Monday, October 27, 2008

It's gone by too fast!

It's not that I don't miss the folks back home or the good home cooking, but the time has gone by way too fast out here and unfortunately, there is not a magic button you can push to slow things down. To tell the truth, it does not take long to adjust to the high speed lifestyle when living here. So, I am trying real hard to get the most out of my time left in D.C.

I ran in the Marine Corps 10k this past Sunday, it was the first 10k race I have ever run. I was a little disappointed with my run time, but out of 5,000 runners, I finished 128th. I feel like I could have easily finished in the top 100, but these things happen. Some days you're just not as fast as you would be on other days. So, I have 2 weeks to train for my next race, the Veteran's Day 10k on November 9th. Hopefully, I can crack the top 100.

On Tuesday, I was able to go on my first tour of the White House with my TWC group. It was a self guided tour that takes you through about 5 rooms with a lot of history in each room. I was disappointed because I didn't get to hang out in the oval office with the President(my friends informed me that I set my expectations a little too high!). Nevertheless, it was the White House and it is definitely worth seeing.
In the State Dining Room, this inscription was carved into the mantel by John Adams on his 2nd night in the White House, it reads:
I pray Heaven to Bestow the Best of Blessings on THIS HOUSE and on All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but honest and Wise Men ever rule under this roof.

Whoever the next President may be, I hope he will take the time to read those words because it will take both honesty and wisdom to lead the country over the next 4 years.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Now that's how you start your day!

You wake up at 6 am on Sunday morning when all of your roommates are still sleeping off last nights festivities. You go out in the cold and run in the inaugural 5k for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and post one of your best times since before having 2 knee surgeries.

Then once you've finished the run and your cooling down, sipping water, you learn that out of 400 plus runners in the race, you finish 30th. And out of 40 runners in your age division, you come in third(I realize that some of my friends will remind me that I was the second loser)! But, let me also give a shout out to the top 6 overall finishers who were all over 40 years of age! The winner was 41 and he finished in 15:45!

Yes. It was a great way to start my day and my week for that matter. I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had lost 7 pounds since coming to D.C., and now I'm pretty sure it's due to all of the running that I've been doing. Even though my days and weeks are always busy, I have still found the time and made the effort to continue exercising and this morning it paid off for me.

And by the way, when I got back to my apartment at 11 am, all of roommates were still sleeping.

Last minute trip

After meeting General Petraeus and winning some $$$ in Atlantic City, I decided to go see Baltimore for the day on Sunday. It was a last minute decision, so I bought a round trip ticket for about $35 and took off. Baltimore is the home of Edgar Allan Poe, one of my all time favorite storytellers. Babe Ruth was also born and raised there. So I have some pics from the day and I also got to take a tour of Camden Yards, where the Orioles play baseball. Baltimore is a very old city, but there is a lot of great history there and I'm pretty sure I will be going back soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It keeps getting better

Well, even though the following actually happened 2 weeks ago, I still have to write about it. So, the 1st full week in October was hands down the best I've had since being out here in D.C. I Started out by going to the Supreme Court on the Monday, the 6th, because I knew Dr. Clayton would beat me if I was not there on the first day the Court began hearing cases. It was funny because there was a group of protesters in the front with red tape over their mouths, so when I asked a lady who worked there what they were protesting, she told me they're always there and they protest everything. Some people have too much time on their hands!

The next day was the highlight of my week. I went to an army convention after learning that General Petraeus was going to be speaking and being a big admirer of his, it was important to me to be able to hear him speak. Before hearing General Petraeus speak, I also met a couple of Hollywood actors who were signing autographs at the convention. It was well worth the wait to meet R. Lee Ermey, a Marine legend who has his own show called "Mail Call" on The History Channel, he signed my October issue of Leatherneck magazine. I also met comedian/actor Dennis Miller, who came across as one of the coolest guys on the planet, super nice and sincere.

