April 23, 2006

I Love Walnut Creek

Friday night, after getting my husband settled into the hotel room, instructing him to keep his foot elevated and order a hamburger from room service, I went to the rehearsal dinner, at an Italian restaurant in the quaint neighborhood of Walnut Creek.

I met a lot of my (now) cousins-in-law, and got a chance to talk with my uncle-by-marriage, the father of the groom. He's the one who taught me to ski when I was seven years old. A nice guy—and still good-looking, even in his 70s.

The wedding was lovely, too. We all met yesterday in a beautiful Presbyterian church constructed of unpainted wood in Lafayette. The preliminary seating seemed to take about an hour: usually there's this moment when the mother of the bride is seated, but this time there were so many stepparents involved that I couldn't keep track of them all (our parents' generation got awfully good at weddings, if you know what I mean). Also, the close relationship my mother has with our cousins meant that she was seated as part of the pre-ceremonial ceremony right before the mother of the groom came down the aisle.

And then we all adjourned to the Lindsey Wildlife Museum, where the reception was accompanied by the occasional squealing of a red-tailed hawk, and the owls sat immobile above the fray, turning their heads every now and then so we wouldn't think they were the products of taxidermy.

My husband and I sat in front of the snakes and lizards on display, so all the kids at the reception kept gathering behind our table and tapping on the glass in an attempt to rouse the reptiles.

And it was all wonderful, though I was so tired at the end of it all I wondered how exhausted those who had worked to put the thing together must have felt.

This is the second time within a year I've seen two schoolteachers marry each other. Strictly speaking, should they breed? Discuss.

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April 20, 2006

I'm Now Officially

. . . a sucker.

I just signed up for a month-to-month T-Mobile HotSpot subscription, so I can connect to the web from my local Starbucks. The new employer doesn't like people checking their e-mail from company machines—even during lunch or after work. It's quirky, but certainly their perogative.

But there's something about paying for internet access that sticks in my craw. What's next? Will I have to pay for drinking water? (Oh, wait: I suppose that small case of half-liters in the pantry wasn't free.)

I'm a rugged individualist, I tell you! A pioneer. Did my great-great grandfather pay for internet access when he ferried people along the Oregon Trail? No! He just took it when he needed it.

Did my ancestors pay for the wireless access when they travelled here on the Mayflower? Of course not; they were tough people, willing to use an ethernet cable when times were hard.

My bloodline has clearly diminished: paid internet access. Hotels in the Bay Area. We are sunk.

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It's Unanimous! They're All Crazy!

My mother has let me know that it's okay if I stay in a hotel this weekend in the Bay Area. She doesn't like it, but she "sort of" understands.

I thought I'd escaped the silliness, but when I called my aunt, the "sane" one in the family, I got more of this "but, why?" At my older cousin's second wedding, we were allowed to stay in a hotel without all this strangeness. Perhaps it's because it was that cousin's second wedding: the one this weekend is his younger brother's very first wedding. I like the girl, and I think it might even be his only wedding. (And here I am ruining it with this hotel business.)

Look, people: I'm married. My husband's a private, self-sufficient person. When he's crippled with a huge cast on his foot, he gets even more so. He's from Illinois: guys up there don't like to hobble around on crutches around their in-laws—or anyone else, for that matter.

I swear if I could get the cells in my body surgically altered so none of these people's genes were represented therein, I'd do it in a second.

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April 18, 2006


Someone put some tonic water in my fucking gin. Fucking commies.

Translation: my mother just called, at 9:20 p.m., to tell me she'll be simply devastated if, when my husband and I drive up this Friday to the Bay Area for my cousin's wedding on Saturday, we stay at a hotel.

Approved places to stay: at my aunt's house; at my other cousin's condo.

Has she asked any of them if it's important to them that they put us up? No. She's getting around the imputation that she's "people pleasing" by telling me that it's her feelings, personally, that will be hurt if I "remove myself from the family." (This removal process is normally done by taking time off from work on Thursday to get one of the cars tuned up, and then taking another day off on Friday and loading the husband, his crutches, and his cast into his car, driving 400 miles, attending a wedding [both of us], plus a rehearsal dinner [me], and then turning around on Sunday to drive back to L.A.)

Of course, what she's asking is crazy. I want to check my husband into a hotel on Friday evening, make sure he has a nice pay-per-view to watch, and then attend the rehearsal dinner (which I found out about mere days ago).

But from my point of view, it's not just this craziness: it's every other crazy thing she's made an issue of since I was . . . well, since I was born.

"What do you want to do about it?" asks Attila the Hub.

