Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A city chicken!

The son of a friend called me last night. They'd found a chicken wandering around their apartment complex in Albuquerque and no one knew what to do with it.

So this morning I got a new chick. I'd guess it was about 8 weeks old. It's black. I don't know what breed of chicken it is. I hope it's a hen. If it's a cock fighting breed I *really* hope it's a hen.

We decided to call it Brutus on the theory that naming a pet of unknown gender a male name will exponentially increase the chances of said pet being female.

We shall see.

"Writing is hard," said Barbie.

I don't know if it's an urban legend but I've heard that Barbie dolls once came with a pull string voice box that said either, "Math is hard," or "Science is hard."

I think it was probably "Math." If it mattered which, I could google it. But google is *hard*.

Anyhow, h/t to Ann Althouse to linked to this column. Love to Write? Keep It to Yourself.

I have advice for Rachel Toor, the author.

If you don't want to hear people explain that they love to write, stop complaining about how horrible it is. You explain how a friend...
made the mistake of interrupting me on one of the myriad occasions when I was ranting about the hard work of writing.
Stop ranting.

Yes, writing is work. But constant public ranting about how much work it is is fishing for sympathy and, perhaps, praise. There are other jobs you could do. If you had a good friend who dug ditches and ranted on myriad occasions about how hard it was, would you *not* tell him how you enjoy physical labor as a break from the keyboard or else finally tell him he ought to get a new job?

Of course you would.

If you hate writing, Rachel, quit writing and find a job you enjoy.

The thing is... Barbie was right. Math *is* hard. And for those who do Math professionally, it's *work*. It's an exhausting effort to do it well. This is true for any profession.

So why was the "Math is hard" Barbie so reviled?

Answer that question and you may solve your anger problem.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beauchamp, Hollywood, and Romance

We use the word Romance in a far to narrow way. Sort of similar to how Comedy now means that something is funny. It has a broader meaning.

Instapundit linked to Peggy Noonan...

"Apocalypse No
The New Republic's editors seem to have mistaken Vietnam movies for real life."


And she says something very similar to what I've said in past posts about the Baghdad Diaries.

It's the romance.

It's heartfelt longing for the Hollywood version of Vietnam.
People *want* our guys to be cold killers, to walk that edge they could never walk, to give into base instincts. To whore and smoke opium in those SE Asia brothels. Like freaking Dear Hunter or something.

Oh *that's* real. When they read stories like "shock troops" they think, finally, someone is telling a story that is *real*.

And that's what I heard. Those defending Shock Troops talked about how real it was, how it really showed the real dehumanization of real war.

Mistaking real life for Vietnam war movies.
I've read accounts that were stark and honest about how bad it is and how it affected the person writing. Those accounts didn't dehumanize, they humanized, showing a painful reality, not this Hollywood version of morality free, repugnant, slumming.

Beauchamp describes *himself* as a caricature.

And he's judged his audience well.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Who hates Rebecca Aguilar?

I saw the video before it was taken off the internet. Glenn (of course) had it linked. But the very first day, when I looked at the video, someone had already suggested that someone at the news station that aired this hated Rebecca Aquilar.

This is what I told my husband when I tried to show him the video and discovered it had been taken down... in a nutshell... (She was ambush interviewing an old man who had killed two burglars in separate incidences in a single week.)

She was rude but there were a couple of good clips that could have been used that would have been interesting and shown everyone involved in a decent way... including her.

At the very beginning the gentleman was buying a new shotgun and quipped, at seeing her and the camera, "I wouldn't want to have to use this before I even get it home." He was smiling. It was a joke. I laughed. Still, it was obvious he didn't want to talk to her. Later, after she finally got him to talk about it, he said he'd been in the Army and in the war and had never had an experience like that. That would have been an okay clip to show.

Yes, she was rude though her accusative remarks, asking him if he was a killer or what, were more trying to get him to say something to the contrary than accusations. He obviously did not want to talk about it and she obviously wasn't about to let him have that option. To that extent everyone is right. And if those parts had been removed no one would know. It would be like badgering an Iraq vet with "how does it feel to kill someone?" This is something people talk about when they are ready to talk about it with someone they trust... or never. Of course it was upsetting.

And of course bloggers are upset... particularly those who used this event as a mirror for accusations that Michelle Malkin was "harassing" a family by driving past their property and speaking to a neighbor. Bad Michelle Malkin? Professional Rebecca Aquilar? (No one seems to mind Michael Moore's ambush "journalism" either.)

But does this whole thing warrant a suspension? On what planet?

And at what point and in which reality does this get to be an *ethnic* issue?

As the writer points out. She did not act alone.

Bloggers are being blamed for this but a person has to wonder. Is that just an excuse?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No Post since September!!

What have I been up to? Geez Louise.

My husband turned 42 last week. This means that come May he'll have been married for HALF HIS LIFE.

I started playing EverQuest 2 again. Catch me on Crushbone server. I'd love to chat. Leave some mail for Synova or check to see if Pyama is logged on.

I bought... Dungeons and Dragons... character creation box kit... and now the Monster Manual. Like I don't have enough time sucks in my life? What? Or enough ways to spend money I don't have? Having never ever done this before I'm trying to figure out an adventure for the kids. Throughout the hours and hours of rolling characters and trying to figure out what any of it means I kept thinking, "It sure would be less work just to play EverQuest."

(WoW blows... just saying.)

My oldest kid and I went to our first D&D game (run by someone else, praise Ehlonna) last night. My role play needs some working on. The DM asked me about three times (as a High Cleric I happened to meet) what I was doing in town and all I could come up with was, "Um... shopping?"