October 31, 2007

Now That's Scary!

Day 30 after the date of my first invoice for Ye Olde Public Utility, and no check in my mailbox—despite the assurances I received that it was cut a few days ago. (Yes, boys and girls. But was it mailed?)

I'll wait a few more days, and then I will either have my attorney send them a tense little note, and/or blog about the scale on which this organization wastes money. (I've worked for large organizations before, but they've been private ones. I was really a babe in the woods before that gig.)


Attila Girl wondering how she's going to buy gasoline

if she keeps working for public utilities. "If I don't receive

payment, I'm going to turn your proofreading off!"

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My Doggie!

What on earth are a few little bruises between friends?


The person, of course, is Mandy's main human—Rose. I'm merely a backup human who walks her on occasion.

And, no: I haven't figured out how to P-shop out the demonic green eyes. Partly because I don't have Photoshop, and I haven't mastered iPhoto yet.

What? Me? A technophobe? Surely you jest . . .

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Well, This Sucks.

How come no one told me we were losing another bisexual patriot?

She'll be back, though; no one stays away from blogging forever. They always re-emerge, once they've caught the bug.

Joan C, let me know when you resurface. I adore you.

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October 30, 2007

The Ron Paul Girl

Hackbarth calls her "hot, but misguided." Yup. But she's also a clever marketer—both for her own short films and for other people's products. I think she'll still be around after Ron Paul's career has gone gently into that good night.

I kind of liked this short film. Beyond the long hair and the amazing body, she knows what she's doing as a filmmaker.

And she's not afraid to wear skimpy clothing, so how can her website be anything but a force for good?

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October 29, 2007


If you were the person looking for "the Boone Mamma" on a Google search, you must learn to spell. Try her here. Or here. Or here.

Most of all, try here.

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What Has This Person Been Doing?

a) shooting smack;

b) playing volleyball;

c) transferring her normal "clumsy girl" bruises, very painstakingly, from her shins to her arms;

d) kicking ass in a jujitsu tournament.


Please advise; short-term memory is the first thing to go.

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Count Linguistics

(Otherwise known as Linguist Guy) relaxes at his house in Santa Monica on a Saturday night . . .


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Stud/God Steyn

. . . on Christopher Dickey's Newsweek article, which conflates the movie Deliverance with real life:

If Cheney is Burt Reynolds, and the rest of America is Jon Voight, and the river is Iraq, who are the hillbillies? Well, presumably (for he doesn't spell it out) they're the dark forces you make yourself vulnerable to when you blunder into somewhere you shouldn't be. When the quartet returns to Atlanta a man short, they may understand how thin the veneer of civilization is, but they don't have to worry that their suburban cul-de-sacs will be overrun and reduced to the same state of nature as the backwoods.

That's the flaw in the thesis: Robert D. Kaplan, a shrewd observer of global affairs, has referred to the jihadist redoubts and other lawless fringes of the map as "Indian territory." It's a cute joke but a misleading one. The difference between the old Indian territory and the new is this: No one had to worry about the Sioux riding down Fifth Avenue, just as Burt Reynolds never had to worry about the mountain man breaking into his rec room. But Iran has put bounties on London novelists, assassinated dissidents in Paris, blown up community centers in Buenos Aires, seeded proxy terror groups in Lebanon and Palestine, radicalized Muslim populations throughout Central Asia – and it's now going nuclear. The leaders of North Korea, Sudan and Syria are not stump-toothed Appalachian losers: Their emissaries wear suits and dine in Manhattan restaurants every night.

That is the essence of it, right there. And it is something most of my friends don't understand: to them, Hitler was a threat to Europe, but the jihadists are a threat to nobody in particular (minus a few thousand people in New York's financial district who are already dead—but wouldn't be if the West would just learn to act nice).

Denial, as they say, isn't just a river.

ht: Stud/God Insty.

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October 28, 2007

A Thought

If you really want to stick it to the man, don’t pirate—install open source.


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Halloween Party

Eeyore Man made a joke about cannibalism today. He's Jewish, so I remarked that I hadn't ever heard before that "the long pig" was kosher. No one got it except Desert Girl, who teaches English in Parts East.

As I slid my eyes over to her she smiled. "Extra credit," she told me quietly as the conversation moved along.

That's all I've ever really asked for, you know.

Well, that + sex/drugs/rock 'n' roll.

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October 27, 2007

Yeah, Well.

I thought it was funny.

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Well. Five Weeks of Heavy-Duty Production Work.

Three weeks for the public utility, and two weeks for the bimonthly magazine.

And now I need to sleep for about five years, go to a Halloween party, do some housework, and catch up on my staff job.

Then I get to scrounge for clients again.

I know I sound tired, and I am. That is not, however, the whole story: when I'm working it reminds me how fucking good I am at what I do, and that fact really keeps the depressions at bay. If I were to learn how to sell my editing and production abilities on that basis (or, for crying out loud, my fiction), it would indeed be a grand thing.

But in the meantime, sleep sounds good.

Over at Hog Beatty's, a few of his friends and neighbors met for drinks in the eveing. This was cool, and I had a little gin, nibbling my way through the appetizers brought over by one of the people in his housing complex. When someone offered me a good cigar, I accepted. Count Linguist and I shared a smoke there on the back deck in Santa Monica, and my jaw finally unclenched after over a month as I listened to people speaking Arabic and Russian and Ukranian&none of which, of course, I understand. It was all so fucking good.

I don't smoke enough; can't we do a PSA about the need for more cigars in the 21 Century?

I'd like to teach the world cigars,
and perfect harmony . . .

Of course, if they don't start smoking, that's more for me. And nothing else quite does it: even booze. (Though, you know: the best booze comes pretty darned close.)

Happy Halloween. Make friends with the local spiders; they are your friends, despite what J.K. Rowling would have you believe.

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October 26, 2007

It's an Important Question

"Why does fire hate us?

h/t: Insty.

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October 24, 2007

Talk About Social Work!

The NASW (National Association of Social Workers) actually responded to my post referencing the George Will column on academic orthodoxy, as enforced in social work curricula.

I think the NASW people just dropped by because . . . well, because they felt sorry for me, and they thought I was kind of pathetic. They sensed that I needed help.

Anyway, here's their letter to WaPo. My issue with those who call themselves "liberal" in this day and age (which generally means they are the opposite of real liberals) is not their ability to feel empathy for the disadvantaged, but rather in the, um, "what is to be done" realm.

The idea that our answer to the problem of homelessness (just to pick an example) is to go all codependent about it—and then take it one step further by filtering this codependency through a bureaucracy—preferably from the largest govermental agency available—just blows me away.

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I Don't Believe It.

Some sites are suggesting that there are 110,647 blogs out there that are almost as good as mine, and are slightly more well-trafficked.

I refuse to believe it.

And even if I did believe it—well, since when is the blogosphere some sort of popularity contest?

Oh. Wait . . .

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I'm in Westchester.

I worked at Job A today, and dropped by Job B with a lick and a promise. (Get your minds out of the gutter, please.)

The idea tonight was to crash here on the Westside at the mom's place, and go to bed early so I could catch up on sleep. And yet after a nice dinner my mother and I had to squabble gently about something-or-other. And now it is nearly one in the morning. See, Mom? We could have watched Boston Legal after all, with no harm done. But then—that's why God made DVDs. Helen Gurley Brown informs me helpfully that I can have everything, which sounds somewhat correct.

Honestly, though: this week in particular—with fires raging in huge swatchs of the Southwest—it's hard to complain, though I'm lying on the couch we suspect of being infested with mice, thankful for Mandy's presence at the foot of the "bed." Because I'm not here every night, I get preferential treatment from the local APBT.

Which is cool, other than the issues of (1) how long does it take this stupid dog to settle down, and (2) why is she sleeping exactly where I had wanted to put my feet?

Rule Number One in relating to terriers, whether it's the medium-large one that lives with my mom, or the teacup-size one that hangs out at work: the dog does not move. The humans move around the dog.

That's just how it is. I'm thinking of sleeping with my legs up the back of the couch, counting desperately on the slipcover to protect me from any mammals with whom I don't have any real rapport. (Rodents: you know who you are.)

