It gets worse. Now Tacitus accuses me, and I suppose Joe, and Lair, and Judith, and everyone else who thinks Aziz is wrongof being anti-Muslim. He says in a comment:
Yes, because I'm famous for going after only Muslim anti-Semites. It's not like I said bad things about, oh, those Norwegian Muslims that make up the Nobel Prize Committee, the Muslim neo-nazi David Duke, the British Muslim Tom Paulin, the Jewish Muslim Tony Judt, the German Muslim Jürgen Möllemann, and I think I can stop now.
Nice little flash of slop there, Tacitus. My respect for you is dropping faster than a stock from the Wall Street tech bubble. Trust me, bubelah, if you had posted the same garbage that Aziz posted, we'd have treated you exactly the same. permalink
An open reply to Tacitus, who seems to be missing the point
How about an honest discussion of the facts, which are that Aziz is spreading lies about Israel and refusing to retract them upon being confronted with the truth?
So he's your bud. Fine. Get off my ass, as I'm not the one trying to prove that Israel is manufacturing fictional "weapons of mass genocide" that will strike only Arabs and leave Jews unhurt.
I notice you didn't link to Joe's posts on this, where Aziz wiggles and wriggles and flat-out lies. Or the the gene forum where he asks if a gene bomb is possible and neglects to say why he's asking, where some of the scientists there are handing him his head for trying to prove a negative.
But by all means, concentrate on the fact that I happen to think that accusing Israel of developing "weapons of mass genocide"with the intent of committing genocide on Arabsis an anti-Semitic canard. I expect to read that crap on neo-nazi sites. I don't expect to see Aziz Poonawalla treating it as a done deal.
I'm rather disappointed that you choose to ignore the issues behind the charge. But not surprised, as this isn't the first time you've decided to concentrate on my anti-Semitism meter instead of the issues raised which cause it go off. permalink
Time for some complete lightness and fun
willy wonka munich: I get this one from time to time, and it really freaks me out:
Bruised Butt Pictures: Someone heard about my misadventures on the library steps.
PETA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.
peta irritates: You can say that again.
anti peta: That's me!
Say, the above three searches were pretty much the evolution of PETA. Get it? Get it? AHAHAHAHA! Sometimes I just slay myself.
incredible hulk graffiti in brooklyn: The Hulk searches I'm used to. Hulk graffiti searches? Hey, Hulk can't write. He didn't do it.
What does Qatar's State animal look like? What do I look like, an effing encyclopedia?
Free copy of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": Hello, copyrighted story, it ain't free, you're stealing it!
chicken cutlets & matzoh meal: Oh, God, you're looking for the absolute worst thing you can eat during Passover. Horrible. Awful, I say. Painful.
what does "post war apartment" mean? Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it was an apartment building built after the war.
donald rumsfeld lies bullshit crap: Look, Michael Moore found my weblog!
smoked cigar hat: Huh? Oh, I get it, it's a smoked cigar hat. (What??)
Dawn Olsen lesbian: Oh, Dawn, is there something you wanted to tell us?
GERMAN FEMALE ARMPIT HAIR: I do not want to know who wanted this information, why they wanted it, if they found pictures for it, and how the hell it came up with my weblog.
pines enlarger: This is an oldie but goodie: I've been getting searches on that for nearly the entire two years. I still don't understand why anyone wants to enlarge their pine trees. Let 'em grow naturally, I say.
There you go. The many ways people manage to find my weblog. And these are only the ones I catch. permalink
Say, remember a couple of months ago PETA put out yet another offensive ad campaign entitled "The Holocaust on Your Plate" that compared the slaughter of food animals to the Nazi slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust? Yeah? Remember my response to it? The establishment of International Eat an Animal for PETA Day on March 15th?
Okay, stay with me. I recently mentioned that I've been getting a lot of referrers from people searching for PETA on various search engines. Well, a few days ago, I received this lovely piece of email from an anonymous (of course) vegan, who was both anonymous and annoyed with me. Well, I didn't have any intention of sharing, but now I think I should. But first, go on back and check that post I wrote, where I included a sample letter. Oh, and if J.K. is still reading, I should point out that I got over 9500 visits on March 14th, most of them a direct result of the IEAFP Day postings. I believe the technical name for what I just wrote is "Neener, neener, neener!"
Look! Scare quotes! Ow, they hurt, they hurt! He thinks my name isn't really Yourish. Hey, wait a minute! Dad? Mom? Do you have something you want to tell me?
