April 30, 2004

Friday Jive

I'm supposed to be blogging over at Dean's World, but we're having technical difficulties. This actually makes for some anxiety, since my "shift" started several hours ago. I got home late after work and another commitment, and was raring to go. Instead, I'll have to wait until we get the whole "logging in" thing sorted out.

In the meantime, I'll blog here about all the things that jumped into my mind when I found out I'd be guest-blogging for Dean. Because of course the thing that enters your mind when you find out you'll be guesting at a high-traffic blog is, "I'll have to make an extra good impression. Maybe I'll try being ladylike this time."

As if it's a sort of job interview. And what, pray tell, is the electronic equivalent of wearing a turquoise microfiber suit with nude-colored pantyhose? (Interviews are the only time/place you'll see me in hose, BTW--otherwise, it's tights. But it's a damned snappy suit, if I do say so myself.)

I believe it's coming up with some sort of nude-colored pantyhose post. Something innocuous that won't offend people. One starts to make a mental list: mustn't blog about sex. Or roadkill. Or fire. No excrement. No menstrual blood.

Of course, someone who wants to hear from a chick named Little Miss Attila is probably expecting to hear about some or all of these things.

The shit and menstrual blood will have to wait. In the meantime, here's my Roadkill Post.

I may have to start carrying a BB gun in the trunk of my car. For the second time, I've encountered an injured animal near my house, and it's unbelievably distressing.

The first time, I was running nearby and there was a bird in the road with an injured wing. It was flapping in a ghastly manner and seemed unable to take off. I came back to the house and asked my husband if I could use his pellet gun. He volunteered to go with me, but by the time we returned to that same spot in the road the bird had gone. I hoped it had died quickly, because I had trouble believing that it would have been able to fly again.

The brutality of nature can be very disturbing.

The second time was this past week. I saw the familiar furry mound in the middle of the road, and swerved to avoid running over it, as I always do. There are lots of squirrels in my area, and it's not at all uncommon for them to die under someone's wheel. But something made me look back this past time, and I was horrified to see that the animal was moving frantically. It was sickening. I turned the car around, determined to make myself drive over its head. I felt at that time that it would take all my will to do this. As I approached again the squirrel was still, though, and I eyeballed it as I pulled level with the spot where it lay. It was dead, now--I felt pretty secure about that.

I began sobbing as I drove past--because there is so much suffering in the world, and because I'm such a coward I have trouble with the idea of putting things out of their misery. Because I knew driving over a squirrel's head would be hard for a squeamish gal like me, and it's a stupid, small thing to ask of oneself, after all.

I told my father about the squirrel a few days later and he said that when he was very young--five or six--he was walking with his parents and they encountered an injured rabbit. His father stomped on its head to kill it quickly, and dad tells me he gained great respect for his own father that day.

My grandfathers were very different from each other, but they were both men who could be counted on to do what was necessary. They could be relied upon.

The older I get, the more I respect that. It's something I see in my husband. It's one of the reasons I married him.

Do what you are called upon to do: large or small. Walk along the road. Kill the injured animal. Work, play, sweat. Breathe.

* * *

There's your nude-colored pantyhose post. Do I get the job?

Posted by Attila at 11:43 PM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2004

His 'n' Her Blogs

Rosemary Esmay (aka The Queen of All Evil) now has her own blog. She'll no longer have to content herself with posting on hubby's website.

Stop in and check out her new digs.

Posted by Attila at 02:08 AM | Comments (0)

Live Fast, Die Old

From Men's Health, 100 tips--some contradictory, some impractical, but all interesting--on how to keep your heart going as long as possible.

Posted by Attila at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

April 26, 2004

WaPo, AP, et al. Blow It Big

According to Drudge, when The Memory Hole filed an FOIA request for photos of caskets arriving at Dover, they did not realize that the CD given included more than merely War in Iraq/War on Terror dead. Consequently, more than 70 photos run on their site as Iraqi dead were actually images of the seven killed in the Columbia shuttle disaster a year ago February.

AP, The Washington Post, Reuters and CNN picked up the story without doing any independent verification whatsoever. So far only The Washington Post has run a retraction.

Via the deliciously named Barking Moonbat Early Warning System.

The actual Memory Hole story with the photos.

Also, see this article for a roundup of editorials around the nation that demand such pictures be made available to the public. Everyone says we would be honoring the dead and giving the families better closure in so doing, and I'm sure two or three of these people are actually sincere. I'd so love to think we could make these images available as a regular thing and not have them exploited by the anti-war left. But I'm afraid I know what the primary motivation is for most of these editorial writers.

Posted by Attila at 02:14 PM | Comments (4)


Thanks to Right Wing News for the sidebar link, left up over a few days' time. As if the Hawkins-alanche weren't enough, Blogdex has had me at number 22 for the past day or so, and my traffic is through the roof: there's a sort of snowball effect in place there. I'm talking about a more than fivefold increase.

In related events, I'm now past 15,000 on unique visits (closer to 20,000 on page views). Not bad for a tiny blog. These milestones are starting to go by much more quickly. Thanks to all for stopping by.

Posted by Attila at 01:01 AM | Comments (1)

April 25, 2004

You Can't Handle the Truth

Penn & Teller have a new television show that airs here in the U.S. on Thursday nights. It's called Bullshit! and it exposes various frauds and fallacies--commercial, cultural, and political.

It is not a family show (that's why it's on at 10:00 p.m.). The language is probably a bit strong for some people. But it's an excellent show, so try to watch a few even if you're sensitive to language issues.

It's essentially a shorter, snappier version of the John Stossel specials on ABC: a whole lotta de-bunking going on.

The whole season is also available on DVD as well. So there are no excuses for those without Showtime.

Posted by Attila at 11:36 PM | Comments (1)

April 24, 2004

Is Sex Reeeaally Necessary?

There's a spirited discussion going on in the comments pertaining to John Hawkins' last post on sexism. Most of it is fluff and bullshit (as with most comment threads), but there are a few interesting remarks, including one from a woman who maintains that female bloggers are more inclined to be prey to stalkers or harrassers than male bloggers.

This may or may not be true, but many more females than males feel they need to blog under a pseudonym (e.g., "Attila Girl") because there is the danger not so much of someone thinking we're right-wing blowhards, but of actually trying to do us harm.

Does the fact that many of us use "pen names" detach us more from our online writing? After all, nothing I write here is much of a resume builder in the outside world. That extra layer of protection can end up harming us.


Posted by Attila at 06:10 PM | Comments (9)

April 23, 2004

Considering the Sacrifices

. . . others have made, can you fail to make one as well?

I'm not trying to guilt-trip you so much as, um, make you feel guilty enough to send a contribution to the Spirit of America.

At present, it's time for us to implement our secret plan for sudden success. Of course it's secret, but you guys know what you need to do: pawn your favorite thing, and send that exact amount to the Marines trying to do Massive Good Works in Iraq. (Let's hope that favorite thing is your car.)

