Zhaba Zhournal
Friday, June 13, 2003 
Grammar, or lack thereof 
Here's why I need to be an elite grammar whore (see two posts down):
“When a good boss goes s/he leaves behind an organisation that can run without them
That's the paragraph in its entirety, lone opening quotation mark and missing period included (or not included, as the case may be). Excuse me while I bang my head against...well, no, excuse me while I find the author and bang his/her head against the Chicago Manual of Style.

This is a book by and for library professionals; I'd like to think that people who work with books all day would have some grasp of grammar. (J., who isn't a librarian but works at a library, says that this is all too often not the case. Most of the people he works with pronounce their place of employment "liberry." Oh well; that's why people hire me...)

[ at 2:34 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

From my credit card statement:
Current balance: $13.65
Minimum payment due: $14.00
Excuse me? Oh well, they hold my credit rating hostage, so pay I must and pay I will.

[ at 2:06 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Quizzy goodness 
I've been trying to avoid the LiveJournal Quiz Lemming syndrome on my blog, but I just had to post this one:

[take the test] - [by krystaljungle.com]

Of course, most of my job involves copyediting, and I live by the Chicago Manual of Style, so it's no surprise; but never before have I had a spiffy graphic to proclaim it. (I'm not going to abuse my power and point out all the grammatical errors in the quiz itself, but I do need to mention that the plural of "ellipsis" is "ellipses.")

[ at 1:45 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Really evil spam 
The evillest of evil spam: Spam virus 'hijacks' computers. It allows the spammers to use the virus-infected machine as an e-mail router. (I may have the technical terminology wrong; I'm no Internet guru. But you get the basic idea.)

More on the virus at McAfee: BackDoor-AVF Virus Profile.

I gotta get evilspam.com up and running...

[ at 12:48 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Friday Five 
1. What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but never have?
Visit Scotland.

2. When someone asks your opinion about a new haircut/outfit/etc, are you always honest?
Yes, but if I don't like it, I find something positive (but still true!) to say about it.

3. Have you ever found out something about a friend and then wished you hadn't? What happened?
Probably, but my tendency is to bury these things as deep as possible in my subconscious and not remember them. And never mention it.

4. If you could live in any fictional world (from a book/movie/game/etc.) which would it be and why?
Robin McKinley's Damar. The horses are beautiful, the cats are two feet tall, and the women not only wield swords, they totally kick ass with them. (Or slice or stab ass, as the case may be.)

5. What's one talent/skill you don't have but always wanted?
To be able to dance. I am so, so unable to dance. It's driven me to tears. In one of my high school musicals, the choreographer was a former student who'd gone on to the Alvin Ailey dance company, and she spent an entire afternoon trying to teach me one simple dance for a big full-cast number, and finally the director just said "Let's get her off the stage before the dance starts."

[ at 11:50 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Stormy weather... 
Thunderstorm last night. A new level of hell: a car alarm that goes off whenever there's loud thunder. I think it should be legal to hit cars with car alarms with a crowbar until they shut up. I would be glad if someone stole a car while the car alarm was going off. More power to 'em. Thanks for getting the fucking thing out of my neighborhood. While you're at it, can you steal my neighbor's dogs? (Which also go off whenever there's thunder.)

Nah, I'm not in a bad mood...

Gray and rainy this morning. And tomorrow, the beginning of the 19th gray weekend this year. Excuse me while I beat my head against a wall. At least then maybe I'd see some bright lights before passing out.

Nah, I'm not in a really bad mood...

[ at 9:40 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Thursday, June 12, 2003 
In the news 
Top three headlines on E! Online:One of these things is not like the others...

(I'll probably get my Gen X membership card revoked, but I don't even know who/what Linkin is.)

[ at 3:03 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

X-10 ads: proof that they are evil 
Is there anyone, anywhere, with any kind of browser-based Internet access whatsoever, who doesn't hate those X-10 camera ads? Here's an X-10 pop-up gallery (lacking the animation that adds that extra-special "here's how her breasts would jiggle" touch). They're obviously appealing to the perverts of the world, especially with the ads where the models look like they're about 15.

A point to ponder: Where could you put these cameras where you'd actually get images of scantily-clad women? I'm assuming it's not really in the house of the person who buys the camera, unless his teenage daughter throws a lot of wild parties. A locker room? A college dorm? The alley behind a strip club? Your neighbor's bedroom window? In any event, it's stupid, perverted, and really annoying.

