mimi smartypants http://mimismartypants.com Seriously, though: what's with the penguins? Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:52:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 stigma pistil stamen http://mimismartypants.com/2014/06/24/stigma-pistil-stamen/ http://mimismartypants.com/2014/06/24/stigma-pistil-stamen/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:50:49 +0000 http://mimismartypants.com/?p=1839 FIVE-OH TYPESETTING

I cannot stop listening to the Chicago police scanner. Be warned, you may be reading highlights here every so often. Here is today’s best exchange from Chicago’s finest. I’ll let you do the accents in your head.

Voice 1: Suspect is a male white, about five-nine, wearing gray sweatpants and a black shirt with Stewie from The Family Guy.

Voice 2: That ain’t helping me much.

Voice 1: Stewie’s the dog.

Voice 3: What? Stewie’s the kid! With the big head!

Voice 2: Whatever, 10-4.

Also in Chicago news: WTF is going on with the sudden cap/lowercase street signs? Street signs have always been all-caps here. Except now it seems that when street signs are replaced the new ones are cap/lowercase (Ardmore at Western and Foster at Kimball being 2 northside examples). With the result being that everything is all MIXED UP, type-wise. And INCONSISTENT. It troubles me greatly.


My slightly terrifying gynecologist found “something” the last time she was poking around my business, so she referred me for an ultrasound. I guess slightly terrifying gynecologists and slightly terrifying ultrasound techs run in the same circles and give each other business, because the ultrasound lady was basically a carbon copy of the girl-parts doctor: loud, sporty, alarmingly enthusiastic about delving into people’s private parts.

Both kinds of ultrasound were ordered, and if you don’t know what “both kinds” means, stick around because you are about to. First I had to be chastised for not drinking enough water, although it certainly felt like enough if you ask me, and I got left alone in the room with all the expensive computerized things with several more bottles to chug. Then I had the standard pregnant-woman-style ultrasound that you see in the movies, blah blah blah. Then I got to go pee (YAY) and took my pants off for the other type of ultrasound, where the wand goes on the inside. In the loud, soccer-coach-ish words of the tech: “I’LL LUBE IT UP AND YOU STICK IT IN!” Whoa whoa whoa okay ultrasound lady. Nice to meet you too.

(Report came back with the news that I have two small fibroidy things, but they can probably just stay there as long as they are quiet and well-behaved.)


Ditched my iPhone over the weekend—LT wanted a Google phone, because he definitely welcomes our Google overlords, and after some reflection I realized that I did not regularly use even one Apple-specific thing on my phone. I stream music (and NOT from crappy old iTunes radio), I don’t particularly care how I text, and just about all my favorite apps are available in Android versions. So we both swapped out our phones, and the deal even allowed us to get Nora the cutest little smartphone ever, so she is in screen-obsessed pre-teen heaven. And I have all kinds of parental controls and find-your-ass GPS options that are not quite necessary yet, but may become so in a few years, so ha ha ha joke’s on her.

Other new things include the look of our front yard. There was an evergreen bush that I never liked so a few weekends ago we hacked it down. We planted ground cover and replacement bushes, but of course they are still small so right now it just looks like a dirt patch with a few salads randomly dropped in. I am sure the neighbors think we ruined everything. GIVE IT TIME!

I am sick of giving the tomato plants in the back yard time, however. They grow and grow, spilling jungle foliage everywhere, and they flower and flower, but the flowers are not turning into tomatoes.

A gardener friend suggested that sometimes the pollen gets too sticky to fall and that I could hand-pollinate, using a cotton swab to carefully rub the pollen directly onto the female part of the flower. That is a bit more involved in tomato sex than I wish to be. Maybe I could ask the ultrasound tech. She’d probably be into it.

—mimi smartypants is waiting for sync.

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ORDSFO SFOORD http://mimismartypants.com/2014/06/19/ordsfo-sfoord/ http://mimismartypants.com/2014/06/19/ordsfo-sfoord/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 16:08:50 +0000 http://mimismartypants.com/?p=1836 This week I went to San Francisco for about 28 hours, not counting travel time. Here’s how short this work trip was: the television in my hotel room didn’t work and I did not even tell anyone. (I actually meant to say something at checkout but forgot.) Spent an hour in a terrible hotel bar,* eating a terrible grilled cheese** and watching a terrible sport,*** went back to the room, paid a king’s ransom for wi-fi, watched more Deadwood on the iPad, took an Ativan and went to sleep. The next day I went to a meeting where I think I said about 50 out-loud words, and then I went to the airport and got back on a plane.

