Tuesday, September 28, 2010

National Book Festival & Chinese with the Martins

Saturday, we made our annual trip to the National Book Festival on the Mall. Love this event! Last year, we went with our friends Brendan and Jessi, and we met up with them again this year.

Jessi was lucky enough to meet The Pioneer Woman and have her book signed by Ree Drummond herself! I am jealous but happy for Jessi! If you don't already read The Pioneer Woman's blog, you need to jump on over there and bookmark it. Do it now. I'll wait here...

Last year, it was rainy and cold! Here are pics from last year, note the sweatshirts, people!
This year, it was 95 degrees outside!?!?! Ummmmm... hello, Fall? Please do your job. It was way too hot.

We still had a great time, though. We listened to a talk from Steve and Cokie Roberts that was fascinating.
I sat on the ground and ate a rocket ice pop. Highlight of the afternoon.
A little background on the book festival for you: It's basically nerd heaven! There are all these tents set up on the mall and they have topics like "history and biography" or "contemporary arts" and there are all kinds of authors who give talks about their books and the topics they're experts on. It's great. You can also buy books and wait in long lines to get them signed.

Michael is always the kid in class who raises his hand. He's very much a participant. He wanted to go up to the microphone to ask Steve and Cokie a question. But you know me, I'm the always hesitant, head nodding, non-verbally communicating wife that gives the looks that say "what are you about to say?"

Michael: "I'm going to go ask a question. Will you hold the mic for me?"
Me: "Absolutely not." (I was not going to contribute to this potentially embarrassing situation!)
Michael (to Brendan): "I'm going to go ask a question. Will you hold the mic for me?"
Brendan: "Sure!"

Off they go, and Jessi and I, sitting on the ground, communicate, non-verbally of course, "oh boy..."

I darted up to the front to try to get a picture of our boys asking a question, but I couldn't get a good angle.
You can kind of see M if you look closely, in the very middle wearing a white t-shirt. Yes, it was hot enough to sport just a white t-shirt.
I ended up back at our original spot since I couldn't get a good shot. They went to Michael to take his question!!

Michael: "You guys have spoken about juggling a marriage where one partner has a high profile, successful career, I'm wondering what advice you could give a newlywed couple in that same situation?"

They laughed. So did the crowd. Everyone loved it. Including me, who is now feeling like a total schmuck for not wanting to hold the microphone! By the way, Steve and Cokie said it's really important to celebrate each other's accomplishments, then they said something about the joy of grandchildren.

I said to Jessi: "I hope there's some good in between being newlyweds and grandchildren!"
I was proud of him. It was cute. And now he'll be C-Span famous! Yay.

We didn't get pictures with Brendan and Jessi because we had a little bit of drama issue thanks to me. I never fail. I swear, I really am ashamed of myself sometimes. I'm learning to be more open about my struggles, so again - I'm just going to throw it out there!

It was REALLY hot, as I've mentioned before. Michael and I were both feeling it. But he, in particular was having a hard time cooling down. This meant he needed to drink a lot of water. I was giving him a drink as he asked for it, and I rolled a cold bottle of water on his neck, and I fanned him with the book festival program. We were moving slowly and I was frustrated. I usually walk behind M because if I walk in front of him, I tend to not walk at a good pace, and I get too far ahead. Well, all of this combined left me feeling like a water boy. I get that I'm his wife, and I want to be there to help him, obviously. But nobody wants to be a water boy. So, I was kind of feeling down. Then, at one point, M was going to go to an ambulance to get an ice pack! I was so upset! I mean, really, was this really a medical emergency? I do not like for him to get special treatment of any kind, so I stomped off out of the last talk we were listening to and went to a concession stand to buy a bottle of water. Then I was sent back to get a cup of ice, which they wouldn't give us, but anyway... the point is I was being a total brat.

After the book festival, we hopped on the metro to Chinatown to meet up with Michael's Aunt Teresa and Uncle Terry at the National Portrait Gallery, where we enjoyed a great Norman Rockwell exhibit. It was the personal collection of Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas.
This particular painting totally captured my "water boy" feeling I was having that night:
I pulled myself together though because I did not want to be an immature brat in front of family. Uncle Terry and Aunt Teresa are huge blessings in our life and we were psyched to see them and enjoy the gallery and dinner together. We ate Chinese in Chinatown!
My favorite part of dinner was the GIANT lazy susan! It was fun rotating our food (we shared 4 entrees, family style) all around the table.
The Martins under the Chinatown arch thingy! I don't know what those things are called. Someone help me out with that, please?

Lessons learned from Saturday: Do not act like a brat. Scratch that. Do not be a brat. Still working on that one. Majorly. Gonna take lots of work. Also, Chinese seafood dishes should not ever go into doggy bags. We were totally those people who bring stinky Chinese onto the Metro. I'm sorry to everyone who rode in that rotten smelling Blue line car Saturday night. I will not do that again, I promise.


Anonymous said...

If its any consolation -- heat brings out the t-total brat in me as well. Not pretty. In fact, quite scary. You are not alone ;)


Danae said...

OK, its settled. If you're going to the book festival next year, I am too!!

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Sheri, I'll take any consolation I can get! :)

Danae, Hey girl!! You should definitely come. We go every year.