[ at 11:53 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Note to self 
Be very, very careful about entering those zeroes on an ATM. I almost accidentally withdrew $1,100. (Fortunately the machine has a $600 limit.) I don't even know what I'd do with $1,100 in cash; I certainly wouldn't want to carry it around, and there's no bank near here. Take it to the nearest check-cashing/money-order-selling place and get a money order pronto, I guess.

[ at 11:25 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Telemarketer from hell 
Here's someone you don't want to hear from: a telemarketer who, after being hung up on, called the person back and left a threatening, expletive-filled message on his voice mail (Telemarket firm fired by Qwest for menacing call). I once had a telemarketer call me back and say "Rude!" and hang up on me, but that's the worst I've gotten.

[ at 11:08 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Spam satire goes big-time 
The 3rd Annual Nigerian E-mail Conference from the J-Walk Blog, discovered via Presurfer on May 29, has made it to the U.K. Register: Reg to attend 3rd Annual Nigerian Email Conference. Amusingly, the Register article also contains what appears to be an actual response from an actual Nigerian, who says:
However the fact that you haven't made clear that the entire article is a joke only reinforces the impression that it is genuine, and I'm sure our associations lawyers will see what levels of culpability you can face. I will be sending a copy of this message to the Nigerian Embassy in the UK, as well as the CRE and the PCC. You could, however, pre-empt this by simply pointing out on your article that the article is in fact a joke.
The Register's response is a flashing red button saying "JOKE ALERT." (I was going to post it here, but decided it was too annoying for the front page of my blog.) The only thing funnier than spam satire is spam satire satire...

[ at 10:22 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 
O Canada 
I'm having serious Canada envy. Prescription drugs are affordable, they're seriously talking about legalizing marijuana, and now this: Toronto declares gay marriage legal. I suppose it will be challenged there, too, but the principle is highly encouraging. Part of it is worth quoting at length:
In a straightforward opinion, the Court of Appeals unanimously dismissed the idea that procreation and rearing children mandate the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from the institution of marriage. "The [Attorney General of Canada] has not shown that the opposite-sex requirement in marriage is rationally related to the encouragement of procreation and child rearing," wrote the Court. "The law is both overinclusive and underinclusive. The ability to 'naturally' procreate and the willingness to raise children are not prerequisites of marriage for opposite-sex couples. ... Simultaneously, the law is underinclusive because it excludes same-sex couples that have and raise children."
Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. I'm really sick of the argument that "procreation and rearing children" is the main, or even sole, purpose of marriage, both because it's often used to argue against gay/lesbian marriages, and also because, yo, not all straight people want to procreate. (Like me and J., for instance.) Does that mean our marriage is less valid? Does it mean the marriages of infertile people are less valid? What's wrong with marrying someone because you love them and want to spend your life with them, and are content with having a family that consists of just the two of you, without bringing more people into this overpopulated planet? (I could go on about this at length, but I've got to get to work...)

Anyway: Go Canada!

[ at 9:50 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Sundry things 
A collection of things, not big enough for their own entries.
  1. I am a total copyediting geek. I dreamed last night about using the Chicago Manual of Style. (And I was using the right style, too.)

  2. Watching TV this morning:
    Weatherman: The sunshine is taking another day off.
    J.: The sunshine is fucking tanned, rested, and ready.
  3. When I arrived at work, there was a young squirrel huddled up with its back to the door. It looked more scared than injured. I directed my foot towards it—I didn't kick it, or even nudge it—and it ran out of the way. I guess it just couldn't figure out what to do when its back was to a wall and a person was coming at it.
Further bulletins as events warrant...

[ at 8:57 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Tuesday, June 10, 2003 
Actually turned on the air conditioning in the bedroom. (It's not actively hot outside, but it's warm and sticky in that distinctive mid-Atlantic way, and it's stuffy inside the house.) Is it...could it be...summer? (Well, gray and rainy tomorrow; but still in the 80's.)

If it stays damp and gray much longer, we're all going to go moldy. We'll have moss growing on us. Like tree sloths. (Heck, I've been feeling about as energetic as a tree sloth...)

[ at 9:42 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Meme of the moment 
Well, gosh, it's Tag Tuesday and I've been tagged (via greengrl). There's a button and everything: (right-click and save if you want it). Does this mean I get to run around the Internet meme-ing? (Well, there's that work thing...)

[ at 2:36 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

The former ImClone CEO has been fined and sentenced to prison. (Good.) I'm somewhat amused by the top headlines from Reuters and AP:

Reuters: Former ImClone CEO Waksal Gets 87 Months in Prison

AP: ImClone Founder Sam Waksal Given 7 Years

Let's guess which one of these offices has a calculator...

