Sunday, May 31, 2009

Turn back the clock

Next weekend I am returning to my alma mater, Brandeis University, for my five year college reunion. It is amazing how fast time goes by and I am looking forward to marking this milestone and what I have accomplished since graduation back on our campus outside of Boston. Also this week I will be marking two years at my current job. Sometimes I feel like I am growing up too fast but I see it as a sense of accomplishment. Most importantly, I can hope that the best is yet to come in my life personally and professionally.

Race for the 47th-less than 10 days to go

There are less than ten days to go until primary day in the race for Arlington's 47th House of Delegates race. Candidates are getting in last door knocks, phone calls and stepping up GOTV efforts. I have said that I am supporting Miles Grant in this race and he could not be in better position for primary day. He picked up endorsements from the Sierra Club, two dozen Arlington environmental activists, and the Blue Commonwealth blog. Miles has also had strong candidate forum performances where he stressed that the next delegate will have to "fight for what they believe in" in the General Assembly in Richmond, particularly with the issue of widening of I-66 inside the Beltway.

Other candidates are either flip flopping on this (and probably other issues) or willing to compromise without fighting hard on their position and that is not what I expect from any stakeholder in big issues at any level, whether they be an elected official, advocacy organization, or citizen.

The Youtube clip is below. I hope that for my friends and colleagues that live in the 47th district, who I am sure feel strongly about standing behind values and principles, get out and vote for Miles on June 9. Visit for more information.

By the way we will also need volunteers for GOTV (get out the vote) efforts and election day, especially next weekend when the author of this post will be on New England soil (more on that later). Visit the above website if you are interested in helping out.

Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle, the overnight singing sensation on Britain's Got Talent, came in second place in the final show. Like on all of these shows, although she did not win, she won a lot of fame and notoriety and will have many opportunities come out of it. Considering that she got more press attention out of this you would have to consider her the winner anyway!

Orlando vs. Los Angeles

It will be Orlando vs. Los Angeles in the NBA Finals this year. While LeBron James has acquired some sort of a supporting cast, they have not come together as an all around championship team and until they do so, they will not be raising a championship trophy anytime soon. As for the finals, it will not have the buzz that last year's did with the Celtics playing the Lakers. I might watch the clinching game but I have little interest in who wins as Orlando does not get me excited and I do not care for the Lakers-but I predict they will win in five games.

Final episode of the Tonight Show

Friday night was Jay Leno's final Tonight Show. He will be doing a similar type of show at prime time this fall but this was the end of an era. I will always have memories of his monologue "putting me to bed" every night as I would watch the local news followed by the Tonight Show (the "commentary")-and I did study as well! I am looking forward to seeing Conan O'Brien and what he can do with the show.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Big day on the bench

Barack Obama selected his first Supreme Court nominee today picking Sonia Sotomayor from New York to replace retiring Justice David Souter. I am very happy with this pick. She will be the first Latino to sit on the court if approved and yet another barrier will be broken. This is certainly emblematic of the change that he promised throughout his campaign.

Unfortunately, the California State Supreme Court ruled in favor of upholding the gay marriage ban of prop 8 last November. Marriage equality will come but it will take some time. However, I sympathize with the LGBT community that has been fighting hard for this for a long time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The shot

LeBron James of the Cleveland Caveliers hit a game winning three pointer with one second left on Friday night to tie the Eastern Conference Finals series 1-1 against Orlando. When things like that start happening, you know your team has a chance to go all the way. It happened with the "tuck rule" game with the Patriots and the same can be said for the Dave Roberts steal in 2004. I immediately compared this to another big play in the OSU Buckeyes championship run in 2002 that all Ohio fans remember well.

Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day weekend, the kickoff to summer. I cannot believe how much time has gone by and it is already summer. Growing up, this was the busiest weekend at our family's greenhouse business and I would usually be working there. This year I did two days of door knocking for the Miles Grant campaign in North Arlington and the weather cooperated. After today's canvass we enjoyed a cookout-perfect Memorial Day tradition. The campaign effort has been great on all fronts, ground, Internet outreach, strategic messaging and I am confident of a strong showing on June 9. If you live in the DC area, we need as many volunteers as we can get the next few weeks so if you have a few free hours help is welcome. I would have liked to travel but I am going home for my reunion in a few weeks.
Most importantly, this is a weekend to remember the troops (and others) that are no longer with us and their sacrifices and memory will always be with us.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

American Idol

Yes, this is one of my little traditions. I watch the season finale of American Idol every year. First of all I like the inspirational song the winner sings at the end of the show (which is always appropriate during graduation season) but I also get to see the Idol stars sing with legends and most of the top 12 gets to perform. With this show, those that do not win often go on to have somewhat successful careers.

