Monday, 1 December 2003

Random thought of the day

Apropos of nothing (except the Long John Silver’s opening soon in Oxford), I have to wonder why I have the irresistable urge to eat ice cream after I’ve eaten fish. I kid you not—every time I eat fish, in any form, I want to go eat ice cream. Last Saturday night, after we lost to LSU: I went to Burger King, bought and ate the sandwich I still fondly remember as the “Whaler” but since renamed as the “BK Big Fish” since people who were whales in past lives were offended, then had the compulsion to go to the new Baskin-Robbins at the Shell on Highway 6—open 24/7 no less, according to the cute girl behind the counter who I couldn’t figure out whether or not was flirting with me by giving me this extra infrormation—and buy two scoops of Oreo Cookies 'n' Cream ice cream (for not much less money than I would have paid to get a half-gallon at Kroger or Wal-Mart and bring it home, but that's a side story on my spendthrift ways). This bothers me to no end.

What I can’t figure out is if this is conditioned behavior—did my family go to Long John Silver’s or Arthur Treacher’s when I was little, and then afterwards go for ice cream on a regular basis—or if it is something inherent in my psychology that has nothing to do with that. I guess theory #3 is that I’m pregnant and have weird cravings, but that would require me to both (a) be female and (b) have a romantic life that is orders of magnitude more interesting than the one I have (which would probably require me to figure out this whole flirting thing, no?).

Any free traders left?

Reading Stephen Green on the president’s 180 on the steel tariffs, I have to ask aloud if there’s actually anyone in Washington who’s a principled proponent of free trade—or even freer trade, like NAFTA or FTAA (I’m not a huge fan of regional free trade blocs myself, but they beat the hell out of the Son of Hawley-Smoot that many on both sides of the aisle seem to want enacted). I mean, there’s Ron Paul, who probably wouldn’t vote for anything except a unilateral cut to 0% on all import tariffs—meaning anything likely to happen during his lifetime is out—but is there anyone else?

More to the point, what idiot thought in the first place that this pandering exercise would actually work? Now Bush has (a) made a bigger ass of himself with the steelworkers than he would have if he’d simply said “not gonna do it” in the first place and (b) probably retarded the economic recovery by god-knows-how-many months. I realize the president’s detractors will attribute this all to Bush, and his fans will attribute it to Rove,* but surely someone on the political side at the White House must have known this was a disaster waiting to happen.

* This is Lawrence’s Cardinal Rule of Evaluation of the Bush Administration: any intelligent act of the administration will be attributed to Karl Rove (or, by some tenuous connection, Bill Clinton) by Democrats, but to Bush (or someone in the administration with expertise) by Republicans, while any idiocy committed will be attributed to Bush by Democrats but to Rove (or someone else in the administration) by Republicans.

The Final Countdown

I’ve always wanted to use that as a title for a post.*

D-Day is in 37:45 and counting (I’d add a JavaScript counter, but it’d just make me nervous). I just finished yet another “final-but-not-really-final” draft. I still need to find a ream of 24# Cotton Bond paper and figure out the logistics of this whole “the signatures on your signature page can’t be a photocopy, but has to be on the same paper as your dissertation—which has to be a photocopy” thing. And I’ve got to figure out this whole page numbering of the frontmatter business, since I can’t cajole the pdflatex program that’s generating 140+ pages of my dissertation into making the right signature page or the right copyright page.

Yes, I’m totally stressing. Yes, everything will be fine.

* Actually, I just wanted to make everyone remember the song by 80s hair band Europe.