June 27, 2006

Viva El Presidente

You'd think that I, as a liberal and a Bush-disliker, would have known about this. It turns out that there is some sort of legal loophole that allows the president to sign a bill into law while at the same time signing another statement affirming that the law doesn't apply to him. Bush has done this 750 times, far more than any other president. Is anyone surprised?

I thought we used to try to export democracy to banana republics. Now it appears we're importing their fascism while putting armed guards on our borders to keep the people out.

What a bunch of dopes we have running our country, and it starts at the top.

June 26, 2006

June 21, 2006

Excellence in Volunteer Programs

A quick plug for my employer. I was on hand in Seattle on Monday to watch our CEO accept the Points Of Light Foundation's award for excellence in workplace volunteer programs. I am proud of this award because not only do I help run many of the programs that helped Wells Fargo earn this award, but I also wrote a good portion of the application that won it.

hooray for me

June 18, 2006

one of the worst jobs

Why in the world would anyone ever want to be a referee? The one in the USA v Italy game blew it, big time. While I do think the first two red cards were deserved, the first yellow on Pope was undeserved, and the second merited a warning but probably not a yellow. What it means, of course (besides putting the US a man down for 45 minutes) is that Pope can not play in the final match. The US defense held up without him, but it will be too bad to have him unavailable. Mastroeni--well, I'm not really sure why he was on the field to begin with.

Go USA! Go Azzurri! Too bad, though, that there is no case in which both Ghana and the US can advance.

June 16, 2006

jumping out of the airplane

This week, a young American soccer player compared playing in the World Cup to going to war. Personally, I find such analogies disingenuous. Nothing but war should be compared to war; perhaps if we were less cavalier about comparing sports to war, we would have fewer wars.

Be that as it may, I will use another analogy that really doesn't work: I just jumped out of the airplane. That is, I sent my query for Jumping The Stream out to an agent. It's not really a leap of faith in the way that a skydiver has faith that his parachute will open. It's a different kind of risk--if the agent declines, really I've lost nothing other than a potential opportunity. If the parachute fails to open, the skydiver is likely to lose somewhat more than the opportunity of slowing down.

I think this would be a more momentous occasion if I had not already sent the novel once to a small, independent publishing house for its first rejection. I've learned a lot in the ensuing six months, and the novel is much improved, as is the query itself.

Wish me luck. Or don't, if you don't like me. It's really up to you. Just remember: In publishing, it's a war out there.

An even 2,500 and counting

While we've got a long way to go to hit Vietnam's 58,000+ American deaths (thank goodness), we have finally hit 2,500 in Iraq. Let's all hope it does not get much higher.

Blogger's Block

I notice that most of my blogging friends (and I) have not posted new items for days, or even weeks. Spring fever? Rampant bloggers' block? Too busy? Wrapped up in World Cup?

For me it's a combination of all four. It is hard to revise a novel, raise two kids, keep the weeds and pool algae in check, and hold down the day job.

Speaking of my writing, in general it's going well. Feedback from a professional writer is very positive, and I plan on sending queries out to agents within a week or two. Wish me luck. I've finished revising 13 of the 19 chapters, though I'll need to do another pass at some point. I worry that there's not quite enough action in the middle chapters and that the story is too character-based. But we shall see whether it flies or sinks. Or stinks so bad that it draw flies.

Still no word yet on the stories I submitted to THEMA way back when, or my submission to the Glimmer Train new writers contest, or my most recent submission to The First Line.

Go USA, beat Italy.

June 6, 2006


We have two new members of our household. Meet Annie (the gray striped) and Alice (the pale tortoiseshell). We got them at the Martinez Animal Shelter, and they were just about eight weeks old. They're not sisters, and at first they didnt much care for each other. In three days they've warmed up to us and to each other, and they're both wonderful wee beasties now.

The first night we had them, we had to go out for a social engagement (happy 40th, Beth!). So we locked them snug in our half-bath downstairs. When we returned at 1 a.m., we could find only one kitten in the tiny room. I quickly figured out that Annie had climbed inside the pedestal of the pedestal sink, snaking through the access opening in the back and getting stuck down in the bottom cavity of the pedestal. The only solution was to unhook the piping and pull the sink off the wall since I could not reach in and pull her out. I finally got to bed around 2:30 a.m.

Welcome, Alice and Annie!

The Greatest Generation

Honoring those who showed the real meaning of courage.
June 6, 1944