Eight Things

Filed under:It's My Life,Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on July 11, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

I’ve been tagged. I thought it was hard enough to come up with five things, let alone eight more. The rules:

The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) Habit: I read while I eat. This is a terrific habit for Mom’s Nights Out, meaning I can thoroughly enjoy a nice dinner in a restaurant without the hassle of finding some non-busy person to go out with me. It’s not so great for family life. I’m eyeing my son as he sits at his little table, eating with a Highlights magazine in front of him, and wondering if I can break this habit in time to give him the traditional Meals All Together ‘Round the Table. It’s doubtful. If I gave it up, I’d have to find some other time in my day to read books instead of the internet. Which leads to

2) Fact: I am a net addict. (So are you. Close this browser and walk away. Can’t do it, can you?) It started in college. It’s awful. Self-discipline? What’s that? Someday I’ll break free.

3) Fact: I am simply not a pet person. I wish I were; I do look at dogs and crow, “Oh, you’re a good dog,” but I’m obsessive about having clean hands, and petting animals on a regular basis doesn’t fit with that. And my house is dirty enough without dog or cat hair all over it, thanks. Other than hygiene, I do have a pretty good excuse:

4) Fact: I am deathly allergic to cats. With some breeds of cat, after an hour in the house with them I start to wheeze as though my lungs are filling up. Not. Nice. I am slightly allergic to dogs, but compared to the cat allergy, not so’s you notice.

5) Fact: James Taylor picked me out of a gaggle of embarrassingly behaved women to shake hands with at the end of a concert in Chicago. You know those stories about women throwing their underwear at performers? I used to think they were largely exaggerated, but now I’m sure some morons do that. No panties were flaunted at this event, but women were leaning onto the stage as far as they could, yelling stuff like, “Come home with me, James!!” I stood in the front row horribly embarrassed for the rest of my sex, clapping and cheering and trying to ignore them. He finished singing “Sweet Baby James,” took his bow, then scanned the row of frenzied women and apparently decided I was harmless. Thank you, James, for your talent (and taste!).

6) On the subject of celebrity encounters, fact: One of my ex-boyfriends worked for a TV station that had its own in-house afternoon kids’ show, starring one of my BF’s buddies as a clown. They brought in lots of minor-to-moderate celebrities for this show, with the result that BF once spent the day escorting John de Lancie, of Q fame. Yes, all right, that’s a fact about somebody else, really. I can’t help it, I like celebrity encounters–

7) I do my best to gin up a cool exterior to hide the fact that inside I’m a giggly, melty fangirl. Sometimes I succeed.

8) I got my first passport today. No plans to travel outside the country yet, but I’m excited nevertheless.

Righto, eight facts for your edification and amusement. Now the eight tags: Sarah, Petitedov, Mad William Flint, nk, Xrlq, Slublog, Chris, Allen.

These are fun enough, except the facts about me are boring enough. I’ve got an idea or two for a meme of my own to spread in future.

A Modest Proposal

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on June 19, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

Tonight I listened to my sister describe how the baby daughter of a friend of hers died after a prolonged illness, many hospital stays, and several surgeries. For the funeral, the parents requested, in lieu of flowers, donations to offset their medical expenses.

I agree with those who think that the combination of medical fees and medical insurance has gone off the rails in this country, but state control is not the way to fix it. Instead, why not make medical insurance a whole hell of a lot more like car insurance? First, divorce health insurance forever from employment. We don’t get car insurance as an employment benefit. It’s compelled by the state, but we still pay for out ourselves. Why should medical coverage be so wedded to employment status? Something like the current health savings accounts could be used to put money away to continue paying for coverage in case of reduced income or loss of job.

We also don’t use auto insurance to get our oil changed, our cars washed, or our tires rotated. We likewise shouldn’t use health insurance for routine doctor visits like checkups or to see about a winter illness that drags on too long. Think $100 is too much for an office visit? Try seeing how much those routine visits would drop in price if people quit coming in so much because those visits were no longer covered. Then insurance, now on a supply-and-demand system that lowered premiums for high deductibles, etc., like auto insurance pricing, could be used to pay for catastrophic, unforeseen “car crashes”–real ones, causing serious injury, or debilitating diseases that require much treatment and hospitalization. Planning to have a child whose routine visits will run every three months or so? Beef up your coverage beforehand if you don’t want to pay for those routine visits at the time they occur.

