Daily Archives: May 7, 2008

For Those of You Wanting to Practice Your Spanish

Apparently Minotauro, my publisher in Spain, is whetting appetites for the Spanish language release of The Ghost Brigades (Las Brigadas Fantasma) by releasing the first chapter of the book online as a pdf document, which you may find at Scyla, which to my entirely-unable-to-read-Spanish eyes is a news/info site for Minotauro and other related booklines. Here’s the page it’s on; click on the link that says “avance de publicación de Las Brigadas Fantasma” for the pdf. And clearly, if you have Spanish-reading friends who are science fiction fans, by all means point them in that direction. The official release date, incidentally, is June 5th. Start saving your euro-pennies now.

Some of you asked whether LBF would be available here in the US; honestly, I have no idea. I would imagine if you have a Spanish language bookstore near you, you could check or perhaps have them special order it. Be warned that I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to be cheap, however, since the list price of LBF is €18, which at current exchange rates is something like $47,000. I might be off on the math there. Sadly, not by much.

It’s Over, Hillary. Let it Go.

You know, today would be an excellent day for the mandarins of the Democratic Party to pay a call to Hillary Clinton, sit her down and then, kindly and gently, and with full appreciation of everything she’s done for party and country, stick a goddamn fork in her. She suffered a 14-point blowout in North Carolina and while she scraped up a bare popular vote victory in Indiana, in the realpolitik terms of delegates, she tied. Combine the popular vote and the delegate allotment from both states, and she’s the huge loser for the evening. She lost. She’s done. She’s fallen down and she can’t get up.

But wait, you say, what if she manages to get the delegates from Michigan and Florida seated? And then convinces the superdelegates to roll her way? And then uses the Clinton machine at the convention back rooms to seal the deal? She could still get the nomination! Well, no. Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure even now the Clinton apparatchiks are plotting out some Rube Goldberg-like contraption of an strategy that lands their gal into the White House. But in the real world, at this point, the fallout of a Hillary nomination and the positively un-small-”d”-democratic machinations that would be required to make it happen would be surpassingly grim, since among other things it essentially gut punches pretty much every Democrat who is either African-American or under the age of 40, Chelsea Clinton excepted. Throwing these folks under the proverbial bus is not the way to actually win an election. One advantage the Democrats have over the GOP is that significant slices of the GOP base actively dislike their nominee; it would be ill-advised for the Democrats to offer up a candidate with the same qualities.

And while one should never underestimate the Democratic Party’s ability to fuck up a cakewalk, I think in this case they’re not quite that dumb. Outside of the Clinton camp, it’s hard to see how anyone in the Democratic Party can see the Clinton campaign as anything more than an affectation at this point. It’s time to send in the grand old men of the party to tell her that it’s time to let it go. And if she won’t let it go — she is a Clinton, after all — then it’s time for them to metaphorically get up and start turning off the lights around her. Just because she’s still pretending she has a chance doesn’t mean anyone else is obliged to any more.

The Deal With Lopsided Cat

Since people are curious, here is why Lopsided Cat is called Lopsided Cat:

Lopsided Cat came to us a few years ago when he basically emerged from the woods to the east of our house, walked up to Athena and started loving on her, which pleased the then 3-or-4 year old Athena immensely. He was a good cat, but one thing we noticed about him is that his head was almost always at a tilt, as if there were an invisible weight pulling down one side of his head. Thus, and because we hadn’t quite officially adopted him yet, we called him “that lopsided cat.”

When we eventually did decide to adopt him and took him to the vet, we discovered the reason for the head tilt was not invisible weights but a serious ear mite infestation, which apparently irritated him enough to cause him to walk around with his head at an angle. We got the infestation cleared up, but he continued to have a tilted head; I don’t know, maybe he just got used to seeing the world that way. In any event, by that time “Lopsided Cat” became his full name, because if you call a cat something long enough it just gets weird to call him something else.

You’ll also notice that Lopsided Cat, like Zeus, just showed up at the door and was taken in. We very strongly suspect (also like Zeus) that he may have originally been someone else’s cat, since Lopsided Cat had already been fixed before he came to us; unlike Zeus, however, we don’t suspect he was abandoned, because he was well fed and (minus the earmites) in healthy form. What we think happened is that he was the kid of a neighborhood cat named Baby (who is also Ghlaghghee’s mom) who was given to another neighbor, and that eventually Lopsided Cat simply decided he was going to trade up, owner-wise. I think it’s likely at first he time-shared between two households, because in the early days he’d be gone for days at a time, but then either he made a final decision in his catlike head, or the other owners simply moved away, leaving him behind.

Either way, he’s our cat now, and an excellent one: Very mellow, unless he’s killing something, in which case, he’s pretty much the opposite of mellow. I think this is a good way to be a carnivore, personally. And the whole permanent head tilt is an endearing quirk, since it always makes it look like he’s looking at you like you just did something funny. It’s like a permanent laugh track, in cat form.

That’s his story.