Friday, August 29, 2008

More Me on (in?) the News

Today, I was on Northeast Public Radio's WAMC for their 2pm call-in show.

I must confess, it was great fun fielding calls from listeners on the Democratic Convention and McCain's VP pick.

One of my former students even called in. He said I had been his favorite professor at UAlbany. I must put him on the payroll!

Listen if you wish.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Me on the News

Last week, in the run up to the Obama VP announcement via text message, I got calls from a couple media outlets to talk about this strategy. You can watch the video or read the transcript of the rather quirky news story here.


I have a cold, have had it for over a week now. Today, I'm working for home, and so made myself some quick chicken noodle soup using Ramen noodles, some left over chicken, and some old carrots lingering in the fridge.

I'm now at my desk, trying to finish coding deliberations, and supping.

I find it remarkably comforting. The warmth of the broth, the slippery-ness of the noodles, the sweetness of the carrots.

When I think of soup, I think of my mom. I ate a lot of soup thanks to her. When the cupboards and fridge were bare, and they often were, she could pull together a soup out of anything. One I remember most vividly is a carrot hamburger concoction.

We were living in a trailer that was part of a tiny little trailer park sandwiched in a narrow valley outside of Rapid City, S.D. in the Black Hills. This was around 1984. I was 12.

The crazy 1970s era trailer was one story in front and two stories at the back: teeny bedrooms above and below. It was blue. There was a hole in the roof in the living room where a wood stove should have been. The kitchen was at the front. It was summer.

At lunchtime one day, my brother and I came in from playing with the other kids in the trailer park, mostly illegal Mexican immigrants. We were starving. Mom hunted through the cupboards and fridge and found some beef broth, some wilty carrots, and a package of hamburgee. Twenty minutes later we had soup.

It was delicious.

I still think fondly of that soup. I've tried to reproduce it a few times, but it never tasted as sweet or as salty as what my memory says it should be. When you have little, such simple fare becomes all the more satisfying.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Why Conventions are Cool

I'm streaming the convention on my computer while doing various and sundry things for work. Mark Warner has just taken the podium. But, before he did, there was about 5 minutes of downtime from the prior speaker. During that time the song "I'm so excited" played, and the cameras showed pictures of enthusiastic Democrats in the hall dancing, singing along, wearing silly hats, talking to each other, and shaking hands.

I've always found Conventions reassuring, because it shows a swath of America that really cares about politics, that is so completely energized by their party, and who have as part of their identity being political, being part of a party.

I know there's much hand wringing about the red/blue divide, and I have done some of that myself. But, it's also nice to see excitement for politics expressed in smiles and by bodies.