As things stand:

Castle Argghhh!/Fighting Fusileers for Freedom!=$10,755.5

The Victory Coalition (Kevin of Wizbang! and Michele of A Small Victory)=$7718

Liberty Alliance (the bestest, coolest group)=$3314

So it's definitely time for us to kick it up a notch; we only have through the end of the day this coming Wednesday. Seriously--I'll bet with a concerted effort we could at least catch up with the Victory Coalition.

Let's do it--we can catch those suckers. We can.

Posted by Attila at 11:35 PM | Comments (1)

More Pat Tillman

The Command Post has an excellent roundup of stories on Pat Tillman's life, and the decision he made to lay it down for us instead of continuing to play football. There are pictures of him in both uniforms he wore, and at the end an appeal by those who are campaigning to have the number 40 retired permanently in his honor.

Apparently, the comments about Tillman became so disrespectful and inappropriate that for the first time in its history TCP was obliged to shut down the comments entirely. This incident proved the breaking point, and Alan and Michele have a new commenting policy, hinging on the words "respectability and civility."

And don't forget the piece Peggy Noonan wrote at the time Tillman made his extraordinary decision. I remember thinking then that he was one of a new breed in this country I wasn't even sure--in my darker moments--we deserved. Now I know we do.

Many have pointed out that Tillman gave up no more or less than the hundreds of other young men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. And I think we all know human life is far more important than any dollar amount.

But Tillman bucked the tide to do what he felt was right. At that young age he already felt America had done so much for him that he needed to "pay it back." He was smarter and wiser than I am at almost twice his age, and I'll spend the rest of my life working to justify by my deeds the sacrifices these kids have made for our freedom.

Feeling weepy; gotta go.

Posted by Attila at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

Reason Rules

Michael J. Totten on why he's going to hold his nose and vote for Bush.

(If the display is weird, it's the archiving function. Go back to his main page [delete the word "archive" and everything after it on your browser window] and scroll down to "Bush's Ironic Bounce.")

Personally, I think our friends in the Old Media have been playing up the Iraq conflict, hoping they could Vietnamize it. Instead, they've reminded everyone that there's a war going on, and if we don't want to cut and run at the worst possible time we should re-elect the President.

Posted by Attila at 10:37 PM | Comments (3)

Former NFL Player Killed

Pat Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinal who turned down an NFL contract to join the Army Rangers, was killed in Afghanistan, hunting for Osama bin Laden with the Army Special Forces.

Previously, he was stationed with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in southern Iraq.

What a man. Pray for him.

Via I Love Jet Noise.

Posted by Attila at 01:07 PM | Comments (1)

April 22, 2004

Stop Oppressing Me

If you really don't want to read the history of this particular blogwar, skip down to What I Think for my current "wisdom" on relations between the sexes.

The Background

Apparently two minor blogfeuds have erupted into a general free-for-all. Everyone wants to talk about whether the Blogosphere is sexist, or isn't, or whether female bloggers have an advantage, or don't, or whether sexual banter is okay, or isn't.

As I understand it, one of the skirmishes that spawned this began with Michele musing about why Wonkette is so successful. A lot of us have wondered that too, since for a number of us the sizzle-to-steak ratio at Wonkette seems rather high. But of course I had those feelings about Tina Brown as well. I think Wonkette's success can be explained by three things:
1) an awful lot of people like gossip;
2) Glenn Reynolds made it a point to link her a lot, and
3) She's got Conde Nast money behind her, which leads to a lot of the non-sphere attention she gets (such as TV interviews and articles in the NYT).

The fact is, it's hard for anyone who's slogging away in the vineyards day after day to watch others compete in what they consider an unfair way. And being broke doesn't bring out the best in any of us--especially bloggers, most of whom are still doing their thang "for fun and for free." Won't it be great when we all figure out how to make it pay? Until then, we'll be tense every now and again. Breathe.

John Hawkins wrote a post about which bloggers he'd like to be marooned with on a desert island. In what I regarded as a bit of affirmative action, he broke it down into half women, and half men. With a comment or two about the females being attractive, he earned Meryl Yourish's wrath, and she produced a counter-list of her own, couched specifically in terms of whether or not she'd sleep with the men in question.

Now all hell has broken loose, with Hawkins responding to Michelle's original post about the Mystery of Wonkette, and Ilyka writing a thoughtful piece that tries to explain why some women are a little sensitive about the prospect of being regarded as a walking pair of tits (as well as linking yours truly--thank you so much!). Then James penned an equally insightful article on why men might truly have an edge in writing about politics--and giving credit to the superstars in that arena, such as Kathy Kinsley, Megan McArdle, and Virginia Postrel. Baldilocks suggested that men and women are different, and that this is okay. Hawkins weighed in one more time. Spoons chimed in as well, leading Xrlq to comment:

Spoons gets a lot more traffic than I do, even though I outrank him in the Ecosystem. It's not fair! Either the Blogosphere is biased in favor of bloggers named after kitchen utensils, or it's biased against bloggers with unpronounceable names. Or maybe it's biased in favor of people willing to live in ... shudder ... Illinois. I don't know. All I know is that I'm being cheated somehow.

Which pretty well sums it up.

Now Meryl feels a "feminist rant" coming on, which should be interesting. I'll read it.

What I Think

Look, boys and girls. I don't feel that I have either an edge or a disadvantage here by virtue of my two X Chromosomes. And I don't like any set of exchanges that purports to tell me what my blog is about based on whether I've ever posted a picture of myself (yes--twice) or mentioned my boobs (yes--several times over the past 13 months).

If you want to know the truth, I don't think the major divisions in the Blogosphere have to do with whether we're male or female, right or left so much as they pertain to whether we're smart, and decent writers. The fact is, most people aren't that bright. When a straight guy reads something by a woman that gets him to really think, he's likely to feel a glimmering of attraction, because it's probably a rare experience ("this person is an exceptional thinker--and it's a chick! So what if she isn't a slender brunette! Hello, hormones"). For a lot of men out there--at least when they are reading blogs--the impulse goes from his brain to his crotch. Not the other way around. (Do not try to get them to admit this.)

Besides, in some cases (I think I'm one) the reality of the picture doesn't quite match the fantasy of however the male reader imagined the woman to be. I think I got more sexy mail from males before I posted the pix than I did afterward. And this is fine, too. I'm here to write. If you think I'm cute, good for you--you have rare and discerning taste.

Most good blogs are magazines. Most of the best political blogs have at least some personal content, whether it's James talking about his cats (or his commute), Laurence discussing the baking of bread, or Stephen Green writing about which car he finally bought. It's all good.

I used to use the word "feminist," back in the days before the movement became a duck blind for shamelessly exploitive philanderers. Now I'm a Whatever Works.

Let's all do our breathing. Stretch a little. Have a martini, if you're that kind of blogger. Or some good herbal tea if you're not. Do your yoga. Have a muffin.

And let's get back into the arena of ideas.

Posted by Attila at 06:45 PM | Comments (4)

The Pot Calling the Kettle...

I have more from the English Al-Jazeera site. Once more, we must remember that they tone down their rhetoric drastically for their English readers. Everything I've heard about the Arabic versions of their stories is that it's many degrees more virulent and anti-Western. I'm sure you've seen the direct quotes about how American soldiers are known to be "trigger happy."

Against this backdrop, real Marines are in Iraq dodging real bullets during their shifts, only to turn around and work even harder for the Iraqis in their off-hours, building schools, hospitals and other infrastructure. Now they are setting up Iraqi television stations in the hope of getting unbiased information out to the people and combatting the obscenely one-sided version of events Al-Jazeera puts out there.

It's especially interesting to me that one cannot do any kind of a cut-and-paste from the Al-Jazeera English-language site. Any time I try to highlight text, I'm simply bounced to the top of the same page. They apparently do not want to be quoted.

In an article headlined "Israelis Better at Manipulating Media," one Dr. Toine Van Teeffele (a Dutch academic) makes the following statement about the way the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is couched in the Western press:

Palestinian violence is dramatised and looks somehow aggressive by nature. On the other hand, the structural violence and illegitimacy of the occupation is less emphasized in most Western accounts.

. . . looks somehow aggressive by nature.
Innocent men, women and children getting blown up in pizza parlors and shopping malls strikes me as "aggressive by nature," no matter how academics might want to spin or "contextualize" it. (Yes--the same article explains that the conflict isn't "contextualized" enough. Amazing.)

the structural violence and illegitimacy of the occupation is less emphasized . . .
"Structural violence" is another great phrase, apparently conceived by sophists, for sophists. If one side is behaving obscenely, and the other is not, we can always pretend they are equivalent by ascribing "structural violence" to the Israeli side--even if we can't show them engaging in the real kind.

The Palestinians were the ones who--aided, I'm sure, by accounts seen on Al-Jazeera of American evilness--cheered in the streets when they heard thousands of Americans were killed in the WTC towers on 9/11.

Don't let the Iraqis be led down the same misguided path: let's make sure they hear and see both sides of every story. Send your donation to the Spirit of America today. Please.

Posted by Attila at 04:29 PM | Comments (5)

April 21, 2004

A Woman at War...with Herself

Last night I went to my second meeting of Clutterers Anonymous. It was slightly less awful than last time, and I certainly started to feel like I might belong. I feel a huge resistance to this program in a way I don't to Debtors Anonymous, probably because DA (a larger group, to be sure) is full of bright, apparently with-it people who are generally achievers (and most of the women are beautifully accessorized, oddly enough).

I know I have to approach this problem sideways rather than head-on for the very simple reason that there's no intellectual problem at all: I can look at other people's messes, clutter and junk and tell them 1) how they ought to arrange the stuff to take up less room, and 2) which items are the best candidates for getting rid of. With the exception of my mother, these people generally escape any advice-giving because I do know how to bite my tongue. But the fact that I have the impulse tells me that I don't need Techniques or Organizational Systems as much as I need to fix the hole in my soul.

It's interesting to me how much my problems with time, money, and the allocation of space fit together and reinforce each other. It makes all the sense in the world to me that DA has special meetings for clutterers and for those with time issues.

Right now it feels like I'm locked in a death-match with the worst side of my nature. It may be that this time in my life--while I'm freelancing and slightly underutilized as an editor, and awaiting the arrival of my son or daughter--is the best moment to address some of my worst personality traits.

Onward and upward.

Posted by Attila at 02:41 PM | Comments (3)

Fighting Propoganda with Truth

As you will recall, we're trying to raise money for the Spirit of America, which is now focusing on providing the Iraqi people with something like unbiased media coverage. Many of you are aware that some Iraqi stations are still under-equipped and unable to broadcast just yet. Those that are functioning are in need of more programming and forced at times to air Al-Jazeera's propoganda simply to fill the airtime.

We who speak English can only see through a glass darkly, here, because Al-Jazeera tones down its English "translations" of what amounts to continual anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-coalition propaganda. But here is a sample from their English-language site. It's worth noting that the figures of Iraqis dead from the war are given without any balance or context: at no point is a comparison made with how many Iraqis would have died during that same time period had Saddam stayed in power. The massive casualties from Saddam's regime and his wars are not even mentioned in passing! The figures on the dead are simply presented as evidence of American evildoing.

Before the handover in June, the Iraqis must be given access to information that includes the reasoning behind the coalition point of view. Citizens cannot make intelligent choices when they are forced to listen to apologists for terror.

Click here to give; thank you.

Posted by Attila at 02:04 PM | Comments (1)

April 20, 2004

John of Argghh!

. . . is confused. I mentioned, in passing, that I probably have more guns than him and his fundraising rabble put together. Now, of course this is true, on the face of it: girlie men don't have real guns, 'cause no respectable gunshop--no one with an FFL, period--would sell real guns to people whose DNA has wimpiness built into it. You can spot 'em right away, and the gun dealer will just claim he's fresh out that day, and could you maybe come back tomorrow. Very hard for wimps to get guns.

He sent me a few pictures of some cap guns and cheap plastic reproductions of vintage miliary stuff, challenging me to prove that I had more ordnance than he does. Very silly.

I mean, I could take the bet, but I'd be taking advantage of the befuddled. I'm sure if he or any of his cohorts have real, working firearms, they're probably .22s. Or maybe .32s, max. Probably most of 'em have cap guns, or guns that shoot out little flags with the legend "bang!" on them. And, of course, Kevin and Michele's groups all have autographed pictures of Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, and Sarah Brady in their homes; we've proven this scientifically.

If they do have real, working firearms, there's only one way for them to prove it, and I don't mean taking pictures from local museums and pretending they're photos of your basement.

They'll have to open their wallets and give to the Spirit of America. To make things easier, I'm providing a link here wherein they can easily do this. One's armory should always be judged by one's fundraising prowess, after all.

May the best-armed group win.

Posted by Attila at 05:12 PM | Comments (3)

Libertines for Liberty


Starting Wednesday morning--in the wee hours in the Pacific Time Zone--the Heroes of the Blogosphere Challenge begins. A group of private backers and U.S. Marines is forming what The Wall Street Journal calls "a coalition of the Can-Do" to get defunct Iraqi TV stations up and running, and thereby give the Iraqi people an alternative to the tripe being broadcast on Al-Jazeera.

Dean's World, Michele & Kevin, and John of Argghh! have created individual alliances that will be competing against each other to raise funds for this project, entitled The Spirit of America and run by Jim Hake (who headed earlier efforts to send toys, medical equipment and school supplies to Iraq).

