It's no wonder I can't find a copywriting job. Looking back I've been rather inconsistent; is it Pen Maker or Penmaker? Actually, it's Penhell.
Today was the dreaded jury duty day. I got the original summons ages ago, but it was for downtown so I had it moved to Torrance. Guido didn't like the new date they gave me (he has to control EVERYTHING, even things that have nothing to do with him), so I moved it to September. He didn't like that date either, but I refused to move it again.
I sat in that room ALL DAY LONG (except for a two-hour lunch with VW). At 3:30 "LeRol" called everyone together and I thought, "Oh no, they're going to send us to a courtroom NOW?" But instead, he released us. Definitely better than being sent to a courtroom!
Is it my computer or this program? For the last few months, I haven't been able to update my blog. I'd log in, write entries and post them, but then nothing would be there on the actual blog. Then all of a sudden, on August 27th, my little blurb popped up. So I've got a few months' worth of stuff to update. Stay tuned...
We were pretty wiped out from yesterday and we're still on California time. Our hotel is pretty old. In fact, it's a historic landmark or something. The room is small, but I guess you could call it cozy. It's got a weird room off to the side; it's pretty big, but it has just a table and two chairs. I guess you can use it as an office, but it doesn't have a real desk and there's a lot of empty floor space. We're using that room to lay out our suitcases and dump miscellaneous junk.
Guido got up really early to go down to the Washington Monument to get tickets for us. The rest of us got ready so we could leave when he came back. The weather has cooled off substantially from yesterday. In fact, we need to take umbrellas with us for the rest of the trip (residual effects of a storm are making their way toward us).
Our hotel is up the hill from the Dupont Circle subway station. The subway is going to be our main mode of transportation on this trip. I actually love public transportation and try to use it in every city I visit, so I am very excited.
Okay, so there's a loooooooong escalator down into the sub station. It's scary. Escalator etiquette applies here. You stand to the right so people can pass you on the left. I need to hold on tight to the railing, because I feel like I am going to fall forward. I don't know how people can walk down this thing with a briefcase in one hand, coffee in the other, talk on a cell phone, and NOT tip over into the abyss below.
Our first stop is the Bureau of Engraving & Printing - that's where they print MONEY! But first we make a stop at the Holocaust Museum. It's a pretty intense experience, so we are doing just the children's portion. I think our kids can relate to it a little bit, because we have talked about how Japanese-Americans were sent to camps during WWII. Of course, most people would think that was nothing compared to the Holocaust.
The BEP is interesting. Printing money is a very complicated process. Did you know that paper currency is actually more like cloth than paper? That's how it can hold up to changing hands so much. The BEP also prints postage stamps. The printing area stinks - all that green ink. It brings back memories of those summers I worked at the print shop.
The afternoon is devoted to visiting one landmark after another. First stop is the Washington Monument. Those tickets Guido got us this morning are our passports to the very top of the monument. Wow! The view is awesome. We're looking at all the places we'll be visiting on this trip. On the elevator ride down, our guide stops periodically to show us stones that were sent by various states. Each state has contributed a stone to the monument. There are also stones provided by various organizations and even some other countries.
We walk to the Lincoln Memorial. It reminds me of Fluffy's 100th day of school when she "made" a Lincoln Memorial out of 100 pennies.
We also make a quick tour of the WWII memorial, WWI memorial, and the Korean War memorial. I am looking for the Viet Nam memorial, but Guido says it's near the Capitol (wrong! It turns out we walked right past it, but I was so disoriented and I didn't have my map, I had no clue where we or anything else was).
The last stop is the Jefferson Memorial. Guido thought we were taking the short way, but it turned out to be the long way. The upside is that we got to walk underneath the cherry blossom trees.
Dinner is at McCormick & Schmicks on K Street. BTW, some of these street names are sounding very familiar. Unfortunately, I still remember parts of The Exorcist which I read in the 8th grade. Too scary.
It's raining and it's pretty late by the time we get back to the hotel. It's a long walk back up that hill.