This year Kris Allen from Conway, Arkansas won. While I did not think he was exactly the most talented singer on the show, he was less freaky looking then Adam.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Credit crunch

The credit card bill went through Congress today and should get to the president's desk shortly. It would make it more difficult for credit card issuers to raise fees and interest rates. Additionally, I think it should cover how credit cards are marketed as college students and others can get sucked into applying for credit cards very easily. Once I signed up for a credit card to get a free giveaway and they opened up an account for me with a magazine subscription which I did not want.

Mickelson's wife is sick

Phil Mickelson's wife Amy has been diagnosed with breast cancer, no one is immune to serious illness. Arguably golf's "power family", they are in my thoughts and prayer and I wish Amy a speedy recovery.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Race for Arlington's 47th in home stretch-WaPo excitement

Two key Arlington leaders made an endorsement in the race for the 47th district House of Delegates seat. Instead of looking at this as a setback, it only fired up Miles' supporters. Check out the comment thread in this blog on

My question is where were the supporters of the other candidates when this endorsement was announced? As I make golf analogies-this is just like matching birdie put for birdie put in match play format. Great to see supporters respond through one of the nation's most important media outlets!

Need new roommate

As I said my current roommate has decided to move out and I will need a new roommate starting August 1. I live in Crystal City. If you are interested or know of anyone e-mail me and I will send you the details.

Weekend roundup

Sorry for the lack of posts. I had a very busy weekend and I wasn't even a graduate (as I said it was commencement weekend at many colleges and universities). Friday night was the Arlington Jefferson Jackson dinner. I had a great time with all of my great friends from the Miles Grant campaign and Arlington Young Democrats. Check out pictures on my facebook profile-they came out great. The weekend also included doorknocking, a Saturday night party, and a cookout today. I thought the weekend was for resting! Anyway a here is a quick recap of this weekends events.
-Bruins on the golf course, they lost a heartbreaker to Carolina in overtime in game 7. Nice to see them back to winning ways. I hope it sets a foundation

-Rachel Alexandra wins Preakness. She is the first filly (girl) to win in over 75 years

-Obama speaks at Notre Dame graduation, only the hardcore Catholics were upset with this. Most of the Domers were thrilled to have the president speak at their graduation-wake up the echos!!

-Celtics in game 7 tonight vs. Orlando. Go Celtics!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gibbs sets the ground rules

Today press secretary Robert Gibbs confiscated two cellphones that went off during the briefing. Normally the press secretaries are at the mercy of the reporters but this was a rare case where Gibbs made it clear what was not acceptable in these sessions on his time!

As the playoffs turn

How quickly things change, a few days ago I was ready to jump on the Washington Capitals bandwagon as it looked like the Bruins were about ready to make tee times. However, the Caps got whitewashed by Pittsburgh this evening at the Verizon Center 6-2 and the Bruins came all the way back to force a Game 7 in Boston against Carolina. I was actually near the Verizon Center for another event and I should have known things were not going well when ticket holders were walking out of the arena early. The Celtics are also up 3-2 against Orlando and can close them out in Game 6.

Summer trip option

A friend posted this on his Facebook profile. It makes for a good laugh.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Commencement week

The week after Mother’ Day brings another commencement week and many upcoming high school and college graduations. It is always a nice time of the year as I always know someone that is finishing up their education and marking a milestone at some level. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of those that are graduating this spring and wish them all the best in their future endeavors. Special congratulations go to the following:

My younger cousin who is graduating high school. I first remember the day she was born and I cannot believe that now she is going off to college. She is very bright and gregarious and will be speaking at the ceremony in June.

My colleagues from the Trachtenberg School at The George Washington University. It has been great getting to know, advise, and share my experiences with them.

My roommate of two years who will be graduating from GW’s Eliot School who will be graduating from GW’s Eliot School of International Affairs. He came calling when my old roommate moved on and we have been living in a great place. He is very bright and knowledgeable and will be moving on from our current place and I wish him lots of success.

Lastly, one of my co-workers is not only graduating but getting married at the end of the month as well. I wish him and his fiancee a beautiful day and many years of happiness.

The Players Championship

Today is the final round of the Players Championship in golf. It is often considered the "fifth major" in golf. It has taken on more significance since it has been moved to a more prominent May date. The course setup certainly warrants it being a major. Although it lacks the tradition of the other four it is an ideal "made for the 21st century major" so I expect there will be more discussion about this. However, golfer from other nations might not want a major sponsored by one particular tour or having four majors in the United States.