"I want to sleep on it," I tell him. "I want to have a discussion with you tomorrow, and get your take on it. And then I want to tell her to . . ."

"So then we'll address it tomorrow, after we aren't so tired," he concludes.

"Good plan," I tell him. "Did you think of this yourself?"

Mom. How can such a sweet, wonderful whip-smart woman be such a twisted loon? Do you have to get special credentials?

Readers: you know how it is, right? If you give in on some of these crazier ideas, life turns into the "maximum security prison" experience: you're bringing them cigarettes. You're doing their laundry. (Wait . . . I already do her laundry.)

Time to set limits, I suppose.

Though I've certainly been given to understand that all mothers are somewhat crazy, and it's simply a question of degree.

I also understand that it's important to avoid matricide, because one is often judged by a jury of one's peers—all of whom somehow managed to avoid that same temptation.

I'll be 44 this summer. You'd think I'd have a handle on this by now.

I do not. What I do have is more Tanqueray to dump into my drink, thereby refreshing it and restoring to it the equilibrium I desire in my own psyche.

Policy recommendations: don't answer the phone after 9:00. It is either some friend who wants you to play psychotherapist to him/her, or a parent, who would like you to do something truly self-destructive to prove your love.

Just let the machine pick it up.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:51 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Survey: Straight Men

How many gal-pals do you have? How many female friends you've never had sex with? How many women who are just friends, but you've spent the night with once or twice?

I'm doing research that will further the cause of Science.

All answers will be kept confidential—other than being published in a blog that anyone in the world can check on if they Google your screen name, or the phrase "fuck buddy."

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:19 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

April 17, 2006

What's Extraordinary About Dating Women

It's impossible not to feel overprotective at certain moments. One tends to get carried away with a role it's impossible not to associate with men. There's a sense of power, of being the one who visits in the middle of the night.

I felt like a 20th-century highwayman. But the good kind, you know—the guy from the poem.

There's a desire to protect her, to put her on a pedestal. To make her precious above all else in the world.

I kind of dug it; what a shame I turned out to be straight.

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Holy Fucking Shit.

Can Gerard write.

I recommend his essay to the following people:

1) Christians;
2) non-Christians;
3) those who love their country;
4) those who are no longer sure their country is worth loving.

I do not agree with everything in it, but it is a classic Gerard prose poem. Go. Now.

Via Insty.

P.S. Re: the smartest apostle

I love him like Judas loved Jesus
Oh do not be surprised: his mad love for our Lord,
It makes one dizzy dizzy dizzy dizzy.

Judas was the true diver, plunging into the arms of God's fated Son,
Illustrating the drawbacks of homosexual love.

—Patti Smith [from memory for right now; later I'll see how I did]

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I Had a Bitchin' Easter Sunday, BTW.

It was almost perfect: we got up early and went to mass. Father Shea preached beautifully—I mean, delivered a beautiful homily. I mean it: people broke out into applause.

I made bacon and eggs for breakfast, straightened the house up just a little and took a nap. I woke up in time to take a second nap with my husband, after which I grilled steaks for dinner, and we watched The Sopranos, squabbling only briefly about the degree of its left-wing and anti-Christian bias.

Then we went to bed.

The only imperfection: I missed Goldstein's ground-breaking Scenic Easter Painting in Pixels.

But that's fixed now, and life just about couldn't be better. (Okay: except for the furniture thing. I do need furniture.)

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April 16, 2006

Molly Ivans

. . . thinks Jeff Harrell is provincial.

I mean, if he were discussing what it's like to smoke dope, she might have a point, if she's put in time as a stoner or whatever. But he was talking about a rally that he attended—one she covered from thousands of miles away. His observations were experiential, and he's from a freakin' border state.

The whole thing is rather hilarious.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Creating the Reality

Attila the Hub and I need newer cars, but I'd like him to go first, since I'm far too flakey to want the same thing more than two weeks in a row. So if he were to get a late-model sedan I could simply adopt his 1999 siverplum Saturn and enjoy the V-6 engine and CD player for another year or two or three.

Therefore, we've decided that we must win a car at the raffle for our local church in late June.

We've started referring to "when we win the car." We wonder how long the paperwork will take, how much the taxes on it will cost, and whether we'll have our choice of colors.

We are terribly serious about this. It is our plan for upgrading our transportation situation at the minimum possible cost. We remind ourselves that we're lucky people, and that we are perfectly likely, therefore, to win the raffle.

All the people we take to the event will be types to enjoy our good fortune, and take pleasure in checking out our new sedan with us. Maybe we'll give them the first rides in it after we take delivery.

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April 15, 2006

Free Hao Wu

Rebecca's updates on the jailed Chinese blogger are here.

Using the Chinese embassy's website as a jumping-off point, I found the consulate in Los Angeles to lodge my complaint, using my private e-mail account, real name, and actual town. Others might find the consulates nearest them and do the same.

Via Glenn.

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April 14, 2006

Marble and Formica: Not the Same Thing

Hipnerd is confused. It's not a "Marie Callender's" he works near: it's Callender's. Most Marie Callender's restaurants are glorified coffee shops: the one near the Los Angeles Museum of Art is high-end. The only thing it has in common with the pie shops it dominates is, well—its fabulous selection of pies.

Mmmm, pie: I can dish it out, and I can take it.

Since this incredible, luxurious restaurant is near Publisher's Row, I've eaten there about a million billion times. With, like, every single person on the planet.

I met UBL there for lunch one in 1999: he had way too many glasses of Pino Grigio. The man cannot hold his booze. Though, you know—he did put the fear of God into the Western World, so one has to give him credit for that.

Gin and tonics at Callender's: officially, they contain about an ounce of gin. In practice, it's more like an ounce and a quarter. Do let the bartender know if you weigh little more than a hundred pounds: it's critical information. Especially if you like to have three of 'em. Do the math.

There's a grand piano there, and—as at Nordstrom—sometimes someone plays it to lull you into a sense that you aren't spending too much money. Of course, you are.

Take a stand, though: either get the salad with pear slices and gorgonzola cheese, or have yourself the kind of chicken pot pie they eat in heaven. 'Cause with any luck, that's a few years away.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:47 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

My Life Would Be Perfect . . .

if I had a small convertible leather loveseat, and a package of roasted, salted soy nuts.

Really: it takes so little. I'm a simple person.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:25 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

What Would You Say About a Person

. . . who bought a almost two liters of Tanqueray and 750 milliliters of Hendrick's on the same day?

Would you say that this person was given to excess? Would you say that he/she should go back to more healthful habits, such as smoking cigars, maxing out his/her credit cards, and taking long baths?

I'm just wondering. I have, you know: I have a friend . . .

UPDATE: He'll just get more popular as the gin craze grows: people are tired of tasteless cocktails made with vodka, and for good reason. I mean, if you want to drink stuff that harsh, why not just pour rubbing alcohol into Kool-Aid? I say that with love, by the way.

Another sign that gin is overtaking vodka: every time I go to the local hoity-toity "wine shop," the vodka section has shrunk by one brand—and has been replaced with another premium gin. The buyer there is moving so fast, it might be difficult for a competitive person to keep up with her.

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April 12, 2006

Goldstein's Son

. . . is criminally cute.

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The good news for each party is that they only have to run against the other, and not against a competent one. The bad news for each party is that the same thing is true for their opposition. As I've noted before, it's like the Special Olympics of politics or something.
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Hog Beatty calls me up to explain that tomorrow night is Passover, and that this holiday celebrates the liberation of Jewish slaves from Ramses Whosits.

The message, he explains, is that "you're fucking with the wrong Jew." I laugh, and try to remember whether I'm mad at him lately. If I'm not, I should call him back and tell him it was funny. But if I am mad, I ought to snub him.

I decide it's safer to snub him until I can figure it out. Anyway, it was a long day at work, and someone ought to pay for it. Might as well be him.

There's a doohickey on my dishwasher that tells me when the dishes are dirty, and when they're clean. I should have one for each of my friends that I can dial to "mad at them," "think they're funny," "they're tiresome," and "this person needs an intervention."

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April 11, 2006

Aw, Come On.

Don't you miss me just a little?

Or did I mean so little to you?

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:25 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Darleen Gives Me a Run for My Money

I've been meaning to link this entry since the collapse of the Roman Empire.

And if I'm ever home in a state other than one of total exhaustion, I'll have a response for her.

But she most certainly makes good points. Why, exactly, did I think I could tangle with her?

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:10 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 10, 2006

Everybody's Saying

. . . Mazel Tov! How cool is that? Would someone get me a literal translation, please?—my copy of The Joys of Yiddish is in the other room, and I can't move.

I don't know how insightful I'll be for the next month or two; obviously, blogging here will be light until I learn the ropes at the new job.

I believe the cliche is "tired but happy." I'm getting a crash-course on office procedures and stylistic preferences. All very well and good, but after a while one begins to feel exhausted from the strain of listening and trying to remember it all.

