June 30, 2004

No More Moore.

Jon Hanke has compiled Celsius 250 (The temperature at which fat burns). It tells some of the disconcerting things about Michael Moore and the making of Fahrenheit 911 that the media don't want you to know about. Check it out, and I'll try to stop with the Michael Moore stuff. I'll try.

Via Jeff G.

Posted by Attila at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

What a Moore-On

Frank J has a thing or two to say about Moore Mountain and its egregious movie.

Via Laurence.

Posted by Attila at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2004

Will History Be Kind?

Photon Courier discusses the parallels between the isolationists during WWII and present-day anti-war activists. It starts with anti-Semitism, and expands out from there.

Scroll down to "Into the Abyss" (he's a BlogSpotter).

Posted by Attila at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)


Michele has a roundup of Iraqi reactions to the transfer of power.

(Yeah. It isn't a real handover until we leave, blah blah blah.

See Japan, Germany. South Korea. Do your homework, then come back and blather at me.)

Via Jeff G.

Posted by Attila at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

Have You Heard the Good News?

James Lileks hits it out of the park:

The other day a young girl came to the door to solicit my support for her presidential candidate. I asked her why I should vote for this man. She was very nice and earnest, but if you got her off the talking points she was utterly unprepared to argue anything, because she didn’t know what she was talking about. She had bullet points, and she believed that any reasonable person would see the importance of these issues and naturally fall in line. But she could not support any of her assertions. Her final selling point: Kerry would roll back the tax cuts.

Then came the Parable of the Stairs, of course. My tiresome, shopworn, oft-told tale, a piece of unsupportable meaningless anecdotal drivel about how I turned my tax cut into a nice staircase that replaced a crumbling eyesore, hired a few people and injected money far and wide - from the guys who demolished the old stairs, the guys who built the new one, the family firm that sold the stone, the other firm that rented the Bobcats, the entrepreneur who fabricated the railings in his garage, and the guy who did the landscaping. Also the company that sold him the plants. And the light fixtures. It’s called economic activity. What’s more, home improvements added to the value of this pile, which mean that my assessment would increase, bumping up my property taxes. To say nothing of the general beautification of the neighborhood. Next year, if my taxes didn’t shoot up, I had another project planned. Raise my taxes, and it won’t happen – I won’t hire anyone, and they won’t hire anyone, rent anything, buy anything. You see?

“Well, it’s a philosophical difference,” she sniffed. She had pegged me as a form of life last seen clilcking the leash off a dog at Abu Ghraib. “I think the money should have gone straight to those people instead of trickling down.” Those last two words were said with an edge.

“But then I wouldn’t have hired them,” I said. “I wouldn’t have new steps. And they wouldn’t have done anything to get the money.”

“Well, what did you do?” she snapped.

“What do you mean?”

“Why should the government have given you the money in the first place?”

“They didn’t give it to me. They just took less of my money.”

That was the last straw. Now she was angry. And the truth came out:

“Well, why is it your money? I think it should be their money.”

Then she left.

And walked down the stairs. I let her go without charging a toll. It’s the philanthropist in me.

Hat tip: James.

Posted by Attila at 02:20 AM | Comments (3)

Some Good News Here and There

The Chaos Overlord just perpetrated a hilarious interview with Jeff Goldstein.

Even if you've heard of neither of these guys, you must go read it now.

(Your eyes are getting heavy. Your mouse hand is moving. You are clicking the link . . .)

I only wish the issue of Jeff's facial hair--or lack thereof--had been addressed. CO played footsie with the secondary sartorial issue (tux vs. tie-dye). But he didn't ask which picture (the cute one, or the cuter one) looked more like Jeff.

Posted by Attila at 02:05 AM | Comments (2)


I came back from a nice day with my best guy friend in Tijuana to find out that I did not get the job in Pasadena I'd been interviewing for.

Moments of frustration come and go, but I continue to move forward. I suspect that the process of looking into this possibility somehow brought me closer to my next vocational way station, but I'm not certain how.

What I do know now is that emotions are only emotions, and not facts. The world whizzes by, and if you don't like the view at any particular moment, don't get off the bus at that stop.

I know I love my husband, and that I'm damned lucky to have him.

I know that I respect people who are willing to take risks.

I know I have a wicked temper whose malevolent force is ultimately directed at myself.

I know I sharpened my negotiating skills today, and that will come in handy when I buy the next Attila-mobile. Today it got me a great deal on a new summer purse.

I know I like Punch cigars, and have a few more of them to smoke.

