Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Goin' down south

I am happy to report that I have accepted a visiting position for the 2007–08 academic year in the political science department at Tulane University in New Orleans. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be teaching next year, but I know it involves an introduction to political science course and some additional mid-to-upper-level courses in American politics at the undergraduate level, which hopefully will include my seminar in Southern politics in the spring semester.

I’m particularly looking forward to living about nine degrees farther south. St. Louis may very well be a great place to live… but not between November and March, at least for this cold weather wimp.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

There goes one reason to avoid moving to Louisiana

Louisiana governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, whose response to Hurricane Katrina made fellow Peter Principle exemplars Ray Nagin and Mike Brown look positively competent by comparison, won’t be seeking a second term in the wake of polls that showed Republican Rep. Bobby Jindal wiping the floor with her in a potential November contest.

The smart money for the Democrats is on former senator John Breaux, last seen on K Street. Whether he can complete the Haley Barbour impression by successfully imitating Barbour’s transition from hobnobbing in Gucci Gulch to appealing to the Earl Hickey set remains to be seen.

Monday, 8 January 2007

The home stretch

I am finally on the return leg of the grand roadtrip—I have one more day in Memphis before I finally get back home to butt-numbingly cold St. Louis. I enjoyed my visit to New Orleans. Both of my SPSA panels went well, although they were, alas, lightly attended; I am certainly more confident about the publication prospects for the paper, although now it needs a blog nickname—perhaps “the damn measurement paper” will suffice.

I also enjoyed catching up with Steven, Dieter (the rock upon whom ICPSR is built), Andrew (all too briefly), and Kelly.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

To the left, to the left

I’m now about to embark on the home stretch of the grand holiday road trip, which should be a leisurely drive from Mobile to New Orleans. I’m not exactly looking forward to arriving this afternoon in a city full of hung-over fans of the Bayou Bengals and Fighting Irish, although maybe if I hide in my hotel room they’ll all lose interest and leave town.

Saturday, 11 November 2006

Blessings upon blessings

All but one of my discussant assignments at SPSA have apparently disappeared without any notice to me—which is just as well, since that allows me to postpone my arrival in downtown New Orleans until January 4th… garnering about a 50% reduction in hotel rates, since now I can stay at the Hilton Garden Inn I stayed at a couple of weeks ago for $99/night and get free breakfast due to my HHonors perks, instead of the conference hotel at the significantly above-market $155/night rate; one fewer night to pay for; and avoiding the crush of the Nokia Allstate Sugar Bowl to boot.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

A nation weeps

Britney and Kevin are no more. The line forms at the Dairy Queen on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge.

Monday, 23 October 2006


My visit to New Orleans culminated in more dining and dancing yesterday, along with some DVD viewing and dog-walking. Alas, today I have to go home, and all I have to look forward to is spending Tuesday grading papers and exams so I can submit midterm grades by the end of tomorrow afternoon. But the good news is that I’ll be back in the Crescent City in about ten weeks for SPSA, or possibly sooner if one or more of the local universities are seriously interested in my job applications.

Sunday, 22 October 2006

Dance, dance

Kelly and I went to a ballroom/salsa dance thing tonight with some of her friends after an excellent dinner at Juan’s Flying Burrito. I am immensely surprised to find that I don’t completely suck at at least the rudiments of ballroom-style dancing, but salsa was a bit more of a challenge.

Saturday, 21 October 2006

The Big Not-So-Easy

I’m enjoying my visit to New Orleans thus far—except for a bit of rain this afternoon, the weather has been quite pleasant. I certainly got my exercise in today—I walked from my hotel two blocks south of Canal St to the Old Mint and back, at least 3 miles total—compensating somewhat for the beignets and hot chocolate Kelly and I had at Café du Monde last night, although I did have lunch at the Crescent City Brewhouse, probably making the effort less effective.

Friday, 20 October 2006

The arrival

My vacation is now officially underway; here’s the view from my hotel room window:

View from my hotel room (Oct 2006)

As correctly guessed by Frequent Commenters Scott and Alfie, I am in New Orleans (although my flights are in and out of Baton Rouge). They share the rights to the official Signifying Nothing no-prize of the week, which is a free copy of the 2007 edition of the Spreadsheet of Death™ upon request.