Oh, Mandy—how you came and you took without giving.
But you killed a nice mouse,
Oh, Mandy—
How you toss my laptop in the fireplace
At my mom's house
And my tech's barely living,
Oh, Mandy.

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October 22, 2007

Well, Yeah. This Ain't What the Ohio Players Had in Mind.

My friends who are at risk from the fires are all with-it, pragmatic types. They'll grab their family photos, their precious jewelry and their legal documents (along with changes of clothes, extra water, and their meds). They will not wait until the last minute to evacuate.

I know two households that have already relocated (one in Malibu/Topanga Canyon, and one in Canyon Country).

Presumably my cousins in San Diego have done the same, along with the ones around Newhall (from the other side of the family).

So all we do is sweat it out, and hope:

1) none of our near and dear lose their homes, and
2) the wind doesn't drive it up into our hills at some point.

Pray for Southern California: I swear we're careful when we landscape. I's just that the heat and the dryness and the Santa Ana winds make it interesting around here—all year long, if you want to know the truth.

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October 21, 2007

A Double Victory!

Not only did my local newsstand have Garage magazine this past week, but Dave is working on another story for them! (And if you ever want to go "beyond Iowahawk" in reading Dave's stuff, Garage is the go-to mag.)

I adore Garage, and I'm not even sure why. It's not about having worked on Hot Rod Bikes and Petersen's Hunting (though I certainly did work on both those books; long story, that). It's about the fact that while Garage is very, very butch, it is also a real art magazine—as much so as Flaunt or Good or Swindle. (Yeah. I read Good, despite its sometimes flagrantly lefty leanings. Wired does a better job of keeping the leftism in check, but Wired is part of the Condé Nast empire, whereas Good is a little start-up, and I have a certain affection for scrappy underdogs, even when they are staffed by the wealthy offspring of industry titans/silly politicians.)

And Popular Mechanics remains very sexy, in a hip-to-be-square sort of way.

Yeah: I'm a magazine crew slut. So sue me.

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And, It's . . .

Bobby Jindal. No surprise. Apparently, votors in Louisiana don't blame the Bush Administration for the mishandling of Hurricane Katrina after all.

Over at Ace's digs, Drew calls this a "nice little pickup for the GOP, heading into '08." Yup: I think the Democrats who are banking on Bush's low poll numbers haven't been looking at the Congressional polling data. They could be in for a bit of a surprise.

Notice I didn't use the word Reconstruction in this blog entry. Oops.

Are Indians really "nonwhite"? I mean, by people other than those who call Arabs, "Hispanics," and Jews "nonwhite"? Just curious. I mean, I was raised on the 1962 edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, which posited three actual races (in the larger sense, not the Yeatsian "the Irish are a race" sense). That always led me to believe that anyone without classical Asian or African features was some variation on the Caucasian theme.

Not that it matters to me: I'm the ultimate mongrol, and Asia is the only continent that I don't think is reflected in my racial makeup (unless one buys the land-bridge theory, and regards Native Americans as Asian: I do have a spot of Osage in me—and, I have always romantically hoped, a bit of Nez-Perce).

The whole race idea is soooo 18th/19th/20th Century.

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October 20, 2007

Insty on the Long, Slow Decline of Civil Liberties in This Country

. . . Some of the backlash against things that the Bush Administration has been doing probably stems from a lack of understanding of just how bad the law has always been in many areas, leading to a false impression that things represent shocking new departures from the Constitution when they really represent . . . er, . . well-settled departures from the Constitution.

True that.

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October 19, 2007

Bill Gates Takes on Malaria.

I love it.

The fact that we lose so many children to this disease is outrageous in this day and age. I'd love to see it eradicated.

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October 18, 2007

Oh, I Dunno.

A lot of Methodists don't approve of drinking, either.

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One Thing About Those Terrorists:

They aren't going gently into that good night.

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It Isn't 100% Inaccurate.

joyavatar revisited.bmp

Although I'd like to think my hips aren't quite that big.

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Yesterday . . .

I showed my mother how to conduct a search on the web.

I'm not sure I was thinking clearly at the time.

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Miles To Go Before I Sleep.

I still have to produce two short articles for my nonprofit organization (on the volunteer side, naturally).

