April 29, 2007

Did Google Change Its Formula?

My search traffic has been up for weeks, but now it's increasing even more. Along with a handful of other bloggers, I'm noticing an overall increase, and an increase in traffic from Google images as well.

Anyone know what gives?

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:33 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Out of Action, Tonight.

I'm working on my motive, and doing character sketches. Sorry! But my deadline is a scary one, so blogging and housework are the first things to go. Be thankful you don't live with me.

My sidebar is your friend, and with any luck I'll be back later tonight, or first thing in the morning. After all, I still have some writing to do on Senator McCain.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Re-Reading David Linden's Book.

You should, too.

Fortunately, he's gotten rid of the dreadful British/scientific style punctuation the manuscript sported. Or, rather, his copyeditor has.

I hadn't remembered quite so much science in the first chapter, but a bit of that is to be expected, and I know there's a lot of juicy stuff about sex later on. The volume could, however, use more dialogue. Or perhaps a dismembered corpse: you can never go wrong with dead bodies.

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April 28, 2007

Goodnight, then.

Off I go to read. When you speak of me, speak of one who blogged not wisely, but too well.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Yeah, I Know," I Say. "Too Dialogue-Heavy."

"No, this section is fine," Bridget tells me. "But we need to know more about these people before we find the body."

"I can do that," I reply.

"Um, what do these people do for a living?" Maria pipes up. "I mean, they seem to spend a lot of time drinking coffee and finding corpses."

"Well," I answer, slowly, "I could give them jobs, of course. But that might cut into the time they have for solving crimes."

"If you want them to be independently wealthy, there are ways to accomplish that," Fred points out.

"Hell, no. I don't want them to sustain that kind of damage," I respond. "Fine. I'll get 'em jobs."

These stupid people in writer's group and their un-fucking-reasonable demands . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Yeah. Another Day from Twelve-Step Hell.

I found out on Friday night that I truly was expected to show up at yet another fundraiser today, and man the literature booth. And since it fell under the rubric of my paid functions, I felt that I should do it.

So I got through the day, participated on my panel, and billed the organization for the rest of the time I spent on the event. Next year, I'll make sure they make a decision much further in advance about how they want to handle this.

This year, I said some smart-sounding bullshit, sold some literature, and got through the day without either bursting into tears or cussing anyone out.

This is not, by the way, about my being some sort of victim in any sense. It is about my being a complete nut.

There's a difference.

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April 27, 2007

How Come

. . .we never talk about transexualism?

It's important, I think. Scripture says not one word about it, of course.


Posted by Attila Girl at 01:59 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

John McCain: Branching Out Beyond Defense

As usual, McCain was great today on the Bloggers' Conference Call. We got a bit beyond Iraq, which had been the focus of the first Call I participated in.

I like the fact that he feels the GOP has to get California back in play, and/or at least actively campaign there. He's right: not communicating here only perpetuates the problem. He maintains that he can make a difference here, that he can talk to us as a fellow Westerner. Maybe. The problem is, he's never done that well with libertarians, and most of us who fall right-of-center here have strong libertarian leanings. We'll see how it goes.

It was nice to see him discuss domestic issues such as tax reform, pork spending, revamping Social Security and Medicare, at the same time he's as well-versed in military matters as he ever was.

More later.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Senator McCain: The Announcement, The Interview

Much as one doesn't want to like Senator McCain, the politician (for we all love John McCain, the hero—and that's as it should be), sometimes it's impossible not to. I know that a lot of us have resistance to McCain's candidacy for two very good reasons:

1) McCain-Feingold;
2) the mainstream media's lionizing him as a maverick.

But the media no longer regard him as their darling; they no longer need him as a counter-balance to Bush. And he is an educated voice standing up for the necessity of finishing the action in Iraq properly, rather than abandoning good people to repression and mass murder, like we did with—say—the Vietnamese and the Cambodians.

He is also willing to educate the public about how to do what is required to win, and that makes him, frankly, a bit seductive. It's no secret that the major failure on the part of the Bush Administration in the conduct of this war has been on the public relations side. There is plenty to "sell" in terms of standing up to tyranny and making an example of one country, so others in the region will understand that the U.S. is still capable of playing for keeps. But neither Bush nor anyone on his team has really been out there, making that case, over the past four years.

For all my quarrels with him, I think McCain would.

Anyway, I'll be on a conference call with him tomorrow on the heels of his recent official announcement. (Yeah, like that was news. I'm sorry: Fred Thompson announcing a candidacy will be news. McCain announcing his? Dog bites man.) I'll be sharing my impressions briefly, before I head out to work, and then in a more extensive form later in the weekend.

[Copyeditor alert: I know that title case doesn't require the definite articles in my headline to be capitalized. But it just didn't look right the other way. I claim poetic license, and the fact that this is my blog. It turns out that the house style of Little Miss Attila requires capitalization of "the" when its editrix so mandates.]

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Safari Problem Solved!

I still had some of the old Blogads code lingering in my template. I thought I had removed the cancer, but—alas!—more surgery was required.

The person responsible was harshly reprimanded, and then treated to a dirty martini. (Kind of a good cop/bad cop approach to behavior mod.)

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April 25, 2007

I'm Writing Tonight.

I'm polishing chapter 2 of book 2 to present at writer's group tomorrow night. And I have to put some time in for a client tomorrow, so the work has to be done now—which is really my least favorite word.

Go read Hackbarth's meditation on the difference between mental illness and evil as it relates to Seung Hui Cho.

Or check out Goldstein's thoughts on why Rosie O'Donnell makes Democrats nervous, at the same time they just can't take their eyes off of her.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 24, 2007

London Calling.

Rusty has the scoop on six radical Islamists arrested for charges of incitement.

I know that sometimes law enforcement/intel on both sides of the Atlantic prefers to monitor those it could arrest for "incitement," so they can get to bigger fish, but I hope they cooperate with each other, and remember that combatting terrorism is not like fighting organized crime: the "broken window" principle requires that at some point these people be brought in. Threats against people and property are crimes here, and they should most certainly be crimes in a country that has essentially decided there is no universal right to self-defense.

(As usual, I skimmed the comments section for a moment. Alas, Rusty's comments are still as chock-full of the "all Muslims are terrorists" sentiment as the generally are with the "homosexuals are out to destroy the family" nonsense. And, as usual, I fear that he comes awfully close to endorsing both positions in his posts. But he is a good source of information on Islamic terrorism, and despite his myopia in those arenas, a genuinely nice guy.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just in the Nick of Time!

***Your Email Address Have Won*** Inbox Lotteria Lotto Management


You have been selected as victorious via your email address. Click here to
see how much you have won:http://claiming.rules.i8.com/index.html or paste
it in your browser.This must be claimed not later than the 9th of May 2007 .
You must read the rules and understand them before responding.
We are required to disburse the award to the correct recipient, but we must
verify that you are the owner of the selected email address before we can
send this money to you.

Contact us with reference number: OBM/AERAL/2007.

Contact person: Enrico Mancini

Lotteria Italia

It looks like my ship has finally come in.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:57 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


On the current Democratic Party train wreck:

Reid: Bush [is] in denial. This from a member of the Democratic leadership that is pushing a symbolic retreat plan he knows won’t survive a veto, simply to make the petulant point.

More on what he calls "the non-plan that is going nowhere":

Troop withdrawal begins Oct. 1, with the bulk of the troops out by April 1. It sets strict standards for resting, training and equipping troops, though it’s not clear why Democrats want to waste money on that, if they don’t plan to use them. It also sets benchmarks for the Iraqi government to reach on dealing with militias, re-Baathify, share oil revenues, etc. Not clear what incentive the Iraqi government has to meet any benchmarks, because all that is going out the window with the current government once open season starts, and any Iraqi official with half a brain is going to be actively working on an individual survival plan.

Meanwhile, my mother continues to insist that we should have "finished Afghanistan," before "starting in Iraq." Just like we finished Germany, before starting in Japan. Oh, wait . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Okay. Sheryl Crow.

Bidinotto has a nice roundup on the Crow Crap issue. (I shouldn't say that, perhaps: I do like her music. But when will singers, actors, and directors realize that when we like their creative work, it doesn't mean we find their ill-informed policy prescriptions less annoying—it means we find them more annoying.)

As for Sheryl herself, I would like to point out that there are important issues, and very important issues. I can argue all day with my lefty friends about whether the Important Issue of the day is the environment, or women's rights and classical liberalism being under threat from radical Islam. But the Very Important Issue of the day is oral sex, and Sheryl Crow is not doing her part in that arena . . .

Okay. Seriously, I do believe that the single square of toilet paper proposal was a joke. It does seem, however, that both Sheryl Crow and Laurie David have are guilty of the same sort of slipperiness that Jim Treacher once busted Jon Stewart on: now I'm serious, now it's a joke.

