The Return of Winter

Finally having winter this week in the northeast. Frigid, yes, but it’s winter, for gosh sake.  People got all atwitter over getting a dusting of snowflakes on Thursday.
Oh, and on Monday: I watched “The Queen.” Helen Mirren was great as Queen Elizabeth II. Heck, the whole cast was great: James Cromwell as a mean old Prince Philip; the guy playing Prime Minister Tony Blair didn’t come off as a caricature, and even Prince Charles came off as an okay guy. Anyway, highly recommended. Not a long movie, but it felt like such depth.  (unlike, say, other movies that run way too long as if the length makes up for the lack of quality).
If you wonder how our Senators and Congressmen live in D.C., the NY Times has this article which kind of ends any mystery to it: “Taking Power, Sharing Cereal,” on how roommates Senators Schumer and Durbin and Congressman Delahunt live in Congressman Miller’s Washington house (apparently, eating cereal is a big thing; cleaning isn’t; geez, sounds like an awful lot like how a lot of us lived in college, huh?):

Think MTV’s “Real World” with a slovenly cast of Democratic power brokers. While Washington may have more than its share of crash pads for policy-debating workaholics, few, if any, have sheltered a quorum as powerful as this one. About a quarter-mile southeast of the Capitol, the inelegantly decorated two-bedroom house has become an unlikely center of influence in Washington’s changing power grid. It is home to the second- and third-ranking senators in the new Democratic majority (Mr. Durbin, the majority whip, and Mr. Schumer, the vice chairman of the Democratic caucus) and the chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee (Mr. Miller).

Mr. Delahunt, a six-term congressman, is the least prominent of the four but perhaps the funniest. More to the point, he is the only one willing to sleep in the living room with a close-up view of Mr. Schumer slumbering a few feet away in his boxers.

Mr. Miller began taking in weary lawmakers in 1982, but this is the first time in 12 years that four members of a Democratic majority have lived here simultaneously. The four men were once host to a fund-raiser for Senator Barbara Boxer of California at their divey dwelling, raising $80,000. Given the prevailing attire in the place on many nights, guests were given pairs of custom-made “Barbara Boxer shorts.”

As a general rule, the abode is hardly fit for entertaining, or even for a health inspector. It is used for convenience: sleeping, ditching stuff, and fast-food consumption — the kinds of functions prized by vagabond politicians whose families are back in their home states and who generally spend only their working weekdays here.

“Everybody in the world says they’re going to do a television series based on us,” said Mr. Durbin, who was collapsed on the couch on a recent Monday night. Still in a tie, he sipped ice water from a massive Chicago Cubs cup while waiting for the Chinese food to arrive.

“But then they realize that the story of four middle-aged men, with no sex and violence, is not going to last two weeks,” he said. The prevailing topics of their discussions are grandchildren and Metamucil, he added.

“Hey, speak for yourself, Durbin,” Mr. Delahunt said, protesting the claim of no sex and violence.

“There is a lot of violence in here,” Mr. Schumer said.

In fact, the roommates have never resorted to violence, at least with one another. (Crickets are another story.) Their weapons are verbal, and often aimed at Mr. Schumer, who admits to a serious dereliction of roommate duties, like grocery shopping. He is also prone to a blatant disregard for conserving a most precious household resource, cereal.

“I love cereal,” Mr. Schumer said, digging into his second bowl of granola, going a long way toward depleting a box that Mr. Miller had just purchased. [….]

Thank goodness for my having multiple VCR’s – Thursday nights being near impossible with the irresistible tv – taped the musical Scrubs episode (with music by the Avenue Q people, playing on Gilbert and Sullivan and “Rent” and other styles) – cool! – and Smallville – the beginning of the Justice League – as Clark joins forces with Green Arrow, Flash (in his Impulse version), Cyborg, and Aquaman.  Green Arrow bestows Clark the codename of “Boy Scout” – which has been a nickname that I could have sworn, in the comics/cartoon versions, Batman/Bruce Wayne bestowed on Clark/Superman to needle Clark/Superman.  Have to catch up on Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy.  Arg, the networks just screw me up!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.