Archive for December, 2006

More Fun in the Blogosphere

December 24, 2006

I was about three months late on the Ahmadinejad blog, and now I’m only two weeks late on Tom DeLay’s. At this rate, I’ll catch up to the actual rate of new blogs sometime in the next month. But on Tom DeLay’s…

A snapshot of Tom DeLay’s Blog:

“The top tier candidates appear to be RINO-IN-CHIEF John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. Romney, who was looking to run from the right, touted himself as the lone conservative of the three, however, former statements and gaffe’s that have recently been revealed suggest otherwise.”

Okay, fine, but John McCain is hardly a RINO (Republican in name only). The guy’s scary because people think he’s a centrist but he’s not. Even his own party thinks he’s centrist! But the American Conservative Union gave him a score of 83. By comparison, they gave Barack Obama an 8.

Another gem is DeLay’s comparison of Nancy Pelosi to Leon Trotsky. And his tag of “Liberals Gone Wild” for the Media Research Center’s kookiest liberal awards.

As my friend Bryn pointed out, for the first 75 minutes that DeLay’s blog was posted last week, people could comment uncensored. Here‘s the link to a snapshot of the site. Even if the site is a phony, it’s a pretty amusing one.


Blogging President

December 15, 2006

Pervez Musharraf has written a book. Now, Mahmood Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has a blog. You can read it in English at

The best part is the comments from Americans. One says, “you are a sad person, you need help may God have mercy on our world.” Another calls Ahmadinejad an idiot. But mostly, Americans are commenting in support of his effort to reach out to the US in an open letter to the God-fearing citizens of our country. A particularly good one from a contributor named “Phantom Justice”:

“Your site is very nteresting and entertaining. We are watching for the sign. The future awaits

My other favorite thing about this blog is imagining the possibilities that would abound if George W. Bush started his own blog. Imagine the pictures of the first pet, the sound clips of particularly triumphal speeches, the sanitized public memos assuring us that we are still winning the war in Iraq. Maybe George Bush’s blog would be a bit boring. Maybe it would look a lot like the White House press page.

But on Ahmadinjad’s blog, in a turnaround from his earlier efforts to block bloggers in Iran, he encourages everyone to send him online feedback. Who’s heard such a call for opinions coming out of the White House lately?

phenomenally unemployed

December 14, 2006

Economists say that you’re not unemployed until you’re actually looking for work. By that definition, I’ve been unemployed for almost a month. Sure, I haven’t sent out that many official applications, but I feel like I’ve forwarded my resume to just about every family friend and friendly acquaintance who’s offered their third cousin twice-removed who works for Congressman so-and -so’s district office and would be willing to sit down and chat about what it takes to get a job in his field.

It’s a process, that’s for sure. About a year ago, when I was still a columnist for the Daily, I wrote a column about finding jobs and being clueless when it came to navigating the big bad world of job-hunting. Then I wanted to throw up my hands at the process and become a psychic in Palo Alto (they can charge at least $100 an hour). Now that I know a bit better what the whole process entails, from networking to sending out a bazillion copies of a tailored cover letter and DC-addressed resume, I don’t know that I feel too much differently. Life might be a lot easier if I just decided to make up other peoples’ futures for them, instead of figuring out my own.

But being a psychic isn’t the only possible career path I’ve explored recently. Last week, I discovered that the Washington Post has a great jobs section. They run classifieds, but the Sunday front page was the real gold mine. In the front page articles alone, I discovered two new careers that had never even occurred to me: dairy economist and paint store owner. They even ran an entire story on people who watch death row executions as a civic duty in Virginia.

Craigslist and Idealist may offer real opportunities, but the Washington Post offers real inspiration for the unending options in career epithets. Next time I worry that I’ll never find a unique career path, I’ll just open up the Post, where the magazine will tell me all I need to know about being a silhouettist, a worm curator, or bikini tailor.

Washington, DC, here I come!

RIP Elmer Fudge 1993-2006

December 1, 2006

The Western scenery hadn’t changed much since early October – perhaps it was a little bleaker, a little browner, a little windier. But this time, we wanted to get home. Post-election, Miri and I fled Billings for California as quickly as we could manage. We rented a U-Haul and carted trash to the dump, boxes to storage, and cardboard to the recycling center. Finally we loaded a piano and a card catalog and caravaned down to Sheridan, Wyoming. All of our baggage left behind, we arrived back in California unemployed and starved by a diet of Gatorade and saltines. I could no longer pin my unemployment on my desire to change the world. The world was changed, and I didn’t have a job.

All was well at home. Thanksgiving brought brined turkey, pumpkin cheesecake, creamed pearl onions, and boisterous family. But all was not well with Elmer. My mom had called to tell me he had chronic renal failure, maybe he would live months, maybe even a year. But when I returned from Montana, he was lethargic, slept for more hours than usual every day, wouldn’t eat much. My mom didn’t want to take him to the vet if we could avoid it. She thought it would traumatize him, and he didn’t yet seem to be in pain.

But one evening, I came home to find my dad stroking the cat and crying softly. He wouldn’t eat anything and he hardly drank either. Anything he did drink he just peed out around the house. There’s a website dedicated to feline chronic renal failure. People draw out the lives of their kitties with IV fluids, shots, and treatment regimens (check out One pampered kitty even received a kidney transplant.

But we weren’t going to do that. When he stopped moving on his own, we finally took him to the vet for the fateful shot. My parents brought him home in a styrofoam cooler, curled up like he slept on our beds, and we buried him next to the compost heap, where he can forever feed new plants that grow.

Losing a pet who’s a part of the family is crushing. That said, I’m thrilled to be able to return home without sneezing my nose off.