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The Me Blog, Part Two

Due to popular demand, I bring back an entire blogpost of only Me pictures. This lovely specimen is Me, around famous sites in DC. I bring you: The Me Blog – Tribute to Me.

Me and the Capitol

Me and the Capitol


Me and a guy and the Capitol

Me and a guy and the Capitol


Me, from far away with an ambulance and the Capitol

Me, from far away with an ambulance and the Capitol


Me, shutting my eyes from the horrors of DC, and the Capitol

Me, shutting my eyes from the horrors of DC, and the Capitol


Me in Mordor (and I thought DC was hot and full of power-hungry people...)

Me in Mordor (and I thought DC was hot and full of power-hungry people...)

Your welcome.

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My Life, In Color (And Text)

Oh man I’ve got to update – my graph showing my hits per day is looking like a heartbeat (of a slowly dying frog). Therefore: in my countdown of my final weeks (in two weeks I’ll be in Atlanta!!), here are some more awesome things I’ve done:

Library of Congress.  The nice security guards informed me as they were escorting me out that there is NO President's Book of Secrets.

Library of Congress. The nice security guards informed me as they were escorting me out that there is NO President's Book of Secrets.

Went to the National Cathedral, which is just like a European Cathedral, except it's in America.  Weird.  Didn't know they had taste here. Yet another thing we stole from the French.

Went to the National Cathedral, which is just like a European Cathedral, except it's in America. Weird. Didn't know they had taste here. Yet another thing we stole from the French.

Jomaine and I visited Arlington National Cemetery.  Lots of walking.  Lots of graves.

Jomaine and I visited Arlington National Cemetery. Lots of walking. Lots of graves.

We got lost a lot. If THEY don't know which grave is which, how are WE supposed to know?

We got lost a lot. If THEY don't know which grave is which, how are WE supposed to know?

The Eternal Flame at JFK's grave

The Eternal Flame at JFK's grave

Visited the State Department with everyone in my program and subsequently learned to love the phrase, 'That's all the questions for now').

Visited the State Department with everyone in my program (and subsequently learned to love the phrase, 'That's all the questions for now').

'Meet the Press,' Baby!  Yeah, that's John McCain.  No, the picture is sharp, it's just he's so old he's blurry everywhere.  But pretty funny/likeable guy.

'Meet the Press,' Baby! Yeah, that's John McCain. No, the picture is sharp, it's just he's so old he's blurry everywhere. But pretty funny/likeable guy.

Also, this weekend, we went to a Nationals/Cubs game (Cubs won!), went Kayaking on the Potomac (it’s not all that expensive, and I think I’m going to again by myself sometime this week) and saw some movie (HARRYPOTTER). So – with all my complaining, my life is pretty darn good. As Candide would say, All is For the Best in the Best of All Possible Worlds (take that Voltaire).

So(tomayor) there it is. I just finished my midterm for this second class, which means I’m 3/4 done, which means I’ve 3/4 more enlightened/educated because of this program (at least that’s what they tell me.) Expect me to be 350% more pompous and knowledgeable than you when I come back to school (one percent for every dollar saved by not buying my assigned textbooks for this most recent class).

I miss OC.

So(tomayor) What?

So(tomayor) I decided last Thursday I would go down to the Senate buildings after work to see if I could get in to the Sotomayor hearings. Not your typical after-school-activity and not as fun as a matinee of Harry Potter, but still worth doing plus I’m a nerd. To get tickets, you just have to line up outside in a park a block north of the Senate offices, and they cycle people in and out every 20 minutes or so. Easy squeezy. So I got there about 1:30, and as I was the second person in line, I figured I would have a while to wait. So, I found a spot in the shade, used my backpack as a pillow, threw some Noah and the Whale on and prayed it wouldn’t rain.

Now the forecast had predicted rain that day, so in my ever-preparedness, I grabbed my umbrella for the day. But the umbrella takes up a lot of space in my messenger bag, so for one of the first times, I instead grabbed my backpack to store my umbrella, camera, iPod, journal, book, and a pair of flip-flops in case I got blisters walking around in my dress shoes all day (it’s been known to happen). I didn’t think anything of it – I sometimes carry my backpack into museums and they just make you check it. No big deal.