(Admittedly, 87 divided by 12 isn't exactly 7; still, it's easier to assimilate "7 years" than "87 months." An ideal headline would be something like "over 7 years.")

[ at 1:20 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Dear Melanie Griffith:

Please, please do not get any more plastic surgery. If your face and breasts get any higher they'll be a danger to low-flying aircraft, and you'll never be prettier than your husband. (Not this husband, anyway.)


[ at 11:29 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

It's sunny. It's warm. What the heck is this? You'd think it was early June in a temperate climate zone, or something.

Oh, wait. It is. I'd almost forgotten.

(The Yale marching band's cheer when the sun comes out: "Sun god, sun god, Ra Ra Ra!")

[ at 9:12 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Monday, June 09, 2003 
Medical directive of the day 
From the book I'm working on (a guide to intravenous medications): "Resuscitate as necessary." Um, yes, I should hope so.

("Doctor, the patient needs to be resuscitated. What should we do?" "Let me check...okay, the book says 'resuscitate as necessary.'" "Never mind, too late...")

[ at 3:35 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Worst. Editing job. Ever. 
I've got an enormous manuscript from a publisher—over 1,100 pages, physical paper pages—which have already been marked up by their copyeditor. What do they want me to do? Go through and highlight the changes, and mark the pages with a Post-It flag. I don't see why they can't just make the changes that are already written down without me highlighting them. (Or have us make the changes, for that matter.) I think it's stupid, my boss thinks it's stupid, my manager thinks it's stupid, but the customer is always right, and all that. So I'm going through page by page and highlighting and flagging. I've used up one highlighter and about ten Post-It flag dispensers; I went out to Staples at lunch to buy more. They're almost $8 for a pack of four; I spent $60.49 on the frickin' things. (My boss is paying me back, of course.) Earth to publisher: It's called electronic publishing. You use computers. And even if you don't, can you honestly not figure out how to make a correction unless it's written down and highlighted and has a Post-It flag sticking out of the page? Yeesh...

[ at 2:10 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Sunday, June 08, 2003 
Note to self 
Consuming nothing all day but Ritalin, coffee, and chocolate makes one very zippy.

[ at 4:29 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Various things on TV 
To my shame, I must admit that I have been watching E!'s Nearly Famous series about Vegas showgirls. It's kind of refreshing, actually; because quite frankly, actual Vegas showgirls are not particularly attractive. They've got decent bodies, of course, but nothing spectacular; and they're rather facially scary. Especially with all that makeup. (Particularly this one, who looks like the offspring of Chelsea Clinton and Elizabeth Berkley.) And they could all use either a natural hair color or a recent dye job. And they can't even dance that well. I no longer feel quite so inferior.

Also, "Austin Powers" on TBS; somewhat oddly edited for TV. You can say "randy" but not "horny," and you can say "Alotta Fagina" but not "Swedish-made penis enlarger." (They sort of elided the "made" to cover the "penis" syllables and turned it into "Swedish-maaaade enlarger.") It's certainly darned funny, and less disgusting and puerile than the two sequels.

And then, Michael York in a much different role: "Cabaret" on TCM last night. Kick-ass movie. What's Joel Grey done since then? It's pretty hard for a man to have a movie career after he's appeared in lipstick, at least if that's his first noticeable movie role (see Tim Curry). (If you're already clearly established as very much straight, thank you, you can get away with it; see "Some Like It Hot," "Tootsie," etc.) I don't know if it was intentional, but Liza Minnelli did a dead-on portrayal of someone in a high mania. Impulsive, self-destructive, high-energy, oversexed. (Been there, done that, got medicated...)

Made me wonder: There's depression, where you're just depressed; there's bipolar disorder/manic depression, when you're manic and depressed; is there a third option, where you're just manic? I suppose if there is, it's not treated as a disease, because, hey, you're feeling terrific and you don't think there's a single problem with you. And everyone else thinks you're charismatic and energetic and fun to be around. Well, until you act like a total asshole to them; but there's always someone new to think you're terrific. If anyone tries to tell you there's something wrong with you, you blow it, and them, off. And eventually you die young and leave a beautiful corpse, I guess. I don't think there are many old, untreated manics around.

[ at 3:13 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Depressing weather 
It's not just everyone's imagination: of the 23 weekends this year, 18 of them have had precipitation. (In the northeast, at least.) And I don't think the other five were any too sunny, either.


If I wanted constant dank gray weather, I'd move to London. At least there I could go to the British Museum in my spare time.

[ at 2:44 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Yes, that's me.

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