The added flexibility and cost savings could then be used in possible scenarios for state subsidies of the poor and unemployed. Keep the flexibility of the market. Socialized medicine will be the death knell, figuratively and literally, for a major part of our way of life in the U.S.

Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on April 24, 2007 @ 11:13 pm

Especially if you’re the U.S. Air Force.

The result, Moseley said, is people being assigned to jobs they weren’t trained for. He cited Air Force airmen being used to guard prisoners and serve as drivers and cited one instance in which a female Air Force surgeon was assigned typing chores.

“We got her back,” Moseley said at a breakfast with a group of reporters.

Flying’s a double-edged sword. If they don’t need fliers and those who support fliers, what do you do? Whatever you can, apparently. On the other hand, if they do need fliers, it’s not exactly like they can pluck up an infantry grunt and chuck him into the left seat. Job security?

So much for Gulf War circa 1991.

Meanwhile, Back in Indiana

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn @ 11:06 pm

Indiana to Arizona: Stop sending us your superfluous culturally maladjusted, nicotine-addicted, cell-decorating criminals.

Arizona to Indiana: We’re not sending you any more of our prisoners cuz you don’t keep close enough eye on ’em.

This blog to Indianapolis Star: You wrote a whole article about this that couldn’t even establish the facts of the riot? Was it Arizona incitement to all prisoners against guards? Arizona provocation to Arizona-Indiana infighting? Indiana ganging up on Arizona? Indiana just taking advantage of the Arizona opening?

Doesn’t that stuff go on in prisons whether the incarcerated are from different states or not?

Long Weekend

Filed under:Language Barrier,Miscellaneous,Politics,Religion,Sad,Television — posted by Anwyn on March 29, 2007 @ 12:17 am

I’m off for the weekend, so just a few thoughts until I return next week.

1) Dear Dr. Dobson, don’t you realize this kind of thing annoys even Christians? It’s not your business to pronounce on whether any other man is a Christian or not, and it’s far worse than arrogant for you to redefine “Christian” to mean “public figure who speaks openly about his faith.” If you want to see an outspoken Christian in the White House, say that. And then say whom you endorse. Say whom you won’t endorse because they’re not outspoken enough, but when you say they’re not Christian enough, you’ve crossed the line. Please get over yourself. Or, rather, pay attention to your own Christianity and let Mr. Fred Thompson take care of his, both public and private. Love, A Christian

2) Speaking of Mr. Fred Thompson, I think I love him.

3) In an internet whirlwind of headline-skimming and soundbite-grabbing, you may not have 45 minutes to watch this. If you don’t have 45, trust me: watch 20 or so. A taste:

The modern liberal will invariably side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. … They’re convinced that … the real cause of war, poverty, crime, and injustice must be found, can only be found, in the attempt to be right. See, if nobody ever thought they were right, what would we disagree about? If we didn’t disagree, surely we wouldn’t fight. If we didn’t fight, of course we wouldn’t go to war. Without war there’d be no poverty, without poverty there’d be no crime, without crime there’d be no injustice. It’s a utopian vision, and all that’s required to usher in this utopia is the rejection of all fact, reason, evidence, logic, truth, morality and decency.

Speaking truth to flower power.

4) Your Dancing with the Stars prediction: It’ll come down to Laila Ali and–yeah, I’m as surprised as you are–Joey Fatone, formerly of N’Sync. The girl can groove, and the boy can move. The rest of the top five will be John Ratzenburger, Ian Ziering (did his mother really name him Aye-in, or is that just a conceit he plastered over Ee-in?), and Apolo Anton Ohno. The women are always at a disadvantage on this show, because if a man gets the steps right and has a little charm, he’s good to go, but if a woman doesn’t have the fiery persona of the ballroom dancer, it’s instantly all too obvious. And this season the women just aren’t feeling it so far, so it’ll be all men in the final weeks–except, of course, Laila, who could win it all if she keeps going like she has been. Football hero can mambo; boxer can mambo.

5) Last but not least, thoughts and prayers for Tony Snow.

You’re Just Sixteen

Filed under:Cool,Miscellaneous,Sad — posted by Anwyn on March 24, 2007 @ 9:06 am

No Elite Eight for my Butler Bulldogs, though they gave Florida a heart attack or two. Gators took it in a defensive slugfest, if such is an appropriate phrase to use about basketball, 65-57. Query, sportswriters: If a five-seed doesn’t exempt a team from being called “scrappy” despite their small school size and rare tournament bid, what would?

“We didn’t come here just to give them a scare,” [Butler player] Mike Green said. “We wanted to win. A loss is a loss. It hurts.”

Auf wiedersehen, Dawgs.

Shocker: Pot is Bad, Mmkay

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on March 22, 2007 @ 8:01 am

Even a UK newspaper that once championed its legality says so.

It’s On

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on February 4, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

Jedi Allah predicts my Peyton chokes. Sith.

Update: Take that, haters! It wasn’t too pretty, but they won and covered the spread. Moral of the story: Never hang your hats on a fluke kickoff return, children. And treat your running backs and your O-line real nice.

New Year’s Memes

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on January 7, 2007 @ 9:21 am

The door has been opened and the memes are flooding in! Or rather, Patterico dangled links as a reward for ponying up to two more memes, Five Things You Don’t Know About Me and Things I Appreciate about Being a Lawyer Whatever it is I Do. It’d be more interesting if I said three false things and two true things and the commenters guessed which was which, like one of those annoying ice-breaking rituals at corporate meetings and religious convocations, but I’ll just play it straight.

Five Things You Don’t Know About Me:

1) I once shared the stage with Kenny Rogers. Yes, really. He has a Christmas tour every year for which he engages local choirs to back him up. I was in graduate school at the time, his show was approaching Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and our small classical/early music choir, made up of choral grad students and older members of the community, signed on to back him up with harmony vocals, oohs and aahs, and a few well timed step-touches during the big finale number. Yes, step-touches.

2) Speaking of Illinois and the Grad Chorale, though I now consider my profession to be editing, my degrees are in music education (B.M.) and choral music (M.M.). I taught choir in the public schools for three and a half years before finishing my graduate degree and making the switch to editing.

3) I was nearly a casualty of war–twice. During the Civil War, four brothers left home to fight for the Union. Only one returned–my paternal ancestor. On D-Day, my maternal grandfather was on a transport headed to a beach at Normandy. The transport malfunctioned and returned to the English coast.

4) I’ve taken flying lessons–not enough to deliberately solo yet, but enough so that if the pilot of a single-engine airplane I was on became disabled, I could handle the plane and, unlike Indiana Jones, land it, too. I stopped lessons when I became pregnant with my son–I’ll resume and get my license one of these years.

5) Speaking of my son, his birth was the easiest childbirth ever known to woman. I don’t talk about it much because of the dirty looks from the other moms, but I slept through a night of early labor, labored at home until the mid-morning, went to the hospital at 11 a.m. and had my son at 3:20 p.m. without drugs, painkillers, or anesthetic. May not be as interesting as a difficult, three-day labor and epidural story, but believe me I’m happy that this one is the story I have available to tell.

Things I Appreciate About Being an Editor:

Having gone from teaching to editing, I sincerely appreciate that editing doesn’t require much in the way of bending unruly teenagers to my will. Words I cross out stay crossed out. Most of the time.

I enjoy finding the balance between work I need to do and work that needs to be left alone–i.e. a good editor almost pays more attention to writing that shouldn’t be altered than to writing that should. Ignoring that feeling of “but I’m not doing any work at all” and not altering the author’s words when it’s not necessary makes a better editor.

I occasionally edit books meant for college classroom use, and I appreciate being able to strike or alter some of the more egregious political bias before the book reaches students. And yes, I do my best to eliminate bias from both ends of the spectrum. Just the facts, ma’am.

But what I like most of all is just what you’d expect–the knowledge that I am helping to bring books to the consumer. I have always loved books–all my spare time as a kid was devoted to reading, and now I have a job (albeit sporadic freelance at the moment) that pays me to read. Score!


Patterico didn’t specify the inclusion of the outdated and laughably simplistic political test, but since I took it I’ll mention that I scored 24, which makes me more liberal than both Patterico and Allah. Which I sincerely doubt. Like Pat and Xrlq, I skipped the dumber questions, like the one that made you choose between Joscelyn Elders and Pat Robertson. Unlike Xrlq, however, I didn’t take it again and answer all of them. Besides, I have a sneaking suspicion that answers like “federal government is too big” were scored on the liberal side. As if.