Wow, he's copying and pasting the text of my suggested letter and changing the words. Let me stop and catch my breath over this astonishing display of orginality and intellect. And, like, wow, I'm a cult leader! Hey, does that mean I can start charging thousands of dollars to all my readers, or are there still some steps I need to go through first?
All right, fess up, Ingrid Newkirk. You are so busted. And, er, feel free to chow down on either of my grandmothers. Would you like me to send you directions to their gravesites? And may I recommend that you use some kind of hot sauce or something, as they've been dead for decades. But hey, whatever floats your boat. (Did someone lose a zombie? Buffy? Angel? Hello?)
Actually, kinda thinking what you're saying is just stupid, not offensive. Feel free to use your Constitutionally-protected right to stupidity anytime, anywhere. But you know what? You can't say anything you want. (See below.)
And that raping animals thing? Wrong word. We just used them for food. But I think it's important to put my original sentence here, so people can see what a sick, pathetic piece of dirt you are:
Oh, and here comes the really insulting part. Hold onto your hats, I don't know if you can take it.
Beepbeepbeep! Profanity alert!
Why is it that people always sink to that specific phrase? It's sosojunior high. Let me tell you, once you're out of high school, the phrase "suck my dick" takes on an entirely different meaning, and, well, not seeing the insult here. Or perhaps J.K. thinks I'm a man and would take offense at having that phrase directed toward me. Bzzt! Wrong answer.
Look, there are those scare quotes again. Hey, asshat, last name, had it all my life, gonna be keeping it until I'm deader than your thought processes.
A Google search turns up nothing. Quel surprise.
How sad. He's admitting that he wasn't drunk, on drugs, or held at gunpoint to write a piece of crap like that letter. I wouldn't own up to that if you paid me. Then again, perhaps J.K. was just owning up to the profanity. Wow, what daring! Put him in for a Congressional Medal of Honor, nobody's ever sacrificed so much for so littleer, so little for so littleer, you get my drift.
By the way, that First Amendment thing? Here's what Yahoo had to say about it.
Looks like you can't be as offensive as you want to be.
I think Maintenance Guy was wrong when he told me that Woody would be able to free himself from the flashing. I have a sneaking suspicion that there's a dead woodpecker on my chimney hood.
The evidence: There has been no woodpecker hammering for three days in a row. If it weren't for Tig, I'd be able to sleep a normal night's sleep. However, I have heard a woodpecker singing in the trees. In fact, I can hear one right now.
But there's pictorial evidence that Woody may, indeed, have become past tense. Here's a picture of a normal chimney hood:
Notice the top. It's smooth. The side is all pushed in, but hey, I don't care, it's not my chimney hood and I didn't smash it.
Now look at the chimney hood atop my heating unit:
That's a mighty suspicious-looking lump up there. In fact, I maintain that it's Woody's lifeless body. He done pecked himself to death. Excuse me while I wipe away a tear. Of joy. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, same to you, PETA-boy and PETA-girl.)
I called Maintenance and asked them to please see if it's true, because, well, Woody's gonna start to smell up there, and little decaying bits of him would wind up in my hot-water heater, and that would be both smelly and gross. I also asked them to please let me know if it's Woody or not, as this story simply must have a conclusion. We've all invested so much time in it, after all.
We won't hear back until some time next week. Maintenance Guy is on the other side of the river, Maintenance Receptionist tells me. I think that means he's at another property, not that he's too dumb to figure out how to cross the James. (He really was a sweet man, and I'm not making fun of him.) But when I hear, you'll hear.
There will be no funeral services, though we may just throw a New Orleans wake for Woody. I have a Louis Armstrong CD. Stay tuned. permalink
Yes, I did have to use that title.
Ric M. writes to tell me that Woody Allen's screen wife in the scene I described below as Louise Lasser (later known to the world as Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and I loved the show, loved the show) in Everything you wanted to know about Sex. I loved that movie. I also have the most wonderful memories of the book. I slept over my cousins' one weekend when I was about 13 years old, and we sneaked into my uncle's library to read the book, which was rather clinical and boring to a pair of teenage girls, but hey, it was about sex. What did we care?
I found another beefcake link for the ladies. It's not safe for work, either, and perhaps I should have a poll as to which room in this house you like the best. (Don't look, guys, there's nekkid men behind the doors, and we know how yucky you think nekkid men are. Hey. Hey! Maybe I should email Andrew Sullivan. Perhaps I'd finally get my Sullivan link and increase my Sullivan number. No, I'm not that big a link-whore, am I?)
