Sunday, September 24

Conversation With My Former Self At 5.45 AM

Former Self: Dude, that's your alarm clock, wake up ...

Former Self: Dude ...


Present Self: Wu, Wa, What? Oh, it's you again, will you shut up. Don't you know how early it is?

FS: Yes, it's time to go surfing. That why I set the alarm clock last night.

PS: I'm tired.

FS: What do you mean you're tired? The surf forecast said it would be head high.

PS: I'm going back to sleep.

FS: Wait a minute, I didn't work so hard to get a job in Santa Cruz just so you could sleep in. Go surfing!

PS: I'll surf after work.

FS: Will you get home in time?

PS: Sure. Maybe. Ok, probably not. I'll go surfing in the dark.

FS: In the dark? That's stupid. You won't catch any waves in the dark ... you remember what happened to me last night?

PS: Oh yeah, you hit a rock or something because you couldn't see where you were going.

FS: Right! So go surfing now in the morning light when the waves are glassy.

PS: It will be crowded.

FS: It won't be so bad if you get out there at the break of dawn. Every minute you lie in bed the waves get more and more crowded. Come on man, surfing = fun.

PS: Yeah but Sleep = Sleep. QED.

FS: When I lived in Melbourne, I got up at 5:15 a.m. on the weekends and drove 2 hours to go surfing. Now you can't even be bothered to get up at 5.45 to walk half a block to the waves.

PS: It's a lot harder when it's every day and not just one day on the weekend.

FS: Oh boo hoo. Poor you.

PS: If you're going to be like that I'm not going to listen, I'll just reset my alarm clock for 7.30 and get some sleep.


FS: Hey



PS: Wa, What? Oh, you again, I must have fallen asleep there for a second ... Ok, I'll go surfing. Oh crap! It's 7:20, I don't have time now. Why didn't you get me up?

FS: Argh! I've been trying to get you up for an hour and a half. This isn't my fault.

PS: Let's not get into who's fault this is, just make sure you get me up early tomorrow. Ok?

Friday, September 15

Playing To Type

UPDATE: Volvo was so concerned about its bad image in Australia that it decided to confront its stodgy image head-on with a series of ads about "Bloody Volvo Drivers!". All of the ads are available here. But this one is my favorite: a car ad with no cars.


A new book by linguist Geoff Nunberg, Talking Right, argues that the American right has successfully co-opted political discourse in the US. The subtitle of his book is: "How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show."

I like to think that I bear substantial personal responsibility for this image of liberals. I read the NYT (had it home delivered all through law school), love sushi (even worse, I gave up being a strict vegetarian just so I could eat sushi), I used to have an eyebrow ring and, as of this weekend, I'm the proud owner of a Volvo station wagon (a V70 XC).

In Australia, Volvo drivers are not derided as leftists but do have a reputation for being atrocious drivers. My friend Patrick the Volvo enthusiast proudly claimed that it was he who gave all the other Volvo drivers a bad name. This was an exaggeration.

Looks like I'll be in New York on 12-14 October for ACLU training and then in DC on 15-17 for the 2006 ACLU Membership Conference - hope to catch up with some of you eastern folks.