Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I've turned into my mother

Winifred likes to remind people—as frequently as possible—that the killer’s in Fargo WERE. NOT. FROM. NORTH. DAKOTA.

Then, to goad her, I remind her of that one time, how that old cranky man was in somebody’s yard causing a scene, and someone hit him with a shovel!

The shovel incident happened more than thirty years ago. Maybe more than fifty years ago, and she likes to add, “He had it coming. That old man was cranky!” This would seem harsh unless you know my grandfather, who never raises his voice or freaks out about anything. (By comparison it takes only a sound bite of John McCain or Sarah Palin to get me worked up and freaked out.) You could say that Grandpa’s age is a factor, but to Winifred’s recollection, he’s only been mad twice. And she wasn’t even living at home the second time because she was in the Army! (She just got to hear about it, as older sisters often do.)

But I digress. Among Winifred’s other claims that life is peaceful and non-violent in North Dakota: No one has ever been deliberately poisoned in the last fifty years (so far no evidence holds up), there are no pedophiles (as compared to the “fictional” town in Downtown Owl), and the firefighters exist to get cats out of trees. Gas is always eighty-nine cents a gallon. Everyone is voting for Obama to make up for how insane South Dakota is, etc.


This predilection has driven me crazy because it ruins the idea that The Grass is Greener on the Other Side. Yeah, the grass is green, but I bet the meatloaf in that kitchen sucks, and I bet the cable reception is lousy. I’ll eat the cooking here, watch my television under the comfort of my own blankets, and bask in the imperfections of my life here. And if you allege that somewhere, anywhere, things are perfect, it makes my imperfect little life look… well, kind of crappy. And I like my life! I like my quirky cast of characters, the way Metro is always slow, and how even the rampant problems of Baltimore have a gleam of charm.


But without meaning to I’ve set out to defend Baltimore, guns-a-blazin’. My friend IMmed me an article and included his comment: “THIS IS WHY I HATE BALTIMORE.” That’s not the right way to start a conversation. I didn’t even read the article before I set out in ALL CAPS to let him know that this isn’t even Baltimore County! This is Calvert County! “SAME THING,” he said.

It was all downhill from there as I had to set him straight. My Baltimore, which yes, had murdered a former council man last week (to my infinite grief), was NOT the same as Calvert County. God, had I even been to Calvert County?! (Not really, only to travel through it.) Moreover, the clearly disturbed woman had never even lived in Baltimore! City or County! She’s from Godforsaken Rockville! Rockville is where dreams to go die in a hell of suburbia! We have our own problems that we’re fixing (crime has dropped compared to rates last year, there are plans to bring truants back to school, etc.) don’t add any more!


Oh. Wow, did I get a little out of control, there? Maybe a little too defensive? May I have implied that My Baltimore is sunshine and lollipops? Because it is, you know.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Palin Population

Winifred is from a small town in North Dakota. ND is a big state, and there are (shockingly) many people from The Peace Garden in my hometown, home state, and general tri-state area. ND is so big you could fill it with 5.7 of mine. It’s also so sparsely populated that you could fit ND’s population into mine 8.7 times. (That’s all the math I’m doing today, folks!)


Winifred is fiercely protective of the Peace Garden State. If you are a lone stranger to the Quimby family (unlikely), keep that in mind:


Me: According to Approximately as many people as Wasilla, Adobe employs as many people as the population of Wasilla.

Winifred: And how many people is that?

Me: Willa has 6,000. Adobe has 6,959. That’s almost a thousand more than Wasilla!

Winifred: …

Me: So she’s not qualified to run Adobe! Or be the mayor of [redacted], your hometown!

Winifred: Really? [To population not qualification]

Me: Yeah! [Redacted, ND] has 16,000+!

Winifred: And how many people are in Wasilla? You’ve been to [redacted], it’s a small town.

Me: 6,000! I looked up [redacted] last night to compare it to Wyndmere. Wyndmere is where Chuck Klosterman is from. He grew up on a farm in a town with 533 people! And they weren’t all old, either!

Winifred: Hey! [Redacted] has way more people than Wasilla.

Me: Yeah!

Winifred: That’s great!

Me: I wonder what the population of Alaska is if it’s the 47th least populated state. 683,478! …Oh. North Dakota is the 48th least populated. Darn. I wanted Alaska to have less than 16,000 people.

Winifred: That’s…not possible.

Me: I wonder how many people live in our hometown! 57,000! That’s way more than in North Dakota.

Winifred: Hey!

Me: And way too many people for Sarah Palin!



Monday, September 22, 2008


I found this video post in the Inspiration on Sweet Juniper. It's by John and Faith Hubley, and they recorded their children and would later animate their conversations. (Jim posted about this a year ago with Cockaboody, and linked to my favorite, Moon Bird.) I dispensing it because the conversations of the Hubley children, Emily and Georgia, remind me of Charlotte and Emily. Or in this case (princesses!), Charlotte and Captain or Emily and Captain. And as an added bonus, this is the kind of animation I preferred when I was little, the weird squiggly vintage episodes of Sesame Street.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dear Internet,
Last Saturday Winifred dragged me into the puppy store in the mall to look at the pets. Then she reminded me that because she doesn't want to see me happy, I couldn't take home the Boston Terrier, even though I really want one.

Today she said we were going to have ice cream later, which meant we were going to the local establishment, which has the BEST ice cream. When we came home she went out side for two hours to read (most of it was spent on her phone). When she returned she said "that ship had sailed." She sunk it herself, apparently, without telling me.

These two examples are proof that Winifred must not love me. What a tease.