Sunday, October 30, 2005

The other side...

There are two sides to every story and to the White House.

This is the north side, which faces Lafayette Park, and which is the side that we see most often on the news, unless the president is landing in his helicopter on the back lawn of the White House. There are not only camera setups on rooftops in the neighborhood that point in this direction, so you can see the White House over the shoulder of whoever is reporting.

It was too dark to take a picture of the permanent setups that are in front of the West Wing, pointing toward the columned entrance, again so that you can see the White House over the shoulder of the correspondent. It looks good on TV, but it's pretty funny to come by and see them all at news hour, standing up in a row as if facing a video firing squad. They stand mute, waiting, then, without any visible reason, they begin talking to no one, all facing in the same direction.

There are more interesting and fun things to do here in DC, but sometimes it's fun to see just what that man behind the curtain looks like. And these are men and women whose Wizard faces we're all used to seeing, so much so that it's almost jarring to watch them standing cheek by jowl, not on separate networks, but all guests on the same lawn and partners in the same endeavor.

It also brings to light that they are truly guests of the White House, and guests can always be asked to leave by their host. I think that this explains why they all ask such slow-pitch softball questions these days that it took us years to notice Jeff Gannon, shill for Rove/Bush. None of them want to be shown the door of the president's house. It also explains why the big stories about the president so rarely (never?) come from within the White House press corps. It would be like Kato exposing O.J.--what would be in it for Kato, or the WH press corps? Better for them that they don't report what they know, so they can enjoy a longer tenure as a guest, hanging out on the lawn, flying around on Air Force One, and so forth.

As a woman photographer (someone will remind me of her name, I'm sure) once said, it's good, when facing something beautiful, to turn your back to the beautiful scene and see what's in the other direction. This is perhaps why those reporters who face the White House can't report on it clearly--because they can't see it clearly. And, this is perhaps why those who turn their back on the White House to report on it turn out to be those who can see it and describe it most clearly.

Told you so...

Told you we went to the White House...yeah, these are a little out of order, but not by much. The WH came about 20 minutes or so before Lincoln.

This is the end of the chain though... No shots of Jaleo. You'll have to come visit if you want to see it (and you don't really go to see it, you go to taste it...mmm...tapas...mmm...Jaleo).

Lincoln at Night

This is where black and white would be nice.

Shedding a little light...

Here we the Lincoln Memorial, with Washington in the background... and the WWII Memorial if I had used a better camera that would show it.

Guess who came to DC?

OK, so she's in silhouette, so that's not entirely fair, but that's Michelle.

She had to come back here for work, flying in and out of Baltimore. Since her work only took a few hours on Saturday, we got to visit with her most of the weekend.

After enjoying a tapas dinner at Jaleo in DC, and walking to and around the White House, we headed out to see some memorials--specifically Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln. It was a little chilly, but nice to see the memorials on a clear night, without any crowds, even if Abe and his second inauguration speech were covered in scaffolding.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The grass is greener...

..over the bridge, under the fence, anywhere but here, according to Barky.

This is in Prince William Forest National Park, where we went for some time outside this weekend. It's a quick drive, and a nice little hike through the woods--down to the creek and back up the hill again.

We don't, however, go over the creek, much to someone's fuzzy little dismay.

Thank you, Ted Turner and Jim Kimsey

Jim Kimsey, who served three tours in Vietnam as an Airborne Ranger, was given the first Spark A Change award at a black tie dinner at the Kennedy Center. Apparently, Ted Turner is acquainted with Kimsey, and so sponsored a table at the dinner. UNF staff were then selected to fill the table, including Wifey. Somehow I beat out Barky to be her date, although the woman who sat next to me, the gossip columnist for the DC Examiner, did bring her dog and a date to the dinner.

The dinner was lovely--in spite of a drizzly night, Wifey's coworkers are fun to hang out with, and Kimsey is a remarkable man who has led an amazing life. I'd like to find out more about the AOL Foundation that he started and see if I can get them hooked up to help us at work, since they seem to do things that would help us.

Thanks to Ted and Jim for a lovely evening and for introducing us to all of the good works of Jim and his friends.

It's a phone, not a camera...

..which is why pictures like this, of our gospel brunch at the Corcoran with Scott, which should look rich and intriguing, end up looking like this.

After the beautiful gospel and food (we all decided that if the music and food was so good in church that we would definitely go every week), we headed into the galleries to see the Warhol exhibit. It was smaller than I thought it would be, but it was still revealing, inspiring, and intriguing.

Job Security

That last one...that's the job security for editors.

Or snarkists.

The Other Room

Did we show you the other room yet? It's this color, which is pretty dramatic, but it's probably our favorite color in the whole house. We've even joked about moving into it.

But who are we kidding? Move one more time?

Not a chance.

And we're not repainting anything, either.

Don't Call It "Reagan"

Perhaps this does a better job of showing what "National Airport Yellow" looks like.

And, no, we don't call it "Reagan," just like you don't call it "Frisco."

Maybe this explains...

..why it took us so long to paint. We were painting with hammers, not brushes.

"If I had a hammer,
I'd paint in the morning,
I'd paint in the evening,
All over this condo..."

Isn't that how the song goes?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

headed home...