Please give early and often; this entire fundraising project will only last for eight days, because it is imperative that all the video/editing equipment be purchased and at Camp Pendleton by May 7. We must get the new TV stations up and running before the new Iraqi government starts up on June 30: multiple sources of information are essential to democracy.

The only two conditions that will be placed on the Iraqi owners of the stations: 1) do not actually lie on behalf of the terrorists (legitimate criticism of the government and/or the Americans is fine), and 2) allow the Marines to purchase television time to get their own viewpoint across to the masses.

I would encourage you to give if any of the following applies:

1) you like my blog;
2) you hate my blog;
3) you like my writing but hate my politics;
4) you like my politics but hate my writing;
5) you're hoping I'll post a picture of my breasts someday;
6) you prefer leggy brunettes to round blondes, thank you very much;
7) you're gay;
8) you're bisexual;
9) you're transgendered;
10) you're asexual;
11) you're married;
12) you're divorced;
13) you're single;
14) you walk on your hind legs;
15) you're paraplegic;
16) you have a pulse.

The shorthand?--I'm a fundraising 'ho. I'm perfectly happy to have you on board for this worthy a cause. Hell--you can even troll my comments, for the right price.

We have eight days to raise funds, people. Make this the one time you gave money over the internet: the cause could not be more important. Click here to give.

Thank you.

Posted by Attila at 03:07 AM | Comments (4)

April 19, 2004

Quiz Time Again

I used to lose sleep at night wondering about this:

You're Leggy Bettie...you may be tall or short but
either way you seem to make the guys swoon and
the girls jealous and girls think of you as a
"slut" or "bitch." Again,
you're beautiful, they're not...right?

Which Bettie Page Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

What a load off my mind. I'm pretending not to see the grammatical mistake, unless Quizilla wants to send me money to fix it.

The fact is, I have incredible legs for someone my age, and I'm glad a computer robot located somehere hundreds or thousands of miles away is recognizing that fact.

Via Miss Apropos, who reminds me of someone I once knew.

Posted by Attila at 01:28 AM | Comments (1)

CNN has the Jordan Story

. . . which is hard to write about because the details are still so sketchy. UPI's also got it:

BEIRUT, Lebanon, April 16 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida planned to attack Jordan's intelligence headquarters in Amman with chemical weapons and the U.S. embassy with poisonous gas, reports said.

The Saudi daily al-Hayat, monitored in Beirut, Friday quoted official Jordanian sources as saying al-Qaida operative Abu Misaab al-Zirqawi, a Jordanian, sought to destroy the intelligence building with "a highly-destructive" chemical bomb that would have killed as many as 20,000 people.

The sources said Jordanian security arrested two al-Qaida members connected to al-Zirqawi and confiscated a car laden with explosives and arms which was smuggled into Jordan through the Syrian border.

The car, intercepted some 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the Syrian border, carried explosives, a chemical bomb and poisonous gas.

The sources said the terrorists planned to use the gas in attacks against the U.S. embassy in Amman and the seat of the Jordanian government.

Al-Zirqawi, who is wanted by Washington and the Jordanian authorities, is believed to be operating in Iraq.

The Jordanian king, according to some reports I've read, confirms that the chemical agents were from Syria, but that he's sure the Syrian premier didn't know this. Hm.

As the story becomes more widespread, you and your liberal friends might just swap places. Instead of them hissing the acronym "WMD!" at you, it could be you dropping the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" into the conversation now and again, here and there--and watching them blush.

Their whole theme song lately has been based on a supposition that is likely to be proven false.

Of course, we're all still waiting to see how this chemical agent could have killed 20,000 people, but they say we'll get more data over the course of the week.

Posted by Attila at 12:30 AM | Comments (1)

April 18, 2004

Rantissi Fallout

The only good terrorist . . .

Per Laurence at TCP, Hamas leaders are irked about Rantissi's death, and are planning "earthquakes of revenge."

Apparently, they are mad enough that they might start killing innocent men, women, and children. Oh, wait . . .

If, every time there is a terrorist act in Israel, the Israelis take out another terrorist leader, we will shortly start to see fewer and fewer attacks. After all, these old guys don't want to die: they want to send young men (and women) out to die for them, with false promises of paradise after death.

That's the thing I admire about the Israelis: they don't fuck around. They aren't barbarians like a lot of their neighbors, but they do not fuck around when it comes to their survival. They will do what it takes to stay on the map.

Deal with it, boys and girls.

Posted by Attila at 11:56 PM | Comments (1)

Sotto Voce

Attila the Hub thinks the Sopranos story lines are becoming very dense, almost busy--as if the writers were trying to cram too much in. I think the episodes are more and more brilliant--and in a comfortable, less-pretentious way than in the first few seasons.

It turns out we were misinformed about the show maybe dying at the end of this season: there will be one more set after the current one (#5), though given the 18-month lead time in filming these it's possible season 6 was in doubt while they were producing the ones we're watching now. This might explain all the "big moments" my spouse was beginning to tire of. All this saying goodbye--and then saying it again. Season 6 will be shorter, though: only ten episodes. Just enough for HBO to retain its lock on Sunday nights, and to have a full 75 shows to shop around for syndication.

Last week's installment was probably the best one I've ever seen. The primary story line had to do with Cousin TonyB, who as the episode opens has been trying to break away from crime as an occupation. He is trying to become a licensed massage therapist, and comes across an opportunity to open his own spa. Everything is clicking for him: he even finds some drug money that's been stolen and ditched. But he's still hanging around with his mob friends, gambling a lot and skipping sleep before he clocks in to work. He gambles the extra money away and squabbles with his girlfriend. Three days before his spa is supposed to open he picks a fight with his boss and beats him up. End of business opportunity.

The next day, he asks his cousin Tony if he can still get in on the "stolen air bag" scam he was offered when he first got out of prison. Tony tells him it's better not to do business with strangers. Implication: Keep things in the family. It's just at the moment of success that TonyB collapses and runs away from the opportunity in front of him, because the responsibility is too great, the change too wrenching. He goes back to the familiar.

Meanwhile, Carmella has her first real affair, and is enjoying herself despite serious qualms--some having to do with the Church's disapproval (for she and Tony will always be married, as far as the Church is concerned), and some having to do with her feelings of loyalty to Tony--and her fear that Tony might get violent if he finds out about this. (After all, The Sopranos is all about the sexual double standard.) But as a mob wife, she has the "quid pro quo" mentality, and it's natural for her to ask her boyfriend for favors on her son's behalf. When he begins to feel used, she attacks him. On her way out the door, she tells him he should watch his step. The threat is perfectly in keeping with her mobbed-up sensibilities.

Taken together, this installment has a lot to say about how hard it is for people to change. We try to consciously, but our unconscious minds sabotage us back into our comfort zones. Or we think we're taking the indicated actions, but our old habits are so ingrained we don't even see them.

We lock ourselves into the grooves we've cut through years of habit. We foil our best plans and call it destiny.