So the time comes, only a decent 15 minutes later, and the little pack of American Eagle-d interns and wide-eyed foreigners were led across the street and down the road towards the Hart Senate building, the larger of the two Senate office buildings. BUT – halfway there – the smug Senate intern with the earpiece and the Red Intern Badge called out to me – “Hey, Sir, with the backpack!” (Actually, that made me feel cool. Don’t get called “sir” that much.) I knew where this was going. “Yeah, um, you can’t take your backpack in.” Well, again, I had counted on that, but I had also counted on there being a checkroom or something. What do they expect people to do with their things if you don’t give them a place to put them? I stated that question to the intern.

“Well, there are lockers at Union Station….” Great. That’s six blocks away, and my group was going in NOW. A friendly older gentleman in our group (the whole pack was involved in this conversation by this time) suggested I just hide it in the bushes. “Well, if you do that, Senate security will probably arrest you.” Good point. But you didn’t have to say it so pompously. Admitting defeat, I dejectedly left the group and started back towards Union Station – but I had another plan first.

I made my way back to the tent in the park where they were giving out tickets, and started to plead with them to let me just leave my backpack there for the 30 minutes I’d be inside. Now, I don’t know if you know this, but there is a stereotype around DC about Capitol Hill interns – they are supposedly pompous, fratboys or the equivalent, and not actually all that smart. My few choice encounters have proved that true. The group of interns lounging at the tent just kind of looked at me, one gave me the oh-so-helpful suggestion of “Try Union Station,” and another gave me a sarcastic, “Just put it in your Senator’s Office.” Why, thank you. So I had to try to let him know with the utmost dignity (and lack of disdain) that “I don’t work on the Hill,” (thank you very much).

As this fun little encounter was happening, I heard my name, and looked up to see a girl who I had met a couple weeks ago (she’s from my roommate’s school in Chicago, works on the Hill and actually stayed on our couch a couple nights because she didn’t have an apartment yet). She had overheard our lovely conversation and, beautifully, suggested that she take it. She was heading into another Senate building for a meeting, and I could just call her after I was done and go and get it. WOND-erful. I thanked her profusely and took off for the Hart building (well – had a security guard escort me. They’re hard-core here.)

Great. I made it. I was in the Sotomayor hearing for a good 30 minutes. It was decent – she wasn’t actually there for that part because they were interviewing witnesses for and against her, but I did see a lot of famous Senators and people like NYC Mayor Bloomberg, the Ricci firefighter guy from the Ricci case, etc. Pretty cool.

SO – the time came for me to leave, and as soon as I stepped out of the building, I got a couple text messages (I guess they shut off signals in that room). They were all from that girl – and they told me that she had also had to go into the hearing, and so she also couldn’t take my backpack in. Sooooo…she had to leave it with a random guy BACK at the ticket tent.

I ran back to the ticket tent, and saw a businessman asleep on the ground, my backpack perched next to him. He had had to wait for about 25 minutes for some punk kid just because some other punk kid had guilt-tripped him into watching this stupid backpack. I felt so bad for him. “Sir…Sir?” He slowly woke up, with a none-too-happy look on his face. “I think that’s my backpack….” “What’s your name?” “Will….” He only nodded. I thanked him profusely, grabbed my backpack and hightailed it for Union Station.

Union Station

Union Station

Failure

Well shoot dang – I haven’t updated in a while. My bad. I could say that my life just hasn’t been that interesting to warrant another post – but that’s just a lie. Heck, I’m in DC for the summer (narcissistic but true). The truth, and nothing but the truth: I’ve just been lazy. Second truth, but still just as true: I’ve stopped caring. That’s right: I’ve stopped caring about whether or not you care about what I’m caring about. Careful: it gets worse.

I think I’ve hit the threshold of DC experiences. Case in point: yesterday, I went to the National Postal Museum. You read right – the National Postal Museum. That’s what I’ve come down to. I’ve gone to every museum on the Mall; seen the Pentagon, White House, Capitol and every monument; been to a taping of Meet the Press and observed the Sotomayor hearings. I can zip along the Metro with my eyes closed (they have those bumpy floors). So, yesterday, I found my list of options growing short and begrudgingly explored the world of philately and the Pony Express. Note: the Pony Express is exciting. This museum isn’t.

So I’ve started to hit up the non-free museums, and that’s where my pocketbook (wallet? I don’t know why I said pocketbook. I’m a man. I even shave now-with a real razor!!) really gets hit. Sometimes worth it, sometimes not. Last Saturday, Kaylee and I went to the Newseum. Yep – a Museum of News (Fun Fact: When it opened a couple years ago, Stephen Colbert said it should have been called the Newsoleum). NERD ALERT!!! This place was awesome. Totally worth the $18. The price so nice, I paid it twice. That’s right: The 2 1/2 hours I spent the first day before it closed weren’t enough; so I shelled over 18 McChickens again this week to finish it up (another 3 hours of well-spent time).