And it isn't like you can even say to yourself, "well, I've been working hard," because getting trained is such a passive act. One doesn't necessary have a story to show for it at the end of the day (though tomorrow I should rack up some more conventional accomplishments).

Here's a cool perk, though: I work across from a mall, which means I can pick up anything I need on my lunch hour or after work. As I understand the municipal code, however, I won't be permitted to move in, because chain stores are picky about vagrancy laws and such.

* * *

It turns out that the foot we thought my husband had sprained is broken. This means he won't be able to run his marathon this summer, which is terrible for him, but better than some of his coaches have suffered through in the injury arena: he's only losing several weeks, yet they are weeks he couldn't afford to lose if he was going to finish the stupid thing—much less achieve a decent time.

Of course, Attila the Hub is way too thoughtful to call during the week and let me know bad news like that, but I find out on my way home. I'm horrified, so I come home and bring him grapes as an appetizer, followed by a steak omelet, a tonic and lime and blueberries with creme fraiche on top for dessert. It's not co-dependent if he's injured, ya know.

Then I pour a real gin and tonic for myself.

Sleep won't come easily tonight, but I'll need to make it happen.

* * *

I really don't know what the correct imagery is to describe what I'm feeling right now: it's like that moment when you've been climbing a trail up a mountain, enduring switchbacks for miles, and suddenly glimpse the sky through the trees up ahead.

You realize you're within a quarter mile of camp, and you climb on.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 08, 2006

Still in Shock.

It appears that I have a job. Not just any job, mind you, but a good one.

We'll have a sort of "test run" through the end of this month to make sure we're still in love with each other before I officially go on staff. So on general principle I'm not going to do the typical "new job" things until May: one always wants to get a new briefcase or something like that, but I'll hold off for now. Fortunately, I love my existing briefcase.

I did, however, get all the stuff done on my car today that I've been putting off for months. So I should be able to rely on it for the time being. (I've been researching possible upgrades, but that whole issue can definitely wait. Actually, I hope to trick my husband into getting a new car, so I can just adopt his old-ish one. Because I'm lazy.)

On a certain level, of course, I still consider a staff job as freelancing: one has to have the mindset that an employer—even in a staff gig—is a "client," and to want to be of service in that situation. Naturally, I won't be blogging about work matters or my company. Most of you are aware that I've only identified one client publicly, because I was promoting this person's work and ethics demanded that I disclose the identity for that reason.

In short, I'm afraid that the whole thing will be a bit mysterious from my readers' point of view, but it's an editing job that will combine several of my passions: for technology, for futurology, and for select elements of pop culture.

So you see how it is: even when I had the multiple interviews with possible employers/anchor clients, it didn't feel real, like I'd necessarily get one of these gigs—much less the really juicy one.

Attila the Hub has a saying that is his standard defense against the temptation for pessimism: "remember that anything can happen—even good things."

I hate to admit that Attila the Hub is very often right, but . . . well. You get the idea.

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April 07, 2006

But If You Could See Him Through My Eyes

. . . He wouldn't look like a neocon at all.

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April 06, 2006


Does one traditionally shake a Polaroid picture? And why? Is it supposed to make the image show up faster?—and what would youngsters today know about that?

The whole thing sounds suspicious to me.

And I'm shakin' nothing.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:35 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Darleen Takes on the Challenges to American Prestige

Apparently, every time we turn around and run people think better of us.

(Okay, lefty readers: I know you think I'm advocating that we fight fire with fire. I am not. Neither is Darleen. However, if one is going to fight fire, one ought to have more than Good Thoughts and Hemp in the toolbox.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 05, 2006

Immigration Reprise

Glenn publishes a handful of mail from people who are upset about our lopsided immigration "policy." But please note that a big part of the problem is how punishing the system is for those who want to immigrate "the right way." Fixing this is essential to the problem, which means we have to reform a bureaucracy.

And that's hard to do, but it's essential.

Right now, our attitude toward immigrants—whom we need, by the way, given our system of entitlements and falling birth rates—is, "welcome to the United States. Fuck you."

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:05 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Speaking of Hard Rock:

Ted Nugent, or Alice Cooper? (I'll take plenty of each, please.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:20 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 04, 2006

Slippery When Wet: Beefeater's Premium Offering

First, get your minds out of the gutter. Thanks.

I've been putting off this review because I just can't think of enough good things to say about Wet by Beefeater. This is the stuff; it's similar to Bombay Blue Sapphire, but "ever so much more so." It's more flavorful than Bombay Blue (or Tanqueray Ten), but still in the smoother tradition of English gin, rather than the more robust Dutch style.

