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Obama

How Aaron Sorkin's West Wing Inspired a Legion of Lyman Wannabes

Another young White House staffer who has been with Obama since the campaign says the show set a standard that he and his colleagues self-consciously aspired to: “Yes, the show was sexier, faster-paced, and more idealistic than Washington really is, but what’s wrong with that? We should aspire to do big and ambitious and idealistic things in this country—even if it takes longer than one hour, or one season.” The West Wing, he says, “was idealistic and so were we. Everyone hoped politics would be like that.”

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the West Wing generation is that, for the most part, its members haven’t lost their Sorkin-fed idealism. Though “the people that get the headlines represent the worst [in politics], by and large, people are doing it for the right reasons,” says Bardella...

Read the full Vanity Fair article here. Go there, now. Signed, The Josh Lyman Fan Club.

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda - Did

Many moons ago, pre-big brain, I put together a bucket list. It is a list of things that, for some reason or another, made its way into a blog post of things that I want to accomplish. After many months of not being sure of how much longer I would be alive, or even if I would be able to walk, I started to revisit this list to see what I can accomplish now. Some things I know I may never finish, for instance I have to demonstrate to the FAA that I am medically able to fly before I can even think about being a pilot in command again. (That will, one day, be an expensive process that may not turn out how I want it to.) But, there are things on here that I don't want to say I should have done this or I wish I would have done that - those things, I can do now.

Big Brains With 13.1 Mile Goals

A few years ago, Disney expanded its sports offerings to include themed races; one of those, is the Princess half-marathon. Amy, my Maid of Honor, and I have talked about running it for years. It is always been one of those things we should do. (I hate the word should. It is evil, but that is for another post.) The registration for the 2012 Princess race opened 4.5 months after my surgery and I was feeling really good. So, Amy and I decided to run it.

When we went to register for the half - the first time - I had a little scare that day with some new potential Chiari symptoms. We were going to potentially put the marathon on hold until the next year, but decided to see what Dr W said. A few days, and several MRIs later, we learned it really is all in my head and I have nothing to worry about. My surgeon gave me a great pep talk and told me that my scans look fantastic. There was a collective sigh of relief because we were worried about the dreaded "S" word conversation again.

Once surgery was out of the question, we were on cloud 9 and Amy and I started training for the half. We'll be running through all of the Disney World parks in February. All 13.1 miles of it. I'll have to battle Princesses, Prince Charming, and evil step-sisters to finish the race. And I will cross that finish line - I may be crawling; but darn it, I am going to finish.

What's Next?

Become a mini-Martha. Well, sorta - I've taken to my own interpretation of this. I still don't cook (unless you define cooking as ordering take-out or making espresso) and I don't really want to tackle anything in the kitchen at the moment. But, I started making everything in our apartment environmentally friendly. I now make cleaning supplies (sprays, laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, etc) so we aren't exposing ourselves to unnecessary chemicals. I already have enough malformations, I don't need anymore from things that are easily preventable. Since I really like the products I've created, I decided to set-up a little etsy shop and a farmers' market booth. I am going to count that as becoming a mini-Martha.

My Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda list is dwindling. There are things on this list, like meeting the Bo Obama, that I think some friends can help me with. ::nudge, nudge:: So, that is my next goal. With how much I obsess over dogs, how can I NOT meet the first dog? (Isn't Bo adorable in that photo!?!) I am hoping I get to meet Bo on our White House Tour next weekend with our Caen, France Sister City Delegation. Everyone keep your fingers crossed!

7 Weeks Later

The updates have been lacking for many reasons in April. The first is how many times can you post that you are getting better? Plus, there are ups and downs of recovery that are sometimes hard to talk about. Please forgive me :-)

My Last Day at Home

Friday was my last full day at home. On Monday, I returned to work armed with my slip from my surgeon. This is the second time in my life I have used a permission slip at work. In case you are wondering, the first said I was having brain surgery. I had no clue how my body was going to respond to this. It is a big change from hanging around the apartment most of the day. I've been working on making sure my strength is where it should be and I have the stamina to work a full day. For the most part, I have returned to all of my volunteer activities to help with the transition. My only concern about all of this has been the deadly metro ride that I take into and out of the city each day. There is more on that necessary evil below. My body is handling the walking, carrying light things and most activities pretty well! I've graduated to picking up our 15 pound turkey (otherwise known as Scarlet) too.

Oh, Metro - I Still Hate You

Metro, Metro, Metro. I did NOT miss you in the almost two months I didn't have to set foot in your stations. Saturday, April 30th I decided to give it a go again and the first trip up to U street wasn't too terrible - other than your employees yelling at me because you didn't announce the train was going out of service.  My second trip, back from U street, just hurt. The jerky nature of bad drivers made my neck and titanium mess just feel absolutely horrid.  Thank goodness I had my iPhone games to concentrate on so I didn't focus on the pain.

Commuting in has been interesting. It takes me about 40 minutes on metro before we reach our stop - it should take 20 but that is metro for you. By the time I reach the office, the ride has exhausted me. I have started treating myself to some coffee to help feel a little more normal and to get my energy levels back up before work begins. If it weren't for metro, I think I would be fine returning to work full-time. I am hoping I don't have to give into driving into the city during the summer but it is starting to look like I may have to.

Hitting the Road Running

On my one month post surgery date, I just didn't feel like I could stand running or really doing much of anything, so I gave myself a few more days to get back to running and exercising. Running still feels like it will hurt, especially with how much it can hurt to take metro. But, I have gotten back on the elliptical and able to do a decent amount of time on it! I'm walking everywhere I can. I even put in over 5 miles walking around DC and Alexandria on Saturday. I would love to be able to run a 5K by the end of summer but I think I need to aim for a later date; especially with my body getting used to getting back to work. Maybe I'll aim for a Turkey Trot or something else at the start of the holiday season? At least then I would have an excuse to eat all the mashed potatoes I want!

Nerd Prom

For those of you who don't know what nerd prom is, it is one of the days that everyone in DC looks forward to each year. It is actually called The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. What I love about the dinner is the humorous spin that is put on current events. For instance, I am assuming most of you have seen the movie The King's Speech, well, President Obama made a joke about how a sequel is being made - The President's Speech. Here is the trailer:

Yes, I love politics, but isn't that just hysterical!?! The trailer kinda makes me wish that actually was a movie - it would be rather entertaining.

That is a recap of what has happened over the last month. I am hoping to return to non-brain surgery posts as I start getting back to my "normal" routine. I can't believe it is May already. I feel like it should still be March and my mother should still be here taking care of everything. Here is to a great May!