Naaah. Not yet, anyway. permalink
I don't think there's any need to continue slamming Aziz Poonawalla's assertion that Israel "may" be developing weapons of mass genocide (as it was so quaintly named). Lair Simon did a number on the argument over on his blog, and the comment threads at Joe's and Aziz's blogs have continued the process of shredding his argument to atoms, though he continues to insist he's done nothing wrong, and refute any evidence brought to bear of a similar message being said via Muslim soapboxes (against the Jews, of course). And he's beating his breast at being called an anti-Semite by some, though I merely said his post bore the stench of anti-Semitism. Mind you, if he wants me to trade up and call him an anti-Semite, that's fine with me. He's passing along the typical bullshit theories that Jew-haters blithely tell one another on a regular basis.
He also accuses Lair of being a racist, for not realizing that Aziz isn't an Arab. Right, trot out the "little brown people" line, deflect attention from the canard you tried to run past everyone about Israel working on a genetic weapon that would only kill Arabs. And after that, the Zionist Occupation Government is going to declare Christianity illegal and take over the world, right?
In any case, there are far more interesting weblogs to peruse and link to, so we're finished with Aziz, for now. permalink
(Abu Abbas masterminded the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, which resulted in the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound American Jew.)
Found this via Fark: Classic beefcake pictures. Apparently, Fark thinks this isn't safe for work. That's because there are nekkid guys on the link. But it's totally safe for Michele and Ellen, who I know will appreciate these pictures.
I'm trying to decide which are my favorites. I'm going with Lon "Howzit" Hanagan for now, simply because of the joke I get to make out of his name. But wait! Look at this! It's Jack LaLanne, nekkid! It's a competition. The granddaddy of bodybuilding, himself. permalink
I finally received a pr0n spam for women. The Viagra and penis enlarger spam just go straight into the trash, but this onethis one, I had to read. I know I'm going to get some pretty disgusting search requests now, but it was amusing. Check it out:
Hooray! Uha what?
Oh. It's a gel. Not a guy, a gel. Wait a minute, let me think. A gel. Nope. Um, I want a guy to do those things for me. So far, no sale.
Oooh, bad placement. In the real publishing business, that info is in the last paragraph, and can be cut for space if need be. Way too high up in the letter.
Stop right there. The what of the what? There's an institute for that? Like, you pay people to have sex and use your products? Do they have two-way mirrors so your people can watch? Wow, this is getting kinkier by the minute. Bet you guys love to watch.
Every single man reading this is saying to himself, "There's a college for that? Why didn't anyone tell me? I wasted four years of my life at a plain old party school?" (By the way, the correct grammar is "distinguished by.")
Then we have the commendations section.
Married is good. Puts the conservative crowd at ease. Nice touch.
He damned well better be always ready, willing, and able. He's a Marine, dammit! Semper Fi, too, so I guess Marines never cheat on their spouses.
Um. Hands up, anyone who understands what Mrs. Marine is talking about? What, they have a race to the end or something? "And in the lead right now, Marine, catching up, Doris by a nose, no, wait! Marine is in front again..."
Brings to mind the old Woody Allen film where they had Howard Cosell announce the action as Woody and his film wife (Diane Keaton? It's been a long time) had sex.
Matt's engaged. At age 39. (Don't want to move too fast on that marriage thing. Getting married young doesn't necessarily last.) Good boy. Still only freaking out the really deeply religious people, who probably don't want products that give them better sex anyway. And all those "we" statements. Why, it's so clear he's in touch with his feminine side. (PsstMattshe could still be faking it. And how would you know, Mr. 39-year-old engaged person?)
Ladies and gentleman, we have a swinger! Single, exotically named Monique, lives on Long Islandhey, wait a minute. Michele, is that you? Busted!
"Through the clouds to a state of ecstasy." Wow. I've never had an experience like that, unless you count my first airplane ride. I was only fourteen. I had the window seat, too. Oh, we're talking sex here? Hey! I was only fourteen! Pervs.
Which begs the question: Are we talking minutes? Hours? Days? 'Cause if it took you that long, did you supply a book for the poor guy to read while he waited? Videos on in the background? And honey, I know you're only 23, and frankly a made-up spokesperson to begin with, but you shouldn't be in such a hurry. It's not a whole lot of fun when your entire encounter takes only moments.
So young and naive, poor thing. In such a rush. Then again, she doesn't mention a boyfriend in that commendation. Maybe she's flying solo.