And then we rail at God, who wanted the best for us all along.

Posted by Attila at 11:27 PM | Comments (1)

April 16, 2004

The Passion of the Christ, first take

The Attila-Hub and I went to see The Passion today. Supposedly we were avoiding it because of the crowds, and my husband's work schedule, and the Easter Rush, and my having to pluck my eyebrows . . . we all know what's what, though, right? I'm tender-hearted, and envisioned a scenario wherein I spent two hours watching the fabric on my husband's shirt, and sobbing.

I did cry, and I did so audibly once or twice, which never happens in movie theatres (I'm usually discreet when a movie "gets to me"--and they all do). But I also got through the entire film on one Kleenex (the sturdy kind that goes in my purse carrier). I only looked away once (okay--maybe twice). There is suffering in this movie, but it's spread out, paced by strategic cutting away to places away from the actual torture--Mary's suffering, the events taking place alongside the crucifixion, and flashbacks to Jesus' ministry.

It was an amazing movie to watch as a Christian. Truly.

I think Gibson's being Catholic helped him in making this movie, because 1) he is very comfortable with symbolism, which helps greatly in storytelling. It's absolutely critical in a religious movie, of course. Also, 2) he has a willingness to focus on Christ's suffering without needing to "clean it up." He's okay with the blood of Christ, and Protestants ("we," I want to say, despite my conversion) want things tidy and clean--witness our penchant for crosses rather than crucifixes.

A picture--or, have it your way, a graven image--is worth a thousand words.

The Jewish Question: well, I just don't get that. I think there's only anti-Semitism if you're looking for it. In fact, there is an implicit indictment of anti-Semitism, if you look at the way the Jews are regarded as second-class citizens, and the way they are spoken to and treated by the Romans. Most of the pivotal characters--including Jesus and his followers--are Jews. Those who are not are Romans, who show the most callousness and cruelty, far surpassing anything the Jews are able to dish out. There are scenes of mobs calling for Jesus' death, but surely that's something that can happen in any group of people: it is historically accurate to show it, and what we're seeing there is the dark side of human nature, rather than anything specific to Jews or Gentiles.

I think it's important to remember that any Christian who sees this movie is going to see Jesus' death as the responsibility of mankind in general, and him/herself in particular. Please keep that in mind.

Posted by Attila at 05:00 PM | Comments (8)

And the Apprenticeship Goes To...

Bill Rancic.

Yes. The Donald's latest enterprise has been a guilty pleasure of mine, at least off and on. I even stuck with it when they lost Troy and Nick--my favorites after the scrappy saleswomen whose mother had health issues.

I thought some of the finale show was brilliantly staged--for instance, the moment Trump announced Bill was the winner, and all the boardroom walls fell down to reveal the principals were on a stage in front of a live, cheering audience. Very nice.

Two hours was still a hell of a long time for this show. I know they could have done it all in an hour and a half. During the tasks, I found myself wondering to what degree the show's producers created or at least facilitated some of the snafus Bill and Kwame encountered. And I'm starting to really wonder whether Amarosa is getting paid extra on the side to continue to hang around and foment trouble. It's hard not to wonder whether someone could really be willing to behave that badly with cameras running--unless they were getting a little taste for providing extra drama, and for being the Diva Americans love to hate. She was caught lying on camera. Twice. Weird. I'm sure Mark Burnett would like to have her back, and The Donald would not. Perhaps they'll arm-wrestle for it or something.

It is interesting to feel like we, the American people, are getting to know Trump as something other than a developer of large properties featuring decent-to-indifferent design.

There is something about this show that captures the imagination: what if you did this crazy thing, staked everything you had--along with your dreams--on one roll of the dice? America would love you, because America loves those who win the long shots. That is, after all, how we got our country: through facing down the longest odds ever seen--and winning.

And, hell--we like to see people win anyway.

Lucky Bill was given a choice of which project he would manage: a golf course here in LA (but where, exactly, are they building it?) that is apparently right on the ocean and will feature mansions a way from the fairways that they expect will fetch 5 mil and up.

Second choice: supervise the construction of a huge tower in Chicago, at the site of the old Sun-Times building, which will be demolished to create this new thing. The rendering did look pretty.

Bill went for Chi-town. It's where he's from, he explains.

Posted by Attila at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)

Hitch in the Shooting Schedule

Via Venomous Kate, two porn stars have just tested positive for HIV; a number of performers have been quarantined as potentially exposed, and production has been suspended on a few sets until the extent of the outbreak is known.

So much for economic growth in the San Fernando Valley.

Posted by Attila at 08:55 AM | Comments (13)

April 15, 2004

Off-the-Air America

I like Will Collier's verbiage best, so I'll use his version (he's Stephen Green's partner in crime at VodkaPundit, you'll recall):

According to Drudge, Barking Moonbat Radio (aka "Air America") is going broke after just two weeks on the air, and has been pulled from affiliates in Chicago and LA.

You have to wonder if Drudge actually has the goods on this one. I figured it would flop, but I don't think anybody thought it could flop this fast. Still, given Al Franken's dismal record of failure in television and movies, nobody should really be surprised if the story pans out.

"Developing," as they say...

We've all heard about the bounced checks in the seven figures, and the stations that have switched over to "Mexican radio" in Chi-town and L.A.

I imagine all the stunned lefties out there: "but we're smarter. And funnier. It should have worked!" As my grandmother used to say: if wishes were horses, beggars could ride.

It was so futile, so sad. And I happen to know that the smartest and funniest man on the planet is a registered Republican. Stick that in your blender and puree it.

Posted by Attila at 11:48 AM | Comments (6)

Tall Tales

It takes a certain frame of mind to read Angelweave while eating something unhealthy, but I was prepared to do it. Unwind a little, get ready for bed, carb out (tonight: rice with a little milk, cinnamon and sugar). You know: I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.

Then Heather hit me with this article from the New Yorker, which discusses the academics who track height differences in large populations over the centuries. In the U.S., ever since early in the last century, heights have remained static as those in Northern Europe and other industrialized nations have increased. And now, though we are still (demographically speaking) richer, they are taller. Since height usually tracks wealth, this is a somewhat anomalous trend.

But of course the main cause is thought to be--implied to be, in the article, though not quite stated flat-out--our national addiction to bad food. After all, one British study showed that modern kids who were fed wartime rations--boiled cabbage and beef--grew taller than those who ate hamburgers and French fries. We just don't get enough vegetables in this country, and this truth has etched itself into our bones for nearly a century. We keep getting richer, but we don't get the micronutrients our bodies need.

We just grow out, not up. It's a sobering thought.

Posted by Attila at 10:57 AM | Comments (4)

Not So Cunning After All

Laurence of ATS continues to marvel at the wonder that is Noam Chomsky, remarking of the good professor's blog:

[he] has two more posts up . . . and--color me shocked and purple--still no sign of linguistics.

