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

everything is fractals


This probably isn’t funny to anyone but me, but while composing a ranty email about the stupid tourist restaurants in my office neighborhood, I accidentally typed “Webern Grill” instead of “Weber Grill.” (Yes, it’s no longer just a metal orb that cooks your hamburgers in the backyard: it’s also now a crappy chain restaurant!

I wish the Webern Grill really were a chain restaurant. The burgers would have really precise grill marks and you would probably be served each component—bun, lettuce, tomato, etc—separately. Who wants cheese? Wait, we’ll use a twelve-tone palindrome to determine who gets cheese! Okay, I will stop now.  It is really not that funny, but 20th-century-composer jokes are somewhat rare, so we need to pounce when they appear.


Chicago got some snow, a completely normal amount for winter, and now my eyes hurt from rolling at all the suburban school closings and office-elevator whinings. Oh god, Joe, when will winter end? I know Bob, the commute was terrible and I had to shovel my walk and you guys do realize you live in the Midwest, right? Seasons: We Have Them.

Nora on the other hand was thrilled to see accumulation and we walked to school critiquing people’s shoveling and snow-blowing jobs (our street: A+). But then she said, “I actually like it when people don’t shovel, though. It’s like hey: free leg workout!” And then she ran ahead like in the opening sequence of Rocky IV. WEIRDO. WEIRDO FROM SPACE.


Me and LT, your hosts. Nora will make a brief, charming appearance, solely for the purpose of you being able to tell me later how delightful she is, how articulate for her age, etc. Then she will take herself off to read in bed, and will acquiesce gracefully when I come upstairs to say “lights out.” Not a peep will be heard.

We will have lots of wine! I will plan and cook everything myself, and of course it will magically and deliciously come together with no disasters or timing issues. I will not have one before-dinner cocktail too many and do something boneheaded like starting an entire stick of butter melting on the stove and then walking away and forgetting about it entirely. No, of course not. That has never happened.


You and your +1!

Madeline Albright and spouse. (I thought about Bill and Hillary, but I’m not sure I want Bill sucking up all the oxygen in my dining room. LOOK AT ME I’M BILL CLINTON. I think he’s more suited to Very Large Events.)

David Bowie and Iman.

Dan Savage + significant other.

Lorrie Moore and whoever she wants to bring. (It would be funny if she were dating a really cheerful, upbeat guy. Also, I think I want Lorrie Moore to stay late and help me with the dishes in a awesomely dark and sardonic way.)

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett DAMN IT DON’T REMIND ME.

Kathleen Hanna and Ad-Rock.  (Corin Tucker was briefly considered and rejected, as I’d be too busy trying to figure out ways to kiss her to attend to hostess duties.)

I have more, but that is probably enough for dinner. Maybe I’ll have a larger fantasy party with a larger number of famous folk some other time. BBQ? New Year’s Eve?


Recently I received a rather amusing (to me) email taking me to task for wanting to find a head. Because that’s horrible, and insensitive, and the rightful owner of the head was murdered!!!  Won’t someone think of the severed heads!

I have not yet responded, but I would like to publicly point out that I am not suggesting anyone be murdered and decapitated for my own excitement and longing for novelty. I’m not Uday Hussein over here. If I find a head sticking out of a garbage bag or rolling gently in the surf on a Chicago beach,  or if some other person finds a head under a bush in the dog park or half-buried under the monkey bars, the owner of the head will not be any less dead nor his or her corpse any less desecrated. You may call me ghoulish—I’ve been called worse—but you cannot call me a murderess-by-proxy (as the emailer came perilously close to doing). THUS I SPAKE.


Everyone has gone ape over the awesomeness of Tenth of December, but in this case everyone is right.

This Wells Tower  (whose own short story collection I found underwhelming) article about Burning Man is fantastic, and not just for the phrase “penises with which I suppose I can cope.”

The Beheld blog. Subtitle: “Beauty and What It Means.”

Natalie Dee interview. You should read the whole thing, but there is one paragraph that I just want to send to everyone who is all like “ooh, I want to blog and make money.”

You have to do it because you love it. If you don’t love it enough to do it, whether people are paying you enough—or paying you at all—then you don’t love it enough to take it as far as you’d need to in order to make it a thing. If you don’t love it enough to do it 500 times, then fucking don’t do it ten times and quit when you don’t immediately get high-fives from everyone who looks at the Internet.


I forget where I stumbled upon Space Cat—a deeply odd, out-of-print series about, well, a space cat—but I have quickly become obsessed.  I would do a lot of things (short of murder and decapitation!) to own the entire series for my weird book collection. (They are available, but at “real book collector” prices, whereas I lean more toward picking up 1950s Christian puberty manuals at the thrift store.)

Even more than the books themselves, I desperately want good-quality prints of the different covers. I mean, just look! My whole house needs to be Space Cat-themed!



—mimi smartypants explores Uranus.