Rob Kennedy, Jr. was speaking when we got there. After Joe Lieberman and a few others, John Kerry came on. This was all about the proposal to open up an Arctic refuge for oil drilling, which would be gay. Kerry was great, I got some pictures.
His speaking style was just like the debates last year: facts, numbers, names, everything totally up-front. Why the hell isn't he president? Hillary Clinton came on as well, but Rosie and I left after Kerry. Hillary sucks. She spoke out against the National ID act... after she voted for it without debate.
We wandered over to Union Station for no reason, then back up to the Botanical Gardens. That was really cool, they had the same trees with giant leaves (bigger than a person) as last time I went (<3 Bicen) and we went up to the canopy catwalk. The meditation garden was nice too. Note: Do not touch the venus flytraps.
They had an Angel's Trumpet shrub as well! I was almost tempted to just grab a flower and eat it, but then, that would be a pretty good way to ruin my life (which is not exactly on steady ground at the moment).
Especially since after that, we went to meet representative Rob Simmons in his office at 4:00. We talked to him for a good long time (we had a group of about 25 UConn students and some random hippie lady who followed us from Capitol Hill) about energy and change.
He's a Republican, but he might be as cool as John McCain, as he has voted against Arctic drilling consistently and assured us he would not let up now. We were under the impression that he was an important swing vote because of the pork barrel that the Arctic drilling language was buried in. Bush thought his goons could sneak it into a must-pass budget bill, the same way the National ID act was snook into a tsunami relief bill, so that anyone who voted against the socialist-fascist federal ID card would be labeled anti-charity.
So, I'm not sure we accomplished anything by our meeting, but at the same time we were victorious. And we found out where he stands, that is important. I need to get to work on applying early-decision (due next month) for a Washington internship. I really like that town. The people are so damned nice! Some guy overheard us talking about finding a place to eat, and directed us to the Longworth House office building across the street, which had a decent cafeteria in the basement. That never would have happened in NYC, though on the other hand we would never be looking far for a place to eat in NYC.
Monday was Constitution day here (even though it was signed 17 September 1787) and we had several speakers at the Dodd Center. I slept through most of it, but I tried to stay awake. The last event was an open discussion panel on property rights with Daniel Krisch, one of the lawyers who argued and unfortunately won the New London takings case. I didn't get any notes from that one. The lecture at 1:00 was interesting, I was awake for an explanation of different kinds of Republicans - originalists, traditionalists, deferential. John Roberts is the latter type, which basically means he's shifty.
On Saturday I went to Newport with Summer and Rob and Hopeful and those people. I was worried we would go on bus tours and see mansions and awful tourist stuff like that, but instead we gazed at a school of minnows, went to a restaurant with purportedly the best fried clam strips in town (none of us tried them), got some wine, and wandered around town drunk. Which is what every tourist should do, anywhere. The best part was when we went to this huge park with Romanesque marble-and bronze architecture, sculpted hedges, and fountains aplenty.
We found a grove of huge birch trees with the foliage hanging down to the ground. We climbed up (I got the second highest, after Aaron) and drank Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. It was tangy and good. I had some Wild Turkey liqueur with honey in it, too. Then I fell out of the tree, that was awesome.
Life has mostly been good since last I updated. Except for that one thing.