I should not complain, as I actually like going to these things, and if I am going to tell editorial boards and chief editors what to do all day I suppose they should actually see my face once in a while. It was a disorienting couple of days, though.

*The bartenders seemed to consider it a terrible imposition to serve me, although the bar was not busy. I think that filling a pint glass with beer might actually be more interesting than staring into space, examining one’s fingernails, or straightening stacks of bar napkins, but judging from the sighs and eyerolls when I asked for another I guess not. That amount of attitude almost made throw exact change on the bar and just fucking leave, but my contrary streak made me think no, I will stay in your gross bar and drink more beer specifically because you seem to hate it so much.

**This trend of thick bread has got to go. I think the menu called it “Texas Toast,” which is a term I have never heard before but whatever. A grilled cheese is mostly about the CHEESE, don’t make me bite through a quarter-mile of BREAD to get there.

***Sorry World Cup fans but all the flopping really got to me in whatever game was on during my bar experience. Oh please you are NOT HURT. Tape an aspirin to it, you whiner.

Overheard in SFO: “It was baller. Massively baller. Massively, massively baller.”

(This guy was on the phone and eating some kind of kale salad out of a box.)

Overheard in ORD: “Sorry. I be tweakin’ on doughnuts.”

(This was a female maintenance worker who stumbled into me while cleaning one of the bathrooms.)

The weirdest thing about my trip was how I was stalked by ambient music. The place I waited for the shuttle from hotel to meeting was piping in a creepy whale song-ish piece. The airport security line area played a bouncy hurry-up-let’s-go medley of peppy beats that seemed designed to increase people’s anticipatory anxiety. (Is that what you want? Is it a strategy to make terrorists or drug smugglers reconsider?) And strangest of all, there was a rhythmic Brian Eno-esque whooshing/sighing sound from deep in the building that I could hear all night in my hotel room. I tried several times to record it on my phone but a more standard electronic hum from the minibar kept getting in the way. But it haunted my Ativan dreams, just like the crap grilled cheese and the lyrical profanities from Al Swearengen.

—mimi smartypants ain’t no hooplehead.

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panorama of breads http://mimismartypants.com/2014/06/13/panorama-of-breads/ http://mimismartypants.com/2014/06/13/panorama-of-breads/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 17:32:46 +0000 http://mimismartypants.com/?p=1833 WHATEVER THIS IS

A video that may not be safe for work, since it begins with a disembodied nutsack. But don’t worry, it’s not a main feature!


I saw the greatest mess yesterday. A cab hit another cab, not seriously, just sort of rear-ended/clipped it a bit. At-fault cab then passed the blameless cab, crossed the intersection, and pulled over at the curb, presumably to sort the whole thing out. Blameless cab must have thought that the other cab was fleeing the scene, because it hit the gas and tried to dash across the street, where the light was now red. So now blameless cab has run a red light and is stuck in the middle of the street, pedestrians and cross-traffic everywhere, and the air is full of honking and shouting and obscenities. Blameless cab tried to extricate itself, hit the gas again, and slammed into the side of another car. Not so blameless anymore! I kept walking as the cops arrived—good luck officers, this one’s going to be fun.


I’ve been married for 19 years! We had a kid-free evening over the weekend that featured Peruvian food and a 10 pm bedtime (but for GOOD REASON, if you know what I mean and I think you do). Jeez, I was such a baby noob nobody when I got married. It has worked out very nicely so far but don’t do it, kids!


A while ago I went to the psychiatrist for “medication management,” which sounds like she is going to give me a pill container and help me count things out, but which really means just showing up in person every six months to see if anything new has happened. Nothing ever has. I am still on my teeny little Lexapro dose, I am still wondering if I really had medication-worthy levels of anxiety and panic or if I was just disproportionately affected by the modern condition, and I’m still not sure if things are better because of the medicine, because of the placebo effect, or because of things actually being better. I haven’t gained or lost weight or become more or less interested in sex. I haven’t stopped making strange numerological lists or being a big weirdo, but I am not a panicky weirdo anymore, so…there.

Psychiatrist is mostly a good egg, although she has a sharp little half-smirking rat face and a tendency to “hmmm” after you speak as if she doesn’t quite believe you. She has repeatedly bugged me to go to therapy and I have repeatedly declined. I did make one effort that ended in disaster, and I just don’t have any urge to explain myself in a therapeutic way to another person. Shit is generally good, there’s nothing to say that I couldn’t say to someone who actually cares about me, and whatever. The only sticking point is that the psychiatrist brings it up at every single medication meeting, and it’s getting boring.

This last time I was making my usual demurrals about therapy, I finally said, only half-jokingly, “Hey, you’re an MD. Believe in your chemicals, dude!” She gave me her smirk and her “hmm” and answered, “You know how the State Department always wants diplomacy and the Pentagon always wants to go to war?” Which I took to mean, “I don’t really think you need therapy either, but I’m being polite to my colleagues on the psychology side of things.” Well. At least we all understand each other now. Maybe she won’t ask me again.


Neither Nora nor I will be sorry to see fifth grade go. It was fine, no icky social stuff or bad teachers, but it was not super-exciting either. You know what is super-exciting? Holding a baby chihuahua at a street fair.


I cropped out most of it in this photo, but the hippie volunteer in the background was wearing a shirt that said BE KIND TO ANIMALS OR I’LL KILL YOU. It had me wondering exactly how unkind I can be before I get murdered by a hippie. Can I make fun of animals a little bit? Can I not RSVP to an animal party and show up anyway? The shirt was unclear, but you don’t question a person with a threatening shirt.

—mimi smartypants G-A-N-G-S-T-A, that’s all you got to say.

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battle of the male strippers http://mimismartypants.com/2014/05/28/battle-of-the-male-stripp/ http://mimismartypants.com/2014/05/28/battle-of-the-male-stripp/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 21:41:27 +0000 http://mimismartypants.com/?p=1829 Well isn’t technology fucking marvelous, aren’t we just balls-deep in the future, isn’t it all so bloody awesome you could die. I am typing this from up in the air, having paid five American dollars for the privilege. I am on my way to Boston for the annual meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, and if that doesn’t sound like a goddamned party to you than I don’t even know you anymore. I’ll scholarly your publishing, sweetheart. All night long.

First, though, I had to be delayed at the airport, then a fat Chinese woman had to scream at me that I took “her” empty seat at the gate waiting area (I am sorry, but that is not how it works) (to deal with this I went Full Catatonic with my face and merely blinked at her while sipping my iced coffee until she stomped off), and then we got to sit on the runway for almost an hour! They announced that lovely fact even before we boarded and a nearby fellow passenger asked me, “Did you hear why?” and I answered, “I don’t know, just so we can all have panic attacks?” Man, there is something about being in a non-moving vehicle that really sets me off. Like, I can forget that we are all crammed together in a metal box or tube with NOT REALLY ENOUGH AIR as long as we are hurtling along at speed, but when the plane just sits or the subway comes to a dead-silence powered-down stop in the tunnel I will start to freak a bit. Hello Ativan! HELLO!


1. I have been worrying a bit about the phrase “physical plant.” It is such an odd combination of words.

2. One of the skanky clothing stores on Lawrence Ave. is having a summer sale on “SHORTS AND CAPRICES.” A sale on whimsy! Get it while you can! Or maybe a sale on sprightly lively music, who knows.

3. Over the long weekend we went for a family bike ride, Nora on the trail-a-bike attachment to LT’s ride, where she provides much pedaling power from behind, and me on my ten-thousand-pound but newly refurbished mountain bike. We biked up to the forest preserve trails and saw lots of nature, lots of picnics, lots of happy holiday-weekend dogs. Is there anything better for dogs than Memorial Day? The people are home all weekend, there are barbecues, there are Frisbees, there are little kids who have trouble holding on to their hamburgers and ice creams. We saw a deer right next to the trail, who didn’t seem to care about us and our bikes at all. (I am certain there will eventually be news reports of a fatal bike/deer collision.) We saw a bunch of people who had pulled off the trail to look in the direction that some hippie-type lady was pointing, down on the riverbank. She claimed it was an enormous snapping turtle. I looked and looked, but honestly couldn’t see it, and Nora looked and looked for even longer. When we pedaled off, Nora said, “I’m totally serious—that was just a rock.” I tend to believe her because she’s got great eyes. I hope hippie lady was trolling tons of bikers and it really was just a rock.

More later! Assuming this plane doesn’t crash.

—mimi smartypants, not seated in an exit row.


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exactly what http://mimismartypants.com/2014/04/24/exactly-what/ http://mimismartypants.com/2014/04/24/exactly-what/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:43:42 +0000 http://mimismartypants.com/?p=1823 1. I was walking near my office and there was a dead bird on the sidewalk, the mysterious kind of dead songbird that is dead for no discernible reason, but before I could even notice it properly a huge crow swooped down, grabbed the dead bird in its beak, and flew away. LUNCH!

2. If you can’t get enough of dead things, you should come to the corner of Argyle and Kimball, where there is an enormous dead possum! It’s not even very squished or decomposed, and it is quite interesting to look at. Hurry, supplies are limited!

3. As long as you don’t count the seemingly-interminable “8000 Unfunny Jokes and Riddles With Which To Torture Your Parents” phase (who publishes those books? they should be killed), Nora has always had a well-developed sense of humor. Examples include this joke and this joke,  and especially the joke at the beginning of this otherwise-tedious (unless you’re her parent) video:

Not even two and a half and she was making song parodies! Love that kid.

Recently we had another great leap forward in being hilarious. (Those are two phrases that you will rarely see together. Why did Mao Zedong cross the road? To kill 40 million people! Ha ha ha ha okay comrade time for your self-criticism.) We were walking to school and there was debris in our path, and I said, “What’s that? Oh…it’s a corn husk. And a piece of newspaper.” (Which it was.) Nora stopped walking, rolled her eyes heavenward, and dramatically intoned, “OH GOD! AN OMEN! WHAT COULD IT MEAN?” Okay, maybe you had to be there.

(I am sure it was just littering happenstance, but I do like to imagine a guy walking along eating a tamale and reading the paper, coming across a surprising story, and dropping both corn husk and entertainment section in shock.)

4. If you have access to HBO, you have to find this documentary called “Trophy Kids,” about bad sports parents. It is amazingly cringeworthy. I wanted to punch Golf Dad in the throat, in particular. (None of the profiled parents are great, but he was the worst. I have never seen anyone so relentlessly negative in all my life.)

5. You’re…not serious, right? (I think they are.)

6. Look at my shameless self-promotion!



There are funny people reading. I will not be nearly as funny, but I try hard and you should come by and pat me on the head and lie about how it was totally fine. And then we can have a beer.

7. I was scooping out one of the litterboxes and trying to get as many clumps as possible onto the scooper thing, because really, who wants to spend more time doing this than necessary, and as I was going into a corner for just…one…more…clump the balance shifted and I lost half the biosolids I had already scooped. And the thought that immediately flashed through my brain was, “Whoops, I got greedy.” Thanks for the pointless morality tale, brain! Thanks for getting all Aesop’s fables up in there. The Girl, The Scoop, and The Cat Shit.

—mimi smartypants, slow but not steady.

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as often as you like http://mimismartypants.com/2014/04/03/as-often-as-you-like/ http://mimismartypants.com/2014/04/03/as-often-as-you-like/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 17:21:26 +0000 http://mimismartypants.com/?p=1815 RECOGNIZING MY ASS

I have been at my place of employment for what seems like an improbably long time. They keep promoting me and raising my pay and giving me different and more interesting work to do so I keep staying. I was recently informed of an upcoming anniversary and told of the policy that allows me to “choose” a “gift.” (Quotation marks are because I have some philosophical problems with the idea of choosing a gift. Doesn’t that make it not a gift? Anyway.)

Besides the fact that I choose it myself, the gift comes with several complex stipulations. I am not allowed to choose money, a gift card, or things like travel, hotel, or spa vouchers because that is considered taxable. It has been indicated to me that it would be preferable if the gift were something that could be bought from Amazon. The gift is supposed to cost $150 or be as near as possible to that amount.

Of course any first-world fool could put together a $150 Amazon cart lickety-split, but I know my supervisor would like me to get a thing, something concrete that can be pointed to in the sense of “We award you this thing for your mumblenumber years of fairly adequate service.” I don’t wear a watch. I don’t currently own any jewelry that costs anywhere near $150, and I don’t know if I want to. I am not really a purse person, and although I am slightly obsessed with the seatbelt bags, I already own the size I wanted for work stuff and don’t really need another. I would like a new food processor but that’s too much money, I need a new wallet but that’s not enough money. Fancy electric toothbrush? Expensive knife? This appallingly overpriced facegoop? Suggestions? Help me acquire things I possibly do not deserve!

The only two material desires I have in the category of “frivolous indulgence just for me” are a high-end vibrator or a portable vaporizer to use with completely legal or at least decriminalized herbs. (Cough…but one coughs less with a vaporizer! Or so I hear!) My boss is a lovely person but I cannot imagine her efficient, LL-Bean-wearing self encountering such an expense report.


Speaking of work, there is a dude who is supposed to create a presentation that is part of a big meeting. I am sadly in charge of assembling all the bits and reports for the big meeting, and said dude is dragging his dudely feet like crazy and everything is complete except for his bit. I am very close to telling him I will do it myself. I will add his name to every slide and insert awesome clip art of my choosing. Hope you like large, veiny cocks, bro! I bet there are some awesome PowerPoint effects I could add to make them glisten and glow.


LT and I needed a new mattress. Neither one of us can remember exactly how old our mattress is, and we have never liked it in the first place. Our mattress of indeterminate age is pretty damn saggy and creaky and feels about as still and stable as a pile of Pop-Tarts. Whenever one of us has insomnia or a cold or itchiness or just can’t lie still for some reason, the other one ends up feeling every twitch and quietly seething. GODDAMMIT, LOVE OF MY LIFE: QUIT MOVING OR LEAVE THE BED.  

I tried to research mattresses on the internet. Never do this. It’s true that every purchase of every item in the world can be researched to death these days—indecision paralysis is a true modern affliction—but mattresses are a special kind of pre-purchase research hell. Everyone’s got a violently extreme opinion that conflicts with everyone else’s violently extreme opinion. You can spend anywhere from a few hundred bucks to tens of thousands. All the mattress companies seem to deliberately switch model names around so that it is impossible to comparison shop.

We ended up going to a real-world mattress store, and although I threatened to wear a Tyvek suit because I think unsheeted mattresses are super-gross, I managed to deal. We had a chill mattress salesguy who sold us a mattress, a rather expensive one that felt way better than a pile of Pop-Tarts. It gets delivered today and I cannot wait to go to bed.

(I am not going to mention the brand name or even the type, because I am sure someone will write and tell me how much it sucks. Seriously, just go read some mattress reviews. Mattress people be CRAZY.)

—mimi smartypants lives a quiet private life in the marshes of Sqornshellous Zeta.


]]> http://mimismartypants.com/2014/04/03/as-often-as-you-like/feed/ 0 put me in the enemyzone http://mimismartypants.com/2014/03/20/put-me-in-the-enemyzone/ http://mimismartypants.com/2014/03/20/put-me-in-the-enemyzone/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 19:17:53 +0000 http://mimismartypants.com/?p=1812 MEDIA AND SUCH

I am currently stealing HBO GO, via my sister-in-law who shared her password with me, so there has been lots of television-watching on my iPad, in bed, on the couch, in the hockey bleachers, etc, as I catch up on all the documentaries and the rest of Deadwood and so on. And when I am not doing that I am devouring Life After Life, which is so damn awesome. I have always liked Atkinson but I knew nothing about this book going in, not even the barest plot outline, which I think is making it more awesome. (Although, if you follow that link, you will not experience the know-nothing awesomeness. But I think you will still like the book.)

Plus, the horrible people of Real Housewives, New York City flavor, are back and there is a new horrible person! She has a son named Cash and a daughter named Kingsley and that alone boggles my mind, but there is much more boggling than that to be had. I tend to fast-forward through the fights as they are too tedious to watch unless you are not sober, so this season either needs to have more shopping/traveling from them or more drunkenness from me to be fully watchable.


The spring season has barely started and already Nora has talked me into buying her some kind of Tiger Balm-ish muscle-rub stick (for her skinny, sore, little hockey legs), a stickhandling ball (for practicing at home), and the fancy kind of water bottle with the long straw, so you can skate over and squirt it in your mouth right through the helmet’s face-cage. All this stuff was cheap, but still! The gear! The accessories! It is the perfect sport for an obsessive like her.


Or rather, sometimes I just react without thinking and then people get offended.

I walk into the breakroom to fill my water bottle and this conversation is going on between 2 coworkers:

Dumb Coworker With Teenage Children: Oh, that’s great that he did so well! Did you do any of the ACT test prep?

Normal Coworker With Teenage Children: He got some books, and took sample tests online, but that’s about it…

DCWTC: You didn’t do the Kaplan courses at Northwestern? I had my daughter in those starting in 5th grade. Every Saturday morning for 10 weeks! I was like, “This is ridiculous!”

Me, being a jerk and interrupting (see above): Wow, that is ridiculous. Why did you do that?

DCWTC: Because you have to!

Me: Noooooo, you don’t.

DCWTC: [glares at me, probably hates me forever, perhaps feels sorry for my poor unprepped 5th-grader]

Me: [hasty exit]


1. When people need to give me things in order for me to do another thing, and I give those people a deadline for the things, and then I think shit, why was I so generous, all my bits of the thing are done because I’M JUST AWESOME THAT WAY, and the other people will no doubt wait until the last minute.

2. The way my phone has a “message” button, but then I have to press a different button to actually listen to the message, as if listening to the message were not the most common thing I might want to do when pressing the “message” button.

3. Also, WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME ANYWAY. Are your fingers broken? Email, motherfucker. Do you speak it.

—mimi smartypants is the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.

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nationwide http://mimismartypants.com/2014/03/14/nationwide/ http://mimismartypants.com/2014/03/14/nationwide/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 17:10:48 +0000 http://mimismartypants.com/?p=1810 INTROVERT PARENT VS. EXTROVERT KID

It has been a family-intensive day and I am finally alone, reading in my bedroom. Nora shows up and plops down on my bed with her own book. She has a terrible habit of wanting to read “the good bits” out loud to me, and she is not very discerning with what constitutes a “good bit.” I ask her several times to not do this. I say I just want to read my book alone for a while. She swears she’ll be quiet, but I think we both know this is not going to happen.

Please, I say. Please just go read in your own room. Nora: “FINE! I might as well go read IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WOODS BY MYSELF!”

Thirty feet of hallway away from me = in the middle of the woods by yourself. Got it.

For more things to file under “Kids Are Such A Mindfuck”—the other night at dinner we were talking about Nora’s current science assignment, which is a small-group project where you have to do a presentation on a planet in the solar system, and give all sorts of facts about the planet while trying to convince people to go there, with a travel brochure and posters and a slideshow. I am not sure why our public magnet schools are training extremely bright children to become interstellar timeshare salespeople, but I digress. Incidentally, the science teacher formed the groups and picked the planet for each group, and she put three of the 5th grade’s goofiest troublemakers into one group AND assigned them the planet Uranus, which actually makes me respect her a little more. I can picture her working on lessons and just saying, “Fuck it, let’s get this over with.”

Nora’s group has Neptune. Neptune is kind of a mess, with its shitload of moons and its ammonia-slushy ocean, but you could do worse. No one has Pluto, since Pluto is not a planet. Nora was ranting about this at dinner (why do kids get so upset about Pluto?) and LT was like well, them’s the breaks, Pluto is too small to be a planet. I said no, I think the demotion was more because Pluto’s orbit is not regular. The no-smartphones-at-the-table thing does not count when you are IN PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE, and it turned out LT was right, darn it.

Nora: So what, though. “Planet” is a word we made up. We defined it. The universe doesn’t care what’s a planet and what isn’t. Planets aren’t really real! Words aren’t really real!

Me: Whoa, hey, slow down there Wittgenstein. I mean, we are sitting here eating spaghetti and it’s Tuesday night. Please.

Nora: Not even TIME is real!

Me: Can you get me some more wine?