I know someday I have to learn to make homemade tamales.

I know I will start meditating this week.

I know what I know.

Posted by Attila at 01:26 AM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2004

Less is Moore

Scott Boyles of USA Today accidentally lets a few nuggets of truth slip into a story about Michael Moore's latest piece-of-crap movie.

Via Jeff Goldstein, who's been a very bad boy and should probably be spanked.

Posted by Attila at 01:35 AM | Comments (0)

The Blowjob Legacy

At the risk of sounding like Outside the Beltway is my primary link with the world (which is actually true, but sounds awful, so baldly stated), I'm going to link James in two posts in a row.

Because he found this gem in Slate: the PowerPoint version of Bill Clinton's new book.

Think of all the time I'm saving you. Nine-hundred fifty-seven pages worth.

Posted by Attila at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

Moore, Moore, Moore

James is responsible for my most delicious link of the week, to David Brooks, writing in The New York Times about Michael Moore:

In years past, American liberals have had to settle for intellectual and moral leadership from the likes of John Dewey, Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King Jr. But now, a grander beacon has appeared on the mountaintop, and from sea to shining sea, tens of thousands have joined in the adulation.

So it is worth taking a moment to study the metaphysics of Michael Moore. For Moore is not only a filmmaker; he is a man of ideas, and his work is based on an actual worldview.

Like Hemingway, Moore does his boldest thinking while abroad. For example, it was during an interview with the British paper The Mirror that Moore unfurled what is perhaps the central insight of his oeuvre, that Americans are kind of crappy.

Read the whole thing. Right now. You can thank me later.

Posted by Attila at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2004

How Can I Resist

a quiz whose "go" button is labeled "Loon me up!" I cannot, of course.

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

And here I thought I was only somewhat insane. More like severely eccentric than a person who needs to be locked up. Oh, well.

Maybe my husband and I can play the "Psychiatrist and Patient" game. "Oh, doctor. Cure me. [breathlessly] Cure me now." That's hours of clean fun right there.

Hat tip: Reverend Pixy.

Posted by Attila at 03:10 AM | Comments (1)

June 25, 2004

Mean Green

I had my second interview today at the Financial Research Company where I've applied to work as an Executive Asst./Research Asst./Glorified and Glorious Gal Friday. Nothing on my resume looks like I'm suited to this job, but I am. And I suspect that the hiring managers recognized this. We'll see. They say I'll know within two weeks; I'm hoping it's a little less time than that.

If I get the gig, I will have to live fully in every Buddhist moment that I am there—no more absent-minded professor-type behavior. At least not in the office. I wouldn't have been capable of that kind of focus, especially in a support job, in the past. But life prepares one to see opportunities when they do show up. I'd be working with two of the smartest, gentlest, nicest men on Planet Earth, and it would be a blast.

I did ask for enough money that I would not be distracted by financial worries and could really throw myself into learning what needs to be done and how to do it. Every indication is that if I do get the job, I'll also get the compensation I asked for.

So now I wait. And catch up on housework, in case my hunch is correct.

Here's the deal, Boys and Girls: life is sweet. And short. We need to get on with the business of living it. Whether or not I get this particular job it's time to reach out for all the juicy ripe fruit that's within reach.

And eat it. Not slow, not fast. With the juice dripping down my chin.

In light of all this, I'm thinking about getting a convertible as my next car.

Happy summer to you all.

Posted by Attila at 11:49 PM | Comments (1)

June 24, 2004

In the Spirit of Bad Taste

. . . that illuminates my entire blog, I'd like to remind my readers that I have a birthday coming up (the big 42). Check out the sidebar for my Amazon wish list. (And, yes—there's a whole separate list under my real name, if you happen to know it: first maiden last. So even more gift ideas there.)

Gosh. I'm going to hate myself in the morning. Of course, it's just after noon on Thursday, so that's a while off—unless I'm up late tonight. (Not bloody likely: I have a big interview early tomorrow morning, so I'll be in bed before midnight if I have to take 50 Ambiens to accomplish it.)

Posted by Attila at 12:34 PM | Comments (2)

June 23, 2004

Hours of Fun Here

And now, the Lefterator will help you clarify your thoughts. Or muddy them.

Let us never forget that the Pax Americana of the future brings forth this calamity brought to us by a horrific onslaught, known as Shock and Awe. So far, the American state, with its unelected president, venal Supreme Court, silent Congress, gutted Bill of Rights and compliant media belies justifications given by the world's leading apologists for the final subjugation of the Middle East, beginning with the $90bn invasion of Iraq. For one thing, the 15-minute speech delivered Monday night by President Bush leads our attention to the essential Western imperial interests. As Norman Mailer pointed out, the pro-Sharon neoconservative cabal brings about the theocrat Ashcroft's suspension of our civil rights.

It'll give you as much of that as you can stand.

Via Michele.

Posted by Attila at 01:34 AM | Comments (1)

I Spend Way Too Much Time

. . . Not reading Jeff Goldstein. Go. Now.

Posted by Attila at 12:53 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004


. . . will be light to nonexistent for the rest of the week, as I follow up on an intriguing job lead.

Details later. Meantime, check out my blogroll.

Posted by Attila at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2004

Michael Moore: Stupid? Evil? Both?

Michael Moore has, apparently, retained some lawyers and threatened to sue anyone who impugns his (cough, cough) good name. Of course, this amounts to freedom of speech for those who have access to Hollywood money—and no one else—but we'll let that go by for now.

In the meantime, I'd like to point out that Team Moore will be very busy if it tries to file suit against every thoughtful blogger out there. I therefore propose an essay question: "Is Moore more stupid, or more evil?"

Hitch appears to be leaning toward stupid, but I'm not so sure myself. I'm thinking evil; I rather suspect this man knows exactly what he's doing, and that he's more the champion of his own bank balance than any working person.

The only way the Academy could possibly redeem itself for the Bowling in Columbine fiasco is to nominate this film in the fiction category—the only appropriate category for any of Moore's work.

UPDATE: Ray Bradbury is pissed. And I'm not sure I blame him, though there's nothing to be done about it.

Michel Moore should be more careful: after all, there are good filmmakers out there, and cleverer writers. The parodies of Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 may well be exquisite. Of course, some things parody themselves.

Posted by Attila at 11:18 PM | Comments (6)

June 20, 2004

My G-g-g-generation

Michele's teenage daughter has her own blog. Hilarity ensues.

Posted by Attila at 02:14 AM | Comments (0)

Change or Die

The argument in favor of mowing down Muslims who are not willing to reform their faith so it resembles a "religion of peace." An argument made with some passion—but one we all need to read. Because it states a few uncomfortable truths.

Via Jeff Goldstein.

Posted by Attila at 02:04 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2004

A Little Touch of Harry in the Night

Attila the Hub and I saw the latest Harry Potter film today. We enjoyed it, but the Azkaban story was the first book that spun out of control (depending on your point of view) in terms of length, so the amount of material that had to come out of the book in order to bring the movie in at under five hours was noticeable. I will have this problem with the next two films, for sure--and probably all of them in the future: there's no way they will be able to include all the sub-plots. This is what Rowling gets for writing the Nineteenth-Century Russian Novels of Children's literature.

A lot has been written about the "dark, gritty" quality of the movie. It's true: both literally and figuratively this installment is darker than the first two. It was like watching a child's first horror movie at moments, it was so gothic in feel (yet modern-scary, too, with a lot of fast cuts meant to startle the audience; thank you, M. Night Shymalan). And striking this dark note might be a good warning for parents: after all, Movie Number Four (Goblet of Fire) will begin the Significant Present-Day Casualties. It could be that the filmmakers were letting us know: "The party's over. Don't take your youngest kids to these films any more."

Still. Why do that before you have to? So much charm, wit and humor was stripped out of the story that it made it hard to indulge the director in a lot of the "extras" that made it in. ("You cut out my favorite parts, but want me to hang with a long ride over a lake on a Hippogrif? I'll have to think about that one." I didn't think long, because that is one of the best visual scenes in the movie, and foreshadowed the importance of the lake in the coming plot twists. But, still.)

Some things were done right. Showing the kids in contemporary street clothes was absolutely correct: this story is set in present-day Britain, though Hogwarts is as old as a lot of European castles and contains ancient wizard traditions within its walls. I was also okay with the kids getting visibly older. After all, so do the characters: by a year or so per story [/snarkiness]. (Though I didn't have any of the same "ohmigod I'm a pedophile" moments that I experienced with the Chamber of Secrets. The camera didn't linger on Daniel Radcliffe's face in the same way, so one only noted in passing that he's developing into a fine-looking young man, as opposed to being struck over and over that This Kid Will Be a Serious Heartbreaker in About Five Years.)

