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chronicle

DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CONGRESSIONAL INTERN


6:50 grudgingly wake up, run to GW gym, work out

7:30 shower, eat breakfast, liberally apply deodorant (!!!)

8:15 throw lunch in bag and leave for metro, walk two blocks over and three up


8:25 head down escalators to turnstiles– swipe smart card

8:30 read spare express left over from previous riders

8:45 arrive at Capitol South station

8:47 swipe smartcard and ascend escaltors

8:50 join masses of interns in transit to buildings, remove ipod from earts and go through Longworth metal detector

8:53 head up to the fifth floor, room 1505

8:55 hang up bag, replace flip flops with heels


9:00 make first of many coffee pots of the day


BEGIN TASKS:

  • fold and distribute morning publications to staff members
  • enter in first batch of constituent mail
  • answer phones
  • check outlook for any tasks
  • give tours
  • write letters or vote recommendations
  • archive and organize last years mail
  • enter phone calls into log
  • send in lunch schedule
  • browse news sites
  • attend hearings/briefings (either for pleasure or to take notes for staff)
  • you get the idea

5:30 start to feel the pull of the door, leaving is so close you can feel it.

6:00 replace heels with flip flops, pop in ipod

EVENING OPTIONS:

attend various receptions with open bar/ free food if applicable

catch metro home

hang out with people

make dinner

do yoga

go to sleep

As with any situation there is some variance. There are catastrophes (most often affiliated with my presence) such as this beautiful lunch combo jackpot..

+

=

Yes, that would be my favorite white DRY CLEAN only skirt decorated with my lovely avocado condiment! :(

More often though, the variance derives from afternoon treats! Some are brought in my staff..

(Crappy phone picture of Maya’s blackberry crumble)

Or in today’s case–provided by yours truly!:

I never tasted the final product, I much prefer dough to actual cookies..

Especially when it looks like THAT.

They aren’t pretty but they got rave reviews from the work crowd during the two o’clock mind crunch. They were devoured within the hour along with my 2lb bag of skittles and smaller package of gummy worms.

Score–

Kallie: 1

Life: 1 (remember the avocado, skirt situation? yeah..me too)

I seriously can’t believe tomorrow is my last day! It is so surreal. I am definately looking forward to coming home, but there are a fair bit of things that I will miss out here (and some things I will NOT miss)

Like-minded caffeine craving staff

Unlimited coffee access all day

The interns I work with, and staff

Being able to walk everywhere

The energy of the city

Meeting so many new people all the time

Proximity of my dorm to Trader Joe’s

Getting to get decked out in cute professional attire errryay

Giving tours!

Seeing congressmen everywhere

Reading the newspaper and knowing what they are talking about

Free food at receptions!

The shower that does not drain

Being sick and away from home

The HUMIDITY

Top Chef coming on at 9 (and the gym closing at 8:30)

The ghetto Watergate Safeway

Tourist B.O on the metro

Having to always re-use my four plates and one bowl

Trying to hang out with people, but not being old enough to get into a restaurant past 8

Crazy constituent calls

My tiny bed

All in all, I have had a great time out here, though not exactly what I expected. I hope that this isnt jinxing anything and I fall down a flight of stairs or something haha BUTTTTTT yeah it’s my last night so I’m going out now :)




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sprinkles

While I have always considered myself a ‘thunderstorm person’–one who enjoys the spontaneous combustion of the sky into stormy madness–I must confess that this love stems from appreciating said storms comfortably from an inside venue, preferably with a cup of tea in hand.

As it turns out, thunderstorms are much less enjoyable when you happen upon them on your way home.

Allow me to rewind a bit.

I finished up the week quite busily. My days were booked full of tasks punctuated by various hearings and presentations.I saw my boss introduce and negotiate legislation on the committee floor during a mark-up session, I went to a save the tigers reception, and I went to a Peace Corps presentation and saw some senators speak about their experiences with it.