Well, now that I've guaranteed myself some thoroughly disgusting searches, the question is, will I go to the website and order the product?
Naaaaah. Something tells me their product won't really work. permalink
Why is it that certain odors hang in the air for ages after the food has been cooked? Fish odors, of course, are one. But toast? How is it that the odor of toast hangs in the air for hours after breakfast? Even unburned toast, though I did burn a couple of pieces, and they're now birdfood, as I don't care what you say, scraping the burnt parts off doesn't work. They still taste burned.
And why does the stench of anti-Semitism stand out over this post by Aziz Poonwalla? Well, go here to read the background, and see Aziz insist that nothing he says is in the least bit wrong or over the top, and that by merely arguing that he is, we are "vilifying" him.
That's not vilification. I haven't begun to start vilifying. Perhaps I should. Or perhaps I'll just wait until my research is complete and let the facts vilify Aziz's argument.
I have much, much more to say on this subject, but I have to do a bit of research first. I don't think that relying for my facts on a five-year-old Wired article, which in turn relies on an article in the Sunday Times of London, really counts as thorough research. Nor do I think the words, "I think you can do this" constitute an expert opinion, as do some in the comments. permalink
There's a new Cattales up. I guess I haven't given up on that section completely yet. (I've been winding the cattales in with the regular stuff instead, but this one has pictures, and it's mid-week and getting hefty in kilobytes around here.)
Rachel Lucas tells Janeane Garafalo the difference between Nazism and expressing your opinion. Gee, and here I thought Garafalo was supposed to be so smart.
Defensetech has stories on the stuff that my childhood nightmares were made of. And my teen years, and twenties, and thirties....
I haven't mentioned Mac Thomason lately, either. I got a Google search request today that he'd appreciate. And I'll have more strange search requests later, by request from an old friend, as I said. (Though remembering how little he liked politics back in the day, I'm amazed that he's actually reading my blog regularly. Perhaps the guilt vibes I've been sending worked.) One thing I will say: I've been getting an inordinate amount of searches for PETA. And a bit of vegan hatemail, which I dealt with in my own special way. (Abuse at yahoo.com, plus the post below.) Remember: Don't get mad. Get even.
I took a mental health day today. Didn't get out of the house 'til 7:30, and only then because I needed to buy things for dinner. I hadn't realized I'd been on the go steadily since before my NJ trip, and that today was the first day I could actually relax (and write!) in more than a week.
It felt good. Tomorrow, back to the grind. permalink
Because I haven't put up an anti-PETA post in ages, I thought I'd piss off a few more vegans and give you all a funny story while I'm at it. Via my friend Jay, a visit from four morons in cow costumesyes, you read that correctlyto an Outback Steakhouse.
Oh. I had steak for dinner tonight. And milk with my breakfast this morning. Yum. permalink
Ah, Lair. If you weren't already married, I'd marry you.
Lori, in a state on the west coast, has a flicker problem, too:
7 a.m.? You've got the second shift there, Lori. But she also has more practical suggestions.
I am shocked and insulted at the number of people who think that because I'm a city girl, I cannot handle a weapon. I will have you know that when my brother got his BB gun as a teenager, he and my other brother and I spent many hours shooting bottles that we tied to branches in the trees over the brook next to our house. (Old, huge willow trees, easy to climb and great for hanging bottles from.) I was also pretty good at archery class in high school. So what if that was decades ago? I can still shoot. Honest. Really. (I am so gonna buy a gun and prove it.) One more from Lori:
Oh, sure. On top of insulting my ability to shoot, go ahead, brag about how you got rid of your woodpecker problem with only one ice cube launch. Thanks so much.
Also on the west coast, we have April with another bird problem:
(Boy, that unnamed west coast state, where I spent some months in the Northwest corner, sure has its bird problems.) I'd say open the window and let the cat have at it, but those ravens are big suckers and I fear your cat would come out the worse for it. I vote for the slingshot. Let's face it, is a Federal Marshal going to be on your property every morning waiting to see if you kill a protected species? I think not. Take the risk. But, um, if there is a Park Ranger reading this, I'm just kidding. Really. Honest. Love birds. Especially chickens. My favorites.