"If I want to preach, it's serious. If you call me on my intellectual shortfalls, it's a joke." Or, in the cases of Crow and David, we will preach at you. But if you challenge us on the science, we'll say "blah blah blah" and refuse to engage (David), or make silly jokes about toilet paper (Crow).

And if you point out the disconnect between the way we live, we'll explain that it's okay, because we're "doing our part," despite our music tours (Crow) and our use of private jets to support a bicoastal lifestyle (David).

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 23, 2007

I Don't Know About This Quiz.

It kept asking me either/or questions. Some of them were obvious: after all, of course geometry is better than algebra, and of course it's better to navigate via intuition than to actually get out a map (cheater, cheater!).

But "do I have my best ideas sitting up, or lying down?" Well, which kinds of ideas, for crying out loud? I do editing and expository writing sitting up; I do better fiction writing when I'm lying down (preferably with my eyes closed, so I can't read what I write as I go along).

It was ultimately a rather stupid test: its designers wanted to conflate my intellect with my personality. They are, of course, different things.

You Are 40% Left Brained, 60% Right Brained
The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.
Are You Right or Left Brained?

Via Virginia Postrel, who is apparently way more logical than I.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So. What Does Larry See in Her?

Laurie David is all over the news.

Wow. Where does one start with this? She concedes that she's "confrontational" with respect to others' eco-crimes, but when presented with her own, she explains it all away: "Everybody has to strike their own balance between how they want to live and how they can reduce their impact." Everybody, that is, who can afford to drive a hybrid.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 22, 2007

Double Trouble Is Over.

As far as I'm concerned, the day was a success: I scaled back on my emotional commitment, and got through the entire event without going off on anyone.

B. is concerned that our group didn't appear to make as much money this year as we did last year. I don't know whether that's true, though: when one takes into account the fact that neither he nor I subsidized the event in the way we did last year, I think we did just fine. After all, part of the point of throwing this annual party is to be of service, and show people—especially "creative types"—how to run businesses in a sober fashion.

I. didn't follow through on her commitment to handle the food, so it would have been an utter disaster if I'd counted on her—or if I'd been more than my requisite 15 minutes late. As it was, there were just enough of us to make the event successful. We could have used one more pair of hands (though not the perfectionistic gal with the catering background), yet we pulled it off.

And now I'm blogging and dozing and getting ready to go back to work tomorrow.

Life works better when one follows through, but doesn't over-invest. I've been telling people all about that for several years now, so it's rather delightful to learn how to do it myself.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Volunteerism Weekend From Hell.

Well, I got through the day yesterday without freaking out: mostly, I did it by imposing on my mother. I crashed at her place on Friday night so I could get some stuff done in the office where I do my nonprofit work, and she fed me oatmeal and tea on Saturday morning before I washed up, changed clothes, and went in for Meeting Day.

I knew I'd be receiving some [well-deserved] criticism at the Board for some of the paid work I do for them, but I also came under [undeserved] fire afterward for the volunteer side of my activities there. And I handled both just fine. In the first case, I admitted to the problem ("yes, I do have a tendancy to misplace receipts—which I must stop doing"), and in the second case, I was feisty-but-ultimately-accommodating ("I'm sorry you don't find our system for doing this convenient, but we are a volunteer-run organization. Here's my contact information; sometimes we can very likely find a way to make things easier for you, but I'm not promising anything.")

Today will be even harder, but B. removed me from the food committee and instead had me negotiate a better rate for the room we'll be using. So my role in setting up today's event will be more on the support side, which suits me fine. I haul the supplies in. I help with the setup. I put out fires. I avoid taking control, and I don't let myself get so wound up that I snap at anyone.

(Last year, I didn't go off until the event was over, and it was because two cops saw me loading supplies into my car, which was parked in the handicapped zone. We exchanged eye contact, and I figured they were going to give me five minutes to finish loading the organization's stuff. But when I came back out with my arms full of supplies, they were ticketing my car. We had a rather spirited discussion in which a friend of mine tried to intervene on my behalf, and I eventually told her loudly that it was no use trying to get them to change their minds, since both cops were "assholes." Thirty years ago, that might have got me arrested. This time, I hope it gave them some pause about how they are getting along with the community they supposedly "serve.")

And there's an event next weekend, too. May can't come fast enough.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 19, 2007

Light Blogging Today!

We're shopping for a car, and I'm behind on my pages for the Arizona mystery. See you tomorrow (or whenever)!

The house recommends: The cotillion blogroll on my sidebar.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 18, 2007

I Guess the Supreme Court

. . . has now taken possession of my uterus.

I'll send them codeine to go along with it for the cramps that used to occur monthly, and now take place whenever my body decides on them . . .

I would have been down with those who insisted that there be an exception for the preservation of a woman's health, if I didn't know from first-hand experience that "health" is interpreted to mean "mental health," and "mental health" is generally regarded—within certain segments of the health-care community—as "not having given birth to a child one didn't plan to conceive."

Had the phrase been "physical health," I would have felt better about the insistence on including that language. As it is, Kennedy essentially invited that modification:

Kennedy acknowledged continuing disagreement about the procedure within the medical community. In the past, courts have cited that uncertainty as a reason to allow the disputed procedure.

"The medical uncertainty over whether the Act's prohibition creates significant health risks provides a sufficient basis to conclude ... that the Act does not impose an undue burden," Kennedy said Wednesday.

While the court upheld the law against a broad attack on its constitutionality, Kennedy said the court could entertain a challenge in which a doctor found it necessary to perform the banned procedure on a patient suffering certain medical complications.

The law allows the procedure to be performed when a woman's life is in jeopardy.

This should be interesting to watch. I wonder whether it'll make a difference as a practical matter: there really are those to whom the "right" to terminate a pregnancy is as essential to human existence as oxygen and fresh water.

I do think abortion should remain nominally legal, but it's way too widespread and casually-undertaken right now. In fact, the major abuses all go the other way: young women get buffaloed into this major procedure, without any counseling about how it will affect them for the rest of their lives.

If I'd heard anyone say that when I was 20, I would have laughed and said they were merely being sentimental.

I know better now.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:52 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

More From Hackbarth

. . . on just locking up the weirdos. (And, you know—why that wouldn't work.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So. How Are My Links and Comments Working?

Right now, it appears that the Mac/Safari people are screwed on my site, whereas the Wintel/Explorer people are holding their own.

Let me know, boys and girls. Just give me system-browswer-what's working.


Posted by Attila Girl at 03:38 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Good News:

Democrats are primates! That means they can be educated!

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Oh, Meg. Oh, My Darling.

How I love your pizazz.

How I envy you your clothes, and your face and your beautiful body. I saw you read at the UCLA Book Fair once, and realized on some level that I just wanted to be you, with your beautiful embroidered cloak and your thick black hair.

And how I forgive you your leftism, despite the fact that I don't think it's done your humor as much good as one might hope. And yet, and yet . . .

Marguerite is grieving:

I look at the shooter's expressionless face on the news and he looks so familiar, like he could be in my family. Just another one of us. But how can he be us when what he has done is so terrible? Here is where I can really envy white people because when white people do something that is inexplicably awful, so brutally and horribly wrong, nobody says – “do you think it is because he is white?” There are no headlines calling him the “White shooter." There is no mention of race because there is no thought in anyone's mind that his race had anything to do with his crime.

So much attention is focused on the Asian-ness of the shooter, how the Korean community is reacting to it, South Korea's careful condolences and cautiously expressed fear that it will somehow impact the South Korean population at large.

Sweetie, you haven't even studied criminology in the way that my fuzzy-headed 70-year-old mother has, or my 54-year-old husband (who is also a comic, by the way), or . . . or the way nearly any other sentient creature has.

Take if from a short, young, homely white chick (who just happens to be a crime writer)—

If there is any industry other than "NASA engineer in the 1950s" that says "White Guy" with a capital W andG, it is the field of multiple-victim homicide. Whether expressed in serial killings or in the type of "mass murder" young Mr. Cho perpetrated at Virginia Tech, the first picture anyone get in his/her mind of a mass murderer/serial killer is that of a pale white male loner. Or, sometimes, two pale white male loners who work together. (See Columbine, or the Hillside Strangler[s].)

Sure: there have been blacks involved in this type of crime. And even Asians, though I've been told it isn't fair to count Pol Pot or Chairman Mao. And Aileen Wuornos tried to make us—the women of the world—slightly less underrepresented in the annals of multiple-victim homicide. (Bloody Mary helped there, too.)

But the undisputed champs in this particular arena of evil are pale white men.

If people discuss his Korean-ness, Margaret, it's because that factor makes it different from the norm. It's because this very disturbed young murderer doesn't fit the mold, racially. It's the "man bites dog" element in the story.