The Bunnies are spending a week in Washington, D.C. Originally, Guido wanted to go to Disney World. Since we take a major trip only once every five years or so, I couldn't see wasting it on a flashier version of Disneyland. Who knows, this could be our last big family vacation. Ever. (No job, remember?)
I can't even remember what time our flight was, but we had to get up real early. Since we couldn't take liquids on the plane, I guzzled water like crazy before we boarded, but still my hands and lips shriveled (I get dehydrated very easily and quickly) and I can't even count the number of times I had to use the bathroom during the first leg. They don't feed you much on the plane these days. We scarfed down some food in the Atlanta airport, and boarded for the second leg that took us to D.C.
We arrived late in the day and went straight to dinner after we dumped our luggage at the hotel. I couldn't believe how hot it was. It was about 8:00 and over 90 degrees. I was beginning to dread the coming days when we would be mostly walking from one attraction to the next.
Dinner was pretty good. I had a misto salad that was absolutely THE BEST salad I ever had: field greens with prosciutto, smoked salmon and buffalo mozarella, drizzled with a sweet, tangy vinaigrette. Yum! Fluffy and I shared tortellini. Scooter had lobster ravioli in a lobster bisque.
It was basically a day of sitting on our asses and eating.
It was my last day of work at Pen Maker (most recently known as Penhell). I was dreading it, because it was the same day as our BTS 2007 meeting, and I didn't want to deal with all those salespeople asking what I'm doing, where I'm going, etc. I don't like goodbyes.
It actually worked out better than I expected. Everyone was so busy sucking up to the new marketing people that they pretty much ignored us ex-Marketiers.
Compared to other companies I worked for, it wasn't the biggest (Bank of America), the most professional (Mattel), the most innovative (Epson & DirecTV), and it definitely didn't have the best benefits (Continental Airlines), but the work was the most enjoyable and rewarding. I LOVED writing about pens. Weird, I know.
Anyway, after the meeting, I went back to the office, got my moolah, and split.
I was next door at the luggage company interviewing for a job. It's a pretty funky environment. The owner is Korean, and he has Buddhas and potted plants all over the place.
Anyway, all of a sudden his employees came running through the halls screaming, "Fire," and heading for the side door. I ran out of the building with them and we all gathered in the parking lot trying to see where the fire was. The luggage company was fine, but the building next door was on fire! The west side of the Pen Maker building, the side facing the parking lot and the luggage company, had flames shooting off the roof. A bunch of factory workers were throwing little buckets of water at the fire. Joe (the Japanese one) was on the shoulders of another little Asian guy, and people were passing buckets of water to him douse the fire on the roof. It was obvious the little buckets were useless. It was really freaky.
Was my subconscious trying to say something or what, with a dream like that!
We spent our last No Fear outing at a Galaxy game. All teams that participated in the last tournament were able to buy 2-for-1 tickets. In addition, the teams got to walk out onto the field before the game. It was awesome to walk across the field played on by so many pro soccer players. We touched the grass (and took some home with us).
Scooter was very excited to see Freddy Adu, the young, hot soccer star who currently plays for D.C. United. And it's always fun to watch Galaxy, especially Cobi Jones.
What a great way to end the soccer season and kick off the summer vacation!
The game ended 1-1, so at least we didn’t lose ALL our games.
I don’t know enough about soccer to know what is a good or bad call, but the consensus among the coaches and parents seems to be that all refs are biased against our region and that isn’t just sour grapes speaking. One ref actually told our coach this weekend that our boys should take up ballet, because they obviously can't play soccer. Is it because we don’t play rough and dirty? Are they jealous that we’re too nice? It can’t be that we’re rich or spoiled, because we’re only from Torrance, not PV or Beverly Hills.
Anyway, the coach asked everyone to hang around after the game, because he had a surprise. I thought he brought popsicles or ice cream. Instead, he had a cooler full of water balloons! The kids had a blast! He did exactly the right thing to end a day that could have been very disappointing.