Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Fresh off the Tarmac

Just back from trip to North Carolina, upon which more reflections later. On the way there, at Newark Airport, we ran into Toby whatever his name is formerly of the Princeton Art Museum and also of some 57th st gallery. On the way back I was chasing Graham around the terminal and I noticed Eldar Shafir of the Princeton Psychology department, a young star on the behavioral economics and finance circuit, in transit between a conference at Duke and another on in frickin Venice, Itly.

People are always astonished at how many people I run into. It looks like pure randomness. But is it? I ran into a kid I knew who was from Kazan' and a woman I had met at Columbia at a bar in Moscow. Both were connected to a photo conference Mary was checking out. How does this kind of stuff happen? I keep my eyes open, wherever I am, and I look at people. It helps that I know a lot of people, sure, but a large component of it is that I expect to run into people, I actually try to do it. I go to places where people cluster and look around.

Another big factor is affinity. People from like backgrounds are likely to gravitate towards similar places and situations, and will settle in similar towns and neighborhoods. If you expect to run into people, you do.

So Natalie will give Eldar's girl Sophie an awesome Tar Heel State tourist t-shirt tomorrow at pre-school, due to a terminal hand-off. But now Graham is asleep in the car and I must go.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Loading Dock, Bullocks, Durham, NC

Off this morning to North Carolina on what I am trying to build into our family mentality as the annual pilgrimage home. After negotiating such decisions as parking at Newark: offsite (ride in little red bus to terminal -- cool [to vehicle loving kids]!) or onsite (ride in Monorail -- even cooler!), we'll fly and get there.

This afternoon I've got to go pick up barbeque for the gathering at Mom's house on Monday. Because barbeque is a traditional, old line industry, the restaurant -- Bullock's in Durham -- is closed Sunday and also Monday. The last time when I went to pick up Q, a couple of year's ago because last year I didn't have to because we snagged the leftover Q from my high school reunion, I got to the restaurant at around 4:30 and the parking lot was packed with people eating dinner. I'm telling you, this is a very Southern place. It's partly Early Bird special mentality, partly people still on an agrarian schedule, however they in fact pass their days.

I go in and go up to the register and tell the lady (naturally) that I'm here to pick up the order for the "Kraus" family (lets' say). She tells me to go outside and go round to the loading dock.

So I do. And this is where it gets really Southern, downright atavistic. I go into the kitchen and say "hello" and out comes a black guy waiter wear, white shirt with bow tie and black pants, also jerry curls. I tell him I'm here to pick up our order and he asks my name and how much of what and goes back out. Then he comes back and announces in a deep southern accent that our order is being handled by "the honorable Jerry Bullock himself, the third proprietor of this fine establishment." The honorable Jerry appears, confirms my order and starts getting it together, and I head back out on the loading dock and back mom's car up to it, as per his instructions. By now a few people are either carrying my order out or are hanging out on the dock, smoking Kools. Jerry, the bossman, is the sole white person seen in the kitchen. Everyone else is deep south black, deep accent, unhurried, irony of untold depth.

It was like something out of an un-PC movie from the 40s, I hadn't seen this society for years, save for snippets in Ira Sach's Memphis-set movie The Delta, and wouldn't, until I visited Princeton's own Nassau Club. But that's a different story.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Blonde on bland

At the dentist this morning, I saw on the cover of People that Jason Priestly is marrying some blonde makeup artist. Below them on the cover was Sharon Stone, with child, and below her was a now blonde Lindsey Lohan. Between the three of them it was an astonishing picture of blonde boredom. Sharon Stone and her junior doppelganger Elizabeth Shue have always been the best example of what I like to call generic blondes, with sharp, balanced, symmetrical features, they blend together seemlessly. As does Priestly's new wife, who may as well remain nameless.

It reminded me of a time when, as a rapporteur for Columbia's faculty seminar on literary theory, a certain septagenarian Princeton professor started going off on how the fact that "anyone would agree that Cindy Crawford is beautiful" was a conclusive argument for a priori aesthetics and platonic forms. Hmm.. I thought. This guy is a moron.

Flash forward to Princeton, 2003 or so. At dinner, our hostess, ABD in English, tells a story of an older professor who has gotten in trouble (since hushed up by the university) for getting a male graduate student wasted, taking him home, trying to extort sexual favors, tying him up and putting him in a closet or some such. Turns out, as you may have guessed, it's the same guy. Which makes all the sense in the world.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A cry for help

Hi everybody. We're in a pickle here. We need to name a data warehouse and a bunch of screens for performing customer relationship, client services and (in future) other functions in a hedge fund.