Even though we ended up at the same place that Matt went to by coincidence, we missed him after he was done with dinner...well, he missed us, we were upstairs all along.

Now it's the long train home.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

hangin' out...

..waitin' for Wifey at the Cannon House Office Building, across from the Capitol.

UNF cosponsored a PBS screening tonight, so we get cheap food, drinks, with some schmoozing on the side. As the spouse, I'm pretty much off the hook for that last one.

We may meet cousin Matt after this, but he's pretty busy, only being in town for a week. He stayed with us on Monday, so we got to see him earlier. (Now that we have a real guest room, I guess we should stop saying "crashing with," huh?)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Finally...the end is in sight...

Over the last weekend, we finished painting our bedroom, which is the last of the major painting projects.

There's still a closet to be painted, but we're holding off, because we may redo the rod and shelf, inserting some baskets and multiple shelves. Other than that and some minor touch up here and there, we're done painting.

I don't know if this does justice to the color, which is Behr's Gold Buff, which Scott lovingly describes as National Airport Yellow--one of his favorite colors.

It had better be--he picked it.

Friday, October 07, 2005


..coming down the back stretch...

Yeah, it doesn't get more exciting than side-by-side darts.

Hard to imagine that Dana and Jason want to leave this kind of fun. Probably just can't take the excitement. Need to chill in Texas with the tumblin' tumbleweeds.

A boy and his music...

..and a fish and a flat woman in a skirt.

Jason's Five Year Plan

I'm not sure if "five year plan" refers to how long it took Jason to program the jukebox, how long it would take to play all the songs he picked, or how long it would be before the jukebox started playing the songs he picked.

For the record, the jukebox did start playing the songs he picked just about the time we were walking out--I think they're programmed to do that.

More Scoring

Jason explains the "scorekeeper's bonus," also referred to as "new math" or "fuzzy logic."


Liam explains the scoring to Amit:

"See, since I'm going second, anything I hit counts double."

Liam shows us how it's done...

Dana lines up

That's Wifey in the on-deck circle.

"Tell me that they're moving to Austin"

That's what a friend said when we told him that Dana and Jason are moving to Texas. Even though we're sad to see them go, we're happy that they are moving to Austin.

So, to celebrate their good taste in cities, and our sadness, we all got together for some good food and some darts.

Is that Jason, already talking smack?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

October 2, 2005

Can't we at least wait for Halloween to come and go? No?

How about Yom Kippur?

This has been up in the local Giant supermarket for at least a week now, so I suppose I could be asking if we can't even wait for fall to begin before we start selling Christmas crap. It doesn't show in the picture, but this is a giant snow globe, there's a pump that blows snow out inside the top of the globe, so it falls down over the scene. It's just like being in Colorado, except the snow there wasn't accompanied by the sound of an electric air compressor shooting plastic pellets inside of a giant vinyl globe.

It just fell. Silently. Making everything quiet and soft.

It's not just me

For the record, it's not just me sitting in the cafes at night with revolution in the air. . .or on a Sunday morning. . .hey, anyone catch that Dylan movie on PBS?


And Joan Baez in it: it was like being in her kitchen. Such a good impression of Bob, too.

Where my life went

OK, I may have figured out where some of my life went: into coffee shops. This is the Sunday morning cappuccino at Cameron Perks, just down the hill from our house. They have just about the most perfect foam on a cappuccino that I've ever found. (Gotta take the lid off quickly, though, to keep it from dissolving.)

And, yes, they have muffins. In case Dr. Lloyd is reading this, yes, that is a bran muffin, but it's gotta be the lightest bran muffin I've ever eaten. Maybe next time I'll go with the carrot muffin, which looks good too.

So, while savoring the coffee, we read the Sunday Post until the dog was about baked and we headed home. There is always a big bowl of water there for the pups, but Barky doesn't help himself by laying out on the bricks in the sun.

Where have we been?

That's a good question. I'm not sure myself what all I've done since writing here, although I'm sure that it involves less sleep than is recommended--and not for any good reasons, just because I'm too stupid to go to bed in time to get enough sleep for the next day.

I do know that on Wednesdays we've been volunteering for our local delegate, Brian Moran. (They call them delegates, not state representatives here in Virginia. Yes, shocking in Virginia, which is not a state anyway--it's a commonwealth--so they can't be state representatives. Why delegates? Why commonwealth? Good questions.)

Moran is the Democratic Caucus chair, and is in a safe district, so even though he's up for re-election, most of what we're doing is in support of candidates in other districts.

This weekend we also met up with Mike, who rents from Tim next door (but only until Mike's new place in DC is completed), and Mike's girlfriend, Jess. We all headed down to the Del Ray street art festival, got some coffee and pastries from St. Elmo's, and walked the streets. I was impressed by the quality of the art and the size of the crowd. By 9:30 a.m., when we got there, it was already hard to make our way down the street, and the bands were cranking out the tunes. It was a good time; we'll have to remember to go next year.

Had I been thinking (it took awhile for the cappuccino to kick in), I would've taken some pics there. Instead, as we drove away, I spotted this beauty on the street. We were moving, so I think that I missed the grill, but it's not a 62. Possibly a 63. Horizontal grill work.

Speaking of feeling old. . .got the first contact e-mail for my 20 year high school reunion. Yikes. I'm old. What have I been doing with my life?