there is no denying that she is very cheerful and at peace about a lot of stuff. She always talks about this one juice café and a certain green concoction called “Mother Earth.” How it gives her tons of happy vegan energy and “detoxifies” and fills her with light and love or whatever. Yes, she really talks like that.

I should have hung tough and cynical, but it’s been a bumpy couple of months and who doesn’t like energy, light, and love? Maybe there is something to this juicing business. I was running errands on my work-from-home day and bought seven dollars’ worth of foamy green stuff in my own to-go cup (environmentally responsible!) and hopped back in the car (environmentally irresponsible!)

I cannot describe what “Mother Earth” tasted like. Maybe like a chlorophyll washcloth with some crumbled gingersnaps on top? Maybe like licking the inside of a lemon-scented terrarium? Maybe like utter despair?

There was no love and no light. There was a bit of energy, if you count how I stayed grimly present-in-the-moment in between sips, sure that if I lost focus I would either vomit or throw the whole thing out the window. I gave up a little bit before halfway through, and returned the rest of my Mother Earth to the environment via the garbage disposal in my kitchen. Good Gaia, that was vile.

—mimi smartypants: devoted to chewing.