Berlin Wall chunk

Berlin Wall chunk


It’s a really powerful museum. It chronicles the flow of information through history, shows how news was conveyed even in East Berlin (with a huge chunk of the Berlin Wall on display!), and the most telling exhibit: the coverage of 9/11. It detailed the journalists who risked their lives to tell the world exactly what was going on in all the confusion. There were videos and pictures from that day on display that I had never seen before – and they were shocking, to say the least. But necessary. If you ever have a chance to visit this museum: DO. I beg of you.
Antenna that used to be on top of the World Trade Center, with 9/11 front pages from across the country in the background

Antenna that used to be on top of the World Trade Center, with 9/11 front pages from across the country in the background


I was going to recount a story from today’s visit to the Hart Senate Building for the Sotomayor hearings – but in the interest of sleep, conservation of material for more posts and Jacob Shuart’s pathetic attention span (he stopped reading after the first paragraph), I’ll save it for tomorrow.

Art, Schmart

Just kidding. I love art. I only wish by the day I knew more about it. But I’ve been exhausting myself at the art museums here – and there are a ton. So I have prepared for you a small(-ish) gallery of some of the favorites that I’ve seen and taken pictures of over the last five weeks. A small preview of my tastes: I prefer landscapes over portraits, my absolute favorite is Impressionism/Expressionism, I am growing to like modern/contemporary art more and more, I love symbolism. But here are some of my favorites, with their descriptions (hold your mouse over the picture or click on it to see the title):

There you go. I hope you enjoyed the fruits of my labors the past five weeks (yep-I painted all those).

Awesomeupdate: I’m going to a taping of Meet the Press Sunday morning, 8 AM. Only a couple students from my program are getting to go and it was chosen at random (but I like to think merit). This is probably the coolest thing I’m going to get to do here. And, to top it off, the guest of honor is: Sen. John McCain. Oh boy. This is gonna be good (I’m being serious – regardless of my actual feelings towards him (he’s not my favorite) I really am excited to see him and hear him speak. The same way I felt about Huckabee coming last year).

Verdict: The Motorcycle Diaries is a great book (and an equally great movie, believe it or not).

Notsoawesomeupdate: My insides, I’m pretty sure, are all congested from the massive peanut-butter intake I’ve had the past couple of weeks.

Tah-Do List

This morning I fell asleep on the bus and missed my stop.

So after a weekend of non-activity, I’ve been hitting museums pretty hard the last couple of days. The National Gallery of Art took about 5 visits total (it’s huge…two buildings) but I got it done yesterday then moved on to the American Indian Museum which I finished today. I’ll probably do a post later about all the great art I’ve seen/taken pictures of, but first, here’s a checklist I made of everything I wanted to do here this summer, and what I’ve gotten done. It’s pretty, well, extensive, and I’m running out of time.

Monuments:

Lincoln Memorial X
Washington Monument X
Jefferson Memorial X
Vietnam Veterans Memorial X
World War I DC Memorial X
World War II Memorial X
Reflecting Pool X
Korean War Veterans Memorial X
Theodore Roosevelt Island

Buildings:

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
National Cathedral
JFK Center
Watergate X
FDR Memorial
Capitol Building
Supreme Court
White House X
Ford’s Theater
Pentagon

Smithsonian Museums:

Anacostia Community Museum
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery X
Freer Gallery of Art X
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden X
National Air and Space Museum X
National Museum of African Art X
National Museum of American History X
National Museum of the American Indian X
National Museum of Natural History X
National Portrait Gallery X
National Postal Museum
S. Dillon Ripley Center X
Smithsonian American Art Museum X
Smithsonian Institution Building X
Smithsonian National Zoological Park (National Zoo) X

Other Museums:

National Gallery of Art X
National Archives X
Holocaust Memorial/Museum X
Library of Congress
Corcoran Gallery of Art
The Phillips Collection
Newseum
International Spy Museum
Folger Shakespeare Library
Kreeger Museum

Other:

Georgetown University X
Arlington National Cemetery
Mt. Vernon X
Potomac River
Nationals Game

Yeah! That’s a lot – but I’ve actually got a lot done. I’m actually going on a tour of the Pentagon tomorrow, so that’s knocked out.

Wow this was a boring/unfunny post. I have absolutely nothing interesting to say.

So…ummm…yeah…uhhh…so you guys ready for HP6?