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

everybody at random


First off, I want to share with you my lovely bookmark hand-crafted by a lovely person, to whom I still owe a thank-you note:


Fantastic, no? For my next solo cocktail at my next hotel bar on my next business trip, I may just leave it out face-up next to me to deflect business-travel dudes’ intrusive and strange attempts at small talk (“Good book?” “Whatcha reading?” Etc.)*

*Honestly, I don’t really blame people for trying to chat—a hotel bar can be a pretty lonely place if you don’t, you know, enjoy being alone**—but if I give you one-word answers and don’t look at you a whole lot? TAKE A HINT.

**Oh god I adore it. I mean, I don’t want to go live on the moon or remake Castaway or anything, but I definitely need a certain amount of All By Myself time.


Here is the terrible thing that happened to me this week. (Relatively speaking. Terrible from my limited, first-world perspective. Assorted other disclaimers.)

I was walking to the train after dropping Nora off at school, la la la, look at me! I am a big grown-up lady with a responsible job and an insulated straw cup of iced coffee and almond milk! La la la di da everything is fine.

I felt something brush/tickle the right side of my neck, near my earlobe. I took a slurp of my coffee and reached up to brush it away. I felt a sort of dry insectoid shell and simultaneously heard a clattering buzz. Because there was a motherfucking CICADA on my motherfucking NECK. About four things happened simultaneously:

1. I tried to swallow my coffee and choked a bit;

2. I tried to scream something like “JESUS FUCK!” while choking, which probably sounded like “GAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHUCK”;

3. I leaped to the left, as if I were trying to jump away from my own neck, and crashed into a parking-lot fence;

4. I swatted at myself while attempting to turn in a circle but, because I was next to the fence, only succeeded in hooking my foot under it and nearly face-planting onto the dirty sidewalk.

Then I went to work. I did not even spare a thought for the pedestrians who may have thought I just had a sudden clumsy violent visual hallucination on the street. A five-foot-long gross scabby insect was on my goddamned body, and thus I was not in the least overrreacting. Holy crap. My neck was itchy all day but that was probably psychosomatic, right? Right.


Nora and I were following our usual post-dinner and pre-bedtime routine of watching Chopped, and the description on TiVo promised “a shocking meat in the appetizer round,” so of course we picked that episode because yay, “shocking meat.” It turned out to be lamb testicles. Nora turned to me and said, disdainfully, “Testicles? They’re calling testicles shocking?”

She’s right. Nothing particularly shocking about testicles, ever. Testicles on fire? Demon-possessed testicles? Rotating, disco-ball-mirrored testicles that you could haul out and use to liven up a party or rave? Even these enhancements only raise testicles to the level of “mildly interesting.”

—mimi smartypants suspects the lamb had a different opinion.