Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Few More

While I found the tone of the World War II Memorial to be one heralding the glory and greatness of the men and women who served and won, I found stark contrast just down the Reflection Pool at the Vietnam Memorial. It's dark granite walls rise up, bearing each name engraved like a scar from a hard fought battle. People leave small momentos~a photo, a flower, a pin. Even a loaf of Wonder Bread. Over 30 years later, and we still have not healed.

The memorial to the nurses

Washington Monument. It's not all that pretty, but it photographs so well

Some other photos...

Lincoln Memorial from the World War II Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Photographic Proof!

Ok, I promised photos, I'm delivering photos. Now, my abilities to post photos on here are limited, at best. Please do not judge me by my posting capabilities. Instead, please judge these photos on their own merrits. I was, for the most part, shooting blind in DC, because it was so sunny that I could not see what was showing up on the screen!

World War II Memorial...the sun shining on the Pacific theatre tower

World War II Memorial...inside the Atlantic theatre tower

World War II Memorial...over 4000 stars, each representing 100 lives of the Greatest Generation lost fighting for freedom

World War II Memorial...Kilroy was here

World War II Memorial...a monument truly befitting the Greatest Generation

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Long Weekend

So, I took a couple of days off from work, and headed down to Maryland to visit with my cousin and her family. While we don't get to see one another often, we do always have a wonderful time together and this visit was no exception.

We started down on Saturday morning, stopping off at the local diner for an early breakfast at 6am. My eyes were blurry and barely open, even after the coffee. A 3 hour snooze later, and I awoke right at the toll for the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Happily, I'd slept thru that part of the trip and did not have to face down the bridge I loathe. Annie's house was just a hop, skip and a jump away from that point :)

After greetings and some coffee and bagels, we all piled into 2 cars (yes, there were that man of us) and headed to the Renaissance Fair...only to turn because of the line of traffic to get there! We headed to Home Goods and had lunch at a nifty place called The Italian Market. Good sandwich :)

We headed home, and waited around until it was time to head out to dinner...that's right...we were going to Medieval Times! Ok, I will admit to making fun of the commercials for it. I mean, seriously...JOUSTING?? Well, we got to the place, which was in the Arundel Mills mall and naturally we laughed at the cheesy little castle set up. We walked in, and promptly had a red and yellow striped paper crown slapped on our heads. Yes, our knight was the red and yellow knight. We decided he would be the Knight of McDonalds, based on his color scheme. We had our photo taken with a princess (she didn't look very royal...just like she had on part of a Halloween costume, but was missing the essential part of the princess get up: a crown) Anyway, we found a seat and waited for our color to be called to enter the arena (I kid you not) We amused ourselves by taking photos and making fun of our crowns. When we got to our seats, we were in the first row. Oh joy! We were given nifty little flags to wave that looked like something a beginner in rhythmic gymnastics would be using, and waited for the show to start. The horses were beautiful. The actors, not so much. We joked that they were all theater majors from Towson University who needed jobs (see that, Mike Rowe? Medieval Times could possibly have been in your future had your arm not somehow found it's way up the business end of a cow ;) ) There was some overly dramatic dialogue, some nifty horse play, some interesting fight scenes, and some very busy "squires" chasing around the arena with giant baskets on sticks: horse pooper scoopers, if you will. All of this went on while we ate our better than expected chicken dinner~with our hands. That's right folks! Medieval Times does not provide flatware! Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, greasy fingers and all! We headed home, and ended our night by singing karaoke...because that's just the way we are when we are together LOL

The next morning we were up, bright and early to head into DC. Well, that was the plan. By the time everyone rolled out of bed and showered, we didn't get OUT of the house until after 11am...when we had wanted to be in DC a half hour before that. But, when we finally got there, we headed to the WW2 Memorial, where Ranger Sandy was going to be meeting us. I don't think there are words to describe this glorious memorial. It is a monument truly befitting the greatest generation. Placed unobtrusively between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, the WW2 Memorial stands in majestic honor to those who served, both abroad and on the home front. It is truly a memorial to the entire generation, honoring those who served, those who gave their lives, and those who did what was necessary at home to keep the country going while fighting the war. Fountains rise up in majestic glory as two towers flank them, one for each theater of operations: Atlantic and Pacific. There is a pillar and wreath for each of the 50 states as well as US territories involved in the war. Over 4000 stars stand proudly behind the fountains, one for each of the 100 lives lost in the hard fought effort to win the war. Ranger Sandy told us that they actually fly veterans in for free on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Senator Bob Dole is generally on hand to greet them. Sunday was no exception. There was a veterans group at the memorial, easily identified by their T-shirts. We knew Bob Dole was there when Ranger Sandy ran back to the Ranger Station and was surprised to find the Senator there and had the good fortune to have her photo taken with him!

After we walked around the memorial and found Kilroy, Ranger Sandy led us down the reflection pool and toward the Lincoln Memorial, where we found the Vietnam Memorial. Such stark contrast to the WW2 Memorial. While the WW2 Memorial celebrates the victory, the Vietnam memorial has a much darker tone to it. 800 feet long, the Vietnam Memorial is a black granite wall with the names of the fallen and those still listed as MIA etched on it. It is a somber and sobering reminder of a war not nearly as popular as WW2, if a war can be popular at all. We noted things left at the wall by visitors: photos, flowers, unit pins and a loaf of Wonder bread. It's as though the wall's primary purpose is healing. On the other side of the wall, down a little path, is the memorial for the nurses. 4 nurses were killed in action during Vietnam. It is a group who's service is necessary but has often gone unrecognized.

After hoofing it back to the rest of our party who had decided not to take the little stroll down to the Vietnam Memorial with us, we thanked Ranger Sandy for the wonderful tour and headed home, where we played a rousing game of Clue after dinner (honestly, you just can't make this stuff up) because, much to my cousin Mikey's dismay, the giant HD television had gone kaput...ON GAME DAY! So, we really had no other choice but to do something other than watch TV LOL

Monday was a relaxing day. We slept in, then went to Bob Evan's for breakfast (mmm...biscuits!) and did some shopping after. We went to Olive Garden for dinner, and then played more Clue (TV won't be fixed until Wednesday LOL)

Tuesday...well...we came home, our fun filled weekend officially over.

I want to thank my cousins for a WONDERFUL and fun filled weekend!! We have to do it again soon...but this time, you all have to come up to NY!! Thanks again to Ranger Sandy for being kind enough to give us a fabulous tour of the memorials, giving us info and insight we never would have had without her! Oh, and we'd never have found Kilroy without her!

Photo's will be uploaded and posted later...

Tomorrow is back to work...bah!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


So Madonna has said she doesn't want Sarah Palin anywhere near any of her shows.

Uh..Madge? Um, yeah...I think Sarah Palin has more pressing matters to worry about than going to you second rate show. I don't think you should think so highly of yourself. Oh, and one more thing: You're from MICHIGAN, not London. Knock off the fake accent and get your poor kid an eyebrow waxing.

It's sad when 3rd rate celebrities try to use current events to get attention and publicity. Who really cares? They come crawling out of the woodwork during every election year, offering up their opinions on talk shows and news analysis programs.

I just want the whole lot of them to get the hell off my television. No one CARES what you think. In fact, since all of your careers are in the crapper to begin with, it's a safe bet that no one has cared about you for quite a while at this point. So, crawl back up to your ivory towers where you can stare at yourself in your mirrors and lament about your lost youth.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Something A Little Different...

I was poking around the world wide web and I found this...Shepard Smith's graduation address to the class of 2008 at his beloved Ole Miss.

Ok, he does go on for a bit (conversely, our speaker, who's name and importance escapes me) told us he'd be brief, as it was 98 degrees in the sun that day...our black caps and gowns only making it worse. That's all I remember of his brief speech, and I have to wonder if these graduates will remember anything more than "Shep Smith spoke" at their graduation. Long winded as it is, it's a very touching speech, and I think he speaks from his heart. Ten seconds later, life does indeed change....

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Here I go, getting all political again. I don't like politics and I don't want anything to do with politics. I just want all these taintwhistles OFF MY TV BOX!

But since they're all ON my tv box...and on every frickin' channel on my tv box...I have no real choice but to have something to do with politics. So, here's tonight's observation on something I just heard on the VP Debate:

I watched that stupid Democratic primary debate, and I distinctly HEARD Obama say he would sit down and talk, unconditionally, with Iran.

I also watched the first Presidential debate, and I heard him reiterate this, stating that Henry Kissinger himself suggested an unconditional sit down with Iran.

I also watched FNC the next morning, when Henry Kissinger himself issued a statement declaring that he never, ever advocated in any way, any unconditional sit down with Iran.

And here is Joe Biden, saying that Obama NEVER said he would have an unconditional sit down with Iran.

Now, I KNOW I'm not senile yet. I also know I'm not stupid. I know what I've heard, and I know I'm not wrong.

It has to make one take pause, sit back and think...does Obama think I'm senile? Is he counting on it? Does he think I'm stupid, because, well, I'm not. Does he think I have a hearing problem? I don't. I can hear a pin drop. Does he think I'm wrong? Because he knows damn well I'm not.

This is where we go wrong. We continue to elect career politicians who are so used to lying, so used to pandering to different special interest groups, so used to doublespeak that they honestly have NO idea what they stand for. They remind me of that character in The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Mayor...the one who's face spins around for different expressions. Now, I'm not saying politicians are two faced....I think they have much more than just two faces....

Now, if our chief executive has to adhere to term limits, why does the rest of Congress not have to? Why has Ted Kennedy or Joe Biden been in the same job for decades...decades where nothing has gotten done, where partisanship has been key, and where things have only gotten nothing but worse for the American people.

God, I miss Ronald Reagan...

McCain/Palin '08.