And then there is the genuinely lovely symbolism: We continually see Harry and his friends against the backdrop of a building-sized clock, with a pendulum that sweeps along the main hall, hovering just over their heads in a swing that encompasses thirty feet or so. This is (obviously) a hint that time will be one of the adversaries in this story. And as the movie opens we see only darkness until we zoom in on Harry, reading by the light of his wand, which he's using as a flashlight, muttering the spell that makes it emit light over and over: the framing of the scene shows Harry's importance as a leader in (and savior of) the wizard world—and the lumos spell foreshadows the importance of his Patronus to the plot.

Still, I'd be happier if more of the charm and humor of the original had been left in. For instance, The Knight Bus was a lovely chapter in the first book, but becomes ugly and frightening in the movie.

Also, some elements were downplayed that will only have to be addressed in the next book, most notably the tension between Dumbledore and the Ministry of Magic.

And then there are my smaller quibbles: we are cheated out of a second view of the white stag, and its significance is never explained. And most fans are pretty unhappy that we never learn the origin of the Marauder's Map. I'm not sure Cuaron and Columbus would have done better by giving us more historical background, though: as it was there was some "talky" explanation that bogged things down a bit, as my husband remarked. No easy answers, here.

I think it's about time for me to re-read all the existing ones, and check on the release date for book Number Six.

I liked this the least of the existing three movies, but I recognize that at this point I'm always going to have an argument with the plot-trimming that will simply have to be done.

Nostalgia ain't, as they say, what it used to be.

Posted by Attila at 03:51 AM | Comments (2)

Another Beheading

Okay. So they've surpassed the horror of the Nick Berg murder by kidnapping some poor American, announcing they are going to kill him . . . and then killing him days later.

So much more media-savvy. More coverage this way. A PG-rated pre-videotape that acts as a trailer to the killing footage.

Here's the deal, guys: we know you are sub-human. We know you kill your own daughters just because they were seen in the company of males. We saw your work on 9/11 and a dozen other days. We know what you are.

We won against the Nazis. We will win against you. We will not rest until you are all captured or killed.

And to my friends: do you get it now? It's not about oil. It's about eradicating butchers all over the Middle East. We need to do this if we want to stay alive.

I want to live. I really do.

Re-elect President Bush.

Thank you.

Posted by Attila at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2004

Seaside Roundezvous

I was out at Malibu today, having a panini sandwich from a quaint deli at one of the shopping centers there, and wondering what it was in the air in Malibu and Santa Monica that gives one such a sense of well-being. Is it the sea breeze?--or is it the smell of money?

Posted by Attila at 12:41 AM | Comments (4)

June 17, 2004

Hi. I'm Back.

What a roller coaster the last six days has been. I'm not sure when it was that my estrogen levels hit rock-bottom—definitely between Friday and yesterday. Both those days I found myself considering things that were crazy enough, I finally thought to check the calendar. ("See?" one tells oneself. "It isn't all shit. It just seems that way right now.") As a consequence, I didn't run away for a few days to sleep on my mother's floor in El Cerrito and make her buy me Mexican food. I probably did the right thing, but a few tamales would have helped. I swear.

The employment-lead fairy has come, and not a moment too soon: I was really running out of money. Now I have three possibilities, all of them tantalizing. The one that is closest to home is also scariest: it would represent changing to a completely different industry, and doing a type of work I haven't done in 20 years. Because the fear factor is greatest with this one, I suspect it might be the path of personal growth. Another stroke of luck, though, is that it appears the job offers—if they come (and I think they must)—will line up in sequence, and that I won't have to do any tap-dancing (e.g., "that's an interesting offer? Can I think about it for another week?").

And I'm attempting to bust through my clutter by any means necessary. Preferably before a social worker shows up here to find out if our house is bitchin' enough for a child to inhabit.

It looks like I'll be having 10 or so people over in mid-July, as a sort of late birthday celebration. This is also a little scary, since the Attila the Hub and I haven't done a lot of entertaining in the past 2-3 years. It'll be my friends, so they probably won't judge too harshly, but it would definitely behoove me to clear this place out so that I'm halfway happy with it. We probably won't have the new piano by then—nor even art up on that bare spot over the couch—but it'll look better in four weeks than it does now. Trust me on that.

I even bought The Food Magazine today, partly for the recipes and partly because it represents coming to terms with a strange segment of my life. There were so many things I loved about working for The Food Magazine, but despite my best efforts there was one person with whom the chemistry wasn't good, and that was enough to destroy my chances of ever going back—even as a temp, doing jobs I'd been stunningly successful at. It seems so arbitrary, but it isn't: these things happen, and I'm likely better off for it. I certainly have more freelance clients now than I ever would have if I'd been temping for the foodies over the past two years. (And if I get a staff job I'll have to decide what to do about those clients. Keep one or two, I think, and foist the others off onto other L.A. copy editors.)