And then I wake up to do some more scut work for the same people—also on the volunteer side.

You may laugh, and I would too. It's also possible/probable that I've taken the volunteerism thing a bit too far. But in volunteer-land I've really learned how to disengage my ego from the work I do, and this has truly helped in terms of how I deal with my clients: Now I know how to can the emotion when it's necessary. I don't have to own every project I work on. I don't have to get my way all the time. I don't have to know everything that's going on around me.

If you want to know the truth, it's rather nice. Now if only the public utility would pay me for the colorful, crazy three weeks I spent with them. I'll give them the full 30 days before I sic mobsters, lawyers, or my mother's pit bull on them.

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October 16, 2007

Well, Everybody Knows

. . . that drugs are bad—unless, of course, you get them from your doctor. Then they are good.

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I Don't Care.

I still love David Cassidy. He was my first crush: I was eight years old, but very passionate.

And he's turned into quite a showman/performer. Not to mention a good sport about all the swooning middle-aged ladies who attend his shows.

Not that I was one of them about five years ago at a little theatre in Las Vegas' Rio casino. Oh, no.

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So I'm at My Mom's House.

HipNerd is there. He's helping my mother get her Mac configured properly. My hope is that she'll start using the Web (so she can have any info she wants at her fingertips) and the Net (so I can write her little missives at all hours—or when I actually remember what I wanted to ask her about).

He asks for suggestions about what should go on her "start" page.

"How about a link to Science News?" I suggest. (Attila the Mom is a former science teacher.)

"Or we could put in a link to your blog," he remarks slyly.

"Great idea," I tell him. "But unfortunately, I can't remember the URL for my blog. I don't even recall its name right now."

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Ooooh—My Favoritest Client

Actually, I'm working for my favoritest manager in my favoritest department for my favoritest client.

The job parameters:

• Figure out what to do;
• Figure out how to do it;
• Go do it;
• Figure out when you'll need to be in the office to get it done, and be there then;
• Don't bother me too much;
• Don't make a bunch of expensive mistakes.

So I do that, and then I send him a bill at the end of the print cycle. It's like I've died and gone to vocational heaven.


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New Job Today.

Well, sort of. New project for a longstanding client.

It's going to be kind of fun.

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October 15, 2007

Lock-Step Academia

Via Insty, a George Will column on how our tax dollars are being used to subsidize progressive fiddle-faddle in social work programs across the nation:

A study prepared by the National Association of Scholars, a group that combats political correctness on campuses, reviews social work education programs at 10 major public universities and comes to this conclusion: Such programs mandate an ideological orthodoxy to which students must subscribe concerning "social justice" and "oppression."

In 1997, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) adopted a surreptitious political agenda in the form of a new code of ethics, enjoining social workers to advocate for social justice "from local to global levels." A widely used textbook -- "Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skill" -- declares that promoting "social and economic justice" is especially imperative as a response to "the conservative trends of the past three decades." Clearly, in the social work profession's catechism, whatever social and economic justice are, they are the opposite of conservatism.

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It Goes Without Saying . . .

that we should be keeping Chris Muir's family in our prayers.

I'll light a candle for his sister. My Protestant brethren will want to concentrate on praying that the rest of the clan will have strength and gain comfort. (My agnostic friends will want to send warm, fuzzy vibes—or think Really Good Thoughts. For all we know, God listens to these things just as much as conventional prayers. Maybe more.)

Thank you, Chris. We are all so sorry, and wish you the best. Take as much time off as you need: we'll be sending our love.

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October 14, 2007

"Root for America"

I should have my interview with Wayne Allen Root up shortly; we created it in the form of a podcast from the tricked-out booth the media experts installed at CLC.

I'm actually very impressed with Root, and this fact surprised me just a little. After all, I can be a bit cynical about candidates for parties that may draw some support away from the GOP. On the other hand, the GOP and the Dems both suck so much right now that the more pressure they respectively experience to adhere to their ideals, the better.

I related to Root a lot more than I expected: after all, his background is in sports, and I am famously missing the "sports neuron" that causes people to yell at their television sets. But how could I not fall for a good-looking Libertarian businessman who is committed to the War on Terror and the U.S.'s alliance with Israel? He also has great teeth, and he bills himself as "a New York Jew, and a Las Vegas gambler." Perfect.

