Monkey-brained Musings

Friday, February 06, 2004

As disappointing as the collapse of the Governor’s campaign has been, what has really distressed me has been his running through the money. It is as if he took the Internet model too close to heart and modeled the bust by spending money as fast as it came in and by focusing more on process than results. By running through all of his money before Iowa and New Hampshire, he had no reserves left for continuing his campaign. Even worse, through his profligate spending, he gave away one of his best issues: fiscal conservatism. We’ll see how Dean does in Wisconsin, but after Kerry’s dominating win in Missouri earlier this week, I think that the primary campaign is over.


Picked up from Gareth.

The Rules:
1 - Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 - You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 - You'll include this explanation.
5 - You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Gareth’s questions for me:

1. If you could live in any other city in the U.S., where would you choose and why?

Surprisingly relevant. Having recently left my job as the rising tide of Republicanism is sweeping science-based management out of state government, I have had the opportunity to consider moving out of Austin. My job prospects are much better in New York, D.C., Florida, and elsewhere than they are here. But, here is home, and I didn’t come back here in order to shy away from a fight.

The short list of cities would include Portland, New York, and D.C. I lived in Portland for eight years while in college. Oregon is a beautiful place with much to recommend it: beautiful forests, mountains, rivers, and coastline plus a great urban environment. While I spent three years in the NYC metro area, during that time I was in law school, broke, and mostly in White Plains. It would be fantastic to live someday in the City to live with all of that energy and activity. For public policy in the U.S., D.C. is where it is at. It would be great to live there and really get engaged in the game. I may wind up there one day.

2. Everyone's got a little folk wisdom in their life - something their grandmother or pa told them that's become a major tenet of their belief. What's the most important thing an elder or role model ever told you?

Coming from a Southern family of storytellers, you would think that I would have some fine bit of wisdom to share. But I don’t. What I do have to offer is a useful phrase I got from my grandmother. She used this for people who would stab you in the back and walk all over you six days out of the week and then show up singing loudly in the front pew on Sunday: Psalm singin’ SOB.

3. If you were given the budget to do any creative project at all, what would you do?

Lots of intriguing possibilities here. I could go with the pat answer and say that I would hire an A-list director, cast, and crew to film my currently untitled screenplay based on Chushingura. Or, I could go the quirk performance art route and come up with a progressive theater project that would involve going into communities and schools around the country both bringing theater to people and inviting their participation and recording their reactions. I could get the rights and put a team together to put out Bushido 3d (talk about a project that could consume an unlimited budget).

What I would really like to do, though, is fund the restoration of the Rose City Marsh. Rose City was a cypress-tupelo marsh on the east bank of the Neches River across from Beaumont. It got logged out sometime during the mid-20th Century, and you can still see the skidder marks when you fly over the area. No one has ever done cypress-tupelo restoration. The estimate is that it could take 45 years. If so, why not start now.

4. What's the one thing you most regret not doing?

That’s a tough one. I can look back and note many moments of regret. Not stopping for five minutes in the parking lot after the SAT to get a girl’s phone number. Being more assertive in many later relationships. Not learning to play the guitar sooner. Doing better academically. The big one, though, has to be my not having focused more on my creative writing earlier. No big surprise. There’s nothing better than the present, though, to make up for lost time.

5. What are your three favorite smells?

A cool, fresh breeze; a kitchen where a great meal is or has been prepared; freshly ground coffee.

Send me an e-mail, and I’ll send some questions to you.


I am still only partly through the Firefly DVD, but Monte Cook has posted an excellent analysis and tribute. I have had one surprising initial reaction to the show, though. I actually have some empathy for the Fox executives that canceled it. I can see that Fall 2002, the first anniversary after September 11th, was not the best time to air a show about rebels who lost the last war but who continue to fight the great military dictatorship from the edges of the known universe.

One of the interesting things about Firefly is its similiarities to Cowboy Bebop. The style of the ship, the interaction of the crew, the nature of their missions, the outposts they visit, all bring Bebop to mind. Firefly's mix of space travel with 19th Century dress and lifestyles, often questioned in the press, also calls to mind Fading Suns.


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The scattered musings of Jeb Boyt, Austin Texas. A collection of the random bits that scamper through my monkey brain. This blog is my personal record. The opinions expressed here are my own and are in no way associated with any employer, board, commission, organization, or other entity that I may be affiliated with. So there.

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