You would think, by now, he'd have accidentally posted something on linguistics. A spelling error here, a microstroke there . . . bam! You've got Linguistics, right? Maybe mixing up a post on the weblog and a note to a coed he wants to bang that he's giving directions to through e-mail:

"Meet me in the Linguistics Department at 10:00PM tonight. Wear a bathrobe, Mickey Mouse ears, and a glow-stick up your ass."

Read the whole thing, and follow the link back to Laurence's original Chomsky Challenge, which is definitely worth the price of admission.

Posted by Attila at 09:28 AM | Comments (2)

Some thoughts on Victimhood

From Dorothy Rabinowitz and from E-Claire. Rabinowitz discusses the antics of the four "Jersey girls," activist 9-11 widows who have taken it upon themselves to lecture our nation on what, exactly, we did wrong on and before 9-11, and to dictate how we should conduct ourselves in the future. Their conduct is egregious, and it's probably time that they STFU.

Rabinowitz link via James, wie immer.

Posted by Attila at 09:19 AM | Comments (5)

April 14, 2004

New Blog

My friend Christophe, the Bay Area sex expert and smut peddler, has his own blog now.
Check it out
, now. Unless you're sensitive to these things, of course: "adult"-oriented issues will definitely be discussed now and then. Above all, be nice. He's my friend.

Posted by Attila at 07:06 AM | Comments (1)

April 13, 2004

Stephen Green on Kerry

The VodkaPundit fisks a Kerry Op-Ed ("If I Ran the Iranian Circus"). Read the fisking, skip the comments.

Via James.

Posted by Attila at 10:57 PM | Comments (1)

Buy a Gun Day

April 15th, Baby--this Thursday.


Even better--buy two!

Posted by Attila at 09:14 AM | Comments (1)

April 12, 2004

Another Test

Here's Kevin's original; let's see how that looks.


Posted by Attila at 11:10 PM | Comments (1)


Just a test for Kevin of Wizbang! Pay us no mind.


I'll do one for real once we science the dimensions out.

Posted by Attila at 11:07 PM | Comments (1)

The Infamous PDB

Here it is.

The content basically vindicates Rice and Bush. It is a historical document. Certainly it's a "heads up" in a general way, but there isn't enough there to suggest any specific actions that could have been taken given what the administration knew (and didn't know) at the time.

No one who is being honest with himself/herself, and is not either using hindsight or blinded by hatred of Bush can conclude that this briefing was somehow being ignored, or that Taking It More Seriously would have prevented 9/11.

Posted by Attila at 09:32 AM | Comments (2)

Wait--Where was that Estrogen?

I wish I could mainline the stuff.

Much Sturm und Drang today. This story will be significant to those who know me in my personal life (especially my high school/college friends), and practically no one else. So feel free to skip this entry.

I talked to my aunt earlier in the day. She was a little concerned about my mom, who was, she said, depressed. I finally caught up with my mother five and a half hours later, and she wasn't any such thing: she was livid at certain family members, and in target acquisition mode, ready to jump down my throat or get mad at my aunt for even having spoken to me. As we spoke I became more and more careful about what I said to her, not wanting to get her mad at my aunt or at me.

This made her mad. Of course. "Don't beat around the bush with me," she raged.

I finally let loose and yelled, and told her she should be happy to have people concerned about her, and she could talk to me or not talk to me, but I wasn't going to be treated badly.

We agreed it wasn't the right time to talk, and hung up. I called her back, to get her assurance that she wouldn't get mad at my aunt for having called me in the first place. At first she agreed, and then she accused me of giving her orders.

I hung up the phone and sobbed. Suddenly, I was 12 years again, living alone with a rageaholic who cannot be reasoned with and cannot be pleased. It's been years since the last of her "episodes," and I guess I harbored hopes that she might never get like this again. I must always remember that she will. I must try to be patient, and detach from her.

I must remember that I am not her, and there's no destiny: my fear, of course, is that because I lived with it (or because of genetics--take your pick) I'll do this to my own daughter or son. Which is nonsense, because one of the reasons I picked Attila the Hub as a spouse is that he is yin to my yang, steady as a rock and an anchor in the sea of any emotional turbulence. Mine or his. I don't intend to lose my temper very often, but if and when I do he'll be there for the child. And I choose not to play dirty: I see it in my relationships with other people. I am capable of a degree of control my mother doesn't exercise, dammit.

I'm not her. Much as my mind trys to play games with it. ("The very fact that you have such an emotional reaction shows how similar you are." This is a lie I tell myself. On reflection, it's perfectly natural that when you are close to someone, and you are concerned about them, and they take this concern and spit it back out to you, your feelings will be hurt.)

What I wish is that emotional cancers were like physical ones, and could be indentified. I wish the abnormal parts could somehow be identified, and cut out. Instead, I do emotional chemo: endlessly working Twelve Step programs in the hope that it will be different in the future. That I'll be whole someday. That the damage will heal.

I have to remember the spiral image: sometimes we go through things that remind us of other things we've experienced, and think "I'm regressing!" Or: "I'm stuck." Not so. Sometimes we're on a whole new level, but in a similar place, handling things in a different way. Still going up. Like walking up into the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

I have no control over anyone, including the volatile woman who raised me into the bundle of passion and reason I am. I do have control over myself. I'll stop yelling at her, and I'll learn to let the rest of it go. Keep my side of the street cleaner, and protect my feelings more.

Acceptance is key. But it's the hardest thing.

Posted by Attila at 07:49 AM | Comments (3)

Just in Time for Easter

I'm always shocked at how violent the mood swings can be when I'm not on the pill in any way and it's just me . . . and the hormones.

Joan Didion once wrote that to live in Los Angeles is to have a mechanistic view of human nature--for we are prey here to the Santa Ana winds that periodically make murder and suicide rates spike. I've always thought the same thing applied to being female: there honestly are days when I feel I'm at the mercy of biology, just waiting for the happy hormones to show up again.

After slogging through the tunnel of Hell Week, I'm happy and horny again. Hello, estrogen. And happy Easter. Finally.

Posted by Attila at 02:17 AM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2004

Once More with the Quizzes

Take the quiz: "Which American City Are You?"

New York
You're competative, you like to take it straight to the fight. You gotta have it all or die trying.

Close enough: I'm really New York's evil twin (the one with the palm trees).

Via Martinis, Persistence, and a Smile. (Which, come to think of it, expresses a strategy I might have fallen for once or twice in my youth. [Those of you who are old friends and readers won't want to drop a comment here suggesting it was more than twice--because I can ban your ass, or at least your IP. Understood?])

Posted by Attila at 10:16 AM | Comments (1)

I've Been Waiting a Long Time

. . . to see one of these fisked.

Blogo Slovo takes on one of those "let's wring our hands because we live in the Western/Developed World" letters.

Posted by Attila at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)

Okay. One more tech question.