Young Mr. Cho has no more in common with you than I do with that white guy who executed people in the cafeteria in Texas, or with Ted Bundy. [Well, there is the name, Cho, but that's just the luck of the draw, and it will give you great material over the years, once you've absorbed this horrible shock.]

Evil is its own ethnicity. Count on it, Margaret. Rational white/black/brown/Asian people all over the world aren't suddenly looking at their Korean friends/neighbors/colleagues/schoolmates/vendors/clients any differently.

It's a stupid world, Baby-Doll. But not quite that stupid. Not quite.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:21 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 17, 2007

Notorious C-H-O

So. Should we have a national "report the weirdo" hotline?

Sean: No.

Ace: Maybe.

Me: Absolutely. But I shall report myself, so as to beat the rest of you to it.

Seriously—as a creepy strange person and part-time crime writer, I don't know how far I want to go down the road of judging people on the basis of the shit they come up with for their fiction. You know?

I mean, I've got some nice landscaping in my backyard, and I'd prefer that the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department avoid digging it up just because I'm writing about disembodied, semi-decomposed corpses right now, and my last manuscript discussed the sexual side of serial killing.

But the fact that his classmates were thinking about what they would do if he showed up one day with a loaded gun suggests to me that we might need more citizen-driven threat assessment.

How that's consistent with the Bill of Rights isn't clear to me. Unfortunately.

Please discuss.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Who Are You Calling Weird?

At least I don't sit around making up quizzes that compare people to one of the five digits on a human hand, Mr. Composer-of-Blogthings!

I just, um. I just print the results:

You Are a Pinky
You are fiercely independent, and possibly downright weird.
A great communicator, you can get along with almost anyone.
You are kind and sympathetic. You support all your friends - and love them for who they are.

You get along well with: The Ring Finger

Stay away from: The Thumb
What Finger Are You?

Via Caltechgirl.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thank God for Liviu Librescu.

Hackbarth has the story of a Virginia Tech professor who gave his life to save the students in his classroom.

Details are still sketchy, but the way I got the story, he bought his students enough time to escape via an open window—and was shot and killed while he tried to block the murderer's path.

Just when I'm ready to weep at the utter blackness of human nature, I hear a story like this, and start to weep again at the good.

I was raised on bromides about how "everyone has some good and some bad in him/her." That's true enough, as far as it goes. But which part of you is stronger? Is it the beast who might kill, or the angel who could save others at the cost of your own life?

It's the part you feed.

Feed the good: Ninety-nine percent of the other stuff we worry about is bullshit.

UPDATE: Darleen weighs in on the hero of the Virginia Tech massacre.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

From the Mailbag.

This person may want to identify herself, but I'll leave that up to her:

I was 12 years old when Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the Texas University clock tower and started murdering people below.

I had to refresh that old memory of grainy, black-and-white TV coverage by
doing some research, but one of the reasons he didn't kill MORE people than
he did was that not only did the local police fire upward at him, trying to
keep him down . . . but LOCAL CITIZENS ran to their homes and cars and brought back their guns and rifles and joined in on firing up at the tower.

Now we all just wait around for the SWAT teams and heaven forfend any
civilians try to help.

But the police aren't doing much either: they're too busy "securing the perimeter," as Attila the Hub points out. They don't try to get the shooter, so lives can be saved: they just seal off the campus, as they did at Columbine. Meanwhile, the students we've disarmed so V-Tech can be a nice, safe "gun-free zone" are being systematically executed. Law enforcement wasn't there. School security wasn't there. Those students who owned guns weren't permitted to have them on campus.

And we've told kids that when someone has a gun, we ought to do what they say. So when they were told to line up, that's what they did.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Ace on the Duke Prosecutorial Misconduct Case

He's especially amused by the allegation that Magnum was in mid-air when she was assaulted; it's apparently among the many very different accounts she gave of the "rape":

Absent the discovery of a complex canteliever-and-pulley-sexual-flying-harness in the bathroom—a discovery I'm quite sure Mike Nifong would have revealed—we're to believe that Crystal Gail Mangum was raped while floating around like Baron Harkonnen hopped up on Bene Gesserit meth?

Maybe she just got confused. Maybe it wasn't the Duke lacrosse team at all, but the notoriously badly-behaved Duke Acrobatic Sexual Assault & Levitating Synchronized Sodomy squad.

I've had run-ins with those guys. And let me tell you, once they've psychokinetically raised you in the air, they go at you with their meat-bats as if you were a friggin' pinata.

Honestly, I don't know how the hell those guys still manage to collect $5000 a year in student fees. I don't care how many Meals On Wheels fundraisers they hold, I'm just tired of being gang-raped by sodomaniacal Sith masters of white skin privilege.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ah! The Hoplophobes Are Here.

Barry Saunders of Raleigh, North Carolina's, News & Observer encapsulates the "reasoning" we'll be hearing a lot of in the weeks and months ahead: that if only a big magnet in the sky could suck up all the firearms on the planet, no one ever need fear "gun violence" again. And events like those at Virginia Tech would need never happen again.

I'm too angry to send him a polite, reasoned reply. Perhaps I'll be capable of it later.

There's an e-mail address at the end of the piece: you might try sending him a note if you can compose one that will create reasonable doubt in the back of his mind about the wisdom of his views. Don't just vent. It won't do any good.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 16, 2007

Chalk Up Another Success

. . . for Gun-Free Zones.

Does anyone have a current body count from these very-safe gun-free zones?

I mean, at least high-risk activities like sky-diving aren't generally considered critical to one's career (in the case of colleges) or mandated by law (in the case of high schools).

Our schools are turning into do-it-yourself killing fields, due to the proliferation of gun-free zones—which are, in effect, target galleries for the unhinged.

Ed Isler points out:

Pollsters have found that 85% of Americans would find it appropriate for a principal or teacher to use "a gun at school to defend the lives of students" to stop a school massacre (Research 2000 poll).

The words of Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker should be haunting him in the wake of the massacre at his school. Last year, a bill was killed in the Virginia legislature to enable those with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns at schools. Hincker said that "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

I'm sure the parents of the dead kids appreciate it very much.

UPDATE: More here, via a fairly good Instapundit roundup. I am just enraged that we disarm people, and tell them never to resist the nice guy with the weapon. Thirty-two innocent people dead. With a different public mindset—and different policies—it could have been one or maybe two, including the gunman.

Don't let the silly words of Larry Hincker die: make sure he and the other state legislators around this country know that we don't want to feel safe. We want to be safe—at least, as safe as we can be in a world that includes the criminally insane.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Change the Drinking Age.

Either that, or defer legal adulthood and voting rights to 21. We can't have it both ways.

Insty has more.

As far as I'm concerned, if you are old enough to die for your country overseas, you may drink. Period.

Discuss among yourselves: at special family dinners, at what age would you give a teenager a little wine&mdash:say, on Thanksgiving day? Sixteen? Seventeen? (Assuming that this is not a teenager with a chemical dependency history, of course. Just a normal kid, to whom you want alcohol to be as neutral an issue as possible.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:13 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Steyn on the Imus Flap

He pretty much nails it:

Only in America: a team of champions who think they're victims, an old white fool who talks like a gangsta rapper, and multi-millionaires grown rich on race-baiting who promote themselves as guardians of civility. Good thing there are no real problems to worry about.

Yeah: to me, the galling thing was the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton being consulted. Both of those guys are bigots par excellence. A friend of mine said Oprah shouldn't have weighed in, because she's so rich.

"Oprah can say whatever she likes," I told him. "Having money should not exclude one from speaking on the issues of the day. But given how freaking anti-Semitic Jackson and Sharpton are, they are acting like total hypocrites."

Like Steyn, I don't know much about Imus' work, but I do live with a comic. There's really no way of guessing what these guys might say next, and sometimes it's outrageous stuff. But 95% percent of it is ironic, and 99% is really funny.

In a sane universe, Imus would have apologized and the MSM would have moved on.

Of course, if a "botched joke" is a firing offense, it would seem that John Kerry's career should be over. No?

No. Big Media don't see it that way, because soldiers, airmen and Marines can never be victims in the sense that champion basketball players can.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:50 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 15, 2007

Who Knew They Had New York Money People in the Middle East?

Laurence seems tense. Are all the New York Money People in Texas like that?

It seems like some people want to ethnically cleanse the planet of New York Money People, and there's tremendous overreaction to that in some quarters.

Perhaps instead of ethnically cleansing them, we could simply send them back where they came from.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Every Once in a While, I Just Get This Craving

. . . for a nice fag. I mean, really: who doesn't?

Except those who are dreaming of spotted dick. Professor Purkinje's ten-year-old daughter once asked him if "dick" meant "penis." When he confirmed that it did, she asked about the spotted dick she'd seen on English menus.

"It's a sort of custard," he explained. "If you meet a boy who really has spots on his dick, you run fast in the other direction."

The next morning he woke her up and asked her what she wanted for breakfast. "Spotted dick!" she announced.

"We're fresh out of that," informed her. "How about cereal and milk?"

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Nice Little Site on Your "Favorites" List . . . .

It would be a shame if something happened to it.

My traffic took a dive over the weekend. Now, I understand that some of you were put off by the facts that:

1) I didn't really post on Saturday or Sunday;
2) The site was taking forever to load, because I still had the old Blogads script in my templates;
3) Comments weren't working;
4) There were moments that mu.nu itself appeared to be down;
5) I'm a snotty, rather irritating person.

However, you know what happens when my traffic drops too drastically: I reach for my smelling salts, and then I stop posting entirely, even during the week. Yes, I know that other bloggers—weak-willed, spineless ones—assume that "if I build it, they might come."

That doesn't fly here. My philosophy is, "if they show up, and I feel like it, I might entertain them.

So be sure to show up, and leave me lots of comments. If the mu.nu comments are down, please write your concerns on a $50 bill and mail them to me via the U.S. Postal service. Remember: the money will go to a good cause. Me.

UPDATE: Since I'm in an unsentimental mood, the text "during the wee" above has been corrected to read "during the week." I do, however, still reserve the right to blog while on the potty, and there's not a thing you can do about it. (And if you're on the phone with me and hear tinkly noises? Those must be my wind chimes.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:15 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

April 13, 2007

Hm. Job-Hunting Via One's Blog.

I don't know if I've really exploited this angle—at least, not directly. Every once in a while I do remind the world that I am G-d's gift to All Matters Editorial, and no slouch in print/electronic production, either. And, yes: I spent years designing print ads, so I have a pretty good eye.

But I'm not sure my market as a freelance copyeditor is the same segment as those who follow my blog.

Although the "getting work via one's blog" tactic worked for Laurence and any number of others, I prefer to skip the middleman and demand money outright from my readers. This seems to work the best.

Of course, maybe there's someone out there looking for a new-media-savvy, whip-smart editor who happens to be a potty mouth on her personal blog. That'll work.

Via Sean.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I've Got Your "Tortuous Interference" Right Here, Baby.

The JL Kirk Associates/King & Ballow shitstorm has been raising my hackles to the point that I've been slightly afraid to post about it: bullies make me absolutely furious.

People who use unfair tactics against those in the job market piss me off, and unjustified legal threats against those exercising their First Amendment rights do the same thing. JL Kirk Associates and King & Ballow are both behaving not just like assholes, but like idiots. I'll let you decide which is worse in either case—the assholism or the idiocy.

Over at Patterico, the smart-and-dishy Justin Levine puts it this way:

I’m late to the game here, but I wanted to join the growing numbers in the blogging community who officially declare JL Kirk Associates, Alan E. Korpady and the Nashville legal firm of King & Ballow to be complete asshats. No self respecting person who supports free speech rights should ever utilize the services of these people.

In my experience, the bigger the law firm, the less likely they are to understand how blogging culture has changed the landscape. These people don’t understand that a legal threat is far more likely to damage their client’s reputation, rather than repair it.

Ah, yes: but isn't it a beautiful thing? Before King & Ballow issued this legal threat, many people in Tennessee hadn't even heard of either them or JL Kirk Associates. Now both companies are household words: the former as a sicko scam operation, and the latter as an extraordinarily clumsy handler of media relations.

Here is the post that King & Ballow thought might constitute "tortuous interference" with the business of JL Kirk and Associates (and their reasoning is tortuous, indeed):

J.L. Kirk & Associates: My Story

Feel free to skip to the end for the juicy stuff...

JL Kirk & Associates found my husband's resume online. They contacted him a couple of weeks ago and offered their services as an 'Executive Placement Firm'. As I'm wont to do, I of course Googled them as much as possible and found very little in the way of solid information. So I've decided to write up our experiences with them for anyone else who is interested in finding out more about this particular operation.

Anyone who has been searching for a job for any length of time is well aware of the various vulnerabilities that are part of the process. There's the self-doubt, frustration and impatience, coupled with no small amount of worry. So when a job searcher gets an email that says "maybe we can help!" the relief is almost immediate.

My husband filled out an application and questionnaire, and returned it directly to the company. He then received an appointment with a counselor the following week. During that appointment the representative of JL Kirk & Associates interviewed him just as one would for a position. The afternoon after the interview he received an email that congratulated him on making it through the first step of the process. They wanted to schedule a second interview which required my presence as a Support Person/Spouse/Significant Other. When he scheduled the interview he questioned them directly about their fees and payment arrangements. He was told that if we received approval after the second interview the money would be discussed at that time.

So today was the second interview, and we drove to Maryland Farms for our 2:00 appointment. We sat in a waiting room next to a fake fireplace and a lone man in a suit. At 2:11 a matronly woman came out and announced to the other man--in front of us--that she would not be able to meet with him because he wasn't able to bring his Support Person. They had a lengthy conversation in front of us about this failed meeting and his disappointment. He asked to speak with her behind closed doors (as would I) and then five minutes later that conversation ended with him leaving dejectedly. She then turned to us (it is now 2:17pm) and greeted us warmly.

We were led into an office that appeared to have been the result of a decorating war between a loan officer and an eccentric grandmother. The prototypical office furniture clashed with a giant print of Raffael's Cherubs a reproduction oriental rug and a handmade mosaic table with a tilted top. The Husband and I were seated in two chairs across from the interviewer, who sat on a sofa next to a pile of throw pillows.

Here's where the fun starts. We heard all about how hard it is to find a job, how most jobs aren't posted online and are only found through networking. We heard about how the really good jobs are available only to those 'in the know' and can only be obtained through some wizardy combining Masonic handshakes, good dentistry and whatever pixie dust this particular company stores in the backroom. This interview seemed very carefully designed to exploit every potential vulnerability that any jobseeker feels. After about 10 minutes of conversation subtly designed to push every button we may have, the interviewer handed us a booklet that was said to be a tailored write-up of my husband's profile as a job-seeker. The interviewer left us alone in the room to digest the booklet on our own terms.

The booklet consisted of three pages of reiteration of the interview's strong-arm tactics, followed by a regurgitation of information from my husband's resume, all summarised with a couple of pages essentially saying "the job market is tough but we think you're really great and so we'll be here to help you get a job!" We skimmed the booklet and reviewed our game plan, then signaled the interviewer by opening the door.

Our game plan was to ask direct questions about the company's operation and placement record. In short, 'what exactly do you do and how well do you do it?' We had test answers in mind. In short, if we ask a direct question and get a vague answer such as "every case is different so numbers are hard to apply here" that tells us a great deal about the company's services.

Sure enough, our first question about placement rate was answered with an "every case is different, etc." style answer. Ultimately she gave us the figure of "90 to 92% placement rate" and then proceeded to tell us a long tale about a 'failed' client who showed up 37 minutes late to an interview with a CEO from an out-of-state firm. We all agreed that was indeed very unprofessional of said client and what a shame and how good to not work with him. (I of course was thinking about how we were on time for that interview which she failed to start until 17 minutes after the promised appointment time.)

She then gave us the very good news that they were prepared to accept us as clients. Then the fun began. We were told that Headhunters and Employment Agencies took fees only when a job had been secured for the job seeker, and they took their fees (generally 30-40%) from the hiring firm. But that means the job seeker gets a lower starting salary because all of their good money is going to the headhunter/employment agency. Thankfully, though, JL Kirk & Associates will be able to get my husband a job making a far larger starting salary. All we need to do is put $4,420 on a credit card today. Once we do that the entire weight of the firm of JL Kirk & Associates will begin the task of navigating treacherous shark-infested landmines of the job search on behalf of my husband. And just trust them, because they find jobs for 90% of the people who pay them to.

So that's how it works. And that's pretty much how we expected that it would work. But both the spouse and I believe that it's irrepsonsible to not pursue any lead during this time so we thought we'd go through the process. Especially since they kept so much of it in the dark from the outset.


But I'm very angry about it. If you've made it this far, I suppose maybe you could tell that I've been supressing most of my irritation. However, irritation makes for good blog reading, and so here it is.

I get really ticked off at people trying to use fear to motivate others. I don't care if you are a fire-and-brimstone preacher, an insurance salesman, a used-car salesman or a cat burglar. Finding someone else's fear and vulnerability and using that vulnerability to somehow enrich yourself is a cheap and underhanded tactic. It's wrong and it's cruel. And I think that's exactly what this placement firm did to us today. There were times when I felt like I was sitting across from a spider. We were meant to feel at home enough to let down our guard so that the woman could then ply us gently with tales of terror. All of it was designed to make us hand over nearly $5,000 without question and without possibility of a refund.

