Last Wednesday marked 20 years of marriage between my beautiful wife and me. Ellen, I love you more than anything or anybody. You amaze me. You make me smile. You're the finest person I have ever known.
Lots of people get married and then complain of feeling trapped, as if the institution of marriage were a cage built for one person, but harboring two. I've often voiced the unpopular and unromantic opinion that, for most people, marriage is a bad idea. One should not marry unless the person they love makes them feel freer than they feel on their own. The trouble is, everybody wants that person, but they are nearly impossible to find.
There's Love, which is nice. Really, really nice. If you're lucky and kind, you can find this.
Then there's Unconditional Love, which gets a lot of talk time, but is usually only found in parent/kid relationships. That's amazing stuff. I have it for my Dad (happy father's day, Dad!) and Mom. I'm unbelievably lucky to have that three times over with my kids. You see that on the news sometimes, as they haul away a guy who burned down an orphanage to kill an ex-girlfriend because she chose to become a nun instead of staying with him. There's always a camera shot of the guilty scumbag's mom or dad, screaming, "No!! Don't take him away! Don't take my baby!"
Then there's Unconditional Love And Understanding Of The Object Of That. That's the kind of thing you find almost never, which is why I say to most of you don't get married. It's the kind of thing that makes it nearly impossible to live without the other person. Even so, you encourage the one you want so badly to be by your side to abandon home, family, and all responsibilities to jump on a sailboat to slooooowly flooooat across the damn ocean. You don't find that kind of love in a Hallmark card. That's just one example. I got 20 year's worth if you got time.
Ellen and I took a 24 hour respite this weekend and ran away to Georgetown. Our two fabulous big kids looked after the shorter one to allow this to happen. We ate in a nice restaurant. We walked the shoppes. We toured the amazing Dumbarton Oaks Gardens as well as the somewhat nice Tudor Place estate. Mostly though, we just held hands and laughed and were absolutely happy to be together.
When we got married, nobody would have given us long shot odds of making it work. If I'd been on the outside looking in, I probably would have bet big against us. But we had insider information, and we both still know. We've got U.L.A.T.U.O.T.O.O.T. The rest of you suckers can eat your hearts out. 20 years is a damn fine start.
So many more future plans
Over on the baseball front, our Nats seem to have figured out a few things. Guys are starting to get hits. Guys are playing better defensively. They recorded their first series sweep since April, and that one was against Atlanta in a weird arrangement. Game 1 of the series happened March 30th, to open the season at the new ballpark. Games 2 and 3 didn't happen until April 29th and 30th. So it didn't seem like a real series or a real sweep.
A whole mosaic of detail goes into wining just one ballgame. The tile pieces get even more intricate in a series sweep. Sometimes one tile catches the eye more than the others. In the case of our boys, that one excessively shiny shard was Elijah Dukes. Aside from hitting and fielding better, he did something a few days ago that we never saw coming. He sincerely apologized to his team for the dust up with Manny Acta last week. It was a mature, first class thing to do. I was wrong about him. Since then, DC has only won ballgames. Coincidence?
June 13, 2008
June 14, 2008
June 15, 2008
Finally, a salute with much respect to Tim Russert, the big galoot from Buffalo who became an icon of politics and defined the political interview. It wasn't just that Russert asked tough questions or did great research. In fact, I spent many a Sunday morning yelling at my TV and scolding him for missing the point of this statement or that issue. Any political junkie could tell you that Russert did as fine a job as Stephanopoulos, or Mathews, or Blitzer, or Schieffer. They'd also tell you that Meet The Press is the one show they watch more than any of the other, because Russert was always a little bit better. He was also a little more human. He had a real laugh and a genuine glint in his eyes. He seemed to understand politics as being the most important and interesting sport of all, where score was kept as lives saved, lives changed, lives lost (runs, hits, and errors?). He had just returned from Italy, having celebrated his son, Luke's, graduation. His combat boots were wingtips, and he died with them on. NBC is going to need 10 outstanding pros to replace Tim Russert.
Tim Russert behind the dugout in the 2005 season opener.
Vinny Castilla had just homered. That's Luke Russert to his Dad's right.
James Carville is pictured in that row as well. Tim Russert was a
Washington Nationals season ticket holder.