Why is it that 50-75% of the time I create a new post I get an error regarding my pings, or my trackbacks, or some such? Am I being a bad Movable Type girl? Have I failed to make the proper sacrifice to the Gods of Real Blogs? Is my Blogger/Blogspot legacy following me around? Am I the Blogosphere's answer to Ted Kennedy--more past than present? Just wonderin'.

Posted by Attila at 07:25 AM | Comments (4)

Well, Let's Try


Paging Dr. Joyner.

Well, at least it works for my own pix--which are more fun than any silly quiz.

Posted by Attila at 07:19 AM | Comments (3)

We Don't Likes That.

My precious! My new blog isn't posting images, especially on lame-o quizzes. Hm. Wonder if it's a Movable Type issue. Don't make me come over to the Munuvian blog and beg for answers . . .

Posted by Attila at 07:05 AM | Comments (2)

Eggtime Quiz

Actually, I'm not a happy bunny at all. I'm a depressed, hostile bunny with her period who's waiting for the estrogen fairy to come along and pull her out of a bad funk. Then I can make my own fucking eggs, and be the carefree modern-day Attila the Hun I so love to be.

Hey. You asked.

Oh . . . you didn't?

kiss my ass2
congratulations. you are the kiss my ass happy
bunny. You don't care about anyone or anything.
You must be so proud

which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Via Annika, who's the same kind of bunny--though minus the attitude, thank goodness.

Posted by Attila at 06:59 AM | Comments (3)

April 09, 2004

Have You Heard the Good News?

I got an e-mail today from a friend, who wrote:

Read your piece on AA. I once had a friend (a very closeted gay) who
took me to an AA meeting, he said it was a good place to "pick up easy
wimmin." Not really interested, but I went along for the ride. Lots of
seriously fucked up people at AA. And I can't get excited about chain smoking
and I really can't get interested in seeking casual sex, so I never went

The alcoholism is just a manifestation of a deep unhappiness. I have
been unhappy and depressed in my life, but getting drunk never helped so I
never became an alcoholic.

There's something to that last point: it seems that there are a lot of chronically depressed people who would self-medicate if any medicine they tried ever worked. In this, the addict or alcoholic is particularly lucky in the short-term--but, of course, quite unlucky in the long-term.

Hm. There wasn't too much smoking at the meetings I attended, back in the day. And there have always been plenty of nonsmoking meetings in Southern California. And I don't remember any casual sex at all. I'd hope I would, too.

Posted by Attila at 10:54 AM | Comments (1)

Jeb Bush's Nightmare

Condi Rice appeared publicly before the 9/11 Commission today, presumably because Bob Kerrey (to some degree) and Richard Ben-Veniste (to an outrageous extent) hadn't humiliated themselves enough when she testified in private.

This afternoon I desperately flipped back and forth on the radio between Larry Elder and Hugh Hewitt, trying to hear more clips and get each man's perspective on the testimony. Both Hugh and Larry used the same phrasing to summarize the morning's events: "they didn't lay a glove on her." Partisan, sure. But it's also pretty accurate, since Ben-Veniste went at her with everything he had, and she never lost her composure.

Nor did she lower herself to the level of her would-be tormentors by blaming the Clinton Administration for their anemic responses to the various al Qaeda-spawned attacks on their watch. She acted like a grownup when no one around her would.

I understand this even more today. We could do a hell of a lot worse. (And have.)

Posted by Attila at 10:44 AM | Comments (3)

And He Smells Bad, Too

Dean joins Evan Coyne Maloney in recommending that John Kerry in particular and the Democratic Party in general come up with a coherent vision for the future (e.g., Iraq, terrorism, the economy) other than "Bush bad. Us hatem Bush."

It's a thought.

Posted by Attila at 08:49 AM | Comments (3)

Rocket Jones

Rocket Jones has a comprehensive list of all the Munuvian blogs translated into Robin (of Batman fame) phrases. I can't do it justice, but here's a taste:

I'm "Holy Levitation" (which for a moment I read as "Holy Leviathon"--I figured he'd been reading the numbers on my bathroom scale again)
Triticale is "Holy Terminology"
Pixy is "Holy Alter Ego"

For more see the original list.

Posted by Attila at 08:33 AM | Comments (2)

April 08, 2004

The War on Sex

James at OTB discusses the DOJ's new policies on enforcing anti-pornography laws. He wonders whether this is a good use of Federal dollars. Me too.

Posted by Attila at 02:08 AM | Comments (1)

April 07, 2004

My Life as a Clutterbug

I went to my first meeting of CLA last night. (Yes. Clutterers Anonymous. Sigh. It is not yet true that there is a 12-Step program for every unattractive human habit, but we may get there some day.)

It was a tiny group of people in a little room in a church, and the meeting began 15 minutes late. Keep in mind that I'm used to DA meetings, which start strictly on time and use timers to keep the speaker and everyone who shares precisely on track. (Speakers get 15 minutes: no more and no less. Sharing is confined to three minutes per person. In DA we're strict and clear about time, just as we strive to be strict and clear about money.)

There is this odd thing about clutterers getting together, whether in CLA or in DA meetings that focus on clutter: the rooms are always small. The surroundings never feel abundant. This partly reflects the fact that CLA is one of the smallest 12-step groups out there, and partly reflects our willingness to confine ourselves to small spaces. My den, for example, tends to consist of a little path from the door to my computer, with the rest of the floor covered in books, papers, and magazines. (Do you remember those films they used to show pre-teens at school to explain menstruation?--the visual of the uterus, and how its lining would grow and grow until there was nearly no room left? That's what happens to my personal spaces: the walls start to close in as the piles of paper creep inward toward the middle of each room. This is in fact a good way for a uterus to behave--but not so much for a house.)

Everyone at this meeting was homely and at least a little overweight. I didn't fit in, or at least I sort of hoped (on some level) that I didn't.

I will probably go back. Because 1) "no contempt prior to investigation," and 2) for all I know, this isn't about my getting. It might well be about me giving. There could someone I might be able to help by going there. It's possible, and I need to check it out thoroughly.

As we went out to the parking lot together after the meeting we beheld a huge ramp that was being constructed adjacent to the church. Someone mentioned that a skateboarding movie was going to be shot on this ramp, once it was completed. Another remarked they had heard after the movie was finished it was going to be demolished, and all the lumber simply thrown away.

"What a waste," another member exclaimed. "I'll have to come by to get some of it."

And not a word from anyone else in the group.

I believe this might answer my question about how, in CLA, one defines "abstinence." In a lot of cases, one simply doesn't.

Posted by Attila at 10:40 PM | Comments (1)

April 06, 2004

Why Jew Do What Jew Did?

About two-thirds of my friends are Jews. I have a handful of friends who aren't Jews. Once I even went out with about seven other people, and figured out about halfway into the meal that we were all of Anglo-Saxon stock. Not one Jew in the bunch.