The husband and I are not always idiots. We both expect to pay for services rendered from any provider. But we generally like to be treated as responsible adults. We had legitimate questions about the fee structure and we raised those at several points in the process. For them to not even discuss that fee structure until they had battered us emotionally for half an hour is what I would consider to be unethical. I'm sure there are other employment agencies and headhunters out there. We'll continue to look for them.

In the meantime, I would discourage anyone who stumbles across this entry from even going through the JL Kirk & Associates "interview process".


I should also mention that this company was formerly Bernard Haldane before it was purchased by Mr. Kirk Leipzig. One of the accusations against Bernard Haldane was that they would make an examination of the potential client's assets and charge accordingly. I find it interesting to note just how close our "fee" was to the tax refund we recently received. Hmmm. Makes you wonder, no?

The rule in business now is that whatever takes place in private may be brought into the public square if either party attempts to take unfair advantage of the other.

Be careful what you do in the dark: someone may lift the rock up at any moment.

Glenn has a few mini-roundups:

Insty on JL Kirk, #3: The Media Bloggers Association is on the case;
Insty on JL Kirk, #2
Insty on JL Kirk, #1

Now, you all have a nice day. And fight fair!

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

April 12, 2007

Writers' Group Night Again.

I announce that I'm working on a new mystery, and I've given myself two months to complete the initial manuscript, so I can spend most of June polishing it.

Everyone is thrilled—and even more so when the hear the first scene, in which our intrepid hero and heroine (sort of) discover the body of the victim.

"Wow. This one really moves along," remarks one of the other writers. "And the people are must less sarcastic with each other than in your other book."

"Well, they're less sarcastic because they are married to each other," I explain. "It isn't in their best interests to draw blood every time they speak. And the story is actually moving along because I decided that there was no time to go for literary merit."

Someone else chimes in: "is there any way that this time you could give them some sort of excuse for solving mysteries? I mean, could they have specialized knowledge of medicine, or be private investigators, or something like that?"

"No," I reply. "They solve murders for the same reason Nora and Nick did it. The same reason Tommy and Tuppence did it. They just do it because it's fun. Either the reader buys in, or he/she doesn't.

"That said, I promise you'll like them. They are very likeable people."

"Great," says our teacher. "Now go home, put these copies away, and don't read our notes just yet. Just keep typing out that first draft."

I suppose I ought to shut down my blog for the next six weeks, but let's see if I can get by without taking that sort of extreme measure.

Naturally, Marvelous Mike starts a list for me of golden-age mysteries set in the non-Los Angeles southwest. He tells me he's going to email it to me later in the week.

"Take your time," I respond. "I'm on a diet right now, anyway, for obvious reasons."

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tim O'Reilly . . .

can admit his mistakes. I shall have to take my hat off to him, reluctantly: there is still something about the notion of formal blogging rules that rubs me the wrong way. Who knows?—maybe it has to do with bad potty training in my early years. I shall have to take that up with my mom. ("Mom, I feel damaged. Cash, check, money order, or PayPal?—or would you like to trade steak dinners and pharmaceuticals for peace in the family? I can cope with that, you know.")

But he does have a point, inasmuch as we fall into several separate camps regarding how we handle our commenters and how we frame our arguments. It might indeed be handy to know what someone's policies are just by perusing his/her sidebar.

One sticky little issue, though: what about those of us who haven't managed to meet our own standards?

Perhaps I should ban myself from my own blog for name-calling. Wouldn't I look noble if I did that?

I've decided that falling down once in four years is entirely permissible.

After all, if there were no hypocrites, that would indicate that no one had the guts to stand up for morality at all.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:06 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 11, 2007

I Can See That the Islamofascists

. . . have been reading their Dale Carnegie.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

David Linden's Book Mentioned on Jay Leno

The Accidental Mind is getting more media attention—albeit obliquely, in this case.

But a profile in Newsweek: Fuckin' A. Furthermore, Jan Steckel is buying copies for her near and dear.

David is now Bloomsberry-in-Chief from among the Santa Monica High School Crowd of Pimentos or whatever it was that they called themselves. Unless one counts Sandra Tsing Loh. I would certainly count David Coons. That is, David B. Coons. And Nora Zungri certainly qualifies, along with Kate Sanford, Greg Turk, and Keith Goldfarb, whose icon at the top of the page appears to be a photograph of him taken by a brilliant young photographer in her 20s, using a borrowed medium-format camera.

Aw, heck. One cannot be thorough about this, but I'm starting to dig embarrassing people: I've always liked doing that sort of thing. Let's mention Eric Enderton, his lovely wife Elaine, Jon Mandel, and Mike Marinacci, as well as Janine Ellen Young.

Here endeth today's catalog, but it remains to be seen who will emerge as the group's Virginia Woolf—and who's destined to only be Maynard Keynes.

BTW, I'd actually love to see an intelligent creationist take David Linden's book on. Alas, I'm one of those "creation through evolution" milquetoasts.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Do I Really Believe in "Drafting" People for President?

Maybe. I sure tried to get Condi to run, back in the days before diplomacy made her hands so dirty, Neptune's seas may never wash them clean.

And I do believe George W. Bush got drafted; I was never convinced he really wanted the job, deep down.

But it's kind of a crappy job, if you think about it: the pay sucks, and you have to deal with Islamofascists. Plus, everyone blames you for things that have nothing to do with the Executive Branch. Including the damned economy . . . whassup with that?

On the other hand, this sure makes for good theater.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Another Completely Fictional Piece of Dialogue

"I got a new phone."

"So I read; you didn't really get the one you linked, though—did you?"

"What's wrong with the one I linked?"

"Well, it has flowers on it."

"Those aren't flowers; they are cherry blossom tattoos. Different thing entirely. The fact that they're tattoos makes them tuff."

"Joy, it's pink."

"More like a magenta color, really. It matches my iPod."

"Why didn't you just get a Hello Kitty phone?"

"Because I'm holding out for a Hello Kitty car, you woman-hater."

Misogyny in the blogosphere rears its ugly head once more.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:37 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Okay. Say You Knew Someone

. . . who was pushing 45, and had dry, sensitive skin even in her youth. This person's hands are beginning to look like she wears crocodile gloves, and her face is covered in fine lines.

But she's breaking out. As in, acne.

Whom would you blame for this phenomenon?

I'm going to go with the tried-and-true—George W. Bush—unless someone has a better idea. I'm certainly open to suggestions.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:26 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 10, 2007

Yep. Chicks Do Rule.

Iowahawk has some cool car porn up: very hard-core stuff.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

And Yet More on the Proposed Code of Conduct:

Frank J rolls his own.

Via Cal Tech Girl

(That was a Google-bomb, BTW: I don't like "CalTech Girl." I want it to be "Cal Tech Girl." Who cares how she actually wants it to appear?—she's a scientist, and she should leave these delicate issues to a competent editor. Like, um . . . me.

From now on, please link her as Cal Tech Girl. Cal Tech should be two words.)

UPDATE: I've been vetoed! Apparently, Pasadena houses the California Institute of technology. Who knew?

But someone ought to tell the CS Department, nicht?

I have been given special dispensation to use "Dudette from the Land of the Nerds," but it's small consolation, really.

Apparently, things are almost as bad at the website for the Massachusetts Institute of technology, since in display type they use "mit," and in plain text it's MIT. Of course, at no point is it styled "MIt," which would be the equivalent of "Caltech."

Not that I'm an embittered English major who never gets her way, and has never truly accepted that it's The New York Times, but Los Angeles Times (no article required). Or why I once worked (I kid you not) at Hunting Magazine. (Why the capital "M," if the word Magazine isn't part of the name?)

Goodnight; I'm off to consume huge quantities of gin.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:42 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


The proposed "Blogger's Code of Conduct" seems too restrictive to me.

I like some of my anonymous commenters.

I reserve the right to engage trolls if I feel like it.

I will, at my whim, delete any comments that don't seem to further discussion in some way.

In four years of blogging I've never really had a nice blog war, but I hear they are really good for traffic, and I reserve the right to engage in one should the spirit strike. I won't agree to contact people privately, or submit to mediation, though I've certainly done the former, and I may well accept the latter—should the situation warrant it.

In short, my policies boil down to this: I consider WWJD? (That is, What Would Joy Do?) Then I do it.

H/t: Wendy.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tony Snow's "Get Well Card"

Via the New York Post:

The ailing White House press secretary and amateur rock musician got a special get-well gift this week: a guitar signed by Roger Daltrey (The Who), Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) and Paul Stanley (Kiss). It was presented to him by David Fishof, creator of Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp, which Snow attended last year.

H/t: The Cotillion gals (we stopped talking about sex for a moment, and I found out about this cool story).

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 09, 2007

News Flash: People Get Nasty on the Blogosphere!