It was finally time to go hear the General speak and I waited in line for about 30-40 minutes, but again, well worth the wait because I sat 4 rows away from the podium. The lecture was about the current state of Iraq, the progress that has been made and what challenges lie ahead. The General is a very good speaker, who started out with some really funny Chuck Norris jokes. My favorite was- "Chuck Norris doesn't breathe, he holds oxygen hostage." The lecture lasted for about 45 minutes and afterwards the General took pictures and shook hands with members of the audience. I would say that General Petraeus received rock star treatment with the numerous ovations and long line of women wanting to get their picture with him. Of course in the military community he is the equivalent of a rock star. I waited for about 15 minutes until I could shake his hand and introduce myself. In my opinion, General Petraeus is my generation's version of General MacArthur or Eisenhower, an excellent soldier who possesses all of the traits a strong leader needs.

Obviously, meeting General Petraeus was the highlight of my week, but I was able to end the week on a great note when I went to Atlantic City for the day on Saturday. I am not a card player, but I can sometimes be a skilled or lucky slot machine player. On Saturday, I was just really lucky, because I took home about $250 and ran, not walked out of the casino! I spent the rest of the day walking along the boardwalk, taking pictures, and feasting off the buffet! I've somehow lost 7 pounds since being out here, so I wanted to try and gain some of that weight back. Like I said, it was a good way to end a great week.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

some more pics

I wanted to post these pictures from my trip to the Pentagon Memorial last Sunday. That building behind me is the Pentagon, if you could walk through the entire building, you would end up walking over 17 miles! Those are benches with the victims name on them, every victim has their own bench, 184 benches total to honor the lives lost on 9-11 at the Pentagon. You'll notice how the benches are facing opposite directions. That tells the visitors whether the person was on the plane or in the building when they died. Facing away from the Pentagon, like the one right next to me, means the person was in the Pentagon. The memorial is very pretty at night when the sun is going down and there are lights under all the benches as well.

The picture with the bell is a replica of the liberty bell and that was taken at the union station metro stop, which is where I get off to go to work. I've been walking by the bell every day and never knew what it was until my friend went up and took a closer look.

So, I don't think I mentioned that I'm going to Atlantic City on Saturday with a group of TWC interns. The best part is that it's only costing me $10 for my bus ticket. The trip will be an all day event on Saturday, leaving early in the morning and coming back late, so it will be a long day. I'll either be coming back on the bus or in a limo!

Monday, October 6, 2008


So, I wanted to start showing some more pictures of what I've been up to since my last post. The picture of me and the the sailor is at the Navy Memorial, which is right across the street from the National Archives. The National Archives was our(my roommates and our neighbors) intended target for the day, but by the time we got there the line was really long. The 2 pics of me is at the WWII memorial, which is probably my favorite out of the all the war memorials, although the Korean War memorial is really good at night.

I also have the picture of my roommates Nathan and Kevin, along with our friend Katie at the Lincoln Memorial. Whether in the day or at night, the Lincoln Memorial is my favorite and I could visit everyday. A very inspirational place. The last picture is at the Albert Einstein Memorial with Katie and our other friend Kim in the picture as well.

I went on a tour of the Pentagon last Thursday, but we were not allowed to take pictures on the tour. However, I did go to the Pentagon Memorial last night and my friend did take pictures so I promise to put those up pretty soon. There is a lot of symbolism in the Pentagon Memorial, it is very interesting.

Today was a very long and busy day. I think I'm starting to sound like a broken record! First, I went to the Supreme Court since the new session began today. I was able to listen to the Locke v. Karass case, which dealt with the 1st and 14th amendment and labor union involvement, very dry stuff for a criminal justice major. I spent more time taking in my surroundings than I did listening to the case. I definitely plan on going back, once is just not enough! After the Supreme Court, I went to the Department of Interior for a lecture by U.S. Representative James Clyburn. Congressman Clyburn, who is the House majority whip, delivered an excellent speech about how to contribute to your surroundings and knowing your role in life. It was one of my favorite speeches that I have heard so far.

Hope I don't jinx my team, but GO TU!! The Harvard of the Midwest is 5-0 and looking great!