Naturally, it was a dull meal. Anglo-Saxons can be real grinds, all on their own like that. Not the same without the Jews.

(WTF am I doing? Google-baiting. In honor of Passover, we're trying to change the Number One entry in Google under Jew to something less offensive than the current anti-Semitic claptrap. Join the fun. [I'm not going to link the offensive site; it's offensive.]

Via Pixy Misa. I mean [UPDATE] via Simon, who has one fine-lookin' blog there. [Talk about your MuNuby mistakes: I just tend to assume Pixy is the source for all that is good and light.])

I've never used this pull-down thingie before. How cool.

P.S. Jew, jew, jew, jew, jew, jew, jew.

P.P.S. Jew.

P.P.P.S. As Frank would say, "Joos!"

Posted by Attila at 09:08 AM | Comments (5)

AA and the Like

Dean Esmay continues to discuss his journey along the road of abstinence from alchohol. His entry contains a mini-roundup of groups like Rational Recovery, Moderation Management, Women for Sobriety, and other alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous. I wish him luck.

My journey is a little strange: I was in AA for 11 years, and decided to quit the program in January of 2002, when I worked at the food magazine (I wanted to drink red wine with pasta, and have the occasional martini or Manhattan). Since that time I've entered another 12-Step program--this one dealing with compulsive financial mismanagement and confusion about money (Debtors Anonymous).

You might say I found a way to keep the steps and the booze. You might.

I don't mind the "spiritual" aspect of AA, since it is so free-form (really the opposite of a cult, if you ask me). I know there are a lot of meetings dominated by cranky oldtimers who are full of rules that appear nowhere in the Big Book of Alchoholics Anonymous. I always avoided those types of meetings. For what it's worth, there are a lot of meetings of all different flavors out there. It spans the breadth of humanity. Remember what they say: "all you really need to start your own group is a resentment and a coffee pot." My way of saying, don't write AA off too quickly. Keep looking for that Right Meeting that feels comfortable to you.

I like the idea of Women for Sobriety, since there are definitely a lot of men in AA who either 1) are on the make, and/or 2) have a deep, undying hatred of females. I've never gone to their meetings, though, so I can't vouch for it.

I also think it's worth noting that my DA groups include plenty of AA members. (Perhaps half of us are in other 12-Step programs of one kind or another.) A lot of my friends remark that they go to AA meetings, but experience more recovery in DA. I think that may be because AA comprises more "biological addicts," and there's simply less to discuss about a problem like that versus something like dealing with money or food, which clearly touches all aspects of one's life (and cannot be sworn off of, either, as with alcohol). Or maybe it's chemistry--you find the right group or program, and it "clicks." (Am I using biased information from biased individuals to make sweeping generalizations? Yup.)

I'm definitely in the pragmatist camp. Whatever works for any given individual is the right thing for him/her to do.

This may not even be my last 12-Step group, as I'm contemplating joining Clutterer's Anonymous. (Does anyone know how they define sobriety/abstinence? I sometimes wonder if it means living in a home that doesn't contain horizontal surfaces upon which to pile paper, magazines, files, and Clothing That Needs Mending. I fantasize that they'll advise me to sleep in a hammock under the tree in my backyard, and I'm not positive I want to do that, because it gets cold up here on this ridge.)

Just wait for the group to join that addresses addiction to the web in general, or blogging in particular. I won't go, though. Because I can quit anytime I want.

Posted by Attila at 08:32 AM | Comments (5)

April 03, 2004

Here We Go!

When in doubt, power cyle. I rebooted, came back, and now have a little of this terra cotta-color action going on my very own site ("colour," for Pixy and all the others outside the unorthodox USA). Much nicer, at least for now.

Posted by Attila at 11:38 PM | Comments (1)

Starting to Look Like Home

Well, I've got my Site Meter installed. My existing blogroll has also been switched over, along with a few of my sidebar plug-ins. The blog is still displaying with very little color on my browser, so I'll have to work on that. Susie complimented me on the accent colors, but unless the display she's getting is quite different from the one I'm getting she's only seeing a little green on the sidebar--and I didn't put it there. It was, I think, part of the default template.

So far I've tried about a billion times (that means 3-4, both last night and today) to change the style sheet to something with a bit more color in it, but it never quite works. (I've been working on the one called "Rusty," which isn't quite the heart's desire but might liven things up a little bit until I can muster up the courage to get another template from somewhere else, and--gasp!--install it.)

Thanks to everyone for their patience (and, in the case of the Munuvians, lavish encouragement). Thanks especially to Madfish Willie for the tutorials he's publishing on Munuviana.

UPDATE: Madfish says he's seeing a new template, so at least other people are seeing color. But I'm not. Wonder if it's my old, creaky browser that's to blame? Curiouser and curiouser.

Posted by Attila at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

Babe in the Woods

I guess it's time to start learning Movable Type, which I'm not sure I could even spell correctly a week ago.

I tried to install my old SiteMeter--the one I just removed from the old Blogspot version of Little Miss Attila. I succeded only in deleting everything on the blog. Yes--for about a minute I had so screwed things up that if you came here you'd see the SiteMeter box, all right--but nothing else. Fortunately, I undid that successfully. (I think Madfish Willie wanted us to back up our style sheets. Why do I always heed these warnings too late?)

Naturally, I'd wanted to track just how much of a Beltway-lanche I was going to get from James's recent mention of my new location, but I'll just assume it's a lot of traffic. Always is.

And I need to remember what one of the other Munuvians mentioned recently: SiteMeter doesn't work. We only pretend it works. It's the emperor's new clothes. There is no Meter there.

So I guess I'll at least grab the code for the double-secret Munuvian meter and . . . oh, see. That was the whole problem. Where do I put the html for plug-ins in my sidebar? (There's a straight line if ever I heard one.)

It feels daunting to have to learn a new system, but when I started blogging I didn't know any tags at all--I couldn't do bold or italics, and still *emphasized* words with asterisks as if I were writing e-mail. So things have changed (though I'm still using the double-hyphen ["--"] for em-dashes, which is sloppy).

I think I posted my first picture a month or two ago. Very low-tech, huh?

Hey. I have a strictly utilitarian view of technology, which means I learn this stuff more slowly than most. But learn it I will.

Yay. (I loved it when Triticale pointed out the frequent Munuvian use of that word as a cultural phenomenon. I think it's rather charming, myself.)

If this blog continues to look a little spare--ascetic, even--for a little while longer, you'll know why.

Posted by Attila at 08:24 AM | Comments (5)

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
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This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caņada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings

KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— ERROR: http://rpc.blogrolling.com/display_raw.php?r=59e4b55f70f50de810150859b200a635 is currently inaccessible

My Amazon.com Wish List

• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"

• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John

Real Indie Production
and Distibution

• Moving Picture Institute


• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
—the Commentary

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other

"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
—Suburban Blight


Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigar Jack

David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
Right Wing News

Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


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