And sometimes women are equated with their genitalia! (Men are, too, but somehow female genitalia is just . . . nastier than male genitalia. Because no one is supposed to talk about ours, for some reason. Because it is nasty: lather, rinse, repeat.)

Okay, sorry. But I'm starting to weary of the Cyber-Stalking/Online Sexism/Kathy Sierra "issue."

Let's lay it on the line, here:

1) Mary Katherine Ham is perfectly correct in the CNN segment: conservative women endure more verbal abuse than liberal women. And MK's performance here was a tour de force.

It's easy to see why center-right women get singled out for abuse: After all, a) sometimes conservatives are inhibited by religious convictions, so they do pull their punches sometimes; and b) there is a species of self-evidently unsexist person on the left [all women, plus men who go to pro-choice rallies] who because of her/his credentials has license to throw otherwise sexist language around as much as he/she wants.

2) As everyone with opposable thumbs/forefingers has noticed, anonymity tends to loosen people's inhibitions, and thereby fosters assholism of every variety.


3) Complaining about verbal abuse of female bloggers is the online equivalent of bemoaning the fact that women are the victims of so many serial killings. Guess what? Some men really, really hate women. That's unlikely to change—at least, not in the next few weeks. Even if I hold my breath.

I feel sorry for the haters: they had mean mommies.

4) At the end of the day, I don't care.

If it's threatening, report it. If it isn't, ignore it or delete it. As RightGirl remarked, "as much as I sympathize with her, it seems to me that all Kathy Sierra has succeeded in doing is making us all out to be a bunch of weak wallflowers."

There is something to be said for that point of view. Sticks, stone, and .45 Government Models will break my bones, but calling me a whore is just uncreative. Frankly, it makes you look bad, Bro.

UPDATE: Hackbarth has a mini-roundup on the proposed "Blogospheric Code of Conduct."

I just can't see that we need such a thing, but if someone want to try to herd cats, it should be interesting to watch. Try opening a can of tuna.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 08, 2007

Don't Ever Let Anyone Tell You

. . . that it isn't a freakin' blast to live near the sea. We walked down to the bluffs of Shell Beach today from my uncle's place, and it was really, really nice.

Memo to self: get rich again. Soon.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And Then There is My 96-Year-Old Grandmother.

We had drifted a bit in the past 20 years. Perhaps when I expected her to be warm and grandmotherly, she was cold and practical. And, perhaps, vice versa: when she wanted a devoted granddaughter, she was presented with the cynical thinking machine.

But something changed this time around. And I don't know why. Or maybe I do, but I don't want to dissect it quite yet. Not here. Not now.

Her mind is of course still razor-sharp, but the body has been betraying her for a few years. She's frail, and she knows that her bones are weak, so she does everything she can to avoid falling: she understands the stakes, and takes hold of anything that will help her to keep her balance. (And let us remember that our vices can be blessings. I've been addicted to milk since childhood. I tend to run the gamut from skim to 2% and back again, but I still consume plenty of dairy. If I live as long as I intend to, that might turn into a Damn Fine Thing.)

Naturally, I ask her about the years she lived in Phoenix. She tells me a little, but I don't press the issue when it becomes clear that she was miserable for the four years she lived there with her parents, from the age of 18 to 22.

She gave up crafts ten or 15 years ago, but she was an expert knitter back in middle age and her early senior years (and an expert seamstress, crocheter, weaver, and general craftswoman to boot).

I tell her I keep trying to go back to knitting. I explain that my mood swings have too strong an influence on how tight I pull the yarn, and my rows come out uneven, like a child's work. (I am exaggerating as I say this, but not by much.)

She leans forward and confides: "those mood swings come from your mother."

It wasn't said maliciously, though I doubt my mother would take kindly to the remark (and I'm very happy she doesn't read my blog). Of course it's mostly correct.

My father continues to insist that his mother once came to blows with his first wife (my own mom), several years before I was born. My mother has always denied this, but this doesn't happen to be one of the arenas in which my father makes up his own facts. It's exactly the sort of issue wherein his memory would be superior to hers.

I should have asked grandma about that today. "So, who laid on the first bitch-slap, huh?"

Well, you know: I didn't. It is Easter, after all.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Witnessed an Interesting Conversation Today

. . . between my 70-year-old father and my ten-year-old nephew. (Well, nephew Ray will be ten in May.)

The difference is, my nephew doesn't just sort of blurt out whatever thoughts jump into his brain. My father does.

Grandpa J: If you ever want to know what Auntie Joy is thinking, just go read the blog Little Miss Attila.

Me: Dad!

Grandpa J: Oh, right. Ignore the naughty words. There are naughty words.

You know, your aunt is a Republican. She's sort of rare, inasmuch as she's a Republican who attended college.

[Thanks. Like I wanted to be out to my brother's family.]

Aunt Joy: Did you know your grandfather once came within a hundred pages of actually finishing a book? I'm so proud of him.

Nephew Ray: Keep arguing, you two. I like this.

Grandpa J: So, is your older brother (13-year-old Alan) showing signs of heterosexuality yet?

Nephew Ray: I don't think he's made out with anyone—and he doesn't talk about girls to me or my parents. But I think he has thoughts.

Grandpa J: Lots of thoughts, but no action?

Aunt Joy: Sounds like your grandpa's life.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What a Day.

I just took my evening sedative; if I get my page quota done today, it'll be a minor miracle. Well, that's why I set it high: I knew there would be days I wouldn't be able to write.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And Yet More Blogkeeping . . .

My four-year blogversary was a few weeks ago. Within another week or two, I expect to reach the 300,000-hit mark.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:27 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 07, 2007

Happy Easter!

Blogging will be light today as A the H and I head up the coast to have Easter dinner with my uncle, aunt, grandmother, brother, sister-in-law, and nephews in Pismo Beach.

I'll try to grab some sexy coastline shots and post them circa Monday.

If you do celebrate Easter, do try to remember the reason for the season.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:06 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Defensive Use of Guns?

ABC is apparently asking for stories from ordinary citizens who have used guns in self-defense (including by brandishing them). No word on whether John Stossel is involved, but it is for 20/20, and we should probably send our stories in. More here.

Via Insty.

FWIW, I once appeared on a small segment on CNN as a gun owner/Second Amendment advocate who considered herself a feminist (this was in the early 1990s, and another of those "women against gun violence" groups had just formed—I was the "equal time" tokenette). Those who saw the segment said I came off pretty well, despite the fact that the woman who interviewed me was a major consumer of the gun-control Kool-Aid.

So it's worth doing even if the 20/20 segment in question is not produced by St. John.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Goldstein on the Iranian/British Standoff.

Did we "reward piracy"? Well, probably. This time.

And the fact that the EU and the UN are useless is hardly news.

It's just that I choose to believe that the grownups (the U.S., the Brits, the Australians) have long-term intentions beyond letting legitimate Iranian hostages go.

As I've said before, capturing the British sailors was an act of war. It's just that the war itself may be time-released.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:03 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 06, 2007

My Cell Phone Finally Died Today.

So I got something cool, but not quite the heart's desire: it's light and pretty, but it doesn't have a qwerty keyboard, so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to send people text messages (not that I do it that often, anyway--but I feel like I ought to be able to).

Before I had to worry about the Impending Car Replacement Project I think I was leaning toward the Sidekick (or maybe even a Treo), but I can always get one of those later. The one feature this phone has that my old one doesn't, is that there is supposedly a calandar in it somewhere. (So I might not need a smart phone or even a PDA before I can ditch my paper agenda. We'll see. BTW, did you know that my pocket calendar is gay? It came out to me right after I brought it home from Office Depot. No one else knows, though, so please don't talk about it.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Dunno.

I sort of like my verbiage in little bite-sized chunks. And they have to be separated somehow. But too many commas are, indeed, an aesthetic evil.

So I usually prefer—under most circumstance, mind you—to set some of the phrases off with em-dashes.

And the one rule in the Joy Style Guide is that series commas are our friends; the eye generally skips by that extra comma before the "and" or the "or," but when it needs it—well, it needs it badly.

So many things are that way.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Amazing Video

Check it out over at Ace's digs: Talk about your Angry Black Men.

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

Freezing (Literally) in April

Sayeth Glenn,from Ohio: "Greenhouse effect? Global warming? Faster, please."

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What a


The Brits did what they had to do to keep this from turning into an international incident and forcing premature war.

What the Iranians did still qualifies as an act of war, and should be taken seriously. But the timing should be up to the British, the Americans, and the Aussies. Not the Iranians.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:37 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 05, 2007

An Open Letter to the Lonesome L.A. Cowboy.

Dear Jim Ladd:

First of all, I love you. I love you because I love rock 'n' roll, and I love radio. I believe in what you've done for both the art of music and the medium of broadcast radio over the years.

And your voice is as lovely as ever; it's a mystery to me how a guy can live a rich, full life in the Los Angeles counterculture and yet preserve those dulcet tones that make the long-legged ponies swoon.

