Archive for March, 2010

Hell Yeah Health Care

March 22, 2010

Two months ago today, I was standing on a street corner in Miami, Florida asking folks to give me money to support health care reform.  It was hands down the most depressing week of my canvassing career.  The public option had been dropped, and the senate hadn’t yet passed a thing.  Progressives were frustrated, cynical.  Conservatives were hateful, to describe their attitude politely.  When the bill passed the senate, I don’t remember being particularly happy about it.  Frankly, a year of compromising liberals and death-panel-frenzied ‘wingers (topped off, of course, with the worse recession in decades) had worn me out.

Now,  many a Democratic president has tried and failed to pass some kind of health care reform through the years.  Hell even Nixon tried and failed.  Thanks to my youth, I don’t remember these failures.  After Scott Brown’s election, however, I began to worry that I would shortly remember one.

But I misread that election (as everyone did except Jonathan Chait and Nancy Pelosi).  We hadn’t lost the health care fight.  We just had to take a fresh look at the tired thing.  And we remembered  that despite this bill’s limitations, many as they are, it is a wonderful change from what we’ve got.  For the first time in history, our country will recognize that health care is a right, and not a privilege, as they say.  President Obama doubled-down, Pelosi worked her magic, the Dems united, and the game was won.

Hell yeah, health care.

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Top Searches

March 20, 2010

So, according to WordPress, the web searches that have brought the most visitors to this blog are “turkey tourism” and “shaking a soda.”  If that’s what you’re after, this site might be more instructive: http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000024

New Orleans, New Job etc.

March 7, 2010

My dear readers.  My deepest apologies for my latest blogging lapse.  You see, my original plans (if I may claim to have had plans) have changed.  I am no longer a more or less homeless person.  I’m living in New Orleans.  Moved here February 15th, the day before Mardis Gras, also known as Lundis Gras.  And I will remain here until, well, it’s unclear: the end of April, the beginning of May.  I landed a job on the upcoming HBO series Treme (created by the folks who made The Wire) as an assistant to the casting director.  Basically, I do a lot of paperwork and create spreadsheets of actors.  I’m wicked good at Excel, so this is not a problem.  Typically such work is considered excruciatingly boring.  I can relate with that sentiment, however, after spending four months living a very rootless life, office work is rather satisfying.  Plus I get to meet lots of nervous actors and read all the scripts.  And that’s pretty sweet.

I’m staying with Melissa, an old family friend and an actress performing on Treme.  I’ve got two rooms essentially to myself: a bedroom and a kitchen.  I spent the first couple weeks I was here hunting down furniture and other such necessities on craigslist, freecycle, garage sales, and street corners.  I now have a table, bed, recliner, nightstand, bookcase, radio, plates and bowls, silverware, tupperware, and a food processor.  Basically, I have a real job and have become a homemaker.  Well, temporarily.  Still, this will be the longest sustained period of legitimacy in my life since college (if you count my college life as legit).  Hell, it’ll be the longest I’ve spent in one home since then.

I’m going to try and post a couple of times in the next month or two because, frankly, I’ve just got to maintain my web presence, but we’ll see if I actually do.  My life now lends itself far less to the kinds of anecdotes I’ve blogged in the past few months: I spend much more time alone (reading, cooking, walking in circles) and I’ve signed all sorts of confidentiality agreements regarding the specifics of my work.   I’m planning to resume my journey once this job ends, at which point I will also resume regularly posting.  At that time, I’ll probably email many of you to let you know I’m back at it.  However, I don’t really know who reads this blog, I just know that some 20-40 people do, at least occasionally.  So if you’d like me to make sure I email you when I return to the blogosphere, comment here.

After 4 months on the road and 12,000 miles traveled, I very much appreciate this new-found stability, even if it is short-lived.  It’s been wonderful seeing those of you I’ve seen along the way.  Also wonderful has been hearing from those of you who have posted here, or emailed me, or texted me, or gchatted me, or <gasp!> called me.  And to those very few of you who have tweeted or buzzed at me, well, thanks for that too.  If any of you make it to New Orleans in the next couple of months, do let me know.

A brief review of my travels between the Texan gulf coast and the city of New Orleans.

March 7, 2010

After leaving my aunt and cousin in Rockport, TX, I drove to Houston.  Along the way I marveled at the sunset and the flatness of the place.  Got to Houston, stayed with a fellow named Tyler.  Good man, peculiar city.  Supposedly, they’ve got more strip clubs and more churches than any other place.  They’ve also got a house thatched with old beer cans.  We watched the Saints wreck the Colts.  At this point, I knew already about my New Orleans future, and so we celebrated thoroughly.

From Houston, I drove to back to Austin.  Spent several days entirely alone there, staying in an apartment I found on craigslist.  Ate good BBQ.  Did my laundry.  Got my suit dry-cleaned.  On the evening of Friday the twelfth, I drove to the Austin airport and picked up Sam West and David Gerson.  They were to stay with me through the weekend.  Together, we were to attend Abby Broberg’s wedding on Saturday.   The wedding was just wonderful.  First wedding of one of my college friends.  Isn’t that a milestone?  Am I now an adult?  I caught the garter and was forced to dance with the girl who caught the bouquet.  Yippee!  The next day we went to a Cathedral of Junk.

Then Sam and David left, and I drove to New Orleans.  Got here, celebrated Mardis Gras.  Caught a billion beads (No, I didn’t have to flash anybody.  That Mardis Gras tradition is certainly exaggerated.  Mardis Gras is, at least in part, somewhat of a family holiday.  It largely occurs during the daytime, particularly on Fat Tuesday itself.  There are lots of parents with kids on their shoulders.  And parades.  And New Orleans pride.  And the joys of catching things.)  And then I settled into my new home and prepared for my new job.  See next post.

Forgotten photos:

Alexi at Stone Ridge.  Just like home.

Alexi at 1120: the Alabama version of a venerable Columbia establishment.

William Faulkner’s grave.  I swear to you, the bottles of booze were found on site.

Deep-fried pickles. Ew.