In short, things are looking up. Stay tuned.

Posted by Attila at 01:21 AM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2004

The Last Word

On Ted Rall's cartoons.

Posted by Attila at 02:44 AM | Comments (0)

Two in the Bush . . .

Via James, Tim Cavanaugh discusses his feeling that Bush will be a lock this fall. I've been saying much the same thing myself—that it won't even be that close.

Whether people vote security or the economy, Bush is the guy. This should become clearer and clearer as time goes on.

One interesting phenomenon in the Reason blog is former Gore voters documenting, in the comments section, their "road to Damascus" moments, and explaining why they are now voting for Bush.

Hint: Damascus must be somewhere in New York City.

Posted by Attila at 02:03 AM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2004

What Are a Few Broken Bones Between Friends?

Kelley broke her arm in Hawaii, and then flew home to Georgia before going to the emergency room to get it set.

It reminds me of the time when we were teenagers, and went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Tiffany Theatre in Hollywood. We didn't always have access to cars, and usually when we went to midnight shows of RHPS it was at the Fox Theatre in Venice (now a swap meet) or the Nuart in West L.A. (which still shows that movie on occasion at midnight on Friday or Saturday night). So going as far as Hollywood to see it was a special treat.

My friend Ally broke her foot that night before the movie, and we weren't willing to give up seeing the show (including Ally). So we elevated her foot throughout the movie (easy because Ally is less than five feet tall) and went to the emergency room after Rocky Horror. And never said a word to any of our parents.

And now Ally has given birth to her first child. Which puts me, come to think of it, in a great position to extract a little blackmail money.

Posted by Attila at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

Farewell, Journalism

Patterico drives one more nail into the coffin of The Los Angeles Times' lost credibility.

Posted by Attila at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2004

By the Way

I vote for the $20 bill. Why fuck around?

Posted by Attila at 10:48 PM | Comments (1)


I often wonder about the nature of marriage, and I think my husband has it easier (and harder, of course): he has seen a successful marriage, up close and personal. I haven't.

To me, being a decent wife is the hardest job I've ever held. I know it may get harder when I become a mother, but I think it's easier—in one way—to submit to the next generation, versus one's own. This is it.

"Go ahead. Make my day." (I've been hearing that a lot this week, of course.) I'm going to annihilate the enemy.

Can you tell I spent last weekend in weird introspection?

I may not meet the "Nancy" standard, but I will provide our kid(s) with an amazing example. And that will be their father's legacy, too.

Via con Dios, President and Mrs. Reagan.

Posted by Attila at 02:41 AM | Comments (1)

June 11, 2004


My traffic's in a bit of a slump. I assume that's because I drove off all my non-political readers with a week of pure politics, alienated my political readers with another week of personal entries, and have nothing left but a few fans who either are die-hards or have lots of time on their hands.

I guess it's time either to post a picture of my rack, or blog about anal sex . . .

Hey!--It was a joke, dammit! Where's everybody going? Aw, geez.

Well, I'm off to finish working on this cookbook manuscript, and attend a pool party tomorrow afternoon. I'll be back and brilliant quite soon; light blogging (or none) until then.

Oh, and--my birthday's in four weeks. Buy me stuff, or—even better—send me money. Money makes my prose sparkle like you wouldn't believe . . . ;)

Posted by Attila at 05:24 PM | Comments (3)

June 10, 2004

Hugging Our Brothers with Long Arms

Via John of Aargghh! comes news of another innovative charity whereby those of us watching the War on Terror from the sidelines can help the young men and women who are fighting to keep us safe.

It's called Adopt a Sniper, and it's run by a former police sniper who's committed to making sure our guys have the best equipment they can possibly have. Because he knows the kind of gear these people need, and where to get it, he fills a gap other civilian groups can't.

Sain said he was inspired by the close-knit “sniper fraternity,” whose military and civilian police members are unusually interwoven. “A lot of SWAT [members] are former military, and a lot of them are reservists who are now going over” to Iraq and Afghanistan, Sain said. “And even if you’re not military, getting shot at is getting shot at, no matter where you are.”

Sain said he knows “what it’s like not to have the equipment you need.” In 1994, Sain said, “I watched a guy hold a baby out a door through my sniper scope. I couldn’t see [well enough to shoot the man]; it was dark and I didn’t have night-vision equipment.” As Sain watched helplessly, the man shot the baby in the back.

