Chomping noodles and chomping at the bit to vote.

Last night Meredith and I had Pho at Pho Mekong here in Utica with some friends from Hamilton College and Colgate College. (Yes, we have a Vietnamese restaurant in Utica). As always, with academics, talks turned to politics. We talked about the Red Sox first. Celeste Friend, a philosophy professor over at Hamilton is a devout Sox fan and saw symbolism in their victory over St. Louis. We talked about throwing a parade after victory. Because we're in a particularly red area of New York, we decided that that would be moderately dangerous, given that it's hunting season in Upstate New York. We plan on wearing loud colors . . . perhaps flourescent red.

We also talked about the strangest field trips we've ever had. How these two things came about in our conversations, I'll never know. Celeste talked about going to Plymouth Rock and watching the reenactors. Meredith talked about going to Civil War battle grounds. Jennifer, a Sociologist at Hamilton, talked about having inmates speak at her high school. We then talked about the differences between a "Shank" and a "Shiv." I'm not sure if there IS a difference. They're both stabby things. When I was young, we went to the birds of prey refuge center in Boise and we also went to see pigs get slaughtered.

Pho Mekong serves several shakes as desserts and I tried the avocado shake. Yes, it sounds weird, but it's excellent. It tastes a lot like green tea ice cream. Most everyone else ordered mango shakes. They apparently had durian shakes. I don't know if any of you have ever experienced durian fruit, but it smells like poo poo. Anyway, while we were drinking our shakes, we talked about swear words. Meredith was talking about the rules of language and how we place our swear words. We say things like "No F*#king way" and "Big F*#king deal." But we don't say "F*#king no way" or "F*#king big deal."

I don't see what the big f*#king deal is. It just sounds better one way than the other. Lots of things sound better one way than the other. . . Take President John F. Kerry, for example. That sounds a lot better to me than President George W. Bush. The World Champion Boston Red Sox sounds pretty good to me too. If you were to tell me that George won New York, I'd say "No F*#king way."

Oliver de la Paz