As a reporter, I spend a lot of time skulking around in hallways waiting for Important People to come out and answer my questions (and this is seriously what I spent 6 hours doing yesterday). So, I also spend a lot of time walking back and forth in the Capitol building, puttering from the House side to the Senate side and back, trying to get the news.

My favorite route is on the second floor, through statuary hall and the big dome and all the most grand and beautiful parts of the Capitol. But I also love when I go down a stairway I never knew existed and — lo and behold — there is some huge beautiful painting of George Washington or one of his pals, just saying hello.Ā  But my favorite artwork is actually on the floor — the ornate, painted Capitol tiles. Sometimes as I walk along, watching the stream of colors beneath my feet, I think, “this is what I will someday miss the most about my job…”

Reporters get to sneak around a lot of places in the Capitol, but the main thoroughfare through which I travel is also crowded with tour groups. In places like statuary hall, there are just too many of them to try to avoid, so I inevitably walk in front of people taking photos. Since we’re in the digital age, I do not feel too guilty about it — it’s not like I am wasting people’s film. But today I had at least three flashes go off in my eyes, and I began to wonder, how many people around the country have an accidental picture of me? Small, sad reporter, clutching notebook, looking down at the tiles…forgive me.