May 23

tn_absolut_chaosI haven’t been punishing my writing with purposeful neglect, I swear.  One month and I haven’t logged a word.  And, you know, I do plenty of writing that I don’t post online.  Some things are just too messy for the internet.  Sadly, that hasn’t been the case.  I’ve simply been working and planning out the next two months of my life, of my family’s life.  All of a sudden it’s a pivotal time in the Nunnery house.  We’ve gone, without notice, from putting last year’s symphony of destruction to rest and stabilizing our present functioning immediately into chaos again.  True, it’s good chaos this time, but chaos none the less.  One week from today Rhonda will be in Maccau and the girls and I will be in Denver.  In the month that follows, the various members of our family will be in two continents, three countries and more than 10 cities.  We won’t see our house again for six weeks.  The first half of our summer is literally booked – completely.  There will be a trip to Vegas, a trip to Mexico, and a golf excursion in Aspen, concerts and a few barbecues.  There will be an America Votes national retreat in Denver and a national Political Director’s meeting in DC.  And there will be my wife starting an American clinic in Maccau.

tn_madison_rs_03This morning I am waking up at the Loews Madison Hotel in DC, one of the more “comfortable” hotels in DC.  Rhonda is asleep next to me.   The kids are across chasm, spread out in different directions and wrapped and knotted in their various blankets, also still sleeping.  We’re about two hours from going to dim sum in Chinatown. Here’s me, rolling my mental camera across the room, listening to the light rain an otherwise silence, having big picture happiness feelings.  Everything is good.  I think about the next couple months…get excited, get nervous and there it is…time to write.

tn_RakisYesterday we went to a pig and lamb roast at one of my friend’s houses in Washington.  It’s something he does every year.  That’s where I ate this pig.  I ate a lamb, too, but the picture is really gross.  The whole family went.  When I found out that this year’s event coincided with a week that I would be in DC, Rhonda and I decided to trek the whole clan out for a little family trip.  I’ve been here most of the week.  The girls left after Rhonda got off work Friday, driving the entire eight hours straight through.  I was staying at the Washington Hilton, along with some friends so after dinner one of my new favorite people in the world, Rich, and I hunkered down at the bar and waited until the girls arrived.  It was a timely arrival, too.  Just as the bar closed, they pulled into valet.  Perfect.  I’ve got to hand it to Rich for waiting up for me.  I was staying in DC all weekend.  He had an 8am flight which meant at best he would get four hours of sleep or so.  Given that dinner started with champagne at 6 and it was just passing 2am…he was in for a world of hurt.

tn_zentan-salmonActually, now that I think about it…let me log that dinner because it really was fabulous.  Six of us went to Zentan, a very DC, high end, sushi and ‘things’ type place.  I had never been there before but was familiar with it and had heard good things.  The general manager of the place is a friend of a friend and he rolled out the red carpet for us…private dining room, bottle(s) of champagne…all that.  He’s on some reality show on the Food Network starting in August too so I’ll have to check that out.  Though fish is their stated specialty, raw and otherwise, we made sure to get a broad sampling of the menu and there wasn’t a bad thing to hit our table.  Among the things we ordered –  various Asian crudo…which I guess is best represented as a ceviche-ish way to prepare raw fish, steamed rockfish, braised pork cheek, Cantonese skirt steak and a bunch of sushi.  Best meal of this trip, which says a lot because I ate a lot of similar food this week, all at nice restaurants.  I also had sushi four nights in a row this week, including some rare prize fish and live scallops on night four.  Then I had lox for breakfast one day so I think I should probably lay off the fish for a bit.  There is probably five pounds of mercury rolling around in my head right now.

tn_ftrapidLast week we did a family trip too – to a ghetto indoor water park in Columbus.  Oh my God.  I have seen places like this before, even considered that one day we might take the girls to one of them.  But never, ever, could I have imagined what they are actually like inside.  Our room was either cow, horse or giraffe print.  It had bunk beds. The entire place smelled like chlorine.  Most of the crowd looked like they were on a field trip from the inner city.  It was crowded.  It wasn’t cheap.  And then the kicker – there is no way it was a one time trip.  The girls loved it.  Ugh.  At least we went to the Fish Market for dinner at night.  Then on Sunday we went to the Zoo and this little kids type amusement park.  Those places I could tolerate.  The water park place had me feeling like I needed to boil myself to get the hepatitis to come out of my skin, float to the top and be scooped away with a sterilized net.

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