Emily Loves the Congressional Recess

When I first started my Congressional fellowship, Congress was in recess...a lot. It was late September and we were moving into the final weeks before a major election. Then there was the post-election season. In truth, I think that between late September and the December holiday break, Congress was in session about three weeks. It wasn't until January that I really got a sense of how different things work when Congress is in session versus recess.

The Senate and the House follow similar schedules for being in session or recess. As readers can see, Congress has been in session most of the time since January. It's stacked as a very full schedule. Two weeks away from Washington in April, but then pretty busy until August. Even when members of Congress are away from Washington, they maintain an incredibly demanding schedule, especially for a group of people, who on average, are nearing traditional retirement age.

But, back to recess. It's recess and from what I can tell, ever…

She's the ATA Bomb!

Tonight's blog post is written from Austin, Texas.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to run. With minor exceptions, I'm interested in running pretty much any day, any time, any place...well, any place where there's a sidewalk, because I'm a cautious runner! 😊 If you've known me for some time, then you also know that I have been plagued by running injuries - mainly in the form of stress fractures. I have blogged about this many times - such as here and here. In 2013, I was recovering from another stress fracture, when my physical therapist said, "You know, your old physical therapy, Leigh, who moved to Austin...she's started an online coaching business. Maybe you should give her a holler." Boy, am I ever glad that he made that suggestion.

I started working with Leigh, an endurance athlete herself, though the auspices of her online training business, Athletes Treating Athletes, in summer 2013. Even in that brief lead-up to the 2013 fall marathon, L…

Baby's First Bill

As readers can see, I'm testing out a new "theme" for my blog. I love the picture of the Powwow River at the top and the dark colors, but I'm not crazy about the layout. I welcome feedback from my readers!

There's a young man in my office who, as he says, is "low man on the totem pole." As the last one added to the staff, he has to be ready to do anything in order to move up. I think he'll do fine. He's bright and even-tempered and from what I can tell, a highly competent person. He's also funny as hell. But, he is sometimes the focus of jokes in our office "pod" - or our small cluster of work spaces. Last week he was working on his first bill. I think he was the first one to actually say, "baby's first bill," and then probably regretted it. He was lightly harassed about it for the rest of the afternoon. I suspect it was something akin to what goes on in junior high school locker rooms, but with a bit more sophisticat…

Stella Visits the Capital

Well, we're going to start today's blog post with a lesson on spelling. Readers might think that I have misspelled capital in the title of this blog post, but indeed, I have not. CapitAl, with an "A" is used to refer to the official seat of government for a state or country. CapitOl, with an "O" is used to refer to the building occupied by a state legislature. I had to remind myself of this when I moved to Washington. You can look it up here.

Okay, back to Stella. Stella, the blizzard, that is. She visited the capital. In truth, she also visited the capitol itself, but more generally speaking, she visited the capital of the United States. It was my first adventure with snow in the city and probably the only one that I will have given that it's the middle of March and the cherry blossoms are (or were?) in bloom.

Yesterday there was quite a bit of hoopla about what would happen in the event of snow. Would it be all snow? Would there be rain? Would there b…

Lessons Learned on My Trip Home

I'm back in Washington. Despite the frigid weather, I had a wonderful trip home, with many lessons learned.

Never Underestimate When Being a Runner will Come in Handy
Last Friday, I was on a flight that arrived at Logan Airport in Boston at 5:03pm. It was my goal to make the 5:10 C&J bus that would bring me to the Newburyport bus station, which is just five or so miles from my house. In theory, the bus arrives at the airport at 5:10, but then starts making the rounds to each terminal, A, B1, B2, C, etc. As long as one does not fly into terminal A, one can count on a small cushion to catch the bus. I did some trotting inside the airport, because I knew it would be close. When I neared the exits I saw that it was 5:14...not likely that I would make the bus since I was in terminal B1. I got outside and hurried in the direction toward the C&J stop. Then I saw the coming toward me. I tried to flag it down, but failed. I felt defeated. Then a man who had witnessed my efforts sai…

Craazy on the Hill

No, that's not a typo. It is craazy on "the hill." Actually, it might even be craaazy! What an insanely busy time for everyone here. Even my workload has ramped up and I find myself rushing to carry out my tasks before the clock strikes 6:00pm, which is when I turn back into an academic for a round of evening work.

This morning I took my usual route on my morning run, down North Capitol NE, straight into the U.S. Capitol. It's stunning, no? But, as soon as I arrived on the grounds I could see that things were different than usual. There was a significant police and Secret Service presence around the Capitol. I couldn't quite figure out what was going on, but then I remembered the president's first speech before the Joint Session of Congress tonight. As I ran around the National Mall I saw that fences, gates, and barricades had been put back in place, as they were for the inauguration. That's a lot of security to take care of in this one city. Staggering, …

Half-Time in Washington

I'm sitting at Logan airport as I write this, headed back to Washington. A combination of meetings near home and the long holiday weekend kept me away from Congress for about a week. Somewhere during this time I realized that this is half-time for me. In about six months, I'll have completed my fellowship and I'll be getting ready to add another 500 miles to our Toyota Camry as I transition back to life on the Powwow River. (Is this where I point out that our 2007 Camry has more than 315,000 miles on it or should this information come later in this unstructured post?)

Half-time. How did I get here so quickly? And, what do I think I'm doing writing a post that is titled "Half-Time" anyway? Let's be clear, I'm not even sure what half-time is. I know that it is the halfway mark in a football game. It is also when entertainment is available for spectators. But, that's pretty much it. I don't think that other sports have half-times, do they? Baseba…