Today's final round has Alex Cejka with a five stroke lead but, his Tigerness is in the final group. Whenever he is in that position things always get interesting. A five stroke lead is not much on this course especially when the guy playing with you has a red shirt, even though he does not have his A-game this week.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

Boston to Washington wants to wish my mother and all the mothers out there a happy and enjoyable Mothers Day. Mothers are definitely the most wonderful and caring people in the world and cannot be thanked enough for what they do.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Muy bien

In any campaign Latino outreach is critical to winning the election and I was thrilled to see that Miles Grant was the first candidate in the Virginia 47th House of Delegates race to launch a Spanish only web site. Amazingly enough, there is a Latino in the race who has yet to do this! I myself am not sitting on the sidelines when it comes to this as I have started a great Spanish refresher class on Tuesday nights. The post can be found here.

I hope my readers enjoy learning about Miles' message and positions while honing their Spanish skills. Hasta luego!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Obama and Biden come to Arlington for lunch

Today President Obama and Vice President Biden took a trip to Arlington to have lunch at Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington. Again it is great to see this administration really getting out to be with the people. It is even better that they pumped some money into the Arlington economy! I cannot imagine how the staff kept their cool when the two of them walked into the store. I once waited on Red Sox great Jim Rice when I worked at the bank and I was almost shell shocked when I met him.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Clinton endorsement in 47th race

I had to put my two cents into this one. Adam Parkhomenko, one of the candidates for the open House of Delegates seat in the 47th district, sent out a robocall to 47th district voters yesterday from former President Bill Clinton endorsing him. I felt left out, nothing would have woken me up on a lazy rainy Sunday more than a call from Clinton! Adam is only 23 years old and viewed by many as not ready for the job of state legislature. Keep in mind that I was just looking for my first job at his age.
Adam worked for Hillary Clinton for several years and that is how he got the connection to do the call. While it is impressive for any candidate in a local election to get an endorsement from a former president (a friend I had dinner with this evening said just that), there are very few regular Arlington voters that look for celebrity backing to decide how they are going to vote. They want you coming to your door and talk about the issues you care about and they need to know you have some experience to allow you to do the job.
Additionally, I feel the 2008 election brought down the Clinton brand a little bit so even savvy political junkies might not be that impressed with this. Clinton never one Virginia in either of the general elections and his wife did not win it in the primary.
Every election has this and this is what I consider one of the “eye-opening” moments in the contest. This came as a surprise to many but my motto has always been “politics is more unpredictable than sports.” So stuff like this is to be expected.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

RIP Jack Kemp

Jack Kemp, former Buffalo Bills Quarterback and Congressman from New York, passed away last night at the age of 79. He also served as Bush's Housing and Urban Development Secretary and was Bob Dole's VP nominee in 1996. He was one the more moderate voices of the Republican party in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush years.


The Dallas Cowboys practice facility was destroyed by a tornado yesterday during a rookie camp. This resulted in a few injuries to team staff. I am sure JerryJones will be able to rebuild but sure shows that no one can avoid the fury of mother nature.

Celtics win!

The Celtics took Game 7 against the Bulls last night to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals 109-99, not in overtime. Although it did not have the drama of the entire series, it was still in doubt until late in the 4th quarter so you have to tip your hat the the young Chicago Bulls team. However, the Celtics showed why they were the world champions and the better team.

It should be an exciting time on Causeway Street in Boston with both the Celtics and Bruins hosting second round playoff series.

In other exciting sports news, Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby with odds of 50-1. The only thing that would be more amazing is if the horse wins the Triple Crown.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Justice Souter retires

Supreme Court Associate Justice David Souter announced he would be retiring at the end of the spring session. He was on the court's moderate to liberal wing in terms of his decisions. Expect President Obama to appoint a fairly liberal judge but will make the effort to be moderate with his decision. Expect a swift confirmation no matter who he chooses.
My feelings on the Supreme Court are as this. I usually do not have too many beefs with the selection as long as they are qualified to do the job. The most qualified justices will review all of the details very carefully before making a final decision on the case. There have been many instances where a conservative justice may turn out to decide more moderate or even liberal. Despite being conservatives, I have tremendous respect for Justices John Roberts and Sam Alito (although it does not help if you mess up the oath). It will be an interesting process.

Celtics Bulls series

The Celtics and Bulls have staged an amazing playoff series that will be decided in Game 7 tomorrow night. Five of six games have gone to overtime. I am sure Larry Bird and Michael Jordan must be jealous they never got to go head to head in a playoff series of this magnitude. It is nice to see the Celtics effort since they are undermanned with Garnett being out for the entire playoffs. It should be a great atmosphere at the Garden tomorrow night.