Sain said he is determined to make sure no deployed military sniper will ever be in that spot — unable to do his mission or worse yet, in danger, because he doesn’t have the right gear.

There's more information at the web site, in case you know of someone who might need equipment. And please consider sending them your spare change.

Posted by Attila at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2004

Pagan Conservatives

When SondraK was guest-blogging over at Dean's World, she drew our attention to the fact that there are Pagan Conservatives. Matter of fact, there are a few Yahoo Groups that deal with Pagan issues from a conservative perspective, and vice versa.

Steven Malcolm Anderson, the most colorful (and among the most lucid) of Dean's commenters, had this to say on the subject:

"Pagan" and "Conservative" are practically synonymous. "Pagan" or "Heathen" comes from "country-dweller", a "rustic" , or (today) "redneck". They were those in the late Roman Empire who lived out in the country and held to their old Gods and Goddesses while the city-slickers were taking up exotic eastern cults like Mithraism or -- what's the name of that new one they've got? Christos? Christo? Christianity? Never heard of it! What's with young people today? Aren't the Deities of their grandfathers good enough for them?

In ancient Egypt, these Conservatives opposed Akhenaton and his monotheistic revolution. I would have been one of those reactionary polytheists. I have often said that Akhenaton was the first Communist.

Today in America and the West, the Conservatives, the "Pagans", are usually traditional Christians. Yes, the Jack T. Chick Protestants and the Latin Mass Catholics are the most "Pagan" of the "Pagans" of today, sticking to the old ways. The deepest Christians today are precisely those who would have most fiercely resisted Christianity a thousand years ago.

Polytheist Pagans and traditional Christians ought to be allies against the secularizing, levelling, homogenizing forces of the modern world.

Thomas Molnar, a Conservative Catholic who used to write in the "National Review", once co-authored a book with Alain de Benoist, a polytheist who leads Europe's New Right (Nouvelle Droite), "Eclipse du Sacre" ("Eclipse of the Sacred").

"New Right"? Old Right. Ancient Right! Eternal Right!

Posted by Steven Malcolm Anderson, the Lesbian-worshipping gun-loving selfish aesthete, on June 07, 2004 at 9:53 PM

A friend of mine who is interested in a lot of different approaches to spirituality—yet has a head on his shoulders, and politics a bit right of center on some issues—has this take:

Yes, I've heard of these folks, and am glad they're around to provide some of that DIVERSITY that the lefty-pagans are always whining about.

As a self-confessed "Apollonian Pagan," I've always been ill at ease with the lockstep leftism and knee-jerk counterculturalism that infests the "earth religion" scene. If anyone's to blame for it, I'd name Miriam (Starhawk) Simos as a prime suspect; she's spent the last 30-odd years trying to turn Paganism/Wicca into a spiritual front for ultra-left activism, and has been fairly successful, especially in the Bay Area.

My friend wants me to turn you, my loyal readers, on to this site which could be the biggest clearinghouse for Conservative Pagan thought.

I am a Christian, but I love the fact that these people exist, and I'm glad they are blowing the minds of their fellow pagans. Tear those stereotypes down! The people who learn T'ai Chi with my husband and me are gradually learning that their Bush jokes may get a chilly reception from us. It's a bigger world than they might think.

In fact, that's one of the biggest attractions about driving a Prius: if I get one I can put a nice GOP bumpersticker on it. No one will be expecting that.

Posted by Attila at 02:51 AM | Comments (2)

Goodbye, For Now


My husband got up very early today (or, yesterday: Tuesday) in hopes of paying his respects to President Reagan. When he and his friend arrived at the parking area of Moorpark College they were told it would be an eight-hour wait to see the casket at 6:30 a.m.; they decided this was impractical, and went out to breakfast instead (and then visited the friend's beach house in Oxnard, very briefly—the Attila Hub had never seen it).

Ironically, the wait got better as the day wore on and more shuttle buses were added, so it was more like two hours in the afternoon. The Library apparently extended the viewing time another four hours, to 10:00 p.m.

And now Reagan is on his way to the Capital, where he will lie in state before the big funeral on Friday. Poor Nancy will have to bury her husband all week, in at least four separate ceremonies: it'll be her last service to the country that loves her late husband so much.

Posted by Attila at 02:17 AM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2004

Fun in the Sun—And Out

I went to Leo Carillo Beach today (Monday) with some friends who were in town briefly before heading off to England to live for a year. I'll miss them, but it was nice to see them for a little while.