I must also give this final warning from Howard P.:
Well, that's depressing. But Woody doesn't come back for at least a day, and I don't know if he hops onto the chimney or flies onto it. I suspect the latter. I'll find out in the next day or so if Maintence Guy is going to be my hero. permalink
As a soap opera fan. With taste, no less. Any Santa Barbara fan with class was all over the Mason/Julia supercouple, and Cruz and Eden were just eye candy. Lesley's post is mostly a fun look at soap operas and fans, with the rightful annoyance at people who look down upon soap fans.
But she's wrong about this:
I was a freelance copy editor for Soap Opera Weekly on and off for a couple of years. It was one of the best places I ever worked, with a great crew. I also got to do a few things with their sister publication, Soap Opera Digest, who were next door. The point is, whenever I mentioned what I was doing, most people thought it was pretty neat. Fellow soap fans were thrilled to death and immediately asked if I ever met any soap stars at the office. No, they never came to our offices. Interviews were generally held at restaurants or soap stars' homes. But it's where I got the dirt on Sarah Michelle Gellar and why she left All My Children (it wasn't just to try out for the Buffy pilot, folks), and the only place I ever worked where every editor had a television on her or his desk.
I really don't ever remember anyone dissing my job when I told them what I did. Even the non-soap fans thought it was a good way to get money off a bad habit. And hoo-wee, did it make my habit worse! I decided it was my holy duty to know even more about the soaps and watched as many as I could. It's the reason I still dabble from show to show and network to network. (Currently getting a big kick out of Port Charles' vampire storyline. Lucy the Vampire Slayer? Bwahaha!)
Some of the folks I used to work with are still there. One of them is now working for TV Guide. It certainly didn't hurt Jonathan Reiner's career to have Soap Opera Weekly on his resume. About the only thing I didn't like about it was that it's a K-III magazine, and that means cheap, cheap, cheap to the employees. I worked for a bunch of K-III magazines in the 90s. SPW and New Woman were the two biggest. Ah, Atex typesetting/copyediting days. The stories I could tell. Oh, wait, I just did. permalink
An Australian Anglican bishop got in trouble for telling the truth. That is, we already know people like him think it. He just said it out loud.
So let me see if I can get this straight: Jews are peaceful people until you throw in the desire to have a national homeland, in which case it makes them nasty, warmongering Zionists. So essentially, Frame was simply saying what most anti-Semites already think. And got in trouble for it, astonishingly.
Interesting how he weasels out on the apology.
He made the statements during a national radio address, and yet he claims his comments were meant to be from an individual. You know, like one of the crowd, someone with no influence. While on a nationally-heard radio program.
Ladies and gentlemen, yourish.com is back in business. The holiday is officially over, and Bishop Frame is officially an anti-Semitic asshat. Oh, and the reason he hates Zionism? Jews with guns: The anti-Semites' worst nightmare.
There was no sign this morning, but it may have been because I woke up at six (thanks so much, Tig), glanced at the clock, and as I'd not fallen asleep until after one, I was too tired to so much as grab the earplugs off the nighttable and put them in. I didn't hear him half an hour later. It's possible I slept through his visit. It's possible that yesterday's bottle of conditioner spooked him enough that he came back today and didn't stay. It's also possible he took a day off, which he has done in the past. But we have opened up a new front in the Woodpecker War: Maintenance Guy has arrived.
Now, we won't mention that had I gone with my original morning plan, he'd have arrived while I was in various stages of showering. Nor will we mention how happy I am that I decided to sleep in sweats last night, rather than my flannel pajamas. Nor will we mention the current state of my apartment. Instead, we will concentrate on the fact that Maintenance Guy (I asked if he wanted to be mentioned by name or title) came over, I told him the story, and he did, indeed, look at me like I'm crazy. Especially when I told him that I have a website, and my readers have sent me tons of information about why the woodpecker is pecking on the chimney hood and not on trees, like he's supposed to. I said Woody was looking for a mate. I think that after all, Maintenance Guy thinks I'm a little bit nuts. I did not, however, tell him that I named the effing woodpecker. I'm not that stupid. And yet, when I asked if I could take Matinenance Guy's picture, he quickly agreed. And wanted to see it after he came down from the roof.
So what Maintenance Guy is doing in the picture is applying cement flashing to the area around the chimney hood. It stays sticky, he says, and the woodpecker won't like walking on it. Well, I pointed out, he does tend to stand on the hood when he pecks it, but maybe it'll work. And maybe my conditioner bottle has done the job. Or maybe he just found himself a Wilma.
Note to the guy who lives in VA but blogs in Australia: Yeah, I figured a paintball would kill Woody, but that wasn't all that high on my list of things to care about at 6:30 in the morning. Heidi's still convinced I couldn't hit him if I tried. I'm simply going to have to get that slingshot and practice on the birds in her backyard.