I fully expect to get my shit took. All the time. I have a flash of genuine, happy surprise when I come back outside to find my bike or my car still there. I never leave important things (my wallet, my phone, my child) unattended if I can help it, even if it’s “just for a second,” because as soon as the words “just for a second” go through my mind I immediately imagine myself crying on television news (in the case of my kid) or bitching to my friends (in the case of a material possession) about how I stopped paying attention “just for a second.”

It’s sort of the same as how, when the plane is taking off, I think of a newscaster saying “crashed shortly after takeoff” and then I have to do complex superstitious hoodoo to wash the words “crashed shortly after takeoff” out of my head, because everyone knows that thinking about the plane crashing will cause the plane to actually crash.

I am actually a happy, well-adjusted person who does not worry ALL of the time. Only like 90% of the time.

To prove how cheerful and carefree I am, here is the second possibly-unknown thing: I am very, very good at singing the Chiquita Banana song,  and I do it a lot. I also have a hip-hop and a death-metal version.


Look, it’s me! Am I not wearing a shirt? Oh my.

—mimi smartypants is flecked with brown and has a golden hue.

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and if you complain once more http://mimismartypants.com/2014/03/05/and-if-you-complain-once-more/ http://mimismartypants.com/2014/03/05/and-if-you-complain-once-more/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:18:14 +0000 http://mimismartypants.com/?p=1806 FIVE QUESTIONS I DID NOT ASK THE THAI YOGA MASSAGE THERAPIST

1. How do you keep your hands so warm?

2. You are the smallest adult human without dwarfism I have ever seen in my life, yet you are crazy strong. Explain.

3. Do you have any terrible fart stories? Anyone who was super gross and you had trouble opening your tiny, serene, massage-therapist heart in order to lay hands on his or her grossness? Anyone really greasy, or with horrid dusty dreadlocks, or a bad smell?

4. Is this music the “Drone Zone” channel on Soma FM? It totally is, isn’t it? I thought you had some special yoga-lady CD but you just stream music like the rest of us, right?

5. Is it hard not to laugh when you say things like “Give me the weight of your leg” in your gentle mellow yoga-voice? It would be hard for me. I am bad at gentle mellow sincerity.


As evidenced when I accidentally dumped a whole lunch container of almonds into my office recycling bin. I tried to pick most of them out and transfer them to the actual trash (because maybe it is only used for clean office paper and such, but I still can’t really bring myself to eat almonds out of the recycling bin). A lot of almonds ended up staying in the bin, though, because who really has time. But that bred some guilt too, because does the office cleaning person have time? Do that person have time to say wait, almonds are not office paper, now I have an extra step of taking these almonds out of here instead of quickly dumping the recycling bin and moving on? Will the office cleaning secretly think I am an entitled bitch who blithely dumps almonds (which are not an inexpensive nut) wherever she pleases? OH I GROW WEARY OF THESE ALMONDS AND WILL THROW THEM WHEREVER. SEPARATE THE ALMONDS FROM THE RECYCLABLE PAPER, MINIMUM-WAGE PEON.


I wish there were a way to prove that this actually happened, because it was so very freaky—I was on the train, reading a book and listening to a Songza playlist called “Indie Rock Workout” (I know, I hate me too), and I noticed that the woman sitting next to me had her fingernails filed to sharp points. Then I noticed that the woman standing in front of me had her fingernails filed to sharp points. An elderly black man across the way from me coughed and put his hand up to his mouth, and his pinky nail and the one next to it (couldn’t see the rest). In a horror movie, all the train people would have started slowly advancing on me, curling back their lips to reveal that their teeth were also filed to sharp points, and there would be a bloodbath or an action scene or a fade to black, depending on directorial intent.


I apologize to all of you who have already heard me yammer on about this, but I can’t stop thinking about it. There is a thing called Empty Nose Syndrome. Well, probably there is. If you Google you will see that there is some controversy about this—however, most of the naysayers are otolaryngologic surgeons, and it makes sense that they would not want to acknowledge the existence of a condition caused by the surgery they just performed.

