Sunday, October 23, 2005

It was nice to be away for ten days to see family. I caught a cold halfway through the visit, and spent a few weekday afternoons balled up on the couch in my PJs, watching Price is Right with my brother and having Mommy fix me tea, just like in the long long ago. But now it's back to the city known as Washington, where evidently I have a job and an apartment and a cat and a life of sorts.

Aside from the mundane re-entry to work, this week saw me attending two communal events that spoke very dearly to my little heart. Firstly, I attended my final U2 show of the year this week in DC. A DC U2 show, it turns out, is not an event to go unnoticed in the government and nonprofit sector in which I make my living. Although I had procured my tickets months ago, several staff members who work in our Congressional relations department were given free tickets by DATA, the organization founded by Bono. My boss also received tickets, and had to be briefed as to what, exactly, U2 was. Many a Hill staffer and Administration official was given choice seats around or behind the stage, and normally a fan such as myself would be a trifle miffed at this, but not this time. For I was closing out my last show with floor tickets, which were better than any of the freebies given to the Washington elite. Snack on that, Condi.

Through a series of very fortunate events, and a bit of strategizing, I wound up right in front along the edge of the circular stage. So I was able to watch the whole show with an unobstructed, very close view of the proceedings -- which is a rare and fine thing indeed. I hooted and hollered until my throat was raw, and bounced and hopped until my calf muscles decided to up and take an extended holiday from which they've yet to return (come back soon...all is forgiven). One of the great things about this kind of setting is that everyone down there on the floor is so durned nice and friendly. A few of them are even more scholarly than I am...a frightening prospect. It's nice to be among the other yahoos for a bit.

After that, it seemed like the next opportunity to assemble with other sick-minded brethern united in a frivolous cause would be far off. Happily, I was much mistaken. In going through the several piles newspapers that had accumulated in my absence, I discovered a column telling poor, wayward souls hailing from cities other than DC where they could cheer on their favorite football teams. As this week's Eagles game was not to be televised locally, I got myself hence to the Rhino Pump and Brewhouse in Georgetown this afternoon, expecting a modest gathering of Philly expats.

What a sight met my eyes! A sea of green jerseys, a bevy of beer guts, a torrent of expletives -- by golly, I was home! Two whole floors packed of lunatics who cheered and jeered every play, every replay, and every Chunky soup ad. The Eagles were their dependable, excruciating selves, but managed to pull out a victory in the end, sending the crowd into ecstatic fits. It wasn't exactly the place to strike up any deep meaningful conversations, and it may be a bit hectic for me to attend weekly, but it's nice to know it's there. A convention of football fans may be a bit more belligerent that a U2 gathering, but it's a heckuva lot more accessible. Just as silly though, ay, just as silly.