I hope you aren’t expecting me to give an explanation of who they are because I honestly have no idea. But they are congressmen, and I saw them speak (intern fail). As I mentioned in a previous post, we got let out early on Friday after CAKE which was beyond awesome before I was picked up by my lovely aunt Claire for a weekend trip to Great Falls.

It was so nice to spend time in a house..with a baby..with no schedule..with a tv..and a regular sized bed. We enjoyed a lazy saturday, got pedicures, ate out, and rented movies. Needless to say, much needed relaxation.

Two of my favorite attributes of this particular getaway were the presence of shower with a working drain (I could take a reasonably long shower without it turning into a bath in the process) and this nifty little doo-dad right here:

This single cup coffee brewer seriously limits caffeine intake in the best way, not to mention it’s too cute. I enjoyed a leisurely two cup Caribou Coffee morning. :)

I was feeling spry and rested when Claire deposited me back to my dorm this afternoon, ready to tackle the city and hit up some museums. My roommate, Irene and her visiting friend were going to go to the Eastern Market (think Portland’s Saturday Market pls giant farmers market) so I joined them instead.

It was a hot one, folks but the market had SO much going on I was really excited to be there…

Fruit and art and flowers OH my!

I was just peacefully bopping along, taking it all in when BAM resurgence of my little vertigo issue abounded.

SERIOUSLY?

I promptly sat down, downed some water, and when it didnt seem to help I peaced out back to the metro. When I ascended the escalators at the Foggy Bottom metro station still in my dazed funk you can imagine how thrilled I was that it had begun to drizzle.

Now for all you New Mexicans out there I have a little tip about East Coast weather–a rainstorm does not last 20 minutes. You cannot wait it out, that absolutely does not work. Luckily for me I has figured this out earlier so I immediately removed my flip flops and booked it.

Evidently, not quickly enough.

By the time I reached my dorm I was soaked to the bone. Despite my quick reaction, my feet were not fast enough to get me home before the full on gale swept down upon the city.

At least it was a tolerable temperature after that. I shivered my way upstairs, peeled off my wet clothes and made the best of the situation:

I no longer felt guilty about leaving the market or not going site seeing. I pulled on my new comfy yoga pants that I bought this weekend, brewed a cup of tea, and vegged out majorly.

I am still not feeling so well, but I only have four days to go before I will be home with the ones I love and where we can figure this out properly.

almost

thursssday, which is almost friiiidaayyyy!!!

:):):)

Kicked this morning off with an extra thiry minute sleep-in, a long shower, and a huge bowl of oats!

Everything else was pretty standard–went to work, went to the gym, came home and ate dinner, etc, etc.

GOOD NEWS—->>>still feeling progressively better.

I have begun socializing with the outside world once again. Met the boys across the hall who are taking their internship status very seriously and perpetually partying, met up with Charles (as I mentioned before), and ventured over to the ABQ crowd’s dorm floor in the first time in a week or so last night.

Now I am presented with the issue of cramming in everything that I want to see before I leave into nicely proportioned chunks of time after work. I am here for 8 days, 23 hours, and 34 mins and the list of things to do currently stands at:

  • Smithsonian
  • National Gallery of Art for obvious reasons
  • American History museum–JULIA CHILD’S KITCHEN!
  • Anthropologie has better housewares than the one in ABQ
  • Dean and Deluca to get treats for loved ones (and myself obviously)
  • Barnes and Noble for my monthly magazine catch-up sesh
  • U St, heard it is really cool
  • Annie Cream Cheese–cute vintage shop

masterpiece

Twenty days in and I finally took the plunge into the museum offerings of D.C. I stopped in the Smithsonian portrait gallery on my way to meet up with my friend Charles in Chinatown after work.

I have to say, I consider myself a pretty open person when it coms to art but I really just dont get portraits. They just creep me out. I challenged myself to locate the creepiest ones in the place. Let’s just say there were alot to choose from.

I tried, I honestly did to appreciate the FINE brush strokes, shadowing, and the immense skill it must have taken to create the paintings but i couldn’t get over the eery feeling of being watched by dozens of still, oil painted eyes every time I walked into a new room.

AHHHH!

I clearly lack the fine taste and breeding to be able to appreciate the significance and beauty in those. I can however, fully acknowledge an art form of a much more delectable sort:

The art of the sandwich.

Another perk of the mother visit was going to a Safeway that didn’t look like it belonged in a third world country. I took full advantage, loaded my little basket up to the brim with whatever struck my fancy.

TA DA! full fridge..that’s what I’m talking about. Got some english muffins, strawberries, blueberries, turkey, carrots, avocado, tomato, half a dean and deluca sandwich, nectarines, bananas, oatmeal and safeway peanut spread (actually not pb, but it tastes better!)

Now I am presented with the issue to trying to eat it all this week before it goes bad. Enter sandwich number one, I made it last night for lunch today but I forgot to eat it :( guess it will be tomorrow’s lunch.

A good sandwich has several components.

  • A good base–in this case english muffin
  • A protein–i prefer turkey, but chicken is alright too
  • Loooadddssss of veggies–i only had tomatoe and avocado but generally more is more
  • Preferably mustard but I do not have any so the avocado would have to do.

Pre-sandwichification.

The reason I forgot to eat my sandwich actually has something to do with food as well in a rather contradictory way, not to mention my filling breakfast..

Banana, copious amounts of pb right out of the jar, and green tea–MMMM

Precisely at lunch time I noticed a joint committee hearing in CQ daily that caught my eye. Ironically enough it was regarding world hunger and the new Feed the Future program.

Let me back up a bit

Now, it has undoubtedly been a valuable experience but I have to say that this internship has left me slightly disillusioned with politics as a whole. I have always been aware of the amount of negotiating and schmoozing involved in the political world, but with the recent additional exposure the more I have felt that there is more facade than actual governmental progress.

I nearly forgot that as with most things in life, the bad is usually accompanied by some good. Representatives have the unique ability to use their influential position to provide assistance to those in need. It is so easy to get lost in the seemingly superficial and unnecessary debates about economic policies and tax cuts, or the turmoil of foreign affairs gone wrong. There is so much water to tread; the larger issues generally leave their mark on the agendas of most politicians.

I seem to bring up often my gratitude for all that I have been blessed with in this world for no apparent reason rather often and I have often felt and expressed fear that my good fortune has ensued thus far because something horrible is waiting right around the corner. Recently, a new thought process has begun to form.

I’m starting to think that possibly I have been blessed with such extravagant good fortune though so that I would have the opportunity to spread it around a bit.

The way I figure it, people with their own set of issues have less time and less energy to devote to bettering the lives of those around them, or are preoccupied with bettering the lives of a specific few.

It is the government’s responsibility to take care of its citizens. The purpose of electing people to represent us is to better the quality of the public’s life and unite society as a well functioning tool. It’s not just a job for these officials—they have people’s livelihoods in their hands. We are fortunate enough to live in a place with a government that no doubt has its share of flaws, but fundamentally it is not corrupt. People are complaining about our current state of living, of paying more taxes, of being in a recession, of having to live on unemployment benefits and I’m not trying to say that there isn’t substantial worries in your every day lives but there are some considerations that you should think about.

At least you have water, you have a governmental system that pays for your necessities in your dark times or at least makes an effort to. There are horrifically corrupt governments our there that are so intent on keeping their citizens down, they will go to any lengths to achieve their goals.

25,000 people die each day due to hunger and related causes. In Africa alone, 265 million people, nearly one-third of the continent’s entire population, suffer from hunger.

This hearing discussed providing financial aid to a list of less fortunate countries to innovate farming and agricultural techniques, educate the population about growing food, and help them get on their feet.

While you are on your computer reading this, I’m assuming you are clothed. Think about the last time you took a shower, think about the last time you slept in a bed, drove in a car, ate a meal. Probably all the above you have done today, while a large portion of the world have not done even one of those things in their LIFE.

