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

present contrafactual


Today I witnessed a spectacular meltdown from a customer at the post office who felt she was experiencing rudeness and a bad attitude from said post office’s employees, which no shit there is rudeness at the post office, the post office is a hellish miasma of nothing but rudeness and hostility where outright indifference is actually the best possible customer-service scenario, and the self-service kiosks never work which is why I had to stand in line and witness the customer meltdown in the first place, and when the USPS finally collapses into dusty irrelevance and is privatized the nation will literally cheer and throw confetti (made of torn-up stamps) into the streets. I couldn’t fucking care less if we have a national postal service; having a competent for-profit company send our letters will not make us less of a first-world nation. Promise.

I was at the post office for a stupid reason anyway: to mail a CD of one of my imaging studies to the University of Chicago gastroenterologist, and don’t even get me started on the HIPAA-confused reasons why this is somehow my responsibility (can’t I just authorize all the doctors to talk to each other?) and why, when a CT scan is composed of digital information, it is necessary to download all of that onto a shiny circle and send it through the motherfucking United States mail. The skinny, stringy, and yet-somehow-sexy University of Chicago gastroenterologist is already in possession of a CD containing my capsule endoscopy video, so maybe she just likes watching footage of my insides. She is building a library of films about my digestive system. She is stalking me from the inside out.


It seems the plan is that she will amass all these test results (or rather I will amass them myself and send them through THE GODDAMN MAIL) and then decide if she wants to stick a new and different kind of probe up my bum, or remove small-bowel bits surgically, or recommend I take terrible Crohn’s disease medications, or whatever. And this is all very boring and I don’t want to talk about it anymore, except to say that I definitively don’t have cancer (a speculation bandied about in the previous entry), so yay. Between the apparently-no-big-deal “star-shaped” mass inside me and the proposed “balloon” enteroscopy procedure, it’s like there is a children’s birthday party in my guts. Fairy wands and balloon animals for everyone! More cake! Uh-oh, someone’s crying.

As long as I am whining: WTF is up with waking up in full panic attack from what was formerly a comfortable sleep? Is that a thing? My body can manufacture anxiety even in its most restful state? I managed it without drugs though, by getting into balasana on the bedroom floor and chanting really violent gangsta rap lyrics to myself. Don’t judge, it works great.


Here is Nora being extremely bad-ass at the park district track meet:


She ran the 400 meters, which to my completely untrained eye looked like a difficult distance—too short to chill out in a pack and save some kick for the end, but too long to be a comfortable flat-out sprint. She came in third and added another medal to her growing collection, BUT IF YOU ASK ME it was really second, as the organizers did not have enough girls running the 400 and randomly stuck a 12-year-old in there.

Holy hell, track meets are boring though. Broiling in the sun (pinkish LT was faring much worse than Mediterranean me, and had to retreat to car air-conditioning and Gatorade at one point), waiting forever for your kid’s one minute of excitement. I should adapt and assemble a survival kit, though, as I foresee a lot of future bleacher time. Nora also has the true athlete’s tendency to be excruciatingly boring about whatever feat she just achieved—all the way home I got to hear, “I just zoned out!” and “I could only see the track in front of me!” and “It didn’t even feel like I was running!” Can you really get an endorphin rush in only 400 meters? Maybe a tiny 10-year-old can.


I remember being a child in bed and falling asleep to the sounds of my parents doing whatever parent-type things they had to do after bedtime—making lunches, putting away laundry, finishing up the dinner dishes, etc. The other night Nora went to bed and after tucking her in I said, “You might hear me bumping and thumping around for a while—I’ve got some stuff to do up here.” She said, “Good, I love to hear you and Dad bump and thump. It makes me feel safe.” Then I realized: it’s us now. We are the parents making noise in the night. Suddenly I felt as grown-up as I have ever felt.


My advanced age and parental status notwithstanding, I will be enjoying these sounds tonight, rocking out in 4/4 time with a belly full of macrobrew and tater tots. Come to think of it, “macrobrew and tater tots” is pretty much a perfect description of “if AC/DC were a meal.” You should attend, Chicago. Look for the girl with the star-shaped intestinal mass.

—mimi smartypants can’t do that right now, Hal.