I've decided that that was my last hurrah before diving into my current proofreading project, due at the end of the week. This means I won't be going out to see Reagan's coffin tomorrow. That's the bad news. The good news?—the husband and I are planning to get out there sometime after the President is buried, say in a couple of months. After the crowds have died down. We can look around, then, and I'll pay my respects at that time. Because I suspect Reagan would have wanted me to meet my deadline.

Last Saturday night I was at a wedding reception with my spouse and a lot of old friends, many of whom go back with me 10, 15, 20, 25 years. We danced and I described the scene today for the good professor, who knows some of the players. I explained that at one point I found myself on the floor with Mr. Linguistics—a classical-only guy—who was attempting to dance by moving only his hands.

"Move your hips," I told him. "Your hips. Important."

After that what he was doing started to resemble Actual Dancing almost as much as my own efforts, though I don't delude myself that I can dance any more than I can sing.

The professor reminded me of a time several of us had met in a Berkeley alternative nightclub and danced in our own free-form ways to some African fusion music back in the 80s.

"We were all bad," he told me. "But out of all of us, you enjoyed it the most."

I do. I can't explain it, but I do love to move.

And now I'm sunburned and ready to do things less fun and flashy—but more lucrative.

Even a messy life full of frustrations has its moments of joy.

Posted by Attila at 02:25 AM | Comments (3)

June 06, 2004

Goodbye. And, Thanks.


Who would have thought that this man we looked down upon, thought of as a buffoon, and denigrated at every opportunity would end up saving millions of lives and bringing freedom to so many in the world—Eastern Europe in particular?

When James was talking a few days ago about George H.W. Bush and the great example he set for other former Presidents, in terms of the happy, active and fulfilling life he lives now, I couldn't help but think about Reagan. And it broke my heart that he was going this way, enduring ten years of suffering. Incurring huge suffering for his family—especially Nancy.

And I hoped this day would come soon, so we could mourn for him honestly, and regard him as being really dead—rather than existing in a sort of twilight wherein we couldn't reach him, or see him, or really discuss him in the past tense, either.

It was time. I do not know God's reasoning for anything any of us goes through, but I'm glad Nancy's ordeal is over. I'm glad Ronald Reagan is at peace.

The world owes him a huge debt.

James has some good roundups, as does Dean. Since each has multiple entries on Reagan, I suggest you go there and scroll.

Light a candle. Fly the flag. Pray we have more like him.

Posted by Attila at 02:45 AM | Comments (0)

Harry Potter Pix

For those who want to see stills from the next Harry Potter movie, have at it.

I'll probably wait to see the movie until the crowds die down, unless the husband and I can grab a matinee this week, while many munchkins are still in Azkaban school.

Posted by Attila at 01:48 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2004

What a Tangled Web

I used to be in charge of killing spiders when I lived with the mathematician; he was afraid of them, hated them. (I was also in charge of getting the dead birds out of the back yard when they were killed and left there by the neighborhood cats.)

I've lived in houses with lots of bugs for half of my life, which has given me a very friendly disposition toward spiders: all those things they like to eat, I want them to eat.

And then, having started T'ai Chi just last January, I'm not too interested in killing anything that doesn't really have to be killed. I started this policy with the spiders in my house.

It hasn't been a high-water year for arachnids, not really: you can tell from going outside and seeing how many webs are on the patios. There aren't many. (Each species seems to have years that there are a lot of it—these are temporary imbalances that correct themselves as the ecosystem moves along: there have been squirrel years and spider years and one cottontail rabbit year, followed closely, if I recall, by an owl year.)

But there are spiders all over my house. I haven't yet perfected the art of "Quasi-Buddhist Humane Relocation," since they're hard to catch. There are two underneath the bathroom cabinets. There is one in at least one corner of every room. There are so many cobwebs it looks like the Haunted Mansion in here—without the weird mirrors.

I guess I must do something. Perhaps little traffic signs directing my eight-legged friends to the outdoors?

Must learn to catch them to release them outside. Let me know if you have any tricks or tips before we are completely overrun with cobwebs, and start to look like Frodo in The Lord of the Rings.

Posted by Attila at 02:18 AM | Comments (2)

June 04, 2004

Now THIS Is Funny

Oh, man. If you've been following the coverage of Wonkette (world's shallowest blogger) and the Washingtonienne (the blogosphere's first "out" ho)—or experienced the agony of reading either of their blogs—you need to get over to The Commissar's Place, fast, and read his interview with Ana Marie Cox. Here's a taste: the title is "Does This Font Make My Blog Look Fat?"