My broadcasting skills leave something to be desired, but I'm certainly aware of what the sticking points are between social conservatives/terror hawks and Libertarians (and "small l's, such as myself), so I asked most of the right questions—even if I stuttered and stammered a bit. (I may have to take a broadcasting course. After all, the solution to bad podcasting is more podcasting.)

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Finally Online!

And I have a few hours left here in Reno before it's time to crash early; I'll be hitting the road tomorrow at an indecent, un-Joylike hour, and I still have a little bit of "real work" to do for two clients before I crash.

The last attendees and organizations are filtering away from the CLC, aka "Rightoberfest," as I write this. The conference is small, but it has more of a Libertarian orientation than any other convention I've covered as a blogger. An offshoot of "Blogging Man," it's very well-organized. Obviously, I think the GOP ignores the voices of Libertarians/libertarians at its peril, so I'm hoping this particular event grows next year.

I certainly suspect that I'll be here for the whole conference in 2008, rather than just driving down on Friday night! (My drive up here from L.A. is, as they say, a long, sad tale. I selected an inefficient route up here, and I blame either my father or the Jews—I haven't decided which quite yet.)

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October 11, 2007

I Can't Wait to Get There!

The Conservative Leadership Conference is on now! Unfortunately, due to a slight case of day job, I won't be there until Friday night—but don't wait for me! Get your tail out to Reno.

They have an amazing collection of speakers lined up; it's going to be very cool.

Okay—back I go to juggling clients for another day and a half. See you in Nevada.

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October 09, 2007

What Is More Satisfying?

The work that one does for $45 an hour, or the work that one does for $15 an hour?

Sometimes it's actually the latter: and yet, those micro-mini checks don't land with the good, solid thwumps! that distinguish the former.

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I've Always Thought . . .

that the pro-life people and the pro-choice people should spend more time talking to (rather than talking past) each other:

They said they did not want us bringing the pro-life message to campus because they did not want to see dead babies on the way to the cafeteria or the library. At first I thought I was sad because the pro-lifers who do not display pictures of dead babies were being lumped together with those who do.

But then I realized I was sad for another reason: Some of my students who wrote these things had experienced abortion firsthand.

And so I have been thinking and I have decided it is time for us to change the way we do a couple of things in the campus pro-life movement. First, I think we can start by replacing pictures of the dead, dismembered fetus with pictures of some live ones. Instead of reminding people of what a horrible thing they did in the past when they had an abortion we can focus on what a beautiful thing the fetus is and how much more beautiful it can be in the future.

Via Kathy Shaidle.

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It's a Little Early

. . . to play "2008 Arithmetic," but there's a certain fascination in it, nonetheless.

I don't think either the MSM or any of the GOP contenders have played all their cards yet. Nor has Hillary, for that matter.

We still have twelve more months for an October surprise.

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The Chicago Marathon

. . . was, well—an interesting experience, from what I hear.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:13 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


that particular line did come off like a joke. Not a particularly funny one, but a joke.

After all, I suspect Coulter hasn't missed an election in years.

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October 08, 2007

I Dunno.

This all sounds pretty normal to me.

Of course, I'm from Whittier.

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Overheard, 10

A: Good news! The estrogen fairy has come. That means I'll be out of the man-hating business for the next 7-10 days.

B: Excellent. That takes attention away from really good things, like gin-appreciation.

A: Or, more to the point—vodka.

B: Lush. How are things going at the church?

A: Really well. Are you guys still saying the rosary?

B: Yes.

A: Cool. I'm thinking of becoming a nun.

B: I'm not sure . . . you might want to think that over just a little bit.

A: No, it's okay. Now that I'm older, I'm really good at going without sex. I can manage a whole ten days at a time these days.

B: Look. You've got the wrong time frame. The horizon has to be a bit further out than that, if you're thinking of joining an order.

A: Right. Good thinking. Well, I'll mull it over a bit longer.

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October 05, 2007

Al Gore Debates Global the Anthropogenic Theory of Global Warming!

Finally. And that's just installment #1!

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October 04, 2007

A Quick Look

. . . at the top GOP candidates' websites (those of Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney) convinces me that one of the most important things a politician's site can do is to have an "issues" tab that leads to a clear, coherent set of thoughts on how that candidate will address the leading questions of the day.

Preferably without any scrolling or further clicking before one gets into the substance of the candidates' positions; the basic data should be available to non-wonks who are in a hurry.

So far, only Rudy and Fred really pass that test. (Rudy, however, gets mixed marks: it's nice to have an audio-visual presentation that accompanies his positions text, but it's unfortunate that the video plays automatically. Web pages should always ask permission before turning the sound on. Also, the Rudy "issues speech" presents information in a different order than that of the actual text. This is almost worse than not having it at all.)

On the other hand, Ann Romney has her own website, which is kind of cool. It would be even cooler if her site had equal billing with those of Mitt's sons (that is, in the site's actual navigation bar; one hopes his web team is planning on putting it there soon). And it would be excellent if she passed the "no surprise sound" test. (Sounds on a website should exercise the basic courtesy that vampires extend to their prey: they shouldn't get into one's home uninvited.)

I'm trying to think of a kind of hell that would be worse than being a close family member—or a spouse—of someone who is running for a high public office. It escapes me. I'm sure that the ordeal is made worse by having to pretend that one doesn't hate every minute of it.

Of course, the Ann site doesn't seem to contain any actual, you know—blog entries. So it's still a bit anemic, despite the distinction of being first. Sometimes, being first doesn't matter . . .

Memo to the John McCain people: get the biographical info onto its own page! Stuff like that doesn't belong on the home page; it smacks of John "I Served in Vietnam" Kerry. We know McCain's record, and we respect it. But enough is enough.

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October 03, 2007

Sometimes at the End of a Long Day

. . . I have to decide what kind of gin I want in my martini. I feel that this really brings me close to the memory of my great-great-grandfather, who used to ferry people to the West Coast over the Oregon Trail.

I'm sure at the end of a long day, as they circled the wagons and started a campfire, my g-g-g was wondering whether it was a Bombay Saffire night or a Tanqueray occasion.

Times were hard back then, and I imagine he had to go without ice now and then. But he was a tough guy, like his descendent, the blogging chick.

Of course, it might be a slightly different type of toughness, now that I come to think about it. He probably had to hunt small game to keep the wagon train fed. I hunt grammatical errors, to keep my Cruiser fed.

Other than that, it's exactly the same lifestyle.

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Practical Uses for Proofreading Skills, Part 1

I'm at the restaurant with my mother. She insists on picking up the tab. I protest, but I'm secretly relieved.

The waitress runs her card, and comes back with two pieces of paper. They are both the same color (white). Neither of them says "customer copy," or "merchant copy," or anything that obvious.

"I can't figure out which one is mine," she complains.

"Hand 'em over," I insist.

After less than a second of examining the slips I give them back, explaining that "this one is yours; they put a thank-you note at the bottom of it."

Had I looked for another split second, I would have noticed the fact that the merchant copy had a line on it for her to sign.

Later that evening, as we were discussing the oddity of being nearsighted in one eye, and farsighted in the other, it occurred to me that not only is that a potentially adaptable trait; it might also be one of the reasons I'm such a good proofreader.

In any event, if you want someone to compare two documents to see whether they match—and, if not, to figure out what all the differences are—then I'm your man.

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October 02, 2007

I'm Here.

But I'm freakin' exhausted. It's raining clients—but not raining paid invoices. Not quite yet. However, the check that arrived last week (slightly ahead of schedule) is still keeping me going. I should get two more small ones in in the next few days.

After that, I'm in uncharted territory.

The financial uncertainty may help me decide whether I'm driving to Reno for CLC, or driving: I may not be able to afford actual plane fare.

Now would be a great time for my readers—all three of them—to hit my tip jar. (At least, those who aren't at the "platinum sponsor" level, like Darrell.) In return, I promise an exclusive scoop. (Not, um, the kind of scoop that one shares with the opposition . . . sorry. Long day.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:46 PM | Comments (3) | 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.
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