In other words, in my mind it's the ultimate balance between smoothness and bite, with the perfect amount of juniper flavoring.

Wet is here just in time to catch the gin craze, and it's positioned beautifully to do quite well: the bottle is gorgeous (and shows the clarity of the liquor better than a blue or green bottle would), and it gives you that juniper hit without knocking you over. Its slogans range from the semi-respectable "get wet, because anything else is just dry" to "if this won't get you wet, nothing will." (I didn't understand that last one, of course.)

I would drink this gin every day if I could. If I'm ever rich and famous, I might do exactly that.

Get your own though, okay?

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Alrighty, Then.

I can sense what's about to happen. My mood will continue to lift for 12-24 hours until I get stricken with horrible cramps. (Dad? Are you reading this? I'm out of codeine, and I know where you live.) I'll put up with that for another 12-24 hours before I get to be a human being for, oh, a week.

In exchange for enduring this nonsense, members of my sex are permitted to go through even more excruciating pain in order to produce children, which they are then allowed to raise.

And our dry-cleaning costs more. Plus, we always get stuck with the dishes.

I'm really ready to make someone pay for all this.

In order to protect my marriage/friendships, I've locked myself out of the house and am blogging from my mom's place in Westchester. (She's safe in the Bay Area right now.) I bundled up all her knives and dropped them off at Goodwill, just to be sure. I'll be disconnecting the phone soon, and then disabling the internet connection.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on Immigration

Steve Verdon has an interesting post in Outside the Beltway that reflects a lot of my concerns on the question of "illegals." Please note that I do not regard all those who advocate sealing the borders as racists, but I have yet to hear a conversation about this on the radio that doesn't accommodate at least a few racists. Very often, callers on talk radio will say the most disgusting things about Mexican-Americans without being checked whatsoever by the host. After all, we're "all on one side in this thing." Which presumably means we should tolerate the racists. It makes me queasy, to tell you the truth.

Verdon's focus, however, is on the cost-benefit aspect of illegal immigration, regarding which Darleen and I have been playing verbal volleyball for some time. (You'll want to note here that Darleen's non-racist credentials are impeccable, though I wonder if her saturation exposure to the Latin underclass occasionally informs some of her views.)

I continue to believe that in order to address the problem, we must 1) secure the border; 2) streamline the legal immigration system for those who truly want to come here and assimilate; and 3) offer some sort of guest-worker program for young people who simply want to be here temporarily to make a few dollars, and then go home.

Typically [this morning's radio] discussion was about little Juanito and how much money it costs to educate this illegal child in the U.S. school system. Nothing was said about the work that Jaunito’s parents do and the value such works adds to the economy. Nothing was discussed about the taxes paid. The true measure of the costs here should be the net costs, not the total costs.

So how much are the net costs of illegal immigration? This report from the GAO from 1995 (pdf) put the net costs at anywhere from $2 billion a year to $19 billion a year with an illegal population of 3 to 5 million. So even if we take the worse case scenario of 3 million immigrants and $19 billion in net costs and scale it up to today’s estimated population (say 12 million) we are talking about $80 billion in net costs. A middle of the road estimate would be around $50 billion. Either way I see this as chump-change for the most part.

First we have to remember that the U.S. economy is well over $12 trillion dollars in terms of GDP. Or in other words illegal immigration is equal to about 0.64% of GDP. By contrast the U.S. budget deficit is ten times larger as a percentage of GDP. Spending for the Medicare Prescirption Drug plan is going to cost $18.2 trillion.1 And Medicare, aside from the prescription drug program, has a shortfall in the range of $50 to $60 trillion over the next 75 years. But here we are worried about chump-change due to illegal immigration.

This leads me to, “Why?” The only thing I can think of is that things like Medicare shortfalls are boring and dull. After all it requires reading actuarial reports, figuring out what the taxable wage base is, and looking at projections which brings in things like statistics and already 48.3% of the audience is on the verge of a coma.

Nice, Steve. Some of us were paying attention, there.