It seriously blows my mind. I have a information session on the Peace Corps on Thursday and I am way more excited for it now than I was initially. Even if that specific program is not in my future, I anticipate donating a chunk of my time on earth to helping those in need.

Okay, okay I realize all this sounds cheesy but it’s really the least I could do. I am not religious, nor am I spiritual in the least, but I do try to abide by a set of morals. I try to be the best person I can be, 70 percent of the time haha because I can be a total brat the other thirty.

This concludes the Dr. Phil SLASH infomercial portion of my rambling. Have a wonderful evening, send good thoughts to those who need them!

catch-up time

WHY HELLO

Sorry I have been MIA for quite a while, after leaving off with such a dismal (and apparently worrying) post. Luckily for me, I have the best mom in the world (no offense to any other mothers out there, but it’s my opinion) who flew her cute little patootie out here and to spend some quality mother-daughter time! and okay, a side of business as well

Thursday night she met me at the office, I got to show her around our little Congressional box before taking her poor, dizzy daughter to the sole urgent care facility in DC that takes our insurance.

Verdict:

This may not come as a surprise but apparently I am officially a resident of Crazytown. It appears that nothing is physically wrong with me, so this little bit of vertigo must originate from within my noggin.

That said we chowed down at Hank’s Oyster Bar before metro-ing out to her lavish hotel where I enjoyed a KING SIZE BED and wonderful sheets. AH. I also indulged in coffee for the first time the next morning and it actually helped my condition a bit.

FRI-DIZZLE

My caffeine needs met, I set out to enjoy my Friday decked out in a yellow shirt (bright colors=happiness) and successfully gave my second tour of the Capitol in addition to a slew of other various tasks throughout the day because we were down to 2 interns.

Kept busy, the day flew by and Mom and I ate out at Founding Farmers before going to sleep like the little early birds we are. There was a justifiable reason for heading to bed so early this time, however:

I had to wake up for my 7:30 tour of THIS baby..

SATURDAY

YEP, it was actually not all that interesting but I tried to take my time and remember all the details because it is not every day that you get to step foot in a place where so many great men and women who have shaped America’s history have resided. You can imagine that security was quite abundant, if you even bring a bag with you to the grounds they shut down the tours for the rest of the day.

All the secret service men were quite good looking, but they were pretty staunch about following the rules dang it hahah. I asked one how the rooms could ever be used by the president if people were always walking through them on tours but he informed me that tours happen in the mornings and then they shut it down for afternoon business.

And no, the Obamas were not there. They were in Maine for the weekend, as were the rest of my family all together without me :(

REST OF SATURDAY:

I was back to my dorm by 8:30 so mom and I grabbed coffee at a cafe downstairs and planned our day. We first went to Georgetown for a bit of shopping and then lunch at THE DISNEYLAND OF FOOD


DEAN AND DELUCA people..The granddaddy of Whole Foods. I will never look at WF the same again now that I know what is out there. ONly I would take pictures of this store but I was in HEAVEN.

Their samples of baked goods were too good to be true. I seriously have never tasted anything so wonderful in my life– I am not exaggerating–I am returning before I leave.

Then we headed out to Great Falls–My mom’s childhood home. We drove around, and I got the full run down. Saw all of her houses, schools, friends houses, hang outs, horse stables, etc. With some time to spare we made a stop at the Great Falls nature park.

Over on the other side of the Potomac you could see people in Maryland looking out at the falls from their side.

We then went to her childhood friend’s home to clean up and relax before dinner at a fabulous French restaurant with a crowd of very well educated and diverse individuals. I had the best halibut I have ever encountered this night.

I realize I look really thrilled in this picture but I didn’t think I was in  it haha and the other one half the people aren’t paying attention SO we are stuck with this one. I promise I wasn’t an angry bunny  this night..just this picture. I generally don’t genuinely smile in pictures anyways though because I feel uncomfortable and fake. It drives everyone crazy but I cant really bring myself to do otherwise.

