Monday, July 23, 2007


So this is my new best friend, Samuel Zbogar, the Slovenian Ambassador to the US. We spent some time chilling last week at the Slovenian Embassy in Georgetown. A delegation of the 21st Century Forum of Des Moines was in town meeting with various DC agencies and one trip was to the Embassy. The group is designed to promote Democratic politics in young professional circles around Iowa's capitol. I've been growing a beard lately (see the picture) so I fit right in.
The Ambassador was great, very engaging. I was quite surprised becasue based on the US ambassadors I've met, I figured he would be about 60, grey, and a political appointee. Instead he was a very dynamic guy who as you can see is pretty young and appointed based on, surprising I know, a meritorious system. I got his attention when I asked a question about Kosovo and Russia - and he was very diplomatic about giving no answer whatsoever.

Other happening in DC include losing my cell phone, a DC United Football (soccer) game, lots of softball, and Nationals games 2 and 3.
When I say I lost my cell phone, I can imagine the irresponsible connotations of a young college student this must conjure, but none of them are fitting - I'm sure. I left it on a park bench in Alexandria, VA. What an idiot. But let me just digress a bit and discuss how cell phones have revolutionized social life. I may sound like an idiot complaining here, but just think about it. We are almost always on the move planning on calling later to meet up at a certain place. Theres lots of changing of plans, destinations, all conveyed over cell phones. Plus no one is on time in this generation so amendments to pre-agreed to plans are inevitably required. So, for one who has lived without a cell phone for over a week now, I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'll be ecstatic tomorrow when I finally get reconnected, but should we really place such reliance on being connected to other poeple? That's all I'm saying.

These last two Nationals games have been awesome. Well not really because they still play in RFK stadium which abslutely blows, but becasue the Nats have won in dramatic fashion. Scoring the game winning hit in the 10th was D'Angelo Jiminez who had something like a .079 batting average. The game was a bit depressing for awhile becaue of the rain that sent most of the stadium packing, but I was there until the end. (Just so I don't get sued, photo is from the Wash Post).

Game 3 was also a nail biter, but this time I felt like my own cuticles were in danger. Mark, another intern in Harkin's office scored 6 free tickets and a parking pass that were 8 rows behind the 1st base dugout. Talk about being right on the field. After a pretty good pitching performance and weak hitting by the Rockies (12 runners LOB), Austin Kearns hit a bomb in the bottom of the 8th to close out the game for the Nats 3-0.

In softball news, I'd say both teams are getting better, though Harkin's performance at the States of the Big 12 Annual tournament is not a very telling sign. We were out quick after an 0-2 performance and I'd say the free lunch and booze were serious hurdles for much of our outfield. (Mark screaming "we've got 'em right where we want 'em" as we walked in a run making the score 14-1 perhaps is a good example.) Last Monday we showed the "Hill's Angels" from Clinton's office a thing about taking over Iowa. On Wednesday, the think tank league matchup of the night against a State Department team proved too much for my New America colleagues, but we had some pretty tasty half priced burgers after the game. My gigantic wound is by no means healing and I'm wondering if I'll ever have hair on that part of my leg again. If not, at least its a good story to tell.
Been doing a lot of reserach on Saudi Arabia. I don't think America has ever been more secretive about our relations with an ally than we are with the Kingdom. Feel free to prove me wrong.

And in news that everyone seems to be trying to figure out, Harry dies in the 7th book. Ok not really I don't know and haven't read any reviews, just throwing that out there to scare some folks.

Next week should be a fun one, two softball games, reunions for DC 05 interns and Budapest 07 friends, plus I'm being dragged to Harry Potter #5 the movie and paid to drive to the beach in Delaware (ok that one I can handle). Maybe next weekend I'll get back up to New York and wine and dine with the famous grandma of Sara Greene.
Oh the DC United games was pretty exciting, a 3-3 draw with lots of action. We scalped tickets of course for less than the price and sat about 20 rows back from one goal post. The atmosphere is so much different than a Nationals game. First off, everythink said over the intercom is in English and Spanish. There is so much more electricity in the stadium and the game is much shorter making sure you don't miss anything. My first pro soccer experience was great, hopefully theres more where that came from.

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