And I love to listen to your shows on KLOS. Mostly. More on that in a moment.

There are a lot of us—both here in L.A. and across the nation—who are deeply saddened by what's happened to commercial radio, and wonder how it could possibly have drifted as far from its original mission as it has. We believe that there is an audience for free-form rock 'n' roll, if only the corporate powers would seek it out. We don't believe in playlists, in computer-generated "radio stations" that use idiot tests to determine what will sell.

You're the real deal, Jim. You're an amazing man and a force for creativity over the airwaves.

And I listen to you whenever I can. I listen to you until you start to insult me so much that I have to turn the radio off.

I'm a libertarian, Jim. That means I often vote with the Republican party. That means that despite having some disagreements with him, I voted for George W. Bush twice.

I'm a great believer in liberal democracy, and I think it's under threat from Islamists (not Muslims in general, mind you—radical fundamentalists). The geopolitical chess game that will be required to defeat it or contain it is a complicated one that you disregard in your glib "analyses" of the war in Iraq, which seems to boil down to: "Bush lied; he's a bad guy. Anyone who supports him in any way is an idiot."

I'm not suggesting that you stay away from politics, but for you to reduce very complicated issues down to black-and-white thinking and then insult the beliefs of those who disagree with you is going to lead to a lot of people voting with their radio dials. Your ratings will stay high, of course, but you will have alienated some of the Southland's most independent thinkers.

There has to be a way to express your beliefs without putting down your fans who support the war in Iraq—who did see a legal and moral justification for our military action there.

Please believe me, Jim: there are people in Los Angeles who think the way I do, and we want independent voices on the air. We love music. We may not speak up in media or artistic circles as much as we should, because most of us have already lost jobs because we voted for the President, or because we want to take a hard line against Islamo-fascism. We aren't all "out."

But we are out there. Listening. We want to listen. Please don't make us turn your show off. Be as kind to your audience as you have been to the real talents who undergird the music business over all the years that you've graced the airwaves.

You're the last DJ, Jim. For real. Don't shut us out.


Joy McCann
Little Miss Attila

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

On the One Hand

. . . I'm making my page quota on the "Mystery in Arizona" manuscript.

On the other hand, I'm running around the house in my bathrobe all day and taking lots of naps.

I need to catch up on laundry, answer a few phone calls, and get out to the grocery store. You know: life stuff.

The thing about this project is, it can only help me, even if the ms. is returned unread by the Hillerman Competition. If I've got two manuscripts on hand, I can shop them around more effectively: it'll give me some detachment about the fate of any one given story.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Right-Wing Bloggers Are Well-Funded?

Um. Are they talking about that time The Washington Times gave me a beer voucher?

Or does it have to do with the fact that my readers send me socks and martini shakers?

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Biker Thugs.

No, no: not people on motorcycles. People on bicycles.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ready, Freddy?

Fred Thompson's gun record looks pretty good.

Via Glenn.

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

April 04, 2007


When in doubt, blame it on the White Mountain Apaches.

My story is shaping up nicely. I'm letting you know because I assume you're almost as obsessed with me as I am.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

On Internet Stalkers

Oh, nice. I missed TC Leather Penguin's remark on this RightGirl post:

Feh. When I get death threats (and I've gotten a bunch of them), I reply with my home address at the top of the answer and tell the various mooks "Come on over. If you get past the dog then we'll see if you can handle me."

Because I'm too old and beat up to give a rat's ass about that brand of vermin.

Almost to a one, Internet "thugs" are fairies who wouldn't know what to do if you told them how to pull a trigger.

Not a bad point: I have a 30-round clip for my Glock (perfectly legal; I bought it pre-ban). And I spook easily, which acquaintances of mine will be quite happy to explain to the jury. You know how high-strung short girls can be.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

No One's in the Mood to Get It On.

Thank God.

One can only suspect what's going on beneath the surface, here: either the Brits/Americans quietly issued an ultimatum, or the entire situation was manufactured within Iran and reflects its own turmoil.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Other White Thompson.

Hackbarth has the scoop on Tommy Thompson's formal announcement that he's running.

Sure, he has more executive experience than anyone else in the GOP field. So superficially, he would seem to be a strong candidate. But as a crack investigative journalist, I checked IMDB, and found, shockingly, that the former Governor of Wisconsin only has two credits to his name.

Some might say that problem-solving at the state and federal level left him little time to work on his credits—but that strikes me as a cop-out. I mean, surely there are community theatres around Madison, and small Indie production companies. There had to be some kind of opportunity to burnish his repertoire—even if it meant just doing voice work on local radio shows, or filming commercials.

The comparison is highly unflattering. How on earth are we supposed to take Tommy Thompson seriously as a candidate?

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fine As Far As It Goes . . .

but there truly are people who use obesity to commit slow suicide.

Yet I'm happy for Joy; she seems like a hell of a girl.

H/t: the Cotillion girls.

UPDATE: CTG on the "fat" issue.

Again, it's complicated for me. I theorize that my mother has made a point of being heavy in order to keep men away from her in her later years. (She is intrinsically a very attractive woman.) Mostly, her strong body is able to handle the consequences, and the liver problems, diabetes and high blood pressure are treatable with the right medications. She's 70 now, and will be around for a good long time.

My aunt, however, is significantly heavier, and more addicted to carbs. Not to mention the fact that she is extraordinarily inactive—and, until recently, she smoked. Her greater obesity has led to a greater level of diabetes. Despite her being four years my mother's junior, I know I will lose her before I lose my mother.

I had the following exchange with my mom a few years ago:

Me: "My friend Dean Esmay says that many obese people don't actually overeat."

My mom: "Oh. How interesting. But I do."

At which point she proceeded to take another bite of the huge salad she was eating. (Because my mother eats compulsively, she tries to only keep healthful foods in the house. This is the main reason she won't stay at my aunt's place any more: the aunt keeps too many sugary and carby treats around, and these trigger binging on icky food.)

Food and obesity are linked, and in many cases there is a behavioral component. The problem is that you don't know from looking at a person whether that's the case. And you don't know what someone's genetic predisposition is from that single, judgemental glance.

It can, indeed, be a moral problem: there are certainly fat gluttons. But the biochemistry is complex, and there are several conditions that make people look "fat." And even in the case of the true pedal-to-the-metal food addict, there are worse things they could be binging on. (Drinking and driving, anyone?)

So this is an individual problem, with many solutions. One of which is societal acceptance of the fact that some people are naturally heavy.

UPDATE 2: Dean Esmay posts the Joy Nash video, and comments:

It's a metabolic issue, not a character issue.

By the way, the majority of Americans are overweight, and a third are medically obese. I guess we're just all slobs with character flaws, eh?

We're taking over. Give us your pizza or we'll destroy you.

I remember a discussion at my writer's workshop one day, when a skinny woman wrote about the temptation to judge when she saw an overweight woman ordering a salad at a restaurant.

Several of us were curious about why she would be tempted to condemn the ordering of a salad, of all things. "Um, even if you accept the premise that it's someone else's business what someone else is eating . . . what's to judge about the salad?" I enquired.

"Well, the thought would be 'oh, who does she think she's fooling?'" she responded.

I sort of blinked, and realized that anti-fat bigotry is at astonishing levels in some circles. If we intend to judge the overweight for ordering a steak and a baked potato, and we intend to judge them for ordering a salad, is there any choice they could make that would not incur presumption from those at surrounding tables? Answer: hell, no.

Yeah. Plenty of Americans eat too much. But improve your own damn health regimen: not someone else's.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:13 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Yes. I Made Quota Today.

One page of outline. One page of typed text. Three pages of handwritten notes.

And so I'm going to bed. There will be more creepy things to write about in the morning.

But I know who was killed. And why. I just haven't decided how.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Nancy Pelosi's Scarf.

It all hinges on whether she was in a house of worship, which I can't tell from the photo.

If she was, it was totally legitimate to cover her head, just as a gentile man would if he went to a temple.

Out in the public square, it becomes more dicey.

Though there are certainly parts of the world where I would wear a skirt if local customs demanded it, even though I happen to think that the right pair of slacks is even more modest.

The issue is not how the Speaker attired. It is whether her going to Syria was appropriate in the first place.

UPDATE: Yup. The pic was in a mosque. Talk about your misplaced outrage: get a grip, folks; it's a piece of fabric.

James Joyner, BTW, gets it right: she was within her rights to go on the trip, but that doesn't mean it was a smart stunt to pull.

She made it clear that the U.S. government doesn't speak with one voice when it comes to hostile states. But don't question her patriotism!

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Steyn on Passover/Easter, and the Palestinian "People of the Book"

It's a re-run from 2002, but no less chilling for that.

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

So. Building Codes.

Good idea? Bad idea?

Where does your neighbor's right to build whatever he pleases next door to you end? When he cuts off your view? When he makes the neighborhood too ugly?

And tell me, O my libertarian friends: aren't there real estate developers against whom you harbor some ill-will? I mean, in the middle of the night—when there's no one else around to hear you, least of all the ghost of Ayn Rand—don't you wake up once in a while and say, "damned McMansions. How come so many people have so much more money than they do taste?"

Come on: admit it. When you walk out of your door and wander down your street or road on foot, you're not such a great believer in capitalism, are you?


Posted by Attila Girl at 01:49 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Who Sank the Titanic?

Well, the chosen conspirators, of course. Though I think the Masons might have been involved.

Which reminds me: it's almost time to re-read some of my favorite books.

But not this year. Not if I'm going to crank out a book manuscript in 90 days. And, no: not even I can rationalize it by claiming that one of my characters is a Titanic buff, and I need to do this for "character development."

Via Ace.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:06 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 03, 2007


No pix of me and my crew?

Via Cal Tech Girl.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well, Then.

If there isn't any salt in it, why do they call it the "Salt River"? It sounds like it's fresh water, and related to the canals in the area. I like that, but I want two different types of water bodies (with different effects on decaying human flesh, of course—sorry to be gross, and all that).

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:22 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

On the Other Hand, It Is Feasible.

I'd need to produce 3-5 pages a day.

A the H informs me that he'd be happy to switch our anniversary vacation destination from La Jolla to Arizona. (Sorry, Desert Cat: the timeline doesn't permit me to set the story in Tucson. I have to draw on my existing knowledge base of the Phoenix area in order to get this one done on time. So the main location will be one of the Fenix suburbs. I still want to introduce some small-town color, though, and I'm taking nominations for that. I want an excuse to really get some bitchin' landscape into the plot.

BTW, feel free to tell me what you know about the hydrology of Scottsdale/Phoenix: which bodies of water are natural, and which are man-made? Isn't one of them a salt-water river? Why?)

I think I know who my protagonists are. I just have to whip up a crime, and I'll be practically done.

Gotta go: time for a nap. (Seriously: I need to get my unconscious mind to work, here.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:22 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Regarding the Hillerman Mystery Contest

I think it's important to point out that Southern California is in the Southwestern United States. Would someone please send a map to the people at St. Martin's Press? (And what do you mean, L.A. isn't underrepresented in the genre?)

Hm. I wonder if I could quickly re-write Ye Olde Mystery so it takes place in Tempe, Arizona rather than Santa Monica, California.

So: "She could feel the sea air over her skin" becomes "she could smell the scent of the cactus as she drifted off to sleep." The problem being that cacti don't have much of a smell.

Or: "She checked for slugs in the grass as she walked across the yard" becomes "she saw a lizard dart over the gravel ahead of her."

Or: "the air got misty" becomes "it rained hard and was freezing cold and why is the weather so extreme in the freaking desert, anyway?"

Easy shmeasy.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:06 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 02, 2007

"I'm Not Ready To Get Another Car," I Tell My Husband.

"You know how we are in my family: we like to drive them into the ground."

"That's fine," he replied. "But the car is in the ground."

A new starter and a new fuel pump in the same month. I feel like someone's trying to tell me something . . .

This week, a question for Bachelor Number Three: "I crave Vitamin D. Why do I have to buy $1500 worth of options just to get you with a moonroof?"

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Another link over at Glenn's place. This one is about ambitious teenagers and the strange signals they are sent.

I could only read the first page: the messages sent to young women today sound too much like the ones I grew up with. All of the "you can have it all" stuff eventually transmutes into "you can do it all." It's a lie, of course.

"Why," I once asked my mother, "did you tell me grades didn't matter, that you just wanted me to learn? Why did you say that when it was so patently untrue?"

"It didn't occur to me that you'd actually get bad grades," she told me. "It just that I thought the 'A' level was down here"—she brought her hand to her waist—"and I really wanted you to achieve up here." She raised her right hand high above her head.

She laughed. My aunt and my cousins were there, watching us. They've spent 44 years watching us; we must be fascinating, like a cock fight. Or, I suppose, a hen fight.

I said nothing that day, because I couldn't trust myself not to say or do something awful. But later on I figured out what she had really meant by "don't worry about grades, just concentrate on learning." She had wanted me to get very good grades, but make it look effortless.

On some level, I got the message: I manage to hold the idea of housework, for example, in complete contempt as a total waste of my time. And yet at the very same instance I'm deeply ashamed that my house isn't perfectly neat and totally spotless. I should do it perfectly without looking like I do it at all.

I require myself to be completely yin, and yet totally yang. At any given moment.

And I carry the hen fight within me, every day.

Today I had dinner with my mother. I drove her where she needed to go, and let her buy me dinner, and listened to her criticize my driving—relentlessly, and in a thoroughly illogical, inconsistent fashion. And when she got around to apologizing, I told her it was fine.

"I'm not insecure about my driving," I explained.

I'm a human bonsai: twisted by nature, and made more grotesque/beautiful by strange nurture.

But what I will do is endure. And endurance is triumph.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Yet More on Fred Thompson

I don't think he has to announce soon. He may not even want to run; he might only be thinking that he ought to if the top 3-4 guys can't generate just a little bit more excitement.

But the fact is, should he decide to run he's got a couple of huge advantages over the other candidates. (And it ain't just "the actor factor," either.)

At this point, McCain, Giuliani, Romney—and Gingrich, if he's actually serious—had better be bringing their "A" game onto this "pre-primary" testing ground. Because if they don't, Thompson could swoop down like a hawk. And let's face it: with his connections (political and entertainment-industry) and his charisma, his fundraising is going to go a lot more quickly than anyone else's has, and Sean's concern about "the money primary" WRT Thompson is probably a bit misplaced.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:05 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

On the Michael Ware-John McCain Flap

Insty has a mini-roundup on the incident in which CNN "reporter" Michael Ware actually heckled John McCain during a press conference.

See also Ace's take on Michael Ware. He's right. This guy isn't a reporter. But how much longer is CNN going to continue to pay him to party hard and slant the news?

After one of Glenn's readers points out that a "dogma" is developing in the MSM (the "Standard Total Journalistic View of Iraq"), he responds, "Hmm. There's a developing standard view on journalists and the war, too."


UPDATE: Okay: this is turning into another one of those annoying situations in which each side has its own "facts." If Drudge made this up, I'm going to be pretty pissed. See here. Does anyone know if this video is accurate/edited?

Anyone? Fucking Bueller?

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:46 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 01, 2007

New Evidence Surfaces

That it isn't a good idea to drink and P-Shop.


Posted by Attila Girl at 07:01 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Yemen 101

Jane's got a primer right here.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So. Suddenly, MySpace Might Become a Locus for Serious Political Discussion.

I'd never quite thought of it in those terms, but now Fox Interactive Media has bought Sean Hackbarth's The American Mind, specifically to create a political arena within MySpace. (Why not? Someone ought to do something with it, now that the youngsters have moved on to Facebook.)

The American Mind is an interesting weblog, in that it discusses a lot of the political and pop culture issues the rest of us cover (and, yes—it is a Wisconsin-centered blog, or has been: I don't know to what extent Sean's moving to Iowa will change that). Yet at the same time, Sean's background is in economics, and that comes across: his analyses are more informed by his understanding of how markets work than are those of some of his peers.

And he is, despite the earring and soul patch, a rock-solid conservative.

As for me, I'm having the usual reaction: "wow! Another blogger is going pro! Terrific! A rising tide lifts all boutique blogs, doncha know. On the other hand, why wasn't it me, this time? I'm sooooo willing to sell out, if only someone would buy."

UPDATE: Sean's commenters look at the calendar, and say maybe not.

Hm. It's true that I'm awfully gullible, since I don't do April Fool's Day jokes myself. When I saw that Google was implementing a new "feature" that would have them printing out paper copies of e-mail for archival purposes, I thought, "wouldn't the volume have to be a bit high in order to make that efficient?" So I've been pwned at least once today before breakfast: five or six more to go, depending, before I can have my eggs and bacon.

UPDATE 2: Someone's pointed out that the Red Queen believed impossible things, whereas I'm only believing highly improbable things. In the real world, there may not be much of a difference.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Michael Crichton

. . . discusses global warming, genetically modified foods, and how tough it is to "predict the past."

Via The Anchoress, as part of a worthwhile pre-retreat linkfest.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Some People Just Have

. . . a need for speed.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:56 AM | Comments (0) | 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.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)

Buy Blogads from the
Network here.

This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Cañada.
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
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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."
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Teh Funny—
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Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
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• 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
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Salt Shaker
Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
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Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
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SoCal News—
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Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
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Small Dead Animals
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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
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Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
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Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
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In DC Journal
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