Saturday, July 11, 2009

Maintaining the Linkage

Earlier this week, while obsessing over perusing Sitemeter, I noticed a referral that really Made My Day. It was from Roberta X! Well, I immediately figured it was someone following back from her comment section. But, wait - she's on Blogger, so the link would have been from my profile page, which an author comment link would have led to. The link came from her home page.

So, I looked and gee - she linked me! Woo HOOoooOOoo! That was so cool! 'Cause I read her every day, and have her linked! I looked at my blog links to be sure, and well, maybe not so much. I didn't have her linked. I have her roomie Tam linked, but not Roberta? Of course I rectified that ASAP. I've had her in my reader forever, and have vastly enjoyed what she has to say since finding her on Jeff Soyer's People of the Gun page.

So, you say, what's so great about her? You may ask, and you will find out. First, she's a GIRL, dammit. That right there takes care of ninety percent of us cavemen types. Yeah, so what??? you say. But wait, there's more!

Roberta is definitely a conservative. Not really a Republican, more of a libertarian (which is what I'd like to think I am). I hate to label 'cause I'm likely to get it wrong, but in her ideal world, we'd have as little government as possible. She tends towards anarchy more than moi, but it's because she gives the human race the benefit of the doubt far more than I. If that's not enough, she's a gunny. Likes to shoot, and likes things that go bang, and writes about her acquisitions and experiences with her growing collection.

Roberta is also into older technology. Sturdy, well built typewriters, telegraph keys, phones and other formerly essential items tickle her fancy. She sees the artistic merit in these elderly artifacts, recognizing the philosophy of over engineering inherent in the idea "built to last." Built in an era before planned obsolescence, their solidity and heft indicate a quality that certainly is artistic in this disposable era. She's a Steampunk babe, fer sure.

Roberta writes obliquely about her job, and speaks of it in terms of "working on the Star Drive." She's started a serial scifi adventure that has it's roots in her references to her job. Plus, as mentioned before, she and the Queen of Snark live under the same roof. This intersection of sharp wits results in some hilarious observations and stories.

Have I mentioned her writing skills? Roberta puts sentences together utilizing her extensive vocabulary in a quite accessible fashion. Not only does she like forgotten technology, she's a fan of abandoned words. Words that exactly fit the point she's trying to make.

It's like this: You've invited her over to play. You've got a kick-ass set of Legos® that become the toy de jour. You, being the selfish lout you are, grab all the "good" parts you can get your grubby mitts on. She oohs and ahhs over the odd bits and pieces you've never really cared for, and rakes in a pile of those "useless" parts. Hah! You'll show her. You manage to make a facsimile of a jet fighter. You're all about high tech. I mean, you've even managed to rake the wings and rudder, not an easy thing with strictly square blocks. Quite full of yourself, you proudly display your creation at your feet.

You hear a buzzing noise. Looking over at Roberta's handiwork, you see a very detailed model of a Sopwith Camel as it picks up speed on the hardwood floor. A faint whiff of oil and avgas reaches your nostrils as the little biplane gains altitude. Wait, are those Vickers machine guns mounted? Yep, because the diminutive warbird has started strafing your pitiful blocky "jet fighter." It starts to smoke, and the Camel loops over to take another run. This time, a Sidewinder missile streaks from under the bottom wing, blowing your unworthy creation to bits. The broken pieces burn, and a column of black smoke starts to rise.

The remarkable fighter executes a stunning victory roll and lands at Roberta's feet. Meanwhile, a perfect little fire truck, siren wailing, heads to your flaming wreck. It's followed by a tiny dump truck towing a trailer hauling a backhoe. Engine Number 9 puts out the fire, and the backhoe unloads itself, scoops up the mess into the dump truck, loads itself on the trailer, and the convoy drives to Roberta. She reaches into the dump bed, takes out the Ziploc baggie holding the wrecked airplane, zips it shut, and tosses the mess away.

Yep, it's pretty much like that.

It's ok for her to blow up your pretentious little idea. But, to leave a mess, well, that Simply Isn't Done. Roberta has manners.

Note: This is all tongue in cheek. Roberta has never skewered me for anything, and AFAIK, she's never skewered anyone in such an extreme fashion. More than anything, this little farce is just a method of showing how superior I feel her writing skills actually are. But one thing is true for sure - she is polite - another apparent anachronism these days.


CGHill said...

Do not doubt that she could leave you a shriveling mass of protoplasm, were she so inclined.

Between Bobbi and Tam, there's more than enough mad verbal skillz to replace about 90 percent of our self-proclaimed pundits.

Jeffro said...

shriveling mass of protoplasm

Oh, I don't doubt that a bit, Chaz! I am confident she'd be neat about it, though.


Tam said...

She makes a pretty good beef stew, too. :)

Roberta X said...

Oh, my! Thank you!