Cats - I own a couple of felines. They're quiet, don't have to be walked around in the cold, basically keep to themselves, but otherwise friendly. My son and I adopted one of them about thirteen years ago, which makes her well past middle aged - closing in on retirement. Her brother, who we adopted at the same time, used to be here. He escaped about a year ago and, either by intention or incompetence, has not returned. I was bummed. My bride was complacent.
I've been reminding my wife how happy our remaining cat would be to have a friend. My bride fancies herselft a witch (the kind with a broomstick and kettle), and she just might be. She was unmoved until she saw her new soul-mate at Petsmart - a seven month old black cat with green eyes. Like our elected representatives, the two cats have been bickering since the newbie arrived. Can't convince the legacy cat that the kitten just wants to play, and can't prevail upon the kitten to just go with the flow. They'll claw at each other until either exhaustion or boredom sets in. Or both.
I've given up blogging about political topics. No need to inflame an already boiling body politic and, despite the fact that I've never been threatened about my previous drifts into controveraial matters, I figure it is wise to just avoid the whole thing. But I couldn't avoid rubberknesking at this week's Congressional pileup. Seemed apt that the Union Pub, a haunt of Congressional staffers a stone's throw away from the esteemed halls, held a ceremony to lift a few in honor of the trauma unfolding down the street.
Everybody knows that last week's mischief is the GOP's doing, but there have been plenty of similar tragedies on the other side. And I don't consider the small group that stirred things up recently to represent any side, lease of which our side. So I'm picking on the present cast, not expressing a political point of view. And there's no denying that the past week has been a hoot, albeit an appaling one. And, while today's post features the Union Pub, I personally favor the Dubliner Pub, which sits just the other side of Union Station. Both fun places, it's just that the Dubliner is closer to the train station and, slouch that I am, I prefer it.
I learned this morning that the Capitol frolics ended bright and early Saturday morning when Kevin McCarthy won the speakership in the fifteenth round. It wasn't a knockout. The new Speaker had the stamina to rise to the dias and lift his new gavel with vigor and a smile. Almost looks more like a grimace. He shouldn't be denied enjoyment of his fifteen minutes, though. Friendly fire from the darker corners of his own caucus may cut his stay short.
Kevin Swings It for the First Time
Back to Kevin. Saturday morning's marathon was capped by a coda plucked out of the eighteenth century. Not a duel. That would have placed the welfare of first responders needlessly at risk. Instead a sitting member rushed one of the ne'er-do-wells stirring up the trouble. Guy needed to be restrained by one of his fellow members. Kind of wish they had let him run free because his target is gearing up to throw sand in the gears of Congress for the next two years. Like the ball I've failed to watch drop so many times on New Years, I didn't last for this drama.
Boxwoods - We live on a corner lot. House was built in 1932. 1932 was an inauspicious year, but the house is graced by an ancient boxwood that had been lovingly pruned since the cornerstone was laid ninety years ago. That's until some scholars from the university across the street wandered past last fall and dove into a lost weekend of botany. The academic year had just begun with the arrival of a new crop of frosh who were just learning about the perks of matriculation. We dunkenness caused them to mistake the bush for a classmate who deserved a good pruning. The boxwood got worse. We found limbs scattered across the sidewalk and in the road. The kids made a lame effort to perch the largest of them onto what remained of the trunk. My bride was not complacent.
Not So Fast, Kiddos
I'm reminded of another leadership scuffle back in the day. I was a junior in high school. Not among the pantheon of most popular kids. Not a varsity athlete. More of a band geek - a badge of adolescent disfavor that I overcame by getting discharged from the squad with dishonor. A funny story for another blog. I was pretty damn good at the trumpet, though, and that earned me some respect. My capital was boosted by taking some courses in music composition and playing in a garage band, at least until I was relegated to the sound board like all geeks who kind of suck at playing electric guitars. None of this was enough to explain my being thrust into the race for student council president, something to which I didn't aspire and surely hadn't earned. But I did have the admiration of some of my classmates. Entered the race as if I was Lenin returning to Finland Station, which is in Russia, in anticipation of the 1917 revolution. I was one-upped by a savvier classmate who turned my revolution on its head by running on the cynical platform to dissolve the student council. Wish I had thought of it. He won and, sure enough, did not dissolve the student council. They never do.
Union Pub's A'Callin
McCarthy got the nod. After a few brodding slilent glares from the back-benchers thrown in to express ceremonian discontent. But not enough to deny him the gavel he craves. Let's hope he found that dude in the picture above a seat at the pub. Moving on to some other related topics: