i am an unrequited astronomer, pretend patient, gentle adventurer, pedal enthusiast, recovering calligrapher, occasional thespian and unfinished poet living in portland, oregon. contacting me via email is usually a good idea.
* the award ceremony that madeleine albright spoke at tuesday night was much better than i anticipated, and i say that from the perspective of someone who doesn't do well at functions like these. small talk is hard for me, and i often find creative ways of filling time, especially during the "reception" part of the program. but the other folks at the table were interesting & admittiing i was a calligrapher got me lots of questions. plus, of course, we all had higher ed as a common topic, i suppose. but apparently psu folk were a minority: the dinner was actually targeted as a fundraiser dinner costing $200/plate. yeesh. the food -was- good and the entertainment was fairly novel for an awards dinner, and madeleine albright was even funny at points, but $200/plate? i say again, yeesh.
yes, madeleine albright is an excellent speaker: very clear, candid, funny at times, and direct. unfortunately, and perhaps expectedly, she veered into "america is doing the right thing" defense which made me cringe almost the whole time, even though she admitted she seriously questioned the timing of the invasion. the best part was after the speech: she said she would take some questions, "and unlike when i was the secretary of state, i can probably actually answer them." the first was about whether tony blair's situation would resolve badly for him. i really like tony blair and i feel awful for him about this whole weapons of mass destruction snipe hunt. madeleine expressed some regret for his situation and the fact that we might lose a "valuable interpreter" for u.s. policy in europe. *cringe, cringe* the last question was about her involvement in rwanda: her answer was insightful because it talked about the lack of enough coherent intelligence to signal the urgency of the situation. and i'm thinking, boy. our intelligence gets us into all sorts of trouble. perhaps we need to decentrallize or otherwise rename the CIA.
btw, i hope nobody got the impression it was just going to me & michael & madeleine at a little table talking about movies & global policy... :)
* yesterday was john's thirty-fifth birthday! we had intended to go to lauro kitchen, but the wait was an hour, so we went to kappuya instead. and then to pix, of course, since it was right across the street. :) alex joined us for dessert only.
* i can't believe the california recall election. i can't believe arnold schwarzenegger won. it brought the perfectly good mood i had going to a screeching halt. i sat for a few moments rocking myself & muttering: "i'm so glad i don't live there anymore; i'm so glad i don't live there anymore; i'm so glad i don't live there anymore...." not that it won't affect me, mind you, and not that the precedent that it sets isn't unsettling. grrrrr.
* last night the moon was so bright and the night was so clear and crisp i had to go for a walk: kick apples, smell the leaves, and watch the moon turn everything blue and milk. so sven & i walked part of the springwater corridor trail. yum. we're still reading a chapter a day from a night in the lonesome october, and after several years of estrangement, i'm beginning to be able to love this month again.
* it's official: jeff & kristin are going to have a boy! eeeeeee!
* i met w/ david zuttermeister today to thank him for telling me to go to burning man. he's planning on going to asia by the end of the year, for an indeterminate amount of time. yowza. go, david! there was lightning & thunder while we were there and the power went out once briefly and then again for about a minute.
* it looks like philip's blog is vastly more evil than mine. what's up with that? i'm only 27% evil. bah! oh, wait, apparently he has an evil amsterdam story. but how would the gematriculator know about that if it isn't in his blog? oh, very curious indeed.
* sven's new laptop could come at any minute. any minute! was that the airborne express truck? :D