Your turn, commenters. Come on out of the woodwork, say hi, take up the memes yourself. Or just say hi.

Update: I should mention, the Elders/Robertson question did have an option for “neither,” but I really don’t remember if I picked “neither” or skipped it. I tried to take it again and answer each question, but I just couldn’t do it. “Melting pot” or “multiculturalism” with no other alternatives, “team owners” and “professional athletes” (query: why would I need to trust either? I’m not in the sports business), “stricter controls on the sale of guns” or “mandatory sentencing” or “both,” … if I knew how, I’d write my own test.

Query: Ever notice, regarding the framing of the melting/multi question, that anti-Christian liberals are constantly wishing Christians would become more “melting pot” and blur their Christian identities with secularism and/or other religions, while insisting that most other religions be allowed every possible (and beyond) allowance for maintaining their own uninfluenced system?

Tagged by a Christmas Light

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on December 24, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

Venomous Kate tagged me with a meme–first one for this blog. Rite of passage, or something.

The player (me) must list 3 things that I would love to get for Christmas. Then I must list 3 things that I definitely do not want to get for Christmas. Then I tag 5 friends and list their names. The one I tag needs to write on their blogs about their Christmas wishes then tag 5 more people. They must also clarify all the rules. When you tag someone you need to leave a comment that says “you’’ve been Christmas tagged!” in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

Here goes:

Three things I’d love to get for Christmas:

1. A first edition of Dorothy Sayers’s The Nine Tailors.

2. A trip to England. Not the best timing for that, alas, but hey, as long as they’re not yet under sharia, I’ve got time.

3. Something off this list. Preferably #4.

Three things I don’t want for Christmas:

1. Anything Tolkien. Honestly, I’m a little burnt out at the moment.

2. Jewelry. I have a toddler, which means I have plenty of jewelry I never wear!

3. Anything off this list. My taste in men and Kate’s don’t overlap … much. :)

It’s almost Christmas Day on the East Coast, so in lieu of tagging people with the meme, I’ll just wish a heartfelt Merry Christmas to some of my favorite bloggers, several of whom are the reason I’m blogging along right now: Xrlq, See-Dubya, Patterico, Karol, Allah, and Mike Lief. And, of course, my intrepid hostess at Electric Venom: Kate. Merry Christmas, folks, and a very happy New Year.


Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on October 15, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

While leaving a parking garage. As I was exiting the little hut that houses the elevator and stairwell, two guys were walking toward it–one large, six-foot-plus guy with scraggly beard, earring(s?), leather jacket, one smaller, somewhat scrawny, black-trenchcoated fellow. The smaller guy was saying in a rather … piercing … voice: “And I have that hip-swivel that only comes when I’m about to–” at which precise moment they entered the elevator hut and thus exited my hearing range.

And no, I don’t want to know. At all.

Too Much Merlot

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on October 9, 2006 @ 8:34 pm

… and not enough merlot drinkers, apparently, especially after one of the characters in Sideways dissed it. Poor maligned merlot; I’ll have to make sure to do my share to prop up its self-esteem.

Easing Back In

Filed under:Blogging,It's My Life,Miscellaneous,Mothering — posted by Anwyn on September 28, 2006 @ 10:20 pm

Lest anyone think that blogging is a walk in the park, it’s not. It would be even less so if I cared about my traffic. It’s a difficult matter to find things over the course of the day (if you blog at night as I do) that are 1) relevant, 2) interesting, 3) open to augmentation by comments of mine. Multiply these items by 1) the Blog-Saturation Factor (i.e. the number of blogs I read every day plus the number I comment on, which eats up no small amount of time and prevents me from wandering around for stories that I haven’t already seen blogged), and 2) the Toddler Factor. While it’s true that blogsurfing is relatively easy to do with a toddler about, easier than many things that can’t be dropped on a dime when The Little Bean needs Mommy for reading books, pretend-cooking plastic food, or taking her shot like a big girl when it’s time to play doctor, the Toddler Factor also doesn’t make for long stretches of coherent thought.

So in the spirit of blogging whatever comes to the fore when I sit down to the “Write Post” page, here is the Easing Back In rundown.

1) Look what SeeDub found just for me! Bonus: in addition to the LotR fun, I’m always pleased to find other conservative-type Oregon bloggers about. Yes, Virginia, they do exist, and the proof shall be added to the blogroll. Also, according to Michael Medved, so does Bigfoot. Who, I’m quite sure, is also an Oregon resident.

2) Allah’s losing the South. I’m thinking a blog caucus: The Southerners of Hot Air. Bryan, SeeDub, Mary Katharine Ham, yours truly, and the commenters who gave AP the static. We could make a calendar. With pictures of country ham, grits, biscuits and gravy (cream OR redeye), fried apples, mashed potatoes, pinto beans, and cornbread, of course! What kind of calendar were you thinking about?

3) Speaking of food, Nina Planck says sausage and gravy are good for me. As well as butter, cream, cheese, red meat, eggs cooked in bacon grease, and basically anything the medical establishment has warned against in the last thirty years except refined sugar and flour. And trans fats. Those are definitely bad; ironically, they arose to replace the butter and lard that were supposedly so dangerous. I’m reading her book, Real Food: What to Eat and Why, right now. I’m hooked. She confirms things I’ve thought for a long time but haven’t had the research to back up: namely, that naturally produced fats like butter and lard have got to be better for you than manufactured cooking oils. Turns out they are. Hallelujah! She’s got more good stuff: the reason why I’m mildly lactose intolerant, enough that although I think I want a bowl of cereal, when I’m done eating, it turns out I really didn’t want it after all, might be because industrial processing breaks down the very enzyme in milk, lactase, that aids in the body’s processing of lactose! One problem for us Southern-heritage girls, though: Mom’s biscuits are made with vegetable shortening, which is loaded with hydrogenated whatchamacallit trans fat. Looks like I need to get a good recipe for lard biscuits.

4) The schooling turmoil continues, amid potty-training tactics, here at Chez Anwyn. Out of the seven (!) preschools I visited last spring, only one is a possibility, a small Montessori model run in my church. This article goes a long way towards convincing me The Little Bean would be well off there; it’s a constant argument in my head about preschool vs. homeschool. I think The Bean would be, by far, best off here at home with Mom, but I question my chops to do the job–my patience, specifically, not my brains. I admire Venomous Kate’s capacity for the vocation; she’s got some great remarks on the dishonesty of the “socialization” argument against homeschooling. One quote from the Montessori study article leaped out at me:

Dr Angeline Lillard, from the University of Virginia, who co-led the study, said: “We found significant advantages for the Montessori students in these tests for both age groups.

“Particularly remarkable are the positive social effects of Montessori education. Typically the home environment overwhelms all other influences in that area.”

At first I thought it meant the homeschool model outstrips the schools in producing positive social development and that Montessori was able to hang in. On further readings, I’m not so sure; does it mean the home environment overwhelms all other attempts at particular socialization–i.e. whatever the school tries to do with respect to socialization, the home influence can engulf? Either way it seems I win.

Tim P. commented at Kate’s that the important thing is, of course, parental involvement and guidance no matter what model of school is chosen. While that’s true, Kate’s point is still very well taken: that schools don’t automagically churn out socially well adjusted citizens and it’s a crock to assert otherwise, especially when the “argument” is being used as a club by people who just don’t like homeschooling. For whatever reason.

5) If people you know read your blog, it takes a hefty amount of chutzpah to do this. Here’s another, and one more. They’re fascinating to read even when you don’t know the person writing and can have no clue who she’s speaking to. When you spot one that’s either similar to something that you’d like to say to somebody in your life or that you imagine somebody could say to you, it’s a little clue to the universality of human experience. Well, that, and it’s a totally gossipy look into the lives of strangers. (Via Alarming News, where Karol recognized trouble when she saw it.)

Update: I keep thinking about that quote from the Montessori article. Somebody should clarify with Dr. Lillard what she meant. Does she mean that ordinarily the home influence overwhelms social patterns picked up at school, except in this case? I.E. that the behaviors picked up at Montessori withstand the way Mom and Dad are telling Junior to act? If that’s the case, I’d have to think again.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace