Friday, June 30, 2006

FairVote pictures

Here are some pictures of my internship at FairVote! My last day was great...we went to eat lunch together and then they got me an ice cream cake!! It said, "No more Chick in Czech". Isn't that cool?

This is Shanti, me, Jillian, David, and Christina:
Here is a picture of most of the office:
Here is a picture of my working hard in the intern area: This is a picture of the Right to Vote people. Marisa is on the left, Ryan is in the center, and I'm on the right:

And finally a picture of me and Marisa, my best Fairvote friend!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

KLL and Company

Kelly (my boss) and her kids are here visiting Washington. Tonight we went out to eat supper, and here is a picture! Tomorrow is my last day at FairVote. I will be very sad to leave, but I am excited to return home on Friday.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Apparently we've run out of conversation, so I am discussing the weather

Washington is flooded. It has been raining since last Thursday almost non-stop! Today the IRS and the Department of Justice were closed, and tomorrow several places are giving their workers liberal leave. Subways were shut down today due to flooding and a parkway near my apartment is also submerged.

Some of my intern friends had the day off! There was no real flooding near my internship except for the subway station. This afternoon, the entire floor was covered with about a half an inch of water. That was so gross in which to wade. The subway itself is over ground at the stop, so it was not affected. I had not run since last Wednesday, and finally tonight I got so sick of no exercise that I ran in the rain. Some of my co-workers who traveled for the weekend were stuck outside of D.C. for hours yesterday.

Tonight it continues to rain and we wonder what will be closed tomorrow. Hopefully it will end soon!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

My other roommate


Please let me introduce you to Sydney. Sydney is another of my roommates. She has been Karla's dog for nine years, and has hated me for the two years that she's known me. There is no reason to feel sorry for me, though, because I definitely do not enjoy small and yippy dogs (I am a huge cat person). That pretty much hindered my relationship with Sydney because being small and yippy is her specialty.

Lately, however, Miss Sydney has grown to like me a little more, and I have realized some good things about her. For instance, she is about the size of a cat. She is the perfect size for carrying and she also snuggles with me during our afternoon nap times. Hmmmm....she also licks me like a cat...I guess that is where the good qualities end (I'm just kidding).

We really bonded last week when she grew scared at a thunderstorm. I cuddled her and tried to make her feel better. After that, she let me hold her and pet her for a long period of time. Now she is sitting under my chair and chilling out. We have a much better relationship now, and we even take naps together every single day! I am happy that I made such a good friend.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Whose Wedding is it Anyway?

This week I have been hooked on a TV show called Whose Wedding is it Anyway? It is on right after I get home from work and in the early evenings, when I am on the internet chatting with my friends, and I always have it on in the background. Let me tell you something: the people in this show are crazy. Today the bride started freaking out about red ants attacking her during the wedding, and the planner sprayed about a gallon of bug spray on her and the bridesmaids. In other wedding action, these people hired an ice sculptor, failed to pay them, so the ice sculpture melted quickly throughout the reception.

Don't worry...I am not wasting away my hours in Washington watching these shows. Tomorrow I will meet some Truman people and visit the National Gallery. On Sunday we will all attend a barbeque festival! That will probably be pretty yummy, and I am excited.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tonight

Tonight I went to see the movie Who Killed the Electric Car with my friend Tyler. Sony Pictures Classics screened the movie in the Motion Pictures Association of America's building. Tyler and I walked in the room and were immediately greeted with free appetizers. An egg roll guy kept accosting us until we ate his egg rolls. We were like, "Us poor college kids will eat your free food if you insist." After stuffing ourselves with egg rolls, mushroom nuggets, little pieces of chicken, and crab cakes, we watched the movie.

The movie was very informative and interesting. It basically follows the lives of a handful of electric cars produced by major car companies in the United States during the 1990s. Eventually, the companies took the cars off the market for several reasons, and the documentary asserted the need for electric cars in America today. I encourage you all to watch the documentary. It will be shown in St. Louis at the Tivoli on July 28.

After the movie, Joan Claybrook (a major non-profit guru) held a question and answer session. When the lights came back on, I looked around and noticed that Ralph Nader was just to my right, and that the Vice President of Honda sat directly behind me. It was such an honor to be in that room.

I tried to dress cutely for the evening in case any magazines, like Discover, Science Weekly, or Seventeen decided to cover the screening. Unfortunately, I do not think any magazines were actually there, so I will not be featured in their fashion sections.

Monday, June 19, 2006

the mystery

My internship is pretty cool, and I am really glad I ended up working at FairVote. The people there are so awesome and the office is pretty laid-back, and I am learning a lot about different voting issues and solutions to voting problems. For instance, I never knew that a Secretary of State was really important, and could potentially determine the outcome of elections based on his or her rules and regulations. I am also learning a lot about ice cream.

Last week the office sent out a huge mass mailing, and the interns and workers folded, stamped, and labled about 10,300 letters. Some of you may say, "pshaw, that is not really that many letters," but if you are one of those people, you are wrong. The entire office worked on this project from Monday until Thursday all day long. Luckily, Marisa and I were sent to the conference and we got out of every day but Thursday. Needless to say, Thursday was a looonnnnggg day.

After going around the room and saying our favorite color, food, and movie (per my request, which was actually a good get-to-know-you game, and Marisa even said today that she learned a little bit about herself during those hours), one of the bosses promised us ice cream. This was like promising light to those who only know darkness. To make a not-so-long story short, we were excited.

Of course, Marisa and I volunteered to buy the ice cream with another guy, and while at the store we decided that no less than 9 tubs of ice cream were sufficient for the 12 people left in the office. After getting back, gorging out on ice cream so much that we were all laying on the floor, and inviting other offices to partake in the yummy ice cream eating, we had 5 containers left. As my mother once said, "nifty is thrifty," so I volunteered to combine all the leftovers and stick them in the freezer, like so:

Unfortunately, the next day, another intern and I attempted to eat the ice cream for dessert, but everything was melted! The freezer was not cold enough to keep the ice cream frozen, and so we ended up with melted goo for a snack. We turned down the freezer and hoped it would harden by today.

Today my boss walked in the office and someone had unplugged the fridge over the weekend, which completely ruined everything. I can only conclude that someone in that office does not want us to enjoy the leftover ice cream.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

This weekend

This weekend was pretty fun. On Friday night David and I discovered that we could play games together online, like Scrabble and chess. Naturally we got addicted. I also ran with my friend Tyler who lives a few blocks from me for the summer (he also goes to Truman). We ran for almost two hours! It was so funny because we ran on a trail and climbed some stairs. It was near sunset and all of a sudden Tyler got a really scared look on his face and quit running. Of course, I got really scared as well until I saw what caused such a ruckus--a little doe, which was standing ahead of us in the middle of the path. Luckily, we were able to scare it away using very strategic stomping and yelping techniques.

On Saturday a group of Truman people met and we explored the zoo. I had organized the trip just so I could see a panda and was so excited! I kept talking about the pandas on the way to the zoo and at the zoo. Now, for your enjoyment, I have a great picture of our view of the pandas. Are you excited? Here it is:

We saw this loser elephant instead:

Just so you know, if you have been to the St. Louis Zoo, you might not want to bother going to other zoos because they may be somewhat of a disappointment. When I was little, I went to zoo camps a lot during the summer, which were way fun, so I think that I am somewhat spoiled with my expectations for zoos. Oh well.

People are so funny at zoos. There were a lot of families because of Father's Day today, and some people narrate the animals' actions. For instance, when we observed the elephant, some guy watched him play with a ball and was like, "HAHAHAHA that is just TOO funny." Hahaha. Then we saw prairie dogs and there were about three running around in the cage. A little girl screamed to her mom, "MOM! There are like five million prairie dogs in here!" It was so cute. A little boy saw the prairie dogs and said, "Chipmunk?" to his mommy. He was the sweetest kid.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Barack!


Today was the last day of the conference to which Fairvote sent me, and Barack Obama was the closing speaker. I was not really allowed into the luncheon, but I begged my supervisor to give me ideas of how I could see Senator Obama speak. My boss is either pretty cool or was sick of my lamenting, because he quietly took his pass from around his neck, stuck my nametag in the pass, and handed it over. After that I told the ticket ladies at the door that I just wanted to see the speakers, and they let me inside! I was so excited.

The speakers were pretty good, but while they were speaking people continued eating their lunches. However, when Obama came on stage, one could hear a pin drop in the room. He had such a command over the audience that it was hard not to fall into silence and just listen. His speech was about a 105-year-old woman who visited him during one of his campaigns and how she has seen a lot of change in America during her lifetime, and how he hopes that children today will also see a lot of positive change in their lifetimes. I loved his speech and am so lucky that I got to see him talk.

This week Karla showed me two new running routes. One follows the Potomac into Virginia (this sounds far, but it is really only a mile or two) and back into the District. The other includes an uphill climb for about two miles and then downhill for the last two. Both are good runs, and my main goal right now is to increase my speed during runs. Hopefully, when I return to Kirksville, David will be ready to run with me. He kills me because he rarely actually runs for practice, but when he does run with me, he leaves me in the dust. I think my main problem is that I do not challenge myself on speed when I run alone, so I am trying to work on that during my last couple of weeks here so that I can beat him.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The conference

This week FairVote is participating in a conference. Me and my intern buddy, Marisa, have been womaning the table during the days:

The conference is teaching us many things, like how to teach people about the issues FairVote addresses and how to gank juices.

These juices were hidden under a tablecloth, which the workers would not remove because they were off watching the World Cup. After subtly dropping hints that we wanted some juice by wandering around the display for a half an hour, we finally just walked up and got some juice. This started a trend; people from all sorts of tables started to grab some juice as well. I guess we are also learning how to be leaders who enact changes in the system.

Tomorrow Barack Obama is speaking at the closing luncheon. We both really, really want to see him (everybody says he is an excellent speaker), but neither Marisa nor I actually have passes to this conference, so we might not get to go. I will keep you updated. I am determined to at least get a glimpse of him.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The official place

The Lawyers Have Heart Race announced the official results. 
For some reason, I am now number 339 instead of 334, but oh well.
The other people on this post are other Truman people who ran the race.
Note that Robert got 58th place overall!


Place Div/Tot Num Name Age Hometown
Gun T Net T Pace
339 173/522 2753 Abbie Hesse 21 Farber MO
55:20 54:56 8:51
333 168/522 3478 Kate Gallen 20 Bethesda MD
57:50 54:48 8:50
58 23/366 2883 Robert Kelchen 20 HIRAM GA
39:12 39:10 6:19
234 74/366 2616 Tyler Patterson 21 WICHITA KS
44:38 44:20 7:08

Chinatown

After the race on Saturday, I went with some friends to Chinatown. The Chinatown here is not that big--nothing like San Francisco, but we went into some cool little shops and saw some restaurants. It was funny--we ended up eating Mexican!
Today a group of us from Truman went to the Holocaust museum. It was very moving and sad, and well put together. However, it just didn't compare to Auschwitz. This week I have a conference to attend with my internship and then on Wednesday the Truman alumni are meeting all of the interns for dinner.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

2753 is #334

Today I ran a 10K (6.2 mile) race called Lawyers Have Heart with some Truman people. It was pretty exciting, as it was my first big race ever. I was number 2753, so there were a ton of people running. I was really nervous at the beginning because I was worried I would get last place. However, once the race started, I was not worried anymore because a lot of people walked. The picture above is not really of me, but I thought it would make the post look cool because you would all think I got first or something.

I ran my first mile in 9:30, which is okay. After that I decided to pick up the pace, so I ran my other miles in about 9 minutes. My last few miles were better than my first three, and I got excited because after I turned around on the course I saw all the people who were still behind me. I was like, "wow, these people are even walking!" Then I even saw a guy juggling and another guy jumping rope and did not feel as cool...those guys juggled and jumped for six miles!

As I neared the finish line, my friend Tyler started to sprint next to me. He kept saying, "Come on, Abbie! You can do it! Pass all of these people!" So I sprinted with him and passed a lot of people. I ended up with a time of 54:56 and in 334th place out of the women. That was pretty exciting for me considering I always got last place in the races in high school!

One thing that helps me run faster is my IPod. I love listening to music while I run. When Johnny Cash's "Burning Ring of Fire" came on, I started to sprint during my last mile. It was like I was burning to finish quickly. Haha.

That was such a horrible pun that I better end this post. The race was so much fun and now I want to try a half-marathon. I loved it!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mame!


Tonight I went with the YCM group to see Mame at the Kennedy Center. This musical was so adorable. I absolutely loved the costumes, dancing, songs, and story. It may be one of my favorite musicals ever!

Tonight was my last night with Uncle Bob, Michael, and Patrick. I will miss hanging out with them in the evenings. It has been very enjoyable visiting with them.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Visiting the cousins


This week my cousins Patrick, Michael, and my Uncle Bob are all in Washington for their YCM tour. It is great getting to see them while I'm here. Last night we went on a cruise in the Potomac River. Tonight we went to a concert at the Kennedy Center and then to a Navy Band concert, for which I only stayed a little so I could walk home. The evening was so beautiful!

Right now Karla is at a hearing on C-Span 2. I never really thought I would watch that channel with genuine interest, but I am tonight. I feel like I am learning so much about our government just by being in Washington and doing the research required for my internship. I love it!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Weddings, weddings everywhere!

While we walked around on Saturday, we saw about ten weddings getting pictures taken at the Jefferson Memorial. I was in heaven because I loooovveee weddings so much! I mostly like to look at the pretty dresses and at how beautiful the bride looks. I think I should have been a wedding planner. Here are some wedding pictures I took. Aren't they just gorgeous?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Truman Washington Interns


Today I met with some Truman students and we explored the Smithsonian museums and ate dinner together. It was so much fun, and I love meeting and making friends with all the new people! If you will look at me, you will see that I am wearing red, white, and blue. Kate, one of my friends, saw me and immediately said, "Oh Abbie! You look so patriotic!" It was so funny because I did not even think about that when getting dressed today, so I looked like a huge tourist trying to look American going around the various memorials. Here I am at the Washington Monument:Here is my friend Justis and I at the Jefferson Monument:
Finally, me with Mr. Jefferson:
The day was really fun, and I am ready for a day of rest tomorrow.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Washington D.C. at night

Tonight a group of Truman students and I walked around the memorials in Washington. It was a lot of fun, but I forgot my camera! Luckily, my friend Justis (the guy in this picture) brought his, so I just ganked some of his pictures.
We saw the Washington Monument and the WWII Memorial. I loved the WWII memorial--it was absolutely beautiful and very moving. After that, we went to the Lincoln Monument, the Korean Memorial, and walked by the Department of State. My legs hurt now that I am home!
Tomorrow a group of us is meeting at the Smithsonian so we can explore the museums, and afterwards we are eating in Georgetown. I think we will have a fun day.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

w-a-s-h-i-n-g-t-o-n

This week I continue my life in the District of Columbia. My internship is still going very well and I love living in the city. Yesterday I went to a meeting of people who are trying to pass a voting rights bill through congress. The bill is really a continuation of the bill passed in the 1960s and again in the 1980s (the bill expires after 25 years, and should be renewed soon). Today the entire office went out to lunch at a seminary cafeteria!

I think I saw President Bush yesterday. I walked out of the meeting and onto the sidewalk and suddenly, sirens started blaring and an entourage of black SUVs followed police cars. I tried looking through the windows but they were tinted. I'm sure it was President Bush because the White House was just a few blocks away. He must have been going to the grocery store.

Right now I am watching the National Spelling Bee. I just realized that I should have gotten tickets for the event. I am happy that it is finally getting national T.V. time-- it is fun to watch! I am the worst speller ever, but for some reason, I was always in the school spelling bee when I was little. I remember that my dad used to quiz me on spelling to prepare for the bee. One time my mom got me and my friends (who were also in the bee) rabbit feet key chains for good luck. I am so excited that a girl will win! I hope she gets to meet the President tomorrow. The National Spelling Bee is definitely not an insignificant event.

This weekend I will try to post some pictures. Tomorrow I will meet some Truman people and walk around the monuments, and on Saturday we will go to the Smithsonian museums.