Friday, November 06, 2009

Goodbye to D.C.

Time for me to say goodbye to D.C. I can't believe that I spent 6 years out there. That's more than 20% of my life. Some great memories. So what we'll do here is a post in list form, with some of my best memories from my time in D.C. I, of course, use the word "best" lightly. Because some of these are just pure crazy. So, here goes:
  • I moved out in August of 2003, driving to D.C. with my dad and grandpa. I still remember how horrible the drive through Pennsylvania was. I swear there wasn't a mile of road without construction.
  • I remember the catering at the first Georgetown Law mixer. There was a mashed potato bar. Best. Potatoes. Ever. These mixers happened frequently during the first weeks of law school, always with piles of delicious free food and intoxicating free drink. It was a kind of "see, this is what life could be like for you" carrot held out in front of us, tempting us on through the horrible horrible drudgery of the 1L class schedule. Of course, I knew instantly that I didn't fit in, and figured I'd be quickly revealed as a fraud, as soon as a professor called on me in class. With this thought in mind, I hurriedly stuffed extra food from the mixers into my pockets and ran off to hide it, so that I could still partake, long after they'd stopped inviting me to these nice events.
  • A "hurricane" blew through D.C. and cancelled classes. The students threw a hurricane party. There extent of the damage was some rain and 1 tree blown over. This would be just one of the lame weather-related cancellings I'd experience. Lots of cancellations over not much bad weather. Once I even had a class cancelled on threat of snow. They cancelled school the night before and not a single flake fell the next day.
  • I remember having a "we just finished finals" celebratory cigar with my roommate. On the steps of the Capitol. In a snowstorm. That was easily one of the neatest things I've ever done.
  • I started this blog early in my second year.
  • That was the same year I lived in a building with Barack Obama. We once rode in an elevator together, just him and me. Yeah... we go way back.
  • That was also the year I had pigeons living in my wall. Yeah, freaking pigeons. To address the problem they sprayed really bad poison at them and told us not to go near that part of our apartment. It didn't work. So they tried it again. It still didn't work. So they cut a huge hole in the wall, pushed the pigeon out through the outer wall, where a brick had been missed in the facade of the building, and then left, leaving a gaping hole - filled with poison - in our apartment. After they finally filled it in, I think I managed to get like $10 knocked off our rent. That didn't seem quite fair at the time. And now that I know housing law, it seems even less fair. But I was just a stupid law student back then... what did I know?
  • Oh, that was also the apartment building where I got stuck in an elevator. Sounds like a piece of crap, right? Actually the place was brand new and very very awesome. Except for the parts that were crap.
  • I taught a street law class at a D.C. high school. It was awesome.
  • I got married. That was, you know... big. Of course, that happened in Minnesota, not D.C. So scratch it off this list. Actually, don't, since I got to know what marriage was really all about while living in D.C.
  • I remember some amazing classes, specifically my health law class with Gostin, my bioethics class with King, and my philosophy class on the main campus.
  • One of the neatest things we did out there was go to a Supreme Court case. It turned out to be one of Chief Justice Roberts' first cases (it was his second day on the court). If you ever get a chance, you should definitely go. Mrs. Fickle and I also went out for Restaurant Week one time and saw Justice Scalia at the restaurant. I'm certainly going to miss the chance to see politicians and other important people. Mrs. Fickle once served John McCain a cappuccino, I rode the metro with Harriet Meyers (hehe, I don't know if she even counts!), and of course there was the time we saw Angelina Jolie...
  • I'm really going to miss Ben's Chilli Bowl, along with some of the other amazing restaurants. Nehrimitra Thai, Cantina Mexicana, 5 Guys, and Ray's Hell Burger will always have a warm place in my heart. And my stomach.
  • Oooh, and there was the crazy stuff that always seemed to happen around Finals week...
  • I had my first real job, working at Legal Aid in Virginia. Of course, prior to landing that job, things didn't go so well.
  • There was that whole adventure of taking the bar exam. If you don't read any others, go read this link.
  • Actually, I take it back. Go read this one. It's from the "talk like a pirate" party we went to.
  • It was a really nice thing to be able to host all of the guests we did too. At some point we were visited by every member of my immediate family, and every member of my wife's immediate family. As well as a couple of my grandparents, some aunts and uncles, a handful of cousins, and friends from college.
  • Speaking of friends from college, the greatest baseball game I ever attended happened while we were living in D.C. We drove up to Baltimore and met up with some of the gang from college who had driven from Minny to get together with us and watch the Twins. There was a come-from-behind win, a home run that exploded a beer, another home run that was caught by yours truly, a guy wearing little more than mesh underwear, and swass so bad it became swenis. I don't think that can ever be topped.
  • Kind of jumping backwards in time here, but going to my graduation gala at the National Building Museum was just fantastic. We had visited the museum one weekend and, knowing that it was always host to one of the bigger inauguration balls, we discussed how amazing it would be to attend a black-tie affair in the beautiful building. A few weeks later Georgetown Law announced it would be holding the graduation gala - a black tie affair - at the museum. Wow.
  • One thing I won't really miss will be the crazy travel. The stories were always good though.
  • There were just so many little things here and there that we did that were each really beyond any summary form. Like seeing John Hodgman in person. Twice. Or going to some great concerts at the 9:30 Club (which is a really awesome venue, especially for acts like The Decemberists and TMBG). Or running the turkey trot. Or having the President's motorcade pass you. Or nearly having the wall at my office knocked over. Or the great stuff I saw biking to work along the Potomac. Or the least-haunted haunted-tour ever. Or walking 5 miles to Obama's inauguration. Or all the crazy stuff that ever happened on the metro (lots more on metro, but I don't have the energy to go dig it up.).

The point is, I'll never really be able to say a proper goodbye to D.C. But I'll always look back on the past 6 years of my life with great joy. And hopefully someday I'll be back. I saw this really neat house in D.C. that I think I might want to live in some day...

The District sleeps alone tonight

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Here and There

I've moved back to Minnesota. It's been a crazy couple weeks, but I start my new job tomorrow, back in my home state, (it's virtually the same as my old job, just in a location closer to family.). I'll post a proper goodbye to D.C. in the very near future, but I just wanted to drop in with a quick observation of just how different life is here:

In D.C., from time to time, Mrs. Phickle and I would purchase 67-cent burritos from the grocery store. (You know, to save money.)(And because they were tasty.)

But here in Minnesota the same product does not cost $.67 It costs $.59. That's more than a 10% difference!

Yup, by moving to Minnesota we've upgrade from 67-cent burritos to 59-cent burritos. And that's just one of the ways that Here is different from There.

I had a friend named Ramblin' Bob
He used to steal, gamble and rob