October 2007


main_image.jpgI attended a speech with President Bush this morning (see funniest anecdote, I think, below). Given the security concerns, people have to get to presidential speeches about an hour early, so everyone was just sitting there waiting for the *big moment.*
Then the very official voice comes over the loudspeaker, “Ladies and gentlemen, the President … and Chief Executive Officer of Sunny Delight Beverage Company, Billy Sear!” Those were not the words we were expecting to follow “the president…” But there he was, the King of Orange Drink, Billy Sear, standing next to George Bush. Billy introduced the Prez.

Bush said: “Billy, thank you. I asked Billy where he works. He said, well, I run Sunny Delight beverage company. I said, well, Billy, I quit drinking.”

This, I suppose, was a hilarious joke. Because then Bush did that signature “heh heh heh” thing. Then he talked about ribs, “heh heh heh,” then about Cheney being Darth Vader “heh heh heh” … it was like a Saturday Night Live sketch.

Bush eventually spoke a bit about health care. Then he told the grocery people that they need not need to worry about high corn prices because we’re investing in cellulosic ethanol and soon we’ll be making fuel from switchgrass and wood chips (his examples).

“I understand that folks out there are concerned about the price of corn,” Bush said. “I’ve heard about it from my hog-raising buddies.”

Good to know he has his top advisors on the case.

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What I am about to tell you really happened. I’m not even joking.

I attended a speech President Bush gave to the Grocery Manufacturers Association this morning where he said the following about Halloween:

President Bush : “It’s always an interesting day in the nation’s capitol. I was in a meeting with the Vice President this morning, and I asked what costume he would wear. He said, ‘I’m already wearing it.’ Then he mumbled something about the dark side of the force. (laughter) He’s doing well.”

Seriously. The words of the President.

Well, there you have it.

(There were some other amusing remarks that I will post later…)

 

Ned and I won second place in his office building’s pumpkin carving contest! This is a momentous day. I’ve never entered a carving contest before.

a capitol fourthI started this blog months ago as an experiment, but told no one other than my husband. So it was even easier to *stop* it than it was to start. But what about you, my faithful imaginary reader? Did you think I died on the Fourth of July, caught in the crossfire of fireworks and gunfire? Do not fear.

Months later, I am here to report What Really Happened on July Fourth.

We spent the morning with our adorable godson, because his mother was ill and his dad needed sleep. But most of all, because we love him (and his parents!). We bought a chicken and some potato salad on the way home, then packed our picnic backpack to go see the Capitol Fourth extravaganza. My husband, heretofore referred to as “Ned,” had never spent July 4th in our nation’s capitol, so we wanted to do the tourist thing.

We rode our bikes down toward the mall and soon joined a peleton of DC police who were also cycling mall-ward to patrol the festivities. They let us join their line of bikes — awesome. The highlight: they played a little police siren from their bikes and we ran a red light. woot.

W e headed to the Capitol grounds to get in line for the concert. It was a pleasant, sunny day, but there were reports of thunderstorms outside the city, so the police held us in line while they watched the storm patterns. Eventually, they decide the storm risk was too great and told everyone to practice “operation safe harbor.” This basically meant that we should get out of line and file into one of the Senate’s underground parking garages. People were not happy. They wanted to stay in line.

We went inside the garage and tried to make the best of the situation with a bit of our picnic. But it was not exactly pleasant with all those grouchy people in that tight space … and no idea of when or if we would get out.

I suddenly realized, “I know what an anxiety attack must feel like : this.”

I had to get out of the safe harbor. It was not safe for me.

We walked in the *dangerous* rain to my nearby office and watched the weather satellites on the computer while I cleaned my cube. The storm subsided. We walked outside just in the nick of time. They were letting people back on the Capitol grounds, and we made it through security before the concert started.

The perennially cheesy host this year was Tony Danza. Other talent included Little Richard, who looked and sounded way past his prime, sadly; the fabulous Bebe Neuwirth; some really enjoyable country singer; a very good American Idol loser; and the always-wonderful National Symphony Orchestra playing the 1812 Overture. The symphony alone — with its live cannon fire and concurrent fireworks display — is worth the price of admission … which, as it turns out, is free. More importantly, it is worth the wait in line. Or in this case, the near panic attack.

Having completed our patriotic evening, it was time to return home. We were on bikes, which allowed us to avoid the extremely crowded metro and ridiculous traffic. It also allowed us to be in the midst of the action as the firework-fueled patriotism swept across the nation’s capitol.

There were at-home legal and illegal fireworks blasting off EVERYWHERE. Sparklers and small fountains are about the only things technically allowed, but people had ALL KINDS of fireworks — including stuff that looked almost as good as what they were shooting off by the Washington Monument. And since people in DC don’t really have driveways or yards from which to shoot their fireworks, they stand on sidewalks, lean on cars; they shoot fireworks right next to their houses or from their front stoops. Some people had a long line of fountains in the middle of the road; others were throwing bottle rockets wherever. And who knows what kind of gunfire might have been accompanying it.

It was wonderful! Also, petrifying.

So, our journey home was sort of like riding bikes through a beautiful-and-not-entirely-deadly warzone. It was Ned’s favorite part of the day. My favorite part was when we came home, sat behind our house and watched the extensive display of fireworks overhead in our alley.

I had thought nothing could beat fireworks on the mall accompanied by the 1812 overture, but there is something wonderful about seeing them right above your head in your very own backyard, home sweet home in your hilarious neighborhood

God bless America. God bless our ‘hood.

Alert! Airport travel can be so stressful. So, why would you want to be dragged down by walking slow enough for your stubby-legged children to keep up, when you can strap your kids to your carry-on suitcase and drag them around the airport!? Last night in National Airport I saw a funny, cute sight — an adorable wee pig-tailed girl sitting on a seat on her dad’s carryon suitcase, rolling through the airport. You too can be a part of the sensation.

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