Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grand New Party

There has been a lot of buzz about the death of the Republican party. Yesterday, CNN had an interview with Carville titled:

GOP's effort to save itself
Can it happen in less than 40 years?

The story stemmed from Carville's book about the topic. To some extent, the CNN liberal exhuberance can be forgiven given the interviewee. But still, this is just too much. The Poe pendulum swings back and forth. The Dems looked like they were dying in 1980 and 2000 right after the Reagan and Bush elections, with all the same hallmarks, including defecting congressmen. It is too bad the same sensationalism keeps working.

Another Grand New Party will begin in only a couple days, over 7000 miles away, that being the bachelor party of my old friend David Leland. As best man, I had to organize it, which was good fun. It's a telling reflection of gender differences that grooms only choose one special friend, while women have a whole gaggle of bridesmaids.

My travel adventure, which begins at 6 AM (less than 6 hours away), is also new in that it is a record for the most bottles full of liquid I ever tried to transport. I have about 15 bottles full of pumpkinseed oil and schnapps - none in the same bottle, mind you, though it would make a potent salad dressing or a unique cocktail. I have only one suitcase. So it was a unique packing adventure; I have almost no clothes that do not surround bottles and are then encased in plastic bags for extra protection. We find out tomorrow evening (CA time) whether I pushed too far.

We all know the usual rules for gift selection. Gifts should be of high quality (or very convincing fakes), well suited to the recipient, unique or at least hard to find, and not a gift you already received, unless you can lie and avoid contact between the receiver and the original giver. It seems good to give something that lasts forever, but then, it has to be really useful or pretty or it's clogging your host's space, and then ends up in the trash or buried in storage, and thus doesn't really last that long at all. My 250 euros of gifts reflect two high priorities: novelty and transportability. Pumpkinseed oil is highly unique in California. Even my parents, who went to 76 countries, never had it. It is appealing to many recipients, although not permanent and not especially easy to transport. I am not sufficiently expert to tell for sure what is good, but relied heavily on my labmates' advice. Indeed, their recommendations were much more expensive than store-bought pumpkinseed oil. This could mean a lot of things, including I've been too obnoxious around the lab, or they get kickbacks, or they are also easily fooled by pretty bottles at obscure farmers' markets. Indeed, one of them farmer-salesmen sure did look a lot like Clemens. I'll move on. Austrian schnapps is technically also highly unique, but it probably not so different from an American equivalent, so I got fewer bottles. Mainly, I thought it more appropriate for the bachelor party, since shots of pumpkinseed oil don't get you drunk. Although I'm sure Gerv has tried. Then I got a bunch of different types of Austrian chocolate. Again, easy to find a comparable product in the US, but very easy to transport, and everyone loves them. And come to think of it, I never saw anything quite like the Mozart balls in America, which makes sense; he never traveled to the US, and he could only grow another pair so often. And I got a few other gifts to offset any drunken faux pas I might commit.

But for now, it's Bedtime for Bonzo, one of the more entertaining Reagan movies that (unlike my last blog entry) justified the claim that chimp fights get thousands of viewers.

1 comment:

Gerwin said...

Better a bottle in front of me than a f... l....