SUNDAY

was filled with the Tour de France, visits to mom’s old friends, a proper grocery store run, and then I was returned to my dorm and said goodbye to the momster

this brings us up to speed..

MONDAY

I began this morning filled with fresh resolve to face my situation positively. I woke up extra early for a light jog–after breakfast and a shower I was feeling worse than ever and was worried I couldnt even make it to work but I pulled it together and somewhere along my day I started feeling LOADS better.

Possibly it was because of

–A member of the staff’s birthday Chipotle and baked goods

–getting to leave office for a bit to retrieve aforementioned Chipotle

–being occupied with tasks

–having coffee

–leaving an hour early to attend a reception with glorious fruit platters everywhere

–a heart pounding sprinting run followed by 20 minutes of relaxing hatha yoga

–taking out my contacts

–a generally positive attitude

As of now I am feeling a less horrible, not perfect but alright, I am reluctant to say that in case I jinx myself but I am going to keep taking it easy and see how it goes.

Time for laundry now!!

the term ‘desperately need to do it’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.

moisture

You know those days that fly by with activity and at the end you are too tired to eat, much less upload pictures and/or attempt to cyber re-create your life for your family and friends to read about?

Welcome to my week.

It has been exhausting, it has been humid, and it is already Thursday evening! I rang in my one week anniversary with D.C. yesterday with a hectic morning following a disastrously stressful Tuesday. All’s well that ends well I suppose, but I’m slightly balder from frantically pulling my hair out.

Basically, my identity got stolen and my credit card cancelled on the eve that my visa application was due. SO I had to wake up Wednesday morning bright and early and trek to the State Department, beg to be let in and get money transferred to me until my lovely mother can bring me my new card.

After that I had to walk to Georgetown to the Swedish Embassy to turn in my visa application and then book it down to work to make it just in time two hours late to my Capitol Tour Guide training.

Not to mention that all of this was happening while D.C. was plunged in the midst of a 118 heat index sweltering summer day. At least it was causal week because it is Congressional Recess. Needless to say yesterday afternoon upon arriving back at my dorm I immediately scarfed soup and bread and settled in for some serious Weeds watch-age.

THURSDAY:

Today was pleasant–though tiring. Minus getting lost a bit on the walk back to work. I have decided to walk the three miles back to my dorm each evening that it is tolerable instead of taking the Metro to save money, get some exercise, and see the city! Today though I picked an unforchanate path and ended up walking straight to WAY OUT OF THE WAY of my dorm.

I stumbled upon some “must see monuments” along the way that I have somehow managed to not see yet despite all my walking adventures and was sufficiently unimpressed.

Call me un-american if you wish but the reflective pools look a hell of a lot better on tv than in person. Check out that water–GROSS!

Looks good in pictures though, I’ll give it that.


IN OTHER NEWS

  • Georgetown is still beyond adorable ^^
  • I finally had the chance to pick up my GWU gym pass and the gym seemed pretty nifty to me so I will defintely hit it up this weekend.

sardines

Okay, grossest-title-award goes to me on this post BUT that is all I can say to describe the scene at the memorial around 9pm on July 4th. It was madness I tell you, utter madness!

We arrived late after our dinner of frozen yogurt–which I have to say, I am not a fan of. It absolutely does not taste like ice cream. Whoeever said that is a dirty liar–so it packed by the time we got there! I got some amusement from the quad pod of douches that were walking in front of us that apparently color coordinated their outfits.

SARDINES IN A CAN PEOPLE, that is what it was.

Anyways fireworks were cool I guess, I’m not particularly into them but they were loud and huge so if that is what qualifies a fireworks show as quality then I suppose it was. America sure is obnoxious hahah we got today off though so I spent all day public pooling it UP. It was in the 100’s so it was well worth the 4 dollar non resident price tag.

I’m throughly exhausted for no particular reason SO I’m going to go rest up for work tomorrow. :)