html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: In no particular order.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

In no particular order.

Edward Tufte is soooo smart and soooo elegant and says complicated things soooo well. He totally asked me to run away with him today (he asked with his eyes), but my eyes told him that despite our vast and boundless longing, I would never be with a married man. I think that’ll be the end of it until Valentine’s Day, when he’ll show up at my door with a sparkline he designed specifically for me, showing the frequency, duration and periodicity of the thousands of times he thought of me in the next two and a half months. I bet it will be shaped like a heart. And then I’ll just have to go live on his farm and be his muse for his sculptures and stuff.

Unless! Unless, Chris Burke from DiscNW, who spoke at a conference of league organizers finds this first. I know I should be cautious, because Chris Burke is a real person and not famous or nothing, but I don’t care! I don’t care if he finds this and reads that I thought his presentations were sooo good and how everything he said was spot-on and I could totally tell that he puts so much thought into everything and I had a big ol’ crush on him, just from that and the emails he sends to our league organizers list, which are incredibly useful and usually manage to summarize everything important and two things I didn’t think of in a witty way. And if that makes Chris Burke leave his family and city and league and come down here to be my kept man and watch our beautiful babies while he organizes all our leagues, well, that’s just the way it is going to have to be.

Chris Burke better watch out though! Because he has local competition from Paul, who is a co-owner of a farm nearby and whom I heard talk at an ag conference. Paul was completely thoughtful and eloquent about farming, while being realistic and not sentimental at all, and maybe he was also a little rugged and had such a smooth voice. Paul and I have a mutual friend, and every time I see the mutual friend, I ask him if Paul is ready to leave his entire life and family to come be with me. Our mutual friend said that’ll be any day now, although sometimes I think that the way he rolls his eyes and mutters something about “groupies” denigrates the true depth of the way that Paul and I feel about each other and how we’re going to be together forever.

Darrell! Darrell, darling! Why are you waiting? What for? The elections are done and now is the time for you to take a junior wife! I’ve seen you talk twice now, and you can’t deny the electricity between us. I felt it, in the room and in my heart and in my loins! Remember, when I applauded and we knew that what we share isn’t the same old constituent-representative relationship, but something new, like a newborn star? The way you talked about the responsibilities of being a legislator, and how you had narrow specific goals and then introduced really good bills and I just swooned and couldn’t believe you would do that for me? Darrell Steinberg, finish what you started! Find me! Or have one of your staffers find me! Whatever!

*An asterisk denotes the men that I have actually spoken to.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm soooo jealous of you getting to see Tufte. The others I'd need to see before being jealous.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

You would be jealous after, I promise.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent footnote.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Thank you, lady.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Dubin said...


9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes a certain level of geekdome to have a crush on your state Senator.

Darrell is a mensch, but I didn't think that was your type.


11:04 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Are you kidding about my type? I LOOOOOVE Darrell Steinberg, who is straight wonk and thinks really hard about governance and says rigorous things about how our society is responsible for its people and OF COURSE that is my type. Besides, he's totally hot.

You aren't my friend AW, are you? Because AW has seen me be all swoony for Darrell before.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Dubin said...

You know, I actually thought Tufte came off as kind of an arrogant SOB, but I think that was only because I tried to ask him a question during the break and he totally gave me some pat answer to a nuanced question, just because he was being a celebrity about it all. He's kind of like an evangelist in a way, he's got that personailty.

Has anyone else been to the Tufte show besides Megan and I? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it a lot. Especialyl the first half. The second half bored me, since he was talking about stuff regarding that NASA powerpoint failure example with the space shuttle, and I felt he hammered the point over the head for two hours when it would have taken twenty minutes.

I do love his books, just looking at them. I also like that he states things that may be counterintuitive, like the fact that sometimes achieving clarity requires presenting MORE information, rather than less. He's totally on the right track, although I think he's milking a couple of good points over many publications which are more-or-less redundant.

But he uses Gill Sans a lot, and that's something I can support without reservation.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do realize that Tufte is a professor of Political Science and not an Engineer. Maybe you could find a social science-y type acceptable. Time to give the economists a second look!

-- E

12:46 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Yes, I think he is repeating himself in the books. I didn't try to ask him any questions, so perhaps that preserved his very knowledgeable and considered demeanor. Some of his jokes seemed a trifle polished. But I liked that he has ambitious standards, and states them clearly.

He is very much an evangelist, especially for his sparklines concept. And still, I thought it was great.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

National Geographic and the Apostrpher report that there may be free-flowing water on Mars. Time for a field trip! (Great post about the fellas, by the way).

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information", and I liked it, but I thought it was a little dated. I've been wondering whether or not I should try to get work to spring for the course.

So, you liked it? You thought it was worth it, compared to just getting the books?

5:21 PM  
Blogger m/p said...

damn, tufte is cute.

youre hilarious.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew you liked Darrell, but not as a thing. Given your previous writings, I thought your type among the California legislature might be state Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco? Or new Assemblymember Mike Eng of Los Angeles? You probably are less into the Republicans, like SoCal Assemblyman Van Tran.

But even among the local politicos, the one with the boy-next-door looks is you Assemblyman Dave Jones. Also smart and articulate, you actually sided with him over Darrell on the arena issue.

Again, looking for love in the legislature is a laughable...


10:31 PM  
Blogger Noel said...

Dubin, I'm totally with you on the Gill Sans thing. It's one of the most compelling reasons to buy a Mac -- they come with it installed. I also really like London Underground, which is very similar to Gill Sans, and carries the freshness of modernity and the gravitas of history in equal weight (well, two weights: bold and regular).

2:26 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

There is a lot of redundant stuff in his books, and everything in the lecture was in one of the books. But, I still liked hearing it put together. And, how else would Ed and I have met?

Darrell is totally an object to me. I am mostly over my Asian fetish now, out of fear of their mothers.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing that's so funny about you, Megan, is that you are wildly romantic about the most stolidly practical things. Like state legislators. Sometimes reading this blog feels like listening to grand opera being sung about sensible shoes.


P.S. you have mail!

8:40 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Yep, and in addition, I have zero time for Big Drama.

10:54 PM  

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