Via Dean Esmay.

Posted by Attila at 12:31 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2004


Just when I was, once again, enjoying the "semi" aspect of my "semi-employed" status, I got a note to the effect that another cookbook is on the way. Oh, well: I can definitely use the money. And it's a short one.

I told my 67-year-old mother today that I'd finally shipped off the erotica I'd been copyediting, and reminded her that it was the first pornographic manuscript I'd ever worked on (in a professional capacity).

"How is it different from other types of manuscripts?" she asked. "Does it take longer?"

I informed her tartly that, no, I never did have to take breaks to masturbate. As as matter of fact, I was moving at such a clip on those stories that toward the end each time I started a new one I'd start to think, "sex again! Why couldn't it be about food or architecture this time?" This proves that any kind of job can be drudgery if you let your attitude slip. (And please: do let me know if you hear word of any books or magazines that would require knowledge of sex, crime, food, architecture, guns, health, and hunting. I'd be home where the heart is in that kind of setting.)

Of course, I think the fact that my Memorial Day blogging turned into a weird reverie about the two lead actors in Band of Brothers and what it would be like to have a threesome with them shows that these things always have some sort of effect—one way or another. The hormones were in the bloodstream at that point.

Posted by Attila at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2004

Don't Worry

There is never any danger of mistaking a "Cappuccino Delight" Slim-Fast for a real latte-type drink--even an iced one.

No danger at all.

Posted by Attila at 08:47 PM | Comments (3)

The WWII Memorial

I really want to see it in person, but that will have to wait until my finances perk up. It sure is beautiful. This is a restoration of the old rainbow pool, right? (Someone spot me on that.)


Photo by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jane Campbell.

Via Photon Courier.

Posted by Attila at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)

The Land(s) of Milk and Honey

Radly Balko had a piece in Time magazine that apparently advocated the proposterous notion that there is a behavioral component in obesity, and that this behavior (let's call it "overeating") is generally voluntary--therefore, the responsibility of the person who indulges in same.

He got savaged by the nanny-staters, who know better. Their arguments boiled down to "we're wrong, and you're right." What are you going to do with a thing like that?

Via James, whose opinions on this seem to be as strong as my own.

Posted by Attila at 01:55 AM | Comments (3)

In Gratitude to the Dead--and the Living

Kelley sums up what we're all thinking.

My husband and I took advantage of our one-week break in The Sopranos to start watching The American Revolution on Sunday nights (this is the A&E production on same, and it's a good one). The idea is to start it around now, be in the thick of it around Flag Day in mid-June, and finish up by July 4th--at the rate of one episode a week--so we can know what we're celebrating on Independence Day. Every year, especially once we have kids. As a matter of fact, depending on when the final Sopranos season finishes up, we might be able to get Band of Brothers in for the few weeks before Memorial Day. I truly love that show, and I'd love to see it every year as well.

* * *

(And I'd say the appeal of Band of Brothers is 98% being absorbed in the events, and in awe of the men who made these sacrifices--and only 2% finding the two male leads amazing . . . actors. Really good actors, Damian Lewis [as Major Richard D. Winters] and Ron Livingston [as Captain Lewis Nixon]. I mean, what if I had to act in a scene with the two of them, and there was this contrast of Lewis's fairness vs. the Livingston's dark, dark hair? I wonder if they have any bisexual tendancies . . . ?

Sorry. And me married and everything! Long walks and cold showers. And cornering one's spouse.

Remember when they told you female sexuality would peak at 30-35? It isn't so much a peak as a plateau. You've been warned. Long walks, cold showers. And have a husband who is persuadable at a moment's notice.

Enough red-blooded American female talk. But you know our soldiers died so it could be okay for women to be human, and treated as such. Especially in our current war, the one against Islamo-fascists. They don't like red-blooded American girls. Not at all.

As has been pointed out by far cleverer bloggers than I, the fact that we have choices, and flexibility, and openness--all the stuff of freedom, whether it's picking out music or being able to dish about how sexy certain actors are--is a debt we owe our young men--and some women--in uniform. No matter how mundane the choice--or even ignoble the thought--we have it [or can articulate it] because of these people.)

So we're back full-circle: freedom isn't free, and there are many who paid dearly so we could live normal lives in safety across the water.

Posted by Attila at 12:18 AM | Comments (2)

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