I love Empty Nose Syndrome. I mean, I’m sorry for you if you have it, but it is just such a lovely and evocative name. And it has a special resonance with me, as I am prone to odd existential bodily afflictions, such as not knowing exactly where my head belongs on the horizontal axis (a little more forward? a little farther back? balanced right on top of the neck? none of it feels right) or feeling like I have comically large hands whenever I take Nyquil.

Also, maybe some otolaryngologists are unwilling to admit their mistakes, but others are cool people because they invent post-surgery questionnaires like the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test, which of course abbreviates to SNOT. Oh otolaryngologists! You so crazy!

—mimi smartypants partied with the nose surgeons.

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spectacular spectacles http://mimismartypants.com/2014/02/19/spectacular-spectacles/ http://mimismartypants.com/2014/02/19/spectacular-spectacles/#comments Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:15:27 +0000 http://mimismartypants.com/?p=1802 GOOD MORNING, TREASONOUS FRUIT

The first sentence I spoke yesterday morning happened to be: “Why must you be so disobedient?” I spoke it to a banana, at 5 am, alone in my kitchen. The banana was proving difficult to peel and I dropped it with my sleepy fumblefingers and it was just generally very frustrating. I am not sure what prompted such a sentence, though, except that I am reading Bring Up The Bodies and maybe I was just ready to pack any recalcitrant, back-talking banana off to the Tower.


Later I was waiting at a bus stop and this disheveled guy asked me for directions. Kind of. In a way.

Disheveled Guy: Excuse me, miss? Do you know where there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts?

Me: Uh…there’s one over on Kedzie.

DG: Is it across from a Walgreen’s?

Me: No.

DG: I’m looking for a Dunkin’ Donuts that is, like, kitty-corner from a Walgreen’s. The cross street is…something with a K? Or a K and an R? Like…Krustner? Kastner? Kramwell?

Me: Sorry, none of those are around here. If they exist.

[In my head: Krokodil? Kraken? Kreplach? Krusty Krab? Kryptonite? Why aren’t I in charge of naming streets?]

DG: Aw, damn it. Do you have a phone?

[In my head: Yes.]

Me: No.

DG: See, I’m supposed to be at a job interview at this Dunkin’ Donuts. I was supposed to be there like a half hour ago. It’s like on some kind of street that starts with a K. And it’s across from a Walgreen’s. Or, like, near a Walgreen’s. I think that’s what they said.

Me: Sorry, I can’t think of where that would be.

DG: Okay, thanks anyway.


DG: I’m probably not getting that job, huh?

Me: Yeah, I don’t think you are.

You have to vaguely admire someone who jumps on a train with a half-remembered destination in mind, and then proceeds to sort of crowdsource/feel his way toward a job interview at a doughnut shop. You also have to be happy that you are not the manager of a doughnut shop, and that you are not continually scheduling and conducting interviews with such people.


We took Rocko cat, aka The Guy With Problems, to the vet for a routine check and rabies shot, and of course all who view Rocko need to have Rocko explained to them. Why does he bite all the fur off his belly or legs? Why does he shake and shiver and twitch? Well we don’t know. In the past vets have been like, “Whatever, you’ve got a weird one” and we have moved on, except for a brief run with topical Prozac. But now the vet thinks he has arthritis in his hips and possibly a poorly understood cat nerve disorder, so we have new and different medications to try.

First there was some injectable buprenorphine. This is something people get when they are trying to get off smack. (But unlike methadone, which is usually given under direct observation at a clinic, you often get to take bupe home. So Rocko is a more trustworthy, higher-class version of an opiate addict I guess.) Now we are going to try gabapentin, which is one of those drugs that seem to be used off-label for a bewildering variety of things (seizures AND chronic pain AND migraine AND restless leg syndrome, etc etc). Liver-flavored, chewable gabapentin, which I ordered over the phone from a very nice Texan upon reaching the “call the cat pharmacy” section of my to-do list. Oh what a glamorous life I lead.

Mr Rocko Cat seemed much better on the injectable H, but then who wouldn’t be. I held him in my lap while LT handled the shooting up, and then we would croon a soothing rendition of “Needle in the Hay” and just let the cat nod out and enjoy himself. No overgrooming since, so fingers crossed that new drug will have the same success. Wouldn’t it be nice if Rocko had fur? He would be a very handsome man.

—mimi smartypants meow meow meow cat drugs. 

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