Illegal immigration on the other hand seems to touch off some sort of fear of people who are different. They don’t look like “us”, the don’t talk like “us” and they eat all that weird food and dammit I can’t read the signs over the stores that cater to their consumption! So illegal immigration gets lots of attention, but the complete shambles that things like Medicare are in are just ignored. If we could just stem the flow of illegals why economic nirvana would result. Americans would go back to hanging drywall, mowing their own yards, and chopping up chickens. I’m even sure that controlling the U.S.-Mexico border would reverse the global downward trend in manufacturing employment.[/sarcasm]

In short, I see all this handwringing about the U.S. becoming part of Mexico as nothing more than misplaced priorities by people who seem deathly afraid of people who are different than them. The response to the charge of racism is often, “It isn’t racism! We just oppose illegal immigration. And the costs are real.” Sure the costs are real, but they are much smaller when compared to other issues such as Medicare funding. And sure illegal immigration isn’t a good thing, but instead suggest a guest worker program (i.e. make those illegal immigrants legal) and you still get the howling. So both objections, IMO, while technically true are just rhetoric to deflect criticism and hide the rather disquieting aspects of the illegal immigration movement.

Okay. So he's just as turned off by the Latino = bad thing as I am, and it looms large in his argument.

But the cost-benefit thing is relevant, and the huge resistance to guest-worker programs does set off a lot of red flags in terms of some of us feeling that there's a huge xenophobia out there, and/or a huge willingness to ascribe the recession we just went through (over the past five years) to a phenomenon that's been going on in one form or another for decades.

Tag, boys and girls. You're it.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:47 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

On Cover Letters for Literary Submissions.

My writing teacher sent an e-mail along that contained this link to an article for Poets and Writers by C. Michael Curtis. It's thoughtfully written, compassionate, and respectful of the individual writer's sensibilities—along with the massive power inequity between writers and editors. Curtis clearly has a a warm heart, and a deep love for those who produce the written word.

The intent certainly wasn't to make me consider driving off a cliff, but that was the effect, naturally.

I'm coming around to the position that the desire to write is a cancer not yet addressed by medical science. Someone should set up a fucking foundation, you know.

In the meantime, I'm going to take a nap.

(Fear not: I should get my period within a few days. Then I'll be in pain, but a good deal less cranky. The following week I'll be happy and smiling and fun again. Biology may not be destiny, but it certainly affects one's moods.

Besides, with so many options available, no sensible crime writer could ever choose a method that had the right panache. Hence, the napping alternative, which leaves one's future options open, and facilitates that happy smiling fun week that lies just over the rainbow.)

UPDATE: Okay. The package containing that stupid story everyone wants me to send out is ready. I just cranked it out as an exercise some weeks ago, and people keep telling me it's great—even Attila the Hub, who isn't given to hyperbole, likes it. After a while, one ought to trust others' judgement on these matters.

So I feel marginally better. At least I can get started on that average of 19 rejections any given story receives before it's accepted anywhere. (That long horrible one that I really hate—but keep sending 'round because I worked so hard on it—just has a few more rejections to go before I either get it published or give up on it for good.)

I'm no longer toying with suicidal thoughts; I've moved up to homicidal ones, which is my interpretation of mental health.

It's still raining. Hog Beatty called me to recommend anything from Bowie's "Berlin" period for this drizzly day. I left him a message that almost all my Bowie is on vinyl, and I still don't have a turntable. So it's Ziggy Stardust, Changes2, or silence.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Flight 93.

The movie.

I know some people think it's "too soon," five years after the fact. But if that's your perspective, you might want to take a look at this:


It wouldn't be there if the passengers of Flight 93 hadn't taken action. (And the White House wouldn't be there if it were easier to spot from the air: instead, our friends from AQ had to settle for the Pentagon.)

Ed Driscoll has more on United 93, via Insty.

And it's nice to know that someone in the entertainment industry has neurons that actually fire now and again. Other than Lionel Chetwynd, of course.

Please, guys: we want to see this addressed. We want to see victory over the terrorists. The victories can be symbolic some of the time, though the terrorists are very real. And this particular victory is about as real and basic as it gets.

Via Insty, Jim Garaghty's got some great thoughts on the film, including the fact that a few ignorant lefties refuse to admit that this incident even took place: Garaghty quotes one moonbat who maintains that the 9/11 Commission Report dismissed the idea of a passenger uprising on United 93. Naturally, Jim gives us the relevant passages from the Report that show the passenger assault did, in fact, occur.

Judith Weiss of KesherTalk discusses the movie's prospects: she foresees it doing moderately well in theatres, and then becoming a cult classic among those who really don't want us ever to forget what happened that day. I think it might do exceedingly well: one has to consider the effects of pent-up demand. I don't want to compare this movie to The Passion of the Christ, but I guess I must. After all, once more with Flight 93 there is a whole arena of human experience that we don't see addressed in the entertainment world very often. So when it is addressed, people will flock to see it. There are millions of people in this country who are profoundly grateful to the folks on Flight 93 for saving the Capitol Building. And I'll bet each of those people has $20 for a movie. As with watching The Passion of the Christ, it will be a deeply moving experience, and possibly a spiritual one.

The Kesher Talk posting has a great recollection of the passenger assault on the hijackers from the point of view of a surviving spouse, who was in contact with her husband by cell phone as the uprising began. It's sad and stirring.

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

April 03, 2006

Like Wildfire . . .

If you haven't seen The Right Brothers' new video yet, here's your chance.

Hm. The right hasn't really had an anthem band for some time—IIRC, not since Oingo Boingo. (No: my favorite wasn't "Only a Lad" nor even "Ain't This the Life." It's a bit politically incorrect, but I adored "I Want To Make Violent Love to You." Naturally, I never bought any of their albums, because they were such horrible reactionaries. And I only listened to them with the windows closed and the shades down, so I'm sure it was okay.)

Apparently, the Right Brothers have two albums out, and they have a new song, "What About the Issues?" that addresses a lot of their hate mail:

Whatcha gonna do to fight three chords and the truth?— Just ignore the issues?

You can download it for free here, though there's no video just yet.

Hat tip: everyone, but I saw it first by linking from Hackbarth's site.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:08 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Word Just Came In

. . . from SoCal LawBlog regarding the Bear Flag League's brief in the Apple case (O'Grady v. Apple):

As some of you may know, the BFL filed an amicus brief with the California Court of Appeal in the litigation between Apple and two bloggers. We weighed in on the issue of a blogger's entitlement to the same first amendment protections that traditional journalists received. We filed our brief about a year ago and the court has since been very quiet. Last week we received notice that the court will hold oral argument this month. I'll keep you updated on the status of the case.

Included in the e-mail is a link to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's website; the Foundation is following the case. (You'll note that the BFL amicus brief is the first one listed in the Foundation update linked above.)

For more on the Golden State bloggers behind the Bear Flag League, start here.

BTW, I'll grant that there are a lot of us, but keep in mind that the last time I checked, California was the most populous state in the country. (I said "populous," not "popular." Yeah, I know people love to hate us. Especially people who live here. I don't see 'em making plans to move, of course. As for me, you'll have to pry the palm fronds out of my cold, dead fingers.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Eeyore E-mails:

On Wednesday of this week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

That won't ever happen again.

When I was a teenager, I used to be willing to wait a few minutes to see the time change to either 11:11 or 12:34 on my digital clock.

Of course, I was a strange girl.

You know: strange back then in the 70s/early 80s. Thank goodness that's all over with.

UPDATE: Let's see: we've dealt with 24-hour time, the issue of future centuries, and now . . . Europe's date notation, which I hadn't even though about!

Does anyone know what the larger Commonwealth countries (other than the UK) do in their date notations . . . ? I'd assume that they use the British/European system, but this is the internet, so I thought I'd throw it out there. Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and others should let me know.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:20 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Pat Santy

. . . takes on the terror of female sexuality that pervades many strains of Islam:

So frequently do we joke about men's preoccupation with sex and female body parts in the West, that we have failed to notice that the Muslim world is literally consumed by female sexuality and with their fear of it. It is ironic that both Muslim men and women are under the mistaken impression that Western society is oversexualized compared to them, when in fact, it is practically impossible to be more obsessed with sexual matters than they are in Muslim communities.

Consider for a moment a culture that would prefer to let young girls die in a burning building than to risk having them run out of said building not clothed in properly modest dress; and tell me that such a society is less preoccupied with matters of sex than we are in the West.

Enormous effort goes into veiling women, dressing women modestly, silencing women, covering women's bodies, punishing women, controlling women, reviling women, humiliating women, beating women, subjugating women, avoiding the dishonor of women, keeping women uneducated, policing women, infantilizing women--in short, dehumanizing women -- all under the guise of "protecting" and "honoring" them as they relegate them to animal-like status.

The women in this misogynistic Islam are brainwashed from birth into thinking that this cultural preoccupation somehow is necessary and that it "liberates" them in some bizarre manner.

Amazingly, this medieval culture has grasped the fundamentals of both Orwellian and postmodern rhetorical rationalizations, that are so prominent in certain intellectual quarters within our own culture! I have heard the canned rationalizations coming from their lips of muslim women myself; and they all claim that it frees them from having to be "sexual objects."

On the contrary, in Islamic society that is apparently the only role open to women. That, and breeders for the jihad.

Please read the whole thing; it's an amazing post.

Hat tip: Glenn.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Foster Has a Timely Observation

. . . here.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 02, 2006

Thanks, everyone,

for jumping the gun on the Jill Carroll story. It makes me feel all warm and gooey inside that people rushed to condemn actions she took under duress.

Sean had this one right from the beginning. I wish more people had been willing to wait for Real Data to come in (that is, statements Carroll made once safely back in this country).

Memo to the Telegraph:
Of course, every country hopes that its own nationals will be heroic under the stress of capture. Though to my knowlege no one has matched or exceeded the performance of the Italian gentlemen, who, realizing he would be beheaded, messed up the jihadists' video by fiighting back, declaring, "this is how an Italian dies."

Some of us definitely need to learn to keep our powder dry.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:14 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

The Sopranos and Religion

The husband and I definitely argue like writers. James Thurber once pointed out that the typical way in which writers agree tends to go like this: "you're right; you're absolutely right. The problem is, you don't have the faintest idea why you're right."

We each had squabbles with the way evangelicals were portrayed on this week's episode, though for very different reasons. Attila the Hub thought Catholics were getting smeared alongside Protestants, though I thought this week's Catholic-baiting was pretty mild; after all, how can one top Christopher helping to bury Ralphie's head—encased in a bowling ball bag, after Chris himself had dismembered the body—and crossing himself as the earth is placed atop it? That incident, several seasons ago, was the Catholic-baiting apogee.

The fact that evangelical support for Israel is mentioned, and then qualified by another Jewish person who feels cautious about Christian support is not at all contrary to my experience: there are some old-school Jews out there who are skeptical about Christianity, given the little incidents there have been over the centuries. (One friend and I have at least annual arguments about whether the Nazis could be considered even nominal, surface-level Christians. Once one grants that, it is all over, and one has to concede his premise that Christians are essentially out to get Jews. Which I feel is a few centuries behind the times.)

The spouse felt that Tony's conversion to "what the bleep" spirituality this week came about as a result of a stacked-deck comparison between Catholics/Evengelicals and this more "woowey" approach to spirituality. ("Woowey" is my Tai Chi teacher's self-description. It fits, you know.)

I thought the portrayal of evangelicals worked rather well, given that it was a cartoon, with my usual caveat that pro-abortion writers never seem to get this nuance: Protestants don't have issues with birth control methods they don't consider abortifacients. Their argument is not with artificial birth-control per se, but rather with anything that might kill a fetus, embryo, or pre-embryo. This distinction is often obscured by those who either wish to proclaim that all pro-lifers are out to get their birth-control, or are simply intellectual slatterns. Not that there's anything wrong with being an intellectual slattern, of course.

The Catholic subplot? Not related to Tony's new "what the bleep" philosophy at all: it's simply a way of explaining Paulie's increasing willingness to take chances for rather stupid reasons. We're supposed to wonder if he's going to get caught. And I do.

The "what the bleep" business will very likely fall by the wayside in coming weeks: we know that Tony is able to excise any tendancy toward soft-heartedness/humanity when his "business" is on the line.

Let's review:

Attila Girl = right right right
Attila the Hub = wrong wrong wrong, unless we agree, in which case he's likely right for entirely the wrong reasons

Honey, do you need me to put this on a 3x5 card and place it on your desk as a reminder?

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:53 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

An Army of Davids

I just finished Glenn Reynolds' latest. I was a bit disappointed to find out that it wasn't about my social life (rife as that is with guys named Jeff and John and—especially—David) but it was compelling nonetheless. More later.

I thought about live-blogging the experience of reading the book, but that seemed almost as pathetic as leaving Instapundit, closing the browser window, turning the computer to "sleep," and picking up A of D. Which, of course, I've never done.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Now Remember:

You need to get ready for Daylight Savings Time tonight or tomorrow.

So spring back, and this autumn we'll all fall forward.

Unless I'm somehow confused . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:09 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 01, 2006

On the Borders

Let's not give these people our business. What they are doing sets a dangerous precedent. Hackbarth warns us not to take our frustration out on Borders employees; Samizdata explains that Borders is already in dire financial straits and can't afford to flip intellectuals the bird.

I wonder if Borders carries Mein Kampf. It's also offensive, right? Ah—but Jews don't behead people who disagree with them. We must defer to those who engage in that type of behavior.

Insty suggests we "throw down the gauntlet," and links Bidinotto's approach. I definitely think writing letters is good, but mostly I'll be voting with my checkbook.

From now on I'll be shopping at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the independents, like these guys. Actually, since I live near Pasadena, I'll be buying at Vroman's for the most part—but not everyone is that lucky.

UPDATE: How pathetic is this? I guess one doesn't need steak when there's sizzle. Via Insty.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

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.

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