Saturday, October 02, 2004

i'm back

first week of school is over, my schedule is settled, and now it's all down to getting my brain in gear and doing my homework. riiiiight. (i did my chinese homework! and i suppose later this evening i might read a chapter or so on International Trade...) two things: (1) i made hamburgers for dinner tonight for the first time; and (2) the first debate between Kerry and Bushie was last night, and as expected, i have some comments.

debate first. the transcript for the 'debate' is here, with thanks to the Washington Post for putting it up, and Dan Drezner for pointing me to it. i have to admit that i am one of those who tuned in (though i had forgotten about it, and turned over to CBS because i'd also forgotten to watch CSI and was trying to catch the 'Next Week On...' bit, only to have the debate start in front of me), watched for a bit, and then turned off the tv in despair, thereby missing what i hear is kerry improving over the course of the evening, and Bushie deteriorating. but as a friend of mine says, 'it's not fair; george has an out; we expect him to be bad'.

i for one didn't think Kerry was doing so well; i think his weak point really is going to be that in contrast to Bushie's 'I Am Resolutely Leading This Country Forward (even if it is in the wrong direction)' stand, Kerry doesn't seem to have 'fearless leader' sort of attitude. encouraging though it is to have Kerry constantly reminding us that it's not good to be resolutely wrong, it's hard to see why we should vote for Kerry for any reason save as a rejection of Bush, and frankly that's not something i want to see as the (perhaps) Leader of the Free World. but i am assured that he improved as the evening went by. i also have to admit that i can see some of Bushie's charm, when i'm not focused on the fact that i really don't like him as President, which is disturbing. (it was easy to jeer and throw things at the screen during the State of the Union, because he was being really arrogantly annoyingly Republican)

my real comment on the debate, however, is that it isn't really a debate, now is it? a quick review of the rules for the non-American/non-watchers out there: moderator asks one candidate a question; he has two minutes to answer, after which his opponent has a ninety second rebuttal. if the moderator deems it necessary there will be a thirty-second extension on both sides after the rebuttal; if not the moderator asks another question. not a follow-up; another question. 'moving right along' style. the candidates are not allowed to address each other; just the moderator/audience (which is in the studio but not allowed to make noise except to clap at the beginning and the end. i suppose they are there to help the candidates remember they are live on national television -as if they could forget).

it's a little strange that they don't directly engage each other -what are we afraid of here, bloodshed? mudslinging? what?- and i find it slightly disquieting. it also gives me the feeling that everything has been (slightly) preprepared; Bushie in particular pounding in his message; Kerry having trouble finding his (as always). (i did like seeing Kerry scribbling madly away taking notes, however. i'm not sure Bushie was.) i would have preferred to see a more direct debate -conversation? discussion? argument? fight?- between Bushie and Kerry. however, as i've said before -it's not like my opinions matter, seeing as i'm not an American. =)

on to a more exciting event: making hamburgers. i love my George Foreman grill, have i said this before? tonight we decided hamburgers sounded good, so we went to the store, got some ground beef and onions and tomatoes, and headed back to my place. while the grill heated up, i seasoned the beef, shaped it into little round balls, and sliced onions and tomatoes. alex fried bacon. then i slapped a couple of beefballs on the grill and squished them flatter with the lid -at which point a satisfying sizzle and the smell of grilling meat filled the air. alex fried sliced red onions in bacon fat on medium heat until they caramelised and sweetened. then we simply toasted some hamburger buns, put the burgers on, covered with a slice of cheese, tomatoes, bacon and sweet red onions, dipped in ketchup and ate. we each had TWO! i think i ate like a quarter pound of cow. it was great. i'm stuffed.

and i have strawberries marinating in lime juice and sugar in the fridge! happiness is fooooood...

edit: with thanks to pstan, here is an article from MSNBC re: the aftermath of the debate. think what you will. we have our fingers crossed here in Apt 717N that kerry will win come Nov. 2. better make sure my roomie is registered to vote!

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