I'll be publishing reader's letters later on today and possibly throughout the week. An astonishing number of you not only know a lot about the little peckers, but some of you have peckers of your own to deal with. Alas, no one seems to be having much success with getting rid of them. And I wonder: Do you have your own Heidi who laughs at your every plan of Woodpecker Domination and Revenge? And I thought your best friend is supposed to be your staunchest support in your times of travail. Humph. Humph, I say. (She won't get a chance to read this for ages. Her in-laws are in town. And may I say: Nyah, nyah.) permalink
It's not often you get a chance to help create a slithering reptile. Good luck, Bryan.
Why Lileks is truly the Internet Bard: This sentence.
The latest Carnival of the Vanities is up.
There's an emtpy shampoo bottle on the roof of my apartment. Well, it's actually a conditioner bottle, and it's also half-filled with water. It was in my bathroom trash can this morning when Woody Effing Woodpecker woke me up. I saw it, conceived of the idea of throwing something more substantial than ice cubes, and brought it outside with me.
It's actually on the neighbor's roof. I wonder if it woke them up. I don't, however, intend to ask them. Imagine the conversation:
Anyway. Heidi says they have two slingshots and she still doesn't think I can hit the woodpecker with the shot that S. gave me. I'm going to have to prove her wrong, or fashion my own, I guess. Still no call back from the maintenance folks. (I'm not too surprised about that.)
I was thinking: What if I taped a bunch of cat hair to the metal hood? Think that'd keep Woody away? Tig's got cat hair to spare. All I have to do is brush him.
Sorena says I should go buy a paint gun and not wait for Heidi to give me the slingshot. Gotta hand it to her. Nine years old, and already a great innovator. That's our girl. permalink
The look back
Two years ago, I was the only one reading my weblog. After a while, I think a few of my friends and family members started reading it. I hadn't heard of Instapundit. That's because he was just plain Glenn Reynolds, posting to the Fray on Slate. I probably read his posts there without realizing it. I'd also been reading Andrew Sullivan and Dave Winer. In fact, my first weblog design was white text on a dark blue background. Reverse type didn't bother me as much then.
Sometime in October of 2001, I had a letter published in Salon. Shortly thereafter I received four emails that made me realize I was no longer writing in an echo chamber, and that more than my friends and family members were paying attention. So I changed the design to make it more readable. And I started writing for my readers, rather than for myself. That's a little hard to explain: I was still writing for myself, but knowing that other people would be reading my words made me work a little harder at getting them to fit better. The editing process kicked in, and the online journaling process started to take a back seat, though it still pops up from time to time.
Two years ago, weblogging was a new phenomenon to many, and not nearly as popular as it is today. Most of the bloggers were techbloggers or diarists. Rebecca Blood was wonderful. She responded quite kindly to my letters and was extremely helpful to a newbie. (Can't say the same for Dave Winer, but hey, that's Dave.) Warblogging didn't exist. Charles Johnson was a techblogger, although even then, he was posting about anti-Semitism and Arab terrorism. I was a regular reader of MetaFilter, Salon, and a sometime reader of Slashdot. All in all, the first year of my weblog had a much different voiceuntil the bloody Israeli spring of 2002. Between six straight days of terror bombings that culminated in the Passover Massacre, and the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, my feelings hardened considerably. Shortly thereafter, I found myself unable to remain in the neighborhood I'd established myself, over by Shelley Powers and Jonathon Delacour and the rest of that crew. Our thoughts were too far apart, and we kept getting into arguments. Bad ones.
That was about the time I discovered LGF and Glenn Reynolds, and the world of warblogging (though I'd call them PolitiBloggers if I had my druthers). And it was about that time that Adil Farooq discovered me, in particular, Iseema's Diary. Through Adil, I was linked by BBSpot and MeFi, bringing the largest surge of readers I'd ever seen2,335 in one day. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven, as I hadn't even gotten to the 200 daily visitors mark. Then came my first Instalanche with the Secret Arafat Phone Transcripts. I think that was about the time I got my first hate mail as well. Some people simply have no sense of humor.
Another issue that changed my weblog indelibly, and buttressed the reputation that I currently bear, was the SFSU anti-Semitic riot. It essentially solidified my blog as tending the anti-Semitism beat, sometimes unfortunately so. I hate being put into the category of "Israel blogs" or "Jewish blogs," because just as I am so much more than Jewish, my blog is so much more than a Jewish-issues weblog.
