Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?
John Kerry calls on us to hope.
John Edwards calls on us to hope.
I’m not talking about blind optimism here – the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.
No, I’m talking about something more substantial.
It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs.
The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores.
The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta.
The hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds.
The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.
The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation.

Here’s the full transcript of Obama’s speech and here’s a 2-minute video clip.

Louie Luo

This ain’t the Daily Kos, but I’ve got to give a plug for everyone to check out Barack Obama speaking at Tuesday night’s convention festivities. He’s a resident of Hyde Park in Chicago and worth every bit of the praise he’s been receiving of late–he really shined this past weekend on Meet the Press (there is video from that link) and Face the Nation (transcript here).
And if you caught tonight’s action, you might have noticed that Bill Clinton’s still got it. Praising Kerry by calling out himself, Gore, and Cheney for ditching Vietnam was brilliant. Clinton’s timbre and pitch are straight outta Dr. King’s oratory school…he’s definitely our first black President.
Plus I’ve gotta give Bubba props for keeping in shape post-Presidency. It wouldn’t have surprised me had he balooned to 300 lbs over the past few years. Props.

Muy Caliente!

97-degrees here in Seattle yesterday. That’s far from normal, as you might suspect. Unsuspecting Chelsea and Celtic were forced to play through the heat yesterday at Seahawks Stadium. I lost about ten much needed pounds sweating it out in the stands, while plenty of goals were scored in a 4-2 win for Chelsea.
I spent the last week in Atlanta. It was my first time down there but I have since learned that it’s definitely the Dirty South. Somehow though, I had the best sushi I’ve ever tasted–at MF Sushi. Though I was mistaken to think I’d be escaping the heat when I left. Arriving in Seattle on Friday night at 9pm it was almost 92 degrees out.
On my flight back I sat in an exit row seat next to a portly middle-aged woman from central Washington. She took the exit row responsibility quite seriously and after some discussion she initiated with me, it was decided that since I had the window seat, I would be the point man for opening the emergency exit door. I’m glad we hammered out those details.
And yeah, I’ve been falling off on the updates….but I’ll be picking up the slack…don’t delete those bookmarks, quite yet!

Telly Update

Da Ali G Show is back on HBO this Sunday. If you don’t know about it…you better learn about it. It’s worth subscribing to HBO for the next 6 weeks on the strength of this alone.
I was just looking up a guest from last night’s Letterman show–turned out to be Jonathan Ames (a strange but really funny cat). In the process, I stumbled upon show notes that some staffer at CBS writes. On Hillary Duff being a guest of the show:
I noticed a lot of daughters at work today. I checked my calendar thinking that it may be “Take Your Daughter To Work Day.” It wasn’t. I checked again and found that it was actually “Take Your Daughter To Work Day Because Hilary Duff Is Going To Be On The Show.” Paul says he took his daughter Victoria up to see Hilary just before the show and Hilary couldn’t have been nicer, sweeter, more personable, or friendlier. She was a real sweetheart. And then Hilary said, “Now get that little bitch out of here.”

Finally….In Pictures

I’m feeling way too lazy to properly format this for easier viewing…so enjoy some flicks from the game by scrolling away.
Gorgeous stadium. I can only hope that the Chicago Firehouse in the south suburbs is as dope.
I missed part of the pre-game show while waiting for my non-alcoholic Carlsberg (that’s all they were serving), but I’m guessing that’s a modern version of de Gama’s ship.
Portugalia lost the game….but they definitely have the better national anthem.
I’ve got nothing for this one.
The trophy presentation was accompanied by some Star Wars style music that only Europeans would think is a good idea.
proud portugal.jpg
My Portuguese is weak, but I believe this translates roughly to “We are proud”. There were versions of this poster at bus stops that had clucks like Couto on it instead of Ronaldo. Someone with Photoshop skills thankfully remedied that atrocity in this Times Square version.
marques pombal.jpg
I was quietly retreating to my hotel when I came out of the subway tunnel to witness this sight. Needless to say, I spent several more hours on the streets taking this all in. Important to note that this wasn’t a rowdy affair…just a bunch of folks waving their respective flags around. I got mad props from the Greeks for the India flag I was wearing as a toga.

Back at the Ranch

Finally back in my homestead ready to crash hard on my own bed. It’s been a long and satisfying week away from Seattle but starting tomorrow I’ve finally got to get into the 9-5 grind.
Just looked at the Tivo…I’ve got lots of catching up to do.
Anyway. It’s late. I’m tired (from flying here from Columbus via Newark). I’m out.

Love That Stomach Lining

Cafe PortWeb isn´t feeling me attaching my digital camera to their computers. So that project is on hold for now.
Dined on tripe tonight….surprisingly tasty. And I had the finest grilled whole seabass ever…a fish I won´t forget for some time. I´ve learned that all you need to make good food is loads of olive oil, salt, garlic, and a dab of butter.
Tomorrow, it´s off to Barcelona where I hope to fill my second suitcase with más zapatos and my tummy with Catalan cuisine…all in twelve hours. I still need to figure out what I´m going to do in London Gatwick for the hours between midnight and 10am, however…

Go Greece

As I´m sure Sportscenter has already reported to you, Greece worked their magic again with the 1-0 win over Portugal.
It was well worth the 6,000 mile trek to Lisbon for the game. At the final whistle, you never would have guessed that Portugal had lost. The next morning´s papers read “Thank You National Team” (or something like that…my Rick Steve´s translator has failed me on occasion). Props to the 20 thousand plus Greeks in the stadium. They were twice as loud and boisterous as the 45,000 Portugal supporters. I pulled a 180 and hopped on the Greece bandwagon halfway through the game based on their fan support alone.
After leaving the stadium, there were thousands of folks celebrating on the streets–both Greek and Portuguese. I can´t even imagine how crazy it would have been in Athens.
Of course, I forgot my USB cable for my camera at the HoJo….but I´m going to try to hit this cyber cafe up again later this evening to remedy that.
On the gastronomic tip, the only interesting thing I´ve eaten thus far is bunny.
Today, I indulge myself in the port wines of Oporto and perhaps work on my tan on the beaches of the Atlantic.

The Journey Begins

It’s shortly after 4am….I’m cleanly shaven and ready to rock. It’s gonna be a long day of travelling but I’ve been anticipating this day for a year now. It’s go time.
If you’ve got my cell number, feel free to send me text messages over the course of the week. From your gmail account just add an to my digits but please remember to keep it succinct. Portugal time is P.S.T. +8 hours…east coasters can do the math themselves.
I’m off…

A True Underdog Story

Forget Dodgeball…the Greeks somehow knocked off the Czechs today 1-0 in extra-time. Unbelievable.
The atmosphere in Lisbon on Sunday should be exciting, though…and I’m most anxious to get over there. I’ve spent my night studying Portugal’s National Anthem. I think it gives Oh, Canada a solid run for its money.
FedEx came through with my airline tickets so everything is now a go. Depending on the status of my Iberian connectivity, I’m going to post up some pictures of the events ASAP. But if Portugal wins you can bet the house on it being a long and noisy night in the capital.
If you want to catch the game on TV go to the Setanta website and plug in your zip code for the local bar showing it. And here’s an article on Setanta scamming said local bars. You can also order it up for $25 on PPV at home at 11:45am P.S.T. Or just listen to it for free at BBC Five Live.
I had my first go at the new job today. One more work day tomorrow and then I’m off for a week’s vacation. Good times.