Day 2 of the shutdown dawned. I got up and decided that, in the ‘orderly’ spirit of the shutdown (which the Washington Post captured well), I would implement an order of my own. Chaos or no at work, there will be a modicum of structure at home. The New World Shutdown Order rules require me to do the following, every day:
- Make my bed. Sure, It’s a sacrifice, but it’s one I’m willing to make.
- Apply for at least one job.
- Do one household chore. Wash dishes? Counts. Yard work? Bonus points. Think about vacuuming? Half credit.
You might ask: wait, weren’t you making your bed every day before the shutdown? Dear friend, I cherish you; you are funny. But rest assured, so long as the Congress is in tatters, my bed will be in tip-top shape.
Today’s main job-hunting activity was putting in an application at a temp agency. There, the woman who met with me looked at my resume and frowned. I had words like ‘design’ and ‘implement,’ she said. But could I answer phones? Could I, for example, use Outlook to schedule meetings and compose e-mails? What about using a photocopier? That was the kind of language that would really make me stand out to the employers she works with. She kindly gave me some sample phrases, told me liberally pepper my resume with them, and then re-submit my resume to her tomorrow.
While I hustled for a photocopying gig, two big things happened in Washington: (1) At 5:30pm Eastern, President Obama met with Reid, Pelosi, Boehner, and McConnell at the White House in an attempt to open negotiations, and; (2) later in the evening, the House passed a bill that would fund the National Institutes of Health and National Park Service.
However, neither of these events moved the situation any closer to resolution. In fact– (1) on CNN, John King’s analysis of this meeting was: Washington is so broken right now, you have to have a bad meeting before you have another bad meeting, which might eventually lead to a good meeting, maybe. When asked (2) why the Senate would not go along with piecemeal House funding for the parts of the government that everyone can agree they like (come on, open the parks! get sick kids in to the cancer trials!) Harry Reid lost it and gave the news cycle his less-than-thoughtful remark about Dana Bash’s intelligence to chew on.
Of everything I read today, I had high hopes that this article, “Five Scenarios for Ending the Shutdown,” might put things in perspective. As the opening line of the article states: “The last 17 government shutdowns in U.S. history all have at least one thing in common: They ended.” Truth. But each of the article’s five scenarios seems to end with the author concluding that this path to resolution is “unlikely.”
So…um…hey. That resume I was working on…where was I? I regularly use Microsoft Word to compose memos and Microsoft Outlook to schedule meetings and draft e-mail correspondence…
Today’s favorite moment comes courtesy of the AMC movie chain. If you are a federal employee of any kind, guess what? Free popcorn at any AMC theater! So hey, if you want to spend $15 to see a movie, at least you won’t pay for popcorn. I wish they’d also give free popcorn to any American impacted by the shutdown. Your kid’s Head Start class canceled? Free popcorn! It seems only fair. Maybe popcorn will soothe us in these troubled times. Maybe a giant airlift of popcorn to the Capitol building would put everyone in a more cooperative mood.
Also, as I was watching members of Congress being interviewed, I found myself taken with particular faces and the hair that grows there. As such, I present a new feature: Facial Hair In the Halls of Power. Can you name the owner of these impressive brows? Submit your guesses in the comments.
It’s like Better Know a District, but for facehair.