The hedge fund's name and one of its core products have a mountain theme, so we're looking for something that ties in to mountains. We also want it connote the idea of bringing things together, gathering.

The best thing would be "base camp", but that's a hideous term. You can't name a system that, or even "Data base camp," for obvious reasons, but a colloquial synonym for base camp would be awesome. A good synonym for "Trading Post" or one of those houses where boy scouts stay on the mountainside.

Right now, the leader is "Sherpa"or some variant thereupon, because of the association with "carrying and guiding" into mountains, and because the boss likes it. Other contenders include "Apogee" and "Vertex", thought they're distressingly tech-generic.

Others thought of then rejected: "Mountaineer", "Funicular" (good metaphor, too ugly), "Tarn" (Alpine lake, too ugly).

Help me out. Give me some more mountain-related words with some connotations of centrality or something. good mountain animals.

These just in: Ravine (idea of shelter), Lodge

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Slow blog day

It's bound to happen now and again, as if the endless intoning of the Khodorkovsky verdict and the blazing Moscow heat had come round the world to suck all the energy out of me right here on a drizzly day in in the heart of the great Garden State. I have almost nothing to say.

Generally speaking, blogs impose an incredible amount of discipline on one. I used be tremendously impressed that journalists could just churn out stories day after day after day. Still am. The blog gives one the structure to accomplish the same feat. Sometimes to the readers dismay.

On the subject of Khodorkovsky and Russia, then, let me just say that it's pretty scary the stuff I've heard coming out of Russia of late. If Kafka had seemed to have gone on vacation over there briefly, he's back in full force. Police in riot gear closing off streets at random times for document checks. The street construction outside Khodorkovsky's courthouse. Creative stuff. Stuff you don't think of.

Reading a book on Boris Berezovsky right now by a guy from Forbes named Paul Klebnikov. A guy who got shot in the back of the head on a Moscow street last year. A good investigative journalist, but no one I would have killed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Picnic table in field of some kind of yellow flowers

The other day I was running on the surprising hidden paths between Harrison and Riverside down by Carnegie Lake and I passed by this common picnic table in the woods, surrounded by a field of little yellow flowers. I don't think they were dandelions. It was pretty beautiful, and my mind flew to Russia, the endless expanses of woods and fields, which don't look to be nearly as crazily polluted as they are to the naked eye. There's an incredible sense of frontier in a place where they've been farming for nearly a millenium, all because they've never had enough money to develop it, to heat it in particular.

Heading home, on the other side of Harrison, by the old stoney bridge in the deeply wooded area, a Japanese couple slumber in the reclined front seats of their racing green late-model Civic, their windows open in the mild air, with groceries in the back seat. I shoulda reached right in and stolen their big bag of BBQ Fritos. Mmmm.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Greatest Show on Earth?


I was excited when I heard the Ringling Brothers were in Trenton yesterday. Natalie had a fabulous time when we took her (thanks to Beth and Kevin) to the Big Apple Circus around Xmas year before last. I thought, Ringling Brothers, this is the big time. Wrong.

Unlike the Big Apple, Ringling has no live band, just some piped in pseudofunk. It has more exotic animals, but fewer interesting tricks. One clown was a good acrobat, but there was nobody with any real comic talent. Everywhere there were racist, imperialist overtones, troops of (good) Chinese acrobats and "Mongolian Pole vaulters" and scores of cheap talentless bimbos in pseudo-Arabian garb. Mostly, Ringling tries to make up for the enormous size of its undertalented cast by pandering to the crowd with lame audience participation bits ("Everybody say ho! Ho!"). Like minor league baseball. As with reality shows, it's cheaper to have the audience be the show than to actually develop content.

Concessions were a really sad spectical, selling so much cheap junk at a circus in a poor neighborhood.

Big Apple is totally worth seeing, with a lot of Russian trained performers. Ringling is crap.

Luckily, the kids had a good time. Although Graham may have been more into the bus we saw when we were ranging outside at intermission. It was a really cool bus.


A Czech surprise. It looked like it was going to be a pretty linear fable of the pleasures of country living, and then the director throws in a twist. Really as good a serious movie as I've seen for some time out of Europe, which has been resting on its laurels a lot. Coasting. The cinematography is gorgeous, as if it had been underwritten by the Czech tourism board. Rent it.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Ballet Recital

Rider College Auditorium
Lawrenceville NJ
May 21, 2005 1 pm

Natalie was a Butterfly. She danced very beautifully, and I've got the entire thing on digital video.

But ballet recital is really intense not for watching your own kid, but others. Aged from 3 to 13, packs of girls (and a few boys too) are ushered onto stage for a chance to shine, to dominate their peers, to space out, to nail it, and whatever else peer groups and audiences can make egos in various stages of formation do. There are all types, the ones who've clearly practiced and kind of have it but have no rhythm, the ones who wander around freely, forgetting everything they were taught but being cute anyway. For the older kids, there are those who are absolutely in command, they can dance and everybody else watches them, trying to latch hold to their rhythm. Mostly kids are just looking at each other, or the teacher if they're thinking, trying to figure out what to do next.

But emerging social hierarchies are utterly evident. You can project forward to high school pretty confidently: who's gonna be popular, who will be on the margins, who'll be in the middle. Puberty may reshape things a little, but probably not but so much in aggregate.

It's also telling to watch your kid year to year. Last year Natalie pretty much glowed and led, this year she's a little more diffident and restrained, looking at her neighbor more and more. Better technically, for whatever that's worth.

But it was wrenching to watch all the girls out there this year, thinking back to Leslie's gymnastics when we were growing up and all of the girls in that circle: Gerda, Maura and Michelle Dillon, the legendary Ari Aponte, Laura Putnam, Terry Nida, Lisa Higgs, the Burgle girls. It seems "like yesterday" when it was them up on stage, and now what? Chemo, divorce, lord knows what else. It's life, it's normal, I know, but sometimes it's heavy.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Coming clean

I lied to you a couple of weeks ago. I don't have a friend from college who has breast cancer. It's my sister. At first they said it was stage zero, but she ended up having to have chemo.

Yesterday she had her second round of chemo. Of four. In expectation of hair loss, she got a buzz cut, so there's be less hair to fall out and clean up. 24 hours out, the second round would appear to have been less nasty than the first in terms of side effects. Still no party, but less bad.

It's hard to write about this. After starting out with serious intent, the blog has become a playground for wit. But it feels radically improper to hide out and not discuss the number one things on one's mind (other topics having already been excluded).

So there you go. At 40, my sister's going through a hellish process to reduce by 33-50% the 10-15% likelihood of recurrence in the next 15 years. Best they can tell. What a fucking choice.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Good fences makes Jim Nabors

I was thinking about Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall" (not that I remembered the precise title b4 googling) last night in connection with the development across our fence out back. I decided to call up the poem and read it, and did so. But before getting there, a Google on the trademark line "Good fences make good neighbors" led me to this entry from The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, the number one search response for the line. Here's what this "reference book" has to say:

Good fences make good neighbors
Good neighbors respect one another’s property. Good farmers, for example, maintain their fences in order to keep their livestock from wandering onto neighboring farms. This proverb appears in the poem “Mending Wall,” by Robert Frost.
So the frickin "cultural dictionary" gets it backwards, as do most people who cite it. Frost and his narrator are ironic. Not for nothing does the poem begin with, and repeat, the phrase: "Something there is that doesn't love a wall."

Well Gaaaaaaalllleeeeee. This is what we call cultural literacy? It can kiss my white ass.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

New lows

You know you're a white-collar neck when...

For variety and fun, you come to your office at night instead of going to your study upstairs to work. It's spooky in here at night. All these bland rooms with out-of-date and yet not yet retro stylish (with the exception of the modernist table in the library) office furniture, all dark and menacing. Must do chores and skeedaddle.

Becoming my boss

People are often freaked out about the prospect of becoming their parents as they age. This doesn't seem so disturbing to me, after all, there are genetics at work as well as time.

What's truly disturbing is this -- I'm turning into my boss! Cyrus and I did a short demo for a client bigwig yesterday. After making him lead the demo and interjecting occasional comments, I fielded questions from the bigwig and lied and exaggerated in exactly the same ways as my boss always has, overstating the size of our company by a fair amount, overstating the number of people in our group even more, etc. etc. I had to stop myself from significantly misrepresenting our project status (not awful, but not perfect either).

Just put me in front of a client and there I am, doing the little salesy dance.

At least I haven't gotten into huffing and puffing yet.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


According to Times, the French are up in arms over their government's attempt to take back a holiday to save some money to take care of old folx. However, people dealt with this decision in different ways:

France's national railway company, SNCF, ran 20 percent more trains than the usual number to help compensate for local transportation disruptions and to transport those who took a three-day weekend. But the railway is treating the day as a holiday for its employees, requiring its workers to make up the time by working 1 minute 52 seconds more each workday.
Nobody's making me work no extra 1:52. Sacre bleu!

In other news, a survey shows that purchasers of GM vehicles derive the most emotional satisfaction from their cars of all brands, just love them more on average. We are told further that this shows that GM does the best job developing products that really move people. Or maybe it just does the best job marketing to the vulnerable, to losers who get too worked up about their cars. That doesn't do haul their debt up outta junk status, but I suppose it must feel nice.

Graham made it through the evening feeding and reading period last night without vomiting. A relief. He had been working on a troubling streak, several times in the last week, the night before last for NO APPARENT REASON. He hadn't eaten anything he's allergic to. As a kid with allergies, he's unlikely to pick crap up off the floor and stick it in his mouth. We're a little freaked out.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Blog content by conveyance to work

You can probably predict the quality of my blog content for a given day based on how I got to work.

Walking -- While great for my life, walking to work doesn't do much for the blog. I see the same people every day, the same wacked out homeless guys in more or less the same positions depending on the position of the clouds (and, therefore, sunny spots on the sidewallk). Starbucks, Panera, the bagel place where the old-fashioned glazed donut is so good but I dare not touch it on non-holidays. Princeton is too affluent a place for there to be much of interest on the street.

Driving -- With music or gab radio on, driving to work offers lots of media stimulation and is, on average, the best place to think up a passable blog. Being in a car is like being in your head (to think along with Gaston Bachelard on the one hand and Michael Mann, the great cinematographer of cruising, on the other), and therefore something tends to come up of reasonable quality.

Train-- Has the greatest potential of all, with a high degree of randomness, especially when done off-peak, so you see fewer people in mechanized routines. Rush-hour is better for observing norms.

Today I walked. Obviously.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Uzbekistan in and out of the news

Saturday morning the headline at CNN.com was death of hundreds in a bloody crackdown by Uzbekistan's relatively authoritarian President Islam Karimov. Later in the day the story was gone and could not be found without searching, supplanted by god knows what, though it resurfaced in a more discreet location on Sunday.

Karimov blamed the uprising on Muslim fundamentalism, and indeed, who wouldn't? Putin always blames Chechens and other "blacks" when something blows up in Moscow, so far with great success. If it's Islamists, the story goes, a guy's just doing his part in the war on terror. And, who knows, he might be, but if so he's surely created a big ole bunch of martyrs. In any case, Karimov signalled that he will not, unlike his colleague Akaev of neighboring Kyrgyzstan, go softly into that good night.

Two transliterations of name of the Uzbek town which the blood was shed, Andijan and Andizhan, in linked CNN pages gave a sense of the story's editorial urgency.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Wes Anderson goes to work once more, with a lunch pail full of drugs of his own concoction. An hugely amusing movie, but one you're unlikely to see more than once, unless you're between the ages of 17 and 26 and want to impress your friends by citing the coolest new thing. Anderson is fabulously creative, and endlessly enamored of his own creativity. His work borders on comedic coloratura. It would be interesting to see him make a movie a degree less madcap.

Bill Murray does his thing.
Owen Wilson does his.
Angelic Huston is as good as ever.
Kate Blanchett keeps building the range which is making her the next Meryl.

Willem Dafoe has a breakout role. Who knew the guy had a sense of humor.

Friday, May 13, 2005

A revelation

The funniest things happen out there in Corporate America. Try this piece of correspondence out for size. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Client,

Good morning. A couple of questions for you. How do the roles of
consultant and advisor differ? Aren't they pretty much the same thing? Is
it possible to have more than one advisor or consultant on an account?


Dear Grouse,

Yes, there can be more than one consultant on an account.
Consultant = advisor, advisor = consultant. It is the same word.


Well I'll be

Thursday, May 12, 2005

That niggah crazy

According to CNN, Dave Chappelle has checked himself in to a mental health facility in South Africa. He must be crazy to check himself in down there.

No but seriously. This may be a good thing not only for his mental health but for his craft. After a first season which blew the doors off comedy as we know it and had precedent only in Richard Pryor (hence the reference in the title of today's entry), his second degenerated into a very uneven second season focussed a little too much on excrement and the generous sharing of the same with others. He could get fresh funny bones in the funny farm.

John Stewart is also in need of refreshment. The recently announced defection of Steven Colbert will challenge him. He's still a comic genius, no doubt, but nobody keeps fresh material going for but so long. The real outstanding ones (think Steve Martin) are the ones who can drag down for a while and then bounce back. Dramatic actors have it easier when in comes to consistency.

BTW. Was on Netflix for a while last night looking for stuff. Hard to find. Have been watching movies for too long. Anybody out there who wants to hook up as Netflix buddies (share lists) let me know. Blue turned me on to this (preesh).

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I am Pagliacci

This blog has gotten too light. I've let myself get dragged down into digital jestership, because it's quicker and easier to churn out wry and witty content than to actually work through problems. I've historically had a problem with cracking too many jokes in classes and meetings, mostly because I'm bored and don't really care about what's being discussed. I'm doing better with that, but it still manifests a fundamental problem with managing long / short term trade-offs. It's hard to sit on my hands and think about my future when there's a gag to be had.

There's a great "joke" I know from Alan Moore (and others'?) graphic novel The Watchmen. It feels too timeless to originate from there, probably and old Yiddish thing. Goes like this.

A tired man comes into a shrink's office and the shrink says "What's the problem?" and he says "I'm so depressed, what with global warming and terrorism and children dying in gutters throughout the third world and crime and violence in the streets and poor people eating dog food, I want to shoot myself." The doctor replies, "You're depressed. You need to take your mind off all of that. You know what, the circus is in town, and you should go. The great clown Pagliacci is performing! That'll be just the thing." And the guy says "But doctor, I am Pagliacci."

Much is in order in my life, but there is much to be resolved, for which, sadly, the blog is not the correct forum.

At least that's how I felt this morning. I'm marginally better later in the day.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Great moments in foresight

It was the summer of '83, and Akin, Liner and I were travelling in the old country: Europe. We were very sophisticated. I don't remember exactly where it was, perhaps between the "enchanting village of Echternach," where for the second night running we ran into a couple of Dutch guys named Joost and Joost and got drunk. Or perhaps it was after Heidelburg, where we ran into them again and got really drunk on "Der Stiefelbier," talls beers wondrously shaped like a shoe so that the beer slapped you in the face at a crucial moment.

Anyway, we were on a train going somewhere Germanic when Doug Liner disclosed that, at the tender age of 18, he had a 401k. We about fell out. Doug, an early adherent to financial planning best practices, explained to us the great joys of compounding, and we laughed and laughed, and laughed.

But I wonder how that account's doing today. I may have to ask him.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Physical Risk Management

As of this weekend, we have gates to keep Graham out of front yard. And I put spare fencing in the gap between the shed and the neighbor's fence to keep him from slipping out into parking lot behind next door neighbor. And we put up netting to keep deer out of back yard.
And have planned but not planted shrubs to block our view of:

a. Plumbing trucks across fence in rear of back yard
b. Back porch of house next door (10 ft)

Our backyard is becoming progressively more hemmed in and aestheticized. A mini-fortress, controlling ingress and egress. Like the mysterious white dog that's been eating our compost. Not like the great forest onto which my yards backed when I was a kid. With all them wild dogs running round.

And what of with the groundhogs beneath the shed? Will they be trapped in? Will they be forced to eat all of Mary's plants? Not bloody likely, the little tunnelers. More likely they'll be even safer from predators.

Friday, May 06, 2005


An old theme. Traffic to the blog, while OK, is lagging a little bit. On the one hand, I shouldn't care, just write, right? But since that fateful moment when Todd showed me how to hook up a counter, I confess to a more than mild fascination with my traffic. How many people? Who's coming by? My frickin self-esteem is tied up with it.

How to improve it? Can't email my list all the time, then I just annoy them. May get a mild spike, even add a regular visitor, but must exercise restraint. Particularly when I think that my most recent posts have been underwhelming?

Link to others' blogs? No time to look for them.
Post comments on famous blogs? Have to read them and have something to say. Little time for it.
Stick in popular keywords like Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan or "Brad and Angelina." Will drive cheap, non-repeatable traffic. Keywords with a better chance of luring sticky blind visitors might be Lewis Mumford or Dean Smith or My Bloody Valentine or Theodore Fontane.

We'll see. Probably should start inserting random but appropriate keywords as an experiment.

But you guys keep coming back. Or I get depressed.

In the olden days

"In the olden days, everybody wore Capris, right dad?"

So says Natalie, and I'm thinking the olden days bit is mighty cute, but all this fashion literacy is a little bit much for someone who isn't even five. It's really New Jersey. And then I think, is it place, or is it time that accounts for this? Are all little girls so tuned in to fashion these days? Or were they when I was a kid too?

In general, it's very difficult to figure out what's individual choice and where you're being led by trends. (Same thought as in entry below) The name Natalie, we thought, was very distinctive, but then it turns out it occurs fairly frequently in the younger female population.

I had real deep thoughts on this stuff earlier in the morning, but then I started working. Should blog earlier, maybe, while the morning crop of thoughts is still fresh and glistening with dew.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Pick up at the Y pool

At the foot of the stairs,
by the locker room entrances,
back from the pool's edge to avoid censure from the "no shoes on the pool deck" Nazis,
parents cluster densely,
towels in hand (unless they forgot them, like me).
Swim class will soon be done,
Praise the lord,
cuz it's mad hot at the Princeton Y pool.
Kids approach and fall into their towels,
then push through,
like at a Who concert.

It's NJ at its best. Lots of breeders and breedees competing for scarce resources, in this case, as so often, space.

Or is it just the new clustered demographics? Is it like this everywhere?

Anyhow, Natalie is doing the Superman jump.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Things they don't teach you in humanities grad school

  1. Floss
  2. Lawn mowers need to be serviced before winter. Something like: remove and clean (or replace) spark plug. Change air filter. Burn off gas that's in there. And don't use old gas either.
  3. When managing projects, don't have meetings every day, or anything resembling every day. Your team gets ornery.
  4. Get your teeth cleaned by dentist at least twice a year.
  5. Make sure you have wipes before undoing diaper.
  6. You gotta get some bonds in your portfolio, niggah.

Other than that, a humanities PhD prepares you for everything you might ever encounter in life.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Death warmed over

Exhausted after conference at the bleating New York Athletic Club, a place that gives wood panelling a bad name. Combined with the thing in New Haven last weekend, I've probably spoken to 60 people I've never seen before in my life in the last 5 days, engaged in a wide variety of businesses, such as:

  • Outsourcing refunds of student grants for universities via checking accounts at new bank: currently has 90,000 account holders. Principals aged 24-26.
  • Marketing consultant to beverage makers
  • Wacky concocter of absurdist business puzzles / Best-selling author (Barry Nalebuff)
  • A guy who's considering buying all the cable companies in Ukraine
  • Fund of funds that incubates Canadian hedge funds
  • Wholesale grower of fine plants (for Lowe's)
  • Two companies pitching recovery of class action claims to hedge funds
  • Poverty eradication in 3rd world countries via free trade
  • Outsourcing of investment research
  • Guy proposing dialogue site between people in red states and blue states; using broadband, video conferencing, multimedia portraits, and James
    Fishkin's methods of deliberative polling. (no payment received for shameless plug)
  • Executive search consultant, currently seeking Salesperson for French tech company with Ukrainian app devt team
  • Plain-old hedge funds, including retail broker lunkheads who started one because customers asked them to.
So, as I said, I'm tired.

Monday, May 02, 2005

No push push in the Bush

The already popular Laura Bush seems to have pulled off something of a PR coup for herself and W with her performance at the White House Press Corps dinner, where she termed herself a "Desperate housewife whose husband is asleep at 9," and also nailed Barbara Bush and other administration fixtures pretty good. But it's hard to understand how any of it aside from her delivery and timing (which may have been good) should redound to her credit personally. After all, she had a speechwriter, the same guy who humanized the less-warm and fuzzy (no pun intended) Nancy Reagan back in 1982. I.e. the nation's pre-eminent first lady image guy. The whole move does show political savvy on the part of the White House, which clearly has a sense of humor when it's not out destroying the environment, church/state, corporation/state, international borders, and other key boundaries.

Baby crying. See ya.