The rest, as they say, is history. Glenn has linked to my site fairly generously in the past year. I've gained a lot of friends and fans, a few detractors, and I've seen my name in print a time or two. I get letters from readers all over the world, in all walks of life. I'm still picking up Google searches on my posts from the first few months, and also picking up searches from posts on the same day they are written. And I'm still having a blast writing these posts every day. There is no end in sight, and you won't be seeing me take a hiatus from blogging anytime soon, either. Writing is what I do, and I'm having a lot of fun doing it.
A look inside
Why do I write? You may as well ask me why I breathe. Why the weblog? Because it was a way to get myself to write every day, something I had triedand failedto do for years. And then there was my idea that perhaps I could pull an Andrew Sullivan in reverse: Get the weblog out every day, make contacts, and start selling my writing. It's begun. I have a few clips now, and expect to have many more. But the weblog has become even more than that.
This weekend, I spent some time with a fellow weblogger. We'd never actually met, and in fact, didn't even talk on the phone until I got stuck in traffic on the NJ Turnpike on the way to her house. But we'd corresponded for nearly a year, and discovered a common background, common likes and dislikes, and a camaraderie that was as real as the friendships you make offline. It's something I've known about for many years: When I was a BBS sysop, I made friends through email correspondences that often became deeper than my other, offline friendships. The same thing happened through the GEnie network and Compuserve. And now it's happening via my weblog.
It's not only happening with the people who are close enough to visit, either. I've found that my readers are a phenomenal bunch of people. My "invisibles," I've called you since I started getting an audience. (I refuse to use the word "lurker" because I consider that an insult. And, well, no comments, hello, no lurking.) Most of the people who read this weblog are content to read in silent anonymity. A small percentage write an occasional letter, and even fewer write frequently. And really, when you consider the average interaction at a party, you've always got the ones who demand the center of attention, the ones who talk easily and frequently, the ones who talk only a bit, and the ones who sit quietly and listen and nod to the people doing all of the talking.
Okay, so I talk a lot at parties, too. But I also listen. The point is, the same people who read this weblog make up the types of people who go to parties. Some of them are chatterboxes, but most of them just sit back and take it all in. I suppose it works in reverse as well; my readers feel like they know me. (You understand, I hope, that while I do open up a curtain into a window on my life, my particular curtain is only open an inch or so. Some things simply need to be private.)
But I know you're out there, my invisibles, because my stats keep on climbing. I passed the thousand-a-day visitor mark a while ago, which used to be my goal (I wanted to kick Wil Wheaton's ass in stats), and am marching steadily higher. You're a big part of the why of yourish.com. You're there, therefore I write. You keep reading, therefore I try to write better. You send email, and the cycle that started with those four letters after the Salon piece continues. I get as much enjoyment out of it now as I did a year ago, and considerably more than two years ago. A single complimentary letter can set me smiling for the rest of the day.
I'll make a deal with you. You keep reading, and I'll keep writing. The needle will still go all over the dialfrom outrage to humor to a riff on lost friendshipsand I'll do my best to keep you entertained. After two years, I've realized that I should just go with whatever wants to come out of my head at the moment I'm sitting down to the keyboard. And you've learned that the most dangerous times for me are when my brain goes into the downtime of simple tasks, like washing dishes, or boring ones, like long drives between New Jersey and Virginia. That's when you get "Sober," or "It's a Dog's Life," or the various Hulk posts, or Woody E. Woodpecker reports.
When I get a chance to catch up, I'll update my greatest hits pages with my more recent work. If you want to travel through time, though, just hit one of the archive pages and browse from there. Maybe you could tell me what you think belongs on the updated pages.
And thanks for reading. It really is a lot more fun now than it was writing in that echo chamber in the spring and summer of 2001.
One last thing: The how of it for other bloggers. Write. Write well. Write about topics that interest people. That's really all I did. permalink
I've been (sigh) working on my synagogue newsletter for much of the day, and it's not finished yet. It's completely cutting into the time I intended to spend writing my anniversary post (it's tomorrow, two years, happy birthday to me). You know, Glenn's been complaining that he keeps losing email because he's overwhelmed with it. I get the feeling if I email him that it's my second anniversary tomorrow, it'll be like a Lilliputian whispering in Gulliver's ear on a windy dayfrom ground level. Well, whatever. I'll have the anniversary post up. Sometime tomorrow afternoon, most likely, so those of you who are goofing offer, reading this from workwill be able to read it on the right day.
In the meantime, I have some search requests, by request, for an old friend.
Does this mean what I think it means?
Um.... okay. [backing away slowly]
Looks like I'm not the only one having them. And may I say: Ha!
A helicopter has been circling my complex for the past ten minutes. Who knew maintenance was that good here?
Woody, you're toast. permalink
This morning, sure enough, Woody E. Woodpecker was hammering away at my chimney hood. I opened the back door as quietly as I could, ice cubes in handliterally, because I am really not much of a thinker at 6:43 a.m.and eased out softly. When I saw the offensive little bird, I hauled off and threw an ice cube. It was, alas, way off again, and merely hit the side of the building. Woody flew off.
And so did five other birds.
He has an effing harem.
Five of them. He has a harem. He has an effing harem!
What the hell are they all doing up there, anyway? Having a hen session?
(Yes, Walter. I think one of them is gay.)
So after standing there with my jaw on the ground, watching five effing woodpecker babes fly off after Woody Effing Woodpecker, I realized I need help. Even though I have a load of birdshot, and Heidi says I can have the slingshot, I really don't trust my aim that early in the morning, what with having missed the last four times in a row.
So I called Maintenance. We shall see what happens next. permalink
I met Lynn B. yesterday, and was treated to quite the gourmet meal: Three different kinds of wines, ostrich and buffalo tenderloins, roasted potatoes, onions, eggplants, and buttfruit. I can't remember the name of the fruit. But each of them had this, well, wrinkly crack down the middle that looked like nothing so much as a buttcrack, and I couldn't help myself. I declared them to be buttfruit and wished I'd taken a picture before S. had peeled and cut them, because after they were peeled and cut they just looked like, well, fruit slices. (They also looked a little like Audrey Two from Little Shop of Horrors, but without the teeth.) Oh, they tasted like fruit, thankfully. And the ostrich tasted nothing like poultry. I liked it, and the buffalo. We dedicated our meal to PETA. I guess if we'd topped it off with ice cream for dessert, that would have gotten all the major animal food groups. Didn't think of it, darn it.
So they got me drunk and then kept me up talking until 2:30 in the morning, and made sure I was up bright and early by making tea at, oh, nine a.m. Philistines. I'd probably have slept 'til noon, but then, I did still have a long drive ahead of me, so I guess it was for the best. Driving with a hangover? No problem. I'll just remember to return the favor when they come visit me.
Yes, we discussed weblogs and weblogging, although it was only a small part of the conversation. We talked about a lot of things. We talked about Woody E. Woodpecker, who may or may not show up at 6:30 tomorrow morning. But I'm ready for him. Well, I would be except Heidi never called me back earlier and then I got too tired to drive down and borrow G.'s slingshot. You see, S. gave me a bag of lead shot to get Woody with. He says it won't kill him, but it ought to sting enough to make him go away. I was tempted to ask for his bow and arrow, but decided I might miss Woody and hit my window, which would be rather difficult to explain to the management corporation that runs my complex. Picture this phone conversation: "Well, I was trying to get rid of my woodpecker problem and I broke the window. With an arrow. Yes, that's right, an arrow." I get the feeling that they might not renew my lease if I did that.
Anyway. It was a really nice time, and a nice morning, where even the song of their woodpeckers couldn't dampen my good mood. Okay, the lack of sleep and slight hangover could, but that's a different story. I think, though, that I'll be sleeping with earplugs tonight, because I have a feeling Woody is going to be back in the morning. And I'd like to sleep in. permalink
If you read Captain Steve's last letter, then you'll recognize this guy:
My Passover bridge tour has concluded. I'm home, the kitties are brushed and petted and have been let out (Tig is yowling for more belly rubs as I type this), and I picked up a present for Sorena and me (Morning Glories, giant, four-stage sparklers totally legal here in VA).
It was a nice trip, and the last leg of it was filled with alcohol, buffalo, ostrich, woodpeckers, shot (no, the lead kind, not the other kind), and I'm tired and hungry and need to have some dinner before I can expand upon that. Go visit Lynn, she has even less detail about my visit. Okay, maybe a bit more than I have, but still, it's only sketchy.
I have more pictures to freak out Marduk with, too, but I haven't downloaded them and am rather too tired to do much with them yet, either. I think I'm going to veg in front of the tube and watch Buffy and Angel. But I'll be back later. permalink
Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary and The Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.